Kharkiv

Donbas – without words (910+ photos)

By Segodnya.ua (10.13.2014,Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine)

We have collected 873 photos from eastern Ukraine, which sho

We have collected 873 photos from eastern Ukraine, which show the real picture of the situation: all the pain, extreme survival conditions, the extent of the destruction, the military situation in the region. If you have photos that you want to share with other users, join Segodnya.ua now and send in your photos.

Click here for all photos:

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Journalists report “Russian humanitarian convoy” heading towards checkpoint controlled by terrorists

http://euromaidanpress.com/

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2014/08/14 • DAILY UPDATES, NEWS, RUSSIA, UKRAINE

The Russian “humanitarian convoy” is moving towards the Ukrainian border crossing at Izvaryne, which is under the control of pro-Russian separatists.

Slon.ru reports that this information was tweeted by Guardian correspondent Shaun Walker, who is currently in Kamensk-Shakhtinsk (Rostov Oblast, Russia).

According to Walker, the vanguard of the convoy was directed to Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, which is on the road leading to Krasnodon and Luhansk.

Meanwhile, Financial Times journalist, Courtney Weaver tweeted that the convoy is escorted by military helicopters and auxiliary military equipment. According to Weaver, the convoy stopped in the area of Kamensk-Shakhtynsk.

 

bf4467c jpg large.bu mi9jimaavsx9.jpg.pagespeed.ce . 5c7RRHe8k 300x225 Journalists report “humanitarian convoy” heading towards checkpoint controlled by terrorists

Photo from Weaver’s Twitter

At about 14:00 Kyiv time, one column stopped and the journalists were allowed to take a look inside some of the trucks.

A New York Times correspondent wrote that some trucks carried sleeping bags. But, the man who showed the goods had an obvious military tattoo.

Bu xZiSIQAAO7A  225x300 Journalists report “humanitarian convoy” heading towards checkpoint controlled by terrorists

The Guardian journalist wrote that he was also shown buckwheat and sleeping bags.

The BBC correspondent later reported that the “convoy” stopped in a field 20 km from the Russian city of Donetsk.

Bu 3QWfIcAE6E2Q 300x225 Journalists report “humanitarian convoy” heading towards checkpoint controlled by terrorists

Translated by Christine Chraibi

News from Ukraine on July 29, 2014

This is Ukraine today – July 29: 27 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 185 injured as a result of shooting from the territory of Russian Federation …

The world should stop this agression because it can spread ! 

            U.S., UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

War, not the expected peace arrived at the doorstep of Great Britain and France when they gave up Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938. War is happening right here at home and not in faraway Europe – the United States were harshly reminded about this at Pearl Harbor in 1942. War descended on Ukraine and thus is now much closer to Paris and Berlin, because Europe and the US haven’t supported Georgia in 2008. War showed up in the homes of Dutch, British, French, German, Australian families because Europe and the US weren’t courageous enough to lend a helping hand to Ukraine in 2014. It is impossible to run away from war and overwhelming aggression, it is impossible to buy yourself off. The war will catch up with you if you don’t stand up to it with utmost determination.

July 29 – With military support, volunteer Battalion “Azov” gained control over the city of Novyi Svit near Donetsk.

July 29 – Terrorists have sealed off all the exits for civilians leaving Luhansk, said the spokesman for the Information Center at the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Lysenko. Residents are held hostage by the terrorists. As a result of the confrontation, 5 pensioners were killed at a nursing home in Luhansk.

July 29 – Russian terrorists have shelled a minibus transporting children who were evacuated from orphanages. One child was killed, ten injured, informs the Head of the “Information Resistance” group Dmytro Tymchuk.

July 29 – Igor Bezler (aka “Bies”) who is one of the leaders of Russian terrorists is currently in Russia, at the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces, said the Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Zoryan Shkiryak. Bezler must be receiving a new action plan for Ukraine or purchasing a few more “Buk” systems (surface-to-air) in Moscow supermarkets…

July 29 – 27 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 185 injured as a result of shooting from the territory of Russian Federation, informed the spokesman for the Information Center at the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Lysenko.

July 29 – On Tuesday, during a meeting in Brussels, the Ambassadors of EU member states agreed to impose third level sanctions against the Russian Federation. Financial sanctions foresee restrictions for Russian state banks, state institutions of the Russian Federation, the oil sector, and manufacturing of military-related goods.

        France, Belgique, Canada, Suisse

En 1938, lorsque la Grande-Bretagne et la France ont donné la Tchécoslovaquie à Hitler, ce n’est pas la paix, mais la guerre qui est venue frapper à leur porte. En 1942, lorsque les Etats-Unis pensaient que la guerre était loin en Europe, l’attaque sur Pearl Harbor leur a rappelé que la guerre se trouvait juste derrière la porte. En 2008, lorsque ni l’Europe ni l’Amérique n’ont soutenu la Géorgie, la guerre s’est rapproché de Paris et Berlin… en Ukraine. En 2014, lorsque ni l’Europe ni l’Amérique n’ont osé soutenir l’Ukraine, la guerre a frappé des familles hollandaises, britanniques, belges, allemandes, malaisiennes et australiennes. On ne peut ni se cacher ni se racheter face à la guerre et à l’agression sans bornes… elle frappera à votre porte à moins que vous n’y puissiez résister avec la plus grande détermination.

Le 29 juillet – L’armée ukrainienne et le bataillon Azov composé de volontaires ont pris la ville de Novy Svit près de Donetsk.

Le 29 juillet – “Les terroristes ont complètement bloqué les sorties de la ville de Louhansk. Ils empêchent les civils de partir.” a déclaré le porte-parole du Centre d’information du Conseil national de sécurité et défense, Andriy Lyssenko. Les terroristes prennent les habitants en otage. Suite aux hostilités, cinq retraités ont été tués dans une maison de retraite à Louhansk.

Le 29 juillet – “Les terroristes russes ont tiré sur un minibus plein d’enfants que l’on évacuait des orphelinats. Un enfant a été tué, dix autres sont blessés.” – déclaration du directeur de Informatsiyny Sprotyv (Information et Résistance), Dmytro Tymtchouk.

Le 29 juillet – “Un des chefs terroristes russes, Igor Bezler, mieux connu sous le nom “Besse”, est actuellement en Russie, plus précisément à la Direction centrale du renseignement de l’état-major général des Forces armées de la Fédération de Russie.” – déclaration de Zoriane Shkiriak, conseiller du ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’Ukraine. Besse est-il parti en Russie pour recevoir de nouveaux ordres ou pour acheter de nouveaux systèmes Bouk dans les supermarchés de Moscou?

Le 29 juillet – “Les tirs en provenance du territoire russe ont tué 27 soldats ukrainiens et blessé185 autres.” déclaration du porte-parole du Centre d’information du Conseil national de sécurité et défense, Andriy Lyssenko.

Le 29 juillet – Lors d’une réunion à Bruxelles, les ambassadeurs des Etats membres de l’UE ont décidé d’imposer le troisième niveau de sanctions contre la Russie. Ces sanctions financières imposeront des restrictions aux banques d’Etat russes, aux institutions d’Etat russes, au secteur pétrolier et à la production et aux équipements militaires.

  Polska

Gdy w 1938 roku Wielka Brytania i Francja oddały Czechosłowację Hitlerowi, w ich domy przyszedł nie pokój, lecz wojna. Gdy w 1941 roku Stany Zjednoczone myślały, że wojna jest gdzieś daleko w Europie, Pearl Harbor przypomniał, że ona stoi przed progiem. Gdy w 2008 roku Europa i Ameryka nie wsparły Gruzję, wojna zbliżyła się do Paryża i Berlina – na teren Ukrainy. Gdy w 2014 roku Europa i Ameryka wciąż nie mogą odważyć się wesprzeć Ukrainę, wojna przyszła do holenderskich, malezyjskich, brytyjskich, belgijskich, niemieckich, australijskich rodzin. Od wojny i niepohamowanej agresji nie da się uciec, nie da się odkupić – ona przyjdzie do każdego, jeśli nie przeciwstawić się ją z całą możliwą stanowczością.

29 lipca – ochotniczy batalion “Azow” przy wsparciu wojska uwolnił od okupantów rosyjskich miasto Nowy Świt w pobliżu Doniecka.

29 lipca – Terroryści całkowicie zablokowali wyjazd cywilów z Ługańska – rzecznik Centrum Informacyjnego RNBO Andrij Łysenko. Mieszkańców miast na Donbasie rosyjscy terroryści robią zakładnikami. W Ługańsku wskutek ostrzału przez rosyjskich terrorystów zostali zabici pięć mieszkańców domu starców.

29 lipca – Rosyjscy terroryści ostrzelali minibus z dziećmi, których ewakuowano z ochronek. Jedne dziecko zginęło, dziesięć rannych – szef “Oporu Informacyjnego” Dmytro Tymczuk.

29 lipca – Jeden z hersztów rosyjskich terrorystów, podpułkownik rosyjskiego wywiadu Igor Bezler, znany pod pseudonimem “Bies”, obecnie przebywa w Moskwie w centrali Głównego Urzędu Wywiadowczego Sztabu Generalnego Sił Zbrojnych Rosji – doradca ministra MSW Ukrainy Zorian Szkiriak. Otrzymuje nowe wytyczne, czy wybrał się na zakupy kolejnych systemów “Buk” w moskiewskich supermarketach?

29 lipca – Za cały czas ostrzałów ukraińskich żołnierzy z terytorium Rosji 27 zostało zabitych, a 185 rannych – rzecznik Centrum Informacyjnego RNBO Andrij Łysenko.

29 lipca – Ambasadorowie państw członkowskich UE we wtorek podczas spotkania w Brukseli podjęli decyzję o stosowanie sankcji trzeciego poziomu wobec FR. Sankcji dotyczą ograniczeń dla rosyjskich banków państwowych, instytucji państwowych Federacji Rosyjskiej, sektora naftowego, produkcji wojskowego przeznaczenia.

  Italia, Svizzera, Vaticano

Quando nel 1938 la Gran Bretagna e la Francia hanno ceduto la Cecoslovacchia a Hitler, hanno trovato la guerra, non la pace. Quando nel 1941 gli Stati Uniti credevano che la guerra fosse lontano, da qualche parte in Europa, Pearl Harbor ha ricordato loro che la guerra era in casa loro. Quando nel 2008 l’Europa e l’America non hanno sostenuto la Georgia, la guerra si è avvicinata più di prima a Parigi e Berlino – in Ucraina. Nel 2014 l’Europa e l’America non osano sostenere l’Ucraina e la guerra sta coinvolgendo le loro famiglie – olandesi, inglesi, belga, tedesche, australiane. Non si può fuggire da una guerra, da un’aggressione sfrenata; questa avanzerà ancora se non ci si oppone con la massima determinazione.

29 luglio – Il battaglione di volontari “Azov”, supportato dai militari, ha preso la città di Novyi Svit nei pressi di Donets’k.

29 luglio – I terroristi hanno completamente bloccato le uscite da Luhans’k per i civili, – ha detto il portavoce del Consiglio di Sicurezza e di Difesa Nazionale Andrii Lysenko. Gli abitanti sono ostaggi dei terroristi. A Luhans’k nel corso della sparatoria sono morti 5 pensionati di una casa di cura.

29 luglio – I terroristi russi hanno sparato al minibus che traportava i bambini evacuati dagli orfanotrofi. Un bambino è stato ucciso, dieci sono stati feriti, – ha comunicato il capo del gruppo “Informatsijnyi Opir” Dmytro Tymchuk.

29 luglio – Igor Bezler, noto come “Bes”, uno dei principali leader terroristi, si trova in Russia, nell’Ufficio della Direzione principale dell’Intelligence delle Forze Armate della Federazione russa, – ha dichiarato il consigliere del ministro degli Affari Interni dell’Ucraina Zorian Shkiriak. Sarà andato a ricevere nuove istruzioni o a comperare nuovi sistemi “Buk” nei supermercati di Mosca?

29 luglio – In tutto, per colpa del fuoco aperto sul territorio russo contro gli ucraini, sono morti 27 militari ucraini e 185 soldati sono stati feriti, – ha detto il portavoce del Centro Informazioni del Consiglio di Sicurezza e di Difesa Nazionale Andrii Lysenko.

29 luglio – Gli ambasciatori degli Stati membri dell’UE nel corso di una riunione a Bruxelles hanno deciso di introdurre sanzioni di terzo grado nei confronti della Federazione russa. Le sanzioni finanziarie introdurranno restrizioni per le banche statali russe, le istituzioni statali della Federazione russa, il settore petrolifero e quello dei prodotti per fini bellici.
  Сербіиа

Kad su 1938. Velika Britanija i Nemačka predale Čehoslovačku Hitleru, u njihovu kuću nije došao mir, već je došao rat. Kad su 1941. SAD mislile da je rat negde daleko u Evropi, Perl Harbor je podsetio da je on kod njih u kući. Kada 2008. Evropa i Amerika nisu podržale Gruziju, onda je rat prišao bliže Parizu i Berlinu – u Ukrajinu. Kada 2014. Evropa i Amerika nikako ne mogu da se usude da podrže Ukrajinu, rat je došao u njihove holandske, britanske, belgijske, nemačke, australijske porodice. Od rata i nezadržive agresije ne možeš da pobegneš, ne možeš da se otkupiš – oni će doći kod tebe, ako im se ne suprotstaviš sa svom mogućom odlučnošću.

29. jul. – Dobrovoljački bataljon “Azov” uz podršku vojnika zauzeo je grad Novi Svet kod Donjecka.

29. jul. – Teroristi su potpuno zatvorili za mirne stanovnike izlaz iz Luganska, − glasnogovornik informativnog centra SNBO Andrij Lisenko. Teroristi prave taoce od stanovnika gradova. U Lugansku u rezultatu ratnih dejstava poginulo je 5 penzionera iz staračkog doma.

29. jul. – Ruski teroristi zasuli su vatrom autobus sa decom koju su evakuisali iz domova za napuštenu decu. Jedno dete je poginulo, desetoro su zadobili rane, − rukovodilac grupe “Informativni Otpor” Dmitro Timčuk.

29. jul. – Jedan od glavnih rukovodilaca ruskih terorista Igor Bezler, poznati pod nadimkom “Bes”, u ovom trenutku se nalazi u Rusiji, u Glavnoj Obaveštajnoj upravi Generalštaba Oružanih snaga RF, – savetnik šefa MUP Ukrajine Zorjan Škirjak. Otišao je po nova uputstva ili da nabavi nove sisteme “Buk” u moskovskim supermarketima?

29. jul. – Za celo vreme pucanja sa ruske teritorije bilo je ubijeno 27 ukrajinskih vojnika i 185 ranjeno, − glasnogovornik informativnog centra SNBO Andrij Lisenko.

29. jul. – Ambasadori zemalja-članica EU u utorak, za vreme sednice u Briselu, usvojili su odluku o uvođenju sankcija trećeg nivoa prema Ruskoj Federaciji. Finansijske sankcije uvešće ograničenja za ruske državne banke, državne institucije RF, naftni sektor, sferu robe vojne namene.

 Hrvatska

U Ukrajini već traje konflikt. Zato se usuđujemo da vas informiramo o događanjima u Ukrajini. Ovo je još jedna točka gledišta. Trudit ćemo se biti objektivni.

29. srpanj. – Dobrovoljački bataljon “Azov” uz podršku vojnika zauzeo je grad Novi Sijvet kod Donjecka.

29. jul. – Teroristi su potpuno zatvorili za mirne stanovnike izlaz iz Luganska, − glasnogovornik informativnog centra SNSO Andrij Lisenko. Teroristi prave taoce od stanovnika gradova. U Lugansku u rezultatu ratnih djelovanja poginulo je 5 penzionera iz staračkog doma.

29. jul. – Ruski teroristi zasuli su vatrom autobus sa djecom koju su evakuirali iz domova za napuštenu djecu. Jedno djete je poginulo, desetoro su zadobili rane, − rukovoditelj grupe “Informativni Otpor” Dmitro Timčuk.

29. jul. – Jedan od glavnih rukovoditelja ruskih terorista Igor Bezler, poznati pod nadimkom “Bes”, u ovom trenutku se nalazi u Rusiji, u Glavnoj Obavještajnoj upravi Generalštaba Oružanih snaga RF, – savetnik šefa MUP Ukrajine Zorjan Škirjak. Otišao je po nova uputstva ili da nabavi nove sisteme “Buk” u moskovskim supermarketima?

29. jul. – Za cijelo vreme pucanja sa ruske teritorije bilo je ubijeno 27 ukrajinskih vojnika i 185 ranjeno, − glasnogovornik informativnog centra SNSO Andrij Lisenko.

29. jul. – Ambasadori zemalja-članica EU u utorak, za vrijeme sjednice u Briselu, usvojili su odluku o uvođenju sankcija trećeg nivoa prema Ruskoj Federaciji. Finansijske sankcije će uvesti ograničenja za ruske državne banke, državne institucije RF, naftni sektor, sferu robe vojne namjene.

  Україна

Коли у 1938 році Велика Британія та Франція віддали Чехословаччину Гітлеру в їх дім прийшов не мир, а війна. Коли у 1941 році США гадали, що війна десь далеко в Європі, Перл Харбор нагадав, що вона у них вдома. Коли у 2008 році Європа та Америка не підтримали Грузію, то Війна прийшла ближче до Парижа та Берліна – в Україну. Коли у 2014 році Європа та Америка ніяк не можуть відважитися реально підтримати Україну, війна прийшла до їх нідерландських, британських, французьких, німецьких, австралійських сімей. Від війни та нестримної агресії не втечеш, не відкупишся – вона прийде до тебе, якщо їй не протиставитись з усією можливою рішучістю.

29 липня – Добровольчий батальйон Азов” за підтримки військових взяв місто Новий Світ під Донецьком.

29 липня – Терористи повністю перекрили мирним жителям виїзд з Луганська – речник інформцентру РНБО Андрій Лисенко. Жителів міс терористи роблять заручниками. В Луганську в результаті бойових дій загинули 5 пенсіонерів з будинку престарілих.

29 липня – Російські терористи розстріляли мікроавтобус із дітьми, яких евакуювали з дитячих будинків. Одна дитина загинула, десять одержали поранення – керівник групи “Інформаційний Опір” Дмитро Тимчук.

29 липня – Один з головних керівників російських терористів Ігор Безлер, відомий під кличкою “Бєс” в даний час знаходиться в Росії, в Головному розвідувальному управлінні Генерального штабу Збройних сил РФ – радник голови МВС України Зорян Шкіряк. поїхав за новими інструкціями чи закупити нових систем “бук” у московських супермаркетах?

29 липня – За весь час обстрілів з російської території 27 українських військових було вбито та 185 поранено – речник інформцентру РНБО Андрій Лисенко.

29 липня – Посли країн-членів ЄС у вівторок під час засідання в Брюсселі ухвалили рішення про введення санкцій третього рівня щодо Російської Федерації. Фінансові санкції введуть обмеження для російських державних банків, державних інституцій РФ, нафтового сектору, сфери товарів війського призначення.

Nine Children Blown up over Mine in Donetsk

2014/07/30 • http://euromaidanpress.com/

BerestoveMap

According to Hromadske reporter Mustafa Nayem, nine children were blown up over a mine in the village Berestove, Artemivsk Raion, Donesk Oblast. One child was killed, eight are in a very serious condition in the hospital. There are many damaged limbs and facial wounds.

According to Anton Herashchenko, Advisor to the Ministry of the Interior, the teens entered a courtyard of munitions which they found in a fortified area of the militants. They were likely struck by a mine or shell.

Children need urgent amputation of limbs; several lost their vision. A one year-old who happened to be in the yard is in the most critical condition of all the children.

 

New song by Kharkiv musician Boris Sevyastyanov about Russian aggression…

New song by Kharkiv musician Boris Sevyastyanov about Russian aggression…

1. Украина не Россия – это вам пора принять
И свою судьбу, свою страну нам самим менять.
Поколение сменилось, нам не по дороге с вами
Как случилось, что для вас мы стали врагами?

Мы родились в одной стране, мы смотрели одни фильмы
Наши жизни и судьбы переплЕтены так сильно.
Но мы сделали свой выбор и идём вперёд
И теперь вчерашний брат – это враг у ворот.

А вы идёте назад, в СССР 2.0
Но не идём же из-за этого мы к вам войной?
Железный занавес хотите? Он будет у вас.
Его построит один ботоксный кремлёвский пидорас.

Припев:

А вы нам грады грады
Какие гады гады
Таким подаркам мы не
рады уже сколько дней

А вы нам буки буки
Какие суки суки
Кривые руки руки
Убиваете людей

2. Мы не хотели в НАТО, видит Бог не хотели.
Но после вашей подставы просто выбора не имеем.
Мы не хотели вражды, не хотели, видит Бог.
Но русской весной вы преподали отличный урок.

Не обольщайтесь – Украина едина как никогда.
Мы стали ближе и мудрее, когда в дом пришла беда.
И нам насрать, что нас долго делили на Запад и Восток.
Повторюсь – вы преподали очень важный урок.

Вы показали кто есть кто на нынешней карте мира,
Кто друзья, кто враги, кто смотрит прямо, кто криво.
Кто глубоко озабочен, а кто реально поможет.
И мы теперь не так наивны как кто-то подумать может.

Мы видим много предателей, много врагов
Среди политиков, министров, генералов, ментов
Мы не готовились к войне и получили всё это.
Ну, ничего, придёт и наше украинское лето.

3. Играя на чувствах, святых для всех
Приватизируя подебу, православную веру
Вы берёте на душу огромный грех.
Врите, гордитесь, кичитесь, но знайте меру.

Если вы поверили, что есть разделенье
На пророссийских украинцев и недобитых фашистов,
Значит вы заболели, и больно поколенье.
Значит верите не братьям, верите пропагандистам.

Как до вас докричаться? Да, похоже – никак.
Вы рассуждаете по принципу – сам ты дурак.
Яд имперских амбиций вам застилает мутный взгляд.
И войну вам украинцы никогда не простят.

Вы больны сегодня, братья, выздоровление вас ждёт.
Вы когда-нибудь поймёте то, куда вас заведёт
Курс советского гэбиста на войну и на шантаж
А пока ликуйте, братья. “Путин – гений!” и “Крымнаш”

Russian soldier brags about “battering” Ukraine in social network (photos)

07.23.2014, 19:28  Podbornosti

Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

A Russian Army soldier, Vadim Grigorievpublished evidence of attacking Ukraine from Russia on his Vkontakte account. [Editor’s note: the page has now been deleted].

Thus, at 14:19 on the 23rd of June, Grigoriev published a post: “We were battering Ukraine all night long,” and he attached two photos to this post.

 

Earlier, on June 19 he published photos of himself with his fellow soldiers, writing that they have already spent two weeks “in the field without a shower” on the border with Ukraine.

Photos of Grigoriev in “VKontakte” are connected to a map [displaying his location], and according to the information were made in Matveev-Kurgan region [Rostov Oblast] of Russia.

2(114) 1(117)

Recall that Ukraine has repeatedly recorded the shelling of its territory from Russia.
Thus, on the night of July 23, the positions of the Anti-terrorist Operation’s forces [ATO] along the border areas were fired at twice by “Grads” from the Russian territory.

NO RUSSIAN – Max Skibinsky, http://skibinsky.com/

No RussianMany people in Silicon Valley inquired over the years why I was not coming back to Russia often (I visited once in two decades) or why I’m not spending much time helping Russian startups. I usually answered these questions in generalities while keeping my grim thoughts and predictions to myself. The events of the past few days, unfortunately, show that the worst predictions I feared all these years did come true. The nightmare scenario is now unfolding as we speak, and Russia position in the world is now altered forever.

The mass murder of passengers & crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 using Russian’s weapons and (most likely) by hands of Russian military squad exposed to the world  that Russia is now complicit in committing crimes against humanity. That was quite a journey for a country that just six months ago were considered a full member of the global community, even if notoriously ornery one. How was it possible for things to collapse so far and so fast?

The Empire of Lies

“How did you go bankrupt?”
“Two ways, gradually and then suddenly”
-Ernest Hemingway

To understand Russia’s lighting fast descend into the abyss one has to understand a simple truth that many (myself included) suspect all along: Russia was and is a failed state. What is seen from the outside is just a facade imitating a functional country and government. High oil prices, residual infrastructure of USSR and internal mass propaganda machine maintained the illusion for more than a decade.

Silicon Valley is far removed from that part of the world (Russia is non-entity when it comes to startups and innovation, besides being inexhaustible source of great engineers, we will come back to that), so let’s review some basic facts about Russia.

In simple terms, Russia is a mafia state. All the way from Moscow to regions and to small towns, everything is controlled by various mafia gangs. Police and judiciary are parts of most powerful gangs. They usually assist in extortion or theft of property earned by local small and medium size businessmen. Big business is subject to federal mafia clan wars.

The mafia-state formation is logical consequence of Russian economy: it is totally dominated by oil and gas revenues. Oil, gas and derivatives provide meaningful employment to about 1M people. Russian population is about 150M. How do they survive? The majority depends on various forms of government handouts.

With russian-style oil production you don’t have to think, innovate or even hire smart people. All you have to do is to cash the check. Gazprom is ranked as one of the most grossly inefficient enterprises in the world. So what happens when a small, totally incompetent minority controls country-wide oil rent while the rest of 149 million people are a burden? The answer is obvious: that 1M would create a mafia state to keep the rest of 149M in check by means of police and judiciary abuse and mass propaganda.

Russian propaganda machine is vast, it now exceeds the one of Soviet Union. Official TV propaganda lies professionally and constantly. There are no independent TV channels; everything is controlled by government stooges. The “news” teams employ special teams that do video editing and fabrications to present absolutely falsified accounts for TV transmission. Then these fabrications are broadcast to brainwash captive population.

The population at large is, statistically speaking, not very bright. Many are deranged from overuse of alcohol or drugs. A big number are simply aging elderly rooted in USSR-centric mindset who never adjusted to the modern world. Most of them do not “work” in the sense we understand full-time employment here: they occupy placeholder positions sponsored by the government. Being dependent their whole life on government help, they are psychologically unable even to think government can do something wrong.

The families, wives, children of Russian elite (think top 1% of that 1M strong oil & gas service clan) doesn’t live in the country. They actually despise Russia and it’s people. All of the live in the west, many in London: Russian’s oligarch family spending is major contributing factor to London overall economy. They have absolutely no long term interest in Russian country or population survival.

Corruption and theft are endemic. Recent Olympic games ended up most expensive in history of the planet not because they were so well built: it was because it gave an excuse to a huge number of mafia clans to steal on a gigantic scale.

Modern Russia is not a weaker version of Soviet Union “empire of evil.” This capability is, thankfully, long gone. Russia is “cargo cult” of Soviet empire. It lacks competent professionals, leaders and minimal work ethics to accomplish anything on that scale. It just have enough capacity to cover everything in a blanket of lies, and as long as it works on captive domestic population that is all that it’s leaders need to keep channeling profits from Russia to London accounts.

The best way to understand modern Russia is to imagine a steep pyramid. At the very top there is a clique of KGB-affiliated oligarchs, who manage barely-competent class of middle-managers (which can and do steal a fraction of everything they touch) which in turn sit on top of largely brainwashed and deranged mass population living on life-long government welfare.

Needless to say this is most toxic environment imaginable to incubate a startup ecosystem.

Creative Class

Moscow-protest-draws-tens-of-thousandsDespite all that titanic effort, modern technology is far more powerful than any attempts by a backward medieval government to hold it back. Internet, web and mobile formed so called “creative class” in Russia. In general, these folk are young, smart, energetic, totally in tune how to leverage modern technology to find out the truth or to achieve their goals. They were the spearhead and main organizers ofDecember 2011 protests against Putin’s mafia state. When you see smart young Russian engineer in Silicon Valley, most likely, you are talking with a member of this creative class.

Yet, Macbook Pro Retina is a poor weapon when fighting AK-wielding government thugs. Mass propaganda and intimidation do work at mass scale. It is much easier to be dumb and “patriotic” than smart and inquisitive ( even US population had to learn that lesson the hard way after Iraq invasion ).

Creative class was a minority in modern day Russia and there is a strong emergent behaviour that draining their numbers. That is a class of people with the skills most in demand in Europe and USA. During “peaceful” decade of Putin’s rule over two million people emigrated from Russia: this is a number higher then immigration after communist revolution and civil war.

By my estimate there is probably few hundreds of thousands of people in the creative class in Russia. This vocal, yet very small group so far never succeeded at thwarting russian mafia state at anything. Then, recently everything had changed.

Ukrainian Valor

The differences between “Ukrainian” and “Russian” people are cosmetic. The distance between Kiev and Moscow is about same as Sacramento to San Diego. Even today, after all that happened, the most likely language you will hear on the streets of Kiev is Russian. So why Kremlin was so enraged about recent Ukrainian revolution? After all Ukraine has no natural gas or oil, there were no riches to divide, what was the fuss all about?

What happened is that first time in history, large group of ethnic “Russians” had overthrown a mafia clan in a popular uprising. Until then, Ukraine was a satellite state, and exactly because it had no natural oil and gas, much larger portion of the population had to develop “creative class” skills rather than going to work for oil company or police enforcement. Then suddenly this social group had enough heft and popular power to overthrow local mafia don.

You can imagine the amount of terror it produced in the gang occupying Kremlin right now. If was and still is an extensional threat to them, hence they pulled out all the stops to overthrow or destabilize a new government in Kiev, and at the same time whip out xenophobic mass-hysteria in a local population.

At this moment, Kremlin can not really stop. If Kiev government survives, it will fairly quickly unlock economic benefits of non-mafia, free economy. The large parasitic class living by bribes and extortion will be displaced: it will have the same effect as if base tax rate would suddenly drop by a double digit percentage. Next door, progressive Russians would quickly notice and spread information about growing prosperity and opportunity in a city next door. What was half million Euro-leaning progressives, would become a million, then few million: before long you can picture a Gaddafi-style demise for the Kremlin gang.

Kremlin is fighting for its own survival: supplying weapon system and military crew to a roaming criminal gangs is nothing for them in big scheme of things.

Russia’s brand is over

This situation will get worse before it gets better. Kremlin will fight to the last: we will yet see the massive flood of lies and deceit they will unleash to mitigate the anger of their recent mass murder. Very unfortunately everything they do will be branded with the words Russia or Russian. Can’t say the rest of the country is blameless: Putin got a stratospheric 71% support level after annexation of Crimea. Many in creative class would do the logical thing: give up the hopeless fight and emigrate. We are probably going to see another, super-massive wave of immigration coming from Russia in next few years.

I think we came to the end of the line with regards to Russia as a name, culture, a global brand. For the time being the country future is destroyed, police state is well-entrenched and the narrative for the brainwashed locals would be xenophobic tale of struggle with the “West”.

Here is what it all means for Silicon Valley:

  • Expect to see a lot of resumes coming from Russia. Keep in mind internal situation for smart and talented person is dire, they are not just looking for a job, they looking to save themselves and their families.
  • Try to differentiate between “creative class”, a few brave people trying to swim against incredibly dangerous tide and the rest of brainwashed population.
  • Help Ukraine. They have terrific outsourcing shops and consulting firms. Send them business if you can. Recent revolution would unlock even more creative force in this economically modest, yet energetic country. They are the first large group of ethnic “russians” who become free on their own power and valor. To understand the scale of that achievement, here is the last group of Russians who were not ruled by khans, czars, communist chairmans or KGB generals: Free Novgorod Republic. That was over 1000 years go. Ukrane was a cradle of Russian civilization – they might become a source of it rebirth yet again.
  • Boycott anything and everything related to Russian government and associated banks and corporations. Any business you send to them only strengthen the regime. Your contract dollars will pay for next Buk missile.

Personally, I’m thinking to start calling myself Euro-Slavic instead of “Russian”. It’s a flimsy defense, yet Russian brand, after already being tainted with gulag and the rest of its toxic legacy, is now synonymous with mass murder of innocent civilians. There is nothing of value left to recover.