The shame that will stain Russian nationalism for evermore

Russia cannot disguise nor rid itself of the shame that it brought on itself

“Russia will never disguise nor rid itself of the shame that this deed etched upon its face”

                                                                                                                (With grateful recognition to Nicky Anderson of the Houston Chronicle)


Over the last week I have read and analysed countless articles about the Pro-Russian attack on Flight MH17 and the stories behind the victims. Yet none have seemed so thought-provoking or poignant as this tribute left by a member of ground staff at Schiphol Airport . We hear reports that say there is no proven Russian connection with any of the MH17 atrocity while the pro-Russian rebels metaphorically scrub the evidence from the wreckage. This is NOT a crash site, it is a crime scene: If the Russians had no hand in this, why are they allowing the evidence to be airbrushed out? Equally, if Russia had no say or control over this, where did the rebels get a surface-to-air missile launcher mounted on a 38 tonne articulated lorry? Clearly the Russian government is no more honest than its filthy, thieving rebels in Eastern Ukraine. If this is what the Ukrainians have had to suffer, no wonder there has been such unrest, with a pro-Russian ex-President (Yanukovych) who lived in Donetsk being ousted by the Mayden Square protestors because of massive corruption.. No one should forget that the Yanukovych family fortune ballooned from £4bn to £40bn in the course of his presidency. Like his hero Putin, he clearly felt that the nation’s assets where rightfully his.

Reading so much of this caused me to make a comparison between the European view of respect for others and their lives and what seems to currently prevail among large swathes of the people in ‘The Republic of Donetsk’ and more wider, about Russia generally. I was particularly shocked to read that after the the plane was downed by the pro-Russian missile  on July 17, witnesses reported seeing separatist paramilitaries at the crime scene stealing,  pocketing  jewelry, money and electronic items that belonged to the people that were laying dead around them.

Shane Hattingh, whose brother-in-law of 43-year-old helicopter rescue pilot Cameron Dalzie said that his credit cards had been used after the time that that the airliner crashed to the ground. Hattingh made the claim to CNN after he and his relatives had watched the first first plane carrying coffins arriving in Eindhoven on a day of mourning yesterday. He said Reine, Dalziel’s widow had cancelled his credit cards and tried to busy herself but had been “destroyed” by the procession yesterday. Speaking of the pro-Russian rebels and their attempts to delay search efforts following the crash, Hattingh said: “They have no respect for each other, look what they’re doing […] It’s no surprise that they were treating the remains of people like that. It made me angry beyond words”.

On Monday, the Donetsk ‘Prime Minister’ Alexander Borodai, who is controlling the area of the crime scene, confirmed bodies and belongings had been looted. He said that looters “can be found everywhere,” while promising to punish any he found. More recently he has admited to informal linka with Russia – but not with the Russian government. It is clear that Borodai cannot be trusted any more than the Russian government. There are also unconfirmed reports that possessions of the deceased are being sold in local markets. Can you really see that happening in the EU zone?

To look at events through the perspective of a nation, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in a press briefing that he is willing and ready to deploy Australian police to “help secure” the site of the crash, also saying that 50 officers are already in London waiting for the go-ahead. Mr Abbott said that we should all be aware that there had not been a “thorough professional search” of the site and neither can there be while armed rebels with a “vested interest” in the outcome of investigations are the calling the shots.

We may never see justice for the almost 300 deaths on that aircraft. When the dust settles it may be that we will never have definitive proof that the rebels, aided by the Russians, carried out this vile act. What we should reflect on is this: If the Russian character is so fatally flawed that it permits shooting passenger out of the sky and robbing the dead once they fallen to earth, then we can take a fresh look at our own society and realise that at least our country is not ruled by armed thugs, where consus is determined by violence. Their hero is Putin – a man that has stolen £40 billion from his people – where else would a lifelong government servant who now only earns around £125,000 a year get this kind of wealth from? I have lived in countries where the only thing that talks is money, but they were nothing like this. This is really sickening.

Let us always remind ourselves that the stench that comes from the murderous aggression and outright duplicity from Russian nationalists is a clear reason why they are way below us on the moral scale. Europe would really be better off without intimidation and threats of losing Russia’s gas supplies by simply seeking other options. Look where the profits go: look at the predator that is at the top of this unpalatable, bile-inducing food chain: Putin.




If the Kyev government downed MH17, why set about destroying the evidence?

Proper sanctions must now be imposed on Russia and its businesses – they cannot be allowed to laugh in the face of 298 deaths

Propaganda by the Russian authorities to deceive their own people

Propaganda by the Russian authorities to deceive their own people

In the latest twist in Russia’s propaganda war, the Putin government, such as it is, is accusing the Ukraine government of shooting down Malaysia Airline flight #MH17. Ukraine, along with most other countries involved in this matter, accuse Russia of complicity in the act by aiding the rebels with weapons and tactical support, including a surface-to-air missile launcher with warheads.

You don’t have to be a renowned sleuth to work out the inconsistencies in the argument and behaviours of the Russians. This dastardly act took place on Thursday last and, after four days of prevarication, removing parts of the downed aircraft, refusing legitimate air accident experts access to conduct their forensic investigation, threatening journalists that descended on the area to gather information and holding on to the flight recorders thereby impeding any proper analysis of this crime, the Russian response is that a Ukraine military fighter jet shot down flight MH17. Putin on Thursday blamed the tragedy on Kiev’s three-month military operation and said its new leaders were solely responsible for security across the strategic nation, and have been since its 1991 independence, the geopolitical separator between Russia and the West.

At a July 21 press conference, held amid mounting evidence that MH17 had been downed by a Buk missile fired by pro-Russian separatists.Putin’s administration claimed that an Su-25 with air-to-air missiles had been detected within three to five kilometers of the Malaysia Airlines jet. But according to a British aviation expert, Russia’s claim that a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet was responsible for downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 are a flight of fantasy. “Loaded with missiles and bombs, [the Su-25’s] maximum altitude is five kilometers,” says David Gleave, an aviation and safety researcher at Loughborough University. “We know that MH17 was flying at 10 kilometers high.”

If Russia hadn’t sent in BUK surface-to-air missile equipment and they knew that the rebels could not have carried out this atrocity, why has there been such delay in their response? Why haven’t they brought forward the evidence to substantiate their claims? More to the point, why were they virtually silent for three days, the same three days in which the rebels picked and pulled apart the wreckage of MH17? It is completely and utterly illogical – risible even – to claim that the Ukraine military shot down the plane whilst doing everything you can to frustrate the evidence-gathering process that would, were the Russian being truthful, substantiate their accusation.

The fact that Putin has surrounded himself with a coterie of his ex-colleagues, all ex-KGB agents and driven by conspiracy theories, is likely to be something to do with the mixed messages received from the Russian government. First elected in 1999, Putin is now remote from reality. His wealth has burgeoned since becoming president. His autobiography speaks of humble beginnings, including early years in a communal apartment, shared by several families, in Leningrad. That hasn’t deterred Putin from enriching himself as the latest estimates put his wealth at over £40bn.

Putin has run his country by selling the idea of a ‘New Russia’, where military glories punctuate the political timeline. Russian TV is driven by government  propaganda. Lives are controlled. Andrei Borisovich Zubov, a Russian historian and political scientist, Doctor of History, and a former Professor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations,  lost his position for criticising Putin over the annexation of Crimea. Wherever you look in Russia, Putin’s world you cane see the KGB-style tentacles reaching out to manage the public and stifle news that the President doesn’t want to hear.

No matter how much Putin’s apparatchiks try and skew this catastrophe in their favour, the evidence is there for all to see, and for those that still can’t bring themselves to understand that, I ask: If the Kyev government downed MH17, why set about destroying the evidence?

We should have listened to the brave Russian professor who called a spade a spade!

On Saturday, 1 March 2014 Andrei Borisovich Zubov, a Professor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) linked to the diplomatic service, wrote a column in the respected Vedomosti newspaper on Saturday comparing Putin’s potential annexation of Crimea with the Anschluss of Austria and Nazi Germany in 1938. The following Tuesday, he said the university had fired him for the comparison.
It seems to me that Prof. Zubov was too effective at this experiment in free speech and democracy, having accused the Russian government of fascism, and then being sacked indirectly by the Kremlin for the comment, thereby proving the de facto dictatorship of Putin: Having lost his chair he stated that he felt sympathy for MGIMO’s management because many staff probably agreed with his assessments in the article. “These are very smart and understanding people. But they have received instructions from the authorities … their situation is worse than mine”. He was also reported by the Russian New Times as saying  “I am afraid, but there are situations in which you have to act, regardless of your own fear”. (Source of quote)

The events of the last few weeks, Russia’s war by stealth, the propaganda and the consequences of stirring up national fervour in Russia have brought the professor’s words into perspective. Zubov deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

The evidence about MH17 is being destroyed … and with it Putin’s reputation!

Strelkov wanted

The Ukrainian government is accusing pro-Russian rebels in the  area of the crash site of  Malaysia Airlines flight #MH17 of trying to frustrate international attempts to determine who was  responsible for the massacre of 298 airline passengers by removing or destroying whatever evidence remains of the international crime. The Kyiv authorities claim that the  rebels are ‘led by Russia’ and were in the process of preventing international experts from pursuing their legitimate investigation.

Latest figures released by Malaysia Airlines show the plane was carrying 192 Dutch nationals, almost two-thirds of the total passengers on board, 44 Malaysians, both passengers and crew, 27 Australians, 12 Indonesians, 10 Britons, 4 Germans, 4 Belgians, 3 from the Philippines and one each from Canada and New Zealand.

The Ukrainian government complained about the pro-Russian rebels removing 38 bodies from the site in a press release today. I have included a link to the original, but I have provided a translation below. It is believed that the bodies are being stored in a morgue in Donetsk. The Ukrainian government said in the same statement that the rebels were trying to transport large sections of the plane’s wreckage to Russia.

Yesterday the OSCE team complained that evidently drunk paramilitaries stopped them from even accessing the evidence that was in the field about 25 metres from where they stood on the roadside. Today, for a second day, they have been prevented by armed paramilitaries from accessing the wreckage to gain vital forensic evidence.

It is evident that the rebels, most likely in collusion with the Russian authorities, are busying themselves trying to ‘tidy up’ their appalling atrocity by disposing of any incriminating evidence. The ONLY conclusion that any reasonable person can draw in these circumstances is that the rebels and the Russian government are trying to defeat justice by this disgraceful attempt to cover the tracks of their guilt.

My post yesterday concerning #MH17 mentioned Igor Girkin — who goes by the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov. It is time that international arrest warrants were issued for those identified as potential suspects of the massacre of the people on MH17. Nothing less would be sufficient in the circumstances. Action must be taken in light of the destruction of evidence in the rebel held area.


Translation Of Ukrainian government press release:

Russia-led terrorists are not permitting the competent authorities of Ukraine to launch an investigation and refused to allow the international community and representatives of foreign governments in place at the crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane to carry out their work.

According to government figures, the terrorists have taken 38 dead bodies to the morgue Donetsk, where specialists with strong Russian accents are saying that they will conduct their own section. Also, terrorists are seeking to export large-sized transport aircraft wreckage to Russia.

The Government of Ukraine officially draws the world’s attention to the terrorists trying to destroy evidence of an international crime. We appeal to the international community and encourage and  oblige Russia to withdraw its terrorist gangs and allow Ukrainian and international experts to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy.

Forgiveness for international criminals cannot be, nor is it for those who supported these terrorists and trained, funded them and supplied weapons.

The Government of Ukraine has informed all Member States of the EU and the U.S. on the situation. Governments provided the necessary technical equipment and personnel to conduct investigations and forensic examinations of dead bodies, and provided every opportunity to repatriate the bodies to the respective countries, but at this stage the terrorist groups prevent this process.


The evidence is stacked against Putin and the bandits that he funds in Eastern Ukraine

Putin is becoming like the 'Emperor with no clothes', he is deluding himself about the trust he believes he has throughout the world.

Putin is becoming like the ‘Emperor with no clothes’, he is deluding himself about the trust he believes he has throughout the world.

President Putin has announced that the Ukrainian authorities are responsible for the terrorist attack on Flight MH17 because it happened in Ukrainian airspace, an opinion that seems to trump Kubrik’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’, a parody of James Bond, as a classic example of dark humour. Putin needs to realise that the ground beneath him is on fire; his credibility on the international stage is going up in flames as people see the evidence that is being presented. Putin’s ‘cloaked’ war with Ukraine, is now doomed to failure in light of the material that evidences his filthy part in the darkest act since the bombing of the World Trade Centre.

Donetsk rebels say black boxes have been sent to Moscow. How are the countries involved, the Dutch, Malaysian, Australian, French and other governments going to react on learning this news?  was shot down onto Ukrainan national soil and thus it is they who have the legal right to investigate this in collaboration with international air accident investigators. Right now separatists saying they will send black boxes to Russia. There is also anecdotal evidence that the weapon used – Buk-ground-to-Air missile launcher – has been taken back into Russia overnight. One thing has become absolutely clear: This is the last chance for Putin to dismantle the bandit gangs he has funded and end the chaos in Eastern Ukraine. The politically-ambitious vehicle that he has driven in his addiction for greater adulation from the Russian people – an obsession that this ghastly tragedy emanates from – is dead in the water now.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry uploaded a video to YouTube on Thursday, which security officials claim is a phone call that they intercepted, featuring a pro-Russian rebel leader and a Russian intelligence agent discussing the missile strike on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The most damning piece of evidence in the transcript is in the last line of the conversation from the crash site by a pro-Russian rebel: “Major: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson. Fuck.” How could the Ukrainians have faked this conversation? If they did they must have had a passenger list in advance, plus some extremely adept actors to voice-out the conversations.

Equally damning is the following evidence captured online yesterday:  Through his (VKontakte) account, Russia’s version of Facebook, the self-proclaimed defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Igor Girkin — who goes by the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov — boasted about shooting down a plane. “We did warn you — do not fly in our sky,” he wrote. 

Believing that a Ukrainian military transport plane had been hit, Strelkov commented “a plane has just been downed somewhere around Torez, it lays there behind the ‘Progress’ mine.” He continued “And here is the video proving another ‘bird’ falling down,” providing a clip of the smoke plume that emanated from the crashed . “The bird went down behind a slagheap, not in a residential district. So no peaceful people were injured.” Strelkov quickly deleted the post when he realised that he had given witness to the perpetrators of a grave international crime. that it was actually a civilian passenger aircraft with 298 innocent people on board — not a military aircraft.

A full translation of the phone conversations was carried by the Kyiv Post, a copy of which is below:

Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo.

Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?

IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. It’s smoking.

VG: How many minutes ago?

IB: About 30 minutes ago.

Having visited the site of the crashed airliner, the rebels were brutally appraised of the enormity of what they had done. The following section of the transcript took place  took place around 40 minutes later.

“Major”: These are Chernukhin folks shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino.

“Greek”: Yes, Major.

“Major”: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.

Greek: Well, what do you have there?

Major: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.

Greek: Are many people there?

Major: Holy sh*t! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).

Greek: What kind of aircraft?

Major: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.

Greek: Is there anything left of the weapon?

Major: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.

Greek: Are there documents?

Major: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson. Fuck.

Later in the afternoon, a rebel attempts to update a  ‘security advisor’ in what appears to be a chain of command:

Rebel: Regarding this plane that was downed in the Snizhne-Torez area. It turned out to be a passenger aircraft. It fell near Grabovo. A lot of bodies of women and children. Now the Cossacks are looking at all that.

Rebel: The TV said it was AN-26. A Ukrainian cargo plane. But Malaysia Airlines is written on it. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?

Cossack commander: It means they wanted to bring some spies to us. Fuck them. They should not fly, we are at war here.

It is now time for Putin to relinquish his attempt to enlarge his ‘New Russia’ and bask in the glory of a greater homeland. The bitter fruit of his efforts is there for all to see: the evidence is above and no one but the most naive could doubt it. 

Putin is the driving force behind the Ukrainian rebellion …


There's only one person in the driving seat

There’s only one person in the driving seat


The loss of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 is by far the biggest single tragedy yet in the Ukraine conflict. As one would expect, there is much confusion as to what happened and who is responsible.

Both Ukraine and Russia have the military hardware that could bring down an aircraft at 33,000 feet, but why would do this when international measures would be taken if it transpired that a national government had committed such an act. The fact is that, from the ground, it is almost impossible to differentiate between a military and civilian aircraft at such an altitude. The Ukrainian government is concerned that the pro-Russian rebels may have got hold of the surface-to-air weapons when the rebels raided their former bases several months ago. They have decalred the loss of the civilian aircraft as an “act of terrorism”.

The way that Russia has dealt with this crisis has been to consistently act in their own self-interest, by providing tactical support in the form of paramilitary special services to take Crimea and to foment unrest and rebellion elsewhere. This latest twist is likely to affect Russian international relations badly as in the world’s eyes there is only one person who is evidently in the driving seat – President Vladimir Putin.