Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 17, 2014

Ukraine: OSCE - Right Sector Fascists Deploy To Donetsk

There was some conflict in Mariupol with three Ukrainians ending up dead after protesters went to a military base. There are some videos but it is unclear what actually happened. There is a chance that provocateurs were involved.

The OSCE has an observer mission in Ukraine. From their latest (April 15) report:

The Lviv Team was told by Right Sector activists that they had begun recruiting for their paramilitary structure on 14 April. They said that approximately 100 paramilitaries had already been deployed to Donetsk region and were being trained in the eastern part of the country. One of the paramilitaries seen in Lviv was wearing a new military uniform, including a flak jacket, but carried no weapons.

There was a demonstration in Kyiv in support of Ukraine’s unity, attended by approximately 400people, about two thirds of whom were members of the Self-Defence force. The Team observed around 50 people armed with iron bars, baseball bats or makeshift clubs. Some protesters demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Avakov and more decisive action by the Kyiv authorities in Eastern Ukraine.

Lviv is in west Ukraine and the center of the Ukrainian fascists. That these deploy to Donetsk is a real concern that could lead to serious escalations.

(I am traveling and will have not much Internet time. Please behave in the comments and don't feed the trolls.)

Posted by b on April 17, 2014 at 10:59 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I hope you aren't taking the goddam OSCE as gospel. Don't take anybody as gospel, not them or the UNHRC or anybody else. Distrust and verify.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17 2014 11:53 utc | 1

"There is a chance that provocateurs were involved."

You can bet that provocateurs were involved in these murders. The neo-fascist "Right Sector" has been integrated into the Ukrainian military, and their job is to spur on assaults against the Ukrainian people.

The US mass media, as per usual, is spreading the lie that local demonstrators were armed.

Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the US living in Moscow

Posted by: Arnold Lockshin | Apr 17 2014 12:17 utc | 2

This is priceless. For everything else, there's Mastercard. Pretty much underscores everything I've been saying here and on my own blog and other blogs. All those alleged Eastern Ukrainian Russian sympathizers begging to be spied on by Putin versus the NSA. You have to laugh. Paper or Plastic? Does it matter?

Putin Asserts Right to Use Force in Eastern Ukraine

One of the questioners was Edward J. Snowden, the former United States government contractor who leaked millions of documents concerning National Security Agency programs. Appearing in a prerecorded video message from a location that was not identified, he asked Mr. Putin about Russia’s own use of electronic surveillance.

Mr. Snowden said that he had seen “little discussion of Russia’s own involvement in the policies of mass surveillance.”

“So I’d like to ask you,” he continued, “does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?”

“Mr. Snowden, you are a former agent,” Mr. Putin replied. “I used to work for an intelligence service. Let’s speak in a professional language.”

“Our intelligence efforts are strictly regulated by our law,” Mr. Putin said. “You have to get a court’s permission first.” Mr. Putin noted that terrorists use electronic communications and that Russia had to respond to that threat.

“Of course we do this,” Mr. Putin said. “But we don’t use this on such a massive scale and I hope that we won’t.”

And I assert my right Vlad, to take a leak when need be. So there. We all like to assert our rights and brag about them. Eddie, stay out of lonely stairwells and don't drink the tea.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Apr 17 2014 12:37 utc | 3

Putin held a Q and A which included Berkut officer asked Putin:
Nullius_in_Verba @rozakazancctv 4h
Question to #Putin now from Berkut officer who served on #Maidan: was Yanukovych always such a wuss and traitor?
World News Report @robinsnewswire 2h
#WorldNews World News: Putin says Ukraine's decision to disbanded Berkut police will backfire #SpecialReports

Forex News Real Time @ForexNews87 3h
Russia's Putin says Ukraine's disbanded Berkut Security Force carried Out Duty "professionally and Honourably"
Revo @arbolioto 3h
Myroslava Petsa @myroslavapetsa 4h
#Putin to a former #Berkut officer: People will understand that you behaved the right way and say thank you

Alexey Yaroshevsky @Yaro_RT 4h
#Putin to former Berkut head - what the new Kiev authorities are doing to your former colleagues now is apalling and will backfire

Ann-Dorit Boy @anndoritboy 4h
Berkut-man asks #Putin: Has Yanukovych always been such a traitor?? P: He did his duty, did not use force #Ukraine #Russia
#PUTIN ANSWERS Berkut commander: "Yanukovich told me he could not bring himself to use force against his own citizens." 1/2
Retweeted 31 times
RT @RT_com 4h

Question to #Putin from Ukrainian police officer (Berkut): was Yanukovich always such a slacker & traitor?

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2014 12:57 utc | 4

Cold and Hole in the of the nastiest trolls around...from spook central?

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2014 13:02 utc | 5

Retweeted Hans de Vreij (@hdevreij):
Aeroflot: 'Russian citizens between 16 and 60 are not allowed into ‪#‎Ukraine‬' MT @BSchmeitzner:
will tourists want to go to a state they can get to be attacked by fascist gangs?

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2014 13:31 utc | 6

What did new Ukrainian government bring to the people of Ukraine so far?

1) Caused deaths to 120 Ukrainians
2) Devalued Ukrainian currency from 8 grivnas for $ to 14 grivnas.
3) Illegally jailed around 150 Ukrainians
4) Caused loss of greatest piece of land - exotic, super fertile, agrarian and tourist land - Crimea with its beautiful landscape, prospering wineries and annual 5 million visitors.
5) Loss of industrial and money-making South-Eastern regions. (Donetsk region by itself is counted for 1/8th of entire Ukrainian GDP)
6) Destruction of downtown Kiev
7) Society split
8) Massive spendings
9) Civil war
10) Fascism, nazism, Russophobia, anti-Semitism, hate and violence

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2014 13:39 utc | 7

Very soon, the IMF will cease to be the world's only organization capable of rendering international financial assistance. The BRICS countries are setting up alternative institutions, including a currency reserve pool and a development bank.
The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have made significant progress in setting up structures that would serve as an alternative to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which are dominated by the U.S. and the EU. A currency reserve pool, as a replacement for the IMF, and a BRICS development bank, as a replacement for the World Bank, will begin operating as soon as in 2015, Russian Ambassador at Large Vadim Lukov has said.

Brazil has already drafted a charter for the BRICS Development Bank, while Russia is drawing up intergovernmental agreements on setting the bank up, he added.

In addition, the BRICS countries have already agreed on the amount of authorized capital for the new institutions: $100 billion each. "Talks are under way on the distribution of the initial capital of $50 billion between the partners and on the location for the headquarters of the bank. Each of the BRICS countries has expressed a considerable interest in having the headquarters on its territory," Lukov said.

It is expected that contributions to the currency reserve pool will be as follows: China, $41 billion; Brazil, India, and Russia, $18 billion each; and South Africa, $5 billion. The amount of the contributions reflects the size of the countries' economies.

Posted by: brian | Apr 17 2014 13:41 utc | 8

@3 Noone is going to agree with you hear much if you use that tone of voice, so why bother?

Posted by: Massinissa | Apr 17 2014 14:39 utc | 9

The US changes the narrative - Council of Foreign Relations - Why Russia Is Not the Real Problem

In some sense, it is accurate to describe the battle in Ukraine as an East-West struggle: the east is Donetsk, and the west is Lviv.

On the side of the West are the four provinces that were part of Habsburg Austria until 1918. Later, all were swept into the Soviet Union. For over a century, these regions have been a hotbed of anti-Russian, pro-European sentiment. When they were in power, the Habsburgs, fearing both Polish nationalism and Russian expansionism, encouraged and cultivated fierce nationalism through schools, societies, and paramilitary scouting organizations. They taught the local peasants -- who had previously referred to themselves as ruski or rusyn -- that they were part of a great Ukrainian nation spanning from the Carpathian Mountains to the banks of the Don River, and that they had historically been oppressed by the Russians and the Poles. The peasants’ allies in their struggle for national liberation? Europe, naturally. Or, more specifically, Habsburg Vienna.

The imprint of Ukrainian nationalism on these western communities has been remarkably durable. In the interwar period, they chafed at Polish rule. Ukrainian nationalists formed radical underground organizations, burned Polish estates, and ultimately assassinated the Polish interior minister. When the Soviet Union took over these territories, it found an implacably hostile population, one that mounted a large-scale insurgency. At the insurgency’s peak, there were over 100,000 men at arms. These warriors fought the Soviets through the early 1950s. When the Soviets finally defeated the insurgency, these regions fed the ranks of Soviet dissidents and the anti-Soviet diaspora in the West. They were among the first to protest against Soviet rule again in the 1980s, and voted by large majorities for secession from the Soviet Union in March of 1991 (the only Ukrainian provinces to do so). Since then, Ukraine’s western reaches have been the mainstay for Ukraine’s nationalist parties. Although the population of these provinces is only about 12 percent of Ukraine’s total population, they punch far above their electoral weight because of the intensity of their political views, their support in the diaspora, and their willingness to take to the streets.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 14:39 utc | 10

Oh, and there are the real poll numbers now in the new narrative. From the link above.

It is thus not surprising that, when questioned about the Soviet past or about support for European or Russian alignment in the present, the country cleaves sharply, and consistently, along regional lines. According to a recent poll, the idea of joining NATO is popular only in western Ukraine (64 percent in favor). It is deeply unpopular in the south (11 percent in favor) and the east (14 percent in favor). Much the same is true for membership in the European Union. If the matter were up for a referendum, which it will not be anytime soon, 90 percent would vote yes in the west, 29 percent would vote yes in the south, and 22 percent would vote yes in the east. Perhaps looking for a silver lining to the Russian invasion, some observers maintained that the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea would change those attitudes -- after all, the stability and protection that Europe would offer starts to look better when your neighbor invades -- but the regional divides are remarkably durable. Even surrounded by battle-ready Russian forces and at risk of annexation, southerners and easterners seem more interested in having the Russian military protect them from NATO than they are in having NATO protect them from Russia.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 14:42 utc | 11

Have a safe journey b

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 17 2014 14:46 utc | 12

Putin is following a less taught by Confucius, "sometimes by doing nothing you achieve everything".
Staying out of that wet hot mess that is Ukraine is gold since i can clearly see a trap.

Posted by: Fernando | Apr 17 2014 15:03 utc | 13

Samir Amin has an excellent article on Pambazuka News that spells it out so even a complete dummy can figure out what the hell is going on!

After the breakdown of the Soviet System, some people (in Russia in particular) thought that the “West” would not antagonise a “capitalist Russia”. Just as Germany and Japan had “lost the war but won the peace”. They forgot that the Western powers supported the reconstruction of the former fascist countries precisely to face the challenge of the independent policies of the Soviet Union. Now, this challenge having disappeared the target of the Triad is to destroy the capacity of Russia to resist to a complete submission. - 'Russia and the Ukraine crisis', 17 April 2014

Samir continues:

The rhetoric of the Western media, claiming that the policies of the Triad aim at promoting democracy, is simply a lie. Nowhere the Triad has promoted democracy. On the contrary these policies have systematically been supporting the most anti-democratic (in some case “fascist”) local forces: Quasi fascists in the former Yugoslavia –in Croatia and Kosovo-, as well as in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, Hungary for instance. Eastern Europe has been “integrated” in the European Union not as equal partners, but as “semi-colonies” of Western and Central European major capitalist/imperialist powers. The relation between West and East in the European system is somehow similar to that which rules the relations between the US and Latin America! In counties of the South the Triad supported the extreme anti-democratic forces such as, for instance, political ultra-reactionary Islam, and with their complicity, destroyed these societies: The cases of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya illustrate these targets of the Triad imperialist project.

At the root of all this increasing (mayhem) and barbarism is the role of anti-communism, which as Amin points out, had absolutely nothing to do with the Soviet Union being some kind of 'totalitarian' or 'authoritarian' state but merely resisted foreign domination.

So now we reap what we allowed to be sown and god help us all!

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 15:38 utc | 14

@14 william bowles. thanks for the article.. b asks that posters don't feed the trolls, and yet - what do they do? lol. com'n folks.

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2014 15:51 utc | 15

I think they are getting close to a solution

Ukraine agrees to jurisdiction of ICC for Maidan related crimes

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 15:53 utc | 16

@16 Surely this is aimed at Yanukovich as a way to legitimize the Kiev government?

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2014 16:01 utc | 17

This is a really stupid comment by putin:
This shows that the western warmongers were in part right

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 16:03 utc | 18

Posted by: dh | Apr 17, 2014 12:01:15 PM | 17

Doubt it. It first and foremost questions the ability of the Kyiv government to convict the criminals themselves.

The ICC is political but no cangaroo court.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 16:03 utc | 19

This here is the Wikipedia entry on ICC for the former Yugoslavia

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 16:09 utc | 20

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17, 2014 12:03:14 PM | 18

That was obvious to any observer. Putin would have lost all credibility not to admit it.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 16:10 utc | 21


I guess I got fooled then because I didnt believe it not alot of people here.
Very stupid by putin to say that now when west blames russians for causing chaos in eastern ukraine right now.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 16:16 utc | 22

@18 - anon. it was my understanding part of the agreement for having stevespol as a harbour for russia's fleet included allowing up to 30,000 troops within crimea.

@14 - william bowles. "Re-establishing a State control over the movements of capital is the only effective response to that danger." how is that supposed to happen? do you think brics can establish something to counter the imf and world bank agenda?

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2014 16:17 utc | 23


Yes but not enter/attacking ukraine military bases.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 16:20 utc | 24

Oh my god,
Donetzk chief of police, TORTURED TO DEATH and his wife RAPED! WTF is going on!?


Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 16:24 utc | 25

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17, 2014 12:16:59 PM | 22

There is a lot of propaganda now, Syrian cannibal video type of propaganda.

Some people badly, badly want civil war. I won't have a look at the video #25, I bet it is the same type of snuff video. possibly even from Syria.

In other news Donezk republic asks Jews to register - not true either.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 16:50 utc | 26

Lavrov: Russia, US, EU, Ukraine agreed on Ukraine de-escalation roadmap

Some people obviously do not like it.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 16:55 utc | 27

You can be 100% certain that if the Donetzk chief of police, TORTURED TO DEATH and his wife RAPED, it would be on a few actual news sites by now.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17 2014 17:20 utc | 28

Posted by: james | Apr 17, 2014 12:17:45 PM | 23

The 64 million dollar question. I think the actions of the USNATOEU are acts of sheer desperation. The Syria policy failed and then the Russians did the unthinkable (as far as the Empire is concerned); it defied the USEU by maintaining its access to the Black Sea. Let's not get to romantic over Russia's actions. I don't think Putin's govt is suicidal whatever else it is. Putin did what any other leader of a country under threat would have done, he defended its borders.

It surely explains the hysteria of the Western state/media over Russia's actions. BRICS?'s a real dilemma, they can't just dump the dollar that would bring the entire house down, and possibly trigger WWIII (as much as the US blocking of Japan's access to oil, triggered its attack on Pearl Harbour. That was the intention of course). So they're going to have to take a long term view (if we have the time that is).

But over time, with the right approach, the BRICS nations could surely alter the nature of the global financial system to their advantage. The question is: would the Empire permit it? And furthermore, would the rest of planet benefit?

Capitalism may well be on its last legs but those legs are made of nuclear missiles.

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 17:24 utc | 29

Of course the Hanjob is a plant. He's a bit better than the average troll,which means he tries to probe for weaknesses to see what might work. So far nothing. If he's been seconded by CIA, it just shows hor far they've fallen since I knew his bosses' bosses. They were good.

Posted by: Knut | Apr 17 2014 17:29 utc | 30

Is this video for real? Slitting the guy's throat? This is utter, total madness!!! I couldn't watch all of it, but, assuming it's real, this is the face of fascism. I'm horrified.

Oh my god, Donetzk chief of police, TORTURED TO DEATH and his wife RAPED! WTF is going on!?


Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17, 2014 12:24:16 PM | 25

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 17:30 utc | 31

You'd think so wouldn't you but they'll no more show this than show a video of Syrian 'rebels' executing children.

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 17:32 utc | 32

Of course the video is real, for crying out loud what more evidence do you need than actual video?

here is a picture of the police clothing, same suit, same shoes

Here is a picture of the policeman, new or old pic? I dont know.

Question is rather is it the policeman that is getting killed or someone else?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 17:35 utc | 33

Another picture of him:

His name in english is: "Kostyantyn pozhydayev"

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 17:40 utc | 34

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17, 2014 1:35:25 PM | 33

These things are very easy to fake.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 17:47 utc | 35

Here is a video of the policeman
at: 4:00

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 17:49 utc | 36

I think you would find this article very said that even Ban Ki Moon said that no official borders exist between Russia and Ukraine as they were administrative! Meaning that the UN show declaring Crimea vote illegal and illegitimate propose by the the exact opposite!...It is Ukraine the separatists not Crimea! So since not defined frontiers meaning the whole West simply invade Russia directly?

Talk point of view of international laws...sure the whole West elite consider that Laws are for the commoner(petite gens) and not for higher up...

Ukraine has no demarcated borders?

What to make of this?

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has made an interesting statement on Ukraine, which, for some reason, was overlooked by the Ukrainian media. That’s according to the Ukrainian Choice news portal. The United Nations Security Council has, for the umpteenth time, considered the Ukrainian issue, and experts made a rather unexpected conclusion.

It turned out that Ukraine has no official boundaries. Since the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kiev hasn’t demarked its borders. Nor has it registered at the United Nations the demarcation of its borders as a sovereign state. The Voice of Russia talked to political analyst Dmitry Babich.

What is happening there?

What is behind this? Well, I tried to dig behind that story and I couldn’t find any confirmation except a lot of reports in Facebook which are of course unreliable. But I would say that although it is quite clear that Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s sympathies in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine are clearly on the Ukrainian side, there is that problem: I remember how the so called friendship agreement was signed between Russia and Ukraine in 1997 and at that time the problem was that both sides agreed not to have territorial claims against each other but the question of the demarcation of the border remained on their agenda.

So, there are still some inaccuracies, there are still some not quite clear points, you know, about this border. But I think it is of course a minor issue compared to what is going on right now in Eastern Ukraine and compared to other problems that Ukraine might have with this new government, with its other neighbors. So, to my mind, indeed the world is going to see that the break up of the Soviet Union was a tragedy because if you look at the ethnic map of Russia, Ukraine and neighboring Moldova, you will see that this is a real fruitcake and the formally Soviet borders which used to be just administrative borders inside the Soviet Union suddenly became important in 1991.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 18:13 utc | 37

First, I am not going anywhere near that video and if it is what you say it is, I don't expect it'll last long on youtube. In the second place, William, of course I'm not suggesting they would show the juicy bits on CBS News; what I mean is, unless it is an utter and contemptible piece of obscene video manipulation (either using a real snuff movie or just sfx), then this chief of police would be reported dead by violence, and although the report would not give the gory details, it would be top and front at and VoR and ITAR-TASS and and RIA Novosti, just to list the eng-lang russian sites that every one of us could get to in 10 seconds. And I'm not even going to bother to check, because (a) it's an obvious case of what I said already, and (b) anybody here who fails to treat it with appropriate contempt but instead tries to run with it, should be suspect... but I have read the comments beneath the video (each one has a tiny translate button!) and the consensus for whatever it's worth is that it is not even a genuine snuff movie but a piece of "pomegranate juice dripping from his throat" etcetera.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17 2014 18:20 utc | 38

Kiev shows what a joke it is,

so after the meeting they kept on their attacks on civilians!

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 18:46 utc | 39


Question is why they would fake it, it makes no sense, I mean if the cop are alive he could easily expose himself and say himself that it was a fake video of him being killed.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 19:01 utc | 40

I doubt the vid is real...not that I've ever seen the real thing, but if his carotid artery were cut, I'm pretty sure there would be blood flying clear up to the ceiling - and a lot more blood all over the place - it would be like turning on a spigot.

Posted by: SKUPPERS | Apr 17 2014 19:06 utc | 41

Didn't some of those Right Sector guys fight alongside the jihadis in Chechnya? They could easily have picked up the practice of beheading from those jihadis. (Or maybe there are some real Chechen jihadis now fighting in Ukraine.)

Posted by: lysias | Apr 17 2014 19:08 utc | 42

Posted by: SKUPPERS | Apr 17, 2014 3:06:50 PM | 41

It wasn't his carotid that was cut, but just below the thyroid, and just above where the neck meets the chest. But his screams sounded realistic to me. And if faked, who would fake it and to what end, knowing the MSM would never broadcast it?

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 19:17 utc | 43

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17, 2014 2:20:35 PM | 38

Rowan: Again, to what end if it is a fake?

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 19:18 utc | 44

The hell with that. I am disgusted by Lavrov's stupidity in signing this worthless surrender, because that's what it is. It's worse than worthless, because it blithely and repeatedly uses the word "illegal": "All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares, and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated." Who defines "illegal" when one party does not recognise the legality of the government imposed by the other, or its laws? This is a total waste of time, and this is far from the first occasion on which Russia has committed to shit agreements like this, and ditched those who were depending on him for defense of life and limb against fascist invaders.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17 2014 19:28 utc | 45

On Kostyantyn Pozhydayev (Пожидаев Константин Николаевич) and his supposed murder:
Image search leads me to two sources in English

March 6, 2014: Avakov was appointed a new head of the Donetsk облУВД person Akhmetov

April 12, 2014: Ukrainian regional police chief steps down

For the video to be authentic, he would have to be dead. The police crime scene photos shown at the end of the video would have to match photos published reliably somewhere. If these two requirements were met I would lean toward thinking the video is authentic. So far I have not even found news of his supposed death.


A copy of the snuff video is is posted on VK.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 17 2014 19:38 utc | 46

What a hell are you doing, Putin?
Had you signed a surrender declaration?
Are you and Lavrov mad?
"Illegal"? What does it means?
Is Kiev's "govenrment" "legal"?
For God sake! The pro-russian people will be slaughtered.
Shame on you!

Posted by: Scan | Apr 17 2014 19:39 utc | 47

Just look at this ugly picture of kerry, ashton and the ukrainan envoy.

kiev can do wahtever they want when west is backing them.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 19:45 utc | 48

It's been pulled from youtube, and I don't see anything that looks remotely like a torture, murder, rape, etc type offering on, which only has 36 videos altogether, and bounces to the index page listing all 36 of them when you go there, because the one with the number you give evidently isn't there. So presumably it has been deleted both by youtube and VK. which is just as well.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17 2014 19:51 utc | 49

Russia was defeated...
Thank you for nothing, Mr. Putin!
Thank you for slaughter the russians in Ukraine.
Sieg heil!

Posted by: Scan | Apr 17 2014 19:54 utc | 50

Lavrov is neither gutless nor nuts. “Illegal” means illegal as asserted by the stronger side which is clearly Russia, and the Empire’s proxies know this.

Posted by: Michaël | Apr 17 2014 19:55 utc | 51

"There is a lot of propaganda now, Syrian cannibal video type of propaganda."

Do you think the FSA cannabal incident was a fake? I've never heard that before.

Posted by: ChrisMclavelli | Apr 17 2014 20:00 utc | 52


Nonsense! You mean the same people Lavrov talk to saying their power is illegal?!
No this was a deafeat for Russia. period. They did not even deal with the situation only that pro-russian or anti-maidan stop what they are doing. Besides. Will they? Of course not.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 17 2014 20:06 utc | 53

Kerry in Geneva Uses Anti-Semitic Leaflet in Provocation

Deception by provocateurs. Clearly a false flag operation no one heard about until used by John Kerry during today's press conference after Geneva talks. The Banderists have support in Galicia, north-west Ukraine in city of Lvov, not in pro-Russian Donetsk.

Posted by: Oui | Apr 17 2014 20:07 utc | 54

I think it's much too early to talk of defeat. The war is now beginning...

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 20:09 utc | 55

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 17, 2014 3:38:26 PM | 46

So, the purported torture/execution was allegedly done by 'pro-Russian' goons?

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 17 2014 20:11 utc | 56

Posted by: ChrisMclavelli | Apr 17, 2014 4:00:58 PM | 52

I think this cannibal type of video is made for money

Posted by: somebody | Apr 17 2014 20:12 utc | 57

"Rowan: Again, to what end if it is a fake?"

This is exactly the WRONG type of reasoning to utilize when ascertaining the truth/falsity of what you see especially as it relates to situations in which intelligence agencies/mercenaries/the media are heavily involved as is the case here. After decades of false flags/psyops the first and foremost thing that people have to keep in mind is to NEVER wonder WHY/HOW someone would do something like this or that but whether what you are seeing is real or not through a close - and scientific, if possible - examination of the available evidence.

Once TPTB have you guessing why someone did something then you are already implicitly recognizing the "reality" they want you to accept. The psychological/emotional buy-in by observers of the psyop is so great that the mind naturally tends to wander to thoughts as to how - both morally and physically - a perpetrator could do such things and said buy-in is thus psychically reinforced.

Don't wonder at the magicians' tricks and how/why they fool you all the time. Just remember that they are tricks expressly meant to fool you for any number of reasons that you'll probably never know about.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Apr 17 2014 20:13 utc | 58

To hell with that. This is the report on the agreement. This is the comment I posed there, after savagely truncating it to meet their shortness requirements:

Russia surrendered to the USA under the drunk, and since then it has been an obedient slave of the USA. For those of you who don't know yet, what Putin (and I mean to personalise him as responsible here) has done is abandon the Donbas in return for two things: he gets to keep Crimea, and Ukraine promises to pay its gas bills. Russia may play a pretended role of independence but its true place is among the slave states. After this decision, Putin may enjoy his money, but Russia will fall under the heel of the Nazis too, and what is more, it will deserve to do so.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 17 2014 20:24 utc | 59

Certainly doesn't look very good if that twitter feed from The Guardian reporter that Rowan linked to is all there is. Nothing about federalization or neutrality. Only a commitment to open dialogue in any constitutional process. The meat of the statement regards rolling up and shutting down the occupation of public buildings. There must be more here than meets the eye. Otherwise the only way to interpret it is that Russia does not want New Russia.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 17 2014 20:30 utc | 60

Putin says oil wars with Russia will make West bleed

this kind of talk rings false, like the phoney al Qaeda "threats against the West"

Putin shrieks threats to try to placate the Russians who might resent his selling out

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Apr 17 2014 20:41 utc | 61

The agreement is not surprising. This is what friends do; they take care of each other at everyone else's expense. I'm thankful no more Ukrainian blood will be spilled.

I know some of you are disappointed, but that's life. You'll have to take your little red wagon and go home. No WWIII today…or ever. Putin's bid to turn his $70 billion net worth into $100 billion didn't work out–for now. The COOP said no dice. Another day. There's still plenty of money to made. Don't try to hog all of it. He came to his senses. Sometimes it's tough to stop yourself when you're raking so much in. But Putin did see his insatiability and appears to have gotten it under control with this agreement. He knows he can't have it all, only a piece…for now.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Apr 17 2014 20:43 utc | 62

so Holefield's got the crystal ball and Rowan the geopolitical poop? you clowns are too much. when's the last time an agreement was actually honored? by anyone.

Posted by: john | Apr 17 2014 21:00 utc | 63

About this "agreement" thing...

1.) the overthrow of the government was illegal.
2.)the agreement did not specify who the authorities actually were
3.)public spaces ALL OVER Ukraine have been occupied by Pro-Russian, Anti-Coup Government, Pro-Coup, and Right Sektor groups.
4.)No deadlines given by Kiev were followed through in regard to cracking down protests
5.) the "sides" are the US, EU, and Russia
6.)the "troops" in Kiev "CAN" remain where they are.
7.)Ukraine foreign ministry with Russia has agreed to join efforts to "START" process of deescalation.

My thoughts are this is just vague and buying the players some time.
No body is letting anybody down just yet, nor are they doing anything for anybody.

I am also thinking that Putin may be throwing the EU and US a bone again. The reframing of "illegal" could be extended to groups or individuals who were once helpful in the overthrow but now a hinderance.

Anyway, Hi.
I am new here!

I enjoy the blog and many commenters.

Posted by: Tea | Apr 17 2014 21:26 utc | 64

Putin's "70 billion dollar net worth is nothing but "fiction."

Forbes magazine did a report on it and found it groundless.

Posted by: RC | Apr 17 2014 21:29 utc | 65

I mean the troops "FROM" Kiev.
As if they are not arriving in the East from other regions...

Posted by: Tea | Apr 17 2014 21:31 utc | 66

It seems the CIA is involved in the Ukraine.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 17 2014 22:04 utc | 67

There are two general aspects to what appears to be an agreement on Ukraine.

The first is that, diplomatically, this is a Russian victory. In all manner of ways Russia is better off than it was in December last or March. You may not like the agreement, which is very likely to be honoured mostly in the breach anyway, but it achieves two major goals. Firstly it secures the Crimea, which is returned to Russia after fifty years. Strategically this is a great advance on the thirty year lease agreement and the “on sufferance” garrison . Secondly it confirms the continued importance, in New Russia, of the Russian oriented, Russian speaking, in the final analysis dependent on Moscow for protection, minority, which, in a country as split as Ukraine is, is actually close to being a plurality, the equivalent of the Pashtu in Afghanistan.
The Galicians would have greatly preferred to see this thorn in their scrawny side, removed. Instead it is there permanently. This means that the days of Right Sector/Svoboda power are numbered if not over.
There is much more to it than that but, as I see it, those howling calamity just don’t understand diplomacy which is a very ugly, incremental business one of whose primary purposes is to keep Diplomats in employment by ensuring that their work is never done.

But the most important aspect of this sudden discovery of unanimity among the parties-and recollect that success was not expected , indeed it was generally anticipated that the talks would end quickly and dissolve into mutual recriminations and sabre rattling- is that, as I suggested yesterday, a real revolution was beginning in Donbas and New Russia. It was no accident that the rebellion in Odessa christened its creation a Peoples Republic. And the events throughout the region, of people stepping forward to grasp at power, crushing Kiev’s invasion, rallying the troops to the People’s side, not only frightened the scum in Kiev and rattled Putin, Lavrov and the conservative, neo-liberal ruling class they front for, they were equally shocking-and I suspect this will be seen in the way that some of the European reporters broke ranks when confronted with the reality of a real revolution, albeit in the earliest term of development- to the western governments.
The EU governments know that they are dancing on a thin crust over a volcano of seething anger and profound discontent. Does anyone imagine that Merkel and Hollande, Cameron et al, are not constantly fielding calls from their Spanish, Greek, Potuguese, Italian and even, God Help Us, Irish colleagues warning them that, with youth unemployment rates in the 25-45% ranges and unemployment, in terms of full time jobs, rising, with living standards crumbling and pensions vapourising, Trouble is far closer than the horizon?

The last thing these people wanted was an actual revolutionary exercise, with power passing down into the streets and demands shooting up from them like rockets on New Year’s Eve, or Queen Victoria’s Birthday, here in Ontario. My guess is that it will be a while before the State Department sponsors another Revolution of the Maidan kind in Europe. It now realises that fires can spread quickly and easily. It may take just another botched drug arrest/killing or a ham handed Federal Bureau of Lands action. The grass is ready to catch light, the slightest spark will set it off.
And that is what Messrs Lavrov and Putin and their EU sparring partners and even the US government, where idiocy reigns supreme and insensitivity is a way of life, have twigged. New Russia in 2014 was beginning to look very much like Old Russia in 1905.

And, faced with that vision of horror, the differences between them suddenly dissolved. It is a reminder to all of us how scared the ruling class, in every nation, is of the power of the awakening masses. Even when the people turns over in its sleep and yawns the statesmen and the oligarchs shiver with fear and drop all their differences.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 17 2014 23:12 utc | 68

@bevin #68:

I agree with you that there's a lot of panties getting caught in a bunch going on, but I don't see why you insist on calling Putin and Lavrov neoliberals. The Saker explained the relation of Putin to neoliberalism pretty well in one of his posts. (I'm sorry that I'm not digging up the link.) When Putin came into power, Yeltsin had already allowed the oligarchs to steal Russia's wealth. Putin was not in the position to destroy the oligarchs completely. So he only went after those oligarchs who were unwilling to comprise with him. Since the oligarchs still have considerable power and Putin is not a dictator, he can't turn Russia into Sweden or Cuba. (I am not sure what you want him to do, which would make the neoliberal label no longer applicable to him.)

Posted by: Demian | Apr 17 2014 23:43 utc | 69

This agreement mostly fortifies the powerful outsiders and the comparative centrists (which coincides with bevin's assessment as well) - which I suppose is exactly what you'd expect from an agreement written by them. In fact, I see this as the outside powers making demands on the junta more than anything.

In that sense, calling this a defeat for Russia is incorrect. It is important to note that it requires as much from the Kiev junta as it does from the people in the East. The agreement requires all buildings be cleared of protestors. That all sides put down their weapons. And I have never known post-Libya Russia to take at face value any promises from the West, so we can assume that until the junta acts responsibly, Russia will keep up the pressure.

The junta is between the proverbial rock and the hard place. Even if they are sensible enough to know that they have to deal with Russia, accept federalization or even partition, they cannot do so because they are as liable to catch a beating from Right Sektor as the Party of Regions and Communists were all those weeks ago.

To me, this agreement is Russia saying "we can deal with the people in the east, but you (the junta) must deal with the Right Sektor". And this is something that certainly the State Dept. wants to do (the Right Sektor is a bargaining chip for them, awaiting the same political fate comparable to the one Sashko Bily met once their usefulness is over) and something the oligarchs and Svoboda want to do as well. And this makes them "legally bound" to do so, in order to "save Ukraine". And quite obviously the Russians want this too - because certainly the only way to get the junta to move on federalization and debt-payments is to get them out from under the Right Sektor who still hold parts of central Kiev and still threaten to "finish the revolution". Until they go, the junta fears them as much as they fear the Russians.

I'm not saying this is a win for Russia or a win for the people of the east - but it certainly threatens Right Sektor more than anyone. And in this sense it is a good thing.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 18 2014 0:41 utc | 70

Demian @69
Is this the Saker link you are looking for

Posted by: Phantastron | Apr 18 2014 2:18 utc | 71

@29 - william bowles. thanks for the response to my question. i tend to agree with your viewpoint. russia is in a tricky place as they are not in the commanding place monetarily, however much they are moving in the right direction. it is hard playing poker with someone who cheats.. the supremacy of the us$ creates an unequal situation where the might of it's military can dictate.. at this point in time, might continues to be right and the law of the jungle hasn't been overturned.. that we have a media in the west that serves these same powers is really no surprise. what i find surprising is how so many believe so much without any type of questioning.

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2014 3:18 utc | 72

@Phantastron #71:

Yes, thanks much. :-)

I was beginning to wonder if I was thinking of a blog post at cluborlov; Orlov seems to think along similar lines.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 3:31 utc | 73 Making sense of the latest Kerry Lavrov deal

"So today agreement is really neither good, nor bad, in fact - it's no big deal at all. Either it will be as short-lived as the agreement between the EU and Yanukovich, or it will be slowly implemented with lots of zig-zags on the way. Regardless of which option proves true, it will not affect the deep dynamics which have been set in motion which have now acquired a momentum so powerful that probably nobody can stop it.

The attempt to put down the eastern Ukraine appears to have petered out and the chance to turn the Donbass into a "East Banderastan" lead by a clique of neo-Nazi freaks are as small as ever. In other words, chances are the[that] at least the current phase of the Ukrainian civil war is over."

No need to panic. The west always reneges on the agreements they make, the Russians expect it, and it's already planned for.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 18 2014 3:35 utc | 74

Saker is lying when he says "The attempt to put down the eastern Ukraine appears to have petered out," doubtless for his own good reasons. He knows Deschytsa has explicitly said the Donbas operations will continue, which necessarily means they will escalate, as more and more neo-nazi thugs are fitted up with simple, low-tech weapons and 'National Guard' uniforms. And bevin, as usual, tries to use pomposity, a true Pangloss except that his best of all possible worlds is a meaningless myth set in a future which will never come. You think Jackass and Ashton will prevent the reconquest of the Donbas? You're a fraud, bevin. They will destroy it, like Thatcher destroyed the British coal mining areas.

Aind by the way, Russia doesn't even get to keep Crimea, I now find. It just reverts to the status quo ante, with Sevastapol and x thousand troops who have nothing to do. So the only thing Russia gets out of this is a promise from Kiev to pay its gas bills. And my comment at has beeen removed within any indication that it was ever there, there's no placeholder saying "this comment was removed because etc etc," it's just gone. And that asshole with the pseudo salinger name needs to be banned from here before I get myself banned instead, by making disagreeable racist comments about his ethnicity.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 18 2014 4:04 utc | 75

I try not to argue with you Rowan because, quite frankly, I think that you are trying to propel yourself into some sort of wisdom by taking the Blakean road of excess -see your foolish speculations @1 of the Open Thread. There's no need for such behaviour it is self indulgence. But I'm not arguing.

Except with misrepresentation like this:
" You think Jackass and Ashton will prevent the reconquest of the Donbas?"
No Rowan I do not. Nor do I suggest that they will. In fact I say just the opposite, that all parties are agreed that the Donbas must be subdued, but that the Keystone Kops with swastikas are not up to doing it.

You are, clearly, angered by the agreement between Lavrov and Kerry, and you take it out on anyone who isn't. You have a brain, obviously, but you seem reluctant to exercise it.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 18 2014 4:22 utc | 76

The Saker is right when he calles the Kiev putschists crazies:

All Russian Men Barred From Entering Ukraine

It seemed hard to imagine, when Russian airline Aeroflot began reporting that Ukraine had sent them an official order banning all Russian men between the age of 16 and 60 from entering the Ukraine. The ban also applies to all Crimeans, including women.

With so many false narratives out there, this seemed like just another, but Ukraine’s border service confirmed that the policy was in place, and part of a policy of limiting access to “undesirable individuals.”

@Rowan Berkeley #75:

I urge you to get psychiatric therapy before it is too late.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 4:23 utc | 77 Украина. Хроники распада

"Ukraine. Chronicles of decay"

"Geneva Accord, adopted today, Russia, the U.S. and the EU with little or no participation of Ukraine (Deshchytsa periodically asked to leave), is a typical arrangement of the failure of the agreement. Panicmongers advise all to go to the hysteria mode to read his text . It contains items that obviously can not be made. The very first point - abstinence from all sides of any violence - totally impracticable today in Ukraine. Similarly, "illegal armed formations" can not disarm, as it is not so much militia Donbass as "Right sector" not intentional disarm. Of course, the release of the buildings is also not happen, because the precondition is, for example, the release of the activists. And Ukraine will not release them, citing the fact that they are "serious criminals."

Ukraine began to violate the agreement immediately after its signing - Deshchytsa already said that "anti-terrorist operation" with the army will continue. That is about performing this useless scrap of paper can be forgotten.

Separately, NATO delivers threat to impose on Russia even more authorizing sanctions if occupied buildings will not be released. Since no Russian forces and agents in the Donbass there, and the requirements of a foreign power activists to explicitly do not, it is obvious that Russia will have to at least send troops to the Donbas to persuade activists to give AOH and SBU. Give to whom? Taruta? Do not forget, by the way, that from the Russian point of view, the legitimate owner of all buildings, including especially in Kiev, Yanukovich is."

That is an internet translation of the first half of his article.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 18 2014 4:38 utc | 78

Saker makes a good analysis with very good points in the post linked at #74. The first is that in the agreement Crimea is not mentioned in any way. Which takes it completely off the table as far as the West is concerned.

And #75, I don't understand, how does Crimea revert? Please amplify. Where is this declared or demonstrated? What am I missing?

Crimea's legal/political process has completed now I believe, has it not? Where it formally has resolved to join Russia in whatever post-referendum process was required constitutionally (I can't find this right now but it was in recent days). The Russian navy just ordered 5 new warships to be built there, according to Saker, whom I'll believe until shown wrong. It seems to me that nothing can take Crimea away from Russia ever again - the Crimean people wouldn't stand for it and surely Putin himself could not survive such a thing. Again, it's not even on the table for discussion with any of the other parties.

The key to the agreement to me is that cessation of violence and de-escalation have been publicly declared the policy of all parties. Another step in the Russian modus operandi all along: first stop the killing and/or neutralize threats of same, and only then work on the more finessed matters.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 18 2014 4:49 utc | 79

Urge away, fools. Over the next month or two you will be treated to the spectacle of those under-armed, ineffective thugs murdering and torturing their way across the Donbas in the full glare of world publicity, while you continue to insist that Putin is such a master strategist that all he has to do is surrender, and bingo! he's won.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 18 2014 4:51 utc | 80

I just noticed that supecilious little comment about my "foolish speculations @1 of the Open Thread." Again, bevin, pomposity is not enough. You need to find meaningful objections to my theses, otherwise they will stand. I don't think you have the IQ to even engage with me, frankly.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 18 2014 4:56 utc | 81

@Grieved #79:

It seems to me that nothing can take Crimea away from Russia ever again - the Crimean people wouldn't stand for it and surely Putin himself could not survive such a thing.

I think the important thing is that Russia took a major stand here, with Putin linking restoring the Crimea to Russia with the historical objective of preserving (or creating) a multipolar world. American pundits and politicians like to go on about US "credibility": preserving its credibility is the reason why the USG has to destroy one country after another.

Well, Russian credibility is at stake here. Also, Russia needs the Sevastopol port for strategic reasons, and the Ukraine, at least the eastern Ukraine, cannot be allowed to join NATO. So keeping the Crimea is really an existential question for Russia. That is why American officials continuing to speak of the Russian attempt to annex the Crimea is so crazy.

At least with the agreement that was released today, we know that they are not serious about that.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 5:34 utc | 82

Putin on Next First Lady: ‘First Need to Marry Off Ex-Wife, Then Think About Self’


Posted by: scalawag | Apr 18 2014 5:41 utc | 83

On the "deal". I'd assume that the russian calculation might be that, as soon as de-armament and deescalation takes place, from the day on, that the ukrainian population puts "military crisis" off their agenda and starts to care about their imposed interim-putschist so called government, it will be a win for the russian side. As soon as the fascists stop terrorising their opponents and the common people start thinking about their political and economic future (as opposed to civil war), things will go downhill for Yarosh and Yatsenjuk. I'm just wildly speculating, but I could imagine that the russians would rather see Tymoshenko as someone to broker deals with, than Turchinov or Yarosh. As long as there are no NATO troops on ukrainian ground and no civil war breaks out, I'd think that russian influence on ukrainian politics will reestablish in the mid-term. Now let's see how the new (if there is one) western strategy to maintain influence will work out without armed fascist gangs to intimidate political opponents at their disposal. I can't see it happening, frankly.

Posted by: peter radiator | Apr 18 2014 6:03 utc | 84

@scalawag #83:

Ha, I didn't even know that Putin was divorced. It must be nice to have a president who has a sense of humor and is not a borg.

By the way, I read somewhere recently that Putin is a serious Russian Orthodox believer. I was surprised to read that, because, from my White Russian background, my impression is that the Russian intelligentsia identifies with Orthodoxy, but does not take it very seriously. Do you know anything about Putin's religiosity?

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 6:04 utc | 85

You may have read my argument that he is and always has been devout, a fact that is obvious to me anyway. I argued in a previous comment, upwards of a week ago, that this should be borne in mind when considering what sort a tactitian he is. I said that as a believer he would have had the cards stacked against him in the KGB, and would have had to have been pretty astute even to get to the rank of Lt-Col.

For all you other panglossian airbrush artists of reality, let me stress: Russia will not retain possession of the Crimea. the status quo ante will be restored, ie Sevastopol port and a garrison. But the Crimea will once again be part of Ukraine. So read more carefully, people, and when you have read, please try not to wriggle out of the implications.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 18 2014 6:13 utc | 86

I agree with most of the saker's opinions, except that I don't think the USA has complete influence on the oligarchs. From what I understand with my limited access to information ;), it seems that e.g. Ahmentov tries to make most of the situation getting support from both sides (I may be completely wrong about this).
Also it seems unlikely that Crimea would become an "economic powerhouse". The economic powerhouse is definitely around dnipropetrowsk, charkiv and donezk. That's also where Ahmetov seems to have a rather huge influence, probably more than ever now he's appointed "governor". From what I understand, he also has the potential to mobilise some militia of his own and I'd even guess that the non-escalation of the so-called anti-terror measures took place in accordance with him.
What I'm speculating is not very substantial, so forgive me for openly speculating in public :).
Cheers and happy easter, guys.

Posted by: peter radiator | Apr 18 2014 6:17 utc | 87

#86 But how would you imagine the restoration of crimea's status taking place, now that the referendum has taken place? If russia should agree to this, imho they'd lose their credibility within the russian population and anger the crimean population. That would destroy everything they have "achieved", not only in ukraine, but in every aspect. I can't imagine that will happen, but on the other hand, few things seem impossible these days.

Posted by: peter radiator | Apr 18 2014 6:24 utc | 88

@Rowan Berkeley #86:

Yes, that might have been you. I do not have enough familiarity with post-Soviet Russians to have much of a feel for which of them is "devout".

Since I was born in, grew up in, and live in the US, by the way, I relate more to Protestantism, Lutheranism in particular, than to Russian Orthodoxy. So I have been corrupted by the West. ;-)

(Also, my paternal grandmother was Latvian and hence Lutheran, so I consider Lutheranism to be part of my family tradition, even though I didn't like her very much.)

As for the Crimea, not even Yulya Timoshenko thinks that the Ukraine is going to get it back, so I really don't see why you keep pushing that idea. There is simply nothing that the Empire can do to wrest the Crimea from mother Russia. I understand post-Soviet Russians enough to know that much.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 6:32 utc | 89

sidenote: spiegel online (without irony or exaggeration the direct outlet for american propaganda in germany) has a first opinion piece on the agreement.
In a word: the disarmament of militias is "unrealistic" (of course they only mention separatist militia, it's obvious that they mean the fascist militia) and there seems to be no way around a local referendum in the donbas. Maybe a hint at what has been agreed to on the conference? Maybe a hint that whatever has been agreed to has only been agreed to be nullified in the next minute by the west? Whatever.

Posted by: peter radiator | Apr 18 2014 6:44 utc | 90

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18, 2014 2:04:26 AM | 85

When Putin with his wife announced their separation a reporter asked them about how that rhymes with religious rules. They answered that there was no religious problem as they had not married in church.

So you can expect them now to marry their new partners in church (I do not think so, but who knows ...)

Of course Putin grew up an atheist like any official in the Soviet Union.

My interpretation: The love by Russian rulers for Orthodoxy was sparked by the realization of the motivational power of religion in Afghanistan. As they had lost the ersatz religion of communism. There is a Muslim variant of this, as Russia's 16 percent Muslim population invites all kinds of political mischief. You can bet those Tatars in Crimea will be treated well.

John Pilger in the Guardian with what is really going on.

Since Washington's putsch in Kiev – and Moscow's inevitable response in Russian Crimea to protect its Black Sea fleet – the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the "Russian threat". This is fossilised propaganda. The US air force general who runs Nato forces in Europe – General Philip Breedlove, no less – claimed more than two weeks ago to have pictures showing 40,000 Russian troops "massing" on the border with Ukraine. So did Colin Powell claim to have pictures proving there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq

What is certain is that Barack Obama's rapacious, reckless coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.

Following a 13-year rampage that began in stricken Afghanistan well after Osama bin Laden had fled, then destroyed Iraq beneath a false flag, invented a "nuclear rogue" in Iran, dispatched Libya to a Hobbesian anarchy and backed jihadists in Syria, the US finally has a new cold war to supplement its worldwide campaign of murder and terror by drone.

A Nato membership action plan – straight from the war room of Dr Strangelove – is General Breedlove's gift to the new dictatorship in Ukraine. "Rapid Trident" will put US troops on Ukraine's Russian border and "Sea Breeze" will put US warships within sight of Russian ports. At the same time, Nato war games in eastern Europe are designed to intimidate Russia. Imagine the response if this madness was reversed and happened on the US's borders. Cue General Turgidson.

And there is China. On 23 April, Obama will begin a tour of Asia to promote his "pivot" to China. The aim is to convince his "allies" in the region, principally Japan, to rearm and prepare for the possibility of war with China. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific area. This is the greatest military concentration in that vast region since the second world war.

This here is Rapid Trident 2013 - I wonder what they will do this year.

I think the Geneva agreement means the US was forced to step back from the New Cold War - probably by Europe where sanctioning Russia would destroy economies.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 18 2014 6:44 utc | 91

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18, 2014 2:04:26 AM | 85

"Do you know anything about Putin's religiosity?"

Nope. Sorry.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 18 2014 7:03 utc | 92

Evidently Palin is heartbroken. Putin turned down her offer of annexation. Poor chick. Why Vladimir Putin Needs to Show Alaska Some Love

But speaking of Russia, Ukraine, religion, no religion, that sort of stuff...

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 18 2014 7:15 utc | 93

Nina Byzantina @NinaByzantina · 11h
Lifenews journalist Kristina Babaeva was beaten, detained, released in #Mariupol by #Ukraine's security services:

Posted by: brian | Apr 18 2014 7:34 utc | 94

The Maidan sniper story is beginning to get some traction in the US alternative media

with a lot lost in translation.

German ARD did not claim to know who did it, all they said was

- there does not seem real investigation by the new Kyiv authorities
- Maidan doctors say people were intentionally killed by snipers
- there was sniping to the back of protesters from opposition controlled media Hotel Ukraine
- there is an amateur tape of government sniper conversations where they say there are snipers unknown to them who kill
- an anonymous source in the Ukrainian administration claims the investigation results on his desk do not match what the Interior Minister claims to be fact

Additional fact: There is now an agreement on the IIC to become involved.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 18 2014 7:41 utc | 95

@somebody #91:

Yes, I think you are right about Putin and his Orthodox belief.That Putin would be a believer makes no sense to me at all, given my White Russian background and knowing many Russians whose families had stayed in the Soviet Union.

Now what I really want to know is whether Putin was baptized. Even though I am a total atheist, I strongly believe that parents should baptize their children. As you obviously know, the two sacraments that Luther kept were baptism and communion.

I am not bothered in the least that Putin expresses Russian Orthodox ideas. I have found that in internet forums, I am much more vocal than most believing Christians in expressing Christian ideas. I just channel Paul and Luther, because I am captivated by their personalities and ideas. But since I just rehearse Christian ideas instead of expressing my personal beliefs, I am not at all embarrassed.

I disagree with you that the current Russian government/elite embrace of Orthodoxy has much to do with the unfortunate Soviet experience in Afghanistan. Even under modernity, a people needs to have a particular religion that constitutes a significant part of its identity. Obviously communism served as an ersatz religion in the Soviet Union. Soviet Russians have told me this themselves. Communism was about attaining the "bright future" (светлое будущее), so communism was actually more millenarian than orthodox Christianity (small 'o'). Once Russia gave up its secular religion of communism, obviously the only thing to do was to go back to its previous religion.

I would just like to say something about Roman Catholicism, since I've mentioned Orthodoxy and Lutheranism (the only branch of Protestantism that any sensible person will give the time of day to). Russian Orthodoxy is fairly "mystical", although I never learned myself in what that mysticism consists, but people like the Saker talk about it; also, the liturgy is central to Orthodoxy. Lutheranism is all about making qualifications and just loving Jesus, whom we can love because he was one of us. (Here I have to say that I can't make the slightest bit of sense out of Judaism or Islam, because I have no idea of what a God who has not revealed himself to us as Christ even is. Sorry, Easter is around the corner.)

Eastern Orthodoxy is like getting high on marijuana. Lutheranism is Zen like, and is like tripping on acid. Roman Catholicism is like getting drunk. The whole pompous edifice, according to which there is a hierarchy that tells you what you must believe, and a guy (it has to be a guy) at the very top who has a direct line to the truth which nobody else has, is hopelessly atavistic.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 8:12 utc | 96

Russia happy now? Signing agreement and still get this?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 18 2014 8:16 utc | 97

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18, 2014 4:12:57 AM | 96

Don't know how it is in Orthodox books but a child who has any fanatical Catholic relative or aquaintance cannot avoid being baptized. You do not need the church or a ceremony for baptism to count, any Catholic person can baptize any child.

Problem with religion: Is it is emotional, not logical, appeals to people's instincts and superstitions, and tries to revert what 21st century people know about themselves - like evolution.

Religion also is a tool to tell people what is good and what is evil, and for absolution of acts that are clearly evil by claiming they were justified in the fight against evil.

Most people in "the West" presumably make up their own religion anyway. So religious power here is dubious. I don't think Russian elites are any different.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 18 2014 8:45 utc | 98

@somebody #98:

You are probably right on all the points you make. I didn't know that "any Catholic person can baptize any child", but I suppose it makes sense, since it's such a matter of importance (within the Catholic framework). I would be surprised if any Lutheran person can baptize any child, since Lutheranism deals largely with qualifications, as I said. And I must say that I find the idea of a second baptism, which American evangelicals engage in, appalling. It really amounts to a rejection of God as far as I can tell, since the logic is that when the person in question received his or her first baptism, the Holy Spirit failed. No wonder Anabaptists were burned at the stake (by Calvinists, but not by Lutherans, unless I am mistaken).

Your idea that most people in the West make up their religion may be true, but it is very depressing to me. I had known that Americans make up their own religion. That only makes sense, since the form of Christianity that sets the general tone for Christianity in the US is evangelicalism. An American history professor, who is some kind of Christian, told me with a straight face that he believes that his pets go to heaven. That was when I came to understand that Americans make up their own individual religion, since obviously such a view is absurdly heretical.

I have absolutely no interest in making up my own religion. As I have said before, what drives me when it comes to religion is being able to connect with Paul's and Luther's religion.

As for your point that Russian elites are no different here, I am not so sure. This idea that you get to make up your own religion is postmodern. Russian elites are not postmodern, at least if you think that Dugin speaks for them. So they would say that their religious beliefs are what the Russian church says are correct beliefs, even though in private they take an ironic distance to those beliefs.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 18 2014 9:17 utc | 99

Here is the text of the Geneva joint statement, via Julian Borger. It clearly says "all illegal groups, all buildings, squares etc.pp. in ALL of Ukraine" - you may even interpret it means the illegally occupied parliament of Ukr.

Geneva Statement of April 17, 2014

The Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism.

All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.

Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes.

It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days. The U.S., E.U. and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors.

The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable. It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments.

The participants underlined the importance of economic and financial stability in Ukraine and would be ready to discuss additional support as the above steps are implemented.

Posted by: thomas | Apr 18 2014 9:45 utc | 100

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