Friday, June 6, 2014

Fankful Friday

1. Apparently yesterday was NOT Wednesday.  So I guess I can be thankful that Tanya has not arranged for Social Services to send someone do do an appraisal.

2. Work on the house is progressing but every finished job seems to start another. The concrete walk along the north side of the house is finished.  It is not so much a walk as a way to drain water away from the foundation as weeping tile is unknown.  The cement floor is poured in what was the dogs' room and will be finished tomorrow.

The new gates on the dogs yard are more or less finished; they need paint on some of the welded areas and proper closures on the big gates.  Vladik, the welder, put the latch on the small gate to open up instead of down so that the dogs can't open it, though I wouldn't put it past Volk to figure out how to lift the handle.  He is now rebuilding the metal doors on the garage and we will reinsulate them to help keep our house warmer.

The roofing arrived tonight and is stacked carefully.  The sheets are 5 meters long and 1.5 wide.  Plain brown but will look quite nice.

3. We have adequate moisture and now are getting heat.  30+C yesterday and today.  Plants are jumping.  Many more of Tanya's flowers are blooming and her garden is doing well.  Sveta will be busy when we are away canning and freezing.

Fresh dill for the freezer

Neighbours' gardens beside the river/marsh
4. The dogs never cease to surprise me by not acting according to expectations.  They get a walk in the morning then spend the day tied up under the trees in Babushka's yard so they are outside and out of the way.  Today Bobik managed to unsnap his leash from his collar and simply stayed under his tree until I came along and snapped him up again.  Volk pulled his collar strap through the buckle (he needs a new collar) today also and took off for the river for a swim.  Then instead of making me chase him, he came home and ran up to me all happy to have his collar put back on.  Must be the heat affected both of them.

5. We are pretty much packed and ready to go.  We take the express train to Kyiv tomorrow evening and catch a Sunday morning 6:00 am plane, arriving in Calgary at 1:30 pm.  (I only wish the flight was actually 7.5 hours, rather than 15.5).  We are in Canada for 7 weeks.  It has been a long time since we have had a chance to visit with people so this is it.

Google autofill: I am thankful every hour of every day for Tanya.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ukraine - War and Propaganda

The war between the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) and the Russian terrorists continues and has moved uptown so to speak.

No one (except maybe the Kremlin) are pretending there are no Russians in eastern Ukraine.  There are estimated to be some 4500 experienced Russian fighters in Donetsk and Luhansk.  They are led by Russians.  The self proclaimed whatever of the self proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic is a Russian propaganda specialist from Moscow.  These guys are stepping up the pressure on the local citizens as well

Finally Ukraine is going to lock down the border, 3 months too late.  I read somewhere the reason they hadn't so far was that it was too profitable for too many Ukrainian Deputies smuggling stuff including arms to and from Russia. give you an idea of what we are up against.

The Vostok Battalion has been recreated though most likely unofficially and well armed.  It is about 80% Russian nationalists of which a good percentage are Chechens with a lot of experience in combating terrorism with terrorism.  A few days ago, the Vostok Battalion took over the Admin Building in Donetsk and turfed the ragtag band of local losers who were pretending to govern.  It is no longer a local fight at all, though likely 20% of the fighters are still locals, with 10% fighting for money and 10% revolutionary dreamers.  There is a good interview HERE with the commander of the Volunteer Donbas Battalion which is part of the Ukrainian National Guard.

A couple of bases in Luhansk have fallen to the terrorists who have been attacking several hundred at a time.  They like to take shelter in hospitals, schools and residential areas and not let civilians leave.  Human shields hamper the activities of the ATO, obviously. And  civilian deaths are worth a fortune in propaganda value to Russia.  Russia paints the ATO as Nazi terrorists wantonly slaughtering peaceful unarmed civilian protesters.

Here are three articles that give you an idea of how peaceful these terrorists are:
ONE, TWO, THREE.  Attacking Christians of several denominations, shutting down all freedom of the press and refusing to allow refugees to leave.  A couple more: FOUR and FIVE , the Chechens and kidnapping. And here is a new one.  $1000 USD per adult and $500 per child to be allowed to leave Kramatorsk.  Do you suppose the idiots in eastern Ukraine are having second thoughts about this Russia, Russia, Russia thing?  Not likely as there were not many of them to start with but propaganda and street thugs go a long way.

Russian propaganda is embarrassing to everyone but Russians, I guess. THIS link is in German but the pictures posted are in English.  They have been stealing pictures and video from all over the world and presenting it as though it were in Ukraine.  Why do people believe this stuff?  Well, remember there are people who believe everything they see and hear on FOX News or from Alex Jones, and if that is all you are allowed and are bombarded with it day and night...

If there are any military readers of this blog, take a look at these two links regarding an explosion in Luhansk which killed a number of civilians.  The Russians are wetting themselves because it "proves" ATO are deliberately killing civilians, others are less certain that it was not a false flag operation.  I don't have a clue about either explanation from these videos.