RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 14 MAY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong

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RUSSIA AND COVID. Today's numbers: total cases: 250K; total deaths: 2305; tests per 1 million: 42K.Russia has done six million tests (second after USA); among countries with populations over 10M it's fifth in tests per million and of those over 100M first; one could therefore expect it to find new cases – most of which have little effect. Mishustin is back at work, Putin's spokesman is not. Putin, in a virtual meeting, announced the end ofthe "paid holiday period" and a gradual lifting of lock-down in a report on the state of play. There's a report that Russia is undercounting: actually it's taking a hard approach while some other countries take a soft approach (the from vs with question.) Which of course means that the numbers at are so varied in methodology as to be practically worthless…

OIL WARS. Prices creeping up to about $27. This piece argues that Riyadh has made a really big mistake and enumerates the ways it has. The US industry is in trouble.

RUSSIA INC. The IMF says, in PPP terms, Russia's economy passed Germany to become number five.

BROWDER. His story takes another hit – as it always does when someone takes a real look at it. The German press council rejected his complaint against Der Spiegel saying his narrative lacked proof.

NORDSTREAM. After a long trip from Nakhodka in which it kept pretending to change its destination, the pipe-laying ship Akademik Cherskiy is now ready to complete Nord Stream 2. In an amazing coincidence, the Russians hack Merkel's cell phone. Get in line Russia!. (Bernhard catches the NYT in another sloppy anti-Russia assertion.)

RUSSIAN YOUTH. It's a widespread delusion, strengthened by the narrow circle Western reporters talk to in Russia, that "the government's anti-Western agenda and reports of widespread corruption are turning young Russians against the leader."Levada has done a survey of Russian youth and that's pretty hard to find; in general they're not far off their parents: a bit more liberal but also a bit more nationalist. Perhaps the most interesting result was that a solid majority thought Russia was not European. Robinson discusses. He wonders why so few show much support for "'classical' civil and political liberties". My guess is that 20 years of observation of Western practice of these noble ideals has soured them.

PROVOCATIVE. US and British warships enter the Barents Sea, promoting regional security and stability, while building trust. I think a Russian-Chinese naval trip to the Beaufort Sea would get us all some stability and trust, don't you?

WESTERN VALUES. Given that NATO likes to blather on about how it "promotes democratic values", it's amusing to see that Freedom House says that Hungary, Poland, Hungary, Montenegro and Turkey don't make the cut as "consolidated democracies".

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. Transcripts from House hearings have been published. Here they are. Nothing. It was all lies. Remember Crowdstrike and its "proof" the Russians hacked it? When they're under oath, nothing. Remember all those people on TV saying there was strong evidence of collusion? Under oath, they said there wasn't any. Schiff knew this and said it anyway. Justice Department drops case against Flynn – entrapment.More to come. But that doesn't mean that the shills have given up: Russia will steal the next election; or will China? But does Beijing want Trump or out? (Wouldn't it be fun if Moscow and Beijing disagreed on whom to put into the White House?)


WHY IS THE US IN SYRIA? Washington longer bothers to prettify – the boot is straight to the face. ISIS? Forget ISIS says Jeffrey: "My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians". An amazing confession, in the same class as "We lied, we cheated, we stole".

DOUMA. More leaked documents expose OPCW corruption – the whistle-blower was not, as we we told, some marginal guy, but one of the leaders of the inspection team. The official line requires us to believe that this smashed through a steel reinforced concrete ceiling and landed peacefully on a bed.

UKRAINE. A police official wants to know the names, addresses and phones of all the Jews in Kolomyya, a city in western Ukraine; "most of its Jews were murdered by February 1943 at the Szepariwice forest outside the city and the Bełżec death camp." "Is Ukraine a Hub for International White Supremacist Fighters?" wonders a piece published by Harvard. Remember when it was Putin disinformation about nazis in Ukraine?

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

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14 Responses to RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 14 MAY 2020 by Patrick Armstrong

  1. JohninMK says:

    When the Akademik Cherskiy was making its epic journey, for a pipelayer, not only did it post false destinations but it had a RuN escort virtually all the way. First a cruiser from Nakhodka in the northern Pacific to Sr Lanka, then a frigate to Cape Town, then another cruiser (plus the frigate we think) up to the English Channel. We are not sure after that as the normal RN escort for RuN ships failed to appear. Highly likely there was a sub around as well. From her short stay in Kaliningrad it looks like she might have had a ‘special’ crew as well. Russians clearly taking every precaution to avoid an ‘accident’ to this strategically vital ship. She is now dockside in Germany getting set to pick up where the Swiss stopped.

  2. gordon reed says:

    I just listened to an interview on KPFK in Los Angeles. It was Ian Masters interviewing former CIA agent Bob Baer. Baer was totally in line with the msm and saying the Russians definitely swayed the election and hacked the DNC computer and said the Trump administration should have retaliated against Russia but has not. I was taken aback because I generally respect his opinion, but after reading all the posts on SST I have been leaning towards the Russian collusion being a hoax.

  3. JohninMK. I’d heard that it had escorts but wasn’t completely sure so I didn’t put it in.

  4. ISL says:

    Dear Patrick Armstrong,
    Always enjoy the updates. In countries with a functioning health care system, CFR are 1% or slightly lower. Thus, the Russian health care system remains on the good side of the line. Italy is at the other extreme (where data are available), and no one knows what is happening in Ecuador.

  5. confusedponderer says:

    re Remember when it was Putin disinformation about nazis in Ukraine?
    It didn’t need Putin disinfo to get people to the idea that Ukie rightists loving OUN (who did some large-scale ethnic cleansing in 1943 and 44) and Stepan Bandera (Yushchenko granted him the title ‘Hero of Ukraine’ on 22 January 2010) … are, were … more or less nazis = certainly far right winged, collaborators and about everything that involved practically.
    What about knowing some things about the history of the nasty neighbourhood between German Empire, Russian Empire and the former Austrian-Hungarian empire, not to mention what happened (= many little wars, revolutions, the ethnic cocktails, nationalism and civil wars) there between 1918 and 1939?
    To get that idea even ‘just reading Wikipedia’ (reasonably sceptically) helps. (with the Wolfsangel of the 2nd SS Panzer Division “Das Reich” on their logo – by now made a regular military unit of the …)
    There are some really nasty militia folks underway in Ukraine who also attract a number of ‘not-from-ukraine’ nazis from Europe – and other unpleasants from Russia’s ‘not western neighbourhood’.
    After all, it also drew to Ukraine people like Shakashvili from Georgia ((who by now is stateless after losing georgian (where jail expects him) and ukrainian passports (he’s now undesirable and not allowed to re-enter ukraine), refugee in iirc the netherlands and he so far has lost two wars with Russia)).
    But then, since Shakashvili (by necessity) is apparently for hire still, he may get himself a turkish passport and advise Erdogan in his silly but deadly war in Syria, allowing him to add a third lost war to his achievements.

  6. turcopolier says:

    gordon reed
    I have known BB for a long time. He lives by his wits and his acceptability to the swamp.

  7. Cofusedponderer. Read the link I gave. There was a considerable effort by Western propaganda to downplay it or deny it altogether.
    Which is not to say that people who don’t take the NYT as Gospel didn’t know it.

  8. sbin says:

    Jeffrey has openly admitted American intention in Syria.
    Such shameful behavior is yet another stain on American government policy.

  9. Rick James Merlotti says:

    Great list of links, as always. I particularly enjoyed reading about the Cherskiy odyssey.

  10. JohninMK says:

    It looks like you missed a couple of announcements, first that President Zelensky restored Saakashvili’s citizenship last May, with the “reformer” returning to Ukraine the day after.
    Then, following that surprise last year, Zelensky signed a decree last Thursday confirming Saakashvili’s new political role in Ukraine as the Head of the National Reform Council.
    Zelensky said that he “sincerely congratulated” the 52-year-old on this “new challenge,” adding that he trusts Saakashvili to be able to “provide impetus” to the body and help him with “implementing important changes in the life of the country.”
    The National Reform Council is a presidential advisory body and does need “impetus” as it last convened more than two years ago.
    According to media leaks, Saakashvili was initially considered for the job of deputy prime minister, but there was no consensus on his candidacy even among members of Zelensky’s own party.
    They can’t keep that rogue down!

  11. JohninMK says:

    Patrick Armstrong, I only know about the escorts as I am a poster on the site which, as you might expect, has an interest in all things Russian. There is a tread there that tracked it.
    With your interest in Russia you might, if it is new to you, find some gems on the site, on Syria perhaps, on new Russian weapons definitely. A couple of weeks ago we spotted the deputy commander of VDV, Russian airborne, a 2* being saluted by a US officer on a rural road in NE Syria, no idea what that was about! Its in English with a NZ mod!

  12. JohninMK. Thanks. Hadn’t heard of it but will now keep an eye on it.

  13. confusedponderer says:

    thanks for the feedback to Shakashvili. Didn’t know about Zelensky reinstating his ukrainian passport. I doubt that was a wise thing to do but … alas.
    I only recalled the scene where Shakashvili wanted to re-enter ukraine in iirc a train from poland, was caught and got kicked out, causing a lot of noise, mostly Shakashvili’s loud and proud lamentation and declaration he would never ever give up, win big and return etc pp.
    That aside, that part of the “new challenge” is a blade with two edges. I wish Zelensky and Uraine good luck. I think they’ll need it. Why?
    I recall Shakashvili talking about his strategy meetings with Zelensky predecessor Poroschenko. Remarkably, Shakashvili said they watched pornos, which, in terms of strategy, suggests that problems with … priorities may be one cause for ukraine’s lack of success in their trouble with russia and ukrainian russians. Also, it underlines that Shakashvili doesn’t quite have the sense to know what better not to tell.
    After losing his Georgia vs Russia war (and iirc the loss of his entire navy and some 80% of georgian artillery) he seriously said that “most of our soldiers returned alive”. What a success. Cheers to that.
    Zelensky, in contrast, is professionally deliberately funny.

  14. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    On the topic of The Return of Saakhashvili’s “Triumphant Return” (to a position that sounds like BS), perhaps it was considered better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than to have him outside the tent pissing in? Also perhaps easier to keep his activities and intrigues monitored through having him in Ukraine.

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