This year marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial flight. It happened on the 30th of June 1914 and was a domestic flight in Russia starting in St.Peretsburg and having Kiev as its destination. Food was served to the 4 passengers on board.
The flight was conducted in a Sikorskij “Ilja Muromets” 4-engine double-decker constructed at Russo-Baltic Carriage Factory (RBVZ) in Riga in 1913.
From 30 June to 12 July 1914, it set a world record by making a trip from Saint Petersburg to Kiev, a distance of some 1200 km, and back. The first leg took 14 hours and 38 minutes, with one landing for fuel at Orsha, and the return one, with a fuel stop at Novosokolniki, took even less time, about 13 hours.
During an Imperial military review at Krasnoye Selo in July, Nicholas II decorated and christened the Ilya Muromets Type B Military Prototype, No. 128, the “Kievsky.”
The reason I post this is two-fold. First and foremost it is to celebrate that milestone in the history of aviation. Second it is to demonstrate that the Russian world anno 1914, prior to the devastating coup of 1917, was blossoming technologically and was a testimonial to widespread cooperation.
Thoughts on Galicia by Pavel Petrovich Skoropadskij, the last Hetman of Ukraine, written in 1918. English translation after the original passage in Russian:
” …Узкое украинство – исключительно продукт, привезенный нам из Галиции, культуру каковой целиком пересаживать нам не имеет никакого смысла: никаких данных на успех нет и это является просто преступлением, так как там, собс твенно, и культуры нет. Ведь галичане живут объедками от немецкого и польского стола. Уже один язык их ясно это отражает, где на пять слов – 4 польского или немецкого происхождения…”
“Великороссы и наши украинцы создали общими усилиями русскую науку, русскую литературу, музыку и художество, и отказываться от этого своего высокого и хорошего для того, чтобы взять то убожество, которое нам, украинцам, так любезно предлагают галичане, просто смешно и немыслимо…”
“Нельзя упрекнуть Шевченко, что он не любил Украины, но пусть мне галичане или кто-нибудь из наших украинских шовинистов скажет по совести, что, если бы он был теперь жив, отказался бы от русской культуры, от Пушкина, Гоголя и тому подобных и признал бы лишь галицийскую культуру; несомненно, что он, ни минуты не задумываясь, сказал бы, что он никогда от русской культуры отказаться не может и не желает, чтобы украинцы от нее отказались. Но одновременно с этим он бы работал над развитием своей собственной, украинской, если бы условия давали бы ему возможность это делать. Насколько я считаю необходимым, чтобы дети дома и в школе говорили на том же самом языке, на котором мать их учила, знали бы подробно историю своей Украины, ее географию, насколько я полагаю необходимым, чтобы украинцы работали над созданием своей собственной культуры, настолько же я считаю бессмысленным и гибельным для Украины оторваться от России, особенно в культурном отношении.
Павел Петрович Скоропадский, гетман Украины.
…Narrow Ukrainianism is an exceptional product, brought to us from Galicia, the culture of which it makes no sense to transplant to us: it has no chance for success and will simply be a crime, as, simply speaking, there is no culture to be had there. After All, Galicians live on the breadcrumbs from the Polish and German tables. Their language alone reflects it clearly, where for each 5 words there are 4 of Polish or German origin…”
“Velikorossians (meaning Russians) and we Ukrainians (also called Malorossians) created with our joint efforts Russian science, Russian literature, music, art, and to refuse all this high and good so as to take that monstrosity that we Ukrainians are so kindly offered by the Galicians is laughable and unthinkable…”
“One cannot blame Shevchenko that he didn’t love Ukraine, but let Galicians or some of our Ukrainian chauvinists tell me in all earnesty that he, if he were alive today, would decry Russian culture, would decry Pushkin, Gogol, and such, and would only be acknowledging Galician culture; it is without doubt that he, without pausing, would have said that he would never be able to decry Russian culture, and would not wish for Ukrainians to decry it either. But at the same time he would have worked on development of its own, Ukrainian culture, if the conditions allowed him to do so. Just as I think it paramount that children at home and at school spoke the same language that their mothers taught them, knew in detail the history of their Ukraine, its geography, so do I consider paramount that Ukrainians work on creation of their own culture, and just equally do I consider it pointless and disastrous for ukraine to severe its ties with Russia, especially in the cultural sense.”
His memoirs were written in 1918, and first published in 1995
Some predictions that I read on a forum somewhere. Will not translate for now….
Что ждет країну. 1) Банкротство экономики, невозможность оплачивать социальные льготы и пособия, подорожание товаров и продуктов питания на 100-200%, подорожание коммунальных услуг до 400-700% по условиям договора об ассоциации с ЕС. 2) Упадок и не без того хиреющей медицины, образования. Все это станет доступным только для богатых. Старики не смогут расчитывать на помощь. 3) Отделение Юго-Восточных областей, и следовательно конец промышленности и производству – безработица. 4) Отток лучших кадров за рубеж – прежде всего в Россию. Вследствие этого не будет специалистов, способных изменить положение и как-то повлиять на происходящее. 5) Внутриклановые олигархические разборки, которые приведут к запредельному уровню коррупции, о котором никто даже не может представить. При этом остатки всего ликвидного будут доразворованы провластными кланами. 6) Рост преступности из-за общего обнищания. В основном за счет деревенских молодчиков более активных по сравнению с городскими. Апофеозом будет фактически повсеместная бандеризация – неофашисты будут заправлять в обществе и держать его в страхе все больше. 7) Дальнейшее территориальное разделение – прежде всего о независимости объявит т.н. Галичина. 8) Провозглашение новой власти оставшихся областей 9) Присоединение Малороссии к России, либо в форме ассоциации или автономии.
A few days ago a well-renowned German economist, industrialist and a former owner of a multinational company Vorstandschef der Thyssen AG, Dieter Spethmann, published an open letter addressing the German politicians to open their eyes on the events in Ukraine. He first tried to publish his open letter in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but was declined. He published his letter then in Geolitico:
One of the aspects that he draw the attention of the Germany’s politicians to, is that Yatsenjuk and the coup-government always make their announcements against the background of Ukrainian and EU flags. The fact that Europe keeps silent about the atrocities committed in East-Ukraine, and gives a silent go-ahead to commit them under the EU flag, makes EU complicit in these atrocities. The politicians of EU will do well in re-reading the verdicts of the Nürenberg process.
Then, there is this Dutch open letter to President Putin, translated into three other languages. People’s comments there are well worth reading as well. Many pleas from Russia to Europe to stop the madness and open its eyes.
The documentary below is important is understanding how the negative perception of Russia was formed in the West throughout centuries. It is so much more important in these days, when spreading of new black myths, defamation and fear-mongering targeting Russia is reaching new heights. The English newspaper’s headlines of late is a vivid testimonial – “Putin’s Missile”, eh?
The reader will notice that I used “Ivan the Formidable” instead of the English “Ivan the Terrible”. The reason for it will become apparent below (at about 10:46).
The documentary is in Russia. Below you will find a complete English transcript of the film in-lined with a few of my notes.
Russia and the myths enveloping it. An unwashed land that taught Europeans how to wash themselves. Bloodthirsty tzar, who executed hundred times fewer people than his English contemporary. Crazy tyrant, during whose reign Russian army was stationed in Rome, Corfu and Malta. 400 years of information wars. Russia vs. West.
Black myths about Rus. From Ivan the Formidable until our time.
On the 11th of March 1801, the British newspaper readers already knew: Russian emperor Paul ceized reigning. Newspapers start placing such headlines already starting from January. “We expect to hear already with the next post that his eminence Paul’s reign has ended”. “It is apparent that great changes have already taken place in Russia’s government, or cannot but happen very soon.”
Meanwhile in St.Petersburg, early in the morning on the 11th of March, the newspapers are yet not published, and the city was asleep, when conspirators were quickly heading to Mihailovskij palace along its streets.
The soldiers in their barracks were asleep, and the loyal Grenadiers were too sleeping in the now distant Pavlovsk. And the Emperor was asleep, secure in his knowledge that the star of his reign only started to ascend to its highest point. However, nothing shall change his image, neither in the palace, nor in the history. Crazy tyrant on the throne. An oddball, dangerous in his unpredictability of his eccentricity. Does this image correlate to reality? And why was the Emperor murdered?
2:14 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
There were many lies about Paul, among the first to spread lies was Ekaterina, saying as if he was a madman, that he didn’t do anything.
Here is a simple comparison of the facts and their interpretations: Everyone talks about Paul’s follies. And before we start disentangle the reasons for his murder, let us disentangle the knot around mythology surrounding Paul. Let’s take the Indian campaign as the top of Paul’s follies.
2:43 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan were the places where the Englishmen dominated. The appearance of Russia on these frontiers wasn’t at all in their plans.
And before that, there was the rescue of the Maltese Order of the Tempeliers. Where have the roads led the Orthodox father-tzar?
These are the hardened myths of history. However, if we think about it, Paul’s reign is not at all senseless, and many of the hallmarks of our history have their roots in the epoch of Paul.
Here is, for example, the famous crossing of Alps by Suvorov. We know that Russian soldiers, together with their Field-Marshall accomplished the impossible. But what drove them to the Alps? Why did we occupy Rome, and why didn’t we head for Paris? And here is Malta, headquarters of Ionate order. Why did Catholics of most counties so joyously hailed the Emperor of Russia as the head of the Knights?
A citation from Kljuchevskij: “Having collected all anecdotes, you start to think that all this is some mottled and disjointed fairytale, while at the core of Paul’s governmental policy, both domestic and foreign, there serious lay thought and beginnings that deserve our full approval.”
However, why only the anecdotes about Paul persisted in the folk memory? Why is the image of the tzar so caricature-like? And why do Western publicists praise and immortalise only the weak Russian rulers, be it Nikolai II or Mikhail Gorbachev? From which age and from which tzar did the trend start?
Let us peek into the depth of history. Year 1561. The third year of Livon War. A leaflet with the following heading was spread throughout Europe. “Completely revolting, terrible, never heard before news of brutalities committed by Muscovites against the prisoners from Liflandia, be it men, women, virgins and children, and what damage they suffer daily on their land.” These leaflets are predecessors of newspapers. Today they would have been called “yellow press”. They were printed in Nürenberg, but are memorable because the Russian theme first appeared in them. European have seriously concentrated on building a view of Russia as a land of brutal aggressive barbarians, who are slavishly obedient to their tyrants.
5:19 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
To understand why the information was against Russia stared in the time of Ivan the Formidable, we must have an understanding of the foreign political situation that formed by that time.
5:30 (Igor Frojanov, doctor of history science, professor)
There is a reason to say that a targeted, aimed, ideological, and ideology-building influence on Russia started from the end of the 15th century.
5:47 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
And so, unexpectedly, during the reign of Ivan III, the Europe, as it was written, is surprised to discover at their borders ad tremendous state, which is centralised, powerful, with a strong army, and obvious imperial ambitions.
6:03 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
For such big entity as Russia, Rus, it is natural that it is not viewed calmly, it always prompts some kind of neurotic attitude towards it.
Moscovia at the turn of 16th – 17th centuries. The edge of the world, however, it is a well-tendered edge. While in Europe national states begin their birth from bloody conflicts, Moscovia is a place where different peoples coexist. Russians, Tatars, Italians, who are building Kremlin, Germans and Englishmen get drunk together in the German Sloboda. This is a world without borders. Poles and Lithuanians talk with Russian in one language (translator: can also be interpreted as standing on the same foot). Tzar Ivan IV expands the borders to the East. Conquers the Kazan Khanat, and ascends Siberia to Russia with the help of Jarmak’s troops.
7:11 (Elena Jampolskaja, chief editor of newspaper “Culture”)
Even someone who has never specifically studied history, if he bothers to analyse period, when and at which frequency these myths appear, he will understand that a new wave always starts at the point when Russia really starts to become a strong state. Or, to be more precise, starts to lay claims on becoming a strong state.
The Russian states starts for the first time to really strengthen and build direct contact with Europe. Tzar Ivan IV, the historians say, woos to the English queen Elisabeth, urging he to unite the strengths. Elisabeth seemingly does not have a choice. India is not yet colonised, and Russia is one of the main markets. So why should the queen refuse. however, the tzar of Moscow is clearly no amused by the answer sent from the queen.
“It seems that at your place, other people but you, have power. And not just people, but some traders, who do not bother about ours state heads, about honour, and about the good of our countries. What they seek is the trade revenue for themselves, while you remain in your virgin status as if a common girl.”
Ivan Vasiljevish does not change trades (translator: an allusion to the popular Soviet-time film), he chastises the queen of England for negligence. She uses a different seal on each letter. She does not think like a state head. And most importantly, the tzar cannot understand why an Englishman, detained at the border, carries with him from Moscow to London some obvious lies.
“… we have seized many scrolls, which carry false news for affrontment of the honour of our tzar and our state, saying as if in our kingdom various unworthy things happen.”
Another blow to Ivan came from a friend of many years, Andrej Kurpskij.
8:59 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
You know, why must have an understanding that Kurpskij is not just a traitor running to the West, he is first and foremost, a spy. A paid spy, too.
The treachery of Kurpskij happened during the Livon War. Ivan the Formidable entered this war so as to secure for the state an exit to the Baltic sea.
9:19 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
Having solved the problems in the East and South, after having conquered the Kazan and Astrahan Khanates, having expanded Russia beyond Ural mountains, Ivan the Formidable directed his attention to the West, to securing access to the Baltic sea. Livon War is now a direct confrontation with Europe.
This war greatly influenced the flow of events in Europe. For Russia it cost 25 bloody years, and not only this. For the first time, Russia experienced that the war is conducted not only on the field of battle.
9:53 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
The core of every war, is information war
The treachery in Livon War resulted in the death of a 20.000-men strong division of Russian Army. The plan of the campaign was given to the West by traitor Kurpskij.
10:06 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
By the way, having run, he left behind in Russia his family, and nothing happened to this family. Ivan the Formidable, despite being painted as a despot, didn’t do anything to that family, he let them live.
His “30 silver coins” turned in West into a huge payment: Kurpskij got into ownership a town, 28 villages in one county, 10 villages in another, and 4370 hectares of land.
10:37 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
So understandably he had to work for that, so he sat down to writing letters, “exposing” the Russian tzar.
Ivan Vasiljevich, understanding that it would be impossible to keep their dialogue in secret, replied to these letters emotionally and harshly. However Kurpskij was already writing a new history of Russia. It’s by his hand that an image of a dark kingdom is firmly attached to Moscovia. Tzar Ivan is called “a bloody tyrant”. His Russian moniker “Groznyj” is much more mulit-faceted than the English translation, by which he becomes known to Europe. (Translator: “Groznyj” means literally “thunderous”. Other meanings are “formidable” and “fearsome”, but not “terrible”, which is another word: “uzhasnyj”)
11:15 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
The defamation of the Russian tzar, and not only him, but also defamation of Russian state, of Russian people, of all the social life in Russian lands -it is the means to undermine, using the modern term, the vertical of power, and to provide the West with ideological weapon to change the situation in Russia.
Pictures of public executions is a common theme for engraving depicting the life in Russia. Here is Ivan personally observes the cruel executions. And here is he torturing people himself. Only hooves and horns are missing from the image of the Russian monarch to complete the picture. (translator: alluding to Devil). Ivan is, of course, not an ideal ruler, and different things did happen. But let us compare him to his contemporary monarchs. By historians’ counts, over the 30 years of Ivan’s rule in Moscovia, there were executed about 4,000 people (translator: only 133 executions per year – far less than in many modern countries, and definitely less than the number of victims from USA’s and UK’s democratic bombings). Only during one singe night of massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy in 1572 in Paris, at least 20,000 people were knifed.
12:23 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
Tens or hundreds of thousands of victims [in Europe] is OK, and in our country, 4,000 is completely unnormal, he’s labelled a tyrant and despot.
The scale of any event can be comprehended only in comparison. During the reign of Henry VIII at approximately the same time, 72,000 people were executed in the civilised Britain – about 2.5% of the total population of the country. During Queen Elisabeth – 89,000 people. In 1525 in Germany, during a suppression of a peasant revolt, more than 100,000 people were executed. And these people were giving the Russian tzar lessons in humanism.
13:01 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
In all his letters in testaments, Ivan the Formidable always repented “I am so bad, I let so so many die. Oh, woe me. I’ll go to church and offer a prayer in their names, listing their names on paper.” So it’s understandable, if the man says that he is a murderer, then murderer he must be. While if 30,000 are killed elsewhere [in Europe], that’s fine, it was done in order to serve God.
The Muscovite kingdom of Ivan the Formidable was at its peak of economic and military might. It’s is during his time, by ascending Volga-territories and Siberia, Russia acquired the borders that are close to the present day’s.
13:41 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
Russia expanded from Bug to the Pacific Ocean without generally destroying any peoples, and without expropriating the land from the locals. Not a single kilometre of the newly-acquired land was given neither to a Russian peasant or a Russian aristocrat.
These acquisitions can be contested, also though the defaming of the historical image of Ivan the Formidable. During Livon War Russia was for the first time warring against the West as a coalition of states. The effort from half Europe was needed to so as not to allow Russia approach the sea. From this moment on, Russia entered an endless information warfare, which it largely conducts from a defensive position. A new type of information sees light, information targeting the widest spectrum of audience. As in today’s yellow press, the most shocking and terrible news were selected. Certain blueprints were formed. At that time, the word “tyrant” acquired a negative connotation to define all of Russia’s rulers in general.
14:44 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
Paul is a tyrant, Ekaterina is also a tyrant, Groznyj – tyrant, Stalin – tyrant, Nikolai II – “bloody”, and so on. Everyone is a tyrant. This is one of the standard accusations and labels that set the people upon either the elite or, for example, a specific ruler.
15:01 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
Certain pamphlets were in circulation. First they were leaflets, small brochures, and finally it came to anti-Russian books.
“Notes of Moscovia” is one of the first anti-Russian books. The author is Henri Staden, gentleman of fortune, seeker of adventure and profit. Europe was full of such people then. Served in Russia for the tzar as an oprichik (guard). Once back in Europe, Staden “worthily thanked” the Moscow kingdom. To improve his finances, he put to paper his adventures. Attached to the notes was a plan of military occupation of Mscovia. Here is a citation from Staden:
“One of the brothers of the emperor shall rule the new imperial province of Russia. On the occupied territories, the power should be given to the imperial commissars, whose main responsibility will be in providing the German troops with everything they needs by using the locals. For that, each stronghold must have a number of peasants and merchants assigned to them in the radius of 10 to 20 miles, so that they pay the fees to the warriors and delivered all necessities.” It was suggested to make Russians into prisoners, driving them into fortresses and towns, and from there they could be taken to work, but only in iron shackles with lead-covered legs. There was also an ideologically-religious base for the plunder: German churches in stone must be raised across the whole country. And allow Moscovites to build only wooden churches. They will soon rot away, and the country will only have German stone churches left. that way the Moscovites’ religion will change painlessly and naturally. Once the Russian land, together with the surrounding countries, which do not have rulers, and which lay bare are taken, then the borders of the Empire will ouch the borders of the Persian Shah. It was almost 350 years unlit Generalplan Ost (translator: It was a secret Nazi German plan for the colonization of Central and Eastern Europe. Implementation would have necessitated genocide and ethnic cleansing on a vast scale to be undertaken in these European territories, occupied by Germany during World War II – from Wikipedia). Th trail of Staden is lost after that, but his memoirs inheritance survived through the centuries. It is using exactly such memoirs, that the West was forming the needed version of Russian history, independent of the real events.
17:12 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
You can’t blame travellers, diplomats – except for the cases, when they did on orders – in some premeditated evil disposition to our country. It is balanced. Some see only the good things, other – only the bad. It’s another case that usually a positive feedback is not useful for one of the parties during a time of accute geopolitical confrontation, so it is quietly printed in small numbers, while any negative feedback starts to get reinforced.
Giles Fletcher, English diplomat who was with a diplomatic mission at the court of Fjodor Ioanovich, wrote in his composition about Russia of strange animals in the forests and wondrous things, but suddenly, in passing, noted: Prince Dmitrij, the last son of Ivan will soon be murdered and the power in the country will shift. Prince Dmitrij will indeed be murdered in Uglich a few months later, and in a few years, the Russian state is plunged into “Smuta” (translator: dark times).
18:16 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
The English are largely behind the Russian-Polish, and throughout time and until present day, Poland has been in the orbit of English intelligence and English cooperation in general.
It seems so familiar. 200 years later, the news in the English press about Paul I murder will be published two months before the murder itself. Where do the Englishmen have such pre-dating information? And why is England bothered by Paul I?
However, in 1801 the conspirators go to the Mihalovskij palace assuredly. They know that the public opinion is on their side. And the public in the salons is convinced – the tzar is a madman. Someone is persistently spreading the rumours, and they fall on fertile ground. Paul does indeed have quirks. He is a loner from birth, distant both from his mother Ekaterina II, and from her court in the salons of St.Petersburg. And that _is_ the opinion of Russia.
19:20 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
There were many who were dissatisfied with Paul, especially former favourites of Ekaterina, who spread rumours that he is crazy, and how good the living was during Ekaterina, while this one is so terrible.
On the day of his murder, countess Olga Zherebcova, the beauty of the Petersbug establishment is already at the ball with the Prussian king, while on her way to London. The salon where the conspirators assembled was in her Petersbug apartment. And now, she is informed about Paul’s murder, which makes the lady exclaim in joy so loudly that the king publicly reprimands her of her unseemly behaviour.
Why is Olga Zherebcova in Europe? She left after her love. The British envoy Whitford was expelled by Paul from the country, and Zherebcova could not live without him. Such romantic story touches the world. In reality Zherebcova carries to London an assurance – 2 million Pounds that will be sent with her to Petersburg will pay for themselves any day now.
20:22 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
Those who needed to be paid, got paid – the English crown is not poor.
The money are only promised, but the conspiracy is already unstoppable. “His dear” count Palin, whom Paul trusts unconditionally, recruits general Svechin and tells him: “A group of the most respected people of the country, and having support from England, has set itself a goal of displacing a cruel and humiliating government, and to put on throne the heir, the grand duke Alexander, who shows promise given his age and feelings.” The work “England” is mentioned. So why is England bothered by Paul? Why do we always see the hand of the West in our tragedies. There is also some of Paul’s fault in that he lived unto such death.
21:09 (Dominic Livin, historian, GB) (translator: I am re-translating his quotes from Russian, so they will differ from his English phrases)
Until some point Russia and England were simply no noticing each other. Peter by and large put Russia on the map of the world that lay on the table of the British government, as well as on to the maps of Paris and other European countries. Russia was needed to be taken into account.
21:28 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
The acquisitions of Peter the Great didn’t give peace to the Anglo-Saxons for 200 years. During WWI, the British foreign Office raise all archived documents of Peter the Great times so as to see how solidify the desintegration of the then Russia. And that was an Antanta ally!
21:51 (Dominic Livin, historian, GB) (translator: I am re-translating his quotes from Russian, so they will differ from his English phrases)
The perception of Russia in England, and more broadly, in the United Kingdom, was always dictated by a wide-spread belief that England is the land of all kinds of freedoms, while Russia is a land of despotism. This was repeated time and again during the 18th century, and even more so in the 19th. I even think that this perception has not entirely gone away.
22:21 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
I don’t think it is so bad. Everything that the West thinks about Russia is natural. More so, such negative advertising must be, in my opinion, some kind of a positive factor. As soon as this [type of talk] starts, we must understand, that yes, everything is fine in our country, we go in the right direction. Here everything is fine. I am much more interested and agitated by the question that the West finds a lot of like-minded within the country. in my opinion, it is much more dangerous. I am deeply convinced that no one can bring a Russian so much harm as the Russian person himself.
Information sources from the West sometimes hit their target within Russia. Citizens started to believe that their past and present looks exactly as hopelessly. And few were bothered by the facts that the number of victims of Novgorod massacre voiced by the foreign compilers does fit. 300,000 as some authors state. “An so Volhov overran its shores, overflowing with the bodies of the killed.” Meanwhile the whole of Novgorod at that time had hardly 10,000 residents. The main question here is: to what end? Wars are fought for resources and territories. So why conduct an information war against an edge of the world?
22:39 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
People were fighting and are still fighting for the same thing. they fight for resources. if now such resources are carbohydrates, in ancient times, the main resource was land. Land. All wars were fought for it. Because land means harvest, taxes, people, riches. Russia, Moscovia, it does not matter, always had this resource in excess. More so, not just any land, not an Arabian peninsula, superb land – forests, black fertile earth, rivers. There was something to fight for.
24:14 (Vjacheslav Manjagin, writer, historian)
Though oil was not at that time a primary resource, Russia was at that time already a treasure cove of resources for Europe. Russia supplied Europe with 50% to 80% of European consumption of forest, larder, wax, almost 100% of furs. Huge quantities of raw materials. Caravans of ships when to Europe from Russia. During famine and failed crops, Russia supplied Europe with corn. If we take a closer look, by that time Europe had almost no forests left. It is know that Europeans seldom washed themselves at that time, not because they were so unkempt, but because there was a shortage of wood to heat the water. It was a luxury.
Many in Europe long believed that Russians live in a wild corner of the world, where enlightenment came to from the West. But here are simple facts, based on sources: Moscow was an hair of Byzantine, while Byzantine was an heir of Rome and Greece. It is Europe that saw the rise of Dark barbaric Age, while in Byzantine, the best antic traditions were still alive for 1000 years more, and Orthodoxy was developing.
Anna Jaroslavna, the daughter if Kiev count Jaroslav the Wise became the queen of France, and was shocked when she came to a completely barbaric, by Russian standards, Paris.
25:35 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
The king put a cross [to sign documents], while she could write in Slavic and in Greek, and having learnt Latin, signed with “Anna”. So the myth about the backwardness of all the Bysanthian sphere, of a foreign schismatic religion is completely unrelated to the real state of affairs.
Russian queen of France, Anna Jaroslavna was also for a long time baffling the Parisians with her habit to wash herself. They haven’t heard of that and could not understand it. That Russians go to banja (sauna) almost daily would continue to surprise the Europeans up to the end of the 19th century.
There were periods in Russian history, when on the information front Russia conducted and offensive, and at times very elegant politics.
26:24 (Dominic Livin, historan, GB) (translator: I am re-translating his quotes from Russian, so they will differ from his English phrases)
Governments, generally, spend quite a bit of time and effort to influence the processes in those countries that constitute a sphere of their interests. Were there attempts to bribe influential people in other countries? Of course such things happened in the 18th century, especially before the reign of Ekaterina.
26:50 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
Another shining example: the information politics of Ekaterina II, who was a master to look beautiful in other people’s eyes – and she was quite good-looking as it were, but thanks to her PR-activity, her image greatly exceeded the real content.
The French enlightener Voltair and Diderot were seduced, recruited and turned into her agents of influence by her. Voltair in all honesty suggested that Ekaterina should move her capital to Constantinople, saying that it will be a huge good for Europe, and for the whole civilisation in general. The correspondence between Ekaterina the Great and Voltair was read by whole Europe. Having learnt that Diderot was short on money, she made him an offer that didn’t touch his honour, but solving all his financial problems.
27:44 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
She buys from him hi library for a completely insane sum of money, well above the market price, but tells that she will take the library only after his death. Of course, such actions were admired by all educated people of that time. And Ekaterina was happy, the image of Russia was greatly improving.
The destruction of the Crimean Khanate, strengthening of Russia in the Northern Black Sea lands, and the creation of the black Sea fleet, followed by brilliant victories at sea of admiral Ushakov, all this unnerved England. In the spring of 1791 a critical international conflict arose. It is known in history as a caricature conflict. The first real Russian political caricature is a painting by Gavriil Skorodumov “The Balance of Europe in 1791″. It shows big scales, tipping to that side, where a Suvorov’s grenadier stands alone. One, but with weight, outweighing all enemies of Russia. Europe understood this hint from Ekaterina quite straightforwardly: The question of Ochakovo will be decided in a certain way, unless England changes its policy. The language of a caricature turned out to be more accessible than a plethora of diplomatic notes.
28:58 (Dominic Livin, historian, GB) (translator: I am re-translating his quotes from Russian, so they will differ from his English phrases)
It’s only when Russia got enough strength and influence at the end of the 18th century, it’s only then that the Englishmen started to get worried. But even then, worsening of relations was delayed for 25 years because a revolution happened in Napoleonic France.
After the French revolution destroyed the monarchy, the monarchs of Europe realised the danger. Even though France, a long time competitor, has left the ring, the threat of chaos could leap over the borders. The empires joined forces to counteract the French revolutionary expansion. Even more so, since the young general Bonaparte was already beating their armies and threatened with re-establishing of the French might. The Russian army in Europe acts in cooperation with the Austrian.
29:42 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
All this in reality happens for economic motives. In the end, all is for the money. Money, resources, territories. Then come the methods of influence.
When Alexander Suvorov lead his troops across Europe from victory to victory, his fame grew, but the myths were also growing around the Russian general. European publications were filled with caricatures of Field-Marshal.
30:05 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
The less educated a segment of population is, the more wild means are used to influence it. The most unimaginable. They start to spread such rumours that a normal educated person would not believe in, while it suits quite well for the commons.
Here is how Suvorov is depicted in the European publications. And let it be noted that these are the allies in the war. And here is what will British times write after a joint with Russia victory over Napoleon in 1818. By that time Suvorov is dead for almost 20 years. “All glory cannot wash away the shame of selfish cruelty from his character and to make a historian write his portrait in any other colours, except for those worthy of either a luck madman militarist or a tricky barbarian.” In caricatures, Suvorov is surrounded by corpses, he is dubbed “the butcher”. Such attitude towards Suvorov has been retained in the Western historical science until our days. (Translator: For a Russian the name of Suvorov is synonymous with honour and dignity. The best military academy bears his name.) This is one of the law of information warfare: a correctly propagandised myth is perceived by the children of its creators as final and absolute truth.
31:20 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
Caricatures is a favourite trick of the English propaganda. You can go now to the Borodino battle panorama museum, and there you can see a large exposition of English caricatures.
However, few remember today, that his famous push over the Alps, unprecedented in world history, ended up with the betrayal of the allies. The Austrians simply did not come to the appointed place, where armies were to meet, and Suvorov, even desiring to do so, could not develop his success. Exhausted by the march, he soon dies, never stopping to regret that he didn’t get a chance to meet in battle with a promising young general Bonaparte. Russia didn’t use the victories of Suvorov, but did it have another option?
32:08 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
Paul I ordered Russia to exit this war, tore alliance agreement with Austria, and began to cooperate with Napoleon. A radical turn in politics. As I said, from a tactical point of view this may seem like a pity that we acquired a number of victories, and then didn’t make use of those victories.
Paul understood that the allies do not give Russia space, having seen the might of its army. Meanwhile Bonaparte was sending rather clear signals. He urged to unite the forces of the two empires and to divide the world. What did Russia have by that time? “The times of Ochakovo and conquest of Crimea is in the past.” However, that’s not just a quote from Griboedov’s comedy. It’s a Russian break-through to Black Sea influence, bathed in the blood of Russian soldiers. And from there, the Mediterranean is just at arm’s length. The Maltese ownership, is not just a whim of a tzar-knight, its a base of the Russian fleet in the Mediterranean sea. But who is the ruler of the seas? The British crown. Will it tolerate this?
33:23 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
The English always put their bets on the fleet. They even had a doctrine that the English fleet should be at least 1/3 bigger than the total fleet of all other countries (reminds of the US doctrine of spending on their army 3 times as much as all the remaining countries of the world put together). So you can image how much money they spent on their fleet. All Englishmen were so to speak sailors, captains, pirates. By controlling the fleet, they quite naturally control the sea routes and world trade. By controlling the trade, you always profit, you always become richer.
33:57 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
Many found Paul I disagreeable as a commander of the Maltese order. It’s the whole of the Meditteranian. It’s a point that provoked so to speak shudders in Britain. The same can be traced from WWI and the though WWII and the negotiations with stalin, and then after the war.
34:24 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
The British perceived it as too dangerous that Paul I can potentially come closer to Napoleon. And the terror of Cossacks showing up in the Northern India, after all a couple of Cossacks regiments could effortlessly overthrow the British, who did not have any support in India. The British might in India was in reality hanging in thin air. and so the English tirelessly and with success were throwing oil into the fire with this regard.
Still, why London? And why to the present day Paul’s achievement in the state politics are firmly buried under a veil of myths? London, by the morning of 11th of March 1801 was submerged into a political chaos and panic. The resignation of Pitt’s government, shameful indecisiveness in the face of the main news of the last months, the British crown steadily loses its majesty. It is about to lose its Eastern colonies and hegemony on the seas. It’s a total collapse. Napoleon has already occupied Egypt, seeking a land bridge into India. Russian Cossacks are also marching there along the shores of Volga. India is the main guarantor of the British wealth. The small island exists thanks to the revenue from the fantastically beautiful and fantastically rich colonies. Paul sends before the 11th of March a letter to his cossacks, so that they should remember the main goal of the march South:
“The goal is to plunder all that (English colonial institutions in India), and to free the oppressed owners (maharajahs), and to bring them with kindness into the same dependency of Russia, as they are with the English, and to turn the trade to our parts.”
Paul knows what to offer Indians to sway earn their favour. The British Crown in the colonies is not kind at all. On the contrary, it’s cruel. He again stands to win the PR war for the sympathy of the conquered Indians. Wasn’t it long ago that the Western press called him “Russian Hamlet” and “Don Quixote”? It took only two years for him to turn into “crazy tyrant” in the newspapers headlines.
36:31 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
The English focused their effort on discrediting the politics of Paul I, on explaining to the Russian establishment that his politics does not suit the national interests (translator: much like US and UK do with regard to Putin now) or Russia, when, of course, it didn’t suit the national interests of Britain, which is quite understandable.
why did the enlightened Britain need to discredit/defame the Russian emperor so much? Let us remind: the memories of the French revolution are still fresh. Napoleon’s claims are already obvious, while the Russian army is the only force that is capable of opposing him in Europe. Suvorov’s soldiers make an unheard of push over inaccessible summits, while the allies write about a mad tzar. Paul accepted Bonaparte’s offer, and from that moment he signed his own death warrant, and irreversibly cemented in history an image of mad petty tyrant, remote from the realities.
Meanwhile Russian ships already storm the bastions of Korfu. Admiral Ushakov’s fleet is fully in control of the Adriatic sea. however, in St.Petersburg and in the European capitals they whisper in the salons: a stupid madman on the throne. There was already one tyrant : Ivan the “Terrible” (translator: in this case the real Russian word for “terrible – “uzhasnyj” is used so as to accentuate the Western label). Both the Formidable (Groznyj) and Paul hit their own when they were centralising power, punishing the elite for the excesses. Groznyj agains Boyars in their furs, Paul against the courtiers in their residences. The common folk had only good to say about both tzars. However, it is not the common folk that make history, but that very same elite, and that is why it will happily trample the memory of Ivan and the image of Paul.
38:00 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
By the way, Paul himself strongly offended the courtiers because he cancelled many of the courtiers’ privileges: he made courtiers serve in the army. One could no longer go into reserve unless one served at least a year in the army. If you serve in the army, you get a couple of weeks of vacation, and the rest of the time, be so good and stay at the regiment, train, go to war, and not lounge in your residence with the dogs. And many other such things, which were very disliked by the courtiers.
Paul did have some quirks in his daily private life, but in politics his actions are completely rational. He was the first to ease the serfdom system, reducing the taxes on the peasants. He strengthened the army by defending the rights of a soldier, and forbidding bodily punishments. Moreover, he made the officers grumble when he forbade the generals to use soldiers as workforce in their private estates. The result: adoration of the people and hatred from the immediate surrounding. When Paul’s Cossacks moved out to India to join the forces of Napoleon and brin the time of British rule to an end, the conspiracy in Petersburg and London was already complete.
39:15 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
They naturally work in person with the high-ranking courtiers, the aristocracy. The lesser bureaucrats, there is maybe some kind of letter exchange, they create some rumour environment though newspapers and journals, as such people are literate. If it is a question of influencing the common population, then it is either some pictures-caticatures or spreading of rumours.
On the 27th of January 1801 English press publishes news that a Russian official came to London with the information about displacement of Paul and about an establishment of a regent council, headed by the Empress and Prince Alexander. There was still exactly one and a half month until Paul’s death. It’s a kind of black magic of information warfare: by persistently repeating something that your desire to accomplish as if it’s already an accomplished fact, you change the reality and prepare the events that are yet to happen. This trick of information warfare the Europeans used then for the first, but far from the last time. No one, either in Europe or in Russia was not surprised when on the 11th of March 1801 Emperor Paul was murdered.
40:37 (Oleg Matvejchev, professor of high school of economics, politologist)
The murder of Paul is one of the most successful acts of English diplomacy.
When the news of Paul’s murder reached Bonaparte, he said: “They couldn’t get at me in Paris, so they hit me in St.Petersburg.” Who are these “they”? And what did they accomplish?
41:00 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
The information warfare played its role here as well, you see. As it is known, it was conducted by the English embassy.
41:09 (Dominic Livin, historian, GB) (translator: I am re-translating his quotes from Russian, so they will differ from his English phrases)
They say the British ambassador was involved in it. It didn’t, of course, play any key role. Paul was displaced by the aristocrats, under the leadership of my great-great-grandfather. They were not governed by the English, but by their own interests in usurping the power.
41:29 (Vladimir Medinskij, writer, author of book series “Myths about Russia”)
Paul is to blame, his advisors are to blame, his surrounding, which opposed itself to the elite of that time. And while being in the most protected place in the whole world, in Mihailovskij Palace, the Emperor of a greatest Empire of that epoch was strangled by his own close courtiers.
Let us imagine for a minute what could have happened if the Indian campaign was successful. Russian and French troops meet in Persia and together march towards the Indian ocean. Russian fleet cuts off routes for Britain to send reinforcement troops. The French already securely hold the land route through Egypt. The English have no reserves in India, and besides the local population enthusiastically meets the liberation forces. A few years later, without the colonies, the British economy goes into recession, and the island is for ever left outside of the civilised world. As a result, there is no continental blockade, and there is no reason for the war of 1812. Thousands of Russians and French do not die at Borodino. And Moscow is not set on fire. Using the fantastic revenue from the Indian trade, it is already by 1812 renewed in stone. However, the world cannot live without conflicts, and most probably the French and the Russian empires would have felt too constrained in the world, and a new information was would have been inevitable.
42:56 (Natalia Narochnickaja, president of the Fund for historical perspective, doctor of history science)
We have our own civilisation. And, by the way, when it stars to emerge as an independent civilisation, outside forces start a fierce battle with it. And all this repeats in circles. The only hope now is that now we will again rise to the highest point of this circle and will again acquire, create our own civilisation.
But there will come new times and new authors will be writing about Russia excitedly, critically and surprised. However, only the libel of Marquise de Gustine will become famed and will be re-printed, including in our country once the tzar’s ban on its publication is lifted. The Russian literature of the 19th century, grand and mighty, will make a pondering, melancholic Russian as it hero. That Russians discovered Anractics and conquered Turkestan, and mastered Far East didn’t inspire to creativity the Russian “Kiplings” and “Jack Londons”. We learn little from our history, while it repeats itself with an uncanny regularity. We are praised when Russia is in chaos, revolution and “perestrojkas”, and we start to get berated when Russia’s influence in the world re-establishes. And only we ourselves continue to make jokes about ourselves, and believe that the Western experts are cleverer than us, and are more enlightened in our plights. However, the whole of the history tells us that Russian scepticism is not a barrier for development.
The twists and turn of lies performed by the US to demonise Russia and to foster Rossophobic sentiment are mind-boggling. In the recent charade, the US released several “sattelite” images of presumable Russia shooting with artillery over border at Ukrainian positions.
Before I go on to the images, I’d like to say a few words about the shelling of Russian territory by Ukraine. This lead to deaths of at least two Russian citizens and destruction of property on Russian soil. In one of the latest event, when criminal investigators came to the scene of shelling, Ukrainian troops did a repeat performance, targeting the team of investigators and journalists. If anything like this happened in the US, the global bully would have retaliated on the spot with an over-dimensioned retributary attack, removing the offending country from the face of the earth. Russia on the other hand limited itself to several warnings. Not surprisingly, none of this was reported by the Western presstitute MSM. In the latest statement, Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov said that any further provocation from Ukraine will be met by force and the firing positions in Ukrain that can be proven firing at Russia will be suppressed by return fire.
The whole situation reminds of the time prior to NATO’s invasion into Yugoslavia. Massive provocations and murder of Serbian population remained unreported by Western MSM, yet as soon as Serbs started to retaliate, the same MSM began trumpeting about mass murders of the US and EU best friends, the Muslims.
Now, the images. Here are two articles reporting on them:
Here are the images in question. Note that all images are labelled as “Artillery strikes within Ukraine”.
The first and the second image hang together. The first image depicts an alleged Ukrainian unit (which, it’s number, kind, dislocation?) that came under fire. It is another view of the inset from the upper left corner in the second image.
The first question everybody has is: why so low resolution, to the point that it’s impossible to anything on the main images, and one has to believe the insets. Is this the best US can come up with after having spent millions of taxpayers’ dollars on surveillance? GoogleEarth or any other private imagery have better resolution, and are in colour. I doubt that US don’t have high-detail images, it’s just such images would not have shown anything, should they have been released (as Russian Defence Ministry is asking US to do).
The second question is to the tracks in image 1. The artillery units never stay long in one place, especially not in an empty field in the middle of nowhere. They move out to a designated location, perform the task, and move the hell out. So it is natural to assume that the before and after images are at most a few days apart. However, there are fewer tire tracks on the after image, than on before, and the tracks are arranged differently. The tracks could not have disappeared completely after such a short period so as to become completely invisible, which leaves the only other option that the before and after images are many months, if not a year, apart.
The third question is to the impact marks. Many observed that the marks carry a distinct impression of beeing cloned in Photoshop. Second, when firing from a distance of 14km, the angle of impact would have been much more shallow, leading to more elongated impact marks. And third, judging by the existing elongation, the marks are not aligned with the proposed origin of fire and with each other. Consider the following map, superimposed on GoogleEarth image. The yellow line is the direct line to the proposed origin of fire. The red marks indicate the direction, from the individual projectiles came from:
Here is the GoogleEarth image of the area, depicted in the second image, which also marks the distance and direction between the points:
And the fourth question is: why the image of the alleged Russian position in the inset of the second image differes so much from the field in the main image. The stripes in the field would have been visible even at this low resolution, besides, the inst shows on type of field, while its designation box shows two distinctly different fields.
The third image deserves a special attention too. The resolution is so low, that it is almost impossible to make out any detail. The dots in the target zone are only a couple of pixels wide and can be anything. The firing positions of the origin point at a different angle that what their designated alleged targets would be.
Here is GoogleEarth image location of the shot above, with the four inset points marked on the map:
Some independent analyses of the initial evidence from the crash site suggest the jetliner may have been destroyed by an air-to-air attack, not by an anti-aircraft missile fired from the ground. Yet, the working hypothesis of the U.S. intelligence analysts is that a Ukrainian military Buk battery and the jetfighters may have been operating in collusion as they hunted what they thought was a Russian airliner, possibly even the plane carrying President Vladimir Putin on a return trip from South America, the source said.
After the fall of the Malaysia MH17 flight, Kiev and the West were quick to blame Russia for everything, with the Australian PM demanding that Russia takes responsibility. This is consistent with the initial feeling that the whole thing is a false flag operation from US-backed Kiev to further provoke Russia and drag it into the war, now that constant shelling of Russian territory fails to entice needed reaction. See my article Is the West gearing up to invade Russia once again?
Russian media were much diverse in the theories presented:
Technical failure on the plane
Plane shot down by freedom fighters of Novorossia by mistake
Plane shot down by Kiev using Buk with the intention of falling on Russian territory
Plane shot down from a fighter jet
Plane shot down, as a mistaken identity, taking it for the President’s plane
#5 was refuted pretty quickly: even though the planes do bear some similarities, the President hasn’t been overflying Ukrainian territory for several months now.
#1 is still on the table, until definite proof of a missile strike is found
#2 was refuted as well. The freedom fighters simply lack equipment – they have shoulder rocket launchers, capable of reaching 5km, while the plane was at 10km. They don’t have Buks, and even Ukrainian Prosecutor General denied that freedom fighters could have captured any. Also capturing a Buk does not mean you can fire it. It’s a complex system consisting of 3 vehicles, that requires extensive lengthy training and a crew of 17 people to operate.
#4 is interesting in that a Spanish air traffic controller working in Kiev saw on his radar two jets shadowing the plane before it disappeared. He twitted about it. Later that account was removed, the posts modified, and the account was re-activated again with modified information. The controller is reportedly fleeing for his life.
#3 Ukraine has the means – they have and actually produced Buks for the Soviet Union. Ukraine shot down a passenger plane in 2001 in a similar fashion. Kiev was very quick in pointing the blaming finger to Russia. A TV statement was made minutes after the crash, when nothing was really known. Within 30 minutes of a crash, Poroshenko made TV speech, where he in no uncertain terms blamed Russia, no further proof needed, and where hen mentioned calling Dutch head of state and offering condolences (shouldn’t he have called Malaysia first?). The speech gave an impression of being ready-made for the occasion. Kiev release customary fakes that turned out to be recorded the day before the disaster. Ukrainians were also quick to say that 80 children died on board, and that there were American on board. Both statements were later falsified.
Interestingly, while the British envoy to UN was raging, blaming Russia for everything and demanding that investigators are allowed to the crash site, 30 OSCE investigators were already on site, protected by freedom fighters, who announced a one-sided seize-fire.
UPDATE: I’ve just had an epiphany. There is a logical discrepancy. The American intelligence reported within hours that they have information that the plane was shot down by a SAM missile. Shouldn’t they then have the location of the SAM site that performed the launch of said missile? Seeing as US is highly interested in choking the freedom movement in their new colony (yes, it’s time everyone starts noticing the big pink elephant that is US in the room, that is Ukraine), if the freedom fighters were indeed the ones that launched that missile, the intelligence agency would have trumpeted it across the globe. What we see is sideways insinuations against Russia, all the while Kiev releasing fake videos, and today filming in Dniepropetrovsk a fake news report, as if it was filmed at the crash site. These actions speak quite loudly that it might have been a Kiev-controlled SAM doing the shooting, and US in their desperation to cover the tracks, are releasing only a half-truth on their intelligence service report. Alternatively the US intelligence might not have had any data to report, and were simply relaying information from Russian military, that said that SAM radio activity was spotted in Ukraine prior to shooting.
Here is a map, showing, where the plane disappeared from the radars, well inside Kiev-controlled territory:
By the way, doesn’t it seem strange that the relatives of the victims are completely out of picture. In “normal” disasters we see a lot of indignation from the relatives, demands to see the crash site, demands to see and identify their loved ones. Here, we have an information vacuum, when it comes to relatives and their reaction. Seeing that locals on whom the bodies were falling, said that the bodies (except for the pilots) were not fresh, is it possible to assume that there are no relatives, and one or two short clips that we’ve seen are filmed with actors?
The Global Unraveling Of Flight MH-17 – Alex talks with Michel Chossudovsky, an award-winning author, professor of economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, founder and director of the Center for Research on Globalization, and editor of the globalresearch.ca website.
Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot…
The gruesome events that happened in Odessa on the Second of May 2014, when Right Sector Nazis cornered, burn and short unarmed people in Odessa Trade Union building are worthy of a similar commemoration.
Remember remember the Second of May
Manslaughter, murder, flesh burnt.
That’s enough of a reason that Odessa massacre
Should never be forgot…
50 people are still reported missing, presumed dead after the Odessa massacre. Ukrainian authorities are not looking for them. Moreover, the Trade Union building, which is considered a material evidence of the crime and is surrounded by a concrete fence, is being quietly renovated and painted from the inside, erasing the evidence.
A senior Russian human rights official has called the updated research on human rights violations in Ukraine a forced measure, and an attempt to call for action from the international community to stop the violence.
“This was a forced measure. This was not someone’s whim but a reaction to the current situation, and the situation in the South and South-East of Ukraine is extremely grave, disastrous,” the Foreign Ministry’s Plenipotentiary for Human Rights, Konstantin Dolgov, said in a televised interview.
The full updated White Book report is available on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
Меня убили под Славянском.
Мне было семь неполных лет.
Со мной убиты мама с папой,
Убиты бабушка и дед.
Мне было больно, очень больно.
Так не бывает у детей.
Скажи солдат, в меня стрелявший,
Что скажешь дочери своей?
Отдашь ли ей мои игрушки?
Отдашь с рисунками альбом?
Отдашь в крови моей котёнка?
Как взглянешь ей в глаза потом?
Скажи солдат, меня убивший,
Каким ты молишься Богам?
Кому принёс ребёнка в жертву?
В какой отдашь добычу храм?
Я умерла, и я не плачу.
Застыла на щеке слеза.
Запомни враг, в меня стрелявший,
Убитой девочки глаза.
Автор – Вячеслав Бунеев
I was killed under Slavjansk.
I wasn’t yet even 7.
My mother and father were killed with me
Killed were my grandma and granddad
It was painful, very painful,
As children never should have felt.
Tell me soldier, you who shot at me,
What will you say to your daughter?
Will you give her my toys?
Will you give her my album with drawings?
Will you give her my blood-covered kitten?
How will you look into her eyes?
Tell me soldier, you who killed me,
Which Gods do you pray to?
Which God did you sacrifice a child to?
To which temple will you bring your pray?
I died, and I am not crying.
The tear has dried upon my cheek.
Remember enemy, who shot at me,
The eyes of the murdered girl.
Poet: Vjacheslav Buneev
She was only 6 when she was killed in Slavjansk by Ukrainian artillery shells on the 8th of June at 13:15.
So far, over 60 children were killed in Novorossia by artillery and bullets from Nazional guard, private bandit armies of Kolomojskij, Klichko, Yarosh, and regular army. Most lost their lives with their families while attempting to break through the blockade of Slavjansk and escape to safety in Russia.
“At the site of the second strike the situation is even worse: 9 people have died, and 11 have been wounded. Among the victims is a five year-old girl, who with her father. The impact was so strong her legs were blown off. Once again, the exact number of the dead will only become clear later.”
The EU, ordered by Washington, told Russia to suppress the opposition in southern and eastern Ukraine to Washington’s stooge government in Kiev. But, as every educated person knows, including the White House, 10 Downing Street, Merkel, and Holland, Russia is not responsible for the separatist unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine. These territories are former constituent parts of Russia that were added to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic by Soviet Communist Party leaders when Ukraine and Russia were two parts of the same country.
The county of Novorossia was established by the Highest Decree of the Russian Empress Ekaterina II in 1764 and existed until 1802, when it was divided into three smaller counties: Nikolaevskaja, Ekaretinoslavskaja and Tavricheskaja counties. The reason for creation of Novorossia countie on the former territories of Slavjano-Serbia was to create a buffer zone against Osmano-Tatar aggression
Below is the maps of the Novorossia:
And here is the Ekaterinoslavskaja county shown against the borders of Ukraine:
Here is what Ukraine consited of until February (Crimea made a lucky escape and re-joined Russia):
Light yellow – Zaprozhje – Ukraine before 1654
Orange – Presents of Russian monarchs between 1654 and 1917
Light-green – Novorossia – Lenin’s present in 1922
Medium-green (5+6) – Eastern Galicia – Stalin’s present of 1939-1940 (given to USSR according to Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement)
Dark-green – Crimea – Khrushjov’s present in 1954
Transcarpathia (9) – taken from Czechoslovakia in 1945
Northern Bukovina and Southern Southern (7+8) – captured by USSR in 1940
So bearing in mind that Ukraine is a collection of disparate lands, and remembering the Russian roots of the Cossacks living on the lands of Novorossia, the move performed by Lenin after the coup d’etat of 1917, in creating Ukraine and assigning to it the territories of Novorossia was a direct recipe for creating a problem for future generations.
The people of the East differ to much from their Polish-rooted Western cousins.
And now it’s time to introduce the translation of the blog post Two Ukraines.
(Legend: “Yukraina” to the left; “Yakraina” to the right, with percentage of people who voted for Yushenko or Yanukovich during the last legitimate presidential elections)
People asked here about the possible lines of division of Ukraine. In fact, there is nothing new since 2004. Political, economic, cultural and linguistic split historically goes along the Dnieper and it’s not for nothing that from the olden times Ukraine into the Right-bank and Left-bank Ukraines. It’s been written a lot on this topic both in the context of elections, and in the context of the policy of Ukrainianization, in the context of confrontation of the “orange” and “blue” – those who are interested in the question, can trace the genesis of this split in the days Hetmanate and Pereyaslavska Rada (1654).
So just for the information some infographics of recent years on the topic, as some friends in Russia are fed the official idea of Ukraine as a certain monolithic state.
(The percentage of people stating Russian as their mother tongue as per 2001 [Kiev: 30%, Sevastopol: 90%])
(Language used. The numbers are for Russian, Surzhik [and mix of Russian and Ukrainian] and Ukrainian. Legend:
Dark-green – absolute domination of Russian
Light-green – mainly Russian
Orange – Ukrainian)
(Support for Russian as an official state language)
(Geography of requests done in Ukrainian language)
(Regions that have local officially state status of Russian language. Can you see why Crimea sailed away, correlating this map with the previous ones?)
The proportion of users, who stated their mother tongue as Russia (blue) or as Ukrainian (red) in the popular social media VKontakte ["Russian Facebook"].
(Religious split. Simplified legend:
Pink – Orthodox church
Blue overstrikes – Catholic influence
Light-green overstrikes – Protestant infuence)
(Ukrainian producing economy. The legend is too big to translate, but one can see that most of the production is concentrated in the East)
(The East voted for Kuchma, the West – for Kravchuk)
The “orange” split during the elections of 2004
The results of the second round of elections in 2004.
The results of the third round of elections in 2004, after the “orange revolution.
(The results of the election of 2006. Blue – Party of the Regions)
Parliamentary elections of 2007.
(The results of the first round of Presidential elections of 2010. Legend:
Dark blue – Yanukovich
Red – Timoshenko)
Voting results during 2010 elections.
(The leaders of the parliamentary elections of 2012. Legend:
Blue – Leading: Party of the Regions
Red – Leading: Batkivshina
Upper number – percentage who voted for the leading party)
(A small curiosity the geography of statues of Lenin)
Adding to the blog translation, here some of the latest infographics:
Attendance in % during the (p)residential (s)election of 2014.
Total number of registered voters in the South East: 14,854,013
Total number of votes cast in the South East during the 2014 elections: 5,162,665
Almost two-thirds of the voters boycotted the polls, and still the NATOis claiming that the elections were legit.
The last two images come from Gallup polls, outlined in this Russia Today article
Now, on with the blog translation:
And so on. Google for more if you like – there’s been produced lots of such maps over the last 10 years, covering various aspects.
It is not difficult to notice a fault line has long been established and all political upheavals have definitely weak influence on it. Neither
Yushchenko’s victory in 2004, nor Yanukovich’s victory in 2009 could change anything. And even if Ukraine joins the EU or the Customs Union, nothing is going to changes. This structural break in the case of Ukraine is unavoidable, and sooner or later will lead to its complete destruction, where the fault lines will serve as possible borders between two or more parts, defined by the economy, politics, culture and language. This is not some news and is regularly mulled over in Ukrainian political establishment, where, as a possible panacea such a scenario, which is constantly hanging over Ukraine, there are proposed various federation or even confederation schemes, in order to keep the current territories in some unified framework.
(Possible federative structure of Ukraine)
To me it seems that the design is unstable at the foundation and will inevitably fall with the destruction of the current world order, which provides a formal safety for the existing borders.
Altogether, all of this could seamlessly coexist within the Soviet model, where the issues of religious, ethnic and linguistic strife,
did not have much importance, and Ukraine was strictly economically integrated into a single economic organism of the USSR. In terms of language and
culture in Ukraine in Soviet times, both Russian as a state language and Ukrainian, as part of the local culture, coexisted organically. Citizens of the UkSSR were primarily Soviet citizens, and only then Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Tatars, Greeks. When a single body of the Soviet Union was destroyed, all
that organically coexisted in the UkSSR, could no longer get along, and that leads to permanent conflicts through political, economics, religion, language. Capitalism cannot solve these problems within the framework of Ukraine, that’s why the conflict is permanent and unsolveable it in the current
Ukraine. I hope it will make more clear to fiend in Russia why what happens in Ukraine does so year after year.
(The population of Ukraine in millions of people. The population count fell by 6 million people.)
Population decreased from nearly 52 million to 45, even though in most complex demographic period during the 30s, which accounted for famine and repressions, Ukraine’s population continued to grow. While now, during 20 years of freedom and independence, without GULAGs and Stalin, the population is
reduced by more than 7 million people.
(Population forecast – And this is not the limit!)
According to forecasts, by 2050 it is reduced to 25-26 million and there are more even pessimistic forecasts on on the topic of total extinction of Ukrainians as a nation by the start of the XXII century.
A considerable part of the working population works abroad because in the country either does not have work to give or the pay is inadequate. Proceeds from migrant workers make up a significant portion of GDP Ukraine, which from the industrial republic turned into backward state, supplying the global market with cheap labour, besides the Ukrainian prostitutes that became canonical.
(Money transfers from abroad into Ukraine (red), vs transfers out of the country (green))
Over the last 20 years the country suffered economic losses comparable to the ones during the Nazi occupation (see
(The diagrams blow by how many times production of various goods reduced in Ukraine:)
(Railway goods transportation)
(House building velocity)
(Trucks and lorries)
(GDP of Ukraine reduced from 518 billion dollars to 337 billion dollars)
In this regard, the term “Two of Ukraine” carries a certain dualism – internal structure split into two roughly equal parts, reflects the effects of the transition from a socialist UkSSR to a capitalist “independent Ukraine”. USSR was not an ideal state and there was a lot of internal problems, but against the backdrop of the abominations that are being done on its territories for the last 22 years, those problems seemed far-fetched and ridiculous against the background of ethnic hatred, blatant social inequality and poverty, cultural and moral degradation and extinction of the population and many others
things that accompany capitalism. And those who in 1991 voted for the “independence”, to some extent, are reaping the fruits of their choice.
(Didn’t want to live in Republics? Then live in colonies.)
It’s not fair to those who voted against it, and those, like I, who could not take part in this choice. But anyway, the choice was made and the results are before us.
At the end of 2013 we got a chronically sick country split into two parts and a whole bunch of degradation trends in virtually all areas of socio-economic, cultural and scientific development. Therefore Ukraine naturally called a Failed State or colloquially TSM – temporary state misunderstanding. Sad, but a regular fate for the once-mighty Soviet republic mired in capitalist swamp.
With each passing week of Ukrainian events, I get a feeling that I have seen some elements of those events before, in popular culture. Namely, in two titles, that I quite like: in Harry Potter and in Half-Life2. Now before you call me mad…
The way Irina Farion of the Svoboda party has been going on about the Russian-speaking population of the South-Eastern regions calling them for cattle and creatures that need to be exterminated, along with any Ukrainian who supports them, resonates strongly with Death Eater propaganda on Muggleborns, “Mudbloods”, who need to be exterminated and registered as creatures, along with any those supporting their rights, “Muggle-lovers”.
Farion’s own behaviour is best depicted in Helena Bonham Carter’s depiction of the psychotic female Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange.
And the whole Right Sector movement finds clear parallels with the Death Eaters in general.
Irina Farion = Bellatrix Lestrange
The simpering Dolores Umbridge (aka, the toad) = Victoria Nudelman (aka Nuland)
Fernier Greyback = Yarosh
Snatchers = National Guard
Death Eaters = Right Sector
For Half-Life2, I see parallels in the resistance fighting for freedom from an alien occupation, where some humans actually side with the aliens, with Dr. Breen being at the head of collaborationists, urging the resistance to lay down their weapons and accepts their fate in being “improved” by their extraterrestrial “benefectors”. The resistance are heavily outnumbered by both the alien technology and the collaborationist armed forces, the Overwatch, while in cities, the “peace” is kept by Civil Protection, cornering anyone whose look they don’t like. So my parallels there:
The Resistance = The Resistance
Dr.Breen = Turchinov/Yatsenjuk/Poroshenko
The Benefectors/Combine = USA/NATO
The Overwatch = National Guard
Civil Protection = Right Sector
Headcrabs = Nuland, McCain, Beiden
Headcrab hosts = Turchinov, Yatsenjuk
Some telling images from the game, is when the resistance members fight a losing battle against armoured vehicles, screaming “Get the hell out of here” at the aggressors, while Dr. Breen’s voice in the background urges everyone to accept the benefits from “our benefectors” – to become improved transhumans.
Furthermore, the events of game take place in an unspecified Eastern-European county, where the lettering on the signs is written in Cyrillic, often in Russian. Game developers said they did not pinpoint any specific country, but rather created an amalgam of the region. However, in Half-Life[sup]2[/sup] Episode 2 the player enters a coal mine, which name is “Шахта Победы”, “Victory Mine”, or more precisely in the general context of Eastern Europe “Mine, commemorating in name the WWII Victory”. Coal Mine? A name in Russian? In my mind I now place the events in the area of Mariupol, as the game also features extended coastline in a shallow sea, Azov…
Think also of the Odessa Massacre and compare images from there to the burn corpses of the resistance members, who dared oppose the Combine and were exterminated. Or of Barney, on a com channel, telling the player of the dire situation they are in, saying they are being shelled, and then screaming “Oh, shit! Incoming!” and compare it Slavjansk, Lugansk and Donetsk…
In Star Wars, I see clear parallels with Episodes 1 and 2. Remember, how in Episode 1, the Naboo (Novorossia) is under siege by the Banker’s clan (IMF/US). The situation is discussed in the Galactic Senate (UN) at a snail’s pace. Princess Amidala breaks through the blockade to speak for the planet in the council, exclaiming that people there are dying, while a finer points of politics are being discussed.
In Episode 2, the now grown-up Anakin has a profound conversation with Amidala about the merits of dictatorship and how they are watching the process of a democracy (The galactic Senate, but think US in this context), turning into a dictatorship (and in our world, the real dictator, just as Palpatine, still remains in the shadows).
I just got a new connotation to Star-Wars. With the latest escalation of aggression from the Washington-backed Kiev fascists, I have a feeling that Yoda-Putin is going to send some Jedi Knights to Naboorossia (Novorossia) to help freedom fighters there break the American Trade Federation blockade.
Can anyone name any other resonance points? In other popular culture items?
Starting in April 2014, I started a topic under the same name in the Politics & Society section of Bitcointalk forum. There were some telling signs of warmongering in the air. And those signs are only getting clearer and stronger. I present here a consolidated and expanded version of my posts in that thread.
But first, here are a few links on this topic that I came across – it’s not only me, who feels that the war is in the air:
A few days ago I watched a 2-year old Russian documentary, commemorating the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812, about the information war, waged before and during the French invasion of Russia in 1812. The Film is called “The War of 1812. The First information War”.
The film revolves around the report by Polish General Michal Sokolnitsky that was presented to Napoleon on the 10th of February 1812 and discovered in French military archives in 1996. The report details how Napoleon should proceed conquering and dividing Russia, how to use locals. The plans for compartmentalisation of Russia were well-defined. South-Western Russia (including Crimea), would become French state of Napoleonida, with Poland expanded South and several French or Polish-governed counties created as buffers. Napoleon went along with the plans, with the slight alteration – he intended to rally Poles and use them as the frontal strike force, commonly known as cannon Fodder.
What struck me the most was the bit that said that Napoleon should ensure setting Ukraine and Russia head to head against each other, and should bribe Don Cossacks, as they hate Russians. Napoleon discovered belatedly that this was not the case.
Napoleon, prior to the military campaign, ran a massive information/propaganda war in Europe, centralising control of most of the newspapers in his hands, and portraying Russia as someone on the verge of conquering the whole Europe, so it was only right for him, Napoleon, to strike pre-emptively first. At the same time, and to that end, he invented the fake Testament of Peter the Great. This “testament” was subsequently used prior to invasion of Russia in WWI and WWII.
I am seeing similar patterns now: An uprising of Russophobic press in Western mass media, depicting Russia as an aggressor, poised to take over the Europe. When passing through Great Britain the other week, I saw a cover of one of the magazines, showing a stylized map of Russia as a red bear with gaping maw, swallowing Ukraine, and the big captions title “INSATIABLE!”. Next will come (or already coming) calls to isolate, sanction and pre-emptively strike Russia, “for the good of Europe”.
Before 1941 there were also “worried” calls that Soviet Union has too many troops on its Western borders, and that it should pull back. This time, it seems Putin is not as stupid as Stalin was. At the same time NATO pulls its military closer to Russia, relocating more and more troops to its old and newly conquered bases in Baltics, Poland, Yugoslavia (Black Sea), and Georgia.
It feels like a great war is in the air and NATO is pushing hard for a trigger, seemingly having slated Ukraine to play such role. This would explain why NATO consequently ignores Russia’s calls for de-escalation of the tension in Ukraine and demands that US brings their puppets in Kiev to heel.
If I start seeing mentions of the Testament of Peter the Great in the Western media, then I will know for sure that war is only a few months or weeks away…
I then wrote a reply expanding on perception of Russia through a Russophobe’s glasses:
First, regarding Crimea and Putin’s popularity, you put the cart in front of the horse. The popularity ratings rose after Putin defended Crimea and Russian interests there. People still remember drunkard Yeltsin’s lack of action there, when Crimea voted for independence and asked Russia for support and reunification in 1990’s.
Before I answer further, as I said before, I am Russian, but I live in the West and see how Russophobe atmosphere is being imposed. Balthazar is from Ukraine, so though I don’t know his nationality, for all intents and purposes, he’s Russian.
Now, to the question of hatred. If you go to Russia, you’ll see little hatred. You’ll see friendliness and willingness to help. The concept of hatred is being touted most in the Western media. What you take for hatred, is defensiveness. Historically, each time Russia started to get demonised, when Russophobic ideas were starting to get mainstream in the West, it was a signal preceding an invasion of Russia. The more known cases is 1812, 1914, 1941. So forgive Russians for not forgetting their history.
What happens next is that Russia closes down, takes a defensive stance, seeing Russophobic rhetoric from outside, people unite, expecting a physical attack. This is then further used by the West to show Russians as “barbaric” in Napoleon’s and Hitler’s terms, a nation that needs to be cleaned out or subjugated for it’s own and Europe’s good. (People tend to forget afterwards that for example “civilized” Napoleonic army left Moscow in ruins in 1812, while “barbaric” Russians in 1814 behaved cordially and with honour in conquered Paris.)
Russia tries to be open, friendly (Olympics, Eurovision (read the lyrics of the song from Russia – it resonates deeply with how Russians want the world to see them)), but each time they are slammed down, and as a result close up.
Now to the question of gay. As another poster said, no one in Russia cares what they do in their private life and that was the state of affairs until the West started “protecting” their rights. All this publicity is doing them a disservice. First the law is not “anti-gay”, but “anti-commercial of gay propaganda directed at children”, often paid for by Western NGOs. Now, what happens. In the light of what I wrote above, when the West suddenly starts to demonise Russia on yet another front as “anti-gay”, people, who previously didn’t care what gay did, suddenly see that as yet another attack against Russia. Suddenly the gay guy next door, who is an OK bloke is seen as a hand of the West in its attempt to destabilise Russia. Suddenly people turn on the gay – some verbally, while the more extremist factions, physically. This gets touted in the Western media as further proof of Russia being anti-gay, and generally anti-World, and the vicious cycle get reinforced.
What I wrote above had been said many times before, but patience is a finite resource. I think I have more of it than most, and even my patience is running thin. One can write only so many polite responses refuting the misconceptions, before you take the national way of dealing with external assaults, by becoming passive aggressive and telling the world to shut up and mind its own business, while closing in yourself (and if the word decides to attack, you take to the arms).
The most known saying in Russia, attributed to Aleksandr Nevskij in 1240: “He who comes to Russia with a sword will die by the sword”. He allegedly said it in the context of releasing war prisoners, telling them “Go to the foreign part and tell everyone that Russia is alive. Let everyone come as guests to us without fear. Yet anyone who comes to us with a sword will die by the sword. The Russian land has stood on this pillar, and will continue to stand on it.” The historical accuracy of this statement of the context can be disputed, however the core meaning is very much valid today.
Having grown in the West I see the need to be more verbal in addressing the problems, in trying to bring forth understanding, so as to prevent conflicts.
The years before the Crimean War of 1854 saw some of the same russophobic propaganda as we see today.
First, on to another small historical tour. This time to 1854, when the Crimean War began with the invasion by French and British troops. The following is a translation from the following Wikipedia article:
A few years before the Crimean War (in 1848), Karl Marx, who himself actively published own works in Western press, wrote that for a German newspaper to save liberal reputation, it was necessary to “timely to show hatred for all Russian”.
Engels in several articles in the British press published in the March-April 1853, accused Russia of an intention to capture Constantinople, although it was well known that the Russian ultimatum of February 1853 contained no territorial claims against Turkey. In another article (April 1853), Marx and Engels blamed Serbs for not wanting to read books printed with Latin letters in their own language in the West, and read only the books in the Cyrillic alphabet, printed in Russia; and rejoiced that an “anti-Russian Progressive Party” finally appeared in Serbia.
[ It is ironic (or maybe not, given Lenin's own hatred for all that is Russian, that Marx' and Engels' works became the cornerstone books for the Soviet Union' communism - what better way to bestow harm on Russian people.) ]
In the same 1853 the British liberal newspaper Daily News, assured its readers that Christians in the Ottoman Empire enjoyed greater religious freedom than in the Russian Orthodox and Catholic Austria.
In 1854 the London “Times” wrote: “It would be good to bring Russia back to the ploughing of internal land, to drive the Muscovites deep into the forests and steppes.” In the same year D.Rassel, leader of the House of Commons and the head of the Liberal Party, said: “We have to pry the bear’s teeth … While his fleet and naval arsenal on the Black Sea is not destroyed, Constantinople will not be safe and there will not be any peace in Europe”
[ Sounds familiar, eh? ]
Russian poet Fyodor Tyutchev wrote the following as a response to all this:
Long ago was it possible to foresee that this rabid hatred against Russia that with each passing year was more and more kindled in the West, will once escape from the leash. This moment is upon us … This is the moment when entire West came to show his denial of Russia and block her path to the future.
And just a thought…
1854 – Fierce battles to keep Crimea.
1944, 90 years later – fierce battles to free Crimea from German occupation.
1954, 10 years later – Khrusjov just hands Crimea over without asking Russia.
2014, 60 years later, Crimea is returned, without battles this time (unless NATO is planning something).
In June the stand-off escalated, with multiple cases of Ukrainian military staging provocations on Russian territory, such as driving in on APCs or shelling with artillery. This is how the pre-WWII state was on the German-Soviet borders, with Soviet forces being under strict order not to respond to any provocations from the German side. Here is the latest one.
Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future? – By Paul Craig Roberts (The Russian government and Europe need to look beyond Washington’s propaganda, because the reality is much worst Does Russia (And Humanity) Have A Future?)
This is a translation from Russian of an article by Georgij Zotov, published in the international paper edition of Argumenty i Fakty #7/2014. Yanukovich is still the president, but the coup is being fostered by Washington. Zotov takes a look at what would happen, and as we can now see, his predictions turned to be pretty accurate.
“The Battle for Kiev” may end up with break-up of the country
What happens if during the overthrow of Yanukovych, an anti-Russian regime comes to power? Will the republic split up (as it is predicted for her since 1991) into two parts? “AIF” observer considered both versions of events.
My Ukrainian friend, a businessman from Lugansk, is extremely dissatisfied with the behaviour of the Russian customs. The day before, his truck with candy stuck on the border with the Russian Federation – and perhaps will stand there for ten more days. My friend (a big supporter of Maidan) is terribly outraged by this fact, because it incurs losses. “Listen, you’re a fan of Ukraine’s rapprochement with the European Union, friends say ironically to him. – You could have sold all of the West.” “What do you mean?” the businessman is genuinely surprised “You can’t just like that wedge into a European market.” While stores in Russia, taking cheap Ukrainian candy, started making smaller purchases of Russian ones. So I’ll say a blasphemous thing that will not be to everyone’s taste: our economy will BENEFIT from establishing an anti-Russian government in Kiev.
Visas, gas and guest workers
In 2005 a protege of the West, Viktor Yushchenko, became the President of Ukraine. Previously Ukrainians were buying gas at a ridiculous rate – $50 per thousand cubic meters. After a quarrel with Russia they began to pay $95, and then – both $200 and $300(!): of course, our budget just benefited from that. Let’s say the West will displace Yanukovych. And what do we get from from that? Only positive things! A 30% discount on gas will be cancelled. Moscow will certainly refuse to grant Ukraine promised billions of dollars that are so necessary for a moribund local economy. One of the activists of the maidan, the leader of “Freedom” party Oleg Tyagnybok promises to introduce a visa regime with Russia – and it’s even more wonderful. Russian Federation will get a chance to send home two million Ukrainian guest workers, and the treasury of Ukraine will lose money from our tourists – the Russians, who represent half of holidaymakers in Crimea and Odessa, will leave for Sochi. I have already said, Yanukovych calls himself “our guy” in words only, but for Russia there is zero benefit from him: only the endless requests for discounts, cheap loans and deferred payments for gas. With friends like that one does not need enemies.
It is now customary to blame Americans, but for every dollar they invested abroad, United States receive five by skinning “friendly” country on a percentage basis. We do friendship with neighbours by a simple scheme: distributing a lot of money, and in return we get anti-Russian demonstrations. Thus, if the power in Kiev suddenly changes, we will only get richer. And yes, I personally support Ukraine’s rapprochement with Europe. Maybe then they will blame their woes on EU, not Russia.
Meanwhile bloody clashes in the capital caused a split among the citizens of the republic. Even the Ministry of Defence has recently made a strong statement that “recent events lead to the total collapse of the country.” Could it happen? Yes, definitely.
“Soviets” against “Banderas”
- I’ve always been a supporter of a unified Ukraine – explains to me Andrew, a bank employee in Kiev. – But now I started thinking: maybe it’s really easier for us to split? For 22 years we drown in corruption, poverty and lawlessness, nothing changes. Both the West and the East will always vote for their candidate: no matter good or bad, they just need to be a “Westerner” or “Donetsk-guy”. Ukrainians simply torment each other.
That’s right. While in Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil crowd stormed the regional administration, in Donetsk and Odessa, where “Euromaidan” saw 500 people gathered, the police had to protect the protesters. The theme “let them go, will live without them” recently became popular not only in the East but in the West of Ukraine. People are frankly tired of the eternal confrontation between the two parts of the Republic: a different mentality, different moods, different tastes. The point of no return has been passed. In Lviv, many demonstrators interviewed by reporters, snapped: “let ‘normal people’ go to Europe, and ‘soviets’ stay with Moskals”. In Donetsk, the public thinks like: “let ‘Banderas’ go to Germans to wash toilets, we are better off with Russia”. Actually, Ukraine is already broken, but what would happen if it splits officially? Alas, nothing good for us. Where should Transcarpathia go, where in the last election 42% voted for Yanukovych, and how to divide the Kirovograd, where supporters and opponents of the current government are represented equally? This means war – we risk the influx of millions of refugees. But even if the separation of Ukraine will happen as in the “velvet divorce” of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Russian Federation still can not avoid a headache.
“Crimea and Odessa will fall off”
As Ukrainian sceptics predict, the first to fall off will be Crimea, after it – Donetsk, Odessa, Kharkiv, and all the rest. “There is a high probability that there will soon organize a referendum and the people will vote for “an alliance with Russia.” Is there a catch? Moral – no doubt. As for the rest… Ukraine – a poor country, industry and economics remained at the level of the eighties. It’s a difficult task to restore foreign factories and coal mines of Donbass, while Kuzbass own mines are not in the best state. Yes, and how much money will one need for that? Germany has spent on the restoration of the GDR 1 trillion 250 billion Euros(!), but still, after 25 years, they have not managed to pulled East Germany to their standard of living. In general, it is not unambiguous – and we cannot approach it purely with the slogan, “Oh, we finally return Crimea!”.
In 2005 Yanukovych lost the election, Yushchenko became president. And in 2010, the people voted for Yanukovych again, because the economy has tanked to hell… Yushchenko received 5% of the vote. Now carousel turns again. It is possible that the armchair of the head of Ukraine will become occupied by a candidate with support from the U.S. and the EU – only to fail 5 years later at the next elections in the impoverished country. And on whom shall we bet then? Perhaps, sane politicians who provide friendship with Russia, not in words but in deeds.
Meanwhile, the rebellious nationalists in Kiev should really think. It is not “Moskal’s agents,” but the rejection of federal arrangement, persistent disregard for the interests of the East, the unwillingness to recognize the importance of the Russian language that in the end led to chaos in Ukraine and the collapse of the state into two separate parts. However, will someone on Maidan dare to admit it?
This is a translation from Russian of an article by Evgenij Pozhidaev, originally found here. The article gives a good overview of the history in Ukrainian-Russain gas relations. It was published on the 25th of April 2014. The article is speed-translated using Google translate and then extensively edited, making it human-readable.
The Third Gas War: EU and US must pay for their “successes” in Ukraine
So, Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of the next (third) gas war. The gas conflict receded into the background, against the backdrop of the “hot” fighting and repression in the South East, however, it may leave a long-lasting and even larger impact on the Ukrainian political landscape. We begin with a retrospective – especially as gas wars long since became part of the Ukrainian political mythology, the main character of which is a sinister totalitarian neighbour strangling young democracy and not allowing it to achieve great success and genuine European prosperity.
The reality is somewhat different. The History of the Russian-Ukrainian gas relations, is a history where the Ukrainian side always gets what he wants, but the final result is always not to its liking. So, in 2005, Ukraine was bathed in cheap gas. Back then there was a contract that was supposed to operate until 2013, provided for a fixed price of $50 per thousand cubic meters, plus a payment “in kind” for transit, which gave Ukraine 19.7 billion cubic meters at in fact even lower prices.
A second supplier, who successfully uses Russian gas transport system was Turkmenistan, which for lack of other buyers except for Russia and Ukraine sold its gas at $40 – $42. In other words, the claim that Ukraine received gas at $50, is in fact stretch the truth – on average, it was significantly cheaper. In addition “Gazprom” turned a blind eye on re-export. In reality it was a subsidy, which provided the Ukrainian economy is very rapid growth, a positive trade balance and other positive trends in the epoch of late Kuchma. In general, it has been more than generous fee for non-aligned status of Ukraine and relative loyalty – nothing else was required from Ukraine.
However, in 2005 the first Maidan happened. Yushchenko administration made clear pro-Western choice, which was to be paid out of pocket of Moskals that were “robbing” Ukraine. The winning tandem requested the average European price for transit and tore up the contract with “Gazprom”. In response to the monopoly proposed an average European price for gas, which by that time was $160 – $170 per thousand cubic meters. Ukrainian side tried to return to the previous agreements – but it was too late. Negotiations dragged on – and meanwhile, the average European price rose to $220 – $230. Giving maximum and indefinite subsidies to the westernized Kiev power was not in anybody’s plans, and in January 2006 Russia simply turned off the gas flow.
Eventually the price ended up being $98 – still more than the reduced price (for the Baltic States, it was $126), 9 billion cubic meters, which could be bought for payment for transit in monetary equivalent at about 1.5 times the discounted price for it, and the debt of $1.2 billion. That was a turning point in the development of rather quickly growing Ukrainian economy – from this point on the trade balance becomes negative. Nevertheless, it is still subsadies. The problem is that under the agreement the Ukrainian side imposed upon “Gazprom” and the Turkmens, a mediator in the for of the office called “RosUkrEnergo” (RUE), where the Russian gas monopoly indirectly (through “Gazprombank“) owned only 50%. The rest went to Dmitry Firtash and Ivan Fursin. At the same time, behind Firtash’s back was none other as Semyon Mogilevich (one of the leaders of Solntsevskaya gang arrested by FSB in 2008, without being able provide convicting evidence, the U.S. FBI asks for the information leading to his arrest $100.000). As a result, instead of $98, Ukraine received gas all at the same average European price of $230.
Next we delve into the abyss of WikiLeaks, and to be more precise into the report of the then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor‘s meeting with Firtash in 2008. “During the meeting, which lasted two and a half hours, Firtash told the Ambassador that he was a non-public person who has recently increasingly began to dabble in Ukrainian politics. He acknowledged that he “faithfully served” President Yushchenko as an informal adviser during the tense gas negotiations with Russia and political crisis during the “orange revolution” in 2004. He reported that at the request of the President he met Yushchenko three times at his country house last week.” This is confirmed by the former head of the secretariat of Yushchenko Oleg Rybachuk. “I do not know how often they met at the private residence of the president, but as a colleagues told me, he took a very active part in the negotiations.”
“Many a time I started conversations with the president that the gas scheme involving “RosUkrEnergo” is unacceptable. And each time in response Viktor Andreevich remained silent and looked away. According to many years’ experience of communication with him, this reaction I know very well: Yushchenko remains silent if he is not agreeing with your arguments, but can not convincingly argue.” Apparently at about this moment a strong idiosyncrasy about Maidan formed in Moscow, because stealing at the same scale as this team was doing seemed simply impossible.
Yulia Tymoshenko, who just returned to power in 2007, watched the business of her competitors with equal scepticism, and in 2008 RUE got equidistant from Russian gas trade. However, the middle man had by that time accumulated debts of $2.4 billion – and the Kremlin demanded payment, simultaneously placing Firtash and Fursin on the Federal wanted list. Here ends the touching agreement between Miller and Ukrainian “gas goddess” – despite the fact that Yushchenko acknowledged the debt (naturally blaming the Prime minister to it), Tymoshenko refused to pay, saying that it was not the debt of the state, but of RUE.
At the same time Yushchenko tried to return the scheme into the game. “RosUkrEnergo” suggested price of $285 versus $235 from “Naftogaz” (“Gazprom” wanted to receive $250), but Moscow has looked askance at Firtash, preferring a formula – less money, but more transparent scheme. The reaction by President Yushchenko regarding the losses sustained by the billionaire cruel mockery of the crystal honest Ukrainian businessman was tough and unambiguous – he withdrew from the negotiations the delegation of… “Naftogaz”; the latter refused to guarantee transit. Yushchenko and Firtash wanted money at any cost – and the lack of flexibility of the Kremlin has caused their sincere bewilderment.
As a result, on January the 1st, 2009 Russia again stopped gas supplies to Ukraine. “The war”, accompanied by shameless gas extraction by the “Ukrainian partners,” continued until January 19th. In, general, during this remarkable saga, one can watch all Ukrainian classical tricks – blackmail by transit, howls of European officials, statements from Kiev politicians that Russia is robbing Ukraine, appointing non-market prices (in fact constituted the then $320), the requirements of the “technological” gas for free (i.e. gratis) with full gas storage facilities and ultra-patriotic propaganda (Yushchenko: “this is a blackmail of each of you”, “one of the forms to put your existence, stability at greater risk”). The end result was an agreement, according to which gas prices are tied to oil prices (more precisely, on petroleum products – gasoil and fuel oil) with quarterly revisions – i.e. according to common European formula, adopted back in 1960 with the filing of the Dutch government. Obviously, it seemed profitable to the Ukrainian side – in early 2009, of the price per barrel collapsed to $33.67, and Kiev believed it was going to last for a long time. An additional “carrot” was a 20% discount for a year – the southwestern neighbour was given time to improve energy efficiency. Anyway, in 2009, the scheme worked – gas cost Ukraine $228 per thousand cubic meters, almost twice cheaper than less “advanced” users; it de facto meant a subsidy worth about $5 billion. However Firtash-Yushchenko tandem failed to put back into play RosUkrEnergo. Firtash was left profiteering from “Naftogaz” – the latter, while carefully playing a losing game in courts,” presented him in 2010-2012 gas for about $5 billion.
It’s easy to imagine what happened next. Already in the beginning of 2010 it became clear that Kiev traditionally tricked myself – the price of oil topped $80, and gas prices were pulled up after them; in the meantime the term of the discount has expired, and yet in 2009, Ukraine is not at all engaged in improving energy efficiency. As a result, in the first quarter of 2010 the price of gas for Ukraine was $300 – $310 (the average in Europe – $308). When Yanukovych administration came to power, it suddenly realized that Putin-Tymoshenko agreement was “criminal”, and the price – of course, “not a market one”. The result was the Kharkov agreements – in exchange for extension of the Black Sea Fleet stay in Sevastopol until 2042, Kyiv received a 30% discount, which, however, could not exceed $100. In other words, prices returned back to year 2009, continuing to subsidize the Ukrainian economy – that has not prevented Ukrainian politicians to sing a traditional song about the robbery of the free state (thus, Arsenij Yatsenyuk claimed that European countries pay for gas $170 – $220; quite typical case of shameless lies).
By the end of the year the chorus of opposition was joint by the sitting power – the prices rose to $256.7 per thousand cubic meters, and Yanukovych administration again suddenly realized that it signed a contract which is “non market priced”. Kiev began to seek additional discounts – but Moscow has managed to sort out what kind of bird this “protege of Donetsk” is. Kremlin was not going to reduce the prices compared to the average European, only to see further movement towards Euro-shljahta an not keeping the “pro-Russian” promises, so the contract was not revised.
Since then, the Kiev authorities had three main activities:
a) expensive and pointless projects to reduce gas dependence on Russia
b) attempts to finally obtain discounts
c) agitation and propaganda – so that the vast majority of Ukrainians believe that they get “the most expensive gas in Europe.”
Let us consider the last point in more detail. Ex-Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was the one starting the saga of “the most expensive gas” by regularly playing this thesis for several years from the end of 2010. As an example, a quote of 2011: “Ukraine receives gas from the Tymoshenko’ formula considerably more expensive than Germany receives its gas, much more expensive than it is received by Poland. Is that normal? Does that fit into a strategic partnership? And by and large, Russia will have agree with us.” In reality, at the time of pronouncing this perturbed rants, Germany received gas at $355, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia – for $340 – $360, Ukraine – to $295. Azarov, to put it mildly, was engaged in manipulation – “forgetting” about the discount and the transport component and pointing to the base price of gas, which existed only on paper. Over time it has become a common practice in the Ukrainian establishment – thus, speaking in the early 2013th, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Vladimir Makuha dutifully alerted the world that in 2012 Ukraine bought gas at $416 – $426, and in the first quarter of next year – for $432. It’s hardly necessary to specify that such prices for Ukraine have never existed. Such was the general style of negotiation and propaganda attacks, which expectedly did not lead to any results over the span of three years.
Anyway, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is absolutely right: the history of gas relations between Russia and Ukraine – is the story of endless subsidies of the Ukrainian economy, gradually reduced by a Ukrainian initiative, through parasitism of local “elites”, which actually put a tribute on Russian Federation, and mortal offences taken by Kiev over whether that subsidies are inadequate, and parasitism which went by without enough punishment. Of course, this was conducted against the backdrop of the shouts of patriotic Ukrainian public, which was strongly offended by “Moskal’s” for the fact that they do not let Firtash, Mogilevich, Tymoshenko and others to profit on that very same public.
What came next is known well enough – Ukrainian collapsing economy still got gas at $268 per thousand cubic meters (the highest price in 2013 was $398) and credit to pay for the accumulated gas debt. For comparison – the average price for Italy in 2013 was $418, Germany – $479 France – $555. Relatively cheap gas was supplied to Turkey, with which “Gazprom” signed a 25-year contract ($388) and Britain ($330), where the gas monopoly, obviously, made a bid to actively expand its market share.
In other words, by any standards, Ukraine received ultra-subsidised price – but, of course, Moscow did see even a shade of gratitude (conscious Ukrainian patriots immediately concluded that the $268 – this is a market, and the previous price was overstated). These rates remained also after the February coup – Russia dutifully supplied gas throughout the first quarter, and continues to deliver it now. Meanwhile, Kiev regime completely stopped the payments from the second half of February – even though only half of the provided loan was used for the payment. As a result, only in March Ukraine’s debt increased by $550 million, reaching $2.2 billion. We were actually pronsoting and are still sponsoring a regime that is hostile towards Russia.
On April the 1st, “Gazprom” announced the cancellation of “Yanukovych discounts” and price increases to $ 385.5 – officially because of default on repayment of principal and lack of payment of the current supply. On April the 3rd, Kharkov agreements were denounced and the price rose to $485. However, as explained by sources in Moscow, it was a preventive measure – price was slated to actually come closer to $500 in case of possible tricks from the Ukrainian side. On April the 7th came the deadline for March payments. In other words, the “cold” phase of the gas war began two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, the reaction of Kiev became less and less adequate. On April the 4th Ukrainian profile Minister Yuriy Prodan said that the blame for not paying for gas lay on… Russia. “There were commitments agreement. Among these agreements in 2013 were also the obligations of the Russian side on granting Ukraine a loan of $15 billion, you know, the first part of the loan in December 2013 in the amount of $3 billion has been paid and has been received by Ukraine. Second part of the obligations matures in February 2014. The Russian side also pledged to give Ukraine a loan of $2 billion. Moreover, the obligations on the part of Ukraine – that Ukraine will pay the money as the corresponding payments for gas. Such were the arrangements. We seek confirmation of these arrangements formally in writing.” Thus Ukraine insisted on maintaining the same gas prices ($268). In other words, Moscow was offered to keep the massive subsidies and loans to new Ukrainian regime. The problem is that Russian Federation does not have and never had such obligation to credit [the new regime], linked to the gas contract.
On April the 5th Prodan still maintained that he’ll ensure the transit of gas to Europe regardless of the development of the “dialogue” with Russia, but then Ukraine’s position began to quickly evolve. Already on April the 8th, the Minister said that a price of $500 will be put transit in jeopardy and directly called the actions of the Russian Federation for economic war. The next day, the head of the National Bank of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv surprised financiers with a fresh discovery in the field of monetary policy, saying that Ukraine has “returned” the three billion Russian loan, paying it for the gas. First of all, what is notable here, is an alternative logic, according to which a loan spent is considered to be a loan returned. Second, there are the outright lies – only $1.6 billion were used to pay for the gas, while $1.4 billion disappeared in an unknown direction (obviously, this explains the sharp decline in the reduction of the gold reserves of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU)). On the 9th the Ministry of Energy put its threats in effect, stopping pumping gas into underground storage (UGS) – something that virtually guaranteed transit disruptions. Kiev regime actually told Moscow to support them by resorting to the traditional transit blackmail. At the same time during a meeting in the Kremlin, it was agreed that Ukraine should be translated into an advance payment – that officially was possible to do from April the 17th; while the reason for disconnection of gas appeared from the 1st of May. Besides, the EU and the United States were offered to provide for “their bastards” themselves. Putin: “As you know, our partners in Europe recognize the legitimacy of the current Kiev authorities, but do nothing to support Ukraine. Not with one dollar, nor with one euro.”
Next, the following happened. Almost simultaneously the head of “Naftogaz” Andrew Kobolev directly linked the possibility of “repayment”, with retention of the old price. later a time frame was designated, within which there must be reached a new agreement – according to the local Department of Energy, in the event of disconnection of gas, Ukraine will be able to provide transit for three months from existing reserves.
Position of the EU and the IMF was more constructive. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger: “There is no reason to panic. I prepare a decision by which Ukraine is to pay to “Gazprom” from the package of credits allocated by the IMF, the ECB and the World Bank.” Later, the European Union issued two more conflicting signal. On the one hand, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso spoke out against the introduction of prepayment and actually laid on “Gazprom” the responsibility for providing transit. On the other, Oettinger reiterated his statement on the need to help Ukraine pay $2.2 billion gas debt. A similar statement was made by the head of the IMF’s External Relations Department Jerry Rice.
In parallel Russian Federation finalized the terms of financial assistance to Ukraine, which included constitutional reform, legitimate elections, the deescalation in the East and “legitimization of the situation around the Crimea.”
In other words, by the middle of last week, the situation looked like this. Kiev will not pay – even Turkish minimum (about $400 per thousand cubic meters) will result in a $12 billion. Together with debt payment ($10 billion) for this year, it will eat almost all western aid promises. The problem of the western adventure in Kiev is that it by default assumed that everything was paid for by the Russian Federation – which was pre-assigned to be the guilty side in the Ukrainian crisis. While the EU and Ukraine actually do not have three months to negotiate – in stores contain only 8 billion cubic meters of gas and it’s technologically extremely difficult to take it out completely. Ukraine in fact has no alternative sources of gas. With gas imports of about 30 billion cubic meters per year, the maximum possible amount of gas that can be supplied from Europe is 12 billion cubic meters. Slovakia accounting for 10 of them, and is not entirely positive to the prospect of doing reverse deliveries. The problem is that the new Ukrainian authorities are not ready to invest in the construction of appropriate infrastructure, nor guarantee its load. As a result, Slovakia without the consent of “Gazprom”, is ready to deliver only 3.2 billion cubic meters. At the same time the supply of 1 billion cubic meters of reverse deliveries in the past year allowed Ukraine to save only $34 million. If the situation is replayed, the savings will be penny-worth this year as well.
Even more absurd is the idea of importing liquefied natural gas – Turkey has quite clearly stated that it will not allow LNGs to pass through the Bosporus. While LNG is extremely expensive – thus the gas from Qatar on 40-50% more expensive than Russian. In other words, Ukraine does not have any chance to get away from gas dependence.
Equally absurd is the rhetoric of the West and the Ukrainian establishment, threatening RF with isolation from the European gas market in the case of “incorrect” behaviour of Moscow. Consider the situation in more detail. The share of “Gazprom” exports to Europe in 2013 – 139.92 billion cubic meters per year. It is necessary to replace this volume. There are some possible sources of supply to Europe. The most publicized – the U.S., which are ready to start exporting LNG (their production is growing fast due to shale technologies), followed by Iran, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Qatar. Norway and the Netherlands are hopeless by default – Dutch reduce their production, exacerbating the shortage of its own gas to Europe, while Norwegians are simply not in a position to dramatically increase theirs, and after 2020 it will start to decline rapidly. At the same time, gas production in importing countries has been steadily declining (as in Germany it fell from 16.9 billion cubic meters in 2000 to 10.6 in 2011), and consumption is growing, in part due to “wrapping up” of nuclear energy.
So, consider the alternatives. Let’s start with Iran – the situation with them is extremely simple. Iran imposed an embargo on the sale of oil and gas to the EU at the beginning of 2013 in response to “hostile policy toward Iran” (in other words, sanctions). The gesture was largely symbolic, however, the same argument was repeated at the beginning of this year, when it was decided to lift the sanctions – but in a modified version. Now the reason for the embargo was a hostile policy towards Iran and… Russia. In parallel the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran made an unprecedented barter deal on oil supplies to Russia, bypassing the dollar settlements. In other words, firstly, the potential competitors get along well with each other. Secondly, the basic amounts of Iranian gas will be produced by Chinese companies and will go to China. The West cannot hope to sick Tehran and Moscow against each other – rather they’ll peacefully divide the European market. Further, Qatar at the moment just does not have the surplus gas (all the world supply of LNG – 120 billion cubic meters), and its exports mainly in Asia – at a very impressive price. As for Azerbaijan, the limit of its possibilities – about 4% of the European market. Algeria has only 4 trillion. cubic meters of gas reserves (about a seven-year consumption in Ukraine, or less than five years for Germany), and the existing pipeline network is able to provide only 47% of gas consumption in Spain.
In other words, the only chance in Europe – is the U.S., whose export potential is estimated at 200 billion cubic meters, while domestic prices are $135 U.S. per thousand cubic meters. However, there are a few ugly strokes in this positive picture that mess it up. In the short term, the massive gas export from the United States is not possible – currently they are a pure net importer (60 billion cubic meters from Canada), and they are not expected to reach self-sufficiency until 2017. Start of exports also does not promise Europeans a sea of cheap gas. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz in an interview with Czech television: “If we take the present value of gas in the U.S. market and add to this the costs of liquefaction, transportation, de-liquefaction, and possibly even for the construction of any pipeline, the price – if the gas will be delivered to the Czech Republic – will be about the same as you are paying now.” Meanwhile, the operations by minister with domestic U.S. prices sin with strong craftiness – they are radically underestimated. Shale gas production is now unprofitable. Thus, Royal Dutch Shell has written off $ 2.2 billion due to losses associated with the development of shale gas. A year earlier, shale project turned a 5 billion loss for BHP Billiton.
An increase of domestic gas prices in the U.S. is a matter of time, and it will be significant. The States will in the very near future be faced with a reduction in oil production and closure of a long series of nuclear reactors at their plants – and the “dropped out” energy will have to replaced with something. One should take into account the fact that the gas reserves, as shown by recent studies, have been overstated (by 7.5%). So: U.S. obviously will never be able to compete with Russia on the European gas market.
In other words, when making a choice between a gas war and subsidising of and anti-Russian regime in Kiev in general, and the bounty hunter for Russian citizens – Mr. Kolomoyskogo in particular, the Russian Federation should choose the gas war. The entire history of Russian-Ukrainian relations shows that subsidies to Kiev practically never brings political dividends – good intentions are nothing against a well-run propaganda machine. The EU and the U.S. should pay for their “successes” – and so dearly that they are not tempted to repeat them.
This concludes the original article. After it was written, a series of 8 rounds of negotiations followed, during which EU acted as a mediator and suggested the price of $385 per thousand cubic meters. The Ukrainian side sabotaged the negotiations in any way they could, on one occasion leaving the site and driving off in an unknown direction, presumably to receive further instructions from their Washington masters.
After all the efforts, Ukraine finally declined the EU-suggested price and refusing to pay back the debt, forcing Russia to file a law suite with the international court of appeals in Stockholm. Russian Federation was also forced to stop gas deliveries also this time – from the 16th of June Ukraine’s regime lives on stolen time.
In this regard, it is interesting to note a leaked telephone conversation between two high-ranking Ukrainian officials. It concerned the money provided by the U.S. to buy military equipment. U.S. demanded accountability, while the Ukrainians have already offshored half of the amount and were surprised that accountability was required. One of the officials said that they can use the money from the IMF loan that was earmarked for gas debt down-payment to make weapons purchases, and will simply “handle” Gazprom’s Miller, not paying for the gas.