Well, we’ve got four years of fun under out belts now and to say it’s been interesting is like calling a 200 kilo rabbit mildly horizontally challenged.
The biggest news is by the end of this year the Kerch Bridge should be in operation for vehicular traffic. As it is now, the work vehicles can drive from Kaman to Kerch across the bridge. I do not know if the bridge will be a toll system but I would aver that security will be tight none the less. Rail traffic is scheduled to commence at the end of ’19. A large road system is being built on the Krimea end that will go from Kerch to Sevastopol, plans show it will be 4 lane for the whole distance. That will eliminate the nightmare of going through Simferopol and the long sections of the old two lane from that charming berg to Kerch that were simply not there, nothing left but the roadbed 3 years ago.
Sanctions, which seem to be added weekly, are a pain for we ordinary workers and peasants but it does not affect ‘them’ in the least. We lack for nothing in this city and this island but there seems to always be one or two companies who cease to provide their products to this AO, be it various types of thread and fabrics for sewing (my wife embroiders quite a lot), some brands of prepackaged food and such. As far as the locals are concerned, the cut off of trade is their problem, not ours. I won’t tell you how foolish, no, let’s be honest, stupud and childish, sanctions are but suffice it to say that after living under the orc thumb for 30 years,the locals are resourceful.
Local prices have gone up 25% on just about anything. At first the locals were aghast, they were used to the orc method of business, in other words taxes were rarely collected officially but the local PTB would visit various shops on a rotating list, and those who should have the the lists do have those lists, and collect a little something off the books. Shops and businesses that did not pay or could not pay were visited by various health and safety functionaries until they paid or went under. Now all businesses with the exception of the babushki selling fruits at their roadside tables have to collect taxes and they do collect. That’s 20% of the 25% the increase right there but try explaining that to some of the locals, and not so locals.
Heavy supplies, such as lumber finished or raw, appliances, building materials such as roofing, drywall, plywood and such, the prices in some shops are outlandish. The funny thing is, and we witnessed it first hand this past summer, these shops with the idiotic prices will tell you with a straight face that the same product from the same company in Krasnodar Krai (right across the straights from Kerch) on the mainland costs three quarters to half the price they are trying to hawk the goods for here. When I asked why the excuse, identical almost word for word at four different shops, was shipping was ‘expensive’ and just the cost of transporting a heavy truck across the straights was $1000 each way. OK, says I, so on a large tractor trailer rig with $50,000 of goods at cost that’s an extra 4%, assuming the truck goes back empty which rarely happens. Don’t tell me the cost of running that truck from Kerch to Sevastopol will double the total expense when the truck originated in Olmsk according to the product we were interested in. So, I asked them politely where the heck was the other 96% of the increase coming from. Oddly, they could not answer that query. We left, got on the phone and called a local company and asked if they had the product. Answer was yes, just got it in. Cost? Normal price, same as on the mainland. And it don’t cost $1000 to run a heavy truck across the straights on the ferries, not hardly.
Infrastructure is undergoing massive repair and upgrade for the last two years. The new thermal power plant near Inkerman will be on line this spring if not earlier. Siemens, they are done with business in this berg and this island after their little temper tantrum of last summer, don’t matter who ordered them to wet their pampers, they are done. If a product has ‘Siemens’ on it, any shop will tell you it don’t sell and won’t sell and most shops got rid of what they had within minutes of the start of the tantrum. Siemens showed their total hypocrisy, as did Germany, when not a word was said when the orcs cut electric to Krim in the dead of winter, rather conveniently the day after a $3 million advance payment was made for the next month’s electric, but Siemens/Germany had a lot to say about the turbine generators, made in Russia by the by, when they were brought to Krim and Sevastopol.
The six massive, and that’s an understatement, diesel generators in Inkerman, installed within days of the orcs blowing down the electric feed from orcland, are still doing yeoman service, on line as needed summer and winter. It is my understanding that even when the new TPP goes on line they will stay in place for the foreseeable future, just in case.
Power supply infrastructure and grid is being renovated almost 24/7.The electric grid, all of which was destroyed during the war and rebuilt in the ’50’s, is being upgraded as fast as possible. Long gone are the weekly and sometimes daily power outages from aging equipment blowing. The orcs did precisely zero maintenance to any part of the grid since ’90 and going in to the various sub and not so sub stations was like a tour of 1930’s equipment that belonged in a museum right down to fabric wrapped wire, almost all of which was aluminium. Substations are being totally modernized with the latest equipment, all made in Russia. As far as the physical grid, read wiring, I will not live long enough to see all of it renovated. Yes, the main feeds and subsidiary feeds are being replaced and upgraded, but the individual feeds coming off the substations to houses, flats buildings and many businesses are the stuff of legend, often a rats nest of wiring that seems to have no real plan or focus.
Water supply is also being upgraded and modernized. As far as our little village is concerned, we have not had a water outage for three years that was not announced in advance and was due to repairs and improvements. Water is still not grand but I must say that in orc times my primary house filter needed replacing every four weeks. It’s a German system that in theory is good for 10,000 liters of water per filter. Methinks we don’t use quite that much in a few weeks but now the filter is good for three months. Main problem is rust from old, but serviceable, pipes, that and the water is hard enough to drive nails in. And yes, we have a 5 stage membrane filter for drinking and cooking water.
Roads could be called a horror show. The first 18 months of freedom we still had the old orc infrastructure and personnel for whatever reason, not the least of which was there was no one to take their place. Tons of money was dropped down the rat hole of ‘road repair’ and the only result was the roads around our reservoir in the foothills of the mountains had lovely new and repaired roads going to the summer palaces of the old, and new, PTB. As an aside, according to orc records almost all the roads and major streets in this village were repaved and repaired in the last 10 years. We still laugh at that deal.
In the last two years several major and not so major road projects have either been completed or are well advanced. The three major roads in City Center, Lenina, Naxhimova and Bolshoi Morskaya, have been completely renovated. The one major 4 lane road going south to eventually Balaklava, General Ostryakov Street, has just completed a major rebuild out to 5th Kilometer market where it ties in to the one road project the orcs completed which goes to Yalta Ring. Rudnyeva Street from Ostryakov out to Myccon Mall and beyond that to past University is also repaved. In addition, Industrialna, Shabalina, Fiolentsovska, Khrustalova, 4a Bastionna, Mykoly Muzyky, Vakulenchuka, Pravdy, Geroi Stalingradu, Geroi Sevastopoleh, General Melnika, Gorpuschenka, Istomina and Kolovskogo streets have been paved and/or rebuilt and that is not all. Quite the effort in the last 18 or so months. In essence someone finally had a thought and the traffic in City Center and the feeds in to and out of center are much better. Solving the parking problem in City Center is a horse of a different colour.
And (trumpets blaring in the skies) someone finally remembered there are a few people living on the north side of harbor. Thanks to the efforts of our local rep Aleksandr Andrei’vich, the main drag, Bogdanova, has been repaired from foundation up. Nekrasova, Tsiolkovskogo, Chelyuskintsev to Simonka intersection, Pereyasklavska, Prymorska and Bratska are finished and Cerafymovka is about 50% complete. Now, if they can do Levanevskogo from Simonka down to Zakharov Square and the car ferry landing and Zhaporiz’ka down to the beach, we’re phat on our side of the ditch, well, almost. Still got to figure a way to keep the summer plague of tourists out of our little piece of heaven on north side short of barbed wire and mines. Hmmmm……
Administratively, things are running quite smoothly. Russian Bureaucracy is, and always will be, convoluted and Byzantine but at least now, with most of the leftover orcs gone, things are a bit more friendly and helpful. Pretty much gone is the old orc attitude of ‘what do you want, I’m busy’, now it’s ‘how can I help you’. What a welcome change, that and the fact that all government offices that interact with the public in any way have a little round orb on the ceiling over each desk. The orb is a camera and the days of an outstretched hand for a bride in the actual offices are gone. I’m sure bribes do change hands, and there’s enough functionaries getting nailed to a cross to prove this, but this foolishness no longer affects we ordinary workers and peasants.
Socially, we are still over run with tens of thousands of carpetbaggers for whom there is little love lost. Around 01 May the first tourists arrive and by late February if not before just about everything in this village in the way of accommodations is booked for the season, read end of October. The streets of this berg were not designed for the massive amount of vehicles extant now, it was originally a closed Navy town. It will be impossible to do much with City Center without tearing half the area down, so that’s not going to happen. We avoid anything remotely close to City Center from 10 May through October unless we can do what is needed on the weekend when that area is fairly deserted. Otherwise, we take the ‘bypass’ from Yalta Ring west to Fiolent ring and get where we need to go as needed.
All in all, things are coming together. Still plenty of problems, not the least of which is massive and illegal constructions from Kacha down to Balaklava and everywhere in between in the shore areas. Nothing seems to stop them, not even court decisions and the odd snarl from Moskau. We’ve got massive work yet to be done in all parts of infrastructure but it will be done. We’ve got plenty of problems to solve and this will happen. I won’t live long enough to see this city, both sides, brought up to where it should be, but I do see vast improvement compared to 2014 when this was a potholed warren of administrative and business areas with no rhyme or reason as to who was where and doing what. The future does look pretty good and we do have peace here which is never a bad thing.
Never The Last One http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK A Deep Look In To Russia, Her Culture And Her Armed Forces
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
Coming in days: Blue Cloud
Featured image of Sevastopol copyright of photographer Yuriy Yuganson
What a nice news, coming soon “Blue Cloud”.
Thanks Auslander, I deeply enjoyed your previous works.
Blue Cloud is a departure from my usual work, I needed to take a break after over 4 years writing of war, mayhem and murder. It’s pretty lighthearted, well, to an extent, and is a bit different. I think you will like the main character, Annya Koli, she’s a rather resourceful and observant young lass, different she may be.
Looking forward to it !
Lovely postcard! Thanks Auslander. Is there ferry service to Turkey? Port facilities being worked on? What’s going on in Evpatoria? Shame the orcs stole the Sythian gold. Good to hear the bridge will be open soon – but maybe increasing the tourist load?
Ferry service to Turkey was supposed to start last summer but the Turks blocked the first ferry at their harbor entrance. That led to an instant cutoff of vegetable imports from Turkey which had just resumed. I don’t know if ferry will start again this summer or not.
Yevpatoria has blossomed in to a pretty large resort town, beaches are the stuff of legend. If you’re talking about the harbor north of that little berg, it’s empty. After the referendum the two ships sunk as blockade were removed and the orcs allowed to sail away. Russia does not use harbor to the best of my knowledge.
The bridge will sadly increase the mobs of tourists. Hopefully the south coast will absorb most of the increase, our little village can’t really take more during the season, everything is let well before Victory Day.
I just did a Wiki search on Yevpatoria b/c you mentioned it. FYI it says this on the Wiki page :
“Eupatoria or Yevpatoria Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia”
Ive actually seen some Wiki entries that give Russia a fair shake on the Crimea affair. But this sure isn’t one of them.
Anyone can correct wikipedia entries. Go for it!
I really enjoyed reading this sitrep. You have a pleasant writing style that is addicting. Sounds like Crimea is repairing nicely.
The amount of work that was done in 4 years, according to the author, would take decades and $16 trillion in any place in the USA. Most of the money stolen, of course.
And it’s not like NYC and Chicago don’t need pretty much all of that.
Our two horse Northern California town chose to replace curbs(!) between the north and south bound lane. Took months to do blocks and there were 10 guys per day on $85 000 / year salaries (+ pensions and medical) plus trucks and excavators and $1000 worth of orange road caution signs.
But try getting a job for over $20 / hour with anyone except the state. pfft.
Actually my union rate card says about 40 per hour…and I never work for the state…powerplants, canneries and refineries…but this is the high end of things. 20 is easy to get if you are willing to work in skilled trade with zero benefits, ie scab work. As to work…if I call the hall and put my name on the list I’ll be dispatched in a day or two…all by phone from comfort of my hearth.
that said, it’s a terrible situation for most working class people in california…and it is true that the fellas dog the job whenever they can…a form of passive aggression ie resistance to oppressive state…I do too. Much the same mustabeen the case fer the fellas under the third reich, as it is in number 4…
all quite ordinary, and mean. scab jobs in NC https://redding.craigslist.org/d/skilled-trades-artisan/search/trd
Nice wrap up of event from Sevastopol. Have missed your regular reports.
Our cousins there report much the same re prices and services.
Good luck with Blue Cloud … it will surprise many.
I pretty much report what I see and know from personal experience in this village. While we got off to a pretty rocky start after out Russian Spring, all is coming together now.
Blue Cloud will go live later this week if everything goes well. For those of you reading this, Babushka from Oz has read this little tome and she was instrumental in helping me clean up the mess and get it readable. Many thanks to Babushka!
Nice report, thank you. I did not know the place was overrun by tourists already :( , I had hoped somehow to get there one day. How do you do that from Sweden? Fly to Moscow and then what ?
Aluminium wiring for high voltage is used in many places, it is not obsolete, it is rather a matter of what qualities you need in a specific situation. :) Aluminium wiring is widely used.
You talk of water problems, is there a desalination plant ? Well will presumably be heavily infiltrated by brackish water, especially if consumption exceeds their potential, I think in the long run desalination is the only workable solution, as an independent supply. I agree, membrane filters are expensive to use, even here in Sweden, and will put quite a burden on ordinary people.
Now you speak of rust in your piping… That should not happen unless your piping system is partially or semi partially constructed with galvanized pipes, in that case you probably loose like 25 % of the produced water.
Do you know further?
Cast iron pipes should not give rust in the water, unless there are unauthorized openings of the fire hydrants, causing water blows in the system.
Yes I work with water and electricity.
Best of luck
Multiple daily flights Moscow-Simferopol. Mostly from and to Domodedovo, so if you come, watch out for a different airports (Moscow has 3). Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo are on exactly opposite sides of Moscow, it will take you 4 hours between them on a public transport.
There used to be direct flights to Turkey, but thanks to sanctions and threats to airlines, nobody dares to resume them just yet. But SImferopol airport is being expanded and prepared for international flights right now (customs and whatnot), so it’s only a matter of time.
Aluminium wiring is ok on high voltage distribution network, if it’s sized properly. In the house – nyet. Aluminium has a habit of not being as elastic as copper and over time screw clamp connections in sockets and switches become loose and may start sparking and cause a fire. Russian houses are not made of wood like American ones, but still.
On water pipes, I think they are galvanized steel. Cast iron would have been used for sewerage pipes, but not for water supply. But the rust will come from joints as the pipe has been cut and steel exposed, and also from cast iron valves. Tastes and looks crappy, but at least it’s not a health hazard. There is no desalinization plant in Crimea, fresh water used to come from Ukraine over the thin strip of land (Crimea is a peninsula), until the Ukrainian brothers blocked the canal soon after the referendum. I’m not sure what the “occupiers” did after that, but fresh water is no longer a problem. Simferopol has a large reservoire (look on Google Earth) which seems to be more than enough. Distribution might be patchy, but that’s another story altogether.
High voltage transmission lines consist of special al alloy cable that has a steel (also special alloy) core. The steel carries the physical load of weight. But little electric power. Because of the AC frequency (I believe it’s 50 cycle in Krimea) the current does not flow much deeper that maybe 18 mm , due to impedance effects – (ref M. Faraday et al) While standard procedures vary, all follow the steel/al method due to economy and practicality. At 60 cycle the current tapers off at a depth of about 3/4 inch. This is why buss bars seldom are seen that exceed that dimension. (All bets are off with HVDC – and that stuff is very dangerous. Once an arc starts it does not stop…) These alloys are developed expressly to combine acceptable electrical characteristics with acceptable physical characteristics of thermal expansion coefficient and strength, and again suitable electrical characteristic..and they evolve even to-day. A trade off with incremental improvements in metallurgy.
The economics dictate the choices within the realm of the science…electric power systems accord with reality only. and they never forgive.
If one wished to use copper at high voltages – well, the attempts do not work very well, because copper is very heavy. There can be reasons…corrosion, underground HVAC sometimes, economics of locale, heat dissipation coefficients…special situations. But Al/Steel core is the rule.
Transmission lines are often run in overload. this means that the limitation of transmission occurs due to the sag created as the wire cable assemblies get physically hot. Something like 5% of total electrical power is lost in simply heat in the lines, though the precise amount is an engineering decision and, in a given line, varies moment to moment. This heating via impedance and ohmic resistance is one reason birds flock onto high tension (and lower tension too) lines, particularly in cold weather. They’re warming their feet…naturally.
Obviously, the short runs at moderate voltage for 50 or 60 cycle power is far better in accord with practical engineering when it’s done in copper. In these systems the weight (and the cost disadvantage over al) of the wire conductor is generally trivial, and the losses permitted seldom exceed 3% – so the moderate evolution of heat (inside a wall, for example) when you burn the toast is no more than a few watts – not enough to kindle a fire). A rule of thumb, by the way, to estimate a voltage variation of 5% is that it creates a noticeable change in the light output from an incandescent bulb – you can see 5%.. So, if the meter says you’re using 3 kw, and the light dimmed, then about 5% of 3 kw is going into heating something…like the wire inside the wall. You can imagine that 150 watts evolving at a wire splice inside a wall would tend to start a fire…
Mixing al and cu in a single system is not unusual…but it must be done in accord with reality…otherwise…there will be some sort of unappreciated outcomes. I assume that Ru has the equivalent to the NEC ( https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=70 ) These rules are very sound. Obviously the USSR had similar rules, based on the same reality…the big changes since those days implies lots of integrating of old with new…and many points of potential error. Serious errors. NEC says how to splice tween al and cu safely.
Stick to reality and zero surprises…
And my warm regards to Auslander, by the way.
Our US company is involved with equipment supply for brackish and seawater reverse osmosis systems from small to very large (municipal) systems. Sanctions have been imposed that bars the supply of any equipment for use in water purification or desalination if it has any potential to be used in or near Crimea. Sad and stupid, but unfortunately, very true.
Such broad definitions would seem to rule out, for example, sand. Sand filtering is often a first stage in water purification, if my memory from training in water treatment (at US Army expense!) remains functional… Similarly, electric motor, shaft couplings, pumps, wood, iron, resins, epoxy paint… relays, SCR controls, even chemistry textbooks…helzbelz there is no industrial commodity that cannot be used to clearup a water supply, is there? I can’t think of any.
Waternearer’s news rounds out a very ugly picture…but only for the short term… As anybody can make equipment from “the five elements”.
The longer term is that these prohibitions strengthen the Ru economy as would import tariffs.
In a related observation: When NAFTA passed it spelled the coup for the few remaining US iron foundries…and much of the steel too. Perhaps the US might benefit from sanctions upon the US, eh? NAFTA ruined an old friend of mine…by the way.
Den Lille Abe
To get to Krimea you have to fly to Moskau. From there regular flights come to Simferopol.
Problem with the water is the vast majority of the local feeds, and City feeds, are very old, dating from the ’50’s and early 60’s as the city was rebuilt and North Side expanded. I have no idea what the main feed pipes are made of but to our street, the street feed is iron pipe that was laid in the late ’50’s. Still works fine with no leaks.
Passed through our primary filter, the water is potable and their are no stains on the appliances beyond the minerals in the water, IOW no rust stains.
We have no desalinization plant in this city, our water comes from the reservoir in the low mountains to our south and from several deep wells on north side of harbor. The purification system is ancient, again dating from the early ’60’s and was worn out when we went home to Mother.
Well, we had water problems in Krym in the 60s and 70s; back then, the infrastructure mostly accommodated even the tourists… Now, I imagine, there are many more people. It was a beautiful place, with people mostly getting along (nobody asked about your “nationality”). People came from all over the USSR. All this development you talk about scares me a bit – the coast is fragile. (We lived in a house along Baranova ul., on the way to Simeiz from Alupka. Right by the sea.) Also, any chance authorities are thinking about solar power? Seems like such a good fit.
I checked how to travel to Crimea from Stockholm back in 2015. You first go to St. Petersburg or Moscow, but you have to wait a long time for the plane to Simferopol. Perhaps communications are better now. I plan to visit Crimea together with a relative who speaks Russian.
I would never pass through Ukraine to go there. It is too dangerous. People are poor and there are many crimes.
If Kiev finds out I am in Sevastopol I will be banned from Ukraine and that is fine with me.
I travelled in Crimea in 2013 but met very few Orcs. Everyone we met was Russian. Crimea is beautiful, particularly Yalta. I am not surprised you now have many tourists. I worry that the Anglozionists will plot an invasion (‘liberation’) of Crimea during the World Cup (unless they get to spoil the show beforehand with a boycott). I hope everyone there continues to be safe and thrives. I am very keen to visit again but my inept Foreign Office warns me against it. For obvious reasons. I’ll get back there some day!
Yes, Crimea was not only reunified with Russia, where it belongs, but it’s being built up. Great news. As more than one commentator has stated, sanctions are the best thing which could have happened to Russia, which turned to it’s own resources.
The US and EU are not happy. Things are not turning out as planned, or better stated as hoped. Both the EU and US, controlled by elites, will in 2018 play and throw in one more negative card, namely an aggression against the Dobass, hoping to disrupt the elections in Russia. Wishful thinking. There is no way Putin can lose, as he is just too popular. Even Western analysts are admitting this. If Poroshenko is foolish enough to attack the Donbass, he may well get a Maidan in reverse, even a break up of Ukraine. However, the elites in the West won’t be too worried about this. The Ukrainians have been given the role of political pawns on the international chess board.
As for NGO’s in Russia, I have been watching their performance. It is pathetic. They are backing some clowns for the presidential elections, who ended up being entertainers, amusing the population. The West better accept Russia. It’s reality.
Synchronicity today, Colonel Cassad has a photo tour of nearby burgs. You can see the words of Auslander register precisely with the “state” of things, the neglect by the Ukies, the randomness and abandon of the infrastructure.
Also, the history that has left its mark is evident in these military and geopolitical locations echoes from the photos.
With Auslander’s narrative and the content of Cassad’s tour it more clear than ever that Crimea was rescued, not annexed.
Ukraine abused the peninsula. It has vast potential if it can be competently developed. Presently, as Auslander narrates, it is chaotic and cries for professional management and a coherent plan.
Probably, Moscow is waiting for the real end to war nearby, then the folks who worked on Sochi could oversee a proper development plan.
Good luck to the stout-hearted folks in Krim.
And thank you to friend, Auslander, for the Sit Rep.
Best of luck with Blue Cloud.
I know it will be received well.
Thank you, Larchmonter, for your kind words.
It has been a long struggle that commenced in late fall of 2013 when the first rumblings of trouble in Kiev, and down here, began to surface. All that will be detailed in the next book on Sevastopol which is planned for release in February.
Cassad often has his finger on the pulse of the area and can come up with some interesting articles. Not everything is beautiful in Krimu or this city but at least in our little village on the harbor we are trying our best to improve as much as possible. As an aside, we no longer have the junque buses as shown in the Cassad article, but then Krimu is not Sevastopol.
I went to visit in May 2015 and loved Sevastopol and the area around it. One thing though I noticed was the buses were small and very old and not so comfortable. I hope the public transportation that so many people need is improved along with the infrastructure.
I wanted to go back sooner, but have not had the funds to do it. Hope to return in the not too distant future.
From memory of 3 years ago, a ferry trip for a semi-trailer cost 5500-6500 rubles. That’s closer to $100 than to a $1000 by a long shot. Price-gouging is inevitable in Capitalism. I was also told that prices of building materials are much more reasonable out east, in Feodosiya.
That “the occupiers” are actually fixing things is also visible in Simferopol. A certain street which I remember as a pothole in a pothole has actually been repaved. Marshrutkas no longer duck and weave all over the place. Elsewhere in the city, other streets have been repaved or are in the process of being done.
Bribes are no longer the order of the day as they’ve been. A box of chocolates or a bottle of plonk is about the maximum “greasing” tolerated these days, and anything more serious is actually rejected, as the new laws are actually being enforced and bribery penalties are stiff for both givers and takers.
I was also told that the bridge will have a toll, with prices of 300-500 rubles for a car in one direction. Not a big fan of tolls, but hey – it’s a 14km bridge, and it will still be cheaper and quicker than the ferry, especially during long bouts of bad weather in winter. The ferries were leased from Greece with all Greek crew, and for whatever reason they would not sail with even a 7km/h winds. Holdups of 14 hours were not uncommon. Bridge will be a very welcome improvement, except for the hordes of tourists which will at least double. Good luck :)
I’ll compare your conditions to the typical British North American city. Exclude a major city like Chicago or LA from thought here. For signature American cities, you have to start thinking blade runner mixed with “third world” ghetto.
Concerning high prices in Crimea, you said:
“When I asked why the excuse [for high prices], identical almost word for word at four different shops, was shipping was ‘expensive’ and just the cost of transporting a heavy truck across the straights was $1000 each way.”
Normal in North America. Funny how a complaint is made in Russia. No one complains here about unusual price increases. It’s 4 to 6 dollars for a block of butter. 60 to 90 dollars per month for “high speed Internet” (high speed in name, not in reality; seems like it’s gotten slower in the last 10 years). No one calls this strange.
“Administratively, things are running quite smoothly. Russian Bureaucracy is, and always will be, convoluted and Byzantine . . .”
And you’re using Byzantine as a pejorative. Maybe you should explain your own world-view a little. Bureaucracy in North America consists of lots of people sitting in big rectangular buildings, getting off at 5:00 pm and heading for the liquor store and Walmart. What they do from 9 to 5, Mon. to Fri., is anyone’s guess.
“Water is still not grand but I must say that in orc times my primary house filter needed replacing every four weeks. Methinks we don’t use quite that much in a few weeks but now the filter is good for three months.”
Filters in North American cities work for about 2 to 3 months. The problem isn’t that the water is coming out of old pipes and isn’t treated, however. The problem is that they do treat the water! . . . with chemicals that are unsafe. Most people’s smaller animals have something called urinary tract infection. In reality, their urinary tract is blocked by the chemical combos dumped into the water pipes as “treatment”. These chemicals either crystallize, or start as crystals that don’t break down.
Veterinarians make a killing telling people their pets have genetic issues instead of looking at the source of a blocked urinary system. Also, “bad genes” is all “medical doctors” have to say for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and so on. Pushing pills is an industry. Criticizing chemical and food/chemical companies, health policies, is no way to keep your money if you’re a doctor of medicine.
“Roads could be called a horror show.”
This is a bit of a liberal cliché in Russia. Partly, it’s a line liberals echo to cause discontent. Partly, it’s thought instigated by oil companies who want highways and giant streets everywhere (call it, Rockefeller thinking). You get highways, you lose highspeed rail, you lose subways and possibly your life. Highways are not safe. Sharing roads with really big trucks because the freight rail industry has been eradicated is not good. 8 lanes of black-top is not good; it’s very hard for an animal to cross. Do Russians get this? Or is West, simply, best?
City center streets are often tended to in North America. It’s more about laundering money, fulfilling bribes and whatnot. Roads are often paved for no practical reason, causing endless detours as 20 hard hats spend 6 hours watching a hole they dug 2 weeks ago. It’s just a process of freemasons moving money around to each other. Rural areas are not often tended at all. Garbage collection runs smoothly. Homeless people are rounded up, hidden from view. The idea is to keep people from seeing their world circling the drain. Moreover, they can’t be showing american poverty to wealthy-yet-”refugee” people. They will begin mocking their host country!
It’s the age of public relations. Don’t do good, just do spot jobs and talk a lot about being “first world.” Import a few black people to make it seem like you’re in the “city of shining lights on the hill” – the city that saves black people from a world of darkness. Yeah, sure.
Prison labor keeps north america clean, slave labor keeps the garbage moving, lazy cops abuse and arrest the homeless, and a collapsing society doesn’t notice the precarious spot it’s in. No one complains here because the West is supposed to win, Russia to lose.
You do know I am American living in this berg for 12 years, yes? You are preaching to the choir when you tell me about conditions in USA although I haven’t been back since ’15 and don’t intend to go back anytime soon.
You haven’t seen government bureaucracy at it’s worst until you’ve encountered orc bureaucracy. Russian government offices being Byzantine means just that but at least now the workers know the laws and rules and don’t hassle you for the sake of hassling you. Do that and you’ll think cutting fish in winter in Kamchatka is a summer beach holiday in Sochi.
“And you’re using Byzantine as a pejorative. Maybe you should explain your own world-view a little. Bureaucracy in North America …”
No, I don’t think so. Auslander means Byzantine.
The bureaucracy of the region was started during the Roman Empire, if not before. Other empires have come and gone, various religions, languages, cultures, ethnicities, have occupied this region of the world, but the bureucracy endures above all.
Thanks for the postcard, Auslander, it’s good to hear some non-fake news!
Great article – Many thanks! I’ve always enjoyed your writing. Wishing you all prosperity in 2018!
Thanks, Ralph! Glad you enjoy the article. We wish the same to you, peace and prosperity for 2018.
Blue Cloud https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0797XJM91 My Life by Annya V. Koli, a story of dogs.
Nice news thanks..my mrs is returning to Sim. in a few weeks…but you are telling me more than she will being occupied by seeing friends and family and probably talking non stop politics!
There does not seem to be much news in the press re ex Crimean tatars stirring up troubles….seems to be firmly under control….presumbably locals must be laughing their heads off at VVP’ offer to return the old ships etc….was there an “official ” reply one wonders or could Poro claim they are being held hostage…perhaps one small one should be put on a plinth next to the “smerch faschism” train to remind people of the connection between ukraine and neo nazi government and the others scrapped to make better things. Are the plans for dockyard extensions and refurbishment being enacted now…one wonders if local oil and gas drilling production in the Black Sea is now a good prospect to enhance supply line from Kerch region going to Turkey maybe I remember. I wonder how relations are between Russian and Turkish communities considering events of last few days….very best wishes for the coming year and surely defences are now completely firmed up…especially in the light of recent usa flyby’s!
Tatari are quiet and relatively happy. They know if they get too far out of line they will be in a world of hurt and besides, with the Mejlis gone they make more money with less hassle.
Ukrops are always complaining about the ships, accusing Russia of ‘sabotaging’ the old rust buckets. Almost all that was left here would not move in the first place and two that did leave were towed back to harbor within an hour, broken down. Russia has offered several times to send them ‘home’ and ukrops always refuse, I guess because it will cost them a fortune to scrap them and that’s all they are good for, the scrap heap.
I don’t know about oil and gas drilling, not much is reported but Krim has always been gas sufficient and half was exported to Ukropland. Payments for the gas were rare.
In general no one in this berg particulary cares about the Turks. They stay on their side of the lake and we use the rest.
Thanks a lot for these interesting insights.
I was visiting the Krim 2006, and I want to visit it again sooner or later, maybe in the coming summer.
My best wishes to the Krim and its habitants.
Thank you for your Sitrep. As always it’s a pleasure to read it.
I would like to comment just on one point: Siemens. What you wrote about Siemens sounds emotional, rather than professional. From a native, patriot point of view, I can forgive and explain your emotionality about the case surrounding Siemens. But from an objective, analytical point of view, I’m disappointed about your statement.
So let me explain:
First of all, Siemens is a great company, an industrial giant, a beacon in telecommunications, mag-lev technology, HTR-technology (High Temperature Reactors) and many more…
This “greatness” is of benefit for Russia also! Siemens is good for Russia and Russia is good for Siemens. While Siemens makes good contracts and business with Russia, Russia gets a lot of knowhow from Siemens.
In the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Siemens demonstratively refused to position itself against Russia in general and against Putin in particular. Therefore Siemens was heavily bashed from German politics & MSM.
So, while the single case with the “turbines on the Krim” is like you said, you have to put it in a higher, superior context. Let me ask you: What do you expect from Siemens? To play a hero? To commit “suicide”? For what? Some turbines? For Krim? Come on… It’s not about turbines and not about Krim. It’s about survival in a “geopolitical war”.
Don’t you know in which circumstances Siemens has to operate?
Aren’t you familiar with the environment, in which Siemens has to navigate?
The Anglo-Saxon-Zionists hate Germany for her excellence. Especially for her intellectual and engineering excellence. Therefore Germany has to perish in two WW’s. Siemens embodies some rest of this excellence. Therefore Siemens was heavily attacked by USA back in 2008: they used their intelligence to make a case against Siemens because of bribes, corruption etc. It’s veiled like this, but its economic war against Siemens, against Germany. Like today against DB & VW.
Interestingly Siemens sold his telecommunications segment to “Unify” in 2009… and so on…
The total cost for Siemens is estimated to 2,5 billion Euro! But more worse: it was a “brain-drain” of the middle management of Siemens (because of the “corruption purge”), from which Siemens won’t recover for 15 – 20 years, it is said.
Siemens is operating in a hostile environment and has to navigate very, very carefully, like Russia has to navigate very, very carefully while dealing with the evanescent hegemon. Even if attacked frontally.
Therefore your judgement about Siemens isn’t considering the whole picture.
What I wrote was not emotion, it was fact. I have exactly the amount of sympathy for Siemens, and any other company in EU, US or anywhere in the world, that they have shown for Krimea and Sevastopol through this whole ordeal starting in February of ’14, that level of sympathy being somewhat below zero.
Siemens is a large and old German company, correct. Who are they to say anything about the end user of anything manufactured in Russia, be it from plants Siemens has a financial interest in or not? Do they say one word about their military equipment ending up in the hands of terrorists in Syria, Ukraine, Chechnya, Libya, Irak, Afghan, half of Afrika or Lebanon? No. Did they say one word about the Federal Republik of Germany’s Air Force bombing the sovereign country of Yugoslavia in 1999? No. Did they say one work about the German Air Force bombing the sovereign countries of Syria and Libya? No. Did they offer the slightest sympathy, let alone assistance, to the well over 1.5 million people in Krimea who were suddenly without any power on the evening of 21 November, 2014, that being the dead of winter? No. Not only no, but hell no.
But they surely did bitch, and that’s the word to use, ‘bitch’, about 4 thermal turbines manufactured in Russia, sold to a company working in Krasnodar Krai, that company’s project being canceled, the turbines returned to the factory IN RUSSIA for extensive modifications and then sold to Krimea and Sevastopol. That bitching ranks right up there with Poland, Italy, France, Holland, Norway, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Bulgaria and Greece complaining about the sanctions Russia put on them after THEY put sanctions on Russia, several almost begging Russia to stop the sanctions against them and then they would be ‘willing’ to discuss ending their sanctions against Russia.
Siemens’ home country, Germany, was instrumental in the coup d’etat in Kiev in February of 2014 which directly resulted in the war with Novorossiya and the slaughters in Odessa, Kharkov, Mariupol and Donbas. And you think I should have sympathy for Siemens. Won’t happen.
Blue Cloud https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0797XJM91 A pleasant little adventure of a young collie, told in her words.
Never The Last One http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK A Deep Look In To Russia, Her Culture And Her Armed Forces
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
And the winner is Auslander! Kaboom! Down goes Siemens.
My first impression, that there was too much emotion, was confirmed by your answer, which I perceive as angry and grim.
Like I said, I have understanding and respect for your position and at the same time I think it’s possible to deal with critique more constructive, especially when the critique is addressed politely.
Since you don’t write for yourself, but for an international community, it is clear, that you will get feedback. The reason why there is a comment section. Like always you get mostly positive feedback and of course it’s easy to deal with positive feedbacks. Critique is more challenging of course and not everybody can deal with it in a rational and relaxed way.
And I had no intention to change your view, but hope to make you see some positive aspects between Russia & Siemens, which are also there. Besides the negatives!
Because your article is tagged as “SitRep”, a report, I thought a report is by definition “a spoken or written description of an event or situation, especially one intended for publication or broadcasting in the media”.
A description should be free from emotions and personal, subjective feelings, views and interpretations. The part about “Siemens” don’t qualify in my eyes to meet the above said definition and journalistic standards.
Since there is a lot of bashing against the MSN and the “presstitues” and their double standards, the “alternative bloggers” should be better.
About double standards, because you expanded your critique regarding Siemens and Germany in the view of weapons delivery:
Russia is number 2 in weapons exports, while Germany is number 5. Russia exports somewhere 5 times more weapons, then Germany.
Also terrorist use Kalashnikovs…
So let me ask you: in your opinion, are Russia’s exports OK, while the German ones have to be condemned? If so, why?
About your general critique against Germany: there is a difference between the German regime and the German people. Germany is an occupied territory and the Germans are hostages and victims to the regime, which is loyal to the Hegemon and not to the people and the vital national interests.
Your president knows this difference…
I am not a journalist, I am a writer. I write and say what I see and think, nothing more and nothing less.
You are preaching to the choir about the current situation in The Fatherland. I very well know what is going on in Germany and to an extent I have an opinion as to why, however that has nothing to do with what I wrote.
You can argue yourself blue in the face but it will not change my perception of Siemens after their little hissy fit over the turbines.
Thank you for nipping that ‘poor me’ drivel about Siemens in the bud. And as for VW and DB, that also deserve all the grief they are receiving, after scamming the world for years before being forced to pay for their thieving and pompously lying about it, playing the ‘good German’ cards…
> work vehicles can drive from Kaman to Kerch across the bridge
TTTaman, not KKKaman !
KKKorrect! MMMy mistake. TTTaman it is.
Perhaps simply repeating the obvious pending attack(s) FR writes: part 1 / part 2
Keep alert, Comrade Aus…things are pending, sorry to say.
and adding, because these matters all coordinate on the arc of heartland…adding that the fake “gas attack” on Monday, ostensibly by Syria, would have been against an airbase the Syrian held since the day before…tillertsin blames ru while spouting inane and silly obvious lies…this makes sense only as a portion of a systematic plan of attack.
Moon says: “There is only a tiny problem with the tweet about the Abu Duhur air base. Since Saturday the base is in government hands. Yesterday the Syrian Ministry of Defense officially announced the full capture of the air base. There are pictures available and videos from a Russian news outlet showing Syrian army soldiers strolling within the base. Meanwhile the fighting has moved several kilometers beyond the base limits. The Syrian Army dropping “chlorine bombed barrels” on an air base that is in the army’s hands would be rather curious incident.”
The curious fact that today the UNSC is the scene of a fake drama about gas attacks…evidently the mechanism was in place to feign outrage over the fake attack, and it was too late to do anything but forge ahead with the fake claims at the UN… just because the tweeter got immediately busted https://twitter.com/AsaadHannaa/status/955461725050073089 was irrelevant. Fact-free magical thinking… Overall the shape is for a massive and broad ranging attack in the next few weeks, perhaps a couple of months…Unlike their hero Mr Hitler and his fellas, they’re not waiting until June this time.
http://www.moonofalabama.org/ see 22 Jan…
withal, is clear that from the mountains of korea to the baltic there’s a move on – perhaps during the oly, perhaps during the Ru election, or maybe scheduled for the barbarossa spring…
Now then, about that predictive computer in the basement of Kremlin…what does “Ivan” expect?
Latest summary re Donbass etc..plus refs to Crimea too
Posting here as no other recent “ukraine” tab/ article hope that is ok
Sad realism versus Auslanders optimism…hhmm.
I am fully aware of the events and probabilities of Novorossiya and the orc plans regarding same. Novorossiya can defend themselves although an all out attack will be very difficult. I will not even conject as to what NAF could, would or should do in the event of an all out attack, one never knows if some bright orc is reading this blog but I bet they are.
My optimism concerning Krimu and Sevastopol is well placed. Germany can barely field one armored division and that would be a very light armor division. France can do little better. UK can barely mount a Sergeant’s Guard and their navy is roughly akin to the Russian Caspian Sea Flot. Who else will attack us? Poland? Italy? Spain? Bulgaria? Here’s a little something to contemplate. Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics. Ask Hitler and Napoleon about that in regards to Russia.
That leaves Uncle Sugar who would have to transport significant assets over long distances to attack from the land side of Krimu. See above about amateurs and professionals. Attack from the Sea? Black Sea is a Russian lake. Attack by air? Sure, that would hurt, and probably this berg big time. However, US has not fought an adversary that could really fight back since 1945 and even then she was fighting less than 25% of the German and allied armies on the west and south fronts. What has USA won since May of 1945? Here’s a truism. If they are shooting at you when you leave, you lost. Think about that and tell me what conflict Uncle Sugar has been in where he hasn’t been shot at when he leaves. Yes, Uncle Sugar can fight and fight hard, but not here. One hopes that Foggy Bottom and Five Points understand that concept.
Is not question of outcome, Auslander. Is question of logic of empire. I have zero qualifications to hold opinion about outcome. Attack is an imperative within the logic. Recall that empire lives in magical realm of fantasy, not inside reality.
They can smash a great deal. Hold territory? Obviously not.
Have you observed what Russia has been testing for three years?
The largest weapons, nuke or conventional-capable missiles from bombers, mobile land, surface ships and submarine.
You know what Putin has indicated clearly several times, don’t you?
Russia will destroy the attackers, whoever, wherever they are based, in their homes, in their capital cities, in their bunkers.
The Russians have demonstrated the long reach of their weapons, and each time, the militaries of the other side (the West) have been shocked by the misjudgment their Intel had ascribed to these weapons. They fly faster, further and more elusively to targets far from launch. And the US and friends have very weak missile defenses. In other words, most of the missiles will hit their targets.
Russia is ready for war of any kind. NATO and the US will not be upright shortly after they start something they cannot finish.
Just look at the last six months. Qatar stood up to the US-SA-Israel challenge. Lebanon stood up to the US-Israeli-Saudi challenge. Syria persists in defying the US-Israeli-Saudi challenge. Turkey scoffs at the US challenge.
These are second tier nations compared to Russia.
Don’t Poke the Bear is never more relevant.
If you are correct and Ru avoids major errors, then Ru will destroy Empire.
That does not however enter into the matter of whether or not Empire will attack. Recall that Empire is driven by internal magical thinking delusional men (and a few marginal near men, and sodomites) and they are riding a tiger, skating along on very thin ice atop 350 million fairly well armed “deplorables” aka pitchforks. All war derives ultimately from domestic forces. Always. And the economy is fake…the third reich had similar difficulties, in 1940, as H. K. Smith wrote…they had no choice due to domestic forces…the nazis had to attack simply for the loot, or be deposed. Maybe he was mistaken… I doubt it.
I do not doubt claims about weapons. I can see, and I know quite a bit about the fundamentals as well as practical applications. The outcome, however, is not a salient feature, rather a combination of shared mythic thinking, psychotropic pharmaceuticals, and internal political imperatives…what Clapper so well described as “fissures”. These internal contradictions compel attack, just as similar forces arise inside the attacked parties compel similar attacks (or now preventative war).
Recall that Empire is based in magical thinking, or lies, (if you wish to be blunt) and decades of increasing violence. And then recall Solzhenitsyn’s dictum “Violence can only be concealed by a Lie, & the Lie can only be maintained by Violence. … Any man, who has once proclaimed Violence as his Method, is inevitably forced to take the Lie as his Principle” These fellas are fantastic liars and super violent criminals…
I wrote “will” (attack). I ought to make it plain – the correct word is “shall” (attack)
My belief, which is also irrelevant, is that the alignments of force favors the Land (Ru), but that the matter is more nicely in balance than you believe.
I would much prefer that Empire turned away…but they have no choice. After a major defeat Empire faces civil war and revolution. Before attack Empire also faces these prospects. Attack may be their only hope… It’s not the first time an Empire faced this sort of problem…and they have shot dead or otherwise liquidated every leader that tried to save the Country from the Empire. Quite possible starting with Lincoln, many suspect FDR too was murdered (by the Brit intel agents using white Russians), obviously brother MLK, JFK, Walther Ruther…and so on.
Just to be clear about the implication…the US is occupied by Empire, rather as Germany is, but worse. The Empire’s last stand according to the theory of conflict is, I expect, going to occur inside the US.
Comrade Russel (Texas) joked in a video about the only way he’ll ever return…and he said it’d be in an APC. Yes, he was joking…but History is a “funny” process. He may have been right.
In this history I suspect that the Turkish actions now ongoing in Syria constitute one of the first major precursor campaigns, but I may be wrong about that…
Frankly, attacking Heartland peoples, Slaves and Asiatics in particular, strikes me as suicide…but the Fates will decide.
If attack stops, does not occur, then the civil war and revolution will gain energy. Attack postpones this, and might postpone it long enough … but I imagine not for long.
Our illustrious and gallant defenders of freedom are screwed and terrified…and the crimes, foul deeds, arise (911 demolitions for starters) tho all the world or’whelm them from men’s eyes…
some light reading for the wee hours?
Die Leiden der Zivilbevölkerung
im modernen Krieg
I was interested in the fact that the 911 affair is well understood inside the US Black Muslim Nation of Islam…and most firemen, many cops… everything is a spark away. a war, with major FF features, is, I am sure, what they see as their only hope. “Shall”
The Kremlin predictive computer? (they did speak of this once, on RT I believe) I call this machine “Ivan”
Ivan must be giving yeoman service. When everybody knows what you must do…and where…well then, Fortune does not favor you, does it?
No plan survives first contact…the degree of ruin remains to be discovered…and the longer Empire waits, the stronger the opponents become, and the more fragile the Empire…
The force for war against Russia by the US is purely ideological. Khazarian-driven Russophobia and Greed for Russia’s natural resources. Period!
There are no internal forces in America related to antipathy against Russia. 99% of Americans know nothing about the history or present condition of Russia. They know that they are instructed to fear Putin and hate “Communist-Autocratic” Russia. They are mind-massage by MSM to hate what they know nothing about (Russia).
So the force for war is ideologically constructed and psychologically driven.
Historical wars are fought for economic reasons.
This is godless hatred and greed versus Christianity and Sovereignty.
anon @18-1-24, 22:14
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it works only up to http://brd-schwindel.ru/
This is an interesting if rather speculative site „in Russia”(?!) I never heard of. It has many sub-pages, but the only ones that do not open are /…/download/ and everything beneath it including /Geschichte/…/. Someone, perhaps the internet provider, Deutsche Telekom, explains:
„Die Seite konnte leider nicht gefunden werden. Es sieht so aus, als ob an dieser Stelle nichts gefunden wurde. Wie wäre es mit einer Suche?…“ – this page could not be found. It looks as if nothing was found here. How about a search?“
Parallely they open a page https://mega.nz/update.html, where it says: „Your browser seems a bit outdated – Please update to the latest version or switch to a recommended browser:“ They recommend e.g. browser Chrome by that Google(CIA), which, if you follow the „search“ idea, you will find described as „Google wird zum Big Brother, höchste Zeit sich zu schützen“ – Google is becoming Big Brother, time for protecting yourself.
Bizarre story…ukraine volunteer in a battalion claims russian security killed this guy for neutralising …not suicide….interesting this is “admission” he was in ukraine working with ukrainians sabotaging in Crimea…..hmmmm
Petro Poroshenko is urgently wanting to replace the current head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Vasyl Hrytsak with Valery Kondratyuk, who currently holds the post of deputy head of the presidential administration of Ukraine. This was stated by the ex-deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Oleg Tsarev.
“Americans are very actively lobbying for Kondratyuk. If Kondratyuk is chosen, then such terrorist attacks as in Donetsk and Lugansk, and those foiled in the Crimea – there will be tens, if not hundreds more. This is a purely American agent,” Tsarev said.
Tsarev claimed, before it happened, that Kondratyuk actually runs the special operations department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, which is developing provocations in the Crimea and the Donbass.
The former deputy compared the training system of Ukrainian saboteurs with the methods of the Abwehr (intelligence of Nazi Germany). To carry out sabotage, small groups of up to eight people are recruited, who have nothing to do with the Ministry of Defense and special services. They are trained in bases in Kiev and Khmelnytsky in complete isolation, so that in the event of being found out, they could not “surrender” anyone, except for each other.
Tsarev also stated that many of the saboteurs were trained in the United States.”
So good to see two of Auslander’s posts here this month. I’ve waited a very long time to enter a bigger and better world through his words. It now occurs to me, finally, that I should buy his books! Will do!