Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 27, 2018

Ukraine - Poroshenko Launched Clash With Russia To Gain Dictatorial Powers - He Failed

The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko's attempted to shore up his approval rate for the upcoming election by provoking a military incident. It was a gamble and it failed.

Three Ukrainian boats, a tug and two gun boats, attempted to sail from the Black Sea through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov. The Kerch Strait is territorial Russian water since Crimea voted to join Russia. "Innocent passage" is allowed but necessitates following the laws and regulations of the territorial country.

Depth chart - Sea of Azov 
Dark blue - less than 5 meters, light blue - less than 10 meters, white - less than 13.5 meters
shipping channels not shown - bigger

The Ukraine does not accept the decision the people of Crimea and insists that the peninsula is still part of its territory. The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko sent the boats with the order not to coordinate their passage with Russian authorities. The captured sailors confirm that. He obviously wanted to provoke a violent Russian reaction.

The government of Ukraine practically admitted that the mission had nefarious intent:

Ukraine’s state security service says that its intelligence officers were among the crew on Ukrainian naval ships seized by Russia in a standoff near Crimea.

The SBU agency said in a statement Tuesday that the officers were fulfilling counterintelligence operations for the Ukrainian navy, in response to “psychological and physical pressure” by Russian spy services. It didn’t elaborate, but demanded that Russia stop such activity.

Russia’s FSB intelligence agency said late Monday that that there were SBU officers on board the Ukrainian ships, calling that proof of a “provocation” staged by Ukraine.

The SBU is the incompetent spy service that faked the murder of the Arkady Babchenko as part of a corporate raid.

What is the real reason that its agents were on board of the Ukrainian gun boats?

And why was the crew of the tug armed with heavy machine guns?


A few of the Ukrainian seaman were lightly wounded when the Russian coast guard took a shot at one of the boats.


The gun boats of the Gurza-M class were built on a shipyard that Poroshenko owned at that time. He profited from ordering them. They may be useful for river policing but do not belong at sea.

The Russian coast guard had no problem to disable the ships and to capture their crews. A Crimean court ordered that the sailors will be held for two more month while they face charges over border violations.

In 1988 the U.S. tried to pull up a similar stunt in the Black Sea. Two U.S. Navy ships with spying equipment crossed into Soviet territorial water near Crimea. They got rammed (vid) by Soviet ships and were smart enough to move out before the situation escalated further.

Poroshenko's intent was to provoke an incident that would allow him to present himself as a war-president. Elections are coming up and all polls show him below 10% and far behind two other candidates. He attempted to use the incident to introduce martial law over all the Ukraine.

Martial law would give Poroshenko full control over the country. He would be able to remove any regional or local government, to shut down the political opposition and to censor the media. He would be able to postpone the upcoming elections indefinitely.

Back in July Yulia Tymoshenko, who is leading the polls for the next elections, warned that Poroshenko would take this step (machine translation):

The leader of Batkivshchyna, Yulia Tymoshenko, claims that one of her main competitors in the upcoming presidential election, the incumbent head of state, Petro Poroshenko, is allegedly nurturing a “extremely dangerous plan” to disrupt voting by escalating the war in Donbass and imposing martial law in Ukraine. The politician made such a statement on the TV channel UA: First.

Tymoshenko stated that Poroshenko "does not want" to hold presidential elections in order to "save power", ...

Yesterday Poroshenko tried to scare the parliament into accepting his plans:

“Intelligence data speak of an extremely serious threat,” Poroshenko declared in a televised address on Monday, brandishing a pile of paper, which, he said, was an intelligence report detailing the Russian forces massed close to the border. At a session of the United Nations Security Council called at Ukraine’s request late on Monday, the country’s representative, Volodymyr Yelchenko, claimed the Azov Sea ports of Mariupol and Berdyansk faced invasion.

That is of course utter nonsense. Russia has no interest in launching a war with the Ukraine. There is nothing to gain from it.

The parliament must vote on the introduction of martial law and the opposition parties recognized Poroshenko's stunt for what it was. His plans were rejected. Poroshenko pulled back. Instead of the 60 day long, renewable period of martial law he wanted, he had to settle for 30 days. And that was still not enough:

Rival political parties - former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s Fatherland, Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi’s Self-Help and populist Oleh Lyashko’s Radical Party – demanded further concessions. They wanted immediate confirmation, rather than just a promise, that the election will go ahead on March 31. They sought to limit martial law to a number of regions rather the whole country, and they objected to any plans to limit Ukrainians’ constitutional freedoms. Their fear wasn’t just that campaigning would be limited, but that Poroshenko would get near-dictatorial powers.

There will now be a limited martial law but only in those regions that border Russia or the Black Sea. These are the Russian speaking regions which did not vote for Poroshenko in the 2014 elections. The opposition and its foreign backers will hopefully take care that the martial law  use will not get out of hand. There will be a limited call-up of reserve troops, but most of the reservists are to likely ignore it.

With the election date set to March 31 by the parliament Poroshenko has no legal tool to postpone it.

Unless of course he manages to provoke a real war, either with the rebels who are holding the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, or with Russia itself. The lunatic warmongers at the Atlantic Council urge him to do exactly that:

Even though Ukraine is outgunned, it does have options. It can undertake operations to break the blockade, though they would likely be fruitless given the forces Moscow has sent there.

Nevertheless, it cannot accept this attack on its sovereignty and integrity passively. Ukraine should give careful consideration to a special operation that might disrupt the bridge that Moscow built over the Kerch Strait that joins Crimea to Russia.

But that’s not all. Ukraine should invite the United States and NATO to send a fleet of armed ships to visit Mariupol, the main city on the Sea of Azov coast and defy Russia to fire on or block NATO from exercising the right to visit Ukraine’s ports. Those ships should be armed and have air cover but be instructed not to fire unless fired upon.

Even Poroshenko is not dumb enough to repeat his failed provocation in the Kerch Strait. The Kerch bridge is guarded. Its pillars are massive because it was build near a fault and has be able to withstand earthquakes. A saboteur unit would have to bring several tons of high explosives to even damage one. To reach Mariupol in the Sea of Azov ships have to cross through the the Kerch Strait. The passage is a very narrow artificial channel with only 8 meter depth. Outside of the channel the water is as shallow as a think tankers thought. Any ship with more than 2-3 meters draft has zero room to navigate there. Russia does not even need boats or airplanes to protect it. A few guns along the coast can easily control the passage. No sane naval commander will try to pass the Strait by force.


Russia already warned warned against further 'reckless' moves and deployed an anti-ship missile system (vid) to the Kerch Strait to make sure that any further provocations there will have deadly consequences.

Poroshenko could start a provocation elsewhere. He could attempt to reconquer the Donetzk airport. But while he might itch for losing more fights, a full blown war is out of question. Kiev's army is low on morale and would be defeated within days.

Poroshenko's rule was catastrophic for the Ukraine. In several cities the central heating and warm water supply is broken. Ten-thousands will have to freeze during the winter, some of them to death. Since Poroshenko came to power millions of able Ukrainian workers have fled or work abroad, most of them to Russia. The most industrialized regions are in firmly in rebel hands. Most of the population is poor, the bureaucracy is utterly corrupt and the country is practically bankrupt.

There will likely be dozens of corruption cases brought up against Poroshenko himself as soon as he loses power. If he is smart he will flee the Ukraine the very day his term ends.

The international reactions showed that Poroshenko is no longer of value. While the russo-phobe Poland and the Baltic countries called for more sanction against Russia the European heavyweights Germany and France urged deescalation and direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. (Sources in Berlin say that Merkel firmly told him to stand down.) The U.S. reaction was delayed and mild. Trump punted the problem to the Europeans.

Pedro Poroshenko will leave the political stage as a despised man. But will also be much richer after he pilfered the Ukrainian state wherever he could. The people of the Ukraine should take their money back before dumping him abroad.

Posted by b on November 27, 2018 at 19:25 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Here is a detailed look at how a Washington-based and highly influential think tank believes that Russia should be handled as punishment for the Kerch incident

Unfortunately, those who push us closer to the brink will never serve on the front lines of any war.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Nov 27 2018 19:31 utc | 1

thanks b... i think the west/nato thinks there's some mileage in porky running this stunt.. there will never be sanctions on ukraine.. the ukraine is indebted to the imf, world bank and all the western banks that hide under the guise of democracy...

i liked your line about the depth under the bridge is comparable to the depth of neo con think tanks, lol... indeed.. very shallow...

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2018 19:34 utc | 2

"Unless of course he manages to provoke a real war, either with the rebels who are holding the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, or with Russia itself. The lunatic warmongers at the Atlantic Council urge him to do exactly that:.."

And the Atlantic Council is a creature of NATO and of the British government in particular.
It is the British government, more desperate. even, than Poroshenko to hold into power, who are backing all these anti-Russian provocations in the hope that they will be able to save themselves from electoral oblivion- and their backers, who include the greediest of the Russian oligarchs, from the dire prospect of a mildly socialist government after 40 years of neo-liberal attacks on the living standards of the people.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27 2018 19:43 utc | 3

These provocations keep becoming more inept, fail more completely each time, and the US-led imperial front finds it harder each time to close ranks and follow up with real action. We see what a pathetic flop Porky's gambit is becoming. Meanwhile the latest Syrian gas attack, so long feared as the "false flag" which would portend full scale US-led escalation, also had little propaganda effect. Both the pro-Maidan and anti-Syrian amen choruses just seem worn out and no longer convincing even to themselves.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 27 2018 19:51 utc | 4

Thanks for another excellent analysis b. Here is Canada's Banderite FM Chrystia Freeland, also a personal friend of Porky P's and quite possibly a co-conspirator, especially in coordinating international 'response'.

Statement of Minister of Foreign Affairs Condemning Russia's actions in the Kerch Strait.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Nov 27 2018 19:53 utc | 5

Napoleon and Hitler both tried invading Russian territory - it looks like snowflakes never learn from history - It looks like the US and its NATO flunky force want a repeat!... what's that they say about insanity? Repeating the same action but expecting a different result?

Posted by: Muriel Kuri | Nov 27 2018 20:00 utc | 6

Thank you b and also bevin. The englander government warmongers are desperate to be relevant. But they are not relevant any more, they are stupid warmongers. They refuse to return bullion now to those countries that own it. That's how desperate and pathetic they are. UK general election Now!!

But Poland joining the EU.... now that takes some beating... A trojan mule.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Nov 27 2018 20:03 utc | 7

@5 john... i hope the neo nazis ransack her apt. in kiev.. that would be divine justice...

Posted by: james | Nov 27 2018 20:04 utc | 8

"Outside of the channel the water is as shallow as a think tankers thought."

I echo @ 2 james that this is a great line.

@ 3 bevin. Mercouris wrote a long article in Consortium News a few months ago "Letter From Britain: An Establishment Blinded By Russophobia." Though I would love to see the stinking old carcass of the British establishment get picked to death by vultures, I take a certain glee in seeing how stupid they have become. From the article:

"In Britain’s case the obsession is not only corrupting Britain’s domestic politics and the working of its institutions. It is also marginalising Britain, limiting its options, and causing growing exasperation amongst some of its friends.

In addition it blinds the British to their opportunities. If the British were able to put their obsession with Russia behind them they might notice that at a time when they are quitting the European Union Russia potentially has a great deal to offer them. Britain is able to provide Russia with the single thing that Russia arguably needs most at this stage in its development. This is not machinery or technology, all of which it is perfectly capable of producing itself, but the one thing it is truly short of: investment capital.

In the nineteenth century British capital played a key role in the industrialisation of America and in the opening up of the American West. There is no logical reason why it could not do something similar today in Russia. Indeed the marriage between Europe’s biggest financial centre (Britain) and Europe’s potentially most productive economy (Russia) is an obvious one."

Posted by: Lochearn | Nov 27 2018 20:13 utc | 9

This Navy incident created by the Ukraine regime may also be seen as a means to quell dissent throughout Ukraine over a lack of heat in buildings.

“In Ukraine, over twenty cities remained without heat supply. Mostly relatively small, up to one hundred thousand inhabitants, but also six hundred thousand in Krivoy Rog, and in the capital, in Kiev, separate houses, and even whole neighborhoods are left without heat.” To prevent the pipes from bursting the government shut off the cold water too and drained the pipes. In Krivoy Rog the ““rebels” did not wait, quickly captured Krivorozhgaz and connected the boilers themselves.”

There are adequate underground natural gas storage supplies (16 bcm) in Ukraine available to heat the buildings.

Unfortunately, mush of this gas is allocated to other countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, and even Slovakia.

Part of the problem is that the cost of imported natural gas from Western Europe is now over 300 US$/1000 cubic meters. To be fair, the majority of natural gas in Ukraine is domestically generated which reduces the actual average cost.

The IMF and Ukraine have agreed to gradually raise the price of natural gas from now to 2020. Currently, the price to customers is still below the cost of the purchase Russian gas originally sold to Western Europe and resold to Ukraine.

Adding to the gas problem is that Belarus stopped supplying natural gas to Lithuania, Poland and Germany on June 22, 2018, as required by Gasprom/Russia. Belarus was caught importing more gas than needed and reselling it at a profit to the West.

Ethnic communities such as in Transcarpathia and the Puntic Greeks in Mariupol are also not happy being Ukranians. There is a previously unreported power struggle between the (Puntic) Greek Anti-Fascist Committee (SAC) occupying forces of Ukraine in the Donetsk region and especially in Mariupol.

Posted by: Krollchem | Nov 27 2018 20:16 utc | 10

The ancient Greeks had a saying that is clearly appropriate to Ukraine's political and economic situation: "Those for whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad."

Posted by: GeorgeV | Nov 27 2018 20:30 utc | 11

Why is nobody mentioning the mini nuke photo on Hal Turner site? Sounds credible based on the insane in the membrane western governments

Posted by: Don Task | Nov 27 2018 21:00 utc | 12

Peter Korzun proposes there's a "hidden agenda" beyond the obvious. Here's the meat:

"What has prompted Kiev’s actions? It was the backing of the West. On Oct. 25, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the Azov Sea to express its support of Ukraine. On Nov. 19, UN [SIC, EU] High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stated that the EU foreign ministers had discussed taking relevant 'targeted measures' against Russia due to the situation in the Azov Sea. The US continues to expand its military assistance to Ukraine. The US already has a military facility in Ochakovo. Once the Oliver H. Perry-class frigates arrive in Ukraine, they will be followed by American naval instructors. The US presence and military infrastructure will gradually expand. Great Britain is doing the same thing.

"The West’s support is encouraging Ukraine to escalate the tensions. Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has just okayed an amendment to proclaim NATO and EU memberships as official foreign-policy goals. If approved by parliament, the Minsk accords will then become null and void, because Russia originally agreed to comply with them on the condition that Ukraine remain a neutral state."

Yes, a "shallow think tanker" envisaged a glimmer of hope with this provocation, and the possibility exists that a full-blown crisis will evolve. IMO, if Ukraine were about to join NATO, it would quickly cease to exist as Ukraine and NATO would indeed be faced with an extremely enraged Bear it couldn't possibly defeat.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 21:00 utc | 13

@5 John Gilberts

If only Linda McQuaig had beaten the lying Banderite in the last federal election.

Posted by: spudski | Nov 27 2018 21:08 utc | 14

Thank you for the good reports... Again, This is one of the few places left still doing good reports out of this area.... Thanks b.
You are doing good work.

Posted by: Alan Reid | Nov 27 2018 21:08 utc | 15

Can anyone find an inventory of the stuff in the tugboat photo.. I see a pair of heavy MG and a few light ones, But i am more interested in the twenty or so crates of what appears to be dynamite... Was this a demolition crew trying to sneak into the area to do harm to the new bridge?

That one photo sure leads one to think these thoughts... Sure would like to find an inventory of that gear.

Posted by: Alan Reid | Nov 27 2018 21:18 utc | 16


here in Italy he's nicknamed povero scemo(poor idiot)…

isn't it about time one of these motherfuckers gets a bullet in the back of the head?

Posted by: john | Nov 27 2018 21:31 utc | 17

If memory serves, the Panama Papers showed Peter the Pig Porosyonok holding an enormous sum of money $1000 million by memory but I don’t swear by this - in the Caribbean. One of a number of oligarchs who robbed the country while the country went to rack and ruin and his countrymen starved. Putin warned the West time and time again about what they were taking on - a country whose stock-in-trade was playing the West against Russia and the Russians against the West. When I see photos of Poroshenko (Porosyonok) I feel quite sick and I hope Vicky Nuland - and possibly Angela Merkel - don’t sleep well at night.

Posted by: Montreal | Nov 27 2018 21:39 utc | 18

Alan Reid @16--

The Kerch Strait Bridge is constructed atop an active fault zone and as such is extremely robust in its construction to withstand a massive quake far more powerful than a few sticks of dynamite. Why the addition of that gear? Red Herring, IMO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 21:41 utc | 19

20 cases is hardly a few sticks of dynamite...
And you don't need to bring down such a structure to gain an advantage...
There is a number of ways to use 20 cases of dynamite in such circumstances..
I can see the TNT, what i would like to know is, were they also carrying radio detonators and all the other sorts of stuff one would use in disrupting traffic over this bridge?
We can see the limited amount of MG and ammo, so we can be pretty sure what ever they had planned was going to be as quiet as they could be about the conduct of this planned operation... Some sort of plan was afoot, it's main objective seems to be to blow up something, I would like to know exactly what they had in mind...

Posted by: Alan Reid | Nov 27 2018 21:57 utc | 20

To me it looks more like a desperate bid to provoke Russian military intervention. Ukraine is a completely demolished country without any prospect of any long-term rebound. Even a fool like Poroshenko must understand it by now. Rather than getting re-elected to what may arguably be the world's most hopeless Presidency, he has to prefer to flee to the West under some reasonable pretext. And Russian invasion would provide the best pretext of them all. Then he can write memoirs about his heroic tenure being snuffed out by Moscow right when Ukraine was ready to turn itself into the earthly version of paradise.
Ukraine's constant needling of Russia betrays need for Kremlin's attention more than anything else. And as Putin concentrates his efforts on the Middle East, Ukraine appears more and more aggrieved by his neglect, with its antics becoming increasingly outlandish and irrational.
Ukraine's behavior is more Freud than Kissinger, guided by childhood traumas and complexes, rather than level-headed calculations.

Posted by: telescope | Nov 27 2018 22:11 utc | 21

AR @20--

To find out "what they had in mind," why not follow the proceedings of their trials. A terrorist-type attack is surely suggested, but given how the event unfolded, it was certainly Three-Stoogish at a minimum. IMO, the bigger, more important agenda is the one Korzun hypothesized.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 22:12 utc | 22

Perhaps this is a way of trying to move on from Khashoggi Gate and back to Russia Gate. I doubt the puppet engages in Russian provocation without his controllers ok

I am reminded the Concert of Europe was effectively ended by the Crimean War in the 1850’s. This ended almost 40 years of relative peace (stable borders in Europe). That was kind of like rule by a security council of a few nations to keep the peace, much like the UN security council is supposed to do (and done pretty well , less so recently). Its defacto ending led to a century of wars and perhaps 200 million dead (about 600 million using todays population). Perhaps the whole point is to repeat history. Another war over the Crimea so as to move on from the increasingly irrelevant UN and begin another round of major wars (as opposed to minor skirmishes against countries with no real army) followed by a New New World Order.

Hard to imagine a war today among the major powers without nukes being used unless a range of acceptable outcomes are agreed to beforehand. Fake wrestling. Lol, there I go again. Whatever happens, enjoy the show and dont change that channel

Posted by: Pft | Nov 27 2018 22:14 utc | 23

I speculate that the "intelligence officers" were sent along to make sure the crew obey orders and don't defect. According to Western propaganda this was standard operating procedure for the former USSR. I don't know if there was any truth to it.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 27 2018 22:19 utc | 24

This image says it all.

Area where martial law will be imposed (red) and area where people voted against Poroshenko (gray).

Posted by: Entropy Wins | Nov 27 2018 22:23 utc | 25


There will likely be dozens of corruption cases brought up against Poroshenko himself as soon as he loses power. If he is smart he will flee the Ukraine the very day his term ends.

Perhaps that is why Porky has been selling off his assets: he is planning to escape before the vengeful lynch mob gets him.

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 27 2018 22:32 utc | 26

Just for perspective in time between May and October 2014 when in Donbass Ukrainian army and Nazi battalions were losing up to 2000 killed soldiers a month and 100k Russian army was deployed out of barracks to ward the Ukrainian border and that included 20k at the border just 80 miles from Kiev no martial law was instriduced by coup leaders neither Poroshenko did it after he got elected during that time, as they insisted in communication with Putin that they are conducting anti terrorist policing operation called ATO despite the fact of hot war on the ground as not to provoke Russia by officially in legal sense naming Russian Threat, while blabbering about Russian invasion in the west , when all the border with RF was open throughout of 2014 and visa free and duty traffic proceeded unimpeded by Russians while Ukrainians after harassing Russian citizen and Ukrainians from Donbass area under militia control.

What is good about this whole affair is that Putin finally drew the red line not to be crossed and hence discouraged what he was encouraging before by his civilized tone and manner, namely western bullying.

I wil,do him good after his attack on Russian pensioners to increase oligarchic profits of his friends.

Posted by: Kalen | Nov 27 2018 22:43 utc | 27

Kalen @27--

"I wil,do him good after his attack on Russian pensioners to increase oligarchic profits of his friends."

Thanks for outing yourself! The Duma passed the legislation; Putin moderated its alleged severity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 27 2018 23:00 utc | 28

Trailer Trash 24
saker in his write up of the incident says one of the Ukrainian crew was shot for not firing on the Russian boats. How solid that is I have no idea but if it did happen, it was most likely the so called intelligence officers.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 27 2018 23:06 utc | 29

oops... i guess the ukie ships were "fired upon" technically. for some reason i thought they were rammed and stopped without shots fired.

in any case, poroshenko has basically been saakashvili 2.0 for a while now. his provocations will probably get him just as far. still odd that tymoshenko is back in the running; even more that she's ahead. she was a fave in the west a few years ago due to her EU integration talk and "swiss miss" hairdo but criminal charges against her have their own wikipedia page and it just seems so...retro?

but then the same powers who would have her be the "new" face of ukrainian atlanticism also tried to shove a clinton down everyone's throat.

Posted by: the pair | Nov 27 2018 23:48 utc | 30

Why would Ukraine use clearly marked Coast Guard boats to take out a bridge. Makes no sense. They would commandeer a benign looking fishing boat and go through normal proceedures for safe passage to execute such a mission. Not buying that mini nuke story at all

Posted by: Pft | Nov 27 2018 23:57 utc | 31


“.…….The Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko sent the boats with the order not to coordinate their passage with Russian authorities. The captured sailors confirm that. He obviously wanted to provoke a violent Russian reaction……..”

Here is captured sailor one’s testimony:

“.……Guy #1:

I am Andrey Dratch. I am a crew member of the “Nikopol” ship of the Ukrainian Naval Forces. On 23 (November) I received a task to follow the route Odessa-Mariupol, through the Kerch Strait. Following the route to Mariupol through the Kerch Strait we entered the territorial waters of the Russian Federation, when the Coast Guard of the Russian Federation warned us that we were violating the legislation of the Russian Federation. We were repeatedly told to leave the territorial waters of the Russian Federation. While stopping for anchoring the Coast Guard warned us one more time that there is a need to leave the territorial waters of the Russian Federation and to exit to the 12-mile zone and to wait for further decisions concerning our passage through the Kerch Strait to the city of the Mariupol…….”

Some conclusions:

1. The FSB is one of three intelligence agencies in Russia. All of them lie (for a living); for example, the attempted murder of the Skripals was conducted by the GRU. Only on RT, they were just "tourist" in Great Britain. Right. Who in their right mind would believe this was just volunteered information considering that it was Russian intelligence which oversaw the interogation? It was more likely coerced. Regardless, this kind of parading of prisoners is normally conduced by third world countries like Syria.

2.The Strait of Kersh may be recognized by you (and a few countries) as Russian territorial waters, but not by the vast majority of the world. You cannot invade a sovereign nation, force a referendum and annex part of that country because you want to protect your military facility. That applies to the Kersh Strait as well. It’s obviously illegal under international law. It seems unlikely that the Ukrainian sailor would consider the Strait Russian territorial waters unless it was a written statement - by the FSB.

3.According to the mutual agreement between Russia and Ukraine, “Ukrainian and Russian military ships and trade boats enjoy the freedom of navigation in the Sea of Azov and the Straight of Kerch.” It’s illegal to stop and search Ukrainian vessels.

4.The ratings of Vladimir Putin are also decreasing (Moscow Times: Putin and Poroshenko Don't Want All-Out War (Op-ed):

“.…….On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who’s losing support at home because of unpopular moves such as raising the retirement age, isn’t averse to an escalation either to bring back some of the patriotic spirit kindled by Crimea. Putin and Poroshenko cannot disguise their mutual hatred when they’re in the same room – but they’re natural allies on weapon-rattling with no military or strategic purpose……..”

Russia is clearly the aggressor against Ukraine after Putin ordered and oversaw an invasion of Crimea. The annexation was illegal. Period. He also continues to run a low grade war in Eastern Ukraine to bleed the economy of Ukraine and to use as a bargaining chip for Crimea recognition. More than ten thousand people have died because of Russian aggression. All of the provocation is from Russia.

Posted by: craigsummers | Nov 28 2018 0:12 utc | 32

@32 Pft

Thank you. There's a lot of logic discounting the bridge-sabotage theory, and b has supplied some good arguments already. Yours is one I hadn't heard yet, and hadn't considered. It seems the strongest of them all.

Of course, the ships came wearing full gang colors, to strut as far as they could get - just a provocation. Not at all for a mission of subterfuge.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2018 0:29 utc | 33

Vesti News has a clip of the tugboat shown in b's picture, by the way. Adds more depth to the weaponry on board. No explosives I can see, just weapons and ammo.

With the SBU on board, what was the narrative sold to these sailors? What did they believe their mission to be? Ten assault rifles on the tug. It doesn't seem like a tremendous stash of arms to me, but perhaps to resupply a small group somewhere? Everyone seems to think it's a lot - including Vesti in the headline below. And if so, what was the mission?

Kerch Revelations! Ukrainian Frigates and Tugboat Were Filled to Brim With Weapons and Ammo!

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2018 0:43 utc | 34

Here is a Yandex translation of the 2003 agreement between Ukraine and Russia regarding the Kerch Strait and Azov Sea:



Federal law
of April 22, 2004 N 23-FZ

Russian Federation and Ukraine, hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

guided by the relations of friendship and cooperation between the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, historically established fraternal ties between them;

guided by the provisions Of the Treaty of friendship, cooperation and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine of 31 may 1997, as well as the Treaty Between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Russian-Ukrainian state border of 28 January 2003;

noting the importance of the Azov sea and the Kerch Strait for the economic development of Russia and Ukraine;

being convinced that all issues related to the Azov sea and the Kerch Strait should be resolved only by peaceful means jointly or with the consent of Russia and Ukraine;

based on the need to preserve the Azov-Kerch water area as an integral economic and natural complex used in the interests of Russia and Ukraine;

have agreed as follows:


The Azov sea and the Kerch Strait are historically the internal waters of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

The sea of Azov is delimited by the state border line in accordance with the agreement between the Parties.

Settlement of issues related to the waters of the Kerch Strait is carried out by agreement between the Parties.


1. Merchant ships and warships, as well as other state vessels flying the flag of the Russian Federation or Ukraine, operated for non-commercial purposes, enjoy freedom of navigation in the Azov sea and the Kerch Strait.

2. Merchant ships under the flags of third States can enter the sea of Azov and pass through the Kerch Strait, if they are sent to the Russian or Ukrainian port or return from it.

3. Warships and other state ships of third States operated for non-commercial purposes may enter the sea of Azov and pass through the Kerch Strait if they are sent on a visit or business visit to the port of one of the Parties at its invitation or permission agreed with the other Party.


Russian-Ukrainian cooperation, including joint activities in the field of navigation, including its regulation and navigation and hydrographic support, fishing, protection of the marine environment, environmental safety, as well as search and rescue in the Azov sea and the Kerch Strait, is ensured both by the implementation of existing agreements and the conclusion of new agreements, as appropriate.


Disputes between the Parties related to the interpretation and application of this Agreement shall be resolved through consultations and negotiations, as well as by other peaceful means at the choice of the Parties.


This Treaty shall be subject to ratification and shall enter into force on the date of the exchange of instruments of ratification by the Parties.

Amendments and additions to this Agreement shall be made by separate protocols, which shall enter into force in accordance with the procedure described in paragraph 1 of this Article.

Done at Kerch on 24 December 2003 in two copies, each in the Russian and Ukrainian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

The text of the document is verified by:
The "diplomatic Bulletin",
N 1, 2004

The FAO has a link to the original document in Russian (Word file):

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 28 2018 0:54 utc | 35

With the Washington Post accepting the fairly obvious narrative that the Ukrainian vessels were in fact violating Russian territory, based on the sailor's video declarations, the US gov seems to have backed off from going full neocon, for now. That makes Canada, firmly under Ukie nationalist Freeland's crazy grip, the shrillest screamer in North America. According to the neocon and Defense press, however, this seems to be a Big Deal. Blood is in the water. The usual bold-face names that led me to flee the US a decade ago are still firmly leading foreign policy, whether Trump likes it or not.

Leaders in the Baltics, who must be insanely narcissistic, are predictably going off about how "they're next" and shrieking for mother NATO to quash Russian aggression. These are not smart populations that Russia will need to even do business with, let alone annex them for their social capital. Estonia has become an embarrassment, and strangely like Norway and now Finland, becoming a victimized NATO shill. (Do they even know NATO was co-founded by the Nazi strategists? It is true about Adolf Heusinger?)

Anyway, the larger chess game here continues in the post-Brzezinski, and post-sanity era. The Defense One article reminds frustrated neoconservatives that the next goal is to use the tension as rationale to install ABM/Patriots/drone swarms in Romania and build a ring of naval ports that will no longer deny the Empire its God-given right to full navigation and command of the Black Sea. How dare Russia consider the Black Sea their turf.

What a bunch of idiots we have become in the West, with no citizen push-back on any pro-Nazi policy in the US or Canada. None that they listen to in Congress anyway. But the unlimited NATO/US government funding pays hundreds of thousands of bills, when other industries are winding down, there is plenty to be made in the fake-war business.

Posted by: Bush Expat | Nov 28 2018 0:56 utc | 36

"The people of the Ukraine should take their money back before" gutting Poroshenko like a fish and hanging his body by the feet from a lamp post.

Posted by: morongobill | Nov 28 2018 1:00 utc | 37

Mr Summers#33: you are welcome to jump into your rowboat with a big box labeled BIG BOMB and try rowing up to one of the bridge supports. When the FSB takes you into custody, see how far your argument gets you with the authorities.

Posted by: morongobill | Nov 28 2018 1:07 utc | 38

Since the lead up to the Iraq war (9-11 if you will) there has been almost no honest foreign policy reporting by major news outlets in the US. Most of the population is profoundly ignorant regarding foreign policy issues and doesn't travel, or if they do mainly as tourists on package tours. Sometimes they may smell a rat but lack balanced, factual information to identify it correctly. Cheney and Rumsfeld decided, following the Iran Contra scandal, that they should find better ways to control congress and the press. Took them just over a decade to perfect their MO.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 28 2018 1:07 utc | 39

I like Freeland in general, but being from Ukranie her bias is overwhelming. For Canada its a good look because the USA is always watching to make sure we kiss enough ass.

The problem for the Ukranie is they are not Israel, no one is going to fund idefinitly their fake economy.

Posted by: steve | Nov 28 2018 1:17 utc | 40

The pessimist @36

Thanks for that. Based on agreement it seems Ukraine was well within their rights. Obviously Russia has concern over the new bridge which may also have been a violation . A new agreement is unlikely as it would need to involve Crimea and Ukraine wont recognize them. So Putin playing for recognition, Ukraine playing for free access based on previous agreement.

This could easily blow up if not resolved

Posted by: Pft | Nov 28 2018 1:25 utc | 41

you might want to read 1, 2, 3 links in b's last post on this topic for more insight into the agreement data @36 the pessimist has shared.. things changed with the dynamic of crimea in 2014.. the whole thing is in a type of dispute at present... here is the first link again to get you going - 1 ...

@17 john.. i always wonder about that myself... it is surprising how civilized people generally are, especially those who are stomped on regularly by oligarch types, such as poroshenko..

@25 entropy wins.. the map is very telling.. thanks..

@37 bush expat... fully concur... folks in the west have gone nuts and remain largely ignorant here.. supporting unhinged ukraine under poroshenko goes with the dynamic the past 5 or 6 years though... more of the same basically...

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 1:39 utc | 42

Pft@42 Ukraine previously complied with Russia's new procedure for military vessels passing the strait in September - to provide notice and receive confirmation and approved schedule for passage. The agreement was based on Ukrainian control of Crimea and no bridge, so circumstances have changed and dispute resolution is supposed to be between the parties as the Azov sea is recognized as internal waters of the two states (there is no international dispute, just a local one by the terms of the agreement). As Ukraine has been seizing boats and ships that stop at Crimean ports and then at Mariupol, cut of the water canal to Crimea, allowed terrorists to blow up the powerlines delivering electricity from the mainland to Crimea (power was already paid for under contract), and attempted multiple acts of sabotage against Crimea I think you might see why Russia is insisting on controlling and monitoring traffic through the strait and under the bridge. If Ukraine wished to resolve the issues by negotiation in good faith I'm sure they could be, but they clearly do not. They have consistently acted with belligerence or outright hostility in all matters regarding Russia since the coup. They deserve to be treated as hostile and unreliable.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 28 2018 1:44 utc | 43

daily propaganda briefing from us dept of state today..

"QUESTION: Russia has rejected the idea of direct talks with Ukraine. What is the U.S doing? Is the U.S. concerned that this might escalate out of control?

MS NAUERT: Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to comment on a hypothetical, but obviously what happened over the weekend was a serious escalation. It’s a dangerous escalation on the part of Russia’s continued aggressive behavior against Ukraine. The United States continues to support Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The Secretary and the President both have a very strong relationship with the Government of Ukraine, President Poroshenko in particular. Some of you may be aware the Secretary spoke with President Poroshenko yesterday, offering our support, expressing our concern over that dangerous, aggressive act on the part of Russia.

The Secretary’s heading to NATO, as many of you know, in the coming days. I would imagine that that would be a big topic of conversation. NATO issued a very strongly worded statement earlier today. I would encourage you to take a look at that.

Among the things that the U.S. government is doing – you saw Ambassador Haley’s comments yesterday at the United Nations. The Secretary then had a call with President Poroshenko. We put out a statement ourselves, and we’re continuing to have conversations not only with NATO but with the OSCE and other multilateral organizations who share our concerns.

Now, one of the things I think you’ll be seeing in the days and weeks ahead are additional conversations that the U.S. government is having with our European allies. And one of the things that we would like to see take place is our European allies doing more to assist Ukraine. The United States government has taken a very strong position in their support, in support of Ukraine. We would like other countries to do more as well. That is something that’s enshrined in our National Security Strategy, encouraging other countries to help one another around the world so that the United States isn’t completely – I don’t want to say shouldering the burden, but so the United States isn’t handling these issues chiefly alone.

Now, you may ask what can European governments do. Many governments have imposed sanctions on Russia for its actions in Crimea, in Ukraine. Not all of those sanctions, as I have been told and our experts have explained to me, have been fully enforced. So that is one thing that we can look for European countries to do more when we talk about doing more.

Also something we’ve talked about a fair amount but perhaps not enough is Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream 2 is snaking through many of these countries, and I think that’s a question European countries have to ask themselves: Is Nord Stream 2 something that they want to continue with, because it helps the Russian government, and is that the kind of support that they want to provide the Russian government with, continuing to back Nord Stream 2 at this time?

QUESTION: So Ukraine didn’t sneak into NATO over the past three – two weeks without anyone noticing, did they? (Laughter.) I’m just curious as to why you kept mentioning --

MS NAUERT: Matt, I think this is a – it’s a shared concern.

QUESTION: You just kept mentioning – I understand --

MS NAUERT: And I just mentioned that NATO put out a very strong statement --

QUESTION: I know that.

MS NAUERT: -- about its concerns. And so I think this is a issue that many countries around the world are concerned about.

QUESTION: Yes, I get that. But the point of my lead-in to the question is are you envisioning – even though Ukraine is not a member of NATO – that there would be a step, something that NATO could do in – as an alliance --

MS NAUERT: I think it is important any time --

QUESTION: -- on behalf of Ukraine?

MS NAUERT: -- any time that countries come together and express their serious concern. It was the Ukraine Commission. They have something – NATO does – that’s called the Ukraine Commission, and they held an emergency session yesterday, which they largely condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

QUESTION: Right. But I mean are you saying that --

MS NAUERT: I can’t speak for NATO. I can’t speak for NATO.

QUESTION: No, I’m asking --

MS NAUERT: But I can tell you that a lot of these countries are concerned as their – as allies.

QUESTION: I’m asking you if the U.S. government is pushing a NATO response to the incident over the weekend, even though Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

MS NAUERT: Matt, I don't have any information for you on that, okay?"

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 1:57 utc | 44

@43 james

I strongly second your suggestion that people who want to re-litigate the positions of Ukraine and Russia in this thread are advised to read the links of the ongoing legal arbitration in Ukraine v. Russia that b supplied in his earlier post.

Let's go all the way and offer the three links that b supplied, and that were picked up again in the last thread: 1, 2, 3.

All of this material is from January 2018, and I don't know what's been handed down since then, if anything. Absent fresh input, the bottom line at the moment seems to be that the situation is unclear, and, as an aside in case you wondered, probably cannot be ruled upon using the nationality of Crimea as a criterion.

We have seen Ukraine pursue its legal recourse into the very dirt on other issues, so there's no surprise that it should do so here. And it may even be that Ukraine was simply trying to advance its legal case through the barrel of a gun, whence derives all political power. In a way I sympathize, but I also am sure that Russia knew its legal case before it ever built that bridge, and one way or another the world is going to have to accept it as a done deal.

I actually can see that there's a legal dispute in play here, and it makes sense to know about it. But I also think that we in this thread are ill advised to be armchair lawyers, because we only have half a brief, unless someone can step up with crushing legal rulings that overturn Russia's right to interdict ships on the waters that were acting in ways contrary to all laws of the sea.

Even if Ukraine has half a right to be there, Russia has the other half, and "innocent behavior" is the only way that any co-owner can act with property in common. IMO.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2018 2:04 utc | 45

in the fwiw dept..

Press Statement
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 26, 2018

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 2:05 utc | 46

@45 Reading between the lines it looks like Trump knows it was a provocation by Ukraine. It doesn't matter who owns Crimea 'legally' the Ukrainians knew how Russia would react to the incursion. They provoked the incident with the hope of dragging NATO in. That will be for Europe to decide. Trump is more or less telling them not to expect the US navy to show up any time soon.

Posted by: dh | Nov 28 2018 2:18 utc | 47

dh - europe seems to be run by a similar group of ninnies to what we have here in the usa, canada, australia and etc... the problem for a lack of real leadership in europe, is the usa is helping foster these dynamics which is in no way an act of kindness to europe... when does europe wake up and smell the coffee? seems like never...

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 2:25 utc | 48

@ b "The people of the Ukraine should take their money back..."

I don't think they'll ever find that money. It was off-shored a long time ago. The US might be able to reach it, and grab it with its RICO laws, perhaps.

This raises a crucial thing to know and always remember about Ukraine. All the players are thieves.

That sounds like snark, but it's actually true and so it's very important to apply that filter to all situations to understand them correctly. If Yulia Tymoshenko comes back into power it will only be in order to take over the stealing. If we see new geopolitical moves, such as increased warfare, it will only be in order to steal the money allocated for war.

Nothing in the domestic political situation of Ukraine makes sense until you see it for what it is, a plunder of the civilian wealth under color of national policy. In a way, Ukraine is like a D.H. Lawrence novel, portraying ordinary life but with all its raw passions exposed.

I have long wondered how clearly the western paymasters see this. I assume they see it very clearly, but I don't actually know. The IMF, for example, is such a long-practiced and heartless operation of squeeze that one assumes the people at the top can relate to the primitives applying their crude tricks of theft and extortion in the Ukraine. Do they have a sense of fond reminiscence, these western elites, to watch the ruthless robberies committed by the Ukies? Or are they repelled by their gaucheries? I don't know.

But this is the only lens through which to see Ukraine clearly. If Poroshenko sticks around until the last moment, it's to steal another day. This may be his undoing, or maybe he'll get out in the plane he surely keeps warmed up somewhere close by.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2018 2:25 utc | 49

the Saker has a translation up by Scott "FSB Statement Concerning Illegal Actions of the Ukrainian Navy Ships Within the Territorial Sea of Russia" Gives Russia's take on the legal situation and a list of armaments on the boats. Good read.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 28 2018 2:26 utc | 50

House troll wrote: "this kind of parading of prisoners is normally conduced by third world countries"

Hey house troll riddle me this: which third world country paraded naked prisoners and piled them into pyramids? That was your dear Uncle Sam, wasn't it, at a place called Abu Ghraib? Of course the goons weren't *always* parading prisoners - sometimes they were beating, drowning, and putting them on ice instead.

Most of the world has forgotten them by now, but there is still a prison in Cuba full of damaged men who have never been tried or convicted of anything. And it's not run by the "Evil Godless Commies".

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Nov 28 2018 2:50 utc | 51

Grieved @50:

If Yulia Tymoshenko comes back into power it will only be in order to take over the stealing.
But at least Porky is controllable. Yulia just seems to be batshit crazy.

If Yulia were in power, I'd be counting the days to war with Russia.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 28 2018 2:51 utc | 52

Grieved@50, exactly correct. Tymoshenko was known as the 'Gas Princess' for becoming wealthy in the transit pipeline business (by stealing transit gas and selling it to 3rd parties). Ukraine after independence was a lawless hell for people that by 2000 under Kuchma had finally stabilized enough that ordinary folks were no longer completely at the mercy of local thugs(but think Russia under Yeltsin, only more corrupt). After Yushenko was selected in 2004 things began to deteriorate - slowly at first though. Yushenko introduced the first anti Russian language legislation and tried to cut off the Russian lease on Sevastopol. He and Tymoshenko were ousted by Yanukovich who tried to play Russia against the EU. Maidan occurred because he refused the US/EU ultimatum to sign the association agreement that was unacceptable to Russia. Popular unhappiness with systemic corruption and the notion that the agreement with the EU would allow visa-free travel to Europe and a free lunch via EU handouts brought out the crowds.

Here is a quote from a 2013 article about Tymoshenko: “Why should she get special treatment?” asks Vladimir, a businessman who declines to give his last name. “We are ruining relations with Russia just to get some promise from the EU which may never amount to anything. It’s not right.”

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 28 2018 2:57 utc | 53

Rostislav Ishchenko has a new article on the martial law of Ukraine. In it, he recalls his prediction from 2014 that this was an inevitable progression, and he runs the scene out further into the future to show how it will work. Even if Tymoshenko comes into power, or anyone else, he demonstrates, they will come in within the martial law regimen, and keep it going.

(This is no different from the way successive presidents in the US have renewed the current state of emergency, to retain its grant of powers.)

Here's the link:
Rostislav Ishchenko: Petro Poroshenko and the Start of the Penultimate Stage

This came to me courtesy of the Saker site, which graciously republishes the translation work of Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard. These two people should be carried around the room on our shoulders, they are heroes. You'll find more comments at Saker, I'm sure, but I just felt like linking to the source. They seem to have no visible means of support at StalkerZone. I hope they may long continue to publish.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 28 2018 2:59 utc | 54

Unfortunately, I think people are being too quick to dismiss Poroshenko's declaration of marshal law as a failure. True, it's not Ukraine-wide and only for a limited period of 30 days (not 60 days) and (currently) he's not able to extend it without returning to the Rada. However, he still succeeded in getting Marshal law declared in 10 regions (mostly those on the coast and those that are neighbouring Russian territory), as these regions have the largest ethnic Russian populations that haven't succeed from Ukraine, they are presumably the areas where Poroshenko & his fascist party are the least popular so I expect Poroshenko will use the marshal law to brutally supress rival political groups in these areas. Additionally with the recent schism between the Moscow and Ukraine Orthodox churches using the marshal law to seize Moscow linked churches and hand them over to the new government backed Ukrainian church (or just steal them for themselves).

Further, don't forget that in a failing state like Ukraine, where corruption is a daily fact of life, the state bureaucracy will love the declaration of Marshal law. Now, state employees will have an additional tool to justify corruption when citizens demand government services; "sorry sir, due to the state of emergency I can't help you, but if you give me a little incentive, maybe I can mark this as an urgent item of national security". lastly, now that Marshal law has been declared, Poroshenko will have every reason to instigate more crises to prolong or expand the national emergency and he can use it as a tool to (literally) beat his rivals over the head with. It looks more and more likely that the Ukraine situation is building to a major crisis before the next election.

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 28 2018 3:10 utc | 55

And recall another recent “incident,” January 2016, those Mope Marines on “riverine command boats” somehow “straying into Iranian waters’ near the military base on Farsi Island.–Iran_naval_incident First, “mechanical failure,” then “navigation error,” then punishment of 9 of the 10 Marines for dereliction or something. And there was, drum roll, a Command Investigation, that found mumble mumble grunt sigh... Could not have been one of those probing operations that the Great (sic) Powers do, or the Israel -ites, to check out the capabilities and responses and electronic and “kinetic” equipage of “the enemy,” by sending sacrificial mopes Into Harm’s Way, could it? Naaahh.

Even worse, if it was just Mope Gyrenes demonstrating the actual incompetence in Warcraft of Our World’s Greatest Military, let’s remember that there’s 4,000 nuclear warheads on sub-launched and land-based multiple warhead ICBMs and in the bomb bays of the “ready line” bombers and attack aircraft of “NATO,” and thousands more on the Evil Soviet Russian side, and China with a couple hundred, and Yisrael with 200 to 600 more. All poised for quick if not instantaneous launch, increasingly under control of Advanced Artificial Intelligence Genius Command and Control Systems (tm), All waiting, impatiently in many cases, especially the Revelationist Xtian Air Farce officers and enlisted men, for action, I might add. Waiting for some little ‘incident” like the ginned-up Ukraine idiocy or that oopsie by the Jarheads in January 2016 to trigger the cascade of interlocking events and doctrines and directives and Operational Plans that means I can stop churning my guts over the environment my child and grandchildren would otherwise find themselves having to try to survive in...

Effing stupid humans. Top to bottom.

Posted by: JTMcPhee | Nov 28 2018 3:24 utc | 56

It was jolly decent of the Russians to go to the trouble of carrying a few non-exploding shells in case it became necessary to fire warning shots at an intellectually challenged adversary. If that's not merciful respect for the handicapped, I don't know what is.
Imagine bloodthirsty Yankee butchers going to that much trouble to minimise casualties among the forces of a feeble opponent?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 28 2018 4:00 utc | 57

Posted by: Alan Reid | Nov 27, 2018 4:18:58 PM | 16

According to Tass the inventory included:

-four 30mm guns
-four AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers
-four PKT machineguns (one 30mm gun, an AGS-17 grenade launcher and a PKT machinegun constitute an artillery system, thus each boat had two such systems)
-two 12.7mm DShK machineguns
-13 AK-47 submachine guns
-four handguns
-a rubber-bullet gun
-a flare gun
-more than 765 high-explosive fragmentation shells of the 30mm caliber
-as many as 1,975 charges to the VOG-17 grenade launcher
-495 charges to the VOG grenade launcher
-40 RG-42 hand grenades
-20 RGD grenades
-a great number of munitions
-15 knife byonets

Hardly a contingent of weaponry indicative of significant bridge destruction...

Posted by: jsb | Nov 28 2018 4:04 utc | 58

It was very slick of the Russians to use the THREAT of overwhelming force to persuade the Ukrainians to surrender before anyone got hurt.
Imagine Yankees doing that?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 28 2018 4:10 utc | 59

Considering the Russian defense

I suspect the Ukraine will argue that the licensing procedure unilaterally established by the order of the Ministry of transport of Russia dated October 21, 2015 № 313 “On Approval of Mandatory Regulations in the Seaport of Kerch” was not permitted by the 2004 agreement unless mutually agreed to and as such the order to leave waters which they were entitled to have free passage to by legal agreement was invalid

Since it was not unexpected Russia would try to stop them and could resort to force should the Ukraine boats exercise their rights to free passage , using stealth and being armed and then preparing to defend themselves is not an offense.

Likewise , being aware of unlawfully imposed regulations does not mean much except they would know they would try and be enforced.

Example, if your neighbor gives you written notice you are not allowed to park in front of his house despite it being a public parking space. Knowing he is a big guy you park there anyways but carry your legally allowed to carry gun. Despite carrying the neighbors letter, when he confronts you with a shotgun you pull out your own gun before deciding wisely not to escalate the issue. After your neighbor shoots out your cars tires and kidnaps you its clear you are the guilty one in the eyes of your neighbor. Of course, you are a convicted felon and a drunk and covet his wife so no neighbor would want you anywhere near his property.

Back to reality. if I was Russia I would argue the 2004 agreement null and void unless Crimea is recognized and agrees to a new agreement concerning their waters and rights of passage in both Ukraine and Russian waters

So both sides are trying to get something neither is entirely deserving of having

Whats next? No idea. As for you and your neighbor you call your big brother when the neighbor is towing your car . . Big Brother has a bazooka and is nuts. Neigbor has a flame thrower and plenty of gas. Things get interesting.

Posted by: Pft | Nov 28 2018 4:33 utc | 60

Pft@61 nothing will happen to change the current situation until Ukraine is reconstituted (or disintegrates). Ukraine has no allies that will defend its foolish demands in a meaningful way. A court finding will not change Russia's resolve to defend its territory and Ukraine will not be allowed to build any military installation within the sea.

Posted by: the pessimist | Nov 28 2018 4:49 utc | 61

posted by the resident troll:

All of the provocation is from Russia.

Despite being a newcomer here, I'm kind of insulted the hasbara agencies assign trolls of this caliber to "steer" us into the right kind of thinking. Their Junior Varsity just isn't very impressive. The fury in the one-holer outhouse nation against Russia is obviously enormous. Except for Russia, Syria would be now the property of ISIS and Lebanon would be under heavy siege - the best lands and water resources ready for the plucking.

The movers and shakers in the apartheid Jewish State may be getting desperate. Suppose the Muslim Resistance in Gaza starts bolting on the new "precision kits" onto their missiles. The cesspool state is going to have to make some decisions, and in a hurry. Mass murder in Gaza could move even US attitudes about the zionist criminals into single digit polling numbers. Rage against totally innocent and helpless Jews will begin to go on ever wider display all over the world.

The logical thing to do - withdraw to the 1967 borders - probably won't be on the table. Yes, those lands are 95% stolen too, but a withdrawal in combination with about 50 years of hefty reparations would help defuse the situation. IMO the thieving and murdering zionists are too far gone in their Purple Dream to even consider this as an option. So batten down the hatches.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Nov 28 2018 5:18 utc | 62

@50/55 grieved.. thanks for the link @55 grieved.. it is fascinating and disturbing...

i was looking up on ukraine and how much it owes the imf... the problem is a very large chunk is due in 2019...this would tie in with the uncertainty around the 2019 that poroshenko has now cast with his 1 month military law, which will no doubt be extended into 2019 to deal with the mayhem that looks to be coming ukraines way... obviously creating some drama on the low seas with russia is a necessary distraction, but it is not going to stop the descent into a dictatorship, as suggested in that link @55... it looks ominous....

here is an informative article on the issue of ukraine owing money to the imf, from last feb 2018 written inside ukraine and worth a read for anyone interested.. i quote a bit here "The IMF is not a bank for reconstruction and development and not an investor. It is not interested in the development of our infrastructure or the implementation of new profitable projects. This is a club of external creditors, and its main task is to protect their interests. And given that the holders of our debts are American venture funds, it is necessary to protect these interests at all costs."

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 6:21 utc | 63

Kadath | Nov 27, 2018 10:10:35 PM | 56:

I think people are being too quick to dismiss Poroshenko's declaration of marshal law as a failure... Poroshenko will have every reason to instigate more crises to prolong or expand the national emergency ...
I Agree. I made a similar comment on the previous thread, writing:
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.

And sure enough, the latest State Dept briefing questions the wisdom of Nordstream (from james @45):
European countries have to ask themselves: Is Nord Stream 2 something that they want to continue with, because it helps the Russian government

But I also think USA would prefer a poodle like Porky than a batshit crazy manipulator like Yulia.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 28 2018 6:59 utc | 64

Poroshenko would need a hiding spot pronto

Posted by: AG17 | Nov 28 2018 8:05 utc | 65

James 43

"it is surprising how civilized people generally are, especially those who are stomped on regularly by oligarch types, such as poroshenko."

Well, "civilized" is among other things a synonym for domesticated, submissive to and acquiescent in the Hobbesian Leviathan.

For example, how often does the average American even ask the rationally and morally obvious question, "What is the US doing in the Middle East at all?", let alone answer it honestly. And the rationale for the US provoking WWIII, including its ongoing political aggression in the Ukraine, is even less explicable, yet most Americans meekly accept it all, or even make a point of remaining ignorant of it as none of their concern. That's "civilization" for you.

Posted by: Russ | Nov 28 2018 8:12 utc | 66

Excellent article b, Porky is gambling and the world knows it, he is pushing the once called Ukraine toward the brink of a serious collapse, humanitarian included to pull western resources into the once called Ukraine, he knows 2019 will be a "death year" for the once called Ukraine, gas transit fee will drop to nearly zero by end of 2019 with both Nordstream II and South Stream I pumping gas thus bypassing those central EU pipelines, he knows the population is on the brink of another revolution, this time a really popular one (which makes him tremble since he may lose his assets in the country), he knows he has lost the election already and the only way for him to remain in power or to keep his assets is to either provoke a war with Russia or a martial law, he tried both, and failed.But he managed to get 30 days martial law in the border with Russia, he will use it to imprison thousands of people that voice against him, in the attempt to change the voting balance and to avoid the popular revolution that would come from Provinces where Russia is more than welcome. This is ain't over, we will still see a lot of false flags, do not exclude a CW attack to be blamed on Russia. You saw the UK reaction to the whole mele, UK must be behind Porky in advising him. Lets keep this in mind, the MO is the same as in Syria for a long time where Uk was behind most of the terrorists' CW attack against the civilians and the SAA.

Posted by: Canthama | Nov 28 2018 10:47 utc | 67

Slightly off topic, but sitting here in the UK (not my country of birth incidently), I have been witness to a sustained and relentless period of anti-Russian propaganda, the like of which I never expected to see in the post-Cold War era. It is incessant and has contaminated all forms of the UK media.

The reporting of this latest incident has been utterly lamentable and almost laughably one-sided, assuming one has the stomach for humour.

Russia's military advantages in the Black Sea seem overwhelming and hence like my fellow-posters here at MoA, one wonders at the wider objectives beyond simply keeping Porky in power. I am inclined to agree with Canthama: I expect more provocations and false-flags in the near future. The geopolitical games surrounding gas pipelines/transit routes, gas field exploration and resource acquisition in the Eastern Med and Black Sea appear to be entering a pretty intense phase right now.

Posted by: Glossopteris | Nov 28 2018 13:16 utc | 68

Putin mentioned two things today:

1) after the Ukrainians entered the territorial waters of Russia, they were still offered a pilot (navigator) to pass the strait, which they refused;

2) the territorial waters the Ukrainians have entered had been Russian territorial waters even before the return of Crimea (the Ukrainians must have approached the strait from south-eastern direction), so the status of Crimea is irrelevant to this episode.

Posted by: S | Nov 28 2018 14:00 utc | 69

@ craigsummers 33

The FSB is not just an intelligence, it also controls Border Guards, including the Russian Coast Guard. It was the Russian Coast Guard section of the FSB that carried out this action. The Ukraine Navy had previously complied with transit requirements imposed under UNCLOS for passage through this congested and dangerous waterway, and indeed all three vessels involved in this provocation had those requirements on their bridges.

The Sea of Azov is no more an international waterway than the Great Lakes are. It is regulated by the two nations surrounding it. Even before the reintegration of Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation, a large percentage of the dredged shipping channel was in Russian territorial waters.

Posted by: Stephen | Nov 28 2018 14:04 utc | 70

LOL he is insane but it shows that provocation was the goal:

Poroshenko Wants NATO to Send Warships to Black Sea After Kerch Strait Incident

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 28 2018 14:47 utc | 71

@Alan Reid

The boxes on board of the tug are standard ammunition boxes (5, 7, 9, 12mmm).

TASS published a list of what was found.
Russia’s FSB makes public list of weapons found onboard detained Ukrainian warships

Standard wartime load, nothing nefarious.

Posted by: b | Nov 28 2018 15:50 utc | 72

The lunatic warmongers at the Atlantic Council urge him to...

Yep. The Atlantic Council's non-combatant war-mongers are really good at maintaining Six Degrees Of Separation between themselves and anything resembling a sensible idea...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 28 2018 15:59 utc | 73

Radio communications between Russian and Ukrainian ships right before weapons were used - With English subtitles.

The Russian side was quite patient, repeated over and over, explained the issue and explained it again.

Posted by: b | Nov 28 2018 15:59 utc | 74

Former Admiral of the Fleet Lord West is calling for the Royal Navy to send a Daring class destroyer into the area. To do what exactly?

It beggars beleif (and I am a Brit) that a nation that spent 6 years fighting fascism now openly abets, succours and supports a Nazi regime in the Ukraine to the extent of sending special forces, training teams and now a warship to prop them up. These people are enthusiastic and unrepentant Nazis by their own admission even down to the Azov battalion aping the SS.

The Russians have been scrupulous in this whole affair to follow the rules and conventions regarding passage of the Kerch Strait and when action was taken the only loss of life was a Blue on Blue incident which wasn't down to them. They punched a neat hole in one of the gunboats with a solid round when they could have used HE and sent it to the bottom, but who needs another navigation hazard.

The political and military brass in the UK are foaming at the mouth over Russia, and have been for a while now. One wonders what the Russians have done to them, that we don't know about to get them this riled up. I discount the Skripal black comedy as that was so obviously a piece of amateur theatre. There is something deeper at play here. Of course, Brexit is not going well for the political class who are busy disembowelling each other while the country rots, and any diversion from the Parliamentary train crash must be useful. One wonders what (secret) losses we suffered in Syria, to make them this mad.

I've never seen them like this. I was in the Cold War (submarines) and we always treated the Soviet Union and its armed forces with a healthy dose of professional respect and NEVER made the basic error of beleiving our own bullshit, nor the American variety for that matter. If any RN warship gets involved in this territorial waters matter then we better rename it H.M.S Donald Cook before it goes, to lend a symmetry to the whole thing.

Remind me again how many countries there are standing between the U.K and Russia, and do we really need over-priced American gas, chlorinated food, GM crops and a destroyed health service, just to keep the Americans happy. Better we mind our own business and let Porko swing in the breeze. His own will do for him unless he's fleet of foot. We have no strategic interest in the Black Sea and certainly not the Sea of Azov. A 'D' class destroyer should be patrolling North Sea oil rigs not pandering to the vanities of a Nazi dictator (because that is what he now is)
But,with the immature man-child we have as our Defence Minister at present I would not rule out even greater stupidities... somebody pass the popcorn...

Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Nov 28 2018 16:02 utc | 75

@67 russ.. that is true! words can be deceiving...

i see putin has made a few comments on this today...

“The authorities in Kiev are selling anti-Russian sentiment with quite a success today. They have nothing else to do,” Putin said during a business forum in Moscow."

that sums it up very well... this shit sells in the west, for the same reason that war, or the thought of war, nato, weapon sales and etc. etc. sells.. the western msm and political leadership - if you can call it that - are all on the same page with regard their agenda here...

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 16:38 utc | 76

@ Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Nov 28, 2018 11:02:00 AM | 76

It beggars beleif (and I am a Brit) that a nation that spent 6 years fighting fascism now openly abets ...

I do not agree that Brits were fighting fascism during those 6 years (or ever, as a mater of fact), but they were rather fighting flavor of fascism which was not native to them!

Posted by: ex-SA | Nov 28 2018 16:53 utc | 77

Zachary Smith | 63: "The movers and shakers in the apartheid Jewish State may be getting desperate."

They are getting desperate in their aggressive attacks on the First Amendment as well. Exhibit one, the Unz Review that has published a report on semitic scandal in academia. The site is still down:

Posted by: Anya | Nov 28 2018 17:00 utc | 78

The political and military brass in the UK are foaming at the mouth over Russia, and have been for a while now. One wonders what the Russians have done to them, that we don't know about to get them this riled up?
Posted by: Emmanuel Goldstein | Nov 28, 2018 11:02:00 AM | 76

Excellent question.
Could be worth a new thread @ MoA inviting visitors to speculate as wildly as Theresa ("Would I Lie To You?") May is so fond of doing.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 28 2018 17:02 utc | 79

The political and military brass in the UK are foaming at the mouth over Russia, and have been for a while now. One wonders what the Russians have done to them, that we don't know about to get them this riled up.

It would be quite interesting to know how much exiled oligarch money is being poured towards MI6 now wouldn't it?

But then that level of speculation could run unanswered forever.

Posted by: S.O. | Nov 28 2018 17:20 utc | 80

@80 It goes back to the Charge of the Light Brigade IMO. Britain, France and the Ottomans won the Crimean War technically when Russia sued for peace. But Russia managed to retain control of the Black Sea (with some help from Bismark). It gets drummed into young brains at Eton.

Posted by: dh | Nov 28 2018 17:32 utc | 81

Emmanuel Goldstein | 76 I:
"The political and military brass in the UK are foaming at the mouth over Russia, and have been for a while now. One wonders what the Russians have done to them... ...There is something deeper at play here. ... One wonders what (secret) losses we suffered in Syria, to make them this mad."

The recently un-released documentary about the Jewish Lobby illuminates the problem.
An earlier documentary:

The scandal in Ukraine is of very special nature because the ongoing revival of Nazism in Ukraine has been accomplished by means of a tight cooperation between the leading zionists and the leading Ukrainian neo-Nazis. The supporters of neo-Nazi regime include the Kagans clan (see Nuand-Kagan), AIPAC, the ADL, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and the Jewish State itself that courteously provided Israel-licensed arms to Ukrainian banderites.

The current Prime Minister of Ukraine Mr. Groysman is "the first Jewish Prime Minister of Ukraine." The rise of neo-Nazism has been going on on his watch.

The loudest voices in support of the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine are coming from Canada -- from certain Chrystia Freeland and her retinue. The influential zionists are quite happy with this committed sympathizer of banderites and a progeny of a despicable Nazi collaborator. No Nazi-hunters have ever approached Chrystia Freeland' door, same as Mr. Kolomoisky's, an Israeli citizen famous for his financial support for the neo-Nazi Azov battalion.

The zionists put aside the Shoah business for a bigger prize of destroying Russian Federation.

Posted by: Anya | Nov 28 2018 17:37 utc | 82

Emmanuel Goldstein | Nov 28, 2018 11:02:00 AM | 76:

One wonders what the Russians have done to them, that we don't know about to get them this riled up.
The West won the Cold War and then lost the peace due to stupidity and greed.

The Russians were supposed to roll over and submit. Then China would be isolated.

Instead, Western neolibcon elites drove Russia and China together. That makes the West's greedy industrialization of China into the height of stupidity. China was clearly wary about the West's intentions so they didn't allow their economy to be colonized. But that mattered little while Western elites could make tons of money via Chinese low-wage labor.

No Western political leader can tell their people of this amazing clusterfuck because it only highlights how greedy, out-of-touch and corrupt are the Western governments and Western elites. Then add the clusterfuck of Syria where the West participated in a conspiracy to use a jihadi proxy army to overthrow the leadership of a country.


That's what it's all about. Whether it's destroying Union jobs, bailing out Banks, destroying the environment, or military adventurism. They need MOAR!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 28 2018 17:51 utc | 83

uk foams at the mouth over what any good usa poodle would.... war on iraq? no problem.. blair to the rescue... war on libya, syria, yemen or anywhere else - russia even... uk to the rescue, foaming at the mouth... bae systems and other like minded uk corps, must spread the money around to places other the chatham house, cambridge analytica, the guardian and etc... for more insight into the uk - see craig murrays ongoing commentary..

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 17:51 utc | 84

Yesterday, PM Medvedev chaired a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council where he was asked about the Kerch provocation during the concluding presser. It was a deliberate provocation designed for the declaration of Martial Law as the outcome to politically shore-up Poroshenko as many have concluded. What was interesting was Medvedev's observation of the Ukrainian Establishment's reaction:

"It is worth mentioning the reaction of the Ukrainian establishment, Ukrainian political figures, including ex-presidents, who asked a question that, in my opinion, is obvious: why was martial law not declared in far more complicated situations that the Ukrainian state has found itself in, while this particular incident was used as the basis for imposing martial law? The answer is also quite clear. Because this is politics, election tactics or political tactics. That is precisely how it has been perceived inside Ukraine itself and how I perceive it. Evidently, this will further complicate the processes unfolding in Ukraine. This will create or might create serious problems for the Ukrainian economy and, certainly, it does nothing to improve relations between the Russian Federation and Ukraine." [My Emphasis]

Of course, such obvious reasoning is obfuscated or buried by BigLie Media just as we'd expect.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28 2018 18:44 utc | 85

irrussianality site has an interesting theory on all this...

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 18:58 utc | 86

Stellar post and analyses! The links and updates provided here are extremely helpful in understanding this provocation; the rapidity with which ideas are explored and countered if need be is second to no other site. Thank you all. I hope everyone will do a bit to help b continue his work - I can't do much, but if we can we need to help him continue as a critical year is fast approaching when we will very much need such vital information.

Posted by: juliania | Nov 28 2018 19:05 utc | 87

Here's an excellent example from Twitter about NATO behavior relative to Kerch provocation. Note how the one troll provocateur "Z" tries to obfuscate and falsify the facts until there're shoved in its face. Elena is to be commended for her civility, while Z has no conception that it's the Outlaw.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 28 2018 19:06 utc | 88

"the water is as shallow as a think tankers thought"


Posted by: bjd | Nov 28 2018 20:36 utc | 89

'Everything is at Stake': Ukrainian Envoy Urges West to 'Put Putin in His Place'

Why doesnt UKRAINE itself put Russia in "his place"?
Why would any westerner die for Ukraine provocations, have ukraine asked themselves that question? Apparently not.

Posted by: Zanon | Nov 28 2018 20:41 utc | 90

@91 zanon.. the problem is, ukraine doesn't know it's own place.. many ordinary ukrainians are leaving as the country descends into a dictatorship.. meanwhile the west looks on, not sure how to move forward here, other then to offer the knee jerk response of offering sanctions on russia and etc...

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 20:50 utc | 91

@Emmanuel Goldstein | Nov 28, 2018 11:02:00 AM | 75

The political and military brass in the UK are foaming at the mouth over Russia, and have been for a while now. One wonders what the Russians have done to them, that we don't know about to get them this riled up.

Perhaps the following.

For a long time, at least since Mackinder propounded his geopolitical theory, Britain's prime goal in foreign policy has been to prevent the very natural alliance of Russia and Germany. The horror of the two world wars was probably instigated to prevent this entente.

Now the alliance appears to be happening -- and worse, China seems to be included.

The combination will completely dominate Mackinder's Heartland, turning the UK into a minor irrelevancy. So the British politicians are having a collective heart attack.

Posted by: Cyril | Nov 28 2018 21:41 utc | 92

Correction (spelling) @83: Exploitation

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 28 2018 22:14 utc | 93

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 27, 2018 9:59:38 PM | 54

This came to me courtesy of the Saker site, which graciously republishes the translation work of Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard. These two people should be carried around the room on our shoulders, they are heroes. You'll find more comments at Saker, I'm sure, but I just felt like linking to the source. They seem to have no visible means of support at StalkerZone. I hope they may long continue to publish.

StalkerZone does indeed provide great articles that run contrary to the Western narrative, like this one published today: ROSTISLAV ISHCHENKO: KIEV HAD HOPES ON ITS SAILORS BEING KILLED IN THE KERCH STRAIT.

Here is another from RI in similar fashion: Incontrovertible Case That Kerch Strait Skirmish Was Engineered by Poroshenko to Try and Hold Onto Power

Posted by: jsb | Nov 28 2018 22:14 utc | 94

the idiot has spoken, lol..

"U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he may cancel his scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina because of Russia's maritime clash with Ukraine. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump said he was awaiting a "full report" from his national security team Tuesday evening about Russia’s capture of three Ukrainian naval ships and their crews on Sunday."That will be very determinative," Trump told the Post. "Maybe I won't have the meeting. Maybe I won't even have the meeting ... I don't like that aggression. I don't want that aggression at all," he said."

Posted by: james | Nov 28 2018 22:51 utc | 95

craigsummers gives an example of scepticism that goes a bit too far:

"The FSB is one of three intelligence agencies in Russia. All of them lie (for a living)" follows a one paragraph quote that refers a few times to Kerch Strait, craigsummers did not give it any credence and refers to Kersh Strait and Strait of Kersh. Aren't we a bit to harsh, craig? Or way too harch (

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 29 2018 1:16 utc | 96


"The political and military brass in the UK are foaming at the mouth over Russia, and have been for a while now. One wonders what the Russians have done to them, that we don't know about to get them this riled up."

well off the top of my head I can think of two rumors that went around the internet about a year ago 1) during the liberation of Aleppo, Russia supposedly hit a terrorist command center within the city which had more than a dozen US, UK, Turkish and Israeli military advisors within it, at least 3 of whom were killed. 2) during one of the terrorist transfers to Idlib, several dozen US & UK military advisors were seized while trying to leave on the buses reserved for the terrorist family members (they were later ransomed back to the US). These are only rumors so we'll probably never know the truth (maybe in 70 years CIA/NSA will open up their archives like the KGB did), however, the US HAS admitted that it has (and still does) have US troops embedded with SDF/YPG and other assorted groups during the past 7 years so it's no great stretch to think that during the past 3 years when Russia intervened with it's airpower some of these embedded advisors might have been killed (accidentally or otherwise), although that still doesn't explain why the UK would behave so recklessly trying to get back at Russia to avenge advisors who were working with groups that the US/UL won't publicly acknowledge

Posted by: Kadath | Nov 29 2018 2:27 utc | 97

"....the European heavyweights Germany and France urged deescalation and direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. (Sources in Berlin say that Merkel firmly told him to stand down.) The U.S. reaction was delayed and mild...."

this really makes me wonder, who the heck even thought up and approved this cockamamie idea?
obviously there are war hawks and 'intelligence' idiots (like the Atlantic Council war criminals) all over the place, in certain European nations and in the US etc etc, but it would seem from the tepid and even negative reactions in Europe and with Trump, that this was Poro himself and his hawks thinking to make mileage out of a crisis that none of the bigger powers see any point in at all.
a big problem in the world has always been that once an Empire puts local crackpots in power, they often enough go too far or don't follow Imperial instructions and so on....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Nov 29 2018 3:39 utc | 98

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Nov 28, 2018 12:18:34 AM | 62

Nonetheless do take some measure of comfort that even celebrities like former QB for Green Bay Packers seem to be awake and are starting to speak the truth in the face of the propaganda:

Posted by: jsb | Nov 29 2018 4:37 utc | 99

@michaelj72: I agree. This provocation is so stupid, it must have come from Poroshenko's team. Same as Babchenko's "murder".

Posted by: S | Nov 29 2018 9:33 utc | 100

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