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The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment, 2014

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[Aug 30, 2015] The Guardian view on the latest Ukraine ceasefire call: why this could be the one that works

"...This is not good journalism, nor objective, perceptive, informed reporting. It's hogwash- and from the Guardian!!! An effete, ignorant, vague, prejudiced, white washing survey of no value what so ever. "
"...The same old story on behalf of Washington DC."
"...It's just the Graun beating the drums of war on behalf of NATO...again."
"...The Guardian view on the latest Ukraine ceasefire call: why this could be the one that works... So there will be some enforcement on the West Ukrainians to observe it at last and curb the neonazi types?"
"...This article assumes wrongly that Russia and Putin are to blame when quite the opposite is true .

This all occurred due to the EU very aggressive expansionist policy in the Ukraine, Russia's backyard encouraged by a under funded sabre rattling Nato which has all gone horribly wrong .

Eastern Russian Ukrainian separatists have every right to self determination as do people in the Falkland islands or in Scotland and Gibraltar and yet not Ukrainian Russians ?? Why not !

The EU cannot afford to bail out Greece, never mind the Ukraine and costs are mounting daily .The EU is tilting imperially at windmills

Many people in the UK EU do not support their governments approach to Russia and cannot even understand it ,and see yet more double standards

The EU need desperately to get Russia back as a market particularly as China is starting to look wobbly any more talk of sanctions against Russia would be counter productive"

Aug 30, 2015 | The Guardian

Bosula -> Agrajag3k 30 Aug 2015 21:50

Russia's RTs budget is about a third of the amount that the US State Department spends of funding six state owned propaganda broadcasting services across the world.

At least one of these US state sponsored propaganda networks has a formal agreement with the Guardian to run their pro US stories on a regular basis (see stories by RFE, for example).

Does this help you understand that propaganda is complex. It not just a Russian game, if that is really what you thought.

The Russians are the little kids on the block in this ongoing propaganda 'war'.

annamarinja -> JakeBrumby 30 Aug 2015 21:49

You mean, only FauxNews provide the truth and only truth?

Winifred Kiddle 30 Aug 2015 21:36

You're reading different stuff to what I read according to my sources Putin is the person who masterminded Minsk. And Porky is the dude who signed an agreement but never kept to it. Something about kids living in basements that's how we'll win this war Yada Yada Yada. Oh that's right the Guardian employs Shaun Walker. Enough said. Please, please get your facts right and stop hoodwinked your readers.

Bosula HollyOldDog 30 Aug 2015 21:36

A no brainer for me - seek the protection of a friendly neighbour who shares your culture and language.

The period following the unconstitutional February 2014 coup in Kiev was a dangerous and lawless period.

HauptmannGurski Beckow 30 Aug 2015 21:45

The winter, yes, it is very important in that region, nearby Stalingrad, now Volgograd, etc. That's why a ceasefire before winter has better chances than one before summer, e.g. February.

As far as these jokers with a German name (Tintenfische) are concerned who delight in the idea of a Russian crash, they really got no idea what they are talking about. Russians do not give in, see Leningrad siege. Russia has received shock therapy with these sanctions and they wll now ensure that never again will they be overly dependend on foreign sources of funds, or even cooperation.

As the saying goes, if you need a helping hand look at what you find at the end of your right arm. The cooperation after the 1991 collapse was a failure, looked like a good idea at the time. They are very conscious of needing to focus on their own minds and resources, instead of sugar hits from foreign creditors like Ukraine and Greece. And then there are these people who go full frontal against Putin - being totally oblivious that the Putins, Obamas, Bushes come and go. Anyone who's engaging in these primitive Putin attacks just displays a low IQ.

Economies are in dire straights everywhere, so why should Russia be an exception. There is no country now that isn't plagued by excessive borrowings and Russia is barred from excessive borrowing, good. At least they are free of prooping up Ukraine now. Lets see how the other side likes propping them up.

poopin4putin PaddyCannuck 30 Aug 2015 21:21

It is truly stomach-churning stuff. Especially since the rubble is gaining. it was 70+ to US dollar last week, but closed Friday at around 65. Its gaining. oh wait it was around 35 a year or so ago. sorry.

Beckow -> Rudeboy1 30 Aug 2015 21:21

Almost everything you wrote is wrong.

Only 20-25% of Russia's economy is oil, gas and energy. The price crash was in dollars, in rubles the prices are almost the same as a year ago. In Russia they use rubles...

Russia is increasing both its cash reserves and gold holdings, check Bloomberg.
Putin increased defense budget.

Russia's population has been growing since 2011, their birth rates are higher than almost all EU countries. You want to see real demographic disaster, try Latvia - down 25% in 15 years, or Estonia, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria... Plus Russia gets second largest number of immigrants after US in the world.

Why are you way off on all your facts? Are you Obama's speech writer? Or do you think this is 1998?

Parangaricurimicuaro -> jezzam 30 Aug 2015 21:20

Food production is one of the areas in the Russian economy that is starting to show results in this new government guided import substitution. So when a cheese producer in western Europe sees images of tons of cheese been bulldozed then I don't consider that they were laughing. The creation of markets is a process that takes time and effort.

nadodi 30 Aug 2015 21:00

The same old story on behalf of Washington DC.

PaddyCannuck 30 Aug 2015 20:55

It's really breathtaking how so many of our rabid Russia-haters just ooze schadenfreude when commenting on the imagined effects of western sanctions and other economic measures which they gleefully fantasise as reducing the lives of ordinary Russians to abject misery.

But then, when it comes to Russian seizure and destruction of contraband goods or one of the daily articles of how bad Russia and Putin are, they're suddenly full of loving concern and compassion for those same ordinary Russians, and inundate us with a deluge of crocodile tears. Truly stomach-churning stuff.

Vlad Cheprasov 30 Aug 2015 21:18

According to recent big buzz 2000 russian soldiers killed vs. about 1500 Ukrainian soldiers official stats claims.
That means that majority in East are russian soldiers vs. ukrainian
That means that majority captured POW should be russian soldiers
Considering Ukrianian side is more effective (2000 vs 1500) they must've got more POW's
Why they provided 12 lost souls in 2014 and just 4 this year ?
Separatist side handed back more than thousand Ukrainian POW (official Ukrainian sources claim)
Where are those thousands of Russian soldiers/mercenaries?
Every time they got couple guys all MSM headers are blown with a really BIG news.

Bosula -> Agrajag3k 30 Aug 2015 21:14

if it works for you - go for it as an 'ethnic Australian'.

All Slavs in this part of this part of world share the same genetic heritage - regardless of what country they come from. Certainly Russians and Ukrainians are the same people genetically and share much in common, whether they like it on not

HollyOldDog -> Bosula 30 Aug 2015 20:28

The rest of Ukraine was descending into chaos, what with police and demonstrators being shot and killed by unknown assalients from rooftops. Odessa , where 45 plus Ukrainian citizens were trapped in a building which was set fire to by outside football supporters, then shot at and clubbed when the citizens climbed out of the burning building seeking help. Would you risk yourself and your family in such a situation or would you seek the protection of a friendly power?

HollyOldDog -> GhengisMao 30 Aug 2015 21:00

That is just what Poroshenko is praying for as it would mean more money flowing into the coffers of Ukraine. ( thereby into his own as well). Yats - Americas own man said that Ukraine should be given around $2billion per year for 3 years ( last years request).

But it will never happen and Poroshenko will be ordered to live up to his obligations in respect to the Minsk2 agreement. I suggest he starts now as the gaze of the EU drifts to the far more serious problem of these migrants who don't carry identity papers entering the EU. terrorist fractions could be in their midst, so the EU has to be diligent. So Poroshenko either get your act together and fulfill your obligations or be sidelined, to sink or swim on your own.

EugeneGur -> jezzam 30 Aug 2015 20:28

With you, no evidence, hard or otherwise, is ever required. "Everyone knows", "nobody believes" - is good enough for you.

The alternative is to believe that a ragbag army of separatists in a region of three million people can overwhelm the regular army of a country with 45 million people on their own.

This is a good example of you reasoning. We Russians call such "facts" "dragged by the ears". You claim to know Russian - you should understand what I refer to.
First, it isn't clear what was more ragbag - the Kiev army or separatists. Just because it is called regular army doesn't mean they know how, or are willing, to fight. Second, the whole 45 millions didn't go to fight, did they? Kiev has trouble assembling decent number of soldiers even now - separatists don't. What a difference motivation makes.

HollyOldDog -> alpamysh 30 Aug 2015 20:19

Ah, I was right all along.
The West Always Speaks With Fase Tongue.
Middle East and African countries should keep their own council and keep the Western Wolves from the door.

HollyOldDog -> jezzam 30 Aug 2015 20:14

The West in terms of the European West, wants a federated Ukraine that is not at war with itself and where one part ,the West is not trying to destroy another part the East. In this context the West of Ukraine has become a liability to Europe by insisting that it requires advanced NATO. weapons to defeat its opponent in Eastern Ukraine. Any Russian involvement other than sending food convoys to East Ukraine is pure speculation and/or wishful thinking by a beleaguered President of Ukraine who cannot/will not hold meaningful discussions with the East of Ukraine. Ultimately it's the responsibility of President Poroshenko to resolve the troubles of Ukraine peacefully, by negotiating with East Ukraine. No IFS, No BUTS just do it, or Ukraine could be just left behind in the mounting migrant crisis. Poroshenko could volunteer his country to take several thousand Syrian Migrants , just to show that he has the true German minded spirit.

DomesticExtremist -> nnedjo 30 Aug 2015 20:10

It's just the Graun beating the drums of war on behalf of NATO...again.

nnedjo 30 Aug 2015 20:03

It is too soon to be confident but this time the economic and political pressures may be mounting on Vladimir Putin to make agreements that will stick
Why is it so difficult to understand that Putin would be the last one to want the continuation of this fratricidal war?

For comparison, imagine that civil war breaks out in the UK between the Scots and the English. In that case whether it would be necessary to take any special pressure on the British Prime Minister to stop such a war?

Chillskier -> jezzam 30 Aug 2015 20:00

Ensure that Ukraine does not go under economically and eventually becomes a fully functioning and prosperous liberal democracy.
It seems to be working pretty well..

NO it is not.
You need to talk to people who actually live there, it is a catastrophe

HollyOldDog -> truk10 30 Aug 2015 19:46

Ukraine should be wary of false friends who may lead then down a blind alley. Only today I watched a very interesting TV program that puts the continueing existance of Monsanto into serious doubt. The program was about wheat in terms of the future of Global Warming where presentment her patterns within seasons would vary widely. Is it the right course of action to choose types of GM wheat where seasonal rains would pop up at inconvenient times ( which a farmer would pay 'through the nose for') or to allow your wheats to choose the correct wheat for the growing conditions it encounters. Some of the Wheats on test where from the times of the ancient Egyptians while the oldest variety was around 9000 years old. Instead of gene splicing and growing micro cultures in a lab followed by years of field testing , perhaps we should just look what our ancestors did.

I know this is not exactly on topic but I am trying to suggest Not to believe the latest SPIN, just because it is new. NEW SPIN does not equal TRUTH. IF something looks to be too good to be true then it is too good to be true - Forbes, verify your stories before you publish.

EugeneGur 30 Aug 2015 19:45

Vladimir Putin laid all the blame on the Ukrainian government, while Kiev has been warning that Russia is readying for new offensives

There is no need to listen to what Putin says and even less to what Kiev says. The MinskII agreements consists of only 13 point, and it is quite easy to ascertain for anyone who is doing, or not doing, what. MinksII demands certain actions on the part of the Kiev government, including constitutional reform with specific provisions for Donbass and restoration of social payments. None of this has been carried out by Kiev, which should be obvious for anybody, because Kiev doesn't even bother to deny it. They openly say they haven't done any of this and not going to. So, what does it matter what anyone says?

This marks the deadline for the internationally recognized border to come back under Ukrainian government control. At the moment, however, the Russians maintain an exclusive grip.

Correction - LPR/LPR maintain the firm grip. They will continue doing so - they aren't suicidal, not at all. The control of the border was supposed to be ceded to Kiev after all other provision of MinskII have been implemented. That hasn't happened, so the border is and will remain in the DPR/LPD hands for the time being. Kiev concentrates on that border issue like it was all they noticed in MinskII - must the Guardian repeat the Kiev narrative verbatum?

President Putin's recent language may nevertheless indicate that he is looking for a way out of what may have turned into something of a military and political quagmire.

May I remind the geniuses at the Guardian that it was precisely President Putin who engineered both MinskI and MinskII? If Putin hadn't put pressure on Donbass, they would've agreed to any of this. They don't want to be in Ukraine, and Putins had to use all his influence to make them agree. However, even his authority won't be enough to convince them to go for MinskII. So, it' Kiev's last chance.

There is rumor Russia will soon start giving Russian passports to DPR/LPR citizens, and Donbass will soon be holding a referendum about joining Russia. There is a very, very probable scenario.

Yet the separatist forces are a disorderly group that have shown themselves incapable of carving out a territory that could be held sustainably.

Really? This "disorderly group" inflicted devastating defeat on the Kiev valiant army not once, not twice, but three times. No matter how often the West repeats it was the Russian army, they know full well it is not so. Every independent observes ever to visit Donbass stated that there is no Russian troops there.
"The territory isn't sustainable" - how surprising they aren't prospering under almost complete blockade and while being shelled daily. How sustainable is Kiev with all the Western help? Nearing default, I hear. And the utility bills are larger than average salaries now. Good job, people - keep it up.

I wonder whether the Guardian editorial board must make a fool if itself all the time every time.

nnedjo 30 Aug 2015 19:42

The head of the Ukrainian General Staff has admitted that 90% of intelligence they have received about the war in the southeast later turned out to be false. Which means only 10% of the information was true.:-)

And even more interesting/funny is a statement of the US Permanent Representative to NATO:

The US Permanent Representative to NATO, Douglas Lute, has admitted that his knowledge about the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine comes mostly from social networks rather than intelligence reports.

"We should all ask ourselves: why is it that we know so little really about what is going on in Donbass," the US ambassador to NATO told "Friends of Europe" forum in Brussels.

"I mean, frankly, I read more on social media about what is going on in the Donbass than I get from formal intelligence networks. This is because the networks don't exist today," Lute said.

TomFullery alpamysh 30 Aug 2015 19:05

I think you're getting confused with Americanswho are famous for their completely over the top indiscriminate use of firepower to "solve" a problem.

I remember a SWAT team managed to burn down a whole neighbourhood block a few years ago while trying to apprehend a burglar who was holed up in one of the apartments.

Beckow impartial12 30 Aug 2015 18:41

"Ukraine is important to the West because of its encroachment strategy against Russia"

The strategy is to somehow take over Russia by either having Yeltsin-like puppets in power again, or maybe by physically taking it apart (separatism). The "encroachment" is just the means to that end.

Russians had two choices when the coup happened in Kiev on the last day of the Sochi Olympics:

The West was surprised that Russia went for the second option and decided to fight. I think Russia decided that this was their best chance to resist, and that facts on the ground in Ukraine were in their favor. So far it has worked for Russia, thus the almost hysterical anger in the West.

nnedjo 30 Aug 2015 18:24

though there are victims almost every day and one report, not independently verified, suggests Russian deaths may have reached 2,000.

So, here we have an article on the question of war or peace in a such a large country such as Ukraine, and on a possible entry into a total war with its even larger neighbor Russia. And one such article refers to "a report that has not independently verified", or let's just say is not verified at all. One must admit that It is rather frivolous approach to one serious topic like this. That would be about the same as if someone would advise a man seriously ill from cancer to contact the nearest medicine man for a treatment.

And how this alleged report was created in the first time?
Thus, the Ukrainian website "New Region" ("Новый Регион") has published an alleged picture of a web page from Russian website, which even by its design does not correspond to the original site, because the right margin (only the right!) is painted in gray-blue color. In addition, they claim that the site from which they took picture "immediately was changed by Russian censors", and it now looks like this. Which means that only they [the Ukrainians] are in possession of incriminating secret information about the number of the killed Russian soldiers, and we probably need to trust them on this.

What else is interesting about this?

Except that the Ukrainians were the first and only ones to notice "the self-incriminating" Russian webpage, their, therefore, the Ukrainian webpage that talks about it first was noticed (probably quite by chance too) by the famous author of anti-Russian articles, and former friend of the assassin of US President Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald. Of course, when one such "celebrity" like Paul Roderick Gregory publish one such "sensation" against Russia, and yet it is written in Forbes, it is then quickly spread all over the internet and finaly ends up here on the Guardian.

The only thing the Guardian "forgot" to specify that, in addition to 2000 killed, the "alleged-by the Ukrainians seen only-report" also mentions the 3200 wounded Russian soldiers on the Ukrainian front. Thus, on a total of 5200 Russian troops casualties, there are only 10 Russian soldiers who were captured in Ukraine(we read about it also in the Guardian, a year ago). An amazing proportion, you must admit!

Agrajag3k Bosula 30 Aug 2015 18:23

Most of Ukraine speaks Russian as a first or second language. This whole "ethnic Russian" nonsense is an invention of the Kremlin.

I speak English, share similar customs and very likely have distant relatives who live there, so from now on I'll call myself an "ethnic Australian". Is that how it works?

Andrew Nichols 30 Aug 2015 18:20

The Guardian view on the latest Ukraine ceasefire call: why this could be the one that works

So there will be some enforcement on the West Ukrainians to observe it at last and curb the neonazi types?

vr13vr Chirographer 30 Aug 2015 17:46

It wasn't a conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It was a conflict between Kiev and people of Crimea, unless you insist their opinion shouldn't matter at all. But you are right about Ukraine not being a NATO member and as such NATO should have never have gone into high gear and escalated its rhetoric over this.

dmitryfrommoscow gimmeshoes 30 Aug 2015 17:43

References to 'Euromaidan' sources cannot be accepted. What else can the Ukrainian Security Council say? Do you expect it to admit frankly that root-cause of the conflict in Donbass is found in their own imecilic far-right nationalism?

MaoChengJi 30 Aug 2015 18:13

That is not to say that Russia has given up on destabilising its neighbour, nor on trying to redraw Europe's security architecture to its advantage.

God, what a comedy... Russia is destabilising? Russia is "trying to redraw Europe's security architecture"?

You're trolling, admit it. I don't mind trolling myself, but not for annoying, bullying, and eventually cornering a nuclear power. Only idiots would do that.

Bosula Bob49 30 Aug 2015 18:10

What I can never understand is why three quarters of the Ukrainian army stationed in the Crimea joined the Russian army during or before the referendum?

No shots were fired?

How can this be an annexation?

We are talking about something like ten thousand troops here - close to a third to half of the fighting force of the Australian army.

Would half the Australian army voluntarily join the army of a foreign country If they tried to 'annex' Australia?

Could they take over Australia, my home, without firing a shot?

I don't think so.

We may not be able to defeat a large annexing force from Asia but we would at least fire our guns and put up a fight.

We certainly wouldn't 'party' hard about the annexation and vote to join the invading country - yet this is what occurred in the Crimea.

What is going on here?

Beckow dmitryfrommoscow 30 Aug 2015 18:06

Why does it matter who is doing the fighting? I am amused by the legalistic obsession with whose uniform someone wears before they go off to die. It is a distraction - there is a war there. What matters is who wins, not what "regular unit" they belong to. Clearly enough people on both sides feel strongly enough about it to risk their lives.

The only relevant military fact is that Russians said they will not let Donbass be overrun. Since nobody thinks that Kiev (or Kiev+...) can actually defeat Russia, that kind of puts an end to all military uncertainty.

This will be decided based on economy and how people feel about their living standards in a few years. If Ukraine is prosperous, inside EU (or close by), jobs are plentiful and incomes high, Donbass cannot and will not stay separate. Hell, even Crimeans might have second thoughts. On the hand, if Ukraine stays poor as it is today - or gets worse - than Donbass separatism will be the least of Kiev's problems.

Based on the reality we can all see, it is much more likely that we are about to see the second scenario. Fighting just postpones the inevitable and fogs up what is really going on - collapse of Ukraine's economy and living standards....

Beckow Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 17:55

Stay sober. Russia's economy is down 4%, that's not "go down in flames". E.g. EU economy dropped 6-9% after '09, and people are ok, kind of.

The real issue is with the Ukrainian economy and living standards. Russia's per capita income this year is 10 times higher than Ukraine's. That's very substantial, that's why about 3 million Ukrainians work in Russia and more are coming each month.

The West tried to crash Russian economy ahead of the inevitable Ukrainian collapse, and it failed. So now the death-watch for the Ukraine's economy has started: default on loans, catastrophic drop in living standards and incomes, millions trying to emigrate, and energy dependency on Russia that might turn out to be fatal if there is a cold winter in Europe.

vr13vr CedricH 30 Aug 2015 17:55

Yeah, I can imagine Russians being jealous of Ukrainians. The economy is collapsing, the inflation is 40%, the far is going on, the armed Right Sector people are walking in the center of the city, the opposition leaders are suppressed and the actions are taking against the media that disagrees with Kiev. And while all of this, the corruption remains exactly where it used to be. Darn, the entire world is jealous of those lucky Ukrainians.

Beckow Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 17:47

"it denies the Ukrainian people any sort of agency what so ever and at the same time ignores that the elections within the Ukraine have not been called free or fair for a generation"

I wrote 'assisted in an overthrow' - do you get the meaning of the verb "to assist"? Assisting in an overthrow of an elected president is by any definition illegal and unconstitutional - all else that followed has to be examined in that light.

Elections in Ukraine have been free and fair and declared so by EU itself many times. Yanukovitch won fair and square. Russian speakers (or supporters) used to get roughly 50% of the vote, sometimes more, sometimes little bit less. Their party - Party of Regions - was outlawed. So maybe they are listened to, but in a very constrained way - they are certainly not equal to the Western Ukrainians. That's why some of them started a civil war.

You don't address any of the disastrous economic consequences of Maidan and the war: Ukraine is suffering and is much worse off than two years ago. There is no economic prosperity possible in Ukraine without Russian cooperation (energy, imports, food, investments). That is a reality that cannot be wished away. Unless Ukraine adjusts to being a poor, agrarian country, that exports millions of workers, with living standards maybe like in Albania or Tunis (at best), they will have to make peace with Russia and its own Russian leaning population. There is no other way, even Germany and France have officially told Kiev that much. Only US nutcases don't care about economy or living standards and prefer to play geo-political games with Ukrainians...

SHappens -> Agrajag3k 30 Aug 2015 17:42

Ukraine can prosper perfectly well on its own, just like any other county under the right leadership.

which they dont have. On the other hand when a big part of the country doesnt want to align with the "West" they should be heard. That's what is called democracy

Bosula 30 Aug 2015 17:41

'The Minsk agreement will also come under further international scrutiny as the end of the year nears. This marks the deadline for the internationally recognised border to come back under Ukrainian government control.'

This editorial is a little like a snake - slides all over place and slithers around facts.

This is no mention of Minsk agreement preconditions for the border to come back under Ukrainian control.

This includes progress on constitutional reform and constructive negotiations with East Ukraine.

The editorial provides no assessment on progress on these important conditions.

Or don't they matter?

vr13vr -> alpamysh 30 Aug 2015 17:41

Kiev doesn't know what it wants. But you are right, why wouldn't Kiev leave Donbass and the entire region. That would stop all the tensions at once because I don't remember people from the East having any intend to go to the West Ukraine and bring the war there. Let Kiev stop the attempts and let the Donbass and Lugansk areas go and there will be peace.

vr13vr -> Bosula 30 Aug 2015 17:38

And they should leave them alone.

Falloe7 CedricH 30 Aug 2015 17:30

The Guardian news about 2000 Russians dead is out of date as Forbes news who printed it were found out to be a Load of Rubbish and made up. By load of Idiots by the sound of it who Forbes news believed Just goes to show you cannot believe all you read now can you

Bosula Nick Gresham 30 Aug 2015 17:30

The US is though - and war is good for the US economy.

pfbulmer 30 Aug 2015 17:27

This article assumes wrongly that Russia and Putin are to blame when quite the opposite is true .

This all occurred due to the EU very aggressive expansionist policy in the Ukraine, Russia's backyard encouraged by a under funded sabre rattling Nato which has all gone horribly wrong .

Eastern Russian Ukrainian separatists have every right to self determination as do people in the Falkland islands or in Scotland and Gibraltar and yet not Ukrainian Russians ?? Why not !

The EU cannot afford to bail out Greece, never mind the Ukraine and costs are mounting daily .The EU is tilting imperially at windmills

Many people in the UK EU do not support their governments approach to Russia and cannot even understand it ,and see yet more double standards

The EU need desperately to get Russia back as a market particularly as China is starting to look wobbly any more talk of sanctions against Russia would be counter productive

Beckow Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 17:13

There is a difference between selling arms and funding rebellions that overthrow governments. US actually physically invaded Iraq.

US and EU assisted in an overthrow of the elected president in Ukraine. That's why we have the mess in Ukraine. If the democratic process was followed and all groups were listened to - including Russian speaking half of Ukraine - we would not have this disaster. And it is a disaster.

Beckow Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 17:13

There is a difference between selling arms and funding rebellions that overthrow governments. US actually physically invaded Iraq.

US and EU assisted in an overthrow of the elected president in Ukraine. That's why we have the mess in Ukraine. If the democratic process was followed and all groups were listened to - including Russian speaking half of Ukraine - we would not have this disaster. And it is a disaster.

careforukraine 30 Aug 2015 16:47

The truth is that the west has realized that trying to continue on the same path is futile.
The public have grown tired of hearing false stories abouy russian aggression and more and more stories about nazism in kiev are becoming apparent.
Both these facts make it hard for the US to gain support from their own public.
Now its in the US best interests to cut ties with poroshenko.......and this is why poroshenko was reprimanded by merkel and hollande at the last meeting.
The has lost the stomach to continue

BastaYa72 alpamysh 30 Aug 2015 16:33

Moreover, a country with the agricultural resources of Ukraine

Land that has long since been signed over to Monsanto and DuPont as part payment for earlier loans. Ukraine's economy is in such a state that's it's obvious that it will form the next major refugee crisis, while Svoboda and Privvy Sector will almost certainly launch a coup to over-throw the Kiev government.

Iraq, Libya, Ukraine - you can pretty much guarantee that wherever the West intervenes or interferes, chaos and destruction is pretty much 'nailed-on'.

Laurence Johnson 30 Aug 2015 16:12



Thousands of Ukrainian far-right supporters have rallied in the Kiev's Independence Square calling for a referendum that would impeach the country's president Petro Poroshenko.

The peaceful rally held by the Right Sector movement saw thousands of people converge in the centre of Kiev on 21 July, waving Right Sector and Ukrainian flags and chanting "Glory to Ukraine".


vr13vr psygone 30 Aug 2015 16:11



Russia does not need options on Ukraine. Frankly, it doesn't care so much about Ukraine any more. All it needs to do is to keep this status quo in the East Ukraine, supporting Donbass and Lugansk. It will keep Kiev and Washington unhappy but little they could do about it.

It is Kiev who has no options to recapture the control of the region in face of local opposition there and it is Kiev that is looking for grace saving exit.


vr13vr 30 Aug 2015 16:09

Clueless. The "low intensity" fight continues, but it's evident that the chances of Kiev to establish full control of the area are non-existent, and it is Kiev who is looking for a grace saving exit at this point.

And as for West "helping Ukraine" by cutting down the debt by 20%, this is the freshest interpretation of the event I've ever heard. It wasn't done to "help" Ukraine. The West agreed to do so to avoid even messier and costlier option of default and loosing even more money in Ukraine. Other than talking about giving some more loans to Ukraine in the future, the help to Ukraine from the West is now minimum.

BastaYa72 -> alpamysh 30 Aug 2015 16:33

Moreover, a country with the agricultural resources of Ukraine

Land that has long since been signed over to Monsanto and DuPont as part payment for earlier loans. Ukraine's economy is in such a state that's it's obvious that it will form the next major refugee crisis, while Svoboda and Privvy Sector will almost certainly launch a coup to over-throw the Kiev government.

Iraq, Libya, Ukraine - you can pretty much guarantee that wherever the West intervenes or interferes, chaos and destruction is pretty much 'nailed-on'.

Laurence Johnson -> Beckow 30 Aug 2015 16:05

You make some very sober points. Ukraine is indeed destined to be a wasteland similar to Libya and Syria. The scorch and burn policy of "if I cant have it, nobody can have it" is very clear.

I suspect that in twenty years time East Ukraine will be an economic miracle that engages with Asia via Russia. As for Kiev I suspect they will still be arguing about which Oligarch has the biggest pair of balls.

normankirk 30 Aug 2015 15:56

under the Minsk agreement, the border comes back under Ukrainian control, only when Ukraine has done the necessary constitutional reform that grants autonomy to the Donbas. So far, Kiev has dragged the chain , and to this day has refused dialogue with the leaders of the DPR and LPR.Poroshenko has openly boasted of using the ceasefire to build up another military assault on the eastern Ukrainians , and has vowed to reclaim all the terrItory by force.All this is in breach of the Minsk agreement Articles like this, with their bias and misinformation destroys the credibility of the guardian

This time the ceasefire may work because Merkel and Hollande have pressured Poroshenko, but I'm not holding my breath.

Parangaricurimicuaro 30 Aug 2015 15:45

I think that Europe is having to much on its plate. Terrorism problems, energy insecurity, bailing out Greece, refugees escaping wars south of the Mediterranean, aging population etc. so maybe it is most than they could possible chew. Reality is sobering everyone.

SHappens Agrajag3k 30 Aug 2015 15:36

Russia has no interest in seeing the war end or seeing Ukraine prosper.

Ukraine cannot prosper without Russia's market, that's an economic truth. Ukraine can even less prosper without the Donbass. The West must accept to share Ukraine with Russia. Federalization can make this possible and fulfill every country's ambitions and will, except for one country overseas, taking part to the events, we dont know why or do we?

Beckow 30 Aug 2015 15:26

Half-truths are by definition not truths. To say:

"deadline for the internationally recognised border to come back under Ukrainian government control"

Minsk also requires that Donbass has autonomy before border is turned over. How does one leave out the other side of the story? It is like reporting on Soviet Union conquest of Berlin in 1945 without mentioning that Germany invaded Russia in 1941. Maybe that's next in the endless search for just the right narrative where friends are friends, and enemies are, well the enemy is Russia, end of story. No need to actually be accurate. About Minsk or anything else.

Ukraine is bankrupt - negotiating to not pay back the full principal is the definition of a default. You can call it a "haircut" all you want, Ukraine has just defaulted - as in: they will not pay their full debts back. Who is going to invest there now? Other than EU taxpayers and IMF funny money men?

Time is definitely not on Ukraine's side: economy is down by 15-17%, inflation is 40-50%, incomes are dramatically down to roughly Senegal-Nepal level, the exports to Russia that Ukraine used to live off are down by more than 50% and dropping - and nothing is replacing the Russian market. With living standards are on sub-African level and with no visa-free access to EU, no investments (see the default above), and energy dependence on Russia, how can time be on Kiev's side? How are they going to grow out of it? What and to whom are they going to export? How is the per capita income going to grow? Today Ukraine income is 1/10 of Russia's per capita income (that's right 10%). How is time on Kiev's side?

West triggered an unnecessary catastrophe in Ukraine by assisting in an overthrow of an elected government. Ukraine is divided, look at all elections, look at language usage, etc... half is pro-West, half is pro-Russian. It is impossible to have a prosperous Ukraine without both having a say in running the country. So sooner or later, Ukraine will either go back to its traditional role as a buffer state, or it will break-up. There is no way one group can permanently dominate the other. And that takes us back to the Minsk treaty that specifies that Donbass gets autonomy. Maybe we should ask Kiev what happened to that part of the treaty. Why isn't it even mentioned?

impartial12 Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 15:19

That is funny considering the amount of armaments building up among the former nations of the Soviet Union neighboring Russia. The escalation in Ukraine had started with an illegal coup of an elected government. And don't even get me started on the neo-Nazi tendencies of the new regime. It takes two to tango, and the West clearly wants to play this game no matter what negative consequences it may bring.

SHappens 30 Aug 2015 15:14

Kiev, backed by Washington who is using Ukrainian army foot soldiers, paramilitaries, foreign mercenaries, Nazi-infested death squads and others hasn't stopped since initiated back in April 2014. Kiev flagrantly violated the Geneva and two Minsk ceasefire agreements straightaway. Moreover Kiev has repeatedly refused to sit and talk with the people in the East and grant them autonomy as per Minsk.

Surely Russia supports the eastern ukrainians, rightly, in a way or another, preventing in this way a full war offensive by Kiev, however Russian's army is not present in Ukraine. President Putin wants peace and has been calling for it since the very start of the event, that is the ATO launched by Kiev back in 2014.

This is the Donbass who fights against Kiev. It is the US citizens who are forced to devote scarce resources to the dying puppet regime in Kiev (who will not avoid the country's default anyway + they have been downgraded), while Russia can stay away making peace proposals. If the US wants to put the fire, they will put it so it is necessary to be able to quickly turn it off to preserve what is most precious. That's why Putin considers peace of vital importance.

We can only guess who will be most effective - the US with their fuel container or the Russians with their fire extinguisher?

[Jun 22, 2015] EU extends sanctions against Russia as Ukraine conflict rumbles on

"... Cui bono?"
"...And Russia? I think it will still be there in a few years, with its resources and markets, its new-found anger against Western hypocrisy and new-found pride.
Great job, Madames Nuland and Merkel, and above all the esteemed Nobel Peace Price winner, you have delivered, you will be rewarded."
Jun 22, 2015 | The Guardian

Beckow 22 Jun 2015 20:26

Extending sanctions

The winners are US and its arms industry, comprador bourgeois in Kiev who will move West and will be well compensated, and China, Turkey, etc... who will gain huge business benefits in Russia.

The losers will be EU economy, but above all the Ukrainian common people.

And Russia? I think it will still be there in a few years, with its resources and markets, its new-found anger against Western hypocrisy and new-found pride.

Great job, Madames Nuland and Merkel, and above all the esteemed Nobel Peace Price winner, you have delivered, you will be rewarded.

HauptmannGurski sashasmirnoff 22 Jun 2015 21:28

Good post. I would like to add that the cut-off (from some international financial markets) is the best thing that could have happened to Russia. It is always better to do things with your own resources, even if that means a slower pace.

Russia is spared the fate of Greece where the loan sharks pushed the money onto them and now what? They only have to follow what the IMF and the EU tells them - and everything will be roses in Greece?

If the West is happy with the experiences in Argentina, Greece, and Ukraine (in the making) that's their problem.

Russia is spared the temptation to take the easy way out by accepting a loan and waking up with fleas.

HollyOldDog ID5589788 22 Jun 2015 21:25

All this is in the past just like Poland attacking Russia with the help of the Cossaks ( until the Cossaks switched sides - they were only regarded as useful barbarians by the Poles).
Now the Barbarian hordes ( butchers of the American 1st People's ) are resident in the USA and are trying to subjugate the Planet as their plaything. This Horde nation is trying to use the same strategy as the Old Polish empire by employing local European citizens to act as their Cannon Fodder against those who oppose them - like the Cossaks the new cannon fodder will turn against their masters. WE are waiting....

HauptmannGurski Chiselbeard 22 Jun 2015 21:20

Depends on the money. Ukraine needs a lot of money for many years to keep her afloat and that does not include modern (NATO compatible) weaponry which, like in Greece, would probably have to be supplied on credit. I have read the figure of 2 billion $ annually for about 20 years, but of course these things are not easy to verify. The debt forgiveness for Ukraine has not been going well; their Finance Minister (what's her name) has been travelling for weeks/months for new money and simultaneous debt cancellation - with zero result. Soros has urged the EU to provide the money.

When the money runs out, loyalties fade. Having said that, the activities of the rebels in E Ukraine are sheer lunacy. If they want to speak Russian maybe they should go to Russia. Why Russia is bothered with such a capricious people like the Ukrainians is really strange. It won't be that long until they can disconnect the gas pipe and be rid of this and other issues.

HollyOldDog ID5589788 22 Jun 2015 21:01

You are an idiot, Putin has nothing to gain by the USA selling more arms to the EU. I am happy to see that more senior Ukrainian officers joining the East Ukraine seperatists movement, junior officers will follow and probably taking their loyal men with them. Eventually only the most extreme Right Wing extremists will be left. What will happen then, will NATO forces attack and how would the world view this development? America, NATO and their puppets in the EU barely have a brain cell between them.

sashasmirnoff Omniscience 22 Jun 2015 20:59

Motivation! (necessity being the mother of invention, all that stuff)
I take no pleasure in conflict, adversarial positions, and I'm sure I'm in the vast majority. I hope (for the first time in recorded history) that one day the so-called democratic process will prevail, and that the aspirations of people rather than business interests will guide the relationship between States. Isn't idealism quaint?

Chiselbeard centerline 22 Jun 2015 20:46

You will note that the Russian economy is in recession. You will also note that, prior to their involvement in Ukraine, this was not the case. You can try to distract from the real damage resulting from Russia's aggression, but it sounds to me like a recent convict claiming "now I have time to catch up on my reading".

sashasmirnoff -> LiberalinCalif 22 Jun 2015 20:42

I see that the majority of anti-Russia posts are penned by (you guessed it) ...dumb-asses. If you could think clearly for a moment, you'd see that sanctions are actually a great impetus for diversifying the economy. Bankruptcy? I think that might be Ukraine, and your ilk will be holding the bag!

Any rain yet?

centerline 22 Jun 2015 20:34

I see Ukraine officials and military officers are starting to defect to the other side. Soon the trickle will become a flood and that will be the end of the US government in Kiev.

Humans creating sixth great extinction of animal species, say scientists

"...There's no way creative thinking and awareness can help unless humankind pulls together - cooperates. Given that those of a certain political persuasion (particularly in the U.S. but increasingly in Australia and everywhere else) have used a divide-and-conquer strategy, enlisting irrational members of all description, it is difficult to see us responding in a way proportionate to the crisis."

Study reveals rate of extinction for species in the 20th century has been up to 100 times higher than would have been normal without human impact

... ... ...

Previous studies have warned that the impact of humans taking land for buildings, farming and timber has been to make species extinct at speeds unprecedented in Earth's 4.5bn-year history.

Walsunda hmmm606 21 Jun 2015 22:49

"Africa especially being by far the fastest growing region population wise."

At 28 people per square kilometre, has a long way to go to catch up with Eurasia with 84 people per square kilometre. Where do you live?

Jeff Young -> SvenNorheim 20 Jun 2015 20:04

Agree Sven and one other thing. There's no way creative thinking and awareness can help unless humankind pulls together - cooperates. Given that those of a certain political persuasion (particularly in the U.S. but increasingly in Australia and everywhere else) have used a divide-and-conquer strategy, enlisting irrational members of all description, it is difficult to see us responding in a way proportionate to the crisis.

HelgiDu -> timotei 20 Jun 2015 13:04

Losing the climate of the polar regions redraws the biodiversity of the regions. Polar bears are one species. The nutrient rich waters of the cool polar summer support many, many more species all along the food chain (up to - and including- us).

The collapse of the Grand Banks off Canada could be surpassed (but with differing underlying reasons).

[May 17, 2015] Usage of missionaries for promoting color revolution

kirill, May 16, 2015 at 6:34 am

It is the Spanish conquista model. The missionaries were the foot soldiers of the invasion. The USA is using the same tricks against Ukrainians. Well, they deserve it.
Moscow Exile, May 16, 2015 at 7:45 am
I think the Ukraine has more Baptist congregations than there are in Russia, and there are plenty of them here. I have worked with a few Russian Baptists.

The Sky Pilot is in the Ukraine, in the "former Soviet Union" as he repeatedly says, and he is at a place where the leaders of Russian ministries have gathered, he says, "to talk about new crises that have taken place within their culture", such as HIV, which is rampant in what the speaker describes as "this Russian culture, predominantly".

That was in 2008.

Again from 2008:

Catch 'em young!

Warren, May 16, 2015 at 8:58 am
It makes sense for the US perspective the predominance of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Russia is an obstacle to US power. It is no coincidence the strongest support for the West and the most hostile towards Russia, is in Western Ukraine/Galicia. This can be attributed to the fact the people in Western Ukraine/Galicia are overwhelming Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic/Uniate.

By proselytizing Ukrainians, converting them from Orthodoxy to a Protestant denomination you can undermine and break the bonds Ukrainians have with Russia.

The next step is to change the Cyrillic alphabet to a Latin Alphabet, this will complete Ukraine Civilisation transformation and pivot from Eastern Orthodoxy to Western Europe.

Calls for Latinization of Ukrainian Alphabet On 'Civilizational Grounds' Anger Russians

Game plan for the West to permanent conquer Ukraine:

1. Replace Eastern Orthodoxy with Protestantism and Catholicism.
2. Replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin alphabet.

cartman, May 16, 2015 at 9:20 am
Turchita is also a Baptist. (And Yats is a member of that other cult – Scientology.)

What evangelicals do cannot conceivably be called Christianity, though. Most worship chaos as a means of bringing about the end times.

PaulR, May 16, 2015 at 9:46 am
One of my Soviet room-mates in Minsk took me along to a Baptist service there, though I left before the end because it was very long (though not as long as the interminable Orthodox services). Anyway, the point is that the Baptists have been active in that part of the world for quite a while, even in Soviet times.
yalensis, May 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm
Russian diaspora in Western Massachussets area contains a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses.

They are fairly innocuous, as far as I can see; apolitical, for the most part.
Since I don't understand religion, I give them a pass.

Jen, May 16, 2015 at 5:42 pm
Hmm … I see something in Ukraine adopting the JW religion as its state religion. The Banderites would have to kick out Red Cross as accepting blood transfusions is against the Watchtower principles.
marknesop, , May 16, 2015 at 1:36 pm
Yes, I went to an Orthodox christening once for an acquaintance's child. I was completely unprepared for that singsong delivery and wondered what the hell was going on at first, and since I could not understand a word of it, it seemed even longer than it was. Which was long enough that I remarked quietly to my wife that they might just as well segue straight into the infant's wedding. Perhaps even her funeral.

[Dec 23, 2014] Angela Merkel has faced down the Russian bear in the battle for Europe by Timothy Garton Ash

This presstitute managed to produce only one meaningful sentence: "To see Germany leading the way in economic sanctions against Russia is extraordinary". That means that Germany is a puppet of the USA; probably that means also that the USA hold some info on Ms Merkel and able to force you to act as they want.
Dec 22, 2014 |

To see Germany leading the way in economic sanctions against Russia is extraordinary. In the early 1990s, I wrote a history of West Germany's Ostpolitik, culminating in German unification, and the first commandment of that Ostpolitik was that eastern trade should always go on. Sanctions were called for by the US and resisted by Germany. Today, Germany has more trade with Russia than any other European power. Its energy, machine-tool and other eastward–oriented businesses form a powerful lobby, not least within Merkel's own Christian Democratic Union. Yet she has taken them down the path of sanctions.

... ... ...

In Russia itself, deepening economic crisis will not necessarily translate into more accommodating policy. There is no route map to a post-Putin regime. The cornered bear may lash out. In the bloodied fields of eastern Ukraine, there is still the risk of a series of 1914-style miscalculations leading to an escalation

TourdeLaPin -> Mirek Kondracki 22 Dec 2014 22:37

A recent US RAND Coorporation study concluded:

"The growing strength of the developing world and projected flat growth trajectory of the developed world carries huge consequences for the future of global politics. Chinese leaders grasp this potential keenly. Washington and its allies must anticipate this trajectory just as thoroughly to sustain a stable and peaceful world order."

Nippikin 22 Dec 2014 21:47

If Russian gas is cheaper -- can we expect our energy bills come down in the UK my bill for a three bedroom house is Ł1670 per year and I'm economical with energy /- so whose profiting from cheaper Russian gas??

RightDougie -> RightDougie 22 Dec 2014 21:46

Dan could you edit my bits. You are a much better writer.

Last point. You are right. "Germany doesn't need Russia." But Russia doesn't need Germany in the absolute terms you described. Russia only needs right of passage (via business) through the EU, not Germany specifically. One: the EU is fractured over this, and embattled on a number of political fronts. Even full EU - fully united to maintain this quasi-blocade - Russia has decent access to eastern and southern borders. Russia is certainly not "shafted" without Germany. It can route business around Germany, even a fully united EU behind Germany.

I'm no fan of capitalism, but let's do business. There is no classical left wing argument to have here ... and I am near-Chomsky lefty. If Germany knows one thing, its how to do business in this neo-con system we're locked into right now. Economically, this is a battle between two independently neo-conservative forces; very little left vs right is going on in, or about, Ukraine. Its uni-ideolgical.

As TGA may have implied otherwise, I don't think we need to fear Germany will be shifting its cultural loyalties any time soon either. Its confident enough in its own. It certainly leans to the west. And that's where its other institutes will lean, including German business. It just is, what it is. It won't be jumping over to the "dark side" anytime soon.

Let Germany, and its allies, be the borders demarcating oli-corporate sovereignty right now. Let German, and its allies, profit from peace.

Here and now ... today ... there is no ideological battle to be had on the front lines. This is battle between two extremely conservative economically neo-liberal forces. It's about business. We can have the left-right argument in the virtual world. We operate in the "whatever it is world," in the here and now. Let's stand this thing down.

erpiu 22 Dec 2014 21:41

merkel is a person with very strong (opportunistic) principles:

watch her here acknowledge that she was "70% opportunistic" when she was working on her great career in the east-german establishment (including STASI activities), before "liberty arrived".

at 30secs+

and of course, after "liberty arrived", how could she *idealistically* not discovered that her true vocation was to become a member of the most pro-nazi of the rightwing parties of new grossdeutschland, i.e., the CDU/CSU?

and brown-diaper gauck is not simply "an east German Protestant" as know-nothing(?) TGA tries to sell him here:

yes, TGA, this the "europa" that also der fuehrer wanted!

RoyalBludger 22 Dec 2014 21:20

I wonder what KKKUSA intercepted on Merkel's phone over the last 20 years or so ...

twiglette 22 Dec 2014 21:18

Is it really so clever to humiliate Russia like this? Is Europe really so pleased with German domination? I don't think so. Germany risks a war to suppress Russians in East Ukraine. Not good at all.

erpiu 22 Dec 2014 21:04

"the forces of plutocratic liberty" TM carried out a coup d'etat in UKR in order to disenfranchise south-eastern UKR voters since they figured out correctly that their north-western UKR minions would never win in a fair election.

indeed, south-eastern UKR voters had decided all recent pre-2014 UKR elections by voting against the candidates supported by the "free world"TM.

so the EU+USA instigated/funded/guided a rebellion in *north-western* UKR that led to a violent coup in kiew (in the middle of *north-western* UKR) that was carried out by armed neonazis.

that's why there was practically no maidan in south-eastern UKR...

the coup led to neonazi-policed internal politics via the reformed-neonazi new minister of justice, the reformed-neonazi new police chief, etc.

the neonazi stormtroopers were given "national-guard" status (like hitler's SA/SS that became "reichspolizei") and began right away beating up everybody whom they did not like, mixing it up with intimidating journalists, harassing inquiry commissions, you name it.

and the numbers about the "elections" held after the coup don't lie:

i) votes for poroshenko and tymoshenko *together* in 2014 (12.2 million) were fewer than for yanukovych *alone* in 2010 (12.5)

ii) turnout 2010 first round: 24.5 million, 2014:18.0.

iii) the turnout for the 2014 congressional elections was a triumphal 53%

yes, timothy garton ash, this is "what true democracy looks like!"... when the great-western plutocracies cannot win in a fair election (see also haiti 2010, thailand 2014).

A job well done...,_2014,_2010,_2010 (first round info)

AstheticTheory 22 Dec 2014 21:02

CIA big lie: we don't engineer coups, we merely support democracy.

Elena Hodgson -> Oskar Jaeger 22 Dec 2014 21:02

Elena Hodgson -> Oskar Jaeger 22 Dec 2014 20:58

Unlikely wish, I am afraid. Obama has signed anti-Russian "Ukraine Freedom Support" Bill. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman: "the decision planted a powerful bomb into Russian-American relationship". Lukashevich promised Russian retaliation if the new law is implemented. Happy New Year!

corstopitum 22 Dec 2014 20:57

Well Dolf just failed to do it, despite trying very hard, about 75 years ago. And Hindenberg had a partial success about 25 years earlier. So I guess the Germans are improving with practice.

[Dec 21, 2014] Wrecking Russia's economy could be a disaster for the west by Angus Roxburgh

Putin might not be too accommodative for neoliberals in Washington, but at least he is predictable. At the same time Western, at first of all the US elite demonstrates some kind of sociopathic behaviour -- the desire to dominate at all costs. West is a 1000 pound guerilla that is perfectly capable to crash Russian economy. Then what? Civil war in nuclear armed state? Radical nationalists coming to power ? What is the end game after destabilizing Russia. Drunkard Yeltsin regime, thanks God did not do too much stupid things. But the next time can be different
Dec 16, 2014 | The Guardian

As for the west's sanctions, they were introduced with one explicit aim – to force Putin to change tack in Ukraine. At least, that was the stated aim. But since the measures show no sign of having any effect on his thinking, and yet the west is considering even more sanctions, there is obviously another goal – to punish Putin for his actions, regardless of whether he changes his mind. Sadly, it is not Putin who feels this punishment. It is the Russian people.

... ... ...

Perhaps it is time to recognise that George W Bush's disastrous foreign policy legacy encompasses far more than just Iraq, torture and the fanning of terrorism. Bush also understood nothing about Russia – right from the moment that he looked into Putin's eyes and told us how he "got a sense of his soul" – and now we are living with the consequences.

It was the Bush administration that created the sense of insecurity that has caused Russia to react, and overreact, to every perceived threat – including, most recently, the perception that Ukraine was being forcibly dragged out of Russia's orbit and into the west's. Bush unilaterally abandoned the anti-ballistic missile treaty , seen by Russia as the cornerstone of strategic balance; he began building a missile shield on Russia's doorstep; he expanded Nato to Russia's frontiers, blithely granting the east Europeans "security" while causing Russia to feel threatened.

Laurence Johnson -> HansB09, 19 Dec 2014 08:30

Former US diplomats have repeatedly stated that Washington controls Germany and that has always been the case since WW2.

If Washington controls Germany, and Germany controls the EU, then its clear where all this is going and is going to cause some very red faces if the UK leaves the EU.

Will D 18 Dec 2014 18:57

Such hypocrisy by the West. And also nasty and vindictive. Compared to the aggressive global bullying performed by the USA and its tame allies, Russia is positively saintly. Russia doesn't go around starting wars or bombing innocent 'collateral damage' women and children, or apply economic embargoes and sanctions on countries it doesn't like. It doesn't use its economic might to force unfair trade deals on other countries.

The USA and NATO have been squeezing Russia ever since the fall of the Soviet Union, trying hard to weaken it and corner it. Apart from the freezing northern ports, Russia has only one other exit point, the Crimea and Black Sea, which the West has tried on various occasions in the past to close off.

The credibility of the USA has declined massively in the last few years, and few people or countries really trust it anymore, but are locked into an uneasy alliance which would be difficult to break. Many don't want to keep supporting the USA's global imperialist aggression.

Angus is right, the solution is to bring Russia in from the cold and to stop the hostile expansionism by the West. It needs one of the USA's major allies, preferably Britain, to take a brave stand and change its USA-lapdog tune over Russia, and force the USA to back down. The rest of Europe would probably support Britain since the sanctions are causing them some pain.

Rozina 18 Dec 2014 17:09

Dear Angus,

I am no fan of the former US President George W Bush or his administration but to blame Cheney and Co for expanding NATO and creating "insecurity" for Russia is A PLAIN LIE. The process to expand NATO began earlier during Bill Clinton's time as US President: Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999.

Even if GWB had allowed the ABM treaty to lapse, the Obama government could have revived it. But the Democrats are as much under the control of US neoliberal robber barons as the Republicans are.

This and other idiocies about appeasing Putin and his government, as if they (and not the current US government and the corporations that hold its politicians in their pockets) are the spoilt global bullies, that you assert demonstrate that your articles are not to be trusted.

AMArmy 18 Dec 2014 13:03

Those who want to get deeper insight on Russia-West conflict, here is an excellent Stratfor piece on subject, titled "Viewing Russia from the Inside"

noibn48 -> ID_Neon 18 Dec 2014 10:16

Russia did, the Soviet Union didn't. It isolated itself and fell of its own weight and its own Vietnam in Afghanistan. Why was it the West's fault that the USSR had top invade Hungary in 1968 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 or couldn't even supply their people with toilet paper?

Cris Lesniak -> Ibn al Zaqqaaq 18 Dec 2014 10:09

I agree that Russia seems to be moving closer to the Erdogan regime. However, there are some conflicting FP goals, particularly in relation to Syria.

[Dec 21, 2014] Russia: Why oil crash could threaten Vladimir Putin with a palace coup

Pressitute Shawn Walker tries to instigate palace coup in Russia... As one reader commented "Well Shaun is that what is going to happen or are you hoping it will happen!"
Dec 20, 2014 | The Guardian
Old_Donkey , 20 Dec 2014 23:34
The Americans have set out to punish Russia by damaging the interests of the Russian elite, in the hope of provoking some kind of mutiny. Any moves inside Russia to get rid of Putin would therefore need to be closely coordinated with the US State Department. After all, no one would want to take the risk of launching a palace coup against Putin unless he or she had solid guarantees from the American government in advance that the United States would lift all sanctions against Russia in return.

However, although the United States is dying to get rid of Putin, the American Ambassador to Moscow must be intelligent enough to realize that American policy has actually strengthened Putin's position.

Here's why. Vladimir Putin moved swiftly to absorb Crimea into the Russian Federation. From the Russian point of view, Crimea is now a done deal. This makes it politically impossible for any successor to Putin to sell out on the Crimeans in order to please the White House.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has become a prisoner of its own rhetoric. It is incapable of recognizing Russian sovereignty over Crimea and it couldn't promise to reward any successor to Putin in that way. However, if the American government dropped the sanctions but left the Crimean question unresolved, this would leave the United States looking very silly. Leaving Russia in possession of Crimea would serve as proof that the United States had quarreled with Russia for nothing and failed to get its way.

Although Russian officials and businessman have been hurt financially by the sanctions, they are well aware that Americans will not be able to reward them for removing Putin from power. In this sense, Crimea was a very clever move on Putin's part because it has bound the Russian elite closer to him.

And let's not overlook the obvious. Putin is KGB and the FSB remains loyal to him (obviously, as his mates run the institution). Moscow has always been a tough environment for Western intelligence services to operate in and it would be very difficult for the Americans to arrange some sort of palace coup without Putin finding out about it in advance. So in the end, any Russian bureaucrat who felt tempted to conspire with the CIA against Putin would probably be too scared to go through with it.

Cirmic -> Jiri 20 Dec 2014 22:49

Yep, and the EU shouldn't criticise the use of snipers, when it itself used them in Bucharest in 89. French snipers giving legitimacy to the new incoming government.

Watch Susanne Brandstätter's documentary: Checkmate - Strategy of a Revolution.

Bud Peart 20 Dec 2014 22:36

Some opposition figures have looked at Mikhail Khodorkovsky, formerly the country's richest man, as a potential unifying force for the anti-Putin movement.

Honestly can you name one member of the Duma who would endorse this move? Khodorkovsky is a criminal oligarch who has no popular support, none inside Russia. He's effectively some Western stooge whose only way into the Kremlin will be following a NATO invasion. Pure and utter Western liberal fantasy land.

Jiri 20 Dec 2014 22:32

Wishful thinking.

Or perhaps a case of what is being planned for Putin?

The British murdered Rasputin , so anything is possible.

cheetah43 aprescoup 20 Dec 2014 22:28

When one listens to the Ukrainian administration they sound as if their people are 'the chosen ones' in Europe entitled to all sorts of gifts, privileges and considerations from the west.

Your statement "Russians have done terrible things in south east Ukraine" is unfortunate. What terrible things have been done by the Kiev rulers are being ignored. Donbass is ruined, and that has not been carried out by the Donbass people.

Cirmic Goodthanx 20 Dec 2014 22:24

The first thing I learned after I emigrated to the west, that there is no such thing as a 'free' press. The lies that were reported about Syria were bordering on criminality.

You just simply cannot allow differing opinions in the west about countries that are being destroyed. Wars have be be sold to the public. If selling doesn't work, we have to do something outrageous (like 'chemical attacks' or throwing babies out of incubators).

Bud Peart -> MajorFustercluck 20 Dec 2014 22:41

Do you get a guardian boy scout point every time you say Putin and Thug in the same sentence?

Bud Peart -> Don9000 20 Dec 2014 22:40

Putins popularity has nothing to do with the state of the press and everything to do with a good track record.

Bud Peart -> joeking2 20 Dec 2014 22:37

Russians clearly need to get rid of Putin,

Russians seem quite happy with him. Its neocons in the west and their idiotic trendy lemmings who want to get rid of him, not Russians.

[Dec 18, 2014] Putin press conference: 'economy will rebound within two years'

Shawn Walker commentary is along State Departments talking points, as usual. You can read Shaun Walker's news wrap here. If you need details read the English translation of the conference. Transcript is available in English from President of Russia website. Actually it is pretty unusual for a leader of country to take questions from the audience and answer them for three hours.
Dec 18, 2014 | The Guardian

I will give just one example how they twist the meaning of answers:

Shawn pseudo-reporting:

10.16am GMT05:16

- Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) December 18, 2014

Q: Where does opposition finish and 5th column start? A: It's v difficult to answer that. I'm being honest. Because the border is subtle.

Real Putin's answer:

N. GALIMOVA: Good afternoon, Vladimir Vladimirovich! (Natalia Galimov, "Газета.Ru").

Speaking to the Federal Assembly after the referendum in Crimea, You used the expression: a "fifth column" and "national traitors" - You did not named anyone specifically, but from this time the term "fifth column" again became active in the political lexicon. Those who support you now call "fifth column" people who disagree with the government. Whom were you referring to when he talked about "national traitors", "fifth column", and where for you the opposition ends and the "fifth column" starts? And finally, do you feel personally responsible for the return of this term, which only adds to public hostility and division?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin:

No, I do not feel any responsibility in this regard. And all my actions are intended to unite our society, not divide it. If you believe that (and I believe you, probably, so probably are more sensitive to this label), I should be more careful in their public statements, I'll think about it. But trying to put a gloss on everything infinitely is impossibletoo, we sometimes need to call things by their proper names.

The issue is extremely complex. I say quite frankly, I find it difficult to answer your question because the line is very thin. It is difficult, perhaps, to give a scientific definition, where it the opposition ends and the "fifth column" begins.

This year we all (our Year of culture 2014) celebrated the anniversary of Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov, our great poet. We all remember his lines, how about the battle of Borodino he wrote: "Let's die defending Moscow, like our grandfathers died!" But he wrote and others: "farewell, unwashed Russia, a country of slaves, the country of nobles. An you, blue uniforms, and you, the people who are loyal to them" He was the opposition? Of course, there was opposition. After all, if you know, I'm sure many here know, when he wrote "On death of a poet" on the death of Pushkin, one of the relatives came to his home, saw what he wrote, and asked him to soften the text of the poem.

He was so outraged that not only did not follow the recommendation, he made it more sharp and wrote in the end: "And you can't wash away all your black blood the poet righteous blood!" He, of course, was in the opposition to power, but I think he was a patriot. This is a very fine line. He was an officer who was a very brave officer, the officer who went under the bullets fire for the interests of the country.

Incidentally, in the last film of Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov we see the same type of officers. When they brought the matter to its logical conclusion - undershed the revolution, then the revolutionaries drowned them all. And I am nor sure that, if they returned to the point where they started, would they act the same for the destruction of the Russian state, as they did.

In a way I think that the line between opposition and a "fifth column" is internal. It is difficult to see it externally. What is the essence of it? The opposition, even very harsh, it is ultimately is ready to fight for their homeland till the bitter end. A "fifth column" are those people, who do what is dictated by the interests of another state. They are used as a tool to achieve foreign power to achieve unacceptable to our people policy objectives.

ShionUK flores93 18 Dec 2014 08:33

What a totally floored argument. Go look at the geopolitical side of this campaign against Russia. We are encircling it and trying to poke them into war. That ended well for Hitler and is perhaps why we are not speaking German right now. Plus since then Russia has enough nukes to destroy all of us. Plus where is all this aggression you lot speak of. Not one shot fired and no evidence of any troops or weapons in Ukraine. Yes sounds like a REAL aggressor to me. Open wide everyone the news is on!

MacCosham georgeat4 18 Dec 2014 08:31

Oh enough of this bullshit, Russia produces close to 2.5 million vehicles a year, the great majority with over 70% local parts. It has a large production, and even greater potential, for food, clothing, machinery, furniture and many other things. This myth that "Russia produces nothing" is tiresome. It just hasn't been able to export to the west, fairly or unfairly.

flores93 18 Dec 2014 08:19

Russia 142 million inhabitants

EU 400 m
US 350 m
Indonesia 250 m
Brazil 190 m
Japan 125 m

Apart from the US, none of those other countries or unions are throwing their weight around like Putin's Russia.

Since the Chinese now live according to "greed is good" will they prefer trading with 142 million customers or with over 1 billion customers? Look at the profits from either market groupig and consider the the choice the Chinese will make.

If push comes to shove Europe west of the Russian border and the countries on the other continents can manage without trade or other activities with Russia. Ignoring Russia would be the best.

I am glad that Moscow is about 14,500 kilometres away from where I live. Far enough to forget about Russia. I feel sorry for its neighbours

FrenchScouse 18 Dec 2014 08:17

What amazes me in this conference is the tone: conciliatory. No war rhetorics of who will piss further and the crap that comes from the US. While here we portray Putin as "dictator" and aggressor and so on, he refers to us as "western partners". While in the west we will fight the "war on terror" and ask for removing presidents by force by arming "moderate" opposition, he talks about "finding as solution with ukraine's president"... Yes, of course, Putin can lie. But his language reveal something else: not what he necessary think, but what Russian people want to hear.

[Dec 08, 2014] We should beware Russia's links with Europe's right by Luke Harding

They dusted off Luke Harding. Hurrah -- Congratulations Guardian editors. And as one reader observed -- "it is hilarious and, most importantly, hypocritical when some e-minions are complaining about someone else's 'propaganda'....". Especially such a despicable presstitute as Luke Harding.

IlicPetar -> Doug Salzmann 8 Dec 2014 16:17

With pesky details I help Luke to do his job, as Mat helps Psaki.

Matt Lee takes on White House spokesperson Jen Psaki about Snowden's right to free speech

Matt Lee seems to not believe what he hears the White House announcing, and doesn't let loose on asking back, noting that "... this is an incredibly slippery slope that you're going down here, that the U.S. Government is going down here, if you are coming up and saying to us that you're trying to prevent an American citizen – albeit one who has been accused of serious crimes – from exercising his right to free speech."

Madranon 8 Dec 2014 16:11

Tactically, Russia is exploiting the popular dissent against the EU – fuelled by both immigration and austerity. But as rightwing movements grow in influence across the continent, Europe must wake up to their insidious means of funding, or risk seeing its own institutions subverted.

A call for stricter controls on political parties? In what way could a country avoid being "subverted?" A dangerous request really.

spiceof 8 Dec 2014 15:59

How would the author categorize those who currently rule most Western nations?

Moderates, liberals? Ha!

They are in fact a new breed, a new establishment drawn from all sources, a motley group of career politicians, propagandists and journalists with no ideology and no clear goals except that of personal advancement. They are the conformists enforcers of Corporate and Financial will, they are intolerant and censorious, their livelihood is dependent on trumpeting the official narrative and they are an absolute menace to democracy and freedom.

And we are supposed to be worrying about Putin, an outsider, when those who run the show inside are a bunch of egotistic fools leading us to serfdom?

JJRichardson IlicPetar 8 Dec 2014 15:52

Centre Right Centre Left, you couldn't slide a cigarette paper between the two of them in Germany. Hence the Grand Coalition.

Ved_Rvs nonanon1 8 Dec 2014 15:51

it is hilarious and, most importantly, hypocritical when some e-minions are complaining about someone else's 'propaganda'....

[Dec 07, 2014] Moscow braces for economic winter as rouble becomes a standing joke by Shaun Walker

From comments: " There's nothing concrete to comment on in this puff piece. It's very hard to see what the consequences of the current spat between the US and Russia will be, especially as there is very little objective news about what is going on, and you wouldn't be able to recognize it as such, even if you did manage to stumble across some. "
Dec 07, 2014 | The Guardian
According to Putin on Thursday, the best answer to the imposition of sanctions by nefarious western foes, as well as to Russia's internal problems, was "freedom for development in the economic, social and civil sectors".

It was uncharacteristic rhetoric for the former KGB agent, but he quickly qualified the statement by framing his definition of freedom in terms given by the Russian philosopher Ivan Ilyin: "He who loves Russia should wish her freedom; first and foremost freedom for Russia itself, her independence and international standing … and finally, freedom for Russian people, for all of us."

Essentially, freedom is all well and good, but the interests of the state come first. And anyone who thought that Russia's annexation of Crimea and its actions in Ukraine helped precipitate the sanctions and economic decline were hopelessly naive, Putin insisted: the west was simply looking for an excuse to punish Russia and would have found another reason, if not in Ukraine.

irishmand PixieFrouFrou 7 Dec 2014 13:44

"Which one was that?"
Defeating nazism. I know US missed the reason of the war entirely, being busy selling equipment to both parties. Then they suddenly decided to join at the end of the war and wrote in the history that they won it. They also let some nazi criminal to escape to US.
By the way, declaring the war and joining the war are two different things.

devisssssss -> ID5088152 7 Dec 2014 14:44

ID5088152 said: "The data you are quoting is using out of date exchange rates, typically the average for 2013. Tradingeconomics is updated daily and as the Ruble has depreciated about 70% against the dollar since 2013 the GPD per capita expressed in dollars is way down


wrong again...currency rate change doesn't reflect the value of a product - it indicates perchasing power of a currency unit - it would be possible to talk about decline of INCOMES per capita then, but NOT decline of GDP per capita withing several months as economy continue to produce the same amount of goods it did before russian currecy droped in value - looks like you have no enough education, my friend - those facts I say are ABC for any economist...

Better give up before humiliating yourself further...

ID5088152 devisssssss, 7 Dec 2014 13:40

The data you are quoting is using out of date exchange rates, typically the average for 2013. Tradingeconomics is updated daily and as the Ruble has depreciated about 70% against the dollar since 2013 the GPD per capita expressed in dollars is way down. As I said previously the PPP version is irrelevant if you are looking at the cost of imports of foreign loans designated in dollars.

devisssssss ID5088152, 7 Dec 2014 12:37

also here is tables of nominal GDP per capita by Word Bank, United Nations, Internationally Mionetary Fund and CIA book of facts

as you see, even in nominal GDP per capita you managed to lie and to to decieve readers - Russian GGP per capita in nominal estimation is more then 14 000 $ in all 4 estimations, not your 6 923 $ which you took from some unknown source...and even in nominal GDP per capita Russian one is better then that of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria - all EU memebers, lol -- - check your data ...

devisssssss -> ID5088152, 7 Dec 2014 12:27

ID5088152 said: "if we are discussing ability to purchase foreign goods or service a debt designated in $ you need to use the raw unadjusted data


but it (estimation by nominal GDP) is rather a technical estimation that you mention, it is misleading when one compares living standards and real strength of economy because if estinmated in nominal values it gives distorted picture as costs of food in Norway is enourmously expensive and you can't compare that to China for example as it will result in conclusion that a Chineese person eats only one meal in 2 months, lol !!! - total bs.

As the same wiki article explains nominal GDP doesn't reflect real picture of economic development and living standards, enjoy:

"Comparisons of national wealth are also frequently made on the basis of nominal GDP, which does not reflect differences in the cost of living in different countries (See List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita).

Using a PPP basis is more useful when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries, rather than using only exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income."

Dimmus -> Arcosanti, 7 Dec 2014 13:34

The thing you seem to forget is that Putin is the one intervened militarily in Ukraine

Without US idea to punch Russia by all possible means there would be much-much smaller consequences for EU from the Ukrainian crisis.

Without the initial EUUS idea to get Ukraine into EU-Ukraine agreement by any means (including removal of elected president) using nationalistic anti-russian movement as the main active force there would be no problem in Ukraine.

Bombing any number of countries around the world with any number of dead civilians (orders of magnitude larger number compared to the Ukrainian conflict), breaking sovereignty of any country in the world which US wants - doesn't make problems for EU economy or EU-US relations => do you really believe that the military action which is the problem and not that the action goes against US interests? Just imagine that it fits US interests, there would be no problems...

irishmand -> KatieL, 7 Dec 2014 13:28

Shouldn't you be the one supplying positive proof? Since your claim is extraordinary, so needs to be the proof.

So, you don't like it, do you? Well, I have never seen any positive proof from US/EU on rebels shooting the plane down, but it is everywhere in the west: in newspapers, on TV, in speeches of government officials, without a shred of evidence being presented.
There are three possibilities:
1) americans shot the plane to push the sanctions
2) ukranians shot the plane to get more support from the west
3) rebels shot the plane by mistake
None of the possibilities has been proven to be true or false.

kennyboy -> Harpagus, 7 Dec 2014 13:19

You may or may not be right about Russia. How the hell do I know, I have no first hand knowledge of it. All that I think I know has come from propaganda of one form or another. The people of Russia and Ukraine are not my primary concern, even though I have the normal human sympathy for the suffering of anyone.

I know about living in a western "democracy" and I know that the things our ancestors fought for are bit by bit being removed from us and have been since Thatcher started the rot.

We used to have a police force that used to be part of our communities and were policed with the permission of the people. We now have a force that makes taking part in a demonstration a threat to ones health and they are being provided with more and more equipment to enforce the will of the establishment. America is even more down this road. our media has revealed itself in a way that has never before been so blatant in the outright lies regarding the Kiev crisis and is now just an arm of the American government's efforts to undermine the economies of Europe and Russia. Look at the proportion of the world's wealth being captured by the oligarchs and the way that the wages of work are becoming insufficient to live the kind of live that we believed was ours.

psygone, 7 Dec 2014 13:13

-- quoting above

The problem is that Russia does not make all that much, and more money from the oil windfall of the past decade has found its way into offshore bank accounts than it has into innovative startups.

Over all, long-term plunge in oil prices is very good news for most Western, Asian and African countries. The idea that the House of Saud is primarily taking on US producers has everyone in the USA pretty much delighted -- especially when a majority of drillers are constantly revising their break-even points which is now down to $40 a barrel.
Last week -- there was another one piece of news the main oil exporters did not need, it was the announcement that the Iraqi government had signed an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government on the division of the output of the oil fields in the Kurdish areas on Northern Iraq. The Kurds agreed to send 300,000 barrels of oil a day south through the Iraqi pipeline while being allowed to independently sell on the international market 250,000 barrels of their own through a different pipeline to neighboring Turkey.

A year ago oil was selling at $120 per barrel and the CEO of Russia's Lukoil talking about the possibility of it reaching $200.

Japan the worlds largest importer of LNG and second to China in importing coal and with barely any oil reserves, still has a domestic oil production of just a tiny 135,500 bbl/day. Today its just only a couple of years away from using the new shale, horizontal and hydraulic drilling methods that could have them produce up to 4 million bbl/day or 50 percent of its energy needs.

Russia had several years to pivot its economy away from its over-reliance on oil. It appears that very few are giving Russia much sympathy.


best regards

iusHerm, 7 Dec 2014 12:59

I think, in reality, for those with enough understanding of these matters, the real joke is the $17 Trillion debt the USA is carrying. What a burden for future generations in that 'poor' country.

kennyboy -> Metronome151, 7 Dec 2014 12:58

I don't suppose you remember, or even saw reports of it in the first place, a speech by the vice president of the US. He was complaining that Europe needed "persuading" to take part in the sanctions. Maybe you know something that he doesn't.

yamba, 7 Dec 2014 12:50

There's nothing concrete to comment on in this puff piece.

It's very hard to see what the consequences of the current spat between the US and Russia will be, especially as there is very little objective news about what is going on, and you wouldn't be able to recognise it as such, even if you did manage to stumble across some.

Mirek Kondracki -> DeadKennedy, 7 Dec 2014 12:27

Russian Rouble sings to Mr. Putin:

"Will you still need me
will you still feed me
when I'm at 64"

Captain_Smartypants -> nishville, 7 Dec 2014 12:24

I didn't miss that, and it doesn't change the fact that China would be royally buggered by a financial collapse in the west - though their own shadow banking system is quite a worry as well. They can have all the concrete stuff they want - it won't save an economy based on factories and sweatshops when demand falls. Nor will it prevent the housing bubble if that happens...

Frymealiver -> Les Mills, 7 Dec 2014 12:23

That's not 45 pages of companies, that's 45 Companies (1 per page)

Of these, I've personally heard of Two : Kalashnikov and LOMO.

The original point made, that Russia has almost no international brands, is obviously true.

RVictor -> JonInUkraine, 7 Dec 2014 12:13

Odessa was almost certainly a tragic bungled Russian provocation.

O yes - everything in Ukraine is now a "Russian Provocation" (tm) - even Maidan itself!

iamnotwise -> tomarto, 7 Dec 2014 12:05

Except they didn't do that. The US is refusing to hand over the evidence they have, even though Russia has asked them to make it public. Can you figure it out yet?

Of course they are Ivan. Keep taking the meds and maybe ask your controller to find a better nom de plume for you.

Ah, I see. You've been found out lying so the response is to call me 'Ivan'. You could have avoided such an embarrassing comment by quickly checking my posting history. But it doesn't seem you do checking of anything before posting your absolute nonsense.

Captain_Smartypants -> HollyOldDog 7 Dec 2014 12:01

You still haven't explained what this has to do with Polish apples or apple producers. I don't think Polish mercenaries will care about whether their countrymen sell apples to Russia or not...

gloriousrevolution -> GreatMountainEagle, 7 Dec 2014 11:45

But how can you honestly compare the mass-slaughter and mass-destruction rained down opon Iraq with Russia actions in relation to Ukraine? The reason the Russians aren't demonstrating in huge numbers is because they support their government in defending Russians in Ukraine and Crimea. Ukraine and Crimea were part of Russia for centuries, the same, even stretching credulity to breaking point cannot be said of Iraq, or Afghnistan, or Libya.

If the Russians had attacked Canada your logic would have made a little more sense.

gloriousrevolution -> Scampers, 7 Dec 2014 11:40

But the skin colour of the ruling elite in the US has nothing of significance to do with how they behave, that's a form of liberal inverted racism in my opinion. Why should Obama's colour matter about anything? In fact Obama has done nothing to combat institutionalised racism. Class means more than skin colour in the US. Poor black people are gunned down like dogs because they have the significance of poor dogs.

Gays aren't being murdered by the police in Russia in anywhere near the numbers black men are being murdered in the United States. It's about five a week in the United States. This isn't even controversial. It's happening. The reason Russian's aren't protesting in the streets about gays is because gays are being slaughtered on the streets, not because they are repressed.

If one is going to get involved in logic and reasoning it's always a good idea to make sure that one's arguments have a little grounding in reality.

atherton65 -> senya, 7 Dec 2014 14:51

What encroachment? This is from an article by the former American ambassador to the USSR, who was present at the time it fell apart:

President Bill Clinton supported NATO's bombing of Serbia without U.N. Security Council approval and the expansion of NATO to include former Warsaw Pact countries. Those moves seemed to violate the understanding that the United States would not take advantage of the Soviet retreat from Eastern Europe. The effect on Russians' trust in the United States was devastating. In 1991, polls indicated that about 80 percent of Russian citizens had a favorable view of the United States; in 1999, nearly the same percentage had an unfavorable view.

Vladimir Putin was elected in 2000 and initially followed a pro-Western orientation. When terrorists attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, he was the first foreign leader to call and offer support. He cooperated with the United States when it invaded Afghanistan, and he voluntarily removed Russian bases from Cuba and Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam.

What did he get in return? Some meaningless praise from President George W. Bush, who then delivered the diplomatic equivalent of swift kicks to the groin: further expansion of NATO in the Baltics and the Balkans, and plans for American bases there; withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty; invasion of Iraq without U.N. Security Council approval; overt participation in the "color revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan; and then, probing some of the firmest red lines any Russian leader would draw, talk of taking Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. Americans, heritors of the Monroe Doctrine, should have understood that Russia would be hypersensitive to foreign-dominated military alliances approaching or touching its borders.'

I would add to that NATO's Missile Defence Shield plans, which Russia was even prepared to accept on condition of it being able to place monitors at the installations (given that the US has repeatedly claimed this shield had nothing to do with countering Russia's military), but US congress rejected that proposal. There is a BBC documentary you should see (no RT links here) which outlines that controversy, and also how the US participated in those 'colour' revolutions and the pressures they exerted on the course of events, called 'Russia, Putin and the West' - do you really believe this time they had nothing to do with fuelling the unrest once it had started, that eventually put in place a government heavily favourable towards them? There are records of it on tape, as I said. Pointing the finger at Russia's stench is all well and good, but there are several fingers to point here - by omitting criticism of the US' attitudes and actions in relation to Russia and Ukraine (as well as in general globally) you are giving them tacit, or, at the very least, ignorant approval. Would you use the same rhetoric you employ against Russia towards the US (in other contexts as well as this one)?

'does not signify approval of the US.' - no, but I think almost everyone involved in Ukraine's interim government, as well as the elected one now, also gives the US pretty much their wholehearted approval, friendship and allegiance, wouldn't you say? Isn't that a surprise! And is that not approval of the US on a state level? Moreover, as you said before, what has that given Ukraine in the end?

[Dec 06, 2014] Vladimir Putin: west has tried to contain Russia for decades by Shaun Walker

Dec 04, 2014 | The Guardian

Vladimir Putin has accused the west of trying to contain and subvert Russia "for decades, if not centuries", in a fierce and uncompromising attack during his state of the nation speech.

Analysts were curious to see whether the president would take a conciliatory tone in his annual speech to Russia's political elite, as the rouble slides and relations with the west are at a low point over the unrest in Ukraine.

Instead, Putin opened with a fierce defence of Russia's annexation of Crimea, calling it a "historic rejoining" of a region as important to Russia as Temple Mount was to Jerusalem.

He said that if the recent events in Crimea had not happened, the west would have simply found another excuse to contain Russia with sanctions, recalling that in the 1990s the west had tried to break up Russia "along the Yugoslavian scenario". He warned that the sanctions and angry rhetoric from the west would only have the opposite effect to that intended.

"For some European countries, national pride is seen as a luxury, but for Russia it is a necessity," said Putin, adding that it was pointless to use threats when speaking to Russia.

"The policy of containment was not invented yesterday. It has been applied to our country for many, many years … Every time when anyone only thinks Russia has become strong, independent, such instruments are applied immediately."

Putin again called the events in Kiev a coup and said Russia had shown it would intervene on the side of "truth and justice" to defend its compatriots. Putin and Russian officials have repeatedly denied the mounting evidence that the Russian army has been active in east Ukraine, one of the reasons for harsher sanctions from the west.

He also touched on violence in the Chechen capital of Grozny on Thursday morning, where gunmen and police officers have clashed, leaving at least 16 dead. Putin described the attackers as rebels, suggesting they were receiving support from abroad, and said he was confident that authorities would bring the situation under control.

In the economic section of his speech, Putin said sanctions should prove an impetus for increased internal growth, and promised new, liberalised rules for small businesses and an amnesty on returning potentially dirty money to Russia. Capital outflow has been a problem for Russia for years, as rich businesspeople prefer to store their wealth in Britain, Cyprus and elsewhere.

"I propose a full amnesty for capital returning to Russia," Putin said. "… This means that if people legalise their resources, they get a guarantee that they won't be bothered … won't be asked about the sources … there will be no questions from the tax and law enforcement bodies to them. This should be done and done once."

Putin also suggested new rules for small and medium businesses designed to free them from the stranglehold of corrupt officials. He suggested that if a company had passed all checks successfully for three years, it should go three years without further checks.

Putin has often spoken about the need to fight corruption and improve the climate for small businesses; it remains to be seen if his words can be translated into real action to reduce corruption and stimulate business.

Putin complained about speculation on the rouble rate, which has been falling dramatically in recent weeks because of western sanctions and the falling oil price.

"We know who is speculating on the rouble. There are levers to influence these people, and the time has come to use them," the president said.

He wrapped up the hour-long speech by again attempting to portray western sanctions as an opportunity.

"The difficulties that we face also bring us new possibilities. We are ready to answer any challenge of the times and come out victorious."

He was frequently interrupted by applause from the audience, which was made up almost entirely of Kremlin-appointed regional governors and pro-Kremlin MPs. But the enthusiasm seemed more lukewarm than in previous years, perhaps due to increasing worries about the rouble and the economic situation. Publicly, however, everyone remains on message.

"I liked the economic part of his speech," said Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, in a television interview shortly after the speech. "We need not to panic but everyone should deal with the situation we have now, roll up their sleeves and get to work."

manifestdestiny101 8m ago

Many of the posters here are actually just one individual using multiple sock puppet accounts. The Guardian UK has more on how CENTCOMM does it.

Excerpt: The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China's attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

manifestdestiny101 manifestdestiny101 7m ago This link is to the official US government Psyops manual that shows that the people of the US are being manipulated in online comment sections. Not by Russia but by the United States itself. We have turned into the former Soviet Union.

Robert Sandlin UncleSam404 9m ago

You need to give me some of the stuff you have been smoking. The Ukrainian economy is dead.The currency even with Western aid makes the Rouble look good.Heat is almost non-existent in much of the country for hours of the day.Foreigners are running their government.Thousands of their soldiers are dead or wounded.And the country is on the verge of collapse.And you think Russia is having a hard time.Share the joint man,you must have some good shit there.

ID9793630 29m ago

Further to a response made to Psygone elsewhere:

What we should be asking, and worrying about, is at what point will the confluence of political and economic actions by the various participating nations in this conflict (and it clearly is a conflict) lead to a 'hot' war?

To paraphrase the famous statement of Clausewitz:

It is not just diplomacy, but moreso political and economic competition, that when continued by other means is the suitable definition of war.

I rather think that Putin and the Russian security establishment are giving this not so subtle hint. No doubt the outraged pro neo-con-neo-liberal commentariat would find this to be another outrageous example of aggressive war mongering noise by Putin and his 'cabal' - "blah blah the corrupt Russian security state tyranny blah blah barbaric paranoid aggression blah blah etc".

The problem for the rest of us is that he is only making statements (his own and those arranged via other avenues such as intelligence officials being seen to comment on economic matters like the engineered slide of the rouble) to imply the most obvious fact:

If contending forces do not give each other the space to operate economically and politically in a global context then war is inevitable. Putin is effectively making this point and setting out the parameters of the casus belli position of Russia.

The aggressive political and economic actions and behaviours by specific nations are more clearly discernible as coming from those that are referred to by Putin as seeking to contain Russia.

This is being done using direct and indirect public and private sector agency, on a national and supra national scale.

This is pretty damn obvious to the objective observer.

Only stupid people do not see this, and only stupid people think that this reflects solely on Russia as the aggressive actor in this dangerous charade.

Inevitably this will not really be about anybody's good cause but only about nation states choosing to force their peoples into a global conflagration that the people themselves do not actually have an interest in pursuing.

So far Ukraine is in the van of this latter day Charge of the Light Brigade. How ironic is that tragic yet partly self directed fate? An entire nation state as cannon fodder...


What Putins cancellation of the SouthStream project really means for Europe.


This decision was completely unexpected. As I write this, the air is of full of angry complaints from south-eastern Europe that they were not consulted or informed of this decision in advance. Several politicians in south-eastern Europe (Bulgaria especially) are desperately clinging to the idea that the Russian announcement is a bluff (it isn't) and that the project can still be saved. Since the Europeans cling to the belief that the Russians have no alternative to them as a customer, they were unable to anticipate and cannot now explain this decision.

Here it is important to explain why South Stream is important to the countries of south-eastern Europe and to the European economy as a whole.

All the south eastern European economies are in bad shape. For these countries South Stream was a vital investment and infrastructure project, securing their energy future. Moreover the transit fees that it promised would have been a major foreign currency earner.

For the EU, the essential point is that it depends on Russian gas. There has been a vast amount of talk in Europe about seeking alternative supplies. Progress in that direction had been to put it mildly small. Quite simply alternative supplies do not exist in anything like the quantity needed to replace the gas Europe gets from Russia.

There has been some brave talk of supplies of US liquefied natural gas replacing gas supplied by pipeline from Russia. Not only is such US gas inherently more expensive than Russian pipeline gas, hitting European consumers hard and hurting European competitiveness. It is unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity. Quite apart from the probable dampening effects of the recent oil price fall on the US shale industry, on past record the US as a voracious consumer of energy will consume most or all of the energy from shales it produces. It is unlikely to be in a position to export much to Europe. The facilities to do this anyway do not exist, and are unlikely to exist for some time if ever.

Other possible sources of gas are problematic to say the least. Production of North Sea gas is falling. Imports of gas from north Africa and the Arabian Gulf are unlikely to be available in anything like the necessary quantity. Gas from Iran is not available for political reasons. Whilst that might eventually change, the probability is when it does that the Iranians (like the Russians) will decide to direct their energy flow eastwards, towards India and China, rather than to Europe.

For obvious reasons of geography Russia is the logical and most economic source of Europe's gas. All alternatives come with economic and political costs that make them in the end unattractive.

The EU's difficulties in finding alternative sources of gas were cruelly exposed by the debacle of the so-called another Nabucco pipeline project to bring Europe gas from the Caucasus and Central Asia. Though talked about for years in the end it never got off the ground because it never made economic sense.

Meanwhile, whilst Europe talks about diversifying its supplies, it is Russia which is actually cutting the deals.

Noes Vencia Giants1925

As an European I could care less. We don't have Russian bases in Germany but American. If the Soviets were the ones given the upper hand by history we probably would be commenting: "Does anyone in Europe really regret the Capitalist flag stopping at Berlin? Seriously.....any European?"

The West is afraid of Russian prowess simply put. US sees it as a major competition, fair enough, and EU simply would feel intimidated by a strong neighbor, understandably so too. But those were the fears with Germany 1 century ago too and isolating a proud and potentially powerful nation is never a good recipe for stability, either with Germany then, nor with Russia or China now.

manifestdestiny101 -> Giants1925

The solution is to get the US and the Ukie Nazis out of Ukraine and pull back NATO to the edge of the "Atlantic" while also getting the corrupt, propagandist, bought off media to get some integrity and quit telling us all made up lies in order to please their 1$ corporate masters. That would be a nice start. I for one am tired of being fed US and UK propaganda. Paradoxically, we have turned into the former Soviet Union.

Ted Pawlowski

If you research the history you will find that Russia was always under attack, be it from the east (Tatars, Turks, Mongols etc) and from the west (French, Poles, English, Americans etc). No wonder Putin is putting his guard up.


I was thinking, why in western political culture there is so much about "personality"? Every debate reduced to "he said, she said" argument. Does it help to debate opinions, and not issues? I think not. Issues are not resolved, but kind of "patched" according to some "opinion". However this is common practice in West debates.

From this standpoint, comes unnatural fascination by managers, who rule Russian Federation, current dude included. "He said that, so it must be", while issue is not seen and stay completely invisible. Going from debate culture, one completely forgets that a decision made is result of careful planning, including bringing all involved, on same page, and hard work on a decision, however hard that may be.

Sure, Crimea acceptation to Russian Federation was worked on with various ministries, planning commissions, passed through readings of laws in both chambers of Parliament of Russian Federation, and so on. Certainly, someone has offered explanation of risks and mitigation of those risks. Masses of peoples changed their state-issued papers, various public services officers prepared for the transition. My point is work done included many people, many resources, and much thinking through. Many completely voluntarily replaced their passports, this discarding any traces to former statehood. How many? 99.9%. Impressive.

Amazingly enough, maybe first time in modern World's history, everything went through without single hiccup.

And now the "West" tells to 140 mln RF people and 3 mln Crimeans that everything should be rolled back? Or their economy will contract for 1%?

More, manager dude got threatened by gang of Western politicians and somehow bears responsibility for everything that happened? I mean, all of those 143 mln people agreed on all of these troubles for no reason whatsoever? Got tricked by skillful manager dude into some kind of scheme they really don't want to be in?

Come on. Too many people signed on dotted line for it.


[Nov 25, 2014] Germany dodges recession thanks to rise in private consumption

Nov 25, 2014 |

November 25, 2014 at 1:10 am

From today's Grauniad:

Germany dodges recession thanks to rise in private consumption

The German economy turned out to be stable in a difficult global economic environment:

If in that article "German" and "Germany" were replaced with "Russian" and "Russia" respectively, would the Grauniad sing a different tune?

marknesop, November 25, 2014 at 7:47 am

All part of shoulder-to-shoulder transatlantic unity, don't you know. No negative stories in English on the German economy, because it is the EU's honeypot and we support our friends.

[Nov 24, 2014] Vladimir Putin: I don't want to rule Russia for life

The article is regular Guardian junk and as such does not deserve quoting... Comments as always in Guardian are pretty enlightening. Actually i would say the level of commenters make then dangerous for the US ruling elite.
Nov 24, 2014 | The Guardian
Cirmic 24 Nov 2014 22:57

FACT, without Putin, Russia would be like Ukraine, a country ruled by oligarchs and exploited by the west. It was not Russia's fault that in Ukraine our democracy loving oligarchs employ private armies and live like kings in the middle ages.

FACT, Puin's honesty and straight talking driving more and more eastern Europeans back towards Russia. EG. Putin is much much more popular in Hungary than anybody else.

FACT, as the much anticipated 'better living standards' have never materialised in Eastern Europe, rather I would say they are more impoverished than under communism, people there don't have and 'unbreakable' bond towards the west. They are disappointed that after 25 nothing has improved. All we were needed is for new markets, to dump western products and chip in to NATO's ever increasing military spending.

FACT, the 'international community' is much more than US and its vassal states.
So, yes, Putin is popular, he will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders of the 21st century.

jqbonnard 24 Nov 2014 21:24

Ukraine: elections in Novorossia, half a year of Odessa tragedy, economic recession

On November, 2 in Donetsk and Lugansk republics were held the elections of representatives of executive and legislative powers. The last election is of very great importance to the processes in Ukraine. It legitimizes the authorities of LNR and DNR and gives their heads international acknowledgement, though minimal.
The great plus of this election was the invitation of European observers. And not the representatives of some marginal public organizations, but delegates from national and above-national legislative organs, who highly estimated the final results of voting. So, according to Euro parliament member Jean-Luke Schaffhausen, "the results of voting express real initiations of people". Ukrainian authorities have already stated that these observers are now persona non grata in Ukraine, but by this step they only stressed partial international legitimization of voting in republics.

At the same time in other Ukrainian region – Odessa were held mourning meetings in memory of victims in House of trade unions. The tragedy happened May, 2 2014.

This unprecedented in its violence crime, which was unanimously condemned by leaders of biggest countries, who demanded Kiev authorities hold fair investigation, but up to now this crime has been covered up. No one of criminals, whose torments of half-alive people were fixed in videos and photos, has been sentenced. Moreover, official Kiev constantly shows its unwillingness to fairly estimate outrageous massacre organized by neo Nazis who have been gaining more and more power.

In his recent speech in Odessa the President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko justified Odessa massacre and claimed that "Odessa paid high price on May, 2 for freedom and independence". And the fact that Odessa has been called since then "a Bandera city", according to him is "the biggest compliment"

The economy in Ukraine is close to disaster. Today 78 % of Ukrainians are below the breadline. And it is not a piece someone's fiction. The data are presented by UN. According to its experts, "this part of Ukrainians have consumer's basket lower than official border of poverty"
In Ukraine poverty has become a companion of educated and qualified people who have a regular job. According to Institute of demography and social investigations of Ukraine a quarter of Ukrainian population are below the breadline. One third of Ukrainians lack money to buy food, one more third – to buy clothes.

Though these authorities were elected by them, either were forced under the pressure of the same officials to make "their democratic choice".

Jacques Bonnard, Nyon, Switzerland

bobby_fisher 24 Nov 2014 21:15

Gosh, Putin spoiled the party again, trolls are going nuts.

1. Russia is not isolated (G7 is not the whole world of course).
2. Economic sanctions in the regime of non-isolation are meaningless.
3. Falling oil prices have nothing to do with sanctions, but have everything to do with Global economic slowdown, especially in China and the export policy of Saudi Arabia, whose main target is not Russia of course, but to crush US fracking industry (It will also kill Canadian oilsands in the process, no doubt about it).
So it is not going to the plan at all, we will see interesting standoff, who will blink first?
For some reason I don't think it will be russkies, Germans already cracking and the rest of EU will follow suit, and by EU I do not mean barking minions like Poland and Lithuania.

freedomcry -> Chirographer 24 Nov 2014

It's more complicated than that. It was always part of the Soviet doctrine that the "national republics" (both SSRs and ASSRs) could have special interests that the Soviet government had to take into account (per Lenin's formula of "national in form, Socialist in essence"), while any talk of Russian national interest in a Soviet domestic context would be viewed as anti-Communist and subversive. That's not to deny that a certain degree of Russian cultural hegemony did exist in the USSR, but only of the sort that seems impersonal and somehow ingrained. Anyone with a tangible and specific agenda that could remotely be accused of "Greater Russian chauvinism" would never be tolerated - and, in the Soviet political culture, such a thing was hard to imagine in the first place.

EugeneGur -> Oskar Jaeger 24 Nov 2014

if you think Herr Putin is such a good president of Russia, enjoy

Thank you for your kind permission. The only thing we expect of those living in "democracies" is to stay out of our business. You can change your presidents every 5 minutes, for all we care. We will also be deciding on our foreign policy and on what our near or far abroad is, thank you.
You don't even realize how ridiculous you all sound, do you?

unended -> alpamysh 24 Nov 2014

I don't care who the Russians elect. It's when their elected leader steals countries that we have a little heart-burn.

First, Putin stole nothing. If you want to make an allegation, it was the Russian government--not Putin, who is but one cog in the Russian government--which stole a country. Second, Russia did not steal any country. In fact, its actions were supported by a majority locally and saved a lot of lives. These facts are true whatever else you wish to say.

P.S., if you are talking about individuals, you are already distracted. But, then, I suspect you might be in the distraction business.

Roodan -> WisconsinRay 24 Nov 2014

the West is bent on "regime change"

[Nov 20, 2014] Two Russian articles on the Grauniad front page today

Moscow Exile, November 19, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Two Russian articles on the Grauniad front page today:

The new cold war: are we going back to the bad old days?

Tanks and troops invading a satellite state, tit-for-tat spy expulsions, high-risk military games of chicken involving nuclear bombers and interceptor jets, gas supply cut-offs, and angry diplomatic exchanges – if it sounds familiar, then it should. Newspaper headlines from Moscow to Washington and Sydney to Kiev all agree: the cold war is back.

That's off Tisdall again.

"Tanks and troops invading a satellite state…"

So the Ukraine is a "satellite state?"


And where exactly are these tanks and troops, Tisdall?

Got any evidence – pictures, perhaps?

Spies, sleepers and hitmen: how the Soviet Union's KGB never went away

The plagiarist again, with a picture of a dead man whose mysterious death has still not been investigated – no inquest, no nothing – but Putin did it!

"Vladimir Putin was never an especially distinguished spy" writes Tintin straight off.

I've got news for you, dickhead: he never was a "spy", distinguished or otherwise!

".. he[Puitin] sat out the collapse of the Soviet Union, an event that filled him with horror and rage…"

Know that for a fact, Tintin?

That's not what he's ever said about the event himself.

And it goes on and on:

… Putin has transformed Russia into a giant spy state …

… FSB spies are a paranoid, conspiratorial and deeply xenophobic bunch …

… For reasons that are still

ous, the FSB decided that I was one of its enemies…

… In 2006, an alleged KGB hit squad murdered the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko in London. It poured radioactive polonium-210 into his tea…

… Moscow's takeover of Crimea and its covert invasion of eastern Ukraine. ..

… Russian propaganda comes in the shape of the English-language channel Russia Today and via an army of Kremlin online trolls who post comments on western newspaper websites, including the Guardian's….

How does he get away with writing such shite?

Moscow Exile, November 20, 2014 at 12:54 am
How does he get away with writing such shite?

By the way, nobody can pose such a question as that above to that posing oaf Harding even if he wanted to because (surprise, surprising) there is no comments section to his article.

Comments have been allowed to Chatham-House Tisdall's article, though, in which Tisdall states that Putin has a "stridently toxic personality" and in which it is, of course de rigeur of the Grauniad/Chatham House hack to state that "… the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, an event later deplored by Putin as the biggest tragedy of the 20th century" [Putin didn't say that at all!!! but Tisdall almost always gets that one in in his diatribes against the Evil One], which comments consist of such gems as the following:

20 November 2014 7:32am
The Russian answer to the Islamic Threat is Mass Slaughter, and of course the Serbian Govt is a puppet of Putin. 100000 killed in Grosny, blowing up their own children in Beslan for PR Purposes.

20 November 2014 8:08am
"The people who freed Germany from the Nazis…"

Really? You are talking about 'the people' who raped German women from 12 years to 80 years old and stole the entire manufacturing base of former East Germany.
And now these same people are under the thumbs of a paranoid narcissistic kleptocrat.

20 November 2014 4:41am
"If Putin is such a tyrant, why does he enjoy almost universal support in Russia?"

That's an ignorant question and makes you look disingenuous. The Russian people are cut off and fed lies by Putins orchestrated media campaign designed specifically to fool them. When there is no opposing view and you are dealing with a population like in Russia who are still a simple people it's not that hard to get them to believe whatever you want. Russia's media is just like N Koreas and it works.

And on and on it goes …

Anyone here think that UncleSam404 might live in Langley, Virgina?

"…a population like in Russia who are still a simple people it's not that hard to get them to believe whatever you want" writes UncleSam404.

In the West, it seems, you can say anything you like about Russians.

Now if someone should write in the comments to a Grauniad article: "…a population like in Nigeria who are still a simple people it's not that hard to get them to believe whatever you want" the shit would surely hit the fan!

Moscow Exile, November 20, 2014 at 3:54 am
Has anybody here ever thought that Putin is "toxic"?

He seems a rather mild mannered man to me; "disciplined" I should really say – because of his judo training, I guess. He has been known to get angry in public and to have used vulgarities, though, but very calmly and quietly.

The only three vulgarities of his that I remember were (1) when he suggested that an irritating French journalist go get circumsized after he had been arguing the case for Islamic terrorists in Russia, (2) that he should like to see the former Georgian president suspended by having his testicles attached to a street lamp and (3) that the forces of law and order would seek out and destroy terrorists wherever they could find them – including when having a crap down the khazi.

I don't consider those utterances especially "toxic".

Maybe Tisdall is a hypersensitive sort of person?

marknesop , November 20, 2014 at 8:00 am
Here's a picture of Vladimir Putin enjoying a lap dance performed by Emily Ratajkowski. Here's a picture of Vladimir Putin spitting with fury over the breakup of the Soviet Union. And here's a picture of Vladimir Putin talking to his Mom at a seance via a medium.

I don't mean to suggest Putin is expressionless or sphinxlike; he is perfectly capable of warmth and humor. But he has a very good poker face and iron self-discipline. Occasions of his actually and publicly losing his rag are rare indeed – such as his throwing a pen at some oligarch or other during that discussion in which he told them they could keep all their swag if they stayed out of politics. He has never, ever, in any medium said the dissolution of the Soviet Union filled him with horror and rage, and has been quite clear that there can never be any resurrection of it, or that it is certainly not a desire on his part to resurrect it. The continuous characterizations in the western press of Putin "spitting with fury" and "addled with baffled rage" are simply attributions by journalists who tend to lurid narratives and feel like applying a little artistic license.

There has to be a point at which increasingly wild stories about Putin will backfire, and readers will pause and look incredulously at the name of the journalist to see if he needs to be committed, because the made-up foolishness just continues to unroll while the appetite of the public for even more crazy Putin stories seems insatiable. Perhaps the aim is to tip some citizen over the edge so that he will fly to Russia in an excess of choler and assassinate him.

The Guardian

alpamysh -> Spiffey , 15 Nov 2014 13:44
Again, Europe has much to offer. I think the healing process in N. Ireland would be an excellent model for Ukraine. But somehow I think our Putinists would have other ideas.
amrit, 15 Nov 2014 13:43
I cannot believe this is an Editorial from Guardian. Better pen the names behind the writings that seems to have come from the office of US VP.

Many other countries have invaded other countries (that have been bullied in to give me our oil under your ground).

In case of Ukraine west wanted to have a speed dash to the Russian borders and hence the enlargement of NATO and EU.

Ukrainians should have used an iota of senses and should have milked both Russia and west by having cordial relations with both. However idiots started with denying the use of Russian as a language for the population of Eastern Ukraine, denying them use of their mother language.

grandchester, 15 Nov 2014 13:41

geopolitics reduced to we in the West are good and the Russians are bad

Jirik -> RoryYeo, 15 Nov 2014 13:40
Well they don't hide the fact that they target children, in fact Poroshenko boasts about it.

Still no prospect of democratic representation for the Eastern Ukrainians - just collective punishment for being too Russian. We had 'let's hear it for Hamas' yesterday, today it's a big cheer for the Azov Brigades. Good old Guardian.

sodtheproles -> alpamysh, 15 Nov 2014 13:36
I'd say this - is your tone ever even-handed? Besides, I was always taught to play the ball, not the man.

And however you try to spin it, you have neo-Nazis in government in Kiev, but I suppose nobody will mind them being referred to as racists and fascists instead

alpamysh -> Metronome151, 15 Nov 2014 13:34
I'd argue some of it also comes from the great Polish trilogy "With Fire and Sword", Sadly, that' concerns the era when Ukraine became part of Moscow. Before, it had been Ukrainian Cossacks and Hussars against Moscow.
1DrSigmundFraud, 15 Nov 2014 13:30

The main task that the American puppet masters have set for the Ukrainian junta is to draw Russia into a full-scale war with Ukraine. It is for this purpose that all of these heinous crimes are committed – to force Russia to send troops to Ukraine to protect the civilian population, which has been fleeing to Russia in the hundreds of thousands and begging for help.

Naturally, Russia can't remain indifferent. Therefore, the American supervisors of the Ukrainian Nazis call far escalation of violence and more victims. Heavy artillery is used against women and children. People are trapped in blockaded cities without water and food.

Some cities are facing a real famine. In other words, genocide is being committed on orders from America to force Russia to interfere and protect the civilian population, the same ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, living on the other side of the border.

And I should say that the public pressure provoked by these tragic events is very high.

bootboys -> madsttdk, 15 Nov 2014 13:30

I could have sworn you were talking about the Bots

This is your idea of 'engaging in proper debate'? Maybe you should try reading your own posts and give your head a shake Mads.

1DrSigmundFraud -> Joemiller, 15 Nov 2014 13:29
Then you should get out more I know somebody from the Crimea who i'd trust with my life and i'm no putinbot. She filled me in on what the situation is and you'll never find it on any Editors page of the Guardian, it's a neocon shill.

The lies and rhetoric on here are a joke the Ukrainian Government was overthrown by by a Neo Nazi clique on the payroll of Victoria Nuland and John McCain and funded to the tune of $5.000000 000000 if you think 1000s of dead Ukrainians are worth the lives of those neocon scumbags your in good company

clara ffrench, 5 Nov 2014 13:28
The subversion of the Guardian by SIS and its use as a mouthpiece for neocon foreign policy is far more worrying than Russia reasserting its rightful place in the world.
Metronome151 -> alpamysh, 15 Nov 2014 13:28
Funny you should say that. Isengard and Mordor were loosely abstractions of Germany and Russia when Tolkien wrote LOTR.
MasonInNY -> LowlyPeruser, 15 Nov 2014 13:21

Victoria "Little Vicky" Nuland obviously has Czarina status in Russia, Belarus, and the 5 Central Asian "Stans".

She's so all-powerful that she has driven US-EU-Russian relations for the last year. Fortunately, the little lady doesn't have access to a Buk, like the Russian irregulars did.

thankgodimanatheist, 15 Nov 2014 13:20

Where is The Guardian view on subversion in Palestine, Cuba, Iran, Iraq and its impact on the international system? The list could go on and on and on and on.

Hypocrisy thy name is Western intervention and imperialism.

RoryYeo -> harryphilby, 15 Nov 2014 13:19
They killed an entire family, including two children, in Gorlovka yesterday when they fired grad missiles into an apartment block. That's the government the Guardian is supporting. Lovely.
Beginner20 , 15 Nov 2014 13:16
BRICS offers the G20 to continue the reform of the IMF, without the US

15/11/2014 11:53

The heads of the BRICS countries, meeting "in the fields" summit G20, expressed disappointment and deep concern in connection with the ratification of the reform of the IMF, is tightened by the US Congress in 2010, leaders said that such delays "affect the Fund's legitimacy and credibility." In a joint statement, the BRICS states that "if the United States did not ratify the reform," "Big Twenty" should "plan options discussion of next steps that the IMF will present in January 2015".

This statement accompanies the orders that were given to the leaders of the BRICS to form the Interim Board of Directors of the New Development Bank. The financial structure - a future competitor of the IMF, which works to regulate the balance of payments of the group without the involvement of the Bretton Woods institutions.

bootboys -> PixieFrouFrou', 15 Nov 2014 13:16

The US and UK left Iraq some time ago

That would be the same Iraq that Obama is sending troops to, initially as 'advisers' and, a week later, as possible boots on the ground.

RoryYeo, 15 Nov 2014 13:14
And John McCain was apparently meeting with the commanders of three right-wing Ukrainian militias today. I wonder what that could have been about?

sodtheproles -> RoryYeo, 15 Nov 2014 13:53

McCain is basically a groupie. Show him an alpha male psycho like al-Baghdadi and this lot, and he can't contain himself

Beginner20 , 15 Nov 2014 13:13

Russia will not demand early repayment of Ukraine depts
15/11/2014 18:22

In an interview with German TV channel ARD, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that "Russia will not demand from Ukraine early repayment of $ 3 billion, which was issued in 2013". The Russian leader is convinced: "If we do this, the entire financial system of Ukraine will collapse. We have already decided that we will not do it. "

BabyBoomer55, 15 Nov 2014 13:13
Merkel and the eurozone elites have a lot to answer for here. They provided the catalyst, they supported Ukrainian eu membership, they supported the ousting of the then Ukrainian leader, they went to support the then protesters who wanted to be part of Europe, they ignored reality.

The bloody eurozone leaders should not have got embroiled in this. Never see Merkel supporting protesters in Greece, Spain, Italy et al when they are rightfully demanding their rights. No, they simply branded as being 'anti european'.

There is a simple answer to this crisis in the Ukraine. Its called Il conceived interference.

LustreDiadem 15 Nov 2014 13:53

Irrespective of your opinion on Western bias as regards news reporting, the fact still remains, Russian military hardware and very likely Russian troops are fighting in the Ukraine, in what is a civil conflict. Putin, in one hand says "I want peace" whilst the other controls the switches that launch the bombs. It's an old tactic, Hitler used a similar line to hoodwink the Europe of 1939. You talk peace, whilst the tanks keep rolling over the sovereignty of nations.

Standupwoman , 15 Nov 2014 13:52
It's hard to know where to begin unpacking this astonishing farrago of nonsense, but one aspect I don't think many have touched on is this one - that an end to the fighting would be 'overwhelmingly to Ukraine's advantage'. That is simply not true.

From a human point of view, it's obviously to everyone's advantage, but Ukraine simply daren't lose the Donbass. The IMF made it clear on May 1st that the aid package would need to be 'redesigned' if Ukraine lost control of the East - and the events in Odessa on May 2nd showed us exactly how Ukraine interpreted that threat.

There's also the political angle, which means it would be suicide for any Ukrainian politician to concede territory to the rebels. The country is seething with armed volunteers (many openly Nazi) who have said more than once they're prepared to 'march on Kiev' if it doesn't give them the support they need.

Maidan whipped up so much nationalist fervour and appalling race-hatred against the Moskals that even a truce is now seen as a kind of treason. So many people have died now, that the Rada simply HAS to have some kind of victory to show for it.

Nor are the nationalists the only threat. Without either Crimea or the Donbass to give them military control over Russia, the US itself is likely to lose interest in Ukraine. Biden will be especially annoyed, since he's gone to all this trouble to install his son at the top of Burisma Holdings - and the main area of shale gas just happens to be in the Donbass. Ukraine has deliberately set out to provoke Russia to please the US - and now risks being left to face a very pissed-off Bear all by its own little self.

Even Poroshenko wants to go on. His nasty little speech made that clear, as he gloated over the inevitable victory to be had by continuing to shell civilians. He doesn't care how he does it (and clearly neither does the West) but he's absolutely determined to destroy the rebellion in East Ukraine.

So no, it is not overwhelmingly to Ukraine's advantage to end the fighting, which is why they've used the ceasefire to regroup and reinforce for the new assaults to come. By all means let's disagree on how the rebels are dealing with this, but let's not pretend Ukraine is an innocently afflicted dove of peace.

DrKropotkin -> alpamysh 15 Nov 2014 14:06

Russian can be used, but the first act of the coup leaders was an attempt to outlaw Russian as an official language. The fact that it was vetoed by the president doesn't take away from the damage done by this move. After this, and the new government's response to the Odessa massacre, it's not surprising that ethnic Russians could not feel comfortable with the gang that claimed power in Kiev. They asked for federalisation to ensure their rights, they got tanks and shelling - Now they will only settle for independence. That is the crux of this conflict, but none of it was mentioned in the article.

wombatman 15 Nov 2014 14:06

"But an end to the fighting would have been so overwhelmingly to Ukraine's advantage, even if areas remained under rebel control, that it is simply not believable that they were the main instigators."

The above statement is only true in part, in that it may apply to Ukrainian Government forces, however Kiev does not control many of the volunteer brigades, who often are motivated by their right-wing, ultra-nationalistic ideology, rather than what is good for Ukraine as a whole. They also have a deep hatred of ethnic Russians who are Ukrainians and Russia itself. Members of these groups have been quoted as saying they want the fighting to continue and they are not willing to accept any truce.

I hope it was an accident that the Guardian did not take into account these militias, but it does seem often the Guardian try to portray the Ukrainian forces as some well-organised force, rather than one, where many have deserted as they refused to fire on their own people, and also consist of far right brigades and also those which are really the private army of some oligarch.

sodtheproles Standupwoman 15 Nov 2014 14:05

The Giardiun is a very confused newspaper these days. To be frank, its days in print are probably numbered and it's probably trying to set itself up as an alternative to Huffpost - which means it'll continue to see things through White House tinted spectacles. But the trouble with converts is that they weren't born to it, and so it'll always come across as stilted and fake. Anyway, are facts still sacred to the Grauniad? Facts be damned, more like

happygolucky1661 15 Nov 2014 13:46

Did any western media report Putin's speech in any kind of detail? No...I Wonder why?

DrKropotkin PeterWoking 15 Nov 2014 14:13

You do realise, if all Hitler had ever done was take the Sudetenland then his name would not be as infamous as it is. Just because somebody does something that Hitler also did, doesn't mean they'll start gassing Jews. Did anybody compare Kosovo to the Sudetenland?

Crimea had a referendum, they wanted to return to Russia, that's what happened. The vast majority of Crimeans are happy with the situation and it would be hard to find one that would call it an invasion. The East of Ukraine is in revolt, this is not due to Putin (although I believe he supports them) but the cack-handed actions of Kiev's new rulers. I believe John Brennan was there to give them advise, just before they sent the tanks in.

Standupwoman , 15 Nov 2014 14:09
Yes, good point. There's also Neil Clark, who used to write a lot for the Guardian - he fights like anything for free speech and independent thought.

It's still a pity that no British outlet will publish these pieces. If only RT or Russia Insider will broadcast them, then Ukraine trolls can pretend these people are 'paid Russian propagandists'. But there are ways round, and the ludicrousness of the situation was never shown more clearly than when Alec Luhn had to publish a perfectly good piece on Donetsk in 'Women's Wear Daily'...

wombatman -> alpamysh 15 Nov 2014 14:12

There was a EU brokered agreement signed reluctantly by the President and the opposition which would have led to him going and then nationwide elections (Crimea included) and constitution changes would be rolled back to 2004.

It was then elements of the unelected mob who bullied the opposition politicians into breaking this agreement. It was very noticeable it was far right and ultra-nationalists in the crowd who did this.

It gets very tiring when people cannot accept that an acceptable agreement that could have saved the integrity of Ukraine and the deaths of thousands, was due to right wing thugs and the abject cowardice of the opposition politicians who so cravenly allowed themselves to be intimidated by the extremists.


Moscow Exile , November 4, 2014 at 12:22 am

Again from from Russian Insider:

The Controversial Ethnic Breakdown of Russia's Richest Businessmen

One of Russia's most popular news websites, the once vaunted, finds itself at the center of a scandal today, after publishing an ethnic breakdown of Russia's 200 richest people. According to the study, 44.5 percent of Russia's wealthiest citizens are ethnically Russian, 21 percent are Jewish, 12 percent are Ukrainian, followed by smaller percentages of Tatars, Armenians, and a dozen or so other nationalities. "Overall", the report concludes questionably, "it's clear how different ethnic groups in a multi-ethnic country have used a collaborative solidarity and response to the beginning of the 'capitalist era' to build a new kind of economic and political life".

Concludes questionably?

As it happens, this isn't the first time a Russian news site has published an ethnic breakdown of Forbes' top-200 richest men in Russia. Two years ago, Pavel Pryanikov's website posted a nearly identical study (with roughly the same findings) that also looked at businessmen's class history (tracking their socioeconomic trajectories from Soviet times).

Far earlier than that was a similar conclusion arrived at, namely that "different ethnic groups in a multi-ethnic country have used a collaborative solidarity and response to the beginning of the 'capitalist era' to build a new kind of economic and political life".

Kevin O'Flynn of "The Exile" did just that over 10 years ago. And his article with its conclusion was repeated practically word for word in a Grauniad article written by Luke Harding.

That's when the shit hit the fan: the folk at the Exile complained and the Grauniad had to publicly apologize for their star journalist's plagiarism, but woe betide any commenter to that rag's articles that mentions this!


Luke Harding Hacks The Exile!


Moscow Exile , November 4, 2014 at 12:43 am
To elaborate on my query as regards the phrase "concludes questionably".

I am sure that nobody, but nobody, in Russia, or elsewhere for that matter, has not reached the conclusion that the Georgian ethnicity of a large portion of the so-called Russian Mafia (better known as "Thieves Operating Under a Thieves Code" or, in Russian: "Воры в законе" [vory v zakone] – literally "thieves in law") and their success in consolidating their malevolent influence in the underworld is largely due to their "collaborative solidarity".

yalensis, November 4, 2014 at 3:37 am
Makes sense. You know the saying, "It isn't who you are, but who you know."

In any walk of life, even in the legitimate world, it helps to have connections. A lot of people get jobs through their connections with people already working at the company, etc.
It helps just knowing other people from hobbyist clubs, school activities, church, etc.

At one job I worked at, there was a core group of insiders who were – believe it or not! – members of the same Masonic Lodge. I know that sounds like a ridiculous conspiracy theory – Zionists and Masons rule the world! - but it was literally true.
And the fact that Masons are a SECRET society, meant that they (probably) conducted a lot of business and/or gossip (about other employees) while in the throes of whatever secret ceremonies Masons are wont to do. In other words, making decisions about promotions, hiring, firing, etc. All very unfair and outside of official company HR system.

Based on this banal truth, it makes sense that businessmen and criminal gangs help each other out, based on ethnic and family ties.

Moscow Exile , November 4, 2014 at 7:18 am
A Russian colleague of mine was absolutely flabbergasted when I told him of the power that I believe Freemasons have in the UK. He associated Freemasonry with persons such as Tolstoy's fictive Pierre and other wastrel aristos of long-gone-by Russia.

Every so often some journalist in the UK does a revelation of the activities of Freemasons there and books on this topic also appear occasionally, with the allegation, for example, that every chief cop and top judge in Misty Albion is a Mason. (Women excluded, of course, because the Freemasons is a boys' club.)


Freemasons: Your questions answered

That's a typical BBC move-along-now-nothing-more-to-see article.

Freemasons in the police leading the attack on David Cameron's riot response

Met Police report: corrupt Freemasons run the UK legal system

Freemasonry Watch

Freemasons – a force for good or evil?

Move along now!

Nothing more to see?

[Oct 31, 2014] Ukraine votes in parliamentary election

Oct 26, 2014 |
811 HHeLiBe , permalink

Let's hope this is an opportunity for Ukraine to throw off the yoke of subservience and move forward to achieve its full potential.

LeDingue HHeLiBe , permalink

The "full potential" you refer too has already been well sized up be western corporations like Monsanto and investors in fracking fronted by the likes of Hunter Biden.For ordinary Ukrainians the IMF imposed austerity, privatisations and a huge hike in domestic gas bills will drive up poverty, unemployment and extremist politics. The east lies in economic ruins, even now Kiev will not (or maybe cannot) call off the private militias or the Right Sektor National Guard. Perhaps not doing so is a political decision to disenfranchise Ukrainian Russians completely.

The "subservience" you refer to I suppose you mean as subservience to Russia. This is a simplistic received notion.

Oligarchy will be more entrenched and enriched after this election even than it was before. The only difference is that western corporations will now have carte blanche.Apparently it is normal, given that our media omit to even talk about it, that billionaire oligarchs can run their own private militias of extremist hooligans -- here is your new "subservience".

Porochenko and several others should face ICC investigation for crimes of mass murder and war crimes. But of course they won't, even as reports of indiscriminate shelling and rocketing of residential areas, of the use of cluster and phosphorous munitions are published, it merely gets a minor mention here.

The oligarchs and political middle managers will do very nicely. For the rest of Ukrainians, especially the Ukrainian Russians in the east hated by those who undoubtedly will form the incoming government, the future looks dark indeed: poverty, unemployment, ultranationalist violence ... and as for the "euro" in NED's "Euromaidan" campaign: it's as ashes in the mouths of all who were tricked into believing it, it never had any basis in reality.

HHeLiBe permalink

Another picture of brilliant future for bankrupt country under American guidance.Who is going to pay for the feast?

Canigou HHeLiBe permalink

The "yoke of subservience" is to the U.S./EU/IMF, and no, that yoke will not be thrown off by this election.

There is a good article in the Boston Globe today, "Vote all you want -- the secret government won't change." The title says it all, and although it refers to U.S. elections, it surely will apply to this Ukrainian one too.

Marc de Berner, permalink

The coup that removed the legitimate government of Ukraine is now trying to legitimise itself with an election. The people of Crimea won't be voting because they have already voted. Their choice was to leave Ukraine to the fascists who staged the coup. They ard very happy to be part of Russia. As for the little bit of Ukraine that is under the control of Kiev. We in the Eu don't want you. Many of us EU citizens don't want you and your neo nazi policies. Take a look at the reality on the ground. Thw Republic of Donyets is here to stay. Your coup has divided the country into 3 separate parts. ..

duke_widin downthepublewis , permalink

your comment is over the top!

after 1500 dead ethnic Russians and over 1million fled from the Ukraine your troll friend in the White house is normally sending his drones to kill the leader and plains to bomb the people...

christopher22 downthepublewis permalink

Disaffected Western Ukrainian perhaps ?

You will be pleased to know RT have put together a documentary about the downing of MH17 You should take a look at it - and maybe then you will realise what a shower of thugs you are throwing your weight behind

Novorossiya downthepublewis permalink

"the hysterical rantings of the Russian village idiot after too many vodkas"

Why do I hate racist scum? and sympathizers of neo-nazis from Kiev and Lvov?.

precisely BECAUSE they are ignorant, prejudiced scum...

Dreikaiserbund Novorossiya permalink

Why do I hate racist scum? and sympathisers of neo-nazis from Kiev and Lvov?. precisely BECAUSE they are ignorent, prejudiced scum...

Yet you use as an avatar a flag that bears a remarkable resemblance to the Confederate battle flag? Yes, I know it's the flag of 'Novorossiya' but 'New Russia' might want to pick a flag that doesn't have such racist overtones.

Nobul Dreikaiserbund permalink

So you will be paying the glorious Ukraine's gas bills this winter?

Nobul downthepublewis , permalink

What were you doing in Donbass? A football thug, downing a few cheap vodkas, were you?

downthepublewis Nobul , permalink

You're preconceptions and prejudice betray your ignorance. In 2012 I worked on a UN project improving heating systems and insulation of schools in Lugansk, saving them over 300,000 euros per year in heating bills, and last year I worked for 1+1 on a documentary about the mining communities/industry.

downthepublewis Novorossiya , permalink

You obviously don't know the definition of 'racist', and you label all people who want a just, free and democratic Ukraine as 'neo-nazis'. Isn't tarring everyone with the same brush a classic example or prejudice? And of course it's a complete lie. By the way, it's called Lviv. You should go there sometime. It's really very lovely. See for yourself the people who live there. Then come back on here and call them 'neo-nazis'.

Nobul downthepublewis , permalink

Yes, I believe you, except the entire education budget of Luhansk Oblast was probably less than the 300,000 euros you claimed to have saved them from heating. And what a plumber doing for 1+1 documentary about the mining communities?

atozed Marc de Berner

Which particular policies are "neo-nazi"? The people of Crimea will not be voting in this particular election because they are being prevented from voting by the Russians occupying Crimea. Crimean Tatar activists are being harassed and arrested by the occupying authorities because they prefer for their (historical) homeland to be a part of the Ukraine. As for the "legitimate government" of the Ukraine being toppled by a coup, one should mention that Yanukovych and his cronies had transferred vast amounts of money from the state to their private accounts abroad (with the connivance of Western banks, of course) by fixing state business contracts. The question here is whether it is legitimate to stage an uprising against such a government rather than wait and vote in rigged elections which would be impossible to win. I say that it is legitimate to oust an increasingly corrupt and malign government when the chances of fair elections disappear.

Nobul downthepublewis , permalink

Accusing others of being Russian village idiots after too many vodkas (Guardian censors did not find this offensive) while your name is "down the pub Lewis" , lol, what s Freudian slip, lol(the censors found this offensive!)

Nobul atozed , permalink

The Crimeans never wanted to be part of Ukraine. It was "given" to the Ukraine SSR by a communist dictator without asking the people, the Crimeans had been voting for independence since 1991. for your information, the historic home land of the Crimean Tatars is Mongolia.

Doom Sternz, permalink

Americans offered financial and informational assistance in the making of the "right sector " a fully fledged political party. The U.S. proposed a form of the Ukrainian radical party with a political platform, party structure and network of branches throughout Ukraine.

The Right Sector is fascist neo Nazi party. They are the militia's that are committing mass murder, genocide, torture and rape in Ukraine.

srmttmrs Doom Sternz , permalink

Yep - and the separatists are angels who bring peace and love to all. Rank idiocy and exactly the sort of propaganda spewed by BOTH sides. So, when looking for facts, consider who prospers, who gains? Russia, Russia and Russia. That does not make their opponents innocent, but lets keep it real.

Doom Sternz srmttmrs

Ukraine is a rogue state. It was a violent, armed coup spearheaded by right sector militants that placed Yatsenyuk into power in the first place, along with the Neo-Nazi political front Svoboda, and paved the way for fraudulent elections that predictably yielded a pro-US-EU client regime. From fabricating an "invasion," to claims of "threatened" lives, to the labeling of Russians as "subhuman," Yatsenyuk has recited fully the script of Nazism used to justify its various historical crimes against humanity.

Its no coincidence that the CIA (a terror organisation) is in Kiev, its no coincidence that the Rand corporation have documented the necessary steps to commit genocide in the eastern federations prior to the events.Its no coincidence that Victoria Nuland indicated the US had invested $5 billion on a regime change in Ukraine, and its no coincidence that neo Nazi organisations were enlisted to action the ethnic cleansing.

After the Maidan the leaders of two right wing fascist organisation were rewarded with control of four ministries.

For example Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of the fascist Social National Party, which later changed its name to Svoboda became the new top commander of the National Defense and Security Council. (covering the military, police, courts and intelligence apparatus). Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector commander is now second-in-command of the National Defense and Security Council.

Notice how they never talk about the Ukraine regular Army, its always Oligarch battalions, ie Azov Battalion etc, or they are Government militia's, these militia's are made up of Right Sector fascists. The regular Ukraine Army has been sidelined as it will not murder its own countrymen.

srmttmrs Doom Sternz , permalink

Like I said, who gains. Russia gets Crimea (massivly strategic value) and will absorb Ukraine over the next five years or so. I am sure Russia will hold War Crime Trials with predictable results.

Bud Peart , permalink

So I take it people in the regions engulfed in civil war wont be able to vote?

oleteo , permalink

The election campaign was doubtfull from the beginning in this country affected by the virus of neo-nazism in the form of russophobia

srmttmrs oleteo , permalink

So if I am opposed to the Putin regime and thus Russian foreign policy, I am a neo-nazi?? FFS.

Doom Sternz srmttmrs , permalink

Petro Poroshenko is a war criminal.

We all know that when Poroshenko committed to an illegal war against his fellow countrymen that there was never going to be a path back. He expected he would win and it did not concern him at all that he was committing crimes against humanity. He had no concerns about sending neo Nazi militia's to the east to murder his fellow countrymen. And his US masters demanded it.

Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are traitors of Ukraine.

HHeLiBe Doom Sternz , permalink

When Poroshenko won 55 percent of the Presidential vote outright it is a pretty safe bet that Ukrainians will vote in a West leaning Government.

oleteo Doom Sternz , permalink

The outcome will be the same because the Ukie politics are based on hatred and corruption,they are seeking what to ask and where like beggars

Davo3333 HHeLiBe , permalink

But the 55% was on a very low turnout and so support for him was way under 50%. This time the two eastern pro Russian republics which have effectively now succeeded from the Ukraine are no longer included in the Ukraine's voting figures so most of the remainder are voting to be able to one day join the EU, but in the meantime the EU is not prepared to give meaningful financial assistance to the Ukraine so there will be hard times for the Ukrainian people coming up in the near future. Look at the Poles who went to the UK in their hundreds of thousands and are now either on the dole or working on very low wages, That is what the Ukrainians can look forward to if they manage to get into the EU.

Dreikaiserbund, permalink

This is the best message that the people of Ukraine can send to Putin and his mercenaries.

Doom Sternz Dreikaiserbund , permalink

You are a fascist, no?

This is not of Russia's making, this is a US/NATO war against working class people in the Donbass. This election is a battle of the billionaires, nothing more.

A pro EU government is guaranteed because this fascist government rules with unmitigated brutality. If you stand up against them you get murdered.

oleteo Dreikaiserbund , permalink

You can say nothing for all people. Remember Georgia and what is there now. Where's American puppet-president? Wanted for crimes. Let's wait

ID075732 , permalink

This vote is just grandstanding the failed politics of Ukraine's kleptocrat oligarchs, but the US and IMF need it to legitimise their continued meddling. I can't imagine much will change.

HollyOldDog Trudi Goater , permalink

A Right Sector spokesman interviewed on the BBC said that if he doesn't get what he and his compatriots want than dumping polliticians in dustbins will be replaced by hanging them from lampposts. Strike that country off my holiday list.

Nobul HollyOldDog , permalink

That's already pretty civilized for this lot, their grand daddies used to burn whole villages in barns.

LiBeRaCl , permalink

"Nuland's cookies" have totally ruined Ukraine. Ukrainians are hated by Russians for killing thier people in Donbass and sanctions after "Rescue Crimeans" operation. They are hated by most of Polish people for the Bandera flags (flags which were used on Maidan and during The Volyn' Massacre in which thousands of Polish children and women were tortured and killed by Ukrainians). They are hated by most of The Europeans who want to live in peace, because everyone can see that noting has changed inside the country - one oligarchic clan altered another, more radical one. Nowadays political establishment of Ukraine are suiciders - sooner or later they will be caught and sentenced, if not be able to escape to The US.

Nobul LiBeRaCl , permalink

The U.S. would only take in Yats and Porkie, the rest would have to hang from lamp posts on the Maidan.

moncur , permalink

Good luck to Ukraine. They will need it. An empty treasury, a defeated army, an aggressive neighbour next door. There is no justice in the world.

Dennis Levin moncur , permalink

You broke it. You fix it.

Doom Sternz


Its obvious that the Kiev fascist militia's continue to indiscriminately shell civilian populations against the Minsk agreement.

The Ukrainian army has been committing gross human rights violations against civilians in violation of the Geneva Convention. Specifically violations of Articles 3, 4, 5, 7 and 11 of the 1948 UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of Article 3 of the Convention on Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of December 9, 1948.

Poroshenka is a war criminal.

Oskar Jaeger Doom Sternz , permalink

It is equally obvious that Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine continue attacking Ukrainian troops at or near the Donetsk airport, and have been doing it all along, disregarding the so-called ceasefire. Does the Geneva Convention even apply to armed terrorists?

Матвей Тарасов Oskar Jaeger , permalink

They defend their homes and their relatives against armed bandits. Does Geneva convention permit this?

LiBeRaCl Oskar Jaeger , permalink

According to Minsk Agreement Donetsk Airport down to Peski village should be under control of DNR, not Ukrainians. How about that? Who is responsible for not leaving the Airport? And who is responsible for civilian deaths after ceasefire caused by Ukrainian rocket system shellings?



This election is like the band starting up a new tune on the Titanic as its starts to slide beneath the waves.

Yes, real change is coming soon to the Ukraine--- but in the form of no heating oil, no jobs, militias running amok, rampant inflation, savage IMF austerity, continued civil war, famine, more mayhem in the Rada and riots in the Maidan. It is too late to save the Ukraine. It's future will bring disintegration as a country and, for many people, regression to pre-industrial subsistence farming. The Haiti of Europe.

sodtheproles Canigou , permalink

Yet with a little goodwill and common sense it could have become the Switzerland of eastern Europe

Nobul sodtheproles , permalink

Yet good will and common sense are completely obscent in Kiev, Brussels and Washington.

Rich_N , permalink

Yet more elections and red tape? More squandering of public funds to appoint a bunch of pre determined cronies to positions where they can line their pockets from the state treasury (if there is anything left).

Maybe poroshenko's priorities should be ending the war by stopping his military cluster bombing cities in the east, trying to do something about the economy which is likely to see a double digit decline or at least try and arrange to restore the gas supply before winter by giving the Russians the money the eu gave him to pay his gas bills with! Or did he lose that somewhere?

Krustallos Rich_N , permalink

If you don't like Poroshenko I should have thought you would welcome an election as the best opportunity to get rid of him. Asking the Ukrainian people who they think should represent them actually seems like quite an important priority at the moment. Unless your agenda is to rebuild the Russian Empire I suppose.

Mo Moby Krustallos , permalink

Not when the fascists will come to power.

ToddPalant Krustallos , permalink

I wonder what your agenda might be. Since you are talking about "asking the people", they should have asked Ukrainians beforehand whether they would like their country to be sunk even further, all for the price for a long, very long wait for an unlikely EU invitation. Today's elections are not going to be democratic because parties have been made illegal, the opposition have been terrorized. In many electoral districts in Eastern Ukraine people will not be able to vote because the "authorities" claim they could not find enough people to man the election committees. As for my agenda, I believe in a multi polar world with the US, China and Russia in a political and military stalemate. Checks and Balances to avoid a monopolar global US superiority.

LiBeRaCl, permalink

The most clear and objective reflections of the Ukrainian Govt and Pres which came to power after Maidan are the laws issued by them. If you are really interested in Ukraine just go through the drafts of the laws. I wonder if you still will be supporting Maidaners after the reading.

madsttdk LiBeRaCl , permalink

I actually have. I suppose you are referring to the one that would ban Russian being taught in schools.

I agree. that was indeed a despicable move instigated by the die-hard nationalist in the Ukrainian Parliament. Fortunately, the moderates came to their senses and repealed that law. What other, if any, unfair or ill-conceived laws are you referring to?

Because it seems to me that there have been an awful lot of sense to the legislative work in the Ukrainain Parliament apart from that awful law denying Russian in schools.

I would love to know.

Jerome Fryer madsttdk , permalink

That law was not signed by the acting President, so didn't go into effect. But it was passed by the parliament. (It's a mystery why the Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine became opposed to Kiev, eh?) It isn't about schooling, either, but about recognition of status as an official language.

LiBeRaCl madsttdk , permalink

There are dozens of such laws, but the most recent one is just a complete collapse of any concept of Law. I am talking about so-called "lustration law". It is a total farce by itself, but if you look into the exceptions you just won't believe that such laws are possible in principle in nowadays world. By this law the governing elite can dismiss any person from his position and the only thing why they can not be dismissed themselves by the same law is that there are exceptions written by their hads. Complete delirium.

kowalli, permalink

You will see bloodmess after elections, ukrainian-Nazi army will try again kill freedom fighters. Thanks to your western leaders civilians are dying now.

NKVDhunter kowalli , permalink

Thanks to Putin many Ukrainians have died. Without Russia's armed invasion, the deaths would not have happened.

GoodmansParadox NKVDhunter , permalink

West Ukraine has invaded East Ukraine. West Ukrainian militias are killing East Ukrainian civilians. There was no invasion by Russia.

Матвей Тарасов , permalink

About "democracy" elections. There are leaks of phone conversations between Zhvaniya and Kolomoyskiy/Korban about falsifying results. Just hear that.

Natalia Volkova , permalink

I got a surprise this morning, swedish newspaper DN published the article with a title:" Ukrainian populist stand out with violence and threats" (Ukrainsk populist sticker ut med vĺld och hot) about Lyashko. Something is definitely going on, I think, at least in Sweden, they will avoid to shake hands with such person (but DN wrote he can be the next prime minister).

Kiselev Natalia Volkova , permalink

They have to. Because he is gay.

Natalia Volkova Kiselev , permalink

It'll be difficult, because they still trying to isolate Sverigedemokraterna(party, which got around 13% of votes at last Riksdag election)- And they are nothing in compare with Lyashko party.

Alexander Bach madsttdk , permalink

Good analysis. I must note here that not every election in Ukraine was admitted as fair in by the international observers. The presidential election in 2004 was declared fake and the west urged Ukraine to stick with the pro-western candidate Yushchenko. Who ended up with 5% support. As of freedoms in Russia you should take it into account that at the times when the west is happy with Russian elections the Russians themselves live in poverty and humiliation. Now that the Russians live probably better than ever the west is unhappy. You talk about freedom of speech in Russia but compare it to freedom of speech in Ukraine: the journalists being beaten and murdered, the channels are closed etc. What place does ukraine hold in the rating? As of the objectiveness of those ratings and generally the information presented to the western auditory here's a good example: a few weeks ago there was a marching in Moscow in support of the Ukrainian government, a few thousand participants. Have you seen that news in the western media? Me neither. I have checked all the MSM. I found a single sentence about it on the bbc inside an article about something else, and a little article on the cnn. That cnn article ended with the words that it's not clear it anyone was arrested or beaten (because no one was). These words give a hint why there's so little interest in the west: if the news shows that Putin is not prosecuting those who think different, you shouldn't know about it. Otherwise it will be everywhere

madsttdk Alexander Bach , permalink

Well,, actually I saw the demonstration on several news channels including CNN. So why you apparently have not been able to find it, I really do not know.

As far the 2004 elections in Ukraine goes, there were allegations of voting fraud. That led to an independent investigation by the OSCE, who subsequently deemed it had been well within acceptable standards.

Where are you getting your information from? Not Russian media, I hope.

Doom Sternz


US in Ukraine has declared war on Russia, they funded neo Nazi's in Kiev to overthrow a freely elected government and then went about blaming Russia for the destabilisation. As we know from past experience, Washington will pursue its strategy relentlessly while shrugging off public opinion, international law or the condemnation of adversaries and allies alike.

The pattern, of course, is unmistakable. It begins with sanctimonious finger-wagging, economic sanctions and incendiary rhetoric, and quickly escalates into stealth bombings, drone attacks, unlawful detention and torture, massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, millions of fleeing refugees, decimated towns and cities, death squads, wholesale human carnage, vast environmental devastation, and the steady slide into failed state anarchy; all of which is accompanied by the repetition of state propaganda spewed from every corporate bullhorn in the western media.

After all isnt this how it happened in Iraq, Libya, Afganistan, Syria etc etc etc

madsttdk Doom Sternz , permalink

Even if what you claim were even remotely connected to reality, how exactly does that justify Putins invasion, annexation and interference in a souvereign nation and the breaking ofg international law?

The "The US is bad" narrative is getting old. And besides, two wrongs can never make a right. That is a morally indefensible position. So Russia is - at best - no better

Mo Moby madsttdk , permalink

There is no invasion, annexation and interference in a sovereign nation and the breaking of international law. It's all in your muddled mind. ... and no need to thank me for pointing out your numerous spelling mistakes.

madsttdk Mo Moby , permalink

Oh Moby, you are wrong - so very wrong.

I apologize for the typos - it's pure sloppiness. I am watching a game.

Perhaps I should focus on one thing at the time - so as not to offend your spelling aestethics

ToddPalant NKVDhunter , permalink

Condolences to all Ukrainians who are "voting" at gunpoint today. R.I.P. for your young country that had the potential for a much better future. One day you'll understand that the murderers were those bearing gifts. IMF loans, fracking contracts, western "investments".

Doom Sternz


In Crimea democracy actually worked as intended. The people of Crimea are living in peace free of neo Nazi fascism. No one died and it was mostly peaceful, you have to admire the way Moscow did it. They supported democracy, the will of the people.

Its when democracy is subverted that people die, the people of the Donbass who held a plebiscite and are being denied democracy are being murdered by neo Nazi militia's in an attempt to subvert their free will.

It is the Wests fascism that is killing people, it is the Wests fascism that is denying people the freedom at the ballot box which according to the United Nations is every individuals basic right.

Stop the Genocide of the Donbass people. Recognise the will of the Donbass people and allow them to live in peace and be free of the fascists neo Nazi's in Kiev.

ToddPalant Doom Sternz , permalink

I do agree with the spirit of your post. Sure, the US standard practice since WW2, has been to employ fascist groups to overthrow legitimate governments in support of its "national interests". The sad thing for the Donbass area is that the present "leadership" is remotely controlled by certain Russian circles. These circles did not allow the military advance of the DNR and LNR when the situation turned in their favour. Neither did they allow the unification of the two entities under a uniform military and political leadership. The combatants on the ground who are a mixed group of socialists, nationalists and soldiers of fortune, bitterly complain about the situation as they are doing the fighting and the dying. They are accusing their political leaders of boycotting their efforts. It is painfully obvious that oligarchs from both Russia and Ukraine have a hand in this and do not really care about the deaths and the destruction. There will be plenty of business when the time of "reconstruction" comes. As things stand in the Donbass there is no viable future. As for the rest of Ukraine things got even worse. A police state run by private armies, terrorized citizens, terrorized opposition leaders, dramatically worsened job prospects, certainly no chance of anything close to a Democratic Election today. Another fine piece of work by the defenders of "democracy" and the "free world".

fritsd Doom Sternz , permalink

"Its when democracy is subverted that people die, (...)"


"(...) the people of the Donbass who held a plebiscite and are being denied democracy (...)"

That's so far off the truth as I understand it that it makes me sick.

As I read it (in the Western media) the people of the Donbass one morning had new leaders who took over their cities, and since then denied them the vote in the presidential election, and it wouldn't surprise me if the DPR and LPR leaders also denied them the vote in the Rada election today.

Yet, you call them "the people of the Donbass who held a plebiscite". I translate that in my language as "volksraadpleging". I don't remember that that has happened. In fact, the people of the Donbass have been intimidated (some election authorities beaten or murdered) so that they were *PREVENTED* from holding a plebiscite.

I rest of yur sentence reads "(...) are being murdered by neo Nazi militia's in an attempt to subvert their free will."I won't complain about your description of their current plight although I disagree. But the middle of the sentence was WAY off.

"Recognise the will of the Donbass people"Yes, but I have no idea how to do that. the DPR and LPR leaders are not going to step down voluntarily, and the Ukraine army is not the right agent to do it either. It will have to depend on the Donbass people themselves to get rid of their current oppressors.

ConradLodziak , permalink

This is shadow theatre to please the the interests of the US. Go ahead Ukraine - elect a neo-nazi parliament. Democracy my arse.

[Oct 30, 2014] Republicans confident of midterm success as apathetic America switches off by Dan Roberts

Quote: "Don't blame the voters. If you're looking for someone to blame, how about asking the Democrats -- who appear to know why the GOP sucks -- to either lead or get the hell out of the way. They are occupying the opposition spot, but they are unwilling to take the natural positions that their criticism of the Republicans would imply they should take. In fact, the National Democratic Party appears to do AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to oppose the Republican agenda, while still keeping enough faithful voters around to prevent some other party from taking its place. If there wasn't already such a placebo party, big money would probably invent it."
Oct 30, 2014 | | Comments

BaronVonAmericano , link

Is there a difference between the Republicans and Democrats? Yes.

Is it enough to generate excitement and make the public feel like they are truly charting this nation's course with their votes. Not a chance in hell.

Don't blame the voters. If you're looking for someone to blame, how about asking the Democrats -- who appear to know why the GOP sucks -- to either lead or get the hell out of the way. They are occupying the opposition spot, but they are unwilling to take the natural positions that their criticism of the Republicans would imply they should take.

In fact, the National Democratic Party appears to do AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE to oppose the Republican agenda, while still keeping enough faithful voters around to prevent some other party from taking its place.

If there wasn't already such a placebo party, big money would probably invent it.

StocktonGeographer , link
We live in the media market of Sacramento, CA, and the only TV advertising is for the Congressional district some 50-60 miles north of us, which the Democrat won by a narrow margin two years ago, defeating the sitting republican congressman. The TV ads are endless, and the money being spent on behalf of the Republican former congressman in the effort to retake the seat seems monumental. There are at least 6 or more other congressional districts covered by the Sacramento TV stations, but not a single ad concerning any of them. Crazy, and gross, and a mindless distortion of democracy. But there you are; that is modern USA
Eric Moller , link

I hope all those middle class people who are holding those signs have brought plenty of lube ..Because once Congress goes RED be ready for a serious reaming of the Middle Class once again by the GOP ... There not quite done yet siphoning of the what wealth remains in the American Middle Class .. They got real close during the Wall Street Meltdown but did not quiet get it all .. America is poised to make.... yes the same mistake again and again and again .. Why one may ask ?? Because we are NUMBER ONE and NUMBER TWO .. dont forget lots of Lube ......The GOP will love it it's petroleum product after all ...

SeeNOevilHearNOevil , link

Either way, they argue, the White House loses. "He'll become the president of no," another GOP congressman confidently told the Guardian, revelling in the prospect of reversing the insult that dogged House Republicans when they were the ones blocking Democratic legislative efforts.

These clowns are still out of touch with reality...they keep saying no to everything and believe they're paying no price for it...but somehow if the Democrats say no, that it harms them.

I think you'll find that whenever the Democrats resist Republican pressure like the threats to shut government down, their popularity soars....its not about WHO says the 'NO''s about who says 'NO' to WHAT. They don't get it....

RoyRoger , link

Republicans confident of midterm success ..........

If I was an American citizen (and I'm extremely grateful that I am not) I would not insult/humiliate myself by participating in the Corporate corrupt bought and paid for, White House, politician's Corporate general elections.

It makes no difference who the Corporate America is on the Election list:

Republican's; Democrats; Disneyland; Hollywood; Crime incorporated...

Corporate politics has taken over in Corporate America. Voting is but just a mythical action. Just a load of (taken for a ride) old bollocks.

Because the Republicans just like the Tories in British politics are always in control and New Labour demonstrated this fact in 1997 when they embraced Tory Thatcher's financial philosophy for thirteen years.

A One Party State !! That loves to arm and finance dictators across the world and still clocking up coup d' etat's.


The decision not to vote in an election arises from the mistaken belief that just because things are bad now, that they could not be worse later.

SFChutzpah, link
Will a republican takeover of the senate make a difference? You bet it will! Suddenly, the president (and I use the term loosely) will become the "president of no." Republicans will set a governing agenda, the country will be better off and in 2016, Romney might be our new president.
Catori Shadi -> SFChutzpah , link

You forgot the step before that.

The Democrats have experienced record numbers of filibusters. They are very well-schooled on their use.

As for the Republicans. They have NO POLICIES that they have shared with anyone. What we will see is the continued attempts to be the anti-Democrats.

laredo33, link
1. The "mainstream" media may be ignoring the election because they tend not to report anything that might make Republicans look good.
2. Republicans should not be sure of anything for they are skilled at gaining defeat from what looks to be a sure victory.
3. Local ads against Republicans have used quotes (if you can read the very small print) from as long ago as 15 years and imply they were said yesterday. Some bounce back on that.
4. Interesting that most election story references to "big" money always mention the Koch brothers, but not the likes of George Soros, et al. Locally, the Democrats raised and outspent to Republicans by as much as 12/1.
5. There ought to be a total spending limit for a political campaign and all campaigns should be limited to 60-90 days prior to an election.
6. Too bad we don't have the leadership to create a viable Centrist Party. We need options.
ryan2293, link
Chomsky said it best when he described Obama as a moderate Republican.

The whole scene in America is dragged so far to the right that it doesn't really matter which you vote for. You either have extremist republicans who proudly hate poor people, women, non-white people and people who think guns aren't the answer to everything, or you have the more moderate Republicans who are comparable to British Tories.

And you (quite rightly) thought things were bad here!!

laredo33 -> ryan2293
Interesting that Chomsky 1) made his riches being a capitalist while condemning capitalism and 2) never chose to live in a society that more closely practiced what he preached compared to where he did choose to live.
ryan2293 -> laredo33
1) how is he a capitalist?

2) why should he leave the country? Do you have to leave the country when you don't like the government? If you don't (which you don't) then you're a hypocrite and if you do then you're an idiot, the choice is yours. And there is no libertarian socialist society that he could move to anyway! Where do you suggest?

The American electorate will deserve exactly what they will get, just as the morons in Kansas who swallowed the right-wing nonsense about trickle-down economics, slashing taxes and cutting budgets have seen their state plummet in credit ratings, burn through a billion dollars into massive debt, and debilitate their educational system at all levels.

Yet, the races are still close in that benighted state since its dyed-red voters will vote for the vacuous, destructive and exploitative ideology of the right in spite of all contrary evidence. The broader American electorate is of the same cloth and will reap the same "benefits" as the antediluvian Kansans.

The only way all too many American voters can learn is by experience, since they are incapable of thinking about anything with any reasonable level of knowledge and reason. So I am all for the GOTP taking control, now and in 2016. It will, in all likelihood, benefit me, but not the nation. I am just too weary of trying to get the first world's most politically ignorant, indolent, incompetent and inciteable voters to act in their own interest or that of their nation. Let them reap the whirlwind of their stupidity.

Herman Munster -> PATROKLUS00
Ah, and the democrat states like California, New York and Illinois are just rolling in excess money because they're fiscally responsible. And their education systems are churning out Rhodes Scholars, every child is above average, there's no poverty or racial disparity, majority democrat states are just going great guns.
BaronVonAmericano -> PATROKLUS00

I get your frustration. But I think a big component of the problem is that there is no genuine opposition party. Democrats could contrast themselves with the GOP in ways that would a) get their base excited; b) get independent votes (based on issue polling) and c) be good for the nation. But to do so would conflict with donors.

So it would appear that Democrats -- the only other viable option than the awful Republicans -- would rather sell out their base, sell out the nation, and lose seats in power in order to please their donors.

That probably explains why so many people don't want to vote.

[Oct 29, 2014] A classic Guardian editorial celebrating the elections in Ukraine – Pro-Europe! Pro-Democracy! – skillfully passing over awkward stuff

The skill with with Guardian honchos FUBAR truth is simply amazing...

Fern , October 29, 2014 at 5:35 am

A classic Guardian editorial celebrating the elections in Ukraine – Pro-Europe! Pro-Democracy! – skilfully passing over awkward stuff like how banning a party that millions voted for in previous elections furthers democracy.

Not much remains of Ukraine's old politics. The pro-Russian parties have been all but extinguished. The influence of the oligarchs, whose capture of economic and political power was at the root of the corruption that bedevilled Ukraine after independence, has been diminished.
True, the president is an oligarch, but he seems, on his record so far, to be a reformed one. The vote also demonstrated that the far-right elements around which Moscow weaves its dark tales of resurgent fascism remain relatively minor actors on the political stage.

The Guardian seems to be unaware that nazi and neo-nazi views are not confined to members of parties like Svoboda, that similar views are held by many members of far more mainstream parties. This is something that Russian analyst and commentator Dimitry Babich has been saying for a while – candidates whose views would be at home in Svoboda or Right Sector chose to stand for other parties in earlier elections because it increased their chances of getting into the Rada. He made this point again in a recent interview with RT:

Now of course the Western media is spreading two lies. The first lie is that since the Right Sector and the Svoboda, former national socialists, didn't get into the parliament and it means there are no extremist nationalists in this new Ukrainian parliament. That is not true: there are many people with Nazi views who are represented in the party of Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, in the party of President Poroshenko and also in the Batkivshchyna Party, and in the radical party – basically, in all the factions except the opposition.

As far as Poroshenko being a 'reformed oligarch', the best critique of the article comes from commentator 'harryphilby':-)

The Guardian editor is doing his best to polish a wet turd.

Couldn't have put it better myself.

dany8538, October 29, 2014 at 6:55 am
How ridiculous is this article ? I mean the oligarchs part is the most hilarious. It is abundantly clear that the oligarchs have even MORE power than before the uprising. People like Kolomoisky now command personal armies and basically are feudal lords fighting over territory with other lords. To me this is the biggest irony in all of this. In their "noble" attempt to purge the oligarchs they have actually made them stronger than ever.
Correct me if I am wrong , but i think even in the dark 90's the russian oligarchs did not have battalions of psychos armed to the teeth.
astabada, October 29, 2014 at 7:02 am

You are correct, and indeed what happened (and what is happening) in the Ukraine is a vision of what could have been of Russia itself, had it continued on the path traced by Yeltsin.

marknesop, October 29, 2014 at 7:15 am
I am bowled over that The Graun even referred to him as an oligarch – albeit he is "one of the good ones" who has "gone straight", ha, ha. This must be what passes for "gritty realism" at that venue. Western newspapers refer to him almost uniformly as a "tycoon" or, more lately, a "magnate". Someone must have put down their yogurt whirl long enough to use the thesaurus.

[Oct 29, 2014] The Guardian view on Ukraine's elections: farewell to the old politics

Oct 27, 2014 | The Guardian


Could we look at the Forest instead of trees? The real issue, genuinely sinister, is the US State Dept and it's virulently russophobic actions, first in literally orchestrating the overthrow of the legitimate Ukraine leadership earlier in the year . Victoria Nuland calls the shots, John Kerry jumps to her rhetoric and bloviates to her
song sheet and Obama? just knee jerk reactions. Smart, but just a Chicago lawyer of minor
achievement, academically and otherwise, and totally ignorant of Slavic culture, society, politics or language.
(as is Kerry). The neo-fascist power in Ukraine is real, but the real "fascist" threat is in Washington, using
Ukraine as its surrogate in a war against Russia, clearly already declared. Putin has been overly restrained, I believe, and should take stronger military action.

Secondly, the Surrender on May 9, 1945 in Berlin did NOT end the war against fascism-naziism -Russia is now fighting World War 2.5 - Ukrainian, Galician, Polish, Rumanian and others actively
continued the fight for the swastika, the Soviets chased down some of the worst, finally killing the notorious Stepan Bandera in 1959, but that hardly ended the threat.

If you are yawning now I don't blame you, but it is now the US State Dept,, out of control, with its enormous barrel of cash, much of it "off the books," its unrestrained secret wars, collusion with and support for CIA "actions", which are the real threat - and the EU's compliance, especially Merkel's, surprises me a little.

Germany benefits from Russian trade. Nuland and Catherine Ashton want that destroyed.

Vlad Tatarsky

The vote also demonstrated that the far-right elements around which Moscow weaves its dark tales of resurgent fascism remain relatively minor actors on the political stage

Ha-ha: this statement would nicely fit the article about killing Ernst Roehm's guys in Germany in June 1934: "Germany frees from fascism!"

Dmitry Yarosh (most far right element) is nicely a senator! All chieftains of the private armies of Kolomoisky and Lyashko (like Semenchenko or Melnichuk) are now elected being a part of the first three winners of the elections. Well yes, recently moderate Tyagnibok was sacrificed to say formal NO to fascism towards EU, but it is just called rebranding!


I am dismayed at the Guardian's inability to respect its readers. This editorial reminds me of Reader's Digest in the 50s: puerile, cartoon-like, and servile to brutes.

I can only hope you really believe this nonsense; otherwise you are monsters.

Vlad Tatarsky

well yes, I was also surprised by such language: 100% of cliches and les-bon-gens-m'ont-dit-considerations

Z'ing Sui

"The influence of the oligarchs, whose capture of economic and political power was at the root of the corruption that bedevilled Ukraine after independence, has been diminished"

As I understand the "Radical party" leader Lyashko claims he and his family have received threats from Kolomoisky, an oligarch who also happens to hold a position of government, which is supposed to be illegal under Ukrainian law. There are also loud claims the Kolomoisky's money are the reason Yatsenyuk's People's Front campaign has been even better funded than the President's own party. I swear these editorials seem to get almost as bad as those on the Washington Post.

I've also done my share of googling, and if you add to that to the apparent fact that the Opposition Block who is supposed to consist of former President's supporters turned out to be the most popular party in the east of Ukraine despite the war, the thesis that "pro-Russian parties have been all but extinguished" seems to be the simple outcome of millions of that party's voters being de facto outside of Kiev's jurisdiction. It would be a curious fact to mention in the article on Ukrainian elections, I should say.


"There is weariness in some European capitals about the cost of putting pressure on Russia. It is true that sanctions can have a boomerang effect on European business and trade. "

I wonder what will be the cost of war to remove Russia from Ukraine? Forget the blood and life costs. Will the hard financials of war be worse than the impact of sanctions on European capitals?


Open the floodgates and let them compete with the Poles, Bulgarians and Romanians, to swamp us, on zero hours contracts. Maybe we can employ some of their experts in crowd control, when the natives here get restless. After all, the mayor of London already has the water cannon, now we just need the enthusiastic head crackers of the Azov and Donbass battalions


" chocolate king , or just shit wrapped in silver paper..???


what about some respect for the banned communists and the millions that boycotted the election, my grandfather along with millions of others died fighting the evil of fascism, yet this newspaper along with the rest of western media now openly supports a fascist regime , I have no wishes to see a fascist run country become a member of the eu, just because it suits the u.s geopolitical agenda ;, it,s time the e.u had the balls to tell the us to sort out its own problems and stop using nato as its own private army ..???

sodtheproles truecomrade

EU? Balls? In the words of Victoria Nuland, 'special' US something or other .......

[Oct 27, 2014] Ukraine election a win for president and allies, early count suggests by Shaun Walker

Party of war till bitter end led by pro-Washington candidate "Yayts" defeated pro-Washington party of less war by "Porki" (there is no party of peace among the winners). The US Embassy achieved the main goal of creation of system of control in which nether Poroshenko can do anything without Yatsenyuk approval, nor vice versa. That mean that the embassy remain the real power broker behind the curtain. Divide and conquer strategy in action. Now the Ukrainian government is essentially a puppet of Western powers, no matter what is the composition of parties in the Parliament. Puppet President and puppet Prime minister are guarantied to Ukrainians. Such a perverted form or neoliberal democracy... Top 0.01% always comes to the top.
Oct 27, 2014 | The Guardian
chacqueschirac , 27 October 2014 7:40am

Yatseniuk is liked in the west for his commitment to deep reforms and astute stewardship of the economy which has been wrecked by the separatist conflict in the eastern regions

Beyond satire.

bobble07 chacqueschirac, 27 October 2014 7:48am
Well highlighted, absolute load of shite
Umut Gezer chacqueschirac, 27 October 2014 8:03am
What would you expect from the NSA branch Reuters?
Ernekid , 27 October 2014 7:42am
If I get a Penny for every time the phrase 'Neo-Nazi' will be used on this thread, I'll sure have a lot of Pennies
braciole Ernekid, 27 October 2014 7:46am
Perhaps now that Nazi Party (aka Pravyi Sektor) and the Fascist Party (Svoboda) have polled so badly, they will lose the ministerial posts (Interior and Defence) they currently control. However, somehow I doubt it.
bobble07 Ernekid, 27 October 2014 7:47am

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Umut Gezer braciole, 27 October 2014 8:05am
You call it bad? i think they did very well and since no party got majority Poroshenko has no choice but again distribute the power. If he wants to be alive.
jgbg Ernekid, 27 October 2014 9:11am

If I get a Penny for every time the phrase 'Neo-Nazi' will be used on this thread, I'll sure have a lot of Pennies

Yes - because it's really funny to see the thugs of Right Sector and Svoboda attacking people on the street, throwing MPs into bins, parading the streets in torchlight procession, etc. - all filmed and uploaded by themselves.

seamuspadraig braciole, 27 October 2014 11:18am

Maybe, but realize that these groups could be even more dangerous outside the government than inside of it. And with the war in the Donbass winding down, Porky no longer has any front to throw them at. Interesting times...

Reynardus . braciole, 27 October 2014 11:35am

The far right voted for Yatsenyuk. That was the strategy knowing that they cannot get what they want on their own. The east pulled in 10%. Impressive, if you consider their campaign machine is devastated, their candidates are intimidated and physically assaulted, and the eastern most regions did not even vote.

PeterBrit , 27 October 2014 7:43am
We don't want the Ukraine in Europe. The EU is now a fucking mess anyway, after the premature introduction into it of impoverished eastern European economies, the last bloody thing the EU needs now is the Ukraine in it as well. And what is it with right-wing east European governments in Poland and the Baltic states desperately trying to drag the EU into a conflict with Russia, for their own ends? Poland and the Baltic states hate Russia, for historical reasons. It's sod all to do with us. I used to be a big EU fan, but the combination of domination by useless governments in France and Germany, and Eastern Europe dragging the EU down economically and dragging it politically into a pointless conflict with Russia is destroying the EU. What a fucking mess.
Plataea , 27 October 2014 7:48am

No doubt the Russian will denounce the elections as flawed & unfair - usual stuff. Hopefully the new gov will make a better fist of things than Yanukoich's bunch.

Beginner20 Plataea, 27 October 2014 7:53am
Russia absolutely does not care about it. Until these guys do not touch Novorossia. November 2 elections there. Focus on these events.
Swedinburgh Plataea, 27 October 2014 8:23am
Actually, Russia (ie. Tsar Putin) seems to have a grown-up working relationship with Poroshenko and probably would welcome him securing another few months as president. It's Nuland's pet "Yats" who keeps trying to put the fire out with a can of petrol.
ijustwant2say , 27 October 2014 7:59am

Not many votes for the Fascists/Nazi/Right Wing or whatever the current pejorative term is. It's almost as if Putin was just spreading toxic propaganda about Ukraine.

iamshchik ijustwant2say, 27 October 2014 8:42am
Not many votes for them indeed.

Maybe the rest of the Ukrainian electorate are not prepared to vote for parties which, despite their small size, still hold key ministerial positions and are actively supporting murdering scum like the Azov Brigade.

Putin doesn't need to spread propaganda - the murderers of Odessa spread their own neo-Nazi propaganda.

Or are you in denial and don't you believe that shit actually happened?

sjxt , 27 October 2014 8:13am
Such a drag for guardianistas and Kremlin trolls when a populace votes against the anti-Western tyrant du jour.

Enough sour grapes round here to make a shipload of vinegar.

uracan sjxt, 27 October 2014 8:23am

Western Ukraine van vote for whom they want.

However, an election cannot cleanse their leaders hands of all the innocent blood spilt.

Almost 400 civilians have died since the "ceasefire" by Ukraine government shelling of residential areas. Almost daily shelling od Donetsk by Ukie Army.

This election is like putting lipstick on a pig.

edwardrice sjxt, 27 October 2014 8:58am

when a populace votes against the anti-Western tyrant du jour.

Nobody voted for the coup.

Peabody94 , 27 October 2014 8:19am

Evidently Russia's never ending round of accusations that Ukrainians are all fascists has gone down well! Freedom of choice is a precious thing, and Ukrainians have shown that they wish to make that choice and it doesn't include being bullied by Russia.

edwardrice Peabody94, 27 October 2014 8:43am

Evidently Russia's never ending round of accusations that Ukrainians are all fascists has gone down well!

What was clear from the first weeks of the coup regimes existence was that were a number of Neo-Nazis in key regime posts and given their voter share that number was too large.

Also it's well known the the National Guard, created after the coup, recruited heavily from the Neo-Nazi Right Sector. These Neo-Nazi militias are now in the east fighting ''terrorists''.

The Right Sector spearheaded the coup, surrounding Parliament while the remaining MPs voted to remove Yanukovich.

Nobody has ever said Ukrainians are all fascists, just they were the street muscle, the enforcers, the foot soldiers and for their share of the vote had/have a disproportionate amount of power.

iamshchik edwardrice, 27 October 2014 8:53am

But some people HAVE said that "Ukrainians are all fascists". These people are the ones like Peabody94 who put false quotes into the mouths of those they disagree with.

A strawman technique used with gusto several times already in this thread by supporters of the Ukrainian regime.

PeterBrit , 27 October 2014 8:23am
Would it be too cynical to suggest that Ukrainian voters' sudden love for 'pro-Europe' parties has less to do with a passionate love of liberal democracy and more to do with a belief that if Merkel and the Poles and Baltic countries and Carl Bildt can scrape them into the EU, a massive next influx of funds from rich west european countries will eventually double their living standards, plus they'll all have the option to move to London and earm ten times more than they do now? Cynical possibly. But with an element of truth. And something bizareely that no western politician or journalist even dare, it appears, suggest.
Jacob Schřnberg PeterBrit, 27 October 2014 8:26am

very few in Ukraine dream of living in London. They dream of going to Germany and earn enough to go back and buy a house car tv .

Pappagallo , 27 October 2014 8:25am
So who pays the gas bill then? it will be the EU of course, which means UK taxpayers, If you think thats fair them get out the bunting and start singing from the rooftops by all means.
KlaasJanStar Pappagallo , 27 October 2014 8:41am

britain backed EU, america and the rest of the world when imposing sanctions on russia. Now pay the price...

Ukraine will probably join EU in 10 years. Ukrainian men will come and take British jobs, Ukrainian women will come and take British men for money and pretend to love them... That's how it works, that's what British people want: to oppose russia and to support Ukraine

stuperman KlaasJanStar, 27 October 2014 8:56am

Your fellow-travellers state that the EU will take Ukraine's natural resources and export to it detroying its industry. Negatives all around hey? Far brighter people are in the Ukrainian government than you and I. Ukraine wants to join the EU, Russia only opposes it.

edwardrice , 27 October 2014 8:28am

Though a hawk in dealings with Russia, Yatseniuk is liked in the west for his commitment to deep reforms and astute stewardship of the economy which has been wrecked by the separatist conflict in the eastern regions.

''deep reforms'' mean IMF/EU austerity that nobody in the east got to vote for because Yatseniuk and his buddies tore up the EU brokered deal back in Feb ,that would have brought in election now anyway, and grabbed power.

Grab power in a coup, get rid of the oppsotion, and the IMF and EU and pro-EU oligarchs are free to loot what's left of Ukraine.

Diav70 , 27 October 2014 8:28am

With propaganda you can accomplish anything. Just look at the Scottish referendum. I lived with a Ukrainian and he says all the channels there are saying Putin is going to invade and only the EU can help them. So they vote with fear not truth. Same as everywhere these days.

Canigou , 27 October 2014 8:33am
February 2014: violent U.S.-supported mob riots in Kiev overthrow the democratically elected government, after armed thugs storm government buildings (189 police suffer gunshot wounds at the Maidan in a three-day period).

U.S./NATO/EU reaction: all hail the democratic result!

October 2014: the Ukraine holds elections, after suppressing pro-Russian media and legal harassment of pro-Russian parties.

U.S./NATO/EU reaction: all hail the democratic result!

Does anyone see a problem here?

RVictor stuperman, 27 October 2014 9:05am

How can 100,000 protesters be organisted by the US? Where is the evidence?

Using money and organization from various NGO structures. You know, that's so natural for unorganized protests - they all come on the main square - and as a magic there is a huge scene build on, various musician come (and paid), centralized support of food, informational support. 5 "Nuland billions on NGO" make this possible.

Canigou stuperman, 27 October 2014 12:04pm
stuperman, I didn't say that the U.S. "organized" 100,000 protestors, I said the U.S. "supported" the "mob riots." This U.S. support was critical------ the U.S. could have prevented the coup if it had wanted to. Its support was financial, political, diplomatic, coordinated with similar-minded Western powers, and was both covert and overt. These are basic facts---they don't need to be sourced every time they are cited. If you need a citation, the Guardian articles on the Ukraine this year are a good starting point.

The fact is that the U.S. spent $5 billion in the Ukraine, nominally to promote "democratic values," but consistently supported armed "protestors" (thugs might be a better word) who violently overthrew an elected government. Rather than voicing any reservations over this unconstitutional coup, the U.S. immediately embraced the coup leaders and has supported them ever since. Within three weeks after the coup, Yats was in the Oval office for photo ops intended to legitimize the coup.

If these facts do not square with your ideology, perhaps your ideology should change to accommodate the facts----- because facts don't change.

PeterBrit stuperman, 27 October 2014 8:51am

No, they can sod off. We are not having Ukraine in the EU. People are sick of the EU's politically motivated Drang Nach Osten diluting the wealth of western Europe. It's over. Even in the Baltic states people earn a tenth of what they do in the UK. Trying to join such different economies in a united whole is insanity. And Ukraine is the last straw. Whatever the sodding polticians say, Ukraine ain't coming into the EU.

Hottentot , 27 October 2014 8:47am
Only two hours after the polls had closed Poroshenko said "The majority of voters were in favour of the political forces that support the president's peace plan and seek a political solution to the situation in the Donbass"

Has Poroshenko now become clairvoyant? or is he saying what he paymaster, the CIA tell him? he is extremely arrogant, particularly when Yatseniuk's People's Front and other groups have also got votes.

The US, CIA, Poroshenko has not 'got it' the people of east do not want to be part of his puppet government, and dictated to, until they accept that, there will never be any peace.

StanislavCh , 27 October 2014 8:52am
Now, with "pro-European" parties having won the elections, the EU will surely foot Ukrainian bills for gas and everything , won't they ?
hfakos StanislavCh, 27 October 2014 11:04am
Yep, that's the plan. So Hungary cannot subsidize its pensioners earning a couple of hundred euros per month and thus unable to pay their gas bill, but we are supposed to send free gas to the Kiev regime. Thankfully, the government stopped the reverse flow few a few weeks ago, which is illegal in any case. There seems to be quite a few Chocoking and Yats supporters here, they should perk out the money for Ukraine's gas bill.
DomesticExtremist , 27 October 2014 8:53am
20% of a 50% turnout.
Hardly a resounding endorsement either
of democracy or pro-European sentiment.
StanislavCh DomesticExtremist, 27 October 2014 8:56am

real turnout was about 20- 30 %. 50% turnout is a huge exaggerration.

PeterBrit DomesticExtremist, 27 October 2014 9:01am

Oh for god's sake don't piss on the parade. The western narrative from both politicians and mainstream media is that this is a triumph of western democracy, lighting a spark in the darkness of Russian-dominated Ukraine. Any questioning of the passion of Ukrainian for the pure air of western liberty, on the grounds that a) not many turned out and b) many are probably voting just becuase they think they'll get EU funds and the freedom to leave the Ukraine and work elswhere in the EU, will not be welcome.

IranCorrespondent , 27 October 2014 9:00am
"US backed elections" - Those would be democratically similar to those held in Afghanistan and the US itself......
Scipio1 , 27 October 2014 9:08am
Though a hawk in dealings with Russia, Yatseniuk is liked in the west for his commitment to deep reforms and astute stewardship of the economy which has been wrecked by the separatist conflict in the eastern regions.

Astute stewardship of the economy (sic). The Ukraine economy has been on the economic/financial ropes basically since independence under the various oligarch regimes. The civil war just made a bad situation worse. Yatsenyiuk simply wants to sell Ukraine to the IMF.

Playing to the Atlanticist gallery he also claims that Russia wants to annex the whole Ukraine. Pardon me but no-one wants to take over the Ukraine given its total basket-case economic status. Ukraine is an open ended economic/financial liability. What Putin wants is to stay out as much as possible but give the separatists the minimum support which makes Ukraine's membership of NATO impossible. What the EUSA wants is to position its Anti Balllistic Missile system on the western borders of Russia, and access to natural gas deposits to be exploited by the Burisma company which includes a choice selection on its board of directors including Yanukovich, ex-Polish PM Kwasnieski and Hunter Biden, son of US Vice President, Joe Biden.

As for the election, well another day, another western Ukrianian oligarch. Plus ca change.

ThinkFreely Scipio1, 27 October 2014 1:10pm

Excellent insight, unlike all the sheeple who simply want to voice their dislike/hatred of Putin, they are simply propaganda sponges. They can't bother to do any real research into what's really going on and find out who the real enemies are for Ukraine. All the while the real vultures wait to feast.

Beginner20 , 27 October 2014 9:10am
I assume that the US/EU expect to fish in muddy Ukrainian pond limited by ritual contributions in a couple of hundred million dollars? It's very vain. Neither China nor Russia will pay for your banquet and I afraid that IMF too.
metropolis10 , 27 October 2014 9:12am
Looks 21, 21.6 and 9.2% and shows how divided is Ukraine and why the people resist ultra nationalist parties backed by the West.
ID075732 , 27 October 2014 9:17am

Moscow went on to back separatist rebellions in Ukraine's industrialised east which have killed more than 3,700 people.

This is a completely inaccurate statement. The ant-maidan defence forces in the East of Ukraine were attacked by forces from Kiev. The civil war that ensued resulted in 3,700 deaths. The killing were related to the Kiev Junta's decision to attack the East, nothing to do with Russia's support for them

No mention either about how Proshenko and Yatseniuk's policies of ethnic cleansing have led to 1 million Ukrainian citizens being displaced. It's a sad sham of a vote and a reflection of how Ukraine has collapsed under the support of the US.

BMWAlbert ID075732 , 27 October 2014 9:26am
See the WSJ article, an American reporter in UA held territory might encounter a certain bias or resistance by locals (here, Marson spent the full day in Kuhrakhove, not Kiev, and actually spoke to people from Donbas, not government officials).

It is interesting that candid reporting is possible, also that it seems a significant proportion of the locals there openly supported DNR, in a town under UA military supervision. This is not to knock the idea of elections, but some of the realities that might be associated with the lower turn-out in some places, and there may be a linkage with those sympathies.

BBC last night finally assessed (in final terms) a 40% participation rate (how reliable is the 50% figure, and why the change, a normal question?).

[Oct 25, 2014] Vladimir Putin blames US for Islamist terrorism and Ukraine conflict Shaun Walker

From comments: IlicPetar 25 October 2014 2:28pm
However, when one British newspaper reporter asked him specifically about the repeated reports of Russian army troops operating in east Ukraine, Putin chose to ignore the question completely.
Our friend Shaun, after a pleasant conversation with Ukrainians "who refused to give his name", informs us now on unnamed journalists who ask tough questions to Putin. So probably this is about The Guardian journalist Seumas Milne. He actually asked to Putin two questions, after which Putin asked him to clarify his second question. In this sense, it turns out that Putin really avoid answering the first question. But, in the previous question, the Russian troops were not mentioned at all. However, it is better to read it yourself...

Puutin said that over the past two decades, the US had behaved as if it were someone "nouveau riche who had suddenly received a lot of wealth – in this case, global leadership". Instead of using its powers wisely, said Putin, the US had created a unilateral and unfair system.

The Russian president's sentiments were nothing new, but appeared to be a more concise and concentrated version of his grievances at a time when relations between Russia and the west are more strained than at any period since the cold war.

In a terse opening statement before taking questions for nearly three hours, Putin said: "The exceptionalism of the United States, the way they implement their leadership, is it really a benefit? And their worldwide intervention brings peace and stability, progress and peak of democracy? Maybe we should relax and enjoy this splendour? No!"

Beginner20 , 24 October 2014 7:08pm
Not only. Putin directly said: the US is NOT democracy and never was. Whole speech is here.
BillGoatse -> hiiipower , 24 October 2014 9:05pm
In regards to Islamic terrorism I agree. How many potential terrorists has the USA created by starting a war which has killed over half a million people?! How can they fight a 'war on terror' by bringing terror to millions of innocent people? It's all so illogical and tragic and there seems to be no end to this killing.

It seems obvious that America isn't killing so many civilians in the middle east for the good of the middle east civilians. They have been planning this for years. This video is a much watch! It has a former four star general and supreme commander of NATO explaining America planned to invade 7 countries. Why this video isn't more widely seen is a travesty.

General Wesley Clark: Wars Were Planned - Seven C…:

nobledonkey , 24 October 2014 7:31pm
George Soros wants war with Russia and he wants the EU to help pay for it by way of inflation via the printing press i.e. further destroying the middle classes.


Are you ready to confront Russia in the name of Soros' billions?

The man has already invested quite a bit in shady NGOs like Open Society and the man was knee-deep in the theft and plundering of Russia during the 1990s by way of Renaissance Capital and other financial outfits.

How soon before Soros teams up with Khodorkovsky and his "Open Russia" NGO? Khodorkovsky wants to get back what he rightfully stole so that he can placate former business partners like Dick Cheney.

nobledonkey -> Alderbaran, 24 October 2014 9:05pm

Nobody wants war with Russia and to suggest that Khodorkovsky is driven by a desire to placate Cheney seems ludicrous.

The point I was illustrating is that Soros wants the EU to become more confrontational with Russia, at the expense of its own security and economic well-being, the latter of which would actually help his own financial interests.

The second point is that Khodorkovsky and Cheney were business partners in the past and that much of the opposition to Putin by men such as Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, Kasparov, and Zakayev is closely linked not only to financial players like Soros but to the neo-conservatives as well; whose media figures have been the most hawkish re: Russia and not just since Ukraine blew up (again).

Yucos was comprehensively stolen from him under the direction of perhaps Russia's second most influential man - Sechen. This was at a time when Putin wanted to prevent Khordorkovsky moving into politics and Igor Sechen had an eye on the potential spoils of Yucos. Khordorkovsky has expressed a desire to see Russia become a successful democracy.

That's why I said that "Khodorkovsky wants back what he stole in the first place".

The idea that he wants Russia to be a successful democracy is laughable, especially in light of his treatment of employees during his heyday, in particular when he had police beat striking workers.

All these figures: American neo-conservatives, western finance, and Russian 'opposition' are bound in their desire to re-open Russia like the Yeltsin days so that it be plundered once again, for varying reasons ranging from personal power to the extension of American hegemonic ambitions.

jamesoverseas , 24 October 2014 7:56pm
You missed this nugget that explains his world view

The world works like this: the more loyalty you have to the single centre of power in the world, the more legitimate your govt is

. To be fair has has a point. Syrian government not legitimate but Bahrain and Saudi governments are...can anyone explain the difference to me? (other than the syrian regime is more secular and protective towards minorities than the other two)
SEARAY , 24 October 2014 7:57pm

Putin might be right. Things were not so bad in Ukraine until EU was reportedly "fucked" by Victoria Nuland.

Beckow, 24 October 2014 8:01pm
What would Ukraine be like today without US-EU support for the violent revolution/coup in February in Kiev?

- There would be by now a normal presidential election with a new government (Ukraine for all its faults had a democracy and Yanukovitch and before him pro-Western Yushenko were elected)
- There would be no war in the Russian-speaking east and south
- Crimea would be safely in Ukraine
- Gas imports and trade with Russia would go on as before accounting for 30% of Ukraine's trade

Instead, Ukraine has a "revolutionary" government with all kinds of street radicals and pro-Western oligarchs running around saying some of the more stupid things in recent memory (US is going to give Marshall Plan, EU is going to open its borders to Ukrainian migrants, Russia has used nuclear missiles in Ukraine, etc...

The economy is dropping almost 10% a year with the worst still coming. There are 3,000 dead and the blood-thirsty rhetoric is still escalating.

Yes, this is a result of US meddling and support for the Maidan street protests. This is a result of 5 billion dollars spent by US on "NGO's" in Kiev. This is a result of Nuland's cookies.

Seems to me that it is self-evident that US has supported Ukraine's revolution. It is also self-evident that it has been a failure and Ukraine will suffer for a very long time. But since Putin said it, I am sure many will scream and shout and demonize instead of rational thinking. Quite a spectacle we see among Western intellectuals.... Were you always like this? Or is it something about Russia that drives you incoherent with rage?

JCBKing -> Beckow , 24 October 2014 8:07pm
The Ukrainians would also have 15 billion extra. It is not as if the deal with Russia would have left some of the idiots in Ukraine without any further scope for leverage between the EU and Russia.

I'm not sure if the EU will open up it's doors or conjure up some scheme that makes it more possible for a higher number of Ukrainians to at least be able to work in Poland, the supposedly "prosperous" Baltic states or Hungary.

Beckow -> JCBKing , 24 October 2014 8:20pm

EU is not exactly suffering from labor shortages today. So more Ukrainian workers, in Poland or anywhere, would just lead to even worse labor market for everybody. Actually, Russia is suffering from labor shortage, there are 3 million Ukrainians working there already.

In any negotiation one loses power and leverage by emotionally preferring one side. Ukraine has lost any leverage over EU by so visibly "loving EU", or US (who get anything they want anyway), or Russia by showing undisguised hatred - when Ukrainian leaders make Russo-phobic speeches (Yatsenyuk) and then remain as Ukrainian leaders, well that reflects on all Ukrainians.

So today, Ukraine has no room to negotiate anything. They are left with pleading for mercy and charity. That has never led to anything good.

Alderbaran -> Beckow, 24 October 2014 8:20pm
The attempted takeover of eastern Ukraine has been way more violent and damaging than any of the protests in Kiev and I don't see how you can contest that.

Ukraine is a corrupt state but to imagine that this corruption would have gone away naturally following another election is naive. Generally I ignore posts that mention Nuland, Nazis and $5 billion but I feel compelled to disagree with you.

Months ago, many were comparing Putin's moves in Ukraine to a chess game being played masterfully. Now, many of the same voices are saying that Russia had no influence in Ukraine and that any problems there are the fault of the US.

The chess game analogy might be quite apt - Putin appears to see conflict as adversarial rather than a drive to find equilibrium and compromise. The drive to capture Crimea might have also been made in order to divert attention away from problems in Russia itself and I'm worried that he might become ever more paranoid as Russia's economy slips and that speeches such as this one might become a little more common.

creel , 24 October 2014 8:03pm
Putin makes a general observation that is well grounded. Over the past two decades, yes. In his ex Soviet backyard. Yet if one thinks back further the US has often acted thus - through her proxy allies such as Turkey, Israel; through a host of coup-empowered autocrats the likes of Iraq's Saddam Hussein and Chile's Pinochet and through support for failed insurrection in Cuba, Nicaragua and indeed, after a long period of misrule, in Iran.

Why do we so easily overlook Turkey's incursion into Cyprus and her continued support for militarized ethnic enclaves ..but pillory Russia for her support for similar dissident pro-Russian populations in Ukraine? Particularly when in Russia's case, there are sound strategic reasons for her apprehension about the way a potentially hostile linked-with-Nato military alliance has openly seized opportunity to place forces ever-closer to her heartland.

Umut Gezer , 24 October 2014 8:03pm

I still believe Russia should have invaded Ukraine after Yanukovich who was elected by the popular vote was ousted by a western backed coup. Perhaps this was what the Nato planned so Russia would be sucked into a war, but it did not work. their plans all have been dumped into the bin.

also, on the point of Putin ignoring one British paper's question; the British media has been lying for a year on the Ukraine issue. It has been publishing bias news and has been a dark page in journalism.

katafonia , 24 October 2014 8:07pm
as Orwell said "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
the Russian Hercules made a great speech!
shakur_420 , 24 October 2014 8:12pm
Anyone familiar with the context and history of NATO expansion, and the facts surrounding the US-sponsored coup in Ukraine, knows full well that the Russians have shown tremendous restraint. It has been the US who has been aggressive (along with their pathetic allies, like my country) in Ukraine, as they have been on the global stage for more than half a century.

The Guardian's dismissal of the facts, and their downplaying of US government behaviour is nothing new.

SHappens , 24 October 2014 8:15pm
Putin once again delivered an outstanding speech. He speaks the truth, in a straightforward manner, there is no malice nor hate. Just a fair understanding of the present situation and a clear view on Russia's future aspirations. Putin loves his country and his people rewards him a hundredfold.

There is a lot of food for thoughts in his speech.

We have entered a period of differing interpretations and deliberate silences in world politics. International law has been forced to retreat over and over by the onslaught of legal nihilism. Objectivity and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Arbitrary interpretations and biased assessments have replaced legal norms. At the same time, total control of the global mass media has made it possible when desired to portray white as black and black as white.

JCBKing , 24 October 2014 8:19pm
Caught some of it. Brilliant stuff from a highly intelligent and decent man.

It is incredible though some of the dumb questions these morons in the US and UK press ask. Not all of them but defies logic. One overemotional American woman asked a stupid series of questions of pointless rhetoric that leave no scope for decent answers. The Financial Times man even worse ( a misleading question with the answer obvious) with imbecilic rudeness and fake posturing over the "accuracy" of one his reporters latest propaganda pieces .Completely out of place to mention in a meeting like this with a head of state.

I also would have liked some question from any nationality on why the US,Russia and Ukraine are all involved in obfuscation of the MH17 crash. One would assume that all 3 parties know exactly what happened from where and when and it would have been good for the President to be cornered on this,even though a direct answer would have been unlikely to have been given...everything else though was answered as usual with a great degree of detail that shames the empty headed, 15 minutes at best, nonsense from the likes of Obama and Cameron.

zelazny , 24 October 2014 8:20pm
Putin stands head and shoulders above the various western leaders, from the Pillsbury Doughboy Cameron to the "constitutional scholar" Obama.

Only the blind and the stupid don't understand that the US staged a neo-Nazi coup in Ukraine. The neo-Nazis then went on a campaign of slaughtering civilians, even burning them alive. The people in the eastern Ukraine said no to this psychopathy, and they in essence have won. The Kiev government trembles because it knows now that neither Nato nor the USA would come to their aid should Russia really attack them.

And a not so subtle threat underlies Putin's speech, because he basically has said Russia has had enough with US criminality. I think this foreshadows the eventually break from the petro-dollar by the BRICs, protected by Russia nuclear arms.

The federal reserve has to print out money by the untold billions in order to keep the US economy from another crash. Behind the facade of the increases in stock prices hides a cowering economy ready to crash at any unexpected event.

lubostron, 24 October 2014 8:28pm

...And he's bloody right!

It's beyond tragi-comic belief the amount of psychophantic scaremongering, lies, half-truths and propaganda America, Britain and others use to demonise Russia.

Luckily, there seems to be a huge disconnect between what is told/reported by governments and official (corporate) media and what many, many people actually believe.

JJRichardson lubostron , 24 October 2014 8:30pm
And have you looked at RT? It makes Soviet propaganda look sophisticated.
Nickel07 -> JJRichardson , 24 October 2014 8:38pm
I have looked at RT and I can assure you that some of the reporting is less biased than this pamphlet we are currently commenting on.

AlekNevski, 24 October 2014 8:36pm

The Russian president "has won because we were not ready to die for Ukraine, while apparently he was," Ambassador Gerard Araud said yesterday at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington.

Donetsk is 300 miles from Volgograd (Stalingrad) where 1 million (1 million?) German soldiers died in the legendary battle. Nearly 2 million Russian died too.
And these stupid bureaucrats are surprised that the Russians are willing to fight for... their land?

This level of incompetence is hard to bear. Moronic, completely and utterly moronic.

olddocrob, 24 October 2014 8:41pm

Was once told that the purpose of education was to equip one with a 100% efficient bullshit detector. There are a lot of sad, trusting folk on the site tonight; one would think uncle Jo, Adolph and their like had never trod the earth. How can anyone take seriously a man who parades half naked in front of his people looking like some extra from a homoerotic sword and saddles bash? I 'll take Putin seriously when he stops banging up journos and the singers of mildly ironic songs. Until then he's damaged goods.

donald7063 , 24 October 2014 8:47pm
Is Russia a colony of the US?

This is the opening paragraph of the National Liberation Movement of Russia's manifesto which is for the removal of unfriendly domination by the US of its economic, governmental and constitutional arrangements. For the complete manifesto go to:

The National Liberation Movement in Russia has only one goal that unites everyone regardless of their political views: the restoration of the sovereignty of the country and liberation from its occupiers. The inhabitants of Russia must break free from their chains of slavery and become free citizens in a free (non-occupied) country.

To achieve these goals, the government should become ours, i.e. we must completely change the nature of the state, including through amending the Constitution. Society is a broader concept, and in fact, it should feel necessary to partake in this goal because the national liberation struggle is a struggle of the society for the restoration of sovereign control over Russia, including control over state institutions. Today, the state in Russia, as in any colony, works for the occupier under the rules established by it, placing it under the rulers' direct control. This provision is captured in the existing Constitution. Every day the main task of those millions of officials who go to work is to improve living standards and the solve the problems of the American and European peoples. That is their main function today. At the level of daily activity, it is hard to recognize this without desire and sufficient time for the conceptualisation of our historical facts and the current state of affairs in the country as a whole.

Justavoice01 , 24 October 2014 9:04pm

Since WWII, America has had plenty of wars, Committed plenty of war crimes, destabilized plenty of countries all over the world, not all for good, but for self-interest. Yet If Putin says this, it is labelled as propaganda, But it is true. America causes trouble everywhere it goes, if they don't get their way, the so called "west" defends any old stupidity they come out with. Creating chaos then try to manage it, but time and time again, it is botched up. Always defended by "compliant allies" who follows America with their follies all over the world. America has an army that don't win wars, it has too much money that is back by, god only knows, it's governance is irrational and dysfunctional, a country who votes in the dumbest individuals into positions of power and then try to dictate. I have said this plenty of time on these pages, Why do we follow them!......If the answer is WWII, the USSR won the European theatre practically by themselves.

Justthefactsman , 24 October 2014 9:06pm
I listened and watched on RT.

"When the British reporter asked about Russian troops operating in the Ukraine, Putin did reply according to the English translation to which I was listening. he even admitted that Russian troops were used to prevent Ukranian troops from leaving there base.

Maybe Shaun Walker should have gone to Sochi, or perhaps have watched RT.
As to describe Putin as railing against the U.S.A I wonder if Shaun actually knows the definition of railing ?

This whole piece is just another stick to beat the bear with.

I am not fan of Putin but then I am no fan of Obama, but can Shaun really tell us where Putin Lied about the historical past and what the recent history has been about the Ukraine?

I think Shaun should read "A Peoples Tragedy" by Orlando Fuges

johhnybgood , 24 October 2014 9:08pm
As Sergei Lavrov said to the US "we are sorry our country is so close to your bases". Lavrov's recent UN speech is a masterclass in diplomatic rhetoric. He is a million miles ahead of any US spokesperson - they are all incapable of any sort of sensible dialogue. Is anyone now listening to the constant Russophobia from the MSM.? Look what is actually happening on the ground, not what the press is reporting. It is clear that Russia has been a model of self restraint in the face of many provocations. The West has only succeeded in driving Russia closer to China.
RememberGiap , 24 October 2014 9:10pm
And Putin is right . Putin's Russia does not send drones to kill on other continents . Putin's Russian did not cause chaos in Libya , Iraq and Afghanistan . Putin's Russia did not spend billions of dollars creating fundamentalist Islamic movements on the Pakistani / Afghan border in the 1980's . Putin's Russia did not invite and fund Arab Jihadists to wage war as proxies of Russia as did the USA , a price we all suffering now . Russia does not supply arms to Israel to bomb Palestinians . Russia does not give Israel its ' veto ' on the UN Security Council to give it immunity from International law . Russia does not station its military bases throughout the world . As for US activities in toppling Governments , destabilizing countries and covert operations in Southern and Central America I'd still be typing this post tomorrow without even then revealing the tip of the iceberg !!

The USA , lovely people unfortunately living in a global Rogue State .

seamuspadraig , 24 October 2014 9:12pm
Uncle Scam is in deep doggie-do now. Russia and China aren't just some little third-world countries that Washington can wipe its ass on then throw away. Oh no... Uncle Scam is after big game now! These two animals can defend themselves. And this time, they're on the same team.

I'm waiting to see what happens in Syria.

Corrections , 24 October 2014 9:13pm
Partial English transcript:

The rest of the transcript will no doubt appear over the next several hours. I suppose it's better than waiting until the whole thing is translated before posting anything.

EugeneGur , 24 October 2014 9:33pm
Putin said nothing in this speech that wasn't patently obvious. There is really nothing that could reasonably be denied because most statements were pure statement of facts. He just said all this very bluntly. He started his speech by saying that he was going to speak him mind, otherwise he sees no reason to speak at all.

I am old enough to remember as in early 1990s the American press cried every day all the time "We won! We won! We are the sole remaining superpower!" I thought: Aren't we supposed to be all friends now? As it became clear very soon, no, we weren't. We were expected to be servants to "indispensable" American people destined to rule the Universe. I can't speak for the rest of the Universe, but that role somehow doesn't appeal to me.

The exceptionalism of the United States, the way they implement their leadership, is it really a benefit? And their worldwide intervention brings peace and stability, progress and peak of democracy? Maybe we should relax and enjoy this splendour? No!"

This is a mistranslation. Puting didn't say anything about splendor. He did say "relax and enjoy" but he was referring to the saying" What should you do when you are being raped? Relax and try to enjoy". A somewhat different meaning, isn't it?

The Guardian

The Guardian

vgnych, 01 October 2014 9:37pm

This obsession of the West with Putin has nothing to do with wishing to improve democracy in Russia as they claim.

It has to do though with Russian oil and other resources be available "free for all" once again just like it was back in the 1990s. Putin is the one who curbed the problem and he is the one who still does not let the West to loot Russia.

That is why there is such a conflict. That is all.

Putin motives are clear, It is the motives of the politicians from the West that require investigation.

LeDingue -> vgnych, 01 October 2014 11:10pm

I agree.

And Russia's support for Iran, a big problem for the US-Saudi alliance.
And Russia dealing with china for gas with a ruble-yuan contract.

All of the anti-Putin media drive focusses on the Big Baddy, the "black-hat", press restrictions or state control, political influence exerted in business and on the judiciary (both the US and UK have plenty of this).

But how would things be if Putin were "ousted"?

Might not cooperation and interaction be better for a country with just 14 years of improvements since the Yetsin kleptocracy, rather than provocations and subversion on their border leaving the "bleeding ulcer" in Ukraine?

Swedinburgh -> Canadianidol, 01 October 2014 10:09pm

You preferred it when a drunkard was theoretically in charge of the world's 2nd biggest nuclear arsenal, which was scattered across several central Asian gangster enclaves?

Beckow -> Canadianidol, 01 October 2014 10:23pm

He has a 80% approval rate. Russia's living standards tripled in 12 years under Putin (think about that in the stagnating West).

You seem to be safely stuck in Western media invented reality warp, the propaganda is working on you quite well....

Aethelfrith Can_Kuzu, 02 October 2014 9:12am

"Of course there is a free press and opposition politicians get equal access and are not harassed in any way......"

Equal access as long as you have multi million dollar backers who give money in return for favours, shall we say.

Is this the same free press that adverts are used to portray certain sentiments or destroy political careers ? Or the same free press that the Leveson inquiry revealed to be so poisonous and corrupt while politicians paid homage to the great fat controller in return for political kindness ?

Yeh right....

Neo Liberal Democracy, the more equal the richer you are eh

Beckow Can_Kuzu, 02 October 2014 6:06pm

"The only improvements in the economy have come from the oil and gas sector. Take that away and the economy has actually shrunk."

That is - with all due respect - absolute nonsense. The economy has more than doubled even after you subtract oil and gas. I agree that a lot of it is driven by oil and gas money, but that is the same in all resource economies (Canada, Australia, Norway...). Consumer sector, real estate, retail and agro-business have all more than doubled in 10 years.

"days of easy oil are now over" - really? how do you know? are you shorting oil? well, you might lose some serious cash. Resources and energy will remain extremely important globally - that is just the world we live in. More people, more consumption, scramble for resources. Russia sits on a lot of them.

RedPeony Canadianidol , 02 October 2014 8:43pm
Maybe he should learn politics from Mr Harper:
"Harper to world: We are angry, and we have adjectives" -
I highly suggest you read it. It's very entertaining.
Mr. Harper, what a screwed up person.

jgbg Can_Kuzu, 02 October 2014 9:22pm

The only improvements in the economy have come from the oil and gas sector

Cleaning up the banking system and closing down corrupt banks run by various oligarchs has helped a lot. Ordinary people can have savings again, without the fear that some oligarch will steal all their money and run off to western Europe.

Cleaning up corruption in the regional governments has meant that money from central government, earmarked for things like schools, hospitals or transport subsidies for pensioners is not diverted into the pockets of corrupt regional administrators.

There are many changes which have improved the lives of ordinary Russians and the economy as a whole.

m Pa nativeenglishwriter , 02 October 2014 6:47am

Putin's view of power was formed watching East Germany collapse
25 years ago Russia's president was a KGB officer in the chaos of Dresden. This explains the hardliner he is today
The conflict in Ukraine, and the resulting wounds to relations between the west and Moscow, will fester as long as Putin remains in power, for operational codes rarely change once set.

This article was written by State Department of USA. Perfect logic + excellent culmination!!! :-D)))))))))

PSAKI (February 6, 2014) about "f..k EU" by Nuland: No, I was suggesting that she learned Russian curse words and curse words on the fishing boat.

littlebigcoala , 01 October 2014 9:48pm
article : "This event was a catastrophe from the point of view of Soviet loyalists, and few were more loyal than Putin. He would later call the collapse of the Soviet Union and its authority in eastern Europe the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.


lies...Putin never refered to the end of Soviet authority in Eastern Europe as about the greatest tragedy ...

Here is that his speach:

"I will recall once more Russia's most recent history.

Above all, we should acknowledge that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and compatriots found themselves outside Russian territory. Moreover, the epidemic of disintegration infected Russia itself.

Individual savings were depreciated, and old ideals destroyed. Many institutions were disbanded or reformed carelessly. Terrorist intervention and the Khasavyurt capitulation that followed damaged the country's integrity. Oligarchic groups - possessing absolute control over information channels - served exclusively their own corporate interests. Mass poverty began to be seen as the norm. And all this was happening against the backdrop of a dramatic economic downturn, unstable finances, and the paralysis of the social sphere.

Many thought or seemed to think at the time that our young democracy was not a continuation of Russian statehood, but its ultimate collapse, the prolonged agony of the Soviet system.

But they were mistaken.

That was precisely the period when the significant developments took place in Russia. Our society was generating not only the energy of self-preservation, but also the will for a new and free life. "

Bythemilkwood HendersonField, 01 October 2014 10:21pm

What a narrow view you take- look to the US plus it's EU servants who started all this trouble in the first place.

zhadnyvolk HendersonField, 01 October 2014 10:34pm

Leaving Putin and the Russians to one side - could you offer some kind of "understanding" of the way Blair, Bush, Obama, Cameron have behaved over the last decade or so?

It's easy enough to look at Ukraine and decide that Putin is the new Hitler, but this was a situation that just did not need to happen. The US and the EU completely overstretched themselves - they're not going to make good on any of the promises they've made to the Ukrainians (ask the Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese etc.) and they're certainly not going to get involved in a war with Russia.

The Finns and Swedes seem to manage their border issues with Russia. It's fairly obvious that a cooperative approach to Russia, since 1990, and particularly in the Ukraine situation, would have paid bid dividends and consolidated peace and good relations rather than this mutual suspicion and aggro.

LeDingue HendersonField, 01 October 2014 11:21pm

What matters now is to oppose him...

With what objective? With whose interests in mind? What is he preventing the West (the US) from achieving?

Are you seriously suggesting that the Western crusade against Putin has the well-being of Russian citizens in mind? Like in Iraq or Libya perhaps...?

Sarah7591Wilson -> HendersonField, 02 October 2014 12:01am

The point is that he does behave this way - i.e. as an imperialist, supremacist, authoritarian thug.

I've no idea where you're from, but you've just described the president of the United States of America.

Say what you like about Putin, but neither he nor his fellow Russians go around claiming they're the "exceptional" humans appointed by God to lead the world. Supremacism hails from our part of the world.

[Oct 19, 2014] The state wants to spy on us – but is it up to the job? by John Naughton

The key issue here is "Who is serving whom ?". Are intelligence agencies a tool of oligarchy or not. And you probably already know the answer.
Oct 18, 2014 |

First, what could we do to curb comprehensive surveillance of the net? The internet engineering community seems determined to do something about it. In its current form, the network is wide open to snooping, because most of its operations are not encrypted. At the Vancouver 2013 meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force there were discussions about ways of inserting so much cryptographic treacle into the network's operations that the NSA would have to work much harder to surveil it, thereby forcing snoopers to adopt more targeted approaches that would be amenable to credible legal oversight. This won't be easy to do, but there's enough technical ingenuity in the community to pull it off.

Even if they did, however, that wouldn't be the end of the matter, because lots of unsavoury things go on in cyberspace, and it would be unthinkable not to allow access to communications for law enforcement and national security purposes. Which means that democracies need oversight regimes that are effective, technically competent and enjoy public trust. The fallout from Snowden suggests that the oversight regimes in most democracies currently lack some or all of these properties. Fixing that requires political action, and therein lies our biggest problem.

The most depressing thing about the political response to the revelations is how crass and simplistic they have been. First we had the yah-boo phase: Snowden was a traitor; the revelations dramatically undermined "national security"; anyone who applauds what he did is a naive idiot; if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear, etc. These are the philosophical equivalent of the debates that go on in bars after Premier League matches.

The good news is that we have moved on a bit from such inanities. The political debate is now framed in terms of a "balance" to be struck between security and privacy, as if it were a matter of piling fruit on both sides of weighing scales and seeing which way the needle points. But security and privacy are very different concepts. Security is a function of two things: the scale of a possible harm and the probability that it will happen. Some possible dangers are so great that even if their probability is low then extreme measures are justified. Other potential harms are smaller but more probable. In thinking about surveillance and counter-terrorism we need some way of reaching collectively agreed judgments about how the "balance" should be struck.

Likewise privacy has a value for both individuals and for society as a whole; it is also culturally and domain-dependent (we have different expectations of privacy in different locations). And the standard official line on privacy at the moment – that "people obviously don't care much about it, otherwise they wouldn't be on Facebook" – won't wash, because people give their consent to Facebook, whereas none of us clicked "agree" to the hoovering up of our communications data.

Finally, there's the question that is never discussed. Is this bulk surveillance actually effective? Is there credible evidence – as distinct from bland assurances by officials – that it actually works? Why, despite all the snooping, for example, did our intelligence services not pick up the Islamic State threat? And how cost-effective is it? The US currently spends over $100bn a year on counter-terrorism. God alone knows how much the UK spends. Are we getting real value for all this taxpayers' money? I'd like to know. Wouldn't you?

AmyInNH , 19 October 2014 1:42am

ps - Hayden has finally calmed down and acknowledged, mass surveillance and privacy rights are at direct odds with each other.

Warrants for probable cause was the balance.

imipak , 19 October 2014 2:52am
If the good guys (whoever they may be, I'm unsure at the moment I know of any) can break in, then so can the bad guys. That's simply a fact of life. For every theft prevented, a theft or ten may take place for precisely the same reason. For every time a cop rescues a kidnap victim by intercepting communications, a predator will locate a victim to kidnap by precisely the same strategy.

This is no different from the argument over guns. They have to be put beyond the reach of everyone, America is what happens when you don't.

Some might argue that the police need these tools. No they don't. The French lacked any form of encryption or privacy for individuals for a long time. Can you show me the case files where this mattered? Can you point to crime statistics where the lack of person-to-person security in France demonstrably resulted in lower crime rates or greater clean-up rates than achieved in nations where PGP (PGPi in Europe, for patent reasons) was available for download?

Rather, consider this. Each and every major miscarriage of justice - in the US, UK, France, or anywhere else - can be linked directly to an urge to close a case quickly rather than correctly. Every single time the police take short-cuts, it ends in tragedy for those wrongly accused. You don't want to give the police even more short-cuts, you want to force them to carry out greater diligence, more thorough scrutiny, more substantial policing. In other words, you want evidence. Hard evidence.

No. Giving police or anyone else back-doors into the Internet is a recipe for disaster. Those back-doors will find their way to cybercriminals and foreign cyberwarfare units -- the guys you really do NOT want being able to manipulate the computers at a major national bank or an Internet-connected nuclear power plant. If the police can intercept, then criminals can inject. Too bad if you don't like it, if you enter that kind of an arms race, you WILL lose. Even if you win, you will still lose.

Police should be better-funded, better-staffed and better-equipt.

None of this 12-marker DNA carp by some back-alley sequencing vendor, each regional police force should have their own microarray sequencer and supporting hardware, with their own on-staff expert and on-staff assistants.

None of this external forensics nonsense, they should have their own chemistry lab, their own ballistics lab -- whatever they need, they should have it. Right there, right then, with the experts required on-hand. No delays, no G4S mishaps, no risks of miscommunication, no doing things on the cheap.

If you're going to do it, do it right.

No police force should ever be "stretched". No volunteers should ever be needed. Give each police force the money and power to do the job needed, with quality.

Those, ultimately, are your choices for law enforcement. A cheap, penny-pinching service that likes hacking Internet traffic and doesn't give a damn about wrongful arrests, OR an expensive, elite service that likes being damn-near perfect on damn-near everything and removes actual bad guys from the streets.

If you choose the latter, then the Internet Problem is simple. Everything should be bullet-proof. From home users to Home Office users, nobody breaks in. No way, no how.

Can it be done? It's not easy. Only One Time Pads are provably unbreakable, but they're also provably worthless. You can, however, get as close as you like. And, with modern understanding of writing secure software, that's very close indeed. It won't be bomb-proof, but it will be bullet-proof. And that's good enough. Even for those nuclear power stations stupid enough to go on the Internet.

Jacobsadder , 19 October 2014 3:01am

"Mercifully, we have moved on a bit since then. The important thing now, it seems to me, is to consider a new question: given what we now know, what should we do about it? What could we realistically do? Will we, in fact, do anything? And if the latter, where are we heading as democracies?"

Do we need to do anything about it? The ability to spy on individual personal information is one thing but what they do with the information gleaned is entirely another. Just a hypothetical example, if I sent an email to a friend telling him/her that I have some dodgy 'whiskey galore' type beverage for sale cheap and the next day the police swooped down on me and tried arrested me for said offense, then I'd know the authorities obtained that information by invading my privacy. If that became a common phenomenon then I'd suggest that a disgruntled public just might start to mount a mass misinformation email, text, social media campaign just to piss them off. Can you imagine all those millions of misleading messages being swept up by the authorities and the time it'd take for them to sift through looking for something meaningful? I should imagine they have enough difficulty now, so prolifigate are messages sent thus far, which is precisely why they failed to recognise the ISIS threat.

From a personal perspective I don't mind them learning what colour socks I wear from my emails - obviously I'd prefer them not to snoop, but if they must then I'd be more worried about how they attempted to use that information against me.

From the perspective of identifying threats to national or global security, then the same pretty much applies. The word 'bananas' may become code for AK47's for all I know, for one day at least. That's the problem with surveillance, counter surveillance, and counter counter surveillance, each method used in terms of investigation will inevitably be countered by other methods in terms of perpetration.

In the final analysis, all will have to depend on good ol' fashioned police work using a multitude of methods to detect and usurp the eternal Lex Luthers of this world. In the meantime, anyone wanna buy some cheap Glenmorangie? We'll drink a toast to the memory of Alan Turing who'll no doubt be up above pissing his sides at the lunacy of it all.

IGiveTheWatchToYou , 19 October 2014 3:09am
If we do the sensible thing and encrypt the web we should at least make sure that the NSA & GCHQ don't still have access to the development of algorithms. It wasn't till May this year that Congress supposedly blocked the NSA from meddling with encryption standards. I was almost optimistic till I read this -

"Having lost a public battle in the 1990s to insert its own "back door" in all encryption, it set out to accomplish the same goal by stealth. The agency, according to the documents and interviews with industry officials, deployed custom-built, superfast computers to break codes, and began collaborating with technology companies in the United States and abroad to build entry points into their products. The documents do not identify which companies have participated."

They've been subverting encryption practice since the 90s "covertly introducing weaknesses." They're way ahead of the rest of us in cracking encryption when we use it. And they''re still threatening and bribing foreign companies to put in backdoors. It's gone way beyond reasonable. What use is private data if some stranger has a copy of it? Especially if the stranger is an inherently hostile and unaccountable government agency.

Even if we do encrypt something - "The N.S.A. hacked into target computers to snare messages before they were encrypted."

All our base are belong to them.

If we want reliable encryption clearly we have to cripple the NSA and GCHQ first. Sack 90% of them and cut their budget by the same, raid their data centres and erase intel gathered on every citizen who's not under investigation or charge, find out what they've backdoored under court warrants, amnesty & meaningful jailtime, and impeach the FVEY ringleaders and waterbucket challenge some confessions out of them. It's either that or mission creep into a pretty obvious totalitarian future.

Albs , 19 October 2014 3:20am

"if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear" [or other shite along the same lines]

Strange how times have changed and things have turned around. I never recall western governments in the 80s having expressed the same opinion when the Stasi had their extensive and subversive surveillance system on the go.

'Kin hypocrites.

SteB1 , 19 October 2014 4:23am
What excellent analysis from John Naughton. It's a breath of fresh air in all the cloying nonsense about this matter.

Finally, there's the question that is never discussed. Is this bulk surveillance actually effective? Is there credible evidence – as distinct from bland assurances by officials – that it actually works? Why, despite all the snooping, for example, did our intelligence services not pick up the Islamic State threat? And how cost-effective is it? The US currently spends over $100bn a year on counter-terrorism. God alone knows how much the UK spends. Are we getting real value for all this taxpayers' money? I'd like to know. Wouldn't you?

Yes, this is my concern, and what I'd like to know. However my very strong impression is that mass intelligence gathering might actually be counter-productive, and less effective than old fashioned targeted intelligence. This is where I believe the circumstantial evidence points to.

It defies common sense that the authorities already overlook so many leads, because they can't follow up everything, yet they also bizarrely claim that if they collect far more irrelevant data, that somehow the relevant date will become more apparent. It's clear the authorities have to prioritize what intelligence is followed up, and naturally many mistakes are made. The more data you have, the more mistakes you will make. Straight forward probability tells you that.

cpdukes SteB1 , 19 October 2014 3:00pm
You give credit where none is due. Are these governments and agencies actually pursuing intelligence for the purposes they state? Where is the concrete evidence? Are money, power and control more likely their motivations?

edgeofdrabness SteB1 , 19 October 2014 5:41pm

there's the question that is never discussed. Is this bulk surveillance actually effective? Is there credible evidence – as distinct from bland assurances by officials – that it actually works? Why, despite all the snooping, for example, did our intelligence services not pick up the Islamic State threat?

It is a good question but it isn't "never discussed", though it's certainly not discussed enough.

The oversimplified answer is that mass surveillance (vs targeted surveillance) produces so many false positives that it is a waste of time. Source: amongst other places, BBC R4's excellent More Or Less series covered this in reasonable detail in May 2013, still available on Listen Against:
or if you prefer to read rather than listen, the same material ended up on the BBC News website a week or two later:

Here's a sample (and a precaution against link-rot):

Imagine that the intelligence services had unlimited resources and could monitor everyone's phone lines.

Imagine they could detect would-be terrorists within the first three words they utter on the phone with a 99% degree of accuracy.

There would just be one small problem, according to Howard Wainer, Distinguished Research Scientist at the National Board of Medical Examiners in the United States.

Suppose there are 3,000 terrorists in the United States, he says. If the software is 99% accurate, you would be able to pick up almost all of them - 99% of them. However if you were listening to everybody - all 300 million US citizens - 1% of the general population are going to be picked up by mistake.

"So mixed in with the 3,000 true terrorists that you've identified are going to be the three million completely innocent people, who are now being sent off to Guantanamo Bay," Wainer says.

That is, for every terrorist you would have 999 innocent, but very angry people.

MrLeml , 19 October 2014 5:43am

The only "National Security" there is; is maintaining and expanding a strong middle class and shared prosperity.

All this other BS is nothing more than the ruling Oligarchy giving its corrupt security forces more tools to keep those who do the actual work, under the ruling Oligarchy's boot heel.

normko MrLeml , 19 October 2014 6:17am
Thank you for cutting through the BS. This is exactly the story. The elite oligarchs are smoke screening the citizens with their money and using the goons they hire to subvert the constitution and the so-called democracy. But as long as the citizens have cheap gasoline and hamburgers with French fries they'll be happy to let the rulers continue to rape the third world and destroy the planet.
bluecamels , 19 October 2014 8:52am
'And the standard official line on privacy at the moment – that "people obviously don't care much about it, otherwise they wouldn't be on Facebook" – won't wash, because people give their consent to Facebook'

Whose official line is this?

Most people have no idea what most of the major internet players do with their data, let alone having consented to it. Someone might post a comment on Facebook, but that is some way short of the data that being collected and shared without our consent as we browse the internet. We do not consent to the vast majority of data that is collected about us, we instead agree to extremely long and deliberately complicated privacy policies.

And corporations lose far more data than Governments - they are just better at keeping quiet about it.

memeroots , 19 October 2014 8:59am
Hmm - considering the data that companies hold and the limited security around it... I'd be very supprised if the nsa didn't have free access.

They probably only ask 'broad' questions to hide the fact they already know the data specifically and simply need to get a dump that is able to be presented in a court of law.

Noleader , 19 October 2014 9:19am

it would be unthinkable not to allow access to communications for law enforcement and national security purposes.

It would be ideal to not allow them access to our communications. Police work was done long before the police had the ability to listen in on conversations. Add to that anyone with half a brain knows that if you are going to do dirt the last thing you do is talk around any technology.

To argue that the state needs access to our communications to protect us ignores that they would need to suspect a person of a crime long before they accessed those communications (get a warrant). At which point they already suspect something is up so they stand just as good a chance of under minding the criminal activity with or without access to the communications (You know placing bugs, following suspects, check banking history, etc.. after getting a court order to do so).

nearthethames , 19 October 2014 9:30am
James Comey, the new director of the FBI, argued recently that Apple and Google adding encryption and thus frustrating access by the FBI, NSA, CIA etc, was in his view like car manufacturers lock all car trunks permanently and safe makers making all safes unable to be opened, to which he added "and that will prevent law enforcement from catching the bad guys."

The big difference, James, is that law enforcement are not physically going into every trunk and every safe and every bedroom (albeit they'd no doubt like to) so if you want to have more public trust that your surveillance is measured and genuinely approved by an independent judge (and not a FISA "court" judge) then go after only the communications of those for whom your officers can assert probably cause. The world now accepts and believes, despite protestations, that mass surveillance does indeed occur, and so of course ordinary people are going to prefer technology that has encryption built in. Being caught not only carrying out mass surveillance but lying about it too initially, has only hastened the public's appetite for encryption.

johhnybgood , 19 October 2014 9:42am
There is only one reason for this total surveillance -fear. The PTB know full well what is coming because the plans have been in the pipeline for decades. It has nothing whatever to do with "keeping us safe" -it is more a case of keeping themselves safe. The transfer of wealth to the super rich elite is reaching its end; there is little left to steal. They know there will be a backlash when the crash comes, and they have put in place means to deal with the inevitable public revolt.
What they have failed to anticipate though, is the global awakening in consciousness which is occurring at a rapid rate, and which cannot be stopped.
There is an unseen battle for hearts and minds going on, and there will only be one winner. The light will prevail.
hugsandpuppies , 19 October 2014 11:10am
There is such a thing as a comepetent spy?

I'd direct you to the Adam Curtis blog where he has a fascinating history of UK espionage over the last century. You would not be surprised to discover that it involves cranks, fools and utter incompetence with pernicous side effects tom match.

Berg206 , 19 October 2014 1:01pm
My guess is that the purpose is not to survey but to frustrate. Making it clear that every computer can be hacked, that all phone calls, texts, emails and data transfers can be intercepted, and that every cell phone can be tracked, forces hardcore criminals and terrorists into working without them. They have to physically associate with each other: they can be followed, watched, bugged, tricked, turned. Isn't that how MI5 managed to get half the membership of the IRA Army Council working for them?
Guezdan , 19 October 2014 1:29pm

In my own Federal law enforcement agency, which had its origins in 1789, we are still struggling to digest the consequent jurisdictional purview overlaps created by the infamous and ironically named Patriot Act. Bottom line: as with everything else in American history, whenever a principle encounters the bottom line and profiteering, that principle is doomed. There are such big bucks to be made in selling scare tactic based "solutions", a lesson learned at Hitler's knee, that some of us have become positively addicted to the cash flow, as if it were green heroin. Why, in my very organisation, there are private attorneys who have sold their law practices and bought their way into a political plum job in exchange for the President to grandfather them in as Assistant Commissioner, this despite any significant law enforcement experience. And then these very people have had videos made by the propaganda ministry for internal and external consumption to big them up and obfuscate their employment's true attribution...

GoredToDeath , 19 October 2014 2:00pm

The state wants to spy on us – but is it up to the job?

The answer is no, it isn't... but that job will be outsourced to private agencies and None Governmental organizations.

The whole reason behind ALL PARTIES in Government, (Liberal, Labor & Greens) pushing this Orwellian agenda through, is because all parties have been mandated by lobbyists (Not the electorate, not the people, not us but 'corporation lobbyists') to prop-up and reinforce the new corporate state authority laws, as laid out by the TPP (or Trans Pacific Partnership).

The Corporations [this includes banks] rule the world now, and they do not want competition in any way shape or form, this isn't Capitalism anymore, this is Monopoly. Insider trading, insider dealing and insider knowledge of everyone and everything, nothing is to be left to chance in this New World Order.

The Spying will be privatized and all the dirty little secrets will be sold from one dealer to the next and when they have enough dirt on you, even your imprisonment will be commodified and out sourced.

Go back to sleep Australia – someone out there will be up to the job.

cpdukes , 19 October 2014 2:49pm
There is no "balance between national security and our right to privacy" issue. The US Stasi have yet to demonstrate that any of this domestic spying has in any way contributed anyone's safety, indeed, quite the opposite. Why media continue to buy into this phoney trope is beyond me.
SleepyPixie , 19 October 2014 8:02pm

I've wondered, too, what on earth they do with the mountain of information they collect; they don't seem effective at distilling any of it into anything meaningful or helpful, at least when it matters most. It's like wanting to know something specific about nudibranch DNA and reading everything about world history in the vague hope of finding something relevant.

Sofia Diaz , 20 October 2014 12:43am
Hey guys check this tutorial to record Skype Video Calls

Pravda lashes Tony Abbott as 'disturbed' over threat to shirtfront Vladimir Putin by Australian Associated Press

Those retards still think that is an official Russian government publication (like newspaer Pravda were in the days of the USSR). They are referring to this article Open Letter to Tony Shirt-Front Abbott - English

The Guardian

In an open letter, published on Pravda, the mouthpiece of the Communist regime in Soviet times, columnist Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey demanded Abbott pull his head in.

... ... ...

This article was amended on 15 October to better reflect Pravda's relationship to the Russian government

wilrj021 , 14 October 2014 9:43pm
"Like any bully there comes a day when you pick on the wrong person, get your teeth smashed in and go running home to mummy blabbering like a ninny," he wrote.

Abbott - running home to mummy like a ninny - such a blissful image in my head right now.

If Costello was still the treasurer, we'd really have a comedy show on our hands!!!!

doubleDissolution , 14 October 2014 9:43pm
This is typically of " Wing Nu's" tactics create a distracting from the real issues [ such as climate change , slow down in the world economy , the Ebola epidermic ] and let have a brawl instead ..... FUCXXXX TYPICAL of this moron

ZebraJohn doubleDissolution, 14 October 2014 11:21pm

Abbott is rapidly degenerating into village idiot status. Clearly he didn't have a clue about how the term "shirtfront" would be interpreted and is now ducking for cover. The only finely honed talent he has is the athletic ability to put his foot in his mouth.

swinte , 14 October 2014 9:44pm

I'm so embarrassed to have him as Prime Minister - oh the shame :[ but anyway my money's on Putin :]

whyohwhy123 swinte, 14 October 2014 10:35pm

also ask Australian Associated Press (the source of this article) since when Pravda (which has always been the paper of Communist Party) is a mouthpiece of Russian government where the party of power today is Putin's United Russia party?...while Communists are the most serious opposition to Putin's United Russia can an opposition paper be government's mouthpiece?

ID9761679 swinte, 14 October 2014 11:34pm

Pravda described Tony as "a foul-mouthed, despicable, pith-headed and uncouth, loutish oaf". That sums him up pretty well.

kreltogs, 14 October 2014 9:46pm

What an International embarrassment. And this is the man who is the idol of the National Liberal Government

Mikes005 kreltogs, 14 October 2014 10:51pm

Yup. When I heard Pravda called Abbott 'disturbed' my first thought was, "so they've met him then?"

jclucas kreltogs, 15 October 2014 2:39am \

For Tony Abbott to continue to accuse Russia of "murder" is extremely unwise as murder implies intent and premeditation. The facts of the case do not support this and puts the PM, himself, in a very embarrassing position.

centerline , 14 October 2014 9:47pm

I guess if Australia ever wants to stand on it's own two feet in the world instead of hiding behind the US, we will need a better class of politician.

Uncommonsmarts centerline, 15 October 2014 2:07am

US is is irreversible decline and bogged down in endless lost wars and Australia is blindly following them into an abyss and Abbot is best lapdog the US can wish for as he is a moron and loud mouth who is totally oblivious to the global power shift and how vulnerable Australia is. Barking for no apparent reason only reinforces Australia's already poor image on the global stage as a mere US puppet.

LisaGuf, 14 October 2014 9:49pm
Please world Please, realise Abbott does not at all reflect the majority of Australians, please realise he is our George Bush 2.0. We are just as embarrassed as you are disgusted by him. Hockey running a close second.

YouthWasted LisaGuf , 14 October 2014 11:11pm

Agreed. He doesn't, and never has, represented my point of view.

The threat was the "most crass example of stupidity the world has seen since the USA, the UK and Australia murdered Iraqi civilians in an illegal and criminal series of war crimes".

Oh, that's gotta hurt Tones. It's too bad he didn't make the distinction that it wasn't the whole of the Australian people that made the commitment to that war, it was the Howard Government.

Jools12 LisaGuf , 15 October 2014 12:04am
Ten years ago I used to tease my American husband and all of his family about their chronically embarrassing and terminally stupid President - George W. Thanks Abbott, I am now getting back that teasing tenfold. Is it possible to eradicate this gene from politicians?
tibetancowboy, 14 October 2014 9:50pm
The smart view is that the Nazi regime installed by Obama accidently shot down the civilian aircraft while aiming for Putin's plane. This is why the critical info contained in the plane's black box is being retained here in America in secret. None of its message will ever be publicized because the evidence is there which would incriminate Obama and his Nazi allies ruling the Ukraine. I'm convinced that is why the black box has disappeared from Australian / American / U.K. press. Obama will retain the unopened black box until the discussion fades away as other War Crimes replace it.
LeagueOfNervousFish, 14 October 2014 9:53pm
Extraordinary diplomacy from Abbott.

Has it ever occurred to him to engage his brain before he opens his mouth?

Paddy_Irish_Grl LeagueOfNervousFish, 14 October 2014 9:57pm
What brain?
Edu1975, 14 October 2014 9:54pm

foul-mouthed, despicable, pith-headed and uncouth, loutish oaf

Really, it's very accurate.
Wheelspinner, 14 October 2014 9:59pm

a foul-mouthed, despicable, pith-headed and uncouth, loutish oaf

Love it. This should be on Abbott's business card.

ID1590389 , 14 October 2014 10:00pm
How typical of this boorish buffoon to make empty and idle threats. Shirt front?He would not even know what the term means.

Putin would snap this fool like a twig.Abbott will find that this is not like bullying the unemployed,the weak or women,mad Vlad would destroy him with a snarl.
This pathetic pommie embarrassment to Australia should piss off to the england he so loves and admires.He will find it somewhere in 1950 s

RoydBogan ID1590389 , 14 October 2014 10:47pm


You must really hate the Brits. Give 'em a break, they've got Cameron and Osborne already, they don't need Boofhead as well.
  • Revenant13 , 14 October 2014 10:02pm
    Never thought I'd see the day when I'd agree with anything published by Pravda (truth), but it has arrived and its summary of the rabid Abbott as a disturbed mind crying out for therapy will strike many of us as perceptive, accurate and telling. He's a national disgrace and increasingly an international pariah too.

    One thing it didn't mention in detail though, was just how greatly and widely Abbott and his minions are despised and distrusted in Australia. He leads a pack of ravening political wolves that are destroying not only Australia's democracy but its economic well being and that of generations to come.

    cedarvale , 14 October 2014 10:03pm

    Absolutely appalled by this poor excuse for a PM who continually uses a tragedy to score points from his bogan backers. My sympathy with all the families who lost friends and family in the plane crash.

    Reynardus . , 14 October 2014 10:04pm
    Tony Abbott is a rare idiot indeed.
    akillerkoala46 Reynardus, 14 October 2014 10:06pm
    Have you seen the rest of the cabinet?
    DIPSET, 14 October 2014 10:11pm
    Here, have some more quotes from the hilarious open letter/warning.

    As Bruce Willis quipped in Die Hard 2..."Just the fax ma'am, just the fax"

    Tony Abbott displays a degree of insolence, arrogance and incompetence which mirrors the intrusiveness, belligerence and chauvinism inherent in other members of the Anglo Saxon alliance in NATO. You know, that global terrorist organization whose budget is a staggering one point two trillion USD a year, each and every year.


    There is more.....

    When Australia isn't busy crawling around the legs of its colonial master, England or trying to crawl up the anatomy of London's master, Washington, participating in their wars to pick up a few crumbs thrown Canberra's way, its politicians are busy kowtowing to Europe and the USA making stupid and unfounded remarks about Russia

    Then an attempt at playing nice....

    This opinion piece in no way wishes to attack the good people of Australia who do not take Mr. Abbott's side, nor that of the other members of the political class, against Russia. One only has to look at productions such as Neighbors and Australian Master Chef. In the first, a production mirroring the image Australia would like to project to the world, namely a community-based family-oriented people helping each other out. In the second, we see this is not only a figment of the imagination but reality, because the judges are nice to the contestants and teach them instead of insulting them and making them feel inadequate, like some other Master Chef programs. This opinion is backed up by interaction with my many Australian correspondents

    Before the final flourish.....

    This is the true Australia and it has nothing to do with Mr. Abbott. Or his political friends and cronies. Once again, we see a country whose political class is divorced from the collective will of its people yet we see a politician who thinks it is cool to be rude, insolent, insulting, impolite, impertinent, unpolished, gross, unpleasant and downright impudent.


    Who ever thought cookies handed out in Kiev would end up leaving crumbs like this ?



    AlwaysSimple davros49 , 15 October 2014 2:55am
    Worsening Russian economic situation? You just have to be kidding.

    For a starter, they have just discovered what could be the world's largest supply of natural gas in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, In addition, along with ExxonMobil they have just completed a test drill in the Arctic which has demonstrated that they have from $7.5 to $10 Trillion worth of 'sweet, light crude' that cost Exxon $600M to drill and was, in the words of the Exxon CEO, 'the most difficult but rewarding test drill they have ever done'. Thanks to the US sanctions though, Exxon, along with their investment partner, MorganStanley, are now barred from partnering the Russians in this find so guess what? The Russians are now in talks with the Chinese to underwrite the exercise.

    Well done, USA, that is indeed a spectacular own goal and it certainly makes your claim that Russia has 'worsening economic situation'. I think you should do a little more research before displaying your ignorance.

    IanCPurdie, 14 October 2014 10:20pm
    Just loved the Guardian sub-headline:

    Russian government mouthpiece launches broadside at PM, saying he runs risk of getting his 'teeth smashed in'

    Meanwhile elsewhere, Pravda had been reporting:

    Australian government mouthpiece, News Limited launches broadside at Putin, saying he runs risk of being "shirtfronted"

    Sub-editors are indeed a very funny [not ha ha] species.

    whyohwhy123 IanCPurdie , 14 October 2014 10:45pm
    Just loved the Guardian sub-headline:

    Russian government mouthpiece launches broadside at PM, saying he runs risk of getting his 'teeth smashed in'


    Putin's party is called United Russia Party...Pravda is a paper of Russian Communist party which is in opposition and has no power since call it as mouthpiece of Putin's government is st.pidity...or ignorance....looks like Australia is toooooooo far away from civilised world - news about collapse of communism has not yet reached them, they still think that Pravda is government newspaper in Russia

    Reynardus . , 14 October 2014 10:21pm

    On the world stage of international diplomacy the Russians come across as cool headed, sophisticated, refined, and...well, diplomatic. The west seems to be increasingly represented by uncouth, bumbling loudmouths.

  • [Oct 12, 2014] The Why are the media playing lapdog and not watchdog – again – on war in Iraq?

    The Guardian
    Fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The mainstream press just sold another American war.

    But the mainstream US media plays the role of government lapdog more than watchdog.

    ... ... ...

    Obsessed with maintaining access to power, the mainstream media just keeps handing their megaphone to the powerful and self-interested. Rarely do we hear from people who opposed the disastrous 2003 invasion of Iraq or rightly predicted the chaos that would result from NATO intervention in Libya. The few anti-war voices who manage to slip into the dialogue are marginalized and later silenced.

    Let's face it: fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The vicious Isis beheadings, discussed ad infinitum, attracted large audiences. So did talk about exploding toothpaste. People whipped into a state of fear always want to know more.

    Sadly, the public is not getting what it deserves: a well-rounded debate about the pros and cons of military action. Why has a decade of support for the Iraqi army and years of covert CIA support for the Syrian opposition been so fruitless? How much might this intervention cost? (So far, the bill has been more than $1bn.) How will Middle East monarchies that funded extremists suddenly become exemplars of democratic values? What is the endgame in Syria? Will Bashar Assad still be in power? What are the unintended consequences of expanding American military action in the Middle East? (The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the US bombings already have attracted 6,000 more recruits to Isis.) And most important of all: what are the alternatives to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians? The voices of people proposing political solutions other than slaughter are the voices the public deserves to hear.

    Wars usually start with overwhelming public approval once the White House and the national security apparatus get the media to beat the war drums. It's only after people tire of war that the media really begin to seek answers to questions that should have been asked before the bombs were launched.

    But instead, once again, the US government and the US media establishment is embracing a military policy of airstrikes to strengthen local capacity despite a regional landscape – from Yemen to Libya – littered with the wreckage of this approach. Smoldering in the detritus of war is also the fourth estate.

    GeorgeSherban, 10 October 2014 11:41am

    To some extent, you could say that the motives of the US government are altruistic. Of course there will also be strategic reasons for intervening.

    Whether it is adviseable or not is another matter.

    Chanelle47 -> GeorgeSherban, 10 October 2014 12:00pm

    Altruistic is the last thing they are. Why did the US launch an Iraq War 2.0 in the early 2000? At various points it was because Saddam cause 9/11, because of the Taliban, because of Al Qaida, because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (tee hee). Then, a couple of years in, it wasn't any of those things. It became about "sowing the seeds of democracy" in Iraq.

    It was all bullshit. One thing you can be sure of: if a politician's lips are moving in regard to Iraq, Isis or terror then what is coming out is never the truth. Their buddies in The Press merely amplify, obfuscate and confuse as required and to order.

    JOHNNYHEMISPHERE, 10 October 2014 11:43am

    As a famous old man with a big beard once said.....

    "The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it.

    The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas."

    KelvinYearwood -> JOHNNYHEMISPHERE, 10 October 2014 2:05pm

    Well put.

    The problem is that the liberal paradigm abstractly disconnects material production and intellectual production as though it is a given that the latter operates autonomously.

    Hence, you get the question, why does the business media follow money and power?

    Clearly intellectual production can act independently of the interests of material production as many independent and/or non-profit writers and organisations prove, but they do not have the means, the power, the scope and the reach to foreground these ideas in the arena of the dominant production of ideas.

    Further, to enter the arena of the production of dominant ideas one has to not only have the abilities for such, but be amenable to a process of objective filtering, a priori expectations, values, assumptions entailing personal compromises to such an extent that one is barely human if one has reached a position of authority in the structure (if one was human to start with, that is).

    UnironicBeard, 10 October 2014 11:46am

    Maybe because the media is in bed with the politicians and arms manufacturers. There's certainly been a lot of propaganda flying around, particularly as the article says regarding Khorasan.

    Still, looking at things from the other side of the fence, Isis certainly have a talent for bringing out the warmonger in virtually everybody. And if our intervention isn't very well thought through, perhaps that could be excused to a degree by the urgency of the situation

    Zakida, 10 October 2014 11:47am
    Like the US government and media, the UK government and media are all neocons now and they are bent on poisoning the rest of us with their neocon propaganda.

    splodgeness , 10 October 2014 11:52am

    Fear sells, violence sells, war sells. The mainstream press just sold another American war

    Who are they selling it for?

    JOHNNYHEMISPHERE splodgeness , 10 October 2014 12:05pm

    Who are they selling it for?

    the section of the 1% known as big oil and the Military Industrial Complex.....

    In other words those who profit from the instability of the region.

    joeomahoney , 10 October 2014 12:09pm
    What short memories the Guardian has. It's embarrassing flag waving for Blair and its lack of critique in the Iraq War is still remembered by many of us with some shame.
    SeeNOevilHearNOevil , 10 October 2014 12:16pm
    You're missing the point that main stream media are not actual reporters especially in the US. They repeat government and hawkish politician talking points without any scrutiny.

    For all intend and purpose they are a propaganda machine that showly herds the far from knowledgable average american into believing anything they want.

    Even when confronted with the abuse of the government by E Snowden, they still managed to turn him into a villain and brush aside the revelations. If people act like sheep, they will be herded

    Backbutton -> SeeNOevilHearNOevil, 10 October 2014 4:06pm
    Good observation; these media are regurgitating reporters, not investigative reporters. They just package the drivel fed, not question.

    That's one reason the American people are so easy misled by government, politicians and slick businesses, and treated as imbeciles. Deserving.

    The progeny blames or thank their forefathers.

    JOHNNYHEMISPHERE -> Meltingman, 10 October 2014 1:01pm

    Back in the 1930's the left had real intellectuals who knew the only thing fascists would respond to was force.

    If you can't see the difference between Nazi Germany (a huge industrial, educated country with the ability to manufacture its own war machine) and the Jihadis in the Middle East you are the deluded one.

    Unfortunately today the left is over run with public school toffs and a pampered sheltered upbringing that makes them dangerously clueless.

    Obviously you don't realize that many left wing intellectuals who chose to fight fascism in Spain were "public school toffs" like Eric Blair.

    zelazny, 10 October 2014 2:18pm
    "Why has the media pushed the Obama administration's war frame instead of playing the role of skeptic by questioning official assertions, insisting for corroboration on "anonymous leaks" and seeking alternative points of view?"

    To a large extent because people like Medea Benjamin have turned the peace "movement" into a kabuki theater for publicity stunts, which history teaches have no effect and which the press mostly ignores.

    Benjamin comes from wealth and this seems to make it impossible to call the actions of her social equals war crimes. Instead, she does gimmicky interactions with Obama, the current leading war criminal in office.

    And we should not forget that the major writers in the major papers make good money and have stock based retirement plans, which expand with war because most of the stock portfolios have heavy investments in the military industrial complex companies, which have done extremely well over the last few weeks with replacement orders for missiles, drones, and other weaponry flooding in.

    Backbutton -> zelazny , 10 October 2014 3:51pm
    Don't spit into the soup, we all must drink. Plus we have families to support and need a job, so go with the flow.
    jdanforth -> Backbutton , 11 October 2014 12:32pm
    Excellent! You've captured the prevailing mentality of the entire mass of America's disappearing petty bourgeoisie -- professors, artists, journalists, lawyers, etc.
    robtal , 10 October 2014 2:48pm
    I don't like that we were whole scale lied to by Bush administration about Iraq. And no one who understands power every totally believes anything government mouths expel.
    The enemy was in Afghanistan only. Now we have another problem primarily of our own making . ISIS is something that would likely never have happened if we had not invaded Iraq and created a power vacuum. But the new problem is here now and now we have a real self created enemy that is so extreme they cut peoples heads off with dull knives. Our corporate press who spins news like a runaway centrifuge plays a very large role in this. Saying the above, the way out is never avoid the problem but go directly into the fire or heart of it, now we have little choice. The only good if you can call it good is a lot of the world is with us on this one. We forgot the lessons of Vietnam already and Im sure we will forget the lessons of Iraq because corporate interests are the only ones Washington forwards. But we should never never never forget we created all these messes that must be cleaned up. And for that some day we will be taken down.
    Cousin2 robtal , 10 October 2014 4:26pm
    If you support military action against groups that behead people, then you support a US invasion of Saudia Arabia, where eight people were beheaded last month for "crimes" like "sorcery," right? Or is it only Western heads being cut off you are so concerned about, or heads being cut off by people who don't sell us oil?

    The article is correct. US national security policy is more about who wins the next election rather than reasoned responses to actual threats. As long as this is so, the US will be at war somewhere, with someone.

    BrainDrain59 Cousin2 , 10 October 2014 9:52pm
    I agree with your general point, as you can see from my other posts here. But with this:

    US national security policy is more about who wins the next election

    I cannot agree. US national insecurity policy is driven by the needs of the kleptocracy that runs my f'd-up country and profits from its damned wars. Individual zillionaires may be R or D, but as a group they don't care which wins, because they own both parties.

    Latvia's ruling coalition keeps Russia-leaning party at bay in election by Shaun Walker in Riga

    From comments: "Latvia is a country of 2 million people who have economic decisions made for them by the world bank, the IMF and the EU parliament." Nationalists after coming to power treat Russians as second class citizens. thanks God they can move to Western Europe which is less xenophobic. Most professionals I used to know left the country long ago. So what they are building is Ethnographic museum with banking sector specializing in laundering Russian dirty money. We can talk about democracy in apartheid country, like Latvia, only as a joke.
    The Guardian

    The results will give Harmony 25 seats in Latvia's 100-seat parliament, six fewer than they had before the elections, when they were also the largest single party in parliament. Other parties, however, were reluctant to enter a coalition with what is seen as the "Russian party".

    ... ... ...

    A third of Latvia's population is Russian-speaking, but about 280,000 are "non-citizens" of the country, holding special passports that bar them from voting. In order to become citizens, they have to take an exam on Latvian culture and history, a process which Russian rights groups say amounts to discrimination, but Latvian authorities say is necessary given the history of Soviet occupation and forced Russification policies of the past.

    Compare Shaun Walker with post

    What has happened to Saturday, October 04 elections in Latvia, except that was delivered record low voters attendance?

    The election results were predictable - most votes as usual got nationalists, artificially divided into several parties, which look like twins, all of whom has the exactly the same ideology: "the Russians are scum, and they should choke. Russia is the aggressor and we should fight it should be at war, America is our ideological gospel, the European Union is our feeding place."

    Anyway, just state and municipal officials, the number of which is rapidly approaching the number of not yet emigrated to Western Europe people of the "titular nation" was enough to achieving an electoral advantage when voting on any issues - from composition of Parliament to the approval of suicide, what exactly is the economic policy of the Latvian state.

    What was really interesting is that the other party under the name of "Consent", which is headed by the current mayor of Riga Nil Ushakov. This part previously managed to almost a third of the votes. This party this, which united all Russian people under the banner of resistance to assimilation, which for some reason is called integration, over the last 4 years has made an elegant sell-out of their own voters and now is trying to present a seductive pose in front of the Latvian nationalistic electorate.

    that include the rejection of the fight for return of of historical name of the street "Kosmonavtov", which was renamed by Russophobes into Dudayev street, and the recognition of the absurd claim that Latvia was occupied from 1940 to 1991, and the last betrayal of the electorate - declaration of Monsieur Ushakov about the illegality of the accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation.

    All this cost the party "Consent" votes. And the name itself has now become a wonderful theme for various jokes and comparisons of her with ready for everything. In reality:

    So Ushakov now needs to think something else to position "Consent" in a such way that Latvians nationalist were willing to admit her to the feeding pot, which in reality Parliament is.

    I propose a strong marketing course - all party members should go to fight Russia in Crimea in order to return it to Ukraine, i.e. to prove the talk with real deeds... Ticket to Kiev will be gladly pay by Ukrainian nationalists and then full speed to the Perekop and there unfold the fighting chain in full glory, in the reincarnation of "Drang nach Osten". You would say that this is a difficult task. But what to do? And who said it would be easy?

    Ilja NB, 05 October 2014 1:42pm

    So far the democracy in Latvia. Fanatic Latvians op purpose exclude the largest elected party. This is how extreme hate is created which eventually will reach boiling point like in the east of Ukraine.

    NSAhunter -> Ilja NB, 05 October 2014 2:05pm

    Oh please, the largest party many times are excluded if they can't gain support from other parties to form a government.

    Consider the 2010 Swedish election,_2010

    The Social democrats got the most seats but the second largest party ended up making government instead because they found more allies to outnumber the largest party.

    Also happened in Germany when the SPD and FDP outmaneuvered the larger CDU despite CDU having the largest share of votes because SPD and FDU combined outnumbered CDU voters.,_1976

    I doubt many baltics want "closer ties with russia" given what happened to Ukraine.

    The ukrainians sure got "closer ties" alright.

    Hermann22 -> Ilja NB, 05 October 2014 5:27pm

    The largest party had 23% of the votes. The coalition had 56%. The coalition wins by more than 2 to 1. This is democracy. Of course, this is not what Mr Putin understands as democracy but it is how things are done in the free world.

    Abdullah Ahmed Faraz, 05 October 2014 1:44pm

    Failure to give ethnic Russians a fair representation would lead to more unrest.

    Phalanxia -> Abdullah Ahmed Faraz , 05 October 2014 2:06pm
    Ethnic Russians in the Baltic states are not the monolith the Russian state want to portray them as. Some are resentful towards Baltic democracy and nostalgic for the Motherland, but others are well integrated Baltic-speakers and citizens of the Baltic democracies.
    Mittag Leffler -> Skookum1 , 05 October 2014 2:21pm
    Well, not quite true.

    Due to some strange discriminatory laws in Latvia, more than 10% of the population are banned from any voting, and something tells me they most probably would have voted for Ushakov, wouldn't they?

    On the other hand, ethnic Latvians refrain from voting for Ushakov because he is an ethnic Russian (as this very article suggests).

    In other words, discrimination in all directions.... looks like it is the way of living in Latvia, unfortunately...

    onu labu -> voltaire17, 05 October 2014 7:36pm

    out of 2 million people in Latvia, 1.5m are eligible to vote; some 520k are ethnic Russians, plus another 110k are Ukrainians and Belarusians, adding up to a total of 630k 'Russian speakers', of whom less than half - 280k - can't vote because they can't be arsed to learn the language of a country they came to live in uninvited.

    Nobul -> onu labu, 05 October 2014 7:53pm

    Were the Americans, Australians, Kiwis and Afrikaners invited into their countries and learned the native languages?

    GoodmansParadox -> Phalanxia, 05 October 2014 2:52pm

    Crimea is Russian, was Russian, and its people want to remain Russian, not be controlled by Russophobes in Kiev by a quirk of history (Khruschev's largesse would never had happened if the potential of the Ukrainian SSR breaking away from Russia had been contemplated). Why do you hate self-determination? Because the vast majority of Crimeans reject Ukraine. This was not an invasion.

    Phalanxia -> Alex Kuk, 05 October 2014 3:02pm

    They can choose whatever they like - apparently a large number of them chose Europe over Russia.

    Because the vast majority of Crimeans reject Ukraine.

    If this was so obviously true, the referendum could have been conducted within the Ukrainian Constitution rather than at the gunpoint of the Russian soldiers who Putin now admits had invaded Crimea.

    Crimea is Russian, was Russian

    It was actually originally Tatar, an indigenous people which the Russian authorities have wasted no time in repressing.

    whyohwhy123 -> Phalanxia, 05 October 2014 5:14pm

    Phalanxia said: "In other words, this is a loss for the pro-Moscow party.
    It's interesting how Harmony are pursuing the same have-cake-and-eat-it-too policy the Party of Regions and Russophiles in Ukraine pursued (


    pro-Moscow? any russian party is pro-Moscow?...and of course by this token any Russian party is a BAD party in your you know that you are a racist?

    Dimmus -> Phalanxia, 05 October 2014 7:02pm

    < the referendum could have been conducted >

    under the OSCE monitoring, but OSCE refused to monitor.

    < rather than at the gunpoint of the Russian soldiers >

    - show me any photos or videos of russian guns pointing on someone who votes.

    < It was actually originally Tatar, an indigenous people which the Russian authorities have wasted no time in repressing. >

    - The recorded history of the Crimean Peninsula begins around the 5th century BC when several Greek colonies were established along its coast (Wiki). Then it had been settled by Scythians, Tauri, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Kipchaks and Khazars. Then Kievan Rus' and partly by Byzantium. Then Golden Horde, Venetians and by the Genovese. Then the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. Then the Russian Empire. Then... some time later, under Soviets the Ukraine was formed and Crimea was given to Ukraine... May be historically it belongs to Greeks, but not to Tatars or Ukraine?

    mattijoon Dimmus, 05 October 2014 11:12pm

    < It was actually originally Tatar, an indigenous people which the Russian authorities have wasted no time in repressing. > - The recorded history of the Crimean Peninsula begins around the 5th century BC when several Greek colonies were established along its coast (Wiki). Then it had been settled by Scythians, Tauri, Greeks, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Kipchaks and Khazars. Then Kievan Rus' and partly by Byzantium. Then Golden Horde, Venetians and by the Genovese. Then the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire. Then the Russian Empire. Then... some time later, under Soviets the Ukraine was formed and Crimea was given to Ukraine... May be historically it belongs to Greeks, but not to Tatars or Ukraine?

    Well, you point it out. No piece of land "historically belongs" to anybody. Borders have been shifting, peoples have been moving, the Earth does not know any political boundaries.

    The annexation of Crimea by Russia is not legitimate. The Russians violated the papers they signed.

    SHappens, 05 October 2014 2:02pm

    Harmony favours closer ties with Moscow, while maintaining Latvia's Nato and EU membership

    The right thing to do. This is highly compatible and respectful for all. The same approach shall not be a problem elsewhere in Europe.

    stuperman -> SHappens, 05 October 2014 2:21pm

    ''Harmony favours closer ties with Moscow, while maintaining Latvia's Nato and EU membership.''

    That's its comment today. Tomorrow it can change its mind. As mayor of Riga why did Ušakovs visit senior Moscow officials three weeks ago? He said it was to discuss Russian sanctions of Latvian exports. That is not his responsibility; it the role of national government. We in Latvia are fully aware where his loyalties lay.

    starfield, 05 October 2014 2:11pm

    they have to take an exam on Latvian culture and history, a process which Russian rights groups say amounts to discrimination

    Hmm, they could always go and live in Russia then if that's the culture and history they prefer.
    It seems quite clear to me that there is a push to recreate the USSR but instead of having the other states still seen as states, Russia wants to just make them a part of Greater Russia.

    speakout99 -> starfield, 05 October 2014 3:02pm

    Nonsense. What would Russia want with a tiny, troublesome state like Latvia? In any case, it's part of the EU and NATO. You are just fantasizing.

    Bythemilkwood -> starfield, 05 October 2014 5:02pm

    Would you consent to be driven out of your home by ethnic cleansing?

    whyohwhy123 -> starfield, 05 October 2014 5:36pm

    Hmm, they could always go and live in Russia then if that's the culture and history they prefer.


    its like in Belgium you would say for French-speaking minority - you can always go to france and leave Belgium alone...or you can say for French-speaking minority in Switzerland - go to France if you want to speak your langauge....or in Spain and Scotland you can say to locals you !!!! - no, no, other words you get it - what you have just said is total nonsence (and pretty fascist one nonsence by the way).

    Gernot Kramper, 05 October 2014 2:17pm

    On the long run, Lativa must face the russian speaking minority. degrading them to ciztizen without rights is far below EU standards and makes sure, "evil" putin has a foot in the door.

    They can solve their problems now - or someone else will do in future

    Matt Long, 05 October 2014 2:26pm

    Latvia is a country of 2 million people who have economic decisions made for them by the world bank, the imf and the EU parliament.

    They cannot change taxation levels, raise pensions or set budget levels without other people's say say.

    Any country that took a bailout is in the same position. Fear of the Russians is the only way to be heard when you are a corrupt small nation.

    I feel for the people, both ethnic latvian and ethnic russian caught up in self serving political b***s**t.

    dyatel42, 05 October 2014 5:00pm

    I wonder how many people would be disenfranchised if Wales insisted that an exam in Welsh had to be passed before being allowed to vote?

    Presumably, Russian speakers in the Baltic states are permitted to pay taxes to the state even though they are unable to participate in the democratic process.

    However, it would appear that many Russian speakers who do possess a Baltic state passport simply move to the UK, judging by the number of Russian speakers my wife overhears around town.

    stuperman -> dyatel42, 05 October 2014 5:21pm

    There is a difference between an ''exam'' and a test. It is a test in Latvian similar to the one in the UK for those seeking UK citizenship..

    edwardrice -> stuperman, 05 October 2014 5:26pm

    But Latvia is a newly independent country and the people denied citizenship were born in the territory or moved and lived in the territory for many years and called it home.

    The ethnic Russians denied equal rights by the Latvian authorities didn't move to Latvia, they were already living there.

    [Oct 04, 2014] Violent clashes break out in Hong Kong after counter-protesters storm sit-in by Tania Branigan in Hong Kong and Jonathan Kaiman in Beijing

    From comments: "It will be interesting to see how this paper and the Western media in general will report on the use of violence from the pro democracy supporters in Hong Kong, because it is inevitable.
    My guess is that it will be excused and promoted as heroic."
    Oct 03, 2014 | The Guardian

    newenergyspace, 03 October 2014 12:17pm

    Send in the boys disguised as protesters, wait for violence to ensue, then claim the whole thing had descended into a riot and that the police were justified in their intervention in the interests of 'public safety'.

    MurkyFogsFutureLogs newenergyspace, 03 October 2014 2:35pm

    And whom are the original protesters? Shall we (as in the West) send in the NGO's posing as student unions to protest and undermine the regional government?

    Shall we, (as in the West) support our allies (like Saudi-Arabia and Turkey's) efforts in undermining the Syrian government, by sending in the jihadi's to kick off a civil war under the false auspices of a peaceful protest being violently cracked down upon?

    Or how about Ukrainian style? Sending in the armed neo-nazi's to fire upon police officers to garner a like for like response to augment an excuse which leads to actions that support a Western global agenda, for example, the installation of a pro-Western government.

    Come on, everyone's playing dirty, these tactics are not reserved for communist or sectarian states.

    Shinnel88 Daniel Lee, 03 October 2014 2:15pm

    I believe those kids were manipulated by their US-influenced school teachers. Very dangerous.

    They do not know what they really want and have very misled fantasies about the Western democracy which is non-existing, especially in UK and USA where we are all evilly monitored and controlled by MI5, MI6, FBI, CIA, and NSA.

    xiangbalaolao superdonyoungy, 03 October 2014 5:02pm

    Are you saying the multitude of tai tais are the Chinese secret granny squad shipped down from Shenzhen? Can you speak Cantonese? Do you know HK beyond Wanchai and Central? Anyone who has lived here long enough knows you dont mess with Mong Kok and Yau Ma Dei residents, especially the triads and old girls and boys who dont take kindly to spotty kids from HKU interfering with business.

    RenZantetsuken Jtd979, 03 October 2014 6:33pm

    I was waiting for the standard CIA comment! Ha ha

    I was waiting for the plain-clothed cops comment too, wasn't disappointed.

    Imagine, if they're both correct.

    hipstorian, 03 October 2014 12:24pm

    It's not all Beijing sending in a mob. There is a very large number of Hong Kong people who aren't involved in the protests - mostly middle aged, who see the action as damaging the intrests of the place. Despite the reporting about it being a sweeping democratic movement, it isn't. There are disperate groups with different agends which have been lumped together.

    QueenElizabeth hipstorian, 03 October 2014 1:08pm

    Yes, but 'rent-a-mob' is catchier.

    As 'CIA-organised demonstrations' is catchier in the Beijing tabloids.

    ploughmanlunch, 03 October 2014 12:27pm

    It will be interesting to see how this paper and the Western media in general will report on the use of violence from the pro democracy supporters in Hong Kong, because it is inevitable.
    My guess is that it will be excused and promoted as heroic.

    Marella, 03 October 2014 12:29pm

    Presumably the Chinese government can now claim this was a 'spontaneous' uprising of loyal citizens, and avoid international criticism.

    marky226, 03 October 2014 12:29pm

    The pro- democracy crowd is being helped significantly in funding by guess who America. The CIA involved again, now I would be support them but this.

    eveready, 03 October 2014 12:29pm

    Just as I predicted. Hongkong is a fast and furious society. Time is money. The demonstrators are depriving the businessmen in the vicinity of their livelihood. These locals have big losses staring into their faces. The Hongkong government doesn't need to lift a finger to make the demonstrators go home. What more the Communist Chinese government.

    WinstonTheChair marky226, 03 October 2014 12:48pm

    Have you got evidence for this? Sorry but links to the blogs of nutjobs don't count and neither does inferring on the basis that, "It must be, mustn't it?" – I mean real evidence that might stand rational examination.

    Krustallos WinstonTheChair, 03 October 2014 1:03pm

    Even if the CIA was involved, would that be a reason not to support the protestors? The KGB fairly seriously infiltrated the UK trade union movement but that didn't mean UK trade unions were nothing but a Kremlin plot.

    Besides, basing your political decisions on opposing whatever the US supports is likely to lead you into some very strange places. Better to analyse the issues from an independent standpoint. What's likely to benefit the working class in Hong Kong the most? Political freedom and the right to vote for whoever they choose, or a government hand picked by the dictatorship in Beijing?

    alfredwong WinstonTheChair, 03 October 2014 1:11pm

    The Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has sternly warned the US to not get involved in Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests. China probably has the evidence that the US is actually pulling the strings from behind the scene.

    marky226 Krustallos, 03 October 2014 1:57pm

    China is dictatorship, meantime in America you have a country which is much the same when few vote and the rich and big companies run the country.

    arhead4u2 LarsPorsena, 04 October 2014 2:42am

    The following is a comment I read earlier:

    On Thursday, Wen Wei Po published an "expose" into what it described as the U.S. connections of Joshua Wong, the 17 year-old leader of student group Scholarism.

    The story asserts that "U.S. forces" identified Mr. Wong's potential three years ago, and have worked since then to cultivate him as a "political superstar."

    Evidence for Mr. Wong's close ties to the U.S. that the paper cited included what the report described as frequent meetings with U.S. consulate personnel in Hong Kong and covert donations from Americans to Mr. Wong. As evidence, the paper cited photographs leaked by "netizens." The story also said Mr. Wong's family visited Macau in 2011 at the invitation of the American Chamber of Commerce, where they stayed at the "U.S.-owned" Venetian Macao, which is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp.

    Benny Tai "Occupy Central's" leader, has spent years associated with and benefiting from US State Department cash and support.

    "Occupy Central's" self-proclaimed leader, Benny Tai, is a law professor at the aforementioned University of Hong Kong and a regular collaborator with the NDI-funded CCPL. In 2006-2007 (annual report, .pdf) he was named as a board member – a position he has held until at least as recently as last year. In CCPL's 2011-2013 annual report (.pdf), NDI is listed as having provided funding to the organization to "design and implement an online Models of Universal Suffrage portal where the general public can discuss and provide feedback and ideas on which method of universal suffrage is most suitable for Hong Kong.

    The U.S. has certainly promoted regime change worldwide, often by using non-governmental organizations as front groups to funnel money to dissidents who will overthrow the government.
    For example, USAID has been called the "new CIA", and FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds told Washington's Blog that the U.S. State Department is involved in many "hard power" operations, often coordinating through well-known "Non-Governmental Organizations" (NGOs). Specifically, Edmonds explained that numerous well-known NGOs – which claim to focus on development, birth control, women's rights, fighting oppression and other "magnificent sounding" purposes or seemingly benign issues – act as covers for State Department operations. She said that the State Department directly places operatives inside the NGOs.

    Edmonds also told us that – during the late 90s and early 2000s – perhaps 30-40% of the people working for NGOs operated by George Soros were actually working for the U.S. State Department.

    If this all sounds too nutty, remember that historians say that declining empires tend to attack their rising rivals … so the risk of world war is rising because the U.S. feels threatened by the rising empire of China.

    marky226, 03 October 2014 12:33pm

    Isotropisch marky226, 03 October 2014 1:09pm

    You do know that the so-called "Centre for Research on Globalization" is actually one person, Michael Chussodvsky, a rampant conspiracy theorist and holocaust denier, who relates every single event in the world to a CIA/White House plot. He is the definition of an unreliable source.

    Reynardus, 03 October 2014 12:35pm

    Has the U.S. State Department come up with the color name for this "revolution"?

    21794h, 03 October 2014 12:36pm

    Unacceptable abuse of human rights and a peaceful protest? Waits for Cameron's statement supporting the Chinese regime...........

    guface 21794h, 03 October 2014 3:22pm

    abuse of human rights

    isnt the disruption of other people's livelihoods and stopping the progress of an entire city a bit of an abuse of human rights too?

    kw9751, 03 October 2014 12:51pm

    man, this article may have well been written by fox news.

    firstly for the clueless pressitutes here, the mong kok area in hong kong has no government buildings. its is a tightly packed area of small businesses and apartments.

    it is highly therefore highly likely the mob in question are local residents that have seen their business wreaked for a week and their sleep disturbed for an entire week.

    now imagine you have a bunch of hippies outside your door singing kumbaya all day, all night preventing you from working or sleeping for an entire. would you not want to beat them into a pulp too no matter how worthy their cause is?

    Prianichek, 03 October 2014 12:53pm

    Applause! US State Dept. set another country on fire. Who s gonna be next?

    VengefulRevenant, 03 October 2014 12:54pm

    The resort to lame abuse and insulting epithets against the opponents of the occupation by the Guardian "journalist" is actually rather pitiable. It's an infantile tantrum.

    Their Guardian's atavistic colonialist hopes were so high that the Occupy Central protest would cause severe political damage to China but the turnout for the demonstrations turned out to be rather underwhelming. And now the whole spectacle appears to be fizzling further.

    In their disappointment the Guardian petulantly editorialised that Brazil and South Africa and other non-European countries "must" join in the China bashing to provide cover for the attacks so that they didn't all appear to come from the usual suspects, the decrepit white empires. Of course none of the countries to whom the Guardian's liberal Colonel Blimps issued instructions paid them the slightest attention.

    Now that the demonstrators have overstayed their welcome with many residents of the occupied areas and have mostly have gone home, the Guardian is shedding bitter tears of rage and lapsing into hate speech. Sad really ... they would have happy with a win or a bloodbath but it looks like they won't get either.

    mapleflot VengefulRevenant, 03 October 2014 1:05pm

    Or you could just have free elections. Or is it `petulant' to suggest that if the majority are against protests, the majority would vote accordingly?

    VengefulRevenant mapleflot, 03 October 2014 1:23pm

    Yes, your comment is petulant, because it reflects a combination of arrogance and impotence.

    The point is this: what you think and want for Hong Kong and what the Guardian thinks and wants are completely beside the point.

    What happens in China will be decided by the people of China and not by liberal editorialists and commentators in Britain, no matter how convinced you are of your moral and political superiority.

    Britain isn't the boss in Hong Kong any more, get it? The British military dictatorship over the territory died with a post-imperial whimper. Your ruling class no longer rule there.

    The empire's over.

    Gang TieRen, 03 October 2014 12:55pm

    This is the old tactic of the Communist and now adopted by the Hong Kong government. These thugs are paid by the Communist to intimate freedom loving people just like what they are doing inside of China.

    Zakida Gang TieRen, 03 October 2014 12:57pm

    "These thugs are paid by the Communist to intimate freedom loving people just like what they are doing inside of China."

    canbeanybody Gang TieRen, 03 October 2014 1:03pm

    Those "occupy central" extremists are bona fide thugs who behave irrationally and unreasonably.

    They do what they did only because their American handlers told them so.

    It has nothing to do with "democracy" as it has everything to do with regime change.

    And the need for those Americans handlers to mobilize "Occupy central" I because they are not doing that great in terms of containing China with their lousy war machines, ganging up their little fellow "friends" in Far East to trouble China.

    nothingtoeat, 03 October 2014 12:57pm

    I love the how the author uses picture images propaganized her bias views. The pictures show the young occupier are calm, innocent, heoric, victomized where the contrast you see mid-age mob-looking, angry, vulger and wretched.

    StevenJ19, 03 October 2014 1:09pm

    We should be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the pro-democracy activists, and if the Chinese don't like it, Hong Kong should become a British protectorate until free and fair elections have taken place.

    Wiseowl123 StevenJ19, 03 October 2014 1:22pm

    A very nice imperialist wet dream you are having there...why not go back to bed.

    VengefulRevenant StevenJ19, 03 October 2014 1:41pm

    Hong Kong should become a British protectorate until free and fair elections have taken place.

    And how long would that take?

    The British regime occupied Hong Kong for 144 years after grabbing it as a base for its opium-pushing operation into China. It was governed as a racist military dictatorship with an autocratic governor.

    Luke Taco Powell, 03 October 2014 1:10pm

    Stay calm Hong Kong, they can't fight you if stay peaceful.

    Sarah7591Wilson Luke Taco Powell, 03 October 2014 3:09pm

    Don't be naive. Of course they can. Look at what happened to those college students in California in 2011, whom the cops pepper-spayed directly into their faces and eyes as they were participating in a completely peaceful sit-down.

    StephenDaedalus, 03 October 2014 1:14pm

    Would be helpful to tell us more about the counter-demonstrators and what they have to say. "Thugs" on its own doesn't tell us much.

    游天 StephenDaedalus, 03 October 2014 1:29pm

    Because they are not thugs. They are mostly people living close by or have a tiny business in the same region. They are being disrupted not only during day time but 24 hours a day. It makes sense that they are fed up because in reality majority of the people in Hong Kong do not support this "protest". If you are interested, go back and check the poll of people who vote against this protest before it started.

    Babeouf, 03 October 2014 1:14pm

    Yes they have done the same at large demonstrations in the UK for years. You don't send in the riot squads until people start to drift away. And I expect it will be the same here. You don't want to be with the last few hundred demonstrators on which the authorities will leave a violent imprint. The Honk Kong Protesters appear to have commonalities with Occupy Wall Street many of whose members had the most fantastic illusions about what they were actually doing. In Honk Kong you knew they were done when the Western media highlighted their politeness.

    There are no polite revolutions. Perhaps they can put it on again next year for the tourists.

    VERBALWARRIOR, 03 October 2014 1:16pm

    Democracy does not prevent oppression, and in most EU and western states including the UK it is actually oppressive due to the electoral systems in place.

    Oppression is common in UK, though the use of English language, its definitions and meanings are used to deceive the reality.

    One just needs to watch/listen to Tory conference.

    The proposed freezes to public worker wage rises and to those on tax credits or even on benefits are forms of oppression, which reduces and removes peoples ability to maintain their living standards and lives. There can be no clearer reality of definition of oppression. This Tory group seek to afflict oppressive policies upon millions of people.

    In UK, our first pass the post electoral system is used to oppress the views and will of a vast number of citizens, very often in UK those elected are elected by a minority of those who actually voted in total, once all opposition votes for all parties are accounted for.

    All very well protesting and fighting for democracy, but at the end of the day it is the type of democracy that ultimately counts.

    sydsam, 03 October 2014 1:50pm

    Dear Guardian, Why pro-democracy activists and not pro-US separatist, as was labelled in Ukraine?

    [Oct 04, 2014] Hong Kong protesters beaten and bloodied as thugs attack sit-in

    February instructions from Ukrainian template are dusted off and reused. Good work Guardian. Reuse is a path to sustainable future ;-). From comments at "Nothing for a while in the Facts-Are-Sacred Grauniad about the Ukraine: all has been overshadowed by ISIS and Hong Kong. So it's time for a non-story linked to the Evil Empire, just so as to keep the pot on the back-burner simmering, as it were..."

    pauloneill, 3 Oct 2014 21:15

    message to HK students:

    Don't bother - real democracy does not exist today - all you are fighting for is for an ultra-capitalist big business democracy which will leave you with someone like David Cameron.

    sbabcock, 4 Oct 2014 00:19

    It's incredible how talking heads on American cable news can talk with a straight face about the 'brute tactics' China is using on its people for demonstrating. What convenient lapses of recent memory...

    LostInWonder, 3 Oct 2014 23:47

    If protestors blocked off all major arteries approaching the West End of London and Westminster, and erected scaffolding and tents to do so so as to stop all commerce, they would be removed by police. It was made illegal to set up tents on the lawns in front of the houses do Parliament.

    The students in HK block off access to government buildings and swore to prevent the chief executive getting to work to force their agenda. Attempts to remove them by police is labeled in the West as Communist brutality.

    Just think about is.

    And how much coverage is there of the opinions of a large part of the HK public who are against the tactics and the demands of the students so as to provide a balanced picture? I know of many friends and relations in HK who are against what the students are doing but ther is no representation of their views in the foreign press. I wonder why?

    RudolfSteinerRules, 3 Oct 2014 23:42

    The goal of the US in Hong Kong is clear – to turn the island into an epicenter of foreign-funded subversion with which to infect China's mainland more directly.

    "Protesters of the "Occupy Central" movement in Hong Kong shout familiar slogans and adopt familiar tactics seen across the globe as part of the United States' immense political destabilization and regime change enterprise. Identifying the leaders, following the money, and examining Western coverage of these events reveal with certainty that yet again, Washington and Wall Street are busy at work to make China's island of Hong Kong as difficult to govern for Beijing as possible."

    spiritof1983, 3 Oct 2014 23:39

    If applied the benefit of rational thought and describe truthfully the context of the picture is totally different.

    In this case in Mongkok, Kowloon, the crazy fools have 'occupied' a main road junction in the middle of the district which is a very high density working class residential and shopping and restaurant area (non-luxury). Understand that the unlike western 'Occupy Movement' which is actually sit-ins (with a fancy name for re-branding an old form of visible dissention), that sit-in takes up a space but does not obstruct the functionality of the facility. In Hong Kong, the protest have morphed to blockade or near that, of selected main roads or government building complex. Especially to police movement. Kind of ironic that they then accuse the police of not coming to their aid, more so when they have taxed the police over so many areas and 24 hours a day for a week now.

    This blockade action is in fact closer to the actions in Thailand past (airport siege 2006 and 2008) which were for holding the economy hostage, through foreign tourist trade, and showing the government to be powerless thereby discrediting it. This is what the 'occupy' actions in Hong Kong have morphed into. An attempt to paralyse government and key commercial area. In Mongkok, the clowns are trying to paralyse a working class shopping and eating area (Mongkok would be frequented by more Asian tourists, especially mainland China, and HK local residents than Westerners). This is pure stupidity. Of course there will be resident backlash. Hell some might be mainland tourists as well, in addition to residents who are first generation mainland migrants or HKers (especially older ones) loyal to the mainland (patriotic, as opposed to loyal to CPC which is another thing and also in play). Definitely the petty traders and taximen who would consist more of poor mainlanders will be feeling the economic pinch and be among the angry lot. Triad/secret society boldness would be more in Kowloon and New Territories than in HK Island.

    This type of paralysis strategy is a form of brinkmanship. It worked in Thailand because, while the government was in the other parties hand, the armed forces and police (top echelon) was with the elite and the other party. Here in Hong Kong, the police at best is neutral, at worst more to the side of the status quo. The Army is with the other side. So playing this strategy protracted will bring out the residents against and eventually the law enforcement.

    The sit-ins have to be targeted and prolonged visible dissent. Not blockade and indiscriminate and unthought one at that. The right action of leadership, is not just to advise the protestors to abandon the Mongkok occupation for Admiralty for their own safety, but to in fact go further and disavow the Mongkok group's continued occupation as being counter productive and not lead by them. In Admiralty and Causeway Bay, it has to be sit-in, not blockade of movement.

    "They [the government] are trying to use the people to fight against the people. The cops are just going to stand here and watch – they are doing nothing about people breaking laws."

    Of course they are. In any population there is more than one side of the argument and support. Of course the government will adjust it actions to allow its side to also show their support. Its pointless crying foul about police not upholding the law when your own action of occupation which spurs the reaction, is illegal. There is a legal way of expressing public dissent in Hong Kong. Use it.

    As I wrote after the Thursday midnight ultimatum. There has to be better strategy and leadership. The 'occupy' strategy has failed. Moved to negotiations and rallying with sit-ins. The longer they 'occupy'/blockade the more local resentment will build up and more moved to express counter-protest via blue ribbon movement.

    spiritof1983 Cedrik Thibert, 3 Oct 2014 23:55

    ".....when your thug regime...."

    You are making the presumption I am Chinese. I am neither a Chinese national nor a Chinese ethnic of the diaspora. I am a Malaysian. Have posted here and regularly stated this. My old account is in fact ReaderMALAYSIA. Interestingly enough after I posted a view and approach dissenting to the common trend in the thread, post MH17 downing (that is a Malaysian carrier and I am Malaysian and I took the side of the Russian Ukrainians right to life, self defense, not our war and we should negotiate directly with the rebels to retrieve the bodies and conduct investigation), I was accused immediately by a contributor of not being a Malaysian. It seems the argument of people like you is to claim the other of being a cyberbot of the other side. Rather than to retort rationally. The key reason in this is the projection of infallibility (of the side of argument you favour) which is impossible and therefore unbelievable even to outside observers unfamiliar with the current event and place.

    IXOXOXI, 3 Oct 2014 20:46

    A US created Kiev re-run. Trying to force the Chinese to let up on vetting Govt candidates, and thus get a US paid stooge into power.

    But the necessary moral high ground isn't forthcoming. The authorities aren't biting. D'oh!

    So this 'evidence' is presented to us. The only evidence offered here of 'Thuggery' is one man trying to get home accused of physically taking on several thousand students, and a photo of someone with a bloody face.

    Locals and residents now suffering due to lost business, and getting understandably angry and vocal. Even the local organized criminals (triads) are apparently losing business.

    BTW, is it coincidental that the areas of unrest - around the Admiralty - centres around the location of the US embassy (consulate)? Google it.

    ryinmcd IXOXOXI, 3 Oct 2014 20:49

    I 'd shocked if US didn't get involved. You have to ask the citizens in Libya, Egypt, Iraq and others that are you better off today.

    TONY C, 3 Oct 2014 20:38

    This is mild compared to what protesters are exposed to in the United States of AmeriKKKa. Here in the US, police kill protesters. And then a grand jury is convened, and then the police are found innocent.

    jackscht TONY C, 3 Oct 2014 20:41

    Well, in China and Russia they don't even get to trial to be found innocent.
    So don't complain too much about your lot.

    illbthr22 TONY C, 3 Oct 2014 20:53

    Care to remind me when the last Tianamen Square level atrocity occured in the US?

    pauloneill illbthr22, 3 Oct 2014 21:06

    dude that was 26 years ago. Today's world looks a little different. Western governments have become more violent and intrusive towards their citizens while the Chinese have tried to tone it down a notch.

    Amazingly I would say they are not miles apart any more. Just shows that big business ultra-capitalist democracy is relly very similar to a dictatorship.

    [Oct 04, 2014] Arrival of Russian cossacks sparks fears in Bosnia

    Mr. Russian, 4 Oct 2014 00:40

    Here is the real reason for the article -

    Pretty boring and predictable, actually.

    Note about Guardian Obamabot gross misstatement of facts

    Moscow Exile, September 28, 2014 at 2:13 am
    (Please delete above cocked-up posting and replace with what follows.)

    Today the Grauniad kicks off its daily ant-Russia spiel with this news agency article:

    Russia's Sergei Lavrov: the US cannot change the cold war in its 'genetic code'

    in which it is stated:

    Immediately before Lavrov spoke, the German foreign minister had said Russia's actions to retake Crimea were a crime.

    "Russia has, with its annexation of Crimea, unilaterally changed existing borders in Europe and thus broke international law", Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in his address to the world body. He spent considerable time speaking about what the west sees as Russian meddling in Ukraine."

    [Moscow Exile emphasis in block letters]

    JiminNH, clearly a Putinbot earning Kremlin shekels, then responds in the comments section, which is, as usual, being hammered by a Russophobe, who constantly writes of "Russian invasion of Crimea", "MH-17″, "Russian BUK", "Little Green Men", "Crimea elections held at the point of a Kalashnikov", "Putin lying about no troops in the Crimea" etc. thus:

    Referencing German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the author [JimiNH means the author of the New York Associated Press agency report] said that

    He spent considerable time speaking about what the west sees as Russian meddling in Ukraine.

    The author grossly misstates the facts.

    Mr. Steinmeier's prepared speech contained 27 paragraphs. 6 referred to the UN in general. 5 referred to Ukraine. 4 referred to the ME crisis. 2 referred to Ebola.

    In reading the 5 paragraphs involving Ukraine, only 1 can be categorized as substantive criticism of 'what the west sees as Russian meddling…' Indeed, 2 were 1 sentence paragraphs. See for yourself:

    "That's why I must mention the conflict in Ukraine here. Some people in this chamber may regard this as nothing more than a regional conflict in eastern Europe. But I am convinced that this view is incorrect; this conflict affects each and every one of us. Not just any state, but a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia has, with its annexation of Crimea, unilaterally changed existing borders in Europe and thus broken international law.

    We had to counter this dangerous signal, because we must not allow the power of international law to be eroded from insidel We must not allow the old division between East and West to re-emerge in the United Nations.

    Because so much is at stake in this conflict, not only for the people in Ukraine but also for the future of international law, Germany and its partners have taken on responsibility and committed themselves vigorously to defusing the conflict.

    I am under no illusion. A political solution is still a long way off. That said, however, just a few weeks ago we were on the brink of direct military confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian armed forces. Diplomacy prevented the worst. Now the priority must be to bring about a lasting ceasefire and to arrive at a political solution, a solution based on the principles of the United Nations and preserving the unity of Ukraine.

    But I am not only talking about Ukraine! As long as this conflict is simmering, as long as Russia and the West are in dispute over Ukraine, this threatens to paralyse the United Nations. But we need a UN Security Council at is able and willing to act in order to tackle the new and, in the long term, far more important tasks we are facing. For the world of 2014 is plagued not only by the old ghost of division, but also by new demons."

    I might note that the 'political solution' and 'diplomacy (that) prevented the worst' did not originate in the efforts of Herr Steinmeier, nor of Sec.St. Kerry, nor FM Hammond, nor Mr. von Rumpuy. The political solution was brought about by the diplomacy of Russia, which sought diplomatic resolution to the conflict since the US and EU helped regime change the Yanukovych government in February and then saw CIA Director Brennan secretly travel to Kyiv just days before the post-coup, unelected government unleashed the dogs of war on the eastern Ukrainians who rose in opposition to the coup that reversed their two victories in the democratic elections of 2010 (presidency) and 2012 (parliament).

    As this short but sweet article demonstrates, the western 'free press' continues to serve as nothing but the mouthpiece for the US & NATO globalist elites to distort the facts and reality.

    The reason they do that is to condition the western audience for the oncoming global conflict being brought upon the world courtesy of the US Neocon warhawk's implementation of its declared national security strategy, called the "Wolfowitz Doctrine," to prevent Russia or any other country, or group of countries, from challenging our unilateral dominance of the world. And those Neocons are clearly willing to go to war to maintain that hegemonistic position."

    Nice one, JimiNH!

    [Oct 03, 2014] Hong Kong protests: Violence 'organized', Occupy Central leaders say – as it happened

    Compare with Slightly Skeptical EuroMaidan Chronicles, December 2013 and Slightly Skeptical EuroMaidan Chronicles, January 2014


    I'm a pro-democracy HK student. Whilst I don't agree with the views of the pro-Beijing groups, I accept that their voices have the right to exist in the city, because of something called freedom of speech. But yet these pro-Beijing groups try to stifle our voices through their fists...

    (By the way, there are witness accounts saying that the pro-Beijing groups are targeting female protesters and sexually harassing them...)

    canbeanybody marion4

    Once the law and order deliberately breaks down by those "occupy central" activists then many Hong Kong Chinese will suffer.

    This is why ever so important to maintain stability and law and order.

    Those law breakers ignoring the rules and regulation but just indulge in disruption and destruction, by blocking all major roads, blocking business and traffic then the city is paralysed.

    Students will miss their lessons and Hong Kong economy will be severely damaged.

    That is why Hong Kong authority appeal to all of you to disperse.

    Why not just heed the call?


    After Kiev, the Americans now think it is Chinese turn to get their deadly and nasty game.

    Although there are many "occupy central" extremists do exactly what those Americans say, yet they will fail.

    Arrest those nasty "occupy central" extremists who are now hidden behind. But first isolate them for the arrest. Impose heavy fines on them and impose long sentences on those most violent and notorious die hard extremists.

    MikeLundun canbeanybody

    Show your evidence.

    canbeanybody MikeLundun

    what evidence you want? The evidence the CIA met Kiev regime leaders? Or you want evidence the meeting between Americans agencies and "occupy central" extremists? Or you want evidence of meetings between "occupy central" extremists with foreign governmental officials?

    They are all in the press.

    It would not be that far fetched to say that they have discussed strategy and techniques.

    Are you saying otherwise?


    The Guardian or how to turn HK business owners, store keepers and other bread winners into "pro-beijing rule" supporters. I'm getting disgusted reading this Guardian crap

    [Sep 28, 2014] Russia's Sergei Lavrov: the US cannot change the cold war in its 'genetic code' by Associated Press

    Sep 26, 2014 |

    Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Lavrov said the crisis in Ukraine was the result of a coup d'etat in that country backed by the US and the European Union for the purpose of pulling Kiev out of its "organic role as a binding link between" east and west, denying it the opportunity for "neutral and non-bloc status".

    Lavrov also said the Russian annexation of Crimea earlier this year was the choice of the largely Russian-speaking population there.

    Immediately before Lavrov spoke, the German foreign minister had said Russia's actions to retake Crimea were a crime.

    "Russia has, with its annexation of Crimea, unilaterally changed existing borders in Europe and thus broke international law," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in his address to the world body. He spent considerable time speaking about what the west sees as Russian meddling in Ukraine.

    Selected Skeptical Comments
    LeDingue, 27 September 2014 9:04pm

    the increasingly anti-western stance of Russia's president, Vladimir Putin

    Or how about 'the increasingly defensive Russia' that has been targeted by US provocations in Ukraine, a constant programme of media destabilisation using CIA "pet" oligarchs and a network of Ngo front organisations.

    The US plan with the Ukraine operation was to split EU-Russian trade and political relations. No doubt 10 years of NSA surveillance of all EU leaders and top civil servants helped generate some "leverage" to persuade Europe to go along with this self-harming plan.

    All this anti-Russia or anti-Putin media crusade is aimed at destabilising Russia politically. Then Iran will be a sitting duck for the US-Wahabi terror sponsors to destroy it with jihadi proxies like they're doing to Syria.
    Oh, and the "pet" oligarchs can then return Russia to the broken kleptocracy that Bush1 oversaw there.

    Russia was progressing with European relations. This "increasingly anti-western stance" is code for "having taken measures to prevent US subversion" and for having rebuffed attempts to pin the MH17 attack on them or the rebels. So it's more a question of "America's increasingly desperate measures in attacking Russian stability".

    The US has to destroy this emergent Russian stability (it's just 14 years since the end of the Yeltsin chaos) that represents an obstacle to the US-Saudi-Israeli Eurasian ambitions. They want the Qatar-Turkey pipeline - Russian backed Assad said no. Russian backs Iran, long a target for Saudi hatred (and Israeli), and surviving even after years of strangulation sanctions. They have huge oil & gas reserves. Russia stands in the way of the Brzezinski-Wolfowitz plans for domination so they must be attacked.

    davidpear -> LeDingue, 27 September 2014 9:39pm

    US-Saudi-Israeli Eurasian ambitions.

    The US has lusted to colonize Russia and exploit its natural resources as far back as the US invasion of Russia in 1918. It is a forgotten military disaster for the US but not forgotten by Russia.

    goatrider, 27 September 2014 9:07pm
    Lavrov said the crisis in Ukraine was the result of a coup d'etat in that country backed by the US and the European Union for the purpose of pulling Kiev out of its "organic role as a binding link between" east and west, denying it the opportunity for "neutral and non-bloc status".

    Well said

    davidpear -> goatrider, 27 September 2014 9:48pm
    Well said

    It was the EU that offered an unacceptable miserly trade deal to Ukraine and then said that they had to choose between the EU or Russia but could not take both trade deals. It intentionally drove a wedge between already existing divisions within Ukraine.

    Bosula, 27 September 2014 9:09pm
    Crimea has had three referendums since 1991 and they have all supported independence from Ukraine. Two of these referendums were organised by Kiev and they refused to recognise the results.

    Crimea has consistently not seen itself as part of Ukraine.

    sodtheproles -> Bosula, 27 September 2014 9:25pm
    What has democracy got to do with it? That's our prerogative, to impose on or deny to others as we see fit, and in this instance, the Crimeans plainly aren't suited to democracy, since the results of their ballots fail to pass the basic democratic test of coherence with Western policy on Ukraine.
    davidpear -> sodtheproles, 27 September 2014 9:51pm
    What has democracy got to do with it? Nothing. US foreign policy has nothing to do with democracy, freedom, human rights and even life itself. It is all about what is best for US and multinational corporations.
    RedPeony, 27 September 2014 9:29pm

    Lavrov is right. USA acts like they are above everybody else. The sooner we learn that their way is the only way the better. It's frustrating. I don't know what's worse: when they openly bully you or when they pretend to be your friends (

    Papistpal -> RedPeony, 27 September 2014 10:15pm


    No hard feelings. We want to be your friend. Please provide your address and we will send our special "Friendship Drone" with special gifts and prizes for you and all your friends.

    HansVonDerHeyde -> RedPeony, 28 September 2014 2:26am

    U.S "Democracy" and "Freedom" coming to a country near you.

    Ivan Borisov, 27 September 2014 9:38pm

    I think one of the recent episodes of Die Anstalt,, the german satirical show on German ZDF channel sums it up quite nicely.

    r7781lt , 27 September 2014 9:56pm
    To us old folks to hear a German foreign minister preaching about invasion of other countries sounds like bitter irony.

    Just fill in the blanks in the sentence " The Reich has, with its annexation of ****, unilaterally changed existing borders in Europe and thus broke international law" Uh huh, nihil sub sole novum

    ShadySunny -> r7781lt , 27 September 2014 10:05pm
    1. Russia's long term end goal is to survive and prosper through the collapse of the AngloZionist Empire.

    2. Russia's mid term goal is to create the conditions for regime change in Kiev, because Russia will never be safe with a neo-Nazi russophobic regime in power in Kiev.

    3. Russia's short term goal is to prevent the Kiev junta from over-running Novorussia.

    4. Russia's preferred method to achieve these goals is negotiation with all parties involved.

    5. A prerequisite to achieve these goals by negotiations is to prevent the Empire from succeeding in creating an acute continental crisis (conversely, the imperial "deep state" fully understands all this, hence the double declaration of war last week by Obama and Poroshenko).

    The Russian response to a double declaration of war

    Arapas , 27 September 2014 10:07pm

    the German foreign minister had said Russia's actions to retake Crimea were a crime.

    You need some neck, the size of a lamp post, to make such statement.

    Your country Monsieur started 2 world wars, killing 27 million Russians during the second. Your country dished out cruelty only matched by the Americans, and their Supermaxes.

    I happen to be British, but If I was Russian, and I mean Sergei Lavrov, I would be permanently having your country in my nukes eye sights.

    You have done it twice, you will do it again.

    splodgeness Arapas , 27 September 2014 10:14pm
    I'm British too. You really need to examine what you were taught about the wars:

    Nazism is usually depicted as the outcome of political blunders and unique economic factors: we are told that it could not be prevented, and that it will never be repeated.

    In this explosive book, Guido Giacomo Preparata shows that the truth is very different: using meticulous economic analysis, he demonstrates that Hitler's extraordinary rise to power was in fact facilitated -- and eventually financed -- by the British and American political classes during the decade following World War I.

    Through a close analysis of events in the Third Reich, Preparata unveils a startling history of Anglo-American geopolitical interests in the early twentieth century. He explains that Britain, still clinging to its empire, was terrified of an alliance forming between Germany and Russia. He shows how the UK, through the Bank of England, came to exercise control over Weimar Germany and how Anglo-American financial support for Hitler enabled the Nazis to seize power.

    This controversial study shows that Nazism was not regarded as an aberration: for the British and American establishment of the time, it was regarded as a convenient way of destabilising Europe and driving Germany into conflict with Stalinist Russia, thus preventing the formation of any rival continental power block.

    Guido Giacomo Preparata lays bare the economic forces at play in the Third Reich, and identifies the key players in the British and American establishment who aided Hitler's meteoric rise.

    ... ... ...

    JiminNH, 27 September 2014 10:15pm
    Referencing German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the author said that

    He spent considerable time speaking about what the west sees as Russian meddling in Ukraine.

    The author grossly misstates the facts.

    Mr. Steinmeier's prepared speech contained 27 paragraphs. 6 referred to the UN in general. 5 referred to Ukraine. 4 referred to the ME crisis. 2 referred to Ebola.

    In reading the 5 paragraphs involving Ukraine, only 1 can be categorized as substantive criticism of "what the west sees as Russian meddling..." Indeed, 2 were 1 sentence paragraphs.

    See for yourself:

    That's why I must mention the conflict in Ukraine here. Some people in this chamber may regard this as nothing more than a regional conflict in eastern Europe. But I am convinced that this view is incorrect; this conflict affects each and every one of us. Not just any state, but a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia has, with its annexation of Crimea, unilaterally changed existing borders in Europe and thus broken international law.

    We had to counter this dangerous signal, because we must not allow the power of international law to be eroded from insidel We must not allow the old division between East and West to re-emerge in the United Nations.

    Because so much is at stake in this conflict, not only for the people in Ukraine but also for the future of international law, Germany and its partners have taken on responsibility and committed themselves vigorously to defusing the conflict.

    I am under no illusion. A political solution is still a long way off. That said, however, just a few weeks ago we were on the brink of direct military confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian armed forces. Diplomacy prevented the worst. Now the priority must be to bring about a lasting ceasefire and to arrive at a political solution, a solution based on the principles of the United Nations and preserving the unity of Ukraine.

    But I am not only talking about Ukraine! As long as this conflict is simmering, as long as Russia and the West are in dispute over Ukraine, this threatens to paralyse the United Nations. But we need a UN Security Council at is able and willing to act in order to tackle the new and, in the long term, far more important tasks we are facing. For the world of 2014 is plagued not only by the old ghost of division, but also by new demons.

    I might note that the "political solution" and "diplomacy (that) prevented the worst" did not originate in the efforts of Herr Steinmeier, nor of Sec.St. Kerry, nor FM Hammond, nor Mr. von Rumpuy. The political solution was brought about by the diplomacy of Russia, which sought diplomatic resolution to the conflict since the US and EU helped regime change the Yanukovych government in February and then saw CIA Director Brennan secretly travel to Kyiv just days before the post-coup, unelected government unleashed the dogs of war on the eastern Ukrainians who rose in opposition to the coup that reversed their two victories in the democratic elections of 2010 (presidency) and 2012 (parliament).

    As this short but sweet article demonstrates, the western "free press" continues to serve as nothing but the mouthpiece for the US & NATO globalist elites to distort the facts and reality.

    The reason they do that is to condition the western audience for the oncoming global conflict being brought upon the world courtesy of the US Neocon warhawk's implementation of its declared national security strategy, called the "Wolfowitz Doctrine," to prevent Russia or any other country, or group of countries, from challenging our unilateral dominance of the world. And those Neocons are clearly willing to go to war to maintain that hegemonistic position.

    LeDingue -> JiminNH , 27 September 2014 10:24pm


    Good comment.

    At least someone is prepared to do a little research in the face of the endless media "spin".

    FlangeTube, 27 September 2014 10:17pm
    Can anybody, reasonably. disagree with this analysis?

    American "leadership" is not a constant in an uncertain world, it is a myth only Americans ever believed. American foreign policy is to protect American political, economic and corporate interests - that is all. They push selfish aims behind a mask of "democracy" and have done nothing but sewn chaos around the world.

    American "leadership" is a meaningless lie that fewer and fewer people can even speak with a straight face. Its economy is propped up with imaginary money and crushing debt and in its panic to secure its place at the head of the table it is pushing insane policies against China, Russia and various countries in the middle east.

    America is not a good guy, and only Americans ever thought it was.

    P212121 -> FlangeTube, 28 September 2014 12:07am

    American foreign policy is to protect American political, economic and corporate interests - that is all.

    Sometimes I think it is less than that.. Who benefited from the mess in Iraq, Libya, Syria? American people or economy certainly did not. Very few people did, and I think it is all about them.

    Black Cat, 27 September 2014 10:31pm
    The German FM knows the truth of it, as we all do, and the recent debacle in Ukraine proves there's a limit to how far Europe is prepared to go in order to sustain the US's insane aims for global dominance.
    seamuspadraig -> Black Cat, 27 September 2014 11:45pm
    It seems to me that Europe went to far already. Here's what the sanctions are doing to the German economy:
    RudolfSteinerRules, 27 September 2014 10:43pm
    "And Crimea was not "annexed," the Crimean people voted to secede in a referendum. The fact that the new illegal and unelected government in the Ukraine argued that the secession of Crimea violated the Ukrainian Constitution was truly ironic given that same government came to power through the unconstitutional overthrow of the country's democratically-elected president. And given the number of people in Crimea who voted to secede and the vast numbers of people in Eastern Ukraine who are fighting for secession rather than live under the new US and EU backed government, it is clear that the Euromaidan movement did not speak for all Ukrainians."

    Miron, 27 September 2014 10:44pm
    Dear FM of Germany,

    How many mass graves were found in the path of Obama's junta in Ukrain, please.

    FlangeTube -> nickpossum, 27 September 2014 10:49pm
    Helping to negotiate a ceasefire between the rebels and Kiev was bullying? Giving them gas, despite billions in unpaid bills, is bullying?

    Go ask Iraqis or Syrians if they would rather be "bullied" by Russia or "liberated" by America.

    aprescoup -> UKey123, 28 September 2014 12:17am
    Nazi Germany was a criminal State but Hitler did the world a favour by provoking a global war, the consequence of which was the end of European colonialism. Hitler even did the Jews a favour: the Jews finally received a homeland. Without the WW2, decolonialization by Britain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal would never have happened. History is complicated. Russia will be doing humanity a favour if Putin triggers a full sanctions conflict with the West, and that sanctions conflict leads to the end of US-EU hegemony, the collapse of the US Dollar, and the end of the Washington Consensus, IMF; World Bank, UN, mass consumerism, denial of climate warming, and more.

    Trudi Goater, 27 September 2014 8:21pm

    Actually I'd say he's right it is about time America stopped telling everyone how unique it is! it's unique in it's ability to chaos chaos and mess the wold up and that's it as far as I can see!

    MikeBB2 -> Trudi Goater, 27 September 2014 8:27pm

    Indeed - all that "uniqueness' is as mythical as the supposed benefits brought to the world by the British Empire!

    Barbacana -> MikeBB2, 27 September 2014 10:02pm

    as mythical as the supposed benefits brought to the world by the British Empire!

    Well at least the Brits built railways in some of their colonies. The US on the other hand blows them up. So I think you're being too kind to the US.

    Saint_mean -> Barbacana, 27 September 2014 10:47pm

    The railways that were conceived and built for the primary purpose of accomplishing the primary goal of empire building - that is, total appropriation and exploitation of the riches of the colonized countries for the main benefit of Britain? Now, many years after, any suggestion that this is a credit to Britain, or that the dispossessed should be thankful for this is not only a crude attempt at revisionism, it is also tantamount to asking the victim of a violent robbery to recognize some 'benign' act of the robber to the victim while he was being violently robbed.

    GoodmansParadox -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 27 September 2014 11:42pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how the practice of repeating a lie can be interpreted as becoming proof.

    We know that the "little green men" in Crimea weren't Russian troops, although Russian troops ensured there would be no conflict between the Crimeans who shrugged off Kiev's authority, and the poor Kievan forces confined to bases. As Lavrov said As Putin said.

    A peaceful counter-revolution happened in Crimea, and the Crimean people gained their self-determination. Let's applaud this, hey?

    The same happened in Donetsk and Luhansk, but because Russian forces weren't there to keep the peace, Kiev sent in the tanks, slaughtering the civilian population and causing mass displacement. Yet some people still support the murderers from Kiev.

    Why is that?

    LeDingue -> GoodmansParadox, 27 September 2014 11:56pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how the practice of repeating a lie can be interpreted as becoming proof.

    Well said.
    Some people just never tire of repeating it!

    Otuocha11 -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 28 September 2014 2:27am

    "Lavrov's reputation was trashed yonks ago, he is just a Putin yes-man. He just stirs and lies, as it suits him."

    If Lavrov's reputation is questionable what would you say about Kerry, Blair, Clapper, and those three-tongued Americans who keeps on deceiving the public? Are there no 'yes' men in the US? The first yes-man is you, period.

    littlebigcoala -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 28 September 2014 2:31am

    ElectroMagneticPulse said: "is it normal in Ukraine, and perhaps Russia too, for local militias to be equipped with vast amounts of modern weaponry, enough in fact, to overrun the territory of another country?

    They were decked in the full kit, from boots to helmets, with flak-jackets, camouflage, equipment, and assault rifles (current models, in use with the Russian army). There were no rag-tag soldiers, with Wellington boots and pitchforks.


    1. remember Chechnya? - where did chechens got their weapons and equipment that helped them actually to win in first chechen war against Russian federal forces?

    2. Local regional police in Crimea actually sided with militia from the very begining - maybe it was another source of weapons

    3. your photo may depict local militia as well as Russians troops - but whae (what date) it was made? - you can aquite (buy) uniform in Russia and they had support from business I am sure - so it is not a proof - there were some well equiped, others badly equipped - we saw both

    4. Crimean Riot Police regiment "Berkut" accused in Kiev in supporting Yanukovych on Maidan was on the side of separatists of Crimea from the first day of separatist protest - they (Crimean riot police regiment were under investigation by Kiev and immidiatelly openned their storage/uniform/arms and even vehicled for separatists...


    are you honest enough to agree that you was wrong with your "arguments"?

    Indianrook -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 28 September 2014 2:58am

    The uniqueness of the veracity is that it can be said by anyone.

    It is also not correct that only idiots believe the lies. In history there were incidents like the (in) famous WMD search that was supposedly existed in the middle east and almost all in the west had believed that story. Unfortunately there still exist many who believe in the similar type of stories land certainly they are not idiots.

    davidpear, 27 September 2014 8:51pm

    Vladimir Putin, who is riding a wave of popularity at home

    Russians are united because the rightfully feel under attack. It is the US lead NATO that is militarily encircling Russia. Not the other way around. The US and the EU are turning logic on its head by blaming Russia for the destabilization of Ukraine.

    ElectroMagneticPulse -> davidpear, 27 September 2014 9:10pm

    The good thing about Russia losing the Cold War, and its status as a superpower, is it can no longer project its military strength. It is limited to playing in its own backyard, and harassing places like Chechnya and Ukraine - albeit with fearsome casualties.

    Since Putin invaded Crimea, NATO has been resurrected. It is reforming, deploying troops eastwards, and Russia's worried neighbours are ardently flocking to NATO and pledging their allegiance.

    After the Cold War, NATO was virtually defunct, and for the last 25 years has been scrabbling around for a reason to exist - but Putin has gifted it new purpose. This could end with NATO bases and troops strung along Russia's borders from the Black Sea to the Baltic.

    Might be that Putin has committed a massive strategic blunder.

    davidpear -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 27 September 2014 9:28pm

    playing in its own backyard

    If the US would stick to "playing in its own backyard" the world would be a more peaceful place.

    foolisholdman -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 27 September 2014 10:33pm

    After the Cold War, NATO was virtually defunct, and for the last 25 years has been scrabbling around for a reason to exist - but Putin has gifted it new purpose. This could end with NATO bases and troops strung along Russia's borders from the Black Sea to the Baltic.

    Might be that Putin has committed a massive strategic blunder.

    For something that was "virtually defunct" it certainly cost!

    If it has been defunct all this last 25 years what is it going to cost now that it has come back to life?

    Where did all the money that was spent on this moribund, shadowy organisation, go? Any ideas?

    Since the West is allegedly "virtually bankrupt" can it afford a newly revitalized NATO?

    secondiceberg -> ElectroMagneticPulse, 27 September 2014 11:00pm

    Intolerably turbulent and bloody is exactly what the world is now. The U.S. and some of its allies have broken more international laws than any other country.

    Bullybyte ElectroMagneticPulse , 27 September 2014 11:09pm
    [The Ukraine] is a sovereign, independent nation - in the same manner as Denmark, Germany or the Czech Republic.

    It is nothing of the kind. It is a failed state.

    If countries resolved their territorial disputes by theft, and at gunpoint...

    They do. Ask Obomber and Cameron. The Ukraine also tried to resolve its territorial disputes by theft and at gunpoint. They lost.

    Ukraine's borders are protected by international law...

    They are protected by their own ability to maintain them.

    DELewes -> jbrebb , 27 September 2014 11:35pm

    Really? Ukraine's decision to move towards adopting EU models of governance and economics, and leave Russia's behind is the West's fault? If you hadn't noticed, almost every former Warsaw Pact and USSR member has run away from Russia by choice.

    Shame on you for buying Lavrov's rationalization for Putin's Folly.

    HansVonDerHeyde -> DELewes , 28 September 2014 2:31am

    So Maidan Protesters beating kids who wore St.George Ribbons or Russian Flags never happened? Protesters throwing molotov at the police , taking and burning government buildings never happened right? Protesters parading police officers with the word "slave" written on their head never happened? Protesters shooting at the police , patrolling Kiev streets with guns and bats also never happened ?

    U.S sending Senators, Diplomats, Secretary of State, CIA Director to Maidan also never happened.

    Shame on you for missing a lot of chapters on Ukraine Crisis and not thinking enough.....

    [Sep 24, 2014] Russia planning to limit foreign ownership of its media by Roy Greenslade

    Western owned media is a tool for implementing color revolutions and as such is a direct threat to sovereignty of any nation. Unfortunately...
    Sep 24, 2014 | The Guardian

    Russian politicians are seeking to reduce western ownership of its media. The Financial Times reports that a bill to limit foreign investment in its media to 20% has received parliamentary support.

    At present, foreign stakes in radio and television are capped at 50%, but no such restrictions have previously applied to print media.

    Significantly, the proposal was supported by president Vladimir Putin's party, which suggests it has a strong chance of becoming law.

    If it does, the shake-out would affect several of the world's leading media groups. They include Condé Nast, Disney, Bauer, Burda and German's Axel Springer. And Russia's leading business daily, Vedomosti, is part owned by the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

    Source: Financial Times

    Selected Skeptical Comments

    Clacko, 24 September 2014 9:55am

    Fair enough, don't see why foreign media should own a country's media, especially when Western media loves to undermine Russia at any opportunity.
    LeDingue -> Clacko, 24 September 2014 6:08pm
    Given the role played by media with foreign sponsorship in Ukraine, to harness, propagandise and promote the Maidan protests - the "cover" for the coup d'etat - it is absolutely no surprise that Russia might take this defensive measure.

    People in the Britain (or just England really) try not to talk about the direct personal role played by Rupert Murdoch, via his media, in pretty much deciding who will control parliament. For the last 35 years it has been possible to identify the winner of an upcoming election by looking at headlines in The Sun and spotting those small news stories about which politician has been "summoned" to Murdoch's yacht.

    Obviously in Ukraine it was a more focussed and planned strategy to create multi-media platforms for what was a mass propaganda drive, EuroMaidanPR, InterpreterMag Kiev Post (in English) etc. Not only Ukrainians were the targets of this strategised propaganda but also the diaspora and us citizens of "Nato countries".

    It looks like the "Maidan Moscow" plan of Western intelligence & their "pet" Russian oligarchs will not succeed, the RF government has already taken a variety of anti-subversion measures. Of course the media and internet are important "weapons" to seek to destabilise another country.

    It won't stop the US trying of course....returning Russia to economic & political chaos is their objective, just like Bush1 in the 90s.

    littlebigcoala, 24 September 2014 2:06pm
    Russian politicians are seeking to reduce western ownership of its media. The Financial Times reports that a bill to limit foreign investment in its media to 20% has received parliamentary support.


    what is % of foreign pownership in BBC,. CNN, ABC etc...I mean REAL foreign ownership as Murdoch as an Australian is hardly REAL ALLIEN for UK or USA....

    LeDingue -> littlebigcoala, 24 September 2014 9:07pm
    The arguments for "free market" private ownership of media as being beneficial for an open pluralist society, that some people make in complete ignorance of reality, are confounded when one observes two things:
    -- the process of concentration through corporate acquisition
    -- the overlap on corporate boards across companies (and sectors) of a relatively small number of people, their political connections and the "revolving door" covert corruption of legislature--private interests--regulatory bodies.

    "Free market" is a confidence trick and a lie that conceals the reality of corporatism and oligarchy. This has corroded and hollowed out what is euphemistically still called "democracy" in the US, and increasingly in the UK.
    "Foreign ownership" is a key tool to promote transnational corporatism and the media is one of the keys to controlling and manipulating populations into being blind to the confidence trick (and to corruption).

    ijustwant2say, 24 September 2014 3:29pm
    Another step towards Putin's total suffocation and control of the media in Russia. Once he invokes 'emergency powers' and shuts of the Internet he can do a 'China' and have almost total control.
    LeDingue -> ijustwant2say , 24 September 2014 6:56pm
    Whilst we're all so terribly concerned about the 14 year path of social development in Russia, from the very low base of chaos and kleptocracy of Yeltsin's era -- just 14 years --, one could also wonder about the concentration of media control in the US as well as their Patriot Act-NDAA provisions, not to mention the ever handy 'continuity of government' tool always handy. Oh, and the mass surveillance of the Echelon grid.

    Suffocation and control indeed. US military grade anthrax, when needed to silence discussion of particular ideas, also proved exceptionally effective.

    Mr. Russian, 24 September 2014 8:27pm
    Russia finally acknowledged that MSM is used as weapons inside the country. Anyway, whoever wanted to read BBC in Russian will continue doing so and whoever was reading RT in English will do so as well.

    [Sep 23, 2014]

    ThatJ , September 14, 2014 at 10:38 am
    Russia and the Menace of Unreality
    How Vladimir Putin is revolutionizing information warfare


    Like its domestic equivalents, RT also focuses on conspiracy theories-from 9/11 truthers to the hidden Zionist hand in Syria's civil war. Western critics often snigger at these claims, but the coverage has a receptive audience. In a recent paper, "The Conspiratorial Mindset in the Age of Transition," which examined conspiracy theories in France, Hungary, and Slovakia, a team of researchers from leading European think tanks reported that supporters of far-right parties tend to be more likely than supporters of other parties to believe in conspiracies. And right-wing nationalist parties, which are often allied ideologically and financially with the Kremlin, are rising. In Hungary, Jobbik is now the second-largest political party. In France, Marine Le Pen's National Front recently won 25 percent of the vote in elections for the European parliament.

    "Is there more interest in conspiracy theories because far-right parties are growing, or are far-right parties growing because more conspiracy thinking is being pumped into the information space?" asks Gleb Pavlovsky, a little wickedly.

    The United States, meanwhile, is struggling with its messaging to the outside world. America is in an "information war and we are losing that war," Hillary Clinton told Congress in 2011, citing the success of Russian and Chinese media.

    * * *

    Just as the Kremlin's international propaganda campaign intensifies, the West is having its own crisis of faith in the idea of 'truth.' It's been a long time coming. Back in 1962, Daniel Boorstin, who would later serve as librarian of the U.S. Congress, wrote in The Image about how advances in advertising and television meant, "The question, 'Is it real?' is less important than, 'Is it newsworthy?' … We are threatened by a new and a peculiarly American menace … the menace of unreality." By the 2000s, this idea had moved from the realm of commerce to the realm of high politics, captured in the now-legendary quote from an unnamed George W. Bush aide in The New York Times: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

    The pressure on reality from capitalism and Capitol Hill coincides with an anti-establishment drive in the U.S. that likewise claims that all truth is relative. In a Prospect magazine review of Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide, for instance, George Packer writes, "Greenwald has no use for the norms of journalism. He rejects objectivity, as a reality and an ideal." (Similarly, RT's managing director once told me that "there is no such thing as objective reporting.") Examining the sins of omission, biased value judgments, and half-truths in Greenwald's book, Packer concludes that "they reveal a mind that has liberated itself from the basic claims of fairness. Once the norms of journalism are dismissed, a number of constraints and assumptions fall away." The ties that bind Greenwald and the Kremlin consist of more than a shared desire to ensure Edward Snowden's safety. In some dark, ideological wood, Putin the authoritarian gay-basher and Greenwald the gay, leftist-libertarian meet and agree. And as the consensus for reality-based politics fractures, that space becomes ripe for exploitation. It's precisely this trend that the Kremlin hopes to exploit.

    Ultimately, many people in Russia and around the world understand that Russian political parties are hollow and Russian news outlets are churning out fantasies. But insisting on the lie, the Kremlin intimidates others by showing that it is in control of defining 'reality.' This is why it's so important for Moscow to do away with truth. If nothing is true, then anything is possible. We are left with the sense that we don't know what Putin will do next-that he's unpredictable and thus dangerous. We're rendered stunned, spun, and flummoxed by the Kremlin's weaponization of absurdity and unreality.

    kirill, September 14, 2014 at 10:49 am
    The Atlantic is a piece of shit rag that I wouldn't wipe my ass with even if it was the only source of paper available. Its hilarious 2006 article on the state of Russia's economy was written as if Russia was still in 1996. The above piece of propaganda tries to smear RT as a conspiracy website. Sure thing there, lying fucks, if a TV station interviews more than just the establishment approved pundits then it must be a tin foil hat operation. Right.

    Does anyone here think that the Peter Lavelle moderated talk show is a tin foil hat operation? Anyone sane would not. The Atlantic is caught in a paradox created by its own arrogant lying. The western media is repeating the brain dead propaganda of the war criminal Kiev regime like an echo chamber. Perhaps the appeal of RT may have something to do with people that have functional brains wanting to have real news reports and not regurgitated press releases.

    marknesop, September 14, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    George Packer is a malicious fool, and his stock in trade is deliberate misrepresentation: his indignation at Greenwald's alleged "rejection of objectivity" is the kind of jaw-dropping projection that regularly sees the western press pretend to virtue and support for freedom while it supports a government which murders its own citizens for the crime of claiming their right to self-determination. I don't need to spank him till he cries – someone has already eviscerated him, here.

    The really comical irony, if irony can be said to be comical (and believe me, it is more often than is not) is that Max Weber's insight on ethical dilemmas – from which Packer draws heavily for his criticisms – almost eerily describes America's simplistic reasoning and the bad decisions it makes as a result of its deliberations; to wit, "a specific kind of unworldliness, which assumes that from good actions only good things come, and from evil actions only evil." Read Crooked Timber's critique – I think you will find yourself nodding along as I did.

    colliemum, September 16, 2014 at 12:27 am
    Re 'conspiracy theories' and 'far right parties' in Europe being close to the Kremlin or paid by Putin: that's a very interesting slur.
    It seems to me that it's the Think Tanks which are succumbing to conspiracy theories, in order to smear further these 'far right' European parties. They can see full well that said parties, far from being 'far right', are an ever growing threat to the establishment parties in the EU. The establishment parties in most EU countries call themselves conservative or socialist or liberal, but except for their party colours there is no difference between their policies. The latest election results from Germany and Sweden show that these parties, now gaining a steady 10-13% of votes, are 'hoovering up' votes from all parties, or are 'poaching' votes from the establishment parties, in the words of German journalists.
    Just as here in the UK, where UKIP is causing the collapse of the Liberal Democrats (coalition partner in the current government), so the German FDP, their liberal party, is nearing obliteration.
    Note well: these parties are 'liberal' in the European sense, not in the US sense where liberal=left.
    Thus it is no surprise to me to see this latest smear coming from those Think Tanks. They, after all, strive to keep the status quo, where across countries the politicians of the establishment parties are interchangeable and do what they're told by powerful international lobbies.
    Us peasants and our new parties are a thorn in their flesh, and must be vilified by all and any means possible to save the status quo.

    G20 nations want Vladimir Putin at summit despite Ukraine tensions

    Russian president set to attend the G20 leaders' summit in Australia despite anger about MH17 and conflict in Ukraine.

    Manolo Torres, 21 Sep 2014 10:49
    Dear Guardian,

    The sub-headline is still there. Everyone is of course free to direct their anger at whoever they want, they might have their own reasons. But it is not the job of a newspaper to use the feelings or assumptions of politicians to direct the feelings and opinions of its readers. "Facts are sacred", remember?

    And the fact regarding MH17 is that there is still an investigation going on, an investigation that in its preliminary report didn´t even hint what was the actual weapon that caused the tragedy.

    We have seen many politicians taking political advantage of this tragedy, exploiting the death of 300 innocent people in horrible circumstances, to advance their agenda. And without providing anything remotely close to factual evidence.

    In that sense, I would recommend your editors to be more cautious and more responsible with the kind of language that they use. It wouldn´t be the first time that the people in power use such a tragic event to deceive and manipulate public opinion; and the investigation could deliver results that would make those so openly and vehemently angry towards the Russian president be seen as doing exactly that.

    Let´s wait until the investigation is completed, and if it is the case that the Russians and the Russian president are accountable, we will welcome the most derogatory article in your New East Network. In the meantime lets be more responsible and lets help people stay within the realms of facts and reason during this troublesome times.



    Vasilescu Valentin, 21 Sep 2014 07:53
    Guardian Pick
    Cirmic Vasilescu Valentin 21 Sep 2014 08:37
    Good article. No wonder the US tries to foil the investigation.
    Agatha_appears 21 Sep 2014 06:32
    Putin is a good statesman, but the West is doing everything to get rid of him, to overthrow him. This is the main gpal of sanctions. Russians should stay united.

    [Sep 21, 2014] Mikhail Khodorkovsky breaks political silence, saying he would lead Russia by Agence France-Presse

    September 20, 2014 |

    The former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in jail after challenging the Kremlin, says he would be ready to lead Russia if called upon.

    Khodorkovsky's statement, at the launch of an online movement called Open Russia, appears to break his promise to steer clear of politics, which he made after being pardoned by president Vladimir Putin in December.

    "I would not be interested in the idea of becoming president of Russia at a time when the country would be developing normally," he was quoted as saying by Le Monde newspaper.

    "But if it appeared necessary to overcome the crisis and to carry out constitutional reform, the essence of which would be to redistribute presidential powers in favour of the judiciary, parliament and civil society, then I would be ready to take on this part of the task."

    Open Russia is intended to unite pro-European Russians in a bid to challenge Putin's grip on power.

    "A minority will be influential if it is organised," Khodorkovsky said during a ceremony broadcast online from Paris.

    Khodorkovsky and his allies said political change could come quickly and insisted the time had come to think of Russia's future after Putin.

    He stressed that his project – named after his charity that was shut down after his imprisonment – would be an online "platform" for like-minded people, not a political party.

    But he did not anticipate Putin would approve.

    "I expect him to be upset," Khodorkovsky said.

    Russian activists and prominent emigres including Paris-based economist Sergei Guriyev and London-based businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin – both of whom fled the country under pressure from security services – joined the online ceremony.

    Khodorkovsky, who lives in Switzerland with his family, openly supported the Ukrainian uprising that ousted a Moscow-backed president in February, but indicated he did not want a bloody revolt for Russia.

    The former head of the defunct Yukos oil firm sakd all those supporting a pro-European course for Russia should before parliamentary elections scheduled for 2016.

    "We support what they call the European choice or a state governed by the rule of law," he said.

    "We believe that the statement 'Russia is not Europe' is a lie that is being imposed on society on purpose.

    "This is being done by those who want to rule the country for life, those who want to spit upon law and justice," Khodorkovsky said in a thinly veiled reference to Putin.

    "We are Europe, both in terms of geography and culture.

    "We are not simply Russian Europeans. We are patriots. And true patriots even during pitch-dark reactionary times should serve their country and their people."

    Khodorkovsky's supporters expressed hopes his project would raise awareness among Russians and help them see through state propaganda.

    "It is time to open our mouths," Chichvarkin said.

    "We are ahead of a long, hard and dangerous path," the former deputy finance minister and economist Sergei Aleksashenko said.

    Russian state media appeared to enforce a blackout on news coverage of Khodorkovky's project.

    His spokeswoman Olga Pispanen said the project's website,, became the target of distributed denial of service attacks.

    Attempts to prevent activists from joining the ceremony were reported in the central Russian cities of Nizhny Novgorod and Yaroslavl.

    While many scoffed at Khodorkovsky's effort to rally Russians while in exile, some said the project could pay off in the long run.

    "Such a project is sorely needed," political analyst Mark Urnov said, calling it an "antidote" to the country's grim reality.

    imperfetto, 21 Sep 2014 11:56

    I used to be on his side, when Khodorkovsky was kept in jail.... But now I'm very suspicious of him, since he has backed Maidan's fascist coup. I would through a question for him, right now: what are you going to do with Russia's natural resources? the ones which the multinationals and the Americans are so eager to place their hands on (just like drunken Yielstin happily allowed...remember? ); would you sell them out at a friendly price? Would you let the CIA and their corrupted servants intrude in the heart of the Russian system in the name of the magic word: democracy?

    What democracy? the one that feels the pockets of the criminals that, facing right punishment, have fled to USA, UK, Switzerland etc.?

    Leigh Pankhurst, 21 Sep 2014 11:53

    I expect him to have a nasty mishap courtesy of Putins henchmen.

    federalreservesystem -> Leigh Pankhurst, 21 Sep 2014 11:56

    He's too insignificant for that, just another crook to be used by the west.

    FlangeTube, 21 Sep 2014

    Russian activists and prominent emigres including Paris-based economist Sergei Guriyev and London-based businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin – both of whom fled the country under pressure from security services – joined the online ceremony.

    "under pressure from security services" stop defrauding people, return their stolen money and stop bribing politicians.

    Apparently nobody at this paper understands, or wants to understand, Yeltsin's Russia. It was a total mess, with gangsters making billions while ordinary people suffered. Russia is still recovering, slowly, and the USA will do anything to make sure it doesn't.

    FlangeTube, 21 Sep 2014 11:42

    The former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in jail after challenging the Kremlin...

    What? He spent time i jail for defrauding the Russian people of billions of dollars, and "challenging the Kremlin" by not giving it back.

    And he's not a "former tycoon" he is still, illegally, massively massively wealthy.

    Him being president of Russia would be worse than Yeltsin.

    FlangeTube, 21 Sep 2014
    Oh of course. The nice lovely pretty man made a personal fortune in excess of $15bn in deregulated 90s Russia totally honestly.

    There is no evidence he was ever "set up" that was the Western spin. He was one of the worst offenders of the Yeltsin era.

    It's totally backwards how Yeltsin is seen over here, he was drunken corrupt fool who degraded and destroyed his country, and he's a "good Russian leader", and Putin - who has made it his policy to fight Yeltsin-era corruption is portrayed as corrupt. It's totally arse about face.

    federalreservesystem 21 Sep 2014 11:36
    Hodorkovslkij did his time for fraud and tax evasion, now he's a free man, who kept his billions and freely expresses his "political" views.But hey there is no freedom in Russia according to The Guardian
    phakorr, 21 Sep 2014 11:34

    Isn't this the guy who sued Russia, and every Russian has to pay out about 300$ in debt? He might be interested in becoming the Russian president, might even have some imaginary support or he might get real support with US / EU lobbying and funding.. but after Ukraine, what sane Russian would vote for such a puppet who has served time in jail, when there is a couple thousand more FSB stock-blank-no-namers who can supersede Putin, in a way emulating him and getting people in line and to do stuff instead of selling out every national asset to the west like Yeltsin did.

    splodgeness, 21 Sep 2014 11:34
    By - The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2003

    LONDON (Agence France-Presse) - Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to renowned banker Jacob Rothschild, under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky's arrest, the Sunday Times reported.

    Oligarch's arrest deepens fears over Russian economy
    Vladimir Yevtushenkov under arrest and facing prospect of selling Sistema company in what critics call 'undisguised theft'

    Yevtushenkov's holding company, Sistema, whose board directors include the Labour peer Lord Mandelson.

    Where Mandelson is, so are the Rothschilds.

    Anette Mor -> splodgeness, 21 Sep 2014 11:46
    Thanks. I sensed that link. Another Russian oil asset grab story with western ends.
    BecauseIcare, 21 Sep 2014 11:17
    in the not so distant past I supported this Khodor...y (too difficult name to spell!), in fact, I thought his release was good news. I was hardly interested in what was happening in Russia or around it. I was also cheering at the news that Gaddafi was caught...

    Things changed since the Snowden affair. I started digging into the politics beyond what the mainstream media preaches.

    I now support Russia because I understand that the US is trying to bring Russia down all in the name of greed. Just the way they brought down Iraq, Libya, Egypt, trying to bring down Syria and Iran.

    The US is trying to turn the whole world into a Guantanamo. In Europe we are not going to be spared either.

    The world will be a safer place without the US political/banking elite.

    This Khodor...y is a US puppet.

    Anette Mor -> BecauseIcare, 21 Sep 2014 11:21
    Welcome to reality
    Anette Mor, 21 Sep 2014 11:14
    I actually think this particular rant by Khodorkovskij is not related to hopes to put him instead of Putin but more related with allegation against Systema and oil in Bashkiria. Is lord Mandelson related to Systema? UK is all over that lot with GSK making a deal with Russian Systema owned pharma pushed through the top of British politics. Any news on that front? People in Bashkiria have something to say - nothing dropped into local budget from that oil asset grab which was done by their former governor together with the said Systema oligarch now under investigation. The west sanction Russian deals on Arctic's sea oil? There is enough oil on Russian main land. Like this Bashkiria resort.
    va20061976el, 21 Sep 2014 11:10
    There is no fascists in Ukraine...
    Beelza -> va20061976el, 21 Sep 2014 11:17
    It would help if we defined our terms, beginning with fascism. Nice homogeneous starting point.
    SysConfig -> va20061976el, 21 Sep 2014 11:57
    This is interesting...I take it then that Oligarchs in Russia fear the government leaders and Here our Leaders fear the Oligarchs ..and why in the latter case they dance with who paid for the prom and limo...and not who brung them to the dance..the voter.

    My take on this gentlemen is that he is no different than any of the oligarchs before he him and nor there.

    The extreme sense of entitlement and the world is my sandbox is extremely evident imo.. .

    If we compare what is happening now to us with these Titans and ever increasing wealth gap and disconnect from our own problems..then we kno he would not lead Russia in any different direction than a billionnaire here pulling the strings be it Koch or Soros..

    An excellent but rather long read..but worth it...then come back and re read our Freedom loving Oligarch in exile.

    Playing God

    The Rebirth of Family Capitalism or How the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Other Billionaires Are Undermining America By Steve Fraser

    George Baer was a railroad and coal mining magnate at the turn of the twentieth century. Amid a violent and protracted strike that shut down much of the country's anthracite coal industry, Baer defied President Teddy Roosevelt's appeal to arbitrate the issues at stake, saying, "The rights and interests of the laboring man will be protected and cared for... not by the labor agitators, but by the Christian men of property to whom God has given control of the property rights of the country."

    To the Anthracite Coal Commission investigating the uproar, Baer insisted, "These men don't suffer. Why hell, half of them don't even speak English."

    We might call that adopting the imperial position. Titans of industry and finance back then often assumed that they had the right to supersede the law and tutor the rest of America on how best to order its affairs. They liked to play God. It's a habit that's returned with a vengeance in our own time.

    Our imperial tycoons are a mixed lot. They range from hip technologists like Zuckerberg to heroic nerds like Bill Gates, and include yesteryear traditionalists like Sam Walton and the Koch brothers. What they share with each other and their robber baron ancestors is a god-like desire to create the world in their image.

    Watching someone play god may amuse us, as "the Donald" can do in an appalling sort of way. It is, however, a dangerous game with potentially deadly consequences for a democratic way of life already on life support.

    justTR, 21 Sep 2014 11:04

    stuperman said: OK, stay comfort from a change for the better by accepting your Kremlin controlled media and corrupt government.


    you have already changed for the better the Ukraine, Egypt, Iraq, The world will never cope with the chaos caused by the "democracy" you've given birth to in these countries. Thank you very very very much.

    That's the example of the democracy in an American (Ukrainian) way.
    A Ukrainian MP is in a trash can. It's useless to apply at the police.

    Beelza -> justTR, 21 Sep 2014 11:12
    Forget the ice bucket challenge. How about 'politicians in the Bin?'
    Anette Mor -> maninBATHTUB, 21 Sep 2014 11:33
    There is some settle difference between abuse of personalities and court decisions. Nobody penalized Kasparov. He is from Azerbaijan not Russia. He does not like something in Russia, can say whatever just like yourself. Navalnny is under house arrest for some meddling with regiinal timber business. Khodorkovskij was in jail for stealing state assets, avoiding tax and ordering killing of former partner. The human rights court found these charges valid.
    fedupwiththeliesalso -> maninBATHTUB, 21 Sep 2014 11:41
    "Not forgetting hundreds of people on flight MH17 who are now not here...."

    That is far more insulting to the victims.

    I am sure they will sleep in comfort knowing that you are using them as a weapon to attack others.

    Danie Nortje -> Ahhbisto, 21 Sep 2014 11:36
    And the influence of media in the west is any different?

    The Scotland referendum had a great analysis piece done by a professor supporting the Yes campaign explaining the BBCs bias. And in the US a politician is only as influential as their media coverage, which typically requires lots of money, which requires lots of donations through lobby groups.

    The only difference imho is that the US is effectively politically controlled by powerful corporations, i.e. they decide policy and appoint politicians, whereas in Russia (and Ukraine) powerful oligarchs/business people are directly involved in politics

    Babeouf, 21 Sep 2014 10:45
    Here is a story that shows how wacky the regime in Kyiv has become,a regime backed by the Guardian. 'Ukrainian military chief's allegations about the use of tactical nuclear weapons at Lugansk's airport in eastern Ukraine.' Yes according to Ukraine the war went nuclear and amazingly no one noticed. Still I wouldn't want this nuke thing to detract from the new claim from Ukraine that the Ukrainian military would have punched its way out of the paper bag if it had been wet and but for the unexpected arrival of 100,000 Martians with flaming ray guns.
    Bluebird101, 21 Sep 2014 10:54
    I think Russian's have had enough of the old guard and remnants of the clan(s) of oligarchs and their merry men, who became so rich and powerful, by ripping off the very people, during the "free for all" and "grab it while you can," Yeltzin years...I.e. The very people they now pretend to speak out for.

    Let us not forget.. that pre - Putin's years...these clans of the (then) emerging and merging oligargh's - Khorodokovskiy included, had turned the Kremlin into nothing less than their very own personal coffee shop: with the sole intention on agreeing on how to carve up their ill - gotten gains between them, with little more than a nod and a handshake agreement between them.

    Would the majority of Russian people accept the return of these people as heads of state..? I think not.

    Memories are long and their past deeds are still far from forgotten nor forgiven.

    Bosula -> Bluebird101, 21 Sep 2014 11:16
    Could the West with US support fund enough NGOs - a fifth column - to get a coloured revolution going in Russia in a few years time.

    Quite a few colours have been used now - could 'red' be used again?

    Bud Peart -> spiceof, 21 Sep 2014 10:53
    I don't even think they care about women's rights. Rarely see them write an article about women in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan... And if they do its usually a 'things are getting so much better' feel good bollocks.

    If they cared about women's rights they would not have supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Syria. Set rights back about 1000 years there.

    bluemersey, 21 Sep 2014 10:17
    Lol, yet more shoddy anti-journalism, Guardian. Orientalism at work: when they support the West then they're a 'Tycoon' but when they don't suit our purposes they're an 'Oligarch.' And he went to jail simply for upsetting the Kremlin did he, that's just reported as fact now is it?
    Bud Peart -> bluemersey, 21 Sep 2014 10:22
    Noticed that as well. When they are Jihadis in Syria they are 'democracy activists' when they are Al Qaeda in Iraq, they are blood lusting Jihadis ISIL
    Tattyana, 21 Sep 2014 10:17
    Is this news the first checking ball to investigate reaction and popularity or the first implant of the idea to brains to start a new media company? As otherwise it is not more than a nonsense and a wear attempt to revive political face of one almost forgoted person.....
    Bud Peart, 21 Sep 2014 10:16

    he would be ready to lead Russia if called upon the US, not the people of Russia...

    Bud Peart -> T.p. Archie, 21 Sep 2014 10:17

    But the lot of most Russians is bleak poverty.

    Thanks to criminals like Khodorkovsky who robbed the assets of the Russian state.

    Anette Mor -> T.p. Archie, 21 Sep 2014 10:22
    Democracy would suggest to become Russian president he has to move to Russia and get majority of votes. All all know it is not going to gappen. So hexwill never be a president by legitimate means. You want to talk us into a coup putting some questionable gemagogia above thee key principles of Russian society. A man to rule Russia has to serve Russia and Russian people. Simple rule. Works well. That is how a german born Ekaterina could become a Great Russian Queen. And Georgian Stalin could lead Russians through destruction of the war into strong industrial state and space pioneering. This man got no substance. Can write something to contribute to russian soul searching. any more - not his calible.
    T.p. Archie -> Anette Mor, 21 Sep 2014 10:42
    People follow patterns. The pattern of democracy is only strong in the West; elsewhere it blurs into other ways. No easy answer to Russian problems. Democracy could be one aspiration but its history ties it too strongly to its past. Central Planning, the Czars, the Tartars and back to the Mongols.
    Other ways?
    One could be to observe a state going through the process of EU accession. This would take several years; i.e. real time. Despite flaws, EU structures have value; even if only to offer something different to Russian soul-searching (which is a statutory duty!).
    Anette Mor -> T.p. Archie, 21 Sep 2014 10:51
    The pattern of democracy in the West? There us no represebtative politics in the west gor long time. You call one power - rulling party a demicracy? Without proportional representation, direct eldctions and devision of power? With queen own land and inherited sits. With no minority representation in any form or shape? You can live in your bubble. While Russians can continue developing modern institutions for three separate powers ballancing each other, two directly elected, with full proportional representation by population coubt in one chamber of parliament and one voice per nationslity in another, by clear split between federal and local power with delegation scope defined by constitution.You live in political stone age and the only way you are aableto hold on is self absorbtion on own racial superiority supported by no ending brainwash on alleged faults of other nations.
    Andrey Andreevich K, 21 Sep 2014 10:05
    Thanks, but no. Don't need our 'Poroshenko' in Russia
    stuperman -> Andrey Andreevich K, 21 Sep 2014 10:18
    OK, stay comfort from a change for the better by accepting your Kremlin controlled media and corrupt government.
    Report Andrey Andreevich K -> stuperman, 21 Sep 2014 10:38
    I doubt a lot, that Khodor will change smth for the better. But what is more likely, he will change for the worst.
    Continent, 21 Sep 2014 10:02

    I wonder if he managed to hide enough money to buy to play Russian President? Or just hopes for USA and IMF help?

    He has lots of money and good connections to the US

    Mikalina, 21 Sep 2014 10:01
    As a High School teacher, I must say that this 'putinbot' sneer sounds much like the 'yer mom' which the Year 9 boys yell at each other in the playground.
    Anette Mor -> Mikalina, 21 Sep 2014 10:34
    Sure. We saw whathigh school students are tild in the UK. My 10 years old demanded we kill our ill cat as it is inhumane to get her treated. Major re- education effort was requied. At 11 she took part in a school play showing ww2 as a fun time. Nobody killed a lot if fun of all kind. Like a field trip with added flirting with american soldgiers. Had to make a history lectures of ww2 atricities and death toll. at 12 she said british troops in Afghanistan defending thier country. That one was easy. Just bought her a map. At 14 there was a story of a gitl fingered by 5 at school yard. Whole year of re-education on sex matters. At 16 she has whole year on Kennedy assacination. Had to tell her to add Olof Palma and Patris Lumumba and Salvador Aliende to the mix. British school program sucks.
    ID9793630, 21 Sep 2014 10:01
    I know it is fanciful fiction, but whenever I watch The Bourne Supremacy I can't help seeing the Gretkov character as a sort of shady Khodorkovsky figure...

    I've no idea if the real life Khodorkovsky was quite as deadly corrupt as that in his rise to prominence but I just can't help making the leap of imagination...

    I wonder who the script writers were actually thinking of as a template for the character.

    ; )

    BecauseIcare, 21 Sep 2014 10:01
    according to a German TV programme, this guy is a crook who stole from the people by not paying his fair share of taxes thus becoming an oligarch. Putin did the right thing by imprisoning him, but he did the wrong thing by letting him out.

    These oligarchs mostly became rich by avoiding taxes, selling oil, the natural resource that should belong to everybody, and putting the profits into their pockets.

    Who is going to listen to him? This is another US-paid agent.

    Anette Mor -> BecauseIcare, 21 Sep 2014 10:05
    He was let out as his mother had cancer and she was about to die. He was taken on german private plain directly to Germany while his mother was dying in Russia. Cheap man. Sold his soul.
    Beelza, 21 Sep 2014 10:01
    Mr. Khodorkovsky could roundly beat Putin on one issue-Announce he'll immediately re-open all 8 McDonalds Putler had closed. 2 of the 8, were the world's busiest McDonalds franchises.lmao
    Anette Mor -> Beelza, 21 Sep 2014 10:09
    The logical gaps in western propaganda are striking. First you hear Russia is a country full of babushkas with covered heads and alcoholics not able to afford the basics. Them you hear they would die for McDonalds as the only source of good food and culture. While real russians wear expensive fur, go to opera and thier kids eat hot freshly cooked dinner in every school.
    hekna, 21 Sep 2014 09:56
    "...Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent a decade in jail after challenging the Kremlin"

    The European Court of Human Rights determined that the criminal charges against Khodorkovsky were not politically motivated. So this would be more honest if it read "who spent a decade in jail after breaking the law".

    Also, as covered before, he's a former oligarch, a more concise description than "tycoon".

    ID9793630 -> chekna, 21 Sep 2014 10:09
    What is most significant about the oligarchs seems to be that none of them seem to have actually built a business empire in the genuine sense from the ground up but seem only to have been people who could navigate the administrative process of acquiring divested state assets:

    In the right place at the right time, and made the right connections with the right people and greased the right hands whilst successfully warding off the worst of the lethal gangster violence of the time (or in some cases successfully perpetrating the worst of the violence whilst leaving no credible witnesses alive).

    Difficult to say from the outside exactly what was the profile for Khodorkovsky's rise, but the common denominator is that he surely did not actually build anything from scratch? He is not a James Dyson or an Alan Sugar or a Richard Branson is he?

    weavere, 21 Sep 2014 09:51
    Interesting times. The last politician with pretensions to lead Russia and based (briefly) in Switzerland was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, also known as Lenin.

    weavere -> daylight101, 21 Sep 2014 10:12
    Lenin didn't work out very well for the West.
    daylight101 -> weavere, 21 Sep 2014 10:17
    why not? tsarist russia was destroyed and some parts of it became eastern regions of the west, soviet Russia was excluded as economic competitor and contained mainly in isolation so that the west could get raw materials from there and sell its production back.
    weavere -> daylight101, 21 Sep 2014 10:35
    Your ideas seem odd. Lenin was backed by Germany. You seem have forgotten bits of Russian and Soviet History that don't fit with current international political realities. You forget that in WWI Tsarist Russia was an ally of Great Britain, France and (laterally) the United States. Russia's collapse, the Bolshevik revolution, and the treaty of Brest-Litovsk between the Bolshevik Russia and German were certainly not welcome by Britain, France or the United States. Lenin's attempts to export the revolution threatened the power of those states, and undermined the international order under those states' tutelage (revolutions in Bavaria, Hungary, and laterally Austria).

    Those states, as you should recall, tried to oust Lenin and overturn Bolshevik rule by sending troops into Russia, and bolstering White forces. In the end they realized that they did not have the ability or political will to overturn the Bolsheviks, and that the Whites could not win the war. The Soviet Union became a great power, nonetheless, under Marxist-Leninism - and Russia's reappearance as a great power, under its new name, is undeniable. It is also undeniable that, until the export of the revolution to China, Lenin's creation was the only real alternative (and threat) to Western hegemony.

    To claim that Lenin was "good" for the West is to ignore all that. Moreover, by doing so you negate a large part of Russian history and ignore the great power status of the USSR - something today's Russia has not even begun to approach.

    daylight101 -> weavere, 21 Sep 2014 10:51
    yes, i believe ussr was bad for russian people and without october revolution russia would be much stronger, in my opinion, than ussr was.

    the whole story is complex, but what i actually say is this - the west is desperate to control other nations and it not always works ideally for the west. however the tactics of the west is exactly this - to undermine competitors, and for this purpose - to propel wars and revolutions abroad.

    if you check facts from european history then you probably will see that each of european countries at some point in its history was in hostile and brutal opposition with each of its neighbour.

    it's a pattern. the both world wars originated in europe. so, it will be good for russia to stay away from europe at longer distance and do not mix as much as it was during last 20+ years.

    weavere -> daylight101, 21 Sep 2014 11:05
    I agree that the USSR was bad for Russians (and Ukrainians, and all the rest). I think a prosperous Russia, or rather prosperous Russian citizens (big difference!) would be excellent for the entire world, not just Russia.

    Security is also important. If a little distance from Europe would make Russians feel more secure, that can't be a bad thing. It could make all of us feel more secure, here in the West as well.
    To give that distance, it might be nice if the EU, NATO and Russia could agree to allow Ukraine to be a non-aligned buffer state.

    Something like Tito's Yugoslavia, only without the communist ideology this time. I am afraid that, now, the race is on to take Ukraine, not to allow it to develop as a neutral country - and this is no good for anyone. Please note that I am not blaming any one power for the situation in the Ukraine.

    Interference is coming from every direction, so I don't expect this solution to be accepted by anyone, which seems a shame.

    daylight101 -> weavere, 21 Sep 2014 11:15
    i agree that longer distance between the west and russia is in their own interests. i think that contacts between these went too far and too fast after collapse of soviet union in 1992 - there were alot of false hopes on both sides. i actually rather blame my country (russia) for this as it allowed too much to westerners, imo.

    about ukraine, i think that army of novorossia has to advance and defeat kiev, and then split ukraine so that it will be twice less or even lesser in size that it's now. if the west will get involved then russia has to nuke the west on massive scale.

    weavere -> daylight101, 21 Sep 2014 11:34
    That seems insane, to me, and rather hard on Ukrainians. They must endure war, civilians will be killed, because they have a regime you do not like. Why should Ukraine be made smaller? What benefit would that bring, and to whom? How will that make anyone more secure, anywhere?

    No one doubts Russia can do what it wants with Ukraine, through violence. NATO made it clear that it will not go to war for Ukraine. But if Ukraine is crushed and divided by Russia, NATO will be strengthened ideologically as never before.

    As to your other idea:

    NATO is giving weapons to Ukraine, and the EU is sending cash. If Russia nukes the West, we will all be dead - including you - , except some few in distant rural areas. Moscow will be ash. Washington will be smoke. St Petersburg will be no more. London will be gone. Almost all of the European continent, from France to the Urals, will be uninhabitable. Novosibirsk will be flattened, and so will Denver.

    Mutually assured destruction used to assure nuclear weapons would not be used. In Soviet times (I remember) Moscow never threatened - not once - to use nuclear weapons first. Indeed, Moscow always said that to do so would be disgusting, and inhuman. Moscow always claimed that the threat of nuclear war came from the West, and that the West would use them first - never Moscow. The USSR would, however, respond with total destruction of the West (first of all, the US) if attacked with nuclear weapons.

    This insistence that the Soviet Union would never use nuclear weapons first, and the fear that America might, was something repeated by ordinary Russians in those times.

    I find it not only strange, I find it terrifying and even disgusting that ordinary Russians - and even some statesmen in the Duma and elsewhere - talk so glibly about the need to "nuke the west."

    daylight101 -> weavere, 21 Sep 2014 11:45
    destruction of the west might be the only way to stop the current western foreign policy. it's basically the motivation.

    p.s. i do not see really any kind of self-curing mechanism in the west that would properly address the issues raised by snowden, for example and the other issues - such as going into wars abroad on feeble grounds, support for a coup in kiev.

    the west has became a hindrance for progress.

    weavere -> daylight101, 21 Sep 2014 12:15
    You should change your internet name to Brig. Gen. Jack D. Ripper.

    So, just because the West is corrupt, you think its citizens should be turned to ash? (along with most Russians). The only way to save us all is to kill us all, is that it? There is no other way? No half-measures will do? It's change, or die?

    Before you press that button, before we are all incinerated, allow me to assure you that we do not want to sap and impurify your precious bodily fluids. We certainly do not wish you to put fluoride in your water.

    In no way would we wish to threaten your life essence. Do, please, keep denying that essence to women and others - as the purity of your thought shows you do now.

    The impure.

    daylight101 -> weavere, 21 Sep 2014 12:35
    if the west starts the wars abroad it has to be ready for backfire.

    about ukraine - that's actually 'not harsh on ukraine'. if you check the results of its their presidential elections during two decades of independence then it will be obvious that there is a tendency for fifty-fifty split (pro-western and pro-Russian) on the map. i.e. i's political and geographical split simultaneously. so dividing ukraine into two (or more) parts can be a good thing for all sides, imo, as a part of political settlement of the crisis. unfortunately, Kiev is not ready for such split (as it would be seen as a defeat for kiev) so it's likely to settled on ground by rebel forces.

    fedupwiththeliesalso, 21 Sep 2014 09:45
    Why is there is so much dislike for Russia?

    Throughout its history it has been the victim of invasion after invasion(by Britain, France, Germany, Poland and the ottomans). Even became vassals to the aisans in the east at one time. The tatars sold them as slaves to the turks. And now everyone calls them paranoid.

    Then we look at some of the leaders of the Soviet union. You have Stalin, he could be considered one of the most evil men in history. But he was Georgian. Then there is Khrushchev. The man on the trigger of the greatest threat America has ever known. (Cuban missile crisis). He and Brezhnev were both Ukrainian.

    So three very dangerous Russians, who were not Russian. But had absolute power.

    Gorbachev (Russian) is credited with Perestroika and Glasnost - Cold War -

    I could go on in more detail but I think you can see the picture I am painting here.

    Asimpleguest -> fedupwiththeliesalso, 21 Sep 2014 09:52
    Russia is envied: farm fields, minerals, now technology (strong weapon industry), cheap labor force. Regardless who is in power at Kremlin - the financial mafia from Wall Street wants to make profit on Russia's resources!

    So - the gangsters who are managing the world's money need a puppet to serve them in Kremlin.
    Putin is a strong president - and above all he LOVES Russia and wants to make it strong (he might be an autocratic leader - but he is a PATRIOT as well). This is a great threat for US and its allies.

    joebstarsurfer, 21 Sep 2014 10:23
    If the Graund was left wing they would give Russians a voice they have none at the moment.
    Bud Peart -> joebstarsurfer, 21 Sep 2014 10:32
    The Graun is pro establishment neo liberal. They placate so called lefties by raging about gay marriage and other sideline issues.
    spiceof -> Bud Peart, 21 Sep 2014 10:36
    AND women's rights, I'll let you know, they're big on that.

    Equitable distribution of wealth, that's so passe old chap. This a hipster's publication now.

    Bud Peart -> spiceof, 21 Sep 2014 10:53
    I don't even think they care about women's rights. Rarely see them write an article about women in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan... And if they do its usually a 'things are getting so much better' feel good bollocks.

    If they cared about women's rights they would not have supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and Syria. Set rights back about 1000 years there.

    [Sep 14, 2014] Putin wants to destroy Ukraine and restore Soviet Union, says Yatseniuk

    From comments: " I'm not sure quite why The Guardian feels it necessary to repeat every single lie which comes out Kiev but this website is now wholly untrustworthy. Perhaps things will improve and this newspaper will remember what journalism is but until that happy day arrives, I'll be getting my news from organizations which have not taken it upon themselves to act as the press agents for a collection of neo-Nazi thugs." and "This story really is quite disgraceful. The main stream media is in a race to the bottom."
    The Guardian

    Doom Sternz, 13 September 2014 8:50am

    Russia is not out to destroy Ukraine, pure propaganda by a US installed neo Nazi.

    The US-approved prime minister of Ukraine, Arseny Yatsenyuk of the "Fatherland Party," referred to Russians as "subhuman," echoing the racist vitriol of Nazism Yatsenyuk and others in his regime subscribe to.

    Andriy Parubiy, co-founder of the fascist Social National Party, which later changed its name to Svoboda became the new top commander of the National Defense and Security Council. (covering the military, police, courts and intelligence apparatus). Dmytro Yarosh, Right Sector commander is now second-in-command of the National Defense and Security Council.

    There should be international outraged.

    Doom Sternz -> AuObserver, 13 September 2014 9:21am
    Total rubbish, his political approach? We have neo Nazi militia's ethnically cleansing the east, commiting crimes against humanity.

    While Yatsenyuk is busy trying to ramp up the violence by rallying NATO to expand the war, international peacekeepers will begin the task of implementing a seven point peace plan put forward by Vladimir Putin.

    The difference between the peacemakers and the warmongers has rarely been as stark as it is today.

    We have neo Nazi militia's ethnically cleansing the east, and you support them?

    BarneyQ -> Doom Sternz, 13 September 2014 10:02am
    As much as I dislike the coup, nazi battalions and nazi parties facts need to be stated clearly. Yarosh was never confirmed as Paruiby's deputy however the rest is correct he did co found the nazi party, the man is a nazi and as secretary was in daily contact with the nazi battalions his bastard child.

    Parubiy was replaced in early August then peace broke out.

    The deaths in the east are the responsibility of Kiev they launched the attack sent the nazis and shelled civilians.

    umut gezer -> Konstantin Blyuss, 13 September 2014 10:45am
    what are you barking about? he called many things, his aides call for a total cleansing of Russian speakers. The jails are filled with hundreds of opposition members. To cut it short, this Yats is on the payroll of Washington, it was proved by not only " fuck the EU" Nuland but also his stance against the chocolate king. Every word he says is word of Washington. So if Russia is in war, it is not with Ukraine but the US and is winning it.
    indoorain -> AlfredHerring, 13 September 2014 12:01pm
    "Neljud" literally means a no-human, but in daily use the meaning is closer when in English word beast is used to characterise a man of problematic values.
    Still very nazi and fascistic from a high rank politician to label "Neljudi" a whole population - nation, and yes his own.
    DeConstruct -> Doom Sternz, 13 September 2014 12:42pm
    Why quote this individual ?
    His 'government' is openly mortaring and shelling Ukrainian civilans in the disputed eastern cities, and there are plenty of Youtube videos with date/place evidence showing women and kids having been blown up while shopping, etc, and he is also employing imported Euro-Nazi's as troops, eg., look up "Azov Battalion".
    Sarah7591Wilson -> AlfredHerring, 14 September 2014 4:18am
    The word is the same in several Slavic languages -- like most of Ukrainian vocabulary, it comes straight from Russian (linguistically speaking Ukrainian is a dialect of Russian although Ukrainian uber-nationalists can't bear the truth).
    RussianNationalist -> Konstantin Blyuss, 14 September 2014 10:52am
    Nelydi can also be translated as non-human, non-people, animals in other words. So lets start with that, as you bloody well know that is exactly what was meant, right after the crowd shouts: Russians on the knife! On the Knife! On the Knfe!....your Banderistan favorite saying as
    Doom Sternz, 13 September 2014 8:52am
    Here is the truth of Ukraine......

    US in Ukraine funded right wing fascist organisations in Kiev to overthrow the freely elected government. It was a violent, armed coup spearheaded by militants of the right sector that placed Yatsenyuk into power. The Right Sector is a fascist neo Nazi right wing organisation and this is where the US $5 billion went to, to fuel the revolution and to force a regime change in Ukraine as Victoria Nuland put it.

    childofmine, 13 September 2014 9:05am
    Yatseniuk, the former 'prime minister' was not elected by anyone. He was in on the Washington inspired and paid for conspiracy to topple the elected government from the very beginning. He is personally responsible for thousands of deaths, many more maimed and much destruction. His words are, as they have always been, from the lunatic neocon script. We in Europe, need some political will to dismiss the mad US plans for what they are.
    GoodmansParadox -> AlfredHerring, 13 September 2014 10:08am
    The intercepted phone communication in which Victoria Nuland expresses the procedure for the promotion of "Yats" once Yanukovych is toppled indicate that, contrary to your assertion, this was very much a conspiracy.

    The Rada has had representatives barred by the coup leaders who control it, and when you refer to what is allowed by their parliamentary system, you should be aware of the criteria required to impeach a President. It requires a certain percentage threshold to be reached. As that threshold was not rreachhed, the impeachment of Yanukovych failed and all subsequent actions by the Rada, including the election of PPoroshenko, are constitutionally invalid and those undertaking them treasonoous.

    The corrupt bastards have not been thrown out; they are still running the show, only now these corrupt bastards are engaged in ethnic cleansing of eastern Ukraine. And it appears you support these self-identified neo-Nazis.

    edwardrice -> AlfredHerring, 13 September 2014 10:22am

    There was no conspiracy, they were quite vocal about throwing the corrupt bastards out and since that is allowed in a parliamentary system again not a conspiracy.

    Not according to Ukraine's constitution.

    And the "corrupt bastards " have been thrown out?

    MurkyFogsFutureLogs -> AlfredHerring, 13 September 2014 11:18am
    If the Ukrainian coup was to overthrow the corrupt, why have they only replaced one party of corrupt officials for another?
    politicaltoo -> childofmine, 13 September 2014 9:21pm
    Likewise Porosheko, the US insider
    davidpear -> someoneionceknew, 13 September 2014 12:43pm
    It is coming from there New East "partnership" with George Soros.
    Lampang -> someoneionceknew, 13 September 2014 2:09pm
    Quite. I'm not sure quite why The Guardian feels it necessary to repeat every single lie which comes out Kiev but this website is now wholly untrustworthy. Perhaps things will improve and this newspaper will remember what journalism is but until that happy day arrives, I'll be getting my news from organizations which have not taken it upon themselves to act as the press agents for a collection of neo-Nazi thugs.
    ploughmanlunch, 13 September 2014 9:26am
    The Kiev regime, conceived, born, and sponsored by Western backers, launched a brutal military assault on that part of Ukraine which would have preferred to have waited 9 months, in order to allow democratic elections to be held that would legitimately determine who should have power in Ukraine.

    For defending themselves from this attack, the anti-Kiev militias are branded 'terrorists'.
    Foremost amongst those spouting vitriolic bile is Yats.

    He considers Russians and those opposing Kiev's tyranny 'sub human'.

    He was the first choice of neo-con America to impose their will on Ukraine and to attempt to de-stabilise Russia.

    [Sep 12, 2014] Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: 'most likely' it was shot down from ground

    From comments: "What's possibly most shocking about this is the reiteration of discredited information - the supposed 'confession' of a rebel (taken massively out of context and heavily denied by the speaker) and the ludicrous fake audio of the rebel conversation which turned out to have been uploaded the day before the crash, then taken down again for editing. I wouldn't be surprised by this promulgation of lies if I found it on social media, but this is the Associated Press and I'm reading this in a once respected British newspaper. How in the name of any kind of decency did we come to sink as low as this?
    DrHandley, 12 September 2014 12:12pm
    The Dutch are under orders to ensure that all the data and any media release places blame of the Rebels. We may talk about conspiracy theories - but in this case it smells like a cover up. The explosive residue left of the surface of the aircraft would surely indicate the type of weapon used as most explosives have a set 'signature'.
    ParapolitikosTypos, 12 September 2014 12:08pm
    "A separate Dutch investigation concluded this week that the plane was hit from the outside by numerous high-energy objects, but stopped short of calling it a missile strike."

    ..But dont worry we are going to go ahead and call it a missile strike.

    Done by Ruskies of course.


    it was shot Down, it was near ruskies, what more do you want.

    psygone, 12 September 2014 12:14pm
    The prosecutors definitely leaning in the right direction.

    The BBC began and The Netherlands Times pick-up the follow report:


    New details in the search for the faces behind the BUK missiles that shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine point to Russia.

    -- reprinted & broadcasted thousands of times, around the world

    ... ... ...

    LeWillow - > psygone, 12 September 2014 1:07pm
    But you have to ask the question 'why would Putin shoot down a Malaysian passenger plane?

    It make no sense and would be completely stupid, and I don't think Putin is stupid somehow.

    The CIA on the other hand (and US Govt) would have a lot to gain from shooting down a plane and blaming it on Putin. They also have previous form when it comes to blowing planes out of the air.

    Standupwoman, 12 September 2014 12:14pm
    What's possibly most shocking about this is the reiteration of discredited information - the supposed 'confession' of a rebel (taken massively out of context and heavily denied by the speaker) and the ludicrous fake audio of the rebel conversation which turned out to have been uploaded the day before the crash, then taken down again for editing.

    I wouldn't be surprised by this promulgation of lies if I found it on social media, but this is the Associated Press and I'm reading this in a once respected British newspaper. How in the name of any kind of decency did we come to sink as low as this?

    GoodmansParadox , 12 September 2014 12:23pm

    ...he drew comparisons with the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing that took years to identify suspects.

    An interesting analogy, considering the suspects identified were fabricated in order to frame Libya. Considering the case against the two Libyan suspects required they work together, it was even more notable that only one of them was convicted. So a fabricated prosecution was delivered a perverse verdict, yet the media still lapped it up and ran with the lie.

    Funny how, with the toppling of Gaddafi, we were supposed to be provided with the evidence of Libyan involvement. Three years and counting...

    And now, the same cheerleaders for blaming Gaddafi are blaming Putin. Plus ca change.

    Martin Adams, 12 September 2014 12:33pm
    The Lockerbie investigation was subverted for political reasons and the enemy of convenience was then Libya. Abdelbasset al Megrahi who served 8 years in prison had nothing to do with Lockerbie and they know it.
    palindrome, 12 September 2014 12:50pm

    he drew comparisons with the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing that took years to identify suspects.

    Excellent comparison, the Lockerbie investigation is a great example of how investigators dismissed obvious clues as to the true perpetrators and used circumstantial evidence to "prove" that the Bond villains of the day (Libya) were the culprits.

    John Ashton's book lays the evidence for all to see of how everything can manipulated for political gain, and no doubt this tried and tested formula will be used again.

    JCDavis palindrome, 12 September 2014 12:55pm
    Everything coming from the UK and US governments is a lie at one level or another and should be carefully investigated. But of course there is no one to do that as the press is almost totally subverted.
    SaoPaulo, 12 September 2014 12:56pm
    The mere fact that the United States MSM has dropped this topic like a hot potato (compare CNN coverage of MH17 with the endless coverage of MH370) and the complete lack of verified NATO or US or CIA satellite data implies that the Russians were not at fault here.
    Carl Jones, 12 September 2014 1:00pm
    The preliminary report suggests MH17 was hit by multiple impacts. There are pictures on the alternative media that shows a section of the plane near the cockpit that was strafed by machine gun fire after it had been hit by an air to air rocket[s]. The preliminary finding are inconsistent with a ground to air rocket and their is no evidence to this effect.

    Quite simply, this is a cover up.

    michaelantony, 12 September 2014 1:19pm
    This investigation is a colossal waste of time and money and European taxpayers should demand an end to it. We all know what happened to the plane: it was shot down by accident while flying over a war zone where surface to air missiles were in constant use over previous days.

    None of the belligerents had an interest in shooting in down: whoever did it mistook it for a military craft belonging to the enemy.

    To try to find out which group to pin the blame on serves no purpose whatever except to further the warmongering agenda of NATO, which is trying to provoke the 3rd World War with Russia or justify even more crushing sanctions to grind Russia's population into further poverty.

    The real culprits for this horrible accident were Malaysia Airlines for flying over a war zone to save money and the aviation authorities for allowing them to do so. Those are the heads that should roll.

    retarius, 12 September 2014 1:29pm
    Is the BUK filled with ball bearings? A lot of the holes were perfectly round and look like bullet holes.
    Canonman , 12 September 2014 1:31pm
    All of this is just speculation.
    Question 1: where are the Satellite images of that area at that exact time?
    Question 2: where are the audio transmissions between the crew and the flight towers?
    Question 3: why did the BBC remove its own segment that was done shortly afterwards where they had people on record stating that they had seen a jet flying behind if?
    Question 4: who ordered the BBC remove its own segment?
    Question 5: If the pilots where shot at by a 'jet' as is believed by many - what about the autopsies of the pilots? Were any done? What did they find.
    Question 6: if a BUK missile had taken it down how come there was not a trail from the missile? These missiles do leave a rather distinctive trial behind them that is seen for kilometers.
    Question 7: who ordered the plane to fly lower than was deemed safe for that area?
    So many questions and so little facts… Perhaps they questions do not fit the narrative?
    umut gezer , 12 September 2014 2:00pm
    there has not been international investigation, but by the Dutch with the help of Kiev. And the result is " the plane was shot down". Kiev regime did everything to stop investigators to reach the area, and still keeping Malaysian experts in Kiev.

    [Sep 11, 2014] Despair in Luhansk as residents count the dead Shaun Walker in Luhansk

    The second article in completely new style from "born again" Shaun Walker. From comments: "Graham already explained that all other western journalists sat together in bars of hotels, afraid to go outside and wrote what they have been told to write." and " This has been going on for months Mr Walker, and you telling us as if you never heard of it. When people crying out the crimes committed by Kiev, your friends either call them putinbots or chopped their comments. The UN knows nothing, nor does OSCE. the death toll is much more than official figure. The indiscriminate bombing of civilians was cried out by a former Ukrainian general Vladimir Ruban who is securing Kiev soldiers' release." Is this a new "shift the blame, restore credibility" propaganda operation ?
    The Guardian

    In the suburb of Yubileynoe, 90 residential apartment blocks suffered some kind of damage in recent months, while 16 took direct hits. It is unclear who will pay for the huge structural repair work required. The residents certainly cannot afford it, the local rebel government has not offered, and Kiev has no control over the territory. Their best hope for now appears to be a volunteer group using equipment from the local coal mine.

    "The aim of the Ukrainian army was to destroy everything, so that people would be on their knees and beg to be allowed to return to the fascist Ukrainian state," says 47-year-old Vyacheslav Pleskach, a rights activist who is now volunteering to help those whose houses were damaged in Yubileynoe. "There was nothing of military value here at all, nothing. They were just shelling the most vulnerable people, day and night."

    ... ... ...

    Amid the passions, rumors and disinformation, understanding who shot where and when is extremely difficult. But there seems little doubt that both sides are responsible for civilian casualties, and by firing on civilian areas, Ukrainian forces have made any eventual process of reintegration even harder, as anger grows.

    In the suburb of Bolshaya Verkhunka, the devastation is absolute. After a battle in early August, the Ukrainian National Guard took up a position on one side of the suburb; the rebels were on the other. Each side relentlessly attacked the other, over the heads of the residents. Almost every house on the main street is destroyed.

    ... ... ...

    "We don't care what country we live in. We just want them to stop killing us," says their 58-year-old neighbour Lyubov Zheleznyak, a widow. Her house was relatively unscathed, but is still riddled with bullets and all her windows are blown out. Pensions have not been paid for months; she has no money for food, let alone repair works.

    Further down the road, Vitaly and Marina Yushko, a brother and sister both in their early 30s, were hiding from the shelling in their cellar in early August when the house took a direct hit. Rubble fell over the entrance to the cellar, jamming it shut, while flames engulfed the remains of the house. Unable to escape, the pair burned to death.

    It was not possible to move the bodies because of the constant fire, so the neighbours buried the charred remains of Vitaly and Marina in a shallow grave in their back garden. Nobody informed the authorities, as there was no way to make contact with them, a sign that the real death toll could be much higher than the numbers given at the morgue.

    ... ... ...

    In Luhansk, emotions are never far beneath the surface. A teacher begins sobbing at the question of whether the region should stay part of Ukraine or separate; another cannot bear to talk about one of her students, whose parents drove over a mine in their car. His mother died instantly; the child's legs were blown off and he later died in hospital.

    In a scruffy field not far from the morgue, there are mounds of freshly dug black earth, dozens of simple wooden crosses with plyboard signs; names and dates of birth scrawled in black marker. Protective gloves and masks, worn by the gravediggers, are discarded in the grass. The lonely silence is broken periodically by low booms from the airport; rebels exploding ordnance left behind by the Ukrainian army when they fled.

    There are men, women, pensioners, children. Many simply have "unknown" and a number; some day perhaps relatives will recognise a body on Turevich's list and match it with the number on the grave. A huge, open trench is partially filled with coffins; a dozen of them arranged in a neat line. There is space for many more.

    palindrome, 11 September 2014 4:45pm
    If Obama bombs Syria without Assad's agreement then the door is open for Russia to do the same in Ukraine and eliminate Poroshenko's murderous regime and his Neo-Nazi helpers.
    GoddessOFblah palindrome, 11 September 2014 4:52pm
    If Obama bombs Syria without Assad's agreement then the door is open for Russia to do the same in Ukraine and eliminate Poroshenko's murderous regime and his Neo-Nazi helpers.

    Obama isn't as bad as Bush. But after funding the mujihadeen in Afghanistan (that turned into Al Qaida) you'd think the US would know better than to arm and train "moderate" Syrian Rebels (many of whom switched to ISIS).

    Although perhaps that's the intention of the MIC. Constant war - war is peace.

    The Middle East is a mess and now they're doing the same to Europe. We really should be focusing on bolstering the Eurozone and doing something about the refugee problem from Africa as I dread to think what might happen with European extremists increasing as the situation just gets even more dire by the day. I recently was in Greece and it is shocking what it has turned into. It is also tragic

    GoddessOFblah, 11 September 2014 4:46pm
    RIP to the victims.

    These silly war games are played for profit - whether that reason is for Corporate profits such as Monsanto, or Ukrainian companies such as Burisma Holdings (Joe Biden's son, Hunter, joined the board), or for geo-political reasons.

    It is ultimately the people who suffer. From the Middle East, to Asia to South America and now Eastern Europe - we witness these war games and as always it is the innocents who suffer.

    Standupwoman, 11 September 2014 4:46pm
    Appalling tragedy, almost impossible to conceive in modern Europe. I'll never understand how any government could have thought it a good solution to shell its own cities and kill its own people.
    GoddessOFblah Standupwoman, 11 September 2014 4:58pm
    Appalling tragedy, almost impossible to conceive in modern Europe. I'll never understand how any government could have thought it a good solution to shell its own cities and kill its own people.

    Exactly. When Assad did it against terrorists in Syria he was accused of being a war criminal. But the Ukraine gov't gets away with it.

    I feel sorry for the East Ukrainians - being hated for speaking Russian. Tragic.

    And I feel sorry for the Ukrainians in the West. They think they'll join the EU and like Poland receive billions n aid from Western Europe, visa-free travel and all sorts of treats. The reality is IMF austerity and no heating during winter. Totally tragic.

    Beckow, 11 September 2014 4:53pm
    This is what US, Nato, UK and western media has been cheering on: a brutal attack by Kiev government on its Russian-speaking population. Bombing them, killing them, expelling them. And calling them "terrorists". Obama liked it. Cameron cheered it on. Merkel was quietly content. After all they were just Russian-speakers, who cares, right?

    Are you proud of yourself? Are you coming to preach to us about "human rights" any time soon? The Western "values"?

    anarxist Beckow, 11 September 2014 5:08pm
    they don't care, they just want money, with money comes power... the rest does not matter.
    politicaltoo, 11 September 2014 4:56pm
    Would that the bastards who play geopolitical chess would heed the counsel of the wise and resist the cries of the ambitious.

    Providence save us from the insanity of neocon imperialism.
    Be afarid Moldovans and Armenians.
    You are next on the list.

    juliadulchitiz, 11 September 2014 5:01pm
    He's probably just arrived to Ukraine. All he has to say is what we know already.
    Now let's get to the real news:
    European Council President Herman Van Rompuy confirmed on Thursday that the European Union will bring a new round of sanctions against Russia on September 12.
    EC President confirms new sanctions on Russia
    "The new EU sanctions on Russia will take effect on Friday, September 12, 2014," he said. "In the light of the review and if the situation on the ground so warrants, the Commission and the EEAS /EU diplomatic service/ are invited to put forward proposals to amend, suspend or repeal the set of sanctions in force, in all or in part," he added

    So, the sanctions may not happen at all. The EC is basically giving Russia a chance to do or don't do whatever it is they want Russia to do or don't do.
    Now, Russia Gazprom is considering the possibility of limiting or stopping the supplies of natural gas via Ukraine to Europe. This means, the US dream of standing in Ukraine as the middleman between Russia and Europe will blow up.
    The hawks at the EC are fuming at the thought.

    GoodmansParadox, 11 September 2014 5:02pm
    Such a shame that the Guardian has been pouring scorn on all these reports of the indiscriminate shelling of Luhansk by Kiev forces these last few months. Like the denial of the fascist nature of the perpetrators of the assaults on Donbas, the dismissal of the myriad accounts of Kiev war crimes has illustrrated just how far the Guardian has ttravelled along the road to propaganda organ.

    As should the readers' editor who accused opponents of the coup in Kiev of being Kremlin stooges, the editor in charge of this constant stream of anti-separatist bias should apologise.

    Anette Mor GoodmansParadox , 11 September 2014 5:08pm
    At some point it does not matter who is at fault. Because the only way to peace is to stop fighting, reconcile and move to a better tomorrow together.
    Robert Sandlin Anette Mor , 11 September 2014 5:34pm
    I doubt any "together".Maybe the Bible talks of the Lion and the Lamb laying together.But I don't think the neo-nazi junta and their victims will reconcile and be together.
    thehumanrace2014, 11 September 2014 5:05pm
    I hope the US government shows remorse to those innocent lives for funding this slaughter in the first place
    TauTona, 11 September 2014 5:06pm
    This story was originally reported by who has actually been on the ground in Lugansk for some weeks, whereas Shaun Walker now appears to have arrived on the scene five or so months after the Ukrainian government's ethnic cleansing operation began, having been "reporting" from his armchair up until now.

    The responsibility for the deaths of the women, children, elderly and other non-combatant people in Lugansk rests, needless to say, with those who executed them in cold blood: the Ukrainian goverment forces and miscellaneous goons under Pinocchio Poroshenko and his cabal.

    More Shaun Walker plagiarism and spin, anyone?

    anarxist TauTona, 11 September 2014 5:10pm
    Graham already explained that all other western journalists sat together in bars of hotels, afraid to go outside and wrote what they have been told to write.
    RUGATOR, 11 September 2014 5:07pm
    Semblance of normality? With a sea of caskets littering downtown Lugansk?

    People from the Kiev junta should be hauled off to Hague International Court in cattle train wagons and get their heads ripped out in public there.

    diogenesinope, 11 September 2014 5:08pm

    "The aim of the Ukrainian army was to destroy everything, so that people would be on their knees and beg to be allowed to return to the fascist Ukrainian state," says 47-year-old Vyacheslav Pleskach, a rights activist who is now volunteering to help those whose houses were damaged in Yubileynoe. "There was nothing of military value here at all, nothing. They were just shelling the most vulnerable people, day and night."

    One of the times I'm ashamed to be an American. Ashamed of my country's government for backing this murderous regime, even the fact the US played a part in the destablization of Ukraine leading to the overthrow of the government, then installing a leader who I say is guilty of war crimes.

    Shame on Europe, shame on Kiev, shame on the US government. For shame. Anyone proud of this idiotic war on basically a civilian population needs serious help. I'm ashamed of it. Try to be objective: it is never moral to shell a civilian area. That is for cheap cowardly bullies. So here's Poroshenko rolling in heavy artillery, howitzers, GRADS, tanks, you name it. And so proud of it.

    He's even coming to America to give an address to joint members of Congress. For shame. Political power really does corrupt morals and judgment. Maybe one day society will get past it. But not yet. Thankfully Cameron is not planning to attack Scotland in the same manner Poroshenko has brutally attacked and destroyed cities and much of rural Eastern Ukraine. What a bully.

    MacCosham , 11 September 2014 5:12pm
    A city is besieged and subjected to daily bombardment for two months. And yet the Guardian still manages to also blame the besieged for allegedly "bombing their own city". Despicable.
    sodtheproles MacCosham , 11 September 2014 5:31pm
    And again without proof, but what the hell, some of us have reputations to protect...
    EUinmate5571, 11 September 2014 5:14pm
    Innocent civilians slaughtered and regarded as mere collateral damage by the forces of fascism, war crimes committed in modern Europe, a legacy that will forever tarnish the western expansionists who instead of engaging in diplomacy, unleashed the war mongers and called them freedom fighters.
    LeDingue, 11 September 2014 5:37pm
    Poroshenko, Parubiy (controller of the National Guard until his

    ous resignation), Yats and the leaders of the oligarch militias really should be indicted to the Hague for attacking and laying siege to civilians.

    If there had been a standoff and negotiations at the outset none of this military attack on civilians and infrastructure would have happened.
    Besides the death, mutilation and psychological terror there are also the hundreds of thousands of dispersed refugees.

    Unfortunately instead of indictment, or even any public criticsm of Kiev's barbaric acions, the opposite is more likely: Poroshenko & co will be rewarded by their American masters who are no doubt very satisfied with the results.
    Despite the effect of Russian assistance to the rebels being to drive Parubiy's National Guard into retreat, thus ending the civilian carnage, it is precisely the Russian involvement that the US wanted to provoke to be used as political leverage to back their longed-for economic war on Russia and its trade with the EU.

    This death and terror was deliberately stoked for American corporate benefit.

    ploughmanlunch, 11 September 2014 5:39pm
    Poroshenko, backed to the hilt by the West, had hoped that his brutal and indiscriminate bombardment of Eastern cities including civilian areas might achieve outright victory against the anti-Kiev militias.

    That hasn't happened, and only now does the Western Press give serious consideration to the devastation and suffering that Kiev's actions have brought about. The Kiev regime and it's Western backers knew what they were doing. They were well aware of the horrors that they were about to visit on the Eastern Ukrainian cities, but considered it worth pursuing, after all, nobody was going to stand up for Russian speaking areas were they ?

    And they were right.

    LeDingue ploughmanlunch , 11 September 2014 6:09pm
    If creating political pressure for anti-Russian sanctions (and economic war) was the objective then inciting or provoking Russian involvement was necessary.

    Poroshenko followed Washington's orders and sent the army and Parubiy's National Guard to attack civilians. The more barbaric the more likely that Russia would provide assistance to the anti-Kiev federalists and thus propaganda material dutifully disseminated by our cowed media.

    Look how the EU politicians are so silent about Kiev's actions! It's almost as if the US had some (nsa dirt) hold over them.... even as they agree to anti-Russian sanctions that will cost the EU billions and the Americans nothing... ten years of total surveillance of all EU politicians can provide that kind of "persuasion".

    firedzin, 11 September 2014 5:40pm
    It feels like everyone is involved in the discussion of the civil war in Ukraine. Yet little consideration is given to the fact that the military intervention in the region and labelling rebels as terrorists were suicidal decisions on the part of Ukrainian government from the onset. Even if the territories were regained the country would remain broken for good.
    juliadulchitiz firedzin, 11 September 2014 5:52pm

    You are overlooking the role of the US in this. Yats is US' man, no decision is reached in Ukraine without America's approval.
    So much for Russia's interference. Ukraine is a offshore state of América.
    ChristopherMyers, 11 September 2014 5:48pm
    I am American, and live in America, and I have been against this from the beginning. I can't and won't apologize for my government, what they have created here in Ukraine is a crime, all just to cause Russia as much pain as they can and gain access to the resources and strategic placement, of a country that was already struggling at the time, and because their government was aligning with Russia, which would have been a more advantageous move in the long run for the people. There is no way the deaths of these innocent people can be justified in anyone's book, for any reason. Not all Americans are to blame for this, only our government and the corporations eager for profits are to blame.
    edwardrice , 11 September 2014 5:51pm

    the National Guard fled the area, part of a broad and bloody Ukrainian retreat Kiev says was spurred by the rebels gaining an injection of Russian firepower.

    Is there any evidence yet of this ''Russian firepower''?

    vr13vr edwardrice, 11 September 2014 5:57pm
    We are still looking for it. But since "Russia has withrdrawn its troops," (darn, they move fast, those Russians) we'll probably never see any evidence.
    ositonegro catfitz , 11 September 2014 6:09pm

    Answer to a question from a friend - "I imagine you think Putin is a bully. Or maybe it is more complex than that?"

    Well, it is more complex. I have little respect for Putin but I find it more important to look at the world issues and the geo-political strategies involved, which root back in history two centuries almost. You can go back to the Crimean War of the 1850's:

    Basically, the Western Powers wanted (and still want) to limit the expansive power of Russia, seen as a major competitor. This was played out 160 years ago in that war when Britain, aligned with the Ottoman Empire, stalked Russia into a territorial war of massive proportions. In particular they want(ed) to limit Russia's naval reach by denying it the only warm-water port it had in Crimea. Crimea was a nation state set up by the Tartars, descendants of Genghis Khan which had plundered Russia for centuries, enslaving peasants and selling them to the Ottomans. Particularly, Crimea's Jewish population were governing the trade but the tartars were the military force that conducted the raids into Russia. Anyhow, the tartars were used in a war to try to break up great Russia and deny the Slavs a center.

    This is almost the same today except that the US' role adds a new dimension. Russia has great influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iran, Shi-ite nations set against US Sunni allies. Since 2006 the US has been trying to create a Sunni-belt to counter Iran, and Russia has been the bear in the ointment for them. Last year the Saudi regime threatened Putin with terrorist attacks on the Winter Olympics if he didn't stop supporting Assad in Syria. Putin, to his credit, stood firm. The Saudis are major US allies, though they behead more civilians than ISIL and are dead-set against 'democracy' and human rights. But, they have MONEY and OIL, right??

    So, what they used to call 'the great game' (West against Russia) is now being played out on an international scale. Ukraine fits into that context. The US and EU funded an opposition, which was not so big, and organized the Maiden demonstrations, even sending in top diplomats and politicians to the Maiden Square to give political support. Those protests were against the then government which would not accept simply appalling terms for EU membership. The protests became led by ultra-right and Nazi organisations who finally launched a coup against the presidency. One of the first measures of the new government was to ban the Russian language, used for official business in Eastern Ukraine and the major tongue there. In response the Russian speakers in Crimea were first to rebel, being the vast majority there. Then they voted foe independence and to be part of Russia (which had been the case until the 1970's).

    Crimea was still a great Russian naval base and of crucial strategic importance to Russia. Under the terms of the EU agreement Russia would have had to forfeit that base. It was the EU and NATO countries which upped the stakes and caused this whole mess. Now they are up to their necks in it, promising to rebuild Ukraine's military, which is now in the hands of the ultra-right. And they are preparing to surround Russia with permanent NATO bases with the aid in particular of the Baltic states. The end-game is to create an uncontrollable situation in Russia itself along with centrifugal regional forces which will break up Russia and allow its vast natural resources to be plundered by those same Western interests.

    That's why, in the end, it's not about Putin at all.

    EugeneGur catfitz , 11 September 2014 6:44pm
    Again the same attempt to shift the blame. Omnipotent Putin "forced" the Ukrainian army to fire at civilians. Yes, Donbass people occupied administrative buildings, but so did Maidan. Donbass only responded to the Kiev coup, and initially the protest was not violent at all. The Ukrainian army started the war by firing at and killing unarmed people at the checkpoint in Slavyansk and Andreevka. The army did not have to do it, and Putin had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    This is an excuse frequently used by German SS on occupied territories in Russia, Ukraine, and Bolorussia. They claimed if it hadn't been for partisans that resisted German occupation, they wouldn't have had to kill local residents in the the reprisals.

    SHappens, 11 September 2014 6:22pm
    A very moving article. It is tragic.

    Ethnic Russians Ukrainian are being shelled by their own government. Civilians are targeted on purpose. It must be exposed. All they wanted was to break free from an Ukraine which was not representing them anymore.

    The second aid convoy for them is now stationed in the southern Russian city of Donetsk, awaiting for Kiev's ok.

    TauTona psygone, 11 September 2014 6:59pm
    This is more of the same, weak, one-sided, biased drivel from one of the most repetitive and tedious propaganda-exponents on CiF.

    Is there a similar explanation for Iraq, Libya, Syria, Gaza, Afghanistan and the other similarly war-torn areas around the world in which US/EU/NATO foreign policy has played a significant role?

    Back to reality, please find to follow a recent analysis from the US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under the Reagan Administration, regarding the situation in Ukraine:

    umut gezer , 11 September 2014 6:54pm
    This has been going on for months Mr Walker, and you telling us as if you never heard of it. When people crying out the crimes committed by Kiev, your friends either call them putinbots or chopped their comments. The UN knows nothing, nor does OSCE. the death toll is much more than official figure.

    The indiscriminate bombing of civilians was cried out by a former Ukrainian general Vladimir Ruban who is securing Kiev soldiers' release.

    Marqus umut gezer , 11 September 2014 7:10pm
    Many people just don't want to see or to hear the truth.
    Sometimes it hurts...

    [Sep 11, 2014] Azov fighters are Ukraine's greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat by Shaun Walker in Mariupol

    Guardian brass decided to "cover exposed backsides" after all their shilling for the junta bit into their already poor credibility. It's a standard operating procedure for Western MSM.
    10 September 2014 | The Guardian | Jump to comments (974)

    The battalion's far-right volunteers' desire to 'bring the fight to Kiev' is a danger to post-conflict stability

    "I have nothing against Russian nationalists, or a great Russia," said Dmitry, as we sped through the dark Mariupol night in a pickup truck, a machine gunner positioned in the back. "But Putin's not even a Russian. Putin's a Jew."

    Dmitry – which he said is not his real name – is a native of east Ukraine and a member of the Azov battalion, a volunteer grouping that has been doing much of the frontline fighting in Ukraine's war with pro-Russia separatists. The Azov, one of many volunteer brigades to fight alongside the Ukrainian army in the east of the country, has developed a reputation for fearlessness in battle.

    But there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions might be Ukraine's most potent and reliable force on the battlefield against the separatists, they also pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government, and perhaps even the state, when the conflict in the east is over. The Azov causes particular concern due to the far right, even neo-Nazi, leanings of many of its members.

    Dmitry claimed not to be a Nazi, but waxed lyrical about Adolf Hitler as a military leader, and believes the Holocaust never happened. Not everyone in the Azov battalion thinks like Dmitry, but after speaking with dozens of its fighters and embedding on several missions during the past week in and around the strategic port city of Mariupol, the Guardian found many of them to have disturbing political views, and almost all to be intent on "bringing the fight to Kiev" when the war in the east is over.

    The battalion's symbol is reminiscent of the Nazi Wolfsangel, though the battalion claims it is in fact meant to be the letters N and I crossed over each other, standing for "national idea". Many of its members have links with neo-Nazi groups, and even those who laughed off the idea that they are neo-Nazis did not give the most convincing denials.

    "Of course not, it's all made up, there are just a lot of people who are interested in Nordic mythology," said one fighter when asked if there were neo-Nazis in the battalion. When asked what his own political views were, however, he said "national socialist". As for the swastika tattoos on at least one man seen at the Azov base, "the swastika has nothing to do with the Nazis, it was an ancient sun symbol," he claimed.

    The battalion has drawn far-right volunteers from abroad, such as Mikael Skillt, a 37-year-old Swede, trained as a sniper in the Swedish army, who described himself as an "ethnic nationalist" and fights on the front line with the battalion.

    Despite the presence of these elements, Russian propaganda that claims Kiev's "fascist junta" wants to cleanse east Ukraine of Russian speakers is overblown. The Azov are a minority among the Ukrainian forces, and even they, however unpleasant their views may be, are not anti-Russian; in fact the lingua franca of the battalion is Russian, and most have Russian as their first language.

    Indeed, much of what Azov members say about race and nationalism is strikingly similar to the views of the more radical Russian nationalists fighting with the separatist side. The battalion even has a Russian volunteer, a 30-year-old from St Petersburg who refused to give his name. He said he views many of the Russian rebel commanders positively, especially Igor Strelkov, a former FSB officer who has a passion for military re-enactments and appears to see himself as a tsarist officer. He "wants to resurrect a great Russia, said the volunteer; but Strelkov is "only a pawn in Putin's game," he said, and he hoped that Russia would some time have a "nationalist, violent Maidan" of its own.

    On one afternoon earlier this week the Guardian travelled with a group of Azov fighters to hand over several boxes of bullets to Ukrainian border guards. During an artillery attack outside Mariupol in the days before, the border guards had come to the rescue of a group of Azov fighters, and the bullets were their way of saying thank you. "Everything in this war is based on personal links; Kiev does nothing," explained the Azov's Russian volunteer, as we sped towards a checkpoint in a civilian Chevrolet; the boot full with the boxes of bullets and rocket-propelled grenade launchers; one of the windows shot out by gunfire during a recent battle.

    "This is how it works. You go to some hot spot, they see you're really brave, you exchange phone numbers, and next time you can call in a favour. If you need an artillery strike you can call a general and it will take three hours and you'll be dead. Or you can call the captain or major commanding the artillery battalion and they will help you out straight away. We are Azov and they know that if they ever needed it, we would be there for them."

    For the commanders and the generals in Kiev, who many in Azov and other volunteer battalions see as responsible for the awful losses the Ukrainian army has suffered in recent weeks, especially in the ill-fated retreat from Ilovaysk, there was only contempt. "Generals like those in charge of Ilovaysk should be imprisoned for treason," said Skillt. "Heads are going to roll for sure, I think there will be a battle for power."

    The Ukrainian armed forces are "an army of lions led by a sheep", said Dmitry, and there is only so long that dynamic can continue. With so many armed, battle-hardened and angry young men coming back from the front, there is a danger that the rolling of heads could be more than a metaphor. Dmitry said he believes that Ukraine needs "a strong dictator to come to power who could shed plenty of blood but unite the nation in the process".

    Many in the Azov battalion with whom the Guardian spoke shared this view, which is a long way from the drive for European ideals and democracy that drove the protests in Kiev at the beginning. The Russian volunteer fighting with the Azov said he believes Ukraine needs "a junta that will restrict civil rights for a while but help bring order and unite the country". This disciplinarian streak was visible in the battalion. Drinking is strictly forbidden. "One time there was a guy who got drunk, but the commander beat him in his face and legs until he could not move; then he was kicked out," recalled one fighter proudly.

    Other volunteer battalions have also come under the spotlight. This week, Amnesty International called on the Ukrainian government to investigate rights abuses and possible executions by the Aidar, another battalion.

    "The failure to stop abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International secretary general, in Kiev.

    Fighters from the battalion told the Guardian last month they expected a "new revolution" in Ukraine that would bring a more decisive military leader to power, in sentiments similar to those of many Azov fighters.

    Despite the desire of many in the Azov to bring violence to Kiev when the war in the east is over, the battalion receives funding and assistance from the governor of Donetsk region, the oligarch Serhiy Taruta. An aide to Taruta, Alex Kovzhun, said the political views of individual members of Azov were not an issue, and denied that the battalion's symbol had Nazi undertones.

    "The views of some of them is their own affair as long as they do not break the law," said Kovzhun in written answers to questions. "And the symbol is not Nazi. Trust me – some of my family died in concentration camps, so I have a well-developed nose for Nazi shit."

    As well as their frontline duties, the Azov battalion also functions as "a kind of police unit", said a platoon commander who goes by the nom de guerre Kirt. A medieval history buff who takes part in Viking battle reenactments and once ran a tour firm in Thailand, Kirt returned to east Ukraine to join the Azov. He took the Guardian on an overnight patrol through the outskirts of Mariupol and the villages around the front line.

    Part separatist hunters, part city cops with no rules to restrain them, they travelled in a convoy of three vehicles, all heavily armed. As midnight approached we set off across the bumpy tarmac roads to the outskirts of Mariupol, and soon came across a parked car by the side of the road that the men found suspicious.

    Fighters dashed from the front two cars and rushed at the vehicle pointing their guns at it. A startled man got out of the passenger seat, then a sheepish looking woman in a cocktail dress and holding a half-smoked cigarette emerged, smoothing her hair. The Azov fighters apologised, but only after demanding documents and thoroughly searching the car.

    As we edged closer to the front line, Kirt and the others scanned the skyline with binoculars, on the lookout for snipers and separatists. Later, fighters sprinted towards a suspicious jeep parked on the beach while the sea was scanned for hostile support vessels, but it turned out that again the men had stumbled upon people just trying to have a good time: a group of women drinking sparkling wine out of plastic cups on the beachfront.

    The Azov have been partially brought into the military and officially function as a special police unit. There are discussions that Azov and other battalions could be integrated into the army or special forces when the conflict is over.

    Some of them, however, are hoping Ukraine will look very different in the not-so-distant future. And while they may be a tiny minority when it comes to Ukraine as a whole, they have a lot of weapons.

    President Petro Poroshenko will be killed in a matter of months, Dmitry said, and a dictator will come to power.

    "What are the police going to do? They could not do anything against the peaceful protesters on Maidan; they are hardly going to withstand armed fighting units."

    MissToto , 10 September 2014 1:47pm
    Maybe the SS will take care of them.
    SamsungGalaxy -> MissToto, 10 September 2014 5:31pm

    The Azov causes particular concern due to the far-right, even neo-Nazi leanings of many of its members.

    So, The Guardian is finally admitting that neo-Nazis are prominent in the Ukrainian government's campaign against the rebels. Better late than never. A month ago, people who spoke about this were ridiculed by columnists and reporters in this newspaper and called Putin propagandists.

    Far-right radicals and even neo-Nazis were also prominent in the armed clashes on the Maidan that resulted in the overthrow of the democratically elected (albeit corrupt) Yanukovych. They did not hide their presense - they flew their neo-Nazi flags, carried their their neo-Nazi banners, wore their neo-Nazi armbands, and chanted their their neo-Nazi slogans openly on the Maidan, but the media chose to pretend that they were not there.

    Pazuzu -> MissToto, 10 September 2014 5:34pm
    Where, oh where are the Femen when we need them?
    AstheticTheory, 10 September 2014 1:51pm
    Neo-Nazism: the real face of American-backed Ukraine.
    PeterBrit 10 September 2014 1:59pm
    Hang on. I seem to remember loads of people below the line warning about the danger of neo-fascists in Ukraine after the Maidan toppling of Yanukovych but at the time the Guardian was fairly relentlessly pro-EuroMaidan and very gung-ho for the revolution. That now seems to be changing sonewhat.
    ID5252799 PeterBrit 10 September 2014 2:00pm
    And you were complaining about bias coverage and yet now you're still complaining. Pot kettle?
    PeterBrit -> ID5252799 10 September 2014 2:11pm
    It's wrong to wonder why the Guardian didn't pay more attention to Ukrainian neo-fascists months ago? Or why it was so enthusiastic about the Libyan rebels originally and has now noticed they're a mixture of Islamists and tribal warlords? Or why it was so keen on the Syrian rebels until Jabat al-Nusra (terrorist jhadis allied to the 'moderate' west-supported rebels) and ISIS became a bit too blatantly unpleasant?
    Maratyunusov 10 September 2014 1:59pm
    Stupidity of Kiev's politicians is giving of "freedom to kill" to every gang of jerks over of all Ukraine. Any of thes bandit groups is under control of local oligarhs like Taruta, Kolomoisky, Baluta .... Now IMF loans are finishing, so not only Ukrainian army nothing to eat, but these gangs are also in needs of drugs and vodka. No surprise if they go to rob Kiev. So NATO will have to send troops to fight Right Wings soldiers in Ukraine and ask Russia for help to get rid of neo-nazies.
    Knitterbird , 10 September 2014 2:00pm

    But there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions ...pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government, and perhaps even the state, when the conflict in the east is over.

    I can't imagine anyone advocating Ukrainian reliance on groups with such repellent views for the very reason given but some vague idea of numbers would be really helpful in giving some idea of the scale of the threat surely?

    Maybe I'm woefully naive, but if Azov et al make up a tiny fraction of those fighting the seperatists then while it doesn't necessarily negate the threat, surely it makes it may be less serious than if they make up a sizeable proportion?

    LeDingue -> Knitterbird , 10 September 2014 2:38pm
    Several thousand would be the short answer.

    In the run up to the regime change several thousand were recruited from Ultras hooligan groups across Ukraine, they even had a meeting to put their (football club) rivalries aside. People like Dimitry Yarosh were key leaders.
    A group of about 90 leaders, at the time referred to as Pravy Sektor, were given riot and regime change training in Poland. Just after the coup at least two government arsenals were looted, one at the Interior Ministry in Kiev.
    After the regime change many of these recruits were assembled into a new paramilitary force, the "National Guard" under the control of the newly installed Secretary for Security and Defence (left post in August) Andriy Parubiy who was also implicated in the Odessa Massacre.
    Subsequently at least two private militias (maybe more) were established and funded by oligarchs. Dimity Yarosh heads up the "Donbass Battalion" private neo-nazi militia run by (Israeli!) Kolomoisky.

    Scipio1, 10 September 2014 2:01pm
    after speaking with dozens of its fighters and embedding on several missions during the past week in and around the strategic port city of Mariupol, the Guardian found many of them to have disturbing political views,

    So the penny finally drops. Well it's only taken 6 months from what was happening during the putsch in Kiev to reveal the type of political pondlife which has been conducting a racially motivated war against the Don Bass people in the east. It seem though the using the coy N-word (Nazi) is a step too far for the Guran. Let these gentlemen speak for themselves therefore.

    Led by the battalion's leader Biletsky calls for the expansion of Ukraine, the "struggle for the liberation of the entire White Race," and seeks to "punish severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts'. The Azov men use the symbol that resembles Wolfsangel (Wolf's Hook) symbol on their banner, and some members of the battalion are open white supremacists, or anti-Semites.[15] The battalion commander Biletsky wrote that the historic mission of Ukrainian nation "is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival against the Semite-led Untermenschen." A former member of the battalion also claims that only men with National Socialist views may join.

    But hey, they're on 'our' side so let's waive any objections here. Well their presence convinces me that 'our' side, is the wrong side.

    [Sep 08, 2014] Donetsk's pro-Russia rebels celebrate expelling 'fascist Ukrainian junta' by Shaun Walker in Donetsk

    Let's stop analysis of Guardian lies about Ukrainian crisis at this point. I think for those who read notes below attentively some patterns of propaganda now became more visible. The necessity to compare western coverage with other sources including alternative media also might became more clear. Here is one telling quote: "This description made my jaw drop, with its implication of equivalence between the shelling, phosphorus bombing, grad rocket fire from government forces and unsubstantiated accusations from Kiev that the rebels have engaged in attacks on their own residential areas. "
    Sep 08, 2014 | | Jump to comments (837)

    Ishowerdaily , 08 September 2014 8:14pm

    Jesus, terrorists as far as the eye can see.

    Obviously not the beautiful people you saw at the Maidan so must be baddies.

    seamuspadraig -> Ishowerdaily , 08 September 2014 8:40pm
    You Russian dupe! You Putinbot! Those people in the picture are all 'little green men' disguised as babushkas. Can't you tell? ;-)
    Arapas , 08 September 2014 8:20pm
    We loved Ukraine until they started bombing us, now we can never go back there," said Zinaida, a 58-year-old local. "They are fascists and they have your support. We read that you have Scotland wanting to secede there. Why don't you send your tanks there and destroy them instead of sending them here? We will be part of Russia now and will never go back to those fascists."

    Very wise woman !

    Bosula -> Boomer61, 09 September 2014 1:22am
    More ethnic intolerance.

    Do you think the Canadian military should invade Quebec because these Canadians speak French, learn in French and their local administration operates in French.

    Why do you hate multiculturalism so much?

    Ask the same question about Belgian or Switzerland and their policies on multiculturalism.

    Ukraine needs a national identity that is inclusive, flexible and realistic.

    PekkaRoivanen, 08 September 2014 8:50pm

    Poroshenko, who spoke to a crowd of steel workers in Mariupol

    Finnish state tv showed the following video clip from Ukrainian tv

    On the video Poroshenko speaks beside symbol that I believe is a Wolfsangel of Azov Battalion which is said to consist of far right extremists

    lids -> PekkaRoivanen, 08 September 2014 8:57pm
    Said to consist? It is a neo-nazi organisation.
    edwardrice -> PekkaRoivanen , 08 September 2014 9:33pm

    Looks exactly like the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion's logo that Poroshenko is standing under.

    edwardrice -> AlfredHerring , 08 September 2014 9:35pm

    Your fascists are never really fascists

    the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists
    Kiev throws paramilitaries – some openly neo-Nazi - into the front of the battle with rebels

    popsiq , 08 September 2014 8:39pm
    Zakharchenko and the other are being played for 'suckers' if they think EUkraine means any more for them than a bullet of a camp cot. They are dealing with inveterate liars who can only 'learn' by being thoroughly chastised.

    Hit them very hard where they least expect it, and when they start to run, don't let them stop. Take all the help the Russians will give, you have no friends west of the Donets.

    GoodmansParadox, 08 September 2014 8:40pm

    In Donetsk, which had come under heavy shelling in recent weeks as both the rebels and the government forces fired into residential areas, the rebels see the agreement as a victory,

    This description made my jaw drop, with its implication of equivalence between the shelling, phosphorus bombing, grad rocket fire from government forces and unsubstantiated accusations from Kiev that the rebels have engaged in attacks on their own residential areas.

    Is there no opportunity missed by writers for the Guardian in attempting to mitigate and/or minimise the crimes of the Kiev coup government?

    [Sep 08, 2014] Sidestepping Ukraine's 'N-Word' for Nazi By Robert Parry

    September 6, 2014 | Consortiumnews

    Exclusive: The mainstream U.S. media is hazing German Chancellor Merkel and President Obama for sidestepping the "I-word" – invasion – in reference to Russia and Ukraine. But the MSM goes mute on Ukraine's "N-word" for "Nazi" so as not to disrupt the pro-Kiev "group think," says Robert Parry.

    The New York Times, in its ceaseless anti-Russian bias over the Ukraine crisis, now wants everyone to use the "I-word" – for "invasion" – when describing Russia's interference in Ukraine despite the flimsy supporting evidence for the charge presented by Kiev and NATO.

    The evidence, including commercial satellite photos lacking coordinates, was so unpersuasive that former U.S. intelligence analysts compared the case to the Iraq-WMD deception of last decade. Yet, while ignoring concerns about the quality of the proof, the Times ran a front-page story on Friday mocking Western political leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama, for not uttering the "I-word."

    The Times' article by Andrew Higgins essentially baited Merkel and Obama to adopt the most hyperbolic phrasing on the crisis or risk being denounced as weak. The Times couched its criticism of their "circumspect" language – or what it called "terminological fudges" – as a victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    But the Times and other U.S. mainstream news outlets have engaged in their own "terminological fudges" regarding Ukraine's "N-word" – for Nazi – by hiding or burying the fact that the Kiev regime has knowingly deployed neo-Nazi militias to wage bloody street fighting against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.

    This grim reality has become one of the most sensitive facts that U.S. State Department propaganda and MSM coverage have sought to keep from the American people who surely would recoil at the notion of siding with modern-day Nazis. Yet, to fully understand the role of these neo-Nazi extremists, Americans would need a translator for the circumlocutions used by the Times and other U.S. news outlets.

    Typically, in the U.S. press, Ukraine's neo-Nazis are called "nationalists," a term with a rather patriotic and positive ring to it. Left out is the fact that these "nationalists" carry Nazi banners and trace their ideological lineage back to Adolf Hitler's Ukrainian auxiliary, the Galician SS, and to Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose paramilitary forces slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Poles and Jews.

    Other MSM references to the Nazis are even more obscure. For instance, the neo-Nazi militias are sometimes called "volunteer" brigades, which makes them sound like the Boy Scouts or the Rotary Club.

    But usually there is just the simple omission of the Nazi "N-word." On Thursday, for instance, the Times published a contentious article critical of Putin's plan for resolving the Ukraine crisis while also noting that the peace talks faced obstacles from elements of both sides: "Moscow does not fully control the separatists; nor is it clear that Kiev can automatically rein in the armed militias it has unleashed alongside its military in the east."

    Filtered out of that sentence was the "N-word." The reason that those "armed militias" might resist peace is because they consist of neo-Nazi ideologues who want a racially pure Ukraine. They are not reasonable people who favor living with ethnically diverse neighbors.

    Ukraine's militias include openly neo-Nazi battalions such as the Azov brigade, which flies a version of the "wolfangel" banner that was favored by the Nazi SS. Azov leaders espouse theories of racial supremacy deeming ethnic Russians to be "Untermenschen" or subhumans.

    Sidestepping the N-word

    But the Times sidesteps the Nazi "N-word" because otherwise readers might start doubting the "white hat/black hat" narrative that the Times has spun since the beginning of the crisis last winter. Usually whenever Ukraine's neo-Nazis are mentioned, it is in the context of the Times dismissing their presence as a myth or as simply "Russian propaganda."

    Other times, the reality is buried so deep in articles that very few readers will get that far. For instance, an Aug. 10 Times article by Andrew E. Kramer mentioned the emerging neo-Nazi paramilitary role in the final three paragraphs of a long story on another topic.

    Given how extraordinary it is that armed Nazi storm troopers are being unleashed on a European population for the first time since World War II, you might have thought that the Times missed the lede. But the placement of this juicy tidbit fit with the newspaper's profoundly unprofessional treatment of the Ukraine crisis throughout.

    You had to get to the third-to-the-last paragraph to learn: "The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat."

    Then, the next-to-the-last paragraph told you: "Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag." [See's "NYT Discovers Ukraine's Neo-Nazis at War."]

    The conservative London Telegraph provided more details about the Azov battalion in an article by correspondent Tom Parfitt, who wrote: "In Marinka, on the western outskirts [of Donetsk], the [Azov] battalion was sent forward ahead of tanks and armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian army's 51st Mechanised Brigade. …

    "But Kiev's use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-backed Donetsk and Luhansk 'people's republics', proclaimed in eastern Ukraine in March, should send a shiver down Europe's spine. Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf's Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites."

    In interviews, some of the fighters questioned the Holocaust, expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler and acknowledged that they are indeed Nazis, a fact known by Kiev authorities, the Telegraph reported.

    Andriy Biletsky, the Azov commander, "is also head of an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly," according to the Telegraph article which quoted a recent commentary by Biletsky as declaring: "The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen." [See's "Ignoring Ukraine's Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers."]

    Russian Claims 'Essentially True'

    Recently at the port city of Mariupol, Foreign Policy's reporter Alec Luhn also encountered the neo-Nazis of the Azov and other Ukrainian government militias. He wrote: "Blue and yellow Ukrainian flags fly over Mariupol's burned-out city administration building and at military checkpoints around the city, but at a sport school near a huge metallurgical plant, another symbol is just as prominent: the wolfsangel ('wolf trap') symbol that was widely used in the Third Reich and has been adopted by neo-Nazi groups. …

    "Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and 'fascists' in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true."

    But this inconvenient truth is not something that the U.S. State Department and the mainstream U.S. press want you to know. Instead they have spun a false narrative that blames the entire Ukraine crisis on Russia's President Putin and his diabolical design to reclaim countries to his west for a revival of the Soviet Union.

    The actual reality was that Putin wanted to maintain the status quo in Ukraine by supporting elected President Viktor Yanukovych. It was the West that stirred up trouble in Ukraine with neocon U.S. officials like Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain actively supporting a coup – spearheaded by neo-Nazi street fighters – that overthrew Yanukovych on Feb. 22.

    After the coup, in recognition of the crucial role played by the neo-Nazis, they were given several ministries and their militias were later incorporated into the Ukrainian military for the offensive into eastern Ukraine to crush the uprising of ethnic Russians who had supported Yanukovych and favored closer economic ties to Russia. [See's "Ukraine's 'Dr. Strangelove' Reality."]

    But that more nuanced narrative – recognizing the complicated reality of Ukraine's history and politics – would destroy the white hat/black hat storyline favored by the New York Times and the MSM, making the coup regime in Kiev the "good guys" and making Putin and the ethnic Russians the "bad guys."

    To protect that narrative, everyone has to go silent on Ukraine's "N-word."

    Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

    [Sep 08, 2014] Russian PM warns West against further sanctions

    Russia was successfully pressed to accept humiliating "roadmap" for ceasefire. Which is essentially Poroshenko's old plan for solving Donetsk-Luhansk conflict without giving population of those region any real autonomy. West does hold trump cards in this game being several times more powerful economically. This is understood. But to depict Russia as aggressor in Ukrainian events can only a presstitute. Guardian presstitutes (wait, this is actually Reuters presstitutes) never mention that neoliberal empire wants new markets and that's why they try to bite off Ukraine from Russia economic space and include it into EU economic space. And like narcoaddicts major neoliberal states is hell bent to acquire them via color revolution (essentially bribing part of elite and training dead squads to take on the regime), or by military force as in Iraq. And in this sense Germany is not the different from the USA, only weaker. Not much is being mentioned about who is going to pay out all the billions to rebuild basket case which in Ukrainian economy now -- the economy that lost its largest market. From comments: "It is constantly missed and not commented on about how this all started. Initially the whole Ukraine civil war came about because an elected president decided to reject EU overtones to join their expansion. This was because of favorable energy and investment put forward by Russia. However, the meddling EU financed an uprising which effectively split the Ukraine down ethnic lines. Ethnic Russians in the East immediately declared independence from Kiev - but Kiev with a newly installed puppet regime could not accept independence so gathered forces to attack the ethnic Russia and on their own lands."
    The Guardian
    Terence Parr, 08 September 2014 9:24am
    So here we go again. Sadly I know what this comments page will become full of before the posts start. Comments from people repeating and interpreting the propaganda from both Empires and doing the propagandists job for them for free. This latest spat is nothing new and is just another example of the powerful using the people to fight their battles and protect their positions of power and wealth.
    DrHandley, 08 September 2014 9:34am
    It is constantly missed and not commented on about how this all started. Initially the whole Ukraine civil war came about because an elected president decided to reject EU overtones to join their expansion. This was because of favorable energy and investment put forward by Russia.

    However, the meddling EU financed an uprising which effectively split the Ukraine down ethnic lines. Ethnic Russians in the East immediately declared independence from Kiev - but Kiev with a newly installed puppet regime could not accept independence so gathered forces to attack the ethnic Russia and on their own lands. Even after a referendum the Kiev regime rejected the vote and used paramilitaries from Poland and other countries to attack the Russian speaking civilian.

    The western media however, brainwashed by the EU and USA decided to blame Russia. The only part Russia has played is where ethnic Russian families called on their brothers from straggling Ukraine border towns to fight to protect their land.

    Why do we keep on about Putin when actually this is village by village, town by town and a bullying Kiev regime. We allow Scotland to become independent without attacking them with deadly force - why couldn't the same apply to Ukraine?

    OpiumAddict -> DELewes , 08 September 2014 9:47am
    Putin offered Ukraine as a whole a better deal than being economically raped by the EU and IMF.

    The consequence of the EU deal will be the collapse of Ukrainian industry.

    DELewes -> OpiumAddict, 08 September 2014 10:12am
    No he didn't. He was bribing Yanukovich, and the ostensible beneficiaries of that largesse, the population that gave him the heave ho, knew perfectly well every dime would line his cronies' pockets. That's why the want out from the Russian economic and political model.

    It sucks.

    oalexander -> DELewes, 08 September 2014 10:13am

    ... Putin bribed his boy Yanukovych into reneging on the campaign promise that got him elected.

    Very condescending language. Fact is, the terms of the EU arrangements would have turned out very disadvantageous to Ukraine: austerity and deindustrialization would have led to a complete sellout of infrastructure to western interests and a continuous negative balance of payments. As it is, it will happen anyway now ad Ukraine will not only have a very frosty winter ahead but a guaranteed bleak future. I don't see anybody willing to pick up the multi-billion dollar tab for the country.

    Inside 18 months they will be in their own worse than Greek style disaster - financed with credits by the IMF. Nevertheless, the water supply in the country will be privatised to the usual hedge funds - and whenever somebody flushes the loo a cent goes there. Public health care will be a thing of the past. Etc.

    SHappens, 08 September 2014 8:47am
    The current crisis was planted, fertilized and watered by decades of hard work by the USA, the EU and NATO, who have long ignored repeated warnings from Moscow that its patience is limited.

    Quousque tandem abutere Obama, patientia nostra? quamdiu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?

    How long, O Catiline, will you abuse our patience? And for how long will that madness of yours mock us? To what end will your unbridled audacity hurl itself?

    MichaelGuess, 08 September 2014 8:52am
    All going well according to the Ashcloud, McCain, Nuland and Kerry plan to help the US corps flog their arms and grab assets.
    Mike Scrafton, 08 September 2014 9:18am
    Russia not only holds a lot of cards in this game of geopolitics it has players that can use them to best effect. The lack imagination and strategic understanding among western policy makers will continue to allow Russia to maintain the political momentum.

    Russia does have a long history in this region and a sense of its role (not unlike the US assumes in the Western hemisphere) and does see its security interests threatened by the expansion of the EU and NATO on its periphery and the deployment of missile defences along its borders.

    The stakes are too high for Russia to be discouraged by sanctions. Good strategic negotiators are required to find a geopolitical accommodation that will endure. Not knee jerk responses.

    Aetrus -> Mike Scrafton, 08 September 2014 10:41am

    Russia not only holds a lot of cards in this game of geopolitics it has players that can use them to best effect. The lack imagination and strategic understanding among western policy makers will continue to allow Russia to maintain the political momentum.

    Perhaps. Certainly Russia has played its cards forcefully. However, sometimes the smart player holds his cards and waits to see how the game unfolds. As I see it:

    Russia has made the following gains: it has acquired three Ukrainian provinces through overt/covert military power and its government has gained immense credibility at home.

    Russia has suffered the following losses: crippled relations with the outside world including exit from the G8 and probably the G20. Sanctions from the EU and USA which will be harder to remove than they were to impose. The remains of the Ukraine will now be perpetually hostile and will move to face west rather than east. The Baltic states have demanded and will get increased NATO spending on their territory.

    Russia might have been better holding its cards rather than playing them...

    Bosula -> Aetrus , 08 September 2014 11:08am

    I think Russia has been forced to play its hand and has done a pretty good job.

    Yes the negatives are as you state, but it has showed that it is a strong albeit not wealthy state and has dented the multipolar view of the world. The strategic and resource plans of the US in this part of the world have received a big setback. The Chinese papers now see Putin and Russia as champions and the Chinese are privately seeing Russia as a strong ally and a means to keep US expansionism and bases in check. This is not such a good outcome for the EU and US with China and the BRICS economic clout growing.

    Antidyatel -> MarcelFromage , 08 September 2014 11:06am
    I disagree with most of your points and recollection of the events. Which propaganda mash are you fed?

    What is exciting is the part

    The president was elected on a pro-EU platform

    Should every president that doesn't follow up on the promisses during the election campaign be ousted after 2 years in office? Personally, I agree with such an approach. Not using coup and false flag attacks. But some consitutional way. For example, Constitutional court compares point by point the promises of the president dusring the compaign and what actually was done in the direction of those points. If he fails to deliver on, let's say 60% of the promise, then new ellections. This way it will also prevent the populists to keep their mouth shut.

    I think it is a good idea.

    PwinceWupert , 08 September 2014 9:36am
    I wonder whose aircraft the Ukrainian Nazi's will then use for target practice if the Russians do close their airspace down?
    wimberlin , 08 September 2014 10:02am
    Well it is pretty obvious that Russia will kick back if you poke a stick at it, so at least this article correctly - and intelligently if I may say - that the EU will pay a big price for having to fall in-line with Washington dictates.

    Not much is being mentioned about who is going to pay out all the trillions of Euro which will be needed to rebuild Poroshenko's basket case. He already wants to spend 3 billion Euro on more shinny weapons for his bogus armed forces - instead of rebuilding the hospitals, schools, apartment buildings, and parks he has helped destroy.

    Thanks Guardian for pointing this all out - you never miss the finer details and nuances of a story.

    Robert Sandlin -> wimberlin, 08 September 2014 10:23am
    I've said before, I love British sarcasm. A beauty too behold.
    Red Ryder, 08 September 2014 10:18am
    The world needs Russia and the continued push by NATO is the root cause of all this trouble. If I were the EU I would be concerned about the upcoming winter. The Russians are a tough people and sanctions will only piss them off, sanctions have never worked except to cause more hostility.
    IanCPurdie -> Red Ryder, 08 September 2014 10:48am

    If I were the EU I would be concerned about the upcoming winter.

    If I were a citizen of the EU, I'd be seriously questioning these NATO maniacs as to why, and where the hell they think they're headed. I would also be very afraid of the likely probable consequences.

    Looking at news footage this evening, to damage to Ukrainian homes, I couldn't help but wonder whether that would eventually creep westwards across Europe yet once again?

    The Russians are a tough people and sanctions will only piss them off, sanctions have never worked except to cause more hostility

    Sanctions, like that stupid expression "staying the course" are the domain of fools without any well thought through policy, except for remembering their "bully boy" tactics from school days.

    Russia and China would be the last two nations I'd provoke into hostility. Both have previously demonstrated long term stamina that Western nations can never hope to match.

    Undoubtedly this is going to end in tears and angst at this rate. For what good reason? So Mr. America can prove to themselves that they can also pee high up the wall.

    Always remember, it is mostly other nations which inevitably pay for American policy errors. Rarely themselves. In this case, EU citizens.

    The question needs to be asked:

    "Are the citizens of EU Nations prepared to put their lives, their homes, their lifestyles. their industries, and their environment at risk solely for American ambitions?"

    I certainly know what my answer would be, given the sure knowledge, the USA does nothing for nothing.

    errovi -> IanCPurdie , 08 September 2014 10:52am
    This is why:

    The Geopolitics of TTIP

    oalexander , 08 September 2014 10:30am

    Moscow to show it was resolving the conflict in Ukraine that has killed nearly 3,000 people

    With a civilian death toll exceeding well 1000 plus the victims of the massacres of Odessa and Mariupol almost all caused by Ukraine under the coup government.

    All these humongous civilian death tolls are caused by western intervention, beginning with the half a million killed by the western embargo on Iraq. Recently we had the holie then thou country in the Middle East going on a rampage.

    The USA and its marauding hordes are in fact the scourge of the modern world.

    Robert Sandlin -> oalexander, 08 September 2014 10:45am
    I believe these dead figures we keep hearing are a vast underestimate.

    Meant to hide the extent of killing there from the world. Independent estimates (and the Ukrainian secret figures) place their military losses at easily 10,000 dead alone.

    They were over 8,000 in the middle of August.Before the NAF offensive. They also estimate civilian deaths higher. And the NAF deaths at 2,000 or so. The wounded are estimated at over 32,000.

    jfleetwood , 08 September 2014 10:31am
    It was time that someone stand against world most dangerous terrorist gang called NATO, who is raping oppressing and mugging small and poor countries. Russia is not them and they will fight them. US poodle called EU will get most of economic damage from their offensive on east.
    IanCPurdie -> jfleetwood , 08 September 2014 11:13am

    US poodle called EU will get most of economic damage from their offensive on east


    I'm more concerned that the rate this is progressing, Europeans countries might end up suffering much more than just economic damage.

    Horacy, 08 September 2014 11:10am

    allow Moscow to show it was resolving the conflict in Ukraine that has killed nearly 3,000 people and caused the worst confrontation between Russia and the west since the cold war.

    This and then the following quote clearly demonstrate how fragmented and disjoint the current narrative in the MSM has become.

    Shelling resumed near the port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov on Saturday, just hours after Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, had agreed in a phone call that the truce was holding.

    It's abundantly clear that whatever Poroshenko and Putin agree on, has to be first approved by Kolomoysky and his Azov battalion on one hand, and the DPR/LPR militias on the other. Hence, the fighting itself is not between Poroshenko/NATO and Russia. It's a civil war between Kiev's oligarch-funded Nazis and the people of Eastern Ukraine defending themselves.

    It is, however, also clear that the fundamental long terms goals in this US-created conflict have not changed, and are exactly the same as before the NATO summit and the Minsk "peace" deal:

    - drive a wedge between Europe and Russia

    - overthrow Putin and replace him with an obedient puppet similar to Yeltsin

    TomRees Horacy, 08 September 2014 11:23am
    >Kiev's oligarch-funded Nazis and the people of Eastern Ukraine

    You mean "Kiev's oligarch-funded Nazis and the Russian armed and equipped ultra-nationalists". And Russia's boots are on the ground in Ukraine as we speak - it was the direct intervention of the Russian army that caused the latest disaster for the Azov battalion.

    Your paranoia about the US is not necessary to explain this conflict, which has been brought upon the Ukraine as Russia and the Russian nationalists in Eastern Ukraine see it as vital to their interests to be part of the Eurasian Union, while most Ukrainians would like to see Ukraine move close to the EU. Russian sees its national security threatened by what the majority of Ukrainians want. Hence the invasion.

    Horacy TomRees, 08 September 2014 11:35am

    the latest disaster for the Azov battalion.

    This is actually quite revealing. You're well informed. The Azov battalion had its share of disasters over the course of the last 6 months. All of those disasters, including the latest, were inflicted on them by the brave people of Donbas, not some mythical Russian invasion.

    A Russian invasion, were it to happen, would've wiped out the battalion and would've very quickly defeated the crumbling Ukrainian regime. The fact that it hasn't happened is a rock-solid proof that there has not been a Russian invasion.

    IanCPurdie TomRees, 08 September 2014 11:42am

    Russian sees its national security threatened by what the majority of Ukrainians want.

    Most likely, however this is a matter in which Russia will never allow the Ukrainians [for better or worse] a voice in.

    A NATO presence in the Ukraine is simply right out of the question. No matter what anybody thinks. Russia has a buffer zone which it will NOT allow to be breeched.

    No more than the USA would tolerate a Russian presence in Canada or Mexico.

    ID5868758 DELewes, 08 September 2014 12:01pm
    You always use those two words, "Putin's folly", as if they accurately describe the situation. They don't, really. "Nuland's folly" much better describes the crisis in Ukraine, a US Department of State operation caught with its hand in the cookie jar, and, also caught in a situation where they geatly underestimated both their opposition, and the opposition of some of the Ukrainian people themselves.

    Not everyone is for sale for those US $100 bills that we see floating around all over Ukraine, hopefully the US taxpayers wise up soon and refuse to support that vile waste of our taxpayer dollars, destabilizing governments and financing violence all over the world.

    MullahsForLunch, 08 September 2014 12:02pm
    I really don't know what the EU/US is trying to achieve with all of this. One has to really question their tactics, all this sanctions bullshit is clearly there to confront and escalate the situation. Don't these fools know that while arm twisting may work with client states, it doesn't work with Russia? They are underestimating Putin. Putin doesn't bend over like slimy Western politicians.

    Why are they risking so much in a delicate time of recession/deflation in Europe, the last thing Europeans need are sanctions over a non-NATO country like Ukraine. What "principles" is the West trying to uphold? Oh yes, supporting "democracy" in countries that don't toe their interests, "selective" democracy? Sovereignty? "Selective" sovereignty you mean? Supporting profitable sovereign movements while opposing unprofitable movements such as Scotland's independence and Eastern Ukraine? They are damn hypocrites, they have no morals nor principles to defend. The West is wrong on this one. Let Putin and Poroshenko battle it out. The Slavs should solve this one, the West should only mediate, not throw more fuel in the fire.

    The West has been on the decline since the 2008 financial crisis that it caused, it is running out of good cards fast, especially on the international arena. Better put the focus on domestic issues where the people need it most, because trying to look as if you are "upholding" democracy abroad while you are losing democracy at home , it seems rather sad.

    Manolo Torres, 08 September 2014 12:08pm
    I hope you are being sarcastic. Otherwise you can tell me which were the humanitarian reasons in Grenada (showing the world that other policies than savage capitalism will not be tolerated), Nicaragua , Chile (idem) Guatemala (stealing land for the natives so a fruit dealer who happened to work also for the CIA could use them), Congo (killing their first elected president because he didn´t agree with the colonial powers, installing a dictator), Iraq (oil), Afghanistan (catching Obama bin Laden... how many did they kill in the process, where does 80% of the heroin in the world comes from now?). Let´s start with those.
    wombat123, 08 September 2014 12:36pm
    They are imposing sanctions for brokering a ceasefire? It seems the EU would prefer more bloodshed.
    Robert Looren de Jong wombat123, 08 September 2014 12:46pm
    BERLIN, Sept 8 (Reuters) - A ceasefire agreed between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists is not sufficient as other issues including border control and the exchange of prisoners still need to be addressed, a German government spokesman said on Monday.

    "It's not just about this one issue of a ceasefire. There's a long list of things that were agreed to and which need to be implemented, not just the ceasefire," Steffen Seibert said.

    "As much as we all want a ceasefire to be respected by all sides, there are other issues like OSCE monitoring, the exchange of prisoners and hostages, monitoring of borders and the start of a dialogue - there's a lot more than just sticking to the ceasefire."

    ID5868758 wombat123, 08 September 2014 12:46pm
    Look, the US goal is regime change in Russia, period. They will continue to attack Putin, they will continue the economic sanctions no matter what Russia does, because a strong, sovereign Russia is the biggest threat in the world to US domination of resources and trade and assets and everything else that they think belongs to them because of American "exceptionalism".

    All this is white noise when you look at the big picture, America can't compete in this global marketplace honestly, they must use their military arm of NATO and the predatory banksters like the IMF to advance their multinational corporate interests, and Russia as a sovereign nation who saw the handwriting on the wall is in the way. Pretty simple, but the blood of too many innocents is now on the American hands for it to continue forever.

    Debbie Stanley-Ellis ID5868758, 08 September 2014 1:10pm

    because a strong, sovereign Russia is the biggest threat in the world to US domination of resources and trade and assets and everything else that they think belongs to them

    How so? U.S. GDP, trade, heck everything, dwarfs Russia's. Not to mention Russia sold gas and oil to Europe even during the Cold War. Sorry it doesn't fit your tin foil hat theories, but the U.S. feels no economic threat from Russia.
    Davo3333 Debbie Stanley-Ellis, 08 September 2014 1:50pm
    Earlier this year World Bank figures show that the US became the worlds second largest economy and in ten years time it will only be half the size of China's economy while the BRICS will comprise over 50% of the worlds economy. This is what the US is so frightened of and for the next ten years until it is completely swamped by the BRICS the US will be the main threat to world peace. And US gas is no match for Russian gas as it is too expensive.
    daylight101, 08 September 2014 12:45pm
    i really wonder where germany is exactly in this crisis? it seems sometimes that they genuine in their belief that putin is a danger and ready to sacriface their economic interests for this belief. but timing of the events seems deliberately not in their interests, so maybe they are just dumb, disciplined and under the us toe and their beliefs have nothing to do with their views?
    Manolo Torres daylight101, 08 September 2014 12:54pm
    Makes one wonder...What did the NSA found when spying on Merkel? How are the gold negotiations going on, will it stay in the US forever? What is the deal for having more than 40 US military installations in "sovereign" German soil?
    NotWithoutMyMonkey, 08 September 2014 1:01pm
    Michael Hudson on what the US has to gain in the Ukraine and how the IMF is an instrument for achieving these economic and geopolitical aims:

    ID5868758, , 08 September 2014 1:38pm
    Russia is building the South Stream pipeline to provide cheaper gas for Europe and bypass Ukraine and all the corruption there, the problems that have existed for years. The United States is doing everything in its power to stop that construction, which costs jobs for construction workers, and would deny cheaper gas to the countries involved in the project. This is just one example of the United States not acting in the best interests of the European people, how much bribe money has passed under the table to make these European "leaders" act against the best interets of the citizens they are supposed to be serving?

    Manolo Torres, 08 September 2014 2:07pm
    The plan by neoconservative elements embedded in the Obama administration to seek a Yugoslavia-style breakup of the Russian Federation continues to manifest itself by President Obama's continued commitment to the Captive Nations doctrine first enunciated by Ukrainian right-wing nationalist provocateur Dr. Lev Dobriansky. -

    Dobriansky's daughter, Paula Dobriansky, who served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs during the entire Bush administration, is now leading her father's crusade against Russia as a senior fellow at the Belfer Center (named after Robert Belfer, the Polish-born founder of the Belco Oil and Gas Company, which later became Enron Corporation) at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Paula Dobriansky is now using such outlets as the Voice of America to call for the ending of credits to the Russian government and Russian companies and suspending Russian firms from trading on international bourses. Dobriansky and her friends, including Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and United Nations Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, seek to resurrect Lev Dobriansky's insane plans for dismemberment of Russia. Today, it is not "anti-Communism" which serves as the rallying cry for the neoconservatives but a desire to forestall the creation of a Eurasian Union that would compete with the global banker-run European Union. -

    See more at:

    [Sep 08, 2014] The Whys Behind the Ukraine Crisis By Robert Parry

    This is a must read for understanding of Guardian and other major Western MSM low level presstitutes behaviour and motives of their handlers...
    September 3, 2014 |

    Given the very high stakes of a nuclear confrontation with Russia, some analysts wonder what's the real motive for taking this extraordinary risk over Ukraine. Is it about natural gas, protection of the U.S. dollar's dominance, or an outgrowth of neocon extremism, asks Robert Parry.

    A senior U.S. diplomat told me recently that if Russia were to occupy all of Ukraine and even neighboring Belarus that there would be zero impact on U.S. national interests. The diplomat wasn't advocating that, of course, but was noting the curious reality that Official Washington's current war hysteria over Ukraine doesn't connect to genuine security concerns.

    So why has so much of the Washington Establishment – from prominent government officials to all the major media pundits – devoted so much time this past year to pounding their chests over the need to confront Russia regarding Ukraine? Who is benefiting from this eminently avoidable – yet extremely dangerous – crisis? What's driving the madness?

    Of course, Washington's conventional wisdom is that America only wants "democracy" for the people of Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin provoked this confrontation as part of an imperialist design to reclaim Russian territory lost during the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. But that "group think" doesn't withstand examination. [See's "Who's Telling the Big Lie on Ukraine?"]

    The Ukraine crisis was provoked not by Putin but by a combination of the European Union's reckless move to expand its influence eastward and the machinations of U.S. neoconservatives who were angered by Putin's collaboration with President Barack Obama to tamp down confrontations in Syria and Iran, two neocon targets for "regime change."

    Plus, if "democracy promotion" were the real motive, there were obviously better ways to achieve it. Democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych pledged on Feb. 21 – in an agreement guaranteed by three European nations – to surrender much of his power and hold early elections so he could be voted out of office if the people wanted.

    However, on Feb. 22, the agreement was brushed aside as neo-Nazi militias stormed presidential buildings and forced Yanukovych and other officials to flee for their lives. Rather than stand behind the Feb. 21 arrangement, the U.S. State Department quickly endorsed the coup regime that emerged as "legitimate" and the mainstream U.S. press dutifully demonized Yanukovych by noting, for instance, that a house being built for him had a pricy sauna.

    The key role of the neo-Nazis, who were given several ministries in recognition of their importance to the putsch, was studiously ignored or immediately forgotten by all the big U.S. news outlets. [See's "Ukraine's 'Dr. Strangelove' Reality."]

    So, it's hard for any rational person to swallow the official line that the U.S. interest in the spiraling catastrophe of Ukraine, now including thousands of ethnic Russians killed by the coup regime's brutal "anti-terrorist operation," was either to stop Putin's imperial designs or to bring "democracy" to the Ukrainians.

    ... ... ...

    The Neocons' 'Samson Option'

    So, while it's reasonable to see multiple motives behind the brinksmanship with Russia over Ukraine, the sheer recklessness of the confrontation has, to me, the feel of an ideology or an "ism," where people are ready to risk it all for some larger vision that is central to their being.

    That is why I have long considered the Ukraine crisis to be an outgrowth of the neoconservative obsession with Israel's interests in the Middle East.

    Not only did key neocons – the likes of Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. John McCain – put themselves at the center of the coup plotting last winter but the neocons had an overriding motive: they wanted to destroy the behind-the-scenes collaboration between President Obama and President Putin who had worked together to avert a U.S. bombing campaign against the Syrian government a year ago and then advanced negotiations with Iran over limiting but not eliminating its nuclear program.

    Those Obama-Putin diplomatic initiatives frustrated the desires of Israeli officials and the neocons to engineer "regime change" in those two countries. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even believed that bombing Iran's nuclear plants was an "existential" necessity.

    Further, there was the possibility that an expansion of the Obama-Putin cooperation could have supplanted Israel's powerful position as a key arbiter of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Thus, the Obama-Putin relationship had to be blown up – and the Ukraine crisis was the perfect explosive for the destruction. [See's "Why Neocons Seek to Destabilize Russia."]

    Though I'm told that Obama now understands how the neocons and other hardliners outmaneuvered him over Ukraine, he has felt compelled to join in Official Washington's endless Putin-bashing, causing a furious Putin to make clear that he cannot be counted on to assist Obama on tricky foreign policy predicaments like Syria and Iran.

    As I wrote last April, "There is a 'little-old-lady-who-swallowed-the-fly' quality to neocon thinking. When one of their schemes goes bad, they simply move to a bigger, more dangerous scheme. If the Palestinians and Lebanon's Hezbollah persist in annoying you and troubling Israel, you target their sponsors with 'regime change' – in Iraq, Syria and Iran. If your 'regime change' in Iraq goes badly, you escalate the subversion of Syria and the bankrupting of Iran.

    "Just when you think you've cornered President Barack Obama into a massive bombing campaign against Syria – with a possible follow-on war against Iran – Putin steps in to give Obama a peaceful path out, getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and Iran to agree to constraints on its nuclear program. So, this Obama-Putin collaboration has become your new threat. That means you take aim at Ukraine, knowing its sensitivity to Russia.

    "You support an uprising against elected President Viktor Yanukovych, even though neo-Nazi militias are needed to accomplish the actual coup. You get the U.S. State Department to immediately recognize the coup regime although it disenfranchises many people of eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych had his political base.

    "When Putin steps in to protect the interests of those ethnic Russian populations and supports the secession of Crimea (endorsed by 96 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum), your target shifts again. Though you've succeeded in your plan to drive a wedge between Obama and Putin, Putin's resistance to your Ukraine plans makes him the next focus of 'regime change.'

    "Your many friends in the mainstream U.S. news media begin to relentlessly demonize Putin with a propaganda barrage that would do a totalitarian state proud. The anti-Putin 'group think' is near total and any accusation – regardless of the absence of facts – is fine."

    Yet, by risking a potential nuclear confrontation with Russia - the equivalent of the old lady swallowing a horse – the neocons have moved beyond what can be described in a children's ditty. It has become more like a global version of Israel's "Samson Option," the readiness to use nuclear weapons in a self-destructive commitment to eliminate your enemies whatever the cost to yourself.

    But what is particularly shocking in this case is how virtually everyone in U.S. officialdom – and across the mainstream media spectrum – has bought into this madness.

    Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

    [Sep 07, 2014] Ukraine ceasefire under threat amid claims of shelling near crucial port city by Shaun Walker

    Sep 06, 2014 |
    BalerionZinn , 06 September 2014 5:40pm
    Really can't see it lasting. Both sides seem too headstrong to give any space. Someone will eventually have to take a blow to their pride.
    vr13vr BalerionZinn, 06 September 2014 6:46pm
    While both sides indeed seem too headstrong, Kiev does no longer have means to achieve what it wants. So it will have to give in, as long as they find a graceful way out for it. There might still be flair ups, especially around Mariupol, since it is a strategic Russian city that isn't clearly in the hands of the opposition, but the Donetsk and Lugansk are not coming back.
    beentheredonedat Clifton_Mbunge, 07 September 2014 2:11am
    Ceasefire will hold because Russia wants it to hold and will make it hold.

    Here's the Sept/5 Minsk Protocol, published by OSCE - - hope you can read Russian a bit by now.

    With its signing Donbass indeed became Russia's proxy region in Ukraine with which to control its NATO and even EU accession. Although many on the ground on both sides will howl blood murder an will want to continue the fighting, Russia's wider political objectives seem to have been met. Ukraine, on the other side, seems to have capitulated.

    beentheredonedat beentheredonedat, 07 September 2014 2:14am
    With translation on -
    mauman , 06 September 2014 5:43pm
    "Kiev says the rebels were aided by soldiers and armour of the regular Russian army, "
    That's the problem with reporting. Everything gets posted that Kiev says, despite so many previous lies from them.

    NATO's involvement is truly shameful and their motives obvious from the start.

    There would be no ceasefire acceptance by Kiev if what they said 2 weeks ago about rebels being encircles etc were true. They accepted it because they're on the back foot.

    Shameful too that Cameron is such a willing participant in all this too.
    A disgrace to Britain

    ProfWilliams , 06 September 2014 6:37pm
    For a sustained long term peace it should obvious to any thinking person by now that the remnants of the beaten ukie army and neo-nazi volunteers will in the end have to pull back all their forces out of Novorossiya.

    They have slaughtered too many innocent civilians in the east now and destroyed too many of their citizens' homes and cities. They only have themselves to blame now for the enduring hatred of the people they invaded.

    sasha19 ProfWilliams , 06 September 2014 7:17pm
    Professor, there is no New Russia state. Both sides in this mess have slaughtered so let's be fair and clear...wars kill and destroy well beyond the combatants.
    ProfWilliams sasha19 , 06 September 2014 7:53pm
    Yes Sasha true, but Kiev and Lvov were not shelled. The cities in the east, especially Donetsk and Lugansk, were regularly shelled and badly, by the Kiev army and the neonazi volunteers. Both sides have lost brave soldiers but nearly all the innocent women and children killed were from the east. This will not be quickly forgotten or forgiven. The country has been irreversibly radicalised. How else could it be after a civil war. It cannot go back to how it was before.
    fansince76 sasha19 , 06 September 2014 8:03pm
    What Western Ukrainian towns and cities were bombed daily for 5 months?

    "Fields all around were scorched, and in some places smoke was still rising from where Grad missiles had landed the day before. In a nearby village, three Ukrainian tanks had been abandoned in the courtyard of a school kindergarten. Two were burned out, while one was untouched but had clearly been left in a hurry, rucksacks and personal possessions of its occupants left strewn around it, a sticker reading "Fuck off Putin" stuck to the base of its turret.

    The windows of the kindergarten had all been blown out, its roof removed, and there were gaping holes in the walls, apparently from mortar rounds.

    "The tanks came in about six in the morning," said one villager who did not want to give his name. "As soon as they set up position there, you could here the booms come in from that direction," he said, pointing at the pro-Russia lines. It was unclear whether those in the tanks had escaped alive.

    There was anger in the village, which until Saturday had seen no major fighting, over the destruction of the school. "See what a glorious army we have," said one middle-aged woman, sarcastically. "Parked their tanks up in our kindergarten, now the whole thing has gone."

    Why hasn't Shaun Walker told us about the majority anti Kiev sentiment in Mariupol until now?

    Hanwell123 ProfWilliams, 07 September 2014 12:37am

    Some of the UltraNationalists really do consider " killing them all" and effect an ethnic clearing on a large WW2 scale.
    Paul Tunstead fansince76, 07 September 2014 3:03am
    Walker is a lair, him and Luke Harding.

    John Pilger done an excellent piece on this rag and it's views on this conflict. He even mentions our two friends by name.

    Paul Tunstead sasha19, 07 September 2014 3:09am
    Clear and fair. You mean to say this rag has been clear and fair in it's reporting of Ukraine? Nope, not even close to being clear and fair. Kiev has been targeting civilian populations knowingly for the past five months, every day pounding them. Innocent kids blown up daily and you want clear and fair.

    Do you know of an instance when the other side targeted civilian populations? No, neither do I and I've been following this since it began last year. Even with Walkers and Hardings lies they have never reported that one(or at least I've never seen it).

    fansince76 Paul Tunstead , 07 September 2014 3:21am
    There was a fantastic piece done last night on the Telegraph (of all places) by Christopher Booking.

    I posted it tonight, but it was removed pronto.

    Shocking, relatively speaking, in its clarity and condemnation of our political elites.

    Almost revolutionary, read it before it disappears.

    Ishowerdaily, 06 September 2014 6:44pm
    "Fighters from the Azov battalion, the volunteer grouping with far-right leanings that has done much of the fighting around Mariupol, sat on a restaurant terrace eating pizzas; families strolled in the sunshine, wedding parties breezed through central streets beeping horns."

    Well doesn't that sounds idyllic, just like the scene in Cabaret where the handsome boy sings Tomorrow Belongs To me.

    edwardrice -> Ishowerdaily , 06 September 2014 7:06pm
    Bloody he'll, you're right
    Ishowerdaily -> edwardrice, 06 September 2014 7:18pm
    I always thought I understood what 'The banality of evil' meant, I never believed I would see it in action on this mass scale.

    Utterly fucking depressing.

    edwardrice -> Ishowerdaily , 06 September 2014 8:12pm
    Utterly fucking depressing.
    Ishowerdaily -> edwardrice , 07 September 2014 6:40am
    And now I wake up to find the self same pizza eating ubermensch are the sole source of information in a story that attempts to bring down the ceasefire.

    Depressing and unbelievable.

    [Sep 06, 2014] Ukraine ceasefire holds so far as Poroshenko orders halt at dusk by Shaun Walker in Mariupol
    Biletskiy raised the possibility of volunteer fighters continuing a kind of partisan warfare to win back the regions: "As soldiers we will obey our orders but as citizens that will be hard."

    One of his subordinates said: "We will use the ceasefire to regroup and retrain, and then we will take the land back."

    Robert Sandlin, 05 September 2014 7:07pm

    I don't know where the author is getting his info from.But the Ukie's have been shelling Donetsk all morning.And are shelling Gorlovka and Makeevka as I type this.They haven't honored the ceasefire at all.Its another Poroshenko sham.Or he can't control the oligarch paid death squads.Either way,if they don't stop the "ceasefire" is done.
    Theodore Svedberg -> Robert Sandlin , 05 September 2014 7:17pm
    It might be too much to expect the ceasefire being accepted by all of the different groups at once. You are correct that the central government doesn't have a unified command over all of their forces since there are at least two oligarch run militias and the right sector dominated national guard battalions have always maintained their independence. We should give them a few days -- the reality on the ground should convince them that further fighting now is futile.
    LeDingue -> Dreikaiserbund , 05 September 2014 10:00pm

    That concept is only "real" in Western media, it's just propaganda.
    One is free to align oneself with it of course.

    Ask NASA if Putin is a pariah and they'll give you a blank look as they unpack their latest delivery of rocket engines. Ask the US airforce as they use Russian airspace in Iraq and Afghanistan operations. Ask the FBI as they liase with Russia over organised crime heroin traffic.

    And ask the Pentagon as they are currently coordinating negotiations with Iran and Syria over Isis.
    The media portrayal of Russia and its leaders is merely that: a portrayal. If it weren't for Russian intervention the US would have launched an attack on Assad's forces last year. Ask yourself what kind of mess that would now have become...

    Dreikaiserbund -> LeDingue , 05 September 2014 10:11pm
    You seem like a very bright chap. I like your logic: western media, which is overwhelmeningly owned by media barons or corporations, is propaganda.

    Ergo, Russian media, which is overwhelmingly controlled by the state, is... free, fair and factual?

    LeDingue -> Dreikaiserbund , 05 September 2014 11:03pm

    media, which is overwhelmingly controlled by the state

    The current political and economic structures in Russia are only 14 years old. If they can resist foreign (ie American) efforts to degrade the progress they've made so far then the development of a reasonably open society stands a chance.

    14 years is not a long time for a free media to develop.

    Our own open society is a lot older but it was only a little while ago that this news outlet was obliged to destroy computers in its basement overseen by MI5 officers as a public humiliation (the information on them was duplicated elsewhere so it served no practical purpose).
    Meanwhile in the US it has long been public knowledge that the security apparatus interferes with the media in a variety of ways: from CNN editorial offices hosting military psyops to the electronic surveillance of political journalists. Just today I read this: A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication

    It's all relative.

    One can either respond to contrived tribalism and disinformation without thinking or one can take a broader and more informed (and necessarily less simplistic) perspective. It's your choice.

    vr13vr, 05 September 2014 7:08pm
    So how does it work in the West?

    Russia made cease fire proposal and Cameron replied by promising more sanction?

    The West is talking about escalation and troops, yet someone is suspicious because the cease fire proposal came from Russia, the only party that even talked about cease fire?

    Poroshenko declared that he would wipe out Eastern Ukrainian terrorists and will continue bombing the cities until the end, yet Obama praises him for successful peace effort?

    And it is all in the same article. Is this world still real? Do the Western politicians even blush when they keep on saying this nonsense? Does the people in West are so blind and deaf when they read the paper or listen to the news?

    Robert Sandlin -> vr13vr, 05 September 2014 7:12pm
    Russia just needs to stay strong and do what they need ,to support their brothers. There is no way to deal with the West.They want to destroy Russia. And words won't stop them, only staying strong will.
    richiep40, 05 September 2014 7:11pm
    So the PR war continues.

    I heard a clip of Obama's speech tonight. According to him the ceasefire was because they forced Putin to the negotiating through sanctions.

    As I suggested earlier my guess was in fact the credit should go to Obama , because he finally persuaded Pershenko that the US wasn't going to go to war for him, and he better make a deal.

    What a didiculous world we live in, a guy does something decent and for political reasons he can't take credit for it, and our 'free press' are either too stupid or biased to publish it.

    Theodore Svedberg , 05 September 2014 7:11pm
    Ukraine really had no option but to accept this ceasefire. They had just suffered a terrible defeat and the city of Mariupol was about to fall to rebel forces. The question for the future is how they respond. Most hope that the future negotiations will lead to an agreement between provisional Donbas governments and Kiev. This agreement will have to consist of the following points. A Kiev led central army will not be allowed to be stationed in the Donbas. The region will provide for its own security forces. The governors of the these oblasts will be elected by the local people, no longer will Kiev appoint the administrators. Taxes paid in the Donbas will stay in the Donbas. And the people of Donbas will have the right to negotiate their own trade agreements with Russia. The victories of the rebel militias have earned the Donbas people these freedoms from Kiev.

    It is hard to imagine Kiev accepting such conditions. They will more likely, at least initially, use the time of these negotiations to rebuild their shattered army with military aid from western powers with the hope to go back on the offensive later. Hopefully, the time out will be an educational experience for Kiev's leaders and their nationalist supporters that war is not going to work. It means they will have to accept that they just lost the war and some of their goals are unattainable.

    This is the path that will preserve the current country called Ukraine. Otherwise it will the state will have to be broken up.

    Robert Sandlin -> Theodore Svedberg, 05 September 2014 7:16pm
    They learned nothing positive.Its just a scam to rebuild and resupply their forces.It was a huge error for the NAF to agree to the "ceasefire",that Kiev still isn't even honoring.
    sHermiu , 05 September 2014 7:12pm
    The bottom line is this: Kiev has been stopped in its aggressive tracks by the defenders of Donbas - mainly farmers, taxi drivers, miners and local people.

    At the time of the ceasefire Kiev was losing the war. When this happened last time (Kiev losing), during the first two weeks of July, Kiev went on the retreat. Then the M17 plane crash conveniently occurred and this put Kiev on the moral front foot again, for a short time anyway.

    The turning point was the encirclement of some 4,000 near the Russian border at the beginning of August. The defeat of these troops left the rebels with hundreds of artillery, tanks and other vehicles. Within a week these weapons were being used against the Ukies in Luhansk and Donetsk and began to turn the tide against Kiev.

    From then on the balance of power shifted to the rebels as they defeated more and more Ukie brigades and subsequently increased, daily, the firepower under their control.

    At the time of the ceasefire, I would estimate the rebels were about one third the strength of Ukie army in weapons and men. But the passion of fighting for your own land, your own family, town and village meant the rebels were, to a man, fiercer and more determined, and this factor made up the deficit for the rebels and still does.

    vr13vr, 05 September 2014 7:13pm

    "Barack Obama expressed doubts at the Nato summit that the truce would result in anything more substantial"

    It has already resulted in something more substantial than what Obama has ever established - a cease fire, even if it doesn't last long. Obama is just a cheap demagogue.

    NottaBot, 05 September 2014 7:28pm
    From the article:

    "there was scepticism over whether the more radical elements on either side would obey the ceasefire"

    Walker then directly quotes the leader of the "far-right" Azov battalion making comments that support his statement about "radical elements on either side" possibly not obeying the ceasefire. Given this direct quote, skepticism regarding the intentions of the "far-right" Azov battalion is certainly justified. But where is the complementary quote from the insurgents saying something similar? On what does Walker base this "plague on both houses" statement?

    Guest222, 05 September 2014 7:35pm
    But David Cameron told the Nato summit that a fresh round of sanctions against Russia, imposed for its heavy military involvement in eastern Ukraine, would still go ahead.

    "Heavy military involvement"? How heavy? 280 trucks with humanitarian aid? A couple of thousand Russian volunteers? Some French, Spanish, Serbian volunteers?

    Anything else, "heavy"? Evidence, please! And do not tell us that US with the world best spying systems couldn`t detect it. Not to mention the international observers who haven`t noticed any Russian tanks or soldiers crossing the border. Must be pure magic from Putin`s side...

    VoiceFromNowhere -> Guest222, 05 September 2014 10:55pm

    Some French, Spanish, Serbian volunteers?

    Moreover, people say there are 25 American antifascist volunteers on the Donetsk and Luhansk side. Luckily, there are a lot of conscientious and honest people among Americans…

    achacachi, 05 September 2014 7:40pm
    I think that Belgium had a lot to do with it. Since last year the Americans made Belgium buy 270 Billion USD in US Bonds, a lot of them dissed by the Russians. After China and Japan that small and tiny Belgium is now on 3. place, holding 400 Billion USD in US Bonds.

    That`s a lot of toilet paper for Belgium alone. Russia doesn`t need rockets, they shoot with US-Bonds and US-Dollars. I`m pretty sure that the US goverment told their European poodles and their ECB to buy as much US Bonds as they are told to the US from sinking.

    Ozma46 -> achacachi, 05 September 2014 10:24pm
    Yes I have been watching the implausible buy up of US Bonds by Belgium, haven't seen anything that listed what countries were selling though, my guess was Russia, have you seen any info?
    SHappens, 05 September 2014 7:40pm

    The obvious would be to let Ukraine deal further with the Separatists without the West meddling. They will be able to do it on their own much better.

    Now that US had what it wanted - their NRF or "NATO response force, which is an enlargement of existing bases and more military shift at a faster readiness which will cost EU 2% PIB over a period 2025, they must forget about their insane ambitions and walk away. Let the shale gas in the Donbass and take back home Biden who is currently at the wrong place. The plan of weakening Russia has failed, but more important will never succeed. If they want to believe this NATO Summit Club Med was a deterrent ok fine.

    EU must on its side support the ceasefire this time. I dont think they want more sanctions, that's a tool used so that it gives the impression Russia did bend in front of the EU, but we know it is not the case. Putin always let an open door for its opponents to exit with dignity. Diplomacy they call it, that thing Barroso isnt aware of.

    LeDingue -> SHappens, 05 September 2014 9:29pm

    The plan of weakening Russia has failed

    As ever in these geopolitical chessgames there are complications at play behind the (media reported) scenes that compromise one CIA plan by it being corrupted by the failure of another. With the widespread modern use of proxies the American planners continually struggle to coordinate the left hand with the right. At the same time American covert foreign policy is no longer the preserve of official agencies as their entire system of government has become increasingly captured by transatlantic corporate power. That is the Bush legacy (of GHW Bush) where a confusion or grey area arose between authority assumed by the CIA and his family's allegiance to the Saud family cemented by the Carlyle Group association which has a British component.

    The long-planned economic emasculation of Russia has been fought on geopolitical grounds: Iran & Syria and commercial (corporate) grounds: natural gas supply to Europe from Qatar to replace Russian supply.

    The reported clue to the cross-contamination and collapse of the American plan was the quiet replacement of the head of Saudi intelligence Bandar bin Sultan, a family friend of the Bushes. He had headed up the recruitment and training of the sunni jihadi forces to create civil war in Syria but, as we can now see with Isis, completely lost control of the operation.
    That happened more or less simultaneously with the Kiev regime change and the reshuffling of oligarchic power in Ukraine. The planned destabilisation of Crimea failed; the attempts to coerce EU countries into an economic embargo of Russia have met more resistance than expected.

    Now the Isis blowback requires Russian assistance and must take precedence. This wasn't only Bandar's fault but blame must also lie with the Petraeus/Steele shia death squad scandal (although that was more of a Pentagon operation than CIA it all overlaps).
    It was reported last week that Cameron wouldn't consider cooperation with Assad - which means that possibility was at least on the table. What a turn around from Obama in the Rose Garden announcing the imminent bombing of Assad forces last year!

    Do you see how complicated this all gets when one peeks behind the media-matrix?
    The control of American covert foreign action is fragmented even within on agency (the CIA) and competed over by a half dozen factions through military, intelligence, political and corporate. It is absolutely not the apparently coherent media front presented at the NATO meeting.

    And now these talking heads of partisan interests must come together to attempt to deal with the hideous CIA blowback that is Isis. And that means cooperating with Russia, Iran and, yes!, Syria. Obviously Putin will require the ending of Kiev's brutal military actions in east Ukraine that has created, besides thousands of dead and a destroyed Ukrainian economy, nearly a million refugees now in Russia. Putin is probably asking himself to what extent Obama is actually in control of the US military and intellignece... because they will now have to work with Russia to deal with Isis.

    Ozma46 -> SHappens, 05 September 2014 10:28pm

    Would that you were right, but the US has plans for Ukraine and bigger plans for Russia, the US may go play for a while in the middle east but they will be back and back again if necessary until they take all or are deterred by significant political changes at home. Political changes none of which I see coming any time soon.
    LeDingue -> Ozma46, 05 September 2014 10:40pm

    I agree in general with your comment but a possibility is that domestic economic and social problems may overtake US imperial ambition as outlined by Brezinski and Wolfowitz.
    The banking crisis has not gone away, Fed Res money printing continues and the dollar's international hegemony is under threat from the BRICS.
    Personally I think flames can be seen licking around the imperial edifice though in ideological terms you are quite correct.
    savingUK, 05 September 2014 7:54pm

    So are the "far-right Azov volunteer battalion" mentioned above fighting on behalf of the Ukrainian government? And are they being supported and armed by them?
    Robert Sandlin -> savingUK, 05 September 2014 8:02pm
    By them and now by NATO as well, Sieg Heil.
    savingUK -> , 05 September 2014 8:20pm
    I just read the Times article about them. The Russian media has been banging on about neo-Nazis for months and there's been virtually nothing (till now) in the western press.
    Juritiba -> savingUK, 05 September 2014 8:34pm
    Maybe you didn't watch the fights at Maidan Square. They were there with swastikas and all. They had been interviewed and were openly Nazis.
    LeDingue -> savingUK 05 September 2014 10:33pm

    It gets worse.

    A "quick search" will allow you to discover that Joe Biden's son (Hunter Biden) and a family friend of John Kerry are in gas business with oligarch Kolomoisky: Biden's Son, Kerry Family Friend Join Ukrainian Gas Producer's Board

    Billionaire and Privatbank owner Kolomoisky hosts and funds the neo-nazi Pravy Sektor Donbas battalion.
    A neo-nazi paramilitary militia is fighting to gain control of the eastern Ukrainian fracking fields on behalf of Biden family business investments. You won't read it put quite like that in the media!

    theonionmurders -> savingUK, 06 September 2014 12:52am
    ...and they have very deep roots in Ukraine's institutions and culture. At least the EU thought so in 2013 when commissioning this peer reviewed article which they promptly pulled from their site earlier this year.

    The Return of the Ukrainian Far Right The Case of VO Svoboda.

    Robert Sandlin, 05 September 2014 8:01pm
    So much for signing agreements with Poroshenko:

    18:10 On Makeyevka work sirens, ukry are shelling with heavy artillery. In the mine area 88 rising black smoke.
    18:35 intense shelling of Makeyevka and Donetsk.Nazis are the artillery fire from Volnovakha with systems MLRS
    19:05 of #Kiev, the #Nazis continued the bombardment of #Donetsk (Budenovka, Petrovsky).
    19:20 In #Makeevka again there was an explosion.
    20:00 Continue Nazi shelling. The blows were inflicted on Yasinovka and Volnovakha district.
    20:40 In #Gorlovka still hear the cannonade

    Black Cat -> Robert Sandlin, 05 September 2014 8:09pm
    So, how long before "Russian troops" are accused of breaking the ceasefire?

    But then what? Kiev needs a real ceasefire if only as a cover to regroup its forces. If the fighting resumes today or in the next days then Mariupol will fall and things will only get worse for the UAF.

    lids -> Black Cat, 05 September 2014 8:12pm
    Probably the fascists refusing to heed to the will of Porky.

    Coup number two round the corner?

    dannymerger, 05 September 2014 8:03pm

    Obama 'hopeful' but – with other Nato leaders – expresses scepticism over long-term success of truce

    Only because peace in Ukraine is the last thing Obama and Cameron want. They want another large scale profitable war to kick off. Russia just has too much mineral wealth and independence for the wannabe rulers of the world.

    [Sep 05, 2014] Ukraine ceasefire 'agreed for east of country' at Minsk peace talks by Shaun Walker in Mariupol

    Kiev "junta in chocolate" is not a party in this negotiations, the USA is the actual puppetmaster. Looks more like State Department plot to start "pro Russian separatists violate the ceasefire propaganda campaign". From comments: "A Ukrainian citizen put it in perspective for us : We had a government of thieves , we have now a government of murderers. This conflict has been manufactured from day one. Now it's for us to find who it benefits because the press won't say."
    The Guardian
    dion13, 05 September 2014 2:35pm
    I'm afraid the Novorussiya govs didn't learn a thing. Name one time when Poroshenko spoke the truth on what's going on in Donbas.
    Same for his propagandists Lysenko, Heletey, Avakov and the rest. Just a constant flow of lies.
    This one is just that. You can't change crocodile's nature.
    HansVonDerHeyde -> shpuntik, 05 September 2014 3:57pm
    Why would you believe an liar Oligarch that before being elected stated the he wanted ¨end war and bring peace¨

    yet a day later Ukrainian Army starts a new ¨operation¨ against the east....

    Ian A Guthrie, 05 September 2014 2:41pm
    How disappointing for some.
    After all the war mongering we have been subjected to ,particularly in the liberal media.
    Never the less an end to fighting would be a blessing for the poor sods who end up having to do it. lets hope it lasts.
    richiep40, 05 September 2014 2:44pm
    Here we go again :

    However, there was fighting on the ground near Mariupol,...

    That's how ceasefires work Shaun, so why the 'However' ?

    an apparent injection of Russian troops and firepower over the past fortnight

    How strange, the language is subtly changing why the 'apparent' ?

    Gosh, another subtle change of language

    commander of the far-right Azov battalion

    Up to now the Guardian has described them as 'volunteer battalions'.

    What is going on, second thoughts ?

    Anthony121 -> Ian A Guthrie, 05 September 2014 2:45pm
    Yes great to chant "Its 1938 all over again" when swilling champagn in Cardiff
    Alice Ponomareva, 05 September 2014 2:41pm
    Russian Defense Ministry has found all the soldiers in the list of the ones who "vanished", "most likely, in Ukraine" - applied officially to them by the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers.
    But one man.
    HansVonDerHeyde -> Alice Ponomareva, 05 September 2014 3:24pm
    The same organisation that received $350,000 from U.S.....hmmm

    aucontraire2, 05 September 2014 2:45pm
    A Ukrainian citizen put it in perspective for us : We had a government of thieves , we have now a government of murderers.
    This conflict has been manufactured from day one . Now it's for us to find who it benefits because the press won't say.
    Kaiama, 05 September 2014 2:45pm
    Both sides needed to sign something:-
    1 Kiev was getting crucified militarily.
    2 Moscow wanted to head off sanctions.
    The separatists will have to pause awhile.
    I beleive that both sides will talk, but getting Kiev to leave the Donbass will not come easily (unless they are kicked out by the separatist military).
    This still has a year or so to run, and the gas problem is not even half solved.
    Lee M, 05 September 2014 2:46pm
    All day, and even during the ceasefire talks, the Ukrainian army has still been shelling residential areas.

    So please forgive me for not whooping with joy at this story. I really, really hope it's serious and the killing stops and people can finally return home and rebuild their lives, but at this stage it's very difficult for me to trust any words coming out of the mouth of that mass-murdering oligarch Poroshenko.

    Jeremn -> Lee M, 05 September 2014 3:42pm
    Poroshenko, an oligarch who has just sold his chocolate empire to the son of Yanukovich the Corrupt.

    I don't think Maidan has achieved a lot, really. Killed a lot, yes, but achieved a lot, no. Corruption solved? See above. Democracy? Sure Yats is a democratic leader, Nuland appointed him.

    StanislavCh, 05 September 2014 2:46pm

    between Ukrainian government representatives and separatist leaders

    Who is Kuchma? He fills no post in current Ukr government. What powers does he have to sign important agreements on behalf of Ukraine ?
    Who are separatist leaders ? Are they a "side of a conflict" now ? They were called terrorists by Ukr propaganda just yesterday. Does their participating in this deal mean that their "people's republics" are recognised , at least as partners in negotiations ?
    More questions than answers. It will not work methinks.
    Black Cat -> StanislavCh, 05 September 2014 2:49pm
    None of it bears close analysis, but at least they're talking. This is some sort of progress. Let's just hope this time real peace can be achieved.
    Jeremn -> StanislavCh, 05 September 2014 3:46pm
    Here's an article from 2005. Same old names. Pinchuk, Kuchma, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko. Same old themes. Privatisation, corruption.
    Black Cat, 05 September 2014 2:47pm
    No responsible reporting should make claims of "apparent" Russian troops on the ground when, after over two months of such assertions there is still no credible evidence to back them up. It's such biased reporting, such bellicose and empty accusing that betrays the western agenda. And it's this agenda that most threatens the success of this latest ceasefire.

    Let's not forget Poroshenko tore up the last deal, leaky as it was on both sides, due to pressure from his own hardliners and the neocons in Washington who are paying for this junket.

    Jeremn -> Black Cat, 05 September 2014 3:53pm
    The neocons might be paying, but they are getting their money back. A must read on how the IMF is bringing poverty to Ukrainians so that banks and off-shore financiers can stay afloat.

    In short, of the $3.2 billion disbursed to the Ukrainian treasury by the IMF at the start of May, $3.1 billion had disappeared offshore by the middle of August.

    I think it is called looting? I hope the Donbass will be spared it, this time.

    Charliedaz, 05 September 2014 2:48pm
    If the ceasefire is agreed, as seems likely, and far right "volunteers" continue with what Biletskiy calls "partisan warfare", as also seems likely, it will be interesting to see how Western leaders will respond.
    dion13 -> Charliedaz, 05 September 2014 2:59pm
    There was no cease fire when civilians were being killed and displaced, but now that Poroshenko is losing the war he suddenly is ready for a cease-fire!

    The Ukrainian people are starting to see through the government propaganda and censorship, and Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko (born Waltzman) is facing a revolt in Kiev now that news is leaking out that 14,000 Ukrainian troops have been lost in this pointless civil war of ethnic cleansing of ethnic Russians and destruction of East Ukraine's industrial infrastructure!

    Poroshenko knows that when he loses Donbass, the Donbass self defence forces will come after him in Kiev for war crimes and crimes against humanity!

    It remains to be seen if this cease-fire is genuine and if the Fascist Right Sector fighters would be willing to digest Kiev's declaration!

    TrueBrit1066, 05 September 2014 2:49pm

    Not good news for NATO and the hawks then :)

    sodtheproles TrueBrit1066, 05 September 2014 3:08pm

    Correction - chicken hawks

    UInsider sodtheproles, 05 September 2014 3:32pm

    another correction: bloody chicken hawks

    Alice Ponomareva, 05 September 2014 2:49pm

    Donbas have complained to Kiev that Kuchma is no good as a rep from Ukraine, at the talks, because he has no written credentials, not officially empowered, by Kiev, to conduct talks or sign papers on behalf of Kiev and Ukraine.

    He is nobody, an ex-Ukrainian president, ousted out of power back in 1994.
    Since then - a private person.

    In the important talks, representing Kiev and Ukraine - by an own initiative.

    Once again, there isn't a shred of evidence that Kiev /Ukraine will be obliged to follow any thing Kuchma "agrees to".

    They are not liable. Kuchma does not have Kiev mandate for talks.

    That's what, correctly, bothers Donbas.

    Mac1977 , 05 September 2014 2:50pm
    This possible conflict seems to controlled from both fronts, and I can safely say that the vast numbers DO NOT WANT CONFLICT. But, the thing is, it seems out of the control of our hands. What about the people's say?

    The world is becoming smaller all the time. With the internet and this wild fire spreading of information (as opposed to knowledge) there needs to be an awareness that this "war" and "conflict" is under control by those that run this world.

    So, "4pm" ceasefire - well, that is a sliver of an insight into how much control over the possible outcomes. For one thing, they do not want too many wars on too many fronts - perhaps!

    But just look around the internet and any brief scan across ALL media stations, it seems as though there is but ONE script writer. Check youtube and search "same script NEWS" - and over 100 "reporters" are saying the same story and it is - VERBATIM. WORD4WORD,,,,

    What would that mean? Well, to turn back to the initial thought here: THEY are in control; in control of your media, in control of your re-actions.

    In my humble opinion they capture your mind through fear and sex - and it is all located in your base-mind. You think you can get away from it? No, you can't,
    That would mean a choice for liberty, and that is the last thing anyone wants.

    kennyboy , 05 September 2014 2:50pm
    God news, but many a slip twixt cup and lip. The complicating factors are many and there will, I am sure be setbacks. The fascist forces may not be pleased about the developments and could ignore a cease fire and will, undoubtedly be used by Washington as "proof" that Russia can't be trusted. In Kyiv, the CIA will be working with Yats to undermine Poreshenko and with parliament dissolved could boil down to pitched battles in the Maidan again. Washington is busy arming whoever their creatures are in Kyiv and where their are armaments and "advisors" their is the obvious potential to start it all again.

    It is to be hoped that the population of Western Ukraine are sickened by the killing and will support the "peace" side and that the population of Europe will wake up to what their governments have been complicit in, at the urging of Washington.

    Alice Ponomareva, 05 September 2014 2:50pm
    Donbas wants Avakov, or Poroshenko, or any one officially in any position in Ukraine - to sign the deal with them.
    dion13 -> Alice Ponomareva, 05 September 2014 3:01pm
    "Now we are urging Ukraine to send an official negotiator, must be a person who understands the situation and has a certain status" it says.

    Besides, Leonid Baranov, another DPR negotiator and its acting minister of state security, said that the Ukrainian troops should withdraw from the DPR.

    "It must be understood that 'artillery retracting from the cities' - if we read between the lines - means Ukrainian troops' withdrawal from the Donetsk region since the rapid succession of the Uragan (Hurricane) multiple rocket launcher is 35 kilometres," he said.

    edwardrice, 05 September 2014 2:53pm

    Andriy Biletskiy, commander of the far-right Azov battalion, which has been doing much of the fighting, said

    Andriy Biletsky is also the leader of a Ukrainian organization called the Social National Assembly. Its aims are stated in one of their online publications:

    "to prepare Ukraine for further expansion and to struggle for the liberation of the entire White Race from the domination of the internationalist speculative capital"

    "to punish severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts that lead to the extinction of the white man"

    Good to know what side David Cameron and the rest of our EU leaders are on.

    [Sep 05, 2014] Nato can be a force for good – as Baltic experience shows by Rafael Behr

    This presstitute has chutzpah to state that Nato has been a friend to Baltic Russophones.("The awkward fact for Kremlin apologists is that Nato has been a friend to Baltic Russophones." NATO is the instrument of US policy and always has been. And the US neoliberal elite is deeply, pathologically hostile to Russians and Russia. Looks like his point is that if people are not killed for their ethnicity or native language they speak like in Ukraine, they should be very grateful to NATO for this... In reality Russians replaced Jews as a legitimate object of ethnic hatred in the USA and probably several other Western countries. Definitely in all Baltic states. BTW Russian minorities are pushed out of the Baltic countries into western Europe as cheap labor. So brain drain from Baltic countries is a factor that even rabid nationalists need to take into account. It's impressive that he likes Baltic Apartheid regimes so much. BTW it would bee interesting to know, would Rafael Berg join another Waffen SS veterans march in Riga ?
    The Guardian

    ... many ethnic Russians marooned in the Baltic and denied full citizenship of their new host country.

    ... ... ...

    The problem has not disappeared and there are still grievances over citizenship...

    JovialMerchant -> Sakuya, 04 September 2014 3:55pm
    The democratically elected president of Ukraine (ousted by a Western-backed coup), would say the same about NATO and the West.

    As would half the globe - especially those in South America.

    Then again, we're in the middle of a massive war-mongering campaign, so such details are simply irrelevant.

    Congrats to the Guardian for playing its part in September 2014 3:36pm

    Russians in Baltic are second - sort citizens but they should be grateful even for that? That how I should read it? The denying of basic rights is OK if it's Russians because western slavery is better than life in Russia? Seriously?
    ValuedCustomer -> koshenka, 04 September 2014 3:49pm
    Also, it apparently requires threats by NATO to keep the non-Russian's elected representatives from reverting to racist barbarism.

    How comforting that must be for the Russian population.

    Jeremn -> koshenka, 04 September 2014 4:14pm
    If there isn't a problem why would there be such a thing as a Latvian Non-Citizens Congress (representing 300,000 people "denied political rights"? This is just one comment or two from that congress:

    Latvian non-citizens are entirely disenfranchised from all political rights by being a special category of Latvian nationals living, working and paying taxes in Latvia for generations but without any citizenship. Due to the fact that non-citizens are ethnic minorities, the situation was a prominent cause of concern for the European Commission during the enlargement negotiations in 1995-2004. However, after joining the European Union, the Latvian government significantly diminished its efforts for complying with the Copenhagen criteria with regards to political rights of ethnic minorities.


    "This year is the 10th anniversary of the EU Eastern enlargement, and Latvia is not the only country that still has not achieved human rights standards agreed by accession ten years ago. Unfortunately we have to agree with CoE Commissioner for Human rights, Mr. Nils Muižnieks, that human rights in the European Union remain more often an issue "for export" than for domestic consumption." – said Elizabete Krivcova, head of Latvian Non-citizens' Congress

    Beckow -> Aetrus, 04 September 2014 4:15pm
    25% were Russian immigrants and children of immigrants. And that is evil exactly how? There are 'immigrants" all over the world, from Canada to UK, from France to Estonia. They are human and have equal rights.

    Russians are a recognized minority in Estonia and Latvia (30% of population is a minority by any standard), thus the "language test" is illegal by EU's own rules. Hungarians in Romania don't have to pass Romanian language test to be citizens - they live there, it is a multi-lingual society.

    In any case keeping half of Russian population as non-citizens 25 years is against EU rules - but I guess that is ok with you, they are just "Russians"....

    tiye60 -> EndersShadow, 04 September 2014 9:33pm

    Fortunately for the Balts, they got back control of their borders from the USSR

    That is obviously because the USSR and afterwards Russia were not against it. The uncomfortable truth is that, in the end, to a largest extent, the Baltic states were given their independence by Moscow. One would think this largesse, as well as the fact that the Russian-speaking population joined the ethnic Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, in various peaceful demonstrations and protests for sovereignty in the end ot the 1980s, would have wiped away the sins, so to say, of the previous generations and the Baltic states would have acted as Europeans.

    SocalAlex -> Beckow, 04 September 2014 10:10pm

    In any case keeping half of Russian population as non-citizens 25 years is against EU rules - but I guess that is ok with you, they are just "Russians"....

    It certainly is against EU rules. Unfortunately it's not a unique case.

    There are at least 10s of thousands of ethnic/cultural Turks in Greece who also "enjoy" the same kind of "non-citizen" status and have done so for nearly 70 years.

    Indeed, even here in Austria, disgracefully, the language rights of the ethnic minority Slovenians in the Southeast are still not fully granted, nearly a quarter of a century after we joined the EU, even though it was actually already a condition for regaining our independence after WWII!

    (That said, with all due respect given Hungary's recent track record regarding minorities, they are sure as hell not a model to hold up!)

    Unfortunately, when it comes to things like this, the EU does indeed rarely back up their words with action.

    Beckow -> tiye60, 04 September 2014 11:03pm
    "I don't think they are Russians necessarily, but rather, Russian-speaking"

    They were born to Russian parents, they speak Russian, they self-identify as Russians. They are Russian.

    By the way Latvia already had 12% Russian minority in 1900. These are not some new "immigrants", this is a community that has lived there for hundred or more years.

    tiye60 -> Beckow, 05 September 2014 5:29am
    I think those who were living in Latvia before the Soviet invasion and occupation were given citizenship? Might be wrong...

    I mean this by Russian speakers, rather than ethnic Russians or even potential Russian citizens:

    With respect to Latvia's largest ethnic minorities: 31.7% of ethnic Russians are non-citizens, comprising 65.7% of all non-citizens; 51.9% of Belarusians are non-citizens, comprising 13.6% of the total; while 52.3% of Ukrainians are non-citizens, comprising 9.7% of the total.[12] In the age group below 18, non-citizens form 2.8 % of residents; in the age group above 80, 25.5 %, as at 2013.[13] As of 2014, the majority of non-citizens, 62.4%, live in the three biggest cities of country: Riga, Daugavpils and Liepāja, which comprise 40.3% of Latvia's population.[14] Additionally, 4,094 non-citizens were registered as living outside Latvia.[15]

    retsiLdivaD -> Aetrus, 05 September 2014 6:47am
    Yet, given the history of the Russians in Estonia, with over 7 decades of living in Estonia without having to learn the language, as well as, I would assume, a Russian minority presence before the war over independence, i would be more than reasonable for this country to have two national languages, so that a language test need not be taken. A little Belgium, were alternating dominance of Walloons and Flemish have left a rather bitter, but very much non-violent conflict, with no leading politicians in either the Netherlands or France being particularly interested in them.

    The year 1939 seems a little ominous to me, weren't there purges of Russians (and indeed Jews!) by the Vaps movement in the years preceding that date? If so,it's 90% purity may not be the argument you should rely on. What was the number say in 1925?

    RosalinaChalmers, 04 September 2014 3:51pm
    I have NEVER read such tripe.

    "The awkward fact for Kremlin apologists is that Nato has been a friend to Baltic Russophones."

    What? Has NATO given them Russian language rights (they have none) or the ability to vote (they have none)? NATO has done nothing useful for them.

    "Eastern Ukrainians aren't so lucky."

    Yes, but that's because they were attacked by Tyrchinov and then Poroshenko, with NATO as the CHIEF CHEERLEADER of the war on Eastern Ukraine.

    And before you ask - yes, I have been to the Baltics (Latvia) numerous times, and I know firsthand the impact on disenfranchised "stateless" ethnic Russians, because I have talked to many. That's not difficult, because they make up 40% of the population.

    goto100, 04 September 2014 3:52pm
    I'm sorry, but what evidence of any kind do you have that Russia has any interest in "reclaiming" the Baltic States? They have long since transitioned to being independent countries, and they display no interest in joining the Russian Federation.

    Their situation is in no way comparable to Ukraine, post-coup. It is a ludicrous straw man argument. There is no issue regarding Baltic State sovereignty. There are still some outstanding ones (according to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance) regarding the rights of some of their residents.

    madeiranlotuseater -> goto100, 04 September 2014 4:02pm
    But, boy, does it help America´s MIC. Spread a false fear in Europe.
    goto100 -> madeiranlotuseater, 04 September 2014 4:17pm
    It's so transparently obvious.
    Black Cat, 04 September 2014 3:55pm
    No shortage of hacks prepared to lie for that cosy sense of Big Bro's approval. That's one thing this crisis has made abundantly clear.
    goto100 -> Black Cat, 04 September 2014 4:03pm
    The co-opting of this newspaper, the day the hard drives were infamously destroyed, seems to be the story that hasn't been told so far. I honestly have to wonder. Something else happened in the basement that day. Some other men were there, with "real" threats backing them up. It would explain a lot.
    Comrade2070, 04 September 2014 3:55pm

    That impulse comes in part from the habit of routinely opposing anything containing the imperial whiff of western arrogance (I fear it also contains a weird muscle memory of genuflexion to Kremlin-friendly arguments). As if Moscow's self-serving narration of history to justify grabbing chunks of other countries' land is something other than imperialism.

    Hmmm, I wonder which former business manager for the defunct tankie publication Straight Left he could possibly be talking about?

    ploughmanlunch, 04 September 2014 4:04pm
    Of course 'Western enthusiasm for February's Maidan revolution and eagerness to deal with the new regime in Kiev is depicted by the Kremlin as a hostile act'.
    A democratically elected Government was violently overthrown.
    How can we go around bullying and bombing people in adopting 'democracy', when instead of encouraging people to use the democratic process and vote people out of office, we cheer as they use Molotov cocktails and cobble stones to achieve their aims.
    JovialMerchant -> ploughmanlunch, 04 September 2014 4:13pm
    We have been the ones instigating the violence in the first place. We want Ukraine's resources and NATO wants to use it to host its eastern bases so that it can threaten the emerging Russia/China bloc.

    This is not simply a story about Russia vs. Ukraine (or even the EU).

    This is just another addition to the story of geo-political maneouvering. The US, EU and the global banking interests didn't get their way in Syria and Iran (yet), mainly due to Russian support. This is revenge, plain and simple.

    Putin is scum (they all are). But he's not the real aggressor here, and he's not the one playing a reckless game that could threaten another World War.

    Beckow, 04 September 2014 4:07pm
    So when you cannot deny the obvious, you move on to minimizing it, admitting "problems", but saying that Baltic states with NATO encouragement are "working them through".

    Yes, 25 years after independence, they are "working on it". half of the Russians in Latvia and Estonia are still being denied citizenship that they had there before, these are not "immigrants" from Somalia, they were and born and lived there all of their lives. The one's without citizenship are mostly adult Russians who would be most likely to vote. If they were allowed to vote, the governments there would be very different. How is this ok with EU?

    I agree that joining EU and NATO forced the local Baltic nationalists to be slightly more accommodating. But they are stalling for time, theya re stretching the process. And EU is mostly silent. We don't hear from Merkel about it, we don't see in Western media - there are whole accounts of visits to Riga without ever mentioning that Riga is 50% a Russian city. Is the "apartheid? No, but this is EU there should be higher standards. And waiting for 25 years is long enough.

    So the author is trying to have it both ways, admit problems, but then surround that with a number of irrelevant qualifiers and then project it somehow into Ukraine. In Ukraine its Russian population was never deprived of their citizenship. Thus the need to overpower them via coups on Maidan. The statement that EU and NATO would make the nationalists in Kiev to behave better is ridiculous on its face: they are the ones who helped organize the coup, that are encouraging Kiev to suppress its Russian east with military. There has not been a single statement from EU and NATO demanding that Russians are given equal rights.

    It is again about Western perception of itself as a benevolent force for the good. In reality, EU and NATO play dirty ethnic politics: Latvians are always good, Russians always bad. Ukrainians good, Russians bad. Or Albanians in Kosovo good, Serbs bad.

    The nice talk is for public consumption, bombs are for real.

    stuperman -> Beckow, 04 September 2014 4:51pm
    ''demanding that Russians are given equal rights.''. The usual statement but always without explanation.
    The point of Russians in Latvia is that those born or emigrating before 1991 are expected to take an exam requiring a knowledge of the Latvian language and history. It is not difiicult but most Russians cannot be bothered (they have had 50/60 years to learn something but most cannot count in Latvian). Many have past the exam and obtained full passports (as have some African immigrants!). All those born after 1991 receive full citizenship even though they attend Latvian state funded Russian schools. Those without full passports still have the right to travel within the EU but must return after three months to renew visas. So, not a problem to learn elementary Latvian and history. Russian speakers are not discriminated against as when they speak in Russian they are always replied to in Russian. Public serving departments and shops require staff to be bi-lingual which can exclude not only Russians but also young Latvians who did not learn Russian at school. English is becoming the second language.

    P.S. The Latvian policy on acquiring citizenship has long been approved by Brussels.

    Beckow -> stuperman, 04 September 2014 7:05pm
    "The Latvian policy on acquiring citizenship has long been approved by Brussels."

    That's the problem. The article says that joining EU-NATO is good because their standards are higher. It has restrained the more crazy Baltic nationalism, but it has also made EU look very hypocritical. They look the other way ad don't apply their own rules when it comes to Russian minorities.

    Latvia is a bi-lingual country and has two main ethnic groups living there: Latvians and Russians. For example, the capitol Riga is about 50% Russian. Overall Russians are around 30-35% of the population. This is similar to Belgium (Flemish and French) or Romania or Finland (Finnish and Swedish). In those cases it is automatic that both nationalities have qeual rights. In Latvia, and Estonia, they don't.

    You can dace around it, bring up history, talk about preserving "Latvianness", whatever, it means nothing in 2014. People are equal and a concept of collective punishment of today's Russians for the sins of their ancestors is completely alien to Europe. Except when it comes to Russians.

    How is that possible in EU in 2014? Can we also start to discriminate against Germans, French, English, Hungarians, Turks or anyone else whose ancestors "did something"?

    Even having this discussion is frankly crazy. And none of the issues in Eastern Europe would be there if the local nationalists wouldn't try to treat Russians as second-class people. Get over it. And EU has to live up to its ideals. And not just talk about them as the article does.

    sydsam, 04 September 2014 4:34pm
    I'm a Russian-speaker from Latvia. I am a citizen, as my ancestors have been living here since the October revolution. But I don't speak Latvian, here is just a spectre of problems I have connected to not speaking the language: I can't get a job unless I speak Latvian to perfection. I can't properly participate in the political life unless I speak Latvian to perfection. I can't raise children in Latvia, because there are no schools that teach in Russian etc.

    Please bear in mind that the majority of population of Latvia at the time of gaining the independence were Russian speakers, hardly a minority. I live in UK now, where I find myself more at home than in the country where I was born and raised. Thanks, NATO!

    sydsam arkley, 04 September 2014 5:09pm

    Well your arrogance doesn't really help your argument. In case you didn't know Latvia was part of Russian Empire and then of the Soviet Union. Modern day Latvia was born on 1991, and this is when the whole language thing came into being. I'm not going to go into depths of how Urban population is structured but only until recently all major Latvian cities including Riga were populated by over 50% with Russian speakers. So no I don't think that the knowledge of Latvian language (or any other language for that matter) should have any advantage or be forced onto population in a modern society. But I guess that is just me.

    Cradyxee sydsam, 04 September 2014 5:10pm

    I don't really think NATO is to blame, but Latvian politicians rather. They use nationalism and enmity towards Russian-speakers to get the support of the electorate.

    And angering the minorities doesn't hurt their ratings, because those minorities are denied the vote. So, pushing anti-Russian agenda is a no-brainer for anyone trying to get votes in Latvia.

    Romanesque dukebluenose, 04 September 2014 5:13pm

    This comment shows that something is not right in Latvia! Any minority in any democratic country should have right to speak their own language, go to schools in their own language etc. This smells of hostility!

    sydsam EdwardMonton, 04 September 2014 5:17pm

    No. I learned English, because it is the most spoken language in the world. It did come in handy once I decided to leave Latvia.

    The big difference between coming to Britain and living in Latvia, is that I didn't immigrate to Latvia, neither did my parents or their parents.

    The society did not have a divide caused by language, now it does. And this divide was forced onto the population. You can see the results of this divide in the Latvian immigration statistics, or even more so in Latvian demographics. Latvia lost more than 1/3 of it's population since 1991. Will lose even more in the years to come.

    arkley -> sydsam, 04 September 2014 5:45pm
    Did Latvian society not have a divide caused by language or did you just not notice it because Latvian speakers had to speak Russian as well? What would a Latvian speaker say?

    There is an interesting parallel with Belgium. For most of modern history French was the dominant language even though more than half the population spoke Flemish. In 1815 the Great Powers expanded the Kingdom of the Netherlands to include Belgium and the French speakers suddenly found that the Flemish speakers had an advantage as their dialect was intelligible to government officials based in Holland. The equality of Flemish with French in legal and government business was one of the gripes that led to the 1830 revolution and breakaway from the Northern Netherlands.

    There then followed a century or more where Flemings who wanted to get on had to speak French but the reverse was not true. However industrial and economic change over the last twenty odd years has reversed the balance and today Flanders is wealthier and economically dominant. And Belgian unity is crumbling because French speakers are not willing to accept they might have to be fluent in Flemish in the way that Flemish speakers always had to be capable in French in the past.

    sydsam -> arkley, 04 September 2014 5:46pm
    Well the first republic was born on 18 November 1918, just to refresh your memory. After 40 000 Latvian Riflemen effectively helped to establish the Soviet State. So in a way, I think Russians should sue Latvia for material losses and moral damages suffered as a result of Soviet occupation of Russia and everything that comes with it. Besides I don't remember Latvia being occupied by the Soviet Union as the incorporation or anschluss, that actually did happen is not the same thing.
    sydsam -> balodis, 04 September 2014 6:02pm
    See Latvian Riflemen comment above. And just as an FYI How many Jews and Russians did Latvian Nazi brigades slaughter during the second world war? Oh yeah it's about 100 000. How many Russians and other nations suffered because of the Soviet State your nation helped to create? Go on, tell me more about barbarism.
    Erik Glantz, 04 September 2014 4:58pm
    This article is pure right wing propaganda.
    No mention of the US military subversion of democracy in Ukraine.
    No mention of the US military subversion on the border of non-enemy Russia.
    No mention of the evidence uniformly pointing to Kiev shooting down the MH17 flight.
    No mention of the complete lack of evidence for any invasion by Russia.
    No mention of the sudden shift of this news source to US right wing propaganda.
    No mention of the deletion of comments on other articles of this news source, which opposed the right wing views at least 4-to-1.
    So this news source now confesses to its opposition to democracy and public debate.
    JaniceK22, 04 September 2014 5:03pm
    I read several interviews with some in the army of Novorossiya and they pretty much explained why they did want Government from Kiev, and why they wanted nothing to do with the EU. They did not want to be part of the EU program of westernization which they feel destroys their civilization. They don't
    support same sex marriage, or state oversight of parents etc. And I don't blame them

    Even in the US I have seen federal laws restrict parental rights and schools attempt to devalue US history, of having to pay for ESL teachers because we fail to control our borders etc.

    Trilbey, 04 September 2014 5:22pm
    News Blackout: The U.S. Media Ignores Putin's Peace Plan


    On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a proposal for ending the violence in Ukraine at an OCSE (Organization for the Cooperation and Security in Europe) in Moscow. Unfortunately, most Americans never heard what he had to say because the media failed to publish his statement. The reason for the omission is fairly obvious, the media doesn't want people to know that Putin is not the ghoulish, authoritarian caricature he's portrayed to be, but a levelheaded pragmatist who wants a swift and peaceful resolution to the crisis. Here is what he said:

    "We think the most important thing now is to launch direct dialogue, genuine, full-fledged dialogue between the Kiev authorities and representatives of southeast Ukraine. This dialogue could give people from southeast Ukraine the chance to see that their lawful rights in Ukraine really will be guaranteed."

    PekkaRoivanen, 04 September 2014 5:31pm
    This is interesting article because it refers to language rights. I live in Finland which is officially bilingual country with Finnish and Swedish the two national languages except on Ahvenanmaa island which has only Swedish. Swedish and Finnish have equal rights in mainland.

    There are about 1 % Swedish speakers, 4 % bilinguals and 95 % Finnish speakers. Finnish speakers must learn Swedish. It is mandatory.

    There is a peoples movement to abolish mandatory Swedish which is often described by its supporters as an attack against minority Swedish speakers.

    According to government language strategy mandatory Swedish is needed because there are too few Swedish speakers to keep Swedish language alive.

    There is a huge contrast to the Baltics and Ukraine and the contrast is interesting.

    evenuglierthanyou, 04 September 2014 5:40pm

    Putin's aggressive territorial demands

    Like kicking Georgia's aggressive arse for them and leaving? Whilst you're at it, show me credible evidence of the involvement of the Russian armed forces (rather than armed Russian volunteers) in Ukraine.

    The Guardian is spreading the neocon narrative at every opportunity, and it really is disappointing.

    Anthony121, 04 September 2014 5:40pm
    Interesting Mr Behr But that is not the view of any of those in the Baltic Republics. And since the US cannot sort out its own problems in this regard according to its black population and takes a very negative view to non-white Israelies etc of the ME then maybe its view on minority rights is actually not worth much?

    In Guatemala its care for the rights of local people consisted of complicity in several massacres.

    And its not what your elitist snobish somewhat pompous self thinks of the rights of these people - its what they think themselves and they do not consider themselves to be treated even marginally fairly

    capatriot, 04 September 2014 5:45pm

    Hmmm. So, according to this author, it is only because they are Nato members that the Baltic states have not been encroached on by Russia? Not because Russia did not want to do so or did not consider it a paramount national security issue? Tell me, how much would the thick ink on the Nato charter the Baltic republics signed be worth is 1000s of Russian tanks DID cross the border and take over the countries in a week? Would Nato truly commit to nuclear war in that case?

    The Nato membership of eastern Euro micro states isn't worth jack. Russia has not molested them unduly mainly because it does not want to, not because it cannot. Russia HAS intervened in Ukraine and previously Georgia because it DOES consider those areas of national interest worthy of the effort.\

    arkley capatriot, 04 September 2014 5:56pm

    A Russian invasion of the Baltics may not bring about a major war, but the risk is there, and the risk of miscalculation even more so. Russia has concluded the risk is not worth the benefits. However the risk of the West doing more than economic sanctions over Ukraine or Georgia is next to zero, hence we see the Russians rearranging the borders.

    capatriot arkley, 04 September 2014 6:04pm

    It's always risk vs benefits for great powers. What I'm saying is that the author's exaltation of Nato membership is foolish and wrong, because, if push ever came to shove, they would be on their own and Russia knows this. The reason they haven't molested them much is because there's no upside to it for Russia. If Putin has learned anything from the USSR, it's that ruling over despondent subject peoples is a drain and should be avoided.

    PavelDragunov, 04 September 2014 5:46pm

    The fortunate ones are the former Warsaw pact members that joined Nato and the European Union

    Is this man deliberately lying or is he just completely ignorant and knows nothing of what he is talking about?

    Bulgaria was almost destroyed by this joining, it can easily disappear altogether as a nation just in 20 – 30 years, because there's no jobs in the country and almost all young people have to migrate to other countries.

    Other ex-Warsaw pact members are doing not too much better. Their industry was destroyed, all their resources were robbed by the west, their young people' only hope is in doing some menial job in Western Europe.

    How this hell and lack of any future can be called "fortunate"?

    edwardrice, 04 September 2014 5:52pm

    Western enthusiasm for February's Maidan revolution and eagerness to deal with the new regime in Kiev is depicted by the Kremlin as a hostile act.

    It was a coup backed by the US and EU spearheaded by Right Sector Neo-Nazis that brought in an ultra-nationalists anti-Russian pro-Nato regime.

    That was a hostile act, so hostile that Ukrainians in the east opposed to the coup took up arms.

    A Russian Chinese backed coup in Mexico would have the US across the border and bombing Mexico city in a second.

    edwardrice, 04 September 2014 6:03pm

    a country that falls under Kremlin tutelage becomes more corrupt and dysfunctional, which is terrible for the people who live there and isn't even good for Russia.

    How were Ukrainian oligarchs who have been looting the country since independence, including recently elected president Poroshenko, under Kremlin tutelage?

    And the economic hell that Russia went through after the end of the Cold War was due to US introduced neo-liberal economic ''reforms''.

    For example Latvia's economy is in a terrible state, it's collapse was caused when the financial bubble burst in 2008. Wasn't the world-wide economic meltdown due to a corrupt and dysfunctional banking system?

    Celtiberico, 04 September 2014 6:23pm

    There were many voices seeking to deny the Balts that security. The argument then was much like today's calls for soothing of Russian tempers over Ukraine: the west, giddy with cold war triumphalism, is provoking the bear by setting up shop on the borders of his den, leaving him no choice but to lash out. There is a grain of truth and a dollop of delusion in that account. Moscow never needed the slightest provocation to undermine the sovereignty and viability of bordering states whose legitimacy it always denied. It did, however, know to back off when the west made clear it counted eastern Europe's fledgling democracies as friends. Friends they would defend.

    I would suggest that the correct proportion is a dollop of truth and a grain of delusion when you remember that in the past 4 centuries Russia has been invaded by Poles (twice), Swedes, French, Germans (twice), British and French together, and on one occasion, just about the whole international community...

    tovarish, 04 September 2014 6:32pm
    I have several friends and work mates of Russian heritage from various parts of the former USSR and many tell a rather different story.

    One from Estonia told me that despite being born and raised in Estonia after independence and speaking fluent Estonian (and Russian) that fact he's 'a Russian' means in reality he will always be a second class citizen. He said that Russian Estonians are given a special grey 'Alien' passport regardless of how long they have lived in Estonia, and they have to pass various tests to obtain a full Estonian passport. The Estonian do not have to do this. He then said that even if they do qualify for a full passport they will never be accepted equals. He got so sick of this that he immigrated to the UK and on getting his British citizenship he renounced his Estonian citizenship and vowed "never to go back to that fucking country ever again'.

    Anyone remember the bronze solder riots a few years ago?

    I told the above to some Latvian friends who said that Russian Latvians are also routinely (unofficially) discriminated against.

    Finally while travelling in Western Ukraine a few years ago I saw a number of monuments with obvious anti Russian overtones. Later I went I went into a shop and asked in broken Russian for some chocolates. Despite clearly being a foreigner, the shop assistant refused to serve me if I spoke in Russian and not Ukrainian. She could not speak English but I think she understood me when I told her to "Fuck off".

    If I was a Russian I would feel threatened and discriminated against too.

    Veltatecla, 04 September 2014 6:37pm
    Being denied full citizenship is serious stuff but Mr Behr merely mentions it fleetingly. My mother was Latvian, taken out of Riga in cattle trucks by the occupying Nazis in 1943 and spent the next two years in the hell of Polish labour camps. Upon liberation she was denied re entry to Latvia by the occupying Soviets and didn't return to Riga from Britain til independence when she was an old lady. What she found was a Riga full of hatred for who she saw as just old people like her, forced there by resettlement programmes and now stranded. She had every right to hate both the occupiers but had got over that years ago, what disturbed her was still the obvious signs of right wing extremists that had kicked her out in the first place. In the years since independence a new generation has grown up, one that has read the history and yet still supports the annual march through the streets of Riga of the extreme right who have hijacked the national celebrations and purport to just be supporting the soldiers who fought against the Soviets by joining the Nazi brigades. There are tensions, they are nasty and the Baltics are not immune from the old ideology of right wing politics. Call them nazi, call them defenders, they are unpleasant and the ethnic Russians are their target. God forbid that Putin should make moves on the Baltics, I'm half Latvian and love the country, but you can't just brush the bad away by ignoring it.
    mpalmond, 04 September 2014 7:04pm
    Good to see a Guardian contributor cool with requiring people born of parents, even grandparents, born in a country have to pass tests to achieve citizenship because their forebears (no pun!) were not born on its sacred soil. What if the UK adopted that model? Sure it would be a nicer earner for the privatized examiners but hardly conducive to community relations. For anybody concerned with the ethics of the language exams in Latvia remember how Steve Bush - brother of GW and son GHW - and Boris Berezovsky were snuffling around Riga looking for educational contracts. As for Estonia: its schoolchildren are taught that the Belgian Nazi, Leon Degrelle's Waffen SS unit's "defence" of their land against the Red Army was "magnificent" Behr might like to visit the EU-funded restoration of the Waffen SS positions around Silimae (or the decrepit when not destroyed monuments to the victims of the Holocaust or anti-Nazi partisans) it might help to understand why not only Russians feel uncomfortable about our new NATO allies' nasty nostalgia for the Nazi shadow over their past.
    BeatonTheDonis, 04 September 2014 7:05pm

    I flag up this case study because the plight of Russian-speakers in Ukraine is the chief grievance justifying Kremlin intervention, ostensibly protecting its ethno-linguistic diaspora from monstrous fascists in Kiev.

    Can we take this clumsy sarcasm as tacit support for Pravy Sektor and Svoboda?

    edwardrice -> BeatonTheDonis, 04 September 2014 7:29pm
    Don't worry, they are moderate Neo-Nazis, like the ''moderate'' jihadis the CIA armed in Syria.
    TrueUkrainian, 04 September 2014 7:14pm
    "The rigours of Nato and EU accession forced nationalist governments to furnish these minorities with basic rights and devise routes to integration."

    It looks like they have utterly failed in their mission (even if they tried, as author suggests).

    One of the basic human rights is that not to be stateless or without citizenship. To this day, there are thousands of people in Latvia who lived there when the country became independent, worked and paid tax, yet denied this basic right (effectively stateless, bearing "non-citizen" passport) without taking language and history exam (the level of knowledge demanded is above that of average ethnic Latvian).

    Interestingly, there are even ethnic latvians in this group who are denied citizenship on the basis of political belonging and deeds of their patents (so called Red Shooters, who supported communists at the time).

    Secondly, independence of Baltic states is purely nominal. Their economic policy is dictated by EU and IMF and they only free as long as they support US foreign policy. Economic growth over the last 10 years was worse than that of Russia and they suffered badly in the last recession.

    I lived in Latvia for 2 years.

    shpuntik, 04 September 2014 8:18pm
    It is just enough to pay visit to the main Estonian news portal in Russian and read comments to understand how anti-EU, anti-NATO the Estonian Russians are. Two decade of EU membership failed to convince them. And to be honest. Those NATO forces are in place not to counter Russia but to swiftly crush the local Russian minorities if needed.
    mpalmond, 04 September 2014 8:45pm
    Since the Baltic States are held up by Obama, Cameron et al. as a model for a "post-Maidan" Ukraine, should we be surprised that Russians in the east are not happy at the prospect of being asked to prove their right to citizenship in the country where they were born? The West used to be led by clever conservatives trying to undermine the Kremlin, but seeing Obama and Cameron cooing to be in the family photo with the plump Komsomol woman from Lithuania as well as children of Nazi collaborators from elsewhere in the New Europe made one realise that the new NATO loves everyone from the ex-Nazi to the ex-Communist, but doesn't have the hots for someone who was never totalitarian! America in the 1950s was against people who were "prematurely anti-Fascist", now it is against the "posthumously anti-Nazi."
    tovarish, 04 September 2014 8:58pm
    The author of this piece has clearly allowed idealism to cloud reality.

    "Baltic Russians are not – as the Kremlin would like to depict them – a victimised minority suffering under an apartheid regime".

    I know have mentioned this already but does the author want to tell us about the routine discrimination of ethnic Russians in the Baltic states. How about telling us about the grey 'Alien' passports issued to Estonians of Russian heritage, who have to pass various tests to qualify for full citizenship regardless of whether they were born there or how long they have lived there. Estonian do not have to do this. Equal my a***.

    "a country that falls under Kremlin tutelage becomes more corrupt and dysfunctional".

    Does the author seriously think that Ukraine is not already riddled with corruption and economically bankrupt. Can anybody name a Ukrainian public figure not tainted by corruption scandals?

    Listening to many western politicians I get the impression that to be an accepted and 'good' country that is part of the gang you need to be subservient to the USA.

    Is this why Cuba and Russia are outsiders? Please advise.

    esevato, 04 September 2014 9:06pm
    The Latvian (or any other) government should not have the right to impose any citizenship restrictions on people (and their descendants) who have lived there since before the country's independence.

    The government should be for the people and not people for the government. Ethnic Russians (and others) should be able to keep their language and culture. If they can get along in society without learning Latvian their government should not have the right to force them!

    We are talking about Europe where different languages and cultures have existed side by side.

    America is a different kind of animal altogether. People are coming here willingly to accept the common language and at least some of the common culture. Comparing them is like comparing apples and oranges.

    tiye60, 04 September 2014 9:15pm
    By coincidence I saw earlier today a comment by a Russian-speaking Baltic states resident (need I say, stateless) mocking the others for their letter to Obama (to coincide with his visit to Estonia) on the rights of the non-citizens, since, as the guy wrote, the previous petition to the US president on the same question did not bring any results, i.e. any particular improvements to their status or lives.

    LimaCPapa, 04 September 2014 9:20pm

    "Eastern Ukrainians are not so lucky." - I take this as a tacit admission that Eastern Ukrainians do indeed suffer discrimination. I know through academic contacts that they are not even allowed to use their Russian names on documents, a bit of petty oppression that causes significant resentment, especially when combined with the widespread view that they are nothing but stupid cattle. Many Western commentators betray this view as well.

    JohnR, 05 September 2014 1:27am
    An article in the FT earlier this year pointed out that when Ukraine and Belarus became independent they had roughly the same GDP per capita. However Ukraine then worked at this, and was able to reduce its GDP per capita to 50% of teh Belarus figure at the time of writing. suggests that Ukraine is 144/177 in its political corruption index, while Russia is 120th; hard to believe, I know, but Ukraine makes Russia look fairly straight.

    As the Ukraine crisis blew up Henry Kissinger, writing in the Washington Post,, suggested that what the West should do was to ask what would be inthe best interest of Ukraine's citizens. At this stage there was no evidence that Russia was doing anything untoward, but the US and the UK were very quick to blame Russia for what ever was happening; Russia remains the great Nato scapegoat, I'm afraid, whatever the facts of the case may be.

    The OSCE has been monitoring events in Ukraine, and have documented a number of cases of persistent shelling of civilian targets in Donetsk and Luhansk, in particular. Their reports (find them on twitter) seem to imply that this was the work of the Ukraine military.

    While it's now clear that Russia has been acting very like a 19th C imperial power, it's hard to excuse the behaviour of the (informally elected) Ukrainian government either .They're as bad as one another, I'm afraid.

    Rozina , 05 September 2014 1:42am

    Russia isn't the only former communist country in eastern Europe to flunk the transition to democracy, but it is the biggest and the most dangerous. The fortunate ones are the former Warsaw pact members that joined Nato and the European Union, a process that demanded political, economic and social reforms which, while clearly no panacea, worked better for people in states that tried them than in states that didn't.

    Well of course political, economic and social reforms would not work in countries that don't adopt them.

    Anyway let's see how the political, economic and social reforms demanded by the process of joining the EU and NATO have benefited various eastern European countries:

    - Estonia: in 2012, 18.7% of Estonians were living in relative poverty and 7.3% in absolute poverty: that is 25% of the country's population; in 2013, Estonia had the highest number of people struggling to pay their fuel bills in Europe.

    - Latvia: in 2012, 703,000 people (about 35% of the total population) were at risk of living in poverty or suffering from social exclusion, with the highest risk groups being single-parent families and households with two parents and several children.

    - Lithuania: 20.6% of Lithuanians were living below a threshold at which they risk living in poverty in 2013, this percentage being higher than the 18.6% reported in 2012.

    - Poland: relative poverty in 2011 is about the same or a bit below what it was in 2001 and people in rural areas, women and households with children are at high risk of living in poverty

    - Slovakia: second poorest member of the eurozone in 2011

    In the meantime, Russia's economy wasn't doing too badly from 2000 to 2012 despite not carrying out necessary political, economic and social "reforms".

    MediaBSWatch, 05 September 2014 3:41am
    "Journalist" Behr has arrogance to speak for hundreds of thousands non-citizens in Baltic states how lucky they are... What a BS!
    I remember that rabid nationalism, which started in 1988. Very quickly it became rasism and nazism. Normal people almost overnight became like zombies with only one idea in their dead brains: "Latvia! Latvia! Uber alles!" They even started asking about my genetics! Very soon I was Russian pig, who will be hanging from lamppost.
    Only for 3 days in august of 1991, when soviet troops occupied Latvia during unseccesfull putsch against Gorbachev, I was "Russian brothers and sisters! let's fight together against criminal communist regim!" in leaflet from my postbox.
    Than came "independence", I was russian pig and untermensch again... No sitizenship, no rights, no job, no heat and hot water in my fully paid off private apartment, which wasn't my private property any more, because I was "occupant'.
    And I see the same mass hesteria of nationalism in Ukraine! Russians are untermensch with mongoloid bood and "Moskolyku na Gilyaku!" (Hang the Russian!). And the "civilized" West is applouding again this madness..!

    BDW, Baltic states got their "independence" from bolshevic regime, when nobody in the World that time recognized it. How it is legitimate..?

    Rum Pa, 05 September 2014 5:42am
    2014-09-04 State Department Daily Press Briefing

    QUESTION: All right. So yesterday Jen was asked about these military exercises that you guys are doing with the Ukrainians.

    MS. HARF: Yes, mm-hmm.

    QUESTION: And she talked about how they would contribute to peace and regional stability and build confidence, et cetera. I'm just curious why you believe that considering what you have said about Russian military exercises in Russia with the Russian military on its own soil, and you talked about how those were provocative and not helpful to the situation. So --

    MS. HARF: Two points on that if you want me to start there, or do you have more?

    QUESTION: Yeah, I just want to know what's – why --

    MS. HARF: What's different?

    QUESTION: Why are your military exercises good and contributing to stability and Russian military exercises are bad and prevocational?

    MS. HARF: Because we're not undertaking armed intervention into other countries. We haven't taken escalatory actions using our military. These exercises are annual. They're pre-planned. They are not being held in response to current events. And I think that should speak for itself.


    QUESTION: You would agree that Ukraine is unsettled, right, at the moment, to say the least?

    MS. HARF: I think unsettled --

    QUESTION: It's not a normal situation in Ukraine.

    MS. HARF: Because another country has undertaken an armed intervention, which by definition means if that country takes – undertakes exercises, they are seen in a very different context than when NATO does.


    QUESTION: -- is it wise to stage a military exercise in a country that you say is at war with its much larger neighbor?

    MS. HARF: Again, these are exercises that are done on an annual basis that we believe are incredibly important to demonstrate our commitment and our resolve to stand side-by-side our partners in their defense. And we've said that this is why they're so important. They are not in response to recent events. And again, we aren't the ones who have taken escalatory military action; Russia has. So our exercises should be seen in drastically different context given the recent past of both of these different sides of this conflict here.

    QUESTION: Right, but the Russian troops – the Russian exercises that you criticized, this is quite apart from the allegations of sending troops across the border.


    QUESTION: Well, okay. But if – but you say that they're escalatory and that their exercises are provocative. Why is it wrong for the Russians to say that your exercises are provocative?

    MS. HARF: Because nothing we've done have been provocative throughout this entire conflict, and everything they've done has been. Again, it's a convenient propaganda talking point, but it's not based in reality --

    Inversnaid, 05 September 2014 7:35am
    This article really is a disgrace - like those absurd adverts that went up recently celebrating 25 years of Polish "freedom". The truth is that life for even Non-russian speakers in the Baltics is still far from easy with low wages, high prices and endemic unemployment. As one Estonian woman said to me recently "In communist times we couldn't travel. Now we can't stay at home." She had a four year old son being cared for by grandparents. If the EU had created some sort of nirvana in Poland and the Baltics Behr might have a point. But rather than trying to address these serious problems it choses to waste its time and resources making a bad situation worse in Ukraine. Everyone knows that there is no prospect of Ukrainian accession in the near future. The Europeans - and their cheerleaders in the press like Behr and Garton-Ash (are they the same person?) - are just playing games.
    david119, 05 September 2014 7:47am
    Would Raphael Behr support a compulsory English language test for Welsh speakers to be able to vote or gain a British passport ?
    Of course he wouldn't. So if such a thing is not acceptable in this member of the EU and NATO why is it acceptable in Latvia (another member of the EU and NATO ) ? Putin couldn't take advantage of the situation if the situation wasn't completely unacceptable. Saying that Russian speakers have a better life in the Baltic States sounds uncomfortably close to the argument that Black Africans had a better life under Apartheid South Africa. NO Raphael, economic well being is not enough ALL people in a democracy should have the right to vote, get a passport or work in a government job. Russian speakers have existed for centuries in the Baltic States and they are fully entitled to the same human rights as the majority population.

    Ethnic Latvians and ethnic Russians fought alongside each other for independence from the Soviet Union
    Alla Berezovska is one of roughly 300,000 so-called "non-citizens" in Latvia. She is not allowed to vote, nor to hold public office. She's also not allowed to work for the police or the fire brigade.
    "There are now two societies living alongside each other in this country: the Latvian and the Russian," she says. "But it can't be right that the Latvians get to tell everyone what language our children are supposed to learn, which festival days are celebrated, and which aren't." (

    childofmine, 05 September 2014 7:51am
    Behr's piece is regurgitating the old 'Putin and the Soviet Empire' tosh. What was it Goebbels said...ah yes: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Quite apt, given that Washington-backed nazis are running Kiev!
    Keo2008 -> childofmine, 05 September 2014 8:55am

    Washington-backed nazis are running Kiev!

    Ah, this is actually a much better example of a Goebbels-type Big Lie.

    Anthony121 -> Keo2008, 05 September 2014 1:29pm
    It is an exageration, but the BBC itself has recordings of Ukrainian Government militia claiming they wanted to "hunt" Bolshevists and jews.

    Another Swedish volunteer claims he is there to "fight for the white man". These do not seem like liberal democrats to me.

    malamulele, 05 September 2014 7:53am
    The OSCE has had to intervene in the Baltic states since the mid-90s precisely because of discrimination against people of Russian origin or Russian language speakers. Spend any time in Estonia and you'll see a lot of anti-Russian feeling that gets expressed in official behaviour.

    "...grievances over citizenship..." are part of a bigger problem. Sure, it's not apartheid, but things don't have to be as bad as that to be bad. It's like saying Roma in the UK have nothing to complain about because it's not like it was in Nazi Germany.

    physiocrat, 05 September 2014 7:57am
    I have visited both Estonia and Latvia. The main issue in both countries is their poor economic performance. A few people are doing well but most seem not to be. The agricultural sector is apparently in good shape with large numbers of owner-occupied smallholdings, a relic of a land distribution in Soviet times. A few people also recovered property siezed by the Soviets in 1938; if you were not a descendant of someone who was expropriated you got nothing. The public sector is under-funded due to the weakness of the tax base.

    It is clear that the Russians in the two countries have been getting a bad deal. In the former country there is a language test required for citizenship. Apart from being unjust, it is short-sighted, since had the Russians been given automatic citizenship, many would have emigrated to other EU countries and the problem would have literally gone away.

    The situation in Latvia is different. Younger Russians have emigrated. The second city, Daugavpils, is mostly Russian, but the main industries closed down, leaving a core of older people who have nothing to do.

    The EU should have pressed these countries to address these isssues long ago as a condition of membership. They have sown the seed of trouble for themselves, quite unnecessarily.

    Keo2008, 05 September 2014 9:01am
    I suspect Mr. Behr overrates the freedom enjoyed by ethnic Russians in the Baltic states. Plenty of posts BTL provide evidence that they do suffer discrimination.

    Nevertheless, this article is a useful antidote to the usual articles denouncing NATO and the Ukrainian government whilst praising Putin's Russia as a model of democracy and fair play.

    [Sep 04, 2014] Far from keeping the peace, Nato is a threat to it by Seumas Milne

    This type the number of typical responses points to considerable success of MSM brainwashing as the title of the article attracts certain type of commenters ;-). Skeptical voices were few and between. But they do exist. Still propaganda did what it was required by Western financial elite. The essence of elite politics was the best formulated by Hermann Goering, President of the Reichstag, Nazi Party, and Luftwaffe Commander in Chief
    Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
    Sep 03, 2014 | The Guardian | Jump to comments (697)

    But the "biggest prize", as the head of US-funded National Endowment for Democracy put it last year, was ethnically divided Ukraine. After the EU made its military-linked association agreement with Ukraine exclusive of a Russian deal – and Ukraine's corrupt but elected president, who refused to sign it, was overthrown in a US-backed coup by any other name – it was scarcely paranoid for Russia to see the takeover of the neighbouring state as a threat to its core interests.

    Six months on, Moscow-backed eastern Ukrainian resistance to the Nato-backed nationalists in Kiev has become full-scale war. Thousands have died and human rights abuses have multiplied on both sides, as government troops and their irregular auxiliaries bombard civilian areas and abduct, detain and torture suspected separatists on a mass scale.

    The Ukrainian forces backed by western governments include groups such as the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, whose symbol is the wartime Nazi stormtroopers' wolf's hook. The increasingly repressive Kiev regime is now attempting to ban the Ukrainian communist party, which won 13% of the vote at the last parliamentary elections.

    But then Nato, whose members have often included fascist governments in the past, has never been too fussy about democracy. Evidence for its claims that Russian troops have invaded eastern Ukraine is also thin on the ground. Arms supplies and covert intervention in support of the Donbass rebels – including special forces and state-backed irregulars – are another matter.

    But that's exactly what Nato powers such as the US, Britain and France have been busy doing all over the world for years, from Nicaragua to Syria and Somalia. The idea that Russia has invented a new form of "hybrid warfare" in Ukraine is bizarre.

    Selected Comments

    Babeouf, 03 September 2014 8:49pm

    Yes this story makes a change . But doesn't represent a change of heart by either the Guardian or any other of the publications in the US's European colonies. They are all in favor of some degree of US imperialism. light or otherwise with torture ,secret prisons universal spying on every citizen as indispensable for 'the Preservation of Western values'. Its all getting very 1984 ish. And I expect it to get much as the eclipse of the West becomes public knowledge.
    johhnybgood, 03 September 2014 8:40pm
    NATO is nothing more than a tool of the US. It was conceived as a deterrent to war, and has now become a threat to world peace.
    Whatever the outcome of this week's conference, NATO will remain an anachronism past its sell by date. A waking world is seeing through the propaganda, and is no longer buying the West's version of events in Ukraine.
    Putin has put forward a number of diplomatic plans to end the conflict; all have been rejected by Kiev (US) - Kiev has been ordered to finish the job in Donetsk and Lugansk. The US does not want peace in Ukraine.
    DCarter, 03 September 2014 8:45pm
    NATO is the excuse for the continued occupation by the USA of bases in the UK. Russia is notthreatening to invade the UK, even teh USSR never did so. So why do the Americans need bases here?
    sammer -> DCarter, 03 September 2014 9:21pm
    NATO is the excuse for the continued occupation by the USA of bases in the UK. Russia is notthreatening to invade the UK, even teh USSR never did so. So why do the Americans need bases here?

    In case the UK electorate do a Pinochet and elect the wrong kind of leader? DCarter -> sammer, 04 September 2014 10:16am

    In case the UK electorate do a Pinochet and elect the wrong kind of leader?

    Pinochet was the right kind of leader, for the Anericans that is. Allende was the wrong kind of leader, hence he was killed.

    johnandanne, 03 September 2014 8:41pm
    Seumas Milne - a well written assessment of what NATO really stands for -
    war and dis-harmony and never even pretending to tell the truth.
    kenlinuk, 03 September 2014 8:43pm
    Good article. It is nice to see some objective reporting on a very serious issue. Too many are happy to cheer on the hard-liners and warmongers without thought of the consequences -- our Prime Minister and government are the fore with their thoughtless outbursts, sad to say. The EU is not innocent in the matter of toppling Ukraine's government either. With the appointment of Donald Tusk to a position of power, and having heard the rhetoric from those who would have us believe that Russia intends to attack conquer Europe -- it seems likely to me that the Europe could easily be drawn into war in circumstances not dissimilar to those that precipitated the great war. NATO and the EU have become dangerously expansionist, to a point where the leaders are willing to risk not only the economies of Europe, but also the safety of Europe.
    geniusofmozart, 03 September 2014 8:45pm
    Another good article, but unfortunately people won't listen once their thoughts have been molded by the mainstream media.

    It was indeed NATO who started this conflict by violating the agreement not to expand eastwards and by giving Ukraine an ultimatum, through the EU, to either be with the EU or be with Russia.

    When the democratically elected leader of Ukraine went for Russia, NATO countries supported a violent coup and, instead of waiting for elections, as German and Russian foreign ministers agreed, they unconstitutionally removed Yanukovych.

    And, while the Ukrainian separtists have certainly broken international humanitarian law, NATO countries are supporting a government which is indiscriminately bombing and shelling its towns and cities, arresting Russian journalists and sending neo-Nazi militias to fight in Eastern Ukraine.

    This is, of course, in addition to its wars in Libya and Kosovo, which each served to instigate regime change to effect deregulation of the markets, and resulted in murderous militas controlling the former country and the ethnic cleansing of 850,000 Kosovar Albanians in the latter.

    nestormakhno73, 03 September 2014 8:40pm

    to wage unilateral war, from Yugoslavia

    So you agree with the camps and mass rapes in Bosnia Seamus? You condone the massacres in Vukovar and Srebrenica?

    These would not have happened if NATO or the UN had not listened to the appeasers and idiots at the beginning of the Yugoslav war

    capatriot -> nestormakhno73, 03 September 2014 10:30pm
    It was a civil war. There were atrocities and war crimes on ALL sides. Painting one side as the devil helps no one and gets us more Iraqs and indeed Ukraines.
    Carl Jones, 03 September 2014 8:46pm
    Seumas, you can't look at this in isolation. Russia is a BRIC and they are decoupling from the bankrupt West. This means the US dollar is in huge trouble and the BRICS won't be bankrolling the bankrupt US and UK!!!

    IF the West had the money...which they don't, it would take NATO 5 to 10 years to get anywhere near matching Russian military might. Russian combat tanks (20,000) out number the EU by more than 4 to 1.

    Given that diverting spending during "austerity" (social engineering) would be very unpopular and could prove a tipping point for social unrest.

    [Sep 04, 2014] The Guardian view on Nato's choices in Ukraine and the Middle East | Jump to comments (218)
    BarneyQ -> RosalinaChalmers, 03 September 2014 8:31pm
    NATO countries gave birth to Isis with their illegal invasion.

    Turkey a NATO country partitioned and occupied a European country, turkey to this day supports this illegal entity.

    Turkey facilitates the ISIS.

    NATO countries lied to the Security council then took sides in Libya.

    NATO illegally partitioned Serbia

    NATO has operated and probably still does operate a global torture network.

    This same NATO is now huffing and puffing for what can only be hypocritical reasons.

    igotthetaser -> PietPompies66, 03 September 2014 8:30pm
    > And what IS Iraq now?
    Ruined by American invasion country.
    When H. Clinton were asked about that, she said: "Iraq war was worth it".
    I wish that bitch to be cold and dead among the Iraqi peaceful people killed by US (including her personally) will for nothing.
    Oh, it's not nothing, it's all about oil.

    As people joke:
    CNN: Monday. Scientists found oil under Antarctic ice.
    CNN: Tuesday. NATO wants to liberate Antarctic region and to end penguins' dictatorship.

    Avenos, 03 September 2014 8:19pm
    NATO bombed Yugoslavia (Serbia) in 1999. Remember Kosovo?
    Tacty -> Avenos, 03 September 2014 8:21pm
    you know, cnn said it was genocide so it must be true...cnn never lies, as well as other western media...they are all for piece in the world and they dont like to be warmongers...
    qwertboi, 03 September 2014 8:31pm
    Bad editorials based on bad intelligence producing bad propaganda.

    "We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then - we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now.

    "Photos can be worth a thousand words - they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analysing and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence.

    "Suffice it to say that the images released by Nato on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine."

    In an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, veteran US intelligence professionals urge her not to be swayed by dodgy evidence into backing conflict with Russia

    Forthestate, 03 September 2014 8:32pm
    It seems NATO can expand its sphere of influence without limit - a North Atlantic alliance currently operating in Afghanistan, for example - but any attempt to resist its advances, as in eastern Ukraine, where the majority appear to favour secession from Kiev, even if they don't want to be absorbed by Russia, is classified as aggression. It seems that freedom to choose is only an expression of democracy as long as you choose NATO.
    qwertboi -> Forthestate, 03 September 2014 9:04pm

    It seems that freedom to choose is only an expression of democracy as long as you choose NATO.

    And its concomitant agents of control - the World Bank and IMF loans (as facilitated and enabled by the EU and its soon to be implemented TTIP).

    The 1% now control everything - the content of the papers you read and the policies your democratically elected government pursues.

    Forthestate -> qwertboi, 03 September 2014 9:06pm
    Exactly. NATO is neo-liberalism's enforcer.
    HolyInsurgent -> Forthestate, 04 September 2014 4:28am
    @Forthestate -

    NATO is neo-liberalism's enforcer.

    Agreed. But NATO is not the only one. That is only one aspect of enforcement: military.

    Neoliberalism is not just a mere economic ideology (as its apologists would like us to think) but the driving engine of the convergence of institutions, an entire philosophy. I see it as both the cause of and the convergence of institutions itself. Each facet is mutually enforcing of an ideology which runs counter to humanity's own long term interests. Religion is not always but can be used for destructive ends or maintaining obsolete beliefs or privilege (e.g. House of Lords) simply because they are traditional.

    Big Brother=Neoliberalism=The Market (Financial Branch: corporate plutocracy, all financial institutions up to World Bank and IMF)=The Party (Political Branch: neoliberal governments)=Enforcement (Law Branch: police local to national, Military Industrial Complex [including NATO], court system and Beliefs Branch: education system, compromised science [disinformation], The Media/PROLEFEED [brainwashing and propaganda function], neoliberal thinktanks, lobbyists, bond rating agencies, religion [tribal beliefs and mythological narrative])

    kennyboy, 03 September 2014 8:36pm
    If the Ukranians can find a long term settlement against the wishes of Washington and their own fascists, there will be an awful lot of people with egg on their faces, including politicians and editors of the national press.

    There are signs, most noticeably at the BBC, but also at the Graun that the media are rowing back from a position that has been ludicrously counter factual, but the politicians are still pushing an impossibilist agenda, in order to get political backing from their populations, to extend American hegemony up to Russia's borders.

    It seems obvious that there is now a political battle between Poreshenko and whoever his backers are and Yats, who is "our"man, according to Nuland. Poreshenko's position is perilous, but if public opinion in Ukraine has turned against the war on its own citizens, his position may survive.

    kennyboy -> CoinneachCathalBoid, 03 September 2014 9:54pm
    I take it that you have no memory before 2014. Before Maidan, there was plenty of discussion in the media about the dangers of the various fascist and ultra nationalist groups in Kyiv. This was, of course before they became vital to the power games of Washington.

    Unless you truly believe that western Ukranian opinion is absolutely 100% is of the same mind, then you must admit that there are different strands of opinion in the country. At the last election involving the whole country, they elected a crooked oligarch, just like all the other crooked oligarchs who have run Ukraine for their own benefit, but they did not vote for fascism. When Poreshenko was elected by Western Ukraine, the share of the vote for the Fascist and ultra nationalist parties was pitiful and yet by some magic process, they retained powerful positions in government, while the parliament has been dissolved as it didn't support the ultra right attempt to call the defenders of Donbass terrorists.

    Dissolving parliament because it was acting as an opposition to Right sector and the other rightists and banning opposition political parties seems a pretty fascist thing to me.

    Арарат Абдулхаков, 03 September 2014 9:23pm
    the recipe for creating the Russian troops:

    come to big city and every day it fired 3 times a day: after Breakfast, lunch and dinner from mortars, cannons, rocket launchers, aiming preferably in residential neighborhoods. After 3-4 months of shelling the city from out of nowhere appears the Russian army.

    Why Russian? Everything is simple. Everyone knows that the dead child, the wife of the dissected fragments, parents buried alive under the rubble, destroyed the house - all of this nonsense and it doesn't matter, it cannot separate the true patriots. Therefore, the army, which appears after the shelling of cities, consists exclusively of Russians, at least so says Kiev.

    umut gezer, 03 September 2014 9:29pm
    The guardian editors suggest "we should arm the junta army". what do they mean by "we"? Who is "we"? Fucking disgrace!
    RosalinaChalmers, 03 September 2014 9:43pm
    Guardian says: "Arming up the Ukrainians is possible and perhaps should be done".

    And I ask, to what end? More shelling and killing innocent civilians? Or to de-stabilize Russia in a proxy war on it's border? Because that would be an interesting goal for NATO, now wouldn't it?

    Carl Jones, 03 September 2014 9:52pm

    Okay....I admit that I have not ready this point, because it assumes that NATO and the NWO have options.

    They don't. This is about the very bedrock of the West...its about the survival of the NY/City axis. This is about the very survival of Amerika and the UK as going concerns.

    Russia and the BRICS are decoupling...They are walking away from the US dollar, they are refusing to pay the US extortion money, they won't be propping up the bankrupt US economy any longer...This is why they have it in for Putin.

    Tacty, 03 September 2014 10:27pm
    hard to argue...

    AndreiLiberec, 03 September 2014 10:34pm

    "It is a matter of picking out the precise bit of military power, or the precise bit of political manoeuvring"

    Surely, there shouldn't be an "or" in that sentence. Please replace with an "and".

    "In Ukraine, Nato countries see a former partner becoming an adversary"

    Their own fault. Not least the new Russophobic Nato-countries (yes, I'm looking at you, Poland and Lithuania).

    The expansion of Nato in the 90's and 00's might very well result in the demise or at least watering down of the alliance. Western Europe will hardly go to war for a cocky Baltic republic who's picking a fight with Russia (compare with Saakashvili's bullish Georgia 2008, believing the West would come to his aid; a glorious naivety made even more spectacular by the fact the he was the one who started the war).