Darth Putin 150618

Russia’s Best Twitter Parody Accounts. The @MFA_Russia account often sounds like a parody, and it’s often in English. But it’s genuine. Missing from the Guardian’s list is @DarthPutinKGB (photo), which some of us think is the best of all.

More self-parody from Russia. Or perhaps Vladimir Markin believes what he reads in RT. Some new photos of Russian moon rockets have surfaced, so we know they could have checked it out.

European leaders have agreed to extend sanctions on Russia for another six months. The sanctions are in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. And now France and Belgium have frozen Russian assets to enforce a $50 billion judgment against the Russian government to compensate shareholders in the defunct Yukos oil company.

Good to see an MSM reporter taking note of Russia’s economic position with regard to its military claims. I’ve been thinking about that and related issues for a while.

China and Russia almost definitely have the Snowden documents. Every time the journalists who have the documents say how careful they’re being, I think about the story Glenn Greenwald tells about his and Laura Poitras’s delight just after they got them. They checked out the files on their laptops while they were on a plane, with the potential for others looking over their shoulders, and, just to make it obvious, they talked and laughed about the files. Not how I learned to handle classified material.

What is Rick Gladstone trying to prove? The removal of chemical weapons from Syria was a daring success, and those involved should be congratulated. Assad is indeed using chlorine, and yes, it’s horrible. But that’s not a failure of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Chlorine’s disinfecting properties make it necessary everywhere. Assad’s use of it is a war crime.

Update on North Korea’s Yongbyong Nuclear Facility.

Photoessay on abandoned American sites related to nuclear weapons. Good that they are no longer in use – signals how we’ve changed.

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