In International Affairs, What You Say Matters Less Than How Quickly You Answer.

Uncle Volodya says, “Sometimes there’s not a better way. Sometimes there’s only the hard way.”

“Watch a man–say, a politician–being interviewed on television, and you are observing a demonstration of what both he and his interrogators learned in school: all questions have answers, and it is a good thing to give an answer even if there is none to give, even if you don’t understand the question, even if the question contains erroneous assumptions, even if you are ignorant of the facts required to answer. Have you ever heard a man being interviewed say, “I don’t have the faintest idea,” or “I don’t know enough even to guess,” or “I have been asked that question before, but all my answers to it seem to be wrong?” One does not “blame” men, especially if they are politicians, for providing instant answers to all questions. The public requires that they do, since the public has learned that instant answer giving is the most important sign of an educated man.”

– Neil Postman

For the west, at least, all questions regarding trouble in the world have the same answer – Putin. All conversational roads, you might say, provided the conversation is about an election stolen, an incipient war bubbling like an evil stew, the road not taken…lead to the President of the Russian Federation.

I’ve said before and will say again that I consider Mr. Putin the greatest – and perhaps the only – statesman alive today, and I will miss him when he’s gone. But the ones who will be snuffling into their black hankies at his funeral, whether present in person or only in spirit, will be the luminaries, policymakers and sages of western government as well as the celebrities of western news networks and journalism. The departure into the mystic of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will mean they will have to learn to think again when invited to attribute responsibility to some minor or major calamity.

Who’s to blame for instability in eastern Europe? Putin. Who put the haywire in European energy markets? Putin. Who’s making Joe Biden’s government look like someone arranged the high-speed collision of chaos theory and the law of unintended consequences? Putin. Who’s home screwing your wife while you’re at work? You know.

Thus it is that when the new year kicked off, it was easy to put the blame for the boiling over of unrest in Kazakhstan where it belonged – Putin. Thanks, et Al and Moscow Exile, for the link.

As with so many current events these days, when the world seems to make less sense every time the sun starts its daily pilgrimage from east to west, I hardly know where to start. The popular protests in Kazakhstan began in Zhanaozen when drivers learned the price of fuel had doubled overnight. Protests tied to the rising cost of living simmered throughout 2020, and boiled over on New Year’s Day. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) is, unsurprisingly, broadly approving of the protesters, just as it is enthusiastic about protest anywhere in the lands of its enemies and just as broadly scolding about protests at home or in countries which are its allies. There are degrees and gradations of government in the western lexicon; friendly governments are to be heard and obeyed by their populations, while their leaders are accorded generous slack in the methods they may use to keep the recalcitrant in line, and those methods are termed ‘protecting the country’. In the bitter and authoritarian countries of non-aligned governments, resistance and opposition are transcendingly noble, and measures taken by the government to control them are ‘crackdowns’. If you paid close attention to the foregoing two sentences and are not afraid of changing jobs, you probably know enough already to be a journalist for Reuters or the Associated Press.

But that’s wandering from the point. Kazakhs have grounds to protest. But what happens when you express outrage against a government decision, and the President accepts the resignation of the government and reverses the policy that sparked the complaint? Wasn’t that what the protesters wanted? Apparently it was not, since they went on smashing stuff and setting fire to things, to the point the President decreed no more fucking around, and invested security forces and law enforcement with the authority to shoot to kill where necessary to prevent damage to public property, and prevent the situation in the streets achieving thermal runaway. And petitioned the Russian Federation for additional security forces to maintain public order. That, of course, was Putin making his move, since he planned the whole protest crisis ten moves in advance and knew exactly what would happen – his battle-hardened Special Forces Orcs probably had lunch and dry socks already packed.

Let’s take a little closer look at that, what say? We could do worse than starting with the overall hyperbolic hysteria of the piece’s author, Andrew ‘Hyperbole’ Higgins. Let’s look at an example; here’s Higgins.

“After offering in August 2020 to provide what he called “comprehensive assistance” to help President Alexander Lukashenko of neighboring Belarus halt a wave of huge protests, Putin then sent “peacekeepers” to stop a vicious war over disputed territory between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia has stationed more than 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine to press demands that Kyiv abandon its yearslong flirtation with NATO.”

Notice how ‘peacekeepers’ is in quotation marks, which is journalist-speak for ‘so-called’, meaning ha, ha, we’re wise to your tricks, Putin. This is perfectly in line with his contention that once Russian ‘peacekeepers’ are installed in someone else’s country, they never go home. They become a permanent and threatening fixture, their presence a constant reminder of Moscow’s mailed fist.

Here’s how the same situation was reviewed in a report entitled, “Azerbaijan and Armenia: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict”, prepared for the Congressional Library of the United States by authors Cory Welt and Andrew S. Bowen, both analysts in Russian and European Affairs.

“Long-standing U.S. policy over several Administrations has been to facilitate a resolution to the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict that would achieve a negotiated settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh’s political status, peaceably restore Azerbaijani control over territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh, and provide security for residents of and returnees to the conflict zone.”

We all still on the same page, here? The United States of Do As I Say has as regional priorities (1) a negotiated settlement; (2) peaceful reiteration of Azerbaijani control; and, (3) security for residents anbd returnees. Well, the brief war is ended, so how did that conclusion come about?

“During fighting from September to November 2020, Azerbaijani forces captured territory—eventually including the strategically located town of Shusha (in Armenian, Shushi)—through several advances. Poised to attack Nagorno-Karabakh’s urban center of Stepanakert (in Azerbaijani, Khankendi), Azerbaijan ceased offensive operations after Armenia agreed to a cease-fire agreement mediated by the Russian Federation. The agreement obliged Armenian/Nagorno-Karabakh forces to withdraw from additional territories they had controlled since the 1990s and introduced about 2,000 Russian troops into the conflict zone as peacekeeping forces.”

For some reason, the report’s authors did not find it necessary to surround ‘peacekeeping forces’ with sarcastic airquotes. Tell me more.

“The autumn 2020 war was a short but brutal conflict that ultimately did not resolve the disputed political status of Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the war’s local and regional consequences continue to unfold. The conflict led to the deaths of at least a few thousand armed personnel on each side and dozens of civilians. Azerbaijan recovered territories that had been lost to it for more than a quarter of a century, and the Azerbaijani government has promised to make the investments necessary to enable hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis displaced in the 1990s to return to the region. Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh have gained a new sense of insecurity, tempered by the presence of Russian forces, and many remain displaced. A new balance of power exists between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and regional powers Russia and Turkey have increased their influence.”

So Russian direct intervention – as opposed to shouting “Cut it out, y’all” from far away like Mike Pompeo did or making dithering appear to be decision like European leaders did – made it a short conflict; since Russia was otherwise uninvolved, it had nothing to do with the ‘brutal’ part. But America’s preferred victor – Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan – crashed and burned like the Hindenburg. Well, as the various artists who covered Danny O’Keefe’s “Good-Time Charlie’s Got the Blues” sang, some gotta win, some gotta lose. Bear in mind that Pashinyan came to power in a western-sponsored political reversal of fortune, inspired by protests over utility costs that the label-o-holic western press dubbed “Electric Yerevan”. But the conflict was ended. It did not resume. What’s wrong with referring to the political and military influences that brought that about as peacekeepers without sarcastic quotation marks?

Anyway, that’s just an example of Captain Hyperbole’s partisan ramblings. Let’s move on.

“The arrival in Kazakhstan of 2,500 troops from a Russian-led military alliance amid continuing spasms of violent protest was the fourth time in two years that Moscow has flexed its muscle in neighboring states — Belarus, Armenia and Ukraine being the other three — that the West has long tried to woo.”

Mmmm…the west has long tried to woo Kazakhstan. By allowing Kazakhstan to offer investment opportunities to US oil giants, presumably. But ‘wooing’ sounds…persuasive, and sort of sweet; an atmosphere fostered by President Joe Biden’s warm assurances that “the United States is proud to call your country a friend.” President Biden has sniffed Kazakhstan, and found it good.

Oh, but.

“For Mukhtar Ablyazov, a Kazakh tycoon who fled into exile after falling out with his former patron, Nazarbayev, the current wave of protests and the Kazakh government’s appeal to Moscow for military help to crush them is proof that the West miscalculated and handed Russia a big win.

Kazakhstan, he said Thursday as Russian troops deployed, succeeded in “putting the international community to sleep” with promises of big contracts. “The result: Kazakhstan is now under the boot of Putin, who takes advantage of this to extend his power.”

Regular readers of this blog should feel their spider-senses start to tingle when they read the word ‘tycoon’ applied to a an aw-shucks local businessman who is also an expert confidante of the west. ‘Tycoon’ is what the fawning western press labeled Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine, although ‘oligarch’ or ‘crook’ was good enough for wealthy opponents like Igor Kolomoisky, which should not be interpreted as an endorsement of Kolomoisky. Poroshenko continued to run his myriad businesses, and even added a few throughout his presidency, which traditionally open democracies – a quaint concept that expired in the late 1960’s – used to term a ‘conflict of interest’. Nary a word of complaint from the brave corruption-fighters in the western media. In fact, they didn’t even notice at the time that President Poroshenko was too busy setting up an offshore shell company through Panamanian corporate-services provider Mossack-Fonseca to notice that leading elements of the Ukrainian Army were getting their asses handed to them in the Debaltseve encirclement. All Putin’s doing, naturellement. Probably why he’s so happy – or so a very bitter Anna Nemtsova tells us he is – to learn that Poroshenko has been formally charged with treason against the Ukrainian state and financing of terrorism.

Anyway, if you felt that little warning shiver, your instincts served you well – whoops!! Mukhtar Ablyazov is also, when he’s not busy being a tycoon and a western expert source, a ‘top Kazakh opposition figure’! Who could have seen that coming? He’s actually head of the “Democratic Choice of Kazakhstan”, which probably saved him the trouble of popping ’round to the State Department to present his credentials; the name kind of says it all. In case any lingering doubts remain in the minds of the stubbornly impartial, Mr. Ablyazov’s prescription for What Ails Kazakhstan is “The West should tear Kazakhstan away from Russia.” That’s a quote. Which might leave you wondering curiously, “what kind of proud friend goes behind your back to hobnob with opposition exiles, and takes counsel from them that the future direction of your nation should be determined by violent external intervention?” The kind that will kick your fucking feet out from under you faster than you could say “welcome to Kazakhstan”, that’s what kind.

Hey; you know what I’d like to see? Some real, honest-to-goodness Higgins analysis. Let me see here…why, no sooner said than done!

“Kazakh authorities say that dozens of protesters have died in the unrest so far, with many more injured, and that 18 security officers have been killed. If the clashes drag on, the Kremlin could wind up alienating a broad swath of the Kazakh population, which in large cities like Almaty often speaks Russian and had been relatively pro-Russian. That would repeat the scenario in Ukraine, where anti-Russian sentiment has become so strong that it is unlikely to subside for years or decades.”

And with that, the slobbery lips of the quicksand closed over his head. According to polling data from 2019 published in 2020 – after Ukraine had supposedly been ‘at war with Russia’ for 5 years – even in the Russophobic west of Ukraine, 71% of respondents held a positive view of the Russian people. Far fewer held a positive view of the Russian government, but that is hardly a surprise since it is blamed for all their problems. And it should be looked at in context – at the same time, President Zelensky’s popularity rating in the country he was leading fell more than 20 percentage points in only two months, while the percentage of his electorate which viewed him negatively nearly tripled. While we’re still on the subject of context, Putin outperformed both President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in polls of American Republican voters just six months ago. He barely beat Trudeau (although Canadian voters were not asked), but he smoked Biden by a full ten percentage points. If – ha, ha – Joe Biden is planning on a second career after this hitch, and it does not involve a taxidermist, he might want to consider not citing his latest employers as a reference.

But here’s an angle that seems to me to have gone broadly unexplored, and it’s a viewpoint that speaks to both the continued fury of the protesters and the possibility of outside meddling from somewhere other than the ever-popular spoiler Putin. Why did the Kazakhstan government take the provocative step of boosting fuel costs in the first place? Was it simply greed, as those who would like to see another change of government in Kazakhstan contend? Maybe – maybe not; it depends on who you believe. Because according to Bloomberg, interest-rate hikes and reduction of external risk by the Kazakh government in 2020 were linked to its efforts to strengthen the national currency (the Tenge), stabilize pricing of staples and reduce the use of the US dollar in the Kazakh economy. I daresay if readers put their minds to it, they could draw some lines linking “large oil producer” and “moving away from the dollar” and “looks like Kazakhstan needs some freedom”.

Let’s bring it on home. Like Bashar al-Assad and Alexander ‘Lucky’ Lukashenko before him, Tokayev asked for security assistance from Russia because he felt confident that he would get it, that it would arrive promptly and that it would be an effective tool to help him regain control. Russia responded to a state request for military assistance, which is instead being portrayed in the western media as a subversive trick to secure more influence for Russia. That is extremely likely to be the outcome, but it’s hard to see how the overall situation was a satanic plot by Putin. Russia earned goodwill from Syria and Belarus by minding its own business until its help was invited, considering the request without delay or gloating when it came, and supplying assistance that quickly and efficiently resolved the problem to the satisfaction of the ruling government. There is every reason to imagine the same sequence, or one very similar in execution and resolution, will unfold in Kazakhstan.

“It is a doctrine of war not to assume the enemy will not come, but rather to rely on one’s readiness to meet him; not to presume that he will not attack, but rather to make one’s self invincible.”

Sun Tzu, from “The Art of War”


387 thoughts on “In International Affairs, What You Say Matters Less Than How Quickly You Answer.

  1. 08: 00 15.01.2022 (updated: 08:08 15.01.2022)
    Putin has declared war on Europe – it is not too late to surrender

    The West is not just waiting for Russia’s response to its refusal to guarantee NATO non-expansion to the east: the theme of Russia’s imminent invasion is being pushed. And it is no longer just about the Ukraine.

    “Independent Ukraine” is only the first target, although it is the one that they are most worried about. Former U.S. State Department special envoy to the Ukraine Kurt Volker says “We should be worried about what happens in the next few weeks” because there is a chance that Putin “will resort to some action” against the Ukraine by mid-February. Why wait until mid-February? Because the Russians “want to be able to conduct a military operation on frozen ground and complete it before the ground thaws”.

    But in general, Volker is convinced that Putin has decided to restore — no, not even the USSR, as the Anglo-Saxons are increasingly saying — but the Russian Empire.

    [By Woden’s beard, how I loathe that term “Anglo-Saxons” when loosely and ignorantly applied! Since when has the population of the USA been “Anglo-Saxon”? Over 80% of USA citizens of European descent have German forebears. And the population of the UK — NOT England! —has plenty of Celts who are British citizens. The UK head of state is not “Anglo-Saxon”, nor is the head of that state’s 1st minister. I am, though — ME]

    President Putin has decided that this is the year he wants to restore the Russian Empire. Because this year is the centenary of the founding of the Soviet Union on the territory of the former Russian Empire. So, with the annexation of these territories to Russia — Belarus, part of the Ukraine, including the Crimea which he illegally annexed, the Donbass, as well as Northern Kazakhstan, part of Georgia, part of Moldova — I think he sees himself as an autocratic restorer of the Russian Empire


    Yes, yes, that’s right: those Russians always do everything on anniversaries. Apparently, they originally wanted to do it last November, the 300th anniversary of the proclamation of Russia as an empire, but, as usual, they did not do it in time, so they decided to mark the 100th anniversary of the USSR, but decided to restore the empire rather than the Soviet Union.

    Now I understand why the Finns got so worked up and started saying that nobody can deprive them of the right to decide for themselves whether to join NATO or not: Finns were once a part of the Russian Empire. [Technically incorrect: the Tsar of All the Russias was not the Tsar of Finland, but its Archduke, and Finland was an Archduchy — ME] It is just too late for them to grasp the meaning of Putin’s secret plan, whilst the sensitive Poles have long been worried.

    But who says Putin will stop at the imperial borders? Exactly — you have to look at the roots of the issue! And who here is looking for those roots? Philosophers, of course! So the Frenchman Bernard-Henri Levy has got to the bottom of it.

    In his article in “Le Point” he wrote:

    Putin has declared war on Europe, and that’s the truth. A cold war, of course. A war that was put on hold by the iron curtain currently descending on the Ukrainian front line, but still a war. A war that has been openly declared

    With two and a half months to go before the French presidential election, Levy is outraged that the election campaign ignores issues of international politics, which are crucial today, and the crucial question of “how to deal with those imperial creeps of the new Russia”.

    The 73-year-old Levy has been struggling with this threat for a long time, but in the article he mentions only the events of recent years:

    I am not even talking about the activity of Wagner mercenaries in Mali, which directly harms the interests of France; I am not talking about the routine shelling of Idlib, that Syrian Guernica that no one pays much attention to anymore; I am overlooking Russia’s tactical alliance with the new Sultan Erdogan and, in Asia, its friendship with those nostalgic for Chinese dynasties. All of which I have been shouting about at the top of my voice for the past five years.

    But today I shall loudly proclaim the “new order” which reigns in Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan, from where we receive photos of Russian tanks, exactly as in Budapest in 1956 and in Prague in 1968. I declare loudly about 150 thousand Russian soldiers concentrated on the border with the Ukraine, who with the help of 480 tanks, twenty armoured personnel carriers and an unknown number of Buk antiaircraft missile systems are holding the Maidan Europeans at gunpoint

    But were Russian tanks really on the streets of Almaty? Never mind: all this, including the Ukraine, is for Levy only a prelude to the main idea. Some of the presidential candidates (Levy does not name them, but it is clear that Le Pen, Zemmour and Melenchon are meant) “persistently see the Kremlin host as a pleasant companion, surrounded by evil Western countries and defending its right to personal space” — and these lunatics fail to see the obvious:

    There is a vicious sequence in Russia’s actions. Everything goes roughly according to this plan: first, the annexation of the Crimea to avoid the annexation of the Ukraine, then the invasion of the Ukraine to avoid the invasion of the Balkans, then the subjugation of the Balkans to prevent the “Finlandization” of the Baltic states, then the neutralization of Poland or even the taking under Russian guardianship the great and ancient countries of Western Europe. Events developed in the same way after the agreement of 1938 in Munich.

    Yes, once again everything so banally came back to the conclusion that “Putin is Hitler.” Well, there are so many crazy philosophers in Europe, why just read Bernard-Henri Levy?

    But the fact is that Levy is not just a journalist and a “philosopher” — he is a human symbol. In recent decades, he has not only fought Russia always and everywhere — from Georgia in 2008 to the Ukraine in 2014 — he has also brought freedom to unfortunate peoples around the world. The most memorable was his role in the Libyan events: it was Levy who, after the start of the unrest, went to Libya and started agitating and most actively pushed Sarkozy into the operation against Gaddafi. So on his personal account there is already one aggression that actually destroyed a country — but it was for the sake of humanistic values!

    Now Levy is scaring his compatriots and all Europeans with war: that terrible Putin will come and enslave you. Not one step back, keep order, do not hand over one inch of foreign land to Putin, because it is all ours, European. Both the Ukraine and Georgia — everything needs to be protected from this terrible dictator who is also obliged to get the Donbass and South Ossetia back. And stop torturing Syrian children and strangling the freedom of the Kazakh people! Yes, and Russia itself is groaning under his yoke!

    What is good about Bernard-Henri Levy? The fact that he repeats in concentrated form everything that has been said for centuries about us in the West, about tsars and general secretaries [of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union], about the empire and the USSR. The Russians have a terrible tyranny, besides, the Russians are threatening Europe: just look at how brazenly they dictate their terms to the Ottoman Caliph! Troops should be urgently landed in the Crimea in response! These Russians are preventing us from bringing civilization to the unfortunate natives, and indeed, why do they need Central Asia and the Caucasus? Where will they appear next? They threaten our interests first in Afghanistan and India, and then they will get to the English Channel! The damned communists have taken China from us and want to make all of Europe red as well!

    Nothing new: we have been hearing all this for 300 years and in that time we have experienced several incursions from the West across our borders. But now Levy’s hysteria benefits Russia because of his reputation as a super-Atlantean, that is, one whose values are the exact opposite of those of France. And his agitation against Russia only convinces the French that it is all one big lie, which is not only stupid, but also dangerous for their own interests — someone is again deliberately pitting the Russians against the Europeans. And everyone remembers how it used to end for Europe every time, that happened, don’t they?

    They do, and that is why most of the French élite understand who scares Europe and why: it is those who want to keep Europe under Anglo-Saxon control, which is real and has been disastrous for it, as opposed to the mythical “Russian tutelage”. Putin has declared war not against Europe, but against those who are our common enemy, against those who assure us that we should fight with them for the Ukraine rather than ridding ourselves of foreign influence, of foreign tutelage. Before it is too late, with or without our help, Europe should get rid of this foreign influence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The 73-year-old Levy is struggling with irrelevance, and western hyperbole grows more hysterical every day; if there are Russian troops in Russia, it means Putin plans to attack! Why stop at merely Europe? The WORLD is ripe for the plucking!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. The only way to deal with a horrible mountebank like “BHL” is that used multiple times by Belgian ne’er-do-well Noel Godin and his team of gloupeurs:


      1. Lévy with Tichanovskaya

        Lévy with Poroshenko

        Two French journalists – Nicolas Beau of “Le Canard Enchainé” and Olivier Toscer of “Le Nouvel Observateur” –have just published in Paris “Une Imposture Francaise” (A French Imposter), an inquest into how BHL has built his success. They write:

        A philosopher who’s never taught the subject in any university, a journalist who creates a cocktail mingling the true, the possible, and the totally false, a patch-work filmmaker, a writer without a real literary oeuvre, he is the icon of a media-driven society in which simple appearance weighs more than the substance of things. BHL is thus first and foremost a great communicator, the PR man of the only product he really knows how to sell: himself.

        The flaws in BHL’s work have been evident from the beginning. His third book, the 1979 “Le Testament de Dieu”, was shot down in flames by Hellenist historian Pierre Vidal-Naquet (a moral leader of the French left) in a famous Nouvel Observateur article that detailed BHL’s numerous errors. To take just two, BHL cited texts he claimed were from the decline of the Roman Empire (fourth century) which were actually from the first century B.C., and cited Heinrich Himmler’s ​“deposition” at the Nuremburg trials, which opened six months after the SS leader’s suicide. Interviewed 20 years later by Jade Lindgaard and Xavier de la Porte, the authors of Le B.A. BA du BHL (The ABCs of BHL), Vidal-Naquet said sadly, ​“We have passed from the Republic of Letters into the non-Republic of Media. I thought I had ​‘killed’ BHL. I hadn’t. I consider that a defeat.

        From the giant publishing house of Grasset – where BHL has been an editor since 1973 – he launched his first media operation: the creation of the ​“nouveaux philosophes,” a band of scribblers of whom he was the most visible, whose leitmotif was anti-Marxism, anti-Communism, anti-anti-Americanism, and the embrace of the free market as guarantor of human well-being. Their books championed monotheism and anti-ideology as the only possible response to the moral collapse of Communism, thus fostering depoliticization in the wake of the evaporation of the ​“spirit of May 1968” and the triumph of consumer culture.

        BHL launched his second book, Barbarism with a Human Face, from the platform of the high-rated, prime-time literary talk show, ​“Apostrophes.” A handsome dandy, with studiously coiffed long hair, and a white shirt carefully unbuttoned to reveal his tanned chest, BHL caused the TV host’s daughter to tell him afterward, ​“I have seen Rimbaud on television!”

        That unbuttoned white shirt, by the way, is an important element of BHL’s TV and public images and it tells a lot about the man. If you tried it with your own shirt, the collar would sag. But BHL’s shirts are specially designed by the famous shirt-maker Charvet, with collars that withstand the unbuttoning and never disappear under his jacket. The effect costs some $400 apiece, but BHL is a very rich man. The business magazine Capital recently named him one of the 100 richest people in France.

        Born with a silver cuillère in his mouth, BHL inherited the family’s huge lumber business, Becob. He played a major role in running the company, until it was sold in the early ​’90s. The company specialized in rare woods from Africa and – as Une Imposture Francaise reveals – while BHL was running the company, numerous international bodies and a report from the Canadian government denounced it for keeping its African workers in penurious semi-slavery, which rather contradicts BHL’s pretensions to be an international humanitarian activist. . . .

        See: The Lies of Bernard-Henri Lévy


      2. Not for the first time, either;

        Evidently he is not lactose-intolerant, else the amount of ballistic dairy he has ingested over the years would have killed him. I think the most recent incident is at least number eight.


  2. Very good post on the state of communications in the West – fast answers with a simple and repetitive message. Biden is way out in front on this.

    Compare and contrast with Putin who can speak for hours on a wide variety of topics with a great deal of depth of knowledge and understanding. I used to think that the guys behind the curtain were doing the brain work. No, they are just as limited.


  3. Was curious about the water supply situation in Crimea. The answer is grudging acknowledgment that the situation is well in hand.

    The article stated that Kiev’s “creative” solution to block the water supply canal may have backfired. If they had continued to supply water but at a high price Russia may have cut a deal.

    But Kiev is all about punishment thus there was no desire to offer a deal with Russia. As mentioned here years ago, Russia took the correct choice and did not seek a deal with the Nazis. With good rainfall as of late and a comprehensive water resource development plan including desalination well underway, the water shortage issues is largely over. There will be likely a reduction in irrigated acreage but the population will be well supplied.

    Western articles linked the water problem in Crimea, you guessed it, to Putin. They will not link the solution to Putin, that is a safe bet.


    1. Kiev’s ‘creative solution’. ‘Unfortunately’, it didn’t work. The author flirts with admiration for Kiev’s revolutionary government’s policy of openly violating international humanitarian law by cutting a population off from its water supply in an effort to coerce its allegiance, a policy that would be roundly and loudly condemned if it were done to anyone else or by anyone other than the west’s pet administration in Ukieland.

      But then, he comes right out and says it, in so many words.

      “If the canal remained in use, Russia wouldn’t have even conjured up the plans to alternatively supply Crimea with water, and Ukraine could increase prices or decrease supply based on concessions in Donbas. Ukraine could have, in other words, treated their water canal to Crimea just as Russia treats its gas pipelines that traverse Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian government, however, failed to do this. Furthermore, once Russia manages to stabilize the situation with their multiple projects, the North Crimean Canal will be forgotten entirely.”

      So by sticking to the letter of the contract Russia signed with Ukraine as brokered by the highest officials in the EU, Russia is coercing Europe by starving it of gas because it will not supply additional volumes to the enemy so as to keep the prices down for enemy benefit. Instead, Putin wishes to make Europe capitulate, and its citizens all become Russians – is that it? It’s not Europe’s fault, for misjudging how much gas it was going to need or consume despite ample historical data. It’s not Ukraine’s fault for constantly crying ‘wolf!!!’ and making out it is being attacked several times a year and going on about ‘the aggressor state’, its sworn enemy, then wondering why Russia does not want to gib moneys by transiting more gas than the contract specifies and paying additional transit fees to those who hate it.

      If Ukraine had done it, supplying water for money and then manipulating the price to extort concessions, it would have been playing it smart, in true capitalist style. Even if Russia is not doing it, just because it is in a position where it could, it is dastardly and wicked.

      Truly proof that there is no God up there, monitoring the behavior of his creations and doling out punishment for misbehavior. Otherwise the lightning bolts would be flying thick and fast, and Kiev would smell of cooking brains, not to mention Europe if any such organs could be found. And there would be grieving and lament in the Bradley household.


  4. This was surprising:

    Natural gas prices have doubled this year and are expected to continue to rise, resulting in larger winter heating bills for some consumers and higher costs for electric utilities.

    Natural gas is plentiful in the United States and has been cheap for years, so the jump in prices this year is eye popping.


    1. It should not be surprising. Prices for basic industrial commodities are accelerating much faster than I have every seen. Motor prices have increased 25% to 30% in six months. Electric motors are the most widely produced industrial item in the world so its pricing accurately reflects overall costs of industrial commodities. High alloy castings have likewise increased in pricing by 20+% over the past 6-8 months.


      1. Get ready for even deeper and more catastrophic supply-chain interruptions between Canada and the United States, too; today a new public-health order went into effect that all truckers entering Canada from the USA must show proof of, you guessed it, full vaccination. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is now the single strongest imperative in Canada, it is more important than anything else and every other consideration is secondary and lesser in importance. The USA was quick to slap an identical restriction on Canadian truckers entering the USA, which goes into effect in a few days. Most agricultural imports go back and forth by truck, so get ready for fruits and vegetables to become far more expensive, along with other common trade items which go by truck.

        It’s as if government is trying to break the system so irreparably that the electorate will beg it to come up with a new one, and will accept anything they do come up with as ‘a return to normal’ as long as we don’t have to wear masks any more. And a minority would be content even if we had to wear masks forever, so long as they could feel they are doing their duty.


    2. “We’ve seen it all over the last year with the pandemic. We saw natural gas prices around the world at $2. It was $2 here in the U.S., $2 in Europe and $2 in Asia,” said Cheniere Energy CEO Jack Fusco on CNBC. “As the economies began to ramp back up, and countries and companies worldwide decided natural gas was the fuel of choice for clean energy transmission, the demand has just skyrocketed.”

      But the Greenies in Europe like Baerbock the international lawyer would have you believe natural gas is shuffling off the world stage, unwanted by anyone, and there is no problem making major producers jump through endless hoops because what they produce is of no real value and all the leverage lies with the buyer. How to step on your dick when you don’t even have one.


  5. When this bastard is proven wrong, nail him for the warmongering piece of shit that he is!

    Speaking on Friday, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons defence committee, said: “I am afraid an invasion by Russian forces is inevitable and imminent and we have allowed this to happen.

    “We had the opportunity to place sufficient military hardware and personnel in Ukraine to make president Putin think twice about invading but we failed to do so.”


    Russian invasion of Ukraine ‘inevitable and imminent’
    ‘Only president Putin knows what he is going to do next, but next week would seem pivotal’

    And the shitwit commenters to the above-linked garbage repeatedly refer to “Adolf Putin”.

    All successfully psyched up!


    1. Oddly enough, Russia accused the United States nearly a month ago of colluding with Ukraine to stage a provocation which would either mimic a Russian attack or be attributed to Russia.

      So Russia and the USA are agreed that someone is going to deliberately instigate a conflict in Ukraine, and ever-faithful poodle Britain suggests it will be next week. Hopefully if such a provocation does materialize, it will be well-recorded and documented with solid evidence so that proper attribution will ensue. Naturally the Russian accusation was only carried by sketchy sites and outlets, while the USA’s full-throated bellowing piqued the interest of major communications networks.


  6. 15 January 2022 20: 53
    The Ukraine has demanded that countries that are against its membership in NATO be named
    And has promised them at least “awkward questions”

    “The Ukraine has already made its choice: we will follow the path of the North Atlantic Alliance, we deserve to join the organization”, head of the Office of the President of the Ukraine Andriy Yermak has said in an interview with “Le Figaro”.

    Yermak stressed that he was aware of the need for a unanimous vote for the country’s admission to NATO and made the logical conclusion that since the country has not yet been invited to the alliance, it means that some NATO member countries are opposed to such a decision.

    We have been waiting for a decision for a long time. If some countries are against our entry, we have the right to know

    Yermak said and hinted that such NATO member countries will have a very tough time after that, since the people of the Ukraine will have very “difficult questions” for their governments.

    Amazing people still live in the Ukraine. It seems that even with degrees, some even have two degrees (like, for example, the secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of the Ukraine Danilov, who has a veterinarian’s and a lawyer’s degree), but they have not yet learnt to read. Otherwise, they could read the NATO Charter, for example: not only the so-called 5th article on collective defence, but also, for example, the article that states that countries with unresolved territorial issues are not accepted into the bloc.

    Or they could read a whole series of statements by the Hungarian government, which has promised to block all Kiev’s initiatives to join NATO and the EU because of its policy towards national minorities.

    Well, it’s no secret that everything in NATO is run by the United States, and if Washington supported the admission of the Ukraine to the alliance, then other member countries of the bloc would have no choice but to stand at attention and report on their readiness to accept a new state into their ranks. And if the Ukraine is just not called, but only promised, then Washington has its own considerations for doing this. For example, to set the Ukraine against Russia, but not have any obligations to it in terms of its protection by the forces of the alliance.


    1. What rights do retards actually have?

      In the UK and here, they do not have the right to vote, for example.

      Clearly, that Ukrainian nation of retards is freer than are the citizens of the UK and the Aggressor State.


    2. Mmm hmmm; the understanding in Ukraine for ‘ascending’ (some would dispute that characterization as well) to NATO does seem to be somewhat childlike. For instance, to have a senior political figure such as the head of the President’s office who apparently believes you can be accepted if you are certain you deserve it? Come on. For all those in Ukraine who are certified veterinarians in addition to their other myriad academic accolades, see if you can puzzle this out.

      Here’s some of RFE/RL’s take, and you know they are extremely pro-NATO: “The first chapter — political and economic issues — requires candidates to have stable democratic systems, pursue the peaceful settlement of territorial and ethnic disputes, have good relations with their neighbors, show commitment to the rule of law and human rights, establish democratic and civilian control of their armed forces, and have a market economy.

      The defense chapter provides for candidates to reform their armed forces and to contribute militarily to the collective defense, while the resource chapter deals mainly with allocating sufficient funds to defense.

      The last two chapters, security and legal issues, require aspirant countries to ensure the proper security of sensitive information according to NATO standards and bring national legislation into line with that of the alliance.”

      Let’s just look at those a little. Is there any sign of Ukraine peacefully pursuing settlement of territorial and ethnic disputes? Not that I have seen. If so, it’s taking an awful lot of peaceful soldiers, and we have learned in the last two years that ‘massing’ one’s soldiers on the borders is a blinking red light for invasion – what is to be made of the lurking presence of Ukraine’s army on the fringes of Donbas? Are they just there to pursue peaceful settlement? Ha, ha. What are we to make of NATO’s steadfast refusal to hold Ukraine to any of the terms of the Minsk Agreement? Well, there is that little ‘get out of jail free’ card in there – “…a country’s strategic importance may at times be considered ahead of its democratic and economic development.” Hard to imagine a richer strategic prize than a huge country whose membership would give NATO a long land border with its greatest geopolitical enemy, and basically an admission that none of the high-minded criteria really matter when a strategic boost is in the offing. Oh; but what about this? “And we are fully realistic about the fact that some countries have to start further back than other countries because of the particular problems they have. But do remember: We want countries to join us, but we are not a charity.” In the dictionary for ‘charity absorbent’ if there were such a thing, there would be a picture of the Ukrainian flag. Ukraine is simultaneously the poorest country in Europe, and its most corrupt – another no-no, if NATO’s ‘principles’ are to be taken seriously.

      This is a rich node for discussion, and I’d love to explore it further but right now I have to leave for work. By all means pursue the subject.


  7. Seen this news, Blinken?

    19 aircraft with Russian CSTO peacekeepers have arrived at Chkalovsky airport from Kazakhstan
    January 16, 2022, 11:15 am

    19 military transport aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces with Russian peacekeepers from the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the CSTO have arrived in the Moscow region from Kazakhstan.

    The aircraft landed at the Chkalovsky airfield, the Defence Ministry said.

    As CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas had previously noted, the peacekeeping contingent of the CSTO collective forces would be withdrawn from Kazakhstan by January 19.

    Zas also said that Kazakhstan was returning to normal life after mass riots.

    One lesson of recent history is that once Russians are in your house, it’s sometimes very difficult to get them to leave

    Blinken, 7 January 2022.

    Any more comments to make, Blinken?


    1. Do you see them, Blinken, you gobshite?

      That photograph was taken this morning, Sunday, 16 January, 2022, at the Chkalovsky airbase, situated some 31 kms northeast of Moscow, Russia.

      All back safe and sound!

      In Russia.


  8. What’s this I see? Yukiestan telling a sovereign state what it should or should not do? I thought that was a prerogative of the USA, to say nothing of Russia telling NATO what it should or should not do.

    16.01.2022, 11:26
    The head of “Naftogaz” has reproached Germany for its desire to make money out of “Nord Stream-2”

    Germany should not gain economic benefits from gas supplies via Nord Stream 2 at the expense of other countries, said the head of Ukrainian “Naftogaz” Yuriy Vitrenko. According to him, European companies should decide for themselves how they want to import gas — through the Ukraine or the Russian pipeline.

    Mr. Vitrenko, discussing whether it is in the interests of Germany to have another gas pipeline because of the growth of gas consumption in the future, said that the Ukrainian pipeline capacity is sufficient and they are only one-quarter full. “In addition, Germany would gain economic advantages if, thanks to Nord Stream 2, it became the main distribution point for Russian gas. But as a leading European country, Germany should not gain a short-term economic advantage at the expense of other European countries”, Yuri Vitrenko told the German edition of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. At the same time, the head of Naftogaz admitted that Russia fulfills its long-term obligations to supply gas to Europe.

    Yet another Yukie retard!


    1. And taking a peek at “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, I see the following:

      DEMAND FROM AMBASSADOR: Baerbock should clear the way for arms deliveries to the Ukraine
      UPDATED ON 01/16/2022-08:32

      Annalena Baerbock is about to make her first trip as Foreign Minister to the Ukraine and Russia. Kiev’s ambassador in Berlin is now declaring that not supplying weapons to the Ukraine at the moment is a failure to provide assistance.

      Shortly before Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s inaugural visit to Kiev, the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin has urged the Green Party politician to promise the Ukraine to supply weapons for its national defence. The reluctance or even refusal by Baerbock and the entire new federal government to deliver weapons is “very frustrating and bitter”, Ambassador Andrij Melnyk told the German Press Agency [DPA]. “People in the Ukraine are extremely disappointed. Now the moment of truth has come as to who our real friend is”.

      The Ukrainians are aware that the coalition agreement between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP stipulates a restrictive arms export policy that does not allow arms deliveries to crisis areas, said Melnyk. “But this political document is not the Bible. And the world is currently facing the greatest danger of a huge war in the middle of Europe, the worst since 1945” said Melnyk, adding that Ukraine statehood was being threatened by Russian President Vladimir Putin, that Ukrainians had a “sacred right to self-defence”.

      Baerbock has been cautious so far
      The Ukraine has been demanding arms supplies from Germany for years in order to be able to defend itself against a possible Russian attack, so far without success. However, Green Party leader Robert Habeck said during a visit to the Ukraine during the election campaign last May, that the country could hardly be denied “defensive weapons”. In view of the Russian troop deployment on the border with the Ukraine, the designated CDU chairman Friedrich Merz also advocates considering arms deliveries. Shortly before Christmas, Baerbock told the DPA: “Another military escalation would not bring any more security to the Ukraine”.

      Melnyk has pointed out that in German criminal law there is an offence of “failure to provide assistance”. “The same basic principle applies in interstate relations”, he said. “We are therefore appealing to the German government, personally to Foreign Minister Baerbock, to urgently help the Ukraine with the necessary defensive weapons. That is morally and human imperative”.

      Yet another Yukie retard!


      1. It seems that some Fritzes have taken affront to the attitude that the Yukietard Ambassador to Germany takes as regards to his making demands. Some comments made by readers of “Die Welt”:

        The Ukrainian ambassador has yet to learn the word “ask”. The Ukraine has nothing to demand.

        I often hear that something is being demanded of Germany. How about “we ask”?

        “‘The Ukrainian ambassador demands…” . Who is he to demand anything? Quite brazen!

        If someone demands something from Germany, I refuse.

        I honestly don’t know why we should care about the Ukraine, Afghanistan or something like that. Europe and Germany must strengthen and be able to defend its borders.

        Is the Ukraine already in NATO? Is the Ukraine already in the EU? No. Does the Ukraine bring us economic benefits? No. So what do we care about the Ukraine?

        If the Ukraine can pay for this, please! But they mostly want everything for nothing.

        Germans have sharply responded to the demand of the Ukrainian ambassador to supply weapons
        “Die Welt” readers have criticized the demands of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany to supply weapons to Kiev
        01:30 17.01.2022

        MOSCOW, January 17-RIA Novosti. The German newspaper “Die Welt” has published an article on the Ukraine Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk’s statements on the issue of arms supplies from Berlin.

        The diplomat, in an interview with the dpa news agency, expressed disappointment that Berlin does not intend to transfer weapons to Kiev for defence, and called on the German government and personally the Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to reconsider this position.

        According to “Die Welt”, Melnyk voiced these demands on the eve of Baerbock’s visit to Kiev and Moscow. The publication provoked an active response from readers in the comments.


      2. He will get nowhere quoting international law to Baerbock, who will run rings around him. She’s an international lawyer, you know.

        Sending Baerbock from Germany to Ukraine raises the IQ in both countries.


        1. As a matter of fact, one of the the things that Baerbock has been quoted as having said was that her greatest qualification as regards her appointment to ministerial status was that she had had no previous experience as a minister.

          She can’t be a German with such an attitude! What she expressed, if that quote is true, is a typically British “We’ll bumble through somehow” attitude.


          1. That’s actually quite a common apprehension in modern politics – that lengthy previous experience in politics suggests you are more corrupt and more likely to be on the take, operating out of self-interest. Whereas if you have no political experience, you are more likely to be honest, a fresh face, unspoiled. Nobody seems to relate that to any other field – for example, someone taking over the national bank who had no experience of banking. Is a fresh face enough if you do not have a clue what you are doing? Do you need to know what you are doing to be in politics?


    2. But it’s okay for Ukraine – a country which does not even have enough gas for its own needs – to bill Russia $3 Billion a year for transiting gas across Ukraine to Europe, which will then be expected to give some to Ukraine, or give it money to buy some. The pipeline was built for Ukraine when it was a republic of the Soviet Union, and ‘independent Ukraine’ inherited it without charge, and didn’t even have to pay off its debts when it left.


  9. The topic of rapid entry of Finland and Sweden into the North Atlantic Alliance has been raised owing to the imminent threat of a Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

    Among the Finns, the topic has been raised by young Prime Minister Sanna Marin and her team of progressive, reform-minded government ministers:

    From left to right: Minister of Education Li Andersson (32), Minister of Finance Katri Kulmuni (32), Prime Minister Sanna Marin (34) and Minister of Internal Affairs Maria Ohisalo (34).

    During a visit to Estonia, where NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg announced a plan to urgently strengthen the alliance’s contingent with strike aircraft and heavy armoured vehicles in all the Baltic republics, he said that Finland and Sweden would be accepted into NATO very quickly — the 30 NATO member states must have already told him that they’re all for it.


    1. I see HR managers, HR generalist and an accountant. Too young to be leaders and too little experience. Figureheads and diversity quotas, yes – three brunettes and a blond – good.


      1. Least I left a wrong impression, Maria Zakharova has all that is good in leadership, experience, poise, heart and intelligence. She would be a real leader in any organization.


      2. I see four fairly experienced politicians, at least going by Wiki, who are a bit of a contrast to the geriatric wards (White House, Congress, Senate) in the USA. If we look at Mitch McConnel, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, Biden is the youngest!

        Each of them have infinitely more political experience in their little fingers than Trump had when elected. Trump, literally had none.


        1. More from “Die Welt“:

          The Phenomenon Of Annalena Baerbock

          Annalena Baerbock in front of the Capitol building in Washington — – the coat upset some.

          [Looks like a bathrobe to me! — ME]

          The relationship between Annalena Baerbock and the German Public has something personal in it. This also has to do with externals: the style and appearance of the new minister seems to confuse a lot of people — especially older men.

          This is something that ought not to play a role in Annalena Baerbock’s politics.

          The debates about the sense or nonsense of a values-based foreign policy (including whether there is such a thing at all), or whether Germany is capable of mouthing it off to Russia or China, and if so, how far, must be conducted, but elsewhere.


        2. That’s Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, by the way, in case some were wondering.

          Dr. Strack-Zimmermann as a matter of fact — Germans like to stick their academic handles in front of their names!

          Strack-Zimmermann studied journalism, political science and German language and literature at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) and graduated with a Master of Arts degree. In 1986, she received her doctorate at the LMU with a thesis entitled “Bilder aus Amerika: eine zeitungswissenschaftliche Studie über die USA-Berichterstattung im Zweiten Deutschen Fernsehen (ZDF)” — Images from America: a newspaper science study on US reporting on ZDF.

          Admirable qualifications for criticising the military.


    2. It only makes it official. Both Sweden and Finland already take part in NATO friends and family exercises. The problem with joining is that it is takes away any influence. Russia will adjust accordingly rather than also pretending that Swe & Fi are not NATO members. After all, why should Russia stop countries joining a sinking ship? No assistance will be offered. Just a loud silence.


    3. I just checked to see if that little tea party in Finland is still current. As I suspected, it hasn’t lasted long. Katri Kulmuni had to resign her position after she billed the cost of her media training and performance coaching (including sparring with an opponent) to her two ministries (Finance Ministry and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) in June 2020.

      Katri Kulmuni: Finnish minister quits over media training row

      You sort of wonder what Kulmuni thought what the position of Centre Party Leader was supposed to be about before applying for the job.

      Former PM Matti Vanhanen is the current Finance Minister.

      Also, Krista Mikkonen has been Home Minister since November 2021. Ohisalo is on maternity leave.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s Krista Johanna Mikkonen, member of the Finnish “Green League”, by the way.

        Should get on well with Frau Baerbock.

        The Green League, shortened to the Greens, is a green political party in Finland. Ideologically, the Green League is positioned between the centre and centre-left on the political spectrum. It is a reformist party and it is supportive of feminism, animal rights and green liberal ideas. Wikipedia


        1. When the Marin Cabinet was formed, professor Anne Holli, a political scientist at the University of Helsinki, pointed out that the cabinet was deviating from the principle of gender equality, specifically the Finnish convention of each gender being represented by at least 40% of ministers: with 12 of the 19 ministers women, men accounted for only 37%.[11][12] Prime Minister Marin responded to the criticism by explaining that with five parties in the coalition, and each party responsible for their own ministerial nominations, it was not always possible to coordinate things to the extent of ensuring gender balance.[13]Wiki

          11. Holli, Anne. University of Helsinki”: “Marin’s Government deviated from the principle of gender equality”. Retrieved 20 March 2020.

          12. “Marinin hallitus lipesi tasa-arvon periaatteesta” (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2020.

          13. “Naisvaltainen hallitus on livennyt tasa-arvolain periaatteesta, sanoi professori – Näin kommentoi huolta pääministeri Marin” (in Finnish). Helsingin Sanomat. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 20 March 2020.

          The word “gender” is a grammatical term. For example, the Russian word that means “table” is masculine gender; the Russian word that means “door” is feminine gender; the Russian word that means “window” is neuter gender.

          For “gender” in the Wiki text above, read “sex”!

          In my book, one judges a person who is to be appointed to a position of authority not by his or her sex, but by his or her competence.

          The world has gone mad!


          1. Maybe I am showing my toxic masculine bias by writing “his/her” above, rather than “her/his”.

            Or perhaps it would have been better to have adopted “woke” pronoun usage and to have written:

            In my book, one judges a person who is to be appointed to a position of authority not they sex, but by they competence.


            1. In my book, one judges a person who is to be appointed to a position of authority not they sex, but by they competence.

              I believe that since the time of Chaucer, “their” has been an acceptable singular possessives. Probably those damned Latinists in the 18th & 19th C tried to ban it just liked they tried to ban split infinitives.


              1. This is a better example of “woke” pronoun usage:

                “This is my friend, Jay. I met them at work.”

                They in this context was named Word of the Year for 2015 by the American Dialect Society, and for 2019 by Merriam-Webster. In 2020, the American Dialect Society also selected it as Word of the Decade for the 2010s Wiki


          2. And lest one forget, there’s this creature in the UK cabinet:

            The Right Honourable Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs

            A few days ago, there was talk of her challenging that oaf Johnson for the premier ministership.

            I’m not a diplomat, so without any hesitation whatsoever, I feel free to say to her: Fuck off!


  10. I saw the movie “Don’t Look Up” released on NetFlix. Yes, it is Deep Hollywood or Deep State or whatever holding up a mirror on an utterly dysfunctional society unable to accept the reality of impending doom and to fail to take effective action as various parties are trying to exploit said impending doom.

    Life on Earth is destroyed as the Deep State heads off to Deep Space. I can see how Orlov concluded that the movie was a message from our overlords that it’s game over. No happy ending, everyone dies except the chosen few (billionaires and politicians who will probably die an agonizing death in space), Of course, what will die is our corrupt, and narcissistic society. Its nobody’s fault, an act of God or random nature,

    The Deep State fashioned the psychology of our society in a poorly planned experiment and now that experiment is ending in abject failure.


  11. Porky Poroshenko doing a Bullshitter Navalny?

    09: 09 17.01.2022 (updated: 10: 14 17.01.2022)
    An aircraft with Poroshenko on board has taken off from Warsaw to Kiev

    WARSAW, 17 Jan-RIA Novosti. An aeroplane with the former President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko on board has flown from Warsaw to Kiev, the information service of Warsaw Chopin Airport has informed RIA Novosti.

    Poroshenko is returning to the Ukraine on Monday, where it is intended that he be detained for a state treason trial. Supporters of the former Ukrainian head of state want to hold a rally at Kiev airport, where Poroshenko is due to land, so to prevent his arrest.

    Poroshenko’s lawyers have also confirmed the existence of a ruling of the Kiev Pecherskyy district court authorizing the former president’s detention, so that he be forcibly brought to a session to impose a detention order on him. At the same time, the defence assures that there are no grounds for Poroshenko’s detention since he is ready to come voluntarily to a court hearing on his arrival.

    At the same time, the State Bureau of Investigation has not officially confirmed that it intends to detain Poroshenko and that he be brought to court. According to the State Bureau communication adviser, Tetyana Sapyan, the agency hopes that the former president be responsible and will appear at the hearing, which is scheduled for 12.00 Moscow time on Monday. Poroshenko himself has said he was already planning his time after the trial and did not fear arrest because he felt the trust and support of the people of the Ukraine is with him.

    “No. I am not afraid, because the people of the Ukraine are behind me and the truth is behind me and lies are behind them[his opponents — ME]“, he said when asked by RIA Novosti.

    Earlier, the press service of the State Bureau of Investigation said that the Kiev Pecherskyy district court on 17 January would consider a motion to impose a preventive measure on Poroshenko in the treason case.

    On 17 December 2021, Poroshenko, a suspect in the treason case, left the country and went on a diplomatic tour, during which he was scheduled to visit Turkey and Poland. He later promised to return home on 17 January. Poroshenko’s defence and supporters repeatedly said that the former president’s foreign visit had been planned in advance. Earlier, the press service of the Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office had said that the prosecutor’s office would ask the court to arrest Poroshenko in the treason case with a possibility of bail of about $37 million dollars. The former president’s party, “European Solidarity”, considers this to be political repression. According to a number of Ukrainian media outlets, Kiev’s Pecherskyy court had allowed that Poroshenko be detained in order to bring him to court and choose a preventive measure. At the same time, the court has already seized the former president’s property in the treason case.

    Poroshenko had for the first time become a suspect of treason and aiding terrorism over coal supplies from the Donbass. Earlier, the former president had said that 130 criminal cases had been opened against him, but around 40 of them had been closed. Poroshenko fell under suspect status in the case of the appointment of Serhiy Semochko as deputy head of the Ukrainian Foreign Intelligence Service. He was charged with abuse of power in that case. Poroshenko is involved in cases concerning the appointment of judges, the movement of paintings across the state border, the incident with Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait, and the transfer of a plot of land. The former president has the status of a witness in these cases.

    An exact re-run of the Bullshitter performance.

    And just as the Bullshitter was photographed on board of his heroic flight to Moscow from Berlin to Moscow accompanied by the “Statuesque Blonde”, so has Porky been photographed by journalists with his heroic wife on board his flight to Moscow from Warsaw.


    1. And he has landed in Kiev!

      Porky’s back in town!

      The aeroplane with Poroshenko on board has landed in Kiev
      January 17, 2022, 10:10 am

      According to the agency, several thousand supporters of the former head of the Ukrainian state have met him at the airport.

      Earlier it was reported that Poroshenko was flying from Warsaw to Kiev.

      On January 17, a court will consider a request that Petro Poroshenko be arrested in a case of high treason


    2. I imagine he has already obtained assurances from the leaders of major Atlanticist powers that he will not be prosecuted or, if prosecuted, not jailed. He can’t really believe that pap about ‘the people of Ukraine are behind me’, any unbiased polling would demonstrate otherwise, and continuing to run his candy business throughout his presidency and even to appropriate public funds to buy chocolate for the army is a clear conflict of interest.

      But it would not look good for the leader the west feted and cosseted and invited to speak before their legislative bodies and policymakers to be found corrupt. Bad optics, as they say.


      1. Or a little time or ‘investigation. He wants some of that Tymo-therapy vibe/prison cred. A politician that has suffered and is like the people. Also elections are up in 2024.


  12. Why was Poroshenko not arrested?
    January 17 2022, 11:01

    Exactly one year ago, on January 17, 2021, Alexey Navalny flew from Berlin to Moscow. A few minutes before landing, the Pobeda Airlines aeroplane carrying the “useless blogger” abruptly changed its course, circled the western part of Moscow for an hour and a half, flew towards Kaluga, then finally headed north and landed at Sheremetyevo. Navalny was detained at Sheremetyevo. And exactly one year has passed since that day.

    Today, on the anniversary of Navalny’s arrest, the former President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko returned to Kiev.

    It was expected that immediately upon his arrival, Poroshenko would be arrested as part of a criminal case in which Poroshenko is accused of treason. But the former president of the Ukraine was not arrested. An impromptu rally of Poroshenko’s supporters was held right at the airport.

    Why was Porshenko not arrested? Because in Kiev they remembered that January 17 is the anniversary of Navalny’s arrest and decided to postpone Poroshenko’s placement in a prison cell, so that in the West Poroshenko’s arrest would not be perceived as similar to Navalny’s arrest? Or because there were so many people meeting Poroshenko, so many that the arrest of the former president could provoke new turmoil in the Ukraine?

    Or because the Yukronazis support Poroshenko far more than they do the present clown president?


      1. He probably had to book all the seats on either side of his seat and all the seats in front of and behind his seat, just so he could sit without squashing anyone.


        1. That’s it! Plus a seat belt extender. Also, meals come with the seats so multiple seats for Poro are a win/win.


  13. 17 Jan, 2022 00:21
    Canadians told to avoid Ukraine

    The Canadian government has warned its citizens against non-essential travel to Ukraine in a new travel advisory citing “Russian aggression” in the area.

    The Canadian government changed the risk level for travel to Ukraine on Saturday, citing “ongoing Russian aggression and military buildup in and round the country” as the reason behind the update.

    1945: Canadian government accepts Ukrainian Nazi immigrants


    1. Well, as a Canadian, I’d prefer to visit some county that is more than one step above failed state status.

      Balmy -5C and only 40cm of snow here so far today with more to come. Heck the Sudan is looking good. For Canadians who have not heard the news, the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto is closed. Oh dear.


      1. Yes, I heard through the grapevine that Ontario is getting the worst blizzard in 20 years – is that accurate? The snow here is mostly gone, but the useless-as-a-chocolate-teapot Councillors for my district once again just let it melt naturally on my street; since I have lived here, I may have seen a snowplow once. Part of my street is in shadow nearly all day, so that even when nearly every piece of pavement in Saanich is bare, half of my street is still a churned-up morass of dirty snow and ice. That’s when you can’t get a house in this city for under a million bucks, and property taxes should dictate the road-maintenance budget is equal to the GDP of a small country. But you know where the money goes.


        1. Yes, I heard through the grapevine that Ontario is getting the worst blizzard in 20 years – is that accurate?

          Pretty much. Every school board in Southern Ontario closed or went to remote learning. A bit of snow.

          Toronto is getting hit badly and by my standards in Eastern Ontario they usually don’t really get any snow at all most winters.

          A real worry is that it is that light, fluffy stuff that can blow all over the place causing white-outs.

          Still it beats freezing rain. Snow is a minor inconvenience. Ice storms can be catastrophic.


  14. 17 JAN, 10:27
    Germany wants stable relations with Russia, many issues arguable, top diplomat says
    Annalena Baerbock pointed out that the list of conflict issues that Germany needed to discuss was long and listed science, culture, trade, renewable energy sources and climate issues as important bilateral subjects.

    “During my talks in Moscow, it will be important to me to indicate [our] position. The new federal government wants thorough and stable relations with Russia. The list of conflict issues that we need to discuss is long”, she said. Speaking of important bilateral subjects, she listed science, culture, trade, renewable energy sources and climate issues.

    “Cooperation between civic communities is particularly important to us. I also want to talk to my Russian colleague about these opportunities and how we can create the conditions to use them more effectively”, the German top diplomat said. That said, she specified that she will “attentively listen to [her] interlocutors both in Moscow and in Kiev”. “Yet I will also very clearly explain the position we hold together in the EU, the G7 and in the transatlantic alliance”, she emphasized.

    Cooperation between civic communities, eh?

    Is that really part of a foreign minister’s portfolio?

    During her stay in Moscow, in addition to the meeting with Lavrov, the German top diplomat will also visit the “Diversity United” exhibit at the Tretyakov Gallery and hold “other talks”.


    ‘Diversity United’ on show in Moscow despite political hurdles
    First shown in Berlin, the exhibition “Diversity United,” showcasing European values was also planned for Russia — but politics came into play.

    Ramming EU “values” down the throats of Russian citizens is German foreign policy, it seems.


    1. Of course, the Russian liberal “luvvie” intelligentsy will love it!

      Does Baerbock not know how diverse Russian culture already is and has been since the foundation of the Russian Empire?

      Does she not know that the second largest ethnic group in Moscow, second only to that of Eastern Slavs, is Tatar and has been so for hundreds of years?

      Does she not know that the word “Russian” can be translated in two ways into Russian: russkiy or rossiyanin, the former meaning “an ethnic, eastern Slav Russian”, the latter — “a member of one of the over 120 ethnic groups in Russia, who is also a Russian citizen with the equal rights of all such citizens”?


    2. Why do they keep referring to her as a ‘top diplomat’? Her position is fairly prestigious, but so far as I am aware no previous German Foreign Ministers were ever referred to as ‘the top diplomat’. That just sounds like the media tooting her horn for her, as they appear determined to make her into a star.

      Woke values have proved an incredibly successful distraction in the west; in British Columbia, as I may have mentioned before, the major issue is ‘reconciliation’ with the natives whose land our ancestors stole, so that now radio stations announce they are broadcasting from ‘the unceded territory of the Wetsu’weten people’ or whatever. The discovery of alleged unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools was a catalyst, following which you could not go wrong if you pulled down a ‘colonial’ public statue of a white man or proposed some new groveling to the natives. Someone proposed a new tax whose proceeds would be given to the natives, and despite significant public expression of resistance, the Victoria City Council is determined to go ahead with it.

      As I mentioned before some time ago, a deal was struck with local indigenous bands when the Sea-To-Sky Highway was being widened and improved for the Olympic Winter Games in 2010. The planners agreed to post all road signs on the route in the Squamish language, or perhaps Tsil’cotin, I can’t remember, but according to a Wikpedia article at the time there were less than a dozen fluent native speakers of the language. In the world.

      Some of these languages were entirely spoken, not written; there is no written alphabet.

      You walk through the grocery store, and most of the spices section – for example – is just bare shelves because they can’t get trucks in, a combination of terrible logistics and insane inflexible vaccination policies. Miles of roadway washed away in the interior. But there’s always money and passion for LGBTQ2S+++ issues and ‘decolonisation’. Wokeness rules. If the west could get a woke foot in the door in Russia, it’d be all downhill from there, as it appears to be here.


  15. An interesting Russian news portal article:

    Turkestan Spring: when the powder keg of Central Asia will explode

    The events in Kazakhstan came as a surprise and shock to many, both politicians and experts. It is unlikely that someone could have predicted them on January 1, and predicted the scale of the phenomenon on January 2. The riots that broke out in the country have become a “black swan”, and swans, as you know, live in pairs, and for flights they even get together in flocks. This, of course, is just a metaphor, but too much indicates that the Kazakh scenario may soon be repeated among its neighbours. Or maybe it will be a completely different scenario, but the essence of this does not change. Central Asia is rapidly turning into a powder keg.

    However, it always was, just no one lit a match. Today, many experts are trying to argue with each other about what it was: a social revolt of dissatisfied citizens, an attempt at a ” colour revolution, an internal showdown between the former and current clans in order to take away power, or something else? How could Kazakhstan, which seemed to be the most stable and developed country in the region, and which, moreover, has recently experienced a transit of power that was considered successful until January, have come to this?

    In fact, everything was predictable. Kazakhstan, with all its external “success”, is a classic example of a country of peripheral capitalism, more than that-a raw material colony. Countries where oil and gas are literally underfoot, but their cost to the domestic consumer is higher than in countries where they do not exist at all (it is no coincidence that the protests against the double unjustified increase in the price of liquefied gas became the catalyst). Colossal social stratification, people’s lack of perspective, an authoritarian and corrupt oligarchic regime, a clan-based society with constant internal strife, nationalism and religious radicalism cultivated in order to distract the population from social problems — this is a ready-made powder keg for you. It remains only for a match to be struck in the shape of external intervention.

    All this is more or less present in the neighbouring countries of Kazakhstan.

    Let us identify what factors can lead to a sudden explosion, and check which countries in the region they are present in.

    So, political factors:

    Raw colony status — everything! Poverty, the social divide, unemployment, corruption — everything! Authoritarian regimes — everything!

    Non-changeability of power — almost everywhere, except in Kyrgyzstan, where power changes regularly with the help of coups. In Turkmenistan, the change of Turkmenbashi Niyazov to Arkadag Berdimuhamedov is a change of shit for shit, and even then, which became possible only in view of the death of the first, obviously, the next change of power by peaceful means will happen only after the death of the second. The change of power in Uzbekistan also took place only after the physical departure of Islam Karimov. Given the nature of the regime, there is no doubt that Shavkat Mirziyoyev expects to leave in the same way or conduct a transit of power. However, now clearly not according to the scenario of Nazarbayev, the fate of Elbasy, I believe, will affect the choice of not only Central Asian leaders, but also all post-Soviet leaders.

    Tajikistan stands apart, where the five-year-old civil war has only been frozen, but it can break out at any moment. The only thing that supports Rakhmon’s power is Russian bayonets and the fear of secular elites before Islamists. As you understand, remove these two pillars, and that is it.

    The next factor is Islamism. As I have already said, it is particularly strong in Tajikistan. In Uzbekistan as well. The Islamic movement of Uzbekistan has existed throughout the recent history of this country, and has managed to make its mark everywhere — making attacks in Kyrgyzstan, fighting in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and even Pakistan. In 2015, it joined the ranks of ISIS, becoming the conduit of this international terrorist network to Central Asia.

    In Kyrgyzstan, this factor may not be as pronounced as in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, but it is also present. It is present even in “neutral” and “secular” Turkmenistan, where the cult of the leader, it would seem, has long supplanted religion. But no. It should be understood that when the regime begins to falter, Islamism will become one of the outlets for young people who from birth knew nothing but an oppressive personality cult.

    As an illustration, I will cite the data of the American research centre the Soufan Group on the number of citizens of Central Asian countries fighting in the ranks of ISIL (data for 2015). The leaders are Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan (500 people each), then Tajikistan — 386 people, Turkmenistan — 360 people, Kazakhstan is in last place — 300 people.

    Given the turbulent situation in Afghanistan with the rise to power of the Taliban and the defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq and their spread throughout the Islamic world, religious radicalism combined with poverty and unstable authoritarian regimes can be the match.

    As a final touch, three of the five countries in the region share borders with Afghanistan. However, Kazakhstan does not have a border with it, but this did not help it: we see how terrorists easily cross any borders.

    Another important factor is nationalism and problems with neighbours. Almost all of them, too, except for “neutral” Turkmenistan. The triangle of Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan, the Ferghana Valley has been a place of constant conflicts from time immemorial. The borders drawn after the revolution, in which new independent states were formed, have reawakened long-standing conflicts that, apparently, can only be resolved by re-uniting the republics into one state or union of states.

    Then there is the functioning of Western NGOs. Take the notorious Soros Foundation. It has not worked in Turkmenistan for a single day — all NGOs are banned there, so the country has been safe from the very beginning. In Uzbekistan, its activities were terminated in 2004. In Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, the fund continues to work. We have seen the results of this work. In Tajikistan, too, the fund continues to work, placing it in a risk group.

    Now for geopolitics. The withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan has presented Washington with the problem of re-deploying its military in Central Asian countries. Let me remind you that this was already the case during the first operation against the Taliban twenty years ago. At that time, the United States had a base in Uzbekistan — in Khanabad (2001-2005), in Kyrgyzstan — in Manas (2001-2014). Even with Kazakhstan, they had an agreement on the possibility of flying through the republic’s airspace and access to its territory for the transfer of material and technical means. In addition, the United States was granted the right to use three airfields on the country’s southern coast for emergency landing.

    Let me remind you that in May, the American Wall Street Journal wrote that the United States may deploy troops that are being withdrawn from Afghanistan in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In Tashkent, however, this was immediately denied, referring to the constitutional ban on the deployment of foreign troops. However, this is official. This does not mean that there were no negotiations earlier, as with other countries in the region.

    In early May, White House representative to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad visited Tashkent, where he met with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Afghan Uzbek leader Abdul Rashid Dostum. What they talked about was left out of the picture. Shortly before that, the head of the CIA, William Burns, apparently met with Uzbek diplomats in Qatar.

    All this could be considered as coincidences, but many experts then suggested that the Americans would make offers to the authorities of the Central Asian republics that cannot be refused. Otherwise, they may be destabilized. In particular, the war between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which almost started in late April, was accompanied by a powerful information campaign about the Collective Security Treaty Organization’s inability to guarantee security to its members, which was perceived by many as a signal from Washington that only the United States can ensure stability.

    However, Kyrgyzstan later said that they would not let the Americans in, as the Russian base was enough for them. But, according to Politico, the Uzbeks began to bargain.

    Uzbekistan is the most multi-vector state in the region. They were in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, left it in 1999, then returned in 2006 in retaliation for the US position on the events in Andijan, when they also closed their US base. However, they withdrew again in 2012.

    Recently, Leonid Kalashnikov, chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, suggested that Tashkent has learnt from the events in Kazakhstan and may return to the Collective Security Treaty Organization. And Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, stating that the Kazakh events may be repeated in other countries of the region, specifically mentioned Uzbekistan. I suggest you take this statement seriously. Uzbekistan is the closest candidate for upheaval.

    Speaking about the geopolitical prerequisites for the turmoil in Central Asia, we cannot fail to mention the factor of China, which, in my opinion, is the key factor today.

    Six months ago, I wrote that the whole story of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan is largely connected with the change in Washington’s geopolitical orientation. I call it the ” Great Transition from the Middle East to the Far East”. Afghanistan is being set on fire without being extinguished in the foreseeable future, and the United States is moving north, closer to the Chinese underbelly, which also needs to be set on fire.

    This is from a geopolitical point of view. But there are also economic interests of the Western transport corridors, which historically compete with Russia for resources there. And while Russia is not much of a competitor to them, the same cannot be said about China. China is not just a competitor, it is a killer of all competitors. It is practically the first economy in the world, whose power is largely based on the trade infrastructure to Europe (the concept of “One Belt, One Road”). And Central Asia has been one of the world’s most important transport corridors since prehistoric times.

    This is in answer to the question of why should the West shake up Kazakhstan, if the interests of their businesses may suffer as a result of unrest. First of all: so that China suffers.

    While Western businesses were not particularly affected, uranium (Yellow Cake PLC) and oil (Shell) stocks only won.

    So as to understand the level of Chinese penetration in the region:

    Turkmenistan ranks fourth in the world in terms of gas reserves. And until recently, about 90% of this gas was purchased by Moscow for a song, reselling it to Europe. However, the situation changed 10 years ago, and Gazprom actually ceded Turkmen gas to China. It is quite possible that Ashgabat is working off its debt with gas.

    It should be noted that like all countries of peripheral capitalism, the republics of Central Asia are in debt, as in silk. And if in Kazakhstan the Celestial Empire is only on the 4th place in the list of creditors, then in Tajikistan it is on the first (54%), as well as in Kyrgyzstan (50%). China’s share in Uzbekistan’s debt is smaller — “only” 20.6%, but it is also in first place.

    We know how China will shake out debts from insolvent debtors. In particular, Tajikistan has already paid off an area of more than a thousand square metres and continues to give Chinese companies permission to develop their gold, silver and coal deposits on account of their debt to China .The country’s only gold mining and refining enterprise and the largest zinc and lead mine in Central Asia have been given to Chinese developers. Kyrgyzstan has leased the largest Jetim Ridge iron ore deposit to the Chinese for 50 years.

    China is also the biggest investor in the region. In Kazakhstan, for example, they have invested, according to official data, $20 billion, unofficially up to 80 billion. In Uzbekistan, more than 8 billion. In trade with that country, China has pushed Russia out of first place. 85% of Uzbekistan’s natural gas goes to China.

    Even in Kazakhstan, where China has less penetration than its neighbours, the Chinese already own more than a third of the oil and gas sector.

    These are just a few, but very clear examples of how deeply Peking has penetrated the economy of our former republics. Do you think the West likes this? No, of course not! And what can be done to change this? — Wreak havoc!

    When people say that the West is pushing into Central Asia to annoy Russia, it sounds like an anachronism. Today, the main goal is China, which needs to be deprived of resources and transport corridors. Russia has long faded into the background.

    Given that it is China that is becoming the main enemy of the West, and the cold war with it is actually already underway, it should be understood that the upheavals in Central Asia will continue. And the long-term unsolvable problems of the regimes of these countries, or rather, their “birth traumas” (the formation of corrupt authoritarian oligarchic regimes living off their natural resources was predetermined in the late Soviet era) will only contribute to this.

    Nevertheless, the situation with the lightning reaction of the CSTO showed that Russia has learnt how to prevent coups, and the Ukrainian lesson has taught them something. Of course, there is little joy for patriots here — one oligarchic regime saved another, which, despite Tokayev’s high-profile initiatives to change the country, will remain the same: all the announced reforms mean nothing. This means that everything can happen again at any time, and it is not a fact that next time Moscow will have time to intervene.

    The situation in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is even more explosive for the reasons I have mentioned above. And unlike Kazakhstan, they are also geographically separated from Russia. Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are not members of the CSTO at all: Russia is not obliged to help them, and an attempt to intervene based on the appeal of the authorities of these republics will inevitably run into much harsher criticism from the West.

    But most importantly, I repeat: will Moscow have time to react? What if it blows up in several countries at once? Remember the “Arab Spring”? It is possible that in a couple of years we will start talking about the “Turkestan spring”. In any case, something will happen: it should not come as a surprise and shock to anyone, like the events in Kazakhstan did …


    1. By the way, in the text above, I translated менять шило на мыло [menyat sheelo na mylo — literally “to change an awl for soap”] as ‘to change shit for shit”: in other words, to make a worthless exchange.



    2. Interesting. Such articles regularly speak with the utmost contempt of a ‘transfer of power’, in which one oligarch or clan leader simply tags the incoming oligarch or clan leader and shouts, “I’m out; you’re in!” Exchanging shit for shit, as the author put it.

      But what choice is there, realistically? Democracy? Don’t make me laugh. The United States is the go-to example for representative democracy, and the leader is always either a Democrat or a Republican, with the candidate who is successful at winning his/her party’s nomination demonstrated by study after study to have been the one who spent the most money on campaigning. Professional politicians often have never done anything else, barring perhaps a short stint as a hospital volunteer while in high school, or a summer job as a law clerk or a brief internship with some political heavyweight’s re-election campaign. Children of politicians are groomed from infancy for political office or government jobs where they can be influential in the policymaking arena.

      Which is precisely the attitude with which the intelligentsia in this country or that should regard the efforts of domestic NGO’s to get the ball rolling for a colour revolution. You’re trying to replace a ‘transfer of power’ government model with one whose major difference is that it is endorsed by shit-disturbers from another country. Otherwise the two are nearly interchangeable.


  16. Poroshenko was given back his passport after his having passed through security at Kiev airport…

    Poroshenko flew out…

    Poroshenko flew back …

    He got off the aeroplane, entered the airport building…

    What else is there to do? …

    I’ve got my luggage, but they took my passport!

    They’ve given me back my passport! …

    Today, life in the Ukraine revolves around Petya.

    The king has returned!


    1. So, if the Z-man can’t get Porky arrested on arrival in the capital, it seems to me he’s up [family blog] creek without a paddle, yeah?

      Presumably, Porky has re-acquired the mandate of Heaven. -or Nuland, at least.


  17. 17 Jan, 2022 14:31
    NATO troops invited to deploy near Russian border
    Officials say measures are necessary to contain Moscow

    And guess which country has handed out the invite . . .

    Estonia is ready and able to host a contingent of up to 5,000 troops from NATO’s rapid response force if the order to deploy them is given, Tallinn has said, despite Russian concerns over the US-led bloc’s forces near its border.

    My, 5,000 of the toughest guys in the world’s toughest man’s army!

    That dwarf dictator of Russia must be shitting himself!

    5,000 US troops!!!!

    Facing them, Western Military District Russia.

    The Western Military District (WMD), with about 400,000 troops, representing about 40% of the total manpower of the Russian Armed Forces, was formed in 2010 from the Moscow and Leningrad MDs. It consists of the Baltic Fleet, the 6th Red Banner Leningrad Army of Air and Air Defence Forces, two ground force units (the 6th and 20th Armies), the 1st Armoured, airborne forces (three divisions and one brigade), marines and coastal defence forces, as well as intelligence, support and specialised units and formations.

    Nice one, Estonians!


    1. The funny thing is that I doubt very much that VVP and company could give a good [family blog] damn how many conventional forces NATO piles up in P+3B. If they load every single ready response formation, they can maybe get +/- one division on the frontier.

      First guards tank army can flatten them in no time, even absent the obvious usage of rockets, airpower & whatnot, should the balloon go up. So, as scary threats go, this dog won’t hunt.


      1. I rather think that if Estonian politicians want 5,000 NATO troops stationed on Estonia’s borders with Russia, it’s not necessarily to face the Russians.


    2. As you well know, Estonia is doing it only for nuisance value and to foster annoyance, so that ‘the Dictator’ can be said to be ‘fuming’ in the Kremlin, while the Russian press ‘slams’ the announcement. Formulaic, really. Writes itself.


    3. Who’s going to pay for it? Do they have the facilities? If not, where will they be built etc. etc. Rememer the lo-land-of-Pol-land wanted a US super base under t-Rump but had a change of mind when t-Rump handed them the bill. Are the Dems going to pony up or only if their u-Ro buds pitch in too? If…


    4. A Russian soldier, according to one commentator also has two mothers – His biological mother and Mother Russia.

      5,000 pizza eating whorehouse patrons will bring much needed cash to the local economy. There, I said it, the real reason.


      1. When I lived in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, I regularly saw US army trucks parking up in side streets alongside the Frankfurt railway terminus and out of them piled great gangs of US soldiers in fatigues, who then sauntered off along the narrow streets. It was the Frankfurt Red Light district.

        I never saw that in the British occupation zone in Niedersachsen, though I’m not saying that Tommies don’t visit whorehouses. However, when off duty, British army personnel don’t wear military gear. You can spot them by their haircuts, though.


    Narva, Estonia.

    Have any of the above, I wonder, the slightest inkling of what awaits them should they dare cross the Russian border that runs along the middle of the river that flows in a gorge (not visible) behind of them and enter the Russian border town of Ivangorod, whose ancient fortress can be seen in the distance?

    Nice photo to send to the folks back home, I suppose.

    Defending Europe from invasion and also the freedom and democracy of the United States, situated some 4,238 miles SSW of Narva?


    1. Can’t fathom out why these last 2 linked photos do not appear.

      I should label the above photograph: “Future Carrion”, though I sincerely hope that none of those misguided young men in the picture do not end up feeding ravens, of which there are huge numbers in this country.

      Russian folk song “Black Raven”:

      Black raven, why are you wheeling,
      Why’ are you wheeling above me?
      Ever will your prey elude you.
      Black raven, I am not for you!

      And what are you doing, spreading
      Your wings wide over my head?
      Or do you sense prey beneath you?
      Black raven, I am not yours!

      Fly you off, now, to my homeland,
      And say to my dear mother,
      Say to her, my darling mother,
      That for the Fatherland I fell.

      Take my scarf, now all stained with red blood,
      To my darling, dearly beloved.
      Say to her that she is free now:
      To another I am now wed.

      A smouldering arrow bound her to me,
      Upon the fated battlefield.
      Death, I see, is coming for me.
      Black raven black, now I am yours!

      Now I am yours!

      What a jolly little ditty!


      1. An old Serbian woman who had seen much death in her life was purported to have said she wants to touch the blade when the grim reaper comes calling – face death eyes wide open.

        No begging, no pleading, no deal making.


  19. What happened again???

    All the time no links or bum links!

    Anyway, here’s another version:

    That song is my first Russian girlfriend’s mother’s favourite. It was her party piece.

    What a jolly old soul she was!

    As a matter of fact — she was: just liked singing sad songs.


  20. OK Nuland, you can strike off one of your 18 really, really awful, secret, shocking sanctions against those evil Orcs:

    Moscow, January 17 – AIF-Moscow.

    The European Union and the United States have stopped considering the option of disconnecting Russia from the international banking system SWIFT as a tightening of possible sanctions, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reports.

    The parties believe that such a move would harm the international financial system and push Russia to create a global alternative payment system.

    “Completely excluding Russia from the SWIFT system is too delicate for negotiators. This move could lead to the destabilization of financial markets in the short term and contribute to the creation of an alternative payment infrastructure, which is no longer dominated by Western countries, in the medium term”, the article says.

    My, you quickly worked that one out, didn’t you all, you freedom-loving shites!

    And of course, such a sanction was not intended to be directed at the ordinary Orc-in-the-street — Oh nooooo!!! Not at all!

    Directed only against the Evil One and his inner circle, right?

    Sort of like stopping the poison dwarf dictator from shopping in Paris along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, right?

    Whose was that dumb idea?

    Oh yeah, some German woman government minister — forget which one now.

    Yeah, a former minister of Merkel’s last government..


    1. Which means that Russia can now use it as it is ‘too sensitive’ to the west. Moscow can just give every single western company based in Russia a short time frame to switch. Washington does Moscow a solid.


  21. However, according to RTI Novosti:

    21: 30 17.01.2022 (updated: 21: 41 17.01.2022)
    The White House has not ruled out disconnecting Russia from SWIFT
    WASHINGTON, January 17-RIA Novosti. The United States does not rule out any options for action in relation to Russia, including the possibility of disconnecting Russian banks from the SWIFT system, in the event of a further escalation of the crisis around the Ukraine, a representative of the US National Security Council said on Monday.

    “None of the options is ruled out”, the US National Security Service representative said in response to a request for comment on Western media reports that Washington and other countries in the European Union had ruled out disconnecting Russian banks from SWIFT as an option for possible sanctions. The words of the American official are quoted by journalists from the White House pool.

    The US administration official added that Washington “continues to consult very closely with European colleagues regarding (options for) serious consequences for Russia if it invades the Ukraine in the future”.

    Oh do fuck of, will ya?

    How long have you been predicting this “imminent invasion”?

    2 months?

    Or more — 3 months already?


    1. Can we assume that various Russian industries are lobbying to be sanctioned? The agricultural sanctions have succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination.


  22. Ha, ha, ha, haaaaaa….oh, man; I think I ruptured something, I’m not even kidding.

    The notion that Biden and Harris are unpopular is hardly revelatory – Biden is a slow-motion train wreck and Harris is the most-infrequently-mentioned VP in American history. But how Democratic strategists got from there to “Clinton is the answer!” is like imagining a rabbit assembling a gas barbecue.


    1. Big Pharma must be raking it in between Biden’s cornucopia of mental stimulants and Clinton’s Parkinson’s treatment.


    1. He has become conditioned by his wanna-believe audience of worshipers, and now assumes he can say any ridiculous thing and be believed. Yes, there is a Musk-hating network out there which is gratuitously critical of what actually might be a regular human being with an undiagnosed mental condition, and that network will shout derisively every time he opens his mouth. But systematic and deliberate step-by-step exposure of his loony raving, like this is, is the way to go in my opinion. He probably is not mental – I just threw that in there so I could appear compassionate – and odds are he is exactly the carny huckster he appears to be; a clever communicator like the ubiquitous fortune-tellers, able to build a quick bio of what you would like to believe about solving your world’s problems and a bafflegab vocabulary that makes you believe the amazing solutions he proposes are not only possible, but easy as rolling off a log. Of course everybody would love to drive a sporty and fast electric car over a solar-energy-storing highway which would charge your car as you drove, so you never needed to refuel and could just keep driving forever for free once you had paid off the car – wouldn’t it be great? Put that scheme right up there beside the lamp whose light recharges its battery so that it can provide free light forever, and the siphon pump that only takes a suck to get ‘er going, and generates a looping flow of water that you can use to build yer artificial waterfall in yer ornamental pond out back. I used to wonder why those things wouldn’t work, too. Now I know. But Musk’s audience is full of follow-the-science twats who think they are way smarter than you – because Elon told them they were – and kind of pity you because you can’t get with the now.

      Kind of poetic, when you think about it. The amazing thing for me, one which I have yet to see explained, is why bankers – who are allegedly the most bullshit-resistant group drawing breath – continue to have enough faith in his crazy shit to go on lending him money. I suppose they reason that enough chowderheads believe him that they can recoup their investment from the believers. They don’t care where the money comes from. At least that’s my best guess.


      1. When money is flowing, craziness is not far behind. Western economies are all about money flow, fast money , illogical money, crazy money. Planning and logic slow up money flow. Gambling, the stock market, fads, fashion are time-dependent money machines. Easy money if you know the game. If too many people learn the game, change the game, It’s a sick roller-coaster ride unless you own the roller-coaster.

        If Musk were some YouTuber raving about Hyperloops and million man marches on Mars, he would be just another harmless loony. But his is, by some accounts, the wealthiest person in the world and his utterances as inane and insane as they are, misdirect precious resources into dead ends.

        But, he is a smart SOB. His adoring fans will continue to buy Teslas when there there are now better electric cars available. His endless promises of self-driving car that make you a fortune hauling drunks while you sleep are never seriously doubted regardless of the years and years of of of… nothing. Just amazing.


      2. Mark:
        “…one which I have yet to see explained, is why bankers – who are allegedly the most bullshit-resistant group drawing breath …”
        Well, two parts:
        1) They aren’t half as smart as the propaganda organs pretend
        2) Affinity fraud works particularly well within the Masters of the Universe. (Think Theranos Archegos, etc.)


        1. Bankers are generally greedy – bad decisions increase exponentially when big and fast money appear obtainable and also safety in numbers mentality – join the gold rush. If its a bust, you will be bailed out.


      3. Bankers like to think they’re smart. That’s why they nearly all fell for the BS regarding derivatives which caused so many financial institutions to fail back in 2007/8. The “cunning plans” dreamt up by “the rocket scientists” were scooped up, with disastrous results, by greedy, gullible eejits who were afraid they’d look stupid by passing on the chance to find a guaranteed new income stream.

        One guy who didn’t succumb to the sales patter was the head of the Banco Santander (and father-in-law of Seve Ballesteros), Emilio Botin. Santander later hoovered up controlling interest in several UK distressed financial services companies brought low by the crash. “I never invest in things I don’t understand” was the quote which I recall. Useful advice.


  23. German Foreign Minister says Nord Stream 2 is not yet “fully compliant” with EU law
    TODAY AT 09: 00

    “The topic of Nord Stream 2 also has a geostrategic side. In order for the German regulator to give the project a positive opinion, it must fully comply with European law.”

    This was stated by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Monday in Kiev. The press conference was broadcast by the German TV channel Phoenix.

    Well she should know: she’s an international lawyer, isn’t she?

    We have stipulated in the coalition agreement that European law applies to energy projects in Germany, and this also applies to Nord Stream 2, of course. Currently, European law is not fully implemented in the context of this project, so the certification process has been suspended. At the same time, we see geostrategic ties, otherwise we would not have talked about it so much.

    If there is a further escalation on the part of Russia, we will take joint appropriate measures together with our partners.

    To launch the Nord Stream 2 AG gas pipeline, it needs to be registered as an independent transport operator. On November 16, the German Federal Network Agency suspended certification because of organizational and legal issues. The regulator noted that the process would resume when the firm with its headquarters in the Swiss city of Zug had transferred the main capital related to the German segment to the ownership of the German subsidiary.

    On December 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia and its partners had fulfilled their task of creating Nord Stream 2, and now the Europeans have the floor. According to him, Nord Stream 2 was ready for operation. Putin stressed that as soon as partners in Europe decide to start working, large additional volumes of Russian gas would immediately start arriving there. The Russian President expressed confidence that the launch of Nord Stream 2 would lead to lower gas prices in Europe.

    Germany now needs more gas, as the country is moving away from coal and nuclear power.

    Putin clearly using gas as an instrument of coercion!


  24. Bloomturd: Brent Oil Jumps to Highest Since 2014 as Physical Market Booms

    Houthi fighters launch drone strikes on United Arab Emirates
    Goldman Sachs sees $100-a-barrel crude by the third quarter

    …Yemen’s Houthi fighters claimed to have launched a drone strike on the United Arab Emirates that caused an explosion and fire on the outskirts of the capital Abu Dhabi. The nation is the third-largest producer in OPEC. ..

    But if you look a the graph the current price is only slightly higher than the last peak in… 2018.

    Vis the Yemen, the UAE is taking advantage of the KSA troubles to get a way in but in response the Houthi rebels have threatened it with direct drone and other strikes which could have big consequences.


    1. She may well be, as being full of herself is her natural state, but I see it more as a sop thrown to Kuh-yiv to soothe its wounded feelings, after a national warning to Canadians to avoid Ukraine. To assure Kuh-yiv of Canada’s undying love and support, you know. And it’s all part of the show – can’t beat the war drums every day on radio and teevee and in the papers and then say nothing while Canadians head off to the soon-to-be war zone for a vacation where their money goes much further.

      All theatre. If there is to be war, it will quickly escalate to Yurrup, but you don’t see any warnings to avoid Yurrup. In fact, if I were your average Ukrainian, I would view small-scale specialist deployments to ‘train Ukrainians to kill Russians’ as tacit confirmation that we Ukrainians are on our own, and if hostilities flare, the west is going to confine its contribution to rhetoric.


  25. Asia Times: In a reset, Turkey drawing closer to US, Europe

    The position Turkey takes in the confrontation between Russia, NATO and the US is arguably more crucial than ever

    by MK Bhadrakumar


    Yes, Turkey is leaning back to the USA but only to get the best of benefits from both sides. There is only so long that the balls can be kept in the air before time runs out, either by a critical decision or by accidental events.

    Suppling military equipment to the Ukraine is playing with fire but in reality not much different than receiving supplies from the west, the difference being that the money flow is different and is mutually beneficial for both Turkish & Ukranian defense industries meaning western ones lose out. Turkey and Ukraine can build stuff that has the minimum western content and is much less vulnerable to the west’s favorite tool, ‘sanctions.’ It deprives the west of a cheap labor market to build subassemblies and parts feeding the west’s military complex which will have an effect on final price (economies of scale etc.) until it can find alternatives which takes time. It looks like having the Turkstream leg of Russian gas in to u-Rope is taken for granted as providing some level of insulation but it would be foolish to think Russia will put up with anything from In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand as it has show that it can still impose significant costs on the Turkish economy at short notice. Sure, he can hold his hand out for massive UAE loans, but as usual something is required in return.

    As for central asia, Turkey has only provided negatives and played spoilers. It has done little to attract ‘turkik peoples’ in the region apart from spending cash, much as it does elsewhere in ‘former Ottoman territories’ such as the Balkans, so it looks to me like a serious imbalance. Spending cash does not buy much loyalty below the surface. Russia’s strategy including the CSTO is a lot more cogent and reliable, something that even though it is ‘boring’ is appreciated by its members who have other problems.

    The question is, when will Erd O’Grand’s balls finally drop and what comes next? Even a more sensible subsequent administration even if it is more reliably American will not accept a subservient role and give up everything gained, lest of all pick fights with Russia or China to show it is ‘big.’ So here too calm and boring will have its strong attractions too.


    1. The basis by which Israeli strategic foreign policy endeavors to negotiate with India and the countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

      The non-alignment movement (NAM) promotes neutrality and opposes military alliances. The NAM provides a forum for developing countries to interact constructively with developed countries. The Panchsheel Resolution: POLICY OF RESISTING COLONIALISM, IMPERIALISM, RACISM:

      i) Mutual respect for another’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
      ii) No retaliation against one another.
      iii) No intrusion into each other’s personal lives.
      iv) Equality and mutual benefit
      v) Coexistence in harmony.

      Israel rejects and opposes attempts by foreign nations to determine the international borders of the Jewish State by any foreign nations which do not share a mutual international border with Israel. Distant foreign countries who attempt to determine the international borders of any other country which they do not share with an international border, whether conducted through “diplomacy” on an Ambassador level, or by means of the UN General Assembly resolutions and\or Security Council, that all such attempts violate international law by the crime of imperialism, and possibly racism.

      The Charter of the UN does not empower this post WWII establishment organization; the UN has no mandate to negate the internal domestic Sovereignty of any nation. How much more so, foreign powers possess no mandate to determine or establish the international borders of any non-neighboring countries with which they share no common border.

      Furthermore, any attempt to transform a stateless refugee population into an independent nation; any attempt to carve up one nation by means of an international proxy alliance, with the objective to establish any refugee non nation into a nation, with the intent to cut this refugee non nation away from any actual pre-existing nation, like British imperialism did with the artificial borders of India and Pakistan, Iraq and Kuwait, such actions define criminal militarism, colonialism and imperialism. Attempts of criminal imperialism, flagrantly/impudently\ violate International law. The illegal US military intervention and invasion into the Vietnam Civil War, the Iraq\Kuwait border dispute, and Afghanistan, these most recent examples, they serve as disgraceful attempts of Great Power imperialism.

      No foreign nation(ies) possess any moral mandate to determine the international borders of other countries to whom they do not mutually share a common border. How much more so, any and all attempts by any foreign country(ies) to impose or determine the Capital City and\or the borders of that Capital City, which any sovereign country has chosen as their Capital; which that People rule and establish order within their society and civilization. No foreign power, which includes the United Nations General Assembly or Security Council, has the power to unilaterally declare the borders or Capital City of any sovereign country on the Planet Earth.


    1. Sobyanin with his endless decrees!

      coronavirus pandemic
      18.01.2022, 14:49
      Moscow authorities extended coronavirus restrictions until April 1

      The Moscow authorities are extending the 30% requirement for remote work and self-isolation for the elderly until April 1, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. Previously, restrictions were set until February 25. The mayor also predicted a double increase in the incidence of coronavirus this week.

      The mayor ordered until April 1, 2022 to extend the self-isolation regime for people over the age of 60 and the chronically ill, to extend the transfer of at least 30% of employees to the remote mode. “Moreover, where possible, I should ask to transfer the maximum number of employees to the remote control”, the mayor emphasized. Earlier, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin made a similar request.


      1. Yes, today is supposed to bring ‘new direction’ from the public-health witch doctors here, after Saint Bonnie extended restrictions to encompass the Christmas holiday season just in case anyone was planning ‘gatherings’. I haven’t heard anything, but I fully expect the charlatans to kick the can down the road another few weeks, to try to hang onto power as long as possible. They’re certainly not going to lift masking rules, not after their dance with industry to pressure everyone to upgrade to N-95’s. Because Omicron is SO infectious. Doesn’t matter that it’s the same particles, they’re not smaller – just upgrade your mask, bucko, and don’t give me lip.


      2. Note “the mayor predicted”.

        I don’t think so, though he might be so full of himelf to have done so. I mean, he is head honcho of a city of 14 million, and though nothing but a bureaucrat, he might think he has the power because he is the top pen-pushing dog with the powers to issue decrees by the second.

        More likely the charlatan Gintsberg told him this — Gintsberg being Russia’s Fauci or whatever.

        In fact, I think Gintsberg is worse than Fauci. You should hear the shite he has come out with — and not wearing mask either as he does it, or has it slung under his chin. And when asked about his mask, he blithely says he and all his staff are immune, albeit he changes his tune about immunity and the need for booster injections when talking about mere mortals.


  26. I’m posting the following for your comic delight.

    Euractiv: Commissioner: Belarus food import embargo ‘weapon’ as part of hybrid attack on EU

    EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski has branded the food import embargo instated by Belarus a ‘weapon’ that is part of a hybrid attack against the EU and vowed to support the member states most impacted by the restrictions.

    …“This is part of a hybrid attack on the EU, a weapon used against the EU,” the Commissioner told reporters following the meeting, drawing parallels between the weaponisation of the restrictions and that of illegal migration.

    “We remember the Russian embargo a few years back – this is a certain repetition but on a smaller scale of that situation,” he added, referring to a restriction of food imports Moscow put in place in August 2014 against the EU, the US, Canada, Australia, and Norway.

    As set out in the AOB, before introducing the embargo, Russia was one of the largest markets for Polish fruit and vegetables…

    u-Rope took a big spade, dug a hole, climbed in and then proceeded to beat itself on the head with its own spade. It looks like it has learned a lesson from the US, eveything ever is someone else’s fault no matter who set it off. Yes, I know it is a Pole making the comments but he is an official representative of the EU and so they hang together, much like NATO.

    As we all knew from early on, Lukyshenko was allowing illegal u-Ropean products in to Russia and benefiting from the arrangement. That was until the sanctions imposed by Brussels as a result of the west’s failed encouleur revolution and the inevitable response.

    This is much the same with the Balts who are sanctioning themselves to spite Russia, ports and railroads losing significant business.

    And what is Brussels response’? Threatening to whine to the WTO that countries dare respond to sanctions with their own sanctions. It won’t fly for even a minute but its a ‘Do Something’ PR response.

    If you made a show about this no-one would belive it because it is so absurd.


  27. There Swedish military has recently been hyperventilating that 4 Russian landing ships (LSTs) have been transiting the Baltic, the media and other hamsters commenting that they may be on their way to the Ukraine as part of an invasion force! You have to wonder if any of the morons repeating such patent bs have even looked at a map. It makes no sense, rather more that they are heading to Tartus in Syria a they have been doing over the last few years already or possibly elsewhere. Other Russian ships also go via the Black Sea and the Dardanelles to Tartus. If anything it looks like Russia is beefing up forces in Syria because they expect something stupid from In Sultin’ Erd o’Grand and the best way to be understood is with military hardware.


  28. 19 JAN, 04: 46
    The Russian Embassy in Ottawa criticized the statement of the Canadian Foreign Minister about the war between the Ukraine and Russia
    Such language, expressed on behalf of a member of the Canadian cabinet, distorts reality, the diplomatic mission noted.

    OTTAWA, January 19. /tass/. The Russian Embassy in Ottawa has expressed bewilderment at the statement by Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly about the alleged war between the Ukraine and Russia, as a result of which thousands of Ukrainian soldiers had been killed on the “eastern front”.

    “We were extremely perplexed by the message on the Twitter account of Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly on January 18 that “almost 4,500 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in the war with Russia on the eastern front’, the Russian diplomatic mission said in a statement on Tuesday. “Such language, expressed on behalf of a member of the Canadian cabinet, distorts reality and does not contribute to efforts to stabilize the situation and resume the settlement of the internal Ukrainian conflict on the basis of the Minsk agreements.”

    The Embassy noted that “the dead Ukrainian ‘soldiers’ mentioned in Minister Joly’s statement are participants in Kiev’s military punitive operation against its citizens in the east of the country”. “The Russian side hopes that Canada and other Western partners of the Ukraine will stop turning a blind eye to the numerous crimes of the Kiev regime, which is waging a war against its own people, which has killed thousands of civilians. The only way to a peaceful resolution of the conflict is to return Kiev to dialogue with representatives of Donetsk and Luhansk and to unconditional compliance with the “Package of Measures for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements”, the diplomatic mission concluded.

    On January 18, Joly, while on a visit to Kiev, posted a message on Twitter about the Ukrainian soldiers who had died “on the eastern front”.

    Does she have to dance to the tune of Canadians, whose forebears were Galitsian nazi immigrants, or what?


    1. Speaking of Galitsian Nazi sympathizers and out-and-out Nazis, I was surprised that Baerbock did not get yah-booed by some in Kiev the other day when she apologised for the crimes committed by the German nazi invaders in the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic during the Great Patriotic War: after all, for very many of those from Galitsia, “the essence of the Ukraine” in the words of Poroshenko, the nazi invaders were the “good guys” who had come to liberate the Ukraine from the Soviet yoke and with whom very many of them had most willingly collaborated and taken up arms, not to mention their wholehearted participation in the murder of Ukrainian Jews.

      Baerbock laid a wreath at the memorial in Kiev to the fallen during that war, which fallen are deemed as traitors by Yukie nazis. She also laid a wreath in Kiev at a memorial to the so-called: “Heavenly Hundred”.

      In Moscow, she also apologized for the nazi war crimes committed in the USSR during Great Patriotic War.


    2. Oh, she probably believes everything she says; all the main media sources, newspapers and television, sing the same song – Russian aggression, poor Ukraine, trying so hard, fledgling democracy, so brave and noble, big bad Russians. You know the drill, and doubtless she had a good solid briefing from the former Canadian Foreign Minister for Ukraine. You remember, the granddaughter of the Nazi collaborator, Chomiak. Canadian foreign policy is mostly just American foreign policy with a maple leaf at the top. Russians do not constitute a significant voting bloc in Canada, but Ukrainians do and some of them are very vocal activists.


  29. January 18, 2022 16: 37
    German Foreign Minister Baerbock in Moscow: “Nothing can make up for the suffering we inflicted on the peoples of the Soviet Union”
    The new German Foreign Minister laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and met with Sergey Lavrov

    It all started out tough. Leader of the German Green Party Annalena Baerbock has repeatedly criticized Moscow and opposed the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. But then, following the results of the elections, Frau Baerbock became the head of the German Foreign Ministry and made one of her first trips in her new capacity to Moscow.

    Here, the woman politician made a symbolically important gesture: she laid a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. “This place fills me with awe”, Baerbock explained. “Nothing can compensate for the suffering that we [the Third Reich during World War II-ed.] caused to the peoples of the Soviet Union.”

    Then it was time for negotiations with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. This began with a funny incident. The Russian Foreign Minister noted that he would like to see “more constructive Russian-American relations”. You might consider this a mistake. Or you may take it as a hint of Lavrov’s subtle sense of humour. After all, the Green Party is openly guided by the Washington agenda, and the United States is simply the loudest in making noise against Nord Stream 2, even though this underwater gas pipeline is located six thousand kilometres from the Potomac.

    The negotiations themselves, of course, were held behind closed doors. But their content was obvious: the Ukraine. By the way, a day earlier Frau Baerbock had visited Kiev, where she confirmed the refusal to supply German weapons to “Independent Ukraine”. However, she encouraged local leaders with a comforting formula: “We are not going to discuss the Ukraine without the Ukraine”. And Baerbock said almost the same thing in Moscow:

    “Everyone has declared their commitment to the Minsk agreements”, she said, referring to the package of measures to end the war in Donbass adopted back in 2014-15. And she hinted that a new meeting in the “Normandy format” may soon take place and with the participation of Moscow, Berlin and Paris, which, in fact, act as guarantors of this settlement. Another thing is that four foreign ministers have been replaced in Berlin since then, and Kiev is still in no hurry to end the war. And whether the Baerbock mission will bring at least some success here, we shall soon find out.

    Of course, the Ukraine was the main point of negotiations, but not the only one.

    I have come with a bulging folder of documents to discuss. We are interested in stable relations with Russia. Fourteen thousand young Russians study at German universities — more than in any other country

    And summed things up by saying :

    We need a reliable Russia to supply Europe with gas.

    At the same time, Baerbock did not mention that the main opponents of the introduction of Nord Stream 2 are herself and her party member, the new Economy Minister Robert Habek. However, Lavrov, with diplomatic tact, did not pull her up over this matter.

    “The certification procedure for Nord Stream 2 is currently underway, but it has now been suspended”, Baerbock said in a somewhat confused response to a direct question from journalists during a joint press conference with Lavrov. Without specifying whether this certification is planned to be “unfrozen” and when.

    So Baerbock’s visit cannot exactly be called a breakthrough. Soon there will the beginning of at least some kind of dialogue with the new “left-green” government of Germany. And this communication will definitely not be easy.

    Not mentioned in the above article is the fact that during her meeting with Lavrov, Baerbock had to give the imprisoned former “Berlin patient” a mention.

    “Politico” for its part, thinks the sun shines out of Baerbock’s arse. Well it would, wouldn’t it?

    Germany’s Baerbock faces down top Russian diplomat Lavrov in Moscow
    Berlin’s new foreign minister challenges Russia to ‘adhere to common rules’.

    January 18, 2022 10:27 pm

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov just might have met his match.

    Standing next to Annalena Baerbock, his new German counterpart, at a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, Lavrov, the éminence grise of world diplomacy, seemed, well, a bit gray, a bit grumbly, and a tad more tiresome than his usually fearsome self.

    Lavrov, who next month will complete his 18th year as Russia’s top diplomat, and shortly after will celebrate his 72nd birthday, used the news conference to reiterate Moscow’s many gripes against Germany, the EU and the West in general.

    Meanwhile, Baerbock, who was making her first visit to the Russian capital as foreign minister from the Green party in Germany’s new governing coalition, maintained steely composure throughout the encounter as she accused Russia of refusing to adhere to common rules, and challenged Lavrov on the jailing of the political opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and the shuttering of Memorial, a venerable human rights organization.

    If she was at all intimidated by her far more seasoned and senior host, Baerbock did not let on.

    Her opening statement lasted nearly a minute longer than Lavrov’s, and she closed her prepared remarks by delivering a bit of a lecture about the obligations of public officials to maintain peace and security for their citizens, an unmistakable poking at Russia for threatening further war against Ukraine.

    “We, who bear political responsibility, have no more important duty than to protect our people — especially from war and violence,” she said. “I am convinced that we can achieve this best through successful talks, not against each other but with each other.”

    It was just under a year ago that Lavrov used a similar news conference in Moscow to brutalize and humiliate the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, calling the EU an “unreliable partner” while they were standing together, and leaking news of the expulsion of three EU diplomats from Russia, catching Borrell completely off-guard.

    On Tuesday, with the current tensions sharply raising the stakes, there could hardly have been a more striking contrast.

    If a year ago, Borrell had seemed unsettled and off-balance, this time it was Lavrov who seemed a bit weary. Arriving at the lectern, he gave an audible sigh and flashed a forced smile before launching into a litany of familiar gripes.

    He complained about the “unproductive politicization” of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany, and about accusations of discrimination against the German-language affiliate of the Kremlin-owned RT television station, which was taken off the air in December after German authorities said it did not have a proper broadcasting license.

    Lavrov decried the “anti-Russian line” of Brussels, accused the “Kyiv regime” of “sabotaging” the Minsk 2 peace accords, and insisted — rather unconvincingly — that Moscow was not in any way responsible for recent fears of a military attack on Ukraine, even though Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned personally of a “military-technical” response if the West does not meet Moscow’s demands for security guarantees.

    “We do not threaten anyone,” Lavrov said at Tuesday’s news conference. “But we hear threats against us.”

    Baerbock, who at 41 is more than 30 years Lavrov’s junior, did not flinch. At some points, she appeared to suggest that the repetitiveness of Russia’s demands was getting boring even as she maintained a tone of respect, and reiterated Germany’s willingness to negotiate, as well as its desire to rev up the so-called Normandy Format meetings consisting of Germany, France, Ukraine and Russia aimed at implementing the Minsk 2 peace accords.

    “Russia has demanded security guarantees, and this has just been made clear once again,” she said. “We are ready for a serious dialogue on mutual agreements and steps that will bring more security to everyone in Europe. Security for the people in Riga, security for the people in Bucharest, security for the people in Berlin, security for the people in St. Petersburg.”

    Baerbock was also firm in insisting that Moscow was responsible for the recent security tensions and destabilization of relations.

    “I came with a thick discussion folder,” she said. “It is thick because there is a whole range of topics where we have major, sometimes fundamental, differences of opinion. But it is also thick because there are so many issues where we see opportunities for more cooperation.”

    At several points, she stressed that Germany was a trading nation that relied on stability to do business.

    “We have an even more fundamental interest in maintaining the European peace order, in which equal and binding rules apply to all, and on which all could rely,” she said. “There will be no security in our common house of Europe if there are not common rules on which all can always refer to and rely on — be it in the exchange of economy, be it in the exchange of culture, be it in friendships, be it in families or even in the exchange of our two countries.”

    In response to Lavrov’s assertions that Russia was not threatening conflict, Baerbock noted that there were 100,000 Russian soldiers mobilized on the Ukrainian border “for no understandable reason.”

    “It’s hard not to see this as a threat,” she said.

    During a question and answer session, Lavrov continued his drumbeat of complaints, accusing NATO of “double standards” by saying its troop deployments in Eastern Europe were no business of Russia’s, while criticizing Russia’s deployments of troops within its own borders.

    But NATO’s troop presence is minuscule compared to Russia’s mobilization on the Ukraine border, and some of the alliance’s deployments — 6,000 troops across four countries as part of a new “forward presence” — were initiated only in response to Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014.

    Lavrov also repeated his insistence that it was up to the West to address Moscow’s security demands, which were laid out in two proposed treaties put forward to the U.S. and NATO last month. “We are now awaiting answers as we were promised to these proposals in order to continue negotiations,” he said.

    Baerbock did not repeat a common recent talking point of U.S. and NATO leaders — that some of Russia’s demands, including a requested guarantee that Ukraine and Georgia will never join the alliance, are “non-starters.”

    Instead, she calmly gave succinct, pointed answers. And when Russian journalists used a final question to push the complaint of alleged discrimination against RT, she seized the last word. “In our country, freedom of the press means that there is no state interference in this area,” Baerbock said. “We have a clear constitution, which prohibits state broadcasting in Germany, regardless of whether the state is called Germany, the U.S. or Russia.”

    With that, she gathered up her notes, put on her face mask, and walked toward Lavrov who appeared to expect some thanks or salutatory gesture. Instead, she strode past him with barely a glance, turned and went out the door.

    Isn’t she just wonderful!


      1. Compare the “Politico” report on Baerbock’s Moscow visit with the following:

        “Eurasia Daily”:

        “A student without manoeuvre and the teacher”: the German press about the Baerbock – Lavrov meeting

        The highlight of Tuesday, 18 January, was the visit of German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to Moscow, during which the German Foreign Minister met her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

        News agencies reporting on the outcome of the meeting reported that Lavrov repeatedly “drew her attention”, “pointed out” and “explained” to her — a matter that was also the focus of the German press.

        “A student visiting a professional diplomat”, the ‘Nürnberger Nachrichten’ noted: “Annalena Baerbock performed well in her meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. The talks could have gone with much more difficulty. What has been discussed makes political sense: reviving the Normandy format — the talks between Berlin, Paris, Moscow and Kiev on the conflict in the Ukraine”.

        “Seldom has Germany’s foreign policy looked so helpless”, the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” newspaper states in turn. “In Moscow, a small mixture of proposals for negotiations and inherently ambiguous threats of sanctions in the event of military aggression from Russia. In Kiev there was a small mixture of warm words and indications of the unacceptability of Ukrainian demands to get German weapons. Previously, Annalena Baerbock had taken a clear and direct stance towards Russia, accusing the Kremlin of neglecting the sovereignty of weak states and intending to change the borders in Europe. But her visits to Kiev and Moscow showed how limited the possibilities for the ‘moral-value offensive’ previously announced by Baerbock.”

        “It is an undeniable truth that it is better to threaten when you have something to threaten with”, the “Straubinger Tagblatt” noted, “but the ruling Social Democrats have lost all their trump cards. Supplying arms to the Ukraine is unacceptable, as is cutting Russia off from SWIFT or abandoning the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The consequence is that the German foreign minister has no room for manoeuvre. This leads to tragicomic offers to Kiev to develop hydrogen power together. The Ukrainians, after all, know what Germany’s assurances are worth. And the Germans know who defines their foreign policy”.

        “To meet Sergei Lavrov, the ‘big gun of Russian diplomacy’, and to remain unscathed was a real feat. For Annalena Baerbock, it was her first serious test of strength as Germany’s foreign minister. And you could say: Baerbock has passed this stress test. However, this is only partly due to her inner resilience and determination. The reason lies rather in Russia’s interests. Minister Lavrov had no interest whatsoever in discrediting his young colleague”, says Focus Online.

        “Lavrov hardly liked that Baerbock publicly, and not just behind closed doors, raised the issue of the Navalny case, as well as the closure of the ‘Memorial’ organization (foreign media, recognized in the Russian Federation as a foreign agent)”, the publication continues, noting that the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry found something in the way of a response: he raised the issue of the RT channel broadcasting in Germany.

        “Baerbock’s trip to Russia shows that Berlin has once again become an important negotiating partner for Moscow. Dialogue is the main goal of the German foreign minister’s visit, and this is reflected, amongst other things, in the discussion of commitments to restart talks in the Normandy format”, reassures “Die Welt”.

        “The fact that there are talks on the continuation of the Normandy format, that Russia is no longer willing to resolve its relations with the West only through dialogue with Washington, can be perceived as progress. And the fact that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is coming to Berlin on Thursday demonstrates that Germany’s special role in the talks with Moscow has also been made note of in the US”, the newspaper continues.

        However, the average “Die Welt” reader disagrees with the journalists: “I haven’t laughed like that in a long time: thank you for that”, observes the average German. “How on earth did you come to such a more than bold conclusion, which you have not confirmed in any way?” another reader writes, expressing his scepticism about Germany’s allegedly increased role in the dialogue between Moscow and Washington. In general, commentators agree that the appointment of Baerbock to the post of German foreign minister was a rash decision. “Don’t we have any other diplomats who could represent Germany adequately abroad?” asks one reader.

        “Der Spiegel” says that Moscow hardly perceives Germany as a leading party in the negotiations on the security architecture in Europe. “Der Spiegel” pointed to a slip of the tongue when the Russian foreign minister, addressing Baerbock, mistakenly referred to the importance of having a more constructive relationship with the US than with Germany.

        “The press conference ended in the same chilly atmosphere in which the talks began. Baerbok left her place behind the podium and walked past Lavrov, silently and without eye contact”, the publication concludes.

        “Perhaps (the dialogue) will allow common ground to be developed. Not today, not tomorrow, but someday. To (achieve mutual understanding) it is necessary to talk to each other, not about each other. Thus, bilateral relations will continue to be tepid even after Baerbock’s return from Russia. But the German foreign minister’s first and so far only visit after having taken office will not change that”, the “Badisches Tagblatt” said.

        So she rudely walked off “silently and without eye contact”?

        Truly a diplomat!

        Rather childish, in my opinion.

        Not surprising, though.

        A rather different description of events to that given in “Politico”.

        The address of “Politico”: Arlington, Virginia, USA.

        Not too distant from the Pentagon and Langley, Virginia.


        1. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope of a diplomatic breakthrough if the most hopeful sign was the proposal to restart the ‘Normandy Format’ talks. It is already sufficiently clear that France has no interest at all in holding Kiev accountable for progress, and Ukraine has no interest at all in any process which will increase or even recognize eastern-Ukrainian autonomy. To this point Germany has been more of a mediator than an ideas contributor, which essentially left Russia on its own, which is why the process stalled, stumbled and eventually disappeared. To restart it in a format where Russia would be confronted by three adversaries rather than two is not an improvement from Russia’s perspective, and Baerbock would be taking dictation straight from Washington, in whose interest it is that the fighting goes on forever.

          Russia is best served by doing what it can to prevent the outbreak of war by way of some US-inspired Ukrainian provocation, and keeping its powder dry while Ukraine goes on bleeding the western alliance white through its helplessness and inertia.


    1. Steely composure. And she talked for nearly a minute longer than Lavrov in her opening statement! Clearly, there is no stopping her, and I will be surprised if she is not Chancellor of the Free World by the time the year is out.


    2. Come on ME, give the authors credit for their firm journalisti polishing of the German debutante! Credit where credit is not due, but that is down to old habits. Russia – Bad. Others (except China/Serbia/soup enemy of the day) – Good.

      By David M. Herszenhorn and Hans von der Burchard


  30. In our country, freedom of the press means that there is no state interference in this area.We have a clear constitution, which prohibits state broadcasting in Germany, regardless of whether the state is called Germany, the U.S. or Russia.

    — Baerbock, yesterday, Moscow.

    Deutsche Welle or DW is a German public state-owned international broadcaster funded by the German federal tax budget.


  31. Suffering, but not for nothing”: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova has assessed Germany’s request to the Netherlands to increase gas supplies
    According to the diplomat, the Dutch were surprised by this “position” of their German neighbours, amongst other reasons, because Berlin itself is against the development of new gas fields in the North Sea.
    17 January, 22:42

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on Germany’s request for the Netherlands to increase its supply of gas for the current and next yearof by 1.1 billion cubic metres .

    “The Dutch, of course, were surprised by such a … let’s call it the “position” … of their German neighbours. This is also because Berlin itself now opposes the development of new gas fields in the North Sea by the Dutch”, the diplomat wrote in her Telegram channel.

    Zakharova added that a letter from the then Dutch Economy Minister Stef Blok to his German counterpart Robert Habek had earlier been leaked to the press. According to the reports, The Hague had hinted to Berlin to go “check what measures Germany itself can take to limit gas consumption to the limit”, Zakharova said. At the same time, German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock said during a visit to Kiev that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline “does not yet comply with European legislation”.

    “That is to say, we are suffering, but not for nothing, but in connection with more than basic considerations: it is a question of Western “values” and “unity”, as well as their intricacies, and … well, logic. What the hell”, concluded the representative Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

    11 Jan 2022, 13:36
    Netherlands concerned about effects of high German gas demand on domestic reserves

    Der Spiegel
    Dutch economic affairs minister, Stef Blok, has expressed concern about Germany’s large appetite for natural gas sourced from the Netherlands’ northern Groningen province, where its continued exploitation has recently resulted in hundreds of small earthquakes, Claus Hecking reports for Der Spiegel. The Dutch government had planned to stop gas production at the Groningen field due to the continued quakes, but the site is now set to about twice as much as expected in the 2021/22 financial year due in part to high gas demand from Germany. Blok has nevertheless written a letter to his German counterpart, climate and economy minister Robert Habeck, complaining about the significantly higher demand registered by German customers for low-calorie gas from its neighbour country. In a statement to the House of Representatives in the Hague, Blok explained that he told Habeck he was “seriously worried about this development,” adding that he asked his German counterpart to check what measures Germany can take to limit its gas consumption “to a minimum.” Due to the ongoing energy price crisis in Europe, Germany’s utilities will likely have to order 1.1 billion cubic metres more of gas from the Netherlands this year than originally planned, according to the article


    1. See if their unity and western values will burn; perhaps that will keep them warm.

      I imagine Germany is under tremendous pressure from the US State Department to delay certification of the Russian pipeline for as long as possible, and Washington likely is lobbying fiercely with its pro-American allies in Germany to see if it can cause the government to fall, in hopes of getting a new one that will cancel Nord Stream II altogether. They will never give up hope, and once it goes into operation they will never stop introducing arguments to shut it down. A reality which will change the equation, though, is the Ukrainian GTS. It is already dangerous to operate in some sections while other less-used sections have been isolated and removed. Eventually it will no longer be capable of transiting gas to Europe.

      It explains why America worships Baerbock, and considers her THE German politician of her time.


    1. Ha, ha, haaaa!!! ‘Members of the Kiev Territorial Defense Unit training with wooden guns’!! Which happen to have been cut in the shape of AK-47’s, which Ukraine is awash in, and there is no shortage of ammunition.

      I thought Israel had supplied Ukraine with the Tavor Bullpup assault rifle? Those wooden cutouts don’t look much like it.

      The whole ‘wooden guns’ setup simply drips pathos, and is designed to wring the heartstrings of westerners – look!! So brave, they have nothing with which to defend themselves! Help them!!! I’m just surprised they were not broomsticks. Is anyone in Ukraine an adult male and does not grasp which end of a rifle the bullets come out of? Well, then, what other useful lessons can you derive from drilling with a wooden cutout? Is it the same weight as a real assault rifle? Close? Nope. How do you load it? That’d be an interesting lesson on a wooden gun. Where’s the safety? What do you do if you get a splinter; oops, I meant a jam? Bet the recoil is tough to manage from a wooden gun that doesn’t shoot.

      Unless you are doing rifle drill for marching or public demonstration – sometimes conducted with solid rubber weapons which weigh the same as the real thing, only they don’t get damaged if you drop them, you clumsy fuck – there is nothing much useful to be learned from pointing wooden guns. Anyone who does not know how to point a gun should not be entrusted with one, full stop, and how are you supposed to know if you can hit anything with it if it won’t shoot?

      100% publicity stunt.


  32. First the Netflix film, now this:

    For several months he exchanged letters with TIME while in Russian penal colony No 2 and shared his thoughts on life in prison, the future of the opposition movement and the recent diplomatic stand-off between the US and Russia. Below is a portion of his letters in which he responded to questions from a TIME journalist.:

    See source


    1. The Russian blogger who posted the above writes (in part):

      True, this time the magazine “Time” could not leave the cover without the face and name of Putin, but still brought Captain Titties to the fore.

      In my opinion, the interview is interesting precisely because it is propaganda in its purest form… I

      It’s very big and very delusional, so I have split it up so it will, I think, it will be much easier to read.

      I, for my part, can’t be arsed translating back into English what the blogger has translated into Russian: I have an insufficient supply of vomit bags at hand.


      1. Oh bugger!

        Here’s a taster of the thoughts of the Bullshitter:

        TIME: What do you think of the negotiations now taking place against the backdrop of the conflict in Ukraine and the wider confrontation between the US and Russia over Ukraine?

        Bullshitter: Time and time again the West has fallen into Putin’s elementary trap. He makes some crazy, ridiculous demands like the present one – that he and Biden should sit down in a cigar room and decide the fate of Europe, as if it were 1944. And if the US does not agree, he will “arrange something”.

        The US, instead of ignoring this nonsense, accepts Putin’s agenda and runs to arrange some meetings. Just like a terrified schoolboy being bullied by a high school student. And they say: “If you arrange something, we will impose tough sanctions”.

        Exactly what Putin wants. Because the opposite implies that if you do not attack Ukraine, we will not impose sanctions. There will be a carrot for you, not a stick. The combination is complete: Putin may not have to fear the sanctions already almost adopted against his friends. The Biden administration first persuaded Congress to postpone them, and now it will lift them altogether – they promised Putin a carrot. What sanctions now?

        Such ‘two-way deals’ are elementary and obvious, but it is breathtaking how Putin has played them over and over again with the US establishment: threat of escalation – trade – backtrack, threat of escalation – trade – backtrack. When I watch this, it feels like it’s not US foreign policy, but an O. Henry, in which a dodgy crook (Putin) tricks the village simpleton who thinks he is very clever (US State Department).


        The “Time” interview took place in one of “Putin’s concentration camps”.


          1. In fact, I rather suspect that the interview was not with the Bullshitter but with his team in Chihuahua Land.

            There’s no way in the UK that you could have such a correspondence when in nick: only 2 letters a week, one small sheet of paper, no description of conditions, other cons and officials.


        1. Washington must redouble its efforts to free Navalny – perhaps it could offer, in exchange for a reduced sentence and release, to make him and his family American citizens and promise he would never return to Russia. Think what an asset he would be as an advisor to Biden and his cabinet! An asset for Russia, I mean. Biden should surround himself with former-Russian ‘advisors’ like Navalny and Rodchenkov, immerse himself in their international expertise.

          According to Navalny, sanctions are just the ticket; they are working like a charm, and they must be maintained. It is excellent ideas like Navalny’s that resulted in Russia becoming a net exporter of agricultural products in 2020 for the first time as an independent country.

          And that’s from those cheerleaders for a strong Russia at the Moscow Times, so you know what it must have cost them to report it without bitterness. According to Navalny, not imposing further sanctions against Russia is a carrot for Putin. First you fabricate a case that Russia is definitely planning to invade Ukraine, and threaten sanctions if it dares to do it…and then when it doesn’t, you impose more sanctions anyway, just to let those flat-faced fuckers know who’s boss! I especially like how he threw the casual O. Henry reference in there, just to let John and Susie in America know that he reads American literature classics in the jug whenever he gets a break from being beaten and starved. Free Navalny!!! He’s the best thing to happen to the spread of freedom and democracy since war bonds!


    2. Delightful!!! The west is usually not this stubborn, but for some reason or combination of reasons that is not apparent to me, it continues to go all-in on Navalny. The man Putin fears!! Yes, I imagine Putin moans and turns uneasy in his sleep, as nightmares of a blissful Navalny-led Russia waist-deep in milk and honey take him away from his usual satisfaction in a Russia that screams in pain under his heel.

      Elon Musk as Man Of The Year (or I suppose it’s ‘Person’ of the year now, probably soon to be ‘human unit’ or something like that. Unless he is transgender, in which case it would be okay to celebrate it), and Navalny as the coverboy Putin fears: Jesus wept. Time isn’t a newsmagazine, it’s a graphic novel. What used to be called a comic book.

      But to reiterate a favourite theme, I am heartened to see the U.S. government’s continued faith and hope in Navalny. He is a grifter who will never gain any serious influence in Russia, and it was probably a mistake for Putin to refuse to say his name for so long. That was spun as apprehensiveness and fear, of course, but it was thin gruel. What he should have done every time Navalny’s name was mentioned would have been to throw himself to the ground and roll around like a grub, with his hands over his ears, screaming, “No!! No!!! Don’t say it!!!”.

      All right, that might be overacting a little. But the west’s measures for success in its regime-change dabbling are pretty broad.


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