Streetwise Professor

November 20, 2014

How Do You Know That Zero Hedge is a Russian Information Operation? Here’s How

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:41 pm

I have frequently written that Zero Hedge has the MO of a Soviet agitprop operation, that it reliably peddles Russian propaganda: my first post on this, almost exactly three years ago, noted the parallels between Zero Hedge and Russia Today.

A few days ago ZH ran a post that illustrates perfectly how it spews Russian propaganda that slanders the United States and other enemies of Russia, such as Ukraine: “Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: “There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault.”

The lurid post highlights a statement by the head of Ukraine’s Central Bank, to the effect that almost all the gold in Ukraine’s official reserve is gone. It states that this is news, a stunning revelation, which confirms a story that ZH reported a few weeks after the triumph of Maidan: that soon after Yanukovych fled, the gold had been spirited out of the country in the dead of night by airplane. It closes by stating the the disappearance of the gold occurred at the time that US State Department official Victoria Nuland was in Kiev. The implication is obvious. The US stole it:

In any event, now that the disappearance of Ukraine’s gold has been confirmed, perhaps it is time to refresh the “unconfirmed” story that a little after the current Ukraine regime took power the bulk of Ukraine’s gold was taken to the United States.

Wow. Quite a tale.

And one that overlooks crucial details. Most importantly, the Ukrainian CB’s “admission” of that the vaults are empty is not news. At all. A mere few days after Yanukovych fled, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenuk disclosed that the country’s gold reserves had been looted:

Speaking in parliament, Yatsenyuk said that the former government had left the country with $75bn of debts. “Over $20bn of gold reserve were embezzled. They took $37bn of loans that disappeared,” Yatsenyuk said. “Around $70bn was moved to offshore accounts from Ukraine’s financial system in the last three years,” he claimed. [Emphasis added.]

The US dispatched  FBI and Treasury investigators to assist Ukraine in an investigation.

Funny how ZH left out that history, which appeared in virtually every mainstream publication at the time, and made it seem for all the world like the Ukrainian Central Bank’s revelation hit the world like a thunderbolt, nine months after Yanukovych’s flight. That distortion of history makes it plain that the ZH story is not information, but an information operation.

Shortly after Yatsenuk disclosed the theft of the gold, stories started appearing on the web, first on a Russian website, claiming that the gold had been spirited out the country: including on ZH, which quoted the Russian web story. This obviously serves a Russian purpose: it presents a counter-narrative that blames the theft of the gold not on Yanukovych, or the Russians, but on the new Ukrainian government and the United States.

This is the classic Soviet/Russian agitprop MO that I noted 3 years ago. A story appears in an obscure publication, typically outside the US or Europe, where it has been planted by Soviet/Russian intelligence. It is then picked up by another, more widely read publication, in Europe or the West. Maybe it works its way through several additional media sources. It then gets disseminated more widely in the west, sometimes making it to prestige publications like the NYT.

In the era of the web, the information weapon needn’t make it that far. Getting into a widely-read web publication like Zero Hedge which is then linked by numerous other sources and tweeted widely ensures that the lie goes viral.

ZH is an important transmission belt moving the story from Russian propagandists/information warriors to western news consumers. It happens a lot. This is a particularly egregious example, but the transmission belt runs almost daily. ZH is as much a part of Putin’s information warfare as RT. If you follow closely enough, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

So why does anyone take Zero Hedge seriously? And believe me, many do. Many people who should know better.

And what is the US’s counterstrategy? Marie Harf’s Twitter account. I say again: we are so screwed.

 

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65 Comments »

  1. How come no one talks about who is behind ZH? A Russian who is banned from US securities market, that’s who.

    Comment by MarkIt — November 20, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

  2. @Markit-Not Russian, but Bulgarian. And a Bulgarian whose father has a resume that is clearly Bulgarian KGB that puts him in African conflict zones at the same time as Sechin. I wrote about that in my original post in November, 2011 (which is linked in this post). But this fact does need to be emphasized more.

    BTW, I am interviewed in the next issue of Markit magazine 😛

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 20, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

  3. Do people really take zero hedge seriously? It so far has called 20 of the last 0 hyper inflations and the comment section is riddled with antisemitism

    Comment by d — November 20, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

  4. Perhaps the Ukrainians moved the gold to Russia for “safe keeping”, as the Spanish leftists did when Stalin generously offered to look after it for them?

    On the subject of ZH, you can tell what it’s target audience is by looking at what else their readers post on places like Facebook: in my experience, people who share ZH articles also share batshit crazy conspiracy theories about chemtrails and other nefarious government plots, along with boiler-plate Russian propaganda (e.g. Ukraine has handed over all its oil wells to Chevron for free).

    Comment by Tim Newman — November 21, 2014 @ 12:36 am

  5. you know Ucraine can get rid easily of this story if they take some journalists to make some pictures of the gold in the basement of the national bank…
    stories like this happen time and again when regimes collapse due to revolutions, coups d’etat, civil war and so on, and unfortunatelly it is plausible

    Comment by u — November 21, 2014 @ 3:37 am

  6. “So why does anyone take Zero Hedge seriously? And believe me, many do. Many people who should know better.” It seems to be a daily (hourly?) read for some traders and salespeople in Eastern European stocks and bonds.

    “A story appears in an obscure publication, typically outside the US or Europe, where it has been planted by Soviet/Russian intelligence.” A few instances of this MO are documented in the Mitrokhin archives. It also helps that these days, UK papers like The Telegraph think it’s OK to reprint stories from tabloids. One would think the difference in fact-checking standards would preclude that but it does not.

    Comment by Alex K. — November 21, 2014 @ 3:45 am

  7. When Streetwise Professor will run an article about how does he know that Yatsenyk is an totally Ucranian patriot and how truthfull is whatever he says. We want to hear both sides, aren’t we?

    Comment by Vitalio — November 21, 2014 @ 3:50 am

  8. You talk about Russian propaganda, but what about Western propaganda. How many of Western Sheeple even know of what is happening in the middle east. that the dear allies of nato, qatar and saudi (ever heard of prince bandar bush?) financed and trained the ISIS. Hell, even the US probably helped train them (under the guise of training moderates). I wonder where the moderates are nowadays, no one hears of them and billions were spent training and equipping them.
    how many in the western media published the telephonic conversation nuland had with the us ambassador in ukraine that was out on youtube. can you imagine what it will be like if the chinese interfere likewise in the internal affairs of the uk or the us. but hey, the us can do whatever it wants, install whichever puppet it wants in any country it wants. yes, the us is always on the side of the righteous, always right, the exceptional nation with manifest destiny. and the rest of the world is just chickenshit. or at least thats what the western media will have us believe.
    Remind me, who in the western media actually caught Bush and Cheney lying and published anything. How many opposed the war which was completely made up. had any other country did that, the entire senior leadership of the us would have been in jail now, after having been found guilty by the international criminal court. oh sorry i forgot, the us is not a member of the ICC. how very convenient!

    You who point one finger at Russia know that 4 of your own fingers are pointed at you. The free western media – what a myth.

    Comment by same ol fellow — November 21, 2014 @ 4:14 am

  9. I agree that the ZH article does not provide an unbiased view. But neither those this article, claims are made with no supporting evidence.

    “A story appears in an obscure publication, typically outside the US or Europe, where it has been planted by Soviet/Russian intelligence”

    I don’t believe RT or ZH, however, neither do I believe everything coming out of BBC, CNN, CNBC, etc… My view is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

    Comment by Lance — November 21, 2014 @ 4:30 am

  10. Agree with everything. However, pleaaaase change the background. My eyes hurt when I read your stuff.

    Comment by Simon — November 21, 2014 @ 4:31 am

  11. I am sure they’re not.
    ZH is just a good media business with relatively low-cost structure and good revenues.
    Their informational manifesto is just a competetive advantage.

    Trust me, I know how things doing in Russia.
    Zerohedge is too ingenious to be “Russian Information Operation”

    Comment by Tim M. — November 21, 2014 @ 5:49 am

  12. I typed in a Google search: “Ukraine Gold Missing”, and limited the search to the past 7 days. The ZH article comes up first. This blog is in that search parameter. There are two pages of other links in this search, and yes, one of them is Russian based.

    But there are no links to the WSJ, NYT, WaPo, Telegraph, Guardian,FT, NZZ, Asian Times. There are no links to the story from any mainstream media outlets. Does this confirm that ZH is a mouthpiece for the Russians? Or does it prove that ZH is a place to go to get news that can’t be found in traditional media?

    The topic “Where’s the Central Bank’s Gold” is a very big story of late. Germany is struggling with this issue, and Switzerland will have a major national vote on exactly this topic in two weeks.

    When the head of the Ukrainian CB comes out publicly and confirms “The gold is not in our vault”, it is a story of some significance. There is 1) a political side to this, 2) there are economic implications to this and yes, 3) it is a factor that influences the price of gold. I, for one, am interested in all three aspects of this. Therefore I go to ZH to find out what is not in the traditional news outlets.

    You would be right to question some of the articles at ZH, but you would be a fool to trust the NYT to give you all of the news.

    Bruce Krasting

    Comment by Bruce Krasting — November 21, 2014 @ 6:16 am

  13. Neither should anyone believe what Yatsenyuk says – at all!
    Unfortunately Ukraine has become a broken, insolvent and now split country that lost the war against the – clearly Russian-sponsored – “seperatists” in the east – it has neither the financial, technical nor human resources to recapture the eastern parts of Ukraine and it would be insane to try this in any case as Russia can and will up the ante with hardly any limit. Many are to blame for this including former Ukrainian leaders and the European Union but also Russia.
    Zero Hedge is a very up-to-date information platform that often just cites other people’s research/reports or economic data. I totally disagree with some of its spins but its still a valuable read any day..

    Comment by Dr.D — November 21, 2014 @ 6:56 am

  14. Let’s suppose you are right about the Russian link with ZH. Let’s even suppose it is agitprop.
    Would you rather hear agitprop from a country whose president is elected by popular mandate (however flawed Russian elections are) and who is genuinely supported by a majority of the population (however backward that population is), or would you prefer agitprop by an unelected and minority supported dictatorship such as the EU?
    Given the choice between believing ZH or Euro-loving MSM (who are subsidized by the EU dictators), I would choose ZH any time.

    Comment by Orca — November 21, 2014 @ 8:55 am

  15. This reminds me of a mean-girl cheerleader spreading a rumor that one of her virgin enemies is a slut.

    Comment by Duncan Parker — November 21, 2014 @ 9:03 am

  16. Obviously, it’s not just Zero Hedge that is part of the war on information being conducted by the Kremlin.

    If you want to see the lengths to which the Kremlinoids are going to hide the fact that Russian soldiers are being sent to Ukraine and dying in combat, see this:

    http://khpg.org/index.php?id=1416486621

    Schlosberg himself was savagely attacked at the end of August, just days after he published an article with information about the Pskov paratroopers who had died in Ukraine and whose death Russia was trying to conceal.

    Shlosberg’s article “The Dead and the Living” describes the funerals on Aug 25 of two paratroopers – Leonid Kichatkin and Alexander Osipov – in the village of Vybuty outside Pskov. It begins with the words: “The Russian state is trying to hide the fact that it is sending its sons to war, conceal how they die and where their funerals are taking place”.

    ————

    On the other hand, the attack on Schlosberg was only one incident in an ongoing offensive against those who try to find out about soldiers fighting and dying in Ukraine. 71-year-old Ludmila Bogatenkova from a local Soldiers’ Mothers groups is now on house arrest and facing highly questionable charges. The investigators tried to get her remanded in custody but she was in such bad health that the SIZO refused to admit her. Around the same time, the St Petersburg Soldiers’ Mothers organization was forcibly registered as a ‘foreign agent’.

    Comment by elmer — November 21, 2014 @ 9:21 am

  17. “Agitprop” is truly an apt label for ZH – irrespective of whether FSB fingerprints are real or imagined. “Financial Agitprop” might be described as that genre at the nexus of the soiled politics of fear & anxiety, economic/financial demagoguery, and talking your book, (or providing a platform for other opponents of the prevailing systemic order to do so). Despite my obvious distaste for the genre, and its potential harm, I am skeptical of an FSB/ZH conspiracy- if only because, with the means at the NSA’s disposal, one would have thought they would have been all over this. In the long run, agitprop (ZH or otherwise) is its own worst enemy making it easy prey for the satire and ridicule it deserves.

    Comment by nihoncasandra — November 21, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

  18. ZH was very active in antiwallsteet retorics well before west-russia ties soured.
    For ZH aka Tyler Durden 1,2 yrs ago worked ~ 20, 25 writers. I have to admit their investigations were very informative, digging out HFT, GS etc murky deeds.
    Sure their line is antiUSA, and and as of lately they added proRussia approach, but does it prove that they are payed by Kremlin ? I doubt it, its just they found their niche of american denial and are exploiting it succesfully .
    For my daily trading i keep open their twitter to see thier interprtation of the fresh news, all in all i like them :)

    Comment by erik — November 21, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  19. Erik, The founder’s own father was Bulgarian KGB and specialized in agitprop media. Not a coincidence. And how do you suppose Danya makes a living since being banned by SEC?

    Comment by L2 — November 21, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

  20. @Erik- Digging into HFT? LOL.

    Comment by L2 — November 21, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

  21. @erik-My November, 2011 post called ZH and RT “peas in a pod” precisely because, from the beginning of Occupy, they were both taking the same anti-US, anti-capitalism line. RT and ZH were indistinguishable. The “pro Russia” approach isn’t something added “lately.” It’s been there for years.

    Note that the pronounced anti-American turn in Russia media is not something that happened post-Crimea, post-sanctions. It dates from Putin’s re-election, in March, 2011.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 21, 2014 @ 2:32 pm

  22. @nihoncasandra-NSA can be aware of it, and not do anything to stop it. What would/could they do?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 21, 2014 @ 2:52 pm

  23. @Duncan. Yeah, ZH the epitome of purity and truth. Care actually to refute any fact mentioned in the post? Notably, the fact that ZH completely ignored the fact that Yatsenuk had revealed the gold theft 9 months ago, which would implicate Yanukovych and/or the Russians? That omission is very telling.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 21, 2014 @ 2:58 pm

  24. @The Professor – i’m from Russia and frankly didnt notice in 2011 on state TV and radio much of antiamericanism, maybe there was but not noticeable.
    All changed 1 year ago after Maydan, now America is our main enemy :) i completely stopped watching state TV stations , where day and nigth USA is smeared with swaths of lies, strangely enough Europe is completely saved from that, maybe for now.

    Comment by erik — November 21, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

  25. ZH is the queen of false flag conspiracy theories, all these false flags, of course by either the US or Israel. Never is ruSSia involved in false flags. Hello, wake up and smell the kremlin crap.

    ZH like all ruSSian propaganda talks about all the protests and troubles in the west, any reporting of ruSSia and it’s all about how stong putinksi is. This parodox of projection, they project west being week and ruSia being strong indicates as the professor mentioned in the last post that the natural state that ruSSia is in, is not stable and a major change is to occur soon.

    No doubt Nerola will be playing golf as these changes occur.

    By the way the russian rocket engine that caused the US space launch catastophe in Virginia, was that rocket engine a sabotage engine sold to the US. Remeber it was Nerola who dropped the space shuttle program to only rely on russsian space transport. Now theirs a theory you can believe in.

    Comment by traveler — November 21, 2014 @ 3:47 pm

  26. Take a look at this fine gentleman, (link below) who is, was the producer of Russia Today in moscow. He will no longer put out propoganda, lets hope this happens to ZH producer too.

    http://lifenews.ru/news/145523

    Comment by traveler — November 21, 2014 @ 4:17 pm

  27. I for one feel ashamed for sharing the same nationality as the guy who is behind the ZH FSB project.
    I would like to assure that not all the Bulgarians are such a**holes as Даниел Иванджийски (Daniel Ivandzhiyski) who is working against Bulgaria’s partners at NATO and the EU. One day everything pays back and I hope this guy get extradited by the USA as a thread for the national security (what he really is).

    P.S. My first visit of this blog was after I was looking for the connection between Daniel and ZH about an year ago (right before the Maidan events started to develop in Ukraine). It was in interesting piece of investigative journalism for me which I shared with a few friends of mine who were not aware about the Bulgarian link of ZH tinfoil rubbish.

    Comment by Europeo — November 21, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

  28. @Europeo-Don’t worry. No stereotyping of Bulgarians here.

    Glad you found the blog.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 21, 2014 @ 7:10 pm

  29. SWP – The flip side of “What can they do?” is “What can’t they do?”. If “we” can build a case against, and put Martha Stewart in jail, then I’d surmise if there is reasonable evidence demonstrating FSB complicity – evidence that is practically difficult to prosecute (due to geography, jurisdiction, 1st ammednment etc.) – NSA can go fishing through their historical treasure trove of everything electronic and find something of interest on everyone involved (including turning the screws on advertisers). I’m not advocating this, for concern that authorities may succumb to “Frodo-Precious” risk, but it is a plausible possibility.

    Make no mistake, I’m not an apologist (see my credentials here: http://nihoncassandra.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/take-zero-hedge-test.html, nor do I have any reason to doubt your research. And while I do not think the US Govt is omnipotent (my main argument against belief in equity mkt PPT & persisent AU mkt manip), I do think they’ve demonstrated themselves technically capable and having sufficient resolve in matters of war, and national security (though sadly less so in other social spheres).

    Comment by nihoncassandra — November 21, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

  30. It’s probably beyond dispute that by now ZH is fastened to the Russian state media-ops teat: you only have to look at their MH17 coverage. It’s seriously dubious that it started out as a Russian media operation though. It certainly didn’t start out as anyone’s well-oiled media operation: that much is clear from the site’s known technical, financial and personnel issues during its early boom period. There’s little more reason to think that the site’s Ron Paulite agenda and worldview were originally an FSB concoction than that those of Ron Paul himself are. If Sen. Paul sounds like someone who might be getting some Russian money of his own nowadays, well, I’m certainly not going to assure you that he isn’t, but clearly it wasn’t the original motivation for his isolationist foreign policy stance and other views. Indeed, it’s clear that the success of Russia Today and so on is partly down to Moscow’s success in hooking up with – and to some extent corrupting, there’s no question about it – genuinely preexisting voices of dissent from the “Washington consensus” (for want of a more precise and accurate term) instead of simply inventing them.

    Setting out to expose ZH is usually a bit beside the point, in general. It surely hasn’t escaped the attention of a ZH reader like, say, Bill Gross that the quality of the articles is not exactly uniformly excellent, nor are the editorial standards a model of objectivity, let alone that the comments sometimes leave something to be desired…

    Comment by M.B. Drapier — November 22, 2014 @ 3:30 am

  31. American media of course is so objective and truthful… right?

    The lies about Ukraine and the river of anti-Putin, anti-Russian propaganda seems to know no limit. Demonization, provocation and mis/dis-information have been the order of the day. It takes Henry Kissinger to actual say one or two truthful things about Western culpability for what has gone down in Ukraine to give you even a marginal sense of the lying that passes for news in US media.

    American media reports that the Maidan protests were some type of rising up of the Ukrainian people tantamount to revolution was a big lie. There is no way the Maidan was representative of the Ukrainian people. The US used their NGO’s and the CIA to help create the conditions that allowed Svoboda and Pravy Sektor fascists to overthrow the ELECTED government of Victor Yanukovych. His government would never have been ousted without the deployment of neo-Nazis and other thugs who helped usher in… not some “revolutionary government of change” but more billionaire oligarchs and their corrupt hangers on. Choco King Poroshenko made his billions in highly questionable ways… and is now being edified and whitewashed by the West even as he turns a blind eye to the neo-Nazi volunteer battalions such as Azov and Aidar that have been terrorizing the towns and villages in the East. Any of this reported in American media? No of course not. It just lies about Putin and Russian “aggression” while acting as though it is is above blame. Sanctimonious hypocrisy doesn’t begin to cover it.

    What do you think the US would do if a country on its southern border with whom it shared a long familial/historical relationship was destabilized by Russian agents and NGO’s – and Putin or some other Kremlin politico paraded around McCain-style in the public square adding fuel to the fire? Imagine if American friends and allies living in that country were subjected to shelling and assaults by battalions of thugs… thousands displaced, injured and killed. Do you think Washington would stay out of it? Russia is looking after its legitimate interests. The nation that should stay the hell out of it is the USA… that as usual is acting as though it owns the planet.

    Comment by jcee — November 22, 2014 @ 6:04 am

  32. Look in the corner at the bottom of the Zero Hedge page. There is an ABC affiliation noted. Do the Russians own ABC? I do not think anyone other than the broadcasting network ABC would be allowed to use this identifier without being confronted by the network’s legal team. I visit ZH a lot. I do so to counteract the propaganda put out by the main stream media in the U.S.

    I wouldn’t doubt the ruling elite of all nations have a hand book on who will be playing what part this year. The critical thing for this group is to keep all us little people at each other’s throats while they go about the business of collecting the riches and power they never seem to get enough of.

    Think about it- the ruling elite have more in common with each other than the peoples they govern (suppress may be a better word.) What better way to keep the power flowing then the old divide and conquer method. We, the people, need to refuse to fight their wars. We, the people, need to refuse to use support major banks and corporations. Read whatever you like but know the best way to diffuse the situation is stop to participating.

    Comment by jeffries — November 22, 2014 @ 10:48 am

  33. @SWP

    I thought that your blog had become a Kremlin-troll-free zone.

    Turns out that you have once again attracted Kremlinoid Trolls – witness “jcee.”

    Complete with invectives against “fascists” in Ukraine and the US conspiracy, somehow or other, to “destabilize” the Rasha.

    Apparently, the Rasha “owns” Ukraine somehow, according to Kremlinoid Trolls.

    Comment by elmer — November 22, 2014 @ 11:06 am

  34. @elmer-In a weird way, I’m glad they’re back. It’s educational, in its own way. What they lack in creative thought, they make up for with creative spelling and grammar. And their swarming to the defense of ZH pretty much supports my argument. The swarm validates.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 22, 2014 @ 12:22 pm

  35. “Indeed, it’s clear that the success of Russia Today and so on is partly down to Moscow’s success in hooking up with – and to some extent corrupting, there’s no question about it – genuinely preexisting voices of dissent from the “Washington consensus” (for want of a more precise and accurate term) instead of simply inventing them.”

    Sadly, true. Think of the enormous amount of support the USSR received from sizable segments of the Western public. Think of all those volunteers, the red flags over Cambridge, the people who risked their all to steal nuclear secrets. The power of delusion is enormous.

    Comment by Alex K. — November 22, 2014 @ 1:02 pm

  36. +++ genuinely preexisting voices of dissent from the “Washington consensus” (for want of a more precise and accurate term) instead of simply inventing them.+++

    O, please: “for a want of…” We used to call them “commies” and Sen. Joseph McCarthy knew how to handle them.

    Comment by LL — November 22, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

  37. Professor, it is not denied by ZH that it was created and is maintained by a disillusioned wall street analyst/trader originally born in a former Soviet bloc country. I could be inferred that there is a misguided allegiance to former Soviet glory there someplace, especially in light of the clinically insane namby-pambys running the west these days. ZH is a blog, which is an amalgam of news, information and lots of opinion. The discussions about world macroeconomics and stories from history are reason enough to frequent it as a source of information. You shouldn’t think so little of your fellow man that we would accept any or all of what ZH puts out there as absolute truth. I personally am a Jew and don’t appreciate that many on ZH have a finger that is always at the ready to indicate that my demographic is at the wheel of world economic destruction. However, there are no sources of information these days that I trust 100%, and I don’t believe I’m alone. So I will pick through my sources daily looking for what I see as lining up with reality in my search for the ever-so gritty truth about what is happening in the world.

    BTW, I see you’re excited about an upcoming interview on Markit Magazine, eh? I assume you know Markit magazine is published by a company of the same name that is integral to the trading of CDSs between the major banks, for those who don’t know CDSs are the poison securities that will eventually cause the implosion of the western banking system due to the fact that they can never be reconciled as to each bank’s exposure/liability, so just they keep trading them and smiling that is until the music stops. That said, what are YOUR allegiances, Professor? Just anti-Putin or are you pro-western banking system?

    Comment by Hugh — November 23, 2014 @ 1:19 am

  38. @jeffries-That’s not ABC as in American Broadcasting Corporation. It’s the name of a company registered to Danil Ivandjiiski’s father. If you search Whois, you’ll find a registration for ABC Media, Ltd. at P.O. Box 814 Sofia, Bulgaria. The same address is used as the contact address for Krassimir Ivandjiiski on his website and for his consulting business.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — November 23, 2014 @ 8:48 am

  39. elmer, I’m amused at the veracity and sheer extent of payrolled, my guess, Kremlin trolls. Pick any comment section following a western MSM article critical of Putin/Russia and they arrive shortly on cue like flies on sh*t. They aren’t the brightest bulbs on the porch brigade either.

    I read Zero Head for awhile. I got tired of their gold bug obsession and the general commentary. ZH does get a few things right, but, I’m with the Professor that under the surface they’ve got an agenda sourced by something bigger than their little executive board.

    Comment by penny — November 23, 2014 @ 11:04 am

  40. @Penny
    veracity = truthful nature of a given information. I don’t think all the pro-Russian shills are rushing in here to spout truth, only the truth they want people to believe. You meant ferocity, no?

    Comment by Hugh — November 23, 2014 @ 11:56 am

  41. @Hugh, I stand corrected. “Ferocity” is a better choice. My brain went dead on that one.

    Comment by penny — November 24, 2014 @ 9:40 am

  42. I’ve taken a look at the official Central Bank statistics for Ukraine. ZH has pointed out a possible, although by no means proven, discrepancy between the official stats and the Central Bank governor’s statements, and spun it into an impossible tale of Americans stealing Ukrainian gold. The best way to counter it would be for the CBU to provide extra details to clear things up.

    From the end of August 2013 until the end of September 2014, the CBU’s gold reserves, as reported under the IMF standard (SDDS), remained in the range of 1.29-1.38 million ozt. In October 2014, the CB sold some of that and the gold holdings fell from 1.3 to 0.84 mn ozt. In terms of value, it was about 8% of total CBU reserves.

    Then on Nov. 17, the CBU governor said – that’s on YouTube coming from her own mouth so I assume it’s not faked – that “physically”, there was almost no gold in the CB’s vault, “less than 1%” of its forex reserves.

    First, the CB could have simply sold the rest of the gold between Oct. 30 and Nov. 17. Not likely but possible. Second, the IMF’s definition of “gold” includes “gold deposits and, if appropriate, gold swapped”. It does not have to be gold bullion deep underground in Kyiv.

    Comment by Alex K. — November 25, 2014 @ 2:26 am

  43. Wow, this allegation, true or false, doesn’t make the neocons in this country any less evil. They are pushing to surround Russia and they want to piss off Putin. That is a dangerous plan by a bunch of crazies. You guys should read my ebook about the neocon crazies. They are certainly that.

    Comment by Gary Anderson — December 1, 2014 @ 2:24 pm

  44. […] sposób dezinformacji przez dawne sowieckie służby, a także przez Russia Today (ciekawy wpis tutaj). Osoby zajmujące się wywiadem rosyjskim i radzieckim – w tym między innymi Edward Lucas w […]

    Pingback by Russia Hedge | Owczy Pęd — December 13, 2014 @ 8:11 am

  45. I am amazed.
    I got on there to read up on ZH and how it is promoting Russian propaganda, and here I find the opposite.
    We are calling those who visit or read ZH propagandists yet pretend like only we know the actual truth? Get real.

    This is amazing….everyone is north america (I am Canadian, so don’t even start with the “paid Kremlin troll” b.s.) calls people in Russia brainwashed and how we can clearly see through THEIR propaganda, yet we do not see through ours and anyone who, now, supports Russia or argue for it, is a paid Kremlin troll….

    How people do not see the double-standard, is beyond me.

    Comment by A.R. — January 15, 2015 @ 6:22 pm

  46. @A.R. Don’t worry. I won’t call you a paid Russian troll. You’re worse. You talk that trash for free. Buh-bye.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 15, 2015 @ 7:17 pm

  47. […] […]

    Pingback by Rouble collapse threatens economic and political stability of Europe - Page 139 — January 16, 2015 @ 7:30 am

  48. My thoughts precisely AR. I am Irish, so not much use to the Kremlin ..

    One look at the composition of the current Ukrainian government – including some warlord who recently admitted to attending parliament with a live grenade in his pocket – is proof enough the lunatics overtaken over the asylum..

    There are definitely neo-Nazi elements in the current govt. And they were active at the Madan protests: they may very well have been the trigger to the massacre. To call them fascist is not trolling – it is accurate.

    Yats – known to the Ukes as The Rabbit – made a recent statement that was nothing less than a rewriting of history: he gott called out on it and was forced to ‘correct’ his claim. Presumably The Rabbit spends too much time around illiterates to exercise due caution when broadcasting opportunistic revision..

    Fortunately, his cri de coeur has been heard by that well-known monument to world peace – Senator John McCain. Aid of the martial kind will soon, if not already, be wending its way East- courtesy of the US tax payer (my own relatives among them).

    Guess Willy Wonka Potroschenko needs to keep his ministers sweet – and there’s only so many old Soviet-era grenades to go round..

    Comment by dee — January 19, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

  49. […] […]

    Pingback by Long Weekend Thread: January 17, 18 & 19 - Page 2 — January 21, 2015 @ 1:43 am

  50. […] Streetwise Professor: Here’s How You Know That Zerohedge is a Russian Information Operation […]

    Pingback by Russian Propagandists at Zerohedge Showing Palpable Desperation - Kid Dynamite's World — February 16, 2015 @ 4:08 pm

  51. […] […]

    Pingback by Friday May 1, a key day - Page 2 — May 1, 2015 @ 9:12 am

  52. Well… well… It’s a sad day that less than a year later Zerohedge is proven correct once again and another clueless liberal is proven wrong once again.

    I’m not really surprised.

    Bye bye Mr. Sheeple prof.

    Comment by Cure yourself — July 12, 2015 @ 7:24 pm

  53. ZH is a honeypot owned by the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a multi-agency OSINT effort but it also, at times, gets help from Fox Broadcasting. Most finance related stories come out of FBI financial crimes. But you get all types of .gov agents on there. They have multiple usernames and behind the scenes the more they post comments and post stories, the more it adds to their year end bonus.

    FBI, Homeland, and spooks from CIA too. I could tell you stories about ZH that would really freak you out.

    Comment by Ohme Ohmy — August 26, 2015 @ 1:44 pm

  54. @OhmeOhmy-Catherine? Is that you?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 26, 2015 @ 5:43 pm

  55. Check the Twitter accounts associated with ZH in this news-aggregate online paper – RT, Sputnik, you name them:

    https://twitter.com/LaurenceMorton/status/702269248396247040
    https://twitter.com/LaurenceMorton/status/701917228409692161
    https://twitter.com/LaurenceMorton/status/701526034999590913

    Comment by Suka — February 29, 2016 @ 3:09 pm

  56. […] to reap rewards” had taken on a different approach, accusing the website of being a “Russian information operation”, supporting pro-Russian interests, which allegedly involved KGB and even Putin ties, simply because […]

    Pingback by The Full Story Behind Bloomberg's Attempt To "Unmask" Zero Hedge | Zero Hedge — April 29, 2016 @ 1:33 pm

  57. […] to reap rewards” had taken on a different approach, accusing the website of being a “Russian information operation”, supporting pro-Russian interests, which allegedly involved KGB and even Putin ties, simply because […]

    Pingback by The Full Story Behind Bloomberg's Attempt To "Unmask" Zero Hedge | ValuBit — June 16, 2016 @ 7:21 am

  58. I stopped taking ZH seriously when I noticed how closely its anti-US, anti-Western lines so frequently followed and mirrored the latest agitprop and contrived fictions from Sputnik and RT. Russia is running a very serious state-controlled propaganda campaign aimed at destabilising the West at every possible level. Key components include its army of paid, full-time bloggers in Russia, whose task is to swamp Western media talkbacks with strident and abusive posts – albeit with poor spelling, grammar ans obvious use of key words like ‘fascist’, ‘imperialist’ etc – the aim being to make ordinary contributors give up trying to compete. That is coupled with various trojan horse operations like ZH and taking over other militant and anarchist blogs, in the way that the hard communist/international socialist entryists have always worked.

    This whole effort is not just political or economic strategy, it is principally a component part of Russian military strategy, adding cyber and propaganda warfare to the kinetic defence arms. As Georgian, Ukranian, Estonian and Latvian web sites have found, they are quickly swamped by Kremlin bloggers when Russia ratchets up the pressure and the direct threats.

    There is nothing casual or harmless about ZH’s constant regurgitation of Putin agitptop, people need to wake up and realise that this is deliberate state-on-state disinformation designed to undermine and destabilise a whole segment of society.

    Comment by Cripes — August 16, 2016 @ 3:12 am

  59. thank you for posting this. I have been checking ZH only for the past few weeks and i had exactly the same impression, so much so that i searched the web for similar views and gladly found your blog. They are insufferable

    Comment by mdanig — October 19, 2016 @ 4:57 pm

  60. […] The fact that Zero Hedge is a “popular libertarian hub” says nothing about concerns over its relationship with Russian […]

    Pingback by Information Warfare and the Progressive's Dilemma - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money — November 30, 2016 @ 3:57 pm

  61. I don’t think Zero Hedge are linked to Russia, although some of the contributors likely have sympathetic views towards Russia. That is not to say all contributors do, as it’s actually made up of many (many of whom you can see who is contributing).

    Overall the site requires critical thinking skills. There is a lot of absolute crap on it. Stuff that genuinely warps you mind and can damage your trading views. It is not something you genuinely trade off. I personally see it as an entertaining outlet (the comments on it are hilarious also), and as a critical thinking exercise. Every now and then you see a genuinely good article also. Although they are the exception, not the rule. Most of the articles with the biggest comment and view counts are the political pieces. This is where they seem to make most of their revenue theses days. However, it’s usually the straight analysis pieces with the low comment / view count that catches my attention.

    Comment by Borat — December 30, 2016 @ 3:14 am

  62. Continuing on from previous comment. Zero Hedge is an unusual site, in the sense that it doesn’t provide good trading / financial views (anyone who seriously trades will NEVER trade based on anything they write. It’s past news. All crap). Hence why it doesn’t serve much purpose as a pure finance website. Hence probably why it’s become heavily political over the years also (I guess it has always been though, but from my opinion it seems to have increased over the past 1.5 or so years. Combine this with all the crap on it, and you have a genuinely low quality site. Like I said, I read it only as a form of entertainment to laugh at some of the dumb articles, and to laugh at the dumb yet hilarious comments. And like I said, every now and then a good article actually does pop up. If you filter through the crap and apply an extremely critical filter (or alternatively you can just view everything being written on it as a form of critique) then you can find some value in the site. It is there, but you have to filter / search for it. The site could really be so much better, but it is what it is. A low quality / crazy site with the occasionally good financial analysis piece. Nothing more.

    Comment by Borat — December 30, 2016 @ 3:24 am

  63. Zerohedge is without a doubt a Russian propaganda operation. Some of the commenters here are paid Russian trolls as well, such as A.R.

    Comment by American — January 3, 2017 @ 5:59 am

  64. It’s so obvious that ZH is Russian propaganda now with all this information about Putin’s cyberwarfare made available to a broader audience. The FSB needs to step their game up, the cowardly “let’s load the internet up with sensationalist bullshit theories to undermine the Western alliance” jig is up.

    Comment by Bubi Deutschmann — March 19, 2017 @ 9:11 am

  65. >My thoughts precisely AR. I am Irish, so not much use to the Kremlin ..

    This was clearly written by russian troll, this wording is very similar to their propaganda they use in russian language.

    Comment by KEK — August 10, 2017 @ 3:25 pm

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