Tag Archives: russia

Never Again? Or, History Repeats Itself?

When Hitler started to expand Germany, his big lie was that he was protecting German speaking citizens of neighboring countries who really wanted to be free to join Germany.  He re-militarized the Saarland, then the Rhein.  Other countries ignored his military build-ups and violation of treaty because they were tired of war after The Great War, or the war to end all wars, now called WW1.  Then Hitler moved into neighboring countries, annexing Austria through a “vote” of the people called the Anschluss, enforced by brown shirted thugs at the polls.  Then the German speaking areas of Checkoslovakia, and so on.  It was not until he invaded Poland that people acted to stop him.

Once expanding, he set up the non-German supporters as enemies.  He made Jews and others register and denied them citizenship.  He outlawed homosexuality, implemented the Hitler youth to build a new super race and form a stronger Germany.

After WW2 cost over 50 million lives, we promised “never again.”

Now Vladamir Putin has invaded and taken over the Crimea, a part of the Ukraine.  Ukraine agreed to give up nuclear weapons to be protected, but no one is protecting them.  Russian special forces in plain uniforms oversaw the “vote” to join Russia in Crimea that was 96% in favor.  Now Russian thugs are taking over several parts of Ukraine and are active in Moldova, Georgia and Estonia.  They say they are there to protect Russian speaking people.  They have started a Russian youth fitness program to restore military power.  Putin outlawed homosexuality and other non-accepted behavior.  Now they are starting to try to register Jews in Ukraine.

Never again?  Do we really mean it?  Or are we truly the modern Neville Chamberlains, too war weary, too happy in our lives, the suffering of others so far away too distant?  History really does repeat itself all too often.

‘Complete lie’: Pro-Russian official denies role in mysterious leaflets to Ukrainian Jews


April 18, 2014: Denis Pushilin, foreground center, spokesman of the self-appointed Donetsk Peoples Republic, speaks to reporters inside the regional administration building seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine.AP

A pro-Russian official initially thought to be behind fliers telling Ukrainian Jews to register vehemently denied any involvement on Friday, telling Fox News the leaflets were a “complete lie.”

The leaflets were first reported in Israel’s Ynet News. The news site said the notices were circulated in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, demanding that Jews register — as well as provide a list of property they own — or else face deportation and revocation of citizenship. Pro-Russian activists have asserted partial control over some government buildings in that city.

 Ynet reported that the notices, sent as the Passover holiday began, were signed by Denis Pushilin, chairman of Donetsk’s temporary government.

But after the fliers gained international attention — including a public rebuke by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry — Pushilin and others described them as a deliberate “provocation.”

Pushilin said his organization did not distribute the leaflets. To back up his case, he said the notices were too sloppy to have been sent out by him.

“Moreover, this provocation has been done unprofessionally — first of all, it is signed as ‘people’s governor Denis Pushilin,’ and I never referred to myself as such and nobody called me like that first,” he told Fox News. “Secondly the stamp that is there, it is bigger in size meaning simply it has been done in a Photoshop. And third, if you read the text you will see that it’s relatively badly written.”

He said he has personally denied involvement in conversations with the Jewish community in both Kiev and Donetsk.

Donetsk is one of the hotbeds of unrest in eastern Ukraine, and pro-Russian activists are still showing resistance to the terms of a recently struck diplomatic deal that aims to ease the tensions between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian forces.

After the notices to Jews began circulating, questions quickly were raised about their origin. One aide to Pushilin told Fox News that pro-Ukrainian groups were circulating them as a false flag operation to cause an international incident.

An Israeli official also told Fox News that the issue was brought to the attention of the Israeli embassy and foreign ministry, though they also presume the leaflets were handed out by local militia members as a kind of provocation. The official said the notices were distributed by masked men.

Yet the accounts gained international attention as Kerry condemned the notices on the sidelines of the diplomatic summit in Geneva.

“Just in the last couple of days, notices were sent to Jews in one city indicating that they have to identify themselves as Jews,” he said Thursday. “In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable — it’s grotesque. It is beyond unacceptable.”

Kerry said if anyone engages in these kinds of activities on either side, “there is no place for that.”

The notices reportedly were sent to areas where pro-Russian activists have declared the region as a “people’s republic” in defiance of the central Ukrainian government.

Ynet reported the fliers said that because Jewish community leaders supported a Ukrainian nationalist movement and “oppose the pro-Slavic People’s Republic of Donetsk,” the interim government has decided: “that all citizens of Jewish descent, over 16 years of age and residing within the republic’s territory are required to report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and register.”

The notices reportedly demand Jews pay a $50 registration fee.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday that U.S. officials were trying to gather more information.

Fox News’ Leland Vittert contributed to this report.

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Ukraine computers targeted by aggressive ‘Snake’ virus

Ukraine computers targeted by aggressive ‘Snake’ virus

Published March 09, 2014

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Dozens of Ukrainian computer networks, including those run by the Kiev government, have been infected by an aggressive virus known as “Snake” or “Ouroboros,” and experts say that there’s every chance that Russia is behind it.

The Financial Times reported that the virus has been deployed aggressively since the start of 2013. The paper cited information from British defense and security firm BAE Systems, which recorded 22 infections of Ukrainian computer systems by “Snake” since the start of 2013. Of those, 14 have occurred since the start of 2014, while protests raged against President Viktor Yanukovych’s government. In all, 56 computer systems around the world have been infected by “Snake” since 2010. Almost all of the incidents have taken place since the beginning of last year.

The Financial Times reported that the virus not only allows its employer access to computer networks for surveillance purposes, but can also act as a “digital beachhead” for software that can disrupt vital computer networks, such as those that control power supplies for banking operations.

Identifying where a computer virus specifically originated from is difficult to do, but the Financial Times reported that “Snake” appears to have been developed somewhere in the GMT +4 time zone, which encompasses Moscow. The paper also reported that parts of the code contain Russian text.

David Garfield, managing director of cyber security at BAE, told the paper that the recorded instances were likely “the tip of the iceberg.” Garfield also said that the complexity of the “Snake” program ruled out a rogue hacker, saying “Whoever made it really is a very professional outfit.”

Nigel Inkster, a former director of intelligence and operations for MI6, Britain’s international intelligence agency, was more specific with his suspicions, telling the paper, “If you look at it in probabilistic terms – who benefits and who has the resources – then the list of suspects boils down to one … Until recently the Russians have kept a low profile, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they can do the full scope of cyber attacks, from denial of service to the very, very sophisticated.”

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Russian ban on lacy lingerie meets cries of panty persecution

Russian ban on lacy lingerie meets cries of panty persecution

Published February 17, 2014

Associated Press
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    Feb. 16, 2014: Women protest against the ban of lace underwear  in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (AP)

MOSCOW –  A trade ban on lacy lingerie has Russian consumers and their neighbors with their knickers in a twist.

The ban will outlaw any underwear containing less than 6 percent cotton from being imported, made, or sold in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. And it has struck a chord in societies where La Perla and Victoria’s Secret are panty paradises compared to Soviet-era cotton underwear, which was often about as flattering and shapely as drapery.

On Sunday, 30 women protesters in Kazakhstan were arrested and thrown into police vans while wearing lace underwear on their heads and shouting “Freedom to panties!”

The ban in those three countries was first outlined in 2010 by the Eurasian Economic Commission, which regulates the customs union, and it won’t go into effect until July 1. But a consumer outcry against it already is reaching a fever pitch.

Photographs comparing sexy modern underwear to outdated, Soviet goods began spreading on Facebook and Twitter on Sunday, as women and men alike railed against the prospective changes.

“As a rule, lacy underwear … is literally snatched off the shelves,” said Alisa Sapardiyeva, the manager of a lingerie store in Moscow, DD-Shop, as she flicked through her colorful wares. “If you take that away again, the buyer is going to be the one who suffers the most.”

According to the Russian Textile Businesses Union, more than $4 billion worth of underwear is sold in Russia annually, and 80 percent of the goods sold are foreign made. Analysts have estimated that 90 percent of products would disappear from shelves, if the ban goes into effect this summer as planned.

The Eurasian Economic Commission declined to comment Monday, saying it was preparing to issue a statement about the underwear ban.

While consumer outrage may force customs union officials to compromise, many see the underwear ban as yet another example of the misguided economic policies that have become a trademark of many post-Soviet countries.

Sunday’s panty protest in Kazakhstan followed a larger demonstration the day before against a 19 percent devaluation of the country’s currency, the tenge.

Other people laughed off the panty ban, seeing it as yet another attempt to add regulations and controls to an already byzantine bureaucracy in the three countries.

“I think (the girls)… will still have the opportunity to wear it (synthetic underwear) whether you can buy it in Russia or not,” said 22-year-old Muscovite Trifon Gadzhikasimov, noting that most of his friends travel abroad regularly. “I think this is just another silly law that shows the ineffectiveness of our government.”

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Putin on The Ritz – Sochi Showcases Wonders of Command Economies…

Photographic Proof That Sochi Is A Godforsaken Hellscape Right Now

In Russia, Olympics compete against you! Follow @SochiFails for more of this.                 posted on  February  6, 2014 at  2:18pm EST

                           BuzzFeed Staff                                               posted  February  6, 2014  2:18pm EST
I know, right? Now tell your friends!
Photographic Proof That Sochi Is A Godfors…
1. The final preparations for the highly anticipated and perpetually controversial Sochi Olympics are furiously underway.

2. But unfortunately for the tightly controlled Russian PR machine, international reporters have arrived.

In 24 hours alone, 26,000 tweets have been sent using the hashtag #SochiProblems http://t.co/KIlAnDWCaw

3. And here are the things they are finding:

 Hallways very dangerous, keep calm and carry on…or trip and fall and hit head. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

A lot of complaints about the accommodations. This is the foyer of my apartment. #SochiProblems

Ok, so my hotel doesn’t have a lobby yet.

For those of you asking, when there’s no lobby in your hotel, you go to the owner’s bedroom to check in. #Sochi2014

7. Live wires in showers.

New plumbing work or extra shower hose? @espnWD. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

Light fixtures falling from celling are normal, go back to bed. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, “do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.” #Sochi2014

Water restored, sorta. On the bright side, I now know what very dangerous face water looks like. #Sochi #unfiltered

How does water take urine away after I use it? #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

We torture your bowels with complex toilets. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

No flush, must play basketball with used toilet paper. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

Only shell of toilet, you have no way to flush! #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

Made a lot of new friends this morning #sochi #Sochi2014 #SochiProblems

No toboggan in restaurants, this is law. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

I think @blakeshelton‘s song took too much meaning in Russia. #HoneyBee #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

You can have internet, but it must be impossible to use. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

Ignore construction, if you fall in man-hole you see whole new side of city. #Sochi2014 #SochiProblems

The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s green where you….paint it. #SochiProblems @PHSCE

Got back to hotel. Lift broken after half day in use. Trekked up stairs. Door to my floor (that’d be the fire door) locked. Utter farce.

Firehose there for artistic impression, give it a try. #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

5am update: The stray dogs are all awake and barking at each other, like birds on a tree just before sunrise.

THIS IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, LEAVE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY. 6am Sochi wake up. Brief moment of terror as locked fire door.

Sochi cribs. Check out my couch! #sochi #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

30. Some of the situations are so bad they inspired their own memes.

Uh, Miley? What did you do to my hotel room? #SochiProblems #Sochi2014

31. And people have even made a survival guide.

32. Journalists making fun of the Sochi conditions will most likely continue through the Olympics.

Just arrived at Sochi, I could have sworn my hotel room looked different online

33. Especially in light of extravagant spending elsewhere…

34. But have no fear! If you are having problems, you can tweet at game organizer Dmitry Chernyshenko.

@DChernyshenko Our media hotel is not ready Dmitry….11 rooms booked five months ago, only one ready. Please help.

35. And he will tell you to look at mountains.

@HarryCNN to believe you need just to turn back and to look at the mountains 😉

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Treasure-filled warrior’s grave found in Russia

Treasure-filled warrior’s grave found in Russia

By Owen Jarus

Published February 21, 2013


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    The burial of the warrior was richly adorned and contained more than a dozen gold artifacts. This fibula-brooch, despite being only 2.3 by 1.9 inches in size, contains intricate decorations leading towardthe center where a rock crystal bead is (Photo courtesy Valentina Mordvintseva)

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    This iron axe is one of many weapons found with the burial of the warrior. (Valentina Mordvintseva)

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    The grave of a male warrior who was laid to rest some 2,200 years ago in what is now the mountains of the Caucasus in Russia, shown here in a diagram of the warrior’s skeleton and numerous artifacts. (Valentina Mordvintseva)

Hidden in a necropolis situated high in the mountains of the Caucasus in Russia, researchers have discovered the grave of a male warrior laid to rest with gold jewelry, iron chain mail and numerous weapons, including a 36-inch iron sword set between his legs.
That is just one amazing find among a wealth of ancient treasures dating back more than 2,000 years that scientists have uncovered there.

Among their finds are two bronze helmets, discovered on the surface of the necropolis. One helmet (found in fragments and restored) has relief carvings of curled sheep horns while the other has ridges, zigzags and other odd shapes.

Although looters had been through the necropolis before, the warrior’s grave appears to have been untouched. The tip of the sword he was buried with points toward his pelvis, and researchers found “a round gold plaque with a polychrome inlay” near the tip, they write in a paper published in the most recent edition of the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia. [See Images of the Warrior Burial and Artifacts]

The remains of three horses, a cow and the skull of a wild boar were also found buried near the warrior.

“These animals were particularly valuable among barbarian peoples of the ancient world. It was [a] sign of [the] great importance of the buried person, which was shown by his relatives and his tribe,” wrote team member Valentina Mordvintseva, a researcher at the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology, in an email to LiveScience. The animal bones and pottery remains suggest that a funeral feast was held in his honor.

Without written records it is difficult to say exactly who the warrior was, but rather than ruling a city or town, “he was rather a chief of a people,” Mordvintseva said.

The necropolis is located near the town of Mezmay. Grave robbers discovered the site in 2004 and rescue excavations began in 2005.

Who used the necropolis?
Based on the artifacts, researchers believe the warrior’s burial dates back around 2,200 years, to a time when Greek culture was popular in west Asia, while the necropolis itself appears to have been in use between the third century B.C. and the beginning of the second century A.D.

Researchers were careful to note that the artifacts cannot be linked to a specific archaeological culture. Mordvintseva points out that “this region is very big, and not sufficiently excavated,” particularly in the area where the necropolis is located. “[I]t is situated high in mountains. Perhaps the population of this area [had] trade routes/passes with Caucasian countries — Georgia, Armenia etc.,” Mordvintseva writes in the email.

While the people who used the necropolis were clearly influenced by Greek culture, they maintained their own way of life, said Mordvintseva. “Their material culture shows that they were rather very proud of themselves and kept their culture for centuries.”

Gold treasures
This way of life includes a fondness for gold-working. The warrior’s burial included more than a dozen artifacts made of the material. Perhaps the most spectacular find was a gold fibula-brooch with a rock crystal at its center. Although the brooch was only 2.3 by 1.9 inches, it had several layers of intricately carved decorations leading toward the mount.

“Inside the mount a rock-crystal bead has been placed with a channel drilled through it from both ends,” the researchers write.

The team was surprised to find that two of the warrior’s swords (including the one pointing toward his pelvis) had gold decorations meant to be attached. In one case a short 19-inch-long iron sword had a gold plate, with inlayed agate, that was meant to adorn its sheath. Until now, scholars had never seen this type of golden sword decorations in this part of the ancient world, the researchers write. The “actual fact that these articles were used to decorate weapons sets them apart in a category all of their own, which has so far not been recorded anywhere else …”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/02/21/treasure-filled-warrior-grave-found-in-russia/?intcmp=related#ixzz2Qg0OO2BM

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The Only Woman Who Ever Got Hit By a Meteorite

The Only Woman Who Ever Got Hit By a Meteorite Survived

Imagine going about your day like the people in Russia only to be smacked against a wall by a meteorite’s shockwave. That’s already crazy. But imaging being in your home, napping on your couch and actually getting hit by an actual meteorite. That actually happened to Ann Hodges in 1954. She survived.

In the only confirmed account of a person getting struck by a meteorite, Ann Hodges was left with just a large bruise after the softball-sized meteorite broke through her ceiling and bounced off a radio before it thumped her on her thigh. After all of the people who have ever lived in this world and after all the meteorites that have hit Earth, she’s the only one to have ever been hit. Amazing.

It’s especially funny to look back in time. Most people said the meteorite, which hit Hodges in Sylacauga, Alabama, was like “a fireball, like a gigantic welding arc” but others assumed it was the work of the Soviets. After it was confirmed to be a meteorite, there was a big hodgepodge over who actually owned the meteorite.

Hodges eventually gained possession of the meteorite and though she survived being struck by the space rock in 1954, she passed away in 1972 at the age of 52 because of kidney failure. [National Geographic] 


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