Category Archives: News & Views

First head of Russian-backed “Luhansk People’s republic” Bolotov reported dead

Valery Bolotov, the first head of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”), died. Bolotov’s associate Aleksandr Borodai, the former “Prime Minister” of the “LNR,” told the Russian outlet RBK that Bolotov’s relatives informed him of the death, and the news was confirmed by a source from Bolotov’s circle.

Bolotov was born in Taganrog (Russia) and had a background in the Russian military, contradicting the myth that the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine is a rebellion, rather than a Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine. . . .

The leaders of the Russian-backed “republics” in Ukraine’s eastern territories have been victims of mysterious deaths, which has fueled speculation on what exactly the relationships between the “republic leaders” and their Russian masters are. The British outlet The Guardian wrote then that Pavlov was “killed as result of either an internal feud or Russia removing ‘inconvenient’ separatist leaders in the field.”

Earlier, a series of mysterious deaths took place in the “LNR” after an alleged military coup against Igor Plotnitskiy, in which former “Prime Minister” Gennadiy Tsypkalov was found hanging in his cell, warlord Yaroslav Zhilin was killed in a restaurant, and former deputy of people’s militia chief Vitalii Kiselyov died in his prison cell. There were four other similar cases during the last six months: Aleksandr Bushuev, Aleksandr Nemogay, Alexander Osipov, and Sergey Litvin were reportedly killed due to their disobedience or growing personal authority. This suggests that those who refuse to follow the rules set by Moscow are being replaced by more obedient individuals.

Percentage of Europeans Who Are Willing To Fight A War For Their Country

74% – Finland
73% – Turkey
62% – Ukraine
59% – Russia
58% – Kosovo
55% – Bosnia and Herzegovina
55% – Sweden
54% – Greece
47% – Poland
46% – Serbia
41% – Latvia
39% – Switzerland
38% – Ireland
38% – Macedonia
38% – Romania
37% – Denmark
29% – France
28% – Portugal
27% – United Kingdom
26% – Iceland
25% – Bulgaria
23% – Czech Republic
21% – Austria
21% – Spain
20% – Italy
19% – Belgium
18% – Germany
15% – The Netherlands

Ann Coulter – When Immigration Policy Discriminated Against Christians from the Soviet Union

Amid the hysteria over this prudent pause in refugee admissions from seven countries whose principal export is dynamite vests, it has been indignantly claimed that it’s illegal for our immigration policies to discriminate on the basis of religion.

This is often said by journalists who are only in America because of immigration policies that discriminated on the basis of religion.

For much of the last half-century, Soviet Jews were given nearly automatic entry to the U.S. as “refugees.” Entering as a refugee confers all sorts of benefits unavailable to other immigrants, including loads of welfare programs, health insurance, job placement services, English language classes, and the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after only five years.

Most important, though, Soviet Jews were not required to satisfy the United Nations definition of a “refugee,” to wit: someone fleeing persecution based on race, religion or national origin. They just had to prove they were Jewish.

This may have been good policy, but let’s not pretend the Jewish exception was not based on religion.

If a temporary pause on refugee admissions from seven majority-Muslim countries constitutes “targeting” Muslims, then our immigration policy “targeted” Christians for discrimination for about 30 years.

Never heard a peep from the ACLU about religious discrimination back then!

Trump, Poroshenko Discuss Ukraine Conflict, Call for Truce

President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart discussed concerns about an escalation in fighting in eastern Ukraine and talked about bolstering the strategic partnership between their countries, according to a readout of the conversation.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for boosting dialogue and economic ties with the U.S. and discussed a potential visit to Washington, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Poroshenko’s press secretary, said in a Facebook post.

In a summary, the White House said Trump had a “very good call” with Poroshenko that included a discussion of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. “We will work with Ukraine, Russia and all other parties involved to help them restore peace along the border,” Trump said.

It was Trump’s second call to a world leader on Saturday after he earlier spoke with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and agreed to attend the G-7 Summit in Taormina, Italy, in May.

Treasury loosens restrictions on Russia’s FSB as Spicer denies it’s a sanction reduction

A new Treasury Department regulation would allow information-technology exports to Russia’s intelligence agency, a move the White House spokesman denied was tied to a loosening of sanctions against the country.

The U.S.’s Office of Foreign Asset Control, in what’s called a general license, said it will now permit IT exports to the FSB — a successor organization to the KGB identified in English as the Federal Security Service — that don’t exceed $5,000 per year. Exports still aren’t allowed to the Crimea region of Ukraine, which Russia has claimed as its own.

Treasury didn’t immediately offer a comment, but White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the move did not signal an easing of sanctions against the country. “We are not easing sanctions against Russia,” Spicer said.

He said the Treasury Department often goes back and carves out certain industries. “It is a regular course of action that Treasury does quite often when there are sanctions imposed.”

Why Avdiivka is the most vulnerable spot for the Russian-separatist army in Ukraine

At least 11 Ukrainian soldiers are reported to have died repelling the deadliest yet 2017 attack from combined Russian-separatist forces in the east Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, which started on 29 January 2017. The land assault was accompanied by Grad missile salvos, which have left the 16,000 inhabitants of Avdiivka without heat, water, and electricity, while temperatures outside reach -18°C during the night.

For two days in a row Russian hybrid army has been massively shelling #Avdiivka

For two days in a row Russian hybrid army has been massively shelling #Avdiivka in violation of the Minsk agreements. Russian forces have been using cannon artillery, mortars and MLRSs. Eyewitnesses upload and share videos that show BM-21 #Grad MLRS rockets launching from the area in close proximity to dense residential communities of #Donetsk. Occupation troops resort to their usual human shield tactics fully aware that Ukrainian Army would not strike back with artillery if this endangers residential areas. #russianaggression

Trump and Ukraine (summary)

Once again, summarizing my support of Trump:

– Trumps ties to Russia, while troubling were extremely overblown by a media establishment willing to say anything to undermine him. Clinton’s ties (bill’s Moscow Speech, the Uranium deal, etc) seemed comparable to Trumps.

– I suspect the Kremlin expected a Clinton victory and wanted to ally with the opposition to a weakened president Clinton. I think they’ve painted themselves into a corner rhetorically and will have an extremely difficult time countenancing a strength that the Trump administration projects. Russia is weak in peace and weak in war. So they’re always striving for something in between — where they will break the rules and other countries will follow them.

– There are also people in the Trump administration who get Russia. The most insightful, concise, accurate assessment of Russia I’ve heard from DC came from our new Sec Def, General Mattis:

The best non-concise analysis is Heritage Foundation: U.S. Comprehensive Strategy Toward Russia, and (ehem, ehem) these two essays aren’t bad either.

– Has Obama/Clinton helped Ukraine? They’ve been weak and aimless and enabled Russian aggression.

More of my ongoing commentary about Trump and Ukraine:

Bragging about #MH17 Mascara

This is the type of thing I’m talking about when I say that Westerners have no idea about the dark depths of Russian nihilism. (Just as Russians have no idea about Western idealism. They assume westerns are either lying, or hopelessly naive and therefore weak.)

See also, When a mass grave was revealed in Kolpashevo, Siberia in 1979 — A story about Soviet man. A story about Russia.