Comments

  1. mamba says

    #1: The film crew was empathically stating that they are recording everyone’s opinion equally, so technically they weren’t breaking any law…only the people speaking these “taboo” opinions were. So it was a great way for the Russian police to identify anyone with an “arrest-able” opinion. Odds are they arrested them later on once they did their identification dirty work for them.

  2. christoph says

    Are you sure this isn’t just bad satire? It looks a lot like a poorly written Monty Python routine.

  3. robro says

    mamba @ #2 — “Odds are they…” They as in the film crew? Were they part of a set up? Were those arrested part of set up? It was surprising to see a series of people start making a statement then taken away almost immediately. Looked like it could be a set up.

    AugustVerger @ #3 — “…special public opinion shaping operations” Everything is special in Russia now.

    There are some dissenting voices being raised inside Russia, at least if this is true:

    UKRAINE: Open Letter from Russian international relations staff and students

    Russian former foreign minister calls for Ukraine ceasefire

  4. says

    @robro #5

    There have been openly dissenting opinions in Russia regarding the “Ukraine Special Military Operation” from day one, hence why the Putenführer decided that people expressing them should be given Special Attitude Readjustment Holidays lasting up to 15 years.

  5. robro says

    AugustusVerger @ #6 — Same as it ever was. And if Chump had his way, pretty much what we would see more of in the USofA. During the 2016 campaign there were some “Special Attitude Readjustments” for people who protested.

  6. R. L. Foster says

    Wow. Just fucking wow. The second woman appeared to be about to express her support for Putin’s war, but before she could utter more than a half dozen words she’s hauled away. And I thought the cops at Lafayette Square overreacted.

  7. says

    And this, my dear Pharyngulites, is why Central European countries like Poland and Czechia did not need to be coerced or strong-armed into joining NATO. We know where it will lead when батюшка Царь Пу́тин 1 seizes absolute power and ascends to the throne. We’ve been through that process before, not that far ago. My mother still remembers times when she was forbidden to go outside because Russians were occupying Czechoslovakia in 1969. My father remembers how he feared imprisonment despite being a member of the communist party because he spoke valid criticism about our puppet government.
    I will take NATO and USA any day of the week. The progress there is slower than I would wish, but there is progress.

  8. robro says

    Charly @ #9 — Isn’t preventing Ukraine from joining NATO a primary reason for батюшка Царь Пу́тин 1 invading the country?

    R. L. Foster @ #8 — “The second woman appeared to be about to express her support for Putin’s war…” If that’s the case, were the cops arresting people for saying anything to the camera?

  9. raven says

    I posted this on the last thread but it is relevant so I’ll post it again.
    The USSR governed by force, cruelty, brutality, and murder.

    But I agree having countries like Poland in the fold is a position of strength, plus beneficial perhaps from Poland’s POV after its past problems with Russian hegemony.

    I was vaguely aware that the Polish people don’t like Russia very much. I wasn’t sure why, since the history we got in school in the USA was superficial and US oriented. So I looked it up.

    .1. Hitler and Stalin had an agreement which divided Poland in half. Both the Germans and Russians then started killing Polish people that were in their way. “,,,estimated Poland’s war dead at between 5.6 and 5.8 million Poles and Jews, including 150,000 during the Soviet occupation.”

    .2. After the war, the Russians stole part of Poland like they did to Finland.

    At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union annexed most of the territory it had invaded in 1939.
    and
    According to official data, during the state-controlled expulsion between 1945 and 1946, roughly 1,167,000 Poles left the westernmost republics of the Soviet Union, less than 50% of those who registered for population transfer. Another major ethnic Polish transfer took place after Stalin’s death, in 1955–1959.

    Polish population transfers (1944–1946) – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Polish_population_transf…

    The Russians then solved their Polish problem by kicking them out to Poland in a form of ethnic cleansing.
    They did give part of what was Germany to Poland though, as a consolation prize since the Germans lost the war.

    .3. Then there was that whole satellite nation Cold War thing where Poland was under the control of a communist government that wasn’t all that popular.

    I’m seeing a pattern here.
    I wouldn’t much like the Russians after all that either.

  10. says

    @raven #11

    It actually goes even further than that, in the 18th century Russia, Prussia and Austria decided they should have some Polish cake and kept dividing the country until nothing was left. For almost a hundred years there was no Poland at all (Napoleon briefly revived a core nugget of a Polish state, but the Holy Alliance decided to graciously relieve it of any independence again when Napoleon was defeated) until all three of the dividing empires suffered various amounts of malady or dissolution after WWI. The Hitler-Stalin pact was actually the fourth such division of Poland.

  11. R. L. Foster says

    @#10 — Are you asking about what we just saw on the video clip in Russia or what happened in DC in June, 2020? If the latter, I did see our cops jab a baton into a camera man’s stomach. I did see our cops pummeling protestors for simply standing around. I did see tear CS canisters going off.

    I would like to address your question to @#8. NATO’s encroachment on Russia was Putin’s ostensible reason for invading Ukraine. The real reason has more to do with Ukraine embracing western style democracy and joining the EU. He knows very well if Russians see a thriving, multi-party, parliamentary system in Ukraine his own people will ask themselves, Why not us, too? Another point — If NATO was the core issue for the war then why has Putin been silent about the Baltic states belonging to NATO? They also border Russia and have been for many years.

  12. says

    @robro, the real reason for the invasion is that Putin really, really wants Ukraine to be part of his empire. He does not see Ukraine as a separate state with a right to self-determination, just as a rebellious subsection of Russia. And that is why he invaded. Ukraine was given a choice – either grovel before Russia willingly or be subjugated by other means.

    NATO “encroachment” was just a pretext for the invasion. The option of a democratic Ukraine that decides her own fate was never on the table as far as Putin is concerned. It was always “join me, or else”.

  13. robro says

    raven @ #11 — I also have a US education and so “vaguely” aware of the conflicts between Poland and Russia…and Prussia, and Austria, and Sweden…that go back a long time before the days of Hitler and Stalin. So much conflict that Poland ceased to exist from the 18th century until the end of World War I. Stalin sealed their relationship when he had the Red Army stop in the suburbs of Warsaw while the Germans killed 150,000+ people during the Warsaw Uprising in the summer of 1944.

  14. Doc Bill says

    Google translates her sign as “Two Words.”

    Which I imagine are “ебать путина” (fuck Putin) Just a guess.

  15. raven says

    Wikipedia: Warsaw Uprising
    150,000[12]–200,000 civilians killed[13][14]
    700,000 expelled from the city[7]

    Poland and Eastern Germany 1944–45
    The Warsaw Uprising (Polish: powstanie warszawskie; German: Warschauer Aufstand) was a major World War II operation, in the summer of 1944, by the Polish underground resistance, led by the Polish resistance Home Army (Polish: Armia Krajowa), to liberate Warsaw from German occupation. The uprising was timed to coincide with the retreat of the German forces from Poland ahead of the Soviet advance.[15] While approaching the eastern suburbs of the city, the Red Army temporarily halted combat operations, enabling the Germans to regroup and defeat the Polish resistance and to destroy the city in retaliation. The Uprising was fought for 63 days with little outside support. It was the single largest military effort taken by any European resistance movement during World War II.[16]

    TIL on the internet.

    It is a wonder that there is anything like Poland left after all that.
    Odd factoid.
    The second largest Polish city is…Chicago. “Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the world’s second largest Polish population. “

  16. robro says

    Charly #15 – I would call Ukraine potentially joining NATO more of an “impetus” than a “pretext” for Putin’s invasion particularly with Biden in the White House rather than Chump. Biden has played at part in expanding NATO eastward. Biden’s involvement with Ukraine when he was VP was to prepare it to join the EU and NATO. Obviously that’s 180 degrees from where Putin wants things to go and I’m surprised he didn’t invade a couple of years ago while Chump was in the White House and NATO was sort of on the ropes. However, I think Putin was happy with the “pretext” of Ukraine independence as long as it was under the control of Russia…similar to Belarus.

  17. robro says

    PS on my #19 — Fair to say that Putin did invade Ukraine a couple of years ago, but he restrained it to the eastern areas and Crimea.

    raven @ #18 — That’s the one. And after the war, Stalin moved the borders of Poland something like 85 miles to the west, and the people…ethnic cleansing before US media coined the term. A substantial part of western Ukraine and Belarus were part of Poland.

  18. sprocket says

    There’s a scene in Luis Bunuel’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” that’s almost exactly like that. The Bunuel film is a surrealistic satire. I never thought I’d see anything like it in real life.

  19. Susan Montgomery says

    @10 it’s like how the comments on any article about feminism wind up justifying feminism.

  20. raven says

    Latest headline:

    The New York Times
    China Sees at Least One Winner Emerging From Ukraine War: China
    Steven Lee Myers and Chris Buckley Mon, March 14, 2022, 4:54 AM·8 min read

    The war in Ukraine is far from over, but a consensus is forming in Chinese policy circles that one country stands to emerge victorious from the turmoil: China.

    After a confused initial response to Russia’s invasion, China has laid the building blocks of a strategy to shield itself from the worst economic and diplomatic consequences it could face, and to benefit from geopolitical shifts once the smoke clears.

    China’s leader, Xi Jinping, has avoided criticizing President Vladimir Putin of Russia, but he has also tried to distance China from the carnage. His government has denounced the international sanctions imposed on Russia but, so far at least, has hinted that Chinese companies may comply with them, to protect China’s economic interests in the West.

    There is one clear winner in the conflict between the USA, the EU, versus Russia. It is obviously, China.

    China will back both sides while trying hard not to antagonize both sides.
    Make money, not war.

    If the conflict goes nuclear, the big winners again will be China, India, and Africa. And oh yeah, the cockroaches that will inherit the ruins of the USA, the EU, and Russia.

  21. lotharloo says

    Honestly speaking, as long as Russia gets fucked, I’m fine with China getting more power. Russia is a much more destructive force to the global balance of power than China and it is also an infinitely more corrupt power.

  22. says

    Charly@15: as a fellow European: well said.

    I have no bone to pick with the Russian people. But the Russian (autocratic) governments of the last century or so have been total shit. While the Soviet Union suffered massive casualties in WWII (23-24 million), Stalin’s regime killed 7-9 million of their own citizens between 1924 and 1953. And it could well be argued that a significant part of the losses in WWII were caused by incompetence and disregard for the lives their own citizens and soldiers.

    In an autocracy, the live of an average citizen isn’t worth a dime. A lesson worth remembering.

    Nobody in Europe wants a new Russian Empire on their doorstep.

    My only bone of contention with the Russians is one of inaction. Several former soviet republics and warsaw pact members have booted out the corrupt autocrats. Why can’t Russia?

  23. KG says

    If the conflict goes nuclear, the big winners again will be China, India, and Africa. – raven@24

    For sheer gormlessness, that’s going to be a mark at which manifold idiots shoot in vain. Even if the worst fears of a “nuclear winter” turned out to be exaggerated, a nuclear war between Russia and the USA would certainly cause enough climatic and economic disruption to cause global famines: China, India and most countries in Africa are big importers of food andor fertilisers, petroleum products, and other necessities for producing it. Add to that the near certainty of an outbreak of secondary wars, huge numbers of refugees, radioactive and chemical pollution, possible pandemics, and the idea that any country or continent would be a “big winner” is a piece of crass and callous stupidity it really is going to be hard to beat.

  24. KG says

    If NATO was the core issue for the war then why has Putin been silent about the Baltic states belonging to NATO? – R.L.Foster@14

    He hasn’t. One of his “security” demands before the invasion was that NATO forces pull out of many of the countries that joined after the Soviet Union disintegrated (I can’t offhand recall if it was all of them, but the Baltic States were certainly included). That doesn’t mean you’re wrong on the main point: Putin wants to go down in history as the Great Leader who restored Russia as a Great Power., and subjugating Ukraine is a key part of that project.

  25. blf says

    Follow-up to @29, and in addition, Putin’s been occupying part of (the Republic of) Moldova, Transnistria, since c.1990. Moldova has never applied to join Nato, albeit (like Ireland) it does participate in the so-called “Partnership for Peace” with Nato. They are not in the EU, and in any case, are a long way off from meeting requirements (e.g., the Moldovian police are notorious for using torture). So even not being in Nato isn’t sufficient to keep Putin’s hands off a previously-Soviet-occupied region.

  26. birgerjohansson says

    Re “limited” nuclear war – even a regional nuclear war between India and Pakistan would create immense devastation that certainly would spill over to the rest of the world, I forgot the specific numbers of a study some decade ago.
    .
    While Putin is a rational actor, a desperate Putin would be willing to do as much damage as his generals will allow him to do, in order to cling to power. I am not optimistic about a Russian army Stauffenberg plot.

  27. blf says

    @30, Oops, distracting by dinner cooking (a salmon risotto, since you didn’t ask): So even not being in Nato… → So even not asking to join Nato proper…

  28. blf says

    christoph@32 claims “the video is a joke”: Citation needed!

    Not impossible, but some searching has failed to find (to-date) any debunking or fact-checking. And in any case, there are legitimate videos, images, and reports, from reliable sources, of Putin’s police doing essentially what is shown in the OP’s video. So whilst it may be satire, it’s heavily-soaked in verifiable truth.

  29. Tethys says

    everyone posting on this subject: You know the video is a joke, right?

    I know that’s Red Square in Moscow, and the sign she held said “two words”. Do you really believe those police are all just playing along with a joke?

  30. robro says

    christoph @ #32 — I don’t know it’s a joke, but I could accept it’s a joke if there’s some evidence other than the weirdness of it. People don’t normally line to comment and be arrested one after the other like that. There was something odd about the police being right there…like they were standing beside the camera waiting to walk the person away on cue.

  31. lumipuna says

    The “two words” would be presumably Nyet voynye (No to war), which seems to have been the standard protest slogan since the war started. More recently, people have reportedly tried to avoid arrest (with poor success) using all kinds of coded versions for the slogan, including blank signs.

  32. blf says

    (Cross-posted from poopyhead’s current [One Madman’s War, Pandemic, and Politics] Infinite Thread…)

    Russian state TV editor interrupts live news broadcast with anti-war message (image at the link; quoted in full):

    During an evening news broadcast on March 14, Channel One editor Marina Ovsyannikova ran on stage with an anti-war banner that read, “No War. Stop the war! Don’t believe the propaganda! They’re lying to you here! Russians against war.” During the few seconds before the broadcast cut away, Ovsyannikova repeated the words, “No to war! Stop the war!” She was promptly arrested. The authorities say she will face misdemeanor charges for violating Russia’s new ban on “disinformation” about the invasion of Ukraine.

    In a prerecorded message shared on social media after the live-television incident, Ovsyannikova made the following remarks: “What is happening in Ukraine is a crime. And Russia is the aggressor here. And responsibility for this aggression rests on the conscience of a single man: Vladimir Putin. My father is Ukrainian. My mother is Russian. And they’ve never been enemies. And this necklace I’m wearing is a symbol of that fact that Russia must immediately end this fratricidal war. And our fraternal peoples will still be able to make peace. Unfortunately, I’ve spent many of the last few years working for Channel One, doing Kremlin propaganda, and I’m deeply ashamed of this. Ashamed that I allowed lies to come from the TV screen. Ashamed that I allowed the zombification of Russian people. We were silent in 2014 when all this had just started. We didn’t protest when the Kremlin poisoned Navalny. We just silently watched this anti-human regime at work. And now the whole world has turned its back on us. And the next 10 generations won’t wash away the stain of this fratricidal war. We Russians are thinking and intelligent people. It’s in our power alone to stop all this madness. Go protest. Don’t be afraid of anything. They can’t lock us all away.”

  33. robro says

    I’m fairly sure raven is correct about China’s position…whatever helps China (or rather the China elite). Here’s the Washington Post’s take on the US position with China vis-à-vis Russia. Biden is digging in his heels a bit which is a little scary. On the other hand, China is having its own problems with a potential COVID lockdown and the economy souring some.

  34. jrkrideau says

    Два слова must have a symbolic meaning but what? And yes, I know it translates as “Two words”.

    @ 30 blf
    Putin’s been occupying part of (the Republic of) Moldova, Transnistria, since c.1990.

    Amazing. In 1990 a mid-level KGB officer in Dresden managed to occupy part of Moldova. Putin first hit any real political power under Yeltsin in 1998 or 1999 depending on how you look at it.

    If I can trust Wiki, Russia has been in Transnistria since 1992 as something of a peacekeeper force.

    @ 14 R. L. Foster
    I did see our cops jab a baton into a camera man’s stomach. I did see our cops pummeling protestors for simply standing around.

    The Australian cameraman? I saw that.

    I have been watching a few filmings of Russian protests and both the police and the demonstrators seem to work under different rules than in the USA. People protest, a relative few get arrested and carted off to a paddy wagon. The police snatch a few people out of the crowds, cart them off, and so on. Generally, no stone throwing, no tear gas. Neither side seem to hate or despise the other.

    Smaller demos seem to call out police in regular uniform to act as traffic directors. I assume they have tactical riot units in reserve but it looks like the idea is not to escalate.

    Even in the huge Khabarovsk protests against Putin back in 2020 neither the police or the protestors seemed bent on violence. I may have missed it but I don’t remember any real violence.

  35. John Morales says

    jrkrideau, leaving aside the risible notion that Russia is a land where demonstrators have it good, I focus on one thing.

    Putin first hit any real political power under Yeltsin in 1998 or 1999 depending on how you look at it.

    For certain values of “under Yeltsin”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_of_Boris_Yeltsin#Resignation

    On 31 December 1999, at 12 am Moscow time (which was repeated on the main channels for a few minutes before midnight, before the televised New Year) Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation as President of the Russian Federation: “Dear friends! My dear! Today is the last time I address you with New Year’s greetings. But that’s not all. Today, the last time I address you as the President of Russia. I made the decision. Slowly and painfully pondered over it. Today, the last day of the outgoing century, I am resigning.”

    Yeltsin said that he was leaving not for health reasons, but on the totality of the problems, and apologized to the citizens of Russia.

    Acting President was appointed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who immediately after the statement of Boris Yeltsin about his own resignation sent a New Year message to the citizens of Russia. Vladimir Putin on the same day signed a decree guaranteeing Yeltsin protection from prosecution, as well as significant financial benefits to him and his family.

    Awfully convenient, that.

  36. jrkrideau says

    My God Rob. It looks like you are right. I thought it was a US demo. I do miss the tear gas and rubber bullets.

  37. Rob Grigjanis says

    @46: So what? You were talking about “watching a few filmings of Russian protests” and protests in 2020. You just can’t smell your own shit, can you?

  38. StevoR says

    @42. jrkrideau : If I can trust Wiki, Russia has been in Transnistria since 1992 as something of a peacekeeper force.

    “Peacekeeper force” huh? Like the same Russian “peacekeepers” on the current “special operation” of, erm, bombing and killing and invading Ukraine currently?

    Just curious but did you also think East Germany was really “Democratic” becuase they called it that in its official name?

  39. StevoR says

    FWIW. See also :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_military_presence_in_Transnistria

    On 22 June 2018, UN General Assembly adopted resolution (document A/72/L.58), which urged the Russian Federation to unconditionally withdraw its troops and armaments without delay from the territory of the Republic of Moldova.

    To this day, Moldova continues requesting the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Transnistria, having done so as recently as in 2021.[25] Furthermore, in 2022, amid an increase in tensions between Ukraine and Russia, allegations by Ukrainian intelligence appeared that said Russia was trying to prepare “provocations” against the Russian soldiers in Transnistria in order to create a pretext for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

    Plus :

    https://www.bigissue.com/news/transnistria-the-country-that-doesnt-exist-but-could-shape-the-future-of-russia-and-europe/

    Excerpt :

    After the fall of the Soviet Union, Moldova declared independence – as did Transnistria. When Moldova tried to remove newly established checkpoints, civil war broke out, with the seemingly outmatched Transnistrian separatists holding their own thanks to the weapons supplied in secret by Russia. Around 700 people were killed before a Moscow-brokered ceasefire agreement was signed in July 1992. To enforce it, Russian peacekeepers moved in on a temporary basis. More than two decades later there are still hundreds of troops from the Russian army stationed in the region.

    … snip..

    Moldova cannot develop closer economic and political ties with Euro without risking a fresh outbreak in fighting within borders, and the country could never join Nato or the EU as neither organisation is likely to welcome a member while it has the Russian army sitting on its soil.

    That situation has just shifted. As Russia invaded Ukraine, Moldova applied to urgently join Nato.

    In addition to :

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russia-ukraine-war-moldovans-brace-potential-russian-invasion

    Should Odessa fall, the Kremlin will be able to punch a corridor through to Transnistria, which is part of Moldova and has been illegally occupied by Russia since 1991.

    Meanwhile, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was seen in a photo on 1 March pointing at a military campaign map. In it, troops entering Odessa seemed to be advancing into the Transnistrian region in eastern Moldova.

    Moldovans are fearing they will be next if Putin suceeds in taking Ukraine for his rebuilding of the Russian empire. Where will this end are are you really okay with it if they do keep going here, jrkrideau?

  40. christoph says

    @ Charly, # 37: Yes, because it’s obviously ridiculous. You have people lining up to comment and cops standing by to arrest them one after the other like an assembly line. Also there are no signs of the people being arrested struggling, and one of the cops says clearly in English, “OK-let’s go” to the person beginning to make a presumably pro-Putin comment.

    BTW, I agree that the Russian authorities are acting high handed, repressive and brutal, but I know satire and humor when I see it.

  41. Tethys says

    Christoph

    You have people lining up to comment and cops standing by to arrest them one after the other like an assembly line.

    Where is the line of people commenting? I don’t see it, but I do see Moscow Police everywhere, complete with multiple buses standing by to detain citizens for expressing any opinions. The second woman was expressing support for the special operation but they came and grabbed her before she could finish.

    Also there are no signs of the people being arrested struggling, and one of the cops says clearly in English, “OK-let’s go” to the person beginning to make a presumably pro-Putin comment.

    How exactly are they supposed to struggle?!
    There are two police holding them by both arms shoved up behind their backs so all they can do is come along or get a broken arm.

    Many Russians (and Ukrainians) are perfectly comfortable with the English language and frequently employ it. Only Americans think knowing other languages is uncommon. OK?

    American idiom has crept all over the world via the evil western media that pootin hates so much. It’s a real video by an activist group, not a damn TikTok prank.

    I know satire and humor when I see it.

    Clearly you don’t, and repeating your claim doesn’t make it true. Provide evidence it’s a prank or zip it.

  42. christoph says

    @ Tethys, # 53:
    “How exactly are they supposed to struggle?!
    There are two police holding them by both arms shoved up behind their backs so all they can do is come along or get a broken arm.”
    If you were being taken away by the police to be imprisoned and tortured, I’m sure you’d struggle. And it’s not impossible to struggle with a person on either side of you holding your arms. I’ve seen people struggle free from holds like that.

    “Provide evidence it’s a prank or zip it.”
    How about you keep your insulting comments to yourself?
    The evidence is what I see and hear with my own eyes. You clearly WANT to believe it’s real, hence your defensive insults. If this were evidence in court, would you be willing to convict on it? It’s too inconclusive, so I certainly wouldn’t.

  43. raven says

    I know satire and humor when I see it.

    I’m sure the Russian police, KGB, and FSB don’t have the slightest idea what satire and humor is.

    These are people who torture, maim and kill anyone they want to and do so often.

  44. Rob Grigjanis says

    christoph @54: So, the ‘cops’ aren’t really cops and the buses aren’t really police buses? In broad daylight, dozens of actors, including men in authentic-looking uniforms, are taking part in a satirical skit in Manezhnaya Square? I wonder if Russia has laws about impersonating police officers. I’m guessing ‘yes’. Man, those are some brave and well-organized satirists.

  45. Tethys says

    Perhaps it is Christoph’s first visit to pharyngula, where we actually do require that you back up your assertions with evidence, and will happily poke fun at terrible logic.

    How about you keep your insulting comments to yourself?

    Snowflake, you have not been insulted by being told to provide any evidence of your assertion that this video is a prank. It’s been vetted by national news organizations as genuine btw.

    Refusing to acknowledge the multiple requests for your disbelief simply makes it more likely the horde will conclude that you are a Russian paid troll. We have enough of those already.

  46. christoph says

    A tethys, # 57: “Snowflake?” Congratulations, you’ve added another insult from a phony, anonymous user name. You’ve just achieved trollhood. BTW, I was referring to your insulting “zip it” comment. You sound a lot like Trump, giving orders you can’t enforce.

    Suggestion-don’t say anything while hiding behind an anonymous user name that you wouldn’t say to my face, in person. That’s just cowardice.

  47. says

    @christoph, you made an unevidenced assertion. You were asked to provide evidence, to which you responded by just reinstating your assertion, only in more words.

    So whilst I believe the correct English phrase is “put up or shut up”, “provide evidence or zip it” is an adequate synonym. BTW, using a rhetorical imperative is not an insult anywhere and it is not even considered impolite around here when said to someone making baseless assertions “I know because I know”.

    This may be a surprise to you, but your word is not a gospel to us and the infallibility of your judgment on what is and is not a joke was not demonstrated to any degree whatsoever. So, do you have any evidence that this video is a joke, or do you intend to only whine some more?

  48. christoph says

    @ Charly, Walter Solomon, tethys, et al:
    In answer to your request for irrefutable evidence that the video is fake, I don’t have that. However, there are more than enough red flags for me to discount its authenticity. It does appear staged-for instance, I already mentioned the cop saying in perfect English, “Let’s go.” Someone retorted that Russians and Ukrainians are comfortable with English, which is true. However, most of them don’t speak it perfectly, and they’d speak Russian to other Russians in their own country. I know several Russians who have been in the US for over 20 years and speak English well, however they still have thick accents and occasionally struggle with the language, just as I would struggle with Russian if I lived in Russia and spoke it daily. Also, as I pointed out, the assembly line like nature of the arrests and the lack of struggling from people being taken away, presumably to prison.

    My point, which a lot of you missed, is that the video is unconvincing enough that I’d discount it as evidence. You seem desperate to believe this one video, I don’t understand why. There’s more than enough real evidence out there. Just because I can’t prove absolutely that it’s fake doesn’t make it real.

    @Charly-I’m not whining, you pedantic little shit. I’m just making a point and calling a few people out about their bad manners. Do you have any valid points, or do you just want to sling more insults? You’re pretty whiny yourself.
    @Walter-zip it.

  49. Tethys says

    So still no evidence that it’s not real?

    Claiming that the women aren’t struggling against two men frogmarching them to the detainment bus is simply asinine.

    Your choices in that particular hold are to walk along with them, or fall and get dragged or have your shoulder dislocated/ arm broken.

    If it was fake, it should be easy to prove.
    But do whinge on about how mean we are being by noticing that christoph is incapable of providing evidence, or zipping it.

  50. Rob Grigjanis says

    christoph @61: To be clear, are you saying you don’t think it was shot in Manezhnaya Square?

  51. says

    @christoph, I congratulate you, I sincerely do, on your admitting that you have no other evidence than “you know because you know” and having to resort to slinging angry insults and whinge some more out of frustration that you are unable to actually defend your stated position. Maybe the video is fake and staged, but so far, nobody relevant, no reputable news sources, has disputed its veracity. Except for your big brain of course.

    Master of wit and a repartee you are not, that one thing is for sure. But keep trying, one day you might write something clever and worth reading. Today is not that day, but one day…

  52. christoph says

    @Rob Grigjanis, #63: I didn’t say it wasn’t shot there-I wouldn’t know, since I’m not familiar with the place. As far as staging, it may have been staged by Russian officials in an effort to demoralize people from voicing any opinions at all. Totalitarian regimes do stuff like that, and the acting in such a video would most likely be unconvincing.

    @Charly, # 64: If you’re so convinced it’s real, you prove it. The burden of proof is on you, not me. I didn’t start the angry insults, you (and tethys) did. You remind me of schoolyard bullies who go whining to a teacher when someone finally hits them back. So, go slink away and whine in private. You’re not worth my time.

    Tethys-I actually have struggled out of a hold like that, years ago when I was a teenager. It involved two gang member holding me while a third was trying to kick me in the nuts. All three of them were bigger than I was, but I managed to get loose and run away. You have no idea what people are capable of when they’re threatened. You also have no idea what you’re talking about, I doubt you were ever in a position to know. Same goes for you as for Charly-you’re whining because I called you out on your bullshit insults. If you can’t discuss something rationally, you need to grow the fuck up.
    I can’t wait to read your next sniveling insult! Make it clever, your last one was pretty lame.

  53. says

    Oh please, now trying to shift the burden of proof? How lame and unoriginal. Christoph, you are the one who made a claim, it is on you to prove it. The default position, the zero hypothesis if you like, is that the video is genuine until proven otherwise. So prove otherwise. Oh, wait, you can’t, you already admitted such.

    Several news agencies think the video is genuine. That means that so far there is no proof to think otherwise.

    It is somewhat possible that the video was staged by the police as intimidation propaganda. However, that would still make the video most emphatically not a joke. Be careful with them goalposts, you are moving them so fast they might break.

  54. Jazzlet says

    christoph @65
    Coming back to this thread and reading through the last dozen or so comments it is you that is whining, the others have challenged you on your assertion that the video is a joke, you have declined to provide any supporting evidence, eventually admitting you don’t have any, and continually whined that they are being mean to you. This forum is not the politest I visit, but it is by no means the most vicious either, perhaps you are just too sensitive?

  55. Tethys says

    christoph @52

    one of the cops says clearly in English, “OK-let’s go” to the person beginning to make a presumably pro-Putin comment.

    I have rewatched this segment multiple time, but the policeman is speaking Russian, and doesn’t say Ok at all. He said “ты Пойдем”
    English- Ty poydem – You! Let’s go.
    Ty is pronounced vih = singular you in Russian.

    Interesting that you heard let’s go, as it took me awhile to figure out exactly what word followed the ‘Vih’. Voitha? Vhoytyam?

  56. christoph says

    @Jazzlet, #67: Go back and reread the comments. I made a comment a few people disagreed with who also responded with insulting comments, which I called them out on. At first I suggested they keep the insulting comments to themselves, then I responded with insults of my own after they doubled down on their insults. It was just a call for civility, and you define that as “whining?” Any other words you’d like to redefine for your own purposes? Sounds like you want the right to insult people and not have to deal with their retort. Like I said earlier, that’s cowardly. I personally wouldn’t say anything here that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

    Charly: Yes, you prove it’s genuine. I’ve seen enough things in it that are a little “off” to make it suspect. That was my main point. Maybe it’s propaganda disguised as a joke, maybe it’s a joke disguised as propaganda, maybe it’s just satire.

    Tethys: Nope, I don’t speak enough Russian to understand what was being said in that language, but to me it sounded clearly like “Let’s go.” I’ll rewatch the video when I have time.

  57. StevoR says

    @ 69. christoph : “. It was just a call for civility, and you define that as “whining?”

    Please read and contemplate the following :

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/14/the-desert-tortoises-with-boltcutters-civility-pledge/

    &

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2018/11/20/the-civility-trap/

    &

    https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2019/01/15/bad-people-should-be-called-bad-people/

    Our problem isn’t an excess of civility, it’s that people are permitted to constantly break the bounds of civil humane behavior and never face so much as a ‘tut-tut’ from their colleagues, out of an undue respect for politeness and deference. ..snip .. Why is America a racist, sexist shithole, and fast becoming worse? Because the Keith Allreds of this country put manners above all, and refuse to condemn the bad people who contribute to the poisonous atmosphere.

    &

    Rather than worry overmuch about civility, I pledge to be as kind as possible. And sometimes the kindest possible contribution to a discussion with someone acting in bad faith and harmfully is to tell them to go fuck themselves sideways.

    &

    Just remember, Nazis can be civil. It’s not how they say it that matters, but what they say.

    All quotes by PZ Myers. I agree with him on this – as I think do most others here.

    There are times and places for politeness and times and places for calling out bigots in stark and, yes, rude terms.

    Civility should NOT be a shield for cruelty and bigotry or / and the spreading of disinformation and refusal to accept reality.

    Now, pretty please with a cherry on top of a sundae consisting of human excrement and urine do go think about that some huh?

  58. StevoR says

    PS. @ christoph # 61.

    @Charly-I’m not whining, you pedantic little shit.

    O such civility you display there by example! Clearly politeness in your mind is for thee and not for me..

    In answer to your request for irrefutable evidence that the video is fake, I don’t have that.

    Okay. Good honest admission.

    What you seem to me to have is an opinion based on :

    1) the cop saying what you describe as in “perfect English” – “Let’s go” – combined with your personal incredulity that a Russian cop would speak english that well and clearly with as little accent as you think it there.

    2) the assembly line like nature of the arrests.

    3) and the lack of struggling from people being taken away, presumably to prison.

    Which, okay, fair enough, that’s how you assess this video leading you to conclude that “the video is unconvincing” which is an opinuon youareentitled to. It doesn not make you correct given there are other possible and in fact made by others interpretations.

    1) The cop might not be saying “lets go or saying it in perfect english.

    2) The assembly line nature of the arrest is, well, real arresting & not stage managed satire despite some people’s fallacy of personal incredulity otherwise. I don’t think X happens like this is NOT really a good argument that X didn’t really happen like this if in reality X can and does happen like this.

    3) You are, as you noted yourself, making presumptions and those presumptions may indeed be false. Like maybe they’re aren’t going to prison as you suggest instead merely being dragged away and cautioned. Or maybe they’re aren’t struggling because to do so will result in worse treatment & charges or maybe they are struggling and you aren’t sufficiently aware of this because of how they are being moved?

    Now, you are free to draw your own conclusions and have your own opinion and state that. But others are also equally free to do so on their own reaching different conclusions and to conclude that you stubbornly refusing to admit that you could be mistaken and that this clip may well be what it appears to be and that you are “whining” by refusing to accept that that.

    Just as you are free to keep digging yoruself into a hole or to stop digging metaphorically speaking. Well, literally too I guess depending upon the occassion and your choice of choices.

  59. christoph says

    @StevoR: What’s your point? Are you saying I’m a Nazi because I refuse to accept questionable evidence at face value? Anyone you’d like to actually convict on flimsy evidence?

    And my “Pedantic little shit” remark was my response to a series of insults.

    Here, reread the quote you just posted: “There are times and places for politeness and times and places for calling out bigots in stark and, yes, rude terms.”
    If you’re calling me a Nazi or a bigot, give a specific example.

  60. Jazzlet says

    christoph @69

    I did go back and read the posts I had not read previously. I still think you are whining about people not being civil. Civility is much over-rated.

  61. says

    @christoph, my “proof” that the video is genuine is that it has been accepted as such by reputable news agencies, something you have failed to address at all. You are trying really, really hard to shoehorn the video into your preconceptions. I have rewatched it several times and nowhere do I hear “OK, let’s go” in perfect English, not even in heavy accented English. There is no “assembly line” of people waiting to get arrested, there are two women cautiously trying to voice an opinion one after another.
    That they are not visibly struggling is not an argument for it being a joke either, since they both are visibly smaller than the policemen and clearly physically outmatched by them. The first woman was very apparently trying to protest whilst toeing the legal line, and trying to punch two armored Policemen would certainly do her no favors so not struggling was the rational thing to do. And the second woman was possibly supportive of the regime, so she was probably expecting to be promptly released and not treated badly, why should she struggle?
    You have also failed to address the most significant argument presented for the genuine nature of the video – the policemen themselves. It is ridiculous to assume that impersonating police officers for jokes and satire would not be frowned upon in Russia. Even non-dictatorship countries have laws against impersonating police officers. And there are multiple police officers in armor in that video moving about, so it clearly is not a satiric stunt done by college students for lols and likes.
    So no, it is not on me to prove the video is genuine, it is on you to prove it is fake with something other than your very subjective “feelings” about it.
    These are the questions you need to answer:
    Who made it? Why? How did they get permission to film in an apparently non-enclosed area of public space with about a dozen of genuinely looking policemen? And if it is official filming, with an enclosed and clearly marked area, with professional actors and props, etc. who paid for it (it would not be cheap, again, not a student stunt by a mile), and how come no reputable news agency, not even Russian propaganda has said so?
    The more you are trying to defend your “joke” claim the more you sound like the “the moon landings never happened” crowd.

  62. christoph says

    @Jazzlet, # 74. Okay, feel free to curse out and revile anyone you disagree with. I can’t stop you from doing that. BTW, accusing someone of whining is a great insult, if you really feel the need to take cheap shots. The problem is, the insult loses effectiveness if you overuse it.

    “1) The cop might not be saying “lets go or saying it in perfect english.”

    Okay, you’ve got me there. I was reading the subtitles and somehow imagined I was hearing it in English, that was my mistake.

    One more point: The people who replied with insulting comments probably did so because they were angry. Thing is, the anger was way out of proportion to the subject. I’m guessing it was because I suggested they may have been conned by the video and took it personally, so of course they’d be angry. I forget where I read this observation, but it applies here: “It’s easier to con someone than to convince them they’ve been conned.” I’ve been conned by similar videos and photos in the past, and this video just had too many warning flags. Feel free to believe it’s genuine if you like, but if it’s discredited later the Russians will be happy to point that out. Which will give them just a little bit of credibility. It’s a standard Psyops trick, used for years-put out some seemingly incriminating evidence against you, then debunk it.

  63. says

    @christoph, moving the goalposts again, I see.
    If you came here and were urging caution about how the video might have been manufactured by Russian propaganda or something similar, you might have a point now.

    But you did not do that. You came here and categorically, unequivocally stated (emphasis mine) “You know the video is a joke, right?” No, we do not know that, and neither do you. Nobody except the people who were present at the scene and some of their acquaintances can know that.

    You, at the very, very best, suspect that the video is right, based on your gut feeling. Well, you are entitled to that, as is everybody else. What you are not entitled to is to be treated with kid gloves after making a categorical unevidenced claim

  64. Tethys says

    christoph

    One more point: The people who replied with insulting comments probably did so because they were angry.

    I’m not at angry you whiner. I merely aimed one sharp edged word at your refusal to provide evidence it was false, because you were ignoring the politer requests. You are still unable to do so apparently so you were wrong and shouldzip it

    Welcome to pharyngula. We don’t really have a reputation for being nice to disingenuous twits who make unsupported claims, and most of the horde has been here fighting stupid opinions and shoddy thinking for decades.

  65. StevoR says

    @73. christoph : No, I’m not calling you a nazi or bigot. Learn how to read.

    You weren’t insulted earlier either you thin-skinned whiner. You were merely disagreed with and challenged to produce evidence a challenge you have failed to meet.

    All your points are disputed and arguable at best and you really should rethink your approach and attitude here.

  66. StevoR says

    PS. Correction to # 72. for clarity :

    Which, okay, fair enough, that’s how you assess this video leading you to conclude that “the video is unconvincing” which is an opinion you are entitled to.

    However, it does NOT make you correct given there are other possible and, in fact made by others, interpretations.

    @76. christoph :

    One more point: The people who replied with insulting comments probably did so because they were angry

    That doesn’t follow and is your misreading of people here. Just because they disagree with you and say so clearly doesn’t mean they are angry and you are indulging in the fallacy of casting aspersions / attributing motives. Plus again, I don’t think any of the responses you got – certainly not initally were actually that insulting if at all.

    .. forget where I read this observation, but it applies here: “It’s easier to con someone than to convince them they’ve been conned.”

    You don’t have google? Okay, see :

    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2020/12/23/fooled/

    Which notes that variants of adage go back a long way and it is often misattributed to Samuel Clements (Mark Twain) but ist actual origin is rather unclear. I guess I’d cite it as auathor unknown or popular saying.

    It’s a standard Psyops trick, used for years-put out some seemingly incriminating evidence against you, then debunk it.

    Citation and evidence needed. Again, you are asserting as fact something that is in fact a mere assertion and claim.

    You have also, it is noted, ignored a number of questions notably as asked by #75 Charly :

    You have also failed to address the most significant argument presented for the genuine nature of the video – the policemen themselves. It is ridiculous to assume that impersonating police officers for jokes and satire would not be frowned upon in Russia. Even non-dictatorship countries have laws against impersonating police officers. And there are multiple police officers in armor in that video moving about, so it clearly is not a satiric stunt done by college students for lols and likes.

    ..Who made it? Why? How did they get permission to film in an apparently non-enclosed area of public space with about a dozen of genuinely looking policemen? And if it is official filming, with an enclosed and clearly marked area, with professional actors and props, etc. who paid for it (it would not be cheap, again, not a student stunt by a mile), and how come no reputable news agency, not even Russian propaganda has said so?

    Presumably, your alternative hypothesis here is that this is a deliberate Psyop by Putin’s regime to discredit people who see this and accept it as real but your own adage earlier seems to indicate that tactic would likely backfire since more people are likely to believe this is real and then not accept the debunking than not.

    I find your case and arguments that this video is faked unconvincing for the reasons already stated by myself and others here.It seems your case is based on your mishearing, argument from incredulity and dubious expectations of the protestors. l’ll also just note that breaking away from a criminal gang is one thing and escaping legal authorities eg. police is quite another.

  67. John Morales says

    christoph @4 sums up my own impression.

    I too (quite independently) could not but help see a Monty Pythonesque theme there.

  68. blf says

    France24 has confirmed the video in OP is genuine, Anti-war protester arrested in Russia for holding up a poster saying ‘two words’:

    […]
    Activatica, the Russian independent media outlet that filmed the arrest, sent our team a second video, showing another woman being arrested after reciting a pacifist poem, proof that police are cracking down even on indirect speech.

    The cameraman who caught the arrest on camera while filming for Activatica, which is opposed to the war, sent us a longer version of the video. In it, he interviews the woman shortly before her arrest. She hesitates to express herself on camera.

    During their hearing on March 21, the two women were convicted of violating the established order by participating in a public event and disobeying the police. Each woman was fined the equivalent of 170 euros [20,000 rubles].

    […]

    There is a longer version of the video at the link, and an interview with the cameraman (who is named (in the audio & on-screen)), plus with the first woman after the court hearing.

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