Dear Readers:

Welcome to Awful Avalanche, here is my blog concept and what I do:

I scan online newspapers from Russian-language press, in search of interesting stories and political topics.  These are stories which Russians themselves are reading and commenting upon.

I translate or at least summarize into English the content therein.

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

I pick stories and analysis which interest me, generally from the following categories (this might evolve):

  • Breaking News,
  • Celebrity Gossip
  • True Crime,
  • Cat Fighting,
  • Human Interest Stories,
  • maybe even some Cute Animal Stories too!

Sincerely yours,


Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments

Movie Review: I don’t know nuthin bout birthin no Nation!

Dear Readers:

As “Black History Month” winds down in the Anglo-speaking world, I decided to write a review of a fairly engaging movie which I watched a couple of nights ago, it’s called “Birth Of A Nation“.  The title is ironic, of course, a deliberate reference to the 1915  D. W. Griffith movie, whose original title was “The Clansman”.  Clan, as in Klan, as in Ku Klux Klan.  The Griffith piece laid the propaganda groundwork, later amplified by Hollywood mega-blockbuster Gone With the Wind, in depicting Southern white slave owners as the good guys.  And marauding Negro ex-slaves as the bad guys.  These movies also promoted the notion that the Confederacy were the good guys in the Civil War, that the victorious North treated the South unfairly; and that African-Americans are shiftless, violent, and basically criminal-minded.  An attitude which persists to this day, especially in ALT-RIGHT political circles, newly emboldened by the so-called “scientific racism” of bogus DNA studies.

D.W. Griffith, “The Clansman”, starring Lillian Gish

Within the white slave-owner propaganda worldview, the very worst kind of black man of all is a type like Nat Turner.  A violent smartass who finally snaps at the injustice of it, picks up an axe and just goes medieval on Whitey.  Burns the mansion down, everything and everybody inside it.  This is, of course, the slaveowner’s worse nightmare, as he lies trembling in his bed, wondering if Rastus will bust in on him in the middle of the night wielding something sharp and pointy.  Back in ancient times, the Romans were so terrified of their slaves that they passed draconian laws to the effect that, if any slave killed his master, then all of the slaves in the household, even the loyal obsequious ones, must be tortured and put to death forthwith.  Pour encourager les autres, as the Frenchman says.  Can you even imagine Scarlett O’Hara torturing Mammy??  Yeah, that skinny white bitch would do it in a heartbeat, if she felt that her economic livelihood was at stake.  Marxism 101, Ladies and Gentlemen.

So, yes, Director-Actor-Producer Nate Parker’s ironic “re-make” of “Birth of a Nation” is the semi-fictionalized story of Nat Turner.  I think I was about half an hour into the film before I figured that out.  “Ah yes!  The hero’s name is Nat, and his massa’s name is Sam Turner, hence….. – duh!  Uh oh, I think I know where this story is headed…”

Nate Parker: Misogynist?

But before I get to Nat, I have to mention something about Nate.  I wasn’t aware of this story before I googled him; but apparently Nate has been a tad rapey in his past.  And Lillian Gish would have been shocked (or maybe not) to learn that Dignified Black Man Nate was accused of raping a woman during his College Daze.  A white woman, no less!  One of those druggy date-rape sort of things, when Nate was an asshole jock on his college’s wrestling team.  And this happened at Penn State, also notorious as the pedophile hunting ground of Jerry Sandusky.  A college where sexual harassment and sexual assault were not only tolerated but highly encouraged!  Nate has always maintained his innocence in the rape charge; and was acquitted moreover, even without having to hire Atticus Finch as his defense counsel.  The girl who accused him had mental health issues and ended up committing suicide, so nobody cares about her any more.  Guilty or innocent, in his official utterances Nate comes off as a macho jerk.  Like, he would never play a gay role because that would be an affront to his masculinity.  Hey man, if Horn-Dog Robert Downey Jr. can play a faggot, then so can you!

Aja Naomi King gets raped a lot in the film.

All this proves is that even a jerk can produce a decent film.  And ironically (or not), one of the main themes in this film is the violent rape of women.  Of black women, at the hands of their white masters.  And these are no drunken frat boys either, they are horny Southern gentlemen who always have a flask of brandy in their pocket and who know their way around the proper end of a bullwhip.

Why Do Slave Rebellions Always Fail?

Nat Turner was an actual historical figure.  As his wiki page describes, Nat led a rebellion of slaves in Southhampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831.  “The rebels went from plantation to plantation, gathering horses and guns, freeing other slaves along the way, and recruiting other blacks who wanted to join their revolt.”  I had vaguely heard of this story before, and had the impression that the rebellion lasted a long time, at least several months.  Now, that would have been something to cheer for!  Alas no, it barely lasted a day.

The real Nat Turner was a sharp-dressed man.

It must have felt good at the time to roam around, even just for a day, getting even with Whitey for all the past whippings and indignities.  But, unfortunately, slave rebellions always get put down eventually.  Just not always this quickly.  (Only exception I can think of off the top of my head:  Haiti.)

People think about this issue a lot, and don’t understand why force of numbers does not ensure victory.  As Nat himself pointed out to the doubters, the slaves in that country outnumbered the white folk many times over.  Logic should have it, that numbers would prevail, no?  No.  It’s the same time of reasoning which baffles people when they read about some single armed intruder controlling an entire room full of people.  Or about thousands of  Jews marching compliantly into the gas chambers when the only thing between them and the open road is a handful of men with guns, plus some snapping dogs.

It’s just the way things work, folks, no matter how counterintuitive it seems.  Those revolting slaves never had a chance.  What territory could they possibly capture?  Where could they posibly flee to?

Final tally:  Nat and his Negro rabble army were able to kill 55-65 “white people”, aka plantation owners and their families.  It’s what they call “a good start”.  But the sequel is called “Cracker Fights Back”.  Army and militias killed around 200 blacks (and that’s a low estimate), many of them complete innocents, not even involved in the aborted uprising.  Repressive legislation was subsequently passed targeting ALL blacks, including freemen.  In short, Nat’s temper tantrum did much more harm than good to the Negroes of Southhampton County, Virginia.  Moral of the story:  If you are going to rebel against an unjust economic system, then make sure you have an adequate arsenal.  AND A PLAN, MAN!  Don’t just run around half-cocked shouting slogans.

Race War At Its Finest

Returning to the fictional version of the story:  I think that Nate Parker does a very credible portrayal of Nat Turner, although in some scenes I swear that he physically resembles a younger version of Snoop Dogg.  This was particularly upsetting to me during the whipping scene:  The notion of my beloved rapper Snoop being tied to a post and bull-whipped until he is bleeding from the mouth, is absolutely shocking.

Armie Hammer as an alcoholic Sam Turner

But it takes a couple of hours to get us to that disturbing scene.  The movie starts off more idyllic-like, with little Nat and little Sam (the white boy) good pals.  They run around the plantation playing hide-and-seek, and it’s so sweet;  and then Sammy grows up to be big strapping blonde hunk Armie Hammer.  And Armie behaves reasonably decently towards his former childhood friend and now personal slave, Nat.  But anybody who has watched Mandingo or Roots knows exactly where this story is going.  White people can never be trusted.  Sure, they’re cute when they’re children.  So are baby scorpions.  But eventually white babies grow up and tie you to that whipping post.  Why?  Because they own your ass, that’s why.  Marxism 101!

As the film begins, we see Nat as a small boy with a pattern of moles on his chest.  An old-timer from the team who still remembers Africa, and who was an African witch-doctor in his time, predicts that Nat will grow up to become a prophet and leader of his people.  The child listens with intent eyes.  He believes the prophecy and this makes him uppity.

Child actor Tony Espinosa portrays Nat Turner as a boy.

The Great White Plantation Mistress, who is actually a halfway decent soul, allows the talented child to learn how to read.  This is a huge development.  Most slaves are punished by death if they even attempt to acquire some book-learning.  And there was a very good practical reason why the slave-owners didn’t want their slaves to read and write:   For example, Little Nat is able to forge dummy passes so that his dad can safely sneak off the plantation at night to poach for food.  Other main reason being:  If blacks can read, then they can read the Bible for themselves, and all the juicier passages about Israelite bondage and so on; and not just the “acceptable” passages about how slaves should submit to their masters.

Nat grows up with a double career:  Cotton-picking field hand by day, and Preacherman by night.  Nat studies the Bible intently, the only book he is ever allowed to read.  He sees that, for every passage in the Bible giving one point of view, there is another passage laying out the opposite point of view.  Nat’s increasingly impoverished master Armie, in order to earn extra cash to keep his plantation afloat, loans Nat out to the neighbors.  Nat, the Preaching Negro, is a curiosity in the county.  He preaches to restless slaves this one passage from the New Testament (1 Peter, Chapter 2):

18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

King Saul: “I do hates me some Amalekites.”

But secretly Nat reads the rest of the Bible, including the Old Testament, and including some of the more genocidal passages, for example, the one about slaying the Amalekites, every last one of them, man, woman, child, suckling, and even their household pets.  Nat wishes that he could preach these passages as well, during his itinerant missions.  But Whitey always keeps a close eye on him.  It is only later in secret midnight meetings with his supporters that Nat reveals some of the dicier Biblical passages.

Chosen By God

Eventually Nat comes to believe his own propaganda.  Namely, that he was chosen by God to free his people.  After Master Armie turns on him (for a very minor offense) and has him brutally whipped, Nat decides that the Day of Vengeance has arrived.  He gathers his followers, and they choose their time.  Initially they have the right idea:  They will attack the County armory and acquire weapons.  Their attack leads to a short but intense battle, involving hand-to-hand combat with a bunch of white crackers.  One of the few good things about a race war, I reckon, is that it makes hand-to-hand combat highly plausible, even while not wearing uniforms.  No irritating “friendly fire” incidents!

In the end, sadly, all of Nat’s efforts are fruitless.  The rebels are captured and hanged.  Nat escapes briefly, but is forced to turn himself in as innocent blacks are being  punished right and left.  One was almost expecting a “Spartacus” type moment when the slaveowner demands, “Which one of you n-words is Nat Turner?”  And everybody yells:  “I be Nat Turner!”  “No, I be Nat Turner!”

This bleak movie does leave us with one ray of hope, thankfully.  As is de rigueur for the rules of this genre, one must portray the unsuccessful rebel as, at the very least, a forerunner of better days.

Pennsylvania “Colored Regiment”, Civil War, USA

And sure enough:  Throughout the movie there is the character of a young black boy on the plantation who watches and observes everything with wise, but worried eyes.  The young boy joins Nat’s rebellion, but soon deserts, unable to stand the sight of bloodshed.  At the end we see him witnessing Nat’s gruesome hanging, and then there is a brief fade-in to a future scene:  It is 30 years later and the frail boy, now a strapping man, is fighting in the Civil War, on the side of the victorious North.  Backlit by the American flag as he storms the Confederate positions.  In other words, that young scared boy grew up to be Denzel Washington!

This is the final payload scene, and also the decoding of the film’s title.

In conclusion:  Go see this movie!

Posted in Human Dignity, Popular Culture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Babi Yar Acquires Jew-Hating Heroine

Dear Readers:

My starting point for today’s post is this short piece from PolitNavigator, penned by Semen Doroshenko in Kiev.  The headline:

Klichko Unveiled in Babi Yar a Statue to the Nationalist Poet Who Worked for the Germans During the Occupation

Here is a translation of that piece, and then we will go on to discuss some of the backstory:

In Kiev, at the intersection of the streets named after Olena Teliha and Andrei Melnik, on the territory of Babi Yar, a statue of Ukrainian poet Olena Teliha was unveiled.  This act was announced in the Kiev municipal newspaper.

Poet Olena Teliha

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klichko gave a speech:  “Today we honor the memory and unveil a statue to a political figure, a participant of the Ukrainian Liberation Movement, the poet Olena Teliha.  In her face we see all Ukrainian patriots who fought and gave their lives for an independent Ukraine.”

The Mayor added that the statue was paid for out of municipal funds, and that it cost around 8 million hryvnas.

The statue was put up also thanks to the Minister of Culture Evgeny Nishchuk.  The official order to erect the statue came from the office of the President of the Ukraine, its purpose being to commemorate Teliha’s 100th birthday, and also the 75-year anniversay of the tragedy of Babi Yar.

Recall that Olena Teliha was a poet of the Ukrainian Nationalist persuasion, and a member of the Melnik wing of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).  Along with her husband, and with OUN party comrade, Oleg Olzhich, she collaborated with the German occupation administration in Kiev.  They published pro-German pamphlets in the collaborationist Ukrainian press.  In the end, though, Teliha was shot by her own masters at Babi Yar.  Along with the Jews and Communists whom she had defamed in her nationalist newspaper.

The Greatest Enemy Of the People – Is the Jew

And this is the part where the Ukrainian nationalists will scream bloody murder and insist that they never collaborated with the Germans; that they fought against Nazism with equal fervor as they fought against Bolshevism.  Sort of taking pride in the notion that they can’t get along with anybody!

The proof of their pudding:  That Stepan Bandera ended up in a German prison; and Olena Teliha ended up as a skeleton with a bullet in it at the bottom of Babi Yar.

Babi Yar: A German playground

In fact, if you read Olena’s wiki page, she was a pure soul who only tried to do good for her Ukrainian people.  Well, actually, she wasn’t originally Ukrainian, she was Russian.  But that’s okay, since Russians and Ukrainians are genetically identical, their only differences being cultural and political.  In 1918, just like today, to be pro-Ukrainian means to be anti-Russian and anti-Communist!  That was why Olena’s family emigrated to Kiev to escape the Russian Revolution.  But the Revolution followed them like an evil plague, so they had to keep moving West.  In 1939 Olena joined the OUN.  In 1941 she and her husband moved back to Kiev where I reckon they thought they would be perfectly safe under Nazi occupation.  This is the part where her wiki page elides over the anti-Jew propaganda and other unpleasantness, and just rushes straight to the part where the Gestapo arrested her and packed her off to Babi Yar.

Sausage fest: Leaders of the OUN

But before we get to that, we must introduce the character of Ivan Andreevich Rogach.  Ivan was Olena’s editor.  He helped her craft the winged phrases inspired by the Muse Euterpe.  In 1941 Rogach was ordered by his leader, Andrei Melnik, to return to Kiev, where he was to conduct propaganda activities under the director of Burgomeister Vladimir Bagazia.  Bagazia was also a member of the OUN, it goes without saying, and the Nazis entrusted him with running Kiev.  Not unlike Victoria Nuland entrusting that same job, 75 years later, to Vitaly Klichko!  (I know, I know, that was a cheap shot…)

Anyhow, as part of their anti-Communist propaganda efforts, Rogach and Olena published the newspaper “Ukrainian Word” and the literature journal “Litavry”.  In theory these publications were supposed to promote Ukrainian culture, but in reality most of the articles were about the victories and the successes of Nazi Germany.  For example, a headline from 3 October, 1941 blared:  “The Greatest Enemy Of the People – Is the Jew!”

And a week later, the headline du jour:  “Our task is to rebuild Ukrainian national culture, which was destroyed by the Jew-Bolsheviks”.

Lviv 1939: Jewish woman molested by Ukrainian nationalists

Despite these politically-correct (from a Nazi POV) sentiments, the very few times that Rogach and his crew were able to slip in some Ukrainian nationalist ideas, or the notion that the Ukraine should be an independent nation, the Nazi bigwigs would get upset.  Reichs Commissar Erich Koch would run into the office of Kiev Commandant Major-General Eberhardt, screaming:  “Wot is up wiz zese Melnikites?  Do zey not GET IT, zat zey are Untermenschen?   You VILL restore order, or do I need to send you to ze Russian front???!!!!”  And while Sergeant Schultz was cowering in the corner jibbering “I know NUSSINK!”  Eberhardt would tremble and almost wet himself, but manage to bark out affirmatively:  “Jawohl, Mein Kommendant!  I vill take care of zis immediately!”

Nazi honcho Erich Koch liked to groom his Hitler moustache!

Which brings us back to Babi Yar where, as the PolitNavigator piece revels in the irony, the sweet-faced Slavic poetesse Olena was brutally murdered, along with the herd of Jews, Gypsies, Communists, and other undesirables.  If it makes her feel any better, I am sure that the Germans despised her a tad less than they did the Jews/Gypsies/Communists.  But still, the Melnik people had started to get on the nerves of the Nazis.  The Nazis were, frankly, getting tired of the antics of the Ukrainian nationalists.  The Nazis regarded the Ukrainians as beggars, always on the dole, always asking for a hand-out;  vicious and unreliable people, just not good stock.  Nazis never having any intention whatsoever to permit an independent state of Ukraine:  For them, this whole area was to be just prime farmland for Aryan breeders.  The only thing the Ukrainians were good for, was concentration camp guards and hired killers.  If the Ukrainian nationalists were too stupid to get that, then what is a good German to do, except to pity the poor fools.

Whose Yar Is This, Anyhow?

I’m thrown back by a boot, I have no strength left,
In vain I beg the rabble of pogrom,
To jeers of “Kill the Jews, and save our Russia!”
My mother’s being beaten by a clerk.

(Yevgeny Yevtushenko, “Babi Yar”)

Poet Evgeny Yevtushenko: “Righteous among the nations”

The broader meaning, of course, of this Kiev statue business, is the incessant propaganda of the Kiev government, in its attempt to rewrite history and to take things which don’t belong to it.  Like Babi Yar.

While recognizing that many different types of people were murdered at Babi Yar, one fact remains clear:  Babi Yar belongs first of all to the Jews; and secondarily to the Soviet people as a whole.  There is not one molecule of Babi Yar which belongs to the Ukrainian nationalists.  No matter which faux pas or accident of fate brought Olena Teliha to the mouth of that pit.

Posted in Friendship of Peoples, Human Dignity, Russian History, True Crime | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia Will Teach Donbass To Sing – With Coke! – Part II

Dear Readers:

Today finishing our work-through of this piece in VZGLIAD by reporter Andrei Rezchikov.   Donetsk political pundit Roman Manekin predicted to VZGLIAD that the main coal-burning industrial enterprises of the Separatist enclave Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) are on the verge of being nationalized.

Donbass coal miners

On the other hand, Minister of Industry and Trade of the DPR, Alexei Granovsky, denied that nationalization was on the table, but otherwise refused to comment.

By the way, it struck me that most people, including myself, probably don’t know the exact definition of terms such as nationalization and privatization.  So I found this basic primer:  “In general terms, nationalisation is the act of taking property previously owned by individuals or other legal entities such as companies or municipalities into the ownership of the state.”

“The state”, in this case, meaning the unrecognized governments of the Separatist enclaves.  A system in which all, or most, of the major industrial enterprises are owned by the state, could be considered a socialist-type system.  For the average worker, it would mean that your paycheck is signed by the Governor, say, instead of by Mr. Scrooge McDuck.

Meanwhile, an anonymous source very close to the leadership of the Luhansk Peoples Republic (LPR) explained to the VZGLIAD reporter:  Although the Donbass enterprises are to receive Russian coking coal to tide them through the crisis, they will not be able to pay for the Russian coal.  Why?  Because they have no cash.  All the major enterprises in Donbass still remain under the control of various Ukrainian magnates and oligarchs.  All the money flows through Kiev.  Once again, the issue of private property vs nationalization comes to the forefront.  “In this manner,” the anonymous source contends, “Poroshenko himself, and the people who surround him, are giving Donbass the signal to nationalize the enterprises.”  Poroshenko’s people once again scoring spectacular “own goal”.  And despite Granovsky’s ideological objections to nationalization, Kiev is simply not leaving Donetsk and Luhansk with any other alternative.

A Real-Life Horatio Alger

Just the other day the Ukrainian blockade forced two major metallurgical enterprises to shut down:  The Enakievsky Metallurgical Factory; and an enterprise called KrasnodonUgol.  Both enterprises were components of the Mining-Metallurgical conglomerate “Metinvest” owned by billionaire oligarch Rinat Akhmetov.

Akhmetov is proud of his football club.

As of 2015 Akhmetov was ranked the 216th richest man in the world.  He is worth around 6.5 billion American dollars.  Rinat comes from humble origins, born to a working class family in Soviet Ukraine in 1966.  His family are ethnic Tatars from the Volga region of Russia.  Rinat’s father was a coal miner, and his mother was a shop clerk.  When the Soviet Union dissolved and capitalism was imposed on the people, Akhmetov was one of those men who sussed out, in the ensuing free-for-all, how to leverage the new economic system and amass private capital at an astonishing rate.  Previously public assets constituting the wealth of the republics — factories, mines, land, etc. , wealth that was created and built up by four generations of Soviet workers — all of a sudden became the private property of the new oligarchic class.  It all happened very quickly, in the blink of an eye.  And despite common perceptions of “ethnic mafias”, the role of Jews or Tatars, or whatever, and their supposed cunning and ties to organized crime — the fact remains that there was not much pattern to it; and a certain randomness to the ultimate shake-out, in this big game, of winners and losers.  Not unlike the New York lottery!

Since the Maidan coup of 2014, Akhmetov has attempted to play a neutral role in the Ukrainian civil war.  He is neither pro-Separatist nor pro-Ukrainian.  He is pro-Akhmetov.  He wants to get along with everyone, and keep his factories and his money.  He is constrained by the legalities of the capitalist system and the concept of the “personhood” of factories.  His enterprises are legally registered in Kiev, and pay taxes to the Ukrainian government.

Yasinovataya is just North of Donetsk.

Unfortunately for Akhmetov, the Ukrainian government is not smart enough to simply take the money, run laughing all the way to the bank, and let things be.  Always ready to shoot themselves in the foot, while attempting to harm others, Ukrainian nationalists have forced the issue with this latest economic blockade.  Mr. Nice Guy Akhmetov’s factories are being forced to close down, one at a time.  Recently the blockade activists closed down all traffic on the stretch of highway Yasinovataya-Skotovataya, putting a stop to the ingress of raw materials and the egress of finished product.  Work in these factories thus came to a standstill, risking the jobs of around 150,000 residents of the Separatist enclaves.  All of these people work for Rinat Akhmetov.  He signs their paychecks.

A couple of weeks ago (10 February), the LPR Parliament passed a draft bill which would, in essence, nationalize all enterprises which function, but are not registered, in the LPR.  Since Akhmetov’s factories are registered in Kiev, this law will affect him.  LPR Chief Honcho Igor Plotnitsky announced this plan.  Shortly thereafter Plotnitsky’s analogue for the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko followed suit with an announcement that the Enakievsky metallurgical plant will be put back online without any participation from the Ukrainian side.  Both of these measures strike at the heart of the capitalist-oligarchic system which has basically destroyed the Ukraine since the early 1990’s.

Without Coke There Is No Work.  Or Life.

The VZGLIAD piece concludes with the paradox of Donbass dying for lack of coking coal.  One thinks of the old “Newcastle” quip.  After all, the Donbass region is the major repository of coal for the entire Ukraine.  How could this happen?

Coking ovens: Like the Fires Of Hell

The answer lies in the fact that coke is not found in all the mines, necessarily.  In that part of the territory controlled by the DPR, coke is mainly found only in the Zasyadko mine.  But that particular mine is unsafe and susceptible to explosions.  There are also people issues:  poor management, incessant strikes, etc.  The remaining coal mines on DPR territory are primary anthracite coal.  Anthracite is suitable fuel for electrical power stations, but cannot be put into coking ovens.  Coking ovens produce a necessary component for the cooking of the world’s most important metal:  Steel.

One feature of coking ovens is that they must work incessantly, without stopping, like some kind of Eternal Flame.  Or like the fires of Hell.  If ever they stop, then the ovens must be dismantled and rebuilt anew.  But there is no money to build or rebuild the ovens!  Poroshenko took all the money away, back to Kiev!  Hence, once those flames die out and the ovens go cold, they cannot be rebuilt.  Then Donbass dies a painful death.

Unless Russia comes galloping to the rescue with precious life-giving coke to fuel those ravenous flames.

Posted in Economics, Friendship of Peoples | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Russia Will Teach Donbass To Sing – With Coke! – Part I

Dear Readers:

I saw this piece in VZGLIAD by reporter Andrei Rezchikov.  The gist is that factories in Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) and Luhansk Peoples Republic (LPR) were about to go under, for lack of coal.  These factories consume a specific type of coal called coking coal.  In Russian, this is called коксующийся уголь.   According to the piece I linked, the coking process, which is done in a special oven, cooks a delicious “coal pie”, imparting extra value and special qualities to the coal.  Many Ukrainian factories run on this specific type of coal, and their furnaces are unable to cope with anything inferior.

Modern Ukrainians are trained to kneel to their colonial overlords.

As part of its economic and military war against the “Separatist” enclaves, the Ukrainian government blockade against DPR/LPR had the purpose of starving these areas of the coking coal they need to run their factories.  The blockade has proved to be an effective weapon.  The Donbass factories were on the verge of shutting down, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without jobs.  The entire Donbass region was on the verge of dying a painful economic death.

The blockade was the initiative of Radical Ukrainian nationalists who dominate the Ukrainan government and administration.  Their slogan:  “No trade with Separatists!”   In addition to coal, the Ukrainian government attempts on a daily basis to deprive the Separatist enclaves of electricity and water.  While also shelling the people from heavy artillery, trying to destroy whatever infrastructure they can.  In the hopes that Donbass people will eventually give up their fight for self-determination, kneel down, and roll under the boots of their overlords, the Ukrainian nationalists.  Who, in turn, have been trained to kneel before their own overlords, namely bureaucrats from the European Union.

At this moment in history, the Russian Federation decided to put a stop to this nonsense and march to the rescue.  Not with boots on the ground, but with delicious coke!  The decision has been made to ship the coking coal directly from Russia to the Donbass.  And thus break the Ukrainian embargo.  VZGLIAD received this information from a source in the Russian Energy sector.

Desperate Donbass Residents Welcome Moscow’s Decision

In Donetsk itself, it goes without saying that the people are happy with Moscow’s decision to help them out.  DPR political analyst Roman Manekin:

“This is a huge expense for Russia, but it is our only salvation at this point.  It will at the very least help us to get through the spring.”

Manekin reminded the reporter, that the Donbass economy, primarily its coal-metallurgical sector, used to be the glory of all Ukrainian exports.  But after the events of 2014 a situation arose in which political power passed to the DPR, while the economic levers of power remained in the hands of Kiev.  A Catch-22 type situation:

“If the economic levers had also passed into the hands of the DPR, then the enterprises would have forfeited their legal subject-ness [yalensis:  in American, this would be called the “peoplehood” of corporations], and they would not have been able to conclude contracts with suppliers from the Ukraine.  Hence, they would have lost their primary customers:  Mariupol and Odessa.  Hence, for the past three years, the government of the DPR would have been forced to contend with the presence, on their territory, of corporations who don’t submit to its authority and who don’t pay taxes.  I believe that in the near future the largest companies in the DPR will be placed under external governmental jurisdiction.  We are talking nationalization.”

“Please, just give us the coke!”

According to Manekin, the issue of nationalization was raised at the very beginning of this mess, back in 2014, but the plan was rejected as too radical.  “But the situation is different now,  After the implementation of the blockade, already 9,000 residents of the DPR were left without work.  And if the blockade continues, this will affect hundreds of thousands.  And when we talk domestic enterprises which were oriented towards customers in Russia, now we are talking millions of people.  The economy of Donbass would be finished off for good.”

Granovsky: No fan of nationalization, but please don’t kill him just for that.

The reporter solicited a reaction from Alexei Granovsky, the DPR Minister of Trade and Industry.  What I linked above is Granovsky’s page on the Ukrainian “Hitman” site, “Mirotvorec” (“Peacemaker”).  As people might be aware, the Ukrainian government publishes this personal data on their political enemies, in the hope and expectation that the people thus marked will be duly assassinated.  According to the Hitman site, Granovsky is not an ideological fan of nationalization.  And to the VZGLIAD reporter as well, Granovsky declined to confirm Manekin’s prognosis of nationalization of these companies.  “No comment” was his general reponse.

[to be continued]

Posted in Economics, Friendship of Peoples | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Ukrainian Parliamentarian Blackmails American Independent Filmmaker!

Dear Readers:

Here is a juicy scandal which broke in the Russian press just yesterday, I believe.

The source:  Russian hackers.  (Of course.)  Or maybe not Russian, who knows?  They call themselves “Anonymous“, so you’re not supposed to know who they are.  Duh!

Leshchenko: Claims to have the goods on Yanukovych

Anyhow, these hackers leaked a very interesting story about a Ukrainian politician named Sergei Leshchenko.  Sergei (alt-spelling Serhiy) is a Euro-Maidan activist who helped to overthrow the Viktor Yanukovych government in 2014, and now sits in Parliament representing the Petro Poroshenko ruling party.  Leshchenko’s wiki page shows him to be a tall, skinny guy with a repulsively rodent-like face.  He rose to power on a wave of “anti-corruption” agitation against President Yanukovych’s sleazy deals; and then subsequently entered into a series of sleazy deals of his own, mostly involving real estate.

Jess Manafort: Sweet American gal, and nice gams too!

But today’s story is all about Leschenko’s cat fight against an innocent (?) young American woman named Jessica Manafort.  So, let’s just get right to it, dive into the mud and start flinging filth in various directions.

So, Jess is the 34-year-old daughter of Paul Manafort, American lobbyist and political consultant.  Everybody knows the story, how Paul was the Chairman of Donald Trump’s election campaign.  Until The Donald had to let him go, when Dems broke the scandal of Manafort’s lobbying efforts on behalf of Ukrainian Prez Viktor Yanukovych.  Convulted story, of course, which I don’t have time here to retell.

Daughter Jessica Manafort studied film-making at New York University (NYU) and has been trying, ever since graduation, to produce a successful movie.  Daddy helped to finance her oeuvres and even produced a film or two of his own.  Got the bug, in other words.  This anti-Trump piece  dishes out some of the dirt on this father-daughter pair.  Apparently Dad co-produced a film called “The Dying Gaul” which allegedly, according to outraged conservatives, promotes the homosexual lifestyle and presents a misanthropic view of life.  Meanwhile Jess, who lives the lifestyle of a Malibu Barbie (in Malibu)  debuted with her own work, also financed by Daddy, something called “Remember The Daze“, a nostalgic autobiographical work about a group of misfit high school teenagers.  Neither film found success in the tough and competitive world of Hollywood.

I Give You 24 Hours Then I Shoot The Dog

With this backstory out of the way, we get to the dirt dished by Anonymous.

Paul Manafort: “She said WHAT??”

So, one day Sweet All-American Kid Jessica opens up her email and sees something that she initially thinks to be spam:

“I need to get in touch with Paul.  I need to share some important information with him regarding Ukraine investigation.  I actually have proofs that he received money.  If I don’t get any reply from you I am gonna pass it on to the FBI and Ukrainian authorities, including media.  Tell him he has 24 hours before I leak all the shit to cops.  As soon as he comes back to me, I will pass him documents.”

Jessica’s initial reaction:  “What is mama gonna say?”

The author of the harrassing email signed himself leshchenko@mail.ru.

leshchenkoThis photograph from the piece I linked shows a close-up of Leshchenko (from an earlier date) sitting at his computer, reading his email during a session of the Ukrainian Rada.  The purpose of the photograph is to authenticate that, yes, this is indeed Leschenko’s email address.  I reckon he will deny that he sent the blackmail email.  He will most likely claim that somebody hacked his account and sent the email in his name!

The curious part is that Leshchenko had already pretty much shot his wad on the Manafort-Yanukovych wheelings and dealings.  Back in August 2016, in the heat of the American presidential campaign, the Ukrainian government did everything within their power to harm Trump and help Hillary.  Including publishing a dossier on Manafort.  Thanks to these efforts, Manafort was forced to resign from Trump’s election campaign; and yet Trump still went on to win the election.  An unexpected outcome, and one devastating to the Ukrainian Maidan elite.

So, the real question here:  Why is Leschenko still flogging these old documents and incirminations?   Why the stupid attempt at blackmail?  Hasn’t everything been published already?  Why did he think he still had something of value to sell to Paul Manafort?

These and other questions INQUIRING MINDS WANT AND NEED TO KNOW!

Posted in Breaking News, Cat Fighting, Celebrity Gossip | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Estonian Nostradamus Predicts NATO Bar Fights In Near Future…

Dear Readers:

I saw this piece today in VZGLIAD.  The headline reads:

Estonia has preemptively placed the responsibility on Russia for any possible future donnybrooks which may occur between NATO soldiers and the locals

Sounds reasonable, no?

The issue is that groups of NATO soldiers are planning to invade the pubs and pizzerias of Estonia, while on rotation in that small but pleasant country.  And since these soldiers are often on the prowl for women, there is a very high probability of bar fights and hockey games breaking out.  And it’s not like the senior NATO command is capable of doing anything in advance to prevent these incidents, right?  They are just helpless onlookers who can only cry and wring their hands whenever something bad happens.

Come see the sights of Tallinn!

Anyone who has ever been to Estonia knows that it is a great place for a vacation.  The cities are clean and well-maintained, the sights are beautiful, and Estonian women are amazingly attractive.  (But only if you like gorgeous blondes, yawn….)

Estonian women will steal your heart.

Which apparently is one of the motivations for NATO picking this nation as a favored R&R loc for its overtaxed warriors.  We’re talkin’ ’bout those tireless troops who fight day after day, without food or water, against a relentless enemy.  Battered and bruised, their hands calloused from digging trenches around Russia, these heroes need a few days to rest their weary bones and hopefully even get in some much-needed boning…

We previously heard a couple of stories in this genre:  about NATO High Command treating the Baltic countries in the same way that the United States used to treat, and still treats, its South Pacific colonies — i.e., as a place where soldiers can cut loose for a few days and do whatever their libidos dictate, without regard to the feelings of the locals.  The Uppities of Brussels have adopted the same arrogant attitude as their American masters:  He who is not one of us, is merely fodder for our needs.

Keeping this in mind:  Apparently 800 British soldiers from the NATO force are about to be deployed in the Estonian capital.  And the head of Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service is worrying his pretty little head  about what could happen next.

Tell us about the Honeytraps, Mikk!

This pretty blonde head is named Mikk Marran, and he is basically NATO’s Spymaster over the Estonian people.  Mikk’s CV, which I just linked, is in English, so you can read it yourself, but please just take note of his American education – Master’s from National Defense University in Washington, D.C., his degree is in something called “National Resource Strategy” — I reckon that’s what they call being a Gauleiter these days.  Mikk’s job is to spy on the people of Estonia — or what remains of it — for the benefit of NATO and the NSA.   As for “Managing Resources” – everything that Estonia has is now at the disposal of Brussels and the United States.  Including Estonian women, apparently.

Hence, instead of taking measures to curb the behavior of rowdy British soldiers, Mikk concedes in advance that things will get out of hand; and then, like some two-penny Nostradamus, predicts that it will all happen as planned, but will be Russia’s fault.

Mikk Marran: “Don’t blame me if somebody gets hurt.”

Conceding that the Estonian people are not happy to see NATO soldiers quartered in their towns, Mikk goes on to warn in an interview with The Times that:

Russia will target hundreds of British troops when they are deployed to Estonia in the coming weeks, the Baltic state’s spy chief has warned. The aim will be to discredit a Nato mission to reinforce the alliance’s eastern flank.

Honeytraps, staged pub brawls — designed to make British troops look like thugs — and subversive efforts to penetrate social media accounts to find information for blackmail purposes are expected to be attempted by “the opposite team”, Mikk Marran the head of the Estonian Information Board (EIB), the country’s equivalent of MI6, told The Times in a rare interview.

That’s all the quote I could get from the original source (The Times), the rest of the piece is behind a paywall, which I am too stingy to pay.

Therefore, Dear Readers, please forgive me if I go on to quote the rest of it in second-hand English translated back from the Russian:

Horny American soldiers in the South Pacific

“There will be 800 young British soldiers.  They will be making trips from the base into the cities.  It is very likely that they will visit pubs.  Therefore we cannot exclude fights breaking out.  Fights which will be incited by the opposing side.”

I reckon it doesn’t occur to Mikk to just keep the British soldiers confined to base?  To avert these future unpleasant incidents?

No, of course that is not an option, and you know why?  Because the whole point of the 800 soldiers being quartered in Estonia, is for the sake of their R&R.  NATO has designated the Baltic states their version of the “South Pacific” in their war against Russia.  Paradoxically, the closer the soldiers are to the heart of Russia, the safer they are.  The Baltics are the perfect place for them to cut loose, enjoy wonderful food and drink, and get their rocks off with the locals.  And anything that could possibly go wrong in this perfect plan — will be Russia’s fault!

Posted in Friendship of Peoples | Tagged | 6 Comments

1937 – What is the connection between Stalin and Pushkin? – Part VI

Dear Readers:

Today we conclude what turned out to be an epic and somewhat picaresque journey through the interesting connection between an aristocratic/anarchist poet (=Pushkin) who self-described as a “proponent of freedom”; and a political leader and statesman (=Stalin) who self-described as a “harsh but fair” ruler of his nation.  An odd couple, indeed.

Georges d’Anthès shot Pushkin in the stomach.

Our starting point was this essay by publicist Vladimir Mozhegov.  We have worked our way to the climax of the story, February 10,  1937.  This was the 100th Anniversary of Pushkin’s death.  Everyone knows the story how Pushkin had been shot by the French diplomat and dandy Georges d’Anthès, alleged to be the lover of Pushkin’s wife, Natalia Goncharova.  In modern terms, Pushkin was forced to prove that he was no cuck.  The duel was brokered at the highest levels of the French Embassy.  The outcome was bitterly resented by a portion of the Russian intelligentsia, but regarded with indifference by the Russian court and the rest of the elite.

The duel concluded with the score:  d’Anthès -1  Pushkin – 0.  Georges proved himself to be (1) either the better aim, or (2) simply faster on the trigger.  Russia’s Treasure was clipped in the hip bone, then the bullet perforated his stomach.  In today’s modern world, Pushkin would have survived with minor surgery and been discharged from the hospital probably the next day, with Natalia picking him up and driving him home, after giving him a good scolding.  Unfortunately, in those days, the wound was fatal.  After lingering in much pain for a couple of days, the poet cashed in his chips and left this world.

Russia’s greatest poet Lermontov described the effect of horror and outrage the death of his predeccesor (=Russia’s former greatest poet) had upon the thinking class and intelligentsia of the time:

Погиб поэт! — невольник чести, —
Пал, оклеветанный молвой,
С свинцом в груди и жаждой мести,
Поникнув гордой головой!..
Не вынесла душа поэта
Позора мелочных обид,
Восстал он против мнений света
Один, как прежде… и убит!



The poet died – a slave to honor, –
He fell, a victim of slander,
With lead in his chest, and a thirst for vengeance,
He bowed his proud head!..
The soul of the poet could not endure
The shame of vulgar denigrations,
He rose up against the opinions of high society,
Alone, as always… and was murdered! (etc.)

Fast forward to February 10, 1937.  What Mozhegov calls the Apotheosis.  One can also consider this to be the day when Lermontov’s outrage was finally assuaged, as the new Soviet “high society” unanimously took Pushkin’s side in this century-old conflict.

The Apotheosis

Bolshoi Theater, Moscow.  The entire Party elite is there:   Stalin, Molotov, Kaganovich.  The ceremony is beamed out (presumably via radio) to the entire nation.

People’s Commissar for Culture Andrei Bubnov (who still had a year and a half to live, before being liquidated by the NKVD) opened the ceremonies with a motivating speech:

“Pushkin belongs to us!” declared this future Enemy Of The People “Only in a country with a socialist culture, can the name of this immortal genius be crowned with fierce love; only in our country have Pushkin’s compositions become a national treasure.

Pushkin belongs to those who, under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin, built this socialist society.  He belongs to all the peoples of the USSR who, under the great banner of Lenin-Stalin, march towards communism.”

The first part of the ceremony concluded with Soviet poet Alexander Bezymensky reciting one of his own compositions.  In these verses, as Mozhegov notes, Bezymensky achieved the virtuoso feat of modernizing all the players in the story:   The 19th-century French diplomat d’Anthès is the fascist enemy, acting on behalf of Hitler and Tsar Nicholas; whereas Pushkin is the innocent proletarian Soviet hero who forms their target:

Ты слышишь ли, Пушкин, команду «стреляй»,
ты видишь костров огневую завесу?
Там в Пушкиных целит Адольф-Николай
руками кровавых фашистских Дантесов.


Do you hear, Pushkin, the command “Shoot!”
Do you see the blazing veil of bonfires?
There, Adolph-Nikolai shoots at Pushkins
Using the hands of bloody fascist d’Anthès’es

This is factual nonsense, of course, but not much less so than Lermontov’s more famous ejaculation of emotional outrage.  Lermontov, of course was closer to the crime.  Bezymensky, a century removed, might have been queried by Hamlet:  “What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba?”  Nonetheless, Pushkin’s death at the hands of his wife’s lover, was still obviously a sore point in the ranks of the Soviet intelligentsia.  Bezymensky’s reading was followed by thunderous chants from the gallery:

Poet Alexander Bezymensky

“Long Live Lenin!”

“Long Live Stalin!”

“Long Live The Sun!”

“Let the Darkness Recede!”

And thus was the official Stalinist cult of Pushkin created.

And, by the way, for those who believe that Bezymensky was just some obsequious hack, that is not true at all.  Bezymensky may have been obsequious, but he was no hack.  He was a talented poet who wrote some terrific pieces, especially his war poems.  And here we must revisit that discussion we enjoyed earlier, about political art versus “Art for Art’s Sake”.

Despite what many Westie students are taught in LitCrit classes, a poem does not have to be devoid of meaning or opinion in order to be good.  It is perfectly possible for an artist to write a rousing political, even propagandistic poem, which meets all the rules of Art and Craft.  In fact, some of the best poems ever, are political propaganda.  Think Julia Ward Howe and the Battle Hymn Of the Republic!  A poem so damned good, that it could only have been inspired by God Himself.

One of Bezymensky’s early AgitProp poems “The March Of The Young Guard” (1922) was set to music and went on to become the official anthem of the Communist Youth movement:

Вперед, заре навстречу,
Товарищи в борьбе!
Штыками и картечью
Проложим путь себе!



Forward, towards the dawn,
(My) comrades in the struggle!
With bayonets and shelling
We shall carve a path for ourselves! (etc.)

This is a good marching song.  The rhyme is ABAB, the meter is iambic, a good meter for implying a marching rhythm, with a pattern of alternating 4-feet then 3-feet.  In layman’s terms, the meter reads as such:

dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM
dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM
dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM
dee-DUM dee-DUM dee-DUM

The impression is slightly bombastic but also innocent, sincere, and motivating.  Completely suitable for a youthful army.


Pushkin The Renaissance Man

But now, leaving poetry and Literary Criticism aside, it is time to conclude Mozhegov’s piece.  The essayist describes the new “Soviet man” image of Pushkin.  The campaign of beatification was successful:  The Russian people accepted Pushkin as one of their own.  The new Pushkin was a Renaissance Man, a humanist, an atheist, a Decembrist a revolutionary, a democrat, and an enemy of the monarchy.  None of this was true; and yet it was not a caricature either.  Paradoxically, this distorted image worked to consolidate Soviet society.

Гений и злодейство…

Mozhegov, who has been hinting strongly throughout, but now reveals himself as a determined anti-Communist, states that the distorted Pushkin image is what saved Bolshevism by endowing it with a human face.  Pushkin’s face!

The Soviet people, he claims would not have fought against Nazi invaders, if they were just fighting to preserve Communist power.  No, they were fighting for Pushkin, for Tolstoy and Dostoevsky.  For their literary heritage!

In which case, I imagine the Nazis could have won the war, had the invading soldiers just handed out free copies of Mozart and Salieri.  Or marched through the streets of Moscow chanting:

“Мой дядя самых честных правил,
Когда не в шутку занемог,
Он уважать себя заставил
И лучше выдумать не мог.”

In between stacking up the bodies, it goes without saying.

Posted in Russian History, Russian Literature | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments