While I did not reply to any comments, I have read them very carefully. I have also received a lot of emails and, again, I read all of them very carefully. I also consulted with my family, a few very trusted friends and advisors and I have prayed for God to allow me to discern His will and I have taken the following decisions:
First, I will shut down the blog no later than at the end of February.
Second, for a host of reasons, I cannot transfer the blog to any one person or group of trusted people. This sounds like a great idea until you look at tons of details and it becomes an impossible one.
Third, yes, I would like to keep the entire archive of the blog available somewhere on the Internet.
I do not want to maintain any association with either the archive itself or the people who would be hosting it. Simply put, I don’t want to be involved in maintaining it.
Finally, I will keep paying and owning the domain name thesaker.is but this will be the only financial commitment I am willing to make. However, I am willing to point this domain name to any IP address hosting the archive of the blog should one be made available (that would be my only personal involvement in the maintenance of this archive).
These are my main conclusions and decisions so far.
Now a few points and questions to all of you, my dear Saker community:
First, while I don’t have the energy to seek out a possible archive, I am open to suggestions. Ideally, I would prefer an archive with the following characteristics:
- It would be preferable to have it hosted on servers located in Zone B (outside the Empire)
- It would be preferable if the blog’s archive could be hosted by groups/entity/corporation/etc. with some disposable money (as opposed to a single well-intentioned individual). Simply put: hosting a large archive on a server and maintaining it requires both 1) skilled personnel and 2) money to pay for the costs.
If anybody reading these words has any suggestions or wants to offer to host the archive, please contact me at either [email protected] (preferred) or [email protected] (backup if needed).
By the way, I will keep these two emails even after I close down the blog, so if you need to contact me, you will have these two emails as options.
Next, the issue of my guest authors:
- I will still post some articles until the final shutdown at the end of February, however, I will only post articles by former contributors giving them a last chance to share something with the rest of us (my apologies to new authors!!!)
- I am thinking about one possible solution for our guest authors, but I won’t mention it until I have all the facts aligned and it seems viable to me. Please give me some time to sort through a few options :-)
I will not write any analyses of the current events. However, I will do two things:
- I will keep you all informed by posting updates here.
- I will make a few more personal posts in which I will share with you some things I feel like addressing before shutting down the blog forever (at least until some semblance of sanity has returned to our poor planet, and I am not holding my breath…). I also have a few messages I want to direct to some specific groups and that will be the chance for me to do so. In fact, there are a few things I never addressed on the blog which I want to address before bowing out and leaving the stage.
That’s it for me now.
Well, one more request: please post as many comments as you want, but please only email me if your email is related to the shutdown of the blog (I am swamped with emails and they take a lot of time to read, nevermind reply to).
And, I almost forgot: IF you are interested in this, I would be willing to record one video replying to any questions you might have about geopolitics, the war, music and even personal questions. I would, of course, choose the questions and only reply to those which I find appropriate, but that would be something I could do during the next few weeks if there is an interest in it. So, if you are interested, please do EMAIL me (do not ask in the comments section please) and please make SURE to include “Q&A with Andrei” in the subject line of your email.
Okay, now I think I am done on my side.
Your turn: thoughts/suggestions/complaints?
Hugs and cheers
Just registering and logging in to say goodbye.
Being a citizen of Zone A, you have been my #1 trusted source since before Syria. Your clearsightedness has shone light and hope when the MSM fed only lies and deception. Your voice and wisdom is unique and you will be sorely missed. I m sorry I have seldom been in a position to donate what your effort has been worth. But the world has been better for it.
If you could be a guest author on another site, that would be a blessing. I hope you consider it.
First, from me, unwavering respect for all you’ve done. Priceless to we objective-truth seekers.
Second, you’re entirely right to step back from what you’ve been doing all these years, because clearly its kicked the stuffing out of you; hard punishment, just for being honest in a world of lies.
Third, though: Why does The Saker news-and-views site have to be closed down, because on of its operators, albeit the key one, needs to step back? That seems highly – and quite unnecessarily – destructive.
I suspect that, in any case, a lot of the people who’ve congregated here, as viewers, contributors or operatives, will want to continue some sort of inheritor website, and will in fact do just that. Hope so. The complete loss of ‘The Vineyard of the Saker’ would be a disaster for truth and sanity.
Go well, good brother. Bless your recovery from all the difficulties you’ve had to absorb, and best wishes for the future for you and yours. – RhG
I take the opportunity to thank you deeply for all the excellent work you did covering a host of important topics with such intellect and passion and as saddened as I am to learn that you will be closing the blog I hope you take the time to reflect as there is plenty to be proud of and I sincerely wish you and your family a happy and blessed life!
God bless and thanks for giving so many people a voice and speaking up for the plight of Donbass, Syria, Serbia and teaching your audience about Orthodoxy and Russian culture… You will be deeply missed!
Yes, i really appreciated Saker’s knowledge of Christianity.
Very sad news, a truly irreplaceable source. However, I perfectly understand your personal situation and wish you luck in these troubled times to come.
As others said, knowing where to find your collaborators would mitigate this loss.
Thank you very much for your commitment and dedication throughout all these years. It’s not an easy task and you sacrificed your health to serve the community.
All the best
Thank you for the grand work you have done over the years. I have seen you go from an obscure site to a site of international scope attracting arguably the world’s best writers. (But certainly the sanest.)
Don’t know what else to say to you but stay well, stay proud and stay happy.
PS. I have to go now to download as many articles as I can.
You have to your credit an incredible, almost superhuman achievement on the Vineyard! My experience as a guest contributor has been superb all through the years, ever since you accepted my first contribution a few years ago. Thank you very much!
You have earned a very well-deserved break from that huge responsibility. Family must always come first. Please accept my heartfelt wishes for a truly creative and fulfilling life for all of you.
Damn sorry to hear this Saker, this is as hard of a blow as waking up one morning and having your wife tell you she wants a divorce. I have been following you for years and my true education started with you and Syrian Perspective. We will all miss your insights and your courage but every man reaches a point in their life when they have to hang it up, sit in the shade and strum a guitar or cast a line and devote more time to their family. Thank you for the education and the truth. You will be missed by all.
Sad news, but you have your life, and thank you so much for the great Texts you have taken up/published.
Question 1: can I use a site pumping software? here is an example https://www.httrack.com/
yes save this library of Alexandria :) on my disk.
Tip 1: once the Saker Info is boxed (saved) and permanently sealed.
include an MD5 check to avoid
and take a Static framework like (example) https://gohugo.io/ for future web visualization.
Andrei Thanks for the Light : )
I wanted to let you know that your blog will be very much missed.
I hope that you could somehow leave the platform up for all the guest articles that get published. I say this while i fully understand that there are many issues in such a solution.
First, I think you unequivocally made the right decision, difficult as it is.
Second, you have a very personable way of writing so many here feel that they are losing a personal friend or mentor, and it is quite understandable.
These statements lead to a couple further observations that will likely be unpopular with some readers:
Your perceptive postings have often provided some prescience that was a great advantage to readers. That should lead people to a conclusion that will be hard for many. Is Saker showing you the way again?
It is indeed a hard pill to accept where we actually are now with world events. Personally, I see denial of every kind on all sides. We are, in fact, at the doorstep of some very hard times.
Reading an insightful site like this one gives a sense of being somehow on top of unfolding events. It is certainly useful to better see what is going on, but at the same time, it has a particular danger. Reading may help us prepare mentally, but there is a tendency for many to unconsciously assume that reading and thinking is sufficient preparation.
Saker just exploded that myth in front of everyone’s eyes. What a great parting gift!
If anything serious happens – major cyber attack, EMP, or nuclear war, etc. all blogs and alternative news outlets will quickly go down. Cold Turkey. And how much is anyone prepared? How much are our families prepared? Even an expanded conventional war might result in some kind of patriotism laws limiting speech as Saker has mentioned. It could be dangerous, not only for him, but for anyone to discuss certain topics.
Most of us reading here, being thinkers and analytical types, would rather read, think, and discuss. But the world is changed and continuing to change. This odd construct of online friends and “family” may disappear in an instant, and was never a substitute for real family and community in the first place.
Better to face some modest deprivations now with the luxury to strengthen ourselves in relative comfort. And better to prepare while times are still relatively easy.
Very best wishes and prayers from my wife and I, some fellow Orthodox Christians. We are fortunate to have many recent (and historical) prophets in our faith who did much to prepare us. I wish the readers here all the best as well.
Thank you for sharing this observation.
I am not in the least bit surprised, I wonder how long Martyanov will be able to keep going with the kind of pressures that the hegemon will bring to bear on all sources of what it terms “Russian malign influence” or supposed Russian propaganda. Know what bothers me more than anything else? That while this blog shuts down, a voice of reason & sanity, other supposedly pro-Russian, self-proclaimed Russian nationalist blogs are appearing that refer to The Saker & Martyanov & others as the Kremlin 5D chess crowd. Some will know what I’m talking about, others won’t. These are people who claim to be on the Russian side but literally mirror the western narrative that Russia is losing the war & that Putin is a moment away from being overthrown because the 5th column in Russia is inevitably going to win. These are the voices who openly propagate Strelkov/Girkin as a hero & for some reason praise him as the only credible patriotic voice in Russia. The job of these people is to advocate a direct war between Russia & the US/NATO. That is it, that is their modus operandi. They have no other reason to exist. I have posted comments on some of their sites occasionally, it is a waste of time, but I have stressed that escalation management (& I was using this term from Feb 2022 before a well known former US weapons inspector began using it) is Russia’s no.1 priority & making all efforts to minimize damage to Russia. I have stressed to some of these idiots that if Russia was to win outright in Ukraine tommorow, forcing an outright capitulation of the Kiev nazi junta, a war with the US would follow. These people claim Russia has not eliminated 100k+ Ukro nazis from the field, but when I tell them well, how do you explain the destruction of all the iterations of weapons supplies, & constant mobilizations & clear loss of manpower, they go back to the Putin 5D chess argument. It’s nonsense. Anyway, enough said, it is a tragedy that this blog is shutting down, it really is, & so much information & analysis that may or may not be archived, but it is Andrei’s life, only he can decide, we can only respect him for what he has already done. Plus, life goes on, nothing is over – to quote J.J. Rambo, hero of our times – & who knows what lays in store in the future?
I’ll be sad no longer to feel the strength of your faith in God but I think you are right not to talk about war anymore because war is a crime. Only the tenuous force of silence will be able to stop the sound of arms ; indeed God is only Silence, Love and Peace.
To end with music, I would like you to hear this poem about peace (with english subtitles) by Julian Tuwim. I chose Tuwim because he is Jewish and Polish and his voice sounds like a beacon of hope in this crazy world build by kagan and brzezinski.
Thank you for all your efforts. You have moved the needle in ways you probably cannot see.
Whatever else you choose to do, may I humbly suggest creating an archive of the blog to be shared on Bittorrent? Decentralizing the archive would help preserve it for posterity.
Dear Saker, I first saw you in that wonderful interview with Sheikh Imran Hosein. What a great pairing that was! Many thanks for being here for me.
Andrei: I always looked forward to your essays in particular on this website, as you provided a desperately needed counter to the disgusting lies and disinformation pushed by the self-styled “Free Press.”
Perhaps in the future, you could write essays under a pseudonym and publish them in Zone B media. I am sure that are major media outlets in Zone B countries that would welcome your work.
You were truly a “Voice in the Wilderness.” I hope that it will not go silent forever.
Voices like yours are desperately needed in the world of lies that we live in today–especially for the US Empire of Lies itself.
it is with a saddened heart that I read your decision.
For years this blog with its articles and reactions had become my navigation zone for a clearer view on the world. I’m not exaggerating to say that it changed my life.
What worries me, is that you have a sharp sense for what could be around the corner. And this might be not so good.
In a doomy acceleration, Zone A has become a troublesome place for people telling anything outside ‘the narrative’. Even letting Julian Assange aside, there are reporters active in the action zone, telling the inconvenient truths. I’m going to name some of them, because they deserve that and are very brave imho: Eva Bartlett, Patrick Lancaster, Liu Sivaya, Thomas Röper, Vanessa Beeley, Alina Lipp.
(My sincere excuses for anyone that I do not yet know or forgot to mention.)
There is a high price to pay for that. Some of them can’t even go home anymore, and they can’t use cell phones because they will be tracked and targeted. There has been an street murder assault on Adrien Boucquet, who had the nerve to disclose the BS in Bucha, there has been a direct missile assault on a RT television crew in a hotel, even family of Alina Lipp in Germany had been closed down from society (bank accounts etc. blocked) and had to flee.
This is reality, and we should be ashamed. What I’m mostly frustrated and angry about, is the question whether by closing down this blog we let foggy bottom in a way win.
However, you wrote that your family needs you, and ‘how can I ignore that?’
You can’t and won’t. I would do the same.
Cheers, stay safe and godspeed, Rob
I wish to thank you for your wit, wisdom and insight. As a voice of truth in this benighted time you will be sorely missed.
God bless you and yours and curse those who have forced you off air.
We will lose a lot, but as i said i support your descision no matter what you chose.
I am not good with words like some of the other commenters, i am s#it at expressing feeling.
But you quitting brought a big lump in my throat and brought sadness.
You and your blog literally opened up Orthodoxy to me, which led me to actually begin studying Jesus and what Faith is.
You saved me Andrei, for that only i and God knows how much i love you for that.
I have been tempered and less “emotional reactive”, i have grown as a human just because i stumbled across this site years ago.
Bad news travels with company too i am sad to say, yesterday a friend was killed by the police.
They probably crushed his throat, i now understand better why “they” ruin their cities in the US after police killings too.
I am so full of rage that a few years ago there would have been Big Trouble, and i would have spent some years in prison.
He was psycotic and were crawling around in his underwear in 0 degrees C, he needed help Not suffocating to death begging for his mom.
F#ck, just writing about Gard is making me cry.
Glad i am not living there anymore and grew up.
May God keep his hand over you and your family Andrei, and may the war be short.
You are not the only one praying and seeking guidance for the terrible times ahead, i see no road to a peaceful solution to empire of lies delusional actions eiter.
Ebke Ebke – Syriac Orthodox Hymn in Aramaic + text
The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic (The tongue of Jesus) – Abun d’bashmayo
Old Slavic Orthodox Chant: Ps140. Да исправится mолитва моя/ Let my prayer arise (Lyric Video)
A few farewell songs.
With love and respect
For years the blog was my red line. I learned so much here.
I feel sad i really do. I am and will be always greatfull Andrei. I’m just a girl living in the north of the Netherlands in a small farmer village. I learned geopolitics and other history here. You would be such a great teacher.
Something very dangerous is coming our way.
I wish you and your family all the best. For years is was a great honour. Your words in the blogs …i never forget.
Stay safe 😘
Yours is one of two sites I know that have defied censorship while providing a well-moderated forum for intelligent discussion on the post-peak Empire and shocking transformation of the West. Greer’s Ecosophia has been very good too, but free discussion there is available only one week a month. I know that you have to do this, Andrei, and I know why, but this is one of the bigger casualties of the war.
I have faith we will come together again, either here or yonder, but this is a very sad farewell.
It is with a heavy heart to hear your words of goodbye. All things have a time and now it’s time to close the blog.
Thank you for your information and insights into the Empire’s War.
I remember finding your blog back in early 2014, at a time when we were concerned for cousins living in Nikoleav (Ukraine) and in Sevastopol. You were able to put me in touch with our dear friend Auslander. I am forever grateful.
Dear Andrei …
Thank you the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual energy you invested in keeping us informed.
Thank you creating a space for people to share ideas.
Many people have come and gone. Some overstepped and were ejected… but I do wonder what happened to them and wish them well.
Thank you for the poets.
Thank you to all the unseen workers behind the scenes that held the blog together.
And I remember those no longer with us – especially Kat Kan in the early days and ioan of later years.
Thank dear friend… blessings of health and happiness from down under.
Thank you, Babushka, for remembering Kat Kan.
She was my mentor when I started moderating for Saker in the spring 2015.
Losing her was a great shock.
I just found out how to say Good Bye on your comment section. It is so sad to see your blog cease to operate. As many others have said, your contributions are collossal. You have brought sanity, good will, education into the internet – and the archives will stay as long as internet and hard disc drives exist on this planet.
Thank you, stay well and
au revoir, Auf Wiedersehen, do svidanja,
I just want to thank you for the wealth of knowledge and insights you and other authors shared here. Your blog has truly helped me refine my own thoughts about world events, and I am immensely grateful for this.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and hope that you will continue to spread your wisdom and knowledge in other ways. Thank you for everything and take care.
Thank you for everything Andrei! This is devastating news for those of us that have followed you for years. We wish you all the best for the future. God bless!
I did not read you for a few days and missing you, like a son missing the guidance and orientation of his father, came to the site today, to see this horrible news. I wish I would have met you in person sometime Saker. Your contribution will never be forgotten.
Kind regards from Waterford, Ireland
Just to add my own comments on this sad occasion of the blog shutting down:
1. One consideration that I haven’t seen brought up by others is just what a loss it is to those people who live in Russia and perhaps read or hear about the posts and the many encouraging commenters here who support their country in its courageous stand against the Evil Empire. I keep thinking what a comfort it must be to some over there to know that here, in Zone A, they have many sympathetic fellow travelers who understand all too well what they are up against. Perhaps we’ll never know how many were touched in Russia just to know they are not alone.
2. I go back to Andreo’s first post that brought in this powerful image of “submarines in the desert” yearning for the open sea. That’s us, anonymous commentators from all over the world, who as different as we are in circumstances, faiths and ideologies, we work as one towards a better world for all. WE’ll never know each other, but it sure is comforting to know that right along with the many who commented over time, there were many who read, nodded annd stayed in the shadows, happy for them who said that which needed to be said. I am one of you. Just another submarine in Zone A. Mostly alone where I live, in my convictions (partly because I read where others don’t), but somehow all you writers and commenters and the saker in particular, made me feel much less alone. Yes. there are other blogs, there’s still the MoonofAlabama but The Saker was a unique place in many ways.
3. With regard to the many Guest writers – yes, some like Orlov, Escobar and Martyanov have their own perches but many do not. WE’ll miss their special voices. Take Nora for example who recently wrote so very poignantly about the history of Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, with genesis in Leningrad under siege. If not for The Saer, I would have never known thie history of a piece I always liked.
I’d like to take this opportunity to urge them all to start their own blog and populate it with their past pieces. Sunstack makes this real easy too!
4. Finally, the saker himself who had a very unique and special viewpoint. One tinged with faith, feeling, conviction and lots of knowledge and analytic skills. Neither he, nor many other such writers are easily replaceable, if at all. So yes, right along with everyone else I feel bereft of one of the few voices of both reason and feeling for justice.
Naturally I do understand Burn-out. Went through it myself, here and there, being from the Middle east and all (originally). I also understand the need for self-preservation. WE each have only one life (as far as I know) and it is a finite one. so we each must do what we have to so we and loved ones – can have the most of it.
All the best Andrei from a long time reader, a supporter and an infrequent commenter (just as I was about to submit my bery own piece too – about something I know quite well. Cue Israel/Palestine and yjr complicated Jewish attitudes towards Russia/Ukraine. That should teach me to be [always] so tardy!).
Be well and prosper!
An awesome moment. Phaseout of The Saker is a harbinger of the impending WW3. See how the Great and the Good are gathered on this website: McGregor, Escobar, Martyanov and Lira. Yet its the right decision: you need to detach and slowly your health will we hope recover.
Hi Saker (Andrei if I can call you by that),
A sincere thank you from my heart. The material, perspectives, comments leading to jump-off points were absolutely priceless and is still priceless today. The work contained in the Vineyard of the Saker blog MUST be archived as a treasure. There was no other place at the time I stumbled across your blog – not one – that offered this level and variety of Russia’s perspective as a counterweight in the US. And not just the perspectives of Russia. Thank you for enduring on our behalf. If somehow you think that your 15 years of work were for nothing, then [objectively] yes and no. Yes in that it certainly looks like there’s going to be a hotter war involving the wrong contestants. One-hundred percent. Anyone not suffering from figurative burns and collateral damage (in the worst case, literally) after the war ends should consider themselves lucky. But if value the Saker blog delivered is considered – as a gathering place that nurtured the idea of a multi-polar world through the 1st-rate analysis, discussions and guest authors – then I think your efforts were a great success. A lot of eyes – eyes from across the world that you’ll never know – visited Vineyard of the Saker . Some of those eyes may become decision/policy makers or near enough in the future. So too, there are the acknowledged and unacknowledged fledgling Sakers.
Light a bunker of hard coal with a single paper-match at a time, it might take 15 years of trying to accomplish the task. But once a single coal is hot enough to light others.. Took a truckload of matches, a lot of help and burnt finger-tips to start the firing of the mountain of coal, didn’t it? ; ) And just in time!
Sincere thanks and..
Best wishes to you and your family.