Some Ukraine / Russia Backstory

Ukraine & Russia have been pissing in each other’s beer for a couple of decades now. The Lame Stream Media keeps pushing the Propaganda Point (P.P.) that Russia did an “unprovoked” invasion. Yet there has been much provoking done. From bombing ethnic Russians in the Donbass, to preparing to put NATO (and NATO missiles…) in Ukraine, 5 fight minutes to Moscow… and more, stretching back to The West fomenting and funding a “color revolution” to depose a Russia Friendly leader and install one that was Western Pwned (and then set up the Biden Money Laundry, and who knows how many others feed at that trough..)

Basically, Ukraine is NOT the pristine and pure democracy of peaceful purity being advertized.

We already know about violating agreements to keep neutral, NATO not on the Russian border, respect the Donbass as a semi-autonomous Russian speaking district, and more. But what about that “Euromaidan revolution”?

Well, here’s some random bits of backstory I’ve run across. The general trend is a story of The West supporting Western Ukraine (mostly former bits of Poland and Czecoslovakia, low in ethnic Russians) as they moved the country away from Russia and worked to de-Russify the Russian East and Crimea. Never mind that Crimea WAS Russian until it was illegally given to Ukraine by an ethnic Ukrainian premier of the USSR during the cold war. The people who for 200 years spoke Russian and were Russian were demanded to swap to Ukranian and have their children raised as not Russians…

So here’s some source material to read, in no particular order.–Ukraine_Association_Agreement

I had no idea this had happened until I saw it referenced in another artcle. Signed 21 March 2014. 8 years ago, or about when the Russian parts of Ukraine were saying no and wanting to go back to Mother Russia. Effective in 2017.

The European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement is a European Union Association Agreement between the European Union (EU), the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), Ukraine and the EU’s 28 member states at the time (which are separate parties in addition to the EU and Euratom). It establishes a political and economic association between the parties. The agreement entered into force on 1 September 2017; previously parts had been provisionally applied. The parties committed to co-operate and converge economic policy, legislation, as well as regulation across a broad range of areas, including equal rights for workers, steps towards visa-free movement of people, the exchange of information and staff in the area of justice, the modernisation of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and access to the European Investment Bank (EIB). The parties committed to regular summit meetings and meetings among ministers, other officials and experts. The agreement furthermore establishes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between the parties.

The agreement commits Ukraine to economic, judicial and financial reforms to converge its policies and legislation to those of the European Union. Ukraine commits to gradually conform to EU technical and consumer standards.[6] The EU agrees to provide Ukraine with political and financial support, access to research and knowledge, and preferential access to EU markets. The agreement commits both parties to promote a gradual convergence toward the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and European Defence Agency policies.

The agreement comes after more than two decades in which both parties sought to establish closer ties with each other. On the one hand, the European Union wants to ensure that its imports of grain and natural gas from Ukraine, as well as its exports of goods to Ukraine, are not threatened by instability in the region, believing that instability could eventually be reduced through sociopolitical and economic reforms in Ukraine. Ukraine, on the other hand, wants to increase its exports by benefiting from free trade with the European Union while attracting desirable external investments, as well as establishing closer ties with a sociopolitical entity to which many Ukrainians feel strong cultural connection. Western Ukraine is found to be generally more enthusiastic about EU membership than Eastern Ukraine.

So non-Russian Western Ukraine was working toward EU alignment and eventual membership, including military alignment, and forcing their Russian population to give up their language, culture, and identity. Then bombing those who said no. Banning political parties that were opposed, and arresting opposition leadership. Not exactly nice guys working to concensus.

Somewhere in there, big gas deposits were found offshore Ukraine, but very near the Russian parts… LSM paint this as Russia coveting Ukrainian discoveries so stealing them via invasion. One could also see it from the Russian POV as gas that belongs to lands that were populated by ethnic Russians, that had been Russia for hundreds of years, were never legally separated from Russia (Duma needed to vote for it, but never did), and were being forced into EU hands by non-Russians in Western Ukraine. Leaving one to wonder if those Western Ukrainians were legitimately in power…

The political provisions of the treaty were signed on 21 March 2014 after a series of events that had stalled its ratification culminated in a revolution in Ukraine and overthrow of the then incumbent President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. This ousting was sparked by Yanukovych’s last-minute refusal to sign the agreement.
Russia, Ukraine’s second largest trading partner, instead presented an association with the existing Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as an alternative. After 21 March 2014, matters relating to trade integration were temporarily set aside (awaiting the results of the 25 May 2014 Ukrainian presidential elections) until the European Union and the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the economic part of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement on 27 June 2014, and described this as Ukraine’s “first but most decisive step” towards EU membership.

Titles III, V, VI and VII, and the related Annexes and Protocols of the Agreement have been provisionally applied since 1 November 2014, while Title IV has been applied from 1 January 2016,[16] as far as the provisions concern EU competences. Provisions formally came into force on 1 September 2017 following ratification of the Agreement by all signatories.[1]

So this comes down to the Euromaidan “Color Revolution”. Ukraine as a whole was balking at the push to move it into the EU, and away from the Eastern Block. The non-Russian Western Ukrainian part wanted it, thd Russian East did not. After forcing it via Euromaidan, the Russian part wanted out and declared “foul!” as signed agreements were being violated. Western Ukraine kept on going, including shelling and bombing areas that refused. After about 8 years, Russia steps in and says to stop it.

So how rancorous was this split? What was happening in 2014 when the first signatures were done?

Quoting heavily since censorship may prevent the link ftom working (over time or geography)

Note the similarity to recent events in the USA. Rioters / perpetrators not punished. Police doing nothing, or supporting the approved Western Ukrainian side. Firebombs thrown at buildings… note too that this happened in Odessa, a historically Russian city with cultural import to Russians (and a current point of contention with Russia looking to claim it).

Then, wonder why some parts of Ukraine might be rubblized? Payback can be a bitch… (DNC might want to keep that in mind when spitting on Ethnic Americans….)

2 May, 2022 19:29
HomeRussia & FSU

Burned alive: How the 2014 Odessa massacre became a turning point for Ukraine

Clashes between opposing activists turned into mass murder. The perpetrators have never been punished

Eight years ago this Monday, something significant happened in Odessa, a historically important city in the southwest of Ukraine. Although the West didn’t see it as such, for Russia and the newly formed Donbass republics, what transpired there became a symbolic episode.

Provincial revolution
From late 2013 into early 2014, a conflict between the government of President Viktor Yanukovich and the pro-Western opposition was unfolding in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The series of events that would ensue were dubbed the ‘Euromaidan’. Meanwhile, Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea, was of course affected by these events too, albeit to a lesser extent.

Occasional clashes with police and scuffles between supporters of Euromaidan and those aligned with the government, which became known as the ‘Anti-Maidan’ movement, were nothing compared to the bloodshed in Kiev, where people were being killed.

Many Ukrainians didn’t welcome the Euromaidan, and they had their reasons. Lots of Odessa residents had strong ties with Russia, and still do. When Ukraine gained independence in 1991, a large number of ethnic Russians were living in Odessa and many had relatives in the old country. The city was built during the reign of Catherine the Great and has always been seen as an integral part of Russia’s history.

Thus, the aggressive nationalism of Euromaidan was largely unpopular there and plenty of locals were frightened by what seemed to be a passion for forming militant units. Euromaidan and Anti-Maidan in Odessa began to form parallel paramilitary organizations. Armed with a primitive array of sticks, biker helmets, and homemade weapons, these groups trained for street fighting. At first, nobody sought a fight to the death – the radicals hadn’t yet gained the leading role in either movement.

Read more Nationalists stage torchlight march on day that Odessa residents mourn victims of 2014 clashes
In Odessa, Anti-Maidan activists had begun gathering at Kulikovo Field, a square near Odessa’s House of Trade Unions in the city’s historical center. This became the site of an ongoing protest – it could also be described as a forum in the classical sense. People came to hang out, discuss the news, and even sing together. It was a very diverse crowd, from energetic youngsters to the elderly. Those who assembled there weren’t officially united by any specific ideology. One could run into Russian Orthodox activists, Cossacks, and a number of smaller groups.

The movement was led by local pro-Russian and leftist politicians, such as activist Anton Davidchenko and his brother Artyom. Their demands were very moderate – to protect the Russian language, grant the eastern regions economic autonomy, protect Russian and Soviet historical heritage, ensure monuments weren’t vandalized, let the East elect its own judges, etc. But Ukraine was in turmoil, and this program seemed extremely confrontational to the nationalists.

On the third of March 2014, after Yanukovich had already fled to Russia and Moscow had reabsorbed Crimea, Vladimir Nemirovsky, a nationalist politician, became head of the Odessa Region. He intended to harshly crack down on any form of protest. Dispersing the Kulikovo Field camp was a key point in his platform.

Tensions had been gradually rising throughout March and April. After an armed uprising broke out in Donetsk and Lugansk, Euromaidan activists set up checkpoints on all roads leading to Odessa. Nobody knew who or what they were guarding, but about 500 people, not all of whom were even from Odessa, manned these very strange checkpoints. At the end of April, Nemirovsky announced that ‘Territorial Defense’ units, which are essentially military reserves, had been bussed into Odessa:

“‘Territorial Defense’ buses were arriving in the region at that time. A lot of them. We tried to keep them away from Odessa whenever possible, but they went to Belgorod-Dnestrovsky and other places. They spread throughout the region. They were coming from the direction of Kiev. The police stayed away from them, the officers were demoralized.”

Even back then, these nationalist units were dangerous. They were arming themselves: we know of at least one case when a Euromaidan activist accidentally blew up a hand grenade. Molotov cocktails were also manufactured at these checkpoints.

Anti-Maidan found itself in a difficult situation. The initial excitement was winding down. There was a feeling that the struggle against the nationalists had been lost and nobody wanted to take a step toward violent conflict. In fact, the Kulikovo Field camp would have disappeared on its own in a few weeks. The Anti-Maidan leaders were already discussing the subject with the local authorities. They had even reached an agreement to shift it from the city center to the World War II memorial, which is in a less central location. The move was scheduled for May.

However, a less peaceful transition was also in the works. Though the police and governor didn’t want to get their hands dirty, there were enough ‘volunteers’ willing to take matters into their own hands. A football match against a team from Kharkov, a city in northeastern Ukraine, was scheduled for May 2, and Odessa was flooded with radical football fans. Rumors of potential violence began to circulate in April, and the Anti-Maidan activists had reason to be concerned about a possible raid on their camp. Some anticipated the future clashes with fear, others with excitement, but everybody knew that the Anti-Maidan camp would be destroyed. It was a perfect solution for everyone, except the activists themselves.

While rebels took over one city after another in the Donbass, and people in Crimea enthusiastically welcomed the Russian military, an easy victory for the nationalists in Odessa would give them the opportunity to demonstrate their strength. It would also allow the governor to show that he had the city under control. At this point, though, nobody was thinking that what was going to occur would take a lethal turn. A few Anti-Maidan activists wanted to remain in the central part of the city. Their idea was just to intimidate the nationalists.

On May 2, the football fans were to march through Odessa to the stadium under the slogan “for unity in Ukraine.” Euromaidan activists declared that this was to be a peaceful demonstration, but adherents of Anti-Maidan were convinced that the march would just be a cover for violent tactics.

Early in the morning of May 2, Sergey Dolzhenkov, the leader of the Anti-Maidan security group and a former police officer, contacted a member of the local parliament to request that the march be canceled:

“People saw what happened in Kharkov, Kherson, and Donetsk. The football fans were out of control. We need to make sure there is no bloodshed. No march – no bloodshed,” he said.

“I was on Kulikovo Field on May 1, and Artyom Davidchenko {the leader of Anti-Maidan in Odessa} announced from the stage that Right Sector {an ultra-nationalist Ukrainian organization whose name has become synonymous with all Ukrainian nationalists} was coming to town, and they would destroy the Kulikovo Field camp. We have to fight them off,” remembers Maxim Firsov, an activist from the left-wing Borotba movement.

Dolzhenkov and his Anti-Maidan group had limited forces. Officially, there were a lot of people at the camp, but the majority were women and elderly, who would not be able to fight. In fact, they themselves needed to be protected. That’s why Dolzhenkov decided to accompany the march with some of his men, while keeping a distance. Not everybody in the Anti-Maidan camp liked this plan, but Dolzhenkov was a man of action and thought it was better to meet the opponent head on and block them if they decided to walk toward the Kulikovo Field camp.

The police and Ukraine’s Security Service knew what was afoot but had no plans to interfere. On May 2, Artyom Davidchenko met with both agencies and was informed that detentions and arrests would start only when there were dead bodies, and there “would definitely be bodies.”

On May 1, activists from both groups were anticipating a fight, but nobody expected what actually happened.

Fighting on Grecheskaya Street
On the morning of May 2, an off-schedule train took around 500 Kharkov football fans to Odessa. Along with them, there arrived Pro-Euromaidan groups having nothing to do with football but who were armed with street fighting equipment, including personal armor and weapons. In the afternoon, they began to gather on Cathedral Square in the center of Odessa.

An Anti-Maidan group 150-to-300-strong departed from Kulikovo Field, which is about a 30-minute walk away. Although vastly outnumbered by the 2,000-3,000 Euromaidan fighters and fans, Dolzhenkov guided it in the direction of Cathedral Square anyway.

The Odessa police refused to intervene in the events. Its main forces of around 700 officers guarded the stadium, while around 80 followed the Anti-Maidan activists and 60 kept watch over Kulikovo Field. High-ranking police officers had been summoned for a meeting and were ordered to turn off their phones.

A small police unit tried to block Dolzhenkov’s group, but it simply circumvented the officers.

Meanwhile, an excited crowd had already gathered on Cathedral Square armed with clubs, shields, helmets, Molotov cocktails, and rubber-bullet handguns.

At around 3 pm, the Anti-Maidan activists from Kulikovo reached Cathedral Square via the adjacent Grecheskaya Street. Many accounts describe the arrival of Dolzhenkov’s group as an all-out assault resulting in a breakthrough. This is often referred to as an Anti-Maidan attack on the ultras. At first glance, a group of 300 charging a mob ten times its size would appear to be folly. But if you scratch the surface, new details emerge.

Some football fans saw the Anti-Maidan activists approaching and engaged them. The actual fight was initiated by two small groups of Dolzhenkov’s men and a crowd of Euromaidan activists. The main contingents did nothing at first, keeping their distance, but this was enough to spark the conflict.

With a thin line of police officers between them, at first the sides threw stones at each other. But the numerical advantage of Euromaidan was overwhelming and Anti-Maidan was quickly put on the defensive. Most of the officers were facing the Euromaidan side, which was throwing bricks, stones, and Molotov cocktails. The police began firing air and rubber-bullet guns almost from the beginning.

For Euromaidan, the altercation on Grecheskaya Street was amusing but accomplished nothing, so some activists went to the parallel Deribasovskaya Street on a flanking maneuver. This is where the first real blood was spilled.

The fight was already on when the Anti-Maidan supporters began shooting their firearms. A Euromaidan activist and nationalist named Igor Ivanov was killed by a bullet. He was likely killed by Kulikovo activist Vitaly Budko (Boatswain), who had arrived at the scene quite late – around 4 pm – with a civilian rifle, and opened fire as soon as he joined his companions. Neither he nor his weapon was ever found in the aftermath, and information on the bullet that killed Ivanov disappeared from the police database. However, several videos and photos show him having been firing his weapon before himself being shot. Another Maidan activist was shot dead with an air gun.

Anti-Maidan protesters soon came under fire too, and some were wounded. The subsequent investigation was conducted so poorly that none of the guns involved in the shootout were identified afterwards. There is footage of at least one injured protester.

The fighting went on for several hours. Reinforcements periodically came to bolster the Euromaidan activists, and they soon blocked all approaches to Grecheskaya Street. The Kulikovo group found itself surrounded at the Athena shopping mall, while well-coordinated Euromaidan teams were cutting off any reinforcements or avenues for retreat. Around 4 pm, the Euromaidan side captured a fire engine and drove it into a small barricade the defenders had built. Around 5:30 pm, a group went out onto the balcony of a nearby building and opened fire on their adversaries. Bullets and pellets extracted from the bodies revealed that at least three guns were involved. Four men died instantly, and several more were wounded, including a journalist, a police colonel, and a couple of officers. The defense crumbled. Some retreated to the shopping mall, barricaded themselves inside, and eventually surrendered to the police. Among them was Sergey Dolzhenkov, who had suffered a bullet wound. It seemed as if everything was over.

Death by fire
The Maidan activists had essentially already won the battle. The Kulikovo Field activists were defeated. By this time, people were simply roaming around aimlessly. Some sports fans from the stadium had joined the commotion after the game ended. But events were about to take a completely different turn.

Mark Gordienko, one of the leaders of Odessa’s Euromaidan movement, was one of those who began shouting, ‘Kulikovo!’ encouraging the crowd to go to the site where the Anti-Maidan protesters had put up their camp. In March of 2014, he was known to have said that he “would shoot down all separatists.” That day, he had an opportunity to fulfill his promise. Later, he seemed to have conveniently forgotten that he had spearheaded the violence.

Gordienko and a number of others managed to reignite the cooling crowd. Later, a recording of a conversation between Odessa Deputy Mayor Igor Bolyansky and one of the Euromaidan commanders was leaked, during which Bolyansky not only suggested that the commanders lead the crowd on the 30-minute walk from Grecheskaya Street to Kulikovo, but even discussed the logistics of how this should be done. In other words, this wasn’t a case of a crowd spontaneously moving in a certain direction but of one being steered there by leaders who made sure it arrived at the destination.

Meanwhile, the people at Kulikovo were confused and disoriented. Most were civilians with no military training whatsoever, and they weren’t particularly keen on participating in any battles. There were many women among them. Artyom Davidchenko had already briefly told them what had just transpired, while some people who had managed to escape Grecheskaya Street returned to give them a run-down of events. Many who had been on the square had already gone home, yet a number of them returned when they heard a crowd was on its way to attack their camp and fellow protesters.

That’s why a sizable number of the protesters who ended up at Kulikovo knew an attack was coming. Someone suggested taking cover in the massive Trade Unions building on the square, and people began to move their belongings from the camp into the building. They set up an improvised first aid station there, brought in supplies and built a small barricade in front of the building. They also had a couple of hunting rifles and a few Molotov cocktails. Davidchenko then left the square. Aleksey Albu, a low-level local politician, stayed in the building. At the time, he was not the kind who would be eager to participate in any fighting. In fact, he had learned about the clashes from the news.

The Trade Unions House had around 300 people inside that evening.

At 7:20 pm, the angry Euromaidan crowd entered the square. They moved through the abandoned camp and started throwing Molotov cocktails at the barricade in front of the Trade Unions building. Those inside responded by lobbing a few Molotov cocktails back at the attackers from the roof. It was then that a reporter who was filming everything said, “Now, they’ll definitely kill them.”

The attackers kept throwing rocks and improvised bombs at the barricade, which mostly consisted of wooden furniture and crates, and finally set it on fire. The protesters behind it retreated into the hall of the building. Later, many reports exaggerated the scope of the resistance put up by those in the Trade Unions building. Available footage shows that the attackers freely moved around the square, not needing to duck or take cover because there was no fire coming back at them.

The barricade was in flames and the attackers had set fire to the tents on the square. The whole square was full of smoke and flames. The attackers continued to hurl cocktail bombs filled with a home-made napalm mixture consisting of gasoline, acetone, and Styrofoam at the building. The holed-up protesters called the fire brigade, but no one came. The few policemen on the scene did nothing to interfere and just watched as the events unfolded.

The attackers made sure the fire didn’t die out, throwing more and more cocktail bombs into it. They even tossed in a burning car tire, while firing at the windows with anti-riot guns.

Then tragedy struck.

Independent expert Vladislav Balisnsky explained that the fire raging at the building’s entrance ignited the paint and varnish on the hall’s walls and ceiling. The burning entrance door collapsed, and the window panes were broken one by one by gunfire, creating a powerful draft. The resulting chimney effect turned the central staircase into a huge incinerator, with temperatures at the center rising to 600–700 degrees Celsius. The fire spread nearly instantly and everything that could burn was consumed in the fire. The people in the vicinity were essentially burnt alive. Others tried to save themselves by taking refuge in rooms further from the blaze. The draft continued to pull large clouds of smoke down the building’s corridors, killing more and more people on its way.

That’s when people began to jump out of the windows, which seemed a better alternative than being burnt alive or suffocating.

But for some leaping turned out not to be the lesser of two evils. Those who jumped ended up injuring themselves badly, sometimes fatally. But surviving the hazardous jump did not mean the end of the suffering. One activist was captured on camera running up to a person who had jumped out of a window, injured by the fall but still alive and moving, in order to beat the victim with a baton. Later, local journalist Sergey Dibrov spent some time studying footage and images from the incident and concluded that the victim ultimately received medical assistance and survived.

It was at this point that some people in the mob started to feel remorse and tried to help those caught in the burning building. Some threw a rope to those on the upper floors. Others dragged scaffolding to the building to help those trapped inside escape. These acts helped quite a number of people get out of the building alive, although some emerged only to be beaten on the ground. The last cocktail bomb was thrown into the building at 8:08 pm. The police reinforcements finally arrived and pushed the most belligerent attackers back. The fire squad arrived at 8:15 – despite being stationed just 400 meters away, it took them 30 minutes to arrive on the scene – and started to rescue the last survivors.

As it turned out, quite a lot of people survived the fire. The havoc subsided, and the fire squad and police restored order. Some people had been rescued from the roof, while others were found in rooms untouched by fire or smoke. The last survivors, who had been hiding in the attic, left the building in the early hours of May 3.

Elena was among those from the Kulikovo Field camp who had helped set up the first aid station before the attack. Later, she told reporters that she had been harassed by the people outside after escaping the fire. They shouted insults at her and even roughed her up, while the police paid no attention at all. During the fire in the building, those on the winning side displayed quite contradictory behavior. Some made genuine attempts to save people from the conflagration they had just started, and even risked their lives to do so, while others were happy to take advantage of the opportunity to continue to assault and humiliate the survivors.

A total of 48 people died: two Maidan activists and 46 Kulikovo Field Anti-Maidan protesters – two on Grecheskaya Street, and 42 at Kulikovo Field Square. Eight people jumped from the building to their deaths, while others suffocated or died from burns. All were citizens of Ukraine. A total of 247 people requested medical help following the incident, of whom 27 had been wounded by gunfire.

Albu, the local politician and one of the leaders of the group, was among those who had taken cover in the building but survived. He later joined the LPR’s Prizrak Brigade in Donbass. Another leader, local MP Vyacheslav Markin, died the next morning from injuries sustained after jumping from the building to escape the fire.

In the following years, not a single person responsible for the killings in Odessa was punished in any way. Many of the murderers acted openly, wearing no masks or disguises, and were very straightforward about their intentions. Only a handful even faced criminal investigation. But ultimately, not a single one was brought before the courts to answer for the crimes committed. Whatever hearings did manage to be scheduled were derailed by the so-called ‘patriots’. A number of judges were forced to recuse themselves from the cases after receiving threats from militants.

Meanwhile, high-ranking Ukrainian politicians were quick to identify the ‘culprits’. Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchinov said that the disturbances in Odessa “were coordinated from a single center located in Russia.” Sergey Pashinsky, acting head of the presidential administration, said that it was “an FSB provocation to divert attention from the [so-called] anti-terrorist operation [in the Donbass]”. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry declared that “the tragedy was a pre-planned and well-financed operation by the Russian special services.”

From the very beginning, the authorities in Odessa seemed to deliberately obstruct the investigation. By the morning of May 3, the area around Grecheskaya Street had been cleared by municipal workers, who quickly disposed of all the physical evidence. The Trade Unions building remained open to the public for the following month. Citizens could watch live streams from the smoldering ruins, with one cameraman referring to the corpses of a young pair as “Romeo and Juliet.” No attempt was made to preserve the crime scene. The weapons used to kill people were never found. And these are just a few examples of the investigation’s dismissive and negligent attitude toward the case. In September 2015, UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns acknowledged that the bulk of the evidence relating to the May 2 events was destroyed immediately after the crime.

Euromaidan activist Sergei Khodiyak, who fired at people with a hunting rifle, was released from custody, and the judge recused himself from the case under pressure from a group of Maidan activists led by Igor Mosiychuk, an MP from the nationalist Radical Party. Vsevolod Goncharevsky, who used a club to beat and finish off Kulikovo activists who had jumped out of the windows of the burning building, was released due to a “lack of evidence.”

Dolzhenkov and a number of other Anti-Maidan activists remained in custody. In 2017, after many delays, the court acquitted Dolzhenkov in connection with the case. But he was immediately arrested again on the trumped-up charge of chanting illegal slogans at a political rally that had taken place a month before the tragedy. In December 2017, the last pro-Russian activists were released from custody as part of an exchange of detainees and prisoners from the Donbass conflict.

Ukrainian society reacted to the events in Odessa in a very peculiar way. Naturally, the majority of the population sympathized with the victims. Flowers would be brought to the Trade Unions building every year on May 2. The public realm and the media, however, were dominated by nationalists. For a few months after the events, social media platforms were overflowing with ‘jokes’ about the ‘Odessa barbecue’, the ‘burning of vatniks’ (a typical Soviet-era wool-padded jacket that became used to refer to Ukrainians espousing pro-Russian views and to Russians themselves), as well as slogans eerily reminiscent of those employed by Nazis about the Jews that they murdered in World War Two. The Ukrainian internet was flooded with pictures of burnt corpses accompanied by derisive comments. Many of the people who took part in the Odessa event soon thereafter ended up in the Donbass, fighting in the volunteer battalions of the Ukrainian army. “All it takes is to kill fifty ‘vatniks’ in every city, and then we shall have peace, then the war will end,” remarked Maksim Mazur, a member of the Aidar Battalion – a statement that was eagerly endorsed by many of those who had attacked people in Odessa.

In fact, Ukrainian social media did exactly what is commonly attributed to Russian propaganda. The piles of burnt corpses evoked feelings of horror, but also of rage. May 2014 was a breaking point: volunteers from Russia started to arrive in the breakaway republics en masse and even some men from Western Europe came to fight on their side. Slogans about autonomous status and the need to engage in talks with Kiev gave way to an unwavering resolve and determination to stand and fight to the bitter end. Just a few days after May 2, a Donbass rebel wrote on a destroyed and burned-out Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicle: “This is for Odessa, you bastards.”

Flowers and the word ‘Genocide’ outside the burnt trade union building in Odessa, Ukraine, Wednesday May 7, 2014. © Zacharie Scheurer / NurPhoto / Corbis via Getty Images
The voice of those who were horrified by the events from the very beginning and understood what had really happened was simply not heard. But they were probably worth listening to. Two years later, Artem Sushchevsky, from the Donbass town of Makeevka, wrote:

“I can repeat all I want that not everyone is crazy and that most Ukrainians are still the good and sensible people they always have been. I’m convinced this is true, and I’m not contradicting myself by saying this. But there’s one ‘but’: these good and sensible people can live peacefully with the events that transpired on May 2 in Odessa, already two years ago. And they also somehow live with the shelling of Donetsk. And in general, they have to put up with this shameful war, consoling themselves with fairy tales about a Russian invasion. But I can’t live with those who can live with this. I don’t care how I live – as long as it’s not with you.”

Alexander Topilov, an Odessa musician and Euromaidan supporter, wrote a few days after the tragic events:

“…there were boys born in 1994. There were young girls, university professors, mechanics. I don’t know. Not all were quick enough to jump. Not all survived the landing. It’s not a victory, like hell it is! Don’t cheer us. I saw some exalted comments. Who the f*ck wants a victory like that? And who can even call it a victory? That’s a f*cking fiasco. It’s civil war. Odessa residents at each other’s throats. Who’s the winner here? I don’t need victories like that, the f*ck I do. Some people are like animals and some beasts are humane, that’s what I’m talking about. The line between ‘us’ and ‘them’. I lost mine on May 2. I don’t know where to draw it. I see people. And I see animals. Animals on my side, people against me. So, what do I do next? Damned if I know, boyo, as they say on the other side… And there are not less real people there than animals here…”

That desperate cry fell on deaf ears. On the same day that the Trade Unions building was burning, there was intense fighting in Slaviansk in the Donbass. The Ukrainian army was trying to enter the city. Soon, the militias armed with a motley assortment of hunting rifles, handguns stolen from police officers and Molotov cocktails were replaced by battalions and brigades equipped with artillery and tanks. Eastern Ukraine quaked with the blasts of howitzers and the rumbling of tanks.

By Evgeny Norin, a Russian historian focused on Russia’s wars and international politics

That is the Russian POV. You will not get a “kiss and make up” moment out of that. Western Ukraine, the EU, and Biden / DNC have cooked this into a Blood Feud between Ethnic Russians (in or out of the former Ukraine) and the Poles, Slovaks, Rusyns, and Ethnic Ukrainians of former Western Ukraine.

Part 2 of this will look more at Euromadan itself. The overthrow of the Ukrainian government by EU operators, NGOs, and the USA. The same people now fighting a proxy war with Russia & Eastern Ukraine, via Western Ukraine.

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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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82 Responses to Some Ukraine / Russia Backstory

  1. Philip Mulholland says:

    Pays Bas is the French name for the Netherlands (The Low Countries).
    Donbass is the low country next to the River Don.
    In the 18th century French was the unofficial language of the Russian aristocracy.
    It is curious that the Donbass region appears to have a French name.

  2. John Hultquist says:

    Thanks E. M.
    What a mess. Maybe I’ll live long enough to see these “military exercises” recede
    and something better comes of the turmoil. I don’t have a lot more time, so 10 years
    better see it get done.
    Meanwhile the US government flounders on boulders of its own making. (progressives, excessive spending, ‘blm’ movement, net zero (and other CO2 schist), open borders, MSM and elite cults, and such – – Oh! wokeness)
    Well, the government has had help scuttling a couple hundred years of development. Y’all know the names.
    I also think “The Donald” ought to retire after telling his followers to supporter politicians we could happily seat at our mother’s Thanksgiving Dinner table.
    John, the curmudgeon

  3. Jon K says:

    Oliver Stone (I know…) actually did a pretty good documentary on this. I found the parallels between this and the BLM “movement” to be particularly interesting.—Ukraine-on-Fire–2016—2014-Maidan-Massacre–Documentary-You%E2%80%99ll-Likely-Never-See

  4. John S Howard Jr says:

    Thank you… going to pass this along. A lot of folks are buying the media/Biden version of what’s going on. It is not one sided and while Russia may be pulling back, what they leave behind is a pile of rubble. This is not a win for the Ukraine.

  5. jim2 says:

    Looks like the Dimowits might want a war to save their sorry a$$e$.

    Intelligence provided by the U.S. helped the Ukrainians sink the Russian Moskva in April, according to a senior defense official. The U.S. shared the location of the Moskva in the Black Sea with the Ukrainians but had no role in the decision to strike it, the official said.

    WASHINGTON – The United States has provided intelligence that has helped Ukrainians target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior U.S. officials.

    Ukrainian officials said they have killed approximately 12 generals on the front lines, a number that has astonished military analysts.

  6. Graeme No.3 says:

    I was recently reading about the Munich crisis in 1938. The similarities with The Ukraine were obvious.
    Czechoslovakia had a least 6 language groups; Czeck & Slovak (obviously although the 2 languages were similar) and German speakers in The Sudetenland, along with Poles, Hungarians and what was then called Ruthenians (presumably Rumanians). The Czechs had control in the Capital and were pushing people into using the Czech language which was unpopular; so much so that there were opposition movements in all 5 other areas. Fairly peaceful (even in The Sudetenland) but these were ignored and repression increased. The Slovaks were the most annoyed (remember they also split off after the Soviets lost control), and increasing attempts to stamp out resistance led to separatist movements elsewhere. The German area had a big, strong army on their border and an ambitious dictator in charge.
    The western nations didn’t want a war so the Agreement was reached to separate the Sudetenland. That inflamed the situation, with Poland wanting the Polish speaking bit back (the Czechs had grabbed that territory in 1919 while Poland was fighting the communists), the Slovaks were close to revolt (they welcomed the Germans when the final invasions came), and Hungary etc. suddenly scented opportunities. Germany initially observed the agreement but marched in when chaos threatened.
    Sorry, but I’ve lost the article by a British journalist who commented in 2008 that Crimea wasn’t at all happy with Ukrainian demands that the locals adopted the Ukrainian way of spelling their names if they wanted anything from the (imposed) bureaucracy and other measures. He predicted trouble coming.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Graeme No. 3:

    The Ruthenians are an older and imprecise term for various Eastern Slavs.

    Ruthenian and Ruthene (Latin: Rutheni) are exonyms of Latin origin, formerly used in Eastern and Central Europe as common ethnonyms for East Slavs, particularly during the late medieval and early modern periods. The Latin term Rutheni was used in medieval sources to describe all Eastern Slavs of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, as an exonym for people of the former Kievan Rus’, thus including ancestors of the modern Ukrainians, Rusyns, and Belarusians (later known as White Ruthenians). The use of Ruthenian and related exonyms continued through the early modern period, developing several distinctive meanings, both in terms of their regional scopes and additional religious connotations (such as affiliation with the Ruthenian Greek Catholic
    During the early modern period, the exonym Ruthenian was most frequently applied to the East Slavic population of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, an area encompassing territories of modern Ukraine and Belarus from the 15th up to the 18th centuries. In the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the same term (German: Ruthenen) was employed (up to 1918) as an official exonym for the entire East Slavic population within the borders of the Monarchy.

    So before folks were more careful about tribes and details, and exactly who were which Eastern Slavs was less clear… then again, most of them started off Kievan Rus’ anyway… so less different than now.

    Compare Rusyns:

    Specifically the Eastern Slaves of the Carpathian Mountains.

    Rusyns (Rusyn: Русины, romanized: Rusynŷ), also known as Carpatho-Rusyns (Rusyn: Карпаторусины or Карпатьскы Русины, romanized: Karpatorusynŷ or Karpaťskŷ Rusynŷ), or Rusnaks (Rusyn: Руснакы or Руснаци, romanized: Rusnakŷ or Rusnacy), are an East Slavic ethnic group from the Eastern Carpathians in Central Europe. They speak Rusyn, an East Slavic language variety, treated variously as either a distinct language or a dialect of the Ukrainian language. As traditional adherents of Eastern Christianity, the majority of Rusyns are Eastern Catholics, though a minority of Rusyns still practice Eastern Orthodoxy. Rusyns primarily self-identify as a distinct Slavic people and they are recognized as such in Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia, where they have official minority status. Alternatively, some identify more closely with their country of residence: as Polish, Slovak, or Ukrainian.

    A very precise group, though spread over several countries…

    BTW, Romanian is a language based on Latin and almost readable to me as close to French & Spanish & Italian. Only distantly related to Slavic languages.

    Historical grammar
    Romanian has preserved a part of the Latin declension, but whereas Latin had six cases, from a morphological viewpoint, Romanian has only three: the nominative/accusative, genitive/dative, and marginally the vocative. Romanian nouns also preserve the neuter gender, although instead of functioning as a separate gender with its own forms in adjectives, the Romanian neuter became a mixture of masculine and feminine. The verb morphology of Romanian has shown the same move towards a compound perfect and future tense as the other Romance languages. Compared with the other Romance languages, during its evolution, Romanian simplified the original Latin tense system in extreme ways, in particular the absence of sequence of tenses.

  8. another ian says:

    Latest Pointman


  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Philip Mulholland:

    It certainly is curious… I knew the Russian Aristocracy had been largely French or infatuated with the French language. I’d not thought they might name places in French…

    @Jon K:

    The BLM “Movement” was bought and organized by the same GEBs and for the same purposes (removal of a leader they didn’t like ) so no surprise they look the same…

    @John Hultquist:

    You’re welcome. FWIW, my intuition is that this blows up alot sooner than later. A year or 2 at most.

    @John S. Howard:

    Just keep in mind that RT is the Russian POV and Russian version of events I quoted it to show their thinking, not to claim it is 100% valid. But that POV is what will drive their people, so best to know what it is.

    At this point, given the chasm between these world views, there is no putting the former Ukraine back together again. It is over. Best outcome IMHO, would be giving the different ethnic regions back to their language group mother countries.


    The Stupid, it burns.

    What idiot thinks it is:

    1) A good idea to be actively engaging in acts of war (battlefield intel / spying).

    2) A good idea to say anything about it (spilling war secrets).

    3) A good idea to share sources, methods and capabilities information with the world.

    I expect we will shortly find out how good Russian anti satellite weapons are. Hopefully not how good their antiship weapons are as a tit for tat…

  10. jim2 says:

    What better excuse to take away the rest of our liberties than to Win The War Against Russia!! While it is difficult to imagine the Dimowits would be so dumb as to take that far, we’ve lived to see a lot of things we thought would never happen. So there’s that.

  11. Sandy McClintock says:

    I share your sympathy for the Eastern-Russian-Speakers in Ukraine. However, the rest of the Ukrainians do not share the same pro-Russian POV. If Russia had merely moved in to protect the “Easterners” (as initially stated by Putin), there would have been less reaction from the western countries. Instead, Putin has destroyed much of the infrastructure of a country that now despises Russia as a consequence. No doubt this ‘over-reach’ by Putin was driven partly by the wish to have a buffer, and partly a blatant resource-grab. Neither of these are neighborly activities IMHO.

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, motivations are usually multi-factorial. Yes I have “sympathy” for the Eastern Ukraine Russian people (and the Crimean Russians). But I also have sympathy for the Western Ukrainian People. It is their government I find lacking and where I’m devoid of sympathy. (Frankly, feel the same about Russians vs their Government, Europeans vs the EU, and Americans vs our Government… It looks like they are all full of troughers and self aggrandizing SOBs.). It is the bad interaction of two Governments that has lead to this war. I have little sympathy for either Government.


    The point behind quoting the RT Article is to illustrate something we’ve NOT seen in the Western Press. The visceral hatred caused by the “Odessa Barbecue”…

    Resource Envy can contribute to invasions (but it is easier to just buy it – see China buying up resources all over the planet. From Smithfield Ham company in the USA to mines in Africa).

    Having a buffer can drive action to war (but it would be easier to foment a coup in Ukraine to replace the government with one to your liking – see Euromaidan going the other way).

    Neither resources nor buffers causes the desire to rubblize The Other. But the description of the Russian POV of Odessa Massacre does… For me, at least, it does explain the willingness to “mess them up” in revenge. Season with something like 14,000 killed in the shelling of the Donbass over 9 years, it starts to make more sense. “Tit for tat” with blood lust.

    What it explained for me was why they would bother going after cities when they could just take the capital, take out the government, and do a political reset. That’s what you would do for resources, or a buffer. But if the Russian Donbass cities were being shelled killing thousands and turning to rubble who knows how much; and the Odessa Massacre is in mind as to the Ukrainian attitude toward Russians (season with a bit of Azov Nazification to remove in cities…) then it makes sense to “take them down” in a vengeful manner.

    Basically, resources and buffer zones are cerebral and logical. They don’t explain the desire to destroy and raze. But hatred over massacre and thousands murdered via shelling does explain.

    Then you look into why those things came about and find the sticky fingers of the EU / USA and it looks like a bit of Soros Seasoning via NGOs all orchestrating the Euromaidan Coup to disrupt what had been a fairly acceptable (i.e. peaceful / not war) prior status… I would imagine (i.e. I have no source to quote or article that pointed this way) the violation of the prior “agreements:” to have NATO “not one inch” closer to Russia and that the Western FSU States would remain buffers; that would have caused some heartburn in the intelligentsia class. Would justify the emotional status of hatred from the massacre and the shelling. The old “they can’t be trusted” and “they just hate us” attitudes to be reinforced and justified. If “they can’t be trusted” then a treaty is useless and you need physical prevention – i.e. rubblize.

    So both the intelligentsia and the people would be aligned in thinking it OK to make a bit of rubble from Ukrainian cities.

    Oh, and one point “about me” for folks in general (i.e including new readers):

    Understanding some motivation is not “endorsing” nor “justification” or agreement with the behaviour. It is only understanding the “why”.

    I can say “Oh, I understand why Jeffry Dalmer ate those people” without being for cannibalism. It means I understand he was a criminal nut-job psychopath. That is not endorsement of criminal nut-job psychopaths… just tells me to avoid them and that it’s a good thing to put them in jail…

    So saying I understand the Russian POV, or Putin’s motivation, ought not be taken as endorsing them. It is just a search for predictive truth so one can more readily know how your opponent will act.

    Similarly, saying I understand how the EU, USA, et. al. arranged to have Euromaidan overthrow a pro-Russia Ukrainian president who had most of the votes; that does not justify it or say I approve of it. Just says I see how it was done. I can, then, go on to show how that pretty much inevitably leads to a war with Russia as it violates prior agreements and moves NATO to the Russian Border while killing thousands of ethnic Russians. Seeing that mechanism is not endorsing it.

    Which of those 3 do I endorse and think is justified? Um, none of them. Eating people is just a very bad idea. Invading a neighbor country and creating rubble is just destruction of value in my value system. Underhanded manipulation for the destruction of a government is evil too. There’s got to be a better way (but I don’t know what it would be, given that agreements and negotiations have been shown unreliable.)

    BUT: Given that the “first move” in this “chess game with real armies” was done by the EU / USA in the creation of the Ukraine Color Revolution and this installation of a clearly very corrupt Anti-Russian government (see the Biden Money Laundry) with the very foreseeable outcome of a Russian Intervention in reply: I can’t find MORE fault with the response than with the agency that caused the conditions for the response.

    Some brat steals a kids lunch money and the kid whacks him on the nose: I’m not gong to be “talking dirt” about the one doing the swinging. I’m still against fighting, but it was caused by stealing the lunch money… That doesn’t make me in favor of stealing lunch money nor in favor of bops on the nose ( I’d rather the staff enforced rules preventing both, but they usually don’t, so you get to deal with both).

    So you see, “It isn’t about me”. I don’t have a vote in how Ukraine & Russia settle this. I’m not at the table in the UN, nor in the EU Parliament, nor getting a bit of vigorish from the Bidens. What I want, or would do, is not on the table nor in evidence anywhere in this whole thing. All I can do is try to figure out “who did what to whom” to make some sense of it all. I have “sympathy” for all the people in the involved countries as they take all the shit being thrown. I have active dislike for all the Governments involved as all of them look to be doing various kinds of “fling poo” activity that the rest of us are trying to duck. And that includes the EU and USA too.

  13. rhoda klapp says:

    A word about the passing of intelligence. Using you can see what reconnaissance assets are deployed. Most days there are a couple of RC-135W (USAF and RAF) which monitor radio signals from the front line.. They patrol over Poland. Also regularly an E-8C which uses side-looking radar to detect troop movements. Combine that with the comms data and you have an exact picture of the battle. NATO operate an AWACS there too. And the USN had a P-8 over the Black Sea which reputedly passed targetting data on the Moskva. This had to be real time data to allow the missiles to delay switching on the terminal homing radar to the last few seconds. Further, most days there is a Global Hawk drone over the Black Sea at 54,000 feet.

    Russia would be within their rights to target any of these aircraft, no anti-sat required. Best bet is one over international waters and the Global Hawk is unmanned and therefore wouldn’t involve the danger of killing Americans.

    Getting this involved is bad news. Probably an act of war. It is however immensely useful to the Ukraine and bad for the Russian forces.

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    OOOooh that’s good! OSINT at it’s best… It never occurred to me that Mil craft would be included…

    What Russia needs is a plausible deniability attack on some of those assets. Don’t know the state of their laser weapons program nor if they have maser (microwave) gear able to scramble the electronics. (We do, but we also had microwave defense in our radars in the ’70s, so who knows where things are at now). A directed energy wounding would be less escalating.

    OTOH, there could be merit in doing an “in your face” shoot down via missile (hypersonic or otherwise) while issuing a statement like “The USA and EU can now either exit this war, or continue hostile actions and be fully in it. Choose wisely, our nuclear weapons are on alert.”

    Will be interesting to watch in any case.

    My read on the Russian approach says they will go for a hidden revenge. Stuff somewhere will blow up or burn in the night or some folks will just “wake up dead”, with minimal or no indication who or why. “Revenge is a dish best served cold” and silently, IMHO.

    Something like activate 10% of whatever KGB Sleeper Cells turned into now, and just let them do what they do…

  15. rhoda klapp says:

    Maybe burn some food processing plants?

  16. jim2 says:

    The Dimowits seem exceptionally desperate to hold on to power and perhaps their ownership of the TLAs. That desire seems too strong to put down to mere politics. I’m wondering if they fear loss of control of the TLAs will mean a nomination to prison for them?

  17. Lars Silén: Reflex och spegling says:

    As a finn my view is that any deal with Russia is worth nothing, it can be broken at any time. In the family there are russian speaking ukrainians. They have never complained about being mistreated due to their language. Now they are actively trying to switch to ukrainian due to what russians are doing to people of both languages in Ukraine.
    RT is an interesting alternative source regarding Europe and the US. I wouldn’t touch it even with a long stick in matters where Russia is a part.
    The invasion of Ukraine was the only reason why Finland will ask for NATO membership in the very near future. Russia is already describing Sweden and Finland as fascist countries. Let’s hope we won’t find “green men” in our eastern woods in the same way as in Donbas.

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    But who is pwned by whom?

    You can make a decent, If somewhat paranoid fringe, case that after assassinating JFK via Mafia Subcontractors, the TLAs (and CIA in particular) decided elected random folks were just too risky in a nuclear world. JFK did, after all, put us on the brink of nuclear annihilation…. so they set sbout “rationally managing” the world. For our own good, of course.

    It likely took a while to get complete contol, so Nixon, Ford and even maybe Carter were semi-randoms, though perhaps quietly vetted in the primaries. Reagan got an ex-CIA as his VP, who almost became P after an assassination attempt…. just sayin’. Then Bush gets the big chair. Baby Bush was a Bonesman and being Son Of CIA also vetted. Clinton was bought during CIA drug runnung ops out of Arkansas (so sHrillary too). That might explain all the Top Cover for their illegal acts. Trump was not supposed to win, so a desperate dump was needed (note how much the TLAs were exposed as activly working to nail him…)

    Now we have “do what he’s told” Biden and likely a Camel-A that’s inside the tent or pwned.

    So is it the Dims worried about losing contol of the TLAs, or the TLA Puppet Masters worried about their DNC Cover bring blown and the lot of them up for hanging?

    It looks to me like the TLAs never got complete control of the RNC. Just a lot of NeoCons embedded (cough, Romney, cough, McCain, cough, Cheney, cough…) Then, with Trump running the RNC Table, have nearly lost it completely, so are working the (much more easily blackmailed or bribed Lolita Express DNC derived group) for all they can. Often only the VP was their pick. (Bush for Reagan, Cheney for Baby Bush as handler)… so one wonders about Pence…

    To the extent that fantasy has wings… one would expect to see DNC Acolytes looking desperate and taking crazy risks as their handlers tell them things like “win this for our guy or your Epstine File gets published… or maybe even a bit of jail time before your suicide. ” Maybe even doing things like stuffing dozens of ballot boxes at 2 AM…

    I can’t tell for sure which way causality runs, and it may well be some of each. Senior Committee Members in congress goosing some TLA folks, while TLA Senior folks “arrange” for more junior (or most easily entrapped) Congress Critters to be more “compliant” and “cooperative”…

    What I can say for certain is that the DNC, many of the higher members, the TLA Leadership and upper management levels, many the Neocons, and significant numbers of ranking staff are immoral, dirty, owned, blackmailed, bribed and / or just evil. There’s a dirty back room game in play snd honesty, truth, and rule of law do not apply. Beyond that is speculation.

    So who is buggering whom in this giant Washington Circle of Buggery?

  19. E.M.Smith says:


    I find RT useful in a few ways. The important thing is to remember it is The Official Story and will not conflict with Government.

    Given that, there are things you can harvest from it.

    1) The official POV on topics. What does The Kremlin approve? For things everyone else is covering, if missing, it is likely not approved by government.

    2) What is being fed to the Russian people? What does leadership think will be swallowed, and by what is missing: what do they think is too far a tale to tell.

    3) Exposure of our lies. This one takes vetting to distinguish their propaganda stories, but it can be an early list of possibles to vet. Sometimes has usable facts that prove out (remember Gary Powers?)

    4) Compare and contrast to other sources. Tends to show were the lies are hiding, from both sides (all sides?).

    BTW, I use basically the same process for ALL media. They all lie a lot and are full of errors. IF you exclude one side then you have a harder time finding the fraud in the remaining ones you choose to trust… Trust in any of them these days is an error. Best you can do is treat them as raw data to be confirmed later and bias one way to compare and contrast with their opposition. Or to put their POV on display to highlight their bias and potentially emotional state (at least, the one they are pushing..,)

    So if The Washington Post is pushing war hysteria, that tells you something about who wants war. I don’t need to know if their claims of Evil Other are true to know they are pounding the war drums.

    Similarly, I don’t need to know it RT is accurately describing the Odessa BBQ, to know they are pushing that narrative and think the Russian people will not call BullShit on it. They think it will sell, and that tells me what they think is the Russian attitude.

    Al Jazeera tells me what “sells” to their Muslim audience, and shows video from the other side of muslim involved wars. That doesn’t mean all their film is valid (“war atrocities” are often staged), but it does tell me they think their audience will believe it; and often the people act as though they did believe it, so has predictive value.

    Bssically, even lies can inform if used and evaluated correctly….

    Per Ukrainian:

    It is my understsnding that it is largely mutually intelligible with Russian. Has a few older forms, and spelling is a bit different. Rather like Old English vs modern American English. Ought not be too hard to swap. But I doubt it will be very important either way.

    Per Finland & Sweden and NATO:

    IMHO Poking the Bear is a poor way to calm it down. I don’t know if your security will be improved more by applying to NATO , or by appeasing Russia. I do know which is going to cause more paranoia in Russia. Good luck with that. I’m just glad I’m on the other side of the world from it. About as far from Russia as I can get while still in the USA. 3 directions are water, too ;-)

  20. philemon says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    7 May 2022 at 8:01 pm“even maybe Carter…”

    Trilaterals: everyone else does. ;)

    Actually, I found the admission by someone high up in the Carter administration, that they were shocked that Carter was not just paying lip service to talking points, but actually meant some of them, very revealing.

    Obama, on the other hand, seemed to be completely owned. Never saw a convincing birth certificate. His elevation to Senator did not pass the smell test either. And that U.S. voters would vote for somebody named “Barack Hussein Obama” ? After all the anti-Muslim fear-porn?

    It’s interesting that psychologists now include “freeze” in addition to “fight or flight” reflexes, but they don’t acknowledge the “freedom” reflex. It was actually a big deal, even among beagles. Well, if you were a researcher who was responsible for it. William E. Campbell and all.

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    Modulo some emotionally loaded spin wording, a quick skim of the Wiki page on the Odessa BBQ (which they call Odessa clashes – an example of differential spin wording) showed up nothing notably at odds with the RT article in terms of basic facts. I didn’t go through it number by number, name by name, and time stamp by time stamp; but it read like the same basic story to me. Wiki is not known for being pro Russia and anti EU… so I expect their spin to be antisence from RT.

    If anyone wants to toss rocks at the RT version, please point out where it tells porkies on basic facts (we know everyone does differential emotional spin, so that isn’t relevant. In fact, the purpose of quoting it is to illusrate that emotional condition in RT). I have to go make dinner now….

  22. jim2 says:

    EMS – your hypothesis concerning the TLAs sounds plausible. But if that’s the case, the TLAs are getting very careless letting out the info the US is helping Ukraine kill Russian Generals and sinking their ships. That could turn out a lot worse than the Cuban missile crisis.

  23. H.R. says:

    @jim2 – the neocons and the TLAs in control of the gumbint want a hot war with Russia, but the are trying to provoke Russia into “firing the first salvo” so to speak.

    Putin isn’t buying it, which is why he’s shown remarkable restraint given the U.S, involvement and provocations.

    The only question in my opinion is who will blink first? Who will make the first direct fire aggressive move? The one who makes the first move loses the moral (moral,,, ha!) high ground and will be swimming upstream against World opinion.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    One False Flag attack on EU or USA assets coming soon?

    What would be emotional enough, but not too really damaging?

    Maybe a shootdown of an airplane? Easy enough to make the pilot safe by bailing out… but not reslly eviceral enough…

    Maybe a tank unit shelling an EU position? Like in Poland? Easy enough to fake using Ukrainian Russian made tanks… Decorate with some Ukrainian casualties re-dressed as Poles. Call an Article 5? Poland is a sympathy play…

  25. jim2 says:

    I just sayin’, if the TLAs have been manipulating Presidents to avoid a nuclear war, what they hypothetically are doing now would negate that effort. Also, this is an uncontrollable Genie, the outcome wouldn’t be anything close to predictable. People who want to keep their power don’t do things that way, they like predictable. Doing it to “fight climate change” by killing off a bunch of people is also a non-starter. An nuclear war will alter the climate in ways CO2 could only dream of. None of it adds up.

  26. jim2 says:

    U.S. intelligence agencies are deeply concerned about a steady flow of leaks pointing to extensive assistance by the United States, helping Ukraine score some of its biggest victories of the war.

    On Thursday, several news outlets reported on assistance by U.S. intelligence agencies giving the Ukrainian military information on Russian units that have allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in the war. Moscow has acknowledged at least 12 general officers were killed — more generals than died in World War II.

    For our VIPs: Don’t Be Surprised if Putin Tries to Make May 9 a Day That Will Live in Infamy

    Then on Friday, some blabbermouth told the Washington Post that the U.S. gave information to the Ukrainians that allowed them to sink the Moskva — the flagship of the Russian Black Sea fleet. The Biden administration is denying that such assistance was given — at least in every instance. But more worrisome than the deliberate provocation of killing high-ranking Russian general officers is the stupidity that someone is bragging about it.

    “It’s stupid, it’s unnecessary. There’s no upside, only downside,” a European official told Politico. “It looks like the Americans are trying to take credit for what the Ukrainians are doing.”

  27. philemon says:

    Just another perspective. Lots of dystopian gloom and doom. But it’s all in good fun.

    Interesting that he didn’t include WWI in his retrospective on wars, Daddy Warbucks (Warburg) and all. Plus, hey, the Fed and income tax for the sinews of war, and the full faith and credit of U.S. taxpayers. Win-win for the bankers. They lend, and if the loans go bad, they get bailed out, but otherwise they make big profits, or both, if they hedge.

    He’s right that psychopaths can cooperate. They recognize one another. But, and it’s a big one, they also recognize that other psychopaths are the easiest marks to gull.

    So, yeah, the GEB would love some of that CBDC that they would control. Of course, it depends on who “they” are.

    In short it looks like this:

    1. Make people suspicious that GEB will seize their assets.

    2. Seize some peoples assets.

    3. Ask people to trust the GEB that their CBDC won’t make it even easier to seize/steal assets. (Yeah, right.)

    4. PROFIT!

    They can possibly get some Welfare people to go along with the UBI, but there’s no profit there. And those people aren’t interested in CBDC. Nor are most bankers.

    It’s like “Mars Invades”: Trust Us! We are your Friends! BLAM!

    @jim2: “None of it adds up.” You are right. It doesn’t.

  28. another ian says:

    Having another two bob’s worth

    “Klaus Schwab expounds on his role in the global governance of your life.”

  29. another ian says:

    “Guest Post: Speedbox -Postcard from Kislovodsk #2”

  30. stewartpid says:

    Re : I’m just glad I’m on the other side of the world from it. About as far from Russia as I can get while still in the USA. 3 directions are water, too ;-)

    You got us crazed Canucks to the north and you know how dangerous we are when on a maple syrup fueled binge ;-)

    Some good posts here Chiefio and others …. thanks for sharing the info / thoughts / opinions.

  31. David A says:

    A early comment in this thread…”If Russia had merely moved in to protect the “Easterners” (as initially stated by Putin)”

    It appears clear to me that every US and NATO action is geared precisely to prevent Russia from doing a limited take over of the Russian areas of Ukraine. War is logistics, moving people, food and weapons to the point of conflict. If Russia ignores parts of Ukraine that it may truly have no interest in owning and being the government of, it will never secure those Russian dominate areas it feels it has a right to, as long as weapons food and people are perpetually channeled (through the rest of the Ukraine) to those geographic portions of Ukraine Russia is claiming to liberate.

    Putin must have a plan to make the west feel adequate pain to stop the perpetual Western fed supply lines. (currency wars, global supply lines for energy and food, etc…) Putin’s problem is the GEBs are insane. (Putin may not be, he may just not want the Russian people to be a part of the GEBs one World Government serfs) Yet the GEBs are insane, and the killing of large portion of the global population may not bother them. If “Evil Russia” can distract folk from contemplating the evil GEBs, and what they are doing with Covid, both the creation of it, and the response to it, and if they perceive Russian independence, to be an equal threat to their plans as Trump was – possibly is, then they will go to extreme measures to break Russia. Possibly the Western GEBs are now desperate, with many many nations no longer playing their Global Rule games.

  32. pinroot says:

    Thanks for the info dump EM. This thing is a lot more involved than “Russia bad” which is what the useless MSM has been pushing. And now, between the money we’re sending Ukraine (most of which will end up in Biden and friends pockets) and the apparent intelligence we’re providing them, what we’re doing could be considered acts of war if Russia was so inclined. There’s a reason you don’t poke the bear, and we’re poking pretty hard right now.

  33. philemon says:
    Wauck is a bit hypersensitive when it comes to Polish history. Steve calms him down, but the ensuing comment exchange is educational.

    Stephen McIntyre Doubles Down On Stupid
    Mark Wauck
    3 hr ago
    I’ve repeatedly explained that I take good information pretty much anywhere I can get it. That doesn’t mean that I agree with sources of good information on a specific topic who may also purvey basic untruths on other topics—although I do try to avoid such sources.
    Read →

    New First

    Deplorable Dave2 hr ago·edited 2 hr ago
    I understand Poland’s legitimate prejudice against Russia from the days of the USSR. But current Polish “leaders” don’t seem to care that the Russia-Ukraine turmoil is hundreds of years old, like a feud between the Hatfields and McCoys that erupts into war. It’s a fight only a maniacal idiot (or distant provocateur like the USA) would want to join.

    piotr53 min ago
    Right, correctly you have put leaders in quotes. They have the same master as Zelensky. BTW. I do not know how is it in US, but all major propaganda web pages (like or completely blocked commenting, otherwise there would be a lot of lies exposed…

    Athena2 hr ago
    When I saw McIntyre’s tweet earlier, I was thinking-there were a lot of Jewish people killed in Poland during WW2, but they weren’t killed by the Polish government. I was glad to see you touch on this today.

    Stephen McIntyreWrites Russiagate and Other Intel Anal… ·3 hr ago
    Mark, I mis-spoke and promptly removed tweet. What I intended to say and should have said was “Poland, the country in which the most Jews were murdered during Holocaust”. I was not intending to opine on Polish history, a topic that I haven’t studied and don’t purport to know.
    Mark Wauck2 hr agoAuthor
    I get it, but Stephen, this is the second time you’ve written basically the same thing. It’s hard to see this second time as a mistake. Give this some thought–Poles are far and away the largest group honored at Yad Vashem, despite the fact that war time conditions in Poland were immeasurably more brutal than in any other country in Europe with regard to sheltering Jews. I know this first hand, having studied Polish at DLI with two Jewish teachers who survived the Holocaust in Poland, thanks to Poles who risked their lives:

    Regarding the liberating Red Army, it’s worth noting that two Polish armies made up 10% of the troops in the final Soviet offensive against Germany, and fought with distinction. Russian troops weren’t the only ones who stopped the holocaust:–1945)

    That contribution was made in spite of the Soviet attempt to decapitate Polish civil society with the massacre of 22,000 Polish officers.

    That’s also not counting the many Poles who fought with the Western allies in the Battle of Britain, North Africa, Italy, and across France:

    “Poland made the fourth-largest troop contribution in Europe,[131][132][133] and its troops served both the Polish Government in Exile in the west and Soviet leadership in the east. Polish troops played an important role in the Normandy, Italian and North African Campaigns and are particularly remembered for the Battle of Monte Cassino.[134][135] Polish intelligence operatives proved extremely valuable to the Allies, providing much of the intelligence from Europe and beyond,[136] and Polish code breakers were responsible for cracking the Enigma cipher.[e] In the east, the Soviet-backed Polish 1st Army distinguished itself in the battles for Warsaw and Berlin.”

    The Polish contribution to Ultra was arguably a game changer for the entire war–invaluable for the Battle of Britain and Battle of the Atlantic, and was used not only by the Western allies but was also provided to the USSR–crucially at the Battle of Kursk.

    One area in which I give Putin special credit is his willingness to recognize the complicated nature of Polish Russian relations and the fact that Russians committed great wrongs against Poland. That doesn’t mean Putin isn’t a Russian patriot, nor that he’s blind to Polish faults. However, he has consistently tried to offer a path forward.

    Stephen McIntyreWrites Russiagate and Other Intel Anal… ·2 hr ago
    I’ve scarcely ever mentioned Poles. I haven’t studied Polish issues. I certainly did not intend to wade into Polish historical issues that I haven’t studied. If I have made the same mistake twice, it’s not because I was firmly expressing a view, but because I made the same careless mistake twice.

    However, my understanding is that Ukrainian Banderistas did enthusiastically abet Holocaust. (And then murdered Poles equally enthusiastically). Without having studied the matter, I’ll accept your re-assurance that Poles behaved differently than Ukrainians in this respect.

    I am therefore surprised that so many Poles enthusiastically support a Ukrainian regime that honors Bandera and his collaborators. But I also understand that historical animosities in eastern Europe run deep.

    My main point – and the one on which I would prefer to be judged – is that, whatever the respective grievances of the various nations in eastern Europe, it will not help the resolution of these grievances for US (or Canada or UK) to send a tsunami of military weapons or to exacerbate fights rather than settle them.
    Mark Wauck1 hr agoAuthor
    Unfortunately …

    The worst of what’s going on these days in re Ukraine–the military aspect–couldn’t be happening to such an alarming extent but for Poland’s misguided role. And that can only be understood from an historical standpoint. Again: Putin has a deeper understanding of all this than most, but his efforts at national reconciliation with Poland over the years have sadly come to naught. Also sadly, current Polish willingness to be guided by the US’s cynical manipulation of Ukraine–put on steroids by Jarosław Kaczyński’s virulent and very personal hatred for Russia–has played directly into the deepest anti-Polish sentiments of Russian ultra nationalists.

    I regard Polish sympathy toward Ukraine as almost entirely cynical and motivated by deep seated anti-Russian sentiment–not sympathy for Ukraine or Banderistas as such. Nor do I doubt that the feeling is reciprocated by most Ukrainians. That’s another complicated topic. Real Polish grievances from the WW2 era were suppressed and denied while Poland was dominated by the USSR during the Cold War period, and that accounts for the virulence of Polish anti-Russian sentiment that has only relatively recently been openly expressed. The fact that prominent Russian nationalists continue to deny such hot button Polish grievances as fuels Polish resentment.

    Public opinion in the US and, in fairness, much of Europe, is guided by an almost complete ignorance of the historical dynamics. Without that history the Neocon meddling would have no point of entry, but unfortunately the ignorance of these matters allows Neocons to manipulate public opinion. This ignorance also prevents the general public in the US/CA/UK from questioning the motivations behind the war on Russia.

    Stephen McIntyreWrites Russiagate and Other Intel Anal… ·21 min ago
    expressed that way, I don’t think that we substantively disagree on very much. So I think that your editorial against me is a bit over-cooked, but I’ve endured worse. In respect to Ukraine controversy, as a Canadian, I am particularly annoyed by Canada’s failure to provide constructive middle power diplomacy in a dispute which Canada is perfectly positioned to provide constructive advice as a nation that has been wrought by two Quebec separation referenda and an understanding of the importance of constitutionally vesting Quebec language rights in order for Canada to exist. And allowing the debate to descend into facile and stereotyped yelling about “sovereignty” without coming to terms with Ukraine’s failure to implement Minsk accords and 8 years of low-grade by civil war by Kyiv regime on Donbas republics.

  34. philjourdan says:

    @EM – Definitely follow Another Ian’s link to pointman. He is not always right, but he always has good points to make!

    Russia may be the bad guy. But one thing is for certain. Putin is running rings around the west. What the USSR could not do by conquest, Putin is doing by intelligence. But then an amoeba is smarted than the entire Biden administration. Including Kindergartener Harris.

  35. jim2 says:

    Looks like the royal families in Europe aren’t the only entities in-breeding. Entire countries there are!

  36. E.M.Smith says:


    I generally follow every link posted, just to make sure none of it is SPAM or worse, if nothing else. Sometimes I’ll skip an obvious link (like a wiki link that’s clearly benign. Or where I already have read it.)

    But there are some sources that are Special. Where there’s a certain anticipation upon seeing the link. Knowing something good comes after the click. Pointman is one of those. Often read first when other links are left for later…


    Does look like Steve stepped in it due to limited awareness of Polish history. But the article shows a big over sensitivity to the error of “Poland killed” vs “killed in Poland by non-Poles or via the devices of invading powers”… Part of why I have avoided Twitter from the start is that the artificial limit on text length forces an artificial brevity of truth too… realty gets compressed and bent until it fits…


    Your comment here:

    Makes an interesting distinction that most media does not. It talks of the loss of “general officers” while news headlines (and comments) that I’ve seen have just said “Generals”

    I’d seen the claim of “18 Russian Generals killed” and thought it sounded a bit bogus. A low priority “check someday” as you just don’t need many Generals to run a small war. But “general officers” is a different thing. That does make some sense. I think that is the clue to explain the Media error. Confounding Generals with “general officers”.,_flag,_and_air_officers

    Officers who typically command units or formations that are expected to operate independently for extended periods of time (i.e., brigades and larger, or flotillas or squadrons of ships), are referred to variously as general officers (in armies, marines, and some air forces), flag officers (in navies and coast guards), or air officers (in some Commonwealth air forces).

    General-officer ranks typically include (from the most senior) general, lieutenant general, major general, and brigadier general, although there are many variations like division general or (air-, ground-) force general.

    Flag-officer ranks, named after the traditional practice of showing the presence of such an officer with a flag on a ship and often land, typically include (from the most senior) admiral, vice admiral and rear admiral. In some navies, such as Canada’s, the rank of commodore is a flag rank.

    In the United Kingdom and most other Commonwealth air forces, air-officer ranks usually include air chief marshal, air marshal, air vice-marshal and air commodore. For some air forces, however, such as those of Canada, United States and many other air forces, general officer rank titles are used. In the case of the United States Air Force, that service was once part of the U.S. Army and evolved as a separate service in 1947, carrying over its extant officer rank structure. Brazil and Argentina use a system of general officer ranks based on the term brigadier.

    In some forces, there may be one or more superior ranks to the common examples, above, that are given distinguishing titles, such as field marshal (most armies of the world, notably excluding the United States) or general of the army (mainly the United States because “marshal” is used as a peace officer’s designation), fleet admiral (U.S. Navy), Marshal of the Royal Air Force, or other national air force. These ranks have often been discontinued, such as in Germany and Canada, or limited to wartime or honorific promotion, such as in the United Kingdom and the United States.

    So a whole lot more officer ranks…

    A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations’ air forces, space forces, and marines or naval infantry.

    In some usages the term “general officer” refers to a rank above colonel.

    So anyone above Colonel is possibly in the count..

  37. jim2 says:

    Yep, my impression is most Generals push game pieces around the Monopoly board.

  38. rhoda klapp says:

    Those surveillance aircraft can find a general anywhere. Russian generals have been going up to the front presumably to manage the situation when junior officers aren’t hacking it, maybe because they are allowed no independent action. When the general goes within artillery or drone range he is targetted. All in my humble opinion, my own military career was at a lower level.

  39. E.M.Smith says:


    That’s the story being pushed. My point is that these are not Generals in the sense of “4 Star General” who commands whole theatre armies; but likely “General Officers” who normally command smaller units. Like a Brigade or Regiment.

    The typical NATO standard brigade consists of approximately 3,200 to 5,500 troops. However, in Switzerland and Austria, the numbers could go as high as 11,000 troops. The Soviet Union, its forerunners and successors, mostly use “regiment” instead of brigade, and this was common in much of Europe until after World War II.

    A brigade's commander is commonly a major general, brigadier general, brigadier or colonel. In some armies, the commander is rated as a general officer.

    So likely folks with title like “Brigadier General” commanding a few thousand troops in a few battalions. Guys normally found forward with their troops in a field HQ. But possibly even just a Colonel if treated as a “general officer”…

    That makes it more sane to have 18 of them kicking about in this small an operation.

  40. E.M.Smith says:

    Well this is a twist. From RT again. Why I like them. Not because I take it as God’s own truth, but because it tells me about stories before our lame controlled media gets their spin written. Then I can go looking for where the truth sits. More often RT has basic facts right, but with pro-Russia emotional spin. Most often western lame stream media has it all wrong or doesn’t cover it at all…

    This story basically says Ukraine is shutting off gas transit for bogus reasons. OK, I’m surprised gas is still transiting through a war zone. In any case, gas transit through Ukraine looks to be disrupted with consequences for Europe. That’s the bit I take from the article. The “who is pissing on whom” bit gets flagged as spin with truth TBD. But EU to have gas shortage is likely a fact.

    Kiev cites “force majeure” to halt a third of Russian transited gas flow to Europe, while Gazprom says there have been no issues that would justify the move

    Russian gas conglomerate Gazprom has received no confirmation of force majeure or any obstacles to continued transit of gas through a junction in Lugansk Region, the company said on Tuesday, after Ukraine’s operator OGTSU announced it would halt further deliveries starting May 11, due to the presence of “Russian occupiers.”

    Gas Transit Services of Ukraine (OGTSU) declared force majeure on Tuesday, saying that it was impossible to continue the transit of gas through a connection point and compressor station located in the Lugansk area. As OGTSU personnel “cannot carry out operational and technological control” over the Sokhranovka connector point and Novopskov compressor station, the company cannot continue to fulfill its contract obligations, it said. 

    Gas from this connection will not be accepted into the transit system of Ukraine starting at 7 am on Wednesday, OGTSU said. Sokhrankovka accounts for almost a third of the Russian gas that transits through Ukraine to Europe – up to 32.6 million cubic meters per day – according to the operators.

    Gazprom has received no confirmation of force majeure or disruption of operations at Sokhranovka or Novopskov, company spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov said on Tuesday. He added that Ukrainian specialists have had full access to both facilities all along, and there had been no complaints about it previously. 

    READ MORE: Ukraine’s Zelensky praises US, scolds EU
    Kupriyanov also said that Gazprom has been notified by Ukraine’s gas company Naftogaz that if Russia continues to supply gas through Sokhranovka, Kiev will reduce the volume at the point of exit by the same amount, effectively confiscating the gas.

    While OGTSU has proposed to reroute the gas to Sudzha, a connector located in the Sumy region and controlled by the Ukrainian government, Kupriyanov said this was “technologically impossible.” 

    “The distribution of volumes is clearly spelled out in the cooperation agreement dated December 30, 2019, and the Ukrainian side is well aware of this,” he said.

    Gazprom is fulfilling all of its obligations to its European customers, with all the transit services in accordance with the terms of the contract and paid in full, Kupriyanov pointed out. Moscow has continued gas deliveries to Europe, including transit through Ukraine, regardless of the ongoing military operation and the embargoes against Russia imposed by the US and its allies in the EU. 

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    So, having had RT point at a topic, a directed web search turned up a Yahoo story covering the same thing. It adds some interesting bits. Left out of the RT version is that the Eastern Donbass regions get their gas through the pumping station in dispute, and that Russia is in control of it.

    So merging those bits: Russia is obscuring their control of the station, while Ukraine is hiding their desire to starve Donbass of gas. Ukraine has legitimate concerns over Ukraine nationals entering a Russian zone of control; but Russia looks to be correct that there isn’t really anything stopping the gas from flowing. Both being a bit petty, but the Ukrainian agenda of starving Donbass of gas, plus saying they will take any that does enter the system (blatant theft) makes it look to me like Ukraine is the one creating a “crisis for effect”

    Pavel Polityuk and Susanna Twidale
    Tue, May 10, 2022, 10:49 AM·3 min read
    By Pavel Polityuk and Susanna Twidale

    KYIV/LONDON (Reuters) -Ukraine said on Tuesday it would suspend the flow of gas through a transit point which it said delivers almost a third of the fuel piped from Russia to Europe through Ukraine, blaming Moscow for the move and saying it would move the flows elsewhere.

    Ukraine has remained a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even after Moscow’s invasion.

    GTSOU, which operates Ukraine’s gas system, said it would stop shipments via the Sokhranivka route from Wednesday, declaring “force majeure”, a clause invoked when a business is hit by something beyond its control.

    But Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russian gas exports by pipeline, said it was “technologically impossible” to shift all volumes to the Sudzha interconnection point further west, as GTSOU proposed.

    GTSOU CEO Sergiy Makogon told Reuters that Russian occupying forces had started taking gas transiting through Ukraine and sending it to two Russia-backed separatist regions in the country’s east. He did not cite evidence.

    The company said it could not operate at the Novopskov gas compressor station due to “the interference of the occupying forces in technical processes”, adding it could temporarily shift the affected flow to the Sudzha physical interconnection point located in territory controlled by Ukraine.

    Ukraine’s suspension of Russian natural gas flows through the Sokhranivka route should not have an impact on the domestic Ukrainian market, state energy firm Naftogaz head Yuriy Vitrenko told Reuters.

    The state gas company in Moldova, a small nation on Ukraine’s western border, said it had not received any notice from GTSOU or Gazprom that supplies would be interrupted.

    The Novopskov compressor station in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine has been occupied by Russian forces and separatist fighters since soon after Moscow began what it describes as a “special military operation” in February.

    It is the first compressor in the Ukraine gas transit system in the Luhansk region, the transit route for around 32.6 million cubic metres of gas a day, or a third of the Russian gas which is piped to Europe through Ukraine, GTSOU said.

    GTSOU said that in order to fulfil its “transit obligations to European partners in full” it would “temporarily transfer unavailable capacity” to the Sudzha interconnection point.

    Gazprom said it had received notification from Ukraine that the country would stop the transit of gas to Europe via the Sokhranivka interconnector from 0700 local time on Wednesday.

    The Russian company said it saw no proof of force majeure or obstacles to continuing as before. Gazprom added that it was meeting all obligations to buyers of gas in Europe.

    The United States has urged countries to lessen their dependence on Russian energy and has banned Russian oil and other energy imports in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine.

    U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday’s announcement does not change the timeline to lessen global dependence on Russian oil “as soon as possible.”

    (Reporting by Susanna Twidale and Pavel Polityuk; additional reporting by Nina Chestney in London, Daphne Psaledakis in Washington and and David Ljunggren in Ottawa;Editing by Alexander Smith, Cynthia Osterman and Rosalba O’Brien)

    In any case, looks lije a 1/3 hit to EU gas volumes. Hope the weather is warm…

  42. another ian says:

    E.M. – that looks to put a serious dent in the bag tally of generals

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:


    I wonder, though, if it is a “stupid mistake” by journalism majors who don’t know a “general officer” is different from the rank of “General”. Or is it deliberate puffery by Editors to deliberately confound Brigadier General with Generals to try to make it look worse for Russia…

    It did sound bogus to me as “18 Generals” since I think Russia would notice and take corrective action had they lost a dozen Star rank Generals. But Brigade Command getting shelled is much more reasonable, as is losing a dozen general officers in a hot war and not being paralized by that. Plenty of Colonels to field ptomote to Brigade Commander and move on.

  44. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – I noticed your comments over there. My comment just was an emphasis, not meant to be a direction! Glad we travel in the same circles.

  45. Terry Jackson says:

    Updates on Ukraine/Russia:
    Looks legit, but … use your own judgement

  46. another ian says:

    “Good evening, Vietnam”

    And this sounds familiar –

    “But, to Greek writers, Xerxes – in real life no worse than most despots and better than some – was one of the world’s greatest villains because he had attacked Greece. Hence the writers were eager to blame him for thye misdeeds that he committed but also for many that he did not commit.”

  47. H.R. says:

    @Terry Jackson says:
    12 May 2022 at 1:42 am re latest on Russia advances & etc….

    Thank you very much! As you note, it’s probably (hell yeah! absolutely!) not exactly ‘correct’, but it is an indication of where things are as of that moment.

    I just have not been running across the ‘latest’, and that’s probably due to my Google-Fu deficiencies, so thanks again for that bit to ponder.

    ATM, I’m thinking that Uber-Goblin Putin doesn’t really want to ‘rule the World’. I’m not in the inner circle of Mr. Putin, but I think he is looking to accomplish much smaller beans than the YSM is painting his ambitions to be.

    YSM: “Need a boogie-man? Step right up! We have one right here, right now just oozing boogie-boogers to frighten the young, the old, the infirm, feeble-minded, women, and children alike. They will pee their pants, by golly!”

    May I present [drum roll………] Mr. Vladmir Putin!

    Let’s all give him a nice hand now, shall we?

  48. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    An enlightening, fresh, comprehensive, truthful article.

  49. another ian says:

    Latest Pointman


  50. hunterson7 says:

    Actually a great article and comments. Sorry I have been gone so long.

  51. H.R. says:

    I don’t think anyone linked to this article over at CTH. It’s a short read, but the bottom line is that the best the U.S. can hope for is a stalemate after spending $60 billion or so, and possibly much more.

    That’s what we’re waging an expensive proxy war for; a stalemate.

  52. philemon says:

    A stalemate would be good.

  53. philjourdan says:

    No, we had a stalemate from 1945 to 1991. That was not good.

  54. p.g.sharrow says:

    I doubt that this war will stalemate. Putin is burning through hardware faster then Russia can replace it. The Ukrainians are slowly grinding down his Army, Western tactics and smart weapons against Warsaw Pact WWII tactics.
    Nearly 3 months ago Putin’s expeditionary Force was supposed to sweep to Victory over the Hated Western Nazis in 3 days. That Actor stand in was supposed to cut and run away at the threat from Putin’s vast RUSSIAN Military sweeping over a weak Ukraine National Guard. Surprise! Patriots armed with Smart weapons and Smart tactics have the upper hand against a poorly lead, Hired Army.
    Putin thinks he can jump up and down threatening the the little neighboring republics with mayhem if they join NATO Fool, the threats will force them to get behind the NATO Shield as the only way to Escape his “tender”grasp. Putin knows there is a way to prevent them from joining, He has used it many times in the past as he arose from KGB Colonel to Russian Compo. There is no Army of Western Nazis rampaging across Russia. The Great Patriotic War was over 75 years ago. The formatable Warsaw Pact military is now a shadow being propped up to scare old men. Putin is not the Dictator of the Soviet Communist State.He can not utilize Nuclear weapons unless there is an attacking army invading Russia.
    The Ukraine Military grows stronger and smarter while Putin’s is degraded. Russia will lose this little adventure and be required to recognize the Internationally set boundaries of Ukraine. NATO does not have to invade Russia to end their aggression, only bleed them until they quit.

  55. jim2 says:

    I get that the historical relations in Europe WRT Russia is more interwoven and complex than I will ever take the time to understand. OTOH, letting Russia wage war willy-nilly with no repercussions does not seem like a good idea. Sometimes, hope is all there is.

  56. jim2 says:

    I get that countries in Europe have historical issues that I will never take time to understand. However, letting Russia wage war with no repercussions doesn’t sound like a good idea. Sometimes hope is all you have.

  57. jim2 says:


  58. E.M.Smith says:


    Sometimes “Not my issues” works better… IMO, this is a European issue and the Europeans ought to deal with it. Leave the USA out of it. The EU has plenty of money, military, and skill to do it on their own.

    Getting the USA involved just:

    1) Washes more of MY money through the Ukraine laundry.
    2) Puts a target on the USA if it all goes sideways (as it likely will)
    3) Damages the US $ as reserve currency

    Not seeing where any of those are in the interest of US Citizens.


    I would hope that you are correct, but I don’t know enough about internal Russian Politics to know. You assert Putin can’t use more military than a small expeditionary force, but he was also supposedly term limited a few cycles ago…

    What I do know is that he is a smart cookie and not particularly constrained by either moral compass nor legal niceties, and couple that with an aggressive winning drive, I can’t predict what he can and can’t do, nor will or won’t do.

    For example:

    I could easily see the “loss happening” in the north east of Ukraine being a deliberate retreat for the purpose of having Ukrainian military over run the Russian border. It would only take a mile or so for Putin to be able to say “Russia has been invaded” and have a whole different rule set.

    (No, I do not expect that; but like I said, I can’t predict the man well enough to know.)

    Then the other problem is just that we have no reliable data. At All.

    HOW do we know the Russian Army is having terrible losses and being degraded? I only see one side in the news reports and that’s one which brought us the Ghost of Keiv (or whatever his name was) along with recycled photos from years gone past claiming they were new.

    For all I know, Putin has taken the Ethnic Russian areas he cared about and is just busy locking down ownership and control, ignoring the rest of Ukraine.

    Given the information available (i.e. nearly nothing reliable) either could be the case. A few photos of some tanks can be photoshopped (or even could be Ukrainian tanks as both used Russian gear, I think…) We do know one ship was sunk, and it was one slated to be scrapped, hauled back from the scrap list, then relisted for scrapping “soon”. Yes “flagship” with storied history, but also well worn and planned for scraping. So was it even in full fighting trim? I don’t know…

    IMHO, all we can really know is that when the fighting is over and done, we will know who won, and maybe 20 years from now we’ll get some details… Until then, it will be lying propaganda from The West vs lying propaganda from Russia…

  59. jim2 says:

    Europe can’t even manage their own fuel supplies. Just sayin’. That said, I certainly understand the desire to let it be.

  60. Terry Jackson says:
  61. E.M.Smith says:

    Why I’m skeptical of “Ukraine Wining!!” Reports… seems they are doing it with paintball guns, per the photo…

  62. another ian says:

    Some more backstory – FWIW

    “Escobar: Death By A Thousand Cuts – Where Is The West’s Ukraine Strategy?”

    “At Least 300 Azov Fighters Surrender To Russians At Azovstal Plant, Ending Lengthy Siege”

    Both via Jo Nova

  63. jim2 says:

    Yep. If Ukraine is what winning looks like, I’ll continue to lose ;)

  64. philemon says:

    Having been a Kremlin watcher back in the day, you knew when somebody died because they played Chopin.

    Forbes7 hr ago
    Facts inconvenient to The Narrative will always be ignored.
    combat mission = hiding in retreat
    evacuated = surrendered
    battle over = battle lost

    The customers have become cagey. “They” are fighting a rear-guard movement to restrict information after the horse has left the barn.

    C’mon, who still believes the Kennedy assassination was a “lone nut”?

  65. another ian says:

    An expression used here for directing dirt with a shovel is “shooting”

    The YSM on Ukraine brings to mind a version of that, which is

    “Couldn’t shoot sh-i-t with a shovel”

  66. another ian says:

    “Quick tell the investors: Twitter is a kindergarten for communists, not there to make profits”

    And comments

  67. Taz says:

    This crap gets repeated ad-infinitum, and it comes from both sides. As far as I’m concerned, Russia lost any expectation for sympathy (and there once was plenty) the moment they crossed the border. You don’t argue with invaders – you kill them.

    Watch some Russian state TV and then tell me it was all a “meanie west conspiracy”.

    Next you’ll be telling me it’s not a good idea to gun down shoplifters in San Francisco? Yer just gonna hafta shed that California mindthink boss…. it WILL rot your brain.

    An alternate view? Send all those invaders home in bags and simply advise Russia that if they ruin our land with cobalt bombs – we’ll take theirs. ALL OF IT! West Alaska!

  68. philjourdan says:

    @Taz – the crap is only coming from one side. The Globalist side. They have banned all things Russian. Until Russia Surrenders or Nukes the world, I will not believe a god damn thing the western fake news media says! Period.

    They have not reported any news in over 14 years! Why is ANYONE thinking they have started doing it now? Because even conservative commontators are morons!

    Just my 2 cents.

  69. E.M.Smith says:


    Some important things to keep in mind in order to avoid error in understanding me.

    1) I have no “sympathy” in any investigation. Sympathy is for things with feelings. Puppies, cats, children,… it is not applicable to countries, leadership, history, logic problems, understanding processes.

    2) I am only driven to understand the motivations of The Other so as to predict them better. Understanding of THEIR feelings and motivations is NOT endorsement nor agreement. Nor does it imply ANY feeling on my part. I’m mostly an emotional void. (My coffee going cold this morning had a stronger emotional response than whatever happened in Ukraine or Russia today, despite knowing some folks must have died). Most any application of any emotional filter to my investigational musings will error out badly. (Music videos and meals / drinks do have emotional content.) I can actually feel the emotional centers shut off as I go all “cold fish” during investigations. Creepy some times, actually. Its like I can flip on a “functionality sociopath” detachment. Only finding truth matters.

    3) Given the much longer history of Crimea and Donbass as part of Russia AND the Russian ethnic population AND the actions by non-Russian Western Ukraine to erase their culture: it does raise a valid legal, moral, and ethical question. Is that act of military intervention: A) invading the foreign country of Ukraine, or is it B) Russia defending Russians on historically Russian land? One is the EU / Western Ukraine POV, the other is the Russian POV. I can see both. I lean a tiny bit to the Russian POV on this question, but mostly because Ukraine shelled civilians in the Donbass, and Crimea WAS illegally given to Ukraine in violation of USSR / CCCP Law. I don’t have a stong commitment to any postion on it and would love to see it debated. Most importantly, Ignoring that divide will result in not understanding your opponent. A grievous error. You choose to pick a side, and act violently on it. Also an error if you want understanding of the conflict.

    4) San Francisco is unrelated and orthogonal. A distractor of no merit. Irrelevance does not improve understanding. Another error.

    5) I have no “California mindset”. I have a “me mindset” that is very unlike pretty much everyone I ever met in California. I am mostly an un-emotive logic engine working to find understanding and order from chaotic information flows. Few in California are 99.9+ percentile and conservatives. I don’t “care about” Russia, Russians, Ukraine, Ukranians, nor the destruction both are doing in this process. I feel sorry for the innocents on both sides, but there is zero I can do about it, which makes it an irrelevancy; and set aside. I can improve my predictive ability for Ukraine & Russia by understanding their histories and POVs, so that ends up being my “motivation”. I care about avoiding stupid errors being made by emotionally predicting Russian actions badly and potentially starting W.W.III via idiotic meddling in a Family Fued we don’t understand from historical ignorance (A VERY common USA mode of failure…)

    5) I’m a Floridian now, much more at home than I ever was in California. I no longer must hide my beliefs at work, in discussions at the pool, with neighbors…

    6)”When two tigers fight, one of them is killed and the other is grievously wounded”. Pick a fight with Russia and the winner will be China… Europe is well practiced at having America fight others for them. Holding our coat while we spend blood and treasure. It almost made sense when they were close to conflicts and we were too far away to effectively strike at. Now it is largely just exploiting American largesse and stupidity. ONE nuclear submarine can destroy utterly most major cities on the East Coast. 3 can do the whole country. We have no ability to stop them post launch.

    7) “The fight you win is the one you avoid”.

    8) Your approach would not yield West Alaska, but North Western China and North American China. With both Russia and the USA destroyed, China walks 300,000,000 people into each of them and it is over.

    9) Think, do not emote, if you would gain understanding.

  70. another ian says:



    Proverbial in fan if this is right

  71. another ian says:

    Via India

    “Biden’s fascination for Ukraine did him in”

  72. Another Ian

    There are no currently serving UK officers fighting in the Ukraine. They are mercenaries who after leaving the army sign up for money adventure or a cause.

    Russia has many tens of thousands of them from Chechnya and Syria

  73. another ian says:

    Re E.M.Smith says:
    17 May 2022 at 12:43 pm

    I guess that is what you might call “painting a scene”?

    Like that “bomb damage picture” advertising Ukrainian “bomb proof glass and stucco”

  74. Power Grab says:

    @ another ian re “painting a scene”

    Yeah. It struck me as a scene from a street drama. When you put on live drama, sometimes you have to use a sorry substitute for real action. It depends on how much money/creativity you have. ;-)

    Most of my involvement with drama has been as the musician, but once in a while I direct, write, or do a walk-on scene. So I have a bit of appreciation for how much it costs to really stage a production.

    I avoid the most current productions/TV/movies like the plague. I always feel gypped…maybe excepting the Hallmark Channel. ;-)

    I never used to watch “Murder, She Wrote” back when it was new, but I try to catch it more nowadays because of the production values. While modern shows tend to shove the camera right in the face of the actors while using a background of darkness or smoke, in MSW they often went on location and you got to enjoy the settings as much as the story. And when they blew up a car, THEY BLEW UP A CAR! None of that CGI stuff back then. However, in the mid-1980s when they made the show, they did have an episode where a vehicle was controlled remotely. I was surprised to see that done that far back.

    Then there was a Sunday night timeslot where certain movie-of-the-week productions were shown. One series I enjoyed was “Search”. There was also “McLoud” and “McMillan and Wife”. During the Search shows, the lead actor had been fitted with internal/external devices that allowed him to interact with the home office, half way around the world. The camera they wore was a little round thing they could wear on a ring or as a pendant. It had a microphone built in as well, I think. But they had something embedded in their head that allowed them to hear the voices coming from HQ. It also could detect their vital signs. Looking back at those shows, it makes me think of what they’re trying to do now, to get everyone so they’re on the IOT, but without a device. Or maybe just using a Neural Link. Of course, I’ve been reading about a self-assembling internal antenna for the last two years. Has anyone else been seeing talk about that?

    I’ve got the DVDs for that series. When I started watching them, one of the shows was about how serious it was that a politician’s medical records had been stolen and might be leaked. It was a huge issue. They built the whole show around it. Of course, now we have HIPAA, but everybody and their puppy dog spills their guts on the web about their health issues.

  75. philemon says:

    @Power Grab says:“However, in the mid-1980s when they made the show, they did have an episode where a vehicle was controlled remotely. I was surprised to see that done that far back.”

    Hopscotch! did it. Very loosely based on Philip Agee’s book, Inside the Company: CIA Diary.

    Trivia: Patricia Tallman was Angela Lansbury’s stunt double.

    The CIA has been selling “mind-control” in some form or another for over fifty years. No, they have not finally figured it out. Sorry guys, no can do.

  76. H.R. says:

    Loved “Hopscotch” with Walter Matthau!

    I’ve seen it 3 or 4 times. The plot is 1st rate, and Matthau is absolutely brilliant.

    Now THAT is entertainment!

  77. YMMV says:

    “The CIA has been selling “mind-control” in some form or another for over fifty years.”

    Fifty years ago would put it at about when hippies made weed mainstream. Who knows what other drugs the CIA tried, but you could connect some dots from then to now, as the anti-establishment culture became established and then establishment and then progressed to being dystopian, all-in mind control woke culture.

  78. cdquarles says:

    In a way, it is sad to see the demonization of drugs. Weed wasn’t illegal in the US until 1934. Opiates roughly 10 years before that. Drugs are not bad. Intoxication is bad. Back in the 1920s, several militaries used various amphetamines, which when properly dosed and monitored, did enhance, temporarily, some abilities. Anti-drug propaganda has been around at least a century now.

  79. philemon says:

    @E.M.Smith says: “I can actually feel the emotional centers shut off as I go all ;cold fish’ during investigations. Creepy some times, actually. Its like I can flip on a ‘functionality sociopath’ detachment. Only finding truth matters.”

    Eh, well, you’r not a psychopath. They can’t flip it on. They also think that they are superior to normal people, and they’re not into truth. They’re weird Gawd-help-us-is who think all truth is a lie, but they think they’re above it.

  80. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – anal retentive moment – you actually have 10 points for Taz – you have 2 5s.

  81. YMMV says:

    “it is sad to see the demonization of drugs”

    Demonization can backfire. It’s supposed to prevent people from trying, but people being people, some will, and they will report back from the other side, with the result that the demonizers’ cred is shot.

    It was pretty obvious back then that comparing the wickedness of weed and the evil of alcohol, that alcohol was far more dangerous. There was the famous LaGuardia report, which I read once upon a time.
    It concluded that marijuana is not addictive and is not a gateway drug to morphine, heroin, or cocaine, but it didn’t change anything. (I suspect it did not mention MJ being a gateway drug to tobacco, but then almost everybody was a smoker)

    At that time, marijuana was sort of like Ivermectin is now. Demonize something but ignore the demons.

    Like prohibition, banning something does not reduce the desire. Supply and demand still rules.

  82. another ian says:

    “Col Douglas Macgregor Delivers an Update on Ukraine from a Perspective Western Media Cannot Dare Advance
    May 19, 2022 | Sundance | 4 Comments”

    Interesting bit about that “ceasefire discussion”

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