Welcome to the new version of European Tribune. It's just a new layout, so everything should work as before - please report bugs here
Mon Mar 10th, 2014 at 11:22:02 PM EST
HEET [Home Energy Efficiency Team http://www.heetma.com ], a Cambridge, MA nonprofit which organizes public weatherization parties and barnraisings, is crowd funding a natural gas leak monitoring project in Cambridge and Somerville. Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips, who drove the streets of Boston last year with a high-precision methane analyzer to find 3,356 natural gas leaks, will loan HEET his methane analyzer and other equipment to drive the roof Cambridge and Somerville roads mapping every leak. Moving at 15 MPH, covering both sides of every street should take about three weeks. You can learn more about HEET'S Squeaky Leak project and help fund it, if so inclined, at http://www.heetma.com/what-we-do/squeaky-leak/
Professor Phillips will analyze and map the results and HEET will do the driving, following up thusly:
Map of the leaks on the HEET website
Report the leaks to NSTAR to get all Grade 1 leaks fixed
Share the location and amount of leaks with the governments of Somerville and Cambridge so they can work with NSTAR to fix these leaks
Publicize the map to raise awareness about natural gas leaks in order to make sure effective actions are taken on the ground and in our legislature ( https://malegislature.gov/Bills/BillHtml/122690?generalCourtId=11 ) as soon as possible to reduce the leaks not only in Massachusetts, but across the country
Lastly, to compare the amount and number of leaks between Cambridge and Somerville, to see whether Cambridge's decade-long policy of fining NSTAR heavily for opening any roadway that the City is not already working on, while charging it nothing to repair pipes under the roads the City is about to work on succeeded. Since NSTAR has not shared with the city any map or information about the current or past gas leaks, Cambridge does not know whether this policy worked or not. HEET's and Prof Phillips' project would provide that data.
Mon Mar 10th, 2014 at 01:13:47 PM EST
The ideological structure of a legitimated scam
by LAWPROF at Inside the Law School Scam (H/T epochepoque)
"Ideology" can mean a number of things. I'm using it here in the sense of the received consciousness of a particular social order, which legitimates that order and helps reproduce it. The lawyer and sociologist David Riesman aptly described how ideological modes of thought produce a kind of "sincere" mental state that allows someone to habitually believe his own propaganda. A dominant ideology generates a set of views that distort social reality in a particular way: in a way which advances the economic interests of the dominant group, without the members of the group becoming conscious of the fact that they believe what they believe because it is in their self-interest to believe it.
A simple example might be how the ideology of free enterprise capitalism in early 21st century America creates a sincere belief in the mind of a hedge fund manager that paying himself a salary of one billion dollars, which is then taxed at a lower rate than the salary of the average American full-time worker, is wealth maximizing for society as a whole, and therefore by definition a good thing.
Indeed! How is our present world anything but competing legitimated scams? (More below the fold.)
Mon Mar 10th, 2014 at 01:10:53 PM EST
The secession referendum in Crimea on the 16th of March, the outcome of which is easy to predict even if vote rigging doesn't happen, will give President Putin yet another pretext to append the peninsula to the map of Russia. For many Russians on both sides of the Kerch Strait, this will correct the mistake initially made by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, and repeated by Boris Yeltsin 40 years later. Even the Russian intelligentsia seems to largely support Putin on this. The new government in Kiev is going to reject the results of the referendum and accuse Russia of violating international law by using its military might to redraw Europe's borders. The Kremlin insists that these Ukrainian authorities came to power as a result of a coup by pro-Western and anti-Russian extremists, inspired by the US and EU, and that ethnic Russians in Ukraine are now facing discrimination to say the least. NATO will likely to organize military exercises in close proximity to Russia and/or Ukraine, and may even undust the plans to install U.S. missile defense systems in Central Europe, which, by the way, as we were told initially, would protect NATO allies against rogue states like Iran. Then there will be a whole slew of sanctions, including economic, against, and visa restrictions for, Russian officials, which is, perhaps, the most efficient way to get the message through. Russia, of course, threatens to retaliate... Apparently, both sides are currently digging in preparing for return of cold war.
Let us try to look at the situation at different angles to see if a compromise is possible. Ukraine is pretty much a failed state, at least, economically. It has been on life support in the form of loans and foreign aid for quite some time. Corruption, cronyism and racket from officials at all levels of government, are rampant, disincentivizing any investments. The administration of the former President Victor Yanikovich was a clear winner in terms of robbing the country, although its predecessors were not too far behind. No wonder that Ukrainians had enough of that. The popular movement that swept away the Yanukovich's government brought together protesters from the entire political spectrum, including the far-right end. An unfortunate side effect was that, in eyes of many Ukrainians, Yanukovich represented the policy of closer ties with Russia, rooted in the East and South of the country. The pendulum swung so far towards the West that even the parliament faction of the Party of Regions, which was the political base of the former authorities, swore allegiance to this mood. The prospect of Ukraine potentially aligning its foreign and military policy with NATO under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement was that "red line", which triggered heavy-handed Russian reaction. Let's not forget that for Putin and majority ordinary Russians, NATO is still an enemy, and, so far, the alliance has failed to prove otherwise.
I strongly believe that giving Ukraine this either/or choice was a huge blunder by the EU (and the US, for that matter). They simply overplayed their hand. On top of this, implementing the measures to reduce budget deficit, especially, in the light of Russia rising prices of natural gas, would inevitably hit most vulnerable social groups (retired and low-income population), and hardly improve the image of the government among voters. No doubt that it wasn't the only consideration in favor of the Russian option. Transparency and the rule of law weren't high on Yanukovich's list of priorities either.
So here's where we are. If nothing else, Russia will keep Crimea, no matter what the West says and does. In case Ukraine doesn't let it go, the territorial dispute will complicate the country integration with the EU. Strained relationships with Russia will make economic recovery much slower and more painful. The confrontation over Ukraine is also going to hurt Europe and Russia on almost every front.
But it doesn't have to be like this. Does NATO really need Ukraine, unless it wants to move to Russian borders? Is the EU ready to get the country through the period of reforms on its own, or even with the US, if Russia is shut out of this process? This is what has to be clearly understood in Washington, Brussels and Kiev. The stand-your-ground law doesn't work well in this situation.
Mon Mar 10th, 2014 at 06:36:14 AM EST
I haven't done a rail news blog in half a year, now here is a diary focusing on news on investment into rail infrastructure: in Germany (a European comparison), in France (new policy focus), in Belgium (no PPP) and in China (rail & metro network expansion, 4G mobiles).
Sat Mar 8th, 2014 at 11:36:36 AM EST
In a recent conference about data analysis, I highlighted the importance of being well aware of one's model's assumptions. That all models are wrong should not be a reason never to use them, but you must be acutely aware of what their use implies.
I trust that you would agree with such an observation (OK, some will not want to use imperfect model at all, but that is going too far, and would have prevented any progress in human knowledge). But if you do, you should be pretty worried. Because most developed countries (and probably even more so less-developed ones) are now run on the basis of models whose assumptions are wildly violated -to the point where the rules of such models have made their way into their constitutions.
Fri Mar 7th, 2014 at 10:17:10 PM EST
"Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket." - Eric Hoffer
The snowy dreams of the last olympics have faded away and we find ourselves in prime geopolitical confrontations. But not only are the Sochi olympics over, the modern olympics in general have finally lost their allure, and the decline which inevitably leads to death has become visible for all to see.
(This diary grew out of a recent rant).
Fri Mar 7th, 2014 at 05:44:34 AM EST
On Pieria, Frances Coppola posts a clear and cogent denunciation of the single currency and calls for its immediate demise.
After analysing money supply stats and concluding that the ECB is in no position to do anything useful to stave off the tendency to deflation and long-term depression, she lets rip on the euro.
The ECB is irrelevant and the Euro is a failure
The history of Europe is long and blood-spattered. It is nothing like the United States, which is a young country with a common language, clear boundaries and a single political structure. Yes, the USA fought a civil war to achieve its current degree of political unity, and there are no doubt still stresses and strains. But Europe - if you must regard it as one entity, which is problematic in itself - has fought HUNDREDS of civil wars. We do not have a single language, we still cannot agree where our boundaries should fall and national interests always trump "European" politics. You can't overturn tribal and cultural identities that go back thousands of years at the stroke of a few politicians' pens.
My objections to the single currency, therefore, are historical and cultural, rather than economic. I have read Mundell. I understand the benefits of a single currency, where there is economic convergence. I know that the founders of the Euro project expected that the discipline of a single currency would force European countries to implement reforms that would over time create the necessary economic convergence. I know that this is STILL what politicians and Eurocrats are trying to achieve with measures such as the fiscal compact. But call me Cassandra if you like: I do not think any of this will work.
Wed Mar 5th, 2014 at 10:45:37 AM EST
[Update] I've posted additional info @Moon of Alabama where this event is being discussed. Some useful links by somebody and my sniper video.
Location sniper video via Google maps: Instytutska St, 9 Kiev, місто Київ, Ukraine, distance from overpass approx. 550 mtr., from this position there is no straigth line of sight to hit any victims near overpass – see my diary with video of incident.
RT: Kiev snipers hired by Maidan leaders - leaked EU's Ashton phone tape date 26 February 2014
(RT) - The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.
"There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition," Urmas Paet said during the conversation.
"I think we do want to investigate. I mean, I didn't pick that up, that's interesting. Gosh," Ashton answered.
The call took place after Estonia's Foreign Minister Urmas Paet visited Kiev on February 25 at the peak of clashes between the pro-EU protesters and security forces in the Ukrainian capital. START at 08:25.
Paet also recalled his conversation with a doctor who treated those shot by snipers in Kiev. She said that both protesters and police were shot at by the same people.
"And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides," the Estonian FM stressed.
Ashton reacted to the information by saying: "Well, yeah...that's, that's terrible."
BTW, I linked the previous Vicky 'Fuck the EU' Nuland intercept to an Anonymous source, FWIW in tracing info on Internet.
Indeed, a false flag operation as I wrote earlier!
Who Were Snipers In Kiev Massacre - A CIA-Svoboda False Flag Op?
More below the fold ...
Tue Mar 4th, 2014 at 09:29:00 AM EST
The media airwaves are filled with unbelievable rhetoric from two strange, unrealistic worlds. Watching and listening today to CNNi, BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera and Russia Today, come to one conclusion: pure propaganda. I found one quite level headed response ...
The Limits of East-West Fusion in Ukraine by Patrick Smith
For a few days after protesters of varied political stripes and legislators of different motives deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, you could call Ukraine a story of new possibilities. In a weekend, it turned into a story of limits and futility.
« click for info author
It was daunting enough when the provisional government faced an urgent fiscal and economic crisis as its No. 1 task without quite knowing who would extend a hand. Now it stares full front at questions it wanted to brush aside:
You cannot answer any of these questions without addressing all of them. The legitimacy of the interim regime is shaky and in all likelihood non-existent, as even its supporters agree. In any case, it speaks for part of Ukraine's 46 million citizens, and many of its members are veteran losers in past elections. Street mayhem, in part instigated by right-wing extremists, has done for the new regime what they could not get done in polling booths.
- Is the new administration legal according to Ukraine's constitution?
- Who, exactly, does it represent?
- How is it going to re-assert its authority in Crimea, which is decisively given to its historical bonds with Russia, and how will it respond to Vladimir Putin's new signals that he has no intention of standing by as Kiev attempts to pull the nation westward with one swift yank?
Fooling around in Russia's backyard by manipulating ambitious, self-interested oppositionists, as Washington was doing at least since anti-Yanukovych demonstrations began last November, was a drastic miscalculation. It is difficult to understand how the nation that lived by the Monroe Doctrine for two centuries could imagine that Putin, vigorously a man of "Great Russia," would stand by as Washington (and the European Union more subtly) played on sectional discontent to shake Ukraine loose.
Ukraine is now unhinged all right. A high school history student could have anticipated the consequences. Putin has quietly built to full boil these past days. Late Saturday he declared he had the right to intervene in Ukraine on the pretext of protecting Russian interests.
The Two Ukraines Portend a Disastrous Possibility
h/t seabe Oligarchs Triumphant: Ukraine, Omidyar and the Neo-Liberal Agenda
Continued below the fold ...
Mon Mar 3rd, 2014 at 04:33:55 AM EST
In summer 1993, Samuel Huntington wrote in an (in)famous essay:
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. ...
The most significant dividing line in Europe, as William Wallace has suggested, may well be the eastern boundary of Western Christianity in the year 1500. This line runs along what are now the boundaries between Finland and Russia and between the Baltic states and Russia, cuts through Belarus and Ukraine separating the more Catholic western Ukraine from Orthodox eastern Ukraine, swings westward separating Transylvania from the rest of Romania, and then goes through Yugoslavia almost exactly along the line now separating Croatia and Slovenia from the rest of Yugoslavia. ...
... The Velvet Curtain of culture has replaced the Iron Curtain of ideology as the most significant dividing line in Europe. As the events in Yugoslavia show, it is not only a line of difference; it is also at times a line of bloody conflict.
Huntington emphasized the hypothetical nature of his idea with that ? at the end of the essay's title. Two decades later, what can events currently unfolding in Ukraine say anything about this hypothesis?
front-paged by afew
Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 09:42:10 PM EST
Ugly scene from Kharkov yesterday...
Russia's flag hanging on the building of Kharkov Regional State Administration. Some people remove EuroMaidan activists from Kharkov Regional State Administration and force them to kneel in the centre of the square. Among the activists the famed Kharkov-born writer Sergei Zhadan. The militants chant, "Russia" and "Berkut".
Law enforcement officers do not intervene and begin to move toward the Kharkov Regional State Administration.
For those who want to follow events in Ukraine...posts will come from everywhere available. If my comment is not attached do not assume that posted news is my own opinion.
My opinion about this specific post is that I feel deep sorrow when I see how brothers are eager to brutally hurt and humiliate each other... reminds me of Balkan wars...next step we all know what it is...While big powers are flexing their muscles wasting our lives...
Sad world...bloody hell...
Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 07:14:50 PM EST
Unwittingly, the saga of the faked black-ops sniper video published by RFERL on 20 February 2014, is connected with the publication by Mark Ames and response of Marcy Wheeler to the NGOs and media outlets under responsiblility of billionaire Omidyar. My previous diaries ...
○ Embarrassment to GG, MW of The Intercept: Omidyar Co-funded Ukraine Revolt
○ Who Were Snipers In Kiev Massacre - A CIA-Svoboda False Flag Op?
Marcy Wheeler's response: Of Neo-Fascists and Smiley-Face Neoliberals
Pando has not shown that these donations were linked in any way, though it's definitely possible: here's what Pact, the non-profit, says about partnerships:
Pact can't do it all. So Pact also partners with other international NGOs that may have particular expertise, relationships or resources Pact needs to better help more people. In different places around the world, Pact partners with ChildFund, FHI360, Marie Stopes International and Population Services International, for example.
Much of Pact's work is supported by national aid agencies such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Great Britain's Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Australian Government Overseas Aid Program (AusAID) fund much of Pact's work.
Criminal case against NGO "Centre UA"
(Euromaidan Wache Berlin) Feb. 11, 2014 - Ministry of Internal Affairs conducts criminal proceedings against non-governmental organization "Centre UA" under article "laundering of criminally obtained money". It became known after the police started to come to the employees and partners of the organization with the invitation to provide evidence or come to the investigator.
Continued below the fold ...
Sat Mar 1st, 2014 at 07:00:58 AM EST
[Update] Marcy Wheeler at her best, her response to Mark Ames:
Of Neo-Fascists and Smiley-Face Neoliberals
I will make a follow-up shortly. Bear with me …
Unwittingly, the saga of the faked black-ops sniper video published by RFERL on 20 February 2014, is connected with the publication by Mark Ames and response of Marcy Wheeler to the NGOs and media outlets under responsiblility of billionaire Omidyar.
My reply in a new diary - Confirmed: Omidyar's NGOs Clearly Partner in Regime Change
h/t somebody @MoA. In article below, Russia expert Mark Ames makes an astonishing revelation which must be an embarrassment to Glenn Greenwald and Marcy Wheeler under Pierre Omidyar at The Intercept. I quoted Mark Ames on the Ukraine in another recent article - From The eXile - Misinformation Proxy War Ukraine.
Pierre Omidyar Co-funded Ukraine Revolution Groups With US Government, Documents Show
(Pando Daily) - Just hours after last weekend's ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, one of Pierre Omidyar's newest hires at national security blog "The Intercept," was already digging for the truth.
Marcy Wheeler, who is the new site's "senior policy analyst," speculated that the Ukraine revolution was likely a "coup" engineered by "deep forces" on behalf of "Pax Americana":
"There's quite a bit of evidence of coup-ness. Q is how many levels deep interference from both sides is." These are serious claims. So serious that I decided to investigate them. And what I found was shocking.
Continued below the fold ...
Fri Feb 28th, 2014 at 07:08:19 AM EST
Here's how the author sums up their piece - which is well worth reading in full:
Labour markets: A theory of troubles | The Economist
Since this post is long and not exactly bursting with colour, I'll go ahead and share the gist of the story in hopes of enticing you to read on: because we rely on market wages to allocate purchasing power we have resisted technology-driven reductions in employment, and because we have resisted that decline in work we have trapped ourselves in a world of self-limiting productivity growth. Enticed? Good.
front-paged by afew
Thu Feb 27th, 2014 at 07:24:08 AM EST
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry has demanded urgent consultations with Russia on the situation in the Crimean autonomous region. Due to the absence of the Russian ambassador in Ukraine, who has been recalled to Moscow for consultations, Russia's temporary charge d'affaires was handed a note demanding that the military contingent of the Russian military bases in Crimea refrain from leaving the bases.
I am not sure anybody in Russia would consider talking to them...They will need to send some (poor) Europeans to talk (Americans are too proud). Maybe Ashton...she is so good with diplomacy...and she deserve it ...
Wed Feb 26th, 2014 at 02:35:48 PM EST
Peter Wilson (in a Cambridgewickedlocal with news from the Chronicle and Tab LtE http://cambridge.wickedlocal.com/article/20140220/NEWS/140229717/2014/OPINION) wrote that "Net zero is not a practical goal in New England" and that may or may not be true. There are a number of net zero energy single and two family buildings in NE, including in colder climates than Cambridge, MA like Vermont, although the experience with larger and high rise net zero energy buildings is just beginning. However, there are a few examples that approach net zero, including one in Vienna, Austria, the Raffeisens Bank, a 21 story building built to PassivHaus standards (http://www.viennareview.net/news/ideas-and-trends/raiffeisens-upward-sustainability).
Whether or not net zero is a practical goal, it is an essential thought experiment we need to run. By viewing net zero energy as an approachable goal, the way statistical quality control views zero defects on a production line under Total Quality Management, we will assuredly come across many different ways we can reduce our energy needs, perhaps significantly.
I say we are not going far enough. We should be thinking not only about net zero energy but also zero emissions throughout our infrastructure. We know that pollution causes problems, that pollution is waste, and should be smart enough, wise enough to think about reducing the waste we generate to as close to zero as possible. I like the motto of Zero Waste Europe (http://www.zerowasteeurope.eu), "If you are not for zero waste, how much waste are you for?"
If you are not for net zero energy, how much wasted energy are you for?
However, even if we mandate that all new buildings achieve net zero energy, we still have to fix our existing buildings and probably have to start developing district heating and cooling to become a net zero energy community. This is a hard problem and requires concentrated efforts. Net zero energy for new buildings, if it is achievable (and I believe it is), is still only a start.
Thanks for your time and your work.
Tue Feb 25th, 2014 at 06:32:07 AM EST
Feel free to feed news and putt comments and opinions...It seems that we (some of us) are clogging news room with news from Ukraine and things are going to get even more interesting there in the near future I suppose.I will start with latest news
The EU is waiting for a plan of economic reforms from the new Ukrainian government to decide what kind of foreign financial assistance will be given to Ukraine, said European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
The country needs to create a new government, Ashton said.
She gave no details of this assistance, saying the EU would work with the International Monetary Fund but the IMF would make its own assessment of the situation.
I have a feeling that time is of essence in Ukraine...
Tue Feb 25th, 2014 at 02:31:36 AM EST
As reported by Venezuela's Education and Human Rights Action Program (PROVEA), on February 12, student organizations and opposition parties called for marches in various parts of Venezuela to demand the release of students that had been detained in different cities. At much the same time the country's National Executive called on pro-government students to march "For Peace and Life" in observance of the country's Youth Day. The result was at least 16 opposition marches in cities like Caracas, San Antonio de los Altos, Acarigua, Porlamar, Maracay, Valencia, Maracaibo, Merida, San Cristobal, El Vigia, Puerto La Cruz, Puerto Ordaz, Barquisimeto Cabimas, while government supporters were mobilized in at least 3 cities: Caracas, Merida and Maracay. PROVEA reports that up until 2 pm the marches had developed peacefully.
front-paged by afew
Mon Feb 24th, 2014 at 05:25:28 PM EST
[Update] Continued in my newest diary @BooMan:
How the Events of Sniper Fire In Instytutska Street Unfolded - Videos on Fri Mar 7th, 2014
BBC report sniper shooting from media centre Ukraine Hotel, which later became an infirmary for treating the injured.
Through a Polish national, I found more footage of the black-ops with yellow armbands for recognition. Now I could locate their position: in front of the International Center of Culture and Arts (October Palace). This is the very setting across from the Ukraine Hotel where a group of protesters became victim from snipers.
Yes, it's clear the opposition groups possessed firearms, pistols and rifles. Later, evidence shows they also possessed sniper rifles seen in BBC report and a local report of a Ukrainian MP from the Fatherland party caught with a sniper rifle in the trunck of his car. Opposition security allowed him to pass.
Kiev Truce Shattered, Dozens Killed
(The Atlantic) Feb. 20, 2014 - Last night, Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych, working with opposition leaders in the months-long protest, declared a truce, hoping to begin negotiations. Within hours, each side was accusing the other of betraying the agreement, and some of the most-violent clashes to date took place, leaving dozens of protesters lying dead in Kiev's Independence Square, and hundreds more injured in nearby aid centers and hospitals. With the failure of these negotiations, and the escalating violence, fears are growing that President Yanukovych will declare a state of emergency, bringing military enforcement into the situation. The photos here are from the past 24 hours in Kiev. Also, see: Bloody Battles in Kiev, from yesterday. [37 photos]
Video shows evidence of snipers firing at protesters in Kiev
Published on 20 Feb. 2014 Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
This video shows security forces [or titushki] snipers firing at crowd. There were renewed clashes between security forces and protesters in Kiev's Independence Square on February 20 despite a putative ceasefire. Sniper fire was widely reported. Daily report of clashes can be found here.
[Update1] France24: Are 'agent provocateurs' infiltrating Ukraine’s protest movement?
The Guardian posted video as : amateur footage! Thursday 20 Feb. 2014 - 3min 14sec
Amateur footage purports to show Ukrainian protesters in Kiev attempting to protect themselves with shields as they are fired at by police using live rounds. One man falls to the ground apparently wounded, and a group are seen carrying an injured person. The violence on Thursday is the deadliest so far as anti-government demonstrations continue to grip the capital.
On this video, the source "RadioSvoboda.org" is labeled in video during first 35 sec. Some added comments by The Guardian with time stamp:
00:07 Riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, fire live rounds at protesters on Thursday
00:35 [Shows footage of victims behind shields, several got hit by sniper fire - Oui]
00:40 Separate footage, not independently verified, appears to show anti-government protesters being shot at
02:08 [Different location, three men retreating from knolly hill, one sliding down wounded? - Oui]
03:08 [This portion is duplicated, same video shot at 00:48 - Oui]
[Was the first segment of 35 seconds with accusation at riot police verified?]
Watch the video and determine who these thugs are, rifles look like Kalashnikov rifles, some don't have militia boots but black leather shoes, no insignes/patches and all wear a distinct yellow armband. Search for more photos and analyze who these men in the group of thugs are. The video clip has signature of RadioSvoboda.org. I searched WhoIs and DNS lookup. To my astonishment this domain is registered in Washington DC to Radio Free Europe with contact Ray Ludendorff [Email: Ludendorffr(at)rferl.org]; IP address RadioSvoboda.org 126.96.36.199 and RadioSvoboda.org 188.8.131.52. Does this mean the footage is recorded by Radio Free Europe (Rferl) and this has nothing to do with the Svoboda party or its members? In Russian, Svoboda means Freedom.
I had read and heard some rumours about these guys, so I started digging a little deeper. I didn't come to a conclusion yet, hoping bloggers can help out with this task. Who are the thugs operating as black-ops snipers, titushki?
The Titushki Generation
(Sean's Russia Blog) - Titushki is a new word from Ukrainians' lexicon that the whole world is now learning. This is the name for strong, athletic young men hired for money to cause trouble at public gatherings, who start up fights, who carry out other illegal actions. They operate under police protection or with the police taking no action at all. In fact, this is a shadow army of mercenaries that pro-regime forces have created for use against the people of Ukraine.
The Symbol of Generation "T"
Vadim Titushko, an athlete from Belaia Tserkov', bestowed his name on Ukrainian hired provocateurs. Fame arrived for him not in the ring, but during a public gathering, "Rise Up Ukraine!," where Titushko beat up Channel Five TV reporter Ol'ha Snytsarchuk and her husband, the photographer Vlad Sodel'. The incident happened May 18, 2013, in front of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) administration building on Vladimir Street in Kiev.
Continued below the fold ...
Sat Feb 22nd, 2014 at 06:09:47 AM EST
Ukraine's west was culturally more independent and even the landscape shows an eastern and western divide. The west had suffered immensely under Soviet occupation and Stalin terror, the partisans were never subdued and fought the Soviets into the 1950s. The Maidan revolution is distinctly different from the peaceful Orange Revolt of 2004. The divisiveness has turned violent as the nationalists from the Odessa region arrived in Kiev and the fascists used their strength to defeat Yanukovich. It's rumored the president left fled Kiev yesterday and his plane could be tracked on Internet. The Speaker of Parliament, the first in line to replace the President is also on the plane. A few days ago, messages on social media stated large sums of cash were transported out of the country. It looks like the Revolution has succeeded to overthrow Yanukovich as the opposition forces have now occupied all of the government center in Kiev, including Parliament. One oligarch family is about to be replaced by another. The situation is very troublesome as the elites are equally divided as the nation falls into economic chaos as the acute debt of $15bn will likely not be alleviated by Putin's Russia. A failed state and bankruptcy is imminent. A bit more about Ukraine's history, Stalins terror and gulags and the devision after Nazi Germany attacked Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
« click for article
A picture of Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich is seen as trash on the ground in Kiev (Reuters / Andrew Kravchenko)
Soviet Policy under Stalin and the Ukrainian Genocide of 1932-33
Ukraine was formally incorporated into the USSR as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (UkSSR) in 1922. The Communists were aware that resistance to their regime was deep and widespread. To pacify the Ukrainian people and to gain control, Moscow initially permitted a great deal of local autonomy to exist in the UkSSR. The newly established Ukrainian Autocephalous (self-ruling) Orthodox Church and the new All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, non-Communist national institutions of great importance, were both permitted to continue their work until the end of the 1920's.
All of this changed once Joseph Stalin came to power.
Continued below the fold ...
by afew - Mar 7
by DoDo - Mar 10
by marco - Mar 3
by DoDo - Mar 10
by afew - Mar 7
by Oui - Mar 5
by Oui - Mar 4
by marco - Mar 3
by vbo - Mar 1
by vbo - Feb 27
by gmoke - Feb 26
by vbo - Feb 25
by Oui - Feb 24
by Oui - Feb 22