Russia goes to War with its Little Brother

An editorial from the Washington Post highlights how utterly alone and friendless Vladimir Putin’s Russia has become in former Soviet space:

IF IT’S JANUARY, it seems, Russia must be involved in a politically motivated dispute over energy supplies with one of its neighbors. This time it’s Belarus, the former Soviet republic that used to be called Europe’s last dictatorship, until Russia itself headed back in that direction. Strongman Alexander Lukashenko still rules in Minsk, but in the past couple of years he’s taken several steps toward shaking off the tutelage he once accepted from Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. At the urging of Western governments, Belarus released a few political prisoners and in turn was allowed to join the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program. Mr. Lukashenko has also embarrassed Mr. Putin by refusing to recognize the two puppet states that Moscow is backing in Georgia.

No wonder, then, that as this winter gets cold Mr. Putin has singled out Belarus for punishment. On Jan. 1Russia cut off part of its supplies of oil to the country, once again raising alarms in Western Europe, which receives large quantities of Russian oil through a pipeline that transits Belarus. The supplies resumed after a couple of days, but Mr. Putin continues to insist that Belarus accept a new supply deal that could cost it as much as $5 billion, or about 10 percent of its gross domestic product.

Of course, Mr. Putin and his spokesmen insist that this is merely a commercial dispute that involves ending Russian subsidies. That’s also what they said last January, when Russia shut down gas supplies to Ukraine and then to all of Europe; and in January 2007, when the pipeline to Belarus was closed down; and in January 2006, when there was a previous interruption in gas supplies to Ukraine. Last week, as he did last year, Mr. Putin showily summoned a minister to publicly “report” to him on the conflict — so there would be no mistake about who in Moscow was managing the matter.

Mr. Putin hasn’t given up his dream of restoring Moscow’s dominion over the countries of the former Soviet Union — though, intriguingly, the man he installed as Russia’s president, Dmitry Medvedev, recently denounced what he called “chaotic” foreign policies “dictated by nostalgia and prejudice.” For the most part, the heavy-handed tactics have badly backfired. Ukraine may soon elect a president more to Moscow’s liking, but it remains an independent democracy. Meanwhile, not just Belarus but also countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and even Turkmenistan are scrambling to make friends with the West or with China.

For their part, Western European countries that depend on Russia for energy supplies have just gotten their annual winter wake-up call. Thirty-five percent of Germany’s oil imports flow through the Belarus pipeline. Anyone in the German government who still believes Russia can be counted on for those supplies must spend January in the tropics.

27 responses to “Russia goes to War with its Little Brother

  1. The shale gas story (A sudden gift from God) which has caused natural gas prices to crash in America should have slowed that idiot Putin up a little. No such luck. I do not see where Russia has any leverage at all. Every place you look shale gas is under development even in Poland. There is no way to explain Russian actions except stupidity. By the way only the ability to drill side ways through shale rock formations is new. All the other required technology is old and well developed. Go into NO HOT AIR for details.

  2. Ron the US and the EU are sponsoring a shale gas project in the Ukraine, now that will really get up Putin’s nose, Russia’s gas strangle hold is becoming looser by the day.( Oh happy days!!! ).

  3. Moscow’s other friends include these guys:

    Yangon (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The Burmese regime has sentenced to death two government officials for spreading state secrets. They are accused of revealing “confidential information” relating to two diplomatic trips to North Korea and Russia. A third man, a civilian, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a closed door trial that lasted two months. The three are also accused of leaking “military secrets” on the underground tunnels, which the junta has built around the capital, Naypyidaw, with the help of Pyongyang.

    esterday, the Yangon court sentenced to death Win Naing Kyaw, a former army officer, personal assistant to former number two of the dictatorship, General Tin Oo. He was charged under the State Emergency Act III, for providing military secrets to foreign dissident media. The former officer has suffered a second sentence – 20 years in prison – for violating the Electronic Act and possession of foreign currency.

    The second death sentence was imposed against Thura Kyaw, better known as Aung Aung, former top aide of the Burmese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Fifteen years in prison, finally, for Pyan Sein, who is also an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for violation of the Electronic Act

    The three were arrested on charges of spreading photos and information regarding the trip of General Shwe Mann to North Korea and a senior representative of the regime to Russia. They have also provided information on the network of underground tunnels, which the junta has built around the capital with the help of technicians of the North Korean regime.

    In recent days, finally, a Burmese court sentenced to 20 years in prison a TV journalist, working with foreign publications. Hla Hla Win, 25, was arrested in September last year, while taking some shots in a Buddhist monastery in Pakokku in the north of the country.

    • Burmese whistle-blowers sentenced to death – BBC source

      They were found guilty of leaking information about government visits to North Korea and Russia, which reportedly took place in 2008 and 2006.

      The two men were also convicted of leaking details of a network of tunnels reportedly being built in Burma.

      • Previously:

        Russia and Burma in nuclear deal

        Russia has agreed to build a nuclear research centre in Burma, state atomic energy agency Rosatom has said.

        In a potentially controversial deal, the centre will include a 10MW light-water reactor and facilities for processing and storing nuclear waste.

        It will be monitored by the UN nuclear agency, the IAEA, Rosatom said.

        The United States and European Union have imposed sanctions on Burma’s military rulers, whom they accuse of widespread human rights abuses.

      • What’s the big deal about Russian companies making money by selling atomic energy technology to Burma? Not only is it legal, but safe as well, because Burma is not a threat to other countries; unlike USA which invades one country after another an even dropped 2 nuclear bombs on innocent civilians in the past.

        And speaking of USA. USA cheerfully sells its nuclear technology to the most abhorrent and abominable fascist Arab states tha tplan to use nukes to annihilate Israel. Her eis a tiny example:

        ABC News Exclusive: Torture Tape Implicates UAE Royal Sheikh

        An investigation into a savage torture by a royal family member of a close ally. A video tape smuggled out of the United Arab Emirates shows a member of the country’s royal family mercilessly torturing a man with whips, electric cattle prods and wooden planks with protruding nails.

        The Issa bin Zayed al Nahyan, brother of the country’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed, begins by stuffing sand down the man’s mouth, as the police officers restrains the victim. Then he fires bullets from an automatic rifle around him as the man howls incomprehensibly. At another point on the tape, the Sheikh can be seen telling the cameraman to come closer. “Get closer. Get closer. Get closer. Let his suffering show,” the Sheikh says. A man in a UAE police uniform is seen on the tape tying the victim’s arms and legs, and later holding him down as the Sheikh pours salt on the man’s wounds and then drives over him with his Mercedes SUV.

        Over the course of the tape, Sheikh Issa acts in an increasingly sadistic manner. He uses an electric cattle prod against the man’s testicles and inserts it in his anus. At another point, as the man wails in pain, the Sheikh pours lighter fluid on the man’s testicles and sets them aflame. The Sheikh then pulls down the pants of the victim and repeatedly strikes him with a board and its protruding nail. At one point, he puts the nail next to the man’s buttocks and bangs it through the flesh. “Where’s the salt,” asks the Sheikh as he pours a large container of salt on to the man’s bleeding wounds. The victim pleads for mercy, to no avail. The final scene on the tape shows the Sheikh positioning his victim on the desert sand and then driving over him repeatedly. A sound of breaking bones can be heard on the tape.

        The UAE is considered a stalwart U.S. ally in the region. The U.S. Navy has an important base outside Dubai.

        Abu Dhabi royal family member Sheikh Issa Bin Zayed al Nahyan was acquitted of brutally beating an Afghan grain dealer. A three-judge panel found Sheikh Issa not guilty on charges of sexual assault, endangering life and causing bodily harm in a 2004 attack . The three-judge panel instead found American businessmen guilty of the attack.

        Shocking Video, Tortured Verdict

        The United States has signed an agreement to cooperate in developing a civilian nuclear energy program in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The deal — signed in Washington on January 15 — has been promoted by the Bush administration as a major foreign-policy accomplishment and an expression of Washington’s interest in cooperating with countries that are committed to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.[yes, the Israel-hating oil-rich UAE has to resort to nuclear plants, because it has no oil or gas – very believable!]

        But critics are concerned that the agreement, inked as President George W. Bush prepares to leave office, could lead to a nuclear-energy race in the Middle East amid growing concern over Iran’s nuclear activities.

        • And Russia is an even bigger threat to its neighbors, and it supports genocidal and repressive regimes the world over, such as Myanmar/Burma which uses slave labour to build a new capital, conducts a campaign of genocide against the Karen people etc etc etc,

          As for the “2 atomic bombs on Japanese civillians” BS, well sorry bucko, but most historians agree the dropping of the bombs on Japan majorly shortened the war, avoided the need for an invasion of the Japanes home islands, which based on experience from Okinawa would have cost potentially millions of lives (these same Japanes civillians were instructed by the government to attack allied troops with kitchen knives and defend to the death, mostly theirs of course) and saved the lives of the millions of slave labourers being worked to death in China, the Dutch East Indies etc.

          Geez Arthur, you really are a twit.

          • [most historians agree the dropping of the bombs on Japan majorly shortened the war]

            Definitely true: dropping nukes shortens wars.

            So, if Iran or Syria determines that dropping nukes on Israel will shorten the war, they will be justified to do so? You are disgusting.

            • Now dickhead, read the rest.

              Japan was murdering tens of thousands of people a day in China, the Dutch East Indies, Malaya and so on (around 200,000 civillians died under Japanese occupation in China PER MONTH alone(the Japanese were almost as brutal as Russians when it comes to occupation)).

              However, I do agree that if the Chechens were to detonate a nuclear device in Moscow it would be a suitable retribution and conclusion to Russia’s campaign of genocide in that country. ;)

              • However the Chechens are not going to do this.

                Unlike Russia, the Chechens have morals.

                • [Chechens have morals]

                  No, Chechens have no nukes. But if and when Chechen terrorists like Basayev get them – they will nuke not only Russia and Ossetia, but also Georgia:


                  Shamil Basayev

                  Chechen militant Islamist and a leader of the Chechen separatist movement

                  Basayev led guerrilla campaigns against the Russian troops for years as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians. In 1997-1998 he also served as vice-Prime minister of Chechnya in Maskhadov’s government.

                  Basayev was responsible for numerous terrorist attacks on civilians, most notoriously the attack on a school in Beslan, located in North Ossetia, which led to the deaths of more than 385 people, most of them children.

                  Georgian-Abkhaz conflict

                  The following year, 1992, Basayev traveled to Abkhazia, a breakaway region of Georgia, to assist the local separatist movement against the Georgian government’s attempts to regain control of the region. Basayev became the commander-in-chief of the forces of the Confederation of Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus (a volunteer unit of pan-Caucasian nationalists, composed mainly of Chechens and Cossacks). Their involvement was crucial in the Abkhazian war and in October 1993 the Georgian government suffered a decisive military defeat.

                  Russia did not provide any resistance to the volunteers, which would later prove a mistake, as Basayev’s volunteer unit would go on to form the core of his experienced and battle-hardened Abkhaz Battalion in the First Chechen War. It was during that time that he developed his now trademark affinity for Kalashnikov assault rifles and he made the note of posing with his firearms beside him in videos and interviews.

                  • @No, Chechens have no nukes. But if and when Chechen terrorists like Basayev get them – they will nuke not only Russia and Ossetia, but also Georgia

                    Not only Russia and Ossetia, but also Georgia and Japan and Iceland and Disneyland and Mars!

                    You know what? In 1995 Basayev smuggled a container of radioactive materials all the way to Moscow (and not just neraby Ossetia). Guess what he did with this? Probably detonated a dirty bomb near the Kremlin, right? No, just phoned the Russians to pick it up in Izmailovskiy Park.

                    After Russian forces entered Chechnya in 1994, his exploits became more prominent. Basayev’s forces buried a container of radioactive material in a Moscow park in 1995 — a warning of the mayhem they could inflict if they chose.

                    Terrorists! Like! Basayev! Nuking everyone! Oh, the horror!


                    So, what about this, you complete idiot?

                    Oh, and stop quoting Wikipedia. It makes you look even more stupid than you already are, and this is quite an accomplishment.

                    Also, please kill yourself. Thank you.

                    • Btw, they had PLENTY of radioactive materials. But they never used them.

                      The Russians, however, sort of dirty bombed Grozny when they bombed the laboratories, storages and wastes in 1995 and in 1999.

                      The level of radiation there is EXTREMALLY high (in one destroyed storage facality it was roughly half of this at Chernobyl power plant just after the disaster or 58,000 higher than normal –, many birth defects and such.

                      For example:

                      Then there is radioactivity. Taisia Mirzoeva, Chechnya’s chief sanitary physician, set out the dangers posed by radioactive materials which have gone missing from former scientific or industrial laboratories. Before the war, there were 56 facilities in Chechnya which used what scientists call “sources of ionising irradiation,” or SII. A 1995 audit established that 36 of them had been completely destroyed, and the location of their SII substances was not known. It is impossible to ascertain the total volume of radioactive materials that have gone missing as the documentation has been destroyed.
                      Kosum Khamadov, head of Chechnya’s radioactive hygiene agency, said that there are such quantities of this material moving around unchecked in Chechnya, much of it in residential neighbourhoods, that Chechnya should be designated a radioactive emergency zone.

                      The war was, in some cases, an effective smokescreen for environmental abuse. Dumping of radioactive waste has become evident in Chechnya and other former Soviet republics. Four policemen in Grozny were hospitalized in 2000 after exposure to high levels of radiation from a canister found by children on a roadside. Around Grozny, as many as 67 different sources of radiation have been bombed, including a radioactive waste dump site founded in 1965. This burial site, named “Radon,” contains 906 cubic meters of substances such as Plutonium, Beryllium, Radium- 226, Caesium-137, Thorium, Thulium-170, Iridium-192, Americium-241 and Iodine-131. The heavy shelling and bombing of the site could lead to future contamination. “Radon” is located near the Terek River, which runs into the Caspian Sea. Wind transportation of radioactive dust across the region is another threat. Soldiers assigned to guard the site have abandoned their duties out of fear for their lives. This has led to reports of theft of radioactive material from the site. A black market for the material exists because of its use in the manufacture of “dirty bombs.”

                      But, they didn’t do anything. They just smuggled a container of Caesium-137 to Moscow for a phone call in 1995. That’s all.

                      The Russians however also contaminated parts of London to just kill one of their defectors. Fortunately, no one else died.

                      And now welcome to my ignore list, because I won’t waste any more of my time for a pro-fascist, ignorant moron and some random Wikipedia copy-pastes. If it was my website, I’d simply ban you right away.

                    • Stephanie Barbosa

                      LOL you just made fun of someone for quoting Wikipedia (agreed, stupid) while citing an article from FoxNews, the same network that censored the Ossetian-American girl and her mother for unexpectedly revealing the truth about Georgian soldiers.

                      you`re as much of a joke as Arthur

                    • Actually Stephanie, the Russians faked that “censoring” including all the coughing and static.

                      Besides, the COE report, and memorial and HRW investigations have all rubbished the pathetic claims of the Russians and separatists, they have however confirmed the Russian and separatist war crimes however…..

                  • Yes yes, but Shamyl Besayev also apologised to the Georgians for his role in the dimemberment of their country after the Russians invaded Chechnya.

                    So old fruit, once again you simply show what a retard you are.

                    • Stephanie Barbosa

                      im going to cut you apart in the same style LR does to Arthur.

                      you claim that it was the Russians who censored the video with coughing and such yet post no source of proof.

                      secondly, you must be a degenerate if after watching this video you could even suggest that the Russians were behind it.

  4. [if the Chechens were to detonate a nuclear device in Moscow it would be a suitable retribution]

    So, the Iraqi people have the moral right to detonate a nuclear device in Washington, DC? How bizarre.

    [Unlike Russia, the Chechens have morals.]

    What does Russian have with dropping nukes? It was USA that had no morals when it dropped nukes on Japan. Or invaded Iraq, for that matter.

    But yes – the Iraqis are too moral to retaliate against Americans. All they dare to do is go to jail for throwing old shoes at US presidents.

    In any case, your idea that anybody can drop nukes on any country that mistreats its or others’ citizens – that’s insane. But then again – what else can be expected from you?

    • @”What does Russian have with dropping nukes”

      Well, maybe you should ask the Kazakhs that, they are still pretty upset about being used as live test subjects by the Russian government during the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

  5. Hey guys. These off subject arguments are not helpful. We are basically trying to get the Russians to behave. Also R John thanks for the info. This shale gas thing is moving so fast it is hard to keep up. It would be great if the Ukraine made a huge strike

  6. [Actually Stephanie, the Russians faked that “censoring” including all the coughing and static.]

    How would “the Russians” “fake censoring” taking place at Fox News studios?

    In any case, the readers can judge for themselves:

    CONFLICT IN GEORGIA: American girl tells the truth live on FOX News

    A 12 year old american girl (with ossetian and georgian herritage) and her aunt tells the truth about the war between Russia and Georgia live on FOX News. They get interrupted by the network while thanking the russian troops for helping them out.

  7. Stephanie,

    You can’t do a good imitation of her. Acting like a total idiot is not as easy as you think. You have to feel like an illogical moron on the inside. Try the Stanislavsky method.

  8. @for unexpectedly revealing the truth about Georgian soldiers

    What “truth”? Admitedly I don’t know what those two esteemed experts (“a girl and her mother”) said, but was it something like “being in the middle of a war zone is in fact not quite as as awesome as in the Russian hit TV series Spetsnaz and frankly very scary”? Is this the revelation? If not, what else? What’s the big deal?

    Also please tell me about their expert opinion on, say, the burning Georgian villages and the issues such as the scores of Georgian civilian hostages being paraded through the “new Stalingrad”. I really wonder, because what they say is seemingly so important.

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