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26 May 2015


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"how gullible"

Remember when Spontaneous Human Combustion was a thing?

Photoshopped? That video does show something more sized for a human than a dog. Can't see putting a horse or cattle in it.


It gets worse...in the article Rep. Moulton said that "the West has a moral obligation to help the Ukrainians, and under current conditions, the Ukrainian military simply can’t face down the heavy weapons Russia continues to pour into Ukraine." So bnow we have a moral obligation to help the Ukrainians.

And other US media, including CNN, are using this Bloomberg article as the source for repeating the story. http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2015/05/26/putin-ukraine-josh-rogin-nr-sot.cnn-ap
Rogin cites "Ukrainian and U.S. officials" for the source for his story. The thrust of the story is Putin's allegedly hiding the casulties from the Russian people- as if the families won't know.

ex-PFC Chuck

OT, but no doubt of interest to most who read SST.

Headline at The Saker: "For the first time the PRC publishes a white paper on China’s Military Strategy." The full text of the white paper is in the post.


The Twisted Genius

Instead of some suspect videos, go to the company's website (www.turmalin.ru) for plenty of information, videos and testimonials. This waste management company based in Saint Petersburg is called Tourmaline. It produces these mobile crematoriums (model IN-50) "for the destruction of biological waste (animal) and vegetable origin." They're also used for the incineration of medical waste, oil sludge and other waste. The Russian MOD does use them. We should have used them in Iraq rather than burning all that waste in open pits.

I hope Thornberry and Moulton hold flashlights under their faces for dramatic effect while they spin their yarns of horror and bullshit. I bet the Russians have used a virus to raise an army of undead Soviet hordes from WWII graveyards and are ready to unleash them on the poor, hapless Ukrops. I'm surprised the much vaunted Ukie and NATO intelligence services haven't found evidence of this grave (yuk, yuk, yuk) undead threat.

The Beaver


To use the expression I learned here a couple of weeks ago, Josh Rogin is the stenographer for someone - he is rehashing a piece with a bit more meat from the Ukranian pravda circa January 2015:



These rumors are old, I was reading them around the time of the first defeat of the Ukranian army in August/September 2014, and come directly from reliable nazi Ukrainian propaganda sources.

No need to waste a minute on them.


"I bet the Russians have used a virus to raise an army of undead Soviet hordes from WWII graveyards and are ready to unleash them on the poor, hapless Ukrops"

I know that from hearsay only, naturally, but there is a movie out there on the subject, Dead Snow, in which undead Nazi soldiers rise from their graves and go after hapless norwegian teenagers. On a gut level, I wouldn't rule out that Putin had a hand in that.


When US politicos spout such BS I always wonder whether they cynically lie or whether they really are clueless and dumb enough to really believe what the Ukies tell them.

Not long ago there was the strange case of Inhofe 'being duped' by the Ukies to claim Russian aggression with old photos obviously taken elsewhere (*hint* in February, it's winter in Ukraine, with snow, and those pics had lush vegetation ...).


"the images show how easily and routinely a credulous member of Congress and a well-funded PR machine posing as a news blog can be snowed by propagandists bearing "scoops."

That's an unduly generous take. The reporter should hold a so distinguished and seasoned a senator to a higher standard than that. These propagandists, they did it again! How could Inhofe possibly have known?

I don't believe for a minute that Inhofe was being 'duped'. The man knew very well what he was doing, being in the game since 1994. He simply is cynical enough to help spread the propaganda, and ready to claim ignorance when called out for it.

The point missed in the article is that Inhofe himself is one of the propagandists.

It probably isn't any different with Thornberry, Moutlon and the mobile biological weapons labs, err, crematoriums.


I know Seth Moulton and I will vouch for his integrity.
As to the specifics of the article I don't know anymore than the rest of you.


The Beaver,
if there are 70 Russians troops getting killed daily (in one's wildest dreams), one must ask,
who's killing them? how many Ukrainian troops are are dying daily to kill 70 Russians?

Ishmael Zechariah


I acknowledge your guarantee of Moulton's integrity, but his statement "the West has a moral obligation to help the Ukrainians" prevents me from accepting it without question. I keep remembering one "Fxxk the EU Nuland" and her millions, "Yats, her guy"...There may be a moral obligation, but not the one he imputes.

I also looked through his tweets. A few questions: How many bodies are being incinerated per day? Are these units completely smokeless/odorless? Where is the satellite imagery? Where are some decent photos? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and he has supplied none.

Ishmael Zechariah


Also remember that the Russian Orthodox Church does not favor cremation- in the past it was virtually forbidden. If Putin actually did this, it could backfire badly on him in terms of public opinion.

Also recall stories - a least in foreign media- about caskets of Russian soldiers killed in Eastern Ukraine being repatriated to their home bases.


confusedponderer ,
may be russians are using mobile crematoriums in Ukraine. But instead of burning hypothetical bodies, they may be simply burning the trash.

I mean it seems like there are Russian troops in Ukraine. Which would imply that there are camps for them. Which would also imply that is lot of trash produced there. Also there can be field hospitals. Leaving huge garbage dumps can leave incriminating evidence of a Russian presence (civilians may not appreciate it either). So burning it sounds like a logical choice instead of transporting the garbage back in to Russia.


Call it the "Kitchen Sink" propaganda strategy. Mutually exclusive claims not only coexist but complete each other...


Looks like Thornberry and Moulton have been watching too many George Romero films.

You don't think that Thornberry and Moulton are secretly shadow script writers for all of today's Hollywood Zombie movies do you?


Looks like Thornberry and Moulton have been watching too many George Romero films.

You don't think that Thornberry and Moulton are secretly shadow script writers for all of today's Hollywood Zombie movies do you?


I don't know. But I'll try to find out.


I call it the 'chimp strategy'. It's about throwing excrement at intruders. Bystanders eventually conclude that the object of their attention is shitty, and don't bother defending it lest they share its fate.

But, as almost always, there may be a silver lining.


"Surprisingly, they found that chimps that both threw more [feces] and were more likely to hit their targets showed heightened development in the motor cortex, and more connections between it and the Broca’s area, which they say is an important part of speech in humans. The better chimp throwers, in other words, had more highly developed left brain hemispheres, which is also, non-coincidently, where speech processing occurs in people.

Such findings led the term to suggest that the ability to throw is, or was, a precursor to speech development in human beings.

After making their discovery regarding the parts of the brain that appear to be involved in better throwing in chimps, the team tested the chimps and found that those that could throw better also appeared to be better communicators within their group, giving credence to their idea that speech and throwing are related. Interestingly, they also found that the better throwing chimps didn’t appear to posses any more physical prowess than other chimps, which the researchers suggest means that throwing didn’t develop as a means of hunting, but as a form of communication within groups, i.e. throwing stuff at someone else became a form of self expression, which is clearly evident to anyone who has ever been targeted by a chimp locked up in a zoo."


Sir, I have followed this conflict intently and I have never heard about mobile crematoriums. From my understanding the dead are transported back to Russia in trucks through military hospitals, and then if no one screws up the dead are sent for burial in their home towns. Their deaths are usually explained by training accidents in the Rostov region. Relatives are usually threatened with loss of pensions if they don't go along with this story. Journalists have been threatened or assaulted when they visited graves.

If this is about proof of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine, I don't get what more proof is needed. For example There are currently two Russian Spetsnaz soldiers in custody who were captured last week near Scastye.

As for cremation, I don't see a need. The Ukrainians are currently loosing about one soldier a day(my guesstimation), I doubt the Russians are loosing many more than that. There are a lot of wounded, but those are cared for in Russian Military hospitals, and their need for care usually means they can be convinced to keep silent.

I think there was a mass casualty event late last summer but IIRC they just buried them and later exhumed them for reburial.

David Habakkuk


You write:

'From my understanding the dead are transported back to Russia in trucks through military hospitals, and then if no one screws up the dead are sent for burial in their home towns.'

Could you please reference some sources? As you probably know, a vast amount of propaganda is churned out from very diverse sides about Ukraine, as about much else in the former Soviet space. Simple asseverations about what you think is happening, not linked to sources others can evaluate, do not take us much further.


So yesterday Putin classified all peacetime military casualties as state secrets. http://www.businessinsider.com/putin-just-made-russian-casualties-in-ukraine-officially-secret-2015-5


Of course Mr. Habakkuk. Now the reason I wrote "from my understanding is that this is how I understood things work from several anecdotal cases". I haven't been as focused on the mechanics of returning the dead as the fact that they were actually Russian soldiers KIA in Ukraine.

Here are some links I have gathered over time that should allow you to explore the sources further. These links are gathered around the theme of evidence of Russian forces in Ukraine, but also includes stories of casualties.

Unfortunately, reporting on Russian casualties looks to have become illegal in Russia today, so I'm unsure how easy it will be to verify future deaths. Russian bloggers and Journalists are already under so much pressure, so the addition of a law making their reports illegal is disconcerting.

One word of advice is that the Russians use the term 200 for KIA. So if you come over reports of 200 killed, that usually does not indicate 200 dead. More likely a misunderstanding or translation error. IIRC they use 300 for WIA.

David Habakkuk


Thank you for the links.

On Ukraine, I have tended to pay heed to, among others, the former British Army Intelligence officer Paul Robinson, now a professor at Ottawa.

A presentation he gave last December discussed in some detail the points where, in his view, the available evidence suggested that Russian forces had, and had not, directly intervened in the Donbass.

(See http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fa8_1418587187&comments=1 .)

A critical point he made at the outset – and documented – was that in the early stages of the Donbass insurrection, Igor Girkin/Strelkov and his associates were complaining bitterly of Russian lack of support. When Putin moved to prevent the 'separatists' being overrun by the Ukrainians, the quid pro quo was the replacement of their existing leadership.

In any case, however, I have not seen any reason to doubt that there have indeed been casualties among serving Russian Army soldiers, which have been suppressed.

There is however an enormous amount of propaganda on all sides in this conflict. And specific claims in the links you provide are contested. So, for example, Graham Phillips responded in detail to the claims made by 'Interpreter Magazine' that tanks he filmed were Russian T-72B3s.

(See http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/26/4998 .)

Moreover, some of the figures behind the reports to which you link are not exactly impartial. From one of them:

'Open Russia, a project of exiled businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has collated and checked these lists, indicating that in December 2014, 227 cases of regular soldiers or volunteers – mainly the latter – were verified as killed in combat in Ukraine or very close to the border. This number was then updated to 262 this week after fighting at the airport and other locations.'

On Khodorkovsky as 'exiled businessman', I would recommend to you two articles published in 'Moscow Times' back in May 2005 by a sympathetic Western correspondent, Catherine Belton – now with the FT.

(See http://mikhail_khodorkovsky_society_two.blogspot.co.uk/ .)

Of course, suspicion of propagandist intent does not establish factual inaccuracy. What makes me somewhat suspicious of the high casualty figures is that the number of cases of captured prisoners who have been demonstrated to be currently serving Russian soldiers appears to be rather low.

However, members of this 'committee of correspondence' who unlike me have experience of warfare would be better equipped to assess whether, if indeed there have been so many dead, one would expect more prisoners.


On Tuesday night I listened the weekly radio interview w/ Prof Stephen Cohen on the John Batchelor Show WABC and he mentioned an Army War College report that had been published about 10 days ago. I got a link to the report which turned out to be the results of a US-Russia war game prepared in early winter months and conducted in April. They also sent me a podcast link in which the authors discuss how they went about this operation and the writing of the report.

I haven't seen it mentioned here but given that I'm not a military expert, I'm really hoping some of the experts here might offer some insight on it (but of course understand if they don't for whatever reason).

I am wondering if we're headed for another (very big) war. I've followed the Ukraine crisis closely from the start and have thought that we could end up in war as a result but most people seemed to think that would never happen and I even heard some experts like Brzezinski call it "unthinkable". Over the past few months the "unthinkable" seems to have become very "thinkable".

The reports in this post by Walrus- it's not the first that we've seen tactics that seemed similar to the ones used in run up to the Iraq war.

Here are the relevant links to the radio show, the report and the podcast, in that order. Note, the second link is a PDF.


Can't tell you how much I appreciate gallows humor in situations like this. And sane, level-headed analysis. This place is like a refuge.

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