The Untold Story Of A Ukrainian Sniper Who Took Part In The Maidan Massacre

Tyler Durden's picture

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the February 2014 US-staged coup in Ukraine and the violent overthrow of then president Yanukovich, is "who started shooting first" by which we, of course, refer to the lethal shooting escalation between the government's police force and random snipers who conducted target practice with various citizens and officials of the law during the crackdown at the Euro Maidan square protests, which eventually escalated into all out violence whose culmination was the overthrow of the president.

In order to preserve the western narrative that the entire event was not one staged, massive, and very deadly false flag event, protest organisers have always denied any involvement. Which is why stories such as the one we wrote in March, which revealed that "Behind The Kiev Snipers It Was Somebody From The New Coalition" - A Stunning New Leak Released" got precisely zero traction in the western press.

But now, for the first time, one man has spoken up and told the BBC a different story. The story of "Sergei" does not answer all the questions, or even most of them. But it does shine a light on what else happened, what has not been reported in the western media until now, and why the events played out as they did.

It goes without saying, that since this is a story about Ukraine, one sourced by an anonymous Ukraine resident, and one which has been filtered by the establishment media, that everything below should be taken with a huge grain of salt.

From the BBC:

The untold story of the Maidan massacre

A day of bloodshed on Kiev's main square, nearly a year ago, marked the end of a winter of protest against the government of president Viktor Yanukovych, who soon afterwards fled the country. More than 50 protesters and three policemen died. But how did the shooting begin?


It's early in the morning, 20 February, 2014. Kiev's Maidan square is divided - on one side the riot police, the protesters on the other.

This has been going on for more than two months now. But events are about to come to a head. By the end of the day, more than 50 people will be dead, many of them gunned down in the street by security forces.

The violence will lead to the downfall of Ukraine's pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. Moscow will call 20 February an armed coup, and use it to justify the annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

The protest leaders, some of whom now hold positions of power in the new Ukraine, insist full responsibility for the shootings lies with the security forces, acting on behalf of the previous government.

But one year on, some witnesses are beginning to paint a different picture.

"I was shooting downwards at their feet," says a man we will call Sergei, who tells me he took up position in the Kiev Conservatory, a music academy on the south-west corner of the square.

"Of course, I could have hit them in the arm or anywhere. But I didn't shoot to kill."

Sergei says he had been a regular protester on the Maidan for more than a month, and that his shots at police on the square and on the roof of an underground shopping mall, caused them to retreat.

There had been shooting two days earlier, on 18 February. The 19th, a Wednesday, had been quieter, but in the evening, Sergei says, he was put in contact with a man who offered him two guns: one a 12-gauge shotgun, the other a hunting rifle, a Saiga that fired high-velocity rounds.

He chose the latter, he says, and stashed it in the Post Office building, a few yards from the Conservatory. Both buildings were under the control of the protesters.

When the shooting started early on the morning of the 20th, Sergei says, he was escorted to the Conservatory, and spent some 20 minutes before 07:00 firing on police, alongside a second gunman.

His account is partially corroborated by other witnesses. That morning, Andriy Shevchenko, then an opposition MP and part of the Maidan movement, had received a phone call from the head of the riot police on the square.

"He calls me and says, 'Andriy, somebody is shooting at my guys.' And he said that the shooting was from the Conservatory."

Shevchenko contacted the man in charge of security for the protesters, Andriy Parubiy, known as the Commandant of the Maidan.

"I sent a group of my best men to go through the entire Conservatory building and determine whether there were any firing positions," Parubiy says.

Meanwhile the MP, Andriy Shevchenko, was getting increasingly panicked phone calls.

"I kept getting calls from the police officer, who said: 'I have three people wounded, I have five people wounded, I have one person dead.' And at some point he says, 'I am pulling out.' And he says, 'Andriy I do not know what will be next.' But I clearly felt that something really bad was about to happen."

Andriy Parubiy, now deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, says his men found no gunmen in the Conservatory building.

But a photographer who gained access to the Conservatory later in the morning - shortly after 08:00 - took pictures there of men with guns, although he did not see them fire.

Sergei's account also differs from Parubiy's.

"I was just reloading," he told me. "They ran up to me and one put his foot on top of me, and said, 'They want a word with you, everything is OK, but stop doing what you're doing.'"

Sergei says he is convinced the men who dragged him away were from Parubiy's security unit, though he didn't recognise their faces. He was escorted out of the Conservatory building, taken out of Kiev by car, and left to make his own way home.

By that time three policemen had been fatally wounded and the mass killings of protesters had begun.

Kiev's official investigation has focused on what happened afterwards - after the riot police began to retreat from the square. In video footage, they are clearly seen firing towards protesters as they pull back.

Only three people have been arrested, all of them members of a special unit of riot police. And of these three, only two - the lower-ranking officers - remain in custody. The unit's commanding officer, Dmitry Sadovnik, was granted bail and has now disappeared.

The three policemen are accused of causing 39 deaths. But at least a further dozen protestors were killed - and the three policemen who died of their wounds.

Some of the dead were almost certainly shot by snipers, who seemed to be shooting from some of the taller buildings surrounding the square.

Lawyers for the victims and sources in the general prosecutor's office have told the BBC that when it comes to investigating deaths that could not have been caused by the riot police, they have found their efforts blocked by the courts.

"If you think of Yanukovych's time, it was like a Bermuda triangle: the prosecutor's office, the police and the courts," says Andriy Shevchenko. "Everyone knew that they co-operated, they covered each other and that was the basis of the massive corruption in the country. Those connections still exists."

* * *

Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Vitaly Yarema, was dismissed this week, amid harsh criticism of his handling of the investigation.

Meanwhile, conspiracy theories flourish.

"I'm certain that the shootings of the 20th were carried out by snipers who arrived from Russia and who were controlled by Russia," says Andriy Parubiy, the former Commandant of the Maidan.

"The shooters were aiming to orchestrate a bloodbath on Maidan."

This is a widely-held belief in Ukraine. In Russia, many believe the opposite - that the revolt on Maidan was a Western conspiracy, a CIA-inspired coup designed to pull Ukraine out of Moscow's orbit. Neither side offers convincing evidence for its assertion.

The overwhelming majority of the protesters on Maidan were peaceful, unarmed citizens, who braved months of bitter cold to demand a change to their corrupt government. As far as is known, all the protesters killed on 20 February were unarmed.

The leaders of the Maidan have always maintained they did their best to keep guns away from the square.

"We knew that our strength was not to use force, and our weakness would be if we start shooting," says Andriy Shevchenko.

Parubiy says it is possible that a handful of protesters with weapons may have come to the Maidan as part of a spontaneous, unorganised response to violence from the security forces in the days running up to 20 February.

"I did hear that, after the shootings on 18 February, there were guys who came to Maidan with hunting rifles. I was told that sometimes they were the relatives or parents of those people who were killed on the 18th. So I concede that it's possible there were people with hunting rifles on Maidan. When the snipers began to kill our guys, one after another, I can imagine that those with the hunting rifles returned fire."

Sergei, again, tells a different story. He says he was recruited as a potential shooter in late-January, by a man he describes only as a retired military officer. Sergei himself was a former soldier.

"We got chatting, and he took me under his wing. He saw something in me that he liked. Officers are like psychologists, they can see who is capable. He kept me close."

The former officer dissuaded him from joining any of the more militant groups active on the Maidan.

"'Your time will come,' he said."

Was he being prepared, psychologically, to take up arms?

"Not that we sat down and worked out a plan. But we talked about it privately and he prepared me for it."

It is not clear who the man who apparently recruited Sergei was, or whether he belonged to any of the recognised groups active on the Maidan.

And there is much else that we still do not know, such as who fired the first shots on 20 February.

As for conspiracy theories, it is possible that Sergei was manipulated, played like a pawn in a bigger game. But that is not the way he sees it. He was a simple protester, he says, who took up arms in self-defence.

"I didn't want to shoot anyone or kill anyone. But that was the situation. I don't feel like some kind of hero. The opposite: I have trouble sleeping, bad premonitions. I'm trying to control myself. But I just get nervous all the time. I have nothing to be proud of. It's easy to shoot. Living afterwards, that's the hard thing. But you have to defend your country."

* * *

Full BBC clip here

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Augustus's picture

They guy claims that he was a sniper.  He does not have any knowledge of which faction hired him or authoriaed the operation.

Max Steel's picture

Idiot the only faction who was stirring the pot was usa backed putsch maidan . Update your facts sheep .

Fun Facts's picture

the truth has become the enemy of the state

sessinpo's picture

Has?

A little late. It always was and will be.

Latina Lover's picture

Hey Freedom123, shouldn't you be fighting and dying like the rest of the Ukie fascist losers in the Debaltsevo cauldron, instead of pasting and copying useless propaganda?

 

Of course there was an armed coup against Yanukovich led by the USSA,....who ever heard of a President running away from protestors  to another country unless his life was threatened?

disabledvet's picture

Donetsk looks more like Minsk 1941 by the day, Miraopul more like Leningrad.

 

Nothing wrong with taking sides in a Civil War since every side is a loser in it.

 

I think we're beyond "getting ugly" here.  This is a war in the East...and while I'm no expert on Russia certainly there are more than just Russians there.

Paveway IV's picture

Kolomoyskyi, the insane Czar of Dnipropetrovsk, founded his own private thug army - the Dnipro volunteer batallion. He also funds the other sixteen volunteer batallions of Ukraine militia - which sort of come under the Ukraine National Guard for legitimacy - but they're not really direclty under command of the Ukraine Army or the Ministry of Defense. At best, they coordinated their activities with the UAF.

Right Sector and assorted Nazis have their own militia. They are sort of granted legitimacy because their leader, Dmitry Yarosh (Hitler's Mini-Me), is in charge of the Interior Ministry and Stazi troops. Well, he's actually #2. The other Nazis - CIA's Svaboda - had their leader appointed to run state security. Yarosh is a bigger butcher and far more powerful of the two, so the CIA has failed another Stazi-stuffing yet again. 

So you have the Ukraine Armed Forces, whose military commanders reported to the Ministry of Defense. Then you had a bunch of private militias operating semi-independently under the guise of the Ukrainian National Guard. Then you had the Nazi militias reporting to their leaders in the Interior Ministry (the Ukraine DHS). Yes, of course this sounds completely fucked up. You have a half-finished Jewish Mafia war masquerading as a fully-completed coup. 

Kolomoyskyi goes with the flow and is on whoever's side is winning (and most profitable for him). At one time, he was on the Gas Witch's side. Then he switched to Yanukovych. Then he switched to the Yats - Porky comedy hour and built the militias. Now, he's switched to the Nazis. Well, not him actually. His 17 battalions of kinda-National-Guard guys just decided that they should really be commanded by Yarosh, unofficial leader of the Stazi. All together, the Nazis NOW have far more soldiers and power than the crumbling mostly-conscript Ukraine Army. 

Oh yeah, Yarosh doesn't like ANY Russians and doesn't care much for Porky and Yats. The U.S. isn't going to send heavy arms to his Stazi thugs, though - only the 'official' Ukrainian Army. Why the sudden rush to get heavy arms to them? Because the only reason Yarosh has let the Ukrainian Army exist is to get money and arms from American. If they can't get any arms, then Yarosh will kill the UAF. If the UAF does get arms, Yarosh will take them for his army and then kill the UAF. I guess the U.S. figured the UAF would survive if they got bigger toys than the Stazi right away. The U.S. wasn't expecting over half the forces to essentially 'quit' the UAF and join the Stazi troops like they just did.

I don't know if Yarosh actually wants to run Ukraine. He just wants to head his fantasy unit: 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician) and kill people. He absolutely loves to do that, especially if they're Russian. Kolomoyskyi may have handed over all the volunteer battalions to secure his place in the new government. That would be the Nazi government that replaces the failed CIA/State Department puppet government. I don't know if that means Kolomoyskyi wants to be president, PM or Queen of New Galicia. He just wants to matter (small penis syndrome no doubt).

Screw the ceasefire and 'Western Leader' bullshit. Putin doesn't care because he knows Yarosh and Kolomoyskiy are in charge and they didn't agree to ANY ceasefire. The U.S. - as usual - is completely oblivious to the approaching shit-storm. They really think Porky and Yats are going to be in power in a month or two and their government matters.

Watching the latest failed U.S. attempt at regime change is like watching "Ow, My Balls" reruns over and over again. The pain just never ends.

Latina Lover's picture

Excellent Analysis, Paveway IV. It is ZH'ers like yourself that keep me reading comments despite the endless deluge of drivel spewed by robotic Ukie Trolls.

I would add that Kolomoyskiy will likely try to cut a deal with Putin, when it becomes obvious that the Ukraine is a failed state, when every last hrvynia of profit is squeezed out of a mordibund economy and  no more money will be forthcoming fromthe western useful idiots. 

Yarosh, I don't know, but I suspect he would be happy to rule Galicia, a strategically  and economically worthless piece of real estate.

Paveway IV's picture

I'm looking for work and hoping to find something at Stratfor or maybe The Brookings Institution. Do you think I should have left off the "Ow My Balls" reference? 

For the geographically challenged (me), the former Kingdom of Galicia was here.

Please do not confuse this with the Galicia state of beautiful NW Spain. They prefer Galizian and they will kick your ass. That's all I know about them.

IridiumRebel's picture

This is from the BBC. Why is my HorseShit meter going off? They are state media. Obfuscation imminent.

August's picture

This BBC (i.e. vetted) piece is mildly encouraging;  the "West" may be laying the PR groundwork for a pivot away from the Nazis.

Joe A's picture

The BBC plays a dual role. They also broke the news that the 'evidence' that Colin Powell presented in the UNSC on the chemical weapons in Iraq was based on some things that a Iraqi asylum seeker said when he applied for asylum in Germany. They want to present themselves as fair and unbiased.

Bollixed's picture

Gotta give the BBC credit for being ahead of the curve on that WTC7 thingy...

Fun Facts's picture

What are the odds that the BBC would erroneously report live on air that WTC7 had collapsed 22 minutes before it was actually demolished?

There are no odds for that. The odds are zero.

A steel building had never collapsed in that way due to fire and has not since, and yet they knew 22 minutes in advance that it would collapse.

The BBC is owned by the Rothschild syndicate. Go figure.

Think about it. Lay off the fluoride for a few days and think about it again. They think we are all too toopid to objectively look at the world they have us all living in.

Bollixed's picture

Lol, there was about 800 pounds of sarc in my post.

Here's what a skyscraper looks like on fire. At least the one's Larry Silverstein doesn't own...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Qg_-89Zr8

(not my down vote, btw)

McMolotov's picture

BBC also reported after the MH17 fiasco in Ukraine that eyewitnesses saw at least one fighter jet tailing the aircraft before it went down. That report promptly got tossed down the memory hole.

hal10000's picture

To be fair, the media does such a sloppy job in their rush to be first.  They end up getting taken way too easily and it's been a long-standing problem.  The media is just too easily manipulated.  Kuwaiti baby incubators, the Racak massacre, Rwanda, Qaddaffi's use of rape and Viagra in Libya, on through the whole Maidan debacle and so on.  The 2003 Iraq War was not some single "oops" moment for the media, but just the cresecendo of a long-established trend.  And since the birth of Internet, it just accelerated.  For a humours but illustrative example, https://www.popehat.com/2014/12/20/the-curious-case-of-the-t-v-attorney-...

I've said it many times that it's not the case we believe RT or Russian media, it's that we are wise enough now to not bellieve our own Western media at all.

 

 

 

 

Joe A's picture

Journalists are whorenalists. See what is going on with the disgraced NB reporter. Amanpour's career took off in Bosnia (and she is married to Albright's sidekick Rubin who set Yugoslavia up to be bombed to pieces because they made YU an offer they could not accept).

There is no honest investigative reporting anymore as Seymour Hersch said some time ago. They write what their owners/handlers want to hear or else they don't get other assignments/pay. A lot of journalists are in the pockets of secret agencies and get rewarded for their 'cooperation'.

cynicalskeptic's picture

OF COURSE the locals were responsible......    no outside involvement AT ALL.....the US would NEVER interfere in the affaairs of a sovreign state, would NEVER push the overthrow of a 'hostile' government, no matter what......  and the US would NEVER align itself with a bunch of fascists no matter what the stakes......

see... the truth eventually comes out... now move on.. nothing more to see

Augustus's picture

Latino Licker,

Shouldn't you be over there volunteering your services as the lav cleaner to make sure that Puuties' invaders have clean asses?  The shit you post here must come straight from Puutie anyway.  Reduce the expense of transport and get a pay raise.

Maybe your buddies supported by Puutie will let you fire the next rocket taking down a civilian plane.

 

Of course Yatso thought his life was threatened.  He knew that he was a criminal carrying out the Puutie plan.  He had pillaged enough to live as a successful mini-oligarch and needed Russian protection.  Did Puutie use any protection when he made you so very happy?

Yttrium Gold Nitrogen's picture

Ukie propaganda. Nothing to see, move on.

Joe A's picture

I keep telling: you and others are part of a troll brigade to 'enlighten' us misguided souls on ZH on 'what is really going on in Ukraine and Russia'. You can recognize them when you look at their bio: a few weeks on ZH. As far as I am concerned everybody is free to what he or she wants to write on ZH but trolls should just fuck off.

Ignatius's picture

Yeah, an extension of Cass Sunstein's "Cognitive Infiltration".

Found this interview with author Douglas Valentine this AM that speaks right to this.

thamnosma's picture

How do we know you're not a troll?

Joe A's picture

Cause I have been here for 3 years and 32 weeks and have commented on all sorts of things, not only on some current geopolitical situation.

kianator's picture

4 years and 27 weeks, but more than 5+ since I just browsed when I found ZH.  The user base from the .RU crowd has increased

dramatically over the years due to concerted efforts of the Russian propaganda machine to "influence public opinion" on social media websites in the US and Europe.  Not only that, I do believe the multiple faces of "Tyler Durden" include many from that area of the world.

Joe A's picture

I don't care who the biggest faction is. They need to fuck off. They can go and join the social sites of the MSM (that have journalists that work for governments). Alternative media should be clean from these bozos.

kianator's picture

I agree, but these ZH users, or trolls, are paid to visit social media websites in the US and elsewhere to influence public opinion on Russia's behalf.  Unfortunately, it is their job.

I have a friend who manages a website for XYZ social media website who tells me about all the new accounts created from areas east of Poland. Then, he tells me that suddenly gets new accounts created from users in Spain ad Italy.  Why?  The trolls using proxy servers in those countries to hide their tracks.

hal10000's picture

Like the proof of Russian soldiers in east Ukraine, I've yet to see any evidence that Russia has been doing this.  Another one of those big internet myths Snopes will eventually get around to debunking.  It isn't just people like Bush who are adherents to blind faith.  What we do know is that the UK government has been reported to have created a Facebook brigade.

I'd gladly spread the truth and if the Russians pay me, even better.  lol

McMolotov's picture

Why do people continue to act as though the US doesn't have its very own online propaganda army?

"DARPA seeks to develop tools to help identify misinformation or deception campaigns and counter them with truthful information, reducing adversaries' ability to manipulate events."

http://www.darpa.mil/Our_Work/I2O/Programs/Social_Media_in_Strategic_Com...

palmereldritch's picture

Persona management was probably just one of the hydra threads that got Michael Hastings whacked

http://www.globalresearch.ca/connections-between-michael-hastings-edward...

Sock Puppets and Other Tricks

Other clues as to what ProjectPM-related material may have led the FBI to investigate Michael Hastings can be found in his published work.

Endgame Systems CEO Nathaniel Fick. Formerly of the Center for a New American Security, Fick took over for Endgame in November 2012.

In a May 18, 2012, article on propaganda efforts by the State Department, Hastings referred to a “program being developed by the Pentagon [that] would design software to create “sock puppets” on social media outlets.” The HBGary emails are littered with references to this type of “persona management” technology.

Principal among these was a June 2010 United States Air Force (USAF) contract from the 6thContracting Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. It sought providers of “persona management software” that would allow 50 users to control up to 500 fictional personae.

These sock puppets were required to be “replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally, and geographically consistent.” In other words, avatars so convincing they could fool the people with whom they were interacting into believing they were real.

MacDill Air Force Base is home to the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), the section of the military that oversees and coordinates all special-forces activity globally. USSOCOM lists under its “core activities” the employment of psychological operations (PSYOPS) and information operations (IO)—exactly the type of activity this “sockpuppeting” technology would be employed in.

With the NSA providing the ostensible proxy masks one could presume.

Element's picture

 

 

"... I agree, but these ZH users, or trolls, are paid to visit social media websites in the US and elsewhere to influence public opinion on Russia's behalf.  Unfortunately, it is their job. ..."

Yup, and although I think the above story claim is a complete stinker, people here, and all over the internet, and mass media, in fact seem to have forgotten one very inconvenient fact:

1 March: Russia's parliament approves President Vladimir Putin's request to use force in Ukraine to protect Russian interests.

Russian parliament approves troop deployment in Ukraine - March 1st 2014

 

"oh ... bu!! ... but!! ... he was ... like, ... totally tricked into doing that man!!!"

Yeah, and I'm the fucking tooth fairy. And there's no armed invasion, nor direct Russian troop involvements in Ukraine either, right?

Denial, denial, denial, on and on it goes, this laughable juvenile Putin-fanboy lunatic jabbering and knee-jerking. This is the resulting level of imaginary reality and optional facts we have, in the resulting crippled mutilated 'discussion', that revolves entirely around pet propaganda narratives and nothing else.

Which was the intent of the pro-Russia-bot clique.

Though I do (apparently completely and wildly unrealistically!) expect zh, and its commentators, to be a whole lot smarter than this stupid racid muck.

Standards have slipped, plunged off the cliff even.

Joe A's picture

I don't doubt that Russia is supplying the rebels. I don't doubt either that there are Russian troops on the ground there in East Ukraine although nobody is presenting proof of that. Cause it would have impossible for the rebels to be reverse the cause of the war and make this progress without foreign help. Like it would not have been possible for Ukrainian opposition to have their coup d'etat without foreign help. Cookies don't cut it.

Putin was certainly not tricked. He just used the occassion presented to him. Did NATO war planners not foresee that he would take Crimea and support the rebels? Hard to imagine. They took a decision based on information they had and decided to take a gamble perhaps. This situation of course also works in NATO's favor in that sense that they now have the 'excuse' to put NATO basis and troops in Eastern Europe, right on Vlad's doorstep.

Cause this fight is essentially part of a bigger conflict and chess games are played one pawn at a time. But the players are Putin and NATO (and the financial sector they represent. Obama is merely a golf player). And Europe/EU is just a pawn. But hey, I live in Europe. Can WWIII be fought somewhere else this time? Or rather, not be fought at all. The planet has more important problems to worry about.

Element's picture

 

 

"Did NATO war planners not foresee that he would take Crimea and support the rebels?"

One point, the armed rebel fight basically didn't exist prior to Putin's taking Crimea. They were thoroughly opportunistic in their break away, seeing Ukraine was economically totally ruined, and the IMF making it worse still, while seeing Crimea getting the Russian candy and bribes, and thinking, hmm, ... you know what? I'd rather get Moscow's bribes and candy, and some power in my own little pro-Moscow fiefdom would be lovely too.

 

Noes!! ... daes iz reel paytriots!!

 

edit: One last point, UK and France are not strategic pawns, they have nukes and people with nukes can at a minimum EMP other states (even a major ally) to oblivion. So treating them as an expendable pawn would be suicidal for the simple fact that you can not push a credible nuclear power into a corner and expect to come away a winner and grinner. So I would not presume Europe is a pawn (as many do). It wasn't a pawn in the cold war (but it was the initial conventional engagement battle zone), and it isn't an expendable strategic pawn now. Those US B-61s distributed in European hardened aircraft shelters, within theater strike range of the tactical fighters that will deliver them is to make sure that any massed attack on Europe would surely fail, while the territorial aggressor itself is being obliterated. MAD, huh?

Joe A's picture

Thanks for this. I always appreciate your intelligent contributions although perhaps I don't always agree with them.

The problem with the 'initial conventional engagement battle zone' as you called it (can it be somewhere else for a change? Or better, nowhere at all) is that a conventional engagement can go out of control really fast. During the cold war there were whole scenarios about how to conduct and what to do during a 'limited' chemical, biological or tactical nuclear attack. Biological and chemical weapons are banned but I am sure some stacks are lying around somewhere 'just in case'. And Vlad has many tactical nuclear weapons and they have that in their military doctrine. When confronted and threatened with massive conventional forces their doctrine OKs the use of them. And then all bets are off. All it takes is a nervous commander losing his cool or an accident that is interpreted wrongly.

America might respect Europe but as long as we play along (Remember "fuck the EU"?). America during the Yugoslav war wanted to show Europe who really can control the continent.

Sure, Britain and France have nuclear weapons but they are nothing compared to the US and Russia. Using them would be certain suicide.

I wish Ukranians well but that place should have been treated as a buffer zone and not by both players to get into their sphere of influence. A major part of that country is ethnic Russian and there are millions of mixed marriages. If you think that Yugoslavia was a disaster just wait and see if something big would start in Ukraine. And it already is big. Some German newspaper was quoting German secret services saying that the death count in Ukraine already stands at 50,000. At that pace is already more than in Bosnia.

But never let a good crisis go to waste. NATO will bring troops and basis closer to Russia. And perhaps nuclear weapons whoselaunches will give only Russia ten minutes to detect and respond. In turn Russia will put nuclear weapons in Kalinigrad.

It is very very dangerous to put that sort of powerful military hardware and troops in close proximity. It is waiting for an accident to happen.

Europe is used as a pawn by both Russia and the US in their quest for dominance over Eurasia.

Element's picture

You're welcome. I hope you do disagree with me, I can't think of anything more pointless than popularity, reputation or consensus-building. It's why I make sure I'm rarely nice to people in discussions. It's about content. Some people I just respect, others, well, you can probably tell the difference.

I wish Central Europe would get over its ardor for world war, like the head of the IMF, it's always got to be a fricken European.

 

"Using them would be certain suicide."

Yeah? ... and it's different for USA and Russia how? It still means the US can't and won't dare to treat them as pawns, and they likewise will insist that wider Europe isn't treated as a pawn either.

"... in their quest for dominance over Eurasia."

Russia really blew that last year, they could have put the US on the mat and got precisely that. I can scarcely believe how badly Putin's blown it. Once Putin's finally flushed from Russian political system it's clear Russia will have a far better shot at finally approaching that. Going to take 15 to 20 years minimum, from here, even if things started improving immediately

Joe A's picture

The head of the WB always has to be a fricken American. Except for the last one. He has dual nationality....I guess that makes it different. The WB was originally founded to reconstruct Europe after WWII but the European Bank for reconstruction was used instead.

That division of jobs was established when WB and IMF came out of Bretton Woods. They are also referred to as the 'Washington consensus'. In development circles and poor countries the IMF (with its Structural Adjument Programmes) is seen as a drug pusher (the drug here is money) and debt collector for the international financial sector while the WB is seen as financier of projects for which Western companies get the bid and deliver the goods and hardware (such as an infamous case where a deal was struck with a dictator to build a nuclear powerplant to be built by Westinghouse in an earthquake area near an active volcano. I kid you not). The WB provides grants but also a lot of loans that need to be paid back. With interest of course.

Yeah, the other day you wrote how Putin blew it. I am not so sure about that. We need to see how that will develop.

I am not a Putin fan as some are. I prefer the Western society over Russia and China anytime. I just think that you cannot have freedom without truth. And I don't like being played by the people that should 'represent' me.

This is just the result of geopolitical games that are being played. I don't take personally and try to look from it from the same perspective as I look at the ancient world. Same games are being played except the weapons have become much more powerful.

Element's picture

You know, I'm not even anti-Putin (and certainly not anti-Russian), I'm just sick of the totally pathetic crap coming from the Putin jizz-bots in here, so play a bit of devil's advocate. But I do think he made astounding mistakes. 

I like the way you put it there, looking at ancients with nukes - apt.

Joe A's picture

The human race has not evolved much. Maybe were are not hardwired to do so.

Btw, in another post you say you are not American. Might I ask where you are from then?

Element's picture

Australian.

"Maybe were are not hardwired to do so."

We are super-adaptable though.

Joe A's picture

Dutch, but have been outside for quite some time.

"We are super-adaptable though"

Yes, but our niche is getting smaller. Ranges and conditions for human operation are getting narrower. Plenty of environmental threats.

Element's picture

The niche has not physically got smaller, in fact it is still slowly expanding. Ranges and conditions for human life and function have never been greater than now. Populations in many countries demographically setting up for declines. Resources still abundant, not going to decline in the foreseeable. I'm a geo by trade, we have hundreds of years of living high on the hog left to go. The earth and the West in particular has spectacular primary industries capacity, and resources potential remaining, including energy.

'Environmental threats' are imagined fictions, potentialities, nothing more. The sun might blow up too. This is not to say hazard levels don't vary in time and space, but humanity is not going to be sitting around fretting about it, like some minority neurotics want us to. The majority are not going to respond in that way.

The question then is, what will we do?

Same as before, just better-er.

I'm more than OK with that. As apes go, we definitely have our shit together.

Should an ape really be expected to acheive this much?

Or more?

We're doin' OK ... so far.

BTW, monkey to monkey, what country are you residing in now?

Joe A's picture

Yeah, we have come a long way since the Serengeti. But it could be better if we wouldn't be stuck in geopolitical and oil&gas games. Humans have a good talent to find solutions to problems (even the ones we caused ourselves). It is just that politicians often stand in the way. All our energy problems could be solved if we would direct massive amounts of money towards it.

I agree on the way humans have populated this place even in the most inhospitable places but I disagree on the resource base. Raw material for fertilizers are getting scarcer or more difficult to obtain for instance. Air, water and soil pollution are in some places -even in my country- serious concerns. People are getting serious diseases at a younger age but we also got better at diagnosing and treating them. There is still though plenty enough to eat in the world. The white elephant in the room is overpopulation in combination with development. If everybody wants (and who doesn't) to live like us in the West then the world cannot provide enough resources.

Stationed in Bosnia for now.

Element's picture

We are getting better at that stuff all the time.

As for fertilizer, Australia is lousy with phosphates. Never and I mean never is humanity going to run out of phosphates. One of the best fertilizers in the world is ground up mafic igneous rocks. The worlds surface is more the 2/3rds covered in mafic extrusives. We won't ever run out of that. Plus the moon's crust and already powdered soil is also mafic rock.

Earth's air is also 78 % nitrogen, not going to run short of that. Go for a bike ride on the sea shore and a seagull will crap on you - terrific fertilizer!

Soil comes from rocks and organic matter. We make it for market gardens. We can purify water by distillation and we do have the energy and tech to do that in large volumes virtually indefinitely.

You're going to get cold there next week. Good chat, have fun Joe.

Joe A's picture

Thanks and thanks for the info. Phospates can be recycled out of sewage even but not necessary then. Potassium perhaps bigger problem. And nitrogen no problem at all as you said.

It is all a matter of will.

Was cold already last week with plenty of snow. I love winter so no problem there.

Cheers.

Element's picture

Potassium is one of the most common constituents of Earth. When you study geology it eventually dawns on you that earth is a giant ball of solidified crystaline fertilizer, that also just happens to contain the water necessary to break it down to more accessible components and solutes.

We apes won the cosmic jackpot there mate. ;-)

Joe A's picture

We apes won the cosmic jackpot there mate. ;-)

We just don't appreciate it enough.

Cheers!

Max Steel's picture

The user base from the .RU crowd has increased dramatically over the years due to concerted efforts of the Russian propaganda machine to "influence public opinion" on social media websites in the US and Europe. How do you mr.nsa ? Because Forbes posted an article over it ? or simply truth isn't by your nation's coup side in Ukraine . last time we saw it was Uk plaaning to roll its 77th twitter troll brigade in april . Ignorance is Bliss .