Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lucia Now rebel leader admits the pro-Russian separatists may have shot down MH-17 [UPDATE and then denies it]

... but whatever the case, it was Ukraine's fault the passenger plane was shot down.

In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence.

...

"I knew that a BUK came from Luhansk. At the time I was told that a BUK from Luhansk was coming under the flag of the LNR," he said, referring to the Luhansk People’s Republic, the main rebel group operating in Luhansk, one of two rebel provinces along with Donetsk, the province where the crash took place.

"That BUK I know about. I heard about it. I think they sent it back. Because I found out about it at exactly the moment that I found out that this tragedy had taken place. They probably sent it back in order to remove proof of its presence," Khodakovsky told Reuters on Tuesday.

"The question is this: Ukraine received timely evidence that the volunteers have this technology, through the fault of Russia. It not only did nothing to protect security, but provoked the use of this type of weapon against a plane that was flying with peaceful civilians," he said.

"They knew that this BUK existed; that the BUK was heading for Snezhnoye," he said, referring to a village 10 km (six miles) west of the crash site. "They knew that it would be deployed there, and provoked the use of this BUK by starting an air strike on a target they didn’t need, that their planes hadn’t touched for a week."

"And that day, they were intensively flying, and exactly at the moment of the shooting, at the moment the civilian plane flew overhead, they launched air strikes. Even if there was a BUK, and even if the BUK was used, Ukraine did everything to ensure that a civilian aircraft was shot down."

I would guess that the rebels and the Russians have realised that they can't fool everyone over who shot down MH-17, so now they are trying to cast blame, in the hope that the world will buy that. Unbelievable.

Related link: Exclusive: Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile ~ Yahoo News

UPDATE: Looks like the rebel leader has revoked his story.



Russian-Backed Separatist Leader Khodakovsky Changes His Story to Reuters — or Does He? , Asks The Interpreter.  Essential reading into the confusing world of Russian intelligence operations.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lucia Russian Wikipedia Tampering

From The Interpreter:
Russians Scramble To Edit Wikipedia So The Kremlin’s Claims Make Sense
16:24 (GMT)

As we reported earlier, the Kremlin now says that flight MH17 was “tailed” by a Ukrainian military Su-25 aircraft during much of its flight over Ukraine. As we pointed out, this claim may be physically impossible since Russia says that the Su-25 was consistently between 3 and 5 kilometers away from MH17, but the Su-25 can’t fly high enough to have this claim make any sense.

Well, today the Su-25 has been given some significant upgrades — at least on Wikipedia. Several IP addresses that track back to central Moscow appear to have edited the maximum altitude of the Su-25 from 7 kilometers to 10 kilometers to match the flight path of MH17.

One such IP address that made such a change appears to use the “ROSNIIROS” ISP (Russian Institute for Public Networks) and, according to one IP tracking service, is associated with an organization called “JSK IT. Information Technologies Co.”

Another address that made this change is also from Moscow and was tracked back to the “Closed joint-stock company Telecommunication company.”

We have not translated the full transcript of the Russian press conference yet, but according to an editor for the Russian Kremlin-operated propaganda network RT, the claim is that the Su-25 can briefly climb to 10,000 meters (though there’s no indication of this capability on the manufacturer’s website).

This goes to show that Russia is concerned about public opinion in the West if she goes so far as to change Wikipedia to make tailing of MH-17 by a Su-25 feasible. This is not aimed at convincing governments, this is aimed at convincing keyboard warriors, such as myself.

Except, I don't disbelieve everything I read in the mainstream media. I cross-correlate and match against the historical record. Also, as of yesterday, I've also been listening to an audiobook of the methods of the Russians (this includes the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and now Russia) in Disinformation :Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism. Definitely an eyeopener, and something I'd recommend to everyone. Fr Z is currently reading it and published a bit from it on his blog in this post : Divide et impera: KGB influence on Middle East violence.

What I find incredible and almost difficult to believe is the sheer number of people involved in disinformation to the West during the Soviet era.  Many of those organisations set up by the KGB are still in existence today.  Maybe I'll have to buy the Kindle book as well, so I can more easily quote from it.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lucia Totally against binding Citizen's Initiated Referenda

Arghh, what is Colin Craig thinking?

Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says he would not form a Government with National unless it agreed to introduce binding referenda.

Mr Craig confirmed the party's bottom line for potential coalition talks at its annual meeting in Auckland this afternoon, attended by around 120 delegates.

In his keynote speech, he said: "We are not playing a mystery game. We are being upfront with the electorate.

"The thing that we want, that will be required if a party wants our support, is that they are going to need to agree to a change whereby that the people of this country have the right on those rare occasions ... to tell the government where to go and what to do."

Oh well, they won't be going into coalition with National, then.

I'm personally against making citizens initiated referenda binding the Government. The closest thing I would support would be a Voter Veto on Parliament's conscience votes. That would mean any legislation passed by politician's consciences would be then subject to approval by the people. If politicians don't want their moral decisions overturned, then their only option would be to make whatever the issue is a party issue. On that basis, I doubt that same-sex marriage would have stood, it would have been voted out by the population.

I also don't believe that Conservatism really supports binding referenda - it's more an anarchistic thing. The stuff of revolutions. Conservatism is for stability, not for providing a back door method to have the Government controlled by the mob on any issue whatsoever. So, if we all voted for abolishing existing mortgages - how is that going to work? An extreme example, but possible under a binding referenda.

New Zealand doesn't have a history of binding referenda, therefore we don't have experience with needing to be prudent with the type of power that these can give and therefore maybe unable deal with a Kim Dot Com type takeover of the process. Imagine if Kim managed to get enough people to vote to keep him in the country. Maybe he could promise each person who voted for him a cash bonus. I don't want to give him ideas, but that's the sort of backdoor thing that could happen.

I wouldn't be surprised if Colin Craig just can't see past the anti-smacking referendum to all the other possibilities that are out there, just lurking in the background.

Related link: Colin Craig reveals Conservative Party's bottom line ~ NZ Herald

Lucia Where is the Polish Foreign Minister in this current crisis with Russia?

The Economist's Eastern Approaches Blog asks, Where is Radek?

Radek being the Polish Foreign Minister, Radosław Sikorski, who has effectively been sidelined as a voice for Ukraine by the release of tapes of a private conversation from earlier this year where he said that the alliance with the US was basically useless for Poland. Yet, he has always been the most direct and clear headed about what is actually going on with Ukraine and Russia and the whole situation.

AT THE start of the Ukraine crisis Poland’s foreign minister, Radek Sikorski (pictured), was a central figure in formulating a European response to Russia's actions in Ukraine. Yet as the crisis in Poland’s neighbouring country is escalating Mr Sikorski seems to have been sidelined from Europe’s diplomatic efforts.

Mr Sikorski travelled to Kiev earlier this week to meet with top Ukrainian officials. His solitary journey was a marked contrast to his trip to the Ukrainian capital in February, when he was accompanied by both his French and German counterparts. The three minsters played an important role in negotiating an end to the violence on Kiev's Maidan, the square at the centre of the recent upheaval.

Back in Warsaw, Mr Sikorski said Ukraine's leaders had appealed to him to get the European Union to press Russia over its refusal to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine and its continued military support for pro-Russian separatists. The foreign minister also presciently warned about the dangers posed by such supplies, especially ground-to-air missiles. “These are mobile rockets whose sale is governed by international rules and they are forbidden from being supplied to non-state groups, because that creates the possibility of the proliferation of these kinds of weapons, which creates a danger to civil aviation around the world,” Mr Sikorski said, speaking two days before an anti-aircraft missile shot down a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over eastern Ukraine, killing all 295 aboard.

Poland's diminished role is in part a result of Russian demands. The new formula for negotiating Ukraine is a four-country grouping consisting of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine, where Poland's overt scepticism of Russia has no place. “Poland was pushed aside,” says a Polish diplomat. Marcin Zaborowski, head of the Polish Institute for International Affairs, a foreign policy think-tank, adds, “France and Germany are interested in de-escalating and Poland causes problems with this.”

Yes, Poland would cause problems given her experiences with Russia over the past few centuries.

Related link: Where is Radek? ~ Eastern Approaches

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lucia Escalation in Ukraine has been happening for weeks and now the world is paying attention

Why Putin Let MH17 Get Shot Down ~ The Daily Beast

Russia has been escalating its war in Ukraine for weeks. The urgency to win turned to recklessness.

President Putin has been recklessly escalating the crisis in eastern Ukraine since he was embarrassed and outmaneuvered by the Ukrainian president three weeks ago. Allowing a passenger jet to be shot down is the act of an increasingly desperate man.

The Kremlin ordered tanks, heavy weapons and Russian fighters to pour over the border stoking up the crisis until tragedy struck. We should have seen it coming; on Wednesday morning the front page of Foreign Policy magazine had a headline that should have sent shockwaves through the geopolitical landscape: Russia Is Firing Missiles At Ukraine.

The story followed several Russian citizens posting videos to social media which they said show GRAD rockets being fired from Russian territory toward Ukraine. By triangulating the different camera angles, my team at The Interpreter proved that the unguided rockets were indeed being fired into Ukraine from Russia. Thursday morning, there were reports that a group of Ukrainian soldiers had been hit by the rocket fire and were actually receiving medical treatment on the other side of the border, ironically enough in the same town from which the rockets had been launched in the first place.

This should have been huge news. How could things in Ukraine have deteriorated to the point where Putin was now engaged in such a reckless act of aggression? Of course, it was huge news... but for only a few hours. Quickly this headline was buried under the news that another Malaysian airlines flight was missing, and evidence is steadily growing that either Russian-backed separatists or Russia itself may have fired the missile that brought it down.

Wow, like serious, wow. So much for, we are not involved in any way from Russia. Bringing down a passenger jet has just focused the attention of the world into an area where attention has not been wanted.

Meanwhile, the tinfoil hat idiot commentators on KiwiBlog go on about false-flags and various other conspiracy theories. It's like they are in a completely different reality, a invented one because they can't cope with the fact that there are evil crazy dudes in the world.

Lucia Thanks to all who are still reading

I have the flu, or something like it. Anemia and flu is not fun, but I have been eating my red meat this week and recovering from that time of month and I don't have to cook dinner tonight, so I just thought I'd say thanks to those that commented on my previous post on my Personal Update.

My boys have been sick for weeks, now. My oldest son has recovered, but the youngest, who became sick nearly three weeks ago now, is still not well. He has a sore chest and is still coughing. I have become the mother who asks for medical certificates every time we visit the doctor in anticipation of the school getting antsy. I've already used some for my older boy as he is at NCEA level and has been missing deadlines for assignments due to illness.

It's a funny thing, that I've noticed over the years. Many times I've posted about an achievement or something I'm trying to do, and whammo, after that post I fail miserably in continuing whatever it is I was doing. I'm not sure what that is about - is it my own psychological response, or are there people out there who curse me in everything I try to do. As an example, I've been working away at Saxon Math, and after my last post was unable to do much with it. I've just sort of picked it up again yesterday, starting lesson 79 which I finished today, and then am just about finished lesson 80 as of now. But after being able to easily do a lesson a day and even 2 a day previously, I find it interesting that I just failed so miserably after my post.

Apologies for yet another personal post, I am at the stage where I need to write something that I know is true in order to get myself posting again. Regain my solid ground so to speak.

This is what I've been looking at today, how to get space via the loft bed concept:


We have boys and they want their own rooms, but the only way to for them to get their own rooms is to build up or out. However, maybe the loft bed concept will allow us to do something much cheaper...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Lucia Stupidity reigns supreme in rebel held area of Ukraine where a Malaysian passenger plane has been shot down [UPDATE]

Looks like the pro-Russian rebels in the east of Ukraine have made a huge blunder:

A social media page that Ukrainian media frequently attribute to Igor Girkin, a Russian citizen who describes himself as a rebel military leader in Donetsk, appeared to claim responsibility for the downed plane shortly after it went missing.

“We have just shot down an AN-26 plane in the Torez region, it is lying somewhere near the Progress mine,” read a post at 5:50 p.m. Moscow time on the social media site VKontakte. “We have warned emphatically: Do not fly in ‘our sky.’” The post then offered “video confirmation” of the crash.

The post was removed Thursday evening, shortly after reports confirmed that the crashed aircraft was a commercial airliner.

The initial post suggested that pro-Russian rebels mistook the aircraft for a Ukrainian military transport plane. Earlier this week, an AN-26 was brought down over the Luhansk region. Two crew members were reported killed.

...

The Ukraine Security Service later released a recording of intercepted phone calls in which separatists purportedly discussed the shootdown, indicating that they were responsible.

“We have just shot down a plane,” says one man on the tape, identified as Igor Bezler, one of the leaders in the pro-Russian separatist movement in eastern Ukraine, at about 4:40 p.m. local time. “It was 100 percent a passenger aircraft,” another man, identified as “Major,” responds later.

“There are lots of corpses of women and children,” another militant says. “They say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?”

“That means they were carrying spies,” says another voice, identified as that of Nikolay Kozitsin. “They shouldn’t be [expletive] flying. There is a war going on.”

Idiots.

UPDATE: The discussion on downing the plane is now available on YouTube:



Related link: Malaysia Airlines plane crashes in eastern Ukraine; U.S. intelligence blames missile ~ Washington Post

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lucia Labour wants to ban cosmetics and make all children learn Maori

I have to wonder if this is some sort of joke - the Labour Party think that banning all cosmetics that have been tested on animals is some sort of election winner. Have they forgotten being turfed out of power after trying to ban light bulbs and high volume shower heads? Many years ago I tried using more natural cosmetics, and the damn things went mouldy and gave me a skin infection. Now I stay away from them, but do prefer foundation without sunscreen, which is very difficult to find as just about all foundations have sunscreen added. And now Labour wants to take away what choice I have in the cosmetics I buy? Stuff that.

Then there's their quiet policy of compulsory Maori language for all school children. I have no problem with the Maori language being available as an elective, as it is in the college my boys go to. However, not everyone wants to learn a language, no matter the advantage, and a second language has limited advantage, unless is it one of the top three languages to learn, which are Latin, Greek followed by Hebrew. If you are going to force a second language on everyone, why not a language that is vastly superior and massively increases knowledge of our own language and culture?

Why Labour still exists as a political party when they are reduced to the above policy ideas, I just don't know.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lucia A personal update

Hello readers,

Those that are left, forlornly checking this site in the hope that a new post will appear.

My apologies for the lack of blogging.

A while back, I hit that crisis point where I no longer believed my opinion was better than anyone else's. That certainly made it difficult, but not impossible to blog.

A few months ago, Russia invaded Ukraine and stole Crimea. That has created a rift between Andrei and I that has widened into a chasm. While I still like and respect him, his opinions on this matter cause me a great deal of pain, and so I avoid the conversations. Therefore, what I would like to discuss is weighed against the angst it might create, and so blogging has limped to a crawl.

Added to all that, I've been coping with anemia, which I didn't know I had. Kind of makes sense, though. No wonder I have no energy for two weeks out of every four.

Also, my son has been having issues with Year 12 Mathematics. I used to be very good at Maths, but I've forgotten a lot. So, in order to help him, I have been putting what energy I do have into studying. I'm doing well with it all, I'm steam rolling along through Saxon's Algebra 1 course (up to Lesson 78 today), and Algebra is becoming more and more familiar. Even graphs don't look so alien any more and I can rip through conversions from miles to centimeters using all the various equivalences that I never even knew with ease. There are 5280 feet in a mile and 2.54 cm in an inch. If you know that, you can do a lot. I'm still way behind, but at the rate I'm going, I'll be finished Algebra 2 by the end of the year, which will get me very close to where I need to be.

Anyway, blogging, after all these years is grinding to a halt. I can't even dredge up what is left to say anything about the upcoming election, except, that even though National is bad, Labour and associated lunatics would be even worse.

Who knows, maybe this post will break the drought.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fletch Supermodel Kathy Ireland On Abortion



Supermodel Kathy Ireland appeared on the Mike Huckabee show and talked about becoming a Christian and on how her stance changed from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life. Her defence of unborn life is very cogent and easy to understand.

I dove into the medical books [...] What I learned is, at the moment of conception, a new life comes into being. The DNA - the genetic blueprint - is there, the sex is determined, the blood type is determined, the unique set of fingerprints is there. And, I picked up the phone, called Planned Parenthood, 'help me out here, give me your best argument!'

And, the best arguments, 'well, it's just a clump of cells if you get it early enough. It doesn't even look like a baby.' We're "clumps of cells" and that unborn human being does not look like a baby, the same way a baby does not look like a teenager; a teenager does not look like a senior, but that unborn human being looks EXACTLY the way unborn human beings are supposed to look at that stage of development. And this human life continues to grow and change. Some people say, well, if you get it at a certain stage, it's OK. According to the law of biogenesis, all life comes from pre-existing life and each species reproduces after its own kind, therefore, human beings can only reproduce other human beings. So, it doesn't start out as one species and suddenly become a human being somewhere along the way. 

H/T LifeSiteNews

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Lucia Pope Francis on the family and the desire of the devil to destroy it

An important quote by Pope Francis:

"Families are the home Church where Jesus grows. He grows in the spouses' love and in the children's lives. For this reason, the enemy attacks the family so much. The devil does not want it. He tries to destroy it, to prevent love from becoming free. Families are the home church. But married people are sinners like everyone else, they do not want to go in faith, in its fertility, in children and the faith of their children. May the Lord bless the family, and make it strong in the face of the crisis by which the devil wants to destroy it."

When I think of the laws passed in recent years in New Zealand that don't strengthen the family here, but instead chip away at undermining it, I can see the influence of the devil on our politicians. Recently, it was the redefinition of marriage, which destroyed the understanding of marriage by the state; and then previously, the anti-smacking law which allowed interference in the family by state in the raising of children; and in the last decade, the care of children act which turned parents into "caregivers" of their children.

Weak families mean a strong state and too many people dependent on the state. It cannot last for the long term, as the state will fall apart without strong families to uphold it.

Related link: For the pope, the devil does not want the family, which is why he is trying to destroy it ~ AsiaNews IT

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lucia An assortment of articles on Russia and Ukraine, topped with the fears of Poland and the Baltic states

Poland stuck in the middle ~ The Global Think Tank

What worries the Poles is that if stability in Ukraine returns under terms suitable to the Kremlin, it may only be a matter of time before it is business as usual with Russia. That would give Russia the space to make another move.

A Collective Psychosis Is Taking Hold of Ukraine ~ The New Republic

A collective psychosis, born of machismo and paranoia and fuelled by rumour, is taking hold. The latest story gaining traction in the capital is that thousands of Russians—solitary males of military age—have begun to appear in Kyiv, renting rooms and just waiting. “Let them come,” says Maksym, my wiry and intense landlord. “I’ve got body armour and I’m cleaning all my guns.”

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Andrei Did you feel the earth move?

“Someone who tries to blow out another’s oil lamp will set his beard on fire,”

Kazak Proverb - related by Chinese Vice Premier, Zhang Gaoli, at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

This has sure been an interesting week, a golden week for Mr Putin - its a crying shame that this is the sound bite and that it comes via translator. In Russian he was devastating, on fire with and with far much more than this.

His audience got it though and it is clear that the world has changed.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Andrei Sour Grapes

From the Los Angeles times
Russia and China signed a landmark $400-billion natural gas deal Wednesday, sealing their friendship at a time when both are unpopular in their neighborhoods and at odds with the United States.
In reality this is far bigger than an energy deal, it is a whole raft of projects and the settlements will be in Renminbi and Rubles, not dollars.

Cleverly New Zealand has already moved to settle our trade with China in Renminbi bypassing the almighty dollar.

This is the USA's bad dream, this is why Ukraine is in turmoil - an attempt to drag Russia into a war, portraying her leader as a re-incarnation of Hitler to head this off at the pass and to separate her from Europe. But Vladimir Putin has decided not to play along for now.

But the human catastrophe in Ukraine and Obama's "Pivot to Asia", talking up China as an enemy, may just have hastened this which of course has been in preparation for years.

We live in interesting times, dangerous, especially right now for Ukrainians, but interesting.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lucia Monte Cassino - 70th anniversary

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk (C) with his wife Malgorzata Tusk (2-R), Prince Harry (2-L), New Zealand Governor General Sir Jerry Mateparae (R) and Polish General Wieslaw Grudzinski (L) arrive for the official ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino
Prince Harry stood shoulder to shoulder with Polish veterans as he commemorated their bravery and sacrifice capturing Monte Cassino in one of the Second World War's bloodiest battles.

From the (UK) Telegraph:

It was 70 years ago on today that troops from the Polish II Corps finally took the ruined Benedictine monastery near Rome - a symbol of Nazi resistance to the Allies' campaign to push Hitler's forces out of Italy.

The victory had followed months of hard fighting that left an estimated 250,000 dead.

The Prince joined more than 50 Polish veterans of the battle, their prime minister Donald Tusk and many dignitaries for an open-air mass at the Polish Military Ceremony where those who paid the ultimate sacrifice are buried.

He arrived wearing his white tropical no 1 dress of the Household Cavalry and walked with Mr Tusk and the Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Jerry Mateparae, along a long avenue to the burial place.

Their route was lined by hundreds of scouts in their uniforms and each carried a single large poppy.

The Battle of Monte Cassino was one of the most important campaigns of the Second World War and saw Allied forces launch four major attacks in 1944 to remove Nazi forces from a strategically-important rocky outcrop, home to the 1,400 year-old Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino.

Controversially, the monastery was heavily bombed and destroyed in a bid to make a breakthrough but the move failed and the holy site was later rebuilt after the war.

Finally, on May 18 1944, the troops of the Polish II Corps commanded by General Władysław* Anders reached the monastery ruins.

The campaign had claimed the lives of 923 Poles, 2,931 were injured and 345 reported missing.

It's hard being in New Zealand, and reading about commemorations about important battles such as the ones for Monte Cassino and not having the entire story reported here. My grandfather and uncles that were just a bit older than my dad fought for Ander's Army, the Polish Corps that were able to finally make the final assaults on Monte Cassino and capture it for the allies. Yet, the NZ Herald article that does mention the Poles only says:
The honour of being the first troops to enter the shattered stone building was given to the Poles, whose country had suffered grievously under Nazi occupation.

That one line hides the contribution from the Polish soldiers who fought and died in order that such an honour could be given - why else were they there? As bystanders?  I don't expect the whole article to give the full Polish story, but it would be nice if the Poles weren't whitewashed in it, considering their most sizable contribution to the eventual victory.

Many Polish veterans of Monte Cassino settled here in New Zealand - three from my family alone. The story of how they got here is explained his this short NZ made documentary from the 60's : The story of 700 Polish children who came to NZ during the war.  Those surviving Polish soldiers who had children that were sent here, came to live in NZ as well.

I like the photo above in this post that shows the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk walking up to Monte Cassino with NZ's Sir Jerry Mateparae.  It shows a connection between the two countries on a common cause where Poland and NZ fought in a decisive important and costly battle.  If only there was more acknowledgement here in NZ of those men that fought on the Polish side in that battle and eventually became New Zealanders themselves, raising NZ families with NZ children who are really left out when it comes to commemorations of  NZ battles overseas.  Our choice is to associate with the Poles, not with the New Zealanders.


I don't quite know what the solution is.  Maybe there is no solution, maybe it just comes down to descendants of Ander's Army, like myself, putting up posts such as this to make the point that the NZ story needs to include us in some way.

Related link: Prince Harry commemorates sacrifice of Polish soldiers who captured Monte Cassino ~ Telegraph, UK

* Spelling corrected for Władysław. English speakers tend to turn the Polish ł into an l, but the sounds are completely different. The ł more accurately sounds like our w. The Polish w sounds like an English v. So the name Władysław (this was my dad's name as well) is sort of pronounced Vwa-DEES-wavf.