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08 October 2020


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Paul Damascene

Just blocked by Twitter from RTing your Gordian Knot 3

Patrick Armstrong

Well well.

Never heard of anybody being censored on VK. I guess it's time to move to the Russian equivalent of Twitter.

Curious state of affairs, isn't it?


I am still left wondering why Hilary Clinton used Russia, Russia Russia as her dog whistle.


Poor, poor Masha. Before the US sanctions, I taught my daughter to make white sauce, and its many variations. Including cheese sauces. In the small town where my daughter lives, there is a milk factory. After sanctions they started to experiment with more varieties of cheese. They are half-way between Tyumen and Yekat. They now make a wonderful Brie, (according to my daughter.) As an Australian I cannot travel there, or afford travel either! USD 7.000 minimum for a return ticket.

Russia will survive and flourish!

Ghost Ship

"If the necessary information is not provided,...."
Are UK, Germany and France going to sanction their own officials who have failed to provide to Russia the information requested by the Russian government?

English Outsider

Shoigu's looks a reasonable summary. Misses out on what seemed to be an important ingredient, the numerous reconciliation teams working all over the country. Also the work of the Military Police in such places as Aleppo after the liberation.

But as the briefest of brief summaries it'll do.


The thing that bothers me is that if a casual user of the internet, me, is aware of these things the professionals advising the team in the White House certainly know the score.

So what was Pence up to during his debate? As far as I recollect there was no mention of the Russian part in defeating IS. Was he deliberately misleading his audience or do the people in the White House really not know what was happening over in Syria?

Patrick Armstrong

English O. Debates? US presidential campaign debates on foreign policy are all about how the USA is the world's leader and exemplar and has so many enemies that it must spend even more on guns

Patrick Armstrong

Deap. One wonders what would have happened if Trump had never mentioned the words "Russia" or "Putin" in his campaign.


Patrick, if he had not then Hillary or one of her acolytes would have mentioned it for him. There would have been some Trump Tower Moscow aspect to talk about, and the inevitable antenna farm on the roof (of any high building) would have probably carried some FSB comms (along with at least two TV stations and terrabytes of cell phone traffic).

A Russian-based concoction would have been too good to pass up.


Dear Patrick,

always appreciate these updates (lame stream media antidote ), yet I am shocked that you update us on cheese without mentioning its best friend, wine!

which is a mixed story. For example, since 2014 vineyard hectares have only increased from 90,000 to 95,000 when a plan was made to increase to 140,000 by 2020. Still production is up (but so are Italian imports).


so, while cheese (and other Ag products) have been a clear success story (unacknowledged over here), wine less so.

(Actually, to be fair to Russian farmers and viticulture enthusiasts, the industry remains tethered by regulations developed to fight the scourge of alcoholism a few decades ago).

Re: Putin ready to work with anyone, I assume that is for Western consumption, as it is not possible to work with those who are not agreement capable

Patrick Armstrong

ISL. Thanks for this. I didn't know anything about Russian wine making. Sounds as if Georgia's done itself more damage by its NATO/EU cargo cult.


There was a cheesy vanity moment in Early Trump where Putin was quoted as saying "Trump was brilliant". Which Trump preened over to no end.

However, my first gues was this was the British use of the word "brilliant" not the American translation of the word "brilliant", since at that point there was no known contact between the two.

UK brilliant - as in shiny new object, something special versus US brilliant as in rocket science smart. However in the final analysis today, I am ready to conclude both translations just might apply when describing Trump as "brilliant": rocket science smart and shiny and distracting.

Shame if that early mis-translation led to Russiagate, since Trump did love talking about Putin early on describing him as "brilliant".


Love the book "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: a Memoir of Food and Longing.

" Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West.

It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.

Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past.

To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR.

Wildly inventive and slyly witty, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses."

Patrick Armstrong

Deap. The actual word used was яркий (yarkiy) which could mean brilliant but also bright on the surface. So you're right: it has the same double meaning that English has. As I recall it was a quick response VVP made to a question after some meeting and at the time I took it to mean something like he's very colourful. VVP also said he was leading in the Repub race which he was at the time.
Much was made of these comments by DJT but also by the Dems who seized upon them as endorsements.
No wonder VVP looks a little bemused at times.


Is former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder a Russian Asset (aka Putin's errand boy)? It seems that some think so. One being the almost-dead Putin adversary Alexi Navalny. Navalny castigated Schroder for casting doubt about Navalny's purported poisoning by the Kremlin. Navalny has alleged that Schroder received hidden payments from Russia. And now Schroder is suing the German magazine BILD who printed Navalny's allegations of being Putin's errand boy.

Russia has denied from get-go that it was involved in the Navalny affair.



Now to my 64 dollar question..........With the demise of the former Soviet Union, who is now running Directorate V?



why would Gerhard Schröder take *secret* payments from Russia? He is the head of the supervisory boards of Nord Stream AG (the corporation that operates the first pipline) and Rosneft. Navalny is throwing around some mud, it makes you wonder whether he acts independently or whether he is somebody's asset.

As usual with anything Russia-related, there is a lot of hysteria about it originating from parties that don't want Germany to import Russian natural gas directly. (Either because they want to sell their own natural gas to Germany or because they want to get transit fees from pipelines running Russian gas through their own territory into Germany.)

I am glad that Schröder pushed for these pipeline projects, it is in our national strategic interest to get cheap natural gas from a diverse array of different sources. We need cheap, reliable energy supplies for our German industry.


Actually, VK.com (Vkontakte) is the russian equivalent of Facebook, the closest russian equivalent to Twitter is probably Telegram which is where most up-to-date and political commentary moved in Russia. Almost no censorship or at least I have not heard of any. There is also Livejournal where most of the russian online political commentary started.


J, slightly off topic but on the subject of Russian assets, I'm wondering whatever happened to Angela Merkel's STASI file. She did quite well in the DDR, was well connected in academic circles, and was permitted to travel abroad in a reliable way.



I was just on the Telegram website and they boast "Our apps are open source and support reproducible builds". Wow. That is a big deal. This means that anyone can take a look at the source code and see how it works. This is a level of transparency that other apps would never provide to their users.


Putin was interviewed recently, and as always U.S. political and media hacks are taking what he says out of context and interjecting their own diatribes.

Putin interview

U.S. political hacks


Who is paying for this one, the U.S., or is the U.K. citizenry picking up the bill?

‘Strategic partnership’ worth $1.6 billion: Ukraine to ink agreement with London for eight British fast attack missile boats



#10 Downing is creating cow patties all over the place and stepping in them. They are accusing the Russian GU.

UK claims Russian hackers tried to derail Tokyo Olympics


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