Friday, October 31, 2014

Ukrainian Democracy Produces Three Times The Yatseniuk Votes And One-Third Less Poroshenko Votes Than Polling Experts In Kiev Had Forecast — How Come? | Dances With Bears

The defeat by Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk of President Petro Poroshenko in the party voting at Sunday’s Ukrainian parliamentary election reveals a shift of voter sentiment no pollster predicted beforehand – neither the independent Ukrainian polling organizations in Kiev, nor the US Government-funded surveys.

On the other hand, the independent Ukrainian pollsters believe the election outcome will reinforce the anti-Russian, war party in the new Verkhovna Rada, despite the failure of the Svoboda (“Freedom”) and Pravy Sektor (“Right Sector”) organizations to cross the 5% threshold for party representation. Their failure, along with poor support for Yulia Tymoshenko and Oleg Lyashko, had been evident in the pre-election polling. How Yatseniuk managed to capture both war party votes in the western regions, and peace party supporters of Poroshenko in the centre and east is unclear.

This outcome was unforeseen, according to Nikolai Churilov of the Kiev-based Centre for Social and Marketing Research (SOCIS). He believes Yatseniuk was able to steal the war programme of the extreme right.

“For us the election results are a bit surprising, especially the fact that the West [region] voted for Yatseniuk. For the moment we can find only one explanation – that in their election programme, they fronted with fighters who have great prestige in Western Ukraine.

“There was too much compromising evidence on Lyashko,” Churilov added. “Poroshenko waged a weak campaign, especially in the last two to three weeks. We are investigating the reasons for such unpredictable results.”

Victor Misyuk of the Razumkov Centre (Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Studies), a survey company in Kiev, believes Poroshenko’s bloc had discredited itself. “They were too overconfident – they had already announced themselves as the majority in the new parliament. Of course, researchers were not expecting such a difference in the votes. Perhaps they are now in shock.” The Razumkov Centre is part-financed by eastern Ukrainian pipemaker, Victor Pinchuk. For more Razumkov polling, read this.

Complete story at - Ukrainian Democracy Produces Three Times The Yatseniuk Votes And One-Third Less Poroshenko Votes Than Polling Experts In Kiev Had Forecast — How Come? | Dances With Bears

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The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine | Johnson's Russia List

The Snipers Massacre Question

The massacre of several dozen Maidan protesters on February 20, 2014 was a turning point in Ukrainian politics and a tipping point in the escalating conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. The mass killing of the protesters and the mass shooting of the police that preceded it led to the overthrow of the highly corrupt and pro-Russian but democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych and gave a start to a large-scale violent conflict that continues now in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine. A conclusion promoted by the post-Yanukovych governments and the media in Ukraine that the massacre was perpetrated by government snipers on a Yanukovych order has been nearly universally accepted by the Western governments and the media, at least publicly, without concluding an investigation and without all evidence considered.

For instance, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in his speech to the US Congress on September 18, 2014 again claimed that the Yanukovych government overthrow resulted from mass peaceful protests against police violence, in particular, killings of more than 100 protesters by snipers on February 20, 2014.

The question is which side organized the snipers massacre. This paper is the first academic study of this crucial case of the mass killing. Analysis of a large amount of evidence in this study suggests that certain elements of the Maidan opposition, including its extremist far right wing, were involved in this massacre in order to seize power and that the government investigation was falsified for this reason.


Evidence used in this study includes publicly available but unreported, suppressed, or misrepresented videos and photos of suspected shooters, live statements by the Maidan announcers, radio intercepts of the Maidan snipers, and snipers and commanders from the special Alfa unit of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), ballistic trajectories, eyewitness reports by both Maidan protesters and government special unit commanders, public statements by both former and current government officials, bullets and weapons used, types of wounds among both protesters and the police, and the track record of politically motivated misrepresentations by the Maidan politicians of other cases of violence during and after the Euromaidan and historical conflicts. In particular, this study examines about 30 gigabytes of intercepted radio exchanges of the Security Service of Ukraine Alfa unit, Berkut, the Internal Troops, Omega, and other government agencies during the entire Maidan protests. These files were posted by a pro-Maidan Ukrainian radio amateur on a radio scanners forum, but they never were reported by the media or acknowledged by the Ukrainian government.

The timeline of the massacre with precision to minutes and locations of both the shooters and the government snipers was established in this study with great certainty based on the synchronization of the sound on the main Maidan stage, images, and other sources of evidence that independently corroborate each other. The study uses content analysis of all publicly available videos of the massacre, in particular, an unreported, time-stamped version of a previously widely seen, long video of the massacre on Instytutska Street, videos of suspected snipers and reports of snipers in live TV broadcasts and Internet video streams from the Maidan (Independence Square), time-stamped and unedited radio intercepts of SBU Alfa snipers and commanders, and radio intercepts of Internal Troops on the Maidan. The analysis also uses live Internet broadcasts. Recordings of all live TV and Internet broadcasts of the massacre by Espresso TV, Hromadske TV, Spilno TV, Radio Liberty, and Ukrstream TV, were either removed from their websites immediately following the massacre or not made publicly available. These recordings were mostly made by Maidan supporters, but they got very scant attention or removed from public access. Similarly, official results of ballistic, weapons, and medical examinations and other evidence collected during the investigations concerning this massacre have not been made public, while crucial evidence, including bullets and weapons disappeared under the post-Yanukovych government. This investigation relies on such evidence reported by the media and reliable information in the social media. An on-site research on the site of the massacre on the Maidan itself and on Instytutska Street was also conducted for this study by the author.

Complete story at - The Snipers Massacre on the Maidan in Ukraine | Johnson's Russia List

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Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas | Johnson's Russia List

(Business New Europe – – October 29, 2014) Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov called on the EU to show Russia it has the money to pay for Ukrainian gas, before Russia renews gas supplies to Ukraine, which were cut after a dispute over pricing and arrears. The EU is set to disburse nearly $1bn by the end of 2014 in loans to Ukraine, and is looking to raise a bridge loan for the country.

“Where is the money?” I sincerely hope that the money will be shown this time,” Chizhov told Interfax, adding that he expected Ukraine to receive a bridge loan from the EU, because the next IMF tranche would be paid to Ukraine only in February 2015.”

Delay in payment of the next IMF tranche to Ukraine were confirmed by Ukraine’s finance minister at a conference in Kyiv October 29. Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak said that the next tranche could only be expected in 2015, because Kyiv would need time to form a new government capable of holding talks with the IMF.

Senior EU officials told the Wall Street Journal that it is preparing to disburse two loans of Û500mn and Û260mn by the end of 2015, which will help Kyiv pay debts to Russia’s Gazprom for past gas deliveries. The funds were agreed in the first half of 2014 as EU support for Ukraine having successfully launched a reform program. Final confirmation needed for disbursal of the Û500mn loan will depend on the International Monetary Fund approving Kyiv’s budget for 2015 as realistic, as well as EU approval of strengthening of Ukraine’s audit chamber to cover state companies. The funds come in addition to around Û850mn in loans already provided to Ukraine by the EU.

Complete story at - Business New Europe: Russia calls on EU to show money for Ukraine gas | Johnson's Russia List

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TASS: World - Some 200 Kiev residents block traffic demanding heat in their houses

KIEV, October 30. /TASS/. About 200 people blocked traffic along a Kiev street protesting against heat and hot water supply shortages in their houses, the UNIAN news agency reported on Thursday.

Residents of Kiev’s southwestern district Solomensky say that although the heating season has already started, there was no heating and hot water in their houses. Moreover, they say they have been having electricity supplies problems since October 19, too.

An activist said that people had asked the authorities to solve this problem more than once but the problem was still there.

According to media reports, protesters only let ambulance cars pass along the street, with public transport and private vehicles stuck in a congestion.

Police are taking no measures to disperse the protesters.

Last week, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko decreed to begin the heating season in “all houses without exceptions” across the entire country before October 26. The president said that heating was the competence of local authorities.

Complete story at - TASS: World - Some 200 Kiev residents block traffic demanding heat in their houses

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Land Destroyer: Putin Exposes Criminal Global Order

October 26, 2014 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) -Russian President Vladimir Putin, before an international audience, exposed an international order capitalizing on the end of the Cold War to reshape the world according to its own interests, sidelining concepts such as basic international relations, international laws, systems of checks and balances, and even the very concept of national sovereignty itself. Amid President Putin's speech, he would condemn the United States' support for neo-fascists, terrorists, and its contempt for national sovereignty around the world.

The West's Rebuttal

Curious language accompanied the New York Times' account of the Valdai International Club discussion in the Black Sea coastal region of Sochi, Russia in front of which President Putin spoke. In an article titled, "Putin Accuses U.S. of Backing ‘Neo-Fascists’ and ‘Islamic Radicals’," the NYT attempts to portray President Putin's statements about US support for neo-fascists and terrorists as merely baseless accusations.

The NYT claims, "instead of supporting democracy and sovereign states, Mr. Putin said during a three-hour appearance at the conference, the United States supports “dubious” groups ranging from “open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.”" The NYT would also report, "“Why do they support such people,” he asked the annual gathering known as the Valdai Club, which met this year in the southern resort town of Sochi. “They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals, but then burn their fingers and recoil.”"

It is difficult to understand why the NYT attempts to portray this statement as particularly controversial, or as a "diatribe," as the Times puts it, rather than a factual, timely, and necessary observation.

The NYT would also state, "Russia is often accused of provoking the crisis in Ukraine by annexing Crimea, and of prolonging the agony in Syria by helping to crush a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, Moscow’s last major Arab ally. Some analysts have suggested that Mr. Putin seeks to restore the lost power and influence of the Soviet Union, or even the Russian Empire, in a bid to prolong his own rule."

Technically speaking, Russia is regularly accused of all of this, though the NYT fails to fill in for readers how ridiculous each and every one of these accusations are.

Complete story at - Land Destroyer: Putin Exposes Criminal Global Order

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Education International - Ukraine: national protest defends teachers and quality education

Previously guaranteed rights and compensations for teachers have been abolished by the government, which is why Education International’s (EI) affiliate, the Trade Union of Education and Science Workers of Ukraine (STESU), has highlighted that the introduction of new rules to determine salariescould also lead to widespread salary cuts in the public sector. In addition, the access and quality of education in rural areas could be negatively impacted.

Massive demonstration

On 15 Oct, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, roughly 5,000 Ukrainian trade unionists from different sectors, including 850 STESU members representing education, rallied and picketed in front of the national Cabinet of Ministers. The protest was organised by the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, under the slogan “For decent work - for decent life”.

Participants urged the government to fight Ukraine’s shadow economy and tax evasion, eliminate wage discrimination in the public sector, restore the State Labour Inspection’s right to freely access workplaces in order to guarantee every worker’s labour rights and safety, and ensure the gradual implementation of European social standards when proceeding with economic reforms.

Cuts in allowances

The STESU also demanded that a ‘prestige’ allowance for teachers be fully reinstated. This allowance, representing 20 percent of the basic salary, was introduced in 2010 and paid to all education workers to acknowledge the high value of their work, and to make the profession more attractive to young people. In April, the Government did a U-turn, nominating “up to” 20 percent of basic salary as the allowance, to be determined by local education authorities within available funds. Many cities and districts in Ukraine have already set this allowance at 10.5 percent and even one percent of basic salary, leading to losses of 200-500 Ukrainian hryvnia (€12-30) per month for teachers.

Respect for trade union rights

The participants’ main demands to the Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers were in relation to the pressure on workers’ social, labour, and trade union rights and interests.

Trade unions are very concerned by new government attempts to restrict workers’ rights and cannot agree to the Government's anti-social legislative proposals. They strongly oppose, among others, job cuts, frozen wages and pensions, fiscal austerity at the expense of workers, retirees and their families, the destruction of the efficient self-governing social and health insurance system, and the lack of social responsibility by the Government while taking socially important decisions.

Complete story at - Education International - Ukraine: national protest defends teachers and quality education

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Russian news: Financial Times Whitewashes Notorious Russian Fraudster - Russia Insider

The FT published a truly astounding, nay, embarrassing, article yesterday co-authored by Catherine Belton and Neil Buckley about bankrupted former oligarch Sergei Pugachev's legal battle with Russian prosecutors over the financial implosion of his business empire in 2012.

(The article is sometimes behind a paywall or login, so we have presented it in full at the end of this article - editors)

It betrays a stunning ignorance of the facts of the case, facts which are common knowledge to the financial community in Moscow.

In the 27 paragraph article, 17 of them were effectively a soapbox for Pugachev, with most of the rest drawing one false inference after another.

Only in the 15th paragraph does the article mention that the government charged Pugachev with massive and brazen fraud at the time, euphemizing it to the point where it seems trivial. It never mentions that Mr. Pugachev presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy in Russian history. That slim paragraph, and another minor mention, buried at the end of the article (paragraph #22), is the only space the FT gives to the other side of the story.

The FT grossly distorts the issue, painting Pugachev as another persecuted oligarch worthy of pity, when in fact, he is widely seen by most financial experts in Moscow, foreign and domestic, to be a died-in-the-wool fraudster, the Russian Bernie Madoff.

The intellectual bankruptcy of The Financial Times is truly breathtaking - not just Khodorkovsky but now any criminal who claims to be a dissident receives accolades from this venerable broadsheet.

Complete story at - Russian news: Financial Times Whitewashes Notorious Russian Fraudster - Russia Insider

Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote | Johnson's Russia List

(Bloomberg – – Daryna Krasnolutska – October 29, 2014) Wary of banks and alarmed by armed conflict around her parents’ town, Daria Demianenko joined Ukraine’s rush to an old-fashioned way of squirreling away cash.

More commonly known as a home for fancy jewels and ill-gotten gains, safe-deposit boxes are swallowing a growing chunk of regular savings in Ukraine. For Demianenko, a 32-year-old accountant, the box she rents for $8 a month means capital controls can’t block her family’s access to money.

“The central bank is tightening the screws — you can withdraw less and less,” she said by phone after stashing more than 10,000 euros ($12,700) in the Ukrainian capital, safely away from the eastern unrest. “We had to visit many banks in order to find a box. There’s a craze for them now in Kiev.”

The dash to this outmoded means of hoarding savings highlights the economic challenge facing Ukraine’s newly elected parliament. Already grappling with the fragile truce in the eastern insurgency, lawmakers chosen Oct. 26 must also rebuild confidence in the financial system to rescue this year’s worst-performing currency, keep a $17 billion bailout flowing and revive an economy forecast to shrink 10 percent.

The turmoil has sent the hryvnia plunging 36 percent against the dollar in 2014. While it gained 0.8 percent today in Kiev, its weakness has helped to erode faith in banks. Ukrainians have withdrawn about a third of retail deposits, exceeding 100 billion hryvnia ($7.7 billion), central bank Governor Valeriya Gontareva said last month.

Complete story at - Safe-Deposit Box Craze Lays Bare Ukraine Woes After Vote | Johnson's Russia List

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Russian news: More Sanctions Backfire: European Tourism Bruised as Russians Stay Away - Russia Insider

Anti-Russian sanctions have backfired on the Old World’s tourist industry.

Far fewer Russians go to Europe on holiday these days. On some destinations, tourist flow has slumped between 20% and 50% against 2013. Experts see two reasons for this: reluctance to put up with outbreaks of Russophobic sentiment and the ruble’s slump against the euro.

Europeans are ringing the alarm. Dwindling tourist flows from Russia is a heavy blow to Western economies because Russians have firmly held the leading place in the EU’s tourist industry for the past few years.

In 2014, anti-Russian sanctions by the EU prompted Russian holiday-makers to set their eyes on Turkey and Egypt while Europe suffered a “catastrophic setback,” says spokeswoman for the Russian Tourist Industry Union Irina Tyurina. In a bid to lure back Russian vacationers, European tour operators have had to resort to unprecedented dumping offers.

According to the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), Britain’s tour industry will lose about £50 million (about $50 million) in 2014. Finland, which last year was in the top 10 countries most popular with Russian tourists, this year has slumped to the 13th place.

Complete story at - Russian news: More Sanctions Backfire: European Tourism Bruised as Russians Stay Away - Russia Insider

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Arming Ukraine Is a Very Bad Idea | The Nation

As if to prove that the one thing the Washington establishment fears more than war is peace, Senate Armed Services chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) and ranking member James Inhofe (R-OK) published an op-ed in The Washington Post on Monday calling for the United States government to arm Ukraine. The first indication that the primary aim of their article is to further destabilize US-Russian relations is its timing, coming as it does only a week after Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held what was generally seen to be a relatively constructive meeting in Paris. The last thing the denizens of Capitol Hill want right now is any sort of rapprochement with Putin's Russia, especially not in the run-up to the midterm elections. Putin is, after all, America's villain du jour.

Yet while the Senators' op-ed is tendentious in the extreme, it is actually fairly representative of the prevailing view among Washington's foreign policy cognoscenti and therefore merits some scrutiny. The senators pile on one dubious claim after another. Readers are told at the outset that "now is the time to add defensive military aid, including weapons, to our support of Ukraine." Exactly why the senators feel "now" is the right moment to do so is left unexplained. Surely funneling ever greater quantities of weapons into Ukraine is exactly the wrong thing to do, given that the September 5 cease-fire barely continues to hold in and around Donetsk. It would be tantamount to adding oxygen to a fire.

The Post's more discerning readers will also note that calling the proposed military aid "defensive" is merely an attempt to obscure the nature of what we would actually be doing: becoming a party to the conflict. The qualifier "defensive" is meant to give the impression of a difference—between so-called "offensive" and "defensive" weapons—where none exists. It is simply a distinction that hinges on intent. Are we seriously to believe that the United States has the power to discern in advance how Kiev actually intends to use the weapons? According to the Senators "these weapons are lethal, but not provocative" because of their defensive nature. Surely Moscow wouldn't dare argue with that kind of ironclad logic.

Readers are then asked to believe that a shipment of American arms into what is still a conflict zone is justified because "supporting Ukraine's desire for peace, freedom, territorial integrity and democracy supports values Americans hold dear." In other words, the senators are simply calling for the Obama administration to put into practice what some of the more sanguinary neoconservative activists have been calling for since 9/11: that America, per Max Boot's infamous formulation, should "impose the rule of law, property rights, and other guarantees, at gunpoint if need be."

Complete story at - Arming Ukraine Is a Very Bad Idea | The Nation

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Russian news: Putin Disses Merkel in Milan. Displays Confidence, No Sign of Budging on Ukraine. - Russia Insider

This is a typically bogus and biased article from the NYT, but we are running it because it speaks volumes about Russia's position vis a vis the EU on the Ukraine. One has to read between the lines to understand that Putin's symbolic message was: take a flying leap.

Ignore the silly pop-psychology The Times descends to, and their relentless maligning of Putin personally. Also, a typical Times ploy, they manage to slip in a howling falsehood. "Even with Russia’s economy steadily grinding downward, with a recession looming..." Ahem, the economy is growing, and predicted to grow in the coming years. Sanctions aren't working, no recession in sight. In fact the sanctions are strengthening the Russian economy, one of the reasons Putin is feeling so confident these days.

Ahh,The Times..., we could create a whole website dedicated to the nonsense they peddle...

MILAN — He was at it again this week.

First, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia stopped in Belgrade, Serbia, for a military parade evocative of the Cold War. He questioned Kosovo’s sovereignty, took a swipe at President Obama in the Serbian news media and reached a summit meeting in Milan so far behind schedule that he was hours late for a private evening meeting with Europe’s most powerful leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

Nor was Mr. Putin done. When he left Ms. Merkel at roughly 2 a.m. Friday, his entourage streaked through Milan to the home of his friend and Italy’s former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The men talked and enjoyed truffles until about 4 a.m., whereupon Mr. Putin departed, leaving him barely four hours before he joined European leaders, including Ukraine’s president, Petro O. Poroshenko, for a pivotal breakfast meeting.

For Mr. Putin, the helter-skelter blitz through Milan was only the latest demonstration of an unpredictable, often theatrical, diplomatic style that he has employed during the Ukraine crisis to throw his rivals off balance. This time he kept Ms. Merkel waiting late at night. Last month he upstaged President Obama on the eve of a NATO summit meeting focused on Russian aggression when he unexpectedly announced a seven-point peace plan for Ukraine — written on the back of a napkin as he flew for a state visit in Mongolia.

Complete story at - Russian news: Putin Disses Merkel in Milan. Displays Confidence, No Sign of Budging on Ukraine. - Russia Insider

Subject is propaganda posters

The Stark Facts of Global Greed, a Disease as Challenging as Climate Change | Alternet

October 26, 2014 |

Global inequality, like global warming, is a disease that may be too far along to ever be cured.

We seem helpless, both in the U.S. and around the world, to stop the incessant flow of wealth to an elitist group of people who are simply building on their existing riches. The increasing rate of their takeaway is the message derived from the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook (GWD).

It's already been made clear that the richest Americans have taken almost all the gains in U.S. wealth since the recession. But the unrelenting money grab is a global phenomenon. The GWD confirms just how bad it's getting for the great majority of us.

1. U.S. -- Even the Upper Middle Class Is Losing

In just three years, from 2011 to 2014, the bottom half of Americans lost almost half of their share of the nation's wealth, dropping from a 2.5% share to a 1.3% share (detail is here).

Complete story at - The Stark Facts of Global Greed, a Disease as Challenging as Climate Change | Alternet

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Russia Moving Nukes Into Crimea, and America’s Asinine Response — Novorossia News Agency

Day after day, the scene in Ukraine seems to be looking more and more unstable. The brinksmanship of the Cold War appears to be making a comeback in Europe, as Russia asserts its claims over Ukraine. Recently, Putin has ordered the Russian military to begin moving tactical nuclear weapons into Crimea, as well as several Tu-22 nuclear armed bombers.

The event has U.S. lawmakers in an uproar, and NATO officials shaking in their boots (or at least that’s how I imagine them). They’re throwing around terms like “treaty violation” and “menacing threats to Europe”. Meanwhile, those same U.S. officials seem to be thinking in very obsolete terms.

“Locating nuclear weapons on the sovereign territory of another state without its permission is a devious and cynical action,” states the letter signed by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.) and two subcommittee chairmen.

“It further positions Russian nuclear weapons closer to the heart of NATO, and it allows Russia to gain a military benefit from its seizure of Crimea, allowing Russia to profit from its action.”

They can’t accept that the Crimea is no longer the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Whether the actions of the Russian government are right or wrong, is irrelevant. They’ve taken Crimea, a region that has belonged to Russia for longer than the U.S. has even existed, and the place is just lousy with ethnic Russians (who’d have thought?).

Complete story at - Russia Moving Nukes Into Crimea, and America’s Asinine Response — Novorossia News Agency

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Two minutes Hate – Emanuel Goldestein in Eastern Ukraine. | New Eastern Outlook

I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, I have been educated in how to lie, cheat, and not to tell people the truth. “I was supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA. Why, because I’m pro-American.”

“German and American media are trying to bring the war to the people in Europe, leading to war with Russia. We passed the point of no return, and I’m going to stand up and say it not right what I’ve done in the past to manipulate people to sow propaganda against Russia. ” said Udo Ulfkotte, former editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

The so-called common people mostly don’t know where to find reliable information about what is happening in East Ukraine. The reason for this may be the quote cited above. Any information which validates in any way Russia, or east Ukraine’ is vilified, ridiculed, ignored or considered to be from the Russian intelligence agencies. I can see it from my country, Poland, where information even questioning the American political view is considered to be Kremlin propaganda. This creates a situation in which no one trusts anyone. The very process of independent thinking becomes very ‘suspect’ and perplexing. We have a common, singular correct version of events in Ukraine and anyone who even asks any questions is immediately called an ‘agent of the Kremlin’. Maybe this would not be strange were it not for the fierceness of those who defend this one ‘correct’ truth. This suspicious to me unanimity and social ferocity in defending this one ‘correct’ version of events reminds me of Orwell’s 1984 and ‘Two Minutes Hate’, a daily period in which Party members of the society of Oceania must watch a film depicting the Party’s enemies (notably Emmanuel Goldstein ) and express their hatred for them.

In my country (Poland) these topics do not exist:

- Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine

- Newly discovered mass graves of civilians near pro Kyiv battalions

- The bombing of civilians by Azov and Ajdar battalions

- Massacre in Odessa

Complete story at - Two minutes Hate – Emanuel Goldestein in Eastern Ukraine. | New Eastern OutlookSubject is propaganda posters

The most educated countries in the world - Yahoo Finance Canada

By Thomas C. Frohlich | 24/7 Wall St. – Fri, 12 Sep, 2014 1:52 AM EDT

According to data recently released by the Organization for Co-operation and Development (OECD), more than half of Russian adults held tertiary degrees in 2012 -- the equivalent of college degree in the United States -- more than in any other country reviewed. Meanwhile, less than 4% of Chinese adults had tertiary qualifications in 2012, less than in any other country. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 countries with the highest proportion of adults holding a college degree.

The most educated populations tend to be in countries where tertiary education spending is among the highest. Tertiary education spending in six of the most educated countries was higher than the OECD average of $13,957. Spending on tertiary education in the U.S., for example, was $26,021 per student, by far the most in the world.

Despite the value of investing in education, there are exceptions. Korea and the Russian Federation both spent less than $10,000 on tertiary education per student in 2011, considerably lower than the OECD average. Yet, they still have among the most educated populations.

Qualifications do not always translate into stronger skills. While only 1 in 4 of U.S. college graduates reach the top-end of literacy skill, more than 35% reach that level in Finland, Japan, and the Netherlands. As Schleicher explained, “We typically describe people by their formal qualifications, but this data suggests that the skill value of formal qualifications vary considerably across countries.”

Complete story at - The most educated countries in the world - Yahoo Finance Canada

They certainly picked some strange photos to illustrate this story...

CC Photo Google Image Search Source is EAE0QAAIBAgMDBwULCAcJAAAAAAABAgMRBBIhBTFRBhMiQWFxkTKBobGyByNCUmJyc5KjwdEUFRYzRFNjdCQ0Q4Kz4fElZHWDk6LS4vD  Subject is russian flag

Fragile fact-checking: How the media fell in and out of love with the Sikorski ‘revelations’ — RT Op-Edge

What’s worse than a junior neocon? A junior neocon trying to make a name for himself. Ben Judah’s meteoric rise, aided by his staunch anti-Russian credentials in a climate of fear, has imploded as quickly as it began.

As I learnt the hard way, when you are a young man in a hurry it’s easy to trip up. The first few times you’ll, probably, be forgiven but once it becomes a trend, even the most ardent supporters will abandon you. The fewer redeeming features you possess, the faster it’ll happen. When it has the potential to create an international diplomatic crisis, I can only assume it’s fatal to that once promising career.

On Sunday, the niche US journal Politico published a piece which, briefly, rocked the Russia-related media world. In a rambling, rabble-rousing diatribe by Ben Judah came a, seemingly amazing, scoop - Vladimir Putin had allegedly proposed, in a 2008 Moscow meeting, that Russia and Poland divide Ukraine between them. The source for this, supposed, latter-day Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was given as ex-Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Carl Bildt was also included – but the less said about him the better – in a veritable neocon tea party. After reading about the ostensible carve-up, I was wondering what century I was in.

Following some nonsense about Napoleon, Sikorski was quoted as saying: “He (Putin) wanted us (Poland) to become participants in this partition of Ukraine.”

“This was one of the things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow. He went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow (sic) is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together? Luckily Tusk didn’t answer. He knew he was being recorded,” Sikorski, supposedly, added.

Complete story at - Fragile fact-checking: How the media fell in and out of love with the Sikorski ‘revelations’ — RT Op-Edge

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vladimir Suchan: Logos politikos: Nazi Aesthetics from Ukraine: Butchered Meat of Female Bodies

Here is something what Western democrats and liberals, whether soft-hearted lovers or cold-blooded realist undertakers of the "Maidan revolt of dignity" against "Russian barbarism and tyranny," have helped come true: genuine, real, in-your-face Nazi "aesthetics."

Ukrainian Nazi show-business organized a round of beauty pageant "Super-model the Ukrainian Way." The creation of the new Nazi "ideal of female beauty" took place on October 3.

The show and photo-session took place in the bastion of Ukraine's Nazi Banderism in Lvov.

Selected TOP-10 beauties were asked to present their almost naked bodies as butchered, bloodied animal meat.

Pure de Sade and new Nazi aesthetics. Gore, sex, morbidity, necrophilia. The new "European values" as understood and promoted by Ukrainian oligarchs led by Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Tymoshenko, Kolomeisky, and Avakov and their Nazi butchers.

Complete story at - Vladimir Suchan: Logos politikos: Nazi Aesthetics from Ukraine: Butchered Meat of Female Bodies

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Petro Poroshenko is facing rebels and growing discontent: Can the Ukrainian president hold Ukraine together?

KIEV, Ukraine—Less than a year ago, Viktor Yanukovych was not yet the disgraced former president of Ukraine and ruled over his impoverished but peaceful nation from Mezhyhirya, his sprawling residence outside Kiev. Here Yanukovych entertained his cronies aboard a fake Spanish galleon, watched TV from the comfort of his wood-paneled Jacuzzi, and prayed for redemption in a jewel-encrusted private chapel.

The main house—an outsized, five-story peasant cottage—is nicknamed Honka, after the Finnish company that built it. Today a wild-eyed revolutionary named Petro Oliynyk offers visitors an express tour from bowling alley to bedroom at $15 a head. Wrapped in the black-and-red flag of the World War II–era Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Oliynyk coasts across Honka’s inlaid wooden floors in traditional straw shoes. Mezhyhirya has become to Kiev what Versailles is to Paris—except Ukraine’s revolution is far from over.

A 34-year-old native of western Ukraine, Oliynyk is mad as hell. He protested on Kiev’s Maidan for three months last winter until Yanukovych fled on Feb. 22 after a bloodbath that left more than 100 people dead. Oliynyk, who says he has been guarding Mezhyhirya since that day, blames fellow activists for looting the residence. Worse yet, he is convinced the new authorities granted Yanukovych safe passage to Russia and unleashed a war to cement their own grip on power.

Oliynyk isn’t alone in his anger. Not even half a year into Petro Poroshenko’s presidency—and days before early parliamentary elections—Ukraine is still in upheaval. As if the Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine weren’t bad enough, the rest of the country is divided over how to overcome the legacy of two decades of rampant corruption.

Former Maidan protesters grumble that Poroshenko, a political insider who built a candy empire, is hardly the kind of leader they risked their lives for. Cynics suspect the fighting in the east is only a cover for the latest round of robbing the treasury. Even the president’s well-wishers fault him for surrounding himself with weak, pliable ministers and rarely explaining key decisions to the people, not unlike Yanukovych. In an impatient country awash with fighters and weapons, the threat of a new revolt is very real.

Complete story at - Petro Poroshenko is facing rebels and growing discontent: Can the Ukrainian president hold Ukraine together?

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Russian news: Election Could Tear Ukraine Apart - Russia Insider

NoBC4U Note: Though this was originally written before the election, the election is not likely to change much, if anything...

Russian news: Election Could Tear Ukraine Apart - Russia Insider

With less than a week left until the Ukrainian parliamentary elections, there is growing uncertainty about whether the new parliament will provide a boost to President Petro Poroshenko's flagging reform agenda and attempts to manage the extremely fragile situation in the east.

Ukraine’s controversial lustration bill, signed by President Petro Poroshenko last week, is having an immediate effect on governance in Kyiv and beyond. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has already announced that 39 top Ukrainian officials will lose their jobs. “These are heads of central executive agencies, first deputy ministers, deputy ministers, members of national commissions and one head of a regional state administration," said Yatsenyuk. In a mid-September speech, the prime minister claimed that upwards of one million officials might be affected by lustration based on their former affiliation with the KGB, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, or the administration of former President Viktor Yanukovych.

The law does not apply to elected officials such as members of parliament or the president himself, but is expected to pose particular challenges for government bureaucracies like the Prosecutor General’s office and the Ministry of Interior. The Kharkiv Human Rights Group estimates that 95 percent of management-level figures in law enforcement agencies could be affected. The imminent dismissal of civil servants in such numbers raises troubling questions about how effectively Ukraine’s badly troubled state institutions will be able to cope with their responsibilities while short-handed.

Shunning the national parliamentary elections, the authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) plan to hold separate elections on November 2 to elect a “head of state” and new regional parliament. The separatists have largely rejected the law on “special status” for certain territories of the Donbas that President Poroshenko pushed as part of the September 5 Minsk ceasefire and are opposed to holding local elections on December 7 as mandated by the legislation. DNR “Vice Premier” Andrei Purgin has suggested that the vote in early November will be used to elect representatives who will negotiate the exact terms of the region’s status with Kyiv. Following a series of consultations with President Vladimir Putin and European heads of state at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan, President Poroshenko declared that the “fake elections” would not be recognized by Ukraine, Europe, or Russia.

Complete story at - Russian news: Election Could Tear Ukraine Apart - Russia InsiderCC Photo Google Image Search Source is euromaydan in  Subject is eu usa relations

Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? / Arturo | Sociología crítica

For context to the question I will provide a translation / paraphrase / summary of some key points in the following article Las catedrales del kremlin y el capitalismo multipolar

The article contains and numbers many more points (36 in total) but I have translated/summarized only the first 14.

1. Moscow cannot defeat the American plans – i.e. the Anglo Zionist world elite – without contradicting the class interests of its own elites (Russian oligarchs): This is impossible because the system of sanctions and the blocking of access to their accounts and assets in the West generates such contradictions in the Russian power elites that, in practice, it prevents them from reacting adequately; it puts them on their knees before the American plans.

2. Russia *could* resist those plans, since it possesses the strength, sense of identity, historical memory and material resources to do so. But in order to do so, its ruling elites would have to take measures that would affect their own class status within both the Russian system and the international system. And we can see that these are measures they are not willing to take.

On the other hand, the Anglo Zionists suffer no such internal contradiction. Quite the opposite, in fact: Their own interest as the supporting base of the globalist hyperclass necessarily forces them to maintain the challenge to the end.

3. By the term Anglo Zionists, in this analysis, we mean the dominant power group whose territorial and military base resides in the United States, and whose center originates in the historical and social links of the Anglo-American oligarchies, branching off to other historical central metropolis in Europe or other power centers in different parts of the world.

4. The concept is made up of two elements that must be explained: the first, the “anglo” reference, has to do with the North American British connection [...] the second, the “zionist” reference, has to do with the interconnection among the economic and financial power groups that maintain various kinds of links with Israel. It is not so much a reference to ethnic origin, but rather to orientations as groups or lobbies of political and economic interests. A good part of this zionist component consists of people who are neither Israelis nor Jews, but who feel identified with the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, Britain and other countries. Thus the term “zionist” referes here to an ideology, not to an ethnic origin.

Complete story at - Does Russia represent an alternative to the current western economic/social model? / Arturo | Sociología crítica

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George Soros Slams Putin, Warns Of "Existential Threat" From Russia, Demands $20 Billion From IMF In "Russia War Effort" | Zero Hedge

If even George Soros is getting concerned and writing Op-Eds, then Putin must be truly winning.

Here are the highlights from what the Open Society founder has to say about the "existential" Russian threat in a just released Op-Ed:

Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence. Neither the European leaders nor their citizens are fully aware of this challenge or know how best to deal with it. I attribute this mainly to the fact that the European Union in general and the eurozone in particular lost their way after the financial crisis of 2008.

Getting warmer:

[Europe] fails to recognize that the Russian attack on Ukraine is indirectly an attack on the European Union and its principles of governance. It ought to be evident that it is inappropriate for a country, or association of countries, at war to pursue a policy of fiscal austerity as the European Union continues to do.

Even warmer:

All available resources ought to be put to work in the war effort even if that involves running up budget deficits

And hot, hot, hot:

[IMF] should provide an immediate cash injection of at least $20 billion, with a promise of more when needed. Ukraine’s partners should provide additional financing conditional on implementation of the IMF-supported program, at their own risk, in line with standard practice.

And there it is: the Russian "existential" war threat is, to Soros, nothing but an excuse to end the whole (f)austerity experiment (just don't show Soros Europe's latest record high debt load), and to return to its drunken sailor spending ways.

Complete story at - George Soros Slams Putin, Warns Of "Existential Threat" From Russia, Demands $20 Billion From IMF In "Russia War Effort" | Zero Hedge

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ukraine: Widespread Use of Cluster Munitions | Human Rights Watch

(Berlin) – Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October 2014, Human Rights Watch said today. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes.

During a week-long investigation in eastern Ukraine, Human Rights Watch documented widespread use of cluster munitions in fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in more than a dozen urban and rural locations. While it was not possible to conclusively determine responsibility for many of the attacks, the evidence points to Ukrainian government forces’ responsibility for several cluster munition attacks on Donetsk. An employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was killed on October 2 in an attack on Donetsk that included use of cluster munition rockets.

“It is shocking to see a weapon that most countries have banned used so extensively in eastern Ukraine,” said Mark Hiznay, senior arms researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Ukrainian authorities should make an immediate commitment not to use cluster munitions and join the treaty to ban them.”

Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of smaller munitions, called submunitions, in a container such as a rocket or a bomb. After launch, the container opens up dispersing the submunitions which are designed to explode when they hit the ground. The submunitions are spread indiscriminately over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of attack, whether combatants or civilians, at risk of death or injury. In addition, many of the submunitions do not explode on contact, but remain armed, becoming de facto landmines. Any location contaminated with dud submunitions remains hazardous until cleared by deminers.

To date, 114 countries have joined the treaty that comprehensively bans cluster munitions because of the danger they pose to civilians. Ukraine has not joined the treaty.

Complete story at - Ukraine: Widespread Use of Cluster Munitions | Human Rights Watch

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Russian news: Ukraine: A Trillion Here – A Trillion There - Russia Insider

As the military situation in Ukraine grinds to a stalemate, the still more desperate economic plight comes to the fore, laying bare the culpable folly of European diplomacy.

In an earlier posting we had suggested that the unification of Germany could serve as a benchmark for the potential cost of any attempt to keep the implicit promise to Ukraine of EU accession, tossing out a guesstimate of one-half trillion Euros – an obviously impossible sum in the context of a European continent sliding into renewed recession.

In a recent paper, Carnegie’s always incisive Dmitri Trenin has suggested that the actual cost of the reunification of Germany was closer to E1.5 trillion, albeit over a period of 23 years. While this latter number is almost certainly closer to the mark, given the realities it is no more than a substantial rounding error; Mr Poroshenko’s trip to Washington – from which he returned with a generous $52 million – suggests that the likelihood of Ukraine receiving anything like either number is identical – precisely nil.

That's $50 mmm...million, with an "M"

Since independence modern Ukraine has been at best a semi-functional state, stumbling along on legacy assets while no government, whether nominally pro-Russian (Yanukovich) or pro-western (Timoshenko/Yushchenko) made any meaningful attempt at real reform.

This is hardly surprising – the various governments represented nothing more than the coalesced interests of one or the other oligarchic faction, themselves the ultimate beneficiaries of systematised corruption and inefficiency, which they have no conceivable interest in combatting.

Complete story at - Russian news: Ukraine: A Trillion Here – A Trillion There - Russia Insider

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Western presstitute media excuses neo-Nazism in Ukraine -- Puppet Masters --

For months, the New York Times and other major U.S. news outlets have insisted that it's just Russian propaganda to say that a significant neo-Nazi presence exists inside Ukraine, but thousands of these "non-existent" neo-Nazis battled police on Tuesday outside the parliament building in Kiev demanding recognition of their Hitler-collaborating forebears.

The parliament, aware of the obvious public relations fiasco that would follow if it bowed to far-right demands to honor members of the Nazi-affiliated Ukrainian Insurgent Army (or UIA), defeated the proposal. That touched off riots by an estimated 8,000 protesters led by Ukraine's right-wing Svoboda party and the Right Sektor.

Historians blame the UIA and other Ukrainian fascist forces for the extermination of thousands of Poles and Jews during World War II as these right-wing Ukrainian paramilitaries sided with the German Nazis in their fight against the Soviet Union's Red Army. Svoboda and the Right Sektor have elevated UIA leader Stepan Bandera to the level of a Ukrainian national hero.

But Svoboda and Right Sektor activists are not just neo-Nazi street protesters. They were key figures in last February's violent uprising that overthrew elected President Viktor Yanukovych and established a coup regime that the U.S. State Department quickly recognized as "legitimate." Many far-right militants have since been incorporated into the Ukrainian military in its fight to crush resistance to the coup regime from ethnic Russians in Ukraine's east.

Though played down by the Western press, the neo-Nazi affiliations of these militants have occasionally popped up in news stories, including references to displays of Nazi insignias, but usually these citations are mentioned only in passing or are confined to the last few paragraphs of lengthy stories or are dismissed as "Russian propaganda."

But this neo-Nazi reality continues to be an inconvenient truth about the U.S.-backed coup regime that seized power in Kiev with the overthrow of Yanukovych on Feb. 22. Several government ministries, including national security, were given to these far-right elements in recognition of their key role in the putsch that forced members of Yanukovych's government to flee for their lives.

Complete story at - Western presstitute media excuses neo-Nazism in Ukraine -- Puppet Masters --

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12 Charts That Show The Permanent Damage That Has Been Done To The U.S. Economy

Most people that discuss the "economic collapse" focus on what is coming in the future. And without a doubt, we are on the verge of some incredibly hard times. But what often gets neglected is the immense permanent damage that has been done to the U.S. economy by the long-term economic collapse that we are already experiencing. In this article I am going to share with you 12 economic charts that show that we are in much, much worse shape than we were five or ten years ago. The long-term problems that are eating away at the foundations of our economy like cancer have not been fixed. In fact, many of them continue to get even worse year after year. But because unprecedented levels of government debt and reckless money printing by the Federal Reserve have bought us a very short window of relative stability, most Americans don't seem too concerned about our long-term problems. They seem to have faith that our "leaders" will be able to find a way to muddle through whatever challenges are ahead. Hopefully this article will be a wake up call. The last major wave of the economic collapse did a colossal amount of damage to our economic foundations, and now the next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching.

#1 Employment

The mainstream media is constantly telling us about the "employment recovery" that is happening in the United States, but the truth is that it is just an illusion. As the chart below demonstrates, just prior to the last recession about 63 percent of all working age Americans had a job. During the last wave of the economic collapse, that number dropped to below 59 percent and stayed there for a very long time. In the past few months we have finally seen the employment-population ratio tick back up to 59 percent, but we are still far, far below where we used to be. To call the tiny little bump at the end of this chart a "recovery" is really an insult to our intelligence...


#2 The Labor Force Participation Rate

The percentage of Americans that are either employed or currently looking for a job started to fall during the last recession and it has not stopped falling since then. The labor force participation rate has now fallen to a 36 year low, and this is a sign of a very, very sick economy...


Complete story at - 12 Charts That Show The Permanent Damage That Has Been Done To The U.S. Economy

Friday, October 24, 2014

ClubOrlov: How to start a war and lose an empire

A year and a half I wrote an essay on how the US chooses to view Russia, titled The Image of the Enemy. I was living in Russia at the time, and, after observing the American anti-Russian rhetoric and the Russian reaction to it, I made some observations that seemed important at the time. It turns out that I managed to spot an important trend, but given the quick pace of developments since then, these observations are now woefully out of date, and so here is an update.

At that time the stakes weren't very high yet. There was much noise around a fellow named Magnitsky, a corporate lawyer-crook who got caught and died in pretrial custody. He had been holding items for some bigger Western crooks, who were, of course, never apprehended. The Americans chose to treat this as a human rights violation and responded with the so-called “Magnitsky Act” which sanctioned certain Russian individuals who were labeled as human rights violators. Russian legislators responded with the “Dima Yakovlev Bill,” named after a Russian orphan adopted by Americans who killed him by leaving him in a locked car for nine hours. This bill banned American orphan-killing fiends from adopting any more Russian orphans. It all amounted to a silly bit of melodrama.

But what a difference a year and a half has made! Ukraine, which was at that time collapsing at about the same steady pace as it had been ever since its independence two decades ago, is now truly a defunct state, with its economy in free-fall, one region gone and two more in open rebellion, much of the country terrorized by oligarch-funded death squads, and some American-anointed puppets nominally in charge but quaking in their boots about what's coming next. Syria and Iraq, which were then at a low simmer, have since erupted into full-blown war, with large parts of both now under the control of the Islamic Caliphate, which was formed with help from the US, was armed with US-made weapons via the Iraqis. Post-Qaddafi Libya seems to be working on establishing an Islamic Caliphate of its own. Against this backdrop of profound foreign US foreign policy failure, the US recently saw it fit to accuse Russia of having troops “on NATO's doorstep,” as if this had nothing to do with the fact that NATO has expanded east, all the way to Russia's borders. Unsurprisingly, US–Russia relations have now reached a point where the Russians saw it fit to issue a stern warning: further Western attempts at blackmailing them may result in a nuclear confrontation.

The American behavior throughout this succession of defeats has been remarkably consistent, with the constant element being their flat refusal to deal with reality in any way, shape or form. Just as before, in Syria the Americans are ever looking for moderate, pro-Western Islamists, who want to do what the Americans want (topple the government of Bashar al Assad) but will stop short of going on to destroy all the infidel invaders they can get their hands on. The fact that such moderate, pro-Western Islamists do not seem to exist does not affect American strategy in the region in any way.

Complete story at - ClubOrlov: How to start a war and lose an empire

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Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border - Bloomberg

Tamara Nekrasova never really hated Ukrainians, not even when a shell fired from Ukrainian territory struck her house just a short walk from the Russia-Ukraine border, sending her to the hospital and killing a neighbor. It wasn’t until later, after months of relentless anti-Ukraine reports on Russian television, that anger and antipathy began to consume the 55-year-old former mineworker.

“I feel it now,” Nekrasova said as she packed boxes to move out of her wood-frame hut, where holes from the shrapnel still scar the walls. “I just feel it from the things they’re showing on TV.”

I met Nekrasova on a six-day journey along the Russia-Ukraine frontier -- 2,164 kilometers (1,345 miles) of highways, two-lane roads and muddy paths. Not so long ago, the border was a mostly imaginary line through wheat fields and birch forests. To most Russians, it meant what it did in Soviet times, when it meant nothing at all. That ended with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in March and the ensuing conflict with Ukraine.

Since then, both sides have plowed up fields and cleared forests to build defensive earthworks, and the locals are erecting equally formidable barriers in their minds. As a Muscovite who was just 8 when the Soviet Union collapsed, I’d never felt any animosity toward or from Ukraine. Like most of my countrymen, I considered Ukraine a sister nation -- different but not quite foreign. And like other Russians, I saw nothing unusual or wrong with friendships, families, and marriages that straddled the border.

Complete story at - Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border - Bloomberg

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Russian news: America Laughs as EU Is Punished for Ukraine Disaster - Russia Insider

Milan came, Milan went. Despite declarations from politicians about agreement over ‘parameters’, there is no real solution for the gas crisis in Ukraine.

Meanwhile in Moscow, the first snow has fallen. Perhaps in a week or so, Ukraine will follow.

A summary of the state of affairs: the Russians since June have insisted on a gas price of $485/1000 m3, but will offer a discount of $100, provided Ukraine first pays the outstanding gas bills. And from now on, considering the behavior of the Ukrainians in the past, the Russians will only deliver new gas on a pre-paid basis. The Ukrainians reject this and demand that the “just price” should be $269 (past and present), as negotiated by ousted president Yanukovitch in December.

But that price was from a time when Ukraine was still in Russian orbit and Russia’s friend. Currently it is a western colony and now market prices prevail. Under pressure from the Europeans, they've offered to pay the outstanding debt on a temporary $320 basis, until a final agreement can be reached. The Ukrainians however insist that this kind of money paid would be for gas delivered, not payments on outstanding debt. The Russians declined and went home.

So what’s next? Temperatures will fall and Ukraine is going to suffer. It's not difficult to predict what the Ukrainian government will do next: illegally tap, just like they did in 2009, forcing the Russians to shut off deliveries intended for Europe as they pass through Ukraine. And since the Europeans, on orders from Washington, have halted the construction of South-Stream, (after all, we don’t want to be too dependent on Russia, do we?), Europe is now dependent on pipelines in Ukraine.

Complete story at - Russian news: America Laughs as EU Is Punished for Ukraine Disaster - Russia Insider

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Rebellion is imminent in Mariupol — Novorossia News Agency

Tension has been growing rapidly in occupied Mariupol, the inhabitants’ hidden dissatisfaction with the authorities’ actions comes to surface more and more often, reports “Voyenkor-info”.

The official city site had to inform about the more frequent instances of plunder on the part of the National Guards battalions. Particularly, the troopers of Azov battalion commit systematic robberies, rapes and murders systematically in locality Pavlopol of the Novoazovsk district. Also more frequent incidents of abductions were reported. According to local witnesses, funerals of 19, whose bodies had been found in the industrial area recently, took place recently.

Assaults at the punitive soldiers started in response. Several Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers who provided aid to them had already been found dead in the city. The occupants quite definitely fear a rebellion.

Complete story at - Rebellion is imminent in Mariupol — Novorossia News Agency

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Currency Wars Are Back: 'Export Your Deflation to Someone Else' - Bloomberg

Currency wars are back, though this time the goal is to steal inflation, not growth.

Brazil Finance Minister Guido Mantega popularized the term “currency war” in 2010 to describe policies employed at the time by major central banks to boost the competitiveness of their economies through weaker currencies. Now, many see lower exchange rates as a way to avoid crippling deflation.

Weak price growth is stifling economies from the euro region to Israel and Japan. Eight of the 10 currencies with the biggest forecasted declines through 2015 are from nations that are either in deflation or pursuing policies that weaken their exchange rates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“This beggar-thy-neighbor policy is not about rebalancing, not about growth,” David Bloom, the global head of currency strategy at London-based HSBC Holdings Plc, which does business in 74 countries and territories, said in an Oct. 17 interview. “This is about deflation, exporting your deflationary problems to someone else.”

Bloom puts it in these terms because, when one jurisdiction weakens its exchange rate, another’s gets stronger, making imported goods cheaper. Deflation is a both a consequence of, and contributor to, the global economic slowdown that’s pushing the euro region closer to recession and reducing demand for exports from countries such as China and New Zealand.

Complete story at - Currency Wars Are Back: 'Export Your Deflation to Someone Else' - Bloomberg

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Article: Leading German Journalist Admits CIA 'Bribed' Him and Other Leaders of the Western 'Press' | OpEdNews

Eric Zuesse

Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (which is one of Germany's largest newspapers), has decided to go public about the corruption of himself and the rest of the Western 'news' media, because he finds that this corruption is bringing Europe too close to a nuclear war against Russia, which he concludes the U.S. aristocracy that controls the CIA wants to bring about, or else to bring closer to the brink.

He told Russian Television:

I've been a journalist for about 25 years, and I've been educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. ... The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia. This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say ... it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do, and have done in the past, because they are bribed to betray the people not only in Germany, all over Europe. ... I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don't like to have this situation again, because war is never coming from itself, there is always people who push for war, and this is not only politicians, it is journalists too. ... We have betrayed our readers, just to push for war. ... I don't want this anymore, I'm fed up with this propaganda. We live in a banana republic, and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom. ...

The German media, especially, my colleagues ..., day by day, write against the Russians, [these journalists] who are in transatlantic organizations, and who are supported by the United States to do so. ...

I became 'honorary citizen of the state of Oklahoma,' ... Why? Because I write pro-American. I was supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA. Why? Because I am pro-American. I am fed up with it; I don't want to do it anymore; and so I have just written a book, not to earn money, no, it will cause a lot of trouble for me. [I wrote it instead] to give the people in this country, Germany, in Europe, and all over the world, just a glimpse of ... what goes on behind the closed doors. ...

[4:40 on the video] Most of the journalists you see in foreign countries ... European or American journalists ..., like me in the past, are so-called non-official cover. ... Non-official cover means what? You do work for an intelligence agency, ... but ... when they [the public] find out that you are not only a journalist but a spy too, they [the CIA] will never say this was one of our guys. ... So, I have helped them in several situations, and I feel ashamed for that. ... I feel ashamed that I ... was bribed by billionaires, I was bribed by the Americans, not to report exactly the truth. ...

Complete story at - Article: Leading German Journalist Admits CIA 'Bribed' Him and Other Leaders of the Western 'Press' | OpEdNewsMe propaganda CorporateNews

Boris NOVOSELTSEV - Ukraine Steals Attention in Milan – no Progress Reached - Strategic Culture Foundation

The 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit took place in Milan on October 16-17, 2014. The issue of relationship between Europe and vibrantly progressing Asia paled in comparison with the events in Ukraine. The hectic meetings of heads of states and top EU leaders with the participation of presidents Putin and Poroshenko on the sidelines of the ASEM event stole the attention away to hit the media radar screen. Europeans were especially concerned over the stability of Russian gas supplies going through the territory of Ukraine.

On October 15 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that his forthcoming Milan meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin had been brought up in a phone conference with European leaders. «The European side asked for a telephone conference to be held on the preparations ahead of the extremely important meeting in Milan tomorrow, where European and EU leaders, together with me, the President of Ukraine, will convene for extremely important talks with the leadership of the Russian Federation, focusing on the extremely important issue of peace in Ukraine, the peace settlement, political process, and de-escalation in the country's east», Poroshenko said, adding the world had «high hopes for tomorrow».

By and large US President Barack Obama, French President François Hollande, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the same thing.

The October 16 – 17 talks proved to be too difficult and inspired no hopes for quick and satisfying results. The gap was wide. Dmitry Peskov, the Russian President’s spokesperson, said the leaders discussed Ukraine for more than two and half hours with differences on core issues to remain. «Unfortunately, some participants of the Milan breakfast demonstrated complete unwillingness to understand the reality in south-eastern Ukraine», Peskov said. According to him, some of its participants were reluctant to learn about the real state of affairs in eastern Ukraine, «Unfortunately, some participants of the breakfast meeting have demonstrated full reluctance to understand the real situation in southeastern Ukraine», he told reporters.

Complete story at - Boris NOVOSELTSEV - Ukraine Steals Attention in Milan – no Progress Reached - Strategic Culture Foundation

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Western Media Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis Is as Distorted as Soviet Propaganda | The Nation

Growing up in the Soviet Union, I used to approach words like “Voice of America” (Golos Ameriki), BBC, Deutche Welle (Nemetskaia volna) with a certain reverence: they meant hidden, clandestine and therefore precious truth. Truth and news were not found in Pravda or Izvestia, regardless of the explicit claims of these newspapers’ titles; truth and news dwelled in the little short-wave radio, which would tell its eager audience what was really happening in the world.

Official Soviet press was notorious for its manipulation of facts, and even more so for its tendency to ignore particular issues altogether. Dissident activity, Israel, unrest in socialist countries—these stories were off-limit, unless the most vicious vitriol was thrown at them. This policy bordered on the ridiculous.

I learned since then that these radio stations were government-sponsored, that they rarely reported “the whole truth,” but still, the facts that they reported were sufficient to break through the all-encompassing fantasies created by the Soviet media.

With the recent crisis in Ukraine, and much to my dismay, I've begun to experience an eerie sense of déjà vu. It is as if I'm observing the good old days of the Cold War but through some distorted mirror. Too many major news organizations believe, rather naively, that simple echoing of their government lines will somehow work in the West, even though it failed in the Soviet Union. It is rather ironic that Secretary John Kerry has decided to make RT the subject of his criticism, by calling it the “propaganda bullhorn” echoing the accusations that good old Soviet apparatchiks would hurl at Voice of America.

The official line for the Ukrainian story has been already scripted: Ukrainian desire to embrace Western and democratic ways is blocked by spy-master Putin who utilizes his guile and aggression in order to restore the Soviet Empire. And therefore, any unexpected impediment in Ukraine’s march toward Europe is to be blamed on Tsar Putin. The concrete changes and challenges that time brings to this story are ignored, dismissed or misread. Be it the refusal to take Russian interests into consideration, or the causes behind Russia’s annexation of Crimea, or the Russophobic hysteria that keeps ostracizing large segments of the Russian-speaking Ukrainian population. Not to mention the current Ukrainian government’s heavy handed and violent tactics, including the military excursions into the east of the country that have pushed the country to the brink of civil war. All these unexpected events are set aside, while the wheels of the press keep on turning in the same rut and dutifully condemn Putin’s aggression, or articulate different ways of punishing Russia, or juxtapose thuggish Russian separatists with the benevolent and restrained Kiev regime.

Complete story at - Western Media Coverage of the Ukraine Crisis Is as Distorted as Soviet Propaganda | The NationSubject is propaganda posters

Article: Why The US Endgame for Russia Means the Death of American Democracy | OpEdNews

Authors note: Democracy and fascism cannot occupy the same space. A country is either one or the other. People are either one or the other. The article is long because the documentation needs to reflect that gravity.


When we think of a coup or regime change there is usually a face or a group to peg it on. Ukraine was taken over by Ukrainian nationalists; we can see them. What I am going to describe is a faceless, nameless takeover that was based on ideology only. What if it didn't matter who the next leader was but the ideological foundation was forever changed?

With the beginning of the Cold War, then president Truman partially legitimized the OUN. Had Truman known the turn this would soon take, would he have done it?

According to Jonathan Levy (The Intermarium-Wilson, Madison, & East Central European Federalism), a member of the International Criminal Bar in the Hague who holds a Ph.D in political Science and has taught terrorism and diplomatic thery at Norwich University:

In 1949, CIA Director, Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter in a letter to the Chairman of the Displaced Persons Committee made official a change in policy towards the OUN. He acknowledged that while the organization had collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War, its members were to be considered solely as anti-Soviets able to "find common ground with new partners." The CIA Director did warn, however, that the Bandera faction was made up of extreme nationalists. This reclassification as anti-Soviet (better known as anti-communist) paved the way for a quiet nationalist invasion of the United States .

Bandera is a term I use loosely these days. In reality there were over 2,000 groups that worked under the auspices of Bandera's ABN (Anti-Bolshevik Nations), and today in America 'Bandera' is the UCCA (Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America) . Far flung groups today in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, and the greater horn of Africa have long been part of the greater ABN community. Many of these groups, because they are so many and varied, don't even recognize each other at first sight. The Muslim Brotherhood is just one example. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are two more. All of these were helped by Yaroslav Stetsko's Bandera ABN through the UCCA in America. The common bond appears when the religious veneer is stripped away. Take away the Muslim part and you are left with an ultra nationalist (fascist) politics.

The problem with the ABN, according to the CIC (Command Intelligence Center, or Army Counter Intelligence), was that it was a tool of the Bandera faction of OUN (Organization of UKrainian Nationalists). An April 1946 extract by the CIC found OUN/B or "the Bandera gang" to be nationalistic, anti-Soviet and anti-American as well as anti-Semitic and involved with criminal activity and espionage. It was noted that many former SS men were members.(ibid)

If this conclusion could be reached as part of American history, in which an emigre group gradually assimilated into our democratic society, that would be one thing. They never did. According to their own documents: In 1980, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America was taken over by theOUN(B) and thus ceased to represent the Ukrainian community as a whole. The power and influence of the OUN factions have been declining steadily due to assimilation pressures, ideological incompatibility with the Western liberal-democratic ethos, and the increasing tendency of political groups in Ukraine to move away from integral nationalism.

It is clear that by 1980 the OUN-ABN-UCCA had set their sites on larger things than Ukraine. They accomplished what General John Hackett, Commander of NATO's Northern Army Group, and good friend of Yaroslav Stetsko envisioned in 1988 could be done to the Soviet Union, doing it to the USA instead: infiltrate and conquer.

Complete story at - Article: Why The US Endgame for Russia Means the Death of American Democracy | OpEdNews

CC Photo by Flickr User 11165691 N03 Subject is  6494587033 3968e5cdce o

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Justice for East Ukrainians | Vera Graziadei

A day after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Kailash Satyarthi, in an interview with RIA News, urged the Ukrainian government to protect Ukrainian citizens and especially children: “It is the responsibility of the Ukrainian government to save their citizens, particularly children. Safety of children will be their utmost priority. I will appeal to the Ukrainian government so as to ensure that such incidents against children will not occur in future.”

According to the recent UN report as many as 3,660 people have been killed and over 8,756 have been wounded in Donbass since Kiev launched its military operation in April. Even though a ceasefire was announced on September 5th, more than 330 people have died since, including 20 children. UNICEF stated that at least 35 children have been killed in the Ukrainian conflict and 87 have been wounded.

Human Rights Watch already called on Ukraine’s international supporters to “urge the Ukrainian government to strictly adhere to international humanitarian law, including by ending all use of Grad rockets in populated areas by Ukraine’s army”. Amnesty International also urged the Ukrainian government to “stop abuses and war crimes by volunteer battalions operating alongside regular Ukrainian armed forces”, such as Aidar. All these appeals, urges and calls are likely to remain voices in the wilderness.

Firstly, Kiev repeatedly denies responsibility for war crimes, even when it’s proved by independent observers that the Ukrainian Army has carried out the atrocities, e.g. OSCE confirmed that on June 2nd the Ukrainian air force bombed a public building in Lugansk, killing 8 civilians – Kiev claimed separatists mishandled a portable anti-aircraft missile system.

Secondly, even though the government keeps blaming ‘the rebels’, they don’t seem to be that motivated when it comes to investigating these crimes. Moreover, even international organisations seem to not be that keen on uncovering any new atrocities. For example, the UN promised to investigate reports of mass graves in areas near Donetsk, which were controlled by the Ukrainian Army, but when the report came out the issue of mass graves was intentionally omitted.

Complete story at - No Justice for East Ukrainians | Vera GraziadeiCC Photo Google Image Search Source is 2 bp blogspot com  Subject is Flag of the Donetsk People s Republic svg

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

How this works.  Follow one of the links.  Should you decide to buy that item, or any item, I get a small percentage, which helps to maintain this site.  Your cost is the same, whether you buy from my link or not.  But if the item remains in the cart too long, I don't get a thing.  
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