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Russia’s Immortal Regiment Parade Is a Huge and Very Important New Phenomenon

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Editor’s note: The Immortal Regiment parade keeps reaching gobsmacking proportions – 1 million people in Moscow this year alone, and 10 million countrywide. Dreamt up in Tomsk, Siberia in 2012, it has caught on like wildfire in Russia, and for good reason. It is brilliant political, historical, spiritual ritual and theater. It is heartrending and moving and only the coldest of hearts could not be moved by these rivers of humanity paying homage to their ancestors, as basic a human impulse as an any, one of the 10 commandments. Now it is spreading to other countries.

Among other things, the IR is brilliant PR. A colossal, to the point testimony to the horror of war, and the shared humanity of all those who have suffered in war. Russia really knocked it out of the park with this one.

Here is some great footage from yesterday’s 1 million strong Moscow march. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVWRQcXs81c

We searched the internet for information about it, and this 2016 Christian Science Monitor article by Fred Weir about it is really very good. Enjoy.


MOSCOW — Sofia Serbinenko was on the streets of Moscow with about 800,000 other marchers Monday, carrying a beribboned photograph of her great-grandfather, a Soviet fighter-bomber pilot who fought the Nazis in World War II.

“Victory Day has always been very important in our family,” says Sofia, an 8th grader. “I have read so many books about the war, and I think all the time about the people who died so that we could live. For me, with a good life today, it is only right to declare that I will always remember, and to express my gratitude.”

The march of the “immortal regiment,” in which Russians from all ages and walks of life carry pictures of ancestors who fought, was modest at its 2012 inception. But while the war ended 71 years ago, the efforts put into annual commemorations of that titanic victory over the Nazis seem to be actually growing in Russia.

In a remarkable feat of historical memory, today it is a vast torrent that fills the streets of every Russian city and has since spread to over a dozen other countries, including nine US cities this year, according to Russian media. This year it almost eclipsed the more familiar official military parade, in which thousands of troops, armored vehicles, and intercontinental missiles rumbled past the Red Square reviewing stand, while bombers and fighter planes roared overhead.

The originator of the “immortal” movement, Igor Dmitriev from the Siberian city of Tomsk, has complained that his idea for spontaneous, voluntary, and non-commercial acts of memory has been hijacked by the Russian state and turned into a regimented spectacle that validates official views. Some veterans also say it papers over unmet obligations of the Soviet and now Russian governments to those who fought in the war.

Yet it’s hard to deny the sheer weight of public enthusiasm on display, with whole families walking together to honor their ancestors, generating a mood that seems both somber and festive.

“It is something for parents to do with their children, generation after generation,” says Sofia.

‘Not something you can ever forget’

It seems a bit of a mystery why the World War II anniversary, which has faded with time almost everywhere else, appears to be a growing concern in Russia.

One answer Russians give is the immensity of Soviet sacrifice in the war, which still remains largely unknown in the West. About 28 million Soviets died and much of the country was devastated, leaving almost no family untouched.

The numbers are mind-boggling. About 3 million Soviet prisoners-of-war were worked to death in Nazi camps, 1.5 million died of starvation in the siege of Leningrad, and the fates of many millions more remain unknown to their relatives.

“My two grandfathers died in the war. One was missing and has no grave, even if we know approximately where he was killed,” says Grigory Kunis, coordinator of the “immortal” march in St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad. “This is not something you can ever forget. For my family, it’s an incredibly important day.”

But as Russia drifts into a new era of geopolitical isolation and economic uncertainty, the unifying force of the anniversary is hard to ignore.

“Victory Day is practically the only 20th century event that all Russians, from every part of the political spectrum, can agree upon,” says Nikolai Petrov, a professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics. “Now the Kremlin is emphasizing the glorious Soviet past. But when you examine that past, almost every episode evokes controversy. All that we actually have is the victory over Naziism, and maybe Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. So, a big part of Victory Day is about official myth-building.”

Historical re-evaluation?

Serious historical controversy is brewing over the looming centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, which arrives next year.

For many Russians the revolution remains a sacred event, and they regard the czarist regime it overthrew as odious. But President Vladimir Putin signaled that tough debate and historical re-evaluation may be in the wind when he told a group of supporters recently that Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin planted “an atomic bomb under the house called Russia,” which later exploded and destroyed the state.

“The anti-Nazi victory is a great source of pride for our people, and legitimacy for our state, at a time when there is quite a lot of uncertainty,” says Mr. Petrov. “So, the idea is to take every opportunity to celebrate it.”

Paradoxically, polls show that overall public interest in the anniversary is gradually declining, as one might expect as the event recedes in time. Alexei Grazhdankin, deputy director of the independent Levada Center in Moscow says that 82 percent of Russians said they were actively celebrating the day in 1995, but that fell to 75 percent in 2010, to 65 percent last year, and 63 percent today.

“The ‘immortal regiment’ has touched a public nerve, and inspired many to take part in it,” Mr. Grazhdankin says. “But, overall, the interest in Victory Day celebrations is inexorably decreasing.”

Promises unfulfilled

For Russia’s 3.4 million surviving war veterans, it’s a day to parade in the old medal-bedecked uniforms, and accept flowers, praise, and gratitude from strangers in the street.

But there is a nagging undercurrent of criticism from some veterans, and their supporters, who complain that despite the lavish public ceremonies on Victory Day, thousands of those who fought in the war have yet to receivethe housing that was promised to them 7 decades ago. Just last month Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered local governors to urgently provide apartments to 8,350 World War II vets who are still waiting in the queue.

Another controversy concerns the millions who went missing, most of whom died anonymously, whose relatives have received minimal state assistance and have little hope of closure.

“The USSR lost 15 million military people in the war, but the general staff only recognizes the figure of 11 million to this day,” says Mikhail Cherepanov, director of the Museum of the Great Patriotic War in Kazan, in the Volga republic of Tatarstan. Part of the reason for that, he alleges, is that the state does not have to pay full pensions for those who are missing-in-action to surviving families, but gives much lower allowances.

The task of locating and identifying remains of lost soldiers on Russia’s far-flung World War II battlefields also falls to private groups, with little state assistance, Mr. Cherepanov says.

“I still go every summer with young people, who dig in the forests and steppe, to locate unburied soldiers and try to restore their identities,” he says. “There are still so many of them. What prevents our government from making these efforts? Apparently it has too many other things to do, and different expenses to pay for.”

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What If Everything We’ve Been Told About Recent History Is a Lie?

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The author is a prominent American Christian conservative who was a presidential candidate for the paleoconservative Constitution Party in 2008, when he was endorsed by Ron Paul.  

He is the pastor of Liberty Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Montana, and he is a popular radio host and columnist. His weekly sermons are available on his YouTube channel.

He is a relentless foe of neoconservatism and frequently criticizes the neocon hostility towards Russia.  His views are representative of an influential and substantial part of Trump’s popular support.

Here is an archive of his excellent articles which we have published on Russia Insider, when they were relevant to the debate over Russia.


What if everything we’ve been told about 9/11 is a lie? What if it wasn’t 19 Muslim terrorist hijackers that flew those planes into the Twin Towers and Pentagon? What if the Muslims had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks on 9/11? What if everything we’ve been told about the reasons we invaded two sovereign nations (Afghanistan and Iraq) is a lie?

What if the 17-year-old, never-ending “War on Terror” in the Middle East is a lie? What if our young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have given their lives in America’s “War on Terror” died for a lie? What if G.W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump have been nothing but controlled toadies for an international global conspiracy that hatched the attacks of 9/11 as nothing more than a means to institute a perpetual “War on Terror” for purposes that have nothing to do with America’s national security? Would the American people want to know? Would the truth even matter to them?

The sad reality is that the vast majority of Americans who would read the above paragraph would totally dismiss every question I raised as being unrealistic and impossible—or even nutty. Why is that? Have they studied and researched the questions? No. Have they given any serious thought to the questions? No. They have simply swallowed the government/mainstream media version of these events hook, line and sinker.

It is totally amazing to me that the same people who say they don’t believe the mainstream media (MSM) and government (Deep State) versions of current events—which is why they voted for and love Donald Trump—have absolutely no reservations about accepting the official story that the 9/11 attacks were the work of jihadist Muslims and that America’s “War on Terror” is completely legitimate.

These “always Trumpers” are dead set in their minds that America is at war with Islam; that Trump’s bombings of Syria were because President Assad is an evil, maniacal monster who gassed his own people; and that Trump’s expansion of the war in Afghanistan is totally in the interests of America’s national security.

BUT WHAT IF ALL OF IT IS A BIG, FAT LIE?

What if the Muslims had NOTHING to do with 9/11?

What if Bashar al-Assad did NOT gas his own people?

What if America’s “War on Terror” is a completely false, manufactured, made-up deception?

What if America’s military forces are mostly fighting for foreign agendas and NOT for America’s national security or even our national interests?

What if America’s war in Afghanistan is a fraud?

What if the entire “War on Terror” is a fraud?

The Trump robots have bought into America’s “War on Terror” as much as Obama’s robots and Bush’s robots did. Bush was elected twice, largely on the basis of America’s “War on Terror.” Obama campaigned against the “War on Terror” and then expanded it during his two terms in office. Trump campaigned against the “War on Terror” and then immediately expanded it beyond what Obama had done. In fact, Trump is on a pace to expand the “War on Terror” beyond the combined military aggressions of both Bush and Obama.

But who cares? Who even notices?

America is engaged in a global “War on Terror.” Just ask G.W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, The Washington Post, the New York Times and the vast majority of America’s pastors and preachers. They all tell us the same thing seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Liberals scream against Trump, and conservatives scream against Maxine Waters; but both sides come together to support America’s never-ending “War on Terror.”

But what if it’s ALL a lie? What if Obama and Trump, the right and the left, the MSM and the conservative media are all reading from the same script? What if they are all (wittingly or unwittingly) in cahoots in perpetuating the biggest scam in world history? And why is almost everyone afraid to even broach the question?

Left or right, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, secular or Christian, no one dares to question the official story about the 9/11 attacks or the “War on Terror.”

And those who do question it are themselves attacked unmercifully by the right and the left, conservatives and liberals, Christians and secularists, Sean Hannity and Chris Matthews. Why is that? Why is it that FOX News and CNN, Donald Trump and Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer and Ted Cruz equally promote the same cockamamie story about 9/11 and the “War on Terror?”

Why? Why? Why?

Tell me again how Donald Trump is so different from Barack Obama. Tell me again how Ted Cruz is so different from Chuck Schumer. They all continue to perpetuate the lies about 9/11. They all continue to escalate America’s never-ending “War on Terror.” They are all puppets of a global conspiracy to advance the agenda of war profiteers and nation builders.

The left-right, conservative-liberal, Trump-Obama paradigm is one big giant SCAM. At the end of the day, the “War on Terror” goes on, bombs keep falling on people in the Middle East who had absolutely NOTHING to do with 9/11 and the money keeps flowing into the coffers of the international bankers and war merchants.

All of the above is why I am enthusiastically promoting Christopher Bollyn’s new blockbuster book The War on Terror.

Of course, Bollyn is one of the world’s foremost researchers and investigators into the attacks on 9/11. He has written extensively on the subject. But unlike most other 9/11 investigators, Bollyn continued to trace the tracks of the attacks on 9/11. And those tracks led him to discover that the 9/11 attacks were NOT “the event” but that they were merely the trigger for “the event.” “What was the event?” you ask. America’s perpetual “War on Terror.”

As a result, Mr. Bollyn published his findings that the attacks on 9/11 were NOT perpetrated by Muslim extremists but by a very elaborate and well financed international conspiracy that had been in the planning for several decades. Bollyn’s research names names, places and dates and exposes the truth behind not just 9/11 (many have done that) but behind America’s “War on Terror” that resulted from the attacks on 9/11.

IT’S TIME FOR THE TRUTH TO COME OUT!

And Christopher Bollyn’s investigative research brings out the truth like nothing I’ve read to date. His research connects the dots and destroys the myths.

Mr. Bollyn’s research is published in a book entitled (full title): The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East. I mean it when I say that if enough people read this book, it could change the course of history and save our republic.

This is written on the book’s back cover:

The government and media have misled us about 9/11 in order to compel public opinion to support the War on Terror.

Why have we gone along with it? Do we accept endless war as normal? Are we numb to the suffering caused by our military interventions?

No. We have simply been propagandized into submission. We have been deceived into thinking that the War on Terror is a good thing, a valiant struggle against terrorists who intend to attack us as we were on 9/11.

Behind the War on Terror is a strategic plan crafted decades in advance to redraw the map of the Middle East. 9/11 was a false-flag operation blamed on Muslims in order to start the military operations for that strategic plan. Recognizing the origin of the plan is crucial to understanding the deception that has changed our world.

Folks, 9/11 was a deception. The “War on Terror” is a deception. The phony left-right paradigm is a deception. FOX News is as much a deception as CNN. The “always Trump” group is as much a deception as the “never Trump” group. America has been in the throes of a great deception since September 11, 2001. And this deception is being perpetrated by Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals alike.

I do not know Christopher Bollyn. I’ve never met him. But I thank God he had the intellectual honesty and moral courage to write this book. I urge readers to get this explosive new book. If you don’t read any other book this year, read Mr. Bollyn’s investigative masterpiece: The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East.

Again, I am enthusiastically recommending this book to my readers, and I make no apologies for doing so. The truth contained in this research MUST get out, and I am determined to do all I can to help make that possible.

Order Christopher Bollyn’s blockbuster book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East here:

The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East

I am confident that after you read this book, you will want to buy copies for your friends and relatives. The book is under 200 pages long and is not difficult reading. However, the facts and details Bollyn covers are profound and powerful. I have read the book three times so far and I’m not finished.

Frankly, Bollyn’s book made so many things make sense for me. His book dovetails and tracks with much of my research on other topics. Truly, his book helped me get a much fuller understanding of the “big picture.”

What if everything we’ve been told about 9/11 and the “War on Terror” is a lie? Well, Bollyn’s book proves that indeed it is.

Again, here is where to find Christopher Bollyn’s phenomenal new book The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East:

The War On Terror: The Plot To Rule The Middle East

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Carbon budgets to require ‘fundamental’ changes to work and lifestyle

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Forthcoming carbon budgets for every sector of the economy will “require fundamental changes” affecting how people live and work, Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan has said.

He was speaking after the publication of new proposed overall carbon budgets from the Climate Change Advisory Council as the country puts a statutory limit on greenhouse gas emissions for the first time.

The council’s budgets outline a national ceiling for the total amount of emissions that can be released.

The first carbon budget, which will run from 2021 to 2025, will see emissions reduce by 4.8 per cent on average each year for five years.

The second budget, which will run from 2026 to 2030, will see emissions reduce by 8.3 per cent on average each year for five years.

“The proposed carbon budgets will require transformational changes for society and the economy which are necessary; failing to act on climate change would have grave consequences,” the council said.

Its chair Marie Donnelly said “significant investment across the economy” would be required.

Individuals and communities “at risk of loss of employment or disproportionate costs need to be identified and assisted”, the council stressed.

Mr Ryan said the Government would shortly outline the carbon limit for each sector individually, which he said would be “challenging”.

Climate plan

Government sources have said that the most crucial phase lies ahead as it next week plans to unveil the landmark climate plan that will set out how each sector needs to respond including agriculture, transport, heating and power generation.

Rural TDs in both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have privately expressed fears about backlash on new carbon ceilings for the agricultural sector. It is understood the Green Party favours a reduction in the national herd but there is strong pushback from members of the other Coalition parties.

In its report, the council said there was a need “for a strong, rapid and sustained reduction in methane emissions”.

Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture Martin Heydon said it was clear from the council’s modelling what the consequences were for rural economies if climate action “is not handled responsibly”.

“The potential job losses and damage to rural Ireland of crude measures like herd reduction are stark. That’s why it’s vitally important that we get the sectoral targets right for an area like agriculture. Policy decisions must be backed up by robust science – if farmers cannot see the sense in what they are being asked to do then it will be difficult to achieve anything,” he said.

‘Serious repercussions’

Irish Farmers’ Association president Tim Cullinan said the emissions ceiling for agriculture in the budgets would have “serious repercussions for farming”.

“Our most productive farmers simply cannot remain viable if agriculture has to reduce emissions by between 21 per cent and 30 per cent as has been reported,” he said in a reference to estimates a Government source gave to The Irish Times last week.

“This will have profound implications for the rural economy,” he said.

But Oisín Coghlan, director of Friends of the Earth, said: “The truth is, if we stick to budget this we will all be winners, with a cleaner, healthier, safer future.”

Welcoming the budget targets, Mr Coghlan said the narrative around the plans had begun to pit sectors against each other. However, “if we fail we will all be losers, facing accelerating climate breakdown with all the costs and destruction that will bring”.

It is expected that the Government’s climate plan will be released on November 3rd and that Mr Ryan will bring the details of that to the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

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French drug boss arrested in Moroccan hospital

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Sofiane Hambli, a 46-year-old Franco-Algerian, used false papers to check himself into a hospital after suffering a 20-centimetre gash following an assault with a machete or sword in Tangier, the sources said.

“Once he’s recovered, we’ll go to get him,” one of the sources told AFP, confirming information first reported by the L’Obs magazine.

Originally from the eastern French town of Mulhouse, Hambli is considered one of the biggest importers of cannabis to France and has a long criminal record, as well as a history of escaping from detention.

The man known as the Chimera was named in an international search warrant this year after skipping bail last March in France, having been accused of organising the import of four tonnes of cannabis.

The Parisien newspaper reported at the time that he made €2.4 million from the transaction, but never delivered the drugs to his
buyer “who is thought to have wanted revenge”.

Hambli denied the accusations.

He is also known to have been an informant for France’s anti-narcotics police and was involved in the import of seven tonnes of cannabis in a 2015 operation that was being monitoring by authorities.

One of his associates, Moufide Bouchibi, a 41-year-old Franco-Algerian sometimes called the “king of hash,” was sentenced in France to 16 years in prison last month for drugs offences.



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