Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I've seen some destructive virii in my time, but ripping 50 metre sections out of undersea pipelines... Respect.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 04:03:10 PM EST
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by Cat on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 05:03:49 PM EST
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Though I think it is more likely that it was planted explosives - in particular given how two explosions hit the same pipeline, and one was missed - I will add that if it was a virus, CIA has a track record when it comes to software and pipelines to Europe from Russia.

CIA plot led to huge blast in Siberian gas pipeline

The breakthrough came when Vetrov told the CIA of a specific "shopping list" of software technology that Moscow was seeking to update its pipeline as it sought to export natural gas to Western Europe.

Washington was keen to block the deal and, after securing President Reagan's approval in January 1982, the CIA tricked the Soviet Union into acquiring software with built-in flaws.

"In order to disrupt the Soviet gas supply, its hard currency earnings from the West, and the internal Russian economy, the pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines and valves was programmed to go haywire after a decent interval, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to pipeline joints and welds," Mr Reed writes.

The project exceeded the CIA's wildest dreams. There were no casualties in the explosion, but it was so dramatic that the first reports are said to have stirred alarm in Washington.

by fjallstrom on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 05:04:57 PM EST
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Thomas Reed, senior US national security official, claims in his book "At The Abyss" that the United States allowed the USSR to steal pipeline control software from a Canadian company. This software included a Trojan Horse that caused a major explosion of the Trans-Siberian gas pipeline in June, 1982. The Trojan ran during a pressure test on the pipeline but doubled the usual pressure, causing the explosion.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 05:58:41 PM EST
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Sputnik, 1 Oct
"The pipeline software that was to run the pumps, turbines and valves was programmed to go haywire, to reset pump speeds and valve settings to produce pressures far beyond those acceptable to the pipeline joints and welds. The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space," Reed recalled [WaPoo 27.02.04].
Portions of the operation were disclosed earlier, in a 1996 paper in CIA journal Studies in Intelligence by [Spec. Assist. Sec DOD, NSA Dir. Int'l. Economics Gus] Weiss. In it, the former official recalled how, at an economic summit in Ottawa in 1981, French President Francois Mitterrand had informed Ronald Reagan that a KGB double agent named Vladimir Vetrov had come forward to provide French intelligence with 4,000 documents and photographs related to alleged Soviet efforts to get their hands on Western technologies which the US and allies refused to sell due to sanctions and embargoes. The collection of documents was dubbed the 'Farewell Dossier'. [Weiss, "The Farewell Dossier"] .
In a private meeting associated with the July 1981 Ottawa economic summit, he [Mitterand] told Reagan of the source and offered the intelligence to the United States. It was passed through Vice President Bush and then to CIA. The door had opened into Line X [USSR industrial espionage unit].
Since 1970, Line X had obtained thousands of documents and sample products, in such quantity that it appeared that the Soviet military and civil sectors were in large measure running their research on that of the West, particularly the United States. Our science was supporting their national defense. Losses were in radar, machine computers, tools, and semiconductors. Line X had fulfilled two-thirds to three fourths of its collection requirements—an impressive performance.
I met with Director of Central Intelligence William Casey on an afternoon in January 1982. I proposed using the Farewell material to feed or play back the products sought by Line X, but these would come from our own sources and would have been improved, that is, designed so that on arrival in the Soviet Union they would appear genuine but would later fail. US intelligence would match Line X requirements supplied through Vetrov with our version of those items, ones that would hardly meet the expectations of that vast Soviet apparatus deployed to collect them.
American industry helped in the preparation of items to be marketed to Line X. Contrived computer chips found their into way Soviet military equipment, flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipe line, and defective plans disrupted the output of chemical plants and output a tractor factory. The Pentagon introduced misleading information pertinent to stealth aircraft, space defense, and tactical aircraft. The Soviet Space Shuttle was a rejected NASA design. When Casey told President Reagan of the undertaking, the latter was enthusiastic. In time, the project proved to be a model of interagency cooperation, with the FBI handling domestic requirements and CIA responsible for overseas operations. The had program great success, and it was never detected.
in a further use of the Farewell product, Casey sent the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence to Europe to tell NATO and governments' intelligence services of the Line X threat. These meetings led to the expulsion or compromise of about 200 Soviet intelligence officers and their sources, causing the collapse of Line X operations in Europe. Although some military intelligence officers avoided compromise, the heart of Soviet technology collection crumbled and would not recover. This mortal blow came just at the beginning of Reagan's defense buildup, his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and the introduction of stealth air craft [BWAH!] into US forces.
In 1985, the case took a bizarre turn, when information on the Farewell Dossier surfaced in France. Mitterrand came to suspect that [Soviet Col. Vladimir I.] Vetrov had all along been a CIA plant set up to test him to see if the material would be handed over to the Americans or kept by the French. Acting on this mistaken belief, Mitterrand fired the chief of the French service, Yves Bonnet.
To this day, Russian officials have never conceded that the 1982 explosion was the result of CIA interference. In the 1990s and 2000s, when relations between [Yeltsin] and the US still looked rosy, engineers and ex-KGB agents came forward to tell media that industrial negligence or even shoddy [SOVIET] workmanship, and not sabotage, was to blame.
Rule of Atty #1
The CIA never directly confirmed its involvement in the Urengoy-Surgut-Chelyabinsk pipeline explosion. However, in a page on the CIA's official website, the agency did boast that "flawed turbines were installed on a gas pipeline" [ibid.] as part of a broader US technological sabotage campaign against the USSR.
by Cat on Sun Nov 13th, 2022 at 07:15:03 PM EST
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Pardon me while I weave public records into a short story of "cyber" programming development and testing between G.W. Bush and B.H. Obama admins, from 2001 to 2016 the year of Zero Days release.

NSA PRISM (2007) domestic and foreign ITC espionage exposed
transcript of Zero Days

[VIDEO G.W. BUSH, December 9, 2008: Finally we are transforming our military for a new kind of war that we're fighting now and for wars of tomorrow. We have made our military better trained, better equipped, and better prepared to meet the threats facing America today and tomorrow and long in the future.]
NYT, David SANGER: Back in the end of the Bush administration, people within the US government were just begining to convince President Bush to pour into offensive cyber weapons. Stuxnet started off in the defense department. Then Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense [2006-2011], reviewed this program and then he said, This program shouldn't be in the defense department. It should really be under the covert authorities over in the intelligence world [NSA, 1974-1979; CIA/DCI, 1991-1993]. So the CIA was very deeply involved in this operation, while much of the coding work was done by the National Security Agency and Unit 8200, its Israeli equivalent, working together with a newly created military position called US Cyber Command. And interstingly, the director of the National Security Agency would also have a second role as the commander of US Cyber Command. And US Cyber Command is located at Fort Meade in the same building as the NSA.
Vault7 dev (2013-2016)
Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force -- its own substantial fleet of hackers.
ANONYMOUS: ... I was in TAO-S321, "The ROC." TAO is Tailored Access Operations. It's where the NSA hackers work. Of course, we didn't call them that. On net operators, they're the only people at NSA allowed to break in or attack on the internet....
By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other "weaponized" malware.
U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is a covert CIA hacker base
In addition to its operations in Langley, Virginia the CIA also uses the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt as a covert base for its hackers covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa. CIA hackers operating out of the Frankfurt consulate ("Center for Cyber Intelligence Europe" or CCIE) are given diplomatic ("black") passports and State Department cover. ... A number of the CIA's electronic attack methods are designed for physical proximity.
...Inside TAO headquarters in the ROC, Remote Operations Center. If the US government wants to get in somewhere, it goes to the ROC. I mean, we were flooded with requests, so many that we could only do about 30% of the missions that were requested of uat one time throuth the web, but also by hijacking shipments of parts. You know, sometimes the CIA would assist in putting implants in machines, so once inside a target network, we could just watch or we could attack.
In these cases, a CIA officer, agent or allied intelligence officer acting under instructions, physically infiltrates the targeted workplace. The attacker is provided with a USB containing malware developed for the CIA for this purpose, which is inserted into the targeted computer.
proof of concept
...We never called it stuxnet. That was the name invented by the antivirus guys. When it hit the papers--we're not allowed to read about classified operations even if it's in The New York Times--we went out of our way to avoid the term. It means, saying "stuxnet" out loud was like saying "Voldemorte" in Harry Potter" The name that shall not be spoken. The Natanz attack--and this is out there already--was called "Olympic Games," or OG. There was a huge operation to test the code on PLCs here at Fort Meade and in Sandia [National Laboratories], New Mexico. Remember in the Bush era, when Libya turned over all the centrifuges? Those were the same models the Iranians got A.Q. Khan. P1's. We took them to Oak Ridge [National Laboratories, TN] and used them to test the code which demolished the insides. At Dimona [Negev Nuclear Research Center], the Israelis also tested the P1's. Then, partly by using our intel on Iran, we got the plans for the newer models, the IR-2's. We tried out different attack vectors. We ended up focusing on ways to destroy the rotor tubes. In the tests we ran, we blew them apart.
SANGER: They swept up the pieces, they put it on an airplaine, the flew it to Washington, they stuck it in the truck, they drove it through the gates of the White House, and dumped the shards out on the conference room table in the Situation Room. And then they invited President Bush to come down and take a look. And when he could pick up the shards of a piece of centrifuge ... he was convinced this might be worth it, and he said, "Go ahead and try."
There's a physics-for-dummies sequence in the documentary, when the "antivirus guys" who decrypted OG run a lab experiment using a PLC switch attached to a balloon in order to demonstrate "a planted explosive".

So. Unitl SE, DK, or NO reveal this underwater warhead cleaned off the scene, I'm sticking to malware planted in Siemens' equipment.

by Cat on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 07:39:56 PM EST
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Yeah, though I must add that if it was actually possible to blow up the pipelines using only software solutions that would also remove my biggest objection to considering possible Russian involvement.
by generic on Wed Nov 2nd, 2022 at 10:24:05 PM EST
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not external force—the MSM explantion—because the Zero Days study of the Natanz exploit was "a revolution" back in 2010.

This brief, "MONITORING AND CONTROL PARAMETERS OF GAS PIPELINE BY USING PLC AND SCADA SYSTEM" is schematic. It lists common types of PLCs in the field a/o 2020 that monitor or actuate flow from either terminal point and along the loop. Anyone of these could be compromised by malware.

I'm idly looking for PNG pressure containment parameters, comparable to Nord Stream 1 casing which I will assume is not reinforced up to RU-TR Turkstream II 2022 spec. So far, most the public lit covers leaks typically attributed to low-pressure deformation or unidentified corrosion of moving parts and joint seals, the most frequent maintenance issues.

OG was a successful software attack for a few reasons. It ran with instructions to save data, hijack firmware, and mask data reporting by PLCs in the network.

LANGNER: So a centrifuge, it's driven by an electrical motor, and the speed of this electrical motor is controlled by another PLC, by another programmable logic controller.  
CHIEN (VO): Stuxnet would wait for 13 days [ARCHIVE VIDEO: Natanz engineers inspecting physical equipment] before doing anything, because 13 days is about the time it takes to actually fill an entire cascade of centrifuges with uranium. They didn't want to attack when the centrifuges essentially empty or at the beginning of the enrichment process.  
[ARCHIVE VIDEO: Natanz operators room stations, panel displays of PID controller blocks] What stuxnet did was it actually would sit there during the 13 days and basically record all of the normal activities that were happening and save it. And once ithey saw them spinning for 13 days, then the attack occurred. Centrifuges spin at incredible speeds, about 1,000 hertz. [VISUAL: 3-D spline simulation]
LANGNER (VO): They have a safe operating speed, 63,000 rpm.
CHIEN (VO): Stuxnet caused the uranium enrichment centrifuges to spin up to 1,400 hertz. [VISUAL: OG document detail, sub-routine parameter]
LANGNER (VO): Up to 80,000 rpm.
CHIEN: What would happen was those centrifuges would go through what's called a resonance frequency. It would go through a frequency at which the metal would basically vibrate uncontrollably and essentially shatter. THere'd be uranium gas everywhere. And then the second attack they attempted was they actualy tried to lower it to 2 hertz.
LANGNER: They were slowed down to almost a standstill.
CHIEN: And at 2 hertz, sort of an opposite effect occurs. You can imagine a toy top that you spin [VISUAL    : 3-D spline simulation] and as the top begins to slow down, it begins to to wobble. That's what would happen to these centrifuges. They'd begin to wobble and essentially shatter and fall apart. And instead of sending back to the computer what was realy happening, it would send back that old data that it had recorded. So the computer's sitting there "thinking" [ARCHIVED STILL FRAMES: Natanz operators room, monitor disply of PID block diagram, control switch stations] "Yep, running at 1,000 hertz. Everything is fine. But those centrifuges are potential spinning up wildly, a huge noise would occure. It'd be like, you know, a jet enginve. SO the operators then would know, 'Whoa, something is going wrong here.' They might look at their monitors and say, ' hmmmm, it says it's 1,000 hertz,' but they would hear that in the room something gravely bad was happening.
LANGNER: Not only are the operators fooled into thinking everything's normal, but also any kind of automated protective logic is fooled.
There's no way Cyber Command put that genii back in a bottle.
by Cat on Thu Nov 3rd, 2022 at 01:27:18 AM EST
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Really depends on those containment parameters, but I still wouldn't bet on it. Centrifuges supposedly are built to spin at one working point and would easily break if turned up a notch. A pipeline needs to withstand large differences in internal pressure anyway, and I really see no reason why you would use turbines strong enough that they could rupture the pipes. And if they could I'd expect something else to fail first. Surely there are more delicate parts than the steel mantle? Also we're looking at ruptures in one line of NS2 and NS1. If I'm not completely off only NS1 uses the Siemens turbines.

Though there certainly might be another trick you could do to make them explode. Not a pipe expert.

by generic on Thu Nov 3rd, 2022 at 11:20:46 AM EST
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I was thinking the same thing. It would blow out the joints, not shatter steel pipes.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Nov 3rd, 2022 at 01:36:05 PM EST
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supra Nord Stream PR describes the system design in "three sections".

Elsewhere, SOP is 40 m pipe sections (max) fabricated off-site and finished on-board "pipelay vessels," obviously, because there is no known sea-borne vessel of 1,224+ km length. (wikiwtf Nord Stream I article puports to list project contractors, but not suppliers, named by PR placemnt.)

ICYMI The Longest Gas Pipeline till date (2022)

Now. Who honestly believes that there are no "moving parts" or digital sensors between Nord Stream I 1,224 km pipeline terminals? That "turbine stations" at each end are sufficient to maintain constant pressure and flow end-to-end?

I don't, but, yanno, I'm no "expert." My skepticism about MSM torpedo theory (see euractiv's elegant, 1-dimensional, arial "submarine explosion" feature photo, above) relies on sundry maps of x-country PNG lines in the public domain —some which actually feature compressor station intersection locations—and my low-brow intuition that atmospheric pressure above and below sea level differ substantially, such that the possibility of a manned vehicle precisely placing detonation devices without a map at -80 m is, frankly, comical. So I question vintage WW II sabotage scenarios and search for  trade and canonical knowledge of "best practices" in PNG structural design as well as relevant "stress testing" in research lit. (For example, months ago, in the Azovstal ERA, when MSM drop a thinly sourced story about "bunker busters" to one (untitled) CHINESE!! research "tied to" the PLA, I donated an inordinate amount of time searching relevant papers in the Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.) So far I've found only one "Underwater explosion effects of 60 mm H.E. mortar bomb on a cylindrical concrete structure - PIT", which is irrelevant not only because "the tube" is capped and concrete reinforced with rebar, but full-text discussion of underwater "effects" requires payment. So. What have I learned? Not much; I already knew that trade secrets are predictable barriers to the flow of information and common understanding of HOW people, processes, and things work, whether or not pertaining to "defense" technology.

by Cat on Fri Nov 4th, 2022 at 03:32:04 PM EST
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by Cat on Fri Nov 4th, 2022 at 03:49:33 PM EST
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I don't see how internal pressure can explain the second explosion North Stream 2 Pipe A.

Ukraine Latest: US Will Give Another $1 Billion in Security Aid

The monitoring network said the first explosion occurred on Monday at 2:03 a.m. Swedish time with a magnitude of 1.9 on the Richter scale, followed by a second at 7:04 p.m. on the same day with a magnitude of 2.3.

Far as I understand the first explosion took out North Stream 2 Pipe A southeast of Bornholm at 02:03 AM.

The second explosion took out North Stream 1 pipe A & pipe B, and North Stream 2 Pipe A again. The second explosion happened north-east of Bornholm on the border between the Swedish and Danish economic zones. It is not close to the first explosion site.

I don't see how North Stream 2 Pipe A could have exploded from internal pressure twice, given that the first explosion punctured the pipe and the gas had 17 hours to leak out. I also find it unlikely that North Stream 1 pipe A & pipe B, and North Stream 2 Pipe A would explode from internal pressure at exactly the same time.

On the other hand I think hitting the same pipe twice with some form of external explosives is a rather likely thing to happen if you try to explode four seperate pipes at two locaitons.

by fjallstrom on Fri Nov 4th, 2022 at 01:11:40 PM EST
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impact of "debris" the size of the first section
by Cat on Sat Nov 5th, 2022 at 12:49:28 AM EST
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Could you spell this out?

How did "debris" from the first explosion in North Stream 2 pipe A, 17 hours later cause a second, larger, explosion some 50-100 km away (looking at not great maps), that also took out North Stream 1 pipe A & pipe B?

To me, that doesn't sound possible.

by fjallstrom on Mon Nov 7th, 2022 at 08:37:04 AM EST
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that's the timeline given after explosions
by Cat on Sat Nov 5th, 2022 at 12:50:57 AM EST
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freelance journalist from Denmark, Niels Eriksen reports:
"U.S. Torpedo Appeared at Explosion Site of the Nord Stream".
40-year-old motive, one destroyer, "200 hrs" of stealth seabed surveys over 9 months, master "underwater fast attack" commander, one Harpoon "tested on the battlefield in Ukraine", Guardian rendered "approximate location" of four (4) leaks, AND

the remains of the American torpedo near the Nord Stream pipeline explosion site,
computer image taken from hidden camera
by Cat on Sun Nov 6th, 2022 at 10:31:59 AM EST
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Wired | 'Dark Ships' Emerge From the Shadows of the Nord Stream Mystery, 11 Nov
According to the analysis by satellite data monitoring firm SpaceKnow, the two "dark ships," each measuring around 95 to 130 meters long, passed within several miles of the Nord Stream 2 leak sites. "We have detected some dark ships, meaning vessels that were of a significant size, that were passing through that area of interest," says Jerry Javornicky, the CEO and cofounder of SpaceKnow.
"They had their beacons off, meaning there was no information about their movement, and they were trying to keep their location information and general information hidden from the world," Javornicky adds.

The discovery, which was made by analyzing images from multiple satellites, is likely to further increase speculation about the cause of the blasts....Once SpaceKnow identified the ships, it reported its findings to officials at NATO, who are investigating the Nord Stream incidents. Javornicky says NATO officials asked the company to provide more information.

NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu says it does not comment on the "details of our support or the sources used" but confirmed that NATO believes the incident was a "deliberate and irresponsible act of sabotage" and it has increased its presence in the Baltic and North Seas. However, a NATO official, who did not have permission to speak publicly, confirmed to WIRED that NATO had received SpaceKnow's data and said satellite imagery can prove useful for its investigations.
To detect the ships, Javornicky says, the company scoured 90 days of archived satellite images for the area....Once it gathered archive images of the area, SpaceKnow created a series of polygons around the gas leak sites. The smallest of these, around 400 square meters, covered the immediate blast area, and larger areas of interest covered several kilometers. In the weeks leading up to the explosions, SpaceKnow detected 25 ships passing through the region, from "cargo ships to multipurpose larger ships," Javornicky says.  In total, 23 of these vessels had their automatic identification system (AIS) transponders turned on. Two did not have AIS data turned on, and these ships passed the area during the days immediately ahead of the leaks being detected.

27.09.22 Berlingske video "area of interest" d: 1km, 2 jet NS1 leak  (src: Norwegian Defense Command)
by Cat on Sun Nov 13th, 2022 at 08:27:06 PM EST
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I have yet to see anyone back up Reed's claim or even show the Soviets had switched to the digital controls necessary to make such an attack possible.
by rifek on Sat Nov 5th, 2022 at 12:28:45 AM EST
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Ivantsov,"Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas in the USSR," The Economics of Long-Distance Transportation, a long, illustrious history of gas and oil volume and export growth from 1878 ($29.95)

The Four Generations of SCADA Architectures, mid-20th century into present; note PLC integration

How did Soviets keep pace with PNG "digital" tech?
Stern, "Gas pipeline co-operation between political adversaries: examples from Europe", 13 pp

At the Ottawa Summit in July 1981, President Reagan attempted to persuade European leaders
to reject imports of additional gas from the USSR. When this failed, the American Administration first tried to offer financial incentives and then applied extra-territorial sanctions to those components of gas compressor stations [!], being supplied by European companies, which were of American origin. This created a political crisis in relations between the US and its European allies. Eventually, after several months of dispute, the US lifted the sanctions and the Urengoy pipeline(s) went ahead with rather more Soviet, and rather less American, equipment than had been intended.14
How could the CIA sabotage a Soviet pipeline in 1982?

CIA continuous residence in Germany since WWII is indisputable.

Why would CIA sabotage Soviet PNG?

CRS, "SOVIET PIPELINE IP0219S (1982), Ronald Reagan administrative actions to "block Soviet pipeline" plus press clippings documenting US frustration with allies' opposition, 29 pp

There you have it: means, motive, opportunity to cripple Soviet critical infrastructure ...official denial deposited in the Reagan Library notwithstanding.

by Cat on Sat Nov 5th, 2022 at 01:56:36 AM EST
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After Shock | ancient history, new realities: "Since the appearance of first Soviet and then Russian gas on the European gas market ..."

Eric Li: "I make the joke..."

by Cat on Sat Nov 5th, 2022 at 02:10:07 AM EST
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And I went through all that long ago, and there's no there there.
by rifek on Sat Nov 5th, 2022 at 10:21:08 PM EST
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< wipes tears >
by Cat on Sun Nov 6th, 2022 at 10:09:08 AM EST
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I most assuredly am.
by rifek on Mon Nov 7th, 2022 at 04:26:31 AM EST
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