Dear Readers:

Welcome to Awful Avalanche, here is my blog concept and what I do [updated 6 January 2019]:

My blogposts are written in English.  I review content mostly from the Russian-language online press, in search of stories which interest me.  From time to time I venture out and review other things, for example, opera or movies!

My target audience:  Russophiles, or anybody else who is interested.

As my blog concept evolved, it contains content divided into the following categories:

  • Animal Rights
  • Art Criticism
  • Ballet
  • Breaking News
  • Cat Fighting
  • Celebrity Gossip
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Friendship of Peoples
  • Human Dignity
  • Humor
  • Linguistics
  • Medicine and Health
  • Military and War
  • Navalniana
  • Opera
  • Popular Culture
  • Religion
  • Russian History
  • Sex and Spy Scandals
  • Space, Science and Technology
  • Sports
  • The Great Game
  • True Crime

I hope you read and enjoy my posts!

Sincerely yours,


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Viatrovych – Postscript on Ukrainian Diaspora Historians – Part I

Dear Readers:

This is a postscript to my previous series on the Viatrovych warrant.  In his piece, Russian analyst Dmitry Bavyrin suggested that the Dragon Viatrovych should best be slain on the turf that he claims as his own, namely the battlefield of Ukrainian History of the 20th century.

Dragon to Slayer: “You want a piece of me? Then come and get me!”

To this end, Bavyrin hoped to enlist the forces of Westie, and even Diaspora Ukrainian, historians.  Real historians with degrees hanging on the wall.  Their job would be to refute Viatrovych’s falsifications and try to get him dislodged from his position in the Ukrainian archives.  (In a perfect world, a liar like Viatrovych would never be allowed within 100 feet of an actual historical document or artifact.)  Bavyrin’s reasoning is sound:  Ukrainians themselves, even Nationalists, would be more prone to heed words emanating from the mouth of one of their own kind.  And people in the West are more likely to listen to a Diaspora historian bad-mouthing Viatrovych, than a Russian historian or official doing same.  Westies have been conditioned from birth to despise all Russians, they consider them to be, all of them, liars and deceivers.  It’s just in the Russian DNA to be evil and dishonest.  Therefore, anything that comes out of a Russian mouth is just “blah blah blah lie lie lie” to their minds.  They will defend Viatrovych out of pure Pavlovian reflex, once they learn that Russia is bad-mouthing him.

Currently, Polish and Jewish historians are also hurling darts at Viatrovych.  Poles and Jews (especially Israelis) are considered kosher in the West, but their puny darts are still not enough to slay this serpent.  For that, it takes a stronger steel.  Hence, Bavyrin suggested roping in a couple of Diaspora Ukrainians, and he specifically named John-Paul Himka (University of Alberta) and Marco Carynnyk (University of Toronto) as potential candidates for the fray.  Bavarin considers them to be honorable and honest men.  The theory is that, if you placed either of these historians in a locked room with a cigarette lighter and an authenticated photograph (the one and only copy in the world) proving that Stepan Bandera f**ked a pig in the mouth, then they would resist the temptation to burn the photo.  Out of a sense of historical honesty and whatever the Historian equivalent is of the Hippocratic oath!

Who Art Thou, Noble Knight?  My Name is Himka.

So, because I am a lazy researcher, all I have here, basically is Himka’s wiki page, which paints him quite favorably.  Born (1949) in Detroit, Michigan, to a Ukrainian father and Italian mother.  Bio doesn’t go into details about Papa; how or when he magically got from Ukraine to Detroit; but one can make certain assumptions.  Himka himself swung to the Left as a youth, became a Marxist in the 1970’s and 80’s.  Which is not at all characteristic for a Ukrainian Diaspora tadpole, so kudos to him!  From 1977 onward Himka taught History at the University of Alberta, retiring only recently, in 2014.  Later in his career he got interested in Ukrainian wartime history, studied OUN/UPA and the Holocaust.

Here is the truly ironic part, you can’t even make this stuff up:  Himka studied, in detail, and wrote several monographs on, the Ukrainian-Nazi newspaper Krakivs’ki Visti, which was published in Kraków, Poland, for the Ukrainian Diaspora there, under Nazi occupation:  It was described by historian John-Paul Himka as “vehemently antisemitic.”  Himka described it as a Nazi propaganda daily, published during World War II in the Ukrainian language with the German financial aid, and with exposure orchestrated by Joseph Goebbels himself.

While researching this Nazi newspaper, Himka was assisted by his helpful father-in-law, Michael Chomiak (Mykhailo Khomiak), a Ukrainian Diaspora emigre who magically possessed a bunch of yellowing copies of the Visti.  After Chomiak died (1984), the Provincial Archives of Alberta acquired all his records, and that’s how people found out that Michael Chomiak had been in fact, himself, the chief editor of the Visti from 1940-1945.  Surprise Surprise!  Himka is still married to to Chomiak’s daughter, Chrystia.  (Their marriage must have been solid, to weather such a shock.)

Meet the In-Laws!  This piece dishes some more dirt on the pedigree.  So, Michael Chomiak (the editor of that Nazi-Ukrainian paper) married Alexandra, and they begat five very cute children.  The adorable little girl second from the left, is Halyna, who went on (after she was a bit older) to begat Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s current Foreign Affairs Minister!  I’m not sure which of the other girls in the photo is Chrystia Chomiak, who went on to become Paul Himka’s wife.  But, if my genealogy is correct, this would make Himka the uncle-in-law of Canada’s Foreign Minister.  Right?  In either case, Freeland is considered odious in Russia because she is always beating Russia up and trying to get her boss, Justin Trudeau, to impose more sanctions, and stuff like that.  Plus, she lied to the world about her family background.  She poses as a “democracy-lover”, but is actually a fanatical adherent of Stepan Bandera, and, believe me, those Banderites are no democrats, they believe in a strong self-appointed leader, not an elected one.  Freeland is also the driving force behind this whole Venezuelan regime-change business.  In her own mind, when she is slaying the Venezuelan dragon, she is actually slaying Russia.  (Sort of, by power of projection.)  But that’s a whole n’other story.

In conclusion:  What the world really needs now is a Historian-Hero with the chops to diagram the incestuous inter-connections of the Ukrainian-Canadian Diaspora!  Where did these people even come from, and why do they have so much power in Canadian politics?

[to be continued]

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Russian Investigation Targets Nazi-Rehabilitator Viatrovych – Part IV

Dear Readers:

Today concluding my review of this piece from VZGLIAD.  Where we left off, reporter Dmitry Bavyrin was dubious that anything will come of the Russian Prosecutor’s Office warrant against Viatrovych, or even that it is worth the paper it is written on.  Here is his reasoning:

Viatrovych’s phD thesis on the benevolence of UPA raids in Czechoslovakia

Viatrovych’s activities in whitewashing Ukrainian war criminals, is taking place on Ukrainian soil, and not within the borders of the Russian Federation.  How are Russian law enforcers even supposed to get to him, short of riding in on a tank?  It is unlikely that Viatrovych will ever show his face on Russian soil; therefore it will not be possible to arrest or interrogate him.  In fact, Viatrovych was even previously, several years ago, declared persona non grata in Russia and denied any chance to ever get an entry visa.  The Poles did the same thing to him, so he can’t ever travel to Poland either.  Also, in the Game of Sanctions, Viatrovych has also been added to the list of “sanctioned” individuals in Russia, so if he has any money in Russian banks, that money has been frozen.  Realistically, what else can you do to the guy?

[yalensis:  My answer to that argument is:  You never know.  The guy could get drunk one night and wander over the border, like Savchenko.  And then…. BOOM!]

Also, realistically, International Law, as defined by the post-war tribunals and institutions, doesn’t really exist any more.  The United States has taken over the role of World Police, Judge, Jury and Executioner.  They decide who is good guy and who is bad guy.  Russia’s cries of outrage are just so much empty wind.

In fact, everybody and their grandmother is praising Hitler nowadays:  For example, take the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who likes Hitler a lot; and is considered a “friend of Russia” nowadays.  But you have to take into account that the Philippines is not Europe.  The people there don’t have anything against Jews per se, maybe they just see Hitler as an example of a strong leader who raised his fallen nation from its knees and got even with the people who demeaned it.  [And then proceeded to lose the war rather badly, I might add.]

Duterte likes Hitler, but also likes Putin. Go figure…

Anyhow, Bavyrin suggests a different approach for going at Viatrovych.  Not the Hitler stuff, but rather attack him at his weakest point:  His incompetence as a historian.  His poor reputation, his lack of scholarly integrity, his plagiarisms and falsifications, of which there are legions.  His machinations within the archives, etc.  A broad front can be formed consisting of all reputable historians who study the 20th century.

Now, if this “broad front” were to consist just of Russian, Polish and Jewish historians, then it could be seen as partisan.  No, the key tactic is to pull in American historians as well.  Snagging an American or, even better, a Canadian-Ukrainian, into this project to discredit Viatrovych, would be like winning the lottery!  And bingo, we have such people, for example John-Paul Himka (University of Alberta) and Marco Carynnyk (University of Toronto).  Both of these men are members of the Canadian-Ukrainian diaspora, both ideologically favorable to Ukrainian Nationalists and collaborationists, but at the same time neither can stomach Viatrovych’s falsifications, he is a “bridge too far” even for them!

Can Himka be roped into the fight against Viatrovych?

Therefore, Bavyrin concludes, such historians should be harnessed into the war against Viatrovych.  And the war should be fought on the battleground of scientific history, using real actual historians as ammunition.  And it is certainly true that, if the criticism was coming from “one of their own”, i.e., fellow Ukrainian Nationalists, then it would be taken more seriously than just Russia yapping on about Nazis.  “Oh, that’s just Russia yapping on about Nazis again, don’t listen to her!”  Bavyrin is hopeful that Viatrovych can be ideologically defeated in this manner, since the guy has made so many enemies abroad, even among his own kind; thus once again proving that the most ardent Ukrainian Nationalists simply can’t get along with anybody!  Plus, his methods are so unsound that he makes Colonel Walter Kurtz look like Elliott Ness.

Bavyrin concludes his argument with the following paragraph:

For the time being, though, the fight against Viatrovych is being waged mainly by Poles and Israelis.  And the majority of Russian archives are still sealed, which hinders the work of historians who are trying to refute the fake documents and falsifications upon which is being constructed the History of Independent Ukraine.

Next:  Although I am done with Bavyrin, I realize I need one more installment of this series, to delve a bit more into the biographies of the two aforementioned Ukrainian historians, Himka and Carynnyk.  My ears pricked up when I glanced at Himka’s bio and saw that he is married into the Chomiak family.

Salaspils concentration camp: Inmate forced to whip another inmate

Oh, but one more thing, first:  Bavyrin mentioned that the majority of Russian historical archives are still sealed, mostly (still too soon); and this is a very good point.  I think everybody should insist that the archives of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) should be opened, for all historians to study.  I am not a historian, but I personally think that is a terrific idea.  In an earlier post that I did, about the Salaspils concentration camp, we saw that Soviet authorities may have released, at the time, exaggerated numbers of dead Jewish children.  Oh, the Nazis killed children, all right, no doubt about that; but in the fog of war, maybe there was not an accurate count done of the corpses and graves.  And Nazi apologists use Soviet khalatnost to their own advantage:  If the numbers were exaggerated, then maybe that means there was not actually a crime at all!  That sort of specious reasoning.  Which makes it all the more imperative that the archives be unlocked and all the documents published, for everybody to see, in the clear light of day.  Let the real historians sink their teeth in.  And let the chips fall where they may!

[to be continued]

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Russian Investigation Targets Nazi-Rehabilitator Viatrovych – Part III

Dear Readers:

Today continuing my review of this piece from VZGLIAD. Where we left off, reporter Dmitry Bavyrin expressed his concerns that Viatrovych, in his role of Ukrainian Archivist, has simply been destroying historical documents which contradict his own “theories” of Ukrainian history, and his own ideological beliefs.  Bavyrin cannot prove this, of course — how can one prove what a man is doing in the privacy of the stacks, to which he has unlimited access?  But Bavyrin “wouldn’t put it past him”, and neither should we.

Meanwhile, the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Moscow has opened a criminal case against Viatrovych.  The charge is “Rehabilitation of Nazism”.  Chapter 2, Article 354.1 of the Criminal Codex of the Russian Federation.

Nazis on trial in Nürnberg – November 1945

To the casual reader, this might seem silly.  Who cares if Viatrovych is a Nazi apologist?  And what about freedom of speech?  Doesn’t a person have the right to be a Nazi?  Well, no…  In two words:  Nürnberg Tribunal.  This is actually an important issue, given the overall geopolitical context:  That certain players on the world scene would like to destroy the world order and all of international law that came on the heels of the Nazi defeat in World War II.  [Actually, already destroyed, and Russia did nothing; but now is slowly waking up and realizing it needs to do something; a day late and a dollar short, as usual!]

So anyhow, here is what the Russian Prosecution alleges against Volodymyr Viatrovych:

That, using his official position, which he has held since 12 November 2014, Viatrovych has conducted a systematic Denial of Facts that were previously established by the International War Crimes Tribunal.  Including such facts as indicating that his precious Ukrainian Nationalists were among the worst of the worst, assisting and even egging on the German SS in their crimes against the civilian population.

The Russian Prosecution points out that the SS was declared a criminal organization, and that anybody assisting such an organization shares in the guilt of their crimes.  Which, it goes without saying, would include Viatrovych’s heroes, Bandera, Shukhevych, and the others.  Oh, it doesn’t mean that Viatrovych is not allowed to publish a historical monograph showing that Bandera once petted a dog on the head; it just means he is not allowed to DENY that Bandera was a war criminal, or that a genocide took place.

Okay, now here is where it gets tricky, and there are some legal loopholes, apparently.  And this is where the Soviet Union partially, and also contemporary Russia, share some blame for khalatnost and a certain lack of will in really going after these monsters.

What Nürnberg Did Not Do

Technically, with the exception of the “SS Galichina” Division, which was the Ukrainian component of the German Waffen SS, the Nürnberg court did not convict any Ukrainian war criminals, nor Latvian ones, for that matter.  The Soviet authorities left that as an internal matter, not “outsourcing” their own “citizens” to a Western court.  In retrospect, that was probably a mistake, but there were reasons at the time.  Bavyrin doesn’t mention this factor, but the Soviet authorities had to tread very delicately on this issue, once it was discovered just how many Nazi collaborators there had been among certain ethnic groups (quite a lot!).  What to do?  Launch a massive purge of one’s own citizens?  Even Stalin didn’t have the heart, or the mental energy, for such an endeavor.  (Poor dear was still exhausted from his arduous purges of the Old Bolsheviks.)  After 5 years of Apocalypse, everybody was tired and cranky, it was necessary to focus on rebuilding the nation, some other issues just got swept under the rug.

Yevtushenko had his head turned by Western lionization.

This factor, I believe, was part of the context of Yevtushenko’s famous poem about the Babiy Yar atrocity.  People misunderstood the poem at the time; and continue to misunderstand it; and Yevtushenko himself allowed this to happen, flattered and lionized as he was by Westie and Jewish adulation.  But I believe that, at the time, what Yevtushenko was trying to say, was, not that the Soviet authorities were anti-Semitic (which they most certainly were not), nor that they were complicit in any way in the Nazi crimes against Jews (also certainly not); but that they felt uncomfortable about people bringing up the crimes committed by citizens of the Ukrainian SSR.  Once again, just easier to sweep such things under the rug.  Like, in an unhappy family, where people just pretend that everything is great, and that no one ever did any bad things — it was just those other people, the neighbors, who did all the bad things.

Ukrainian Neo-Nazis march to honor the SS Galichina Division.

But back to Bavyrin:  So, the Soviet authorities told the international community that they would deal with their own war criminals, internally.  And they did, to a certain degree.  To their credit, they hunted down Nazi war criminals, found and assassinated Bandera, etc.  This war of shadows continued for many years.

As mentioned, the SS Galichina Division was the exception:  Duly condemned as a criminal organization by the Judges of Nürnberg, and even Hans Sachs himself would have placed his seal of approval on the verdict.  And this is the way that the Russian Federation can get at Viatrovych:  Because he defends and worships the SS Galichina.  To whitewash these murderous criminals, is his mission in life!  And hence, the Russian criminal charge against Viatrovych actually has some weight.  Meaning that if Viatrovych ever ends up in a Russian police station (highly dubious, but stranger things have happened), then he can kiss his former life goodbye.

Bavyrin, however, does not believe that this criminal charge against Viatrovych has much merit, or hope of success.  Especially since the Ukrainian Nationalists have so much support in the United States; and the United States being the Decider of International Law….

[to be continued]

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Russian Investigation Targets Nazi-Rehabilitator Viatrovych – Part II

Dear Readers:

Continuing with this story from VZGLIAD, the reporter is Dmitry Bavyrin.  Where we left off, we saw that the job of National Archivist for the Ukrainian historical archives, was to go to an ardent Nationalist, who would make sure that only the “correct” version of the Ukrainian past was to be preserved.  Job Description:  Must be Stepan Bandera fan;  must be proficient with a shredder.

From a newspaper in Nazi-occupied Ukraine: In 1941 the Jewish Commissar rides the peasant; in 1942, thanks to the Nazis, the situation is reversed.

The man for the job was Volodymyr Viatrovych.  As a student of History, Viatrovych had a single consuming interest:  The Ukrainian Nationalists of the 20th century.  His “academic” writings set out to turn his personal heroes into national heroes, and to defend them from accusations of criminality; as if he were their hired lawyer.  The theme of his candidate dissertation:  Viatrovych set out to prove that the various cross-border “raids” which Ukrainian Nationalists carried out — these were just their benevolent attempts to organize “democratic revolutions” in neighboring countries; to liberate the enslaved nations of Eastern Europe.  Hence, the Ukrainian Nationalists were not simply heroes of the Ukrainian people, but also benefactors for their neighbors!  Publish or Perish, indeed.

In short, Viatrovych is not a real historian, he is just a crude propagandist.  Unfortunately, Viatrovych was able to successfully mimick a historian, in that most of his work life he spent sculling around in archives.  The man knows his way around the Dewey Decimal System (or the Russian equivalent), and this became his gainful employment.  From 2008-2010 he worked as the main archivist for the Ukrainian SBU (secret police, successor to the Soviet KGB).

After the Maidan coup, the Supreme Rada triumphantly unsealed the heretofore “secret” archives of the KGB of the Ukrainian SSR.  In order to “reveal the truth” to the people.  In reality, this was just a cover for inserting Viatrovych into the Holies of Holies.  Endowing him with full powers of Falsification, as he worked his way through the stacks, numbering and renumbering artifacts.

There are two types of historical falsifications in play here:

It is estimated that Stetsko killed 7,000 Ukrainian Jews, all of them just ordinary people.

  1.  Documents proving the crimes committed by one of another of the Nationalists were replaced by counterfeits.  Viatrovych himself did not compose the counterfeits (that we know of).  Most of the counterfeits were composed by the historical figures themselves; and the international community has been aware of these fake documents and knew that they were fake.  Here is one example:  Take Yaroslav Stetsko.  Please take him.  During the war, Stetsko participated in ethnic cleansing activities and crimes against humanity.  After his side lost the war, escaping to asylum in the West, Stetsko self-published fake documents “proving” how he had tried to put a stop to the persecution of Jews.  Uh huh.
  2.  Genuine documents, tagged and numbered, suddenly started “losing” whole paragraphs and pages.  Specifically those pages which did not speak well of Nationalist activities.  Oh well, blame the moths and rats, they like to eat paper and appear to be very selective in their dietary habits.

A third possibility is mentioned:  We don’t know for sure, and can’t prove it, but there is a very great probability (risk) that Viatrovych has simply destroyed some documents.  Like, just cavalierly tossed them in the fire.  We wouldn’t put it past him, according to Bavyrin.

Next:  The Russian warrant against Viatrovych, is he shaking in his boots?

[to be continued]

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Russian Investigation Targets Nazi-Rehabilitator Viatrovych – Part I

Dear Readers:

Today I have this story from VZGLIAD, the reporter is Dmitry Bavyrin.  The backstory is that Ukrainian “historian” Volodymyr Viatrovych has become the target of several legal investigations, one of them emanating from the Special Prosecutor’s Office in Moscow. The warrant for his detention and arrest (should he ever travel to Russia) accuses him of “Rehabiliating Nazism”, which is a crime in Russia.  On the basis of international law and the Nürnberg trials and verdicts.

Bavyrin’s main thesis is that the Dragon Viatrovych should be attacked with a different type of Lance:   A mightier weapon than legal suits, namely Scientific Historical Research!

Now, Viatrovych is such an odious Nazi apologist, that even his Wikipedia, which usually gives the benefit of the doubt to the biographies of pro-Westies, felt they had to stipulate that the man is “controversial”:

Viatrovych is seen as a controversial figure in both the Ukraine and abroad. He has been accused of whitewashing the history of Ukraine, marginalizing or suppressing the facts about involvement of Ukrainian nationalists in the Holocaust and their collaboration with Nazis, and passing laws restricting free speech.

Them be harsh words from Wikipedia, which usually praises the enemies of Russia.  If Viatrovych were only anti-Russian, then he would have been depicted, on his wiki page, with a halo around his head.  Unfortunately, this guy can’t get along with anybody, not Russians, not Poles, not Jews.  Since Poles and Jews are among the “approved” peoples, Viatrovych needs to be handled with latex gloves.  In fact, the Russian warrant against him is just an afterthought, following similar measures by Poland and Israel.  They hate this guy probably more than the Russians do.

Viktor Yushchenko

Viatrovych rose from being an obscure “historian” from Lvov holding extremist Ukrainian Nationalist views, to Director of the National Archives.  Where he has been at it for years now, an unimpeded opportunity to “clean up” Ukrainian history.  Probably by shredding “unnecessary” documentation of Nazi and UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) crimes against humanity.  Holed up in the archives like a dust-spider, Viatrovych has the power to change the Ukrainian past and thus (he hopes) shape its future.

Strolling down memory lane:  Before there was the current Maidan coup, there was the “Orange” government of President Viktor Yushchenko.  It was Yushchenko who presented the task before Ukrainian historians:  to whitewash UPA and conceal their genocidal crimes against Poles and Jews.  Oh, it’s not that the contemporary Ukrainian Nationalists shed any tears about the sufferings of Poles, Jews, or anybody else; it’s just that the optics look bad for a nation trying to suck up to “European” civilization.  [yalensis:  I would cynically add, that “European civilization” was almost wholly onboard with Nazism; but since the Nazis lost the war, the Euro elites had to do a quick about-face and pretend to be shocked by Nazi crimes; a charade which they continue to play, to this day.]  Hence, official Ukrainian attempts to whitewash UPA and rebrand as a heroic and virtuous anti-Communist force battling against a mighty army, — instead of, what they actually were, murderous thugs whose main targets were completely ordinary civilians.  Unarmed men, women, children, babies, you name it.

Die Meistersinger von [you know where]

During the Orange period, and especially after the Maidan coup, the victorious Ukrainian Nationalists wanted to rebrand Ukraine’s entire history and create a corps of heroes, from the unlikely ranks of UPA leaders.  From criminal psychopaths and racist ethnic cleansers to noble warriors.

Problem:  These Ukrainian Nationalist heroes assisted Hitler in carrying out his “Final Solution”, aka what the Jews call the Shoah, or Holocaust.  And “Holocaust Denial” is a crime in many countries and goes against international law (Nürnberg again).

Hence, the Ukrainian Nationalists, concocting their fake history, were presented with a dilemma:  They are not allowed to deny the Holocaust per se, nor the ethnic cleansing that took place in this region; therefore, the goal is to deny UPA’s participation in it.  Even to deny the existence of the “Galichina” SS Division and so on.  (Which entails destroying documents in the archive.)  “Instead of naming specific names and members of specific organizations, the pogroms and mass killings are ascribed to faceless mobs of peasants, hyped up on Hitlerite propaganda, suffering from the Soviet regime, and acting in a state of constant terror from the side of the Poles.”

Galician SS: “Off to battle for Hitler!”

Again, the documents in the archives prove otherwise.  But there was an answer for that:  According to Ukrainian Nationalists, any document with Soviet provenance is, by definition, falsified.  By definition, a pack of lies.  Just Communist propaganda.  This tactic has been used to discredit attempts to extradite Nazi war criminals from countries like Canada.  Here is the paradox:  The territory of the Soviet Union was where the vast majority of Nazi crimes took place.  And yet any evidence or witnesses hailing from this Crime Scene were rated as “lies” and “fake” a priori; hence, no evidence was ever too good enough to convict these monsters, even if the facts had been carved on the Tablets of Stone and carried into the court by Moses himself!

In summary, the job description for National Archivist was as follows:  Reject any facts that contradict the main thesis.  Dismiss any documents of Soviet provenance as “propaganda”, while ignoring contradictory documents from Western sources.  All the “research” should be skewed in one direction and must lead to one preordained result, namely:  To “prove” that UPA fought for freedom and democracy, never staining its hands with the blood of the civilian population.

Volodymyr Viatrovych was the perfect candidate for such a job.

[to be continued]

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P.S. To Guaidó Prank – Vot is Language Requirement For Marionette?

Dear Readers:

Today’s post is a P.S. to yesterday’s, inspired by commenters Nat and Jen, who expressed some surprise at Juan Guaidó’s apparent insufficiency in the English language.  Apparently, Guaidó’s English is on, more or less, the same level as my Spanish.  That is to say, almost non-existent!  Recall, that in their earlier prank call with Juan’s handler, Elliott Abrams:  When the faux Swiss banker requests to make a phone call with Guaidó  (towards the end of the vid, around 13:00 minutes in), Abrams responds:

“That’s a very good idea.  Now, you’ll need a translator, I think, ’cause he only speaks Spanish.”

Would you trust your Swiss bank account to these guys?

Flush with achievement of what has probably been his greatest prank so far, Vladimir Kuznetsov (aka Vovan) recounted to the Russian press how he pulled this off:  “Prior to this, we had the conversation with Elliott Abrams, and he helped organize the phone call with Guaidó.  Abrams didn’t suspect a thing, and therefore neither did Guaidó. Because he trusted Abrams.  We were a bit nervous that they might distinguish our [Russian] accents, but apparently they don’t distinguish between European accents.”  Vovan added that Guaidó’s English is poor; therefore, as Abrams had suggested, they employed a Spanish to English interpreter during their prank call with him.

Okay.  A person can’t be blamed for not knowing a particular language.  Especially if that person came from modest means and had just an average education.  Not every student can be like the children of Lake Wobegon:  All above average.  And if you take a gander at Juan’s heavily-redacted wiki page, you will see that he is a man of the people, born into a struggling family, who clawed his way up in life, by his own bootstraps.  A bitter national tragedy turned him against the socialist government:

Part of a large family, and of modest origins, Guaidó was raised in a middle-class home by his parents, Wilmer and Norka.  His father was an airline pilot and his mother, a teacher. One grandfather was a sergeant of the Venezuelan National Guard while another grandfather was a captain in the Venezuelan Navy.

Catastrophic mudslides turned Guaidó against Hugo Chávez.

Guaidó lived through the 1999 Vargas tragedy [torrential rains and mudslides] which left his family temporarily homeless;he lost friends and his school.  The tragedy, according to his colleagues, influenced his political views after the then-new government of Hugo Chávez allegedly provided ineffective response to the disaster.  He said, “I saw that if I wanted a better future for my country I had to roll up my sleeves and give my life to public service.”  He earned his high school diploma in 2000 and earned his undergraduate degree in 2007 in industrial engineering from Andrés Bello Catholic University. He also completed two postgraduate programs in public administration at George Washington University in the United States and at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de Administración in Caracas.

Felicity Huffman: “The requirements are too strict!”

Okay, so the question is:  How did this guy get into this post-grad program at George Washington University?  I looked up the Admission Requirements on their webpage here.  As an international applicant, it goes without saying that Juan’s requirements for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) would be relaxed.  But requirements still exist, and are laid out here, on the page for “International Student Application Requirements”:

To be considered for admission, there are minimum required scores that you need to meet.  Please note that higher minimums are required by some schools and programs; check the admissions requirements for your program.

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0.
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based test.
  • PTE Academic: 53.

Applicants with lower test scores may qualify for our full-time Applied English Program.

Now, we know that Juan studied Public Administration and not Applied English.  Therefore, his English score had to have been at least 550.

One cannot help but wonder, if Juan took his test in the same classroom along with Felicity Huffman’s offspring, snark snark!  On the other hand, I know from experience that some people are just average students, but happen to be good at taking tests!

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Russian Pranksters Punk Juan Guaidó

Dear Readers:

This post can be considered a continuation of my previous post about the punking of Elliott Abrams.  Within the framework of this same “prank”, the Russian press has now revealed that Lexus and Vovan also punked Juan Guaidó, the self-proclaimed “President of  Venezuela”.  Still posting as Swiss banker/politician Ueli Maurer, the pranksters telephoned Guaidó, offering him, as bait, the money supposedly found in a bank account belonging to the Venezuelan government.  They suggest that they can freeze “Maduro’s money” and turn it over to his (Guaidó’s) disposal.  Like classic con-artists they flatter the Mark, call him “Mister President”, introduce the element of “urgency” — ordinarily it could take months to freeze these accounts, but perhaps the process can be speeded up, to just one or two days, with Guaidó’s assistance.  All they need from him is a written agreement with his signature… A delighted Guaidó agrees…

“Hi, it’s me again. Ueli Maurer.”

Just so you know, the pranksters have been accused of working for Russian intelligence.  As Shakespeare might say, in the words of Mark Antony:  “If it were so, it was … a brilliant scheme!”

Anyhow, here is the link on youtube:  The pranksters speak in (egregiously Russian-accented) English.  An interpreter translates from pidgin English into Spanish for Guaidó‘s benefit. Guaidó responds in heavily-accented (Central American) Spanish, which sounds like the Spanish I hear every day when I go to the laundromat or supermarket.  (I reside in a town in the Northeast USA.)  And which is not exactly the same type of Spanish as is spoken by the King of Spain, apparently.  The subtitles are in Russian, for the benefit of Russian readers.  (Please don’t ask me to translate Guaidó’s remarks from Russian subtitles to English!)

Noteworthy is the fact, that Guaidó jumps at the bait offered him, he agrees to write an official request to block Venezuelan accounts in this fake Swiss bank.

Guaidó wants to show the world his ASSets.

And, by the way, if anybody is interested in the question, exactly where did the Americans find this gem to be their marionette, journalists Max Blumenthal and Dan Cohen have an excellent piece here on the “making” of this guy.  The gist is, that Juan was cooked up, using an old recipe, in Grandma CIA’s “Color Revolution” kitchen.  One of the reasons he was picked is because of his rough accent, his “meztiso” features and the fact that he did not hail from an ancient Spanish aristocratic family.  In the “genius” American version of sociology, this right-wing leader of an obscure fascist political party can be sold to the Venezuelan masses as a “man of the people”.  For much the same reasons they picked Alexei Navalny to be their revolutionary water-carrier in Russia.  (Another one of their criteria is that the leader has to be reasonably handsome and photograph well.  Unfortunately, Navalny is now well past his sell-date.)

One main takeaway from Blumenthal’s piece: Before he had ever shown his handsome chiseled face to the world, Juan Guaidó had already shown them his ass.  That’s one of those things they learn in CIA “Color Revolution” school.  Stage I of the Student Revolution.  Tee-shirts with upraised fists.  Boys will be boys.  It’s all good clean fun.  Of course,  Stage II already starts getting ugly, what with the death squads, private armies, burning people alive, Grand Theft of oil revenues and gold, military intervention posing as humanitarian aid; next “humanitarian” bombings, NATO tanks rolling in, you get the picture…  But it’s all worth it, if the final result is to remove one single tyrant, who is the source of all the problems in the world.  And then on, to the next tyrant…

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