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25 July 2019


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Thanks for the update, Patrick,

Given the problems with the F-35, being kicked out of the program is actually good in the long term. However, it seems obvious that Turkey looks at the S-400 as insurance against as you say, becoming a former friend of the US given what Erdogan argues happened during the coup. Surprising how few commentators have picked up on it. Either they are extremely unimaginative or it is believed that summarizing recent US history (e.g., Libya) is a career killer.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12)

and all that has happened is that a new batch of robbers has arrived in Kiev to steal what's left.

This is precisely who they are--Ukrainian "elite" can only reproduce this type. Yes, Ukraine will end up as a rump and, most importantly, Russia doesn't want to pay even for that and by Russia I mean majority of Russians, including power elite.

Seamus Padraig

Patrick, I've also heard rumors that Saudi Arabia is interested in buying the S-400. Any truth to them?

Patrick Armstrong

Yes. I don't know how far along the deal is. I mention it in the reference that I gave. I wonder whether SA is contemplating a new switch of external patrons (as Abdul Aziz did when he switched from the UK to the USA).


If Ze attempts to change course, he will find:

a. The IMF will suddenly decide that Ukraine is not making serious enough efforts in its anti-corruption drive, and something something money laundering. The latest tranche will be delayed.

b. Western prosecutors will start taking a deep and abiding interest in Kolomoiskii's financial activities.

c. Assassination. There are a lot of Galicians lurking around with weaponry, something something, what a tragedy.

d. Maidan 3.0. See the above comment about Galicians with weaponry.

e. Something else. The tanker seizure was clearly intended to force Ze to stay on side.

TL;DR: Trump may take little interest in Ukraine, but his neocons in the State Department do, and they are not about to throw up their proverbial hands and say "Oh well, I guess we lost fair and square then".

Patrick Armstrong

One can hope (and maybe one should). On some other discussion group someone suggested that Ze should arm his supporters and set them on the nazis. A happy ending will only come, if it does, after more unhappiness. Ukraine is another NATO stability triumph, isn't it?

but I still stick by what I thought 5 years ago. The future map will look different. (This time I suspect Warsaw will be too smart to take Galicia)


If SA change external sponsors to Russia that probably doesn't affect their relationship with Israel - who we are told have an excellent relationship with Russia - but would it affect SA's hostility to Iran because of Iran's relationship with Russia?

If it does that wouldn't please Israel.

Would SA take UAE and even Egypt with them?

UK and USA were partners so hand over of SA was fairly amicable. US and Russia aren't friends.

I can't really see this happening. Which is no reason at all why it won't.

The Twisted Genius

MH17. Thanks for that link to the documentary. It laid out a clear case that the JIT investigation stinks to high heaven. I think you may have participated in some of our discussions on this years ago.


Judging by some of the eyewitness accounts in the documentary, I'm leaning more to a shoot down by a Ukrainian SU-25. I was always puzzled by the change of direction of the airliner's flight path before it broke up. A chase/strafing run and AA missile strike seems a more likely explanation for that direction change that a sudden Buk strike. I believe the Ukies had versions of the SU-25 with pressurized cockpits and refurbished to handle the R-60, R-73 and Israeli Python missiles. Do you know if anyone is still researching this scenario?


An overall evaluation of Middle East geopolitics and trends in geopolitics of US versus Russia for the last decade suggests rapid waning of US influence, which is certainly playing a role in calculations in all regional capitals, including Riyadh in the region.

1. Multiple US regime change efforts have all failed to produce the US desired result (a US aligned govt) in quite a few countries,
2. Russia has succeeded in its desired ME military results,
3. Russian military hardware has been field proven to work, whereas US military hardware has not - consider up armored Humvees - wrt the mission (one can argue that the mission is impossible and was set by idiots from DC, but from a marketing perspective that's irrelevant).
4. The dollar is slowly losing reserve status
5. The US is tied to the Israeli loose canon, constraining US ability to follow its own interests.
6. The US is implicated in the failed Erdogan coup, raising questions about the security of depending on US systems
7. Our Saudi buddies, with significant behind the scenes US support, seem to be losing in Yemen.

Patrick Armstrong

The theory's out there. https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/07/russia-today/did-an-israeli-python-missile-destroy-mh-17/

Patrick Armstrong

And, of course, there's this rather interesting video


>"Candidates are required to get signatures from voters – these are easily faked and equally easily declared fake. If the establishment is trying to nobble Navalniy & Co, it's wasting its time and doing itself a disservice: they have little support and it's better to let them run."

Mr. Armstrong, did you just suggest for the Moscow's Electoral Commisson to break the law?

Outrage Beyond

In that rather interesting video:

"Apparently it was an incident" [accident?] "Nobody had any intent to take it down."

"Gave a shot accidentally - wanted to hit one plane, hit another one."

These quotes from the video seem to reference the theory that the Ukrainians were actually trying to shoot down Putin. Apparently, the paint scheme on MH-17 was similar to that of the Russian presidential jet.

Patrick Armstrong

The MH-17 Putin plane idea has been around for a while and is easily searched for. One problem is Putin drives a 4 engined plane and MH-17 was 2 engined.

Patrick Armstrong




In that case, what do you mean by "it's better to let them run" given the fact, that to allow "them" run would mean to break the law?

Tom Wonacott

Regardless of excluding Malasia (which, I agree, should not have happened), the Russian government has lied about everything beginning with their July 21, 2014 news conference in which the MOD of Russia put forth several contradictory theories on the downing of MH17. A recent report on the movement of Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade by Novaya Gazeta toward the border is reported because it surely applies to the Bellingcat report on the movement of the Russian Buk missile into Ukraine (Russian Troops Moved Toward Ukraine Border Ahead of MH17 Crash, New Reports Say https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/06/06/russian-troops-moved-toward-ukraine-border-ahead-of-mh17-crash-new-reports-say-a65906):

".....Newly discovered documents suggest that at least 170 Russian troops were deployed near the Ukrainian border shortly before Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down there five years ago, Russia’s investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper said, supporting previous reports.

MH17 was shot down in July 2014 over territory held by pro-Russian separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard. A team of Dutch-led prosecutors said in May 2018 that the Buk anti-aircraft system used to bring down the passenger plane came from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, a claim Moscow has repeatedly rejected.

The unclassified documents allegedly indicate that escorted air defense troops with the 53rd brigade were moving toward the Ukrainian border with the Buk system two days ahead of the MH17 crash, corroborating reports by the Bellingcat investigative website and the Dutch-led team......."

In addition murdered journalist and politician, Boris Nemtsov, also provides a convincing narrative about Russian complicity in the downed passenger jet ("Putin. War").

The JIT clearly got this right. There is no conspiracy to blame Russia in the downing of MH17. They shot it down and refuse to acknowledge it because they also refuse to acknowledge their supply of weapons and personnel (liker Wagner) - or even their two invasions of Eastern Ukraine in late 2014 and early 2015.


Patrick Armstrong

What's with this stuff about how Russia hasn't explained what happened therefore it's guilty? We see this with Skripal too. No, that's not how it works. The prosecution has to prove its case and it has to use facts to prove it.

Here are some facts: The serial numbers and log books of missile parts. Actual radar tracks. Satellite data. Convincing eyewitnesses. Experiments done by the missile manufacturer. Serious examination of the wreckage. Changed FlightAware tracks. JIT leaves all of these out (even though it's responsible for the first fact).

Here are some non-facts. Faked conversations. Faked videos. Inconvenient pieces of damage left out of the calculation. Anything by Bellingcrap. Assertions by opposition politicians and newspapers. JIT includes all these

Important missing facts. Ukrainian radar data. Kerry's "we saw everything". JIT has no comment on these.

Patrick Armstrong

The whole signature thing is such BS that I have no idea whether they are faked (and maybe that would be the point -- get the EC to disqualify the fakes you knowingly put in there and then scream) or they're real and over enthusiastic sycophants are disqualifying them.
The timing should make anybody suspicious: gotta distract the MSM's feeble attention from Gilets Jaunes so wind up your stooges in Moscow and Hong Kong.
And now Navalniy's lawyers say he's being poisoned.
Can't these guys come up with a new script?

Tom Wonacott

As much as I appreciate you taking the time to respond (and you are one of the few that does), I don't think Russia is going to get away with this one.



> “The whole signature thing is such BS that I have no idea whether they are faked (and maybe that would be the point -- get the EC to disqualify the fakes you knowingly put in there and then scream) or they're real and over enthusiastic sycophants are disqualifying them.”

Oh, so you now are saying that Moscow’s electoral commission is lying? Care to prove it? What have you read about it so that you have doubts whether they are fake or not? Have you read the article in “Argumenty I Fakty” (http://www.aif.ru/politics/russia/rasskazat_by_gogolyu_oppoziciya_ispolzovala_dannye_umershih_lyudey?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop)? Or Ilya Rememslo’s (who’s a lawyer and member of “Obschestvennaya Palata”) run down about how Gudkov Jr, Sobol’ and the rest of Navalny gang gathered their “dead soul” signatures? You simply assume that “Regime lies”.

And if not, if you can’t prove that the Electoral Commission is lying, if, indeed, the oppos were gathering “dead souls” thus violating the existing legislation, and still insist on allowing them to run… what kind of liberal you are, Mr. Armstrong? What about the rule of law?


Once again about signatures:

1) "Dead souls" of Gudkov, Jr (https://telegra.ph/Gudkovy-kak-u-otcov-i-detej-ne-soshlis-mertvye-dushi-i-finotchety-07-17)

2) L.Sobol's "dead souls" (https://telegra.ph/Mertvye-dushi-Lyubovi-Sobol-okonchatelnoe-razolachenie-07-16). This explains her hysterics (http://www.aif.ru/politics/russia/podpisi_pokoynikov_oppozicionerka_sdala_podpisnye_listy_s_mertvymi_dushami).

3) Sergey Mitrokhin's "dead souls" (https://telegra.ph/Mertvye-dushi-Sergeya-Mitrohina-Dokazatelstva-07-15).

4) NTV's fragment about fake signatures (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQEJCN1yaxk) and press-conference in MEC, with proofs and evidence of fraud by the oppos.

Maybe, indeed, it's better to reasearch the issue firsthand, instead of making blanket statements like "them run and damn the law"!?

Patrick Armstrong

Only your first link to Aif worked for me and I see it "340 signatures of dead people were found when checking the subscription lists of 12 candidates." That's 28 each (although some are evidently intended fakes).
I assume -- isn't it normal -- that everybody collects more signatures than required in order to cover for the fakes.
So I agree that I was hasty in assuming any playing around by the authorities.

I do not for one moment regard Navalniy & Co as anything much more than Western regime change tools. Interesting to speculate whether N&Co intentionally put the dead souls in so as to have an excuse for the usual theatre.


>"Only your first link to Aif worked for me"

You don't use TG?

>" I see it "340 signatures of dead people were found when checking the subscription lists of 12 candidates." That's 28 each (although some are evidently intended fakes) I assume -- isn't it normal -- that everybody collects more signatures than required in order to cover for the fakes."


"По словам юриста, выявление факта фальсификаций означает не просто минус 200 подписей у этих кандидатов. Количество фиктивных подписей — это 66% от всех проверенных. Если перенести этот процент на общее количество сданных подписей, получается, что оппозиционные кандидаты в реальности могли собрать примерно по 2 тысячи голосов в поддержку своего выдвижения. При минимуме примерно в 5 тысяч.

«Глава штаба Навального Леонид Волков говорил, что даже одна подпись умершего человека говорит о фальсификациях. Теперь мы видим, что у кандидата Навального Любови Соболь по меньшей мере 10 подписей умерших людей. О какой честной избирательной кампании тогда можно говорить?» — заявил корреспонденту «АиФ» Илья Ремесло.

По его мнению, цель оппозиции — это не участие и победа на выборах (что невозможно из-за невысокой популярности), а дискредитация московской избирательной кампании и собственный пиар. Все собранные данные юрист передаст ЦИКу, чтобы там могли ознакомиться с ними и сделать собственные выводы."

- (http://www.aif.ru/moscow/mertvye_dushi_kazhdaya_shestaya_podpis_oppozicii_vzyata_u_pokoynika)

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