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07 July 2015

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Tom Welsh

'An assortment of "quasi-legal" militias including the Chechens are there to keep the Russians out'.

That will be difficult - and if it is done, the results will be extremely bloody. According to Wikipedia, the population of Mariupol is 44.4% Russian.

BabelFish

I would have to believe this would be right up there on Mr. Putin's list of nightmares.

kao_hsien_chih

Wasn't Sakashvilli appointed commissar of Odessa recently? Looks like the Ukrainians are dredging for every anti-Russian out there to man their battlements. What's next? Brzezinski as the foreign minister? (He is sort of Ukrainian by ancestry, with his ancestral estates being in the former Polish Galicia and all, no? Certainly more than the fellas from Caucasus they are digging up....)

505thPIR

This is eye poking. A couple of these nut bars and some good media coverage can be spun into a provocation against the Tsar....

Margaret Steinfels

If Wiki is accurate!! that means 66.6% are not Russians...Ukrainians perhaps?

ISL

MS:

So the paper of record alerts all that help is on the way to the Kiev govt whose military has been performing admirably poorly - special forces (of the radical muslim Chechen variety)!

Of course it somehow neglects to evaluate the level of Chechen support for NovoRussia - which indications during reporter earlier in the year was quite above 30 units. I presume if the great news for our bankrupt ally was militarily significant numbers of Chechens, they would have told us.

As a subject of this propaganda (possibly paid for by my taxpayer dollars), I feel insulted.

LeaNder

Who choose the image for this article? Pat?

I guess I have the same problem with Concita Wurst, as I have concerning "innovation" in the arts. At least sometimes.

I don't watch the European song contest. But in this case I checked the songs. If you only judge Tom Neuwirth by his song, it was highly conventional. Her innovation was the combination of dragqueen with beard. That's what won the price, aren't we all tolerant, shouldn't we celebrate this first of all? Never mind the idea of a context initially was to choose the best song.

Brunswick

Vice News "found" Chechen Battalions in the Ukraine a year ago, now there are three,

With a "revolving door" between rest areas in Bosnia, Battalions in the Ukraine, and ISIS units in Syria and Iraq,

Plus all of the "ususal" criminality of the Chechens.

Ishmael Zechariah

Margaret Steinfelds,

Please check your math.

Ishmael Zechariah

Valissa

Yes, the Ukraine situation is my nomination for best geopolitical soap opera.

It appears the US Senate Ukraine Caucus is deciding on ministerial appointments in Ukraine. Colonel Cassad must have a "friend" in the Ukrainian gov't.

You think the Ukraine is independent? Think again! http://thesaker.is/you-think-the-ukraine-is-independent-think-again/

David Habakkuk

All,

Army recruitment videos and cheese may seem off-topic, but I think may not be.

In the most recent of the 'Sitreps' he has done on Russia for many years, the former long-serving Canadian government analyst Dr Patrick Armstrong links to Russian and American army recruiting videos, and remarks: 'Interesting difference of emphasis, isn't it?'

(See http://russia-insider.com/en/one-pager-latest-developments-russia-rf-sitrep-20150625/ri8322 ; the videos are at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrxgAwuKxec , and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4r7QBbapaU .)

The Russian army recruitment video should be looked at in conjunction with another story in the NYT, by Martha Gessen, entitled 'What the Russians Crave: Cheese'.

(See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/05/opinion/sunday/what-the-russians-crave-cheese.html?ref=topics .)

This gives a wholly new meaning to the phrase 'cheese eating surrender monkey'.

A discussion of Gessen's piece by the Ottawa academic and former British Army intelligence officer Paul Robinson, entitled 'Cheesy liberals', having quoted a particularly hilarious passage, ends:

'If you want to know why Russian liberals languish at about one percent in the opinion polls, you have your answer right there.'

(See https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/cheesy-liberals/ .)

Margaret Steinfels

Hmmm! Never my strong suit.

That would be 55.4....Still more than half if Wiki is correct and up-to-date. But perhaps the little green men have moved in.

charly

Most of the rest are Russian speaking Ukrainians. If you would use a four letter word to describe them you would call them Moskals.

The Twisted Genius

Margaret Steinfels,

The people of Mariupol are overwhelming pro-Russia or at least against the current regime in Kiev. They voted for independence from Kiev along with the rest of Donetsk Oblast in the May 2014 referendum. If not for Kolomoyskyi's Azov Battalion, Mariupol would have been part of the DNR long ago.

mbrenner

Every fighting unit over there seems to be called "The Something-or-Other Battalion"

So, for the sake of simplicity, I suggest we call this latest bunch "The Gillette Battalion"

different clue

ISL,

I had read in the past on Saker's site about Putin-allied Karimov Chechens fighting on the East Ukraine side.

Mark Logan

David Habakkuk,

Thanks again. Hilarious.

I suspect our crushing the ruble may backfire sometimes. Were I quaking in my boots at the mere possibility of anything other than a weak, helpless Russia I'd prefer they remain as addicted to cheap imported goods as possible. Encourage the application of the hard-earned ingenuity which exists in Russian individuals (survivors?) to focus on the art of cheese making or just about any other art...which it is now fairly free to do...?

VietnamVet

Margaret,

This is the 21st century remake of “Have Gun – Will Travel”.

We are witnessing the natural progression of wars for profit in the nuclear age. The world is devolving into either dead zones ruled by warlords and their gangs or corporate institutional areas ruled by plutocrats protected by nuclear praetorian guards. The people are either debt slaves or handmaidens to the wealthy.

People security units will naturally arise for protection of the community from the pillaging of Warlords, Jihadists and Nazis as they already have in Northern Syria and the Donbass. They have one advantage over mercenaries. They are willing to die to protect their families.

Greece is about to merge into the Dead Zone.

The Moar You Know

Ask the Rolling Stones how well hiring gangs for security worked for them.

Oh, this is a bad idea if true.

Valissa

David, thanks for the links! http://www.searchquotes.com/sof/images/picture_quotes/31525_20131114_210039_funny91.jpg

After watching the recruitment videos it was obvious the US one was older and more out of date, which got me surfing thru various recruitment videos. Found some much better US ones, though in the end I still liked the Russian video best. And yes, the "social" emphasis is very different.

Since the Russia one was very recent, I looked for the newest Army commercial and found this one... which is pretty decent and I liked that it was done in B&W.

U.S. Army Commercial 2015, 'The Team that Makes a Difference' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozT18LA5CSE

Here is a set of 5 commercials for the Marines. I really liked the first one, the second one was good too. The 3rd and 4th... meh. The 5th one was decent.

U.S. Marine Corps Commercials https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inSzBLaTiNI

Lastly, I want to thank you for sharing that paper from the Valdai Club, The New Atlanticism which I finally got around to reading. Intellectually delicious indeed, while also quite blunt in it's discussion of power dynamics, a rare combination these days! I seems to me that today's warlords dress like metrosexuals and think they can rule the rule via PowerPoint presentations, but underneath all of that the perennial lust for power abides.

In case anyone missed it... http://www.scribd.com/doc/266515275/The-New-Atlanticism

Anonymous

Beards? Sure a revenge on Putin because of his invading Ukraine with the Duck Dynasty guy thing.

Anonymous

Apologies. It occurred to me that some of us might want to know how the Duck Dynasty guys were instrumental in Putin's invasion of Ukraine:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/21/world/europe/photos-link-masked-men-in-east-ukraine-to-russia.html

Fred

Margaret,

So these Chechens have Bowie knives? Who knew. Now if they wind up in a Ukrainian Alamo maybe those Ukrainians, the ones freed only by a Maidan Square revolution, will rally around that other unit not incorporated into the formal police or military - Right Sector. Of course one might also ask the Moscow correspondent just who all those Right Sector militias take orders from (or give orders too) or just why freedom loving Ukrainians aren't signing up with "...The army, corrupt and underfunded..." (oops, didn't Poroshenko fix that, he's had a year since "the people" removed Yanukovych from office? and if it is corrupt why give it any money or weapons, look what the anti-Assad guys do with what we give them?). Then again some other enterprising members of the press can find out if anti-Putin activists Pussy Riot plan a USO tour to rally the troops and gather in some recruits? That's sure to be a great story.

confusedponderer

I propose the following summary:

Russian Army - patriotism, defence and freedom
US Army - self improvement

And 'There is nothing stronger on God's green earth than the US Army'??! Geez.

IMO 'Army Strong' is just a syllable short of drooling. To grasp the full potential, one has to imagine the Monty Pythons in their idiot dress up saying the words.

Alas, the lack of concrete, grammar supported meaning leads to ambiguity - the army is strong, the strong are in the army, the army makes you strong, you make the army strong, the army is stronger without you, the army was stronger, once etc pp

Interestingly, the old 'Be All You Can Be' also emphasised the self improvement angle.

Just for contrast, here's a recruitment video for Russian airborne forces - рок-н-ролл!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlQ6KqTlyfk

David Habakkuk

Anonymous,

And you really swallowed the photos in that NYT story whole? Even the BBC weren't quite as gullible.

(See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27104904 .)

For links to the originals of the photos, which among other things show the beard of the 'Duck Commander' to be the wrong colour, see
http://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/23k8g2/photos_link_masked_men_in_east_ukraine_to_russia/cgxynj5

As to the notion of Strelkov/Girkin as Moscow's emissary, if you had followed discussions on SST over the past year, you would be aware that not long after his arrival in Slavyansk, he and his associates began accusing Putin's aide Vladislav Surkov of a plot to betray 'Novorussia'.

Unfortunately, Western intelligence services still seem, in large measure, almost as gullible as the NYT and your good self. Accordingly, the fact that Putin was not – and is not – prepared to see 'Novorussia' defeated is interpreted as evidence that he may be contemplating attacking the Baltic States – with the supposed objective being to precipitate a collapse in NATO.

The fantasy view both of the complex realities of Ukraine, and of Russian policy, held by so many in the West does not merely lead to them making contingency plans to confront imaginary threats. It also means that they cannot reflect on a critical issue – that of how people with divided and confused ideas and allegiances in Ukraine may react, as the country's collapses into a 'failed state' and the utter emptiness of promises that throwing in one's lot with the West would lead to prosperity becomes fully apparent.

If NYT journalists bothered to pay some attention to some Russians other than the familiar 'cheese eating surrender monkeys', they might be able to help us begin to make sense of the knotty problem of how thinking in Moscow is developing. It seems clear that different views about what may happen in Ukraine are bound up with different views of what is likely to be the appropriate Russian response.

And if you want to begin to try to emancipate yourself from Ukrainian and NATO propaganda, I suggest you might perhaps start with a denunciation of the 'Strelkovites' by an interesting figure by the name of Rostislav Ischenko, entitled 'Donbass and the Second Punic War', which has just been translated in to English.

(See http://fortruss.blogspot.in/2015/07/donbass-and-second-punic-war.html .)

A response by a leading 'Strelkovite' blogger, Boris Rozhin, (aka Colonel Cassad) has not – at least so far – been translated on the English-language version of his site. However, the gist of it can be found at
http://vladimirsuchan.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/boris-rozhin-on-slavynask-and-tragedy.html?spref=fb

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