Russian state idiocy reaches ever higher levels. Dmitry Rogozin, former Russian ambassador to NATO (and virulent anti-NATO lunatic), now Deputy Russian PM, extolled the virtues of this new video on Twitter. Russian propaganda piece called “Our Weapons are Love and Humanity”. Video shows Russian military firing everything possible, with some footage of the “polite Green Men” invading Crimea and hoisting the Russian flag there. This is fascistic bull, calling black white while showing pictures of black, which would make Goebbels blush.
Results of a Russian-conducted poll published on Saturday 12 September in Moskovskiy Komsomolets gave lie to Putler’s assertion that eastern Ukraine really wanted to be free of Ukraine and part of Russia. Even though 1.5 million Donetsk and Luhansk region people have moved into uncontested Ukraine, the remainder, who would be more likely to have pro-Moscow feelings, in fact do not. This confirms polling just before the Russian Spetsnaz-led take-over of the region in March 2014, which showed that even the ethnic Russians in those regions (who were less than a third of the population in any case) did not favour separatism. The new numbers show only 29 percent were in favour of the Donetsk People’s Republic, fewer than half considered themselves patriots of Donbas, and only 10 percent considered themselves patriots of Russia. Probably similar numbers would come out in polling in Crimea.
What is this “national self determination” stuff you Russian patriots keep talking of? It seems the people there really do not want anything to do with Russia or being out of Ukraine. It was, and is, purely, a war of invasion by an outside power. Not the choice of anything like the majority.
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!).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Appropriately, one of the main bands playing a special nighttime set is called, of all things, MORDOR.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
But certainly RT and a slew of Western conspiracy websites will be regurgitating the latest Russian BS.