The Saker blog now also in Russian!

Читайте блог Балобана по-русски щелкнув на эту ссылку:

The Saker Blog now also in French!

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

The Saker Blog now also in German!

koennen jetzt den blog des Sakers auf Deutsch lesen - bitte hier anklicken:

The Saker Blog now in Oceania

you can now also visit the Oceania Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:

The Saker Blog now in Serbian

you can now also visit the Serbian Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Community brainstorming: I am swimming against a Tsunami

Dear friends,

As I mentioned yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that I need to share with you the problems which I and my blog are having and, frankly, to ask for your help.  I have been trying to avoid this, but several good friends have strongly urged me to do so and time has proven that they were right.

First, I will begin by a short "state of the community" mini-report so we can all see how far we have got and where we all are now.

Since 2007 this blog has been a "one-man show" where one anonymous dude shared his thoughts with an abstract (and very small but also very nice) Internet audience.  The war in the Ukraine changed all that.  From a blog which almost never even mentioned the Ukraine (I was focused mostly on the Middle-East) the Saker Blog rapidly became a 99% Ukraine-centered blog.  Along with that, an explosion in the number of readers happened: while for years I had maybe a couple of hundred visitors (on a good day), this spring it went from hundreds, to thousands, to tens of thousands to the absolute record of just under 70'000 in one day in August.  Then, it slowly tapered off back to a more reasonable 20'000-30'000 per day, depending on the events in the Ukraine: the worse the war, the more readers I got (-: which made me feel like a "war profiteer" :-).  The second huge change which suddenly happened was the the small community around this blog suddenly massively grew in size.  It all began when a wonderful French lady ("C" - encore merci pour tout!!) wrote to tell me that she thought my blog should be translated into French.  I replied "great - but I cannot do it myself".  She said that she would try to find somebody.

A few months later there are now six, soon to be seven (Latin American is almost ready!), independent Saker blogs - all tremendously successful, all with their own large readership and attached YouTube channels.  

Then there are the guest-author's SITREPS: Ukraine, Iraq, Nigeria, Transcarpathia Transnistria and Gagauzia, and Latin America.  Two of them come directly from a war zone and thus depend on the author's personal safety and access to communications.  All of them provide an insider look which is simply not to be found elsewhere.  I consider these SITREPs a fantastic asset to our community.

Furthermore, there are two more recent developments which I am delighted with and which deserve special mention here: Alexander Mercouris has agreed to post his (always excellent) FB commentaries on this blog and I am now a regular contributor to Russia Insider with whom the Saker community can now also collaborate on various issues.  In other words, our community is rapidly growing.  And what all this means is this:

We are making a real difference.  We have established a presence in a record time and the future prospects look nothing short of fantastic.  Furthermore, in this current war the information aspect is at least as important as bullets and guns.  In fact, the Empire spends a lot more on information warfare then on the military hardware actually used.  In other words, while a diverse community of like-minded people like ours has neither the goal or the means to beat the big heavyweights like the AngloZionist media or special services, we are big enough to make a difference and they cannot completely ignore us.  At the very least, we can serve to crash their propaganda about a consensus in their support.  Finally, we can be a people-to-people bridge between the people living under the AngloZionist Empire's rule and the those living in the (truly) "free world" lead by Russia.

I still have to pinch myself from time to time to check whether this is " really real", or this is just a dream (the regular contact I have with the wonderful people working on the other Saker blogs and that I now consider as friends, proves to me that, yes, this is real).

Finally, because of the very high risks of censorship and/or legal attack, I have agreed to move this blog to a new server in a safe(r) jurisdiction (Iceland) and on a privately owned server.  As you know, this important and necessary step has, so far, been less than a success (More about that further below) So let's turn to my problems now.

They can all be summarized in a simple expression: time and money.

The huge growth of this blog and the other independent Saker blogs and of our (now truly worldwide) community did not just happen "like that".  At each step of the way, I had to find the right people, discuss an immense array of issues and, of course, make mistakes and try to learn from them.  I had to cope with at least one major crisis which took a lot of energy to mediate and resolve and I had to deal with a lot of people who promised much but delivered nothing.  I am not complaining about this, but I want you to understand that it all entails a huge number of hours of work to organize and fix.  All the while while producing analyses of the civil war in the Ukraine and moderating one to several hundred comments each day (I had asked two friends to help me with that task, but one concluded that the philosophy of this blog did not make him feel comfortable while the second one simply dumped me with less than a week's notice).

As a result of all these developments, my daily workload for this blog has been exponentially going up throughout the spring, summer and fall.  At the same time, however, donations have been going down.  So let's talk about these donations (sigh, deep breath, plunging).

Those who have been here long enough know that the entire idea of donations came from readers who literally demanded that I create some kind of donation option.  I have to tell you that I have always been extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed taking about money (even writing this makes me feel absolutely terrible) but that I decided to give it try.  To my most absolute amazement, donations began coming in and even in amounts sufficient enough to make a difference in my family's budget.  In fact, without these donations we could not have made it through the summer without sinking further into debt (full disclosure: we have a house and 2 old cars, but no savings, no pension, and plenty of credit card debt).  Over the past couple of months, however, these donations have been steadily decreasing and, frankly, my family and I only pulled it through thanks to one individual from northern Europe who has been helping month after month and without whom I could never have maintained this blog.  Clearly, many supporters are suffering from "donor fatigue" or are also maxed out.

From the beginning of the existence of this blog I always have been reluctant to create categories of readers or to offer some products/services only to paying subscribers.  This is still something I don't want to do.  Still, I am told by friends that I should consider such an option.  In practical terms, we are talking about the possibility of writing a book about Russia based on some of the articles I have posted here and/or making a podcast.  Right now, I have way too much to do just to keep things running, but I could consider these options in the future, especially if my financial situation continues to deteriorate.  At this point in time, however, I cannot add any further activities or ventures to what I have to do every day, not unless I find a way to squeeze 36-48 hours of life into a 24 hour day.  Worse, if I have to take on these ventures just to make ends meet, I will have to dramatically decrease the time spent on this blog and this, right at the time when the Empire's war against Russia is heating up and the Ukraine is about to explode again.  This makes no sense to me.

By the way, I am often accused of being a "paid Putin agent".  Every time I read that I sigh in think "if only that was true...".  The reality is that Vladimir Vladimirovich has not contributed a single kopek to this blog (yet?), nor has any other Russian government, corporate or even private entity.  A few Russian readers have, but I can count them on the fingers of one hand.  Considering the absolutely dismal Russian performance in the current PR war against the western MSM propaganda machine, I am at loss for words to describe this apparent indifference.  I can only surmise that this the "not without honor, except in your own country, and in your own house" phenomenon at work.

If I had a magic wand, I would go back to doing what I think I do best and what most of you would probably want me to do: write analyses for this blog.  But in order to do that, I need to be honest with you and admit to you that I hit a kind of a "wall" and that I need your help.  If you value what you get on this blog then please help me work for this blog in conditions where I can at least preserve my mental health and focus on my writing rather than on my ballooning debt.  I am sorry to be so blunt about this, but at this point I have no other choice.

Then there is the issue of the new blog.

Fundamentally, I think that the decision to move the blog to Iceland is a sound one.  Furthermore, I personally like the new blog a lot, both the design, the visual appearance and the work on it as an author and administrator.  Simply put: WordPress is infinitely better than Blogger.  Furthermore, there is a real risk of being shut down here, on Blogger.  So I see no reasons to question the original idea.  The implementation is, however, a different business.  Here I personally responsible for a number of mistakes.  I will spare you all the technical details, but the bottom line is that for the time being the new blog needs to go back into testing and until it is fixed we all have to only use this blog here, on Blogger, for the foreseeable future.  The new blog will be back and, hopefully, the next time around it will be more solid than the first one.  But for the time being - Blogger is the only option.

The bottom line is this: I need your help.

First, if you have not contributed to this blog in the past, please do.  Right now less than 0.25% of the readers of this blog have sent a donation.  If you have, please consider contributing again or even increasing your contribution.

Second, please let me know what you think of the idea of creating "for purchase" products as opposed to keep everything for free.  Specifically, please let me know if you would be interested in purchasing a book and/or a podcast.  My own preference goes for the former, but you might think otherwise. 

Third, do you have any ideas about fund-raising/crowd-funding?  Are there any amongst you who are knowledgeable about this realm about which I know nothing?  Would any of you offer your time as a volunteer fund-raiser of some type?  What about this idea: can the community support my work by raising funds for me not by sending donations, but literally by creating some kind of fund-raising mechanism?  Seeking out donors amongst friends?  Organizing some kind of mailing list or dedicated website?  Write to Vladimir Vladimirovich and ask for his help (just kidding!)?  Seriously, if you cannot donate or are maxed out - can you help with your brain and, especially, your time?

In other words, while advice about what I could/should do is great, it would be even greater if some of you could actually take it upon themselves to help directly. Right now, I am so overworked that I stopped writing my thesis, stopped all my recreational activities and my daily reading is down to 15min a day max: I have 3 books in the pipeline to review for this blog, and I had only enough time to read 3/4 of the first one...

Fourth, please forgive me all the problems with the new server and the back and fourth between the old and new one.  For the time being, let's stay here and if suddenly I get shut down by Blogger - then go to any of the other Saker blogs (which are all safely hosted in Iceland) until the new blog is fixed.

Fifth and last, but most definitely not least - do you have any other suggestions or ideas? I really hope that this appeal to the community will generate one (or several) solutions. So far, what I call the "spontaneous self-organization of people" has been nothing short of miraculous for me and since the friend I mentioned yesterday did write "We can fix everything except you" I have decided to honestly lay out in front of "all of y'alls" (as they say in Florida) the stuff I am struggling with and which destroys my peace of mind.

Right now, I have the feeling that I am swimming against a Tsunami and I am losing the strength to do so very fast.  Please think about it all and if you can help, in any form, please do.

I would prefer if you posted your reactions/ideas/suggestions here, but feel free to also email me if you prefer.  I will probably not have the time to respond individually to most (or even any) of your comments/emails, but I will try as best I can.  And I will definitely read every single with the greatest attention.

For the rest of the week, I will probably post less as I will be working on many of these behind-the-scenes problems, but since I left you with two *truly* world-class articles to consider (Strelkov's reply to Khodorkovsky and the Glaziev - Khazin press conference) and since the "questions to Khazin" are still being collected until Friday, I trust that this is fair enough.  Of course, in case of critical developments I will set everything aside and keep you posted as best I can.

Okay, readers and friends, your turn now.  Please help in any way you can.

Thanks and kind regards to all,

The Saker

October Nigeria SITREP (Boko Haram)

by 'Fulan Nasrullah'

A few salient points on the so called Ceasefire:

1. There is no ceasefire between the trio of Jamaa'atu Ahlis-Sunnah ('Alal-Haqq) of Sheikh Bukar, Ansorul-Muslimiin Harakatul-Muhajiriin, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
These groups have been engaged in a heavy battles with the Cameroonians on their side of the Mandara Mountains, and they agreed to a temporary cessation of hostilities with Cameroon in several sectors along the border. Part of that agreement was the release of the Chinese an Cameroonian hostages held by Harakatul-Muhajiriin and Ansorul-Muslimiin.

2. This ceasefire between the insurgents and Cameroon was reached despite the objections of Khalid Al-Barnawi because the insurgents had suffered heavy losses in recent battles on the Cameroonian front.
Sources estimate as much as a thousand to fifteen hundred fighters died in a month of fighting in the Adamawa Mountains.

3. Cameroon agreed to this ceasefire because it too had suffered heavy losses in the fight against the insurgents, and it faced an escalation of the fighting and a spread of the conflict out of the border areas where the violence has been contained within to its southern population areas (the Afghanistan Scenario I.e suicide bombings, mass scale terror attacks on civilians in the country's hinterland etc).

4. Cameroon has no interest in wiping out Boko Haram as long as the insurgents remain contained across the border inside Nigeria.
The Cameroonians only view Boko Haram as a threat because the insurgents have been using their territory as a rear base area and have been recruiting Cameroonians in their thousands to fight in the war in Nigeria. This opens the door to such Cameroonian recruits returning home to launch their own jihad against Paul Biya and his regime.
So seeing an opportunity to move the fighting back into Nigeria and preserve the peace in its territory, Yaoundé jumped at it.

5. The Insurgents expansion campaigns were stalled because they underestimated the Cameroonian resolve to keep the fighting out of Cameroon and they ended up diverting resources from their territorial expansion campaigns to fighting the Cameroonians.

6. A ceasefire was asked for by the Nigerian Government and was rejected by all the factions except Shekau's faction.

7. The ceasefire agreement reached in N'Djadmena the Chadian capital between Jamaa'tu Ahlis-Sunnah of Shekau had no fixed operational limit attached to it.

8. The Nigerian negotiators asked for the Shekau Faction delegation to bear a message to Shekau that the Nigerian President was seeking to negotiate a permanent solution to this crisis with the insurgents. This same message was sent through Chadian and Cameroonian intelligence channels to the other three factions. ALL THE FACTIONS rejected the offer of comprehensive negotiations, with Shekau's Faction saying that Abubakar Shekau was only interested in a temporary ceasefire.

9. Contrary to Federal Government claims there was no agreement to release the Chibok girls as Shekau does not hold them. Shekau holds hundreds possibly thousands of women kidnapped by his foot soldiers across Yobe and Borno States, but he doesn't hold the Chibok girls and he holds no territory in that area at all. Rather Shekau's Faction promised to intercede with Ansorul-Muslimiin who are the ones holding the girls to secure their release..

The Federal Government has been trying to portray the ceasefire agreement it reached with Shekau's faction as a political victory. Boko Haram is not a monolithic entity rather it is an ideological movement with for factions only one of whom reached a ceasefire with the Government. Despite this so called ceasefire there was fighting <a href="http://">around military positions in the areas close to Damboa Town</a> (Propaganda aside, insurgents still control Damboa). This fighting was between fighters of the other three factions and the Nigerian Army.

Will the ceasefire lead to a change on the ground? Not much. Most of the ground fighting in the really active war theatres of Southern Borno and Adamawa has been conducted by the other three factions, with Shekau's faction facing a difficult transition from a terrorist/guerrilla army to a conventional force in Yobe and Northern Borno. Not much fighting has taken place in the Shekau faction's area of operations recently.

With the other three factions rejecting any ceasefire negotiations there will definitely be more fighting in the Southern Borno-Adamawa axis as they are not bound by the ceasefire agreement between the Nigerian Government and Shekau. Although the rate at which the insurgents (the trio factions) launch attack would be reduced as they try to reap benefits from the temporary pause in their campaign in Cameroon.

Note On My Absence.
I am unfortunately not always available these days to write as much as I want to. My time is limited and I am in an area where I am often cut off from internet facilities, thanks to the so called Counter Insurgency Campaign in North East Nigeria and I often have to rely on Cameroonian communications networks that are received over the border, to talk to the outside world.


Top Putin advisors and experts discuss economy, sanctions & central bank

Dear friends,

There is no overstating the importance of the video and transcript I am posting today.  In a crucial moment of the confrontation between the AngloZionist Empire and Russia, two top Putin advisors - Sergei Glaziev and Mikhail Khazin - openly and very candidly discuss the "economic front" of this global war.  Both of these man are top level economists, both of them have a first hand and truly immense knowledge of the real state of affairs of the Russian state and Russian economy, and both have "Putin's ear" (they - not Dugin - are his close advisors).  Last but not least, Khazin and Glaziev are firmly in the "Eurasian Sovereignist" camp and are therefore hated by the "Atlantic Integrationist" 5th column.

One more thing: yesterday I published a manifesto by Strelkov whom I described as an "iconic symbol and spokesman for the "Eurasian Sovereignist" camp".  This is true as far as the Russian people are concerned.  But Strelkov has no access to the high spheres of power and he is not privy to the internal Kremlin politics.  Strelkov has the potential to play an important role because the real power base of Putin and the "Eurasian Sovereignists" is what we could call "the Russian street" - the people of Russia (in contrast to the real power base of the Atlantic Integrationists who are the Russian liberal money elites).  But Strelkov will never be part of any move to re-gain control of the Russian Central Bank or to change the interest rates charged to Russian businesses.  Khazin and, especially, Glaziev will.

My intention with these publications is to give you, my readers, a "behind the scenes" or "not for western audiences" kind of access and insight into the very real war taking place inside Russia.  At a time when so many putatively pro-Russian bloggers present a crude and primitive "shoulda coulda woulda" model with on one side heroic good guys and on the other villains and traitors I want you to be able to see the extreme complexity and intensity of the internal war taking place inside Russia for the future of Russia.  Once you do that, then the apparent zig-zags of Russian policies in Novorussia will begin to make sense to you and you will be able to distinguish real Russian patriots (those who struggle to free Russia from the AngloZionist domination) from the fake ones (those who always find a way to criticize the former ones but never do anything useful themselves).

Sorry for that long introduction, but I am so exited to finally be able to share these important documents with you that I wanted to explain why I consider them so important.

A few technical points now:

1)  There is a nasty little outfit out there trying to have this video removed from YouTube on "copyright grounds".  I urge you to download it as soon as you can.  Firefox users can do that with the "MP4 downloader", "DownloadHelper" and "DownThemAll" extensions.  Please feel free to repost it anywhere you want (RuTube maybe?)
2) By "popular demand" and because this is a most important document, I have made the full transcript available for download here ( )

Okay, that's here.  On with the video now.  Enjoy!!

The Saker
(please make sure to press the 'cc' button on the lower right to see the English subs!)

Vladimir Anatolievich (V.A)

Sergey Glazyev (S.G)
Khazin Mikhail Leonidovich (M.L)
Vladimir Yuryevich Levchenko (V.Y)

English Transcription & Translation by:
VineyardSaker Video Team: Marina, GC, Katya, S, Gideon & Yulia
Editing & Production: Marina & Augmented Ether

German intelligence report on MH17

by Alexander Mercouris

It seems the German intelligence agency the BND has provided a Bundestag committee with a report that once again attributes the MH17 shoot down to the NAF.

The report has not been published but for me the single most interesting thing in it is that it apparently finally demolishes the theory that MH17 was shot down by a BUK system secretly transferred to the NAF by the Russians. We are back it seems to the theory that the NAF shot down MH17 with a BUK missile system it captured from the Ukrainians.

There are a number of points to make here:

1. At the time when MH17 was shot down the western media were in full flood that the Russians were responsible. All sorts of stories circulated about how a BUK missile system was supposedly secretly smuggled by Russia across the border and supplied to the NAF, which the NAF then used to shoot MH17 down. These stories played a key role in influencing western public opinion against Russia. The Germans forced other EU states to impose sectoral sanctions on Russia on the grounds it was responsible for the tragedy because it was arming the NAF. The stories of a BUK missile system being secretly smuggled back and forth across the border (and films supposedly culled from social media supposedly showing it doing just that) undoubtedly played a part in giving credence to these claims. The BND has now admitted that the Russians were not involved in the shooting down of MH17 and that MH17 was not shot down by a BUK missile system smuggled by the Russians across the border. It turns out therefore that all those stores that gained so much attention and which did Russia's image so much harm were untrue. I wonder whether sectoral sanctions would have been imposed on Russia if it had been known then that those stories were untrue.

2. By saying that MH17 was shot down by the NAF using a captured BUK missile system, the BND is contradicting what the junta said at the time and is still saying. The junta still denies that any of its BUK systems have been captured by the NAF. By contrast the BND now admits that what the Russians were saying in July - that they did not transfer a BUK system to the NAF and that they were not involved in the shooting down of MH17 - was true.

3. The BND has also apparently admitted that the "evidence" the junta produced supposedly culled from social media was fabricated or falsified. This is important because it is the first western admission of the fact that the junta has lied. Up to now no western government or agency has ever called into question anything the junta has ever said. Of course if the junta falsified or fabricated evidence about MH17 it might have done so about other matters (eg. the Kiev snipers or the Odessa fire).

4. There were some reports before the MH17 tragedy that the NAF had indeed captured a BUK missile system. It is difficult to say how credible those reports were. As I have previously said, given that the capture of such a system would have been a considerable coup, one might have expected the NAF to make more of the fact by publishing photographs of the BUK system they had captured. That however never happened. Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence but I would still like to see some convincing evidence that the NAF really did have a BUK missile system in its possession (and a crew able to operate it) before I accepted the fact. Uncorroborated claims denied then and since by the Ukrainians and made in the midst of an armed conflict when all sorts of exaggerated claims are made are not sufficient evidence and do not prove anything. In the absence of such evidence all I can do is note (1) that the NAF continues to deny that it had or was operating a BUK system when MH17 was shot down and (2) that no evidence exists or has been made public which refutes that denial. .

5. The media reports about the BND report say that the BND has shown such evidence to the Bundestag committee and that supposedly it includes satellite imagery. The evidence has not however been made public and again one has to ask why? It is scarcely believable that there is something so secret about the way this evidence was collected that prevents it from being made public. The Russians and the Chinese certainly know everything there is to know about how the western powers collect imagery and other intelligence from their satellites. It is not as if publishing this evidence is therefore going to compromise any intelligence source or capability. Why then the secrecy especially over an issue of such importance? Whether the western powers want to admit to the fact or not, their refusal to make their evidence public casts doubt on how much weight this evidence really has.

6. In the absence of publication of this evidence (which would allow it to be properly examined and tested) it remains impossible to accept any claims based on it. There have just been too many cases of western intelligence agencies assuring us on the basis of "evidence" kept secret of the truth of things that turned out to be false. Recent examples include the false claims made by all western intelligence agencies including the BND about Saddam Hussein's non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the wrong claims of massive Russian slush funds hidden away in Cyprus, which actually originated with the BND, and the denials last year made by all western intelligence agencies including the BND that the Syrian rebels have used sarin gas, which a UN report has since admitted they almost certainly have.

7. There is one point about MH17 I do however wish to make.

On balance and despite the fact that the body of one of the passengers was found wearing an oxygen mask, I still think the most likely explanation for the tragedy is that MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile. I realise others (eg, Petri Kohn) disagree. I am not technically qualified to decide the question.

I am however concerned that some people are trying to reduce this issue to a false binary of SU25=junta versus BUK=NAF. That is precisely what the BBC for example sought to do in a recent Panorama programme.

The attraction of insisting that MH17 was shot down by a SU25 is that in that case only the junta could have done it since no one says the NAF had an operational SU25 capable of shooting MH17 down. The danger of insisting that MH17 was shot down by an SU25 is that if it does turn out that MH17 was in fact actually shot down by a BUK missile, then some in the west will treat that as proof that it was the NAF that shot it down.

It is nothing of the sort. It cannot be said too strongly that as of now there is no proof that at the time when MH17 was shot down the NAF was in possession of either an operational SU25 aircraft or an operational BUK system, whereas there is conclusive proof that the junta was in possession of both. Until the BND or some other western intelligence makes evidence public that proves the contrary that remains the position.

Major problems for me and this blog - community brainstorming tomorrow, okay?

Dear friends,

As many of you have noticed, the new blog was down, now it is back up, but with a older version which is missing at least two posts and many comments.  My fault, my bad.  Now I need to fix it.  I will.  Still,

To be honest, I am having major problems and, to be equally honest, I need you guys to help me.  I am too tired right now to go into all the details, and I am waiting to hear from my IT volunteers, but I will write up a major announcement tomorrow where I will do a "state of the community" overview, list the problems that I am having, and ask for both help and suggestions as to how to address these problems.

A good friend whom you know under a alias wrote to me tonight "Keep the Blogger site going and don't crack up over the new version. We can fix everything except you."  He also made a couple of very intelligent suggestions.  Okay, I will call upon you all to help out since, after all, this is as much your blog, space and community as it is mine.

"See you" all tomorrow, kind regards,

The Saker

Monday, October 20, 2014

Igor Strelkov replies to Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Dear friends,

Today I am submitting to your attention two interesting documents. A speech by "ex-oligarch and mobster now turned democratic activist" Mikhail Khodorkovsky and a reply to that speech by Igor Strelkov.

Make no mistake, there is a war going on. True, it has not yet turned into a shooting war with armies on both sides unleashing their power, but this is a war nevertheless. This war opposes, on one hand, the 1% ruling elites of the AngloZionist Empire and their allies in Russia - we can call them the "5th column" or the "Atlantic Integrationists" - and on the other hand, the Russian "Eurasian Sovereignists" and their allies in the rest of the world, including the many supporters of a sovereign and independent Russia in the West. This war has many "fronts" including, of course, the one between in Novorussia and Banderastan, but there are many more. There is one in Syria, Iran and Iraq. There is another one right inside the EU. There is another front in Far East Asia, along the Taiwan Strait, and yet another one in Latin America. In the recent past, these fronts could also be found running across the Serbian Krajina in Croatia, the border between Israel and Lebanon and in Chechnia. In fact, this is the first truly a *planetary war* and there are "fronts" everywhere. Even the Muslim "umma" is deeply split between those who support (US backed) Saudi Wahabism and those who oppose it (lead by Iran).

Right now, the most important one of these fronts runs across the Donbass, but this can change tomorrow.

One of these fronts runs across the Russian society. Khodorkovsky is the iconic symbol and spokesman for the "Atlantic Integrationist" camp while Strelkov is the iconic symbol and spoksman for the "Eurasian Sovereignist" camp. Please read both of their manifestos and compare them - you will see that the differences between these two worldviews are not only deep, they are mutually irreconcilable.

A big "thank you!!" to "A" who translated the Strelkov manifesto for this blog.

I hope that you will enjoy this fascinating read.

Kind regards,

The Saker

Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Khodorkovsky’s Speech at the Freedom House Awards Dinner

The following is the prepared text of the speech delivered by Mikhail Khodorkovsky at the 2014 Freedom House Awards Dinner on October 1. The text was originally posted here.

The European choice, social justice and national mobilization

1. There is a legend about how nearly 200 years ago, the Russian political émigrés of that time asked the Russian court historian Karamzin for the news about what was happening in the Motherland. Karamzin thought for a moment and then replied with a single word: “Stealing”. Little has changed in Russia since those times. Except maybe that the stealing has become even more sophisticated. Everything gets stolen in Russian, but the main thing – and this is unique, I suppose – is that in Russia even time gets stolen.

2. A little over 10 years ago I flew away from the USA to Russia, in order to strike out 10 years from my life and the life of my family. These ten years were taken away from me. In exchange I received some unique life experience that allowed me to rethink if not everything, then certainly a very large part of what I had been living by and what I had believed in the previous decade. But there is no way to bring back the time.

3. But the worst thing that I discovered when I got out of prison was that those ten years had been stolen not only from me, they had been stolen from the entire country. Time had struck the Putin decade out of Russia’s life. Concealed behind a façade of outward prosperity is the fact that the country has stopped its development. Not only that, in most areas it has been flung back far into the distant past: politically, economically, psychologically. The profusion of goods in the stores and the abundance of money in people’s pockets should not fool anybody. The regime can not take credit for this; it is a function of the oil market.

4. But that is not all. It turns out that the regime has robbed not only Russia, . It is trying to throw the whole world back into the era of the cold war (if not a hot one), when disputes are resolved at the point of a gun, while one’s superiority is proven not by rates of economic growth, but by military aggression. Russia and the world have come to a very dangerous point, beyond which looms a Third World War.

The return to Europe

5. A return to the European values that lie at the foundation of the Euro-Atlantic civilization, – a mental and political return – is the starting point for the new political course that could help Russia work its way out of the historical snare it is now in. Russia has just two ways it can go – forward into the post-industrial era together with Europe, or back into the Middle Ages , and after that into outright non-existence.

6. All that my country has today, everything that it considers truly “its own”, everything that has allowed it to become a great power and that is now its “calling card”: space exploration, the nuclear shield, literature and art, the high level of education and science (which even thirty years of “timelessness” were incapable of destroying) – was created within the scope of the European cultural tradition, in interaction with European culture and within the milieu of European culture. All of the deeds of spiritual valor of the Russian people, all of the innumerable sacrifices they have brought to the altar of their independence, were performed within the fold of the Christian tradition, which was and remains European in its nature.

7. A break with the West, with its values and its knowledge, is a dangerous step, one that leads to Russia losing its true cultural identity. The “Eurasianism” that is being actively forced upon society as the new totalitarian ideology is nothing more than a verbose justification for militant ignorance and barbarism. In order to preserve Russia as a single, independent, and sovereign state, it is imperative to return it to that path of development which it had followed in achieving its glory.

8. European values (or Euro-Atlantic, as it is now the common practice to call them) are first and foremost values of a strong and just state with effective institutions and laws that work. Russia needs these no less than any other people in the world do. Russia needs a law-based state and an open economy not because this will please Western Europe and America, but so it can work together with the Euro-Atlantic world – and if necessary compete with it as well – on equal terms. Peter the Great did not build the Russian army based on European models just to make the Swedes happy.

9. Whoever wants to be strong must not allow himself to fall behind. Russia can not and shut itself off from progress with some sort of Chinese Wall (in the literal and the figurative sense of this word). Anti-Western hysteria is a manifestation of psychological insecurity and fear of competition on the part of those fringe elements who are today’s elite in Russia. Churchill once said that the reason there is no anti-semitism in England is because the English do not think they are any stupider than Jews. We have no reason to fear Europe, because we are no stupider than other Europeans.

10. To be together with Europe does not mean dissolving into Europe. Russia has both its own distinct cultural identity and its own particular national interests, which it has to know how to protect. Denying Russia a European choice under the pretext of protecting its national interests or using the European choice as an explanation for refusing to protect national interests are both equally unacceptable.

A return to fairness

11. Modern Russian society is structured unfairly. Whoever has the biggest fist in it has bigger rights as well. In Russia today might is right, but it should be the other way around – what is right has the might. Restoring the “balance of fairness” is a top-priority task for all of the forces that have the transformation of Russia into a modern and dynamically developing state as their objective. If a solution is not found for this strategic task, society is not going to put its support behind any economic, social, or political reform. Paraphrasing Engels, we can say: all previous reforms in post-communist Russia led to an increase in social injustice; now the task consists of eliminating or at least reducing this injustice.

12. A return to social justice in Russia is impossible without repairing the damage caused by an unjust privatization. Privatization was a painful historical task without which Russia’s further development would not have been possible. But the way it which it was accomplished led to the emergence of extremely severe social side effects. The point of the next stage of Russia’s history will consist of eliminating these “distortions”. Today, the power is de facto reconsidering the results of privatization in its own peculiar way, taking ownership out of the hands of some people merely to transfer it immediately into other, supposedly more “on our side”, hands. This is not what our people are waiting for. This is not going to lead anywhere except to even more stealing and corruption.

13. To begin with, restoring fairness will have to also address the question of subsoil use – the main source of the Russian people’s wealth, and as of today its only one. At the given stage of historical development, we need to acknowledge the fairness of a simple formula – the income from the exploitation of Russia’s subsoil needs to belong to the people of Russia. The subsoil can be in the private ownership of those who extract this income for society – specifically for society – and who are efficiently managing operations and growing them. But it can not remain at the disposal of nomenklatura rentiers, who pay themselves disproportionate “salaries” and are incapable of working efficiently.

14. It is imperative to bring back fairness in income distribution as a whole as well, restoring proportional taxation rates. . We have got to create the image of the “responsible taxpayer”, with all of his obligations, but also, needless to say, with rights as well. Only someone who pays taxes has the right to ask the state – what has it done for him with these taxes? A rentier-nation does not have such a right, and this is why the power is doing whatever it wants with the nation.

15. The vector of development of Russian liberalism, which is exclusively political today, needs to be rethought. Producing draft constitutions and plans for radical political and economic reforms is a futile exercise until society begins to feel that the liberal idea is a fair idea.

16. Society has enormous potential for self-organization when there is an idea around which a matrix can form. For Russia, such an idea can only be a socially oriented nation state. The only question is will this socially oriented nation state be liberal or fascist?

War – the ultimate unfairness

17. Fascism – this is war. Russia is already making real war. those who send heroes to die not in the name of national interests, not to defend the Fatherland, but in order to keep in power a small group of plutocrats who are trying in this way to prolong the life of a regime that has already outlived itself.

18. War has become the sole driver of the moribund regime. It is happening in the Ukraine, but this war is not for Ukraine’s or Russia’s sake, but for the sake of power. What got such a wildly enthusiastic reaction from the man in the street is going to bring innumerable trials and tribulations to the Russian people in the nearest foreseeable future already.

National mobilization

19. The ruling regime is turning Russia into a Chinese protectorate. This is not even a question of the annexation of Siberia,. Today it would be enough just for Siberia to be completely locked in on China, which for all intents and purposes is going to be sucking resources out of it for free, like from a colony.

20. Russia has gotten stuck on a dangerous historical track, getting out of which is very complicated. In order to simply stop, and all the more so to switch to some other track, is going to require mobilization of all of the energies of the Russian people. The task of true Russian patriots is not in promising the Russian people smooth sailing but in telling the truth. Only if they understand the scale of the threat and of the historical significance of the moment can the people be moved to perform heroic deeds. And without heroic deeds, Russia today can not be saved.

21. The heroic deed of the Russian people must consist of constructive labor, of inculcating discipline and moderation, and of developing the ability to work together and to help one another – in other words, of reviving all those moral skills that had helped Russian culture to develop and that have been lost to a large extent in recent years. In order to raise the people up to be able to perform this heroic deed, the pro-European minority needs to prove its moral soundness and its readiness to observe, not in word, but in deed, the principle of equality of all before the law. It is precisely this equality of all before a law that is the same for all, before an adversity that is the same for all, and for a common cause that is the same for all, that the true sense of liberalism consists of. If the people come to believe in this, then everything else will fall into place – the reforms, economic progress, and prosperity for Russia.

22. Russia has been wasting time these past ten years; now is when we must begin to make up this lost time.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Igor Strelkov
Strelkov's answer to Khodorkovsky
Forword by Colonel Cassad: After a long silence Strelkov speaks with program criticism of Khodorkovsky's manifesto. Transition to public dispute where Strelkov opposes to vision of the fluent oligarch broadcasting from the USA, his vision of Russia's future, considerably defines Strelkov's vision of the country's future. In general, Strelkov's answer to Khodorkovsky, reflect his views that the Crimean Spring is the beginning of "revolution from above" which is carried out by Putin. 


At the beginning of October in headquarters of the international human rights organization Freedom House in Washington, the former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky made the speech convicting the Russian State and the President. The speech which formed the basis of the manifesto published afterwards. Having secured with support of global financial oligarchy, Khodorkovsky put forward some conceptual theses, using comparisons, analogy and association, familiar to the Russians, even sometimes copying methods of patriotic rhetoric. With enviable pathos and a claim for the status of an ultimate instance, the former oligarch tries to combine the incompatible. He "adds" liberal "values" alien to Russia and the Russian people to the concept of national pride and justice, close and native to the Russian heart, creating dangerous illusion of their organic compatibility. Khodorkovsky trying to accustoms active part of society to the future liberal transformations initiated by the world oligarchy and moreover – declares them, as only possible and useful. Unfortunately, it is simply impossible to ignore this combination of "warm with soft" and leave it without answer . Too dangerous speeches were heard from lips of the obvious enemy of Russia and attempt of implementation of the scenarios offered by him can be way too destructive. We have to give the, Russian, patriotic answer to the globalistic, liberal scenario imposed by Khodorkovsky under the guise of a new round of "reforms". After all it is not simply leisure reasonings of the rich and uncommon criminal who ran away from the Fatherland, it is the ideological program of new revolution in Russia – "road map" of the oligarchical revolt directed as always in the Russian history, against the Governor, the People and the Power. Well, we will sort out everything point by point.

Russian choice, social justice and national mobilization 

1. 100 years ago the last Russian Tsar-martyr Nicholas II wrote:" Around treason, cowardice and deception". He meant not the people at all, not "fools and roads", but the political, military and economic elite surrounding him during that period. Treason by elite ended up with the collapse of the greatest world power, the Russian Empire. 200 years ago the political elite under the leadership of the British envoy participated in regicide of the Emperor Pavel that led to Napoleon's invasion and 1812 Patriotic war subsequently. 400 years ago during the Time of Troubles, political elite of Russia swore to impostors and the Polish king, committed treason both to the Fatherland and Faith, while only revolt by the Russian militia saved both Russia and Orthodoxy during this period, having laid the foundation of a new Russian Tsars dynasty. Since then in Russia a little has changed. The Russian governors with a support on the Russian people bring their lifes on the Fatherland altar, and the fattened, corrupted comprador elites doesn't disdain in any ways to betray the Homeland, cowardly treason the Sovereign, to rob and subordinate the people for the sake of personal instant profit. Pacification always there came after long and painful years of a distemper – Russia which left behind crisis and bloody wars started developing progressively again. The history repeated itself 23 years ago (before our eyes) again: the "red empire" which really needed serious and extremely careful reforming was plundered instead, stolen and destroyed by rack of "repainted" high-ranking party officials, sold to recent "ideological enemies" and adjoined them unscrupulous nouveau riches. The history been accelerated … its rounds become shorter. And here again – the second time on our short century – the country which is hardly starting being restored after last "disorder" appears under the threat of a greedy scramble. Those to who were not allowed to plunder finally our distressful Homeland in the 90th, are eager for a revenge now.

2. 10 years of imprisonment for you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, is a real tragedy. After all, how much it would be possible to steal during this term! Your only task now is to make up for the lost time. Let's look past 10 years of your activity. Since 1991 before the arrest, you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, "from anything" ( without investing a ruble, but having appropriated for tens of billions of dollars of national property) created the huge financial and industrial empire, having become one of the richest people of the country. Thus, as well, as all oligarchs of that time, you generously "walked on corpses", didn't constrain yourself by any moral restrictions, plundered and ruined huge Soviet industrial heritage. Rolled in money and "elitism", without refusing to yourselves of anything. During the same years me and many of my friends and comrads were almost permanently at war for the Russian people and for Russia, against enemies of the Fatherland. At first in Transnistria, then in Bosnia, then in Chechnya. While we suffered a defeat after defeat because of treachery by so-called "new elite", receded, gritting the teeth, accompanied by contemptuous and full of hatred comments from so-called "democratic" mass media, you, Mr. Khodorkovsky and such likes didn't even remember needs of the country and its people. Therefore our experiences are essentially different. You learned to steal, plunder and lie and we – to protect Russia and the people. Even when anybody didn't demand it from us. The prison always changes people, occasionally – to the better. You, alas, didn't obtain due experience from that. After all, you didn't plead guilty absolutely to anything even after return to freedom. Moreover, you appeared immediately in the camp of enemies again, thus having confirmed that you was in prison for a good reason.

3. What are you talking about using word "stole" ? You, whose credo was "to steal, steal and steal"? Have you build or manufactured something in your life, that would be possible to steal personally from you? No. Because you weren't engaged in anything, except of theft, fraud and robbery, before the prison. From all your achievements, I am personally ready to recognize, as socially useful result only those "boots" which you "stitched" in prison. From the moral point of view, only this your work also is only worthy in all your, to put it mildly, rather dirty life of the highly professional thief and talented swindler. But worst of all that this work didn't do for you good at all and, judging by with whom you act nowadays, it didn't lead you to understanding of your own mistakes and crimes. When the real Patriots of Russia and the Russian people engaged in Novorossiya, you, having received pardon from the President Putin, immediately supported his enemies and enemies of Russia. You were on a Russophobic Maidan and gathered on the enemy territory all "color" of the Russian traitors on a forum to fight against the Russian Spring. You are saying that "Russia has ceased to grow"? It is direct result of your activity, your privatization, your comprador policy. Now your call is for cardinal reforms? With whom in alliance ?? With frank enemies of all Russian? Proceeding from patriotic motives?

4. Especially brightly your "patriotism", Mikhail Borisovich, is shown in repetition by you of a "horror movie" about Russia, as a "threat to Europe and the whole world". Once Goebbels, and long before him – Napoleon and the British lords Palmerston and Disraeli loudly (and it is much more talented manner) shouted about this "threat". After them Winston Churchill did so and the U.S. President Ronald Reagan who, without a moment's hesitation called the USSR "Empire of evil". Thus, Mikhail Borisovich, you went on quite blazed way. It seems, with full confidence that only you are "the smartest" and something knew about the history, while all Russian people are full blockheads and ignoramuses. Well, cowards too who are easy for deceiving and intimidating by a ghost of "The third world war" that they easy agree to refuse the Fatherland and the help to their brothers perishing in Novorossiya in exchange for "would be no war at all cost". But the main addressee of this address is not in Russia at all. It is some kind of "oath" to those who during all history of Russia dreamed to liquidate it. In my opinion, this is typical shulersky reception at which the player operating with marked cards, understanding takes place that him just about will expose, immediately accuses partners of deception. The Western world headed by global financial oligarchy which integral part you, Mikhail Borisovich, endeavor to present us, – being going to destroy or win neighbors, always and everywhere I started accusing future opponents, attributing it in accuracy own intentions. So it is possible to state: Russia really threatens with war. In hope that it will be frightened and capitulates, having allowed to disarm at first herself, and then finally to finish. What here to tell? The task of the real Russian patriots (but not frequenters Washington "Fried House") consists in preparing for reflection of aggression from the West because only in this case Russia will have an opportunity to prevent it and to defend the sovereignty.

Return to Russia 

5. Speaking about "the European values", you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, either don't understand or just pretend that you don't understand) that they have no relation to the real Values, traditional for Europe. They are revived today in Russia by the President Putin. And those "values" which are imposed by world financial oligarchy as "European", today are causing hundred thousand-strong protest actions in Europe. When last time, more than 20 years ago, the management of the USSR decided "to turn" to these so-called "values", the country was split, as a result, plundered and humiliated, and the Russian people suddenly appeared to be the largest divided nation in the world. From the moment of coming to power Putin started correcting catastrophe of the 90th: to subdue absolute power of oligarchy, to nationalize elite, to restore the destroyed economy. In process of establishment of an order the President found it possible to show mercy even to such a bastard, as you showed yourself to the world, Mr. Khodorkovsky, prior to the prison. But you didn't appreciated it. Probably, because you considered the favor rendered, as a manifestation of weakness. After all you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, of course, wouldn't bother yourself with such sentiment, isn't it? And now, having deceived the President by the false remorse, do you intend to take revenge for everything he did? That he relied on strengthening of the state and protection of national interests to the detriment of comprador elite? That he didn't allow to sell on cheap the largest stocks of natural resources to "Rotschilds", dooming Russia to the external management? That he punished you for openly stated intentions to discharge him from the power via unconstitutional way? From your words: being in prison, you "re-estimated a lot of things". But just having been released, you appeared on different sides of the front with the Russian people in war for the Russian World, in direct and rigid opposition on Donbass again. Your hatred to Putin brought you into a camp of enemies not only personally of the President, but into a camp of enemies of the Russian state and all Russian people. How can you dare to reproach Putin that he stood up to defense of the people of the Crimea and Novorossiya, didn't allow the Ukrainian nazis supported by the West to establish over the Crimea and Donbass a bloody dictatorship? After all Russians protecting themselves and their lifes. You accuse the victims that they allegedly have the nerve to defend themselves. The third world war is excluded while Russia is strong and rather powerful to guarantee, hence asymmetric, but strategic parity and while there are people in charge, who are not ready to trade off their country and the people for promises to be part of supranational financial elite. We will give worthy repulse to your persistent and not reclined during years of imprisonment, aspiration to sell something that doesn't belong to you. We also won't allow repeatedly just as was 23 years ago, to carry away ourselves through the false slogans.

6. Such things which you talking about, as "the European values and the euroatlantic civilization", not only has no relation to Russia, but directly contradicts our national history, psychology, destiny. Europe departed from its own Christian values long ago, having plunged into the abyss of the most vile defects, and eulogized "euroatlanticism" is no more than the geopolitical doctrine of USA global domination, directed against the people of the whole world still keeping own religion, the sovereignty and national traditions. Russia was twice affected already in recent times with leprosy of "the progressive European ideas" and was heavy injured by mad hobbies of its own elites and intellectuals,has two roads today : either to return to itself, anew to find the Faith, the tradition, the values, the sovereignty or be dissolved in the global West, get into slavery and to disappear as a civilization, having lost everything. I will emphasize again, what outstanding hypocrisy Mr. Khodorkovsky, you possess when you regret about lost art, literature, science, space and other achievements of imperial and Soviet "totalitarian past". Truly, "the wolf feel sorry for a horse – left tail and mane"! But even if we assume that something told by you is remotely true, I ask you to learn history a little: Russia received Christian Faith not from the Catholic West, but from the orthodox East – directly from East Roman Empire Byzantium, which remained the keeper of true Christianity throughout the whole millennium . However, how can you argue about Christian Faith?

7. Everything that Russia has today, was created by our people and our state in desperate fight for preservation of own originality, freedom and sovereignty. In fight against enemies both from the West, and from the East. Russia developed at first as the national state which grew to the great Empire because it was rather flexible in ability to perceive positive experience of neighbors. Nothing in it neither shameful nor superhonourable – because it is a way of all nations having the sane rulers, which are building and developing own state. Borrow doesn't mean to copy blindly. Enough is enough … to copy [to that extend]. Only Marxism imported exactly from Europe - what's a cost to the country! Every nation and very state is unique. As any grass field beautiful by different grasses and a scattering of various flowers, thus Mankind is beautiful in an inflorescence of the unique people, wrestling among themselves for "better place under the sun", but not reminding that "flat public lawn" into which "the euroatlantic universal men".

8. The euroatlantic values are "values of the strong and fair state"? Well done, Mikhail Borisovich! Now these values lead this greatest Europe, about which our home brew liberals so like to speak, to extinction of those people of Europe which follow them and which once created it. Is your so-called "justice" consists in it? However, you, for obvious reasons, don't care about historical destinies of any those Germans, French or Britons. As well as Russians, Bashkir, Tatars, Lezgians and so on. And "the strong state", so to think, means the USA? After all, no "strong" (that is rather sovereign and independent) states left over in Europe. The last sovereign state in Europe outside the former USSR which dared to defend interests of its citizens was Yugoslavia, has been crushed and subordinated 15 years ago. It was inclined to "the euroatlantic choice" by bombs and rockets, blockade and alien's mutiny. Now its turn of Belarus and Russia, isn't it? The Base in Ukraine was already created and the last breakthrough remains? The values spread by world financial oligarchy ("European", "euroatlantic", "universal", etc.) – these are values of the national states elimination and radical cancellation of anything that bears a faint resemblance of social justice. Here, Mr. Khodorkovsky, you are either ignorant or conscious liar. Well about "ignorance" I'm saying "for the sake of a witty remark", as I have no illusions concerning defects in your education. Liberalism which you defend, has as the ultimate goal total globalization, leveling of all people and religious communities under one consumer "comb" and the statement of the power of world financial oligarchy in process of abolition of all historically developed states (the project of the European Union – the first step in this direction). In the sphere of economic policy liberalism not only in practice, but in the theory rigidly denies social justice. Freedom of the market about which liberals go on, is incompatible with redistribution of profit as supporters of social justice insist. More Russia will be involved in globalization processes, the quicker will lose the sovereignty and opportunity to pursue social policy. Now on "mobilization". We, of course, need powerful national mobilization against aggression of the "evroatlantist" aimed at the accelerated and final plunder of Russia under the pretext of "integration into the world community" and "global economy". Mobilization both state and public. Because threat hung not only over the state sovereignty of Russia, but over cultural and moral identity of its people decomposed strenuously by propagandized and introduced "euroatlantic" defective – sodomy debauchery, pedophilia, murder of children and old men (abortions and euthanasia), drug addiction, terrorism, etc. brought by a "new humane world order".

9. "The one who wants to be strong, can't afford to be backward". This is absolutely correct thesis. For this reason the decision by the President Putin on full modernization of army by 2020 is absolutely adequate answer to Russophobic hysteria from the West. The Russian military, heads of defense industry complex, regional industrialists and businessmen have to replace by themselves comprador elite of 90th, the so-called "oligarchs", typical representative of whom you are, Mr. Khodorkovsky. Oligarchs are alien to Russia, their capitals and families are in the West though they made their capitals by exploiting the Russian people. They represent interests of global financial oligarchy, think in categories of ultra-liberalism and, in fact, consider themselves something like colonial administration. Therefore prefer to speak out their "revelations" by your "prophetical" lips from Washington DC.

10. Today is not Europe that matters, but Russia. Our way is a return to itself. It is necessary to return to Russia, to our history, to our culture, to our mission. This mission always was and remains in bearing Christ's light of belief, ideals of good and social justice to people of the world, to be "keepers" against the evil, as the Apostle Pavel told. We had very heavy past. Russia was shook all 20th century in fevers of bloody revolutions and destructive wars. But thanks to the passed heavy tests, Russia managed to save a lot of things which Europe lost almost irrevocably. If Europe wishes to return to own traditions and the Christian principles, its on the way with us, but not with the financial oligarchy of the USA bearing to people of the world a godless civilization of moral decay, ideological zombiing, spiritual and physical death.

Creation of fair society

11. "Modern Russian society is arranged unfairly", you are sayng. I completely agree with that. But I will repeat written above, it was made by you and such likes. Having used crisis of the USSR, you began to plunder and kill, appropriating national property. So you and your accomplices laid the foundation of "modern Russian society" where the most cynical and mean [social] layer, working on arrangement and instructions of transatlantic curators, got all levers of economic and partly the political power. Right after coming to power Putin started correcting the situation, but the injustice, which became in the 90th the principle, has a deep root. Therefore return to our society of social justice will be long and difficult process. But I believe that we will cope with it without councils of the fluent ex-oligarch who made a fortune plundering the national wealth, created by a hard work of generations of the Russian people.

12. While reading your criticism of privatization (by the way, quite reasonable), I was surprised by your cynicism: You and such likes, acquired the capitals during this criminal capture of public property, and now trying to accuse anyone, only not those who is actually guilty. Privatization, for what it was, is not a "distortion", but crime. As a result of it, the property was received not by ordinary people, but quick and unscrupulous minority. And largest "pieces" of property were acquired with direct support of the foreign financial capital going literally "on corpses". Who knows this better than you? Putin started establishing the correct proportions, giving to the state the most important strategic spheres of economy. Thereby he just tries to correct catastrophic consequences of criminal privatization. Without eradication of the oligarchy established just on criminal privatization there will be neither social justice, nor full development of private business.

13. Saying that natural resources has to belong to the people, you are completely right herein. I already said that sometimes (though it is rare) the prison corrects well. In this point, the shift is undoubtedly positive. This is exactly whats happened to you: assets of your energy companies, criminally created, were transferred under management of the state, thus its people. How otherwise is possible to make natural resources a national property if not through their nationalization and redistribution of provit, in favor of all citizens? It excludes a private ownership of large objects in hydrocarbon extraction. History of Yukos is an example of how natural resources comes back to the people. Efficiency of its use is another question.To start with, they should be taken away from you and such likes, then it should be used most effectively. It is hard to argue with that fact that use of a resource rent is far from ideal. The main thing is not to leave anything of natural resources in a private possession of oligarchy.

14. Proportional tax scale is absolutely correct way. It is also the movement towards social justice. But only not for you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, grown rich on a robbery of the people and taken fortune abroad, to argue on it. In what country did you pay taxes? In Switzerland, in England, in the USA? Why dob't you return to the people stolen, begin with yourself, pay taxes in Russia. Or for this purpose you should become a president at first? One similar oligarch quite recently assured electorate of the neighboring country in the same oath. His name is Petro Poroshenko. He swore give to the people of Ukraine everything sewed by his back-breaking toil ! But he isn't in a hurry. So begin with yourself! Show to the world an image of "the responsible taxpayer"! Then, perhaps, somebody (strongly naive) will also believe you.

15. Liberalism as you understand it, Mr. Khodorkovsky, is absolute delusion. This flase doctrine which is completely ignoring God, spirit, culture, mankind, society and regarding an individual, his material private interests and the sphere of finance, as of paramount importance. Liberalism, understood in such manner, is absolutely incompatible with original freedom: how can be a person free, if society in which he lives, is a slavery of interest rate, a debt bondage of the international financial oligarchy and its local supervisors? If all human life is subordinated to search and enhancement of material benefits and the bank account statement is a criterion only? Today liberalism is totalitarian ideology on which distribution the USA build the world hegemony. It is unacceptable for Russia in no shape or form – neither in political, nor in economic, in legal. This is most important: for you, Mr. Khodorkovsky, liberalism is the ultimate truth and national development and social justice is good for populism. But in Russia liberalism is doomed, it is acceptable neither by right, nor left. It is the colonial ideology going against our Russian identity. Trying to destroy this identity for the sake of a celebration of liberal ideology you are destroying Russia too. I thought, it is your ultimate goal.

16. Socially oriented, based on Christian values state is the purpose, a reference point and strategy of the real Russian patriots. In achievement of this purpose "right" and "left", supporters of a monarchy and socialism can unite absolutely freely. And of course, such state has to be based on a firm observance of precepts of law. But what is your relations to this? After all, you need to tempt the people and they are now inclined to listen to slogans of creation "the socially oriented national state" (without understanding how to build the "national" state on a place of the centuries-old Russian Empire in which hundreds of nations lived peacefully and developed). You throw this bone to us, the Russian people. But Russians are not any longer the trustful herd, which for the past century twice "pecked" on promises of "milk and honey" and as a result spilled oceans of the blood. Sincerely I hope that we learned something and we will manage to distinguish truth from the fake wrapped in a beautiful wrapper. The socially oriented national state is anything, but you, oligarchs, footmen of Rotschilds. Leave it, Mr. Khodorkovsky, national and social issues: these concepts demands clean hands and the faultless biography.

War is the tragedy which sometimes impossible to avoid 

17. The USA and the American hegemony is a war. We see it in Libya, in Syria, in Iraq, and Afghanistan, in Ukraine. Everywhere, USA helps to carry out "color revolutions", fascists, extremists, fundamentalists come to the power. To be the supporter of the USA, the West and NATO – means to be the fascist helper, the lawyer of war. This war is waged against the whole Mankind, which is not interested to live by the American rules and to serve obediently and servilely interests of world financial oligarchy.

18. This war is waged against Russia, against Ukraine. Those heroes who get up in defense of the Russian World who fights in Novorossiya, didn't want this war. They wanted the peace. But peace can't be at the price of freedom and dignity. In the conditions of the neo-Nazi junta brought to power in Kiev by your masters, Mr. Khodorkovsky and supported by you personally, life is not a life, but peace is not the peace. Russians in both, Crimea and Novorossiya get up for freedom and justice, for the rights of national development, for the language and culture. It was war against war. Your appeals to peace isn't simple hypocrisy, this is treachery. However, as all the rest is. We are simply on different sides of the frontline, and your words for me who took active part in military operations in Novorossiya sound like appeals from other side: "Russian, give up! There will be a peace! You were deceived!" In reply to such call during combat conditions there is one answer. Guess, what? Problem of Russia today is not that a war is (as you say) allegedly "driver". On the contrary, Putin did everything possible and does everything possible to avoid "big" war (the small one USA is already launched by the hands of Kiev and goes on, claiming human lives daily). To reproach the authorities of Russia that she doesn't leave the Russian World to the mercy of fate, blasphemously. Defending this thesis, you find support of the westernized comprador elite which is regularly gathering for anti-Russians "Marches for the peace". However, you should say goodbye forever to those who stood on the side of historical Russia and social justice and this is a vast majority of people. You are on other side of Crimea and Novorossiya, which now, more than ever, rally the Russians, supporting unconditionally decisive steps of Putin in this direction.

National mobilization 

19. Acting authorities brought Russia to the threshold of decisive breakthrough towards independence, power and freedom which is capable to bring her out from zone of direct influence by the American hegemony. Unfortunately, at my private judgment, the specified breakthrough obviously it is slow down (suspected, by your secret and obvious adherents who still have huge influence, thanks to the stolen riches and high internal political influence, bought with that). Hesitations regarding the need to move forward are visible also. But people of the country are quite ready to it and it frightens you. The hysterics concerning threat of "the Chinese protectorate" also occurs from here. "The Chinese threat" is in the theory, so far. But open protectorate of the USA established over Russia as a result of Gorbachev and Yeltsin treason is a fact of life. The main threat to the sovereignty of Russia is an aggressive impact of the world financial oligarchy frightened by possibility of losing Russia from a slop trough of "colonial economy". And in its fifth column, where you are one of ideologists.

20. The world financial oligarchy desperately and frenzy struggles against revival of Russia. If Russia withstands, it has a future; she will return to history and will win. But if the sales agent of world financial oligarchy hating all Russian (such as you), comes to the power in Russia, we will fail in a chasm in comparison with gangster era of 90th would seem as a children's game . Disintegration of the country with all that implies in the form of wars, general poverty, hunger, epidemics and large-scale technogenic catastrophes, here that waits for us in this box. How it happens, so far on much smaller scale, I had to observe personally more than once and not two. Quite recently – in Ukraine, where "cherries" are still ahead. After all, Mr. Khodorkovsky, you want to help the West to destroy again that Putin in the 2000th started restoring. But you won't be able to manage it because we are Russians, God is with us! World financial oligarchy, priests of Mammon, having put itself to the place of God and on its own behalf operating destinies of the world, overplayed itself. The American hegemony falls, as a colossus on clay feet. The West falls: its indigenous people dies out; European countries in 20 years will become Muslim; the Christian culture is tired out on the periphery of public life; China officially became the largest economy of the world; The USA aren't able to pay its huge national debt; they are shaken by disorders on the racial and social soil, in an agony the West sows on the world only chaos and destructions, blood and sufferings. We have to go in other direction, towards revival of Great Russia against all threats and calls. The enormous turn is already made in this regard- Putin assembled Crimea back to Russia and nobody will be able to take it away from us!

21. You started talking about the Russian exploits, but reduced it to moderation and labor. Probably, you believe that future happiness of the Russian people is in a slave labor for a skilly bowl for the benefit of world financial oligarchy which you represent. And for the low-standard "shows" offered in addition to a skilly, which guarantee returning the person to a condition of the an animal, following the simplest instincts. Well, then "only over our dead bodies"! The Russian people have absolutely other horizons and the purposes, than dumb submission to the corrupted western elites. Here I will distract from your theses and I will briefly formulate our Russian answer which is expressed by a simple formula "For Faith, the Tsar and Fatherland". For these sacred concepts the Russian people from time immemorial went to die, perfectly understanding that battling for them is a battle for themselves and for the future. Today it means quite concrete loyalty: to the Russian Orthodox Church, to the Russian state and Supreme Commander V. V. Putin.

22. Last fifteen years Russia prepared itself for breakthrough in the great Russian future. Now its time to make it.

Igor Strelkov

New Blog down

Dear friends,

The new blog is down (good thing I kept this one open).  As soon as I find out what is going on, I will let you know.  In the meantime, the big news is that following today's ballistic missile strike on Donetsk, Zakharchenko has declared the ceasefire over.

I apologize for all the problems with the new blog. 

The Saker

Transcarpathia, Transnistria and Gagauzia SitRep 06 Oct - 12 Oct



Some of the injured and wounded ATO forces reported last week have been identified and reported in local Transcarpathian press. One ATO action against the Novorossian forces resulted in the death of one individual and the wounding of six, one seriously. The dead man has been identified as Major Victor Semental. The man seriously injured has died of his wounds. He has been identified as Robert Petrovich, 24 years, married with a 2 month child. He has been buried at Volonvaha, about halfway between Donetsk and Mariupol.

A ceremony was held at Vynogradiv to honour three Transcarpathians described as 'soldier-mercenaries', aged 21-22 years. They are undergoing rehabilitation after being wounded near Lugansk.

The Aidar Battalion lost 14 at Lischiansk, including one fighter from Transcarpathia. Of these, eight were killed, including the person from Transcarpathia and 6 were captured. These losses have led to recriminations from the troops. The losses were blamed on the actions of their officers, specifically the battalion commander Sergey Melnichuk, who was reportedly more concerned with campaigning for the election, leaving a 'protege' to order and plan the attack. Other complaints relate to the lack of official recognition as combatants and the lack of support for families of the killed and wounded. A translation of their protest delivered at a press conference in Uzhgorod can be found here. Some of these individuals are possibly active in training other volunteers at a training camp established at an unnamed farm in Transcarpathia.

In the past week the remains of another 21 unidentified ATO fighters have been buried at Krasnopolsky cemetery, Odessa. This is in addition to the 116 unknown already buried there.

Rotation of police officers to and from the east continues. Their primary duty seems to be as guards on block posts, sometimes close to the front line. One individual from a group of five recently returned after a month at the front related that the medics of the troops relied on local residents for medical support. Four police officers were awarded diplomas for their part in 'repelling Russian exploration' around Mariupol. A further 15 traffic police have departed for the front. A total of 400 police officers have spent periods of duty at the front.

A group of 50 Green berets has returned with no losses after serving 3 months of duty around Kharkiv and Lugansk oblasts. Either they were very skillful, very lucky or possibly based away from main zones of combat in this area.

The Transcarpathian 128th Brigade is reportedly active around Debaltseve. The area is reported to be quiet, with the exception of the incursions by small reconnaissance groups, some of which are described as being unarmed. This seems to bear little relation to the action going on in this area.

The casualty figures for the Ukrainian forces are not clear. One indicator for a very large number of real casualties is the need to send wounded abroad for treatment and rehabilitation. Some have been sent to Croatia, and Hungary has offered to treat some in Budapest. I believe that at least one of the Baltic states, possibly Latvia, has also taken in Ukrainian wounded.

The main economic activity reported relates to attempts to control the Hryvnia exchange rate. The official exchange rate is 12.97-13.13 UAH/USD whilst the black market rate is 13.89-14.14 UAH/USD. In Transcarpathia, officials have caught 15 small scale operations for illicit currency exchange. The amounts involved are small, typically a few hundred USD, so this has no effect on the actual economy, serving just as a deterrent to the small scale operators. In contrast, the major Ukrainian banks have sold 100 million USD in one day in an attempt to stabilise the exchange rate. There are plans to issue bonds for another 200 million USD.

Inflation is running fairly high in Ukraine. Transcarpathia has the lowest regional rate at 2.3% for the previous month. The year to date inflation figure is reported to be 16.6% against an expected rate of 18.4%. Transcarpathia salaries have seen a drop of 10.4% to the end of August compared to the year before, when inflation is taken into account.

The authorities have made a concession to those individuals supporting the troops by providing equipment. The customs duty for items brought in by individuals intended for troops at front has been reduced. Given the dire economic situation, it remains to be seen how much of this material ends up in a general black market.

Energy supplies remain a problem. One solution has been promotion of gas conservation. In Transcarpathia the use of wood as fuel is being encouraged. Approximately 188 villages in Transcarpathia are not connected to the gas distribution network. There is a shortage of liquefied gas for these customers. A reduction in subsidies to lower consumption customers will disproportionately affect poorer customers.

Some figures have been produced showing the proportion of bills paid. It is claimed that Transcarpathia has paid 100% of its energy bills whilst oblasts in the west and central Ukraine have paid between 61% and 76% of the bills. The lowest payment rates come from Odessa (31%), Donetsk (27%), Dnipropetrovsk (22%), Lugansk (15%) and Crimea (11%). Of these, the surprises are Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk.

There have been unconfirmed reports of a fourth wave of mobilisation in other parts of Ukraine. The details relate to just a few individuals so the notices may actually be delayed third phase notifications rather than a widespread fourth phase.

The Lustration Law signed by Poroshenko may affect up to one million people in Ukraine. In Transcarpathia, 39 officials have been affected so far, mostly heads of administrative groups and sometimes their deputy. The local press reports that 19 individuals 'resigned on their own' and the rest are affected by the new law.

It is no longer news that the most prominent Transcarpathian in the government, Valeriy Geletey has been demoted from Minister of Defence. He is now the Head of State Security.

The US / NGO nexus may be placing another tentacle around Transcarpathia. Dmitry Turzanski, the chief editor of Mukachevo News, which prominently promotes one of the Baloha brothers, has become the head of the Transcarpathian branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine. Members of this NGO receive training from USAID and OSCE, ostensibly in 'voting transparency'. Given the close link between USAID and the CIA, and the latter's interest in media control and manipulation, Mr Turzanski may meet up with some 'interesting' people.

Recently Hungary has raised difficulties in relation to the reverse supply of gas to Ukraine, with Orban rightly pointing out that Hungary's needs must come first. The prediction that Orban was on his way to being persona non-grata may be correct. There are reports of US sanctions against unnamed Hungarian individuals and officials, possibly restricting entry of such individuals into the US. This is seen as punishment for an apparent rapprochement with Russia over the gas issue. Another factor may be the investigation by Hungarian tax authorities of some US firms operating in Hungary.

Kiev Kev and his buddies continue to delight. They claim that Russian mercenaries increasingly less willing to fight, as a result of heavy losses imposed by the ATO forces. Specific reports include the death of one Chechen fighter and three Russian military officers. One of the RUssian military officers is named as General Sergei Andreichenko. In addition, the removal of the [non-existent ed.] Russian forces is not happening.

On more serious note, a couple of very slick propaganda movies have appeared. There is obviously some serious money going on in an attempt to wash over the Nazi undertones of the Ukraine regime. The first, Where is Ukraine? will be shown in schools. The second one is Every one of us. This seems to be the work of a Marc Raymond Wilkins. It is worth printing his self-justification in full:

"Marc Raymond Wilkins Hello Konstantin! I am Marc Wilkins, the director of the army-film. What you are writing above is... (trying to find a kind word...) ... very wrong. I directed this video for free, I payed [sic], from my own personal money, a couple of thousand dollars into the budget, to make it. We made it, because we believe in independence, freedom and unity of Ukraine. We understand that Putin is afraid of a nation which seeks true freedom. Putin is afraid of a Maidan in Moscow, thats [sic] why he and his people are trying everything to humiliate the tragic maidan-victory and the new economy of Ukraine. I directed and co-produced this video because Ukraine become a second home, since working there for over eight years. Konstantin, your words are full of propaganda-hate. Think about it."

When I see the man loading the Su-25 rocket launcher (0:13), I think about it all right. I think about Inna Kukuruza, shredded by one of those rockets as she was standing outside an office in Lugansk.

A useful background reader on the nature of the gas distribution system in Ukraine.

Transnistria (aka PMR) and Gagauzia
The economies of Moldova and PMR are both troubled. PMR is affected by the blockade from Ukraine and Moldova, which can be seen as part of a plan of action between Ukraine, Moldova and Romania on one hand and Russia on the other. This three-pronged alliance is now omnipresent in relation to Russia and its interests in this region.

Moldova has been hit by reverse sanctions from Russia which is still its main export customer in spite of a 25.6% decrease in trade. Romania is Moldova's second largest customer. Moldovan apple growers are seeking compensation from the Moldovan government, and their position has been compounded an increase in yield of 15% over last year. Some reports suggest that Moldovan apples have been re-routed through Belarus in an attempt to bypass sanctions.

Foreign trade turnover in PMR amounted to 1.7 billion USD for the first nine months of this year, almost 19% more than the same period last year. A significant part of this is due to the resumption of activity at the Moldovan metallurgical plant located in PMR. Its major trading partner is Russia. In contrast more than 50% of exports from Gagauzia now go to the EU, as a consequence of decreased sales to Russia and Ukraine.

Inflation remains low in PMR at 0.77% for the year to date January - September 2014. The inflation figure for the same period in the previous year was 2.38%. Whilst this does not look worrying, the state has a budget shortfall of ~22%. This has been handled by reducing the working week for state employees to four days at 80% of nominal salary. This legislation is due for renewal at the beginning of November.

Energy problems in Ukraine impinge on Moldova. Coal shortages in Ukraine allow it to produce only ~70% of the electricity it needs. It has cut electricity exports to the EU and stopped completely supplies to Belarus (which accounted for ~20 million USD lost income for the month). Moldova produces only about 20-25% of its own electricity, the rest is supplied from Ukraine and the hydro electric power plant at Dubasari in the PMR.

In order to cope with energy supply fluctuations and uncertainties, Moldova has a plan to create an underground gas storage facility at the port of Giurgiulesti to store gas during summer for use in winter. This project is supported by the EU and by the US. Financial support will come from the World Bank and the IMF. The association of a poor country like Moldova and the World Bank/IMF is not good for ordinary Moldovans. They will pay dearly for any loans long after the politicians involved have moved on.


There has been no progress on the JCC path to normalisation of the status of PMR. Moldova unilaterally raises issues outside of the scope of the agenda. One example is an insistence of free movement of people across the security zone separating Moldova and PMR. It does not consider free movement of goods and services, by which it maintains its blockade of PMR. The Moldovan government has also stated it will not agree to an airport at Tiraspol. If this were to go ahead, the it would break Moldovan control over access to and from the PMR.

Moldova has also raised the issue of the status of the peacekeeping mission, presumably in an attempt to remove Russian troops to make way for a takeover of PMR. The Russia Foreign Minister has clearly stated that the mandate of the peace keeping mission is not exhausted, and there is no need to remove Russian troops. The Russian contingent of ~400 troops is based on the PMR side of the security zone between Moldova and PMR. A normal troop rotation for part of the contingent is timed for 17-23 October.

It should be noted that PMR tried to split from Moldova prior to the fall of the USSR. This was based on fears that Moldova would rejoin Romania. Those concerns are still valid, perhaps even more so, given the resurgence of the Romanian plan to acquire Moldova. Both sides came close to signing an agreement in 2003 but this was averted by direct intervention of Brussels and Washington.

Recently reports indicate that Moldova has denied entry to 30 unidentified individuals, presumed to be Russians, and possibly military related to the Russian contingent of the peace keeping force. Moldova has also banned three specific individuals, one associated with the PMR and the other two with Gagauzia. One individual with PMR conn3ctions is named as Vasily Kasirin, a member of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies. He was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minster of PMR and Head of an NGO in Tiraspol aimed at strengthening relations between the Russian Federation and PMR.

The well-funded program promoting unification of Moldova and Romania (effectively absorption of Moldova into greater Romania) continues. Romania sources promote the idea that the individuals expelled from Moldova are agents of the FSB.

An unconfirmed report suggests that 30 billion USD supposedly stolen in Russia has been laundered through Moldovan banks. Moldova only has two solvent banks, whilst the PMR has seven active banks and two that are inactive.

Moldova, in common with Ukraine, has resorted to banning Russian TV media broadcasts in Moldova. Russia regards this as political censorship. Moldova claims it is to protect itself against unfair competition.

Romania, in its paranoia, pulls the 'poor defenceless Romania surrounded by hostile states' card. It has produced a map showing itself surrounded by red states - which include Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine and Moldova. I guess we are supposed to believe that all these states are controlled by 'Teh Evul Russia' (also coloured red) which just wants to 'Wipe Romania Off The Map'®. Poor PMR does not even get a mention - it appears to have been wiped off the map.

The two other Russian citizens mentioned above were declared undesirable by the Moldovan government. Their crime was to take part in round table discussions, held in Chisinau 9-13 October, to discuss economic aspects of Eurasian integration of the Republic of Moldova. One of them, Andrei Medvedev was said to be an agent of the FSB. In August 2013, members from their institute, Polycontact, conducted a survey in Gagauzia. This survey found that 65.1% of respondents were in favour of entry into the Customs Union, whilst only 6.4% favoured entry into the EU. A referendum held in February 2014 reported that 97% voted against joining the EU and for joining the CU. It should be born in mind that Moldova is a poor country, and relies on remittances from migrant Moldovans for a significant part of its GDP. The majority numerically work in Russia and these provide the greatest proportion of income. Moldova's actions appear to be another case of a government acting against its own interests, or more specifically, against the interests of its people.

A short essay on the supposed parallels between Novorossia and PMR The situation in Donbass: between Transnistria and Beirut"

A summary of articles from the PMR press The Russians will soon have to tighten their belts: overview of the Transnistrian media

Analyst view of the implication of actions against Lukoil, preparation for reorganisation of energy distribution in favour of US interests. Vague prospects of the Transnistrian-Russian energy - Executive summary - Yes, it is all about energy, or rather control of profits from energy. Lukoil has concessions to resource deposits in the Black Sea. The Romanians have stated they would like to nationalise Lukoil. No doubt if this were to happen, the nationalised entity would be subsequently privatised for the benefit of US corporations. The US could deploy ships in the Black Sea to protect these future assets [sure, there's a treaty limiting deployment, but what's a treaty? It's just a piece of paper]. However, there is a saying that a navy has just two types of vessel; submarines and targets. This would be particularly true in the Black Sea. The planned placement of an Aegis-type system of radar and missile launchers in Romania may be a less vulnerable way of protecting these potential future assets.

Quote of the Day:

#NAF ?#?Motorola? says he doesn't need night vision goggles. 2 cups of 'magic mushroom' tea and he sees bright neon-red men in dark.