MintPress Sits Down with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

MintPress Sits Down with Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova weighs in on Syria, Crimea, the Moscow protests and more.

Moscow — In a simple meeting room at the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova gave me a generous hour of her time in a conversation peppered with bemused laughter at Western allegations about Russia and clear frustration at the West’s incessant vilification of all things Russia.

I traveled to Moscow in August, where to my delight I had the opportunity to interview Zakharova. Given that Russia is the focus of obsessive and largely negative Western media reporting, and also the country’s role in eliminating the proliferation of terrorist groups that once controlled large swaths of Syria, I wanted to ask Zakharova for her take on a variety of topics related to both Russia and Syria.

In our wide-ranging discussion, Zakharova spoke of the U.S. sanctions regime against Russia and of the Western interference in Russian domestic issues — such as the protests seen in Moscow in July and August.

On Syria, she addressed the issue of exploitation of children in propaganda against Syria and Russia — notably Omran Daqneesh, a child whose image was splashed across newspapers and screens worldwide in 2016, incriminating Russia and Syria in an airstrike that was later proven to have never happened. An official apology from one of the most adamant perpetrators of that narrative, CNN’s Christian Amanpour, also never happened.

One cannot discuss the war in Syria and related propaganda without addressing the massively-funded White Helmets. In discussing the group, Zakharova gave examples of its role in fomenting support for Western military intervention, including in pushing responsibility on the Syrian government for the alleged but unproven and, by most honest accounts, staged chemical attack in Douma, eastern Ghouta, in 2018. Footage of the attack included video starring the White Helmets and another exploited Syrian boy, Hassan Diab, whose testimony of the events ran in stark contrast to the allegations against the Syrian government that were being circulated in the Western media.

Zakharova also addressed the inconsistencies around the Skripal case, the historic importance of Crimea’s referendum, and the U.K. “media freedom” conference of July 2019, where cases of imprisoned journalists like Julian Assange and Kirill Vyshinsky were notably not part of the conference program.

In an unexpected development since my discussion with Zakharova, Ukrainian-Russian journalist and editor Vyshinsky was released from his over 15 months of imprisonment without trial by Ukraine. Referring to his imprisonment, Zakharova described him as a hostage.

The interview took place at a time when Western media reporting would have one believe that the streets of Moscow were full of chaos and unrest with the protests. In fact, contrary to media reporting, Moscow was calm, as were the protests I attended on August 10. Once again, it seemed, the media was hyping and distorting reality, as they have so often done elsewhere in the world.

Zakharova’s words are a reality check and offer an informative insight into the Russian perspective on Russian, Syrian, and global events.

Feature photo | Maria Zakharova sits down with Eva Bartlett at a Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry building in Moscow, Russia in August, 2019.  Eva Bartlett | MintPress News

Eva Bartlett is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and occupied Palestine, where she lived for nearly four years. She is a recipient of the 2017 International Journalism Award for International Reporting, granted by the Mexican Journalists’ Press Club (founded in 1951), was the first recipient of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism, and was short-listed in 2017 for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. See her extended bio on her blog In Gaza

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Booming Sochi – Debunking the $50-billion Olympic Expenditure Hoax

September 10, 2019

by Jon Hellevig for The Saker Blog

Booming Sochi – Debunking the $50-billion Olympic Expenditure Hoax

It’s a two and a half hour flight from Moscow to Sochi and when you land you are in another world. Sochi is absolutely unique and like no place else in Russia, a gem in its own right. Sheltered by the Caucasian mountains from the severe northern winds which sweep over most of Russia in wintertime and tempered by the Black Sea breezes the summer, Sochi has a pleasant climate all year round. While the other resorts to the west on the same Russian Black Sea coast may get winter peak colds of -10 degrees and below, Sochi could see morning frosts but daily temperatures rarely drop below +10. There’s a reason the climate is characterized as subtropical.

Leaving Moscow birch trees and Siberian pines behind, the traveler when he emerges from the airport is amazed to be welcomed by swaying palm trees. And, above the palms, you will behold the snowcapped peaks of the guarding mountains lit by the sun.

It’s not only the nature and climate that make Sochi special, the man-made environment is also unique for Russia and at the highest global levels. Russia went through some rough times in the 20th century, which set a mark on most its cities, but in Sochi there is not a trace of bygone Soviet decay. Everything is as neat as we would think of countries like Switzerland. At the same time, we see stunning new Miami-style high-rise buildings perfectly placed among the lush scenery. A lot of that marvel came courtesy of Vladimir Putin’s bold decision to transform Sochi into a world-class all-year tourist destination in the run-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Sochi hoax just won’t go away

I was reminded of this just recently, when in my research on the Russian economy I plowed through a couple of grant-fueled Western accounts of the economic history of the Putin years. One was Chris Miller’s book (2018) with the ridiculous title “Putinomics” (as unfit as they come for a book purporting to be academic research). The other one, a 2019 book from the Atlantic Council’s fiction department hack Anders Aslund – of Russian shock therapy fame – with the no less bizarre title “Russia’s Crony Capitalism.” In the case of Aslund and his employer, I am sure nobody would have expected anything else.

Miller unilaterally declared: “What is clear, however, is that a significant share of the funds invested [in Sochi] were wasted or stolen.” For evidence he refers to Navalny’s fraudulent pamphlet in addition to all the other propaganda clichés. (*1). In his book, Aslund in turn returns time after time – without any justification – to Sochi as an alleged hotbed of corruption and waste and one of the alleged original sins of Putin.

As these fellows cannot in the real Russia detect, no matter how hard they try, any Putinomics and not much of crony capitalism either, they just make it up. One of the favorite clichés such sham analysts resort to in order to back up their agenda-driven narratives about Russia is the supposed corruption and lavish spending in connection with the Olympic Games, trying to convince their readers that it was all nothing but “Putin’s vanity project.”

This line of attack was first developed in a desperate attempt to destroy the reputation of the Russian Olympic games even before they were held. Another topic on the anti-Sochi black agenda centered around the fake claims that gay people were supposedly persecuted in the country. And everything culminated just a couple of days before the games started in the wacky claim going viral in Western media that the Russians had built “twin-seat toilets,” toilets designed to have two people doing their business next to each other in one cubicle. In reality, the photos were from work in progress just before the partition walls and cubicle doors were being installed.

The Nemtsov report

The original raw material for the corruption and overspending narrative was delivered by late rabid opposition activists – derailed presidential hopeful from the anarchy of the 90s – Boris Nemtsov. It was a shamelessly forged report titled “Winter Olympics in the Subtropics: Corruption and Abuse in Sochi” (2013). (*2). Nemtsov as a sworn nemesis of Putin was a totally unreliable witness to start with, it was clear that he would have no intention to render an honest and fair account of what was going on. All he wanted to do was to destroy the Games and deny millions of Russians, whose lives he had already conspired to wreck in the 1990s, to take pride in the Olympic Games which symbolized the national awakening and resurrected prosperity. – But the Western press sucked it all up – of course, because they were part of it.

Nemtsov’s report was rehashed in January 2014, just before the games were set to open, by another frenzied one-cause anti-Putin activist, Alexey Navalny, who basically plagiarized Nemtsov’s report with an added portion of hyperbole. (*3). This with the predictable and orchestrated knee-jerk reactions of the combined Western media.

The central claim and giant falsehood in these reports was the contention that the $50 billion dollar budget for the Sochi region in the run-up to the Olympics would have been event-based, that is, supposedly been spent on organizing the Games with a zero residual value. Following this blatantly false argument, the critics then pushed the meme that the Sochi Olympics would have been by far the most expensive in history. In reality, the actual organizing costs of hosting the Games, including the construction of all the sporting facilities was $10.6 billion, while the resting $39 billion were investments in the Sochi urban infrastructure. This infrastructure spending was related to the Games only insofar as Putin had wanted to take the chance of upgrading at one fell swoop Sochi into a modern urban area and world-class resort, a first for Russia. It was an investment for the future. Real experts never doubted the wisdom of that decision, but today only the most diehard lying propagandist could argue against it, as it is shown in the present report.

The $10.6 billion spent on Sochi is perfectly in line with other recent Games. The cost of London 2012 Olympics was $13.9bn, and that is a city which even from before had all the sporting infrastructure you could wish for. Sochi had none. Vancouver in 2010 coughed up $8.9bn. Pyeongchang 2018 had a cost of $13.1bn.

With the $40 billion, which did not form part of the organizational costs, Sochi has indeed been transformed into a top destination for both winter and summer tourism as well as business travel with amazing congress facilities and a solid offering of high-class hotels.

This is what Sochi in reality got with that money

Let’s see what Sochi in reality got for that money in addition to the amazing sports facilities:

  • A state-of-the art modern airport
  • A new seaport for cargo, passenger liners, ferries and personal boats
  • Several new railway stations, among them the Adler station which is one of the biggest in Russia (not known for its miniscule rail stations
  • 367 km of roads and bridges
  • 967,400 square meters of road surface and pavements
  • 200 km of railways, with 22 tunnels, 54 bridges and several multi-level junctions
  • Two thermal power plants and one gas power plant with a combined capacity of 1200 MW, and four electric substations
  • 480 km of low-pressure gas pipelines
  • 550 km of high voltage power lines
  • A new water and wastewater treatment facility
  • Three new sewage treatment plants
  • A new graduate-level Russian International Olympic University
  • 60 new educational, cultural and health facilities
  • Two hospitals
  • A fascinating cluster of mountain villages built from scratch in the Krasnaya Polyana area (Gorky Gorod, Rosa Khutor, and others)
  • 25,000 additional hotel rooms, with 56 hotels rated four-star and above
  • A new theme park (Sochi Park)
  • A Formula 1 racing track (not an Olympic sport)
  • Renovation of a huge number of residential houses and public space
  • Barrier-free accessibility to public and commercial buildings for disabled persons
  • A 7-kilometer pedestrian and bicycle seaside boardwalk, Russia’s coolest along the newly created impressive beach down at the Olympic Village in the Imereti Lowlands

Most of the details for the above list were derived from Oleg Golubchikov’s marvelous report on the actual costs of the Sochi investments. (*4). Golubchikov provides transparent and detailed costs on each investment category with a division of the costs on organizational costs and investments in sporting facilities, and the Sochi urban infrastructure. Incidentally, he reaches the same grand total of $50 billion ($49.5bn, to be precise) for the combined costs as the propagandists announced, but with the difference that he shows where the funds in reality went. According to Golubchikov, the direct costs for holding the Games amounted to $10.75bn, whereas the infrastructure costs were $38.76bn. There is a break-down of both cost groups in his report, while the below table focuses on the infrastructure costs, which were the objects of the fabricated scandal.

This data on the costs and the infrastructure investments that they went into should convince anybody who is interested in the truth that there has absolutely been no squandering of funds and that $39 billion of the alleged “most expensive Olympics ever” in fact were investments in the Sochi urban infrastructure. Nevertheless, we will proceed below with exposing some more details, which should finally put the Nemtsov hoax to rest.

Nemtsov’s calculations just don’t hold water – and were never meant to

Nemtsov’s and Navalny’s propaganda pamphlets were masquerading as sound economic analysis based on global comparisons of alternative costs. Their findings then purported to show that Russia had built the Sochi objects significantly more expensively than global best practices would have it. As those reports are nothing but blatant propaganda and the calculations without merit, it would not make any sense to try to decipher them in detail. Just one example, concerning road and railroad works, the most expensive objects, will suffice more than enough.

I remind, 367 km of roads and bridges and 200 km of railways were constructed with 22 tunnels, 54 bridges and several multi-level junctions. These included, among other things, a new elevated road passing through the whole city of Sochi (the Kurortny Avenue bypass road), an extension of the Sochi ring road, and the combined railroad and highway connecting the sporting cluster down at the Adler coastal area with the skiing cluster up in the mountains at Krasnaya Polyana. The latter was by far the most expensive individual investment. The railroad and highway are each 48-kilometer long and include 10.3 km of railroad tunnels, 6.7 km of highway tunnels and 6.7km of escape tunnels, in addition to 40 highway and 37 railway bridges and overpasses with a combined length of 35 km.

The total cost for these were $10.3. In Nemtsov’s account the cost was $9.404. The difference may be explained by the additional stretch of railroad going from the Adler railway station to the airport. Nemtsov claimed that the expenditure on the road would normally buy 940 kilometers of highway. That is a highly dubious claim in itself, but most importantly, Nemtsov is here cutting corners and straightening the bends by comparing flatland highway with a mountainous road with tunnels, bridges and underpasses. But those were precisely the challenging and costly parts of the entire combined highway and railroad.

Instead of minding the Nemtsov antics, we can just look at a very transparent comparative project cost from the United States. In 2013, construction began on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel, a bored highway tunnel in the city of Seattle, Washington. It is a 2-mile (3.2 km) tunnel under Downtown Seattle. The construction cost was estimated at $3.3 billion. (*5).

Once again, this is a 3.2 km tunnel that cost $3.3 billion. But the Adler-Krasnaya Polyana highway had 6.7 km of automotive road tunnels, 10.3 km of railroad tunnels, 6.7km of escape tunnels, and 77 bridges and overpasses. Now, compare that with the total price of the merely 3.2-km Seattle tunnel. What can you say, glaring economy in favor of Russia here. With the Seattle cost level, the expenditure on tunnels alone would have been $17.5 billion, not counting the escape tunnels, bridges, overpasses and the surface parts of the 48-km four-lane road and 48-km railroad.

There is no reason to refrain from spelling it out: Nemtsov was not mistaken here, he was lying. His narrative is full of holes and deliberate attempts to confuse the reader. (He would not have fooled anybody, hadn’t it been for the orchestrated media propaganda). In his scandalous report, Nemtsov claimed that the combined “highway/railroad” had cost $9.404 billion. But immediately in the next paragraph, the activist dropped the railroad part and pretended that the expenditure was exclusively for the highway, to quote: “For 266 billion rubles, you could build 940 kilometers (and they only built 48 kilometers!) of high-quality four-lane highway in Russia…” (*6). Thus the 48 km railroad – which made up at least half of the cost – was magically made disappear from the comparison.

But that’s not all, next Nemtsov spirited away the tunnels, bridges and overpasses. Quote: “To estimate the cost of the 35-kilometer portion of the four-lane highway, we will use the average European cost – $10 million per kilometer. Thus, the price of the automobile road without the bridges and tunnels would be $350 million. One kilometer of high-speed railroad track, according to average European standards, is $45 million. Thus, the 25.7 kilometers of regular rail track should cost $1.156 billion.” – Here the railroad is back in the narrative, but the items that objectively carry a high cost – tunnels, bridges, overpasses – were all wiped out and never returned into Nemtsov’s mendacious narrative. Interestingly enough, there was that admission of those costly items being omitted. That is a common propaganda ploy, the fabulists mining their narratives with half-truths to gain tools to deflect criticism.

The above exposure of the Nemtsov bluff has clearly shown that the intention was just that: to bluff, to create a giant propaganda hoax aimed at spoiling the Games and sullying the reputation of Russia and its president.

There’s another giant transparent con right in the introduction of the Nemtsov travesty. Although he proceeds further down in the report to discuss the cost of the road building, Nemtsov pretends in the introduction that the $50 billion was all spent on sporting facilities. Quote: “With over $50 billion already spent, it is more expensive than the sports buildings of all 21 other Winter Olympics combined.” (*7). – He compares the cost for an airport, a seaport, several railway stations, power plants, power lines, gas pipelines, all those 367 km of roads and bridges, 25,000 hotel rooms, etc. etc. with previous costs on sports building. Give me a break and STFU.

Spinning the facts, he tells that the original budget for the sporting facilities and organization costs were $12 billion, but then allows (referring to the experience from previous Games) for regular Olympic cost overruns and inflation (from 2007 to 2013) and concludes that $24bn would have been the fair price. Therefore, Nemtsov fancies, the remaining $26bn would consists of nothing but “embezzlement and kickbacks.” (*8). This ridiculous postulation amounts to saying that the real price of organizing the Games and getting all that amazing infrastructure – of which only the Adler-Krasnaya Polyana combined highway and railroad had a fair cost, by global comparison, of at least $25bn – would have been only $24bn.

The Sochi Olympic expenditure also compares favorably with the Berlin Brandenburg Airport (in construction since 2006 and still unfinished, sic!) with a present price tag of 10.3 billion euro. (Approximately USD 13 billion). (*9).

A good gauge is also the approximately $3 billion that Toronto is planning to invest in just one subway station. (*10).

Enough of the fairy tales, now let’s return back to the real Sochi.

Tourists are Flocking to Sochi

All these infrastructure goodies obviously remained in Sochi after the Olympics. They were not dismantled and tucked away after the Games as the brothers-in-arm Nemtsov and Navalny and their cheerleaders in the Western media insinuated. They are there for the millions of visitors and the population of Sochi to enjoy. Notably, the population has grown with one fifth, up from the pre-Olympic 368 thousand to present day 450 thousand.

In the same period from 2013 to 2018, the number of visitors has nearly doubled from 3.8 million to levels around 7 million. It is difficult to pinpoint an exact figure for visitors as many stay in private accommodation, rented or owned, but that must be the level. A foolproof indicator is the number of passengers travelling through Sochi airport. It has grown 150% from 2.4 million in 2013 to 6.3 million in 2018. (Note, both arrivals and departures are counted in airport statistics). A further 10% growth has been reported for first half of 2019.

Obviously, this tremendous growth in population and visitors would not have been possible without the $40 billion investment in Sochi’s infrastructure.

It has been established that 25,000 additional hotel rooms where built for the Olympics, of these 12,000 in 56 new world class hotels rated four-stars or above. This practically doubled the pre-Olympic capacity to a total of 55,000 rooms. Before the Olympic boom, Sochi had only one single hotel conforming to international standards, a Gazprom owned Radisson establishment with 200 rooms.

There’s more devastating news in store for the propagandists. The Olympic constructions did not result in any overcapacity, far from it, on the contrary the number of hotel rooms has significantly further risen since then. Reporting on the results of completing the new mandatory star rating procedures for hotels, the Sochi city administration told in February 2019, that the city now possessed a total capacity of 84 thousand rooms combined in 2,387 hotels, guest houses and hostels. (*12). On top of that comes the huge number of private accommodation.

This means that there has been a major shift towards more value-added visitors. With this total capacity, Sochi was ready to accommodate 200 thousand guests simultaneously in one day during the FIFA football world cup.

For sake of comparison, Helsinki (Finland) has built only 63 hotels with a combined 9,373 rooms in its entire history. (*12). Sochi then built 5 times more in just a couple of years before and after the Olympics than one of Europe’s major capital cities managed in over 100 years.

Interestingly, due to good bookings, the mountain resort hotels also get guests in the summer, and the coastal hotels in the winter.

Western wishful predictions of doom and gloom failed to materialize

Right after the Olympic games, the Western media kicked off a follow-up campaign designed to convince that all the investments actually had been in vain. Sochi is “Deserted and already falling apart,” The Daily Mail gleefully declared. (*13). A “ghost town,” announced the spooks at The Guardian (*14). “A $51 billion ‘ghetto’: Extraordinary images show Vladimir Putin’s Sochi Olympic park lying desolate and abandoned one year after most expensive games in history,” more lies from London. (*15). I cannot even get worked up about these claims — they are so ludicrously flawed — just what one would expect from the London fiction factory.

As there simply was nothing real to complain about, what the Western reporters did was to go up to the mountain winter sport cluster in summertime to report that no skiers were spotted, as the CNN did (*16), and then descend onto the coastal beach resort in wintertime (*17) to share their amazement over the empty beaches, as The Daily Mail did. (*18). The winter is mild down there, rarely cooler than 10°C in daytime, but it hardly qualifies for a beach season.

As post-Olympic Sochi really has been a resounding success, this line of attack is largely dead in the media. My impression is that the only ones who are trying to rehash the scandals are Moscow based correspondents of Western media who want to take a long weekend off and travel over to Sochi to enjoy some nice days in the sun during the Moscow winter gloom. It’s a surefire trick to get your employer to pay for it by promising a report about the “post-Olympic decay of Putin’s vanity project.” But even so, they seem not to be able to deliver, as for example was the case with Marjo Nakki from Yle, Finland’s state broadcasting corporation. She enjoyed her free meal but really had nothing to complain about. (*19).

For those who are interested to see how the real Sochi looks like, I refer to an article which I wrote back in 2017. It has a lot of pictures displaying the beauty of Sochi. Here is the link https://russia-insider.com/en/society/sochi-sunny-side-reality/ri4658

White Elephants Live and Kicking

What about the claims that the Olympic sporting arenas stand out like white elephants – unfinished, useless and abandoned? Already a few days before the games even took off, Voice of America declared that “Sochi Facilities Will Not Be Used After Olympics.” (*20). Alas, this wish did not come true; far from it.

These sporting facilities are surrounded on a large territory by hotels, convention centers, and various clusters of housing developments originally built to accommodate the Olympic teams, support staff, organizers and media. The result is an extraordinarily vibrant residential and recreational area with a gorgeous beach on one side and snowcapped mountains on the other. This area will for sure provide for some of the best quality of life in Russia, and a good one by any global standards.

And the venues are bustling with activity. One of the ice rinks is the busy home rink of the new Sochi Hockey Club, debuting in Russia’s prestigious KHL league right after the Olympics in 2014. The club draws between six to ten thousand spectators per game. Another ice rink is being used for various figure skating activities and ice shows. A third one has been converted into a Russian central facility for child health and sports activities. The speed skating arena was turned into a tennis center with nine courts under roof and 15 open-air courts. The Fisht Stadium, the central stadium of the Sochi Olympics, which hosted the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, was fast reconstructed to serve as one of football stadiums for the FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018. In 2014 Sochi hosted its first annual Formula One race on a street circuit built around these venues of the Sochi Olympic Park.

The sporting venues and adjacent hotels and congress centers have also been busy with continuously hosting one or another top level conference or summit.

President Putin has practically transformed Sochi into the country’s summer capital, where he frequently meets with foreign dignitaries during the sunnier half of the year. This also tallies with Russia’s pivot to Asia as Sochi is much closer to those countries.

Real Estate

Sochi saw a lot of real estate development – not included in the famous $50 billion price tag – across the city in the years leading up to the Olympic Games. After the sharp devaluation of the Russian ruble in 2014/2015 in the wake of the Western-imposed sanctions and the decline of the oil price, the Sochi real estate prices initially declined in in dollar terms. But since the decline the prices have surged by more than 100 to 200%. Premium category apartments with a sea view currently sell at a level of five to ten thousand dollars per square meter.

Concluding remarks

The present report should serve to convince the skeptic that without even a glimmer of doubt the bulk of the much touted Sochi $50 billion investment budget went towards a regional transformation and a thorough infrastructural overhaul of Sochi with a lasting impact. The reports about vanity spending and corruption can be firmly put down to malicious propaganda aimed at destroying Russia’s and its presidents external image, wipe out national support for the Games, and destabilize Russia’s political system.

Now, we are not saying that there would not be any legitimate concerns about the Sochi spending, there always are in connection with such huge projects, in all countries of the world. And while Russian law enforcement and the president have addressed some of them, the so-called opposition and their foreign cheerleaders have done nothing to expose any kinds of real misallocation of funds, solely concentrating on an entirely fictious propaganda narrative.

In addition to the impressive data evidencing the permanent economic boost that those investments delivered to Sochi, we may look at this from the point of view of the national economy. After the Sochi investments and the reunification of Crimea with Russia, the nation’s current account surplus got a $20 billion boost in form of a much lower capital outflow on foreign travel. In 2013, Russians spent $53 billion on travel abroad, but by 2018 the figure was down at $34 billion. Obviously, not all that money saved from foreign travel was spent in Sochi and Crimea, but these places sure made an enormous contribution towards it.

Finally, let’s see how miniscule the alleged scandal would be in an international comparison, even if the whole propaganda lie had been true. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the United States spent on entirely murky bailouts of the country’s banks and largest corporations 475 billion on the federal TARP bailout program. In addition to that the Federal Reserve’s own bailout program regaled the banks and corporations with $1.2 trillion in the immediate aftermath of the crisis (*21) without any oversight in blatant corruption schemes. (*22). These were followed by more venal schemes in form of Fed’s program to pump $3.5 trillion of virtually interest free money to those private entities belonging to the American financial aristocracy. (*23). Those funds were further contributed by the highly contentious $787 billion Obama stimulus package. Independent analysts have shown that, Obama’s stimulus package resulted in nothing else but “waste, fraud and abuse as well as highly questionable projects.” (*24).

I bring up the American corruption here, because the fabricated Sochi spending scandal was aimed at portraying Russia as a particularly corrupt country. Without any evidence and distorted facts and outright lies the propaganda media indeed managed to convince a substantial majority of the Western populations that this was the case. Therefore, I find it very opportune to remind where the real corruption and waste resides. After all, those people, and types like above referenced Chris Miller and Anders Aslund, especially designed their narratives to convince the public how a supposed byzantine Russian government was the epitome of crony capitalism in comparison with the shining city upon a hill that their America is supposed to be.

FOOTNOTES:

*1. Chris Miller (2018). Putinomics. Pages 139 and 140.

*2. Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk (2013). Winter Olympics in the Subtropics: Corruption and Abuse in Sochi” (2013). https://www.putin-itogi.ru/cp/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Report_ENG_SOCHI-2014_preview.pdf

*3. Alexey Navalny (2014). Sochi 2014: The Comprehensive Report. https://sochi.fbk.info/en/report/

*4. Oleg Golubchikov (2017): From a sports mega-event to a regional megaproject: the Sochi winter Olympics and the return of geography in state development priorities, International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19406940.2016.1272620

*5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaskan_Way_Viaduct_replacement_tunnel

*6. Nemtsov report, pages 23 – 25.

*7. Nemtsov report, page 6.

*8. Nemtsov report, page 6 and 7.

*9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Brandenburg_Airport

*10. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/nov/24/3bn-subway-station-toronto-alaska-bridge-pyongyang-hotel-valencia-city-arts-sciences

*11. https://ria.ru/20190219/1551082088.html

*12. https://www.stat.fi/til/matk/2018/12/matk_2018_12_2019-02-07_tau_005_fi.html

*13. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589194/How-Sochi-ghost-town-just-weeks-Olympics.html

*14. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/dec/17/sochi-olympics-legacy-city-feels-like-a-ghost-town

*15. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2941216/Extraordinary-images-Vladimir-Putin-s-Sochi-Olympic-park-lying-desolate-abandoned.html

*16. https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2014/10/13/bizview-davies-rus-ghosts-of-sochi.cnn

*17. https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2014/10/13/bizview-davies-rus-ghosts-of-sochi.cnn

*18. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589194/How-Sochi-ghost-town-just-weeks-Olympics.html

*19. https://yle.fi/uutiset/3-10380886

*20. https://www.voanews.com/content/expert-worry-sochi-facilities-will-not-be-used-after-olympics/1844282.html

*21. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikecollins/2015/07/14/the-big-bank-bailout/#482128b32d83

*22. A fantastic description about the bailout and Federal Reserve quantitative easing frauds and corruption schemes is provided by David Stockman in his The Great Deformation (2013).

*23. https://www.awaragroup.com/blog/with-global-recession-looming-russia-looks-strong/

*24. https://www.judicialwatch.org/corruption-chronicles/more-stimulus-fraud-waste/

 

LOVELY ENCOUNTERS IN SEVASTOPOL, CRIMEA

Source

Eva Bartlett

I have a lot to update on from various areas of Russia over the past few weeks, but have been working hard on a special project that takes priority over all my other work and over even simple updates (and which unfortunately two days ago I had to re-start from the beginning when my project and backup project inexplicably failed).

Yesterday was one of the few exceptions to me taking time from that project to post an update, because it’s just too lovely to not post while still buzzing from the happiness of the encounters I had in Crimea today, again.

Yesterday afternoon, I walked 25 minutes or so from my Simferopol hotel to the train station, managed to buy a ticket thanks to translation app (119 Rubles, several hundred fewer than the bus prices I was seeing online), and had a delightful train ride in a slow train filled with locals getting off/on the train periodically over the two hours of the journey.

Wooden seats, chug chugging, sun beating down on me whichever side I moved to. Authentic simple travel that I love.

Aside from the lovely countryside, what I kept noticing was that on either side of the train I saw every so often more construction, improving the infrastructure.

20190827_164259

After arriving in Sebastopol, I realized I needed to find a cafe or somewhere I could sit and charge my phone enough to navigate to the room I thought I’d successfully booked for a few nights.

As I stood orienting the map route (on mobile)and zooming in to see if any signs of cafes or other popped up, a woman walked by me and said with a smile something with the word “shto”, which I think means ‘what’. When I replied in English, she laughed sweetly and flagged down another woman who spoke English.

That woman at first was suggesting I take one of the trolley-buses into the centre of the city, but when I showed the map and my destination, she said she and her husband would take me instead. I normally walk wherever I can, but this was a pretty great offer…one which I appreciated even more when the road became a slow and long incline which would have been a pain with the suitcase and laptop backpack.

I’d expected to walk only a few kilometers but by the time their car arrived at the guesthouse, I was relieved they’d offered to drive me: it was further than I had expected to walk.

As we drove, we chatted. At one point, I asked her about the referendum. I mentioned that some in Canada and elsewhere have the notion that it was done under duress, with a heavy military presence to influence the vote. She laughed, saying, “We are now under the wing of Russia.”

“There were no troops, no military, around us during the referendum.”

She spoke of the joy of Crimeans to vote.

She said that 98% of Sevastopol had voted in favour.

I asked about positive developments since then. She mentioned the improvements in roads, the opening of kindergartens and schools. Free courses (like music) for children.

I’d heard some of these points a few nights ago in Yalta (I have a very interesting, very informative, audio to post of a woman in Yalta speaking at length, but again I have to prioritize for now the project I’m working on, especially since all my work was inexplicably lost [corrupted?] the other day and I had to start over.).

The woman in Yalta mentioned (correct my memory if its wrong) 200 new kindergartens since the referendum. I jotted a couple notes on my mobile as she spoke, including that when she moved to Crimean in October 2012, everything was ‘dilapidated and run down’.

“The nice roads you were driving on, they didn’t exist when we were a part of Ukraine.”

As I stood inside the guesthouse I’d tried to book a room in, waiting for someone to greet me and sort the room, the woman who’d offered to drive me mentioned her parents have a guesthouse overlooking the bay. Ding dong! When nobody materialized after around 10 minutes, I took her offer to rent from her parents instead.

What a fantastic happenstance. Beautiful home, little apartment setup, 2 minute walk to a lookout of the bay, or 30 second walk if I go up to their balcony. They are lovely, so hospitable, have a fig and pear tree (and I consequently have a brimming bowl of fruit).

I have a pair of sandals I bought from a shoe-maker in Beirut. They’re comfortable and nice, but while walking, one of them became a flip-flop, the glue unstuck. Guesthouse owner had repaired it for me while I was walking back from the grocery store.

They invited me for dinner and also suggested I cool off in their little pool, but I had to politely decline in order to get back to my work. But I did take a few minutes just now to enjoy their pool, and the stars, the silence, and the incredible fragrance of some night blossoms.

Ukie nationalism vs Otto von Bismarck

Source

August 14, 2019

Ukie nationalism vs Otto von Bismarck

[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]

When Zelenskii came to power, there were two fundamental options he could have chosen. These options were, roughly:

Option one or pragmatism above ideology: to make a determined effort to address Ukraine’s most urgent problems. At the very least, Zelenskii could have ordered his forces to stop firing and have them withdraw to a safe distance (Zelenskii had the full authority to do so, as soon as he was inaugurated and he did not need anybody’s help to do so). Obviously, such a move would have to be coordinated with the LDNR forces. And that, in turn, means that at the very least, Zelenskii should have opened a channel of direct communications with the two republics. This option could be described as “beginning to implement at least the very first steps of the Minsk Agreements.”

Option two ideology above pragmatism: to make a determined effort not to address Ukraine’s most urgent problems. The priority here is to declare that the Ukraine will not honor the Minsk Agreements: no talks with the LDNR, no ceasefire, no withdrawal of forces, no amnesty and, most definitely, no discussions about any kind of special status for the Donbass. This option could be described as “more of the same” or “Poroshenko reloaded.”

Prince Otto von Bismarck once famously said that “politics is the art of the possible” and I think that this is an excellent rule to keep in mind when trying to figure out what is going on and what might happen next. There is a lot of hyperbolic rhetoric out there, but no matter how delusional Ukie politicians can be, the reality remains something objective, and that objective reality is what will shape the future, not the empty ideological nonsense spewed by politicians (whether Ukrainian ones or AngloZionists).

As of right now, the overwhelming majority of experts have agreed that Zelenskii is not going for Option #1. This strongly suggests that the Ukraine is going for Option #2. But, as I have indicated above, Zelenskii’s Option #2 is nothing more than, well, “more of the same.” And this makes sense, especially if we consider that:

Even his own presidential website does not work!

1) the same causes produce the same outcomes (after all “insanity is repeating the same thing over and over expecting a different result) and

2) the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior

So what really happened? Why is Zelenskii apparently dead set on repeating all the same mistakes Poroshenko made?

As I have indicated in a recent article, the Ukraine is not a democracy but an oligarchy: ever since 1991 the most prosperous Soviet republic was mercilessly plundered by an entire class (in the Marxist sense of the word) of oligarchs whose biggest fear has always been that the same “horror” (from their point of view) which befell Russia with Putin, would eventually arrive at the Ukraine.

Here we need to make something clear: this is NOT, repeat, NOT about nationality or nationalism. The Ukrainian oligarchs are just like any other oligarchs: their loyalty is to their money and nothing else. If you want to characterize these oligarchs, you could think of them as culturally “post-Soviet” meaning that they don’t care about nationality, and even though their prime language is Russian, they don’t give a damn about Russia or Russians (or anybody else, for that matter!). Since many of them are Jews, they have a network of supporters/accomplices in Israel of course, but also in the West and even in Russia. In truth, these guys are the ultimate “internationalists” in their own, toxic, kind of way.

The other significant force in the Ukraine is the West Ukrainian (Galician) Nazi death-squads and mobs. Their power is not a democracy either, but an ochlocracy. These guys are a minority, a pretty small one even, but they have enough muscle and even firepower to threaten any nominal Ukrainian leader. Furthermore, these folks have profoundly infiltrated all the police and security forces which, in theory, would have been able to control or disarm them (the SBU, especially, is chock full of Urkonazi thugs).

Some fine specimens of “ochlocrats”

Now let’s begin by looking at the oligarchs: their number 1 priority is to continue to plunder the Ukraine. For that, you need the opposite of “law and order”: you need lawlessness, chaos, violence and, most importantly, you need the tiny figleaf of “the Moskal aggression” to hide behind. In other words, while these oligarchs probably do not want an open a full-scale war with the LDNR (or, even less with Russia herself), they simply cannot allow peace to break-out.

The Ukronazis don’t want peace to break out either, lest their influence and power shrink back to something roughly proportional to their share of the population of the Ukraine. Besides, since their entire ideology and worldview is all about hating Russia and being anti-Russia, any peace with Russia is literally unthinkable for them. They and their Polish supporters want Russia to break apart in numerous small state-lets which they (or, in their delusional dreams, the Chinese) could dominate. These folks will always perceive Russia as an existential threat. In their own way, they are absolutely right: Russia will always remain the reality check on their delusions. This was as true in the distant 13th century as it is nowadays.

Finally, let’s keep in mind that neither the oligarchs nor the Ukronazis genuinely want the people of Crimea and the Donbass to be part of “their” Ukraine since the overwhelming majority of these people would categorically oppose both the oligarchs and the Ukronazis. Yes, for prestige and ideological reasons, all these Galician Nazis will always declare that “Crimea is forever Ukrainian” and “we shall reconquer the Donbass,” but what they are genuinely fantasizing about is the territory, and only the territory. As for the 2 million-plus virulently anti-Nazi people currently living on these lands, they simply want them either dead or expelled).

So, while about 70% or so of the people of the Ukraine want peace to return and the horrors of the civil war to finally stop, the only two groups who have real power want the civil war in the East to continue. There are even quite a few Zelenskii nominees who have declared that war with the LDNR is the only way to solve the crisis. Some even want war with Russia!

Reality, however, is a pesky thing and, as the expression goes, if your head is in the sand, your butt is in the air and the collective Ukronazi “butt” has been exposed in the air for several years now. This is also true for the supposed “reforms” of the Ukronazi forces.

Quite a few signs are indicating that most of the so-called “reforms” and “reorganization” of the Ukronazi forces were more about corruption (what else!?) and window dressing than anything else. Galicians are generally famous as world-class torturers and executioners of civilians, but not really military commanders (this is why Ukronazi “historians” are now desperately parsing every year in the history of what is called the Ukraine today to find some kind of “Ukrainian” victory; all they came up with so far are very small, completely irrelevant, local battles). In contrast, the LDNR forces seem to be doing pretty well, and their morale appears to be as strong as ever (which is unsurprising since their military ethos is based in 1000 years of Russian military history). Last, but certainly not least, there is Putin’s rather striking warning during the Olympics when he declared that any Ukronazi attack would have, quote, “very serious consequences for Ukrainian statehood.”

This warning was apparently heeded both in Kiev and in Washington, DC.

The mood of the Russian public opinion seems to be one of total disgust and frustrated anger. It’s not like Zelenskii was ever very popular in Russia, but at least he was no Nazi, and he seemed to be willing to take at least the very first steps towards finally stopping the insanity. That hope is now totally shattered (the Russian media reports all the anti-Russian statements of the various Zelenskii nominees daily).

While the Kremlin more often than not sticks to its traditional diplomatic language, most Russian experts appear to be fed-up with Zelenskii and his antics and are now all pushing for some kind of hardening of the Russian stance towards this 5-year long Banderastan. And the Kremlin has paid attention: Russia is now handing out passports to pretty much any Ukrainian wanting to get one. This is the first step in a time-tested sequence, the next one which would be the recognition of the LDNR as sovereign states (as was done in Abkhazia and South Ossetia).

Many wonder what in the world Putin is waiting for and why Russia has not officially recognized these republics yet?

The reasons for this are as simple as they are compelling:

First, any premature recognition would further fuel the western fairy-tale about “Russia” having “invaded” the Ukraine to grab land. If the AngloZionists did not shy away from making such claims while Russian forces were still in their barracks, you could imagine the hysterical shrieks we would have heard from the “collective West” if Russia indeed had decided to move her forces into the Donbass to stop the Ukronazi aggression!

Second, to the degree that the Empire created an “anti-Russia” with its Ukronazi Banderastan, Russia created an “anti-Banderastan” with the LDNR. This is very important and must never be overlooked: yes, Nazi-occupied Ukraine is a never healing wound in the side of Russia, but Novorussia also is a never healing wound in the side of Nazi-occupied Ukraine. The big difference is that Russia is strong enough to cope with her wound, whereas the Ukronazi Banderastan never had a chance and has already collapsed beyond any hope of survival.

Third, Russia simply cannot afford to pay by herself the immense bill for the eventual reconstruction of devastated Ukraine. Just fixing Crimea is already an enormous and extremely costly task for Russia, especially after decades of Ukie neglect, but at least down the road, it is obvious that Crimea is headed for prosperity and that the returns on investment will be huge. But single-handedly rebuilding the entire Donbass is probably beyond the Russian means. Currently, Russia is already providing vast amounts of aid to the Novorussians, and she is basically maxed out.

Finally, let’s remember here that the UNSC approved the Minsk Agreements and that, as such, they are not an elective: the Minsk Agreements are obligatory under international law. And here is the beauty: Russia is not a part of the Minsk Agreements, only the Ukraine and the LDNR are. Thus while the AngloZionists mantrically repeat that “Russia must be sanctioned for not abiding by the Minsk Agreements” or “Russia must do more” – they all do secretly realize that this is empty, hot, air. Besides, even the duller western leaders now are beginning to realize which side truly does not want to abide by these agreements.

These agreements are even less popular in Novorussia than they are in Kiev: it is an open secret that the Novorussians will never agree to be ruled from Kiev again. Ever. And, sooner or later, they will join Russia in some shape or form. But that is in the future. For the time being, the Novorussians are smart enough to realize that they should go along and let the Ukronazi idiots openly sabotage these agreements. And since Zelenskii and his nominees are now declaring that they will never negotiate with the LDNR (which the Minsk Agreements require), it is not Russia or the LDNR which destroyed these agreements, but the Ukrainian government, quite officially so.

The sweet irony of Ukie politics: a Ukronazi vandalizes the portrait of the man who created the Ukraine in the first place!

One striking development since the election of Zelenskii is the number of Ukrainian political figures which have openly declared that the Ukraine should simply militarily re-capture the Donbass (some even suggested Crimea). It is thus probably a good idea to revisit the military options on all sides.

Let’s begin with the Ukronazi dream: this is pretty straightforward, and plenty of Ukrainian officials have mentioned the “Croatian option” which refers to the surprise attack of the Croats (fully backed by NATO) against the Serbian UN Protection Areas in Croatia (see “Operation Storm” on Wikipedia). The model is simple: pretend to negotiate in good faith, get (sympathetic) peacekeepers to disarm all the locals, then attack them with everything you’ve got. If the LDNR were all alone, cut off from Russia, there could be a theoretical (if somewhat unlikely) chance of success of such an attack. But we need to remember here that the Krajina-Serbs (and the Bosnian-Serbs too) were betrayed by Slobodan Milosevic who did nothing to protect them. In fact, Serbia even slammed sanctions against the Republika Srpska. Finally, NATO had complete and total air supremacy.

The case of the LDNR could not be more different because far from betraying the Donbass or imposing sanctions as Milosevic did, Putin gave the LDNR the full support of Russia. If the Ukrainians do attack, Russia will have a very wide array of options to chose from including:

  1. Sending in more humanitarian aid
  2. Sending in more military equipment (the “Voentorg”)
  3. Sending in more volunteers (the “northern wind”), especially highly trained professionals
  4. Sharing intelligence and reconnaissance data with the LDNR forces
  5. Deploying forward air controllers (FACs) in special forces teams to coordinate artillery strikes on Ukronazi targets from across the border
  6. Shooting down Ukrainian missiles and aircraft (including UAVs)
  7. Engaging Russian electronic warfare units to disrupt Ukie signals (radars, including counter-battery, GNSS signals, audio, and video communications, data links, etc.)

So far, this is what Russia has already done in the past (options #5-6-7 only in a few specific instances).

Now what people usually see as the next escalatory option for Russia would be to send ground forces into Novorussia to directly engage the attacking Ukronazi forces.

In truth, Russia has plenty of other options before a ground operation. For example, one further Russian option could include:

  1. Officially declaring a “humanitarian no-fly zone” à la Libya, in which “all means necessary” will be used to stop the aggression and then immediately send in Russian fixed-wing and rotary-wing close air support & strike aircraft (under cover of interceptors and multi-role fighters, of course) and even bombers to destroy advancing Ukie units.

Russia could very easily declare a no-fly zone over the Donbass without moving a single air defense unit across the border: Russian long-range air defenses are more than enough to “lock” that entire airspace, especially if combined with AWACS and interceptors (with long-range missiles).

Still, these steps, while very visible, would still be limited to the Donbass area of operations. But Russia could take this one step further and strike very specific targets in the rest of the Ukraine. Specifically,

  1. Russia could sink the entire (tiny) Ukrainian “fleet” in port or on the high seas. That would not be militarily significant, but politically it would send the correct message.
  2. Russia could decide to also destroy the Ukrainian air force by destroying the main Ukrainian airfields. Russia could very easily do this with long-range cruise missiles. Once enough runways, ATC towers, radars, fuel and oil storage facilities, etc. are destroyed, the Ukrainian airforce as such would cease to exist (even if individual aircraft could be hidden and survive the Russian strikes).
  3. Next, Russia could get serious with the Ukrainian ground forces and begin striking key command posts, communication nodes, fuel and ammo dumps, bridges, etc. The goal here would not be to kill as many Ukrainian servicemen as possible, but to hit in the right places to make it impossible for the Ukrainian military to engage in coordinated offensive operations.
  4. Finally, Russia could decide to open the hunting season on key officials and begin executing some of the most odious Nazi officials (just to scare the rest). Again, cruise missiles are probably the most obvious option here, but other options can be very successfully used including the “Dudaev trick” (an antiradiation missile aimed at a Satphone signal) or even go “full NATO” and begin hitting politically symbolic buildings.

I mention these last four options because these are doable, but they are also total overkill.

The truth is that should Russia ever truly intervene, most Ukrainian servicemen will run or surrender (they did not vote Zelenskii for the privilegeto die for a sick, Nazi, ideology and worldview). Again, past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior and the case of the Crimea has shown that once the (relatively small!!) Russian forces intervened, nobody had the courage (or the motivation) to resist.

[Sidebar: the popular joke about this goes like this: ask a Ukrainian nationalist why the Ukrainians are fighting in the Donbass, and the obligatory politically correct answer is “because the Russians are there!”; and if you then ask him why the Ukraine is not fighting in Crimea, he will reply “because the Russians are really there!“. This is very true. The Urkonazis have tried to engage in low-level forms of terrorism (planting bombs, mostly), but with very little success. As for really attacking Crimea (probably one of the best-defended locations on the planet by now!) – that would be a suicide mission for an entire US Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), never-mind the derelict Ukie military!]

Furthermore, for the Russians, they have been intensively preparing for a major war against NATO for at least five years now (for details, see here) and they are quite ready to take on the united West (that is what Guards Tank Armies are designed to do), so for them to take on the decrepit, corrupt, demoralized, disorganized and generally “mangy” Ukronazi forces would not even represent a significant effort. Every halfway competent military analyst out there knows that. Even the Ukronazi ones.

What this all means for the Zelenskii administration is simple: if you try the “Croatian scenario” you will end up not with a “Croatian outcome” but a “Georgia 08.08.08 outcome”: obliteration of your armed forces in 48 hours, followed by the net loss of 20% of your national territory (probably more in the case of the Ukraine!).

[Sidebar: for many years now I have been explaining that the real goal of any Ukronazi attack on Novorussia would not be to really win, but to force Russia to openly intervene. However, this strategy has failed while the balance of forces, including in political terms, has changed. It is one thing to start a war with the LDNR only to force Russia to intervene, and quite another to expose your entire country to “very serious consequences” for its entire “statehood.” Putin’s (truly quite extraordinary) threat has explicitly raised the bar of the potential Russian retaliation much higher than it was before.]

So is there anything even vaguely resembling *any* kind of solution in sight?

Well, in theory, there would have been the Minsk Agreement solution. The Novorussians would not like it, but Russia could probably impose it upon them. Russia herself sure could live with such an outcome (no, Russia has absolutely no need of any additional territories, especially devastated ones!). But since the Ukronazis are too ideological and delusional to ever accept that option, then there is an obvious Plan B: Russia unilaterally recognizes the LDNR Republics who then vote to join the Russian Federation. In theory, the rest of the Ukraine could realize that there are advantages to this situation, including getting rid of 2 million anti-Nazis. But their ideology (really a local uniquely Galician brand of ultra-nationalism – similar only to the WWII Ustashe regime in Croatia – imposed upon the entire country) makes it absolutely impossible for these rabid nationalists to accept such a loss of territory, particularly in a humiliating civil war against their own people (or so they claim). Simply put, you cannot claim to be the descended of the 200’000 year old “Ancient Ukrs” who built the pyramids, who dug the Black Sea, who gave birth to the Aryan civilization and whose language is the basis of Sanskrit and, at the same time, admit that a big chunk of your own population prefers death to life under your rule. In reality, not only are these folks not willing to accept any loss of territory (whether de jure or de facto), some of them are even claiming territories inside the Russian Federation.

Thankfully, their delusions really make no difference: Novorussia and Crimea are gone, forever, no matter what anybody says.

Frankly, I believe that even without Crimea and even without Novorussia current Nazi-occupied Ukraine is still not viable, if only because the southern regions (Odessa, Nikolaev, Mariupol) will never agree to become Nazi-occupied protectorates of the very same Galician Urkonazis who have already burned people alive in Odessa. The truth is that the Galicians would be much better off severing their (entirely artificial) ties to what is known as “the Ukraine” nowadays and fallback to their true historical lands. Ideology, however, will never allow most of them to see that. The process of disintegration of the rump-Ukraine will probably continue in one form or another.

Conclusion: how one slogan can lead to a very different one

The entire Ukronazi worldview can be summarized in their well-known slogan: “to drown all the Kikes and Polaks in Moskal blood” (or some variations thereof). The problem with this slogan is that there is simply no way the (relatively small) Galician population can ever succeed in permanently defeating their much bigger (and, frankly, much smarter) Jewish, Polish or Russian neighbors. Thus time and again, the policies which begin with this famous Ukie slogan inevitably result in a rather painful variation on another very famous Ukie slogan: “suitcase, railway station, Russia” but, crucially, in a fundamentally different combination: “suitcase, railway station, and back to Canada/Israel!” 😉

I personally don’t care what happens to these folks or to the lands which they historically inhabited. If the Austrians, the Poles, the Hungarians or the Germans want them – they are welcome to have them. After all, these are the folks who, along with the Papacy, created the Ukraine and the Ukronazi phenomenon. So, bien du plaisir!, as the French say: let them enjoy their offspring!

If the people of some future rump-Ukraine are strong and wise enough to get rid of that Nazi rot – good for them, they can count on Russian help and support for reconstruction. But if they are not – then that’s their problem.

When humans go out of their way to ignore reality, they deserve whatever comes their way.

The Saker

Erdogan Betrays Putin, Again, Throws Himself Under the US Feet

 

Turkey / Turkish President Recep Tayib Erdogan New Ottoman رجب طيب اردوغان العثمانيون الجدد

Against all odds considering the enhancing relations with Russia and Iran and bitter relations with the USA and enmity relations with the US’s Kurdish militias, the Turkish regime reached an illegal agreement to establish a ‘safe zone’ inside Syria with his US ‘frenemies’ against international law and in blatant breach to Syria’s sovereignty, Turkey has long claimed it respects, only in media. The same US that supported the military coup attempt against Erdogan in 2016 and was saved by Russian Putin.

First, watch this short video showing late Necmettin Erbakan, Erdogan’s own mentor, speaking about the Turkish pariah and Erdogan proving what his mentor says:

What else to expect from a sick personality that sold his soul to evil for a promised futuristic role on the account of hundreds of thousands of dead bodies of Muslims at most, Christians, and even of his own followers? The head of the Turkish regime the pariah Erdogan is playing in the pastime after his free fall in his country’s latest municipal elections and ratings and before his final eradication from the political life in his country holds on to the last stray with his old masters.

Recep Tayib Erdogan is ready to send Turkey to sleep with not only who pays more, but who would just pat on the butts of the largest country overlooking the Levant. Instead of being the main player in the region, the Turks have accepted to be the most fingered country in the region, for nothing tangible.

Nothing strange in what some with no honorable principle would call pragmatism in international relations where it’s more like selling off to the current ‘man’ in the room. Erdogan has breached each article of the famous Adana Acrrod between Turkey and Syria, which regulates the relations between the two countries and allowed Turkey to strengthen its economy when Syria opened the gates of the rest of the world for Turkey after the Europeans closed it for them. Not only did the regime of Erdogan breach the agreement but went as far as opening Turkey’s bedroom as a whorehouse to every rapist the lunatic could bring from all sides of the planet to destroy the Syrian state and cause the maximum damage to the Syrian people’s lives and their source of living.

The same Erdogan who, with his old buddy Abdallah Gul, turned against their own mentor Erbakan, and after the demise of Erbakan and reaching power, he turned against his own buddy Gul who freed him from prison and appointed him as the prime minister.

Erdogan replaced Gul with Ahmet Davotuglo to later turn against him as well in his path to absolute dictatorship. The current main threat to unseat Erdogan from the lavish presidential palace is his former strong ally Turkish former minister of economy Ali Babacan who resigned from Erdogan’s AKP Islamist party in anticipation to form a new party ahead of the next presidential elections in Turkey.

During the same period, the same Erdogan took his country from being a secular country to far radical anti-Islam Islamist, Muslim Brotherhood style in order to control the branches of this satanic cult across the Arab countries and beyond in the NATO-led Arab Spring plot to destroy the Arab countries with national armies and then control it under neo-Ottoman Islamist leadership.

Erdogan and Putin Meet in Moscow Discuss Syria

Haven’t we warned that Turkey is the US’s trap for Russia?

The relations with Russia are quite unique, the Russian President saved Erdogan’s neck, literally, and to get paid by betrayal after the other by the ever opportunist. The Russian leadership ran out of patience being the guarantor of the Syrian state in the Astana de-escalation agreement in regards to Idlib, while the Turkish regime instead of dismantling its loyal terrorists, especially those of Al-Qaeda, Hurras Al-Din, Turkestan Islamist Party, Uighurs, and their terrorist affiliates, it was strengthening these terrorist groups.

Mr. Putin, in addition, opened up opportunities for the Turkish economy allowing Russian tourism to Turkey, Russian investments in a nuclear power that Russia finances, the South Stream gas pipeline, and allowing Turkish construction companies to work in Russia.

Erdoğan
Erdoğan

When cornered in Idlib, Erdogan pulled the East Euphrates card, using the ever foolish Kurds who worked as the justification for Turkish intrusions in Syria from Jarabulus to Afrin to threatening to enter Manbij, and now to create a safe zone north of Syria across the Syrian borders with Turkey. The US couldn’t be happier, with the roles changing between it and its puppet Turkey, Trump will be using the Obama mistake of not selling Patriot missiles to Turkey to justify the US’s acceptance of the Russian S400 missiles deal with Turkey, and now they’re moving to the next step in Syria, the old plot to carve out large pieces of the country and grant it left and right, stealing Syrian riches for the interests of Israel, only.

Erdogan Delivering FSA

Nobody is asking why Israel, the supposed to be the main concerned party about the S400 in the hands of the largest Muslim army in NATO, is very silent and not criticizing this step when it went mad against Russia’s selling the very old generations of S300 to both Syria and Iran. Seems the Israelis have full trust in their man in Turkey when it comes to their own existential threats.

Erdogan, USA with you
Erdogan don’t worry, Uncle Sam with you to the end.. of you.

Erdogan does not only prove himself a constant betrayer and a flipflop, but he also has to add further steps when receiving the new ‘Jewish’ anti-Russian president of Ukraine and declaring in his presence the rejection of the Russian annexing of Crimea. He could have kept Turkey’s already known position in this regard within the diplomat channels but instead showed Mr. Putin where he positions himself more: biting the only hand that saved his neck, literally – I know I repeated this, and flipping over all agreements he committed his country to for some promised role in an already failed evil project.

We are still waiting for a Russian and Iranian official public position on this latest move by the Turkish regime since both countries are parties to the Astana agreements with Turkey.

Syria, on its part, has issued a strong official statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemning this latest brazen violation of international law and the sovereignty of the Syrian territories, labeled the presence of both Trump forces and Erdogan forces in Syria as ‘occupation forces’ with all the military, legal, and political consequences attached to labeling a force as an occupation force.

The Syrian statement also called on the separatist Kurds to return to their country after the US and Turkey have exposed their ill intentions towards Syria, and warned this is the only and last chance the Kurds have.

Ukrainians Upset With the Celebration of the Russian Navy Day in Sevastopol

August 03, 2019

by Ruslan Ostashko

Translated by Scott Humor and captioned by Leo

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine issued a protest against Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Sevastopol. Euro-Ukrainians were so upset because of the celebration of the Navy Day in Sevastopol that they called the Black Sea fleet “occupational”.

It’s fun to watch the phantom pains experienced by the bones coast of Svidomo (Ukrainian nationalists) over an actual loss of the status of a maritime power. The Ukro-fleet is in a miserable state, and this state is particularly strongly emphasized in the successful renewal that our Black Sea fleet is undertaking.

Is it any wonder that Svidomo Foreign Ministry endeavors to grunt something in order to remind to Euro-Ukros that they once owned Sevastopol and Crimea?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has protested in connection with the trip of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Crimea. This is stated in the statement of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. The main claim of the Ukrainian side is that Medvedev’s visit of the territory, which Kiev considers temporarily occupied by Russia, was not agreed with the authorities of Ukraine.” This trip takes place despite repeated warnings from Ukraine. Being cynical is the purpose of the “visit” — participating in the parade of the occupational fleet of Russia”, — it is said in the statement.

Yes, yes, that’s what they wrote: “occupational fleet”.

It is a pity that we can’t ask a question personally to the native of Russian city Kursk, Pavlo Klimkin (Minister of Foreign Affairs Ukraine). Let this renegade that ate too much of his “Ukraine is Europe” Foreign Affairs position, explain to us what exactly our fleet is occupying in the Black Sea? Maybe the harbor, drenched in the blood of Russian sailors under the command of Admiral Nakhimov? Or those coasts which the “damned Muscovites” won back from the slave traders in the Middle Ages, who were constantly stealing people for sale from the population of lands where Ukraine is now located?

In general, there is nothing Klimkin, of course, could explain. He would just grunt some nonsense from the book approved by the Galician svidomo myths. Or, even worse, from the works of European pop culture, which looks something like this.

*Clip plays* – 2:06.

At the hour when from the ashes of the [Russian] Empire, will rise a new young country, when a dangerous technology, mysterious cults, and spy intrigue will captivate Europe and treacherous enemies will be out for blood, new heroes will stand on the path against the forces of darkness.”

*Clip ends* – 2:29.

Funny? But these comics represent their history of Europe. And they hate us, because Russia has no need to urgently come up with some fake “great” history. Because we, unlike the Western Ukrainians, actually have the real great history.

And the parade in honor of the Navy Day in Sevastopol is a logical continuation of this story.

We have something to celebrate. And have something to respond to grunts of svidomos, joined by renegades like Klimkin.

Member of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, Anton Morozov, commented in an interview with RT, the protest of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs because of the trip of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Crimea.” ‘Unfortunately, Ukraine is on the path of confrontation with Russia. We thought that the new president [Zelensky] would confirm his legitimacy by recognizing Crimea as Russian. The peninsula became part of Russia in accordance with international law and on the basis of the will of citizens. Nevertheless, Kiev continues the confrontational line and makes statements that even in Europe and the world community bring up nothing but a smile,’ the Deputy said.”

Confrontation with Russia – this is the goal for which the project “Ukraine” was started. So the reaction of the official Kuyev, of course, there is nothing surprising. Kiev was the mother of Russian cities, and occupied by the Ukranians it became Kuyev, even its historic name was changed. We can’t look at Medvedev’s visit to Sevastopol any differently.

But this reaction every year looks more and more ridiculous, and causes only smiles, in it is difficult to disagree with the Deputy of the State Duma. No Western politician not affected by Alzheimer’s disease admits the idea that Russia will soon leave Sevastopol and Crimea. And, in the end, when Russophobes will descend into political and natural graves, the next generation of Western politicians will be forced to come to terms with reality and to officially recognize the Russian status of the city of Russian glory and the entire Crimean Peninsula.

There’s no hurry for us. We, unlike some fly-by-night countries, have been settled here for a long time, and some 20 or 30 years for the thousand-year history of our country is a short period.

The main thing – that in the future, as it was in the past, Russia depends on her two traditional allies – her own army and fleet. And we are able to exert influence to the best of our ability. In particular, celebrating the Navy Day contrary to the opinion of svidomite imbeciles.

Everyone who watches our videos – happy Navy Day! And let the entire so-called “Western world” grind its teeth in unison with Euro-Ukrainians.

Zelenskii’s dilemma

 • JULY 25, 2019

The recent elections to the Ukrainian Rada have yielded two most interesting results:

First, almost all the nationalist parties failed to get even one representative elected to the Rada (Poroshenko’s and Timoshenko’s parties did get some seats, but only 25 each)

Second, for the first time since the independence of the Ukraine, the country’s President will have an absolute majority in the Rada.

These are the results as reported by the Unian information agency:

The Servant of the People Party with 43.17% remains in the lead. The Opposition Platform – For Life Party ranks second with 13.01%, Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party ranks third with 8.18%, Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity Party has 8.11%, and Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos (Voice) Party has 5.83%. All the other parties failed to get a representative into the Rada.

Also of interest is the score of the “Opposition Platform – for Life” party (Rabinovich, Boyko, Medvedchuk) which got a total of 44 seats.

In plain English what this means is that the war parties have suffered a crushing electoral defeat.

One might be forgiven in thinking that this is fantastic news for Zelenskii, but in fact it is quite the opposite: this election result creates an extremely dangerous situation for him.

Why the outcome of elections is extremely dangerous for the Ukraine

The first thing that we need to remember is while the neo-Nazis suffered two crushing defeats in a row (in the Presidential election and in the Parliamentary elections), they have not somehow magically disappeared. Here is the key factoid which we must never forget:

The Nazi-occupied Ukraine is not a democracy, but a plutocracy combined with an ochlocracy.

In plain English this means that the Ukraine is ruled by oligarchs, mobs and death squads.

The entire Euromaidan is nothing more than the overthrow of one oligarchic gang by a combination of other oligarchic gangs which used neo-Nazi mobs to seize power. The fact that the USA and the EU backed this typical neo-Nazi coup really means very little: the West has always sided with anybody and everybody who is in some way against Russia. This has been true since the Middle-Ages and it is still true today (I would even argue that Hitler’s rise to power was yet another operation by the Anglosphere to try to control the European continent and the fact that eventually the Nazi golem turned on its intended masters, does not change that).

The oligarchs are still there, as are the neo-Nazis mobs and death squads. And that creates an immense problem for Zelenskii: this new Rada might well represent the views of a majority of the Ukrainian people, but the real power in the country is not concentrated in the Rada at all: it is in the streets.

Legally speaking, Zelenskii does have the tools to crack down on the oligarchs and the neo-Nazis, but in practical terms he has nothing. Okay, maybe not quite “nothing”, but whatever power he has is rooted much more in the fact that he has the backing of the ultimate Uber-oligarch Kolomoiskii (whom many consider to be the real “president” of the Ukraine, Zelenskii being nothing more than a puppet). Not only that, but Kolomoiskii has many scores to settle with Poroshenko’s gang, and we can be pretty sure that he will want to his enemies to pay for what they did to him under the previous regime.

So let’s sum it up.

The people of the Ukraine desperately want peace. For the time being, the Rada reflects this overwhelmingly important fact. I say “for the time being” because what will happen next is that the various forces and individuals who currently support Zelenskii have done so just to gain power. They do not, however, have a common ideological platform or even a common program. As soon as things go south (which they will inevitably do) many (most?) of these folks will turn against Zelenskii and side with whoever can muster the biggest crowds and mete out the most violence.

In theory, Zelenskii could “go Putin” and crush the oligarchs. But Zelenskii is no Putin, to put it mildly. Furthermore, the true reason why the Ukrainian oligarchs hate and fear Russia is not because of some supposed Grand-Russian nationalism or imperialism, but because they want to keep the Ukraine in the same dysfunctional and very profitable condition in which this poor country has been kept since 1991. When Putin came to power and cracked down on the Russian oligarchs, the Ukrainian oligarchs looked in absolute horror at what was happening in Russia, and they decided to do whatever it takes to prevent that from ever happening in the Ukraine.

There is a well-known slogan in the Ukraine “Путин прыйдэ – порядок навэдэ” which can be translated as “Putin came and restored order”. This is the Ukie oligarch’s ultimate nightmare. As it so happens, it is also the AngloZionist Empire’s ultimate nightmare. Hence the apparently bizarre alliance between Anglos, Zionists and Nazis: they all fear that Putin will come and restore order to the Ukraine. Add to this the hallucinations of Hillary (“Putin wants to restore the USSR”) and Brzezinski (“Russia needs the Ukraine to be a superpower”) and you have a simple and all-encompassing explanation for what we have seen taking place in the Ukraine since the Euromaidan.

Interestingly, there are even indicators that Putin is very popular with a majority of the Ukrainian people (see hereherehere or here). This might, in part at least, explain why Poroshenko’s campaign was centered on the “either me or Putin” concept which, considering the crushing defeat suffered by Poroshenko, could suggest that Putin was the real winner of the last election or, alternatively, that folks only voted for Zelenskii as the least pro-war and the most anti-Poroshenko candidate: a kind of anti-anti-Putin candidate, at least while campaigning. Now that he got elected, Zelenskii quasi-instantly switched to the exact same rhetoric as what got Poroshenko so severely defeated. Why?

Because Zelenskiii is afraid that the neo-Nazi mobs and death squads will be unleashed against him at the very first opportunity. In fact, the neo-Nazis have already begun promising a new Maidan (see here or here).

Conclusion: Zelenskii has two options, both very dangerous

The truth is that Zelenskii has to choose between acting on the will of the people and face the wrath of the neo-Nazis or do the will of the neo-Nazis and face the wrath of the peopletertium non datur!

And if that was not bad enough, there is another factor making this even worse for Zelenskii: nobody can meaningfully help him.

Experience has already shown that the AngloZionists are long on promises and short on real action. In fact, we can be pretty sure that, besides more empty anti-Russian slogans, the West has very little to offer the Ukraine. And, frankly, the USA and the EU have enough very real problems to deal with to continue to waste time, energy and money on what Trump really would no doubt (privately) call a “shithole”, thereby overlooking the undeniable fact that the Ukraine is only a shithole because of the immense resources spent by the Empire to turn it into a shithole in the first place (in the Soviet times, the Ukraine was the richest and most prosperous Soviet republic).

In theory, Russia could help, of course. But we can rest assured that the neo-Nazis will immediately call for a new Maidan if Zelenskii makes any meaningful overtures to Russia. Their outraged screams will be further supported by an entire “choir” of no less horrified western politicians.

Right now Zelenskii talks the very same talk which Poroshenko, Timoshenko and the rest of the Nazi freaks talked. But he must realize that if he also walks the walk, then he will end up just as universally hated as Poroshenko is now. So what can he do?

The Ukraine desperately needs better relations with Russia, but that is impossible as long as there is a war going on in the Donbass. Furthermore, there is one question which now every Russian and Ukrainian politician has to answer: Whose is the Crimea? This is just about the most polarizing question right now, and one which forces every person to chose between the Empire (main sponsor of the “Crimea belongs to the Ukraine forever” reply) and Putin’s Russia (in which everybody except the most terminally stupid liberal politicians reply “Crimea belongs to Russia forever”).

So far, Zelenskii has apparently decided that talking is all he is going to do simply because his triumphant electoral victories have landed him in the middle of an immense minefield, and any steps he takes from now on could cost him very dearly. Right now, in the short term, the neo-Nazi mobs represent a much bigger danger to Zelenskii than the (disorganized, demoralized and generally apathetic) people. But this will inevitably change as the economic and political situation gets worse.

The sad reality is that the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine has turned the country into a prototypical failed state and that there are no signs of any kind indicating that things might get better, even marginally, for the foreseeable future. Personally, I am inclined to think that the “least bad” outcome for this entirely artificial country to begin with, would be to break up into several different parts, maybe joined by some kind of very loose confederation, possibly united by a common declaration of neutrality. Not only would that solve Ukraine’s artificiality problem, but it would also make it easier (including politically) for external actors (US, EU, Russia, UN, OSCE, EEU, SCO, etc.) to help those successor states which will form following the break-up of the current monolith.

For the time being Zelenskii appears to be dead set to repeat some of the worst mistakes of Poroshenko: the latest news is that the Ukies have now seized a Russian tanker. This is a truly fantastically stupid decision as we already know what Russia will do in retaliation: “inspect” (sometimes for many hours) Ukrainian ships thereby causing immense financial loses to the owners of these ships. Whether Zelenskii ordered this operation (or, at least, authorized it) or not is irrelevant. If he did – then he is just as stupid and clueless as Poroshenko. If he did not – then he is not in control. Either way, that’s just more trouble for Zelenskii already less than impressive debut as President.

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