Missing Soldier Turns Up After 10 Years Of Being Presumed Dead

You know when you join the army and then one year later you realise it isn’t really for you so you go on a 10-year-long exile under the pretence that you’re dead?

This guy does.

As reports have it,the nameless30-year-old Russian man (presumably he does have a name, we just don’t know it) joinedthe military in 2003 and was stationed in the remote Kamchatka Peninsula.

But then a year later he wandered off…

“He lived in Kamchatka all this time, mainly hiding in the forest.He got by with odd jobs and did not attempt to get in touch with his family.”

Regional branch of the interior ministry statement

Back when it initially happened, the search for the deserter was called off when his family falsely identified a dead body as his. They then even buried the mystery man.

The soldier is said to have built himself a house out of waste building material on thePetropavlovsk-Kamchatsky outskirts. He made his money working on a private pig farm and collecting scrap.

Although Russian deserters can face seven years behind bars,the head of Russias Committee of Soldiers Mothers, Valentina Melnikova, doubtshe will receive prison time for his offence, saying:

“There were lots of deserters in those days in the far east. Weve had cases when some would hide in a basement for years, but they would go through a psychiatric examination and would be set free.”

It’s not really sure why he came back but police have since apprehended him.

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Read more: http://www.hellou.co.uk/2015/12/missing-soldier-turns-up-after-10-years-of-being-presumed-dead-71224/

Freestyler Girls Are Fff-ff-ff-funny (Video)

Russian Freestyler Girls Are Fff-ff-ff-funnyRussian Freestyler Girls Are Fff-ff-ff-funny

No, this is not a segment from Russia’s Got Talent, it’s a comedy troupe Raisa performing their version of Bomfunk MC’s Freestyler in a popular TV show KVN. Therefore, they suck on purpose. Either way – it’s funny.

Horse Powered Treadmill Log Splitter (Video)

This log splitter uses only one horse-power. Literally.

Another angle:

Original video found via YouTube search. A copy spotted here.

Talkative Baby Girl Has a Heated Discussion with Her Dad (Video)

Dad is speaking Russian and the baby is speaking gibberish, but that doesn’t take anything away from this adorably intense conversation:

Oldest known upload here. Original probably somewhere on VK.com. Spotted here. Another viral copy here.

French Bulldog Begging to Get on Sofa (Video)

French Bulldog Begging to Get on SofaFrench Bulldog Begging to Get on Sofa

Alice the French Bulldog really wants to climb on that sofa!

Original video found via Youtube. Spotted here.

What happened to ‘words matter’? Chris Cillizza: ‘Russia hacked the election’

Remember Barack Obama’s “Words Matter” speech? It was a really good speech.

Anyway, to CNN’s Chris Cillizza, it appears that words don’t matter and he feels he can use any word he wants if he criticizing President Trump:

Read more: http://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2017/07/06/what-happened-to-words-matter-chris-cillizza-russia-hacked-the-election/

The New Cold War: Why Russia Is Playing A Dangerous Game In Ukraine And Beyond

Vanessa BlackVanessa Black

Vanessa Black

The holding of elections by the separatist Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in November 2014 meant another step away from a peaceful reconciliation with the rest of the country.

The restive eastern provinces, instead, remain steadfastly pro-Russian and refuse to yield to calls from Kiev, Brussels and Washington to reunite with the rest of the country. Russia unsurprisingly supported the polls being held.

While the Ukrainian situation is critical in its own right, both for Ukraine and for broader Russo-European relations, it also casts light on a frequently overlooked element of European international affairs: the continent’s legacy of unresolved or “frozen” conflicts.

Russia’s recent resurgence in antagonistic relations with the west, including an increased naval and aerial presence in the Baltic Sea, has caused vague talk of a “new Cold War.”

While a disturbing pall of finality hangs over the use of such a loaded term, Robert Legvold for one, writing in Foreign Affairs, argues that the Ukraine crisis and the ensuing animosity between Russia and the United States “has pushed the two sides over a cliff and into a new relationship, one not softened by the ambiguity that defined the last decade of the post-Cold War period, when each party viewed the other as neither friend nor foe.”

This being the case, it would seem prudent to assess other potential flashpoints involving Russian influence, ambitions or populations which could lead to Ukraine-type situations in other corners of the continent.

It will not be far from the minds of Western strategists that it was only 2008 when Russia last fought a border war over territorial claims, in that case the South Ossetia region of Georgia.

It was the secessionists in the pro-Russian region of Northern Georgia who instigated hostilities, but the Georgian military response and rapid Russian rejoinder demonstrated how quickly events in such tense settings could develop.

That conflict also saw Russian reinforcement of Abkhazia, a second region caught in a tug of war between Russia and Georgia. So far, open conflict has not resulted from this particular location, once revered as the go-to holiday destination for the Soviet elite.

However, Abkhazia itself has maintained that it is independent since 1999, and has remained under de facto self-rule, despite Georgian ideas to the contrary. Further, it appealed to Belarus earlier in 2014 for recognition of its sovereignty, something it has so far received from only Russia and a small handful of close Russian allies.

These cases, Ukraine and Georgia, sit on Russia’s geographical borders, which, at the very least, are logical places for international sores to occur. The world is not short of festering flashpoints on recognized border regions; just look at Kashmir.

However there are also less immediately obvious areas where pro-Russian sentiment has led to bizarre and potentially troubling situations. The Transnistria region of Moldova, sandwiched between the landlocked East European nation and western Ukraine, begs particular attention.

While having retained de facto independence since the 1992 civil war, itself a result of Moldova’s newfound independence from the USSR, it has no status under international law.

This tiny pro-Russian enclave sits in an international grey area, physically and metaphorically, and Western strategists have become increasingly concerned that it will be the next bound in Russia’s attempts to “retake” Europe.

Russia maintains a garrison there, with the consent of the Transnistrian authorities, and an arms cache, supposedly enough to act as a resupply base if Russian troops on the east Ukrainian border could reach it.

So far this has not happened, but the presence of this proto-Communist, pro-Moscow island sandwiched between the beleaguered Ukraine and poverty-stricken Moldova (while already heaving under the weight of Russian economic embargoes), presents a very difficult regional quandary.

Between Transnistria in the west and Abkhazia, and the again-dormant South Ossetia in the east, Russia has shown how dangerous life can be for countries bordering the belligerent Putin regime.

That these frozen wars are again relevant in a broader regional security context is only emphasized further by events such as the abduction of an Estonian security officer on the Russian border by agents of Russia’s FSB security service in September 2014, and supposed naval probes by Russian forces into the Baltic Sea.

If Europe’s frozen conflicts are to erupt, one way or another, into open warfare, there is no way analysts can be entirely certain how far or how quickly the dominoes will fall.

So far, Russian action has been carefully engineered to avoid a triggering of NATO’s Article 5, defining an attack on one member as an attack on all and triggering a collective response. Were such a level to be reached, the nature of any NATO response would likely depend on the event that triggered it.

Such is the nature of the economic interdependence between Russia and what it regards as “the West,” and mutual fear of each others’ military capability. An all-out military conflagration of the kind feared by old school Cold Warriors is highly unlikely to be the immediate outcome.

However, that is not to say Western strategists and foreign policy officials can rest on their laurels. The awkwardness of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, in which Russia rapidly and effectively seized the initiative, is a demonstration of the plain fact that the end of the Cold War did not put paid to the threat of armed conflict between East and West.

While traditional Western paradigms see Ukraine as almost analogous to Russia in terms of culture and geography, for the purposes of this situation, it is essentially Western.

The ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych, his predictable flight to Russia and the emergence of a more pro-Western regime in Kiev were all the result of his reneging on a pro-EU agreement and the seeking of closer ties with Russia.

The pro-Russian secessionist movement in the east of the country spiraled out of this political chaos, making it a war centred on the East/West fault line.

Transnistria may yet prove to be one to watch in the unfolding saga of the “New Cold War,” given its propensity for courting Russian support and its geographic location.

Abkhazia, were a new round of hostilities to occur, would be seen more as symptomatic of Russia’s unstable borders than a direct tie to the game of chicken currently being played by NATO and the Kremlin.

These frozen conflicts are not themselves likely to be the triggers of any grand confrontation in the near future (although, the lessons of June 1914 should not be forgotten), but are both emblematic of the havoc that could be wrought to the European continent in future and potential wild cards in a strategic game which is already being played out.

Ukraine may yet prove to be the latest addition to this collection of immovable wars, or may become the one that unfreezes them all at once.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/politics/new-cold-war-russia-playing-dangerous-game-ukraine-beyond/906518/

Russia Wipes Opposition Sites From The Internet

“I don’t even know if anyone is reading this anymore.”

View this image ›

Via blackhole.beeline.ru

Russia has all but eliminated the free media as it fights an information war against the West over Ukraine, with prosecutors blocking independent websites and other publications making editorial changes under obvious Kremlin pressure.

Russia’s general prosecutor’s office announced late Thursday that it was blocking the independent news websites Kasparov.ru, run by chess champion and self-exiled opposition figure Garry Kasparov, EJ.ru, and Grani. ru for inciting “illegal activity” and participating in unsanctioned protests. Prosecutors also banned anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny’s blog, by far the country’s most popular and a flashpoint for anti-Putin sentiment, on the grounds that posting to it violated the terms of his house arrest, which bars him from using the internet.

“I don’t even know if anyone is reading this anymore,” read a post on Navalny’s blog. The post said Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, and his Foundation for Fighting Corruption have been running the blog since Navalny’s bail was revoked Feb. 28. Numerous Twitter users reported that LiveJournal, the service hosting Navalny’s blog, and the Ekho Moskvy radio website, which reposted it, were entirely unavailable on some internet providers, though Russia’s internet registry said they had not been banned.

Russia passed a law late last year allowing prosecutors to ban websites that promote “rioting, racial hatred, or extremism” without a court order. The law also covers websites with foreign servers, which will be banned in Russia if their owner ignores a cease and desist letter. According to a list published by internet freedom activists, the only other websites to be banned under the law promote Islamic radicalism or white supremacism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly moved to monopolize television, the majority of Russians’ sole source of news, in the early 2000s shortly after he took power, but for years was largely content to allow the country’s few dissenters space in print and online. After opposition activists bypassed an effective national media blackout through social and digital media to organize unprecedented demonstrations against him that catapulted Navalny to national fame, however, Russia began making steps to rein in the country’s few independent publications and passed a law allowing it to block websites on request.

The political crisis in Ukraine has seen the Kremlin escalate its efforts to assert control over the flow of information, with every major independent publication making surprise masthead changes under obvious political pressure. Thirty-nine employees of Lenta.ru, the country’s most popular independent news site, quit en masse Thursday after their owner unexpectedly fired its editor-in-chief. The founder of VK, Russia’s wildly popular Facebook clone, was forced out of the company in January by Kremlin-linked investors after pressure over his efforts to resist censoring opposition pages.

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/russia-wipes-opposition-sites-from-the-internet

Stuck Prairie Dog Gets Rescued from a Hole (Video)

Some good people in Russia rescue a prairie dog that was stuck in its hole…

via