Steven Seagal plays at a concert in Crimea

Hollywood actor and musician Steven Seagal played at a weekend concert in the Crimean peninsula, appearing on a stage adorned with the flag of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR).

Seagal and his blues band played on Saturday at a bikers’ show held in the city of Sevastopol, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The star proudly showed his support to the people of Crimea and Donetsk People’s Republic fighting for their independence from the nationalistic regime of Ukraine. Fans waved Russian and DNR flags as Seagal performed.

Seagal said he had travelled to Crimea because music unites people, Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reported. In a March interview with a Russian newspaper, Seagal was quoted as saying that President Vladimir Putin’s desire to protect Russians in Crimea was completely reasonable.

Crimea’s largely Russian-speaking residents voted in March to become part of Russia in an all-out referendum. As the result of the referendum the peninsula became a part of Russian territory, causing much joy and celebration between the local population.

Seagal said he considers Putin, with whom he has promoted martial arts in Russia, “a friend and I’d like to consider him a brother”. In the March newspaper interview Seagal said he did not rule out eventually seeking Russian citizenship in addition to his US citizenship.… -->

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When Russians honestly lay down their arms, the rest raise and take aim

Columnist of “Komsomolskaya Pravda” Dmitry Olshansky muses the question: when all Russian forces tried to be friends with the West, what was prepared as response to them by the “civilized world”?

There is a popular rhetoric (both Moscow and Kiev, the U.S., then everywhere): “We are not against Russia. And we are not against the Russians. We are against Putin. We are against Asian, brutal dictatorship. Against the power of the FSB. Against imperial aggression . Besides that – we are the best friends of the Russian people. ”

Reply to this needs to be the following.

Dear friends!

In Russia, during whole fourteen years – from spring 1985, when Chernenko died, and until the spring of 1999, when you started the famous “humanitarian activities” in Yugoslavia – it was all the way you wanted. Two presidents – Gorbachev and Yeltsin – seriously listened to you, believed you, and did almost anything you wanted from them. The empire, continuously retreating, gave away things for free, withdrew troops, gave independence and nearly washed with soap the feet of all free people. TV was full of liberal ideas, and millions of copies of magazines and newspapers filled up with “crimes of Stalin.” The government consisted largely of the same.

Yes, there was the most important thing – the country itself was exactly the way as you all wanted it – all of you, the Moscow’s Tel Aviv patriot, Kolomoyskyi’s fans, and the American ambassador. The whole country wanted “to be friends with America” and “be part of the civilized world.” Euro-integrated, as they say now.

So there you had it all.

And what was the answer of the “civilized world” to this splendor?

And the answer was:

We will not give money.

No “Marshall Plan.”

No neutral countries – everywhere where Russia leaves, NATO comes.

No “rights of Russians” (especially clear in Baltic republics).

No Crimean autonomy (and there was not yet even a trace of the “hand of Moscow”, Crimeans fought all by themselves then).

Ukraine – a country of Ukrainians and Russians, Kiev – the capital of two cultures? Not at all. Ukrainization, People’s Movement of Ukraine and Ukrainian National Assembly.

Transnistria?… -->

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Russian villains are back?

The Defense Committee of UK has published its report “Towards the Next Defence and Security Review” in the part that deals with preparedness of NATO today. The report argues that NATO is not well prepared for a war with Russia today.

Russian Federation actions in Ukraine have now raised the prospect, however unlikely, of a Russian attack on a NATO Member State. The risk of a conventional attack by the Russian Federation on a NATO state is low, but NATO needs to take much more action to deter that risk. The risk of an unconventional attack using the “ambiguous warfare” tactics deployed in Ukraine and elsewhere, whilst still small, is more substantial and would be even more difficult to counter.

It feels like if the clock is running backwards. I caught myself looking for the news of the restoration of the Berlin wall. Are we back to the times of “Cold War”? Should we now expect to get a rerun of all those “Red Menace” movies again?

At the same time, it is a little strange to see the admittance that Russia is prepared to operate using all those modern tactics that we are used to seeing from USA these days: cyberwar, infowar, “ambiguous warfare”, etc. We are used to hearing that Russia is laid back and outdated and, quite suddenly, it turns out that NATO has to play the catch-up game. This is … a tad unexpected, isn’t it?… -->

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Fascism is there again

Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia Sergey Naryshkin said that fascism is lifting its head again on the Russian borders. He said this on Sunday, June 22, at Brest during the meeting-requiem in Brest fortress on the occasion of the National Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Second World War, RIA Novosti reported.

“If schoolbooks are substituted with nationalist surrogate, fascism, unfortunately, once again will raise its head, and, unfortunately, this is what is happening very close to our borders in a brotherly country” – said Naryshkin. According to him, in the XXI century, as in 1941, people defending their homeland again die with the words “Fascism will not pass!”

“The word of “Motherland” is understood identically in Russia, Belarus and all other parts of the previously single country that saved the whole of Europe and the world from fascism,” – he added.

Russian politician stressed that the fortress of Brest holds a special place among the other heroic cities, as it was struck with the first blow of the Germans in 1941.

The event was attended by war veterans who came by the “Memory Train” from Moscow.

Speaker of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreychenko expressed regret that today we see attempts to downplay the contribution of the Soviet Union to the victory over Nazi Germany. “Parliamentarians of Belarus and Russia will exert their will and efforts to keep the post-Soviet space and the Eurasia the territory of peace, friendship and good neighbors,” – he said.

The exhibition “War Museum – the territory of Peace” has opened in Brest Fortress on Sunday.… -->

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An undeground sect. Literally.

The news report that in Kazan, Russia, an Islamist sect was found living underground for more than 10 years. The members were forbidden to leavean 8-storey (!) bunker they dug (probably themselves) under the basement of a building. Some children never saw daylight.

  • Islamist sect found living underground near Russian city for nearly 10 years (
  • Russian police raid underground Islamist sect – Reuters (
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Quote of the day

A very suitable quote for today:

“In September last year, Putin and Medvedev announced their plans to swap jobs after Medvedev’s presidential term expires in 2012. Putin said the plans were agreed four years ago when he picked Medvedev as his successor on the presidential post.”

— RIA Novosti, 2 March 2012

Well planned and executed. Duh, the democracy.… -->

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As Forbes joked, “in a country where there is an Old New Year must be an old new president too.”

On the elections:

  • Russia’s Putin faces protests after poll triumph
  • Russia election: Vladimir Putin celebrates victory
  • Vladimir Putin: ‘We have won. Glory to Russia’

On the “democraty”:

  • Selective capitalism and kleptocracy
  • As Russia Claims Democracy, Is It Redefining The Word?
  • Природа (нашей) демократии

The unfortunate thing about the elections in Russia is that they are boring. At least in some other countries the elections are staged so that you have an illusion of a fight for power, you get excited over the process and wait eagerly for results. Russia does not bother. Boring.… -->

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