UKRAINE LEGAL CASE. Maidan and post-Maidan Ukraine is a construction of half-truths, lies and atrocities; now we see why Moscow has been patiently collecting data. Today it filed a complaint with the ECHR accusing Kiev of numerous crimes. Here it is in Googlish. “The appeal is intended to draw the attention of the European Court and the entire world community to gross and systematic violations of human rights by the Ukrainian authorities, to record numerous facts of criminal acts in the international legal field, to force the Ukrainian authorities to stop committing them, conduct a proper investigation and immediately bring the perpetrators to justice, restore peace and harmony on the territory of Ukraine.” Watch the Western media ignore and twist this and the court squirm out of it. Western values in practice.
PUTIN UKRAINE SPEECH. (Eng Rus) and follow-up. Lots of people are reading all sorts of things into this. I take a minimalist approach. Putin was speaking to those Ukrainians not lost to the Galician nazi fantasy and putting down a marker for the future. It was a coup, Kiev is not independent and Russia patiently awaits the people’s decision. He knew the court case was coming: there will be a future.
JUST A GAS STATION. RosStat finds that oil and gas made up about 15% of GDP in January; down from 19% the year before. Some of this is surely a consequence of COVID lockdowns.
GUNS. Big week. 13th – successful test of S-500. 19th – test of ship launched hypersonic missile: 350kms in 2.5 minutes (about 4 minutes from Crimea to the Bosphorus exit). Pentagon not happy. 20th – inexpensive single-engine STOL fighter (presumably for export, rudely named “Checkmate”.)
BUTTER. Russian exports.
CAN’T MAKE IT UP. Russian security (not a CCTV!) followed and filmed an American diplomat stealing a piece of railway equipment – here’s the video. The Americans whisked him out. I invite you, Dear Reader, to figure out what that was about.
NAVALNIY. Yavlinskiy says Yabloko doesn’t want any votes from his supporters: views are “fundamentally different“. Well past his best before date – everybody got what they wanted from him.
COMPUTER HACKING. Not Russia, not China but Israel. Too big for the compliant media to ignore.
BIDEN-MERKEL. A lot of the usual guff about values and democracy to paper over Washington’s defeat on Nord Stream. (And Washington told Kiev to shut up about it too.) Germany doesn’t seem to be on net with the anti-China summons, either. Money and vague promises to Ukraine, but future money is not present money and Merkel is supposed to be gone in September and where Biden will be by then?
MH17. Good summary of all the things you have to swallow and forget to accept the standard story.
TERRORISM. The FSB says it arrested somebody planning an attack in Moscow.
CORRUPTION. The head of the Stavropol region traffic police and a lot of his senior staff were arrested for bribery and abuse of power. Russian crime detection is easy – monitor toilet sales from Gold Я Us.
TRUMPUTIN. Guardian and Harding on Putin and Trump. What more is there to say?
AFGHANISTAN. Taliban visits Moscow, RFE/RL impotently fulminates. Escobar’s thoughts: he thinks Taliban has changed, is much more representative and “wants to be embraced”.
FAKE NEWS. It’s not Russia but it sure is fake news. Whatever the agenda calls for.
TRAVEL. A piece showing that Washington is making it more difficult for Americans to visit Russia and for Russians to visit the USA. Don’t Go to Rome. Despite the Boccaccio story, Washington is not supposed to be the earthly representative of a heavenly kingdom – it’s supposed to be here and now as it is. Clearly its occupants want to hide it. On the other hand. Moscow is making it easier to visit. Another of those curious reversals that we have seen in the post Cold War period.
BELARUS POLL. Lukashenka is losing support but still has quite a bit, Russia is very popular, the majority dreams of good relations with both EU and Russia (but that’s not possible any more, is it?). A lot of the questions are designed to elicit anti-Lukashenka sentiments but what I take from this is that he is good for another year or so and that she, despite the booming in the West, hasn’t much support (calling for sanctions on her own country isn’t a great campaign platform.) I’m still betting the end state will be Lukashenka retiring and the two countries moving much closer together.
THE DEATH OF IRONY. The EU thinks Spanish border guards should patrol Gibraltar; London thinks Ukrainian border guards should patrol Crimea. But, alas, HMS Defender is far away patrolling the South China Sea.
© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer