Voices from Russia

Monday, 9 January 2017

Vladimir Putin: The Quiet Russian



with English subtitles


Accused of being authoritarian (like Lee Kuan Yew, who turned the tiny island of Singapore into a country that’s 11th internationally and first in Asia on the Human Development Index), at 48, Yeltsin asked him to take over the presidency of the largest country in the world, which was on its knees. In the nine years since the former USSR dissolved, the people had become tired and angry, seeing it raped by oligarchs protected by the world’s financial institutions. The Second Chechen war began when Putin was still Chairman of the Government under Boris Yeltsin, and the documentary shows him on a hastily improvised flight into the war zone, over which his handlers anguished. His message to the Russian commanders on the ground surely raised eyebrows. Vodka glass held high, he told them that they’d definitely drink to the fallen when the campaign was over. Then putting down the glass down without drinking, he announced:

Now it’s time to get to work.

That was one of the many snapshots of Putin exercising authority, all equally balanced by evidence of his deep humanity. His interactions with ordinary people… whom he generally encounters when they’re distressed… demonstrate the caring that’s faked by smooth Western politicians. While his enemies routinely refer to him as “living on a different planet” (Angela Merkel) or being difficult to read, this visual history as well as excerpts from a long interview recorded for television with a prime-time Russian journalist reveal a man who appears to wear his heart on his sleeve while knowing exactly where he wants to take his country… to a better place.

It’s clear from these takes that Putin’s authority emanates from his demonstrated competence starting at a young age. Not as tall as the average Russian, he stands in front of his taller peers with quiet confidence. Nor is there the slightest hint of a Mussolini complex about him. Putin is the quintessential quiet man who, as one narrator remarked, wears his power like a cross, not a sword. Quiet, but not dour, on more than one occasion we see him improvising humorous remarks at the mike, even singing unpretentiously. We also see him condemning those he refers to ironically as his international “partners”. His hopes for relations with the West don’t get in the way of a clear-eyed recognition of its rejection, whose reasons he contests.

That Russians should consistently give him an 80+ rating is easy to understand when we see him giving a judo lesson to a kid half his size. At first, the boy fails to tumble him, but when he makes the move correctly, Putin allows the kid to take him down, gracefully, without the hype that would be forthcoming from a Western leader. He recognises that his relations with the Russian people are in good part the result of having grown up in modest surroundings while recognising the “advantages” of being born in a privileged environment.

Scarcely into his first year as President, the submarine Kursk exploded with over a hundred sailors on board. Announcing the decision not to raise it personally to their families, he displayed equal parts of pain and quiet determination to succeed in making them understand that it would be useless. His tenacity, whether in learning to play the piano, or conquering English, was already apparent when, as a teenager, he went to the headquarters of the formidable KGB to tell them he wanted to work for them.  They told him he needed a degree in law, which he got, telling his bosses on his first job that what they were planning to do would contravene a whole series of laws, both domestic and international. Were President-elect Trump to see to it that this film airs on prime-time television, the alternative press would have a much easier job of fighting the neocons’ plan to carve Russia up into so many obedient vassals.  It might even spark a revolution, giving the Beltway hacks something real to chew on.

8 January 2017

Deena Stryker

Greanville Post


Special Addendum: Clintonite Liberals Hatred for Putin Makes No Sense



Liberals hate Putin. “While he is NOT the commie I’d like him to be, I’d like to know a few things”.

Based on what, exactly? What do they know about him… other than bait-click US MSM headlines?

  • That he banned GMOs?
  • That he banned predatory bankers?
  • That their literacy rate is far higher than ours is… 99.7 percent in 2015, according to UNESCO. Whereas in America, they didn’t report the literacy rate to UNESCO, but we do know that the literacy rate hasn’t changed in 10 years. On top of that, 14 percent of the population can’t read, with 21 percent of adults reading under a 5th-grade level and 19 percent of highschoolers not being able to read at all.
  • How he was the first to offer to help with fires in Israel?
  • That he helped Venezuela develop their oil production with technology and a low-interest loan so that the people could keep the profits there? The USA just asked them to let our oil companies pull it out for themselves and promised “jobs”. Venezuela nationalised its oil for the profit of ALL!
  • That from 2000 when he took power until 2012 he took the poverty level from 42 million to 15 million people until the USA/EU started imposing sanctions on any country that traded outside our petro dollar? From 2014 on, they added direct sanctions against them… all for trading with BRICS nations and becoming prosperous outside our bankster system.
  • That he’s continually increased the guaranteed minimum income to offset that poverty?
  • That last year Forbes named him the most effective economic reformer that Russia has ever seen?
  • How about that he doubled the number of women in Parliament?

Give me some reasons or research it until you find one. If you say the Ukraine, I’ll link you to my friends that live there, who’ll tell you he did nothing, certainly no invasion… they wished he had… when the West conspired with Nazis to pull a coup on a democratically elected government. Meanwhile, the people of the Crimea, observing these foul developments, wanted none of it. Long part of Russia (and the USSR) the Crimeans voted in an internationally ratified referendum to rejoin their motherland, a vote later ratified by the Russian Federation. There was no “takeover” of the Crimea, except in the insidious minds of Western propagandists and the media hacks doing their bidding.If you utter the words, “Pussy Riot”, I’ll scream again at you:


Now, try being fair for once, and draw your own conclusions.

Diane Gee


Here’s a REAL Read n’ Heed… The Lessons of “Hillbilly Elegy” for Social Conservatives in Age of Trump

00 LNR 2015 13 worker

Ordinary people are so hurt by the present landshark neoliberal order that they wanted to send a “message”… and the Democrats nominated the most neoliberal candidate that they could find. You wonder why Trump won? Note well that the Dems didn’t learn their lesson either, but do note that Andrew Cuomo is picking up on Bernie’s proposals (the free tuition gambit)… not Hillary’s. Handy Andy is the most capable pol out there (you needn’t agree with him to note his political skills)… he’s already had his sitdown with Trump, dontcha know…



Here’s a real read n’ heed for all of youse guys… no matter what side of the aisle that you’re on. It’s from the Forward, which has good stuff in it. Orthodoxy in the USA is much like the Jewish community here… riven by ideology, divided by Old Country traditions (yes!), and yet (paradoxically) one united community. Isn’t the difference between ROCORites and OCAites the same as the difference between Orthodox and Conservative Jews (the GOAA and AOCANA are more the “Reform” wing, believe it or not)? HOCNA and the various ROCOR offshoots are like the more extreme Hasids, aren’t they? Nevertheless… this is a VERY good read… with much to heed in it.



For those looking for some insight into the America that elected Donald Trump, J D Vance’s 2016 book Hillbilly Elegy is required reading. Having grown up in white, working-class Ohio, Vance comes from the same background as most of the Rust Belt voters who propelled Trump to the White House. The picture he paints of life in the Midwest for many of its residents isn’t pretty… the collapse of the church as a community anchor, unemployment or underemployment, fractured families, and the scourge of drug use and abuse are ever-present.

Thanks to a committed grandmother and a superhuman will to escape, Vance moved on from his roots to get a law degree from Yale, though his feeling of otherness from his upper-middle-class peers never leaves him. Without ever mentioning the president-elect by name, readers walk away with an in-depth understanding of the millions of white Americans who nominated and elected Trump. How is it that a Republican Party that impeached Bill Clinton over lies related to his personal life could then go on to nominate a thrice-married serial philanderer? While the move smacks of utter hypocrisy from the religious right, in the prism of Vance’s book it makes a great deal more sense from the perspective of everyday voters.

Working-class Republican voters, we learned last year, are more concerned with upending the status quo, which they believe has utterly failed them than they are with upholding traditional family values. How important are those values to these Rust Belt voters anyway? Vance’s book isn’t the first sign of just how splintered nuclear families have become in much of America, thanks to out-of-wedlock births, divorce, and drug use, but it is a jarring reminder of how these circumstances have long-term psychological effects on children. In an opinion piece for the New York Times in early January, Vance, a conservative, explains how he feels a kinship with President Obama:

I often wonder how many kids look at our current president the way I once looked at President Clinton. Barack Obama was elected during my second year of college, and save for his skin colour, he had much in common with Bill Clinton. Despite an unstable life with a single mother, aided by two loving grandparents, he made in his adulthood a family life that seemed to embody my sense of the American ideal. The president’s example offered something no other public figure could… hope. I wanted so desperately to have what he had… a happy marriage and beautiful thriving children. However, I thought that those things belonged to people unlike me, to those who came from money and intact nuclear families. For the rest of us, the past was destiny. Yet, here was the President of the United States, a man whose history looked something like mine but whose future contained something I wanted. His life stood in stark contrast to my greatest fear.

The election of Trump despite his very clear moral failings is a red flag for social conservative leaders that family values have fallen by the wayside for a vast majority of their former constituents. As shown by Vance’s book, a surprisingly small number of white working-class Americans consider religion important to their lives. Amongst those who still consider themselves committed Christians, we saw 81 percent of white evangelicals voting for Trump (with similarly high numbers in Orthodox Jewish pockets like Monsey NY and Lakewood NJ). This should shock those who say they want to reform and strengthen the American family. How can conservatives who wish for a sincere emphasis on traditional family values deal with life in a Republican Party led by Trump? Can true social conservatives survive in the new GOP, whose figurehead has spoken about women, even his own daughter, in a manner so vulgar that it would’ve sparked fainting spells had it come from a Clinton?

The fate of the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Russell Moore, who was outspoken against Trump’s moral failings, will be a weathervane. With Trump’s election, there’s a great deal of concern (or hope, depending on the opinion of those interpreting his comments) that Moore will lose his position because of his opposition to the president-elect. Even while supporting Trump because of his stance on the Supreme Court or Israel, for example, social conservatives still should have distanced themselves from Trump’s statements exposed on the “‘Access Hollywood’ tapes” in the weeks prior to the election for consistency’s sake (and some did).

If future scandals of that nature emerge during Trump’s presidency, it behoves social conservatives not to stay silent, even if they choose to keep supporting the president on distinctly separate political matters. It’s possible to support a politician without writing him a blank check for any statement or action he may take, or to give credit where it is due even while being on the opposite side of a politician on policy… a concept that has unfortunately become foreign in American politics. On his website in the days following the election, Moore wrote:

We can pray and honour our leaders, work with them when we can while preparing to oppose them when needed. We don’t need the influence that comes from being a political bloc.

If social conservatives have any hope of maintaining a semblance of respectability in Trump’s America, of being beacons of light to mend the brokenness in the American family and psyche that became undeniable in 2016, they should heed these voices. The future of social conservatism will be shaped and steered by principled, not power-hungry, religious leaders like Moore, and thought leaders like Vance, who even after Trump’s election didn’t shy away from continuing to call on Christians to let Jesus Christ, not the president, guide their moral compass. Or, in Vance’s case, for giving credit where it was due to the outgoing President Obama.

8 January 2017

Bethany Mandel



The Top Ten Under-Reported News Stories of 2016

01 read all about it


What would George Orwell have made of 2016? Some of the biggest news stories of the year, promoted by pro-Establishment media, were either false, such as the claims made in December that a “Holocaust” was taking place in eastern Aleppo, or not backed up by any hard evidence, such as the allegations that Russia interfered in the US election. Ironically, media outlets that expressed the most concern about “fake news” and the urgent need to take action against it pushed these stories most aggressively! At the same time, they either ignored some very important real news altogether… or gave it only the scantiest coverage. Here are ten of the biggest under-reported news stories of 2016. I’ll leave you to come to your own conclusions as to why they didn’t get the coverage they should have gotten.

1. The War in Yemen

While Syria made the front pages, the US-backed war in Yemen received nowhere near the same attention. Largely, the media ignored documented atrocities carried out by the Saudi-led coalition. British Blairite MPs, so keen to show their concern about a non-existent “Holocaust” in Aleppo in December, failed to support a Labour motion in October calling for an independent UN investigation into violations of international law in Yemen. Moreover, the “Something Must be done” media brigade weren’t too interested either. On 3 November, Media Lens noted:

Since the rejection of the motion, “Do something!” crusaders like Aaronovitch, Freedland, and Cohen have printed not a word about “our” “responsibility to protect” civilian life in Yemen.

2. Libya in Ruins

In early 2011, Libya was “the” big news story as concerned “liberal interventionists” urged NATO to enforce “no-fly zones” to stop the “New Hitler Colonel Gaddafi”. The son of a retired Libyan academic who spoke out against Muammar Gaddafi’s régime said that he feared the worst for his father and three of his brothers after they were “killing his own people” and carrying out “a Srebrenica-style massacre in Benghazi”. Well, NATO did intervene and destroyed Libya. Guess what? The “Do Something” crusaders in the western media were silent. The transformation of a country that had the highest standards of living in Africa into a terrorist-ridden “failed state” wasn’t deemed newsworthy. In the words of Leslie Nielsen in the film Naked Gun, it’s a case of:

Nothing to see here… please, disperse!

3. Reconciliation in Syria

Good news from Syria doesn’t get much, if any coverage… particularly, if it shows the Syrian authorities in a positive light. However, the Syrian government implemented truce and reconciliation programmes in and around Homs and Damascus (and in other parts of the country, too).  In July, President Assad offered an amnesty to anti-government “rebels” laying down their arms… he repeated this in October. Many rebels took up the offer and resumed their lives as civilians. The fact that reconciliation was underway in Syria should’ve been a big news story in 2016, but… surprise, surprise… given the pro régime-change bias of much of the media, it wasn’t.

4. 62 People Owning Half of the World’s Wealth

Yes, that’s right… 62. Surely, this is something news channels should’ve been giving major coverage to in 2016? Surely, Oxfam’s Davos report should’ve kicked off debates about how we need to restructure the world’s economy in order to make the distribution of wealth more equitable? Yet, the story didn’t have legs. How very convenient for the 62 people!

5. The Exoneration of Slobodan Milošević

In 2016, the very court which tried him effectively declared the man who neocons and Blairites labelled “the Butcher of the Balkans” “not guilty”. That was after they’d used his “genocidal crimes” to promote the globalist doctrine of “liberal interventionism”. As I wrote in August:

The ICTY’s [International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia] conclusion, that one of the most demonised figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world, but it hasn’t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590-page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić who they convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

The exoneration of the western élite’s number one bogeyman of the late 90s did make front page news in Serbia, but  the western MSM t ignored the news, and those, like Andy Wilcoxson, John Pilger, and myself, who did dare to write about it, were subject to vicious personal attacks by Establishment gatekeepers. Rather like Sherlock Holmes’ dog that didn’t bark in the night-time, the non-coverage of this very important story told us everything we needed to know.

6. Global Warming: Another Record-Breaking Year for Temperatures

2016, according to the UN, is “very likely” to be the warmest year on record… meaning that 16 of the 17 hottest years on record will have been in the 21st century. In July, NASA revealed that each month from January to June in 2016 was the warmest respective month globally since modern temperature records began in 1880.  Yet, despite this, climate change barely figured in the televised US Presidential debates, with the topic receiving just 2 percent of the total time. The Guardian noted:

They wouldn’t have mentioned climate change at all if it hadn’t been for one question in the second debate from a man in a red sweater named Ken Bone.

Clearly, there were far more important topics for the candidates… and western news channels… to discuss in 2016, than the threat posed to the planet by climate change.

7. Western Powers and their Middle East Allies Supporting Daesh

The unsubstantiated allegations that Russia was behind the hacks conveniently helped turn attention from the most damning revelations in the so-called Podesta emails. Moreover, this was probably the most newsworthy:

On 19 August 2014, Hillary Clinton wrote, “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [Daesh] and other radical Sunni groups in the region”.

In December, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that he had proof that the West backed Daesh. Nonetheless, like Clinton’s email to John Podesta, this story didn’t get the coverage it warranted. I wonder why…

8. Economic Collapse in the “Democratic” Ukraine 

The Ukraine was a big news story in 2014, when anti-government protestors… cheered on by western leaders… gathered in the Maidan, but what’s gone on since then in the country hasn’t made too many news bulletins. The reality is that living standards in the Ukraine plummeted, with over half the country’s population now living below the poverty level. Guess what, corruption has increased too. However, let’s not talk too much about the “success story” of another western régime-op shall we?

9. Devastating Impact of UK Government Cuts

Hospitals in England are on the brink of collapse because of government underfunding of the National Health Service (NHS). The number of urgent operations cancelled reached a record level. Meanwhile, hundreds of public libraries have closed. Cuts are having an adverse impact on the lives of millions of Britons. Yet, the UK government, which says there’s no alternative to austerity at home, does have the money to pursue neocon foreign policy objectives. In October, it was announced that the UK was to resume training “rebels”’ in Syria. How fortunate for the British government that their use… and misuse… of taxpayers’ money was not subject to greater media scrutiny in 2016.

10. The Inherent Racism of “Liberal Interventionism”

We’ve heard a lot about racism in 2016, but very little… if any… coverage of the racism that underpins western foreign policy. It’s taken as a given, that politicians and establishment journalists in the UK, USA, and France have the right to say who should or shouldn’t be allowed to govern a country of the global south, even by those who campaign against racism. Imagine the reaction, if Syrian or Iraqi politicians called for régime-change in the UK! Why do “we” have the right to intervene in “their” countries, but “they” have no right to intervene in “ours?” You didn’t hear that question asked on BBC Newsnight or other western news programmes in 2016. The most deadly form of racism wasn’t a news story.

8 January 2017

Neil Clark

Sputnik International


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