Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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America’s “War on Terrorism” Victim Omar Khadr: Free at Last?

Khadr is a Canadian citizen – one of America’s youngest wrongfully charged war on terror victims at the time of his illegal arrest and detention.  On July 27, 2002, US forces abducted him in Ayub Kheyl, Afghanistan. He was caught…

Is the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa a Biological Proxy War?

Russia announced that they have a vaccine effective against Ebola. From another report in Moscow Times it seems more like they have an effective drug to treat Ebola and not a really a vaccine. The investigative reporter Jon Rappoport (nomorefakenews.com), who have disclosed the fraud behind the HIV-virus and other frauds committed by the BIG PHARMA […]

Russia Daily Brief for May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015By J.HawkThis is the 37th edition of the Daily Brief, which provides a sampling of news stories most shared on Russia's social media, as reported by mediametrics.ru. To view other editions, click on the Daily Brief tab above the title. RussiaA new political reality was ushered in on the Red Square on May 9: Russia 2.0The author, Oleg Shchukin, marvels just how much has changed since last May. A year ago people were still talking in terms of Western sanctions crushing Russia. Now people are wondering ...read more Source: The Russophile's

“Our Little General”: Touching Video of Troops Saluting Little Kid at V

****** ****** This little Russian lad had a moment of real pride as troops he saluted on V-Day actually saluted him back, greeting him like a true general. The video of the scene, recorded by boy's aunt, went viral, melting the hearts of thousands on the internet. On 7 May, troop elements were marching in […] ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Deutsche Bank Pays $2.5 Billion Fine for Interest Rate Rigging

Deutsche Bank headquarters. Photo: gravitat-OFF. Used under Creative Commons license Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay out a record $2.5 billion fine to settle U.K. and U.S. government investigations into allegations of fixing global interest rates, just months after six…

UK Election Aftermath: Cameron to Continue Waging War on Working People

Today in the UK, people are waking up to their first week of a five-year rule under a Conservative majority government. It’s been the first time the Tories have managed to form such a government since 1992. Only 37 percent…

CrossTalk: Teetering Ukraine

...read more Source: The Russophile's

26.02.2015 Ukrainian crisis news. War in Ukraine, Donbass, Kiev

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxukRFUfcr8?rel=0] Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/

What the Chinese people think of Russia

This short New China TV video really put me in a good mood :-) ...read more Source: The Russophile's

NEO â€" American Ambassadors: Old Dogs and Old Tricks

Jim W. Dean..."Vladimir Odintsov takes us behind the scenes into the below the radar conversion of the State Department into America’s primary regime change."

NEO â€" Growing the Russia

Jim W. Dean..."Engdahl hits the nail on the head with a topic familiar to VT reader, the West thinking it can save its economic house of cards by exploiting the East."

Damascus Slams U.S. Bid to Train Syrian rebels, Accuses Washington of Supporting Terrorism

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad on Saturday slammed the U.S. plan to train Syrian rebels, accusing Washington of supporting terrorism and complicating the political solution in Syria, the official SANA news agency reported. “The United States will start training…

Are You Doing What You Can Trying To Stop WW3?

The world is edging closer and closer towards a hot war. Are you doing what you can to prevent it? World War Three has already started with sanctions and manipulations of currency- and energy- markets. An economic war between USA and Russia is raging since the early summer of 2014 with sanctions towards Russia from USA […]

NEO â€" Russian

- You won't read anything like this in Western media as it conflicts with their fairy tale of spreading peace and democracy when proxy terrorism is the new game of choice.

11.05.2015 Ukraine Crisis News. Latest News of Ukraine, Donetsk, Lugansk, Novorossia

...read more Source: The Russophile's

The Coup in Ukraine 2014 â€" Three Testimonials

USA’s role in the coup in Kiev in February 2014 is crystal clear. But there are still to be people who either doesn’t know or just refuse to acknowledge facts. High ranked officials from the USA and EU even blame Russia for having instigated the armed revolution which overthrow the democratically elected President Yanukovych. Not to […]

Swedish activists deploy ‘gay propaganda’ defense system against lurking Russian subs

In a flashy effort to help their military fend off the perceived threat of Russian submarines, Swedish peace activists have deployed a neon underwater “defense system” which sends out a welcoming message reading “this way if you are gay.”Read Full Article at RT.com ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Chinese President Xi On Russia’s Role in Crushing Fascism

original source: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/translation-xi-jinping-remember-history-open-future/ri6665 Translation and forword by Anatolii Karlin Xi Jinping penned an op-ed in a Russian newspaper on May 6th in which, in stark contrast to the typical Western ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Russia warns France over Mistral

- [This] "'is a problem of France’s reputation. They have to fulfill all the obligations under the contract,' Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday."

Why I Am Backing Russia Insider

Russia Insider is a site for alternative news in English about Russia. Right now, Russia Insider runs a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign. Their target is to collect 20,000 USD until 19 April 2015. According to the founder and chief editor, Charles Bausman, … Your money will go only into great content  We’ll only spend it on journalist […]

NEO â€" Putin…Face of the Global Resistance Movement

- 'One of our first hurdles is to get people to understand that most of us live in "occupied countries", but not the traditional sense.'

Breaking news: FALSE FLAG IN MOSCOW!

Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead in Moscow.  He was one of the most charismatic leaders of the "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition in Russia (please understand that in the Russian context "liberal" and "democratic" means pro-US or even CIA-run, while "non-system" means too small to even get a single deputy in the Duma).  He was shot just a few days before the announced demonstration of the very same "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition scheduled for March 1st. Nemtsov with YushchenkoAs I have already explained many times on this blog, the "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition in Russia has a popular support somewhere in the range of 5% (max). In other words, it is politically *dead* (for a detailed explanation, please read "From Napoleon to Adolf Hitler to Conchita Wurst").  In the hopes of getting a higher number of people to the streets the "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system"opposition allied itself with the ultra-nationalists (usually useful idiots for the CIA) and the homosexual activists (also useful idiots for the CIA).  Apparently, this was not enough.And now, in *perfect* timing, Nemtsov is murdered.We all know the reaction of the AngloZionists and their propaganda machine.  It will be exactly the same as for MH-17: Putin the Murderer!!! Democracy Shot!! Freedom Killed!! etc. etc. etc. etc.There is no doubt in my mind at all that either this is a fantastically unlikely but always possible case of really bad luck for Putin and Nemtsov was shot by some nutcase or mugged, or this was a absolutely prototypical western false flag: you take a spent politician who has no credibility left with anyone with an IQ over 70, and you turn him into an instant "martyr for freedom, democracy, human right and civilization".By the way if, as I believe, this is a false flag, I expect it to be a stunning success in the West and a total flop in Russia: by now, Russians already can smell that kind of setup a mile away and after MH-17 everybody was expecting a false flag.  So, if anything, it will only increase the hostility of Russians towards the West and rally them around Putin.  In the Empire, however, this will be huge, better than Politkovskaya or Litvinenko combined.  A "Nemtsov" prize will be created, a Nemtov statue will be place somewhere (in Warsaw?), the US Congress will pass a "Nemtsov law" and the usual combo package of "democratic hagiography" will be whipped-up.What worries me most is that the Russian security services did not see this one coming and let it happen.  This is a major failure for the FSB which will now have a lot at stake to find out who did it.  I expect them to find a fall-guy, a patsy, who will have no provable contacts with any western services and who, ideally, might even have some contacts with the Russian services (like Andrei Lugovoi).As for the "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" - it will probably re-brand the upcoming protests as a "tribute to Nemtsov" thereby getting more people into the streets.There are folks in Langley tonight who got a promotion.The Saker-------Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/  

Happy Birthday Donbass!

Just a short â€" but dramatic â€" year ago the people of the Donbass voted in a referendum to create the People's Republic of Donetsk (DNR). They naively hoped that ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Russia Daily Brief for May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015By J.HawkThis is the 37th edition of the Daily Brief, which provides a sampling of news stories most shared on Russia's social media, as reported by mediametrics.ru. To view other editions, click on the Daily Brief tab above the title. RussiaA new political reality was ushered in on the Red Square on May 9: Russia 2.0The author, Oleg Shchukin, marvels just how much has changed since last May. A year ago people were still talking in terms of Western sanctions crushing Russia. Now people are wondering ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Mark Slebodas Unbeatable Description Of The Mindset In The US State Department

The clash between Eastern and Western world-views is an undeniable fact. The accelerated push by the neocons on behalf of the ruling Anglo-Zionist banking elite towards a New World Order, is of course the main cause of the clash. But it does not explain the fact that millions of people are taking the side of the […]

European Union Advancing Plans for Military Response to Migration Crisis

Coffins are carried through Brussels in protest at the EU’s cruel policies on migration April 23, 2015. (Amnesty International/Flickr/cc) At a time of historically high human displacement, and lagging humanitarian response, the European Union is advancing plans to stage military…

2015 V

Today is truly a historical day. For the first time ever, the West has boycotted the Victory Day Parade in Moscow and, also for the first time ever, Chinese forces have marched on the Beautiful Square, (“Red” square is a mistranslation â€" the “Red Square” ought be called the “Beautiful Square”) with the Russians. I believe that this is a profoundly symbolic shift and one which makes perfectly good sense. The past ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Mark Slebodas Unbeatable Description Of The Mindset In The US State Department

Ukraine and pro – Ukraine & pro-Russia forces have agreed to stop fighting across the eastern conflict zone on December 9 under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire. European Union Advancing Plans for Military Response to Migration Crisis Coffins are carried through Brussels in protest at the EU’s cruel policies on migration April 23, 2015. […] Source: The Russophile's

The “Forced Geography” of Tel Aviv â€" White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa

White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa by Sharon Rotbard (Pluto Press, 256pp) On 11 January 2013, around 250 activists erected tents on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, on which the…

Snipers On the Kremlin Roofs

... ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Neocon Writer Anne Applebaum Covers up the Role West Played in Looting Russia

From: http://russia-insider.com/en/criticism-anne-applebaums-review-putins-russia/6384 The conflict in Ukraine is certainly destabilizing the geopolitical position of the whole planet. This is exposing the agony within the european elite group when it comes to their pushes to master the planet while the dollar continue to has an importance. The american mainstream mass media makes a pitch for the elite in their projects in order to get rid of Putin. Not since the zenith of the cold war has the black-painting of Russia and the commander in chief been so openly laid bare. Merely an uninterested or totally brainwashed man can possibly steer clear of to see the fictitious narrative governed by the american rulers to the proprietors and also publishers coming from the company media in the U.S.A and Europe. I understand how problematic it is to see through the image of Russia as outlined by western journalists. The western propaganda works but only on those who are far from living the truth.This article originally appeared at The Komisar Scoop Anne Applebaum’s article about Vladimir Putin, “How He and His Cronies Stole Russia,” should have a few words added to the title: “And How The West Drove The Getaway Car.” To suggest that looting occurred independently of the corrupt offshore system organized by Western banks finesses the truth. Applebaum refers to KBG officers who acted as the Soviet Union seemed near collapse in the 1980s. “Assisted by the unscrupulous international offshore banking industry, they stole money that belonged to the Russian state, took it abroad for safety, reinvested it in Russia, and then, piece by piece, took over the state themselves.” She writes that KGB leaders began transferring money that belonged to the Soviet Communist Party out of the Soviet Union and into offshore accounts tended by Swiss or British bankers. But American banks were also involved. Applebaum notes that in 1999, the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) accused the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG) linked to Putin, of laundering money for Russian and Colombian criminals. “Among other things, the BND said that SPAG took money that had been sent out of Russia and was parked “offshore,” and helped its ownersâ€"among them the leaders of the Tambov gang, part of the St. Petersburg mafia, repatriate it back through purchase of property and other assets. SPAG was registered in Germany and laundered money though Liechtenstein. According to a confidential BND document I obtained, “The Liechtenstein lawyers Dr. Eugen Heeb and Rudolf Ritter participate in a network of firms in Liechtenstein, Europe and overseas. They make this network available -amongst others â€" to South American drug cartels, e. g. the Ochoa clan and to the new Russian clientele.” She writes about Mikhail Khodorkovsky as “the most famous victim of Russia’s arbitrary justice.” And about a favored “reformer,” William Browder,” she says, “After he turned out to be an annoyingly activist shareholder,” Browder was barred from Russia in 2005. But she ignores the offshore connection between Khodorkovsky and Browder. Khodorkovsky’s company Menatep used TMC, a phony Isle of Man “sales” company, to buy the output of Avisma, his titanium sponge company, at fake low prices and sell it on the market at real prices, cheating minority shareholders and Russian taxpayers. When Browder and his partners, billionaire investor Kenneth Dart and New York investor Francis Baker, bought Avisma from Khodorkovsky in 1997, they agreed the corrupt profit skimming would continue. Baker told me that the Bank of New York moved the stolen money. He said that “monies put in one end of the machine came out totally clean at the other end of the machine,” adding that, “It was not a piddling amount.” He said, “They moved it through about 20 entities.” So when Applebaum says, “while constantly speaking of “reform” in Western capitals, Putin was systematically destroying the nascent institutions of liberal democratic society, I wonder what society she is talking about. It sure wasn’t “liberal democratic,” but Putin was using that great Western institution, the crooked offshore bank and corporate secrecy system, as global criminals and Western corporations still do, to loot Russia. Indeed, Putin and his collaborators looted Russia. But to suggest that this occurred independently of the corrupt offshore system organized by Western banks and in spite of allegedly well-meaning Western advisors the U.S. sent to Russia is a distortion of the truth. Anne Applebaum’s article with my comments interspersed and parts of the article bold-faced to point out what I cite: How He and His Cronies Stole Russia by Anne Applebaum “For twenty years now, the Western politicians, journalists, businessmen, and academics who observe and describe the post-Soviet evolution of Russia have almost all followed the same narrative. We begin with the assumption that the Soviet Union ended in 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev handed over power to Boris Yeltsin and Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the Soviet republics became independent states. We continue with an account of the early 1990s, an era of “reform,” when some Russian leaders tried to create a democratic political system and a liberal capitalist economy. We follow the trials and tribulations of the reformers, analyze the attempts at privatization, discuss the ebb and flow of political parties and the growth and decline of an independent media.” Reform? Liberal capitalism? The “loans for shares” scam, invented by “reformer” Anatoly Chubais, made it possible for the “oligarchs” to loot Russia. They “lent” money to the Yetsin government, which used it for an upcoming election campaign. When Yetsin & co did not pay back the loans, the oligarchs got Russia’s mineral and factory wealth at bargain prices. Such “reformers’ were lauded by the Clinton Administration and the Western press, because privatization by any means necessary was the ideological goal. “Mostly we agree that those reforms failed, and sometimes we blame ourselves for those failures: we gave the wrong advice, we sent naive Harvard economists who should have known better, we didn’t have a Marshall Plan. Sometimes we blame the Russians: the economists didn’t follow our advice, the public was apathetic, President Yeltsin was indecisive, then drunk, then ill. Sometimes we hope that reforms will return, as many believed they might during the short reign of President Dmitry Medvedev.” “Whatever their conclusion, almost all of these analysts seek an explanation in the reform process itself, asking whether it was effective, or whether it was flawed, or whether it could have been designed differently. But what if it never mattered at all? What if it made no difference which mistakes were made, which privatization plans were sidetracked, which piece of advice was not followed? What if “reform” was never the most important story of the past twenty years in Russia at all?” Naïve Harvard economists? Could she be referring to Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay of the Harvard Institute for International Development who went to Russia to help set up capital markets and had their US AID grant cancelled in 1997. According to AID, Shleifer and Hay had improperly used U.S.-funded staff and resources for the benefit of investment projects run by Shleifer’s wife, Nancy Zimmerman, and Hay’s girlfriend, Beth Hebert. The U.S. sued Shleifer, Hay and Harvard. They settled for at least $31 million. Shleifer is still at Harvard because of the power of his krysha (roof), protector, Lawrence Summers who was then Harvard’s president. Hay sought reduced notoriety in London. Naïve is not the word for what they did. Applebaum wonders if the “reform process” was flawed. Well, yes, if you send “reformers” who are crooks. Yes, Putin would continue the corruption, but the “reformers” promoting the corrupt “loans for shares” laid the groundwork. The inventor of that scam, Anatoly Chubais, went to work for Shleifer and Hay when Yeltsin fired him. Karen Dawisha’s Putin’s Kleptocracy is not the first book to ask this question. Indeed, she makes extensive use of the work of others, both fellow political scientists as well as journalists working across the US and Europe. Some have found fault with this method, but the resulting work has a certain admirable relentlessness. For by tying all of these disparate investigations together so thoroughly, so pedantically, and with so many extended footnotesâ€"and by tracking down Western copies of documents that vanished from Russia long agoâ€"the extent of what has always been a murky story suddenly becomes more clear. In her introduction, Dawisha, a professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio, explains: Instead of seeing Russian politics as an inchoate democratic system being pulled down by history, accidental autocrats, popular inertia, bureaucratic incompetence, or poor Western advice, I conclude that from the beginning Putin and his circle sought to create an authoritarian regime ruled by a close-knit cabal…who used democracy for decoration rather than direction. In other words, the most important story of the past twenty years might not, in fact, have been the failure of democracy, but the rise of a new form of Russian authoritarianism. Instead of attempting to explain the failures of the reformers and intellectuals who tried to carry out radical change, we ought instead to focus on the remarkable story of one group of unrepentant, single-minded, revanchist KGB officers who were horrified by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the prospect of their own loss of influence. In league with Russian organized crime, starting at the end of the 1980s, they successfully plotted a return to power. Assisted by the unscrupulous international offshore banking industry, they stole money that belonged to the Russian state, took it abroad for safety, reinvested it in Russia, and then, piece by piece, took over the state themselves. Once in charge, they brought back Soviet methods of political controlâ€"the only ones they knewâ€"updated for the modern era. That corruption was part of the Russian system from the beginning is something we’ve long known for a long time, of course. In her book Sale of the Century (2000), Chrystia Freeland memorably describes the moment when she realized that the confusing regulations and contradictory laws that hog-tied Russian business in the 1990s were not a temporary problem that would soon be cleaned up by some competent administrator. On the contrary, they existed for a purpose: the Russian elite wanted everybody to operate in violation of one law or another, because that meant that everybody was liable at any time to arrest. The contradictory regulations were not a mistake, they were a form of control. Dawisha takes Freeland’s realization one step further. She is arguing, in effect, that even before those nefarious rules were written, the system had already been rigged to favor particular people and interest groups. No “even playing field” was ever created in Russia, and the power of competitive markets was never unleashed. Nobody became rich by building a better mousetrap or by pulling himself up by his bootstraps. Instead, those who succeeded did so thanks to favors granted byâ€"or stolen fromâ€"the state. And when the dust settled, Vladimir Putin emerged as king of the thieves. To tell this story, Dawisha uses many sources, including the evidence presented in several major court cases, a number of which fizzled out for political reasons; material collected by Russian and European investigative reporters, some of which has now vanished from the Web; and Russian legal journals, many of which are now out of print. She has also conducted dozens of interviews with businessmen and bankers all over the world. As noted, some of what she digs up has been described elsewhere, not only in Masha Gessen’s emotive account of Putin’s rise to power, The Man Without a Face (2012), but also in Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill’s Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2013) and Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s Kremlin Rising (2005).1 Dawisha doesn’t, like Gessen, seek to convey the emotions of Russian politics, and she is less interested than Hill and Gaddy were in Putin’s personal biography. Instead, she turns a relentless focus on the financial story of Putin’s rise to power: page after page contains the gritty details of criminal operation after criminal operation, including names, dates, and figures. Many of these details had never been put together beforeâ€"and for good reason. Cambridge University Press declined to publish this book after initially agreeing to do so for fear of violating UK libel laws. Although she soon found a US publisherâ€"US libel laws are less constrictingâ€"Dawisha’s troubles give some hint of the difficulties faced by many who try to write about Russia, and particularly those who try to describe the corrupt practices of men with very deep pockets and very expensive lawyers on their payroll. Using this mass of evidence, Dawisha nevertheless argues that the KGB’s return to power begins not in 2000, when Putin became president, but in the late 1980s. At that time, the then leaders of the KGB, who distrusted Gorbachev, began transferring money that belonged to the Soviet Communist Party out of the Soviet Union and into offshore accounts tended by Swiss or British bankers. At least initially, these transfers took place with the Party’s knowledge. In August 1990, the Central Committee called for measures to protect the Party’s “economic interests,” including the construction of an “invisible” structure, accessible only to “a very narrow circle of people.” KGB operatives who already had experience with managing foreign bank accountsâ€"they’d been funding foreign Communist parties for decadesâ€"were put in charge. By the autumn of 1991â€"after the KGB-led coup in August to overthrow Gorbachev had failedâ€"almost $4 billion belonging to the Party’s “property management department” had already been distributed to hundreds of Party-, Komsomol-, and KGB-managed banks and companies that were swiftly establishing themselves in Russia and abroad. This was an enormous amount of capital in a country that had, at the time, a scarcely functioning economy and hardly any foreign currency reserves at all. In due course, these funds, and the people who managed them, were to become the real foundation for the economy of post-Soviet Russia. Again, this was not robber baron capitalism, or indeed capitalism at all: instead, a small group was enriched by the state and thereby given the means of acquiring its property. Applebaum, who otherwise writes with detail, refers sketchily to the KBG officers who as the Soviet Union seemed near collapse in the 1980s, plotted a return to power. “Assisted by the unscrupulous international offshore banking industry, they stole money that belonged to the Russian state, took it abroad for safety, reinvested it in Russia, and then, piece by piece, took over the state themselves.” She writes, “That corruption was part of the Russian system from the beginning is something we’ve long known for a long time, of course.” She points out that “leaders of the KGB, who distrusted Gorbachev, began transferring money that belonged to the Soviet Communist Party out of the Soviet Union and into offshore accounts tended by Swiss or British bankers. Why not more detail? American banks played a role. The Bank of New York was heavily involved in moving Russian money. And driving the getaway car makes one an accomplice. Top KGB official Yevgeny Primakov oversaw sending money out of Russia. Trading companies sold state resources and put the money in Western tax havens from Switzerland to Hong Kong and from Cyprus to the Cayman Islands. Some of that money would be used to set up the new Russian banks, including Menatep, whose titular head was Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The Russians started creating shell companies at a California post office box in the late 1980s. They liked being able to put cash in the Caribbean, perhaps the British Virgin Islands, and then move it back to Russia through the U.S. as “American” investments. From the very beginning, Russia’s current president had a part in this process. In the late 1980s, Putin was a KGB officer in Dresden, East Germany. There are conflicting accounts of what he was doing there. In his official and unofficial biographies, Dawisha writes, quoting Putin’s German biographer Alexander Rahr, this period is covered in a “thick fog of silence.” But there is some evidence that he may have been helping the KGB prepare for what it feared could be the imminent demise of the Soviet empire. Indeed, when he became president in 2000, German counterintelligence launched an investigation into whether or not Putin had been recruiting agents who would remain loyal to the KGB even after the collapse of communism. As Dawisha explains, “the Germans were concerned that Putin had recruited a network that lived on in united Germany.” The scale of this effort is not known, but certainly a few of his Dresden contacts have become startlingly successful in the decades since 1989. Matthias Warnig, a Stasi colleague of Putin’s, opened Dresdner Bank’s first branch in St. Petersburg in 1991, by which time Putin was living there. By 2000 he headed all of the bank’s operations in Russia. In 2003, the bank participated in the dismemberment of Yukos, the oil company owed by the jailed magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Since 2006, Warnig has been managing director of the Russianâ€"German Nord Stream pipeline project, a company that won permission to operate during the term of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and that later hired ex-Chancellor Schröder to serve on its board. In 2012, among other high posts, Warnig became a member of the board of directors of Bank Rossiya, one of the Russian banks now under US sanctions. I am especially interested in the parts about Khodorkovsky, who is described with sympathy. Applebaum writes that Dresdner Bank’s first branch in St. Petersburg in 2003, “participated in the dismemberment of Yukos, the oil company owed by the jailed magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who she describes as “the most famous victim of Russia’s arbitrary justice.” She points out that he was “arrested in 2003, after which his oil company, Yukos, was liquidated. Yukos’s assets were then transferred to another company, Rosneft, which happened to be owned by another one of Putin’s friends. Khodorkovsky’s arrest was intended as a lesson to others: here is what will happen, even to the richest men, if they step out of line.” She neglects to mention the Isle of Man transfer pricing scheme that Khodorkovsky used to siphon profits from Yukos. Not an excuse for seizing the company, but MBK was hardly an honest innocent. The other victim she cites is William Browder, who she points out set up a Russian investment fund that invested heavily in Gazprom. Based on the complimentary tweets and other writings Applebaum and Browder have posted in recent years, they admire each other greatly. Applebaum writes, “After he turned out to be an annoyingly activist shareholder â€"he kept asking why the company’s accounts were so untransparentâ€"Browder was barred from the country in 2005. His companies in Russia were subsequently destroyed by a particularly Putinist form of corporate raiding: tax officials and police attacked their offices, reregistered them, declared them bankrupt, stole their money, and arrested and harassed their employees.” She doesn’t point out an interesting connection between Khodorkovsky and Browder. It concerns AVISMA, a Russian titanium sponge company that Khodorkovsky obtained for kopeks on the ruble in the corrupt Yeltsin “loans for shares” scam promoted by that other “reformer,” Anatoly Chubais. Khodorkovsky’s company Menatep bought a piece of Valmet, an offshore incorporator in the Isle of Man, which set up TMC, a phony “sales” company that would buy AVISMA’s output at fake low prices and sell it on the market at real prices, cheating minority shareholders and Russian taxpayers. (It was the same scheme he used for Yukos.) When Browder and his partners, billionaire investor Kenneth Dart and New York investor Francis Baker, bought AVISMA from Khodorkovsky in 1997, the deal was that the corrupt profit skimming would continue. In fact, when Isle of Man middleman Peter Bond failed to turn over the purloined cash, Browder and his partners went to court in the Isle of Man declaring that they were owed that cash. Their legal papers detailed the scam. (Curiously, one of the names on the suit was Jonathan Hay. Browder et al had trades AVISMA shares for stock in a Russian firm, VSMPO. Then they put Hay and two others on the VSMPO board.) Browder and his colleagues got a settlement from Bond. But when VSMPO’s American lawyer discovered the profit-skimming, the company sought to recover the stolen cash. Its suit pointed out that Valmet “funneled these monies through bank accounts maintained at BoNY (Bank of New York) to entities unknown.” It said accounts at the Bank of New York “were established with the assistance of a BoNY officer Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky” who knew about the fraud because she was married to the vice-chairman of Menatep Bank, Konstantin Kagalovsky. She was fired when the Bank of New York money laundering scandal was exposed in 1999. Baker acknowledged to me that the Bank of New York moved the stolen money. He said that “monies put in one end of the machine came out totally clean at the other end of the machine,” adding that, “It was not a piddling amount.” And, “When it got to our shores, there was the old Bank of New York,” he said. “They moved it through about 20 entities. The bank was very complicit with that.”  VSMPO got a settlement. After leaving Germany, Putin returned to St. Petersburg, eventually making his way, with KGB patronage, into the St. Petersburg city government, where he was responsible for “foreign liaisons”â€"and where he could put some of his foreign contacts to immediate use. In 1991, Marina Salye, a member of the St. Petersburg city council, accused Putin of having knowingly entered into dozens of legally flawed contracts on behalf of the city, exporting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of commoditiesâ€"timber, coal, steelâ€"in exchange for food that never arrived. Her attempts to censure him came to nothing: the council called for his resignation but nothing happened. At a higher level, Putin had protectors. Salye, spooked by threats, went into hiding and disappeared from Russian politics. Not that it mattered much, since Putin and his friends had other irons in the fire. Back in this very early post-Soviet momentâ€"when Western advisers were still streaming into the country to give lectures on the rule of law and judicial reformâ€"Putin personally organized, or helped organize, several institutions that exist to this day. One of the best known is Bank Rossiya, which was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990, using money from the Communist Party’s Central Committee. From the beginning, according to Spanish police investigators, Bank Rossiya facilitated cooperation between Putin, other city officials, and Russian organized crime, allowing the two groups to invest together. Rule of law? Promoted by Shleifer and Hay? Dawisha also describes the origins of the Ozero Dacha Consumer Cooperative, a small group, again including Putin, that conducted property investments but soon branched into other businesses, making use of mysterious sources of cash. At a time when others had no access to capital, they were flush. Most of the members of the cooperative are now millionaires and several are billionaires. The St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG) was a third institution linked to Putin. In 1999, the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) completed an investigation into SPAG, and published a report that accused the organization of laundering money for Russian and Colombian criminals. Among other things, the BNDsaid that SPAG took money that had been sent out of Russia and was parked “offshore,” and helped its ownersâ€"among them the leaders of the Tambov gang, a part of the St. Petersburg mafiaâ€"repatriate it back into the country through the purchase of property and other legitimate assets. Notably, when Schröder became chancellor of Germany, this investigation was slowed down; Putin’s name had, in any case, been kept out of it. Several other company founders were indicted by courts in Liechtenstein. Vladimir Kumarin, the former Tambov gang leader, has been in prison since 2012. Applebaum notes that the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG) linked to Putin, was accused in 1999, by the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) of laundering money for Russian and Colombian criminals. “Among other things, the BND said that SPAG took money that had been sent out of Russia and was parked “offshore,” and helped its ownersâ€"among them the leaders of the Tambov gang, a part of the St. Petersburg mafiaâ€"repatriate it back into the country through the purchase of property and other legitimate assets. Offshore? What Western banks did that? SPAG was registered in Germany and laundered money though Liechtenstein. According to a confidential BND document I obtained, “The Liechtenstein lawyers Dr. Eugen Heeb and Rudolf Ritter participate in a network of firms in Liechtenstein, Europe and overseas. They make this network available -amongst others -to South American drug cartels, e. g. the Ochoa clan, and to the new Russian clientele.” It noted that, “Rudolf Ritter is the brother of the Vice Head of Government and Minister for the Interior, the Economy, Health and Social Matters, Dr. Michael Ritter.” And she says, “According to Russia’s own Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Twentieth Trust received money from the budget of the city of St. Petersburg and subsequently transferred that money abroad. Abroad? How, via Western offshore banks? Worth mentioning. And of course there was $7.5 billion allegedly funneled through the Bank of New York, in 1999 with the help of two executives of its Eastern European Division. One of them was Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky whose husband just happened to be an official of Bank Menatep, run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Dawisha also describes the origins of the Twentieth Trust, a “construction company” also linked to Putin. According to Russia’s own Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Twentieth Trust received money from the budget of the city of St. Petersburg and subsequently transferred that money abroad. Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, discovered that the company had purchased property in Spain where it constructed villas using Russian army labor. These kinds of reports led Spanish police to become suspicious of Russian activity in Spain, and in the 1990s they began monitoring the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, as well as several well-known leaders of Russian organized crime, all of whom had houses on the southern coast of Spain. In 1999, to their immense surprise, their recorders picked up an unexpected visitor: Putin. He had arrived in Spain illegally, by boat from Gibraltar, having eluded Spanish passport control. By the time he made this secret visit to Spainâ€"apparently one of manyâ€"Putin had already graduated to the next phase of his career: until August 1999, he was the boss of the FSB, the KGB’s successor organization. He had moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow, taking many of his cronies and all of his criminal connections with him. At that time, they were not the only such group to have parlayed state and KGB money into wealth. President Yeltsin had also in effect given his blessing to the creation of several large fortunes, including that of Boris Berezovksy. But as Yeltsin became increasingly ill and unavailable, Putin persuaded Berezovsky and others in the Yeltsin inner circle that he and his FSB colleagues would be the guarantors of their wealth in the event of Yeltsin’s demise. They duly anointed Putin prime minister and then presidentâ€"the wishes of voters and democratic process had little to do with it. But having obtained high office, he turned the tables on them. Soon after taking over, he made it clear that he intended to remove the Yeltsin-era elite and to put a new elite in its placeâ€"mostly from St. Petersburg, equally corrupt, but loyal exclusively to him. Among others, he removed the CEO and chairman of Gazpromâ€"the old Soviet gas ministry, now a private companyâ€"and replaced them with Dmitry Medvedev, a St. Petersburg lawyer and Putin’s colleague since his days in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office, and Aleksei Miller, his former deputy at the St. Petersburg Committee for Foreign Liaison. Very quickly, Gazprom became a source of personal funds for Putin’s projects, useful, for example, when he needed a large chunk of money to bribe the president of Ukraine. Gazprom’s new leadership grew in wealth and power, and they knew exactly who they had to thank for it. This was not the first time this kind of policy had been deployed in Russia: “Change the elite” is an old Stalinist tactic too. But having changed the elite, having taken hold of the most important Russian companies, and having established himself as godfather to all of the other oligarchs, Putin did not change his ways. After he became president in 2000, it is true that Putin did preserve some of the language of “reform” in his public statements. He appointed “reformers” to top jobs. He kept open lines of communication with the West, particularly after September 11, 2001, when he saw the possibility of a tactical alliance with the West against Muslim radicalism in Central Asia. He remained open to relationships with NATO and with American and European leaders. In 2004, he even declared that “if Ukraine wants to join the EU and if the EU accepts Ukraine as a member, Russia, I think, would welcome this because we have a special relationship with Ukraine.” He regularly attended meetings of the G8, an organizationâ€"including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the UK, and Russiaâ€"whose rules and raison d’etre had been altered specifically in order to allow Russia to join. He also carried off an extraordinary public relations coup, and one with far-reaching significance: for four years, between 2008 and 2012, Putin put a seemingly pro-Western, apparently business-friendly, decoy president in charge of the Kremlin. The reassuring presence of Dmitry Medvedev not only inspired Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s “reset” in American foreign policy, but lulled almost everyone in Europe into accepting a gangster state as a difficult but legitimate partner. During the four years of the Medvedev presidency NATO’s military readiness declined further, Western financial institutions became more dependent on Russian money, and Western politicians turned their attention to other matters. Yet during this same period, as during his own presidency, Putin never abandoned the mafia methods Dawisha has so painstakingly described. Instead, he reshaped Russia’s political system in order to ensure that they could continue. Though Dawisha argues that Putin always intended to recreate an authoritarian, expansionist Russia, one could also argue that an authoritarian, expansionist Russia was the inevitable result of Putin’s need to protect himself, his cronies, and their money. Either way, no one now doubts that, despite the talk of “reform,” he made no attempt to encourage truly entrepreneurial capitalism inside Russia or to create a legal system that would allow small businesses to grow. Courts became increasingly politicized and markets ever more distorted. Oligarchs and businessmen at all levels who did not play by his rules were destroyed. The most famous victim of Russia’s arbitrary justice was Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was arrested in 2003, after which his oil company, Yukos, was liquidated. Yukos’s assets were then transferred to another company, Rosneft, which happened to be owned by another one of Putin’s friends. Khodorkovsky’s arrest was intended as a lesson to others: here is what will happen, even to the richest men, if they step out of line. During what seemed at the time to be a golden era of Russianâ€"Western political relations, the economic picture for foreign investors was also mixed. Some Western businesses flourished in Russia, but only so far as it suited Putin and his cronies. Westerners who annoyed the regimeâ€"or Westerners whose businesses were coveted by powerful Russiansâ€"could be destroyed with tax demands, lawsuits, and worse. This was the fate of Bill Browderâ€"grandson of Earl Browder, leader of the American Communist Partyâ€"who set up a Russian investment fund that invested heavily in Gazprom. After he turned out to be an annoyingly activist shareholderâ€"he kept asking why the company’s accounts were so untransparentâ€"Browder was barred from the country in 2005. His companies in Russia were subsequently destroyed by a particularly Putinist form of corporate raiding: tax officials and police attacked their offices, reregistered them, declared them bankrupt, stole their money, and arrested and harassed their employees. Browder’s lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky, was eventually beaten to death by guards in a Russian prison. Browder is discussed earlier in the report of how he took over Khodorkovsky’s profit-skimming operation and cheated Russian citizens and minority shareholders (including Americans) of profits from AVISMA. At the same timeâ€"while constantly speaking of “reform” in Western capitalsâ€"Putin was systematically destroying the nascent institutions of liberal democratic society. Whatever embryonic political movements had come to life in the 1990s were crushed in the 2000s. Refusing to tolerate any real political opposition, Putin instead sponsored phony political parties whose leaders were ultimately loyal to himself. He eviscerated independent media, especially television, which he considered to be an essential tool of social manipulation. Although he left a few very small “dissident” newspapers open, presumably in order to placate the tiny middle class, he pushed back hard when they went too far. Anna Politkovskaya, an extraordinarily brave reporter who wrote about Putin’s war in Chechnya, was one of several Russian journalists to be brutally killed in gangland-style murders. When Applebaum says, “while constantly speaking of “reform” in Western capitals, Putin was systematically destroying the nascent institutions of liberal democratic society, I wonder what society she is talking about. Well, maybe it’s not “liberal democratic,” but Putin was using that great old Western institution, the offshore bank and corporate secrecy system, as the rest of the globalized criminal system does and as Western corporations do to cheat shareholders and taxpayers. Anyone who thinks that Putin and the West have not had an active partnership is wrong. (end of my comments) With the media out of the way, Putin also took on “civil society,” meaning any charitable, educational, or advocacy organizations over which he did not exert direct control. This included the slow suffocation of apolitical groups such as Memorial, the historic human rights organization that has produced internationally admired accounts of the crimes of Stalin, the history of the Gulag, and more generally the history of repression in Russia. Because Memorial had received foreign fundingâ€"from organizations such as the Ford Foundationâ€"it was told that it had to be registered as a “foreign agent,” a phrase that heavily implies foreign espionage. More recently, the Russian Justice Ministry has filed a lawsuit that seeks to shut down Memorial altogether, on spurious administrative grounds.2 In place of a genuine media and a real civil society, Putin and his inner circle slowly put into place a system for manufacturing disinformation and mobilizing support on a new and spectacular scale. Once the KGB had retaken the country, in other words, it began once again to act like the KGBâ€"only now it was better funded and more sophisticated. Today’s Russian “political technologists” make use of their state-owned media, including English-language outlets such as the TV news channel Russia Today; armies of paid social media “trolls” who post on newspaper comment pages, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites; fake “experts” whose quotes can be presented with fake authority; and real experts to whom Putin’s officials have granted special access, or have simply paid. Former Western ambassadors to Moscow, businessmen who have been recruited to Russian company boards, European politicians as high-ranking as Schröder and Silvio Berlusconiâ€"all have been well compensated, directly or indirectly, for offering their support. Using these different sources, the Kremlin began putting out messages designed not necessarily to make Russia look good, but rather to undermine the Western establishment and Western institutions, including the European Union and NATO. Using both money and information, they seek to empower the Western far right, the anti-establishment left, and the international business community all at the same time. Thus Russia Today supports Occupy Wall Street. A Russian oligarch organizes a meeting in Vienna attended by the French National Front, Hungary’s nationalist political party Jobbik, and Austria’s Freedom Party.3 Whispering campaigns, conducted in the world’s financial capitalsâ€"especially Frankfurt and the City of Londonâ€"hint at the dire things that will happen if sanctions against Russia are not lifted. In an article recently published by The Interpreter, an online publication dedicated to exposing Kremlin disinformation, the journalists Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss argue that since at least 2008 Kremlin military and intelligence thinkers have been talking about information not in the familiar terms of “persuasion,” “public diplomacy” or even “propaganda,” but in weaponized terms, as a tool to confuse, blackmail, demoralize, subvert and paralyze.4 This is not a system, in other words, that has come about spontaneously, in reaction to events on Kiev’s Maidan, although to those who haven’t followed the evolution of Russian politics over the past twenty yearsâ€"or to those who have followed only the narrative of “failed reforms”â€"it might perhaps appear that way. Indeed, in the months since Putin’s invasion of Crimea, it has become fashionable to suggest that the harder-line face that Putin has more recently shown to the world is somehow, once again, the West’s “fault,” that we have provoked Russia into autocratic behavior through our talk of democracy in Ukraine or thatâ€"once againâ€"the “reform process” was somehow brought to a halt because the Russians felt threatened by the expansion of NATO or by Western policy in the Balkans. But after reading Dawisha’s book, and after absorbing the implications of the stories she has so carefully pulled together from so many sources, it is simply not possible to take this argument seriously. Since 2000, Russia has been ruled by a revanchist, revisionist elite with origins in the old KGB. This elite had been working its way back to power since the late 1980s, using theft on a grand scale, taking advantage of the secrecy provided by Western offshore havens, and cooperating with organized crime. Once in power, the new elite sought to maintain control using the same methods that the KGB always used to maintain control: through the manipulation of public emotion, and by undermining the institutions of the West, and the ideals of the West, in any way that it can. Based on its record so far, it has every reason to expect continued success. Applebaum article on NYRB My article about the AVISMA scam on 100Reporters. The assertions were vetted by 100Reporters’ pro bono law firm, Arnold & Porter. The same article on The Komisar Scoop, with more links to documents.   Remain updated regarding the newest change of the disaster within Ukraine by means of subscribing to our RSS supply or to our Twitter feed @therussophile. Get the latest updates on the problem in Ukraine by following me on Twitter (@therussophile) and via registering for the RSS-feed of therussophile. Source: The Russophile's

11.05.2015 Ukraine Crisis News. Latest News of Ukraine, Donetsk, Lugansk, Novorossia

...read more Source: The Russophile's

Is the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa a Biological Proxy War?

Russia announced that they have a vaccine effective against Ebola. From another report in Moscow Times it seems more like they have an effective drug to treat Ebola and not a really a vaccine. The investigative reporter Jon Rappoport (nomorefakenews.com), who have disclosed the fraud behind the HIV-virus and other frauds committed by the BIG PHARMA […]

The Coup in Ukraine 2014 â€" Three Testimonials

USA’s role in the coup in Kiev in February 2014 is crystal clear. But there are still to be people who either doesn’t know or just refuse to acknowledge facts. High ranked officials from the USA and EU even blame Russia for having instigated the armed revolution which overthrow the democratically elected President Yanukovych. Not to […]

China’s President On Russia’s Role in Crushing Fascism: “To Remember History, To Open the Future”

Introductory note by Anatoly Karlin This article originally appeared at The Unz Review  President Xi Jinping (pictured left, meeting the Patriarch Kirill) penned an op-ed in a Russian newspaper on May 6th in which, in stark contrast to the typical…

China Helps Russia Break Into Asian Passenger Aircraft Market

This article originally appeared in The Moscow Times Russian and Chinese investors will pool resources to help sell Russian passenger aircraft in China and southeast Asia, a Russian state-backed investment fund said Friday, as Russia struggles to jumpstart its moribund civil aviation industry. ...read more Source: The Russophile's

ACLU Joins Fight Against a California Mandatory Vaccination Bill Pushed by Bought

One of the country’s oldest civil rights legal groups has joined the fight against a California bill that would deprive parents in the Golden State the right to decide whether or not they want to expose their children to potentially…

Georgians as Expendable as White Rats

- There are now scattered reports of biological weapons being tested on citizens of various countries, including Georgia and some Middle Eastern countries.

Ukraine February 26th SITREP: A Ukrainian Smørrebrød

Nothing major has happened over the past 24 hours, but a lot of small but interesting things have happened in the past couple of days.  What I propose to do first today is to list them with a URL to the original source:A Ukrainian Smørrebrød:According to a recent poll of the Lithuanian TV station TV3 82% of their viewers say that Russian media info is trustworthy.  Get the details here in English from FortRuss: http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/02/82-of-lithuanian-viewers-support-russia.htmlThere is now also a petition in the UK to oppose UK military involvement in the Ukraine.  See here: http://www.change.org/p/hm-government-david-cameron-mp-no-to-british-military-involvement-in-ukraineA Swiss newspaper is saying that the US delivered four mini-nukes to the Ukraine.  I am 99.9999% sure that this is nonsense.  But the rumor itself is an interesting fact.  See here: http://www.schweizmagazin.ch/nachrichten/ausland/22283-Vier-amerikanische-Mini-Atombomben-der-Ukraine.htmlNeocons still want to believe that they will beat Russia.  See here: http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/alexander-j-motyl/why-russia-will-lose-ukraineRussia and Cyprus has signed a military agreement.  See here: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/25/399160/Russia-Cyprus-ink-military-accordRussia is offering Antey-2500 missiles to Iran.  See here: http://rt.com/news/234855-russia-iran-missiles-deal/Ukraine is entering hyperinflation.  See here: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-25/ukraine-enters-hyperinflation-currency-trading-halted-soon-we-will-wwalk-around-suitPrices are causing shortages in the Ukraine.  See here: http://korrespondent.net/ukraine/events/3483908-yz-za-rosta-tsen-ukrayntsy-opustoshauit-mahazynyThe OSCE is doing it's utmost not to notice that Novorussia is withdrawing its heavy weapons while the junta is not.  See here: http://rt.com/news/235399-ukraine-osce-weapons-withdrawal/Three citizens of Donetsk were executed by the Novorussian authorities for committing terrorist attacks using a 82mm mortar against the civilian population.  Their motive?  Money.  See here: http://riafan.ru/217127-opolchentsyi-kaznili-troih-donchan-kotoryie-za-dengi-obstrelivali-gorod/The US/NATO are continuing their saber-rattling along the Russian border.  See here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-nato-military-convoys-of-tanks-and-armored-vehicles-at-russias-doorstep-rolling-along-the-estonia-russia-border/5433373Novorussians soldiers are finding US equipment including communication gear in Debaltsevo. See here: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=86d_1424397139Zakharchenko is fed up with junta's non-compliance with the Minsk accords and has issued an ultimatum: comply by tomorrow or else.  See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqEu8XAL-zwSummary:It is quite clear that the junta is either unable or unwilling to implement the Minsk-2 Agreements (M2A) and that the US is acting like that agreement was never signed in the first place.  In fact, since Poroshenko's power is entirely dependent on US support, I consider him as little more then the executioner of US orders with little or no power of his own.There are more and more signs indicating that M2A was a major victory for Russia which succeeded in making the Europeans commit to something the US does not want and which Poroshenko cannot deliver on.  Clearly, the US is now using all its power to get the OSCE to shut up and look the other way, but time is definitely on the Novorussian side: they can wait until it is clear that it was the junta which did not comply with M2A at which point the Russian-Novorussian border will de jure be lost for the junta (de facto they lost it last summer).Zakharchanko is literally radiating confidence and so are the other Novorussians.  The contrast with the chaos in Kiev could not be greater.As for the US, it is acting like reality simply does not exist.  For Uncle Sam, it purely "more of the same", more rhetoric, more saber-rattling, more hot air even though nobody seems to be taking it very seriously.What will be crucial in the near future is to see whether Merkel and Hollande will hold the course on M2A or whether Uncle Sam will force them to cave in yet again.  They now have *a lot* invested in M2A, but then again, so did the EU with Southstream.  My feeling is that right now anything could happen, it is a 50/50 situation.  Lavrov is doing a great job demanding that the German and French stick to the deal and so is Zakharchenko.All in all, I am rather satisfied with the recent developments.The SakerSaker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/

23.02.2015 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Donbass, Kharkov, USA, Europe

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWQNMlGp51I?rel=0]

Are You Doing What You Can Trying To Stop WW3?

The world is edging closer and closer towards a hot war. Are you doing what you can to prevent it? World War Three has already started with sanctions and manipulations of currency- and energy- markets. An economic war between USA and Russia is raging since the early summer of 2014 with sanctions towards Russia from USA […]

Ukraine SITREP May 11th, by Duff

DONBASS Mariupol front heavy fighting, artillery and tanks From about midnight last night, 10th of May, the situation on the southern front escalated to the maximum. In Mariupol situation.is tense. ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Kiev officer on Debalcevo HQ incompetence and self organized breakout

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQUvueRQNQk?rel=0]Comment by the Saker:This is a very interesting interview.  First, it basically confirms everything the Novorussians were saying.  But secondly, the officer speaking, Andrei Vysota, CO of 25th "Kievan Rus" battalion, declares at the end that even though Poroshenko awarded the title and medal to Commander Sergei Shaptala of the 128th Mukachevo mountain infantry brigade just to make him shut up, Shaptala did deserve that medal for having had the courage to order a retreat.From the point of view of the Russian military ethos, this is an amazing statement for the following reasons:1) Russian officers always are at the frontline with their soldiers.  This is why a Russian General was seriously wounded in South Ossetia, and this is why we have all seen Givi, Motorola, Mozgovoi and even Zakharchenko right on the very front line, a few hundred yards from the junta forces.  In contrast, Shaptala himself fled the Debaltsevo Cauldron and he gave his order from afar.2) What risk did Shaptala actually take?  He took the risk of being demoted, possibly face insubordination or even (let's worst case) treason charges.  Although, in reality, all he risked was basically to damage his future career.  But even if he did face demotion or court martial, this is *nothing* compared to what his men faced and for that *nothing* he deserves the title of Hero of the Ukraine?!  From a Russian point of view this is totally crazy.3) Finally, Vysota openly admit that Shaptala got the medal of Hero of the Ukraine as a bribe to make him shut up directly implying that all it takes to make a Hero of the Ukraine shut up about the truth about the death of his own man is to give him a medal he does not even deserve in the first place!I am absolutely amazed by all this.  Apparently, the Ukrainian forces have not only failed to develop their own ethos, they were not even capable of maintaining even a little of the ethos of the Soviet military where to get a medal of "Hero of the Soviet Union" one had to do something quite heroic indeed.If Shaptala is the best the junta has, then no wonder that their forces are losing every battle and that they get beat by men like Bezler, Mozgovoi, Motorola, Givi, Kononov, Zakharchenko and all the other Novorussian commanders every single one of which personally fought on the front line and many of whom were wounded in battle.I will be honest with you, every time I see one of the Novorussian commanders on the frontline, I am personally horrified and appalled.  I got all my military training in the West were a general belongs into a hardened bunker packed with advanced communication gear and protected from pretty much anything short of a nuclear strike.  But I also have to admit that having the commanders in the front lines makes a huge difference.  This has always been a Russian military tradition for many centuries, and this has also been a German one (during WWII German general did fight with their men in the front lines).  I recognize the superiority of that approach, but it still horrifies me (-: This is what you get for being born in old Russian military family but having been trained in western Europe: a strong cognitive dissonance when your two cultures take radically different positions :-)Lastly, I really feel sorry, from the bottom of my heart, for the men uselessly killed in Debaltsevo.  Did you get the part when Vysota said that when the Ukies tried to evacuate their *wounded* they all got killed by the Novorussian artillery?  Can you imagine being wounded in a battle you cannot win, then being evacuated in trucks only to die being ripped into shreds or incinerated by artillery strikes?May God rest the souls of these poor men who suffered and died in horrible circumstances and for nothing other then the political arrogance, ambitions and incompetence of a junta of Nazi freaks.The SakerPS: one more thing.  Under Stalin every single junta officer responsible for this outrageous disaster would have been summarily executed.  Just saying...

27.02.2015 Novorossian State

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbSh1JP9yxg?rel=0]Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/ 

Mark Slebodas Unbeatable Description Of The Mindset In The US State Department

The clash between Eastern and Western world-views is an undeniable fact. The accelerated push by the neocons on behalf of the ruling Anglo-Zionist banking elite towards a New World Order, is of course the main cause of the clash. But it does not explain the fact that millions of people are taking the side of the […]

How The Russian Liberals Became “The Fifth Column”

The liberals in Russia are deserved casualties of the crisis in Ukraine. Their numbers are dwindling and only the most “hard-core” remains loyal to their orientation to the West. They have also got a new stamp as “the Fifth Column”. I have noticed the liberal exodus among many of my friends and it is confirmed in […]

The Reasons Why Russia Will Not Invade Ukraine

Russia will not invade Ukraine and here are the reasons. A lot of energy is right now spend on trying to get Russia more involved with the civil war in Ukraine. The New World Order cabal wants it because they want NATO to get a reason to come to the defense of the new government they […]

Neocon Writer Anne Applebaum Covers up the Role West Played in Looting Russia

From: http://russia-insider.com/en/criticism-anne-applebaums-review-putins-russia/6384 The conflict in Ukraine is certainly destabilizing the geopolitical position of the whole planet. This is exposing the agony within the european elite group when it comes to their pushes to master the planet while the dollar continue to has an importance. The american mainstream mass media makes a pitch for the elite in their projects in order to get rid of Putin. Not since the zenith of the cold war has the black-painting of Russia and the commander in chief been so openly laid bare. Merely an uninterested or totally brainwashed man can possibly steer clear of to see the fictitious narrative governed by the american rulers to the proprietors and also publishers coming from the company media in the U.S.A and Europe. I understand how problematic it is to see through the image of Russia as outlined by western journalists. The western propaganda works but only on those who are far from living the truth.This article originally appeared at The Komisar Scoop Anne Applebaum’s article about Vladimir Putin, “How He and His Cronies Stole Russia,” should have a few words added to the title: “And How The West Drove The Getaway Car.” To suggest that looting occurred independently of the corrupt offshore system organized by Western banks finesses the truth. Applebaum refers to KBG officers who acted as the Soviet Union seemed near collapse in the 1980s. “Assisted by the unscrupulous international offshore banking industry, they stole money that belonged to the Russian state, took it abroad for safety, reinvested it in Russia, and then, piece by piece, took over the state themselves.” She writes that KGB leaders began transferring money that belonged to the Soviet Communist Party out of the Soviet Union and into offshore accounts tended by Swiss or British bankers. But American banks were also involved. Applebaum notes that in 1999, the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) accused the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG) linked to Putin, of laundering money for Russian and Colombian criminals. “Among other things, the BND said that SPAG took money that had been sent out of Russia and was parked “offshore,” and helped its ownersâ€"among them the leaders of the Tambov gang, part of the St. Petersburg mafia, repatriate it back through purchase of property and other assets. SPAG was registered in Germany and laundered money though Liechtenstein. According to a confidential BND document I obtained, “The Liechtenstein lawyers Dr. Eugen Heeb and Rudolf Ritter participate in a network of firms in Liechtenstein, Europe and overseas. They make this network available -amongst others â€" to South American drug cartels, e. g. the Ochoa clan and to the new Russian clientele.” She writes about Mikhail Khodorkovsky as “the most famous victim of Russia’s arbitrary justice.” And about a favored “reformer,” William Browder,” she says, “After he turned out to be an annoyingly activist shareholder,” Browder was barred from Russia in 2005. But she ignores the offshore connection between Khodorkovsky and Browder. Khodorkovsky’s company Menatep used TMC, a phony Isle of Man “sales” company, to buy the output of Avisma, his titanium sponge company, at fake low prices and sell it on the market at real prices, cheating minority shareholders and Russian taxpayers. When Browder and his partners, billionaire investor Kenneth Dart and New York investor Francis Baker, bought Avisma from Khodorkovsky in 1997, they agreed the corrupt profit skimming would continue. Baker told me that the Bank of New York moved the stolen money. He said that “monies put in one end of the machine came out totally clean at the other end of the machine,” adding that, “It was not a piddling amount.” He said, “They moved it through about 20 entities.” So when Applebaum says, “while constantly speaking of “reform” in Western capitals, Putin was systematically destroying the nascent institutions of liberal democratic society, I wonder what society she is talking about. It sure wasn’t “liberal democratic,” but Putin was using that great Western institution, the crooked offshore bank and corporate secrecy system, as global criminals and Western corporations still do, to loot Russia. Indeed, Putin and his collaborators looted Russia. But to suggest that this occurred independently of the corrupt offshore system organized by Western banks and in spite of allegedly well-meaning Western advisors the U.S. sent to Russia is a distortion of the truth. Anne Applebaum’s article with my comments interspersed and parts of the article bold-faced to point out what I cite: How He and His Cronies Stole Russia by Anne Applebaum “For twenty years now, the Western politicians, journalists, businessmen, and academics who observe and describe the post-Soviet evolution of Russia have almost all followed the same narrative. We begin with the assumption that the Soviet Union ended in 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev handed over power to Boris Yeltsin and Russia, Ukraine, and the rest of the Soviet republics became independent states. We continue with an account of the early 1990s, an era of “reform,” when some Russian leaders tried to create a democratic political system and a liberal capitalist economy. We follow the trials and tribulations of the reformers, analyze the attempts at privatization, discuss the ebb and flow of political parties and the growth and decline of an independent media.” Reform? Liberal capitalism? The “loans for shares” scam, invented by “reformer” Anatoly Chubais, made it possible for the “oligarchs” to loot Russia. They “lent” money to the Yetsin government, which used it for an upcoming election campaign. When Yetsin & co did not pay back the loans, the oligarchs got Russia’s mineral and factory wealth at bargain prices. Such “reformers’ were lauded by the Clinton Administration and the Western press, because privatization by any means necessary was the ideological goal. “Mostly we agree that those reforms failed, and sometimes we blame ourselves for those failures: we gave the wrong advice, we sent naive Harvard economists who should have known better, we didn’t have a Marshall Plan. Sometimes we blame the Russians: the economists didn’t follow our advice, the public was apathetic, President Yeltsin was indecisive, then drunk, then ill. Sometimes we hope that reforms will return, as many believed they might during the short reign of President Dmitry Medvedev.” “Whatever their conclusion, almost all of these analysts seek an explanation in the reform process itself, asking whether it was effective, or whether it was flawed, or whether it could have been designed differently. But what if it never mattered at all? What if it made no difference which mistakes were made, which privatization plans were sidetracked, which piece of advice was not followed? What if “reform” was never the most important story of the past twenty years in Russia at all?” Naïve Harvard economists? Could she be referring to Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay of the Harvard Institute for International Development who went to Russia to help set up capital markets and had their US AID grant cancelled in 1997. According to AID, Shleifer and Hay had improperly used U.S.-funded staff and resources for the benefit of investment projects run by Shleifer’s wife, Nancy Zimmerman, and Hay’s girlfriend, Beth Hebert. The U.S. sued Shleifer, Hay and Harvard. They settled for at least $31 million. Shleifer is still at Harvard because of the power of his krysha (roof), protector, Lawrence Summers who was then Harvard’s president. Hay sought reduced notoriety in London. Naïve is not the word for what they did. Applebaum wonders if the “reform process” was flawed. Well, yes, if you send “reformers” who are crooks. Yes, Putin would continue the corruption, but the “reformers” promoting the corrupt “loans for shares” laid the groundwork. The inventor of that scam, Anatoly Chubais, went to work for Shleifer and Hay when Yeltsin fired him. Karen Dawisha’s Putin’s Kleptocracy is not the first book to ask this question. Indeed, she makes extensive use of the work of others, both fellow political scientists as well as journalists working across the US and Europe. Some have found fault with this method, but the resulting work has a certain admirable relentlessness. For by tying all of these disparate investigations together so thoroughly, so pedantically, and with so many extended footnotesâ€"and by tracking down Western copies of documents that vanished from Russia long agoâ€"the extent of what has always been a murky story suddenly becomes more clear. In her introduction, Dawisha, a professor of political science at Miami University in Ohio, explains: Instead of seeing Russian politics as an inchoate democratic system being pulled down by history, accidental autocrats, popular inertia, bureaucratic incompetence, or poor Western advice, I conclude that from the beginning Putin and his circle sought to create an authoritarian regime ruled by a close-knit cabal…who used democracy for decoration rather than direction. In other words, the most important story of the past twenty years might not, in fact, have been the failure of democracy, but the rise of a new form of Russian authoritarianism. Instead of attempting to explain the failures of the reformers and intellectuals who tried to carry out radical change, we ought instead to focus on the remarkable story of one group of unrepentant, single-minded, revanchist KGB officers who were horrified by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the prospect of their own loss of influence. In league with Russian organized crime, starting at the end of the 1980s, they successfully plotted a return to power. Assisted by the unscrupulous international offshore banking industry, they stole money that belonged to the Russian state, took it abroad for safety, reinvested it in Russia, and then, piece by piece, took over the state themselves. Once in charge, they brought back Soviet methods of political controlâ€"the only ones they knewâ€"updated for the modern era. That corruption was part of the Russian system from the beginning is something we’ve long known for a long time, of course. In her book Sale of the Century (2000), Chrystia Freeland memorably describes the moment when she realized that the confusing regulations and contradictory laws that hog-tied Russian business in the 1990s were not a temporary problem that would soon be cleaned up by some competent administrator. On the contrary, they existed for a purpose: the Russian elite wanted everybody to operate in violation of one law or another, because that meant that everybody was liable at any time to arrest. The contradictory regulations were not a mistake, they were a form of control. Dawisha takes Freeland’s realization one step further. She is arguing, in effect, that even before those nefarious rules were written, the system had already been rigged to favor particular people and interest groups. No “even playing field” was ever created in Russia, and the power of competitive markets was never unleashed. Nobody became rich by building a better mousetrap or by pulling himself up by his bootstraps. Instead, those who succeeded did so thanks to favors granted byâ€"or stolen fromâ€"the state. And when the dust settled, Vladimir Putin emerged as king of the thieves. To tell this story, Dawisha uses many sources, including the evidence presented in several major court cases, a number of which fizzled out for political reasons; material collected by Russian and European investigative reporters, some of which has now vanished from the Web; and Russian legal journals, many of which are now out of print. She has also conducted dozens of interviews with businessmen and bankers all over the world. As noted, some of what she digs up has been described elsewhere, not only in Masha Gessen’s emotive account of Putin’s rise to power, The Man Without a Face (2012), but also in Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill’s Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2013) and Peter Baker and Susan Glasser’s Kremlin Rising (2005).1 Dawisha doesn’t, like Gessen, seek to convey the emotions of Russian politics, and she is less interested than Hill and Gaddy were in Putin’s personal biography. Instead, she turns a relentless focus on the financial story of Putin’s rise to power: page after page contains the gritty details of criminal operation after criminal operation, including names, dates, and figures. Many of these details had never been put together beforeâ€"and for good reason. Cambridge University Press declined to publish this book after initially agreeing to do so for fear of violating UK libel laws. Although she soon found a US publisherâ€"US libel laws are less constrictingâ€"Dawisha’s troubles give some hint of the difficulties faced by many who try to write about Russia, and particularly those who try to describe the corrupt practices of men with very deep pockets and very expensive lawyers on their payroll. Using this mass of evidence, Dawisha nevertheless argues that the KGB’s return to power begins not in 2000, when Putin became president, but in the late 1980s. At that time, the then leaders of the KGB, who distrusted Gorbachev, began transferring money that belonged to the Soviet Communist Party out of the Soviet Union and into offshore accounts tended by Swiss or British bankers. At least initially, these transfers took place with the Party’s knowledge. In August 1990, the Central Committee called for measures to protect the Party’s “economic interests,” including the construction of an “invisible” structure, accessible only to “a very narrow circle of people.” KGB operatives who already had experience with managing foreign bank accountsâ€"they’d been funding foreign Communist parties for decadesâ€"were put in charge. By the autumn of 1991â€"after the KGB-led coup in August to overthrow Gorbachev had failedâ€"almost $4 billion belonging to the Party’s “property management department” had already been distributed to hundreds of Party-, Komsomol-, and KGB-managed banks and companies that were swiftly establishing themselves in Russia and abroad. This was an enormous amount of capital in a country that had, at the time, a scarcely functioning economy and hardly any foreign currency reserves at all. In due course, these funds, and the people who managed them, were to become the real foundation for the economy of post-Soviet Russia. Again, this was not robber baron capitalism, or indeed capitalism at all: instead, a small group was enriched by the state and thereby given the means of acquiring its property. Applebaum, who otherwise writes with detail, refers sketchily to the KBG officers who as the Soviet Union seemed near collapse in the 1980s, plotted a return to power. “Assisted by the unscrupulous international offshore banking industry, they stole money that belonged to the Russian state, took it abroad for safety, reinvested it in Russia, and then, piece by piece, took over the state themselves.” She writes, “That corruption was part of the Russian system from the beginning is something we’ve long known for a long time, of course.” She points out that “leaders of the KGB, who distrusted Gorbachev, began transferring money that belonged to the Soviet Communist Party out of the Soviet Union and into offshore accounts tended by Swiss or British bankers. Why not more detail? American banks played a role. The Bank of New York was heavily involved in moving Russian money. And driving the getaway car makes one an accomplice. Top KGB official Yevgeny Primakov oversaw sending money out of Russia. Trading companies sold state resources and put the money in Western tax havens from Switzerland to Hong Kong and from Cyprus to the Cayman Islands. Some of that money would be used to set up the new Russian banks, including Menatep, whose titular head was Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The Russians started creating shell companies at a California post office box in the late 1980s. They liked being able to put cash in the Caribbean, perhaps the British Virgin Islands, and then move it back to Russia through the U.S. as “American” investments. From the very beginning, Russia’s current president had a part in this process. In the late 1980s, Putin was a KGB officer in Dresden, East Germany. There are conflicting accounts of what he was doing there. In his official and unofficial biographies, Dawisha writes, quoting Putin’s German biographer Alexander Rahr, this period is covered in a “thick fog of silence.” But there is some evidence that he may have been helping the KGB prepare for what it feared could be the imminent demise of the Soviet empire. Indeed, when he became president in 2000, German counterintelligence launched an investigation into whether or not Putin had been recruiting agents who would remain loyal to the KGB even after the collapse of communism. As Dawisha explains, “the Germans were concerned that Putin had recruited a network that lived on in united Germany.” The scale of this effort is not known, but certainly a few of his Dresden contacts have become startlingly successful in the decades since 1989. Matthias Warnig, a Stasi colleague of Putin’s, opened Dresdner Bank’s first branch in St. Petersburg in 1991, by which time Putin was living there. By 2000 he headed all of the bank’s operations in Russia. In 2003, the bank participated in the dismemberment of Yukos, the oil company owed by the jailed magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Since 2006, Warnig has been managing director of the Russianâ€"German Nord Stream pipeline project, a company that won permission to operate during the term of German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, and that later hired ex-Chancellor Schröder to serve on its board. In 2012, among other high posts, Warnig became a member of the board of directors of Bank Rossiya, one of the Russian banks now under US sanctions. I am especially interested in the parts about Khodorkovsky, who is described with sympathy. Applebaum writes that Dresdner Bank’s first branch in St. Petersburg in 2003, “participated in the dismemberment of Yukos, the oil company owed by the jailed magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who she describes as “the most famous victim of Russia’s arbitrary justice.” She points out that he was “arrested in 2003, after which his oil company, Yukos, was liquidated. Yukos’s assets were then transferred to another company, Rosneft, which happened to be owned by another one of Putin’s friends. Khodorkovsky’s arrest was intended as a lesson to others: here is what will happen, even to the richest men, if they step out of line.” She neglects to mention the Isle of Man transfer pricing scheme that Khodorkovsky used to siphon profits from Yukos. Not an excuse for seizing the company, but MBK was hardly an honest innocent. The other victim she cites is William Browder, who she points out set up a Russian investment fund that invested heavily in Gazprom. Based on the complimentary tweets and other writings Applebaum and Browder have posted in recent years, they admire each other greatly. Applebaum writes, “After he turned out to be an annoyingly activist shareholder â€"he kept asking why the company’s accounts were so untransparentâ€"Browder was barred from the country in 2005. His companies in Russia were subsequently destroyed by a particularly Putinist form of corporate raiding: tax officials and police attacked their offices, reregistered them, declared them bankrupt, stole their money, and arrested and harassed their employees.” She doesn’t point out an interesting connection between Khodorkovsky and Browder. It concerns AVISMA, a Russian titanium sponge company that Khodorkovsky obtained for kopeks on the ruble in the corrupt Yeltsin “loans for shares” scam promoted by that other “reformer,” Anatoly Chubais. Khodorkovsky’s company Menatep bought a piece of Valmet, an offshore incorporator in the Isle of Man, which set up TMC, a phony “sales” company that would buy AVISMA’s output at fake low prices and sell it on the market at real prices, cheating minority shareholders and Russian taxpayers. (It was the same scheme he used for Yukos.) When Browder and his partners, billionaire investor Kenneth Dart and New York investor Francis Baker, bought AVISMA from Khodorkovsky in 1997, the deal was that the corrupt profit skimming would continue. In fact, when Isle of Man middleman Peter Bond failed to turn over the purloined cash, Browder and his partners went to court in the Isle of Man declaring that they were owed that cash. Their legal papers detailed the scam. (Curiously, one of the names on the suit was Jonathan Hay. Browder et al had trades AVISMA shares for stock in a Russian firm, VSMPO. Then they put Hay and two others on the VSMPO board.) Browder and his colleagues got a settlement from Bond. But when VSMPO’s American lawyer discovered the profit-skimming, the company sought to recover the stolen cash. Its suit pointed out that Valmet “funneled these monies through bank accounts maintained at BoNY (Bank of New York) to entities unknown.” It said accounts at the Bank of New York “were established with the assistance of a BoNY officer Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky” who knew about the fraud because she was married to the vice-chairman of Menatep Bank, Konstantin Kagalovsky. She was fired when the Bank of New York money laundering scandal was exposed in 1999. Baker acknowledged to me that the Bank of New York moved the stolen money. He said that “monies put in one end of the machine came out totally clean at the other end of the machine,” adding that, “It was not a piddling amount.” And, “When it got to our shores, there was the old Bank of New York,” he said. “They moved it through about 20 entities. The bank was very complicit with that.”  VSMPO got a settlement. After leaving Germany, Putin returned to St. Petersburg, eventually making his way, with KGB patronage, into the St. Petersburg city government, where he was responsible for “foreign liaisons”â€"and where he could put some of his foreign contacts to immediate use. In 1991, Marina Salye, a member of the St. Petersburg city council, accused Putin of having knowingly entered into dozens of legally flawed contracts on behalf of the city, exporting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of commoditiesâ€"timber, coal, steelâ€"in exchange for food that never arrived. Her attempts to censure him came to nothing: the council called for his resignation but nothing happened. At a higher level, Putin had protectors. Salye, spooked by threats, went into hiding and disappeared from Russian politics. Not that it mattered much, since Putin and his friends had other irons in the fire. Back in this very early post-Soviet momentâ€"when Western advisers were still streaming into the country to give lectures on the rule of law and judicial reformâ€"Putin personally organized, or helped organize, several institutions that exist to this day. One of the best known is Bank Rossiya, which was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990, using money from the Communist Party’s Central Committee. From the beginning, according to Spanish police investigators, Bank Rossiya facilitated cooperation between Putin, other city officials, and Russian organized crime, allowing the two groups to invest together. Rule of law? Promoted by Shleifer and Hay? Dawisha also describes the origins of the Ozero Dacha Consumer Cooperative, a small group, again including Putin, that conducted property investments but soon branched into other businesses, making use of mysterious sources of cash. At a time when others had no access to capital, they were flush. Most of the members of the cooperative are now millionaires and several are billionaires. The St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG) was a third institution linked to Putin. In 1999, the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) completed an investigation into SPAG, and published a report that accused the organization of laundering money for Russian and Colombian criminals. Among other things, the BNDsaid that SPAG took money that had been sent out of Russia and was parked “offshore,” and helped its ownersâ€"among them the leaders of the Tambov gang, a part of the St. Petersburg mafiaâ€"repatriate it back into the country through the purchase of property and other legitimate assets. Notably, when Schröder became chancellor of Germany, this investigation was slowed down; Putin’s name had, in any case, been kept out of it. Several other company founders were indicted by courts in Liechtenstein. Vladimir Kumarin, the former Tambov gang leader, has been in prison since 2012. Applebaum notes that the St. Petersburg Real Estate Holding Company (SPAG) linked to Putin, was accused in 1999, by the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) of laundering money for Russian and Colombian criminals. “Among other things, the BND said that SPAG took money that had been sent out of Russia and was parked “offshore,” and helped its ownersâ€"among them the leaders of the Tambov gang, a part of the St. Petersburg mafiaâ€"repatriate it back into the country through the purchase of property and other legitimate assets. Offshore? What Western banks did that? SPAG was registered in Germany and laundered money though Liechtenstein. According to a confidential BND document I obtained, “The Liechtenstein lawyers Dr. Eugen Heeb and Rudolf Ritter participate in a network of firms in Liechtenstein, Europe and overseas. They make this network available -amongst others -to South American drug cartels, e. g. the Ochoa clan, and to the new Russian clientele.” It noted that, “Rudolf Ritter is the brother of the Vice Head of Government and Minister for the Interior, the Economy, Health and Social Matters, Dr. Michael Ritter.” And she says, “According to Russia’s own Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Twentieth Trust received money from the budget of the city of St. Petersburg and subsequently transferred that money abroad. Abroad? How, via Western offshore banks? Worth mentioning. And of course there was $7.5 billion allegedly funneled through the Bank of New York, in 1999 with the help of two executives of its Eastern European Division. One of them was Natasha Gurfinkel Kagalovsky whose husband just happened to be an official of Bank Menatep, run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Dawisha also describes the origins of the Twentieth Trust, a “construction company” also linked to Putin. According to Russia’s own Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Twentieth Trust received money from the budget of the city of St. Petersburg and subsequently transferred that money abroad. Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper, discovered that the company had purchased property in Spain where it constructed villas using Russian army labor. These kinds of reports led Spanish police to become suspicious of Russian activity in Spain, and in the 1990s they began monitoring the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, as well as several well-known leaders of Russian organized crime, all of whom had houses on the southern coast of Spain. In 1999, to their immense surprise, their recorders picked up an unexpected visitor: Putin. He had arrived in Spain illegally, by boat from Gibraltar, having eluded Spanish passport control. By the time he made this secret visit to Spainâ€"apparently one of manyâ€"Putin had already graduated to the next phase of his career: until August 1999, he was the boss of the FSB, the KGB’s successor organization. He had moved from St. Petersburg to Moscow, taking many of his cronies and all of his criminal connections with him. At that time, they were not the only such group to have parlayed state and KGB money into wealth. President Yeltsin had also in effect given his blessing to the creation of several large fortunes, including that of Boris Berezovksy. But as Yeltsin became increasingly ill and unavailable, Putin persuaded Berezovsky and others in the Yeltsin inner circle that he and his FSB colleagues would be the guarantors of their wealth in the event of Yeltsin’s demise. They duly anointed Putin prime minister and then presidentâ€"the wishes of voters and democratic process had little to do with it. But having obtained high office, he turned the tables on them. Soon after taking over, he made it clear that he intended to remove the Yeltsin-era elite and to put a new elite in its placeâ€"mostly from St. Petersburg, equally corrupt, but loyal exclusively to him. Among others, he removed the CEO and chairman of Gazpromâ€"the old Soviet gas ministry, now a private companyâ€"and replaced them with Dmitry Medvedev, a St. Petersburg lawyer and Putin’s colleague since his days in the St. Petersburg mayor’s office, and Aleksei Miller, his former deputy at the St. Petersburg Committee for Foreign Liaison. Very quickly, Gazprom became a source of personal funds for Putin’s projects, useful, for example, when he needed a large chunk of money to bribe the president of Ukraine. Gazprom’s new leadership grew in wealth and power, and they knew exactly who they had to thank for it. This was not the first time this kind of policy had been deployed in Russia: “Change the elite” is an old Stalinist tactic too. But having changed the elite, having taken hold of the most important Russian companies, and having established himself as godfather to all of the other oligarchs, Putin did not change his ways. After he became president in 2000, it is true that Putin did preserve some of the language of “reform” in his public statements. He appointed “reformers” to top jobs. He kept open lines of communication with the West, particularly after September 11, 2001, when he saw the possibility of a tactical alliance with the West against Muslim radicalism in Central Asia. He remained open to relationships with NATO and with American and European leaders. In 2004, he even declared that “if Ukraine wants to join the EU and if the EU accepts Ukraine as a member, Russia, I think, would welcome this because we have a special relationship with Ukraine.” He regularly attended meetings of the G8, an organizationâ€"including the US, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the UK, and Russiaâ€"whose rules and raison d’etre had been altered specifically in order to allow Russia to join. He also carried off an extraordinary public relations coup, and one with far-reaching significance: for four years, between 2008 and 2012, Putin put a seemingly pro-Western, apparently business-friendly, decoy president in charge of the Kremlin. The reassuring presence of Dmitry Medvedev not only inspired Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s “reset” in American foreign policy, but lulled almost everyone in Europe into accepting a gangster state as a difficult but legitimate partner. During the four years of the Medvedev presidency NATO’s military readiness declined further, Western financial institutions became more dependent on Russian money, and Western politicians turned their attention to other matters. Yet during this same period, as during his own presidency, Putin never abandoned the mafia methods Dawisha has so painstakingly described. Instead, he reshaped Russia’s political system in order to ensure that they could continue. Though Dawisha argues that Putin always intended to recreate an authoritarian, expansionist Russia, one could also argue that an authoritarian, expansionist Russia was the inevitable result of Putin’s need to protect himself, his cronies, and their money. Either way, no one now doubts that, despite the talk of “reform,” he made no attempt to encourage truly entrepreneurial capitalism inside Russia or to create a legal system that would allow small businesses to grow. Courts became increasingly politicized and markets ever more distorted. Oligarchs and businessmen at all levels who did not play by his rules were destroyed. The most famous victim of Russia’s arbitrary justice was Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was arrested in 2003, after which his oil company, Yukos, was liquidated. Yukos’s assets were then transferred to another company, Rosneft, which happened to be owned by another one of Putin’s friends. Khodorkovsky’s arrest was intended as a lesson to others: here is what will happen, even to the richest men, if they step out of line. During what seemed at the time to be a golden era of Russianâ€"Western political relations, the economic picture for foreign investors was also mixed. Some Western businesses flourished in Russia, but only so far as it suited Putin and his cronies. Westerners who annoyed the regimeâ€"or Westerners whose businesses were coveted by powerful Russiansâ€"could be destroyed with tax demands, lawsuits, and worse. This was the fate of Bill Browderâ€"grandson of Earl Browder, leader of the American Communist Partyâ€"who set up a Russian investment fund that invested heavily in Gazprom. After he turned out to be an annoyingly activist shareholderâ€"he kept asking why the company’s accounts were so untransparentâ€"Browder was barred from the country in 2005. His companies in Russia were subsequently destroyed by a particularly Putinist form of corporate raiding: tax officials and police attacked their offices, reregistered them, declared them bankrupt, stole their money, and arrested and harassed their employees. Browder’s lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky, was eventually beaten to death by guards in a Russian prison. Browder is discussed earlier in the report of how he took over Khodorkovsky’s profit-skimming operation and cheated Russian citizens and minority shareholders (including Americans) of profits from AVISMA. At the same timeâ€"while constantly speaking of “reform” in Western capitalsâ€"Putin was systematically destroying the nascent institutions of liberal democratic society. Whatever embryonic political movements had come to life in the 1990s were crushed in the 2000s. Refusing to tolerate any real political opposition, Putin instead sponsored phony political parties whose leaders were ultimately loyal to himself. He eviscerated independent media, especially television, which he considered to be an essential tool of social manipulation. Although he left a few very small “dissident” newspapers open, presumably in order to placate the tiny middle class, he pushed back hard when they went too far. Anna Politkovskaya, an extraordinarily brave reporter who wrote about Putin’s war in Chechnya, was one of several Russian journalists to be brutally killed in gangland-style murders. When Applebaum says, “while constantly speaking of “reform” in Western capitals, Putin was systematically destroying the nascent institutions of liberal democratic society, I wonder what society she is talking about. Well, maybe it’s not “liberal democratic,” but Putin was using that great old Western institution, the offshore bank and corporate secrecy system, as the rest of the globalized criminal system does and as Western corporations do to cheat shareholders and taxpayers. Anyone who thinks that Putin and the West have not had an active partnership is wrong. (end of my comments) With the media out of the way, Putin also took on “civil society,” meaning any charitable, educational, or advocacy organizations over which he did not exert direct control. This included the slow suffocation of apolitical groups such as Memorial, the historic human rights organization that has produced internationally admired accounts of the crimes of Stalin, the history of the Gulag, and more generally the history of repression in Russia. Because Memorial had received foreign fundingâ€"from organizations such as the Ford Foundationâ€"it was told that it had to be registered as a “foreign agent,” a phrase that heavily implies foreign espionage. More recently, the Russian Justice Ministry has filed a lawsuit that seeks to shut down Memorial altogether, on spurious administrative grounds.2 In place of a genuine media and a real civil society, Putin and his inner circle slowly put into place a system for manufacturing disinformation and mobilizing support on a new and spectacular scale. Once the KGB had retaken the country, in other words, it began once again to act like the KGBâ€"only now it was better funded and more sophisticated. Today’s Russian “political technologists” make use of their state-owned media, including English-language outlets such as the TV news channel Russia Today; armies of paid social media “trolls” who post on newspaper comment pages, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and other sites; fake “experts” whose quotes can be presented with fake authority; and real experts to whom Putin’s officials have granted special access, or have simply paid. Former Western ambassadors to Moscow, businessmen who have been recruited to Russian company boards, European politicians as high-ranking as Schröder and Silvio Berlusconiâ€"all have been well compensated, directly or indirectly, for offering their support. Using these different sources, the Kremlin began putting out messages designed not necessarily to make Russia look good, but rather to undermine the Western establishment and Western institutions, including the European Union and NATO. Using both money and information, they seek to empower the Western far right, the anti-establishment left, and the international business community all at the same time. Thus Russia Today supports Occupy Wall Street. A Russian oligarch organizes a meeting in Vienna attended by the French National Front, Hungary’s nationalist political party Jobbik, and Austria’s Freedom Party.3 Whispering campaigns, conducted in the world’s financial capitalsâ€"especially Frankfurt and the City of Londonâ€"hint at the dire things that will happen if sanctions against Russia are not lifted. In an article recently published by The Interpreter, an online publication dedicated to exposing Kremlin disinformation, the journalists Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss argue that since at least 2008 Kremlin military and intelligence thinkers have been talking about information not in the familiar terms of “persuasion,” “public diplomacy” or even “propaganda,” but in weaponized terms, as a tool to confuse, blackmail, demoralize, subvert and paralyze.4 This is not a system, in other words, that has come about spontaneously, in reaction to events on Kiev’s Maidan, although to those who haven’t followed the evolution of Russian politics over the past twenty yearsâ€"or to those who have followed only the narrative of “failed reforms”â€"it might perhaps appear that way. Indeed, in the months since Putin’s invasion of Crimea, it has become fashionable to suggest that the harder-line face that Putin has more recently shown to the world is somehow, once again, the West’s “fault,” that we have provoked Russia into autocratic behavior through our talk of democracy in Ukraine or thatâ€"once againâ€"the “reform process” was somehow brought to a halt because the Russians felt threatened by the expansion of NATO or by Western policy in the Balkans. But after reading Dawisha’s book, and after absorbing the implications of the stories she has so carefully pulled together from so many sources, it is simply not possible to take this argument seriously. Since 2000, Russia has been ruled by a revanchist, revisionist elite with origins in the old KGB. This elite had been working its way back to power since the late 1980s, using theft on a grand scale, taking advantage of the secrecy provided by Western offshore havens, and cooperating with organized crime. Once in power, the new elite sought to maintain control using the same methods that the KGB always used to maintain control: through the manipulation of public emotion, and by undermining the institutions of the West, and the ideals of the West, in any way that it can. Based on its record so far, it has every reason to expect continued success. Applebaum article on NYRB My article about the AVISMA scam on 100Reporters. The assertions were vetted by 100Reporters’ pro bono law firm, Arnold & Porter. The same article on The Komisar Scoop, with more links to documents.   Remain updated regarding the newest change of the disaster within Ukraine by means of subscribing to our RSS supply or to our Twitter feed @therussophile. Get the latest updates on the problem in Ukraine by following me on Twitter (@therussophile) and via registering for the RSS-feed of therussophile. Source: The Russophile's

Gangster Time

One of the things that Putin's regime accomplished was a significant reduction in the amount of random street violence.

How The Russian Liberals Became “The Fifth Column”

The liberals in Russia are deserved casualties of the crisis in Ukraine. Their numbers are dwindling and only the most “hard-core” remains loyal to their orientation to the West. They have also got a new stamp as “the Fifth Column”. I have noticed the liberal exodus among many of my friends and it is confirmed in […]

Important clarifications about the new blog

Dear friends,New blog presentation format: A lot of you have emailed me to tell me that they don't like the "thematic" presentation used for the new blog and that you prefer a regular "chronological" one.  That is very simple to address:If you prefer the "thematic" one use this link: http://thesaker.is/If you prefer the "chronological" one use this link: http://thesaker.is/blog/ I think that with time you will see that having a choice of both is actually very helpful.  The thematic mode makes it far easier to research a topic while the second one makes it far easier to get the latest news.  I think that this flexibility is a huge improvement over the rigid "chronological only" format.Delay between posts on the old and new blog:Some have noticed that post appear hear before they appear on the new blog.  Correct.  I am learning the various options offered by WordPress and my webmaster helps me in the process.  So especially in the beginning, there will be a time lag between here (blogger is very simple to use, but also have very little functionality) and there (WordPress is extremely powerful but take a little bit of time to learn).Moderation on the new blog:Finally, moderation should improve massively.  I remind you that my moderation policy is spelled out here: http://thesaker.is/moderation-policy/And just to clarify - my moderators (there are 10 of them) have a sole function to allow comments which are clearly in compliance with that policy.  However, they do not delete the others, but leave them to me to make the final decision.  In other words, don't blame them from not allowing a comment, if that happens - blame me.The good news is that your comments should get posted much faster.  Also, there will be no software-controlled moderation and no obligation to sign up.Comments:Please do not post comments on this blog but only on the new one.  And please DO let us know what you like and dislike about the new blog by posting our opinions under this article's comments section:http://thesaker.is/the-new-saker-blog-v3-is-now-ready/That's it for now.I hope to have a Ukraine SITREP ready in a few hours.Cheers and hugs,The Saker

Ukraine SITREP May 11th, by Duff

DONBASS Mariupol front heavy fighting, artillery and tanks From about midnight last night, 10th of May, the situation on the southern front escalated to the maximum. In Mariupol situation.is tense. ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Expropriation of Rural Communities in Mozambique. International Agribusiness and the Struggle for Control of Land and Water

More than half a million people living in communities along the banks of the Lúrio River in northern Mozambique will be severely affected if the country’s Council of Ministers approves the Lúrio River Valley Development Project (DVRL) in the controversial …

Happy Birthday Donbass!

Just a short â€" but dramatic â€" year ago the people of the Donbass voted in a referendum to create the People's Republic of Donetsk (DNR). They naively hoped that ...read more Source: The Russophile's

NEO â€" Eurasian Economic Union and its New Currency

Jim W. Dean..."Vladimir Platov gives us a good overview of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) countries efforts to protect themselves from US sanction threats."

Yemen Rebels Announce Support for Saudi Cease

The Houthi rebels and allied armed forces in Yemen announced Sunday they were prepared to back a proposed cease-fire to begin Tuesday evening, even as jet fighters from the US-backed coalition headed by Saudi Arabia continued to carry out air…

What the Chinese people think of Russia

This short New China TV video really put me in a good mood :-) ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Nemtsov murder: Putin warned about exactly this type of "false flag" two years ago

Already in February 2012 (two years ago!) Putin was warning Russians about exactly the kind of false flag which we just saw happening with the murder of Nemtsov.  See for yourself:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69Qwju5nJ-w?rel=0]Note: the Russian word "provocatsiia" is often translated as "provocation" which is not incorrect as long as you are aware that in Russian "provocation" can mean "false flag", as it does in this context.  Putin is clearly warning about a false flag "sacrifice". This video was emergency-translated by one of our "brother in arms", Tatzhit, to whom I am most grateful for this ultra-rapid translation.As for the "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition it has already announced that it will convert the planned protest into a memorial rally.We will keep you posted.The SakerSaker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/ 

Confirmed: US “Operation Rooms” Backing Al Qaeda in Syria

US policy think-tank Brookings Institution confirms that contrary to propaganda, US-Saudi “moderates” and Turkey-Qatar “Islamists” have been coordinating all along.  The war in Syria continues to drag on, with a recent and renewed vigor demonstrated behind an opposition long portrayed…

JIM ROGERS Russia and China About To Announce The End Of The US Dollar Era

‘West still treats Africa as former vassals’ â€Â" South Africa’s Zuma to RT Western “colonial” states are not interested in S. Africa’s development, but rather want to take its natural resources and never give anything back, Jacob Zuma, S. African president, told RT. It’s China’s investment that Zuma sees as a way to prosperity.Read Full […] Source: The Russophile's

Polish Presidential Election Expresses Growing Hostility Towards Russia â€" Markus Salzmann

This article originally appeared at World Socialist Web Site The first round of Poland's presidential election takes place tomorrow. The favourite is the incumbent, Brunoslav Komorovski from the conservative Citizens' Platform (PO), which is also the party of Prime Minister Eva Kopacz. His most significant challenger is Andrzej Duda from the nationalist and populist Law and Justice Party (PiS). ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Ukraine and pro

- Ukraine & pro-Russia forces have agreed to stop fighting across the eastern conflict zone on December 9 under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire.

Snipers On the Kremlin Roofs

... ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Sputnik About Carl Bildt’s “Handlers” â€" The Brzezinski Family

The recently launched Russian news provider, Sputnik, gives, in the article by Daniel Zubov cited below, an interesting review of the Brzezinski Family and their influence on Americas foreign policy. The connection to Sweden through the American Ambassador there, Mark Brzezinski, helps to explain the special role Carl Bildt and the Swedish Foreign Ministry played in the […]

Ukraine SITREP Feb 24th 2015

The withdrawal of heavy weapons and M2A: The situation on the line of contact is generally calm. The Novorussian forces are withdrawing their heavy weapons according to schedule while the junta forces are, by most reports, not or, not much. The excuse for these delays is that "the necessary conditions have not been created". In reality, the problem is that Poroshenko has very little control over the various armed forces. Apparently, the regular armed forces do more or less obey him, and since these are the most heavily armed, there is some hope that they will eventually withdraw. The various death-squads (volunteer battalions, internal forces, etc.) will probably resist as much as possible, but since they don't have much heavy firepower, that is probably not a major obstacle right now.There is also a very real possibility that Poroshenko himself might be preventing that withdrawal. The problem is not in the withdrawal of heavy guns by itself (the junta knows that the Novorussians will not attack) but that after completing this point of the Minsk 2 Agreement (M2A) the junta will have to go down the list and that is simply something the Nazis in Kiev cannot do. My guess is that all this talk about sending in peacekeepers has exactly the same rationale: to stop the implementation of M2A in a way that could not be blamed on Kiev. Clearly, M2A has delivered a crushing blow to the stance of the junta by forcing it to do something it cannot do: negotiate and work with the Novorussian resistance. I have no doubt that Poroshenko wants to break out of M2A, but his problem is how to do it without taking the blame for it. Hence the foot-dragging with an otherwise rather straightforward withdrawal and all that talk about peacekeepers.US weapons to the Ukraine or Russian weapons to Iran? The US is still determined to send more weapons to the Ukraine, even in direct violation of the spirit, if not the letter, of M2A. Russia is getting increasingly fed-up with that kind of attitude and Russian officials are now discussing selling the top-of-the-line Antey-2500 missile to Iran. This missile is arguable the most advanced air defense system on the planet and if the Russians really sell that to Iran the US and Israel will be absolutely sick with rage and frustration.By the way, I was informed that there is a petition on the Internet trying to stop US weapons deliveries to the junta. If you can, please sign it here:http://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/no-weapons-to-ukraineSigns of destabilization in Baderastan The regime of Poroshenko is clearly in a very difficult situation. Roughly speaking, Poroshenko & Co represent the interests of oligarchs masquerading as Nazis while his opposition is the real thing - bona fide Nazi crackpots who feel that their "revolution of dignity" was stolen from them, that the new regime is every bit as corrupt as the old one, and far more incompetent. They are right, of course. So now more and more of these "grassroots Nazis" are threatening Poroshenko with a Third Maidan or even a revolution.Check out this Right Sector site: http://pravyysektor.info/slider/25-02-2015-marsh-pravdy-marsh-pravyh/Here is my translation of this text:A year ago, they came to power in our blood. The blood of patriots. During this year they gave up the interests of Ukraine and betrayed the idea of the Ukrainian nation. They promised to fight corruption. They promised lustration. They made us poor. They destroyed belief in justice. They killed the truth. We remember the never investigated murders of hundreds of Maidan. We remember the murder of Sasha Belyi. We remember the shameful surrender Crimea. We remember Saur-Mogila, Ilovaiisk, the Donetsk airport, Debaltsevo. The perpetrators have not been punished. It's time to hold them to account!And just to make sure that the message gets through, here is the poster illustrating it:Right Sector posterThe text says:March of the Truth March of the Right The Maidan did not fight for a regime of traitors It is time to hold them to account And it is signed by the Right Sector and the organization Trezub of S. Bandera (even crazier crazies than the regular crazies).Now, it is true that by most accounts the USA has a tight control over the hardcore Nazi crazies in the Ukraine (via leaders like Iarosh) but I am beginning to detect this very old pattern of the puppet breaking lose from the puppeteer which we have all seen in Afghanistan, in Libya and Syria. I would argue that the neo-Nazis crazies in the Ukraine are very similar to the Takfiri freaks of ISIS or the so-called "Syrian opposition". The chances of that kind of hate-filled ideology slipping out of the control of those who fostered it (the USA) is very high.What about our NATO friends?  Sir Adrian BradshawNATO has been keeping busy. In fact, according to "British Commander Land Forces Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Bradshaw" NATO is preparing to repel a Russian invasion. In his own words Russian expansionist ambitions could quickly become “an obvious existential threat to our whole being”.Apparently, the British feel that the Baltic States and Poland have greatly surpassed the UK in hysterical russophobia and fear-mongering and that now is the time to catch up with them with even more terrifying statements. What is sure is that Sir Adrian sure look extremely worried on his official picture...Last but not least - the OSCE The OSCE has taken notice with grave concern at the de-accreditation of over 100 Russian media sources in the Ukraine. But not because this might be a violation of free speech or journalism, no, but because, I kid you not, the OSCE is concerned that as a result of this de-accreditation "the Russian audience might be deprived from balanced reporting form the Ukraine"!!! The OSCE also added that the organization "understands that national security reasons" behind the Ukrainian decision.Yet again, all I can say is that I fully agree with V. Nuland.The Saker

Jeb Bush Admits He Would Have Invaded Iraq Based On Lies Just Like His Brother George W.

By Colin Taylor In this clip from the Kelly File, Jeb Bush declares that he still would have invaded Iraq based on the “faulty intelligence” that was available at the time, and that he would still have done it knowing…

NEO â€" Putin Pipeline Moves and European Union stupidity

- South Stream is dead It was the $45 billion project to deliver Russian natural gas via underwater pipeline through the Black Sea to Bulgaria & on to other Balkan & southern European markets.

Short message for some commentators

I would like the following commentators to email me:Seamus Padraigelsieimar clarkPlease email me at vineyardsaker@gmail.comThanks!The Saker

How to denazify the Nazis?

by Rostisalv Ishchenko http://actualcomment.ru/kak-nam-obustroit-natsistov.html Translated by S I hope that at present those, who thought that Ukrainian civil war would continue for years and even for decades, clearly see that the Kiev regime and the government of Ukraine will fall within several months, at the worst â€" in about a year. The war goes on, because the Kiev leadership, using habitual submissive inertia of the population and relying on wreckage of the state machinery, brutal force and the acknowledged central authority status, has an opportunity to accumulate the remaining recourses (equipment, people, money) and thrust them into the furnace of war. If there is no at least nominally legitimate authority in Kiev, the army won’t fight, the Ministry of Internal Affairs will subject itself to the local authorities, and every Nazi gang refashioned into “volunteer battalion” will take orders from its führer and fight each other about loot. Also they, already far from being an organized military force, will plunder and commit atrocities in particular regions. The Liberation army is capable to restore some order comparatively swiftly. It’s also possible to ensure the inhabitants’ minimum persistence (particularly with Russian support). But once the Nazi government, Nazi army and major Nazi gangs are gone, the society will still adhere to Nazi ideology, so ingrained in the heads of at least half of the population. Meanwhile there will be a lot of weaponry. It’s easy to annihilate the hundred-men-gangs that drive tanks and APCs. It’s not hard to smash tens of hundreds of such gangs. But it is impossible to disarm the entire 40-million population. Hence the record of the first crop of Banderites has been not only well-remembered, but heroized by Nazi propaganda, the hiding Nazis, having almost unlimited number of weapons, might start terrorizing people in the freed territories. Chasing the officials, followers and activists of a new authority, sabotaging and organizing diversions by hiding Nazis can become a greater and, above all, longer-lasting problem than the very military action. Military-police methods of struggle with ideology-driven underground result efficient only over a long period and if the recourses of the hiding Nazis are limited. In a country with 2 million “civilians” who might be in sympathy with fascists it’s impossible to root out such kind of underground movement. This underground, as the Lernaean Hydra, will grow new heads for each head cut off, despite alteration of generations. Its activities can be limited and made almost invisible, but not crushed to the full extent. It will wait for its finest hour for decades as the Banderites did between 1945 and 2014. It’s possible to put an end to active banderism and to underground Nazi resistance only if masses cease favoring the Nazi ideology. There are not so many committed Nazis in Ukraine â€" up to several tens of thousands. Many have died and many will die on the civil war front. Many of them will be killed in the midst of the obliteration of armed gangs into which Ukrainian army is about to disintegrate. The hundreds of Nazis, who hold political posts or actively participate in propaganda activities, have already fallen under penal articles. If lived through, they will be jailed for long or forever. It’s impossible to imprison or kill off the millions. Better said, technically, yes, it’s possible, but moral, material and political costs will be too high, and the result won’t justify those costs. That’s why the millions, who rejoiced at the “fried Colorado beetles” news through social media and demanded to annihilate the Donbass’ cities along with their populations (because in their opinion, “there are no civilians”), risk nothing: although their actions are amoral, however they lack the elements of crime. At the same time, those millions by moral support for Nazis (who are considered absent in Ukraine) prepare the nutrient medium the Nazi underground movement melts into. And in such a way it gets to be uncatchable and extremely enduring. They, the millions, of course will accept a new ideology and will reason basing on TV news. But it won’t prevent them from being faithful to “European dream”, which has been stolen from them by Donbass people. The war will always dwell with war participants; they always deem themselves heroes. Mutilated soldiers, whose number totals to thousands and keeps growing, won’t tell their children that they lost limbs, having stupidly let drag themselves into fight for the wrong. They will talk nonsense about “European dream”, hordes of “Donbass terrorists” and quintillions of regular troops of the Russian Federation, against whom only a few fighters (“cyborgs”, “Kruty heroes”, “the 300 Spartans”) stood. Marginal revanchism is a Nazi medium. While telling their children and grandchildren about merits beyond the call of duty, the most ordinary victims of 4 waves of mobilization, who are nowhere near the Nazi ideology, will impress the feeling of marginality (enmity toward state and society) upon their minds. They will also inculcate a desire to repeat “exploit” of the fathers and grandfathers and to “free” the non-vindicated Motherland in young generation. This unobservable influence of family legends has not let the Ukrainizers oppress the Russian spirit in Ukraine within 3 post-soviet decades. But the same unnoted influence of family legends had allowed the Banderites to survive 70 years and show up at the beginning of the 21st century. It’s able to maintain the Ukrainian neo-Nazis’ ideas for entire decades and provide the grounds for hiding Nazis. One can’t catch / jail / shoot all of them, given that those will seem to be alike, to be living next to you since ages, speaking the same language. The only way to rapidly eradicate the Nazism or any other ideology is to make it unpopular with the society and to bring the carriers of this ideology out as uptight misfits who are bound to fail and rust. Actually the communist ideology was being wiped out exactly in this way since dissolution of the Soviet Union. As a result, the surveys done in all former soviet states show that, regarding matters of their concern, the most population sympathize with left wing’s agenda. Nevertheless, the general population vote for the right wing, because it’s sort of obscene to support the leftists. So, we’re familiar with technology. Moreover, we know who the main target audience is: the youngsters. As the members of Ukrainian hitlerjugend aged 14 and older are unlikely to get reeducated easily, younger children and teenagers, especially kids aged 10 and less, will strongly depend on created social environment. When implementing more or less appropriate propagandistic activities, it’ll be possible for no parent to reveal to a child that he or she was killing children in Donetsk, that he or she was destroying the country by inflicting hunger, unemployment and disorder on sorely trouble-free state. It was shameful to have a Nazi past in postwar Germany and Italy, i.e. after 1945. The anti-Nazi sentiment in those countries is one of the strongest. E.g. Germany even doesn’t let itself to publicly support neo-Nazism, as opposed to what Poland takes the liberty to do. The Polish ended up among victims of aggression circumstantially, they didn’t have to get denazified. They weren’t ashamed. The first task is to give the society a moral reference point, to show it the seamy side of the today’s Kiev regime, so that no sane human being could admit that he or she voluntarily supports it. There is the second task, and the German also completed it. It suddenly turned out that there were no Nazis in the country that supported Hitler even after his death and was brought to senses only owing to decisive defeat of its armed forces and total occupation of its land. I mean, somebody perished in battles, somebody was executed, somebody was imprisoned, somebody managed to get away, but the rest happened to be anti-fascists… millions, tens of millions of anti-fascists, secret “regime busters”. German people experienced such a huge cultural shock that they (being of sound mind) could not avow that they had supported the Nazi regime. They persuaded themselves that, though silently, inwardly, they fought against Nazism. It turned out that even the millions of frontline soldiers “defended not Hitler, but Germany”. It’s indispensable to let Ukrainian Nazi fellows, accomplices to the coup d’état, social media “fighters” feel themselves the regime’s opponents. They will find a pretext on their own. If an “anti-terrorist ops veteran” tells his grandchild that he lost hand defending the Donbass from Nazi horde or that he sustained burns not in a tank which was set afire when assaulting Slavyansk, but in a line of weaponless “Berkut” special forces who held back heavily armed militants, no doubt it won’t be fair with regard to retaliation matter (at least to moral condemnation), but farsighted as for denazification of the society. Person, telling to her or his son about how he or she fought against Nazis, will never be able to advocate the Nazism again. It’s possible to make it through whatever public disapproval. It’s impossible to get over the reproof of one’s own offspring, children and grandchildren. The carrying out of a death sentence of Makarova Antonina M. (alias â€" Ton’ka The Machine gun shooter) took place in 1979. She collaborated with Nazi Germans in so called “Lokot Republic” in Bryansk region. In 1942 the woman shot dead more than 1500 people. Antonina raised 2 daughters to be true soviet citizens who hated Nazis and Nazi collaborators. The girls were staggered, having got to learn that in fact their mom was not an honored soviet trench fighter, but collaborator and Nazi butcher. Mrs Makarova worked hard in a postwar time; her photos did not leave the honor board. And it is not only her case. Many collaborators, traitors became all-right soviet citizens, best workers. Exactly this played badly for them. The witnesses of their crimes recognized them precisely by the honor board photos, newspaper images, etc. It’s impossible to show a false face for decades. The majority of those people just psychologically replaced real biography by made-up one. All men are liable to invent explanations for their wrongdoings, and those explanations even justify and prove the misdeeds to be necessary. Dirty tricks are misrepresented as heroism. The person starts believing the invented version. This process goes faster in mass conscience. Already in 2005 more than a half of Kiev inhabitants who participated in the 1st Maidan asserted that they walked out to the streets not to support Yuschenko, that Yuschenko betrayed them, that “orange” politicians were all scum, that they would never come to protest on Maidan. However, in 2013 those people again went to Maidan. All the top brass of Ukraine elite, with rare exception, is former members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (like Kravchuk and Kuchma who held senior positions in the party) or Komsomol (Young Communist League) leaders (like Turchinov). The most important is that, if those wake up tomorrow morning and find out that the Soviet Union has been miraculously revived, the first thing they’ll do is to take off to a district committee of the party and demand to reissue their party membership cards. I’d like to point out once more that only certain, utmost lame (generally, psychologically insane) people can do evil and be proud of it. The most people find themselves on the dark side because of their own spinelessness and they forget about it with relish, if the society lets them forget. That’s why it seems necessary to combine the following measures: - severe punishment for leaders and organizers of the coup d’état, as well as for blatant war criminals and sadists (I think, it’s rather okay to postpone the restoration of regular justice system in the liberated territories for several weeks, so that people manage to impose their own sentence on criminals, if they will); - pitiless execution of Nazis and thugs who refuse to lay down arms after Ukrainian military and governmental institutions collapse; - intensive anti-Nazi propaganda while exposing all the horrors of Nazis’ crimes (without fear to go too far with that and not getting distracted from it by trending topics as time goes on); - consigning to oblivion the behavior pattern of many cannon fodder guys and “volunteers” of the dictatorship, so giving them an opportunity to forget their past and raise kids right. Of course, it’d be great to apply the methods of the USSR that forgave neither those who had joined punitive squads or auxiliary policy, nor those who had verbally favored German occupation (it did not matter whether in printed words or by word of mouth). The French took more drastic measures. They hung ordinary city officials, who served in the Vichy government (by the way, this government was totally legal and it acted in conformity with the Constitution and laws of France). But neither USSR, nor France faced up to civil war (when a half of population fights against another one). Civil war ends in victory of one or another party. There is no doubt that we’ll win. Nevertheless, the other party won’t vanish. It’s impossible to eliminate it. Since civil war got started, it is clear that every side is supported by remarkable percentage of citizens (up to a half), otherwise the majority would suppress the minority. Here you have the slaughter of minorities in Rwanda ([1994 genocide] stopped due to arrival of peacekeepers) and Cambodia ([1975-1979 genocide] ended following the Vietnamese invasion). It is not acceptable for Europe (by the way, those massacres in Africa and Asia settled not a single matter, while people who initiated and led them got killed in a short time). Therefore, in any case we have to come to an agreement. Then the agreement can’t be a halfway one. There can be no ideological compromise with Nazism. So, the Nazi mob, which presently considers that Ukraine stays clean from Nazism, once we’ve won, firstly must get convinced that no, it doesn’t, and secondly that it was fighting the Nazism on its own whenever and wherever possible. Otherwise this war will cast a shadow over decades. Even to the third generation, the revanchists will be ready to take advantage of whatever problems of ours in order to revenge. If you can’t kill the carrier of ideology, kill the ideology. It’s difficult, but the only thing to do. Rostislav Ischenko, president of the Centre for System Analysis and Forecast, exclusively for the “Timely comments”

Europe’s Border Policy is Designed to Push Refugees into the Sea

Shortly before a huge migrant boat disaster early this month, The Sun, a daily paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, published a column by British TV star and rightwing provocateur Katie Hopkins calling migrants “cockroaches” and “a plague of feral humans.” …

Mark Slebodas Unbeatable Description Of The Mindset In The US State Department

Ukraine and pro – Ukraine & pro-Russia forces have agreed to stop fighting across the eastern conflict zone on December 9 under the terms of a Kremlin-brokered ceasefire. European Union Advancing Plans for Military Response to Migration Crisis Coffins are carried through Brussels in protest at the EU’s cruel policies on migration April 23, 2015. […] Source: The Russophile's

Radio Liberty's 1980s Ukraine Commentary Was Given by Nazi Sympathizers

From: http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/radio-libertys-1980s-ukraine-commentary-was-given-nazi-sympathizers/ri6753 The hostility within Ukraine is really destabilizing the geopolitical position in the whole entire world. It is exposing the fear amid the european elite group in their campaigns to conquer the entire world while the us dollar continue to own a respect. The european conventional media furthers the international aristocracy in their pushes in order to get rid of Putin. Not since the pinnacle of the cold war has the black-painting of Russia and the head of state been this brazenly exposed. Merely a totally brainwashed or remote character may pass up to observe the fallacious plot directed from european rulers to the owners and editors connected with the corporate networks in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA together with Europe. I understand how problematic it is to see through the image of Russia as outlined by western journalists. The western propaganda works but only on those who are far from living the truth.This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Consortium News Radio Liberty does have a special history regarding Ukraine, including the use of Nazi sympathizers during the ramping up of the Cold War propaganda by Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s. In early 2014, when I was reviewing files at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, I stumbled onto an internal controversy over Radio Liberty’s broadcasts of commentaries into Ukraine from right-wing exiles. Some of those commentaries praised Ukrainian nationalists who sided with the Nazis in World War II as the SS pursued its “final solution” against European Jews, including the infamous Babi Yar massacre in a ravine outside Kiev. These RL propaganda broadcasts provoked outrage from some Jewish organizations, such as B’nai B’rith, and individuals including conservative academic Richard Pipes, prompting an internal review. According to a memo dated May 4, 1984, and written by James Critchlow, a research officer at the Board of International Broadcasting, which managed Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, one RL broadcast in particular was viewed as “defending Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the SS.” Critchlow wrote, “An RL Ukrainian broadcast of Feb. 12, 1984 contains references to the Nazi-oriented Ukrainian-manned SS ‘Galicia’ Division of World War II which may have damaged RL’s reputation with Soviet listeners. The memoirs of a German diplomat are quoted in a way that seems to constitute endorsement by RL of praise for Ukrainian volunteers in the SS division, which during its existence fought side by side with the Germans against the Red Army.” Harvard Professor Pipes, who was an adviser to the Reagan administration, also inveighed against the RL broadcasts, writing â€" on Dec. 3, 1984 â€" “the Russian and Ukrainian services of RL have been transmitting this year blatantly anti-Semitic material to the Soviet Union which may cause the whole enterprise irreparable harm.” Though the Reagan administration publicly defended RL against criticism, privately some senior officials agreed with the critics, according to the documents. For instance, in a Jan. 4, 1985, memo, Walter Raymond Jr., a top official on the National Security Council, told his boss, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, that “I would believe much of what Dick [Pipes] says is right.” That three-decade-old dispute over U.S.-sponsored radio broadcasts underscored the troubling political reality of Ukraine, which straddles a dividing line between people with cultural ties oriented toward the West and those with a cultural heritage more attuned to Russia. Since the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, some of the old Nazi sympathies have resurfaced. For instance, on May 2, 2014, when right-wing hooligans chased ethnic Russian protesters into the Trade Union Building in Odessa and then set it on fire killing scores of people inside, the burnt-out building was then defaced with pro-Nazi graffiti hailing “the Galician SS” spray-painted onto the charred walls. Later, some of Ukraine’s right-wing “volunteer” battalions sent to eastern Ukraine to crush the ethnic Russian resistance sported neo-Nazi and Nazi emblems, including Swastikas and SS markings on their helmets.  Keep refreshed regarding the latest progress of the debacle regarding Ukraine by means of patronizing our RSS feed or perhaps to our Twitter feed @therussophile. Grab the latest updates with regards to the predicament around Ukraine by following me on Twitter (@therussophile) and through signing up for the RSS-feed going from hhtp://www.therussophile.org. Source: The Russophile's

Police beating people protesting currency collapse in Kiev

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oxNcFW1tQA?rel=0]This is the note by Tatzhit Mihailovich under the YouTube video:Remember how under the "dictator" Yanukovich, the police didn't disperse the protesters but only repelled extremists advancing on Congress and President's Administration? Yeah, that is no longer the case.And how back then police didn't open fire even when the protesters burned a police armored car with Molotovs? Here, at 5:07 one can clearly hear them say several times: "touch us, and we will shoot to kill".Oh yeah, and the reason those people are protesting: under Yanukovich, dollar cost 8 hryvna. Now, it costs 34! Those people have dollar loans - if before paying back say $50 a month took a quarter of their salary, now it may be more than they earn.Meet the new boss, worse than the old boss?UPDATE (full story at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=e65_14... ) :This event is more interesting due to reaction to it, not the fact that police beat some protesters up. This far from the first time we see the new government being worse than "dictator" Yanukovich, starting with dispersing the original Maidan, mass arrests against Kharkov austerity rallies, clashes by the Rada, etc. This may be the first time the capital police do this to a non-violent crowd, but hardly something shocking.What's interesting is the reaction: the event is exploding over a lot of Ukrainian media and social networks, apparently. Some popular bloggers are claiming it may be a staged excuse to topple Poroshenko, much like the carefully planned "Christmas tree" clash ultimately toppled Yanukovich. Whether this is truly engineered, or the explosion of discontent is simply because common people and media alike smell the "blood in the water" (panic over the hryvna collapse just made the whole government hugely unpopular) is uncertain and may even turn out to be irrelevant - all that matters is what long-term fallout we will see. And this is already going way beyond a few hurt protesters and ruined tents...----------This is my secondary channel used for videos that may get copyright problems. Visit main channel athttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLpc...Main liveleak channel with Ukraine politics&war explained: http://www.liveleak.com/c/Tatzhit ---Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/

CrossTalk: Teetering Ukraine

...read more Source: The Russophile's

NEO â€" EU Declares War on Russia and Europe

- Is the EU going to force Putin to launch the counter-sanctions on all EU car, truck and bus imports by launching its latest sanctions against Russia?

Eurosatory â€" The Largest International Land and Air Land Defence and Security Exhibition

Eurosatory - the largest international land and air land defence and security exhibition was very interesting and informative.

Saudis Drop US

Costa Rica condemns Saudi Arabia’s dropping US-made cluster bombs on Yemen, in defiance of international law, including the Convention on Cluster Munitions that specifically outlaws the development, production, distribution, stockpiling, and use of cluster munitions, including the cluster bombs the…

NEO â€" True Heroes Behind the Kiev Ceasefire

- Jim W. Dean..."We need to make America's state sponsored terrorism a fall campaign issue on the Dems and Repubs doing the AIPAC Zombie walk on Ukraine."

Victory Day Mega Concert in Moscow

...read more Source: The Russophile's

NEO

- "Mr. Stachnio has a great review of the 650 Western color revolution NGOs operating in Russia that are funded with deficit spending US taxpayer dollars."

NEO â€" Japanese Sanctions against the Russian Federation

- The real threat is who is really running the show in the US and Europe. Is it the elected leaders, or those who are really behind who gets elected?

Special Report on the escalating situation in Macedonia

by “S.P.” Before, I write anything else, I would first call on you not to turn this into another “it's not Macedonia â€" it's FRYOM” thing. This feud about a ...read more Source: The Russophile's

DPR PM Zakharchenko presser 27/02/15 Economical and political future of DPR

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cwoeo8rOZw?rel=0]Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/

US Presidential Hopeful Ben Carson on Russia: I Would Not Rule out Military Force

This article originally appeared at The Guardian The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said on Sunday he would not rule out the use of military force against Russia, but added that it should be used only if the safety of the United States was clearly at risk. ...read more Source: The Russophile's

The new Saker blog (v3) is now ready.

Dear friends,An American saying says that "the third time is the charm". I hope that this is true, because I am officially announcing the "new new blog v3" is now online at the following URL:thesaker.isThis domain name was chosen by my webmaster who came up with this idea at the time when our community was attacked on all sides. It is also a clear reply to those who decided that they were with the "Charlies" and even "Charlies" themselves.Here is a note that Gevorg asked me to share with all of you:We have experienced some difficulties in the past month which left the new blog static until these matters could be sorted out. Some of the problems were related to technical issues like lost domain names or server re-configuration necessities. Others were related to personal matters and the separation of former supporters. It took us some time to overcome these stumbling blocks and to re-organize everything. It is still an ongoing process. But during this time we also found many new supporters and volunteers who have become part of our Saker team. They help us in maintaining and improving this international website project. There help is very valuable to us and I do express my gratitude towards those who are involved in this process. Some of you, dear visitors, have voiced concerns in your comments about the future of this blog, some even suggested to not pursue it any longer and again others may have had a laugh or two during the time of our troubles. It is for these reasons that I would like to post this comment before the following ones and kindly ask you to take notice of the following remark: On behalf of ... ... the Saker ... the international team leaders and their groups ... the translators and content providers ... the silent readers and the voiceful commenters ... the financial helpers and moral supporters ... the IT-specialists and administrators ... those who prefer to remain anonymous and those who don't ... those who choose to have a religion and those who don't ... those who agree with this blog and those who don't ... those who seek the truth and despise the lie ... I would like to add to a previous remark by stating ... We stood our ground! the Saker is Yours sincerely, Gevorg in Armenia Webmaster of The Vineyard of the Saker If the first new blog crashed for purely technical reasons, then the second one was deliberately sabotaged. But thanks to a fantastic group of volunteer IT-specialists the "New Blog v3" is now up again, and hopefully this time it will stay.  In fact, the this blog and the community around it is the result of the efforts of many people, probably close to 100, who quite literally all over the planet donate their time, skills and efforts to help with my blog, but also all the other Saker Community Blogs and I want to use this opportunity to extend to them all my most heartfelt and sincere gratitude for all they have done and are still doing.  Friends - thank you!!!Now I have a couple of things I want to explain and a few requestsFirst, I plan to double-post here (at http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/) and on the new blog (at http://thesaker.is/) and I will allow comments on both blogs for the next 2 weeks. Still, while I will not close down the comments section here, I ask you to please ONLY COMMENT ON THE NEW BLOG unless you *cannot* do that for some technical reason.Second, in two weeks I will shut down the comments here. The blog here (at http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/) will probably still be updated just to serve as a backup in case of disaster with the new blog, but that will be it's sole purpose.It is important to redirect as much comments and traffic to the new blog because we need to test if the server, the blog and the moderators can handle the traffic (last month the just the blog here had just under 1.8 million views including some days which had just over 84'000 visitors).Finally, one member of our community, the Rift, has made a beautiful video animation to encourage donations to this blog:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHYNDe4QaOU?rel=0] I hope that this short clip will encourage you all to help me in my struggle!Many thanks and kind regards,The SakerPS: you want to see if we make a difference?  Just google "maidan one year later" :-)

The Germanwings Crash: Claims of Co

According to the preliminary report by French authorities, Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz is said to have ‘rehearsed’ a controlled descent on the flight prior to the French Alps crash several times while alone in the cockpit. While this new detail…

Credit Rating Company Moody’s Changes Monsanto’s Investor Rating to “Negative”

Approximately $8 billion in debt securities are affecting a popular investor’s service decision about one of biotech’s biggest. Investing credit rating company Moody’s has affirmed that Monsanto’s new rating is being downgraded from ‘neutral’ to ‘negative’ following Syngenta’s announcement that…

President Putin’s Address to Russian Diplomats (in English)

President Putin is a man of his words. He writes his own speeches and their content tells you what he thinks about Russia and its relationship to other nations. That’s why it is well worth to pay attention to his words in this speech … Download (PDF, 197KB)

MSNBC Misrepresents Russian Paper, Won't Take Down Misleading Report

From: http://russia-insider.com/en/msnbcs-nowthis-refuses-take-down-misleading-report/ri6545 The friction in the Ukraine is without a doubt destabilizing the geopolitical situation of the whole entire world. It is exposing the misery among the westerly elite in their endeavours to subdue the whole world while the dollar continue to possess a value. The western primary media helps the aristocracy in their intentions in order to get rid of Putin. Not since the apex of the cold war was the black-painting of Russia and its president been so plainly disclosed. Merely an uninterested or totally brainwashed woman can ward off to understand the mendacious narrative prescribed from westerly leaders to the proprietors and writers connected with the company media in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA together with Europe. I understand how problematic it is to see through the image of Russia as outlined by western journalists. The western propaganda works but only on those who are far from living the truth.This video originally appeared at In The Now Facebook Page & YouTube Channel On-line outlet “NowThis” published a video report about how a Russian newspaper is spreading controversy about the Royal baby - which is a complete lie. In the Now contacted the outlet pointing out the mistake. They changed their Facebook description in response, but refused to take down their misleading video. All of this in light of a string of scandals involving NBC’s Brian Williams and Richard Engel who were caught lying about reports in Iraq and Syria. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YJCeW3YKu4]    MSNBC’s NowThis refuses to take down MISLEADING report. No surprise, given the amount of lie-related scandals connected to NBC #RoyalBaby #BrianWilliams #RichardEngel Posted by In the NOW on Tuesday, 5 May 2015   Keep updated about the recent progress of the problem around Ukraine through subscribing to our RSS channel or to our Twitter feed @therussophile. Get the most recent updates on the subject of the state of affairs within Ukraine by following me on Twitter (@therussophile) and by signing up for the RSS-feed for therussophile.org. Source: The Russophile's

Chinese President Xi On Russia’s Role in Crushing Fascism

original source: http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/translation-xi-jinping-remember-history-open-future/ri6665 Translation and forword by Anatolii Karlin Xi Jinping penned an op-ed in a Russian newspaper on May 6th in which, in stark contrast to the typical Western ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Capitalism And Communism â€" Two Sides Of The Same Coin

The Cold War, which ended in 1991, was an economic war between two ideologies: Capitalism and Communism. The problems we see in the world today is that rulers in “The West” believe that they won the Cold War. The western elite claim that it was a victory of capitalism over communism which gives them an unabridged right to […]

European Powers Seek to Bomb Libya to Stop Migrants

The European Union is preparing to bomb targets in Libya to stop migrants from attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea in small boats. EU foreign policy coordinator Federica Mogherini is to brief the United Nations Security Council Monday on plans…

38 Miles from NewYork City: Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant: A Ticking Time Bomb?

Indian Point is located on or near three earthquake faults. Officially, the facility is built to withstand a 6.1 magnitude event. Seismologists predict an eventual major earthquake far more powerful than Indian Point can tolerate. Millions of New York City and state residents are at risk.

NATO Puppets Plan to Invade Syria … Soon

Reports are now filtering in that preparations for a direct military assault on Syria are being made by Turkey in concert with the Saudis and Qataris. These reports are suggesting that the military offensive will take place within the next…

The Reasons Why Russia Will Not Invade Ukraine

Russia will not invade Ukraine and here are the reasons. A lot of energy is right now spend on trying to get Russia more involved with the civil war in Ukraine. The New World Order cabal wants it because they want NATO to get a reason to come to the defense of the new government they […]

Sputnik About Carl Bildt’s “Handlers” â€" The Brzezinski Family

The recently launched Russian news provider, Sputnik, gives, in the article by Daniel Zubov cited below, an interesting review of the Brzezinski Family and their influence on Americas foreign policy. The connection to Sweden through the American Ambassador there, Mark Brzezinski, helps to explain the special role Carl Bildt and the Swedish Foreign Ministry played in the […]

2015 V

Today is truly a historical day. For the first time ever, the West has boycotted the Victory Day Parade in Moscow and, also for the first time ever, Chinese forces have marched on the Beautiful Square, (“Red” square is a mistranslation â€" the “Red Square” ought be called the “Beautiful Square”) with the Russians. I believe that this is a profoundly symbolic shift and one which makes perfectly good sense. The past ...read more Source: The Russophile's

NEO â€" China’s Global Political Shift

Jim W. Dean..."The continuing economic fratricide in the West has caused China to look for more stable long term partners among its neighbors. Peking seems to have chosen them all."

Kathmandu in the Wake of the Earthquake: Three women in search of Muna’s Houseâ€"a Nepal guide to Gongabu

There’s a patch of Nepal I’d never seen before–it’s called Buspark or Gongabu, (“cock-field”). Since there’s no guidebook availableâ€"I found it by chance in my search for Muna’s mother. She’s the woman left alone and brokenhearted when her daughter, Muna…

The Prison Gates Swing Open for US Peace Activists

Kathy Kelly is just out of prison, where she’d been sent for nonviolently opposing drone murders. An appeals court has just overturned convictions for Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Gregory Boertje-Obed, imprisoned for entering and protesting a nuclear weapons site…

24.02.2015 Ukrainian crisis news. War in Ukraine, Donbass, Kiev, Crimea, Europe, Russia, USA

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxBeUuMZ2Y0?rel=0]

25.02.2015 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Donbass, ISIS, NATO, USA, Russia

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qU7SUTt0BGo?rel=0]

NEO â€" Are the Ukraine talks a NATO ploy?

- "Censored from Western media is the fact that the 'special status' for the New Republics recently passed by Kiev has a six month expiration date "

Motorola & Givi awarded with Golden Stars of Heroes of DPR

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeS2tfaMy4Q?rel=0]

M. Khazin, “Relevant notes on Greece”

Source: http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1819611 Translated by Mikhael A brief overview of post-election situation in Greece. This is a translation of the Russian version, there is also a published Greek translation There is a new government in Greece. A left-wing government that has a rather complicated relationship with the “sacred right of private ownership”, particularly when it comes to Greek sovereign debt. In other words, it is leaning towards triggering a full blown debt crisis in the EU (and possibly impacting the entire world). But, as we have been taught back in 2008, a crisis doesn’t just bring problems, it also unveils new opportunities. That’s why it is important to have a more in-depth understanding of Greek politics, in particular to be able to recognize who will benefit from these new opportunities. To be able to analyze the situation correctly, it is necessary to explain one very important point crucial to understanding the events that are unfolding in the EU today. Debt accumulation was a “reaganomics” instrument used to stimulate consumer demand, first in the USA and then, starting in 1981, across the entire world. In particular, by year 2008, the average household debt in the USA increased more than twofold when compared to 1980 (from 60-65% of available income to over 130%). The situation is a little better in the EU, but in Europe state budgets were used to stimulate consumer demand, resulting in higher national debts. The USA is quickly catching up in that department. These debts were serviced using refinancing, supported by gradual decrease in borrowing costs (the minimum interest rate set by the Federal Reserve has gone from 19% in 1980 to just about 0% in 2008). Today it is impossible to repay these debts even with zero percent interest rate on refinancing without sharply declining the standard of living for general population. A twofold decline in the EU and the USA would be necessary. But that is unacceptable, which means that these debts need to be somehow liquidated. Either written off or dealt with at the cost of high inflation rates. I will say this once again: it is impossible to pay off the debt that has been accumulated within the world economy, it simply does not generate financial flows on a scale required for this task. For example, the real average wage in the USA has not changed since 1950’s. All the increased spending happens at the cost of increased household and national debt, and declining savings. This problem must be solved, or it will resolve on its own â€" through a major economic crisis. And this problem is already being dealt with. The first experiment was the restructuring of banks in Cyprus. It tested depositors’ reaction to the banks’ refusal to return their funds (or, rather, part of the funds). The experiment was a success â€" disgruntled depositors have not been able to win a single court case so far. It is possible that some of them were able to settle their claims informally, but such information is not openly available. However, there is also the problem of national debt, which, in many ways, is a lot more complex as it is no longer about disgruntled ordinary households who can’t really hold the banks responsible, but instead it is going to affect major banks and financial institutions. For this very reason, any actions related to national debt need to be thoroughly planned and tested to avoid any risk. And this is where it would be fitting to recall a phrase from an old comedy: “the most dangerous experiments involve the least valuable members of the crew”. Note this â€" when Haider got into Austrian government, Austria was ostracized in EU. A similar reaction could be observed when Jean-Marie Le Pen took part in the final round of presidential elections in France. These were classic right-wing politicians who would be considered mainstream in 1950’s. What about now? Left-wing party wins elections in Greece (with right-wing joining the ruling coalition), but we see no reaction from the EU political establishment, they are silent. There is also another interesting circumstance. World debt accumulation was made possible by US dollar emission. This emission was supposed to be backed up by new assets, but, since 1990’s, when all former Soviet assets were finally “digested”, nothing new of any considerable value emerged in the world. Therefore, the usual mechanisms of redistribution of the emitted currency no longer work â€" this is another aspect of falling household incomes in most countries across the world. This brings us to an important question: how can the US be forced to share with the rest of the world? “Old” elites, who benefited from emission income redistribution for many years, cannot do it â€" this must be done by new political figures who are currently part of opposition elites. There are minor exceptions such as Hungary. This small (for now?) country in Eastern Europe openly used blackmail when it gave its government control over the central bank. This decision was later revoked, but it is nearly impossible to get the full details of the deal through media resources. Greece has now become the second country in the EU where opposition elites came to power. I suspect that this particular country will be “the least valuable member of the crew” which will be used to test mechanisms for writing off national debt. Hungary would not be a good choice for this â€" the government has too much support and its position looks pretty solid. It would be very hard for the EU to force its policies in Hungary. Let’s reiterate the main point: there is a very high probability that EU leadership wants to use Greece as a “guinea pig” to test national debt write off mechanisms. Greece will get all the “cuts and bruises”, while the rest of the EU will get invaluable experience in minimizing negative consequences of an operation that will eventually have to take place in every country across the world. The main objective of the new Greek government is to get the highest possible compensation for participating in this “experiment”. I will not be giving advices to the new Greek government â€" forewarned is forearmed. Especially considering that I do not specialize in politics, I am an economist. But it is necessary to take into account certain developments which might end up being very important. First of all â€" since opposition elites in the EU will be gaining more and more strength, there is no need to be worried about serious, on the edge of blackmail, confrontation scenarios. They will find their way into world politics one way or another, if not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow. Secondly, it is important to understand that the EU (and the world) does not care about Greek national debt, it just needs to test new mechanisms. And after this task is accomplished, the reaction to future attempts to write off or restructure national debt might be a lot tougher. That’s why the solution must be found on the largest possible scale, no need to run small-scale experiments. Thirdly, EU leadership will try to control the situation by applying pressure on the government “from below”. In other words â€" various social protests will be organized whenever it will appear that the new Greek government is not “behaving”. And it must be ready for such developments. Fourthly, there is just not that much time left. Various market indicators are suggesting that US markets have reached critical points in terms of overheating and a considerable correction is imminent. And if it begins, mostly likely there will no longer be enough time for complex operations. In conclusion, it can be noted that the new Greek government has some very interesting political tools that doubtfulness should be used to improve the economic situation in the country. But they should be used with utmost caution to get maximum benefits and avoid potential dangers. * * * The article was translated into Greek: http://gr.rbth.com/international/2015/02/11/symboyli_pro_ellada_poyliste_to_tomari_sa_akriba_35303.html-----Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/ 

New blog: request for comments

Dear friends,I just want to invite you to share your comments about the new blog not here, but at the announcement post on the NEW blog.  That way our IT specialist can track what is requested instead of going through all comments everywhere.Many thanks,The Saker

War Threat Rises As US Economy Declines

The defining events of our time are the collapse of the Soviet Union, 9/11, jobs offshoring, and financial deregulation. In these events we find the basis of our foreign policy problems and our economic problems. The United States has always…

Three fronts for Russia: How Washington will fan the flames of chaos in Central Asia

by Ivan Lizan for OdnakoSource: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/tri-fronta-dlya-rossii-kak-vashington-razduet-plamya-haosa-v-sredney-azii/ Translated by Robin U.S. Gen. “Ben” Hodges’ statement that within four or five years Russia could develop the capability to wage war simultaneously on three fronts is not only an acknowledgment of the Russian Federation’s growing military potential but also a promise that Washington will obligingly ensure that all three fronts are right on the borders of the Russian Federation. In the context of China’s inevitable rise and the soon-to-worsen financial crisis, with the concomitant bursting of asset bubbles, the only way for the United States to maintain its global hegemony is to weaken its opponents. And the only way to achieve that goal is to trigger chaos in the republics bordering Russia. That is why Russia will inevitably enter a period of conflicts and crises on its borders. And so the first front in fact already exists in the Ukraine, the second will most likely be between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, and the third, of course, will be opened in Central Asia. If the war in Ukraine leads to millions of refugees, tens of thousands of deaths, and the destruction of cities, defrosting the Karabakh conflict will completely undermine Russia’s entire foreign policy in the Caucasus. Every city in Central Asia is under threat of explosions and attacks. So far this “up-and-coming front” has attracted the least media coverage â€" Novorossiya dominates on national television channels, in newspapers, and on websites â€", but this theater of war could become one of the most complex after the conflict in the Ukraine. A subsidiary of the Caliphate under Russia’s belly The indisputable trend in Afghanistan â€" and the key source of instability in the region â€" is to an alliance between the Taliban and the Islamic State. Even so, the formation of their union is in its early days, references to it are scarce and fragmentary, and the true scale of the activities of the IS emissaries is unclear, like an iceberg whose tip barely shows above the surface of the water. But it has been established that IS agitators are active in Pakistan and in Afghanistan’s southern provinces, which are controlled by the Taliban. But, in this case, the first victim of chaos in Afghanistan is Pakistan, which at the insistence of, and with help from, the United States nurtured the Taliban in the 1980s. That project has taken on a life of its own and is a recurring nightmare for Islamabad, which has decided to establish a friendlier relationship China and Russia. This trend can be seen in the Taliban’s attacks on Pakistani schools, whose teachers now have the right to carry guns, regular arrests of terrorists in the major cities, and the start of activities in support of tribes hostile to the Taliban in the north. The latest legislative development in Pakistan is a constitutional amendment to expand military court jurisdiction [over civilians]. Throughout the country, terrorists, Islamists and their sympathizers are being detained. In the northwest alone, more than 8,000 arrests have been made, including members of the clergy. Religious organizations have been banned and IS emissaries are being caught. Since the Americans do not like putting all their eggs in one basket, they will provide support to the government in Kabul, which will allow them to remain in the country legitimately, and at the same time to the Taliban, which is transforming itself into IS. The outcome will be a state of chaos in which the Americans will not formally take part; instead, they will sit back on their military bases, waiting to see who wins. And then Washington will provide assistance to the victor. Note that its security services have been supporting the Taliban for a long time and quite effectively: some of the official security forces and police in Afghanistan are former Taliban and Mujahideen. Method of destruction The first way to destabilize Central Asia is to create problems on the borders, along with the threat that Mujahideen will penetrate the region. The testing of the neighbours has already started; problems have arisen in Turkmenistan, which has even had to ask Kabul to hold large-scale military operations in the border provinces. Tajikistan has forced the Taliban to negotiate the release of the border guards it abducted, and the Tajik border service reports that there is a large group of Mujahideen on its borders. In general, all the countries bordering Afghanistan have stepped up their border security. The second way is to send Islamists behind the lines. The process has already begun: the number of extremists in Tajikistan alone grew three-fold last year; however, even though they are being caught, it obviously will not be feasible to catch all of them. Furthermore, the situation is aggravated by the return of migrant workers from Russia, which will expand the recruiting base. If the stream of remittances from Russia dries up, the outcome may be popular discontent and managed riots. Kyrgyz expert Kadir Malikov reports that $70 million has been allocated to the IS military group Maverenahr, which includes representatives of all the Central Asian republics, to carry out acts of terrorism in the region. Special emphasis is placed on the Fergana Valley as the heart of Central Asia. Another point of vulnerability is Kyrgyzstan’s parliamentary elections, scheduled for this fall. The initiation of a new set of color revolutions will lead to chaos and the disintegration of countries. Self-supporting wars Waging war is expensive, so the destabilization of the region must be self-supporting or at least profitable for the U.S. military-industrial complex. And in this area Washington has had some success: it has given Uzbekistan 328 armored vehicles that Kiev had requested for its war with Novorossiya. At first glance, the deal isn’t profitable because the machines were a gift, but in reality Uzbekistan will be tied to U.S. spare parts and ammunition. Washington made a similar decision on the transfer of equipment and weapons to Islamabad. But the United States has not been successful in its attempts to impose its weapons systems on India: the Indians have not signed any contracts, and Obama was shown Russian military hardware when he attended a military parade. Thus the United States is drawing the countries in the region into war with its own protégés â€" the Taliban and Islamic State â€" and at the same time is supplying its enemies with weapons. *** So 2015 will be marked by preparations for widespread destabilization in Central Asia and the transformation of AfPak into an Islamic State subsidiary on the borders of Russia, India, China, and Iran. The start of full-scale war, which will inevitably follow once chaos engulfs the region, will lead to a bloodbath in the “Eurasian Balkans,” automatically involving more than a third of the world’s population and almost all the United States’ geopolitical rivals. It’s an opportunity Washington will find too good to miss. Russia’s response to this challenge has to be multifaceted: involving the region in the process of Eurasian integration, providing military, economic, and political assistance, working closely with its allies in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS, strengthening the Pakistani army, and of course assisting with the capture of the bearded servants of the Caliphate. But the most important response should be the accelerated modernization of its armed forces as well as those of its allies and efforts to strengthen the Collective Security Treaty Organization and give it the right to circumvent the highly inefficient United Nations. The region is extremely important: if Ukraine is a fuse of war, then Central Asia is a munitions depot. If it blows up, half the continent will be hit.

Good news out of Russia

Honestly, I never thought the day would come where I would have anything good to say about the Russian "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition but apparently this day has come today. To my surprise, all the leaders of this opposition have so far made very moderate and reasonable statement and all those which I have heard have apparently dismissed the notion that the Kremlin was behind the murder. Now this might be self-evident for most of us, but for the Russian "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition this is quite a change of tone.  Many have even said that this murder was a "provocation" (which in this context means "false flag"!) to destabilize Russia and create a crisis.  Even Irina Khakamada, normally a real crackpot, has said that this was either a "provocation" or the action of a small group of extremists.Maybe they are aware that the Russian public will not "buy" it, maybe MH17 was too clearly a false flag, or maybe they simply had a momentary moment of decency, but as far as I know nobody pointed the finger at Putin (okay, somebody somewhere probably did, I am just not aware of it).  Again, this is quite remarkable.Everybody, pro and anti Kremlin, agree that it is absolutely essential that this crime be solved.  Since I personally believe that this was a US/UK organized false flag, I fully expect that somebody will be found and, as we say in Russian, that the "(trail) end will end in the water" meaning that there will be no proof of western involvement.  If fact, even if the FSB *does* come across such proof, the Russians will most likely not make it public but use it behind the scenes.  As for those who organized it, they also need somebody to get caught because if nobody ever gets caught, then this looks way too professional, but if a small cell of, say,  rabid anti-Semitic nationalists, does get caught, then that exculpates all other possible suspects.  Considering that the crime happened 200m away from the Kremlin, and that the city center is laced with cameras, I fully expect an arrest in the next 48 hours, a week max. The bottom line is that in Russia this false flag is already a clear failure, not even the notorious Russian "liberal" or "democratic" "non-system" opposition wants to touch this thing.  This is very good news indeed.  In the West, of course, this is a different story, the AngloZionist will use that to a max, no doubt here at all.The SakerPS: while we are discussing false flags, I often get the question of why Putin does not say that 9/11 was in inside job even though he must know.  Well, of course he knows, but ask yourself a simple question: why would he say anything?  What would Russia gain from doing this?  This would only further demonize him, and Russia, in the eyes of those who believe the official fairy tale and it would do nothing at all for Putin or Russia.  As for the fact - they are all out in the open, and have been for a long time, just as the JFK murder or Gladio, 7/7, the Bologna railway station bombing, Charlie-Hebdo and all the rest of them.  It is simply not Putin's job to share info with the western public, his job is to serve the Russian people.  Finally, though I personally doubt it, there is some possibility that some Russian security services were involved in the Moscow apartment bombings on 1999 so Putin might want to tread carefully here lest the US retaliates by revealing what they know.Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/  

27.02.2015 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Donbass, Kiev, Russia, USA

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWbPxtTSMlk?rel=0]Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The new one has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation:http://thesaker.is/blog/

NEO â€" Latest Terrorist Attack Inside Russia has All Marks of “Made in USA”

- Henry Kamens - America can’t survive without enemies, having discarded the one thing that could have replaced them--the positive values it claims to have, in whose name all its state-sponsored terrorism is committed.

“Our Little General”: Touching Video of Troops Saluting Little Kid at V

****** ****** This little Russian lad had a moment of real pride as troops he saluted on V-Day actually saluted him back, greeting him like a true general. The video of the scene, recorded by boy's aunt, went viral, melting the hearts of thousands on the internet. On 7 May, troop elements were marching in […] ...read more Source: The Russophile's

President Putin’s Address to Russian Diplomats (in English)

President Putin is a man of his words. He writes his own speeches and their content tells you what he thinks about Russia and its relationship to other nations. That’s why it is well worth to pay attention to his words in this speech … Download (PDF, 197KB)

Victory Day Mega Concert in Moscow

...read more Source: The Russophile's

Radio Liberty's 1980s Ukraine Commentary Was Given by Nazi Sympathizers

From: http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/radio-libertys-1980s-ukraine-commentary-was-given-nazi-sympathizers/ri6753 The hostility within Ukraine is really destabilizing the geopolitical position in the whole entire world. It is exposing the fear amid the european elite group in their campaigns to conquer the entire world while the us dollar continue to own a respect. The european conventional media furthers the international aristocracy in their pushes in order to get rid of Putin. Not since the pinnacle of the cold war has the black-painting of Russia and the head of state been this brazenly exposed. Merely a totally brainwashed or remote character may pass up to observe the fallacious plot directed from european rulers to the owners and editors connected with the corporate networks in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA together with Europe. I understand how problematic it is to see through the image of Russia as outlined by western journalists. The western propaganda works but only on those who are far from living the truth.This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Consortium News Radio Liberty does have a special history regarding Ukraine, including the use of Nazi sympathizers during the ramping up of the Cold War propaganda by Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s. In early 2014, when I was reviewing files at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, I stumbled onto an internal controversy over Radio Liberty’s broadcasts of commentaries into Ukraine from right-wing exiles. Some of those commentaries praised Ukrainian nationalists who sided with the Nazis in World War II as the SS pursued its “final solution” against European Jews, including the infamous Babi Yar massacre in a ravine outside Kiev. These RL propaganda broadcasts provoked outrage from some Jewish organizations, such as B’nai B’rith, and individuals including conservative academic Richard Pipes, prompting an internal review. According to a memo dated May 4, 1984, and written by James Critchlow, a research officer at the Board of International Broadcasting, which managed Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe, one RL broadcast in particular was viewed as “defending Ukrainians who fought in the ranks of the SS.” Critchlow wrote, “An RL Ukrainian broadcast of Feb. 12, 1984 contains references to the Nazi-oriented Ukrainian-manned SS ‘Galicia’ Division of World War II which may have damaged RL’s reputation with Soviet listeners. The memoirs of a German diplomat are quoted in a way that seems to constitute endorsement by RL of praise for Ukrainian volunteers in the SS division, which during its existence fought side by side with the Germans against the Red Army.” Harvard Professor Pipes, who was an adviser to the Reagan administration, also inveighed against the RL broadcasts, writing â€" on Dec. 3, 1984 â€" “the Russian and Ukrainian services of RL have been transmitting this year blatantly anti-Semitic material to the Soviet Union which may cause the whole enterprise irreparable harm.” Though the Reagan administration publicly defended RL against criticism, privately some senior officials agreed with the critics, according to the documents. For instance, in a Jan. 4, 1985, memo, Walter Raymond Jr., a top official on the National Security Council, told his boss, National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, that “I would believe much of what Dick [Pipes] says is right.” That three-decade-old dispute over U.S.-sponsored radio broadcasts underscored the troubling political reality of Ukraine, which straddles a dividing line between people with cultural ties oriented toward the West and those with a cultural heritage more attuned to Russia. Since the Feb. 22, 2014 coup that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, some of the old Nazi sympathies have resurfaced. For instance, on May 2, 2014, when right-wing hooligans chased ethnic Russian protesters into the Trade Union Building in Odessa and then set it on fire killing scores of people inside, the burnt-out building was then defaced with pro-Nazi graffiti hailing “the Galician SS” spray-painted onto the charred walls. Later, some of Ukraine’s right-wing “volunteer” battalions sent to eastern Ukraine to crush the ethnic Russian resistance sported neo-Nazi and Nazi emblems, including Swastikas and SS markings on their helmets.  Keep refreshed regarding the latest progress of the debacle regarding Ukraine by means of patronizing our RSS feed or perhaps to our Twitter feed @therussophile. Grab the latest updates with regards to the predicament around Ukraine by following me on Twitter (@therussophile) and through signing up for the RSS-feed going from hhtp://www.therussophile.org. Source: The Russophile's

US Presidential Hopeful Ben Carson on Russia: I Would Not Rule out Military Force

This article originally appeared at The Guardian The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said on Sunday he would not rule out the use of military force against Russia, but added that it should be used only if the safety of the United States was clearly at risk. ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Hydraulic Fracturing For Oil and Gas Contaminates Groundwater. Pennsylvania Law Suit

A recent peer-reviewed study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed what many fracking critics have argued for years: hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas can contaminate groundwater. The study’s release comes as a major…

At the finish line of deindustrialization: how Ukraine loses its industry

source: http://www.odnako.org/blogs/na-finishnoy-pryamoy-deindustrializacii-kak-ukraina-teryaet-promishlennost/ By Ivan Lizan Translated by Eugene Ukraine's refusal to cooperate with Russia in the military, scientific and technical fields has already begun to bear fruit. Naturally, this Kiev’s policy forced the citizens of Ukraine to eat only one (poisonous) kind of "fruit”: unemployment, poverty and deindustrialization. Thanks to the West and Kiev for this The goal of this break in cooperation, initiated by the Western curators of Kiev - while talking heads in the government only announced Washington's decision, wrapped in the slogan “Not a single spare part for the occupier!" - was actually the disruption of the state defense order of the Russian Federation. "Geniuses" of the Ukrainian political thought expressed the intention to force Moscow’s capitulation by refusing to cooperate and to export components. For example, the Ukrainian political "giant" Yuri Lutsenko suggested to use the Yuzhmash plant as a means to blackmail Russia. The argument was truly "deadly", but, as turned out, not for Russia: "... all Russian nuclear missiles can be serviced only by our Yuzhmash. Without this service, the whole world will sing la-la-la-la" [reference to the obscene ditty “Putin huilo la-la-la-la” popular among anti-Russian Ukrs] - Lutsenko repeated in mid-July last year. However, the negative effect of breaking the bonds is almost always mutual and is not immediate. Because, all of a sudden, it turned out that the mastodon of Ukrainian engineering - the backbone of Ukrainian rocket-building â€" Yuzhmash found itself between life and death. Yet, Russian companies still keep working, for reasons still unclear to Kiev. How the flagship of rocket-building dies The plant had problems before. They were not critical, but accumulated from year to year. Americans were first to refuse cooperation with Yuzhmash because of the exploded Anthares rocket. Formally, the Americans are going to work for about a year on finalizing the technical solution for their rocket, so Yuzhmash will be left without US orders during this time. In reality, if Washington decides to renew the cooperation, they will not find anyone to talk with, as by that time the company will be reduced to just a pile of equipment. The final nail in the plant’s coffin was the refusal of the Russian Federation to procure launch vehicles Zenit; they will be replaced with [Russian made] Angara. As of mid-October 2014, about fifty employees were leaving the company on a daily basis. And they were the most valuable workers that could not be replaced by anyone else. The situation was aggravated by endless waves of "mogilizations" [wordplay: mobilization/mogilization as “mogila” means “grave” in Russian] announced by Kiev in the framework of the civil war in the East. The number of mobilized workers is not precisely known, but the more employees will lose their jobs, the more will be sent to the ranks of the Ukrainian army - thus not only enhancing the country's defense, but also "creating new jobs." Therefore, the damage to the personnel potential will increase in direct proportion to the duration of the war and the number of layoffs at the plant. Death of the enterprise: Just the facts One can learn about the state of the company from the interview of its former director Victor Shchyogol, but here we are only interested in the facts and consequences of the plant’s closure: over the past three years, the volume of production at the plant fell more than 4 times, and the volume of contracts with Russia decreased by 60 times, as calculated in hrivnya equivalent; the closure of the plant will result in the loss of about 50 000 jobs at Yuzhmash and associated enterprises; about 70% of the components for the launch vehicle Zenit was produced in cooperation with Russia; contracts with the Brazilians and maintaining working relationships with the US will allow to employ only about 10% of the plant’s personnel; cooperation with Russia terminated completely, resulting in the loss of more than 80% of the plant’s revenue; employees of the company have not received wages for over seven months; out of the total workforce of 7000, more than a thousand employees have left the company; even two years ago, orders from Ukraine amounted to the miniscule 10 million hryvnia (just over $1 million at the 2013 exchange rate), now there are no orders at all. Who is next? The next candidates for demise are Antonov ASTC [Aviation Science and Technology Complex] and other machine-building enterprises. On January 30 the IMF mission arrived in Antonov ASTC. They acquainted themselves with the work of the enterprise and visited the laboratory of static tests, the engineering and piloting stand, the trainer AN-148, assembly shops for both experimental and serial productions, and also learned about promising projects. It is unknown, what was the real purpose of the visit by IMF clerks, but it is doubtful that the sharks of the Western capital were interested in a speedy recovery and development of the enterprise. Most likely, it goes to its liquidation. Probably, the closure of a number of high-tech industries is one condition for the disbursement of IMF loans to Kiev. Remarkably, the dying Yuzhmash and Antonov are connected by industrial cooperation â€" the chassis for the aircraft family AN are made in Dnepropetrovsk. The situation is no better in railcar construction - in the first half of last year, they assembled only about 3,500 cars with a capacity of 38 thousand. The Kharkov plant Electrotyazhmash has lost $41 million due to the cancellation of orders from Russia for the supply of turbine generators, electric motors and mine-drilling equipment. The losses of Yuzhkabel amounted to $12.4 million. Only Turboatom and “Motor Sich" managed to survive - so far. Next in line â€" the death of metallurgy, which remains in a state of depression for several years already. The destruction or loss of the Avdeevka coke plant will force Kiev to switch to imported coking coal, while the transition of Mariupol under the authority of DPR [Donetsk People Republic] will lead to the loss of the major port for exporting rolled metal. With diminished metal production, the state budget will lose a large share of its foreign currency earnings. In the framework of the war between Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk, the ferroalloys sector, which is controlled by Igor Kolomoisky, could potentially die as well. Ferroalloys plants have not been modernized, and this is an incredibly energy-intensive industry. So far, the only thing that saves the industry â€" is the supply of electricity from Russia and the unwillingness of Kiev to confront Kolomoisky. Quite vague are the prospects of chemical and food industries, however, the situation is no better in other areas of the economy that are suffering from young reformers and "visiting warriers" from the Baltic states and the US. *** One can say with certainty that at the end of its civil war, the Ukraine will complete the process of de-industrialization, and what is left of it, will be able to grow only grains. The existing objects of infrastructure are irrelevant to Kiev rulers, while the workers capable of servicing power plants and producing high-tech goods at miraculously survived factories will either die at the front, unable to avoid "mogilizations", or travel outside the country to escape from poverty. It is safe to admit that the administrative staff are absolutely incompetent, which is confirmed by regular accidents at Ukrainian nuclear power plants, which only narrowly failed to repeat the Chernobyl disaster. The financial default, which Kiev will have to declare, inevitably, will only hasten the death of the industry. Together with the production shut down, Kiev will get a reduction of foreign exchange earnings, a decline in budget revenues, and, therefore, an approaching collapse and tens of thousands of lost jobs - not because of some Moscow’s policy, but from Kiev’s own desire to kill itself to spite Russia. Because each new closed plant will only bring closer the start of large-scale urban riots and increase the number of opponents of the bankrupt project "Ukraine". -------Saker note @EVERYBODY PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS ON THE NEW BLOG!This blog will CLOSE for comments on March 1st. The newone has the popular threaded comments and faster moderation. http://thesaker.is/blog/

Polish Presidential Election Expresses Growing Hostility Towards Russia â€" Markus Salzmann

This article originally appeared at World Socialist Web Site The first round of Poland's presidential election takes place tomorrow. The favourite is the incumbent, Brunoslav Komorovski from the conservative Citizens' Platform (PO), which is also the party of Prime Minister Eva Kopacz. His most significant challenger is Andrzej Duda from the nationalist and populist Law and Justice Party (PiS). ...read more Source: The Russophile's

Capitalism And Communism â€" Two Sides Of The Same Coin

The Cold War, which ended in 1991, was an economic war between two ideologies: Capitalism and Communism. The problems we see in the world today is that rulers in “The West” believe that they won the Cold War. The western elite claim that it was a victory of capitalism over communism which gives them an unabridged right to […]

JIM ROGERS Russia and China About To Announce The End Of The US Dollar Era

‘West still treats Africa as former vassals’ â€Â" South Africa’s Zuma to RT Western “colonial” states are not interested in S. Africa’s development, but rather want to take its natural resources and never give anything back, Jacob Zuma, S. African president, told RT. It’s China’s investment that Zuma sees as a way to prosperity.Read Full […] Source: The Russophile's

As any other form of warfare, information warfare also needs funding. Please help.

Dear friends,In the recent weeks the donations have fallen to almost *zero* even though the combined readership between the two blogs is comfortably over 50'000 a day.  Please help me to continue putting as many hours of work each day into the old and new blog and bring you the same quantity and quality of information and analyses.  As any other form of warfare, information warfare also needs funding.  Please help.Thank you,The Saker

NEO â€" What America is really threatening in Ukraine

- "Henry Kamens gives us one hell of an overview of the present Ukraine mess, which I have compared to the Tar Baby in the briar patch from Uncle Remus."

Why I Am Backing Russia Insider

Russia Insider is a site for alternative news in English about Russia. Right now, Russia Insider runs a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign. Their target is to collect 20,000 USD until 19 April 2015. According to the founder and chief editor, Charles Bausman, … Your money will go only into great content  We’ll only spend it on journalist […]

“Separatist Fires” in Macedonia and the Virtues of Corruption. Kosovo Provides the Toxic Model of Rebellion

This will be something for the books of violent dispute. A series of gun battles over the weekend lasting over 16 hours have left eight police officers and fourteen gunmen dead in the town of Kumanovo in Macedonia. The slain…

MSNBC Misrepresents Russian Paper, Won't Take Down Misleading Report

From: http://russia-insider.com/en/msnbcs-nowthis-refuses-take-down-misleading-report/ri6545 The friction in the Ukraine is without a doubt destabilizing the geopolitical situation of the whole entire world. It is exposing the misery among the westerly elite in their endeavours to subdue the whole world while the dollar continue to possess a value. The western primary media helps the aristocracy in their intentions in order to get rid of Putin. Not since the apex of the cold war was the black-painting of Russia and its president been so plainly disclosed. Merely an uninterested or totally brainwashed woman can ward off to understand the mendacious narrative prescribed from westerly leaders to the proprietors and writers connected with the company media in the UNITED STATE OF AMERICA together with Europe. I understand how problematic it is to see through the image of Russia as outlined by western journalists. The western propaganda works but only on those who are far from living the truth.This video originally appeared at In The Now Facebook Page & YouTube Channel On-line outlet “NowThis” published a video report about how a Russian newspaper is spreading controversy about the Royal baby - which is a complete lie. In the Now contacted the outlet pointing out the mistake. They changed their Facebook description in response, but refused to take down their misleading video. All of this in light of a string of scandals involving NBC’s Brian Williams and Richard Engel who were caught lying about reports in Iraq and Syria. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YJCeW3YKu4]    MSNBC’s NowThis refuses to take down MISLEADING report. No surprise, given the amount of lie-related scandals connected to NBC #RoyalBaby #BrianWilliams #RichardEngel Posted by In the NOW on Tuesday, 5 May 2015   Keep updated about the recent progress of the problem around Ukraine through subscribing to our RSS channel or to our Twitter feed @therussophile. Get the most recent updates on the subject of the state of affairs within Ukraine by following me on Twitter (@therussophile) and by signing up for the RSS-feed for therussophile.org. Source: The Russophile's

Illusory Ceasefire in Ukraine

Conflict continues. Peace is a convenient illusion. Fascists don't wage wars to quit. Washington manipulates events destructively. It uses its installed stooge government to solidify unchallenged control over Ukraine. Get more info this from VT author Steve Lendman

Monsanto’s Glyphosate Blankets GMO Crops Near U.S. Schools. 3,247 Elementary Schools across America Affected

Genetically engineered crops, or GMOs, have led to an explosion in growers’ use of herbicides, with the result that children at hundreds of elementary schools across the country go to class close by fields that are regularly doused with escalating…

Special Report on the escalating situation in Macedonia

by “S.P.” Before, I write anything else, I would first call on you not to turn this into another “it's not Macedonia â€" it's FRYOM” thing. This feud about a ...read more Source: The Russophile's

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO A NEW LOCATION

Dear friends,The blog "Vineyard of the Saker" has now moved to a new location:TheSaker.is: http://thesaker.is/ (please update your bookmarks!!)The blog here will not be deleted, but will be "frozen" and kept as on online archive.  This will also be an emergency backup blog in the unlikely event that something bad should happen to the blog at the new location.To contact me please write to vineyardsaker@gmail.com, vineyardsaker@mail.ru or thesaker@unseen.isThe SakerBlogs of the Saker Community:French Saker: http://lesakerfrancophone.netRussian Saker: http://thesaker.ru/German Saker: http://www.vineyardsaker.de/Oceania Saker: http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/Latin American Saker: http://vineyardsakerlatam.wordpress.com/Italian Saker: http://sakeritalia.it/Our Brothers in Arms:Colonel Cassad in English: http://cassad-eng.livejournal.com/FortRuss: http://fortruss.blogspot.ca/Kazzura: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG2L5r9T5iYCH0Mmgq85jNQRussia Insider: http://russia-insider.com/enSouthFront: https://www.youtube.com/user/ygfrontTatzhit: http://www.liveleak.com/c/TatzhitVox Populi Evo: https://www.youtube.com/user/VoxPopuliEvo/videosOther good information sources in English:Russia Today: http://rt.com/Sputnik News: http://sputniknews.com/Novorussia Today: http://novorossia.today/Voice of Sevastopol: http://en.voicesevas.ru/TASS Russia News Agency: http://tass.ru/en