russian officer

The Crisis of Governance

America is in a crisis of governance. There is no adult in charge.

Instead, we have as president an unhinged narcissistic child who tweets absurd lies and holds rallies to prop up his fragile ego, whose conflicts of financial interest are ubiquitous, and whose presidency is under a “gray cloud” of suspicion (according to the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee) for colluding with Russian agents to obtain office in the 2016 election.

He’s advised by his daughter, his son-in-law, and an oddball who once ran a white supremacist fake-news outlet.

His cabinet is an assortment of billionaires, CEOs, veterans of Wall Street, and ideologues, none of whom has any idea about how to govern and most of whom don’t believe in the laws their departments are in charge of implementing anyway.

He has downgraded or eviscerated groups responsible for giving presidents professional advice on foreign policy, foreign intelligence, economics, science, and domestic policy. He gets most of what he learns from television.

Meanwhile, Congress is in the hands of Republicans who for years have only said “no,” who have become expert at stopping whatever a president wants to do but don’t have a clue how to initiate policy, most of whom have never passed a budget into law, and, more generally, don’t much like government and have not shared responsibility for governing the nation.

As a result of all this, the most powerful nation in the world with the largest economy in the world is rudderless and leaderless.

Where we need thoughtful resolve we have thoughtless name-calling. Where we need democratic deliberation we have authoritarian rants and rallies. Where we need vision we have myopia.

The only way out of this crisis of governance is for us – the vast majority of Americans who deserve and know better – to take charge. Your country needs you desperately. 

At least 7 Russian officials have turned up dead since November

  • Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, died suddenly in New York earlier this week, apparently of cardiac arrest.
  • Churkin, Russia’s envoy to the U.N. since 2006, reportedly became ill at his Russian Mission office in Manhattan on Monday and died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He was to turn 65 the next day.
  • The New York City medical examiner said more study is required into the cause and manner of Churkin’s death, though federal law enforcement has said it does not believe there was any foul play.
  • Still, because Russia is no stranger to political murders, the sudden death of a Russian official automatically raises suspicion. 
  • So while Churkin may indeed have died of natural causes, some have noted that it follows several other recent deaths of Russian officials, all occurring suddenly or under mysterious circumstances — including a man who is believed to have helped former M16 spy Christopher Steele compile his bombshell dossier on Donald Trump’s links to Russia. Read more (2/27/17 4:59 AM)

“Playing somebody like Natalka is an actress’s dream because she goes through every high, every low. We take her from the extremes of falling in love, getting married to being torn apart from her lover and being abused by a Russian officer. Just reading the script, seeing Natalka survive all these awful things was very emotional for me. I knew it would be a real whirlwind.” — Samantha Barks on playing Natalka in Bitter Harvest, 2017.

i’d love to make a huge post about how rigged and fukced up russian political system is these days but since i’ve literally no time for that here’s a video of the crowd chanting “SHAME” while a bunch of riot police officers are walking by ready to start arresting people with no weapons or bad intentions whatsoever

February 13, 1917 - Mata Hari Arrested in Paris 

Pictured - Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, aka the exotic dancer Mata Hari.

Mata Hari was a Parisian sensation at the beginning of the 20th century. Born in the Netherlands as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, she married a colonial officer and moved to the Dutch East Indies. The marriage soon crumbled, however, and to make ends meet she became an exotic dancer, using the Malay moniker Mata Hari. She returned to Paris in 1905, where she became a mysterious, alluring Belle Epoque star.

When the war began, Mata Hari went back to the Netherlands, hoping to renew her dancing career. There, she was contacted by a member of German Intelligence, who paid her 20,000 francs to act as a German agent. Beyond accepting the money, however, she did nothing. 

Returning to Paris, she drew a flock of courtiers. Her many suspected love affairs with a diverse collection of officers and important people gave her excellent potential to gather information. French Counterintelligence now approached her, and offered her 1 millions francs to provide anything she learned to them. In the meantime, she fell in love with a Russian officer in France.

The French Counterintelligence chief, however, had no intention of paying Mata Hari anything - they suspected she was working for the Germans. When her Russian was wounded, the French military refused to allow her to see him unless she provided them with intelligence. Trying to get the money, Mata Hari clumsily approached a German military attaché in Spain for secrets, but he recognized her attempt and deliberately sent a message to be picked up by the French that framed her as a German agent. When Mata Hari returned to Paris on February 13, 1917, she was arrested and charged with espionage.

VictuuriWeek Day 1: Firsts (AU: Other Sports/Careers)

Title: Savior

Rating: General Audiences

Summary:  Viktor is enraptured by Makkachin’s new veterinarian. (Veterinarian Yuuri, Model Viktor)

AO3 Link

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Russian Hackers and Government Officers Indicted in Connection With Yahoo Security Incidents

By Chris Madsen, Assistant General Counsel, Head of Global Law Enforcement, Security & Safety

Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of four defendants, two Russian intelligence officers and two state-sponsored hackers, for the theft of Yahoo user data in late 2014, as well as cookie forging to obtain access to user accounts on our network in 2015 and 2016. The indictment unequivocally shows the attacks on Yahoo were state-sponsored. We are deeply grateful to the FBI for investigating these crimes and the DOJ for bringing charges against those responsible.

This morning’s announcement is consistent with our prior disclosures. On September 22, 2016, we disclosed our belief that a state-sponsored actor had stolen a copy of certain user account information for approximately 500 million user accounts in late 2014. On December 14, 2016, we provided details on the forging of cookies to gain access to certain user accounts without a password and we linked some of that activity to the same state-sponsored actor.

We appreciate the FBI’s diligent investigative work and the DOJ’s decisive action to bring to justice to those responsible for the crimes against Yahoo and its users. We’re committed to keeping our users and our platforms secure and will continue to engage with law enforcement to combat cybercrime.


American soldier meeting a female Russian officer. Seoul, 1945 by Olga


royal meme | royals in general [1/15]

Princess Nina Georgievna of Russia (20 June 1901 – 27 February 1974)  was born inMikhailovskoe, the Palace of her paternal grandfather, Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia. Through her father, she was a member of the Romanov family, and princess of the Imperial blood as a great-granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia. Nina’s mother was a princess of Greece and Denmark (daughter of King George of Greece). On her maternal side, Nina was a great-granddaughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and related to members of many European royal families.

Princess Nina spent the first years of her life in apartments at the Mikhailovsky Palace outsideSt. Petersburg, the residence of her paternal grandfather Grand Duke Michael Nicolaievich of Russia. In 1905, the family moved to a newly built small palace in the Crimea. Constructed in English style, they gave the property a Greek name, “Harax”. For nine years the family led a quiet life. A contemporary of Tsar Nicholas II two youngest daughters, Princess Nina and her only sibling Princess Xenia, played sometimes with them, while they were in the Imperial capital.

The marriage of Nina’s parents was unhappy. Grand Duke George was a devoted father, and the two sisters were close to him, but Grand Duchess Maria Georgievna never liked Russia and eventually became estranged from her husband. In June 1914, Maria took her two daughters to England on the pretext of improving their health; in reality, she wanted to be separated from her husband. When the war broke out a month after her arrival, the Grand Duchess did not rush back to Russia and later it was too dangerous to attempt a return.Princess Nina and her sister never saw their father again. He was killed during the Russian Revolution. Imprisoned by the Bolsheviks, he was shot by a firing squad, along with other Romanov relatives in January 1919. During the turbulent years of World War I and the Russian Revolution, Princess Nina remained living safely in London with her mother and her sister. Both sisters treasured their father’s memory and resented their mother. In part to escape her control they both married very young.

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Saving Her (B.Barnes)

Saving Her

Bucky Barnes

Warnings: swearing, violence, protective!Bucky

The thick smoke curls under your nose, flowing into your senses before you can turn away. Ashy air flows into your lungs, your neck craning against the wall as you thrash away from the stench. With your hands pinned above your head, your body is stretched out in front of the stranger. Steel plated boots stand on your feet, pinning them to the ground so you wouldn’t be able to fight against him.

“Such a pretty girl, a shame that I’m going to have to kill you.” The Russian officer chuckles, placing his knife at the base of your throat, lightly pressing into the delicate skin. Narrowing your eyes, you shift against his hand on your wrists, earning a harsh press of the knife into your neck. A few drops of blood drip down your skin, pooling on your breasts that remain exposed from the dip of your low cut top.

He smiles down at you, his crooked and yellowing teeth in your face. “It’s nothing personal, love. Honestly you’re not even my target but at this point you know too much to not be considered dangerous. Just think, had you not fallen in love, you would be safe and sound - not mere moments from death.”

You observe the man, remembering every detail of his face. The slight slope of his nose is crooked in the middle, shifting it to lean towards the left side of his face. A long scar follows his jawline, his thick stubble hiding it only partly. His hairs clean cut and swept from his face, hidden under a military cap that has seen it’s fair share of damage.

Your mouth stays pressed shut, knowing if you speak he will only get angrier with your lack of information. You knew almost everything to do with the topic he was asking about but you’d never admit that to your attacker, you wouldn’t even mumble a single word to him just yet, waiting for the right time.

“Maybe I should take you home, lock you up and keep you for myself, huh? Tell my boss that you’re dead, tell him I sliced this pretty neck in half. That’d make both of us very happy, right? I’d get you to myself and you’d get to live. Fair trade.” The man mewls, his lips gracing across your ear as he tells you his plan in explicit detail. You hold back the need to vomit as he speaks, your eyes darting around the seemingly empty room for any sort of material you could wield as a weapon.

The man continues to drawl out his words, sliding the knife across your neck slowly - light enough not to draw blood but enough to remind you that it is indeed there. He pushes the knife up your cheek, pushing your hair back with the blunt edge of it. His hot breath falls on your temple, his eyes hooded with lust as he looks down at you.

Sliding your foot out from under his, you jut your knee up into his groin. He chokes and steps back, anger flashing through his already dark eyes. You try to run, moving as fast as you can before a hand encases your hair and pulls you back. You trip and land on the ground before receiving a harsh kick to the stomach. A yelp escapes your lips, your hands gripping the mans boot before you twist his ankle backwards. 

The strange man growls and pulls you up by your hair, pinning you to the wall with enough force to make your head slam against the thick surface. Blinking away the pain, you don’t have enough time to brace yourself for the fist that is centimeters from your face. After a few hits and many slaps, you spit blood from your mouth and cough, slumping in the mans hold.

The guy smiles again at you, brushing his lips against your cheek. “You’re going to die.” You grunt, pulling away from his horrid breath. 

He chuckles at you, pressing his knife to your cheek to make you look at him. “Oh, and who’s going to kill me? Most definitely not you, you’re nothing but an average girl, not stronger than a little child.” His accent purrs sexist words in your face, your teeth grinding against one another.

“I won’t kill you, but he might.” You answer slyly, spitting more blood from your mouth. The man pulls away from you, raising an eyebrow before following your gaze to the other end of the room, his knife pressed snugly against your jugular.

His eyes meet an extremely pissed off James Barnes. 

Bucky bounds the steps quickly, his fists clench as a snarl forms on his lips. One glance at you has his heart racing faster than he ever though was possible, his mind clouding with the need to kill the man who dared to lay a finger on the only thing he has ever loved more than his own life.

The man visibly gulps, his grip on you tightening before he pulls you to stand in front of him, his knife pressed against you, digging into your skin enough to draw blood.

“One more move and I’ll slit her throat.” The man barks, expecting Bucky to listen to his orders. “Stay where you are or she’s going to die, do you understand me?

Bucky shakes his head, pulling out a gun before pointing it at the mans head. “What, are you going to kill her and try to beat me with a knife? If you so much as touch her for a second longer I’ll blow your brains against the fucking wall. I will kill you in the most painful way possible, so I’m warning you now - back away from her, now.”

Your attacker shakes his head, holding you more in front of him. “I’ll let her go if you surrender yourself.” The man bargains, your eyes widening when you see Bucky seriously contemplating the trade off. 

You struggle against the man, shaking your head relentlessly. “No, Bucky, don’t go with him! Please!” You beg, fighting more as the arms around you start to tighten. Bucky cocks the gun in his hand, his eyes showing his discomfort with the fact your in extreme danger.

Bucky had always warned you about the dangers of becoming involved with him, he pleaded you to stay away from him and he didn’t think he would be strong enough to stay away from you. He needed you to be safe and in your opinion, you were safest in his arms - but, in his, you were safest thousands of miles away from him with the memory of him fading every day. 

When he had finally given in to the relationship, he made your safety his top priority. You were always on his mind, there was never a time when he wasn’t fussing over locking all the doors and windows, scoping out the neighborhood or interrogating the neighbors. You thought he was going overboard but he knew deep in his heart that something bad would happen to you - he just wanted to prolong that for as long as he possibly could.

And now, here you were with a knife to your throat and blood dripping down your neck. Bucky cursed himself for leaving you home alone when he went out grocery shopping, he tried to get you to go but you had refused, claiming you wanted to finish watching your show. He had woken up feeling as if something bad was going to happen today, he wished he had listened to it like he usually did instead of push it away to focus on how beautiful you looked with your hair strewn about the pillow.

“Drop the gun, soldier!” The man yells in your ear, your eyes squinting shut at the sheer volume. Wiggling your neck a few inches from the man, you steps sideways which in turn resulted in him losing his footing momentarily. You took the opportunity to slip from his grasp and run into Bucky’s chest.

Your boyfriends human arm wound around your waist, pushing you behind him to shield you from anymore harm. The Russian man pulls a gun from his belt, clicking the safety off before aiming at Bucky, his finger sliding along the cool metal of the trigger.

Bucky shoot down at the mans ankle, the bullet snapping into the bone before he jumps on top of the injured man, his fists piling into the intruders face. Bucky’s metal arm whirs as he lifts it and delivers blow after blow, his face red with anger. 

Shielding your eyes, you cup the decent sized cut on your neck to help stop the bleeding. Before you know it, Bucky has ceased all movement, standing from the near dead man below you. Walking swiftly over to you, Bucky holds your cheeks in his hands as he surveys the damage.

You place your hands on his chest, looking up at him. His eyes are clouded over with thick tears that threaten to spill, his head shaking at the sight of your bruised and bloodied face. “I am so sorry.” He chokes out before collapsing into your arms.

“Bucky, this is not your fault. None of this is your fault. HYDRA is the only thing to blame here, not you. I wasn’t that mans target, he didn’t even know I was a person until he saw me on the couch and just assumed I knew something about you. Stop blaming yourself, I’m okay. I love you.” You coo, brushing his hair from his face.

His metal fingers run along the cut on your neck, cooling the burning skin. “I love you so much, I’m never going to not love you. I just..I need to be more careful with you. I can’t put you in danger anymore, I don’t know how I didn’t rip that guys head off the second I walked in here. I’m so sorry.”

His tears pool around your shoulder, soaking the shirt you have on. “Let’s call Steve, see how to get that guy out of our apartment and then, we will cuddle for the rest of the day, okay?” You suggest, nudging his nose with your own.

He nods, blinking away leftover tears. You smile, pressing your lips to his slightly chapped ones, wrapping your arms around his shoulders as his hands grip your cheeks. 

With that one kiss, Bucky knew he could never leave you. He loved you too much to leave you, so he decided that the next best thing for your safety would be for him to protect you tooth and nail, for the rest of his life.