The Saker blog now also in Russian!

ДОРОГИЕ РУССКОЯЗЫЧНЫЕ ДРУЗЬЯ!
Читайте блог Балобана по-русски щелкнув на эту ссылку:


http://www.vineyardsaker.ru/

The Saker Blog now also in French!

AMIS FRANCOPHONES!
Vous pouvez maintenant lire le blog du Saker en Français en cliquant sur ce lien:


http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/

The Saker Blog now also in German!

ALLE UNSERE DEUTSCHEN FREUNDE!
koennen jetzt den blog des Sakers auf Deutsch lesen - bitte hier anklicken:


http://www.vineyardsaker.de/

The Saker Blog now in Oceania

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN OCEANIA!
you can now also visit the Oceania Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:


http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/

Friday, September 19, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Poroshenko's speech in front of the Imperial Senate (MUST WATCH!)

I know, it is nauseating, but still, please do watch it.  What Poroshenko is saying is that which the US deep state is thinking and, as such, it deserves our utmost attention (even if that means grabbing a psychological barf bag).

And for those of you who might get seriously distressed by this sickening and hate-filled ceremony, I have included a short video showing that this nothing new: senates have always been brothels for oligarchs and spineless hypocrites.

And remember - the fact that they say so does not make it so :-)

Kind regards,

The Saker
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Ukraine SITREP September 18, 17:30 UTC/Zulu: infighting everywhere

The situation in the Ukraine today is one of chaotic infighting in Novorussia and Banderastan.

Novorussia:


Aleksandr Zakharchenko
The first sign of trouble became visible with Strelkov had to urgently come back to Donetsk to prevent the behind-the-scenes negotiations apparently taking place between some officials of the DNR and Ukie oligarchs including Akhmetov.  Then came the news of the sudden removal of Strelkov followed by an almost simultaneous removal of most of the Novorussian leadership.  In spite of that, the Novorussian leadership (Zakharchenko & Co.) appeared to be more than worthy successors to Strelkov and they did a stellar job implementing the counter-offensive plans apparently developed by Strelkov.  Then came the Minsk negotiations with little-covered reports of an attempted coup by Vladimir Antiufeev who, before that, had been in charge of state security under Strelkov.  Apparently, this coup was directed at Zakharchenko and it failed.  What then happened to Antiufeev is still unclear, at least to me.  Last I read he was being interrogated.


Aleksandr Khodakovskii
Then, this week, something really bizarre happened: first, a very controversial figure - Bezler - was appointed by somebody (it is still unclear by whom exactly) as the Head of the Intelligence Service of Novorussia.  Soon after, it was also announced that four top military commanders - Bezler, Khodakovskii and two *unknown figures* (?) - had agreed that all the Novorussian Armed Forces would be placed under the command of General Korsun.  Problem: nobody had ever heard of any "General Korsun" and even the Speaker of the Novorussian Parliament, Oleg Tsarev, declared that the political leadership of Novorussia had not been consulted about these plans.  As for Strelkov, he expressed his total lack of info about Korsun.  Weird, to say the least.  And most definitely not good.

It appears that a number of distinct but linked processes are simultaneously taking place:

1) a militia force composed of volunteers is being transformed into a regular army under a single military command subordinated to political authorities.  At least, that is the theory, but so far this has not been achieved.

2) various military Novorussian commanders have different views on key issues (such as the Minsk Agreement) and personal ambitions (Khodakovski?).

3) Moscow is exerting pressure on the Novorussian leaders to get them to comply with the Kremlin's policies.

4) Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs are also exerting their own influence to get an outcome favorable to their financial interests.

These are four distinct processes and not one single factor and those who present a simplistic "single explanation" model are simply missing the complexity of the situation.  That does not, however, make the situation any better.


Vladimir Antiufeev
The direct consequence of that is that Novorussia still does not have a single and uncontested leader.  My personal feeling is that there is a Strelkov-Zakharchenko alliance which is both the most legitimate and the most capable, but other big actors (Bezler, Khodakovski) are still trying hard to promote their own agenda.  Rumor now has it that Antiufeev and Bezler are under arrest.  Whatever may be the case, the political infighting and chaos in Novorussia are a most serious problem which somebody (Strelkov?  Putin?) will have to urgently fix.

Russia:


Vladislav Surkov
I have seen a lot of speculations that the "éminence grise" behind a lot of that malfeasance is Vladislav Surkov, a weasely character of the entourage of Putin but whose views seem to often run directly in opposition to Putin's.  I have seen no direct proof of that, but I have no reason to doubt much better informed individuals (including Strelkov).  Surkov or no Surkov, there is definitely an interest group out there referred to as "5th column", the "party of peace", the "party of betrayal" or, my own favorite, the Atlantic Integrationists whose agenda is simple: stop the war in the Ukraine and restore the putatively "good" relationship between Russia and the West.  Their motives are a mix of ideology (pro-western russophobia, capitalist liberalism) financial (they stand to lose most from not only the western sanctions, but from a deterioration of relationship between Russia and the West) and personal (struggle for power to re-take the Kremlin from the Eurasian Sovereignists).


Vladimir Evtushenkov
In this context I have seen a lot of speculation that the recent move against multi-billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov (often described as the new Khodorkovski) is Putin's counter-attack to smack down the oligarchs.  Could be, and Peskov's denial of anything political behind his arrest are as predictable as they are not credible.  It would be worth seeing if there is a Evtushenkov-Surkov connection, but I don't have the means to do that myself.  Still, judging by the reaction of the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), Alexander Shokhin, it is clear that the Russian oligarchy is upset and even frightened by this arrest.

So much for the stupid theory that Putin represents the interests of the Russian oligarchy or, even better, is the "puppet" of these oligarchs.

Banderastan:

The junta controlled part of the Ukraine (I call Banderastan) is in full turmoil.  The Minsk Agreement as absolutely infuriated most of the Ukie political leaders.  Predictably, Iarosh and Tiagnibok are up in arms, the former even threatening to overthrow Poroshenko.  Worse, Timoshenko has made something of a comeback denouncing the Agreement as a vile surrender to the Moskals and a sellout of Ukie national interests.


Rada Deputy tossed in trashbin
Right Sector activists have attempted to storm the Parliament and the Presidency, they have literally tossed deputies into trashbins which is both funny and amply deserved, but does not change the scary fact that Poroshenko is not the worst of what Banderastan can produce.  Poroshenko is evil, of course, but at least he is not a lunatic like Timoshenko or Liashko.

There is now a very real risk that the Right Sector could literally overthrow the Poroshenko regime (Libya anybody?).  And even if the Right Sector does no such thing, of fails doing it, the upcoming elections are nothing short of really scary.  With the massive brainwashing going on throughout the Ukie media there is a real risk of a wall-to-wall "loony" Rada with Liashko in charge of the biggest party and assorted neo-Nazis filling the rest of the seats.


Nazis vs oligarchs
There is a clash taking place between oligarch and sincere/zombified Nazis on one hand, and even between oligarchs (Poroshenko vs Kolomoiski vs Akmetov) on the other.  Thus, in a paradoxical way, both Novorussia and Banderastan don't currently have a real, functioning, central power and neither side can "deliver" anything.

And if that does not scare you enough, keep in mind that the Ukie economy, propped up by the AngloZionists, has not truly collapsed yet.  But it will.  Soon.  Then things will get really, really ugly.  The examples of Iraq and Libya immediately come to mind.  In fact, Putin recently declared the following at the Seliger 2014 annual youth forum:
Do you remember the joke: "Whatever Russians make, they always end up with a Kalashnikov?" I get an impression that whatever Americans touch they always end up with Libya or Iraq.
Apparently, he is absolutely right and Banderastan is now headed down the exact same road.  Truth be told, there is only that long that the AngloZionists can keep Poroshenko in power and the remnants of economy of Banderastan afloat.  Sooner or later - probably sooner - both will come tumbling down and then all hell will truly break lose

In the meantime, "Iats" has announced the "lustration" (purge) of the estimated 1'000'000 civil servants connected with the previous regime.  Apparently, this does not including Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Turchinov or "Iats" himself (all of whom have served under previous Presidents in one capacity or another).

Crazy, crazy shit...

Military situation:


Military situation September 15-17
To my great surprise, a Ukie counter-offensive did not materialize or, if it did, it was so lame that it was hard to notice.  The Ukies did concentrate very large forces in several locations, and the JRF did execute attacks in several locations, but they were lame and rather rapidly repelled.  As for those few locations which were taken under the control of the JRF, they were mostly locations which the NAF had abandoned.  My source for this analysis is "Basketok" (whose excellent and detailed daily reports Russian speakers can get here and here).

Amazingly, the NAF have still not taken full control of the Donetsk Airport.  They have surrounded it and they control most, but not all of it.  As for the Ukies there, they are categorically refusing to surrender and they are still shelling Donetsk on a daily basis.  I can only explain this aberration as a consequence of the political infighting taking place in the Novorussian leadership.

One of the most likely explanation of the current is one given by the (excellent) Colonel Cassad:
With respect to concentration, the main forces of the junta are already deployed into Donbass. The junta cannot grow the group substantially yet. Taking the planned rotation of the detachments and the combat capable units that were pulled into the front into account, the junta can reinforce its group only by throwing restored battalion-tactical groups of previously routed detachments into action. However, their combat qualities appear quite dubious due to large losses in personnel and materiel. In essence, absent the 4-th wave of mobilization, the junta cannot substantially increase the headcount of its group, which remains approximately on the level of early July of 2014. Considering the failure of the previous 3 waves of mobilization, the possible results of the 4-th also trigger certain skepticism. The junta, of course, isn't close to the limiting values of its mobilization potential, but it is already experiencing serious difficulties. All of this is aggravated by materiel issues: by various estimates, the junta lost about 60-70% of materiel present in Donbass (and the worst thing for the junta is that more than 220 armored vehicles of varying degree of combat readiness ended up being captured by the NAF, which already put between a quarter and a third of captured trophies into action).  Of course, there are still many tanks, IFVs, SPH, and MLRS in warehouses and repair facilities, but reinforcements in August and September couldn't compensate for huge losses. The attempts of getting materiel from NATO countries and the attempts to buy back the vehicles that were shipped on international defense contracts are supposed to close the gap in materiel that was formed. Ukraine continues to reap the fruits of its horrible looting of Soviet military legacy.
This makes sense.  The JRF did through its best men and equipment in its attempt to crush Novorussia in just a "few weeks" and it lost them.  There are still numerically significant resources available to them, as shown by the large concentrations of forces they have massed but failed to effectively use so far.

As for the NAF, they have made some small progress in various locations, and they have made small retreats from others, but nothing crucial has taken place on their side either.  Does that mean that the NAF and JRF have fought each other to a standstill?  Maybe, I don't know and have no way to check.  Still, my first explanation for this apparent stagnation on the military front is that both sides are too deeply involved in the the political infighting and the chaos resulting from it.

Those whom I jokingly refer to "prophets and mind readers" will probably make confident predictions based, as always, on simplistic models, but I won't.   I know what Putin wants and Russia needs: regime change in Kiev.  I also know what Putin does not want or Russia cannot afford: a Novorussian collapse.  The two, of course, are linked.  But how the situation will evolve now is too early to call.

I often think that the (liberal, Masonic, pro-western, democratic and oligarchic) Kerensky regime came to power in February.  Just like the Ukie Junta.  Kerensky was overthrown in October of the same year.  Just saying...

Kind regards,

The Saker

Malaysian Flight MH17 crash analysis, by The Russian Union of Engineers

The original version of this post was published on the Oceania Saker Blog who spearheaded the effort to translate this most important document proving, if needed, that one can be down under and yet at the very top at the same time!

The Saker
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Malaysian Flight MH17 crash analysis, by The Russian Union of Engineers

This is an excellent detailed analysis of the MH17 tragedy by the Russian Union of Engineers which quite frankly illustrates how heavily censored the Dutch “report” is.

We will let you digest this report and come to your own conclusion, which in all likelihood will explain the infamous high velocity projectiles whitewash pumped out by the western “press”.

This review was undertaken by experts who not only know the subject matter but have objectively presented evidence that must be considered with the legitimacy that is inherent to it. Here is the overall description of the “Analytical Group” from the report:

A group of experts from the Russian Union of engineers was convened to analyze the situation, including reserve officers with experience in the use of anti-aircraft missile systems, as well as pilots having experience with aircraft weapons.This problem was also discussed at a meeting of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, where many variants were tested and discussed again. In the course of their analysis the experts used materials derived from public sources, found in the media. The situation was also analyzed using a computer simulation of the Su-25.
You can download the English version of the report here.

The original Russian version of the report is here.

[note: the links above point to documents in the proprietary M$ DOCX format.  For those who, like myself might prefer the free ODT or PDF format, I have made them available here. The Saker]
Official statement by the Russian Union of Engineers:
(please press on the 'cc' button to see the English subtitles)

Special mention, thanks and much gratitude goes to Alice, Gideon & Katya for their wonderful effort at such short notice.
 
Disclaimer:

We have translated the text to the best of our abilities and where unsure have included the original Russian. Additionally, the original Russian report is available for download for your reference. Please distribute freely with acknowledgement.

AE

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Uniat priests calls for depriving Orthodox from basic civil rights

I just saw this one on YouTube and it is very good.  Here what it says about this video in the "About" section of the YouTube page: (with original spelling).

"UA priest calls to deprive parishioners of Moscow Patriarchate churhces of rights to be elected and work in official organizations.  A bit ironic, as in fact he talks not about churches in Russia, but canonical local Ukrainian Orthodox Christian Church which formally subordinates to Moscow Patriarchate and is opposed by not-recognized "Church of Kyiv Patriarchate" which splitted from Ukrainian Orthodox Christian Church after Philaret (patriarch of Kyiv Patriarchate) failed to be elected as new Patriarch in the beginning of 90's".

Now, longtime readers already know that I do not recognized the Moscow Patriarchate as a legitimate part of the Russian Orthodox Church (for details, read this: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2013/02/russia-and-islam-part-two-russian.html where I explain this little known but crucial issue) and I also oppose the use of the term "canonical" in the sense of "recognized by the powers that be" which is, apparently, how the author (and most modernist and ecumenist Orthodox people understand it to be).  In the Ukraine one side recognizes one Orthodox Church as "canonical" because the secular power in Kiev happens to recognize it as such (for purely political reasons) and calls the other "schismatic" while the other side also recognizes one Orthodox Church as "canonical" because the secular power in Moscow happens to recognize it it as such (also for purely political reasons) as calls the other "schismatic.  In the authentic Christian tradition "canonical" does not mean "recognized by the secular regime" but rather "in accordance with Church canons".  That is a topic where neither the Ukie Church nor the Moscow Patriarchate wants to go, or even mention [those interested in the topic, please see the note at the bottom of this page].  With all these caveats in mind, I have to say the following:

What this Uniat priest proposes is quite amazing.  Not only do they want to seize the church buildings which belong to the "autonomous" Ukrainian Orthodox Chruch to which the Moscow Patriarchate granted autonomy (for purely political reasons, what else?) but he wants to deprive of political rights (hold an official position) those Ukrainians who attend these "autonomous" UOC parishes.  The Ukies call that "lustration".  See for yourself:


I have been getting a lot of flak from offended Latin Christians about my posts in which I claim that the Vatican is the "creator" of the Ukraine and that it still plays a central role in feeding the anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox hatred in the Ukraine.  I already posted one such example recently, and today I am posting this second one.  Not because I want to bash Latin Christians, but because  I believe, strongly, that the truth about the Ukraine cannot be understood unless the behind-the-scenes "feeder mechanisms" are brought to light.  And since my blog has never been a popularity contest, I fully plan to continue "covering" this topic (-: it will never get me as much flak as my unrepentant use of the "AngloZionist" anyway :-)

To me, this is quite simple, really: intellectually honest Latin Christians will be distressed by this, but they will not bother denying it or "explaining it away", and they will do whatever they can in their personal lives to oppose and denounce this.  Those less encumbered by honesty will try hard to deny it, blame "a few bad apples", try to find "Orthodox equivalents" in the past or say they personally never saw any manifestation of anti-Orthodox hatred (those interested in the techniques used by these Latins can see here and here).  

Still, I hope that most readers will find this topic relevant, important and not discussed elsewhere (which is one of the key goals of this blog).

Some of you might point out that the Moscow Patriarchate has a long record of using state power to persecute non-MP Orthodox Christians.  This is quite true, even today.  But I would point out a crucial difference: in the past, such actions were the result of the policies of the top MP clergy - bishops, not priests - and in more recent times, I would even argue that only a small minority of MP bishops.  This is a small consolation of those on the receiving end of such actions (they typically get their parishes taken away by OMON forces), but I think that it is important to be honest here and say that nowadays the vast majority of MP laity and a strong majority of MP clergy does not support that kind of thuggery.  That does not make the MP more legitimate in a (correctly used) canonical sense, but it most definitely makes it much more "Christian" in an ethical sense, certainly more than it was even 15-20 years ago.  Uniat hatred for Orthodoxy is a normal and widespread phenomenon, it is a core feature of the Uniat identity and it has no equivalent inside the Moscow Patriarchate.

Finally, just to preempt another attempts at equating the unequatable, you may notice that this Uniat is disguising himself - with cross and all - as an Orthodox priest.  You will never see an Orthodox priest disguising himself as a Latin.  This is a purely Latin thing to do to con the ignorant.  Likewise, the Units are obliged to accept the Frankish version of the Symbol of Faith (aka "Creed") in which the words "and the Son" (or filioque) are added to the original text, but they are not obliged to say that when they recite the Symbol.  This "believing one thing, but not saying so" is also a unique Latin feature which serves the same purpose at the disguise: to con the ignorant and erase visible differences (not matter how crucial - there is no higher dogma in Christianity then the Symbol).  This is also why the Latins always speak of geography (eastern Churches) or appearances (eastern Rite) but almost never about fundamental dogmatic disagreements (of which there are plenty!) or about the undeniable fact that the West has been Orthodox for the first 1000 years of its history.

Cheers,

The Saker

Note for those interested in the topic:

In the true Christian tradition a Church *never* derives its authenticity (or, to misuse the modern term again, its "canonicity") from the secular state nor from the number of churches (in the sense of church, parish, *buildings*) you have acquired courtesy of state patronage.   As I have mentioned it here in the past, the "criterion  of truth" or the "authentic Christian character" from a Church is derived according to the following ancient principles:

The full unadulterated preservation faith "which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian" (St. Athanasius)

and

The full unadulterated preservation of that "which has been believed everywhere, always and by all" (Saint Vicent of Lerins).  So no innovations, especially no dogmatic ones.


The short-term combining the two above is often referred to as "consensus of the Fathers" (consensus patrum): that upon which the saints and councils of the early Church agreed upon. 

One could say that the innovating "got-their-canonicity-from-the-secular-state" Churches are all in communion with each other, but not in communion with the original, early Church.

Yet another world-class CrossTalk: Washington's Jihad

Wow, Peter Lavelle clearly had a very good summer, he is back in his show really rocks.  This latest one is truly excellent (again).

Enjoy!

The Saker


On a lighter note: the BBC propaganda is still the best

Actually, there is some very serious stuff taking place - infighting in the Novorussian leadership is getting worse and worse but I need time to write up something more or less coherent.  So that is for later today or tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are a few short ones:

The BBC is the best!

I saw the following to on the BBC's website yesterday:



"This was ferocious work, involving more precise firepower than the rebels could possibly muster.  It's possible Russian helicopters were involved".  This is priceless.  Apparently, nobody in the UK (or in the Ukraine) ever bothered to explain to this civilian that all it takes is a recon group with an artillery spotter and a single MLRS strike to achieve exactly what he saw.  Also, apparently nobody explained to that presstitute that this combo is exactly how the NAF managed to beat the crap of the JRF.  But the best part is the "possible Russian helicopter", especially the typical modern use of the word "possible" which in modern zombified parlance is always understood as equivalent to "probable".  I wish that somebody would tell the BBC that a Russian helicopter attack would do far *less* damage than a MLRS strike, but that is not the point.  The point is that if the presstitute accepts that a helicopter strike is possible, why not a Russian bomber strike or even cruise missile strike?  Why not accept that the Russians, who apparently have a Romulan-style "cloaking device" on their *19* maneuver battalions in Novorussia (official figure from Kiev!), also could use space-based death ray powered by a "dilithium crystals converter".  This is just as "possible" as the use of Russian attack helicopters, even though neither are probable.

I also notice the doubleplusgoodthinking use of "Luhansk" rather then the crimethink "Lugansk".  How totally lame...

The BBC is still the best!

And then I also saw this one:


Yup!  They did write it: Obama will send in "3,000 troops, to help fight the virus".   Yes, I know what they meant by that, but look what Josetxo sent me this morning (-: apparently, he reads my mind :-)



This is just so typical.  It is like when the Americans finally figured out that the Chinese were doing big business in Africa.  Instead of trying to complete with them, they created AFRICOM.  So yes, these guys really only see nails everywhere.

Okay, now I need to dwell on the bad news out of Novorussia.  Hopefully I will get another post up later today.

Cheers,

The Saker

PS: if I remember correctly, when Star Trek was created the Klingons were suppose to represent the Chinese while the Romulans were Russians. If so, then it is only fitting to suspect Russia of having developed a "cloaking device" for her armed forces.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More short news items, a few comments and a quote by Felix Derzhinsky

Elections in Russia: the turnout was good, the result a crushing victory for Putin's party.  There is exactly zero signs of a "Russian Maidan".  The popularity of Putin is as high as ever and much, much higher than the popularity of any western leader.  The Putin-bashers everywhere have clearly failed to even have a marginal impact.


Fall session of the Duma: all the party leaders spoke and all agree that harboring any hopes for sane relations with the West is a waste of time; the consensus is now that Russia must 1) turn to the rest of the planet 2) accept the challenge to deal with a hostile and aggressive West 3) use this opportunity to disengage Russian from the western political, economic and financial system.

Banderastan: the Ukie and EU Parilaments signed an association agreement with great pomp, standing ovations and backslapping.  Truly a historical moment indeed: the EU and Ukieland will now go to the bottom together.  Great - they truly deserve each other.  The amazing, paradoxical and, frankly, funny thing is that neither side can afford this partnership and that both the EU and Ukieland will suffer the negative consequences of this disastrous agreement.

I recently came across a really funny poem in Ukrainian written by the Ukrainian author and poet Oles Buzina which, I think, perfectly expresses the nature of what happened:

За що стояли на Майдані?
За що людськую кров лили?
За те щоб ціни повишали,
І знову плакали хохли.

За те щоб Крим, знов став московським
І щоб донбаським став Донбас.
За те, щоб долю України
Рішав в Європі підарас.

My (free) translation of this into English would be:

Why did they stand on the Maidan?
Why did they shed the people's blood?
So that the prices would rise higher
So that the Ukies could cry again

So that Crimea would become Moscow's
So that the Donbass would own itself
So that the Ukraine's future
Would be decided by the Euro-homos

Novorussia: the special status offered by Poroshenko is not for Novorussia, but purely for NAF controlled territories.  Besides, as the Novorussian leaders have correctly pointed out, the Ukie Rada has no authority to pass any rules in Novorussia.  Conclusion: the the words of a senior Novorussian leader - this new law is just the basis for further negotiations, nothing more.  Apparently, there is already a wave of panic in the usual "this is the end, Novorussia has been sold out, Putin is a traitor" mode (what else is new?).  Guys, take a deep breath, wait a few days, and you will see this law for what it is: Ukie wishful thinking floating in a nauseous bubble of hot air.

[note: I have not seen the text of the status offered to Novorussia by Poroshenko.  If you see it, please email me the link or post it here]

Military situation: the Ukie counter-offensive has still not started but I still consider it all but inevitable.  Amazingly, the NAF has still not succeeded in stopping the JRF at the Donetsk Airport from shelling the city.  Considering the human cost of letting these Nazis continue to murder civilians and the political costs of looking unable to finally get this airport under control, I cannot understand why  the NAF seems to be unable to solve this problem.

I. Bezler
Interesting promotion in Novorussia: Igor Bezler, the military commander of the strategically crucial city of Gorlovka (just north of the Donetsk-Debaltsevo line) has been awarded the rank of Major-General and appointed as the Head of the Intelligence Service of Novorussia.  He is a rather mysterious and very controversial figure.  It will be interesting to see the reactions to this nomination.

Economic situation: the Ruble is falling against the Dollar and the Euro, but the Russian Central Bank makes no effort to prevent that.  Clearly, the Russians do not believe that this is more than a temporary phenomenon made worse by speculative selling.

My comments about Fedorov are eliciting some dismay.  Sorry friends, I call it as I see it.  So I would like to re-post here a comment I made yesterday: Fedorov and I probably agree on most goals and values, we are definitely on the "same side of the barricade", but I cannot say that I am impressed by his analyses which I find superficial and, no offense intended, simplistic. He does a lot of good stuff, with the Duma for example, and I have nothing against him, but he is does have a tendency to go into a "panic mode" which I don't like. Now, he is WAAAY better then Dugin, but both have this tendency to go "the house is burning! the house is burning!" when was it needed is slow, painstaking and meticulous daily work towards the goal.  You might wonder whose analyses about the Ukraine I like most: Sergei Glazev's.  Nikolai Starikov is often also very good.

Paul Craig Roberts: some commentators have been very critical of him.  Personally, I have a great deal of respect for him and I find his analyses very good.  I have nothing bad to say about him and I can think of many extremely insightful articles by him.

The campaign to slander and discredit me: I think that it has petered out and failed.  I am quite sure that those behind this campaign will try again, but for a while at least they are licking their (self-inflicted) wounds.  My only message to my detractors who have in vain tried to slander me will be a quote from the Russian singer Boris Grebenshchikov who once wrote ""нет рук для чудес, кроме тех, что чисты" or "only clean hands can accomplish miracles": this is why you will never accomplish anything.

Let's not dwell on it any more, turn the page and move on.

Now, in conclusion, a few very important reminders and general comment about panic and hysterics: 

First: what we are really dealing with is a US war on Russia.  No, it is not waged with conventional military forces or, even less so, nuclear forces, it is waged by the use of the Ukrainian people.  As they now say, the US will fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian.  Sadly, this is quite literally true.

Second: really, there is no such thing as the Ukraine, or even Banderastan or Novorussia.  These are (correct) political categories, but really, if we are really honest with ourselves, this is what we have: an occupied Ukraine and a liberated Ukraine.  That's it.  This is really the core of what is taking place.  And just as in WWII, the Ukraine is really only a battlefield for a move to Moscow.

art: Josetxo Ezcurra
Third: just as Kutuzov could not "sell out" Smolensk or Stalin could not "sell out" Kiev, Putin cannot "sell out" Novorussia.  Regardless of your assessment of Putin's morality, values, ethics or goals, you cannot possibly believe that he is that stupid and that his entire entourage of advisors are that stupid.  And even if Putin was that stupid, along with his advisors, he still cannot change the fundamental geostrategic reality that what is under attack is not the Ukraine, but Russia.  I would add that Putin, Lavrov and many other top Russian political leaders have said many times that in Yugoslavia it was really Russia which was the target of the attack, just as it is Russia which is the real objective of the war in Syria.

Fourth: an almost constant panic mode bordering on hysteria is just not the right mode to *understand* this war, much less so wage it and win.  I will gladly admit that I myself a guilty of this "sin", but at least I am able to differentiate between my fears and my analyses.  I would remind those who in Russia and in the West who are constantly predicting an apocalypse that none of their predictions (NATO attack on Russia, US nuclear attack on Russia, upheavals in Saint Petersburg, a Russian Maidan, the Ukie Nazis running over  the Donbass, etc.) have materialized so far.  Let me give one simple but extremely telling example:  for many months I have been arguing that Russia was covertly helping Novorussia while my critics argued the contrary.  My detractors were clamoring that Russia was standing by and doing nothing.  Well, who was right?  I am not saying that just to gloat or ridicule my opponents, but to make a very different point: I did not have access to any secret info and all I could do is use my knowledge and experience of Russian policies and methods and they told me, quite unequivocally, that Russia must be covertly helping.  In contrast, my critics based their "analysis" on a mix of fear and words, statements, made by various officials.  Now it is undeniable that they were wrong.  Of course, they never admitted to that but they very gradually included the undeniable fact of Russian covert help into their more recent presentations.  Fair enough, but I wish they would at least have learned their lesson. But no, they did not.  They are still functioning in exactly the same mode, mistaking their fears and prejudices with facts and analyses.  Thus my advice to all of you, my friends, is keep listening to these "prophets of imminent doom", think about their arguments, but just remember that, so far, their record is quite telling: 100% wrong.

Quoting the "Iron Felix":

There are very few people as evil and odious in history as Felix Derzhinsky, the human demon who created the Soviet secret police, the ChK.  But, as the American say, "even a broken clock is right ever 12 hours" and, as Malcolm X liked to say "I am for truth, no matter who tells it".  Well, there is a great quote by Derzhinsky which I recommend we all keep in mind and try to live by: "Чекистом может быть лишь человек с холодной головой, горячим сердцем и чистыми руками" or "a Chekist can only be a person with a cool head, a hot heart and clean hands".  Of course, this was not at all how the real Chekists were, but the notion of a "cool head, hot heart and clean hands" is very good: a cool head to avoid panic, a hot heart to be truly dedicated and clean hands to never believe that it pragmatically is right to do something which is morally wrong.

The Saker

Obama's Smart Syria Play

by Fulan Nasrullah
 


If you ask me I will tel you that America watched the Cancer of Al-Baghdadi and his Islamic State spread from Syria back into Iraq to create an excuse to bomb Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.

How?

Remember earlier Obama wanted to carry out airstrikes against Syria's government in retaliation for a highly questionable chemical attack, despite the fact that earlier in 2013 Iraq arrested over 150 Islamic State of Iraq affiliated takfiri terrorists who were preparing chemical weapons in Baghdad with chemicals imported from Kuwait, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Obama's airstrikes plan was put on hold because the American an Western public saw through the flimsy sham. Instead of going to bomb Assad a little as punishment for using 'chemical weapons' on civilians, the American public understood he was going to use the cover of that to use the US Airforce to serve as the Free Syrian Army's air force a la Libya where Obama used the lie of protecting 'civilians' to use the US Airforce to help the rebels defeat Gaddafi.

Anyways to save face after the American public opposed his adventurism in Syria, he claimed he needed Congressional approval to bomb Syria, thinking that McCain an Lindsey Graham (the two vultures that thrive on consuming corpses) would get it for him. Surprise! He would have lost in Congress, so Putin graciously offered him a way out of his rope I.e the agreement to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

After that what happened? Along came ISIS or IS as it is now known or Da'ash to the Arabs. Suddenly Obama authorized the transfer of scores of millions of dollars of heavy weaponry to the moderate 'Syrian Opposition' (what a joke!) knowing fully well the so-called moderate rebels were bed partners or unwilling underdogs of Da'ash and Surprise! Surprise! All of Obama's weapons largesse ended up flowing first to Jabhatun-Nusrah and Islamic Front units which then took these weapons and defected to ISIS. In other cases ISIS simply showed up and raided the moderate and Islamist rebels and carted off their newly arrived American Candy Bars including sophisticated anti-tank missiles.

It was only a while but Al-Baghdadi's 'goon army' showed up across the border to liberate their home base of Iraq with....wait for it... America's contributions to the liberation of Syria in tow, including those million-dollar anti-tank guided missiles Mr Obama proudly sent forth to do battle on his behalf in Damascus.

With American weaponry and skills honed in Syria fighting against the ultra-skilled Hizbullah and the mediocre Syrian Army, Al-Baghdadi's Army of the Goons bested the million man Iraqi security forces and captured more American weapons as they marched across Iraq seizing whatever caught their fancy. Meanwhile Mr Obama or Mr Yes-We-Scan (depending on what you are on this week) sat in his Oval Office and preened and smiled widely like a Cheshire cat as Al-Baghdadi's Goon Army won one victory or the other, all the while making sure to scream and point hysterically like a pissed-off prostitute "See ISIS is becoming a threat to world peace"..

Then when he got tired of watching this charade play out, Mr Obama got down to the real purpose of his games in supplying weapons to the rebels in Syria in the first place: organizing a Coalition Of The Willing (remember them?) To Bomb The Hell Out Of Syria And Reestablish Control In Iraq. Or like I call them the Coalition Of Willing American B****es And Lackeys. 


art: Josetxo Ezcurra
Mr Obama was incredibly aided or some would say he had the incredibly good fortune to have two Americans beheaded on YouTube by IS executioners including a British accented one now called Jihad Johnny.

Now the noise blast in the world's capitals is that IS is a threat that needs to be eliminated before it strikes the homeland (America). And unsurprisingly the American public is buying it (polls show two thirds of Americans support airstrikes against IS in Syria and Iraq). All it took was two beheadings, a hoarse Obama screaming 'Islamic Terrorists!' and John Kerry and McCain conjuring up memories of 9/11 to get the American public to sign up for Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq and to put boots back on the ground in Iraq. Already there are over a thousand US troops in Iraq (so much for get out of Iraq). And then again Obama is also getting what he wanted in the beginning : regime change by US sponsored means. Maliki of Iraq who rejected a US military presence in his country that will not be accountable to Iraq has found himself out of office. Obama is already making plans for Congress to fund the so-called 'moderate' Syrian Opposition with billions of dollars until Assad falls, while the USAF will be flying over Syrian skies dropping bombs on IS at first, but imagine if another 'Chemical Attack' or 'Staged Massacre' by Assad's forces or the Shabiha takes place? Will the World's Police and the Defender of Freedom (ironic when one looks at the Patriot Act) and Democracy (Amusing if you consider Washington's record of overthrowing Democratic governments globally) be able to stand by and watch when it has its jets over the area already? No it cannot! Like Mr Obama and his predecessors say 'it' has a 'God-Given' mandate to protect.

In summary whoever concocted the plan Obama is following far must really be an evil genius mastermind.. Unfortunately for Baghdadi and co, they are pawns in a far bigger game. But again even a inconspicuous pawn sometimes may kill a King..

Fulan Nasrallah


P.S Check this Al-Jazeera report below to get a clear picture of how things are shaping up: http://m.aljazeera.com/se/2014910223935601193

A couple of short news items

Dear friends,

I couple of short ones today.

First, according to the EU Parliament member Wolfgang Gerke (sp?) the EU is debating making a list of Russian journalists to be barred from entering the EU.  Banderastan already has such a black list with 35 names.  So much for "democratic" and "European" "free speech" values.  The Russian press is openly laughing.

Feel the love!
Second, those who had any doubts about where the Vatican stood on the civil war in the Ukraine now can simply the article entitled "A Church with verve is at risk in Ukraine" on the website Crux (thanks AB!).  Apparently, the defeat of the Nazi Junta puts the Uniats at risk because, quote, "Greek Catholics have also become prominent players in national affairs. They were major proponents of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004/2005, and helped lead the Maidan protests earlier this year that swept pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych from power". 

Oh well, karma is a scary bitch I suppose :-)


Third, a lot of your have been posting comments and sending me emails about Evgenii Fedorov's predictions that a purge will soon happen.  Alas, I have to disappoint you.  While Fedorov seems to be a very nice guy and a sincere patriot, I don't find him credible at all and I would recommend you take everything he says with a big amount of salt.  I don't have the time to post a full refutation of his views, but just ask yourself the following: if the Novorussian authorities began printing their own currency, would you buy it?  QED.

Fourth at least, I leave you with yet another CrossTalk.  Sorry to post yet another CrossTalk right after posting one yesterday, but that is all Peter Lavelle's "fault": his shows are too good and the latest one is also spot on: the Bear - Dragon strategic alliance is by far the most important geostrategic development of the last couple of years.

Enjoy!

The Saker

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Transcarpathia and Transnistria SitRep 06 Sep - 13 Sep

by "Y"

Transcarpathia

ATO

The local police units are still training for ATO service and small groups of police officers still volunteer to fight in the ATO. Fifteen such officers have volunteered during the period covered by this report.

Soldiers from the 128th Transcarpathian unit are returning from the front to Transcarpathia. They arrive in irregularly sized batches; 10 on September 6, a further 30 on the 7th,, then 3 large buses (so possibly 100+ troops) on the 13th. This unit is reported as serving 50 days at the front line, based at Schasta 20 km north of Lugansk. This is the unit that left the front without permission for the Ukraine military command. A commanding officer stated that all the men had served honourably. The battalion commander, named as Vitaliy Komar, was recently released on bail after being arrested in Odessa. He faces a possible 10 year prison sentence. He claims that he is has been made a scapegoat for the poor quality of the upper levels of the Ukrainian military command.

Militia members from the Transcarpathian 'Sich' group complain about poor weapons, limited ammunition that has to be acquired at their own expense or through donations, and absurd orders from above resulting in the militia being left to its own fate.

Four prisoners held by the NAF came from Transcarpathia.Three were members of the 51st Brigade and one from the Donbass battalion, with call sign 'Chrome'. These have been released. The bereaved families of 12 Transcarpathia military members have received a total of 7.3 million UAH in cash assistance (the UAH trades at about 14 to the US dollar).

In an attempt to reassure volunteers, the Transcarpathian regional commission has confirmed that reservists and conscripts defending the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in the ATO will be recognized as combatants. The intent is to clearly make them eligible for treatment as PoWs if captured and perhaps more importantly, immunity from prosecution within Ukraine.

Finally, more refugees have arrived from the east and Crimea, bringing the total to 1485 (1039) from Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and 227 (222) from Crimea. The figures in brackets represent the totals residing within Transcarpathia at the end of August. There clearly has been a dramatic increase in the number of people fleeing from the fighting in the east. It is not clear whether these individuals are Transcarpathians who have returned or Ukrainians seeking to get as far away from the conflict as possible.

Economy
The economy is in dire straits. Local media report inflation reached 14.2% for August. Utility costs (telephone, water) are increasing whilst income remains stagnant. The limited amount of money available to organise the upcoming election is reported as a big issue for Transcarpathia.

In a wider context relating to the pending EU Agreement, a working group has been established to restore rail connections from Uzhgorod to Prague, Budapest and Romania. Another working group is look at increasing the number of border crossing points between Hungary and Transcarpathia, possibly reducing the spacing from ~35 km to about ~15 km. These changes would facilitate increased trade and tourist traffic.

Energy
Miroslav Lajcak, the Deputy Prime Minister of Slovakia spent two days in Transcarpathia discussing energy issues. Slovakia claims to be able to provide a reverse flow gas supply to Ukraine. However, Gazprom has reacted to this and other attempts at providing reverse supplies. It has reduced supply to Slovakia by 10%, it will reduce gas volumes supplied to Poland and Germany, and has increased the price of gas supplied to Hungary. This latter move should make gas transit from Hungary economically unprofitable. The difference in treatment by Russia of Hungary versus Poland, Slovakia and Germany probably reflects the different positions of the respective countries: Hungary a potential ally and trading partner at one end and Poland an implacable foe at the other. If this is the case, it is interesting that Germany falls on the side of Poland rather than Hungary.

In a further move, Lukoil has announced it is interested in buying the Transneft pipeline running through Transcarpathia. Transneft has lost $62.5 million over the last five years through theft of oil. The cost for acquiring Transneft is likely to be less than $150 million.

Mobilisation
The third phase of mobilization is very problematic country wide. The age limits for exemption are desperately high - 65 years for officers. Only 145 individuals were recruited from the Transcarpathian regions. People are simply ignoring the notices to report or fleeing the region. The authorities are trying to control this situation; the SBU is creating a database of every Ukrainian who has been captured in the east or who has gone missing. They are also monitoring internally displaced persons from the east and Crimea. The wives and mothers of conscripted soldiers are still continuing their protests, demanding that their men not be sent to the front. These protests are much smaller than earlier, booth in number and size of individual demonstrations.

The increased taxation supposedly to support the military in the east has generated 5 million UAH per month in Transcarpathia alone. This tax is based on a 1.5% levy on income and lottery winning, and excludes capital and property assets, so it affects the poorer levels of society in greater proportion, whilst the extremely wealth are relatively immune to its effects.

Politics


The main explicit political news relates to the forthcoming election. A number of local politicians are standing: Viktor Baloha District 69 around Mukachevo, Basil Petiovka District 72 around Tyachiv and Nicoletta Subs District 68 around Uzhgorod. Another politician, Istvan Gajdos, considers Ukraine to be at war making the holding of elections inappropriate. Consequently he is not standing for a major position.

Only Baloha appears prominently in news reports so far. He strongly supports the war in the east, and states that martial law should be declared if necessary. He also says this should be done for the benefit of the country, not to preserve the positions of people already in power. He has declared that money spent on political advertising would be better spent fighting the war. Consequently he has stated that he will donate all such money he receives to the military. More recently he has stated that the 'peace plan' is failing as the Ukrainian positions are being constantly shelled by the Russian-supported 'terrorists'. Consequently there can be no deals with Putin. His view is that there are two options i) full take over the east and wipe out all opposition, or ii) leave it totally, stop financing it and transfer the problem to Russia by defining new borders.

The sudden presence of Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch with pro-Russian views, in Uzhgorod raised some alarm in the local pro-regime camp, fearing he may be attempting to destabilise the region of behalf of Putin.

Propaganda
The usual propaganda activities are still operational. Collections, concerts and other similar events are used to raise funds for the actions in the east. The amounts involved are dwarfed by the amounts raised by the tax mentioned earlier, so the acts serve to provide a 'feel good' factor and possibly supply specific items to unofficial militias with local members. Local NGOs have been formed supposedly to further support and aid the troops. One group 'Movement to Support Transcarpathian Soldiers' was formed by a small group of local artists, media people and journalists. Their major activity seems to have been a press conference. Another group "Native Mukachevo" aims to support fighters from Mukachevo. Details are lacking so far, but they have the air of being entities used to raise the profile of those behind them.

More insidious events reflect the underlying promotion of a pure Ukrainian nation. Firstly a short report in a local online new outlet reports that 'contrary to stereotypes, some Roma soldiers will fight loyally for Ukraine'.

Secondly a local villager, Vladimir Golovchak, had the idea of creating the first children's battalion 'Falcon'. The membership includes children aged 2-10 years. The intent is to raise a patriotic spirit in these children. The associated YouTube video shows the children holding a Pravi Sektor flag central stage, with a Ukrainian flag off to one side.

Separatism
Despite an agreement between Poroshenko and the Hungarian Ethnic Alliance (KMKSZ), there will not be an autonomous Hungarian region in Transcarpathia. This precludes the formation of a Hungarian voting block. The Hungarian government supports the Transcarpathian Hungarian minority in their quest for autonomy. The Hungarian minority in the region have warned that separatism might become a real problem if things get worse in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian response has taken two forms. Firstly an NGO has been created to promote the idea that Hungarian life should move closer to the Ukrainian style. This will probably be as effective as a chocolate teapot.

Secondly, and more effectively, the Transcarpathian authorities are clamping down on all forms of activity that could be seen as supporting or proposing separatism. Local pro-Ukraine media report that once potential separatists have met investigators, the 'promptly fall in love with Ukraine'. The investigators do face problems, as those interviewed frequently claim their social media pages have been hacked or vandalised. There are four reported criminal cases of Rusyn separatism, one prominent person is named as Ivan Petrovtsiy. A second case is only identified by the surname - Sidor. One local resident from Uzhgorod has been sentenced to a 3 year jail term, followed by 1 year probation. The offense cited was 'calling for violent overthrow of constitutional order, formation of illegal paramilitaries in region'. This obviously could be applied to anyone proposing or taking part in another Maidan against the current regime.

The Transcarpathian local government has not disbanded the local Berkut, contrary to the Ukrainian law passed on 25 February. Members of the Pravi Sektor object to this, probably because it weakens their strategy of using violence to silence opposition.

It is clear that the Ukrainian regime fears more attempts at separatism, and possibly any dissenting voices whatsoever. For example, I have seen images of demonstrations in Mariupol before and after the start of the ATO. From these, it seems plausible that such dissent is suppressed rather having faded away. The 'before' image I have in mind shows a public square fully occupied with anti-regime protestors. The 'after' image shows the same square with a much smaller number of pro-regime supporters, taking up about 1/4 to 1/3 of the square. There are two other distinguishing factors; the dominance of Ukrainian symbols (flags flown or being worn) and a large number of buses parked alongside the square. No such buses were present in the first protest. One possible explanation is that someone (the local oligarch?) has gone to the expense of providing uniform PR material and bussing people in from outside the locality.

Transnistria
ATO
On September 10, the Transnistrian Prime Minister Evgeny Shevchuk signed a law requiring all organisations that have bunkers (air raid shelters ?) and other civil security facilities to prepare them for use. It is not clear whether this is in anticipation of a possible attack from Ukraine, Moldova or both. The Ukrainian Ambassador to Moldova has denied Kiev plans to attack Transnistria.

Economy
The Transnistrian economy is severely hampered by the blockade from Moldova and Ukraine. Most of the exports were destined for Russia or Europe, using Odessa as an exit port. This is now closed as a result of the actions by Ukraine. The Gagauzian region of Moldova also has substantial trade Russia and Turkey. It is alarmed by talk of Moldova rejoining ROmania. The Moldovan economy is also very dependent on Russia. It is claimed that ~30% of its GDP arises from money returned by Moldovan migrants to Russia. Russia is currently tightening up its position regarding migrants. Moldova also exports wine and apples to Russia. The viability of this trade will ma be severely affected when Moldova signs the Association Agreement with the UE.

Politics
Political groups in Transnistria has repeated their support of the DNR in their quest for liberation from fascism. In a 2006 referendum, more than 93% of Transnistrians wanted to join the Russian federation. The Russian response has been that this is difficult because there is no shared border.

The main political issue is the undefined legal status of Transnistria. The blockade by Moldova and Ukraine severely hampers the Transnistrian economy. Transnistria has deferred the forthcoming '5+2' talks until these issues are dealt with or included within the scope of the negotiations. The Transnistrian Head of Foreign Affairs met with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Rubin and the US Ambassador to Moldova W H Moser. The state US position is it wants to the help OSCE mission to Moldova and the '5+2' group to overcome problems and achieve concrete results. Transnistria's position is the negotiation were stopped by Moldova in 2006, only to be restarted in 2011 after much effort especially by Russia to get the talks restarted. Transnistria's suspension of the talks is in response to the economic blockade imposed by Moldova. This has been made worse because Chisinau and Kiev now only allow Transnistrian exports to pass if they have been documented by Moldova. This imposes additional time and monetary costs on the affected goods. Transnistria's position is that it simply wants to run its foreign trade interdependently of Moldova. More recently, Moldovan customs officers at Tiraspol airport have started imposing overly intrusive examinations of the luggage of Transnistrian politicians.

The US has requested that Russia withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Transnistria. The basis for their demand is that the presence does not comply with the Combat Forces in Europe (CFE) agreement. Lavrov has rejected this blatant attempt to weaken Transnistria by stating that the West has not signed the document, so it has no meaning in this case. The US position is made more obvious by their demand that the OSCE mission needs unrestricted access to Transnistrian region because of rising tensions on Ukraine border. The conveniently skip over the fact that the tensions are the result of Ukraine's actions, not those of Transnistria.

Propaganda
One major strand of propaganda is that Russian troops in Transnistria will be used to attack Odessa as the basis for a unified Novorossian coastal zone. This ignores the reality that the peacekeeping force in Transnistria is a roughly equal mix of Transnistrian, Moldovan and Russian troops. If the Russian troops leave Transnistria, then pro-US forces will have little difficulty in overwhelming the Transnistrian forces.

The most amusing propaganda tale relates to the appearance of 'so-called green men' in Moldova, as reported by Moldovan counter-intelligence. These 'little green men' have managed somehow or other to mysteriously appear on Moldovan territory. They attempt to recruit young people as saboteurs, who are taught methods of disinformation, how to act in emergency situations, and how to handle small arms. These green men are, of course, not visible to the normal human eye, but are 'irrefutable evidence' that Transnistria is preparing for war and Russia is recruiting saboteurs.