Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 04, 2023

Journalist, Spy Or Cyber Front Warrior?

Last Thursday, March 30, Russian authorities arrested the Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershovitch:

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was “acting on instructions from the American side to collect information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitutes a state secret.” Gershkovich, who was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains region, will be held until at least May 29, according to Russian judicial officials.

The Wall Street Journal said it “vehemently denies” the allegation and demanded that Russia release Gershkovich, who has lived in Moscow for six years and was accredited by Russia’s foreign ministry. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Would the Wall Street Journal even know if the CIA hired one of its journos for a side job?

But fear not, the CIA would never do such:

The arrest shows that Moscow is “increasingly treating the United States as an open belligerent in a war against Russia,” according to George Beebe of the Quincy Institute, who previously led Russia analysis at the CIA.

Citing a 1977 law that banned CIA recruitment of journalists, Beebe argued that it is “very unlikely that Gershkovich is a U.S. intelligence asset or that his reporting was directed or influenced by the U.S. Intelligence Community.”

Surely, the CIA would never ever break a law, says a former CIA analyst ...

But why then is the U.S. Secretary of State calling Russia for a talk about the man?

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday held a call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, to discuss Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and US citizen who was detained in Russia last week over spying allegations.

According to a State Department readout of the call, Blinken expressed the US’s “grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a US citizen journalist” and called for his “immediate release.”

According to the Russian side, Lavrov told Blinken that a Russian court will decide Gershkovich’s fate. “In light of the established evidence of the US national’s illegal activities, his future will be determined by court,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that Gershkovich, “acting at the behest of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of an enterprise within Russia’s military-industrial complex.”

May be I am naive, but what Gershkovich inquired about was way too much on the questionable side than to be called journalism:

Kevin Rothrock @KevinRothrock - 17:15 UTC · Mar 30, 2023

Journalist @kolezev, who spoke on background to @evangershkovich before his trip to Yekaterinburg, says Evan hoped to intercept employees (literally in the street) leaving the UralVagonZavod plant in Nizhny Tagil or the NPO Novator missile factory in Yekaterinburg, planning to ask them how they feel about the invasion of Ukraine.

This more than the WSJ’s Wagner Group investigation seems likeliest to have triggered the FSB’s “espionage” paranoia. Evan knew the risks but apparently hoped that the FSB would let him be, given that war sentiment isn’t a state secret.

Колезев ☮️
Мария Захарова заявила, что «то, чем занимался в Екатеринбурге сотрудник американского издания The Wall Street Journal, не имеет отношения к журналистике». Марии Захаровой, конечно, виднее, ей в ФСБ...

Tass summarizes the accusations:

  • US citizen Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent for the Moscow bureau of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), was detained in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Region, in the Urals region of Russia, on suspicion of espionage.
  • According to the FSB, the journalist was collecting top-secret data about an enterprise within the Russian military-industrial complex in the interests of the United States.
  • The American was detained while trying to obtain classified data.

Yekaterinburg has been a the metallurgical center of Russia for 300 years:

Yekaterinburg was founded on 18 November 1723 and named after Yekaterina I, the wife of Russian emperor Peter the Great. The city served as the mining capital of the Russian Empire as well as a strategic connection between Europe and Asia.

The city grew during the second world war when Russia moved its heavy industry away from the frontline to behind the Ural. UralVagonZavod is the largest tank manufacturer in the world. It is currently producing the T-90 tanks for the Russian army. NPO Novator is making anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons like the Kalibr cruise missiles which are currently in high demand.

To ask workers of such factories how they feel about the U.S. proxy war waged against Russia while that war is ongoing seems a bit off to me.

What would have been the offer by Gershkovich to any worker who would have spoken against the war?

Also, this was about more than just asking random workers:

The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was interested in operation of military-industrial complex facilities in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Region Legislative Assembly deputy Vycheslav Vegner, whom the reporter interviewed earlier, told TASS Thursday.

"[During the interview, Gershkovich] started asking questions regarding the military-industrial complex of Yekaterinburg, he named one such enterprise - ‘Novator’- and so on," Vegner said.

According to the lawmaker, the reported cited the experience of other regions on industry conversion and asked about the Sverdlovsk Region experience - for example, whether the enterprises change their profile, how many shifts there are, and if they are appropriately staffed. Vegner noted during the interview that he is not authorized to answer such question.

Anything about weapon production numbers or related issues are of course state secrets, at least during times of war. What then do we call such inquiries if not espionage?

Gershkovich also inquired about the lawmaker’s communication with Wagner PMC founder Yevgeny Prigozhin - to which Vegner answered that he is familiar with this issue, because he received applications from convicts who desire to volunteer.

The Wagner founder seems to have been of special interest:

In an interview with Kommersant, Yaroslav Shirshikov, a local public activist, said he spent two days with Gershkovich in Yekaterinburg. The main objective of Gershkovich’s mission "was to analyze society’s attitude toward Prigozhin. He wanted to find out whether public support for the special military operation was growing or dwindling," Shirshikov said.

The questions Gershkovich asked surely deserved some scrutiny from the Russian authorities. One wonders what else they found with him.

But don't look what Gershkovich has done, say some. Obfuscate it whenever possible.

Jason Rezaian @jrezaian - 3:17 UTC · Apr 2, 2023

When reporting on Evan's ordeal, avoid repeating the Russian narrative. The fact that he is a hostage is the story, not the supposed charges against him. Constantly humanize Evan.
Drop all our notions of competition and steel ourselves for a potentially long ordeal. #FreeEvan

Quoted Tweet:

Nicholas Kristof @NickKristof - Apr 2
Replying to @jrezaian @MtthwRose and @WSJ
Jason, you've been in Evan's situation. What would you suggest that the journalistic community do to support him?

Jason Rezaian indeed has experience with the situation. He had been imprisoned in Iran for espionage when he worked there as 'journalist'.

Not that the CIA would ever hire such ...

On Sunday, April 2, the Russian war blogger Vladlen Tatarsky, real name Maxim Fomin, was killed in a terrorist attack in St Petersburg.

Russian authorities arrested the woman that had brought the bomb which killed Tatarsky. While the man was more of a warrior or grifter than a journalist the Russian public is likely to connect the cases. It will demand harsh punishment for Gershkovich. The Ukrainian secret service, which likely was involved in the assassination, may well have intended such.

Craig Murray - @CraigMurrayOrg - 18:04 UTC · Apr 2, 2023

My first thought is that terrorism killing a Russian journalist is really going to make things worse for Evan Gershkovich.

Then I realised that it is in Ukraine's interest for US/Russian relations to deteriorate further over Evan Gershkovich.

Russian pro-war military blogger killed in blast at St Petersburg cafe
Vladlen Tatarsky, who had over 560,000 followers on Telegram, dies in explosion that injures 19 people

But is this really in Ukrainian interest?

Gonzalo Lira - @GonzaloLira1968 - 19:41 UTC · Apr 2, 2023

Terrorist attacks like this one do nothing — except harden the Russian public’s resolve to smash the Kiev regime and take all of Ukraine.

It ensures that Russian public sentiment will never support a cease-fire or negotiated settlement.

In other words, this hurts Ukraine

Intermarium 24 @intermarium24 · Apr 2
💥 An explosion occurred in St. Petersburg, Russia during a meeting organized by Pro-Russian military blogger - Vladen Tatarsky. The cafe was owned by PMC Wagner chief Evgeniy Prigozhin. Unknown woman gifted Tatarsky a small statue with explosive device. 1 killed, 6 injured.… Show more

The unknown woman who 'gifted' the statue was Darya Trepova:

Russia media reports say Ms Trepova, 26, handed Tatarsky a statuette which was believed to contain the explosives that killed him and injured more than 30 people. Later in a video released by the Russian Interior Ministry, she is seen admitting she brought the statuette to the cafe where the blast took place.
Her husband Dmitry Rylov suggests she may have been duped.

Whatever happened, going forward Darya Trepova will not have an easy life.

Victor vicktop55 @vicktop55 - 13:37 UTC · Apr 4, 2023

Evgeny Prigozhin gave an exclusive interview to SHOT.

"Vladlen Tatarsky is a sacred symbol of Russia's struggle against external evil.

This attack was staged to remove the "voice of Russia" in order to weaken our struggle. But there will only be more resistance.

For people like Trepova, the death penalty should be brought back. Put her against the wall and drill a hole in the head. She is an enemy. Her employers are enemies. The fight against enemies must be absolutely merciless.

Now there are more attacks on journalists than on government officials. Because journalists are active people. They are the voice of the public. We need such active people to defend Russia in their field.

Unite is the first thing to do to fight the recruits. Society must reject any attempt to side with the enemy."

The cafe where the explosion occurred belongs to Yevgeny Prigozhin. He will hand it over to the Cyber ​​Front office. It will be renovated and everything will be furnished as it was on the day of Tatarsky's death.

"Cyber ​​Front - these are the people who defend Russia's interests in the information space. Cyber ​​Front will work even more actively. Nobody is afraid."

Prigozhin will provide material assistance to the victims of the terrorist attack from personal funds.

"Our task is to ensure that the patriotic movements that exist in our society continue to grow."

Dima of the Military Summary channels suggested that the terror attack that killed Tatarsky was a planned diversion. It is supposed to move the public eyes away from the fact that the Ukrainian army is currently getting removed from Bakhmut. The fight there had been lost months ago but the Ukrainian army is only now giving up. Ten thousands of Ukrainian soldiers died there in vain.

One hopes that one day the people of Ukraine will hold those responsible who had needlessly sent those soldiers into such fate.

Posted by b on April 4, 2023 at 14:32 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I wonder what the outcry from the West would be if Evan Gershkovich is executed for espionage, below the death of a Russian journalist is celebrated.

"Christo Grozev of the US government-sponsored Bellingcat endorsed the terror attack that killed a Russian war reporter and injured many others during a public event in St. Petersburg."

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Apr 4 2023 14:39 utc | 1

Republicofscotland no.1

From the "Grayzone" article:

"Throughout his eight-minute interview with Sky News, Bellingcat’s lead Russia investigator Christo Grozev offered an unapologetic, de facto endorsement of the terror attack at a public event at the Street Food Bar № 1 cafe in St. Petersburg"

Sly news and barfingcat in the same sentence. Say no more.

Posted by: ThusspakeZarathustra | Apr 4 2023 14:48 utc | 2

Think it is common knowledge that MSM is a fully controled Deep State operation. Anyone being sent to Russia or China by MSM is working for Western intel agencies.

Posted by: JustTruth | Apr 4 2023 14:49 utc | 3

The BBC is as usual quick with a premature suggestion without any proof:
"In video released by authorities - most likely recorded under duress - Darya Trepova is heard admitting she handed over a statuette that later blew up."

Posted by: Nutski | Apr 4 2023 14:51 utc | 4

Welcome back, b.

Interesting linking these two cases together. If you don't think the CIA uses journalists I've got a mockingbird to sell you.

Zelensky's Ukraine is desperate as a generation or two of men are blood-sacrificed on the altar of "freedom." They have lost on the battlefield. They are now losing the info war. Desperation on the cusp of madness uses terrorism to provoke a response to provoke all out war.

Can't wait for Zelensky's war crimes trial.


Posted by: gottlieb | Apr 4 2023 14:57 utc | 5

The acumen, insight and thoroughness of b's analysis shines once again. Equilibrium returns.

Posted by: john dann | Apr 4 2023 15:02 utc | 6

Gershkovich was born to Soviet Jewish emigres who met in USA in 1979. He worked for Moscow Times which could hardly have added to his "innocence" in the eyes of the authorities with that paper's frequent changes of editor and ownership........

He went where you do not go and rumours state he had equipment that was unusual for a journalist as was his dead-letter drop..........

Main issue is how you as a child of Soviet emigres behave in a situation where your birth country is at war with your parents' birth country ? Next issue is why you joined WSJ (Rupert Murdoch who is so Anti-Russia that one questions his sanity) in Jan 2022 after moving from at least 3 other newspapers...........

I could well believe he is a spy. Maybe I have become over-sensitised by American propensity to regard Julian Assange as breaching Woodrow Wilson's 1917 Espionage Act despite being an Australian OUTSIDE the USA.............

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Apr 4 2023 15:02 utc | 7

"Ukrainian soldiers died there in vane."

Nope, they died in vain...

Posted by: Sys ATI | Apr 4 2023 15:02 utc | 8


Christo Grozev offered an unapologetic, de facto endorsement of the terror attack at a public event at the Street Food Bar № 1 cafe in St. Petersburg"

Sly news and barfingcat in the same sentence. Say no more.

Oh dear, what must I now think about Manchester Arena or 7/7 London Bombing ?

Posted by: Paul Greenwood | Apr 4 2023 15:04 utc | 9


I'm curious what your response is to Kofman's latest twitter thread re Bakhmut and the course of the war? Is it pure propaganda, cope, or does it have any merit?


Posted by: Kyosti | Apr 4 2023 15:11 utc | 10

Frankly, I'd prefer to see as many members of the Western propaganda establishment, regardless of where they're located, placed behind bars as possible in order to help begin cleaning the swamp they live in out of our lives.

Posted by: StirThePot | Apr 4 2023 15:14 utc | 11

I don't know that that information about missile production is a "state secret" but a state would want to protect that information. A lot of "espionage" is collection of freely available information, if you know where to look. We know the CIA often directs reporters where to look (though the exact mechanisms for that are less clear; "anonymous tips" are commonly referred to; and sufficient for plausible deniability)

The sorts of questions the reporter were asking again aren't exactly "state secrets" but indeed something Russia rightly would want to guard. But the arrest under plausible grounds should also be seen as a way to compel a meeting with US SoS or high ministers of state, as yet another way to open discussions. Russia would like peace, all rational actors want peace (I stand by that, though those in halls of influence have other agendas/inducements for opposing peace) Putin is rational in wanted this to end; he's got his buffer, he has the upper hand and at last he has something the American's want. Let's hope this is cause to negotiations over Ukraine

Posted by: scottindallas | Apr 4 2023 15:14 utc | 12

Let's not forget about Spanish journalist Pablo Gonzalez, who's been detained by Poland for over a year without trial with hardly any outcry.

International Federation of Journalists

"It is unacceptable for a member state of the European Union to detain a journalist in such an arbitrary manner. It is an attack on media freedom and democracy."

Posted by: kassandra | Apr 4 2023 15:16 utc | 13

It seems - after doing some online research on the might oracle Google - Evan Gershovitch has been doing nothing but journalism. Surely we cannot trust Google, the US secretary for Managing Perceptions, who has been changing in a monthly basis the algorithm parameters to hide and suppress info compromising people connected to NGO's well-known for being just a facade to cover up color revolutions around the block among many other things. But the problem about Evan is where he was located doing his "job". Since soviet times the Urals is the place where Russia has a lot of nuclear weapons silos in a standby mod. This place by itself is the very definition of a no-no zone for any foreigner resident and much less for a journalist.
It is madness but I cannot think about other reason for a journalist to be there than to locate and to put on the GPS the coordinates of that place for a possible "strategic nuclear strike". It is a bizarre thing to think that there are people considering the scenario of a "controlled" nuclear war in Washington. The Russian doctrine about nuclear weapons is written plain simple since soviet times - You launch one nuclear warhead towards us, we will launch back to you all our nuclear arsenal". Atmosphere and water poisoned for thousands of years if by any chance someone survive the heat of destruction leaving behind ashes, cinders and smoke.

Posted by: Ralph | Apr 4 2023 15:18 utc | 14

It would appear that the assassination attempt against Fomin has been in the works for a long time. Trepova was recruited something like a year ago, built a "patriotic" alter-ego for herself over that time, and purposefully established a friendly connection with Fomin a few months back iirc.

Based on that, many commentators come to the conclusion that it would be impossible to make the terrorist attack coincide with other developments. Props to our host for not falling into the same logical trap, since the chosen timing ultimately comes down to pulling the trigger on an operation that's been cocked and loaded in advance. Excluding the possibility of deeper political motives being the primary deciding factor would be premature.

Additionally, I wouldn't exclude the possibility of other Navalny supporters or political dissidents of varying affiliation having been recruited and on standby against alternative soft targets.

Posted by: Skiffer | Apr 4 2023 15:18 utc | 15

Thank you b. I'M BACK! Youtube. 7s.

In vain ?

Ukraine Theater basic & negligible Intelligence Staff work & Analysis ... update.

TL&DR AFU is in a Hospice, on extended life support ... in the process of being abandoned by supposed family & friends (US/NATO/EU) ...

Note: MOD Clobber List, averaged over the 403 days of the SMO, per day(24hrs), averages as @ Apr03'23 (Previously as @ Mar03'23). Averages probable slightly lower due ever diminishing arms/systems actually available to be targeted/engaged for destruction:

21.1 tanks and other armored combat vehicles,
(Equivalent of over 2 AFU Tank/Mech Battalions 'DESTROYED' (100%) every three days)

2.7 multiple rocket launcher combat vehicles,
(Equivalent of 1 AFU MBRLS Battery 'DESTROYED' (100%) every two days)

11.2 field artillery, guns and mortars,
(Equivalent of 2 AFU Artillery Batteries 'DESTROYED' (100%) every day) and

Hence, for example, US/NATO would need to manufacture & promptly supply, new production:

Over ~5,074 Artillery & MBRLS systems(@ up to ~$8M+ per unit($18.759+ Billion) over next 12 months, at a sustained rate of ~12/day deliverable, being two full Artillery Batteries+ delivered to FEBA every 24 hours, and

Over ~7,702 AFVs (@ from ~$3M+ up to ~$10M+ per unit($36.585+ Billion) over next 12 months, at a sustained rate of ~21/day deliverable, being two full Tank/Mech Battalions delivered to FEBA every 72 hours.

Merely for AFU to continue in its current derelict state (Crew-served platforms/systems/vehicles only).

Note: Platform only, excludes all additional & supplementary costs & resources required re deployment/sustainment/servicing/support/maintenance/ordnance/POL/logistics vehicles, etc, including specialist trained crews/support, replacement & training.

Materiel losses necessary to be supplied to FEBA daily, or every 10, 30, 60, 90, 180, 360 days merely to sustain current AFU status ?!

AFU manpower, critically short, is meaningless, near zero combat power, without unit cohesive, trained crew-served combined arms Troops/NCOs/Officers/Command, operating system platforms, sustained sufficient materiel & ammunition, functional reliable timely logistics train, etc ... minimum.

Note: Brigades have 'broken' & had to retreat in Bhakmut due to no small arms ammunition. Others, unreported ? It is now indisputable AFU has an absolute critical shortage of severely rationed shells/mortar-rounds/rockets/ for Arty/Mortars/MBLRS/Tank Main Guns. Weight of Fire vs RF at 1:10 disadvantage minimum and continually decreasing.

Translated, abbreviated, MOD Clobber list as @ (03.04.2023)

📊 In total, since the beginning of the special military operation destroyed:
405 aircraft, (Daily avg 1.0)
228 helicopters, (Daily avg 0.6)
3,648 unmanned aerial vehicles, (Daily avg 9.1)
415 surface-to-air missile systems, (Daily avg 1.0)
8,521 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, (Daily avg 21.1)
1,078 multiple rocket launchers, (Daily avg 2.7)
4,494 field artillery and mortars, (Daily avg 11.2) and
9,287 special military vehicles. (Daily avg 23.1)


In an interview with the Economist December 03 2022, AFU General Zaluzhny stated to help his forces push back the RF (Not win the War!), he needed:
300 modern MBTs(Tanks), 600-700 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (~950 total AFVs) and 500 howitzers.

So, again, updated ... given accrued losses since Dec03'22 to Apr03'23, US/NATO would need to supply ~2,501 AFVs & ~1,512 MBLRS/Artillery/Mortars, at FEBA, now, TODAY! simply to revert to approximate overall yet even weaker Situ than @ Dec03'22.

Approximate breakdown is 625 MBTs & 1,876 IFVs, as well as 302 MBLRS & 1,210 Artillery pieces/Mortars ...

~950 + 1,551(losses) = therefore ~2,501 AFVs, and
500 + (170 + 842)(1,012 losses) = therefore ~1,512 MBLRS/Artillery/Mortars.

By Jul03'23 (further 90 days) an additional ~1,899 AFVs & ~1,251 MBRLS/Artillery/Mortars will be required!

Note: The above losses are exclusive unreported, unclaimed/unconfirmed by RF platform destruction/loss in repair/maintenance workshops/warehouses rear of FEBA, in logistical transit to or from FEBA re Poland/Western Ukraine, unserviceable/abandoned outside combat, captured/abandoned during retreat/withdrawal from, for example Soledar/Bahkmut/Avdiivka, & throughout the free fire zone of the entirety of Ukraine, etc. In addition each & every asset loss below incurs additional trained/specialist unclaimed manpower losses, KIA/WIA/MIA.

AFU ... stick a fork in it, it's done ... on a one way death ride to Valhalla. Any National leader/Military Commander worthy of the title, should have already entered negotiations re surrender terms & prompt ceasefire, pending finalization/demobilization, to prevent further pointless mass loss of life/limb/destruction & wider suffering/destitution, back in Dec'22, even earlier, at latest Sep'22, IMV.

(Dec03'22 to Apr03'23)
AFU losses for period in total (~120 days):

69 Aircraft,
50 Helicopters,
1,039 UAVs,
24 AD Systems (excluding destroyed irreplaceable pre '91 soviet radars, unclaimed Kill),
1,551 Tanks & other Armored Vehicles, (~16+ Tank/Mech Brigades assets (~5+ Full Armored/Mechanized Divisions)(100% total loss))
(~4+ Tank/Mech Brigades in last 30 days)
170 MBRLS, (~28+ MBRLS Batteries assets (100% total loss))(5 batteries in last 30 days)
842 Artillery & Mortars (~140+ Artillery/Mortar Batteries assets (100% total loss))(39 batteries in last 30 days), and
1,837 special military vehicles.

📊 In total, since the beginning of the special military operation destroyed:
336 aircraft, (Daily avg 1.1)
178 helicopters, (Daily avg 0.6)
2,609 unmanned aerial vehicles, (Daily avg 8.8)
391 surface-to-air missile systems, (Daily avg 1.2)
6,970 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, (Daily avg 22.5)
908 multiple rocket launchers, (Daily avg 2.9)
3,652 field artillery and mortars, (Daily avg 11.6) and
7,450 special military vehicles. (Daily avg 24)

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 4 2023 15:19 utc | 16

Gottleib 5; you make a tragic point about "a generation or two sacrificed" That made me realize, this gives Europe a wonderful place to send all those asylum seekers and refugees. If Eastern Ukraine is shorn off; I could see Putin allowing West Ukraine joining the EU, even NATO (in exchange for Odessa? who knows; it's negotiations, the exact final lines will only be told there) A Ukraine with scads of Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans could rebuild a nation where Nazism would be substantially challenged

Posted by: scottindallas | Apr 4 2023 15:22 utc | 17

Some more dots to connect: Darya Dugina was killed in (or near) Moscow, Vlad in St. Petersburg. This comes after a number of attacks in Crimea, Belgorod etc. Anyway "somewhere there not in my backyard". Could it be that a message is being sent that the city of interest from now on will be St. Petersburg - now that NATO just doubled its border with Russia with the accession of Finland - close to St. Petersburg?

Posted by: Jonathan W | Apr 4 2023 15:22 utc | 18

Prigozhin gives a talk to the CyberFrontZ members in the cafe where the terrorist attack that killed VladEn Tatarsky took place. Efforts in the info war will be redoubled, compensation and care for the victims is discussed and curiously Prigozhin brings to the fore a strange coincidence, the family name of the unfortunately duped -it seems that way- terrorist is the same as the XIX century Sankt Peterburg mayor Trepov who ordered a public lashing of some revolutionary Bogolyubov for not uncovering his head before the city mayor, Vera Zasulich shot Trepov and hit him but not killed him, she was acquitted of the crime since there was a recently approved law prohibiting public floggings. The acquittal had a loud resonance, even international. Prigozhin renews his personal struggle with the Leningrad region governor hinting that high placed functionaries do not risk anything due to their do nothing attitude and sweet life style while people like Tatarsky risk it all to face the evil of NATO attacking the motherland.

Congratulations b, as sharp as ever.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 4 2023 15:24 utc | 19

I can just imagine the reaction here in the US if a reporter from RT or another Russian media organization was standing outside the gates of US armaments manufacturers asking the same questions. The US hawks and MSM would be losing their fucking minds with outrage!

BTW — what was the outcome of the U.S.’ examination of the Chinese balloon that was shot down. I haven’t noticed any screaming headlines that it was confirmed to be a ‘spy balloon’, so I get the distinct impression that it was just a weather balloon, but I haven’t seen/heard anything lately here in the US..

Posted by: Eddie S | Apr 4 2023 15:30 utc | 20

Thanks for the posting b and hope your time off was good for you.

What came into my head as I was reading was the the REAL military curiosity about the Yekaterinburg metallurgical center is because of current Russia flight technology/capabilities.

I would think empire would be willing to sacrifice multiple folks for some useful knowledge about Russian advances in metallurgy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 4 2023 15:42 utc | 21

It is amazing. The entire globalist cabals seem pretty much united in their thinking that Russia must undergo a regime change followed by complete disintegration just as happened to former Yugoslavia. Even EU's so-called leaders dare lecture China about its mutual relations with Russia!! Perhaps it's about time the Eurasian powers begin forcefully impose their own will on the US/EU. A nice way is helping increase fuel price at gas stations across US-EU that should kick start a collapse of the western stock markets. Then introduce a new currency that replaces the US$.

Posted by: maskazer | Apr 4 2023 15:50 utc | 22

Ah b… welcome back. I’d like to second @7 (and this is a great thread, thanks to everyone posting.)

I recently confessed that I like to imagine things, b. Like you joining in a local protest maybe at the port, or standing in a crowd trying to catch a glimpse of King Charles. I like to imagine the reaction in certain western places (Langley?) to you re-tweeting Craig Murray for the second time since returning (first in MoA Twitter account). And when I read that Postil interview with Seymour Hersh, my imagination wandered to that spoof that The Saker posted of “Zelensky” writing out a declaration of surrender with Chechen leader, Kadyrov standing at his shoulder. (Akhmat sila!) … …

Anyway - this thread should have probably include a mention of Udo Ulfkotte?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Apr 4 2023 15:54 utc | 23

My understanding was that the reporter was following up a suggestion that Russian tank production wass grinding to a halt owing to a shortage of vital but sanctioned parts. And that, in consequence men has been laid off and shifts dropped in the Ekaterinaburg plant.

It was this which led our intrepid reporter, of Russian origin (perhaps even citizenship) and an Israeli passport, to ask, first the local Duma member about the plant and then, after having been told that the information was classified and could not be shared (by the aforesaid legislator), other locals including members of Ekaterinaburg's proletariat (famous for having insisted on the killing of the Tsar and his family) whether, in fact, as Rupert Murdoch (formerly of Oxford University's Socialist Club) hoped tank production had dipped-as a result of EU sanctions.

Quite what his qualifications-as a reporter- are I am uncertain. Nor would I regard it as important- a 'Degree' in Journalism being the sign of a misspent youth- except that the anti Assange crowd insists that he is not a 'proper journalist on the sort of grounds that, translated to the domestic sphere would prove that your mother was not a 'proper wife' because she hadn't served an apprenticeship in a brothel.
We know that Gershkovitch has served an apprenticeship in a brothel but not how he got the job-was it looks alone?
John Helmer suggests that he could be exchanged for Assange. If he is he will have done some good in his life.

Note: I see that Paul Greenwood has supplied most of the missing information on this crusader for truth's background- he seems to have spent most of his adult life drifting from one brothel to another. If he isn't a CIA asset I will eat my hat.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 4 2023 15:57 utc | 24

I love the name, incidentally, Evan, as in Evan Evanovitch no doubt.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 4 2023 16:02 utc | 25

14 - You are right about Gonzalez. There was a brief flurry of interest about the case, then nothing. I thought he might have been quietly released, as sometimes happens, but he is still being held.

Posted by: Waldorf | Apr 4 2023 16:02 utc | 26

thanks b...

how is it going with the west releasing assange anyway?? opps - he revealed the wrong states, state secrets!! i notice a parallel here, and a huge bit of hypocrisy too... this evan guy got caught with his pants down... do a trade - assange for this evan guy.... see how that flies with those freedom loving bastards..

as for the bimbo who gave the bomb to the trepova - she is now between a rock and a hard place... she's toast..

Posted by: james | Apr 4 2023 16:06 utc | 27

The entrance to a major Lockheed Martin shop in Orlando, Florida was accidentally entered by a tourist. It probably occurs frequently as the shop is located within the International Drive tourism district. Numerous and closely situated crossroads with on and off ramps make the congested area difficult to navigate.

A driver can accidentally find himself at the security guardhouse where he is instructed in a most unfriendly manner to turn around.

Lockheed is the beneficiary of the largest US Mil contracts in the millions of dollars.

It would be difficult for a reporter to gain access without prior approval, for example.

It would seem likely that similar high security would be employed at Russian facilities.

I am imagining that the reporter dude was hawking people as the left the facility.

Hard to do with people driving cars. Maybe catch them at a bus stop.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Apr 4 2023 16:07 utc | 28

Re: Balloon
Posted by: Eddie S | Apr 4 2023 15:30 utc | 21

Just yesterday:

"Balloon was able to..." - We all understand, I think.

Posted by: Tapio | Apr 4 2023 16:10 utc | 29

The Irish PM was US sycophant last week. So pathetic.

Though it was entertaining and refreshing to hear some fine rebukes of US FP from a pair of African state leaders.

Posted by: Chaka Khagan | Apr 4 2023 16:13 utc | 30

No English-language Wikipedia entry on Gonzalez. This is the Spanish-language one. It says he was born in the USSR in 1982, the grandson of a Spanish Republican who emigrated to the Soviet Union after the Nationalists won the Civil War. Gonzalez returned to the Basque Country at the age of nine.

Posted by: Waldorf | Apr 4 2023 16:17 utc | 31

If say for example I had a sum of money riding on an assumption, namely that of whether he was spying or not then I would have to put that cash squarely on the YES button. Why!? Because the Mockin’Bird perception management matrix is broad, deep, and there is very little they don’t stick their fingers into.

I would expect even more distractions, sabotage as we ramp up to the vaunted HailMary offensive. Looking at History Legends analysis I’d say something is going to happen. 80k worth of troops massing up, and some likely vectors of attack will make for interesting times.

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 4 2023 16:18 utc | 32

What type of break is that?
You deserve, and very likely need a real vacation, a fortnight at least!
Health and safety first, prevent rather than cure! We unfortunately cannot take care of you if you get ill, but we would be happy to wait and many of us can suggest good options and places to heal the mind and forget the world noise.

Posted by: Biochar | Apr 4 2023 16:20 utc | 33

"Democracy has become a weapon of moneyed interests. It uses the media to create the illusion that there is consent from the governed. The press today is an army with carefully organized weapons, the journalists its officers, the readers its soldiers. The reader neither knows nor is supposed to know the purposes for which he is used and the role he is to play. The notion of democracy is often no different than living under a plutocracy or a government by wealthy elites."

Oswald Spengler

Posted by: Jonathan W | Apr 4 2023 16:32 utc | 34

“Mr Carter, If the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough.”

Citizen Kane

Posted by: Jonathan W | Apr 4 2023 16:43 utc | 35

"Gershovitch", huh? Rhymes with Lubovitch ...

Gersho vitch.
Gersh stein.
Gersh baum.
Gersh ...

Always one of these weird Khazars ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Apr 4 2023 16:44 utc | 36


no idea how the ballon could manoevra several times to collect info unless it had an engine...any proof?
15 years ago in Crimea it was illegal just to take a photo of a railway station I was just passing through.. you gotta be very very careful.I just like trains.

Danilov is going to quickly develop more schizophrenia after todays announcements that Russia is starting to fall apart and China will take Siberia...and what Ukraine will do in Crimea after the demolish the bridge...eject anyone who arrived after 2014.....etc etc

Daily Mail UK ..bit of an interesting article re UK National Cyber Defence
how they operate...have a look. Interfering...dissipating...misdirection.. trying to persuade etc etc.....maybe a whole lot more he aint'telling....

Posted by: Jo | Apr 4 2023 16:45 utc | 37

Chaka Khagan@30
But then there are MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace.
They might be a sign of what is coming next. The significant thong is that the Irish government is a coalition of the two cheeks of Old Ireland's arse-Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.
It had to be because the Independents and Sinn Fein almost won the last general election- they might win the next.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 4 2023 16:49 utc | 38


spriter99880 a reliable guy says Stolten twit says in the future IUjraine will be offered membership but not of Nato..,?Failed state membership maybe ...terrorist state membership ..former countries club that used to exist..certainly bankruptcy club..etc ..any more ideas?

Posted by: Jo | Apr 4 2023 16:51 utc | 39

Good to have you back b!

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Apr 4 2023 16:55 utc | 40

@29 Tapio
Thanks. Sounds like the US is claiming the balloon was an eves dropping device, which I suppose is possible, but nowadays I am always VERY skeptical of US ‘intelligence’ and military reporting, especially when it concerns an official ‘enemy’.

Posted by: Eddie S | Apr 4 2023 17:01 utc | 41

from b's warrior/grifter link

It is really difficult to say that one is a "journalist", when one is caught with special equipment, in Russia they believe it is of NSA, not of CIA, origin, especially when depositing this equipment into hidden place not far from serious military plant. This is now between FSB and appropriate intel organizations in the US. Blinken can demand whatever he wants, but he was politely told by Lavrov to go pound sand.

i went on a brief exploratory after WSJ guy got busted near Russia's largest tank/missile plant understanding how important Russia's weapons production rate was. looked at the maps, googled the directions to Nizhny Tagil etc. what a colossal failure of intelligence.

Posted by: annie | Apr 4 2023 17:03 utc | 42

Global Times has produced a curious article, "US military is becoming a dove, as career soldiers know real American capabilities", that argues General Milley is trying to drown out "journalists" and politicos' constant calls for war against China:

"When American elites who have never fought in a war are obsessed with talking out loud about a military showdown, Milley remains sober. He is well aware that it is not journalists nor politicians who will have to fight on the front lines. And he knows it is not in the US' interest to actually fight a war against China. For a career military personnel, it is more important to boost deterrence than actually joining a hot war."

The writer's argument then moves on to this next point:

"That's the reason for ceaseless US arms sales to the Taiwan island - the US is not preparing to fight China; it is preparing Taiwan island to fight the Chinese mainland. The US won't willingly sacrifice itself to help Taiwan secessionist forces, but it is willing to fight a proxy war, using the Taiwan island as a consumable or a pawn."

We've seen similar op/eds coming from China. IMO, Martyanov would blast this writer for the same reasons he blasts those from the West as this one clearly didn't do any research into the actual power of the US military, which currently and for several years now is very poor and worsening despite the almost trillion dollar budget--er, fraud--being wasted on it. Yes, Taiwan is being used as a pawn, but the real reason the Outlaw US Empire won't intervene is because it can't because it's too woeful, and Milley knows that all too well but can't admit it overtly, so he employs other rhetoric.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:05 utc | 43

Today's Global Times editorial lands a huge virtual egg onto Joe Biden's face, "This software reveals true color of ‘Summit for Democracy’":

In the just concluded so-called Summit for Democracy, US President Joe Biden, as the host, declared that a coalition will be formed to combat governments "who misuse surveillance technologies for repression." He also used an executive order that prohibits the US government's use of commercial spyware as a prominent example of the US' leadership in strengthening "democracy," portraying the US as the "defender" of global cyberspace.

However, when Washington's facade is still fresh and new, the New York Times on Sunday published an article about the US government's secret use of spyware from the Israeli firm NSO Group, which once again completely exposes the US' true nature as a fake defender of global cyberspace....

Of course, this [The Truth] does not prevent the US from putting on an enthusiastic performance at the "Summit for Democracy," nor does it prevent many Americans from constantly hyping the so-called Chinese hackers issue and shifting attention by slandering other countries. However, from the PRISM scandal to Bvp47 and Dirty COW to Irritant Horn and MUSCULAR project, the "moral" banner raised by Washington is riddled with holes. The image that Washington has left in the eyes of the world is already that of a "false preacher" who shouts slogans louder and pulls the bottom line lower. [My Emphasis]

I'd classify that as a Howler that puts the WSJ spy issue into the proper perspective. It's the Empire of Lies for well documented reasons.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:16 utc | 44

@ karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:05 utc | 43

Same as it ever was ... MIC corruption run amok & farcking ChickenHawks!

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 4 2023 17:16 utc | 45

Outraged @44--

Thanks for your reply. I have another item I tried to post from the same source but Typepad is blocking it from appearing. I'll try again after this.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:18 utc | 46

scottindallas | Apr 4 2023 15:22 utc | 18

No deal, Bojo wants Odessa. UK has been preparing to open naval bases in Ukr after 2014, the plan was only delayed. They probably wait for more war zones to be started, like Georgia, Moldova, a little invasion from little Duda, some terrorist actions from Finland and Baltics, Erdo or his replacement to open Black Sea again. The idea that Odessa will join Russia seemed to be just clickbait from the talking clowns of youtube. It would be a good idea but there's no army to do it and no political will.

Posted by: rk | Apr 4 2023 17:21 utc | 47

Well, removing link, then removing potential tripwire content didn't work and posting the comment is still blocked. I'll just say it's the main editorial from today's Global Times and leave it at that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:26 utc | 48

Just wondering what the US authorities would’ve done if some Russian journalist from RT or RIA or Tass was poking about outside Langley or an off limits US military complex base asking questions, would he/ she be arrested and charged with spying? Or would they have been invited in and offered a cup of coffee and had all their questions answered?

Just a thought.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Apr 4 2023 17:36 utc | 49

@ karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:26 utc | 47

This ? Uploaded it to

OP-ED This software reveals true color of 'Summit for Democracy': Global Times editorial GlobalTimes,

The image that Washington has left in the eyes of the world is already that of a "false preacher" who shouts slogans louder and pulls the bottom line lower.


Posted by: Outraged | Apr 4 2023 17:40 utc | 50

BTW — what was the outcome of the U.S.’ examination of the Chinese balloon that was shot down. I haven’t noticed any screaming headlines that it was confirmed to be a ‘spy balloon’, so I get the distinct impression that it was just a weather balloon, but I haven’t seen/heard anything lately here in the US..

Posted by: Eddie S | Apr 4 2023 15:30 utc | 20

Most media organisations seem to be running with the notion that the "Spy balloon sent data to China in real time" Link: BBC which is very convenient and could mean that they didn't recover any actual data from it. Multiple reports seems to be referencing the NBC report as the source.

Link: DonbassDevushka

Posted by: SattaMassaGana | Apr 4 2023 17:41 utc | 51

WTF indeed on reality detachment.

Posted by: jpc | Apr 4 2023 17:45 utc | 52

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 17:26 utc | 47

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 4 2023 17:40 utc | 49

Even if it isn't the editorial that karlof1 was speaking of, the very fact that....

"Many media outlets, including the New York Times, have reported that the "Five Eyes Alliance" is considered by NSO as its largest potential market, and it is highly likely that they have already cooperated. As China has become the main target of the "Five Eyes Alliance" in recent years, we have reason to suspect that it will use Pegasus to spy on China. Given the US' consistent style, we can only speculate on the worst-case scenario regarding its bottom line."

Not too difficult to link this with Gershkovich's behaviour. CIA/NSA same same.

Posted by: Digital Spartacus | Apr 4 2023 17:50 utc | 53

@karlof1, do you mean this one?

This software reveals true color of ‘Summit for Democracy’: Global Times editorial

Posted by: Zet | Apr 4 2023 17:53 utc | 54

Kurt Nimmo's substack:

"Ukraine and seven other European nations are attempting to shut down information on the internet and social media that does not conform to a fantasy narrative obscuring the truth about the war in Ukraine....

"...The war narrative of the “collective West” is built on lies, exaggeration, propaganda, uncorroborated allegation, and fantasy yarns spun by the Zelenskyy regime.

"For instance, the absurd accusation that a broken chimney pipe on a building near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was a Russian rocket. Or more pernicious, that the racist and nazified Azov Battalion is a cadre of freedom fighters, the same as the Taliban during the Reagan regime were freedom fighters (instead of medieval misogynists and religious fanatics).

From Reuters:

"In an open letter signed by their respective prime ministers, the countries said tech platforms, such as Meta's Facebook, should take concrete steps such as rejecting payments from sanctioned individuals and altering algorithms to promote accuracy over engagement by users."

"For the prime ministers of Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (all NATO members except Ukraine and Moldova), truthful reporting—or facts contrary to the fantasy narrative—must be squashed by algorithms.

"Propaganda and lies surrounding what is happening in Ukraine—led by the obvious and refutable lie Ukraine is winning the war—are to be protected and upheld by Europe’s Digital Services Act (DSA)..."

It didn't take these "captive nations" long to make the Soviet Union's information policy look like a mosel of liberalism and openness.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 4 2023 17:54 utc | 55

Oops, Outraged beat me :)

Posted by: Zet | Apr 4 2023 17:54 utc | 56

Regardless of the target, setting off a powerful explosive in a restaurant hosting a public talk is by definition an act of terrorism, and Grozev’s blithe justifications do little more than underline the overall lack of quality in his intellectual and moral dimensions.

Speaking of propaganda networks, the concentric circles in the West extend to major film festivals and awards ceremonies. The Academy Awards documentary categories have in recent years celebrated “independent” productions focused on White Helmets, Hong Kong protesters, and this year Russian dissidents - in a project whose director knew nothing of the topic before filming began:

"(“Navalny” director) Roher was in Ukraine in the fall of 2020, working on another sensitive project that led the government there to ask him to leave. (He declined to specify the details.) The Canadian director resettled in Austria while contemplating his next moves. Then he heard from Bulgharian journalist Christo Grozev, a collaborator on the Ukraine project, about the possibility of directing a documentary on Navalny in Germany while he recovered from the government’s attempt to poison him."

Posted by: jayc | Apr 4 2023 17:59 utc | 57

@ Zet | Apr 4 2023 17:54 utc | 55
Zalright Baba Looey, Zalright. ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 4 2023 18:04 utc | 58

Declan Hayes at Strategic Culture today on Kiev’s Kristallnacht.
All the eloquence of a true believer-

"..Here, for example, is RTÉ, Ireland’s state-funded broadcaster, describing the main suspect in Tatarsky’s murder (killing, as they euphemistically call it) as an “anti-war protester”. In their mutilation of the English language, the BBC and its clones echo Kiev’s knuckle-dragging online trolls and show themselves to be nothing more than Banderite thugs with privileged backgrounds, plum accents and the moral compasses of sewer rats. It is because of these NATO Lord Haw-Haws that we craved bloggers like Tatarsky, so we might have some idea of what is happening in Ukraine and why our own hotels are full of military-aged Ukrainian parasites, who want for nothing..."

Posted by: bevin | Apr 4 2023 18:10 utc | 59

"..Then he heard from Bulgarian journalist Christo Grozev, a collaborator on the Ukraine project, about the possibility of directing a documentary on Navalny in Germany while he recovered from the government’s attempt to poison him."

Christo Grozev, where have we heard that name before?

Posted by: bevin | Apr 4 2023 18:14 utc | 60

The government has provided over £25m to organisations targeting “disinformation”, some of which are directed by former members of the British and US foreign policy establishment and are focused overwhelmingly on official enemies.

checkout DeclassifiedUK website

Posted by: Jo | Apr 4 2023 18:14 utc | 61

Please do all of us here a big favor, b, and never arrange a specific time and place where you’ll be talking to ‘your followers’ in person. That was his first and biggest mistake. We can read you just fine without any need to talk in person.

Posted by: Dalit | Apr 4 2023 18:21 utc | 62

The arrest shows that Moscow is “increasingly treating the United States as an open belligerent in a war against Russia,” according to George Beebe of the Quincy Institute, who previously led Russia analysis at the CIA.

What can one say about the above other than that these people suffer from an incurable case of self-awareness deficit?

Posted by: nwwoods | Apr 4 2023 18:23 utc | 63

Most of the commentators assume Ukraine's interests are identical with the interests of Zelenskiy and his Bandera Nazis. It's obvious that US-NAYOYO hope to give Russians a destroyed Ukraine. A Ukraine in which the most industrialized, most urbanized, most valuable, most Russian areas are levelled under indiscriminate warfare. Continuing the war is in Zelenskiy's interest if he really wants to retire to a lovely Florida condo with his corruptions well paid for and secure in a Swiss bank account.

Ukrainians fled Ukraine since 2014 as joining the AFU is suicidal. They didn't and won't die for corrupt oligarchs or fight with Bandera Nazis. More than 10 million Ukrainians have left the country because they clearly understand the treacherous and illegitimate nature of this war. The Ukrainians who fled West will never be allowed to return as they are considered terrorism supporters by loyal, honest Ukranians.

Posted by: Ricardo2000 | Apr 4 2023 18:36 utc | 64

If Gershkovic was intent upon interviewing workers leaving the tank assembly plant, then perhaps the FSB arranged to have several agents pose as workers and proactively participate in these interviews. If so, they could potentially steer the questioning by the way in which they answered. If Gershkovic came to believe that he had a willing source with a loose tongue, he might have pushed too far in his questioning and delved into topics that were clearly off-limits. Fish meet hook.

Posted by: TomA | Apr 4 2023 18:37 utc | 65

If he is getting classified details of tank manufacture, or artillery manufacture, or ammo production, then it does not really matter if he does it for the CIA or a newspaper. It is still "spying." The US treats it the same. Try getting classified details of the armor on US tanks or the nuclear reactors of USN ships, and see they won't care who you say you are working for.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Apr 4 2023 18:42 utc | 66

It is illegal for the CIA to enlist U.S. journalists to work for them.
Hmmm.....and the CIA never breaks U.S. Law.
This journalist is east of the Urals, clearly knowing the U.S. is at war with Russia, yet he is snooping around Russian Industrial/Military areas.
Yes, sir, I'm convinced the guy is innocent. Hey, did I tell you about the bridge I have for sale ?

Posted by: kupkee | Apr 4 2023 18:47 utc | 67

Bernhard, your very first link in the story is defective, and I think it should be this:

Posted by: Rowan | Apr 4 2023 18:49 utc | 68

It's quiet possible CIA is no more hiring journalists.

It's easear to make a CIA agent by hired by MSM :)

Posted by: Sebgo | Apr 4 2023 18:53 utc | 69

Posted by: scottindallas | Apr 4 2023 15:14 utc | 12
But the arrest under plausible grounds should also be seen as a way to compel a meeting with US SoS or high ministers of state, as yet another way to open discussions.
Blinken did call Lavrov to complain.

Lavrov reminded him politely that this was an internal jurisprudence issue, i.e. quit interfering with the business of a sovereign state.

Not business for high ministers of state.

Posted by: Acco Hengst | Apr 4 2023 18:57 utc | 70

Jerry Westerby, an English reporter in some of the works of John Le Carré, is an asset of the "Circus" or British intelligence. Although a fictional character, the author knew that world well. Things do not end well for Westerby.

Posted by: Waldorf | Apr 4 2023 18:59 utc | 71

Yes to both Outraged & Zet. Thanks!

I know Unz Review links are often blocked, but it currently has the transcript of the interview Danny Haiphong did with Hudson a few days ago, the video being here

Appended at the end of the transcript is a further though Hudson gave to one of the questions discussed:

After reading the transcript, I have thought through my answer to the extent to which the U.S. Government’s antagonism toward Russia is based on economic interest beyond the obviously personal animosity to Russia as an independent nation and even as a culture, given the banning of Russian musicians, athletes, composers and art.

Now that I’ve had some time to think about this problem, even if financial institutions don’t benefit from the New Cold War directly, what is at stake on a broad systemic level is today’s U.S.-centered finance capitalism and its control of world trade and investment. that control is now threatened by other countries being driven out of the U.S.-European system. But it need not have isolated the U.S. banks and economy from the rest of the world. That is a result of the amazingly short-sighted U.S. grab of Russia’s $300+ billion financial assets in the West.

So we are back with the idea the Cold War 2.0 really is self-destructing the geopolitical range of U.S. finance capitalism. It was quixotic to imagine that the U.S. really could defeat Russia and China, carve them up and treat their carcass in the way that U.S. strategists have treated Germany and the rest of NATO Europe.

All one can say is that the unrealistic U.S. foreign policy is the geopolitical equivalent of fictitious capital.

I expect the transcript will soon appear at Hudson's website, but as of now it isn't. Yes, it's a long interview, and yes it covers much that's been covered before, but IMO it's still required reading/listening.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 4 2023 18:59 utc | 72

Well western journalists are all in working with the government. They reckon the fourth estate is a branch.

Posted by: Neofeudalfuture | Apr 4 2023 19:13 utc | 73

I read the Martyanov piece b cited ending up with nothing but contempt for the fat sofa strategist Martyanov and his pointless rants.

And I disagree to b that Maxim Fomin was a "grifter". A warrior, maybe, at least a very partisan war correspondent who took a lot of risks daily travelling the frontlines. It is true that he was inflicted in crime in his 20s for which he ended up in jail in Donezk. He then took the opportunity to volunteer for the DNM and excelled in combat performance and bravery. At the end of his service he handed himself back to jail despite the advice of comrades and friends to hide and apply for pardon. He was later pardoned and acquitted by the late DNR leader Alexandr Sacharchenko.

Nothing of that warrants to call him a criminal, but quite much warrants to call Martyanov a lowlife. One may or may not agree to the patriotic bloggers. Fomin/Tatarsky, btw. politically endorsed the ways and thoughts of anarchist Nestor Machno, but cooperated with other milbloggers, among them communists like Boris Roshin (Colonel Cassad), and conservatives like Danili Beszonov, or "mainstreamers" like RIA voenkors Shilov and Kharchenko. When the Saker, another sofa warrior in safe circumstances, blasts those people as "sixth column" (does he?) it does not tell a lot about them but about the attackers.

Btw., all the correspondents mentioned above support collections of weapons, equipment, uniforms, drones, and vehicles for the SMO forces, the Donbass national militias in particular. They are also collecting money for that, and publish about their funds and its usage. One may or may not endorse such patriotic activities, but badmouthing and slandering them is inappropriate to say the least.

For me, it was the last time I read or listened to anything from Martyanov.

Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 4 2023 19:20 utc | 74

Welcome back B. I hope u r well rested and ready to tackle the scrum again!

Posted by: Jo Dominich | Apr 4 2023 19:21 utc | 75

Odd. Tass pic of Darya Trepova shows (presumably) her wearing a Maine sweatshirt. 🤷

Posted by: Mary | Apr 4 2023 19:22 utc | 76

Biochar @ 33

I wholly agree.
Please take it easy b.
Having said that, another fine piece of journalism.
Suggest you ration your efforts and go fishing of something, sort of sandwich time wise. Eg 2 days work 3 days off plus weekends. You can do quiet thinking whilst watching the float.
Cheers, Oldengineer

Posted by: Oldengineer | Apr 4 2023 19:28 utc | 77

Like most of the factoids which transit these forums, this story and b's response are a just a party balloon. A simple elastic device inflated with gas that bobs around amusingly and won't last.

Observe this story from first principles.

Russia's track record of state controlled Orwellian arrests is such standard operating procedure that's it's part of the cultural character of a land known for sending political detainees to Siberia by the trainload. After 9/11 in U.S. just taking pictures of infrastructure was considered a terrorist threat, so who knows what Russia's definition-du-jour of espionage might be. They're at war, so it's gonna be weird. But that's modern Russia. (What's worth wondering today is after modern Russia, where is post-modern Russia? For a example of post-modern , take a look at the 2023 Chinese TV sci-fi series Three Body, based on the Hugo-award-winning trilogy by Liu Cixin. You may be amazed to see a new China in contortions trying to dump Mao's Cultural Revolution down the memory hole. Also see Adam Curtis's 6-part documentary Can't Get You Out of My Head for a huge backstory on Jiang Qing.)

Re the point of "1977 law banning CIA recruitment": What does recruit mean in context? The point is meaningless. What are all the ways that journalists can work for the CIA? WaPo's confidence that its employee is not a stringer should be read as: WaPo knows when employees are stringers. HR: we keep records and he's not on those books.

There's nothing special here. This is just how the ordinary game works.

It's already documented on these forums that CiA has a history since 1970s of open engagement of the press to seed it with stories. The U.S. Presscorps at highest level of the Whitehouse is understood to be pay-to-play, where information is dumped into the 4th Estate to service policy. F'ing Edward Bernays and Walter Lippman.

What does U.S. intelligence mean in context of b's post? State owned? State directed? Private U.S. firm?

Intelligence is telling people what to think, not gathering facts on the ground. "Reality Based Community".

It's like this stupid Republican outage over a Chinese espionage balloon. A political class seize upon any factoid to create a fantasy for internecine bickering and trough feeding.

Is it espionage? As Bill Clinton famously testified: It depends on what the definition of 'is' is. Or Ronald Reagan: "My heart tells me we didn't not trade arms for hostages, but the record says otherwise." — I don't recall I don't recall I don't recall... People ate that shiite up!

Switching tracks...

Most of the dialog on these forums is tragic fantasy and conjecture, guided by b's thought ballons.

I'm at a total loss for all the cheering for Russia here and the denunciation of others pov as trolls.

If you are in the U.S. rooting for Russia to prevail in Ukraine because you hate your own government, you are an imbecile to history and standing on the corpses due to your own failures as a society.

Russia can only dream of such thought control. Their media is so primitive they still have to load reporters on trains and send them to Siberia, or if they're too well-known on the webs, blow them up with little statues.

I'm open to the idea that the world may have things to learn from Russia or China, but the pragmatic mechanisms for a free society is not in the set of those things!

The grace of b's posts is the attempt to up-level media literacy of western conservatives. In 1990 it would be considered great work. If you are an ex-Republican you may find b's takes fresh and illuminating because you're so totally conditioned to Fox News. And if you are a Republican who stands apart from Murdoch, sorry about your entire party going into the shitter.

If someone are hoping to find a way forward that doesn't require catastrophe there's nothing here. Half the posts convey a latent or overt wish for armageddon. When does "I sure hope this doesn't end in nuclear war" mean "I'm excited to see what happens during a nuclear war" Given the number of Americans I know who think having a gun will save them from others with a gun, armageddon is on the table!

In the U.S., Republicans and libertarians can look in the mirror at the abject failure of Conservatism to provide a decent government, where neo-liberalism is a State-sponsored expression of U.S. conservatism.

Today the meaningful concerns are what we can do in our democracies to influence policy to improve life for others, under the weight of notorious corruption. Russia maybe can teach us what it feels like to have your cultural back broken and turn corruption as a step up.

Looking the Russians to explain it to the world is cray-cray. They're still trying to recover from the internal calamity of the collapse of the USSR.

Posted by: Arrnon | Apr 4 2023 19:38 utc | 78

73 - He lives in the States and I understand he is a US citizen. I do wonder what his "deal" is. He never mentions having problems with the US authorities, yet you would think a fiery partisan of Russia dwelling on US soil might encounter problems. But perhaps it is all a shell game of some kind...

Posted by: Waldorf | Apr 4 2023 19:39 utc | 79

For the fat pig Martyanov and his admires. Old Romans waited until one was buried. You, disgusting pig, comfortably sitting in the USA, relieved your dirty bowels instantly after Mr. Fomin murder.

Posted by: Josef Schweik | Apr 4 2023 19:42 utc | 80

Posted by: Arrnon | Apr 4 2023 19:38 utc | 76
i didn't make it past your first point.

look at stats for prison population, just for starters, mr gulag.

how many people are in solitary confinement in the US? more than all the rest of the world combined?

it has NEVER been different. you've just been deceived your entire life.

now grow up.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 4 2023 19:47 utc | 81

Re: This ridiculousness - Re the point of "1977 law banning CIA recruitment": What does recruit mean in context? The point is meaningless. What are all the ways that journalists can work for the CIA? WaPo's confidence that its employee is not a stringer should be read as: WaPo knows when employees are stringers. HR: we keep records and he's not on those books.

There's nothing special here. This is just how the ordinary game works.

For one thing, who ever mentioned Washington Post? b's article didn't even contain embedded hyperlinks to WaPo articles.

Did we mean the WSJ? Because I seriously doubt they have full control over whether one of their "reporters" wants to or is able to work for the CIA in a bit of a "side gig."

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 4 2023 19:52 utc | 82

78 - "Martyanov's shitted trousers were lost in the vortex of the Special Military Operation" (Paraphrase of quote from "The Good Soldier Svejk").

Posted by: Waldorf | Apr 4 2023 19:52 utc | 83

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 4 2023 19:47 utc | 79

And it speaks of total information control and us not being able to see beyond it. LOL

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 4 2023 19:53 utc | 84

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are forced to retreat behind the Bakhmut railway station, due to difficulties with logistics and heavy fighting, over the past three days we have lost 10% of the city. Russian troops in Bakhmut are constantly creating semi-coverages of areas in order to encircle Ukrainian units, in order to prevent this, the command is forced to give an order to withdraw from their positions.

The enemy uses Bakhmut's tactical encirclement to prevent the Armed Forces of Ukraine from calmly bringing reserves into the city and supplying the BC grouping.
The Bakhmut "meat grinder" continues to devour reserves on an industrial scale. Moreover, elite units are thrown under Bakhmut, which are actually "grinded", and the forces of the Russian Federation inflict serious blows on the dispositions of troops, communication centers. But the Office of the President cannot refuse the senseless defense of Bakhmut - the image of Zelensky and his entire team, who have been instilling a message to the population about the impregnability of the settlement for months, is at stake.

It is noteworthy that the current situation drew attention in Europe. So, in the publication Exxpress they note that "the fall of Bakhmut is not only a military defeat, but also a blow to Ukrainian propaganda."

“The news from Bakhmut will also become a serious marketing problem for the Ukrainian president: after all, Volodymyr Zelensky did not get tired of repeating for weeks that the “Bakhmut fortress” continues to be held by the Ukrainian army, including in order to strengthen the optimism of the Western allies regarding the further course of the struggle. Optimism reigned in Kiev, and he tried to instill the same dubious "faith" in the West.

Now, the outcome of the battle, despite numerous attempts by Ukraine to hold the city, seems a foregone conclusion: only the western outskirts of Bakhmut are still held by Ukrainian troops, as military experts write in their Telegram channels," they emphasize in Express.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 4 2023 20:01 utc | 85

Posted by: Arrnon | Apr 4 2023 19:38 utc | 76

Your rant full of straw men, projection, incorrect opinions about many of the people's opinions who post here, interspersed with some obvious truths made me think of this article from Patrick Lawrence posted this afternoon at Consortium News.

The sub-headline lede reads: For Americans, admitting that people in other parts of the world have and want different things from what they have and want can, in its subtle way, be devastating to their view of the world.

I suggest you read the rest.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 4 2023 20:03 utc | 86

I read the Martyanov piece b cited ending up with nothing but contempt for the fat sofa strategist Martyanov and his pointless rants. Posted by: aquadraht | Apr 4 2023 19:20 utc | 73

Agree! Expat Martyanov is a pompous elitist intellectual who has nothing but contempt for the unwashed Russian working class Deplorables in the LDNR militias who have been fighting and dying for their freedom against terrible odds since 2014. Yes, the people of Donetsk do not worship the Russian General Staff as gods. Maybe the fact that the shelling of their cities continues more than 400 days into the SMO has something to do with that? The DPR tank corps alone has suffered 80% losses during the conflict since 2014. Vladlen Tartarsky (yes, a nom de plume, same as 'Mark Twain' - so what?) was a warrior and patriot par excellence. Martyanov is an expat author with a comfortable existence in Seattle who is constantly requesting financial contributions from his audience. Who is the grifter?

Posted by: Drifter | Apr 4 2023 20:06 utc | 87

⚡️Trepova and the WSJ journalist are defended by the same lawyer, Daniil Berman.

Трепову и журналиста WSJ защищает один и тот же адвокат – Даниил Берман.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 4 2023 20:09 utc | 88

Donbass Devushka@PeImeniPusha
Trepova and the WSJ journalist are defended by the same lawyer, Daniil Berman.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 4 2023 20:11 utc | 89

Afshin Rattansi@afshinrattansi
Russia state-affiliated media
REPORTS: Darya Trepova charged with assassinating journalist Vladlen Tatarsky/Maksim Fomin in allegedNavalny group-linked terrorist attack on St Petersburg cafe will be defended by same lawyer defending suspected US intel asset for Murdoch Wall Street Journal, Evan Gershkovich.

Posted by: Down South | Apr 4 2023 20:16 utc | 90

Posted by: Arrnon | Apr 4 2023 19:38 utc | 76

The American prison system is massive. So massive that its estimated turnover of $74 billion eclipses the GDP of 133 nations.

how many black kids will Russian cops shoot today? oh wait, Russia doesn't have any black people so they don't have to deal with "black pathology"...until an American shows up, that is...Griner, puff puff cough cough...(no, MJ should not illegal anywhere, but different topic)

all right, how many people will Russian cops shoot today?

"we don't do body counts" is the US creed.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 4 2023 20:31 utc | 91

Posted by: Arrnon | Apr 4 2023 19:38 utc | 76
only India and China spend more on their MILITARIES than the US does on its goddam PRISON system.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Apr 4 2023 20:34 utc | 92

@karlof1, #47:

Is this the link you tried to post?

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 4 2023 20:45 utc | 93

LOL! Never mind. Many barflies have posted the same link I did @90. Just didn't read far down enough before responding to karlof1's posting :-)

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Apr 4 2023 20:49 utc | 94

Good to see you back in top form b...

Meanwhile back in Australia Assange is out of sight and out of mind. Utterly utterly shameful.

One day our PM, Anthony Onhisnese will owe an explanation to us about govt inaction on Assange—an Australian citizen held by an ally without charge for 4 years.

Posted by: Patroklos | Apr 4 2023 20:50 utc | 95

CIA not using journalists as spies? Pull the other one! It has bells attached.

Even the USSA bollywood casting couch Film studios made a parody film back in the mid 1980s. The USSA CIA intelligence agents in the Soviet "fire Chain 2" zone. Whose task was to capture a wandering mobile ICBM launcher. Were either fake NGO doctors or foreign correspondents.

With the arrival of the then brand new cutting edge undersea telegraph cables. Journalists and all foreign correspondents including Winnie Churchill. Were actually foreign undercover spies. Even the all the dime cold war spy novels used the same cliched fact as well. As spy bosses say when your on a good thing "Stick to it" like flypaper.

Posted by: Bad Deal Motors On | Apr 4 2023 20:52 utc | 96

RE: The CIA - Not like this is news to anyone here, but if I had to name the agency that breaks the most laws, with total impunity, with complete opacity and with zero regard for human lives, American or otherwise, it's the one based in Langley. Doing away with that agency would go a long way to solve a lot of problems the world over, but (and yeah, yeah, I know there is some controversy surrounding the quote in question) smashing it into a thousand pieces and scattering it to the wind will also get you killed by a magic bullet if you're in position to actually do so.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 4 2023 21:00 utc | 97

Sacred cows are falling, first it was the Colonel, then The Saker and now Martyanov, of course none of them can be compared to Vecherny VladlEn who will be missed for a sharp, passioned but very rational analysis and sitreps from all along a thousand mile front plus trips to Russia proper and its big cities. True he served time, just like Prigozhin did, but that is the people that contained the storm prepared by all of NATO during at least eight years at full intensity. I would not change for a second the above mentioned english language sources for Tatarsky or Prigozhin. May he rest in peace, a Donbass hero that will be in good company, with Givi, Motorola, Zakharchenko and others, take note, fallen not in the battle field but victims of terrorist attacks. Terrorists, those are the guys our governments are supporting, to be deeply ashamed.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 4 2023 21:00 utc | 98

Anyway - this thread should have probably include a mention of Udo Ulfkotte?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Apr 4 2023 15:54 utc | 23

Absolutely! Doing so would immediately dispel George Beebe's assertion
that a 1977 law banned CIA recruitment of journalists

Posted by: ianMoone | Apr 4 2023 21:06 utc | 99

Not really sure where to put this question, maybe in the Week in Review O/T - haven't checked to see if it's being discussed there, but if not, what do people think about the Finland news?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 4 2023 21:07 utc | 100

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