Putler’s Televised Man Date

Xuilo’s workout video–don’t try this at home!

Putin keeps building up the idea of the great Fascist Russian state–something that disturbingly is fine with many Russians. The latest exercise in the ridiculous was his Sunday exercise and man-bonding festival with sidekick Dima Medvedev, at his Sochi mansion complex. All captured by his photographers and released publicly for his people and world to see what is essential–the great authoritarian leader (one of Fascism’s main tenets) exercising with his PM sidekick, then gr…illing steaks before breakfast, and then having tea together. And toasting with tea, of all things. Many have remarked that they must have been thinking how the looks of this “man date” must appear in light of Russia’s infamous homosexual propaganda prohibition laws (Vitaly Milonov had better be looking into this right now!).

Rather light weight load there

Rather light weight load there

Men cook MEAT!

Men cook MEAT!

But this is all about the image of the unquestioned national leader. The propaganda is crude, childish, posed, stupid looking, and eaten up by the majority of Russians who want the powerful Vozhd to rule them with an iron hand.

Putin medy workout

One last note–all of the superb exercise equipment is from Hoist Fitness Systems of Poway California. Surely Putin must now have this vile American pollutant crushed by Russian-made T-130 bulldozers, just like any other US or EU imports. Or maybe not.  That would be admitting that the same rules apply to the elite that apply to the poor people he controls.

Toasting with tea? Really?

Toasting with tea? Really?

By the way, it turns out that Putin’s track suit pants from his Sunday televised workout were of course Italian silk and cashmere blend designer ones from Loro Piana. Only $1495 (£990) . Jacket probably a similar price. Together with the expensive top-of-the-line US Hoist Fitness exercise equipment, this is his way to tell his people “screw you–there are separate rules for the leaders and for you who must destroy and not use all evil foreign things.” But many Russians just don’t care and applaud their ridiculous shows of wealth.

Putin's Italian designer $1495 training pants

Putin’s Italian designer $1495 training pants

Peskov Latest to Shamelessly Flaunt Plunder Before Russian People

Russian officials continue shamelessly showing off the wealth they made by stealing the Russian people blind, and the average people they continue stealing from applaud the thieves. The mind boggles.

Peskov wedding and watch

Peskov wedding and watch

After long-running displays of improbable wealth by most Cabinet ministers, Putin himself (whose illicit wealth is estimated at $40-200 billion) and his cohort Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church (who helps Putin keeping the people brainwashed and in a sick ultranationalist fervor, the latest to show off is Putin’s Press Speaker, Dmitry Peskov. When Peskov married Russian ice dancer Tatiana Navka on 1 August in a lavish event that included all of the usual politicians and singers who take part in just about every Kremlin-linked entertainment programme, Peskov was seen wearing a limited edition RIchard Mille watch valued at $620,000. If that seems like a lot–it is. It is estimated that this is more than the sum total of what he has made as a state employee beginning as a Soviet diplomat in 1989. In addition to blatantly showing off this incredible wealth (which he later said in several “versions” was either a gift from his wife–who certainly never made that kind of money as an ice dancer for the USSR, Russia, or Belarus–or from somebody else who loaned it to him), the watch features a golden death head skull. Very fitting for one of the most bold-faced liars around who defends Putin’s invasions and annexations of other countries.

Maltese Falcon

Maltese Falcon

Maltese Falcon rental price

Maltese Falcon rental price

Maltese Falcon information

But the shows of improbable wealth continue. He has been now seen cruising around the Mediterranean on the Maltese Falcon, which is considered the most expensive mega-yacht in the world to rent, with a weekly price of EUR 385,000. Though he has again denied it and said he was just in a hotel in Sardinia with his wife there cooking up come eggs for them (where the yacht has called in addition to Capri and Sicily), it turns out that his new wife, her 15 year-old daughter from a former marriage, and a good friend Oleg Mitvol, head of the Russian Environmental Protection Department are prolific selfie-makers and Instagram users, and have posted numerous photos, some geotagged, of the voyage on the Falcon. Interestingly, they also posted pictures of another very futuristic but bizarre yacht named “A” which they linked up with just north of Capri on 11 August where the two loitered together for some time.  That is owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, who owns a number of major energy, chemical, and coal companies in Siberia, and is tied in with the Kremlin. Russian oppositionist Aleksey Navalniy has done a great job of putting together the pieces of this trip including through the use of maritime tracking websites.

Navaniy expose of the voyage

"A" yacht

“A” yacht

In addition to the incredible amount of money being spent on this trip (after the extravagant wedding), it is ironic that Peskov would choose to make this honeymoon in the place he and the regime demonise all the time as “gayropa.” Of course, we would imagine that given Russia’s current practice of destroying all US or European products coming into Russia, they must have brought all good Russian food with them and would not stoop to eating the banned evil parmesan, mozzarella, and European meats on offer. Well, we seriously doubt they are living off of tushchenka and pelmeni. But this is par for all Russian officials, many of which have their children attending exclusive schools in Europe or the US and later residing there. They cynically put out this image of the European enemy for the average Russian, tell them to make their holidays in Sochi or Crimea, and to shun Western produce and products.  All the while showing off this stolen wealth as the average Russian cheers them on saying what a lovely couple they are and how they deserve the best. While the likes of Peskov live the highlife on the world’s most exclusive yacht sailing the seas of Gayropa.

 

Latest Russian MH-17 “Version” a Horribly Bad Fake

Supposed CIA agents discussing plans to shoot down MH-17

Supposed CIA agents discussing plans to shoot down MH-17

Moscow continues to believe its murder of nearly 300 people on Malaysian Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on 17 July last year is still something it can cover up by confusing everyone with yet more “versions” of what supposedly happened. The latest one just makes it more abundantly clear, following their veto in the UNSC of a resolution that would have established a tribunal to discover the truth and guilty parties, that Russia absolutely did it.

The latest released  on 11 August in the government Komsomolskaya Pravda paper and website had a number of purported recordings of a couple of CIA officers, “David Hamilton” and “David Lloyd Stern” discussing preparations to shoot down an airliner with a BUK (SA-11). It is just so poorly done that if it had not involved mass murder, it would be laughable. “Hamilton,” who is supposedly the handler, clearly has an accent and manner of speaking indicating he is a Russian. “Stern” initially has a rather British accent which becomes more American over the course of the conversations. Naturally the Russian propagandists had to work in some swipes against Ukrainians with the purported CIA agents saying they don’t trust Ukrainians and they are druggies. They use stilted language and ways of speaking in the conversations that sound like they are reading off a script and are not at all the way real people would be talking on the phone–much less agents referring to aspects of a sensitive operation. In fact, they would not be using open lines in the first place. They also use typically Russian language, such as referring to the BUK repeatedly as a “kompleks,” whereas English speakers would call it a system. More laughable was toward the end when “Stern” complains that the Russians are listening to him, yet he continues babbling about the alleged operation to his handler in detail.

In short, another crude fake. This follows on Russian “versions” including the one showing badly made supposedly American satellite imagery of a perfectly focused Su-27 in the act of firing an air-to-air missile at the hapless 777 (on 3-year-old Google Earth imagery), a super Ukrainian Su-25 FROGFOOT shooting it down even though the Boeing was at twice the altitude that the Sukhoi can operate at, that the 777 was flown by suicidal Malaysian pilots for the CIA specifically in order to get shot down to blame the Russians (and it was filled with dead bodies drained of blood), that a phantom fired Spanish air traffic controller inexplicitly in the Kyiv tower saw the Ukrainians shoot it down with their planes (even though foreign controllers do not work in Ukrainian ATC and the 777 was under control of Dnipropetrovsk at the time), or that a Ukrainian BUK shot it down, even though it was clearly fired upon from totally Russian-held territory. Just another sick Russian attempt–and one so poorly done–to deflect blame for Russian mass murder.

Komsomolskaya Pravda fake conversation of alleged CIA agents discussing plans for MH-17

Russian Imperial Ambitions More Openly Displayed

For Stalin

For Stalin

Russia’s Baltic Fleet is hosting an aviation special-to-arms encampment and competition (Sbor) in the Kaliningrad Region at Chernyakovsk airbase. Most telling about the mentality is the writing on practice bombs of the words “To Berlin” and “For Stalin.” (But at least they didn’t say Death to cheese and peaches!) All proudly displayed on the Russian Navy’s official website.

To Berlin practice bomb

To Berlin practice bomb

Russian Navy Website on Baltic Fleet sbor

Russia Vetoes UNSCR on MH17 Tribunal–Guilty Vote

As expected, Russian UN Ambassador and chief international liar Vitaliy Churkin today vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution that would have established an international tribunal to investigate and prosecute those guilty of shooting down Malaysian Flight 17 on 17 July 2014 over eastern Ukraine. This is the same Churkin who voted for UNSCR-2166 on 21 July last year just after the shoot-down, then saying Russia supported a swift and thorough investigation. That was probably when Russia thought it could still hide all the evidence.

Given that all the evidence (except for all the demonstrably false and contradictory Russian government propaganda versions of what supposedly happened) clearly shows that a Russian Army SA-11 BUK TELAR from its 53rd Air Defence Missile Brigade fired the missile that downed the airliner killing 298 people, the fact that Russia would veto it clearly shows who did it, and who does not want to be brought in front of it someday. Lying murderers.

"Raise your hand, who shot down MH17"

“Raise your hand, who shot down MH17″

Donetsk Russians Vandalise OSCE and Red Cross Vehicles–New Low

On 23 July in the early morning hours, a few hundred demonstrators, including large numbers of women and children, marched on the international hotel in Donetsk which houses the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. A number of them–mainly women–climbed up on 30 OSCE vehicles and 11 International Committee of the Red Cross vehicles and vandalized them, spraypainting windscreens and other parts of the vehicles, supposedly with symbols of closed eyes, and claiming the OSCE does not open its eyes to see what is happening, citing particularly the 18 July mortar fire on central Donetsk. Actually that incident has been shown to have been caused by 82mm mortar rounds.  Given that an 82mm mortar has a maximum range of 4.2 km and even the larger 120mm mortar has a range of 7 km, and the closest Ukrainian positions are a couple kilometers further away than that, then it has to be concluded that the mortaring was done once again against a residential area by the Russians themselves. That is, unless the laws of physics have been altered. This was much like the infamous April mortar attack on a Donetsk trolleybus stop, which was also well outside Ukrainian range. Shooting your own people in order to blame Ukraine is nothing new, and is meant purely for propaganda purposes. But then again ,what to expect from the Russians when Putin set up his own rise to power in late 1999 by having his FSB bomb apartment buildings in various Russian cities, killing nearly 300 of his people.

ICRC vehicles vandalized in Donetsk

ICRC vehicles vandalized in Donetsk

But the protesters and vandalisers were just the instrument of another Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic” provocation. The OSCE noted that as the marchers were approaching and the OSCE requested more protection, trucks blocked the car park exits, and the dozens of “DNR” soldiers and police present did nothing as the vandals went to work. Additionally, the ”DNR deputy defence minister” and Donetsk mayor were leading the protest, and naturally did nothing to stop the vandals (who conveniently came with cans of spray paint). This is another low for the Russians and their local Rambos, and is probably meant to encourage the OSCE and other observers/witnesses to leave the region. But at least things have improved a bit since April and May of 2014 when three separate OSCE monitor teams were kidnapped by the Russians and held for days or weeks and accused of being spies before being finally released.

OSCE SMM report from 23 July on vandal incident

MH-17 Incriminating Video and Russia’s Cynical “Remembrance”

Yesterday was is one year since the Russian army’s 53rd Air Defence Missile Brigade (based out of Kursk) shot down Malaysian Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine using an SA-11 missile fired from TELAR 312. Australia got ahold of a video shot by some of the first Russian rebels (local Rambo wannabes) who arrived on the scene right after the shoot-down. That is when they told “DNR” commanders in real time that the plane thought to be a Ukrainian transport was actually a civilian airliner. Next thing they did at the crash site was to secure it by going through bags of the victims and taking out things like phones and other things of value. Scum.

“DNR” video of MH-17 impact site and looting right after shoot-down

Making things worse is the fact that Russia, which just a day after the shoot-down demanded in the UN Security Council that an international investigation be started at once, now is vehemently against one (because they know that the evidence that one of their SA-11s did it is incontrovertible). In fact, if the issue is proposed and comes to a vote in the UNSC, Russia will veto it. That will just be the final confirmation that Russia was the guilty party, but sadly those responsible, up to Putin of course, will probably never be held responsible. However, the Dutch, who have pieced together the wreckage, recovered numerous fragments from it of the shrapnel from the SA-11 warhead, and have been able to identify the course of the oncoming missile, will probably be releasing their findings in the coming months. Those findings will point to only one possible culprit–Russia.

Russian "DNR" monument at Hrabove to 298 "innocent victims of civil war"

Russian “DNR” monument at Hrabove to 298 “innocent victims of civil war”

Sick display--"DNR" residents "remember" MH-17 victims with banner saying "They killed you and continue killing us"

Sick display–”DNR” residents “remember” MH-17 victims with banner saying “They killed you and continue killing us”

The anniversary was marked by a sick display at Hrabove Ukraine where the wreckage impacted, as “DNR” leader Zakharchenko arrived in uniform with his heavily armed bodyguard of regular Russian Spetsnaz soldiers, and a number of locals turned out with “DNR” flags. One sick banner said on it “They killed you and they continue killing us” (correct actually if the “they” is Russia). Others held the flags of the countries of the victims, though the Malaysian flag was put upside down making it into the Polish one. A sick little monument was dedicated, written in Russian, stating that 298 innocent victims of the civil war died there. A “civil war” where most of the “pro-Russian” dead and wounded are repatriated to another country–Russia–is no civil war. It is a war of invasion, full stop.

"DNR" Kremlin-appointed boss Zakharchenko arrives with his Russian Army Spetsnaz bodyguards

“DNR” Kremlin-appointed boss Zakharchenko arrives with his Russian Army Spetsnaz bodyguards

In another hypocritical move, Russian Foreign Minister and supreme liar Lavrov brought flowers to the Dutch embassy in Moscow. Somebody should have thrown them in his face. In any case, the ceremony and Lavrov’s sick move were nothing but pure cynicism.

Lavrov cynically brings flowers to the Netherlands embassy in Moscow

Lavrov cynically brings flowers to the Netherlands embassy in Moscow

Russia Again Shows Finger to the World over Srebrinica

Churkin vetoes UNSCR on Srebrinica

Churkin vetoes UNSCR on Srebrinica

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the wholesale murder in Srebrenica, Bosnia Herzegovina of over 8,000 Bosnians by the Serbs. In the run-up to this event, Russia again showed its true murderous colours by having its UN Ambassador Vitaliy Churkin veto a UNSC Resolution commemorating it. On Wednesday while 10 UNSC members supported the UK-proposed Resolution, four abstained, including China, Venezuela, Angola, and Nigeria (which ironically is fighting its own war in the north against an Islamist insurgency), while Churkin voted against it, effectively killing it.

He justified it, if that is possible, by saying that “In view of absence of consensus on this subject inside Bosnia and Herzegovina — the country’s parliament and members of the presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to reach consensus on the matter, the resolution’s adoption by the UN Security Council in its present form would have been absolutely counter-productive and would have aggravated the situation in the region.” Aggravate? How? Would the Serbs start killing Bosnian Muslims, use rape as a weapon, and set up concentrations camps? Already did that in a big way in the 90s. His assertion that there is no uniform view in Bosnia itself is true, because it is obviously opposed by the Russian-supported Serbs in Republika Srbska, which makes up over a third of B-H but actually keeps closer ties with Belgrade. Republika Srpska was also the entity under Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladic (both currently accommodated in The Hague) which with support from the VJ (Yugoslav Army) conducted the war against the independence of B-H from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia. In the series of Balkan wars, while there was a lot of bad deeds done by all sides, the worst and the majority by far are recognized as having been carried out by the Serbs.

Srebrinica memorial and cemetery

Srebrinica memorial and cemetery

In the case of Srebrenica, it is very well documented. That town and surrounding area, in addition to a few others, had been designated a UN Safe Haven since 93 where no military forces were permitted, and were observed by UN Peacekeeping forces. The goal there had specifically been to prevent the encircled town from falling to the Serbs who, given their history, would have conducted yet more ethnic cleansing. It took some time, but they did, infiltrating fighters amongst the tens of thousands of locals and refugees, and disarming and rendering ineffective the Dutch UN Peacekeeping Battalion there which was hampered by its rules of engagement and was not assisted by airstrikes when it asked for them. The ensuing murders initially started with small numbers of people being pulled out of the former batter factory and other locations where they were crammed in stifling heat, and then were conducted in huge numbers as men and boys were loaded on buses and brought to locations outside the town to be mowed down SS-style. There are countless stories of horrific rapes and children having their throats slit for crying. All this is extremely well documented as it took place under the eyes of the helpless UN peacekeepers and many foreign journalists there. Fact is, the Serbs just did not care.

One of the mass murder sites outside of Srebrinica, with Putin portrait on Republika Srpska placard

One of the mass murder sites outside of Srebrinica, with Putin portrait on Republika Srpska placard

The ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia) has long designated this as a genocide. Whether it meets the threshold or not is irrelevant–this international body has made the determination. What is even more galling is the even 20 years later, Russia continues supporting its Serb friends over this well-documented massacre it carried out. No wonder, since Russia is even making use of some small Serb Chetnik units in its undeclared war inside sovereign Ukraine. Birds of a feather.

Woodstock and Glastonbury, Move Over (Invasion Fest is Here!)

Nothing says "rock on" like a military district band

Nothing says “rock on” like a military district band

The Western world has been getting music festivals so wrong all these years. Russia’s concept is another step along the path towards true Fascism, and is the absolute antithesis of everything the Woodstock Generation and the Beatles brought the world.

OMON security on the bariers

OMON security on the bariers

Their long-running Nashestvie festival (which appropriately enough means “invasion”) being held this weekend in the Tverskaya Oblast outside Moscow, featuring a large selection of only Russian bands, now has the patriotic element firmly implanted. Starts with something one would never see at a Western festival–a military band on stage with a national rocker. Security is provided by none other than the infamous OMON head-crackers (vice head bangers). But the main fascistic element is that there is a big area between the main camping zone and the arena area with a selection of combat vehicles from WW-II and a bigger display of some of the most modern weapons from the modern Russian army, including the 2S6 and Pantsir-S1 air defence systems, tanks, BTR-82As, and 2S19 SP howitzers. There is also a wooded area where they demonstrate Spetsnaz hiding and sniping positions. That’s a whole lot of peace and love!

Map of festival with military area between camping and the arena

Map of festival with military area between camping and the arena

2S6 and 2S19 for the rockers. Peace out!

2S6 and 2S19 for the rockers. Peace out!

Appropriately, one of the main bands playing a special nighttime set is called, of all things, MORDOR.

Special night set from MORDOR

Special night set from MORDOR

Russian Vesti state news item about Nashestvie festival

Stalin Icon Blessed Along With BEAR Bomber

Priest blesses Stalin icon and BEAR bomber at Engels

Priest blesses Stalin icon and BEAR bomber at Engels

A Russian priest just did an interesting blessing at Engels airbase near Saratov. It is common for them to bless weapons of war, so his blessing of a Tu-95 BEAR strategic bomber and crew was typical (Jesus apparently blessed weapons all the time…), but the added kick was that he had in tow a new icon of Mary looking over Stalin and his generals which was blessed using water from the Volga. This icon was commissioned by Russian writer and shameless lying Putin cheerleader Aleksandr Prokhanov. Some in the Russian Orthodox Church have criticized it (especially since Stalin virtually destroyed the clergy and churches until he needed them to boost his war effort), but the fact is, the government allowed this to happen in a very secure place. Engels is home to most of Russia’s strategic bomber fleet of Tu-95s and Tu-160 BLACKJACKs.

Engels BEAR bomber crew wetdown

Engels BEAR bomber crew wetdown

Putin Plays Psychological Waiting Ploy With Pope

Putin pope

Putin’s usual sick psychological games came into play on 10 June when he arrived over 70 minutes late for meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican. This is usual for him, as he was 50 minutes late for his first meeting with the Pope in 2013, 14 minutes late to meet the Queen, left Secretary of State Kerry waiting over two hours for a scheduled meeting, left grieving air crash victims’ families waiting for hours at a cemetery in 2003, and most European leaders claim they have had long waits for an audience with the world’s self-anointed supreme ruler. Yet at the same time he is always on time for his numerous press conferences and other events of his own.

This is nothing but his sick character, and psychological game-playing. It is high time that the Pope, or any of the others he has played with, just blew him off and said to hell with meeting you. Disrespectful excuse for a person.

Flip-Flop: Russia Puts out Another Pathetic MH-17 Version

Russia's supposed key witness, former Ukrainian soldier Evgeniy Agapov, not in Russian safekeeping. Oddly, his Ukrainian passport belies some Russian disinfo, in that it is in both Ukrainian and Russian. Details...

Russia’s supposed key witness, former Ukrainian soldier Evgeniy Agapov, now allegedly in Russian safekeeping. Oddly, his Ukrainian passport belies some Russian disinfo, in that it is in both Ukrainian and Russian. Details…

Oops, another flip-flop. Russia cannot keep its ‘versions’ straight, but never cared about the truth anyhow. After yesterday’s big presser and revelation by the maker of the SA-11 BUK system and several government newspapers in Russia claiming that a Ukrainian Army BUK-M1 definitely shot down MH-17 in July 2014, not an earlier version makes a reappearance. Russia’s infamous Investigative Committee now says the ‘key witness’ to the shoot-down, former Ukrainian Airforce mechanic Evgeniy Agapov, is safely under protection as a witness in Russia. He had claimed previously, per Russian TV, that he personally saw some Ukrainian Su-25 FROGFOOT ground attack airvcaft take off from an airfield near Dnipropetrovsk on 17 July, and the one of CPT Voloshin, which had air-to-air munitions, returned empty. Obviously, per the Russians, this means he had shot down MH-17.

Russian state TV story about supposed ‘key witness’ to MH-17 shootdown

Never mind that nothing in the story is plausible (as previously reported on this site), not to mention the simple fact once again that an Su-25 with weapons can only reach 5,000 metres–half the altitude of the Boeing shot down. BUK, Su-25, UFO. The fact that the Russian disinformation apparatus keeps changing its version totally (now daily!) makes them look like what they are–pathetic ridiculous bold-faced liars.

Russia's composite shoot-down theory? BUK on Su-25 perhaps?

Russia’s composite shoot-down theory? BUK on Su-25 perhaps?

 

Latest Russian MH-17 Shoot-Down Lies Easily Debunked

BUK-M2 with 9M317 missiles

BUK-M2 with 9M317 missiles

The crude nature of the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign is becoming more laughable by the minute. The crude propaganda has now returned to the theory that a Ukrainian SA-11 (BUK) air defence missile shot it down. This comes after 10 months of multiple campaigns to show that a mystery Ukrainian Su-25 FROGFOOT ground attack aircraft somehow shot down Malaysian Flight MH-17 over Russian-held eastern Ukraine on 17 July last year (despite the fact that an Su-25 can only reach half the altitude of the Boeing), using either its 30mm cannon or a small air-to-air missile, and even producing a supposed US satellite photo (actually a badly faked doctored old Google Earth photo) in November allegedly and impossibly showing a mystery Ukrainian fighter (now an Su-27 FLANKER) actually firing its missile at the hapless 777. Given that those stupid propaganda pieces were totally discredited, the Kremlin has begun producing something even more ridiculous.

 

Ukrainian BUK-M1

Ukrainian BUK-M1

Today, 2 June, they let the SA-11 BUK system manufacturer Almaz-Antey hold a press conference releasing, as they said, previously classified information that was now allowed by the Russian Ministry of Defence. Again, a glitzy press conference spewing nothing but pure disinformation. They said their expert analysis of pictures of the holes in the fuselage show the shrapnel-produced holes were caused by the older 9M38(M1) missile used on the BUK-M1 system. They claimed that according to the Russian MOD, the Russian military no longer has that model, and only uses the newer 9M317 missiles (which have much smaller profile and shorter mid section fins than the older missiles) on the newer BUK-M2, which NATO assigns the designator SA-17, which has a slightly different warhead with different pre-cut shrapnel designs. Therefore, per the propaganda report, only the Ukrainians, who still possess the older BUK-M1, could have shot it down. End of briefing.

 

Burning BUK-M1 of Russian Army in Chita parade, 9 May 2015

Burning BUK-M1 of Russian Army in Chita parade, 9 May 2015

The only problem is, the Russian military still does have a lot of 9M38(M1) missiles and older BUK-M1 TELARs in its arsenal. Numerous photos of them from recent times have surfaced today, including the BUK-M1 that caught fire in the 9 May 2015 Victory Day parade in Chita (loaded with 9M38(M1) missiles, and Putin visiting the Russian 102nd Military Base in Armenia in December 2013, standing in front of a Russian Army BUK-M1 with 9M38(M1) missiles loaded.

 

Russian 102nd Military Base, Armenia. Putin in front of Russian BUK-M1 in Dec 2013

Russian 102nd Military Base, Armenia. Putin in front of Russian BUK-M1 in Dec 2013

As for the TELAR that shot down MH-17, it was part of a convoy of SA-11s from the Russian military’s 53rd Air Defence Missile Brigade based in Kursk, and was photographed and videoed by many Russians who uploaded the footage as the column headed south to the Ukrainian border in June 2014. This was convincingly proven by Bellingcat’s exhaustive investigation. That particular BUK-M1 TELAR (bort number 312) was then seen on video in Snezhne and nearby Torez in eastern Ukraine on a white heavy equipment transporter truck on 17 July, uploaded with four 9M38(M1) missiles. It was then seen early the next day, after the shoot-down, heading back on the same truck to the Russian border, but minus one missile. In Ukraine it had most of the bort number painted out, but unique markings and damage to the TELAR clearly show it was 312 from the 53rd Bde that had been heading toward Ukraine.

 

BUK-M1 going back on truck to Russia 18 July after shooting down MH-17

BUK-M1 going back on truck to Russia 18 July after shooting down MH-17

So the BUK that shot it down was clearly identified in Russia going to Ukraine, it was from the Russian 53rd Brigade, and it was a BUK-M1 carrying 9M38(M1) missiles. So the Russian propaganda machine was partially correct. It was this model that shot NH-17, but a Russian one—not Ukrainian.

 

Oct 2014 letter from Ukrainian Ground Forces AD chief about investigation into BUK-M1 probably shooting down MH-17

Oct 2014 letter from Ukrainian Ground Forces AD chief about investigation into BUK-M1 probably shooting down MH-17

One other piece of the Russian disinfo programme related to this was the release on 11 October by Russian disinformation site Kiber-Berkut of a leaked document signed by Ukrainian Colonel Zorin, Chief of the Ground Forces’ Air Defenses. This lays out how their analysis showed the damage was caused by a 9N314 warhead from a 9M38 missile from a BUK or BUK-M1. The Russian propagandists wanted to use this to show that it was an older model BUK, and also quotes the Russian MOD as saying that it only has BUK-M12s and BUK-M2s, and call Zorin the killer of 300 people. However, as noted, the MOD assertion that it has no older BUKs is a verifiable lie. Furthermore, if the Ukrainians allegedly knew they fired the BUK (which they did not), then why would the air defence chief be writing a report of his preliminary findings to higher HQ about the probable cause of the shoot-down? This is ridiculous. Russian disinformation specialists apparently have no clue what they are doing, and care nothing about getting even the smallest details right.

BUK-M1 and BUK-M2 differences

BUK-M1 and BUK-M2 differences

But certainly RT and a slew of Western conspiracy websites will be regurgitating the latest Russian BS.

 

 

 

Putin Continues to Eliminate any Potential Foes

Kara-Murza and Nemtsov

Kara-Murza and Nemtsov

On 26 May, 33 year-old Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza was hospitalised in grave condition from probable poisoning. The official diagnosis has been non-alcoholic intoxication of two substances, though those substances have not been disclosed by the hospital, and have essentially largely shut down most of his major organs, leaving him on life support. He had been a close associate of Boris Nemtsov, who was murdered in the shadow of the Kremlin on 27 February (and the vast array of surveillance cameras there incredibly were all turned off and police took 13 minutes to respond), and Kara-Murza is a top leader of Open Russia, a Khodorkovskiy-founded opposition movement. He has also been a successful opposition journalist and is a Cambridge graduate, and most recently was instrumental in finishing and releasing Nemtsov’s last project outlining Russia being behind the war in eastern Ukraine. He also must be considered dangerous by Putin, who seems to have found his niche as a serial poisoner (as well as run-of-the-mill murderer).

Kara-Murza’s wife and others have called for him to be sent abroad for medical help, though the hospital head doctor will not allow it, and he also refuses to send results of the medical tests or samples abroad to be tested and examined. Somebody is hiding something, as it would seem the hospital would want to get as much help as it could in tracking down this mystery poisoning.

This is just the latest in a long line of killings or attempted killings by the Kremlin, with Putin going out of his way to silence any critics, not matter how small they may be. On his watch about 200 Russian journalists have been killed or murdered, with most having been opposition and being murdered under suspect circumstances. Others murdered have been KGB/FSB defectors who were spilling the beans on Putin’s dirty work, or writers exposing such deeds. Oddly, street hooligans do not seem to murder reporters for Russian state TV or newspaper outlets—only opposition. Pure chance, we are supposed to believe.

Some of the most notable murders and attempts:

Boris Nemtsov (in the shadow of the Kremlin on 27 Feb 2015)

Yuriy Shchekochikhin, a liberal journalist and lawmaker murdered by an unknown poison in July 2003 just days before he was to have flown to the US to meet with the FBI. This was related to his investigations into the Putin/FSB bombings of apartment buildings throughout Russia in 1999 which led to Putin’s rise to power (which left 293 people dead). His medical records were classified by Russian authorities.

Anna Politkovskaya, the liberal journalist and writer who was a thorn in the side of Putin for investigating his Chechen war and other wrongdoings, murdered at her apartment elevator in October 2006. Some Chechens arrested later were acquitted in 2009. Two years before her death she was also taken violently ill all of a sudden, but recovered. It is widely believed in the opposition that this was a poisoning attempt.

Aleksandr Litvinenko, former KGB/FSB officer, murdered in London in November 2006 when Polonium-210 was slipped into his tea by Andrei Lugovoy, another FSB agent, now protected and feted by the Kremlin, and a member of the Duma. Litvinenko had also been instrumental in collecting and reporting information on the 199 apartment bombings that brought Putin to power. It apparently did not mattered whatsoever to Putin that Litvinenko had become a British citizen.

Putin seems to have taken a liking to having his troublemakers murdered using exotic poisons, either from having watched too many Bond films or more likely, by reaching back into the KGB files.

After all, Bulgarian intelligence, using equipment made for them by the KGB according to top KGB defectors Oleg Gordievsky and Oleg Kalugin, murdered Georgi Markov, a dissident working for BBC and Radio Free Europe in September 1978. The murderer used a special umbrella to shoot a tiny pellet of ricin poison into his leg as he waited for a bus on Waterloo Bridge in London.

Ten days earlier in Paris an identical pellet was injected into another Bulgarian dissident, Vladimir Kostov, in a Paris metro station, but he survived.

Naturally the most high-visibility attempt (though involving a gun, and not poisons), was the attempt in 1981 on Pope John Paul II in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican. The Turkish gunman Mehmet Ali Ağca had been hired for plausible deniability by Bulgarian intelligence, even having direct contact with the Bulgarian Defence Attache in Rome. This was due to the Polish Pope being a danger to the Soviet empire due to his support for the new Solidarity movement. Naturally the Bulgarians could not have cared less about the Pope, but were operating on behalf of the KGB, which most certainly was concerned and had its vassals do its dirty work with third country hirelings.

Putin seems to excel at this, and will continue to kill his enemies, not matter how big or small. Like Stalin, he can see anyone as a potential threat to his power, and will find the most hideous means to have them eliminated. Putin should be shunned, and made PNG throughout the world, but most governments will not call him out. In fact most still perpetuate the fairy tale of ‘pro-Russian separatists’ being the main force in eastern Ukraine, instead of calling it what it is—the Russian Army and Russian government mercenary forces.

 

A Few ‘Minor’ Corrections to a Proliferating Russian Disinformation Article

Engdahl

Engdahl

The piece of Russian disinformation below showed up on 26 May in the main Yahoo News stories, as a story put out by the usually more balanced Peak Oil website. It was actually a rerun of a recent article from New Eastern Outlook, which lists a Moscow address and has nothing but anti-US anti-West articles in it. The article in question is called ‘What if Putin is telling the truth?’ and is filled with so many fabricated ‘facts’ that it is hard to figure out where to start. The article is from F. William Engdahl, a pro-Russian conspiratorial wacko who writes for many pro-Russian outlets, including Michel Chossudovsky’s Global Research in Montreal, which is perhaps the main Active Measures proliferator on the planet, and is dangerous in that it masquerades as a legitimate academic site and is all too often quoted by uni students who cannot take two minutes to do some basic fact checking. Engdahl also masquerades as an expert on many things, including as an ‘expert’ on oil who believes it is not biological in nature, but made by geology alone. He bills himself also as a strategic risk consultant (God help any companies that take his advice), and naturally is a feature on Moscow’s RT disinformation network. This article of his has naturally been picked up by all the regular conspiratorial and anti-US blogs and websites, but also by more reputable ones, which apparently have not bothered to do a basic fact check.

It is not that his article has a few factually incorrect pieces to it (which can be expected in just about any article written). It is that the article is based on a major lie as its premise, and he supports it with nothing but bold-faced lies and fabricated quotes. It is more cheap Russian propaganda, but a lot of people will believe this crap.

Here is Engdahl’s article, ‘What if Putin is telling the truth’, dissected and corrected. There are a LOT of corrections (in Bold).

 

On April 26 Russia’s main national TV station, Rossiya 1, featured President Vladimir Putin in a documentary to the Russian people on the events of the recent period including the annexation of Crimea, the US coup d’etat in Ukraine, and the general state of relations with the United States and the EU. His words were frank. And in the middle of his remarks the Russian former KGB chief dropped a political bombshell that was known by Russian intelligence two decades ago.

Putin stated bluntly that in his view the West would only be content in having a Russia weak, suffering and begging from the West, something clearly the Russian character is not disposed to. Then a short way into his remarks, the Russian President stated for the first time publicly something that Russian intelligence has known for almost two decades but kept silent until now, most probably in hopes of an era of better normalized Russia-US relations.

Putin stated that the terror in Chechnya and in the Russian Caucasus in the early 1990’s was actively backed by the CIA and western Intelligence services to deliberately weaken Russia. He noted that the Russian FSB foreign intelligence had documentation of the US covert role without giving details. [This is all false, building on false accusations made many times before about the Georgians, who supposedly were doing the same, though the Russians never provided a shred of evidence.]

What Putin, an intelligence professional of the highest order [well, according to some co-workers in the KGB he was far from that], only hinted at in his remarks, I have documented in detail from non-Russian sources. The report has enormous implications to reveal to the world the long-standing hidden agenda of influential circles in Washington to destroy Russia as a functioning sovereign state, an agenda which includes the neo-nazi coup d’etat in Ukraine [the basic Kremlin disinfo line about 'Ukrainian Nazis and coups'] and severe financial sanction warfare against Moscow. The following is drawn on my book, “The Lost Hegemon” to be published soon…

CIA’s Chechen Wars

Not long after the CIA and Saudi Intelligence-financed Mujahideen had devastated Afghanistan at the end of the 1980’s, forcing the exit of the Soviet Army in 1989, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union itself some months later, the CIA began to look at possible places in the collapsing Soviet Union where their trained “Afghan Arabs” could be redeployed to further destabilize Russian influence over the post-Soviet Eurasian space. [Ludicrous. The Afghanis stayed where they were, and the CIA, like the whole US Government I was working in, was gearing to the ‘peace dividend’ and redirecting intel toward possibly economic endeavours. In fact, the fall of the USSR was NOT even the desired US or NATO outcome in 1991—a reformed USSR was.]

They were called Afghan Arabs because they had been recruited from ultraconservative Wahhabite Sunni Muslims from Saudi Arabia, the Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and elsewhere in the Arab world where the ultra-strict Wahhabite Islam was practiced. They were brought to Afghanistan in the early 1980’s by a Saudi CIA recruit who had been sent to Afghanistan named Osama bin Laden. [A very old unsubstantiated lie. Actually the CIA never had any dealings with UBL because he was an Arab who did not even speak the local languages, and had no ‘street cred’ there in Afghanistan.]

With the former Soviet Union in total chaos and disarray, George H.W. Bush’s Administration decided to “kick ‘em when they’re down,” a sad error. Washington redeployed their Afghan veteran terrorists to bring chaos and destabilize all of Central Asia, even into the Russian Federation itself, then in a deep and traumatic crisis during the economic collapse of the Yeltsin era. [This is unsubstantiated bull, as once again, the US did not even want the USSR to collapse as it did.]

In the early 1990s, Dick Cheney’s company, Halliburton, had surveyed the offshore oil potentials of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and the entire Caspian Sea Basin. They estimated the region to be “another Saudi Arabia” worth several trillion dollars on today’s market. The US and UK were determined to keep that oil bonanza from Russian control by all means. The first target of Washington was to stage a coup in Azerbaijan against elected president Abulfaz Elchibey to install a President more friendly to a US-controlled Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, “the world’s most political pipeline,” bringing Baku oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey and the Mediterranean. [There are so many blatant lies here which have to be set straight, since I have been intimately involved in Azerbaijan and involved in the oil and gas aspects of the Caspian for some 15 years. Firstly, Halliburton was an oilfield services company operating in Baku, rather modestly. The huge potential reserves of the Caspian had been known since Soviet times, but there were no good outlets. Elchibey was ousted in a coup by former Soviet Politburo member and Soviet Azeri First Secretary Heydar Aliyev in June 1993, because his handling of the Nagorno-Karabakh war was pitiful. This has NOTHING to do with the BTC pipeline, which was not even first considered as an option until a year after Heydar took power, was not formalized until 2002, and not under construction until 2003. ]

At that time, the only existing oil pipeline from Baku was a Soviet era Russian pipeline that ran through the Chechen capital, Grozny, taking Baku oil north via Russia’s Dagestan province, and across Chechenya to the Black Sea Russian port of Novorossiysk. The pipeline was the only competition and major obstacle to the very costly alternative route of Washington and the British and US oil majors. [The Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline was hardly a competitor to the future BTC. It has only a capacity of a couple hundred thousand barrels per day and was always plagued by Russian inefficiency, whereas BTC was built for moving one million barrels per day of new oil. Azerbaijan’s SOCAR state oil company has always been providing oil for the Baku-Novo pipeline up into Russia. BP also even considered for a couple of years the possibility of running a pipeline south from Baku through Iran and to the Persian Gulf, because Caucasus instability made Iran look like a more stable option.]

President Bush Sr. gave his old friends at CIA the mandate to destroy that Russian Chechen pipeline and create such chaos in the Caucasus that no Western or Russian company would consider using the Grozny Russian oil pipeline. [Nobody would want to use that small pipeline, as stated, and Azerbaijan WAS and IS providing oil for it. The Bush-CIA action plan on this is pure fantasy.]

Graham E. Fuller, an old colleague of Bush and former Deputy Director of the CIA National Council on Intelligence had been a key architect of the CIA Mujahideen strategy. Fuller described the CIA strategy in the Caucasus in the early 1990s: “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power.” [Fuller exists, but there is no reference found to this alleged quote of his except in this article and in various Russian government friendly and fringe political conspiracy blogs. False ‘fact’. Also, a learned CIA analyst would not refer to the Soviet forces in Afghanistan as the ‘Red Army’. Pure fabrication.]

The CIA used a dirty tricks veteran, General Richard Secord, for the operation. Secord created a CIA front company, MEGA Oil. Secord had been convicted in the 1980s for his central role in the CIA’s Iran-Contra illegal arms and drugs operations.

In 1991 Secord, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, landed in Baku and set up the CIA front company, MEGA Oil. He was a veteran of the CIA covert opium operations in Laos during the Vietnam War. In Azerbaijan, he setup an airline to secretly fly hundreds of bin Laden’s al-Qaeda Mujahideen from Afghanistan into Azerbaijan. By 1993, MEGA Oil had recruited and armed 2,000 Mujahideen, converting Baku into a base for Caucasus-wide Mujahideen terrorist operations. [Azerbaijan did for a short while fly some Afghanis Muj into Azerbaijan around this time to be experienced fighters against the Armenians in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, but after just weeks were disillusioned with them and their religiosity, which ran counter to the secular attitudes of the Azeris, and they sent them back home. They were not brought in by the US to fight Russian in the North Caucasus. In any case, until 25 December 1991, it was still the USSR. On another note, I worked many years on security issues in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan in particular, and have never heard of MEGA Oil anywhere except in this article and in associated conspiracy blogs.]

General Secord’s covert Mujahideen operation in the Caucasus initiated the military coup that toppled elected president Abulfaz Elchibey that year and installed Heydar Aliyev, a more pliable US puppet. A secret Turkish intelligence report leaked to the Sunday Times of London confirmed that “two petrol giants, BP and Amoco, British and American respectively, which together form the AIOC (Azerbaijan International Oil Consortium), are behind the coup d’état.” [As noted, this is pure bullshit, for lack of a better word. Heyday Aliyev was far from a US puppet, he did not come to power until 93, as opposed to this supposed 1991 Secord operation, and AIOC was not formed until a year after Heydar came to power, though AIOC did in fact include BP and Amoco amongst many other companies from other countries, including Russia’s Lukoil.]

Saudi Intelligence head, Turki al-Faisal, arranged that his agent, Osama bin Laden, whom he had sent to Afghanistan at the start of the Afghan war in the early 1980s, would use his Afghan organization Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) to recruit “Afghan Arabs” for what was rapidly becoming a global Jihad. Bin Laden’s mercenaries were used as shock troops by the Pentagon and CIA to coordinate and support Muslim offensives not only Azerbaijan but also in Chechnya and, later, Bosnia. [Unsubstantiated crap. CIA and the ‘Pentagon’ had no dealings ever with UBL, except to kill him.]

Khattab (the greasy one)

Khattab (the greasy one)

Bin Laden brought in another Saudi, Ibn al-Khattab, to become Commander, or Emir of Jihadist Mujahideen in Chechnya (sic!) together with Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. No matter that Ibn al-Khattab was a Saudi Arab who spoke barely a word of Chechen, let alone, Russian. He knew what Russian soldiers looked like and how to kill them. [Actually Khattab was Jordanian and was supported by various mullahs in Saudi, though UBL may have given his blessing.]

Chechnya then was traditionally a predominantly Sufi society, a mild apolitical branch of Islam. Yet the increasing infiltration of the well-financed and well-trained US-sponsored Mujahideen terrorists preaching Jihad or Holy War against Russians transformed the initially reformist Chechen resistance movement. They spread al-Qaeda’s hardline Islamist ideology across the Caucasus. Under Secord’s guidance, Mujahideen terrorist operations had also quickly extended into neighboring Dagestan and Chechnya, turning Baku into a shipping point for Afghan heroin to the Chechen mafia. [Having dealt with Azerbaijan professionally, this is utter crap. This alleged Secord operation to destabilize Chechnya via Baku was supposed to have happened after 91, though the second ‘religious’ Chechen War did not start until 1999. The allegations of Afghan heroin transiting Baku to Chechnya are not based on fact, as most Afghan heroin has gone through Central Asia into Russia.]

Basayev

Basayev

From the mid-1990s, bin Laden paid Chechen guerrilla leaders Shamil Basayev and Omar ibn al-Khattab the handsome sum of several million dollars per month, a King’s fortune in economically desolate Chechnya in the 1990s, enabling them to sideline the moderate Chechen majority. US intelligence remained deeply involved in the Chechen conflict until the end of the 1990s. According to Yossef Bodansky, then Director of the US Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, Washington was actively involved in “yet another anti-Russian jihad, seeking to support and empower the most virulent anti-Western Islamist forces.” [Again, the alleged quote from Bodansky cannot be found anywhere except in this article and repeats of it in conspiratorial blogs, and runs contrary to his way of speaking. Basayev was somewhat active in the first Chechen War in the mid 1990s, but in an essentially secular mode, whereas Khattab did not show up there till the late 1990s before the second war. Facts.]

Bodansky revealed the entire CIA Caucasus strategy in detail in his report, stating that US Government officials participated in,

“a formal meeting in Azerbaijan in December 1999 in which specific programs for the training and equipping of Mujahideen from the Caucasus, Central/South Asia and the Arab world were discussed and agreed upon, culminating in Washington’s tacit encouragement of both Muslim allies (mainly Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia) and US ‘private security companies’. . . to assist the Chechens and their Islamist allies to surge in the spring of 2000 and sustain the ensuing Jihad for a long time…Islamist Jihad in the Caucasus as a way to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiraling violence and terrorism.” [Again, there seem to be no references anywhere to this alleged quote, or to any parts of it, except in this original article and a large number of conspiratorial blogs which have re-barfed it. It is, like the rest of this article, pure fiction.]

The most intense phase of the Chechen wars wound down in 2000 only after heavy Russian military action defeated the Islamists. It was a pyrrhic victory, costing a massive toll in human life and destruction of entire cities. The exact death toll from the CIA-instigated Chechen conflict is unknown. Unofficial estimates ranged from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or missing, mostly civilians. Russian casualties were near 11,000 according to the Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers. [Actually the second war, which Putin instigated in late 1999 with his FSB apartment bombings in various Russian cities, did not wind down until 2009—quite a few years after 2000. It was not CIA-instigated by any means, and estimates of dead, which include mostly civilians subject to Russian military bombardments and sweeps which took out entire villages, range generally to over 100,000.]

The Anglo-American oil majors and the CIA’s operatives were happy. They had what they wanted: their Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan oil pipeline, bypassing Russia’s Grozny pipeline. [Again, BTC had nothing to do with the wars in Chechnya, which were a purely Russian affair, though there were a lot of foreign jihadists in the second one—not recruited by the US, which as you may remember, had been actively fighting against related jihadists after September 2001.]

The Chechen Jihadists, under the Islamic command of Shamil Basayev, continued guerrilla attacks in and outside Chechnya. The CIA had refocused into the Caucasus.

Basayev’s Saudi Connection

Basayev was a key part of the CIA’s Global Jihad. In 1992, he met Saudi terrorist Ibn al-Khattag in Azerbaijan. From Azerbaijan, Ibn al-Khattab brought Basayev to Afghanistan to meet al-Khattab’s ally, fellow-Saudi Osama bin Laden. Ibn al-Khattab’s role was to recruit Chechen Muslims willing to wage Jihad against Russian forces in Chechnya on behalf of the covert CIA strategy of destabilizing post-Soviet Russia and securing British-US control over Caspian energy. [Actually Basayev was fighting in 1992 and 1993 in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region in a North Caucasus militia group allied with the Russian military, actively fighting against Georgians. This, even though in 1991 he and some other Chechens had hijacked an airliner. There is a mountain of evidence that Basayev was recruited by the Russian GRU after the hijacking and cooperated with it while fighting against Georgia. Like so many others in the region, he later defected and turned on his masters.]

Once back in Chechnya, Basayev and al-Khattab created the International Islamic Brigade (IIB) with Saudi Intelligence money, approved by the CIA and coordinated through the liaison of Saudi Washington Ambassador and Bush family intimate Prince Bandar bin Sultan. Bandar, Saudi Washington Ambassador for more than two decades, was so intimate with the Bush family that George W. Bush referred to the playboy Saudi Ambassador as “Bandar Bush,” a kind of honorary family member. [Not a shred of proof that this group had any CIA backing, and is again illogical given the US being busy fighting against these people post 9/11.]

Basayev and al-Khattab imported fighters from the Saudi fanatical Wahhabite strain of Sunni Islam into Chechnya. Ibn al-Khattab commanded what were called the “Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya,” his own private army of Arabs, Turks, and other foreign fighters. He was also commissioned to set up paramilitary training camps in the Caucasus Mountains of Chechnya that trained Chechens and Muslims from the North Caucasian Russian republics and from Central Asia. [This is actually the very first factual paragraph. Amazing.]

The Saudi and CIA-financed Islamic International Brigade was responsible not only for terror in Chechnya. They carried out the October 2002 Moscow Dubrovka Theatre hostage seizure and the gruesome September 2004 Beslan school massacre. In 2010, the UN Security Council published the following report on al-Khattab and Basayev’s International Islamic Brigade:

Islamic International Brigade (IIB) was listed on 4 March 2003. . . as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of” Al-Qaida. . . The Islamic International Brigade (IIB) was founded and led by Shamil Salmanovich Basayev (deceased) and is linked to the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM). . . and the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment (SPIR). . .

On the evening of 23 October 2002, members of IIB, RSRSBCM and SPIR operated jointly to seize over 800 hostages at Moscow’s Podshipnikov Zavod (Dubrovka) Theater.

In October 1999, emissaries of Basayev and Al-Khattab traveled to Usama bin Laden’s home base in the Afghan province of Kandahar, where Bin Laden agreed to provide substantial military assistance and financial aid, including by making arrangements to send to Chechnya several hundred fighters to fight against Russian troops and perpetrate acts of terrorism. Later that year, Bin Laden sent substantial amounts of money to Basayev, Movsar Barayev (leader of SPIR) and Al-Khattab, which was to be used exclusively for training gunmen, recruiting mercenaries and buying ammunition. [Again a factual paragraph quoting a UNSC article that actually exists, though has nothing to do with the allegations in this pro-Russian disinformation piece about the US being behind Caucasus destabilization.]

The Afghan-Caucasus Al Qaeda “terrorist railway,” financed by Saudi intelligence, had two goals. One was a Saudi goal to spread fanatical Wahhabite Jihad into the Central Asian region of the former Soviet Union. The second was the CIA’s agenda of destabilizing a then-collapsing post-Soviet Russian Federation. [Again the baseless CIA allegation.]

Beslan

On September 1, 2004, armed terrorists from Basayev and al-Khattab’s IIB took more than 1,100 people as hostages in a siege that included 777 children, and forced them into School Number One (SNO) in Beslan in North Ossetia, the autonomous republic in the North Caucasus of the Russian Federation near to the Georgia border.

On the third day of the hostage crisis, as explosions were heard inside the school, FSB and other elite Russian troops stormed the building. In the end, at least 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children, with a significant number of people injured and reported missing. It became clear afterward that the Russian forces had handled the intervention poorly. [Factual.]

The Washington propaganda machine, from Radio Free Europe to The New York Times and CNN, wasted no time demonizing Putin and Russia for their bad handling of the Beslan crisis rather than focus on the links of Basayev to Al Qaeda and Saudi intelligence. That would have brought the world’s attention to the intimate relations between the family of then US President George W. Bush and the Saudi billionaire bin Laden family. [The typical Russian accusation that the US media belong to the US Government. RFE does, but is a thousand times more objective than any Russian news outlet will ever be. Also, I remember plenty of US and European news outlets reporting on the horrors of AQ and Basayev during the crisis. Russian state TV, which I watch, also naturally reported on that aspect, but also said in the hours after the storming that only a few people had been killed, while the ‘unreliable US propaganda channels’ were reporting on the truly staggering death toll.]

On September 1, 2001, just ten days before the day of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, Saudi Intelligence head US-educated Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, who had directed Saudi Intelligence since 1977, including through the entire Osama bin Laden Mujahideen operation in Afghanistan and into the Caucasus, abruptly and inexplicably resigned, just days after having accepted a new term as intelligence head from his King. He gave no explanation. He was quickly reposted to London, away from Washington. [Posted from Saudi to London to avoid Washington?]

The record of the bin Laden-Bush family intimate ties was buried, in fact entirely deleted on “national security” (sic!) grounds in the official US Commission Report on 911. The Saudi background of fourteen of the nineteen alleged 911 terrorists in New York and Washington was also deleted from the US Government’s final 911 Commission report, released only in July 2004 by the Bush Administration, almost three years after the events. [Same allegations that have been around in conspiracy ‘Truther’ sites since 9/11. And the Commission report most certainly did mention that the hijackers were Saudi nationals.]

Basayev claimed credit for having sent the terrorists to Beslan. His demands had included the complete independence of Chechnya from Russia, something that would have given Washington and the Pentagon an enormous strategic dagger in the southern underbelly of the Russian Federation. [Nothing to do with Washington—since the first 1994 Chechen War this had been the goal of the Chechens.]

By late 2004, in the aftermath of the tragic Beslan drama, President Vladimir Putin reportedly ordered a secret search and destroy mission by Russian intelligence to hunt and kill key leaders of the Caucasus Mujahideen of Basayev. Al-Khattab had been killed in 2002. The Russian security forces soon discovered that most of the Chechen Afghan Arab terrorists had fled. They had gotten safe haven in Turkey, a NATO member; in Azerbaijan, by then almost a NATO Member; or in Germany, a NATO Member; or in Dubai–one of the closest US Allies in the Arab States, and Qatar-another very close US ally. In other words, the Chechen terrorists were given NATO safe haven. [This is pure bullshit. There were foreign fighters still in Chechnya until 2009, and the reason most left in the mid 2000s was because they migrated to the fights in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they could try to kill Americans and Brits. Possibly a few went to Turkey or to European countries, since some had been from those countries in the first place, just as now there are some radicalized Muslims from Europe who have gone to fight in Syria. This all has absolutely nothing to do with NATO, or the US.]

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/05/15/what-if-putin-is-telling-the-truth/