Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 22, 2014

Ukraine Accuses Putin Of "Smuggling Humanitarian Aid"

The opening of this statement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in a literal sense correct. But the intended accusatory implication is somewhat off:

On August, 22 Russia began smuggling humanitarian aid to Ukraine, ...

Why, one might ask, is there need for humanitarian aid in Ukraine? Why doesn't the government care for its people? And why is it necessary to "smuggle" aid in?

Posted by b on August 22, 2014 at 13:42 UTC | Permalink


Gee, I wonder if he made that statement to cover up this:

Russia Busts European Sanctioned-Fruit Smuggling Ring

From the article:

Just days after Russia banned the import of various foods from sanctions-supporting nations, VZ reports Russia's food safety ministry Rosselhoznadzor has discovered fruit being smuggled in via Belarus that was restamped as being from Zimbabwe and various other non-sanctioned nations. It appears the smuggling nation culprits are Poland, Slovenia, and Greece and Russia is now "actively monitoring the situation," suggesting they may extend import bans to Belarus also if the situation continues. In addition, Rosselhoznadzor intends in the future to move to a system of electronic certification of goods in transit.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 22 2014 13:46 utc | 1

They must be a bit thick if they think a phrase like "smuggling humanitarian aid" is going to get more than a shake of the head, even from the high propagandized western reader.

But the interesting stuff is still to come, I think.

The Ukranians should be very very careful that none of these trucks suffers so much as a tyre puncture.

Posted by: DM | Aug 22 2014 14:09 utc | 2

Just more semantics, meant to impact Russia negatively. As poster 2 said, even Western sheeple won't be moved by that phrase.

Posted by: ben | Aug 22 2014 14:18 utc | 3

According to RIA the first trucks arrived in Lugansk. There are two photos Russischer Konvoi: Putins weiße Karawane - SPIEGEL ONLINE - Politik inside this photoseries from Der Spiegel that show the people greeting the convoi. I guess this is what Kiev was afraid off.

And in other news it seems that again 30 Ukrainian soldiers deserted because they were hungry and had no muntion, at least according to RIA.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 14:46 utc | 4

Even the WSJ admits the Ukrainian forces are taking serious losses....

Posted by: dh | Aug 22 2014 14:55 utc | 5

I find it significant that after a long weekend of newspaper reports about Kiev's victorious assailt on the Donbass, everything has gone silent. Like with MH17. I doubt the editors have woken up to reality, but there has clearly been a breakdown in communicating marching orders. The whole business with the press is surreal. I've never seen anything like it in my (long) life. Of course, I didn't grow up in Nazi Germany.

Posted by: Knut | Aug 22 2014 15:00 utc | 6

Well, it took this forced humanitairian invasion with water and baby food for the UN to finally react and also promise humanitarian help in the Ukrain UNO erklärt sich bereit zu humanitärer Unterstützung für Ukraine | Politik | RIA Novosti Though it looks more like money and in cooperation with Kiev. So they still assume that Kiev will win.

Sorry that the links are again in German - Ria does not post the same stories in all version or at least not at the same time.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 15:04 utc | 7

I hate to say it, but I think that the major motivation behind Russia sending an aid convoy to Ukraine was not so much to relive any suffering there than it was to be able to point a finger at Ukraine for the inevitable delay at the border.

A win-win situation for Russia, a lose-lose situation for the civilians suffering in this tragedy.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 22 2014 15:11 utc | 8

ralphieboy - I don't really care about the motivation for the help - the people needed help. The western nations and the UN knew about this situation for a long time. Russia has been asking the UN for month for help and has been lectured by Powers as hypocrite and laughed at. So the west missed a chance to show its humanitarian side - well, all I can say for Putin, thanks for sending help, what ever his motivations.

I don't particularely like Putin, but with this Ukrainian crisis to me it has been shown that the politicians in the West are not any better and have been playing a shameful role.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 15:25 utc | 9

Good move. Russia was overdue to seize the moral high ground and embarrass the murderers and their backers.

Russia is also overdue to put MH17 back into the MSM headlines with the release of additional evidence. The story is dead. The Dutch Safety Board and the MSM aim to keep it that way.

Posted by: SingingSam | Aug 22 2014 15:53 utc | 10

And the US is again so very supportive to give help to the people in the East- not!

By Blocking UN Resolution, US Shows That It Seeks Ukrainian Conflict Escalation – Moscow | Politics | RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – By blocking the UN Security Council statement on the ceasefire in Ukraine, Washington has demonstrated that it wants to see further escalation of the Ukrainian conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

“If the US opposes an absolutely non-confrontational, reconciliatory text, there can be no doubts that Washington intends to have the armed confrontation in Ukraine continued. It could be seen only as an attempt to ‘undermine’ the humanitarian mission,” the ministry said in a statement.

This statement was about a cease fire during the humanitarian help to the East.

Oh, and not far behind is MS Asthon FM of the EU supporting Kiev that this humanitarian convoi was an "invasion". What do these people smoke?

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 15:58 utc | 11

@8 fran - yes, regardless of what anyone thinks of western leaders or putin, the fact remains these people do need humanitarian aid.. thanks for mentioning that.. the fact that they are being bombed indiscriminately by the kiev gov't and none of the western leaders are demanding kiev stop ought to tell a person something too!

think about it.. we have a gov't in kiev - junta - whatever - bombing it's own citizens and this is supposed to make these people more comfortable having them as leaders?

i got this from the article b shared "We point out that terrorists carry out mortar attacks along the possible route of the cargo."

indeed! thanks kiev for the heads up!!! and who might these 'terrorists' reprsented by your newly adopted american lingo be? the leadership in kiev are responsible for the state sponsored terrorism towards the citizens of eastern ukraine and they seem to be quite okay with it too.. screw any humanitarian aid seems to be them seems to be their position as well...

i am sure the western media will turn this into some ugly russian thing... that is what they do best!

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 16:03 utc | 12

@10 fran.. thanks for that. i missed it while i was typing and it confirms my viewpoint in @11..

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 16:05 utc | 13

@2. My thoughts exactly. Interesting that Ukraine chose to call the cargo humanitarian aid rather that supplies for the rebels. The truth hasn't mattered in the past, so why moderate the language describing the convoy?

IS could have argued that US smuggled humanitarian aid via IS airspace to drop to the Yazidis.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Aug 22 2014 16:10 utc | 14

Putin takes Charge:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday that Russia had to act decisively in the situation with the aid convoy in order to prevent further delays in the delivery of humanitarian cargo to the crisis-hit eastern Ukraine.

“Putin stressed that considering Kiev's blatant attempts to hinder the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to Ukrainian regions caught in humanitarian crisis the Russian leadership has decided to move the truck convoy [across the Ukrainian border],” the Kremlin press service said.

“Further delays would be inadmissible,” the statement said quoting the Russian president....

Earlier in the day, at least 60 trucks from the Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid to violence-torn Luhansk and Donetsk regions crossed the border with Ukraine allegedly without clearance by Ukrainian customs officials and without escort provided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)."

This is classic Putin. Just when people are criticizing him for doing nothing, he puts his foot down and says "This is what we're doing, and if you don't like it, TOUGH".

This is a victory for Russia and a big slapdown for Obama.

Posted by: plantman | Aug 22 2014 16:14 utc | 15

I looked at the background of UBS chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, did anyone check this guy out? My hunch he is pure CIA bred, looking at his biography and how he operated in this position under president Yushchenko.

Kiev Junta: 'Russia Invades East-Ukraine"

Also added a post with an update about the Dutch Safety Board and the Malaysia MH-17 investigtion. [website in English now after a month!]

Posted by: Oui | Aug 22 2014 16:28 utc | 16

@13 Good point. Even the BBC is calling it humanitarian aid. They usually use inverted commas when they want to cast aspersions.

Posted by: dh | Aug 22 2014 16:29 utc | 17

There was a news item, Ukraine sends 1,500 troops to Transcarpathia to quell unrest. A western front?

Also German business leaders are pressuring the CSU/CDU and Angela Merkel to solve the Ukrainian crisis by diplomacy [what an ancient term]. There have been talks between FM of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia. There is a summit planned in Minsk which will be attended by Perochenko and Russia's president Putin. There should be a cease fire plan worked out by then.

Presidents of Russia and Ukraine are due to meet in the Belarusian capital Minsk on Tuesday

(Deutsche Welle) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected Saturday in Kyiv, where she will hold talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. It will be MerkeI's first trip to Ukraine since the start of the crisis. The visit falls on the 75th anniversary of the Hitler-Stalin pact.

Merkel will use the visit to make clear that "Germany will never again sign a contract with another country in Europe to the detriment of a third," said Michael Gahler, a member of European Parliament from Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 22 2014 16:34 utc | 18

If the pentagon is seeing all this russian equipment and troops crossing the boarder where are the pictures? Where is the proof?

Posted by: really | Aug 22 2014 16:38 utc | 19

Link to Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement on the convoy:

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Aug 22 2014 16:52 utc | 20

These oligarch tools who hold power in Ukraine must think everyone is as stupid as they are.
I've read on more than one occasion a saying that goes, "once Ukrainians get smart, they become Russians."
It appears the Western-backed tools eager to sell out and kill their own countrymen haven't gotten that far yet.
It will be far better in the long run when the Nazi thugs start getting mysteriously "liquidated."

Posted by: Prey4 Justice | Aug 22 2014 17:01 utc | 21

The NY Times is now publishing stories that they know with 100% certainty are inaccurate. The author, Michael Gordon, also worked with Judy Miller on the aluminum tubes story that led to the war in Iraq,..

From the article: The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday.

Posted by: plantman | Aug 22 2014 17:25 utc | 22

@21.. obviously no proof is needed. it wasn't with any of the previous stories about pretty well everything else.. why would this be any different?

gas attack from the syrian gov't?

saddam's wmds?

on and on.. thanks nyt, wapo and wsj for being such an easy read!

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 17:36 utc | 23

ount of half truths, propaganda and outright lying by washington DC, and the msm is worse than during the dubya years. Probably the reaso for this is the sheep need to be fear mongered and propagandized that much more to swallow the TWOT bullcrap. This is why the government in 2013 made it legal to aim their propaganda apparatus at americans and the world.

Posted by: really | Aug 22 2014 17:56 utc | 24

Counterpunch's Mike Whitney publishes the interview with Sergei Glaziev:

Joyce Nelson on Monsanto and Ukraine:

Jack Rasmus on the economic consequences of Mr Obama's sanctions:

plus the inimitable Israel Shamir:

The thug oligarch junta is becoming an embarrassment even to the thick skinned BBC and their US mentors in imperial propaganda for dummies.
"Smuggling humanitarian aid in" indeed.

Sadly though the motivation seems very obvious- it is the least that the Russian government could do. And they did it.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 22 2014 18:05 utc | 25

Does anyone know about this guy?
He has an article up from International Journal of Socialist Renewal in which he contends:

Over several weeks the entire leadership of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics has effectively been replaced. The most momentous, and unexpected, development has been the ousting of the military leader of the militias, Igor Strelkov. In the best Soviet traditions, the announcement was couched in terms of his “transfer to other work”. The decision was made at a time when Strelkov was in Moscow, far from his troops.

Strelkov’s removal from his post is an obvious act of revenge on the part of those very Kremlin forces on whom the leader of the militias had inflicted a serious political defeat in early July. Militia units, after conducting a heroic two-month defence of Slavyansk, had broken through encircling Ukrainian forces and made their way to Donetsk, where political figures linked to the Kremlin were already planning to surrender the city to the Kiev government.
For their part, political specialists close to the Kremlin unleashed a campaign against Strelkov in the Russian mass media. The bitterness of the Moscow bureaucrats and their propaganda assistants is understandable: while they were sitting in their cosy offices, drawing up plans and weaving intrigues, the people at the forefront of events were making history without asking their advice.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 22 2014 18:29 utc | 26

Fran @8 "I don't particularely like Putin, but with this Ukrainian crisis to me it has been shown that the politicians in the West are not any better and have been playing a shameful role."

Can you elaborate on your dislike for Putin....This is a statement I hear too often from my "ill informed"
friends here in the States. When I ask for specifics, I always get a dumb look in return....

America is know for its quick humanitarian responses. But as evidenced in the Ukraine, Syria and Gaza, head is turned in the other direction.....

Posted by: georgeg | Aug 22 2014 18:30 utc | 27

@24 bevin the first link was posted on the sakers site about 4-5 days ago.. i re-posted it on a previous ukraine thread and a few of us were talking about it in the past 24 hours.. all in the fwiw dept..

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 18:32 utc | 28

george g, I'll tell you what I don't like about Putin - he's a neoliberal "reformer", although not as severe as the neoliberal reformers who have taken over the EU and EZ. That said, he stands head and shoulders above any Western leader I can think of.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 22 2014 18:35 utc | 29

sorry, forgot the link:

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 22 2014 18:40 utc | 30

Another classic story on National Public Radio Thursday morning. Reporter Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson is embedded with Ukrainian troops trying to reach a hospital where survivors of this week's attack on a refuge convoy are recovering. The idea is to get a someone to say exactly whose Grads destroyed the convoy. Nelson must beleive her own upbeat stories on the fighting and doesn't fully grasp just how dangerous it is to be driving around the Donbass with a Ukrainian military convoy. The story spirals downward and ends with a thud but there are classic scenes along the way.

As Ukraine Presses Military Offensive, The Facts Are Fuzzy

NELSON (01:20): We hit our first snag just after the besieged city of Luhansk appeared in the distance. Our military escort explains that unexpected fighting up ahead requires us to change course. The shelling in the distance punctuated those concerns, and we watched a couple of army trucks drive off in that direction. Later, we were told the rebels knew our media convoy was here and planned to attack us.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken).

NELSON: This Ukrainian journalist asks how do you know? The media escort's answer is vague - something about intercepted radio communications. We moved to a nearby hilltop while the escort leaders talks with his bosses to figure out what to do next. Ukrainian troops are camped here and give us a rare glimpse into the poor conditions Ukrainian troops operate under. One soldier is Vitaliy Yakymenko.

VITALIY YAKYMENKO: (Foreign language spoken).

NELSON: He complains poor planning and a shortage of supplies, including ammunition, are costing soldiers their lives. He claims the enemy has better arms and equipment, which are widely believed to come from Russia even though the Kremlin denies it.

YAKYMENKO: (Foreign language spoken).

NELSON: Contrary to Kiev's claims that the rebels are nearing defeat, Yakymenko believes that a Ukrainian victory is a long way off. He says, we will have conflicts here again and again until the Ukrainian government closes the border with Russia. Fellow soldier Grygoriy Pisarenko says supply shortages aren't the only impediment.

GRYGORIY PISARENKO: (Foreign language spoken).

NELSON: He says Ukrainian troops have to be very cautious when they advance to minimize civilian deaths and damage to infrastructure. Pisarenko explains, we are in our own country. And these are our people. So we have to take care even if the Russians don't. As to the deadly attack on the refugee convoy, I still can't tell you what happened for sure as the Ukrainian military decided things were too dangerous and we needed to leave before meeting the refugees. Officials offered us a witness to convoy attack instead. But we never met him either.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 22 2014 18:44 utc | 31

@georgeg #26 - well, part of it is a gut reaction, for my taste he is to macho. Then there are certain liberty politics I do not like some of his human rights behavior - but on the other hand I have become to realise that many of these things are not better in the West.

On the other hand, despite not liking him, I have developed some respect for him - his refusal to invade the Ukraine, despite the West provoking him. I also think he is much into Judo philosophy and I like that, when you are being pushed you step back and when you are pulled you push. I can see him doing that in politics too. Also I can see him playing Schach, meaning he thinks many steps ahead not just the next one. Or like someone said (don't remember who)he plays Schach while the West plays pocker.

Okay, reading what I wrote it basically leaves just the gut reaction,and not really knowing why I do not like him and the strange situation of having same time have some respect for him. Weird, have to think about this a little more. :-)

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 18:51 utc | 32

Can you elaborate on your dislike for Putin....This is a statement I hear too often from my "ill informed"
friends here in the States. When I ask for specifics, I always get a dumb look in return....

Now that's a laugh! I nearly fell out of my chair. Check my blog out for what's not to like about Putin. It's quite a laundry list.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 22 2014 18:53 utc | 33

James @11 - I agree with you. In the mean time I have also seen some stories in German about Rasmussen spiting his poison about this situation. I though he is supposed to be put out to the pasture?! this man is become more and more insufferable.

In a way I hope Russia wins, just to put NATO and all this puppets in to their place and maybe then some more peaceful talks can take place. I know this naive but one still can hope for better solutions and I just don't see them coming from the West.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 18:56 utc | 34

@25 I was just about to post the link. Kagarlisky has been cited on here before. He was the one I quoted as saying that sanctions would be very good for Russia as they would force the government to re-invest in the country and to control the chronic outflow of wealth and capital.
This is a very good article (in other words kt confirms my prejudices.)

@27 james. Yes I saw it at The Saker's Vineyard. I was unaware that it had already been posted here. No harm done but I find it very irritating when others do it so I apologise for doing it myself. The truth is that, given a summer so short, I can spend little time following the discussions here at the moment- not an unalloyed curse but a problem nevertheless.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 22 2014 19:01 utc | 35

@25 Okie farmer the piece is at ICH:

Posted by: bevin | Aug 22 2014 19:02 utc | 36

Fran @31. I like your sincerity. I prefer his "Macho" stance whatever that means to the macho stance taken by our current clueless leader. Human Rights is such a broad term, not really practiced by anyone in the Western world. And also twisted by us to demonized those we don't care for.

Posted by: georgeg | Aug 22 2014 19:04 utc | 37

And now nato begin to scream about Russia again, wow nato are so desperate, any bet that they will start attacking the aid trucks so they can get their war?

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 22 2014 19:46 utc | 38

thanks fran @31. ditto georgeg's comment at 36.

some might find the sakers comments on today's development of the aid from russia worth reading.

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 20:42 utc | 39

What's not to like about Putin? If you are gay, you can continue to be gay, just not in public. If you are not Russian Orthodox, you can practice your religion, as long as it does not offend the Orthodox Patriarchs. If you are a political dissident, you can say anything you want about him - in private.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 22 2014 20:43 utc | 40

one thing's for certain - if the Kiev regime finally poke Russia into invading, they lose half the country within days

Posted by: robbo | Aug 22 2014 20:47 utc | 41

@39 He walks around sometimes with his shirt off and he doesn't like girls who dance in cathedrals. The man is a monster.

Posted by: dh | Aug 22 2014 20:56 utc | 42 are wrong on all counts. Moscow has a gay community as well as gay bars which probably exceeds San Francisco. Muslim Mosques as well as Jewish Synagogues span the whole federation. Political dissidents are frowned upon the by general public especially when their sponsors (who us??) are obvious.
They have laws which are right wing poster boys would love introducing to our country. Morality and common sense discipline may have a place here. Putin is not the law giver!!!

Posted by: georgeg | Aug 22 2014 21:15 utc | 43

I just read the USA Today article on this.
The trolls in Kiev are getting rather shrill with their declarations of what's going on with no proof. There were some interesting points in the story. For one, the Kiev regime said the convoy could not go through without the Red Cross which had refused to ride due to the security situation. The trucks reached Luhansk which had been without water and electricity for several weeks. It does not sound like Kiev wants any kind of unity within Ukraine beyond the extermination of undesirables. Where is the US on humanitarian aid?
The Kiev regime did not like the drivers? Ridiculous!

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 22 2014 21:16 utc | 44

@ralphieboy #39:

If you are a political dissident, you can say anything you want about him - in private.

Where on earth do you get that idea? From Western propaganda, obviously.

There are plenty of anti-Russian government, pro-Western, "liberal" Web sites in Russia (not that I read them). The only time something that can be considered to be political suppression occurs in Russia today is if an anti-government political figure gets a following and has the possibility of getting into a position of power. But such cases can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Unlike China, Russia does not block Web sites. And the government is actually pretty lax in the exertion of political control that it has decided to engage in. For example, a regulation or law (can't remember which) was recently instituted requiring organizations which get foreign funding to register as "foreign agents". But organizations defy this requirement, and so far, the government has done nothing in response. An example is the Levada Center, the main non-governmental Russian opinion polling organization.

There is also a new requirement that popular blogs must register with the government. But Colonel Cassad has posted on his blog that he will not register.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 22 2014 21:31 utc | 45

Smart move by Vlad.
It'll take US-NATO a couple of weeks to decide whether R2P-ing a Russian exercise in R2P would be a mistake or a fatal error.
Meanwhile, I'm expecting to hear a lot of impotent whining from Obama & his Euro-trash friends.
It takes balls to do what Putin is doing (not to mention the cohones of the unarmed convoy drivers). If the "International Community" thinks Putin would leave them high & dry then they've got another think coming...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 22 2014 21:36 utc | 46

Read the headline on the link:

Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says

By MICHAEL R. GORDON FYI, [Gordon was/is THE NY Times disinformation specialist of the Iraq Invasion. He was one of the main purveyors of the story that Saddam Hussein would have a nuclear weapon in a matter of months.]

Now read this line:

"Since mid-August NATO has received multiple reports of the direct involvement of Russian forces, "including Russian airborne, air defense and special operations forces in Eastern Ukraine," said Oana Lungescu, a spokeswoman for NATO."

I'm sure they've received reports of all sorts of things, but I pay a lot of taxes for spy why are they not claiming to have verified the reports with aerial reconnaissance?

"NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, criticized the Russian moves in a statement issued in Brussels on Friday. "I condemn the entry of a Russian so-called humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and without any involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross,Mr. Rasmussen’s statement said."

Clever No? Conflating unsubstantiated [but easily verifiable "reports"] and an unrelated item on humanitarian aide to give the perception of verification of his "source"

From Wiki:

"During the first phase of the Iraq war, he was the only newspaper reporter embedded with the allied land command under General Tommy Franks, a position that "granted him unique access to cover the invasion strategy and its enactment""

"he was the first to report Saddam Hussein's alleged nuclear weapons program in August 2002 with the article "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts."

As an author, he [wrote] The Generals' War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf, which covers the 1991 Gulf War,[citation needed] and Cobra II, which covers the Iraq War begun 2003.[4]

The General's War won high praise from ...Defense Secretary Dick Cheney describing it as "a fascinating account of the war" that he would "recommend"...

Posted by: S Brennan | Aug 22 2014 21:53 utc | 47

@39 ralphieboy:

All lies.

But have your fun -- or go to Russia and nail your naked balls to the street in public if you feel strongly about it. (Google, if you don’t understand the reference.)

It is funny how, as every single right is taken away from Western society, useless idiots are reduced to petty lying to distract from what is taking place in their own society and their refusal to do anything about it.

Russia is both more multi-cultural than the US and has a greater diversity of religion. Only 2 in 5 are Russian Orthodox. (source: Religion in Russia)

Russia accords full civil rights for the LGBT community -- and has a lower incidence of hate crimes than the US -- where people are killed regularly, including in NYC, the gay capitol of the so-called “Free World.” (Having lived in NYC for decades, I can assure you that one’s actual, as opposed to legalistic, ”Gay Rights” fall off sharply when one leaves the comfy environs of the West Village for the working class neighborhoods of Brooklyn and the Bronx where the majority of the population lives.) The “anti-gay" law Russia recently enacted was an amendment to an existing child protection law. If you think the West is any more friendly to adults seeking to have sex with minors, than Google NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association) and read the concerns and hate it evokes in Western society. Gee, why isn’t the Soros/Power crowd standing up for the rights of NAMBLA? But double standards come naturally to the west.

(By the way, I stand for the rights of all groups, no matter how odious, to be able to exercise their right to free speech so as to lobby for the changing of existing laws. If this right is abrogated on the grounds that what they are asking for is currently illegal, then it would be impossible to change any existing laws. )

As far as free speech is concerned, Russia, like all countries attacked by the West, has a greater diversity of opinion and argument than the West -- for one hears both Russian and Western views, while in the West, the media marches in perfect lock-step with the government, and one must actively search out alternative views, work that a very small percentage of the public is willing to do. Michael Parenti has made similar observations following trips to Russia, and meetings with students. Academia, in particular, has seen severe restrictions on speech and opinion in the West, from campaigns by groups like the Orwellian named “Students for Academic Freedom,” and from the corporate takeover of university funding.

If one were even remotely interested in the the state of Human Rights in the West, and its severe curtailments over the past two decades, one’s time might be better spent listening to the premier moral philosopher of our generation, Prof. John McMurtry : US Holds World Records of Killing Innocent Civilians:

The repression of civil rights by the US goes far deeper than violation of citizen privacy to which the media confine themselves. The Patriot Act together with other laws like the Military Commissions Act, the Defense Authorization Act, the Homeland Security Act and the Protect America Act, mutating to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, form a systematic curtailment of civil rights and freedoms. Spying on everyone across borders is the accompanying apparatus of the National Security Agency which has been recently exposed in its totalitarian global snooping and dirty tricks. Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers summarizes the post-9/11 situation in the US as “a coup … a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution for executive government to rule by decree”. What makes these new laws and licenses tyrannical is their selective suspension of established constitutional rights to habeas corpus, the right of the accused to see evidence against him/her, the right to one’s chosen legal defense, the right to trial without indefinite detention, and other rights of due process of law including to free speech and organization that can be construed as supporting “illegal enemies”. As to who these “illegal enemies” are, this is determined by the US president without legal criterion, proving evidence or verification required. The US can thus detain, kidnap and imprison without trial or indictment any US citizen or other citizen anywhere by designating them enemies to the US.

The entire interview is highly recommended reading, as is Professor McMurtry’s book, “The Cancer Stage of Capitalism.”

It is also worth mentioning that the West uses the discourse of “Rights” along with various Western funded front groups, not to broaden society, but as a cynical ploy in order to destabilize and break down societies that stand up to the West. The result, if the West is successful, is not a broadening of human and democratic rights, but the complete breakdown of society and all of its life support systems, resulting in a complete abrogation of all human rights (including the right to live), mass deaths, impoverishment and societal chaos. Iraq, Libya, Syria, and the Ukraine are just the latest examples of the Western “rights” intervention ruse. Previous generations gave us Vietnam. Chile, and the military juntas of South and Central America, along with their CIA trained death squads.

So, in conclusion, you can choose to learn something while reading a blog like this.

Or you can listen to ralphieboy.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 22 2014 22:30 utc | 48

The homo,femen,and ZioNazis of intolerance hate Putin.
The Bolshoi Ballet has seen its share of stars of a different persuasion,I would imagine,and they seem to revere those stars,so I think this alleged hatred of gays is hyperbole to smear Russia,and Putin.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 22 2014 22:58 utc | 49

Why isn't Ukraine a cause for Hollywood celebrities? — RT Op-Edge

Posted by: brian | Aug 23 2014 0:18 utc | 50

My old nemesis from 2002-3 still stinking up the joint, please pass this around...thanks;

File Under: Who Are the Creeps That Start Wars

Read the Breathless headline on the link: -


- By MICHAEL R. GORDON FYI, - [Gordon was/is THE NY Times disinformation specialist of the Iraq Invasion. He was one of the main purveyors of the story that Saddam Hussein would have a nuclear weapon in a matter of months.]

Now read this line:

"Since mid-August NATO has received multiple reports of the direct involvement of Russian forces, "including Russian airborne, air defense and special operations forces in Eastern Ukraine," said Oana Lungescu, a spokeswoman for NATO."

I'm sure they've received reports of all sorts of things, but I pay a lot of taxes for spy why are they not claiming to have verified the reports with aerial reconnaissance?

"NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, criticized the Russian moves in a statement issued in Brussels on Friday. "I condemn the entry of a Russian so-called humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and without any involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross,Mr. Rasmussen’s statement said."

Clever No? Conflating unsubstantiated [but easily verifiable "reports"] and an unrelated item on humanitarian aide to give the perception of verification of his "source"

From Wiki:

"During the first phase of the Iraq war, he was the only newspaper reporter embedded with the allied land command under General Tommy Franks, a position that "granted him unique access to cover the invasion strategy and its enactment""

"he was the first to report Saddam Hussein's alleged nuclear weapons program in August 2002 with the article "U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts."

As an author, he [wrote] The Generals' War: The Inside Story of the Conflict in the Gulf, which covers the 1991 Gulf War,[citation needed] and Cobra II, which covers the Iraq War begun 2003.[4]

The General's War won high praise from ...Defense Secretary Dick Cheney describing it as "a fascinating account of the war" that he would "recommend".

18 & 21 agree with your posts

Posted by: S Brennan | Aug 23 2014 0:40 utc | 51

@49 And with Pravyi Sektor dudes calling deserters faggots there probably won't be too many rainbow ribbons.

Posted by: dh | Aug 23 2014 0:42 utc | 52

@47 malooga. thanks for the post and the link to read more of mcmurtry's ideas..
here is one of many lines from the article that resonates.

"The US now leads the globe in an underlying civil war of the rich against the poor."

Posted by: james | Aug 23 2014 0:53 utc | 53

an odd confusing piece by RT, which seems to be asking why celebritt activists arent supporting the Kiev Junta or the people suffering...however this on Milla Jovovich is very interesting:
'Milla’s only other intervention thus far has been to lend support to two Russian journalists detained by pro-Kiev forces in May - the #saveourguys campaign. With that photo, the screen siren broke the hearts of Ukrainian Nationalists who believed she just might have been one of them.
Milla had earlier tweeted in response to ‘patriotic’ trolls: “I’m Russian and Montenegrin! But have been living in the US since I was 5!” – pretty much clarifying where her sympathies lie'
so Milla identifies as...,,wait for it...a russian! that would really send maidanites around the twist!

Posted by: brian | Aug 23 2014 0:55 utc | 54

And dont forget this classic Michael Gordon fraud from April, purporting to prove the Russian military was in E. Ukraine. The NYT later said the article wasnt what it said it was.

Michael Gordon is a propagandist. But if you want to see what unfettered propaganda is like check out The Interpreter's Michael Weiss. Non-stop rumors that feeds anti-Russian bias, unevidenced assertions of fact, rank speculations, and every day he predicts that Russia will invade tomorrow.

Posted by: ess emm | Aug 23 2014 1:26 utc | 55

bevin @ 24 & malooga @ 47 excellent links, thanks. More bricks in the wall of proof, that the US, is the most efficient terrorist nation the post forties world has ever known. Sad.

Posted by: ben | Aug 23 2014 2:11 utc | 56

@17 "Merkel will use the visit to make clear that "Germany will never again sign a contract with another country in Europe to the detriment of a third," said Michael Gahler, a member of European Parliament from Merkel's Christian Democratic Union."

Now what the hell is that supposed to mean? The free-trade-zone agreement that a cabal of EU countries was trying to push on Ukraine pre-war was exactly to the detriment of Central Europe. In fact, I wonder why the Central Europeans (Poland, Slovakia, Czech) are backing this stupid war when the EU aim was (is?) to turn Ukie into a modern-day sweatshop Indonesia, harvesting the resulting low-cost goods for import back to WesEur and cutting CenEur manufacutring out of the loop.

More and more, Germany is resembling a weak nation caught between NATO/USA and Russia, waiting for somehting to break so she will then know what to do. Germany has no spine.

Posted by: Thumper | Aug 23 2014 2:40 utc | 57

what do the 'international community' and Kievs fascists have in common...apart from theobvious?
they both hate humanitarian aid
Babay ‏@Truth_Seeker_11 5h
Humanitarian convoy was shot at with a mortar, traces of shrapnel on the back
Ukraine crisis: Russian convoy prompts Western anger

Posted by: brian | Aug 23 2014 3:33 utc | 58

"I hate to say it, but I think that the major motivation behind Russia sending an aid convoy to Ukraine was not so much to relive any suffering there than it was to be able to point a finger at Ukraine for the inevitable delay at the border.

A win-win situation for Russia, a lose-lose situation for the civilians suffering in this tragedy.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 22, 2014 11:11:11 AM | 7

What complete fucking dick you are, ralphieboy. Do you think the poor people with the aid are thinking of it in the same terms as you from your fucking computer chair, you piece of shit?

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 23 2014 4:40 utc | 59

Excuse me for that, but it just really gets under my skin to imagine some American (assuredly) slob sitting at home, thousands of miles from the death and destruction in the Ukraine, jerking out some completely phony baloney bullshit about "caring" for the civilians HIS government is instrumental in killing while bashing the ONLY people trying to help them.

Where do you propagandist scumbags get off, I have no idea. But I hope the pay is at least good, god knows your conscience must be a wreck. As if your circlejerk at Proyect's place isn't enough for you slimeballs, you have to take it over here too.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 23 2014 4:48 utc | 60

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 08/21/2014-20:40

Summary from combatant Prokhorov:

Convoy is convoy, yet, the war continues.

The opponent is being methodically uprooted in area of Saur-Mogila with a simultaneous strike at opponent bases in area of Amvrosiyevka. As an example, “Grads” crashed a base of Ukrainians in village Kuteynikovo. Waiting for new pictures of burned military hardware.

Area of fire encirclement (encirclement by artillery fire) for Ukrainians has extended to Tel`manovo region of Donetsk Republic – positions of the territorial battalions near the regional center were struck from rocket launch systems. By radio intercepts, they really panic. Evident cases of deliberate leaving (towards Novoazovsk and Mariupol).

Battles continue in area of city Slavyanosebsk, like near village Smeloye (south of the city). Ukrainians routinely use artillery against residences.

Battles continue near Ilovaysk as well as near Donetsk – Mar`inka, Krasnogorovka. Also – in area of Zhdanovka and Verkhnetoretskoye (between occupied Avdeevka and Gorlovka). In addition, opponent’s rear was struck by artillery near village Berezovoye.

By the way, Ukranians pull in Ilovaysk all they can find. Even unit “Krim” (“Crimea”), which is reportedly to establish terrorist activities in Crimea.

The Ukrainian losses under Ilovaysk are really large – count tens, even hundreds. The exact number is unknown, for dense work of artillery. What is sure the hospital in Mariupol` does not catch up, and troops are sent further in Dnepr by helicopters.

Ukrainians blog: “First seven lorry tracks in a column of 34 vehicles are immobilized, some burn. Those from the convoy reaching Novosvetlovka turn away and flee back to the border”.

Wet dreams. The convoy is guarded by the detachment under command of “Kozir`” (“Trump”) (the one which chased paratroopers off Shakhtersk).

In Lugansk Republic, the combatants continue to uproot Ukrainian militaries from Novosvetlovka. Battles are in village Luganskaya, where the opponent brought a joint platoon of border guards as enforcement. Skirmishes in Stukalova Balka.

The opponent advancement from occupied Lutugino to the south was stopped near settlement Kruglik, toward Novosvetlovka – near Novoivanovka.

Ukrainians should not be underestimated. The third mobilization would refill worn brigades, add a couple of fresh (unscared), add a new brigade of “naziskunks”. It will be difficult, very difficult.

Posted by: Fete | Aug 23 2014 4:53 utc | 61

"@Thumper: I wonder why the Central Europeans (Poland, Slovakia, Czech) are backing this stupid war when the EU aim was (is?) to turn Ukie into a modern-day sweatshop Indonesia"

I'll tell you exactly why: so they can move up the neo-liberal food chain a hair. So their tiny local capitalists can stretch their legs a bit at someone else's expense finally.

Like Lenny Bruce said (paraphrasing mightily): "When the aliens come to earth, they better be a bunch of scufflers, because it looks like the blacks and Puerto Ricans have had it and there's no one left to do the dirty work". That's the long and the short of it. Poland is anxious to finally have found their Pollacks.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 23 2014 4:55 utc | 62

The evershifting positions of Western governments seem to show up again:

Russia Reminds UN that Ukraine Agreed to Let Russia Deliver Aid on August 12 | Politics | RIA Novosti

UNITED NATIONS, August 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has sent a humanitarian convoy to the east of Ukraine, considering that it has received official authorization of Kiev government, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said.

The corresponding note was received on August 12, Churkin said, noting that the humanitarian aid to Syria was delivered without the consent of the authorities of the country.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 23 2014 5:39 utc | 63

The wierdness of the US position is other worldly. We were not only supplying huminatarian aid to the Syrian rebels, but were at one point considering military aid. Now we are telling Russia that they face sanctions if they do not withdraw the humanitarian aid that they are providing to Ukranian rebels. Then we change sides and are threatening to bomb the Syrian rebels who we were aiding last year.

Posted by: Bill H | Aug 23 2014 6:00 utc | 64

@21 plantman

The deployment of "RUSSIANS ARE INSIDE UKRAINE SHOOTING ARTILLERY" came at the same time as the humanitarian convoy. The propaganda tactics are so dusty and worn out. It's shameful

@25 Okie Farmer
If that's true, wow. What Saker calls the "atlantic integrationists" won. Russia will never thrive with these cowards in power. Strelkov wanted to do what was right, to turn Novorossiya into a real state with equality for all. What will the people get, more oligarchs, more fucking shit. God damn

Posted by: Crest | Aug 23 2014 6:53 utc | 65

The Russian slang term for gays is "pederast", which sums up their view: one perversion leads to another. I am sure that gays are "safe" enough in big cities, but as in America, they take their chances if they are too open in more backward areas. And their legislation is nicely phrased to stress that "correlation" in people's minds.

Call me when Russia starts to allow gay marriage and we will talk gay rights parity.

Putin has very subtle ways of suppressing dissent, different from how it is done in the West, but nonetheless effective: an "anti-blasphemy" law which allows the Orthodox Patriarchs to clamp down on anything they find offensive, and, of course, a complete control of the mass media.

We have Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch doing that for us in the West.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 23 2014 7:05 utc | 66

@61 guest77

Unfortunately, you make too much sense.

Posted by: Thumper | Aug 23 2014 7:19 utc | 67

"Churkin said it was hypocritical of Western powers to criticize Russia for sending aid to civilians in eastern Ukraine because the West has been demanding similar moves in Syria." @Reuters

Enough said.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 23 2014 7:24 utc | 68

@ralphieboy #65:

Call me when Russia starts to allow gay marriage and we will talk gay rights parity.

Russia will never have gay marriage, because that notion is silly and self-contradictory.

For decades, we were told that marriage is an outmoded and patriarchal institution. At the same time, treating homosexuality as absolutely just as normal as heterosexuality has been portrayed as the current outstanding achievement of Western civilization. If being gay is so cool and cutting edge, why are gay people obsessed with having access to an institution which progressive circles considered to be obsolete?

The US State Department recently announced that the promotion of "gay rights" is going to be part of its policy. That alone should make it clear to everyone that "gay rights" are an artificial issue created by Western power structures in an attempt to create the illusion that some, any kind of progress is still occurring in Western societies.

Gay marriage has been used as a wedge issue manufactured by strategists of the US Democratic Party, as the liberal equivalent of the abortion wedge issue used by Republicans. Recently, as part of its project of world domination, the US has started using this artifact of internal US politics as yet another "human rights" issue with which to bash its enemy of the day.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 23 2014 7:45 utc | 69


Why do you need to go to Russia to get married? There are some states where gays can marry, go there.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 23 2014 7:49 utc | 70

Fitch Downgrades Ukraine to 'CCC'

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Ukraine's long-term local currency IDR to 'CCC' from 'B-' amid political transition and geopolitical unrest as government solvency has deteriorated.

Hryvnia devaluation in H1, 2014 reduces direct investment in Ukraine by 11.9% | Interfax Ukraine | Aug. 14, 2014 |

Posted by: Oui | Aug 23 2014 7:56 utc | 71

With all this screaming and fingerpointing one thing has been ingnored - that it is not such a good idea to bite the hand feeds you!

Kiev Says Ukraine Needs 5 Bln Cubic Meters of Russian Gas for Winter | Business | RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine needs to purchase additional five billion cubic meters of gas from Russia for the forthcoming winter season, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Friday.

“Can Ukraine now survive without Russian gas? No, it can’t. How much Russian gas do we need to buy? About 5 billion cubic meters,” he said in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 23 2014 8:13 utc | 72

@Fran: The Spiegel link you provided is proof of Putin's Machiavellian plan to conquer the world. Russian Spetsnaz in camouflage.

Posted by: SingleStrandOfSilk | Aug 23 2014 10:08 utc | 73

Denis Skinner ‏@BolsoverBeast 4h
USA on Syria"We're not going to be restricted by borders,"

USA on Ukraine "Convoy movement of humanitarian aid is a provocation of border" #hypocrisyisallamerican

Posted by: brian | Aug 23 2014 10:10 utc | 74

BenAris @bneeditor 1h
#BREAKING: Russian humanitarian aid trucks deliver humanitarian aid and go home again, nothing else happened

(Putin scores big PR victory)

Posted by: brian | Aug 23 2014 10:11 utc | 75

James Foley was a key propagandist in sparking the U.S. air invasion of Libya, in 2011. The proof is here. Believe it or not, it was through his kidnapping then ALSO... part of it spent on a posh resort island! Just about a year after his 'release' from that, he's kidnapped AGAIN! This time, he's calling us to attack Assad... apparently.
There seems to be plenty of evidence, that we have NOT been told the truth about Foley's life at all - AND, perhaps not surprisingly, that he works for the CIA... under "press" cover. Does he have a second, secret life that is udeful for these warmongering exercises?
The Corporate Media skunked AGAIN. Or are they the skunks? The 'beheading of James Foley, 'reporter', revealed for what it really is - another cheezy propaganda FAKE meant to somehow justify a new mindless war against Syria. AGAIN!

Posted by: brian | Aug 23 2014 12:27 utc | 76

Gay marriage is a cultural issue, and all cultures have their own mores -- which do change over time in response to changing social and material conditions. That said, I’m really not sure what is behind some people’s insistence that certain other countries conform to their personal cultural norms.

Why would one be so concerned about gay marriage in Russia and not gay rights in our ally, Saudi Arabia -- which assuredly are a million times worse?

Why does one living in a cosmopolitan city in the west feel the need to legislate cultural norms among, say. the Komi peoples of Russia’s far north or the Orok people of Sakhalin Oblast? To me, this is the worst form of cultural imperialism. And, obviously, such patronizing meddling -- which the US is famous for -- won’t help anyone, and can only cause needless suffering.

One cannot hold up the US as a beacon of progressive rights without some background. Let’s start with an issue of far greater importantance than gay marriage: slavery. Spain enacted the first European law abolishing colonial slavery in 1542. Russia came in second of the European nations and abolished slavery in 1723. Other nations followed, for instance, Haiti in 1804, Britain in 1807, Denmark in 1848. All nations abolished slavery peacefully. The US came in dead last of all major western powers, only abolishing slavery in 1865 after a horrifying civil war which left millions dead and wounded and much of the nation in ruins.

Let’s take another index of social welfare: social security. We owe the creation of the modern welfare state to that great Liberal social reformer, Otto Von Bismark (snark), who instituted the modern world’s first Social Security laws in 1889. Other countries followed, for instance Argentina in 1904, Australia in 1908, etc. The US again, came in dead last for major world powers in 1935, only beating tiny Niger by a few years. And the US elite were so against any benefits for their population that they staged an abortive coup (the “Business Plot,” detailed by Smedley Butler), against President Roosevelt a year earlier in a cruel and heartless attempt to prevent any alleviation of human suffering in the very heart of the great depression.

America’s regressive nature should not shock any student of America’s endless militarism and history of toppling almost any progressive government ever, worldwide. Indeed, it is no surprise that all but one of the worst countries to be gay in are America’s allies, among them: Afghanistan (which has been under American occupation for the last ten years), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Uganda, Singapore and Jamaica. Clearly the US-led anti-Russian propaganda effort is not motivated by a policy of protecting LGBT rights everywhere.

Earlier, I argued that gay rights are related to the mores of the people of an area or country. Iran is an interesting example of this: Homosexuality is illegal -- punishable by death, which does occur -- however, transexuality is legal in the country and Iran performs the second-highest rate of sex-change operations in the world (just behind Thailand), even going so far as to offer government funding for the procedure.

It should be remembered that America’s fascination with LGBT rights is extraordinarily recent. Only 50 years ago, NYC attempted to close down all of its gay bars. At the time of the Stonewall riots five years later, which I remember well, police still reserved the right to raid gay bars on a regular basis and arrest and publicly out and destroy anyone they so desired. As recently as 1986, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick, that homosexual sex was not protected under the right to privacy. Indeed, the entire same-sex marriage movement in the US is barely ten years old, with most of the progress occurring in the past three years. These facts should give one even greater pause when presuming to tell people in other countries how they should live their lives.

Having established America’s real record in progressive causes worldwide, let’s move on to an examination of gay rights parity with the Russian Federation. And here I concede that the one right that gays have in some parts of America that they do not have in Russia is gay marriage -- at least in 19 states, but not in the whole country.

But what are the conditions for LGBT people in those other parts of America?

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is running for Governor next term, gives law enforcement a green light to arrest gays under Virginia's statute, stating he believes it's appropriate to formulate public policy on the premise that homosexuals engage in behavior that is intrinsically wrong and offensive to natural law.

In Tennessee, when voters passed a constitutional ban on same sex marriage in 2006, the legislature began ramping up their anti-gay agenda, merrily focusing on legislation such as "Don’t Say Gay" (in the midst of two gay teens committing suicide), or changes to Tennessee's anti-bullying law to allow students to speak against gays for…religious reasons, or this gem — the transphobic bathroom bill.

Michigan, one of few states that explicitly prohibit adoption by same-sex couples, is also the only state in which surrogacy is completely illegal.

From Utah’s statutes: “Materials adopted by a local school board . . . shall . . . comply with state law and state board rules . . . prohibiting instruction . . . in the advocacy of homosexuality.”

From Arizona’s statutes: “No district shall include in its course of study instruction which: 1. Promotes a homosexual life-style. 2. Portrays homosexuality as a positive alternative life-style. 3. Suggests that some methods of sex are safe methods of homosexual sex.”

Alabama and Texas mandate that sex-education classes emphasize that homosexuality is “not a lifestyle acceptable to the general public.” Moreover, the Alabama and Texas statutes mandate that children be taught that “homosexual conduct is a criminal offense,” despite the fact that this is a lie.

Next, let’s compare LGBT rights in the US vs. the Russian Federation:

In the Russian Federation homosexuality was decriminalized in 1993, while in the US in 12 States & the US military gay sex is criminalized and illegal. Indeed, in some states sodomy laws have been invoked even when sexual intercourse did not occur. For instance, in 2009 police kicked two gay men out of a restaurant in Texas for kissing.

Let’s compare workplace security, since without economic rights, other rights are unattainable.

In the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation Constitution (Article 19) declares equal rights of every human regardless of gender, race, nationality, language, ancestry, amount of property in possession or job position, place of living, religion, political or other views, affiliation to non-governmental organizations and other conditions. Under Russian Labor Code, dismissal of an employee must meet certain statutory grounds and sexual orientation is not one of them. As a result, an employer may not dismiss an employee solely because of the employee’s sexual orientation. Meanwhile, in the US there is no federal law that consistently protects LGBT individuals from employment discrimination.

In the Russian Federation, since 1997 transgender people are able to change their legal gender after an appropriate medical procedure, while in the US there is no uniform process for a transgender person to legally change their gender.

Finally, let’s look at hate crimes in the two countries: In the years 2010-12, Russia recorded just 18 anti-gay hate crimes (a legitimate, not “massaged” statistic), while the US recorded 4, 476 anti-gay hate crimes, or almost 4 a day! Furthermore, Russia has recorded just one single anti-LGBT murder in years, while the US had 25 LGBTQ persons murdered in crimes of hate in 2012 alone!

The difference in levels of hate crimes and murder is astounding, beyond compare really -- especially considering the shrill, patronizing, and accusatory rhetoric that spews from US officials towards the Russian Federation -- but I will leave it to the reader to speculate why.

In conclusion, there really is no comparison between the uniform, just, and non-violent way that gays are generally treated in Russia, and the arbitrary, capricious, hateful, and violent -- even murderously so -- way that gays are often treated in the US.

Hey, ralphieboy, call me when Mississippi starts to allow gay marriage and we will talk gay rights parity.

Those interested in exploring the topic more deeply are advised to read the remarkable January 2014 report by US gay-rights advocate, Brian M. Heiss, who surprised himself at his conclusions (He, believing the hateful propaganda directed at Russia, set out to prove the opposite!): Russian Federation Anti-Gay Laws: An Analysis & Deconstruction.


Putin has very subtle ways of suppressing dissent

Putin doesn’t suppress dissent, the Federation of Russia does, as do all countries, but that is a topic for another post. Let’s not get carried away with personalizing and demonizing here.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 23 2014 12:36 utc | 77

"...Like Lenny Bruce said (paraphrasing mightily): "When the aliens come to earth, they better be a bunch of scufflers, because it looks like the blacks and Puerto Ricans have had it and there's no one left to do the dirty work". That's the long and the short of it Poland is anxious to finally have found their Pollacks."

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 23, 2014 12:55:00 AM | 61

I think the aliens came and saw the needless death and destruction by our insane leaders and oligarchs and determined that earth is one of the universes dumpsters...and vowed never to return.

Posted by: really | Aug 23 2014 12:49 utc | 78


You are right on all accounts -- I tried to stay focused above and not get into those issues, but yes, very much so. Just another cudgel of empire.

Furthermore, why should the irreligious state get into marriage at all? Why not leave it to the religious sphere, where people can choose a faith which represents their beliefs, and the person they want to perform the ceremony? This would prevent the purposeful dividing of society, causing strife, hate, and resentment -- if not promoting outright violence.

The one civil issue involved is survivor rights and payments. But what of the disabled person who has one caretaker their entire life -- who they are not married to. Why couldn't that caretaker, who has sacrificed their entire life in caring, be named as a survivor. For that matter, why can't everyone designate one person -- whoever they wish -- as a survivor. Otherwise, we really are discriminating against the celibate, and those who live with one great friend or buddy.

Anyway, that has always been my position, and that is why I have always stood against same-sex marriage as a special case law, where a general law applicable to everyone -- as I describe above -- would be more just.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 23 2014 12:55 utc | 79

Malooga 76

Posts like these, we need more of, great job, get a blog too!

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 23 2014 13:29 utc | 80



I should have posted this in my post at 177 for added emphesis. I think stevie is an alien marooned on earth. This is for any young ones out there that may not have heard.

Posted by: really | Aug 23 2014 13:58 utc | 81

This blog post translates Viktoria Shilova on Ukr. forces losses. No idea if these nos. are correct, but what is certain is that the Coup Kiev Gvmt. has been hiding losses, not informing families, etc. They won’t be able to keep the lid on it for much longer, there are too many men missing.

Come winter, humanitarian aid will be needed all over Ukraine.

Blog post, by Boris Kagarlitsky (posted by okie farmer at 25, bevin also): Eastern Ukraine people’s republics between militias and oligarchs so repeat..


The Russian press is already reporting openly on an agreement reached between the Moscow bureaucrats and the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

This site, libcom (Socialist, Worker’s Union type) has some articles tagged ‘Ukraine’ that *may* be of interest.

eurozine has a long article about Ukr. oligarchs. A typology of Oligarchs by S. Leschenko

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23 2014 15:43 utc | 82

Malooga @77: good to read a thorough examination of these issues.
One mistake that I noticed is that Slavery was not abolished in the British Empire until the 1830s. What occurred in 1807 was the abolition of the Slave Trade, which is the US did as well in that year, effective Jan 1 1808, I believe.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 23 2014 15:51 utc | 83

@77 malooga.. thanks for articulating that for anyone who is illiterate and might want to learn something..

@82 noirette. thanks for the overview..i had seen a translated video of Viktoria Shilova a few days ago. i also happened to read at the kremlin stooge yesterday a post via twitter saying kolomoisky has declared open war on Rinat Akhmetov which would fit with your snippet.. i am curious about this and what it might imply more widely.

Posted by: james | Aug 23 2014 15:54 utc | 84

Demian @69. This is right on, you point to something that has always struck me as incompatible with honesty on this issue. Gay men that I know regard marriage with horror, as an institution it is one of the things that drove them to make the choice they made.
Capitalist society systematically destroys every institution binding individuals into communities unmediated by greed- the family, oldest of all human institutions and the original community, is no exception.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 23 2014 16:05 utc | 85

Thank you Mr. Brennan for pointing out the spokespeople marriage of media and govt/military via Gordon at NYT. Last year, I figured out that John Miller has been doing the same thing in the media at CBS. He's been a PR man for the police/FBI throughout his career and can be counted on to provide their message for American newstainment consumers.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 23 2014 16:20 utc | 86

I hope everyone has enjoyed the spectacle of the junta supporters going way out on a rhetorical limb over the aid convoy, then having it sawed off by a 48 hour round trip of 250 trucks.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Aug 23 2014 20:01 utc | 87

Only a complete fucking piece of garbage like ralphieboy who come trot out some stupid straw man when the discussion is centered on civilians dying under army fire in Ukraine. We're discussing people dying by the thousands, and you bring up some name calling that exists in every culture? Let me ask - are you fucking stupid or just a bad at your propagandist job?

As if the murder of Ukrainians has anything to do with what some Russians think about gay people. After all, if we were basing our judgements that way, lets discuss what some Americans think about gay people - its a hell of a lot worse than what any Russians have proposed. Maybe that should affect your judgement - not that you've exhibited you have a jot of it.

In any case there are millions of gay Russians and they have a gay pride movement, and I'm certain they wouldn't want a dipshit like you using their struggle to rip up their country and destroy their lives. Russians - gay and straight - are tired of America trying to destroy their country. And they don't need the phony "help" of a duplicitous little phony like yourself to wreck it further. Especially by climbing onto their real struggle.

What a joke. You don't give a fuck about Russians, gay straight or otherwise. You just want to press your agenda, no matter what hypocritical fakery it takes to do it.

You make me sick, ralphieboy. You're a fiend.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 23 2014 20:26 utc | 88

Kind of off topic:

Russia and China better support Turkmenistan. Just heard on the news some "analyst" yapping about taliban supporting isis links. Those that aren't aware here, which are very few I would guess, should check these links.

Posted by: really | Aug 23 2014 20:29 utc | 89

@bevin #85:

Thank you. I was a bit worried about how that comment would be received lol.

@guest77 #88:

Russians … have a gay pride movement

I'm sorry, the idea of "gay pride" strikes me as specifically American. It is identity politics, and the purpose of identity politics is to distract left-leaning people from economic issues.

I really don't see how the notion of gay pride can exist in a Russian cultural context. By now, after Yeltsin, Russians have a distinct concept of liberals and liberalism, and it is deprecatory. Liberalism is seen as something alien to Russia and, in the Russian context, an American project to destroy Russia. I think most Russians think this way; you don't have to go all the way to Alexander Dugin's way of thinking, embracing his Slavophilism. I think (non-fifth column) Russians view the notion of gay pride as a liberal notion, and hence alien to Russia.

But I don't have trouble believing that Russians are more tolerant of gays than Americans are. This is because Russian Orthodoxy is really a very easy-going religion. It's pretty mystical, and its core lies in its liturgy. Unlike Roman Catholicism and American evangelicalism, it does not lay a guilt trip on you. I'm pretty sure that from a Russian Orthodox point of view, God doesn't care if you are straight or gay. (It doesn't matter what the official doctrine is, since few Russians take that seriously. Russian Orthodoxy is about feeling, not doctrine.)

@Thirdeye #87:

I must admit that I expected the convoy to linger. Even I thought that one reason for sending in the humanitarian aid was to make it more complicated for the junta to shell populated areas. By the way, there were reports in the Russian Itar-Tass that the junta said that the convoy returned to Russia with cargo in it. So evidently, the convoy came into Novorossia empty, but left filled with riches stolen from Ukraine.

And here's a bit from today's Novorossiyan news roundup from Anna News:

On the inauguration of Poroshenko in Kyiv, a soldier who saw the pseudo-president became ill and dropped his weapon. Today, the younger Poroshenko [his son] fainted during a prayer for Ukraine. Does one need any more proof that the Ukraine is damned?

The Ukraine is damned. That summarizes what I imagine is the mainstream view in Russia about the Ukraine now. Russia considers the Ukraine to be a failed state. It is a wonder to me that Merkel went to Kiev today, discussing how the EU would help rebuild the Ukrainian infrastructure that the junta has destroyed. The junta is still destroying it! If you want to restore the infrastructure, the first step is to make the junta stop destroying it.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 23 2014 21:22 utc | 90

Well said Malooga,#77. I'm transgendered so I have a vested interest in this, but the endless Russia bashing over GLBTI issues is pathetic that reaches new levels of western hypocrisy (and that is a tough job). Sure there are better places than Russia to GLTBI....but there are a heck of a lot of worse places. And,as you note, quite a few close 'allies' of the west are they would kill me if I went there.

Note that in some legal areas they are lagging the 'mainstream' western countries, but in some areas they were ahead. Like, for us TG people, a moderately important thing(!) "Right to change legal gender", Russia 1997, Britain? 2005.

What is different is that Russia is more socially conservative and religious than many (but not all if you take into account sub-regions/states) than many current western countries. Plus there are significant differences across the country, just as there is the US and many other places. So I see them as a work in progress, with a fair way to go but by no means the worst around.

And bashing them over the head and shouting at them is counter productive for all the GLTBI people there, as what happens is that they become seen as 'US/etc tools' and symbols of western cultural 'imperialism', rather than as just ordinary Russians who are entitled to be treated in that way without any discrimination. These are issues for quiet and gentle diplomacy, not 'bashing'.

Mote in the eye, while ignoring the plank in your own your eye stuff this.

The day the US gives Saudi Arabia a seriously hard time over GLBTI rights (oh and the rights of atheists, Christians, Jews, Shias, etc, etc) is the day I'll take their bleating about Russia seriously. Note the lack of breath holding here.....

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Aug 24 2014 0:10 utc | 91

really re #78.

Yes are right, they've been here and said "beam me up Scotty there is no intelligent life here" and left.

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Aug 24 2014 0:12 utc | 92

@OldSkeptic #91:

What is different is that Russia is more socially conservative and religious than many (but not all if you take into account sub-regions/states) than many current western countries.

Honestly, I don't think that Russia is any more religious than Scandinavia or Germany. What is different about Russia is that for 74 years, Christianity was stigmatized and replaced by another religion, Marxism-Leninism. It is natural that, for the purposes of reconstructing its national identity, Russia would turn to its old religion, after everyone realized that Marxism-Leninism is a false religion.

In most cases, Russians making references to Russian Orthodoxy are simply affirming their cultural identity, as opposed to expressing religious views. (This is not to say that Russian atheists do not take Christianity seriously, as German intellectuals, but not Anglophone intellectuals, do.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 24 2014 1:32 utc | 93

@Demian "I'm sorry, the idea of "gay pride" strikes me as specifically American. "

Possibly, and it may be that the entire Russian "gay pride" movement is paid for with funds from "democracy promotion" outfits. I don't really know.

My point was - though - that likely those people don't want some American idiot using their issue to destroy the country they live in, that's all. Even useful idiots have their limits I would assume. And I'm certain that they wouldn't want the fundamentalists in the United States to be let off the hook either - which is exactly what ralphieprick does when he somehow tries to paint Russians - in their entirety - with this broad brush, and at the same time pretend that US policy is somehow acceptable because (even though there is zero relation at all) the US government pretends to be more "progressive" on this particular wedge issue than the Russian. And in this sense, the parallels between ralphieboy and the US government become even more clear.

The one thing I am sure of is that ralphieboy's proclaimed "concern" for gay people in Russia AND for Ukrainian civilians is a complete and utter fraud.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 24 2014 3:34 utc | 94

really, that article from Oriental Review was terrific. Here's another:

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 24 2014 7:48 utc | 95

95, indeed that article is very good

Likewise, the US is now talking about ‘cooperating’ with Iran to defeat the Western-backed ISIL in Iraq. The thinking goes that American airstrikes would provide cover for Iranian Revolutionary Guard offensives (in coordination with the Iraqi Army), but in reality, what this amounts to is the US conditionally choosing when and where to insert itself in the battle (from afar) while the Iranians and Iraqi troops are used as cannon fodder on the ground. The offers of cooperation are nothing more than a feint to trick the Iranians into getting caught up in mission creep in Iraq. The “Iranian Reset” is just as fake as the US-Russian Reset – a deceptive trick to buy valuable time for setting up a strategic betrayal.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2014 8:10 utc | 96

Good god. The times we live in... Everything is going mad, I tell you.
I dont know who to believe anymore. Nuclear war on the horizon, the coming collapse of the world financial system, privatisation of water, systemic genocide on a global scale, and fuck me, this corporate mentality insidiously infusing itself with a plethora of different cultures. Im getting tired of reading this stuff. I want to crawll back into my hobbithole and smoke my pipe and tend my garden until I eventually die from an overdose of pot...

Posted by: Dan | Aug 24 2014 14:57 utc | 97

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