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gru-wtf

Although I hardly have the highest opinion about the competence of Russia’s spy agencies, I thought this MUST be a fake when I saw it.

  • Is there anyone who still uses TAXIS in Moscow in 2018? (apart from people over 60 who d0n’t know there are better, more reliable services such as Yandex Taxi or Uber which cost less and aren’t run by Armenian mafias).
  • Is there any transport service that still fills out these receipts in PEN AND PAPER?
  • Do spooks really have to submit the details of their expenses to their accountancy office for reimbursements?
  • Are they really so damn lazy and incompetent that they can’t at least walk a few hundred meters from their workplace (Building #20 on Komsomolsky Prospekt) before calling a taxi?

Well, as it turns out, the answers to these questions are all yes: A Meduza call to the telephone listed under Alexey Morenets’ receipt, which belongs to the individual entrepreneur Benyamin Shaginyan, led to a confirmation that the receipt was genuine and the trip happened.

I suppose that also makes it much easier to understand why Petrov and Boshirov were given a single room in a bottom of the barrel hotel during their touristic sojourns.

PS. It doesn’t end here. Even as I wrote this, a new report has been released by The Insider and Bellingcat (yes, whatever) in which 305 (!) GRU employees where identified, including the aforementioned Morenets. How? Because their cars were registered with the traffic police at the location of said GRU building. This means that anybody with access to this database, and this is one of the most accessible databases in Russia, also had access to the GRU data.

If it wasn’t already, it is also now increasingly obvious why so many Russian spies were getting detained these past few months. They have less OPSEC than the security departments of many corporations.

With revelations of such magnitude, the viability of the GRU itself must also now be questioned. At this point many of their agents might as well walk around with loudspeakers announcing their missions.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Espionage, Incompetence, Russia 
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  1. Meduza, Bellingcat, Washington Post… <–you are moving in handshakerworthy circles here.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  2. Talha says:

    This is begging for a comedy with an ensemble cast. Why don’t you pitch a screenplay? I’m certain Hollywood would love to make few jabs at Russia right now.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  3. Mr. Hack says:

    Any modern day Mitrokhin files just wont be the same, highlighting the lackluster of the current era?…

    • Replies: @El Dato
  4. @Felix Keverich

    Yes. The bad news is, they are likely true.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  5. AaronB says:

    This is why Russia is such a cool place. They don’t really care and don’t really take this stuff seriously.

    They’re not really interested in being a superpower or any such strenuous nonsense.

    They’ve rediscovered the Old Russian mentality, which has always been half-Asiatic.

    The whole “evil” Russia thing is a hilarious bluff. Its just meant to frighten the West so that Russia won’t be assimilated into “Western efficiency”. And to this end, a minimum of credible threat is necessary.

    It does not look like Anatoly’s dreams of Russia becoming another version of a tedious United States will happen. It looks like Russia may have figured out how to preserve its soul without being colonized by the West or becoming another tiresome version of it, something China conspicuously failed to do in the 19th century.

    After China’s economy begins decelerating, as is already happening, China will also rediscover its old balance, to the dismay of the dreary Westernized Chinese on this site and their silly dreams of glory.

    I really do enjoy the human comedy. There is nothing to do but laugh.

  6. Here are my question to you, Anatoly:

    How do we know that Alexey Morenets is an actual person? All we know about him is a taxi receipt and some unsubstantiated claims of foreign intelligence agencies.

    If this guy was comitting a crime in Holland, why didn’t they try to arrest him? Why “expel” him? You don’t expel spies, unless they are diplomats. If Morenets is some kind of diplomat, then he doesn’t really need to worry about secrecy, does he?

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  7. @reiner Tor

    I just hope he understands that this is an entire alternative universe he has stumbled into: the one where Assad “gasses his people”, and Trump’s SC nominee is a serial rapist.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  8. Talha says:
    @AaronB

    They’ve rediscovered the Old Russian mentality, which has always been half-Asiatic.

    This was being discussed recently on MT (Muslim Twitter) and how Russians are closer to us in many aspects. Folks were thinking this has to do partially with the absorption of both Tatar blood and culture.

    Who knows…

    I really do enjoy the human comedy. There is nothing to do but laugh.

    Jerry Lewis would have been great in his prime to play a bungling Russian spy. I’m just laughing thinking about it!

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AaronB
  9. Dmitry says:
    @Talha

    discussed recently on MT (Muslim Twitter) and how Russians are closer to us in many aspects.

    No – and incompetent government workers are universal.

    Folks were thinking this has to do partially with the absorption of both Tatar blood and culture.

    Muslim Twitter even more uneducated, than other Twitters?

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Seraphim
  10. @AaronB

    How can one man write so much nonsense?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  11. @Felix Keverich

    It’s all the more unfortunate that Putin’s (and his cronies’) incompetence provided them with a field day and one area (Skripal and GRU aggressive incompetence) where they are telling the truth.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  12. Dmitry says:
    @AaronB

    You have idiots in your (American) government, as well. Not everything matches this silly categorization of different nationalities, you are doing.

    In America, there were talented people, like Edward Snowden, but the CIA was paying him over $200,000 a year (in other words, CIA was paying a salary competitive to private corporations). And he still was unhappy with his work, for moral reasons.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  13. Talha says:
    @Dmitry

    No

    Don’t know about this, they actually have laws regulating blasphemy and somebody was just posting about how they regulate proselytizing – and they have an official state church…so…

    Hey man, MT is awesomely up to date about the newest publications on the Hanafi school from the University of Oxford (like Salman Younas’ recent dissertation for his PhD), but we don’t know all that much about Russian history. If you say you are not contaminated by Tatar blood, it’s all good with me.

    I notice how you didn’t challenge my Jerry Lewis assertion – so I assume that is sound.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  14. AaronB says:
    @Talha

    I don’t think its so much a question of blood though….

    Chinese commenters like Daniel Chieh, gmachine, and Duke of Qin are just 100% second-rate Westerners with all the pathologies of the West, their blood did not save them. And Anatoly has become completely assimilated to the borg also after spending a few decades in the West.

    Living in the West tends to activate a deep-seated existential insecurity at the very core of ones being. The response to this is Grand Projects of Control to recreate the lost sense of trust in life. And Dreams of Endless Progress to make up for the lost ability to feel pleasure in the here and now.

    So it is about the lifestyle in the West…it spares no one, regardless of blood. Most people get transformed here into neurotic people who need control.

    Most European states were small and insecure so could not help becoming assimilated to the borg, once it appeared.

    Russia was vast enough and peripheral enough to not feel this sense of existential insecurity – so it did not dream Grand Projects of Control because it felt a basic existential security at the core of its being, and did not dream dreams of Endless Progress to make up for present misery because people knew how to enjoy the present and were not alienated.

    The hope is that characters like Anatoly or gmachine or Chieh, when they return to their native lands hoping to transform them into neurotic basket cases to mirror their own inner life, will be lulled and soothed by an atmosphere of security and enjoyment of the present they never knew was possible, and be transformed themselves.

    It will be one of the ironies that life lives to throw at us do much :)

    But it is a process that takes decades, and in the meantime we must enjoy the comedy.

  15. AaronB says:
    @German_reader

    I would like to say it takes lots of training, but it actually just flows spontaneously out of my unjust being :)

    • Replies: @AaronB
  16. @AaronB

    From LSD’s lips to your ears.

    • LOL: AaronB
  17. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry

    The American gov is almost nothing but idiots, but it is a different kind of idiocy – it is the idiocy of needing control over the entire world. Technical efficiency for purpose of control is highly promoted in America.

    I don’t think these Russians are idiotic, I think they just don’t care all that much – which is glorious, and hilarious.

  18. AaronB says:
    @AaronB

    Should have read “inmost” being.

    A funny autocorrect, though.

  19. This doesn’t pass any sort of smell test.

    In general, when a liberal tells you “Good day”, you should look above to check if the moon and the starts aren’t up. WP, Meduza, Bellingcat, all these have zero credibility and I don’t know why would anyone waste their time to take their claims seriously and fact check them. You can just assume it’s all bullshit and you will be right 99% of the time. Felix Keverich is right.

    Anatoly, just one thing – https://theins.ru/ is an actual fake news site. I heard of it recently when there were “news” about Kremlin listening devices in some conference room in Bulgaria (we had the EU “presidency” earlier this year) to spy on EU bureaucrats, shared by plenty of liberals, ukrainians and other retards on social media.

    And every single mention of this was leading to this one site. Not a single sorosoid media (of which we have plenty, including some of the biggest online news sources here, all openly financed by the “America for Bulgaria” foundation) picked it up, and I assure you, they would have 1000% picked that up if there was even a speck of truth in it. It would certainly be a huge scandal. That’s how I am certain that theins.ru is literal fake news.

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  20. Talha says:
    @AaronB

    Most European states were small and insecure so could not help becoming assimilated to the borg, once it appeared. Russia was vast enough and peripheral enough to not feel this sense of existential insecurity…

    Hmmm, I never thought about this, but it is true enough that Russia is a massive nation, the largest by land area and has tons of resources and plenty of internal room to spare. And of course being a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith (at least since Empress Catherine) nation for a long, long time. They truly have a unique place in the world and perspective.

    enjoy the comedy.

    I remember my childhood and waiting with anticipation whenever my dad would go out and rent one of those Jerry Lewis movies. He loved the guy’s antics and so did my brother and I. Though I don’t know if I enjoyed the film as much as my dad breaking out into fits of laughter to the point of tears.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Daniel Chieh
  21. AaronB says:
    @Talha

    I an evolving toward the perspective that all life is a Jerry Lewis film :)

    I think humor may be the most metaphysically profound stance one can take, although I realize you probably won’t agree with me.

  22. @Talha

    The ability of people to talk about the inner soul of Russians without ever been in the country, speak the language, or even intimately close to Russian friends is truly the mark of exceptional people of an exceptional country.

    • Replies: @Talha
  23. utu says:

    About stereotype of Russians as Asiatics I found this paper:

    Russians as Asiatics: Memory about the Present by DMITRY SHLAPENTOKH
    European Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, 41–55 r 2013 Academia Europæa

    It looks like the stereotype came mostly form France.

    It occurred to me to look into the definition of Turanian civilization (which is kind of Asiatic) which according to Koneczny Russians haven’t transcended because they were mixed with the Byzantine civilization which retarded their progress towards the Latin civilization. Both Fins and Magyars succeeded transcending their Turanian roots and became Latin, which according to Koneczny is what basically is our Western civilization and is the best, obviously. Here from wiki:

    For example, Koneczny claimed that in the Latin civilization, ethics is the source of law. If some laws are not ethical, then they are changed. Government is judged on the basis of its adherence to ethics. The law is of dual nature, divided into public and private spheres. Religion is autonomous, independent and separated from the state. Individuality, self-rule and decentralization are highly valued. Knowledge is empirical.

    In the Byzantine civilization, organized religion is dependent on the state. In this type of civilization all means are justified to achieve political goals. Politicians follow ethics in private life, but in public they are judged by their skills, not by ethics. The legal government has absolute authority and its orders are not doubted. Germany under Bismarck was an example of that type of civilization.

    In the Turanian civilization, the government is the source of law and ethics and stands above the law and ethics. The ruler cannot be doubted. Koneczny considered Russia under the Tsars an example of this type of civilization.

    The Jewish civilization considers the law most important. The law is the source of ethics. The law cannot be changed. However, the same law can be differently interpreted, which leads to ethical relativism. Similarly to the Brahmin or Hindu civilization, it is sacral, with religion playing a central role. According to Koneczny, one of the elements of Jewish civilization is a belief in the superior role of one nation or race. Communist states, despite their atheism, are also products of Jewish civilization.

    Koneczny claimed that civilizations cannot mix, and any “synthesis” of several civilizations leads to the victory of one over the other, lower moral standards, or to a state of “un-civilization.”

    • Replies: @utu
    , @AaronB
  24. @reiner Tor

    The same people who say that Russia poisoned Skripal also say that Trump’s SC nominee assaulted multiple women. How do you know when they are telling the truth?

    You are not assessing each case on its merits. You simply choose to believe in bad things about Russia. This is why anti-Russian agitprop works on you.

  25. Talha says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    People speculate about others all the time. That’s all I’m doing, just posting my thoughts – if Russians think I’m totally off and they aren’t the largest country or multi-ethnic or unique as a nation or whatever, they are free to discard my post or say I am off-base. They obviously have a greater right to define themselves – if they feel they are full-fledged Europeans, fine with me.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  26. AaronB says:
    @Talha

    Often outsiders see more clearly and objectively than those emotionally involved.

  27. @Felix Keverich

    You are not assessing each case on its merits. You simply choose to believe in bad things about Russia. This is why anti-Russian agitprop works on you.

    It’d be nice if you read my comment history here. Especially my position on Skripal, a topic I wrote about extensively since March.

  28. @Felix Keverich

    The same people who say that Russia poisoned Skripal also say that Trump’s SC nominee assaulted multiple women.

    The same people who say that Russia didn’t poison Skripal also say that 911 was an inside job. So?

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  29. utu says:
    @utu

    Here are few excerpts from Konceczny that might be of some interest to some of you. Not about Russia. He might be wrong or right (and dated and prejudiced) but certainly it is incomparably richer and more interesting that the IQ claptrap attempt to explain the world.

    About Prussia: Later in Prussia this issue was dubbed the struggle of force against law, for by force it was already only physical force, that was understood. In the end it was discovered that law itself was nothing but a manifestation of force, all law being the law of the stronger. Law was thus acknowledged the plaything of material forces, of violence, and so of what in Catholic ethics is regarded as lawlessness. The first was the only real authority, and the abstract idea of law was to disappear. Mention of ethics in public life was regarded almost as a sign of mental illness.

    About physical and spiritual power: In China and in Korea incomparably more time and paper has been devoted to discussion of moral themes than in Western Europe. From distant ages they have known that virtue and wisdom are worth more than riches. In Korea the virtue of officials has been a belowed subject of meditations in the field of practical philosophy. But in China and Korea these are empty words, only in Japan have certain institutions of a moral order been created. But in Japan also no consideration is given to the relation of the two fundamental systems of power, physical and spiritual, as a component in social or State institutions.

    Nowhere in Turanian, Arabic or Chinese civilisation is there any question at all about the supremacy of physical or spiritual forces. In so far as account is taken of them, they are not segregated; it is taken as self-evident that the spiritual accompany the physical in public life: for the orders of the State are always moral and wise— the immorality would be to doubt it. Thus in fact there is an enduring supremacy of physical forces, as a result of which theauthority of the tate decides what is reasonable and moral. In Chinese civilisation for centuriesgovernments have arranged revolutions: society never.

    Emancipation of spiritual forces:. Emancipation of spiritual forces from the ascendancy of the physical has occurred nowhere where the emancipation of the family has not been completed; so far and high reach the consequences of monogamy. When the Spanish Moors began to adopt monogamy, immediately spiritual forces organised separately, outside the State organisation. Where that happens, a new opportunity is born for public life: the possibility of what in our language is called opposition; legal opposition, morally permissible, not constituting anything improper, and being a manifestation of the emancipation of spiritual forces.

    Spiritual forces have never emancipated themselves where the State is based on private law. Such emancipation is closely linked —as the course of history and the present state of affairs teach— with the separate character of public law. And it is thus an outcome of Roman civilisation.

    Emergence of doubt:. Only an inconsiderable minority of humanity knows of the existence of these problems. For if the average lama or Brahmin were to learn that it is possible for us to hesitate in anything and about anything, he would only draw a conclusion about the inadequacy of our sacred books. On the other hand. Brahmins like Rabindranath Tagore, with a European education, would retort that for them everything is always decided a priori in favour of the spirit, for it is decided religiously, and so spiritually; thus we are evidently materialists! An orthodox Jewish rabbi would rejoin in the same way that there are no similar dissensions in his civilisation because there is not that kind of problem. The question itself is really possible only in non-sacral civilisations, since they alone make possible the emergence of doubt.

    Out of doubt all progress is bom: Thus amid the hard intellectual struggles of the Middle Ages and against a background of physical struggle for the supremacy of an ideal, athought was bom, the loftiest so far in the whole of history: that circumstances may arise in which resistance must be offered to material forces for the good of the spiritual, resistance to the State in the name of society, resistance to law based on lawlessness in the name of ethics, resistance to secular authority in the name of the Church. The supremacy of the spiritual system of forces must be absolute.

  30. AaronB says:
    @utu

    I agree that civilizations should not try and take over other civilizations, although some amount of cross-fertilization has always happened and enriched everyone.

    It is unfortunate that Latin civilization has tried to take over the world. I find it joyless, but an Asiatic civilization of the kind I like could not exist if a neurotic and joyless Latin civilization did not offer a contrast.

    I believe in the dependence of opposites and not on the final victory of “good” over evil – Latin civ, as one end of a polarity, needs to exist, and obviously serves the needs of a certain type of frenetic human.

    The existential insecurity of Latin civ guarantees that trying to control the world will be one of its defining characteristics, so perhaps it is wrong to wish that aspect of it away.

    Maybe we are locked in an eternal conflict-embrace – Latins will always try and take over the world, driven by inner joylessness, only to exhaust themselves and collapse in self-disgust, and Asiatics will always create civilizations oriented towards experiencing bliss in the now, only to become traumatized and self-doubting as they encounter the Latins, only to recover their sanity as the Latins collapse.

  31. iffen says:

    From the point of view of an American sovok, this is a good thing.

    Although, incompetence at high levels can have adverse consequences.

    “What’s this red button for?”

  32. @reiner Tor

    You do you choose to believe one conspiracy theory over another? Again, this story tells us nothing about the quality of Russian intelligence agencies and everything about people’s personal biases.

  33. @Talha

    Michael Palin, ex Monty Python, already did Death of Stalin. Should he be hired for Tourism in Salisbury? The body count is rather low.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @The Alarmist
  34. @AaronB

    Right, Russia is a mono-ethnic mono-religious state never once tempted by Empire. The level of social conformity shown by Russians under the Tsar, the Soviets and under the mafia is not slightly Borg like.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  35. Peasant says:

    ‘Do spooks really have to submit the details of their expenses to their accountancy office for reimbursements?’

    Actually yes they really do. I saw an interview with a female former CIA officer saying that one of the most risky things about paying a source was that you had to get a paper reciept and they had to sign it. This was a little while ago but yeah they have to put all costs on thier expense accounts and have proof.

  36. Talha says:
    @Philip Owen

    Yes, but you could use this as just a template. Like multiple storylines with this one convergent theme. You could have them bungling things all over the globe, maybe do a Weekend at Bernie’s style hit in Thailand or something along with Europe just to give it some flavor.

    Peace.

  37. AaronB says:
    @Philip Owen

    Of course Russia contains within itself all the Western tendencies, but to a different degree.

    Russia has been tempted by empire, but I don’t think it ever really takes it quite as seriously as Anglo-Saxons, for instance. Ditto for things like technology.

    We are all human and share all our traits, but we emphasize different ones, at different times, and approach life differently, which is why cultural analysis is fun.

    One basic difference between east and west is that the West takes life “very seriously indeed”, while the East sees life more as a game.

    So much flows from this simple difference, and I am reminded of the Chesterton quote “angels fly because they take themselves lightly” :)

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  38. The Kulak says:

    I agree with the other commenter. No Bellingcat is not an ‘open source’ site but a fake and occasionally real intel laundering site that graduated from Syrian rebel agitprop and SBU fakes to not all GRU agent passports are issued sequentially, just as not every CIA agent goes about trying and failing to fool the ubiquitous CCTV coverage around the US Embassy with silly wigs shown on Russian TV to humiliate Langley over its own incompetence where the supposedly omniscient 5Eyes fail to literally keystroke the GRU while they’re ‘hacking the election’ but do nothing basically to interdict this supposedly grandest Russian intel operation of all time such that Andropov in the infernal after is green with envy. Really guys?

    Just as the MH17 shooting down BUK which was introduced into the Donbass war like the lone Terminator sent back in time to kill Ukrainian Air Force John Connor (as opposed to the far more logical reality of Russia parking thermobaric rocket launching Urugans and Pantsirs if not S300s and fighter CAPs along the border to shoot down the An26 Bellingcat never talks about because muh BUK narrative) supposedly took a meandering in broad daylight path to the Russian border so every SBU snitch around Donetsk could photograph it…no dear Anatoly some Western narratives are simply too cute to be true. Even allowing for the real possibility the Salisbury tourists were GRU, with still zero evidence they smeared the door with novichok as opposed to say, wasted two afternoons scoping out the prospect of old traitor Skripal breaking the rules that got Boris Berezovsky suicided and re-defecting with some juicy dirt on his handler’s friend Christopher Steele.

    Yes standards have declined and removing the fear of getting shot or sent to Siberia probably has made the Russian security services more cowboy and less risk averse than their Nikita Sergeyevich through Andropov era predecessors. Or maybe they really just don’t give a crap anymore about getting caught because Russian Deep State wants to go full NoKo. But c’mon man Eliot Higgins is one of the biggest intel and pseudo intel ‘being there’ everyman front frauds in history. I liked the more cynical about at least the Putin and Assad as nerve agent dishing Bond villains logic of Western media / IC narratives better than the new gee Bellingcat might not be 90% bullshit this time Anatoly. It’s always been bullshit.

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
  39. @AaronB

    i disagree. The British acquired an Empire by accident. They went out to trade and won wars in Europe with rivals who surrendered trading posts. Russia actually set out to have an Empire.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @utu
  40. AaronB says:
    @Philip Owen

    Was it really by accident? Is American hegemony an accident?

    One may acquire an empire by accident, but one holds it on purpose. And one may acquire it by accident, but only if one finds money and power very important and serious indeed.

    In other words, one may exploit opportunity – but only if one is constantly alert to opportunity. And only a certain kind if person is constantly alert to opportunity.

    But it is winding down anyways. The Anglo elites may represent the last hurrah of the striving world-transforming old European attitude, but most English people I find are relaxed, pleasant, humorous sorts who do take things lightly. That’s the cultures side of the English.

    Now Americans on the other hand..The last redoubt of the old attitude (sorry iffen). Shudder.

    • Replies: @Aslangeo
    , @iffen
  41. utu says:
    @Philip Owen

    The British acquired an Empire by accident.

    Nonsense. The doctrine of British Empire was formulated by John Dee in 16 century. And it was consequently followed and skillfully implemented.

    His 1576 General and rare memorials pertayning to the Perfect Arte of Navigation was the first volume in an unfinished series planned to advocate the rise of imperial expansion.[49] In the highly symbolic frontispiece, Dee included a figure of Britannia kneeling by the shore beseeching Elizabeth I, to protect her empire by strengthening her navy.[50] Dee used Geoffrey’s inclusion of Ireland in Arthur’s imperial conquests to argue that Arthur had established a ‘British empire’ abroad.[51] He further argued that England exploit new lands through colonisation and that this vision could become reality through maritime supremacy.[52][53] Dee has been credited with the coining of the term British Empire,[54] however, Humphrey Llwyd has also been credited with the first use of the term in his Commentarioli Britannicae Descriptionis Fragmentum, published eight years earlier in 1568.[55]

    Dee posited a formal claim to North America on the back of a map drawn in 1577–80;[56] he noted Circa 1494 Mr Robert Thorn his father, and Mr Eliot of Bristow, discovered Newfound Land.[57] In his Title Royal of 1580, he invented the claim that Madog ab Owain Gwynedd had discovered America, with the intention of ensuring that England’s claim to the New World was stronger than that of Spain.[58] He further asserted that Brutus of Britain and King Arthur as well as Madog had conquered lands in the Americas and therefore their heir Elizabeth I of England had a priority claim there. (Wiki)

  42. It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a GRU.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  43. @Talha

    Don’t know about this, they actually have laws regulating blasphemy and somebody was just posting about how they regulate proselytizing – and they have an official state church…so…

    So do other European countries, it is just not as noticeable because these countries are more liberal.

  44. Only trust AaronB as far as it takes to tie him up and throw him into the East River. Actually… don’t listen to him even then, if you do you are going to end up throwing him into the Hudson by mistake.

  45. How does this happen? Wasn’t the Soviet Union famous for its competency in this arena? Maybe the idea is that spying is just too hard given US panopticon abilities, so why invest. Does Russia even have cell phones the NSA doesn’t have back doors to? Could be hard to spy walking around with the bad guy’s listening/tracking device.

  46. @Dan Bagrov

    No one gets shot for incompetence anymore.

  47. Cyrano says:

    Where others (like my young friend Anatoly) might see signs of Russian intelligence services incompetence, I am more inclined to see the emergence of a new and devious strategy.

    I would like to call the new strategy – I pity the fool strategy. Let me explain how it works.

    The Russian intelligence services fake incompetence in order to lull the good folks of the west into a false sense of security – making them believe that they can easily outsmart the Russian inspector Clouseaus, while the cunning Russians wait for the appropriate moment to launch another Facebook ads campaign just in time for the US midterm elections – and we all know how effective those Facebook ads campaigns can be – they practically decided the outcome in the last US presidential election.

  48. Aslangeo says:
    @AaronB

    The British Empire was no accident, from conquering Wales in 13th century, through conquests in France and Scotland (remember Joan of Arc and William Wallace) the English have sought to dominate their neighbours. This spread to Ireland, the Americas and then Asia and Africa.

    The aim was always to exploit the natives, co-opt the native elites and then ship the loot home. Some of it was done by privateers, some directly by the government but always with pretty much the full support of British (including the Scots) society.

    There is a faction in Britain that looks back at the empire as some sort of benign enterprise. It was not, it was as exploitative and cruel as any other.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  49. iffen says:
    @AaronB

    Shudder.

    Nobody loves the hegemon.

    It’s enough to make me want an afterlife so I can see people getting the “transformation” that they deserve when the Chinese are running things.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @German_reader
  50. Aslangeo says:
    @Dan Bagrov

    The incompetence of the GRU , passport numbers, electronic devices, even carrying a taxi receipt seems breathtaking. Are agents not trained in basic counter surveillance. I think that as Anatoly mentioned earlier this is due to a bit of internal arrogance mixed with not recruiting the best. Imprisoning a few failed agents in Siberia ought to be an incentive to be more careful

  51. @Dan Bagrov

    Why are you assuming that the guy taking the taxi is a spy, and not a plumber or a school teacher?

  52. As someone who actually lives in the area, I have to say that none of the supposedly GRU buildings actually has any exit to Nesvizhsky. Which means that whatever may be located there, the guy who took the cab most certainly came out from a diferent building. Probably from one of the Sovmin houses that are on Nesvizhsky, populated mostly buy well-connected sovok pensioners, which would explain the use of an outdated taxi service.

    • Replies: @Toronto Russian
  53. @Spisarevski

    Karlin has a tendency to overreact and develop panic attacks over insignificant stuff. All this propaganda about Russian spies has gone to his head.

    Anatoly, if it makes you feel any better, NATO spies in Russia get busted all the time!

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/10/03/the-new-cold-front-in-russias-information-war-nato-norway/

    Getting busted is not a sign of incompetence, it is part of the spying game.

  54. steppe says:

    Come on Anatoly, don’t be one of them handshakeworthy types.

    Don’t let your traditional mistrust of the competancy of spies muddle your critical thinking.

  55. 5371 says:

    Karlin writes piece to echo bong, clog and pindos lie machine.
    Must be a day of the week that ends in-y.

  56. AaronB says:
    @iffen

    The Chinese aren’t going to be running things. They’re just going to be a large power in Asia.

    The Chinese are motivated by simple selfishness – this is human, and easy to understand and accommodate. Although it can get annoying, and it can get out of hand, it can be dealt with.

    As of yet, the Chinese haven’t shown signs of the kind of world-transforming messianism of the West – the idea that the world is “evolving” towards some perfect or superior state.

    Of course, the Chinese may yet make the full transformation into third-rate Westerners, but they haven’t done so yet. Don’t be misled by the silly Westernized Chinese on this site.

    Western elites are still motivated by messianism – the unfortunate Jewish idea that the world can be perfected. That’s the poz.

  57. AaronB says:
    @Aslangeo

    The English were always aggressive, but they seem to have acquired their later overseas Empire through exploiting serendipity – but they were on the lookout for opportunity to exploit, and desired foreign acquisitions, and they were on site at the right moment as a result of aggressive impulses.

  58. Mr. Hack says:

    Three rootless villains take over the world:

    • Replies: @Gerard2
  59. Incompetence seems to be a characteristic of Russia. And when it comes to bureaucratic sloth and incompetence, Russia has always been a world leader. It has been said: nothing good ever came out of Russia.

  60. @iffen

    I don’t think most commenters here are looking forward to China being as powerful as the US has been since 1990, which would certainly be horrible. A multipolar world would be desirable imo.

  61. @seeing-thru

    Who needed the periodic table of elements anyway?

  62. @seeing-thru

    nothing good ever came out of Russia

    Except the guy who banged your mom under a bridge, of course.

  63. This seems depressingly plausible.

  64. Back in the ’90s, in Birmingham (England), you could see long rows of near identical Austin Rover Montegos parked in the street behind Steelhouse Lane police station. These were obviously the unmarked police cars used by the plainclothes cops.

    Any drug dealer could walk past and take the numbers.

    Still, one expects more in the way of OpSec from a primary military intelligence agency than from a provincial CID.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  65. @The Kulak

    Bellingcat is just a conduit for US/NATO deep state agencies to publish stuff off the record.

    Like wikipedia, not to be trusted unless the source data are verified independently.

    In this case the taxi and the car database seem to checkout.

  66. My take on the Skripal incident was that the GRU were sending a message: “Yes we did it. We don’t care who knows it and this is what happens to traitors from now on”.

    But after the fiasco in the Hague I think we can just chalk it up to incompetence.

    • Replies: @Jon0815
  67. Seraphim says:
    @Felix Keverich

    @How do you know when they are telling the truth?

    It is that simple: when they present evidence, proof. The incontrovertible evidence is the ‘flagrante delicto’. If not, there must be an array of material proofs (think of the Monica Lewinski’s blue dress!), witness statements, circumstances that establish a link between the perpetrator and the crime that cannot be otherwise. Did the accusers of Kavanaugh present any blue dress? Accusations without proof are criminal offences (libel).

  68. Seraphim says:
    @Felix Keverich

    @How do you know when they are telling the truth?

    It is that simple: when they present evidence, proof. The incontrovertible evidence is the ‘flagrante delicto’. If not, there must be an array of material proofs (think of the Monica Lewinski’s blue dress!), witness statements, circumstances that establish a link between the perpetrator and the crime that cannot be otherwise. Did the accusers of Kavanaugh present any blue dress? Accusations without proof are criminal offences (libel).

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
  69. Gerard2 says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Here are my question to you, Anatoly:

    How do we know that Alexey Morenets is an actual person? All we know about him is a taxi receipt and some unsubstantiated claims of foreign intelligence agencies.

    If this guy was comitting a crime in Holland, why didn’t they try to arrest him? Why “expel” him? You don’t expel spies, unless they are diplomats. If Morenets is some kind of diplomat, then he doesn’t really need to worry about secrecy, does he?

    Typical Karlin gibberish.

    This is one big fake. Russia is a Permanent member , with a Permanent representative with a Permanent team of the OPCW, based in Holland.

    There is no need for this operation at all

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  70. Gerard2 says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Three rootless villains take over the world

    Just a reminder to get you away from your daily existence as a pre-menstrual Banderatard………that Poroshenko’s translator since he became President ,travelling with him on all foreign trips conducted in English ( the majority, if not all)…….was arrested by the Nazi regime for being a Russian Intelligence operative……it took them more than two years to realise!

    In a mountain of failures…….that is arguably the most embarrassing of the artificial nation

    High profile moles in the military or in the Periphery of the Presidential or Government administrations aren’t uncommon…..but it is extremely unusual got one with such close contact to the President to get this close

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  71. @utu

    Pace Wikipaedia, John Dee came from my home town in Mid Wales. I am well aware of his imperial ideology so far as the Americas were concerned. Lloyd/LLywd, was also from close by.Even so, nothing happened for a long time thereafter. In practical terms, if was the Irishman, John Smith, who discovered a better route to North America and pushed for colonization. Smith was instrumental at Jamestown, Newfoundland and Massachusetts. I can’t remember about Roanoke. Squanto, the English speaking slave of the Whampanoags spent most of his life working in London as a share promoter for Smith’s company.

    I don’t have Gerald’s review of Geoffrey’s book to hand. Even in translation, it is one of the most devastatingly critical book reviews I have ever read. The word Beelzebub occurs in it but it does not seem to have made it to the Internet. It’s even better in Latin. Let’s say that History of the Kings was questioned from the start. Of course I am biased. I went to the same school at which Gerald taught (Brecon) which to this day is a rival of the school at Monmouth, Geoffrey’s patch (to keep the story simple).

  72. @Gerard2

    Communication between agencies and factions within the Russian Government may not be perfect. And Hawks may want to do damage without telling Doves.

  73. @Seraphim

    We had an emotional, personal testimony from one of alleged victims of Kavanaugh. I didn’t have time to watch the spectacle myself, but I saw rave reviews in the media, and this is already more evidence than Western governments have provided with regards to “Skripal poisoning” and Russia’s alleged involvement in it.

    Yet the people here seem to take Skripal allegations much more seriously, which to me is simply a sign of anti-Russian bias (Russophobia). I’d like to remind you that outside of this right-wing community, there are people who have serious concerns about Kavanaugh’s behavior, including American Bar Association, which means that you cannot dismiss allegations about him out of hand.

    I do not necessarily say that the man is guilty, but I want to encourage people to apply their critical thinking a bit more often, not just to exonerate a right-wing SC nominee, whom they obviously like.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  74. @Felix Keverich

    We had an emotional, personal testimony from one of alleged victims of Kavanaugh. I didn’t have time to watch the spectacle myself, but I saw rave reviews in the media, and this is already more evidence than Western governments have provided with regards to “Skripal poisoning” and Russia’s alleged involvement in it.

    I have a bridge to sell you. A mentally unstable woman who can never keep her story straight is praising it, which makes it believable in your eyes. Moreover, it’s a Russian bridge, so you should buy it. You can send the price to Karlin.

  75. Mr. Hack says:
    @Gerard2

    You must be one of the ‘rootless villains’ depicted in the video. I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly did.

    BTW, I didn’t know that ‘Banderatards’ came in a ‘pre-menstrual’ variety? So there might also be post-menstrual ones too? You must be a ‘commie-freak’ or a ‘sovok’ vigilantly on guard to protect Mother Roosha? :-)

  76. El Dato says:
    @AaronB

    This might explain the difference in style between Russian Space Exploration (space trucker insectoid goodies with antennas sticking out growing mold inside) and US Space Exploration (space cadet style glistening white rockets with blinkenlights).

    Maybe there is the possibility of writing a book in exploring cultural difference between US coders and RUS coders. O’Reilly would publish it.

    Americans performing in front of fully white cinema screens, saying and showing nothing, except that secrecy is needed:

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  77. I guess there’s a reason our guys hand out walking-around money.

  78. @Philip Owen

    I would have thought John Cleese ….

  79. Seraphim says:
    @utu

    John Dee wrote in the “Brytanici Imperii Limites (“Limits of the British Empire”) of 1578, that Elizabeth could claim:
    “title royall to all the coastes and ilandes begining at or about Terra Florida, and so alongst, or neere vnto Atlantis [i.e., America], goinge northerly, and then to all the most northern ilands great and small, and so compassinge about Groenland [i.e., Greenland], eastwards until the teritoris opposite vnto the farthest easterlie and northen boundes of the Duke of Moscovia his dominions (Dee Limits 43)”.

    He was drawing on previous legends on the Northern Kingdom of Arthur:

    “The source he refers to was William Lambarde’s Archaionomia sive de Priscus Anglorum Legibus libri (London: Roger Daniel, 1568), which Dee had a copy of in his library and used in his Brytanici Imperii Limites (Macmillan 2006, 58; Dee Limits 57–58). The relevant portion of Lambarde’s Archaionomia was also known to Hakluyt, that other proponent of an Arthurian Atlantic and Arctic empire, who translated it in his Principal Nauigations:
    ‘Arthur which was sometimes the most renowmed king of the Britains, was a mightie, and valiant man, and a famous warriour. This kingdome was too litle for him, & his minde was not contented with it. He therefore valiantly subdued all Scantia, which is now called Norway, and all the Islands beyond Norway, to wit, Island [i.e., Iceland] and Greenland, which are apperteining vnto Norway, Sweueland, Ireland, Gotland, Denmarke, Semeland, Windland [Latin text, Winlandiam], Curland, Roe, Femeland [i.e., Finland], Wireland, Flanders, Cherilland, Lapland, and all the other lands & Islands of the East sea, euen vnto Russia (in which Lapland he placed the Easterly bounds of his Brittish Empire) and many other Islands beyond Norway, euen vnder the North pole, which are appendances of Scantia, now called Norway. These people were wild and sauage, and had not in them the loue of God nor of their neighbors, because all euill commeth from the North, yet there were among them certeine Christians liuing in secret. But king Arthur was an exceeding good Christian, and caused them to be baptized, and thorowout all Norway to worship one God, and to receiue and keepe inuiolably for euer, faith in Christ onely. At that time all the noble men of Norway tooke wiues of the noble nation of the Britaines, whereupon the Norses say, that they are descended of the race and blood of this kingdome. The aforesayd king Arthur obteined also in those dayes of the Pope & court of Rome, that Norway should be for euer annexed to the crowne of Britaine for the inlargement of this kingdome, and he called it the chamber of Britaine. For this cause the Norses say, that they ought to dwell with vs in this kingdome, to wit, that they belong to the crowne of Britaine . . ..” (John Dee, King Arthur, and the Conquest of the Arctic, by Thomas Green, Institute of Archaeology, University of [email protected]://www.heroicage.org/issues/15/green.php).

    So, the future ‘accidental’ British Empire, had set its eyes not only on America, but on Muscovy also. The history of the meddling of the ‘Muscovy Company’ in Russia’s politics makes an interesting reading.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Philip Owen
    , @Philip Owen
  80. Jon0815 says:
    @jimmyriddle

    My take on the Skripal incident was that the GRU were sending a message: “Yes we did it. We don’t care who knows it and this is what happens to traitors from now on”.

    But after the fiasco in the Hague I think we can just chalk it up to incompetence.

    It wasn’t incompetence that caused them to select as the assassination method an exotic poison which would point the finger directly at Russia- that was clearly deliberate.

  81. Jon0815 says:

    The quality Russian spies are all in SVR?

  82. El Dato says:
    @Mr. Hack

    It has always been slavstyle darkops out there:

    https://www.atomicheritage.org/history/nuclear-close-calls-able-archer-83

    Operation RYAN primarily relied on Soviet officers stationed abroad to determine if and when an American attack was coming. According to top secret KGB documents from defector Oleg Gordievsky, “The fact that the adversary maintains a considerable part of his strategic forces in a state of operational readiness…makes it essential to discover signs of preparation for RYAN at a very early stage, before the order is given to the troops to use nuclear weapons” (Instructions from the Centre 75). As KGB General Oleg Kalugin recalled, “The slogan” of RYAN was “do not miss the moment when the West is about to launch war.”

    Most of the information on RYAN available to the public today comes from Gordievsky, who was stationed at the Soviet embassy in London at the time. Based on his testimony, it is evident that the operation had flawed principles from its inception. “I quickly discovered that my colleagues in the PR Line regarded RYAN with some skepticism…yet none wanted to lose face and credit at the [KGB] Centre by contradicting the First Chief Directorate’s assessment,” he recalled. “The result was that RYAN created a vicious spiral of intelligence-gathering and evaluation, with foreign stations feeling obliged to report alarming information even if they did not believe it” (Next Stop Execution 261).

    The KGB officers in London were ordered to surveil British government officials, determine their routines, and notify Moscow if they were behaving out of the ordinary. The KGB also considered any dramatic change in the number of lights on in buildings at night and the price of blood at donor centers (despite the fact that no one paid for blood in the United Kingdom) to be credible indications of a potential nuclear attack. It can be assumed that Soviet residencies across Europe and in the United States received similar nonsensical instructions. As Gordievsky remembered, “Under [London Station Chief Arkady] Guk’s sometimes alcoholic direction, there were moments when the British end of Operation Ryan more closely resembled the Marx Brothers than Dr. Strangelove” (KGB: The Inside Story 589).

  83. utu says:
    @Seraphim

    The history of the meddling of the ‘Muscovy Company’ in Russia’s politics makes an interesting reading.

    I have heard a thesis that their role in Russia was much greater and that supposedly Russian historians do not like to admit it.

  84. Seraphim says:

    There are a few good sources:

    “James I, the Russia Company, and the Plan to Establish a Protectorate Over North Russia”, by Chester Dunning.
    From the presentation:
    “The English, who had established diplomatic and commercial relations with Muscovy in the 1550s and who watched events there with considerable interest, were horrified by reports that the Poles had captured Moscow, that the Swedes had seized much Russian territory, and that factions of the Muscovite lords were negotiating with their aggressive neighbors for a foreign tsar. This eventually led the English to contemplate acquiring North Russia and the commercially important port of Arkhangel’sk for themselves. As strange as it seems, for a brief period of time King James I actually dreamed of adding part of Muscovy to his “empire.”

    See also “England and the North: The Russian Embassy of 1613-1614″, by Maija Jansson, ‎Nikolai Rogozhin, ‎N. M. Rogozhin – 1994
    worekable excerpts at https://books.google.ro/books?isbn=0871692104

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  85. @Seraphim

    In 1612, the British Plan B was to conquer Northern Russia and install King James I as King. however, Plan A worked and we installed the Romanovs, thus blocking the Swedes and poles from interrupting our trade. Trade was the priority not conquest. Conquest is expensive in blood and treasure and does not often result in grateful paratnerships.

    The British empire was not in general built by invasions (when was India invaded). It was built by victories in Europe and trade partnerships with willing locals. The profits in those partnerships rose, some local faction wanted a cut or bigger cut and took to military action to achieve it. (Whether Whampanoags, Ashanti or the Nawab of Bengal). Big mistake. In a big Empire over a long time, there were exceptions, mostly in South Africa and settler driven not imperial policy.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    , @utu
  86. @Seraphim

    Arthur obviously didn’t do very well at holding on the the Danish Empire. Killing Mordred probably didn’t help but he had nephews.

  87. Dmitry says:
    @El Dato

    Why connect scientists and engineers, to people who work in security services?

    There’s as much cultural similarity, as in the American example, between professors of MIT and the police chiefs of Mississippi.

    Between the two there is far more similarity (of intelligence and culture) between engineers in American space and engineers in Russian space program – than there is between security services people and engineers. (Once you talk personality of people in jobs like security service people – then you’ll find their similarity in all countries.)

    • Replies: @AP
  88. @Seraphim

    I wrote my reply without seeing yours. I have done some off-internet research on it.

    At the time, the books written by members of the various British expeditions were best sellers. The first Anglo-French (really !) combined force was wiped out by a charge of Polish heavy cavalry but the Scottish officers, English guns and money prevailed in the end. Muscovy was indeed the first serious foreign policy engagement of the newly created United Kingdom but Empire was the back up plan not the aim. Better our Orthodox guy (to stop Poland becoming a power comparable to Spain). It was a European balance of power issue first and foremost.

  89. @utu

    You will have gathered by now that I am Welsh. I love your research. A corner of Tudor intellectual life
    was indeed shaped by the Welsh. One of them invented the mathematical equation. he created the Equals sign = to do it.

    The tale of Prince Madoc(g) is Bible truth. Irish, Breton, Basque, Galician etc claims of prior discovery of the Americas are all sham. Of course, none of them were contrived to justify territorial claims, except the Welsh one, the Irish one coming to prominence after independence.

    Pity about the Mandan Indians.

  90. @jimmyriddle

    The police version of the Montego was a good car. When my estate car (I’ve forgotten the American-this is not your father’s Oldsmobile will do) variant was stolen 30 years ago, I was told it was the drug dealers choice of estate car. As fast as a Volvo, more manuverable and a bigger load capacity. It went to Harwich (a port) to pick up a load of drugs. The police clocked it at 137 mph during the chase back to Cambridge where it was abandoned after being trapped in a dead end in a Tesco car park. The police ones were allegedly faster.

  91. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    I know two people who served in Russian security/intelligence – one graduated from MGU and the other from MGMO. They have more in common with scientists or engineers than either one would have with farmers or small town cops.

  92. Seraphim says:
    @Philip Owen

    “we installed the Romanovs”

    Isn’t that a bit of a stretch? A bit of imperial mentality?

  93. utu says:
    @Philip Owen

    I would look into English and Scottish physicians and pharmacists and their behavior including escapes from Russia after deaths of several Tsars.

  94. @Grim Deadman

    As someone who actually lives in the area, I have to say that none of the supposedly GRU buildings actually has any exit to Nesvizhsky.

    There is a gate between the military (GRU?) barracks and the building closest to the metro station that they rent out to various businesses.

    https://goo.gl/maps/zLySnYzHxsR2

  95. Sean says:

    They have now identified both.

    Don’t think the CIA, or Mossad, are any better. The primary significance of intelligence agencies, like organised crime or serial killers, is as ready made backstory for harebrained mass entertainment. That is the real “Cognitive Infiltration” we face. The highest stakes business awesomely good at fooling everyone is Hollywood. The people there are the toughest and smartest in the world.

  96. OT

    GRU chief visibly shaken and “in ill health” after Putin gave him and his top brass a serious dressing down for their incompetence, at one point asking them why they didn’t wear budennovkas.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6253907/Second-novichok-poisoning-suspect-named-Russian-military-doctor.html

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