Patrick Armstrong is a former political counselor at Canadian Embassy in Moscow
PUTIN'S DISAPPEARANCE. Western media outlets, governments and "experts” beclown themselves. Again.
CRIMEA, THE WAY HOME. Крым Путь на Родину. Here it is with English subtitles. Watch it: Korsun showed Crimeans what was coming, Berkut provided a seed crystal for self-defence and taught them how to recognise and suppress a "spontaneous” demo (go to 41).
NEMTSOV MURDER. Remember that? The investigators stick to their story: Dadayev did kill him; ordered by Adam Osmayev, commander of Jokhar Dudayev Battalion in Kiev forces, to embarrass Putin. This raises the possibility that theCharlie Hebdo connection was just the hook to get Dadayev to do it.
SNOWDEN. The German Vice Chancellor says Washington threatened to cease sharing intelligence if Berlin offered him asylum or allowed him to travel there. Deduction: if Germany was threatened, so was everyone else. We know that the Bolivian President's plane was forced down (so much for Obama's promise). Evidently, a lot of pressure was applied. One country refused to knuckle under. What do you suppose that has to do with current events?
QUOTE OF THE YEAR. The German Foreign Minister told US Secretary of State John Kerry "it’s far too early to pat our shoulders and take pride in what we have achieved” in Ukraine. Thousands dead and maimed, immense property damage, economic ruin, oligarch wars, neo-nazis, war talk. Much too early.
MINSK II. Kiev has broken it. Item 4 called for "a dialogue” "on modalities of conducting local elections”. Instead theUkraine parliament passed a law saying that elections can only begin after the areas are returned to Kiev's control. Nodialogue there. By the way, read the agreement: Moscow is required to do nothing, Kiev much. So when the WMSM tells you Moscow has broken it, as it will, ask yourself what part of the agreement it's broken. A resumption of war is likely, and the end result will be the same. But this time, I expect Moscow to really intervene (why bother with another agreement Kiev won't keep?) And, when it does, there will be no need for blurry satellite photos and reporters who forgot their smart phones. But, should the oligarch war get violent – see below – there will be no requirement.
OLIGARCH WARS. Have started. Still very murky but here is what we know. Ihor Kolomoysky is someone your media outlets have not told you much about: an oligarch, funder of many private armed formations, suspected of many atrocities (MH-17 shootdown?), he was appointed Governor of Dnepropetrovsk in the new oligarch-free European-style Ukraine and hailed as a patriot by the ever-accommodating WMSM. Parliament passed a law that would have reduced his control of certain oil companies. He sent armed men to take over two head offices. Poroshenko said no more private military organisations would be tolerated. Yesterday he dismissed him as Governor of Dnepropetrovsk. Not over yet; in theory Kolomoysky has a lot of armed forces that answer to him. WMSM and State Department spin will be entertaining to watch.
"DRAGOON RIDE”. The brainchild of the excitable General Hodges, a US army column will travel through several east European countries: "to assure those allies that live closest to the Bear that we are here”. Ludicrous: a cavalry squadron, an insignificant light force, will probably only make people nervous. There should be some amusement as it proceeds through the Czech Republic: the locals have been warned not to throw vegetables at it and the Czech Army will escort it. Moscow will only be more contemptuous. And that's assuming there are no embarrassing breakdowns, lapses in discipline, traffic accidents, protests etc.
"PUTIN'S INFORMATION WAR”. No wonder the West is having trouble selling its story: "The product they’re selling is not very attractive overseas”. "if you're going to say someone is a poisonous liar who traffics in conspiracy theories, then you should show that. That the Post doesn't seem to feel the need to do so either means the evidence isn't there, or that the burden of proof is very low when it comes to official enemies”. Western governments wouldn't be whining unless they knew their story was failing.