MH-17 Probe’s Torture-Implicated Ally

Exclusive: The Ukrainian intelligence service at the center of the inquiry into who shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is accused by a top U.N. official of blocking a probe into Ukrainian government torture, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A senior United Nations official has accused Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service of frustrating U.N. investigations into its alleged role in torture and other war crimes, even as the SBU has been allowed to guide the international investigation into the shooting down of Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for nearly two years.

On June 29, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic criticized various “armed groups” in Ukraine for engaging in torture and arbitrary detention, adding that “The Security Services of Ukraine (SBU) is also not always providing access to all places where detainees may be kept. … OHCHR (the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights) also continues to receive accounts about torture and ill-treatment, arbitrary and incommunicado detention by the SBU, especially in the conflict zone.

A photograph of a Russian BUK missile system that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt published on Twitter in support of a claim about Russia placing BUK missiles in eastern Ukraine, except that the image appears to be an AP photo taken at an air show near Moscow two years earlier.

A photograph of a Russian BUK missile system that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt published on Twitter in support of a claim about Russia placing BUK missiles in eastern Ukraine, except that the image appears to be an AP photo taken at an air show near Moscow two years earlier.

“Torture and threats to members of the families, including sexual threats, are never justifiable, and perpetrators will be held to account sooner or later. … War crimes, crimes against humanity and grave breaches of human rights cannot be the subject of an amnesty.”

In late May, U.N. inspectors called off their Ukraine torture investigation because the SBU denied the team access to detention facilities where human rights groups had found evidence of torture.

“This denial of access is in breach of Ukraine’s obligations as a State party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture,” according to the U.N. statement at the time. Sir Malcolm Evans, head of the four-member U.N. delegation, said: “It has meant that we have not been able to visit some places where we have heard numerous and serious allegations that people have been detained and where torture or ill-treatment may have occurred.”

Yet, the SBU, which is also responsible for protecting state secrets, has strongly influenced the direction of the supposedly Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team trying to determine who was responsible for shooting down MH-17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing 298 people.

Conflict of Interest

Although Ukrainian military units are among the logical suspects in the case, Ukraine was made one of five countries responsible for the inquiry and granted what amounts to veto power over what information the JIT can release. A recent internal report on how the JIT operates also revealed how dependent the investigators have become on information provided by the SBU.

President Barack Obama and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, June 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine talk after statements to the press following their bilateral meeting at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel in Warsaw, Poland, June 4, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

According to the report, the SBU has helped shape the MH-17 investigation by supplying a selection of phone intercepts and other material that would presumably not include sensitive secrets that would implicate the SBU’s political overseers in Ukraine. But the JIT report seems oblivious to this conflict of interest, saying:

“Since the first week of September 2014, investigating officers from The Netherlands and Australia have worked here [in Kiev]. They work in close cooperation here with the Security and Investigation Service of the Ukraine (SBU). Immediately after the crash, the SBU provided access to large numbers of tapped telephone conversations and other data. …

“At first rather formal, cooperation with the SBU became more and more flexible. ‘In particular because of the data analysis, we were able to prove our added value’, says [Dutch police official Gert] Van Doorn. ‘Since then, we notice in all kinds of ways that they deal with us in an open way. They share their questions with us and think along as much as they can.’”

The JIT report continued: “With the tapped telephone conversations from SBU, there are millions of printed lines with metadata, for example, about the cell tower used, the duration of the call and the corresponding telephone numbers. The investigating officers sort out this data and connect it to validate the reliability of the material.

“When, for example, person A calls person B, it must be possible to also find this conversation on the line from person B to person A. When somebody mentions a location, that should also correlate with the cell tower location that picked up the signal. If these cross-checks do not tally, then further research is necessary.

“By now, the investigators are certain about the reliability of the material. ‘After intensive investigation, the material seems to be very sound’, says Van Doorn, ‘that also contributed to the mutual trust.’”

Long Assignments

Another concern about how the SBU could manipulate JIT’s investigation is that the long assignments of investigators in Kiev over a period of almost two years could create compromising situations. Kiev has a reputation as a European hotbed for prostitution and sex tourism, and there’s the possibility of other human relationships developing over long periods away from home.

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

A Malaysia Airways’ Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

According to the JIT report, four investigating officers from Australia are stationed in Kiev on three-month rotations while Dutch police rotate in two teams of about five people each for a period of a “fortnight,” or two weeks.

The relative isolation of the Australian investigators further adds to their dependence on their Ukrainian hosts. According to the report, “The Australian investigators find themselves a 26 hour flight away from their home country and have to deal with a large time difference. ‘For us Australians, it is more difficult to get into contact with our home base, which is why our operation is quite isolated in Kiev’, says [Andrew] Donoghoe,” a senior investigating officer from the Australian Federal Police.

The JIT’s collegial dependence on the SBU’s information has not led to a quick resolution of the mystery of MH-17. Almost two years after the tragedy, the JIT has struggled to even pin down where the suspected anti-aircraft missile was fired, bringing down the passenger jet en route between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur. The location of the alleged missile firing was something that U.S. officials claimed to know within days of the crash but have kept secret.

The snail’s pace of the investigation and the curious failure of the U.S. government to share usable data from its own intelligence services have caused concerns among some family members of MH-17 victims that the inquiry has been compromised by big-power geopolitics.

Immediately after the shoot-down, the U.S. government sought to pin the blame on ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine and their Russian government backers, a charge that was crucial to getting the European Union to adopt economic sanctions against Russia. But – as more evidence emerged – the possible role of a Ukrainian military unit became more plausible.

According to the Dutch intelligence service in a report released last October, the only anti-aircraft missiles in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, capable of hitting a plane flying at 33,000 feet belonged to the Ukrainian military.

Twists in the Investigation

After CIA analysts had time to evaluate U.S. satellite, electronic and other intelligence data, the U.S. government went curiously silent about what it had discovered, including the possible identity of the people who were responsible. The U.S. reticence, after the initial rush to judgment blaming Russia, suggested that the more detailed findings may have undercut those original claims.

A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.

A side-by-side comparison of the Russian presidential jetliner and the Malaysia Airlines plane.

A source who was briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that the CIA’s conclusion pointed toward a rogue Ukrainian operation involving a hard-line oligarch with the possible motive of shooting down Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official plane returning from South America that day, with similar markings as MH-17. But I have been unable to determine if that assessment represented a dissident or consensus view inside the U.S. intelligence community.

Although the JIT also includes Belgium and Malaysia, the key roles have been played by the Netherlands, Australia and Ukraine, with Ukraine’s SBU arguably the most influential party as it feeds the other investigators leads to pursue.

Given the SBU’s legal responsibility to shield Ukrainian government secrets, you might think the question would have arisen whether the SBU would supply any data that might implicate some powerful political figure connected to the regime in Kiev. But there was nothing in the JIT’s update to suggest any such suspicion.

Regarding the SBU’s refusal to grant access to the U.N.’s torture investigators in May, Ukraine’s deputy justice minister Natalya Sevostyanova said the U.N. team was denied access to SBU centers in Mariupol and Kramatorsk, frontline towns in the simmering civil war between the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government and Russian-supported eastern Ukrainian rebels.

SBU director Vasyl Hrytsak said the reason for barring the U.N. team was to protect Ukrainian government secrets, adding: “If you arrive, for example, in the United States and ask to come to the C.I.A. or the F.B.I., to visit a basement or an office, do you think they will ever let you do it?”

[For more background on this controversy, see Consortiumnews.com’s “More Game-Playing on MH-17.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

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57 comments for “MH-17 Probe’s Torture-Implicated Ally

  1. David Smith
    July 3, 2016 at 11:20 am

    This is a sophisticated blackmail of the Ukrainian Government, who ordered air traffic control to reroute MH-17 over western Donbass then shot down the airliner with a Ukraine Army BUK, naively thinking they were in cahoots with the CIA. Kerry says on TV that he knows who fired the missile, but then won’t say “who”, and the interviewer let’s it pass. The JIT says only Ukraine had BUKs, but then says it was launched from a very large vague area that overlaps the Donbass border. Finally, the ever treacherous CIA allows the convieniant “leak” that the company knows “rogue elements” of the Uk Army under the control of a shadowy “oligarch” tried to shoot Putin’s jet but “missed’, an amazing amount of detail but the “leaker” remains unknown and unprosecuted. Kiev has been warned, do exactly what we say, or else……

  2. Bill Bodden
    July 3, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Is there any truth to the rumor that when the SBU asked Victoria Nuland what do about the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights she responded, “F@*k the UN”?

  3. chris chuba
    July 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    So basically, if the Australians were interested in uncovering the truth (instead of female Ukrainians), they would be pressuring the U.S. to release their satellite intelligence instead of fixating on SBU phone records. I don’t understand why cell phone records would be decisive anyway. I guess it is appropriate that the Australians would be involved in a Kangaroo Court.

    • Liam
      July 3, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      Russian recording studio engineers have analyzed the Ukrainian SBU recordings and show in a detailed examination video how they were faked by utilizing digital audio splicing and soundbite manipulation techniques in a recording studio. If the SBU was actually monitoring the separatists conversations then they would most likely have not lost the battles taking place at that time, due to them having direct inside info that would allow them to gain an advantage. Simply put, they lost. Hence they were most likely never monitoring them at all. Strelkov, the leader of the separatists at the time, also stated that it would have been incredibly foolish for any knowledgable wartime commander to use any type of social media to post any information related to any military activity. In other words, the Ukrainian SBU were the ones who created a Facebook/V-Kontakt account in his name and simply posted up false info onto that account. All would be quite easy to do in the current social media atmosphere. Therefore, for the DSB to rely on such dubious ‘evidence’ is utterly ridiculous. Note that the DSB never once referred to having analyzed the audio recordings. For any basic investigator, that would be a first priority, in order to establish authenticity. The fact that the DSB failed to mention this and neglected to conduct such analysis points toward material complicity or serious negligence on their part.

      The only stated verifiable video of the actual event taking place is in the hands of the US authorities according to John Kerry, and they prefer not to release it, which most likely means that it doesn’t back up the narrative the US government and subservient media ar pushing. Here’s a link to the Russian analysis of the digital recordings of phone conversations showing the WAV files and how they were created.http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=d01_1422743355 2nd link:
      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b9e_1426351232 If a professional audio forensic investigative team were to examine the original SBU uploaded recording that the DSB is relying on as evidence, I think that would suffice as proof of deception on the part of the SBU. Surely that task can’t be all that difficult to conduct in such an important matter? Personally, If I were a family member of an MH-17 victim I would have hired my own investigative team to examine the audio by now.

  4. Joe Tedesky
    July 3, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I lost all respect for official investigations years ago. Case in point; when an ex-CIA director who is appointed to head up an assassination of the president who fired said ex-CIA director…well, you tell me what that’s all about. When politicians are appointed to investigate other politicians (Wategate, 911) well then how should we equate that, when everyone above the rank of vIce president walks free? It’s always the same thing with these people. Commit the crime, then paper over it. I think between the two the cover up is as bad as the actual crime, and some would say that it’s even worst.

    About that business of thinking they were shooting down Putin’s plane, well scumbags will say anything to make an excuse for their dirty business, because in a real war that somehow could make sense to some. I’m sorry to say, but MH17 officially joined the ranks of conspiracy theories which will go down, as another unsolved mystery.

    Mr Parry, please tell us about the Oliver Stone movie ‘Ukraine on Fire’.

    • David Smith
      July 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm

      JT, you have brought up something very interesting. Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy to Commit are two of the most serious offences. Conspiracy to Commit Murder is a higher crime than murder, for example. In the case of JFK murder/Watergate/911/MH-17 any “coverup” is at minimum Obstruction of Justice, however a “coverup” implies prior knowledge of the conspirators and their plans, in fact such crimes cannot be committed without a “coverup” preplanned. Therefore all actors in a coverup are guilty of Conspiracy to Commit. Charge them first, and watch the conspiracy unravel as they Plea Bargain.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 3, 2016 at 3:05 pm

        Thanks David, not being a lawyer, I value your opinion. JT

  5. Zachary Smith
    July 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    None of the ‘white’ countries involved give a solitary damn about their dead citizens. To me, that’s just disgusting.

    • Bill Bodden
      July 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      None of the ‘white’ countries involved give a solitary damn about their dead citizens.

      Case in point. The crew of the USS Liberty sold down the Mediterranean 49 years and a month ago. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/aug/08/israel

      More recently there is the unconscionable treatment of thousands of veterans of Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq who are suffering from a variety physical and psychological disorders but have been neglected by the US government.

      • Kiza
        July 4, 2016 at 4:06 am

        Bill, it just happens that the “hardline Ukrainian oligarch” that Mr Parry mentions is Ihor Valeriyovych Kolomoyskyi, a Ukrainian-Cypriot-Israeli business oligarch of Jewish descent. It would not take a huge leap of faith to link the Nulands and Kolomoyskyi. I have been saying for almost two years now that the people who shot-down MH17 are the same ones who shot at both the police and demonstrators at Maidan, who paid salaries of Maidan protesters and who appointed the current Ukrainian Government (and who f*ck anyone who does not serve them 100%, such as EU).

        Yes, the US intelligence has information on who shot-down MH17, but this has been suppressed by the same US Ziocons. It is the Ziocons who thought up the MH17 shootdown, Kolomoyskyi who used his connections in the SBU and the military to organise it and he paid for it, and some Ukrainian military unit which executed the plan (either air-force or air-defence). The goal was to get EU to introduce country-on-country sanctions against Russia, to weaken the Russian economy and prep Russia for the regime-change. This did not quite work out and the Europeans are now screaming for the removal of sanctions which are hurting them almost as much as Russia, whilst the MH17 investigation is going absolutely no-where.

        The US will never release the intelligence it has on this tragedy, at least as long as the Ziocon kosher-nostra controls Washington. Therefore, your mention of USS Liberty is a great parallel, thank you.

        • Bob Van Noy
          July 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm

          “I have been saying for almost two years now that the people who shot-down MH17 are the same ones who shot at both the police and demonstrators at Maidan, who paid salaries of Maidan protesters and who appointed the current Ukrainian Government (and who f*ck anyone who does not serve them 100%, such as EU).”

          Kiza, I’m so interested in this connection that I’ve been studying Russian History! Do you think the link is historical, political, ideological, religious? These neocons don’t seem to be at all religious to me, or am I totally naive???

          • Bob Van Noy
            July 4, 2016 at 1:01 pm

            Never mind Kiza; you and F.G. Sanford are answering my questions below. Thanks to all. What a rich site…

          • Kiza
            July 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm

            An open mind is the most beautiful thing, to paraphrase the old saying. I would love to debate any points you may develop. Just to make one small thing very clear – I am not of Russian origin, but I am of Orthodox Christian origin. You know, the Russians, the Greks, the Bulgarians, the Serbans, the Macedonians, the Copts, some Romanians, some Bosnians and some Montenegrins.

          • Bob Van Noy
            July 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

            Beautiful, Kiza, I get it and the reason, I get it is because, years ago Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn remarked that “until the Western mind can grasp the break between The Church and The Orthadox Church, they will never understand the Russian mind.” I’m a reader, not a commenter as F.G. Is but, we Westerners Are naive about this rather exotic mix of religious history. If we can come to get her here; we can achieve a great deal. Honestly, I love this site!

          • Kiza
            July 4, 2016 at 1:36 pm

            Bob, if you are interested in real learning from real smart people, I would care to recommend my other favorite to Consortium.com, the site unz.com. For a priceless intellectual challenge, for example, please check out http://www.unz.com/freed/jewish-decline-and-the-rise-of-china-in-the-us/.

            Everywhere, the trolls will puncture a good intellectual debate, but at unz.com we still manage to maintain the quality. BTW, Mr Ron Unz is a Californian Jewish Harvard graduate entrepreneur, a true classical Jewish intellectual who never plays the dirty anti-semitism political game. He censors absolutely nobody, a totally unique experience on the politicised net.

            Lots of typos due to tablet. Sorry, it is 3:30 am where I am, got to go.

          • Bob Van Noy
            July 4, 2016 at 2:10 pm

            That is probably what makes Soljenitsin special…

  6. exiled off mainstreet
    July 3, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    The quisling Ukrainian regime’s responsibility for the shootdown of the plane is evident in the fact no real information has been released by the “west” in the two years since this event occurred. They’ve even silenced their own investigators if they seemed to come to close to this truth.

  7. Enrique Ferro
    July 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    And what will the West say when Kiev’s government crimes will surface, including the hijacked investigation on MH-17? Will they continue to cover it up?

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      Enrique, if I may add to your comment. If Kiev’s government were to surface as being the ones who did this crime, would the West be subject to paying back Russia all the money they lost due to the sanctions which were imposed upon them as a result of flight MH17 demise?

    • Joe L.
      July 3, 2016 at 7:47 pm

      Enrique Ferro… Well with Ukrainian Intelligence being the go to source for anything related to MH-17, along with Ukraine having veto power over any information in an MH-17 report, I don’t expect that there will be much that will incriminate the Ukrainian Government but instead everything will be twisted into “Putin’s fault”. Maybe 40 or 50 years from now the US Government will actually admit that it pulled off a coup in Ukraine, much as they did with Iran where they pulled off the coup in 1953 and have acknowledged it as a US backed coup in the last decade or so, and with that maybe some reflections on what the unelected coup government did toward the east of the country. But I would not expect anything soon.

  8. F. G. Sanford
    July 3, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Of course, I expect to get some ‘flack’ for this observation, but it doesn’t really matter. I don’t owe anything to any university faculty’s board of political correctness. I don’t need to protect my academic tenure. And, I don’t have an editor or publisher who can revoke my ‘meal ticket’. The controlling reality in this situation is a matter of ‘culture’, but not in the ‘fine arts’ sense of the word. So, let me preface all this by saying that there are well documented examples of human ‘culture’ in which cannibalism is practiced as a matter of course, as a matter of fact, as a matter of sincere devotion to religious belief, and with the absolute approval of the indigenous political hierarchy. Human behavior, like it or not, is quite arbitrary in its multitudinous variety. That’s not to defend any or all cultural manifestations. But it is simply not ‘politically incorrect’ to call someone a ‘cannibal’ if they happen to eat other human beings as a matter of ‘cultural imperative’.

    The American entertainment industry would have us believe that Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ was just a spooky story. Mind you, it’s not a ‘true’ story, but Stoker deserves a little more credit than that. The book was a metaphor for culture collision, and despite its drawbacks, I’d say it was a pretty damned good metaphor. Incidentally, if you’ve never read the book, Mel Brooks’ comedy version, ‘Dead and Loving It’, is the most faithful Hollywood version.

    Here’s the rub: “Eastern Europe” has never been part of “Western Civilization” from a historical or cultural standpoint. Sure, they’ve produced authors, artists, scientists and statesmen. In the grand scheme of things, that’s insufficient redemption. When the Roman Empire collapsed, those vassals descended into tribalism, barbarism, ritual warfare and bizarre religious cults – often nominally Christian – but that’s where the eponymous similarity ends. Revenge, murder, slavery (Where, pray tell, do you think the word “Slav” comes from?), extortion, bribery, prostitution and institutionalized theft became hallmarks of the world which inspired Stoker’s book. The prevalent form of government in these countries well into the twentieth century was a sublimated “ochlocracy”. The politically correct name today is “oligarchy”, and we refer to their leaders as “oligarchs”.

    Of course, none of those staunch Azov, Pravy Sektor, or OUN-B adherents will admit to any of that. They’re proud of their cultural heritage. They cheered when forty people burned alive in the Trade Union Building in Odessa – perfectly consistent with a cultural heritage of pogroms and revenge murder.

    Absence of evidence, despite what Don Rumsfeld or the UFO community hold sacred, IS evidence of absence. Statisticians even have equations to prove it. In the case of MH-17, there is no “evidence” to support a BUK missile shoot down…unless you believe ‘Bellingcat’ hearsay. But that’s the only way Uncle Sam could pin it on Russia…because the ‘rebels’ didn’t have any airplanes. Nevertheless, the Russians provided plenty of radar evidence that the airliner was shadowed by Ukrainian fighter aircraft.

    “Show me who you go with, and I’ll tell you who you are.” For the sake of a dubious geopolitical gambit, our neocon “think-tankers” have gotten us into bed with some of the most reprehensible degenerates on the face of the Earth, and we’re bound to get out of that bed infested with lice. Rather than proffering the democratic ideals of our ‘better angels’, we’ve begun a descent into that same profligate disdain for the truth, the rule of law, and basic human dignity that so tragically characterizes the history of our new Eastern European “allies”. God help us.

    • Kiza
      July 4, 2016 at 4:32 am

      Mr Sanford, as an American, your heart is in the right place, but you have mixed up some of your cultural metaphors. You are lumping the whole of Eastern Europe into one mold, with absolutely no understanding of even the roughest divisions in it.

      Let me give you an Easter Europe 101 in a couple of sentences. In the Eastern or Slavic Europe, historically and most generally there were always three clashing influences: the Latin Christian, the Orthodox Christian and the Jewish, with some Sunni Muslim influence in the South East. The clash in Ukraine is between these three main groups: the pro-Western Christians, some of who are turned Nazi (as during WW2) and burned the Russian Orthodox Christians in the Trade Union Building, the Russian Orthodox Christians who have traditionally been on the receiving end of the upheavals (although not always) and the Jews who are manipulating the other two sides for profit (quelle surprise!). The Latin Christians of Ukraine have the usual Western European support, especially of the already “Westernised” and NATO-ised Eastern Europeans: Poland and the Baltics.

      Therefore, although Slavic, those individuals who burned people alive in a building are culturally closer to you then you imagine.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        July 4, 2016 at 10:03 am

        Manipulating for profit? You just made that up. Be anti-Semitic somewhere else.

    • Kiza
      July 4, 2016 at 7:09 am

      Of what you refer to as the East European oligarchs, most are of Jewish cultural background.

      Regarding Dracula, perhaps the story of Dracula has become a metaphor for cultural collision in the West, as you write. But its historic significance is completely different. Vlad Tepes (meaning the impaler) was a Romanian duke from the twilight years of the Byzantine Empire and the three decades during which Turkey gradually occupied the Balkans (SE Europe). Byzantium was declining under the onslaught of the Turks, Vlad was very oriented towards Rome instead of Constantinople, so much so that he was given the epithet Dracul or Dragon by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Even the Modern Romanian word for devil “dracul” has been derived from this title/epithet given to Vlad by the Latin Emperor. In the briefest, to retain his rule, Vlad played between Byzantium, Rome and Ottoman Empire, he both fought the Turks and was their vasal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlad_the_Impaler.

      Regarding Vlad’s viciousness, most of it came from the Western/Latin stories, mainly German. In the Russian (Christian Orthodox) history Vlad is described as mostly a Romanian Orthodox Christian patriot. It appears that Vlad was impaling his enemies, but so were the Turks. Historically, it is very hard to distinguish who learned the technique from who. Impaling people correctly required very high skill and a high knowledge of anatomy (I do not want to go into the morbid detail).

      It appears that the British story tellers and travellers, such as Bram Stoker (Irish), when they visited the region in the 18th century married two local legends into one story of Dracula:
      1) the colorful local stories of night beings drinking human blood for sustenance, mainly the stories told for ensuring children’s safe behavior (for example, in my national background the vampire is only a female and hunts people who wander through the woods at night),
      2) a couple of centuries earlier Western story of Vlad The Impaler, the most vicious king of Romania/Transilvania.

      In summary, again Mr Sanford, for the Eastern Christians the story of Count Dracula the vampire is purely a Western creation, coming out of the wish for shocking story telling and possibly even a projection of the sick Germanic (German and British) subconscious mind. Perhaps, not exactly your metaphor of the clash of your culture with the non-performing Slavic culture.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        July 4, 2016 at 10:04 am

        I don’t believe that, for the reason that the oligarchs were the first entrepreneurs after the fall of communism. They didn’t get their money because they are Jews. Stop spreading your disgusting hatred.

        • Kiza
          July 4, 2016 at 11:33 am

          So enterpreuneurial to make a couple of billion dollars in a year or two? Tell me where such honest opportunities exist and I will move to such country, because I am entrepreneurial as well.

          In one sentence, this is how the Jewish oligarch “entrepreneurship” in Russia operated: the Jews in the West would supply capital to the Russian Jews who would buy Russian state firms either in closed auctions (conducted by corrupt officials) or from the company workers for a bottle of vodka (who had no idea what those pieces of paper called “stocks” represented). The Magnitsky case study is an excellent example of the operation of such globally networked Jewish oligarchy. The US Magnitsky Law is the revenge against the Russian state for stopping the pillage.

          Fighting anti-semitism – a very noble endeavour! But get some facts before you start typing your trollish criticism. You are one of the least knowledgeable individuals here at Consortium but also one of the most opinionated, two traits which usually do go hand in hand.

          • Bob Van Noy
            July 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

            Kiza, thanks. Have you read “Two Hundred Years Together”?

          • Kiza
            July 4, 2016 at 1:23 pm

            I did not read the book you mention, but I will add it to the list, thank you.

          • Bob Van Noy
            July 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

            You won’t find it in English, that’s the rub…

          • Kiza
            July 4, 2016 at 1:46 pm

            My Russian is terrible, I believe it is Solzenytsin and the only one of his books not translated into English because it was not anti-Soviet and anti-Russian. Maybe also considered anti-Semitic, as anyone who utters a word of disproval of some typical behaviours.

  9. Joe Tedesky
    July 3, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    F.G. You won’t get any flack from me, for what you wrote here. I also, would like to tell you how when I first got up enough nerve to write on this comment board, you were kind enough to explain to me what you meant when you used the term ‘matrix’. It meant a lot to me at the time, since I can be a little self conscious of myself, especially when it comes to my writing.

    You speak about culture. I remember as a youngster being taught in school how America was the land of the free and the brave. We heard stories of how the German people would come running to the Americans, wanting to surrender to the kind gum giver GI-Joe. Our WWII movies, always showed us as regular guys, just wanting to return home to Mom and her apple pie, return to their girl who was waiting for them back home, land that job down at the mill, and of course drag that cool Chevy out of the old garage and take it for a spin. Our teachers taught us how our founding fathers fought against a tyrannical King for our independence. It took a clever teacher to teach us about that well earned freedom while the country still had slaves, but they did teach us that somehow…if I recall correctly that’s where Lincoln came in to the curriculum.

    I was thirteen when I was awaken to a mean and stark reality, because some lone gunman shot JFK, and not much long after another nut job killed MLK, if those two murders weren’t enough then came the killing of Bobby. I mean what in the world was going on? The Vietnam war, or was it a conflict, was draining my high school of fellow classmates like it wasn’t even funny. The stories these poor recruits had to tell, on their return home, could only be told over a few beers since their recollections of that war were that horrific. Finally, when I was in my last year of the Navy, the story broke about the My Lai Massacre. Some Americans thought nothing of it, since they felt this was just part of fighting a war. In many ways that feeling was understandable, by some measure which only war can provide. Yet, there were many others, who felt we as a nation had sunk to a new low. Only, the real battle hardened knew that these wars were not a John Wayne movie, and My Lai wasn’t what we should all be about.

    Now here I am in my older years with thirteen grandchildren. Like many grandparents, or even just older folk, I want a better world than we had, or currently have for the grandkids to mature into. Don’t get me wrong, we also had a lot of fun growing up. I mean how can you replace your memory of playing with your hola hoop. How about watching our parents and their friends throw their backs out when we tried to show them how to do the twist. Those were truly wonderful times, but then came the wake up call to see how hypocritical our world really was. Our fun culture, had a dark side which I don’t remember being to warned about.

    It’s a good thing that all my uncles who fought against the Nazi during WWII aren’t alive today to see our country supporting those very same Nazi’s in Ukraine, who laugh and beat people while they burn. I can only wonder what those uncles of mind who liberated the Holocaust camps, would think of Netanyahu and his bunch as they destroy the Palestintian people’s way of life, by confining them to the worlds largest open air prison. Would my uncles shed a tear for the culture we have become?

    Here is what our culture lost;

    https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 4, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Hey Joe, I think I touched a nerve! I guess some folks don’t know about Bram Stoker’s inspiration for his novel: Vlad “The Impaler” Dracula, a real person who killed thousands of people by shoving poles up their butts, then planted them in the front yard for amusement. But on a brighter note, I think it’s time to draft RFK Jr. For President.

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 4, 2016 at 11:37 am

        F.G., I’m not sure that KIza and you are on the same page. You are talking about Bram Stoker, while KIza is going through some real history mixed in with local versions about Vlad the Tepes. If I were expert I would jump right in there, and settle this thing, but after a careful rereading I don’t think there is really much controversy. (Blessed are the peacemakers…little old me) also, you were using Stoker and his story telling as a metaphor for something wider to get some meaning from. I enjoyed reading both you and KIza for what you had to say about Dracula.

        About that RFK Jr presidential run, yes I could vote for him. Is he really running, or not?

      • Kiza
        July 4, 2016 at 11:54 am

        Hey Mr Sanford, you are in good company of those Westerners who interpret the Eastern Christian history through the projection of their sick subconscious. For you the raw nerve is when somebody provides an alternative view to your single-minded racist rant.

        On the bright side, in the West we all have to hate somebody for the lower income we are getting and the declining standard of living. The TPTB prefer you to have your pet hate: choose between the Muslms and those quasi-Christian Orthodox Christians, or find some other group you are allowed to hate, only the Jews and the homosexuals are off limits.

        Your racist rant, to which I replied with a brief historic overview, is so off topic that I have no idea what Consortium moderator is doing. What does the Slav culture or lack of it has to do with a shootdown of a civilian airliner? The exceptional US never shot down an airliner, right? LOL

        P.S. Has it ever occurred to you that Vlad Tepes maybe never killed those thousands of people, that you are just a typical gullible American conditioned to believe in the Po-like stories?

        • Kiza
          July 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm

          I liked your introductory straw-men of being a free spirit, not bound by Political Correctness. The only problem with this creation is that I never heard of anyone in the West suffering for being anti-Christian or anti-Slav. I got censored here at Consortium several times for being much less controversial than what you commented above, which kind off proves my point of what is PC and what is not.

          PC is a very finely controlled beast.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 4, 2016 at 1:46 pm

          Although my last name is derived as being ‘one from Germany’ that name reference goes all the way back to the 12th century, so for all practical purposes I’m Italian. My ethnic group was once thought to be the ruination of this great country America, but then the Anglo’s realized how well we Italians could run the public works department, and we were in. Most of us are not mobsters, but many of us have a wise guy cousin VInny or Sal somewhere. There maybe some Italian descent Americans who wish to someday become the president of the USA, but most of us know that that job, is for the most part a job to be somebody else’s flunky. Did you know that there is a peaceful rivalry between how many Hollywood actors are Jewish against those who are Italian? No body is losing sleep over it, but it’s fun to jab one another when at a back yard party when the two groups get together. Talk about adding to the American economy, has anyone ever come up with a number to how much pizza sales America has had? Why, we maybe bigger than U.S. Steel …today maybe Apple. Who loves ya baby? We do, because we love watching everybody attempt to get right what we accomplished two thousand years ago. Enough with that empire jazz, let’s just enjoy Mamas homemade spaghetti…she made it just for you.

          Seriously KIza, besides liking what you and F.G. Sanford bring to this site, maybe do a rethink and slow down on your criticism of the guy. Oh hell forget that, without the argument this comment board could get mighty boring. Now, on another level Rikhard Ravinda Tanskanen does seem to be annoyed by your inflections on the Jews, and I will let you two have it out, for what ever that’s worth. On another level, we are all probably related anyway, and just don’t know it.

          ricordare , mantenere i vostri amici e nemici più vicini

          JT

          • Kiza
            July 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm

            Well Joe, I thought Rocky Bilboa had a great run up to episode XLI, but he just got too old and fell down into the Expandibles. After some year in the past Hollwood appears to have started producing movies according to ethnic quotas, more for commercial than PC reasons.

            Anyway, thank you for your effort to mediate. It would be good if you could accept that Consrtium censoring a few of my lowly critical comments was much more of an issue to me than Mr Sanford’s racism. I am critical of the “Latin” and “Jewish” behavior sometimes, but this is always backed by reasoning, which is why it is not racism or anti-Semitism. Individuals such as Mr Sanford are simply not at my level to produce emotions, I quickly forget such and move on to more interesting people. End of discussion.

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 4, 2016 at 3:17 pm

            You are welcome for my mediation. I’ll let you and F.G. thrash this racist thing out between the two of you. My take on it is, that sometimes we all paint with not a broad brush but an 8″ wide roller on a twenty foot wide wall, and the roller is attempting to take on more wall than it can, thus we need to keep rolling it on & rolling it on, & on….dumb metaphor, but we do stuff all the time which overlaps a bit…example; two of my best friends I had while in the Navy were both white guys from the south and both were radical liberals. Seriously they had black friends as well, can you believe it? I saw a map of 1860 America once with red for the confederacy, and blue for the union. It was striking to see the purple and sometimes bright blue in places like Mississippi. Likewise New York had some deep red counties, with plenty of pink ones too, and that’s no lie. Okay, so when most people describe even today’s modern America the south is the red neck rebel capital of the world, and the north is the bespectacled soccer parent liberal with a radical Marxist paperback stuffed in his rear pants pocket. Bill Maher brings this about often when he makes fun of the rednecks in the southern states, and then He will say, ‘ah I jest, indeed’. I know, and maybe you know, that America’s southern states have some of the most liberal people we have in this country. I think you get my point. Sometimes when we talk about far off places, it’s to easy to pin point a little to wide, and extract the innocents from the crime. I’m American, but I’m not a neocon, I’m not a Rockfeller, and I don’t have membership in the CFR, so does commentary in Russia leave me out of their targeted articles when writing rebuttals against the U.S.? It’s just the way it is, and also I would miss both you and F.G. if you two were never to write a comment here again, so cut it out. Like my uncle would say, fight nice.

            Also, by the end of the day, who gives a rats ass what Dracula was all about. Hell, most of us here in America have a hard time finding Wyoming on a map, let alone Transylvania. Maybe Vlad means a lot to you, but you do know that for what it’s worth, at least in Hollywood’s mind, that is, is that Iron Man, and Batman are more real currently speaking than Dracula. And, you do know I’m kidding you, right? ….now that Tanskanen fellow maybe a different story. Have a great day JT

          • Joe Tedesky
            July 4, 2016 at 5:18 pm

            KIza I just wanted you to know that I too don’t like any censorship of any kind. Professor Michael Brenner the other day had written about the subject of our freedom of speech, and although I’m no libertarian I think everyone should have the right to speak their mind. Sorry, forgot to address that part of your reply, it is probably your most important criticism of this site.

            Now, that we are having this discussion about ethnic roots, part of my family tree goes back to Frederick Barbarossa. Tedesky is some American way of spelling Tedeschi. Why is Vito Andolini Vito Corleone in America? My last name has some ancient meaning to call us ‘one from Germany’. Am I even Italian? Doesn’t matter.

            Now it’s possible my ancient ancestors went with Barbarossa on his way to fight the 3rd crusade, until armored up Barbarosa fell off his horse while crossing some river, and drown. You know what my ancestors did? Except for the ones who said they committed Suicide, the rest went home…no war for them. I sometimes wonder if that’s where my dislike for war comes from.

            The other part of my Italian heritage is from a small village way up in the mountains 4700 ft above sea level and where not even the German’s nor our Americans I am told would even go that far up on any regular basis, during WWII. Now that part of my family tree goes back 2500 years to being called Samnites. The Samnites beat the Romans a couple of times, until somewhere two thousand years ago they formed a truce.

            Maybe there is something to all that. Consider how much I would rather negotiate and stay rational (even though I’m not always good at it), but don’t blame me it’s in my genes? Well, to bring my bloodline up to date would be a task in and of itself, since we are talking about thousands of prior people who I know nothing about. My guess would be that they would be all different. From royalty to the poorest of the poor. Sinners, and saints all rolled up into one big package …. Me.

            Sorry, for going off about that, but my point to be made is all about individualism and nothing more. Now, if we are talking about what organizations or clubs I belong to, that is a different matter. You probably agree to that, and I only wrote this to brag about my family roots. Continue on, and forget I’m here. JT

    • Bob Van Noy
      July 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Joe, F.G., bear with me here I think I’ve discovered an aspect of Russian History that we in the west simply are not aware of: if we could do a round table discussion we could solve the worlds issues (virtually of course)!

  10. Abe
    July 3, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    Moscow-based journalist John Helmer has reported on plans to send combat troops into eastern Ukraine after the crash of MH-17:

    “President Barack Obama and his advisors spent at least a week, and as much as three weeks, planning to send up to 9,000 combat troops into eastern Ukraine, on the border with Russia, following the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 two years ago. The scheme, which was to have involved Dutch and Australian army units, with German ground and US air support, plus NATO direction, has inadvertently leaked from the publication of a report this week by a former Australian Army captain.

    “The military plan, according to James Brown, now head of research at the US Studies Centre of the University of Sydney, ‘would have consumed the bulk of the Australian Army.’ Captain Brown also claims ‘planning for these military options consumed Australia’s intelligence agencies. The National Security Committee of [the Australian ministerial] Cabinet met every day for more than three weeks , and staff and agencies produced a frenzied stream of briefings on Ukraine, Russia and the intentions of [President] Vladimir Putin.’

    “According to Dutch sources, the military plan of attack was aborted when Germany refused to participate directly, or allow its bases and airspace to be used. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the Dutch were pulling their troops out of the plan on July 27. He said at the time: ‘Getting the military upper hand for an international mission in this area is, according to our conclusion, not realistic.’ That was ten days after the MH17 crash. But Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet continued, Brown and his sources reveal, to plan the operation with the US for another 10 days.”

    The Obama Shoe-Banging Moment – Dutch and Australian Troops Were Planning to Start War With Russia After MH17 Was Shot Down
    By John Helmer
    http://johnhelmer.net/?p=15859

    • Kiza
      July 4, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Very interesting insight, thank you, I missed that note by John Helmer. Let me add a few bits.

      It is not difficult to imagine that the Australian Prime Minister of the time, one Tony Abbott, would have engaged in a war with Russia. I heard him on the morning radio about 7 hours after the shoot-down foaming at the mouth against Russia for shooting down the plane and killing Australians (how did he know so quickly?) and later on promised to shirt-front Putin when he sees him. The Abbott character is the dumbest politician I have ever seen anywhere in the World: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Abbott. I consider myself a conservative, but I wonder why the conservative side tends to attract some of the worst morons one can even find in human kind. Tony Abbott used to be the knuckle dragger of the Australian Liberal Party, a destroyer and an enforcer. Making him into a Prime Minister was like taking a street gorilla and turning him into a mafia don.

      Also, I cannot even imagine the second Australian Gallipoli in Eastern Ukraine, against Russian special forces there. It would have been nothing like fighting the barefeet Vietnamese peasant, for sure (the last war Australia fought).

      But if the US people think that only their country is stuffed because they can only chose between Trump and Clinton, in Australia the dumb-dumber Tony Abbott was replaced in the intra-party coup by the crookedest PM Australia ever had, one Malcolm Turnbull. This new PM, an Anglo-Jewish mix, is a former director of Goldman Sucks Australia. At least this crook would be extremely unlikely to start a war against Russia.

      Lucky Australia got saved by Germany and Netherlands.

      • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
        July 4, 2016 at 10:06 am

        “Anglo-Jewish mix”? That is repulsively crude and racist language. You are a despicable person.

        • Kiza
          July 4, 2016 at 11:37 am

          You are a very annoying and dumb troll. Do you have anything constructive to write or your purpose in life is to troll every comment of mine? I do hope you will get barred from unz.com for such behavior, at least under your current tag. If not, the Consortium moderator us not any bettr than you.

      • Abe
        July 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        The repulsively crude and racist language came from Malcolm Turbull, who claimed in a 2008 interview for The Wentworth Courier, the local newspaper in Turnbull’s electorate in Sydney, that his mother “had always said that some of her ancestors, which were a mixture of people from the UK and Europe, were Jewish or of Jewish background”.

        The despicable Turnbull repeated his claims in a 2013 interview for The Australia Jewish News, and no less than the Times of Israel propagated Turnbull’s “mix” claims in a 2015 feature article http://www.timesofisrael.com/australias-new-pm-may-be-jewish-but-hasnt-given-it-much-thought/

  11. alan
    July 4, 2016 at 3:21 am

    There are 36 families in Australia and one in America still waiting on John Kerry, the man who “knows it all” (Meet the Press, July, 2014) to tell us all what he knows about MH 17. When you get a mix of the Ukraine, the CIA, people like Victoria Nuland (credibility zero), liars one and all, the chance of ever getting the truth on this disaster is close to nil.

    John Kerry, the man who will not get another run under Clinton or Trump for Secretary of State, may be inclined to tell it all after his forced retirement in November. Mind you, he may be bound by some devious rule not to ever open his mouth on anything for fear of death. Something like the televised charade we were all witness to at the White House when the substitute bin Laden was killed in Pakistan having actually died years before in Afghanistan, Is that what they call the ‘second coming’ or in this case, the ‘second going?

    Still, when one gets used to the lies that emanate daily from both the White House and the US media, across the board, one never takes anything seriously. So watch out in November for the Clinton approved crime that will be ‘committed by Iran’ just to justify the small nuclear bomb that the fascist Israelis will send over to Teheran as punishment for the same fictitious crime. The Israelis would have Clinton’s signature in her blood on this one. May not equal the WMD deal with Bush and his cronies but it will be a little more professional. They are good learners

    The White House Studios of Hollywood’s Weinstein mob, will make the whole show in full colour to be shown on Fox, naturally, knowing the time and place ahead of time, as with the dancing Israelis photographing 9/11 from the rooftops. All you need are the right connections and they had them, obviously.

    Anything can be arranged. Just call…..anytime

    • Rikhard Ravindra Tanskanen
      July 4, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Jewish foreknowledge of 9/11? That is repugnantly racist propaganda. The anti-Semitism is obvious. Besides, why didn’t they let them die to cover it up, or wait for the Jewish holiday that was coming up?

      • Abe
        July 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

        A certain Hasbara troll assigned to Consortium News routinely abuses commenters with loud accusations that they are “anti-Semitic” supporters of “9/11 conspiracy theories”.

        Going far out of his way to inform us that he is “pro-Palestine and anti-Israel, by the way”, this troll insists that Donald Trump is “good at business deals, which would be good for diplomacy”, echoing the pro-Israel endorsements of billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Trump’s partners at Goldman Sachs.

        Meanwhile, the decidedly pro-Israel Trump is busy promoting his own 9/11 conspiracy theories:
        http://mondoweiss.net/2015/11/celebration-laughing-israelis/

      • Zachary Smith
        July 4, 2016 at 10:27 pm

        You may be right about the ‘troll’ business – he turned “dancing Israelis” into “Jewish foreknowledge”.

        Probably not an honest mistake.

    • Abe
      July 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      US and Western-sponsored trolls, and pro-Israel hasbara trolls, attempt to trash the information space. They typically aim at confusing the audience, rather than convincing it.

      Hasbara propagandist trolls strive to discredit websites, articles, and videos critical of Israel and Zionism.

      Hasbara tactics of deception include:

      1) loudly accusing anyone who offers legitimate criticism of Israel or Zionist power configuration in the United States of being “anti-semitic”, and

      2) deliberately posting incendiary comments with links to “anti-semitic” and “Holocaust denial” material.

      Hasbara smear tactics have intensified due to ever-increasing Israeli military aggression and outright racism, as well as Israeli collusion with the United States in regime change projects from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

      Readers of Consortium News are alert to these deceptive tactics.

      There have been a number of efforts by international and governmental bodies to define “anti-Semitism” formally.

      The U.S. Department of State states that “while there is no universally accepted definition, there is a generally clear understanding of what the term encompasses.” For the purposes of its 2005 Report on Global Anti-Semitism, the term was considered to mean “hatred toward Jews, individually and as a group, that can be attributed to the Jewish religion and/or ethnicity.”

      In 2005, the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (now Fundamental Rights Agency), then an agency of the European Union, developed a more detailed working definition, which states: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

      The European agency adds that “such manifestations could also target the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity,” but that “criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic.”

      Criticism of particular Israeli actions or policies, even harsh and strident criticism or advocacy, in and of itself does not constitute “anti-Semitism”.

      Speaking of repugnant racists:
      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.713790

  12. Abe
    July 4, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    The destruction of MH-14 was a propaganda plum for Washington, which had been waging a propaganda war for months.

    SETTING THE STAGE

    By mid-July 2014, the Armed Forces of Ukraine were in the third month of their so-called Anti-terror Operation (ATO) against the people of eastern Ukraine. The post-coup regime in Kiev continued air and artillery strikes in Donetsk and Luhansk after President Petro Poroshenko vowed to rid Ukraine of “parasites”.

    Armed with equipment obtained from numerous Donbas military bases and captured in battle with pro-Kiev forces, and aided by volunteer units from Russia, the Donetsk and Luhansk militias strongly defended their regions.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would continue to defend the interests of ethnic Russians abroad – up to 3 million of whom lived in the east of Ukraine.

    Russia began a criminal investigation of the commander of the Aidar Battalion, a volunteer military unit with links to the far-right, supported by Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, for organizing the killing of civilians in eastern Ukraine.

    In addition to the Ukrainian ground troop casualties, the Ukrainian Air Force suffered numerous losses of both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

    The worst death toll took place on June 14 when separatist militia, using 9K38 Igla (Needle) MANPADS (man-portable air-defense system), shot down an Il-76 transport plane near Luhansk Airport with 49 crew members killed.

    The Ukrainian public was growing weary of the escalating casualties, military equipment losses and cost of the ATO military actions.

    Meanwhile, Washington was having difficulty garnering European support for a third round of economic sanctions against Russia. Germany had recently expelled the Berlin station chief of the United States Central Intelligence Agency following a series of spy scandals.

    The German government accused the NATO supreme commander, American General Philip Breedlove, of disseminating “dangerous propaganda” on the extent of Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine, and trying to undermine a diplomatic solution to the war.

    DRESS REHEARSAL

    On July 14, a Ukrainian military An-26 twin-engined turboprop transport aircraft crashed near the village of Izvaryne near the Russian border, killing both pilots and most of the 8 member crew.

    The Ukrainian Defense Ministry claimed the aircraft was “shot down” from an altitude of 6500 meters, leading to speculation the plane was hit by a “Russian anti-aircraft rocket”.

    The flight ceiling of the separatist Igla MANPADS was 3500 meters.

    U.S. officials said they had “evidence” the aircraft had been fired on from inside Russian territory, then switched stories and insisted that the aircraft was shot down by a BUK surface-to-air missile from separatist-held eastern Ukraine.

    On July 15, a Ukrainian airstrike on the separatist-held town of Snizhne killed at least eleven civilians.

    On July 16, the US widened sanctions against Russia, targeting major banks and energy companies, Russian defense industry, and individuals it said were responsible for the continuing support of the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Russia for failing to meet commitments to end the violence in Ukraine, and said Russia might face further EU sanctions.

    SHOWTIME

    On July 17, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 carrying 298 people from multiple countries crashed near Hrabove in Donetsk Oblast, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

    Kiev officials again claimed the aircraft was “shot down”.

    On July 18, US President Barack Obama says the United States has “increasing confidence” that that MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile that came from Russian separatists in Ukraine – and that Russia bore responsibility for the crisis.

    The sources of Obama’s “confidence”:

    – Russian anti-Putin oligarch-owned mainstream and social media
    – fake “reporters on the ground” in Ukraine
    – Ukrainian state media and privately-owned media
    – information released through US/NATO allies like Poland
    – most importantly, “analysis” of satellite imagery by fake “citizen journalists”

    The world was in a frenzy.

    WINNING BIG AT THE INTERNATIONAL BOX OFFICE

    Unsubstantiated allegations about who — and what — shot down MH-17 provided political support for the EU to introduce the third round of sanctions against certain sectors of Russia’s economy, including the financial sector (all majority government-owned Russian banks), trade restrictions relating to the Russian energy and defense industries, and additional individuals and entities designated under the EU asset freezing provisions.

    • Kiza
      July 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      Two titbits:
      1) It is a little more likely that MH17 was shot down by a military jet, because it is much easier to get rid of one pilot and navigator than a whole BUK crew, a unit of about 10 people.
      2) The country-on-country sanctions introduced by US and EU against Russia do not mention a word about MH17, but MH17 shotdown spiced up by the dollops of the dumbest MSM propaganda (“Putin’s missile killed my baby”) was an emotional booster for introducing the anti-Russia sanctions hurtful to the Europeans themselves. Some people are experts in building hate.

      Also, I did explain before that whilst the Russia-EU bilateral trade almost halved from $440B down to $230B, the US trade with both Russia and EU increased. In other words, the US stepped in to fill the trade vacuum created by the sanctions. Voilà!

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 5, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Abe, this is great stuff. We should all go back in time and re-study the news of that July 2014. Here is a link to moonofalabama July 2014, move down to the 11th & the 17th of July. Notice where ‘b’ calls the then current names being used at that time to describe each side. Here’s the matrix; the Nazi’s are the Ukraine Army, and the local federalist are what I call freedom fighters, Donbass liberators…. Match up the position and time sequence to the Kiev/Nazi’s who got theirselves in a stupid dumb position. The not so smart Nazi’s are in a position where I believe that to be the very position that everyone claims to be where the Donbass people were to have fired the BUK missile. Why use a fake BUK when it will be SBU fighters who take out flight MH17? Because it would sell easier to say Donbass rebels did this because they would have had better access to a BUK weapon, as opposed to ever getting their hands on a SBU fighter, and having one of them (Donbass people) flying a jet plane….is my guess, thought, whatever. It’s a kind of simple, and believable, and it’s easy to follow.

      When you go on moonofalabama July 2014 scroll through and take note of the other news. Such as, Gaza was just starting to get hit, the Vienna talks were starting to go down, but if you remember Kerry making his rounds on the Sunday talk shows, this downed passenger jet was the only story playing, and loudly it played. I’ll admit how it worked on me, if you say July 2014, I automatically go to MH17. I guess I’m conditioned.

      The problem I’m having with this whole sad affair, is MH17 is officially going down as a unsolved mystery. I am hoping that the new Oliver Stone movie I saw a trailer for which is called, ‘Ukraine on Fire’, mentions something about flight MH17. Then again how could anyone tell this story about modern Ukraine, and not bring up flight MH17? Stories such as this, really have no major mass media celebrity news person who will take on a crusade to find out the truth to what, or who really brought this plane down. Imagine the money, and especially the dough an opportunist newscaster would pile up if they were to carry the banner for truth on this story. Between Dutch, Australian, and Malaysian markets the stardom would be utterly fantastic…and right there is a huge give away to how much the lid is on this scheme, and how well it is covered. It would be extremely nice, if the truth were to boil so white hot with credibility and blow the cover right off this ugly kettle. At least to show everyone who’s who, and to give the truth to victims families for proper closure. There is always hope or file in The JFK aisle, please.

      Here’s the link;

      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/07/index.html

  13. Abe
    July 5, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Trailer for the Oliver Stone documentary “Ukraine on Fire” (2016)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVdvp188rk4

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