Protecting the Nazis: The Extraordinary Vote of Ukraine and the USA 459

This is verbatim from the official report of the UN General Assembly plenary of 16 December 2021:

The Assembly next took up the report on “Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”, containing two draft resolutions.

By a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 2 against (Ukraine, United States), with 49 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution I, “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo‑Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance”.

By its terms, the Assembly expressed deep concern about the glorification of the Nazi movement, neo‑Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials, holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo‑Nazism, and declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti‑Hitler coalition, collaborated with the Nazi movement and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity “participants in national liberation movements”.

Further, the Assembly urged States to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination by all appropriate means, including through legislation, urging them to address new and emerging threats posed by the rise in terrorist attacks incited by racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief. It would call on States to ensure that education systems develop the necessary content to provide accurate accounts of history, as well as promote tolerance and other international human rights principles. It likewise would condemn without reservation any denial of or attempt to deny the Holocaust, as well as any manifestation of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities on the basis of ethnic origin or religious belief.

In Ukraine, support for the Ukrainian nationalist divisions who fought alongside the Nazis has become, over the last eight years, the founding ideology of the modern post 2013 Ukrainian state (which is very different from the diverse Ukrainian state which briefly existed 1991-2013). The full resolution on nazism and racism passed by the General Assembly is lengthy, unnzaires but these provisions in particular were voted against by the United States and by the Ukraine:

6. Emphasizes the recommendation of the Special Rapporteur that “any commemorative celebration of the Nazi regime, its allies and related organizations, whether official or unofficial, should be prohibited by States”, also emphasizes that such manifestations do injustice to the memory of the countless victims of the Second World War and negatively influence children and young people, and stresses in this regard that it is important that States take measures, in accordance with international human rights law, to counteract any celebration of the Nazi SS organization and all its integral parts, including the Waffen SS;

7. Expresses concern about recurring attempts to desecrate or demolish monuments erected in remembrance of those who fought against Nazism during the Second World War, as well as to unlawfully exhume or remove the remains of such persons, and in this regard urges States to fully comply with their relevant obligations, inter alia, under article 34 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949;

10. Condemns without reservation any denial or attempt to deny the Holocaust;

11. Welcomes the call of the Special Rapporteur for the active preservation of those Holocaust sites that served as Nazi death camps, concentration and forced labour camps and prisons, as well as his encouragement of States to take measures, including legislative, law enforcement and educational measures, to put an end to all forms of Holocaust denial

As reported in the Times of Israel, hundreds took part in a demonstration in Kiev in May 2021, and others throughout Ukraine, in honour of a specific division of the SS. That is but one march and one division – glorification of its Nazi past is a mainstream part of Ukrainian political culture.

In 2018 a bipartisan letter by 50 US Congressmen condemned multiple events commemorating Nazi allies held in Ukraine with official Ukrainian government backing.

There are no two ways about it. The Ukrainian vote against the UN resolution against Nazism was motivated by sympathy for the ideology of historic, genocide active Nazis. It is as simple as that.

The United States claims that its vote against was motivated by concern for freedom of speech. We have the Explanation of Vote that the United States gave at the committee stage:

The United States Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association, including by avowed Nazis

That sounds good and noble. But consider this – why does the United States Government believe that avowed Nazis have freedom of speech, but that Julian Assange does not? You can have freedom of speech to advocate the murder of Jews and immigrants, but not to reveal US war crimes?

Why was the United States government targeting journalists in the invasion of Iraq? The United States believes in freedom of speech when it serves its imperial interests. It does not do so otherwise. This is the very worst kind of high sounding hypocrisy, in aid of defending the Nazis in Ukraine.

The second reason the United States gives is that Russia is making the whole thing up:

a document most notable for its thinly veiled attempts to legitimize Russian disinformation campaigns denigrating neighboring nations and promoting the distorted Soviet narrative of much of contemporary European history, using the cynical guise of halting Nazi glorification

The problem here is that it is very difficult to portray the Times of Israel or 50 bipartisan US congressmen as a Russian disinformation campaign. There is no historical doubt whatsoever of Ukrainian nationalist forces active support of Nazism and participation in genocide, not just of Jews and Roma but of Poles and religious minorities. There is no doubt whatsoever of the modern glorification in Ukraine of these evil people.

It is of course not just Ukraine. In Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the record of collaboration with Nazis, of active participation in fighting for Nazis, and in active participation in genocide is extremely shaming. Throughout Eastern Europe there is a failure in these “victim nations” to look history squarely in the eye and to admit what happened – a failure the United States in actually promoting as “a campaign against Russian disinformation”.

I recommend to you the website, run by the admirable David Katz, which is a large and valuable resource on this website from a Lithuanian Jewish perspective that cannot remotely be dismissed as Russian or left wing propaganda. The front page currently features the December 2021 naming of a square in the capital after Lithuanian “freedom fighter” Juokas Luksa “Daumantas”, a man who commenced the massacre of Jews in Vilnius ahead of the arrival of German forces.

These are precisely the kind of commemorations the resolution is against. There has been a rash of destruction of Soviet war memorials and even war graves, and erection of commemorations, in various form, of Nazis throughout the Baltic states. That is what paras 6 and 7 of the resolution refer to, and there is no doubt whatsoever of the truth of these events. It is not “Russian disinformation”.

However the European Union, in support of its Baltic states members and their desire to forget or deny historical truth and to build a new national myth expunging their active role in the genocide of their Jewish and Roma populations, would not support the UN Resolution on Nazism. The EU countries abstained, as did the UK. The truth of course is that NATO intends to use the descendants of Eastern European racists against Russia much as Hitler did, at least in a cold war context.

You won’t find that in the Explanation of Vote.


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459 thoughts on “Protecting the Nazis: The Extraordinary Vote of Ukraine and the USA

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  • Giyane

    The deployment of taboo politics is extremely effective. Terrorism is taboo politics. We spent our childhoods being bored by unacceptable violence in Northern Ireland on our TV. The violence is taboo, and it works, witness the blooded snd misogynist hands of the Taliban pretending to represent Islam; the genocide using latest chemical and AI weaponry against the helpless Palestinians.

    We are too shocked by the deployment of the taboo to know what to do. Taboo politics was utilised by the colonial masters in London when they accused Alex Salmond of rape, sided and assisted by the Msm.
    It is being deployed right now by feminists like Emma Barnett of BBC Womans Hour against Andrew Griffiths MP. Judge and jury by a slag with blonde hair who is rude to Muslims because of their belief in chastity.

    David Cameron’s Ukrainian Nazis and his predilection for Somalia and Libya are thankfully in the past and he is confined to his wheeled coffin to write his memoirs. Biden is up to his eyeballs in the Ukrainian taboo of Nazism. Most of us rarely encounter psychopaths except at work. I once bought a small house in the Welsh Valleys and the PTB organised an anti,-Muslim march from.this village towards Cardiff.The outrageousness of the idea that PTB would do that, made me sell the property. I did not want to live in fear.

    The absolute outrageousness of the plot persuades most of us, including me on that occasion to surrender our assets. President Biden calculates that the stakes are so high, Neo -Nazism in Europe and the risk of nuclear confrontation with Russia, that Russia will capitulate in Ukraine.

    With leaders like this who are prepared to use taboo strategies of fear who needs enemies? I voted to Leave the EU mostly to get rid of the psychopath Cameron. We will face a choice very soon between a selection of psychopath Tories or even psychopath Labour.

    Psychopaths enjoy kicking our taboos for their own personal satisfaction. Especially octogenarians who need a Frankenstein monster bolt of electrical energy across their brains , friend of John Cain. Ignore them and never react to their psychopathic games.

  • zoot

    hey craig you’ve got this all wrong. there are no nazis in the ukraine apparently. if any nazis do survive today they are jeremy corbyn and anybody else to the left of lord mandelson. how come you still cannot see what “everybody” else can see. are you wilfully blind or being paid by the kremlin??? ?

  • Bo Filter

    Nazi Ukraine today is the continuation of WWII gone underground with the support and likes of Operation Paperclip, the CIA’s secret plan to continue deceased Hitler’s plan to march east and destroy Russia. That Nazis can speak but not Julian Assange is not a conundrum nor hypocrisy, but a function of psychopathology.
    Fortunately, a new brain scan can detect psychopaths, but is the world ready to cut to the chase. Take psychopaths out of politics and put them in prison where they belong.

  • Tatyana

    Today in the Russian news on this topic:
    A 13-years old girl from Lugansk turned to the UN with a plea to protect the rights of the children of Donbass. She was targeted by Ukrainian state, her family got threats, her personal data were published on a website “Peacemaker”.
    The website is a blacklist, they publish personal data of people disliked by the Ukrainian regime. Earlier we had news that neo-nazies used this data to hunt people.

    Yesterday Russia convened a meeting of the UN Security Council according to the Arria formula.
    The problems of Nazism and discrimination against ethnic minorities in the Baltic States and Ukraine were discussed.
    Fortunately, these countries have protective organizations that keep records.
    Unfortunately, there are also discriminatory programs sponsored by the state.

    At yesterday’s meeting the girl asked the UN to do something about this and said she wrote a personal letter to Antonio Guterres.

  • DunGroanin

    Well as it is all connected I can’t resist the latest from the Groaniads shallow well of putrid nonsense. Presstitute Patrick Wintour ‘Diplomatic’ Editor completely loses the plot he has never had anyway! Just another stenographer byeline rent earner & git.

    Nord Stream 2: how Putin’s pipeline paralysed the west” is the headline this morning.

    ‘Gazprom’s $11bn project to deliver gas from Russia to Germany seems impossible to abandon and impossible to carry forward’
    ‘Most of the original cast of characters – Jean-Claude Juncker, Angela Merkel, Matteo Renzi, David Cameron, Petro Poroshenko – have left the political stage. Only one politician has survived the entire story: Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, and the master of divide and rule.’
    ‘First announced in 2015, the $11bn (£8.3bn) pipeline owned by Russia’s state-backed energy giant Gazprom has been built to carry gas from western Siberia, doubling the existing capacity of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline and keeping 26m German homes warm at an affordable price.’
    ‘But the one thing this pipeline is not, as lamely claimed by the former German chancellor Merkel, is a purely commercial project.’

    Just some of the bs in even that brief piece of gaff:

    • it’s not just a Gazprom project.
    • It hasn’t even started commercially operating , yet it somehow is magically being used to not deliver the gas it hasn’t started delivering and that’s why it has to be stopped from ever delivering!!
    • Most of the characters may have left the stage but what does that even mean?
    • Manages to show the true feelings of the U.K. deepstate about Merkel with his description of the greatest, longest serving European leader and Woman , at least 10 times better than Thatcher ever was as – Lame.
    • ‘Diplomatic’!! I wouldn’t let Wintour attempt diplomacy with a 3 year old child let alone pretend he knows anything about real grown up stuff.
  • nevermind

    Listening to a young GCHQ wordsmith this morning, there is nothing in the west that riles Russia into defending its doorstep, whilst an expanding NATO leviathan is crapping on to its doormat.

    NATO HAS GONE AWOL AND HAS OUTLIVED ITS PURPOSE it was.never devised to leave Libya, Syria or Afghanistan in utter chaos, hunger and desolation.

    OTAN is a dead parrot and the plan to stage missiles on Ukraine’s territory is a stupid psychpathic plan to ask for New York to disappear. No need for me to link to the doomsday autonomous torpedo.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    I find it (almost) impossible to engage in this topic. It is too depressing to contemplate that there are elements within our midst who would prefer to dismiss the history of the second WW. I am not sure if I am alone in thinking that we are in a period of deep uncertainty and approaching some kind of widespread psychopathic condition or rejection of rationalism, a disturbance which is affecting multiple levels of human activity, thought and experience – personal, community, national, academic and political.

  • Tatyana

    Before I look like too obsessed with this topic and commenting too much under this blog, I’d like to share an example of a reasonable attitude, in my opinion, towards the glorification of the Nazis.
    This example came from Brussels.

    In Zedelgem, Flanders, there was a British prison camp for 12,000 Latvian SS legionnaires. In 2018, Latvia made a monument there in their honor. Local residents protested and local authorities assembled a commission of 15 historians.
    “…evokes the language of right-wing nationalism in Latvia…
    …opened the door for potential Flemish nationalists…
    …The memory of the camp prisoners deserves recognition, but not tribute,” the historians determined.

    That is why I urge you not to listen to the opinions, but to listen to what the experts say. Listen to official sources, because they are responsible for what they say.

    Latvian celebration day is March 16, annualy they organise events to honour Latvian SS legion, supported by their National Union in their Latvian parliament. Anyone understands the meaning of medals? Please have a look

    The Daugavas Vanagi exists up to today
    and feels quite comfortable in Canada
    and in UK

  • TonyT12

    All very interesting. So far in these pages I have not read much mention of Blinken and Nuland – the two American nutjobs driving for war with Russia at any price. In Europe, the main price being another war on our soil, while Blinken and Nuland celebrate watching the smoke and listening to the gunfire on Fox News safely several thousand miles away the other side of the Atlantic.

    Since the departure of Trump and installation of Biden, US allies worldwide have individually and collectively armtwisted by Washington that it is either their way in terms of pushing for aggression against Russia and China, and of course Iran, or the highway. Not only in Europe, but in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, S. Korea.

    We don’t need so much discussion of how Nuland and Blinken are using allies by enabling neo-Nazis to fight these wars for Washington, we need to look at whether there is truly a desire throughout whole US administration to go to war with Russia and China – even if the bloodshed is limited to the proxies fighting the wars for Washington.

  • Simon

    You might easily have included Croatia and its Ustase among those Europeans who shamefully collaborated with Nazi Germany.

  • Peter

    Officially sanctioned Neo-Nazis on the rise in Europe. Funny, I didn’t see or hear about this on the country’s primary, publicly funded public service broadcaster.

    Thank you Craig.

    Very good work – as always.

    • DunGroanin

      It is not publicly funded like say the NHS; it is funded by a illegal ‘poll tax’ collected from every household by menaces using private companies and compliant judiciary that offers no recourse except to cut out all live tv, and iplayer use even, for nine bbc channels – even these paid for separately!

      They also sell the ‘publicly funded’ products commercially around the World and collect advertising revenue from their international output. It’s income must be approaching £6 billion whilst it has completely destroyed local coverage and actual journalism.

      Where is that money all going to? Into the pockets of spinners off nepotism and covert funding of spooky stuff no doubt.

      They employ major Mockingbirds to disseminate propaganda and fake news and pay them ludicrous amounts of money, acting as if they were in fact wholly commercial – chief amongst them the publicly trusted’ LauraKoftheCIA! Others they have given celebrity status to are farmed out to other broadcasters to spread the poison effectively from these outlets such as Peston at ITV and Mair at Talk Radio who partnered as Farage’s fluffer as they sent BrexShit porn non-stop into the listeners.

      I could go on – but you should have got the idea: it is not a public service lefty woke liberal non commercial enterprise. It is part of the full spectrum controlled media for Narrative control.

      • Peter

        Yes, thanks, I kind of know all that.

        Not the same as the NHS but still predominantly lies, deceit and propaganda funded out of the public’s pocket. I’m not against public funding for public service broadcasting, just against public funding for the aforementioned items – there should be a law against it imho. I’d be happy to see retrospective legislation to convict the current culprits.

        There was some degree of sarcastic, contemptuous irony in my comment.

      • Clark

        – “…illegal ‘poll tax’ collected from every household”

        They don’t get any from me.

        The private collections agency relies primarily upon confessions. Beware phone calls and visitors “doing a survey” about what entertainment your household enjoys. They also peep through windows and listen through letterboxes. At least the “TV detector van” hoax got discontinued.

        • DunGroanin

          4 years without and again getting weekly letters claiming they’re coming to get me! How many times does someone have to say they are not watching live tv or iplayer ? They seriously believe people can and have weaned ourselves off the non-stop stream of soma and propaganda they offer for ‘free’!

          • Clark

            I fill in and return the officious form they send, and it shuts them up for two years. Maybe I should ignore it so they waste more money.

          • wiggins

            I haven’t had a television set for nearly 20 years….yet still I get moidered by the blighters…Give it up please!

  • Tatyana

    Nazi supporters may exist in any country.
    The question is – what are they allowed by their respective states? Here is the core of the problem.
    Some states forbid this inhuman ideology, when others give them all sorts of rights, starting with the freedom of speech and continuing up to bringing them into Parlament.

    Hot discussion on the previous page. Commentor says “the Latvians in the Waffen SS being pardoned by the Allies” – this insults me deeply. Those were committing war crimes, those were siding with Hitler, joined his army, made it stronger to kill more people, covered up his war crimes and committed war crimes themselves. I f*king don’t care how they explain their motives today!

    Despite of my hurt feeling, I want to know is it true that they were pardoned?
    If this is true, then many pieces of the puzzle fall into place. Then it would be obvious that the ideology Uber- and Unter-mensh is still alive. It explains why white Israelis be supported against Palestinian Arabs, why the entire Middle East is ablaze, what China is guilty of, and why in the US the black population is still protesting against racism in 2021!
    And then the principle by which the list of abstaining countries was formed is clear.

    • RedStarTrout

      You seem to have a problem with the history of Latvia.
      Here’s what the German commander of one of the Latvian SS Divsions said during the war:

      “They are first and foremost Latvians. They want a sustainable Latvian nation state. Forced to choose between Germany and Russia, they have chosen Germany, because they seek co-operation with western civilization. The rule of the Germans seems to them to be the lesser of two evils.”

      The British were, of course, very interested in who supported and who opposed the Nazis. In 1943 they found that Latvians stood against BOTH their Soviet and German occupiers.
      Post war the US Displaced Persons Commission, with the support of the Allied High Commission and the Nuremberg Tribunal decided that:

      “The Baltic Waffen SS Units (Baltic Legions) are to be considered as separate and distinct in purpose, ideology, activities, and qualifications for membership from the German SS, and therefore the Commission holds them not to be a movement hostile to the government of the United States.”

      Why was this? Simply, the men in these units had no choice. Or rather their choice was between the Legions, being a Wehrmacht Auxilliary, or slave labour in Germany. Later it was a choice of conscription or a concentration camp.
      But weren’t they war criminals, didn’t they kill Jews? A few Latvians did when the Germans invaded, and were formed into the ‘Arajs Kommando’ by the Germans, but this unit were not included in the Legions until December 1944. The Latvian SS units did not commit war crimes and it was understood that they had not joined voluntarily but had been conscripted.
      This was even recognised by the Soviet Union which they had been fighting against. There was a Soviet film of the mid 1960s called ‘Рок и осколки’ or Rock and Splinters which showed that the Latvian SS troops were front-line soldiers, were forcefully conscripted, were not supporters of Nazi ideology, and did not take part in the Holocaust.
      It’s only since Latvia regained its independence that Russia has had this campaign to stop countries like Latvia remembering its own history, and to portray everyone who opposed the Soviet Union, or opposes Russian aggression today, as a Nazi. It was the tragedy of the Baltic states, and others, to be caught between the twin evils of Hitler and Stalin. The propaganda campaign from Russia to rewrite history, and claim anyone who doesn’t agree with Putin must be a nazi, is disgusting.
      As is the campaign by some British unionists to paint the SNP as a nazi organisation, because Arthur Donaldson was interned briefly during the war, and was photographed meeting some Hitler Youth in the 1930s. Those Hitler Youth were on a tour of the UK before the war, met many people, and were given hospitality by an English Rotary Club.
      Should the Rotary Club be shut down as a Nazi organisation? That’s a stupid idea, but it’s no more stupid than the idea that Ukraine and the Baltic states are full of nazis today.

      • Laguerre

        That’s nonsense; there were lots of real fascist Latvians, including some some relations of mine by marriage.

    • Robert Wursthaus

      Iran Air Flight 655
      Pan Am 103
      and more, …
      And, let’s not forget USS Liberty – although the US tries.

  • Jack

    Always the same procedure by the western media and large part of their populace…

    1. Nation X allegedly plot to do this evil thing
    2. No evidence is put forth that Nation X is really about to do this evil thing
    3. Nation X reject that they plot to do this evil thing
    4. Nation X’s rejection is labeled propaganda
    5. People living outside of Nation X who deny, question, doubt that Nation X is about to do this evil thing are labeled “Nation X bots”
  • ET

    So this resolution in one form or other has been introduced to the assembly every year since 2005. The US has an explanation of their reasons for voting againsit on their UN page:

    In that explanation they mention Article 4 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. At this site you can see who has ratified that convention and also see their reservations. Most countries that abstained have reservations on article 4.

    Paragraph 29 on the “combating glorification of nazism” convention, linked by CM in his article and the one under discussion in this thread “reaffirms” article 4 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The US and the abstaining states have all ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination but register reservations about article 4.

    So they (the US and abstaining states) were never going to vote for this convention. The US has consistently voted against it for 16 years and presumably the abstaining states also have abstaned in the yearly vote on this. Clearly, t’s a little more nuanced. Also, it isn’t anything new.

    • Tatyana

      A commentor on MoonofAlabama sums it up:

      “Russia puts forward this resolution…EVERY YEAR and consistently votes YES. Interestingly Israel always votes YES.

      The US and the Ukraine have consistently voted NO against this resolution whenever Russia presents it.

      Those who consistently abstain include all the EU and NATO members, Japan and South Korea. In some years Canada has abstained and in other years has voted NO.”

      • Brian c

        It would be a little strange don’t you think if Israel voted in favour of glorifying Nazism.

          • Tatyana

            Yet they say they are not Nazis because “Nobody is currently being burned in Odessa” – exact quotation from the previous page –
            referring to the event on May 2, 2014. The tragedy they explain as an accident, pro-Ukrainian “football fans” by unlucky fortune, accidentally burned alive 42 pro-Russian activists. Nobody was punished yet for that “accident”, apparently accidentally.
            Btw, the nearest to Odessa NATO base (of 9 on Ukrainian territory) is British, and you intend to build 2 new in the Black sea and Azov sea. Some 1.25 billion pound is allocated already for this purpose and my congratulations to you all on spending money wisely and cheers to Mr.Tony Radakin Sir Admiral, I hope you enjoy it.

          • Tatyana

            Actually, Ukrainian president is something else, but president. I now watch an interview of Gordon and Bogdan. It’s very long 4 hours video in Russian, someone please share if you find it in English

            Bogdan is Zelensky’s ex-head of the office, and before that he was a ‘private lawyer for some businessman’. He was fired, left the country and now speaks out astounding things on what’s it like when you set a comedian for presidency.
            I must say, we have all sorts of jokes about Ukraine, but now it proves it was not a joke.
            I’m especially interested to know what he means by ‘that thing was flying above’ when he says they ‘cheated on Putin’ and what exactly Ermak did offering ‘he would settle the case’.

            I understand now why Putin may be unwilling to sit at one table or shaking hands with Zelensky. There’s a good Russian word зашквар for it.

    • Brian c

      So they’re anxious to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination, except Nazism. Interesting nuance. Thanks for clarifying.

      • ET

        From the US explanation I linked to above:

        “The United States Supreme Court has consistently affirmed the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association, including by avowed Nazis, whose hatred and xenophobia are vile and widely scorned by the American people.”

        Unless they were to change their constitution I guess they can’t implement outlawing nazism even if they wanted to. I also think the american public would be very much against changing the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association.

        This gets into the thorny territory of “free speech” versus “hate speech.” I suspect the majority of folk would be very much against any expression of nazism and “ideas based on racial superiority or hatred, incitement to racial discrimination or xenophobia” but how would you legislate for that and who gets to define “hate speech?”

        • Brian c

          Those Americans are a high principled bunch for sure, so too the abstainers. Free speech for Nazis but not for truthtelling journos who expose the empire’s crimes.

        • Tatyana

          Thorny territory, of course. Imagine a pedophilic description published and you even cannot sue it as a ‘hate speech’, because pedophiles actually love! children.

          • ET

            Tatyana, there are already laws and prohibitions against incitement to violence or incitement to harm under which paedophilic descriptions would fall and such a description wouldn’t be addressed in any way by the convention under discussion.

            Imagine instead that a government decreed that all readers of CM’s blog were guilty of sedition and should be gaoled. It is easy to cite something as emotive as peadophla but if we grant governments power to decide what is hate speech and what isn’t, pretty much what was the situation in Nazi Germany, how do we guard against mission creep and governments deciding what they don’t like as hate speech, say that CM is guilty of such?

            We all know that some hateful speech exists and we’d be better off without it but I have yet to see any clear solution to it that doesn’t create more problems than it solves.

          • Tatyana

            I understand what you say, but it’s not a government who decides on what is hate speech. It’s international institutions. In this case it starts with Nuremberg trial and ends with UN resolution.
            The governments which abide by international law should arrange their respective laws accordingly.
            It is not necessarily a change in a Constitution. As long as I’m aware, there are several laws in the USA which are made especially for cases that contradict their freedom of speech law ( and their freedom of speech law itself is an amendment!). I see they can be less principled about their Constitution when they take the matter seriously.

          • ET

            Tatyana, I don’t disagree with you that nazi views are indeed heinous and that it would be a good thing to suppress them as far as is possible.

            “It is not necessarily a change in a Constitution. As long as I’m aware, there are several laws in the USA which are made especially for cases that contradict their freedom of speech law (and their freedom of speech law itself is an amendment!).”

            The wiki article on freedom of speech is quite extensive and explains well where and why certain limitations are made:

            If the supreme court of the US has consistently affirmed the constitutional right to freedom of speech and the rights of peaceful assembly and association, including by avowed Nazis, then ANY law curtailing those rights will be deemed unconstitutional in the US and therefore completely ineffective. The amendment is the first amendment of the bill of rights. Any politician advocating for a change in the constitution to limit “freedom of speech” in the US would be ending their career. It’s never going to happen.

            A change to a constitution requires a referendum of the people, that being the point of a constitution, to circumscribe what powers the government/legislative bodies/state institutions of a country have. Do you think that a change to the american constitution, especially to the “freedom of speech” amendment and especially in the current political climate in the US would have any chance of success?

            No US government could be seen to vote for a UN general assembly convention (which incidentally are legally non-binding) which advocates for curtailing “free speech” even if it wished to. It’s never ever going to happen.

            Aside from that what is the purpose of calling for a vote every year when the outcome is known beforehand? Every 5 years maybe but every year? There is a political purpose to such a move and I am not so sure it is entirely about wishing to expunge the world of nazi views (which also is never going to happen).

            The irish constitution on the other hand guarantees liberty for the exercise of freedom of expression, “subject to public order and morality” giving more scope for “hate speech” laws some of which have been legislated though seldom used.

    • Tatyana

      Hhhaaaa, Poroshenko fled the country! Their national security tried to hand over the paper to him, but he jumped into the car and rushed to the airport! I watched that video, Poroshenko is one eloquent russian obscene language speaker!
      His office says he hurried on a diplomatic trip to Poland and Turkey, but nobody says when he is returning 🙂

  • Crispa

    “If the United States were completely destroyed from New York to Kansas, we would have about the area of destruction the Ukraine has. If six million people were killed, not counting soldiers, fifteen per cent of the population, you would have an idea of the casualties of the Ukraine. Counting soldiers, there would be many more, but six million out of forty-five million civilians have been killed. There are mines which will never be opened because the Germans threw thousands of bodies down into the shafts.
    No savage tribe, no invader, ever was responsible for the stupid, calculated cruelties of the Germans. They raged through the country like frantic, cruel children. And now the lines of prisoners in their German army uniforms march through the streets, to work at cleaning up the destruction they caused. And the Ukrainian people do not look at them. They turn away when the columns march through the streets. They look through these prisoners and over them and do not see them. And perhaps this is the worst punishment that could possibly be inflicted on them”.
    — Steinbeck, John. A Russian Journal (Penguin Modern Classics) . Penguin Books Ltd. (1947).

    From this it seems clear that Ukraine in its UN vote has turned its back on its history, and has been persuaded in doing or influenced Faustus like into selling its soul to the USA / EU Neo-Liberal devil. It is doubtful if these Nazi glorifiers represent the views of Ukrainians who know and respect their history but are those of a small bunch of fanatics, which the State of Ukraine for some perverted reason seeks to condone and enable it to punch over its weight, with the added approval of Russia hating USA. UK in abstaining should be ashamed of itself too, but that’s what we have come to expect of its weasel diplomacy.

  • DiggerUK

    If those desperate to show how evangelical they are have quite finished I’ll refer to the post from myself, a page back, and from ET, only a few posts back.

    I can only berate the evangelicals for a dire understanding of fascism. Best summarised as wagging a finger against those who are reactionary, right wing or racist. It’s as daft as describing the Ku Klux Klan or Britain First as fascist.

    It’s woke nonsense on stilts, a common or garden tuppenny halfpenny insult to throw at those you simply don’t like.

    This article summarises most of what I have to say…_

    • joel

      I haven’t seen any comment here that mentions the word fascism. You’re raging incoherently at a straw man of your own invention.

    • Giyane


      Political change may not be fascism. But electoral fraud probably is. The massive support for the Taliban among Deobandi Muslims in Britain, probably is. The removal of juries for rape trial, probably is. The use of proxy jihadists to wreck sovereign nations , probably is. The US refusing to negotiate in good faith about the proliferation of nuclear weapons with Iran, thereby enabling the Shi’a sect to developed nuclear weapons, probably is.

      Sorry, DiggerUK , the weakest form of objection to morally repugnant policies is to ” evangelise ” against them, and to suggest a better way of doing things than aggressive confrontation.

      Politics is not art where we could for example dispense with aesthetics, Politics should not be about lying, as Tories did with Brexit, only to find that ,whoops we need butchers, fruit pickers, lorry drivers , nurses, electricians, and EU workers rights as well, to freely move in order to sustain our economy. Special place in hell for Tory refusal to compromise.

      If people have the foresight to see where the wrong path leads to, why would one choose deliberately to select as leaders those who refuse to exercise any foresight at all?
      Fascism is by definition the refusal to consult with others before imposing one’s own ideas on others. Fascism is by definition not one particular scene in History, confined to the mistakes of that tiny slot of time.. imho

  • William Bowles

    Excellent stuff Craig! Tell it like it is! What hypocrisy, the nerve of the Empire to talk about democracy and human rights… The funny thing is, that 50 years ago, we said the same thing about Nazis in the Ukraine and E. Europe, but what we said back then was dismissed as ‘Communist propaganda’. You just can’t win.

  • BrianFujisan

    Great Post Craig,. and very worthy, and Extensive comments.
    I don’t think it should be just Tatyana and her Fellow Russian Women, Children, men, that should be very concerned about these US, UK, NATO aggressions towards Russia..All of Europe should fact, all the world should be.

    I was reading this spot on Consortium News article article that reminds us..of some earlier Dangerous Flashpoints –

    By Scott Ritter
    Special to Consortium News

    Should the U.S. not agree to the Russian demands outright (never going to happen) or a reasonable counterproposal (highly unlikely), and should the U.S. go forward with its plans to deploy the Dark Eagle hypersonic missile system to Europe (prompting a Russian response to deploy weapons systems of its own that place the totality of Europe under the immediate threat of annihilation), then the outcome is a foregone conclusion—Russia will destroy Ukraine militarily.

    Welcome to 1983, the year of the Able Archer NATO exercises that nearly prompted a Russian nuclear response.

    Moreover, Russia may very well deploy hypersonic weapons into the Caribbean, either in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, or a combination thereof, to counter the threat to Moscow posed by U.S. systems in Europe.

    Welcome to 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile crisis, when the Soviet Union responded to U.S. nuclear missiles in Italy and Turkey.

    Russia is engaging in such precipitous behavior because it legitimately believes it has no other option. “We have nowhere left to retreat,” Putin lamented to his generals, when speaking of NATO expansion in Europe.

    There will be many in the U.S., scared and confused by the Russian actions, who will seek to cast the blame for war and the rumor of war on Russia and Russia alone. But the reality is, this crisis has been a long time in the making, and the nation which is most responsible for building a history of minor conflicts which, in their aggregate approach critical mass, is the United States.

    2022, it seems, will be a year of major power crisis and conflict.

  • Clark

    The build up of Russian military at the border with Ukraine started back in March this year. Shortly afterwards I followed a link someone had posted:

    That site looks to me sensationalist and of dubious reliability. However, the article is based on a document that seems to be genuinely sourced from the Ukrainian government, “Decree No. 117/2021”, which Google translates just as the article claims:

    – In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:

    – To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 “On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” (attached).
    – To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).
    – Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.
    – This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication.
    President of Ukraine V.ZELENSKY
    March 24, 2021

    Could explain a lot…

  • amanfromMars

    Merry Xmas, one and all. And here’s wishing y’all a Happy New year too ….. but there are some glitches to confront and eradicate to assist in that earnest hope.

    amanfromMars 1 Fri 24 Dec 03:25 [2112240325] …… offers an alternate view on

    How to Prevent Global Financial System Collapse? Lose to a War? …. The Folly of Fools who be Tools

    Registering the Bigger Picture Show in All of ITs Ugly Naked Glory.

    It is not that I wish to spoil your Xmas and New Year celebrations, for the system is already doing all of that admirably well with its continually dire and monotonously depressing news cycles revealing the destruction of your wealth and health, but you really should be made aware of the following crazy live current play.

    amanfromMars [2112240202] …. expresses on

    It is just as well NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg doesn’t have a little moustache, for then it would too easy to equate NATO actions and proposals as being extremely similar to those of the National Socialist Party and Nazis in the 1930’s, which were also lavishly funded by the Western banking system/fiat ponzi system to do their dirty deeds, done dirt cheap which appears to need FUD [Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt] and warring nations in order to try to continue to survive and prosper an elite executive few by creating madness and mayhem for the delivery of chaos and catastrophe to the administrative unwary and ignorant many.

    It is a mistake though to not think that things have changed fundamentally since then, which is almost a century ago, with more virtually virulent vital folk than ever before a great deal wiser than any warmonger ever before even imagined possible, in command and control of levers and advanced technologies for disruptive events and deeply damaging episodes which quickly punish such errant Uncle Tomfoolery/Uncle Sam UKGBNI European Empire type nonsense.<>/p>

    And with more means than can ever be prevented from delivering such news worlds-wide freely available to such novel sources with almighty forces.

    It does make one wonder how such useless idiocy would hope to survive out on a limb rather than expect to perish on the vine whenever such clear affiliations lauding and mirroring a failed past are so obviously present and so politically incorrect and judiciously inept?

    Methinks missing secret intelligence and sinister failed counter-intelligence would be the only correct answer to that enigmatic conundrum.

  • Jack

    This is from earlier this year and touch upon Zelensky’s profit from scaremongering that Ukraine is under threat from Russia constantly.

    Donbas Escalation Has Given Zelensky a Boost—But for How Long?

    A peaceful solution to the escalation would mean Zelensky would fall even lower in support by his populace: a peaceful solution by Putin would boost his support.

  • Tatyana

    re: A few friendly corrections

    You argue that she is not a parliamentarian.
    She was a parliamentarian of the Supreme Rada from 2012 to 2014.
    Farion’s comment about 42 people burned on May 2, 2014 was:

    “Bravo, Odessa! A real pearl of the Ukrainian spirit. You are the homeland of great nationalists. Let the devils roast in hell!”

    I remember this because I saw it with my own eyes on her Facebook page. I saw no apology from her later, no government’s reaction to this inhuman anti-Russian Nazi trick.

    You proudly call a democracy the fact that she was not elected after 2014.
    Have you ever wondered how she even got to the position before?
    In 2010, she went to kindergartens and insulted Russian parents. That video I saw with my own eyes, she said to young children:

    “If you are Masha, then go to Russia, and here you must change your name to an Ukrainian one.”

    And despite such views, she still became a parliamentarian in 2012, and yes, I agree that this is a democracy. Real democracy, where deputies reflect the real wishes of the people.

    You claim that Marushinets was not an ambassador anywhere.
    My apologies, he was not an ambassador to Germany, but a consul. In Germany.
    He ordered a birthday cake in the form of Mein Kampf book and his boastful photo was liked by 4 more Ukrainian diplomats.
    His sayings “our swastika” and “fight against the Jews” got likes on Facebook from, eerr… the Ukrainian ambassador to India.
    If you are interested to watch the consul of Ukraine in an SS helmet, if you are interested in his idea of ​​the “Ukrainian state in which true Aryans should live, and it’s necessary to expand the Ukrainian living space at the expense of lower peoples’ lands – Russian, Polish, Hungarian and Romanian” then you can find it recorded and published by the journalist Anatoly Shariy.

    Details such as the title of his position look like very important to you, but for me it’s important to know how the state of Ukraine reacted to this behavior. And you know what? This consul was recalled from Germany, and later he filed a lawsuit with the Ukrainian court and he was reinstated in the service and even paid compensation FOR ILLEGAL DISMISSAL
    Anatoly Shariy is persecuted by the state and left the country.
    Well, from what I know and also from your defensive reaction I see that the Ukrainian society is deeply sick with Nazism.

    I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt by the fact that I inaccurately described their positions in the state of Ukraine. The reason is that the study of varietal characteristics of different pieces of shit is not my field of expertise.
    No more friendly corrections, please. I’m not a friend of you.

    • RedStarTrout

      So for two people you would hang a whole country?
      Yes Farion was elected. Then Russia invaded Ukraine and she reacted to that. After that she was voted out, which suggests that the Ukrainian voters did not approve of her or what she said. That’s democracy – people get to choose who represents them and they chose for it not to be her. She has lost every election since then, and lost badly, but still you claim she represents Ukraine?
      What would Putin have to do to lose an election?
      Marushinets was the Ukrainian consul in Hamburg. Then, because of what he did, he was sacked from that job. He is no longer the consul. What he did was not approved of and he faced consequences. Yes he went to court, and he was compensated by the court because sometimes people do the right thing, like sack this guy, in the wrong way, perhaps by not following the correct procedures. Does that mean the whole of Ukraine and its government approves of what he did? No, but it’s a useful stick for Russian nationalists to beat Ukraine with, and here you are using that stick.
      Meanwhile Russia has around 120 neo-Nazi groups. Putin talks about Ukraine having no right to exist. Russian media is full of hatred for Ukraine. The Russian army is massed on Ukraine’s borders. Only one country is deeply sick with Nazism, and it’s Russia.

      • Jack

        When have Putin said that Ukraine have no right to exist? Give me that verbatim quote.

        Yes there are nazis in Russia, there are nazis in the UK, the difference with Ukraine is that in Ukraine such views are still very accepted on a governmental, societal level.

      • Tatyana

        For two people?
        Let’s add to those two more those who put their thumbs up under Nazi publications?
        Let’s add Farion’s ally Nitsoy?
        Let’s add Babchenko and his unfamous “death” from Putin’s hands? By the way, how does he feel now in Israel?
        Let’s add Poroshenko, who imposed the blockade of Donbass? Brave Ukrainian soldiers who shoot civilians in Donbass?
        Oh, do not forget the Ukrainian citizens abroad, for example Yana Turner from Britain, who collect money to help the Ukrainian “regiments” under the guise of charity?
        Let’s add Zelensky, who confessed that “Russian mercenaries in Belarus” were a staged Ukrainian provocation.
        Let’s add all those teams that carried out orders to blacken Russia and present it as an aggressor? Services, journalists, TV channels, bloggers, Ukrainian representatives around the world etc.
        Let us also mention those of your lawmakers who banned the Russian language, and those your priests who split the church.
        Let’s not forget that all the nation votes for their government.

        Somehow it turns out that there are not exactly only two, isn’t it?
        Hang, you say, the whole country? What a Nazi statement!

        I only hope that Putin should be very cautious to avoid conquering it by accident! Otherwise, we will have to work on rebuilding this ruined, plundered hateful country. Why the f*ck would we want that?
        Ukrainians should grow up, stop considering themselves the center of the world, finally start making money on their own, learn some diplomacy, and then perhaps Putin will talk about Ukraine with the President of Ukraine, and not with the President of the United States.

  • DunGroanin

    Still it is that time and we are making an effort to celebrate it as our leaders once again send us over the top to pile the bodies high!

    Merry Xmas from Bozo the Killer clown !
    Final scene from Blackadder Goes Forth.

    We must always preserve a sense of humour – sociopaths really don’t have any.

    • Giyane


      Are you talking about that £1 a ride blonde megabus lookalike with the fantasy Churchillian cigar, whose main ambition has always been to be forced to resign before any serious warfare begins? The only reason for the pound charge is to cover the cost of the condom.

  • Republicofscotland

    I think the uneasy stand off between Russia and the Ukraine could come to a head in the Spring of next year as that’s when a decision will be made on the issuing of licences for the Russian gas pipeline Nordstream II, at present Ukraine receives billions from the gas passing through the country, but Nordstream II bypasses Ukraine and the country’s government are set to lose the much needed revenue from it.

    Europe needs Russian gas, but the USA will want the Europe to shun the gas; it might inevitably provoke a conflict between Ukraine and Russia, with Russia winning quite easily. I doubt the USA would physically intervene; but it has and would continue to back Ukraine logistically. The US would on Ukraine’s defeat call for severe sanctions against Russia, though I think Russia could get by without SWIFT, and the EU would miss Russian gas.

    No one wants a conflict and I wish the EU nations would wake up and realise a war in Ukraine will probably spill into the heart of Europe – have they learnt nothing from two world wars? EU nations also need to exit Nato, if there’s to be peace. Russia is a European country – we should be embracing it, not shunning it and threating war. The US has the largest military and even though they’ve exited Afghanistan, the US military budget has increased, and wars must be fought to justify the huge increase. Bad guys must be targeted so the Military Industrial Complex can keep on making its profits.

    Russia however has supersonic weapons and fast moving ships. Conventional weapons find it very difficult to take out these fast moving missiles. Apparently the US will move new supersonic weapons into Germany next year, which will raise the stakes even higher. European countries like France and Germany need to say enough is enough; without their support the US will find it difficult to pursue its belligerent agenda with Russia and China in mind.

    • George Porter

      The USA should volunteer to replace the unearned billions gas tax paid to Ukraine with an unearned billions tax paid to Ukraine on US gas. Since it is unearned it doesn’t matter that the US gas goes nowhere near Ukraine.

  • Jimmeh

    It is a commonplace of military history that you can’t maintain a large army in the field for very long. You have to either use it, or move it. That’s because the effort to maintain supplies begins to dominate the cost of operations. Historically, that meant the cost of feeding horses and wagon-drivers started to exceed the cost of feeding and supplying the troops.

    In enemy territory, and cut off from supplies, an army forages; that is, they help themselves to the supplies of the population. But you can only do that for so long; you need fresh population all the time. General Sherman had strategic reasons for devastating Georgia, but even ignoring those reasons, he had to march. It’s interesting to note that he advanced in two columns – if he had advanced in a single column, then the end of the column would be advancing through land that had already been devastated by the front of the column.

    Sherman’s army was about 55,000 men.

    Russia is reportedly encamped with 100,000 men, in Russian home territory. I have read that they are planning to increase that number to 150,000. They are not using horses for transport, presumably they move supplies using rail and air. I understand that land transport in Russia is quite limited; I imagine they would have to draw supplies from quite near their operational base. Please correct me if I’m wrong about land transport in Russia!

    Modern weapons are expensive to maintain, and it is reported that the Russian force has a lot of modern weapons.

    So the reasoning goes that once Russia has assembled a force of 150,000, they will have to move somewhere, or spread out, or attack. The clear threat is that they will attack – after all, why move the troops to the border in the first place? Also, every day that he doesn’t attack, Ukraine becomes stronger (from US arms supplies).

    So now, I find it difficult to understand Putin’s speechifying and treaty proposals. It doesn’t make sense: the US have a history of breaking treaty commitments, so he wants treaty commitments *right now*, or (implied) he will attack. It seems very unlikely to me that he really wants treaty commitments.

    BTW, I think the talk upthread of possible nuclear attacks on DC is crazy talk.

    But what good would treaty commitments from the US be, if the US breaks treaties unilaterally? And why would he present treaty terms that are so obviously unacceptable, while declaring that lengthy negotiations are out of the question?

    What makes sense is that Putin is going to act as soon as his force reaches full strength. One column will advance into Donbass, the other into Crimea over his new bridge. Both are effectively friendly territory; he will be able to construct bases and airfields quickly, with little opposition.

    What’s the purpose of all this? It’s to put a stop to NATO encroachment in Eastern Europe. He doesn’t want NATO forces at all his western borders (Russia has been saying this consistently for a couple of decades).

    But Ukraine has already lost Crimea and Donbass. He doesn’t need 150,000 troops with snazzy modern weapons, to occupy territory he already effectively occupies. I’ve seen speculation that he might sweep into Kyiv, destroy military materiel, arrest or kill political opponents, impose a new puppet government, and then leave.

    But that wouldn’t protect his Western borders from any NATO forces except those already in Ukraine. And Ukraine isn’t part of NATO; there are officially no NATO forces in Ukraine. If the strategy is simply to prevent Ukraine joining NATO, then it doesn’t achieve the objective of protecting his Western approaches. But it’s hard to see what strategy he could pursue to drive e.g. Poland out of NATO’s embrace. I’m pretty confident that if Russia invaded Ukraine with that force, then NATO would reinforce Poland with a matching force (I’m not sure e.g. Latvia could expect a similar response).

    So I’m rather puzzled by this situation. The refusal to supply gas to EU spot markets looks like plain nastiness, because Russia was making a lot of money on the EU spot markets. And it seems pretty counterproductive; if Putin thinks the minor misery of inflated gas prices is going to stir Europeans into support for the Russian cause, that would be a grave misjudgement. My personal reaction to the gas shenanigans is “Why did we ever come to rely on such an unreliable partner for energy supply in the first place? Let’s not trade with Russia any more – all they have to offer is fossil fuels and caviar”.

    I wonder if, instead, the troop build-up is a diversion; they will move into south-eastern Ukraine relatively unopposed, and then China will move on Taiwan. With the US now engaged on two fronts, but not openly at war with Russia, Russia will again present their demands, from a much stronger negotiating position.

    My bets: China to win, Russia to draw, US to lose.

    • Republicofscotland


      As far as I’m aware Russia has met its gas commitments to both Ukraine and Europe, and Ukraine doesn’t want Nordstream II to go active as it will lose billions in revenue.

      “Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba took credit for delaying the project’s approval, saying, “Nord Stream 2 should have been operating and earning money a long time ago, but the fact that it still does not work and we are fighting against it is the result of our common endeavors.”

      • Tatyana

        Gazprom and Ukraine signed an agreement for 2021 on the transportation of a certain amount of gas. On December 15, this volume was fulfilled, and the obligations to Ukraine were fulfilled in full.
        Now someone in Europe must buy gas from Gazprom. Given the current spot prices, I think that Europe is consuming gas from storage, waiting for market to low down and perhaps praying that Frau Baerbock keep her mouth shut, or price might exceed the current $2200 point.

        • Robert Wursthaus

          Let’s pray for a very cold winter for Germany. They won’t see any yanks riding to their rescue …

          • Tatyana

            I wouldn’t. High gas price have already made some smaller businesses to shut down. I recall it was a news about backers industry.
            It means that ordinary people would have lost their employment.

        • Jen

          Spot energy prices are likely also being gamed by energy traders to make profits. This would include middlemen traders buying gas from Gazprom and then withholding supplies from the EU to artificially reduce the amount of gas available – in short, doling it out bit by bit – to keep prices high.

    • DunGroanin

      Jimmeh ,

      My bet,

      The whole world wins, it’s Peoples, when the velvet gloved trusty iron claws are finally chopped off and their boots & knees are removed from our heads and necks.

      The Unipolar Empire can finally disappear from the World.

    • Jen

      Be careful not to confuse regular training exercises by Russian forces in their own territory (land, maritime, airspace) with “troop movements”. Every country conducts regular annual or seasonal exercises to test troop readiness.

      In addition NATO forces are continually testing Russian defence readiness by staging at least annual exercises with Ukrainian forces in the Black Sea region or deliberately flying military planes close to Russian airspace, forcing Russian jets to scramble and escort NATO planes away from Russian airspace territory.

      What armed forces did before the 20th century or even before 1945 is not always a good guide to what armed forces are doing or should be doing now. Even in the 19th century, generals following military advice still made decisions with grave or even catastrophic results in terms of lives lost, often because that advice was out of date or based on assumption and not on reality.

      • Jimmeh

        > What armed forces did before the 20th century or even before 1945 is not always a good guide to what armed forces are doing or should be doing now.

        Indeed. On the other hand, I’m reluctant to adopt the view that what happened in the past is irrelevant, because everything is new now. I don’t want to be condemned to repeat history’s mistakes.

    • Clark

      Jimmeh, Dec 24, 14:20

      – “The refusal to supply gas to EU spot markets looks like plain nastiness…”

      It’s an infrastructure problem. The old supergiant gas fields opened in the soviet era are now in terminal decline and can supply gas at around only a third of their former rate. Russia has other supergiant fields but they are much further north, in more difficult terrain and climactic conditions. New wells and pipelines are needed to extract this gas and bring it south, so Russian gas companies are insisting upon long-term contracts. Russia has prioritised filling its own storage rather than exporting to Europe:

      The following Tweet of experienced energy professional Thierry Bros was Retweeted by Javier Blas, Chief Energy Correspondent at Bloomberg:

      – We have to admit that #Putin has a gas narrative that makes sense. European gas companies are lacking transparency to check this narrative.

      – Putin: “Yamal Europe flow drop because French and German companies didn’t ask for any gas”…
      – @ENGIEgroup; any comment?

    • Wikikettle

      Jimmeh. Western companies have been buying cheap gas from Russia and selling it on making huge profits. NATO system of military alliances is going to force countries into war as did the alliances before WW1. US hopes its geographical position will limit war to SE Asia and Europe. Europe and SE Asian countries are suicidal in their obsequiousence to US. US has decided to ‘act’ now before Russia and China catch up. As I said: Dr Strangeglove madmen, not fiction.

    • johnny conspiranoid

      Perhaps the 150,000 fussians are assembled at the permenant bases where they always live and where infrastucture exists to support them.

  • TJ

    It’s a continuation of Operation Gladio by people who refer to themselves as The Reconquerors. Their goal is a 4th Reich and the destruction of the UK, something everyone in Westminster and Windsor Castle is in favour of.

  • Jack

    Another propaganda bs theme is that Russia cutting off gas, the only party that is NOT benefitting from gas transmit disturbances is Russia itself, Russia want europeans to buy their gas as much as possible, EU could get their gas from other places. That Russia is somehow benefitting from gas obstruction is ridiculous.

      • Tatyana

        Europe decided to make the deals dependent on the current market weather. Today the gas price is very high, yet it’s very cold today. What should be done to make the gas flow through the pipe again? The answer is obvious – buy it!
        Blaming Russia, they look like an idiot biting his own *ss and complaining of pain.
        Europe itself adopted energy laws, Gazprom only obeys them.

        Want some more absurdity?
        You remember that a lot of sanctions were imposed on Russia, so we had to learn how to produce all the goods ourselves, instead of importing them. Now we are accused of violating the WTO rules and depriving them of their earnings, because we don’t do import!

      • Jen

        Free market ideology comes into EU decision-making as well. The notion of entering into long-term contracts with Gazprom or other energy suppliers to buy fixed amounts of energy needed for survival at a fixed price for a fixed term of, say, 10 years is considered less preferable than having to haggle every year for X amount of energy along with other competing haggling buyers at whatever Y amount of $$$ or euros you can afford to pay.

        In this free-for-all situation, energy traders can make very handsome profits indeed by buying energy from suppliers at low prices and stringing buyers along by restricting how much they will sell on.

        Come to think of it, this was probably one of the ways in which Ukraine was making money off the EU before Nord Stream II was built. No wonder the Banderites are upset about NS II!

        • Jack

          It is absurd that EU demand that gas go through Ukraine = an extra cost for EU.
          It is absurd that Ukraine demand gas from russian considering their = considering their negative attitude to Russia on any other issue.

          In sum Ukraine is an obstacle for EU, ironically considering Ukraine is not a member of the EU nor Nato.
          It’s like there are no real foreign policy analysis within the EU structure OR the foreign policy is wholly driven from the US. Subserviant and pathetic!

          • Pigeon English

            So Russia had two options; paying Billions to Ukraine for transit or build NS2 and save transit cost but somehow It’s Russian’s fault going for second option. Long term deliveries at fixed prices is contrary to neoliberal ideology/speculation. Big failure by Europen Commission and it’s ridiculous free market rules(spot price of gas)

          • Tatyana

            The problem with Ukraine is that they are not a reliable partner. They may continue their previous practice of stealing gas which was paid for by Europe, and then blame the shortage on Russia.
            Or, they can arrange another ‘Russian mercenaries in Belarus’ or ‘Putin killed Babchenko’ comedy show. These played well for sanctions, so wise people decided on new safer and more reliable pipeline.

  • Clark

    The differences between opinions of energy experts versus the political statements about low gas flow from Russia are very revealing – there is a massive propaganda battle going on. The US, UK and EU promote spot trading, which pours money into the pockets of traders:

    – Ira Joseph – @ira_joseph – 23 Dec
    – Major European buyers must be making a boatload of money. Even if they re-sell off a small fraction of their oil-indexed Russian gas, they must be cleaning up. I’m going with silence = complicity as my answer. And don’t forget the margins on gas in storage. It’s contango heaven.

    – Javier Blas – @JavierBlas – 23 Dec
    – You couldn’t make it up: After nationalizing Bulb Energy, the U.K. government is making the same mistake that helped take down the nation’s 7th biggest supplier in the first place: it isn’t hedging, and just buying on the spot

    Meanwhile, the poorer countries suffer most:

    – Javier Blas – @JavierBlas – 23 Dec
    No surprises in the announcement today by Kosovo of rolling two-hours blackouts for most consumers. It was very clear, three months ago, that the real crisis was in Eastern Europe, and particularly in the Balkans. The EU was sleeping. Or didn’t care.

    – 9 Oct – EUROPEAN ENERGY CRUNCH: While Western Europe worries, the real crisis is the east, particularly in the Balkans. In Kosovo, for example, the country’s largest exporter (Ferronikeli) has shutdown all production sine die. In Albania, the gov has declared a state of emergency.

    Help the traders make a fortune but blame Russia, Russia, Russia.

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