Tag Archives: Russia

Kvick Tänkare

One guy expresses an intent to build an IED, gets caught, and is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.  Another guy actually builds one, is arrested and but isn’t given the WMD charge.  The difference? Well, J. has been following instances like this where it seems the trend is:  Muslims get the WMD charge and white dudes don’t.

EnglishRussia does it again with a great photo set from Kamchatka.

I’m not religious and have a lot of respect for people of faith but I have to admit I have nothing but contempt for those who use religion to rationalize their way of life (like these guys).  Don’t tell me you follow the New Testament and then argue that God wants everyone to have a six bedroom house and two SUVs in the driveway.  So, while this isn’t my cup of tea I gotta give this guy some major props for what he’s attempting to do.  (h/t daily dish)

Yeah…this is just weird (and probably NSFW)

Necronomicox sells dildos shaped like Cthulhu and other elder horrors from the other dimension: “We saw a niche that needed to be filled, so to speak.”

Photos of Russia at war (reenacted)

EnglishRussia has a couple of photo shoots of war reenactors and there’s some really interesting shots.

Cavalry vs. vehicle mounted machine gun


Forget the Russian bear…

It appears we might want to focus a bit more on the sheep.  Let’s see Mr. Putin take on one of these guys.

(h/t EnglishRussia)

Weekend miscellany

I’m listening to the Teaching Company’s course Bach and the High Baroque now and it rocks.  I’m totally sold on Baroque music and haven’t been able to get enough of it.  Conversely, I’m thinking that music from the Romantic era sucks…bunch of pretentious poseurs (Beethoven is the exception that proves the rule, btw).

So, here’s your weekend music

Since I recently wrote about Soviet/Finnish conflict, EnglishRussia comes through again with some photos of a Soviet bomber that crashed in 1939 on the way to the front.

Some really cool people have created a trading card game (think Magic:  The Gathering) based on the principles of biodiversity and ecology.  It’s called Phylo and it’s free.   There’s a forum where the game system continues to be hashed out (the game is still in beta).

The evacuation of Tallinn

Helsingin Sanomat has a really great article about the Soviet evacuation of Tallinn and the resulting 64 or so ships that sunk as they hazarded the airstrikes, minefields, torpedo boats, and coastal artillery.  It interviews one of the last survivors of the incident a then cadet in the Soviet navy.

The first explosion was heard at 17:08, when the 1,500-tonne Estonian freighter Ella struck a mine and sank.  The Luftwaffe, based in airfields in Estonia, harried the ships from the air, with Stuka dive-bombers and Junkers Ju-88s sent into action.
…The greatest losses came from the meticulously-placed mines.  After the sinking of the merchantman Ella, the blasts followed with sickening regularity until late into the night.

The flotilla got jammed up in the darkness in two groups in the midst of the minefield.  Ships collided with one another and exploded in flames. Floating mines kicked up by the efforts of the minesweepers were frantically pushed aside with oars and poles.
The captain of the destroyer Skoryi shot himself on the bridge of his ship as the vessel was going down after hitting a mine, following an incorrect order to the helmsman.

The total death toll of this three day ordeal was more than 12,000 dead.  It’s hard imagine those numbers when, after all, we’re talking about an evacuation, not a battle.

Check out the times that ships were sunk (at the bottom of the page).  At points during the night of the 28th, ships were being hit every 10 minutes or so.  The panic and dread amongst the passengers must have been staggering.

Here’s a German map of the area…

As I understand it, those boxes are minefields…and the fleet sailed right through them.

Here’s a link to the Daily Telegraph’s reporting of the East Front’s war news of that day.

Now I find all this very interesting because my mother-in-law is sending me copies of letters her father wrote her mother while he was a soldier in the Finnish army from 1939-1942.  Translation is difficult since she’s writing in Finnish and I’ve been relying on Google Translate to put it into English but once I can make piece a bit of a narrative together I might post it here.

Kvick Tänkare

Apparently, being a survivalist isn’t a U.S. phenomenon…Russia has at least one as well.  I can’t tell if he’s got tin foil under that do-rag though…

Remember…government screws everything up and can’t possibly run a for-profit company efficiently…Sweden’s 27 fully or partially state-owned companies are on track to break the combined profit record set in 2006. I send this stuff to my father when he gets all Glen Beck-y on me about the ‘fact’ that anything the government touches turns to dust and the private sector sprinkles  fairy dust over us and would never, ever do anything immoral, illegal, or even slightly distasteful.

I’m really no fan of our public school system.  Not because of the quality of the instruction (I really have no idea what it’s like today – it sucked in the mid-80s) but rather because of the broader cultural message it teaches children:  conform and submit to authority without question.  Worse, even if you do question particular decisions of existing authority, never, ever question the underlying system.  So, here’s an article which confirms my preexisting predilections about the dangers of our zero-tolerance policies in schools.  (h/t boingboing)

And we finally get to the bottom of another Starbucks controversy.  Are the founders of Starbucks so anti-Swedish that they can’t even say the word and have to use ‘Norse’ as a substitute?  I wonder how much outrage I can muster?

The War of Transnistria

EnglishRussia has some photos from the War of Transnistria from back in 1992.  From Wikipedia:

The War of Transnistria involved armed clashes on a limited scale that broke out between Transnistrian Republican Guard, militia and Cossack units, supported by the Russian 14th army, and Moldovan troops and police forces as early as November 1990 at Dubăsari (Russian: Дубоссáры, Dubossary). Fighting intensified on 1 March 1992, with the accession of newly independent Moldova into the UN and alternated by ad hoc ceasefires, lasted throughout spring and early summer 1992 until a ceasefire was declared on 21 July 1992, which has held ever since.

How old is this kid?  12?

And, I’m not sure how good this thing would be in a fight.  It might do fine in a zombie apocalypse though…

Check it out, there’s lots more to see.

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

I know my posts have consisted of a bit more fluff than usual but:

  1. I’m working on a project at work and need a bit of a break when I get to blog and,
  2. that’s one of the things I really enjoy about my little project here.  I can follow my whims and not get bound by artificial restrictions.

Anyway, I imagine I’ll be getting back to more weighty topics next week.  But for now:

Your Swedish headline of the day:

Blow for bishop as orgasm church flops

Comrade Bear shoots a whale.  Does the Kremlin count as his lair or should he really have a base under a volcano or something?

Putin held his balance in a rubber boat that was being tossed around in choppy waters off the Kamchatka Peninsula, and eventually hit the whale with a special arrow designed to collect skin samples.

Courtesy of Balko, more homeland security nonsense.  Seven people dressed up as zombies and decided to go to the local mall to protest consumerism.  Someone saw their PA system and, freaking out, called the cops who arrested them for:

…disorderly conduct and said the zombies’ homemade public address rig looked like a weapon of mass destruction.

The zombies sued and the city council decided to settle for $165,000.  Good for them.

YT sent me this article about the unveiling of the Iranian drone bomber thingy.  Leave it to the Iranians to screw up on the messaging…

“The jet, as well as being an ambassador of death for the enemies of humanity, has a main message of peace and friendship,” said Ahmadinejad at the inauguration ceremony, which fell on the country’s national day for its defense industries.

WTF does that mean?!  I guess he had an extra dose of crazy with his breakfast.

Is it me or would Putin, Assange and Ahmadinejad make a great league of super villains?  It wouldn’t be a stretch to give them superpowers…Putin could be like Colossus, Assange could be the Leader.  I’m not sure about Ahmadinejad…someone crazy and out of touch with reality…Green Goblin, maybe?

The legacy of the Arctic Sea?

Remember the Arctic Sea? It was the Finnish ship that was either hijacked, picked up some floundering boaters, suffered a radio malfunction, carrying illegal arms, or some combination of those.

One of the rumors swirling around was that the ship was carrying S300 surface to air missiles to Iran.   The idea was rejected by most (including myself…but what the hell do I know).  But, once the ship was recovered the story died and discussions of its possible cargo faded to the realm of water cooler speculation (What kind of water cooler do you hang around at?  eds.).

But then…out of the blue, Iran announced it had four S300s.  But wait, it gets more interesting…

The Fars news agency said Wednesday that Iran has obtained two missiles from Belarus and two others from another unspecified source. [italics added]

And even better

A spokesman for Belarus’ state military trade committee denied that any missiles had been transferred.

There are just so many ways this could play out, it’s dizzying.  Does Iran want Israel and the U.S. to think they have the S300 system (to deter an attack) and therefore might be willing to claim they have them, even if they don’t?  Would the U.S. be willing to downplay or deny the existence of Iranian S300sin order to avoid escalating tensions?  Would the Russians (or anyone else) want to thumb their noses at U.S. objections and sell a few of these systems to Iran?

So, is it possible that the Arctic Sea did have some S300s on board and that they managed to get them to Iran?  If so, could it be that the two IL-76s that the Russians sent purportedly to bring the two dozen sailors was really a deception operation to make everyone think that they had taken those S300s off ship and were sending them back to Russia when, in fact, they had already been delivered?

The dumbing of the media

So, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the scandal over the woman who returned her adopted Russian child.

The strange thing is that the media has been reporting virtually from the beginning that adoptions by Americans were suspended.

The problem is that it wasn’t true.  The Foreign Ministry issued some statements about suspending adoptions but they don’t have the authority to do that.  It is the Ministry of Education that has jurisdiction over adoptions and they haven’t suspended anything according to the U.S. state department.

So one wonders why the media still talks about a suspension like it’s a fact.  One could understand confusion of small or local media outlets that get their information second hand from larger organizations but there is a Press Relations Office that either responds to questions or (gasp!) actually allows journalists to attend briefings and ask questions.

But, of course, the nuances of domestic politics in Russia is far too complicated for the American public and would take up too much valuable air time (OMG!  If we run that story we can’t talk about Kate Gosselin!)  so it’s better to just make stuff up and figure that it’s close enough.

This is really a pretty basic piece of information.  If they get stuff like this wrong, how much faith can you have that they’re getting the big stuff right?