The Saker blog now also in Russian!

ДОРОГИЕ РУССКОЯЗЫЧНЫЕ ДРУЗЬЯ!
Читайте блог Балобана по-русски щелкнув на эту ссылку:


http://www.vineyardsaker.ru/

The Saker Blog now also in French!

AMIS FRANCOPHONES!
Vous pouvez maintenant lire le blog du Saker en Français en cliquant sur ce lien:


http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/

The Saker Blog now also in German!

ALLE UNSERE DEUTSCHEN FREUNDE!
koennen jetzt den blog des Sakers auf Deutsch lesen - bitte hier anklicken:


http://www.vineyardsaker.de/

The Saker Blog now in Oceania

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN OCEANIA!
you can now also visit the Oceania Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:


http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Daily life in Banderastan

Today, the Parliamentarian Nestor Shufrich was beat up by thugs of the Right Sector.  The cops stood by and watched.

See for yourself:



In Kharkov, a man was found impaled on a church fence, his body attached with electrician's tape to the fence.  Medical gloves were found on the site.  According to witnesses, he was killed by Right Sector activists on suspicion of being a sympathizer of Novorussia.  According to official police reports, this man impaled himself and, presumably, having done that, found the time and energy to securely attach himself to the fence with tape.


While the Ukraine is rapidly progressing in its "civilizational choice", the EU is keeping up its sanctions on Russia "judging that Ukraine's peace deal is not fully effective".

The Saker

Short Analysis by Mindfriedo: Struggle for Iraq: Saqlawiyah says it all!

Following is a chronology of events that took place in mid to end September at the Iraqi Army base of Saqlawiyah (Saqlawiyah is located to the north of Fallujah)
-Daash and allied Sunni fighters take over a few villages to the north of Fallujah
-One of the towns taken over is Sijir, close to Saqlawiyah Military Base
-The Iraqi Army sends in 400 men from the 3rd Brigade, an elite SWAT unit, and members from the Ashaib Ahl Al Haq (League of the Righteous) to take back Sijir.
-Stiff resistance by Daash forces the fighters back to Saqlawiyah base; there are now 800 to a 1000 men at the base and they are running short of supplies, food and ammunition.
-Daash captures areas around the base and blocks the only road connecting Saqlawiyah and starts to encircle the base. They now state that the attack on the village was a trap prepared for the Iraqi army and the "Safavid filth."
-Daash starts using loudspeakers telling the troops to surrender
-A tank unit from Ramadi advances north and tries to break the siege. The tanks advance on a stretch of road that is strewn with improvised explosives but make it to 500 yards of the base
-Entrapped troops try to break through to the tanks but are beaten back by Daash that carries out suicide attacks and heavy assaults. The troops are forced back to the base and the tank columns retreat over bodies of dead soldiers
-Entrapped soldiers make desperate calls to military commanders who promise relief and air support but nothing arrives. Senior commanders refer to repeated requests being made by soldiers as unnecessary "whining" in the face of attacks
-Daash fighters dressed in Iraqi Army Uniform send in Humvees in a suicide attack. The soldiers guarding the base are reported to have opened the gates assuming the Humvees to be relief supplies. Huge suicide attacks are followed on by a heavy ambush. Daash overruns the base and only a pocket of soldiers are reported to be holding out.
-Conflicting reports suggest that between 50 (unreliable government) to 600 casualties with 200 soldiers managing to escape. Escaped soldiers were starving after 4 days of hunger and were drinking salt water to survive, they were finding it hard to run
-Daash parades 30 men dressed in Iraqi Army Uniform in Fallujah and releases the following statement:
"After placing trust in Allah, and taking into consideration the means and available capabilities, and by the order of the Ministry of War, al-Fallujah Province mobilized all its military detachments, air defense, support, and raiding detachments, and after making the plan and setting its goals, the detachments launched towards their desired objective, which is liberating the area of al-Sijir from the filth of the Safavids [a derogatory term for Shiites], as a first step to besiege the headquarters of Brigade 30, which is located between the area of al-Sijir and the al-Saqlawiyah sub-district."
-Daash claims to have killed 300 Iraqi Soldiers, captured two M1A1 Abrams tanks and a Russian tank in addition to other supplies that it looted from the base
-Abadi orders an enquiry and Iraqi Army and Air Force Commanders are reportedly suspended but MPs are demanding prosecution and calling Saqlawiyah Iraq's second Spyker
-The government is claiming that Daash used chlorine gas and is using this as an excuse for the base having fallen

Here are some questions that the above events raise:

1) Why was Air Support not provided or supplies not air dropped?
Throughout the conflict Iraqi commanders are reported to have ignored calls for resupply and air support and, shockingly, to have given false hope by suggesting that the base was actually resupplied, when it was not. Sour relations between Maliki's Commanders and Abadi's desire to replace them is being suggested as another excuse for the fiasco.

2) Where are the US air strikes falling?
If Daash was sending such a large number of fighters north why did US airstrikes not target them? Or target the Daash fighters laying siege to the base?
Yazidi fighters have similarly complained of the US not attacking Daash heavy armour in Sinjar while the Yazidis were fighting them, even after the Yazidis pointed (painted) targets for the Americans. The Yazidis were forced to withdraw when they ran out of ammunition from a fight that would otherwise have been easily won.
The behaviour of Turkish troops, preventing Syrian Kurds from crossing the border and help their fellow Kurds fight Daash in Kobani, is also very telling. Also, US strikes outside Kobani were unable to halt Daash's advance.
It all stinks of "Boots on the ground."

3) Where are the Sunni tribes in all this?
So far, those Sunni tribes not on the side of Daash are still undecided in backing the government. The reasons they put forward are continuing indiscriminate artillery strikes on Sunni populated areas (Fallujah, Ramadi) and the detention of a large number of Sunni men. Another reason could be that they still have doubts of the government side winning or holding on to territory taken.

4) Effectiveness of the militias?
The militias have helped prevent the fall of Baghdad and have halted the advance of Daash. But they still have a long way to go and may be an ineffective tool in Sunni dominated areas.
The higher ups in the Ashab Ahl al Haq will be furious that their men at the base were stranded and will want answers if not blood from Iraq's Political/Military leadership. The military leadership of Iraq, politically selected, has shown little or scant regard for its troops and men, and are perhaps more dangerous than Daash.

Let's make sure this video goes viral!

Dear friends,

I am still personally in "maintenance mode" until this evening, but I wanted to drop by to urge you all to check out my latest post on Russia Insider and, especially, the "forensic video" RI posted today which clearly shows the face of one the leaders of the Nazi gangs of "Ukrainian Interahamwe" which murdered an unknown number of people (officially 42, according to Novorussian sources over 200) in Odessa on May 2nd 2014.


If you can, please circulate this video for three reasons: first, it could force the Ukrainian authorities to take action against this man; second because the issue of gross human right violations by "Euro-Ukrainians" needs to be raised to force the regimes in power in Europe to look at the kind of Nazi thugs they have taken as "allies" in their war against Russia; third, to try to get the MSM to look into this issue.

Please send the following two links to all your friends, contacts, social media, mailing lists, etc. to help us demand an investigation in these, and many other, events in Junta-controlled Ukraine:

http://russia-insider.com/en/tv_politics_ukraine_media_watch/2014/09/30/12-21-40pm/busted_viral_video_ids_man_committing_atrocity

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics_ukraine_opinion_media_watch/2014/09/30/12-21-40pm/wests_ignorance_ukraine_atrocities

Ukrainian Interahamwe leader
Let's try to put a name on this face:

We are already making a difference but we must continue our struggle to make the world realize the truth about the civil war in the Ukraine. 

Thank you,

The Saker

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog news and donations (+open thread)

Dear friends,

First, the good news: our IT specialists are finalizing the final touches of the new blog and, God willing, it should go live before the end of the week.  I will make an official announcement when everything is ready, so don't worry about missing anything.

Second, today I have so much technical and administrative things to deal with and so many emails that I have to reply to that I will not post anything and leave an open thread for you to use as you wish.  Depending on how things go, this might be extended until Tuesday evening.

Third, I want to use this opportunity to thank those who have donated to the Saker blog:

Via PayPal:  

RC, CP, NM, RH, MD, PB, MF, FK, JP, MFA, JM, BR, JS, TS, LC, TPC, JV, MH,NR, LH, HS, JS, PP, ML, SB, SE, DK, RH, PG, RO, PP, MM, MM, RB, RA, JC, 2HF, KT, AR, HRS, KC, MD, AC, RS, DS, RF, NS, DB, HMK, PP.

Via Amazon:

PK, TW, S, SJ.

Via Snail Mail:

VR (sorry, no checks or money orders, so I could not cash yours), ET
and the following anonymous donors:



To all of you, my most heartfelt and sincere gratitude.  Over the past months your help has literally made the difference between paying bills or sinking further into debt (we have no savings or pension of any kind).

Also, I want to deeply thank those of you who have sent me very kind and often very personal emails and letter.  Two of the most often recurring themes in the emails and letters I get is a) many of you express an extremely strong feeling or rage and disgust with our overlords and rulers and b) many of you say "I wondered if I was alone or crazy with these thoughts".  It is completely Orwellian to read this same statement over and over and over again, sent from people from all over our planet, from New Zealand, to Finland and from Canada to Argentina.  It makes me feel that we are all the subjects of a planetary attempt at mind control and, frankly, I guess that we are.  To all of you I want to repeat one more time that you are not alone and that, as David Rovics so beautifully sings it, "we are everywhere" and "we'll shut them down".  Another amazing thing is how diverse "we" are: I get emails (and donations!) from Communists, Ron Paul Libertarians, anarchists, paleo-conservatives, all the imaginable flavors of progressives and liberals, Latin traditionalists, atheists, Muslims (Shia, Sunni and Salafi), Buddhists, and even a few Trotskysts.  So while "we" do not necessarily agree on everything, or even on most things, we do exist as a "we" because we do agree on a number of crucial things such as a passionate quest for the truth, our rejection of any form of imperialism and our refusal to submit to the AngloZionist Empire and its New World Order project.

When I look at the apparent zombies which live around me, I know often catch myself thinking that maybe that "zombie" is not a zombie at all, but a member of that "we" community which has grown in response to the infinite arrogance and evil of the Empire.  So that illusion of being alone in a world of zombies is just that, an illusion.  Thank you for reminding me of that through your emails and letters.

Honestly, I often feel disgusted, despondent, bitter, exhausted and very lonely.  The past months have been very hard on me but your support, in whatever form it took, has literally given me hope and energy to keep going.  Not only do I believe that we will "shut them down", I am now even sure of it because the Empire has failed in its key task: to turn us into their obedient zombies.

Okay, I need to go to work on a ton of things now.  So I will sign off for the rest of the day, possibly even into tomorrow, but I will keep moderating so please do use the open thread as you want.

Kindest regards to you all,

The Saker

Transcarpathia and Transnistria SitRep 21 Sep - 27 Sep

by "Y"

Transcarpathia

ATO

The ad hoc local collections of funds and material for Transcarpathian police and military units continues. The local football league raised 7647 UAH, and a group of students raised sufficient for 200 pairs insulated rubber boots. Modern personal protection equipment funded through donations was supplied to a group of Transcarpathian police officers due to head to the east. Hubal, the recently appointed Head of the Transcarpathian Regional State Authority has stated that he wants to see strict accounting for the dissemination of the donations to ensure that the funds went to right people.

The 1.5% war tax has raised 1.3 million UAH locally. It was transferred to the budgets in August and September.

Citizens of the Hungarian city twinned with Uzhgorod donated 2 million HUF (~ $8100) to be given to 50 ethnic Hungarian families whose family members had been sent to the front.

The volunteer support group for the Carpathian Sich has delivered about 10 tons of aid per week to the front during September. This aid is for the benefit of Svoboda volunteers in the 128th Mountain Infantry Brigade, and those in the 24th, 25th and 95th Brigades.

130 soldiers of the Transcarpathian Defense Battalion have been sent to the front. Most of the Battalion remains in Transcarpathia, guarding strategically important posts. There are plans to increase the battalion manpower by 20%, presumably through further mobilisations. These mobilisations have proved increasingly ineffective, so one plan is to send existing military commissars to the front. The posts freed would then be taken by those who have recovered after being injured at the front.

Eight Transcarpathian citizens, including two ethnic Hungarians were reported killed. There was no information about when these deaths occurred and whether they are recent additions to earlier totals. The death and casualty figures released are very confusing as authors do not state time period or locality to which they apply. It is possible that the same cases are reported at widely different times. The exact figures probably will not be known until the Kiev government releases formal reports. They will have a strong incentive to under-report to minimise the scale of losses.

Compensation of 100,000 UAH (~ $7400) has been offered to 21 families of those injured in the fighting. In addition, land parcels are made available for victims or their surviving families. To date, 174 families have applied for such land, with 74 of the applications fulfilled. The land parcels are free for families whose relatives died in the fighting.

Following the cease fire, one Transcarpathian PoW was released this week. He noted that he had spent time clearing up the destroyed buildings in the area where he was held. It is reported that just one more Transcarpathian remains in the east as a PoW.

Economy

The major economic concern for the country is the collapse of the currency. Poroshenko has declared his intent to stop the slide and restrict currency flight.The driving factor is the state loans that have to be paid back in foreign currency ($ or Euro). The net foreign currency outflow is expected to be ~ $250 million for September.

The exchange rate has reached 14.90 UAH per US dollar against the Ukrainian government target of 12.95 UAH / $. Legislation has been introduced to restrict the foreign currency exchange limit for customers at retail banks to 3000 UAH (~ $200) daily. Other aspects include a tightening of the issue of foreign currency, and a temporary hold on withdrawal of dividends and money through sale of securities. Government Bonds remain an exception to these rules.

The most recent economic factor directly affecting ordinary people is the 10% increase in rail journey tickets from 1 October 2014.

Energy

The Ukrainian attack on the east has scored an own goal. The loss of coal from the east has reduced the amount of electricity that can be generated, limiting the space capacity available for export. This has an obvious knock-on effect on the already poor economic situation.

Ukraine claims to have received about 540 million cubic metres (cu m) of gas through the reverse flow pipeline into Transcarpathia since the start of September. The price quoted is $320-330 per thousand cu m. The average capacity for this period is about 25 million cu m per day, against a stated maximum capacity of 27 million cu m per day. Slovakia states that this maximum capacity will only be achievable from March 2015. Given the current quoted average is very close to the stated maximum which is not yet available, the supply figures should be treated with caution.

The Ukraine gas supply organisation has made a proposal that should control gas usage. It suggests there should be a single price for domestic, commercial and industrial use.. This would cause the price of gas for domestic use to rise to four times the current level. This is obviously a political time bomb with the election looming.

Russia's reaction to the reverse flow form Slovakia and Hungary has been to not that the current contracts do not allow for re-export of gas. After a meeting between Hungarian representatives and the head of Gazprom, Hungary has stopped the reverse flow through Transcarpathia for 'technical reasons'. Günther Oettinger, the Deputy Chairman of the European Commission has stated where Gazprom has no right to make operational decisions, reverse flow is possible. The main thing is not to violate conditions of the contract. He also notes it is essential that there be a trouble-free reverse gas flow for Ukraine.

As a side note, Hungary and Austria have stated that they have abandoned the South Stream solution, and tenders for pipeline construction will be sought.

Mobilisation

The latest figures suggest that about 2000-3000 people aged 18-25 should be recruited by the current phase of mobilisation in Transcarpathia. These figures include an estimated 300-400 ethnic Hungarians.

Politics

On the 21st, Baloha claimed that the Lustration (= purge) law already agreed was going to be rewritten to avoid action against what he claimed to be the most corrupt offices - the police and the security forces. On the 23rd, Vasyl Hubal, the new head of the Regional State Authority asked that all the civil servants and law enforcement officers who had served in the Yanukovich period to voluntarily resign. The affected leaders of these organisations should resign immediately. Critics rightly claimed that this seemed to be based on politics and not on lack of professionalism.

The Lustration Law was passed on the 25th awaiting signature by Poroshenko. It clauses state that an high ranking official from the Yanukovich period be excluded from service for 10 years. All areas of government are affected, including the military. People who worked for less than a year are excluded, as are those who went to the Maidan or quit on their own. Baloha proposed a lustration committee be set up comprising members of the public and deputies of local councils.

Baloha has made an intriguing claim about Crimea. He states that Crimea will become a real island for some time, with no communications with Russia, no water, gas, electricity or food supply. This will lead Putin to attempt to create a land corridor to Crimea. In order for Ukraine to forestall this, he said that negotiations should be started with the aim of providing services at average Ukraine prices and guarantees that food will be allowed through in return for the cessation of alleged repression of Tartars and Ukrainians in Crimea and guarantees involving the Russian Federation, the EU and the US that there will be no invasion from Crimea. Given that there is no repression and the RF has no desire to invade, this sounds like some kind of 'nice peninsula you got there, shame if something were to happen to it' scam.

The US is preparing to assist the election process, specifically to ensure the elections are honest. The Media Foundation of the US Embassy in Ukraine runs local roundtables for this purpose. The contributors to the roundtable are Government and NGO representatives from Kiev. The unit produces a newsletter outlining problems, such as five candidates with the same surname (Kovacs) in one constituency. Independent reporters suggest that this seems to be a phantom problem rather than evidence of collusion.

Whatever happens, the election promises to be very intense and very confusing, with lots of dirt thrown around. For example, there are allegations that the Baloha group is somehow connected to Putin / Medvedev. Ratushnyak, one opponent of the Baloha brothers clan, claims the brothers are preparing provocations against him and has requested protection from Poroshenko. The various parties are laying out their rules for cooperation. The head of the UDAR party declares there will no cooperation with Baloha, even though both are running as part of the Poroshenko bloc. The Popular Front party claims to represent real people rather than oligarchs. The National Front party candidate has been dismissed from the party for unknown reasons.

Propaganda

Ukrainians in Europe have rallied in support of Ukraine. One idea is a crowd-sourced set of T-shirts, with various designs shown on the website. Given the true state of Ukrainian political dialog, I think this particular design is most appropriate.

Yatsenyuk has been spouting about creating a wall along the border with Russia at enormous cost. Baloha correctly notes that Ukraine is not a small country like Israel, and it can't possibly control its borders in the same way. He states that the idea of constructing this wall is madness and the only way to ensure a strong country is through the willpower of the people and the leaders of the country. The latter point is probably a sly dig at the abilities of the current leadership.

In an act of irony, the residents of Mukachevo recently held celebrations at a memorial to the heroes and partisans of the Second World War who fought against fascism.

On 24 September, Moscow issued a statement requesting international investigation into mass graves found in areas occupied by Ukrainian troops and militia. By an amazing coincidence, on the 26th, reports appeared of three mass graves in the Slavyansk area, which has been in Ukrainian hands since early July. The investigation carried claims the individuals died early to mid June, when the area was in the hands of the separatists. Apparently, 12 of the individuals have been identified by name. Given these mass graves were found in three specific cemeteries, the most likely explanation is that these are Ukrainian soldiers who died in the fighting. The timing of this news release suggests an intent to muddy the waters in relation to the mass graves further south.

Separatism

The representative of the ethnic Hungarian group held a closed meeting to decide on their position. They have given up trying to get a clear Hungarian constituency and have opted to join the Petro Poroshenko bloc as the only remaining legal chance for local representation. None of the candidates for the Yatsenyuk block are local to Transcarpathia.

Transnistria (aka PMR)

ATO


Gregor Petrenko, a member of the Moldovan government paid a visit to Lugansk and the surrounding area in order to provide first hand background information for the Assembly of the Council of Europe. He stated that to describe it is an understatement to describe the situation there as a humanitarian disaster. He will present his findings to a PACE meeting in Strasbourg. He notes that the Kiev regime has repeated the mistakes of Moldovan government in attempting to use military force to resolve a political conflict.

Economy

The economic blockade by Moldova and Ukraine continues to affect the economy. In July, the government reduced the working week for state enterprises and deferred payment of wages. The President has issued a statement that arrears should be paid. The State water concern has accumulated massive debts through unpaid bills. The main problem area is the reluctance of people in agricultural areas to use water meters.

The Government has issued bonds for $13.5 million. These are set for 7, 14 and 31 days maturity, with per annum interest rates of 2%, 2.25% and 2.75% respectively.

Moldova resorts to unilateral blocking of export certificates for PMR agricultural produce. A complaint has been registered with the Russian Ambassador to Moldova.

The Government has ambitions to convert a disused military airfield near Tiraspol to civil use. It has a number of investors lined and has produced internal documents relating to the mandatory regulatory position for civil aviation. The main problem id the political one relating to the status of the PMR.

A second major project relates to the creation of a direct route between Tiraspol, the capital of PMR and Ribnita, a major town in the north. This route affects about 6.3 ha of land owned by Moldovan citizens, so there is the problem of compensation for any loss of use.

Energy

Bilateral discussions between Russia and Moldova have taken place regarding the gas supply problem. There will be no reverse flow from Romania until 2015 at the earliest. There was no consensus over the status of the next contract - should it be considered a new contract or a renewal of the old contract. The current price offered to Moldova is $374 per thousand cu m. They are looking for a $3-5 reduction in price. In view of the reverse flow problem, the Moldovan government is looking to allocate a budget of up to 2.1 billion lei ($146 million) to buy oil to cover any shortfall over winter.

Mobilisation

There is no explicit mobilisation in the PMR. A standard wound of quarterly recruitment for compulsory military service is due for the period 1 October to 31 December. Males aged 18-27 are eligible for military service, and the upper aged is extended to 30 for internal and border guard units. At the same time, those who have completed their conscription period will be released from service.

Politics

On 25th September, the PMR government called an emergency meeting of the JCC (the 5+2 body overseeing normalisation of the status of PMR). Such emergency meetings have to take place within 24 hours of their being called. The PMR request was based on systematic actions by Moldova to undermine progress at the point of approval of the agenda for a normal meeting. The actual troop levels in the peace-keeping force were mentioned - 402 from Russia, 492 from PMR, 355 from Moldova along with 10 Ukrainian observers.

As if on cue, on 26th September, Moldova issued a demand for the removal of the Russian peace keeping force, to be replaced by an international civil mission. It also stated that it had no plans to join NATO.

The PMR government continues trying to establish cooperation agreements with other states. Following the signing in July of a Memorandum of Cooperation on education issues, the PMR representatives met with a delegation from Russia to discuss education issues. The President of PMR met with a delegation from Germany to initiate bilateral cooperation over humanitarian issues and to update the German delegates on the status of position with Moldova. The President raised the issue of adverse unilateral actions taken by Moldova, e.g. the selective withholding of export certificates for PMR goods.

Along with Moldova, the PMR is modernising its international border crossing points, replacing old manual schemes with modern document processing facilities. This is a costly business. Moldova has outside financial assistance to help, while PMR has to fund the changes itself.

A one-day conference was held on 26 September in Chisinau. The subject of the conference was confidence building on both sides of the River Nistria. Of the 17 main speakers, two were from PMR and 4 were from Moldova. The rest were from the EU or European NGOs. It is possible that the large number of third party speakers will produce some practical ideas, but I suspect wider political influences will preclude real progress.

Sanctions

Russian reverse sanctions against Moldova have affected the PMR economy as exporters need to gain Moldovan approval prior to export. Following inspections, the Russian inspection agency has removed export restrictions on two PMR canning factories. One of these has a $5 million contract to supply canned food to Russia.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Dmitri Rogozin interviewed by Vladimir Soloviev

Dear friends,

Today, thanks to the fantastic work of the Saker Community [English Transcription & Translation: Marina (Russian Saker), Katya (Oceania Saker) & CG (Russian Saker) Editing & Production: Augmented Ether (Oceania Saker)] I can share with you a most interesting interview of Dmitri Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, Head of the Military-Industrial Commission, Special Envoy of the President and one of the most interesting and influential representatives of the "Eurasian Sovereignists" and the man who, one day, could succeed Vladimir Putin.  Rogozin is absolutely hated by the Atlantic Sovereignists and by the AngloZionist Empire. 

This interview is important because it shows what Russia is really doing while keeping up the pretense of "partnership" with the AngloZionist Empire: preparing for war while hoping that it can be avoided.  In this interview, Rogozin speaks to a domestic audience in one of the most popular shows on Russian TV.  Thanks to the Saker Community you will now see the Russia which the MSM never shows you and the one which frightens the Empire so much.

Enjoy!!

The Saker

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Speech of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov at the UNGA on September 27th

The Russian response to a double declaration of war

The context: a double declaration of war

Listening to Poroshenko a few days ago and then to Obama at the UNGA can leave no doubt whatsoever about the fact that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with Russia.  Yet many believe that the Russian response to this reality is inadequate.  Likewise, there is a steady stream of accusations made against Putin about Russia's policy towards the crisis in the Ukraine.  What I propose to do here is to offer a few basic reminders about Putin, his obligations and his options.

First and foremost, Putin was never elected to be the world's policeman or savior, he was only elected to be president of Russia.  Seems obvious, but yet many seem to assume that somehow Putin is morally obliged to do something to protect Syria, Novorussia or any other part of our harassed world.  This is not so.  Yes, Russia is the de facto leader of the BRICS and SCO countries, and Russia accepts that fact, but Putin has the moral and legal obligation to care for his own people first.

Second, Russia is now officially in the crosshairs of the AngloZionist Empire which includes not only 3 nuclear countries (US, UK, FR) but also the most powerful military force (US+NATO) and the world's biggest economies (US+EU).  I think that we can all agree that the threat posed by such an Empire is not trivial and that Russia is right in dealing with it very carefully.

Sniping at Putin and missing the point

Now, amazingly, many of those who accuse Putin of being a wimp, a sellout or a naive Pollyanna also claim that the West is preparing nuclear war on Russia.  If that is really the case,  this begs the question: if that is really the case, if there is a real risk of war, nuclear or not, is Putin not doing the right thing by not acting tough or threatening?  Some would say that the West is bent on a war no matter what Putin does.  Okay, fair enough, but in that case is his buying as much time as possible before the inevitable not the right thing to do?!

Third, on the issue of the USA vs ISIL, several comment here accused Putin of back-stabbing Assad because Russia supported the US Resolution at the UNSC.  

And what was Putin supposed to do?!   Fly the Russian Air Force to Syria to protect the Syrian border?   What about Assad?  Did he scramble his own air force to try to stop the US or has he quietly made a deal: bomb "them" not us, and I shall protest and do nothing about it?  Most obviously the latter.

In fact, Putin and Assad have exactly the same position: protest the unilateral nature of the strikes, demand a UN Resolution while quietly watching how Uncle Sam turned on his own progeny and now tries to destroy them.

I would add that Lavrov quite logically stated that there are no "good terrorists".  He knows that ISIL is nothing but a continuation of the US-created Syrian insurgency, itself a continuation of the US-created al-Qaeda.  From a Russian point of view, the choice is simple: what is better, for the US to use its forces and men to kill crazed Wahabis or have Assad do it?  And if ISIL is successful in Iraq, how long before they come back to Chechnia?  Or Crimea?  Or Tatarstan?  Why should any Russian or Syria soldier risk death when the USAF is willing to do that for them?

While there is a sweet irony in the fact that the US now has to bomb it's own creation, let them do that.  Even Assad was clearly forewarned and he obviously is quite happy about that.

Finally, UN or no UN, the US had already taken the decision to bomb ISIL.  So what is the point of blocking a perfectly good UN Resolution?  That would be self-defeating.  In fact, this Resolution can even be used by Russia to prevent the US and UK from serving as a rear base for Wahabi extremists (this resolution bans that, and we are talking about a mandatory, Chapter VII, UNSC Resolution).

And yet, some still say that Putin threw Assad under the bus.  How crazy and stupid can one get to have that kind of notion about warfare or politics?  And if Putin wanted to toss Assad under the bus, why did he not do that last year?

Sincere frustration or intellectual dishonesty?

But that kind of nonsense about the Syria is absolutely dwarfed by the kind of truly crazy stuff some people post about Novorussia.  Here are my favorite ones.  The author begins by quoting me:
"This war has never been about Novorussia or about the Ukraine."
and then continues:
That statement is too vacuous and convenient as a copout. Do you really mean to say that the thousands of people murdered by shelling, the thousands of young Ukrainian conscripts put through the meat grinder, the thousands of homes destroyed, the more than 1 million people who have turned into refugees... NONE of that has anything to do with Novorussia and Ukraine? That this is only about Russia?  Really, one would wish you'd refrain from making silly statements like that.
The only problem being, of course, that I never made it in the first place :-)

Of course, it is rather obvious that  I meant that FOR THE ANGLOZIONIST EMPIRE the goal has never been the Ukraine or Novorussia, but a war on Russia.  All Russia did was to recognize this reality.  Again, the words "do you really mean to say that" clearly show that the author is going to twist what I said, make yet another strawman, and then indignantly denounce me for being a monster who does not care about the Ukraine or Novorussia (the rest of the comment was in the same vein: indignant denunciations of statements I never made and conclusions I never reached).

I have already grown used to the truly remarkable level of dishonesty of the Putin-bashing crowd and by now I consider it par for the course.  But I wanted to illustrate that one more time just to show that at least in certain cases an honest discussion is not the purpose at all.  But I don't want to bring it all down to just a few dishonest and vociferous individuals.   There are also many who are sincerely baffled, frustrated and even disappointed with Russia's apparent passivity.  Here is an excerpt of an email I got this morning:
I guess I was really hoping that perhaps Russia, China The BRICS would be a counter force. What I fail to understand is why after all the demonisation by the U.S and Europe doesn't Russia retaliate. The sanctions imposed by the West is hurting Russia and yet they still trade oil in euros/dollars and are bending over backwards to accommodate Europe. I do not understand why they do not say lift all sanctions or no gas. China also says very little against the U.S , even though they fully understand that if Russian is weakened they are next on the list. As for all the talk of lifting the sanctions on Iran that is farcical as we all know Israel will never allow them to be lifted. So why do China and Russia go along with the whole charade. Sometimes I wonder if we are all being played, and this is all one big game , which no chance of anything changing.
In this case the author correctly sees that Russia and China follow a very similar policy which sure looks like an attempt to appease the US.  In contrast to the previous comment, here the author is both sincere and truly distressed.

In fact, I believe that what I am observing are three very different phenomena all manifesting themselves at the same time:

1) An organized Putin-bashing campaign initiated by US/UK government branches tasked with manipulating the social media.
2) A spontaneous Putin-bashing campaign lead by certain Russian National-Bolshevik circles (Limonov, Dugin & Co.).
3) The expression of a sincere bafflement, distress and frustration by honest and well-intentioned people to whom the current Russian stance really makes no sense at all.

The rest of this post will be entirely dedicated to try to explain the Russian stance to those in this third group (any dialog with the 2 first ones just makes no sense).

Trying to make sense of an apparently illogical policy

In my introduction above I stated that what is taking place is a war on Russia, not hot war (yet?) and not quite an old-style Cold War.  In essence, what the AngloZionists are doing is pretty clear and a lot of Russian commentators have already reached that conclusion: the US are engaged into a war against Russia for which the US will fight to the last Ukrainian.  Thus, for the Empire, "success" can never be defined as an outcome in the Ukraine because, as I said previously, this war is not about the Ukraine.  For the Empire "success" is a specific outcome in Russia: regime change.  Let's us look at how the Empire plans to achieve this result.

The original plan was simplistic in a typically US Neocon way: overthrow Yanukovich, get the Ukraine into the EU and NATO, politically move NATO to the Russian border and militarily move it into Crimea.  That plan failed.  Russia accepted Crimea and the Ukraine collapsed into a vicious civil war combined with a terminal economic crisis.  Then the US Neocons fell-back to plan B.

Plan B was also simple: get Russia to intervene militarily in the Donbass and use that as a pretext for a full-scale Cold War v2 which would create 1950's style tensions between East and West, justify fear-induced policies in the West, and completely sever the growing economic ties between Russia and the EU.  Except that plan also failed - Russia did not take the bait and instead of intervening directly in the Donbass, she began a massive covert operation to support the anti-Nazi forces in Novorussia.  The Russian plan worked, and the Junta Repression Forces (JRF) were soundly defeated by the Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) even though the latter was suffering a huge deficit in firepower, armor, specialists and men (gradually, Russian covert aid turned all these around).

At this point in time the AngloZionist plutocracy truly freaked out under the combined realization that their plan was falling apart and that there was nothing they could really do to rescue it (a military option was totally impossible as I explained it in the past).  They did try economic sanctions, but that only helped Putin to engage in long overdue reforms.  But the worst part of it all was that each time the West expected Putin to do something, he did the exact opposite:
  • Nobody expected that Putin would use military force in Crimea in a lightening-fast take-over operation which will go down in history as at least as amazing as Storm-333
  • Everybody (including myself) expected Putin to send forces into Novorussia.  He did not.
  • Nobody expected Russian counter-sanctions to hit the EU agricultural sector.
  • Everybody expected that Putin would retaliate after the latest round of sanctions.  He did not.
There is a pattern here and it is one basic to all martial arts: first, never signal your intentions, second use feints and third, hit when and where your opponent doesn't expect it.

Conversely, there are two things which are deeply ingrained in the western political mindset which Putin never does: he never threatens and he never postures.  For example, while the US is basically at war with Russia, Russia will gladly support a US resolution on ISIL if it is to Russia's advantage.  And Russian diplomats will speak of "our American partners" or "our American friends" while, at the same time, doing more than the rest of the planet combined to bring down the AngloZionist Empire.

A quick look at Putin's record

As I have written in the past, unlike some other bloggers and commentators, I am neither a psychic not a prophet and I cannot tell you what Putin thinks or what he will do tomorrow.  But what I can tell you is that which Putin has already done in the past: (in no particular order)
  • broken the back of the AngloZionist-backed oligarchy in Russia.
  • achieved a truly miraculous success in Chechnia (one which nobody, prophets included, had foreseen).
  • literally resurrected the Russian economy.
  • rebuilt the Russian military, security and intelligences forces.
  • severely disrupted the ability of foreign NGOs to subvert Russia.
  • done more for the de-dollarization of the planet than anybody before.
  • made Russia the clear leader of both BRICS and SCO.
  • openly challenged the informational monopoly of the western propaganda machine (with projects like RussiaToday).
  • stopped an imminent US/NATO strike on Syria by sending in a Russian Navy Expeditionary Force (which gave Syria a full radar coverage of the entire region).
  • made it possible for Assad to prevail in the Syrian civil war.
  • openly rejected the Western "universal civilizational model" and declared his support for another, a religion and tradition based one.
  • openly rejected a unipolar "New World Order" lead by the AngloZionists and declared his support for a multi-polar world order.
  • supported Assange (through RussiaToday) and protected Snowden
  • created and promoted a new alliance model between Christianity and Islam thus undermining the "clash of civilization" paradigm.
  • booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in the Caucasus (Chechnia, Ossetia).
  • booted the AngloZionists out of key locations in Central Asia (Manas base in Kyrgyzstan)
  • gave Russia the means to defend her interest in the Arctic region, including military means.
  • established a full-spectrum strategic alliance with China which is at the core of both SCO and BRICS.
  • is currently passing laws barring foreign interests from controlling the Russian media.
  • gave Iran the means to develop a much needed civilian nuclear program.
  • is working with China to create a financial system fully separated form the current AngloZionist controlled one (including trade in Rubles or Renminbi).
  • re-establised Russian political and economic support for Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua and Argentina.
  • very effectively deflated the pro-US color-coded revolution in Russia.
  • organized the "Voentorg" which armed the NAF.
  • gave refuge to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
  • sent in vitally needed humanitarian aid to Novorussia.
  • provided direct Russian fire support and possibly even air cover to NAF in key locations (the "southern cauldron" for example).
  • last but not least, he openly spoke of the need for Russia to "sovereignize" herself and to prevail over the pro-US 5th column.
and that list goes on and on.  All I am trying to illustrate is that there is a very good reason for the AngloZionist's hatred for Putin: his long record of very effectively fighting them.  So unless we assume that Putin had a sudden change of heart or that he simply ran out of energy or courage, I submit that the notion that he suddenly made a 180 makes no sense.  His current policies, however, do make sense, as I will try to explain now.

If you are a "Putin betrayed Novorussia" person, please set that hypothesis aside for a moment, just for argument's sake and assume that Putin is both principled and logical.  What could he be doing in the Ukraine?  Can we make sense of what we observe?

Imperatives Russia cannot ignore

First, I consider the following sequence indisputable:

First,  Russia must prevail over the current AngloZionist war against her.  What the Empire wants in Russia is regime change followed by complete absorption into the Western sphere of influence including a likely break-up of Russia.  What is threatened is the very existence of the Russian civilization.

Second, Russia will never be safe with a neo-Nazi russophobic regime in power in Kiev.  The Ukie nationalist freaks have proven that it is impossible to negotiate with them (they have broken literally every single agreement signed so far), their hatred for Russia is total (as shown with their constant references to the use of - hypothetical - nuclear weapons against Russia).  Therefore,

Third, regime change in Kiev followed by a full de-Nazification is the only possible way for Russia to achieve her vital objectives.

Again, and at the risk of having my words twisted and misrepresented, I have to repeat here that Novorussia is not what is at stake here.  It's not even the future of the Ukraine.  What is at stake here is a planetary confrontation (this is the one thesis of Dugin which I fully agree with).  The future of the planet depends on the capability of the BRICS/SCO countries to replace the AngloZionist Empire with a very different, multi-polar, international order.  Russia is crucial and indispensable in this effort (any such effort without Russia is doomed to fail), and the future of Russia is now decided by what Russia will do in the Ukraine.  As for the future of the Ukraine, it largely depends on what will happen to Novorussia, but not exclusively.  In a paradoxical way, Novorussia is more important to Russia than to the Ukraine.  Here is why:

For the rest of the Ukraine, Novorussia is lost.  Forever. Not even a joint Putin-Obama effort could prevent that.  In fact, the Ukies know that and this is why they make no effort to win the hearts and minds of the local population.  If fact, I am convinced that the so-called "random" or "wanton" destruction of the Novorussian industrial, economic, scientific and cultural infrastructure has been intentional act of hateful vengeance similar to the way the AngloZionists always turn to killing civilians when they fail to overcome military forces (the examples of Yugoslavia and Lebanon come to mind).  Of course, Moscow can probably force the local Novorussian political leaders to sign some kind of document accepting Kiev's sovereignty, but that will be a fiction, it is way too late for that.  If not de jure, then de facto, Novorussia is never going to accept Kiev's rule again and everybody knows that, in Kiev, in Novorussia and in Russia.

What could a de facto but not de jure independence look like?

No Ukrainian military, national guard, oligarch battalion or SBU, full economic, cultural, religious, linguistic and educational independence, locally elected officials and local media, but all that with Ukie flags, no official independence status, no Novorussian Armed Forces (they will be called something like "regional security force" or even "police force") and no Novorussian currency (though the Ruble - along with the Dollar and Euro - will be used on a daily basis).  The top officials will have to be officially approved by Kiev (which Kiev will, of course, lest its impotence becomes visible).  This will be a temporary, transitional and unstable arrangement, but it will be good enough to provide a face-saving way out to Kiev.

This said, I would argue that both Kiev and Moscow have an interest in maintaining the fiction of a unitary Ukraine.  For Kiev this is a way to not appear completely defeated by the accursed Moskals.  But what about Russia?

What if you were in Putin's place?

Ask yourself the following question: if you were Putin and your goal was regime change in Kiev, would you prefer Novorussia to be part of the Ukraine or not?  I would submit that having Novorussia inside is much better for the following reasons:
  1. it makes it part, even on a macro-level, of the Ukrainian processes, like national elections or national media.
  2. it begs the comparison with the conditions in the rest of the Ukraine.
  3. it makes it far easier to influence commerce, business, transportation, etc.
  4. it creates an alternative (Nazi-free) political center to Kiev.
  5. it makes it easier for Russian interests (of all kind) to penetrate into the Ukraine.
  6. it removes the possibility to put up a Cold War like "wall" or barrier on some geographical marker.
  7. it removes the accusation that Russian wants to partition the Ukraine.
In other words, to keep Novorussia de jure, nominally, part of the Ukraine is the best way to appear to be complying with AngloZionist demands while subverting the Nazi junta in power.  In a recent article I outlined what Russia could do without incurring any major consequences:
  1. Politically oppose the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc.
  2. Express political support for Novorussia and any Ukrainian oppositionContinue the informational war (Russian media does a great job)
  3. Prevent Novorussia from falling (covert military aid)
  4. Mercilessly keep up the economic pressure on the Ukraine
  5. Disrupt as much as possible the US-EU "axis of kindness"
  6. Help Crimea and Novorussia prosper economically and financially
In other words - give the appearance of staying out while very much staying in.

What is the alternative anyway?

I already hear the chorus of indignant "hurray-patriots" (that is what these folks are called in Russia) accusing me of only seeing Novorussia as a tool for Russian political goals and of ignoring the death and suffering endured by the people of Novorussia.   To this I will simply reply the following:

Does anybody seriously believe that an independent Novorussia can live in even minimal peace and security without a regime change in Kiev?  If Russia cannot afford a Nazi junta in power in Kiev, can Novorussia?!

In general, the hurray-patriots are long on what should be done now and very short any kind of mid or long term vision.   Just like those who believe that Syria can be saved by sending in the Russian Air Force, the hurray-patriots believe that the crisis in the Ukraine can be solved by sending in tanks.  They are a perfect example of the mindset H. L. Mencken was referring to when he wrote "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong".

The sad reality is that the mindset behind such "simple" solutions is always the same one: never negotiate, never compromise, never look long term but only to the immediate future and use force in all cases.

But the facts are here: the US/NATO block is powerful, militarily, economically and politically and it can hurt Russia, especially over time.  Furthermore, while Russia can easily defeat the Ukrainian military, this hardly would be a very meaningful "victory".  Externally it would trigger a massive deterioration of the international political climate, while internally the Russians would have to suppress the Ukrainian nationalists (not all of them Nazi) by force.  Could Russia do that?  Again, the answer is that yes - but at what cost?

I good friend of mine was a Colonel in the KGB Special Forces unit called "Kaskad" (which later was renamed "Vympel").  One day he told me how his father, himself a special operator for the GRU, fought against Ukrainian insurgents from the end of WWII in 1945 up to 1958: that is thirteen years!  It took Stalin and Krushchev 13 years to finally crush the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents.  Does anybody in his/her right mind sincerely believe that modern Russia should repeat that policies and spend years hunting down Ukrainian insurgents again?

By the way, if the Ukrainian nationalists could fight the Soviet rule under Stalin and Krushchev for a full 13 years after the end of the war - how is it that there is no visible anti-Nazi resistance in Zaporozhie, Dnepropetrivsk or Kharkov?  Yes, Luganks and Donetsk did rise up and take arms, very successfully - but the rest of the Ukraine?  If you were Putin, would you be confident that Russian forces liberating these cities would receive the same welcome that they did in Crimea?

And yet, the hurray-patriots keep pushing for more Russian intervention and further Novorussian military operations against Ukie forces.  Is it not about time we begin asking who would benefit from such policies?

It has been an old trick of the US CIA to use the social media and the blogosphere to push for nationalist extremism in Russia.  A well know and respected Russian patriot and journalist - Maksim Shevchenko - had a group of people organized to track down the IP numbers of some of the most influential radical nationalist organizations, website, blogs and individual posters on the Russian Internet.  Turns out that most were based in the USA, Canada and Israel.  Surprise, surprise.  Or, maybe, no surprise at all?

For the AngloZionists, supporting extremists and rabid nationalists in Russia makes perfectly good sense.  Either they get to influence the public opinion or they at the very least can be used to bash the regime in power.  I personally see no difference between an Udaltsov or a Navalnii on one hand and a Limonov or a Dugin on the other.  Their sole effect is to get people mad at the Kremlin.  What the pretext for the anger is does not matter - for Navalnyi its "stolen elections" for Dugin it's "back-stabbed Novorussia".  And it does not matter which of them are actually paid agents or just "useful idiots" - God be their judge - but what does matter is that the solutions they advocate are no solutions at all, just pious pretexts to bash the regime in power.

In the meantime, not only had Putin not sold-out, back-stabbed, traded away or otherwise abandoned Novorussia, it's Poroshenko who is barely holding on to power and Banderastan which is going down the tubes.  There are also plenty of people who see through this doom and gloom nonsense, both in Russia (Yuri Baranchik) and abroad (M. K. Bhadrakumar).

But what about the oligarchs?

I already addressed this issue in a recent post, but I think that it is important to return to this topic here and the first thing which is crucial to understand in the Russian or Ukrainian context is that oligarchs are a fact of life.  This is not to say that their presence is a good thing, only that Putin and Poroshenko and, for that matter, anybody trying to get anything done over there needs to take them into account.  The big difference is that while in Kiev a regime controlled by the oligarchs has been replaced by a regime of oligarchs, in Russia the oligarchy can only influence, but not control, the Kremlin.  The examples, of Khodorkovsky or Evtushenkov show that the Kremlin still can, and does, smack down an oligarch when needed.

Still, it is one thing to pick on one or two oligarchs and quite another to remove them from the Ukrainian equation: the latter is just not going to happen.  So for Putin any Ukrainian strategy has to take into account the presence and, frankly, power of the Ukrainian oligarchs and their Russian counterparts.

Putin knows that oligarchs have their true loyalty only to themselves and that their only "country" is wherever their assets happen to be.  As a former KGB foreign intelligence officer for Putin this is an obvious plus, because that mindset potentially allows him to manipulate them.  Any intelligence officer knows that people can be manipulated by a finite list of approaches: ideology, ego, resentment, sex, a skeleton in the closet and, of course, money.  From Putin's point of view, Rinat Akhmetov, for example, is a guy who used to employ something like 200'000 people in the Donbass, who clearly can get things done, and whose official loyalty Kiev and the Ukraine is just a camouflage for his real loyalty: his money.  Now, Putin does not have to like or respect Akhmetov, most intelligence officers will quietly despise that kind of person, but that also means that for Putin Akhmetov is an absolutely crucial person to talk to, explore options with and, possibly, use to achieve a Russian national strategic objective in the Donbass.

I have already written this many times here: Russians do talk to their enemies.  With a friendly smile.  This is even more true for a former intelligence officer who is trained to always communicate, smile, appear to be engaging and understanding.  For Putin Akhmetov is not a friend or an ally, but he is a powerful figure which can be manipulated in Russia's advantage.  What I am trying to explain here is the following:

There are numerous rumors of secret negotiations between Rinat Akhmetov and various Russian officials.  Some say that Khodakovski is involved.  Others mention Surkov.  There is no doubt in my mind that such secret negotiations are taking place.  In fact, I am sure that all the parties involved talk to all other other parties involved.  Even with a disgusting, evil and vile creature like Kolomoiski.  In fact, the sure signal that somebody has finally decided to take him out would be that nobody would be speaking with him any more.  That will probably happen, with time, but most definitely not until his power base is sufficiently eroded.

One Russian blogger believes that Akhmetov has already been "persuaded" (read: bought off) by Putin and that he is willing to play by the new rules which now say "Putin is boss".  Maybe.  Maybe not yet, but soon.  Maybe never.  All I am suggesting is that negotiations between the Kremlin and local Ukie oligarchs are as logical and inevitable as the US contacts with the Italian Mafia before the US armed forces entered Italy.

But is there a 5th column in Russia?

Yes, absolutely.  First and foremost, it is found inside the Medvedev government itself and even inside the Presidential administration.  Always remember that Putin was put into power by two competing forces: the secret services and big money.  And yes, while it is true that Putin has tremendously weakened the "big money" component (what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists") they are still very much there, though they are more subdued, more careful and less arrogant than during the time when Medvedev was formally in charge.  The big change in the recent years is that the struggle between patriots (the "Eurasian Sovereignists") and the 5th column now is in the open, but it if far from over.  And we should never underestimate these people: they have a lot of power, a lot of money and a fantastic capability to corrupt, threaten, discredit, sabotage, cover-up, smear, etc.  They are also very smart, they can hire the best professionals in the field, and they are very, very good at ugly political campaigns.  For example, the 5th columnists try hard to give a voice to the National-Bolshevik opposition (both Limonov and Dugin regularly get airtime on Russian TV) and rumor has it that they finance a lot of the National-Bolshevik media (just like the Koch brothers paid for the Tea Party in the USA).

Another problem is that while these guys are objectively doing the US CIA's bidding, there is no proof of it.  As I was told many times by a wise friend: most conspiracies are really collusions and the latter are very hard to prove.  But the community of interests between the US CIA and the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchy is so obvious as to be undeniable.

The real danger for Russia

So now we have the full picture.  Again, Putin has to simultaneously contend with

1) a strategic psyop campaign run by the US/UK & Co. which combines the corporate media's demonization of Putin and a campaign in the social media to discredit him for his passivity and lack of appropriate response to the West.
2) a small but very vociferous group of (mostly) National-Bolsheviks (Limonov, Dugin & Co.) who have found in the Novorussian cause a perfect opportunity to bash Putin for not sharing their ideology and their "clear, simple, and wrong" "solutions".
3) a network of powerful oligarchs who want to use the opportunity presented by the actions of first two groups to promote their own interests.
4) a 5th column for whom all of the above is a fantastic opportunity to weaken the Eurasian Sovereignists
5) a sense of disappointment by many sincere people who feel that Russia is acting like a passive punching-ball.
6) an overwhelming majority of people in Novorussia who want complete (de facto and de jure) independence from Kiev and who are sincerely convinced that any negotiations with Kiev are a prelude to a betrayal by Russia of Novorussian interest.
7) the objective reality that Russian and Novorussian interests are not the same.
8) the objective reality that the AngloZionist Empire is still very powerful and even potentially dangerous.

It is very, very, hard for Putin to try to balance these forces in such a way that the resulting vector is one which is in the strategic interest of Russia.  I would argue that there is simply no other solution to this conundrum other than to completely separate Russia's official (declaratory) police and Russia's real actions.  The covert help to Novorussia - the Voentorg - is an example of that, but only a limited one because what Russia must do now goes beyond covert actions: Russia must appear to be doing one thing while doing exactly the opposite.  It is in Russia's strategic interest at this point in time to appear to:

1) Support a negotiated solution along the lines of: a unitary non-aligned Ukraine, with large regional right for all regions while, at the same time, politically opposing the regime everywhere: UN, media, public opinion, etc. and supporting both Novorussia and any Ukrainian opposition.
2) Give Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs a reason to if not support, then at least not oppose such a solution (for ex: by not nationalizing Akhmetov's assets in the Donbass), while at the same time making sure that there is literally enough "firepower" to keep the oligarch under control.
3) Negotiate with the EU on the actual implementation of Ukraine's Agreement with the EU while at the same time helping the Ukraine commit economic suicide by making sure that there is just the right amount of economic strangulation applied to prevent the regime from bouncing back.
4) Negotiate with the EU and the Junta in Kiev over the delivery of gas while at the same time making sure that the regime pays enough for it to be broke.
5) Appear generally non-confrontational towards the USA while at the same time trying as hard as possible to create tensions between the US and the EU.
6) Appear to be generally available and willing to do business with the AngoZionist Empire while at the same time building an alternative international systems not centered on the USA or the Dollar.

As you see, this goes far beyond a regular covert action program.  What we are dealing with is a very complex, multi-layered, program to achieve the Russian most important goal in the Ukraine (regime change and de-Nazification) while inhibiting as much as possible the AngloZionists attempts to re-created a severe and long lasting East-West crisis in which the EU would basically fuse with the USA.

Conclusion: a key to Russian policies?

Most of us are used to think in terms of super-power categories.  After all, US President from Reagan on to Obama have all served us a diet of grand statements, almost constant military operations followed by Pentagon briefings, threats, sanctions, boycotts, etc.  I would argue that this has always been the hallmark of western "diplomacy" from the Crusades to the latest bombing campaign against ISIL.  Russia and China have a diametrically opposed tradition.  For example, in terms of methodology Lavrov always repeats the same principle: "we want to turn our enemies into neutrals, we want to turn neutrals into partner and we want to turn partners into friends".  The role of Russian diplomats is not to prepare for war, but to avoid it.  Yes, Russia will fight, but only when diplomacy has failed.  If for the US diplomacy is solely a means to deliver threats, for Russia it is a the primary tool to defuse them.  It is therefore no wonder at all the the US diplomacy is primitive to the point of bordering on the comical.  After all, how much sophistication is needed to say "comply or else".  Any petty street thug know how to do that.  Russian diplomats are much more akin to explosives disposal specialist or a mine clearance officer: they have to be extremely patient, very careful and fully focused.  But most importantly, they cannot allow anybody to rush them lest the entire thing blows up.

Russia is fully aware that the AngloZionist Empire is at war with her and that surrender is simply not an option any more (assuming it ever was).  Russia also understands that she is not a real super-power or, even less so, an empire.  Russia is only a very powerful country which is trying to de-fang the Empire without triggering a frontal confrontation with it.  In the Ukraine, Russia sees no other solution than regime change in Kiev.  To achieve this goal Russia will always prefer a negotiated solution to one obtained by force, even though if not other choice is left to her, she will use force.  In other words:

art: Josetxo Ezcurra
Russia's long term end goal is to bring down the AngloZionist Empire.  Russia's mid term goal is to create the conditions for regime change in Kiev. Russia's short term goal is to prevent the junta from over-running Novorussia. Russia's preferred method to achieve these goals is negotiation with all parties involved.  A prerequisite to achieve these goals by negotiations is to prevent the Empire from succeeding in creating an acute continental crisis (conversely, the imperial "deep state" fully understands all this, hence the double declaration of war by Obama and Poroshenko.)

As long as you keep these basic principles in mind, the apparent zig-zags, contradictions and passivity of Russian policies will begin to make sense.

It is an open question whether Russia will succeed in her goals.  In theory, a successful Junta attack on Novorussia could force Russia to intervene.  Likewise, there is always the possibility of yet another "false flag", possibly a nuclear one.  I think that the Russian policy is sound and the best realistically achievable under the current set of circumstances, but only time will tell.

I am sorry that it took me over 6400 words to explain all that, but in a society were most "thoughts" are expressed as "tweets" and analyses as Facebook posts, it was a daunting task to try to shed some light to what is turning to be a deluge of misunderstandings and misconceptions, all made worse by the manipulation of the social media.  I feel that 60'000 words would be more adequate to this task as it is far easier to just throw out a short and simple slogan than to refute its assumptions and implications.

My hope that at least those of you who sincerely were confused by Russia's apparently illogical stance can now connect the dots and make better sense of it all.

Kind regards to all,

The Saker