Why Nazis are so afraid of these clowns: Clowning as a tactic of creative resistance

Why Nazis are so afraid of these clowns

August 25, 2017

The Finnish group “Loldiers of Odin” formed to protest the anti-immigrant Soldiers of Odin. (loldiers.com)

Trolls chanted in the streets the day of a planned neo-Nazi rally in the small ski town of Whitefish, Montana earlier this year. But they were not the trolls that residents had been expecting — namely, white supremacists from around the country, who had been harassing the town’s Jewish community with death threats.

These trolls wore bright blue wigs and brandished signs that read “Trolls Against Trolls” and “Fascists Fear Fun,” cheerfully lining the route where the neo-Nazi march had been slated to take place. Due to poor organizing and the failure to obtain proper permits, the demonstration had fallen through, leading to what the counter-protesters gleefully deemed a “Sieg Fail.” So, locals held their own counter-event, gathering together to share matzo ball soup and celebrate the town’s unity, which — with a dose of humor and a denunciation of hatred — had successfully weathered a right-wing anti-Semitic “troll storm” and strengthened the community as a whole.

Using humor and irony to undermine white supremacy dates back to the days of the Third Reich, from jokes and cartoons employed by Norwegians against the Nazi occupation to “The Great Dictator” speech by Charlie Chaplin. In recent years, humor has continued to be used as a tactic to undermine Nazi ideology, particularly in the unlikely form of clowns — troupes of brightly-dressed activists who show up to neo-Nazi gatherings and make a public mockery of the messages these groups promote. It puts white supremacists in a dilemma in which their own use of violence will seem unwarranted, and their machismo image is tainted by the comedic performance by their opponent. Humor de-escalates their rallies, turning what could become a violent confrontation into a big joke.

Satirical imitation was used in Olympia, Washington in 2005 when a dozen members of the National Socialist Movement paraded around the state capitol to recruit members for the coming “race war.” They were met with clowns mimicking the “Seig Heil” salute and goose-stepping in a public mockery that drew attention away from the Nazi demonstration and undermined their image to would-be supporters.

Anti-Nazi demonstrators in Knoxville, Tennessee called themselves Coup Clutz Clowns. (redletterchristians.org)

In 2007, the group Anti Racist Action staged a full-fledged clown performance at a neo-Nazi rally in Knoxville, Tennessee. The clowns feigned confusion at demonstrators’ cries of “White power!” and called back, “White flour?” as they threw fistfulls of flour into the air.

“White power!” the neo-Nazi group shouted, and the clowns pretended they finally understood their mistake. “Oh, white flowers!” they cried out, handing white flowers to passersby, including some of the neo-Nazis themselves.

“White power!” they yelled again. “Tight shower?” the clowns called back, holding a shower head in the air and crowding together in a ridiculous attempt to follow the directions of the white supremacist group.

They tried once more: “White power!” And the female clowns exclaimed, as though they finally understood, “Wife power!” raising letters in the air to spell out the words and hoisting the male clowns in the air, running around and carrying them in their arms.

The clowns stole the show, and continued parading through the streets with the police smiling happily at their sides while the neo-Nazi group called off their demonstration several hours early. This action inspired clowns in Charlotte, North Carolina to also yell “Wife power!” at a white supremacist rally. They also held signs that said “Dwight Power!” next to photos of the NBA player Dwight Howard.

Anti-Nazi clowning can also turn into a wider community event, bringing local people together in solidarity and fun. A recent New York Times editorial highlighted an “involuntary walk-a-thon” in Wunsiedel, Germany, organized in response to an annual neo-Nazi march. The organizers drew chalk markers on the pavement marking the starting point, halfway point and finish line. Local residents and businesses pledged to donate 10 euros for every meter the white supremacists marched to a group called EXIT Deutschland, which is dedicated to helping people leave right-wing extremist groups.

Neo-nazis take part in the “involuntary walk-a-thon” in Wunsiedel, Germany in 2014. (Twitter / @exitdeutschland)

People came out to cheer the marchers the day of the event, flanking the route with signs that read “If only the Fuhrer knew!” and “Mein Mamph!” ( or “My Munch”) by a table of bananas offered to the walkers. This turned the marchers into involuntary supporters against their own cause, and brought the community together in unity to counter the messages of white supremacy.

Other European cities have employed clowns to counter anti-immigrant groups. For example, the “Loldiers of Odin” formed in Finland to counter a citizen patrol called Soldiers of Odin. The clowns danced around the streets the same nights that the patrols went out in the community, bringing acrobat hoops and a hobby horse. They also danced around the “soldiers” while playing in the snow. Their actions countered right-wing propaganda of making the streets “safer” from immigrants by bringing humor and silliness to their actions.

Clowning as a tactic of creative resistance was first developed by a group of U.K. activists who started the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, or CIRCA, in 2003. Mixing slapstick humor and improv theater with civil disobedience, the group had — at its height —over 150 trained clowns in Edinburgh, and their tactics were adopted by activists across Europe and the United States.

Humor has wide-reaching potential beyond clowning in countering neo-Nazis. It can be employed in the form of a serenade, like the sousaphonist who played his instrument to a crowd of Confederate flag-wielding marchers in Columbia, South Carolina. There’s also the parody song “Tiki Torch Nazis,” written and performed by a couple from San Francisco, that went viral after Charlottesville and hilariously undermines the serious image neo-Nazis strive to present. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom, a group called the English Disco Lovers, or EDL, uses its acronym along with dance music and 1970’s style wigs to subvert public gatherings of the racist English Defense League.

English Disco Lovers protest the racist English Defense League. (Flickr / Tim Buss)

To build on past successes of anti-Nazi clowning, activists and local organizers can draw on the creativity of the community to devise actions and events that mock white supremacist ideology and those who support it. This could be done in the form of a carnivalesque “Fascist Fair,” complete with a dunk tank and jousting match. It could take the form of dressing up in costumes that satirize the labels white supremacists have given counter-protesters, like vermin or Communists. Events can draw in various local groups, from marching bands to theater troupes to intramural sports teams so that resistance to white supremacy becomes a community expression of solidarity, like in Whitefish, Montana.

Counter-demonstrations can employ a tactic called détournement, or culture jamming, to draw on existing cultural symbols that resonate with a wider audience. This could involve staging a humorous match in which one side represents neo-Nazis dressed as Death Eaters from Harry Potter, and the other side represents Gryffindor, or the Avengers, or Wonder Woman and the Amazon warriors. Their marches can be accompanied by a mass choir drowning out their chants with refrains of “You’re So Vain” or JoJo’s “Leave (Get Out).” They could also be met with “Flash Mobs Against Fascist Mobs.” The street where the march is planned could be covered in rainbow paint and glitter that will coat the bottoms of their shoes.

Beyond the marches themselves, clowning can undermine Confederate statues and symbols when their removal would lead to an escalation of violence, as activist David Swanson has suggested. Dressing up Confederate statues as clowns or jokers with signs like “You must be joking!” mocks the statue itself and undercuts the veneration of historical figures who represent the country’s legacy of slavery.

Other creative tactics can be used to counter neo-Nazi propaganda with less direct confrontation. Activists around the world have turned Nazi graffiti into art, like the #PaintBack campaign transforming Swastika’s into cartoon animals.

These actions not only deflate the macho image of neo-Nazis to their own supporters — which is strengthened by violent confrontation — but they also engage the community in planning fun collective actions to counter hate and intolerance. Humorous counter-demonstrations unleash a storm of creativity, as activists and local groups collaborate to design creative actions together. In the end, the actions bring communities together against hate speech. Since humor and clowning can incorporate so many community members — children and the elderly, musicians and athletes, politicians and school teachers — they draw everyone into a joyful, silly expression of solidarity. That’s something a band of tiki torch-wielding neo-Nazis don’t stand a chance against.


Originally published in Waging Nonviolence

Waging Nonviolence content falls under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

FIRE’s 2017 year in review for student and faculty rights on campus

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 28, 2017 — From students shouting down an invited speaker and injuring a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont to the violent Berkeley protests in California, the campus free speech debate swept the nation in 2017. Throw in the withdrawal of the federal government’s controversial “Dear Colleague” letter that for over six years threatened the due process rights of students and faculty accused of sexual misconduct, and it’s easy to see why the offices at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education were anything but quiet this year.
As 2017 comes to a close, FIRE looks back on a year of challenges and triumphs — a year during which more students and faculty members than ever before approached FIRE to help protect their rights.
“Students and faculty shouldn’t have to appeal to an outside organization like FIRE in order to exercise their speech rights or get a fair shake in campus judicial proceedings, but the sad reality is that they do,” said FIRE Executive Director Robert Shibley. “We worked with policymakers to help inform common-sense legislation and administrators to implement speech-friendly campus policies. And we’ll continue this work until student and faculty rights are secured.”
FIRE’s highlights from 2017 include:
  • FIRE’s Individual Rights Defense Program received more than 900 requests for help from students and faculty members across the country in 2017 — more requests than any other year in FIRE’s history. FIRE’s defense of student and faculty rights took us to Howard UniversityFordham UniversityWichita State UniversityUniversity of New HampshireRensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and many more schools this year.
  • In February, FIRE released the first-ever nationwide report on campus Bias Response Teams. These teams encourage students to formally report on one another and on faculty members whenever they subjectively perceive that someone’s speech is “biased.” The report found that 232 public and private American colleges and universities publicly maintained bias response programs, affecting an estimated 2.8 million students.
  • In another win for FIRE’s Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld FIRE’s victory at Iowa State University. And in March, the project filed a new lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District that aims to free over 150,000 students from unconstitutional free speech zones. The litigation project’s 13 total lawsuits have so far restored free speech rights to more than 270,000 students.
  • In May, Tennessee passed bipartisan legislation that FIRE called “the most comprehensive state legislation protecting free speech on college campuses that we’ve seen be passed anywhere in the country.” The legislation requires institutions to adopt policies consistent with the University of Chicago’s Free Speech Policy Statement, prohibits the use of misleadingly labeled “free speech zones,” bars institutions from rescinding invitations to speakers invited by students or faculty, and more. Campus free speech legislation also passed this year in ColoradoUtah, and North Carolina.
  • In September, FIRE released a first-of-its-kind report on due process at America’s top universities, which found that 85 percent of schools rated received a D or F grade for not ensuring due process rights. Shockingly, 74 percent of top universities do not even expressly guarantee accused students the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
  • Just two days after the due process report was released, the Department of Education announced it would rescind the controversial 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened the due process rights of students and faculty accused of sexual misconduct on campus. For six and a half years, FIRE led the fight against the misguided letter.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions mentioned FIRE’s work in a speech on the importance of free speech at Georgetown University. Sessions highlighted FIRE’s Spotlight database and our lawsuit against the Los Angeles Community College District. The Department of Justice later filed a statement of interest in the lawsuit.
  • In October, FIRE released a groundbreaking survey on free speech that found a majority of students on college campuses self-censor in class, support disinviting some guest speakers with whom they disagree, and don’t know that so-called “hate speech” is usually protected by the First Amendment. The study also found that Republican and Democratic students have different opinions on campus protests, disinvitations, and hate speech protections.
  • FIRE’s So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, launched in Spring 2016, released its 50th episode. The bi-weekly show takes an uncensored look at the world of free expression through personal stories and candid conversations. This year the podcast featured Daryl Davis, a black musician who convinces people to leave the Ku Klux Klan through open dialogue; the all-Asian rock band The Slants, who took their free speech fight all the way to the Supreme Court and won; and Nadine Strossen, former president of the ACLU, on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
  • Earlier this month, Emory University became the 11th institution to earn FIRE’s highest, “green light” rating in 2017, bringing the total number of green light institutions to 37.
  • And just last week, FIRE released its annual Spotlight on Speech Codes report, which found that the number of colleges with FIRE’s poorest, “red light” rating for maintaining speech codes that both clearly and substantially restrict freedom of speech is down to 32.3 percent — seven percentage points lower than last year and almost 42 percentage points lower than in FIRE’s 2009 report.
“For the tenth year in a row, the most harmful speech codes are coming off the books throughout the country,” said Shibley. “But the growth of bias response teams, the continued disinvitation of invited speakers and — most alarmingly — the violence on too many campuses show us that we have a lot of work to do in 2018 and beyond.”
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to defending liberty, freedom of speech, due process, academic freedom, legal equality, and freedom of conscience on America’s college campuses.

Milo Responds to Critics by Announcing Next Book; Posting Private Texts

DANGEROUS was a New York Times bestseller for weeks and across all platforms is approaching 200,000 copies sold. And no amount of jealous bitching from Verified Liberals is going to change that. My next book, DESPICABLE, is about Hollywood and how the same journalists sniping at me today turned a blind eye to child rape and sexual assault for decades. Out May 5. 😘

Post #2:

“You done good … will sell 500,000 copies” — What Simon & Schuster Was Telling Milo in Private

‘Don’t quote me but you done good’ is what Simon & Schuster told me about my manuscript just days days before dumping my book in February in breach of contract.

S&S executives also quoted Hollywood agents who said I’d shift half a million copies and agreed with me about the ‘virtue-signaling’ Left.

Mitchell Ivers, the liberal gay editor Simon & Schuster put in charge of neutering its edgier conservative authors, hates Republicans and thinks they are all virulent homophobes. He told me so himself.

Ivers said one thing in manuscript edits, but quite another when he was giggling and flirting with me via text. I can’t explain to readers why his texts and manuscript edits are so different. But the public will read between the lines.

I look forward to prevailing in court.


New Year’s Eve: A Brief History of the Times Square Ball and Ball Facts

Photo Courtesy Times Square Ball Official Account, Twitter.

Countdown Entertainment; GIF by Adam Glanzman for TIME


  • The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter, and weighs 11,875 pounds.
  • The Ball is covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size, and range in length from 4 ¾ inches to 5 ¾ inches per side.
  • For Times Square 2018, 288 of the Waterford triangles introduce the new Gift of Serenity design which is a pattern of cuts resembling butterflies flying peacefully above a meadow, capturing the spirit of serenity. 288 are the Gift of Kindness design consisting of a circle of rosettes symbolizing unity with the fronds reaching out in an expression of kindness. 288 are the Gift Of Wonder design composed by a faceted starburst inspiring our sense of wonder. 288 are the Gift of Fortitude design of diamond cuts on either side of a crystal pillar to represent the inner attributes of resolve, courage and spirit necessary to triumph over adversity. The remaining 1,536 crystal triangles are the Gift of Imagination design with a series of intricate wedge cuts that are mirrored reflections of each other inspiring our imagination.
  • The 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles are bolted to 672 LED modules which are attached to the aluminum frame of the Ball.
  • The Ball is illuminated by 32,256 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs (light emitting diodes). Each LED module contains 48 Philips Luxeon Rebel LEDs – 12 red, 12 blue, 12 green, and 12 white for a total of 8,064 of each color.
  • The Ball is capable of displaying a palette of more than 16 million vibrant colors and billions of patterns that creates a spectacular kaleidoscope effect atop One Times Square.

Hurry Up! Last Day to Submit Your New Year’s Wish Digitally to Times Square

Your wishes will be added to the confetti that flutters down in the heart of Times Square on New Year’s Eve! Each year, people from around the planet include their wishes for the new year on pieces of official Times Square New Year’s Eve confetti, either digitally or in person.

Whether it’s a personal goal, a dream for the future or doing something for the very first time, these wishes are added to over a ton of confetti that floats down at midnight onto the revelers gathered in Times Square in celebration of the new year. Be a part of this most magical night by making your wish in person through our mobile Wishing Wall on the plazas or by sharing your New Year’s wish with us below or on Twitter and Instagram using #ConfettiWish. We will add it to the thousands of others released above Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve for all the world to see!

Please note that all wishes submitted after December 28th will be printed for the New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31st of the following year.

World Chess Grandmaster Anna Muzychuk Forgoes Saudi Tournament in Support of Women

World Chess Grandmaster Anna Muzychuk announced on her Facebook page that she will not support the chess tournaments being held in Saudi Arabia because she will not be treated as “a secondary creature.”
Anna Muzychuk
December 23 at 4:58pm

In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles – one by one. Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia. Not to play by someone’s rules, not to wear abaya, not to be accompanied getting outside, and altogether not to feel myself a secondary creature. Exactly one year ago I won these two titles and was about the happiest person in the chess world but this time I feel really bad. I am ready to stand for my principles and skip the event, where in five days I was expected to earn more than I do in a dozen of events combined. All that is annoying, but the most upsetting thing is that almost nobody really cares. That is a really bitter feeling, still not the one to change my opinion and my principles. The same goes for my sister Mariya – and I am really happy that we share this point of view. And yes, for those few who care – we’ll be back!

Courtesy Facebook

In November, FIDE (World Chess Federation) announced women players would not be required to wear a hijab or abaya for the tournament.

King Salman Rapid & Blitz 2017 – Historic Agreement Print
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 14:23
official logo

FIDE is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with the Organisers that the dress code for the event will be dark blue or black formal suits, with white shirts, either open necked or with a tie, for men and dark blue or black formal trouser suits, with high necked white blouses for women. There will be no need to wear a hijab or abaya during the games, this will be a first for any sporting event in Saudi Arabia.

The total Prize Fund for the event is $2,000,000, with individual prize funds of $750,000 for the Open and $250,000 for the women in both events. This is almost 350% more than the previous event. There will be 30 prizes for each event, with the first prize being $250,000 in the Open Section and $80,000 in the Women’s Section, all new records.

With regards to visas, FIDE has raised with the Organisers that there may be problems for players from certain countries. FIDE has not been advised that any player will not be able to participate. FIDE is continuing to work with the Organisers to ensure that visas will be issued to all players who have confirmed their participation.

US Draws Down Search for Missing Argentina Navy Submarine; ARA San Juan

Photo courtesy Barqueros Ultramar, Twitter.

U.S. Adjusts Support to ARA San Juan Search Operations

Dec. 27, 2017


The United States will begin to draw down operations assisting the search for the Argentine submarine A.R.A. San Juan in the South Atlantic, after completing its support to requests by the government of Argentina.

The United States actively joined the Argentina-led international search efforts within 24 hours of learning of the missing submarine on November 17.  At its height, U.S. contributions to the search and rescue effort included three advanced aircraft, over 200 search and rescue personnel, four submersibles, one specialized underwater rescue unit, one ship, and more than 400 sonar buoys dropped in support of the operation. Additionally, the United States provided the most advanced sonar system in the world, which was mounted on Argentine search vessels. U.S. planning and analytical specialists supported the efforts through data analysis; an effort that will continue.

U.S. Navy Continues Support to Argentina in Search for A.R.A. San Juan

ATLANTIC OCEAN, 12.15.2017

The R/V Atlantis, a U.S. Navy owned research vessel, deploys the cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV-21) during night operations. The CURV is designed to meet the U.S. Navy’s deep ocean recovery requirements down to a maximum depth of 20,000 feet, and is being used to support the Argentine Navy’s search for the ARA San Juan (S-42) (U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Alex Cornell du Houx/Released)


Mobility aircraft deliver equipment and expertise to Argentina

Photo By Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm | A U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft from the 22nd Airlift Squadron lands as a C-17 Globemaster III takes off at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Nov. 18, 2017. The aircraft delivered equipment and personnel to Argentina to aid in the search for the Argentina Navy submarine A.R.A San Juan. Air Mobility Command aircraft are delivering equipment and expertise to assist a partner nation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

The U.S. support team completed all searches in areas assigned by the Argentine Navy, sweeping each area twice with advanced sensors. Despite their best efforts on behalf of the Argentine people and the families of the missing sailors, this international effort has yet to locate the ARA San Juan.

“On behalf of the people of the United States, we offer our respects to the families of the crew of A.R.A. San Juan and the people of Argentina,” said Rear Adm. Daniel B. Abel, director of operations, US Southern Command.

The armed forces of the United States and Argentina enjoy very close ties and a longstanding partnership. They routinely work collaboratively in support of bilateral and multinational security.

Translation: December 20 at dusk, cadets of the Imperial Naval Academy in Nagasaki (Japan) cast to sea 44 lanterns in tribute to the crew members of the ARA San Juan… The text says: “brave crew of ARA San Juan, rest in peace”


Facebook Tool Shows if You Followed or Liked Russian Internet Research Agency Pages

How can I see if I’ve liked or followed a Facebook Page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency?

Click here to see if you liked or followed any of these accounts (you must be logged in to your Facebook account for it to work):


Hopefully, you will see this message: You haven’t liked or followed any pages or accounts from the IRA (Internet Research Agency).
Login with your Instagram account to see if you’ve followed an IRA Instagram account.

September 21, 2017

Facebook to Provide Congress With Ads Linked to Internet Research Agency

By Colin Stretch, General Counsel

Two weeks ago, we announced we had found more than 3,000 ads addressing social and political issues that ran in the US between 2015 and 2017 and that appear to have come from accounts associated with a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency. We subsequently made clear that we are providing information related to those ads, including the ad content itself, to the Special Counsel investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Since then, some people have asked why we aren’t sharing the content of the ads more broadly.

After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators. We believe it is vitally important that government authorities have the information they need to deliver to the public a full assessment of what happened in the 2016 election. That is an assessment that can be made only by investigators with access to classified intelligence and information from all relevant companies and industries — and we want to do our part. Congress is best placed to use the information we and others provide to inform the public comprehensively and completely.

This has been a difficult decision. Disclosing content is not something we do lightly under any circumstances. We are deeply committed to safeguarding user content, regardless of the user’s nationality, and ads are user content. Federal law also places strict limitations on the disclosure of account information. As our biannual transparency reports make clear, we carefully scrutinize all government data requests, from here and abroad, and we push back where they do not adhere to those legal limitations. And, of course, we also recognize and support the important work of government investigations and take care not to take steps, like public disclosures, that might undermine them.

Over recent weeks, we have grappled with the extraordinary nature of this particular investigation through this lens. The questions that have arisen go to the integrity of US elections. And the limited information Congress and the intelligence community have shared with us to date suggests that efforts to compromise the 2016 election were varied and sophisticated — and that understanding those efforts requires a united effort, from across the technology, intelligence and political communities. We believe the public deserves a full accounting of what happened in the 2016 election, and we’ve concluded that sharing the ads we’ve discovered, in a manner that is consistent with our obligations to protect user information, can help.

That’s why we have reached out to congressional leadership to agree on a process and schedule to provide the content of these ads, along with related information, to congressional investigators. At the same time, we will continue our own review and investigation, and to do our part to make sure investigators have the information they need. We look forward to their comprehensive assessment, and to a greater public understanding of what took place.

Russian Test Dog Survives Liquid Breathing Experiment; Dog is in a “Good Mood”

Photo: MOSCOW, RUSSIA, DECEMBER 21, 2017: Anton Tonshin, head of the Advanced Research Foundation liquid breathing laboratory, holds a dachshund called Nicholas that took part in liquid breathing experiment. Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

Russian test dog withstands record depth of over 1 km on liquid breathing

Experiments in the field of liquid breathing had started out with mice

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. A test dog of a team of dogs kept by the Fund for Experimental Research has endured a descent to a depth of over 1,000 meters breathing an oxygen-rich liquid instead of air, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.

“One of our dogs has endured the depth of 1,004 meters,” he told Rossiya’24 TV channel. “It breathed, it returned home, it is safe and sound. This test diver runs around.”

“The researchers working for the Fund for Experimental Research hold these dogs in high esteem,” Rogozin said. “In essence, these are our co-workers.”

He said he realized only too well that it was difficult for society to perceive experiments of this kind, but still it was important to remembers every time how many lives they might help save in the future.

“That’s important not only for submarine crews but also for the infants who are born preterm and should be placed back into an environment resembling the one in the mother’s womb,” Rogozin said. “Or take the people who have sustained serious burns.”

“All these experiments are justified if we manage to save dozens of thousands – or maybe hundreds of thousands of human lives,” he said.

“I think we’ve done a really great thing and our researchers deserve big incentives,” Rogozin said, adding he would insist on continuation of these research efforts.

He recalled that experiments in the field of liquid breathing had started out with mice, rats and hamsters and dogs were engaged in them only after researchers had attained a hundred percent survivability of the animals.

Rogozin also pointed out the long history of the experiments with animals, saying they were held back during the Soviet era, although he admitted the statistics for survival of the experimental subjects was far from always perfect then.

After 1991, the experiments with animals were stopped ” but the tragic incident with submarine Kursk [in August 2000 – TASS] alarmed all the honest people and prompted us to seek opportunities for rescuing submarine crews in the situations where the submarine were stuck at great depths,” Rogozin said.

On December 22, 2017, TASS news service announced Russian deputy premier adopted the dog that took part in liquid breathing experiment. During the experiment, attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the dog was put headfirst into a tank with oxygen-rich liquid.

Serbian President Vucic, who examined the dog after the experiment, said the animal “not only survived, but also was in a good mood.”

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The Russian deputy prime minister in charge of space and defense industry, Dmitry Rogozin, has decided to adopt a dog, who took part in a recent scientific experiment to demonstrate Russia’s new liquid breathing technology.

A dachshund named Nikolas was used in a recent demonstration of the liquid breathing technology, developed by Russian scientists. During the experiment, attended by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the dog was put headfirst into a tank with oxygen-rich liquid. The video of the experiment shows that Nikolas was panicking and struggling to get out, before his lungs were filled with the liquid and he started breathing normally again.

“Yes, indeed, Dmitry Olegovich [Rogozin] asked to give this dog to him. He wants to take him home,” a source at the deputy premier’s office told TASS. Rogozin already has a pet dog – a German Shepherd named Ponchik.

Many animal rights activists criticized the experiment as bordering on animal cruelty. Commenting on the accusations, Rogozin wrote in his Twitter that “our brave [animal] friends save human lives, that’s why such research should be treated with understanding and support for scientists, who have finally been able to solve the task inherited from the Soviet Union.”

Serbian President Vucic, who examined the dog after the experiment, said the animal “not only survived, but also was in a good mood.”

“There is no reason for people to get worry, this wonderful dog was in perfect condition, and quite lively. The scientists demonstrated that an animal can breathe some kind of liquid instead of air. After several moments of panic, the dog got used to this condition without any problems,” the Politika newspaper quoted Vucic as saying.

The liquid breathing technology, developed by Russian scientists, enables a normally air-breathing organism to breathe an oxygen-rich liquid instead. The technology can be used in various spheres, including deepwater diving and rescue of submarine crews, as well as for the treatment of pre-term neonates and people with various types of breathing problems.

“There are liquids that can be enriched with oxygen to the point when they can meet a living body’s oxygen demand by circulating in lungs instead of air. If a person breathes such liquid, he will not suffer from the decompression sickness,” said Anton Tonshin, a scientist who heads the liquid breathing lab at Russia’s Izmerov Research Institute of Occupational Health.

So far, the technology was tested on dogs and small mammals, such as hamsters. However, scientists do not rule out that it may be tested on apes and, subsequently, on humans.

“I wish we could [test this technology on humans] as soon as possible, because this is a serious technology that can save human lives. But no timeframe has been set yet. I think that human testing is unlikely to take place in 2019,” Tonshin said, adding that it was possible that the technology will be tested on humans in 2020.

“At the moment, we found no harm for health. This technology has all chances to eventually be applied to humans,” the scientist added.

Tonshin said that although the scientific team was absolutely sure that the experiment was safe, a group of vets was present during the test to provide any aid if necessary.

He added that all lab dogs who took part in similar experiments were alive and well.

“We monitored their condition for a while to make sure their health is out of danger. After that, the dogs are given up for adoption,” the researcher said.


ARA San Juan Update: Russian ship back in missing Argentine submarine search

Photo: The Russian ocean survey vessel Yantar, © EPA-EFE/DAVID FERNANDEZ

On November 30, the Argentine Navy declared it had curtailed the rescue operation as there was no hope of finding the crew alive, and focused on efforts to locate the submarine

BUENOS AIRES, December 26. /TASS/. The Russian ocean survey vessel Yantar has returned to the area where search for Argentina’s missing San Juan submarine continues after replenishing its stocks, the press service of the Argentine Navy said on Tuesday.

“Currently, five ships are staying in the search area, they are the Argentine Sarandi destroyers, the Puerto Argentino, the Islas Malvinas with the Russian Pantera Plus remotely-controlled submersible onboard, and US and Russian ocean survey ships, the Atlantis and Yantar,” the press service said.

According to the press service, an operation to survey three objects lying at depth of 500, 700 and 814 meters with the use of the Pantera Plus submersible has been postponed due to unfavorable weather conditions. The objects were detected earlier by the Sarandi destroyers.


The Yantar reached the search area on December 5 and had to call at the port of the Argentine capital city to replenish its reserves on December 14. According to the Russian defense ministry, the ship has surveyed a number of seabed irregularities since it joined the search operation.

The diesel-electric submarine The San Juan, which left Ushuaia with 44 crew on board, went missing on November 15. The search for the submarine began on November 16. On November 30, the Argentine Navy declared it had curtailed the rescue operation as there was no hope of finding the crew alive, and focused on efforts to locate the submarine.

The missing ARA San Juan Submarine courtesy Argentine Navy.