Streetwise Professor

February 28, 2014

Not to Go All Lenin on You, But: What Is To Be Done? Follow the Money!, That’s What.

Filed under: Economics,Energy,History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:59 pm

Russia has invaded Crimea-and hence has invaded Ukraine.  No Obamaesque circumlocutions about “uncontested arrivals” can gainsay that very basic fact.  The Russians have occupied a major Ukrainian air base in the peninsula, and have given an ultimatum to all Ukrainian military units to surrender their posts.

Yes.  All unopposed. So I guess that makes it OK.

But what to do about it?

First: a no brainer.  Eject Russia from the G8, and reschedule a meeting of the G7 somewhere far away from Sochi (as is scheduled for June).  But seeing as that it is the Obama administration and various EU factotums that will make the decision, no brainer is probably asking a wee bit too much.

Second: pressure FIFA to strip Russia of the 2018 World Cup.  Even though the thought of Putin blowing another $50 billion on a vanity project has some appeal.

@libertylynx suggests persuading the Saudis to turn on the taps to reduce oil prices, and hit Putin where it hurts.  (Though since Obama has seriously alienated the Saudis with his Syria policy and his dalliance with Iran, there is serious room to doubt whether the Saudis would be at all accommodating.)  Indeed, in 1986, the dramatic increase in oil production by the Saudis struck the USSR a mortal blow, and Putin’s Russia is almost as dependent on oil revenues as the Soviets.  (See Gaidar’s memoirs for a blow-by-blow account of how the collapse in oil prices gutted the USSR.  I’ve often wondered whether the Saudi action was directed against the USSR, rather than OPEC cheaters as was stated publicly, and done at the behest of the Reagan administration.)

There are some differences, though.  In ’86 KSA had about 7 million barrels of spare capacity, at a time when world consumption was on the order of 60 million barrels.  By producing to the max, the Saudis drove the price from around $23/bbl in December, 1985 to under $10/bbl in mid-1986, about a 60 percent drop.  Now Saudi spare capacity is  around 2 million bpd, when world output is around 90 million bpd.  A 2+ percent increase in Saudi output would result in at most a 20 percent price decline.  (Note that other producers would cut back, so that world output would go up by less than 2 percent even if the Saudis produced to their capacity.) Certainly enough to hit Putin hard, but not enough to create the existential crisis that the Soviets faced in the 80s.  But every little bit helps.

Insofar as gas is concerned, the Europeans could cushion the blow of sharply reducing consumption of Russian gas by increasing use of coal, which is in abundant supply in the US because the shale gas boom has displaced large quantities of coal in electricity generation.  But I doubt Europe has the stomach for that, and it could not get along without Russian gas altogether.

This leaves one last thing: crying havoc, and letting loose the accountants of war, a policy I advocated in August, 2008.  There is nothing that would make Putin and his coterie of thieves and thugs freak out more than putting their billions in loot stashed in the West at risk.

The fall of the Yanukovych regime provides a perfect cover for such an operation.  An aggressive search for the boodle of Yanukovych and his spawn would no doubt serendipitously uncover other illicit loot from the FSU: after all, a Hermitage Capital investigation traced connections between Yanukovych-linked companies and the fraud that the martyred Sergei Magnitsky uncovered.

This suggests a potentially fruitful asymmetric attack on Putin.  Loudly and publicly announce a thorough investigation of Yanukovych monies in the West.  Through back channels, tell Putin that unless he backs off-way off, like back to Rostov-on-Don off-that any dirty Russian money (and is there any other kind in Western banks-hell, even Putin pretty much agrees with this) that just so happens to be discovered during the investigation of Yanukovych will go to covering the US national debt.  Then go ahead and investigate anyways, and keep track of the moneys uncovered, for potential use at a later date.

Alas, even though this is a bloodless alternative (though it would drain the blood from Putin’s already pale, Botox-injected face), I seriously doubt Obama has the stomach for it.  In part because he knows Putin would lose his sh*t, and he doesn’t want to deal with that.

But here’s the thing.  There’s really not much reason to be intimated by Putin’s bluster–outside the FSU, anyways.  Russia has economic feet of clay.  Militarily it is a pretend power, fit to intimidate other decrepit post-Soviet militaries in smaller states on its borders, but sadly outmatched against a real power.  So call his bluff. Guarantee full employment for forensic accountants.

Then buy ear protection to guard against the shrieks emanating from points east and north, grab some popcorn, and sit back and enjoy the show.

Print Friendly

97 Comments »

  1. Actually So? very few Georgians go to Russia these days.

    There are a reasonable number of Russians coming here. My daughter’s school has a lot of Russian kids whose young parents are determined that their kids don’t grow up under Putin.

    Once again so,the official numbers from the Soviet government show that the overwhelming majority of the colonized in the USSR lived worse than their Russian conquerors.

    Your sad soviet myth is just BS.

    Comment by Andrew — March 1, 2014 @ 11:19 pm

  2. There are more Georgians in Russia than Russians in Georgia.

    Comment by So? — March 1, 2014 @ 11:25 pm

  3. @So? Ukraine’s economic policies clearly have failed and she is a country socked in corruption. But that’s exactly what people have risen against.
    While you pretend to criticize Ukraine for her failures, you degrade you own arguments by shifting the vector of blame towards the Galicians.

    It could be that Western Ukrainians are most passionate on the stage but to attribute all that is going on in Ukraine is a corrupt conclusion itself.

    Furthermore, I don’t see Ukraine being failure more than Russia is, or several other post-Soviet republics are. She might just be ahead on that curve.

    To continue your state of surprise let me assert that Ukrainians also don’t have problems with Russians. In fact even you asserted in your last response that the alleged issue of Russian language in Ukraine is an artificial issue. It doesn’t exist beyond mild irritation.

    For sure one cannot command Ukrainian leaders for the failure of economics. But Russia is not far behind the curve. If she is in such great condition, before “helping the brotherly Ukraine” she should first help her devastated cities beyond Urals.

    And what an incredible way it is to help Ukraine with “titushkies,” masked armed men, tanks and helicopters…

    Russia is a modern epitome of state banditism and the institutionalization of crime, a country which has always enslaved her own people above all. Outside some isolated societal enclaves even her most educated people are intellectual impotent and are infected with chauvinism.

    Russia is not far from following the economic path of Ukraine. While on a federal level her sovereign debt is perhaps negligible, instead her regions have high sovereign debt and the corporations are heavily indebted. So, “good” days are yet to come to Russia.

    For illustration, only three months ago the broke Moscow government appealed to the federal government asking for help. Now if you are a fair person you should characterize Moscow as failure. And if Moscow is failure, what is there left in Russia but a devastated wasteland?

    One should make no mistake. There is only one reason Kremlin has injected herself so heavy-handedly in Ukraine – to send a message to her own enslaved and impotent people and to the minorities of Russia on not being tempted to try the Ukrainian scenario.

    Kremlin is simply protecting what it has plundered over the last 20 years or so, or at least 10 years, when corruption as a system of governance was introduced as a governing doctrine of Russia.

    All this fluff about the Ukrainian nationalism and “benderism” is for the intellectually impotent.

    While Ukraine and Russia have come to this point following different paths and logic of corruption, they are converging at the same point – that is collapse.

    So, may the people of Ukraine who have risen up to correct the situation be glorified and may Russia be capable of giving birth to such people on her soil because unless it happens Russia remains the gendarme of the region beyond that of Europe.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 2:04 am

  4. The Resource Federation will be around for as long as she has resources. And that’s a few lifetimes. The Reich is content with the RF, the RF is happy with the Reich. The US is not happy with the two getting chummy, what can it do? The “New Europe” policy has clearly failed. Washington is far, Berlin is near (and paying the allowance). They are already prepping public opinion.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26394980

    Yanukovich may have a been a stupid dinosaur, but the revolutionaries are retarded. When you win, display some largesse, win people over, but no… abolishing the 2012 language law is the first order of the day. Triumphalism FTW. That’s when the economy is in ruins and the treasury is empty. Will you at least admit that that was stupid? Putin bluffs you in Crimea, you announce full mobilization. Never mind that you have no army. That’s right, take men out of the workforce and give them guns. The revolutionaries will be shooting each other, before they shoot any Moscals if Ukrainian history is any guide.

    Comment by So? — March 2, 2014 @ 2:30 am

  5. And I’ll add one more thing which may explain why there is no large-scale immigration out of Russia while there is a flow of immigration from such Republics as Georgia or Armenia, for example, and for a different reason, from Central Asian Republics.

    The average Russian person is extremely risk-averse – not in the sense that he/she wants more compensation for taking risk but in the sense that he/she is not a risk taker at all. He/she is a slave of the system and noncompetitive in free societies where creativity, entrepreneurship and risk taking are required qualities. That is the sole reason why Russians don’t venture out of Russia (on large scale) except when they are implanted by the Russian state as colonizers.

    So they don’t leave Russia not because things are so great in Russia but because the average Russian is noncompetitive. I am far from implying that somehow they are intellectually inferior to, say, Georgians or Armenians. Not at all!

    In fact, they are quite educated and mostly well-read. But they are slaves to their system. While their culture enslaves them, it renders opportunity to the more entrepreneurial and creative risk takers. Call it arbitrage opportunity if you wish. And this is no new phenomenon. Even the Russian czars have encouraged the settlement of certain nations of the region to Russia for the purpose of the development of commerce in Russia.

    Meanwhile as it pertains to the migrants out of Central Asia, well, clearly it is simply a cheap labor in order to fill the gaps left behind by the Russian laziness – and yes, laziness is also a Russian cultural attribute (contrary to the Ukraine, by the way, despite the cultural affinity with them).

    As a side note on creativity, has ever anyone paid attention to the Russian pop music? I cannot conceptualize any cheesier and lacking creativity over a span of decade music than the Russian pop. They are just incapable to create. All that comes out of their mouth on the stage (and I can observe it over a thirty or so period of time) is a static crap. I thought this argument may help to shed some additional light on the sources of evil in Russia and generally elsewhere.
    In conclusion I can repeat what is on its way to be understood in American politics (at least I hope so) – politics is downstream of culture.

    Anything that should be attributed to politics has its roots in the respective culture. And if there is a problem with that culture, its roots need to be searched in the morality.

    In the interest of not opening a new front I’ll stop here.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 2:43 am

  6. I do agree that abolishing the Russian as a state-language as a first order of the day was far from being smart politics and plaid to the advantage of Putin in helping to very dynamically shape public opinion inside Russia. But then, who did it? Those who had adapted it earlier they are the ones who abolished it.

    Now, to understand what really went down there one needs to know the local politics of Ukraine in more detail than I do. As to the Crimea, I don’t think that Putin’s actions here were predetermined by the “stupidity” of Ukrainians. It is a strategic issue for Russia and doesn’t depend on other factors.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 2:55 am

  7. MJ,

    99% of the human race is immobile and has always been so. People only move when their asses are on fire. The Irish went to America not for adventure, but because they were starving. People, like all matter, follow the path of least resistance. Not many Russians went to the New World simply because Siberia was closer. Some did go to America http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Turchaninov . Russians don’t form “Ukrainian Societies” however. They simply assimilate.

    As for creativity, if you tally things, it looks pretty dire for Ukrainians (never mind that every second Ukrainian inventor or scientist is a Jew). If you compare both to Western Europeans, then it’s just laughable – it’s an argument about who’s taller between dwarves. I assert that the Russian dwarf is much taller.

    You lost me on pop music. That’s an argument about what kind of shit tastes better. 1985 was the watershed, however. Absolutely everything went to shit. Since then, not a single worthwhile film or piece of music in the whole of USSR and fUSSR. I wonder why.

    Russians may be lazy, but they are communal. That’s the key difference. Western Ukrainians are huge egotists. Yanukovich’s golden toilet is not a Sovok legacy. That’s the default human mental state which the Soviet project tried, but failed to overcome. Contrary to Western propaganda, it’s not the in-DUH-vidualism that makes the Western man superior, it’s communism. Self-interest is the default setting for all humans everywhere, except for the West. It’s an absolute anomaly. It’s the reason why a 100 Portuguese would defeat 1000s of Asians armed with nothing but cold weapons. Or why a bunch of conquistadors conquered millions in America. Or why Russians scattered Persians. Of course, the relentless propaganda is I, I, I, yet it’s the We that wins wars. You saw it in Georgia 5 years ago. Macho in-DUH-vidualist Georgians routed by Russkie peasant boys.

    Comment by So? — March 2, 2014 @ 4:57 am

  8. So? I disagree with you on multiple levels but will try to be brief. In fact, whether it is 99% or perhaps less, but the majority of people is mobile and human history is the testimony of that.

    The example of pop music I brought simply as such – an example. I can add the Eastern Europeans, contemporary Germans, etc. This is not a matter of taste. I may distaste country music or rap but recognize that they are superior in terms of creativity to that of Russian pop music. Furthermore, I believe that contemporary music is one of the dominant forms of contemporary human creativity. And when it comes to it, the United States is the absolute giant on that stage and the next tallest dwarf coming close to her is UK. This is not a matter of taste but it is a phenomenon.

    You make arguments on what the Russian pattern is post-immigration. I have made no arguments about it. My arguments have been on the reason why they don’t leave Russia on the large scale.

    Your arguments of cultural downfall of Russia post-1985 are also non-persuasive. The contemporary culture of Russia, borrowing your terminology, was the same s**t prior to 85.

    On the subject of communality of Russians… I am not one of those who tend to portray Russians as some kind of monsters. I know Russians from a first-hand experience. I think outside the circles indoctrinated with imperial ideology Russians are true Christians in the true sense of this word. But unfortunately, they are enslaved people. The percentage of Russians capable of independent and critical thinking is small. The past imperial “glory” of Russia (though one can argue that glory has not been part of the Russian history ever outside some isolated layers such as literature, classic music or sciences) distorts the Russian psyche.

    Moreover, corruption and bribery has been an unalienable part of the Russian character and psyche for about 1000 years now. If I was in the mood to open a new front, I could contemplate on the so- called «мзда» widely practiced within the Russian Orthodox Church effective the 10the century – a practice according to which Russian servants of the Russian Orthodox Church could sell their right of being church servant to someone else.

    This very practice with the overall corruption of the Russian church has resulted in the rise of what the Orthodox Church would call “heresies” in Russia – any attempts of purifying the church have been labeled as heresies and the followers of these movements have been severely persecuted (see Стригольники for instance).

    The secular power of Russia has never been any different. Any attempt of cleansing the Russian government from corruption is attributed to the “invisible and visible enemies” of Russia. The institutionalization of corruption and its utilization as a system of governance is the unalienable part of the Russian history reminiscent to that of the Muslim culture. And guess what, when Russia dominates other nations, this virus spreads there too.

    I also refuse to comment on the subject of Georgia.

    And since I don’t want to open a new front, as I mentioned before, will finish by reiterating my solidarity with Ukrainian rebels.

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 5:50 am

  9. AP, let me provide the very first couple in an endless sequence of your defences of Tyahnibok’s antisemitism that I find highly objectionable:

    > Nowhere did Tiahnybok praise the extermination of Jews in concentration camps. He praised Ukrainian guerrillas (UPA!) who went into the forest to fight Russians, Jews and Germans.

    When UPA was formed in 1943, they didn’t fight any Jews: there were no Jews left. They were all exterminated by these very future UPA men with their machine guns under Nazi command in the Holocaust by December 1942. The only Jews that UPA men killed were in the Holocaust of 1941-42. By the hundreds of thousands:

    The reconstruction of nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999

    By Timothy Snyder, Professor, Department of History , Yale University

    Urban Jews were led from their ghettoes to pits a few kilometers away, stripped of the clothes and belongings, forced to lie down and machine gunned by SS men. The Ukrainian police’s duty was the murder of Jews who tried to escape the ghetto as it was liquidated, the murder of Jews who sought to escape along the way, and the murder of Jews who survived the machine gun salvos. The Final Solution in smaller towns and villages is less well documented, but here the Ukrainian police played a greater part. All in all, about 12 000 Ukrainian policemen assisted about 1400 German policemen in the murder of about 200 000 Volynian Jews. Although their share in the killing was small, these Ukrainian policemen provided the labor that made the Holocaust possible in Volynya. They worked right through December 1942.

    The next spring March-April 1943, virtually all of these Ukrainian policemen left the German police to join the Ukrainian partisans of the UPA. One of their major tasks as UPA partisans was the cleansing of the Polish presence in Volynia… People learn to do what they are trained to do, and are good at doing what they’ve done many times. Ukrainian partisans, who mass-murdered Poles in 1943, followed the tactics they learned as collaborators in the Holocaust in 1942…

    > You may argue that the UPA guerrillas whom Tiahnybok praised killed a lot of civilians but this is not the point: Tiahnybok did not praise such activities. If a politician, for example, praises the Soviet Army and its soldiers one can’t interpret…

    If somebody said about NKVD units that killed 20 000 innocent Poles in Katyn: “They took machine guns to the woods and fought Poles and other scum in the mountains”, will you say that there is nothing wrong with that? Yes, these NKVD units didn’t fight any Poles in the mountains. But they “fought” them in the flatlands of Katyn, i.e., slaughtered them in cold blood.

    The same here: yes, Tyahnibok misspoke that these men fought Jews in the WOODS. They took machine guns and “fought” Jews not in the woods but in the PITS, where these Jews were “stripped of the clothes and belongings, forced to lie down and machine gunned.” (see Snyder above).

    Do you want me to apologize for considering the man, who is praising the Holocaust, as a vicious antisemite? Never. And you have spent many hours defending him. I wonder what vested interest you have in this man…

    Comment by vladislav — March 2, 2014 @ 6:38 am

  10. AP, let me try to explain it to you another way. You wrote:

    > Nowhere did Tiahnybok praise the extermination of Jews in concentration camps. He praised Ukrainian guerrillas who went into the forest to fight Russians, Jews and Germans

    Let us not argue about Russians and Germans yet. I am not aware of any significant number of Germans killed by UPA. Instead they concentrated on exterminating Poles and Jews. Tyahnibok conveniently doesn’t mention the 100 000 Polish civilians killed by these men. But let us talk only about Jews first. He said about UPA men and the Jews:

    “They took their machine guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Jews and other scum”

    You are saying that he was referring to a bunch of battles that these UPA men fought against Jews, which were NOT part of the Holocaust? Fine. Give me a few examples of such battles. When and where were they fought? Against how many Jews? Were these Jews armed? Please give me links to descriptions of these battles.

    Comment by vladislav — March 2, 2014 @ 6:53 am

  11. > The average Russian person is extremely risk-averse

    The average Russian person can move to Moscow and make 10 times more money than what Georgians make. It is no wonder that between 20% to 30% of Georgians choose to live and work in Russia, while fewer than 0.05% of Russians choose to live and work in Georgia. The same situation as between, say, the USA and El Salvador.

    As as working in the USA or the EU, few Russians or Ukrainians are allowed by the USA to do so. In fact, the US Embassy denied by cousins’ request to come and visit me for 2 weeks (presumable out of fear that my well-educated cousins may seek a job here in America). Whenever I hear about the “emigration reform” to allow tens of millions of Mexicans (who broke the American law and sneaked into the USA) to become US citizens, I think of my Russian cousins who aren’t even allowed to come to visit me. Why is it “racism” to oppose the illegal immigration from Mexico, but high noblesse to ban Russians and Ukrainians from visiting their family in the USA for 2 weeks?

    The same goes for the EU. In fact, the new EU-Ukraine agreement will do nothing to ease the possibility of Ukrainians to work in or even visit the EU?

    Comment by vladislav — March 2, 2014 @ 7:21 am

  12. @ vladislav,

    You seem to be (deliberately?) confusing two entirely different questions: was Tiahnybok historically accurate or did he defend the Holocaust? Let’s not change the subject about his historical accuracy or argue about whether or not there were any Jews among Soviet partisans or Soviet NKVD personnel whom UPA fought but instead focus on Tiahnybok’s actual words, which you (deliberately?) misquoted: “They took their machine guns on their necks and went into the woods, and fought against the Germans, Jews, Russians and other scum”

    Taking machine guns into the woods and fighting with those guns clearly is warfare, not murder of civilians. And placing those specific Jews who were fought alongside Russians and Germans (how conveniently you left those out), whose civilians weren’t massacred, furthermore supports the observation that Tiahnybok was not defending the Holocaust. Tiahnybok may not have been historically accurate but he certainly wasn’t defending the Holocaust.

    You quoted Snyder here. What do you think of the excerpt from Snyder that I posted, about the false claims that Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis? What do you think about the Jewish hero who died at the Maidan and who received a hero’s funeral by Western Ukrainians? Doesn’t this contradict your narrative?

    Comment by AP — March 2, 2014 @ 8:54 am

  13. While I am disgusted by someone’s narcissistic self-victimizing masochism here and don’t want to continue that subject, I thought the following article could be helpful to put an end to the subject which is not characteristic of what goes on in Ukraine:
    http://espreso.tv/new/2014/02/12/yak_na_maydani_zhyve_yevreyska_sotnya_samooborony?fb_action_ids=746953818650561&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22746953818650561%22%3A1423919377846502%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22746953818650561%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 10:32 am

  14. @So? Thanks for encouragement (I already do). And what’s most important, I’m not even the only one (http://www.marketplace.org/topics/world/ukrainian-protests-follow-oligarchs-london). And it seems to work (http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine-abroad/financial-times-akhmetov-joins-ukraine-oligarchs-in-pledging-to-protect-homeland-338112.html).

    Comment by Dixi — March 2, 2014 @ 11:02 am

  15. Congrats on all the comments. My dime sez between fracking and the Arab Spring as oil px goes lower that only fuels mo betta Arab Spring…meaning national oil enterprises may choose to sell oil at a loss ( a px below marginal cost of new barrel around 90). That’s when the VIX goes BitCoin volatile. Oil can easliy trade < 90 later this year w/o supply disruptions., ie, more war.

    Comment by t c phillips — March 2, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

  16. Vladislav, I don’t blame the US government for not giving your cousin a visa.

    As can be seen from Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania et al, having Russians in your country in any numbers is a real security threat.

    Also perhaps the NSA has been reading your posts (if Snowden is anything to go by) and have marked you down as a traitor.

    Comment by Andrew — March 2, 2014 @ 10:34 pm

  17. Something which may echo with the conversations held here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1Vys9foF4o#t=234

    Comment by MJ — March 2, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

  18. AP,

    > was Tiahnybok historically accurate or did he defend the Holocaust?

    Both. Tiahnybok is historically accurate AND he glorified the Holocaust, when he said: “They took their machine guns, went to the woods and fought Jews and other scum”. The Ukrainian nationalists indeed took the machine guns, went to the pits in the woods and exterminated innocent Jewish civilians, under the Nazi command. The only “inaccuracy” is that he used the euphemism “fought Jews” instead of admitting that they killed innocent unarmed Jewish civilians.

    Have you EVER seen ANYBODY admit that his side was shooting at unarmed children?! For example, even the most hardcore Hitler-admirers in Germany don’t say that Hitler killed unarmed Jewish civilains, but either deny the Holocaust or say that Hitler “fought” Jews. So, how is Tyanibok any different when he claims “fighting”?

    So, do you have any major examples, where and when the UPA men fought Jews in a fair military battle, instead of exterminating unarmed Jewish civilians, or not?

    > You seem to be (deliberately?) confusing two entirely different questions

    You seem to be (deliberately?) mistaking euphemisms for historical scholarship

    > What do you think of the excerpt from Snyder that I posted, about the false claims that Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis? What do you think about the Jewish hero who died at the Maidan and who received a hero’s funeral by Western Ukrainians? Doesn’t this contradict your narrative?

    I didn’t read that post, but I totally agree that the nationalist militants, who shot and threw Molotoff cocktails at the Ukrainian lawmen and thus provoked the bloodbath, were a small minority. But they hid among the large crowd of peaceful, unarmed democracy-loving demonstrators and shot from behind their backs, killing several Berkut men and provoking them to shoot at the crowd in self-defence. And hundreds of innocent demonstrators and Berkut soldiers were killed.

    But that’s how most revolutions, including the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917, get done: a small minority of extremists provoke blood-baths and then use them to grab power.

    Where did you get this weird idea that I wrote that “Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis”?! I think it is YOU who owes an apology.

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 2:40 am

  19. > My dime sez between fracking and the Arab Spring as oil px goes lower that only fuels mo betta Arab Spring…meaning national oil enterprises may choose to sell oil at a loss ( a px below marginal cost of new barrel around 90). That’s when the VIX goes BitCoin volatile. Oil can easliy trade < 90 later this year w/o supply disruptions.

    Well, I am not sure the price of oil will trade < 90 any time soon, but I totally agree with you that the US indeed ferments and exploits Arab revolutions, promoting islamic extremist causes, to manipulate oil prices. Crazy! The invasion and occupation of Iraq served the same purpose. The US policies in Central Asia – too. The funny thing is that the main beneficiary – Exxon – is NOT a US company. It is an off-shore company (Swiss? Cayman Islands?) and pays $0 in US corporate taxes, which is infinitely times less than what our local mom-and-pop Chinese dry cleaning outlet pays in US corporate taxes. If we ever ban the Exxons and Halliburton of this world from contributing money to election and especially re-election campaigns of US politicians, we will see a much safer and more peaceful world and much lower taxes.

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 2:53 am

  20. MJ,

    > I do agree that abolishing the Russian as a state-language as a first order of the day was far from being smart politics

    So, in which order should the destruction of the basic human right of minorities and regional majorities to their native languages have been done? As a third order of the day? Tenth order of the day? Or maybe not doing it on the first day at all, but instead doing it 3 months later, after securing all military and law enforcement power?

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 3:06 am

  21. Get the f*** out of my face, you little jerk.

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 3:20 am

  22. http://02varvara.wordpress.com/category/roman-catholic/

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 4:29 am

  23. MJ,

    You are right, russophobic fascist, это была ошибка с моей стороны снова дотронуться до Вас.

    Не трогай дерьмо, чтобы не воняло.
    /русская народная мудрость/

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 4:33 am

  24. @Dixi,

    Now that the new Ukrainian hope is appointing oligarchs to run the country, will you boycott and harass them too? Jeebus, the most incompetent revolutionaries in history. It’s power to the PEOPLE, not the oligarchs. That’s how you win people over, not by banning their language.

    Comment by So? — March 3, 2014 @ 4:35 am

  25. Vladislav, once again, what is your opinion on the Russian government forcing Georgians out of their ancestral lands in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the banning of the use of Georgian in Gali where Georgians make up 98% of the population but are not allowed to vote, the forbidding of Georgians in Gali from gaining citizenship in Abkhazia, the banning of the use of Georgian in South Ossetia (not that there are many Georgians left there) and so on.

    Also please expound on the banning of ethnic minority languages such as Tatar from the Russian school system?

    Russia, and Russians, are the most incredible hypocrites and chauvinists in regard to talking about the rights of ethnic minorities.

    Comment by Andrew — March 3, 2014 @ 5:50 am

  26. @So,

    The hope of Ukraine is its courageous people. The Ukrainians have only made the Ukrainian oligarchs choice much more simple: either you go with the tide or you will surely lose all your toys in the West and, instead, will find yourself under Putin’s boot. By the way SO, do you still live in California? I mean which will be your choice? My Chechen, Georgian, Ukrainian etc. expat-friends are just DYING to meet ya. 🙂

    Comment by Dixi — March 3, 2014 @ 7:42 am

  27. An unedited Bing Translation

    Here is how it goes in Russia these days(https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10203145832516126&set=a.1714988723998.94116.1516606334&type=1&theater):

    Victor A. Vasiliev, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, President of the Moscow Mathematical Society, one of the most famous Russian mathematicians of today, was known to neutralized and neutralised on February 21 at the building of the Zamoskvoreckogo of the Court by the RIOT POLICE.

    Here is a picture of a successful operation on his detention, the courageous members of the police. Here you can read the biography of offender: http://www.mathnet.ru/php/person.phtml?personid=8413&option_lang 5 MARCH, on Wednesday, at 15.20 in Conference Room # 203 ZAMOSKVORECKOGO DISTRICT COURT of ACADEMICIAN VASILIEV will be judged.

    It seems to me that this is the case when our right to be present during the open trial must be implemented.

    And the management of the Zamoskvoreckogo District Court of Moscow, and the President of the Court, federal judge Nikishina Natalia viktorovna,-to ensure the conditions for the citizens of this right.

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 10:36 am

  28. Another Bing translated note. I gather there is going to be a lot of these. I will stop since I cannot keep up with it. This is a story about those who demonstrated in Luhansk. They had arrived from Russia. Now they are getting the money they were promised for coming here.

    Friends! All of whom, like me, today be as Fireworks in the form of “Russian revolt” in Lugansk. All those who, like me, believe that we have a city without a fight that does not belong to us anymore in Luhansk. All those who, like me, today has already started to plan their future life in a more suitable place. Look at these photos. Here’s the Russians borcuny during a rally outside the monument to Shevchenko divide bag (!) and a package of money. While Granny still folded on stage at berkutât, and packages with knocked from the scene have directly pocančegam. Here it is-a sincere Russian-Luhansk.
    Friends Ukrainians, just look at these pictures and remember that money tend to quickly end. All will be well.
    Friends of the russkovesency, go to the Dick. Just go to the Dick. Better immediately with Russian passports. Us biological debris.
    Repost, friends! The country must know its superheroes.
    # Êvromajdan # Antimajdan # Lugansk #euromaidan ()
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=663584710351991&set=pcb.663585153685280&type=1&theater

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 10:57 am

  29. Tomorrow we will wake up in a new world. Nothing good is awaiting it.

    The responsibility of the new reality befalls on the American (and of course the European, but what is the relevance of Europe …) left and all the existential idiots who put the nincompoop in the WH.

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 11:16 am

  30. MJ – no question that Putler and the Kremlinoids have been sending rent-a-provocateurs into Ukraine to stir up severe civil strife.

    The idea is that the Kremlinoids are doing everything they can to provoke Ukraine into firing the first shot.

    Within Ukraine itself, the Party of Regions (Yanukovych’s party) used rent-a-crowds. Quite often, they stiffed the “demonstrators” and didn’t pay them when it came time to pay them.

    The Kremlinoids are still squealing like pigs about “protecting Russians in Ukraine” and all sorts of other pretexts.

    And vladislav has been told to carry out the Kremlinoid mission here on this blog.

    That’s why he’s squealing like a pig about Jews and Nazis and World War II and the language law.

    By the way, the language law that was passed by the Ukrainian parliament did not forbid or prohibit or destroy the Russian language. Rather, it canceled the status of the Russian language as an official government language. Which simply would have returned matters to where they were before – Ukrainian as the official government language of Ukraine, but people were free to use whatever language they wanted.

    The interim president, Turchinov, vetoed that law, in a conciliatory gesture to Russian speakers.

    Quite a few oligarchs in Ukraine have released public statements calling for unity in Ukraine.

    Meaning, of course, that they fully recognize what Kremlinoids do to countries where they have taken over.

    Just look at the before and after pictures of Ossetia and Abkhazia, and look at Russia today.

    Comment by elmer — March 3, 2014 @ 12:56 pm

  31. elmer, I don’t even want to discuss that narcissistic idiotic degenerate.

    I know Ukraine from many of my travels and from having the privilege to maintain friendship with a number of Ukrainians. I have been there many times. I also know Russia. Generally, I feel equally at ease in Russia and Ukraine. I just feel sorry for the beautiful segment of the enslaved Russian people which cannot get rid of their own imperialistic yoke.

    You might want to see this (though in all likelihood you have already seen it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saooXEjR-Ac

    Comment by MJ — March 3, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

  32. The EU and US can and should impose “smart sanctions” on Russia. For example, an 10% import tariff on Russian exports, including petroleum and gas to western markets. Any money raised should then be put aside in a “solidarity fund” to help fund any economic dislocation caused by Russian actions to vulnerable EU economies or to help the future reconstruction of the Ukrainian economy. Since the vast bulk of Russian exports are bulk commodities, they have little discretionary pricing power,the Russians will have to essentially bear the burden of the tax themselves by discounting their FOB prices to match prevailing market prices. The tariff can then be ratcheted up or down depending on political developments. Let Russia pay the price for its destabilisation of Ukraine and its economy and put the West on a path of finding alternatives to Russian “conflict” commodities.

    Comment by Ramblarou — March 3, 2014 @ 3:55 pm

  33. > I wonder if So? has heard of the British Empire. Colonials lived much better in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand than the folks in the UK….

    There is a huge difference between the “colonists” and the “colonized”. The English colonists in Australia, Canada, USA, and New Zealand may indeed have lived better than their compatriots in England. It is no-brainer that they lived better because they brutally exploited the native peoples. They stole all the land from the locals and all the natural resources on the. The vast majority of the natives died out from murder, forced deportation, and disease, while the survivors did the meanest and least paid jobs, further enriching the colonizers.

    Today, few surviving natives of Australia, Canada, USA, and New Zealand speak their ancestors language as a first language, almost all of them are native English speakers.

    This English policy wasn’t necessarily racist, as a similar genocide was committed against European peoples and countries occupied and colonized by the English, such as Ireland, where millions were starved to death, and where very few speak their native language as their first language, using English instead, even in the currently independent country of Ireland. The white Boers and Black people of South Africa suffered similar fate, as the British invented the concept of concentration camps in order to conquer and subjugate them.

    The Brits are not racists. They are race-blind, equal opportunity genocidists, thieves and murderers.

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  34. They are still not as bad as the Russians.

    Russia committed the worst colonial genocides in history.

    Circassian genocide, numerous genocides of Siberian natives etc.

    Also note that in the case of New Zealand Maori have had political representation since the colony got a parliament.

    Also Vladislav, note that the Commonwealth is a voluntary grouping of former colonies and dominions, former colonies choose to remain part of it. Britain has a much much better relationship with it’s former colonies than Russia has wirh it’s.

    This should tell you something about who was worse.

    And back to the language question.

    You still have not answered the question about the language rights of ethnic minorities in Russia being oppressed. Or about the Georgians in Gali.

    Fairly typical hypocrisy on your part, typical behaviour for a racist Russian….

    Comment by Andrew — March 3, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

  35. Interestingly enough, when explaining the mindset of General Patton, who was a vicious Jew-hater and a great believer in the Nazi ideology, his biographers wrote:

    “The Germans were an Anglo-Saxon people, with proud military traditions. They were adept in the art of war. They resembled Americans”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=RRolDua/hqPMC&q=anglo#v=snippet&q=anglo&f=false

    http://voices.yahoo.com/the-dark-side-george-s-patton-666204.html

    Comment by vladislav — March 3, 2014 @ 11:50 pm

  36. > The EU and US can and should impose “smart sanctions” on Russia. For example, an 10% import tariff on Russian exports, including petroleum and gas to western markets.

    That’s an interesting idea. Which companies import Russian gas into, say, Germany, France, Netherlands, etc? I.e., which companies will have to pay an extra 10% of its revenues to their own government. If these are government-owned companies, are you proposing that the government tax itself? isn’t that a redundancy? That’s like taking a dollar bill out of your own pocket and then putting it back in…

    And if this importer is not government-owned, then if a European government increases its tax, this government will be making more money off of Russian gas than before and thus will have a huge incentive to help Russia as much as it can.

    Comment by vladislav — March 4, 2014 @ 1:02 am

  37. I have a very simple and highly effective and economical proposition as to how to save Ukraine, make it part of the West, turn Eastern Ukraine into a pro-Western land and even to make Crimeans beg to return back into Ukraine. I don’t have time now to translate it into English, so let me post it in Russian, and maybe translate later. I would like you and the readers to co-sign it and send to Obama and the Congress:

    Друзья, у меня есть предложение, с которым согласятся абсолютно ВСЕ здесь собравшиеся. Единственное, что спасет Украину и повернет Украину на западный путь, это немедленная экономическая интеграция с Западом. Так как Евросоюз отказался открыть свободную экономическую зону с Украиной и разрешить украинцам свободно работать в Европе, американское правительство должно, как всегда, взять инициативу на себя.

    Если США разрешают десяткам миллионов нелегалов из Мексики жить и работать в США, и периодически устраивают амнистии, позволяющие десяткам миллионов нелегалов из Мексики стать американскими гражданами, что может быть лучше, чем дать возможность нескольким миллионам украинских граждан работать в Америке? Нет, даже не надо давать им американское гражданство. Просто разрешить им поработать тут несколько лет (сколько им нужно) и потом уехать назад в Украину.

    Это, кстати, будет полезно и для американской экономики, и вскоре приведет к тому, что уровень жизни в Украине превзойдет европейский, и Крым будет молить власти Украины, чтобы они впустили Крым к себе, назад в Украину. И все это абсолютно мирным путем, без жертв!

    Друзья, давайте пошлем открытое письмо нашим лидерам:

    “President Obama, Congress, save Ukraine!

    We demand that you immediately establish a free-trade duty-free economic regime with Ukraine and allow all Ukrainian citizens the right to freely work in the USA if they want and as long as they want. They will, of course, be responsible for paying US Federal and state income taxes and will not be necessarily eligible for US citizenship. After they make enough money to start their own business, they will return to Ukraine, start a business, become job-creators, and make Ukraine a prosperous country.”

    Who wants to sign it?

    Comment by vladislav — March 4, 2014 @ 1:25 am

  38. @dixi,

    Congrats on putting the foxes in charge of the chicken coop. I’m sure you think you can deal with them later… somehow. The most important thing is not to think too hard, just go with the flow!

    Comment by So? — March 4, 2014 @ 2:17 am

  39. @ vladislav

    “Both. Tiahnybok is historically accurate AND he glorified the Holocaust, when he said: “They took their machine guns, went to the woods and fought Jews and other scum”. The Ukrainian nationalists indeed took the machine guns, went to the pits in the woods and exterminated innocent Jewish civilians, under the Nazi command. The only “inaccuracy” is that he used the euphemism “fought Jews” instead of admitting that they killed innocent unarmed Jewish civilians.

    You misquoted him again. He stated that they went to the woods and ” fought Germans, Jews, Russians and other scum.” He did not talk about execution pits and he used the word “fight” not “execute.” So, he did not glorify any Holocaust.

    Have you EVER seen ANYBODY admit that his side was shooting at unarmed children?! For example, even the most hardcore Hitler-admirers in Germany don’t say that Hitler killed unarmed Jewish civilains, but either deny the Holocaust or say that Hitler “fought” Jews. So, how is Tyanibok any different when he claims “fighting”?

    Well, if someone denied the Holocaust existed, he obviously is not defending the Holocaust, is he? How can someone deny that something happened and then glorify that which he denied occurred? I thought you were proud of your logical capabilities.

    Tiahnybok, AFAIK, has never denied the Holocaust’s existence. He almost certainly denies the OUN’s role in the Holocaust. How can someone who denies that the OUN participated in the Holocaust “glorify” the Holocaust? Although Bandera was no Stalin, at worst Tiahnybok is like those Russians who deny Stalin’s genocidal actions but celebrate his role in the defeat of Nazi Germany and in presiding over the USSR’s emergence as a superpower.

    So, do you have any major examples, where and when the UPA men fought Jews in a fair military battle, instead of exterminating unarmed Jewish civilians, or not?

    Again, you are trying to change the subject from whether or not Tiahnybok was historically accurate, to whether or not he glorified the Holocaust. His own words were quite clear: the Ukrainian resistance fought Germans, Jews, Russians.

    BTW, do you believe that there were no Jews among the Soviet partisan forces or the NKVD units whom UPA did fight against? Do you think that the Soviet partisan forces and NKVD units in Ukraine were somehow free of Jews? I don’t feel like spending time researching this because, as I have noted, it is irrelevant to the point we are discussing. But it seems to be an odd claim, that the Soviets refused to accept Jews into their ranks and that nobody from among the Soviet forces that UPA fought against was Jewish.

    “I didn’t read that post, but I totally agree that the nationalist militants, who shot and threw Molotoff cocktails at the Ukrainian lawmen and thus provoked the bloodbath, were a small minority. But they hid among the large crowd of peaceful, unarmed democracy-loving demonstrators and shot from behind their backs, killing several Berkut men and provoking them to shoot at the crowd in self-defence. And hundreds of innocent demonstrators and Berkut soldiers were killed.

    If you had read the article from the Times of Israel:

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/jewish-afghan-war-vet-killed-fighting-in-kiev-buried/#sthash.mDx0zuAS.dpuf

    You would have read that one of the men training, drilling, organizing the militants was a heroic Jewish Afghan war vet. He gave his life for Ukraine and received a hero’s funeral in western Ukraine. A rather strong refutation of the claim that the militant subgroup of the protesters are Nazis, no? (do you make this claim btw?)

    Where did you get this weird idea that I wrote that “Ukraine’s protesters are largely Nazis”?! I think it is YOU who owes an apology.

    Thank you for the clarification. I retract my statement and apologize for it. Now please retract your smear about me: “I am sorry you don’t see it reprehensible to persecute and prosecute people for their belonging to a certain ethnicity/race/religion,” when I had previously written ““Singling out Jewish organizations for investigation is of course anti-Semitic.” (which is, of course, reprehensible).

    Comment by AP — March 4, 2014 @ 8:12 am

  40. @So? You’re right to follow the tide is not about thinking, but about surviving and that’s what the oligarchs do now. If they do not learn this time, then adios by the Maidan to Putlerstan and … adieu to the sweet life in the West.

    Apropos of leading by example, when will you put up the fight yourself? I mean, you still living in California? Talk is cheap, otherwise you’d been in Kyiv at the Maidan bleeding with the fellow titushkis a loooong time by now.

    But of course, just like Putler sitting safe in the Kremlin and letting ALWAYS the others fight…you yourself like it better to stay in every real Russian patriot’s favourite place of all, that is, California (just for my Chechen pals to know). 🙂

    Comment by Dixi — March 4, 2014 @ 2:17 pm

  41. AP, clearly you either don’t understand logic or pretend not to. We have already spend 100000 times more time discussing Tyanibok than he deserves. Life is short. So, let us agree to disagree. I will remain knowing that he is a vicious xenophobe, chauvinist and antisemite, and that the US government should stop supporting Tyanibok and stop ordering Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to consult Tyanibok at least 4 times a week on policy matters. And you will continue to know the opposite.

    Comment by vladislav — March 4, 2014 @ 2:21 pm

  42. poor, poor little Kremlinoid vladislav

    First he brings up Tyahnybok – “see, see, he’s a Nazi, Ukraine should not have democracy, it should be under the rule of Vlad Dracul Putler”

    He brings it up because he thinks it is important, and it will “resonance” in the West and convince people that Vlad Dracul Putler is fighting to conquer Ukraine because Ukraine is all nazis and fascists or under the influence of nazis and fascists and Ukraine must be “saved” from nazis like Tyahnybok”.

    Then when knowledgeable people poke through his Kremlinoid WWII sovok mythology script, yet again he says – “well, I’m taking my marbles and going home, it’s not important, we really shouldn’t be discussing Tyahnybok.”

    vladislav, the Kremlinoids really do need to get you a new script

    Comment by elmer — March 4, 2014 @ 9:11 pm

  43. elmer, why don’t you go and rent out the space between your ears as a vacuum cleaner, and get your nose out adult conversations that oyu can’t understand.

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 1:24 am

  44. @Dixi,

    To believe that the puppet masters have now become the puppets makes you beyond naive. Good luck in your career as cannon fodder. Tell your friends to blow up the gas pipelines and free Ukraine of its Mongol yoke once and for all.

    Comment by So? — March 5, 2014 @ 3:46 am

  45. WHOOAAAAA – to filch a line from Pulp Fiction – check out the B-I-G B-R-A-I-N on vladislav

    vladislav protects “his country” – you know, the good ol’ USofA – by advocating that Vlad Dracul Putler should institute Putlerism in Ukraine, in order to “purify” Ukraine from nazis, fascists and anti-semites” for the glory of holy moozer oily orthodox roosha

    which makes sense only to a Kremlinoid troll who is impressed with Vlad Dracul Putler’s shirt-baring and kissing-little-boys-on-the-belly antics.

    Borrowing from the Kremlinoid script, maybe Putler should clean up his own backyard before he tries to institute Putlerism in Ukraine.

    «Уважаемый Владимир Владимирович.

    Мы узнали, что вы хотите ввести войска в Крым, чтоб защитить права русскоязычного населения

    В связи с этим у нас большая просьба — ввести войска в Вологодскую область. Мы здесь все сплошь русскоязычные и наши права очень ущемляются. Наши больные не могут получить нужных им лекарств и лечения, уровень нашего образования падает с каждым годом, закрываются детские секции и кружки, сельское хозяйство практически уничтожено. Мы все очень страдаем.

    А оккупанты, захватившие власть при помощи нечестных выборов, ничего НЕ делают для защиты населения. И тратят деньги на себя, на свой пиар, на свои кабинеты и загородный дома, на покупку квартир и авиачартеры.

    Мы будем вам очень благодарны и гарантируем, что никакой партизанской войны против освободителей Не будет. Да и международных санкций, наверняка, НЕ последует.

    А еще мы узнали, что вы собираетесь потратить много денег, чтоб нормализовать жизнь в Крыму. Стесняемся спросить: можно ли потратить эти деньги на нормализацию жизни в Вологодской области. А то наша область в такой Долговой яме, что ни на что денег Не хватает. А нам очень нужны мосты, дороги, спортивные сооружения, промышленные объекты, новые рабочие места …

    С уважением и надеждой на освобождение, русскоязычные жители Вологодской области».

    Читать полностью на http://news.eizvestia.com/news_abroad/full/454-zhiteli-rossijskoj-vologdy-prosyat-putina-vvesti-vojska-dlya-zashhity-ih-prav

    Comment by elmer — March 5, 2014 @ 12:01 pm

  46. elmer, funny that you have posted a letter complaining that since the fall of the Soviet Union, the economy and prosperity of average Russians has plummeted, and asking the government to create government-owned jobs. Are you a Communist? 🙂

    Comment by vladislav — March 5, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

  47. no, vladislav, I’m not;

    the letter obviously recognizes “managed democracy” in the Roosha under Putler and his Putlerist system of brutal corruption and kleptocratic oligarchy and authoritarianism.

    “In Roosha, the president of Roosha nominates the president of Roosha, who is then elected by the president of Roosha.”

    Comment by elmer — March 5, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress