Putin, Russia and the West

Stalin was born in a part of the Russian Empire that is now Georgia. Russia has two distinct variants of being ‘Russian’ which are accorded two separate words in the Russian language. Россиянин/Rossiyanin is (today) any citizen of the Russian Federation, irrespective of ethnicity. Русский/Russkiy refers to ethnic Russians and does not include the 30%+ of Russian citizens who are from other ethnicities. Stalin did not fit into the latter category but certainly did fit into the former.

He spoke excellent Russian from childhood, albeit with a ‘southern’ accent.

Well I can’t judge it myself, so I can only tell you what Russians have told me, and I have read it more than once too

All lies I suppose, unky Joe was perfect

If someone were to say to me that they weren’t convinced by the evidence and offered reasons why then I might think it is worth discussing the nuances with them. But if someone makes a statement that there “hasn’t been a shred of evidence” then it’s hard to see how it’s possible to have a reasonable discussion on the subject with someone who presents themselves as being that blinkered.

Now you might reasonably argue that the Dutch investigation team’s published updates rely too much on circumstantial evidence, and the same for Bellingcat. And I might counter argue why I think the evidence is compelling. But to dismiss it completely as not a “shred of evidence” betrays a complete absence of willingness to approach the situation objectively.

For me the deciding factor is not the evidence that has been presented but the behaviour of Russian state actors in reaction to the event. I was following the story early enough that I saw Strelkov’s vKontakte post claiming to have downed a Ukrainian military plane in the area before he deleted it. There were a few of us on a Russian board following the story, as it was in the first hour, of a passenger plane missing over Ukraine, linking it with Strelkov’s post, and realising the obvious implications. Then, over subsequent weeks and months, the Russian state media spouted out a succession of deliberate red-herrings to try to deflect the blame from them. There was the imaginary Spanish air traffic controller, the satellite photo shown on prime time news of a Ukrainian plane supposedly shooting down MH17. Only that turned out to be wrong type of Soviet fighter, shooting down a Boeing publicity photo plane against a backdrop lifted from Google maps, all put together by photoshop. The manufacturer of BUK missiles was wheeled out to claim that the evidence was too fuzzy to prove that a BUK missile had been responsible for downing the plane while simultaneously making the claim that the evidence was so precise that, if it was actually a BUK missile, it was a type of missile only used by Ukraine and not any other type of BUK missile. Of course it only took a matter of hours for photos to surface on the Russian net of exactly the type of missile Russia claims it no longer uses featuring in a presentation to Putin on a Russian military base. The whole thing has been shameful. But unfortunately this will be just like Katyn where it will take Russia decades to acknowledge the truth.

I listened to 17 minutes of that rubbish and all I heard was some narcissist trying to make a case that people getting fired from CNN for stepping over the line was somehow evidence of the network’s perfidy. To my mind getting rid of people who run a story based on a single source instead of seeking corroboration is something to inspire a bit more confidence in a network rather than less. Not that I’ll suddenly start tuning into CNN but it doesn’t make me think they are the devil incarnate. In that 17 minutes there was nothing about CNN admitting “Russian involvement in the US elections is fake news”. In fact I would be very surprised if there was seeing as Putin effectively confirmed Russian involvement during his public phone in two weeks ago. Personally, as I’ve said a page or two back, I think it is more likely that Russian interference was an independent activity, and it is unlikely there was collusion between Trump and Russia, but there is very little doubt there was Russian involvement.

I don’t believe the article you linked to has any dubious claims. It accurately reports the results of the Leveda Center poll, and they have an excellent reputation, and the article repeats the same details that featured in Russian coverage of the poll results over the previous 48 hours, so I wouldn’t quibble with it at all. The problem is your false claims that aren’t supported by the article.

YOUR FIRST CLAIM: Vladimir Putin is the greatest Russian in history.
WHAT THE ARTICLE ACTUALLY SAID: Putin is closing in on Stalin as the greatest person in history according to Russians. Stalin 38%, Putin 34%.
VERDICT: Putin actually came second in the poll so your claim that he is “the greatest Russian in history” is not supported by the article you linked to. Therefore it’s a fake claim.

YOUR SECOND CLAIM: Polls show the public’s esteem for their president keeps on rising.
WHAT THE ARTICLE ACTUALLY SAID: 2003 - 21%; 2008 - 32%; 2012 - 22%; 2017 - 34%
VERDICT: Putin’s popularity actually took a sharp dip following the 2008 financial crash and the controversy surrounding his 2012 ‘election’. While his popularity in 2008 was based on improvements in living standards following the turbulent 90s the popularity now, while slightly higher than then, is more tenuous because it is based on the manufacturing of a siege mentality. I think it’s stretching it to say that the main purpose of grabbing Crimea was to boost popularity at home, but it certainly would have been considered a welcome bonus and would have figured in the calculations. But how do you follow that to keep the momentum going? Take over Belarus as suggested by a poster above? Even now there are cracks showing in terms of groups of people willing to publicly protest apartment demolitions, tolls on non-existent roads, illegal land grabs etc. The fall in the 2012 poll shows how fragile this esteem really is so the claim that it “keeps on rising” is also a fake claim.

Not necessarily lies but not the whole picture I would think. I’m reminded of a certain Russian economist formerly based in Ireland who liked to play that tack. It’s extremely common in Russia. All the glorious things about the past; being largely responsible for the Allied victory in WW2, sending the first man into space, producing highly regarded cinema/ballet/theatre etc.; that was ‘us’, the Russian nation. All the nastier things about the past; the dreadful crimes committed during WW2, the gulags, the repression; that was another country headed by non-(ethnic)Russians like Stalin and Kruschev.

I’m left wondering whether the Russians who have told you that are the equivalent of certain sections of the urban Irish cohort who might try to, say, disassociate themselves from Michael Healy-Rae by saying he doesn’t even speak English well. Or Americans who might make the claim that Trump speaks English badly. Both claims may be true but they don’t make Healy-Rae any less Irish or Trump any less American. I think those who claim Stalin spoke Russian badly would say the same thing about an ethnic Russian from the rural hinterland of Nizhnevartovsk .

Well, in fairness there is a good argument to be made that the early Soviet Union was clearly dominated by non ethnic Russians, on that matter I will say no more and you can make up your own mind

I don’t have a problem with different accents in any language, it adds colour and varity which I like and don’t consider poor language, and I did ask the Russians who said Stalins Russian was poor if it was his accent they were critical of, they said no, I can only take them at their word, who knows, I only asked them because I had read it a few times in various places, so I wanted to see if native speakers would agree

But anyway back to the thread at hand, isn’t Vlad great, I’m told his German is perfect

And he can sing too


Y’all ready for another false flag chemical weapons attack by Assad on his own people and another missile strike (and possible invasion) by the US in retaliation? BD

Haven’t we been here before?

They have not gone away, you know. Very large combined forces exercises the last few weeks. Nice summary of background and motivation of the Russians here.


But in the context of the last few years, especially what happened last year, this is the really interesting bit. Yesterday


Just giving the Topol-M’s a full scenario workout. In full public view. That threat against Redzikowo last year was very real.

The US is at war with Russia according to Morgan Freeman. :angry: I’m Cringing for this gullible old man.


Well it seems the Topol M launch got the full domestic media treatment. Night launch close to big city for maximum effect plus full TV news story afterwards. I think thats whats called making a statement.

I’ve seen MX missile test launches from 60 miles away at sunset. Both awe inspiring and deeply scary at the same time. As the MX, which was suppose to replace the Minuteman III, and the Topol M are both about the same size that Russian test launch must have been within 20 miles of the city where the video was shot. Probably heading to a target in Novaya Zemlya.

Putin locking up the opposition again

cnn.com/2018/01/28/europe/r … index.html

According to CNN…

FFS. It’s an undisputed fact. Including being reported on Russian state media. This thread would be a whole lot more useful without the tinfoil hat contributions.

Id have to agreed. Recorded live ffs.

smh.com.au/world/europe/rus … 4z2zr.html

Boris has just made a speech in the Commons saying the England’s involvement in this summer’s World Cup in Russia would have to be seriously looked at if any Russian involvement was proven in the sudden illness of Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
This will annoy FIFA, the FA and the general English football populace who don’t give 2 hoots about Russian spies and Putin. I expect major backtracking any minute now…

The whole reaction to Russia behaviour confuses me.

I’ve never really understood the mass hysteria around Russia’s suspected attempts to influence foreign elections. It seems like a huge overreaction.

And the case of Sergei Skripal, and also Litvinenko, seems like a massive under reaction. Putin is now twice suspected of carrying out murder/attempted murder on British soil simultaneously endangering the lives of British citizens.

Whilst I don’t think the Brits should start World War 3, I would have expected a more robust response than considering withdrawing from a football tournament. And I don’t see the level of media (and Joe Public) outrage at the behaviour compared to the furore over attempts to influence elections.

[**Russia’s Ghost Towns * * (

news.com.au/finance/work/lea … c883290384

Full rogue