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SOTT Exclusive: Ukraine 'information army' fail

mind bullets
I reported on Ukraine's new 'information army' last month, here. Launched by Kiev's Ministry of Information Policy to combat the alleged "Russian occupation on the information front", it's hard to decide whether to laugh or cry.

While the source in that article says the number of recruits for the first day couldn't have topped 13,000, in the eyes of Ukraine's minister of information policy Yury Stenets, that's close enough for horseshoes to 35,000. For some strange reason, in Kiev a small or non-existent number (like the number of Russian troops in Ukraine) is always large, while a large number (like the number of their troops killed or wounded in action) is always small.

In a 'country' whose media has led the vanguard in total disconnection from reality - presenting outright lie after outright lie as indisputable truth - it's still a shock to read something like the following from Stenets:
We are not going to create fake news, we are not going to talk nonsense and we will not speak untrue things. As soon as one starts doing that, it becomes ineffective.
Puhleeze! But then, he's kind of right. So far, Kiev's policy of just making shit up has proven itself to be totally ineffective. Their ass-like stubbornness against publicly admitting that thousands of their troops were trapped in Debaltsevo resulted in the loss of the vast majority of their heavy weaponry there, not to mention the deaths of thousands of the troops. (But Kiev doesn't care much about the troops - that's why they had troops to kill the troops trying to escape from the non-existent cauldron. Just more cannon fodder in the epic battle against evil Russia.)
Gold Coins

Ukraine bans gold transactions over $125

Today the National Bank of Ukraine announced new capital controls on currency transactions. All Interbank Transactions Over $10,000 are Banned.
The national Bank of Ukraine has expanded the list of administrative restrictions for stabilization of the hryvnia, in particular, completely prohibiting the withdrawal of foreign dividends and limiting the purchase of foreign currency on the domestic markets.

Resolution No. 160 is effective from March 4, 2015 and is valid until June 3, 2015.

Previously, prohibitions did not target dividends on securities that are traded on stock exchanges.

The NBU has also introduced limits on the balance of banks' operations on the interbank market at the end of the day and banned financial institutions from using currency derivatives on stock exchanges.

These restrictions apply to customer's accounts over $10,000 as valued by the official rates.

Gold Buying Prohibited

In addition, the NBU banned precious metal transactions in amounts over 3,000 UAH [about $125], and also the transfer of currency abroad in excess of 15 thousand UAH [about $625].

Comment: Ukraine seems to be in a death spiral.

Star of David

Congress's 'loyalty' to Netanyahu stuns media who still refuse to consider why

protest Netanyahu
© Peter Voskamp
Demonstrator outside the Capitol during Netanyahu's Congress speech.
In the Emperor's New Clothes, only the little boy can say that the emperor is naked. The good news about yesterday's speech by Netanyahu to a joint meeting of Congress is that lots of media are taking on that boy's role, and pointing out the nudity: exclaiming over the fact that a foreign leader came into our house of government to try and overrule our president on foreign policy. Chris Matthews was especially forceful, describing it as a takeover. While a New York Times article said that Democrats have to choose between "loyalty to the Jewish state" and the president.

But journalists have a bigger job than merely exclaiming. They must explain to readers why this outrage took place. Why did Netanyahu get this platform? The answer is the power of the Israel lobby inside our politics. And while there was some talk about the Christian Zionist component of the lobby compelling Republicans to show up, no one could explain why so many Democrats - about 175 of them - sat still for this insult to the president. They did so because of the importance of the Jewish part of the lobby inside the Democratic Party, epitomized by Alan Dershowitz in the gallery. This was surely obvious to viewers. But the media were silent on that score.

Here is some of the coverage I'm talking about. A piece at the New York Times saying that Netanyahu had issued an effective policy challenge to Obama pointed out the strangeness of the spectacle -
Mr. Netanyahu's hotly disputed address constituted a remarkable moment in Washington: a foreign leader taking the podium before members of the House and Senate to argue strenuously against the policies of the sitting American president. In doing so, the Israeli leader was essentially urging lawmakers to trust him — not Mr. Obama — when it comes to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon...
Times reporters Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear then openly spoke of Democrats whose "loyalty to the Jewish state" is competitive with their support for the president:
For Democrats who have long viewed themselves as supporters of Israel, Mr. Netanyahu's speech sought to impress upon them the likelihood that they will eventually need to make an awkward, painful choice between the president of their country and their loyalty to the Jewish state.
Why is that choice awkward and painful? I would like to hear why those Democrats feel that "loyalty." Why aren't we hearing about Haim Saban and other leading funders of the Democratic Party? Why aren't Chris Matthews, Jon Stewart, Anderson Cooper and Chris Hayes interviewing John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the scholars who wrote the book The Israel Lobby?

Stewart did a lot of Jewish shtick about the Netanyahu speech yesterday. He called it the longest blowjob a Jewish man has ever received. But he tried to put it on the Republicans - "the state of the union speech the Republican wanted." Hold on. As the Times informed us: "Some Democrats who are strong supporters of Israel praised Mr. Netanyahu's speech."

Comment: Nice that some more Americans, are waking up to the degree of power Israel has over the actions of the US. The media has been well aware of it, though speaking out before now, however quietly was pretty much a career ender. Bibi's performance was so outrageous, they had to say something. So, yes, progress. But money (Sheldon Adelson) and being able to deliver votes (Alan Dershowitz and AIPAC) still buy the game. Every congresscritter who wants to keep its seat knows it. Voting is actually kind of pointless.

Camcorder

Russian investigators have images of Netsov killers' faces

nemtsov
REN TV announced that the investigative group working on the Nemtsov murder has images of suspected killers' faces. They were obtained after a thorough study of the killers' departure from the crime scene. After detecting the ZAZ Chance car which was used by the killers to make their getaway, investigators requested all materials from the Potok surveillance system along their route, and also surveillance video recordings. They also requested that drivers of other cars who were driving on the same streets at the same time be identified, so that any dashboard camera recordings might be studied.

"These measures allowed us to get several images. They are only in the possession of the investigative group, which now includes specialists from the Counter-Extremism Center, the most experienced operatives of Moscow criminal police, representatives from the FSB and the SKR. We have images of at least two individuals. One can readily tell from the images that they were most likely born in the southern parts of Russia," said REN TV source.

FSB Director Alenksandr Bortnikov said that the investigators have identified suspects. Of course, he added that there are always suspects.
Megaphone

Congressman: U.S. weapons may fall into hands of oligarch-financed part Ukraine army

© AP Photo/ Lauren Victoria Burke
US defensive weapons may become part of the arsenal of an oligarch-sponsored part of the Ukrainian army if Washington decides to provide military assistance to Ukraine, US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said.

"Do we see any of these weapons becoming part of the arsenal of that part of the Ukrainian army, which I believe the third of the Ukrainian army now that is in conflict, that is financed by the oligarch, a private citizen who happens to be a multi billionaire," Rohrabacher asked US Assistance Secretary of State Victoria Nuland at a hearing in US Congress on Wednesday.

Rohrabacher query came as many members of US Congress are advocating that the United States provide defensive weapons to Ukraine.

The United States has been assisting Ukraine with economic and non-lethal military support since the Kiev government began a military operation against independence supporters in Ukraine's eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk last April.

In December, US Congress authorized the allocation of $350 million to arm the Kiev government. However, US President Barack Obama has not enacted the legislation.

While members of the Obama administration and US Congress have stated their support to arm Ukraine, US NATO allies Germany, France, Spain and Italy have opposed the measure.

Comment: There's plenty of speculation that the U.S. is already providing lethal arms to Ukraine, either covertly or through back channels:

Post-It Note

What's the punishment for avoiding Obamacare?

obamacare
© unknown
Now that April 15th is on the horizon, many taxpayers are bracing themselves for the inevitable penalty that will hit them if they don't sign up for Obamacare. It's estimated that at least 3 million households may have to pony up 1% of their income, or $95 per adult, if they don't have insurance; a number which is poised to expand to 2.5% for the 2016 tax year.

However, for all its bluster and intimidating language, the Affordable Care Act might not have any teeth. Recently, a tax expert writing for Forbes noticed that Obamacare, while far-reaching and burdensome in terms of what it demands from the American people, offers little to no repercussions for anyone who would be tempted to avoid it.

It seems that when the bill was first being drafted and it came time to outline the penalties for failing to comply, somebody got cold feet.

Comment: It is only through threats that many people signed up for this program in the first place. It has been fraught with difficulties since it was launched.

Pistol

Senator: U.S. 'obsessed' with giving lethal arms to Ukraine

© AP Photo/ Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
The United States has become engrossed in the debate over providing lethal arms to Ukrainians, US Senator Chris Murphy said at a US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.

"We are obsessed with this question of providing arms to the Ukrainians," Murphy stated on Wednesday. "It matters, but it is obsessive within the American context because [providing weapons] is one of the few tools we have to try to blunt and combat Russian aggression in the region."

The democratic Senator generally supports efforts to provide the Kiev government with weapons, but still has reservations as such US action would be "relatively unprecedented" in the history of US relations with Russia.

Murphy explained that a decision on the part of the United States to arm Ukraine "would be a change in the policy we have traditionally observed over the long course of the past 100 years" toward Russia.

"Let's just acknowledge that during the Cold War... we didn't do this," Murphy noted, referring to US restraint in providing "overt arms" to opponents of the Soviet Union during the Hungarian uprising and the war in Afghanistan.

In December, the US Congress authorized $350 million to arm Kiev. However, US President Barack Obama has not enacted the legislation. Other pieces of legislation are currently pending in the US Congress aimed at putting additional pressure on the Obama administration to provide arms.
Light Sabers

China slams 'arrogant and hypocritical' Obama over cybersecurity concerns

© AP Photo/ Pablo Martinez Monsivais
China is defending its proposed cybersecurity laws as "beyond reproach" in the wake of harsh criticism from the US - criticism that the state -run Xinhua news agency called "arrogance and hypocrisy."

In late 2014, China published draft legislation of rules for foreign companies wishing to do business in China. Those included handing over encryption keys, allowing for "backdoors" into company systems to allow Chinese counter-terrorism surveillance, and keeping company and user data on servers in China.

President Obama called these requirements "something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States." But China maintains that they are security practices similar to the US' own — indeed perhaps more transparent — and a normal condition of doing business.

"All countries are paying attention to and taking measures to safeguard their own information security. This is beyond reproach," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said.

The new regulations "would essentially force all foreign companies, including US companies, to turn over to the Chinese government mechanisms where they can snoop and keep track of all the users of those services," Obama told Reuters, expressing skepticism that any Silicon Valley companies would be willing to comply.
Magnify

Russia accuses U.S. of funding opposition in plot to oust Putin


Comment: This is nothing new. The U.S. has been trying to destabilize Russia for quite some time, although they have ramped up efforts in the past few years since Putin is proving to be quite a pain to the Western pathological elite who want to destroy, plunder, and control every possible area in the world. It's not just likely that the U.S. is funding (creating?) opposition in Russia, but entirely possible that elements of Western governments orchestrated the assassination of Nemtsov in order to further destabilize Russia.


Russia's Security Council accused the United States of plotting to oust President Vladimir Putin by financing the opposition and encouraging mass demonstrations, less than a week after a protest leader was murdered near the Kremlin.

The US is funding Russian political groups under the guise of promoting civil society, just as in the "colour revolutions" in the former Soviet Union and the Arab world, council chief Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday. At the same time, the US is using the sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine as a "pretext" to inflict economic pain and stoke discontent, he said.

More than 50,000 people turned out in central Moscow on Sunday to mourn the death of Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy premier turned Putin opponent who was gunned down on Friday in one of the most heavily guarded areas of the capital. That was the biggest rally Russia has seen since 2011-12, when Putin was preparing to return to the presidency for a third term.

"It's clear that the White House has been counting on a sharp deterioration in Russians' standard of living, mass protests," Patrushev said. Russia can withstand the pressure, though, thanks to its resilience and "decades of experience in combating color revolutions," he said.

The Russian-backed revolt in Ukraine has led to the worst standoff between the Kremlin and the US and its European allies since the end of the Cold War. The fighting has claimed at least 6000 lives, according to the United Nations. Putin has repeatedly blamed the US for inciting the protests in Kiev last year that toppled his ally, Viktor Yanukovych.
Airplane

Detailed analysis: MH17 shot down by Ukrainian SU-25 cannon fire and air-to-air missile


Comment: The following are excerpts from Colonel Cassad's analysis. For the full report, see the original here (and a PDF version here).


Because since the first day after the moment of the crash of the Malaysian "Boeing" I adhere to the version where the airplane was shot down by the Ukrainian SU-25 attack jet, I simply cannot refrain from publishing a new investigation, which summarizes the arguments on this topic.
mh17 rod
A rod from the "air-to-air" missile R-60M was found among the wreckage of MH17

A model was assembled in Holland using of the fragments of the "Boeing" that was shot down in Donetsk. Using the photos of the fragments from the crash site, it is possible to approximately reconstruct the airframe. Among the photos there were at least two that refute the version of the attack against the plane using the "BUK" complex.

On one of the photos we can see the object, which looks like a rod from the AAM missile R-60M. On the other photo — a round hole in the air intake of the right engine. There are at least nine holes in the skin that are characteristic of the effect of an "air-to-air" missile.
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