. . . . used by the military to triangulate radio signals for radio navigation, intelligence gathering and search and rescue. Because its huge circular reflecting screen looks like a circular fence, the antenna has been colloquially referred to as the elephant cage. The term wullenwever was the World War II German cover term used to identify their secret CDAA research and development program; its name is unrelated to any person involved in the program.
Regarding the deployment of Russian fighter jets to its base in Sevastopal:
Of late, Russia has been playing up what appears to BackChannels as a false-flag operation — or perhaps just disinformation promoting an unsavory image — accusing Ukraine of chemical weapons preparation. While Moscow’s disinformation / propaganda campaign moves along on Twitter, here’s background on the matter from UNIAN:
Moscow’s persistence in claiming that Ukraine is plotting a chemical attack in the occupied Donbas raises serious concerns, says Ukrainian MP Dmytro Tymchuk, who is also a coordinator of the Information Resistance OSINT group. Even more worrying is the timing of Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova revisiting the issue on the eve of the two major events that will take place in December this year – the holding of the Unification Council for the creation of the United Local Orthodox Church in Ukraine and consideration by the UN General Assembly of the draft resolution on militarization of the occupied Crimea and Sevastopol, as well as parts of the Black and Azov Seas, Tymchuk wrote on Facebook.
From RFERL as cited in caption earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lists the following Russian Federation assets in the region of the so-far annexed Crimea:
The news may be warmed over but none can miss the portent: having invaded and annexed Crimea, Ukraine, Russia has moved to tighten its grip on its prize while preparing for “expansion” through intimidation and force. As is — and as visiting the liveuamap service tells, there have been no ceasefires in Ukraine: shelling, injury, and death have become part of daily life in what must be for Ukraine’s military a grinding lottery of evil.
For Russia, Crimea, Ukraine must also serve to leverage the west in the middle east, for what happens between Israel and the forces sponsored or supported by Moscow and Tehran may insult a degraded EU / NATO about to be pinched between the two fronts. By “degraded”, BackChannels refers to the following: a Germany dependent on Russia for energy supply; a Hungary that becomes more each week the feudal estate of the Orban family; a France too easily given to the “Active Measures” encouragement of Right Wing Populism; and a Turkey that has become for all intents an anti-democratic and illiberal sultanate whose highest purpose would seem to be the cultural annihilation of the Kurdish Community and the eventual destruction of Israel — the “leadership” in Ankara has more in common with Moscow and Tehran (specifically, the penchant for feudal political absolutism laced with anti-Semitism) than with London, Paris, and Washington. It both loves Moscow’s power and political prowess, and it fears it. It’s continued NATO status and (the latest Patriot Missile deal) has more to do with the latter than any set of heartily defended liberal ethics, principles, and values.
Posted to YouTube November 11, 2018
Russian “Active Measures” and “dezinformatsiya” frame Moscow’s targets with multiple libels, the most infamous its depiction of Ukraine as a hotbed of neo-Nazi hotheads. In the false flag fashion of the “Moscow Apartment Bombings“, Russia has produced an image of Ukraine suited to its ambitions as an invader.
From The Guardian, March 20, 2014 (Luke Harding, “Ukraine nationalist attacks on Russia supporters – fact or Kremlin fairy tale?”):
According to civil rights groups, however, the Kremlin’s account of anti-Russian persecution is a dark fairytale – “entirely fictional”, as one put it. It is, they say, a made-up scenario scripted in Moscow for state TV, and now played out on the ground by pro-Russian activists and bussed-in professionals. Russian propaganda has been extremely effective, they add. Many trust Russian state TV rather than what they see on the streets, which are strikingly bereft of fascists.
“There’s no discrimination against Russian-speakers actually,” Yevgeny Zakharov, from Kharkiv’s human rights protection group, said earlier this week. Zakharov said support for the idea of Kharkiv following Crimea and joining Russia was low – 15% according to the latest survey. He believes last week’s bloody shoot-out was deliberately provoked. “This [Kremlin] campaign is being conducted very aggressively. The idea is to give the false impression that Russians are being humiliated and Kharkiv wants union with Russia,” he said.
Posted by Glasnost Gone to YouTube November 2, 2018
Posted to YouTube by The New York Times, November 19 (above) and 20 (below), 2018.
Regarding resurgent nationalism and authoritarian populism in EU / NATO: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/03/11/reflexive-control-process-allahu-akbar-terrorism-new-nationalism-neo-feudalism/
Moscow has long had hold of two immensely manipulative levers in its often malign and narcissistic vying for the control of political circumstance and their image as perceived: anti-Semitism most of all: Okhrana | Protocols –> Germany via White Russian fleeing the Bolsheviks, especially contributing to the Holocaust: Max Erwin Von Scheubner-Richter. The other lever: socialist | nationalist totalitarianism. Revival of the Russian Orthodox Church as a sop for Russian disgruntlement, and, of course, revival of the military as a power need little explication. The effect intended, imho: weaken democracy in EU / NATO and revive what Russia has known best: a paternal and authoritarian feudalism that is itself also absolute in power.
Some politicians may not be aware or self-aware in relation to their admiration for feudal political absolutism, As much has been my interpretation of the portion of western politics that I’ve been able to follow.
Is perception reality?
Should The People leave Big Business to Big Daddies?
Should we all just adore our Great Leaders?
Putin: leader of nationalist Russia, master of “realpolitik” — leverage, punishment, reward — the Boss of bosses, capricious and absolute.
Whatever the game, why play one side or the other when you can own the whole board?
KGB Colonel, President, Emperor Putin has taken Russia back the one giant step to an authoritarian system reinforced by secret police — today’s FSB supports more staff per capita than ever did the KGB — capable of presenting events for public political perceptual control as with the Moscow Apartment Bombings and the Russian Army’s after-hours (deeply unofficial) brutalizing of Chechen villages in such a way as to drive the men into the waiting camps of Chechen rebels. He has succeeded in abetting greater chaos and conflict in the world, especially in Syria, while balancing the tension between adversaries that may stall change but keep all of the businesses, licit and perhaps illicit, running.
BackChannels credits Putin with turning Erdogan’s pretty little head back toward the feudal glory of the sultanate — or something like it — with the help of Turkish Stream, encouraging the family business in Hungary, and aiding with the election of the formerly more autocratic President (“Fake News”!) Trump in the United States (the French, better knowing what they’re about, didn’t quite go for his Marine Le Pen; Trump, BC presumes, has been tempered by having gotten himself into a job involving personalities as large as himself and powers greater than known in his organization — America’s democracy has not been overwhelmingly wowed or easily walked over). The popular perception of Putin may respond opposite the viewer’s interests: for old lefties, he’s the world’s greatest reactionary and using revived militarism and the Russian Orthodox Church to assuage bad feelings attending the insult of expanding financial hardship associated with related ambitions in Syria and Ukraine and, ultimately, the way the guy at the top gets his hooks into the best performing businesses.
In Russia, there’s protest and resistance to Putin, but there is no competition for the power he has amassed and his ability to . . . rearrange the world along feudal lines.
And for “righties”, he’s still the go-to for “socialist” dictatorships like Assad’s.
Never mind that Assad via the KGB-style political theatrical “Assad v The Terrorists” has been building Syria down, enough so, and so desperately so, for Putin to permanently expand Russia’s military footprint in Hafez’s old sandbox.
After the one step backward into 19th Century and earlier Russian paternal authoritarianism, aristocracy, imperialism, and resurgent nationalism, one may wonder what may be the “two steps forward” if any are ever taken as needs must be: whether Putin likes it or not, the Russian Federation is, alas, multicultural and perhaps yearning — as Navalny might have it — for the liberal devilishness that are “rule of law” and “responsive and responsible governance”.
” . . . they are making a show to other countries . . . “
True. The action taken to forestall additional Chemical Weapons (CW) attacks was conducted as a deliberate and open demonstration of capability (imho) and not as one blow among others launched without warning in the chaos and fury of combat.
Russo-American cooperation in “optics” has been a theme in the Syrian Tragedy from the beginning and in current form dates back at least to the end of the Cold War in which Moscow and Washington in a presumptive peace were to work on terrorism and transnational crime together.
It is uncertain that that is not taking place!
How would one know?
In that Moscow sustains numerous “frozen conflicts”, operates its war machinery against noncombatants in Syria and Ukraine, and that it has long cherished (by not reforming itself much) the title, “Mafia State”, I may suggest the west had been snookered by old political criminals or a mentality in Moscow befitting the same.
In the too-fast press associated with blogging, there may be a little bit of post-first-read-later taking place here. Even if so, the main point is to look into what happened between Moscow and Washington in their respective thematic characters — paternal authoritarian for one; liberal democratic for the other — in the nearest shadows of the Cold War.
PDFs cited go straight to the BackChannels Kindle and may be read on that platform soon afterward.
Where did all the money come from? Most of the new robber barons — an estimated 61 percent of Russia’s richest people, according to one study — simply turned the socialist empires they managed into their own private companies. Others built their fortunes on the roots of criminal trading they were doing secretly during Soviet times. The result is a pervasive sense of unfairness — particularly since Russia still has no real middle class. But Russian society for centuries has been driven by envy.
“In Western Europe and the United States . . . organized crime controls only criminal activities such as prostitution, drug trafficking and gambling,” wrote Pyotr Filippov, a former adviser to President Boris Yeltsin, in a report to the president last year. “In our country, it controls all types of activities.”
In the former Soviet republic of Georgia, an alleged criminal leader with a long prison record and a private militia loyal to him is the right-hand man to the country’s leader, former Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze. In Russia’s Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, an ex-convict named Vladimir “The Poodle” Podiatev, who spent 17 years in prison, is said by police to be the city’s foremost power broker, allegedly controlling his own television station and much commerce in the city.
Mirsky, Wendy L. “The Link Between Russian Organized Crime and Nuclear-Weapons Proliferation: Fighting Crime and Ensuring International Security.” Comment. University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Business and Law, 16:4, 749-781.
Russia’s attempt to subvert Ukraine cannot, however, be seen in isolation.Russia’s attempt to subvert Ukraine cannot, however, be seen in isolation. Its tactics are part of a wider pattern in which the Kremlin uses separatist conflicts as engines for corruption and criminality, and as Trojan horses to block progress in reform-minded countries on Russia’s periphery.
Shelley, Louise I. “Post-Soviet Organized Crime: Implications for the Development of the Soviet Successor States and Foreign Countries.” The National Council for Soviet and East European Research.” Title VIII Program, The National Council for Soviet and East European Research. February 8, 1994:
Organized crime has penetrated most of the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union at all governmental levels, and is assuming an important role in the political , economic and social evolution of these states, with consequences already being felt in Europe , the United States and parts of Asia . The collapse of communism may not lead to democratization and the transition to a competitive capitalist economy. Instead, the pervasiveness of organized crime may lead to an alternative form of development — political clientelism and controlled markets. Domination by the Communist Party may be replaced b y the controls of organized crime.