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14 May 2020


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When the Akademik Cherskiy was making its epic journey, for a pipelayer, not only did it post false destinations but it had a RuN escort virtually all the way. First a cruiser from Nakhodka in the northern Pacific to Sr Lanka, then a frigate to Cape Town, then another cruiser (plus the frigate we think) up to the English Channel. We are not sure after that as the normal RN escort for RuN ships failed to appear. Highly likely there was a sub around as well. From her short stay in Kaliningrad it looks like she might have had a 'special' crew as well. Russians clearly taking every precaution to avoid an 'accident' to this strategically vital ship. She is now dockside in Germany getting set to pick up where the Swiss stopped.

gordon reed

I just listened to an interview on KPFK in Los Angeles. It was Ian Masters interviewing former CIA agent Bob Baer. Baer was totally in line with the msm and saying the Russians definitely swayed the election and hacked the DNC computer and said the Trump administration should have retaliated against Russia but has not. I was taken aback because I generally respect his opinion, but after reading all the posts on SST I have been leaning towards the Russian collusion being a hoax.

Patrick Armstrong

JohninMK. I'd heard that it had escorts but wasn't completely sure so I didn't put it in.


Dear Patrick Armstrong,

Always enjoy the updates. In countries with a functioning health care system, CFR are 1% or slightly lower. Thus, the Russian health care system remains on the good side of the line. Italy is at the other extreme (where data are available), and no one knows what is happening in Ecuador.


re Remember when it was Putin disinformation about nazis in Ukraine?

It didn't need Putin disinfo to get people to the idea that Ukie rightists loving OUN (who did some large-scale ethnic cleansing in 1943 and 44) and Stepan Bandera (Yushchenko granted him the title 'Hero of Ukraine' on 22 January 2010) ... are, were ... more or less nazis = certainly far right winged, collaborators and about everything that involved practically.

What about knowing some things about the history of the nasty neighbourhood between German Empire, Russian Empire and the former Austrian-Hungarian empire, not to mention what happened (= many little wars, revolutions, the ethnic cocktails, nationalism and civil wars) there between 1918 and 1939?

To get that idea even 'just reading Wikipedia' (reasonably sceptically) helps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov_Battalion (with the Wolfsangel of the 2nd SS Panzer Division "Das Reich" on their logo - by now made a regular military unit of the ...)

There are some really nasty militia folks underway in Ukraine who also attract a number of 'not-from-ukraine' nazis from Europe - and other unpleasants from Russia's 'not western neighbourhood'.

After all, it also drew to Ukraine people like Shakashvili from Georgia ((who by now is stateless after losing georgian (where jail expects him) and ukrainian passports (he's now undesirable and not allowed to re-enter ukraine), refugee in iirc the netherlands and he so far has lost two wars with Russia)).

But then, since Shakashvili (by necessity) is apparently for hire still, he may get himself a turkish passport and advise Erdogan in his silly but deadly war in Syria, allowing him to add a third lost war to his achievements.


gordon reed

I have known BB for a long time. He lives by his wits and his acceptability to the swamp.

Patrick Armstrong

Cofusedponderer. Read the link I gave. There was a considerable effort by Western propaganda to downplay it or deny it altogether.
Which is not to say that people who don't take the NYT as Gospel didn't know it.


Jeffrey has openly admitted American intention in Syria.
Such shameful behavior is yet another stain on American government policy.

Rick James Merlotti

Great list of links, as always. I particularly enjoyed reading about the Cherskiy odyssey.



It looks like you missed a couple of announcements, first that President Zelensky restored Saakashvili’s citizenship last May, with the “reformer” returning to Ukraine the day after.

Then, following that surprise last year, Zelensky signed a decree last Thursday confirming Saakashvili’s new political role in Ukraine as the Head of the National Reform Council.

Zelensky said that he “sincerely congratulated” the 52-year-old on this “new challenge,” adding that he trusts Saakashvili to be able to “provide impetus” to the body and help him with “implementing important changes in the life of the country.”

The National Reform Council is a presidential advisory body and does need “impetus” as it last convened more than two years ago.

According to media leaks, Saakashvili was initially considered for the job of deputy prime minister, but there was no consensus on his candidacy even among members of Zelensky’s own party.

They can't keep that rogue down!


Patrick Armstrong, I only know about the escorts as I am a poster on the russiadefence.net site which, as you might expect, has an interest in all things Russian. There is a tread there https://www.russiadefence.net/t7972-russian-oil-and-gas-industry-news-2 that tracked it.

With your interest in Russia you might, if it is new to you, find some gems on the site, on Syria perhaps, on new Russian weapons definitely. A couple of weeks ago we spotted the deputy commander of VDV, Russian airborne, a 2* being saluted by a US officer on a rural road in NE Syria, no idea what that was about! Its in English with a NZ mod!

Patrick Armstrong

JohninMK. Thanks. Hadn't heard of it but will now keep an eye on it.


thanks for the feedback to Shakashvili. Didn't know about Zelensky reinstating his ukrainian passport. I doubt that was a wise thing to do but ... alas.

I only recalled the scene where Shakashvili wanted to re-enter ukraine in iirc a train from poland, was caught and got kicked out, causing a lot of noise, mostly Shakashvili's loud and proud lamentation and declaration he would never ever give up, win big and return etc pp.

That aside, that part of the "new challenge" is a blade with two edges. I wish Zelensky and Uraine good luck. I think they'll need it. Why?

I recall Shakashvili talking about his strategy meetings with Zelensky predecessor Poroschenko. Remarkably, Shakashvili said they watched pornos, which, in terms of strategy, suggests that problems with ... priorities may be one cause for ukraine's lack of success in their trouble with russia and ukrainian russians. Also, it underlines that Shakashvili doesn't quite have the sense to know what better not to tell.

After losing his Georgia vs Russia war (and iirc the loss of his entire navy and some 80% of georgian artillery) he seriously said that "most of our soldiers returned alive". What a success. Cheers to that.

Zelensky, in contrast, is professionally deliberately funny.


On the topic of The Return of Saakhashvili's "Triumphant Return" (to a position that sounds like BS), perhaps it was considered better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than to have him outside the tent pissing in? Also perhaps easier to keep his activities and intrigues monitored through having him in Ukraine.

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