Russian Flagship Battlecruiser Moskva Sunk

A Russian warship that was damaged by an explosion on Wednesday has sunk, Russia’s defence ministry has said.

Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, was being towed to port when “stormy seas” caused it to sink, according to a ministry message.

The 510-crew vessel was an important symbolic and military target, and has led Russia’s naval assault on Ukraine.

Ukraine claims it struck the warship with its missiles, but Russia has made no mention of an attack.

Late on Thursday, however, Russian state media broke the news that the ship had been lost.

“While being towed … towards the destined port, the vessel lost its balance due to damage sustained in the hull as fire broke out after ammunition exploded. Given the choppy seas, the vessel sank,” state news agency Tass quoted the ministry as saying.

Earlier, Russia had said there was a fire on board after ammunition exploded.

Ukrainian military officials said they struck the Moskva with a Ukrainian-made Neptune missile – a weapon designed after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, and the naval threat to Ukraine in the Black Sea grew.

Earlier in the conflict the Moskva gained notoriety after calling on Ukrainian border troops defending Snake Island in the Black Sea to surrender – to which they memorably radioed a message of refusal which loosely translates as “go to hell”.

Originally built in Ukraine in the Soviet-era, the Moskva entered service in the early 1980s according to Russian media.

The missile cruiser was previously deployed by Moscow in the Syria conflict where it supplied Russian forces in the country with naval protection.

It carries over a dozen Vulkan anti-ship missiles and an array of anti-submarine and mine-torpedo weapons, the reports said.

The Moskva is the second major Russian ship known to have been severely damaged since the invasion began.

Namesake Glory (1979–2000), Moscow (2000–2022)
Builder 61 Kommunara Shipbuilding Plant (SY 445), Nikolayev, Soviet Union
Laid down 1976
Launched 1979
Commissioned 30 January 1983
Decommissioned September 1990
Reinstated April 2000
Identification 121
Fate Sunk on 14 April 2022, responsibility disputed[1]
Notes Flagship of the Black Sea Fleet

Kyiv calling: famous Clash anthem reborn as call to arms

Ukrainian punk band Beton win blessing of the Clash to record new version of song to raise funds for support network

Bohdan Hrynko, Oleg Hula and Andriy Zholob of Beton are now playing a part in the war effort.

Bohdan Hrynko, Oleg Hula and Andriy Zholob of Beton are now playing a part in the war effort. Photograph: @betonbanda/Instagram

The Clash have given their blessing to a new version of their song London Calling by a Ukrainian punk band called Beton. Kyiv Calling, recorded near the frontline, has lyrics that call upon the rest of the world to support the defence of the country from Russian invaders.

All proceeds of what is now billed as a “war anthem” will go to the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement (FURM) to help fund a shared communications system that will alert the population to threats and lobby for international support.

‘Russian Rhapsody’ Crazy Merrie Melodies Anti-Hitler Propaganda Cartoon  

Depictions of Russia in American propaganda had some wild vacillation before the Cold War. The first Red Scare followed the Russian Revolution, and anti-communist sentiment really found purchase around 1919. Leftists in the US (many of them immigrants) became a force to be reckoned with, and bitter labor conflicts (plus some radical terrorism) seemed to suggest a Bolshevik revolution was imminent in the Americas. There’s the period however, during World War II, before Truman decided to wave his nuclear dick at Stalin, when Russians were still our Nazi-fighting Allies, and 1944’s Merrie Melodies production “Russian Rhapsody” is a fascinating artifact of that ambivalence America had towards the Soviets.

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Of course, the cartoon doesn’t quite portray Russians as “dignified.” Rather than some cartoon-friendly version of Red Army soldiers fighting Nazis in the snow, they’re literal “gremlins”—tiny things that are only really capable of sabotaging a plane. (The title was originally “Gremlins from the Kremlin,” but Disney was developing an animated version of Roald Dahl’s The Gremlins at the time and Roy Disney pressured Warner Brothers to change the name.) Regardless, the gremlins are clearly the good guys, whipping out a mask of Stalin to frighten Der Führer.

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In addition to being a really beautiful (and profoundly weird) piece of animation, “Russian Rhapsody” has some great dog whistles. The cartoon starts out with Hitler delivering a speech that’s a direct reference to a scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will. As an inside joke, some of the gibberish German Hitler spouts is actually the names of animators and studio staff. The gremlin faces are actually based on caricatures of Warner Brothers legends like Chuck Jones, Robert Clampett, Friz Freleng, and Leon Schlesinger. The berserk musical score was provided by the great cartoon composer Carl Stalling.

Vladimir Putin’s War Room makes Dr. Strangelove War Room look Puny

Vladimir Putin’s massive, triple-decker war room.

war room

MOSCOW — “Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the war room!”

It could have been a scene straight out of “Dr. Strangelove” when President Vladimir V. Putin stepped into the Russian Ministry of Defense’s brand new, three-tiered, multibillion-dollar control center this week, for a war briefing that had its fair share of movie-like pageantry.

On movie-theater-size screens, live broadcasts showed long-range strategic bombers taking off from Russian air bases to fly sorties over Syria. Putin instructed commanders in Syria to “make contact with the French and work with them as allies” as Russia seeks a central role in a proposed anti-terrorist coalition.

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But the real star of the show may have been the building itself, which is designed to be a new nerve center for the Russian military that will coordinate military action around the world, including ballistic missile launches and strategic nuclear deployments.

The building is roughly the equivalent of the U.S. National Military Command Center used by the Pentagon, but as one Russian state news agency noted in a breathless headline this week, “Russian Defense Data Center Outperforms US Facility Threefold: Official.”

The center, which is fortified and said to sit on top of a maze of underground tunnels, is on the Frunze Naberezhnaya on the left bank of the Moscow river, a little over two miles from Red Square.

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It was finished in 2014 and is part of a massive, decade-long modernization of Russia’s army, which has cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but has also produced noted improvements, from the expertise of Russian troops deployed during the Crimea operation to the recent cruise missile strikes launched from the Caspian Sea.

The new national defense center also includes a helicopter pad that was deployed on the Moscow River late last year and can accommodate Russia’s Mi-8 transport helicopter. In case of a war, it would be the country’s premier communications center, and one Russian commander compared it to the military headquarters of the Soviet Union during World War II.

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Another room with a large round table and more giant monitors.

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Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu said that the center is a step toward “forming a single information space for solving tasks in the interests of the country’s defense.”

As Worldviews noted during Russia’s International Army Games in August, Russia’s military has sought to raise its public profile through savvy media branding.

At the briefing, army personnel sat in color-coded rows with matching headsets and water bottles bearing the Russian army brand (their flagship store recently opened on Tverskaya Street here, Moscow’s equivalent of Fifth Avenue). The briefing was covered on Russian national television from at least four distinct camera angles.

Andrei Kolesnikov, a reporter who has covered Putin for the past 15 years and is known for his lyrical, fawning reports of the Russian president, waxed introspective as he covered the briefing Tuesday.

“When this building and this room were opened a year ago, I was somewhat perplexed: Yes, it all looks very persuasive, and the Pentagon might even only dream of something like this, if only in a nightmare. But why? Who will need these screens the size of small soccer fields with grandstands for viewers?

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“And here was the answer. Every spot was filled. Russia’s entire high army command were the viewers. Or was it like the warming bench, and at any moment everyone was ready to go on the field …”

Later in the piece, he added: “My soul of course was not filled with delight and trembling at the hellish power of this armada. But I was perturbed, yes, I was.”

The War Rooms from the movies take a backseat to this giant high-tech cavern.

Dr. Strangelove

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WarGames 1983

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‘You Only Live Twice”, James Bond.

war room8 you only live twice

Korean soldier reluctantly fought for the Japanese, the Russians and the Germans in WWII! 

Talk about getting passed around.

Yang Kyoungjong (c. 1920 – April 7, 1992) was a Korean soldier who fought during World War II in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht.

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was in Manchuria when he was conscripted into the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army to fight against the Soviet Union. At the time Korea was ruled by Japan. During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labour camp. Because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets in its fight against Nazi Germany, in 1942 he was pressed into fighting in the Red Army along with thousands of other prisoners, and was sent to the European eastern front.

In 1943, he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers in Ukraine during the Third Battle of Kharkov, and was then pressed into fighting for Germany. Yang was sent to Occupied France to fight in a battalion of Soviet prisoners of war known as the “Eastern Battalion”, serving in a battalion located on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, located close to Utah Beach. After the D-Day landings in northern France by the Allied forces, Yang was captured by paratroopers of the United States Army in June 1944. The Americans initially believed him to be Japanese in German uniform, and he was placed in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom. At the time, Lieutenant Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, reported that his regiment captured four Asians in German uniform after the Utah Beach landings, and that initially no one was able to communicate with them. Yang later emigrated from Russia to the United States, where he lived until he died in Illinois in 1992.

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Yang Kyongjong (left) in Wehrmacht attire following capture by American paratroopers in June 1944 after D-Day__

DiedApril 7, 1992 Illinois, United States
Allegiance Empire of Japan  Soviet Union  Nazi Germany
Years of serviceImperial Japanese Army: 1938–1939 Soviet Red Army: 1942–1943 Wehrmacht: 1943–1944
Battles/warsBattles of Khalkhin Gol Battle of Kharkov D-Day

American Idiots

The idiot above committed one of the greatest geopolitical blunders in history. The Iraq invasion in 2003 was uncalled for and completely unnecessary. Saddam was no threat to the U.S. The invasion and subsequent war cost tens of thousands of lives and caused that area of the Middle East to headlong into chaos, extreme hardship and indescribable violence . The invasion is still felt in the region to this day.

Green Day released this song in 2005.

This idiot attempted a coup D’etat against the fairly elected president of the United States in 2021. He continues to say that he actually won the 2020 presidential election without any concrete evidence whatsoever. He also pulled the United States out of climate agreements and a nuclear deal with Iran. He imposed tariffs on friendly countries and harshly criticised and slandered NATO. He also divided the American nation like no other president. His lies have created a deep ideological rift within the very fabric of American culture and society. Let’s hope and pray that this idiot fades away and gets sequestered into a deep cesspool within American history.

Afghanistan’s War Rugs

Turkmen weavers in northern Afghanistan have been weaving rugs for thousands of years. This heavy textile, made for a wide variety of utilitarian and symbolic purposes, is traditionally decorated with classical folk motifs, but in recent times many modern designs have found their way into the traditional medium, such as replicas of Picasso paintings or stylized American flags. But the most curious influence on Afghan rug design has been violence.

Afghanistan’s War Rugs

Afghanistan has been under conflict for more than forty years starting with the Russian invasion of what was originally a peaceful country. The bloody coup d’état against then-President Mohammed Daoud Khan would trigger a series of events that would dramatically turn Afghanistan from a poor and secluded, albeit peaceful country to a hotbed of international terrorism. The decades of war and violence that followed, impacted the everyday lives of the Afghans so deeply that carpet weavers began to incorporate icons of war into their carpets. Flowers, birds, horses and decorative knots were replaced by machine guns, grenades, helicopters, tanks and Kalashnikov rifles.

In the early years, brokers and merchants refused to buy war rugs with overt designs for fear they would put off buyers. But with time and with the rugs’ increasing popularity, these rugs have found a niche market among Western collectors.

Afghanistan’s War Rugs

There is little doubt the rugs are geared towards Western tourists, but in the beginning they may have been made for fellow Afghans, believes Hanifa Tokhi, an Afghan immigrant who fled Kabul after the Soviet invasion and now lives in northern California. “Later on, they made it commercialized when they found out that people were interested,” she says. “But at the beginning, it was to show their hatred of the invasion. I know the Afghan people, and this was their way to fight.”

After the terrorist attack on America and the subsequent war on Afghanistan, a whole new genre of war rugs arose. On woolen canvases where Soviet weapons used to appear now stood US armaments—F-16s, Abrams tanks and slogans such as “Heat to War”. Others, clearly made for sale to Americans, proclaimed “Long live U.S. soldiers.”

Afghanistan’s War Rugs

One of the most disturbing pieces commemorate the World Trade Center attack. These rugs were so scandalous that many traders refused to have them in their collection. Yet others find World Trade Center rugs collectable. Some New Yorkers find them fit for display, too. “You might think it’s a ghoulish thing to own, but I look upon it in a different way,” says Barbara Jakobson, a trustee at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art and a longtime art collector. “It’s a kind of history painting. Battles have always been depicted in art.”

Some 1.6 million Afghans are in the carpet business, with most of the weavers being women working from home. Under generations of oppression, these women have found in carpets a medium to make their voice heard.

“Women in that part of the world have a limited ability to speak out,” says Barry O’Connell, a Washington D.C.-based oriental rug enthusiast. “These rugs may be their only chance to gain a voice in their adult life.”

Afghanistan’s War Rugs
Afghanistan’s War Rugs
Afghanistan’s War Rugs
Afghanistan’s War Rugs
Afghanistan’s War Rugs

Epic Monkey War Erupts in Thai City

A city in Thailand saw traffic come to a sudden halt when the streets were overrun by an epic battle that unfolded between rival gangs of monkeys. The wild scene, which was caught on film by amazed residents, reportedly erupted in the community of Lopburi last week. Much to the chagrin of commuters, hundreds of monkeys amassed in huge groups and faced off at an intersection in the city. After a few minutes of bluster and screeching, the creatures engaged in combat while drivers took cover inside their vehicles and watched the fight unfold.

It is believed that the proverbial monkey war was sparked by a scarcity of food as Lopburi is a popular tourist destination that has been hard by the pandemic, which has led to fewer visitors feeding the creatures that call the city home. Perhaps owing to this ongoing predicament, one local source indicated that the specific showdown between the simians was something of a turf war between three separate groups of monkeys likely looking to increase their territory in the snack-deprived city.