Russia’s Humanitarian ‘Invasion’

Exclusive: Official Washington’s war-hysteria machine is running at full speed again after Russia unilaterally dispatched a convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian supplies to the blockaded Ukrainian city of Luhansk, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

Before dawn broke in Washington on Saturday, “Ukrainian pro-Russian separatists” – more accurately described as federalists of southeast Ukraine who oppose last February’s coup in Kiev – unloaded desperately needed provisions from some 280 Russian trucks in Luhansk, Ukraine. The West accused those trucks of “invading” Ukraine on Friday, but it was a record short invasion; after delivering their loads of humanitarian supplies, many of the trucks promptly returned to Russia.

I happen to know what a Russian invasion looks like, and this isn’t it. Forty-six years ago, I was ten miles from the border of Czechoslovakia when Russian tanks stormed in to crush the “Prague Spring” experiment in democracy. The attack was brutal.

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama meets with his national security advisors in the Situation Room of the White House, Aug. 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Once back in Munich, West Germany, where my duties included substantive liaison with Radio Free Europe, I experienced some of the saddest moments of my life listening to radio station after radio station on the Czech side of the border playing Smetana’s patriotic “Ma vlast” (My Homeland) before going silent for more than two decades.

I was not near the frontier between Russia and southeastern Ukraine on Friday as the convoy of some 280 Russian supply trucks started rolling across the border heading toward the federalist-held city of Luhansk, but that “invasion” struck me as more like an attempt to break a siege, a brutal method of warfare that indiscriminately targets all, including civilians, violating the principle of non-combatant immunity.

Michael Walzer, in his War Against Civilians, notes that “more people died in the 900-day siege of Leningrad during WWII than in the infernos of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki taken together.” So the Russians have some strong feelings about sieges.

There’s also a personal side for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was born in Leningrad, now Saint Petersburg, eight years after the long siege by the German army ended. It is no doubt a potent part of his consciousness. One elder brother, Viktor, died of diphtheria during the siege of Leningrad.

The Siege of Luhansk

Despite the fury expressed by U.S. and NATO officials about Russia’s unilateral delivery of the supplies after weeks of frustrating negotiations with Ukrainian authorities, there was clearly a humanitarian need. An International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team that visited Luhansk on Aug. 21 to make arrangements for the delivery of aid found water and electricity supplies cut off because of damage to essential infrastructure.

The Ukrainian army has been directing artillery fire into the city in an effort to dislodge the ethnic Russian federalists, many of whom had supported elected President Viktor Yanukovych who was ousted in the Feb. 22 coup.

The Red Cross team reported that people in Luhansk do not leave their homes for fear of being caught in the middle of ongoing fighting, with intermittent shelling into residential areas placing civilians at risk. Laurent Corbaz, ICRC head of operations for Europe and Central Asia, reported “an urgent need for essentials like food and medical supplies.”

The ICRC stated that it had “taken all necessary administrative and preparatory steps for the passage of the Russian convoy,” and that, “pending customs checks,” the organization was “therefore ready to deliver the aid to Luhansk … provided assurances of safe passage are respected.”

The “safe passage” requirement, however, was the Catch-22. The Kiev regime and its Western supporters have resisted a ceasefire or a political settlement until the federalists – deemed “terrorists” by Kiev – lay down their arms and surrender.

Accusing the West of repeatedly blocking a “humanitarian armistice,” a Russian Foreign Ministry statement cited both Kiev’s obstructionist diplomacy and “much more intensive bombardment of Luhansk” on Aug. 21, the day after some progress had been made on the ground regarding customs clearance and border control procedures: “In other words, the Ukrainian authorities are bombing the destination [Luhansk] and are using this as a pretext to stop the delivery of humanitarian relief aid.”

‘Decision to Act’

Referring to these “intolerable” delays and “endless artificial demands and pretexts,” the Foreign Ministry said, “The Russian side has decided to act.” And there the statement’s abused, plaintive tone ended sharply – with this implied military threat:

“We are warning against any attempts to thwart this purely humanitarian mission. … Those who are ready to continue sacrificing human lives to their own ambitions and geopolitical designs and are rudely trampling on the norms and principles of international humanitarian law will assume complete responsibility for the possible consequences of provocations against the humanitarian relief convoy.”

Despite all the agreements and understandings that Moscow claims were reached earlier with Ukrainian authorities, Kiev insists it did not give permission for the Russian convoy to cross its border and that the Russians simply violated Ukrainian sovereignty – no matter the exigent circumstances they adduce.

More alarming still, Russia’s “warning” could be construed as the Kremlin claiming the right to use military force within Ukraine itself, in order to protect such humanitarian supply efforts – and perhaps down the road, to protect the anti-coup federalists, as well.

The risk of escalation, accordingly, will grow in direct proportion to the aggressiveness of not only the Ukrainian armed forces but also their militias of neo-fascists who have been dispatched by Kiev as frontline shock troops in eastern Ukraine.

Though many Russian citizens have crossed the border in support of their brethren in eastern Ukraine, Moscow has denied dispatching or controlling these individuals. But now there are Russians openly acknowledged to have been sent by Moscow into Ukraine – even if only “pilots” of “Russian military vehicles painted to look like civilian trucks,” as the White House depicted the humanitarian mission.

Moscow’s move is a difficult one to parry, except for those – and there are many, both in Kiev and in Washington – who would like to see the situation escalate to a wider East-West armed confrontation. One can only hope that, by this stage, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the European Union realize they have a tiger by the tail.

The coup regime in Kiev knows which side its bread is buttered on, so to speak, and can be expected to heed the advice from the U.S. and the EU if it is expressed forcefully and clearly. Not so the fanatics of the extreme right party Svoboda and the armed “militia” comprised of the Right Sector. Moreover, there are influential neo-fascist officials in key Kiev ministries who dream of cleansing eastern Ukraine of as many ethnic Russians as possible.

Thus, the potential for serious mischief and escalation has grown considerably. Even if Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko wants to restrain his hardliners, he may be hard-pressed to do so. Thus, the U.S. government could be put in the unenviable position of being blamed for provocations – even military attacks on unarmed Russian truck drivers – over which it has little or no control.

Giving Hypocrisy a Bad Name

The White House second-string P.R. team came off the bench on Friday, with the starters on vacation, and it was not a pretty scene. Even if one overlooks the grammatical mistakes, the statement they cobbled together left a lot to be desired.

It began: “Today, in violation of its previous commitments and international law, Russian military vehicles painted to look like civilian trucks forced their way into Ukraine. …

“The Ukrainian government and the international community have repeatedly made clear that this convoy would constitute a humanitarian mission only if expressly agreed to by the Ukrainian government and only if the aid was inspected, escorted and distributed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). We can confirm that the ICRC is not escorting the vehicles and has no role in managing the mission. …

“Russian military vehicles piloted by Russian drivers have unilaterally entered the territory controlled by the separatist forces.”

The White House protested that Kiev had not “expressly agreed” to allow the convoy in without being escorted by the ICRC. Again, the Catch 22 is obvious. Washington has been calling the shots, abetting Kiev’s dawdling as the supply trucks sat at the border for a week while Kiev prevented the kind of ceasefire that the ICRC insists upon before it will escort such a shipment.

The other issue emphasized in the White House statement was inspection of the trucks: “While a small number of these vehicles were inspected by Ukrainian customs officials, most of the vehicles have not been inspected by anyone but Russia.” During a press conference at the UN on Friday, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin took strong exception to that charge, claiming not only that 59 Ukrainian inspectors had been looking through the trucks on the Russian side of the border, but that media representatives had been able to choose for themselves which trucks to examine.

Regardless of this latest geopolitical back-and-forth, it’s clear that Moscow’s decision to send the trucks across the border marked a new stage of the civil war in Ukraine. As Putin prepares to meet with Ukrainian President Poroshenko next week in Minsk – and as NATO leaders prepare for their summit on Sept. 4 to 5 in Wales – the Kremlin has put down a marker: there are limits to the amount of suffering that Russia will let Kiev inflict on the anti-coup federalists and ethnic Russian civilians right across the border.

The Russians’ attitude seems to be that if the relief convoys can be described as an invasion of sovereign territory, so be it. Nor are they alone in the court of public opinion.

On Friday at the UN, Russian Ambassador Churkin strongly objected to comments that, by its behavior, Russia found itself isolated. Churkin claimed that some of the Security Council members were “sensitive to the Russian position – among them China and the countries of Latin America.” (Argentina and Chile are currently serving as non-permanent members of the Security Council.)

The Polemic and Faux Fogh

Charter members of the Fawning Corporate Media are already busily at work, including the current FCM dean, the New York Times’ Michael R. Gordon, who was at it again with a story titled “Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says.”  Gordon’s “scoop” was all over the radio and TV news; it was picked up by NPR and other usual suspects who disseminate these indiscriminate alarums.

Gordon, who never did find those Weapons of Mass Destruction that he assured us were in Iraq, now writes: “The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and was using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday.”

His main source seems to be NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who famously declared in 2003, “Iraq has WMDs. It is not something we think; it is something we know.” Cables released by WikiLeaks have further shown the former Danish prime minister to be a tool of Washington.

However, Gordon provided no warning to Times’ readers about Rasmussen’s sorry track record for accuracy. Nor did the Times remind its readers about Gordon’s sorry history of getting sensitive national security stories wrong.

Surely, the propaganda war will be stoked by what happened on Friday. Caveat emptor.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington.  As an Army officer and CIA analyst, he worked in intelligence for 30 years.  He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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39 comments on “Russia’s Humanitarian ‘Invasion’

  1. Jerome DAVIN on said:

    No russian ‘invasion’. Successfull humanitarian aid mission. Russian trucks-to-help back home. Bet Obama turned hysterical. Congratulations, many thanks to President Putin who knows how to manage urgent crisis. He does the jkb !
    = EuroCitizens Brussels

  2. Gregory Kruse on said:

    It is the nature of propaganda to present the “enemy” as Satan’s brother, and to present the “friend” as St. Michael’s sister. Of course, from the opposite perspective the roles are reversed. It’s very lonely in the middle where both sides are seen as human. The West absolutely must draw Ukraine into NATO, and the East absolutely must not allow that to happen. I’m at long last reading The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchmann, and it is clear that in human affairs, absolutes tend to lead to war. It seems the political leaders of the West intend to follow the plan for A New American Century no matter where it leads, because they believe that war is necessary to create a better world, and because there is no other plan. Just like Germany and France at the beginning of WWI. It may create a different world, but not necessarily a better one.

  3. Betty Plummer on said:

    Thank you for explaining what’s really going on with the Russian trucks of aid into Ukraine and how that doesn’t constitute a military invasion, contrary to what the NYTimes might report.

  4. F. G. Sanford on said:

    When I heard one of the official statements regarding this issue, I thought maybe Hollywood had leaked excerpts from the latest installment of that film series, “Jackass XIV”. Maybe some of you caught it. Some clueless moron apparently claimed that if Russia crossed into Ukraine, that would be violating “our sovereignty”. That’s what the new star of Jackass called it – “our sovereignty”. Then, he belligerently claimed, “That would be Article Five”. Robert Conrad, who played Pappy Boyington in the TV series, “Baa Baa Black Sheep”, did a commercial like that. He dared somebody to knock a flashlight battery off his shoulder. Hollywood can get away with stuff like that. Only they can pretend that tall, handsome, muscled Robert Conrad was really a big hero playing the part of a drunken, overweight irresponsible guy – - who actually was a pretty good pilot and a real hero. Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was credited with something like 26 kills, but three of them were sitting on a runway, not in the air. Hollywood never talks about Erich “Bubi” Hartmann, who shot down 352 enemy aircraft. There’s “aces”, and then again, there’s ACES. But the bottom line is, I think somebody just knocked a pencil of some jackass’s shoulder. And he’s saying, “You talking’ to me? Punk? Huh? You talking’ to me? Go ahead, pick it up.” I can’t wait till this one comes to a theatre near me!

    • One could only hope that a Christian owned broadcaster would take up the truth…. since the Judea run MSM (main sewer media), clearly will not. Is there anyone left?

      The real story of 9/11, especially tower 7, would be a great start. One cannot expect anything that informs citizens from PBS any longer, now that Koch controls it.

  5. frbcvalt@gmail.com on said:

    Appreciate your article Ray. According to Russian media humanitarian situation in Donbas is beyond gruesome. Watching interviewed people there one can see and feel the devastation that NEW Ukrainian government had done there! I’m fortunate to understand Russian, Ukrainian and English languages and watching/reading MSM news networks I am deeply concerned that someone manipulating media, here in USA, to their advantage. I was born and raised in USSR and have never seen anything like this in past 25 years living in USA… In light of humanitarian madness against Russia, Kiev and its backers REFUSED to let humanitarian convoy into Ukraine. Its much needed medication, food, etc. that PEOPLE were lacking of was “parked” by the border for 7 days! There were almost 60 Ukrainian officials inspecting trucks in very first day to ensure that there is nothing, but humanitarian aid. I don’t understand the Red Cross “choosing their own path to deliver aid” that was deliberately set to do thru one of the most intensified fighting areas?!

    • Оксана on said:

      Как хорошо, что есть разумные люди, способные отличить правду от лжи! Привет из России!

    • It looks more and more like the Red Cross is a US/Israel/EU puppet and that the alternate route was planned so the Ukraine army would seize the supplies. They would never have reached the citizens.

      Jew killers seem to have no bounds at all.

  6. Mike Lamb on said:

    I see a CNN headline “Suffering is called ‘unspeakable.’”
    And that “some 20,000 ethnic Turkmen Shites in Iraq are running low on food, water and electricity. The situation ‘demands immediate action,’ a U.N. official says.”
    But when it involves the plight of civilians in Eastern Ukraine, victims of a Coup they didn’t ask for, trucks of relief supplies are supposed to just sit and wait for over a week at the border.
    The foreign policy of the United States of America and the reporting of the American media reeks of hypocrisy.
    Just go to PBS and watch the August 22, 2014 PBS Newshour.
    At the Pentagon the Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby calls Russia’s moving of its humanitarian convoy into Ukraine a violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia and calls for Russia to immediately remove its vehicles and personnel from the territory of Ukraine.
    And around the same time from the White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes with regards to the threat of ISIS in Iraq said “We’re actively considering what’s going to be necessary to deal with that threat, and we’re not going to be restricted by borders. We have shown time and again that, if there’s a counterterrorism threat, we will take direct action against that threat if necessary.”

    Driving humanitarian supplies through a border in Ukraine to deliver them to civilian victims is a “violation of sovereignty” but bombing a country without its request and or permission is “not being restricted by borders.”
    What an example of American Except U.S. ionalism.

    To me it seems that the foreign policy of the Obama / Bush – Biden /Cheney Administration could be paraphrased from dialogue from the 1948 Humphrey Bogart movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
    “Badges, we don’t need no stinkin’ badges.”

    You may call me cynical; I consider myself realistic.
    I think that the Obama / Bush – Biden / Cheney Administration / NATO if allowed to bomb ISIS inside Syria will expand that bombing to remove the Government of Syria from power, after all the chemical and biological weapons that a year ago Syria had and could have used in its defense are now gone.
    I just don’t think that President of Peace Prize Obama would bomb ISIS in Syria if that would strengthen the position of the government of Syria. But if he only bombs ISIS in Iraq they will just fade across the border into Syria so the Obama / Bush answer is bomb ISIS in both Iraq and Syria and do it in Syria along with bombing the Government of Syria.
    And the scandal of Benghazi that the Republicans aren’t going to push is that arms from the U.S. / NATO destruction of Libya have ended up in the hands of ISIS and been used to invade and take over large sections of Iraq.

    While I see that former Congressman Ron Paul has continued to speak out on U.S. foreign policy, I regret not to find former Dennis Kucinich doing the same. Perhaps I am not sufficiently “Google literate” but my searches on Kucinich and Ukraine find little.
    When I search “Ron Paul Ukraine” I find in the first 10 items listed items from July and August 2014. When I search “Dennis Kucinich Ukraine” I find none of the first 10 items listed being past March 12, 2014 and most mention Kucinich’s remarks on the Bill O’Reilly March 4, 2014 show.

  7. Gordon’s NYT article is all the more puzzling given that two days earlier, the UK Daily Mail (not exactly a leftwing paper) reported that Kiev was forced to retract a statement that a large Russian convoy had invaded Luhansk:

    Muddled security officials in Ukraine were last night forced to deny a huge Russian military convoy had been deployed in the eastern rebel-run city of Lugansk.

    The strong rebuttal suggested an earlier claim about an invasion by Vladimir Putin’s troops amounted to a crude propaganda move by the pro-Western Kiev government – or deep confusion in its own ranks.

    You would think the MSM would be a little more careful about reporting the obviously made-up shit that’s coming out of Ukraine lately.

    On August 18, news outlets worldwide reported that “dozens” of people had died, many burned alive, in a rocket attack on a refugee convoy fleeing Luhansk. The source was a press briefing by the Ukrainian military, which of course blamed it on the “terrorists.” The military provided no photos and said there were no survivors. The following day, they said they had recovered 15 bodies but that many were blown apart or burned beyond recognition and that recovery was suspended due to heavy fighting. Again, no photos. Later, remarkably unscathed “survivors” were interviewed by the Ukraine military in a YouTube video that contains no footage of the site or background to identify where it was shot.

    On August 14, reporters for the Guardian and the Telegraph claim to have seen 23 Russian armored personnel carriers crossing into Ukraine after dark through a gap in barbed wire fence. They supplied no photos (because it was dark, you know). Nonetheless, the report was quickly picked up by media around the world, declaring that the incident marked an escalation in the war between Russia and the West. International response was swift and predictable. The next day, a statement from Ukrainian President Poroshenko’s office said that Ukrainian forces had destroyed most of the column, with no photos or video to back up their story.

    Then, I suppose it’s safe to quote a NATO official. You don’t need a second source to confirm that he actually said what he said.

    • GrandmaR on said:

      It starts down in the lower ranks of the MSM structure. A reporter at the sight of a fire at a a “metal” industry in a small rural town said that he didn[t know what that company actually did. I did a quick search and found that company[s web site with a description of what they do and also a general description of how they do it, so I also understood what “chemicals” the reporter also knew nothing about. That guy drove at least 40 miles from his major network affiliate studios in a mid-sized city to basically hold a mike about a half mile from that fire and tell me he didn’t know anything about it. So I’m wondering whether they even hire producers to “look stuff up” anymore. Mostly they show me trending videos and giggle at the cute ones — just now and then they run a real local “news” story that was actually gathered by the reporter at the Scripps Howard newspaper they have a “deal” with. They fill a LOT of time with “local news,” too. They eventually promote their “best” to work in larger markets and eventually to show and tell trending videos and introduce “experts” from their NY studios. If they are beautiful or handsome enough, they get big bucks. These network newsertainment departments must be raking in big time!

      It was when CBS discovered that they could sell advertising for “60 Minutes” that this began, or so I have read.

  8. Joe Tedesky on said:

    Maybe someone here could explain to all of us, how stupid of an attack strategy it would be to invade a country with a single line of white cargo trucks. Would a country such as Russia, not use a blitzgrieg full force assault, to maximize it’s strength instead. Call me crazy, but I just can’t see Russia committing itself to engage in battle any other way. Certainly Russia would not attack Ukraine with a fleet of trucks.

    Our western media thinks we are all just that stupid. The media’s own words allows us all to see behind the curtain. The MSM is the biggest part of the problem, and we are all being played!

    • Joe, but you really are ALMOST all just that stupid. The MSM gets a result irrespective of all delirious statements. And several resistant individuals can only take part in a bitter small talk. Bingo…

      And dying people are nothing for so many citizens of “free world”. Conscience isn’t fashionable in our times…

    • Joe Tedesky on said:

      Yar, I am assuming that you are not American, and that is okay. From my advantage point the media news problem for the average American is complex. Complex, since all the major networks are corporately owned. These corporations are very much the part of the bigger picture of where Americans are led astray. Don’t get angry at all Americans since most of us are like you busy doing what it takes to survive.

      Every American I know dislikes our country’s warring ways. While at the same time these very same Americans are held powerless, like in a vacuum. So, we go about our business hoping all will work out well. Yes, there are very many Americans who buy into the government/MSM lies, but there are many of us who don’t.

      I have always hoped that one day the United States would partner up with the Russians, and cure the ill’s of our world. I’am still hoping.

      Stay well Yar, J.T.

      Read this;
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130715/11210223804/anti-propaganda-ban-repealed-freeing-state-dept-to-direct-its-broadcasting-arm-american-citizens.shtml

      • Joe Tedesky on said:

        Yar, I hope I didn’t offend you with the’ it’s okay to not being American’. What I should say, is we are all human beings…and there is a lot of earth for us to survive on.

        A better way to explain American people and our views on politics is I believe most Americans are just wore out. I cannot speak for the whole nation, but there are a lot of good people in both the U.S. and Russia. I hope someday we all can be as one. I really do wish for this.

        Again, I do not want to insult you. I look forward to reading your comments. We need to hear from more people such as yourself.

        By the way the “real Americans” lost out at the battle of ‘Wounded Knee’…the Native American Indian are the original Americans…I’m Italian-American. Just for the record.
        Peace J.T.

        • Slavodar on said:

          Hey Joe!

          At least you recognize the real Americans.

          Those generations of Europeans that claim to be Americans today, are nothing but ignorant fools.

          The real Americans were nature loving people who were murdered and their land was stolen mostly by Anglo-Saxon settlers.

          We, the Slavs in Eastern Europe, thought highly of US, until we got the taste of that primitive propaganda that is running in our media these days. We’re now listening to the same lies as you in the US – it’s disgusting.

          If you want to live in peace with Russia, you will have to get rid of your greedy government. Hang them all !

          Словяни, соединитесь !

    • Oh, thank you, what a relief! I was afraid it isn’t OK to be not American. :)

      Concerning your defending of average Americans and complexity of the propaganda machine. You’ve said yourself: “The media’s own words allows us all to see behind the curtain.” And now – that’s complex… It turns out – Americans are stupid nevertheless. :) )

      Best wishes.
      Y.

  9. F. G. Sanford on said:

    @ Joe T. – Ah, but Joe, you seem to have forgotten about the last time a bunch of mysterious white trucks were associated with a nefarious evil deed. Obviously, OUR government saw all those white trucks lined up, and they got suspicious. They thought, “OK, this must be turnabout is fair play”. I’ve never really taken some of the wilder conspiracy theories seriously. But when you add up lying about WMD’s, lying about poison gas attacks, lying about illegally arming terrorists, lying about tank convoys that don’t exist, lying about airliner shoot-downs, lying about nuclear weapons that don’t exist, lying about regime changes, lying about spying on civilians, lying about supporting neo-Nazis, lying about training terrorists in Jordan, and then last April, John McCain shows up in Syria for a meeting with the guy who turns out to be al-Baghdadi, the head of the ISIS caliphate, well…you start to wonder what else they lied about. Yep, my guess is, they saw all those white trucks, and they thought, “Shit, we know what happened the last time WE lined up a bunch of white trucks…”

    • Joe Tedesky on said:

      F.G. You are right. A true sociopath always tends to be on guard against the very same tactics they normally use…right?

      I don’t know about you, but I have grown accustom to not believing anything I see, let alone what I hear. We certainly live in some strange times, don’t we? Thank god we have people like you and the many others who comment here. This is an oasis!

      I got to run, and unload a truck. See ya later! J.T.

  10. Zachary Smith on said:

    I’ve just spent a fair while trying to locate a news story giving some details about the Russian White Truck Convoy. Hate to admit it, but the search effort got me nothing.

    Unless I messed up, no comprehensive description of the episode has yet emerged.

    So I’ve no idea what really happened. But I’ve read a few good spy novels, and enough books on OSS operations during WW2 to have a lot of suspicions. The thing which really amazes me is the sheer stupidity of the Ukrainian authorities. And by extension, their western advisers.

    Not only did the Russians get some good PR at home, they also delivered the rebels a pile of sleeping bags. It’s still summer, but that sure won’t continue forever. As for any other deliveries, they’ll necessarily remain conjecture. But those Ukies have got to be dumber than a sack of hammers for other possibilities to even be mentioned.

  11. Slavodar on said:

    You mentioned the “Prague Spring” of 1968. First of all, it was a Soviet “message”, not a Russian one. Second of all, it was not an “attack”.

    I’m from CzechoSlovakia and my father served his term in military when the Soviet Army came. There was “no fighting” involved because it was not an attack and there was nothing “brutal” about it neither. The CzechoSlovak People’s Army was prohibited from engaging into combat against our Liberators from the Nazi Germany.

    Yes, there were certain people that were too “cocky” and threw things at the Soviets because it looked like an invasion. They provoked and teased the Soviet soldiers to such an extent that some of soldiers snapped and shot a couple of civilians. Definitely not a good thing, indeed and I’m sure those soldiers were held responsible, because it was never a part of the Soviet Military training to shoot civilians.

    Now, how stupid you have to be to stand in front of an oncoming tank to show them that you hate them and throw garbage at them – very stupid.

    Look, the people with more insight in the whole matter didn’t see it as an invasion and definitely not as an “attack”. I listened to both sides expressing their views about 1968. Those that marked it as an invasion/attack were those that were full of hatred towards the Soviets. This “hatred” was pumped by your “Radio Free Europe” propaganda into the Soviet Block.
    Great job, Ray – Thanks a lot for your “freedom trash” speeches. You have no idea what we lost by believing in your trash.

    You probably know better now that not even you have Any True Freedom yourselves. All you have is the Greedy Bastards that want to control and monitor everybody. At least the Communists were not hiding it and did it physically – which was more acceptable.

    I value this site and Robert Parry’s work, the rest of you, please get off that propaganda trash!

    Slavodar

  12. павел on said:

    Эх вы, что за горилла у вас президент? поставьте нормального парня, кто на Россию шел, тот в земле ее на веки остался. украина это семейный конфликт, Обама не лезь., не будет там твоей демократии. Разбудешь медведя и пиздец тебе.

  13. Brendan on said:

    It’s not surprising to read in the article about the allegation by NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Russian-manned artillery units inside Ukraine. That’s just the latest unsubstantiated story that he has spread in less than two weeks.

    He said there was a high probabililty that Russia would intrevene militarily under the guise of a humanitarian operation. He also ‘confirmed’ the report of a cross-border incursion by a Russian armoured column (the one that the Ukrainians allegedly partially destroyed).

    Maybe I’ve missed it, but no journalist seemed to demand that he provides a single piece of evidence for any of these claims, considering that his organisation has so much surveillance and intelligence at its disposal.

    • Hillary on said:

      Brendan , well said –as you know this Rasmussen NATO chief got to where he is today because he supported American foreign policies.
      As Prime Minister of Denmark Rasmussen STRONGLY supported the 2003 Iraq War.
      Also Denmark deployed troops to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kosovo.
      .
      PROPAGANDA galore here
      http://www.ukrinform.ua/eng/
      Is there a chance that his term as NATO chief will be extended ?

    • Brendan on said:

      His successor Jens Stoltenberg will fit easily into the job as
      he’s a big supporter of increased military spending which is the main thing that NATO wants. He has already used Russia’s involvement in Ukraine as a justification for countries to do just that. He oversaw a large increase in Norway’s military spending while he was Prime Minister there.

      Rasmussen is possibly making as many accusations as he can before he leaves because he won’t have to defend them after September if they are shown to be untrue.

  14. Julio Mateus on said:

    I have googled Michael Walzer’s War Against Civilians and found no such book, several others by Walzer, but no ‘War against Civilians’.

    • Zachary Smith on said:

      I have googled Michael Walzer’s War Against Civilians and found no such book, several others by Walzer, but no ‘War against Civilians’.

      Like you, I’m increasingly doubtful about claims I see on the internet. But this one seems legit: when I checked, the information came from Michael Walzer’s book Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations.
      “War Against Civilians” was the beginning of the chapter title, so the error was likely just a minor brain fart.

      Oddly enough, there doesn’t seem to be an annual tradition of writing heart-rending essays about the horrors of Leningrad. Or of the millions killed by the US in its imperial wars.

  15. flemming.b.olsen@gmail.com on said:

    Thank you Ray. As a Dane I can only say Mr. Fogh Rasmussen is absolutely disgraceful for many of us danish citizens. Along with Bush, Cheney, Tenet and others from the Bush Regime period, he is complicit in the tragic escalations of war of aggression since 9/11. He should not be taken seriously at all and hopefully one day he will be charged (remember how Frank Grevil as a whistleblower exposed how Danish Intelligence KNEW that there was not a sign of Saddam having WMD’s)..

  16. Eric Bischoff on said:

    News Alert!
    Peace breaks out everywhere.
    Nations put together peace and aid convoys for all oppressed and occupied nations. It’s a mass movement supported by so many it can’t be stopped.
    The fascists are history.

  17. If somebody interested : Twitter: GrahamWPhillips – UK journalist that takes photos and interviews from Luhansk (Donbas).

  18. Evangelista on said:

    Mr. McGovern makes one error in his analysis, which is an inconsequential one, since it is in reminiscence, where he equates the old Soviet Union to Russia today. The two are entirely different entities, the old Soviet Union being an empire and Russia today being a country. The old Soviet Empire is more akin, for comparisons, to the present day United States Empire, which, also, is crumbling…

    Mr. McGovern makes one oversight in his analysis, missing the most significant (and amusing) component of Russia’s tossing in the sponge after more than a week of butting its head against Ukrainian dithering and delaying, preventing the Russian Humanitarian Aid Convoy carrying its humanitarian aid the last few kilometres to the people in desperate need of the aid:

    Russia gave up on Ukraine and delivered the aid via Russian-”RebelTerritory” border crossing into “Rebel Territory” to deliver the aid to the desperately needy citizens of the “Rebel Territory”:

    The action by Russia did not invade Ukrainian territory, as the Ukrainian government may complain, because Ukrainian territory was never entered by the Russian convoy. Instead, the frustration and humanitarian concern motivated action by Russia gave tacit international recognition to the “Rebel Territory”(whatever its correct national name may be or be decided to be). That international recognition of the “Rebel Territory” as an autonomous national entity, with tacitly recognized authority to control its own borders and permit entries as it elects, legitimizes the “Rebel Territory” internationaly as an independent nation.

    The “Rebel Territory” may now legitimately apply to the United Nations for the same Observer Status the Palestinian Territories recently applied for and were granted.

    I don’t think this was what the Ukrainian government intended to do when it waffled and delayed to prevent alleviation of a desperate humanitarian crisis situation, but because it delayed, and because the situation was a desperate humanitarian crisis one, and Russia’s object was to alleviate, and only to alleviate, and because Russia tried for over a week to go through Ukrainian channels, it is, and will be, just about impossible to fault Russia for taking the action that provided the seceded ex-Ukrainian territories their international legitimization and recognition.

    I am not a fan of these internationa blood-sport games situatiions, but I am very much enjoying watching the way Russia is playing in this one.

    • Slavodar on said:

      It’s not a “game”, the Russia was playing with the aid. Simply, there are Russians in the East Ukraine and the Russians on the other {Moscow} side wanted to help them. Plain as that.

      Russians were oppressed by the Nazis before and now again. Moscow knows how it feels, that’s why they wanted to help. It’s not a “game” to them.

      Словяни за Россию !