fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
Who would've thought that posing with an axe, or lying in the bath-tub covered in noodles, or against the background of dead animals would help you hook up with a partner? Seems like these Russian girls have found the way! They must've realized that there's a buyer for every commodity. Just imagine these buyers!

A handful of specimens )
abomvubuso: (Groovy Kol)
[personal profile] abomvubuso
"Lately, Russia appears to be coming at the United States from all kinds of contradictory angles. Russian bots amplified Donald Trump during the campaign, but in office, Kremlin-backed media portray him as weak. Vladimir Putin is expelling U.S. diplomats from Russia, limiting options for warmer relations with the administration he wanted in place. As Congress pushes a harder line against Russia, plenty of headlines declare that Putin’s gamble on Trump has failed. Confused? Only if you don’t understand the Gerasimov Doctrine"...

, as Molly McKew points out in her article at Politico.

In a nutshell, Gerasimov adopted some Soviet tactics from the Cold War, then adjusted them to the modern realities, and developed a new theory of modern warfare which resembles hacking the enemy society rather than an all-out assault. It's part of the new fad in geopolitics that we call Asymmetric Warfare. You invest little resources, but cause a lot of damage and confusion behind enemy lines. Without firing a single bullet. Sound neat?

Read more... )
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[personal profile] fridi
While the world was looking in dismay at Trump's umpteenth muscle-flexing statement that inflamed the tensions in various conflict areas like Korea, Afghanistan or Iran, the US were still busy, exporting shale gas to Europe. The purpose of the whole exercise is well-known of course: to break Russia's dominance at the European energy markets. And we're not talking of a political act here, but a merciless trade war. The US has been trying to push its rivals out of the global gas market, which is currently dominated by Qatar and Russia. We all know what's happening to Qatar right now, with the help of America's main allies in that region. As for Russia, it's also trying to counter by expanding its gas supplies. They've tried to diversify the delivery means too, including huge new tankers transporting liquid gas. They also have 15 of those.

It's no coincidence that Trump made a tour around East Europe earlier this year. Just like all his predecessors, he's been lobbying on behalf of the big US companies. The US is now looking for the weaker spots on the market, where it could make inroads, and begin the next stage of this scramble. Naturally, these spots are countries that are simultaneously hostile to Russia and are trying to pursue policies that are somewhat emancipated from Brussels and Berlin. Thus, Lithuania became the first post-Soviet republic to get a liquid gas delivery from the US. From their standpoint, that's not just a politically significant step, but also crucial for their economy, as the Baltics have been dangerously dependent on Russian energy sources for decades.

Read more... )
asthfghl: (Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!)
[personal profile] asthfghl
Not so long ago, US vice president Pence visited Montenegro. his visit was related to the Adriatic summit and Montenegro's entry to NATO. There were all Balkan leaders on that meeting, but the main event was Pence of course. Fortunately, he didn't shove the Montenegrin president off his path the way Trump did earlier.

Half of the former Yugoslav republics are already NATO members (Slovenia, Croatia and now Montenegro). The other half (Bosnia, Serbia and Macedonia) are either on the waiting list, or haven't made up their mind.

Macedonia seems the likeliest next addition to the alliance, especially after Zoran Zaev and his Socialists came to power. Serbia is still at a crossroads between the East and West, and Bosnia has got some internal problems and is not ready yet.

Read more... )
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[personal profile] fridi
The term has gone out of use for quite a while. In recent decades it was being seen as a disparaging term used by Russian nationalists and pro-Russian Ukrainian "traitors" who believe Ukraine should be part of neo-imperial Russia.

And now it's being resurrected, and in quite a quasi-official way:

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace all of Ukraine

In comes one Alexander Zakharchenko, leader of the separatist People's Republic of Donetsk, the runaway region in East Ukraine that no one, not even Russia has recognized as a state. His actions in proclaiming the creation of the Republic of Malorussia (Russia Minor) have come as a surprise even to the Kremlin. Naturally, the EU deems it unacceptable, and Kiev is vowing to restore the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Read more... )


12/7/17 09:58
halialkers: A sister of battle from Warhammer 40K in full armor striding along (Xedevcekar)
[personal profile] halialkers
Article the 1st: The USA and Russia in the G20 and climate change  )Article the second from 2004 pointing out the ideas of article the first are hardly new )The reality that the Russia doing all this should be a lethal joke at best but has basically shown old model geopolitics works just fine, thank you )

If nothing else all this shows that the Fukuyama Thesis is not only dead but that the corpse of same has decayed into ashes like a staked vampire. ISIS has started the crumbling of the Westphalian concept of the state whether or not it collapses this year or in the next three. Its survival matters less than it legitimizing the non-Westphalian state by routing 30,000 Iraqi soldiers with 800 fighters at the Battle of Mosul.

And together with that, the Russians have overthrown the notions of collective security and re-established rules that powers other than the USA can unilaterally act according to 19th Century Great Power logic again. History is not dead, it just took a break while the USA grasped an illusion of power, and now the wheel of history is in motion again as a ravenous juggernaut seeking whom it can crush as the world's climate ratchets upward with precious little as a viable means to really stop or slow it down in a way that matters. 

luzribeiro: (Default)
[personal profile] luzribeiro
This comes very timely for the monthly topic.

"President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it."

Well, there's no explaining this one away. Will Trump Jr take the fall for the entire Russian Scandal? Only time will tell.

But Putin and Trump pinkie-swore there was no collusion. So it must be all right.

If true, with Don Jr.'s "confession" that yeah, he thought he was going to get dirt on Hillary, and that they discussed sanctions Obama imposed on Russian individuals in 2014 that resulted in Russia rescinding an agreement with the US to adopt Russian children, then Don Jr., Manafort, and Kushner engaged in a "quid pro quo" discussion with a foreign government, which is the very definition of collusion. I guess someone must have mentioned that to Junior, since he immediately lawyered up.

I have a feeling that Trump will be responsible for a return to record high employment numbers, just as he claimed he would deliver during his campaign. Unfortunately, that will be due exclusively to all the staff and lawyers Robert Mueller will have to hire in order to investigate the Trump administration. ;-)
[identity profile]
...And perhaps for a reason. Maybe not exactly the right reason on this instance, but the reason we all want to believe we should be freaking out for. Do bear with me.

See, LJ seemed to have stopped working for some folks yesterday - I mean, they appeared to be blocked away from their own journals and the communities they were members in. Some suspected Putin's long hand had finally moved in to silence dissenting voices, or quash constructive pluralist debate and critical thought. Because his minions must be everywhere around the networks, sniffing and listening, and reporting back to their masters whenever someone says something bad about Dear Leader and the beautiful utopian new world he's building for us all. Maybe so.

Putin may kill us, but not just yet )
[identity profile]
There was a recent media forum in Bonn, Germany, where the main topic was the way Russia has increased its influence in Europe through the media and the Internet. The Russian media working abroad have recently gained a lot of success in manipulating the public opinion, and not just in the former Soviet republics or the former Soviet satellites in East Europe, but also in the West. Fake news is now everywhere, and the difference from the yellow press sort of news that we all know and have learned to hate to love, it's now all being directed and focused with a purpose.

It`s not just about directly meddling into elections )
[identity profile]
Montenegro's official joining of NATO has prompted threats of "retaliatory action" from Russia. A couple of weeks ago the former Yugoslav republic became the 29th member state. The prime minister Markovic signed the joining protocol with US deputy secretary of state Thomas Shannon. Then Markovic met with president Trump and his VP, Pence. The latter stated that all countries are free to choose their allies without interference from third countries, obviously meaning Russia.

The Kremlin's response was short to follow. They interpreted this move as hostile, and the Russians said they retained their right to take reciprocal measures, which is of course a thinly veiled threat. Their diplomats said in politics, just as in physics, any action is met with a corresponding counter-action.

Read more... )
[identity profile]

A while back I wrote about life in the so called communal apartments, the huge concrete and iron mastodons hosting millions of Russians in the suburbs of big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg. They've become something like an institution, an inherent part of the Russian urban and cultural landscape.

Well, guess what. This year, just a year before the upcoming presidential election in Russia, the biggest protests (something like a pre-election tradition) are not organized by the opposition. And not because there's almost no opposition left in Russia (which is true), but because they're inspired by people's fears that they might lose their homes. About a fortnight ago, 17 thousand people protested on the Moscow streets, and the reason was the development plans of the local authorities that have now received green light from Putin himself.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
So, after essentially handling a lost election to Trump on a silver plate, FBI director Comey suddenly becomes too much of an inconvenience for the guy he single-handedly made president, as he reveals he's looking into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign - and gets duly fired for it. How beautiful! Long live democracy, and the separation of powers!

Oh, and Trump surrogates like Kellyanne Conway get grilled by the media about this, and most of them fail to make a sound case on Dear Leader's behalf - but so what? The deed is done already. And no one seems to be able to do anything about it. The president has removed an FBI director for investigating him. Cool.

Not that it took a lot of effort, what with Republicans in charge, but the Russians have succeeded with Phase 2 of their effort to invade the US... they have succeeded at totally disrupting the operations of their primary enemy's government (Phase 1 having been to install a buffoonish puppet into the executive office).

It's almost scary how easily these things happen.
[identity profile]
When in the early morning hours of April 7 the US destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross fired 59 Tomahawk missiles against Syrian air base Shayrat, the big question wasn't if the US had violated international law (which they had). What was of real concern to most analysts was if a military operation by a nuclear superpower could bring the death of military personnel of another nuclear power, thus creating a classical casus belli, or case for war. It seemed, though, that the Russian command in Syria had been warned in advance before the attack, so the chances of direct confrontation and spiraling escalation in the Cuban crisis sort of way was prevented pretty neatly.

Now the more interesting question about this attack is different, and it could have serious consequences for Russia both in geopolitical and military sense. I'm talking of the widely heralded myth about the impenetrable air defense system, the last-generation C-400. Elements of that system are installed around the air bases in Tatrus and Lattakia, hosting the Russian warplanes in Syria. In theory, C-400 is an air defense system with mid- to long-range that could intercept targets within 600 km and destroy them at a 400 km distance. It should be able to destroy planes, drones, ballistic and other missiles. But during the Tomahawk assault in Shayrat, for some reason all C-400 stations remained silent. All 59 missiles, based on 40-year old technology, flew unimpeded across the entire defense line. So far no one has come up with an official explanation of what really happened.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
While I'm certainly somewhere around the bottom of the list of people you might be referring to if you were looking for a pro-Russian supporter, I can't help but ask the following question. How many of those who were so quick to put the French flag on their profiles in the social networks in the wake of the terror attacks there, have now done the same with the Russian flag? Hell, how many even paid attention to what happened in St.Petersburg the other day?

No European landmarks were illuminated for the St Petersburg victims

It's a terrorist attack by a radicalized, Daesh-inspired lone wolf killing scores of innocent people, right? Hey, it's even in a Christian, white (very white!) country. France did turn off the lights on the Eiffel Tower by the way, granted. But I'm still failing to see all the tears and prayers for the victims in St.Petersburg.

The excuse that Berlin only honors victims in "sister cities" is beyond lame, for the record. Orlando isn't a sister city to Berlin, and yet they didn't hesitate to honor them. And it's not just Berlin. Other world capitals stayed indifferent as well.

Hypocrisy and double standard much? It must all be because Russians are so evil. Or something. Right?
[identity profile]

There are indications that Russia is planning a military intervention in Libya. On March 13, Russian special units and drones were spotted in the Egyptian coastal town of Sidi Barrani, just 100 km east of the Libyan territory that's controlled by the Russia-supported Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

If Russia is really working to change the balance of powers in Libya as they did in Syria, Turkey's positions in the Eastern Mediterreanean will be threatened (not to mention America's). Establishing a military presence there is aimed to stabilise the Sisi regime in Egypt against the Islamists. That's in line with the traditional Russian policy since the Soviet times when they were in alliance with Egypt. Now they're conducting joint military exercises, and Russia is actively helping Egypt to guard its vulnerable western border.

Read more... )
[identity profile]

Russia's take on Trump: Glee gives way to frustration

Well, that took only a short while, didn't it?

Just about a month or so into this administration, and the presumed Kremlin Candidate has turned out just as untrustworthy from a Putin standpoint as I previously predicted (ha! clairvoyant me, etc).

Sure, even if the Kremlin believes it's too soon to determine the course of their relations with the US from now on, and despite all their denials that they're now growing increasingly discontent and frustrated with the Don's unpredictability, the first signs of cracks are starting to appear. His tweets about Crimea have raised quite a few eyebrows over there.

Mind you, Trump's ascent was never quite seen as a long-term victory by Russians. If you ask anyone there about this, they'd rather give you a cautious answer much to the effect of, "We'll see". And also, "Whatever they say, this is stil America" - meaning, "they're our rivals". Sure, Trump's entire campaign rhetoric may've created the impression that he'd be amicable to comrade Putin and he'd unconditionally cave in to any Russian demands - but the fact that making America great again would inevitably often come into direct conflict with keeping Volodya permanently happy, has begun to kick in rather quickly.

Ultimately, being the pragmatic vodka-junkies that they are, the Russians may've never had any true illusions about Trump's presidency to begin with. In this sense, being "disappointed" by him is an overstatement. So don't take all the glee from his election that you could see around their press.
[identity profile]
Trump Team’s Ties To Russia Face Sharper Scrutiny Amid New House Probe And Explosive Reports
Pressure grows for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from investigations into the scandal.

So let's see. The guy whose meetings with Russians the FBI is supposed to be investigating as part of their larger inquiry into the Trump campaign's ties to the Kremlin, is now being put in a position where he would be able to exert control over the FBI? How's that for a move, eh?

So when specifically asked about any possible contacts with Russian officials, Sessions says, "I did not have communications with the Russians” - and his spokeszombie says, "He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign - not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee". That's disingenuous and in no way exonerates Sessions at all.

Lying under oath. He should be prosecuted. Perjury, after all, is what did Bill Clinton in. It's about time this racist midget is held to account. He's terrorized elderly black voters, disrespected women, and pushes an agenda of mass incarceration - I say give him the opportunity to experience a little of his own tough love.

So what have we got so far )
[identity profile]
A Back-Channel Plan for Ukraine and Russia, Courtesy of Trump Associates
Trump’s business associates had a plan to offer Crimea to Russia: report
"A report alleges Trump had a plan for Eastern Europe that would have been very beneficial for Putin's Russia"
Ukraine lawmaker who met Trump associates faces treason probe
Kremlin Denies Knowledge of Ukraine Plan Pushed by Trump Associates
Russia will not pay rent for Crimea, Kremlin says after maverick peace plan emerges in White House

So basically, Trump's personal lawyer may've presented a plan for Ukraine that was crafted by people who were not diplomats but businessmen, the NYT reports. Apparently, the plan was introduced by Michael Cohen, Trump's aide since 2007. A week before Micheal Flynn resigned, he was given a paper copy of a plan for lifting the sanctions against Russia. Cohen is married to an Ukrainian, btw. Other co-authors of the plan were Sater, a guy who's been running Trump's dealings with Russia for years, and Ukrainian MP Artyomenko, a vigorous opponent to president Poroshenko. Oh, also Trump's former chief of the election campaign, Manafort (known for his ties to the pro-Russian lobby in the Ukraine). So these are the people who were supposed to be giving "peace" to Ukraine.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
Trump: Crimea was 'taken' by Russia

'We don't return our territories' Russia responds to US call to return Crimea to Ukraine

See, Trump is the perfect bluffer. Don't you ever sit on a poker table with him, ever.

While the US and global progressive community, Apple, Microsoft, Google et al are hurling criticism at him because of his ridiculously arbitrary travel ban, another piece of news went almost unnoticed: he's planning a colossal expansion of the US navy.

The number of warships will increase from 272 to 355. One more carrier will be built, 16 other large war ships, 18 submarines and many more lesser vessels. The purpose is to deploy all of this into the Pacific. Not Russia, not Iran. The Pacific. Russia has one crappy carrier, and Iran has 7 meager U-boats, 3 frigates and 2 corvettes. Getting worked up about those is just bullshit.

No, the real target is China. The Pivot to Asia. Everything beyond that is pure bluffing. Flynn, the Crimea debacle, the NATO funding - all those are just noises in the system. Trump likes to create a chaos and do his thing amidst it. And his thing now is China. But he may've done his calculations wrong. China is not Iraq or Libya. It's where the plan for US dominance will find its grave.

And no, any illusions that he's truly "anti-establishment", are deluded. He's part of the One-Party state that has ruled the US for eternity: the Party of War.

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A place to discuss politics without egomaniacal mods


Divisive Rhetoric


"Favoring multiculturalism is something Westerners give a lot of lovely lip service to until they have to actually do it."

September 2017

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