Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 26, 2018

Russia Blocks Ukrainian Navy From Militarizing The Sea of Azov - Updated

Originally posted Nov 25: 18:00 utc - Updated below on Nov. 26, 6:00 utc

The Ukrainian government under the oligarch Petro Poroshenko is in election campaign mode. That is one reason why it is launching new provocations against Russia. Yesterday Ukrainian forces reportedly occupied a town within the neutral zone between the government controlled part and the rebel held Donetsk area. Today the Ukrainian navy sent a tug and two small gun boats, recently acquired from the U.S. Coast Guard, Ukrainian build Gurza-M class types, to pass through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov.

When the ships entered Russian waters without announcing their intent, a Russian coast guard ship rammed (vid) and damaged the tug. The two gun boats escaped but did not pass the strait. The pictures show the melee at sea. 



With Crimea back in Russian hands, the Kerch Strait is solely Russian territorial water. The Treaty on the Legal Status of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, signed in 2003 by Russia and the Ukraine, provides that military ship entry into the sea is only allowed with mutual consent. Ukraine disputes the status of the sea in an arbitration court. (For a legal discussion of the case see 1, 2, 3.)

The Ukrainian government, urged on by the U.S., wants to establish a new military harbor in the Sea of Azov. Two of its navy ships, a rescue vessel and a tug, passed through the street on September 23. In October the Russian government warned that it will not allow any further militarization of the sea. Some U.S. hawks even want NATO ships to enter the Sea of Azov. The Sea of Azov has a maximum depth of 7 meters. Typical U.S. frigates have a draft of 10+ meters. What NATO or U.S. ship could even go there? As Russia firmly controls the sole entry point into the sea and can easily attack any ship in the Sea of Azov from within its borders the idea is incredibly stupid.

The Kerch Strait is now blocked by a large cargo ship the Russians anchored under the new Kerch bridge.


The passage is closed and a number of ships are bunched up on both sides.

Pic via MarineTraffic of traffic at 15:45 utc - bigger

The Ukrainian provocation may well be aimed to sour the meeting between President Trump and Putin that is planned for November 30 during the G20 summit in Argentina. It should be more careful. It is quite possible that Russia will block commercial traffic to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol over any further incident. The big loser of this useless provocation would then again be the Ukraine.

Update - Nov. 26, 6:00 utc

The Russian coast guard detained the three Ukrainian ships and their crews in Russian waters. They again illegally attempted to cross from the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov. The Ukrainian side says the two of its seaman were injured.

Since Crimea voted to again become a part of Russia the Kerch Strait is Russian territorial water. Ships can pass the strait but are required to take on a pilot and to undergo inspections if the Russian coast guard demand such. The Ukrainian side understands that these are legal measures. In a report by the U.S. government outlet RFL/RE published in August the Ukrainian side admitted as much:

[The Ukrainian Sea Guard and the squadron's spokesman] Poliakov said that, while Russia's actions are "provocative," because of a controversial 2003 agreement on cooperation and shared use of the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait, "everything Russia is doing here is technically legal."

The three Ukrainian ships tried to pass Russian waters without informing Russian authorities and without taking on pilots. Since Russia build the $3.7 billion Kerch bridge which connects Crimea with Russia, U.S. commentators and Ukrainian politicians threatened to blow up the bridge:

“The Kerch Bridge is an enemy’s infrastructure. It connects the occupied territory with the mainland of the aggressor country, that is why it is an enemy’s infrastructure,” Mosiychuk said on air of 112 Ukraine channel.

According to him, “any normal country” in a state of war strives for destroying enemy’s infrastructure. Answering a question whether he personally would destroy the bridge, he said that he would do it if he were the defense minister.

The Russians are understandably careful with any traffic near to it.

Following yesterday's incident the president of the Ukraine Pedro Poroshenko proposed to declare martial law. The parliament will have to decide on that. This is a very convenient move for Poroshenko as it will allow him to move the March 2019 general election date. Poroshenko trails in the polls with some 8% of the total vote.

Russia called for a UN Security Council emergency meeting which will be held at today at 11:00am EST. The passage through the Kerch Strait is again open for civil vessels.

The usual anti-Russian subject in "western" political circles use the incident to demand more measures against Russia. Fronting the effort is the weapon industry lobbying group Atlantic Council:

Anders Åslund, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, said: “NATO and the United States should send in naval ships in the Sea of Azov to guarantee that it stays open to international shipping.”

Such action, Åslund said, “would be in full compliance with the UN Law of the Sea Convention of 1982 and the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits of 1936.”

Anders Aslund is listed as member of the "U.S. & Canadian Cluster" of the secret influence operation by the British Foreign Office describe here two days ago. He is obviously unable to read a map, sea chart, or UN convention. The Ukrainian attempt to pass through the Kerch Strait without Russian consent is a breach of Article 7, 19 and 21 of the UN Law of the Sea Convention (pdf):

Article 7: "Subject to this Convention, ships of all States, whether coastal or land-locked, enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea."
Article 19-1: "Passage is innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal State. Such passage shall take place in conformity with this Convention and with other rules of international law."
Article 21-4: "Foreign ships exercising the right of innocent passage through the territorial sea shall comply with all such [coastal state] laws and regulations and all generally accepted international regulations relating to the prevention of collisions at sea."

There will now be again a lot of noise in the media about the 'nefarious Russians' and new demands for even more useless sanctions. But the legal case is clear. It was the Ukrainian navy that willfully attempted to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through Russian territorial waters without regard to the laws and regulations of the coastal state. Russia was within its full rights to prevent the passage and to seize the Ukrainian boats.

Posted by b on November 26, 2018 at 9:44 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Zanon | Nov 26 2018 19:21 utc | 101

At the UN today, US Ambassador Nikki Haley denounced what she called Russia's "outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory".
She didn't say which laws were violated or mention that the ships were Navy vessels:

"Let’s be clear about what is known.

Ukrainian ships set sail from one Ukrainian port to another Ukrainian port. They attempted to do so by the only possible way to go, through the Kerch Strait. Both Russia and Ukraine use the strait routinely. But this time, Russia decided to prevent passage of the Ukrainian ships, rammed them, and then opened fire on them.

This is no way for a law-abiding, civilized nation to act. Impeding Ukraine’s lawful transit through the Kerch Strait is a violation under international law."

Posted by: Brendan | Nov 26 2018 19:23 utc | 102

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 26 2018 19:32 utc | 103

This provocation was probably planned by the evil orange clown in the white house and his handlers, for the express purpose of creating an excuse (look Ma, more "Russian aggression") that the demonic orange poseur can use to avoid meeting with Vladimir Putin.

Posted by: Harold Smith | Nov 26 2018 19:51 utc | 104

The amount of assets Russia put into this operation most likely means there is a lot more going on than has been reported on.
From the reports I have read, this was an FSB operation. FSB duties according to wikipedia "Its main responsibilities are within the country and include counter-intelligence, internal and border security, counter-terrorism, and surveillance as well as investigating some other types of grave crimes and federal law violations."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 26 2018 20:00 utc | 105

re 105

You mean the Russians knew in advance what the Ukies were planning. Not difficult with ships, which move slowly.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 26 2018 20:45 utc | 106

"Ukraine’s parliament approved late on Nov. 26 the imposition of 30 days of martial law in 10 oblasts located on the Russian border, the border with the Russian-controlled Transnistria region of Moldova and oblasts located by the Black and Azov seas.

The 276 lawmakers out of 330 present in parliament voted in favor of a bill by President Petro Poroshenko who proposed it in response to Russian escalation in the Black Sea.Ukraine’s parliament approved late on Nov. 26 the imposition of 30 days of martial law in 10 oblasts located on the Russian border, the border with the Russian-controlled Transnistria region of Moldova and oblasts located by the Black and Azov seas.

The 276 lawmakers out of 330 present in parliament voted in favor of a bill by President Petro Poroshenko who proposed it in response to Russian escalation in the Black Sea. ...

... In an address to the nation that preceded the vote, Poroshenko sad martial law will take effect at 9 a.m. Kyiv time on Nov. 28. It will include Vinnytsia, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolayiv, Odesa, Sumy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kherson oblasts.

It will enable the military to take over control over these areas and restrict the civic and political rights of their residents. The text of the bill is still now published and the lawmakers voted for it based on the oral presentation of parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy.

Parliament passed it after 10 hours of backroom discussions and disputes in the meeting hall, amid swearing and insults.

Many found it odd to impose the martial law in the fifth year of Russia’s war against Ukraine and claimed Poroshenko offered the bill to postpone the presidential elections in 2019. According to recent polls, he has the highest negative rating among all the candidates and low chances to win.

Under pressure, Poroshenko agreed to limit martial law to 30 days instead the earlier planned 60 days and restrict its scope to 10 oblasts instead of the entire territory of Ukraine.

Speaking in parliament, Poroshenko also assured the lawmakers he was going to implement the martial law “explicitly in case of the Russian aggression on the ground.” Otherwise, there will be no limitations of the human rights in these areas, h said."

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 26 2018 21:00 utc | 107

@103 - video of the questioning in Russian. No new revelations, just a few sailors saying more or less the same thing - yes, we got the orders to cross into Azov sea and intentionally ignored Russian commands.

There is also a timeline published by FSB in Russian at that basically says
* Ukrainian ships approached, stated their intent to cross the straits and said they do not recognize Russian authority
* Russia blocked the straits, standoff continued for some time
* Russia intercepted radio calls discussing leaving slow tug behind and charging the straits with two gunboats
* The gunboats uncovered their autocannons; night approached
* at some point FSB decided it might end badly and ordered the ships to surrender. Faced with overwhelming force, and not being suicidal, they more or less did

Posted by: Andrey Subbotin | Nov 26 2018 21:01 utc | 108

@105 laguerre.. i think the issue of some in the usa suggesting to blow up the bridge, not to mention some loose cannons in the ukraine maybe saying something similar, has put russia in a different position then otherwise... obviously they can monitor anything moving in the vicinity via water, very easily.. the tactical nuke story was probably a pile of bs, or we would have been told more by now, after russia ceased the tug...

however, perhaps the biggest issue is how the west under the leadership of the usa-uk - have wanted to ramp up the hostility towards russia in all ways... this can't go unnoticed by ordinary observers, including russia, here.. this is the type of environment that the west has intentionally cultivated... this event is a byproduct of their indiscretion..

Posted by: james | Nov 26 2018 21:01 utc | 109

Peter AU 1 @105--

The rumored suitcase nuke likely activated the FSB besides the fact that some sort of provocation's been expected since the Kerch Bridge construction began. The videos I've seen show lots of commercial freighters--12-14, perhaps more--and other vessels on a lovely day to be out on the water. The provocation also conveniently upstaged any mention of the terrorist chemical attack in Aleppo and further Turkish Khashoggi drips. Although written before the provocation, Alastair Crooke's latest is of tangential import as the Il-20 shootdown's stiffening of Russian resolve wasn't limited to Syria and has likely had ripple effects throughout Russia's military and security services.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2018 21:20 utc | 110

Jackrabbit @ 96:

I re-read Point 9 in The Pessimist's comment @ 47 again:
Martial law will also allow to cancel diplomatic agreements with the enemy and to seize the property of the aggressor that is on the territory of Ukraine

In other words, martial law would not only allow Ukraine to continue ignoring Minsk I and II agreements but also allow it to invade and claim Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

The naval base in Sevastopol is more valuable to the Americans than Crimea and Ukraine themselves. They also want to get rid of the Turkstream gas pipeline which opened recently.

Ahhh, got the answer to The Pessimist's query @ 54! If the Ukrainians provoke an incident with Russia, then Russia (according to their thinking) will retaliate with force, justifying Poroshenko's call for martial law and the compulsory military draft and putting Ukraine on a war footing that go with it. (This would "explain" the gas and water stoppages as well.) Martial law would enable Ukraine (along with assistance from NATO "advisors") to seize Crimea and Sevastopol. Sevastopol could be delivered to the Americans.

With the naval base transferred to the US military, the Black Sea effectively becomes a US lake and the Turkstream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey (which would supply gas to southeast Europe and Italy) becomes a target for attack.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 26 2018 21:39 utc | 111

Re my comment @ 111: Sorry, Turkstream hasn't started yet - construction finished this month (November).

Posted by: Jen | Nov 26 2018 21:40 utc | 112

@ jen... that would be yet another way to start ww3... i am sure the neo cons running usa-uk-west - foreign policy, are working full time to accomplish this...

Posted by: james | Nov 26 2018 21:50 utc | 113


'Coming to a blog near us ...... all Ukrainians being subjected to a compulsory military draft'

Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of young military age men have fled Ukraine.... much like young white men fled the US war of aggression on Viet Nam. Ukraine does not have millions of young black children to fight their war using the draft. They will need to draft housewives and broke down farmers.

Posted by: Ger | Nov 26 2018 21:57 utc | 114


Even kids..
Teaching Kids to Kill at a Far Right Nationalist Summer Camp in Ukraine

“We never aim guns at people, but we don’t count separatists, little green men, occupiers from Moscow, as people. So we can and should aim at them.”

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 26 2018 22:29 utc | 115

To add to the many thank-you notes - thank you, b, superb job staying on top of unfolding events! Highly appreciated!

Russia's FSB says that among the Ukrainian crew members detained are two guys from Ukraine's domestic secret service SBU...

If this is true there can't be any denying the incident was a deliberate provocation.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Nov 26 2018 23:01 utc | 116

Seems the best situation for Ukrainians in general who want peaceful relations with Russia and an end to the UrkoNazi nightmare would be for the Rada to declare war against Russia then, a la The Mouse That Roared, surrender and allow Russia to gain control so they could thaw out, drink water and eat decent food again. The polling data presented shows no one potential leader has anything near to a majority of people having confidence in her/him, which is the real bankruptcy of Ukraine engineered by UK/US/EU, leading one to wonder what numbers Putin would garner.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26 2018 23:32 utc | 117

Perhaps now that the Poroshenko regime has ordered a general mobilisation, it is time for Russia to liquidate this regime once and for all. I recognize that this threatens nuclear war, but the mobilisation order seems to indicate that the Ukrainian regime attacked first and makes it a bit less likely that nuclear war might ensue if this problem is liquidated once and for all. Of course, the cost of redevelopment of this failed state will be humongous.

Posted by: exiled off mainstreet | Nov 26 2018 23:37 utc | 118

the pessimist @107

I'd guess that Porky will try to extend and expand the martial law sometime before it expires.

I'd also guess that "f*ck the EU" is still the order of the day. These provocations will be used to put more pressure on EU to increase military spending and accept US natural gas.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 26 2018 23:45 utc | 119

This provocation just seems to be straight out of the FUKUS playbook...i am not sure that poroshenko is smart enough to have laid all this out...he is just a motivated servant(election he is sure to lose) following the orders of his financiers...his willingness to pay for a "full readiness" military operation, when his people are freezing to death and have no money...seems more like a desperate servant than a leader of the people...he is expendable as far as everyone is concerned...
The legal paperwork for the martial law was completed weeks before this provocation was launched...the MSM had their stories all ready to go..
I am not certain where FUKUS is going to take this, but i think they will try to get NATO embroiled in it...that could be a real problem...

Posted by: oldenyoung | Nov 27 2018 0:03 utc | 120

The Pessimist @ 107, Jackrabbit @ 119:

Noticed that Poroshenko's martial law applies to those oblasts that border Russia to the north and east, the southern oblasts that border Crimea or which have a seaboard, and Vinnitsya and Odessa oblasts to the southwest because those two oblasts border the self-proclaimed maverick Transnistria Republic. So there is pressure being applied as well to Transnistria Republic to swallow its pride and return to Moldova with tail between its legs. On top of that, the oblasts being subjected to martial law are dominated by Russian-language speakers and these oblasts are also the oblasts that supported Viktor Yanukovych and his party in Presidential elections in 2010.

No oblasts in the northwest part of the country bordering EU nations (that is, the hardcore Banderite-Nazi strongholds) have been subjected to martial law.

Well, good luck to Kiev in trying to maintain a police state apparatus in the eastern, southeastern and southern parts of Ukraine. If there's one thing that will break up Ukraine as a political entity, surely it's got to be actions on Kiev's part that punish people in those oblasts just for being next door to Russia or for not being Nazi enough.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 27 2018 0:52 utc | 121

The Saker's Update reports:

"Looks like Poroshenko ran into some real problems in the Rada. Unsurprisingly, pretty much all the political parties have immediately understood what this was all about and have categorically rejected the text Poroshenko submitted. They only adopted a much watered-down version in which the martial law is introduced only for one month, not two, and the fact that the elections will take place as scheduled has been re-confirmed." [Emphasis mine]

Poroshenko's worse than a lame duck. That the Rada acted somewhat independently is a good sign.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 1:21 utc | 122

karlof1 110

Thanks for the link to Crooke's article. The Khashoggi killing looks to have been a game changer for the region and Crooke sums it up well. The current Ukie provocation may well be to take the Aleppo CW attack out of the news. Around 2014 2015 In noticed that when blocked on one front, the US et al (I have started to think in terms of a five-eyes permanent state) would move to another front - Ukraine, Syria, South China Sea. The last couple of years, their attention seems to have been mostly on Syria, Iran and the middle east.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 27 2018 1:27 utc | 123

Jen@121 yes exactly. The monstrousnes of US foreign policy and its consequences still staggers and shames me, despite my cynicism. Empowering such people, providing weapons and encouragement even when they are not more directly involved.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 27 2018 1:33 utc | 124

"...Over the past four years over 1,000 Canadian troops (a rotation of 200 every six months) has deployed to the Ukraine to train a force that includes the best-organized neo-Nazis in the world. Far right militia members are part of the force fighting Russia-aligned groups in eastern Ukraine.

Five months ago Canada's military attache in Kiev, Colonel Brian Irwin, met privately with officers from the Azov battalion, who use the Nazi 'Wolfangal' symbol and praise officials who helped slaughter Jews during WWII. According to Azov, the Canadian officials concluded the June briefing by expressing 'their hopes for further fruitful cooperation.'

More generally, Canadians have fundraised for and joined rightist militias fighting inside Ukraine. For their part, top politicians have spoken alongside and marched with members of Ukraine's Right Sector, which said it was 'defending the values of White Christian Europe against the loss of the Nation and deregionalisation.'

The Neo-Nazis in Canada's Military - by Yves Engler

Posted by: John Gilberts | Nov 27 2018 1:55 utc | 125

Didnt they try to sail a US ship near Crimea a few years back and it wound up having its electronics quickly disabled and fighter jets flown at it to show it can easily be sunk? There’s provoking these guys with sanctions but if you’re going to escalate it and threaten so sail a fleet into its territory, I’d expect a war. Im sure they’ve already prepared for this to potentially happen and that fleet would be hit with missiles from all angles. Ridiculous

Posted by: Daniel C | Nov 27 2018 2:04 utc | 126

John Gilberts 125

Not just Canada. The five eyes permanent state utilises nazis, wahhabi's and zionists - zionist's it seems being deeply embedded in the permanent state.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 27 2018 2:08 utc | 127

Great reporting

Posted by: Fernando Martinez | Nov 27 2018 2:15 utc | 128

smoothies article on this topic -

@121 jen.. thanks for the more detailed analysis on that...

@125 john gilberts.. thanks... have you contacted The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan MP who is the dept. of defense minister on this? here is his e mail..

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2018 2:22 utc | 129

Not much to see here. The empire's little gas monkeys got off their leash in Syria and did something stupid and embarrassing, so a diversion was required to avoid all those uncomfortable questions at the UN. Luckily the embarrassingly half-witted, submissive Ukrainian leadership is only too happy to help out the empire and sacrifice its soldiers and national interests. The alphabet agencies must ROFL at the clowns in Kyiv. Local population not so much.

Posted by: sad canuck | Nov 27 2018 4:01 utc | 130

i) A vessel to starboard has right of way.
ii) A larger vessel has right of way over a smaller vessel.

The small Ukrainian tug had the larger Russian vessel to its starboard (rules i and ii against it). The tug effectively cut across the bow of the larger Russian vessel and slowed down in front of it. The Russian vessel was turning away to minimise the inevitable impact arising from the deliberate actions of Ukranian captain of the tug.
Posted by: Entropy Wins | Nov 26, 2018 1:59:52 PM | 97

Thanks for the clarification/refresher.
So whilst the optics look bad, the rules obliged the tug to get out of the way.
It's an amplification of the routine pre-race jostling behind the START line before a yacht race. If your timing is lousy then you'll cross the START line before the gun goes off and be disqualified unless you go back and cross the START line AFTER the gun fired. A majority of casual Sunday yacht racers are just there to have fun and are happy to sit well back from the line with limp sails and yank them tight when the gun has fired, and leave the jostling to the fanatics.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 27 2018 4:28 utc | 131

Hoarsewhisperer 131

Apart from the ramming of the tug boat, it seems the Ukie navy vessels were fired on. Whatever intel Russia had, they were there to stop the pricks rather than just a nice day on the water.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 27 2018 4:50 utc | 132

Also - don't feed the house troll. Craigsummers is...

On account of it being a slow evening, I googled that name. IMO way there is way too much stuff on the internet for it to credibly be from a single person. On one single thread of several years ago a page search for the name turned up 90 instances. Still an opinion, but the hasbara group using that name appears to specialize in propaganda aimed at not-too-well-informed people by means of fake statistics/facts and really slick and deceptive "reasoning".

Still, I myself make frequent visits to a formal propaganda site of the apartheid Jewish State just to see what they're worried about at the moment. So allowing him/her around might be instructive. And a waste of time for that bunch of hasbara boys and girls. Not that they would mind - this could easily represent some mandatory high school or college busy-work for teens and twenteens somewhere in the little cesspool state.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Nov 27 2018 4:59 utc | 133

Martial law would enable Ukraine (along with assistance from NATO "advisors") to seize Crimea and Sevastopol. Sevastopol could be delivered to the Americans.

With the naval base transferred to the US military, the Black Sea effectively becomes a US lake and the Turkstream gas pipeline from Russia to Turkey (which would supply gas to southeast Europe and Italy) becomes a target for attack.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 26, 2018 4:39:07 PM | 111

It must be stressed that this is a description of images in the febrile imagination of some people in Ukraine and some NATO circles, although Ukrainians of all ilk would know better than to expect any "enabling effects" of the martial law. But an occasion for extra repressions in Russian speaking regions is always welcome in Rada.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 27 2018 5:30 utc | 134

Please don't feed the house troll. It gets enough to eat cleaning out the droppings in the latrine. We are NOT upgrading its cuisine.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 27 2018 6:33 utc | 135

Another "puppet state" pushing the envelope, to create tension and further the anti-Russian propaganda for the empire.

Thanks b, the anti-Russia spin is non-stop on the U$A MSM.

Posted by: ben | Nov 27 2018 6:39 utc | 136

I live in Simferopol and I need help. the salaries are low and I am exhausted and me or call me

Posted by: polina | Nov 27 2018 8:39 utc | 137

The Mouse That Roared, Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 26, 2018 6:32:49 PM | 117 a possible strategy? Yet, I think Russia will move very quickly

Russia's FSB says that among the Ukrainian crew members detained are two guys from Ukraine's domestic secret service SBU...
If this is true there can't be any denying the incident was a deliberate provocation. Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Nov 26, 2018 6:01:31 PM | 116 The video from Khoshoggi's own wristwatch transmitting his murder to his girl friends holding Khoshoggis ipad in the car leaves little doubt yet no one has done anything about it. So what?

Unthinkable: Jeffrey Sachs Warns United States Could Face Soviet-Style Collapse
original source - boston globe...Posted by: james | Nov 26, 2018 12:51:16 PM | 91

Fantastic account WWII Hawk Roosevelt but d/n say who, what and when (Pearl Harbor) and other provocations, still not revealed in any books I am familiar with.. WWI is much better understood. Thanks.

Legal links explain it all thanks. Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 26, 2018 2:21:29 PM | 100

By what means can the Public be informed? News, commentary and social media are controlled, selected, blocked and denied. all of the media in both America and the British Isles are privately owned . so obviously the governments are not going to inform the masses; so privately owned media means the Oligarchs are in control of all public discourse... the route to war is misleading propaganda.. ?
If the internet fails to inform the truth to the public, what strategy remains to inform ?

Posted by: snake | Nov 27 2018 12:37 utc | 138

I have wondered about the 'Why?'
Why is this happening now? Why declare Martial Law this time, when bigger situations didn't require it? My first inclination was the election, and it might be, but that is still a ways away. So why provoke this, and why now?
I think this has more to do with the reduction of natural gas to constituencies that have not paid. Martial Law was declared in some of the poorer regions of Ukraine. People feeling the bite of winter with no heat might want to demonstrate. Fortunately for the current Ukrainian government, any demonstrations against the government, and their natural gas policy, are illegal, and can be painted as subversive.

Posted by: DCRJR | Nov 27 2018 13:04 utc | 139

Où est Krollchem?

From MEGA (Make ESpaña Great Again)

Posted by: el sid | Nov 27 2018 14:00 utc | 140

The UN vote was blocked by Nikki Punjab Haley, the Donald's gypsy at UN.
So this " incident" was a US supervised provocation.

Posted by: veritas semper vincit | Nov 27 2018 14:46 utc | 141

your sachs article is 2 years old
from before the 2016 election

Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 27 2018 14:47 utc | 142

Russia is nothing short of a third world propaganda outfit. A video was released which shows the captured Ukrainian sailors "confessing". These kinds of forced confessions are expected with ISIS and the brutal Assad government, but not with an allegedly developed country like Russia. Calling the Kersh Strait Russian territorial waters is false under international law. The forced confession also really suggests that the skirmish was instigated by the Russian military ( via @thedailybeast):

Russia has released a video of a Ukrainian naval officer apparently “confessing” that he provoked the Russian navy into firing on his ship—but he appears to be reading from a prepared script. A man billed as a Ukrainian naval captain says he “ignored requests to stop on purpose” and that the presence of the ships was a “provocation.”

The entire Ukraine episode is a Russian provocation - from the illegal annexation of Crimea to running the separatist insurgency from Moscow.

Posted by: craigsummers | Nov 27 2018 15:15 utc | 143

>>>> uncle tungsten | Nov 27, 2018 1:33:21 AM | 135

Trolls like craigsummers amuse. They're always good for a laugh 'cos their claims are so preposterous and they have no power whatsoever. If that puffed-up berk (rhyming slang - google it) John Bolton spouted such nonsense, it would be serious but craigsummers not at all.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Nov 27 2018 15:58 utc | 144

New Sanctions on Russia Over Kerch Incident Cannot Be Ruled Out - Senior German MP

West have really not learned one single bit of the ukrainian crisis since 2014, same stupid behavior to cover up for the insane kiev regime.
Ukraine could now keep provoking, they got the green light from the west.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 27 2018 16:03 utc | 145

echoing others above.

Poroshenko is in trouble at home, yes, not flash news. Elections soon and the 'viable' contender is Tymoshenko, the long-enduring Lady of the Braids, who is preffered by the EU, aka Merkel.

- Releasing Yulia from prison was a Merkel condition for the 2014 coup, she wanted Klitschko for PM, scotched by Nuland in favor of Yatsenyuk, see episode 1.1.

The neo-Nazis (aka local opportunistic goons) remain a major part of the forces in play in Ukr. against which Poro can do nothing. In these circumstances, he has to move to appease the internal group control and the internationals who put him in power. Weakened, he is put on notice to attack - the malignant, inauthentic, duplicitous, interfering, agressive (etc.) Russia. A maritime dispute is actually an apt choice from his pov, as it is localised, minor in its ‘acts’ and ‘internationalises’ the conflict, creates much noise and confusion while requiring little investment.

Europe so far has ignored pop. / health etc. / of Ukraine. Silence imposed by the US. Also because Ukr. migrants => cheap labor in Europe, mostly to Poland but not only (not to mention sex trade and other dismaying …) Ukr. has lost near on 20% of its population since middle 90’s. Since the ’14 coup about 4 million ppl have left Ukr. (Rough.) 1.+ (?) m. to Russia, 1.+ m. about to Poland, another million to others close by, with the remainder spread about.. incl. to Spain and Switz.

So-called economic migration disguises high danger to life, via hunger, cold, disease, etc. Ukr. has had two severe polio outbreaks (not MSM fare!), controlled and managed by WHO, EU, etc. The AIDs stats. are thru the roof (> intravenous drug use) and tuberculosis is resurgent. Measles outbreak as well. Ex.

This aspect may play a role soonish.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 27 2018 16:08 utc | 146

I'm thankful the Russians were able to end the incident with a minimum of force. Apparently they have much better discipline than Uncle Sam's aggressive border guards who are so afraid for their own hides that they sometimes kill unarmed Mexican civilians from across the border.

A few days ago Uncle Sam's goons attacked civilians across the border with chemical weapons that are "approved" for use on civilians but, as I understand it, are banned from warfare. Where is the OPCW? Just like when Israel attacks Gaza residents across the border with guns and chemicals, all we hear are crickets...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 27 2018 16:28 utc | 147

It's sad really. First they lose Crimea and Donbass now they can't get into the Sea of Azov.
I blame Nuland with her cookies. Ukrainians though EU and NATO membership would be a piece of cake.

Posted by: dh | Nov 27 2018 16:28 utc | 148

Something to learn for the righteous Nikki Haley and similar scum:

"Very important Info appeared briefly on Russian media (before being scrubbed) that a NATO SADM, possibly a Diver deployable device, was being transported by Ukrainian and British Special Forces to the Kerch Straight to be used on the Crimean bridge. The device was being tracked by the Russians and they knew it had been loaded on to a Ukrainian Tug (escorted by 5 warships!! - 3 in the Black Sea, including one NATO vessel, and 2 waiting in the Sea of Azov).

This is why the Russians acted!

They never react with force and have never blockaded the Sea of Azov. Ground attack jets and Helicopter gunships, plus a warship armed with ASM and Torpedos were waiting.

This level of force would not be used just for a tug and a few old Ukrainian ships. But a tug carrying a tactical nuclear device about to bring down one of the worlds most strategic bridges, a bridge hated by NATO - as per the recent Op Ed in the 'Washington Examiner' (Ukraine should bomb the Crimean Bridge).

Ukraine regularly provokes Russia to little effect, but today the Russians acted to stop a terrible event.

Ukraine is now in panic mode and there may be direct NATO intervention if the to cover this, if the Russians make this public.

The device may have come from the UK."

To sum up:

American weaponry has been killing children in Yemen (plus 85.000 Yemeni kids were starved to death since the beginning of the ongoing war).

British chemical weapon has been used in Syria against Syrian civilians by the "moderate" terrorists supported by the US/EU/UK/Israel.

The US-"liberated" Ukraine has become the center of revival of Nazism in Europe; both the US and the Jewish State have been arming the Ukrainian neo-Nazi (with the blessing of the leading Jewish organizations such as AIPAC and the Simon Wiesenthal Center). The "liberated" Ukraine has become one of two poorest countries in Europe, along with the EU-"integrated" Moldova.

And now, "a tug carrying a tactical nuclear device [might have come from the UK] about to bring down one of the worlds most strategic bridges, a bridge hated by NATO" in Crimea. It seems that the empire needs sorely the Russian natural resources and is ready to fight to the last Ukrainian.

Posted by: Anya | Nov 27 2018 16:52 utc | 149

Peter AU 1 @123--

In the beginning, there was the British Commonwealth then ANZAC, now 5-EYES. The gradual formation of an English-speaking Terrorist Super-State led by the Outlaw US Empire attempting to establish Full Spectrum Domination is something I've previously considered and clearly exists in several governmental fractions but has yet to become total, which it might never gain--hopefully. The most visible aspect is global propaganda being 100% directed at the English-speaking audience as proven by English language signage at protests within non-English speaking nations, like Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Iran, etc. I don't look very closely at the junior partners, if they can indeed be allowed that much freedom as vassals/slaves/serfs seems more appropriate. There are certainly visible cracks in the edifice thanks to the very real differences in true national interest--the recent UNGA vote on Nazism where only Zionistan joined the Outlaw US Empire in voting against is one example showing lack of disciplined solidarity; so, there's hope at further divisions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 17:01 utc | 150

@146 noirette... thanks.. that is a good overview of the present state of affairs in ukraine, and it is very's unfortunate ukraine has been used as a tool to go after russia as well, as ukraine has ultimately suffered from this abuse too..

@149 anya... that story was fabricated, and if there were any on that tug, the russians would have gotten them and broadcast this info...

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2018 17:20 utc | 151

FYI--Twitter has suspended Vladimir Putin's account. Medvedev's account wasn't as of this posting.

Astute martial law assessment:

"According to the Ukrainian government, there have been thousands of Russian troops in eastern Ukraine for years but martial law was never imposed. Instead, martial law is imposed over a boat scuffle just before the G20 summit and Ukraine elections. A little odd, no?"

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 18:04 utc | 152

jesus...i have the local news on for background news every morning while i wake up and they - despite being local news - always have to blag on about international stories. they ran a quick ADHD bit about this and claimed "the ukraine had to declare martial law because three of their ships came under fire from russian ships".

i know idiot news casters love to say "firestorm!" and "blasted!" when discussing banal things like slap fights in congress but that one is full retard. apparently it's also how it will be portrayed on most outlets in canadia; no surprise since ukrainian expats here and their lobbies are roughly analogous to AIPAC in the states (though we also have our own AIPACs here and there.)

Posted by: the pair | Nov 27 2018 18:17 utc | 153

A bit more to my 150--

Apparently, other nations were involved in the Outlaw US Empire's post-WW2 Operation Paperclip and other related ops to secretly bring Nazis out of Germany, Canada in this case:

"After WW2 Canada was “obliged” by Britain to take 2000 Ukranian SS without background checks and assimilate them. Now the grandchild of a Ukranian Nazi runs our foreign ministry." [My Emphasis]

I wonder what our Canadian friends think about this bit of history?

Then there's the collusion with allowing the creation of Zionistan at roughly the same time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 18:41 utc | 154

Does FUKUS want Ukraine broken up like it did to Yugoslavia? Seems best for FUKUS to keep Ukraine whole as a "Bulwark against Evil Russia".

If Ukraine Splinters apart into tiny statelets, that doesn't lend the appearance of credibility.

Yes, a declaration of war and surrender to Russia is the best course of action for The poor Ukrainian population.

The FUKUS always FUKS the commons the hardest.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Nov 27 2018 18:41 utc | 155

Why Canada Defends Ukrainian Fascism

Posted by: arby | Nov 27 2018 19:01 utc | 156

I feel so sorry for the inhabitants of the Ukraine. Since 1991 the country has been raped by crooks. My friends in western Ukraine - Catholic, often Polish speaking, yearn to be re-connected to “Europe”. My friends in the east, Orthodox, Russian speaking, regard themselves as part of the Russian world. I believe Russia has worked hard to try and encourage the creation of a loose federation in the Ukraine (the Borderland!) which would accommodate the separate populations but the West was having none of it. The US role in the Maidan events is now known but I suspect that Merkel was egging the Americans on. What makes me think this is that in the couple of years before Maidan, my eastern friends had remarked on the number of US and German businessmen visiting the relatively wealthy eastern Ukraine, probably, with hindsight, “casing the joint”. It goes without saying that Germany has a historical interest in Ukraine’s resources.

In the meantime the innocent are trampled.

Posted by: Montreal | Nov 27 2018 19:22 utc | 157

Paul Craig Roberts criticizes Putin for grossly underestimating the lawlessness of the US and its poodles.

A sample:

From all evidence, the Russian government still, despite all indications to the contrary, believes that presenting a non-threatening posture to the West, which appeals to law and not to arms, is effective in discrediting Western charges of aggression against Russia. If only it were true, but no sooner than a high Russian official announced that, despite the overwhelming elections for independence from Kiev in the breakway Russian provinces of Ukraine, Russia would not recognize the independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk than “the Ukrainian army opened massive artillery fire on Sunday, shelling residential areas of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.”

Certainly, I hope Putin's call for a UNSC meeting, obviously doomed to failure, was just for show and to yet again force the US to reveal its rogue-nation lawlessness.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 27 2018 19:32 utc | 158

Daniel C | Nov 26, 2018 9:04:22 PM | 126

Yes, the USS Donald Cook incident.

Enroute to poking the bear, the Americans frequently encounter the Russian wasps, who are harmlessly buzzing by to alert the intruder not to approach the nest.

Posted by: Stumpy | Nov 27 2018 19:37 utc | 159

@154 karlof1... quote "I wonder what our Canadian friends think about this bit of history?" many canucks are aware of this ugly bit of history and are still seeing it played out in the halls of political power thanks this freak crystia freeland who is probably the best hope for this political block in canada... anything she has to say is tainted by her own personal family history, but of that, there is a hush in the msm in canada.. see @156 arbys link for a picture and short blurb on her..

@157 montreal.. i agree - it is very sad and such a shame.. another black eye for rampant capitalism devoid of any sense of consideration for others, in particular the innocent..

@158 russ.. i don't agree with roberts analysis... putin and russia would have to be complete fools to not see what is up and where this is headed...

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2018 19:47 utc | 160

Russ @ 158, James @ 160: I would say that what PCR calls "a non-threatening", even appeasing posture is mainly restraint and a determination not to be dragged into a tit-for-tat series of incidents that escalate in scale and intensity into open war. To respond in the way that most people expect - and we see such expectations sometimes expressed in comments here on MoA forums - to provocations encouraged by the US or its allies would be to fall into a trap. The Russians learned their lesson the hard way in Afghanistan and will be resolved not to repeat it.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 27 2018 20:41 utc | 161

@Zanon | Nov 27, 2018 11:03:10 AM | 145

New Sanctions on Russia Over Kerch Incident Cannot Be Ruled Out - Senior German MP

Hey Herr Roettgen, do you know that the poison gas used by the terrorists in Aleppo, Syria, a few days ago is from your country?

As Mutti has a PhD in chemistry, she undoubtedly understands the effects of concentrated mustard gas (chlorine) on human bodies.

Should Germany be sanctioned?

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 27 2018 21:29 utc | 162

@ James 160

I'm not saying they should take the warmonger bait, especially given how badly the warmongers are faltering in both the practical and propaganda realms. But there's still plenty of room for a more assertive diplomatic stance, given the highly aggressive and openly lawless stance of the US imperial group. This would include signalling to the UN and other "international" bodies that they can't count on maintaining their legitimacy if they continue to function as US lackey forums.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 27 2018 21:42 utc | 163

@161 jen / 163 russ... russ - i think they probably are, but it is not being heard or acknowledged in the western msm.. i could be wrong, but my impression is a lot of what russia is doing is either being ignored - when positive, or highlighted - when the west thinks they can make points off of it.. the west under usa-uk, have adopted an extremely unfriendly approach towards russia..
i tend to see it much like jen... thanks you two!

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 1:08 utc | 164

@ Cyril | Nov 27, 2018 4:29:05 PM | 162

Yes, Roettgen is a sad piece of work. Yes again, he knows there's been trade going on between the 2 countries, including deliveries of lab equipment, precursors for all kinds of products ... . That is not the problem here.
Trouble is the guy's a hardcore atlanticist and, thus, will twist/ignore anything to make it fit his master's narrative.

Btw, 'Der Spiegel' does not qualify as a source worth anyone's trust. Now being firmly neo-liberal it morphed into some kind of 'Guardian Germanica' long since.

Merkel is a physicist, her doctoral thesis was physical chemistry related. Her husband, Joachim Sauer, is a world renowned chemist, specializing in surface chemistry. Of course, these 2 together do understand very well.

Mustard gas is not chlorine. In general, mustard gas is either a chlorinated thioether compound or a chlorinated Bis/Tri-(alkyl)-amine.

Posted by: Hmpf | Nov 28 2018 3:45 utc | 165

Apologies for the OT remark, but Canada's proxy views are often inserted into discussions and debates which, in my opinion, is beyond laughable.
Canada has less than zero sovereignty. When it's not sucking up to "Israel" it's sucking up to the Empire. It's several decades since Canada had a govt which puts the people first.
It should be called Canard-ia.

canard: an unfounded rumour.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 28 2018 5:27 utc | 166

Canard is French for duck and ducks say quack and quacks are bad for people's health :)

1. I don't think the Russians employed all that much more than necessary for the situation.

2. If there was a small nuke then the Russians now have a small nuke with US isotope signatures. The Russians wouldn't say anything but they surely wouldn't give it back for free, and on the other hand the US would be raising all kinds of hell including direct military action (and not necessarily covert) to get it back or (more likely remotely) detonate it because we all know what the US would use such a nuke for if the situation was reversed. Ergo there was no nuke. Caveat: if the US suddenly pulls out of Syria, denounces Ukraine, rejoins the Iran deal, blows the whistle on whatever did not happen in Salisbury, drops all sanctions, stops the trade war, and bombs Riyadh/dethrones the house of Saud within a month of now then there really was a nuke and they're fulfilling the prerequisites for its return :P

3. By moving in additional mobile anti-ship rocket batteries the Russians have signaled very clearly that if this situation repeats itself then they're simply going to blow the Ukrainian military vessels out of the water to cut the nonsense short. Good for them.

4. For the Russians and anyone else sane gaining responsibility for Ukraine is as attractive as catching an STD. Even NATO is wearing a condom or two or so it seems. Ukraine is stuck with itself, close to one fifth of the population had already left or seceded a year ago and I imagine the people still there are old grumpy farts like me who (in my own circumstance in a different country) don't feel like they have a viable alternative :| The nazis might well kill them but the nazis wouldn't gain anything significant even if they did.

Finally: congratulations Ukraine! You have managed to become 100% "western" in an astonishingly short amount of time. Now you have politicians equally as stupid as ours that don't care at all about you or us just like ours don't care about us or you! :D

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 28 2018 11:40 utc | 167

Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 28, 2018 6:40:33 AM | 167

Ah, a good analysis of the dynamic situation as it unfolds.
Muchly agree with your post.
#3 is a potent message; just don't!
A very relevent term is, know your enemy (straight out of Sun Tzu); the west has no idea!

Posted by: V | Nov 28 2018 12:24 utc | 168

I suspect that Merkel was egging the Americans on. Montreal at 157.

=About Ukr. coup. Yes, though the egging-on can take mild or rabid forms, and is in any case fitted into a collaborative endeavour. Definetly it was a project of hers. The German expansion to the East thru the EU was, and is, an overriding policy. (Cheap land, labor, D industry input and sales, etc.)

A similar ambiguity hovers over the destruction of Lybia.

Many French ppl blame Sarkozy (various backstories: the French CFA, Kaddafi’s threat to create a new-Afrika finance; the relationship between Cecilia Sarkozy and Kaddafi; other.) Other Europeans blame NATO it had to bomb some targets to smithereens to exist etc. USA oppo ppl blame Obama, imho he let this go forward, or thru, what is not to like about massive destruction (caricature, sure) while the US had, on the face of it, much to gain by collaborating with Lybia. (From a purely pragmatic stance, morality is not considered.) I even know some Swiss ppl who blame Russia, because —- and so on. So it is very difficult to tease out 'who were the main movers'.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 28 2018 16:07 utc | 169

@167 sunny runny.. good overview on the situation.. thanks....

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 17:56 utc | 170

Karlof1 #117

Considering Ukraine s luck, what if they win and have to rebuild Russia?

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 28 2018 19:20 utc | 171

@167 "Ergo there was no nuke. "

If the Russians really wanted to play dirty they could have filled the tug with explosives and unloaded it live on TV.

Posted by: dh | Nov 28 2018 19:36 utc | 172

@Hmpf | Nov 27, 2018 10:45:50 PM | 165

Btw, 'Der Spiegel' does not qualify as a source worth anyone's trust. Now being firmly neo-liberal it morphed into some kind of 'Guardian Germanica' long since.

Thanks for the info. I have seen the accusation (that Germany supplied the poison gas used in Aleppo a few days ago) in several other places, but they're probably less credible than So for now I withdraw the accusation.

Merkel is a physicist, her doctoral thesis was physical chemistry related. Her husband, Joachim Sauer, is a world renowned chemist, specializing in surface chemistry. Of course, these 2 together do understand very well.

Perhaps my confusion is from the Wikipedia article on Merkel, which says that she earned a "doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986". If the "quantum" part is more important than the "chemistry" part, you might consider her a physicist.

Mustard gas is not chlorine. In general, mustard gas is either a chlorinated thioether compound or a chlorinated Bis/Tri-(alkyl)-amine.

That is true technically, but in normal conversational English the two are synonyms (as far as I know).

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 28 2018 20:42 utc | 173

It is quite possible that the US was involved in the Kerch provocation -- and other provocations against Russian Federation:

"The US-based defense contractor company "Mission Essential" accidentally revealed a US military specialist deployment in the combat zones in Ukraine via a Job Advertisement on LinkedIn. The job posting mentions "classified Contingency Operations" in Ukraine and was posted a mere 15 days ago — just prior to last Sunday's incident between the Russian and Ukrainian navies in the Kerch Strait. ...

The advert also requires candidates to be able to fit in the local culture and customs, in addition to “the ability to deal inconspicuously with local populace if necessary.” Which simply means that the interpreter needs to be able to hide the fact that he is not a Ukrainian citizen, at least partly.

... the individual needs to be able to serve in a combat zone “if necessary,” in addition to being able to “live, work, and travel in harsh environments, to include living and working in temporary facilities as mission dictates.”

Crucially, it's yet further evidence which disproves the years-long claims by Washington that the United States is not directly involved militarily in the Ukraine conflict. The public posting suggests US special forces operations are indeed active and ongoing as tensions with Russia soar.

It is quite possible that these specialists would assist US military personnel deployed in or near the “combat zones” in Ukraine – i.e. Eastern Ukraine, and as it was expected since as early as November 16th – the Sea of Azov."

Posted by: Anya | Dec 2 2018 17:43 utc | 174

"The Central Election Commission of Ukraine decided to cancel the elections of deputies of local councils and mayors of cities planned for December 23rd in 10 regions of the country where martial law was imposed.

... numerous critics and analysts have concluded that one of the aims of Poroshenko’s drive for martial law was precisely to prevent electoral processes from taking place."

It is amazing how quiet are various Jewish warriors (the generally noisy ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center in particular) in the face of the ongoing restoration of nazism in Ukraine. The tragicomical irony is that the growth of Nazism in Ukraine has been going under a Jewish prime minister Groysman and in accord with the guidance of the US zionists Nuland-Kagan, Pyatt, Carl Gershman and the likes. They have been busy with making a very special monument to their character. Shoah biz on hold, in short.

Posted by: Anya | Dec 2 2018 18:08 utc | 175

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