Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Russian Economy Keeps Growing - Russia Insider


Doing quite nicely, thank you

The narrative in the western media is that Russia's economy is stumbling due to sanctions, but this is incorrect. Russia's economy is actually growing, according to global investment banks. Deutsche Bank predicted 0.5% for the 3rd quarter.

Here's fresh evidence. Russia’s PMI just posted its second gain for 2014 and its third gain in the past 14 months. It should be noted, however, that manufacturing only makes up around 16% of the Russian economy and thus changes in this indicator will not necessarily predict changes in GDP as a whole.

And here is EU PMI by comparison:


Complete story at - Russian Economy Keeps Growing - Russia Insider

Meet 'Mr. Yuan': The Currency Trader Helping Russia Defy Western Sanctions - Russia Insider

By Evgenia Pismennaya

This article originally appeared on Bloomberg.

Vladimir Putin has a secret agent in his campaign to curb the impact of sanctions on Russia’s economy: Mr. Yuan.

That’s what skeptical bankers started calling Igor Marich after he introduced yuan trading in Moscow in 2010, when Russia became the first country outside China to offer regulated renminbi purchases. Now, as sanctions from the west over the conflict in Ukraine prompt more Russian companies to look east for growth, Mr. Yuan has become something of an honorific.

The yuan-ruble trade on the Moscow Exchange, where Marich runs money markets, has jumped 10-fold this year to $749 million in August, though still a sliver of the $367 billion in dollar-for-ruble sales. Yuan buying hit a then-peak of 666 million yuan ($109 million) on July 31, when the European Union penalized Russia’s largest banks,OAO Sberbank, VTB Group and OAO Gazprombank, over Putin’s support for Ukraine’s insurgency. With EU and U.S. sanctions in place and ties with China deepening, daily trading will soon reach 1 billion yuan, Marich said.

“I believe we can see this result within a year,” the 40-year-old sports enthusiast said in an interview at the exchange in central Moscow, where he started working in 2000, the same year Putin became president.

Marich’s goal may come sooner than he thinks. Russia is considering accepting yuan for gas under the $400 billion, 30-year supply deal that China signed during Putin’s visit to Beijing in May, according to four senior Russian officials and executives who asked not to be identified because a final decision hasn’t been made.

Complete story at - Meet 'Mr. Yuan': The Currency Trader Helping Russia Defy Western Sanctions - Russia Insider

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The Arithmetics of Diplomatic Theatre | SLAVYANGRAD.org

It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of the divine plan. Russia’s cunning plan in Ukraine belongs to the same category. In analyzing the statements made by Sergei Lavrov in his interview with Russia Beyond the Headlines on September 17, 2014, some commentators have added a third concept—that of diplomatic theatre—to this duality. While it is generally bad form to overanalyze religious beliefs, let us apply some simple mathematics to understand the play behind the curtains of diplomatic theatre.

The concept of diplomatic theatre is understood differently by commentators. Many of the definitions are clearly wrong. Diplomatic theatre is not magic, mysticism, or sleight of hand. The language of diplomacy is far more akin to mathematics than commonly understood. As in mathematics, every word has its place, and no phrase is spoken out of context or frivolously.

The product of a diplomatic equation is directly dependent on the placement of definitions in a string of calculated statements. Like legal language, diplomatic language can be deciphered, broken down into components, and analyzed with precision. To a keen observer, there is nothing mysterious in what diplomats say. Bad diplomacy, on the other hand, is the opposite of this approach. And Lavrov is an excellent diplomat. Accordingly, let us parse out the meaning of Lavrov’s interview without resorting to magic or belief in the guiding hand that can do no wrong.

Setting Out the Equation

Lavrov’s interview contains a wealth of statements with respect to the crisis in Ukraine. Many of them have been made before—Russia’s steadfast commitment to investigating the Odessa massacre, the crash of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing MH17, and the war crimes and crimes against humanity being committed by the Ukrainian troops in Donbass. All of these remarks are laudable, praiseworthy and notable in and of themselves.

Complete story at - The Arithmetics of Diplomatic Theatre | SLAVYANGRAD.org

Obama’s House of Cards » CounterPunch:


Obama’s September 24 speech at the UN is the most absurd thing I have heard in my entire life. It is absolutely amazing that the president of the United States would stand before the entire world and tell what everyone knows are blatant lies while simultaneously demonstrating Washington’s double standards and belief that Washington alone, because the US is exceptional and indispensable, has the right to violate all law.

It is even more amazing that every person present did not get up and walk out of the assembly.

The diplomats of the world actually sat there and listened to blatant lies from the world’s worst terrorist. They even clapped their approval.

The rest of the speech was just utter bullshit: “We stand at a crossroads,” “signposts of progress,” “reduced chance of war between major powers,” “hundreds of millions lifted from poverty,” and while ebola ravages Africa “we’ve learned how to cure disease and harness the power of the wind and the sun.” We are now God, “We” is comprised of the “exceptional people”–Americans. No one else counts. “We” are it.

It is impossible to pick the most absurd statement in Obama’s speech or the most outrageous lie. Is it this one? “Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition.”

Or is it this one? “After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt president fled. Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed. Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands. When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days. When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.”

Complete story at - Obama’s House of Cards » CounterPunch:

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Former Czech President: "US/EU Propaganda Against Russia Ridiculous" - Russia Insider

Vaclav Klaus, longtime president and prime minister of the Czech Republic who is still highly popular, is one of the most respected and outspoken conservatives in Europe.

He has a reputation for straight talk and brilliance. The English magazine The Spectator publishes an interview with him in this week's issue by Neil Clark entitled "The Lies Europe Tells About Russia".

Klaus bemoans EU bureacracy bloat, EU non-market economic policies, and the "tragic misunderstanding ... on same-sex marriages and all that stuff about family."

Then he explains how the EU and US are getting it wrong on Russia:

Complete story at - Former Czech President: "US/EU Propaganda Against Russia Ridiculous" - Russia Insider

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Monday, September 29, 2014

As Default and Devaluation Loom, Ukraine Bails Out Oligarchs and Hammers Everyone Else - Russia Insider

Today, the Ukrainian Central Bank announced changes to foreign exchange laws in a bid to help oligarchs while hurting the average Ukrainian.

The limit on company's foreign exchange holdings has been altered to allow 25% of revenues to be held in non-hryvina denominated currency from a prior 0%. At the same time the Central Bank cut the maximum an individual citizen of Ukraine is allowed to transact to 3,000 hryvina (around 230 dollars) from 15,000.

The move is all too reminiscent of Yeltsin's decision to default and devalue the Russian Ruble in August 1998. The previous 12 months had seen the Russian Central Bank paying out 27 billion dollars to defend the currency (around 6% of GDP at the time). What they were really doing was letting many of the well-connected convert their Ruble holdings ahead of the devaluation.

The Ukrainian Central Bank has so far lowered its foreign currency reserves from 20 billion to 15 billion in the past 9 months. This is on top of 1 billion dollars of IMF money and 1.5 billion of World Bank money which has been injected, implying that they have spent 7.5 billion propping up the currency, equivalent to about 8% of GDP. This is if we trust their excel spread-sheet from August, I would not be surprised if we discover five years later that the real amounts were much larger owing to theft.

Complete story at - As Default and Devaluation Loom, Ukraine Bails Out Oligarchs and Hammers Everyone Else - Russia Insider

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Why the Kremlin is not very concerned with energy sanctions | Russia Direct

The new energy sanctions imposed by the West could force Russia to turn to other partners or technologies to compensate for the lost potential of Arctic and shale prospecting projects.

On Sept. 12, the EU and U.S. published a new list of energy sanctions, this time targeting Russian state oil companies Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, as well as the privately owned Lukoil and Surgutneftegaz. It also marked energy giant Gazprom’s first appearance in the list, but only in regard to oil projects.

The new sanctions prohibit the West’s largest oil companies, including America’s ExxonMobil, Anglo-Dutch Shell, France’s Total, and Norway’s Statoil, from partnering with Russia in deep-sea and shale prospecting projects, as well as upstream operations in the Arctic. They also mean that Western companies will be forced to halt exports to Russia of high tech equipment used in oil exploration and production.

Complete story at - Why the Kremlin is not very concerned with energy sanctions | Russia Direct

The Vineyard of the Saker: Why Ukraine Will Never Retake Crimea

Written especially for Russia Insider

The Ukrainian Defense Minister Valerii Geletei is hardly a credible figure.

Not only did he recently declare that Russia had threatened the Ukraine with nuclear strikes, he even told a Ukrainian journalist that Russia had already executed two tactical nuclear strikes on the city of Lugansk (apparently to explain why the Ukrainian forces had to retreat from there). The Junta later denied the story and blamed it on the journalist who first published it.

Despite these antics, Geletei nonetheless caught the world's attention when he promised the Ukrainian Rada that the Ukraine would retake Crimea and organize a victory parade in Sevastopol. The Rada (Ukraine's parliament) greeted that promise with a standing ovation.

The truth is that this will never happen. Here is why:

By 2020 Russia will have completed the following defense plan:
86.7 billion rubles will be spend to modernize the Black Sea Fleet. Modernization plans include the deployment of ultra-modern Project 11356 frigates and top of the line Project 636.3 diesel-electric attack submarines.
A separate army group, similar to the one in Kaliningrad, will be formed and a bomber base will be created. The ground forces component will include one Air-Assault brigade, one Spetsnaz brigade, one Naval Infantry brigade and one Motor-Rifle brigade. Earlier, other sources spoke of one or two Airborne brigades, two or three Motor-Rifle brigades and one Tank brigades. 
The Russian Air Force plans to deploy Tupolev Tu-22M3 “Backfire” bombers in Crimea which will be able to not only defend Crimea from any threat from the sea, but also destroy key components of the the US/NATO anti-ballistic missile system now deployed in southern Europe. 
Finally, Crimea will be defended by coastal defense missiles, air defense systems and anti-ship cruise missiles.
In other words, Crimea will become a formidable defensive node, an unsinkable aircraft carrier if you want, and an ideal location for the power-projection of Russian military forces in southern Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, the Middle-East, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

No wonder the US/NATO wanted it so badly.

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Why Ukraine Will Never Retake Crimea

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Russia and Saudi Arabia – the new Gulf partnership? | Russia Direct

Moscow’s diplomatic blitzkrieg in Saudi Arabia marks a new era in bilateral relations with one of the Middle East’s key players, and possibly a major shift in regional alliances.

Recent weeks have seen an escalation of violence in the Middle East, with ISIS advancing into Iraq and effortlessly taking over large swathes of territory there. The growing instability in the region has highlighted the enormous shifts taking place within established political alliances.

At a time when the White House is considering sending military aid to Baghdad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is visiting Saudi Arabia – a longtime U.S. ally in the region and key stakeholder in the Iraqi crisis.

Russia has been looking to play a bigger role in the Middle East, but Moscow’s inability to win over the Gulf – the key to influencing the Middle East – has continuously prevented it from replacing the United States as a reliable partner to the regional powers. Against this backdrop, Lavrov’s visit to Saudi Arabia has presented Moscow with an opportunity to prove to the Gulf countries that it is in fact the Kremlin, and not the White House, that nowadays holds sway over a troubled Syria and disobedient Iran.

Complete story at - Russia and Saudi Arabia – the new Gulf partnership? | Russia Direct

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The Vineyard of the Saker: Transcarpathia and Transnistria SitRep 14 Sep - 20 Sep

NoBC4U Note: Yes, this is a bit old, but it gives insight on some of the problems Ukraine is encountering on the opposite end of the country.

by "Y"


More than one hundred Zakarpattya Border Guards were sent to front in the east. Groups photographs taken at the leaving parade show the extremes the Ukrainians have resorted to. The members are not of prime military age, are generally older adults. Their physique is very variable, including a significant proportion of extremes. The recruits are reported to have been given 2 weeks training.

Four prisoners of war were returned to Transcarpathia as a result of the cease fire. These were members of the 51st Mechanized Brigade and were in good physical shape. They were captured near Ilovaisk on 24 August. A further two are due to be repatriated in the near future.

Volunteer collections for materials and supplies to be sent to the front in support of the Transcarpathian troops still are held. Some supplies are handed over to the Transcarpathian Border Guard members before they leave for the front. Others are been delivered by a local coordinator. The supplies are taken by private van for distribution at Pisk near Donetsk. To date, four such deliveries have been made.

Bishop Milan Shashik confirmed that parishioners of the Greek-Catholic church in Mukachevo donated funds sufficient for an ambulance to be bought and sent to the front. Others have constructed and donated lightweight stretchers. Further voluntary support on behalf of Transcarpathian members of 51st Mechanised Brigade raised about 40,000 UAH for food and clothing and 15,000 UAH for computers and printers. Canada provided kevlar helmets and flak jackets for those departing for the front. It is not clear whether this donation derives from the Canadian government or from Ukrainians residing in Canada. The electoral candidate Viktor Baloha claims to have donated an armoured van.

Finally, this week a further 19 refugees have arrived from the east and Crimea, bringing the total to 1503 (1485) from Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and 228 (227) from Crimea. The figures in brackets represent the totals residing within Transcarpathia at the end of August. This weekly total is much less than the average of about 240 refugees for the first two weeks of September. Whilst this may indicate that people are still leaving despite the cease fire, there is no indication of how long it took them (and hence the departure date) to travel to Transcarpathia.

The Ukrainian government is reported to have provided 257 million UAH for the families of 423 fallen soldiers. It remains to be seen whether the government can continue this level of financial support once the true figure of losses become visible.

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Transcarpathia and Transnistria SitRep 14 Sep - 20 SepCC Photo Google Image Search Source is larichev org  Subject is 6 part Ukraine with flags

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Crimeans are happier to be a part of Russia than Russians themselves. | Vera Graziadei

It’s mid-July and I’m on a flight to a place that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to with these menacing warnings:

“Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea. Following an illegal referendum on 16 March, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 March and tensions remain high. Flights in and out of Simferopol airport are subject to disruption. … Train and bus routes out of the peninsula are still operating, though subject to unscheduled disruptions. There are reports of road blocks, with passengers being searched but traffic is able to get through. If you’re currently visiting or living in Crimea, you should leave now. If you choose to remain, you should keep a low profile, avoid areas of protest or stand-off and stay indoors where possible.”

Had I not been going to this exotic peninsula on the edge of the Black Sea every single year since I was 6, I would probably follow this mis-advice, which is still current on the UK government’s website. Even at the peak of the Crimean crisis in March 2014, when I was phoning all my numerous Crimean friends, worrying about the situation there, I was always reassured that most of the things I read in the western media were a lie. None of these friends, mainly living in the southern area of Crimea, have encountered any problems, seen any little green men, been searched, threatened or in any way intimidated. The majority of ordinary citizens were not affected at all, and far from ‘keeping a low profile’, people flocked to the streets at any opportunity to celebrate what most see as a ‘re-unification’ with Russia.

“I was crying with joy. I’ve never seen the sea front so full people. Everyone was ecstatic (re: Russia’s Day, 12th June). The day Crimea joined Russia was the happiest day of my life”, told me on the phone one of the old friends of my family Lyubov (65), who was born in Yalta and lived there all her life. All my other friends and acquaintances, 23 to 70 year olds, whom I’ve spoken to voted for independence from Ukraine and told me that all their friends and family have done the same. The only person I knew, whose experience was different, was a Crimean-born Ukrainian singer Jamala of Qimily Tatar origin, who wrote to me back in March: “when my grandpa heard that Russian occupied Crimea, he barely handled it. He will not be able to endure another war, that’s why I’m in hysterics as well.”

Complete story at - Crimeans are happier to be a part of Russia than Russians themselves. | Vera GraziadeiCC Photo Google Image Search Source is upload wikimedia org  Subject is Map of the Crimea

Yesterday's Gas Deal: Another Nail in Ukraine's Coffin - Russia Insider

The facts on yesterday's deal:

Existing Debt

Ukraine will pay $2 billion straight away on the existing debt it owes Russia. It will then pay a further $1.1 billion in instalments before the end of year. This is lower than Russia's earlier demands that Ukraine pay $5 billion off in debt, it is unclear how Russia has positioned itself regard this $1.9 billion.

Natural Gas Supplies

Russia has agreed to sell Ukraine gas at a price of 385 dollars per 1000cm once the initial 2 billion debt tranche is paid off. The price is considered to be a 100 dollar discount to the actual price which will restart again after 6 months. Meaning, 485 dollars per 1000cm of gas from March 2015.

Government approval

Both parties must now have the deal approved by their respective governments.


Paying back the debt will put significant strain on the currency as the dollars will have to be bought from the market. It is most likely that the dollars will come from the IMF loan. But given that most of the loan will now be used simply to pay for the gas, the loan size is hugely inadequate. If the IMF are serious about supporting Ukraine they will have to significantly increase the loan size as has already been reported.

Complete story at - Yesterday's Gas Deal: Another Nail in Ukraine's Coffin - Russia Insider

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Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Commander: "The US is Training and Funding Us" - Russia Insider

A commander of one of the Ukrainian neo-nazi battalions, the Donbass, Semyon Semyonchenko, has just returned from the US, where he met with senior senators from both parties, and received commitments of material support.

He posted a comment on Facebook in which he gives a detailed explanation of this assistance.

He was also received by IRI (International Republican Institute) and NDI (National Democratic Institute), the international branches of the two main American political parties, and met with democratic Senator Robert Menendez and republican senator Robert Corker.

"Menendez and Corker are the two senators who have sponsored the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, a bill that will allocate money to provide assistance to Ukraine, including the supply of weapons. Radar, anti-tank weapons, drones, communications systems and many other useful things for our army. "

One of the main goals of his trip was to get training and much more from the US military. Judging by his FB post, it seems he has accomplished this.

Complete story at - Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Commander: "The US is Training and Funding Us" - Russia Insider

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More Than Just Gas: Is This Natural Resource The Reason For The Ukraine Civil War? | Zero Hedge

Earlier today, we got a definitive confirmation that when Obama was talking about "costs" when jawboning on the ongoing Ukraine civil war, he envisioned not only Germany, and thus Europe, both of which are teetering on the edge of a triple-dip recession due to Russian sanctions, but Ukraine itself. The reason: the Ukraine economy appears to have ground to a halt following an overnight report that the war-torn country's industrial output plummeted 21.4% Y/Y in August, above the 18% estimate, and some 12.7% on a monthly basis. As the chart below shows, this was the biggest drop in industrial production since the global crisis of 2009 and followed a 12% fall year-on-year in July.


As the FT further added, according to an EBRD forecast earlier today, the Ukrainian economy will contract 9% this year, a far greater contraction than assumed in the IMF's bailout (odd how that always happens). Accordingly, this "makes sustainability of Kiev's government debts much more doubtful, and has sparked concerns that the country will eventually be forced to default and restructure."

As skepticism grows that Ukraine will be the next Greece, only without the backstop safety net of the EUR currency, bondholders are starting to get skeptical, and overnight the yield on Ukraine bonds due April 2023 slid to 10.61%, the highest in 4 months on rising fears of a default.

Complete story at - More Than Just Gas: Is This Natural Resource The Reason For The Ukraine Civil War? | Zero Hedge

This Is Why China Russia & China Are Now "The Enemy" | Zero Hedge

The suppression of gold prices is essential at all costs to the Anglo-American banking interests. The saber rattling and attempts to lure Russia and China into military conflict are about who controls the financial world.

Russia and China keep accumulating the eternal currency – gold.



Complete story at - This Is Why China Russia & China Are Now "The Enemy" | Zero Hedge

One Way or Another, Everything Changes - Book Excerpt - Truthdig

by Naomi Klein

A voice came over the intercom: would the passengers of Flight 3935, scheduled to depart Washington, D.C., for Charleston, South Carolina, kindly collect their carry-on luggage and get off the plane.

They went down the stairs and gathered on the hot tarmac. There they saw something unusual: the wheels of the US Airways jet had sunk into the black pavement as if it were wet cement. The wheels were lodged so deep, in fact, that the truck that came to tow the plane away couldn’t pry it loose. The airline had hoped that without the added weight of the flight’s thirty-five passengers, the aircraft would be light enough to pull. It wasn’t. Someone posted a picture: “Why is my flight cancelled? Because DC is so damn hot that our plane sank 4” into the pavement.”3

Eventually, a larger, more powerful vehicle was brought in to tow the plane and this time it worked; the plane finally took off, three hours behind schedule. A spokesperson for the airline blamed the incident on “very unusual temperatures.”4

The temperatures in the summer of 2012 were indeed unusually hot. (As they were the year before and the year after.) And it’s no mystery why this has been happening: the profligate burning of fossil fuels, the very thing that US Airways was bound and determined to do despite the inconvenience presented by a melting tarmac. This irony—the fact that the burning of fossil fuels is so radically changing our climate that it is getting in the way of our capacity to burn fossil fuels—did not stop the passengers of Flight 3935 from reembarking and continuing their journeys. Nor was climate change mentioned in any of the major news coverage of the incident.

I am in no position to judge these passengers. All of us who live high consumer lifestyles, wherever we happen to reside, are, metaphorically, passengers on Flight 3935. Faced with a crisis that threatens our survival as a species, our entire culture is continuing to do the very thing that caused the crisis, only with an extra dose of elbow grease behind it. Like the airline bringing in a truck with a more powerful engine to tow that plane, the global economy is upping the ante from conventional sources of fossil fuels to even dirtier and more dangerous versions—bitumen from the Alberta tar sands, oil from deepwater drilling, gas from hydraulic fracturing (fracking), coal from detonated mountains, and so on.

Complete story at - One Way or Another, Everything Changes - Book Excerpt - TruthdigCC Photo Google Image Search Source is upload wikimedia org  Subject is Global Warming Map

Friday, September 26, 2014

Russian Domestic Manufacturing is Booming - Russia Insider

In the first 7 months of 2014 imports were down 5.1% (almost all of which are manufacturing and machinery) compared to domestic production of the same produce which was up 2.4%.

The reasons for this are two-fold; first, a weaker ruble actually stimulates the industrial part of the Russian part economy while for many years has been crowded out by an over-valued exchange rate, and second, the long-term dynamics of domestically producing has attracted a raft of investment.

For instance, the auto market shows an enormous divergence between domestic and imported growth rates. Domestic car production has fallen by 0.7% in the first seven months of the year as a result of poor demand, but this is nothing compared to the more than 30% fall in imports. Domestically made cars are simply more cost competitive.

The trend is set to continue even as the demand side of the market recovers, domestic car production is expected to expand by 2.5% next year while imports are expected to fall a further 7.2%.

Complete story at - Russian Domestic Manufacturing is Booming - Russia Insider

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Good Job, Yats—You’ve Destroyed Ukraine’s Economy, Fattened The US Military-Industrial Complex | David Stockman's Contra Corner

The costs of the mainstream U.S. media’s wildly anti-Moscow bias in the Ukraine crisis are adding up, as the Obama administration has decided to react to alleged “Russian aggression” by investing as much as $1 trillion in modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal.

On Monday, a typically slanted New York Times article justified these modernization plans by describing “Russia on the warpath” and adding: “Congress has expressed less interest in atomic reductions than looking tough in Washington’s escalating confrontation with Moscow.”

But the Ukraine crisis has been a textbook case of the U.S. mainstream media misreporting the facts of a foreign confrontation and then misinterpreting the meaning of the events, a classic case of “garbage in, garbage out.” The core of the false mainstream narrative is that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the crisis as an excuse to reclaim territory for the Russian Empire.

While that interpretation of events has been the cornerstone of Official Washington’s “group think,” the reality always was that Putin favored maintaining the status quo in Ukraine. He had no plans to “invade” Ukraine and was satisfied with the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Indeed, when the crisis heated up last February, Putin was distracted by the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Complete story at - Good Job, Yats—You’ve Destroyed Ukraine’s Economy, Fattened The US Military-Industrial Complex | David Stockman's Contra Corner

Me propaganda CorporateNews

Putin is Becoming the Face of the Global Resistance Movement | New Eastern Outlook

The next volunteers who want to fight with the ‘Global oligarchy’ came to Donbas. This time they are French. People from Serbia, Spain, Germany, France, Polish, Israel, the United Kingdom and Greece already fought with Kiev junta. Recently, volunteers look younger: people over forty went earlier to the militia, now the average age wanting to join the army DRL ranges from 18 to 30. More and more people do not trust the corporate media and they see what’s going on in the world. If I did not speak English, unfortunately I would never learn from the media in my country (Poland) what is really the situation in Gaza, Ukraine and the Middle East. ‘One of the French volunteers who fought in Donbas quite bluntly puts it:

“We are French volunteers and the first wave of the whole group, which either prepares to leave or is on the way. We support the geopolitical idea of ​​European unity. We are both revolutionaries and traditionalists. We arrived to Donbas, where civilians are murdered by the people from Kiev. Those who carry out this terrorist operation in the Donbas are minions of the international mafia oligarchs. You must understand that we are dealing with the third world war. It began in Libya, then moved to Syria and now to Donbas. We can see that Russia is one of the few countries that have challenged and personally fight globalism. It’s kind of the Reconquista. We’re here to help Russia in this fight. We’re not here to earn money, we do not take any money from anyone . In fact, we spent a lot to get here. “

The world, despite the American propaganda and huge expenditures on promotion of ‘democracy’ by the United States as in the case of $ 5 trillion to NGOs in Ukraine, begins to stand on the side with Russia. How this is happening, despite the fact that the media do not publish reliable information on Russia and Ukraine, people around the world are beginning to turn their sympathy towards Russia. Paradoxically, after collapse of communism and reversal Russia from its Stalinist history around the world and in Russia, ‘cult of strong leader’ is emerging. Although some people would see ‘democracy’ more in Dmitry Medvedev.

What ‘democracy’ a la Brzezinski looks like we know fairly well (Syria, Libya, Iraq etc.), but more on that soon. I must add at this point that I have never been a sympathizer of the United States or Russia. When I thought about trips abroad last thing I would choose would be Russia that has always reminded me of the KGB, poverty, corruption, banditry, dirt, cold and hopelessness. Books written by the Polish reporters that I read just stressed it more. Russia was presented in my country as a large country which is so backward that you need to see it a bit like some rare animal in the zoo. This image of Russia functions in Poland today. Especially in the Kaliningrad region in which I grew up. Americans also never attracted me. Maybe that’s why I got it now only to ‘end of America’ – this crypto pro-fascist country with the NSA, The National Endowment for Democracy and sponsorship of coups in other countries, wars and extremists. Maybe if I lived in the era of the deep communism in Poland, it would be probably harder to convince me now to the ‘Russians’ and I would sing paeans about the United States and NATO support for Europe being ‘at risk’ a la Radoslaw Sikorski – Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Complete story at - Putin is Becoming the Face of the Global Resistance Movement | New Eastern Outlook

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MH17: Relatives of German victims to sue Ukraine for negligence, says lawyer - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Relatives of German victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 downed over Ukraine plan to sue the country and its president for manslaughter by negligence in 298 cases, the lawyer representing them said.

Professor of aviation law Elmar Giemulla, who is representing three families of German victims, said that under international law Ukraine should have closed its air space if it could not guarantee the safety of flights.

"Each state is responsible for the security of its air space," Mr Giemulla said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"If it is not able to do so temporarily, it must close its air space. As that did not happen, Ukraine is liable for the damage."

Bild am Sonntag Sunday newspaper quoted Mr Giemulla as saying that by not closing its airspace, Ukraine had accepted that the lives of hundreds of innocent people would be "annihilated" and this was a violation of human rights.

Complete story at - MH17: Relatives of German victims to sue Ukraine for negligence, says lawyer - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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‘Tell him to catch a bus’: Angry passengers throw ex-Pakistani minister out of plane after 2-hour wait — RT News

The ex-Pakistani interior minister was prevented from boarding a plane by furious passengers after a two-hour flight delay. The video, which has gone viral, shows how they accuse the politician of holding the plane up.

Flight PK-370 was scheduled to take off from Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport for Islamabad at 19:00 local time (14:00 GMT) on Monday.

However, about 220 passengers were kept waiting for two hours. They vented their rage at Rehman Malik, former interior minister of Pakistan and Ramesh Kumar, Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) MNA, who were late for the flight.

The video on YouTube shows that the two leaders were booed and barred from boarding the flight. The passengers accused them of holding the plane up; they were later joined by the crew members.

"Malik sahab, you are not a minister any more. And even if you are, we don't care...,” shouted the passengers.

When the ex-interior minister approached along the jet bridge, people were heard saying, "Malik sahab, sorry. You should go back. You should apologize to these passengers.”

Complete story at - ‘Tell him to catch a bus’: Angry passengers throw ex-Pakistani minister out of plane after 2-hour wait — RT News

Thursday, September 25, 2014

12 Reasons Putin is So Popular - Russia Insider

1. Per capita GDP went up from $1,300 in 1999 to $13,000 in 2011 and is over $16,000 now.

2. Forex reserves have gone up from £12 billion in 1999 to £470 billion today.

3. Russia’s unemployment rate was 14.6% in 1999. Today it is 4.9%. In 1999 in the US it was 4.1%. Today it is 6.2%. In the euro area it is 11.6%.

4. In 1999 Russia imported wheat. Today Russia is a wheat exporter.

5. Russia’s economy is growing whilst the euro area’s economy is struggling.

6. Russian male life expectancy in 1999 was 58. Today it is 65

7. In 1999 Russia’s birth rate was 8.30. The US birth rate in 2000 was much higher at 14.1. Today Russia has a higher birth rate than the US.

8. In 1999 Russia’s population was declining. Today it is growing and has done so continuously since 2009.

9. For the first time in history a car can drive from Moscow to Vladivostok on a decent road, symbolic of huge improvements in infrastructure.

10. Under Putin Russia no longer gets pushed around but hits back.

11. More Russians than ever say they are optimistic about their future.

12. Putin’s approval ratings are sky high at 84 %. Obama’s are 39%. Cameron’s are 35%. Hollande’s are 13%!. Only Merkel’s aren't downright embarrassing at 64%.

Complete story at - 12 Reasons Putin is So Popular - Russia Insider

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Is Putin incorruptible? U.S. insider's view of the Russian president's character and his country's transformation -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

Friends and colleagues,

As the Ukraine situation has worsened, unconscionable misinformation and hype is being poured on Russia and Vladimir Putin.

Journalists and pundits must scour the Internet and thesauruses to come up with fiendish new epithets to describe both.

Wherever I make presentations across America, the first question ominously asked during Q&A is always, "What about Putin?"

It's time to share my thoughts which follow:

Putin obviously has his faults and makes mistakes. Based on my earlier experience with him, and the experiences of trusted people, including U.S. officials who have worked closely with him over a period of years, Putin most likely is a straight, reliable and exceptionally inventive man. He is obviously a long-term thinker and planner and has proven to be an excellent analyst and strategist. He is a leader who can quietly work toward his goals under mounds of accusations and myths that have been steadily leveled at him since he became Russia's second president.

I've stood by silently watching the demonization of Putin grow since it began in the early 2000s - - I pondered on computer my thoughts and concerns, hoping eventually to include them in a book (which was published in 2011). The book explains my observations more thoroughly than this article. Like others who have had direct experience with this little known man, I've tried to no avail to avoid being labeled a "Putin apologist". If one is even neutral about him, they are considered "soft on Putin" by pundits, news hounds and average citizens who get their news from CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

I don't pretend to be an expert, just a program developer in the USSR and Russia for the past 30 years. But during this time, I've have had far more direct, on-ground contact with Russians of all stripes across 11 time zones than any of the Western reporters or for that matter any of Washington's officials. I've been in country long enough to ponder Russian history and culture deeply, to study their psychology and conditioning, and to understand the marked differences between American and Russian mentalities which so complicate our political relations with their leaders. As with personalities in a family or a civic club or in a city hall, it takes understanding and compromise to be able to create workable relationships when basic conditionings are different. Washington has been notoriously disinterested in understanding these differences and attempting to meet Russia halfway.

Complete story at - Is Putin incorruptible? U.S. insider's view of the Russian president's character and his country's transformation -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

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The US-EU-Russia sanctions puzzle — RT Op-Edge

Whatever Russia does, doubt does not even enter the equation. The answer is sanctions. So here we go again. The US Treasury-EU latest sanction package targets Russian banking, the energy industry and the defense industry.

The sanctions are mean. The sanctions are nasty. And there’s no euphemism to describe them; they amount to a declaration of economic war.

Sberbank, Russia’s largest won’t be able to access Western capital for long-term funding, including every kind of borrowing over 30 days. And the current 90-day lending bans affecting six other large Russian banks – a previous sanctions package - will also be reduced to 30 days.

On the energy front, what the US-EU want is to shut down new Russian exploration projects in Siberia and the Arctic, barring Western Big Oil from selling equipment and technology to offshore, deepwater or shale gas projects.

This means Exxon and Shell, for instance, are frozen in their operations with five top Russian oil/gas/pipeline companies: Gazprom, Gazprom Neft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz, and Rosneft.

No one ever lost money betting on the stupidity of the usual, unknown “senior US officials” – who are now spinning the latest sanction package is to force Moscow to “respect international law and state sovereignty.” A cursory examination of the historical record allows this paragraph to be accompanied by roaring laughter.

Complete story at - The US-EU-Russia sanctions puzzle — RT Op-Edge

Ukraine Introduces Capital Controls | Zero Hedge

A few days ago we showed how when Obama said there would be "costs" for Moscow in the Ukraine-Russian conflict, he got the recipient country of said costs woefully wrong, as confirmed by the economic data released by Ukraine which showed its Industrial Production crater at a pace on par with the Lehman collapse, confirming the Ukraine economy was on the verge of a spectacular implosion just in time for the harsh, Gazprom-free winter to finish off what little economic activity is left.


The resulting selloff in the Hryvnia and Ukraine bonds, was therefore, hardly surprising.

Which probably means the news reported by Bloomberg moments ago, which cites Ukraine's Unian news service, that the Ukraine central bank just instituted restrictions on Hryvnia use, i.e., capital controls, should also not come as a surprise, yet for all those expecting Russia to crater first under the weight of western sanctions, to see said cratering take place in western-backed (and IMF guaranteed) Ukraine is probably just a little unpleasant.

The details:

Complete story at - Ukraine Introduces Capital Controls | Zero Hedge

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Divide and Conquer in Latin America: Sabotaging BRICS in 'our backyard' -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.net

Since the beginning of the Western-engineered crisis in Ukraine, the world has been bombarded with propaganda about how Evil Russia is. Yet, despite what we're all being asked to believe, there was no "Russian invasion", MH17 was not shot down by Russia, and Ukraine has de facto split in two. While these manipulated events on Russia's borders grab the headlines, let's take a look at what is going on behind the scenes in "America's backyard", as John Kerry shamelessly described Latin America in April this year.

The century-long pretense upheld by American leaders that their country is a Republic is betrayed by Kerry's imperious language, and he obviously needs diplomacy (not to mention geography) lessons. Besides, he was clearly referring to Latin America, even though, technically, the US is also part of the "Western Hemisphere".

Anyway, you've also probably heard about President Putin's visit to Latin America and the BRICS's Summit in Brazil. The existential danger that BRICS presents for the Western 'elite' is obvious; the alliance between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa represents a serious political and economic alternative to the current US system of global hegemony. And it's growing, with countries like Argentina, Venezuela, Iran, Mongolia, Malaysia and others interested in joining. Currently, BRICS represents almost half of the world population and close to a third of the global GDP.

This is what Vladimir Putin had to say during an interview regarding BRICS before the Summit:
The modern world is indeed multipolar, complex, and dynamic - this is objective reality. Any attempts to create a model of international relations where all decisions are made within a single 'pole' are ineffective, malfunction regularly, and are ultimately set to fail.

Those are the reasons why the interaction format proposed by Russia for such influential states such as the BRICS members has proved to be needed. Our joint efforts have contributed to enhancing predictability and sustainability in international relations.

I believe it is time to raise the BRICS' role to a new level and to make our association an unalienable part of the global management system for sustainable development.

Complete story at - Divide and Conquer in Latin America: Sabotaging BRICS in 'our backyard' -- Puppet Masters -- Sott.netCC Photo Google Image Search Source is pbs twimg com  Subject is BRICS

4 reasons why Poroshenko should be really worried - Russia Insider

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been well received on his tour of western capitals. Saying all the right things about democracy and western values Poroshenko never lets anyone doubt he is Washington’s man in Kiev.

However this role of repeating neocon talking points has not played out very well for post-Soviet leaders willing to do Washington’s bidding. Poroshenko should be worried – think Gorbachev, Saakashvili, Yushchenko, and Yanukovych.

Poroshenko might care to remember Gorbachev. When Mikhail Gorbachev was at the height of his global popularity, his country – the USSR – was on the verge of collapse. Loved in Washington, no one lifted a finger to save Gorbachev (or his country) when crisis came. Gorbachev was abandoned by the west who left him hanging out to dry.

Complete story at - 4 reasons why Poroshenko should be really worried - Russia Insider

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European Court Of Justice Introduces The Anti-Rasmussen Rule — Sanctions Cannot Be Imposed By Reason Of Fabrication, Lies, Disinformation | Dances With Bears

By John Helmer, Moscow

Anders Fogh Rasmussen departs in two weeks from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), where he has been secretary-general since 2009, with a present from the General Court of the European Union Court of Justice. It’s a golden tongue depressor.

In a judgement issued in Luxembourg on Thursday, September 18, the court ruled that the European Union (EU) cannot lawfully introduce sanctions against states, corporations, state organizations, or individuals without stating reasons which can be substantiated in evidence to a standard of proof tested in court.

Rasmussen, a former Danish politician, has been the most active European advocate of sanctions against Russia on claims that Russian forces have mounted an invasion of eastern Ukraine. The evidence Rasmussen has offered has included hearsay intelligence reports and a display of satellite photographs, which NATO published on August 28.

In accompanying text, the photographs were interpreted to “show a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine… These latest images provide concrete examples of Russian activity inside Ukraine, but are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the overall scope of Russian troop and weapons movements… Also released were images showing substantial activity inside Russia in areas adjacent to the border with Ukraine. NATO believes this activity is being conducted in direct support to forces operating inside Ukraine, and is part of a highly coordinated and destabilising strategy.”

Complete story at - European Court Of Justice Introduces The Anti-Rasmussen Rule — Sanctions Cannot Be Imposed By Reason Of Fabrication, Lies, Disinformation | Dances With Bears

European Union and Ukraine: Geopolitical Ambitions Going Too Far > - Strategic Culture Foundation

On September 12, Brussels, Kiev and Moscow agreed that the association agreement should not come into force till at least the end of 2015. The joint statement by European Commissioner forTrade Karel De Gucht, Minister of EconomicDevelopment of the RussianFederation Akexey Ulukaev and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says the Kiev's free trade pact with the EU postponing its entry into force until the end of 2015. As to Ulukaev, “We will continue thediscussion of the issue that concerns us the most - what form [of a solution] we could find to alleviate our worries”. He added, “So far, we have agreed to continue dialogue for the next 15 months, we will present our arguments while our colleagues will offer theirs."

Russia and Ukraine are to maintain regime of trade preferences within the space of Commonwealth of Independent States. The ratification process is to be implemented according the schedule. President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko hopes no changes will be introduced into the text of the association agreement reached in Brussels on June 27. In its turn the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says all the provisions should remain in force to benefit Ukraine. It says Ukrainian producers would take advantage of EU unilateral preferences and have time to prepare for tough competition entering the EU-Ukraine free trade zone. Elmer Brok, MEP, the Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said it would serve the Ukraine’s interests with no customs duties to pay.

There is another aspect of the matter. The drawn out Ukrainian crisis, continued combat actions in the eastern part of the country, as rebels refuse to recognize the Ukraine’s sovereignty, and the deterioration of relations with Russia – it all continues to inflict damage on economy. The requests for more credits to be granted by the West look like blackmail. Brussels is trying to normalize at least economic cooperation between Moscow and Kiev.

Kiev understands that it does not serve its interests to expedite the implementation of the agreement. It was understood before as former President Yanukovych refused to sign the document. Petro Poroshenko tried to delay the ratification.

Brussels appears to be the main driving force to push the agreement through. The European Union was a party to the conflict from the very start dragging Kiev into the self - destructive association. Then it launched sanctions against Russia, the move that backlashed against the EU in retaliation. Now Brussels sends signals it is ready to suspend the punitive actions.

The European Union is not ready to sacrifice its well-being. This fact is corroborated by new assignments inside the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.

Complete story at - European Union and Ukraine: Geopolitical Ambitions Going Too Far > Strategic-Culture.org - Strategic Culture Foundation

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Washington’s War Against Russia -- Paul Craig Roberts - PaulCraigRoberts.org

The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government. If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.

If critical Russian industries are dependent on European capital markets, the sanctions will help Russia by forcing an end to this debilitating dependence. Russia should not be dependent on the West in any way.

The real question is the purpose of the sanctions. My conclusion is that the purpose of the sanctions is to break up and undermine Europe’s economic and political relations with Russia. When international relations are intentionally undermined, war can be the result. Washington will continue to push sanctions against Russia until Russia shows Europe that there is a heavy cost of serving as Washington’s tool.

Russia needs to break up this process of ever more sanctions in order to derail the drive toward war. In my opinion this is easy for Russia to do. Russia can tell Europe that since you do not like our oil companies, you must not like our gas company, so we are turning off the gas. Or Russia can tell Europe, we don’t sell natural gas to NATO members, or Russia can say we will continue to sell you gas, but you must pay in rubles, not in dollars. This would have the additional benefit of increasing the demand for rubles in exchange markets, thus making it harder for speculators and the US government to drive down the ruble.

The real danger to Russia is a continuation of its low-key, moderate response to the sanctions. This is a response that encourages more sanctions. To stop the sanctions, Russia needs to show Europe that the sanctions have serious costs for Europe.

Complete story at - Washington’s War Against Russia -- Paul Craig Roberts - PaulCraigRoberts.org

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pravy Sektor Coup as ISIS Scenario: NATO to Feign a ‘Unilaterial’ Alliance With Russia | Center For Syncretic Studies

The time has come to explore the growing possibility of a US covert funding of a Pravy Sektor putsch against the pseudo-constitutional republican junta led by Poroshenko. Also required is an examination of the relevant factors surrounding it. This may prove a necessary strategy towards the ultimate desired position of the US, that being to continue the infinite game scenario which the US is pushing in the former Ukraine. While naturally, as in the field of geostrategic forecasting, we cannot claim this to be a foregone eventuality. Based on how developments have materialized as of the date of publishing, we now have this at a less than 40% probability of occurrence. However, the more that public awareness of this increases, it may mitigate either its occurrence chance or if implemented, its efficacy.

Liberal Western audiences will easily be whipped into a hysteria about the Pravy Sektor, and for a NATO R2P type action of sorts in the former Ukraine. It will be more effective on the propaganda front in many ways than the ‘War on Terror’. At least Western left-liberals are by in large skeptical of claims that ‘all’ Muslims are terrorists, but there is no doubt that all Nazis are Nazis. This is a significant point.

Nazis are far worse than Islamic Terrorists, and more over, in the western mind, Nazis are far worse than Communists, especially Russian Communists. This has created a new quasi-secular religion in the West: one where everyone is compelled to worship Hitler as an Evil Demi-God who demands the never ending blood sacrifice of ‘very bad people’ in order to avert his own very resurrection upon the temporal plane.


Any theory regarding a possible strategic scenario which takes into account the known facts including the known positions, and provides realistic solutions for each of the existing problems, requires further consideration. Additionally when this is also modeled after a strategy which has already been employed before, and moreover is being presently employed in the middle-east with ISIS/ISIL, it becomes even more necessary to consider.

As we have previously written and discussed for the last nine months, as exampled by our February 27th video interview/presentation with transcript titled ‘Right Sector are the Wahhabis in Ukrainian Spring‘, the immediate aim of the US is in creating a never ending mid-level conflict-war in the region, with the long-term goal of:

1.) Destroying Europe and Russia economic integration

2.) Delegitimizing the Russian state, and,

3.) Breaking Russia up ultimately into ten or more mutually hostile statelettes comprised from the 85 present subjects of the Russian Federation.

Complete story at - Pravy Sektor Coup as ISIS Scenario: NATO to Feign a ‘Unilaterial’ Alliance With Russia | Center For Syncretic Studies

As Poroshenko Gets Standing Ovations in Western Capitals, Ukraine Disintegrates | Authors | RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti), Dmitry Babich - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is touring the United States and Canada, addressing legislatures and getting standing ovations. The problem is, however, that such an enthusiastic reception in North America and the West in general is usually seen as sort of a bad omen for political leaders from the former Soviet Union.

Nearly ten years ago, the anti-Russian former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, was met with the same ovations and flowers on both sides of the Atlantic. Within four years, however, Yushchenko’s presidency had led to a chain of conflicts inside Ukrainian society and he lost the next election, getting a humiliating 4 percent of the vote. The last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, lost power in 1991 when his popularity in the West was at its peak: “Gorby-mania” culminated in his getting the Nobel Peace prize in late 1990, just as wars were being fought in Nagorno–Karabakh and Moldova.

So much for the kind of leaders who get praise in the modern West and for the “objectivity” of all sorts of committees and endowments (Nobel and otherwise) which lavish praise and prizes on these persons.

Perhaps, instead of listening to Poroshenko’s pronouncements on his “historic” achievements, it makes sense to look at what is going on inside Ukraine. There the situation is remarkably similar to the one which Mr. Gorbachev faced in his native Soviet Union in 1991. A united Ukraine is quickly becoming an impossibility. Mr. Poroshenko is to blame; after his not-quite-fair election in May of this year (the east of Ukraine did not take part in the vote), he became the first Ukrainian leader since the seventeenth century to dispatch Ukrainian troops to fight other Ukrainians. The civil war in the east of the country called the existence of a united Ukraine into question. The events of last week sealed the country’s fate: it became clear that Ukraine’s eastern regions will not be represented in the “big” Ukraine’s Verkhovaya Rada (legislature), and this sealed the fate of “united Ukraine.”

Why did this happen? While Mr. Poroshenko was in the West, his Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk declared that was not going to finance the rebel-held territories in the East (And it is an axiom that the state ends when the money stops flowing). On the top of that, the Party of the Regions (Ukraine’s strongest party under former president Yanukovich, who was violently toppled in February 2014) was harassed into taking the decision not to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for October 26. The Communist party of Ukraine is now essentially banned; its faction was expelled from the last parliament. These two new developments mean that the east of Ukraine, the traditional constituency of the “regionals” and communists, simply won’t have even the theoretical opportunity to be represented in the new parliament, which is due to be dominated by the people like the Donbas-bombing military pilot Nadya Savchenko (number one on Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party list) or the commanders of Donbas-fighting National Guard battalions (two of them are in the top ten in Arseny Yatsenyuk’s People’s Front party).

Complete story at - As Poroshenko Gets Standing Ovations in Western Capitals, Ukraine Disintegrates | Authors | RIA Novosti

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The Vineyard of the Saker: Return of the Magyars: Hungary’s President Calls Out the US as Morally and Financially Bankrupt

Note from The Saker: amongst my many blind spots and list of topics I know practically nothing about there is, to my great shame, the topic of Hungarian politics. Therefore please address your comments, criticisms and reactions (and thanks!!!) to American Kulak but not to me. I am most definitely the least qualified to say anything at all about this.

Cheers and enjoy!

The Saker
Return of the Magyars: Hungary’s President Calls Out the US as Morally and Financially Bankrupt

by American Kulak

With so many developments in Ukraine and now a renewed US war on Syria with the Islamic State as the pretext, it has been easy to overlook important developments in the struggle to restore sovereign nations in Europe. As described in my last guest post here at the Vineyard, Scottish independence vote on Thursday, September 18 has forced Anglo-American mainstream media to cover the topic of ‘separatism’ as a wave spreading from the Scottish Highlands to Spain’s Catalonia. Many mainstream media outlets have repeated ridiculous propaganda about NATO or the EU coming apart and the economic sky falling from a Scottish ‘Yes’ vote (James Bond film reference deliberate in that sentence). Some of the usual Russophobic voices have started whining about ‘pro-Kremlin bloggers’ trolling Washington and London on Twitter with humorous captions supporting Scotland’s independence [https://twitter.com/torrek_info/status/509325448338472960], or the positive statements Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has made about Vladimir Putin. [http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/apr/30/alex-salmond-vladimir-putin-remarks]

A Short Disclaimer Regarding Hungary

Today’s topic is the next target for the Empire’s Two Minutes Hate propaganda in Europe (besides Marie Le Pen and the National Front of France): the ancient nation of Hungary and her proud president, Viktor Orban. Let me start by saying that as an American citizen and independent blogger, I have no financial or blood ties to Hungary, nor is my intent to defend all of Budapest’s policies. My purpose in this post is to examine why the Empire increasingly views the Hungarian government with disdain and has sent out its usual NGO and media mouthpieces to trash President Viktor Orban personally and attack his ‘Putinist’ pro-Russian worldview. In doing so I approach this post from the perspective of someone who is a neophyte to Hungarian politics, but not to the overall games the European Union plays to keep its member nations as vassals to what Saker calls the ‘Anglo-Zionist’ Empire.

Why is Budapest Emerging as a Key Russian Ally Within the European Union?
A Millennium of Hungarian History and Its Relevance to Novorossiya

The Hungarians, for those Saker readers who may not be familiar with their history, are descended from the same great migrations out of central Asia in the first millennium AD as the Bulgars, with Russian scholars believing the Magyars came out of a southern Urals homeland east of the Volga steppe. Driven by ancient enemies known as the Pechenegs who alternated between warring with the Orthodox Christian Eastern Roman Empire and serving as mercenaries of Byzantium, the Hungarians settled in the Danube River and Carpathian basins. Their language, like that of the Finns, is non-Indo European and easily exceeds Finnish and Basque as the most widely spoken non-Indo-European language on the European continent. Only a few decades after Prince Vladimir baptized the Kievan Rus in 987, the first Christian monarch of the Magyars Saint Stephen I converted the traditional seven Hungarian tribes to Christianity in the early 10th century. Under Stephen’s successful reign prior to the Great Schism of 1054 between Rome and Constantinople, Hungary prospered as the major trading route between the Germanic Holy Roman Empire and the Byzantines. Stephen’s younger sister married a Venetian prince who at that time was a key ally of Byzantium, while Stephen’s wife was a Bavarian princess. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_I_of_Hungary]

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Return of the Magyars: Hungary’s President Calls Out the US as Morally and Financially Bankrupt

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Ukraine Is On The Brink Of Total Economic Collapse - Business Insider

While we see a great deal of media coverage of Ukraine-related geopolitical risks, there hasn't been sufficient discussion about the dire economic and fiscal conditions the nation is facing.

Writing about men in masks fighting in eastern Ukraine sells far more advertising than covering the nation's economic activity. However it's the economy, not the Russian army that has brought Ukraine close to the brink.

And just to be clear, some of Kiev's economic and fiscal problems were visible long before the spat with Russia (see post from 2012).

Ukraine is now in recession. Deep economic ties with Russia have resulted in painful adjustments in recent months. The nation's exports are down some 19% from last year in dollar terms and expected to fall further. A great example of Ukraine's export challenges is the Antonov aircraft company known for its Soviet era large transport planes as well as other types of aircraft.

As the military cooperation with Russia ended, Antonov was in trouble. It had to take a $150 million hit recently by not delivering the medium-range An-148 planes to the Russian Air Force. The Russians will find a replacement for this aircraft, but in the highly competitive global aircraft market, it's far less likely that Antonov will find another client.

Here are some key indicators of Ukraine's worsening situation:

Complete story at - Ukraine Is On The Brink Of Total Economic Collapse - Business Insider

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The Vineyard of the Saker: Strelkov: from swimming with Piranhas to swimming with Great White sharks


Yesterday's press conference by Strelkov is, I believe, a historical moment because it marks the move of Strelkov from the Novorussian military struggle into the much larger, and far more dangerous struggle, the struggle for the political future of Russia. This in itself is no necessarily unexpected, but the way he did it was a surprise, at least for me. But before I zoom out to the bigger picture, I think that it would be helpful to try to summarize some of the key points of his presentation (thanks to Marina, you can download the full English transcript by clicking here and the Q&A is here). Here is how I summarized what I saw as the key elements of his presentation:

External factors (staging) - symbolic message:

He is clearly alive and well
The reason for his departure was infighting inside the Novorussian leadership and the fact that he was told that supplies would only be delivered if he left.
The photo of Putin in the back on the wall
He is sitting behind a Russian monarchist flag on the table (and a Russian and Novorussian flag in the back (no Soviet or Communists symbols)
His view about the ceasefire agreement:
This ceasefire has now created military situation is now worse than this spring
What is disgraceful is not the ceasefire by itself but "the conditions which are now being discussed in Minsk"
There is plan to blame the betrayal of Novorussia on Putin
There are powerful interests which want a never ending war which would create a bleeding ulcer for Russia

His description of the 5th column:

The roots of this 5th column go back to the Eltsin years
The liberation of Crimea took the 5th column by surprise
The 5th column is around President
There is a local 5th column in Donbass which has been and still is negotiating with Ukie oligarchs
The 5th column is composed of "liberals"
Putin is a moral threat to them because he has massive popular support
They want to overthrow Putin
They want to dismember Russia
This will be a long war on Russia
We are dealing with another 1905 and 1917 like situation
By saving Novorussia Russia can save itself
Western sanctions will hurt Russia and they will use them to discredit Putin

Strelkov's plans

Strelkov wants to fight inside Russia in support of Putin (only option)
Strelkov's main objective is to denounce the real traitors inside Russia
This is my personal rendition of the key elements of Strelkov's presentation, and I might have missed or misunderstood something, so I therefore encourage everybody to watch to the video again and read the transcript.


Before going further into my analysis of Strelkov's statements, I think that it is crucial to keep the bigger context in mind. His words are not just the words of a man speaking for the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) or a Novorussia hero, this time Strelkov is diving straight into the big and dangerous world of Russian "deep state" politics (though the term "deep state" does not really apply to Russia). So I will now return to a topic I have been covering for many years now.

Long-time readers will probably recall that I often spoke of a behind-the-scenes struggle between what I called the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (ES) and the "Atlantic Integrationists" (AI). I will not repeat it all here, but I do encourage you to read the following articles:


The two first articles are part of a much longer seven-part series on Islam, but they introduce the historical context of the development of the ES and AI factions. The next two I would consider mandatory reading if you are not familiar with the topic and the last one is just a more recent discussion of the role of these two factions in the current Cold War v2. Having said that, my key thesis is this:

Complete story at - The Vineyard of the Saker: Strelkov: from swimming with Piranhas to swimming with Great White sharks

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Could Kiev fail before the New Republics? | New Eastern Outlook

All is semi-quiet on the Ukraine front. Despite the OSCE spokesman who said on the first day that he did not think that the ceasefire could last, another OSCE guy with a fully working brain said there was a night and day difference from a week ago. That is how you build a peace… in steps.

Sure, Kiev does not have tight command control over the Right Sector and the Oligarch brigades, both of whom are fighting for their own reasons. Both are not really on board the whole Kiev train at all, but their own adapted warlord version of it. They serve Kiev to carve out a future stake in the spoils of their country, just like the Kiev coup-meisters are… and that is what made them pliable puppets for the West.

As the “anti-terror campaign progressed, it quickly became evident that Kiev never could have launched its punitive campaign without the help of both groups. But that was a recipe for division and disaster. The Ukrainian army condition was rundown, due to the poor economic state of the country. A pecking order developed right away over the competition for the best weapons (like in working order) and having dependable operational resupplies.

When the initial engagements were checkpoint battles, no real strain was being put on the fighting capabilities, or supply chain. But military units had been put into the field quickly to beat the rebels to the punch, and whatever needed supplies were missing, they got the famous age old lie, “we will send that along soon.” When unit A never got theirs, and then saw unit B did, the morale problems began to appear.

Kiev’s morale got worse after the rebels were able to raid and acquire the armor and heavier weapons from the regional armories. The days of the Ukraine troops in APCs punching through lightly-armed checkpoints were over. The rebel checkpoints evolved into being bait for several APC-size Kiev units, where they began to experience being ambushed from both sides of the road and their vehicles taking hits from a half dozen APGs. The war was really on.

Complete story at - Could Kiev fail before the New Republics? | New Eastern Outlook

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Trenin: Russia-West rivalry over Ukraine is higher priority than security | Russia Direct

Russia Direct sat down with Carnegie Moscow Center Director Dmitri Trenin to discuss the new wave of the sanctions war between Russia and the West, the recent NATO summit in Wales, common external threats for Russia and the West such as Islamic State, and the odds of success for the Russia-Ukraine ceasefire agreement.

Although Russia and Ukraine seem to have begun taking steps to resolve the Ukraine crisis on a diplomatic level, a new wave of sanctions imposed on Russia’s energy companies and major banks may become another serious challenge for relations between Moscow and the West.

Although a faint light at the end of the tunnel of the Ukrainian crisis may have appeared during the last two weeks, when Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko agreed on a ceasefire deal and peace plan in Minsk, the ongoing sanctions war may minimize or even seriously hamper the odds of resolving the conflict.

With this in mind, Russia Direct discussed with Carnegie Moscow Center Director Dmitri Trenin the new wave of sanctions, the recent NATO summit and Russia’s response to the West’s stance.

Complete story at - Trenin: Russia-West rivalry over Ukraine is higher priority than security | Russia Direct

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Europe Ready to Suffer from Cold to Please US > Strategic-Culture.org - Strategic Culture Foundation

The Ukraine-Russia gas conflicts have a history. Usually the differences have been narrowed down or resolved before the threat of collapse in Europe became imminent. Now there is a big chance Europe will be left without heating in the coming winter.

Ukraine, Russia gas dispute

Since the February coup Kiev has been doing its best to sever ties with Gasprom. The Russian gas deliveries were fully stopped on June 16, 2014. The controversy is to be tackled by the Stockholm Court. Ukraine wants the price to go down to 268, 8 dollars for a thousand of cubic meters. Gasprom insists Ukraine should redeem its debt of 4, 458 billion dollars.

As soon as a hope for reaching an accord appears Ukrainian negotiators use the tactics of bringing the achieved results to naught by putting forward new conditions. For instance, this August Russia offered to return the 100-dollar discount and make the price go down to 385 dollars a ton. In turn Kiev offered to establish two different prices: a winter price of 385 dollars, and a summer price equal to 320 dollars. Kiev had planned to make the offer at the Russia-European Union-Ukraine round of talks slated for September 6. But suddenly it all had been changed just a week before the talks started. Now Ukraine wants the price to be the same as at the spot market minus transit costs. The difference between spot market and long-term contracts prices is significant. The offer is unacceptable. Ukraine also wants the gas terminals be moved to the eastern border. It will make Gasprom reconsider all the concluded contracts with European partners. The forever changing position of Ukraine made the talks stymied.

On September 10 Petro Poroshenko signed a new law on reforming national transportation system. Under the document, the operational and technological control functions are transferred from the state company to an operator that must be approved by the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry. Operator companies must be those founded and owned only by the Ukrainian state or owned or belonging to residents from the European Union, the United States or the European Energy Community. In this case, the state’s share may not be less than 51%, with the rest to belong to other gas transportation system operators or members of the European network of operators.

On September 12 a new Ukrainian law on sanctions became effective. It allows Ukraine to stop gas deliveries to Europe. Everyone knows what the termination of gas supplies may lead to. The intention to sell the transit system will also entail grave implications. Being the mostpowerful pipeline in the world it starts to lose the importance because of Kiev’s myope policy. In 2007 115 billion cubic meters of Russian gas was transported via Ukraine. It was only 36, 571 billion in the first half of 2014. Even if nothing were changed the total gas deliveries would be 73, 14 billion cubic meters by the end of the year as North Stream has become operational and the territory of Belarus is used for transportation. After the projects are implemented 55 billion cubic meters will be delivered via North Stream, the Yamal-Europe pipeline’s full capacity is 33 billion. The figure is and 63 billion cubic meters for South Stream. It will bring the total capacity to 151 billion cubic meters making it exceed the gas supplies going through the territory of Ukraine in 2007. It is also twice as much as predicted for 2014. The estimates don’t take into account the second pipeline of the route being in the process of negotiation since 2013.

The modernization of the pipeline offered for sale to Europeans requires the investments equal to 19, 5 billion dollars. It makes meaning only in case of stable supplies on the part of Russia. Nobody can say for sure if it would be the case as crisis hits Ukraine.

Complete story at - Europe Ready to Suffer from Cold to Please US > Strategic-Culture.org - Strategic Culture Foundation

Recommended Reading via Amazon

If you're seeking more information about how the world really works, and not how the media would want you to believe it works, these books are a good start. These are all highly recommended.

If you don't see pictures above, you likely have an adblocker running.  If so, here are the links.

1. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein
2. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man - John Perkins
3. Manufacturing Consent - Edward Herman, Noam Chomsky
4. Gladio - NATO's Dagger at the Heart of Europe - Richard Cottrell
5. Profit Over People - Noam Chomsky
6. Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives - Stephen Cohen
7. The Divide - American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap - Matt Taibbi

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