The Saker Podcast #6 is now available for download and streaming on the following page:
As always, the stupid corporate copyright rules prevent me from uploading the podcast with the musical intro and song at the end on YouTube and SoundCloud. The Internet Archive appears to be free from such corporate abuse, so while you are free to chose your version – I recommend choosing the one on the Internet archive.
I hope you will enjoy the podcast. Please let me know what I can do better.
Cheers and thanks,
Transcript of podcast no. 6
Provided by the kind help of a wonderful lady “A”
Welcome back to The Saker’s Podcast, this is the Saker speaking. As you can probably hear, I am not in my car, I could not make the recording on Sunday. I just didn’t feel well enough for that. But now I’m feeling well. So I made it at home. I hope the sound quality will be adequate. And there’s alot of questions to cover. So I’ll try to take them one by one, as always. Two things that I need to do, one thing to remind you of, one disclaimer. The reminder is the, how shall I put this in English ? Well in Russia we say, how do you say that in English ? Its ‘knit with white thread’, which means ‘its an obvious hint’ and the hint is that I do these podcasts as a pious, and politically correct way of reminding you to donate. That’s what you guys suggested, so I’m doing it. So I did my painful part, and its your painful part now (laugh). And the second thing is that there is nobody to take care of the front door today, I’m at home alone. Which means that I have four dogs, cruising around the house, and as soon as they hear any kind of noise they explode in barking. They feel a strong need to protect everybody. Now that’s normal. They’re two shepherds, a Belgian and a German one, and two terriers, a Cairn terrier and a, what we call a ‘refined mutt’. Which I don’t know what he is, he’s a rescue, he’s a wonderful little guy, extremely smart but very noisy. So if there’s an explosion of barking I will stop the recording and then resume. So, my apologies in advance, but chances are, its going to happen. Ok, with all these introductions made, lets jump immediately to the first question.
Larchmonter, 445 asks me, “Define our American Exceptionalism. 1) as the American government uses it as a weapon. 2) as the people think of America as its citizens. 3) as perceived by the world, particularly enunciated by the Putin-Russian spokespersons.”
Ok, well, first of all, to define it, I don’t see a unique characteristic to that ‘exceptionalism’ so I will just define it as American exceptionalism, exceptionalism as manifested in the United States of America. I don’t find it particularly relevant to contrast it with other exceptionalism. There have been plenty. I would argue that every Empire needs a rational. And particularly I would say, any democracy. That’s where its crucial. Keep in mind, in the past history, there was, well people obeyed to their ‘lord’ Suzerann [?] in French. I don’t know if that’s English, what I’m saying here. Well, it could be the King, the Emperor, or the Prince, or the local warlord. And conquest, by means of expansion was not only seen as legitimate but was very often seen as actually very laudable, very good. So if you’re living in a monarchy, you don’t really question why your king went to war with the other king. You’re on the side of your king and you think that if your king and your people are strong enough to prevail against your neighboring country or kingdom, then its fine. All is well.
Democracy is very different because democracy, at least in theory, is supposed to be the rule of the people. And the next thing that that means, is that rulers don’t go to war, but the people do. Because of course, the decision to go to war is expressed by the will of the people. What does that mean ? That means you can’t say, you know, ‘I’ve been insulted’, or ‘I believe this or that’. You have to have those lofty principles of ‘I’m all for peace” “I’m pure defensive”, “I’m for human rights, democracy, human progress, civilization, equality, etc”, and therefore you usually have one or, basically one solution, which is, you have an ideology of some kind, which justifies your expansion and imperialism. That ideology right now, the prevalent one(s) are of course so-called ‘democracy’ or ‘human rights’ or ‘interventionism’ or ‘R2P (right to protect)’ or whatever you call it. And so you create a system of myths, and this is what the United States did. I mean the ‘indispensable nation’ of Obama is not very different from the ‘white man’s burden’. Its not very different from the other arguments we’ve heard in the past ages, the Spanish ones about you know, ‘bringing civilization and progress to the barbarians’ etc.
So all American Exceptionalism is good old Imperialism, just basically beefed up or supported by an idea of the United States being something different from any other country on Earth. That’s it. I don’t think its very original, I don’t think its very profound, you know I just see it as basically a pretty transparent and vapid justification for Imperialism. Now you ask here, “… as the people think of America and its citizens”. Well, if you’re asking me how Americans feel about that, I think its pretty clear, I mean most of them completely buy into it. I mean they truly believe that. I mean think of it this way, we, I’m speaking as an American, which I’m not, I don’t even have citizenship, I never wanted it. I could ask for it, but I refuse it on principle, I don’t want to pledge allegiance to any civil authority, I’ve never done and never will do. My only allegiance is to God, my pledged allegiance was at the baptism. Your sponsor recites the Creed. And that’s good enough for me as a pledge of allegiance (laugh).
Anyways, you see people saying, ‘We thank our veterans’ You know, look at the bumper stickers, ‘We thank our veterans’. ‘Freedom is not free’ ‘Freedom here, because they fought over there’ and the usual assortment of ‘United we stand’, etc. Basically, most Americans do not question at all, the premise, “Why is it that Joe, my next door neighbor, needs to go and kill people or even die in Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Korea, etc.” Its not a question asked. To even ask that question makes you already look, instantly suspicious. I mean that has been my experience. Basically, like in any country, I don’t think Americans, by the way, are more gullible or more, if I can say, herdable, than any other nation. Just look at France today, with the ‘Je suis Charlie’, and you will see that herds in Europe are just as passive, and frankly, so is the case in Russia, during the Soviet years. I mean and then in the 1990’s all the, not all, but the vast majority of Russians, all they wanted was jeans, Coca Cola and hamburgers. The sad thing is, masses are very very easy to manipulate.
And I will say that what makes the US exceptional is the truly high quality, not in terms of its intrinsic or artistic value of its propaganda, but the high quality in terms of its effectiveness. Most people don’t question anything. So I think again, people are, most people in the US are zombified. But most people pretty much everywhere are zombified. So I would not single out Americans as being more zombified than any other. I’m not sure that answers your question fully, but its my best shot at it for right now.
Now, as perceived by the world ? And particularly enunciated by Putin-Russian spokespersons ? That is an interesting question, because I was in Europe on September 11th, and I can tell you that the explosion of solidarity with the American people was stunning. I mean you probably heard that there was … let me, hold on one second I need to stop here … Ok sorry, back to the podcast, I had an interruption. Sorry I’m doing that at home, I don’t have a studio obviously, so you’ll have to forgive me for the little bit amateurish deal, of my podcast. So, the explosion of support for the US was huge and was absolutely sincere. As I mentioned, a million people I think in the streets of Tehran even. That went ‘downhill with the old mill’. George W Bush, by the time he was done, people hated the United States so much that they were willing to give a Nobel Peace Prize to Obama for just not being Bush. And sort of as a desperate plea, “Please don’t be another Bush”. Well, sure enough, Obama turned out to be another Bush, only worse. I mean, really, I never thought I would ever ever miss, well, Bush, but then again, thinking back, I mean I honestly thought, when Clinton came up, I felt an embarrassment for our big country. To have such an idiot in power. And I hated his wife. And then came Bush, and I thought Clinton was ok. And now I look at Obama and I think Bush was ok, because at least he was dum, inarticulate, ignorant and clearly a puppet, whereas Obama really raised hopes of everybody. And not only in the US, make no mistake, I mean the entire planet was having high hopes for Obama and he betrayed everybody. Not only Americans. So right now, I think most men can consider the US as ‘run amok’ literally as a big truck on the highway, driven by a driver who’s just completely drunk. I don’t think its that simple actually. I don’t think the driver’s drunk, I think the puppet is a puppet and I think the Deep State’s not drunk at all. I think the Deep State knows exactly what its doing, and I think there’s infighting inside the Deep State as to how to go about doing ‘it’, which is world power and world hegemony. I don’t think this is an effect of being dum, ignorant or stupid, or otherwise unprincipled. I think these people don’t get elected, they get ‘selected’. And they get appointments. And they do remarkably consistent foreign policy. You tell me, when was the last time US policy changed, you know meaningfully on something ? I mean of course we had bombings with a human face with Obama, whereas with Dubya we had bombings with a stupid face. But it doesn’t change anything, its still bombings.
I would say to a certain degree the only difference I see is that during Reagan, the Neo-Cons start crawling inside. Usually when there were still Trotsky-ites then, basically left-liberal, most of that folk were sitting in the Democratic branch of the ‘power party’ as Chomsky calls it. And now they are actually even more represented in the Republican party, but not by much. So that’s the big difference to the old Anglo Imperialism. We haven’t ‘added’ to it. But in terms of policies ? Nah, I don’t see much of a change at all. So I think the world is more frightened, and I think right now the Russians are the only one who dare say so openly. If you listen to Putin’s statement, he very clearly said this year that the point of the US policy of the Ukraine, was not, as he said, was not to humiliate us, it was to subjugate us. To make us obey, to take us under control. So that is said openly. You don’t see Xi Jing in China or somebody in another part of world saying that. Well maybe besides Ayatollah Khomeini. Yeah I mean the Iranians do say that. They do, but they’re smaller. But that’s it. I think there are very few countries that say that. I mean even Cuba is trying to get some kind of a deal going, though we’ll see what all that brings. I don’t know what the Koreans are saying or not, but I wouldn’t take them as an example. So really, in terms of articulate and open-eyed resistance ? I would say Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah is sort of the, how would I say that, the Alliance, and an informal one at that. So I hope I answered your question adequately and I’m jumping to the next one.
Anonymous is saying, “I keep hearing it repeated that Russia is at the risk of being dismembered into smaller states like Yugoslavia was. How vulnerable is Russia to this ? I mean we all know of Chechnya but what about elsewhere ? Dmitry Orlov has also mentioned this as a goal of the Neo-Cons, after instigating an economic collapse. I also hear it in western media and even Putin alluded to it in one of his speeches.”
No I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think I’ve addressed that pretty much at length in the previous podcast. I think this one is # 6, so the fifth one addresses it. The previous podcast, if you re-listen to it, you will see that I discuss at length why Russia is not going to go down the Yugoslavia path. For a number of objective reasons, and personalities, I refer to that podcast.
Dean Arnold is asking a very complicated question. “To what degree are Putin’s stances related to his relationship to God and the Church ? Is this a factor in his denunciation of gay marriage and western relativism? His willingness to ‘confront tolerance’. And [getting] accusations of anti-Semitism due to standing up to western banksters ? To ask it another way, do you think another Russian leader would take similar stances because the impetus of such positions actually comes from the Russian people as a whole ? Or is Putin particularly influenced by the Church and a particularly bold leader for such positions ?”
Well, let me begin by answering the second part of your question. There is, right now, [a problem?] with seeing Russia as way too weak to be a per-requisite to be totally in harmony with, in agreement with, in harmony with and you know, basically to support Orthodox position. So no. In theory you could have another leader that would be just as popular and who’s not Orthodox. As a matter of fact Shoigu, who is immensely popular, is a Buddhist. And we have quite a few non-believers in top positions of power. So no, I don’t believe, I think it helps I mean, but most Russian, you have to understand that most Russian people are not Orthodox in a deeply practicing sense. You’d have a minority which is, the majority would be Orthodox in a more traditional, national, cultural sense, with some endorsement of Christian ethics and Christian values and traditions. But its very different to be you know, a person who’s daily life is changed by his or her spirituality, than to someone who basically has the ‘label’, but not necessarily the reality thereof. Now Putin ? I have been changing. Ok. I’m going to be wild guessing now as I’m not a personal friend of his (laugh), I’m not in his employment, unlike what some people seem to think, and I don’t have any particular, I don’t read minds. So I don’t know, but my guess is that he’s been changing. I don’t think Putin was very religious at all when he was at the beginning of his career or ‘top’ career. Maybe he sort of believed it or kind of got ‘out there’, but I saw very clear signs of, well lets put it this way, superficiality in his approach to religious issues. I think that he has been changing. I think the awesome responsibility that he carries, I mean right now what’s happening in the Ukraine, is that Putin is stuck between surrendering Russia to the western Empire and the risk of triggering a nuclear holocaust. So that kind of responsibility. And you know, living inside the walls of the Kremlin I think changed him. I think he perceives himself as responsible, in front of the Russian people and in front of history. And I think his thinking has changed. Again, its a wild guess. I cannot substantial that.
Coming to the first part of your question, well, first of all there was no as such, this gay-marriage thing and western ‘relativism’. What’s criticized in Russia is not as much western relativism as western materialism. Most Russians believe that western values basically mean that you would sell anything for material goods. That the West worships money and wealth and material goods, and I have to agree with that. The gay marriage ? Its a non-secateurs what really happened. I have already addressed that many times, so I will just make it very short. In Russia, being a homosexual is not considered equal to being heterosexual. That’s all there is to it. There’s no persecution, that’s nonsense. All it is, its that the consensus is, in most of the population and in the circles of power and in the church, that homosexuality is an abnormality. Doesn’t mean you have to go and persecute the people who suffer from it, all you do is not tell them ‘yeah’. Look at the Wikipedia, I mentioned it on the blog several times, Wikipedia calls it ‘A normal and healthy variation, healthy variation of human sexuality.” I think that’s the Western standard, that its exactly the same. Love is love, doesn’t matter which genders are involved. Well that’s basically a thesis that Russia rejects. Russia culturally stands on the principle of ‘Men ought to be men, women ought to be women and they ought to have offspring that they raise together’. That’s really what the debate is about. And when they banned propaganda of homosexuality among children, its not because there was such a tsunami of children directed to propaganda by homosexuals, as it was simply a fact, a way of making a statement that ‘we do not consider that phenomenon as a healthy variation, its a pathology’. So I think I don’t want to go into more details. I also covered it in another podcast, so you’ll forgive me if I make it short.
Ok, next question. I’m sorry for the paper noises.(rustling paper noise) I’m an amateur. Question about the Ukraine ‘intelligentsia’. I have to apologize to you, I don’t know enough about it. Its asked by Daniel Martin. He wants to know what the opinion of the Ukrainian intelligentsia is. I’m not a mind reader, I’ve been in the US for now, lets see, 12 years, and before that I was mostly in Europe. I honestly don’t know, so I don’t want to pretend, I’d rather just not answer. I apologize to you.
The next question. “Did Russia try to counter the EU propaganda campaign [causing] the rise of fascism in the Ukraine before the coup ? If yes, how ? And why did it fail ?”
Ok, that is actually something that I can answer. No, Russia did nothing. And you have to understand the sequence of events. After the Soviet Union broke apart, during the first lets say roughly, from 1991 to 2000, Russia was completely ruled by a deep state of Jewish oligarchs, called the Semibankershyna [?] or the Seven Bankers Rule, The Rule by Seven Bankers. The puppet-head was the drunken idiot Yeltsin who could, I mean he was just so pathetic as a person by any criteria I think. I mean I just loathed the guy. And Russia was basically completely a US controlled colony. That was, you have to understand that that wasn’t ‘marginally’ ‘a little bit’ or something. I would say that Russia was at least as bad as Poland today. And that’s saying something. I mean Russia was completely you know, to use a slang expression “Uncle Sam’s bitch” (laugh). So there was no question from ’91 to 2000 to do anything about the Ukraine. Let me back track.
The Soviet Union never broke up. It was broken up. Its different. I mean, Yeltsin, Socavich[?] and Krafchovic[?] together and they broke up the Soviet Union and Chobais[?] had to join in but he was opposed to that idea. So these three really did it. Two of them were hard core Communists, Parachick, which is the Belarussian, Soshayavich [?] yes that was his name, and Yeltsin. No sorry, Soshayavich was a teacher. Kravchoke the Ukrainian, Kravchoke, he was a hard core Commie leader from the Communist Party of the Ukraine. Yeltsin was a Commie leader from the Communist Party of Russia and Sosayavich was a teacher, non-aligned in party. But he was sort of a starry-eyed democrat. Whatever. They broke up the party – the country practically, backed by western intelligence services and all the might of the western Empire. They then proceeded to destroy their own countries. They were not busy trying to rebuild anything. They were busy plundering and selling out Belarussia, the Ukrainerussia and the rest of the Soviet Union. So it was dead. It was worse than dead. Had it have been dead it wouldn’t have been as bad. So Ukraine nationalism was massively encouraged and all the so-called pro-Russian-Ukrainian leaders were not pro-Russian at all, they were just one, like Yanokovich, he’s not pro-Russian, he’s just a gang leader. He is a, you know, the Torchoriani [?] sort of a mafia leader who fights with other mafia leaders. All these guys are Mafia-dons. And some of them impersonate nationalists, other ones impersonate pro-Russians, but the in reality they’re NOTHING. They’re just their own people.
And so things just got worse and worse and worse during the first 10 years, and then when Putin came to power, Putin was busy trying to, you have to understand in what condition Putin inherited Russia. It was an apocalyptic nightmare (laugh). Isn’t it kind of odd to say it in any more emphatic terms than that ? And he, I mean the people around him, he literally re-surrected the dead body, ok ? So when you’re busy trying to resurrect yourself, you’re not exactly engaging in massive expensive, soft-power campaigns to try to pre-empt a take-over by nationalists in the neighboring country. Furthermore, as I many times have stressed, always remember that when Putin came to power, the power was roughly split, I would say, not even 50-50. [It was] 60-40[%]. Between what I call Atlantic Inegrationists 60%, and Eurasians Sovereignists represented by Putin, maybe 40%. And over the past decade they sort of evened it out to a possible 50-50. That means that the struggle you know, to death is happening inside the Kremlin walls, inside the Russian deep state. Russia just didn’t have what it takes to start trying to pre-empt something in the Ukraine. Whereas the US, who was it ? Albright or maybe it was Nuland that said, 5 billion dollars I think she said that was used in propaganda. She said that, and its actually probably way more. If she ‘fessed up to $5B you can probably count 50. So the United States and Europe put all their resources into trying to break up Russia and the Ukraine. And to put the Ukraine under the control of neo-nazi nationalists. And that vapid kinda – sorta resistance, that took place, was that some of the gang leaders like Kutchma or Yanokovich were sort of, (makes a naaa sound), flaccidly less anti-Russian could I say, not even pro-Russian but less anti-Russian. Kutchma was the one, I think that wrote a book called “Ukraine is not Russia”, so, you know, if that’s pro-Russian (laugh) you might as well, you wonder what’s anti-Russian.
So the bottom line is that there was nobody there. Just vacuum. You have to understand that. There was nobody anywhere near power that was in any way shape or form, pro-Russian. It just wasn’t there. Ok and that is why the only spot which really resisted from literally day one, is Crimea. Even the Donbass, for all my infinite respect for their struggles and everything they’ve done, guys, it took them a heck of a lot to wake up. They didn’t see it coming and they were still demonstrating in the late 2013 with the Ukrainian flag and going “Slava Euro, Slava Ukraine” and all that stuff. I mean these guys were not quite, how shall I put it, willing to look reality in the eyes and start acting on it. And I swear, a lot of Russians weren’t, I mean I shouldn’t blame the Donbass too much for it.
So those who say that Russia didn’t do a good job in Ukraine, simply don’t understand. You don’t ask, you know, a guy who’s almost DOA, barely surviving, you know, think of somebody smashed up in a car accident in the ER room, you don’t tell him to run a marathon. The US was running a marathon in the Ukraine, and Russia couldn’t and didn’t and still doesn’t by the way, I would add. So I hope that answers your question, why nothing was done.
“Do you agree that a hot-war between Russia and NATO-West in inevitable ? If so, when will it start ?”
No I don’t agree that its inevitable, therefore I can’t predict a date. That is a question by Michael Thomas. However I will tell you something kind of depressing. I had the chance to speak to a captain of US Rangers, an active duty captain of the US Rangers, a very good guy, a couple of days ago. I did not identify myself as a blogger or much less THIS blogger, it just happened to be a social occasion. And I asked him, well, how does he feel about it ? He knows I’m Russian by birth. I asked him, “You know, in your circles” he’s active duty again, many combat tours, very very busy guy, and I said “Well, is it bulgergun [?]” “No no no its not ! I mean, we really think” Then he starts explaining that he really thinks that Putin has to realize that he’s alone and that China will not back him, and that if a war starts alot of people will get killed on both sides, especially, as he said, because of nuclear weapons.
Now what’s scary and depressing about that, he never never for one second mentioned that maybe somebody in the West has to show some sign of restraint or common sense. In his opinion it was “Putin has to wake up to reality and I hope and pray it will happen.” That’s scary. So, ok, he is a captain, a Ranger. That does not exactly make him, you know high command material. But he probably is on a regular contact with fairly high level commanders in the United States. If that is the mood in the US military, then God help us all. And I actually had planned to ask him what he thinks of his commanders, but when I saw that the guy just completely bought into the Western narrative that Putin is the cause and henceforth Putin has to stop being the cause and everything will be well, I gave up. So I don’t know, I think a war is possible, unfortunately. Likely? I hope not. I don’t know. I wish I knew what was going on in the minds of the US deep state. I’ll tell you this. I know I can guarantee that Russia will not start a war. I can guarantee that Russia does not want a war and I will guarantee you also that, should it start, Russia will fight back with everything she has. So in my book, the question mark is not over the Kremlin, my question mark is over the White House, and the deep state it stands for. Ok ?
Next question. “What is Putin and by extension Russia doing in a tangible way to shore up the governments in Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil who are allies, from the south, but are the subjects of huge destabilization efforts by the US ? Secondly is Putin afraid to ensure that Iran and Syria have access to defensive weapons like the S-300 and S-400 ?”
Ok, same questions as with Ukraine. You guys, you have to understand one thing. Russia looks, to you right now as a big powerful state. To the extent that this impression is correct and I think it is kind of correct, its very recent. I would say that Putin got pretty much his free rein to rule as he sees fit, only with this latest election. Before that, that Atlantic Sovereignists Medvedev and all the rest of them, held him in check. So you don’t, you wouldn’t ask the question of why doesn’t somebody lift a heavy weight, if he has one of his hands tied behind his back. And yes, this is what is taking place. So understand, please understand that this is an important part of the equation. Russia is not a free actor. Or to the degree that she has recovered her sovereignty, she has done so recently. Ok, glass of water. I’ll be right back.
Ok, next question is from natoistan. “Lets imagine Putin dies tomorrow (unfortunately of course), who are the most likely to follow him as president ? In constitutional terms do they need to be elected asap with Medvedev being the interim one ? Sorry but I don’t know the political system of the RF very well, I guess I’m not the only one.”
Correct, you’re not. I think, I think, ok I think there could have been a vice president but that position is empty, so therefore I think Medvedev with ‘achieved garment’ of Prime Minister would be taking over next. But in reality this is Russia. Ok democracy in Russia, not pluralism by the way, but democracy is kind of like in Japan, its a bit showy. The reality of power is very different from the theory of power. My guess is that the closest people around Putin would secure, if something happened to him I think they would secure the center of power and take immediate action to obtain the support of their constituencies. In practical terms I would imagine that Shoigu would try to get the support of the military, Fedkov would get the one of the foreign intelligence service, you know and further and further and further, the minister of foreign affairs [would get the] foreign ministry and I suspect that the sort of ‘actual’ would be taken behind the scenes. But it would be basically a power struggle, make no mistake about that. My hope and belief is that the people that are backing Putin today would prevail. So.
“Do you think the US would use some kind of influence, for example by lifting sanctions on some people as a signal for them, as incentive to the Atlanticists in some way ?”
No. Nah nah nah no. The US has really very little influence inside the Kremlin really, at least right now. It used to have a big one and I think, my guess is, no. The US would try of course. They try to oppose Putin’s ammunition. They would try, they definitely would. There would be telephone calls and ‘consultations’, but I don’t think, when you’re struggling inside the Kremlin, the threat for you is inside the Kremlin, not across, you know, overseas. And if the threat inside the Kremlin is taken care of, you’re fine with overseas.
Ok. Thaxter is asking me basically “Is there an indissoluble rift between Orthodox and Catholics ?” Do I believe that ? Well, yeah I do. And I said that, many many times. I wrote that, at least many times on the blog and I encourage you to go over it. I think I mentioned it in podcasts too. Yeah I do, I really do. That there is. I think what you call Roman Catholics or Catholics, to me right there that is a misnomer, I mentioned that on the blog once I guess. You know there is a very heated discussion of what the proper name should be. The one I use, for lack of a better one is Papan Christians. I think Papist makes sense because they follow the Pope. But since it was considered an insult by, hurled by Protestants at Catholics I was told I shouldn’t do that, so I won’t use that. Basically I agree, I think we are different. Living in two different worlds. You have to understand that there is a direct link between the hostility – that eternal Russophobia, phobia in terms of hate and fear towards Russia, of the West – and well, for this purpose right now, I’ll say the word Roman Catholics.
We have different roots first of all. The West used to be Orthodox until roughly the 10th century, then it started going further and further away from Orthodoxy for the next 10 centuries. I think earlier on we had much more in common. I think we could have, ’til the 14th, 15th century maybe (should-a, would-a could-a) maybe we could have mended [and] you know re-written history, but I can’t prove it. And I’m not really sure that I’m right. I would say that by the time we had the ‘Union of Florence ‘… you can look it up, and St. Mark the Confessor’ it was over.
The root of Orthodoxy is Byzantium and in ancient Rome the root of Latin Christianity, Protestantism and particularly Roman Catholicism is the Frankish invaders who took over Rome when Western Rome fell. Its a long topic, I recommend you read the articles of a priest called “Romanides”. I think his website, or the website that has his articles called “Romanity.org. If you enter Romanity and Romanides, you will find his articles, just look at the articles about medieval Europe, Franks, Rome, Orthodoxy etc, and it really says it all there. And then there’s a very very good cycle of, I think, 4 you-tube shows on the same topic. Its some kind of Greek hieromonk [?] priest-monk who speaks with, if I remember well, two laymen on that topic and discusses also Romanides’ theories and their accuracy. And I think if you listen to that it will become clear to you why there is no, there is really nothing in common between the two faiths. No possibility of any kind of theological dialogue. Does it mean we have to hate each other and be hostile ? No, absolutely not, and we can be great friends and we can be good neighbors and I would hope to one day, with the Papacy, have the same kind of relationship that Russian Orthodox has with Islam, which you know is maybe a difficult history but a good neighborly relationship. And now actually, a unification around the principle of a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural and multi-religious Russia. Unfortunately I don’t think the desire for a good relationship is there on the Roman side. Roman Catholics go into two categories. Those who you know, they want to convert Russians. And those who are not aware of it. (laugh). But they all want to convert us to the Pope, to the Papacy and its just not going to happen. So.
Ok, next question. Lumi, “What do you think about the ‘Kursk Catastrophe’ ? Accident ? Enemy action ?”
I personally think it was a collision with a US sub. I can’t prove it, but I think that was what happened. And I think they hushed it up on both sides to prevent a scandal. But there’s a lot of information about that on the Internet. By the way, I believe, and its specifically a belief, its not really a conclusion, I don’t have enough facts, but my guess, my hunch is, it was an accident with an American Taxaworms [?], who just had to fire first. And then they hit each other. The American fired because they felt threatened. I believe that the Russian [sub] had an explosion in the forward compartment where the torpedoes were held. But you know, i can’t prove it and I don’t have any particular expertise. I know basic stuff about submarine warfare, but I’m not an expert. We’ll leave it at that.
There is PandaBear 1001, who’s asking me, “I want you to comment on Russian Liberals’ reactions on the China /Russian rapprochement and cooperation.”
Oh they hate it. They hate it but they can’t really say because, you know its not good to be anti-something. But they really really don’t like it because of course one of the favorite theories of all the Russian Liberals has always been that Russia is weak, everything in Russia is bad. You can recognize them. They are the ones that describe Russia in the worst terms. That is, a western propagandist. If you hear a Russian, you know straight out of Moscow, he goes, “Everything is horrible, corrupt, dangerous, filthy”, I mean you know for a fact he’s a Liberal. (laughing) no problem there. And of course it makes them sick because its a huge success for Russia and secondly it shows what kind of countries Russia WANTS to work with. And it ain’t the West. So I think its a fantastic success for Putin and Xi Jing personally. These guys deserve a 100 storey-high skyscraper size, monumental gratitude in my opinion (laughing) for making it happen. I think its a huge thing, I don’t think it will depend on the future leaders, its a done deal. The two countries have accepted to be mutually interdependent. I mean, its fantastic. They’re symbions now. And I think what we see now between the two is just a tiny glimpse of what the future has to offer. I’m extremely positive. So the Russian Liberals they go “Oh but those Chinese they will come and strangle us.” They try and scare Russians by how the evil Chinese hordes will, you know, run over Siberia, and then they’ll buy off everybody in Moscow and basically the Chinese, they’re using this cunning trick to get Russian guns before they slit our throats. Absolute nonsense. So don’t worry about that. Anybody who knows the reality, first of all, the Chinese were way too smart to do that. Why would they do something dumb when they can do something smart, which is to cooperate ? Secondly, the Chinese are acutely aware of the military reality and there’s no way they can do something like that.
And I just noticed that PandaBear 100l also asks me “I would like to know their reaction”, Russian Liberals I suppose, “to the Chinese political economic model since we Chinese didn’t follow the West’s intuitions like Russia, in the 1990’s.”
Well, the Liberals will credit Chinese, the typical Liberal will say, “the Chinese did really well”. Nobody in Russia denies that the Chinese did well. They did well. So there is a consensus on that. So the Liberals will say, “Well its because China really is a capitalist country. There’s a thin veneer of communism, but the truth is, its a completely you know, massive totally capitalist, liberal economy kind of country.” Whereas the more left leaning ones would say, “See how good communism can be when its well managed.” So there is a disagreement on that inside Russia. But basically both sides want to claim credit and say “Well if we had done it right”, so the Liberals will say, “Yeltsin didn’t do it right, but the Chinese did.” And the conservatives will say “No no no the Chinese did it right because they didn’t do it like Yeltsin.” And Putin, I would say, to my immense regret, is far more pro-market and capitalism and big money than I wish he was. I mean my personal politics are much harder to the left. I am all for private enterprise and markets mechanism on an individual level, on a small company level, but I really do believe in State control of all the strategic industries and banking by the way. That’s another thing I completely disagree with the market economists. I think that banking should be in the hands of the State. So I guess my politics and my economics are much closer to what communism recommends than what you would hear from the Chicago School of Eonomics. And unfortunately I think that Putin is stuck, either really does believe himself in that kind of market solutions, or he’s surrounded by people who do. Its hard to say which it is but the point is that Xi Jing certainly has more freedom of action in that.
Ok, lets go to the next. Next question from Senendree. He’s asking “Russia is so vast, spiritually and materially and many feel trapped in the prevailing madness, how can one go about emigrating to Russia, to help build or participate in a new and better world ? Real emigration, but also cultural, spiritual, business tours, pilgrimages, immersion etc.”
Ok, actually I get that question very very often, I’m stunned by how many people tell me they want to emigrate to Russia. And I understand their feeling. If I hadn’t personal family circumstances tying me up to the US I would too, by the way. But, but but but but but, and there’s an important thing, first of all, anybody who has never really re-located to another country for at least several years, should give up on that notion. When you live in a different country, you will have to go through a pretty rough adaptation time. Some people do it easily, for others its much more painful. So you kind of want to ask yourself the question, “Am I a re-locater ?” If your idea of relocation is going from New Jersey to New York, I would probably recommend you stay in the US. If your idea of relocation is going from New York to London, I think you can consider moving, but its not good enough. No. If you relocated to a much more different, a much different country, if you left, you know your home in Boston and lived in, I don’t know, Sao Paulo for four years, eih..nah, or Athens, or Calcutta, then you’ve done it already once, so you might do it again.
Secondly, Russia is a country which is not easy. I will tell you that frankly. I mean alot of ex-vets do great there. But if you look a little closer you’ll see they have very strong ties to the west, salaries, or they live in Moscow, which is kind of a planet on its own. Moscow’s Moscow, the rest Russia is the rest of Russia. So you have to ask all these questions for yourself, and then remember, you need to make your money somehow. So you have to find employment. What are you going to be doing ? If you don’t speak Russian, you really want to stick to Moscow. Its possible to live in Russia and not speak Russian, but its easier if you do speak Russian. So I can’t give any practical advice because its infinitely complex, like you [people] speak of enrolling into universities, making friends. It hugely depends on [this and that] and the list of the on’s it depends on is too long to cover. I would say, if you already once moved to another country that is really different from the past then give it try. You know, think about it at least. Give it a try in terms of exploring that option. If you haven’t, give it up.
There is something that during the Soviet years was called ‘inner exile’. And its the exile you have inside yourself spiritually where YOU can become your country. And the people you love, the people that you are in contact with, those become … there’s the door, here, one second, ouch, my son came back … so you go into internal exile. You keep contact with the right people. And you know its not always a geographical solution. Sometimes its a different one. You can [actually] have all of Russian culture and Orthodox spirituality by living smack in the middle of Los Angeles if you want. I mean its possible. You have to build it inside yourself. An inner freedom is much more important than external freedom. And ask yourself, “Is it that bad where you are now ?” Because very often its not much better elsewhere. Every country has its own problems. Every city has its own problems. You know, you get a plus and you get a minus. I love Florida. But I’ll tell you I hate the bugs and I miss the mountains. So you know I don’t get everything I want, but I like it. (laugh) I wish Florida was right next to Moscow. That would make me very happy and that [the two places] would go together. Moscow, Florida and Crimea all mixed would be perfect for me. But I’m not going to get that. Plus I couldn’t take all my friends from all three locations to that abstract place. So you know look inside yourself and see if you can build your own inner world that doesn’t require visas and immigration.
Anonymous is asking me “Can I [Saker] comment on the transcendental dynamics of US / Latin relations, post Chavez ?” And he refers to a post of Moon of Alabama, about the US declaring its in danger of being invaded by Venezuela.
I saw that. I would recommend you actually look at the Latin American Saker blog if you can read Spanish, because they cover that alot. You know originally this blog used to be centered mostly on the Middle East and to a certain degree on the Empire, but ever since the Ukrainian thing started, I don’t literally have enough time to do THAT, never mind keeping an eye on Venezuela. I have some friends there. Some of our members of Latin American Saker blog are inside of Venezuela. So I have good contact with them, I wish I could speak to them more often than I do. I don’t. And if you guys [in Venezuela] are listening, my apologies to all the Saker team leaders. Guys I love you all, you’re fantastic. I’m just too busy to call you, sorry. So no, unfortunately I don’t think I have the expertise and the clarity of fresh information to comment much, other than I have this generic hope: I believe in Latin America, I love it dearly, particularly Argentina which is my second, how do you call it, my second homeland or whatever. I love Latin America, particularly Brazil and Argentina and I believe in them, and I think they will, they’re shaking off the Imperial yoke and I think they’ll succeed at it too. Its going to be hard. That’s all I can say. Just those naive wishes.
Zuzim is asking me “If a nuclear war broke out between Russia and the US, what would happen ? If the US attacked Russia in this way, would Russia respond, seeing as it does not have any bases near US territory. Would nukes be fired from the ground, from planes, from ships or in some other way ? How difficult is it to intercept an incoming nuclear weapon ? How potent are today’s nuclear weapons ? Many thanks.”
Ok I’ll go one by one. If a nuclear war broke out between the US and Russia what would happen ? Both countries have the means to obliterate the other one. Completely. I mean they couldn’t render, they wouldn’t kill 100 percent of the population, they would kill tens of millions and it would make society inoperable. Next question, “….if the US attacked Russia in this way, could Russia respond, seeing as it does not have any bases near US territory ?” Oh absolutely. Russia does not need to have bases near a US military. Russian long range intercontinental ballistic missiles, sea-based submarine intercontinental ballistic missiles can reach the United States. And the Russian air-force doesn’t even have to penetrate the United States air-space, they can use cruise missiles. And so can actually, subs could also use cruise missiles. All of which is true the other way around, by the way. The United States does not need to get close to the Russian border to strike a nuclear weapon at any city in Russia. Both countries can hit each other anywhere. So “…would nukes be fired from the ground, from ships and so forth ?” All of the above can be used. “How difficult would it be to intercept an incoming nuclear weapon ?” Depends on the carrier. A cruise missile – your chances are very good if you’re Russian, but neh, not very good if you’re American. “Intercepting [from] space ?” Right now nobody can do it. The US and Russia are both getting pretty close to that ability, but I don’t think anybody in his right mind, in either country would actually chance it because even if you intercept some, its a number game. You know a risk is the product of multiplying consequences with probability. If I told you you have a ten percent chance [only] that New York will be nuked, would you go for it ? Ninety percent chance it won’t be, [but] yeah, if it happens, the one percent, That’s exactly how it is for them.
The key thing is what’s called ‘First Strike Ability’, which means neither side can disarm the other in a preemptive attack. That is the key thing you have to remember. The rest is, forget about it. If one side could hit the other and disarm it, then it would be a rational calculation that you could make. But we’re no-where near that. So I would argue that one single submarine, like the Ohio in the United States, the Ohio-Class.,or a single Sebesluekzk [?] or a Coola SSBN and the ones that are called Typhoon in the West, or even a Delta are plenty enough to inflict such damage on the United States or on Russia that I don’t think its a calculation that anybody sane is going to do on either side.
Ok next question. Here’s a question from Rootman, interesting. “In one of your posts in January you briefly voiced your opinion that Yats and some other Junta or neo-con figures were not just plain evil but probably possessed. I think you did not just use a figure of speech.” (laugh). Yeah, you’re right actually, you score 1, here. “If you feel like it and you think its relevant, perhaps you could elaborate a little from your Orthodox background.”
Well, ok, you called me out on it and you caught me, so I will have to comply. I don’t like discussing that, I try not to discuss that because I know that most people are not religious for one thing and secondly those who are surely don’t believe in demons. And its going to make me look like a kook, but that’s fine, its not the first time. Yeah, I actually do believe that Satan exists and I believe demons exist, I believe they fight against us and I do believe that you can actually become possessed. Not so much in terms of the kind of rage, impudent rage and falling on the ground and shaking and foaming at your mouth, that you see in movies like ‘The Exorcist’, or actually in the New Testament. That exists by the way, I’m not disputing that it doesn’t, I’m not. I’m saying there’s another thing, is that the higher you go up in the structure of evil, the more you come to serving evil directly. Satanism has two, what shall I say, images. One is, you know the goats, the blood, what you would think of a Satanist cult. But there’s actually a second manifestation which is, Satan encourages you to, if you don’t want to worship him, you can worship yourself. That is just as good from this point of view. Self-worship is what constitutes what forms the basis of all forms of racism, nationalism, of consumerism by the way. Of materialism. All of these really, if you look at it deep, are a form of self-worship. Its the theology of ‘me, myself, and I’ if you want. Its basically, you start by becoming a little tool into the mind state and the higher you go up the more you’re asked to compromise, the closer you’re getting to structures which do not limit themselves to only consumerism sex money power and violence, but also [now you] discuss the structure of power itself. They find a rationalization for themselves. Then eventually, and at a certain level of power you bump into philosophy. People who start finding philosophical justification, philosophical justification for being the one percent. And all philosophy always bumps into the wall of theology eventually. So it is my belief that the very top of the Empire, these people are Satan worshipers, whether they are aware of it, whether they have inverted candles in their room and they have you know blood sacrifices, doesn’t matter. Anybody think that Bohemian Grove is a big joke and a fun party or some kind of religious ritual?! Again it doesn’t matter, and I would argue that it probably depends on who you ask in that group. Same thing for Masonic organizations. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Freemasonry is Satanic. That is not the people inside it again. The first 33 degrees just mean nothing and if you separate the old Masonry of history to the modern today, which has sort of been diluted amongst other instruments of para-Masonic organizations, its very complex stuff, but what I want to say is that their commander in chief is the devil. Yeah I believe that. Absolutely. Just like I would argue that the commander in chief of all goodness is God. So we have the same old battle between good and evil that we had two thousand years ago, the same people doing the same stuff, nothing changed. So yeah I think there is actual not stupidity, not greed, not quest for power, [but] pure absolute hate filled evil on the top of the Empire. Yes absolutely. And that hatred comes from a very simple thing. The inability to win against God. If you can’t get the Creator, then you take out your hatred and frustration on the creature. If you can’t get the Creator you go for the creature. That’s what I think is happening. Ok, so now I can imagine the, all the comments I’ll get about me being full of ‘bleep’ for being so backward and bigoted and religious. But I plead guilty to all of these accusations. So don’t waste your breath. I am a religious bigot (whispering).
Ok, next. Wend says, “The whole thing started in Syria. Ukraine was an American revenge that was successful. But what will happen with Iran, can you predict ?”
No I can’t predict, I can make a guess. “Is the bully subdued for good ?” Oh no no no. That’s the question from the Wend, or the Vend, I’m not sure how you pronounce that. I don’t think the bully’s subdued at all. They did fail in Syria, correct. I don’t think they will do it any time soon with Iran, though its funny, you know, if you look at old archives of the blog, I have been warning about an attack on Iran for years. I’ve been saying “Its gonna happen”, and I was told “No no no its not going to happen”, and so far, I’ve been completely wrong. It hasn’t happened. To my immense surprise. At least on two occasions we were maybe 24 hours away from that actual attack, and it didn’t happen ! So what can I say now ? My predictions have a record of being very wrong on many occasions. So. I don’t think the bully is subdued. I don’t think the consequences of a failure in the Ukraine are coming home at all to the US Deep State. I think the Deep State is actually very comfortable with what’s going on in the Ukraine right now. So, lets go to the next question. Let me check the batteries, one sec. Ok, well batteries are getting old so I’ll have to go a little faster.
“What do you think of the recent string of suicides of politicians from the previous Ukraine government ?” I think they were suicide-d.
“How long do you think [it will be before] the truth of anti-Russian propaganda has become obvious to the people of the West ?” I don’t think it has, and I don’t think it will because I think unfortunately most people in the West have a sense of alienation from Russians, based on historical, religious, and even racist categories. I don’t think most people, I’m not saying all, I’m saying most people in the West will ever see that Russia’s right or stands for the truth. And they’re wrong.
Ok, interesting and long question. Burt Pirson is asking me, basically he says that he senses in me a Soviet-phobe attitude. I won’t read you the question, its long, its a full page long. Please go and read it for yourself under the ‘announcement’ on March 14th at 2:36 pm. He posted it on the blog which says, “…all the good stuff about the Soviet Union…” and tells [asks] me why am I so anti-Soviet, he senses an anti-Soviet presence inside me, and he wants to know if that is the case and what I have to reply to him.
Well, ok, I will try to make again a convoluted story short. First, where I come from. I was raised in a Russian emigre family of what’s called ‘White Russians”, all monarchists and I would qualify them as deeply reactionary, which not all monarchists are by the way. But they were of the reactionary branch of monarchism. And certainly we hated everything that’s communist’. In 1968, my parents used to, before they actually got crazy, but they used to, one of them, my mother used to disguise herself in 1968 as a … and before, I was born in 1963 so I was a small child … as a Santa Claus and come to deliver presents. And in ’68 my father abandoned us, so she was very distressed and we were living in crass poverty and it wasn’t easy. So she couldn’t do it, she couldn’t render the costs ‘human’, so she had to explain to me [the] one reason why she couldn’t do it … and it was 1968. And guess what she told me ? (whispering) “You probably heard there was some problems between Russia, because of course being Russian our Santa Claus came from Russia not from the North Pole, and she told me that [whispering again] there was this thing in Czechoslovakia, there was this really bad thing, and the Communists did this really bad thing in Czechoslovakia in ’68 and that’s why Santa Claus couldn’t come this year. And that was it. THOSE BASTARD COMMIES !! That was the first time (laughing) at age five that I went like “They took away my Santa Claus, I’ll kill a Commie for my Mommie! I hate them Commies.” So that’s where it started. And it took me a long time to get a little more sophisticated about that.
I think in ’91 for the first time in my life I had been inside the Soviet Union and I realized that everything I thought I knew wasn’t true. That the things are much more complicated than that, and I had to realize alot of my naive ideas. And then finally also, pretty much, lets see, within the next decade, during the ’90’s particularly the war in Bosnia also opened my eyes to the reality of the Western Empire, at which point I was ripe to re-consider it all. But had you met me at age 16 you would have met an extreme, right, ultra-conservative member of any thinkable and unthinkable anti-communist organization. And just basically I was a COMMIE BASHER. So you will have to excuse me if I still have left-overs from anti-Soviet feelings. Now some of them are actually very justified. I mean I wouldn’t want to reduce them all to Santa Claus.
I think what happened to Russia with the Soviet Revolution was terrible. I am deeply convinced and I know some people are going to be unhappy with what I’m going to say right now, is that the first generation of revolutionaries were virulently Russophobic. Hated Russia. And that’s not only Trotsky and his Jews, it also includes Lenin and alot of people who were non-Jews, who were part of that, although most of them were Jews, that’s true too. Not only were they anti-Russian, they were anti-Orthodox, and they killed millions of people for their ethnicity and religion. Not only in the Ukraine with the Galtamora [?] but also in mainland Russia and also in the southern republics. They subjugated southern parts of what later became the Soviet Union, by violence, I mean I think that the Soviet regime has alot of blood on its hands. Alot. I also think, you know, I participated in alot of anti-Soviet activities and I used to be what they used to call ZoyosnischachayH [?] which can be translated as ‘An Unrepentful Soviet Activist’, and I was. So I fought the KGB for many years. I sent prohibited books into Russia and aid etc, and I know the ‘system’ on the receiving end. And I can tell you that people were humiliated, oppressed, prevented in their freedom from thinking, acting, reading what they wanted. This is all true. It gets forgotten now but people had a very hard life in the Soviet Union, and I’m kind of baffled by the nostalgia that I feel in some, today. Yeah sure there was good guiding [too] and WW2 was one, and many other achievements, but the human cost was terrible.
Also I think that Communism inhibited the natural abilities of the Russian people. It made the country way poorer than it should have been. I think it was a fantastically ineffective system. So the one question that I have, is the size of that philosophy. Nickoli Starikov, the Stalinist, came up, he says that according to internal Soviet documents, at the time of Khrushchev, I don’t remember the exact figure but something in the range of 600,000 people were executed. Totally, according to him. And that that covers, I’m not sure exactly what time period but I think it covers most of Stalin’s years of rule. And he makes a good case of “this is not that much”. Its alot, but its not that much considering. And he makes one argument which I think is extremely effective and I would submit to those who are Communist and anti-Stalinist, just for consideration. The worst of Stalin’s repressions was during Ejorev’s [?] time. And Stalin ended up shooting him when he [Stalin] purged the party. First, there’s two things. When Stalin purged the party, the people who were purged are the very same people who organized the blood bath when they came to power. And that’s particularly true for the Secret Police. So when you hear all that whining about the Stalinst purges this, the Stalinist purges that, and accusations against him that he was paranoid, first of all, the Party was full of enemies for him. Against him. And alot of people that he did shoot, not all of them, but alot did actually get shot for atrocities. Overstepping their powers, [like] illegal executions etc. I mean, nobody whines over how the SS, I don’t think anybody inquires as to how the Gestapo collaborators did after WW2. Why does everybody have those stupid, (whining noises) ‘poor people that Stalin killed’. A lot of people that Stalin killed were poor innocent people, I’m not disputing that, but alot were not. How, and this is the study of argument, how do you end up putting those together in the same statistic ? How do you put in the same statistic innocent people who died because of class warfare and communist dictatorship kind of ideologies, with those who actually massacred them ? And all of them are attributed to Stalin.
I’m not defending Stalin, all I’m saying is I think things are very complicated. And I think we need to look, take a long hard look at our history again. I am a big proponent of historical revisionism in any way, shape or form and very much including what applies to Russia. Its unclear to me what, I was raised with the ’66 million’ of Solzhenitsyn. Starikov claims there were 600,000. I don’t know what the truth is, Solzhenitsyn actually includes pre-Stalin and post-Stalin figures. But what I am sure of because I knew people, I have relatives who were friends of, and I have a relative from St. Petersburg who spent thirty years in the Kulama [?] for the murder of Kieff [?] for which he had nothing, he was just taken because he was nobility. So people were massacred and entire nations were deported, its a fact. People were mass executed not only by pro-active execution but just being dumped into the permafrost of Siberia and left to die in the cold. I think the reason for my Soviet-o-phobia today is the huge and absolutely unacceptable human costs. That I reject categorically.
But I’m not denying that some things were done right and I’m not sure if some of the leaders were quite as uniquely horrible as I thought they were. I don’t know if that’s a good answer to your question, I’m willing to come back to that and have a discussion with all of you, those who come from one end of the Solzhenitsyn’s 66 million and those who think more of Starikov. I think its an important debate to have. I don’t have final conclusions. I will just say that I think, and I cannot conceive the mantra that Solzhenitsyn did not have any base in reality. I don’t think that the Soviet was a paradise or even a half way decent society. I think it was terrible. I think the Russians today live way better than they did under Communist rule and look at the way the system rotted. Look at the kind of leaders they had. You look at Khrushchev and Chebniangka [?]. You look at these guys, Gorbachev, come on, this is some pretty indecent people. How good was that system ? – No. So yeah, I plead guilty to virulent anti-Sovietism. I toned down some of my anti-Communism because I realize its somewhat more complicated by Maoist Soviet-ism. I’m sorry, it [the negative feeling] is still there. I hope I haven’t disappointed you with that beginning of an answer, I know its not a comprehensive answer and if you want to come back to it please challenge me and I’ll do it on the next podcast.
Ok, “Imagine the worst. Minsk 2…” that is Red Ryder, “Minsk 2 completely breaks down, Merkel can’t save it, Ukraine goes all out. With secret help in large numbers from NATO countries, breaks through into Donetsk City. Militias are taking a great loss and are in full retreat and maybe in a cauldron themselves, as Ukies have blocked them from getting to the Russian border. It is day 2 and things look very bad, what does Putin do ?”
Putin sends in the Russian military which retakes control of the situation within 48 hours max. The reaction of the West is total hysteria, the reaction of Kiev, total hysteria, full mobilization, Kiev declares war on Russia, Shooting starts across pretty much a large line of contact between Russia and the Ukraine. Pretty much the shooting stops because the Russians destroy most of Ukraine assets, at which point NATO and the US go into full scale war preparation. Hysteria grows. Remember 9/11 ? Three times that level. And the final cog in the situation is that Europe becomes completely subjugated to American rule because of the terror that ‘The Russians Are Coming”. Because obviously if that happens you’ll hear the Poles and the Lithuanians say “We are next and we have to defend Poland to the last drop of blood”. Even if Russia has no intention of doing that. So this is why I think, this is the scenario that Putin has been desperately trying to avoid. But if there’s a war between Russia and the Ukraine ? Russia won, make no mistake. Pretty fast. Ok, but yeah, “…will Putin introduce troops inside the Donbass to protect the population ?” Yes, he will. If that’s the last and only resort, he will.
“What is it about Russian language or syntax that seems so difficult to translate on the fly ?” Well, I did it for many years, so its not that difficult, you just need to be familiar with both languages. “When I listen to someone translating from Russian to English its very difficult to follow, it seems very hard as if the translator is trying to catch up.” Well that is for two reasons. Russians usually have longer sentences and the grammatical structure is different. Russians are typically pretty fast speakers. And we are fast paced in the way we speak. A little bit like the Mediterranean people are. So that might explain it. And frankly not all translators are all that good, alot of them are not. So that explains it I hope.
“Can you speculate as to whether Mr. Putin is aware that of the 80% of the people who support him, there are many Americans who loathe the predation of the American government around the world and who respect Putin as a statesman and wish him to prevail.”
Absolutely yes. Unequivocally, totally yes. Everybody in Russia knows that. Look guys, Russia does not believe the West is a democracy. Russia considers, most Russians will say Europe is an American colony and that America is run by the 1% Elite, who does whatever the hell they want. And Russia, most Russians remember living in the Soviet regime where they had no input into what their, if you think that most Russians supported the invasion of Afghanistan you’re wrong because they didn’t even know about it, it wasn’t even declared to them. Ok ? They were not informed and nobody voted on it in any way shape or form. Well they bureau-ed it at the Kremlin. So Russians understand that very well. The West is right now, literally a dictatorship of a plutocracy of Anglo-Zionists 1%’ers. Nobody’s going to blame the people for it. So don’t worry about that, yeah Putin knows it and so do most Russians.
Polar Bear is asking, “When discussing the Ukraine issue with the mainstream people in western Europe they often think that there are two clusters of arguments. That when Russia took Crimea it was a gross violation of international law and that THAT crime overshadows everything else. And that Western European states are much more democratic and developed than Russia. Swedish foreign minister described Russia as a ‘horror regime’.”
Ok, well the first one is really simple. The constitution of the Ukraine was completely violated and a coup was taking over. All this was happening when Russia intervened in Crimea. Secondly Russia re-took Crimea at the request of the locally elected people who were, by the way cleared and endorsed by the legal president of Ukraine which is the corrupt Yanucovich. Corrupt as he was, he was still legal. Obama is corrupt but he is still is legal isn’t he ? So you know Nixon was corrupt and he was legal and so was Yeltsin. So you can have a totally corrupt cowardly president who is the legal president. So now in terms of international law, then there’s the ‘prime principle’ of Soviet-um Initiative which actually trumps national sovereignty and integrity of borders. So those people who made that argument just don’t know the law, don’t know international law and they are just being prejudiced. They’re reading half of the law and whining [about] the second half.
As for Russia being democratic or not, I would say its far more democratic than any western European country I can think of. First of all, for one thing, there is a real plurality of opinions. Its not democracy in the sense really, as its ruled by special power groups, but neither is any western country. I mean if anybody seriously thinks that western democracies are ruled by votes, that’s naive. No. Democracies exist on a very small scale, Vickenstein [?] and Switzerland, and even Switzerland now is being de-democratized or in twenty years will be at least. But you know, yeah, Switzerland in the 1970’s was more or less democratic. Still had secret stuff going on by the way, but, I would say the same about Vickenstein,[?] and about Luxembourg and you know all these small countries even. So it is, Russia is, if you judge democracy by the Press then first of all Russia’s far more democratic than anything in the west, point 1. Point 2, if you look at the Rights of Assembly, of free speech, in Russia they’re completely, nobody gets you know, people say all sorts of nasty things about Putin, nobody goes to jail for it. So that’s another sign. I know of no political prisoners in Russia and the few that there are, are actually very hard right nationalists or Jew haters. There are actually a couple of political prisoners, nobody knows about them, nobody cares about them but they exist. But they are actually from the, close to the neo-nazi kind of tendency. So I don’t think anybody in the West would whine about that. So, no I think its a joke. You can only, that argument stands only if you’re ignorant to Russia. If you know the reality of what’s going on there, particularly [compared to] the reality in the west ? No contest.
Andrew’s asking “I get the feeling…”, sorry I’m trying to go fast, “…the West thinks that the Russian military is old and weak and hasn’t been changed much since the collapse of the USSR. Can you elaborate on what changes have been made since.”
Oh they’re huge. I think Russian military right now is, you know, man per man, company for company much more powerful than any other military I can think of, including the American one. By a comfortable margin. It has some weaker spots, some stronger spots, I mean, … let me check the batteries, if we have enough time to go into a bit of detail, hold on …. Yes I do. Ok, so certain critical systems in Russia are weak ; not enough drones, communications satellites, some avionics, encryption production of specific types, ammunitions are suffering as import substitution has been done [only] partially. The Russian military was not recognized, little or not at all during the 1980’s and almost nothing in the 1990’s. So where’s the US ? Threw millions and millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars, trillions of dollars in its military. But in terms of capabilities of infantry men, in terms of basic gear, in terms of armor I would say Russia’s doing very well. I think Russian air forces are generally, again it depends on the scenario where, depends where, it all depends where, really where the conflict could happen. But I would say Russian air force are on par with the US. It certainly has better aircraft, that’s for sure in my book. Navy is much smaller, its more green- water navy so not a global-reach navy. Its a coastal navy with power projection elements in it.
But then again, remember the United States needs a military that controls the entire planet. The Russian navy has no intention of doing so, so its a lop-sided comparison. When you compare militaries you have to look at ‘what is the purpose ?’ The purpose of the Russian military is to secure the borders and protect the Russian population in neighboring states and prevent a NATO attack. For that task I think the Russian military is more than adequate and certainly on average, but that means nothing, I would say its infinitely superior to anything NATO has. And mostly better than the US armed forces. I’m not very impressed with the US. Remember its a, the last real serious war that the US won ? When was it ? They got a draw in Korea and after that it was all downhill. And I’m not very impressed by the ‘Unanimous Agreement’ in Afghanistan. The Soviets were much more formidable enemies than the US international coalition forces in Afghanistan. I would say that an army of conscripts which was under-equipped, under trained, medically unsupported, logistically under supported and did not have the backing of the people, and yet their performance, if you look at the way the Soviets did it in Afghanistan and you look at the US, the contrast is mind boggling. The Soviets first of all controlled every single city. They did not control the main roads access of communications at night, but they did go and use them during the day, which is really better than the US, right there. Because the US does not control every single city.
Secondly they actually made themselves useful by building roads, by building hospitals, by building electrical dams, power plants, hospitals, they actually did something useful and alot of that stuff that the Soviets built is still used today by guess what ? The US. You name me one useful thing that Uncle Sam has done in Afghanistan for all these decades. Nothing. And I think the real reason is the, I know, I already see the tomatoes flying in my direction, (virtually that is), but I truly believe that Russian infantry men are the best on the planet. I don’t mean to sound like the narc [?] and say ‘the best on the planet’ for everything, but THAT I actually say as military specialist. I don’t know of what national infantry, has that kind of infantry men as the basic Russian Grunt. He’s extraordinarily tough and who can put up with hardships that the others will run away from. I think THAT is the key difference. When the Russians fought, they fought, they didn’t pretend to fight, they didn’t expect it to be a Nuetendo game or that they would come with high tech fancy gear and you know ‘shoot all these gooks and niggers and sun-niggers and whatever the epithets are hurled at, pajama-wearing gooks, I think it was in Vietnam etc. No. They mean exactly that, its going to be a tough fight and they had a very tough fight and they fought.
I think that if the US and Russian military once, let me make a digression: I once worked with a deputy commander of the Delta force, I won’t say which one because that would be bad if I identify too closely, but he was, I would say an early-on deputy commander of Delta. And he told me one day, “You know my biggest regret, we never drove all the way to Moscow.” He was sad that they didn’t have WW3, because he really wanted to show them. And I always thought, “My God they have no idea what they’re dealing with.” I mean, Americans fought every single victory, quote unquote ‘victory’ that they had, by heavily relying on locals and on allies and other people. Even in Korea, look, they weren’t alone. They always expect to use somebody against somebody else. But to me, the notion personally of you know a US armored battalion or an infantry company ? I see an ’empty field’ taking on a Russian infantry battalion or an armored battalion or an infantry company. I’d love to see it, just to see the faces of the poor shocked Americans when they would get into this one. I mean Russians are nasty at war. Very nasty. Its brutal and its determined. Its a completely different culture. A war has been part of the national psyche of Russians ever since the creation of Russia and they fought every single Empire out there. And that is still very much here. I think that is the huge mistake that people make, over and over again. They always explain, you know that Russian military victories [were won] by General Winter or by some other kind of external factor. They never accept that you know, its the Grunt. Their [Russian] Grunt is better than the US Grunt. And will take much more, will fight tougher. So no, I think its a huge mistake and if NATO comes waltzing down the plains of the Ukraine, well, God have mercy on them, because they’re in for a nasty surprise. As were the Georgians in 2008. They thought they would just you know, they were all equipped with fancy shining little gear and they had those American visors and this stuff. It didn’t do any good. The Russians were under equipped and they were, it took them a while to even get ready but they still beat them up. Chechens had a much better chance at beating up Russians than western Europeans do. Western Europeans are not that good at warfare, when they meet somebody who can match them in terms of technology and development. I mean no offense to anybody but the stark record kind of shows that.
Ok, Gabriel, simple question, “Will the war start again ?” Simple answer, I don’t know. Hope not.
Last question, Hugo, “Hello Saker, in case Putin did not appear in public at the moment of the recording of the podcast, what is your take on him not being seen and not being heard during ten full days ?”
Well he has been seen, so you know that. But I’ll comment on the absence. Well Kiev is right now coming out, Kiev has decided not to implement, obviously the Minsk 2 agreement. There is a huge struggle taking place in among the Western elite. I think that its not only Euro versus the US, its inside the US actually. And inside Europe. I don’t think its geography-based, I think its interest-based. And I think it takes all the time of Putin and the Kremlin to try to make sense, ‘what is going to happen next ?’ Because the risk is exactly as a previous commentator has said, that the war would start exactly according to that scenario. [?] You know, if Putin has been preparing to go to war and looking at scenarios with everybody else, that would involve a huge effort. It would be an effort not only involving the Ministry of Defense but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the other ministries, diplomats, there’s alot of preparation to do. And even if it doesn’t happen, he has to make a certain, to a certain degree at least minimal preparation. So for all these reasons I think a very likely explanation is that he was simply really busy with the crisis in the Ukraine.
Ok, explanation number two, which I kind of like and don’t know if its true or not, rumor has it that Putin has a mistress, a sweetheart, a paramour I think the official term is. I think, I don’t know who she is, some kind of sport person, sportswoman. And there was one source from Switzerland who said that she’s supposedly in Switzerland, about to deliver. So you know, if his beloved was delivering, maybe he was busy with family matters. I honestly don’t know. I don’t think he was very sick. Nothing serious, I think he would have been smart enough to actually say that he’s been sick and deal with it than try to hide it. I think this is Kremlin, Soviet Kremlin practice to try to hide the disease, I don’t think he would do it. So that’s it. I don’t think there was any chance of a coup, as I mentioned on the blog, I don’t think they can pull it off, and if you could, I don’t think you could stay in power. Because if somebody overthrew Putin you would have the vast majority of Russian population truly enraged. And it could explode into a civil war, not really a civil war but it would be an insurrection. I think it would be actually pretty fast. I don’t think anybody would try to stop that because they couldn’t. So I think you would have an insurrection. Whoever is responsible would be literally lynched to death on Red Square in front of the Kremlin. I don’t see that happening at all. I’ve been wrong, I have a record of being wrong, so don’t listen to me and if you know CNN says there was a coup … probably was. (laughs). Ok well, I’m finishing here, I’m sorry if I was rambling on, I’m sorry for the interruptions, what else can I say to apologize to, and plead for your mercy and understanding. I think that’s it.
It was fun, I enjoy doing them, though sometimes I don’t have the time to do these podcasts but I will try to do my best. And thank you for everything and you guys (music comes in and Saker can’t be heard anymore)
Saker, if music copyright is an obstacle to convenient storage and streaming – there are quite a few sources of royalty-free, original music. I’ve used free original music on my own original YouTube videos. It keeps the advertising away.
There are plenty of musicians who are happy to give away music for broader recognition. Sadly, I don’t have the links to hand that I used to have. Google search on “royalty free music” might be a place to start. Sorry I can’t point you closer to good sources – I used to have a couple, perhaps others can zero you in better.
Is it possible to an index of the topics that you are discussing?
I was also thinking about that and how to best do it.
First, I would need somebody to go through the transcripts already published
Then, I need a mechanism to do that for future broadcasts.
I will think about.
Please let me know if you have an ideas or suggestions!
My first thought is to keep it simple.
As you already sift through the questions to select the ones you will answer – why not make a simple list – one or two words to describe the topic. Also number each answer.
Some people may like the ‘surprise bag’ factor of listening to an hour podcast and not knowing what is coming up – but others who are time poor or download limited may prefer a list.
Also as you build the podcast library it will be easier to refer people to a particular podcast.
Devote each podcast to one topic or theme and make it shorter. Less but more often.
Cheers from down under.
Saker, you are incorrect about the Russian infantry being the best on the planet. Being tough is just one part of the life on an infantryman. I am a 15 year combat veteran of the Australian military and now live in Russia.
It is widely known that the Australian infantryman is among the best infantry, if not the best infantryman in the world. The Australian infantryman has his foundations of a bushman, living on the land and toughness is just one characteristic.
The Australian infantryman were first to employ “Fire and Movement” Infantry Minor Tactics during the battle of the Somme in WW1. Of all the conflicts Australia has fought the last and this century, their casualty figures are always lower than their enemy and their allies, due to superior personal soldiering skills. The Australian military which does not have the budget of large nations has always ensured that their infantry is cross trained and trained to the highest level.
The famous German General Rommel in his North African campaign could not dislodge the Australian units there during the Siege of Tobruk. Rommel was so impressed with the Australian infantry, he has commented on them on a number of occasions, these include
– The Australian is unquestionably superior to the German soldier
– He considered them an elite formation of the British Empire
– He was quoted saying to Hitler, ” “This isn’t a colonial division, it’s an Australian division. Give me two Australian divisions and I’ll conquer the world for you.”
– “If I had to take hell, I would use the Australians to take it and the New Zealanders to hold it.”
As much as I love Russia and wish for Russia to prevail in this conflict with the West, the Russian military is a powerful and formidable force. But I have also seen plenty of footage of the modern Russian infantryman and in my experience, “it takes one to know one,” the Russian infantryman needs work.
If your Aussie bushman infantry is soooo great, name me one Hollywood re-educational “feature film” movie made about them.
Quantity, my friend. Even, a very very very big assumption, if your Aussie are the best on planet Earth, their numbers are inconsequential.
Australia, like so many other countries, has participated in many wars and it is actually amazing that, even though it hasn’t done all that many war movies, has done some that are considered to be the best of their kind. I am talking about the three movies of the Australian New Wave, Gallipoli, Breaker Morant and The Lighthorsemen. They are very different but all three are outstanding.
Used mainly as fodder like their Canadian cousins.
I don’t think in the terms of Hollywood, I think in the real world. Who cares what Hollywood produces or not? My post was related to quality of an infantryman, personal soldiering skills such as field craft, patrolling and patrol discipline, effective application of a soldiers personal weapon, discipline on the battlefield, communication etc etc. Winning the firefight without the help of Close Air Support or an artillery mission to obliterate the enemy for you, but killing the enemy with your own personal weapons in conjunction with sound Infantry Minor Tactics.
Yes quantity is a factor, but I’m not talking about that. General Patton once said that major war is a numbers game. He who has more men, could or would eventually win. Look at the Soviets during the Great Patriotic War. They were victorious against the Germans who were a better trained and equipped soldier. The Soviets won for a variety of reasons but one significant factor is that they threw millions of men against the Germans and millions of Soviet soldiers were killed in action. Victory is one thing, but victory by suffering massive losses of men is another.
Thucydides once said, “We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.”
If you think in the real world, then quantity counts!
You just proved my point: “The Soviets won for a variety of reasons but one significant factor is that they threw millions of men against the Germans and millions of Soviet soldiers were killed in action.”
Anyways, the Aussies like the Canucks and Kiwis are basically Yankee Lapdogs, as they have proved over and over again.
And in the final analysis, WW3 is NOT fought by infantry, but by NUCLEAR Weapons! How many Nukes does Australia have???
Yeah, it always comes down to the old argument “mine is bigger than yours”.
You’re not paying attention. We are not talking about nuclear weapons, we are talking about the best (my opinion the highest quality of infantry.) The Saker in his podcast stated he believes the Russian Infantry is the best in the world, because one reason they are tough. I disagree with him. Being tough is not going to stop a 7.62 ripping through your head, it doesn’t make you bulletproof. What does make you bulletproof is killing your enemy on the battlefield before he kills you, thus no bullets coming your way. Someone with superior soldiering skills will achieve that over someone with a lesser capability.
Lets explore your theory of quantity, keeping in mind what makes the best infantry in the world. So by your theory, if you throw millions of men at a well trained and well equipped enemy, only to be cut down like dogs because they are shit fighters, that’s ok, because you’ve got millions more to follow and eventually you will win the battle/war. Only a non military person would think like that. Actually that’s the kind of shit theory, that dumb politicians subscribe to like the Ukrainian leadership. Keep fighting, no matter if our guys are not trained and poorly equipped, we will just mobilize another lot, only to be slaughtered like the last lot.
Before nukes start criss-crossing the globe, any war will be fought on the ground and it is the infantryman that will hold that ground, not an F-16, not a GRAD or other Arty piece. So its in an Army’s interest to lift their game if they are found to be inadequate. Why do you think the NAF are Kicking the Ukrainian military’s ass? Because they are better fighters on the ground. So to explore your theory again, the Ukrainian military has more manpower than the NAF, so the NAF will loose.
I agree with you that the Aussies are Yankee lapdogs, that’s why I refuse to live there anymore and will never return!
Good for you! I left that other Yankee Lapdog O’Canada for Argentina where there is 1000 times more freedom than either Canada or USA (I lived and worked in USA for some 20 years).
OK, you win! I didn’t listen to the podcast . . .
Good on you. I agree, there is more freedom in other countries than the USA and especially Australia. Australia is a joke now. It was great in the 70’s and 80’s. From the mid 90’s it started to go down hill and you can’t do anything there anymore without someone complaining, getting a fine from the authorities or need to qualify for something, do some course, get some certification to do the most basic stuff now, not to mention the enormous debt everyone lives in. It is a joke. Funny thing Aussies still call their country the lucky country, they don’t know how deluded they are.
I’m in strong agreement that the Russian infantryman is over rated. This idea that Russian infantry is better than American is a joke.Take a 100 American Marines and 100 RF infantrymen and I bet you Marines will be the last ones standing. Russian pt is a lot easier and uses a lot of unnecessary training from soviet union. The Russian special forces are more comparable to its American counterpart since they get a lot more attention. Even then the American green beret is still a more advanced fighter.
Americans do not even fight unless they have overwhelming superiority in both numbers and sfire-power, so there is no way to know just how good US infantry is because they no longer have the belly for an equal fight. Heck, even with such insane advantages they’ve still managed to lose the war every single time since ww2. And don’t forget, in a Russia/USA showdown the Yanks would be fighting on foreign ground, while the Rooskies will be fighting for their homes. A very important factor that everybody through the ages has failed to understand, time and time again. To their peril.
One advantage Americans have is experience, they have been fighting wars for the last 14 years. But this is also a double edged sword. They have been fighting farmers such as the Taliban, been fighting people that can’t even afford a proper pair of shoes to go into combat. So you are right, they don’t have the belly for an equal fight.
Their enemy these past 14 years only has small arms to fight with. So their tactics and experience has evolved around smashing the poor local farmer that has picked up an AK47 and if there are 20 Talibs, the Americans call in Close Air Support, anything from Helicopter Gunships to Bombers because they don’t know or don’t want to risk assaulting a position as grunts. Have the Americans prepared for a war with Russia, where not a single American aircraft will get back in one piece over the battlefield? My guess is they have not.
In this scenario, Air Superiority will be a fantasy and they would have to go toe to toe with the Russian Military which most likely has and is fully preparing for a showdown with NATO on Russia’s home soil. I believe the Russian military is fully capable of defending themselves against a NATO (USA) offensive and to go further, I believe that Russia would smash NATO so badly, that it would be an end to the alliance once and for good. I also believe that NATO (USA) knows this and therefore all the west can muster, is scamming the poor Ukrainians to fight for them, while they fight on Twitter and Facebook. Fucking pathetic !
I completey agree with that analysis. I also appreciate the scope of your knowledge and thank you for your comments. Most informative.
You are welcome. I note your points earlier regarding Rommel, Patton and the ANZACS. As for the Australian Army, compared to the Euro’s we are miles ahead. From my experience, the Euro’s are really, how can I say it to be politically correct, “pathetically gay.”
This modern life really has affected the soldier…Facebook etc, must have internet while on operations or the whole world goes to shit.
There are still a lot of good hands in the Australian Mil (sorry does not include the Navy and especially the Air Force….really piss weak. The Aussie Air Force are basically civilians masquerading as Airmen.)
Australian Special Operations have really matured, thanks to our experience in Afghanistan. However, most of the good lads in the Army are country boys, and the city boys are good, but a little more precious than the country lads. We’ve done pretty good in AFG, even considering we are fighting poor bastards that wear sandles.
I totally agree with your comment about losing Russia as an ally. I’ve followed the Ukrainian conflict very closely and I am absolutely disgusted to my core with the behavior of Western Nations, very much including Australia.
Yep this will come back to bite us and it will hurt. For me, not my problem any longer what happens back home.
I wouldn’t say its a joke to compare Russian infantry to American Marines. The comparison should be Russian Infantry with American Infantry and Russian Marines with American Marines. I did some work with American Infantry in Afghanistan and I was very unimpressed. Did some work with Canadian Infantry and they were miles ahead and far more professional than their American counterparts.
Russian Special Forces are very good and have heaps of combat experience in the Caucasus.
The American Green Beret, I have worked with as well and they are not that great. They are a Tier 2 unit, specializing in Counter Insurgency warfare, training and working with the Montagnards in Vietnam and the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. An advanced fighter is not always the best fighter.
Australian Infantryman great to read your posts.
I live in a northern suburb of Victoria and totally agree with how expensive and controlled we have become here in the last 20-30 years. I’m looking at moving in the next 5-10 years. How do you find Russia in terms of living costs, freedoms, job availability, crime etc?
PS – My neighbour, who has now moved interstate, was also a middle ranking officer based at Puckapunyal army base.
Nice to hear from a fellow Victorian. Russia (I’m not in Moscow) is very cheap compared to Australia. My family, wife and two kids, family of four can live on $1500 USD a month no problem. Of course some live month to month on less and some spend more. Depends on your life style.
Freedoms are great here. None of the BS as in Australia. All the important stuff are managed by the government and all the other stuff of no consequence, they don’t meddle. You can do what you want basically, as long as you follow the law.
Jobs / Work. It all depends on what your specialty is, but outside Moscow, our western expectations of what we would settle for a decent salary will not be met. We are over payed and they are under payed. I do contract work abroad and make my money that way. My last contract job was over a year ago, so basically I’ve had a year off and could probably take the next two years off, but I’m not that lazy. So that’s an indication of the cost of living if you are earning Dollars and not Rubles. If you can make a living online somehow, then you can work and live anywhere. My advice is if you are planning on moving OS, save and bank as much as you can. There is nothing like the freedom of having money in the bank with no debts to hound you. Yes I have zero debt and it is a very refreshing way to live.
Crime. I have never noticed it, but my wife says its out there. Unlike Australia, I have had not one problem walking around at night, no one has every hassled me. Plenty of drunks staggering about like most countries. But unlike Australia, I have had no concern walking around, where back home, it is an issue and one must steer away from groups of young men where the threat of being bashed or knifed is a real possibility. In Russia the issue of teenage boy crime is not an issue like it is in Australia. Basically it would never be tolerated from the police and the police literally stomp that crap out, sadly not happening in Oz.
One thing you didn’t mention is culture. Russia is different. It depends obviously where you live, you can find neighbourhoods in cities just like back home no problem. A westerner can be quite comfortable here. But the Russian people are different from Westerners. I am an Aussie, but I am an ethnic Orthodox Slav (not Russian). So my culture growing up, family, relatives, food and arguments resemble very close to the Russian and Ukrainian culture. So I am at home here. For an Anglo westerner to come and live in Russia, my advice is to do some research into the culture and how Russians differ. If you can understand that and accept it, you will have no problem living here.
The biggest hassle is the bureaucracy, it is really punishing, where in Australia it is very efficient. It is the most frustrating part of living here. Low level corruption helps when you grease a few palms (worth it and cheap). But on the positive side, you’re not dealing with this bureaucracy often.
They still love Aussies here, even though the idiot Tony Abbott is trying hard to erode that.
If you are planning on going OS, go for it. Save money, start learning the language early and plan for the change. Like a lot of us, we just don’t look back and happy with the new life. I could never do Asia, like some Aussies. Basically anywhere in Eastern Europe has great opportunities to start a new life.
Thank you AI for your detailed response.
I’m also Orthodox. I was born in Greece and came to Australia when I was 5yo. I’ve been attending a Russian Orthodox Church (abroad) for a few years now, and was elected to the church committee last year, so I’m getting more exposure to Russian culture. I’m also (slowly) trying to learn Russian. My wife and I have in the past year spoken about moving to a different country in the future. She is Mauritiun, so it’s either (at this stage) we move to Mauritius, Greece or Russia. it’s always good to get peoples first hand experience, so I really appreciate your response and recommendations.
I also found your post about
You state your opinion as if the sentences constitute proof.
You cannot prove Marines can outfight Russians.
The one time I know of that the Americans tried Russians on for size was WWI in the Far East. It did not go well.
Saker stated clearly that the terrain was in the psyche of the Russians. Marines don’t do well far from beaches. Khe Sanh was a debacle. (a cauldron with no hope except B-52 support to stop Giap’s artillery from wiping out the Leathernecks).
Since the battle envisioned in the argument of who is better includes fighting on the steppes of Russia, the Marines won’t have air support.
Thus, fighting comes down to adaptation and morale. Recent history tells us who wins. Russians.
And if you look at Afghanistan, the Russians were Soviets then, and they fought a proxy backed by the US. The US is fighting an enemy in Afghan that is tribal, with no Russian backing as an equivalent and still after 14 years has no hope of victory. (and the US brought along NATO to help it). In fact the RF has allowed transit of material to reach and supply the US and NATO. And the Americans still have not won.
So, we do know the American fighting man is a valiant entity. The argument you pose is empty. Marines by the 100 will have no better chance of defeating Russians by the 100 than the Ukies versus the militia.
History of about 1500 years seems to indicate that Russians defend their turf fairly well even up.
In my view, Infantry man in presenting an ANALYSIS, but looking at the responses, some posters seem to take it as CRITICISM.
Criticism is about feelings, analysis is devoid of feelings. It is a very important difference.
I think Infantry man wrote a good analysis. Maybe he showed some feelings, but the post was obviously meant to be an analysis, not criticism.
Rommel was greatly over-rated. The only thing that made any of the German generals appear any good was the novelty of their tactics and equipment, early on. Truth is the Germans only appeared to be really good because the allies were so very bad by comparison.
You know, everybody likes to wonder what would have happened if Patton’s ideas took root and the US turned against the Russians in ’45. Truth is it would have been suicidal. They would have kicked our collective asses.
But more to your points: With all due respect, your thinking is out-dated. Sure, the ANZACs and even us Canucks were fierce fighters — once upon a time — but we ain’t any longer. We are fat and lazy now and without the will to fight for more than a few weeks. Then we run away, back to our TVs and dishwashers. Lets face it, losing Russia as an ally was a grave mistake that will one day come back to bite us where it hurts.
Forget about WW1; even WW2 is gone for 70 years now. None of that reflects the current situation.
I’m not impressed with the US military now any more than the rest of the US. Most of the infantry is made up of people who joined because they couldn’t find anything better for survival, and they — especially the youth — are not well educated or developed even as ordinary people. The US population and culture is largely busted now — trained as zombie drones and barely capable of independent action, thinking, or initiative — and that makes for lousy soldiers as much as any other job. Like fish, the rot starts at the head, and the US military heads are evil clowns, like the rest of US ‘leaders’ — the good ones weeded out long ago. Just listen to what they say.
Australia I don’t know about, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find this is largely true of them as well. All it takes is a few years of garbage to destroy the effectiveness of an organization.
Overall, how well an infantry or military depends on many factors, including the type of terrain, motivation, structural organization and leadership, training with the weapons which they will end up using, and what sort of enemy they are facing — and much of it is very unpredictable, as all of war is. Maybe the most effective fighting force at this time is the Novorossians — going by what it has accomplished.
Great Podcast again very interesting. Thanks
“US President Barack Obama has ordered the deployment of 800 tracked and wheeled vehicles. Some of which are to be stationed in the Bavarian town of Grafenwoehr close to the former inner German border.” The “Münchner Merkur” quotes from German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen`s (CDU) written reply to a query from Vice President of the Bundestag Johannes Singhammer (CSU).
Germans happy with this? Large scale exercises later planned, to prove USA has Europes security at heart……
March 18. /TASS/. Kiev’s decision on Donbas special status grossly violates and rewrites the Minsk agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference on Wednesday.
“On [Ukraine’s] President Petro Poroshenko’s proposal, the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian parliament] made a decision – which was particularly confusing as Ukraine’s president supported the Minsk package from February 12 – that, in fact, rewrites the agreements and, putting it simply, grossly violates them,” Lavrov said.
He has asked Germany and Holland to re-iterate original Minsk……breaking point?
Note Eu has re-stated “One year on from the holding of the illegal and illegitimate “referendum” and the subsequent illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, the European Union remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The European Union does not recognise and continues to condemn this act of violation of international law. The illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation is also a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all states.
The European Union will remain committed to fully implement its non-recognition policy, including through restrictive measures. The EU calls again on UN Member States to consider similar non-recognition measures in line with the UNGA Resolution 68/262.
The EU reaffirms its deep concern at the continuous military build-up and deterioration of the human rights situation in the Crimean peninsula, including the denial of free speech and the persecution of persons belonging to minorities. The European Union reiterates its call to provide international human rights actors with full, free and unrestricted access to the whole territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and Sevastopol.”
Lavrov, no matter what you say and hope for , there is no chance with EU of further progress perhaps. No condemnation of right wing chaos, thus they endorse it by default.
Mr. Saker , how are you?
My question is this: if early in the Ukrainian crisis Moscow had acted quickly and decisively , taking militarily whatever was necessary in territory and overturned the Junta, the consequences would not be the same as we see today? With all the same economic measures , media and pseudo military being taken by measured acts of aid Novorossiya and taking the Crimea ?
Or the West could have even declared war ?
My opinion is that the consequences and measures against Russia would be the same and Moscow lost a chance (again, like in Serbia) to demonstrate his firmness and determination. Something like: we are russians, slavic and we will defend our brothers no matter where they are.
A hug ,
Alexandre (Polo Kilo) – São Paulo – Brazil
The diversion group exploded nearly restored railway line
on: March 18, 2015
The explosion happened at the railway Yuzhnodonbassk-Elenovka in the South of the Donetsk People’s Republic, it was reported by the Transportation Minister of the DPR Semen Kuzmenko.
‘We were reconstructed this railway line about two weeks, and it has been exploded again. As a result of shelling committed by diversion groups in the DPR, 40 bridges were damaged.
novorossiya-pic on website of destroyed track and goods train empty coal wagons-if this isn’t proof of AFU continuing to break ceasefire, what is?
OSCE still reporting action, including use of main battle tanks, Donetsk, Gorlovka etc…..
pepe escobar article re russ regime change
nice article russia-china from club orlov
According to ex-ambassador of Ukraine in Belarus (2010–2011) Romn Bessmertnyi, during the festivities of May 9 in Moscow a certain Russian bloc will be formed, the appearance of which will lead to the factual split of the EU.
He mentioned it on March 17 in the air of the 5th Channel of Ukrainian TV.
“Evidently, a new group will be formed on the Mausoleum tribune on May 9, or a new Warsaw Treaty, or the Mausoleum Treaty – anyway, the completion of organizational establishment of a certain Russian bloc will take place”, – assumed Bsessmertnyi.
Besides, he commented on the decision of the Netherlands, Greece and Finland to send their delegations to Moscow. According to him, this will be the evidence of “Europe’s end as such”.
“This will mean that beginning with May 9 a new stage of aggression on the part of Russian starts on the Eurasian continent”, – Bessmertnyi summed up.
An extract from the article on Ukrainian “Korrespondent” website
“Why Ukrainian parliament adopted a decision that cannot be implemented, and what will the developments in Donbass be?
The suggestion of the President, accepted by the MPs, implies that earlier adopted Law on the Special Status of separate areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions will be enacted after “the extraordinary elections held in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine”.
It also envisages that a special order of self-governance will be granted to the separate areas of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions after the withdrawal of all illegal armed formations, their military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries, from the territory of Ukraine and provided that the transparency of the electoral process is guaranteed for the local elections.
In the course of discussion of the draft laws in regard to Donbass the MPs cared mostly about their own image and rating, and not for adherence to the Minsk Agreement.
Thus, Batkivshchyna party and a part of Samopomich party refused to vote in favour of the amendments to the Law on the Special Status and the list of the territories, to which it is relevant, under the pretext that the Law acknowledges the loss of territories by Ukraine and new state borders.
Also, according to the MPs, this Law allows the separatists headed by Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Igor Plotnitskiy to take part in the elections.
Finally, in order to minimize the negative impression created by the Law, the parliamentarians invented one more act – on the occupied territories, which was written literally in the course of the same day and voted for.
This way a legal dead end was created, as the Rada had simultaneously appointed the date for the elections in Donbass on December 7, and stated that elections could not be held in the occupied territories.
The MPs say the adoption of the laws was necessary for the continuation of the diplomatic contest with Russia and the assertion of the new reality, as well as demonstration of the implementation of the Minsk Agreement.
Only everything went awry, as usual”.
Greece should be financially compensated by Germany for war crimes committed during the Nazi occupation of the country between 1940 and 1944, according to Germany’s Social Democratic Party.
Around 250,000 people died during the occupation, with many having starved to death.
In an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel, Gesine Schwan, chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party values committee, said “It’s about recognising the fact that we committed a serious injustice in Greece”.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/europe/20150318/1019662203.html#ixzz3UkaZ6LZh
Ukraine’s regime of Petro Poroshenko is shifting the goalposts on any given political matter, brazenly violating the Minsk deal, while the West is turning a blind eye to Kiev’s actions, a UK expert notes.
The Ukrainian regime of Petro Poroshenko backed by the West has become a sort of “star team” in shifting the goalposts on any given political matter, especially on the Minsk ceasefire deal, noted a UK expert.
“Unfortunately, the prognosis is that if Merkel cannot see the glaring truth of the situation by now and how the Kiev regime is an incendiary time-bomb for EU-Russia relations, then there is not much hope of the chancellor ever coming to a realistic political position on Ukraine,” the expert concluded.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150318/1019669090.html#ixzz3UkasmDmC
The US plans to supply Ukraine with weaponry are a clear attempt to violate the Minsk peace accords, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told RIA Novosti on Monday.
Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20150316/1019549524.html#ixzz3UkbRcfeF
“There is still a quite serious lack of qualified tank crewmen in the DPR army. They are eagerly waiting for Russian volunteers with tank crewmen skills, as well as those who can teach people to operate tanks. Phone numbers of the camps for training volunteers and the Republican recruitment offices can be found fairly easily.The enemy uses artillery. The DPR authorities regularly accuse the junta of violating every possible point of the “truce”. The junta simply ignores these accusations and continues to accumulate forces, preparing for the next stage of the war. The largest groups are deployed at Mariupol, Volnovakha, Donetsk, Artyomovsk, Bakhmutka, and Schastye. The groups at Volnovakha and Donetsk have offensive configuration. The artillery pullback on the junta side still has a fictitious nature.Some say that war will start in April, others say that it may erupt in the coming few days unless the junta stops its provocations. Nobody believes that there will be a peaceful ending to this.”
Colonelcassad March 17-sitrep extracts
absurd Lithuania shows its colours:”The district court of Kaunas, Lithuania, has sentenced the 84-year-old former officer of the Soviet State Security Service, Stanislav Drelingas, who took part in the arrest of Adolfas Ramanauskas, the commander of the partisan union “Forest Brothers” fighting the Soviet authorities, to 5 years in prison.
The accused denied his direct participation in that operation, but the court made a conclusion that he aided the arrest. ”
Hi JJ, we separated your topics to make them a bit easier to read.
Podcast 6: Enjoyed your discussion of evil. So many rationalists do not like to take it on. A friend who works with the mentally ill defines the most dangerous mentally ill ( psychotics) as those with extreme selfishness which when you put that together with your definition of evil–the selfishness of power used only for its own purposes against creation/creatures–makes for a chilling description of those people running the Empire today.
As for Putin disappearing: I liked your first explanation and I have mine for which I get lots of flack but I think he is a mystic on a deep level and he has had to hide that aspect of himself probably since he was a young boy. OK…I hear the jeers in the background now, but Abraham Lincoln used to pace the halls at night and had reoccurring dreams–certainly Putin with 12 house Libra Sun, First house scorpio Venus and 8th house Gemini moon has a very private side to him which needs the replenishing of retreat especially in these times. I think he was preparing himself, planning and spiritually merging his destiny with the destiny of Russia.
I think you are onto something about Putin. Recall for his last birthday he went into the wilderness, alone, in Siberia. That is a vision quest-like sojourn, though of course, not quite as deep a trip. After all, it was a communion with nature and not a spiritual thing.
However, he replenishes himself in the cathedrals of nature, no question about that.
So, merge Saker’s possible explanation that Putin was readying plans for any eventuality in Ukraine or the streets of Moscow or around the perimeter of the nation, and mix that with the need for solitude and contemplation, and finally, Saker’s take on Putin’s present self-evaluation of the solemnity and weight of leading and protecting the nation, and ten days off seems quite reasonable.
And he may have had a flu or cough or some exhausting, fatiguing illness from the stress.
Whatever, include Putin in your thoughts and daily prayers. He is the pillar of Peace-making and humanity needs him.
I too Believe that Putin is of “Another sort”, a kind of person that there are a few of in each generation. But I Think that for some decades now, more and more person born on this Earth is of that “certain kind”, which soon will be called the “new human”, or the “modern man” in a true sense (has nothing to do with gender, of course). And all these “new” people will need “new” leaders (as in leading by example, inspiring — not controlling or steering). Like Putin.
As for astrology, I have been doing horoscopes since 1977 and studied all angles of astrology, and my firm belief is that planetary astrology does not say very much about a”new human”, because planetary astrology deals with the “old person”, that which the ancient Vedic scriptures refers to as the “conditioned soul in the Wheel of karma”. The “new human” are not bound by “Karma” in the old sense.
Putin is one of the “new” persons who is so much more than what can be seen in a planetary horoscope, which is about “karma”.
Here is a discussion on the victims of Stalin. May be it is useful to those who are interested.
Thankyou for your 6th Podcast. You come across as a knowledgeable, empathic and patient listener.
I would like to nibble at the edges of that anti-soviet question which you answered so honestly.
Bolsheviks as anti Russians – I tend to see the Bolsheviks as ideological modernist internationalists. I mean by that that they carried the internationalist idea to its logical conclusion. This would impel me towards a view that the Bolsheviks were carried to power on a wave of popular support and that part of the foundation of that popular support was a conviction that the Monarchy and degenerated and itself become anti-russian. The articulation of internationalism then was a challenge to the established global order which provoked a reaction ie. the civil war. Paraphrasing Victor Serge, who with definitive support from outside of Soviet Russia escaped the purges: ‘Summary justice represented the moral degeneration of the bolshevik revolution’ we reach a point where the bolsheviks themselves are skewered and in fact submit to that very logic during the purges.
The point I am clumsily trying to make is that ‘internationalism’ and the heroic period of the revolution can be seen as being russophobic but that I would disagree with that saying that the internationalist vector of the revolution having achieved state power consciously sacrificed the most active revolutionaries as a ‘bridgehead’ in order to carry forward that idea. From that partiinost, the re-emergence of the tsarist bureacracy and Stalins actions become comprehensible but clearly represent a ‘degeneration’ of the very ideas which drove bolshevik party and made it successful earlier.
I have western books that make the case that the Red Terror was empirically much less savage than the white terror and that the summary justice appeared later in the civil war.
From the western internationalist perspective I applaud the Bolshevik revolution because it threw down the gauntlet to the rotten world order which preceded it and made decolonisation thinkable in the periphery and the welfare state possible in the centre. I do understand that the costs borne by the Russian ethnos were savage.
I do find it difficult to see overt anti-russian sentiment intrinsic to their stance though and would be interested to find out more about that. I do understand that both Trotsky and Solzhenytsin came out against the waste and inefficiency of Soviet industrialisation but I am not at all sure that that a priori flowed from Bolshevik ideology.
The point that you make that Russians are now better off than they were under the Soviet Union needs to be contextualised. Perhaps that is true for some people in the metropolises (especially those who inherited flats etc) but it does not seem to be true for the majority of those outside of them. In fact I would propose that it is precisely a nostalgia for the positive aspects of the Soviet experience – Education, security and, yes a yearning for respect, that has been at least partially responsible for driving the idea that the state should govern.
I would be very interested to read more about Russophobia as a phenomenon within Bolshevik thought. We certainly see it in ‘liberal’ thought and rhetoric.
As a footnote unrelated to anything you have said If you were to have any serious evidence of trotskyism informing the US neo-conservative ideological viewpoint I would really be most interested as what I can glean in my very cursory searches is at best questionable.
Western Imperialism served as the transmission belt for totalitarianism in the USSR. Being locked out of world markets has a profound effect on production however socialism planning was able to garner exceptional achievements. Socialism in One Country and Peaceful Coexistence led to the capitalist counter revolution in 1991. Russian’s did not want a capitalist society they wanted more democratic civil society and less bureaucratic form of government hard to achieve when you have nuclear missiles pointed at you and a propaganda machine heretofor unseen in human civilization. Soviets found out all about capitalism in the Yeltsin years. Russian’s were thinking more along the lines of Sweden for example. Russia was still miles ahead of us in many areas space,social sciences, human development. While we were still lynching black men who didn’t have the right to vote. The first Congress legalized divorce homosexuality back in 1917. They introduced the most democratic system of government the world had ever seen. Meanwhile neither black or women could vote in the West. Stalin rolled these freedoms back made a right turn caused the fallout with Trotsky who predicted that the Soviet Union either underwent a political revolution and got rid of the bureaucracy or they would revert to capitalism and that is what happened. The best take on Leon Trotsky that I have ever read was Trotsky as Alternative by Earnest Mandel. After taking history of the 20th century and never making sense out of Hitler I read how Trotsky formulated Fascism something the world had never seen before and it was there in some so called cult group that I got the picture. I recommend it to anyone interested in both the rise of the bureaucracy and a socio-economic understanding of fascism essentially what we are experiencing in varying degrees around the globe today.
Irrelevant to the material discussed. I liked the choice of music, though somewhat surprised at the choice of Louna at the end, since they are famous for their anti-religion tunes. Not that I think this is “bad”, I don’t, with the exception of “Бизнес” (and especially the English rewrite by Travis Leake), just surprised Saker chose them due to his strong religious feelings.
Is it just me, or does anyone else think Saker’s voice sounds just like Benjamin Netanyahu?
(not that this is at all important in any way to current events …)
sssshush don’t tell anyone.. This is nutyahoo’s second job when he wants to let the beast out.
Thanks for another interesting podcast. You stated one thing that made me curious, namely that the Orthodox Russians took over Roman culture, whereas the Catholics took over Frankish culture. In my view, the modern Western civilisation (including France at least after the French revolution) is the direct inheritor of the Roman empire (and I believe this is hardly something to be proud of). There are a few commonalitites between modern Western and ancient Roman civilisation, namely:
– A curious combination of representative government (during the Roman republic) and imperialism
– A tendency to view individual private property as sacred, as exemplified by the Roman law inherited by the West in medieval times where individual property owners do not have any obligation for how to use their property even if people are starving. (I do not believe Russia adopted this law system until later?)
– A pragmatic, rationalistic outlook on life and a fundamental lack of piety. Note, for instance, that the Romans never had much of a religious mythology to speak of.
It may well be that Russia inherited Byzantine culture, which I know little of, but wasn’t this already quite different from the culture of ancient Rome?
(You may answer this question here or I may simply post it again in your net podcast.)
I can guarantee you 99% that no matter what happens, The Russian military will not officially cross the border to push the yukies (yankee ukies) back if the NAF maintains the upper hand. No matter how bad the genocide becomes, Putin will not act. It is a larger sin in Putins mind to allow Russia to be lured into war to protect the Donbass because the Donbass is the key to the survival of the russian state. As long as Nato doesnt get involved and the war remains a civil war, Putin will not act. No point getting dragged into a war and then put into a position where you now face Nato forces in the Donbass with the at best minimal capacity to cut off Southern Russia and the Caucasus.
Nato is following the old Nazi tried and tested strategy. Take Ukraine and then take Volgograd/Rostovondon Region. Nato then controls and thus effectively eliminates Russia as a powerful country.
I do believe however that if by that 1% Russia is forced to intervene they will take all the region between Kharkiv down to Dnepropertrovsk and then create a strong defensive line along the Dnepr river down to Kherson. Forces if any within Transnistria will then be boosted enough to create a question mark in the rear of any attacking Nato forces and or to help stop a Nato push up from Bucharest. Transnistrian forces wouldnt need to be that strong as the Russian Black Sea Fleet would provide adequate enough fire power to soften up any spearhead coming up from Romania.
I believe Putin will not take Kiev. It is my opinion that he knows he probably doesnt have the army required to take of all of Ukraine and then to push against Poles and the northern Nato states. As a result i Belive he has made a deal with Lukashenko that if Nato intervenes, if he can take both Vilnius and Kiev, then its his to take. Otherwise Minsk will serve as a threat against Warsaw further constraining Warsaws offensive options. No one like an enemy in your rear and I believe Minsk will eventually be attacked. Personally if I was a Lukashenko i would act in the first few hours of any conflict that breaks out between Nato and Russia if Nato intervenes.
A new Ukrainian State with Lvov as its capital is a must. A New Confederation of Novorussian States is also a must and should be armed with the best weapons Mother Russia can offer. Kiev has always been too sensitive and should be cleansed of all Nazi’s before becoming a Belorussian Protectorate.
The worst that will happen is nuclear war. We hope and I do believe that it may never happen. The Russians will not do a first strike and the US will not play the role of instigator (well publicly).
Then again what do i Know…..
I give my children extra hugs and kisses these days, just in case I suddenly don’t get another chance to show how much their father loves them. My father did the same thing 53 years ago during The October Crisis in 1962 — one month before my first birthday. I’m not sure most folks understand just how close we are to planetary annihilation.