пятница, 22 августа 2014 г.

Ghost Town: Thousands flee Donetsk as Ukrainian army closes in

Russian humanitarian convoy heads to Lugansk

A Russian convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Ukraine enters border crossing point Donetsk for customs control, in Russia's Rostov Region, August 20, 2014. (Reuters / Alexander Demianchuk)
Moscow has accused Kiev of deliberately holding up the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine, according to a new statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The ministry says Russia has ordered the convoy to proceed, without waiting for further permission.
The first set of trucks carrying humanitarian aid has left the Isvarino check-point and has started moving along the territory of Ukraine towards Lugansk, a RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reports.
The Russian customs officers have started to get the second set of trucks, consisting of 34 vehicles, ready to cross the border, according to local customs officials.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is not escorting the convoy.
That’s because of the problems with security,” Galina Balzamova of the ICRC told RT. “Lugansk was shelled all night long. We believe we did not get sufficient guarantees of safety from all the parties to the conflict to start escorting the convoy.”
The head of the Russian Red Cross, Raisa Lukutsova, has said the organization supported the decision to get the humanitarian convoy moving.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the “excuses” for delaying the aid from entering Ukraine have been “exhausted”.
A convoy of 280 Kamaz trucks carrying food, medicines and other essentials for Lugansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine left the Moscow region on August 12.
It has been stuck at the border with Ukraine for more than a week.
“Our convoy with humanitarian aid is starting to move in the direction of Lugansk,” the Foreign Ministry's statement reads. “We are of course ready for it to be accompanied by Red Cross representatives and for their participation in the aid’s distribution.”
“There’s a feeling that the current Ukrainian authorities have been consciously putting the humanitarian aid delivery on hold to arrive at a situation where there’ll be just no one left to get it,” the Ministry’s statement reads.

вторник, 12 августа 2014 г.

Humanitarian catastrophe: Lugansk, E. Ukraine, left with no water, power

The eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk has declared a state of humanitarian catastrophe over a lack of medical supplies, electricity, lighting, mobile and internet communication. Some 250,000 civilians are unable to leave, the statement also says.
“As of August 5, Lugansk remains disconnected from electricity. The situation remains critical on the city’s territory. Lugansk is has no energy, is in a state of humanitarian catastrophe. Since Sunday, part of the population in the region’s center have been without light or water, as well as mobile and internet communication,” the statement on the city council website read.
Due to high temperatures and the damage to most community services’ cars, rubbish collection“completely stopped,” which is why the city is basically “on the brink of an ecological catastrophe,” the administration said.
“Today 250,000 civilian Lugansk residents - mainly retirees and families with children who don’t have the money to leave the city and who have nowhere to go - have been the hostages to the situation: the people are forced to live in the conditions of armed clashes, with the lacking communications, the remaining nutrition disappearing from the counter of shops and supermarkets which are still working,” according to the statement.

An especially burning issue has become the lack of medical supplies.
“People can’t purchase the essential medical supplies, only a handful of drugstores are operating,” the statement added.
Donbass Community Fund representative Roman Korotenko told Novorossiya press center that Lugansk has descended into “the Stone Age.”
“We are practically in the Stone Age – we have no light, no water, and all this comes amid unstoppable shelling by the Ukrainian army. Electricity is on only for few hours as the power lines are constantly under fire from the military.”
“Many people have left the town – I had almost no one left, only my sister. If you had gone out to your balcony in the evening, there would be a feeling that the city had died out,” a former resident of Lugansk, Olga, who recently moved to more peaceful Kharkov, told RIA Novosti.
Transport communication is no good in the embattled city these days, Olga said.
“The buses go to Kharkov, Starobelsk. <…> In the city, the buses are infrequent, they used to come every five minutes, now it’s half an hour. The drivers won’t keep to the route – it’s dangerous. Also, there is no petrol, and if there is, it’s very expensive. No trolleybuses or tramways are left.”
The shops work several hours a day, and Olga said the prices have increased, there are almost no cigarettes on sale, but it’s still possible to buy food.
In the evenings, people try not to go out. Attacks and clashes are an every-day occurrence.
Another resident Olga, who spoke to RT, said that the situation has recently changed: for the worse.
“The fighting used to be away from residential areas. But now the locals, the children are suffering, they’re scared,” she told RT’s Maria Finoshina.
Many of the residents who stayed in the city are forced to shelter in the basements. There is a shelter in almost every household: it looks like an apartment, but underground.
The locals say they “don’t know what to do anymore” and that “there was no hope left.”
Even the youngest ones share the adults’ fears, as 13-year-old Artyom said.
“I was really scared when the glass started flying. I’m still scared.”
While RT’s Marina Finoshina was speaking with the locals, the electricity went dead.
“Sometimes the wires get ruptured. When it’s in neutral zone, some workers go there to fix the connection. They carry a white flag, but they just get fired on,” local resident Irina explained.

The Ukrainian army has approached the outskirts of Donetsk and Lugansk, preparing to storm these cities, the speaker for the Council of National Security and Defense, Andrey Lysenko, declared, as quoted by Ria Novosti.
“The main forces of the anti-terrorist operation, including the territorial battalions have approached those areas. It doesn’t mean that the storming has already started, but preparation to free the cities is on,” he said.
The attack won’t be announced, only the seizing of the cities, Lysenko added.

'Chemical threat': Disaster looms as Kiev shells fall near Donetsk plant

Ukraine is at risk of an environmental disaster as Kiev’s army continues to bomb the Donestk region, nearly hitting its largest chemical plant that stores lethal agents, the plant’s spokesperson warned. The minimum impact zone would be at least 300 km.
For the past three weeks, the Ukrainian army has been intensely shelling Gorlovka, located in Ukraine’s Donetsk region — home to the nation’s largest chemical plant, Stirol.
“Due to the irresponsible actions of the Ukrainian army, citizens of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are exposed to a deadly threat from an ecological disaster on a daily basis, the size of which cannot be predicted,” Pavel Brykov, a spokesman for the plant, said in a YouTube message on Sunday.

According to Brykov, an accident at the plant could cause a toxic leak of nitrochlorobenzene – a lethal substance which, if it enters the human body, affects the liver, heart, and bone marrow, causing death.
The minimum impact of the accident would be at least 300 kilometers, Brykov said, adding that the risks of the accident are being silenced in the Ukrainian media.
Stirol is part of the OSTCHEM holding company that belongs to Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash.

Earlier, Firtash claimed there is no risk of a catastrophe since there are no lethal agents stored at the plant. He added that back in May, when the shelling of the region began to intensify, the plant stopped the synthesis and processing of the colorless gas ammonia and evacuated all of its workers.

In their offensive against the eastern Ukrainian militia, Kiev troops have been using multiple-rocket launchers, such as Grad and Uragan – highly indiscriminate weapons designed for destroying enemy forces in the field. If fired at a city, their lack of precision would likely lead to multiple civilian casualties, increasing the risk of a chemical catastrophe.

Just on Thursday, a unique wooden Orthodox church burned to the ground after being hit by an artillery shell in Gorlovka.

The ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine has already led to more than 1,300 people – both civilians and military troops – being killed in the conflict, and over 4,000 others being wounded. At the same time, around 118,000 people have been internally displaced and 740,000 others have fled to Russia.
The Stirol plant was involved in an accident that killed six people and injured 26 others a year ago, when a colorless gas ammonia was released into the air during repair work. The incident was one of the biggest in the country’s recent history.
Ukraine is also the site of the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident in history. The catastrophic nuclear disaster happened on April 26, 1986 at reactor number four of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which was then one of the USSR republics. The plant is located near the city of Pripyat, some 100 km north of the capital Kiev.
As a result of the explosion and fire, a huge radioactive cloud was spread into the atmosphere, covering thousands of miles of Soviet and European territories. Approximately 100,000 square kilometers of land were significantly contaminated.
Thirty-one out of the 237 people diagnosed with acute radiation sickness died within the first three months of the accident. Overall, up to 985,000 people have died as a result of the incident, mainly from cancer due caused by the radiation, according to Global Research.

суббота, 9 августа 2014 г.

пятница, 8 августа 2014 г.

Why neo-Nazi in Ukraine?

Author: Alex
Many western observers wonder why the US relied on neo-Nazi as a driving force for the Ukrainian coup. Here is a typical example.
 There are historical reasons for this.
After Russian revolution in 1917 Poland with western backing waged a war on Russia and annexed territories of western Ukraine. These territories stayed under Polish control until 1939. German Nazi created a terrorist network of Ukrainian nationalists OUN-UPA to terrorize Polish authorities as well as spy on Poland, Russia and Czechoslovakia. Terrorists were trained, armed and generously funded by German intelligence. They carried out high profile terror attacks such as assassination of Polish minister of internal affairs, Bronisław Pieracki in 1934.
Before an attack on Soviet Union in 1941, Nazi created two battalions of Ukrainian nationalists Nachtigall and Roland. The ideology of Ukrainian Nazi was scaled down provincial Nazism. They believed that nations fight Darwinian survival of the fittest and wanted to ethnically cleanse all non-Ukrainians in what they believed to be Ukraine. Of course Ukrainians, who accepted soviet power were to be killed as well. The Ukrainian commander of Nachtigall battalion Roman Shukhevych wrote in instructions for his troops:
“OUN must strive to destroy everyone who accepted Soviet power. We don’t need terror, we need annihilation. Don’t worry that people might damn us for our cruelty. Even if only half of current Ukraine’s population of 40 million survives, it is not something to be afraid of.”
The Ukraininan Nazi battalions started the war 3 days after the invasion by Lvov pogrom that left behind plenty of photographic evidence. Jews were rounded up, forced to lick the roads, crawl miles to the jail on their knees with their hands up. Women were stripped naked in the streets and beaten to death with sticks.
After capture of Kiev by Germans, Ukrainian Nazi were used to execute between 100 000 and 200 000 people in Babi Yar. Ukrainian Nazi systematically ethnically cleansed Poles, killing over 60 000. Women cut in two by saws, pregnant women opened with pieces of broken glass stuffed into their bodies, children with red stars carved on their foreheads among other things were left behind to terrorize the survivors. But perhaps the symbol of Ukrainian Nazism was an alley in the village of Lozovaya, where they decorated an alley by little children nailed to the trees, the “wreaths”. They called it a “Ukrainian independence alley”.
Although expanded significantly by POWs, who joined the Nazi in an attempt to avoid death in German camps, and supplemented by Ukrainian SS division "Galician", Ukrainian Nazi never were a formidable military force and were only good for extermination of unarmed civilians. As his German masters were nearing defeat, Roman Shukhevych issued an order to hurry up with exterminating Poles:
“Given the advance of Bolsheviks, we have to speed up extermination of Poles. Cut to the root. Villages populated by Poles only must be burned to the ground. In mixed villages exterminate Poles only”.

Fortunately for Ukrainian Nazi, after the war they found new masters. Pope Pius XII petitioned allied forces to not hand Ukrainian NAZIs over to the USSR, where they would have faced justice, because “they [were] good Catholics and fervent anticommunists.” Until 1954 Both Britain and the US used OUN-UPA underground terrorist network, Nazi left behind in Ukraine and after it was defeated by Soviet authorities allowed Ukrainian Nazi to immigrate in the US, UK and Canada.
Ukrainian Nazi were valuable for the Cold war purposes not only for their knowledge of the language and culture, but also for their hatred of Russians and communists. The US and the UK were Russia’s allies in the war so attitudes of both Brits and Americans were not Russophobic enough. Ukrainian Nazi, on the other hand, totally considered Russians their sworn enemies. So Ukrainian Nazi made fast carreer through the ranks of American and British intelligence, military, political, academic and business structures.
Under the CIA patronage Ukrainian Nazi, that were exterminating other ethnic groups through WWII created an “Antibolshevik league of nations”, that united other “victims” of communism such as themselves. Interestingly, althought there were planty of Russian Nazi collaborators, they were not represented in the league. This proves once again that western anticommunism is just a disguise for Russophobia. German commander of Ukrainian Nazi battalion Nachtigall Theodor Oberländer was also very active in the structure as late as in 1980-s.
Ukrainian Nazi that emigrated to the West and their children brought up in the Nazi ideology were the driving force in splitting Ukraine from Russia. They were theaching Nazi ideology to Ukrainian children from 1990s to this day. Two coups the US carried out on Ukraine brought to power Viktor Yushchenko and Alexander Turchinov – both children of Nazi collaborators. Viktor Yushchenko is married to Kateryna Chumachenko – an American citizen of Ukrainian descent, whose parents apparently were Nazi collaborators too. Officially they were Soviet POW and a slave girl captured by Germans, who got married in Nazi Germany and even had children there. But 76% of Soviet POWs died in captivity. Life of soviet slaves in Nazi empire was not much better. The story sounds highly suspicious.
At any rate Chumachenko was a member of the Nazi “anti-bolshevik league of nations” and was dispatched to Ukraine to spread Nazi propaganda about “famine genocide” and such. After bringing Yushchenko was brought to power in Ukraine by the US backed coup in 2004, the couple posthumously awarded the Ukraine’s top military award “Hero of Ukraine” to the head of Ukrainian Nazi Stepan Bandera and the commander of battalion Nachtigall, Roman Shukhevych. The birthday of the Nazi is celebrated by regular marche with torches in the capital of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities.

So on the surface reliance of the US on neo-Nazi in Ukraine has historic roots and might be explained by prevalence of Ukrainian Nazi and their descendants in American Ukrainology. But there is a reason why Nazi are that prevalent there. Ukrainian Nazi better reflect the attitude of American elites to Russia than regular Americans ever could.

понедельник, 4 августа 2014 г.

воскресенье, 3 августа 2014 г.

суббота, 2 августа 2014 г.

Face to face with the Russian-backed rebels in Eastern Ukraine

‘I wish it wasn’t like this but it is, it has to be’ ... Vice Commandant Oxana Grinyova. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia
WITH a Makarov pistol in a holster on her left and a jagged edged knife on her right, Oxana Grinyova is more Che Guevara than suburban soccer mum.
But standing dressed in battle fatigues beside her two sons the 43-year-old says it wasn’t always this way.
“I wish it wasn’t like this but it is, it has to be,” shrugs Vice Commandant Grinyova from the separatist militia group’s SVOT Squad in their city stronghold of Donetsk.
“My life changed in one day for sure. Am I afraid now of dying? Probably just the stupid is not afraid but someone has to do this.”
As government forces close in on the city stronghold, the local ragtag militia with Russian-issue weapons is ready to fight.
Camouflaged ... the battalion consists of around 80 people. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia
Surprisingly they are not the embittered revolutionaries one could imagine say in Chechnya or Syria, rather they are idealists led by extremists who can see no way forward. And now too they are potentially mass murderers with the blood of 298 innocents on their hands.
The engaging softly spoken commander with the warm smile and (bottled) flame red hair looks out of place talking guns, bombs and war, surrounded by edgy-looking young men whose index fingers shift nervously over the trigger guards of their Kalashnikovs in a permanent state of readiness.
But that is probably because a few months ago she was a manager of a large international hotel and restaurant commanding an army of cooks, clerks and cleaners and not directing 70 to 100 men and women of the self-styled Pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic looking to secede from Ukraine through bloody revolt and become an independent state tied to Russia.
Tough guy ... Ihor, separatist with the pro Russia militia. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia
Those nearby are equally out of place — until a few months ago they worked in shops and factories, or were accountants, farmers, shopkeepers, housewives or students.
Until a week ago, there would be few outside of Ukraine who would have ever heard of or cared about such a ragtag army or their industrial city 40km from the border of Russia, founded by a Welshman 140 years ago as a steel and coal producing regional capital.
Then Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 dropped out of the sky in the disputed Donetsk territory killing all 298 passengers and crew on board, including 40 Australian residents.
Suddenly, the world is taking an interest.
Just who shot the aircraft down is being investigated but it is likely to have been fired by the Pro-Russian separatists mistaking it for a military aircraft from the Ukrainian air force.
Comrades in arms ... the militants come from the Sloviansk area. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia
Talk of the downed aircraft sits uncomfortably among the militia spoken to by News Corp Australia inside their base. They either don’t know who shot it down or declare with absolute authority it was a Ukraine fighter jet tailing the aircraft and slaughtering it to bring the West into the war. But Cmdr Grinyova and her force agree it was a terrible tragedy. No-one wants to see civilians killed — not least of all because before April 1 the militia were largely ordinary civilians themselves.
Either way, that is of little consequence to the families and loved ones of the 298 killed during the little known armed struggle in Ukraine’s east and who are now just searching for answers among the fields of sunflowers where the wreckage of the doomed jet fell.
The multinational force of air crash investigators are struggling to gain access to the site despite both sides declaring a 20km exclusion zone around it.
No soccer mum ... Oxana Grinyova with her son Stanislav. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia
No one is prepared to guarantee their safety, not the rebels nor the Ukrainian military who during the week were firing rockets at the rebels but inadvertently killing civilians with wayward missiles dropping into the suburbs of the city.
Cmd Grinyova’s sons Stanislav and Vladislav are also both in the army now, the 25 and 19 year olds joking that the family now always know where each other are at any given point in time in the day.
Stanislav was studying to be a tour operator and Vladislav had only just finished school.
“Before all these events I loved my country a lot and was even proud of the Ukraine flag,” Stanislav said.
“But when they made heroes out of those fascists in Kiev I became ashamed to be Ukrainian. They want to cut us off from our (Russian) culture and I don’t agree with this.”
Smoking cigarettes and waiting ... the separatists are waiting for the Ukrainian troops. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source:News Corp Australia
The “fascists” were ironically men just like him in Kiev in February who overthrew the Kremlin-backed presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. There were extremists directing the ordinary Kiev residents into armed conflict — just as there are now in Donestk ordinary people being directed to revolution by extremists.
Vlad was a teacher before he decided to fight for independence. He says it’s about controlling the land and their own destiny.
“The EU is guilty over all of this, they created this situation,” he says, referring to decisions made during the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
He said he went to bed a Russian and woke to be told he was now Ukrainian. He said he speaks Russian, dreams in Russian and for centuries his people considered themselves Russian but Ukraine wanted to erase the past.
Platoon leader Denis Shapovsky, 31, (formerly a mechanical engineer) likes to show photos of his “baby girl” the 11-year-old Daria. Three months ago he sent her away with her mother to be safe after he decided to join the fight.
‘This is my home’ ... psychologist Irina joined the battalion last week. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia
“You need to ask the Ukrainians — who are you fighting? The women and children they bomb in their houses, the people whose electricity and water they turn off and try to starve. These Ukrainians fight with their NATO weapons and they accuse us of being Russian — well I’ve only been there once in my life. This is not Russia’s fault. I do hope this cause ends and we can get back to a normal life.”
At the moment they wait, smoke cigarettes, play cards and wait. They know the Ukrainian troops are coming, the shelling is getting closer, but they say they are prepared.
Irina, 27, had just completed a degree in psychology. There is no work so last week she decided to wear military green garb.
When asked is she is ready to fight and die, the pretty new recruit smiles coyly.
“Of course, this is my home,” she said.

The world of russian folk gestures:tearing shirts and throwing hats.

Why did Russians use to tear the front of their shirts, throw their hats on the ground, and show each other the ‘fig’ sign? And do they still do this? Maxim Desyatnikov deciphers the language of seven different folk gestures that have their roots in Russian folk culture, some of which are still used today. 

Scratching the back of the head.Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina.

 A Russian person scratches the back of his head when he is concerned about something. But why? Probably not to stimulate circulation in the brain. One version says that the gesture comes from folk magic: Their ancestors scratched the backs of their heads in order to summon the help of a primogenitor, a genius of mankind. 

Tearing the front of a shirt. Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina

Originally, this gesture was supposed to be the improvisation of an oath. There is a hypothesis that in times gone by Russians used this expressive gesture to demonstrate their loyalty to the Orthodox faith, displaying a cross on the chest. The Russian Picture Dictionary: Russian gestures It is well known that during corporal punishment, the executioners tore the tops of the person's shirt. Therefore voluntarily tearing your clothes indicated a willingness to ascend the scaffold in the name of truth.  Russians stopped making this gesture literally when it became indecent to show emotions in society. Culturologists link this phenomenon with the birth of etiquette in Russia during the reign of Peter the Great in the 18th century.  Today, the action of tearing one’s shirt has been replaced by the use of a proverb in cases when people show their emotions too vigorously, and the expression “to tear one’s shirt” is rooted in Russian slang speech.

Throwing one’s hat on the ground. Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina.

 This expressive gesture was used to articulate some kind of desperate decision. A headdress (along with a beard) was a symbol of honor and integration into society for Russian men. Taking off one's hat in public was considered to be shameful – a civil penalty of sorts. Usually, debtors were subject to taking off their hats. When a person took off his hat and threw it on the ground voluntarily, he was demonstrating a willingness to take an insane risk in which the price for failure would have been expulsion from society.  In the modern world, this action has lost its significance, as the hat is no longer a way of differentiating social classes. In addition, perhaps another circumstance affected the disappearance of this gesture. As a result of Russia’s disastrous defeat in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, throwing hats became seen as a symbol of foolish arrogance and bravado and acquired a negative association for the Russian nation.

 Beating one’s chest Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina.

 According to one version, this gesture evolved from a nomad military tradition and was imported to Russia by the Tatars, who used this gesture to make an oath of allegiance to a military commander. Hitting oneself in the chest was a demonstration of loyalty. The best-known Russian homonyms Like many other Russian gestures, beating one's chest almost disappeared after the introduction of rules of etiquette to Russian culture in the 18th century. Beating one's chest became a phraseological expression meaning to "by way of an oath, vociferously tell someone something". As for the gesture itself, today such behavior is rare, regarded as a manifestation of aggression typical for boxing or street gangs, though people can sometimes be seen beating their chest in an attempt to prove their rightness when their arguments are exhausted. 

Showing somebody the “koza” (a finger gesture meant to resemble a goat). Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina.

 This gesture is often wrongly confused with the criminal “sign of the horns” or the sign made by heavy metal fans. But the Russian version, the “koza”, is thousands of years old. It is associated with protection from black magic and evil spirits during the Middle Ages, when belief in the occult was widespread. The older generations probably still remember the short tale that starts with “a goat with horns is coming for little children…” The adult shows the child a butting goat by imitating the goat's horns with the little finger and the index finger of the right hand. This isn't just a game; it is how our ancestors warded off the evil eye. It is curious to note that some Orthodox icons feature the Savior and saints who are showing off an extended pinky and index finger. In the 90's, Russia’s nouveaux riches (the so-called "New Russians") used "koza" as a symbol of superiority over others, but this expression has since lost popularity. Ordinary people use the gesture for playing with children. In Russian sign language for the deaf and dumb, this gesture means the letter Ы. 

Showing somebody the “fig”. Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina.

 To make the “fig”, you must put your thumb between the index and middle fingers – a gesture that is common across many cultures. According to legend, this gesture relates to East Slavic traditions, in which it was a universal talisman capable of warding off danger, especially the evil eye and evil spirits. Yet the Russians most likely picked it up from German travelers, who used it as a vulgar gesture in an attempt to seduce Russian ladies. There is even a version that the gesture's alternative name, “figa”, came from the German phrase fick-fick machen, meaning to engage in sexual intercourse. In Russian tradition, the gesture was transformed into a symbol of absolute and final refusal. These days, the gesture is not necessarily a manifestation of aggression; it can even be a joke. Russians even do not have to make this gesture nowadays, it is enough to say fig tebe! ("fig to you!"). Since it has become a slang expression that contradicts the rules of etiquette, fig is commonly used among friends and close social circles. 

Flicking a finger on the neck. Drawing by Tatiana Perelygina.

 This Russian drinking gesture comes from the idiom “to put [a drink] down under the necktie”, which was popular in the 19th and earlier 20th centuries. The expression originated in officer culture and was supposedly thought up by colonel Rayevsky, who was “a talker and a joker.” According to the legend, he came up with another drinking term – a little bit “podchauffé,” which means tipsy [the expression appears to be a combination of the Russian prefix ‘pod’ and the French ‘chauffé’, meaning ‘heated’ – it could perhaps be translated as “heated up” – RBTH]. It is interesting to note that the gesture was adopted by illicit sellers of alcohol during the “dry law” established by Tsar Nicholai II in 1914. First published in Russian in Russkaya Semyorka. 

Source: Russia Beyond the Headlines - http://rbth.com/arts/2014/07/26/tearing_shirts_and_throwing_hats_the_world_of_russian_folk_gestures_37775.html)