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Russia vs. U.S. – who has the stronger military?

Whilst the US vastly outspends Russia on defence, neither the US nor Russia can defeat the other in war because Russia’s asymmetrical advantages cancel out the US’s advantage in numbers. However claims Russia poses a military threat to NATO are absurd.

Angela Borozna

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It is unquestionable that the United States’ military power is dominant, but just as an illustration, consider these numbers:

Military Spending

Russia’s military budget at $67 billion is tiny, compared to the United States’ $594 billion (bigger than the military budget of the next nine countries with largest military budgets combined).

T-15 Heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Active Military Personnel

The United States has 1,492,200 military personnel vs. Russia’s 845,000.

Military Bases

There are around 800 U.S. bases in 80 foreign countries, with 174 U.S. “base sites” in Germany alone.  As of 2016, Russia has 12 military bases outside of its border: 10 of them on the territory of the former Soviet Union, in close proximity to Russia’s borders, two others in Syria and Vietnam

russia-vs-nato_07

Map source: businessinsider.com

Nuclear Weapons

Both sides have more than enough to completely destroy each other several times. According to the Arms Control Association, Russia has 1,735 strategic warheads deployed on 521 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers, and 2,700 non-deployed strategic and deployed and non-deployed tactical warheads, and 3,200 additional warheads are awaiting dismantlement.

The United States has 1,481 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 741 ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers, and 2,570 non-deployed strategic warheads, and roughly 500 deployed and non-deployed tactical warheads, and approximately 2,500 warheads retired and awaiting dismantlement.

Irrelevance of Hard Numbers in “Asymmetric Response”

Whilst the overall defence numbers look favourable to the United States, the Russians can compensate for their numerical inferiority by deploying high-end systems for which the US has no real equivalent or good countermeasures.

Since 2012, when the U.S. announced its plans to proceed with building the Missile Defence System in Eastern Europe, Russia has warned of its asymmetric response to US threats:

“Russia will strengthen its air defence capabilities, including air defence systems around Moscow and in strategic forces, build new tracking stations in addition to three existing ones, and create such systems for which missile defence will not be an obstacle”.

Four years later, in summer 2016, Russian representative at NATO, Alexander Grushko reiterated: “Certainly, we’ll respond totally asymmetrically,” and that this response “would not be extremely expensive, but also highly effective.”

Russia’s Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Chief of the Directorate of Media service and Information of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, responded to the U.S. State Department’s threats that “Russians will be going home in body bags,” and that Russian cities will become targets of terrorist attacks:

“I would say that we know exactly where and how many “unofficial specialists” operate in Syria and in the Aleppo province and we know that they are involved in the operational planning and that they supervise the operations of the militants. Of course, one can continue to insist that they are unsuccessfully involved in trying to separate the al-Nusra terrorists from the “opposition” forces. But if somebody tries to implement these threats, it is by no means certain that these militants will have no time to get the hell out of there.”

Konashenkov warned Washington against a possible attack against Russian military personnel in Syria, as the “radius of the new Russian systems implemented in Syria might surprise our colleagues.”

Hard numbers might be irrelevant when it comes to threats of cyber-attacks.

In retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election, “the CIA has been asked to deliver options to the White House for a wide-ranging ‘clandestine’ cyber operation designed to harass and ‘embarrass’ the Kremlin leadership,” according to NBC.

Russian president Putin responded that cyber-attacks or other types of interference in other countries’ internal affairs were intolerable and ridiculed the accusations of Russia’s meddling in the U.S. presidential elections as a distraction from the multitude of unresolved domestic problems  “pointing instead to supposed Russian hackers, spies, agents of influence and so forth. Does anyone seriously imagine that Russia can somehow influence the American people’s choice? America is not some kind of ‘banana republic’, after all, but is a great power. Do correct me if I am wrong.”

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Wesa F.
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Wesa F.

To me it’s not the budget that you spend but the value you get for that budget. 30 yrs ago I was involved in the purchase of Russian made machinery, and yes it was pretty rough gear,now this was my first impression but when you thought about it for what it had to do and the conditions it had to work in well it was the machine for the job,and the cost was spot on. To buy a machine equivalent would cost you 3 times as much and wouldn’t do any more work and still wore out just the same.… Read more »

Dan Kuhn
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Dan Kuhn

For me,, the Russians have it spot on. They are working within their own country and spending money ion real time defence. Everytime NATO ( US ) does something they come up with the answer. It is a cost effective way to keep a supposedly superior military power at bay. They are not blowing trilllions of dollars on useless military equipment like the F35 and F22. They also use their nuclear deterrent correctly stating that if attacked they will resort to it´s use. That means that if Russia is attacked the Continental US will either cease to exist or it… Read more »

JT
Guest
JT

Notwithstanding the above – Russia is like he ugly girl at the prom that no one wants to date. Trust me, no one is interested in invading Russia, occupying or having anything to do with that dump of a country.

mikeemac
Guest
mikeemac

Dan. Its exactly that sort of attitude thats going to bring America to its knees within the next decade

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Has anyone bothered to try and find out what China would do??? I doubt that, in case of major conflict, China would just stand by and do nothing. And my guess would be, it would side with Russia.

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

The US could stop buying anything Chinese and China would collapse. They can’t even feed themselves!

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Your notions are rather antiquated…you should update. It is the West that has made Chine what it is today – cheap labour to produce all kinds of products, to be sold in the West at huge profits from which companies such as Wal-Mart, etc. profit. See pictures of China lately? A very modern infrastructure, compared with the US’, that is falling apart no matter where one looks. As for feeding themselves…haven’t seen a hungry, skinny Chinese yet.

Tyrantsbleedtoo
Guest
Tyrantsbleedtoo

We can fall apart for another century and still blow them back to the Golden Horde.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Another typical American…settle problems with violence. Way to go…keep going.

Tyrantsbleedtoo
Guest
Tyrantsbleedtoo

Right. And the perfect, all-loving Muscovites have never engaged in violence. Such delusion.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

How ignorant you are!!! Compare all the daily shootings in the US with hardly any shootings in Russia. You poor soul…brainwashed by a MSM that doesn’t know one end from the other.

Tyrantsbleedtoo
Guest
Tyrantsbleedtoo

I see you did not refute my statement, this proving you truly believe Russia is perfect. All nations are corrupt, to an extent. All people are flawed and born wicked. Russia is not heaven on earth. Putin is not Messiah. Wake up.

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Correct you are…no one country, no one person (and no one religion) is perfect…so why then does the US keep bragging, to the point of nausea, how “perfect’ it is?

Robert Matlock
Guest
Robert Matlock

No one in the US except the elderly brags about how perfect this country is. Don’t know what kind of media you ingest, but the US is at an all time low for nationalism. As for economical dependency, the US relies on China, and China heavily relies on the US. That isn’t an argument to be had, it’s just fact, a fact stated and agreed on by both countries. Do your research and learn some basic economics. As for violence, Russia has more murders than the US every year, despite the fact that the US has over twice it’s population.… Read more »

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, fire bombing of Tokyo, Chile, Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia…and not forgetting the countless despots and dictators the US has put in government and support/ed. Stop excusing your countries nefarious behaviour.

Le Ruscino
Guest
Le Ruscino

NATO is US & US is NATO – Anyone who doesn’t get that needs to go back to school. Comparing Russian Military Tech with US Military is very difficult but from what we do know in a conflict today in 2016 we go know that the US has an awful lot of knives for a gun fight with Russia that will be won electronically in ways that US knows very well which is why its blustering & will do nothing when push comes to shove. I personally remember UK military laughter when they learned the Russians had removed transistors from… Read more »

MH
Guest
MH

The point is, who’s going to be crazy enough to start it? Get a map of the world, pour gasoline on it and set it on fire. That’ll be the strategy and history of WWIII. That’s who has the “stronger” military.

Robert Melvin
Guest
Robert Melvin

Killary and her neocon zionist asshat buddies seem think its “on the table”!

MH
Guest
MH

I think they’re hoping for a group inside Russia to neutralize the military and the leadership by convincing them that any military action is unthinkable and unwinnable. So that when they begin or threaten a war Russia will be collapsed from within like the SU. And when Russia is broken up and it’s memory erased; all of eastern Europe will meet the same fate and the goal of 70 years ago will be realized. It seems insane, but Russia has to make them understand that if Russia does go down – everyone goes down. No deals, just the match will… Read more »

Robert Melvin
Guest
Robert Melvin

Could be right… “Just hoping”! But, I don’t think they’re that smart. The neocons zionist that control US gov and media think a nuclear war is winnable.. They ARE actually that fucked up! They’ve said as much and are in the process of trying to convince the rest in the gov, our allies, and the amurikan public, that thats the rout we may need to explore. Jew neocon, (ex CIA) mike (I’m a dweeb) morrel said we need to “bomb Assad, bomb Iran, and bomb Russia” to send a message to Putin that “we’re not gonna stand for this”.. Knowing… Read more »

enviropal99
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enviropal99

The US (Truman) was stupid! We could have destroyed Russia in early 1949 before they perfected their A-bomb and we had more than enough to wipe out every major city in Russia along with all their armies along the borders of Western Europe.

Tecumseh1768
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Tecumseh1768

Fortunately Russia caught on to the NGOs in time.

MH
Guest
MH

Yes , the leadership understood the threat and defused it, but I was also thinking of home-grown threats , such as the liberals, those with stars still in their eyes even after what happened during the 90’s and who want to grow up and be just like the Americans. Maybe elements in things like the Valdai group with American contacts who lose sight of other people’s true motivations in urging co-operation with America or who are being made to doubt Russia’s ability to fight and win wars, conventional or nuclear. They used to be called “defeatists” or 5th column. I… Read more »

Bill Rood
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Bill Rood

Notwithstanding the references to an “asymmetric” response, this article does not sufficiently take into account the huge edge Russia holds in the quality of its weapons, from the Kalashnikov all the way to electronic warfare. The Soviet system of competing “design bureaus” always produced weapons every bit as good as those in the west. T-34s and YAK fighters were superior to most German or Western weapons, and that tradition seems to have been restored since the dismal Yeltsin years. I recall seeing one or two isolated reports in the late summer of 2013 that a missile launched somewhere in the… Read more »

Robert Melvin
Guest
Robert Melvin

Not sure about the yaks superiority tho.. Especially at the outset of the war.
Russians also had the digs on who ‘really’ used the nerve gas. Which the UN later seemed to support. And you’re correct, (((they))) dam sure didn’t care about the amurkican public’s push back to another conflict.. Def the other factors….

Doug Retter
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Doug Retter

Bill, you’re just plain stupid. Still trolling for Putin or did you ever get a real job?

Bill Rood
Guest
Bill Rood

Just now getting around to this empty ad hominem after 5 mos? You’d better get on the stick or your CIA handlers will take note of your inefficiency and stop funding you.

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

…ok…still trolling for Putin!

Ernest Langa
Guest
Ernest Langa

Bill Rood, I like your attitude in having a mutual respect dialogue. Let them vormit and release diarrhea. When a person like Dough Retter and Ajac09 fail to produce meaningful​ information they opt for emotional and eventually playing man instead of showing skill on the ball. Please Bill keep that IQ up.

Robert Miller
Guest
Robert Miller

Doug, he’s got yellowcake! Yellowcake and aluminum tubes! You’ve got to watch out for aluminum tubes. And he’s hiding in a cave in Afghanistan, that’s why we have stayed in Afghanistan for sixteen years, never mind the 1000% increase in opium production. And his emissaries met with al Qaeda in Vienna. And they attacked our navy in the Gulf of Tonkin! We must rescue our medical students in Grenada.

Doug, did you know that Nicaragua is just a leisurely two-day drive to the Rio Grande? The Sandinistas could be attacking Austin by Monday!

Fabrizio Brader
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Fabrizio Brader

Very good analysis, I agree with it.

Bill Rood
Guest
Bill Rood

Well, I certainly hope I was correct, because the attack today on Syria was a test of the Russian technology. I believe the US military was trying to get Russia to “light up” its S-400s. I’m seeing allegations on syrianperspective.com that the S-400s were not used, yet reports that only 23/59 Tomahawks hit their targets. Tomahawks don’t just malfunction, so some AA defense must have been used. I hope they’re correct at syrianperspective.com that it was an inferior technology, in which case it was amazingly effective. I hope that’s what really happened, in which case it should be a sobering… Read more »

AdeliousPat
Guest
AdeliousPat

Russia always produced interesting technology in the Cold War, but it in nearly every regard the Soviet Union was always a step behind. Sure it beat the US into space, but it’s manned moon program failed. The USSR also failed in the later years with the admittedly very cool Buran program. The aircraft from the USSR have always been “a day late and a dollar short.” The MIG 25 and later 31 were fantastically fast, but could only run at those speeds for minutes with the goal of intercepting the SR-71 which was actually most efficient at those speeds (mach… Read more »

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

You seem to be forgetting or ignoring the incident in the Black Sea, in 2014, the USS Donald Cook, Russian jamming technology completely shut down AEGIS, rendering the ship helpless and at their mercy. You also make no mention of the F-35, which, even when it does not catch fire on the runway, is easily out-maneuvered by 20 year old Russian fighters, and is generally a laughing stock that makes military pilots cringe when ordered to fly. Yes we out-spend Russia militarily by an order of magnitude, but how much of that do we piss away? The assumption that the… Read more »

ajac09
Guest
ajac09

Stop drinking the Putin Kool aide. Yaks were no where near as good as anything the US deployed in ww2 and the t-34 was beat by shermans in the Korean war…Russia has ALWAYS been behind the US in quality of weaponry. If nukes are off the table US could easily invade and destroy the Russia military. US has much more combat experience then Russia. battle tested weapons and is in a better position then Russia to attempt an invasion. US navy would decimate the Russia navy in its first encounter. US airforce larger and better would destroy the Russian air… Read more »

Bill Rood
Guest
Bill Rood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakovlev_Yak-3 says different: Marcel Albert, World War II French ace, who flew the Yak in USSR with the Normandie-Niémen Group, considered it a superior aircraft when compared to the P-51D Mustang and the Supermarine Spitfire.[ So, yeah maybe I was wrong. I only said it was better than “most.” It sounds like Albert thought Yak-3 was better than the best. Be that as it may, to what do you attribute that only 23/59 Tomahawks hit their mark on April 6? Did 39 of them all decide to malfunction at the same time? Quite a coincidence, wasn’t it? I didn’t speculate… Read more »

ajac09
Guest
ajac09

ONE Person thinks so and you go with it? Putin kool aide FTW. and you used wikipedia as a reference that kills your argument immediately.

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

Hi ajac09, please stop being this kind of person: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-02/government-trolls-are-using-psychology-based-influence-techniques-youtube-facebook-a [Have you ever come across someone on the Internet that you suspected was a paid government troll? Well, there is a very good chance that you were not imagining things. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now have solid proof that paid government trolls are using “psychology-based influence techniques” on social media websites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Documents leaked by Snowden also reveal that government agents have been conducting denial-of-service attacks, flooding social media websites with thinly veiled propaganda and have been purposely attempting to warp public discourse online.… Read more »

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

In other words, the US and other Western globalist vassal states do exactly everything what they accuse Russia and a few other countries of doing.

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

These plutocrats and their puppets in politics, NGOs, and the mainstream media deserve to be shot, but only after being exposed to the world for the immoral freaks they are.

ajac09
Guest
ajac09

Why dont you stop kissing Putins ass and come back to reality. You think trolling because you disagree when your just angry that your wrong. History proves me right and continues to.

Sean Glennie
Guest
Sean Glennie

Reliable open source material contradicts your claims, apparently you should read up more history. Also try reading up on the most current weapons both in use and in development around the world and compare them to their US counterparts.

RussG
Guest
RussG

The map needs some corrections. Crimea is part of Russia, so please delete outside-Russia base #3 and re-color Crimea to light pink like the rest of Russia.

M Masek
Guest
M Masek

Angela Borozna, correct me if I’m wrong, I thought Crimea was Russian territory. I didn’t know it was a separatist region. So a Russian military base in Crimea would reflect as in Russia.

Mike from Ramsbottom
Guest
Mike from Ramsbottom

On that map — You can take Crimea out of ‘Russia supported separatist regions’. Crimea is Russia.

murtazabhai008@gmail.com
Guest
murtazabhai008@gmail.com

Putin wants peace in syria but western countries want pieces by supporting Saudis Wahabis. Wahabis are the worst human on earth. World’s largest terrorism are funded by Saudi Kuwait and all wahabi dominated countries.

Tecumseh1768
Guest
Tecumseh1768

Yes the Saudis are terrorist scum but by God they are OUR terrorist scum.

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

Russia wants the destruction of the rebels in Syria that are fighting the dictator Assad. Russia doesn’t believe in human rights. They just want the oil and the military bases.

murtazabhai008@gmail.com
Guest
murtazabhai008@gmail.com

Putin is a hero. Russia is defeating terrorism while America supports terrorism by helping Saudis.

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

This comparison fails to consider that Russia has technical/electronic superiority, the 2014 incident involving the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea proved that Russia has it, hands down. The US may spend 10x more, but it wastes a metric shit ton of that budget, clearly. This superiority skews the numbers by a very substantial factor.

AleonisSprak
Guest
AleonisSprak

Russia has technical/electronic superiority? This is the opposite of what is true. This is the one thing Russia lacks.

America holds private contracts with the companies that are the unquestioned world leaders in electronics/chip design. Raytheon and Honeywell are essentially components of the US defense department. Intel and IBM are direct suppliers of the US government. These companies design the chips that everything else runs off of. Russia has no capacity to approximate US tech. Its a matter of fact and not debate.

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

Are you familiar with the USS Donald Cook incident, in even the least way? If you were you would know that AEGIS, the ostensible cream of the US technology crop, was shut down and rendered useless by Russian jamming technology, the ONLY reason that ship isn’t a living reef at the bottom of the Black Sea, is that Russia chose not to sink it. The US military industrial complex is the world leader in extracting wealth from the middle class, look at the F-35, poster child for the phrase “cut your losses” and then talk about world leadership. The only… Read more »

Robert Matlock
Guest
Robert Matlock

The ability to jam does not signify technological dominance, you’re essentially mixing apples and oranges with your argument. If you do not fully understand the technology, do not comment on the matter. American Exceptionalism isn’t a tag for someone stating proven facts, do your research.

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

This is a clip from an article on vetranstoday.com: “Russia sent an unarmed bomber Su- 24 to fly around the U.S. destroyer. However, experts say that this plane was equipped with the latest Russian electronic warfare complex. According to this version, “Aegis” spotted from afar the approaching aircraft, and sounded alarm. Everything went normally, American radars calculated the speed of the approaching target. And suddenly all the screens went blank. “Aegis” was not working any more, and the rockets could not get target information. Meanwhile, Su-24 flew over the deck of the destroyer, did battle turn and simulated missile attack… Read more »

Mark J McGinty
Guest
Mark J McGinty

The ability to shut down our targeting/firing systems and force onboard computer systems into a cyclic rebooting condition absolutely shows superiority, do you even know what you’re saying? WTF is wrong with you? When you can render your enemy defenseless — yes, a ship that’s unable to deploy ANY weapons system, besides officers’ side-arms, is by definition, defenseless — then you win. I worked as a programmer for a DoD contractor, developing mission planning software, but this discussion isn’t really all that technical, and you obviously either don’t get it or are in denial. Your inability to be objective turns… Read more »

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

Have any of you ever been in a Russian tank and then in an American tank? Clearly not!!! The US fields about 8800 Abrams tanks; Russia claims to have over 15,000. The difference is, Russia’s failed infrastructure requires active service tanks to be stripped of parts to keep the rest running. In combat, there will be few spare parts. It is estimated that as much as 30% of Russia’s tanks are not in service as a result….however, would not matter, if they were. Russian tanks are vastly inferior; American crews are vastly over-trained. Most American tank crews have vastly more… Read more »

mikeemac
Guest
mikeemac

The US would be operating far from its resources and extremely over stretched supply lines. Their carrier groups would be toast in weeks due to their total dependance on electronics and satellites. This effectively ends any cover that your amazing tanks would have. The US has made far to many enemies, Russia, most of the middle east, China and even support in Europe is waning. It’s the beginning of the end. Look at the fall of empires in history and it always begins with a over inflated ego, a delusional idea of self importance, too many enemies, 0 ability to… Read more »

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

That was the sentiment in 1941. Japan expected the US to surrender or at least just let Japan take over China. Look how that turned out.

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

…says Putin’s retarded, trained chimp. Bring it, silly boy!

Doug Retter
Guest
Doug Retter

With stupid people on the wrong side of the argument, shouldn’t be too hard.

JT
Guest
JT

I really don’t know why Russia is so paranoid about being invaded – Russia is like he ugly girl at the prom that no one wants to date. Trust me, no one is interested in invading or occupying that dump of a country.

Tierney Simmons
Guest
Tierney Simmons

I know some one in the white house has to know America is Babylon. ‘..’And if a war starts America will lose. Its already written. In the end of the bible the Russian bear is there. But the egal is not. Even the dragon ”The egal is America. Dragon china. Bear Russia. But the people will cry out oh great Babylon the great has fallen.’.. ‘So trump sends 56 cruse missils to Syria. Russia has now cut sky comunication increasing an accident in the sky’s. Why the runway is back up back running already! In less then 24hours .. Now… Read more »

enviropal99
Guest
enviropal99

If we want to destroy Russia all we need to do is drill all of the oil wells we can and become completely self sufficient in oil. The excess capacity worldwide caused by the additional US production will reduce the price of oil below $25.00 per barrel. Russia depends upon oil revenues to survive. With $25.00 oil Russia will make zero money and will have no money to spend on military equipment or even for importing food.

Latest

Understanding the Holodomor and why Russia says nothing

A descendant of Holodomor victims takes the rest of us to school as to whether or not Russia needs to shoulder the blame.

Seraphim Hanisch

Published

on

One of the charges that nationalist Ukrainians often lodge against their Russian neighbors is that the Russian government has never acknowledged or formally apologized to Ukraine for the “Holodomor” that took place in Ukraine in 1932-1933. This was a man-made famine that killed an estimated seven to 10 million Ukrainians , though higher estimates claim 12.5 million and lower ones now claim 3.3 million.

No matter what the total was, it amounts to a lot of people that starved to death. The charge that modern-day Russia ought to apologize for this event is usually met with silence, which further enrages those Ukrainians that believe that this issue must be resolved by the Russian acknowledgement of responsibility for it. Indeed, the prime charge of these Ukrainians is that the Russians committed a genocide against the Ukrainian people. This is a claim Russia denies.

To the outside observer who does not know this history of Russia and Ukraine’s relationship, and who does not know or understand the characteristics of the Soviet Union, this charge seems as simple and laid out as that of the Native Americans or the blacks demanding some sort of recompense or restitution for the damages inflicted on these societies through conquest and / or slavery. But we discovered someone who had family connections involved in the Holodomor, and who offers her own perspective, which is instructive in why perhaps the Russian Federation does not say anything about this situation.

Scene in Kharkiv with dead from the famine 1932-33 lying along the street.

The speaker is Anna Vinogradova, a Russian Israeli-American, who answered the question through Quora of “Why doesn’t Russia recognize the Holodomor as a genocide?” She openly admits that she speaks only for herself, but her answer is still instructive. We offer it here, with some corrections for the sake of smooth and understandable English:

I can’t speak for Russia and what it does and doesn’t recognize. I can speak for myself.

I am a great-granddaughter of a “Kulak” (кулак), or well-to-do peasant, who lived close to the Russia/Ukraine border.

The word “кулак” means “fist” in Russian, and it wasn’t a good thing for a person to be called by this label. A кулак was an exploiter of peasants and a class enemy of the new state of workers and poor peasants. In other words, while under Communism, to be called a кулак was to bring a death sentence upon yourself.

At some point, every rural class enemy, every peasant who wasn’t a member of a collective farm was eliminated one way or another.

Because Ukraine has very fertile land and the Ukrainian style of agriculture often favors individual farms as opposed to villages, there is no question that many, many Ukrainian peasants were considered class enemies like my great grandfather, and eliminated in class warfare.

I have no doubt that class warfare included starvation, among other things.

The catch? My great grandfather was an ethnic Russian living in Russia. What nationality were the communists who persecuted and eventually shot him? They were of every nationality there was (in the Soviet Union), and they were led by a Ukrainian, who was taking orders from a Georgian.

Now, tell me, why I, a descendant of an unjustly killed Russian peasant, need to apologize to the descendants of the Ukrainians who killed him on the orders of a Georgian?

What about the Russian, Kazakh golodomor (Russian rendering of the same famine)? What about the butchers, who came from all ethnicities? Can someone explain why it’s only okay to talk about Ukrainian victims and Russian persecutors? Why do we need to rewrite history decades later to convert that brutal class war into an ethnic war that it wasn’t?

Ethnic warfare did not start in Russia until after WWII, when some ethnicities were accused of collaboration with the Nazis and brutal group punishments were implemented. It was all based on class up to that time.

The communists of those years were fanatically internationalist. “Working people of all countries, unite!” was their slogan and they were fanatical about it.

As for the crimes of Communism, Russia has been healing this wound for decades, and Russia’s government has made its anticommunist position very clear.

This testimony is most instructive. First, it points out information that the charge of the Holodomor as “genocide!” neatly leaves out. In identifying the internationalist aspects of the Soviet Union, Ukraine further was not a country identified as somehow worthy of genocidal actions. Such a thought makes no sense, especially given the great importance of Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of the Soviet Union, which it was.

Secondly, it shows a very western-style of “divide to conquer” with a conveniently incendiary single-word propaganda tool that is no doubt able to excite any Ukrainian who may be neutral to slightly disaffected about Russia, and then after that, all Ukrainians are now victims of the mighty evil overlords in Moscow.

How convenient is this when the evil overlords in Kyiv don’t want their citizens to know what they are doing?

We saw this on Saturday – taken to a very high peak when President Petro Poroshenko announced the new leading “Hierarch” of the “Ukrainian National Church” and said not one single word about Christ, but only:

“This day will go down in history as the day of the creation of an autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine… This is the day of the creation of the church as an independent structure… What is this church? It is a church without Putin. It is a church without Kirill, without prayer for the Russian authorities and the Russian army.”

But as long as Russia is made the “problem”, millions of scandalized Ukrainians will not care what this new Church actually does or teaches, which means it is likely to teach just about anything.

Russia had its own Holodomor. The history of the event shows that this was a result of several factors – imposed socialist economics on a deeply individualized form of agrarian capitalism (bad for morale and worse for food production), really inane centralized planning of cropland use, and a governmental structure that really did not exist to serve the governed, but to impose an ideology on people who really were not all that interested in it.

Personal blame might well lay with Stalin, a Georgian, but the biggest source of the famine lay in the structures imposed under communism as a way of economic strategy. This is not Russia’s fault. It is the economic model that failed.

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Mueller Finally Releases Heavily Redacted Key Flynn Memo On Eve Of Sentencing

Alex Christoforou

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Via Zerohedge


Having initially snubbed Judge Emmet Sullivan’s order to release the original 302 report from the Michael Flynn interrogation in January 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has finally produced the heavily redacted document, just hours before sentencing is due to be handed down.

The memo  – in full below – details then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s interview with FBI agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka, and shows Flynn was repeatedly asked about his contacts with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and in each instance, Flynn denied (or did not recall) any such conversations.

The agents had transcripts of Flynn’s phone calls to Russian Ambassador Kislyak, thus showing Flynn to be lying.

Flynn pleaded guilty guilty last December to lying to the FBI agents about those conversations with Kislyak.

The redactions in the document seem oddly placed but otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about the content…

Aside from perhaps Flynn’s incredulity at the media attention…

Flynn is set to be sentenced in that federal court on Tuesday.

Of course, as Christina Laila notes, the real crime is that Flynn was unmasked during his phone calls to Kislyak and his calls were illegally leaked by a senior Obama official to the Washington Post.

*  *  *

Full document below…

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Don’t Laugh : It’s Giving Putin What He Wants

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself.

Caitlin Johnstone

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Authored by Caitlin Johnstone:


The BBC has published an article titled “How Putin’s Russia turned humour into a weapon” about the Kremlin’s latest addition to its horrifying deadly hybrid warfare arsenal: comedy.

The article is authored by Olga Robinson, whom the BBC, unhindered by any trace of self-awareness, has titled “Senior Journalist (Disinformation)”. Robinson demonstrates the qualifications and acumen which earned her that title by warning the BBC’s audience that the Kremlin has been using humor to dismiss and ridicule accusations that have been leveled against it by western governments, a “form of trolling” that she reports is designed to “deliberately lower the level of discussion”.

“Russia’s move towards using humour to influence its campaigns is a relatively recent phenomenon,” Robinson explains, without speculating as to why Russians might have suddenly begun laughing at their western accusers. She gives no consideration to the possibility that the tightly knit alliance of western nations who suddenly began hysterically shrieking about Russia two years ago have simply gotten much more ridiculous and easier to make fun of during that time.

Couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the emergence of a demented media environment wherein everything around the world from French protests to American culture wars to British discontent with the European Union gets blamed on Russia without any facts or evidence. Wherein BBC reporters now correct guests and caution them against voicing skepticism of anti-Russia narratives because the UK is in “an information war” with that nation. Wherein the same cable news Russiagate pundit can claim that both Rex Tillerson’s hiring and his later firing were the result of a Russian conspiracy to benefit the Kremlin. Wherein mainstream outlets can circulate blatantly false information about Julian Assange and unnamed “Russians” and then blame the falseness of that reporting on Russian disinformation. Wherein Pokemon Go, cutesy Facebook memes and $4,700 in Google ads are sincerely cited as methods by which Hillary Clinton’s $1.2 billion presidential campaign was outdone. Wherein conspiracy theories that Putin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government have been blaring on mainstream headline news for two years with absolutely nothing to show for it to this day.

Nope, the only possibility is that the Kremlin suddenly figured out that humor is a thing.

The fact of the matter is that humorous lampooning of western establishment Russia narratives writes itself. The hypocrisy is so cartoonish, the emotions are so breathlessly over-the-top, the stories so riddled with plot holes and the agendas underlying them so glaringly obvious that they translate very easily into laughs. I myself recently authored a satire piece that a lot of people loved and which got picked up by numerous alternative media outlets, and all I did was write down all the various escalations this administration has made against Russia as though they were commands being given to Trump by Putin. It was extremely easy to write, and it was pretty damn funny if I do say so myself. And it didn’t take any Kremlin rubles or dezinformatsiya from St Petersburg to figure out how to write it.

“Ben Nimmo, an Atlantic Council researcher on Russian disinformation, told the BBC that attempts to create funny memes were part of the strategy as ‘disinformation for the information age’,” the article warns. Nimmo, ironically, is himself intimately involved with the British domestic disinformation firm Integrity Initiative, whose shady government-sponsored psyops against the Labour Party have sparked a national scandal that is likely far from reaching peak intensity.

“Most comedy programmes on Russian state television these days are anodyne affairs which either do not touch on political topics, or direct humour at the Kremlin’s perceived enemies abroad,” Robinson writes, which I found funny since I’d just recently read an excellent essay by Michael Tracey titled “Why has late night swapped laughs for lusting after Mueller?”

“If the late night ‘comedy’ of the Trump era has something resembling a ‘message,’ it’s that large segments of the nation’s liberal TV viewership are nervously tracking every Russia development with a passion that cannot be conducive to mental health – or for that matter, political efficacy,” Tracey writes, documenting numerous examples of the ways late night comedy now has audiences cheering for a US intelligence insider and Bush appointee instead of challenging power-serving media orthodoxies as programs like The Daily Show once did.

If you wanted the opposite of “anodyne affairs”, it would be comedians ridiculing the way all the establishment talking heads are manipulating their audiences into supporting the US intelligence community and FBI insiders. It would be excoriating the media environment in which unfathomably powerful world-dominating government agencies are subject to less scrutiny and criticism than a man trapped in an embassy who published inconvenient facts about those agencies. It certainly wouldn’t be the cast of Saturday Night Live singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to a framed portrait if Robert Mueller wearing a Santa hat. It doesn’t get much more anodyne than that.

Russia makes fun of western establishment narratives about it because those narratives are so incredibly easy to make fun of that they are essentially asking for it, and the nerdy way empire loyalists are suddenly crying victim about it is itself more comedy. When Guardian writer Carole Cadwalladr began insinuating that RT covering standard newsworthy people like Julian Assange and Nigel Farage was a conspiracy to “boost” those people for the advancement of Russian agendas instead of a news outlet doing the thing that news reporting is, RT rightly made fun of her for it. Cadwalladr reacted to RT’s mockery with a claim that she was a victim of “attacks”, instead of the recipient of perfectly justified ridicule for circulating an intensely moronic conspiracy theory.

Ah well. People are nuts and we’re hurtling toward a direct confrontation with a nuclear superpower. Sometimes there’s nothing else to do but laugh. As Wavy Gravy said, “Keep your sense of humor, my friend; if you don’t have a sense of humor it just isn’t funny anymore.”

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