The Saker blog now also in Russian!

ДОРОГИЕ РУССКОЯЗЫЧНЫЕ ДРУЗЬЯ!
Читайте блог Балобана по-русски щелкнув на эту ссылку:


http://www.vineyardsaker.ru/

The Saker Blog now also in French!

AMIS FRANCOPHONES!
Vous pouvez maintenant lire le blog du Saker en Français en cliquant sur ce lien:


http://www.vineyardsaker.fr/

The Saker Blog now also in German!

ALLE UNSERE DEUTSCHEN FREUNDE!
koennen jetzt den blog des Sakers auf Deutsch lesen - bitte hier anklicken:


http://www.vineyardsaker.de/

The Saker Blog now also in Oceania

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN OCEANIA!
you can now also visit the Oceania Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:


http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz/

The Saker Blog now also in Serbian

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN SERBIA!
you can now also visit the Serbian Vineyardsaker Blog by clicking on this link:


http://www.thesakersrpski.rs/

The Saker Blog now also in Italian

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN ITALY!
ora potete anche visitare il Blog Italiano VineyardSaker cliccando su questo link:


http://www.vineyardsaker.it/

The Saker Blog now also in Spanish

TO ALL THE SAKER FRIENDS IN LATIN AMERICA!
pueden ahora también visitar el blog de Latinoamérica haciendo click en este link:

http://www.vineyardsaker.es/

Friday, December 19, 2014

18.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Russia, Europe, Germany, USA

Putin on the defensive forced to invest a lot of his personal political capital

Let's begin by what I personally consider bad news: either Putin really believes in liberal market economics or he has to say he does.  He began his Q&A and ended it with a categorical expression of full support for the policies of the Central Bank and its Chairwoman, Nabiulina, and a no less categorical expression of support for the Government and its Prime Minister, Medvedev.  Worse, Putin declared that he believes that market forces will by themselves correct the current disequilibria.  At most, he agreed that certain decisions should have been taken earlier or more forcefully, but that's it.  

Some will love it.  Lew Rockwell went as far as to say that he would hand Elvira Nabiulina the award of "Central Banker of the Year".  Not everybody agrees.  For example, Victor Gerashchenko, a former Chairman of the Central Bank, declared that if he had been in the position of Nabiulina today he would have "asked for a gun to shoot himself".

I have to admit that I personally am dismayed by Putin's apparent beliefs in market economics.  I say 'apparent' because there might be things going on which I am not aware of.  For example, while Putin speaks of "market forces" China seems to get heavily involved in the Russian economic crisis.  For those interested in these developments, please check the following sources:

First, check out the latest CrossTalk: Dumping the Dollar.
Then read Pepe Escobar's Go West, Young Han.
Then check out this article in the English version of the People's Daily.
Finally please read this article in Zero Hedge.

The Chinese friend who sent me the article in the People's Daily made a particularly interesting comment.  He wrote:
"Yin and yang politics?  I cannot help but notice a strong pattern. China and Russia each engages each other's enemies/allies with whom they have friction in order to bring them into the Eurasian fold. What do you think? Is this intentional? I had my doubts earlier in the year, but more and more this keeps happening".
I think that he is spot-on here.  It is very much in the Russian strategic interest to have China applying some "Yuan diplomacy" in the EU not only because China is a close ally, but mainly because China is "not the USA".  At this point in time, *anything* which can weaken the total control of the USA over its EU colonies is welcome.  Any Yuan invested in the EU is one Dollar which is not.

This is just an example.  Putin probably knows a lot of things which we don't and he probably cannot say everything he thinks or plans.  But my purely subjective impression is that Putin simply does not have the power needed to confront the Atlantic Integrationists head on.  Mikhail Khazin, who knows a lot, recently even declared that there were Atlantic Integrationists in the "power ministries".  And since I am pretty sure that he was not referring to the Ministry of Defense that leaves either Internal Affairs or State Security.  If true, that is not good.  Either that, or Putin sincerely believes in liberal market-economics.  I most definitely don't believe in them at all.

There are, in my opinion, two major problems with Putin's logic.  First, Russia needs not less, but more regulation and more state control.  At the very least, I really believe that the very institution of the Central Bank is a toxic one: it was created by the US-controlled Eltsin regime to subordinate Russian politics (and politicians) to the international banking cartels and we see that it works perfectly.  Putin can send bombers to the Gulf of Mexico, but he is unable to remove Nabiulina, nevermind take control of the Central Bank.  Nikolai Starikov has even said that there is a joke going around now saying "Putin, send the troops into the Central Bank!".  That is how disgusted many Russians have become with this supra-national institution which is accountable to nobody.  But there is even worse.

The choice of a free-market non-regulated "solution" basically leaves Russia fully enmeshed into the AngloZionist controlled financial system.  How can Russia free herself from the "Dollar yoke" while remaining fully part of the Dollar-dominated international system?!


I have to tell you that while I gratefully posted Peter Koenig's excellent "Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game" this was one of those instances when I post something I find very interesting but which I do not agree with.  I just don't get the sense that Putin is about to pull some clever judo-move on the western plutocrats.  I most sincerely hope that I am wrong here, but that is my gut-feeling.


Generally, Putin was clearly defensive when asked questions about the Central Bank and the Government.  Especially in contrast to the absolutely magnificent way he handled the questions about the Ukraine, even when asked by a very hostile Ukrainian journalist.  Again, as I so often say this, I am not a mind-reader or a prophet.  I cannot tell you what Putin thinks or what he will do.  But I think that many years of studying the man give me a pretty decent gut feeling about him and that gut feeling tells me that while he has a clear and strong vision on international politics in general, and especially about the Ukraine, he lacks such a vision for economic problems.

For the Ukraine his position is crystal clear: "Crimea is ours forever, we will not let you crush the Donbass, we want a untied Ukraine in which the rights of all people and regions are respected and you will have to negotiate with the Novorussians who have a right of self determination" (which leaves open the possibility that while Russia might "prefer" a united Ukraine, the Novorussians have the right to decide otherwise).  Clear, direct and, I would argue, perfectly reasonable.  In contrast, in economic I get a sense of faith-based politics: "market forces will correct the current artificial situation and within 2 years the crisis will be over".  The problem with that is that the very same Putin ALSO says that the West is completely manipulating the markets and not allowing them to act.  So what he is really saying is this: "the Empire does not have the means to artificially skew the markets for more than two years".  Oh really?  I am not so sure of that at all.  In my book the Empire has been skewing the markets for many years already (I would argue since 1971).

Bottom line, what I hear from Putin is "more of the same" and since I don't like what I have seen so far, I can only add "only worse".

Can this nightmare be averted?
Still, the situation is not necessarily hopeless.  While I think that Putin's economic policies are wrong and while I believe that the Russian Central Bank is very much part of the problem and not the solution, this is not a black and white binary kind of choice: playing by the wrong rules or on the wrong field does not necessarily mean that you will lose, only that you have made the wrong initial choice.  For one thing, you can make the argument that the Ruble is a much more credible currency then the Dollar.  Second, I do agree that market forces are resisting the US distortion and that the integration of China and Russia will inevitably contribute to help the Russian economy.  Third, the EU is already in recession and if that get's worse, and it will, this will start pulling down many US banks who are heavily linked to the EU market.  Fourth, in objective terms, Russia is sitting on a tangible fortune of natural resources and she has full access to the gigantic Chinese market.  In these conditions, it is going to be awfully hard for the AngloZionists to "isolate" Russia.  So, objectively, Putin is right about one thing: even if it does get worse before it gets better, it will inevitably get better.

So is Putin a genius chess player?  That is not quite how I would put it.  He definitely has a record of absolutely brilliant moves, but right now he is clearly struggling.  I am like everybody else, I would like him to pull yet another brilliant "chess move" and stick it to the Empire but I don't see how we could do that, at least not in this point in time.

What I saw today is a Putin clearly on the defensive who had to invest a lot of his personal capital of popularity and trust.  He honestly admitted that things might get worse and that there is no quick fix to the current crisis.  He did commit to a time frame of 2 years which is both very shot and very long.  It is plenty enough time to lose his popularity and very little time to turn around such a huge country like Russia.

The most poignant moment of the entire 3 hours came when Putin explained what was at stake today.  He said:
You know, at the Valdai [International Discussion] Club I gave an example of our most recognisable symbol. It is a bear protecting his taiga. You see, if we continue the analogy, sometimes I think that maybe it would be best if our bear just sat still. Maybe he should stop chasing pigs and boars around the taiga but start picking berries and eating honey. Maybe then he will be left alone. But no, he won’t be! Because someone will always try to chain him up. As soon as he’s chained they will tear out his teeth and claws. In this analogy, I am referring to the power of nuclear deterrence. As soon as – God forbid – it happens and they no longer need the bear, the taiga will be taken over (...) And then, when all the teeth and claws are torn out, the bear will be of no use at all. Perhaps they’ll stuff it and that’s all.  So, it is not about Crimea but about us protecting our independence, our sovereignty and our right to exist. That is what we should all realize.
Amazing words which fully confirm one of the most important facts of the current situation: the AngloZionist Empire and Russia are at war, a war in which either the Russian Bear will be "stuffed and that's all" or the AngloZionist Empire will crumble.  This is an existential war for both sides, for the AngloZionist Empire and the Russian Civilizational Realm - one of them will defeat the other.

This is not the first time that Putin explains this, but this time I felt an urgency in his voice which I have not heard before.  He was both warning the Russian people and asking for their support for him personally.  My guess is that he will get it, I just don't know for how long.

The Saker

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game?

by Peter Koenig

The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.

The remaining BRICS – Brazil, India and South Africa – plus the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan and considered for membership since September 2014 are also India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Mongolia, with Turkey also waiting in the wings – will also trade in their local currencies, detached from the dollar-based western casino scheme. A host of other nations increasingly weary of the decay of the western financial system which they are locked into are just waiting for a new monetary scheme to emerge. So far their governments may have been afraid of the emperor’s wrath – but gradually they are seeing the light. They are sensing the sham and weakness behind Obama’s boisterous noise. They don’t want to be sucked into the black hole, when the casino goes down the drain.

To punish Russia for Ukraine, Obama is about to sign into law major new sanctions against Russia, following Congress’s unanimous passing of a recent motion to this effect. – That is what the MSM would like you to believe. It is amazing that ten months after the Washington instigated Maidan slaughter and coup where a Washington selected Nazi Government was put in place, the MSM still lies high about the origins of this government and the massacres it is committing in the eastern Ukraine Donbass area.

Congress’s unanimity - what Congress and what unanimity? – Out of 425 lawmakers, only 3 were present for the vote http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40489.htm. The others may have already taken off for their year-end recess, or simply were ‘ashamed’ or rather afraid to object to the bill. As a matter of fact, of the three who were present to vote, two at first objected. Only after a bit of arm-twisting and what not, they were willing to say yes. This is how the ‘unanimous’ vote came to be, as trumpeted by the MSM – unanimous by three votes! The public at large is duped again into believing what is not.

What new sanctions does this repeatedly propagated bill entail? – It addresses mostly Russian energy companies and defense industry with regard to sales to Syria, as well more anti-Russia propaganda and ‘democratization’ programs in Ukraine – and Russia; all countries with the objective for regime change.

How do these sanctions affect Russia, especially since all Russian energy sales are no longer dollar denominated? – Sheer propaganda. The naked emperor once more is calling an unsubstantiated bluff. To show his western stooges who is in power. It’s an ever weaker showoff.

Now – as a consequence of declining oil prices and of western ‘sanctions’ – of course, what else? - Russia’s economy is suffering and the ruble is in free fall. Since the beginning of the year it lost about 60%; last week alone 20%. As a result and after serious consideration, says MSM, the Russian Central Bank decided a few days ago to increase the interest of reference from 10.5% to 17% to make the ruble more attractive for foreign investors. It worked only for a few hours. Raising the interbank interest was Putin’s reply to Obama’s bluff – feeding at the same time western illusion about Russia’s decline.

The propaganda drums tell you Russia is helpless because the world has lost the last bit of confidence in President Putin – of course. Regime change is on the agenda. Mr. Putin must be blamed as the culprit, hoping to discredit him with his people. He is leading Russia into a deep recession; the worst since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The mainstream media show you interviews with average mainstreet Russians saying they have lost all their savings, their salaries and pensions are worth nothing anymore and they don’t know how to survive this coming calamity.

In reality, at least 80% of the Russian population stands solidly behind Vladimir Putin. He has brought them universal education, health care and fixed infrastructure that was decaying after the fall of the Soviet Union. President Putin is literally revered as a hero by the vast majority of Russians – including the country’s oligarchy.

In fact, nobody in the western economic system these days is dealing in rubles. In short-sighted connivance with Washington, the treasuries of the western vassals are releasing their ruble reserves – which Russia does not buy, thereby flooding the market. Russia not only has large dollar reserves, plus the ruble is backed by gold, a fact consistently omitted in the MSM. For now, Russia prefers to let the ruble plummet.

Under another ‘arrangement’ by bully Obama, Middle Eastern oil producing puppets like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are overproducing and flooding the market with petrol and gas, thereby driving the price down to the ostensible detriment of Russia and Venezuela, both countries where Washington vies for regime change. A double whammy thinks Washington, buying kudos with the stooges. The sheiks that control their energy output apparently have been promised enough goodies from Washington to bite the bullet and take their own losses.

Russia needs rubles. That’s her currency. That is the currency Russia needs for future trading – detached from the western monetary system.

When Russia deems that her currency has reached rock-bottom, she will buy back cheap rubles in the market with massive amounts of dollars. Russia may then flood the western market – with dollars, and by now we know what that does to a currency – and simultaneously buy back rubles from the West. A brilliant move to reestablish Russia’s currency in a new emerging monetary system – which Europe would be welcome to join, but willingly, no by Washington style arm-twisting.

Is this another precursor to war? A nuclear confrontation or Cold War II? – Precursor to a false flag attempting Moscow to fall into the trap? - Not necessarily. Russia is playing a clever chess game, diplomacy at its best. Instead of sabre rattling – Russia is coin rattling. It might lead to a western financial fiasco early in 2015 for the dollar and euro denominated economies. And the winner is…?

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, the Voice of Russia, now Ria Novosti, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

15-16.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, NATO, Belgium ISIS

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Bankster International

by Mark Hackard

Geopolitical analysis, the art of explaining power relationships through the prism of impersonal geography, can be a helpful tool for observers of the Great Game – but it also has its limitations. A case in point is the renewed US-Russia confrontation. Think tanks and policy insiders easily sell the narrative that from the dark days of the Cold War to our own time, Russia and the United States are fated to play in a zero-sum contest for the future of Eurasia and the world. Deterministic theories, though, can be used to legitimize predatory policy, and pseudo-scientific formulae often conceal manipulations by parasitic elites. Scoring a fortune off human misery and mass death, plundering economic assets, and shaping entire societies in one’s own image all find justification in claims of historical inevitability and the necessity of “progress.”

While Russia and the United States can easily be cast as eternal enemies in the manner of Rome and Carthage, or Ivan Drago and Rocky Balboa for modern audiences, we should recall that the two states were originally allies. From the time of 1776, Russo-American friendship was a contributor to the peace and security of both nations for nearly a century and a half. Catherine the Great shrewdly supported the independence of the American colonists, who were able to mount a successful rebellion against an exploitative oligarchy acting through the British Crown. In the terrible cauldron of the US Civil War, Tsar Alexander II, liberator of the peasantry, sent his fleet to America’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts to deter British and French intervention schemes.

In Realpolitik, where expediency is the order of the day, alliances are defined by a common adversary. For both Russia and the United States, that adversary was not simply another nation-state like England or France, but a financial international bent on controlling the world through elaborate fraud, war, and revolution. Banking dynasties under names like Rothschild, and later Morgan, Warburg, and Rockefeller, had ascended to power in the West from the seventeenth century onward. Their planned global imperium of borderless labor and capital flows, today promoted as the Open Society by billionaire speculators such as George Soros, was already entering its initial stages of implementation. Thus the fledgling American Republic, an Enlightenment project but not yet under bankster domination, and Imperial Russia could unite for the freedom of their peoples and against the assaults of the Money Power.

What changed? In the early twentieth century the masters of usury struck back decisively against the United States and Russia, by stealth in the former case and an outright coup d’état in the latter. Through various machinations, the privately-run Federal Reserve Bank was established in 1913 to issue the US currency at interest, suborning institutions of government and crushing Americans with a national debt now counted in unfathomable trillions. The Great War was unleashed upon Europe in a nightmarish conflagration, and in 1917 the Russian Revolution, funded by the banking houses of London and Wall Street, installed a vicious Bolshevik regime – dependent on Western credit for the whole of its existence. As for the rest of the twentieth century, we witness globalist plutocrats’ use of dialectics, wielding ideologies as weapons and pitting nation against nation, in the Hegelian procession toward the World State.

Today the realization of that Novus Ordo Seclorum draws ever nearer. And as its grand strategist emeritus Zbigniew Brzezinski makes clear, Washington’s “indispensability” marks only a period of transition:

In the long run, global politics are bound to become increasingly uncongenial to the concentration of hegemonic power in the hands of a single state. Hence, America is not only the first, as well as the only, truly global superpower, but is also likely to be the very last.

Brzezinski artfully neglects mention of what is intended to supersede American unipolarity: planetary tyranny, a system of total population control and resource extraction. Moreover, all of this is being constructed in the name of “liberty” and “equality,” abstractions serving as mere rhetorical cover for a demonic will to power. It is the liberal program of the oligarchs that has erected an all-pervasive surveillance grid unprecedented in scope, and it is their program that aims to rob man of his faith, family, and heritage, abolishing all that makes him truly human. In the novel The Possessed, Fyodor Dostoevsky articulated this drive with prophetic pathos through his utopian theorist Shigalev, who “proceeding from limitless freedom,” would “bring about an unlimited despotism.” Pyotr Verkhovensky, the leader of the story’s revolutionary cell, exults:
To level the mountains is a good notion, not a ridiculous one. I'm for Shigalev! We don't need education, enough of knowledge! There will be enough material for a thousand years, but obedience must be arranged. There's too little of one thing in the world: obedience. The wish for education is already an aristocratic wish. A little bit of family or love, and you have a desire for property. We will kill the desire: we'll unleash drunkenness, scandal, denunciation; we'll unleash unheard-of deviance; any genius we'll extinguish in infancy. All toward one denominator: total equality... The slaves must have rulers. Total obedience, total impersonality, but once every thirty years Shigalev will set off a spasm, and everyone will begin to eat each other to a certain point, just so that everything’s not boring.
Behind every effective revolutionary stands the financier who created him. Equality to the slaves, an equality of the graveyard, and to the moneyed elite – godlike power over the Cosmos. In exchange for ever more "inherent rights" and meaningless depraved spectacle, socially-engineered mass man forfeits his freedom and his soul. With the West conquered, now all of humanity is set for standardization through postmodern colonialism, covert-action NGOs, carrier battle groups, and killer drones. Any sovereign state resisting the march of progress must be destroyed.

At the Cold War’s end, a defunct Soviet Union was supposed to fold into the world controllers’ planned capitalist-communist synthesis, and minor “rogues” like Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Libya could be dismembered with impunity in the meantime. From the chaos, destitution, and demoralization of the post-collapse period, however, another Russia has slowly re-emerged, its people broadly nationalist and increasingly unashamed of their thousand-year ancestral faith, Orthodox Christianity (see footnote). Nothing could be more intolerable to the robber-baron superclass, who have already for the past century waged ruthless war against religion and organic cultural identity in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere to impose their desolating vision upon mankind.

Another round of US-Russia tensions might be unfolding, but such a clash was neither foreordained nor inevitable; between the two largely distant lands there is mutual nuclear deterrence and an absence of directly conflicting vital interests. Beyond inane sloganeering about democracy and human rights, more sophisticated Western strategists can cite new iterations of Halford Mackinder’s Heartland thesis or the latest Eurasian pipeline maneuvers as reasons to “contain” Russia. None of this accounts for a cosmopolitan oligarchy that sets policy, subsidizes scholarship, and manufactures consent in pursuit of its totalitarian agenda. In their quest to liquidate the American, the Russian, and every other unique people, the predators from the bankster international consider themselves above all laws human and divine. Yet the swelling arrogance of sociopaths brings about their downfall – and the sooner their crime spree comes to an end, the better chance we all might have for peace and reconciliation.
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Footnote: It should be noted that even Russia is still not free of the banksters in its own state apparatus, with the Central Bank and the Medvedev government under the influence of pro-Western liberal technocrats familiar with Putin from his days in St. Petersburg. With economic warfare waged by the international a present-day reality, it would be reasonable to expect a quick resolution to this problem in the near future.

Important appeal for help to all Russian speakers!

Dear friends and readers,

Today I am writing to you to appeal for your help.  By now it must be clear to everybody that what is taking place today is not just some "Cold War v2" or some "East-West tensions", but a full-scale total war between not only Russia and the USA, but  between the entire AngloZionist Empire and the Resistance (lead by Russia and the BRICS).  Make no mistake, this is not about the Ukraine or, even less so, about the Donbass.  This is about regime change in Moscow.  Ask yourself a simple question: what will happen to China, Iran, Latin America and the rest of the planet if the AngloZionists are successful and a Eltsin/Proshenko/Hollande/Abbot/etc-like figure takes over the Kremlin?  I am not saying that Russia today "is" the Resistance, but I am saying that Russia is absolutely indispensable for the Resistance.  If Russia loses this war, the Empire wins the planet.  And if Russia wins, that will be the end of the Empire. That is really that simple.

So far this war has been a 1% shooting war, 30% financial war and 69% information war.  But what is crucial is this:  these ratios can change.  Look at the devastation this 1% war caused in the Donbass and imagine what a full-scale 100% shooting continental war would do to our planet!  In fact, if we lose the information war the probability of these ratios changing for the worse is very high.  In other words, to avoid a continental shooting war we have to win the information war.

We all know that Russians are experts are shooting, adequate at finances and absolutely terrible at public relations.  I would argue that the volunteer blogosphere has done much more to explain the Russian point of view than the entire state-funded Russian media.  But with the informational battle heating up, we need help, a lot of help.

In this war, the single best "weapon" we have a direct translations from Russian into English.  Documents, speeches and official statements, of course, but also videos, commentaries, documents from the vibrant Russian blogosphere.  If the Russians knew anything at all about PR they would hire a firm with the sole task of translating this kind of material into Russian.  Such a firm could employ no more than 50 full time translators plus assisting personnel.  It would cost the Russian state budget pennies.  But they won't do it because they just don't "get it".

We will have to do it.  Pro bono.  

Because, above all, we don't want to be bystanders.

And we don't want a continental war.

So, I literally beg all of you who can translate from Russian into English, even if you are not professionals or if your English is not perfect (we have editors who will gladly help: please contact the Russian Saker Team whose appeal I am publishing below in English and Russian.  Please offer your assistance, even just for a few hours a week, to translate the huge amount of most important information we have in Russian into English (because English is the lingua franca of our planet).  Please help us stop an Empire gone crazy and hell bent on starting a shooting war with Russia.

Specifically, I ask you to do two things:

1. Contact the Russian Saker Team at editor@vineyardsaker.ru and offer them your services
2. Spread this appeal to any and all contacts you have who might help or even know somebody who could help.

Please don't be a bystander.

The Saker
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Shaking hands across the ocean

We, the volunteers of the Russian Diaspora, spontaneously organized ourselves into a group to help our historic Homeland of Russia. Our site is the Russian version of the parent English blog "The Vineyard of the Saker", which analyzes the current pressing issues in the world. The blog owner, The Saker, has extensive experience in military analysis, which is very popular in the English-speaking blogosphere.

Multiple language volunteer groups have decided to bring the Saker's blog to their readership. As of today, in addition to Russian, we have French, German, Serbian, Italian, Spanish (Latin American) and Oceania (Pacific) versions. This is truly an unprecedented case of volunteers from around the world spontaneously uniting to organize an opposition to the mainstream Western media's reporting of world's events.

The realization that we have been bluntly manipulated by certain global interests that are mindlessly pushing the world towards war and destruction, prompted us to join our voices to the growing world protest against the propaganda of violence and hatred. Exposing the thick wall of Western lies and trying to tell people the truth from the other side is the civic duty of every honest person.

We say NO to violence and wars around the world; we stand for peaceful coexistence, economic and cultural cooperation between our nations; and, we extend the hand of friendship to all nations, brothers and sisters all over the world!

We will be together only through the realization that we share common values and interests: the right to freedom, self-development, labour and education, the right to love and raise our children, the right to the TRUTH and LIFE.

The purpose of the unbridled Western propaganda is contrary to these rights and to befuddle our consciousness and identity, to divide us, to force us to hate each other, so we can be more easily crushed one by one.

If you support our call and want to help, please join our volunteers. We need people with various language skills to translate our material.

Please contact us at editor@vineyardsaker.ru.

Our sister blogs:

Original English: http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com
French: http://www.vineyardsaker.fr
German: http://www.vineyardsaker.de

Oceania (Pacific): http://www.vineyardsaker.co.nz
Serbian: http://www.thesakersrpski.rs
Italian: http://www.vineyardsaker.it
Latin American (Spanish): http://www.vineyardsaker.es

Sincerely,

The Editorial Board of the Russian Saker


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Рукопожатие через океан
 

Дорогие друзья,

Мы – волонтеры российской диаспоры, спонтанно обьединившиеся в группу для помощи нашей исторической Родине России. Наш сайт является русским филиалом материнского англоязычного блога Балобана “The Vineyard of the Saker”, который анализирует современные насущные проблемы в мире. Владелец блога Балобан имеет обширный опыт военного анализа, который пользуется огромной популярностью в англоязычной среде.

Несколько языковых волонтерских груп решили расширить блог Балобана на свои читательские аудитории. На сегодняшний день, помимо русского, мы имеем французский, немецкий,сербский, итальянский, испанский (латиноамериканский) и Океания (тихоокеанский) филиалы. Это поистине беспрецедентный случай, когда добровольцы со всего мира спонтанно обьединились для того, чтобы противопоставить альтернативный западным СМИ взгляд на происходящие в мире события.

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Ukrainian Nazis and Chechen Wahabis now appear to be working together

Interesting news this morning: Khasan Zakaev, one of the terrorist which organized and executed the 2002 attack against the Dubrovka theater in Moscow and an aid to Shamil Basaev was arrested in Crimea when he tried to enter from the Ukraine with false documents.

Khasan Zakaev
I very much doubt that Zakaev wanted to visit Crimea to enjoy the beautiful sights, sample the local cuisine or to relax on the seashore.  Not coming from the Ukraine.  Not with fake documents.  In fact, I would argue that it is pretty darn obvious that if he took the huge risk of entering not just any Russian territory, but a highly monitored and secured one, he was there on a mission.

Considering the quasi-official Ukrainian support for Wahabism in Chechnia, it is also superlatively likely that the SBU knew about this mission and, at the very least, gave its tacit support for it.  After all, since members of the Ukrainian Rada did openly support the recent terrorist operation in Grozny, and since a former commander of the Azov death squad and now Member of the Rada openly called for the murder of Ramzan Kadyrov, it only makes sense for the Ukrainian Nazis to be sending Chechen Wahabis into Russia to commit more terrorist attacks.

Beautiful, no?  The US, the EU, NATO and their allies are now openly supporting a Nazi-Wahabi alliance against Russia.

Ramzan Kadyrov always calls the Wahabi terrorists "shaitans", or devils.  I think that this also fully applies to the rabid Ukrainian Nazis.  But if we want to be logical here, shouldn't this apply first and foremost to their masters?

Was the late Ayatollah Khomeini not absolutely spot-on when he spoke of the "shaitan-e bozorg", the "Great Satan"?

Would "Hizb-Shaitan" (Party of the Devil) not be an accurate descriptor for the AngloZionist Empire today?

The Saker

The illegal arrest of Giulietto Chiesa - yet another example of European hypocrisy

by Leonardo

On December 15, 2014 the Italian reporter Giulietto Chiesa, who had been invited to take part in a conference in Tallinn on Russian-European relations, was detained by the Estonian authorities for a few hours after being declared "persona non grata". Facts appear to point to a deliberate move on the part of the Estonian authorities meant to prevent the journalist from attending the conference, thus censoring the speech he was supposed to deliver.

Before diving into the facts, a little background info intended as a frame of reference. 
 
Giulietto Chiesa, journalist and MEP
Giulietto Chiesa is an Italian journalist and former member of the European Parliament. He has been correspondent from Moscow for two different italian newspapers (La Stampa and L'Unità) for 20 years, since 1980. 

In Italy he is presently marginalized for his very critical opinions on a few issues which the mainstream media still consider as taboo. Chiesa is a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, a board whose goal is "to provide the world with a clear statement, based on expert independent opinion, of some of the best evidence opposing the official narrative about 9/11". He is also known for being very vocal in opposing western imperialism and the hysterical russophobia that is being spread by the mainstream media. He wrote many articles condemning NATO aggression against Libya, the destabilization of Syria, the eastward expansion of NATO and the western backed coup in Kiev.

According to the Estonian Public Broadcasting, Chiesa was invited in Tallinn on December 15, 2014 by the Impressum NGO to attend a conference titled "Should Europe fear Russia?". Apparently, Estonian authorities consider the Impressum NGO as a russian propaganda proxy. Chiesa had already spoken at Impressum events twice before.


According to Chiesa, he arrived in Tallinn at 12.45 and gave an interview to an Estonian TV channel, had lunch and then went back to his hotel room in order to complete the preparation for the speech he was supposed to give at 19.00.


One and a half hours before the appointed time, a group of four Estonian policemen knocked on his room's door and took him into custody, intimating him to follow them to the local police station. Chiesa was later informed that he was being detained because he was the target of an entry ban signed on 13 December 2014 and valid for one month. He stated that he repeatedly asked the police to show him the related documents but his requests were denied.  He was jailed for four hours, until the arrival of the Italian Ambassador, who managed to have him released a few hours later, after applying diplomatic pressure.

While the incident made the first page of a few Italian online newspapers it didn't get much attention on the Italian television networks, that at most mentioned it casually.


The incident caused some diplomatic friction between Italy and Estonia and the Estonian Ambassador in Rome was summoned by the Italian Foreign Minister looking for answers. 


It also prompted inquiries in both the Italian and European Parliament where a group of representatives (mostly belonging to the leftist list "The Other Europe with Tsipras") filed a protest against what they suspect might constitute an extralegal detention, a violation of the Treaty on European Union, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Charter on Fundamental Rights.


The Estonian authorities perspective is that Chiesa is a security threat and the detention was justified.

Legal aspects notwithstanding, the detention of Chiesa clearly appears to be motivated by censorship and intimidation: the Estonian authorities are openly troubled by the Italian reporter opinions and they acted to prevent him from sharing them with the few hundred people who were attending the conference. The accusation that Chiesa is some kind of Russian agent of propaganda and as such is a threat to the Estonian state does feel like an excuse: if he really was an immediate and serious danger they would never release him after just a few hours. Which makes the urgency of the detention suspect at best. Also, the timing of the ban, just a few days before Chiesa was to attend the conference, suggests very strongly that the measure was surgically targeted.


What's really troubling - actually, outrageous - is that, no matter if laws were broken or the authorities abused their power, a EU country has infringed on the freedom of speech right of a European citizen, journalist and former member of the parliament. Apparently, the Estonian government - and not the Estonian citizens who could attend the conference and debate or criticize the speech - gets to decide what is Russian propaganda and what isn't. The message is crystal clear and even intimidating. Just think about how a much less renowned journalist could react after realizing that expressing any harshly critical opinion that doesn't measure to the standards of what the authorities consider legit criticism could get him/her branded as a security threat and a Russian agent.


It would also be interesting to know what the authorities of all the other western countries who maintain a heavy state sponsored NGO presence abroad think of the Estonian authorities attitude towards NGOs accused of being instruments of Russian propaganda. If they share the evaluation then how can the double standard be logically reconciled?

This incident casts another shadow on Europe and suggests that the tearing of the democratic fabric and the degeneration of the common sense that follows in the wake of the anti-Russian media campaign might be slowly spreading to the whole continent.

Medvedev declares: more of the same

Medvedev has just called a government meeting with most of the directors of top Russian corporations and the director of the Russian Central Bank.  He immediately announced that he will not introduce any harsh regulatory measures and that he will let the market forces correct the situation.  As for the former Minister of Finance, the one so much beloved in the West, Alexei Kudrin, he expressed his full support for the latest increase in interest rates.

The Atlantic Integrationist 5th column is clearly on a full-scale offensive.  This is far more dangerous than anything the US, NATO or the EU are doing.

The Saker

16.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, DPR, Russia, EU, NATO

Letter from Diogenes on Interest Rate and Russian Central Bank

by "Diogenes"

Preamble: First of all, when I heard of Central Bank decision to increase the rate, I have to admit that number looks suspiciously familiar to me. Yes, I knew Central Bankers manual. If you wish I can send you this

That number 17% was used by my professor of macroeconomics who was lectured Central Bank staff consequently. It was in all American books on Macroeconomics, from 80s - old recipe how to fight inflation.


Paul Volker, then Governor of FED has to deal with double digit inflation from price shock, subsequent increase of liquidity and inflation expectations by the market - hike of crude oil prices caused by OPEC.


Paul Volker was appointed chairman of the board of governors for the Federal Reserve System in August 1979. The Federal Reserve board led by Volcker is widely credited with ending the United States' stagflation crisis of the 1970s. Inflation, which peaked at 13.5% in 1981, was lowered to 3.2% by 1983. Volker raised the Fed funds rate from 11 to 20% . Professor used exactly 17% interest rate in his lecture. Mr. Volker killed then double digit inflation (caused by plenty of liquidity) to 3% by 1981. Cost of that exercise was deepest and longest recession of US economy since WWII.

The Ladies that run Central Bank of Russia now are belong to macroeconomic sect dogmatic and they won't be able to change their mind quickly.

Consequences of the decision (IMHO):

1) IT WON"T STOP devaluation: Currency speculators wont be scared - they will continue to play against ruble because their collective efforts can push and depreciate ruble more then 17% in a day or two. Why to deposit ruble for a YEAR and earn 17% if one can make same return in a week?

2) Rate of 17% will be impossible burden on real sector industries and banks (except largest - with access to CBR refinancing) even so only very profitable business has margin big enough to afford loan at 20 plus%. Note: In 90s casino's were good borrowers of the Banks

3) Russian stock market will tumble. Stocks evaluation use cost of capital, so called WACC - weighted cost of capital, in denominator- higher rate is - lower stock price.

4) This is not a cure, but poison medicine. Rate increase is a wrong prescription for this situation. It will led Russian economy to deep and prolonged recession and they know it- this is written in their manual.

PS Central Bank will try to increase rate few more times to the range of 20% ( or 30%?) to no avail for exchange rate, unless those ladies are fired.

best regards

Diogenes

Ruble Exchange Rate Fluctuations and the Economic War

by Aleksei Kettunen
Translation to English: Petri Krohn

Russian ruble exchange rate changes have all the ingredients of success detective story. On Monday, 15.12. 2014 ruble weakened to a record low since 1998: the dollar cost 64 rubles and 79 rubles to the euro. In recent years, the price of an euro has been hanging around 50 rubles, or 5 000 rubles withdrawn from an ATM for a night of adventures in St. Petersburg would cost around 100 euros.

Last night, the Russian Central Bank raised its base rate drastically from 10.5 per cent to 17 per cent to curb currency speculation. The price of an euro during the day momentarily exceeded the limit of 100 rubles or 80 rubles for a dollar. Now at the end of the market day the ruble has slightly appreciated: $ 1= 72.60 rubles and 1 euro = 90 rubles. The official rates of the Russian Central Bank before tomorrow's market day are $ 1 = 61.15 rubles and 1 Euro = 76.15 rubles

What is this about?

The economic sanctions imposed by the US and the EU prevent granting of loans to Russian companies with a payment period of more than 30 days. As Russian companies have been borrowing money from the West the entire post-Cold War period at a lower rate of interest and the penalties now prevent loan restructuring and follow-up funding, these companies must now get euros and dollars to take care of their loans, thereby creating more demand for foreign currency in the Russian market and thus weakening the ruble.

Also, the fall in the price of oil reduces Russia's foreign exchange earnings, which in a situation of high demand for currency weakens the ruble.

The Eurasian Economic Union comes into force on January 1, 2015. Most likely at the same time the Russian ruble and foreign exchange markets will change drastically, and the Russian economy will take a distance to the dollar and the euro. Now the West is doing its best to weaken the ruble and thus destabilize the Russian economy and the political system before the end of the year. The maxima of the West is to prevent the emergence of the new economic union and closer cooperation within the BRICS. Taking into account the Christmas holidays, the West has little more than a week to succeed.

What are the Russian authorities doing? Trying their best to defend the ruble and the Russian economy. Their actions are limited by two factors: first, in this battle Russia's foreign currency reserves may be used only minimally (for which there are far better uses), and, secondly, the entire process must take place under the rules of the dollar-based global liberal economic model (because Russia will disconnect from the dollar system only later).

For the rest of the year the going will only get tougher. Even under the liberal economic model the Central Bank of Russia and the government have much stronger measures to stabilize and strengthen the ruble, which they probably will introduced as needed.

Russia will detach itself from the global dollar economy according to earlier plans .Until then it will continue defending the ruble. The West on its part will make every effort to weaken the ruble. What will be the end result? Time will tell – or the stars. I predict that next year will see a surprise!

What might this 2015 surprise be?
 


The Russian government has already informed Russian banks that the amounts of reserve currency deposits placed by various ministries in Russian banks will be drastically less than during previous years. These funds will instead be used to finance various domestic infrastructure projects. All this means that the Russian government obsessed with saving during all the 2000s and 2010s will become a big spender investing in strategical domestic projects. This will considerably strengthen Russian economy.

Another factor will be the Eurasian Union.

The third factor is a combination of recent Russia-China, Russia-Iran and Russia-India megaprojects and financing from the New Development Bank NDB (formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank). Russian President, Government and Bank of Russia have consistently informed the market players that now is the time to concentrate on domestic markets and domestic financial resources. All this will probably mean the unlinking of Russian economy from dollar-dominated Western economy.

Enjoy the cliffhanger!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Karma or God's punishment - justice in Donetsk

Listen to this Ukrainian Nazi, speaking in Russian with his fellow Ukrainians, explaining that there are no peaceful civilians in Donetsk but only collaborators of the enemy.  As soon as he is done spewing his hatred he gets hit by an artillery shell.  Call it 'karma' or remember the words of the 3rd Psalm "thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly" but this guy sure got what he deserved.  See for yourself:

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the biggest distortion of Islam in history

The horrible events in Pakistan immediately brought to my mind the barbaric attack by Wahabi Chechens against the school in Beslan.  It is amazing for me to see that, apparently, attacking schools and taking children hostage is a God-pleasing action in the sick minds of the human reptiles known as Wahabis.  They also love to slit throats, torture and, occasionally, eat livers.  Truly, this ideology which we can call Wahabism or, probably even more accurately, Takfirism is satanic in its very core.  Ramzan Kadyrov is very wise when he refers to these militants as "shaitans" or devils.  He is, I think, quite literally true.

Unlike the Anglo "coalition of the willing", the Russian and Syrian armed forces have done a superb job killing as many of these "shaitans" as possible, as have the truly Muslim Chechens.  But one can only kill people, not ideologies.  And Takfirism cannot be eliminated by Russian or Syrian guns.  Takfirism can only be defeated by Islam.  This is what Ramzan Kadyrov has done in Chechnia and this is what Hezbollah is trying to do in Lebanon and this is what Iran is trying to achieve in the Middle-East.

In this video, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah explains the nature of Takfirism and the threat it poses to the Muslim world:

The Russian Central Bank's "counterattack" lasted 30 mins!

The result of the Russian Central Bank's hike in interest rates turned out to be worse then my worst nightmares: it reversed the downward spiral of the Ruble for only about half an hour, then the Russian currency resumed its collapse.  Rumor has it that the Central Bank might begin buying Rubles next, which I personally don't see as useful at this point.

I have asked for expert opinions and I hope to get them soon.  In the meantime, here is my own take on this which, caveat emptor, is backed by ZERO personal expertise in these matters.  Still, for whatever it's worth, my own speculations:

1) The Ruble is falling due to three completely separate reasons:
i) The recession in the West which triggers a drop in oil prices
ii) The AngloZionist pressures on OPEC not to cut production
iii) The impact of western sanctions

2) None of the above are enough to explain what is happening.  The real problem is the lack of credibility of the Russian Central Bank and the Kremlin.  Thus the key factor in the fall of the Ruble is distrust of the Russian authorities.

3) This distrust is fully deserved.  The head of the Central Bank is a notorious 5th columnist which Putin failed to fire, arrest or otherwise remove from that position.  But there is worse:

4) Putin personally is not trusted either, at least not on economic matters.  Dmitri Orlov put it very well:
Some people are starting to loudly criticize Putin for his inaction; but what can he do? Ideologically, he is a statist, and has done a good job of shoring up Russian sovereignty, clawing back control of natural resources from foreign interests and curtailing foreign manipulation of Russian politics. But he is also an economic liberal who believes in market mechanisms and the free flow of capital. He can't go after the bankers on the basis of ideology alone, because what ideological differences are there? And so, once again, he is being patient, letting the bankers burn the old “wooden” ruble all the way to the ground, and their own career prospects in the process. And then he will step in and solve the ensuing political problem, as a political problem rather than as a financial one.
Orlov, as always, is spot on here. Let me explain, as this is crucial:

First, yes, Putin is an economic liberal.  I hate to admit it, but I am convinced of it.  So while he is "socialist" in a sense of supporting a social state, which helps the poor, needy, sick or old, he also is a "market capitalist" in the sense that he believes that market forces should be left free to maximize the competitivity of an economy.  This might be a result of seeing a (pseudo-) socialist system fail or because he sincerely admires the competitivity of US and other (pseudo-) capitalist economies, I don't know.  But there is no doubt in my mind that he is an economic liberal.

Second, it would be typical Putin to let the "Atlantic Integrationist" 5th column to fail so badly as to make their removal a political demand of the Russian people.  The problem with that is that this strategic can take a huge toll on the Russian people and economy.

Right now the situation is so bad that the value of some high visibility Russian stocks has begun to plunge.  As does the Ruble.  As does the price of Brent.

I am not much of an economist, much less so a trader.  But I have to agree with the markets here: the current Putin+Nabiulina combo is not one deserving trust and if I had to speculate, I would speculate against Russia right now.

Maybe I am naive or primitive but I see only one way to reverse this death spiral: not only to fire Nabiulina, but to fully nationalize the Central Bank, fire the totality of its current top management and to appoint a new team with Sergei Glaziev as it's director with a rank of Minister of Finance.  Then Russia must take the strategic decision drop the current system of backing each printed Ruble with purchased US Dollar and instead back the Ruble with either energy or metals or a combo of real-word resources.  My own vote would go for gold.

The Saker

Very bad news out of Russia and Novorussia

Oh boy, today is a bad day for sure.  First, the Russian Central Bank has suddenly raised its interest rates from 10,5% to 17%.  I am dubious that this will do much for the Ruble (currently in free fall for many different reasons) but, boy, will that slam the breaks on a Russian economy which needs acceleration!  Not being an expert myself (I did get an MA in International Economics, but that was 30 years ago), I hope to post an expert opinion about that soon, so I will spare you my own half-ignorant guessing about what could happen next.  But from my admittedly amateur point of view, it sure looks to me like this decision will do no good and lots of harm.

Then there is more ugly infighting in Novorussia.  To make a long story short, Motorola was seen shaking hands with the commander of the Ukies at the Donetsk airport.  His gesture, which was an act of officer courtesy, was instantly misrepresented and a ugly PR campaign to trash him was initiated.  The only bright side to this ugly situation was the reaction of Givi who spoke in defense of his friend.  See for yourself:


[Sidebar: the more I see of Givi, the more I like him. He looks awfully young and even innocent, in a good way, but so far I believe that he as shown himself in a very positive light.  I have to admit that I fear for him, as he is playing a very dangerous game with a lot of very experienced and very evil people competing against him]


Yet again we see that the most formidable enemy or Russia is not in the USA or London, but inside Russia.  I don't see how Putin can take more of this without taking some kind of strong action.  I don't mean a coup, of course, but heads need to start rolling (figuratively, of course).  The 5th column needs to be smacked down before or Putin will be in danger himself.

As for the rump-Ukraine, bad stuff is happening there too.  The latest budget proposed by the junta is a recipe for a nightmare: massive social cuts combined with basically all the available money for the military and internal security.  It seems unlikely to me that this could indicate anything else but a firm resolve to resume hostilities and repressions.

I am getting this really bad "pre-explosion" feeling which I hate so much and which I usually experience before something bad happens.  By the way, I saw the info about a nuclear false flag, the info about the Israelis planning to re-settle Khazaria and about the airports being shut down in eastern Ukraine.  I don't buy the first two *at all*, as for the airports this could mean that the Ukie military might want to use them to rapidly bring in reinforcement of troops and equipment, possibly with NATO assistance.  Again, this is consistent with the "Ukies will soon attack" hypothesis.  This might also be away of provoking Russia which might be forced to destroy these airports in order to prevent a sudden surge of Ukie forces in support of an attack on Novorussia.  Not good.

I am still convinced that the AngloZionists are trying to force Russia to intervene in the Ukraine as this is their last hope to trigger a crisis big enough to mobilize as much as the world as possible against Europe.  Just like the sanctions, these latest moves by the Empire would not be so dangerous if Russia was not ruled by two groups fighting for power, one of which is apparently hell-bent on sabotage.

I sure hope that the Eurasian Sovereignists will strike back soon or things will get very bad very soon.

The Saker

Monday, December 15, 2014

15.12.2014 Ukrainian crisis news. Latest news of Ukraine, Russia, UNCH, Phillipines

Ukraine As Seen Through The Eyes Of A Geologist

by Vadim Zolotaryev, http://matveychev-oleg.livejournal.com/1722656.html
via http://worldcrisis.ru/crisis/1729991
translated by Eugenia (thanks so much!!)

A matter-of-fact view backed by numbers
07-12-2014: By profession, I am a geologist, not a fortune teller or a psychic. I have no way of knowing what Putin is currently thinking of or what Poroshenko and Obama talked about yesterday. I am not on intimate terms with oligarchs of different countries involved in the events in Ukraine and have only a vague idea about their financial machinations. But I know the mineral resources that are the foundation of the Ukraine economy and, based mostly on that knowledge, I am offering my understanding of the current situation.

In the Soviet Union, Ukraine was above all the premier metallurgical region.

The Krivorozshskiy ore field is the second largest in the world (the first is the Kursk Magnetic Anomaly). The Donetsk coalfield is located close to the Krivorozshskiy ore field. The distance between them is only 300-400 km. There is no other place in the world where ore and coking coal are found in such quantities so close together. The Nikopol deposit of manganese ore needed for Siemens-Martin process of steel production is also nearby. In addition, the Kremenchug, Belozersk, and Kerchensky ore deposits were also exploited.

On this base, Ukraine developed metal-intensive manufacturing: equipment for factories and mining industry, rail transport, sea ships, agricultural equipment, etc.

The byproducts of the iron and coke making were used in the chemical industries (acids, plastics, mineral fertilizers).

All these industries developed in the proximity to the sources of raw materials, and that process created the industrial South-East of Ukraine.

The project Novorossiya includes precisely these territories (Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozye, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkov, Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson regions).

I want to emphasize: Novorossiya is a unified industrial complex and not at all the place of concentration of the Russian-speaking population.

Nevertheless, it is directly connected with Russia. Since the Ukrainian industry was created in the USSR, the products of that industry were manufactured according to the standards suitable specifically for the former Soviet countries, i.e. Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus.

In contrast, the Ukrainian industry is unsuitable for Europe or America. Everyone knows about the differences in the width of rail tracks, different European electrical outlets, but there are thousands of such incompatibilities. Therefore, the West can only make use of the Ukrainian raw materials.

But this makes all Ukrainian factories redundant, and, consequently, workers in these factories become redundant as well, followed by people that feed, cloth, and provide medical services to the workers. There is a reason why the West speaks about the need to reduce the population of Ukraine to 15 million people. And it does not matter which language these people speak.

The whole mess started not because of the language problem but because of the dispute where should Ukraine go: to the EU or ECU.

The authors of the project Novorossiya reasonably supposed that the South-East of Ukraine could be equally successful as an independent republic maintaining close ties with Russia or as a federal subject within the Russian Federation. However, as a part of Ukraine the South-East could be successful only if Ukraine keeps as close a relationship with Russia as existed in the Soviet times.

As a separate entity, Novorossiya could exist without Odessa or Nikolaev, thereby losing the shipbuilding industry, or without Kharkov, with its Kharkov Tractor Plant, but it cannot survive without its raw material base: Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozye regions with their iron and manganese ore and Donetsk and Lugansk with their coalfields.

On the other hand, Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic by themselves have no means of existence.

Soviet geologists and economists had recognized the problems of the Donetsk coalfield. In order to understand these problems, let us discuss what is Donbass – the most renowned coalfield of the Soviet Union.

Firsts, this is a relatively small coalfield. Below, I list the resources of the main coalfields of the USSR for comparison:

Lensk – 2647 billion ton;
Tunguska – 1745 billion ton;
Kansk-Achinsk – 1220 billion ton;
Kuznetsk – 805 billion ton;
Taimyr – 583 billion ton;
Pechersk – 344 billion ton;
Donetsk – 240 billion ton.

By its structure, the Donetsk coal basin is, simply speaking, a large basket of ancient igneous rock approximately 70 thousand square km in size and 8 km deep. That basket is filled with sedimentary rock intermixed with layers of coal. But these layers are not horizontal but folded, disrupted, distorted, and displaced.

Total of 300 coal seams have been found. About 50 seams have the thickness from 50 cm to 2 m and are good for mining. Although now in Donbass ever the seams as narrow as 20 cm are being exploited.

For comparison: in Kuznetsk coalfield the thickness of mines coal beds reaches 20 m, and the seams are horizontal and located very close to the surface.

In Donbass, however, all productive coal beds lying close to the surface have already been exhausted. Now it is necessary to reach deep (1000-1200 m) to extract coal, and this is considering that sudden explosive ejections of coal, gas, and rock are possible starting from the depth of 500-700 m.

In order to ensure normal conditions for people working at great depths under high pressure and temperature, new technologies are constantly needed to remove gases from seams, provide ventilation and air conditioning in the mines, to develop and use special equipment allowing for the coal extraction without people, etc. All this requires enormous capital investments.

In the USSR, the same investment yielded 3 times more coal in Kuzbass than in Donbass.

Significantly, the rate of adoption of new technologies in Donbass started to decline back in the 1980s when the marked forces made inroads into our economy. This had an immediate impact on the annual coal production:

1940 - 94 million tons;
1970 - 218 million tons;
1980 - 223 million tons;
1985 - 200 million tons;
1991 - 165 million tons;
2000 - 75 million tons.

As can be seen, with the beginning of perestroika, the annual coal production in Donbass declines rapidly, because the exploitation of the Donbass coalfields was no longer possible without constant technological innovations. However, capitalists would not invest more capital into unprofitable enterprises. That is why Donbass mines are closing one by one, and mining accident after accident claim human lives.

At the same time, the quality of the Donbass coal is very high. Anthracite of such quality is ideal for metallurgy. Because of that, Soviet economists insisted that this high quality expensive coal should be used in a most effective manner, i.e. exclusively in Ukrainian metallurgy. Lower quality coal produced without additional expense alongside high grade anthracite could be used for burning.

The energy sector of Ukraine, as a part of the energy complex of the USSR, was meant to use Russian oil and gas as well as transfer of electricity from the power stations working on the low grade Ekibastuz and Kansk-Achinsk coal (these are the open-cast coal regions, with the production cost 10 times lower than in Donbass) and development of the atomic energy.

However, just a few mines in Donbass could supply the amount of coal required by the Ukrainian metallurgy sector, with just 1/100 of all Donbass miners needed to operate them.

Precisely the problem of Donbass miners was what kept the Donbass mines in the Soviet Union fully operational and the entire region subsidized by the state. Clearly, the elimination of townships, relocation and retraining of such an enormous number of people would raise an avalanche of protests. Since the people’s interests still dominated over the interest of the economy, a gradual re-specialization of the Donbass mining region was planned, with building of new, mostly equipment manufacturing, plants.

Naturally, after Ukraine’s independence, there could be no building of new plants; all over Ukraine, existing enterprises were going bankrupt and disappearing. The Donetsk coal was considered only as burning coal for energy production. However, producing burning coal at such cost is not just unprofitable, it is criminal, given that in the capitalist conditions the production expenses are often covered by human lives.

Yet capitalism went even further in its criminality. Instead of unprofitable coalfield, Donbass is now considered as a promising region for shale gas production.

Unfortunately, I do not know for sure what amount of shale gas is predicted to be in Donbass. Theoretically, in such a coalfield all rock should contain gas to a certain extent. Drilling for gas is much cheaper that mining for coal (both in the cost of the equipment and of the work force). Besides, drilling could be done at considerably greater depths. Thus, for investors there are all the reasons to expect the conversion of the unprofitable region into a more or less profitable one.

But that is for the investors. For the citizens of Ukraine, and particularly those of Donbass, such re-purposing of the region is turning into a tragedy. The main trouble is not ecological. The tragedy is that, with the shale gas production conducted on a large scale in the former coal-producing region, most of the Donbass population will become redundant, lose their jobs and means of existence. (Donbass is the most densely populated region of Ukraine, where most of the residents are connected to the coal mining industry). Moreover, a larger part of the South-East of Ukraine will become redundant as well, since only ore mining companies will survive, whereas all metallurgy plants will close followed by machinery and equipment plants, pipe rolling plants, shipyards – all this industry will cease to exist.

I cannot say that I admire Putin or that Russian oligarchs are dearer to me in any way than oligarchs of other countries. But the fact that Russia has the intention of preserving the Ukraine’s metallurgic complex makes me an unwavering supporter of Putin’s policy. This policy is, of course, completely devoid of altruism or disinterested love to the Russian-speaking population of the South-East. Equally, the Poroshenko government could not care less about the Ukrainian people.

The pro-American government of the today’s Ukraine is deliberately doing everything to destroy the Ukrainian metallurgic complex, to isolate the Ukrainian ore deposits from the coalfields, to destroy Donbass.

The military actions destroy first the infrastructure of the Donbass towns. Schools, hospitals, communications are being targeted; mines are being destroyed. Indiscriminate artillery fire terrorizes the population causing mass departure; the residents feel increasing hatred toward the Ukrainian army and Ukraine as a whole. Throughout Ukraine, antipathy is being inflamed towards “colorads” that want to present a piece of Ukraine to Putin.

However, Russia is not interested in Novorossiya, as represented by Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia has plenty of its own coalfields and gas deposits that, in contrast to Donbass, are profitable. The cost of coal production in Donbass is considerably higher than in any Russian coalfield. Furthermore, Russia would like to preserve the metallurgic complex of Ukraine, i.e. to keep the link between Donbass and the Ukrainian iron ore deposits.

That is why Russia is in no hurry to recognize the independence of Novorossiya. The separation of Donbass from Ukraine is an American project. The project that will bring suffering first of all to the people of Donetsk and Lugansk regions as well as to all the people of Ukraine.

Currently, self-proclaimed republics are running election campaigns, and there is a real danger that the power will be assumed by people who, while fighting for the independence of the republics, are trying to attain the independence precisely to achieve the objectives of the American project.

Donbass does not need independence. Donbass needs to unite with other industrial regions of Ukraine, primarily Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozye. Donbass needs the entire Ukrainian industry to be preserved.

The survival of the Ukrainian industry is a necessity for the Ukrainian nation as a whole. But the majority of Ukrainian people do not understand their true interests, do not understand that Ukraine, with its resources and population, cannon be an independent state, that to ensure employment for the people Ukraine requires labor-intensive industries. The products of that industry should be exported, and it can only be exported to the former Soviet countries, and the separation from these countries, first of all from Russia, would mean ruination for the Ukrainian nation.

However, nobody explains any of this to the Ukrainian people. The pro-American mass media are filled with russophobic propaganda, while Russian mass media focus on the defense of the Russian-speaking population saying that Ukraine is no more, that it has never really existed and should not exist, thereby, from its own side, inciting hatred between Russian and Ukrainian people and promoting the separation of Donbass.