EXERCISE. The Armed Forces hold big exercises every year, working their way around the compass. This year was West – Zapad. Back in the Day, every September saw big exercises in West Germany – REFORGER – in which formations drove around the countryside (I was on a couple myself and we just drove tanks anywhere we wanted to). The Russian ones, however, are generally restricted to exercise areas and, while they are said to involve, in this case, 200,000 troops, they count everyone involved in any way. But the alarmists make a big deal out of it – here’s can’t-find-Putin’s-speech Applebaum, for example. But they’re impressive nonetheless; two highlights this year: the night drop of a parachute battalion plus armoured vehicles and the appearance of some combat robots.

THEN AND NOW. There is a series of videos using Google Street view of Russian towns in 2010 and 2020. I mentioned Gelendzhik last time but here’s Perm, Sochi (booming, by the way), Arkhangelsk, Petrozavodsk. If you still believe the Western media’s rubbish about decaying Russia, give them a look: it’s not China, but it’s a lot of improvement.

HISTORY. Putin unveils a monument to Aleksandr Nevskiy. In the meeting room in the MoD in Moscow (where I’ve been a couple of times – maybe they meet somewhere else now) there are three decorative bas reliefs – 1941-45, 1812 and Nevskiy. The existential threat to Russia has always come from the West. Highly recommend Paul Robinson’s essay on the background and meaning of this.

NORD STREAM. The last pipe was welded on the 6th; apparently there are some legal details to be completed before the gas comes through. Kiev fulminates, Washington threatens. Meanwhile gas prices in Europe hit a record high.

INFLATION. At a five-year high – 6.7%. Food especially; but that’s a world-wide phenomenon.

NAVALNIY “POISONING”, John Helmer has much on how the story was created. (Still waiting for a Western “news” outlet that was insisting Putin wanted him dead to explain why he isn’t.)

DISEASE. Further evidence that Russia is thinking about biowar attacks: it is building a network of labs and testing facilities: “sanitary shield” they call it.

ELECTION INTERFERENCE. The US Ambassador was challenged to explain “irrefutable evidence” of interference in next Sunday’s election. (Video purporting to show observers coached to claim fraud.) As typical, the West will instantly condemn them; the object, as Korybko argues, being to block any attempts to better relations. This example shows how savagely such suggestions are beaten down and one can be sure that “yet-another-rigged-election” will be used to smear the next modest suggestion to improve American relations with a country that has 1) a close relationship with the number-one economic power, 2) the capability of obliterating the USA and destroying NATO’s military.

JUST NUKES AND OIL. Work on a Russian-Chinese jetliner begun. Big market, few suppliers (especially given the damage Boeing did to itself). Another medium-sized tanker launched.

THE EMPTINESS OF FORMER FLAPS. CNN then “Authorities in Belarus have announced the arrest of 33 Russian mercenaries on suspicion of terrorism“. CNN now: “Ukraine spies tried to ensnare alleged Russian war criminals with a fake website, promises of riches and an international sting.” I didn’t cover the story at the time, correctly assessing it to be part of the colour revolution attempt against Lukashenka. (Why would CNN, not known for admitting to its propagandising, put this out? is Ukraine being “Afghanised”?).

LEARNING. General Hyten described a recent US exercise as a miserable failure – see my piece here. In a talk at Brookings he said “our goal is to never go to war with China and Russia.” He also said that the US military was moving too slowly and suggested that the USA wasn’t getting its money’s worth in defence. Very interesting, especially when said in such a citadel of the neocon world. On the other hand, he’s apparently retiring soon and will probably be replaced by a rah-rah type.

UKRAINE. Zelensky complains that Washington is still vague on NATO; possibility of war with Russia; has “no time to think about [Putin]” but wants a meeting. Ukraine is not Afghanistan; army “one of the most powerful“. Meanwhile Edward Lucas gushes about Ukraine’s success which is somehow a challenge to Putin. Stunning levels of delusion; second-poorest in Europe they say.

AFGHANISTAN. I’m amused by all the statements that Taliban must do this or that. No. USA/NATO were defeated. That means Taliban doesn’t care what they have to say and isn’t frightened by their threats.

© Patrick Armstrong Analysis, Canada Russia Observer

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22 Responses to RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 16 SEPTEMBER 2021 by Patrick Armstrong

  1. Fred says:

    From the article on Alexander Nevsky:
    “The Livonian Knights sought to forcibly convert Russia to Catholicism. The Mongols, on the other hand, only wanted tribute, and were content to let Russians rule themselves and keep their own culture and religion.”

    In Biden’s victory at Kabul we saw the defeat of the rainbow flag culture and the George Floyd religion. Biden and the Borg didn’t defeat the Taliban, but they sure beat the US, with a couple decades of bull and an assault on our “own culture and religion”.

  2. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Fred, Patrick,

    Steve Sailer ran a piece a couple of weeks ago in which he posted a poem, translated from Pushtu if my memory is correct, in which the recurrent line is, “How many are the NGOs!”

    One commenter supplied a missing stanza at the end which can be found in the comments, but it is fairly immaterial to the sense of the poem; i.e., these foreign NGOs were alien to Afghanistan, and a source of constant irritation. Rainbow flags, and Heorge Floyd were an insult to their culture (well, if you want to get right down to it, ours, too…).

    Another poster submitted another poem from way back in 1976, parodying the “Development Set”, the origin of those offending NGOs. The poem is included in Sailer’s post, but here is a link to the brutally
    sarcastic poem that includes some introductory information, too.

  3. TTG says:

    That monument to Aleksandr Nevskiy is impressive both up close and at a distance. The Russians are true masters at creating and siting these heroic monuments. I’m also impressed, but not surprised, by the pride and respect the Russians hold for Nevskiy and others of that time. As you may have gathered, I’m also fascinated by that time in that region. I believe the Tatars in the time of Nevskiy still maintained their shamanistic religion. I know the first Tatar wave to settle in Lithuania in the early 14th century were pagan, as were the Lithuanians, but the second wave invited in by Lithuania at the end of that century were Islamic. The Lithuanians were by and large still pagans.

  4. Deap says:

    Thanks for the photo montage of Archangel. Visited there in 2015 on a cruise to the White Sea and Solovetsky Islands – (Gulag Archipelago). Archangel was still pretty grim in 2015, so some my travel photos look exactly like the 2010 photos in their sad neglect. But there were some elegant bones throughout the city, which did beg for reconstruction. The 2020 photos proved some of that mission has been accomplished.

    There is also a very charming official collection of historic wooden houses outside of town to visit, as well as a well-curated city historic museum. They were obviously starting to think big on that visit 2015, and certainly covered a lot of ground by 2020. Bravo to them – saw similarly some very nice refurbishment in Russia Far East cities in 2019 as well in and much of Vladivostok today does dazzle.

    Nice to see a country actually invest in itself domestically – their Cold War bonus well spent, that the US has yet to enjoy in improved infrastructure.

    Nor is Russia even close to polishing much of the rest of their outlying and lumpish towns and villages that we also saw, but they are turning some of their cities into more modern showcases. Even if they will be sorry later with some of their architectural design choices. But A for effort, and hope they continue to cherish what Peter the Great tried to set in motion in Archangel. Retro-Imperial is not a bad design choice.

    I wonder if those rows and rows of refined, but crumbling, wooden housing build by WWII German prisoners of war are still left standing, which we viewed coming into Archangel from the port. The new port refurbishments I assume is where cruise ships will now also dock.

    Looking forward to viewing the Sochi photos which was in more active reconstruction when were there in 2013 – before the Winter Olympics. It had the makings of being the Santa Barbara of the Black Sea.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      > “Thanks for the photo montage of Archangel”

      Why are you refering _Archangelsk_ by a wrong name?

      • Deap says:

        Because I am a running dog, America first, English speaking, Northern European heritage centric, white supremacist hegemonist. Why did I call the Solovetsky Islands, the Solovetsky Islands? See above. And I don’t do Cyrillic except for KA(PHI)E.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          >”Because I am a running dog, America first, English speaking, Northern European heritage centric, white supremacist hegemonist.”

          ‘K. But that’s not an answer. Cyrillic has nothing to do with it. So, I repeat:

          Why are you refering to the city of _Archangelsk_ by a wrong name?

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          > “Aрхангел.
          There, I fixed it.”

          No, you didn’t. The Name of the city is Archangelsk.

          Why you insist on calling it “Archangel”?

          • Deap says:

            Tell me why this bothers you. Then maybe I can help. Gets under my skin when people refer to San Francisco as “Frisco”. I can relate. Very early in my life when first introduced to “Archangel” I was captivated by Peter the Great desire to create windows to the West, and was drawn to someday visit this city he founded. I was captivated by the musicality of its name …. in English. My apologies if this continued use of its English translation bothers you. I have longed to visit many cities around the world, drawn by the names alone. Pago Pago, Kuala Lumpur, Irkutsk, Ulaan Bator, Islamabad, Zanzibar….. too many hours spent playing Pirate and Traveler as kid?

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            >”Very early in my life when first introduced to “Archangel” I was captivated by Peter the Great desire to create windows to the West, and was drawn to someday visit this city he founded.”

            That “window to the West” that Peter I created also has a name – Saint-Petersburg. Not Arkhangelsk, that existed ages before him. Surely not some “Archangel”.

            >”My apologies if this continued use of its English translation bothers you.”

            Arkhangelsk does not _translate_ into “Archangel”.

            P.S. Given that you already wrote “early in my life” – it is Se_v_astopol, not Se_b_astopol. Oh, and it is R_o_mania, not R_u_mania, if I’m right about your age.

          • Pat Lang says:


            Lay off the chickenshit harassment of Deap.

  5. Peter Williams says:

    There are 23 cities in the series БЫЛО-СТАЛО

  6. Deap says:

    Sorry, wrong thread – can this above post be deleted on this thread? Thanks. Belongs on the Durham thread.

  7. Leith says:

    Why would Hyten retire soon? He is only 22 months into a four year term as Vice Chairman. And if Milley retires he would be the top pick for CJCS. The Air Force is overdue for that slot. It has been 16 years since General Myers had the job.

  8. Vig says:

    Patrick, I stumbled across John Helmers latest Navalny article too. Unfortunately, he does not give us any links. …

    Jacoby, is a frequent name, I am told, even Philipp Jacoby/i, a lot of people with that name in the medical trade too. All over the place.

    While Liane Theuerkauf, no doubt has a less frequent name. Yes, she seemed to have looked into matters. On the other hand, in none of the official and still ongoing inquiries from both left and right, Jacoby seems to surface. I looked too superficially? Well, a link would help.

    Thus, what are John’s and Liane’s sources?

    Without any doubt, John Helmer’s narrative seems to some extent align with how we see matters; considering the genesis of Russian Poisoning schemes, no one around here studied matters more extensively from the UK’s point of view than David Habbakuk. Maybe he has an idea?

    • LeaNder says:

      Dr Philipp Jacoby. Top: German state television broadcaster ZDF film interview, May 20, 2021: — Min 15:51.

      Basically, I somewhat like whoever Dances with the Bear, thus Helmer too 😉

      But the link does not as he suggest really lead to a Jacoby interview with the German public channel broadcaster ZDF, but to a documentary produced–with a little help of Storyhouse, or Maarten Schmidt–by historian and independent filmmaker, Dr. if you like, Florian Huber, who then sold his product a 40+ minutes documentary to ZDF. There is even a director’s cut online. What precisely did the ZDF cut?? 😉

      Thus, whatever Jacoby said or what was selectively chosen went through the process of Huber’s script and editing process:

      In a discussion of Navalny’s symptoms as he witnessed them in Omsk in his earlier interview, Jacoby admitted he and the two German paramedics with him were carrying only 6 milligrams of atropine, the standard antidote used for treating overdose and poison cases. He also said that from Omsk he had telephoned the Charité hospital in Berlin to discuss whether he should administer this atropine on the flight back to Berlin. He was told not to do that, he said.

      Not sure if I have enough patience to look into John’s longer argument, meaning dig through all his articles on the topic. But strictly, Jacoby was only a cog in the much larger wheel. …

      His family didn’t want he took on the job, as he states at one point in Florian Huber’s documentary? I surely would have wished to see his wife’s thought on what the difference was to bring whatever emergency patient back from anywhere in the “Western World” versus bringing someone to Germany from wherever outside.

  9. English Outsider says:

    Mr Armstrong – I see Skripal is in the news again.

    Why now?

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