Dedicated Russian thread

Navalny and Baldrick have one thing in common "My mother told me to stand up to homocidal manics".

I see strong parallels between the Russian 1905-07 revolution/coup against the old Tzar and todays Tzar.
 
After his recent disasterous and naive visit to Moscow, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has written a blog post professing his disappointment:


The best takeaway from which is:
I returned to Brussels with deep concerns over the perspectives of development of Russian society and Russia’s geostrategic choices. My meeting with Minister Lavrov and the messages sent by Russian authorities during this visit confirmed that Europe and Russia are drifting apart. It seems that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe and looking at democratic values as an existential threat.

Wake up and smell the manure Mr. Borrell. This is all in keeping with the Muscovite Mindset, where the only connection the Kremlin desires with Europe is that of "Lord and Master".

Democratic values have always been a threat; not to Russia per se, but to its authoritarian, despotic and rapacious rulers. Democratic values have no place in the Muscovite Mindset. This was the case under the Tsars, the "Red Tsars" and the current "Black and Yellow Tsar". The Tsar commands, the muzhiks obey.

The Kremlin's diplomacy is that of the zero-sum game. For the Kremlin there can only be one winner and the winner takes all.
 
Interesting and even-handed piece from Bloomberg on the Russian anti SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19) vaccine "Sputnik V".


The Muscovite Mindset is all pervasive and politicises everything including this.
 
Interesting and even-handed piece from Bloomberg on the Russian anti SARS-COV-2 (Covid-19) vaccine "Sputnik V".


The Muscovite Mindset is all pervasive and politicises everything including this.
I posted a CBC story yesterday or the day before on the main COVID-19 thread which said that Sputnik V is being made in multiple countries and is being rolled out in many more. The EU may approve it soon.

It's actually quite a contrast. Russia, China, and India are using vaccine as a sort of soft power. Russia are doing very well from their successful vaccine.

China are being let down by their vaccines being a bit crap in terms of effectiveness, but they are still donating it and making sales.

India are cranking out huge quantities of the Oxford vaccine, and soon others including some of their own as well. They are donating and selling it and getting noticed for having large amounts of successful vaccine.

Sputnik V isn't getting a lot of notice in Western countries, but countries like Canada aren't going to use it because of political reasons. However it's being widely used in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Bloomberg seem to be as ill-informed in this case as usual.
 
Interesting post on Unherd about Bellingcat by the man that set it up:


Moscow's reaction to it and view of it is quite telling and confirmatory of the "Muscovite Mindset" that permeates the Kremlin. The most relevant passages quoted:
.......... Russia and its supporters have continued to insist that Bellingcat is especially Ruso-focused, frequently alleging that this shows it is tied to Western governments or the intelligence services.

This disinformation and paranoia is fueled by a perspective that sees the West and Russia in direct opposition to each other, where one side must be picked above another, and all those on the opposing side do not genuinely believe what they are saying, but have somehow been compromised. A useful mindset for those who prefer their opinions over evidence, but one that leads only to conspiratorial thinking and worldviews............

............ These allegations, and their veracity, can be summed up by claims made by the Russian Ambassador to the UK, shortly after we published our first stories on the Skripal poisoning. During a lengthy press conference in October 2018 he repeatedly alleged that Bellingcat was “part of the British deep establishment” with financial links to the intelligence services. When asked what his evidence was, he replied “I cannot present you the evidence, this is, you know, some kind of information that we have we’re not using this, but we’re taking is, is a something that we in the back of our mind so that’s it. I can’t present you anything, but we have a feeling so I cannot present it to you.” Which cleared it up. .............
 

Zhopa

War Hero
Quite kind of him to describe Mary Dejevsky as a journalist, especially after the piece he's responding to here. Mary is a very helpful lightning conductor; listening carefully to her can tell you whatever it is that Moscow would like us to think on any given topic and day, which is helpful for placing other, subtler deliverers of the message in context.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
While on the subject (more or less) of Russia's subtle and not-so-subtle influencers in the UK who we have to deal with on a daily basis, let me post some links without commentary and if you have the time and inclination feel free to arrive at your own ideas on this one.






 
It's official, Alexei Navalny is no longer a "prisoner of conscience" because Amnesty International found out that he said some racist and anti-immigrant things.
Amnesty strips Navalny of 'prisoner of conscience' status
Amnesty International Revokes Navalny's ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ Status

“Amnesty International has made an internal decision to stop calling Alexei Navalny a prisoner of conscience over comments he has made in the past,” the organization said in an emailed Russian-language statement.

It said some of Navalny’s remarks dating back to the mid-2000s “reach the threshold of hate speech, which contradicts Amnesty’s definition of a prisoner of conscience.”

"Some of these comments, which Navalny has not publicly denounced, reach the threshold of advocacy of hatred, and this is at odds with Amnesty's definition of a prisoner of conscience," the London-based NGO said.

As well as being a critic of Putin, Navalny's political platform has included promising to deport Central Asians from Russia.

Commentary that saw in an editorial in Canada has said that Navalny isn't particularly racist by Russian standards. He has said things which would have the Twitterati in the West in paroxysms of outrage, but which apparently wouldn't have been out of place in a Trump speech.

Instead what we are seeing here is the logical and consistent application of the trend in the West to silence, condemn, and banish anyone who says anything which the professionally "offended" find fault with. The editorial went on to say that this is the same mentality which recently found Dr. Seuss books to be too racist to be acceptable in today's more enlightened world.

It's a fascinating world when those who see themselves as being at the forefront of modern ideas of social justice find themselves to be political bedfellows with Vladimir Putin.
 
Russia and China have agreed to build a lunar scientific research station together. There is no published target date for it yet. They are open to having other countries use it as well.

China, Russia agree to build lunar research station together

It is not yet decided whether this will be on the surface of the moon or in orbit about it.
It described the project as a "comprehensive scientific experiment base with the capability of long-term autonomous operation."

The station would be "built on the lunar surface and/or on the lunar orbit that will carry out ... scientific research activities such as the lunar exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification," the statement said.
 
I posted a CBC story yesterday or the day before on the main COVID-19 thread which said that Sputnik V is being made in multiple countries and is being rolled out in many more. The EU may approve it soon.

It's actually quite a contrast. Russia, China, and India are using vaccine as a sort of soft power. Russia are doing very well from their successful vaccine.

China are being let down by their vaccines being a bit crap in terms of effectiveness, but they are still donating it and making sales.

India are cranking out huge quantities of the Oxford vaccine, and soon others including some of their own as well. They are donating and selling it and getting noticed for having large amounts of successful vaccine.

Sputnik V isn't getting a lot of notice in Western countries, but countries like Canada aren't going to use it because of political reasons. However it's being widely used in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Bloomberg seem to be as ill-informed in this case as usual.

Russia and China make a lot of noise about their vaccines helping developing countries. The reality looks somewhat different (from Reuters, link below):
Africa has received around 3.15 million shots from China - or less than 4% of its vaccine exports - Bridge Consulting data showed.

“The numbers of vaccines China is donating are not going to move the needle in any of these countries. But it’s as much about the optics,” said Eric Olander, co-founder of The China-Africa Project.

Russia has shipped a total of around 100,000 vaccine doses to Algeria, Tunisia and Guinea.

The global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX, meanwhile, delivered nearly 15 million shots to 22 African countries in its first 10 days.

From Reuters News:
Africa proves rocky terrain for Russian and Chinese vaccines
 
Russia and China make a lot of noise about their vaccines helping developing countries. The reality looks somewhat different (from Reuters, link below):


From Reuters News:
Africa proves rocky terrain for Russian and Chinese vaccines
Russian vaccine production got off to a slow start and it's only really starting to ramp up now. What they have been producing has been mainly for the domestic market, which gets priority.

Also the bulk of the Sputnik V vaccine used outside Russia is going to come from licensed production in places like India, Brazil, South Korea, China, and the like. It's also going to be made in Italy as well.

COVAX will only be a limited solution as they will only provide enough to vaccinate something like 20 per cent of a country's population.

And I think the bulk of what COVAX have been delivering has been coming from India, who as I mentioned are playing the vaccine diplomacy game probably the most successfully of any of them.

For most countries outside of Europe or the US though, if they want vaccine pretty much the only places to get it in quantity at the moment are India, China, and Russia.

 
Vlad'll be chuffed, full page devoted to him
 
Vagner Group accused of torture in Syria:
 

Zhopa

War Hero
No idea whether it will be any good or not, but I keep getting told about a Russia documentary coming up on British TV tomorrow (Friday) pm.


It seems to have roped in a lot of the major names among UK Russia-watchers, most of them quite sane but one or two loons as well.

If anybody gets to see it, do please let us know whether it's worth the effort.
 

Zhopa

War Hero
No idea whether it will be any good or not, but I keep getting told about a Russia documentary coming up on British TV tomorrow (Friday) pm.


It seems to have roped in a lot of the major names among UK Russia-watchers, most of them quite sane but one or two loons as well.

If anybody gets to see it, do please let us know whether it's worth the effort.

Now available online too (once you get through some irritating adverts) -

 
Now available online too (once you get through some irritating adverts) -

I have seen some fragments and find the film interesting, informative and unbiased. Btw, only UK residents are able to see it online. The last year I bought 1 year license of CyberGhost VPN service. So just now I have London IP and could have German, Ukrainian or US IP as well.
 
No idea whether it will be any good or not, but I keep getting told about a Russia documentary coming up on British TV tomorrow (Friday) pm.


It seems to have roped in a lot of the major names among UK Russia-watchers, most of them quite sane but one or two loons as well.

If anybody gets to see it, do please let us know whether it's worth the effort.
Now available online too (once you get through some irritating adverts) -

It's a very quick and glib rundown of purportedly 1000 years of Russian history, but apart from a very brief account of Kievan Rus' Christianisation under Prince Vladimir in the late 10th Century, emphasis then shifts to Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. There is no mention of the destruction of Kievan Rus by the Mongols, nor of the rise of a prieviously insignificant trading post called Moscow into the Mongol's principal client state of Muscovy and enforcer among the other Russian principalities prior to its overthrow of the Mongols and assumption of their oppressive regime against all the other Russias. Moscow usurped and stole the legacy of Kievan Rus. One can easily argue that modern Ukraine is the real successor state to Kievan Rus. The state that calls itself Russia is only the direct successor to Muscovy.

I would also argue (as opposed to the claim in the film) that it was not Russian sacrifice which liberated the World from Nazi German oppression, but Muscovite greed and desire for domination that precipitated the start of WW2 with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the joint invasion of Poland in September 1939. Moscow intended Germany to fight France and the UK to a standstill, and then to steamroller through the remains. It ended up having to fight for its own survival and did so with massive economic aid from the West. However, it maintained its prewar aims as much as it could, ending up with domination of half of Europe (and not all of it). In order to achieve this Moscow sacrificed millions of the subject peoples of its Empire.

There are several other minor (and not so minor inconsistensies and errors), such as the map at 1.02.48 which purportedly shows a Soviet Empire/ USSR encompassing Finland, parts of Sweden and Norway, parts of West Germany and Austria, all of the Balkans including Yugoslavia and Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of China, Mongolia and all of the Korean Peninsula.

I suppose its OK as an introduction to the topic for your average western viewer who is relatively ignorant on this topic, but it actually isn't that serious a programme as it propagates several Muscovite myths.
 
And the Gulag is alive and well and still kicking political prisoners in the 'nads:
 

Zhopa

War Hero
It's a very quick and glib rundown of purportedly 1000 years of Russian history, but apart from a very brief account of Kievan Rus' Christianisation under Prince Vladimir in the late 10th Century, emphasis then shifts to Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century. There is no mention of the destruction of Kievan Rus by the Mongols, nor of the rise of a prieviously insignificant trading post called Moscow into the Mongol's principal client state of Muscovy and enforcer among the other Russian principalities prior to its overthrow of the Mongols and assumption of their oppressive regime against all the other Russias. Moscow usurped and stole the legacy of Kievan Rus. One can easily argue that modern Ukraine is the real successor state to Kievan Rus. The state that calls itself Russia is only the direct successor to Muscovy.

I would also argue (as opposed to the claim in the film) that it was not Russian sacrifice which liberated the World from Nazi German oppression, but Muscovite greed and desire for domination that precipitated the start of WW2 with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the joint invasion of Poland in September 1939. Moscow intended Germany to fight France and the UK to a standstill, and then to steamroller through the remains. It ended up having to fight for its own survival and did so with massive economic aid from the West. However, it maintained its prewar aims as much as it could, ending up with domination of half of Europe (and not all of it). In order to achieve this Moscow sacrificed millions of the subject peoples of its Empire.

There are several other minor (and not so minor inconsistensies and errors), such as the map at 1.02.48 which purportedly shows a Soviet Empire/ USSR encompassing Finland, parts of Sweden and Norway, parts of West Germany and Austria, all of the Balkans including Yugoslavia and Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, parts of China, Mongolia and all of the Korean Peninsula.

I suppose its OK as an introduction to the topic for your average western viewer who is relatively ignorant on this topic, but it actually isn't that serious a programme as it propagates several Muscovite myths.

From the after-action debrief, talking to some of the interviewees: multiple participants did explain in their interviews that Kievan Rus had absolutely nothing to do with early Muscovy and was simply appropriated by the Muscovites as a legitimating legend (a little as though Alfred the Great had claimed to be the legitimate ruler of all England because he derived his authority from the Roman Empire that fell over a long way away and 400 years previously); however, none of this was included because it inconveniently torpedoes the "1,000 Years of History" theme.

But even some viewers who knew nothing about Russian history were wondering about the odd gap between Vladimir and Ivan the Terrible, as though nothing happened in the intervening period. Well... yes, there's a reason for that.
 
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