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 All Comments / On "Berezovsky"
    "I will either return to the Kremlin on a white horse, or in a black limousine to the Mausoleum." It is customary to say something nice about the recently deceased, so here goes... *ahem.* If not for Berezovsky, Putin probably wouldn't be President. UPDATE: As expected, the conspiracy theories have inevitably began to crawl out...
  • @Chrisius Maximus
    Hey that's my conspiracy theory!!!!!!!! :)

    But it was acknowledged:

    As one of my Facebook friends put it, my own radical conspiracy theory is that Berezovsky was rather old, depressed, and out of shape.

    (Just that AFAIK you want to remain anonymous here).

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  • Hey that’s my conspiracy theory!!!!!!!! :)

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    But it was acknowledged:

    As one of my Facebook friends put it, my own radical conspiracy theory is that Berezovsky was rather old, depressed, and out of shape.

    (Just that AFAIK you want to remain anonymous here).

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @johnUK
    @TRex

    The intelligence review the one that we know of that has been declassified was info not verified because they didn’t/don’t want investigation into terrorist connections to Chechen terrorist groups you are actively supporting but we know there existed a terrorist when referenced in terrorism court cases in the US and other things like commanders and soldiers captured and killed in Chechnya and the neighbouring republics and 9/11 and other terrorist attacks that there existed an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey-Azerbaijan training and trafficking route that was part of 9/11 trafficking network.

    But the main source of information and reference is Litvinenko's book Blowing up Russia who was working for and being paid by Berezovsky since he left the FSB in 98 and was not even affiliated with branches involving anti-terrorism and state security.

    I will quote from the excellent article Alexander Mercouris posted on his blog on him losing his court case to Abramovich.

    I had occasion to research the Moscow apartment bombings seven years ago. I quickly concluded that neither Putin nor the FSB nor any other branch of the Russian government were involved and that the bombings were the work of jihadi terrorists just as the Russian authorities say they were.

    “More to the point it became obvious to me that even if Berezovsky was not the actual originator of the myth that the Russian authorities were behind the apartment bombings he was the person who was largely responsible for keeping the myth alive. Witness after witness of the supposed involvement of the Russian authorities in the bombings turned out either to have connections to Berezovsky or to people connected to Berezovsky who could be plausibly described as members of his network or organisation. Always and invariably the trail led back to Berezovsky. Even witnesses who initially seemed to be genuinely independent proved to have had been in contact with Berezovsky or his agents.

    I remember being impressed at the time by the amount of energy and resources Berezovsky had invested in the affair. The most detailed account of the Russian authorities’ supposed involvement in the bombings was a book co authored by Litvinenko who was at the time Berezovsky’s employee. The book was worthless as evidence as shown by the fact that around half the interviews in it were anonymous. It remains however the often unacknowledged source for many of the details that regularly appear in the western press about the affair.”

    The fact that corrupt assets where used within the Russian security to help acquire false documents, uniforms, etc. is no secret and was covered in the trials. The security and anti-terrorist forces of Belarus have been acting as mercenaries and couriers to traffic stockpiles of Soviet weaponry to militants in Chechnya fighting Russian forces.

    “Belarus, a former Soviet republic that ended up with a large stockpile of conventional Soviet weapons and is today one of the worlds top arms exporters, Moldovia, and the Ukraine have all shipped arms to Chechnya.

    On 11 January 2002, Janes Intelligence Digest reported that Victor Sheyman, the former head of the Belarusian Security Council, coordinated the arms shipments through former members of the Belarussian Almaz antiterrorist squad who had become merceneries in Chechnya. They served as intermediaries for the delivery of these weapons.”

    “Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn’t read that.”

    How exactly is it a tin foil hat conspiracy theory website?

    She does not talk about the illuminati, global conspiracies, alien abduction, black helicopters, HAARP, etc or any of the other things you associate with conspiracy theory websites all she writes about is US/western support for jihadists in the Balkans that still continues and the largely now debunked propaganda campaign against the Serbs who were the exact same people that attacked the US on 9/11.

    Izebegovich’s right hand man Hasan Cengic who was operating out of Bin Ladin’s Sudan linked Third World Relief Agency front NGO out of Austria since the early 90’s and the outbreak of the Bosnian war coordinating weapons and fighters into Bosnia actually transferred money to Atta while he was in New York preparing the 9/11 attacks.

    Not that it matters anyway as she was quoting from a subscription based private intelligence publication Defense & Foreign Affairs of former anti-terrorism officers in the Mossad , CIA, etc. that have been studying terrorism in the Balkans at least since the 90’s.

    JohnUK,

    Although Defense & Foreign Affairs is indeed subscription only, the article or articles on which Julia Gorin is drawing are available on the net, and are interesting. See:

    http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Europe/Europes-Latest-Tinder-Box-And-Global-Mega-Trends-The-EUs-Failure-Part-1.html

    http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Europe/Europes-Latest-Tinder-Box-And-Global-Mega-Trends-The-US-Support-For-Violence-In-Chechenya-Part-2.html

    http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Europe/Europes-Latest-Tinder-Box-And-Global-Mega-Trends-Russias-Pre-eminence-In-The-EU-Energy-Market-Part-3.html.

    According to his Wikipedia entry, the author, Yosseff Bodansky, is ‘an Israeli-American political scientist who served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004.’

    While one would certainly be unwise to swallow the arguments whole, they certainly cannot simply be dismissed as ‘tin foil hat’ material.

    And they are certainly interesting to ponder, if one is trying to set the Litvinenko mystery — and also perhaps the death of Berezovsky — in some sort of context.

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    The very latest information I have heard here in Britain is that Berezovsky hanged himself. Has anyone heard anything?

    Alexander Mercouris,

    It could have been ‘the citizen of the canton of Uri.’

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    The very latest information I have heard here in Britain is that Berezovsky hanged himself. Has anyone heard anything?

    Funny because that was how Rudolf Hess allegedly killed himself although it was technically impossible given his age, physical ability and impending release from prison and a Serb defendant in The Hague.

    Totally speculative but seeing how “Russia killed him” conspiracy theories is prevalent in this case I see that it would be more likely and credible that that MI6 killed him that Russian intelligence they would have every reason to kill him especially the contacts and alliances he has made since the 90′s and knowing what he knows and his dire financial situation was to dangerous a liability.

    I wondering if he tried a Robert Maxwell and dared to blackmail British establishment that has was going to reveal at least some of his secrets unless they give him money.

    Now that he is dead we will probably never get the answers although no reporter was asking the question when he was alive with the exception of Kleibnakov.

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  • The very latest information I have heard here in Britain is that Berezovsky hanged himself. Has anyone heard anything?

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    • Replies: @johnUK
    Funny because that was how Rudolf Hess allegedly killed himself although it was technically impossible given his age, physical ability and impending release from prison and a Serb defendant in The Hague.

    Totally speculative but seeing how "Russia killed him" conspiracy theories is prevalent in this case I see that it would be more likely and credible that that MI6 killed him that Russian intelligence they would have every reason to kill him especially the contacts and alliances he has made since the 90's and knowing what he knows and his dire financial situation was to dangerous a liability.

    I wondering if he tried a Robert Maxwell and dared to blackmail British establishment that has was going to reveal at least some of his secrets unless they give him money.

    Now that he is dead we will probably never get the answers although no reporter was asking the question when he was alive with the exception of Kleibnakov.

    , @David Habakkuk
    Alexander Mercouris,

    It could have been 'the citizen of the canton of Uri.'

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  • @TRex
    Your first link;
    WARNING; (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE. Hence, I didn't read it.
    Your second link;
    Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn't read that.

    I don't defend Berezovsky. He was a thief and worse but trying to deflect attention from events which have very real links to the FSB and by definition to Putin by using this deluded fool is misdirection at its worst.

    The intelligence review the one that we know of that has been declassified was info not verified because they didn’t/don’t want investigation into terrorist connections to Chechen terrorist groups you are actively supporting but we know there existed a terrorist when referenced in terrorism court cases in the US and other things like commanders and soldiers captured and killed in Chechnya and the neighbouring republics and 9/11 and other terrorist attacks that there existed an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey-Azerbaijan training and trafficking route that was part of 9/11 trafficking network.

    But the main source of information and reference is Litvinenko’s book Blowing up Russia who was working for and being paid by Berezovsky since he left the FSB in 98 and was not even affiliated with branches involving anti-terrorism and state security.

    I will quote from the excellent article Alexander Mercouris posted on his blog on him losing his court case to Abramovich.

    I had occasion to research the Moscow apartment bombings seven years ago. I quickly concluded that neither Putin nor the FSB nor any other branch of the Russian government were involved and that the bombings were the work of jihadi terrorists just as the Russian authorities say they were.

    “More to the point it became obvious to me that even if Berezovsky was not the actual originator of the myth that the Russian authorities were behind the apartment bombings he was the person who was largely responsible for keeping the myth alive. Witness after witness of the supposed involvement of the Russian authorities in the bombings turned out either to have connections to Berezovsky or to people connected to Berezovsky who could be plausibly described as members of his network or organisation. Always and invariably the trail led back to Berezovsky. Even witnesses who initially seemed to be genuinely independent proved to have had been in contact with Berezovsky or his agents.

    I remember being impressed at the time by the amount of energy and resources Berezovsky had invested in the affair. The most detailed account of the Russian authorities’ supposed involvement in the bombings was a book co authored by Litvinenko who was at the time Berezovsky’s employee. The book was worthless as evidence as shown by the fact that around half the interviews in it were anonymous. It remains however the often unacknowledged source for many of the details that regularly appear in the western press about the affair.”

    The fact that corrupt assets where used within the Russian security to help acquire false documents, uniforms, etc. is no secret and was covered in the trials. The security and anti-terrorist forces of Belarus have been acting as mercenaries and couriers to traffic stockpiles of Soviet weaponry to militants in Chechnya fighting Russian forces.

    “Belarus, a former Soviet republic that ended up with a large stockpile of conventional Soviet weapons and is today one of the worlds top arms exporters, Moldovia, and the Ukraine have all shipped arms to Chechnya.

    On 11 January 2002, Janes Intelligence Digest reported that Victor Sheyman, the former head of the Belarusian Security Council, coordinated the arms shipments through former members of the Belarussian Almaz antiterrorist squad who had become merceneries in Chechnya. They served as intermediaries for the delivery of these weapons.”

    “Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn’t read that.”

    How exactly is it a tin foil hat conspiracy theory website?

    She does not talk about the illuminati, global conspiracies, alien abduction, black helicopters, HAARP, etc or any of the other things you associate with conspiracy theory websites all she writes about is US/western support for jihadists in the Balkans that still continues and the largely now debunked propaganda campaign against the Serbs who were the exact same people that attacked the US on 9/11.

    Izebegovich’s right hand man Hasan Cengic who was operating out of Bin Ladin’s Sudan linked Third World Relief Agency front NGO out of Austria since the early 90’s and the outbreak of the Bosnian war coordinating weapons and fighters into Bosnia actually transferred money to Atta while he was in New York preparing the 9/11 attacks.

    Not that it matters anyway as she was quoting from a subscription based private intelligence publication Defense & Foreign Affairs of former anti-terrorism officers in the Mossad , CIA, etc. that have been studying terrorism in the Balkans at least since the 90’s.

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    • Replies: @David Habakkuk
    JohnUK,

    Although Defense & Foreign Affairs is indeed subscription only, the article or articles on which Julia Gorin is drawing are available on the net, and are interesting. See:

    http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Europe/Europes-Latest-Tinder-Box-And-Global-Mega-Trends-The-EUs-Failure-Part-1.html

    http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Europe/Europes-Latest-Tinder-Box-And-Global-Mega-Trends-The-US-Support-For-Violence-In-Chechenya-Part-2.html

    http://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Europe/Europes-Latest-Tinder-Box-And-Global-Mega-Trends-Russias-Pre-eminence-In-The-EU-Energy-Market-Part-3.html.

    According to his Wikipedia entry, the author, Yosseff Bodansky, is 'an Israeli-American political scientist who served as Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare of the US House of Representatives from 1988 to 2004.'

    While one would certainly be unwise to swallow the arguments whole, they certainly cannot simply be dismissed as 'tin foil hat' material.

    And they are certainly interesting to ponder, if one is trying to set the Litvinenko mystery -- and also perhaps the death of Berezovsky -- in some sort of context.

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  • @Moscow Exile
    Interestingly, having taken a quick glance at the comments to the Forbes article, a large number of people have stated their opinion that the journalist is a "liar", that the whole piece is a tissue of lies, that the article smacks of the FSB, that it stinks of the Lubyanka etc., etc.

    As regards Berezovsky's character, I've mentioned on other threads that I am acquainted with someone who knew him well in academia and who disliked him intensely. That acquaintance of mine is no intellectual slouch either: he arrived in Moscow as a 14-year-old Wunderkind in order to study mathematics at MGU. At first I thought his dislike of the man was because of his political intrigues and alleged criminality. Not so: he disliked him, he said, because of his immorality.

    At first I thought my acquaintance was referring to some sexual peccadilloes that Berezovsky may have had, but that was not the case. I then asked if he was really referring to Berezovsky's possible amorality, to which suggestion my acquaintance again replied in the negative, saying that Berezovsky certainly knew the difference between "right" and "wrong" but didn't give a damn about such trivialities and that the only criterion in his decision making processes was to how great an extent any action he took would be of benefit to him.

    Forbes Russia’s senior editorial staff is staunchly anti-Putin, the though that they’d work for the FSB is comical.

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  • @TRex
    Your first link;
    WARNING; (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE. Hence, I didn't read it.
    Your second link;
    Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn't read that.

    I don't defend Berezovsky. He was a thief and worse but trying to deflect attention from events which have very real links to the FSB and by definition to Putin by using this deluded fool is misdirection at its worst.

    That something is not ‘finally evaluated intelligence’ does not provide grounds for failing to read it. Someone interested in the truth reads it in precisely the way that a competent intelligence analyst would. He or she attempts to assess the credibility of the claims, by asking what other evidence might refute or confirm them, and then looking to see whether it can be found.

    In fact, this is also the way that someone interested in getting at the truth evaluates claims from intelligence agencies that are represented as ‘finally evaluated intelligence’.

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Gosh, Sorry Scowpsi. It's just that I happen to be quite a fan of Berezovsky the pianist.

    Read an interview with the pianist ‘Boris Berezovsky’ printed in a London newspaper years ago in which he brought up the subject the trouble he occaissionally had by having the same name as some ‘big mafia type’.
    This was about 2000 or so(?).
    I’ll see if I can find it.

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  • @Mr. X
    "It was through researching the Moscow apartment bombings that I first realised how important Berezovsky has been in shapinng western perceptions of Russia and of Putin. I don’t personally believe he had any involvement in the bombings himself but I remember being struck how repeatedly and without exception all the supposed “sources” that claimed FSB involvement in the bombings could be traced back to him." Berezovsky's entire clique were critical to the 'Al-KGB-aeda' theory that 'linked'

    The You Know Whos seeking to rationalize the looting of Cypriots savings by the EUrocrats using British dupes/or willful puppets like Weiss or Warner don't like sites like EuroTrib pointing out how desperate the Brussels brigands are to keep the Russians hands off Cyprus and the gas.

    Personally, I'm disappointed that the Cypriots bent over for the troika this weekend. But the whole island was increasingly under blockade. I just wish the Cypriots had put Merkel and the Germans in the role of Stalin in 1948 West Berlin, and invited Putin to send a few Antonovs loaded with rubles. Trouble is that may've spared Cypriots from starvation or gasoline shortages by giving them a currency to receive salaries and transact in, but wouldn't help the pensioners or cash poor-savers on the island.

    I suppose they Vichy Cypriots consider the 'haircut' for the large deposit holders as being less destructive than trying to convert the frozen euros into a local currency had the old Cypriot pound printing presses been fired up. But there was another 'solution' that had not been tried at all -- dollarization or ruble-ization. Had the yuan been a free floating currency, the Cypriot authorities might've tried that gambit like the Argentines did in desperation in 2001. Now we may never know, unless the 'deal' allegedly reached today gets torn up before dawn tomorrow or the Cypriot rascals who reached it flee the country.

    Sorry got off on a tangent about Cyprus. Here’s my link to debunking the ‘Al-KGB-aeda’ theory, including asking how ‘the KGB’ would maintain control over their ‘asset’ Ayman Al-Zawahiri:

    http://reginaldquillbigsis.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/reginaldquill-and-the-al-kgb-aeda-conspiracy-theory/

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear John,

    Just to make clear, what I said was that for ME to say anything more about Berezovsky would be superfluous. I am not qualified to be his biographer. I am not saying his biography should not be written. On the contrary, I agree with you that it would be an extraordinary and fascinating topic.

    I basically agree with you on the subject of the Moscow apartment bombings. I got into an argument about them many years ago with a friend of mine in Cambridge and I therefore looked into them closely. Contrary to what TRex says, there is absolutely no doubt that Putin and the FSB were not involved in the bombings in any way and that the bombings were the work of jihadi groups based in the northern Caucasus. As you absolutely rightly say several of the people involved were caught and tried and are now in prison. None of the verdicts of the trials were overturned by the European Court of Human Rights as they certainly would have been if they were unfair and there is no doubt that the verdicts are correct. In fact there is very little mystery about the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. We know who did them and why. We even know the names of those involved.

    It was through researching the Moscow apartment bombings that I first realised how important Berezovsky has been in shapinng western perceptions of Russia and of Putin. I don't personally believe he had any involvement in the bombings himself but I remember being struck how repeatedly and without exception all the supposed "sources" that claimed FSB involvement in the bombings could be traced back to him. After a while it became pretty obvious to me that he was orchestrating the story. Perhaps he wasn't the first person to allege that the FSB carried out the bombings but I have absolutely no doubt that he was far and away the story's main propagator and that it would never have gained the attention and the traction that it did had he not deployed his very considerable resources and imagination to giving it the greatest degree of publicity imaginable.

    That by the way touches on what I suspect was Berezovsky's main achievement (if that is the right word). He was never much of a politician or power broker and he was absolutely not a businessman. What he was first and foremost was a supreme propagator of myths. Many of the fantasies that circulate about Russia and about Putin have their origins with him.

    That is not to say of course that he was not also a dangerous man. As I have said, Litvinenko in his last interview openly claimed to have carried out or organised murders on what can only have been his behalf. However Berezovsky was hardly the only Russian oligarch in the 1990s to behave in this way. No other oligarch could however hope to match his gift for telling a story or his ability to get other people to believe in it or to shape their views around it. As a supreme narcissist most of his stories narually revolved around himself. His problems came when he came up against people like Putin or Mrs. Justice Gloster who do not see (and are trained not to see) what isn't there. At that moment his fantasies quickly fell apart and were exposed for the fictions they are.

    “It was through researching the Moscow apartment bombings that I first realised how important Berezovsky has been in shapinng western perceptions of Russia and of Putin. I don’t personally believe he had any involvement in the bombings himself but I remember being struck how repeatedly and without exception all the supposed “sources” that claimed FSB involvement in the bombings could be traced back to him.” Berezovsky’s entire clique were critical to the ‘Al-KGB-aeda’ theory that ‘linked’

    The You Know Whos seeking to rationalize the looting of Cypriots savings by the EUrocrats using British dupes/or willful puppets like Weiss or Warner don’t like sites like EuroTrib pointing out how desperate the Brussels brigands are to keep the Russians hands off Cyprus and the gas.

    Personally, I’m disappointed that the Cypriots bent over for the troika this weekend. But the whole island was increasingly under blockade. I just wish the Cypriots had put Merkel and the Germans in the role of Stalin in 1948 West Berlin, and invited Putin to send a few Antonovs loaded with rubles. Trouble is that may’ve spared Cypriots from starvation or gasoline shortages by giving them a currency to receive salaries and transact in, but wouldn’t help the pensioners or cash poor-savers on the island.

    I suppose they Vichy Cypriots consider the ‘haircut’ for the large deposit holders as being less destructive than trying to convert the frozen euros into a local currency had the old Cypriot pound printing presses been fired up. But there was another ‘solution’ that had not been tried at all — dollarization or ruble-ization. Had the yuan been a free floating currency, the Cypriot authorities might’ve tried that gambit like the Argentines did in desperation in 2001. Now we may never know, unless the ‘deal’ allegedly reached today gets torn up before dawn tomorrow or the Cypriot rascals who reached it flee the country.

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    • Replies: @Mr. X
    Sorry got off on a tangent about Cyprus. Here's my link to debunking the 'Al-KGB-aeda' theory, including asking how 'the KGB' would maintain control over their 'asset' Ayman Al-Zawahiri:

    http://reginaldquillbigsis.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/reginaldquill-and-the-al-kgb-aeda-conspiracy-theory/

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  • @johnUK
    Thanks!

    I will look at it all properly later but my assumption at the time was that he was contracted by Israeli intelligence or working on behalf of MI6 to procure Russia radioactive material to contaminate parts used in Iran's nuclear program to falsely implicate they are cheating and secretly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability and accidentally contaminating himself that would explain traces of Polonium 210 discovered before meeting Lugavoi but that was before knowing that he himself alleged that Scaramello poisoned him and given his shady connections in relation to Italy that brings up a whole new can of worms.

    I knew European Tribune was starting to get some traction when I saw it denounced as ‘another KGB backed media operation’ somewhere a few months ago.

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  • @TRex
    Your first link;
    WARNING; (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE. Hence, I didn't read it.
    Your second link;
    Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn't read that.

    I don't defend Berezovsky. He was a thief and worse but trying to deflect attention from events which have very real links to the FSB and by definition to Putin by using this deluded fool is misdirection at its worst.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/03/11/1-6-billion-rounds-of-ammo-for-homeland-security-its-time-for-a-national-conversation/

    A lot of ‘tin foil hat, black helicopter’ stuff punching its way into the mainstream nowadays, as you no doubt may’ve heard if you were a regular reader of Forbes magazine which has called for a ‘national conversation’, for example, on the number of bullets the Department of Homeland Security has ordered. Although they claim only tens of millions, not billions of the 1.7 billion tallied up by the Associated Press in February have actually been delivered to all DHS agencies, even the ‘option’ to purchase enough ammo to fight a 20 year long Iraq War (if hollow points were not banned by the Geneva Conventions) or 80 years of training at the current pace suspiciously looks like back door gun control via ammo control at best. And a preparation for domestic hostilities/martial law at the worst.

    Even DHS claiming the bullet purchases are merely an ‘option’ and are not already on their way seems part and parcel of a deceptive strategy, whereby taking delivery of 3,000 MRAP vehicles once destined for Iraq or Afghanistan battlefields can instead be chalked up as an ‘insane conspiracy theory’ since the vehicles are said to be purchased by the Marines. The best way of course to hide something is often in plain site and it could be two concurrent orders or DHS could take custody of the military ‘surplus’ hardware at any time without necessarily painting them DHS black like the 16 MRAPs already documented.

    There is some historical precedent for this, (if you say to hell with Godwin’s law, or even pre-Godwin Germany) when looking at how the Weimar Republic evaded the Versailles Treaty by holding training exercises in the USSR during the 1920s. The Nazis of course did their aircraft training in the early 1930s as ‘civilian’ exercises, even though the gliders were practicing how to deliver materiel onto a battlefield.

    http://reginaldquillbigsis.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/national-review-calm-down-about-dhsbullets/

    A quote from an old timer:

    “The armored personnel carriers were the last straw for me and put me on the side of this is not reasonable. I guess you could spend the day explaining away all the ammo, but it still doesn’t add up to me. Throw in the recent urban warfare games in Texas and Florida and put a tin foil hat on me. In better times, I would believe that what the government is doing is harmless, and there is no plot. But when you throw in all the issues of the times including the stonewalling on Fast and Furious and the missing witnesses of Benghazi [which Media Matters says is 'standard' when intelligence agencies are involved, nothing to see here folks move on from the silenced survivors - Equis], a president who said in 2008 that he wanted a civilian army as big and well funded as the US Army which would advance his agenda, then you can add, subtract, and divide the number of bullets per person all you want, but I don’t believe a word that comes out of the administration any longer.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fO-usAlqak

    Here’s the video of Obama’s otherwise ‘odd’ pronouncement at a campaign stop in 2008 that we needed a ‘civilian security force…just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well funded as our military’. No Obama supporter or anyone remotely connected with the Administration has ever sought to explain what the future President was alluding to here.

    However the sources of ‘The Ulsterman Report’ website came closest to explaining it when ‘White House Insider’ said Obama and Michelle needed to signal to ‘the investors’ — offshore globalists and their transnational union bagmen like Leo Gerard — that they were ‘serious’ about delivering what ‘they’ wanted.

    http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/06/04/white-house-insider-barack-obamas-high-tech-snuff-films/

    So you can either find a way to laugh all this off, or keep that ‘tin foil hat’ for yourself.

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  • @Scowspi
    Well, I guess my little joke fell flat...

    Gosh, Sorry Scowpsi. It’s just that I happen to be quite a fan of Berezovsky the pianist.

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    • Replies: @KenM
    Read an interview with the pianist 'Boris Berezovsky' printed in a London newspaper years ago in which he brought up the subject the trouble he occaissionally had by having the same name as some 'big mafia type'.
    This was about 2000 or so(?).
    I'll see if I can find it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @johnUK
    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous."

    I totally disagree we have not even scratched the surface in regards to Berezovsky as well as the other Oligarchs in there connections to British elite and there connections to the intelligence services, oil deals with western control of the Caspian oil basin and the financing of Chechen terrorism to deprive Russian access to Caspian oil, the billions of dollars he stole and looted in foreign bank accounts and tax havens, the Litvinenko affair, etc.

    It is no coincidence that most of the Oligarchs and most of prominent Islamic terrorists mostly connected to training and transiting Muslims to fight in the Balkans and the Caucasus have found a safe haven in England.

    When I heard last year he had financial difficulties and losing his court case against Abramovich I actually said that me might try a Robert Maxwell and threaten his MI6 backers for financial compensation otherwise he will tell his dark secrets and end up dead.

    Given Berezovskys character and the dire situation he found himself in and think he would be seen as too much of a dangerous liability for him to play his hand and spill some of the beans.

    With the “whole Putin did it” Litveninko affair which Berezovsky claimed he was part of an assassination attempt afterwards you would think he would be monitored round the clock by MI5.

    Dear John,

    Just to make clear, what I said was that for ME to say anything more about Berezovsky would be superfluous. I am not qualified to be his biographer. I am not saying his biography should not be written. On the contrary, I agree with you that it would be an extraordinary and fascinating topic.

    I basically agree with you on the subject of the Moscow apartment bombings. I got into an argument about them many years ago with a friend of mine in Cambridge and I therefore looked into them closely. Contrary to what TRex says, there is absolutely no doubt that Putin and the FSB were not involved in the bombings in any way and that the bombings were the work of jihadi groups based in the northern Caucasus. As you absolutely rightly say several of the people involved were caught and tried and are now in prison. None of the verdicts of the trials were overturned by the European Court of Human Rights as they certainly would have been if they were unfair and there is no doubt that the verdicts are correct. In fact there is very little mystery about the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. We know who did them and why. We even know the names of those involved.

    It was through researching the Moscow apartment bombings that I first realised how important Berezovsky has been in shapinng western perceptions of Russia and of Putin. I don’t personally believe he had any involvement in the bombings himself but I remember being struck how repeatedly and without exception all the supposed “sources” that claimed FSB involvement in the bombings could be traced back to him. After a while it became pretty obvious to me that he was orchestrating the story. Perhaps he wasn’t the first person to allege that the FSB carried out the bombings but I have absolutely no doubt that he was far and away the story’s main propagator and that it would never have gained the attention and the traction that it did had he not deployed his very considerable resources and imagination to giving it the greatest degree of publicity imaginable.

    That by the way touches on what I suspect was Berezovsky’s main achievement (if that is the right word). He was never much of a politician or power broker and he was absolutely not a businessman. What he was first and foremost was a supreme propagator of myths. Many of the fantasies that circulate about Russia and about Putin have their origins with him.

    That is not to say of course that he was not also a dangerous man. As I have said, Litvinenko in his last interview openly claimed to have carried out or organised murders on what can only have been his behalf. However Berezovsky was hardly the only Russian oligarch in the 1990s to behave in this way. No other oligarch could however hope to match his gift for telling a story or his ability to get other people to believe in it or to shape their views around it. As a supreme narcissist most of his stories narually revolved around himself. His problems came when he came up against people like Putin or Mrs. Justice Gloster who do not see (and are trained not to see) what isn’t there. At that moment his fantasies quickly fell apart and were exposed for the fictions they are.

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    • Replies: @Mr. X
    "It was through researching the Moscow apartment bombings that I first realised how important Berezovsky has been in shapinng western perceptions of Russia and of Putin. I don’t personally believe he had any involvement in the bombings himself but I remember being struck how repeatedly and without exception all the supposed “sources” that claimed FSB involvement in the bombings could be traced back to him." Berezovsky's entire clique were critical to the 'Al-KGB-aeda' theory that 'linked'

    The You Know Whos seeking to rationalize the looting of Cypriots savings by the EUrocrats using British dupes/or willful puppets like Weiss or Warner don't like sites like EuroTrib pointing out how desperate the Brussels brigands are to keep the Russians hands off Cyprus and the gas.

    Personally, I'm disappointed that the Cypriots bent over for the troika this weekend. But the whole island was increasingly under blockade. I just wish the Cypriots had put Merkel and the Germans in the role of Stalin in 1948 West Berlin, and invited Putin to send a few Antonovs loaded with rubles. Trouble is that may've spared Cypriots from starvation or gasoline shortages by giving them a currency to receive salaries and transact in, but wouldn't help the pensioners or cash poor-savers on the island.

    I suppose they Vichy Cypriots consider the 'haircut' for the large deposit holders as being less destructive than trying to convert the frozen euros into a local currency had the old Cypriot pound printing presses been fired up. But there was another 'solution' that had not been tried at all -- dollarization or ruble-ization. Had the yuan been a free floating currency, the Cypriot authorities might've tried that gambit like the Argentines did in desperation in 2001. Now we may never know, unless the 'deal' allegedly reached today gets torn up before dawn tomorrow or the Cypriot rascals who reached it flee the country.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • TRex says: • Website
    @johnUK
    Khattab in July was threatening to launch attacks in Russian cities when he started assaults against Dagestan.

    US own 1998 declassified DIR report on Bin Ladin and his connection to the Caucasus highlights jihadists with training camps they established there intention was to launch terrorist attacks and cause general chaos to inspire an uprising against Russia on the back of an economic depression with one of the objects was to spread false rumours.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/cases/102/dia.pdf

    Although never citied there have been trails and terrorists captured involved in the apartment bombings in 2002 and 2003 entering Georgia and Dagetsan with one defendant claiming the CIA was involved that might correlate with the 99 meeting the US held in Azerbaijan.

    http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2323

    Berezovsky we don't think started the rumours (that's the thing about rumours you don't know how they start) but he is the one to actively promote and finance the Putin/KGB did it theory because you know it is not like they didn't have any excuse to go in prior to the apartment bombings.

    Seeing how he is the biggest financier and inside man in Russia of financing Chechen terrorism he would likely be the one to know the most that unfortunately now with other info will go to the grave with him.

    "By 1999, the US had given up on reconciling Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to construct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Washington started focusing on building pipelines via Georgia.

    For such a project to be economically viable, the Russian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in early October 1999, senior officials of US oil companies and US officials offered representatives of Russian “oligarchs” in Europe huge dividends from the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline if the “oligarchs” convinced Moscow to withdraw from the Caucasus, permit the establishment of an Islamic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Consequently, there would be no competition to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The “oligarchs” were convinced that the highest levels of the Clinton White House endorsed this initiative. The meeting failed because the Russians would hear nothing of the US proposal."

    Your first link;
    WARNING; (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE. Hence, I didn’t read it.
    Your second link;
    Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn’t read that.

    I don’t defend Berezovsky. He was a thief and worse but trying to deflect attention from events which have very real links to the FSB and by definition to Putin by using this deluded fool is misdirection at its worst.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. X
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ralphbenko/2013/03/11/1-6-billion-rounds-of-ammo-for-homeland-security-its-time-for-a-national-conversation/

    A lot of 'tin foil hat, black helicopter' stuff punching its way into the mainstream nowadays, as you no doubt may've heard if you were a regular reader of Forbes magazine which has called for a 'national conversation', for example, on the number of bullets the Department of Homeland Security has ordered. Although they claim only tens of millions, not billions of the 1.7 billion tallied up by the Associated Press in February have actually been delivered to all DHS agencies, even the 'option' to purchase enough ammo to fight a 20 year long Iraq War (if hollow points were not banned by the Geneva Conventions) or 80 years of training at the current pace suspiciously looks like back door gun control via ammo control at best. And a preparation for domestic hostilities/martial law at the worst.

    Even DHS claiming the bullet purchases are merely an 'option' and are not already on their way seems part and parcel of a deceptive strategy, whereby taking delivery of 3,000 MRAP vehicles once destined for Iraq or Afghanistan battlefields can instead be chalked up as an 'insane conspiracy theory' since the vehicles are said to be purchased by the Marines. The best way of course to hide something is often in plain site and it could be two concurrent orders or DHS could take custody of the military 'surplus' hardware at any time without necessarily painting them DHS black like the 16 MRAPs already documented.

    There is some historical precedent for this, (if you say to hell with Godwin's law, or even pre-Godwin Germany) when looking at how the Weimar Republic evaded the Versailles Treaty by holding training exercises in the USSR during the 1920s. The Nazis of course did their aircraft training in the early 1930s as 'civilian' exercises, even though the gliders were practicing how to deliver materiel onto a battlefield.

    http://reginaldquillbigsis.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/national-review-calm-down-about-dhsbullets/

    A quote from an old timer:

    “The armored personnel carriers were the last straw for me and put me on the side of this is not reasonable. I guess you could spend the day explaining away all the ammo, but it still doesn’t add up to me. Throw in the recent urban warfare games in Texas and Florida and put a tin foil hat on me. In better times, I would believe that what the government is doing is harmless, and there is no plot. But when you throw in all the issues of the times including the stonewalling on Fast and Furious and the missing witnesses of Benghazi [which Media Matters says is 'standard' when intelligence agencies are involved, nothing to see here folks move on from the silenced survivors - Equis], a president who said in 2008 that he wanted a civilian army as big and well funded as the US Army which would advance his agenda, then you can add, subtract, and divide the number of bullets per person all you want, but I don’t believe a word that comes out of the administration any longer.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fO-usAlqak

    Here’s the video of Obama’s otherwise ‘odd’ pronouncement at a campaign stop in 2008 that we needed a ‘civilian security force…just as powerful, just as strong, and just as well funded as our military’. No Obama supporter or anyone remotely connected with the Administration has ever sought to explain what the future President was alluding to here.

    However the sources of ‘The Ulsterman Report’ website came closest to explaining it when ‘White House Insider’ said Obama and Michelle needed to signal to ‘the investors’ — offshore globalists and their transnational union bagmen like Leo Gerard — that they were ‘serious’ about delivering what ‘they’ wanted.

    http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/06/04/white-house-insider-barack-obamas-high-tech-snuff-films/

    So you can either find a way to laugh all this off, or keep that ‘tin foil hat’ for yourself.

    , @David Habakkuk
    That something is not 'finally evaluated intelligence' does not provide grounds for failing to read it. Someone interested in the truth reads it in precisely the way that a competent intelligence analyst would. He or she attempts to assess the credibility of the claims, by asking what other evidence might refute or confirm them, and then looking to see whether it can be found.

    In fact, this is also the way that someone interested in getting at the truth evaluates claims from intelligence agencies that are represented as 'finally evaluated intelligence'.

    , @johnUK
    @TRex

    The intelligence review the one that we know of that has been declassified was info not verified because they didn’t/don’t want investigation into terrorist connections to Chechen terrorist groups you are actively supporting but we know there existed a terrorist when referenced in terrorism court cases in the US and other things like commanders and soldiers captured and killed in Chechnya and the neighbouring republics and 9/11 and other terrorist attacks that there existed an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Turkey-Azerbaijan training and trafficking route that was part of 9/11 trafficking network.

    But the main source of information and reference is Litvinenko's book Blowing up Russia who was working for and being paid by Berezovsky since he left the FSB in 98 and was not even affiliated with branches involving anti-terrorism and state security.

    I will quote from the excellent article Alexander Mercouris posted on his blog on him losing his court case to Abramovich.

    I had occasion to research the Moscow apartment bombings seven years ago. I quickly concluded that neither Putin nor the FSB nor any other branch of the Russian government were involved and that the bombings were the work of jihadi terrorists just as the Russian authorities say they were.

    “More to the point it became obvious to me that even if Berezovsky was not the actual originator of the myth that the Russian authorities were behind the apartment bombings he was the person who was largely responsible for keeping the myth alive. Witness after witness of the supposed involvement of the Russian authorities in the bombings turned out either to have connections to Berezovsky or to people connected to Berezovsky who could be plausibly described as members of his network or organisation. Always and invariably the trail led back to Berezovsky. Even witnesses who initially seemed to be genuinely independent proved to have had been in contact with Berezovsky or his agents.

    I remember being impressed at the time by the amount of energy and resources Berezovsky had invested in the affair. The most detailed account of the Russian authorities’ supposed involvement in the bombings was a book co authored by Litvinenko who was at the time Berezovsky’s employee. The book was worthless as evidence as shown by the fact that around half the interviews in it were anonymous. It remains however the often unacknowledged source for many of the details that regularly appear in the western press about the affair.”

    The fact that corrupt assets where used within the Russian security to help acquire false documents, uniforms, etc. is no secret and was covered in the trials. The security and anti-terrorist forces of Belarus have been acting as mercenaries and couriers to traffic stockpiles of Soviet weaponry to militants in Chechnya fighting Russian forces.

    “Belarus, a former Soviet republic that ended up with a large stockpile of conventional Soviet weapons and is today one of the worlds top arms exporters, Moldovia, and the Ukraine have all shipped arms to Chechnya.

    On 11 January 2002, Janes Intelligence Digest reported that Victor Sheyman, the former head of the Belarusian Security Council, coordinated the arms shipments through former members of the Belarussian Almaz antiterrorist squad who had become merceneries in Chechnya. They served as intermediaries for the delivery of these weapons.”

    “Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn’t read that.”

    How exactly is it a tin foil hat conspiracy theory website?

    She does not talk about the illuminati, global conspiracies, alien abduction, black helicopters, HAARP, etc or any of the other things you associate with conspiracy theory websites all she writes about is US/western support for jihadists in the Balkans that still continues and the largely now debunked propaganda campaign against the Serbs who were the exact same people that attacked the US on 9/11.

    Izebegovich’s right hand man Hasan Cengic who was operating out of Bin Ladin’s Sudan linked Third World Relief Agency front NGO out of Austria since the early 90’s and the outbreak of the Bosnian war coordinating weapons and fighters into Bosnia actually transferred money to Atta while he was in New York preparing the 9/11 attacks.

    Not that it matters anyway as she was quoting from a subscription based private intelligence publication Defense & Foreign Affairs of former anti-terrorism officers in the Mossad , CIA, etc. that have been studying terrorism in the Balkans at least since the 90’s.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @David Habakkuk
    johnuk,

    On Litvinenko, you might be interested in some pieces which Mr David Loepp and I have posted on the European Tribune website. The three most recent, posted last December, are at

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/4/191342/931
    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/11/11445/887
    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/18/171030/73

    These pick up on a series of pieces which I produced on the same site in 2008-9, and also a series which Mr Loepp produced – under his blogging name name ‘de Gondi’ – in the weeks following the breaking of the story of Litvinenko’s poisoning. The links to these are provided in the recent pieces.

    Thanks!

    I will look at it all properly later but my assumption at the time was that he was contracted by Israeli intelligence or working on behalf of MI6 to procure Russia radioactive material to contaminate parts used in Iran’s nuclear program to falsely implicate they are cheating and secretly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability and accidentally contaminating himself that would explain traces of Polonium 210 discovered before meeting Lugavoi but that was before knowing that he himself alleged that Scaramello poisoned him and given his shady connections in relation to Italy that brings up a whole new can of worms.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. X
    I knew European Tribune was starting to get some traction when I saw it denounced as 'another KGB backed media operation' somewhere a few months ago.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @johnUK
    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous."

    I totally disagree we have not even scratched the surface in regards to Berezovsky as well as the other Oligarchs in there connections to British elite and there connections to the intelligence services, oil deals with western control of the Caspian oil basin and the financing of Chechen terrorism to deprive Russian access to Caspian oil, the billions of dollars he stole and looted in foreign bank accounts and tax havens, the Litvinenko affair, etc.

    It is no coincidence that most of the Oligarchs and most of prominent Islamic terrorists mostly connected to training and transiting Muslims to fight in the Balkans and the Caucasus have found a safe haven in England.

    When I heard last year he had financial difficulties and losing his court case against Abramovich I actually said that me might try a Robert Maxwell and threaten his MI6 backers for financial compensation otherwise he will tell his dark secrets and end up dead.

    Given Berezovskys character and the dire situation he found himself in and think he would be seen as too much of a dangerous liability for him to play his hand and spill some of the beans.

    With the “whole Putin did it” Litveninko affair which Berezovsky claimed he was part of an assassination attempt afterwards you would think he would be monitored round the clock by MI5.

    johnuk,

    On Litvinenko, you might be interested in some pieces which Mr David Loepp and I have posted on the European Tribune website. The three most recent, posted last December, are at

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/4/191342/931

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/11/11445/887

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/18/171030/73

    These pick up on a series of pieces which I produced on the same site in 2008-9, and also a series which Mr Loepp produced – under his blogging name name ‘de Gondi’ – in the weeks following the breaking of the story of Litvinenko’s poisoning. The links to these are provided in the recent pieces.

    Read More
    • Replies: @johnUK
    Thanks!

    I will look at it all properly later but my assumption at the time was that he was contracted by Israeli intelligence or working on behalf of MI6 to procure Russia radioactive material to contaminate parts used in Iran's nuclear program to falsely implicate they are cheating and secretly trying to develop a nuclear weapons capability and accidentally contaminating himself that would explain traces of Polonium 210 discovered before meeting Lugavoi but that was before knowing that he himself alleged that Scaramello poisoned him and given his shady connections in relation to Italy that brings up a whole new can of worms.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous. The one thing however I am going to say is that he was a most peculiar man. I don't think there has been in recent history someone quite so adept at spinning fantasies and successfully passing them off as facts. He could only have done it to the extent that he did by (if only to some extent) living inside them. Of course he was only able to pass off his fantasies so successfully because so many were receptive to them. Having said that, though there was clearly something of the genius about him I think at the end of the day he was more than a little mad. A minor and altogether less sinister Russian oligarch who knew Berezovsky and who got close to an English friend of mine told her the same thing.

    The question now is does his death change anything? I think for all practical purposes the answer is no. He had become an exhausted figure some time ago and his losing the case against Abramovitch was the coup de grace. I don't think he has had any effective influence or power for some time. It seems to me that the effect of his death is limited to the following

    1. Here in England we can now speak about him freely and discuss the fantasies he invented and go over them properly without the constant threat of a libel action. For example it is now finally possible to say openly that the allegation that the FSB planned to kill Berezovsky in 1998 was a straightforward lie and that he also fabricated the story that Putin and the FSB were behind the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. It is also possible to say that in his last interview Litvinenko not only claimed to having worked as a hitman and as a recruiter and organiser of hitmen but that given his connections to Berezovsky in the 1990s this work (if it happened) must have been done on Berezovsky's behalf. Lastly it might finally become possible to discuss openly Berezovsky's relationship with the British and Israeli authorities and their respective intelligence agencies;

    2. From the opposite angle, Putin and the Russian government no longer have Berezovsky to blame when things go wrong. I am not saying they ever did to any insincere degree, but if someone like Politkovskaya is killed in future it can no longer be blamed on him.

    The one other respect in which Berezovsky's death may change things is in the future conduct of the Litvinenko inquest. For some entirely unexplained reason he was involved in the inquest as an interested party even though the British authorities insisted that he was not a suspect. William Dunkerley has argued that Berezovsky was the prime mover behind most of the allegations against Russia made over the course of the Litvinenko affair. If that is true then with him gone one wonders what life remains in this story.

    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous.”

    I totally disagree we have not even scratched the surface in regards to Berezovsky as well as the other Oligarchs in there connections to British elite and there connections to the intelligence services, oil deals with western control of the Caspian oil basin and the financing of Chechen terrorism to deprive Russian access to Caspian oil, the billions of dollars he stole and looted in foreign bank accounts and tax havens, the Litvinenko affair, etc.

    It is no coincidence that most of the Oligarchs and most of prominent Islamic terrorists mostly connected to training and transiting Muslims to fight in the Balkans and the Caucasus have found a safe haven in England.

    When I heard last year he had financial difficulties and losing his court case against Abramovich I actually said that me might try a Robert Maxwell and threaten his MI6 backers for financial compensation otherwise he will tell his dark secrets and end up dead.

    Given Berezovskys character and the dire situation he found himself in and think he would be seen as too much of a dangerous liability for him to play his hand and spill some of the beans.

    With the “whole Putin did it” Litveninko affair which Berezovsky claimed he was part of an assassination attempt afterwards you would think he would be monitored round the clock by MI5.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David Habakkuk
    johnuk,

    On Litvinenko, you might be interested in some pieces which Mr David Loepp and I have posted on the European Tribune website. The three most recent, posted last December, are at

    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/4/191342/931
    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/11/11445/887
    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2012/12/18/171030/73

    These pick up on a series of pieces which I produced on the same site in 2008-9, and also a series which Mr Loepp produced – under his blogging name name ‘de Gondi’ – in the weeks following the breaking of the story of Litvinenko’s poisoning. The links to these are provided in the recent pieces.

    , @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear John,

    Just to make clear, what I said was that for ME to say anything more about Berezovsky would be superfluous. I am not qualified to be his biographer. I am not saying his biography should not be written. On the contrary, I agree with you that it would be an extraordinary and fascinating topic.

    I basically agree with you on the subject of the Moscow apartment bombings. I got into an argument about them many years ago with a friend of mine in Cambridge and I therefore looked into them closely. Contrary to what TRex says, there is absolutely no doubt that Putin and the FSB were not involved in the bombings in any way and that the bombings were the work of jihadi groups based in the northern Caucasus. As you absolutely rightly say several of the people involved were caught and tried and are now in prison. None of the verdicts of the trials were overturned by the European Court of Human Rights as they certainly would have been if they were unfair and there is no doubt that the verdicts are correct. In fact there is very little mystery about the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. We know who did them and why. We even know the names of those involved.

    It was through researching the Moscow apartment bombings that I first realised how important Berezovsky has been in shapinng western perceptions of Russia and of Putin. I don't personally believe he had any involvement in the bombings himself but I remember being struck how repeatedly and without exception all the supposed "sources" that claimed FSB involvement in the bombings could be traced back to him. After a while it became pretty obvious to me that he was orchestrating the story. Perhaps he wasn't the first person to allege that the FSB carried out the bombings but I have absolutely no doubt that he was far and away the story's main propagator and that it would never have gained the attention and the traction that it did had he not deployed his very considerable resources and imagination to giving it the greatest degree of publicity imaginable.

    That by the way touches on what I suspect was Berezovsky's main achievement (if that is the right word). He was never much of a politician or power broker and he was absolutely not a businessman. What he was first and foremost was a supreme propagator of myths. Many of the fantasies that circulate about Russia and about Putin have their origins with him.

    That is not to say of course that he was not also a dangerous man. As I have said, Litvinenko in his last interview openly claimed to have carried out or organised murders on what can only have been his behalf. However Berezovsky was hardly the only Russian oligarch in the 1990s to behave in this way. No other oligarch could however hope to match his gift for telling a story or his ability to get other people to believe in it or to shape their views around it. As a supreme narcissist most of his stories narually revolved around himself. His problems came when he came up against people like Putin or Mrs. Justice Gloster who do not see (and are trained not to see) what isn't there. At that moment his fantasies quickly fell apart and were exposed for the fictions they are.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @TRex
    Berezovsky wasn't the source of the '99 apartment bombings story and the evidence to support FSB and Putins involvement far outstrips anything one individual could be held responsible for.

    Khattab in July was threatening to launch attacks in Russian cities when he started assaults against Dagestan.

    US own 1998 declassified DIR report on Bin Ladin and his connection to the Caucasus highlights jihadists with training camps they established there intention was to launch terrorist attacks and cause general chaos to inspire an uprising against Russia on the back of an economic depression with one of the objects was to spread false rumours.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/cases/102/dia.pdf

    Although never citied there have been trails and terrorists captured involved in the apartment bombings in 2002 and 2003 entering Georgia and Dagetsan with one defendant claiming the CIA was involved that might correlate with the 99 meeting the US held in Azerbaijan.

    http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2323

    Berezovsky we don’t think started the rumours (that’s the thing about rumours you don’t know how they start) but he is the one to actively promote and finance the Putin/KGB did it theory because you know it is not like they didn’t have any excuse to go in prior to the apartment bombings.

    Seeing how he is the biggest financier and inside man in Russia of financing Chechen terrorism he would likely be the one to know the most that unfortunately now with other info will go to the grave with him.

    “By 1999, the US had given up on reconciling Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to construct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Washington started focusing on building pipelines via Georgia.

    For such a project to be economically viable, the Russian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in early October 1999, senior officials of US oil companies and US officials offered representatives of Russian “oligarchs” in Europe huge dividends from the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline if the “oligarchs” convinced Moscow to withdraw from the Caucasus, permit the establishment of an Islamic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Consequently, there would be no competition to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The “oligarchs” were convinced that the highest levels of the Clinton White House endorsed this initiative. The meeting failed because the Russians would hear nothing of the US proposal.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @TRex
    Your first link;
    WARNING; (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED INTELLIGENCE. Hence, I didn't read it.
    Your second link;
    Republican Riot. A tin foil hat black helicopter site. Didn't read that.

    I don't defend Berezovsky. He was a thief and worse but trying to deflect attention from events which have very real links to the FSB and by definition to Putin by using this deluded fool is misdirection at its worst.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous. The one thing however I am going to say is that he was a most peculiar man. I don't think there has been in recent history someone quite so adept at spinning fantasies and successfully passing them off as facts. He could only have done it to the extent that he did by (if only to some extent) living inside them. Of course he was only able to pass off his fantasies so successfully because so many were receptive to them. Having said that, though there was clearly something of the genius about him I think at the end of the day he was more than a little mad. A minor and altogether less sinister Russian oligarch who knew Berezovsky and who got close to an English friend of mine told her the same thing.

    The question now is does his death change anything? I think for all practical purposes the answer is no. He had become an exhausted figure some time ago and his losing the case against Abramovitch was the coup de grace. I don't think he has had any effective influence or power for some time. It seems to me that the effect of his death is limited to the following

    1. Here in England we can now speak about him freely and discuss the fantasies he invented and go over them properly without the constant threat of a libel action. For example it is now finally possible to say openly that the allegation that the FSB planned to kill Berezovsky in 1998 was a straightforward lie and that he also fabricated the story that Putin and the FSB were behind the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. It is also possible to say that in his last interview Litvinenko not only claimed to having worked as a hitman and as a recruiter and organiser of hitmen but that given his connections to Berezovsky in the 1990s this work (if it happened) must have been done on Berezovsky's behalf. Lastly it might finally become possible to discuss openly Berezovsky's relationship with the British and Israeli authorities and their respective intelligence agencies;

    2. From the opposite angle, Putin and the Russian government no longer have Berezovsky to blame when things go wrong. I am not saying they ever did to any insincere degree, but if someone like Politkovskaya is killed in future it can no longer be blamed on him.

    The one other respect in which Berezovsky's death may change things is in the future conduct of the Litvinenko inquest. For some entirely unexplained reason he was involved in the inquest as an interested party even though the British authorities insisted that he was not a suspect. William Dunkerley has argued that Berezovsky was the prime mover behind most of the allegations against Russia made over the course of the Litvinenko affair. If that is true then with him gone one wonders what life remains in this story.

    Berezovsky wasn’t the source of the ’99 apartment bombings story and the evidence to support FSB and Putins involvement far outstrips anything one individual could be held responsible for.

    Read More
    • Replies: @johnUK
    Khattab in July was threatening to launch attacks in Russian cities when he started assaults against Dagestan.

    US own 1998 declassified DIR report on Bin Ladin and his connection to the Caucasus highlights jihadists with training camps they established there intention was to launch terrorist attacks and cause general chaos to inspire an uprising against Russia on the back of an economic depression with one of the objects was to spread false rumours.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/cases/102/dia.pdf

    Although never citied there have been trails and terrorists captured involved in the apartment bombings in 2002 and 2003 entering Georgia and Dagetsan with one defendant claiming the CIA was involved that might correlate with the 99 meeting the US held in Azerbaijan.

    http://www.juliagorin.com/wordpress/?p=2323

    Berezovsky we don't think started the rumours (that's the thing about rumours you don't know how they start) but he is the one to actively promote and finance the Putin/KGB did it theory because you know it is not like they didn't have any excuse to go in prior to the apartment bombings.

    Seeing how he is the biggest financier and inside man in Russia of financing Chechen terrorism he would likely be the one to know the most that unfortunately now with other info will go to the grave with him.

    "By 1999, the US had given up on reconciling Azerbaijan and Armenia in order to construct pipelines to Turkey, and instead Washington started focusing on building pipelines via Georgia.

    For such a project to be economically viable, the Russian pipelines would have to be shut down. Hence, in early October 1999, senior officials of US oil companies and US officials offered representatives of Russian “oligarchs” in Europe huge dividends from the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline if the “oligarchs” convinced Moscow to withdraw from the Caucasus, permit the establishment of an Islamic state, and close down the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline. Consequently, there would be no competition to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. The “oligarchs” were convinced that the highest levels of the Clinton White House endorsed this initiative. The meeting failed because the Russians would hear nothing of the US proposal."

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    Interestingly, having taken a quick glance at the comments to the Forbes article, a large number of people have stated their opinion that the journalist is a "liar", that the whole piece is a tissue of lies, that the article smacks of the FSB, that it stinks of the Lubyanka etc., etc.

    As regards Berezovsky's character, I've mentioned on other threads that I am acquainted with someone who knew him well in academia and who disliked him intensely. That acquaintance of mine is no intellectual slouch either: he arrived in Moscow as a 14-year-old Wunderkind in order to study mathematics at MGU. At first I thought his dislike of the man was because of his political intrigues and alleged criminality. Not so: he disliked him, he said, because of his immorality.

    At first I thought my acquaintance was referring to some sexual peccadilloes that Berezovsky may have had, but that was not the case. I then asked if he was really referring to Berezovsky's possible amorality, to which suggestion my acquaintance again replied in the negative, saying that Berezovsky certainly knew the difference between "right" and "wrong" but didn't give a damn about such trivialities and that the only criterion in his decision making processes was to how great an extent any action he took would be of benefit to him.

    That would be psychopathy, I believe. A most useful quality in politics and business, but it pays to hide it. (Something that BAB doesn’t excel at – as he himself admits, he’s not “very good” with people).

    I too have read the comments at Russian Forbes with amusement. What can one say? Typical Londongrad.

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  • Interestingly, having taken a quick glance at the comments to the Forbes article, a large number of people have stated their opinion that the journalist is a “liar”, that the whole piece is a tissue of lies, that the article smacks of the FSB, that it stinks of the Lubyanka etc., etc.

    As regards Berezovsky’s character, I’ve mentioned on other threads that I am acquainted with someone who knew him well in academia and who disliked him intensely. That acquaintance of mine is no intellectual slouch either: he arrived in Moscow as a 14-year-old Wunderkind in order to study mathematics at MGU. At first I thought his dislike of the man was because of his political intrigues and alleged criminality. Not so: he disliked him, he said, because of his immorality.

    At first I thought my acquaintance was referring to some sexual peccadilloes that Berezovsky may have had, but that was not the case. I then asked if he was really referring to Berezovsky’s possible amorality, to which suggestion my acquaintance again replied in the negative, saying that Berezovsky certainly knew the difference between “right” and “wrong” but didn’t give a damn about such trivialities and that the only criterion in his decision making processes was to how great an extent any action he took would be of benefit to him.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    That would be psychopathy, I believe. A most useful quality in politics and business, but it pays to hide it. (Something that BAB doesn't excel at - as he himself admits, he's not "very good" with people).

    I too have read the comments at Russian Forbes with amusement. What can one say? Typical Londongrad.

    , @JLo
    Forbes Russia's senior editorial staff is staunchly anti-Putin, the though that they'd work for the FSB is comical.
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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous. The one thing however I am going to say is that he was a most peculiar man. I don't think there has been in recent history someone quite so adept at spinning fantasies and successfully passing them off as facts. He could only have done it to the extent that he did by (if only to some extent) living inside them. Of course he was only able to pass off his fantasies so successfully because so many were receptive to them. Having said that, though there was clearly something of the genius about him I think at the end of the day he was more than a little mad. A minor and altogether less sinister Russian oligarch who knew Berezovsky and who got close to an English friend of mine told her the same thing.

    The question now is does his death change anything? I think for all practical purposes the answer is no. He had become an exhausted figure some time ago and his losing the case against Abramovitch was the coup de grace. I don't think he has had any effective influence or power for some time. It seems to me that the effect of his death is limited to the following

    1. Here in England we can now speak about him freely and discuss the fantasies he invented and go over them properly without the constant threat of a libel action. For example it is now finally possible to say openly that the allegation that the FSB planned to kill Berezovsky in 1998 was a straightforward lie and that he also fabricated the story that Putin and the FSB were behind the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. It is also possible to say that in his last interview Litvinenko not only claimed to having worked as a hitman and as a recruiter and organiser of hitmen but that given his connections to Berezovsky in the 1990s this work (if it happened) must have been done on Berezovsky's behalf. Lastly it might finally become possible to discuss openly Berezovsky's relationship with the British and Israeli authorities and their respective intelligence agencies;

    2. From the opposite angle, Putin and the Russian government no longer have Berezovsky to blame when things go wrong. I am not saying they ever did to any insincere degree, but if someone like Politkovskaya is killed in future it can no longer be blamed on him.

    The one other respect in which Berezovsky's death may change things is in the future conduct of the Litvinenko inquest. For some entirely unexplained reason he was involved in the inquest as an interested party even though the British authorities insisted that he was not a suspect. William Dunkerley has argued that Berezovsky was the prime mover behind most of the allegations against Russia made over the course of the Litvinenko affair. If that is true then with him gone one wonders what life remains in this story.

    I don’t think he has had any effective influence or power for some time.

    At least according to Putin, Berezovsky’s influence has always been rather inflated. From an interview in early 2000:

    – Кстати, о фаворитах. Борис Березовский сказал в одном из интервью, что встречается с вами раз в месяц. Это так? / “About favorites… Boris Berezovsky said in one of his interviews that he meets with you once a month.”
    – Наверное, реже. / “Probably not as frequently as that.”
    – По чьей инициативе? / “On who’s initiative?”
    – По его. У него такой живой ум и много предложений. Все они связаны главным образом с Кавказом – Чечней, Карачаево-Черкесией. Он же был все-таки замсекретаря Совета Безопасности, занимался этим. Кстати, на мой взгляд, его предложения по Чечне были нереальны и неэффективны, поэтому, собственно говоря, ничего из того, что он предлагал, не осуществляется. Но я время от времени встречаюсь не только с Березовским, но и с другими бизнесменами, например Авеном, Потаниным, Алекперовым… / “On his initiative. He has a good intellect and many suggestions. They are all mainly connected to the Caucasus – Chechnya, Karachaevo-Cherkessia. He was after all the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council, and worked on this. By the way, IMO, his suggestions as regards Chechnya were unrealistic and ineffective, so presumably this is why nothing of what he suggested is being realized. But from time to time I meet up with not only Berezovsky, but also other businessmen, like Aven, Potanin, Alekperov…”

    In other words, even in the 1990′s I suspect he was more of an influential courtier who’s fortunes rose and fell in relation to the shifting fortunes of various political forces as opposed to being some kind of “godfather of the Kremlin.” (A title that if anything just plays to his narcissism).

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Scowpsi,

    Just to confirm, Berezovsky the oligarch and Berezovsky the pianist are two completely different people even though they have the same first name. In all other respects I agree with your characterisation of Berezovsky the oligarch.

    Well, I guess my little joke fell flat…

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    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    Gosh, Sorry Scowpsi. It's just that I happen to be quite a fan of Berezovsky the pianist.
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  • @Scowspi
    Smart criminals are the most formidable. Berezovsky had a PhD in mathematics, with a distinguished publication record in his field.

    I will say something else positive about Berezovsky - he's quite a wizard at the keyboard:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Berezovsky_(pianist)

    Dear Scowpsi,

    Just to confirm, Berezovsky the oligarch and Berezovsky the pianist are two completely different people even though they have the same first name. In all other respects I agree with your characterisation of Berezovsky the oligarch.

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    • Replies: @Scowspi
    Well, I guess my little joke fell flat...
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  • Smart criminals are the most formidable. Berezovsky had a PhD in mathematics, with a distinguished publication record in his field.

    I will say something else positive about Berezovsky – he’s quite a wizard at the keyboard:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boris_Berezovsky_(pianist)

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    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Scowpsi,

    Just to confirm, Berezovsky the oligarch and Berezovsky the pianist are two completely different people even though they have the same first name. In all other respects I agree with your characterisation of Berezovsky the oligarch.

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  • So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous. The one thing however I am going to say is that he was a most peculiar man. I don’t think there has been in recent history someone quite so adept at spinning fantasies and successfully passing them off as facts. He could only have done it to the extent that he did by (if only to some extent) living inside them. Of course he was only able to pass off his fantasies so successfully because so many were receptive to them. Having said that, though there was clearly something of the genius about him I think at the end of the day he was more than a little mad. A minor and altogether less sinister Russian oligarch who knew Berezovsky and who got close to an English friend of mine told her the same thing.

    The question now is does his death change anything? I think for all practical purposes the answer is no. He had become an exhausted figure some time ago and his losing the case against Abramovitch was the coup de grace. I don’t think he has had any effective influence or power for some time. It seems to me that the effect of his death is limited to the following

    1. Here in England we can now speak about him freely and discuss the fantasies he invented and go over them properly without the constant threat of a libel action. For example it is now finally possible to say openly that the allegation that the FSB planned to kill Berezovsky in 1998 was a straightforward lie and that he also fabricated the story that Putin and the FSB were behind the 1999 Moscow apartment bombings. It is also possible to say that in his last interview Litvinenko not only claimed to having worked as a hitman and as a recruiter and organiser of hitmen but that given his connections to Berezovsky in the 1990s this work (if it happened) must have been done on Berezovsky’s behalf. Lastly it might finally become possible to discuss openly Berezovsky’s relationship with the British and Israeli authorities and their respective intelligence agencies;

    2. From the opposite angle, Putin and the Russian government no longer have Berezovsky to blame when things go wrong. I am not saying they ever did to any insincere degree, but if someone like Politkovskaya is killed in future it can no longer be blamed on him.

    The one other respect in which Berezovsky’s death may change things is in the future conduct of the Litvinenko inquest. For some entirely unexplained reason he was involved in the inquest as an interested party even though the British authorities insisted that he was not a suspect. William Dunkerley has argued that Berezovsky was the prime mover behind most of the allegations against Russia made over the course of the Litvinenko affair. If that is true then with him gone one wonders what life remains in this story.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I don’t think he has had any effective influence or power for some time.

    At least according to Putin, Berezovsky's influence has always been rather inflated. From an interview in early 2000:

    – Кстати, о фаворитах. Борис Березовский сказал в одном из интервью, что встречается с вами раз в месяц. Это так? / "About favorites... Boris Berezovsky said in one of his interviews that he meets with you once a month."
    – Наверное, реже. / "Probably not as frequently as that."
    – По чьей инициативе? / "On who's initiative?"
    – По его. У него такой живой ум и много предложений. Все они связаны главным образом с Кавказом – Чечней, Карачаево-Черкесией. Он же был все-таки замсекретаря Совета Безопасности, занимался этим. Кстати, на мой взгляд, его предложения по Чечне были нереальны и неэффективны, поэтому, собственно говоря, ничего из того, что он предлагал, не осуществляется. Но я время от времени встречаюсь не только с Березовским, но и с другими бизнесменами, например Авеном, Потаниным, Алекперовым... / "On his initiative. He has a good intellect and many suggestions. They are all mainly connected to the Caucasus - Chechnya, Karachaevo-Cherkessia. He was after all the Deputy Secretary of the Security Council, and worked on this. By the way, IMO, his suggestions as regards Chechnya were unrealistic and ineffective, so presumably this is why nothing of what he suggested is being realized. But from time to time I meet up with not only Berezovsky, but also other businessmen, like Aven, Potanin, Alekperov..."

    In other words, even in the 1990's I suspect he was more of an influential courtier who's fortunes rose and fell in relation to the shifting fortunes of various political forces as opposed to being some kind of "godfather of the Kremlin." (A title that if anything just plays to his narcissism).

    , @TRex
    Berezovsky wasn't the source of the '99 apartment bombings story and the evidence to support FSB and Putins involvement far outstrips anything one individual could be held responsible for.
    , @johnUK
    So much has been said and written about Berezovsky that for me to say anything more would be superfluous."

    I totally disagree we have not even scratched the surface in regards to Berezovsky as well as the other Oligarchs in there connections to British elite and there connections to the intelligence services, oil deals with western control of the Caspian oil basin and the financing of Chechen terrorism to deprive Russian access to Caspian oil, the billions of dollars he stole and looted in foreign bank accounts and tax havens, the Litvinenko affair, etc.

    It is no coincidence that most of the Oligarchs and most of prominent Islamic terrorists mostly connected to training and transiting Muslims to fight in the Balkans and the Caucasus have found a safe haven in England.

    When I heard last year he had financial difficulties and losing his court case against Abramovich I actually said that me might try a Robert Maxwell and threaten his MI6 backers for financial compensation otherwise he will tell his dark secrets and end up dead.

    Given Berezovskys character and the dire situation he found himself in and think he would be seen as too much of a dangerous liability for him to play his hand and spill some of the beans.

    With the “whole Putin did it” Litveninko affair which Berezovsky claimed he was part of an assassination attempt afterwards you would think he would be monitored round the clock by MI5.

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  • This made my day… thanks.

    Berezovsky! RIP – Rot In Purgatory!

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  • [...] Russia-blogging friend Anatoly points out that if it were not for Berezovsky, Putin would not be president. This is very true, of course, and it’s a fact that people unfortunately forget since [...]

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  • Imagine a respected American financial newspaper such as the WSJ writes an article investigating elections fraud in favor of the Democrats. To illustrate the rightness of their point, they include a photo of a ballot for the Republicans that - they allege - wasn't tallied by the dodgy Solyndra machines rolled out for use in...
  • [...] Власть» напечатала фотографию бюллетеня, на которым было написано, «Путин, пошел на х**» – как выразились редакторы, [...]

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  • @charly
    This is legalistic arguments.

    foreign intervention == attacking a much weaker power in which the hope is to get a part of the locals to change sides or atleast don’t fight.
    interstate war == fighting a power of the same statue and there is no hope of getting the locals to stay quiet.

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  • @Jennifer
    A thought just occurred to me now about the origin of Russophobia in the UK. How extensive is the ownership of property, football clubs and other institutions in the UK by Russians and Russian oligarchs in particular?

    I know Roman Abramovich owns Chelsea Football Club, Oleg Deripaska has property in London and Berezovsky lives in London as well, and Alexander Lebedev owns The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, the London Evening Standard and i, a new newspaper. Several of these oligarchs and other wealthy expatriate Russians living in the UK have a Jewish background. So it could be that much Russophobia in the UK is, as someone said here, displaced anti-Semitism as well as general distrust of rich foreigners barging in, buying up local property and driving up property prices as a result.

    Never thought about that aspect of it. But it seems you are on to something. The fact that a lot of these oligarchs came and started buying up local property and businesses must have got on the nerves of quite a few. I wonder if in the case of those with Jewish backgrounds there is also an undercurrent of anti-Semitism (in which case the anti-Semitism would have been partially displaced, but also partially conflated with Russophobia)….

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  • @charly
    This is legalistic arguments.

    Well if you don’t like it I can’t help you there. But “this is legalistic arguments” isn’t really an argument in favour of your contention that there is no difference in a war between two states and a civil war with foreign intervention and seems to be more of an attempt to dismiss points you don’t agree with but for which you have no real counterargument. I’m also sure that persons who would be interned as enemy aliens in a war between states wouldn’t take your dismissal so lightly as internment is not the same as being given an all expenses paid trip to an all-inclusive resort.

    Ultimately there are major differences between foreign intervention and interstate war (one major difference being that the intervening state can end their intervention any time they choose without the need for a ceasefire or peace agreement whereas in a war between states that is never possible unless one state completely annihilates the other). If you don’t believe me, maybe you should find some persons who were involved in the decision making process for both and ask them.

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  • @Hunter
    "W[h]ere does one type of conflict start and another stop."

    C'mon, surely you know the difference between a war between states and a war involving one state intervening in another state.

    In the case of a war between Russia and the United Kingdom for instance, any and every Russian in Britain could be interned as an "enemy alien". In the case of the Civil War, there was no legal basis to intern any and every Russian except if it was found that a particular Russian living in Britain was for instance trying to stir up Revolution as during the Civil War, Russia as a state could not be considered "an enemy" and its nationals cannot be legally considered "enemy aliens". The simple reason is that Britain would be officially assisting the government of the state that they recognized (Russia under the Whites) against a group/government that it does not recognize (the Reds) as opposed to fighting against a state and government that it does recognize (as happened with Germany in WWI for example).

    This is legalistic arguments.

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    • Replies: @Hunter
    Well if you don't like it I can't help you there. But "this is legalistic arguments" isn't really an argument in favour of your contention that there is no difference in a war between two states and a civil war with foreign intervention and seems to be more of an attempt to dismiss points you don't agree with but for which you have no real counterargument. I'm also sure that persons who would be interned as enemy aliens in a war between states wouldn't take your dismissal so lightly as internment is not the same as being given an all expenses paid trip to an all-inclusive resort.

    Ultimately there are major differences between foreign intervention and interstate war (one major difference being that the intervening state can end their intervention any time they choose without the need for a ceasefire or peace agreement whereas in a war between states that is never possible unless one state completely annihilates the other). If you don't believe me, maybe you should find some persons who were involved in the decision making process for both and ask them.

    , @charly
    foreign intervention == attacking a much weaker power in which the hope is to get a part of the locals to change sides or atleast don't fight.
    interstate war == fighting a power of the same statue and there is no hope of getting the locals to stay quiet.
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  • A thought just occurred to me now about the origin of Russophobia in the UK. How extensive is the ownership of property, football clubs and other institutions in the UK by Russians and Russian oligarchs in particular?

    I know Roman Abramovich owns Chelsea Football Club, Oleg Deripaska has property in London and Berezovsky lives in London as well, and Alexander Lebedev owns The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, the London Evening Standard and i, a new newspaper. Several of these oligarchs and other wealthy expatriate Russians living in the UK have a Jewish background. So it could be that much Russophobia in the UK is, as someone said here, displaced anti-Semitism as well as general distrust of rich foreigners barging in, buying up local property and driving up property prices as a result.

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    • Replies: @Hunter
    Never thought about that aspect of it. But it seems you are on to something. The fact that a lot of these oligarchs came and started buying up local property and businesses must have got on the nerves of quite a few. I wonder if in the case of those with Jewish backgrounds there is also an undercurrent of anti-Semitism (in which case the anti-Semitism would have been partially displaced, but also partially conflated with Russophobia)....
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  • @charly
    Were does one type of conflict start and another stop. If you loose 200 soldiers and spend oodles of money like the British on a fraction which otherwise wouldn't exist than you are part of the waring fractions. Besides one of the reasons why the US pulled out was because of the guerrilla attacks the Reds pulled of in the US (the other being the American army in Russia being into almost open rebellion)

    “W[h]ere does one type of conflict start and another stop.”

    C’mon, surely you know the difference between a war between states and a war involving one state intervening in another state.

    In the case of a war between Russia and the United Kingdom for instance, any and every Russian in Britain could be interned as an “enemy alien”. In the case of the Civil War, there was no legal basis to intern any and every Russian except if it was found that a particular Russian living in Britain was for instance trying to stir up Revolution as during the Civil War, Russia as a state could not be considered “an enemy” and its nationals cannot be legally considered “enemy aliens”. The simple reason is that Britain would be officially assisting the government of the state that they recognized (Russia under the Whites) against a group/government that it does not recognize (the Reds) as opposed to fighting against a state and government that it does recognize (as happened with Germany in WWI for example).

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    • Replies: @charly
    This is legalistic arguments.
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  • @Moscow Exile
    In answer to that retard's comment that the only good Russians are dead ones, I felt inclined to respond "including my wife and three children?"

    I thought otherwise, though, for why waste my time in replying to people who are devoured by so much hatred? I once replied in such a fashion to another Telegraph reader who thought it better that no Russians exist, only to receive the retort that I must have married a "Russian mail-order whore" because I was incapeable of finding a "good English wife". Reply not deleted, of course.

    The thing that really amazes me about these British russophobes, and I'm sure that this applies to the majority of US russophobes as well, is that I am absolutely certain that they have never suffered any direct injury at the hands of a Russian citizen. British russophobes love to talk about the "Blitz" and of how, when the Soviet Union was fascist Germany's "ally", the UK "stood alone" from May 1940 until June 1941 against fascism in Europe (more exactly, on the Atlantic Ocean, for a very short while in Greece and Crete, and in Egypt, Abyssinia, Libya, the Lebanon, Syria and Iraq). In those theatres of war, horrors certainly must have been perpetrated and endured; when, however, the scale of belligerence and degree of ideologically driven malevolence and criminality that took place as a result of the fascist invasion of the USSR is compared with the results of fascist aggression in the West, then what happened in the West between September 1939 and June 1941 pales into insignificance.

    Call it the "Russian Soul" if you will, but I have never ever during the near 20 years that I have lived in Russia experienced such malevolence directed by Russian citizens against Germans as that which I regularly hear and read about, spoken and expressed by my fellow countrymen and directed against Russians. Most of the most obnoxious russophobes that I have come across in the UK have not even met a Russian. I first noticed this when my wife and I were visiting the UK on honeymoon, as it were. At different hotels across the UK I was often politely asked, when not in the company of my wife, where she was from. My wife speaks English fluently, but with a slight accent that nobody in the UK has ever been able to identify. On learning that my spouse is Russian, every one of my inerlocutors expressed great surprise, adding that she neither looked nor sounded like a Russian. And the atmosphere chilled. When I asked them if they had ever met a Russian, the answer was always in the negative (this was 17 years ago, mind you); when I asked them what a Russian accent sounded like, I usually got a rendition of what I call "Hollywood Slav" as used by Vlad Dracula in horror films.

    Dracula was, of course, a Romanian or Wallachian or whatever. But what does that matter? He was one of "them" from the East, one of the necessary enemy that must exist in a state of everlasting belligerence.

    Oceania vs. Eurasia anyone?

    You may like to know that the Battle of Britain in 1940 was fought with 10 Polish-speaking RAF squadrons and 2 RAF squadrons manned by pilots from the old Czechoslovakia.

    The RAF squadron that scored the highest number of hits during that battle was RAF No 303 Polish Fighter Squadron or the Tadeusz Kosciuszko squadron. Two pilots (one Polish, one Czech) between them scored 32 hits. This information is available on Wikipedia.

    Next time you hear someone abusing Polish or Czech migrants in the United Kingdom, you can tell them all about how Poles and Czechs helped to save your country’s sorry arse against Hitler.

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  • @Hunter
    charly, I'm trying to look over Moscow Exile's post where he said anything like that about the Russian Civil War but I'm not seeing it. Are you sure you aren't confusing his referring to the only real shooting war between Russia and the UK being the Crimean War with "wars involving the UK and Russia"? Because we can't classify British and American intervention in the Russian Civil War in the same was as Crimean War. In the Crimean War the UK and Russia were at war with each other as opposing states. In the Russian Civil War the UK was sending soldiers to fight one set of Russians (the Reds) in support of another set of Russians (the Whites). So the UK was not at war WITH Russia during the Civil War, but was engaged in war IN Russia.

    Were does one type of conflict start and another stop. If you loose 200 soldiers and spend oodles of money like the British on a fraction which otherwise wouldn’t exist than you are part of the waring fractions. Besides one of the reasons why the US pulled out was because of the guerrilla attacks the Reds pulled of in the US (the other being the American army in Russia being into almost open rebellion)

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    • Replies: @Hunter
    "W[h]ere does one type of conflict start and another stop."

    C'mon, surely you know the difference between a war between states and a war involving one state intervening in another state.

    In the case of a war between Russia and the United Kingdom for instance, any and every Russian in Britain could be interned as an "enemy alien". In the case of the Civil War, there was no legal basis to intern any and every Russian except if it was found that a particular Russian living in Britain was for instance trying to stir up Revolution as during the Civil War, Russia as a state could not be considered "an enemy" and its nationals cannot be legally considered "enemy aliens". The simple reason is that Britain would be officially assisting the government of the state that they recognized (Russia under the Whites) against a group/government that it does not recognize (the Reds) as opposed to fighting against a state and government that it does recognize (as happened with Germany in WWI for example).

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  • @charly
    Cold war was a war. Without many British deaths but with a lot of sacrifice.

    Sorry, I don’t buy that. The Cold War was not a war in the proper sense (and I don’t use words so loosely that they begin to lose their meaning). The Cold War was a period of heightened tensions punctuated by actual wars (Korea, Vietnam, other places around the world) but was not a war itself.

    The term itself is a sort of oxymoron invented by George Orwell in 1945 (who specifically defined it as “a peace that is no peace”) and then used later in 1947 by Bernard Baruch to describe the geopolitics of the era.

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  • @alexander mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    I agree with all of this. I also agree with you point that abuse of Russia and of Russians is the one form of ethnic abuse that we tolerate in today's Britain.

    By the way the Guardian editorial today, purportedly about the murder of a journalist in Dagestan, refers to today's Russia as a "slimy, bloody place".

    Yes, it truly is amazing.

    According to the CPJ, there was one journalist death in Russia this year with motive confirmed. (The Guardian claims four, but obviously journalists can be the victims of regular homicides too). Brazil had 2 (6 total) and Mexico had 3 (8 total), but it will be a cold day in hell before the Guardianistas start writing of “Truth being murdered in Roussef’s bloody Brazil.”

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  • @charly
    The number of British (and American) troops that fought in Russian civil war isn't zero by a long shot. Stalingrad for example wasn't only occupied by the Germans and you can't really call it a border town.

    charly, I’m trying to look over Moscow Exile’s post where he said anything like that about the Russian Civil War but I’m not seeing it. Are you sure you aren’t confusing his referring to the only real shooting war between Russia and the UK being the Crimean War with “wars involving the UK and Russia”? Because we can’t classify British and American intervention in the Russian Civil War in the same was as Crimean War. In the Crimean War the UK and Russia were at war with each other as opposing states. In the Russian Civil War the UK was sending soldiers to fight one set of Russians (the Reds) in support of another set of Russians (the Whites). So the UK was not at war WITH Russia during the Civil War, but was engaged in war IN Russia.

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    • Replies: @charly
    Were does one type of conflict start and another stop. If you loose 200 soldiers and spend oodles of money like the British on a fraction which otherwise wouldn't exist than you are part of the waring fractions. Besides one of the reasons why the US pulled out was because of the guerrilla attacks the Reds pulled of in the US (the other being the American army in Russia being into almost open rebellion)
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  • @Hunter
    Actually Moscow Exile, I think I might have an idea as to why this Russophobia exists. I believe the primary basis for it is ignorance. You alluded to it yourself; most of the persons who inquired about your wife expressed surprise and apparently that she "neither looked nor sounded Russian". Yet they also tell you that they have never met a Russian (so of course they don't really have any idea how Russians look or sound since they've never met one). What they were really saying (even if they weren't aware of it) was that she "neither looked nor sounded like my mental image of Russian which is based almost primarily on Hollywood and occasionally newspapers and propaganda from the Cold War".

    Ignorance is a powerful force and I recall an episode some time ago which provided an amazing example of just how powerful and widespread it is. It was at a party and one of my friends was going off to study at a campus located in another territory (I'm West Indian and there is a university with main campuses in three of the territories with the other dozen or so territories also contributing to its cost). I recall that at this party a small group of about 20 or so were talking with this friend and giving well wishes and so forth, but then they started to warn this friend about the other island in which this campus was located and pretty much the whole group (to varying degrees) expressed the sentiment that persons from that island didn't like persons from our island. Interestingly, through my own knowledge and through a few questions in cases where I did not know for certain, I ascertained that out of the group only 1 of them had actually been to the island in question before and at the time he had actually had no trouble with public officials (customs, police, etc) from that island and the only problem experienced was with the hotel he stayed at. The rest had never set foot on that island. Later, a few others (who had been to the island) and I (who have never been) set the record straight for our friend and encouraged them to keep an open mind and not to buy into the negative hype and told our friend that everything would be just fine as many, many others had gone before and had no problems. As it turns out we were right and our friend went there and had a great time. However I'm now certain that had our little group not help clear the cobwebs of ignorance what would have happened was that she may have had a great time, but she may also have psyched herself into such a frame of mind that:

    - she would have read negative connotations into neutral or innocent comments by persons she had come across on that island

    - she would have gone there with a confrontational attitude (in preparation to defend against any perceived dislike) and as a result would have gotten into the very confrontations that she would have been trying to mentally guard herself against (possibly through a misunderstanding resulting from her reading negative connotations into neutral/innocent comments or actions as outlined above).

    It is said that people fear what they do not know and it is so true. Unlike the situation I related though what seems to have happened in Britain is that the ignorance has been fed by an almost rabid media/yellow journalism, an upper class prejudice and lots of historical circumstance to turn fear-based ignorance into a full blown phobia. At least with the situation regarding my friend the consensus among the ignorant was that the other islanders didn't like us, but there was no hate for the other islanders (indeed we all seem to get along when it comes to some things like music, athletics and cricket) but more of an atmosphere of just plain ol' bitching and rivalry (and I detected an undertone of jealousy) much like one might experience in the situation between town-dwellers and countryside-dwellers or between two cities (or even within cities such as between Manchester United and Manchester City), regions (Yorkshire and Lancashire) or states (New South Wales and Victoria) with a history of rivalry. With Britain, the attitude towards Russia and Russians is complicated by former imperial rivalry (The Great Game and so on), anticommunism, the intervention in the Russian Civil War and the Cold War. So the media can and often does refer to these past themes in relating to Russia at present (even when they have practically nothing to do with the current situation) and this does nothing to end the ignorance. Strangely enough despite the past rivalry, Russia and the UK have only fought twice from what I understand (in 1807-1812 with minor naval engagements as part of the Napoleonic Wars and in the Crimean War in the 1850s). That Britain has fought with other countries just as frequently if not far more often in the past (against Germany twice and more recently, against the United States twice (during American independence and the war of 1812), against France so many times it isn't worth it to count...) seems not to have generated the same kind of phobia against these nations. It actually seems like wars do not figure very prominently in the Russophobia (as there is often very little reference to the Crimean War or the 1807-1812 war), but rather it seems like the threat of war is what figures more prominently - so with the Great Game there was the threat of war over India and with the Cold War there was the threat of war generally - coupled with little interaction with Russians themselves (unlike the situations with America, France and Germany where there is a lot more interaction between Britons and citizens of those countries). Old habits die hard and 40 years of Cold War indoctrination followed by an earlier period of 20 years of anticommunist/anti-Bolshevik Russia indoctrination (with only a break of about 4-5 years between the two periods) means that quite a number of people in Britain have literally grown up never knowing Russia as anything else other than some enemy with a mass of nameless, faceless people who were at times depicted as automaton-like communist drones. In essence Russians became dehumanized. And the problem isn't going to go away because the phobia is like a psychological virus spread by verbal diarrhoea. One person infected with the phobia only has to open his mouth and spout some rubbish and before you know it, other persons who are ignorant (but who may not have the phobia) are now repeating the nonsense.

    I doubt this will go away any time soon because the cure for it would be large scale interaction between the populations. As an aside, I believe this is partly why some nationalists the world over tend to be very anti-immigration and in favour of tightening border controls even for visitors - if freedom of migration and ease of travel are allowed then everyday people will see that the message of the nationalists is rubbish and that the other people they rail against aren't actually all plotting to take over your country, steal your food and jobs and rape your women.

    Cold war was a war. Without many British deaths but with a lot of sacrifice.

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    • Replies: @Hunter
    Sorry, I don't buy that. The Cold War was not a war in the proper sense (and I don't use words so loosely that they begin to lose their meaning). The Cold War was a period of heightened tensions punctuated by actual wars (Korea, Vietnam, other places around the world) but was not a war itself.

    The term itself is a sort of oxymoron invented by George Orwell in 1945 (who specifically defined it as "a peace that is no peace") and then used later in 1947 by Bernard Baruch to describe the geopolitics of the era.

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  • @Moscow Exile
    Agree absoutely, Hunter!

    By the way, that 1807-1812 war between the UK and Russia was only a war on paper: after the French victory at Austerlitz in 1806 against the joint forces of the Rusian and Austrian Empires and further French victories that year against Prussia at Jena-Auerstedt and against Russia in 1807 at Friedland, the Russians had been reluctantly drawn into Buonaparte's "Continental System", which excluded the UK and its allies of course. The Russians then became the allies of the French Empire- on paper at least - and a state of war consequently ensued between the UK and the Russian Empire, with hardly a shot being fired by both belligerents. (One or two very small naval engagements in the Baltic, that's all.) As soon as Buonaparte decided to attack the Russian Empire in 1812, Russia and the UK became allies against a common enemy - the French Empire. The parallels with the situation between the UK and the USSR prior to the fascist invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 are evident: from 1939 until 1941 the Soviet Union was considered by the UK to be an ally of fascist Germany, although no acts of belligerence occured between UK and Soviet forces during that period; as soon as fascist Germany attacked the USSR, the UK immediately declared its wish to form an alliance with the Soviet Union against the common fascist foe.

    As regards the "Great Game", hardly a shot was fired between the two imperial competitors during the whole period of confrontation, although there was plenty of skulduggery and numerous assassinations between hired agents of both contesting parties. In fact, whenever Imperial Russian Army officers and officers of the British Raj met, and they did frequently in order to perform joint surveying programmes in disputed border areas in the Hindu Kush, they got on like the proverbial house on fire. That was because they were of the same class and had the same interests: they were members of the upper middle-class or low ranking aristocracy; they were European imperialists with a "mission"; they enjoyed hunting and shooting and "the great outdoors".

    During most of the 19th century and the period of its eastern expansion, the Russian Empire regularly gave signals that it might move into the North West Frontier territories of the British Indian Raj but in reality was never able to do so: it had enough problems containing the Caucasus, for one thing, to say nothing of the overwhelming logistical problems that a 19th century Russian Imperial army would have had to face in undertaking a campaign whose lines of communications would have stretched from Kabul to St. Petersburg. The British, on the other hand, could send reinforcements by sea to India in a minimum time of 6 weeks. These Russian moves, ostensibly against the British Raj, were always a distraction from Russia's prime objective of seizing the Porte. For their part, the British sabre rattlers in India always sent dire warnings to London of impending Russian aggression against India in order to gain support for their belief that only the presence of ever more European troops in the subcontinent could hold the masses there in subservience and secure the Raj against outside (ie Russian) aggression: they maintained that the key to British control over India was the awe that Indians had for the European military, whereas the British Indian Civil Service maintained that the truth of the matter as regards how a tiny minority of Europeans could hold India in its sway was because the mass of peasants there preferred the administration of the Raj and the taxes fairly imposed by them to administrations and taxation undertaken by scores of tiny states run by petty princes with expensive life styles: in other words, the mass of Indians, the peasantry, collaborated with the British administration, something that 20th Indian nationalists refuse to accept. However, for most if not all of the 19th century, most, if not all "Indians" would have found it difficult to associate themselves with a national identity, albeit that they clearly recognised Europeans as being from an alien culture.

    The only real shooting war that has ever taken place between the UK and Russia occurred in the Crimea (1853-1856), and that was because Russia almost managed to seize Constantinople as result of one of its numerous and mostly successful wars with the Ottoman Empire. Russian access to the Mediterranean in 1853 was something that neither the French nor British would tolerate: they had just built the Suez canal, and they didn't like the idea of a Russian fleet cruising around its entrance. So ordinary men died in a stupid war because of perceived threats to the imperial ambitions of the UK and France and the imperal ambitions of Russia.

    Three years of warfare in the middle of the 19th century, yet most of my fellow countrymen believe that the Russians are "the enemy"!

    The number of British (and American) troops that fought in Russian civil war isn’t zero by a long shot. Stalingrad for example wasn’t only occupied by the Germans and you can’t really call it a border town.

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    • Replies: @Hunter
    charly, I'm trying to look over Moscow Exile's post where he said anything like that about the Russian Civil War but I'm not seeing it. Are you sure you aren't confusing his referring to the only real shooting war between Russia and the UK being the Crimean War with "wars involving the UK and Russia"? Because we can't classify British and American intervention in the Russian Civil War in the same was as Crimean War. In the Crimean War the UK and Russia were at war with each other as opposing states. In the Russian Civil War the UK was sending soldiers to fight one set of Russians (the Reds) in support of another set of Russians (the Whites). So the UK was not at war WITH Russia during the Civil War, but was engaged in war IN Russia.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    Agree absoutely, Hunter!

    By the way, that 1807-1812 war between the UK and Russia was only a war on paper: after the French victory at Austerlitz in 1806 against the joint forces of the Rusian and Austrian Empires and further French victories that year against Prussia at Jena-Auerstedt and against Russia in 1807 at Friedland, the Russians had been reluctantly drawn into Buonaparte's "Continental System", which excluded the UK and its allies of course. The Russians then became the allies of the French Empire- on paper at least - and a state of war consequently ensued between the UK and the Russian Empire, with hardly a shot being fired by both belligerents. (One or two very small naval engagements in the Baltic, that's all.) As soon as Buonaparte decided to attack the Russian Empire in 1812, Russia and the UK became allies against a common enemy - the French Empire. The parallels with the situation between the UK and the USSR prior to the fascist invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 are evident: from 1939 until 1941 the Soviet Union was considered by the UK to be an ally of fascist Germany, although no acts of belligerence occured between UK and Soviet forces during that period; as soon as fascist Germany attacked the USSR, the UK immediately declared its wish to form an alliance with the Soviet Union against the common fascist foe.

    As regards the "Great Game", hardly a shot was fired between the two imperial competitors during the whole period of confrontation, although there was plenty of skulduggery and numerous assassinations between hired agents of both contesting parties. In fact, whenever Imperial Russian Army officers and officers of the British Raj met, and they did frequently in order to perform joint surveying programmes in disputed border areas in the Hindu Kush, they got on like the proverbial house on fire. That was because they were of the same class and had the same interests: they were members of the upper middle-class or low ranking aristocracy; they were European imperialists with a "mission"; they enjoyed hunting and shooting and "the great outdoors".

    During most of the 19th century and the period of its eastern expansion, the Russian Empire regularly gave signals that it might move into the North West Frontier territories of the British Indian Raj but in reality was never able to do so: it had enough problems containing the Caucasus, for one thing, to say nothing of the overwhelming logistical problems that a 19th century Russian Imperial army would have had to face in undertaking a campaign whose lines of communications would have stretched from Kabul to St. Petersburg. The British, on the other hand, could send reinforcements by sea to India in a minimum time of 6 weeks. These Russian moves, ostensibly against the British Raj, were always a distraction from Russia's prime objective of seizing the Porte. For their part, the British sabre rattlers in India always sent dire warnings to London of impending Russian aggression against India in order to gain support for their belief that only the presence of ever more European troops in the subcontinent could hold the masses there in subservience and secure the Raj against outside (ie Russian) aggression: they maintained that the key to British control over India was the awe that Indians had for the European military, whereas the British Indian Civil Service maintained that the truth of the matter as regards how a tiny minority of Europeans could hold India in its sway was because the mass of peasants there preferred the administration of the Raj and the taxes fairly imposed by them to administrations and taxation undertaken by scores of tiny states run by petty princes with expensive life styles: in other words, the mass of Indians, the peasantry, collaborated with the British administration, something that 20th Indian nationalists refuse to accept. However, for most if not all of the 19th century, most, if not all "Indians" would have found it difficult to associate themselves with a national identity, albeit that they clearly recognised Europeans as being from an alien culture.

    The only real shooting war that has ever taken place between the UK and Russia occurred in the Crimea (1853-1856), and that was because Russia almost managed to seize Constantinople as result of one of its numerous and mostly successful wars with the Ottoman Empire. Russian access to the Mediterranean in 1853 was something that neither the French nor British would tolerate: they had just built the Suez canal, and they didn't like the idea of a Russian fleet cruising around its entrance. So ordinary men died in a stupid war because of perceived threats to the imperial ambitions of the UK and France and the imperal ambitions of Russia.

    Three years of warfare in the middle of the 19th century, yet most of my fellow countrymen believe that the Russians are "the enemy"!

    “Three years of warfare in the middle of the 19th century, yet most of my fellow countrymen believe that the Russians are “the enemy”! ”

    Quite true Moscow Exile, but as I stated earlier I think it has been the nearly 70 years of government and media inspired indoctrination (first against the Bolsheviks from 1918 to 1941 then with a brief pause during the War from 1941 to 1945 and then against the Soviet Union during the Cold War from 1946/1947 to 1991) based on the threat of war (during the Cold War) and the threat of communist revolution (after 1918) that has lead to most Britons thinking Russians are the enemy.

    As you pointed out in another comment, any kind of commentary that doesn’t toe the line of “Russians are evil and out to kill everyone and are planning on using their oil as a weapon, the primitive brutes!” will elicit harsh responses. Dejevsky’s writings in particular can’t attract much sympathy from the Little Englander crowd, especially since (as I noted in another response to a different post of yours) she had the temerity to write about the contradiction between Britain staying out of the euro but wishing to have a say in eurozone meetings and then she had the gall to suggest that Britain should simply join the euro….

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Agree absoutely, Hunter!

    By the way, that 1807-1812 war between the UK and Russia was only a war on paper: after the French victory at Austerlitz in 1806 against the joint forces of the Rusian and Austrian Empires and further French victories that year against Prussia at Jena-Auerstedt and against Russia in 1807 at Friedland, the Russians had been reluctantly drawn into Buonaparte’s “Continental System”, which excluded the UK and its allies of course. The Russians then became the allies of the French Empire- on paper at least – and a state of war consequently ensued between the UK and the Russian Empire, with hardly a shot being fired by both belligerents. (One or two very small naval engagements in the Baltic, that’s all.) As soon as Buonaparte decided to attack the Russian Empire in 1812, Russia and the UK became allies against a common enemy – the French Empire. The parallels with the situation between the UK and the USSR prior to the fascist invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 are evident: from 1939 until 1941 the Soviet Union was considered by the UK to be an ally of fascist Germany, although no acts of belligerence occured between UK and Soviet forces during that period; as soon as fascist Germany attacked the USSR, the UK immediately declared its wish to form an alliance with the Soviet Union against the common fascist foe.

    As regards the “Great Game”, hardly a shot was fired between the two imperial competitors during the whole period of confrontation, although there was plenty of skulduggery and numerous assassinations between hired agents of both contesting parties. In fact, whenever Imperial Russian Army officers and officers of the British Raj met, and they did frequently in order to perform joint surveying programmes in disputed border areas in the Hindu Kush, they got on like the proverbial house on fire. That was because they were of the same class and had the same interests: they were members of the upper middle-class or low ranking aristocracy; they were European imperialists with a “mission”; they enjoyed hunting and shooting and “the great outdoors”.

    During most of the 19th century and the period of its eastern expansion, the Russian Empire regularly gave signals that it might move into the North West Frontier territories of the British Indian Raj but in reality was never able to do so: it had enough problems containing the Caucasus, for one thing, to say nothing of the overwhelming logistical problems that a 19th century Russian Imperial army would have had to face in undertaking a campaign whose lines of communications would have stretched from Kabul to St. Petersburg. The British, on the other hand, could send reinforcements by sea to India in a minimum time of 6 weeks. These Russian moves, ostensibly against the British Raj, were always a distraction from Russia’s prime objective of seizing the Porte. For their part, the British sabre rattlers in India always sent dire warnings to London of impending Russian aggression against India in order to gain support for their belief that only the presence of ever more European troops in the subcontinent could hold the masses there in subservience and secure the Raj against outside (ie Russian) aggression: they maintained that the key to British control over India was the awe that Indians had for the European military, whereas the British Indian Civil Service maintained that the truth of the matter as regards how a tiny minority of Europeans could hold India in its sway was because the mass of peasants there preferred the administration of the Raj and the taxes fairly imposed by them to administrations and taxation undertaken by scores of tiny states run by petty princes with expensive life styles: in other words, the mass of Indians, the peasantry, collaborated with the British administration, something that 20th Indian nationalists refuse to accept. However, for most if not all of the 19th century, most, if not all “Indians” would have found it difficult to associate themselves with a national identity, albeit that they clearly recognised Europeans as being from an alien culture.

    The only real shooting war that has ever taken place between the UK and Russia occurred in the Crimea (1853-1856), and that was because Russia almost managed to seize Constantinople as result of one of its numerous and mostly successful wars with the Ottoman Empire. Russian access to the Mediterranean in 1853 was something that neither the French nor British would tolerate: they had just built the Suez canal, and they didn’t like the idea of a Russian fleet cruising around its entrance. So ordinary men died in a stupid war because of perceived threats to the imperial ambitions of the UK and France and the imperal ambitions of Russia.

    Three years of warfare in the middle of the 19th century, yet most of my fellow countrymen believe that the Russians are “the enemy”!

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    • Replies: @Hunter
    "Three years of warfare in the middle of the 19th century, yet most of my fellow countrymen believe that the Russians are “the enemy”! "

    Quite true Moscow Exile, but as I stated earlier I think it has been the nearly 70 years of government and media inspired indoctrination (first against the Bolsheviks from 1918 to 1941 then with a brief pause during the War from 1941 to 1945 and then against the Soviet Union during the Cold War from 1946/1947 to 1991) based on the threat of war (during the Cold War) and the threat of communist revolution (after 1918) that has lead to most Britons thinking Russians are the enemy.

    As you pointed out in another comment, any kind of commentary that doesn't toe the line of "Russians are evil and out to kill everyone and are planning on using their oil as a weapon, the primitive brutes!" will elicit harsh responses. Dejevsky's writings in particular can't attract much sympathy from the Little Englander crowd, especially since (as I noted in another response to a different post of yours) she had the temerity to write about the contradiction between Britain staying out of the euro but wishing to have a say in eurozone meetings and then she had the gall to suggest that Britain should simply join the euro....

    , @charly
    The number of British (and American) troops that fought in Russian civil war isn't zero by a long shot. Stalingrad for example wasn't only occupied by the Germans and you can't really call it a border town.
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  • @Moscow Exile
    After over 40 years of reading it, I finally abandonded the Guardian the other week after having read the latest anti-Russia onslaught off its "international affairs" columnist. I should have done this long ago, in view of the fact that that newspaper still employs as head of its Moscow bureau the infamous russophobe plagiarist, Luke Harding, which person recently displayed the depth of his powers of argument against a contribution that I had made in the Guardian feature "Comment Is Free" by suggesting that I may be employed by the FSB.

    In fact, as regards Russian issues, "Comment Is Free" now has many contributors who still, it seems, search regularly under their beds for "Reds". Perhaps this is partly a result of the "Times" paywall, but it is also noticeable that there appears to be a hardcore of anti-Russia commentators that log into "Comment Is Free" who are US citizens or who hail from the Baltic States. Are they hirelings of the CIA or MI6, I wonder?

    Of course, these people have a "right" to comment freely, but it has begun to get ever more noticeable in recent years that the Guardian is more and more willing to censor comments concerning Russian issues and, in particular, any reference made concerning the probity of its Moscow bureau chief.

    However, the russophobic comments that appear in the Guardian pale into insignificance (sometimes) when compared to those that appear in the Daily Telegraph, where last week some profound thinker took the trouble to post the comment "The only good Russians are dead ones". That's not the first time that I've seen that posted to the Telegraph, nor is it the first time that I've seen such a comment remain undeleted. It seems that in the UK now, one can voice the most obnoxious and intolerant opinions concerning Russians and fear no legal consequences; if, however, that Telegraph commentator had written, for example, "The only good Pakistanis/Arabs/Jews/Negroes etc. are dead ones", his comment would have been removed and there may very well have been a criminal investigation into ascertaining his identity: he almost certainly would have been charged under the present British "race laws" if he had said "The only good Pakistanis/Arabs/Jews/Negroes etc. are dead ones"in a public place. But "Russians" (россияне really) don't count.

    Shaun Walker of the Independent is another Russia correspondent that seems to be a man driven with a mission. On the other hand, Mary Dejevsky, chief editorial writer of the Independent and well-respected commentator on Russia, the EU and the US, who has worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Paris and Moscow, has often given very balanced reports concerning Russia: her article on the Litvinenko case ("The Litvinenko files: Was he really murdered?" - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-litvinenko-files-was-he-really-murdered-819534.html) remains one of the few in the West that does not scream out the it-was-ex-KGB-spy-Putin-who-ordered-Litvinenko's-death-at-the-hands-of-brutal-FSB-thugs line. For all her efforts at striving for objectivity in her reporting of Russian matters, however, Dejevsky has come under attack from russophobes with accusations that her employer is a Russian oligarch and that she is just writing to order. "She's also got a 'Russian' name as well", as some of the Little Englander russophobes have been quick to point out, so she must be on the FSB-payroll.

    Dejevsky also regularly appears on radio and television and writes articles for the New Statesman and openDemocracy.net. In 2005 she took part in a debate, arguing in favour of the motion "Putin is the best hope for Russian liberalism" and put forward that elections had been free, fair and democratic under Putin. Apart from taking into consideration Putin's popularity, she also pointed out that neither of the two liberal parties had won any measure of the vote, nor were there any particularly strong challengers to Putin . Dejevsky claimed in the debate that it was the presence of the opposition that placed constraints on Putin's ability to plough a reformist furrow because this opposition came from conservative and nationalist forces (see http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/putin-is-the-best-hope-for-russian-liberalism?SQ_PAINT_LAYOUT_NAME=chapter&start=2734&end=3287&sgmt=35028).

    I have been waiting for some time now for a Dejevsky article concerning the recent events in Russia to appear in the Independent. None has so far been forthcoming. Has someone put the blocks on her objective reporting of Russian affairs, I wonder?

    “Dejevsky has come under attack from russophobes with accusations that her employer is a Russian oligarch and that she is just writing to order. “She’s also got a ‘Russian’ name as well”, as some of the Little Englander russophobes have been quick to point out, so she must be on the FSB-payroll.”

    Well I can’t expect she would have gained very many friends among the Little Englanders with this recent article of hers just over a week ago:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mary-dejevsky/mary-dejevsky-britain-must-join-the-euro–and-cameron-is-the-man-to-do-it-6274279.html

    Not only is she on the payroll of the FSB it seems, but she must also have some fat paychecks coming from Brussels! :) Imagine the nerve of her! Suggesting that the Conservatives essentially sell their souls to those damned Continental devils! And lest we forget, Russia is on the Continent.

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  • @Moscow Exile
    In answer to that retard's comment that the only good Russians are dead ones, I felt inclined to respond "including my wife and three children?"

    I thought otherwise, though, for why waste my time in replying to people who are devoured by so much hatred? I once replied in such a fashion to another Telegraph reader who thought it better that no Russians exist, only to receive the retort that I must have married a "Russian mail-order whore" because I was incapeable of finding a "good English wife". Reply not deleted, of course.

    The thing that really amazes me about these British russophobes, and I'm sure that this applies to the majority of US russophobes as well, is that I am absolutely certain that they have never suffered any direct injury at the hands of a Russian citizen. British russophobes love to talk about the "Blitz" and of how, when the Soviet Union was fascist Germany's "ally", the UK "stood alone" from May 1940 until June 1941 against fascism in Europe (more exactly, on the Atlantic Ocean, for a very short while in Greece and Crete, and in Egypt, Abyssinia, Libya, the Lebanon, Syria and Iraq). In those theatres of war, horrors certainly must have been perpetrated and endured; when, however, the scale of belligerence and degree of ideologically driven malevolence and criminality that took place as a result of the fascist invasion of the USSR is compared with the results of fascist aggression in the West, then what happened in the West between September 1939 and June 1941 pales into insignificance.

    Call it the "Russian Soul" if you will, but I have never ever during the near 20 years that I have lived in Russia experienced such malevolence directed by Russian citizens against Germans as that which I regularly hear and read about, spoken and expressed by my fellow countrymen and directed against Russians. Most of the most obnoxious russophobes that I have come across in the UK have not even met a Russian. I first noticed this when my wife and I were visiting the UK on honeymoon, as it were. At different hotels across the UK I was often politely asked, when not in the company of my wife, where she was from. My wife speaks English fluently, but with a slight accent that nobody in the UK has ever been able to identify. On learning that my spouse is Russian, every one of my inerlocutors expressed great surprise, adding that she neither looked nor sounded like a Russian. And the atmosphere chilled. When I asked them if they had ever met a Russian, the answer was always in the negative (this was 17 years ago, mind you); when I asked them what a Russian accent sounded like, I usually got a rendition of what I call "Hollywood Slav" as used by Vlad Dracula in horror films.

    Dracula was, of course, a Romanian or Wallachian or whatever. But what does that matter? He was one of "them" from the East, one of the necessary enemy that must exist in a state of everlasting belligerence.

    Oceania vs. Eurasia anyone?

    Actually Moscow Exile, I think I might have an idea as to why this Russophobia exists. I believe the primary basis for it is ignorance. You alluded to it yourself; most of the persons who inquired about your wife expressed surprise and apparently that she “neither looked nor sounded Russian”. Yet they also tell you that they have never met a Russian (so of course they don’t really have any idea how Russians look or sound since they’ve never met one). What they were really saying (even if they weren’t aware of it) was that she “neither looked nor sounded like my mental image of Russian which is based almost primarily on Hollywood and occasionally newspapers and propaganda from the Cold War”.

    Ignorance is a powerful force and I recall an episode some time ago which provided an amazing example of just how powerful and widespread it is. It was at a party and one of my friends was going off to study at a campus located in another territory (I’m West Indian and there is a university with main campuses in three of the territories with the other dozen or so territories also contributing to its cost). I recall that at this party a small group of about 20 or so were talking with this friend and giving well wishes and so forth, but then they started to warn this friend about the other island in which this campus was located and pretty much the whole group (to varying degrees) expressed the sentiment that persons from that island didn’t like persons from our island. Interestingly, through my own knowledge and through a few questions in cases where I did not know for certain, I ascertained that out of the group only 1 of them had actually been to the island in question before and at the time he had actually had no trouble with public officials (customs, police, etc) from that island and the only problem experienced was with the hotel he stayed at. The rest had never set foot on that island. Later, a few others (who had been to the island) and I (who have never been) set the record straight for our friend and encouraged them to keep an open mind and not to buy into the negative hype and told our friend that everything would be just fine as many, many others had gone before and had no problems. As it turns out we were right and our friend went there and had a great time. However I’m now certain that had our little group not help clear the cobwebs of ignorance what would have happened was that she may have had a great time, but she may also have psyched herself into such a frame of mind that:

    - she would have read negative connotations into neutral or innocent comments by persons she had come across on that island

    - she would have gone there with a confrontational attitude (in preparation to defend against any perceived dislike) and as a result would have gotten into the very confrontations that she would have been trying to mentally guard herself against (possibly through a misunderstanding resulting from her reading negative connotations into neutral/innocent comments or actions as outlined above).

    It is said that people fear what they do not know and it is so true. Unlike the situation I related though what seems to have happened in Britain is that the ignorance has been fed by an almost rabid media/yellow journalism, an upper class prejudice and lots of historical circumstance to turn fear-based ignorance into a full blown phobia. At least with the situation regarding my friend the consensus among the ignorant was that the other islanders didn’t like us, but there was no hate for the other islanders (indeed we all seem to get along when it comes to some things like music, athletics and cricket) but more of an atmosphere of just plain ol’ bitching and rivalry (and I detected an undertone of jealousy) much like one might experience in the situation between town-dwellers and countryside-dwellers or between two cities (or even within cities such as between Manchester United and Manchester City), regions (Yorkshire and Lancashire) or states (New South Wales and Victoria) with a history of rivalry. With Britain, the attitude towards Russia and Russians is complicated by former imperial rivalry (The Great Game and so on), anticommunism, the intervention in the Russian Civil War and the Cold War. So the media can and often does refer to these past themes in relating to Russia at present (even when they have practically nothing to do with the current situation) and this does nothing to end the ignorance. Strangely enough despite the past rivalry, Russia and the UK have only fought twice from what I understand (in 1807-1812 with minor naval engagements as part of the Napoleonic Wars and in the Crimean War in the 1850s). That Britain has fought with other countries just as frequently if not far more often in the past (against Germany twice and more recently, against the United States twice (during American independence and the war of 1812), against France so many times it isn’t worth it to count…) seems not to have generated the same kind of phobia against these nations. It actually seems like wars do not figure very prominently in the Russophobia (as there is often very little reference to the Crimean War or the 1807-1812 war), but rather it seems like the threat of war is what figures more prominently – so with the Great Game there was the threat of war over India and with the Cold War there was the threat of war generally – coupled with little interaction with Russians themselves (unlike the situations with America, France and Germany where there is a lot more interaction between Britons and citizens of those countries). Old habits die hard and 40 years of Cold War indoctrination followed by an earlier period of 20 years of anticommunist/anti-Bolshevik Russia indoctrination (with only a break of about 4-5 years between the two periods) means that quite a number of people in Britain have literally grown up never knowing Russia as anything else other than some enemy with a mass of nameless, faceless people who were at times depicted as automaton-like communist drones. In essence Russians became dehumanized. And the problem isn’t going to go away because the phobia is like a psychological virus spread by verbal diarrhoea. One person infected with the phobia only has to open his mouth and spout some rubbish and before you know it, other persons who are ignorant (but who may not have the phobia) are now repeating the nonsense.

    I doubt this will go away any time soon because the cure for it would be large scale interaction between the populations. As an aside, I believe this is partly why some nationalists the world over tend to be very anti-immigration and in favour of tightening border controls even for visitors – if freedom of migration and ease of travel are allowed then everyday people will see that the message of the nationalists is rubbish and that the other people they rail against aren’t actually all plotting to take over your country, steal your food and jobs and rape your women.

    Read More
    • Replies: @charly
    Cold war was a war. Without many British deaths but with a lot of sacrifice.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    In answer to that retard's comment that the only good Russians are dead ones, I felt inclined to respond "including my wife and three children?"

    I thought otherwise, though, for why waste my time in replying to people who are devoured by so much hatred? I once replied in such a fashion to another Telegraph reader who thought it better that no Russians exist, only to receive the retort that I must have married a "Russian mail-order whore" because I was incapeable of finding a "good English wife". Reply not deleted, of course.

    The thing that really amazes me about these British russophobes, and I'm sure that this applies to the majority of US russophobes as well, is that I am absolutely certain that they have never suffered any direct injury at the hands of a Russian citizen. British russophobes love to talk about the "Blitz" and of how, when the Soviet Union was fascist Germany's "ally", the UK "stood alone" from May 1940 until June 1941 against fascism in Europe (more exactly, on the Atlantic Ocean, for a very short while in Greece and Crete, and in Egypt, Abyssinia, Libya, the Lebanon, Syria and Iraq). In those theatres of war, horrors certainly must have been perpetrated and endured; when, however, the scale of belligerence and degree of ideologically driven malevolence and criminality that took place as a result of the fascist invasion of the USSR is compared with the results of fascist aggression in the West, then what happened in the West between September 1939 and June 1941 pales into insignificance.

    Call it the "Russian Soul" if you will, but I have never ever during the near 20 years that I have lived in Russia experienced such malevolence directed by Russian citizens against Germans as that which I regularly hear and read about, spoken and expressed by my fellow countrymen and directed against Russians. Most of the most obnoxious russophobes that I have come across in the UK have not even met a Russian. I first noticed this when my wife and I were visiting the UK on honeymoon, as it were. At different hotels across the UK I was often politely asked, when not in the company of my wife, where she was from. My wife speaks English fluently, but with a slight accent that nobody in the UK has ever been able to identify. On learning that my spouse is Russian, every one of my inerlocutors expressed great surprise, adding that she neither looked nor sounded like a Russian. And the atmosphere chilled. When I asked them if they had ever met a Russian, the answer was always in the negative (this was 17 years ago, mind you); when I asked them what a Russian accent sounded like, I usually got a rendition of what I call "Hollywood Slav" as used by Vlad Dracula in horror films.

    Dracula was, of course, a Romanian or Wallachian or whatever. But what does that matter? He was one of "them" from the East, one of the necessary enemy that must exist in a state of everlasting belligerence.

    Oceania vs. Eurasia anyone?

    Dear Moscow Exile,

    Again I agree with all of this.

    I too find it baffling why so many people in the US and Britain are so Russophobic. If say a Pole or a Czech is a Russophobe well their countries have had a long history with Russia which has not always been happy but why people in Britain and the US should feel so hostile towards Russians and Russia, a country that has never done or intended them harm, I cannot think. It almost has a pathological quality. Somewhere recently I speculated that Russophobia in western Europe has taken the place that anti Semitism once had. Both are irrational and both atttribured malevolent and conspiratorial intentions upon the objects of their hatred. One day someone looking back on this time might discuss whether this is so.

    Best Wishes!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In answer to that retard’s comment that the only good Russians are dead ones, I felt inclined to respond “including my wife and three children?”

    I thought otherwise, though, for why waste my time in replying to people who are devoured by so much hatred? I once replied in such a fashion to another Telegraph reader who thought it better that no Russians exist, only to receive the retort that I must have married a “Russian mail-order whore” because I was incapeable of finding a “good English wife”. Reply not deleted, of course.

    The thing that really amazes me about these British russophobes, and I’m sure that this applies to the majority of US russophobes as well, is that I am absolutely certain that they have never suffered any direct injury at the hands of a Russian citizen. British russophobes love to talk about the “Blitz” and of how, when the Soviet Union was fascist Germany’s “ally”, the UK “stood alone” from May 1940 until June 1941 against fascism in Europe (more exactly, on the Atlantic Ocean, for a very short while in Greece and Crete, and in Egypt, Abyssinia, Libya, the Lebanon, Syria and Iraq). In those theatres of war, horrors certainly must have been perpetrated and endured; when, however, the scale of belligerence and degree of ideologically driven malevolence and criminality that took place as a result of the fascist invasion of the USSR is compared with the results of fascist aggression in the West, then what happened in the West between September 1939 and June 1941 pales into insignificance.

    Call it the “Russian Soul” if you will, but I have never ever during the near 20 years that I have lived in Russia experienced such malevolence directed by Russian citizens against Germans as that which I regularly hear and read about, spoken and expressed by my fellow countrymen and directed against Russians. Most of the most obnoxious russophobes that I have come across in the UK have not even met a Russian. I first noticed this when my wife and I were visiting the UK on honeymoon, as it were. At different hotels across the UK I was often politely asked, when not in the company of my wife, where she was from. My wife speaks English fluently, but with a slight accent that nobody in the UK has ever been able to identify. On learning that my spouse is Russian, every one of my inerlocutors expressed great surprise, adding that she neither looked nor sounded like a Russian. And the atmosphere chilled. When I asked them if they had ever met a Russian, the answer was always in the negative (this was 17 years ago, mind you); when I asked them what a Russian accent sounded like, I usually got a rendition of what I call “Hollywood Slav” as used by Vlad Dracula in horror films.

    Dracula was, of course, a Romanian or Wallachian or whatever. But what does that matter? He was one of “them” from the East, one of the necessary enemy that must exist in a state of everlasting belligerence.

    Oceania vs. Eurasia anyone?

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    Again I agree with all of this.

    I too find it baffling why so many people in the US and Britain are so Russophobic. If say a Pole or a Czech is a Russophobe well their countries have had a long history with Russia which has not always been happy but why people in Britain and the US should feel so hostile towards Russians and Russia, a country that has never done or intended them harm, I cannot think. It almost has a pathological quality. Somewhere recently I speculated that Russophobia in western Europe has taken the place that anti Semitism once had. Both are irrational and both atttribured malevolent and conspiratorial intentions upon the objects of their hatred. One day someone looking back on this time might discuss whether this is so.

    Best Wishes!

    , @Hunter
    Actually Moscow Exile, I think I might have an idea as to why this Russophobia exists. I believe the primary basis for it is ignorance. You alluded to it yourself; most of the persons who inquired about your wife expressed surprise and apparently that she "neither looked nor sounded Russian". Yet they also tell you that they have never met a Russian (so of course they don't really have any idea how Russians look or sound since they've never met one). What they were really saying (even if they weren't aware of it) was that she "neither looked nor sounded like my mental image of Russian which is based almost primarily on Hollywood and occasionally newspapers and propaganda from the Cold War".

    Ignorance is a powerful force and I recall an episode some time ago which provided an amazing example of just how powerful and widespread it is. It was at a party and one of my friends was going off to study at a campus located in another territory (I'm West Indian and there is a university with main campuses in three of the territories with the other dozen or so territories also contributing to its cost). I recall that at this party a small group of about 20 or so were talking with this friend and giving well wishes and so forth, but then they started to warn this friend about the other island in which this campus was located and pretty much the whole group (to varying degrees) expressed the sentiment that persons from that island didn't like persons from our island. Interestingly, through my own knowledge and through a few questions in cases where I did not know for certain, I ascertained that out of the group only 1 of them had actually been to the island in question before and at the time he had actually had no trouble with public officials (customs, police, etc) from that island and the only problem experienced was with the hotel he stayed at. The rest had never set foot on that island. Later, a few others (who had been to the island) and I (who have never been) set the record straight for our friend and encouraged them to keep an open mind and not to buy into the negative hype and told our friend that everything would be just fine as many, many others had gone before and had no problems. As it turns out we were right and our friend went there and had a great time. However I'm now certain that had our little group not help clear the cobwebs of ignorance what would have happened was that she may have had a great time, but she may also have psyched herself into such a frame of mind that:

    - she would have read negative connotations into neutral or innocent comments by persons she had come across on that island

    - she would have gone there with a confrontational attitude (in preparation to defend against any perceived dislike) and as a result would have gotten into the very confrontations that she would have been trying to mentally guard herself against (possibly through a misunderstanding resulting from her reading negative connotations into neutral/innocent comments or actions as outlined above).

    It is said that people fear what they do not know and it is so true. Unlike the situation I related though what seems to have happened in Britain is that the ignorance has been fed by an almost rabid media/yellow journalism, an upper class prejudice and lots of historical circumstance to turn fear-based ignorance into a full blown phobia. At least with the situation regarding my friend the consensus among the ignorant was that the other islanders didn't like us, but there was no hate for the other islanders (indeed we all seem to get along when it comes to some things like music, athletics and cricket) but more of an atmosphere of just plain ol' bitching and rivalry (and I detected an undertone of jealousy) much like one might experience in the situation between town-dwellers and countryside-dwellers or between two cities (or even within cities such as between Manchester United and Manchester City), regions (Yorkshire and Lancashire) or states (New South Wales and Victoria) with a history of rivalry. With Britain, the attitude towards Russia and Russians is complicated by former imperial rivalry (The Great Game and so on), anticommunism, the intervention in the Russian Civil War and the Cold War. So the media can and often does refer to these past themes in relating to Russia at present (even when they have practically nothing to do with the current situation) and this does nothing to end the ignorance. Strangely enough despite the past rivalry, Russia and the UK have only fought twice from what I understand (in 1807-1812 with minor naval engagements as part of the Napoleonic Wars and in the Crimean War in the 1850s). That Britain has fought with other countries just as frequently if not far more often in the past (against Germany twice and more recently, against the United States twice (during American independence and the war of 1812), against France so many times it isn't worth it to count...) seems not to have generated the same kind of phobia against these nations. It actually seems like wars do not figure very prominently in the Russophobia (as there is often very little reference to the Crimean War or the 1807-1812 war), but rather it seems like the threat of war is what figures more prominently - so with the Great Game there was the threat of war over India and with the Cold War there was the threat of war generally - coupled with little interaction with Russians themselves (unlike the situations with America, France and Germany where there is a lot more interaction between Britons and citizens of those countries). Old habits die hard and 40 years of Cold War indoctrination followed by an earlier period of 20 years of anticommunist/anti-Bolshevik Russia indoctrination (with only a break of about 4-5 years between the two periods) means that quite a number of people in Britain have literally grown up never knowing Russia as anything else other than some enemy with a mass of nameless, faceless people who were at times depicted as automaton-like communist drones. In essence Russians became dehumanized. And the problem isn't going to go away because the phobia is like a psychological virus spread by verbal diarrhoea. One person infected with the phobia only has to open his mouth and spout some rubbish and before you know it, other persons who are ignorant (but who may not have the phobia) are now repeating the nonsense.

    I doubt this will go away any time soon because the cure for it would be large scale interaction between the populations. As an aside, I believe this is partly why some nationalists the world over tend to be very anti-immigration and in favour of tightening border controls even for visitors - if freedom of migration and ease of travel are allowed then everyday people will see that the message of the nationalists is rubbish and that the other people they rail against aren't actually all plotting to take over your country, steal your food and jobs and rape your women.

    , @Jennifer
    You may like to know that the Battle of Britain in 1940 was fought with 10 Polish-speaking RAF squadrons and 2 RAF squadrons manned by pilots from the old Czechoslovakia.

    The RAF squadron that scored the highest number of hits during that battle was RAF No 303 Polish Fighter Squadron or the Tadeusz Kosciuszko squadron. Two pilots (one Polish, one Czech) between them scored 32 hits. This information is available on Wikipedia.

    Next time you hear someone abusing Polish or Czech migrants in the United Kingdom, you can tell them all about how Poles and Czechs helped to save your country's sorry arse against Hitler.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @alexander mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    I agree with all of this. I also agree with you point that abuse of Russia and of Russians is the one form of ethnic abuse that we tolerate in today's Britain.

    By the way the Guardian editorial today, purportedly about the murder of a journalist in Dagestan, refers to today's Russia as a "slimy, bloody place".

    Sorry, I was writing from memory. The exact words in the editorial are “slack, slimy and savage”.

    Most people I know in Britain form their ideas about Russia from reading such things.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @kirill
    Thanks for the heads up on the hate comment. More Russians need to be aware how much the west cares about them.

    Dear Moscow Exile,

    I agree with all of this. I also agree with you point that abuse of Russia and of Russians is the one form of ethnic abuse that we tolerate in today’s Britain.

    By the way the Guardian editorial today, purportedly about the murder of a journalist in Dagestan, refers to today’s Russia as a “slimy, bloody place”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander mercouris
    Sorry, I was writing from memory. The exact words in the editorial are "slack, slimy and savage".

    Most people I know in Britain form their ideas about Russia from reading such things.

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Yes, it truly is amazing.

    According to the CPJ, there was one journalist death in Russia this year with motive confirmed. (The Guardian claims four, but obviously journalists can be the victims of regular homicides too). Brazil had 2 (6 total) and Mexico had 3 (8 total), but it will be a cold day in hell before the Guardianistas start writing of "Truth being murdered in Roussef's bloody Brazil."

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    After over 40 years of reading it, I finally abandonded the Guardian the other week after having read the latest anti-Russia onslaught off its "international affairs" columnist. I should have done this long ago, in view of the fact that that newspaper still employs as head of its Moscow bureau the infamous russophobe plagiarist, Luke Harding, which person recently displayed the depth of his powers of argument against a contribution that I had made in the Guardian feature "Comment Is Free" by suggesting that I may be employed by the FSB.

    In fact, as regards Russian issues, "Comment Is Free" now has many contributors who still, it seems, search regularly under their beds for "Reds". Perhaps this is partly a result of the "Times" paywall, but it is also noticeable that there appears to be a hardcore of anti-Russia commentators that log into "Comment Is Free" who are US citizens or who hail from the Baltic States. Are they hirelings of the CIA or MI6, I wonder?

    Of course, these people have a "right" to comment freely, but it has begun to get ever more noticeable in recent years that the Guardian is more and more willing to censor comments concerning Russian issues and, in particular, any reference made concerning the probity of its Moscow bureau chief.

    However, the russophobic comments that appear in the Guardian pale into insignificance (sometimes) when compared to those that appear in the Daily Telegraph, where last week some profound thinker took the trouble to post the comment "The only good Russians are dead ones". That's not the first time that I've seen that posted to the Telegraph, nor is it the first time that I've seen such a comment remain undeleted. It seems that in the UK now, one can voice the most obnoxious and intolerant opinions concerning Russians and fear no legal consequences; if, however, that Telegraph commentator had written, for example, "The only good Pakistanis/Arabs/Jews/Negroes etc. are dead ones", his comment would have been removed and there may very well have been a criminal investigation into ascertaining his identity: he almost certainly would have been charged under the present British "race laws" if he had said "The only good Pakistanis/Arabs/Jews/Negroes etc. are dead ones"in a public place. But "Russians" (россияне really) don't count.

    Shaun Walker of the Independent is another Russia correspondent that seems to be a man driven with a mission. On the other hand, Mary Dejevsky, chief editorial writer of the Independent and well-respected commentator on Russia, the EU and the US, who has worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Paris and Moscow, has often given very balanced reports concerning Russia: her article on the Litvinenko case ("The Litvinenko files: Was he really murdered?" - http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-litvinenko-files-was-he-really-murdered-819534.html) remains one of the few in the West that does not scream out the it-was-ex-KGB-spy-Putin-who-ordered-Litvinenko's-death-at-the-hands-of-brutal-FSB-thugs line. For all her efforts at striving for objectivity in her reporting of Russian matters, however, Dejevsky has come under attack from russophobes with accusations that her employer is a Russian oligarch and that she is just writing to order. "She's also got a 'Russian' name as well", as some of the Little Englander russophobes have been quick to point out, so she must be on the FSB-payroll.

    Dejevsky also regularly appears on radio and television and writes articles for the New Statesman and openDemocracy.net. In 2005 she took part in a debate, arguing in favour of the motion "Putin is the best hope for Russian liberalism" and put forward that elections had been free, fair and democratic under Putin. Apart from taking into consideration Putin's popularity, she also pointed out that neither of the two liberal parties had won any measure of the vote, nor were there any particularly strong challengers to Putin . Dejevsky claimed in the debate that it was the presence of the opposition that placed constraints on Putin's ability to plough a reformist furrow because this opposition came from conservative and nationalist forces (see http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/putin-is-the-best-hope-for-russian-liberalism?SQ_PAINT_LAYOUT_NAME=chapter&start=2734&end=3287&sgmt=35028).

    I have been waiting for some time now for a Dejevsky article concerning the recent events in Russia to appear in the Independent. None has so far been forthcoming. Has someone put the blocks on her objective reporting of Russian affairs, I wonder?

    Thanks for the heads up on the hate comment. More Russians need to be aware how much the west cares about them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    I agree with all of this. I also agree with you point that abuse of Russia and of Russians is the one form of ethnic abuse that we tolerate in today's Britain.

    By the way the Guardian editorial today, purportedly about the murder of a journalist in Dagestan, refers to today's Russia as a "slimy, bloody place".

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • After over 40 years of reading it, I finally abandonded the Guardian the other week after having read the latest anti-Russia onslaught off its “international affairs” columnist. I should have done this long ago, in view of the fact that that newspaper still employs as head of its Moscow bureau the infamous russophobe plagiarist, Luke Harding, which person recently displayed the depth of his powers of argument against a contribution that I had made in the Guardian feature “Comment Is Free” by suggesting that I may be employed by the FSB.

    In fact, as regards Russian issues, “Comment Is Free” now has many contributors who still, it seems, search regularly under their beds for “Reds”. Perhaps this is partly a result of the “Times” paywall, but it is also noticeable that there appears to be a hardcore of anti-Russia commentators that log into “Comment Is Free” who are US citizens or who hail from the Baltic States. Are they hirelings of the CIA or MI6, I wonder?

    Of course, these people have a “right” to comment freely, but it has begun to get ever more noticeable in recent years that the Guardian is more and more willing to censor comments concerning Russian issues and, in particular, any reference made concerning the probity of its Moscow bureau chief.

    However, the russophobic comments that appear in the Guardian pale into insignificance (sometimes) when compared to those that appear in the Daily Telegraph, where last week some profound thinker took the trouble to post the comment “The only good Russians are dead ones”. That’s not the first time that I’ve seen that posted to the Telegraph, nor is it the first time that I’ve seen such a comment remain undeleted. It seems that in the UK now, one can voice the most obnoxious and intolerant opinions concerning Russians and fear no legal consequences; if, however, that Telegraph commentator had written, for example, “The only good Pakistanis/Arabs/Jews/Negroes etc. are dead ones”, his comment would have been removed and there may very well have been a criminal investigation into ascertaining his identity: he almost certainly would have been charged under the present British “race laws” if he had said “The only good Pakistanis/Arabs/Jews/Negroes etc. are dead ones”in a public place. But “Russians” (россияне really) don’t count.

    Shaun Walker of the Independent is another Russia correspondent that seems to be a man driven with a mission. On the other hand, Mary Dejevsky, chief editorial writer of the Independent and well-respected commentator on Russia, the EU and the US, who has worked as a foreign correspondent in Washington, Paris and Moscow, has often given very balanced reports concerning Russia: her article on the Litvinenko case (“The Litvinenko files: Was he really murdered?” – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-litvinenko-files-was-he-really-murdered-819534.html) remains one of the few in the West that does not scream out the it-was-ex-KGB-spy-Putin-who-ordered-Litvinenko’s-death-at-the-hands-of-brutal-FSB-thugs line. For all her efforts at striving for objectivity in her reporting of Russian matters, however, Dejevsky has come under attack from russophobes with accusations that her employer is a Russian oligarch and that she is just writing to order. “She’s also got a ‘Russian’ name as well”, as some of the Little Englander russophobes have been quick to point out, so she must be on the FSB-payroll.

    Dejevsky also regularly appears on radio and television and writes articles for the New Statesman and openDemocracy.net. In 2005 she took part in a debate, arguing in favour of the motion “Putin is the best hope for Russian liberalism” and put forward that elections had been free, fair and democratic under Putin. Apart from taking into consideration Putin’s popularity, she also pointed out that neither of the two liberal parties had won any measure of the vote, nor were there any particularly strong challengers to Putin . Dejevsky claimed in the debate that it was the presence of the opposition that placed constraints on Putin’s ability to plough a reformist furrow because this opposition came from conservative and nationalist forces (see http://www.intelligencesquared.com/events/putin-is-the-best-hope-for-russian-liberalism?SQ_PAINT_LAYOUT_NAME=chapter&start=2734&end=3287&sgmt=35028).

    I have been waiting for some time now for a Dejevsky article concerning the recent events in Russia to appear in the Independent. None has so far been forthcoming. Has someone put the blocks on her objective reporting of Russian affairs, I wonder?

    Read More
    • Replies: @kirill
    Thanks for the heads up on the hate comment. More Russians need to be aware how much the west cares about them.
    , @Hunter
    "Dejevsky has come under attack from russophobes with accusations that her employer is a Russian oligarch and that she is just writing to order. “She’s also got a ‘Russian’ name as well”, as some of the Little Englander russophobes have been quick to point out, so she must be on the FSB-payroll."

    Well I can't expect she would have gained very many friends among the Little Englanders with this recent article of hers just over a week ago:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mary-dejevsky/mary-dejevsky-britain-must-join-the-euro--and-cameron-is-the-man-to-do-it-6274279.html

    Not only is she on the payroll of the FSB it seems, but she must also have some fat paychecks coming from Brussels! :) Imagine the nerve of her! Suggesting that the Conservatives essentially sell their souls to those damned Continental devils! And lest we forget, Russia is on the Continent.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @alexander mercouris
    For anyone interested, the Guardian announced today major cuts in the size of the newspaper as it struggles with a £40 million a year loss. I heard it said somewhere (though I doubt that it is actually true) that the Scott trust that owns the Guardian will completely run out of money in about 3 years if losses continue at the present rate.

    Like most newspapers in Britain the Guardian has been losing readers for a long time and recently the pace at which it has been losing readers has been accelerating. Undoubtedly the internet and competition from its own website are a factor. However I have no doubt that its pronounced rightward shift over the last 20 or so years have played a part. The Guardian remained a strong supporter of Tony Blair long after he became discredited, was heavily involved in right wing plots against Blair's successor Gordon Brown (who was perceived as more left wing) and in the 2010 election notoriously supported the Liberal Democrats instead of Labour. Its Russian coverage is in my opinion simply a reflection of its shift to the right. This has upset much of its traditional left wing readership, which in now abandoning it in droves.

    The long claws of the Kremlin reach out to clamp down on free media even in the West.

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  • @kirill
    Yes, like the Guardian, only sympathetic or irrelevant comments will be tolerated. Anything that puts things in perspective or undermines the credibility of these rags is to be censored. Real censorship and not propaganda BS like this whole farce.

    For anyone interested, the Guardian announced today major cuts in the size of the newspaper as it struggles with a £40 million a year loss. I heard it said somewhere (though I doubt that it is actually true) that the Scott trust that owns the Guardian will completely run out of money in about 3 years if losses continue at the present rate.

    Like most newspapers in Britain the Guardian has been losing readers for a long time and recently the pace at which it has been losing readers has been accelerating. Undoubtedly the internet and competition from its own website are a factor. However I have no doubt that its pronounced rightward shift over the last 20 or so years have played a part. The Guardian remained a strong supporter of Tony Blair long after he became discredited, was heavily involved in right wing plots against Blair’s successor Gordon Brown (who was perceived as more left wing) and in the 2010 election notoriously supported the Liberal Democrats instead of Labour. Its Russian coverage is in my opinion simply a reflection of its shift to the right. This has upset much of its traditional left wing readership, which in now abandoning it in droves.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The long claws of the Kremlin reach out to clamp down on free media even in the West.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    The Moscow News has done a story on this, reporting that journalists are up in arms in Moscow over this matter, protesting about yet more censorship of any criticism of Putin and offering solidarity to their proffessional colleagues whose freedoms have been curtailed.

    Funny thing is though, in its article "Kommersant sackings show media limits", the Moscow News thought fit to report the wording of the spoiled ballot paper thus: "Putin [expletive] off!".

    I wrote to MN comments that appears below the article in question, asking why they thought it necessary to censor the offensive English word that is part of a near equivalent English expletive expression to that which was written on the Russian ballot paper, suggesting that writing the word "fuck" was perhaps considered by them to be unsuitable for their publication, and if so - why.

    They did not print my letter.

    Yes, like the Guardian, only sympathetic or irrelevant comments will be tolerated. Anything that puts things in perspective or undermines the credibility of these rags is to be censored. Real censorship and not propaganda BS like this whole farce.

    Read More
    • Replies: @alexander mercouris
    For anyone interested, the Guardian announced today major cuts in the size of the newspaper as it struggles with a £40 million a year loss. I heard it said somewhere (though I doubt that it is actually true) that the Scott trust that owns the Guardian will completely run out of money in about 3 years if losses continue at the present rate.

    Like most newspapers in Britain the Guardian has been losing readers for a long time and recently the pace at which it has been losing readers has been accelerating. Undoubtedly the internet and competition from its own website are a factor. However I have no doubt that its pronounced rightward shift over the last 20 or so years have played a part. The Guardian remained a strong supporter of Tony Blair long after he became discredited, was heavily involved in right wing plots against Blair's successor Gordon Brown (who was perceived as more left wing) and in the 2010 election notoriously supported the Liberal Democrats instead of Labour. Its Russian coverage is in my opinion simply a reflection of its shift to the right. This has upset much of its traditional left wing readership, which in now abandoning it in droves.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @yalensis
    Adobe Photoshop?

    No, a plain text editor is plenty enough.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Looks genuine to me, but I'll take your word for it. I found that particular screenshot here.

    Adobe Photoshop?

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    • Replies: @peter
    No, a plain text editor is plenty enough.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The Moscow News has done a story on this, reporting that journalists are up in arms in Moscow over this matter, protesting about yet more censorship of any criticism of Putin and offering solidarity to their proffessional colleagues whose freedoms have been curtailed.

    Funny thing is though, in its article “Kommersant sackings show media limits”, the Moscow News thought fit to report the wording of the spoiled ballot paper thus: “Putin [expletive] off!”.

    I wrote to MN comments that appears below the article in question, asking why they thought it necessary to censor the offensive English word that is part of a near equivalent English expletive expression to that which was written on the Russian ballot paper, suggesting that writing the word “fuck” was perhaps considered by them to be unsuitable for their publication, and if so – why.

    They did not print my letter.

    Read More
    • Replies: @kirill
    Yes, like the Guardian, only sympathetic or irrelevant comments will be tolerated. Anything that puts things in perspective or undermines the credibility of these rags is to be censored. Real censorship and not propaganda BS like this whole farce.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I think that most TV media people in America are aware that they live in a gilded cage. Having a tattle-tale suckup personality profile and a distinct lack of talent might be essential to surviving the eternal scrutinization of the editor in chief. That would be the raging, screaming, coke-snorting, pseudo-intellectual hedonist sitting in the control booth. The guy who plays dominance games and applies loyalty litmus tests. The guy that supports the Yukos criminals. The guy who never stops acting like Wile E. Coyote in the pursuit of Putin…must get Putin.

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  • @yalensis
    Nemtsov also defaced his own ballot, and seems to have checked off every name on the list, so vote-counters would have no choice but to discard it (one less vote for Yabloko, I guess):

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11031051/image/88741580-leaders-of-opposition-bloc-people-s-freedom-party-nemtsov-and-kasyanov-show-their-defaced

    Addendum: here is explanation of what Nemtsov was trying to do with his ballot, I don’t understand why this would be effective tactic, because these ballots would simply be thrown out and not counted:

    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/category,COI,RFERL,,RUS,4ec5045b28,0.html

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Looks genuine to me, but I'll take your word for it. I found that particular screenshot here.
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  • Nemtsov also defaced his own ballot, and seems to have checked off every name on the list, so vote-counters would have no choice but to discard it (one less vote for Yabloko, I guess):

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/11031051/image/88741580-leaders-of-opposition-bloc-people-s-freedom-party-nemtsov-and-kasyanov-show-their-defaced

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    • Replies: @yalensis
    Addendum: here is explanation of what Nemtsov was trying to do with his ballot, I don't understand why this would be effective tactic, because these ballots would simply be thrown out and not counted:

    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/category,COI,RFERL,,RUS,4ec5045b28,0.html

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  • @peter

    Yes, the file was literally called that
     
    No it wasn't, the screenshot you posted is fake. The file was (and is) actually called KMO_126398_00063_1_t210.jpg

    Looks genuine to me, but I’ll take your word for it. I found that particular screenshot here.

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    • Replies: @peter, @yalensis
    Adobe Photoshop?
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  • Yes, the file was literally called that

    No it wasn’t, the screenshot you posted is fake. The file was (and is) actually called KMO_126398_00063_1_t210.jpg

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Looks genuine to me, but I'll take your word for it. I found that particular screenshot here.
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  • Next in our line of Watching the Russia Watchers interviews is Mark Chapman, the fiery Canadian sailor who's been blazing a path of destruction through the fetid Russophobe ranks since July 2010. That was when he first set up The Kremlin Stooge, after being blocked from La Russophobe, who couldn't withstand his powerful arguments without...
  • [...] reviews and ranks “Russia watchers'” English-language blogs; Sublime Oblivion interviews Mark Chapman, the blogger writing The Kremlin Stooge. [...]

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  • Mark says: • Website
    @Simon
    "Simon Saradzhyan, security and foreign policy expert, former editor of the Moscow Times and research fellow at Harvard...None of the people mentioned were present when the bombings took place.":
    Death Count Hits 90 In Blast.
    By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova.
    916 words
    11 September 1999
    The last charred bodies were dug out of the wreckage of a nine-story apartment building Friday, and the death toll rose to at least 90 from the still unexplained explosion."

    And that means Simon Saradzhyan was present during the blast? Was he one of the charred bodies? I read this that Mr. Saradzhyan co-wrote a report on the bombings AFTER one or more of them took place. But feel free to prove me wrong – if Mr. Saradzhyan was on the scene as the explosion took place, perhaps he saw some FSB men running away, or perhaps even Putin himself sprinting for his car.

    Those who reported on the bombings after the bomb went off know there was a bombing. Everyone knows that. They don’t have any deeper knowledge of who did it than anyone else, and less than those who investigated it.

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  • “Simon Saradzhyan, security and foreign policy expert, former editor of the Moscow Times and research fellow at Harvard…None of the people mentioned were present when the bombings took place.”:
    Death Count Hits 90 In Blast.
    By Simon Saradzhyan and Oksana Yablokova.
    916 words
    11 September 1999
    The last charred bodies were dug out of the wreckage of a nine-story apartment building Friday, and the death toll rose to at least 90 from the still unexplained explosion.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark
    And that means Simon Saradzhyan was present during the blast? Was he one of the charred bodies? I read this that Mr. Saradzhyan co-wrote a report on the bombings AFTER one or more of them took place. But feel free to prove me wrong - if Mr. Saradzhyan was on the scene as the explosion took place, perhaps he saw some FSB men running away, or perhaps even Putin himself sprinting for his car.

    Those who reported on the bombings after the bomb went off know there was a bombing. Everyone knows that. They don't have any deeper knowledge of who did it than anyone else, and less than those who investigated it.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Mark says: • Website
    @Yalensis
    @mark: Lots of good points. You're obviously more a military expert than me. Agree that a Russia-China alliance would be ideal. Not sure the Chinese would be interested, though; they're doing pretty well on their own, why would they give a hoot about Russia? In my ideal fantasy-world, I would like to see 3-way alliance between Russia-China-Germany. Also more submarines and mobile nukes, obviously. One of Russia biggest challenges in next decade will be trying to keep Americans out of Black Sea. Americans have made very clear they intend to make Black Sea an "American Lake", and want to see Sebastopol, one of the most Russian of Russian cities, to become an American naval base. Russian navy cannot be effective without Black Sea fleet.
    As to your first point, "Russia is not Libya", I was tempted to retort with something humorously pretentious like, "We are all Libyans." But I refrained. :)

    I’m certainly not a military expert by any measure, and in any case the military just does what it’s told; in all but dictatorships, the strategists are civilians. Most of that is not military so much as it is simple playground alliances and politics. The Chinese are constrained to give a hoot about Russia in the same way the United States would not allow China to waltz in and invade and subjugate Canada – which is no more unrealistic than the USA invading Russia. If everyone can’t simply get along, and if some countries insist on jockeying for power against your interests, allowing your opponent sovereignty over the country that supplies the energy you must have to survive means you will have to rely on their good will. Actually, the Canada/USA and China/Russia alliances are analogous – in each case the dominant country borders directly on the country that holds its energy supply, is supplied by pipeline, and would have to rely on costly and vulnerable distant supplies by other means, largely tankers, if that supply were taken away.

    There was a lot of informed speculation – by people who know far more about power dynamics than I ever will – at the time it became apparent the USA was determined to invade Iraq that it was not so America could be awash in cheap gas for itself (which would never happen anyway given the world pricing system), but so it could control the pace of development in India and China, fast-developing nations that are heavily reliant on outside energy supplies. “Ownership” of a large oil producer – particularly one which is not already operating at full capacity – would allow the USA a powerful voice in the regulation of world price, something it currently doesn’t have and would very much like. If the new possession were large enough (as Iraq potentially was), it might even allow the breaking of the OPEC monopoly; part of the reason Saudi Arabia has the world’s only reserve pumping capability is that Iraq’s infrastructure is old and inefficient, and many of its reserves are unexploited, perhaps even undiscovered.

    Russia is now the world’s biggest energy producer. If you have no domestic supplies but have a rapid pace of development, is it wise for your supplies to be subject to somebody else’s veto?

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  • @Mark
    Russia is not Libya, and as you can see, the west is having a tough time with Libya. I can't imagine the scenario in which the USA would actually nuke Russia, but under the current circumstances the world would never stand for it - that said, Russia is wise to keep its own nuclear inventory. But nuclear weapons whose location is known are the first targets of a first strike; destroy the retaliatory capability that would surely be used if available. The ABM interceptors that the USA is insistent on installing on Russia's doorstep - supposedly to protect the world from a nuclear-armed Iran that does not currently exist - are believed by some to be a mop-up capability reserved for those Russian missiles that are not taken out in their silos in a first strike. Obviously, the location of those Russian ICBM's is known down to GPS coordinates. That should be changed. Perhaps more mobility should be introduced - the west was most nervous of Saddam's Scuds (ancient and clunky and short-range though they were, they could still easily reach Israel) that were moveable, either by rail or TEL (Transporter/Erector/Launcher). Disinformation also introduces uncertainties, such as leaking word of new weapon deployments and then posting guards on what are essentially just big concrete rings with nothing under them but dirt. Who wants to take the risk there's not a missile under there? That, of course, should be reserved for expediency, as it would probably violate the terms of the START treaty.

    Accelerate the development of the Borey Class submarines, and announce plans to build more; it will give shipyards work, and is an affordable way to increase the number of deployable missiles whose location cannot be easily verified - the west hopes, in such an unimaginable event, to get away untouched, and each probability introduced that makes that unlikely makes the entire event less likely. Publish the results of Bulava tests in respected and widely-read professional journals; as it is now, the western press is having a field day laughing at Bulava failures, but in reality it failed less than half the time, which was a much better record than the U.S. Missile Defence System even when the tests were rigged (known point of launch of the target, known inbound course and speed, no countermeasures against the attacking ABM, single target only, etc...).

    But the best defense of all - in the absence of everyone renouncing nuclear weapons altogether (which would still leave the USA, as the owner of the world's most powerful conventional forces, with an enormous advantage) - would be an alliance with China. China will overtake the USA in the next couple of years as the world's largest economy. Provided the Chinese people continue to want western-style luxuries and all the trappings of being globally influential, which so far looks likely, it's improbable that China will slip back into autocratic and dictatorial rule - although it's unlikely it will be as democratic as the west any time soon. It's hopeless to think Russia will be a global influence on that scale, because the population is just not big enough and there's no realistic way to increase it over the short term. That acknowledged, an alliance with a powerful partner on the most favourable terms that can be negotiated is the best insurance against attack. And Russia has something China definitely wants, and without which its economy cannot hope to grow at the present rate.

    The west is unlikely to beseige Russia with swarms of fighter-bombers as it is in Libya; the population in Russia is fairly concentrated, and basing for fairly short-range fighters would be a problem. Russia has a lot more submarines than Libya, and carriers fear submarines. That means a big escort group, which would in turn be an atttractive nuclear target. Air attack would likely consist of long-range heavier bombers which are often out of the reach of most surface-to-air missile systems. However, the Russian Air Force remains quite substantial, so bombers would need fighter cover, and we've already been over why that'd be a problem.

    @mark: Lots of good points. You’re obviously more a military expert than me. Agree that a Russia-China alliance would be ideal. Not sure the Chinese would be interested, though; they’re doing pretty well on their own, why would they give a hoot about Russia? In my ideal fantasy-world, I would like to see 3-way alliance between Russia-China-Germany. Also more submarines and mobile nukes, obviously. One of Russia biggest challenges in next decade will be trying to keep Americans out of Black Sea. Americans have made very clear they intend to make Black Sea an “American Lake”, and want to see Sebastopol, one of the most Russian of Russian cities, to become an American naval base. Russian navy cannot be effective without Black Sea fleet.
    As to your first point, “Russia is not Libya”, I was tempted to retort with something humorously pretentious like, “We are all Libyans.” But I refrained. :)

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    • Replies: @Mark
    I'm certainly not a military expert by any measure, and in any case the military just does what it's told; in all but dictatorships, the strategists are civilians. Most of that is not military so much as it is simple playground alliances and politics. The Chinese are constrained to give a hoot about Russia in the same way the United States would not allow China to waltz in and invade and subjugate Canada - which is no more unrealistic than the USA invading Russia. If everyone can't simply get along, and if some countries insist on jockeying for power against your interests, allowing your opponent sovereignty over the country that supplies the energy you must have to survive means you will have to rely on their good will. Actually, the Canada/USA and China/Russia alliances are analogous - in each case the dominant country borders directly on the country that holds its energy supply, is supplied by pipeline, and would have to rely on costly and vulnerable distant supplies by other means, largely tankers, if that supply were taken away.

    There was a lot of informed speculation - by people who know far more about power dynamics than I ever will - at the time it became apparent the USA was determined to invade Iraq that it was not so America could be awash in cheap gas for itself (which would never happen anyway given the world pricing system), but so it could control the pace of development in India and China, fast-developing nations that are heavily reliant on outside energy supplies. "Ownership" of a large oil producer - particularly one which is not already operating at full capacity - would allow the USA a powerful voice in the regulation of world price, something it currently doesn't have and would very much like. If the new possession were large enough (as Iraq potentially was), it might even allow the breaking of the OPEC monopoly; part of the reason Saudi Arabia has the world's only reserve pumping capability is that Iraq's infrastructure is old and inefficient, and many of its reserves are unexploited, perhaps even undiscovered.

    Russia is now the world's biggest energy producer. If you have no domestic supplies but have a rapid pace of development, is it wise for your supplies to be subject to somebody else's veto?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Mark says: • Website

    Russia is not Libya, and as you can see, the west is having a tough time with Libya. I can’t imagine the scenario in which the USA would actually nuke Russia, but under the current circumstances the world would never stand for it – that said, Russia is wise to keep its own nuclear inventory. But nuclear weapons whose location is known are the first targets of a first strike; destroy the retaliatory capability that would surely be used if available. The ABM interceptors that the USA is insistent on installing on Russia’s doorstep – supposedly to protect the world from a nuclear-armed Iran that does not currently exist – are believed by some to be a mop-up capability reserved for those Russian missiles that are not taken out in their silos in a first strike. Obviously, the location of those Russian ICBM’s is known down to GPS coordinates. That should be changed. Perhaps more mobility should be introduced – the west was most nervous of Saddam’s Scuds (ancient and clunky and short-range though they were, they could still easily reach Israel) that were moveable, either by rail or TEL (Transporter/Erector/Launcher). Disinformation also introduces uncertainties, such as leaking word of new weapon deployments and then posting guards on what are essentially just big concrete rings with nothing under them but dirt. Who wants to take the risk there’s not a missile under there? That, of course, should be reserved for expediency, as it would probably violate the terms of the START treaty.

    Accelerate the development of the Borey Class submarines, and announce plans to build more; it will give shipyards work, and is an affordable way to increase the number of deployable missiles whose location cannot be easily verified – the west hopes, in such an unimaginable event, to get away untouched, and each probability introduced that makes that unlikely makes the entire event less likely. Publish the results of Bulava tests in respected and widely-read professional journals; as it is now, the western press is having a field day laughing at Bulava failures, but in reality it failed less than half the time, which was a much better record than the U.S. Missile Defence System even when the tests were rigged (known point of launch of the target, known inbound course and speed, no countermeasures against the attacking ABM, single target only, etc…).

    But the best defense of all – in the absence of everyone renouncing nuclear weapons altogether (which would still leave the USA, as the owner of the world’s most powerful conventional forces, with an enormous advantage) – would be an alliance with China. China will overtake the USA in the next couple of years as the world’s largest economy. Provided the Chinese people continue to want western-style luxuries and all the trappings of being globally influential, which so far looks likely, it’s improbable that China will slip back into autocratic and dictatorial rule – although it’s unlikely it will be as democratic as the west any time soon. It’s hopeless to think Russia will be a global influence on that scale, because the population is just not big enough and there’s no realistic way to increase it over the short term. That acknowledged, an alliance with a powerful partner on the most favourable terms that can be negotiated is the best insurance against attack. And Russia has something China definitely wants, and without which its economy cannot hope to grow at the present rate.

    The west is unlikely to beseige Russia with swarms of fighter-bombers as it is in Libya; the population in Russia is fairly concentrated, and basing for fairly short-range fighters would be a problem. Russia has a lot more submarines than Libya, and carriers fear submarines. That means a big escort group, which would in turn be an atttractive nuclear target. Air attack would likely consist of long-range heavier bombers which are often out of the reach of most surface-to-air missile systems. However, the Russian Air Force remains quite substantial, so bombers would need fighter cover, and we’ve already been over why that’d be a problem.

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    • Replies: @Yalensis
    @mark: Lots of good points. You're obviously more a military expert than me. Agree that a Russia-China alliance would be ideal. Not sure the Chinese would be interested, though; they're doing pretty well on their own, why would they give a hoot about Russia? In my ideal fantasy-world, I would like to see 3-way alliance between Russia-China-Germany. Also more submarines and mobile nukes, obviously. One of Russia biggest challenges in next decade will be trying to keep Americans out of Black Sea. Americans have made very clear they intend to make Black Sea an "American Lake", and want to see Sebastopol, one of the most Russian of Russian cities, to become an American naval base. Russian navy cannot be effective without Black Sea fleet.
    As to your first point, "Russia is not Libya", I was tempted to retort with something humorously pretentious like, "We are all Libyans." But I refrained. :)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Mark
    That's a very interesting perspective, and although the Libya stumble was exactly the example I was thinking of while portraying Medvedev as out of his depth, the idea of him as military commander never occurred to me.

    However, the possibility of Russia squaring off militarily against the NATO empire powers (the USA and the UK) depends very much on the latter countries' international influence remaining at a minimum the same as today, if not increasing. I just don't see that happening. By way of contrast, for Russia much depends on their becoming a go-to energy supplier for China, which completion of Khodorkovsky's proposed pipeline network should ensure by broadening and deepening trade ties and mutual understandings. It's already recognized by both countries as a strategic goal

    http://downstreamtoday.com/news/article.aspx?a_id=16321&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    and went online this past January.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12103865

    The initial 300,000 BPD is fairly modest, but that volume is likely to increase with demand, since nothing limits it that is unresolvable.

    I was intrigued also with this blogger's appraisal.

    http://blog.feveriam.com/2011/01/russia-china-oil-pipeline-opens/#comments

    The final paragraph speculates that one day the Canadian Arctic could become a major supplier to China as well, through Russia. That looks extremely unlikely with things as they are, but if American influence began to wane....who knows? Also interesting was the comment that pondered a "Yuan/Ruble FX exchange" being used to break the grip of the "petro-dollar". Personally, I think that too is unlikely in current circumstances. But it is in line with my prediction of new financial alliances which will funnel direct investment to Russia.

    Regional squabbles should be few as long as China is willing to pay for its energy rather than simply taking it, and there's no reason at present to imagine that scenario, since China is working to groom and improve its international image. Once that relationship is established, it would be an easy sell to convince China that an attack on Russia constituted an attack on Chinese energy supplies. Why do you think the USA continues to ptrotect Canada although we are often ungrateful and sometimes rude, and are at pains to ensure everyone knows we are not Americans? The USA's biggest foreign oil supplier.

    The German proposal is interesting, though. It's true Germany is a strong trade ally of Russia, and Merkel has defended Russia in the past against media slurs. After the dust-up with Georgia, Merkel visited Medvedev before visiting Saakashvili. But Merkel came from the East, and her attitude is not broadly representative of Germany's where a possible conflict betwen Russia and the west is concerned. I'm also not sure how much Russians would trust Germany in such a scenario.

    Anyway, the recommendations to modernize and re-fund the military are sound advice. But Russia would be foolish to be dragged into another arms race which would likely see it squandering its cash surplus in a hopeless attempt to pull even with the world's biggest military, augmented by eager taxpayers who feel it is their duty to dominate the world, and for whom no tithe against income which funds the military is too much to ask. Modern, well-supported and well-equipped troops which could stand off an enemy until the threat to China's economic security became obvious would likely be sufficient. Major annual military exercises between China and Russia would serve to drive the point home. International conflicts have a lot in common with martial arts, and the frontal assault in overwhelming strength is almost always the most foolish and costly way to go.

    Agree that Russia cannot afford another arms race. But must find creative and intelligent ways to counter NATO’s moves on the chessboard. Especially encroaching radar installations, which are strategic theat to Russia’s first-strike capability, and hence make Russia vulnerable to American first strike. Also, as Libya war shows (and Yugoslavia prior to that), NATO’s ability to impose no-fly zone is a huge threat to a nation’s sovereignty. If anti-aircraft is neutralized, then attacking country can simply bomb at will, without fear of punishment. Learning lessons from Libya war, Russia could take the following immediate steps: (1) immediately take out (using bombers if necessary) any radar installations in Eastern Europe which can see inside Russian borders; (2) double the development of anti-aircraft capabilities; (3) reform and rebuild army; (4) secure all state money in non-Western banks where they will not be subject to freezing and confiscation by NATO. (Like in Libya, where NATO countries froze Libyan bank assets and then awarded the $$$ to the oppositionist ragtag alt-government in Benghazi.)
    Just as Spanish Civil War of 1936 was a dress rehearsal for WWII, Russia should treat the Libya war as dress rehearsal of exactly what West intends for Russia in a decade or so. Also as a valuable textbook to learn from Libya’s mistakes. (Main mistake being = Gaddafi believed Western lies, and gave up his nukes in return for Western promises of investment.)
    And many other things that Russia could do that do not cost a heck of a lot of $$$. Primarily they could let NATO know that they know what they are up to and are taking measures to counter. But this takes political will and the testicular fortitude to withstand the ensuing storm of Western fury and withering propaganda blast. Russia needs a strong leader to get through the next couple of decades and weather the coming storm. Medvedev is not such a guy. Maybe even Putin is getting soft. Is Hugo Chavez available?

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  • Mark says: • Website

    That’s a very interesting perspective, and although the Libya stumble was exactly the example I was thinking of while portraying Medvedev as out of his depth, the idea of him as military commander never occurred to me.

    However, the possibility of Russia squaring off militarily against the NATO empire powers (the USA and the UK) depends very much on the latter countries’ international influence remaining at a minimum the same as today, if not increasing. I just don’t see that happening. By way of contrast, for Russia much depends on their becoming a go-to energy supplier for China, which completion of Khodorkovsky’s proposed pipeline network should ensure by broadening and deepening trade ties and mutual understandings. It’s already recognized by both countries as a strategic goal

    http://downstreamtoday.com/news/article.aspx?a_id=16321&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    and went online this past January.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12103865

    The initial 300,000 BPD is fairly modest, but that volume is likely to increase with demand, since nothing limits it that is unresolvable.

    I was intrigued also with this blogger’s appraisal.

    http://blog.feveriam.com/2011/01/russia-china-oil-pipeline-opens/#comments

    The final paragraph speculates that one day the Canadian Arctic could become a major supplier to China as well, through Russia. That looks extremely unlikely with things as they are, but if American influence began to wane….who knows? Also interesting was the comment that pondered a “Yuan/Ruble FX exchange” being used to break the grip of the “petro-dollar”. Personally, I think that too is unlikely in current circumstances. But it is in line with my prediction of new financial alliances which will funnel direct investment to Russia.

    Regional squabbles should be few as long as China is willing to pay for its energy rather than simply taking it, and there’s no reason at present to imagine that scenario, since China is working to groom and improve its international image. Once that relationship is established, it would be an easy sell to convince China that an attack on Russia constituted an attack on Chinese energy supplies. Why do you think the USA continues to ptrotect Canada although we are often ungrateful and sometimes rude, and are at pains to ensure everyone knows we are not Americans? The USA’s biggest foreign oil supplier.

    The German proposal is interesting, though. It’s true Germany is a strong trade ally of Russia, and Merkel has defended Russia in the past against media slurs. After the dust-up with Georgia, Merkel visited Medvedev before visiting Saakashvili. But Merkel came from the East, and her attitude is not broadly representative of Germany’s where a possible conflict betwen Russia and the west is concerned. I’m also not sure how much Russians would trust Germany in such a scenario.

    Anyway, the recommendations to modernize and re-fund the military are sound advice. But Russia would be foolish to be dragged into another arms race which would likely see it squandering its cash surplus in a hopeless attempt to pull even with the world’s biggest military, augmented by eager taxpayers who feel it is their duty to dominate the world, and for whom no tithe against income which funds the military is too much to ask. Modern, well-supported and well-equipped troops which could stand off an enemy until the threat to China’s economic security became obvious would likely be sufficient. Major annual military exercises between China and Russia would serve to drive the point home. International conflicts have a lot in common with martial arts, and the frontal assault in overwhelming strength is almost always the most foolish and costly way to go.

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    • Replies: @Yalensis
    Agree that Russia cannot afford another arms race. But must find creative and intelligent ways to counter NATO's moves on the chessboard. Especially encroaching radar installations, which are strategic theat to Russia's first-strike capability, and hence make Russia vulnerable to American first strike. Also, as Libya war shows (and Yugoslavia prior to that), NATO's ability to impose no-fly zone is a huge threat to a nation’s sovereignty. If anti-aircraft is neutralized, then attacking country can simply bomb at will, without fear of punishment. Learning lessons from Libya war, Russia could take the following immediate steps: (1) immediately take out (using bombers if necessary) any radar installations in Eastern Europe which can see inside Russian borders; (2) double the development of anti-aircraft capabilities; (3) reform and rebuild army; (4) secure all state money in non-Western banks where they will not be subject to freezing and confiscation by NATO. (Like in Libya, where NATO countries froze Libyan bank assets and then awarded the $$$ to the oppositionist ragtag alt-government in Benghazi.)
    Just as Spanish Civil War of 1936 was a dress rehearsal for WWII, Russia should treat the Libya war as dress rehearsal of exactly what West intends for Russia in a decade or so. Also as a valuable textbook to learn from Libya’s mistakes. (Main mistake being = Gaddafi believed Western lies, and gave up his nukes in return for Western promises of investment.)
    And many other things that Russia could do that do not cost a heck of a lot of $$$. Primarily they could let NATO know that they know what they are up to and are taking measures to counter. But this takes political will and the testicular fortitude to withstand the ensuing storm of Western fury and withering propaganda blast. Russia needs a strong leader to get through the next couple of decades and weather the coming storm. Medvedev is not such a guy. Maybe even Putin is getting soft. Is Hugo Chavez available?
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  • @Yalensis
    I wanted to comment on the Putin-Medvedev pragmatist vs. dreamer thing. If Russia's main goal during the next decade was just to modernize herself and build wealth, then maybe Medvedev WOULD be a better choice. But, unfortunately, I believe (I hope I am just being paranoid, I would love to be proved wrong on this) that Russia is facing a big war to come. All the signs and portents show that ten or fifteen years from now, all other things being equal, Russia may well be fighting for her existence against an all-out NATO/America onslaught. Given that horrible possibility, whoever is Russia's next commander-in-chief needs to be focused STARTING TOMORROW on rebuilding and modernizing the army. Also aggressively countering American propaganda and forging military alliances with other nations, wherever possible. (For example, I believe Russia could eventually split Germany away from NATO and sign a non-aggression pact, sort of like a modern Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. With Germany neutralized, Americans would be forced to wage the war essentially alone, just them and Poland and a few other countries against Russia.)
    In summary, I do not believe that Medvedev is the man for that job. Russia needs a new Peter the Great, not a new Al Gore. Already, in the Libya issue Medvedev showed himself to be a gullible fool who could easily be duped by the West. As a generational product of the late-Soviet intelligentsia which was all hippy-dippy-blue-jeans-love-America singalong-with-Vysotsky type crowd, deep down he still sees the West as his friend, who would never harm him; not as a future enemy on the battlefield.

    If Russia’s about to go to war, it should modernise and fast. Without modernisation you’ll end up way behind China and USA. So this is the main goal.

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  • I wanted to comment on the Putin-Medvedev pragmatist vs. dreamer thing. If Russia’s main goal during the next decade was just to modernize herself and build wealth, then maybe Medvedev WOULD be a better choice. But, unfortunately, I believe (I hope I am just being paranoid, I would love to be proved wrong on this) that Russia is facing a big war to come. All the signs and portents show that ten or fifteen years from now, all other things being equal, Russia may well be fighting for her existence against an all-out NATO/America onslaught. Given that horrible possibility, whoever is Russia’s next commander-in-chief needs to be focused STARTING TOMORROW on rebuilding and modernizing the army. Also aggressively countering American propaganda and forging military alliances with other nations, wherever possible. (For example, I believe Russia could eventually split Germany away from NATO and sign a non-aggression pact, sort of like a modern Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. With Germany neutralized, Americans would be forced to wage the war essentially alone, just them and Poland and a few other countries against Russia.)
    In summary, I do not believe that Medvedev is the man for that job. Russia needs a new Peter the Great, not a new Al Gore. Already, in the Libya issue Medvedev showed himself to be a gullible fool who could easily be duped by the West. As a generational product of the late-Soviet intelligentsia which was all hippy-dippy-blue-jeans-love-America singalong-with-Vysotsky type crowd, deep down he still sees the West as his friend, who would never harm him; not as a future enemy on the battlefield.

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    • Replies: @grafomanka
    If Russia's about to go to war, it should modernise and fast. Without modernisation you'll end up way behind China and USA. So this is the main goal.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Mark says: • Website
    @kovane
    Comrade, we appreciate that you state the version we concocted for credulous foreigners. Bu enough with the cover-up. As you can see on that highly classified Wikipedia page (burn it after reading) the KGB is very much alive and kicking.

    Damn it, I told those stupid jerks from the HR office to use higher resolution photos! That must have been the reason why the assassination contract on you was never fulfilled. Please, apologise to him for us if Toupy was run over by a truck.

    Thanks for providing me with the great blog to pitch my bigoted views!

    Yes, I should have known that was coming, because every time I say there’s no KGB any more, someone points out that the state security in Belarus is still the KGB. True, but I meant Russia. It’s kind of like if I said there is no DKW any more (that might interest you – the current symbol on Audi automobiles, with the 4 linked rings, stands for the 4 companies that once made up the German Auto Union during the war, of which Audi was one. The others (all defunct) were Horch, Wanderer and DKW), and somebody pointed out that there was still a dealership in Czechoslovakia. Maybe, but I was talking about Germany. Anyway, any CIA tails should be thoroughly confused by now; I think my cover is still safe.

    That photo is actually from my wedding; I cleverly cropped out my wife to conceal the fact that she is slightly taller than me, but you can still see some of her hair above my right eye. It was taken in the Japanese Friendship park across the street from where the Canadian consulate used to be in Vladivostok. That’s the same building – although the consulate had moved by then – where the terrible fire occurred in 2006

    http://vlad.tribnet.com/issue591/Crime_watch/Five_convicted_in_deadly_fire_case

    that killed 9 Sberbank employees, some of whom jumped to their deaths rather than burn. Sberbank was on the floor directly above the former consulate, and I remember the barriers in the stairwell.

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  • @Mark
    Of course the KGB photo is old; there isn't any KGB any more. But just by the way, they used to be an organization that didn't mind a joke. That dossier photo isn't even me - if you look closely, you'll see it was my neighbour's dachshund, Toupy. We all had a good laugh over that. Today's organization has no sense of humour.

    Thanks, kovane; for your support and for your great contributions to the blog!

    Comrade, we appreciate that you state the version we concocted for credulous foreigners. Bu enough with the cover-up. As you can see on that highly classified Wikipedia page (burn it after reading) the KGB is very much alive and kicking.

    Damn it, I told those stupid jerks from the HR office to use higher resolution photos! That must have been the reason why the assassination contract on you was never fulfilled. Please, apologise to him for us if Toupy was run over by a truck.

    Thanks for providing me with the great blog to pitch my bigoted views!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark
    Yes, I should have known that was coming, because every time I say there's no KGB any more, someone points out that the state security in Belarus is still the KGB. True, but I meant Russia. It's kind of like if I said there is no DKW any more (that might interest you - the current symbol on Audi automobiles, with the 4 linked rings, stands for the 4 companies that once made up the German Auto Union during the war, of which Audi was one. The others (all defunct) were Horch, Wanderer and DKW), and somebody pointed out that there was still a dealership in Czechoslovakia. Maybe, but I was talking about Germany. Anyway, any CIA tails should be thoroughly confused by now; I think my cover is still safe.

    That photo is actually from my wedding; I cleverly cropped out my wife to conceal the fact that she is slightly taller than me, but you can still see some of her hair above my right eye. It was taken in the Japanese Friendship park across the street from where the Canadian consulate used to be in Vladivostok. That's the same building - although the consulate had moved by then - where the terrible fire occurred in 2006

    http://vlad.tribnet.com/issue591/Crime_watch/Five_convicted_in_deadly_fire_case

    that killed 9 Sberbank employees, some of whom jumped to their deaths rather than burn. Sberbank was on the floor directly above the former consulate, and I remember the barriers in the stairwell.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Mark says: • Website
    @kovane
    Comrade Chapman, I have to point out to you that your photo in the KGB dossier is old, you must send us an updated one. Contact the Foreign Agents Department as soon as possible; you knew the rules when you signed up.

    Great interview!

    Of course the KGB photo is old; there isn’t any KGB any more. But just by the way, they used to be an organization that didn’t mind a joke. That dossier photo isn’t even me – if you look closely, you’ll see it was my neighbour’s dachshund, Toupy. We all had a good laugh over that. Today’s organization has no sense of humour.

    Thanks, kovane; for your support and for your great contributions to the blog!

    Read More
    • Replies: @kovane
    Comrade, we appreciate that you state the version we concocted for credulous foreigners. Bu enough with the cover-up. As you can see on that highly classified Wikipedia page (burn it after reading) the KGB is very much alive and kicking.

    Damn it, I told those stupid jerks from the HR office to use higher resolution photos! That must have been the reason why the assassination contract on you was never fulfilled. Please, apologise to him for us if Toupy was run over by a truck.

    Thanks for providing me with the great blog to pitch my bigoted views!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I second kovane’s comment: Great interview, good job to both of youse, молодцы :)

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  • Comrade Chapman, I have to point out to you that your photo in the KGB dossier is old, you must send us an updated one. Contact the Foreign Agents Department as soon as possible; you knew the rules when you signed up.

    Great interview!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark
    Of course the KGB photo is old; there isn't any KGB any more. But just by the way, they used to be an organization that didn't mind a joke. That dossier photo isn't even me - if you look closely, you'll see it was my neighbour's dachshund, Toupy. We all had a good laugh over that. Today's organization has no sense of humour.

    Thanks, kovane; for your support and for your great contributions to the blog!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In recent months, there has coalesced yet another, fleeting Russian liberal movement, focused on holding (unsanctioned) protests on the last day of the month to draw attention to the 31st article of the Constitution guaranteeing freedom of assembly. As is usually the case with other sagas in the (largely illusory & irrelevant) "Kremlin Regime vs...
  • @Yalensis
    Anatoly, thanks to you (and also Mark Sleboda) for continuing to research and expose these creeps (Berezovsky and his friends I am referring to, of course). I have always just assumed (without proof) that these guys work for British intelligence with the aim of destabilizing Russia. But why would they organize these protests in London? It doesn't make any sense. It's a real mystery. Please keep digging, and maybe try to figure out. Good job!

    01 October 2009 @ 08:31 pm
    БАНДИТСКИЙ КАПИТАЛИЗМ РОССИИ. Олигархи современной России: Борис Березовский

    http://yanulevich.livejournal.com/

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  • @surtur
    Czechs hate everyone.

    Oh, come on, that’s not true! Czechs are great people, with wonderful, wry sense of humor. They know how to build lovely cities and are always very civilized.

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  • @solar sun
    I think it is pretty obvious he was smuggling Plutonium as even the Jamestown Foundation in the 90's admitted the Chechen mafia was involved in Plutonium smuggling and the Balkans among every other crime has a history of trafficking Plutonium.

    Wayne Masden using Italian news and newspaper report has detailed Berezovsky, Oleg former KGB colonial guy, Scaramelo and former CIA individuals who are now working in the private sector are involved in some shady activities.

    Revelation’s since the Litvenenko incident have revealed that:

    He was an MI6 agent.

    The testing place were Litvevnenko and Yuchenko were tested in London is reported to have ties to MI6 and Goldfarb help conduct the tests.

    His Italian counterpart Scaramelo was arrested by Italian police for weapons trafficking.

    The café where he was reportedly poisoned by Plutonium spiked tea he didn’t even drink tea and he and Lugovoi both visited a private security firm linked to MI6.

    Traces were found of Plutonium in places he visited before he meet Lugavoi.

    Highest concentration Plutonium was in his house where his family were not able to live in for a year. Wouldn’t the highest concentration be where he was allegedly poisoned?

    Where is all the CCTV footage? It is reported the average Londoner is filmed 300 times a day.

    Why did he wait 20 days before contacting the police if he believed he was being targeted for murder?

    The official narrative has been totally debunked and the evidence presented to Russia for extradition is weak with not even a toxicology report.

    I think it goes without saying that Litvinenko worked for MI6 – duh! Your scenario is very plausible, but the one thing that doesn’t make sense is Lugovoi’s role in this comedy. If Lugovoi is shady character, then why did he get elected to Duma? If he is upstanding Russian citizen, then why was he meeting with a gangster like Litvinenko? Is a mystery…

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  • @Leos Tomicek
    The KGB defector myth...

    http://fkriuk.blogspot.com/2007/01/litvinenko-spy.html

    Thanks, Leos, interesting stuff! I only started reading Russia-oriented blogs about a year ago, so was not familiar with all this earlier material.

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  • @Alexander G
    If you want to see BB in action, there's an anti-Russian BBC documentary called "Russian Godfathers." While it is anti-Russian, the first part (labeled "The Fugitive) shows BB in action trying to subvert Russian politics. Its actually quite amazing watching this man work in all his arrogance.

    Here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ocSNmsMZc

    The documentary itself was produced by a Jacob Rothschild owned production company for the BBC hence leaving out all the nasty details about the Oligarchs and portraying Khoderkovsky as the persecuted democrat neglecting to mention he was the frontman for Rothschild in London who ran the rigged privatisation auction which created YUKOs and the Menetap Bank located in the Isle of Man British tax haven transfering about $500 million to avoid paying taxes.

    Actually that documentary series got an award here in Britain.

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  • If you wan’t to understand what is happening in Russia today just research what western countries and there various frontmen and organisations like Soros, NED, etc were doing in the Balkans against the Serbs.

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  • @surtur
    I think he ordered the deaths of Listyev, Klebnikov, Litvinenko, and Patarkatsishvili, and the British government is covering up the evidence. The most dangerous mafia boss is right there in London.

    I think it is pretty obvious he was smuggling Plutonium as even the Jamestown Foundation in the 90′s admitted the Chechen mafia was involved in Plutonium smuggling and the Balkans among every other crime has a history of trafficking Plutonium.

    Wayne Masden using Italian news and newspaper report has detailed Berezovsky, Oleg former KGB colonial guy, Scaramelo and former CIA individuals who are now working in the private sector are involved in some shady activities.

    Revelation’s since the Litvenenko incident have revealed that:

    He was an MI6 agent.

    The testing place were Litvevnenko and Yuchenko were tested in London is reported to have ties to MI6 and Goldfarb help conduct the tests.

    His Italian counterpart Scaramelo was arrested by Italian police for weapons trafficking.

    The café where he was reportedly poisoned by Plutonium spiked tea he didn’t even drink tea and he and Lugovoi both visited a private security firm linked to MI6.

    Traces were found of Plutonium in places he visited before he meet Lugavoi.

    Highest concentration Plutonium was in his house where his family were not able to live in for a year. Wouldn’t the highest concentration be where he was allegedly poisoned?

    Where is all the CCTV footage? It is reported the average Londoner is filmed 300 times a day.

    Why did he wait 20 days before contacting the police if he believed he was being targeted for murder?

    The official narrative has been totally debunked and the evidence presented to Russia for extradition is weak with not even a toxicology report.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yalensis
    I think it goes without saying that Litvinenko worked for MI6 - duh! Your scenario is very plausible, but the one thing that doesn't make sense is Lugovoi's role in this comedy. If Lugovoi is shady character, then why did he get elected to Duma? If he is upstanding Russian citizen, then why was he meeting with a gangster like Litvinenko? Is a mystery...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Viktor
    LR doesn't seem to match Julia Ioffe's profile. This person or persons seem too hateful towards her own countrywomen and the translations from 'Dave Essel' are too sporadic to be from an actual Russian.

    I used to check the timing of LR comments and it seemed at least one member of the LR zombie team was posting from the UK.

    As I’ve mentioned before, perhaps not here, adjusting the time to make it look like your post came from the UK is fairly easy. I was a fake Englishman for awhile on LR’s blog, and the account created in gmail automatically punched out the time on comments based on the area code used as a reference (somewhere in London). The tone and the idiot’s logic employed on LR, as well as the forgetting what she complained about two months ago – so you can use her own stories to contradict her – are too similar to come from more than one person. That team thing is a fiction, unless it’s a team of clones.

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  • @surtur
    Could it be Julia Ioffe? Her blog has been suspended for some reason:

    http://themoscowdiaries.wordpress.com/

    Unlikely, unless she’s a magnificent actress in print. La Russophobe is extremely limited in imagination, and that low, mean kind of stupid you see in a dog that has been teased. Julia Ioffe isn’t stupid, and pretending to be stupider than you are is really, really hard. Pretending to be smarter than you are is fairly easy.

    Julia Ioffe writes for a lot of other sources besides the former True/Slant, and is probably just too busy to keep current.

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  • @kovane
    So much for the pan-Slavic brotherhood :)

    Czechs hate everyone.

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    • Replies: @Yalensis
    Oh, come on, that's not true! Czechs are great people, with wonderful, wry sense of humor. They know how to build lovely cities and are always very civilized.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Leos Tomicek
    Actually there are not, the most loving Czech you will meet is simply indifferent. ;-) I am a rare breed...

    So much for the pan-Slavic brotherhood :)

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    • Replies: @surtur
    Czechs hate everyone.
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  • @kovane
    Never thought that there are many Russia-lovers among Czechs. :)

    Actually there are not, the most loving Czech you will meet is simply indifferent. ;-) I am a rare breed…

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    • Replies: @kovane
    So much for the pan-Slavic brotherhood :)
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  • LR doesn’t seem to match Julia Ioffe’s profile. This person or persons seem too hateful towards her own countrywomen and the translations from ‘Dave Essel’ are too sporadic to be from an actual Russian.

    I used to check the timing of LR comments and it seemed at least one member of the LR zombie team was posting from the UK.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark
    As I've mentioned before, perhaps not here, adjusting the time to make it look like your post came from the UK is fairly easy. I was a fake Englishman for awhile on LR's blog, and the account created in gmail automatically punched out the time on comments based on the area code used as a reference (somewhere in London). The tone and the idiot's logic employed on LR, as well as the forgetting what she complained about two months ago - so you can use her own stories to contradict her - are too similar to come from more than one person. That team thing is a fiction, unless it's a team of clones.
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  • Straightforward, objective and sane.

    Расцеловал бы коли бы мог.

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  • @Leos Tomicek
    I posted the entire series, single part in one film from a Chinese stream video sites...

    http://www.austereinsomniac.info/blog/2010/2/13/russian-godfathers-series.html

    Never thought that there are many Russia-lovers among Czechs. :)

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    • Replies: @Leos Tomicek
    Actually there are not, the most loving Czech you will meet is simply indifferent. ;-) I am a rare breed...
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander G
    If you want to see BB in action, there's an anti-Russian BBC documentary called "Russian Godfathers." While it is anti-Russian, the first part (labeled "The Fugitive) shows BB in action trying to subvert Russian politics. Its actually quite amazing watching this man work in all his arrogance.

    Here's a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ocSNmsMZc

    I posted the entire series, single part in one film from a Chinese stream video sites…

    http://www.austereinsomniac.info/blog/2010/2/13/russian-godfathers-series.html

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    • Replies: @kovane
    Never thought that there are many Russia-lovers among Czechs. :)
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  • @Anonymous
    Zigfeld is using the term 'yanks' again. Maybe Catherine F. is on vacation and the Berezovsky funded UK member of the collective took the lead in maintaing the La Russophobe this week.

    Could it be Julia Ioffe? Her blog has been suspended for some reason:

    http://themoscowdiaries.wordpress.com/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mark
    Unlikely, unless she's a magnificent actress in print. La Russophobe is extremely limited in imagination, and that low, mean kind of stupid you see in a dog that has been teased. Julia Ioffe isn't stupid, and pretending to be stupider than you are is really, really hard. Pretending to be smarter than you are is fairly easy.

    Julia Ioffe writes for a lot of other sources besides the former True/Slant, and is probably just too busy to keep current.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • If you want to see BB in action, there’s an anti-Russian BBC documentary called “Russian Godfathers.” While it is anti-Russian, the first part (labeled “The Fugitive) shows BB in action trying to subvert Russian politics. Its actually quite amazing watching this man work in all his arrogance.

    Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ocSNmsMZc

    Read More
    • Replies: @Leos Tomicek
    I posted the entire series, single part in one film from a Chinese stream video sites...

    http://www.austereinsomniac.info/blog/2010/2/13/russian-godfathers-series.html

    , @solar sun
    The documentary itself was produced by a Jacob Rothschild owned production company for the BBC hence leaving out all the nasty details about the Oligarchs and portraying Khoderkovsky as the persecuted democrat neglecting to mention he was the frontman for Rothschild in London who ran the rigged privatisation auction which created YUKOs and the Menetap Bank located in the Isle of Man British tax haven transfering about $500 million to avoid paying taxes.

    Actually that documentary series got an award here in Britain.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.