Why We Fight* – TTG

*with apologies to Frank Capra

Masha’s drawing

RIGA, Latvia — A Russian court on Tuesday ordered a two-year jail sentence for the single father of a 13-year-old girl who drew an antiwar picture in art class at school, in a case that led to the daughter being seized by authorities and placed in an orphanage. But in a stunning turn, the father, Alexei Moskalyov, 54, escaped from house arrest on Monday night, opting not to wait for the almost-certain guilty verdict after the state prosecutor demanded the two-year jail term on Monday.

Moskalyov was sentenced under Russia’s draconian laws against “discrediting the military,” which were adopted after President Vladimir Putin ordered his brutal invasion of Ukraine last year. The laws ban any form of antiwar dissent and are part of a wave of political repressions that have only worsened as Russia’s war effort floundered.

Moskalyov, of Yefremov, a town near Tula, about 150 miles south of Moscow, was charged in December over antiwar posts on social media. But he and his daughter, Maria, were targeted by the authorities beginning last April, when she was denounced by her teacher after drawing a picture in her elementary school art class that said “No to war” and “Glory to Ukraine.” In the picture, Maria, then 12, drew a woman standing in front of the Ukrainian flag sheltering a child from missiles. Her sixth-grade class had been assigned to draw a patriotic picture of Russian soldiers. The principal reported Maria to Russian authorities. The teacher reported Maria to the school principal, who called in law enforcement.

Earlier this month, Moskalyov was placed under house arrest and his daughter was taken by the authorities to an orphanage with no access to family, friends or supporters. They have tried to reach her on her cellphone, but it has never been answered.

Full free version of the WaPo article gifted by yarko (@yarkot)

Comment: This story appears to have been first picked up by Meduza and then by the BBC and the Washington Post. I hope it spreads a lot further and for a lot longer. It’s a simple straightforward illustration of what Russia under Putin has become. I was still working in intelligence when Putin was just coming into power. I was a fly on the wall when the media crew of Единая Россия (United Russia) was devising and began implementing their internal and external campaigns of information confrontation. Yes it was the reflexive control that I wrote about seven years ago. The imprisonment of this father and the seizure of his daughter is the natural outcome of that internal campaign. Such moral and intellectual bankruptcy.

In his brief concluding statement when Alexei Moskolev did show up in court months ago, he stated: “If you ask right now, what is your attitude to the ‘special operation’ in Ukraine, I think that 90 percent of the people in this room will say they’re against it. And I will agree with them. What else can you say about those deaths, about people being killed? About the adults and children who are all dying. You can only condemn it, what other attitude could you possibly have.”

The man has stones. He’s most likely right about the 90 percent of the people in the courtroom and in his neighborhood. The reaction of Olga Podolskaya, the town councillor is probably typical, “A prison term for expressing your opinion is terrible.” I sincerely hope he is able to free his daughter and escape to freedom… maybe with the assistance of some of his neighbors. Not all Russians have fallen for the claptrap coming out of Moscow.



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24 Responses to Why We Fight* – TTG

  1. Babeltuap says:

    CNN was in Donbas reporting on the Ukraine military bombing civilians before the Russian invasion. Hard to find this video but here it is at the 3:28 mark:


    Moskalyov lives south of Moscow. Would his stance change if he lived in Donbas and he home got shelled before the war and killed his daughter? Willing to wager a large bag of coin he would.

    • Leith says:

      Babelthuap –

      Below is a link to the original. It was a valid CNN video, but it never claimed 2500 dead. You can easily tell that the video you linked to from Bitchute is the same or an extract of the original. The headline banner or chyron or whatever they call it that claimed 2500 dead in Bitchute’s video is fabricated. The original CNN banner said ”DONETSK RESIDENTS REFLECT ON WAR”.


      Furthermore, the total civilian death toll in the Donbas for the years 2014 & 2015 was only 2084. And that included civilian deaths on both sides of the line-of-control. There were more dead civilians in towns and villages to the north and west of Donetsk City not under the control of Putin and the DPR. But for the sake of argument I’ll give you 50% of the 2084. That is a long way from the 2500 that Bitchute claims, just in 2014.

      You’ve been scammed. If you don’t believe my link above, then google it yourself using ”DONETSK RESIDENTS REFLECT ON WAR” or “Donetsk citizens plead for chaos to end”. Either one should show the original.

      BTW, the bigger question is “who did the shelling”?

      • Babeltuap says:

        How can I be scammed when nobody knows even the current death count of the the ongoing situation…meh. End of the day we are ALL being scammed on some level. Something happened around 2014 in Ukraine involving the US State Dept that much I do know. You also know it. I wasn’t there but hearing that phone conversation of Victoria Nuland in Ukraine saying f*** the EU tells me all I need to know.

        • Leith says:

          Babelthuap –

          Nuland is a meddler and an idiot.

          But that does not excuse any of the commenters here from ignoring 500 years of Ukrainian efforts to throw off the yoke of Moscow.

          • Billy Roche says:

            Leith; thank you b/c that is the issue most will not admit. Ukrainian/Russian relations d/n b/g in 2014. Ukraine has been fighting for independence from Russia since 1914. B/f The Maiden, b/f Nuland, b/f NATO, b/f Minsk, b/f Istanbul, and b/f 2/24/22 Ukrainians have been fighting for freedom. This IS an existential battle from Putin’s view b/c Russia “dies” if it is not an empire. Ukraine must be defeated or Russia is not imperial.

          • Fred says:

            500 years of Ukrainian history! That pre-dates Washington’s (George) warning against foreign entanglements by a couple of centuries.

            Nuland is under secretary of state for political affairs, she had been US Ambassador to NATO under GWB. and a few other things until Trump got rid of her. Idiot she is not, foolish perhaps; definitely dangerous.

          • LeaNder says:

            500 years of Ukrainian history!
            Yes, Fred, Billy boy and Leith seem to be somehow working in tandem.

            But they are careful not to estrange us too much, yet. Pay attention: It’s only 500 years of suffering/suppression of the (ethnic) >Ukrainian nation under whatever foreign yoke. 500 years of being dominated by whatever different ethnicity. .

            A tenth or less of the (ethnic) nations’ history on civilized ground? They sense you/we/I may not be willing yet to accept that the Ukrainian culture was in fact the cradle of the European culture. … 😉

            We’ll get there.

      • d74 says:

        — the bigger question is “who did the shelling”?—

        The answer was given long ago, as early as 2014: the Russians, who else.

        This is a vicious, Potemkin-like operation. The development of guns firing far back (azimuth 180°) was arduous. A group of vigorously motivated Zeks-engineers succeeded in this feat. A bullet in the back of one Zek head does this kind of miracle.

        Further proof: the small towns east of Donetsk, 40-50 km from the LOC, are still being hit by artillery. No artillery in the area has that range, only the Russians can do it. One might object that their guns are so worn out and the gunners so drunk that they are not exactly doing it on purpose. But the fact remains that only the Russians can do it. The Russians, I tell you.

        There is more: some Russians, not all, bomb the Energodar nuclear power plant, which other Russians occupy and use to camouflage ammunition and fuel. One can easily imagine the nuclear danger. Alcohol and spent cannons are an absolute counter-indication to maskirovka. The Russians don’t know and don’t care.
        So the Russians do it and will keep on doing it.

        • Leith says:

          D74 –

          I asked a question. It could have been anybody. A renegade militia from either side is most likely IMO. Although it could also have been erroneous coordinates passed to a gun crew by either side. Hard for me to believe that it was done on direct orders from Moscow or Kyiv. I don’t believe that the people of either Russia or Ukraine would put up with that.

          But no matter who did the shelling, the fabricated headline banner on the video that Babelthuap linked to is a lie and false propaganda. Damned obvious that video was put out by somebody hostile to Kyiv.

          • Babeltuap says:

            It was a CNN video. I clearly put in the timestamp of the video and didn’t mention the rest of it…meh. Hell, I didn’t even bring up the numbers killed but I got tagged for saying I made up some numbers for some reason?

            Was Russia truly trying to protect Russian speaking people. Of course not. Was Ukraine bombing these areas and killing innocent people. Absolutely. The CNN article states there are war crimes on both sides. Going back 500 years to set the record straight won’t add any value either. If that was the case black Americans would admit their ancestors enslaved themselves among warring tribes which kicked it all off. The only thing that can be done is find a way to stop it and move on. Find some common ground. We can’t do that for some reason.

          • Leith says:

            Babelthuap –

            I don’t believe that you made up those numbers. I never accused you of that. I never claimed you lied about it.

            The liars are the people who phonied up the 2500 dead number and pasted it as a breaking news headline on a nine year old CNN video. I’m not blaming you for that. It was done elsewhere, maybe by Bitchute? – maybe by DPR hackers? – or maybe just fill in the blanks ______?

            Not sure why you gloss over 500 years of Ukrainian resistance to subjugation by Moscow. They will continue to resist even if Putin’s current war is successful. I would expect that you would also rise up and fight against someone trying to put a boot on your neck.

  2. Whitewall says:

    Putin has dragged the Russian Federation right back to the 1950s USSR. It was always his fall back.

  3. Jovan P says:

    Summa summarum, this is a too harsh verdict, which results in his daughter going to an orphanage, and I bet the verdict will be overturned. Of course there is the devil in the details like the fact that he wasn’t initially fined for his daughter’s drawings, but for posting on his social accounts, etc, etc, but who cares for details when a suitable story for demonisation of the enemy appears (every side in a war uses this). OTOH that’s why you’ll never read about Zelensky and his gang attempting to forcefully take over the holy Kiev Pechersk Lavra, expel or persecute the monks and desecrate this holy place.

    The assumption that 90% of the Russians are against the spec op is the same as the assumption that the Soviets/Russians won in WWII because they had a polit-comissar in the rear threatening their lives. That’s BS, because you don’t win over the Wehrmacht because of the fear for your life, but because you know exactly what you are fighting for.

    PS BTW the Russians felt the injustice of the story, so Prigozin and others wrote to the district attorney of the Tulska oblast to review the case of Moskalev nad his daughter.

    • KjHeart says:

      Javan P

      I did actually see the ‘Zelensky admin backed’ arrests of priests recently (I have another news source). I wondered about one of the arrests especially as there is a similar-looking priest at a Maiden event from 2014. I am still searching this one out though as it is never good to have only one source about any event. I have more questions than answers about the priests.

      AS to Masha and her father: I cannot see any up-side – any propaganda advantage to Putin about this story – from every direction he (Putin) appears the bully.


    • LeaNder says:

      Of course there is the devil in the details like the fact that he wasn’t initially fined for his daughter’s drawings

      Meduza’s sources are helpful to understand matters in that context. I am assuming, after scanning the Russian reports Meduza relies on (via automatic translation, admittedly 😉 ) at one point the house was searched, hard to believe but indeed triggered by the daughter’s Anti-war drawing.

      Teacher informs director, director informs police, police arrives. Girl is ordered to the police several times, at one point they take her to her home and search it.

      This is a Meduza article from before he was sentenced:

    • Fourth and Long says:

      If they have any sense they will find a workaround to this really ludicrous and obnoxious ruling. My readings of Telegram and the comment sections to online Russian newspapers tell me that most Russians disapprove of it in no uncertain terms. There’s still regrettably an overhang of the slavish authority-worship that became a survival mechanism under their old Troglodyte with the moustache, especially in certain professions. 70% of the residents of Volgograd just voted NOT to change the name of their city back to Stalingrad, and though such things are easily enough manipulated, the poll corresponds with the sense of things that comes through otherwise.

  4. Blue peacock:
    On March 10 you made this comment:
    (Direct reply to that comment is no longer allowed.)

    Now there has actually been a trade in petroyuans:
    Does this make you revise your earlier comment in any way?

    • blue peacock says:


      This is what I said:

      “If Saudi Arabia wants to sell their oil in yuan, they can do that now. However, they may not have many takers other than those who have yuan or who can trade their currency for yuan. What is the volume of yuan trades in forex markets today? Compare that to the USD.”

      Did Sundance answer the question: “What is the volume of yuan trades on forex markets compared to USD trades?”

      As I noted anybody can trade in any currency they choose today. Folks trade in Euro, Swiss Francs, Indian Rupee, Russian rouble, etc all the time. In the example that Sundance provided the French buyer of the LNG would have had to trade Euro to Yuan and the UAE entity would use the yuan to either purchase goods priced in yuan or convert the yuan to some other currency. So a bank with Yuan would have had to accept the Euro and agree on a conversion price. These types of trades happen every day and have for decades. They remain and will continue to remain for sometime to come a small fraction of the daily forex trading volume of USD. The issue that the bank who accepted yuan would face when the volumes become very large would be the challenge & cost to hedge the yuan exposure.

      I suggest you also read Sam’s post on this thread linking to Michael Pettis:


  5. Fourth and Long says:

    Off topic, but .. Fans of history’s hijinks and mysteries might enjoy Seymour Hersh’s latest.


  6. TTG, pardon me for interrupting all your serious stuff,
    but this is really hilarious.
    Cary Grant in an amazing performance (with Ingrid Bergman, no less).
    Indiscrete, 1958


    • TTG says:

      Keith Harbaugh,

      Cary Grant is a treasure. I love him in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and my personal favorite is “Father Goose.” My graduating class at MOTC (The Farm) has a brass photo engraved image of Cary Grant running from the attacking biplane from “North by Northwest” with several memorable quotes from the class. My contribution was “When do we get the guns?” which I asked the course director during an open forum.

  7. walrus says:

    “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” – Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

    Who are we to criticize Russia?

    Oh yes, and an American court has just indited President Trump…….

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