Russia Insider – Roku, Web, and more

As time permits, I’ve been wandering through the “few hundred” Roku channels I’d chosen as my starter set. I’d only picked them as they were free and had something that looked like it might interest me. Many turn out to be duds. Some are just golden. Others are a bit of a mystery. A few are just strange…

So today I decided to check out Russia Insider. I had one Russian class about 40 years ago, and can at best pick out a few words, but there are still times I wonder if I ought to pick it up again. Usually a couple of days with my old text book “clarifies” for me that the same issues remain for me. The different alphabet. The complex grammar. But I never seem to quite give up. Besides, Russia Matters. And not just because the UK is continuing “The Great Game” nor because the Soros fed and tamed EU is using it as a cudgel to try to attack Trump, nor even because the EU Wannabe Democrat Progressives are doing the same. The simple fact is that Russia is one of 4 major power centers in the world. USA, EU, Russia, China. What they do matters.

The Channel

The claim is that this stuff is from inside Russia. It certainly looks like it. Some of the video clips have English subtitles, many (perhaps most) do not. What I can follow of the Russian matches the subtitles, so I think it’s a straight translation when you have it.

There are LOTS of interesting videos, and just the titles and descriptions (in English) are an interesting insight into the country. One was a short clip claiming that Russia and an Electronic Warfare capability to render useless all of the USA advanced gear. Blocking everything from radio to radar to satellites. It claims that a Russian jet got inside the defense perimeter of an Aegis Destroyer, then turned on some jamming gear when it detected the ship “lighting it up” and completely disabled the electronics of the ship. “Interesting” if true… Here’s a YouTube claiming the same thing:

True? Not true? There seems to be several sources of confirmation.

So that kind of thing is interesting to find, and this channel seems willing to brag about such things.

Then there was a speech by Putin at an Arctic Conference. It was not translated, but I picked out a few words like “climate” and “arctic”. A short search gave a translation, directly from the Kremlin.

It has an interesting bit on the Russian intent to develop their north shore for commerce.

Cooperation among scientists and the broad exchange of experience and programmes are particularly important given the scale of the development plans for this territory, including within the framework of large international projects. Of course, one of the recent positive examples is the Yamal LNG project in which seven countries are involved in one way or another.

Russia proceeds from the premise that there is no potential for conflicts in the Arctic region. International norms clearly define the rights of both coastal and other states and serve as a solid basis for joint work in solving any problems, including such sensitive ones as the delineation of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean and preventing unregulated fishing in the central part of the sea, which is closed off from the exclusive economic zones of the United States, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Russia.

I stress that Russia is open to constructive cooperation and is creating all the conditions for its effective development. We have a very extensive economic programme for the Arctic that is calculated for many, many years to come. It already includes over 150 projects with estimated investment of trillions of roubles. Above all else, we will support initiatives that have a multiplier effect for the Arctic regions and for our country as a whole, including through public private partnership mechanisms and the creation of so-called development support zones, which we regard not only as territories but primarily as a list of coordinated, mutually complementary projects, as well as instruments of state support. These and many other measures will be included in the new version of the state programme for the development of Russia’s Arctic zone. In particular, we are talking about the formation of a block of modern scientific and technological solutions that are needed in the difficult conditions of this region, improvements in the environmental monitoring system, and the development of offshore deposits. We devote special attention to the Northern Sea Route, which I just spoke about at the start of my address.

Then the Russia Insider also has a web site:

It looks, on a quick scan, like mostly the same stuff, but perhaps missing the Russian Language only videos (it IS the /en English feed).

In Conclusion

It’s a very interesting channel. It gives an insight into just what the Russians are thinking and valuing. Things like the image of Putin as a serious national leader, not just a boogie man. Emphasis on interesting armament. Emphasis on culture and more.

I’ll keep watching bits and pieced there. Both those with translations and those without. (Even without you can pick up things… posture, attitudes, images projected behind speakers).

Not a lot, and not every day, but often enough. If just feels like a nice peek behind the curtain and good counterpoint to the “All Evil All The Time” about Putin and Russia from the USA / EU “news”. Not as structured as RT, and with more “odd bits”. But you get to see more “regular folks” inside Russia.

So I’m counting it a “keeper”. Who knows, it might even teach me some more Russian and get me over the hump to try again. I’ve been able to read a few words on the screen, so something is still inside the old hat-rack…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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19 Responses to Russia Insider – Roku, Web, and more

  1. E.M.Smith says:

    Interesting story on Assange. Claims Ecuador negotiating to hand him over to the UK:

    Julian Assange is in immense danger. Remarks made this week by Ecuador’s foreign minister suggest that her government may be preparing to renege on the political asylum it granted to the WikiLeaks editor in 2012 and hand him over to British and then American authorities.

    On March 28, under immense pressure from the British and U.S. governments, Ecuador imposed a complete ban on Assange having any Internet or phone contact with the outside world, and blocked his friends and supporters from physically visiting him. For 46 days, he has not been heard from.

    Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa stated in a Spanish-language interview on Wednesday that her government and Britain “have the intention and the interest that this be resolved.” Moves were underway, she said, to reach a “definite agreement” on Assange.

    If Assange falls into the hands of the British state, he faces being turned over to the U.S. Last year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, asserted that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

  2. ossqss says:

    Would make me wonder how much wiring was replaced with RF connectivity on trchnological upgrades to older ships. I am a long time believer in shielded wire connections. Just an outside intuition.

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    I’d expect the attack vector to be via antenna or via power enough to overwhelm shielding and scramble the guts…

    That there was no smoke nor damage claimed implies to me a signals override. Once you know what frequency something operates on, you can just put out a stronger signal and swamp the antenna of the receiver. Then there’s the tech used in silencing headphones, receive the signal and invert it then send it back matched with the reflection so there is no net signal. Would take some very fast electronics, but ought to be doable given that our deployed systems tend to run about a decade or two behind state of the art… (all that bidding and building and qualifications…)

    I’d not expect much wireless to be used inside the ship. They would worry about sigint being intercepted if nothing else. Though it could be that they are using leakage into the wiring via high power broadcast. That there was a big enough pod slung under the aircraft to do the job implies a lot of power. We’re talking 10s of KW level minimum IMHO.

    Were I doing it, I’d use a mix of methods for different devices. Broadcast an overriding signal for things like missiles that block their ability to get info from the firing position, send a confusing GPS signal so it goes to the wrong place. For Radar I’d send it a time shifted signal (so it looks like I’m far far away IF it gets through) and at the same time send a signal strong enough to saturate the front end of the receiver (so weak signals could not be received anyway). Etc. etc.

    Basically be an amplifying distorting mirror that’s chatty in a slightly insane way…

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    On ships the majority of wiring is run inside metal conduit for protection, plus being inside the hull so double shielded against RF just by the nature of the manner in which they are built. They also at least on the super structure need to cope with megawatt class radar systems for the electrical hardening is pretty good against random threats. The question is can the systems be over loaded on the front end at the antenna or first stage of the receiver by targeted emissions intentionally designed to be inside the intended pass band for operational signals.

    No matter how selective your tuned cavities and other filter techniques used to limit out of band signals, every RF sensitive system can only handle so much input RF power before you swamp the front end.

    At high enough power levels and high enough frequencies even small cracks become effective slot antennas and pass the signal into otherwise RF tight enclosures.

    It is very very difficult to keep out the magnetic component of a powerful RF signal unless magnetic shielding is built into the system. Aluminum super structure ships will not have the inherent magnetic shielding of steel super structures.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    OooH! Good point about the magnetics… I tend to forget them…

  6. ossqss says:

    Soooo, what is the weak link for all electronics? Power supply perhaps?

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    It all depends on the electronics in question and the mode of the “bad thing”.

    For things plugged into power grids, lightning hitting the power lines OR the ground nearby and back volting the ground plane tends to be the very common mode of frying it.

    For things with radio based stuff (i.e transmitters, receivers and antennae), usually the first lowest power most sensitive stage connected to the antenna is the weak link, and large power sent into the antenna tends to fry it (though some very special gear can prevent this. I don’t know if it has been declassified so can’t say much more, but in the ’80s our radars had front ends that could take a 10 kW pulse and not fry while the Russians did not…) So you try sending way too much power down the antenna leads.

    For computers and things with extraordinarily small traces / cell sizes, all sorts of interesting things are possible UNLESS they are incredibly isolated and shielded. Even cosmic rays can scramble the memory. So various kinds of ionizing radiation can do “interesting things”. (microscopic vacuum tubes are used in some satellites to prevent this kind of attack / failure). Jiggle power, or irradiate (several bands) or just over heat it.

    Computers often also have poorly shielded peripheral connectors so coupling power into them (various frequencies and power levels) can confuse things too. For things with optical sensors, light can cause problems. (Old HP3000 tape drives had an optical tape sensor and at least one client had automatic tape unspooling onto the floor every afternoon until they learned to close the curtains at sundown…)

    Then, as Larry pointed out, magnetics can get into things where electrical can’t and they are electro-magnetic waves… so by using an antenna biased to produce a strong magnetic component other things can be screwed up. (Car ignitions now often use a magnetic reluctor to sense distributor position… )

    Hope that’s enough to help you on your start of career as EWO ;-)

    (Electronics Warfare Officer)

  8. ossqss says:

    LOL, I read that as EWOK the first time.

    I was simply envisioning board level fuses. Which have driven me crazy in the past..

  9. Power Grab says:

    Here is one of the articles I had read on where a Russian authority speaks frankly about the nearness of the next ice age:

    Is it misdirection for Russian media to be talking about developing the Arctic when what they [probably] really need is a warm water port during the next ice age?

    I know, that might be only peripherally related to the OT, but while I’m tossing my pebbles into the pool, here’s an excerpt from chapter 25 of Mark Twain’s “The American Claimant”.

    “I will confide to you an outline of my idea. It is to utilize the spots on the sun–get control of them, you understand, and apply the stupendous energies which they wield to beneficent purposes in the reorganizing of our climates. At present they merely make trouble and do harm in the evoking of cyclones and other kinds of electric storms; but once under humane and intelligent control this will cease and they will become a boon to man.

    “I have my plan all mapped out, whereby I hope and expect to acquire complete and perfect control of the sun-spots, also details of the method whereby I shall employ the same commercially; but I will not venture to go into particulars before the patents shall have been issued. I shall hope and expect to sell shop-rights to the minor countries at a reasonable figure and supply a good business article of climate to the great empires at special rates, together with fancy brands for coronations, battles and other great and particular occasions. There are billions of money in this enterprise, no expensive plant is required, and I shall begin to realize in a few days–in a few weeks at furthest. I shall stand ready to pay cash for Siberia the moment it is delivered, and thus save my honor and my credit. I am confident of this.

    “I would like you to provide a proper outfit and start north as soon as I telegraph you, be it night or be it day. I wish you to take up all the country stretching away from the north pole on all sides for many degrees south, and buy Greenland and Iceland at the best figure you can get now while they are cheap. It is my intention to move one of the tropics up there and transfer the frigid zone to the equator. I will have the entire Arctic Circle in the market as a summer resort next year, and will use the surplusage of the old climate, over and above what can be utilized on the equator, to reduce the temperature of opposition resorts. But I have said enough to give you an idea of the prodigious nature of my scheme and the feasible and enormously profitable character of it. I shall join all you happy people in England as soon as I shall have sold out some of my principal climates and arranged with the Czar about Siberia.

    “Meantime, watch for a sign from me. Eight days from now, we shall be wide asunder; for I shall be on the border of the Pacific, and you far out on the Atlantic, approaching England. That day, if I am alive and my sublime discovery is proved and established, I will send you greeting, and my messenger shall deliver it where you are, in the solitudes of the sea; for I will waft a vast sun-spot across the disk like drifting smoke, and you will know it for my love-sign, and will say “Mulberry Sellers throws us a kiss across the universe.”

    My intention in sharing that passage is to make the point that controlling/changing the climate (weather) is not a new idea. It really surprised me to see that more than 100 years ago popular writers already had the concept that large electromagnetic energies could be used to affect the weather!

    EM, I am continually awed by the span of knowledge and experience of you and your regular posters. I have very little to contribute in discussions of most subjects. Yet you folks generally gracious enough to refrain from belittling outsiders like I.

    That said, here is one more silly(?) thought I have had about the LHC. I have wondered if its purpose was to create a magnetic pole that would entirely revamp the climate of the entire planet. (I understand that a statue of a Hindu god (a/k/a “Destroyer”) is located at the main entrance of the LDC.) What if the new magnetic pole became like the North Pole, rendering Europe uninhabitable, while areas that would be the new equator would be mostly water, with very little land for any survivors to occupy?

    Oh, one more thing: When I was reading Mark Twain’s “Roughin’ It”, and he discussed his first real job as a newspaper editor, he said that if you wanted to be a success at that job, you had to be able to make things up. So…that makes it sound like “fake news” was a problem even 150 years ago. People just don’t realize how bad it has gotten. They seem to keep trying to believe what they see in the news, when all it is, is just filler (between the drug commercials!) for all the space they have to fill up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There aren’t many fictitious shows on TV that can hold my attention for very long, so I have concluded that most creative writers have migrated to so-called “news” shows, where there is a real need for their creative energies.

    Finally, I do find it interesting to hear your explanations of what you are seeing on the Russian media. Please continue to keep us informed! ;-)

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    I met Habibullo in Chicago. Nice guy and very bright. I think he has it pretty well nailed as to how the solar power varies and what it will do to the Earth. (Solar diameter varies changing power production). But I think there’s a couple of more years lag than he has allowed for in he Earth system. (He’s a solar guy…)

    I think Putin intends to just make bigger and stronger ice breakers and keep the shipping moving, even as things do get colder. But yes, Russia is making plans for how to deal with the cold. Do note that the grab of Crimea gave them a warm water port… Habibullo has the ear of the Kremlin.

    That bit of Mark Twain is just great! Clearly a visionary…

    Let me tell you of the Law Of Mutual Superiority:

    It is applied in computer programming, but generalizes elsewhere too. It says that any thing I code, you can improve; and anything you code, I can improve. For we each see things the other does not. We each have somewhere where we are superior to the other.

    I had this driven home to me when my boss and I were ordering a pulled pork sandwich and coke at Armadillo Willies. Both order came up and I went to the window to collect them. “Which one is the DIET coke?” I ask (the boss drinking diet). Guy, obviously had forgotten, looks at both of them for about 10 seconds and says “That one” with a point. Curious, I asked how did he know? “Diet doesn’t hold the bubbles as well.” Looking at it, I could see he was right. The sugar water made more durable bubbles on the top. In that moment, that soda jerk was my superior. That’s how it works for everyone, all the time.

    So never feel yourself inferior to others. We are all “mutually superior”.

    LHC – Large Hadron Collider? LDC – Less Developed Country? Linear Detonation Charge?

    In any case, moving the magnetic pole would not move the axis of rotation. So the North Pole cold would not move to Europe even if the magnetic pole did. It would require physically tumbling the gyroscope of the earth to move the physical north pole. Not likely in our millennium…

    Yes, the overall decay of the “entertainment” portion of TV has the spouse and me watching reruns of B&W stuff from the ’50s and ’60s. (thanks Roku! again…)

    Per Russia: I generally like to look behind the curtain and see how a people sees themselves. It usually tells you much more than the outsider view. It will NOT all be accurate (we all have fantasies about ourselves that are not true) but it will be informative. And yes, I’ll keep it up. I can do no other as long as I’m me.

  11. EM – if the Earth is a somewhat solid outer surface on a ball of molten magma, with maybe something solid deeper down, then it’s possible that the surface of the Earth can slip around and, though the axis of rotation will still point at the Pole star or thereabouts, the countries may move to different latitudes. Since there are remains of forests in Antarctia, and tectonic plate movements alone would seem to be not enough to produce that evidence, this crustal shift may have happened before. For the coupling method between the magma and the crust, maybe a long plate of subduction zone could provide that. We know that some areas of the crust are thinner than others and that there are flows in the underlying magma – this seems pretty obvious from the way Hawaii has been made by the movement of the crust relative to the hot plume of magma. Did the Earth move for you? :)

  12. Power Grab says:

    Hmm… that “LDC” should have been “LHC”; Large Hadron Collider.

    I had never heard of the Law of Mutual Superiority before. That’s a keeper! :-)

    Thanks for fixing the other booboo, too.

    Changing the subject a bit, here is an article I just read today about the most recent Tesla-Autopilot-assisted fatal crash:

    It happened March 23. There was a Level 4 geomagnetic storm going on that day. Those are fairly rare these days.

    I am concerned about how well technology will function in a solar maximum if it is developed in a solar minimum (with a weakening magnetosphere and ionosphere at a lower level than it is during solar maxima [I don’t have that article handy, but IIRC it came out from NASA in about 2008] and depends on GPS and near-instant Internet access).

    I remember being on a road trip in an unfamiliar part of the world, relying on my plugged in, stand-alone GPS to guide me. When I got into a thunderstorm, the GPS really went wonky. I remember crossing an overpass when it had its own “storm” and tried to tell me I was driving on a regular highway and had to turn shortly. Fortunately, I didn’t rely on its misdirection and got to my destination OK. Since then, I carry (1) a printout from a map site, (2) a regular traditional road map, and (3) my stand-alone GPS when making long trips into unfamiliar territory. Yeah, my phone will do maps too, but I _really_ don’t like having to hold it while driving. I can’t afford a new vehicle with a built-in computer screen, and I like to have resources that don’t rely on batteries. :-)

    Anyway, the unfortunate Tesla engineer’s car actually ACCELERATED before crashing into the barrier. And his hands weren’t on the wheel during the last 6 seconds of the event. They were on the wheel only 34 of the last 60 seconds before the crash.

    While on the subject, here is a link to a story about the 2016 car crash that killed the former CEO of Chesapeake, Aubrey McClendon:

    Here is one about the CEO of Total who was killed in a crash in 2014:

    Speaking of how old some of these ideas are, I remember seeing an episode (from the 1980’s?) of “Murder, She Wrote” where the dirty deed was done by a vehicle that was being controlled remotely.

    And don’t get me started on the engineers who were lost in the MH370 incident. I asked one of our higher-ups why in the world a company would send a dozen or so of its best engineers together on a long international flight on one plane. He didn’t even hesitate and said that it would be so the company would own the patents when they died.

  13. Power Grab says:

    Oh, one more thing… I remember reading about how the sun’s rising could switch from happening in the east to the west, and vice versa. Most people assume the earth stops spinning, then reverses direction and spins the other way. One writer said it would be caused by the planet’s flipping over.

    It made me think of some of the videos I’ve seen of how ferromagnetic fluid behaves when you make changes in the flow of the current that it is controlled by.

  14. Power Grab says:

    You regular readers all probably know how the GPS can be affected whenever problematic spaceweather conditions occur, but here is a nice little summary, for any readers who want a quick-and-easy write-up about it:

  15. Steve C says:

    Russia Insider is OK – I’ve had a link to its website next to RT and the Russian Embassy (London, of course, in my case) for a while now, plus a few individual Russians, like Dmitry Orlov and The Saker. I do like The Saker – I don’t always agree with him but his take is always intelligent and thoughtful.

    Re “the Earth moving” … Joshua 10, 13-14 … ;-)

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve pondered the “earth moved” question / issue a bit over the years. It’s not an easy one.

    The first problem you have is that the crust is really really thin over the ocean floors. Like 10 miles thin. Think of something that’s 10 high and 5000 long. An aspect ratio of 500:1

    Compare 20# bond paper:

    It is 4/1000 inch thick. So an 8 x 11 piece is 8000:4 aspect ratio or 2000:1

    That means stack up for pieces of printer paper and that’s the aspect ratio of the crust under the oceans. Now wrap that around a globe with a layer of honey under it and push smartly on one edge. Think it’s going to move, or wrinkle?

    Which brings up the second point: Viscous drag. That crust is not floating on a set of marbles, but on a viscous fluid. There is a huge surface area of fairly heavy viscous drag. Things do move, but very very slowly. Try to go fast, like 8000 miles ( 1/3 circumference) in an hour and you not only have a supersonic 8000 miles / hr problem but some viscous drag / sheer forces of astounding magnitude. Slow it down to some speed barely imaginable, say 80 MPH, and you are going to take 100 hours. Now what is going to be supplying that even force over the whole crust (so it doesn’t buckle) for 4 entire days? You will still have lots of viscous drag to deal with, though not as much as at mach 10…

    Then toss in the continents. They have “roots” down to about 30 miles. You now get to try moving the Rockies and a 30 mile high stack of granite by pushing on it with a thin slab below sea level. We already know what happens, the ocean crust subducts.

    So all in all, I’m just not seeing how you can get a rapid crustal re-orientation vs the core rotation rate. The physics of it just doesn’t work.

    Now looking back at relatively deep geologic history, we see “tracks” of volcanic hot spots that take millions of years to move a few hundreds of miles. That is first off evidence they have NOT moved farther and faster (or that track would not be there), and secondly evidence for what does happen, a very slow creeping motion over deep time. Continental Drift.

    The simple fact is that the volcanic tracks of Hawaii and Yosemite (and whatever is in Eurasia) are firm testimony that the crust has NOT moved, relative to the mantle / core, by large arcs in the history of humanity.

    So what might happen?

    I could see a major comet / asteroid impact causing a small realignment of the spin axis. Like the Younger Dryas impact into the Canadian Ice Shield. Not so much shifting the crust vs the core, but causing the whole gyro to “tumble” or wobble to a new orientation (as gyros are known to do). The moon stabilizes us against that, but it is a relatively minor force based on the equatorial bulge. So what happens when a big rock whacks our gooey ball and induces it to oscillate (equator in – out -in -out, poles out -in -out -in ) while imparting a large off axis impulse? I could see a tumble happening.

    We know that antipodal focusing causes massive lava outflows on the opposite side of the planet from the impact. To bust up the crust like that some pretty big distortions are happening on the shape of the spheroid…

    Per electricity:

    There’s a huge electric current from the sun that lands at the poles. Enough that it turns the sky into a glowing lightbulb (aurorae). I think we get more heating from isotope decay in the body of the planet, but I’ve not done the math to know for sure. IIRC the polar current was something like 300,000 ? Amps? but with unstated volts? Sounds huge, but not on a per sq.mi. of crust or cubic km of planet basis. So just on an intuitive basis I think it is unlikely to be the cause of much but pretty lights in the sky.

    So that’s where I ended up on the whole topic. Gyro tumble yes, everything else, um, almost certainly no. But I could be wrong, it was not a full analysis, just a “probability assessment” over the years.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    A good analogy I have heard, is that the earths crust thickness is comparable to the skin of an apple pm scale.

    If you think of the gyroscopic forces involved on a spinning mass the size of the earth the area of the equator is going to be where the most mass distribution will position itself. Since the crust floats it is actually like dross on a ladle of molten metal and is lighter than the magma it floats on, possibly one of the forces driving India under China to form the Himalayan mountains is an effort for mass to concentrate as near to the equator as it can and India is just along for the ride as material below it moves toward that equilibrium location as close to the equator as possible.

    As EM mentioned we are talking about rates of moment measured in centimeters per year.

    Ancient legends of the Sun stopping in the sky and moving backwards are likely due to optical illusions where a large comet or asteroid came very close to earth or a nearby super nova and from the ground it appeared to be a bright enough object to be confused with the sun.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    I could also see a nova of some kind showing up in the sky…

  19. jim2 says:

    EM said: here’s a huge electric current from the sun that lands at the poles. Enough that it turns the sky into a glowing lightbulb (aurorae). I think we get more heating from isotope decay in the body of the planet, but I’ve not done the math to know for sure. IIRC the polar current was something like 300,000 ? Amps? but with unstated volts?

    I don’t believe there will be any volts involved. The solar wind is neutral. If the Earth did acquire a charge it would quickly balance by repelling like charges and attracting unlike ones.

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