Don't get me started on Russia

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  2. 5 months ago

    How Russia sold its oil jewel: without saying who bought it

    More than a month after Russia announced one of its biggest privatizations since the 1990s, selling a 19.5 percent stake in its giant oil company Rosneft, it still isn't possible to determine from public records the full identities of those who bought it.

    Probably totally unrelated to an alleged offer made last July offering Trump associates a 19% stake in Rosneft in exchange for lifting sanctions.

  3. Also unrelated: Rex Tillerson's close personal relationship with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.

    I do like Rosneft's Mi-8, though.

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  4. Who is named Igor anymore, anyway?

  5. Mostly hunchbacked assistants and Russian petro-oligarchs.

  6. Modern hunchbacked assistants are commonly (and lamely) referred to as I-gors.

  7. iGor

  8. @stu It's been a while since I had to remember that the USSR had a lot of racial conflict issues with its Asian regions.

    Understatement. More like genocide.

  9. And deeply-embedded antisemitism that persists to this day.

  10. 4 months ago

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    DNC denied FBI direct access to servers during Russia hacking probe

  11. I suppose it's indicative of the dominance of the Russian state by the internal intelligence wing of the Russian security services represented by the FSB, the successor agency of the Second Chief Directorate of the KGB that the successor to the KGB First Chief Directorate, the external intelligence agency SVR, hasn't been implicated in this. The curious part is that Fancy Bear/Strontium/Guccifer 2.0, etc., has been apparently working at the behest of GRU, which has been traditionally a classical military intelligence service, concerned more with force postures and SIGINT and stuff like that.

  12. Oh, I forgot UVM (Управление войсками микрогравитации), Spetsnaz GRU's adjunct directorate of microgravity shock troops.*

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    *I made that one up

  13. Uh...????

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  14. "Ambassador Churkin's diplomatic immunity survives his death"

    This is probably standard operating procedure in such cases of diplomats dying on foreign soil but with Russia it's uniquely sinister and at least superficially suspicious.

  15. 3 months ago

    I asked awhile ago in this thread what exactly is a Cossack and no one knew. That WWI YouTube channel I like did a video on it recently. Super fascinating. Basically, war-like Tartars mixed with super tough Russian peasants who fled their home areas to get away from the serfdom that was coming their way as the Tsars rose to power. They were highly democratic for a long time, everyone including women got a vote, the leader only served for a year. Anyone could be a Cossack regardless of race, you just had to be pretty hardcore and also Orthodox. Eventually they got absorbed by the Russian Empire and became 'enforcers' for the Tsars doing all sorts of bad things in exchange for land. So fierce they rode in huge numbers on horses into Central Powers machine guns in WWI, which they eventually got sick of, leading them turning a blind eye when the Revolution came.

  16. 2 months ago

    U.S. F-22 Stealth fighter jets intercepted and flew along side a pair of Russian TU-95 long range bombers near Alaska yesterday for a spell before the bombers changed course. NBD.

  17. -image-

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    (just to help people visualize)

  18. "long range bombers"

    awesome, that's not concerning at all

    Though by the looks of those things I am guessing we could shoot them out of the sky without too much trouble? I'm sure Warsaw knows the answer to this question

  19. I think we routinely probe each others airspace, and the Tu-95 exists in maritime reconnaissance/patrol variants. It probably isn't that big a deal. They would certainly be easy to shoot down as they are slow and present a massive visual, radar, and IR signature. And if Russia was going to attack, I would think they'd use Tu-160s or Tu-22Ms, to say nothing of ICBMs and SLBMs.

  20. Yeah it didn't sound like it was anything terribly out of the ordinary and they were not in U.S. airspace yet. Those dudes can carry nukes though.

  21. They can but it's got to be the slowest, least stealthy, and least survivable way to deliver them, other than DHL. Snap!

 

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