Washington Pretends it was Always the Manager of Nord Stream II

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “All over, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”

“Narcissists are very retaliative if they believe another has achieved what they desire, exposed their insecurities, or refused to be under their control.”

-Lorraine Nilon

Well, it’s official: Washington has ‘decided’ to stop opposing the Nord Stream II pipeline from Russia to Germany, and has struck an agreement with the latter for the pipeline’s completion. Nord Stream II is a twin pipeline laid alongside the original, which has been operational since November 2011. Nord Stream already consists of two lines, the first opened in November 2011 and the second in October 2012. Nord Stream II will double that again, and increase pumping capacity to well over 100 BcM at maximum volume.

There’s a certain art – which Washington has perfected – of continuing to spin even when you failed to get your own way so that failure looks like a kind of success. A skill that allows you to pretend everything is unfolding exactly as you had planned it would, so that you even appear to believe it yourself. And few can surpass the arch-demoness of the US Department of State, Victoria Nuland, in that arena. Listen to her strut and swagger (translated by Moscow Exile).

“We imposed significant sanctions in May on an additional 19 organizations, and we also imposed sanctions on the [pipeline] operator and employees, but we suspended them in the interest of seeing if we could get Germany to work with us, the Ukraine and Poland on the issue of the consequences and vulnerabilities that this pipeline creates for the Ukraine,”, Nuland said.

“We have not taken any action to [force] the Ukraine to remain silent. The Ukraine is a sovereign country and speaks for itself”, the diplomat said, commenting on the Politico newspaper article about Washington’s alleged demand for Kiev to stop criticizing the pipeline.

“Today we will publish the agreement that we have reached with the German government. I can provide you with a number of details here”, she said.

According to Nuland, within the framework of agreements with the United States on the Nord Stream 2 project, Germany has undertaken to seek the development of pan-European sanctions against Moscow in the event of aggressive steps by Russia against the Ukraine.

“Among other things, Germany has pledged to take measures at the national level, as well as to seek the application of effective measures at the European level, including sanctions, to limit Russia’s export potential to Europe in the energy sector if Russia tries to use energy resources as a weapon or commits further aggressive acts against the Ukraine. This is one aspect of this agreement”, she said.

In addition, Nuland noted, Berlin, within the framework of the agreement with Washington on Nord Stream 2, had agreed to support the extension of the agreement on the transit of energy carriers between Russia and the Ukraine, which expires in 2024. The United States is seeking to extend this agreement for 10 years, said the deputy head of American diplomacy. “Another aspect of the agreement is support for the extension of the transit agreement between Russia and the Ukraine. As you know, it expires in 2024. We will seek with all the levers of influence for an additional 10 years for the Ukraine,”, Nuland said.

To shorten all that up for you, in case high-octane political bullshit makes your eyes glaze over, the United States ordered Russia not to complete the Nord Stream II pipeline, emboldened by its unqualified success in stopping its predecessor, South Stream. Russia kept plodding ahead. The United States gestured mystically, and international sanctions rained down upon Russia’s head. It turned up its collar, set its feet and resumed plodding ahead. When the pipeline was nearly completed, the United States ordered Russia’s Swiss pipelaying partner, Allseas, to abandon the project or face American sanctions, and the company immediately put its tail between its legs and scampered away. Russia brought its own pipelayers into service to finish the project. Increasingly frantic, the United States began probing and brainstorming how best to manage the catastrophe…and settled on the German marshmallow as the weak link.

A Workplace Guide to Managing Your Control Freak Colleague

Perhaps it’s unsubstantiated nostalgia on my part, but I remember the United States being a lot better at strategy. You’re never on your best game when you’re an habitual aggressor who is playing defense, but not even that accounts for the misplaced triumph of a fabricated win after a bunch of flailing around that has achieved more or less nothing. The USA’s aim, ostensibly, is to force Russia to continue transiting gas to Europe via Ukraine, and paying Ukraine a lucrative premium for the privilege. This, in turn, is so the United States can impose a measure of control both over Russia’s ability to transit gas, and over Europe’s ability to receive it, by stirring up trouble in Ukraine. It is fairly plain Washington intends to manipulate circumstances in Ukraine so as to create a situation in which Germany must keep its promise to petition for more sanctions if Russia is ‘acting aggressively’. However, as soon as Nord Stream II is complete, Ukraine will have lost nearly all its strategic value.

America’s – and Ukraine’s; Ukraine has become such a star turn at acting the blubbering victim that playing the role is almost typecasting – story is that Russia would never dare attack Ukraine so long as it is the transit country for Europe’s gas. It wants to; the barbaric red hordes are slavering in eagerness to smash and rape and kill…but so long as Ukraine is carrying Russia’s precious blue fuel to European customers, it dares not.

At the same time, the possibility of having its gas supply shut off is supposed to make Europe nervous of Russia as a partner, and motivate Europe to be most solicitous of Ukraine’s wants and needs in order to preserve its health as a transit country. The USA is clear that another ten years of transit (after the present contract runs out in 2024) is the best it can expect.

But Ukraine knows, and foreign experts have affirmed, that its transit role can only be profitable at annual volumes in excess of 60 BcM. In addition, the entire network is so decrepit that it is barely functional; simply patching holes would cost at least 3 Billion Euros.

It has long been no secret that the Ukrainian gas transmission system (GTS) is in a catastrophic condition: according to various assessments, the resources needed to repair and modernize it could exceed $10-12 billion. It is well known that figures can be confusing, but no one has yet come up with a better way of identifying pros and cons than simple arithmetic. Ukraine’s GTS is a prime example of where a few figures make everything clear. And so, if official statistics are to be believed, around 20 thousand kilometres of the country’s gas pipelines have already been in use for more than 30 years, and around 13 thousand kilometres for more than 15 years. 90% of compressor stations have been in service for more than 25 years, and these are currently less than 30% efficient…Mark Goichman, leading analyst at the TeleTrade company elucidates his fears by explaining that Ukrainian gas pipelines will remain profitable for the country only if at least 60 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas flows through them each year. While transit to Europe is more than 90 bcm, the problem of preserving and modernizing the GTS is current. But if Russia completes construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and brings it to its rated capacity, transit will fall significantly, to 10-15 bcm.

Merkel and her fellow German jellyfish have agreed with the United States that they will seek to renegotiate a further ten-year transit agreement for Ukraine when the current agreement runs out in 2024. But anyone who seeks to live in the real world would have to question why Russia would agree to transit more than 60 BcM of gas across Ukraine every year when the current contract specifies those volumes only for the first year – 65 BcM in 2020, followed by 40 BcM per year 2021-24. Show of hands, please – who thinks Russia is going to agree to transit volumes of 60 BcM+ per year for another ten years when it has a brand-new pipeline that will transit more than 100 Billion BcM on its own, reliably and cheaply, without any geopolitical drama? Further show of hands – who thinks Germany is going to pressure Russia to instead transit high volumes of gas through Ukraine’s leaky, creaky train wreck of a gas-transit system? Especially when wizard Ukrainian economist Zelensky is already holding out the possibility to his people that Ukraine will quadruple the transit fee. My, yes; that’ll make Ukraine’s initial negotiating position attractive. But any agreement which allows annual transit volumes of less than 60 BcM is a money-loser for Ukraine. Where money, if you don’t mind my pointing it out, is already a bit of a problem.

Let’s backtrack for a moment, to Nuland’s bellicose we-got-’em-on-the-run-now departure from reality. According to her, Washington had Russia on the ropes, but let it up for air just in time by agreeing to waive sanctions. Does that sound anything like reality to you? I didn’t think so. The sanctions have meant bupkes to the USA, which does little to no direct trade with Russia, but they have caused tremendous economic pain in Europe. The European market share in Russia is gone, baby, gone, and I don’t see it ever coming back, owing to a combination of solid market replacement and a tremendous renaissance in Russian domestic production. The sanctions never forced Russia to mend its ways to the USA’s demands, never even forced them to the negotiating table as Obama assured Americans they would. The sanctions wiped out European market share in Russia, but Europe had to keep on buying Russian gas, because it has no other supplier who can offer those volumes. In what way was that debacle a success? Unless you are Russia?

Germany promises to agitate for more sanctions if Russia so much as looks at Ukraine in an unfriendly way. Ummm….you mean more of the sanctions that have not had any success so far? Germany promises to press Russia for a new ten-year contract of Ukrainian gas transit, which will be signed around the 12th of never unless European gas consumption triples, because it would make zero economic sense to stop using a brand-new pipeline that will easily handle the required volumes in favour of transiting them over a hostile drama-queen country through a pipeline transit system that is more than 30 years old and has had no maintenance during that period, because the funds the country was given which might have been applied to that purpose vanished into greedy pockets and were never seen again.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves, what say? Ukraine is not going to get back Crimea, which is now Russian for whatever ‘forever’ means in modern times, and the Donbass/Lugansk republics are not going to run weeping back into Kiev’s forgiving arms. The United States is not going to gain control over what fuel passes through what pipelines when. Germany is not going to force Russia to continue transiting large volumes of gas through Ukraine just because that’s the only way they can think of to make Russia give the failed western project money. The Germans are willing to agree to anything just so Uncle Sam will stop threatening sanctions against German companies, and probably hope the Americans will not make a big scene in Ukraine which forces them to back up their words – if they are smart, which there is no evidence to assume, they will use the reprieve they have been ‘granted’ to minimize their exposure to deliberate American economic leverage.

Instead, Ukraine will become a testing ground for the west’s ‘green’ dreams as they try to come up with energy so cheap it’s almost free, but which does not cause any environmental damage. A worthy idea, indeed; but so far there has not been any discovery which comes close to ‘renewables’ or ‘green energy’ taking a dominant role in global consumption. Furthermore, this initiative is to be sold to Ukraine as the west ‘still having its back’, and while the politicians will affect to believe it, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Some suggest ‘peak energy’ has already passed, around 2018, and that competition will increase for what are now known to be finite resources. If that transpires to be the case, Russia remains in a strong position, and the United States’ decision to push Russia and China together into an economic, military and cooperative alliance continues to look like the miscalculation of the century.

720 thoughts on “Washington Pretends it was Always the Manager of Nord Stream II

  1. A terrific read, Mark. Thank you.

    It’s impossible to fault your logic in the description of the great and powerful Oz issuing permissions as though indisputable king of the world. More like the Bert Lahr character in that film, really:

    “Put ‘em up! Put ‘em up!”

    b over at moonofalabama notes another example of scoffing at Imperial writ:

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/07/how-iran-successfully-trolled-the-us-over-a-weapon-smuggling-ship-parade.html#more

    Like

  2. US Finally Folds on Nord Stream 2 As Merkel Fobs Off Ukraine with Derisory $175M One Off Payment
    Jul 22, 2021

    Alexander Mercouris
    34.4K subscribers

    US Finally Folds on Nord Stream 2 As Merkel Fobs Off Ukraine with Derisory $175M One Off Payment
    News Topic 229

    Joint Statement of the United States and Germany on Support for Ukraine, European Energy Security, and our Climate Goals – United States Department of State

    https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-of-the-united-states-and-germany-on-support-for-ukraine-european-energy-security-and-our-climate-goals/

    Telephone conversation with Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel

    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/66235

    Like

  3. U.S. urges Ukraine to stay quiet on Russian pipeline

    The Biden administration is asking an unhappy Ukraine not to make waves, as it nears Russia-Germany pipeline agreement.


    Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month that the pipeline’s completion is a fait accompli. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    The U.S. officials have indicated that going public with opposition to the forthcoming agreement could damage the Washington-Kyiv bilateral relationship, those sources said. The officials have also urged the Ukrainians not to discuss the U.S. and Germany’s potential plans with Congress. A senior administration official disputed this reporting, noting that the situation is more nuanced than that, but declined to share further details on U.S. officials’ talks with their Ukrainian counterparts.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/07/20/us-ukraine-russia-pipeline-500334

    The US has told the Ukrainians to shut up and lump it! With friends like this who needs enemies?

    Further validation of Kissinger’s warning.

    “it may be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but to be America’s friend is fatal.”

    Like

  4. Can U.S. Remain an Asian Power? – Gerald Horne
    Jul 22, 2021

    theAnalysis-news
    15.7K subscribers

    When Nixon went to China, he had no idea the consequences of rapprochement would be a rival global power. Gerald Horne on theAnalysis.news with Paul Jay. Please donate at https://theanalysis.news/donate/ – we can’t do this without you.

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    1. They even made an opera about liar Nixon’s 1972 visit to China.

      Sung in English and premiered in 1987.

      Not as good as Wagner!

      Each of the principal characters—both leaders and their wives, as well as Zhou Enlai — sing contemplative arias. That the music of Jiang Qing (Madame Mao) is more strident than that of Pat Nixon may reveal Adams’s [the composer — ME] perceptions of each but also reflects how the two were portrayed by the press. Nixon himself is presented as a heroic dreamer.

      source:

      https://www.britannica.com/topic/Nixon-in-China

      Heroic dreamer?

      Who, erstwhile strident anti-Communist, No-Whitewash-In-The-Whitehouse Nixon?

      Adams the composer of the opera, who once intensely disliked Nixon, cast Nixon as a self-doubting, lyrical, at times self-pitying melancholy baritone”, whereas Mao’s wife was “not just a shrieking coloratura, but also someone who in the opera’s final act can reveal her private fantasies, her erotic desires, and even a certain tragic awareness”.

      source:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixon_in_China?wprov=sfti1

      Erotic desires?

      Well, why not?

      Above: Historical movie magazine cover showing actress “Lán Píng” (蓝苹), stage name for Jiang Qing (江青) (1914-1991), known as “Madame Mao” future wife of Mao Zedong
      Date circa 1935

      Lan Ping means “Blue Apple”

      She ended up being condemned to death for her activities with “The Gang of Four”, but ended up being sent down for life.

      After having been released for medical treatment, Jiang Qing bumped herself off in May 1991.

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        1. Well I must at least look semi-Asiatic as the Orcs here often tell me that I look Russian, and Russians are deracinated, “mixed raced” Asiatic Slavs, are they not?

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      1. Is that a “Black face” opera singer playing the role of Nixon in the above clip?

        I do hope not!

        And if those members of the chorus who look Asiatic are really “yellow face whites”, then why was there no outcry over the production?

        It was performed over 20 years ago though — before the awakening of “wokeness”.

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  5. Good news on the Nauka module for the ISS – a problem with the propulsion system appeared to have the jeopardized the mission. However, engineers were able to diagnose the problem and have developed several solutions that have been tested with good results. Keeping fingers crossed but the prognosis is good. Russian Space Web has the details behind a pay wall.

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  6. That was a fascinating read. However, there’s another transit fee strategy that would keep everyone happy: I’m guessing that it’ll be the EU that ends up paying the transit fees, perhaps with Germany somehow reimbursing the EU.

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    1. That was Russia’s original plan back when Ukraine was siphoning gas intended for Europe, and smugly thought Russia could do nothing to stop it. Russia suggested it would deliver the gas to the Ukrainian border, that it must be paid for in advance before any would be delivered, and after that it was not Russia’s concern what happened to it – if the Ukrainians wanted to steal gas from Europe right out in the open, it would be up to Europe to deal with it. The modified delivery plan came up again, when Yulia Tymoshenko forced the head of Naftogaz to sign a disadvantageous deal (disadvantageous for Ukraine) and then sealed the deal with Putin after being expressly forbidden to do so by the Ukrainian government…and then amending its terms after it was signed, to reflect that Russia would supply free gas to run the pumping stations. Each time, Russia allowed itself to be talked out of it.

      It did go so far as to insist that any gas delivered to Ukraine for its own use must be paid for in advance, but once Ukraine was being given gas money by the EU, it announced it would no longer take Moskali gas from Gazprom, and then proceeded to buy reverse-flowed Russian gas from EU states at a markup, telling everyone it was Polish gas or Slovakian gas or whatever.

      Russia remains by far the largest foreign investor in Ukraine, but I suspect that has its limits, and it makes no sense for either Russia or the EU to pay Ukrainian transit fees when the gas could go through Nord Stream II for no fees. Well, actually I think there are some, where the pipeline crosses the territory of Scandinavian countries, but the distances are short and the fees minor by comparison.

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  7. Thank you Mark for this summary of the whole Nord Stream 2 saga – to date.

    Highlights for me the absolute two faced double dealing of Merkel.

    And the ultimate failure of USA policy to use Ukraine to blackmail Russia.

    I wonder what Ukraine will do? They have been thrown under the bus by Germany and the USA.

    The money offered by Germany will not replace the money from transit fees or the cheap that subsidised the Ukrainian economy.

    The German -USA idea of an extension of the current deal between Russia and Ukraine by 10 years is as you say a ridiculous suggestion and makes no economic sense for Russia.

    Will this be the moment Ukraine elite wake up? Will they see what their western partners have done or will this be Russia’s fault?

    Zelensky signed the law about what constitutes the indigenous people of Ukraine – excluding Russia. A 10 year extension would mean Russia paying for these clowns to carry on this Russophobia.

    Like

    1. I think Merkel did what she thought she had to do to keep the threat of American sanctions at bay, and to buy time. Now the USA will be howling all the time that Russia is ‘acting aggressively’ and Germany must live by its word and instigate more sanctions, but Germany can argue that it sees no such aggression and there must be more negotiation. Merkel knows she and her successor would have a tough sell trying to persuade other European countries to impose even more sanctions.

      Of course all this could have been avoided by being firm with the USA from the outset, taking the position that American extraterritorial sanctions against German companies are illegal, and promising that direct counter-actions against American interests in Germany would follow any such action. For whatever reason, the Germans chose to be conciliatory. They started out talking tough, but ran out of spine pretty early.

      Ukraine is acutely aware that it is the big loser, and that its backers have been outmaneuvered. Once the pipeline is completed and operational, pure financial interests will see that it is kept busy. Ukraine can squeal all it likes; its own system is falling to pieces, and it makes no sense at all to spend money on it. Something like two-thirds of Europe’s gas once passed through its pipelines, but now the total declines every year and the annual volumes are too low to provide any profit for Ukraine. Zelensky’s gabbling about jacking up the transit fees is just white noise to keep mobs from forming on his lawn. I think the next Ukrainian president will be either a hardliner who promises to exact revenge on Russia, or the exact opposite; a peacemaker who will try to undo the damage between the two countries. In the first case, the nationalists would love him or her, but most of the people would not, and in the second those same nationalists would pull out all the stops to neutralize him/her. The one thing I’m pretty confident about is that it will not be Zelensky again.

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      1. Bear in mind that the National Security Agency in the US has a file on Angela Merkel that it could use to blackmail her and destroy her as Chancellor. Once she’s out of the top job, she can do as she likes though there’s still the possibility that if she goes too far in a future memoir or book-signing tour, the information in the file could be seeped out into the media in such a way as to make her look less than Mutti Merkel.

        Thanks for another detailed post. As Cortes says earlier, this is a good one to read together with Bernhard’s recent posts on Nordstream II nearing completion and the Iranian warship travelling to St Petersburg to take part in Russia’s Navy Day.

        Like

  8. Received from GOV.UK a few minutes ago:

    Anniversary of the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine: UK statement

    Page summary:
    Deirdre Brown, Deputy Head of the UK Delegation to the OSCE, marks the 7th anniversary of the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine and the loss of 298 people.
    3:46pm, 22 July 2021

    Thank you Mr Chair. This year we marked the 7th anniversary of the downing of Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine and the loss of 298 people from 17 countries, including 10 British nationals. The United Kingdom expresses its deepest condolences to all those who lost their loved ones.

    The United Kingdom reiterates its full support for the efforts over seven years to pursue truth, justice and accountability. To provide answers for the next of kin.

    The Dutch trial has entered the final stage and we look forward to its conclusion. We continue to support the work of the Joint Investigation Team and commend its painstaking dedication.

    The United Kingdom supports the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Australia in their call for the Russian Federation to accept State responsibility and to cooperate fully with all efforts to establish accountability, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 2166.

    So, in the pursuit of truth, justice and responsibility Russia must confess its guilt?

    Right!

    Got you!

    Now fuck off!

    Like

    1. I’m looking forward to John Kerry’s video footage of the shooting down that he says the US has (Robert Parry quoting his intel contacts as showing men in Ukranian uniforms and bottles scattered around the unit) and it has since refused to provide to any of its allies, let alone the Dutch show trial.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/22/the-mystery-of-a-ukrainian-army-defector/

      …After last Thursday’s shoot-down, I was told that U.S. intelligence analysts were examining satellite imagery that showed the crew manning the suspected missile battery wearing what looked like Ukrainian army uniforms, but my source said the analysts were still struggling with whether that essentially destroyed the U.S. government’s case blaming the rebels…

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    2. Not going to happen, ever. I bought the Kindle version of John Helmer’s “The Lie That Shot Down MH-17”, it’s a sort of amalgamation of all his posts on the subject, and whenever it looked as if upcoming testimony might prove a problem for the Dutch court, the judge disallowed it as ‘unnecessary’; whenever a rule looked like something might not get in that they wanted in or was uncorroborated, the rule was overturned. The entire process was a travesty, no country would allow itself to be railroaded in such a fashion, and Russia certainly will not. The entire effort was such a crock that I believe the ‘trial’s’ true purpose is to so thoroughly bury who actually did it that it can never be proven. I’m confident it was Ukraine, and I know there is a fairly sizeable community that believes the same, but any evidence has been obliterated by now.

      Like

  9. Nice stuff Mark!

    The Emperor has no clothes.

    It’s allies dance about to distract it from public embarassment and this is where I agree that for Merkel it’s about bowing out ‘gracefully’, i.e. not poking the USA publicly in the eye and papering over the cracks. She’s done the heavy lifting for whomever is next Chancellor (unless it is that Green nutjob).

    As for poor strategy, is this linked to the braindrain from US Gov over the last decade or so? So many mid-and top level diplomats have left the US government and sought careers elsewhere? They knowningly got off the insane psychodelic greyhound bus trip that is US foreign and domestic policy, so that they would a) be not responsible; & could b) have a second life possible surrounded with normal people.

    And of course, let us not forget Turkstream/Balkanstream née Southstream. The consequences of successfully killing the latter led directly to the former (if you know what I mean) and strategically strengthened the hand of Turkey’s not very reliable In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand who still fancies himeself a playa. Despite all that, Turkey has not missed a NATO exercise save for cancelled ones so in that sense has been a good ally and also carried out the west’s bidding in northern Syria supporting terrorists the Syrian ‘democratic opposition’ who burn people to death in cages. For kicks.

    Add to Germany kicking the nuclear habit, so is Belgium, the Netherlands (only has one producing 4%) and France is supposed to be reducing its share (we will see). Meanwhile we se that not only is Bad Boy of u-Rope (TM) Hungary building new NPPs, Czechia, Slovakia, Finland & Bulgaria, so newer EU member states should be in a better position. Two each for the UK and US!*

    ..the USA, which does little to no direct trade with Russia. – comparatively of course! Not a complaint Mark, just a clarification for readers as I have made these points (suc as below) before on your blog a few times over the years:

    GE/P&W/Honeywell.** GE has localized production of electrical systems etc.,*** and none of the big US software companies have been forbidden to trade with Russia by Washington either. Buy our high quality products while we sanction yours (sic the Sukhoi MC-300 composite materials that the t-Rump administration banned export to Russia, amongst others).

    Evidence of high quality American investment in Russia (due to low labor costs & anti-sanctions no doubt) is everywhere if you look, but most don’t! The sycophantic Pork Pie News Networks run after the sanctions sausages but ignore the big fat sausages that are still in play, though we do see slices of non-sexy trade news in the specialized business press every now and then.

    * https://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx

    ** http://www.rusaviainsider.com/russias-first-maintenance-shop-for-the-honeywell-made-apus-to-be-operational-in-q4/

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

    *** https://www.gegridsolutions.com/press/gepress/fsk-mou.htm

    https://www.rosatom.ru/en/press-centre/news/rusatom-healthcare-and-ge-healthcare-approved-the-plan-for-localization-of-advanced-technologies-for/

    https://www.akm.ru/eng/news/inter-rao-ge-sign-agreements-on-russian-gas-turbines/

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    1. I enter this recent news in to evidence, M’Lud:

      Russian Aviation Insider: All-Superjet 100 operator to become Russia’s first operator of Airbus A220
      http://www.rusaviainsider.com/all-superjet-100-operator-to-become-russias-first-operator-of-airbus-a220/

      Azimuth Airlines will become a new Airbus operator in Russia next year

      … The news was revealed during the ongoing Moscow air show MAKS-2021 (July 20-25).

      All aircraft will feature a single-class cabin layout with 148 seats. The airline, which describes itself as ‘a carrier of the south of Russia’, plans to operate A220s from its bases in Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Mineralnye Vody. ..
      ####

      Like

  10. Thanks for explaining this, haven’t really spent much time looking at this, only interesting bit personally is whether hydrogen will be flowing through its tubes in the future. What a strange relationship Germany has with US energy barons or perhaps they are all historically intermingled

    Like

    1. Hey, Nicola; nice to see you again! It’s funny you should say that, because a decidedly odd piece appeared recently in Natural Gas World, entitled “IEA net-zero roadmap “a fairy tale” [Gas in Transition]”. Here’s an excerpt:

      “The IEA stunned markets in May with the publication of its Net Zero by 2050 roadmap, which calls for an immediate end to new investments in oil and gas projects as part of a “total transformation of the energy systems that underpin our economies.” According to Cyril Widdershoven, an energy analyst at Dutch consultancy VEROCY, the IEA’s recommendation is “irresponsible” and “incomprehensible.” “If we do this, there will be shortages in five or six years that will severely impact the world economy,” he tells NGW in an interview.

      Cyril Widdershoven, who also holds several advisory positions with international think tanks around the world and is global head of strategy and risk at Berry Commodities Fund, frankly admits that he finds it difficult to understand what made the IEA propose such a policy measure. “In the IEA’s World Energy Outlook, even in the Sustainable Development Scenario, gas demand was set to grow in the period till 2050. Indeed, not so long ago the IEA proclaimed that we were on the eve of a golden age for gas. I fail to see why they have suddenly changed their stance so radically,” he says.”

      An immediate end to new investments in oil and gas projects. Hmmm….I have to say that sounds very much like The Nut Known As Klaus Schwabbe and his You’ll-Own-Nothing-And-You’ll-Be-Happy doctrine. Because ‘renewables’, lumped together, make up a total considerably less than 10% of the world’s energy consumption and, tree-hugger or not, a stubborn determination to rely on renewables or ‘green energy’ in the absence of a new cheap and sustainable energy source is a recipe for a Luddite lifestyle reminiscent of James Howard Kunstler’s “A World Made by Hand”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. There is one planet but there may be two worlds. One world will be “you own nothing, you have no rights, you will be poor, energy will be meager and you will be blissfully ignorant”. The other world will have abundant energy, more opportunities for personal growth and a future to look forward to.

        Predictions about the coming (likely slow) collapse ignore the bifurcation of the global economy that is already well underway. There will be a collapse but it will not be global.

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        1. Hopefully there will be a like bifurcation of society, and all the woke liberals will cluster together in a masked hive of idiocy where the unvaxxed are not allowed to attend their bars and movie theatres, and the unvaxxed will develop their own juke joints and party places where those milquetoast sissies will not come for fear the ‘rona will take them off.

          Speaking of the stalking killer, the New York Times hastens to run interference for the pharma giants by helpfully ‘splainin’ that of course breakthrough infections are appearing; we always knew they would.

          Silly; vaccines don’t make you immune – they just protect you from getting really sick and dying (although some fully-vaccinated people are represented in both those categories as well).

          I was immunized against malaria and yellow fever while in the navy, before going on a deployment where both were endemic if rare. And I have to say I would have been somewhat north of disappointed if I had contracted even a little malaria. I would not have said shucks, maybe I should have gotten the six-month booster. But Pfizer has already been authorized by Israel to administer a third shot, after its Chief Scientist said recent breakthrough infections there were probably from people who got vaccinated back in January/February. Fully-vaccinated Israelis made up 79% of ‘new cases’ in recent statistics, and Pfizer’s scientist claimed they had expected antibodies would start to wane in about six months. Presumably that is not an effect that only happens in Israel, so you can expect the six-monthly mRNA booster to start popping up everywhere, and for simpletons to line up to get it.

          Recent PR efforts to turn the vaxxed violently against the unvaxxed have intensified, with Biden’s ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ and statistical manipulation to create the appearance that almost all ‘new infections’ are among the unvaxxed. Meanwhile various celebrities and officials offer that life must be made hard for the unvaccinated, because they have not responded to gentle persuasion.

          Bring it on, and go fuck yourselves.

          Like

            1. Check out the Stanford Experiment if you need a reminder of how ordinary people embrace their roles once they are assigned. As soon as regular folk are encouraged by their responsible authority to hate and fear a designated group, the very great majority go to it with gusto, I’m afraid. Psychology 101.

              Like

              1. Very true and a well-worn technique. Blame the _________ for all of your life failures and frustrations, feel superior to ________ as a way to compensate for feelings of inferiority. Works like a charm and it is being exploited like there is no tomorrow.

                Like

                1. When you think about it, students at Stanford University would be young – obviously – with little life experience accumulated, often from privileged and well-to-do backgrounds, and typically liberal as a tea social to benefit Hillary Clinton. They would have little in their lives to be bitter or fearful about. Yet the jailers so eagerly embraced their roles, and the implied invitation to unleash brutality on helpless prisoners that the experiment had to be ended after only six days.

                  Now contrast those students with the population at large in a world struggling to come out of a staged pandemic which has seen many jobs eliminated, a traditional labour market turned on its head, out-of-control authoritarianism and a regulatory environment which cuts people off from friends and family. Imagine in that environment, a vaccine is introduced and the population told to take it as it is the path back to the way their lives were. And then the popular media, and local and national leaders announce that a minority who will not accept vaccination are all that stands between them and the world they remember.

                  And then go check to make sure you have a gun in the house.

                  This is a great example of what I’m talking about. And Micron is by no means alone in his exhortations to the public to step in where government left off, and make the anti-vaxxers see sense.

                  https://www.rt.com/news/530193-macron-denounces-anti-vaxxers/

                  I don’t see any way bloodshed can be avoided, and it is likely to come soon.

                  Like

                2. Mark – that is stunningly accurate and profound analysis of the present situation.

                  It is also depressing as there seems to be no alternative to the present trajectory. I would only add that the social engineers are creating this new society to ensure a compliant population that accepts a decreased standard of living, greater restrictions, diminished opportunities, narrowed views (notwithstanding the LGBTZN? misdirection) to ensure the rule of financial elites for generations to come.

                  Like

    1. Well, the USA is still a powerful nation able to exercise significant influence. But I would argue that in my own lifetime we have gone from a period when young people not even from America wore the American flag on their clothing to a more recent period when American youths wear the flags of other countries when traveling to conceal their real nationality.

      https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/02/cnn-americans-pretend-canadian-travel_n_3533733.html

      ‘Bully’ is not too strong a word. Bill Clinton, ever the wordsmith – or the repeater of buzz phrases speechwriters wrote for him – used to extol, “Not the example of our power, but the power of our example’, and once it might have been true. But around the time of Bush The Younger, America made a hard right turn toward the unapologetic use of force to get its way. The world cut Obama some slack in his first term because it was so glad to see the back of Bush, but he really was no improvement, and the secret drone assassinations actually increased markedly. Now America ‘motivates’ chiefly through threat and fear, and Biden has done nothing to modify that stance – probably can’t, because he’s just a figurehead and is not really in charge.

      Like

      1. …because it was so glad to see the back of Bush..*

        I misread that as ‘because it was so glad to see the the black Bush!’ If we look at foreign policy in particular, there is much continuity between Republicans and Democrats. O’Bomber may have paused overt ‘WOO HA!’ PR TV bombing, but massively expanded Death by Drone (and allies), not to mention also massively expanded the War Against Whistleblowers. Other stuff too that liberals are supposed to look the other way because it really matters by whom you are being f/kd by, rather than you being f/ked in the first place.

        As the Who sang in ‘We won’t get fooled again’ – Meet the new boss
        Same as the old boss

        https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/who/wontgetfooledagain.html

        *’scuse me while I kiss this guy….

        Like

    1. Yes, Canada is going to be kept on the hot seat – and rightly so – because it stood with the United States and Ukraine against Russia’s resolution against the Glorification of Nazism. But the Canadian government only did that out of lockstep loyalty – the USA’s veto alone was enough, and Canada is basically a non-entity as a global ‘influencer’. Australia as well, the other lapdog that always tries to squirm into Uncle Sam’s lap for a cuddle. Neither country needs to vote to kill a UN resolution, the USA can do it alone and routinely does, just as Russia alone can kill one to thwart American ambitions. But Washington likes to reach out to its abject toadies when it wants to ‘internationalize’ an action.

      Canada is a sucker for wokeness, it was ‘woke’ before woke was fashionable, and loves to to insult some while coddling others. the Ottawa Women’s Monument in Minto Park features the following message;

      To honour and to grieve
      all women
      abused and murdered by men
      envision a world without violence
      where women are
      respected
      &
      free.

      You can imagine the reception a monument in Philadelphia would get if it read “To honour and to grieve all black men murdered by police officers”, even if it is true. Messages like the former only ensure the abrupt withdrawal of support from any men who are not themselves dyed-in-the-wool feminists (and there are some).

      Like

      1. MoA has a nice article on the same topic. However, he quoted an unrealistically low figure for the number of Serbs murdered during the genocide (the actual number is no less than 750,00 and likely exceeds one million).

        Also, the genocide was driven by forced conversion to Catholicism. That explains why Cardinal Stepinac, the spiritual leader of the genocide is heading for sainthood. Google is flooded with Catholic links claiming that Stepinac saves thousands of Jews and was a wonderful human being. Just wow.

        To be fair, the Italian occupation forces did indeed protest the slaughter of Serbs and saved many from murder by the Cardinal’s minions.

        Like

  11. Cake is linked to slavery because it contains sugar? Yes, the woke witch-finders have struck again
    23 Jul, 2021 14:47

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/530061-parkin-cake-cancelled-slavery/amp/

    An English council is considering cancelling a regional delicacy called parkin cake due to its supposed links to slavery….

    Yorkshire parkin cake is delicious. The sweet and sticky mix of treacle, oats and ginger is a firm favourite right across the north of England…

    Leeds City Council has launched a review into connections between local cuisine and the slave trade.

    A council document, seen by The Telegraph, claims: “Historically, some of the ingredients used to make these ‘local’ products were gained through the triangular slave trade (for example, sugar)”.

    It’s made from treacle. It was a firm favourite of mine.

    And it’s not from Yorkshire: it’s from Lancashire

    Lancashire song:

    We Keep Eating Parkin, That’s Why We Are So Brown

    And we kept eatin’ parkin
    We kept eatin’ parkin
    We kept eatin’ parkin
    That’s why we are so brown!”

    – from ‘Royton Sands’, trad. Lancashire song.

    see:
    https://vegancooking.livejournal.com/1651278.html?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’ll be after banning rum next!

      Nelson’s navy ran on rum, produced by distilling the molasses from West Indian slave plantation sugar cane. There was such a surfeit of sugar cane grown on these plantations that someone had the bright idea of allowing Royal Navy sailors to guzzle daily its distilled by product as part payment for their service to King and Country. And it kept the mutinous dogs quiet.

      Like

    2. Oh dear, Leeds City Council might have to cancel a lot of other foods and drinks because they contain … sugar, coffee, tea and a stack of other ingredients once produced by slave labour or indentured labour in the Caribbean or other tropical parts of the world where Britain was the colonial power. The only foods and beverages allowed to council employees will be, erm, bark and water.

      As the RT article suggests, the motive is to make schoolchildren feel guilty about celebrating and upholding local Yorkshire traditions if there’s a hint of their being “racist”. Never mind that the sugar that goes into parkin these days might actually have been grown from beet and/or harvested with machines.

      Like

      1. I remember a scandal not all that long ago (well, it might have been a long time ago because in my dotage, I seem to be increasingly “telescoping” past events) concerning the Brooke Bond tea company. They were accused of paying their Indian tea pickers starvation wages.

        In September 2015 a BBC investigation of working conditions on the tea estates of Assam, many of which supply tea to popular labels in the UK, revealed deplorable conditions on several estates. Among them were plantations owned by the tea giant McLeod Russel. Surprisingly, many of these were certified by recognized bodies like the Rainforest Alliance.

        Workers live in abject poverty as a result of wages that are even lower than the statutory minimum wage in the state. They were found living in ramshackle houses on the estates that were in a state of utter disrepair. Walls were damp, ceilings leaked, there was often no electricity, and the shared latrines nearby were clogged or broken and completely unusable. Workers were forced to defaecate among tea bushes. Open drains overflowed into living areas.

        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-34173532 Accessed 12/12/

        Source:

        Tainted tea?
        Slave labour in your cuppa?

        May 2016

        Click to access Tainted-Tea-Report.pdf

        Like

            1. Settle down, Dedushka; the whole PDF is displayed, 36 pages. Here is a copied paragraph from page 6.

              One plantation owned by the Assam Company was employing children below the age of 15 years, while workers on a McLeod Russel-owned estate were found spraying chemical pesticides without proper protective equipment. Young children and infants are often malnourished, and die of preventable diseases.

              Like

              1. So how do you get it to display the pages?

                I just see the first title page

                I cannot scroll through the pdf.

                Like

                1. I don’t know, but for anyone – at least as far as I can tell – receiving your link from abroad, the entire document displays, and the small window on the upper left reads “Page 1 of 36”. But perhaps it is the same as when you include a photo and you can’t see it, and get a ‘link broken’ symbol, but I can still click on your link and get the picture. The internet is a strange place, and sometimes weird stuff happens.

                  Like

                2. It must be because I am using my iPhone.

                  It’ll show up on my laptop here, but I have to use my iPhone as a router to connect to the Internet.

                  We have no Internet connection here. I can’t be bothered having one installed.

                  Like

                3. Yes, just been on the Internet and there’s the link to the pdf, but for some reason or other, on my iPhone I do not see the link , only the first page of the pdf.

                  Now I do think it is a scandal that such tea companies pay shit money to their employees.

                  On the other hand, I bet the tea pickers are subcontracted to shady operatives in Assam etc. and I bet there’s plenty of exploitation of Indians by Indians going on. Nevertheless, that’s no excuse for the tea companies not closely monitoring the subcontractors’ terms and conditions.

                  But these big tea companies — who owns them? I guess they are all parts of massive global food and drink corporations now.

                  I never used to buy the big brand name teas in England because they’re all blended. I used to drink Assam neat, shaken, not stirred, and sometimes Darjeeling.

                  That ever so popular in Europe (meaning not the UK and Ireland) blended Lipton’s Tea is rat’s piss.

                  Russian blended tea is good though. In fact, I much prefer to drink Russian blended teas.

                  Does all this mean that despite my many years of residence in Darkest Mordor, deep down I’m still a typical tea sipping English faggot?

                  Like

                4. There must be someone – I hesitate to use the term ‘overseer’, owing to its association with the slave trade, I might be a closet racist – in the employment chain whose job it is to monitor hirings and firings, conduct interviews if it’s that kind of job, and keep his/her finger on the pulse of what the company is trying to achieve. That person ought to be overall responsible for employee relations as well, although I am afraid companies that mostly employ – ‘take advantage of’ might not be too strong a word – low-skill employees from oppressed populations frequently have no such department. There cannot be simply the distant owners and the workers, however. There must be some sort of administrative interface between the two, and that’s where responsibility should lie to ensure proper pay and non-abusive working conditions.

                  Like

              2. Дедушка!!!

                I am most certainly not a grandfather!

                None of my children have become parents yet.

                “Господин” to you, sir!

                Like

      2. Read somewhere that if a child says the word “yuck” or “yucky” when presented with an unfamiliar ethnic food, that is a clear sign of racism. Urgent intervention is required otherwise the child will likely join the KKK (the part about the KKK is made up).

        Like

    3. As soon as you decide to employ targeted prejudice based on ‘historical’ links, you are stepping over the edge of a precipice. Canada could immediately drop all its support for the plains First Nations like the Cree, Dakota and Ojibwa because they raided other tribes for slaves. Every ethnic group has forerunners who have done things in history for which their ancestors would be ashamed and would most certainly not do themselves in the modern world. And then, again, you might be surprised what people would do when they are in charge. Those who think marginalized groups like, say, the aborigines in Australia would be kind to whites if they greatly outnumbered them and were in charge might want to rethink that. Same as how the Palestinians would treat Israelis if tomorrow they were the rulers; there’s no questions the Palestinians are unfairly treated, but how would they behave if they were the rulers?

      Like

  12. An opinion piece by Spengler echoes the opinion of this post – on the issue of Nord Stream II, Biden could do little but back down.

    “Calm down, everyone. After Donald Trump imposed sanctions on firms laying the Nord Stream 2 pipe across the Baltic Sea, the Russians sent their own ship, and the work is finished. The Germans will go ahead regardless, so the least humiliating thing that Biden could do was to acknowledge reality and stand down.”

    A further interesting paragraph reinforces what I have said for some time about the USA and those crawlers who allow it to bully them into getting a 5G network built by Nokia. They will share a network which is inferior in every way to that built by Huawei.

    “China has installed about 80% of the world’s 5G mobile broadband capacity, the carrier for the Fourth Industrial Revolution as much as railroads were for the First Industrial Revolution, and is moving much faster towards smart cities, automated ports, autonomous vehicles, self-programming robots and a wealth of other 5G applications.”

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/07/wake-up-america-the-world-just-isnt-that-into-you/

    Speaking of 5G, another piece by the same author suggests Nokia and Ericsson are heavily dependent on Chinese supply chains; in Ericsson’s case, Panda Electronics, as Chinese as the wonton.

    https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/ericsson-nokia-are-more-chinese-than-meets-the-eye/

    Like

  13. Yes, narcissistic behavior is the same whether an individual or a nation as exemplified by US leadership. That was insightful information on the minimum gas transit volume for profitable operation of the Ukraine pipeline. Russia was certainly aware of this as reflected in their contract renewal.

    IIRC, NS 1 was limited to only 50% capacity by made-up BS about reserving capacity for non-Gazprom suppliers. If so, is that being waived or will NS 2 be subject to the same limitation?

    One must assume that sanctions to date against Russia were selected for the maximum damage to Russia with minimum blow back to the US (the EU being a good little whore will smile and ask for more). Further sanctions will likely have diminishing effect on Russia and more adverse effects on the EU. The sanctions game is largely over in my opinion. The US regime change efforts likewise have failed. Russia can expect intensified cyber attacks, high-profile sabotage and more military adventures by the West. The same goes for China.

    BTW and FWIW, my certainty is increasing that Covid was a bio-weapon aimed at China. The Chinese government may already know this but their hands are tied. If they were to announce such to the Chinese population, the demand for war/retribution would be overwhelming and China does not want that as their present path is predictable and favorable.

    Was it a hoot or what when the US promises more green energy projects for the Ukraine? It was green energy that got Germany into the energy mess with the highest electricity costs in Europe. Germany absolutely needed low cost gas to generate low-cost electricity to stave off an economic collapse. Feast your eyes on the following link. Please direct your attention to Germany (easy to find at the bottom of the list). Note Russia and the US as well. None of these countries subsidize electrical energy costs (except Germany to help encourage “green” energy production) so the prices reflect true costs of production. Ukraine has a very low price thus likely is heavily subsidized. Have a nice day Ukraine as your nights will be dark and cold.

    https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/electricity_prices/

    The Ukraine will decay like roadkill on its present course. Its best hope is to be absorbed by the various border countries.

    Like

    1. Its best hope is to be absorbed by the various border countries.

      An odds-on cert in my opinion.

      And those erstwhile Galitsian Ruthenians will become Polish citizens and have a truly bounteous and rewarding life as such.

      What a shame the Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist after 1919, for then the rest of the Galitsian Banderite filth could become Czech citizens and treated accordingly.

      Like

    2. I though the same as you PO (memory, eh?) that it was NS1 but the 50% limit is in fact on the German (Gazprom/BASF) OPAL pipeline which was lifted back in 2016* but was overturned in 2019 and Gazprom’s appeal turned down ten days ago.** NordSteam 1 from 2011 carefully increased the quantitites of gas transported and apparently in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the gas pipeline ensured the transportation of gas in volumes exceeding the design capacity. (59.2bcm in 20202)***

      Of course if u-Rope faces another big winter freeze with LNG all going for higher prices to Asia (as usual), then the OPAL limit will be temporarily suspended….

      2020 – 59.2bcm
      2019 – 58.5bcm
      2018 – 58.8bcm
      2017 – 51bcm
      2016 – 43.8bcm
      2015 – 39bcm

      * https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-eu-gazprom-opal-decision-idUKKCN12S222

      Click to access cp170083en.pdf

      ** https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/poland-wins-bid-to-reduce-russian-dominance-in-gas-transit-to-eu-1.1313632

      https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/eu-court-rejects-germanys-gazprom-pipeline-appeal-2021-07-15/

      *** https://www.nord-stream.com/press-info/press-releases/the-volume-of-natural-gas-transported-by-the-nord-stream-pipeline-reached-400-billion-cubic-metres-518/

      https://www.nord-stream.com/press-info/press-releases/the-nord-stream-pipeline-transported-a-volume-of-592-billion-cubic-metres-of-natural-gas-in-2020-517/

      Like

      1. It will be driven by price and demand, as it always is, and Russia knows better than to expect otherwise. The Yurrupeans like to go all principled and haughty, and get their noses in the air and blabber about how Russia is too dominant in the gas market. But the minute the price starts to climb, and businesses and utilities know very well cheaper gas is available and plentiful, they are plaintively asking their leaders what the fuck they think they are up to. When Yurrup thinks it can dial gas back a bit and lean on the ‘renewables’ it is so fond of, it will, and sell it as being responsible and a good steward of the environment. But renewables for the foreseeable future are more an indulgence than a staple, and the consumer will not pay higher prices because of pride. I have always said it is not Russia’s aim to sell Yurrup more gas than it can use. But their own needs regularly take them by surprise, and when that happens the OPEL pipe will be cranked wide open. It makes no difference to Russia, since when Yurrup gets shirty and wants less gas, the price goes up, so it is making the same money for lower volumes. It likewise is going to make no difference to Ukraine, which needs high-volume transit to make any money at all, and whose decrepit system is too wasteful; Yurrup is not going to pay for x volume and receive 8/10ths of that because the rest bled into the atmosphere.

        Yurrup is like a high-maintenance mistress, and it is a wise man who endures her tantrums without letting them bother him unduly.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Good news on the Nauka module. Per Russian Space Web, ground controllers were able to restore full propulsion so docking with the ISS should be accomplished as planned if delayed by a few days.

    On the morning of July 24, Roskosmos confirmed the successful completion of two orbit corrections on July 23 and promised more maneuvers during the following day.

    Rogozin then twitted that Nauka had conducted a two-impulse maneuver with its main DKS-1 engine starting at 17:20:47 and 17:54:20 Moscow Time (10:20, 10:54 a.m. EDT). Roskosmos also said that, according to mission control specialists, the impulse and new orbit parameters “had matched the predictions.”

    According to the State Corporation, the next series of maneuvers were planned for July 27, indicating that the spacecraft was in a safe orbit for eventual rendezvous with the ISS.

    Like

    1. Around 14:30 Moscow Time on July 25, Roskosmos’ chief Dmitry Rogozin posted a Twitter message saying that the testing of the Kurs-A rendezvous system during the 62nd orbit of Nauka’s mission had been a success. – Per Russian Space Web

      Barring any surprises, the new module should be able to dock with the ISS.

      Russian Space Web has a huge amount of current information on Russian space activities and is worth the cost for space nerds like me.

      Like

    1. Great news on Nauka. I wonder if they’ll move it to their new space station in the event the ISS program ends or Russia leaves?

      Personal trivia only, but I’m so delighted they’re continuing the Luna series of probes and not renaming them. Maybe we’ll even see some Lunokhods. Nostalgia forever!

      Like

      1. It was mentioned that if sanctions against Russia are still in effect by 2028(?), Nakua will be undocked and made part of a new Russian space station.

        Agreed that making the new lunar probes part of the Luna series was a good move. Russia did not make the mistake of denying their Soviet era. Keeping the red star for military equipment was good as it was the Soviet/Russian effort that defeated the combined forces of the Nazi west.

        I’m not crazy about their flag. Were they trying to become part of Europe with that design? They need a new flag reflecting the totality of their past.

        Like

  15. Yukietards speak with forked tongue?

    Gazprom did not offer Ukraine to buy gas from Russia
    July 24, 2021

    The words of the head of “Gazprom” Alexei Miller about the volume of transit through the Ukraine after 2024 related to purchases from the EU under new contracts. This is how the Russian company commented on the statement of the chairman of the board of Naftogaz Ukrainy, Yuriy Vitrenko, who called Gazprom’s proposals that the Ukraine purchase Gazprom gas unacceptable.

    Gazprom did not propose that the Ukraine buy Russian gas, the company has said in a statement.

    “We became acquainted with the statement of Yuriy Vitrenko, Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz Ukrainy. Please note that no one proposed that the Ukraine buy Russian gas. The comment of Alexei Miller, Chairman of the Board of Gazprom, was addressed to our partners from the EU countries, primarily German ones”, reports TASS, quoting an excerpt from the message of Gazprom’s information department.

    Earlier, the United States and Germany signed an agreement on Nord Stream 2, which obliges Germany to respond at a national level to acts of aggression by Russia against the Ukraine, including sanctions on energy exports. Also, Germany should lobby for the extension of gas transit through the Ukraine after the completion of the agreement in 2024.

    Source:

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/kommersant.ru/s/doc/4917443?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fyandex.ru%2Fnews%2Fstory%2FGazprom_ne_predlagal_Ukraine_pokupat_gaz_vRossii–18fea4258abda4a9c0116cde70a47cf8

    Like

  16. The Syrian military seem to be getting better at shooting down Israeli missiles.

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/202107251083460203-syrian-air-defenses-shot-down-rockets-launched-towards-damassus-vicinity-russian-military-says/

    Syrian air defense systems have destroyed two missiles fired by the Israeli F-16 fighter jets toward facilities in the Damascus region, Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, the deputy head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria, said on Sunday.

    This comes just after Russian-made Buk-M2E air defense systems downed all the rockets launched at the central Syrian province of Homs in the early hours of Thursday. The Russian military added that two Israeli F-16 fighters fired four guided missiles at several facilities in the Homs province.

    It was mentioned somewhere that the Syrians were finally allowed to use the BUK missiles which are downing the Israeli missiles with excellent success. I supposed as long as Israel launches missiles from Lebanese airspace, they will be immune to counterattack for fear of causing civilian losses such as hitting an airliner. Israel has no qualms about using human shields.

    Like

    1. Probably by now the Syrians are fully trained in using the S-400 anti-missile defence systems supplied to them by Russia in 2015 after the Russian Defence Ministry pushed Putin to allow the transfer of those systems.

      Like

      1. I may be wrong but the high shoot-down rate may mostly be due to use of the BUK system.

        The success of the BUK is amazing as the Israeli missiles are rocket-propelled (not slow moving cruise missiles) and may have stealth design.

        What will Israel do if their perception of invincibility and I-can-do-whatever-I-want shtick no longer works? The biggest concern, however, is likely in the US as this would be another example of Russian military technology trumping US technology.

        Like

        1. Yes, the Buk system is kind of the RD-180 of Russian air-defense missile systems; been in service forever, but still effective. Think what a terror it must have been when it was new. Kind of like the S-400 is now.

          Like

  17. Navy Day here in Mordor last Saturday:

    Putin: Russia Constantly Perfects Navy Armament, Including Unparalleled Hypersonic Weapons

    https://sputniknews.com/russia/202107251083458391-putin-russia-constantly-perfects-navy-armament-including-unparalleled-hypersonic-weapons/

    I wonder what Hitchins of the UK Daily Mail thought of the navy review at the Northern Capital?

    Remember, it was he who in a Mail opinion piece a couple of weeks ago, in which he criticized the British navy’s recent dick-waving exercise off the Crimea coast, said that both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Navy and the Russian navy were both a heap of shite and of no consequence.

    You know the line: Russian rust tubs, outmoded, manned by drunken incompetents etc., etc.

    But at the same time still part and parcel of the aggressor state that is a major threat to Western freedoms, democracy and the rule of law.

    Like

      1. Британцы подняли на смех парад в честь дня ВМФ. А пока они шутят, Дефендер остался единственным современным эсминцем Royal Navy

        The British made fun of the Navy Day parade, but while they are joking, HMS Defender is the only modern destroyer in the Royal Navy.
        Yesterday

        “It looks like these guys are still using coal for their propulsion systems. I saw ships like this back when I served as a cabin boy in the Royal Navy. I’m retired now, but these cast iron tubs are still afloat.”

        British readers joked like this after the traditional Navy Day parade held on the last Sunday of July in St. Petersburg. Experienced in defamation of all things foreign, British commentators literally did not like anything, from the shape of the warships to the bearing of the sailors. And, horror of horrors — the lack of racial diversity! As regards this matter, it is not really clear how our fleet could please the British. Well, we did not have colonies in Africa. And we did not transport slaves from the Old World to the New, where we sold them, so what can we do about this? Ethnic diversity is fine in Russia, where we live with it, but as regards racial diversity, in so far as this concerns the presence of Afro-Russians, there isnt any.

        “Whilst Russians are living from hand to mouth (Oh really! — ed.), their leaders parade Cold War era tubs, taking the risk that their sailors will be drowned right there in the St. Petersburg roadstead. Now that would be a meme for all time. Why is it necessary to arrange such staged shows while many people simply have nothing to eat. These are all pitiful phantoms of imperial thinking.”

        We will return to those rust tubs later, but for now let’s consider what the author of the article could have written, had he been a critical British person. If he had been, he would probably have written the following: “While British leaders, obsessed with their former imperial power, build useless and massive aircraft carriers and sail them around the world in order to “demonstrate their presence”, the country lives in debt, ordinary Britons barely making ends meet, and the [former — ME] mining towns of the UK are now completely on the verge of being poverty stricken”. But the author is not British, and one can only marvel at the level of brainwashing of the commentators there and their obvious desire not to see further than their noses.

        “Putin seems to have assembled every ship that the Russians have serviceable for this parade. Maybe not all of them even made it there, ha ha. While all this pile of scrap metal is piled up in St. Petersburg, we have a great opportunity for sailing along the Crimea coast one more time.”

        But with this, dear British comrade, you have made a small mistake, which is a bit of a bummer. The other day, the head of the House of Commons Defence Committee Tobias Elwood made an insidious revelation, which the British leadership, out of age-old habit, quickly tried to “sweep under the carpet”. Dear British commentator, that very HMS Defender, now heading for the shores of China, is practically alone. Of the six modern British “Type 45” missile defence destroyers, only one is capable of defending the honour of the British flag: two more are under repair, one is being upgraded, and one, HMS Defender’s partners in an aircraft carrier strike force, the destroyer HMS Diamond, has broken down and gone back to port in order to have emergency repairs done to her gas turbine.

        That dastardly Tobias also let slip that the heirs of the Grand Fleet had only eighteen warships in service, and that HMS Defender’s power plant, which is as problematic as the rest of her sister ships, could die at any moment. So, dear British readers, I don’t even know how to answer you correctly: either with the classic phrase: “Who shall be the judge?” or in our own turn of phrase, as used by the workers and peasants, “Whose cow is lowing?” [Who is calling the shots —ME]. You might just as well have HMS Queen Elizabeth II all to yourselves: she’s just some big barge with useless F-35s (not my words: the British write this themselves). And how are you going to scare the Chinese, who have more modern strike destroyers in one formation than the total number of warships of the former “Mistress of the Seas” Great Britain?

        Like

        1. That’s pretty much all the British are good at any more, is making sarcastic haw-haw fun of others. This amusing pastime is rendered simpler by not having to know what you are talking about. All that notwithstanding, the author is likely to have observed little to do with foreign warships whilst he was a cabin-boy in the Royal Navy, unless it was going on underneath the pillow he had his face buried in.

          Like

    1. These days the best that could happen to Navalny’s website is that it be blocked; if the government didn’t do it, he would have had to take it down himself and blame the government, just to get some attention.

      Like

  18. Enter Volkov or Sobol or “The Statuesque Blonde” Navalnaya or Darya Navalnaya or any combination of the aforementioned to fill the vacuum left by the incarcerated Navalny — I don’t think!

    Like

  19. Betrayal!

    25 July, 21:32
    Biden and Harris will not attend Zelenskiy summit on the Crimea
    The first Crimean Platform summit will take place in Kiev in August. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that representatives of about 30 countries would come to it. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will not attend the meeting

    US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have refused to personally attend the Crimean Platform meeting in Kiev. US Chargé d’Affaires in the Ukraine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent, has stated this in an interview with “Radio Liberty” (included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of foreign media agents).

    “From us there will be a member of the cabinet, that is, it will not be the president, the vice president, but there will be a member of the cabinet”, Kent replied to a corresponding question from a journalist.

    At the same time, the diplomat did not say who exactly would represent the United States at the upcoming event.

    The business of the meeting is to begin with a so-called inaugural summit on August 23, which will take place on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of the independence of the Ukraine. It is planned that the summit will operate at several levels in the format of a network of experts: heads of state and government, heads of the Foreign Ministry and parliamentarians, President of the Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that representatives of about 30 countries would come to the summit.

    Source RBC:

    https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/60fdab159a794772a4a6c4f1?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    Like

      1. Revolution buns?

        Is that the same as:

        Revolution Rolls ??

        Ingredients:
        3 eggs at room temp (1 Lean)
        3 table spoons light cream cheese at room temp (3 Condiments)
        1/16 tsp cream of tartar (you can use white vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute)
        1 packet splenda (1 Condiment)

        Is revolution legal in the land of Revolution Rolls?

        Like

    1. By Kieran Doody. You couldn’t make it up.

      Fecal aerosols – many times larger than viral particles – have tested positive for COVID-19. But a cloth mask provides significant protection from fart COVID. It’s like some sort of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not contest to ascertain what is the stupidest thing you can get people to believe.

      Let’s just put paid right now to any notion that serious medical and public-health authorities believe masks work, in any capacity at all, to protect against viral infections. They know very well such is not the case.

      https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_articlehttps://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

      “In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks… Two studies in university settings assessed the effectiveness of face masks for primary protection by monitoring the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza among student hall residents for 5 months. The overall reduction in ILI or laboratory-confirmed influenza cases in the face mask group was not significant in either studies…Study designs in the 7 household studies were slightly different: 1 study provided face masks and P2 respirators for household contacts only, another study evaluated face mask use as a source control for infected persons only, and the remaining studies provided masks for the infected persons as well as their close contacts. None of the household studies reported a significant reduction in secondary laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the face mask group.

      Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids. There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

      They just impose, relax and re-impose masking mandates as a way to humiliate and control the population, and because they are a handy visual barometer of compliance as well as the willingness of the populace to accept further restriction. They do no good at all to protect anyone from viral spread, you might just as well wear your underpants on your head.

      The CDC is likewise well aware that only 6% of deaths ‘of COVID-19’ in the United States could be linked to no contributing cause, while 94% of the dead had moderate to serious health limitations which were in themselves life-threatening.

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/cdc-94percent-of-covid-19-deaths-had-underlying-medical-conditions/ar-BB18wrA7

      Any public-health official who does not dance around a fire and chant spells to stay in touch with the latest medical discoveries knows (a) COVID-19 is nowhere near as dangerous to the reasonably healthy as it is being made out to be, and (b) the ‘non-pharmaceutical measures’ mandated by authorities to combat and control it are pure theatre with no efficacy, imposed on thick-witted and trusting populations to cow and frighten them, like listening to “Run Through the Jungle’ on a continuous loop.

      Over on the mountain
      Thunder magic spoke,
      “Let the people know my wisdom,
      Fill the land with smoke.”

      Better run through the jungle,
      Better run through the jungle,
      Better run through the jungle,
      Don’t look back to see.

      Like

      1. A large fraction of the US population prefer to live in fear as it’s psychologically safer that way. They were raised using fear to establish behaviors (don’t talk to strangers, don’t question authority, etc.). They lead sheltered lives driven by fear. Now, they are in hog heaven where fear is publicly encouraged. Heck, they score social points for being afraid. Anyone not afraid is obviously a conspiracy nut or stupid. What other explanation can there be?

        Like

      2. At first I thought the article was a spoof, but Mr. Doody is the real deal, a provincial journalist now in charge of a UK freebie sheet:

        Kieran Doody
        UK Today Editor at Newsquest Media Group
        West Midlands, England, United Kingdom

        I am currently the UK Today editor at Newsquest. I’m a highly motivated senior multi-platform journalist with a wide array of multimedia skills easily transferable to any journalism, media and marketing role. I am somebody who gets a buzz out of covering breaking news and live events in particular and have a real passion for producing multimedia content and finding new ways to appeal to an audience.

        Covering breaking national news, coronavirus updates, retail, consumer, leisure and lifestyle news, social media trends, motoring, personal finance, travel and holidays, TV, entertainment and celebrity news.

        https://www.linkedin.com/in/kieran-doody-768b6685/

        Like

        1. I can hear it now!

          Announcements such as this “back home” on public transport:

          “Attention! All passengers must wear face masks, gloves and shit-nicks!”

          Like

      1. People won’t be allowed on public transport unless they’re wearing diapers and/or carrying giant potties. Special X-ray machines that detect whether passengers are wearing the right kind of nappies will be set up at train stations. New train carriages designed to look like public restrooms with Portaloos instead of toilet cubicles (and passengers required to take home their wipes and poop home in dog-poo bags) might need to be commissioned.

        Like

        1. We need a Covid apartheid system. The non-vaccinated should be confined to “informal housing” (i.e. slums), have separate transportation, have low level jobs to ensure isolation from the smart people, etc.

          Regarding the dangers of farts – this is no laughing matter! I learned from someone in the airline industry that a typical seat in an airline has been exposed to numerous high pressure farting events driving foreign material deep into the fabric that no amount of cleaning can remove. Covid reservoirs infecting the flying public! Nothing can stop the relentless spread!

          Like

          1. I see the unvaccinated becoming sort of the Jim Crow 1930’s niggers of the post-COVID world; despised by the vaxxer ‘aristocracy’, but happy enough among their own kind. We’ll develop our own clubs and speakeasies, like the famous Cotton Club. Maybe it will be kind of cool; I’m sure there are more entertainers like Eric Clapton, who courageously announced that he would not play any venues or events which specified they were only for the vaccinated. Fuck the vaxxers; who needs them, they sound like a bunch of dorks anyway, and if it stretches your imagination to think that more than 80% of the world are dorks, you haven’t watched the news much lately. But that’s probably a gross exaggeration; every time Trudeau speaks publicly, fully-vaccinated Canadians are a bigger majority, until it staggers the imagination how such a tiny number as the pitifully few anti-vaxxers who remain could be suffering such a terrific harvest of infections, since something in the high-90’s percent of new infections are ‘among the unvaccinated’. Similarly, many sources claim more than half of Americans are unvaccinated, and I would bet the proportion is higher in Canada as well – it is an old liberal trick to make the bandwagon more attractive by spoofing that there are only a couple of seats left.

            I’m sure it has escaped the notice of none of you that society is being divided again, into vaccinated and unvaccinated, and that the former are being groomed to hate and fear the latter. That can only end in tears, but there’s no use telling anybody that because governments typically do not listen, and are typically incapable of understanding or of doing simple risk analysis when they do – they prefer to plow ahead and assume The Plan will work.

            The main difference between the unvaccinated and the real Jim-Crow-era blacks are that the unvaccinated are from every strata of life and employment, and do not necessarily live together in common neighbourhoods. Since it appears likely we will have to organize our own society and support networks, given that we are being abandoned by the wooden-heads who lined up to ‘get jabbed’, there is not much sense in delaying; it might be needed sooner than we think.

            Like

              1. Get ready for your booster, and then your annual re-vaccination, just like clockwork.

                https://thehighwire.com/editorial/the-boosters-are-coming-the-boosters-are-coming/

                It was always going to be this way, ever since the plan was drawn up. The current CEO of Pfizer apparently announced it back in April, although I don’t remember any coverage of it at all; probably one of those slip-ins that the press just passes over, so they can say later “I told you!! How can you pretend you weren’t informed??”

                “A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months, and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination…” said Bourla.

                Apparently Troodles has already ordered millions of boosters for Canadians, to cover up to 2024 – he cares too much, that’s his weakness. Cha-ching! go the cash registers at Pfizer. You’ll love the proposed treatment for ‘long COVID’ – an injection of Pfizer’s gene cocktail every month.

                Like

                1. Yup, Big Pharma dream – to require every person to on a prescription or to have an annual mandatory vaccination. 300 million doses times, what, $100/dose (with handling and various cuts along the way) equals $30 billion of easy money ever year.

                  Like

                2. And – oh noes – the CDC recently discovered that fully vaccinated people who suffer a breakthrough infection carry as much virus as an unvaccinated person! Bet you’re glad you got your jabs, folks!

                  https://www.msn.com/en-in/health/medical/vaccinated-people-can-carry-as-much-virus-as-unvaccinated-new-cdc-study/ar-AAMLTAh

                  Marko picked up on the fact that the Provincetown outbreak the CDC ‘studied’ – and which is the basis of it reversing itself yet again on masking and once more urging that Americans diaper up – was an annual gay-male orgy known as ‘Bear Week”.

                  https://anti-empire.com/the-superspreader-massachusetts-event-the-cdc-used-to-bring-back-masks-was-a-male-gay-festival-orgy/

                  Which – surprise! – includes lots of kissing and close contact.

                  Like

            1. I’m surprised (and glad) to hear that Eric Clapton is still able to perform. He took the Astra Zeneca shots on his doctor’s advice too close together (six weeks apart instead of 12 weeks apart) and suffered bad reactions to both including one that affected both his hands (peripheral neuropathy I think it was) which could have been the kiss of death for his career.

              Like

  20. The Russian athletic contingent or whatever they are called are doing well in Japan.

    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/athletics/news/olympics-medal-count-2021-gold-silver-bronze/kkmrw0k2ler51lsh5coj1n7wi

    Serbia has a new gold medalist:

    https://www.rt.com/sport/530405-milica-mandic-serbia-olympics/

    A very high profile US athlete has crashed:

    https://nypost.com/article/history-of-simone-biles-mental-health-issues/

    Russian women won the gold medal. It’s too bad about Biles as the stress is high but such would be the case with any athlete at the level of competition. She will have many millions of dollars to comfort her through this difficult time.

    Like

    1. Russia won both the men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics team competitions. I was surprised at the women’s win though I probably shouldn’t have been as the team is a mix of experience (Melnikova and Akhaimova) and youth (Listunova and Urazova). I had feared that with Aliya Mustafina’s retirement last year that the Russian women might struggle without her as she’d been the team’s lynchpin for at least a decade.

      I sort of feel sorry for Biles coming towards the end of her gymnastics career after years and years of almost fanatical devotion to the sport. Her whole life revolved around gymnastics and she is coming to a point where, once gymnastics ends, what else can she do that doesn’t involve living and breathing gymnastics every day.

      Like

    2. Re: Simone Biles, after all the prep and training that would have gone into this, I wonder if the American fans will simply accept that ‘her head just wasn’t there’. I seem to recall that Biles was one of the athletes granted a TUE so that she could legally take a medication which sharpened her concentration and blurred out background distractions. Like crowd noise, which obviously is not a factor this year.

      Mandic is very attractive. Probably be a good idea to make sure she was okay with you saying so before you did, though. Congratulations, Serbia!

      Like

      1. That’s right, Biles had been found out by hackers going through a database some years as a regular user of medication for a supposed attention deficit disorder.

        Like

          1. It was the Fancy Bear group of hackers rifling through the WADA database who found the list of sportspeople who’d been given TUEs for various substances banned by WADA and the names of Simone Biles and Serena and Venus Williams turned up.

            Interestingly, during the team qualification rounds to determine which countries would compete in the women’s gymnastics team finals, the US team (with Biles competing) came second to the Russian team. It seems not just Biles but others in the team had errors in their routines. This must have put pressure on the US team and Biles in particular as captain and star performer that they were not used to dealing with over the past ten years: having to catch up to another team because they’ve always been the leading team.

            I’ve seen online also that the selectors who chose the gymnasts to represent the US in the women’s competition are coming under tremendous criticism for their choices and people are calling for Tom Forster (who coordinates the team’s program) to be sacked. I did think the inclusion of Grace McCallum in the team and not Jade Carey (she’s competing as an individual; she replaces Biles in the all-around competition) was very odd.

            Look at the results of the national gymnastics competitions and the Olympic trials and tell me that Carey did not deserve a spot on the team itself.

            Results of US National Gymnastics Championships 2021:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_U.S._National_Gymnastics_Championships#Results

            Results of the US Olympic Trials to select US team members:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_U.S._Olympic_Trials_(gymnastics)#Participants

            Like

  21. If Kieran Doody tickles my fancy, what about Mrs Justice Tipples? She’s presiding over a preliminary hearing involving various libel actions in London brought by a series of Russian figures and companies against favourite target of Helmer’s, Catherine Belton, and others:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/28/abramovich-was-not-directed-to-buy-chelsea-fc-by-putin-court-hears

    Nary the finest of hairs but will be split by our learned friends in the wigs. Cameo appearance by stalwart anti-corruption battler Bill Browder.

    Like

    1. The former Solicitor General for England and Wales’s name always used to tickle me when I was much younger: Sir Dingle Foot.

      And then there was Old Bailey Judge Christmas Humphreys who, despite his name, was an ardent Buddhist.

      What a star man he was! In 1975, he passed a six-month suspended jail sentence on an 18-year-old man convicted of raping two women at knife-point. The leniency of the sentence created a public outcry. His sentence of a man to eighteen months in jail for a fraud shortly afterwards added to the controversy.

      He was then kindly asked by the Lord Chancellor to bugger off.

      I wonder if he would have given Navalny a suspended sentence if he had been a judge here.

      Like

        1. I probably mentioned this before that there was a guy in the local high school with the name Richard Eaters. What were his parents thinking?

          Like

          1. Richard Eaters should meet the kid who was in my brother’s form at high school. I kid ye not, the boy was Richard Head. His parents’ own domes should have been cracked together for that.

            Like

  22. Уильяма Браудера разжаловали из потерпевших
    Швейцария прекратила дело об отмывании, связанное с Сергеем Магнитским

    William Browder has been removed demoted from the list of victims
    Switzerland drops money laundering case linked to Sergei Magnitsky

    Kommersant newspaper No. 131 dated 28.07.2021, p. 4 (updated at 00: 20)

    The Swiss Prosecutor General’s Office has finally closed a criminal investigation into unidentified Russian officials and entrepreneurs who, according to investigators, may have been involved in laundering money stolen from Russia in this country between 2008 and 2010. The investigation was initiated by the founder of Hermitage Capital Management Ltd, William Browder, who allegedly relied on the materials of the late auditor Sergei Magnitsky. The prosecutors concluded that the foundation was not an aggrieved party in the case anyway. The lawyer of one of the Russian defendants in the investigation called this decision a victory.

    For the first time, the Swiss prosecutor’s Office questioned the data provided by William Browder last year, stopping the main criminal proceedings on alleged money laundering (see Kommersant, December 21, 2020).

    At the same time, 4 million Swiss francs were confiscated from funds frozen in the country to the Swiss budget.

    The investigation of Mr. Browder’s application has been conducted since March 2011 against unknown persons suspected of money laundering (Article 305bis of the Swiss Criminal Code).

    According to the applicant and the initial suspicions of prosecutors, as a result of tax fraud in Russia in the period from 2008 to 2010, the equivalent of $230 million was obtained, which they tried to legalize in Switzerland. Part of the money, about 18 million francs, was seized by the court at the request of prosecutors. Among these funds were, in particular, the money of entrepreneur Denis Katsyv, the son of the former Minister of Transport of the Moscow region, and later vice-president of Russian Railways Peter Katsyv.

    The fund itself believed that the former head of the Moscow tax inspectorate No. 28, Olga Stepanova, and her ex-husband Vladlen Stepanov were involved in the withdrawal of part of the funds from the Russian Federation, about $40 million. At the same time, the fund was sure that these individuals were only performers, while the main participants in the fraudulent scheme remained in the shadows.

    To prove the possible criminal origin of the funds, prosecutors requested information from their bankers, as well as in Russia, Moldova, Latvia, Cyprus and even in the United States. The responses received from these countries were analyzed by financial experts engaged by the supervisory authority.

    The latter concluded that the funds found in Switzerland had nothing to do with the investigations conducted by William Browder and the late auditor Magnitsky.

    “The investigation did not reveal any evidence that would justify the charges brought against anyone in Switzerland, and therefore it was decided to close the proceedings in accordance with paragraph 1a of Article 319 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Switzerland”, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

    However, the supervisory authority stressed, given the fact that a link had been established between some of the assets seized in Switzerland and the main crime committed in Russia, the authorities ordered the confiscation of some of them, namely 4 million francs.

    It should be noted that Hermitage, which had been recognized as an injured party in this case and claimed part of the seized assets, was deprived of this status during the prosecutor’s investigation.

    It was not possible to prove that the funds that became the subject of an investigation in Switzerland were obtained as a result of a crime committed against Hermitage,” the prosecutor’s office noted.

    The parties to the case can still appeal this decision in court.

    Auditor Sergei Magnitsky, accused of tax evasion, died in a pre-trial detention center in 2009. His death was the reason for the adoption of sanctions in the United States against those involved in his criminal prosecution.

    William Browder has twice been convicted in absentia in Russia for tax evasion and deliberate bankruptcy, and has been put on the wanted list. Then, at the same time, he was charged with organizing a criminal community that stole billions of rubles in Russia and laundered them abroad.

    Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who represents Katsyv Jr. in the case, described the decision of the Swiss prosecutor’s office as a “clear victory”. However, the lawyer could not explain to Kommersant on what grounds her client’s money was seized.

    According to Ms. Veselnitskaya, in November last year, the prosecutor’s office notified her and Mr. Katsyv “of the decision to stop the investigation”. At the same time, the lawyer explained, she became aware of the unblocking of the accounts of a Russian businessman and the deduction of $78 thousand from them. The prosecutor’s office promised to give an explanation of why this particular amount will be written off in an official decision. However, the lawyer does not know why the amount increased several times in the end, since the decision to terminate the case has not yet been translated from French. “So far, I can’t comment on this point and I can’t say whether we will appeal it”, the lawyer stressed. However, Natalia Veselnitskaya believes that the main result of the investigation is the recognition that neither her client nor Russia have anything to do with the story, “which has been speculated on by twice-convicted William Browder for ten years”. The lawyer stressed that the deprivation of Mr. Browder’s victim status in this case “clearly characterizes the attitude of the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office towards him”.

    However, what Kommersant makes no mention of is this, which the Western media certainly does:

    Jul 28, 2021, 07:55am
    Switzerland Drops Magnitsky Case ‘Amid Accusations Of Bribery And Political Meddling’

    The Swiss Attorney General’s office has dropped a decade-long investigation into Russian money laundering, concluding that there is no evidence to bring charges “against anyone in Switzerland.”

    But Bill Browder, the man who brought the case to the Swiss authorities’ attention in 2011, says that ending the probe without any charges was “a very dark stain on Switzerland.”

    Switzerland, Browder argues, was one of the key destinations for laundering dirty Russian money between 2008 and 2010. Specifically, it was Russian tax authorities that channeled $230 million from Browder’s company, Hermitage Capital Management, to banks around the world, with Switzerland taking the lion’s share.

    In response, the Office of the Attorney General seized CHF 18 million ($19.6 million) while it investigated a number of bank accounts and questioned unnamed Swiss individuals (Swiss law prohibits individuals from being named in court filings).

    However, on Tuesday (27 July), after a 10-year investigation, the Office of the Attorney General said that all bar CHF 4 million ($4.3 million) of the seized funds would be released. It said that “a link had been established” between the CHF 4 million ($4.3 million) and the offence committed in Russia, although no individuals would be charged.

    But Swiss prosecutors did find reason to question Browder. Hermitage Capital Management, through which Browder filed the case in Switzerland, was revoked as a complainant. “It had not been possible to demonstrate that the funds under investigation in Switzerland originated from an offence committed to Hermitage’s detriment,” the Attorney General’s office said. The decision leaves Hermitage unable to appeal.

    “The collapse of the Swiss Magnitsky case come[s] amid accusations of bribery and political meddling at the highest levels of the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s office,” Browder responded in a tweet.

    See, everyone is bent — except good ol’ honest Bill Browder.

    Reply to Browder Tweet by a Navalnyite:

    Natalie Dubois
    @whyquizz
    @Billbrowder
    And during meeting with Putin this June the Swiss delegation with Guy Parmelin didn’t bring up the subject of mass political repressions, imprisonments, human rights violations and #Navalny.
    Their key focus was on economic cooperation.

    Yes, life is hell in the Regime, Natalie, it really is!

    Like

    1. A friend sent me this …

      https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/07/29/putins-people-vs-putins-people-a74644

      so I responded by sharing your comment along with the link to Natylie’s article (and embedded RT link)

      http://natyliesbaldwin.com/2021/08/now-discredited-book-putins-people-exposes-everything-wrong-with-western-reporting-on-moscow/

      I would like to link to an (unpublished) essay by Lori Maguire “A Weapon of Mass Disruption Joe Biden on Russia” but will restrain for now – you might want to look her up on academia.org or ResearchGgate …

      https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lori-Maguire

      Lori Maguire makes Luke Harding and Eliot Higgins look like amateurs.

      Her flagship comment:

      “the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimea in 2014”. She regards Biden as a statesman FFS!

      Like

      1. “A victory for the claimants would have a chilling effect on those reporting and writing on matters of legitimate public interest. It would also embolden similar litigation from Russia and elsewhere. The case for exploring further legal reform to prevent such cases being brought in future is strong. So is the case for Anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) legislation to prevent suppression of legitimate reporting with the threat of financially ruinous legal actions.”

        What twaddle; a victory for the claimants should have the effect of pressuring ‘authors’ to make sure they can substantiate what they offer as facts in their writing. This is all about not talking smack you can’t prove, and it isn’t enough to say “Look; Luke Harding said it too!” unless he has a source which stands up to scrutiny. I remember when the departed-not-a-moment-too-soon Litvinenko promised that the FSB had a tape of Putin ‘making sex with underage boys’ which was apparently made before the invention of the video recorder. People like him have an obvious axe to grind, and it is kind of difficult to sue the dead, but journalists know as a condition of their employment that if they make outrageous public claims, they will be on the hook for backing them up. Belton obviously had no confidence that she could do so, and should not be allowed to simply chuck in juicy seasonings of supposition to sell more books.

        British defenders of Russophobia always rave about what a great and desperately-needed reference these books are, and that the law must not force authors to hide their light under a bushel. It really does not matter too much to me, because you can never defeat the enemy you do not know, and the picture of Russia popularly produced in the UK has no parallel in reality. Besides, the UK without the muscle of the USA is not a foe of any serious consideration for Russia, and the country is more likely to succumb to a space-ray that turns it into pudding than to a successful attack by Britain.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. How surprising!

    Russia rejects Dutch court ruling to hand $5 BILLION of taxpayers’ cash to ex-oligarchs over collapse of Yukos oil & gas empire
    29 July 2021, 16:44 GMT

    https://www.rt.com/russia/530589-court-yukos-cash-oligarchs/

    However, the London-based businessman [Khodorkovsky] asserts he has no direct interests in the lawsuit, and the case has been brought by other financiers including influential businessman Leonid Nevzlin.

    Strange that RT does not mention this about Russian-Israeli citizen Nevzlin:

    Nevzlin was tried in absentia in Russia in March 2008, found guilty of several counts of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to life imprisonment..

    source:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Nevzlin?wprov=sfti1

    Like

    1. Furthermore, Nevzlin was found guilty in absentia in a RUSSIAN court!

      Need I say more?

      And Wiki says he’s a “philanthropist”.

      Now how could a philanthropist be found guilty of conspiracy to murder?

      I mean, it doesn’t stand to reason, does it?

      Like

    2. Not sure why the Dutch would have jurisdiction over this. They are just shopping around for a judgement, and of course, a NATO country would be incapable of producing a winning judgement for an country it has labelled an adversary.

      Like

      1. The Dutch are purpose-built for such things because their courts simply ignore rules which are inconvenient to reaching the ‘correct’ verdict, reformulating and re-interpreting law in a way that no other western country would allow. Take a close look at some of Helmer’s posts on the MH-17 trial. If it looked like an upcoming witness’s testimony might provide a problem for the prosecution, the judge simply disallowed it, saying he ‘did not see any need for it’.

        Like

    1. Yeah, I saw that, and another multi-port docking assembly (Prichal) to come. Really, it’s mixed messages galore on the space station front, eh? It may just be that these were after all built years ago, and the decision was “Eh, let’s fly those and see where it all goes”

      I still think Roscosmos needs some major housecleaning, but time will tell. Certainly glad to see the Luna program rising up again.

      Like

      1. Yeah, Roscosmos does need a thorough house cleaning but that seems to be in progress. It still has legacy projects with questionable histories to work through. It needs to match the technology breakthroughs and efficiency of the defense sector. Perhaps TEM will be that sort of breakthrough especially since the defense sector is taking an active interest. New initiatives such as the latest Luna probes will tell if they are on the right track.

        Like

        1. TEM, (aka Zeus?) – very exciting. A space tug is just a whole new thing To steal a line from Schrodinger “It’s very hard to make predictions, especially about the future”

          Like

    1. Damn right we did not lose in Vietnam! Our hands were tied by politicians! With 20 or 30 nukes, it would be a different story! And those damn commies would not stand and fight! How can air strikes be effective if they keep running? Cowards they are. (sarcasm, to be sure).

      Like

    2. Let’s get something straight – US athletes are the best in the world at everything, before they even take the field. Anyone who turns in a performance superior to a US athlete in a competition in which US athletes are competing is a cheater. Because US athletes never cheat. That’s why they are supposed to always win.

      Like

        1. It’s high time that the US impose sanctions on countries that win gold medals. This is clearly a threat to our national security.

          Like

        2. This, once again, is why I think the Olympics should be abolished; it has become entirely political and all about winning the most gold medals. At the very least, they should stop awarding medals or anything other than a ‘well done’ for the winning performance. Countries offer their athletes cash bonuses for winning a medal, and the country that wins the most medals swanks about as if winning at the Olympics means their country is the best at everything.

          The American athletes themselves are often great sports, and seem genuine in their congratulations to the winner when they are beaten, although this is not always so. But the American audiences are the worst sports ever, screaming hysterically during competition and acting like sullen children when America doesn’t win. And I was completely ashamed of Canada and for all the western countries when they were so eager to jump on the American bandwagon of ‘Russian cheating’ and booing the Russian athletes when they walked on. I have never been much of a sports fan, but I used to enjoy the Olympics, years ago. It has become a political substitute for war since, and a victory is like triumphing over an enemy rather than turning in a great athletic performance.

          Like

    1. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/530706-nyt-china-olympic-success-article/

      Not even China’s sporting excellence can pass without comment in the United States, as a highly critical article in the New York Times on Thursday demonstrated. It’s typical of the hysteria culture that’s now rife in America.

      On Thursday, the NYT published an astonishing article titled ‘The Chinese Sports Machine’s Single Goal: The Most Golds At Any Cost’. The piece effectively claimed China had rigged the Olympics for political purposes, accusing it of “putting tens of thousands of children in government-run training schools” and funnelling young athletes into “less prominent sports that Beijing hopes to dominate.” The prize? To earn as many gold medals as possible, in the process scoring political points and bringing glory to their country.

      And no, it was not a parody.

      Contrast that with US athletes, training in their garages or running on country roads after working a 12 hour shift with only hope and determinism to keep them going. It brings a tear to my eye and anger in my heart about those commies who only care about winning.

      Further contrast, when Ms. Biles withdrew from the Olympics due to mental health issues, she won a greater victor than if she had won a gold medal in every event! A Chinese athlete in a similar situation would have left in shame! And his/her parents likely executed!

      And Bruce Jenner! He deserved that “Woman of the Year” award. What an inspiration to all Olympic hopefuls!

      (end sarcasm)

      Wasn’t the sex of an athlete determined by the presence of X-Y or X-X chromosomes? Very simple and straightforward and unequivocal in the interpretation (ignoring X-X-Y etc.). . What happened to that? Or, are chromosomes a social construct? Well, are they?

      Like

        1. I have to give you a ‘C’ for creativity, as you keep coming up with new errors. That time when you input your symbol for ‘close italics’, you put the slash after the ‘i’ instead of before it. Lucky my computer did not blow up – who knows what that means?

          Like

            1. Whoops! I thought that over-italicized comment was by Moscow Exile; he is ever-inventive and, to be fair, is often dealing with a teeny screen on a mobile so mistakes are easy to make. Your own errors in bolding and italics are much less frequent. To be fair also, whenever I see a ‘Drat!! Dicked up again!” remark, I open the subject comment in ‘edit’, and while sometimes (still speaking of Dennis’s comments) the error is immediately clear even to me, there are also occasions when the coding is correct and there is no detectable error. I have never seen that happen to anyone else.

              So, apologies – your own errors are not frequent enough to merit ‘error creativity’. In this case, that was the problem; the slash was in the wrong place in the ‘close italics’ coding.

              Like

      1. I imagine The NYT is silent on the fact that the depth of the US women’s gymnastics team and the huge pool of young gymnasts it can draw on is due to the attraction of college sports scholarships to thousands of working class families whose daughters otherwise would have to go into debt for the rest of their lives just to reach what we here in Australia consider equivalent to Years 11 and 12 in high school and maybe first year in university. I’m sure this situation applies to other sports in the US. No matter that in many of these sports young athletes are often risking their long-term health and being exposed to bullying and sometimes physical, psychological and sexual abuse from coaches, referees, doctors, judges and officials. Families also often have to make sacrifices to be close to sports clubs where their children can practise for several hours each day just to reach a level where they can compete and maybe earn money if they win competitions, making that dream of a sports scholarship that little bit closer. The Chinese system of govt-run special schools to train future athletes seems more benign.

        Like

        1. A similar attraction (for young working-class students) is the military, and colleges have to allow the armed forces to conduct recruiting drives on campus if they accept federal funding.

          Like

      1. There have been similar findings in other sports like rugby.

        Wearing protective headgear in rugby may increase the risk of serious injury – new research

        In both boxing and rugby, and very likely also for gridiron, wearing protective headgear may encourage players to think they’re protected from concussion and its effects so they may actually engage in more risky actions that increase the likelihood of suffering concussion. Even if the headgear protects them from a major concussion and reduces it to something minor, over time having more small concussions could be just as dangerous as having one major concussion.

        Like

        1. I never wore a scrum-cap when I played rugby, nor did I wear a gumshield, though I was strongly advised to wear both.

          I regret now not heeding such advice as I had my front teeth knocked out in my early 20s. After I had retired from the game, I had bridges fitted into my mouth, which bridges both fell out on consecutive Christmas Days here whilst gnoshing a turkey leg.

          I reckon they fell out because of shrinkage of my jaw with advancing age.

          The reason why I wouldn’t wear a gumshield was by doing so, I was hindered from effing and blinding on the pitch: if I wanted to make a comment such as “Are you fookin’ blind or what? That was fookin’ miles forward, ref!” I had to take out my gumshield.

          Used to always wear a jock strap, though, so as to protect the family jewels, but I could never comprehend in what way such apparel afforded one’s bollocks any protection.

          Like

          1. Rugby looks like a really rough sport with little protective gear. I suppose that the players know how to minimize the risk of injury to themselves and how to avoid injuring others beyond what is inherent in the sport. As mentioned, protective gear encourages more extreme contact resulting in a greater potential for serious injury.

            Not a perfect analogy but the introduction of anti-lock brakes on cars supposedly resulted in people driving faster than they should during icy conditions. When there was an accident, it tended to more severe than before the introduction of anti-lock brakes.

            Like

            1. Women’s Rugby is nearly as rough as men’s hockey. The last year my daughter played for the Castaway Wanderers (in a kids league, 12 and under, at which level it is not really rough at all), the season closed with a professional-level game of the Wanderers versus Langford, a nearby suburb. Four players were carted off the field, one with a broken bone and another with a minor head wound that nonetheless bled so profusely (typical of scalp wounds) that she looked like an extra in a slasher flick. The speed of a pro-level game is dizzying, it is not a game for ball hogs and the passing is almost too fast to follow.

              Like

              1. Without instant replays and the lite-up hockey puck, I would be clueless on what happened on a televised game.

                If watching live, other than joining in with the crowd reaction, I would be only be wondering when the game will end.

                A lot of us Americans prefer to watch sports on TV. Golf especialy so as it would otherwise be a big nothing. It’s our short attention span.

                Like

                1. It was inspiring to watch live – women are at least as fearless as men about the possibility of getting hurt, and anyone who ponders how female soldiers might perform in combat should watch them play rugby. Then there’s that thing they do for the throw-in from the sidelines, when one (a light one, hopefully) stands on the shoulders of two of her teammates to increase the height. I suppose the men do that as well, and it’s perhaps even more violent – I’ve never seen a men’s rugby game. But the women played hard and it was exciting to watch; I could not have kept up even when I was young and in shape.

                  Like

        2. There is a lot of general evidence on this type of thing. I am not referring to helmets in particular but general safety precautions.

          Jerry Wilde in Canada and John Adams in the UK back in the 1980–2000’s did a lot of research in the field. It looks like extra protection can encourage a person to take more risks. So a helmet is quite likely to encourage riskier behaviour.

          Wilde did a fun study on taxi drivers in Munich and it looks like new anti-skid brakes led to more fender-benders and maybe more, serious, accidents.

          I have often thought that helmets and shoulder pads in hockey were likely counter–productive and could never see the point in rugby.

          I am not saying that proper safety equipment and training is silly but one has to look at the situation in general and not just stick a helmet on a kid’s head.

          Like

      2. They’re prepared to accept that researchers have established ‘Olympic boxers punch really hard, so the foam in headgear is of no benefit’. But as soon as the ‘case counts’ start to ‘surge’, using a test whose use has been ordered discontinued (but not until December 31st; have to give Dr. Fauci and Bill Gates time to get their own testing centre up and running), public-health witch doctors and authoritarian politicians are ready to order the resumption of masking, which is admittedly all about its psychological effects and not its efficacy.

        https://thehighwire.com/videos/uk-official-admits-lockdowns-for-social-control/

        The revelations from the Tory backbencher are not really earth-shaking, as they are clearly expressed as ‘opinion’ and he has no special education in sussing out authoritarian politics other than being a politician. And as we used to say in the navy, I’d rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother in politics. For me, the eye-openers were among the comments attributed to ‘scientists’ (that, too, has become a bit of a loaded term) who advise the government and the uncirculated documents which recommend jacking up the fear.

        Like

  24. Who are these upstart Chinese? How can they dare not acknowledge the supremacy of all things American? Here is the latest outrage:

    https://www.sinodaily.com/afp/210730140213.tjfp7zpk.html

    The 1969 US landing on the moon is referenced only briefly in a small, dryly-worded display, and a section entitled “Space Heroes” lists only two Russian cosmonauts along with Yang Liwei, the first person sent into space by the Chinese space programme.

    Like

    1. Possible that, rather than a reluctance to give credit where it is due, the Chinese are skeptical that the moon landings ever took place. A skepticism by no means confined to the Chinese.

      Like

  25. I am agnostic regrading the lunar landing. On one hand it would be hard to fake multiple landings and why would not the Soviets call out the fake? On the other hand, the motivation to fake the landings were certainly there.

    Like

  26. Not sure if this story was missed at the KS when run back in January:

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/478865-imf-great-depression-russia/

    Last week, the IMF issued a stark warning about the global economy. While most large Western states are vulnerable to a new crisis, Russia has prepared its defenses.

    Kristalina Georgieva isn’t any sort of conspiracy theorist; she’s the head of the International Monetary Fund. And when she warns that the global economy risks another “Great Depression,” you would think everyone would listen.

    But the Western reaction to her statement last week has been muted, with plenty of media outlets leaving it ‘buried in the mainstream’. Or simply ignoring the story.

    Russia’s patience is likely based on conclusion that time is on their side. The financial elites are resourceful in finding ways to delay the crash but it will come. The Covid charade is a major effort to condition the population to a new norm of fear, uncertainty and poverty. Demonizing Russia and China are essential to pull that off.

    Like

    1. Patience is in their genes, I think, unlike their alleged inherited tendency to lie and cheat and to be thoroughly bad eggs, as some US moron who passes himself off as a politician once publicly maintained.

      I think it’s something to do with the climate and social evolution. So you learn to sit it out here in winter and then work furiously in the short summer and at harvest time.

      The so called “shock worker” mentality was not a Communist Party of the Soviet Union innovation: it had already been here since time immemorial when the Bolsheviks seized power.

      Like

      1. I mean, everyone lies and cheats when need be — as that fat twat Pompeo once proudly and publicly stated as regards the CIA:

        “We lied, we cheated, we stole”.

        Like

        1. With, to varying degrees, the grudging admiration or the enthusiastic approval of the American people, because their cause was just. That’s the crux of it, really – can you portray your thieving and lying as having been done in the cause of democracy and human rights? And of course Russia can NEVER claim that, because the people are captive servants of an autocratic dictator, and cry out for liberation and free will. In which case, I am afraid, it’s simply thieving and lying.

          Like

      2. My wife has several small business and she is all about making production. As a former member of the communist party, I suppose it makes sense.

        The following is likely full of errors but I understand the the Russian mentality is formed by the vast open spaces stretching to a practical infinity. Within this expanse are scattered villages with a church at the center, surrounded by small shops and homes. Further out are cultivated fields and beyond that infinite grasslands and forests. For me, this is an apt description of the human conditions – islands of humanity in an infinite sea. It keeps us humble but appreciative of what we have.

        Western Europe has no such foundational psychological archetype thus the inhabitants live with an underlying and ill-defined fear compensated by hubris/narcissism and prone to bouts of insanity. I suppose that east Asia has their own foundational archetypes that provide psychological stability. In short, Western European values are fucked up and exist on quicksand.

        Like

  27. The ROC has another shot at winning a medal, gold or silver, in the men’s singles final in the tennis competition on Sunday: Karen Khachanov to play Alexander Zverev from Germany.

    Like

  28. Blah blah blah!

    Better said: blyad blyad blyad! [блядь блядь блядь].

    Кандидат в канцлеры ФРГ Лашет пригрозил России санкциями из-за Украины

    German Chancellor candidate Lachette threatens Russia with sanctions over the Ukraine
    August 1, 2021, 09: 14

    German Chancellor candidate, chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Armin Laschet has said that Germany would not allow Russia to use the gas pipeline “Nord Stream 2” as a lever of geopolitical pressure. He said this on Saturday, July 31, in an interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

    “”If, however, Russia again commits aggressive actions against the Ukraine, then Germany will take measures at the national level and will advocate penalties from the entire European Union”, he said.

    In addition, Lachette noted that the European Union with the help of “SP-2” would be able to prevent the destructive activities of the Russian Federation.

    Germany considers unacceptable “violations of international law ” by Russia and attacks on Western democracies, he concluded.

    Earlier, on July 28, the head of the Austrian company OMV Rainer Seele said that the construction of the Nord Stream – 2 gas pipeline should be completed by the end of August, annd that the first gas could be launched through the pipeline this year.

    On July 26, the head of Naftogaz, Yuriy Vitrenko, wrote on his Facebook page that Russia was using gas as a geopolitical weapon against the Ukraine and the EU.

    On July 21, US State Department adviser Derek Scholle stated that the United States was not imposing further sanctions against SP-2, as it considered the restrictions ineffective at this stage, when the pipeline was almost completed. On the same day, it became known that Germany and the United States had reached an agreement on Nord Stream 2.

    The agreements boil down to the fact that Berlin will take measures to support the European energy market. Germany is obliged to take measures, up to and including sanctions against Russia, if it restricts energy supplies. Germany will also allocate € 200 million to support the Ukraine energy sector and organize a $ 1 billion fund to ensure its energy security.

    Nord Stream 2 is being built from Russia to Germany along the bottom of the Baltic Sea to provide direct gas supplies to Europe. The EU countries mostly support the project and participate in its implementation. The Baltic states, Poland, the United States and the Ukraine are opposed.

    Like

    1. He’s just saying whatever he thinks it will take to get the Americans to back his candidacy and help him win. That’s what the Americans said they wanted from Germany in exchange for not doing something horrible to it which was actually illegal in the current trade relationship. But of course the United States has forgotten more about acting aggressively than most nations have ever learnt, to the extent the aspirational future leader of Germany does not even recognize the threat of aggression when it is being used to make him declare he would respond decisively to aggression.

      Some would say the United States is at perfect liberty to deny market share in its own markets to countries which piss it off, but in fact it is illegal in the context of useless trade agreements such as the WTO. No other country would dare so brazenly use international trade relations to enable coercive leverage. But because the United States is The Big Dog, it is allowed to get away with it. Sort of. Don’t think the practice has not attracted European attention and objection. But because the Europeans are pansies and snowflakes who will not come right out and say “Go fuck yourself, Sam, why don’t you?”, preferring to generate clouds of fuming rhetoric, the reaction is more muted.

      https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/what-to-do-with-extraterritorial-sanctions-eu/

      It simply makes Brand America toxic outside its own borders, so that the USA must have products nobody else can make, or so stunningly excellent in quality that no other can compete, to avoid market replacement by more agreeable partners.

      Like

  29. Something I had just shared privately with family and friends.

    I normally wouldn’t watch, let alone share and recommend a 10-hour video but this was absolutely spectacular, even if only as a time capsule to document living history.

    Doctors for Covid Ethics Symposium is a two-day symposium – 5 hours each day – hosted by Brian Gerrish of UK Column News with a panel of extremely eminent medical professionals – some of the best the world has to offer.

    Here is the programme (including their names):

    Click to access Covid-19-Symposium-Program-D4CE-and-UK-Column.pdf

    Day 1:
    https://rumble.com/vkh73z-doctors-for-covid-ethics-symposium-day-1.html?mref=6zof&mrefc=5

    Day 2:
    https://rumble.com/vkj3hj-doctors-for-covid-ethics-symposium-day-2.html?mref=6zof&mrefc=6

    The first 15 or 16 minutes of each day session is ‘just’ classical music and there are shorter interludes between each symposium segment, so you can start at 15:00 and jump (a bit hard to do on Rumble) to fast forward these interludes. Or if you just want to listen to the music …

    Oh, and set the play Speed to x2 – it is quite comfortable to listen to at that speed and will halve the time. Better than anything you will ever see out of Hollywood/on Netflix which is designed to make sure you remain distracted, in the dark – and doomed.

    Alternatively you can pick out selected sessions as uploaded on the following channel ‘AndyinHawick’
    https://rumble.com/user/AndyinHawick

    Like

  30. Russia’s worst nightmare?

    It’s a large unmanned carrier-based drone.

    The four most recent comments: :

    Worst nightmare for Russia . . . No, I don’t thinks so. The worst nightmare for us? Definitely! It’s not needed, we have to pay for it, they will just match it or better it, if they haven’t already, and then, we’ll be stuck paying for something else. Ever hear of, “What you do to others, you do to yourself”. Russian: Comrade, vee have a hummink bird in bound at 10,000 meters doink 3,000 KPH. Da Vie, vot shoult ve do? Put more sugar vater in da feeder?

    Don’t make me laugh, Russian Zircon missiles will send every USSA carrier to the deep six in minutes and they won’t even know what hit them!

    You need to test this plane OVER SERBIA. 🇷🇸 you see the SERBS don’t know it’s invisible. If it comes BACK THAN its invisible. Greetings from LAS VEGAS

    Well so far I know it takes off and lands pretty good they ever going to tell what the specs are on it what it can do and all that?

    Like

    1. Reading further, the Navy only purchased two units and terminated the program four years ago. Russia’s worst nightmare? Or is it click bait? Yup., click bait.

      Like

    2. There’s that “comrade” again!

      Why do folk think Russians say “comrade” all the time?

      And read “Pravda”?

      Hurray for Hollywood!

      As a matter of fact, the only time I hear “comrade” here as a form of address is when the Minister of Defence and the Commander-in- Chief of the Moscow garrison address the troops on Red Square at the start of the Victory Day parade, which I think is good: a general should address his men as “comrades”. But nobody here says, at the table, for example in a state run canteen, where everyone eats mouldy cabbage and rotten fish head soup, “Pass the salt, comrade!”

      That would be like me saying “Pass the salt, old chap” because I am a limp-wristed English tea-drinking faggot.

      Like

      1. The use of “comrade”, “fellow traveler” and “cubs? are they not a small bear-like animal?” when the conversation is about baseball are sure-fire ways to identify a commie.

        Like

  31. VZGLYAD

    Что станет с Украиной без русского газа?

    What will happen to the Ukraine without Russian gas?
    Elena Gerasimova
    Journalist, Donetsk
    August 2, 2021, 12:00 pm

    After the commissioning of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic metres of gas per year, the Ukraine may completely lose the ability to transit Russian gas and, as a result, face a number of intractable problems. The main ones will be the import of gas from Europe and the operation of a giant and outdated gas transmission system (GTS) with a capacity of 290 billion cubic metres at the entrance and 175 billion cubic metres at the exit.

    Director of GTS Operator of the Ukraine LLC Serhiy Makogon said in an interview that the only acceptable solution to these problems for the Ukraine is to conclude a new contract with Gazprom for the transit of 45-50 billion cubic metres of gas per year for 2025-2039. In turn, Angela Merkel at a press conference after meeting with Joseph Biden had clarified that Germany and the European Commission (EC) expected that at least the five-year contract valid from 2020 would be extended.

    Let me remind you that on November 26, 2015, the Ukraine finally stopped importing gas from Russia and since then has been buying it only in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. Until December 31, 2019, this was possible due to an agreement on its transit through Ukrainian territory attached to the contract for the supply of Russian and Central Asian gas to the Ukraine. And from January 1, 2020, this has been happening within the framework of the new five-year contract, according to which Gazprom has committed to transport less than 65 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe viathe Ukraine in 2020 and 40 billion cubic metres annually in 2021-2024.

    That is to say, gas imports to the Ukraine from Poland, Hungary and Slovakia are still carried out through so-called virtual reverse. Namely, the Ukraine buys part of the Russian gas transported through its territory at points of sale to these countries located on its western border. This means that this scheme can only work if Russia transits at least 40 billion cubic metres of gas to Europe per year through the Ukrainian GTS.

    If these volumes are redirected to Nord Stream 2, the Ukraine will be forced to import the 10 billion cubic metres of gas it needs annually in a fundamentally different way. And here its capabilities are very limited. So, in Europe, it would be able to buy gas only from Slovakia and in an amount of no more than 27 million cubic metres per day, or 9.85 billion cubic metres per year. It is quite obvious that this would mean complete dependence on a single supplier and, moreover, in a volume that would not be sufficient for peak gas consumption in winter. Therefore, it would have to resume importing gas from Russia anyway.

    First of all, for this very reason, and in order to ensure the loading of its own gas transportation system in the amount necessary for its operation and development, the Ukraine has again raised the issue of transferring points of purchase and sale of Russian gas to European companies from the western border to the eastern one, which arose in the spring of 2009. This would lead to the fact that, firstly, Gazprom and its partners from Europe would have to re-issue existing contracts with an indication of a new point of delivery and reception of gas located on the Ukrainian-Russian border. Secondly, gas transit through the Ukraine would no longer be carried out by Gazprom, but by European companies. Thirdly, it is with them, and not with Russia, that it would conclude contracts for the provision of services for the transportation of gas and its storage in its own underground gas storage facilities.

    In general, in this way the Ukraine would receive, in fact, indefinite guarantees for the transit of the volumes of gas that European consumers currently buy on its western border: that is, it would solve both this key problem and all its consequences once and for all. In turn, Russia would be bound by new obligations to its European partners and, accordingly, limited in the choice of transportation options – the Ukrainian GTS or Nord Stream-2.

    At the end of April, immediately after his appointment, Chairman of the Management Board of NJSC Naftogaz of the Ukraine Yuriy Vitrenko made a number of statements about how the Ukraine intended to achieve this goal. So, he clarified that, firstly, Naftogaz would put pressure on Gazprom by filing lawsuits with the antimonopoly authority of the European Union (EU), and, secondly, through International Arbitration. As recently as the beginning of the summer, he said: “It is noted that Naftogaz has already started documenting Gazprom’s abuse of its dominant position in the gas market, as well as preparing relevant petitions to both these instances”.

    It is quite clear that we are not talking about the real chances of moving the points of purchase and sale of Russian gas to European companies from the western border of the Ukraine to the eastern one in court, but rather about putting pressure on Gazprom through as many lawsuits as possible on any other possible grounds. And this means that since such a change in transit conditions is fundamentally contrary to the interests of Russia, Naftogaz will not be able to achieve its implementation by any means whatsoever. Moreover, it is most likely that the pressure exerted on Gazprom will not lead to the conclusion of a new 15-year contract for gas transportation, which is the best option for the Ukraine. At best, it will be sufficient only to persuade the Russian side to extend the current contract, and at worst – to conclude a new one, and on more favourable terms for Russia.

    Like

    1. Fancy that – a company with huge volumes of gas for sale has a dominant position on the gas market! I thought it would be more likely for a company that sold, say, peanut butter. Perhaps the Poles and Ukrainians really are related after all, rather than the latter being cousins of the Russians. Their behaviors (Poles and Ukrainians) are certainly indistinguishable – when it looks to them as if Russia is on the ropes, both bellow for going in and finishing it off. When it looks like they themselves must play the role of supplicant to Russian goodwill, they instead haughtily demand special treatment in deals which will be to their advantage at Russia’s expense, as if the Russians are dull-witted clods to be endlessly bamboozled.

      The Europeans are not ever going to be seduced into moving the delivery point for the Ukrainian GTS to the Russian border with Ukraine; as the author has correctly pointed out, that would make Europe responsible for transit, including transit fees. In fact, if I were Russia, I would be enthusiastically pushing this solution, while simultaneously chiding Europe for its apparent reluctance to do something concrete and measurable to help its Ukrainian brothers. Ukraine has declared Russia an enemy of the Ukrainian state on several very public occasions – why should it now expect mercy from its enemy? Europe is its friend – start acting like it. Pay the transit fees to move your own gas across Ukraine, and then give them free gas because they’re poor. Come on – what kind of friend are you? Mr. Putin, if you’re listening, I volunteer as Russia’s negotiator with Yurrup and Ukraine. I will make them squirm with embarrassment, although I confess to a deficiency in diplomacy.

      The west’s inability – well, the USA’s inability; there was never any sensible reason for Europe to play along with sacrificing its own energy policy to American management – to stop the completion of Nord Stream II means Ukraine is basically fucked. It has no further strategic value to Uncle Sam other than lying geographically right next to Russia, because Nord Stream II means Uncle Sam can no longer disrupt or threaten to disrupt energy supplies to Europe by stirring up trouble in Ukraine. Russia cannot be persuaded to take a brotherly interest in it and help it out of a jam, because it has declared Russia the enemy always and forever to appease its Nazi militias and its foreign puppeteers. So now it has no friends; at least, none prepared to help it achieve anything like prosperity, for which it would need upward of $100 Billion in investment. Instead, Europe gives it conscience donations, because it knows it sweet-talked Ukraine into its present predicament, and its oligarchs skim most of that until the people get pretty much the bag the money came in, and nothing much else.

      Transiting 40-45 BcM of gas across Ukraine annually would not be profitable even if Russia could be persuaded to do it, which there is no reason to assume will happen. That’s break-even money, with no profit potential at all, and Ukraine still has to finance its own gas supplies because it is too proud to take gas from Russia. That’s only sustainable so long as the west gives it gas money. Bit humiliating, I should think. Eventually the western courts will tire of Ukraine’s endless lawsuits against Gazprom, all of which amount to “We shot our mouths off, and then Russia declined to be browbeaten into giving us a break”. There is absolutely no reason Russia should provide Ukraine with cheap gas, since it has already shown its preference for buying it from western nations at a significant markup for so long as the west will give it money for that purpose.

      Right about now, Ukrainian cartoonists should be defacing photographs of Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt by drawing a beard on Nuland and replacing Pyatt’s nose with a penis and his teeth with fangs. Because the Glorious Maidan, eagerly abetted by the west, incinerated Ukraine’s last possibilities of ever being an independent country. It is a prostitute state now to whoever has the ready.

      Like

      1. That fool of a Ukrainian president often uses the argument that the Russian refusal of gas supplies to the Ukraine is a threat to Ukrainian security, in that without the gas transit fees that the Ukraine gets off the aggressor State, the Ukraine will not be able to purchase armaments with which to wage war against the Evil Russians, not to mention the Ukraine’s heroic defence of Europe from the Eastern barbaric Untermenschen.

        But isnt the unfunny funny man’s reasoning somewhat amiss here?

        Isn’t he saying that Russia should provide the financing of armaments purchase for a war the the Ukraine claims it is waging against Russia?

        Like

        1. Zelensky is only different from Poroshenko – he’s not an improvement. The goals are still the same, but their realization is farther away now than ever; the return of Crimea, the restoration of Kiev’s control over the rebel republics, and Ukraine once again on the front burner of western interest. Sadly for Ukrainians, their country is no longer a strategic plum for the west, and Uncle Sam is the decision-maker there. Washington might decide to make up an excuse to hurl Ukraine against Russia in a final suicidal ploy for western sympathy, but the impetus behind that would be to do it before Ukraine is too weak and starved to make the effort – not because it would make much of a difference. It might even serve the interest of wiping out the Nazi militias, because Zelensky is even more afraid of them than Poroshenko was.

          Eventually a pro-Russian leader will come to power and some sort of a peace will be negotiated, but Ukraine will be a stumbling beggar-state long before that; in some ways it already is. Its chance at prosperity is gone for this generation and perhaps the next as well, and Russia has learned a valuable lesson; it will never help rebuild Ukraine to anything like its past state without guarantees which would prevent its ever again being turned against Russia, and shared control arrangements to ensure those guarantees were enforced.

          Like

          1. During the time of the “Evil Empire”, the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic was the most favoured of all the Soviet republics: it also had a seat at the UN, a founding member of that august organization no less, where that land of apparent shitwits is still a member state and also a non-permanent member in the United Nations Security Council.

            Could you imagine the USA even considering the idea, let alone tolerating it, that the Federal State of California, for example, should have a seat at the UN?

            I should imagined that Tatarstan, an Autonomous Subject State of the Russian Federation, now possibly ranks as most favoured state within the RF: it certainly gets enough handouts from the Kremlin.

            As far as “diversity” goes, all the top jobs in Tatarstan go to ethnic Tatars.

            FFS, even the head honcho of the Bank of Russia is a Tatar!

            Like

            1. Thanks for the info ME and congrats on No.1’s marriage.

              As for Tartarstan, I assume that is the deal. I’ve posted before here that there was a special treaty between Tartarstan & the Kremlin when the former suggested it might go away but on the deal’s expiry date not a squeak was heard or spoken. I’ve been looking for what replaced the deal and from what you say, it looks like Tartarsan retains it’s substantial autonomy in return for not joining Germany or something (joke) and the deal is open ended therefore no need for negotiatiations which could become sticky and cause unwelcome problems in future.

              https://www.rferl.org/a/1074687.html


              If passed into law, the 10-year agreement would grants authorities in the republic special rights based on its high concentration of mostly Muslim ethnic Tatars. It would give Tatar authorities a greater say in decisions on economic, cultural, and environmental issues and calls for joint management of the republic’s oil fields by federal and local authorities.

              The Duma voted 360-110 in favor of the bill, which now faces approval by Russia’s Federation Council…

              …Tatarstan is the only one of Russia’s republics that is officially granted special status.

              Tatarstan may be different, but it enjoys far less autonomy than it did 10 years ago, when several of Russia’s far-flung federation subjects enjoyed autonomous or semiautonomous status. …
              ####

              According to the following article from a Washington DC bases propganda organization, ‘.. In 2017, President Putin let lapse the treaty between Moscow and Kazan. This coincided with his declaration that it is “unacceptable to force a man to learn a language not his own,” or rather, to make a Russian learn a minority language. While previously ethnic mandated education to be conducted in the local language, the Russian federal government started pressuring local governments to abolish the local language requirements in the ethnic republics…*
              ####

              Which shows that centralization by design has strengthened the hand of Moscow and the the Russian Federation as a whole, rather than feifdoms of (Yelstin) years past which only suited those who wanted Russian power regionalized and ‘easier’ to manage..

              As I previously wrote, Tartarstan is an very excellent center for aeronautical engineering for a long time. The Russian budget has been quite generous to mlitary aerospace and Tartarstan has likewise benefited greately from this largesse. At the recent MAKS aviasalon held in Moscow a whole bunch of deals were announced that benefited civil aviation production in Irkustsk Siberia, particularly the underwriting of local civil aircraft production by Russian banks (sic the Russian Federation).**

              Therefore there are other effective production centers other than Tartarstan. Anyone who has been follwing the evolution of UAC (United Aircraft Corporation) will have read of shifting aviation programs to different factories, further centralization and reduction of duplication). The current benefits for Tartarstan are thus not set in stone so why pick a fight if they can continue cash in on their golden eggs made with invested money from the rest of the RF? They also clearly still produce excellent engineering candidates as does other parts of Russia.
              The answer clearly must be that it suits both, regardless of claimed ‘Russian’ encroachment on Tartar ‘sovereignty.’ Relationships evolve with time and events and is true of that with Tartarstan. It shouldn’t be surprising.

              * https://icrcenter.org/moscow-steps-up-russification-campaign-against-tatarstan/

              ** https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2021-08-09/domestic-orders-and-state-backing-boost-russias-uac-group

              Like

  32. Oil and Gas Information Agency

    Газпром не стал бронировать дополнительный транзит через Украину и Польшу на IV квартал

    Gazprom has not booked additional transit through the Ukraine and Poland for the fourth quarter
    AUGUST 02/ 15: 05

    Moscow. PJSC Gazprom has not booked additional capacities for gas transit through the Ukraine, as well as additional capacities for transit through Poland via the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline for the fourth quarter. This is evidenced by the data of trading platforms.

    In total, at the auction on Monday, it was proposed to book transit capacities through the Ukraine by an amount of 9.8 million cubic metres of gas per day for the fourth quarter. The company has also not booked capacities offered in the same volume for the first three quarters of 2022, RIA Novosti notes.

    In addition, Gazprom has also not booked capacity for transit through Poland via the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline for the next fourth quarter.

    Like

    1. I thought the Poles were dancing in the streets when they gained control over their own energy policy!!?? Why, yes; see? I’m not making it up!

      https://notesfrompoland.com/2020/05/08/polands-effective-energy-policy-means-independence-from-russian-gas-is-no-longer-a-pipe-dream/

      Somehow Poland’s decisiveness and determination and strength got them to a place where dealing with Gazprom was just an option; not the only option.

      “Polish state-owned energy firm PGNiG’s impressive victory over Gazprom in an arbitration tribunal is the culmination of the Polish government’s hawkish energy policy, which aims to secure independence from Russian gas. Gas imports from Russia have fallen from 87% to 60% in the last five years and now, as crisis looms and with gas prices low, at last we are close to a situation in which PGNiG can work with Gazprom, but is not forced to.”

      But, oh! Apparently if Gazprom is forced to deal with PGNiG and has no other options, that’s just good business sense by the Poles. At least that’s what you would think from their chagrin over Russia’s unwillingness to book transit through ‘their’ pipeline. Well, sweeten up the price a little, why not? Make the deal attractive. But apparently that only works one way. If the Russians will not give the Poles their gas practically free, they have their panties in a bunch and go flouncing off. Well, go, then! It looks as if Russia has options as well.

      I’m sure you also noticed that little line in there in which the Poles enthusiastically approved of Ukraine dunning the Russians in court.

      “Just look at the conflict between the company and the Ukrainian Naftogaz, which also won in Stockholm (a refund of more than $2.5 billion) but had to wait to be reimbursed by Gazprom. If not for the strong hand the Ukrainians had (the chance to stop transmission of Russian gas to the EU), it is doubtful whether they would have seen the amount dictated by the court even today.”

      So stopping Europe’s gas supply, or threatening to as leverage, is not ‘using energy as a weapon’ – my, no; that’s just ‘driving a hard bargain’. As long as you’re on the right side.

      Both the Poles and the Ukrainians are on fire with eagerness to do energy business with Russia…as long as the situation is one in which Russia has to do business with them and pay whatever they think is fair. But when it goes the other way, it’s Russian cheating and aggression. Tell you what, Poland; go find your own huge deposits of natural gas. Oh; that’s right – you did that, and it didn’t pan out.

      https://theconversation.com/whatever-happened-to-the-great-european-fracking-boom-38550

      “With large areas of apparently prospective shale and a government supportive of fracking, Poland looked to be the frontrunner of the European shale gas boom. The reality has been rather more sobering, however.

      Many boreholes have been drilled, few have produced the results that were hoped for, and most of the major companies have now withdrawn from the country. Polish shale gas may still prove to be viable in the long-term, but abundant shales and an enthusiastic political leadership do not guarantee fracking success.”

      Let’s sum up: France has significant potential gas deposits, but imposed a moratorium on fracking in 2011 which was renewed in 2013. Germany is not known to have significant reserves in shale. The Netherlands already put an extraction cap on the Groningen field because fracking induces earthquakes, and there is no public support for increased drilling. Ditto Denmark – maybe significant reserves, but fracking is a tough sell publicly, and the reserves are probably not large enough to justify a total realignment of Danish infrastructure to a major gas producer even if they prove out. The Danes ‘might have’ as much as 2.5 Trillion Cubic FEET (TcF) of reserves, best case. Russia’s proven gas reserves last year were 37.4 Trillion Cubic METERS (TcM).

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/265325/natural-gas-reserves-in-russia/

      I see a consortium of countries that relies heavily on gas for energy generation. And I see a supplier which has ample product. The rest is all just dithering and maneuvering for advantage. Where it gets hypocritical is where the consortium only approves of advantage one way.

      Like

    1. Is it my imagination, or is Kudrin beginning to turn into a Shar-pei?

      Let’s see…Kudrin says Russia must transition to an economy made more dynamic through investments and exports. Apparently he has been having a very very long nappie-time in which western sanctions arrived unobserved. Because the United States would most assuredly move to leverage against countries receiving large quantities of Russian export goods other than energy exports, which it does not dare touch. Washington is always probing for vulnerabilities. Kudrin apparently has noticed nothing of the domestic market-replacement revolution, in which Russia has simply supplied itself with various goods it used to buy from Europe.

      What’s that worth, Lyosha? Come on – don’t be coy; you know.

      All right. If that’s the way you want to play it, I’ll just tell them myself. It’s about $240 Billion in lost trade for Europe between 2014 and 2019, folks. In exchange for that, according to Mr. Putin at the time and certainly in consultation with his economic advisers, it cost Russia about $50 Billion in lost trade – so we’ll knock that European disparity down to $190 Billion. Divide that by 5, and Russia is recouping about $40 Billion a year in market replacement returns from lost European trade.

      https://www.russia-briefing.com/news/sanctions-russia-costing-eu-businesses-us-240-billion-increasing-putin.html/

      But that’s not the worst of it, from Europe’s economic point of view. I’ve said for a long time that those sectors lost to the European vendors are gone for good, and they are. But here’s a more substantial reason for it. European producers have relocated to Russia in a desperate attempt to hold on to some sales, and after three years the technology transfer was well advanced, at no cost to Russia. Discerning palates – which do not include mine, I’ve always been fond of Russian cheese – claim that before the sanctions regime, domestically-produced Russian cheese was rubbery rubbish. The western papers shouted in derision at Putin for sticking to his guns, and having tons of western cheese intercepted and bulldozed for trying to evade counter-sanctions. It would never endure, they said; Russian liberal elites could not do without their French Camembert, their Italian Parmesano Reggiano, and they would rise up and smite Putin into next week.

      That didn’t happen, of course, and what did happen is that European cheesemakers began to move to Russia to set up their own production with Russian partners so that their products were not imports, but domestic production. The result is that now Russian cheeses are “excellent”, produced completely to European specifications and standards. Russia is already number three in the world for cheese consumption, so a tremendous growth market lost to Europe…but now Russian cheese has excellent export potential for Europe as it is extremely competitive in price. You would have to figure in some profits there for the parent European company, so it’s not a complete rollover for Russia, but it is a tremendous economic gain for the country over the previous one-way-imports situation.

      And that is repeated for beer and wines, as well; Russia accounts for about 4% of the annual global beer consumption, some $30 Billion USD worth (I believe that’s the global total). Again, Russian microbreweries and craft brews have sprung up all over, to the immense delight of discerning beer-drinkers and the enrichment of Russian partners.

      You can just tell that Lyosha is all of a sweat to turn Russia into a market-stupefied colossus drunk on margin trades and short-selling, like the United States. You know – the world leader whose legislative body is about to deliberate once again the raising of the debt ceiling although debt already accounts for more than 100% of GDP. But it would be hard to convincingly argue that Putin and his real economic advisers have not negotiated the sanctions minefield without putting a foot wrong, and that Russia is not only more independent and self-sufficient because of it, but stronger as well.

      Like

    2. As I explained to a fellow regular MoA barfly over his/her agreement with Kudrin that Russia’s economy was clapped out and inferior to the Soviet economy:

      “… In [Kudrin’s] opinion, Russia should stop focusing on domestic consumption and turn its focus to exports, while investing at home …”

      As a neoliberal economics believer, and (perhaps former) pal of Alexei Navalny, Kudrin would say that: no big surprise there. No wonder Moscow put him in a position equivalent to Inspector Audit General, where he can spend his time looking at how government departments spent their money in past financial periods and make decisions that do not impact on how government agencies will spend their budgeted money in the future, and at the same time be under the watchful eyes of the Russian Federative Assembly.

      Neoliberal economic advice is all about cutting domestic consumption, cutting govt expenditure on social services and infrastructure that serve public needs, and privileging expenditures in industries that export raw materials or energy resources with little or no value-added domestic refinement input downstream towards ultimate consumers. Preferably industries in which foreign firms and govts have a considerable financial stake which would help provide them with some leverage to beat Moscow with.

      Incidentally I don’t see China trying to cut its own domestic consumption or cut spending on infrastructure and other developments that benefit its people. If such policies don’t benefit Russians, such policies also don’t benefit China and that country’s economy should be shrinking, not growing to the extent that it is sharing its knowledge and experience with nations in other parts of the world, like Angola and Tanzania for example …

      Incidentally most Third World countries have the kind of export-oriented economies, focused on and investing in industries supplying raw materials and energy resources to First World nations, that Kudrin would approve of. That’s a big part of why they remain Third World countries.

      Like

      1. In his apologies for his ‘arrogance’, there is no real regret other than the regret over having been baited into losing his temper. The core of his argument was both crude and entirely intentional; I’m a rich bastard, and my job guarantees I always will be. I have a house you can only dream about. My social class are the masters of this country, so you can keep yours; I do just fine mocking it from a distance, and the rubes that make up my audience will never know the difference.

        Perfect choice for ambassador to the Russian Federation; a living showcase of all America’s values. I wonder that they were so glad to see the back of him.

        Like

      1. ‘In Stir’ is fairly international, and being jailed is also referred to here as ‘jugged’ or ‘in the slammer’. ‘Grain and Drain’ refers to solitary confinement.

        Like

  33. This story shows the lies behind the Covid vaccination campaign.

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/531001-canada-kicked-out-vaccine-covid/

    Natural immunity from a prior Covid infection is better than immunity obtained through vaccination per NIH studies. Yet, natural immunity is ignored, placing such people in the same category as the unvaccinated. It’s not about stopping the spread, its about social control and dominance.

    For some countries, a negative PCR test within 3 days of departure is enough. That, I could live with. Canada seems to be a testing ground for new social control experiments.

    Like

    1. “As someone with a high level of laboratory tested antibodies whose levels have yet to drop even after several months post-illness, my doctor has advised against vaccination. Much is obviously still to be learned about the Covid jabs, still in stage 3 of clinical trials and considered experimental by health authorities – particularly with reports abounding of breakthrough cases of vaccinated people catching and spreading Covid.”

      Funny she should mention clinical trials, because although the FDA agreed – under pressure – to set up a placebo control group who would get only a harmless saline solution, it did absolutely nothing to stop American vaccine manufacturers (singled out because the examples are Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, all American) from aggressively courting the placebo group for vaccination with their non-placebo products, even offering to schedule their ‘jab’ ahead of other groups. All three offered to ‘unblind’ the trial participants and give them the real vaccine once they were aware they were getting the placebo.

      Pfizer.

      Moderna.


      Johnson & Johnson.

      Click to access JJ-participant-email.pdf

      I am beginning to get the feeling that the ‘vaccine’ manufacturers do not want anything like a ‘control group’ to remain if and when the deleterious effects of the ‘vaccines’ begin to appear. That’s why both government and Big Pharma are so aggressively forcing inoculation on everyone. They don’t quite dare – yet – to grab you on the street, wrestle you to the ground and stick a needle in your arm, but that day may come. There cannot be an identifiable group that was not vaccinated because if they don’t get sick and everyone else does, it will raise embarrassing questions.

      As to the ‘negative PCR test within 3 days of departure’:

      The PCR test is known to be incapable of distinguishing between live virus and dead remnants vanquished by the immune system; it is provided in instructions to clinicians on how to administer the test.

      Nationally, Canada’s performance and attitude have been beyond disgraceful, and its previous reputation as The Land Of Nice People Who Live Together In Freedom has been wiped completely off the board forever. Our punishment for letting ourselves be led by another Trudeau. Provincially, it varies widely. Some are draconian as Vulcan, some less so. I notice about 70% of the shoppers in my usual grocery store still wear a mask even though it is only ‘recommended’, I suppose because they are used to it now and it makes them feel ‘safe’, which is apparently the new ‘rich’, craved by most. But you don’t have to, and every day there are a few more that don’t. Some store employees do, some don’t. I wear one on the bridge of my vessel because my regular captain does and he is freaked about COVID, so out of respect for him because I like him, but I don’t have to and I don’t wear one anywhere else on the vessel. About 90% of passengers don’t, either, and the ‘social distancing’ signs and dots have all been removed. Same with those silly directional arrows in the stores, and the rearrangements so that you had to enter by one door and exit by another have been restored to their pre-COVID configuration. There are occasional ‘outbreaks’ in the interior, but the Island has been pretty quiet. I feel like they’re just trying to keep it bubbling along on ‘simmer’, but that every day there is less possibility people would obey if they tried to go full retard again, knowing the foolishness it would mean.

      It looks more and more to me like a huge-ass class-action suit is what may come out of this. Perhaps it would transpire, in the maneuverings, that governments did not have the authority to indemnify ‘vaccine’ manufacturers against legal action if their product was forced on the public through coercion, as it plainly is. If the plaintiffs could not get at the manufacturers, the government would be the next-most-likely target. That would mean the plaintiffs pay the legal fees of both, since the government uses taxpayer money to defend itself, but a successful finding would mean a lot of firings and the abrupt end of a lot of political careers.

      According to The Highwire, just such a group is beginning to form; a union of those who suffered negative effects from the ‘vaccine’. Government might try to throw money at them to shut them up, but if they get the runaround, legal action would likely follow. That’s in the USA, but I expect success of any description would result in a domino effect internationally.

      https://thehighwire.com/videos/the-vaccine-injured-unite/#comment-646

      Like

      1. There is something truly rotten going on. The masters of the rottenness are using decades of psychological research to manipulate the simple minded, the pretenders and the opportunists.

        Big Phama has “immunity” (ha ha) from legal actions, I don’t think class actions suits will get off the ground unless your coercion argument works.. Look how the courts capitulated on voter fraud cases in the US. When the stakes are high, the law means nothing.

        Julius Skoolafish posted a link above to a video with very high level discussion on the negative effects of the RNA modifying vaccines. The discussion included leading immunological experts who acknowledged that their careers will likely be ruined by challenging Big Pharma. I have not yet read the relevant discussions but have been told that the vaccines will trigger micro blood clots in capillaries throughout the body and will damage the uterus resulting in female infertility.

        These vaccines can be a catastrophe of biblical proportions taking years to fully manifest. And, these “side effects” may have been known before vaccinations began. Can the extreme conspiracies be true that claim these vaccines are meant to depopulate the planet? The irony would be that the West would be depopulated while the East would be minimally affected. I don’t know what to think but will watch the video to hear for myself.

        Like

  34. The Royal Navy now has a cover story for when its ships try to flex their international muscle and meet with a stern and uncompromising response. Can you guess? They…were never there. Their AIS track was faked, as I described here some time ago. And you know who was responsible, don’t you? That’s right; the Russians.

    You wouldn’t be allowed to put ‘homo’ in an accusation of some dastardly deed, without any evidence – simply that it seemed like the kind of thing a homo would do. Or a woman. Or, God forbid, a ‘person of colour’. The resulting scream of social outrage would melt the fillings in your teeth. But it’s okay to say it about the Russians, even immediately after cheerfully admitting there is no solid evidence to implicate anyone.

    “Bergman has found no evidence directly linking the flood of fake AIS tracks to any country, organization, or individual. But they are consistent with Russian tactics, says Todd Humphreys, director of the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. “While I can’t say for sure who’s doing this, the data fits a pattern of disinformation that our Russian friends are wont to engage in.”

    Just two days after the HMS Defender had its AIS track faked, Russian forces allegedly fired warning shots at the destroyer during a transit close to the Crimean coast. “Imagine those shots hit their mark and Russia claimed to show that NATO ships were operating in their waters,” says Humphreys. “The West might cry foul, but as long as Russia can flood the system with enough disinformation, they can cause a situation where it’s not clear their aggression was wrong. They love to operate in that kind of nebulous territory.”

    That’s just the kind of thing a dirty, sneaking Russian would do. Evidence? Why would you need that, when Russia floods the world ankle-deep in disinformation every day? Which the self-acclaimed premiere technological powers of the world are apparently completely helpless to stop.

    https://www.wired.com/story/fake-warships-ais-signals-russia-crimea/

    If Russia has identifiable photographs and video of HMS DEFENDER in a position she should not have been, now is the time to dust them off. Because the British story now is that she was never there, and the Russians got all triggered on a fake AIS track.

    Like

  35. Just two days after the HMS Defender had its AIS track faked, Russian forces allegedly fired warning shots at the destroyer during a transit close to the Crimean coast. “Imagine those shots hit their mark and Russia claimed to show that NATO ships were operating in their waters,” says Humphreys. “The West might cry foul, but as long as Russia can flood the system with enough disinformation, they can cause a situation where it’s not clear their aggression was wrong. They love to operate in that kind of nebulous territory.”

    I really tried to parse the above but it comes out as nonsense. Here is a little more on the legal aspects of the topic:

    https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/press/news-2021/misinformation-around-hms-defender-incident-makes-legal-aspects-more-difficult-to-evaluate

    The misinformation is entirely with the UK in case there is doubt.

    Like

    1. He talks like a simpleton. “Imagine if those shots hit their mark…” Yes, imagine! Russia was shooting at the water, and it hit…what? The air? Warning shots are not aimed to hit the ship. That’s why they are called “warning shots”. However, they are typically fired line-of-sight, which means you can see the ship clearly against whom you are directing your warning. I’m still not quite getting how the British think they are going to pretend DEFENDER was not there when clearly someone was there. It’s not very realistic to practice warning shots against nothing (although we have been known to do it, firing on a Moving Reference Point (MRP) generated by radar). Hopefully the Russians know the difference between a state-of-the-art British destroyer and some scabby merchant ship that just happened to be near the AIS symbol’s location.

      Funny story; the discussion just made me think of it. The Canadian Forces Above-Water Warfare Drills and Procedures Manual is a book called NCPM 701. Every few years it undergoes revisions, to take into account new and updated weaponry, ammunition, safety procedures which may have come to light as the result of an accident and new roles assigned to the navy. On this occasion, when I was the Above-Water Warfare Director in HMCS REGINA, the revision was a little unorthodox.

      There is a keen rivalry between the East and the West coasts, and the East Coast considers itself ‘the operational navy’ while the West Coast is ‘the training navy’. So our job is to supply them with trained sailors, while their job is to give them real and satisfying work. Or so they tell it. Anyway, the revision procedure is that the Fleet School Above-Water Warfare section (East) writes the recommended changes, then they are sent to East Coast command for review, then they are sent out in draft form for general review by all fleet units, who recommend changes. After the review period closes, the recommended changes are in turn reviewed and those which are accepted are incorporated in the updated manual, which usually goes a couple of years before any more general changes.

      On this occasion, the boys in the Above-Water Warfare shop were feeling their oats, and wrote up a new manual of draft changes and pushed it out to the fleet without having it reviewed first by Command. Naughty, naughty. A copy duly arrived in HMCS REGINA, and I was asked to review it.

      One of the navy’s roles is supporting the Naval Boarding Party, both in convincing the targeted ship to stop and stand by for boarding, and to stand off and keep an eye on things while boarding operations are underway, until the boarding party returns. The primary means for getting the ship to stop is warning shots. You announce over ship-to-ship channel each step before you do it, first directing the master to stop his vessel. If he does not, you announce your intention to fire warning shots ahead of his ship, walking them in by a hundred or so yards each time and announcing each step before you do it. The next step is disabling fire, either into the engineering spaces or the bridge, announcing your intention before so the master can clear the bridge or the engine room so nobody is killed or hurt.

      The East Coast had written two drill procedures; Warning Shot (Compliant) and Warning Shot (Non-Compliant). I read them over, and began to snort and chuckle. The AWWO asked me what was so funny. I pointed to the book and said “Warning shot, compliant, Sir. “Compliant” means the master has obeyed your direction, which was presumably to stop his vessel. Is there really a need to fire a shot ahead of him, do you think? Seems a bit stupid to me.”

      I was not invited to write the recommendation on behalf of REGINA. But ‘Warning Shot (Compliant)’ was removed in its entirety from the final draft.

      Like

      1. Was there not a BBC reporter on Defender who confirmed that the ship deliberately sailed into Russian waters with the ship’s crew at battle stations for the purpose of provoking a response? The UK agrees that the ship was there with the only difference in the stories is whether Russian forces fired warning shots. The evidence supports the warning shots version which the UK needed to deny otherwise they would appear to be reckless morons . Is this cretin saying that the UK ship was not there? He seems to have confused the fake AIS stories with the event in question.

        Like

        1. Indeed, there was. He said he “witnessed Russian warplanes and naval vessels buzzing the destroyer”. There did not seem to be any serious argument that the ship was exactly where its AIS symbol said it was (if the ship had it on, which would seem to be asking for it), but that the area it was transiting was an ‘international corridor’. Now, we all know that is a game designed to make Russia admit Crimea is not really Russian territory, which would lead to immediate international cries to give it back to Ukraine. The answer, obviously, was that Russia does consider it Russian territory, and will defend it with whatever force proves necessary, which should put paid to further shenanigans.

          https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/russian-forces-confront-british-warship-hms-defender-in-black-sea-military-encounter/ar-AALmdDq

          The Royal Navy’s story is that a Russian vessel shadowed them, as is routine for the region, and advised them of some gunnery exercises going on which had nothing to do with DEFENDER.

          “BBC journalist Jonathan Beale was on board the vessel during the incident, and reported that it had been harassed by Russian military. Aircraft could be heard overhead during his audio report.

          “Increasingly hostile warnings were issued over the radio — including one that said ‘if you don’t change course I’ll fire’,” Beale wrote on the BBC website. “We did hear some firing in the distance but they were believed to be well out of range.”

          Based on what? That the ship was not hit? It wouldn’t be, if they fired warning shots which are not meant to hit it. “If you do not turn away (change course) I will fire” is part of broadly-international warning procedures. Beale would have no clue from inside the ship how far away the firing ship was or whether it was out of range, although if you could hear aircraft flying over in his audio he was perhaps on the bridge or outside.

          Whatever the case, it does look like the American ‘expert’ the article chose to rely upon is trying to confuse things and mix the DEFENDER incident in with the alleged faking of ships’ location data. Or perhaps he is simply an idiot, as his comments suggest.

          Like

    2. Curious to know if Todd Humphreys has a PhD or some advanced qualification in otherworldly nebulous physics so in the event that Russian forces were to “hit their mark”, he can explain how HMS Defender was not actually at the co-ordinates where a now-smoking wreck is barely keeping afloat.

      Like

  36. A good article on Russian hypersonic missiles was posted by Gordog on Moon of Alabama. The gist is that the technology is a fundamental breakthrough in all aspects in engineering and, in particular, chemistry. A challenge of SCRAM jets used in the Russian missile is to burn the fuel in a supersonic air stream in a short enough time that combustion is completed within the length of combustion chamber. Until recently, it was believed that only hydrogen can burn fast enough hence US attempts, as pathetic as there were, used hydrogen. Needless to say, hydrogen is entirely unsuited as a missile fuel give that its liquid form must be maintained at close to absolute zero and has an extremely low density necessitating huge, heavily insulated tanks. Logistics would be impossible.

    One of the key Russia breakthroughs per Gordog is the development of a special kerosene that combusts fast enough to be used in SCRAM jets. My guess is has a lot to do with atomization and air flow management as well as the chemistry.

    NATO said:

    Russia’s new hypersonic missiles are highly destabilizing and pose significant risks to security and stability across the Euro-Atlantic area,

    If NATO had such weapons, it would be proof of superior western technology and an instrument to bring peace and stability across Eastern Europe and Russia.

    Like

  37. If this guy was a Trump supporter, knew a Trump supporter or his last name contained one more letters in Trump’s name, this will be called an armed insurrection placing US democracy in its greatest danger ever. Drastic measures must be taken to NOW!

    https://www.rt.com/usa/531028-pentagon-lockdown-gunshots-bus-station/

    The Pentagon building in Arlington, Virginia – the headquarters of the US Department of Defense – was put into lockdown due to “an incident” at the facility’s Metro station, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency (PFPA) said in a tweet on Tuesday morning, without providing further details.

    A police officer was killed as well as the alleged perpetrator.

    Like

    1. Probably asked to see his vaccination papers. Okay, I’m being sarcastic, but they did say in an official statement that they were not actively looking for other suspects, which kind of suggests it was a one-off. Things are a little tense right now between the police and the civilian public.

      Like

    1. Yes, it is amusing that they don’t want to be too quick to call it ‘murder’. He might have accidentally run into a prepositioned noose while exercising, a noose innocently left there by someone playing a game! A clue might be found in the mention of his ‘partner’. I know it’s all the rage now to be coy about relationships and act as if gender is an outmoded concept that has no relevance in the modern world, so it should be left ambiguous. And that attitude probably flies in San Francisco, but not in Kuh-yiv, where the idea of two men squirming around in the bed after the lights go out tends to arouse anger. I need hardly mention it’s already a pretty tense place, where most laws are more or less unenforceable for the right-wingers, and the police might not even bother to investigate, or simply go through the motions.

      Therefore, Shishov’s Belarusian dissident credentials may have had nothing whatever to do with his untimely demise.

      I should note it is also possible Shishov’s ‘partner’ is a woman, because he was known to be tight with any details of his personal life, allegedly because he is an activist. But Protasevich’s partner was instantly and generally referred to as his ‘girlfriend’, and I would dispute that using that word conveys any advantage to someone trying to track down the subject’s relationships. It does roughly halve the number of possibilities, but the potential number remains too large for that to be of much use to searchers. The persistent use of the word ‘partner’ seems more likely to be for another reason.

      Like

  38. Sharing this not in support of the content but in solidarity to expose this nonsense for discussion …

    Book TV: Karen Dawisha, “Putin’s Kleptocracy”

    (we may still not agree on the common enemy to humanity)

    Like

  39. To say this article is interesting would be an understatement:

    https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202108051083527628-what-message-do-repeatedly-downed-israeli-missiles-in-syria-send-to-tel-aviv-and-washington/

    Three consequent announcements made on 20, 22, and 25 July by the Russian Ministry of Defence about the successful interception of Israeli missiles in Syrian air space have prompted a heated debate among Mideast and Western observers. Why have the briefings of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation produced so much fuss?

    On 29 July, The Times of Israel commented on the downing of Israeli missiles in Syria, suggesting that “Russia might be testing” Naftali Bennett’s new Israeli government which came to power on 13 June, and adding that there’s “no reason for panic.”

    Apparently Russia has sent a message that Israeli attacks Syria will no longer be allowed by simply shooting down their missiles at nearly 100% effectiveness. Some say that Russian technicians are operating the missile batteries or that the Buk is finally being deployed although some of the missiles were also destroyed by the Pantsir.

    The implications are big for Syria and the Middle East as well as the technological balance of power between the US and Russia. It’s more than hypersonic cruise missiles. The ability to shoot down presumably advanced land-attack missiles with near perfection affects the entire military balance between the East and West.

    And what is Israel to do now? How can they swagger and maintain the myth of invincibility? Things are sure to heat up. The US is likely asking Israel not to start something that they cannot finish.

    Like

    1. “According to Sleboda, “if Russia continues to actively exert air defence in Syria against Israeli attacks, this will force Israel to exclusively use ever more stand-off weapons, such as longer range munitions, drones and cruise missiles, for its attacks, fired at a greater distance out of Lebanese or Jordanian airspace, out of US occupied Syrian airspace in the east or in the south over al-Tanf base, or out of the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.”

      Or, here’s a thought; it could just mind its own fucking business – take a page from Syria’s book, and not attack those who are not attacking it, and make some effort to live in peace with its neighbours under broadly-agreed rules rather than always having to have things its own way.

      This has been a proxy war between Russia and the United States from the outset, and that’s a big part of why the USA won’t let it go – it can’t bear to lose. At first it was just going to be another amusing page from the regime-change playbook; stir up an astroturfed ‘opposition’, demonize the elected leader in the western press, invent a few atrocities, and he’s gone. Done and dusted, and a pliant western puppet government in his place, mouthing progressive platitudes and helping the Qataris with a new gas pipeline.

      But Assad hung on grimly despite being greatly outnumbered, although if he had waited a couple more weeks to ask for help he likely would have been driven out or killed. Russia stepped up, but made it clear from Day One that it was there to prevent the democratically-elected government from being overrun, while it sorted out its own problems. The lack of an overwhelming military presence underscored that low-key role, and I don’t believe the air force contingent was ever more than 35 planes, often less. But it instantly changed everything about the war – the advance of the ‘rebels’, the morale of the defenders, and the tactics of Assad’s extraterritorial antagonists. Throughout, Russia has been careful to maintain the image of semi-detached peacemaker, and to avoid conflict with the western cabal arrayed against Assad and constantly seeking his removal despite grudging conciliation in official accounts.

      Some time ago, the USA began leaning more heavily on Israel to continue its destabilization efforts, which brings us to the present impasse. If Israel cannot carry out air strikes, then it can bluster and threaten as much as it likes and nobody will pay it much attention. Let’s be clear that the tactics it is using now are the best it can do; it will not fly in Syrian airspace, because that would invite destruction of the aircraft. It is launching from positions calculated to give the least warning and smallest reaction time, and now that is failing. If it stands off further to minimize its own risk, as the article goes on to say, interception will be even easier and, it stands to reason, even more effective. Launching out of ‘US-occupied Syrian airspace’ invites an open conflict between the two shadow principals, which both have sought to avoid.

      Another line of thought which I have thus far not seen explored is the question of what could be done if Syria became tired of always defending itself, and acquired some offensive weapons. Nothing hypersonic or anything so fancy as that; it is already so close to Israel that reaction time would be very short indeed. At present all Israel has to think about is what sort of attack to try today. If the realization is beginning to dawn – as the degree of effort suggests it is, from 8 missiles down to 4 missiles down to 2 – that Syria is now a hardened target, thought must turn to what would happen if it decided to counterattack with air-launched weapons of its own, in reprisal. What of the vaunted Iron Dome then? So far it has barely had to get out of bed, swatting aside cobbled-together stovepipe ballistic rockets with ease. How would it deal with a couple of Kinzhals aimed up Madame Bennett’s chuff?

      Admittedly, that would be a dramatic escalation and I don’t think it’s at all likely. But even a modest air-to-surface capability, fitted to Syrian air force planes and launched from sovereign airspace in obvious self-defense, would give Israel a whole new angle from which to look at the situation. And every nation retains the inherent right to self-defense.

      Like

      1. Lots to comment on. Yes, 35 aircraft (not sure if that included helicopters) plus some long range strikes did it. The tempo of activity apparently astounded western observers with a 2-3 sorties per day per aircraft. Servicemen were rotated through the campaign thus providing real combat training. The financial and human cost to Russia was small while they devastated the imported terrorists. It must have been one of the best ROI’s in modern warfare. That is not to minimize the SAA that fought heroically even when their prospects looked very bleak.

        It likely won’t happen but it would be quite a shock if Iran were to make available the same type of precision missiles used in the attack on the US base in Iraq. Blasting craters an Israeli military runways would be a serious warning shot.

        Israeli mythos requires being the victim of jealous neighbors so they will continue to pick fights against much weaker adversaries. If Syria can fight back without direct Russian military involvement, it will be bad times for Israel. If that country can just be “normal” which is entirely possible, the entire region would be far better off.

        Like

        1. It’s an interesting conundrum.

          Clearly the Russians have been very reluctant to allow the Syrians (or anyone, so far as their writ goes) to really give the Israelis a bloody nose, since that’s got obvious potential to spiral out of control. But as Israeli drifts ever further into whatever ugly future their domestic policy holds, I’m not sure they’ll have a choice.

          So, yeah, I guess look for Hezbollah or someone like that to get some more up to date hardware. It’s going to be tricky to balance – you want to inflict something pretty bad on the Israeli military, without it being so bad that the Israeli leadership will start letting the nukes fly, and who knows when that – to paraphrase someone or other – “worst collection of misfits, looney tunes and squalid criminals since the third Reich” will try to launch their own Armageddon rather than face humiliation.

          Interesting times

          Like

          1. Yeah, the “Samson Option”. The US gave Israel and materials and know how to build a nuclear arsenal. And now Israel effectively controls US foreign policy. Perhaps they would without nuclear weapons but now it is assured regardless on what faction may come to power in the US.

            That power has gone to their collective head – do anything they want and the US must protect their ass.

            If Syria were to obtain missiles with high accuracy from Iran, cratering a military runway would be a good demo. On the other hand, that may trigger the crazies to do something crazy. Russia needs to find a way to talk down Israel but Israeli leadership is fundamentally insane. It’s another fine mess courtesy of US foreign policy.

            Could a highly coordinated surprise attack disarm Israel’s nuclear weapons capability? They probably have limited means to deliver weapons via aircraft and missiles so whatever survives the military assault could be mopped up by Russia extraordinarily good antiaircraft and anti-missile systems. Of course, prepositioning everything would be difficult without tipping off the Israels especially with the US on their side.

            Like

          2. I doubt the Russians would provide advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, since it is essentially a militia and not an element of state armed forces. However, the SAA would always be a viable candidate. No reason the Russians could not provide them with both advanced weaponry and the training to use it, since it is clear to everybody that regional enemies will continue to attack it, and such attacks would accelerate substantially if Russia withdrew. Therefore it makes perfect sense to offer them the capability to defend themselves without needing constant babysitting by Russia.

            I imagine the USA is in a bit of a dilemma; it would probably love to supply Israel with something cutting-edge – or give them the green light to use it if they already have it. But…what if it doesn’t work??? What if that, too, gets blasted out of the sky by an upgraded 1970’s vintage air defense system that is far less capable than even the S-300? Even if a few got through, any degree of success on the part of the defenders would make it clear the very best the west has to offer is not good enough.

            And that’s why Syrian acquisition of a credible modern air-to-surface or even surface-to-surface missile capability is so dangerous. Because if it transpired that the vaunted Iron Dome was about as hard to penetrate as Paris Hilton, it could completely destabilize the entire region. Israel has a lot of enemies who would like to give it a good kicking.

            Like

  40. GOV.UK

    No OSCE observation of Russia’s State Duma elections: UK statement

    https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/no-osce-observation-of-russias-state-duma-elections-uk-statement

    Ambassador Neil Bush voices UK dismay that Russia’s unwarranted restrictions have prevented ODIHR from effectively observing its elections in September.
    10:49am, 5 August 2021

    Following developments yesterday afternoon, the UK shares the disappointment expressed by ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly that limitations imposed by Russia will prevent the OSCE from providing the Russian voters with a transparent and authoritative assessment of their forthcoming Duma State elections.

    Participating States have given ODIHR the mandate to independently observe elections. This includes a mandate to determine what is necessary in terms of size and format of a mission in order to effectively and credibly observe.

    ODIHR’s approach to elections is the right one. It starts from the simple premise that there should be continuous improvement in the process of holding democratic elections in all countries, as we all strive to achieve the standards to which we have committed as OSCE participating States. ODIHR’s impartial and objective approach to each country helps improve its electoral processes in a tailored way, which builds on past success and addresses previous failings.

    The ODIHR needs assessment mission report of 25 June is the result of methodical and independent work. The Needs Assessment Mission found that interlocutors saw the value of an ODIHR election observation activity for the State Duma elections. These interlocutors also stressed the importance of a long-term and country-wide presence to cover all aspects of the process.

    Russia’s decision to severely restrict the number of observers would undermine the effectiveness and credibility of ODIHR’s election observation.

    Like ODIHR and the OSCE PA, we respect the challenges that countries are facing in preventing the spread of COVID-19. ODIHR has said they were ready to abide by all entry requirements on operating or moving in the Russian Federation. This is not a case of ODIHR making unreasonable demands: current requirements in place for international visitors in Russia do not seem to prevent the deployment of a full election observation mission.

    We will have to draw our own conclusions on why Russia does not want its elections to be monitored by an independent body. The limitation Russia placed on an ODIHR mission is against the interests of the Russian people and anyone who wishes to see democracy protected in Russia.

    Go on then! Draw your own fucking conclusions, arsehole!

    By the way, pompous cnut, tell me when the Orcs last observed elections in the UK.

    You know, just to check they’re kosher.

    Just wondrin’!

    Like

    1. But get this!

      GOV. UK:

      Following developments yesterday afternoon, the UK shares the disappointment expressed by ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Asse ODIHR and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly that limitations imposed by Russia will prevent the OSCE from providing the Russian voters with a transparent and authoritative assessment of their forthcoming Duma State elections.

      Limitations!

      They’ve not been to told that they cannot come and nosy around here. Nevertheless, the Westminster Wankers are making out that the Evil Orcs are purposefully impeding the work of the defenders of freedom and democracy worldwide — coz that’s what Orcs do, innit?

      So take a gander at this:

      No big deal? Moscow unfazed after OSCE reveals it will not be sending election observers to Russia for first time since 1993
      August 6 2021, 12:55 GMT

      https://www.rt.com/russia/531332-osce-parliamentary-election-observers/

      Next month, Russian voters will go to the polls to vote for representatives they wish to see in the State Duma, the country’s federal parliament. Usually, the OSCE sends its monitoring staff to Russia to observe whether the vote was held in a free and fair manner.

      On Wednesday, the OSCE revealed that it would not send any observers after the Russian authorities announced that, due to Covid-19 restrictions, just 60 would be allowed across the border from both the OSCE and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights combined. The organization believes that 500 people are needed to do a proper job.

      Covid?

      What a lame excuse!

      They are simply using Covid as a means to hide how they fix their so-called elections, coz that’s what Commie Russians always do, innit.

      Like

    2. The Oh-Dear can do just as effective a job of providing the Russian voters with a transparent and authoritative assessment of their forthcoming Duma State elections from the heart of Merrie Englande. They don’t have to be present; watch, I’ll show you.

      “There were many credible allegations from local organizations of incidents of ballot-stuffing and carousel voting. These were substantiated by time-stamped photographs from local activists of ballot boxes which they claim contained ballots which were not folded, and numbered in the hundreds before voting had even started. Many instances were noted of company employees being bussed in to voting stations, and local activists claimed the employees were ordered whom to vote for or risk losing their jobs. On several occasions international reporters were approached by apparent voters who asked them where they should go to get paid for voting for a particular candidate. The Duma elections were plainly neither free nor fair.”

      Did I miss anything?

      There is much buzz and speculation in our own newspapers over whether Trudeau will call an election this fall, and the blabber from the nation’s chief medical officer – some guy named Teresa Tam – over how sure he is that Canadians could carry out a vote safely (but nothing else, naturally, unless everyone is masked and double-vaccinated and has already signed up for a booster) suggests he fancies his chances and will do it. Why not? We’ve been a long time without entertainment and soon you will need a vaccine passport to watch anything, and this seems like free amusement.

      Like

  41. Can this be true (yes it is). The CDC (Center for Disease Control) now has the power to write laws. The law in question is to prevent eviction from rental properties (homes, apartments, trailers, etc) but still obligates landlords to continue mortgage payments. In short, private property will be expropriated by financial institutions. Nice! The “You will own nothing” forecast by 2030 is well on its way.

    The CDC is apparently claiming that they are acting to reduce the spread of Covid and has the power to issue any law that they deem appropriate. The US Supreme Court has ruled the CDC “law” as unconstitutional yet the Democratic Party sees no problem with the CDC law and presumably allow enforcement. The Republicans are silent

    The US society is undergoing a massive restructuring issued from the top. Our elected officials know their place and understand that resistance is futile.

    Like

  42. A comment under the above video:

    shawn stephens
    1 day ago
    “It’s just a mask.” “It’s just six feet.” “It’s just two weeks.” “It’s just non essential businesses.” “It’s just non essential workers.” “It’s just a bar.” “It’s just a restaurant.” “It’s just to keep from overwhelming the hospitals.” “It’s just to make the cases go down.” “It’s just to flatten the curve.” “It’s just a few inmates.” “It’s just to keep others from getting scared.” “It’s just for a few more weeks.” “It’s just church. You could still pray.” “It’s just a bracelet.” “It’s just an app.” “It’s just for tracing.” “It’s just to let others know you’re safe to be around.” “It’s just to let others know who you’ve been in contact with.” “It’s just a few more months.” “It’s just a large gathering but for protests.” “It’s just a few violent protests.” “It’s just a vaccine.” “It’s just a little microchip.” “It’s just a blood test.” “It’s just a scan.” “It’s just for medical information.” “It’s just a vaccination certificate.” “It’s just like a credit card.” “It’s just a few places that don’t take cash.” “It’s just so you can travel.” “It’s just so you can get your driver’s license.” “It’s just so you can vote.” “It’s just a few more years.” It’s just the NEW WORLD ORDER

    Like

  43. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/531316-us-bombs-defenceless-nations/

    A nation-state version of a psychopath, the US refuses to give up its addiction to bombing innocent people. In just over a month, it’s bombed Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan – and shows no signs of developing a conscience.

    Kill anything that moves

    March 15, 1968 was a normal day in America. The sun was shining. The birds were chirping. Race riots in Mississippi were entering their fifth day or so. And at the other end of the globe, in Vietnam, soldiers of the Americal Division’s Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, were being briefed by their commanding officer, Captain Ernest Medina, about the exploits of the next day, which would later be dubbed the “My Lai massacre” – where 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were systematically butchered in over four hours, not counting a lunch break the soldiers took in the middle of the carnage. The orders were clear and explicit: the soldiers were to kill every single human being, burn all houses, kill all animals, destroy all food supplies and poison all wells.

    As the briefing progressed, one incident stuck in the mind of artillery forward observer James Flynn, which he would recall years later. A soldier, whose name has been lost to history, expressed some apprehension about the wide-ranging nature of the orders. “Are we supposed to kill women and children?” he asked naively.

    “Kill everything that moves,” came the reply.

    Kill everything that moves. This same phrase would be repeated almost verbatim two years later by none other than Henry Kissinger himself while relaying US leader Richard Nixon’s orders: “A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves.”

    Our leaders (those we know and those we don’t) are in love with murder. Murder solves so many problems! And its fun – just ask chortling Hilary. And it builds confidence and self-esteem!

    Like

  44. Swiss miss: Russia projected to overtake Switzerland in chocolate exports by end of year
    August 7 2021, 06:15 GMT

    https://www.rt.com/business/531228-russia-chocolate-exports-switzerland/

    Russian exports of chocolate surged nearly 20% in the beginning of 2021, setting the country on course to beat the world’s favored chocolate maker Switzerland by the year’s end.

    “Russian exports of chocolate and chocolate goods increased by 18.6% by the end of Q1 2021 in volume terms and by 11.8% in value terms year-on-year.

    What a load of Kremlin propagandistic bullshit!

    Everyone knows that Russians can’t make anything, and what they do make is so crappy that nobody will buy it.

    Like

    1. I’ve always said, that Russian chocolate is good. So is Russian ice cream. But then, I’m an inveterate Kremlin Stooge, am I not?

      Eat your heart out, Hershey’s!

      Come to think of it, I have never seen Hershey’s on sale in the UK, the rest of Europe or in Mordor.

      Like

        1. If memory serves, Osenyi vals (Autumn waltz) was a pretty good soviet era chocolate bar, from my time in Mordor (1987-88). Anyway, maybe we’ll be hearing soon about how Putin is weaponizing chocolate.

          Like

          1. Ha, ha! Good one, and not accused thus far in so many words, although the press got awfully close when sanctions were leveled against Poroshenko’s candy company, Roshen, back when he was the beloved leader of Fortress Ukraine.

            Like

              1. As it happens, I’m out in the sticks now with my younger daughter Aleksandra and her pal, Svetlana. She-who-must-be-obeyed buggered off to Moscow yesterday on wedding business.

                My son Vladimir is getting hitched on 25 September, so Mrs. Exile and my future in-laws are buzzing around like blue arsed flies over preparations for the big day.

                Anyway, I digress: as soon as Mama had left for Moscow, Sasha asked me to go to the local village store to buy some chocolate.

                It’s not a “village”, as a matter of fact: in Russian it is literally a “living settlement”. The little shop there sort of resembles a store that you see in old Wild West movies — you know, everything there from molasses to kerosine. But most definitely they sell Russian — former Soviet —chocolate there. And I duly came back with two bars of “Alyonka”: one for Sasha and the other for Sveta.

                Sasha asked for chocolate as soon as mama had cleared off, as Mrs. Exile always scolds her if she eats too many sweet things, saying she’ll come out all over in spots.

                For my part, as soon as my beloved had headed off for the woods, beyond which lies the railway halt where local Moscow bound trains stop, I lit up my pipe and smoked away without any harassment from my spouse, who hates my smoking.

                She’s coming back tomorrow, worse luck.

                Like

                1. My goodness! It doesn’t seem all that long ago that you posted a photo of Moscow Exile Junior at his high school graduation. Who is the lucky lass?

                  Like

                2. The full Russian monty for the lucky lass who is about to have the immense good fortune of having me as her father-in-law is a certain Anastasia Mikhailovna Luganova.

                  She is 20 years of age and 2 days younger than my elder daughter, who was born on Christmas Day 2000.

                  Like

                3. Best wishes to Moscow Exile Junior and the new Mrs Moscow Exile! I hope their wedding day turns out sunny and well and Elena or Sasha gets to catch the bouquet. 🙂

                  Like

      1. There’s shelf space given to Hershey’s in Aldi and elsewhere (?Morrison’s) in the UK. Bill Bryson’s description of his amazement at the taste of European food, especially chocolate and cheese products, emphasised the general blandness of foods marketed to 300m+ people. Anything not for the mass market = “niche/boutique” and priced out of reach of many and unlikely to find shelf space easily.

        Like

        1. The complication for Hershey’s is that they (deliberately) use sour milk as an ingredient, which gives it a different (and to many people, offputting) taste. Hershey’s really aren’t my first. or even 7th choice, to be honest

          Like

        2. I procure German dark chocolate bars with hazel nuts from Aldi’s. Actually, I send my wife as I would be too embarrassed to buy 15 bars at a time.

          Like

      2. Hershey’ Special Dark chocolate is fine by me but certainly not the best. Hershey’s also engages in legal but otherwise deceptive advertising. They offer a “Hershey’s” chocolate syrup as an ice cream toppings. The bottle is colored like dark chocolate and says “chocolate – special dark” with “rich chocolate flavor”. There is 0% chocolate in the product. Fake, misleading and deceptive.

        Like

        1. Hershey had a lot of influence on the very beginnings of chocolate, back when they thought it was going to be a superfood for soldiers and that they could march all day on a few chocolate bars. If I recall correctly it was the Hershey company that added fat and sugar to give chocolate the smooth creamy mouth feel it has now; before that, it was more like the chocolate of the Aztecs, quite bitter and gritty.

          Actually old Porky Poroshenko’s Roshen chocolate is quite a good product; as I have probably mentioned before, some of our friends are quite patriotic Ukrainians, and when they returned from the Motherland on a visit they often brought quite a haul of the president’s profitable sideline back with them, and shared it.

          When I make hot chocolate, I prefer this; Camino dark organic.

          https://www.vitasave.ca/products/camino-organic-simply-dark-hot-chocolate-tin?variant=12371831455847&currency=CAD&gclid=CjwKCAjwgb6IBhAREiwAgMYKRn29IHXh36Cn8azZHdv3HpB1nGH3-wUf4YDe2Z04p01YPfRXp2xAixoC7bgQAvD_BwE

          But I also buy a bar of Lindt 78% cacao chocolate, and put one square of that in the cup with the powder and the hot water and some cream. Super chocolaty and delicious.

          Like

          1. Until 2017 that piece of shit Poroshenko still had a Roshen plant operating in Lipetsk — Russia.

            You know, in that country with which the Ukraine is at war.

            Like

    1. Daily Mail UK

      Cocktail stations, luxury Porta Potties and shrimp platters: Two pot-smoking DJs post VERY indiscreet photos from Obama’s ‘scaled back’ Martha’s Vineyard birthday bash labeled ‘hypocrisy at its finest’ amid Delta surge
      By Laura Collins Chief Investigative Reporter and Shawn Cohen In Martha’s Vineyard For Dailymail.Com and James Gordon For Dailymail.com
      22:57 BST 07 Aug 2021 , updated 06:29 BST 08 Aug 2021

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9872643/No-fly-zone-set-Obamas-12M-Marthas-Vineyard-mansion-Alicia-Keys-sing-Happy-Birthday.html

      Like

        1. Semi-literate British journalists at their very best — from the above Daily Mail article on Obama’s 60th birthday bash:

          The party has drew criticism in Republican circles after the Obama’s said it was ‘scaled back’

          British education aint wot it was like when I was at skool.

          Like

  45. https://www.rt.com/sport/531468-ukraine-russia-mahuchikh-lasitskene-olympics/

    Ukraine’s defense ministry will meet a high jumper “immediately” upon her return from Tokyo, condemning her hug with a Russian because of the civil conflict in the country’s east, which it called the “Russian-Ukrainian war”.

    Juvenile, pathetic and a bullying act I would say. Is there a better example of Ukrainian insanity? The apparent fear is weaponization of that spontaneous sportsmanship by Putin.

    Like

  46. https://thediplomat.com/2019/10/russia-to-help-china-develop-an-early-warning-system/

    A well balance analysis on early warning systems and cooperation between Russia and China. You just need to power through this uninformed bit

    At the same time, if Russia and China start catching up with the United States in the missile defense domain, a possibility for trilateral or multilateral defense-focused arms control may see an opening – although it is impossible to be sure of anything these days.

    Like

    1. Ha, ha, ha!!!! If Russia and China ‘start catching up to the United States’. Ha, ha, holy shit. To do that, they would have to lap them again so they could get back to being behind them.

      Like

    1. Sobol is married with a child. I wonder what her family thinks of her buggering off?

      According to Wiki:

      On 21 December 2020, Sobol went to knock on the door of alleged FSB agent Konstantin Kudryavtsev (who had recently provided details about the poisoning of Alexei Navalny) but was detained by police for more than six hours.

      Just for knocking on a door!

      The infamy!

      Like

    2. She probably will not, becoming instead another international ‘dissident’; Navalny was the test case for “The Russians will not dare to do anything to someone so popular’. But if she did return, and was jailed as her sentence mandates, it would be to howls of outraged surprise from the western press.

      Like

      1. She obviously could not face the conditions of her sentence, namely to stay at home between 22:00 and 06:00.

        She clearly could not face whiling her time away in the late evening at home with her husband and child, playing Scrabble or Cribbage or whatever.

        So she has abandoned her family so as to enjoy in the Free West those freedoms that are her natural right to enjoy, namely to throw hissy fits in public, act in contempt of court, and illegally organize juveniles to protest against “the regime”.

        Like

        1. Oh, I imagine it will not be long until her family joins her. The west seems to have a thing for coddling dissidents (look at the Poles with their pet Belarusian gymnast) and imagines it really gets up the target country’s nose. Reuniting La Famille Lubov would not bother Russia a bit, but the USA would giggle and clutch itself in gleeful anticipation of the blowup, and when it was not forthcoming, would just make it up. “Moscow fuming….”

          Like

          1. And who abroad will support Lyubov and her family?

            Not so many opportunities for a Russian lawyer abroad, I should imagine — and a crappy one at that.

            And she speaks shit English to boot.

            She addressed the Davos meeting of the great and the good a couple of years ago and journalists there voted her as the worst speaker of English as a foreign language ever: few could understand what she was trying to say.

            For that reason, comments were made as regards Daria I-get-free-education-at-Stanford-University Navalnaya’s address at Davos this year, where she appeared to receive her daddy’s award for being a heroic fighter for freedom and democracy, in that her command of English would be vastly superior to that which Lyubov spoke.

            Well, it would have been California English that Dasha spoke at Davos, I suppose.

            I guess she said on receiving the Bullshitter’s award: “Like wow!”

            Like

            1. That’s what I said; the west has a fetish for coddling dissidents. Unless Rodchenkov was just inventing his Lexus and his swank apartment, which he certainly could have been, given almost everything out of his mouth is a natural lie. But he seems to be living a quite-comfortable life in the west although he is mostly unemployable. Not to mention the swingin’ Stepanovs, who ran to ARD with their doping documentary; the AOC even tried to get an Olympic competition slot for Valerie Stepanova (I think that was her name, something that started with ‘V’ anyway, might have been ‘Viktoria’), it was so grateful for her ‘whistleblowing’, and they still live there somewhere under new identities. I’m sure Uncle Sam could afford to do the same for the Sobols, especially given it does not really have to support any of its raising of currency, instead simply making a few decimal-point corrections on the Treasury’s magic computer and conjuring money out of thin air.

              Like

          2. Belarus President Lukashenko reveals in a Q&A session with journalists that he knew Timanovskaya was already a trouble-maker controlled by Poland even before she was nominated to Belarus’ Olympic Games team:
            Athlete Timanovskaya recipient of presidential stipend, Lukashenko says

            Now that Timanovskaya is out of Belarus and Japan and in Poland, whither does she go now? Will her controllers abandon her to her fate or do they have more work for her to do?

            Like

      2. …it would be to howls of outraged surprise from the western press. and a big yawn in Russia. That old regime change magic is not working anymore?

        Like

  47. Ill-conceived, poorly executed and ready for the scrap yard after a short and highly uninteresting life:

    https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a37201509/navy-decommissions-uss-independence/?source=nl&utm_source=nl_pop&utm_medium=email&date=080921&utm_campaign=nl24651406&utm_term=AAA%20–%20High%20Minus%20Dormant%20and%2090%20Day%20Non%20Openers

    The U.S. Navy decommissioned the littoral combat ship (LCS) USS Independence last week after just 11 years in service. The ship—the first of a new class of warships designed to fight in the era of post-9/11 conflicts—served for less than half of its expected lifespan. Altogether, the service is removing the first four LCS ships from service, citing high upgrade costs.

    On July 29, the Navy removed Independence from the fleet during a ceremony at Naval Base San Diego. The event was closed to the public for health and safety reasons related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Next, the service will mothball Independence and assign it to the reserve fleet.

    A tugboat will take Independence to Bremerton, Washington, one of two reserve fleet locations on the West Coast. There, she will await recall orders in the event of emergency. If not recalled, the service will eventually scrap the ship.

    Could they turn it into a floating restaurant or something?

    Like

    1. And without so much as a minute of….ummm….littoral combat.

      Thanks for your analysis, Neil Young:

      “I tried to plug it in
      I tried to turn it on
      When I got it home
      It was a piece of crap.”

      Like

    1. That is a really good piece, and his insight that Ukraine will become a dumb rock in the center of a stream of global happenings purling right past it – because its people cannot legally read or listen to the news – is very thought-provoking. Unless unbiased and highly-professional public-information networks emerge in Ukrainian, and I think you will agree that is most unlikely. But what a propaganda windfall it would be to have a population which is forbidden from listening to any voice but the language of government.

      Like

    1. It really does sound like they are working toward a curated herd of strong backs and thick heads, doesn’t it? Ruled over by the super-rich elite, of course, admission strictly by invitation. America’s Doctor, the Great Fauci, is even now hounding the FDA to grant his ‘vaccines’ full approval and thereby draw the experimental phase to a close, thus – coincidentally – removing unwilling employees’ last objection to getting vaccinated through job coercion. They’re no longer EUA, bucko – roll up your fucking sleeve, and shut up.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/08/fauci-is-hopeful-covid-vaccines-will-get-full-approval-by-the-fda-within-weeks.html

      Like

      1. The drive for total vaccination defies all logic other than conditioning the population to accept such dictates for “the greater good”. I believe that a large fraction (30-40%?) of Americans have natural immunity from Covid exposure that is superior to any vaccine.

        It’s the demand that EVERYONE must be vaccinated shows the lie. I think people should be given three choices: no vaccination, injected with Covid to develop natural immunity (best choice for 80% of the population not already exposed) and take your chances with the vaccines.

        Like

        1. But ‘expert commentary’ from ‘the science’ claims that vaccine immunity kicks natural immunity’s ass. I saw that in that Globe and Mail article in which the clever journalist was systematically shooting down all objections broached by the ‘anti-vaxxer’ crowd and regaling her moonie audience with the crazy things anti-vaxxers believe about the magical and miraculous vaccines.

          Of course we know conclusively that that isn’t true, because the vaccinated in Israel are not even immune, but are showing breakthrough infections which sometimes result in hospitalization, after their THIRD shot, the magik booster that is supposed to kick their flailing, degenerating antibodies into top gear again after fading for six months.

          https://anti-empire.com/14-israelis-who-got-3rd-shot-already-tested-positive-for-the-covid-plague-of-death/

          They are supposed to stop using the PCR test as a diagnostic tool after December 31st, so the rush is on to roll everyone into vaccination before then. After that some new test will be devised, probably by Gates/Soros’s new testing company, which will tell the story that COVID has been eradicated as a threat through the miracle of mass inoculation. You did it for your community, and you are being rewarded. You might even get a few of your freedoms back, at least until the next variant emerges.

          Like

          1. Odd that an NIH reported (referenced somewhere in a previous post) that natural immunity was good including against the Delta variant. The report mentioned that vaccination was hoped to be as good but not yet proved as good as natural immunity.

            For the population up to 50 years of age, Covid is a none-issue. For the elderly already saddled with multiple comorbidities, it’s not good. I wonder why the always pick Covid as the cause of death in such cases? Wait, I know! Hospitals pocked a large sum of money for Covid deaths. Money getting in the way of science? Why yes, that is exactly what it is.

            Like

            1. I’ve heard that in Britain, many (maybe even a majority?) of people who supposedly died from COVID-19 in aged care homes – or had COVID-19 written on their death certificates as the cause of death – may have actually been overdosed with midazolam instead. The sedative may have been used in conjunction with opioids like fentanyl. One whistle-blower, Wayne Smith, was recently found dead.

              Did care homes use powerful sedatives to speed Covid deaths? Number of prescriptions for the drug midazolam doubled during height of the pandemic

              Like

              1. What an interesting article! Taking advantage of the crisis for profit and work-load reduction via accelerated deaths of the elderly? Fits like a glove.

                I have seen accelerated death in a hospital first-hand. I suppose that the rationale is that the patient may soon die anyway so lets put them down now to end their alleged misery (or free up a bed for a patient with a potential for higher financial gain). The family will accept the result (i.e. death) without question. The medical staff will spend a few minutes with the grieving family and then move on.

                Of course, it’s just a crazy conspiracy theory. We applaud our courageous and tireless healthcare work! So what if a nurse rakes in $250,000/year? So what if a hospital takes in $40,000 for writing cause of death as Covid? That is irrelevant! How could the allegations possibly be true? It can’t!

                The ugliness of the capitalist system shows itself. That is not to say that there are no compassionate/caring people in the medical industry – it’s that the deck is stacked against them.

                Like

                1. It’ll never go anywhere, because at the top of the stinking pyramid is the government minister who sent the elderly back to care homes – Hatt Mancock.

                  https://www.tech-gate.org/usa/2021/05/27/thousands-of-elderly-patients-were-sent-to-care-homes-with-covid-says-dominic-cummings/

                  The accusations are couched in the sort of ambiguities that prevent a solid lawsuit, and such a lawsuit would probably lose; the government said nothing like that went on, and there’s an end to it.

                  At some point over the last 2 years, western governments decided the totalitarian model wasn’t actually that bad after all, and decided further to adopt it. They are encouraged in their efforts by all the Little People who shout furiously from the editorial pages, “It’s not about your stupid freedoms! We all have to pull together! OBEY!!!!!”

                  Like

            2. ‘Science’ these days, at least in the realm of public health, seems to consist of tailoring ‘facts’ to the narrative – it actually has quite a lot in common with politics. I’ve seen plenty of headlines that announce COVID vaccines far outclass natural immunity – but the manufacturer is quite clear that the ‘vaccine’ might not grant you any kind of immunity at all, and their real promise is that you will not get very sick and you won’t die. Given that the vast majority of COVID ‘cases’ were not very sick – sometimes did not even know they were ‘infected’ – and did not die, it’s not much of a promise in exchange for being a participant in a global gene-splicing experiment.

              Like

  48. The Russian Ambassador to Germany says Nord Stream II will be finished by end-September.

    https://tass.com/economy/1323821

    Ready to go into service this winter, sounds like. Unless ‘the science’ finds Delta Variant COVID in it, I suppose. You never know – the Aussies found COVID in sewage.

    https://www.nationandstate.com/2021/08/09/fakepoos-trends-in-australia-after-premier-cites-non-existent-covid-tainted-sewage-as-a-reason-to-lock-down/

    You can’t be too careful.

    Like

    1. Yes, only the FSB wear leather jackets, and only Wagner mercenaries use Samsung tablets. The Cyrillic writing is a dead giveaway.

      The way they treat prisoners is an outrage – murdering them, and all. No word on whether they like to pile them up in human pyramids or lead them around on dog leashes, or make them stand on a box in the belief that if they step off, they will be electrocuted.

      Like

  49. https://www.rt.com/russia/531608-russian-liberals-pastukhov-article-putinism/
    Russia’s liberals have long hoped for a mass uprising against Vladimir Putin’s government. But, as the president’s support shows little sign of tailing off after almost 18 years in office, the revolution is nowhere to be seen.

    Now, a number of developments, including an essay in Russia’s liberal-leaning flagship newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, suggest that some are finally recognising a new approach is required. Last week the International Council on Central and East European Studies held its congress, where I attended a roundtable on the topic of Homo Sovieticus – the “Soviet man” (or to use a more disparaging term, the “Sovok”).

    Homo Sovieticus is a personality type whose overwhelmingly negative features are supposedly a product of the peculiar circumstances of life in the USSR, but who is said to have survived the collapse of the regime that created him. In the eyes of Russian liberals, it is the persistence of the Sovok, characterised by pessimism and love of authority, that is largely to blame for their country’s current problems.

    The roundtable participants were all of the view that Homo Sovieticus is a myth and were left trying to explain why the concept enjoyed such popularity. One panellist even produced a chart showing how the use of the term had increased dramatically in the Russian media since 2014. Let me hazard an answer as to why.

    Until 2014, the prevailing view among Russian liberals was that the Russian state had been hijacked by a small group of crooks who had next to no popular support. The way to bring the hated “regime” to an end was through revolution – by mobilizing the masses and bringing a sufficient number of them onto the street.

    The Bolotnaya protests in 2011-2012 boosted this mode of thinking. However, Bolotnaya’s failure and the huge surge of support for Putin that followed the 2014 reabsorption of Crimea forced a change in thinking. While a few oppositionists, such as Alexey Navalny and his dwindling gang of supporters, clung to the street protest formula, most were forced to recognise the reality that the government enjoys significant popular support. Consequently, they concluded that the problem was not a small band of “crooks and thieves” but rather the Russian people at large. The moral failings of the Russian people – i.e. Homo Sovieticus – provided a useful tool for explaining this phenomenon: thus the resurgence in the concept’s popularity.

    The above and the remainder of the article in interesting and credible.

    Like

    1. Moderate growth, Western sanctions notwithstanding!

      Sanctions imposed by the guardians of freedom and democracy in order to cure the Orcs of their errant ways and to force them to reject their aggressive expansionist policies and adhere to the norms of “Rules-Based Global Order”.

      Wonder what that miserable cnut Kudrin thinks of the OECD report?

      Like

    2. And it’s growth is not driven by deficit spending like the well-known global leader of all things wonderful and cool.

      Like

    1. Who really is in power?

      Joe Biden is just holding the place until Kamala takes over

      It seems everyone knows this and is okay with it. Even the supposed opposition

      Like

      1. That story must have come up after I had posted the above RT article about Navalny.

        Judging by the photos in the Voronezh article, the explosion must have happened on Prospekt Revolyutsiya, the long main drag in the city centre.

        I cannot imagine the explosion having been an act of terrorism. Galitsian Svidomite morons claim that Voronezh is on “historical” Ukrainian territory, and older folk in Voronezh Province speak with the aspirate “g” as do Ukrainians, but I see no reason why Banderite retards should bomb the place. On the other hand, I cannot imagine a mechanical fault having been the cause of an explosion that ripped the bus apart. So explosive substances, I reckon, must have caused the explosion.

        As stated in the article, someone might have been carrying explosives in the bus. Can’t imagine why, though.

        Like

        1. The sad latest news about this incident is that a passenger injured by the explosion has died:

          Пострадавшая при взрыве в Воронеже пассажирка автобуса скончалась

          Woman passenger injured in Voronezh bus explosion has died

          https://rg-ru.turbopages.org/turbo/rg.ru/s/2021/08/12/reg-cfo/postradavshaia-pri-vzryve-v-voronezhe-passazhir-avtobusa-skonchalas.html

          ”A woman with injuries to the lower third of her leg has died whilst under intensive care”, RIA Novosti reports information given by the regional health department.

          The department added that a total of 16 people were injured. Of these, 13 were hospitalized in emergency hospital №1. Three passengers are in a serious condition, they are in intensive care and one is currently being operated on.

          “The condition of five is of moderate severity; two are closer to satisfactory, two more people did not need hospitalization”, says the announcement.

          The explosion of a passenger-filled bus happened at bus stop in the centre of Voronezh at approximately 21:00 on Thursday, August 12.

          Investigators and explosives technicians are at the scene of the emergency. Various versions for explaining the event are now being worked out

          Like

  50. Another high ranking traitorous bastard who has sold out for the sake of freedom and democracy . . .

    На два месяца: суд арестовал гендиректора НИП гиперзвуковых систем по делу о госизмене
    12 августа 2021, 22:06

    Moscow court arrests scientist Alexander Kuranov for two months in a high treason case
    The Lefortovo court of Moscow has arrested Alexander Kuranov, General Director and Chief Designer of the Research Enterprise of Hypersonic Systems (NIPGS), for two months as part of a criminal investigation into high treason . . .

    . . .a TASS source in law enforcement agencies said that before Kuranov’s detention, FSB investigators conducted searches at the scientist’s places of residence and stay in St. Petersburg, and also escorted him to Moscow to choose a preventive measure for him.

    The source also said that Kuranov is suspected of transferring scientific developments to foreign special services. It is noted that so far he has not been formally charged.

    According to some media reports, Alexander Kuranov is a Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Control Systems and Technologies of St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, General Director and Chief Designer of JSC “Research Enterprise of Hypersonic Systems”.

    A law enforcement source also told TASS that Kuranov is one of the most sought-after Russian specialists in the field of developments related to hydrocarbon fuels in aircraft.

    If guilty, bang the bastard up for life!

    Like

    1. We’ll see. It’s fairly normal for scientists to hobnob with eachother. Consdering previous high level investations of scientists, it’s hard to believe that Kuranov would be ignorant. More likely the FSB was following known western spies/helpers who met with Kuranov or made friends and tried to pump him for knowledge.

      Like

      1. I’m simply following Western procedure as regards what Russians are alleged by the West to have done: assume guilt before proof of innocence, whereas anyone charged under Russian law is automatically presumed innocent in the West and remains innocent even having been found guilty in a Russian court of law because all trials in Russia are political, aren’t they?

        Like

        1. Not just Russians. Does anyone remember what happend to retired Rolls-Royce jet engine expert Bryn Jones who was a visiting professor at the University of Xian? Thought not. He was hauled in and tried (much of it in secret) even though he’d been out of the game twenty years but apparently had some link to the flying dead dog known as the F-35.

          For old times sakes, we last mentioned him in much the same circumstances last april!

          https://thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com/2021/02/21/doctor-politico-reliable-journatard/comment-page-5/#comment-57244

          Daily Fail: ‘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

          …Mr Jones is thought to have left Rolls-Royce in 2003 and launched a consultancy firm.

          Like

    2. Interesting to see if he was supplying information on the program to the Americans – and really, who else would it be? – given that they still can’t do it. Still, his specialty is said to be hydrocarbon fuels in aircraft, a subject on which there must already be considerable American knowledge.

      Like

  51. 15: 20 12.08.2021 (updated: 16: 56 12.08.2021)
    Lavrov has explained why the West does not recognize thr Crimea as Russian

    https://ria.ru/20210812/krym-1745491536.html?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com&utm_campaign=dbr

    SUDAK (Crimea), 12 Aug-RIA Novosti. Western countries are “well aware” that the Crimea is Russian, but they do not recognize it officially “solely in order to throw us off balance”, the Russian Foreign Minister said.Sergey Lavrov.

    “They are all well aware that the Crimea is Russian, and they are trying to play along with the openly racist, neo – Nazi actions and plans of the current Kiev regime solely in order to throw us off balance”, Lavrov told reporters when asked when Western countries would recognize Crimea as Russian.

    Like

    1. Huh? I’m not sure why non-recognition that they must surely have expected would be the case would ‘throw Russia off-balance’. I thought Russia had resigned itself that it was never going to have the west’s approval for anything but its suicide. And of course Team America was going to arm-twist its subordinates to insist they likewise refuse to recognize Crimea as Russian. It’s a little like saying ignorance of the law is no excuse – refusal to recognize reality is likewise no excuse to cry about what will happen to you if you go to KIev for permission to, say, a visit by your warships to visit Crimea, and obtain Kiev”s permission and proceed without asking Russia. You can refuse to recognize the reality of the situation by insisting ‘there was something wrong with the referendum’ or mouthing that ‘voting at the point of a Kalashnikov’ bullshit, but if you try to force your way you will find the Russians quite willing to set you straight on geography.

      There’s no reason western refusal to acknowledge reality should ‘throw Russia off balance’. The real reason for non-recognition was to poison Russia’s relationship with international bodies, as in “How can you talk about international law, or expect to benefit from its protection, when you stole Crimea from Ukraine?” Having to make its own way without support from the west will only make Russia more powerful and independent, and a dependence on the west – especially America and the UK – is potentially fatal as the degree of your dependence matches the degree of leverage those countries feel they can exercise over your politics and policies.

      Like

    1. Sweet FA on the BBC site about Rainsford, though, and it’s 1 hour and 36 minutes now as I write after that news was published by RT.

      BBC staff must still abed, pulling their plonkers.

      Either that or they think the Rainsford story is too unimportant for them to switch the “woke” stories that now abound on the BBC site.

      Like

    2. Yes, excellent news. Although ‘closely involved in anti-Russian activities’ is a bit of an understatement. Still, that’s diplomacy for you. Other western Russophobes seem to have no problem filing gripping stories on up-to-the-minute issues in Russia from Prague and other European capitals, so there’s no special reason Rainsford should be allowed to directly access her coterie of collaborators, and she can still do the same via email – although that offers the possibility of a written record of her agitation.

      Like

      1. And now a somewhat tardy reaction from the British state news broadcasting service to yesterday’s news that one of its correspondents in Russia shall not have her visa renewed following the expiry of its validity on 31 August:

        BBC accuses Russia of ‘assault on media freedom’ after correspondent’s visa is denied following UK sanctions
        13 August 2021, 22.02 GMT

        https://www.rt.com/uk/532005-bbc-rainsford-moscow-visa/

        “The expulsion of Sarah Rainsford is a direct assault on media freedom which we condemn unreservedly,” BBC director-general Tim Davie said on Friday. “Sarah is an exceptional and fearless journalist,” who provided “independent and in-depth reporting of Russia and the former Soviet Union.”

        BBC Director General

        Well who’d have thought that the BBC would have started harping on about “media freedom”!

        Rainsford has said she is “devastated” at being “expelled” from Russia after having lived here for a third of her life.

        She has not been expelled: she is still here, and can remain her legally until her visa expires at midnight, 31 August.

        It is imperative, however, that she leave Russia before her visa expires.

        That rule applies to every foreigner here.

        I had to leave when my visa (my full residency permit for a foreign citizen) expired after my inadvertently having failed to apply in time for its 5-year validity to be extended by another 5 years, even though, at the time, I had already been married to a Russian citizen for 20 years and was the parent of 3 Russian citizens, all minors and all still attending school.

        But I was allowed to return after my having applied for and received a Russian visa in the UK. But before I was allowed to leave Russia for the UK, I had to pay a 5000 ruble fine for breach of administrative law.

        Rainsford, however, has been told that an application for the renewal of her visa shall be refused.

        So it’s goodbye, Sarah, old girl, and don’t bother trying to come back.

        I had lived for more than one-third of my life in Russia when told to leave and get a new visa: 24 years of residence here out of my then 68 years of age.

        I wonder if the BBC would give me a start as their “Man in Moscow”?

        If that august British state “news” organization did employ me, what an insight I could give them “back home” into how life in Russia really is!

        Like

        1. Furthermore, I didn’t study Ancient Greek at university!

          I did work deep underground in a coal mine in the UK, though: a hewer of coal was I (with the help of a powerful “coal cutting” machine), “born to Labour and toil”.

          I was a member of that now much reviled by the UK “woke” “White British Working Class” and, therefore, an inherent racist reactionary, a dullard, uneducated and boorish by nature.

          Like

          1. I am the common man,
            I am a brute and a slave,
            I am scorned and despised
            From the cradle to the grave.

            I am the common man.

            I am a hewer of coal,
            I am a tiller of soil,
            As the surf of the seas
            Born to Labour and toil.

            I am the common man.

            I am the builder of halls,
            I am the dweller of slums,
            I am filth and I am scourged
            When winter’s dark depression comes.

            I am the common man.

            I am the fighter of wars,
            I am the killer of men,
            Not for a day or an age,
            But again and again and again.

            I am the common man,

            But masters of mine, take heed,
            For you have put into my head
            Oh many a wicked deed.

            Joe Corrie (1894 – 1968), former Scots coal miner and a poet.

            I once recited that poem when a student in the Soviet Union to Russian students of English at the university where I had been sent to study.

            They thought it was good.

            I wonder how present day students at the Moscow Higher School of Economics would accept that poem if I recited it to them?

            Like

        2. Посольство Британии призвало Москву не выдворять журналистку Би-би-си

          British embassy urges Moscow not to expel BBC journalist
          13 August 2021, 21:40

          https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/6116b4c69a794779273d2ae1?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

          Great Britain considers the decision of the Russian Foreign Ministry to refuse an extension of a work visa to journalist Sarah Rainsford unreasonable and calls for a change in the decision, the country’s embassy in Moscow told RBC.

          “We urge them (the Russian authorities – RBK) to reconsider this reactionary move against the award-winning BBC journalist”, the diplomats said.

          They also noted that such decisions of Moscow will continue to worsen the situation with freedom of the media in the country. The diplomatic mission did not agree with the accusations that Russian media workers are being harassed in the UK. “Russian journalists continue to work freely in the UK, provided that they act within the law”, the British Embassy summed up.

          Yesterday, Rainsford informed Bloomberg of the refusal to extend her viss, citing an unnamed employee of the Russian Foreign Ministry. According to the agency, the visa is to expire on August 31. As the presenter of the Russia 24 TV channel explained on the air, this measure was a symmetrical response to such actions against Russian journalists in the UK.

          Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also spoke about the difficulties of Russian journalists with British and American visas. But the Western media were not interested in these problems. “We regularly made statements suggesting that the British stop persecuting Russian journalists”, Zakharova recalled.

          The BBC criticized the Foreign Ministry’ decision and called for a reconsideration of the decision. “Sara is an exceptional and fearless journalist. She speaks fluent Russian and provides independent and in-depth reporting on Russia and the former Soviet Union”, said CEO Tim Davie. He noted that the BBC will continue to broadcast news from Russia independently and impartially.

          Yeah, right, Tim old chap !

          Why lookee here!

          What is this I see?

          RT London ad campaign rejected and redacted as ‘politically motivated’ (UNCENSORED)
          9 Oct, 2014 16:31 / Updated 7 years ago

          RT ads were rejected for outdoor displays in London because of their “political overtones.” Though posters had to be redacted, the original images could still be seen on them, with the help of a special mobile app.

          The censored posters, part of RT’s international “Second Opinion” ad campaign, were supposed to feature ex-US President George W. Bush and the former UK prime minister Tony Blair, but will instead show an empty space with a word “redacted” over it.

          https://www.rt.com/uk/194520-rt-ads-redacted-london/amp/

          Freedom of expression, free media, old boy?

          Like

          1. “As the presenter of the Russia 24 TV channel explained on the air, this measure was a symmetrical response to such actions against Russian journalists in the UK.”

            Problem? I’m afraid I’m not seeing it.

            Like

  52. There’s a trio of interesting articles over at Asia Times.

    Asia Times: A Saigon moment looms in Kabul
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/08/a-saigon-moment-looms-in-kabul/

    August 12, 2021 will go down as the day the Taliban avenged America’s invasion and struck the blow that brought down its man in Kabul

    by Pepe Escobar

    …This is a very good analysis ( https://www.dawn.com/news/1640212/red-zone-files-telling-the-pakistan-story ) of how hard it is for Khan and Islamabad to explain Pakistan’s complex involvement with Afghanistan to the West and also the Global South…

    …The absolute heart of the matter when it comes to Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan and Afghan interference in the Pakistani tribal areas is the completely artificial, British Empire-designed Durand Line.

    Islamabad’s definitive nightmare is another partition. Pashtuns are the largest tribe in the world and they live on both sides of the (artificial) border. Islamabad simply cannot admit a nationalist entity ruling Afghanistan because that will eventually foment a Pashtun insurrection in Pakistan….
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    The gift of colonializm keeps giving! I’m not particulary sympathetic to Pakistan’s side consiering its historical best bud’s role to the US vs. India during the Cold War and while it’s domestic politics may be ‘difficult’ (!), that looks more like an convenient excuse more than anything else for Islamabad’s failure (like others) to have proper central control over its own territory.

    Like

    1. Strategic Culture: Can They Learn? Another US Wargame Defeat
      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/08/08/can-they-learn-another-us-wargame-defeat/

      Patrick Armstrong
      August 8, 2021

      The war game turned out to be a rather accurate predictor of the future.

      (Note: by tradition, going back to the first Prussian Kriegsspiel, your side is “Blue”, the other side is “Red”. Soviets did it the other way round.)

      According to David Halberstam, when Washington was considering escalating its presence in Vietnam, a wargame was held to test options. More bombing aircraft were put into airfields in Vietnam; Red attacked the airfields. Blue brought in more troops to guard the airfields; Red started attacking the supply lines for those troops. More troops to guard the supply lines; more attacks on their support systems. And so on: everything the American side thought up was quickly and easily countered by the Vietnam team. The results were ignored: only a game, not really real….
      ####

      The rest at the link.

      What is not expressly said is that the ‘other’ side is willing to die, unlike us. In Vietnam they were locals and had nowhere else to go except by boat abroad or stay and fight to the bitter end. In Afghanistan they are mostly locals backed by huge numbers of poor brainwashed kids brought up gulf backed extremist madrassas in Pakistan. Money goes a long way and also paid for the Pakistani nuclear bomb…

      Like

      1. In the first hours of any future World War, both sides will lose their communications within hours to annihilation of satellites, sabotage and search-and-lock jamming. The test then will be to see who is the most skilled at independent maneuver in a complex, shifting battlespace without a constant stream of orders. Which side has the best passive capabilities, building an intelligence picture of who is who and where by listening on sophisticated sensors, and transmitting nothing? Who has the best preplans? Paul van Riper’s success in the Millenium Challenge wargames lay in his reliance on preplans – when you hear this, do this. He picked signals the war would not likely think to shut off, such as the sounding of the Muezzin, the Muslim call to prayer.

        As Patrick mentioned, he also used motorcycle dispatch riders to pass orders, likely verbal so that written copies could not be intercepted by the enemy. That’s fine in a land battle, but something a little more sophisticated must be devised for seaward assets.

        All major military powers have default preplans for various scenarios, but here’s the question – which side knows the other better? Which side can the more confidently predict what his opponent is going to do in a given situation?

        Like

  53. Asia Tiems: Mixed military messaging in South China Sea
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/08/mixed-military-messaging-in-south-china-sea/

    US-led joint naval effort to contain China in contested waterway is being diluted by the participants’ own national agendas

    …Some have implied that they are freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) challenging China’s claims. They are not.

    FONOPs are formal pre-programmed operational challenges with warships and warplanes against claims the US believes are inconsistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), such as prior permission to enter a territorial sea, closing baselines around the Paracels, or claims to low-tide features.

    Whatever it is that Beijing is claiming with its nine-dash line, it has no objection to normal passage of warships through the South China Sea. To imply that such passages are a challenge to China’s claims or FONOPs is inaccurate…
    ####

    More at the link.

    Quite a refreshing article and certainly not from the ‘free, fair and unbiased’ Pork Pie News Networks. Maybe they just like officers in uniforms? It’s better than asking real questions that may elicit real responses. Don’t ask, don’t tell!

    Nothing new for us Stooges though, but a good piece to keep and repost for morons.

    Like

    1. The trouble with the prevalence of the ‘international rules-based order’ is that the west, which writes it, does so to constrain its enemies and feels no particular obligation to obey it itself. If you write a maritime law which says you may claim this many miles from the low tide line as your maritime border, there’s no use getting shirty when your enemies do it. It’s damned hard, writing law that only benefits you.

      China has watched years of western tactics, and knows very well that if you yield a critical area of your regional strategic interest, it won’t be five minutes and the Americans will be building a base there, complete with massive airfields and port facilities if it fronts on the ocean. Then suddenly that whole area will be ‘our waters’ from the American point of view.

      America has only a few years left of its carefree money-printing, before its ability to magic money out of the air to finance its operations by simply moving decimals in the Fed’s computer is curtailed by economic reality. In that context, it seems kind of foolish to be taking on even more far-flung international commitments, particularly in the backyard of a powerful enemy. But I have given up trying to understand American foreign policy, which appears to be made up using the rule, “If we will it, then so shall it be”.

      Like

  54. The last one of the trio.

    Asia Times: The end of Chechen jihadis in Syria
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/08/the-end-of-chechen-jihadis-in-syria/

    Chechen fighters have occupied a near-mythical niche among rebel ranks in Syria but their time has come and gone

    Nearly a decade after it began, the era of Chechen and other North Caucasian jihadi fighters in Syria appears to be reaching its end.

    That, at least, is the appearance from the ongoing manhunt by the hardline Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) jihadi group for Murad Iraklievich Margoshvili, more usually known by his nom de guerre, Muslim al-Shishani, by all indications the last remaining independent Chechen commander in Syria’s rebel-held Idlib province…
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Very tough, not so bright it appears. More worrying is that some of these fighters will not ‘retire in Turkey’ but plan further events in Russia or continue their live as Jihadis for Hire and pass on their skills to the next generation with a ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ from the usual suspects.

    Like

    1. If Turkey were to order Margoshvili to go to Kabul in Afghanistan as part of its “forces” to defend the airport there, I wonder how he will react. If he refuses to go, he may end up being abandoned by the Turks and then soon there won’t be any independent Chechen commanders in Idlib at all.

      Like

  55. A bit late but…

    Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 5 AUGUST 2021
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2021/08/05/russian-federation-sitrep-5-august-2021/

    …LEVIATHAN. Russian movie: “But behind them – way, way behind them – stands the Leviathan of post-Soviet Russian politics, a figure who is never named and seen only in the official portrait on the mayor’s wall: Vladimir Putin“. Actually, a wholly American story. Never saw the movie but sure got the “only in Russia bit” from the reviews; didn’t knew the American source until Vladimir Golstein’s post…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    I won’t post the facebook link to Goldstein’s post here (F**kFBK) but it’s worth a read. I certainly do remember the Killdozer story that was transmuted from the USA though.

    Like

  56. Grown tired of being fucked over by the Yew Ess of Aye, Belarus has withdrawn its approval for the US Ambassador to Belarus, Julie Fisher. Additionally, America has been invited to reduce its Embassy staff in Belarus to just 5 people, by September 1st.

    https://anti-empire.com/belarus-revokes-authorization-for-new-us-ambassador/

    Another great day for American diplomacy; they might have to start thinking about shutting down that institution where they train future US Ambassadors to Here and There. Doesn’t seem to be much call for ’em, I’m afraid.

    Like

        1. Lukashenko brought this all on himself

          He really thought flirting with the west was a good idea and that he could control the outcomes

          He invited the fox into the henhouse
          Lukashenko did not have a clue he was on the menu

          I hope that Belarus can remain stable

          Like

          1. While I agree it haw been a wake-up for Lukashenko on the wisdom of trying to play both ends against the middle, I don’t see any cause for alarm. He seems to have things well in hand, and I’m confident the USA is not going ton send in the marines and defend the Embassy. This is the kind of exchange which relies on courtesy and the blessing of the host government, and if they says get, you get. America doesn’t have a leg to stand on as there is no law in the ‘rules-based international order’ that provides for it to defy a government order to depart.

            Next Lukashenko should move to clean house on western political NGO’s. I don’t know how many are still there, but I’m sure it’s a lot more than remain in Russia.

            I will be away for a couple of days, so nobody should infer anything if I am absent from the blog. If someone makes a post and it goes into the spam filter, sorry about that. I’ll clean it out when I get back.

            Like

        2. The link works fine for me.

          There’s nothing wrong with the President relying of his or her advisors, because nobody can do a job like that alone. But Biden is so dotty his personal participation is nearly nil, the more so if it is judged by its effectiveness, and consequently there is doubtless bitter infighting over who would be the best choice (as Ambassador) to most strategically bring American influence to bear in various countries. Because that’s what it’s all about for Washington – control.

          Like

      1. But he also said Biden deserves credit for picking people with experience — including among the more controversial political picks, even campaign donors.


        Of the roughly two dozen-plus political ambassador appointees announced, more than half are political bundlers, according to Dennis Jett, a retired ambassador and Penn State University professor who wrote the book American Ambassadors.

        He describes some of these postings as a national security threat.

        “If we were talking about selling the command of an aircraft carrier to a real estate developer, people would go absolutely ballistic because that would be a threat to national security,” he said.

        Last week, Biden announced a new round of ambassador nominations that included two top donors to his 2020 presidential campaign.

        That article wanders around like a drunk frat boy. Biden picks competent people, Biden picks political hacks and donors. Which is it? My guess is that are all hacks, some more polished than others but all hacks.

        Like

        1. It says, “More than half are political bundlers”, meaning it is possible to hire a competent professional and to get a dozen or so of his/her staff as part of the ‘bundle’, the latter being just so-so or perhaps completely incompetent, but part of the show because of owesies or some other consideration.

          Like

  57. Regarding the hole drilled in a Soyyz spacecraft docked to the ISS:

    https://tass.com/science/1325275

    “That is, the drilling was done by a person who had not undergone training in the design of the Soyuz MS spacecraft,” he noted.

    Such damage could not have been done on Earth, as the spacecraft would not have passed tests in a vacuum chamber before its launch, the source stressed.

    “Therefore, Roscosmos immediately ruled out the version of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft’s damage on Earth,” he added.

    On August 30, 2018, a drop in air pressure was detected aboard the International Space Station. It turned out later that the air was leaking through a hole in the habitation compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. Specialists concluded that the hole had been drilled in the spacecraft’s hull from inside.

    Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin announced in September 2019 that the Russian space agency knew the origin of the hole but would not disclose this information to the public.

    The finger of suspicion points to a US spacewoman who desperately wanted to return home. She allegedly plugged up a toilet as well, perhaps to force a reduction in the crew size. I wonder if they will make a Hollywood movie – Escape from the ISS – A true story of an American woman seeking freedom in a daring space adventure!

    Like

    1. Yup, it was an American spaceperson I believe. Per Tass:

      MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. Russian cosmonauts took a lie detector test to clear up the situation with a hole discovered on the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft while NASA astronauts rejected it, a high-ranking source in the domestic space industry told TASS on Thursday.

      “The Americans refused to take a lie detector test, in contrast to the Russian cosmonauts,” the source said.

      The Russian side received no possibility to examine the tools and drill bits available on the International Space Station for the presence of the remainder of metal chips from the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, he emphasized.

      i am sure that there are qualified American woman astronauts but I wonder if there is a quota of female astronauts that must be filled regardless of the availability of qualified candidates.

      Like

      1. NASA issues a denial that their spaceperson attempted sabotage of the Soyuz spacecraft.

        https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NASA_says_Russian_media_allegations_US_astronaut_drilled_hole_in_ISS_not_credible_999.html

        And

        https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/32832/20210813/nasa-debunks-russian-space-agencys-claim-astronaut-having-breakdown.htm

        Debunk – what an overused word! NASA refused to release the medical records of the spaceperson in question and refused to allow examination of the tools in possession of the US astronauts to prove/disprove their possible use in the sabotage. Claims that the spaceperson was not at the site of the sabotage when the leak was detected is misdirection as the leak, being small, took some time to be detected; certainly many hours if not several days.

        Like

      2. Anyone who refuses the polygraph is not only within his/her rights in that guilt or innocence may not be inferred from the refusal (they frequently present the opportunity to you as a ‘chance to clear your name’, which you don’t need if you’re not guilty of anything), but is making the correct decision into the bargain. The polygraph is (a) a setup in which the polygraph technician convinces the mark through a few simple tricks that the machine really can read his/her mind, (b) has never caught a real spy, and (c) is maximized to obtain a confession from a subject who is guilty and knows it. It does nothing to the innocent but occasionally frighten them into a false confession.

        Like

  58. RT

    Эксперт назвал отрезвлением слова польского журналиста о «предательстве» США и ФРГ

    https://russian.rt.com/business/news/895933-polsha-severnyi-potok-amerika?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    Expert describes Polish journalist’s words about the “betrayal” of the United States and Germany as a sobering up
    August 14, 2021, 13:41

    Vladimir Olenchenko, Senior Researcher at the Centre for European Studies, IMEMO RAN, in an interview with RT, has commented on the words of Polish journalist Andrzej Szczęsnyak, who called the agreement between the United States and Germany on Nord Stream 2 “a betrayal by allies” and Nord Stream 2 as “the most hated gas pipeline in the whole wide world”.

    “Maybe the Poles are sobering up. They thought they were allies, but in fact they were an American tool. All this was clear to everyone, except for the Poles themselves: they had such illusions that they were supposedly some kind of ally, that they would be consulted, that their opinion was of interest to anyone. In fact, the Americans needed them only as a tool for their own use. When this tool was no longer needed by then, it was put back into the tool shed and that was that”, Olenchenko said.

    According to him, for those who are “professionally engaged” in politics, there is nothing new about this.

    “This journalist was probably in a state of some kind of illusion. The fact is that the Americans have behaved just as they usually behave with everyone. That is to say, they do whatever suits them, they do it whenever it suits them and they do whatever is profitable for them. That’s their way of doing things”, Olenchenko said.

    Earlier, the Polish journalist and energy expert Andrzej Szczęsnyak called the agreement between the United States and Germany on the completion of the construction of Nord Stream 2 — “the most hated gas pipeline in the whole wide world” — “a betrayal of their allies”.

    As the specialist has stated in his article for “Myśl Polska”, Poland had been told every day that the country was acting as “David fighting Goliath” in its resistance against the implementation of the project.

    Like

    1. He’s wrong about everything else; might as well be wrong also about it being the most hated pipeline in the whole world. A simple mistake for someone to whom Poland is the whole world. Amazing, I know, but there are a few bits of the world which lie outside of Poland’s borders. And Poland is a one-night stand for America – I would have put it in much baser terms than the journalist, who must be a bit of a romantic. Once America was done banging her up against the wall of the cowshed, he moved on and left her with stars in her eyes and cowshit on her shoes.

      Like

  59. By the way, have any of you stooges seen how much pension Merkel will pick up when she retires as Chancellor of Germany?

    Neue Berechnung enthüllt, wie viel Rente Angela Merkel bekommen wird
    Gestern, 14.08.2021 | 11:55

    https://russian.rt.com/business/news/895933-polsha-severnyi-potok-amerika?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    New calculation reveals how much pension Angela Merkel shall receive
    Yesterday, 08/14/2021 | 11:55

    Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) will receive monthly retirement benefits of around 15,000 euros after her having left office, according to a calculation by the taxpayer association. These pension entitlements result from her long-standing membership in the Bundestag and from her time as Federal Minister and Chancellor, the organization announced on request on Friday.

    That’s a cool $5,981.95 a month.

    Like

      1. That waste of space “Lady Ashton” — remember her: “Oh gosh” Lady Ashton? — was the highest paid pensioner in Europe following her retirement as the so-called EU Foreign Minister. She had never been elected to any position, neither in the UK nor in the EU Brussels political machine.

        Merkel wasn’t elected as Chancellor of Germany either — not by popular mandate, that is. She was elected according to the German “Grundgesetz”, which is not a “constitution” — the Germans have no constitution — by members of the Federal Parliament.

        Like

        1. McFaul did a lot better per your earlier link – million dollar salary, big house, rubbing shoulders with the leaders of the free world and oodles of adoring fans. Life is good for an a well-connected, if moronic, a-hole. Someone commented that McFaul proves that a meritocracy does not exist in the US. Amen.

          Like

      2. On a very small scale, and this was awhile back now, it compares with the scornful statements of Canadian Alliance MP Deborah Grey from Edmonton, who regularly compared her fellow parliamentarians to ‘pigs guzzling at the public trough’, robbing the public blind with juicy lifetime pensions that one need only be re-elected once to qualify for. She would have none of it, she said proudly, and opted out with a great deal of fanfare….then quietly bought back in while she could still do it on her parliamentary salary.

        https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/taxpayers-group-upset-with-deb-grey-1.276210

        Like

  60. Saigon redux?

    US Reportedly Begins Kabul Embassy Evacuation as Biden Sends 5,000 Troops for ‘Safe Drawdown’
    15 August 2021, 07:39, updated 09:28

    https://sputniknews.com/asia/202108151083606427-us-reportedly-begins-kabul-embassy-evacuation-as-biden-sends-5000-troops-for-safe-drawdown/

    You bet it is!

    Taliban take Jalalabad without fight, leaving Afghan government encircled in Kabul
    15 August 2021, 07:10 GMT

    https://www.rt.com/news/532081-taliban-afghanistan-jalalabad-kabul/

    Like

  61. Game, set and match?

    Afghanistan news – live: Taliban enter Kabul, government says as UK ambassador ‘to be airlifted
    Sam Hancock
    @samhancock95
    3 minutes ago

    The Taliban has officially entered Kabul, according to reports, with three Afghan officials telling the Associated Press that militants are now present in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman.

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, because they weren’t authorised to release the information, the officials said no fighting had ensued yet.

    Mission Accomplished or Allahu akbar chaps?

    Like

  62. Tass.com: Russia to issue visa to BBC journalist if Russian journalist gets visa in London -diplomat
    https://tass.com/politics/1325925

    Maria Zakharova refutes BBC correspondent’s claims she is banned from entering Russia

    …”Once the Russian correspondent is given a visa, Sarah will be given it, too. That is exactly what we suggested when calling on London to unblock the visa impasse for journalists,” Zakharova said.

    The words of Sarah Rainsford, BBC correspondent in Russia, that she was banned from entering Russia are manipulation, as the Russian side has never told her anything like, Maria Zakharova wrote.

    “She has not been told such a thing. A journalist, even a British journalist, who has lived a third of her life – by her own estimation – in the Russian-speaking environment, should understand the difference between ‘never come back’ and ‘revoke a journalist visa and accreditation indefinitely.’ But we are used to this kind of manipulation with information,” Zakharova said.

    The decision not to renew BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford’s visa was just a tit-for-tat measure, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman wrote.

    “Let me emphasize again that the Russian measure (unlike the British imitative) is purely retaliatory. It has nothing to do with infringement of the freedom of expression,” Zakharova stated.

    The diplomat recalled that British officials attempted to link the Rainsford case to “a deteriorating situation with freedom of the media in the Russian Federation.”

    “We have to state that these statements are false,” Zakharova stressed.
    ####

    If you read Rainsford’s comments you can see that she was most undiplomatic, even emotional and unprofessional. After all, al-Beeb s’Allah reporters have the god given right to go anywhere and report what they like. The BBC were told in advance precisely why the (re-)actions were be taken but of course put their own ‘spin’ on it.

    Like

    1. Like