Voices from Russia

Monday, 18 August 2014

The Magical Mountain

17-Alfons Maria Mucha. Mount Athos, The Holy Mountain. The Orthodox Vatican (from the Slavonic Epic, nr 17). 1926

Mount Athos, The Holy Mountain: The Orthodox Vatican

Alfons Maria Mucha


from The Slavonic Epic, nr 17


Mount Athos is truly a magical mountain, not in the Thomas Mann sense of the term, but rather as a blessed holy place that speaks volumes to Greeks. I don’t believe that I’ve ever felt the way I did in the early morning hours, listening to hymns, watching the elderly monks on the benches, observing the younger monks artfully and patiently lighting candles in the chandeliers, in an incense-scented scene of absolute and disciplined beauty. Leaving aside the natural beauty and the few unique interlocutors who leave an indelible mark on visitors, the Mountain is a source of inspiration offering an opportunity for recollection.

Mount Athos is various worlds in one. One part, rightly or wrongly, is identified with all the backward elements of modern Greek thinking, ranging from conspiracy theories to the most primitive perceptions of the modern world. However, whilst backward-looking people look and listen to all that matches their bias and theories, those in search of their own balance vis-à-vis a complicated world will find solace in the landscape, the early dawn services, and the discussions. Athos also demonstrates the art of survival. The Church is the oldest political organisation in the country and Mount Athos is living proof of how it’s managed to overcome historical adversity and catastrophes, as well as more ephemeral situations, such as government and régime changes. A friend visited one of the barest, most primitive, monasteries and saw a photograph of dictator Ioannis Metaxas there. He asked the abbot, “How come you still have a portrait of Metaxas hanging on the wall?” The monk replied, “He was a benefactor to our monastery. Sometimes, we take longer to hang portraits of rulers, but, more importantly, we take even longer to bring them down”.

Stories of survival and the tactics of those in charge are passed on by word of mouth, from one generation of monks to the next as they continue to support and maintain their traditions. I remember an elderly monk explaining that his monastery had been able to expand thanks to the good-will of the Byzantine (sic) emperor’s high-ranking secretary, “What today’s young politicians fail to understand is that they’ll disappear in a few years, but the monastery will still be here long after they’ve gone”. The self-assurance rendered by tradition and survival in the face of adversity is invincible and, clearly, Mount Athos teaches this unique art. Athos is a unique heritage that we must protect and safeguard for centuries to come. In the meantime, its current representatives are walking a tightrope as they are called on to distinguish between what’s necessary for survival from business and traditions of obscurantism.

17 August 2014

Alexis Papachelas




Junta Thunders About Victory in the Donbass by 24 August… Does It Have the Means to Achieve Such?

00 Bloody Pyotr. P A Poroshenko. 01.07.14


If the junta wants victory by 24 August, the most pressing question for objective observers is, “What part of the junta forces aren’t yet involved in the repression operation in Novorossiya?  What units are available to reinforce their striking force?”

Forces available for operations:

Mechanised and tank units:

  • 1 Tank Brigade (8 Army Corps). Goncharovskiy (Chernigov Oblast)
  • 17 Tank Brigade (6 Army Corps). Krivoi Rog (Dnepropetrovsk Oblast)
  • 24 Mechanised Brigade (13 Army Corps). Yavorov (Lvov Oblast)
  • 28 Mechanised Brigade (6 Army Corps). Chernomorsk (Odessa Oblast)
  • 30 Mechanised Brigade (8 Army Corps). Novograd-Volynsky (Zhitomir Oblast)
  • 51 Mechanised Brigade (13 Army Corps). Vladimir-Volynsky (Volyn Oblast)
  • 72 Mechanised Brigade (8 Army Corps). Belaya Tserkov (Kiev Oblast)
  • 92 Mechanised Brigade (6 Army Corps). Klugino-Bashkirovka (Kharkov Oblast)
  • 93 Mechanised Brigade (6 Army Corps). Cherkasskoe (Dnepropetrovsk Oblast)
  • 128 Separate Mountain Infantry Brigade (13 Army Corps). Mukačevo (Zakarpatskaya Oblast)
  • 169 Training Centre “Desna” (under Land Forces Command). Desna (Chernigov Oblast)
  • 19 Missile Brigade (under Land Forces Command). Khmelnitsky (Khmelnitsky Oblast)
  • 11 Artillery Brigade (13 Army Corps). Ternopol (Ternopol Oblast)
  • 26 Artillery Brigade (8 Army Corps). Berdichev (Zhitomir Oblast)
  • 55 Artillery Brigade (6 Army Corps). Zaporozhe (Zaporozhe Oblast)
  • 15 Rocket Artillery Regiment (13 Army Corps). Drogobych (Lvov Oblast)
  • 107 Rocket Artillery Regiment. (8 Army Corps) Kremenchug (Poltava Oblast)
  • 27 Rocket Artillery Regiment. (Army Corps). Sumy (Sumy Oblast)
  • 25 Separate Airborne Brigade. Gvardeiskoe (Dnepropetrovsk Oblast)
  • 79 Separate Airborne Brigade. Nikolayev (Nikolayev Oblast)/Bolgrad (Odessa Oblast)
  • 80 Separate Airborne Brigade. Lvov (Lvov Oblast)/Chernovtsy (Chernovtsy Oblast)
  • 95 Separate Airborne Brigade. Zhitomir (Zhitomir Oblast)
  • 28 Separate Airmobile Training Battalion. Desna (Chernigov Oblast)

Now, let’s see what the actual forces are, as opposed to the “paper” forces.

Training Units not available for deployment:

  • 169 Training Centre “Desna” (under Land Forces Command). Desna (Chernigov Oblast)
  • 28 Separate Airmobile Training Battalion (under Land Forces Command). Desna (Chernigov Oblast)

The artillery units deployed as reinforcements to other units, now partly decimated in battle on a level with the units that they’re attached to. The Armoured Brigades broken up, scattered along the front (in packets of 1-2 companies) to act as shock troops in the offensive.

Units decimated in previous battles:

  • 24 Mechanised Brigade (13 Army Corps). Yavorov (Lvov Oblast): One battalion decimated in the southern “cauldron”. The other two decimated in fighting on 12-14 August near Saur-Mogily Raion. Remnants declared “deserters”, withdrawn to Melitopol.
  • 30 Mechanised Brigade (8 Army Corps). Novograd-Volynsky (Zhitomir Oblast): Two battalions destroyed in the Krasny Luch fighting (early-mid-August), but one battalion still in the line.
  • 72 Mechanised Brigade (8 Army Corps). Belaya Tserkov (Kiev Oblast): Completely smashed in southern “cauldron”, remnants only number about 400 effectives. Declared “deserters”, scattered in different places.
  • 79 Separate Airmobile Brigade. Nikolayev (Nikolayev Oblast)/Bolgrad (Odessa Oblast): Defeated in southern “cauldron” (beginning of August) with only about 400 effectives remaining, withdrawn to the rear.

Units decimated in recent battles:

  • 25 Separate Airborne Brigade. Gvardeiskoe (Dnepropetrovsk Oblast): One battalion destroyed near Shakhtyorsk (beginning of August). Another battalion decimated in Marinovki-Kozhevni Raion a few days ago.
  • 51 Mechanised Brigade 13 (Army Corps). Vladimir-Volyn (Volyn Oblast): Decimated in the southern “cauldron” (beginning of August)
  • 95 Separate Airmobile Brigade. Zhitomir (Zhitomir Oblast): Committed to the front since the early days of the fighting, with heavy losses. Perhaps, the best unit in the junta forces. One of its battalion participated in the fighting in Krasny Luch. This battalion heavily mangled, but was able to withdraw successfully. The remaining battalions are fighting near Donetsk-Debaltsevo, being the main junta spearhead.

These units are now actually “chopped liver”.

The bottom line, there’s only:

  • 28 Mechanised Brigade (6 Army Corps). Chernomorsk (Odessa Oblast): A fresh unit, but considered “reserve”. On paper, it’s combat-ready, but as Odessa locals make up most of the unit, their ideological reliability is in question (perhaps, that’s why the unit is in reserve and not on the line).
  • 92 Mechanised Brigade (6 Army Corps). Klugino-Bashkirovka (Kharkov Oblast): Deployed near Lugansk, but with one battalion in Kharkov Oblast. Its reliability is also in question, as Kharkov locals fill the ranks.
  • 93 Mechanised Brigade 6 (Army Corps). Cherkassy (Dnepropetrovsk Oblast): Suffered significant losses near Slavyansk and in the fighting on the Donetsk outskirts. Now, mans the line on the northern and western sides of Donetsk. Losses partially degraded this unit’s combat readiness.
  • 128 Separate Mountain Infantry Brigade (13 Army Corps). Mukačevo (Zakarpatskaya Oblast): Now, deployed near Lugansk.
  • 80 Separate Airmobile Brigade. Lvov (Lvov Oblast)/Chernovtsy (Chernovtsy Oblast): Operating near Lutugino Raion-Lugansk airport.

There’s a total of five relatively combat-ready units (the others are destroyed, decimated, or tied down in fighting) One of these is partly degraded. There are questions about the ideological reliability of two of these units. One is bogged down near the airport, leaving one unit to reinforce the offensive.

Of 12 infantry brigades:

  • 4 crushed and completely withdrawn from the combat zone
  • 3 suffered significant losses
  • 1 suffered moderate losses, with diminished offensive capabilities
  • 1 surrounded by opolchenie
  • 2 from ideologically unreliable regions

Well, one hears people say, “They hope to win in the Donbass!” Well, how will do they do it? What objective factors will give it to them? Is anyone surprised that they’re throwing “volunteers” into the fight? They’ve hastily deployed Territorial Defence battalions (some only have truck-borne transport). How will they defend the Moldavian front? Right Sector gangs? We’re not even talking about the Crimea. I’d like to know, is there anything other than border guards on that sector?

18 August 2014

Russkaya Vesna



The Mechanised/Tank/Airborne brigades have a formal TO&E strength of 46,000 (@4,000 per Mechanised, 3,000 per Tank, 2,000 per Airborne Brigade). At the beginning of hostilities, there were about 60,000 personnel in the junta ground forces. That is, except for one or two units, all units were understrength, some seriously so. To bring the combat units up to strength and to have sufficient personnel for logistics support and combat support units would require about 95,000 to 100,000 troops. There was massive draft dodging in all three junta call-ups. They also raised politically reliable (but militarily worthless) “National Guard” and Territorial Defence units… therefore, the drafts of manpower didn’t go into formed professional formations, but into undisciplined, untrained, and badly equipped new units.

That isn’t all… the junta purged its officer ranks at least twice. The first purge came when they came into power. Secondly, when they shitcanned Admiral I I Tenyukh for stepping on the toes of junta pols (and for telling the truth in a blunt, direct, no-nonsense, profane way). This eroded confidence in the junta amongst the professional officer corps. Besides that, the junta appointed Galician Uniate hillbillies as political commissars, with the power to shoot “deserters” and “malingerers”. To put it bluntly, the junta forces have received no real reinforcements since the beginning of the war. Let’s not be coy… it takes at least 9-12 months to recruit, train, form, and gel a combat unit. That’s a bare minimum. The junta’s thrown nothing into battle but uniformed Euromaidantsy terrorists, nothing more.

In short, the junta’s fighting the one kind of war that it can’t win… a war of attrition in a land where the people hate them (and hate them worse with each airstrike and artillery bombardment). Besides this, there’s much discontent, which the junta toady press suppresses (the reporting of such, not the disorders). There are disturbances in the Lvovshchina, which doesn’t bode well for the junta. Remember, if 38 percent of the voters in the Lvovshchina voted for Svoboda, it means that 62 percent voted AGAINST them.

This all adds up to a complete bloody mess. No one’s in charge, certainly not P A Poroshenko! Stay tuned… I fear that this is going to grind through to a bloody and nasty conclusion. We have Langley to thank for that (what shall we do with the Orthodox who still support the neocons after this? It’s a real question… Potapov and Paffhausen deserve a Cossack horsewhipping, to be sure).

This isn’t the end… but it could be the “end of the beginning”…


18 August 2014. Video. Opolchenietsy Tell the Junta Where to Go and What to Do Once They’re There… English Subtitles

00 Glory to the Donbass Heroes. 09.08.14



Opolchenietsy tell it like it is… they tell the junta scumbags where to go, what to do, and where to put it… there’s some serious hate being built up. The junta INVADED Novorossiya… Novorossiya did NOT invade the junta-controlled areas. There be some real revenge being worked up… what I fear is that “revengers” will rise up after the fall of the junta and take out their hate on innocents. People won’t ask questions… they’ll listen to accents. If they hear someone speaking Galician Backwoods Pidgin, well, the best that could happen is that the person involved would get a beating. Look at what happened after the VOV! Do you want that again? It’s time for the junta to leave ALL of Novorossiya… that is, the tsarist region, not just the DNR and LNR… otherwise, there’s gonna be PAYBACK… and payback, as we all know, is a motherfucker. I fear the worst… there’ll be bloodletting before we put this mess to bed…


Partisans Damaged Nazi Bandera’s Grave in München

00 S A Bandera. 17.07.14


Constance Schpitschek, the press officer of the München Police Department, reported that partisans attacked the grave of S A Bandera, “We can confirm that they damaged the grave. The grave cross, 1.8 meters by 1 metre in size, was almost torn down”. Bandera’s grave is in the München Waldfriedhof. There were claims sent to media sources that the grave was blown up, but Ms Schpitschek said, “I can’t say exactly, but it doesn’t look like an explosion. We’re at the scene and looking for clues. An investigation is under way”.

17 August 2014

Russkaya Vesna


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