by and for citizen investigative journalists

Response from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Bellingcat Regarding Fakery Allegations

April 14, 2016

By Bellingcat

Translations: Русский

On April 6th 2016 Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova made the following statement about Bellingcat:

Bellingcat as an instrument to divert attention from investigating the tragedy of the Malaysian Boeing over Ukraine

We took note of an interview with Bellingcat representatives for the BBC in which they sarcastically spoke about some “trolling” on the part of the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Ministry of Russia, for allegedly attacking them.

I would simply like to recall that we do not attack anyone, but rather, give our unbiased assessment of the work of both this group and those who use its materials as reliable information.

We understand the purpose of this group’s activities. Acting jointly with the current Ukrainian authorities, they continue to use all possible “fakes,” to create quasi-evidence to blame Russia. Why do we take this position and on what is it based? Even now the commission (investigating the circumstances of the Boeing tragedy over the territory of Ukraine) prefers to ignore Russia’s reasoning, which is corroborated by facts and evidence, in particular by tests and experiments. The commission ignores it to the extent that it makes no reply to this reasoning, while at the same time passing off these “fakes” for the hundredth time as proof or integrated evidence, even when this information has been debunked, and not only by Russia.

At present, we have information,that leads us to believe that loyal and handy witnesses in this case are being selected and presumably trained. This begs the question: why is all this being done? The aim is once again to give the global community fabricated proof of Russia’s aggression. This seems blasphemous in this case, because people died there and their families want to know the truth. One may endlessly combine all these invented stories and collect evidence allegedly found on social media sites and at the same time ignore the results of experiments, including those provided by Russia. All this can be done only if you neglect to consider one thing: this case is not just an information campaign, it involves human lives, the destinies of the victims’ families, who definitely want to know the truth.

The opening of the statement appears to refer to the BBC article Twitter’s role in modern warfare in which Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins is featured:

Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, a company that crowdsources information about the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, found himself a target, particularly over Bellingcat’s investigation identifying the missile launcher said to be responsible for shooting down flight MH17.

“I started off by posting a lot on the Guardian live blog comments before I started my own blogs and some of the people from that followed me on to Twitter and still disagree with me strongly and vocally there up until today, five years later,” he says.

“What’s been interesting for me is having this Syria community of trolls and the community of pro-Russian trolls that built up around MH17 and my work, now coming together after Russia’s involvement in Syria. It’s nice to bring people together, even when it’s in their mutual and obsessive hatred of one person.

“Recently we’ve even had the Russian Ministry of Defence and Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs putting out statements attacking Bellingcat. They seem to be basing it on what the trolls are saying,” he adds.

Bellingcat was concerned about the allegations made by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the statement, and contacted the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with the Russian Defence Ministry, which has made similar allegations, with the following message:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Both the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense have accused Bellingcat of preparing “open falsifications,” passing off “fakes,” using “faked posts,” and making “pseudo-hypotheses.” Bellingcat has never created fake information, and has never included “faked posts” as evidence in its investigations. After months of false accusations in official press conferences, we request that the government of the Russian Federation provide specific examples of the “fakes” and false evidence that are supposedly published by Bellingcat.

Additionally, on April 6, the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Bellingcat of “acting jointly with the current Ukrainian authorities.” Bellingcat has never acted jointly with any body of the Ukrainian government. We request any proof held by the government of the Russian Federation that Bellin gcat has cooperated with the Ukrainian–or any other–government in its research or publications.

The government of the Russian Federation seems very concerned with providing an “unbiased assessment,” in the words of spokesperson Zakharova, of the work of Bellingcat. We request concrete proof to support its accusations.

Yours sincerely,

Eliot Higgins, Bellingcat

On April 14th the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has replied with the following (translated from Russian):

Dear Mr. Higgins,

In your letter, you claim that at the April 6 briefing the MFA’s spokeswoman Maria Zakharova allegedly accused the website you head of cooperation with Ukrainian authorities. However, when she mentioned a group cooperating with the current Ukrainian Authorities, Maria Zakharova did not refer to Bellingcat, but to the Joint Investigation Team investigating the MH17 tragedy in the skies over Ukraine. This investigation team does cooperate with Ukrainian authorities, but instead of analyzing Russian evidence, substantiated and proven by experiments, such as the Russian Ministry of Defense data, which is, by the way, publicly available, prefers to ignore it and repeatedly refers to unproven and in some cases simply ridiculous Bellingcat “stories”.

It is well known that Bellingcat “expert assessments” has been called into question even by the Western media due to them being unproven and lacking confirmed factual material. You can check it by yourself by googling in the “world wide web”, especially since you consider yourself an Internet search professional.

However, even if we suppose Maria Zakharova did state you cooperated with Kiev, it is surprising that you regard a connection with Ukrainian authorities as an offense, given that some of the most cited sources in Bellingcat reports are information disseminated precisely by Ukrainian state agencies. One example is the official YouTube channel of the Security Service of Ukraine. However, you never use information provided by other sides in your research, which is what leads one to suspecting you of bias.

Kind regards,

Information and Press Department of the Russian MFA

Bellingcat has replied, again asking for evidence of Russia’s accusations:

Dear Sir/Madam,

We note, as with your earlier statements on Bellingcat, you yet again fail to provide any specific examples of fakery by Bellingcat, despite our earlier email making several requests for those examples. Despite our best efforts, our searches have discovered no such article in any recognised “Western media”, so we would appreciate you providing specific references in reply to this email. I’m sure the Russian Foreign Ministry is not in the habit of making libellous claims about organisations it cannot back up with firm evidence, so we await with great interest the evidence of Bellingcat’s fakery that you will provide in your reply.

Regarding the claims Bellingcat is working with Ukrainian authorities, if this was a misreading of the statement published by the Russian Foreign Ministry then we apologise. Having reread the statement it is clear there is only one way this could be read in light of your reply. As a reminder, here’s the text again:

We took note of an interview with Bellingcat representatives for the BBC in which they sarcastically spoke about some “trolling” on the part of the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign Ministry of Russia, for allegedly attacking them.

I would simply like to recall that we do not attack anyone, but rather, give our unbiased assessment of the work of both this group and those who use its materials as reliable information.

We understand the purpose of this group’s activities. Acting jointly with the current Ukrainian authorities, they continue to use all possible “fakes,” to create quasi-evidence to blame Russia.

For perfect clarity about these remarks in light of your reply, can you confirm this statement, which you reply appears to state is referring to the JIT, is definitely referring to the JIT:

Acting jointly with the current Ukrainian authorities, they continue to use all possible “fakes,” to create quasi-evidence to blame Russia.

If that is the case, is the Russian government planning to present evidence of the JIT using fakes, and details of the “quasi-evidence” they’ve created using these fakes? If the Russian government does have such evidence of clear manipulation by the JIT then I’m sure the public in Russia, the Netherlands, and elsewhere would be extremely interested in seeing your evidence, so I would strongly urge you to publish such evidence.

Regarding your comment on your perception that we were insulted by what we believed was your claim we were working with the Ukraine authorities to “use all possible “fakes,” to create quasi-evidence to blame Russia” (which you now seem to be saying was a reference to the JIT) I believe you may have mistaken our reaction. We were merely noting that the Russian Foreign Ministry would make a statement with no basis in fact, and with no evidence to support the claim, and curious to see what evidence the Russian Foreign Ministry had to make such claims. However, if you’re now saying it was the JIT using “all possible “fakes,” to create quasi-evidence to blame Russia” we look forward to publication of evidence the Russian government has to support these allegations.

Your final comments refers to your perceived bias in our work as we, as you put it, “never use information provided by other sides in your research”. We have in fact examined all the evidence presented by the Russian Defence Ministry, in particular the July 21st 2014 press conference on MH17. However, when we attempted to verify the claims it became quickly apparent the Russian Defence Ministry had lied repeatedly about the evidence it presented. We have evidenced this at length (we find providing evidence is a powerful and compelling methodology) and we have been told by numerous journalists that their attempts to get comments from the Russian Defence Ministry on our accusations have been met with no response. Is this a subject the Russian Foreign Ministry would be willing to comment on?

Kind regards

Eliot Higgins

As before, we await their reply, and their evidence.

Bellingcat

188 Comments

  1. Honest Ahmed

    The real question is who is funding Russian government. Follow the money mate!

    Reply
    • Sam

      Russia gave up on the Ukrainian plane theory after they realized that the rest of the world knew it was BS.

      Reply
        • bellingcatadmin

          You should probably watch the documentary before being too excited about it.

          Reply
          • stranger

            I know. They would show the witnessers who saw military planes on that date, would relate them to the conspirology theory of su 24, then hopefully mention Almaz Antey as another conspirology among the others and will conclude with the only reliable Bellingcat version.
            What I wander would they ever mention Antey disagreement with DSB and would they consider a version of Ukrainian Buk or skip them both as not important?

        • Russian

          Stranger, this doc is part of the BBC “Conspiracy Files” series, whose first episode aired a many years ago and dealt with 9/11 conspiracies. They have since released a few others, including one about WTC7, the London Bombings and JFK. I have all of them in my documentary collection.

          The premise of the documentary is similar, albeit less conclusive, to the other conspiracy debunking documentaries made by NG, the History Channel and other scientifically-oriented channels (although one can hardly call THC that nowadays); It basically presents the conspiracy theory, then gives some time to its proponents, followed by the refutation/debunking from actual experts in the fields or real skeptics (like Michael Shermer).

          In no way does the BBC endorse any of the conspiracy theories it reports, although I admit that the tone of the woman narrator and the spooky music does have a certain x-files effect to it.

          Reply
          • stranger

            Got you. So Bellingcat is going to be the ‘real expert’ in this documentary, contrasted by weird conspirology theories.
            If BBC tells nothing seriously about Antey version and doesn’t consider Ukrainian Buk version, I would assume it is British propaganda.

          • boggled

            stranger,
            I am curious if you could prove any Ukrainian BUK, S200 or other AD ever fired Since 2-19-2014 when yanukothief began pre packing for his relocation move and 2-20-2014 when the Crimean hero medals were dated (all before sniper shootings)?

            AFIAK the only ones who have fired have been Seps at various jets and helicopters.
            And then we have a BUK returning to Russia missing a missile as well.

            Although Ukraine did have a right to shoot down quite a few RF jets and helicopters that crossed the border illegally.

            Ukraine has Air Defense, capabilities, no one will dispute that.
            Never used
            And it was only there to slow down a major Russian invasion force.

            As far as Antey goes, which version of the three versions they presented would you like to have seen discussed on the BBC Conspiracy show?

            Which is BTW being re- broadcast a couple more times.
            Search for BBC2 programming and you will find it’s schedule.

            As far as the false flag op and why not discussed, maybe you should ask Mike Rudin in an email.

            My thoughts are two
            1) only an hour show and they wanted to pack in as much as possible.
            2)Are you really going to try to suggest that Russian Early Warning radar is so incompetent that they did not detect that and show it in their Russian MoD big presentation on an accident that did not happen in Russia, killed no Russian citizens and was not their plane?
            Do you think Russian military could not detect and observe a a missile launch less than 50 km from their border?
            A system that is supposed to be able to detect a football at 100m altitude at close to 6000km away?

            No, Russian MoD did not want to bring up that argument because they would have to show some proof, and they did not want to open up that can of worms.

            Russian leadership knows from the area they were observing.
            The USA knows – and shared with the rest of Europe’s leadership.
            EU leadership decided instead of going to war over it, to let courts and investigations do their work.
            War would have been devastating.

            The decision was made for the courts to decide, and they will.

            So do you want to begin the discussion of why Russian Early Radar did not detect a missile at 10km altitude less than 50 km from Russia’s border in your claim of a Ukrainian false flag operation???

            Do you want to make Russian military look bad or begin a scare in Russia about the adequacy of Russian military Early Warning systems?
            Russia’s MoD did not, I am surprised you do 🙂

            Vova and NAF will have their day in court, however it is not looking like they have snowball’s chance in Hell to succeed IMHO.

            Hopefully rational Russians will recognize this throughout the military and citizenship and clean their own house up very quickly before it escalates to something worse.

            Vova and United Russia party are bringing Russia down a very dark path.

            If rational Russians succeed, then the civilized world can move along peacefully together.
            And EU, USA, China and RF can once again begin forming closer bonds to battle the real threats to international safety.
            This is my hope for humanity.

            p.s. Eliot good job on the show, you presented yourself and Bellingcat with honor.

            Fare thee well

  2. Tourist

    I think there is some mixup by russian ministery. They tell that JIT is ignoring all russian evidences and experiment result. The point is that JIT has not released any preview, report or whatever on their investigation about MH17 officially yet. So nobody can tell that JIT is ignoring russian arguments. But BSD has released their report last autumn and they explain in detail why they ignored russian “facts”.

    Reply
    • Frank

      We all know what Russia is going to do after the JIT results come out. Everybody with a common sense can predict it’s reaction.
      It will make the truth and investigation result appear as if it is just an opinion by spreading doubts and lies

      Reply
    • stranger

      One can read the Russian arguments and Dutch responses in the appendix of the report. As well as to follow the Dutch investigation methodology. One can also find the letter of Russian National Aviation Agency, from Storchevoy, to Dutches and their responses.
      When BC was writing about the letter of Storchevoy, they just provided a wrong link to a completely different unrelated letter (just a mistake? Maybe)
      In my opinion Russian arguments basically were simply ignored. If it were any American missile manufacturer, instead if Almaz Antey, any court would take everything they said and would ignore any scientists opinion like TNO. In this case they just deprived the Russian manufacturer the credibility and that allowed to not consider the arguments materially.
      Politically biased or not, this research is in any case probabalistic, because strictly speaking nobody can tell for sure based on not so many evidences available. DSB in fact handed over the further responsibility to JIT, and the investigation still is not made public as we know after already 2 years. Hopefully it will comolete but nobody knows for sure. As you know there has never been a court for Litvinenko case with polonium poisoning.
      It is a question of faith to a substantial extent.

      Reply
      • Russian

        “If it were any American missile manufacturer, instead if Almaz Antey, any court would take everything they said and would ignore any scientists opinion like TNO”

        First of all they won’t ignore scientists.
        Secondly, Almaz Antey (AA) is a state-owned company. American arms manufacturers (or any other large companies for that matter) are not.
        Thirdly, you can’t compare American arms manufacturers to their Russian counterparts; That’s a classic false equivalence fallacy.

        First of all, their The American arms manufacturers are obviously more likely to be toeing the party line than other, more independent, industries; especially if their business interests are at stake. However, these companies can easily go against the prevailing political currents, if they deem the latter to be detrimental to their business or reputation. Given the free media, and a rule of law, any company can take on the government and win. Even if they lose, there will be little “blowback” (probably the opposite is true – they will be celebrated as having beaten “the system”).

        In Russia, where businesses and companies of any significance, whether state-owned or private, are in the grip of the Kremlin and the ruling elites subservient to it, daring to defy those in charge will almost inevitably lead to disastrous consequences. The executives at AA are no exception, and they know full well that contradicting the “national interest” may result in them being replaced by more “accommodating” figures.

        Given known precedents, if AA were privately owned and dared not to toe the party line, tax inspectors accompanied by OMON would show up at their doorstep shortly, and after the show trial is concluded, the company would be sold for pennies to someone in Putin’s inner circle (pet oligarch or a politician) and all the top brass will be thrown in prison for trumped up charges.

        However, since AA is state owned, it’s safe to assume that none of these theatricals will be necessary since the “right” people have already either been installed in place, or the “old guard” cowed into submission.

        Reply
        • stranger

          That is simpler, even though Antey is state owned, it is a commercial company and sells the produce to other countries. Antey was among the first companies US applied economic sanctions to, one day before Boeing downing (!) 16 Jul 14- US, 30 Jul – EU (coincidence, maybe). That hurt their business and their reputation. They are definitely an interested party. But they collaborated with the Dutch investigation, they made a lot of classified secret materials public for that. What American company would declassify theirs? The results of their experiments are published, one can read them, the scientists or DSB could have evaluated and retested. IMHO again, DSB didn’t evaluate them diligently and made some statements in the report about Antey which could easily be misinterpreted, like the launch area ascribed to Antey with some small font clarification under the picture. But again – Antey is an interested party, but anyway DSB should have demonstrated more diligence. The responsibly as a hot potato has been handed to JIT, JIT is silent so far. IMHO

          Reply
          • Sam

            MH17 would have never been shot down if Russia never invaded Ukraine.

            You always avoid that topic.

          • Russian

            Do you know why AA was among the first to be put on the sanctions list?
            The plane was shot down on 17 of July 2014, while AA was put under sanctions on September 12th (at least based on this official treasury page https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl2629.aspx).. How is that 1 day before the downing?

            AA collaborated with the Dutch investigation, until they backtracked on their own findings (most likely after being pressured by the Kremlin): This article explains what happened in a nutshell: http://www.svoboda.org/content/article/27305387.html
            I don’t know to what extent the divulged information was “secret, and neither do you. Given prevailing attitudes in Russia (the Kursk sinking or the gas used at Nord Ost being prime examples), the Russian military fanatically guards its military secrets, so I doubt they would disclose anything of real value. They wouldn’t do it (or were scared of doing it) at the expense of their own citizens, so I don’t see them suddenly growing a conscience when foreigners are involved.

          • stranger

            Nope, the most tough sectorial sanctions were introduced on the 16 of July 2014. That was not because Americans knew in advance the Boeing would be downed the very next day and knew it would be Buk, but because it was targeted against the major manufacturers of Russian military industry in addition to oil and bank sectors.

            https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20140716.aspx

            As for the conspirology the very previous date Ukraine ATO officials stated rebels have a Buk, they claimed An26 was shot at the altitude not reachable by a regular hand held SAMs, although the witnessers said probably An26 was shot by a lighter weapon at a lower altitude, and officially raised the allowed ceiling for commercial flights up to 9000m, but didn’t close the sky completely. Taking into account US announced the tightest sanctions one day before the boeing. EU probably hesitated and joined them only after Boeing on 30th of July. We should not also forget that the number MH17 is the same as the date 17th of July and that Malasia was very unfortunate to having lost another plane in Asia not long time before MH17. Was it a coincidence or a planned attack to the selected plane? It might be a good conspirolody theory for BBC documentary.

            Please don’t send the links to Svoboda.org. Usually i think i’m tolerant enough to different opinions and points of view, but that resource usually is causing a vomiting reflex, especially their russian branch, their english version looks better, they are far not the same.

          • Sam

            Stranger,

            Is that really you or someone else at the troll farm?

            Do you really think that the US knew ahead of time the the Russians would shoot down a civilian jet?

            That’s quite cynical, but you’re Russian so that is expected because that is something the RUF or USSR would do.

            You read too many conspiracy theories.

    • stranger

      Indeed. US, the flagship of freedom, is at 41st place, after Uruguay and South Africa, next to Burkina Faso?! How do they calculate the index, really interesting?

      Reply
      • Frank

        Focus on the Netherlands, you know where the Dutch people live and who were leading the investigation in concern to MH17.

        And the, there are a lot of countries in the world. You can read it on their page how they calculated it. Very clearly mentioned and you can also ask them if you are interested.

        It has for some degree something to do with the extent the government is involved in influencing the media and in the extent serious independant critical investigative journalism is assured and protected by protective open laws (trias politica) and how it is organized. Article one in Dutch constitution and part of Dutch strong feeling of justice

        Reply
      • Frank

        With all the countries in the world and if you look at the total list 41 is not so bad at all. However focus on the Dutch, since we are talking about the Dutch, MH17 and JIT investigation here.

        The way they calculated is clear, and just ask them if you want to know more.
        The list is clearly not political biased.

        Reply
        • stranger

          The list is not politically biased, it just isn’t clear what the quantitative rank actually shows.

          Reply
          • Mad Dog

            Then why the hell do you quote it stranger. You made a point about the US, but failed to also say the the Dutch were ranked #2 and the vaunted Russians, the place we have such a hard time believing, ranked a mind-boggling 148! So, yeah, the US is ranked below a few countries that are seemingly not so free, yet you have to agree (since you locked yourself in with your first comment) that statements from Russian media are about as believable as parables from the Spaghetti Monster!

          • Mad Dog

            You can go to the site and see exactly how they figure this out. The formulas are there, the questions are there, it is all pretty open. You can see that the black countries are exactly the way one would guess. North Korea at almost the bottom, China running close behind. Makes a lot of sense, even if you take issue with each ranking. Move Russia up 20 notches or so, but it would still be a very bad rating of red!

          • Frank

            Just look how they did it before you judge. And ask them.
            And don’t distract from the subject.

  3. Frank

    Every sane person listening to its conscience and informs him/her self knows what is going on.
    It is provable the Russian ministry lied a lot in regard to MH17 and was constantly trying to confuse people, trying to spread doubts and putting up clouds of smoke by semi counter “evidence”, spreading alternative scenario’s on Russian national television. As with the faked images of the ukraine aircraft which were debunked very quickly, people even had to laugh about it. It was officially presented by the Russian MOD.
    Also questionable the so called western experts showing on television and RT a lot of times who are in real life no expert at all and not even taken serious by sane and serious people/journalists.
    Like Almez Antey the Russian government played a very dubious and immoral non-ethical role in this matter.
    It is all very questionable and sad.

    Reply
    • stranger

      You are looking at the wrong direction. How about the fake radio capture of separatists who allergedly confessed it was ‘Chernukhinskie’ who downed the Boeing. The record was spread by Ukrainian Special Services and published by BC without any critical evaluation. About missing radar information Ukraine didn’t provide for investigation, etc.
      You are blaming ONLY Russian side and is trying to diminish the credibility of it (as ‘Russian’ said above ‘Russia just has no credibility’) so that people just didn’t even listened and didn’t ask inconvenient questions. But just take a look at comments of real westerners besides trolls, may be also at other sites – that tactic just doesn’t work…

      Reply
      • Frank

        Your response is just very typical and an incomplete representation of facts and truth.
        Additionally you deny and question evidence based truth and accuse “the other side” of just the things and matter of practise you apply and practise yourself…
        It is a demonstratively proven recurrent structural psychological tactics and of the Russian government, using controlled media.
        It even seems to be an organized policy.

        Reply
        • stranger

          I’m not trying to completely represent the truth. I’m just saying you are blaming only one side and select only facts which prove your position and believe them absolutely without doubts calling it the truth, while completely ignoring the facts which contradict your simplified model of the reality.
          In my opinion and experience that is how propagandists work, may be professional, may be more amateur ones, and perhaps also religion cults… They have a difficult, almost impossible mission to prove something to be simple, understandable, unquestionable and ultimate truth, can only wish them good luck. Just that.
          As for Russian media, there is the internet, facebook, vk, social networks, etc, opposition resources Echo of Moscow, TV Rain, Nezavisimaya gazeta, etc, who cares about the state media or whatever policy.

          Reply
          • Frank

            Stranger,

            above I tried to explain you how the current Russian government is dealing in this matter.
            In regard to your “facts that contradict my model of truth”. Additionally to my my explanation. This is part of the same method the Russian government uses:

            Look and trying to find the weakest or most questionable point within the full DSB report, making a real deal about this and focusing on this point, come with some other non evidential theory and keep shouting about it and make it seem and shout as if the report is full of inconsistencies. Which in reality is actually and provable not the case.

            Additionally another point they make is that the report is incomplete. They are talking about the issues of which it is clearly stated in the report are not part of the DSB investigation but of the JIT investigation, and they explained why it is like this.

            Either you are very ignorant, lacking information, or chose to be ignorant.

        • stranger

          “you deny and question evidence based truth…It is a demonstratively proven recurrent structural psychological tactics and of the Russian government”
          Blame not Russia for that, blame Europe ’cause I believe that started a little bit earlier, by René Descartes in 1637. The founder of the scientific approach in contrast to religios one, ‘the truth’, he announced ‘radical doubt’ as the ‘foundation of knowledge’. : )

          Reply
          • Frank

            Stranger, your words don’t make my words any less true. You really just do not have a very strong case. Open your eyes or stop trolling

      • Sam

        The Russians are to blame.

        The innocents would be alive if Russia never invaded Ukraine.

        You always avoid that.

        Reply
        • stranger

          10000 at Donbass would have been alive if Ukraine was talking to Donbass and had not sent nationalist Yarosh’s fighters to Slavyansk in the very beginning and the regular army later including air b0mbers.
          Did you see the recent interview of the head of the extreme nationalistic Right Sector, Dmitro Yarosh, to Ukrainian BBC about the first armed clashes at Donbass? The Yarosh’ business card appeared not to be a fake.
          Did you also see how Girkin/Strelkov described the beginning of the war? Of course Girkin should not have been there. It looked more like taking all the region as hostages, since he intentionally stayed in densely populated areas.
          On the other hand Ukraine underestimated the consequences of ATO sending regular army to take over own cities whatever civilian casualties should be and not controlling own volunteer battalions.
          If fact the first clash between Strelkov and Yarosh started that war. Don’t you agree? Then the logic of the war worked when people hardly understood why but wanted a revenge. That was not like Ukrainian regular army against Russian army. That were people of Donbass, the citizens of Ukraine, regardless of Ukrainians or Russians by ethnicity, supported probably by Russian volunteers and weapon, against Ukrainian volunteer battalions and the government army. Even though Girkin who ignited the war was a Russian citizen and came from Crimea.
          Those 10000 casualties, for whom Ukraine is responsible as much as, if not more, are not interesting for the mass media as if they were the second grade people, in contrast to Boeing.

          Reply
          • Sam

            Wait, What?

            Russia invaded Ukraine, and you are blaming Ukrainians?

            Maybe Russians should have not invaded Ukraine and 10.000 people would have not died.

            It’s Russia’s fault, and Russians’ fault.

            It’s your fault people die in Ukraine everyday.

            This conflict was started by Russia, people like you.

            Blood is on your hands.

          • stranger

            Ukrainian volonteer battalions were very cruel to own Ukrainians suspected in separatism. Ukrainian army shelled own Ukrainian cities, and then blockaded Donbass. And you are saying Russia is responsible for everything and don’t even accept Ukrainian responsibility.

          • Sam

            Stranger,

            No one would have died if it were not for Russia.

            There was no separatism until the Russians invaded.

            Where was that, Karkiv, or somewhere, where the Russian soldiers invaded the opera/theater house, because they thought it was the city administration building.

            Russia started the whole bloody mess.

            Your logic is faulty, cause and effect.

            Let’s try this:

            If A occurs, then B, C, D etc occur

            If A does not occur, then B, C, D etc do not occur.

            You are talking about B, C, D, and avoid talking about A.

            A = Russia invaded Ukraine.

            Russia started this chain of events, which would have never occurred if Russia had not invaded.

            Your whataboutism avoids that Russia invaded Ukraine, and instead tries to place blame on the Ukrainians.

            Logic fail.

          • stranger

            Sam, what about Odessa where pro-Maydan Ukrainians clashed with pro-Russian Ukrainians and as a result dozens of people were burned alive in the building where crowd blocked them and threw Molotov cocktails into the windows with some people trying to escape were beaten to death by the crowd (while other people helped of course) – that was after Crimea.
            Before Crimea, How about hundred killed at Maydan. The snipers at Maydan who were reportedly firing to police and to demonstrates at the same time, which have never been investigated by the new Ukrainian government. Because of the Amnesty probably which you were talking about. (?) A good topic for Bellingcat btw. The busses from Crimea which were stopped by Ukrainian nationalists, the people were beaten, the busses burned just because they didn’t support Maydan. You are saying nothing was threatening Crimea. Administrative buildings captured in the western Ukraine and in the center of Kyev and robbed arsenals. Beatings and killings started before Donbass and even Crimea. When creating a picture for the west you are trying to show one side and keep silence on the other. Was it also the Russian fault and the guilt?

          • Sam

            Stranger, what about etc……

            You never answered your logic failure.

            You have more whataboutism.

            If anyone fired at the police at Maiden, it was a false flag by the FSB.

            We already know the FSB/GRU kicked out the Ukrainian police, taking over the operation.

            We’ll see in the future, about the real truth the Odessa tragedy.

            Most of what I have seen says that the people who died, were linked to the FSB or Russian linked Ukrainian Oligharchs.

            The people on both sides were incited by hatred, but I don’t think people on either side intentionality wanted to kill their opponents.

            Russian hard and soft power was involved in every death in Ukraine.

            The Ukrainians wanted to leave the corruption of the “Russian sphere of influence” and the Russians couldn’t accept this, because they can’t stand up to their own corrupt society themselves.

            Russians are jealous of Ukraine for trying to get rid of corrupt politicians while Russians aren’t brave enough to even try.

            Russia has many brave and good soldiers, but Russian society isn’t willing to join the 21st century

          • stranger

            Sam, don’t read Ukrainian censor.net and alike resources which see FSB/GRU/Putin behind anything bad which is going on in Ukraine.

            “We already know the FSB/GRU kicked out the Ukrainian police, taking over the operation. ” who told you that? I’m not even asking for any evidences, but who benefited from firing started at Maydan, already after an agreement with the self-appointed opposition leaders has been made?

            You know that Yanukovich didn’t spread the demonstrants, besides one shy attempt in the very beginning, after which he received many more people on the street. US, EU, Russia all pushed him not to touch people, negotiate with the opposition presented by self-appointed Klichko, Yatsenyuk, Tyagnibok. The police stayed and didn’t answer regardless of what the crowd did with them. Until firearms appeared and the snipers from police and unidentified snipers from nobody knows where who reportedly fire both sides to rage the crowd and police at the same time. That led to the parliament expressed untrust to Yanokovich and he fled, was picked up by a helicopter from Crimea and delivered to Russia. So who benefited from the firing?

            Did you see that, imagine American cops at their place:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7k0MjODEQY

          • stranger

            “The Ukrainians wanted to leave the corruption of the “Russian sphere of influence” the Maydan started because Yanukovich had been preparing Euro Association for a long time, but at the very last minute slammed the brakes, bought and convinced by Russia probably. But actually the Euro Association was very questionable from the economical prospective for Ukraine by itself, and it contradicted with the alternative trade union with Russia. People wished a dream to live like in Europe. They didn’t come against Russian influence and hardly against corruption, that was not so inspiring idea. Later that turned against Yanukovich and he was recalled all corruption and attempts to spread people once and the laws he tried to take against Maydan.

          • Sam

            Stranger,

            You confuse Ukrainians for Russians.

            Ukrainians protest for a better life.

            Russians rarely protest, it is illegal to hold a protest with more than 1 person without a permit.

            Ukraine may become a modern democratic state?

            Russia will stay a stagnate state with nothing to offer the world except oil, gas, weapons, war, and corruption.

            Russians are too cowardly to ask for their government serve the people. The government serves the Oligharchs. You post here on behalf of the Oligharchs.

            From the outside, in Europe, many people think the Russians support the war against Ukraine because Russians fear they will be left behind.

            Ukraine will modernize while will Russia will stay a 2nd world country.

            If that happens, then Putin’s leadership will be a failure.

            Russia will humiliate itself again.

            That’s why people like you post the Kremlin propaganda, your own insecurity and your own failure.

          • boggled

            stranger you comment
            –Before Crimea, How about hundred killed at Maydan. The snipers at Maydan who were reportedly firing to police and to demonstrates at the same time, which have never been investigated by the new Ukrainian government

            Why are Russian Crimean hero medals dated February 20th?
            The day of the sniper shooting and before the day of Crimean martial law imposed by RF?
            Think carefully.

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            In Kyev:
            18-19 Feb – abrupt deterioration of situation at Maydan, a lot of people were injured. Administrative buildings and arsenals were captured in the west of Ukraine under Lvov.
            20 Feb – police, some demonstrants and unidentified snipers started combat fire, many demonstrants and policemen were killed.
            21 Feb – under the pressure of the western countries, Yanukovich signed an agreement with the opposition, agreed to rollback to the constitution of 2004, reform the government, conduct preterm presidential elections in 2014, and withdraw special police forces, Berkut from the center of Kyev. The Opposition was supposed to give up combat weapon.
            22 Feb – Yanukovich left Kyev and wen to his supporters in Kharkov. The Ukrainian parliament voted that Yanukovich is not conducting his responsibilities and scheduled a preterm presidential elections to 25 Mar 2014. In fact Yanukovich had no power since then.
            23 Feb – Yanukovich was evacuated to Russia. At the meeting with special services in Russia Putin called to ‘start a work to return Crimea’.

            In Crimea:
            20 Feb Ukrainian nationalists attacked 8 buses with Crimean anti-maydan activists returning from Kiev under Korsun. Four buses were burned, people beaten.
            21 Feb Parliament of Crimea gathered to discuss the situation in Kyev. The supporters of Maydan and Anti-Maydan collided near the parliament building.
            27 Feb – 16 Mar – the referendum, blockade and then taking over Ukrainian military bases, announcing of independence of Crimea and joining Russia

            Please compare the chronology here:
            https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9A%D1%80%D1%8B%D0%BC%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9_%D0%BA%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%B8%D1%81

            I guess the 20 Feb at the medal refers to the Korsun pogrom, isn’t it?
            Why are you saying the decision to take Crimea was made on the 21 of Feb? Although maybe all was clear on 21st already…

            What is you version why it is 20th?

          • stranger

            Also 21 Feb before the Crimea local parliament building a group of maydan supports gathers protesting against separation of Crimea from Ukraine. They collided with a group of ‘Kazacks’ and anti-maydan young people who called for separation of Crimea. How Russia may or may not have had a hand there I don’t know. The ideas of joining Russia in Crimea have definitely existed for a long time. Crimea has never felt completely Ukrainian’s.
            https://lenta.ru/news/2014/02/21/fight/

          • stranger

            Sorry that only in Russian, sometimes the articles in English in wiki as not so detailed.
            Please note that Maydan started 21 of November 2013 after the decision of Yanukovich government to postpone the Euro Association and not sign the Association.
            People gathered and stayed peacefully in general for months, regardless of some local attacks.
            But it was not until 19-20 of Feb 2015 when the combat weapon and snipers appeared.
            And it was the very next day when Yanukovich pressed by other countries, gave up, signed the agreement with opposition, and the preterm president elections by the end of 2014. The very next day the parliament expressed him untrust and he fled.
            There were snipers from police after the mass injuries before and weapon from some demonstrants got probably from robbed arsenals in the west of ukraine, so it was going out of control anyway.
            But as for the unidentified snipers – whose side they worked for, if immediately after they had appeared, the very next day the western countries pushed Yanukovich and he gave up?

          • stranger

            Look, unidentified snipers appeared on 20 Feb, on the very next day the western countries introduced sanctions against Ukrainian government, and pushed Yanukovich to capitulate.
            http://www.kommersant.ru/Doc/2413718
            Do you still think those were Kremlin snipers?

          • boggled

            stranger, my version why 20th?
            GRU decision to go with the operation including snipers at Maidan was decided on morning of the 20th.
            Planning for was long before
            Decision to do it was was finally given approval the 20th, and it used Snipers and secret planning based in Crimea.
            That is why the medals are dated then.

            Buses went up to Maidan that morning

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            Boggled, “Korsun long debunked” – did you read the Radio Liberty link you posted? They don’t deny that the incident took place. They retold the words of some unnamed witnesses, the participants from the attacking side, who said that when they stopped the busses, passengers of the busses started to through light-noise grenades through the windows, when they politely asked them to leave the busses, they found knives and machetes all in blood which the passengers took from Maydan where they must have killed many people, that the passenger took hostages from Maydan in the busses, that the attackers didn’t ask them to eat the beaten glass, but just to collect the glass in their pockets, yes we punched them a bit, but didn’t kill (they were probably supposed to be very grateful), that yes we burned 4 busses, but we left them the other 3.

            I’m not exaggerating, that is literally written (in Russian) by Radio Liberty in the article.

            Now imagine people returning in the busses at night where a crowd armed with sticks and baseball bats stops the busses and them try to imagine what it could be further. You really don’t need Radio Liberty to explain you what you should see and what you shouldn’t see on the video, just watch the video itself. Even if we assume those were paid demonstrants, that doesn’t justify beating and humiliation.

            Which side is lying?

          • stranger

            The other interesting question why Radio Liberty funded by US congress doesn’t give this article in their native English language, but only in Russian, Ukrainian and probably Tatar (or Turkish)?

            “GRU decision to go with the operation including snipers at Maidan ” Why may Kremlin have needed snipers? Snipers just raged people. Somebody fired to police also, snipers or demonstrants, because more than 100 policeman were injured (if i’m correct on the numbed of wounded by fire) and more than 20 policemen killed. From the demonstrants, more than 100 died.
            Why snipers appeared at the roof of the building controlled by the opposition? There were a documentary dedicated completely to snipers and fire at maydan.
            Don’t you think that if anybody wanted more victims that was the opposition? Maydan stayed for several months more or less peacefully w/o any progress. Only once Yanukovich tried to spread people before the new year celebration and received a tough reaction from the international society and much more people came out. Then for a couple of months nothing was happening, people just stayed, police only defended administrative buildings, small collisions, basically nothing was happening.
            Then on Feb 18 the opposition announced a ‘peaceful march’ to the parliament building which was defended by police. That ended up by mass collisions and many people were injured. The next day police started a contra-offence, they were given the weapon, there are multiple evidences that demonstrants also had a weapon, then those snipers. That was on Feb 20.
            Immediately after that spike of violence on the very next day, Barak Obama stated that the violence is inacceptable, western countries applied sanctions to Yanukovich and all his government, Yanukovich was basically pressed by the other countries to capitulate and schedule preterm president elections.
            Who might have been interested in the violence in Maydan other than the opposition, if they believed that the west would help them and they would just need to provide an excuse for the external interference? In this case they would not even need to negotiate any plot and agree like let’s we stir it up and you then help us. Everybody could have understood how it would work without the necessity to discuss or coordinate openly.
            That is how color revolutions are done, people come to the street, then a small group of armed provocateurs prepared in advance provokes violence, international community blames ‘the dictator’ and then applies sanctions or provides weapon to their proxies or uses just direct military intervention. Arab Spring? Yugoslavia?
            Yes, it is a conspiracy, but imho is more consistent than the idea about the Kremlin snipers. Why would Kremlin need that, did they count to frighten people, but that could have only given an opposite reaction, to rage to make other countries to interfere, also how the killed by fire policemen are explained. Conspiracy, so far..

          • boggled

            Stranger,
            Kremlin controlled media promoted the anti Ukraine message by stating many ppl were killed in that incident to justify their reason for taking over Crimea and promoted it all over Crimea
            No one was killed
            Berkut of bus threw stun/flash grenade that hit car and badly injured an innocent as they were being interrogated.
            It is right they should clean up the glass that was caused by them

            If you notice in the video, some Berkut that sustained headwounds have bandages on their head.
            I am not saying the incident was lawful

            BUT it was not what Kremlin media promoted.
            And you still repeat some of the lies of the incident.
            It was not a pogram

            It was a detention of those who were thought to have taken part in the sniper shootings.
            People were upset and wanted to do part to hold those thought taken part in Maidan illegal crackdown to justice that were trying to flee back to Crimea.

            People were injured and humiliated, no one died.

            RF media said people died, repeated falsehoods, to attempt to justify vova’s Crimea plans to Russians.

            RF myths and lies have no basis in reality.
            And you continue to promote these lies.
            Will you ever wake up from your vova idolization dream?
            I dunno

            Anti Maidan buses had weapons on them
            They attacked people at Maidan
            They fled Kyiv to Simferpol to escape being punished for their crimes at Maidan

            Buses stopped
            Weapons found and confiscated.

            I wish they had detained those anti Maidan freaks at the prisons near Korsun
            Might have saved some more lives.

            They made the punks clean up the road.
            Russia had no reason to lie about the incident, but they did.
            To promote an UA = /\/azi message
            A lie
            U saw the videos, I did too
            RF media message is a lie

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            “Which side is lying?” – I meant Radio Liberty of course and nobody personally. There are more a less good journalism like NYT or WP and there are just more or less tasteful instruments of propaganda such as Radio Liberty and perhaps RT. For this story I don’t believe any side, neither attackers, nor the passengers, other that we can see at the video by own eyes.

          • Sam

            Girkin/Strelkov was not supposed to be there?

            He was in the invasion of Crimea, which Putin admitted he ordered.

            We can only assume Putin ordered him to Dombas.

            You Russians say “We did it” if you are successful but say “We didn’t do it” when you fail.

            Girkin was involved in both invasions. Putin ordered both invasions.

            Nobody in the world believes Russians anymore.

          • stranger

            Crimea was different, there were Black Sea fleet and ironically Russia officially had a right to keep up to 20k soldiers in Crimea according to agreement with Ukraine. They didn’t have a right to blockade Ukrainian military bases of course. Maybe cynical to say, but almost nobody died during Crimea annexation, compare to 10000 casualties at Donbass plus Boeing. Any video from Crimea shows regular Russian army soldiers with equipment and machines, one cannot misrecognize them and doesn’t need subtle social media investigations. Nothing similar could be even found from Donbass

            Girkin might have been sent by ‘Putin’ or at least nobody prevented him to go and nobody pursued him after he was recommended to return to Russia later. Russia has definitely supported the separatists, we cannot say though that there are no separatists Ukrainians who want a more independent republic and are angry that official Ukraine sent an army against them and the civilians. But even if we assume there were any plans to join pro Russian Donbass to Russia, as Girkin hoped in the beginning, but that has never been announced, those plans were revoked immediatelly. Russia didn’t at least openly come to Donbass and Girkin was very lucky to survive. He said he had an order to stay at slavyansk, if he had done he would have been kiled there.

            Then Minsk agreements, I believe Russia was the initiator of Minsk. Russia insisted Ukraine should establish a dialog with Donbass and change the laws to grant more independence to Donbass. Ukraine was forced to agree by Oland and Merkel in order to stop blood shed, signed, but was not willing nor able to actually implement them. So that it is all hang up now around Minsk. Now they are saying the international armed mission may appear at Donbass and Russia doesn’t disagree. It is understood as soon as Ukraine gets control over Donbass, all separatists and their civilian supporters will be cleaned, prisoned, no any dialog or independency will be granted, people of Donbas will be for a long time second grade people in Ukraine.

          • stranger

            So you can judge by yourself who is right and who is wrong. The very dirty story from the very beginning for all: Russia, Ukraine, European and cross Atlantic partners. Just operate with real facts, not political slogans…

          • Sam

            Russia claims they are not part of the conflict in the Dombass.

            Why are they part of Minsk?

            As a side subject….

            If “Crimea is ours” – Russia

            Who can claim Kaliningrad as “ours” since it was NOT Russian from 1255-1945.

            Do you not see any contradiction?

            People like you view a Maiden as illegitimate while the people protesting want a better life, free from an authoritarian corrupt government.

            Russians prefer corruption and stability? That’s what my Russian friends say..

            How long is Russia going to remain a Petro-State, with not much to sell besides oil, gas, and weapons?

            I don’t buy any of those things neither does my country.

          • Sam

            Girkin, Dugan/Dugin, the nationalists are part of the Russian hybrid war.

            The Kremlin either can’t control them, or pretends that they can’t.

            These guys make Putin look weak. Same with that crazy guy in Chechnya. I won’t say his name, he might kill me in front of the Kremlin.

            Putin is weak for allowing that assignation on his doorstep. And most the cameras were broken?

            When Putin is chased out of Russia by the nationalist or the democrats, where is he going to hide?

            Iran or North Korea?

            PS
            If Russia is the third Rome?

            Does that mean Putin will will be assignated like Ceasar?

            Do Russians not realized that connection?

            Why does Russia want to be the 3rd Rome when the first two failed? The 3rd Rome will fail.

            Russian propaganda is stupid, or are Russians stupid?

          • stranger

            This interview is unique because Girkin who actually started this war under a direct command or at least was not prevented from and was covered by ‘Putin’ is telling how it all was started, about the first war clashes with the Right Sector lead by Dmitro Yarosh (the interview of that clown and how he saw the same from his side is also above), and then the Ukrainian army.

            Particularly Girkin is saying 90% of his group was locals from Donbass, not Russians from Russia. That Russians volunteers (soldiers on ‘vacation’ from Russia) came only after 40 days after the active fight was started. That Girkin and his circle were sure Russia would have come openly as in Crimea and they were dreaming to attach Donbass to Russia. That Russia didn’t come at least openly and that was a shock for them. How Ukrainian army razed to the ground the villages captured by rebels.

            He is honest and detailing as much as he could be, not telling everything of course. Borodai blamed Girkin on betrayal and telling too much. Girkin claimed they were planning to leave him to be killed in Slavyansk. As far as I understand that is the most original first hand source that could even be found.

            All other abstract speculations about the third Rome, etc, are meaningless.

          • Sam

            First of all, Girkin is always a liar about about how many people support him.

            Second,

            If you want to quickly raise an armed group of supporters, you do it in the typical authoritarian, populist, or Soviet style.

            What style is that?

            You free the local criminals from jail under the condition that they fight for you.

            The criminals already hate the locals that put them in jail.

            The criminals will fight for they people that freed them.

            This has been the same in history.

            But Maiden?

            Those people weren’t criminals released from jail….

            They were people from all demographics that want a better life without corruption.

  4. Frank

    https://rsf.org/en/netherlands
    Any utruth and/or imperfaction/contentiousness by the JIT as BSD would be seriously critisized and finished by serious Dutch investigation journalism.
    As it would have really serious consequences for the people involved with any lies.
    Almost every Dutch person knows someone who was in the airplane or had a connection to someone in the airplane, Dutch society doesn’t accept any lies, government and journalists are part of thus society as well.

    Reply
      • Frank

        Either you are really ignorant or you choose to be Greg.
        Your reaction does not make my words of less value in any specific/concrete way.
        The link in my former message on the other hand gives you a real indication of some things.

        Reply
      • Frank

        Even so, the reaction of the Russian Ministry speaks for itself.
        As are all proven lies which were mostly debunked even at the same day. Even debunked it did do damage to the truth and the way look at evidence and the truth. Both are being devalued as being just another opinion. It is something really bad. And Russian government playing part in setting up these clouds of confusion really know how this psychology works.
        As spreading the idea that “the west” have something against Russia and the Russians.
        It is simply not true. Yes, most do not think the Russian government does practise a really moral and ethical policy, based on facts and rules and regulation and how things are organized in society and the way it is changi g.
        Most have nothing against the Russians. Actually they just feel more sorry for the people in a sence and wish them hapiness and prosperity as well.
        Mind, western europe is one of the few dense populated areas in the worl where there is the longest time of peace between neighbors and where neighbour countries grant and wish for eachother prosper and cooperation, to benefit as well. It works and is good for the trade,welfare and wellbeing for everyone.

        Reply
        • stranger

          Westerners as people have nothing against Russians as people and vice verse, that is absolutely clear. On the other hand the western media, in my opinion, if we ever can tell about all media as a whole, have predominantly painted Russia in black colors. Not always, there were exceptions, but in general. One can just read, that is not a matter of any policy or whatever, just believe your eyes.
          That even looks like a new fashionable trend to blame Russia and Putin-dictator, although nothing new back in history of course, that was in Alexander Pushkin times (his verse ‘To the Slanderers of Russia’ 1831 is still up to date), in soviet time, the cold war. Now that looks more like a tectonic shift and hardly it will completely return already. Regardless targeted to remove Putin and make russia to change the external policy, that hurts the image of the country and people of the country as well.
          Many of our Ukrainian friends are pouring oil in the flame and trying their best to sustain the max degree of anti-russian rhetoric in the west. And yes, some of them are lying a lot on this way. Not everybody, Ukraine has also been polarized to anti and pro Russian opinions, especially in the south-east…

          Reply
          • John Zenwirt

            I wrote an essay on the “Decembrists.” for Uni., got a Gov’t. contract after Uni..

            My specialty (@UBC) was the RIS (Russian Security Services) in KGB days, mainly, First Chief Directorate.

          • stranger

            There were many people in the czar Russia fighting for freedom including Decembrists. But everything ended up by the communist revolution, capitulation in ww1, a civil war combined with foreign occupation. Sorry that may be far off topic.
            Your study of Russian security services, what was it about?

          • Frank

            Stranger, you are clearly very misinformed. It is really like I explained above. If you think differently I would advise you to broaden your sources and inform yourself a little bit better, and use better sources.

            The more you have and hold on to this idea the stronger the Russian governments position within society and the more legitimate they are able
            to implement obscure laws and govern in a more autocratic way.
            And the more you look away from internal problems.

            Yes the western media (as westerners) in general are very critical, about a lot of subjects, and indeed also about the ways and methods the Russian government is dealing with matters and the policy they practise.
            A critical approach is luckily part of our society, it has an important corrective function.
            People of the west in general have nothing against the Russians or Russian country, yes the have their doubts on how your government is acting, in a sence they see the Russians as victims as well.
            A more western european style government would give you better education, healthcare, welfare,equality, a voice and possibility in a political career even if you are not rich and less militarism, corruption, and “anxiety” and “imaginative enemies”.

            You really have to have a lack of insight if you don’t see this.

          • Frank

            Stranger, you miss the possibility of an evolutionary change and emancipation…

            Your society would have to have the proper foundation and the right amount of freedom (and less misinformation) for it.

            Which is currently lacking in Russia more and more by the way your government is practising things.
            Sorry, it is just how it is and it is sad and wish you better.

        • stranger

          …The economic sanctions against Russian oligarchs (who are supposed to press Putin in turn) and then sectorial sanctions and territorial against Crimea, as well as the change in the Middle East policy which led to the huge oil prices drop (mostly that drop hit Russia harder than any other sanctions), were originally American initiative. US sectorial sanction were announced one day before the Boeing was downed. Europe joined them a couple of weeks after the Boeing and EU ones were presumable related to the Boeing.
          US made a lot of efforts to incline major European countries and make sure this policy is coordinated between them all, otherwise it would have just turned against US itself. Robert Gates and the old school US cold-war-times politicians used to tell that openly verbally like that.
          I’m not saying that it was not justified, or Europe didn’t want to join the sanctions, just a separate question.
          It is not Russia going anti-west or threatening the west, as many are trying to announce. Internal issues in Russia are internal. Russian-Ukrainian relationships are also a kind of domestic issue, not understandable by many people in the west. I’m not saying again that Russia was right in Ukraine or was right to annex Crimea. Just interesting to see the attempts to turn it over to announce Russia the root of all evil. IMHO

          Reply
          • John Zenwirt

            Stranger: “It is not Russia going anti-west or threatening the west,”

            The repeated, extremely dangerous (9 metres away, 30 feet!) “buzzing” of US Naval vessels in international waters (No, Russia does not OWN The whole of Baltic Sea, as Putin is trying forcefully to assert)…A Russian plane will be shot down and why does Putin risk direct military action against NATO…?

          • stranger

            John, as for the incident with the Donald Cook and Su 24 that concerns me less than anything else. Military people just played their innocent games. Donald Cook equipped with 1500 km range missiles, a part of US anti-strategic missile shield, demonstratively sailing near Russian borders, NAT0 is enforcing their contingent in Baltic countries and all over the eastern Europe and is making clear statement is it due to Russia. In this context Russian military just symbolically show they don’t care. That is innocent and that is what Soviet as well as American pilots did during the cold war many times. That even is some you know show and a discharge of a psychological tension.

        • stranger

          “Mind, western europe is one of the few dense populated areas in the worl where there is the longest time of peace between neighbors” you always forget about Yugoslavia 1999 where there were ethnical cleanings first and then NAT0 bombed civil infrastructure including bridges and state TV studios in order to make Milosevic to surrender.

          Reply
          • Frank

            Again, your response is typical and an incomplete representation about facs and truth. There is more to say about Yugoslavia.
            This war has been intensively evaluated, written about in report investigations and books by participants and investigatvive critical journalists, commissions investigated it, in my country politician from that time are intensively interrogated, even up to now people have to give account on it. How does this work for the role some Russians (with power, still)had in a lot of matters and war
            You are trying to distract from topic.
            We are still waiting for an official Russian response on the letter.

          • stranger

            Frank, I’m not trying to distract, just trying to show the contra-examples. Because you tend to use high level general statements.
            As for the official Russian response to the letter in the article, there will be no one apparently. Because it is not in diplomatic etiquette for the MFA, not their level. I’m surprised they answered first time. And in anyway that is a recognition for Belllingcat, and a kind of appreciation of Bellingcat role, so my congratulations.

          • stranger

            I was wrong, MFA answered BC. Great, BC is trolling MFA, they are trolling back. Storing up popcorn…

      • John Zenwirt

        You cannot handle it here. Many of us have many academic years studying Russia.

        You’d have to be up at stranger’s level, and you are not.

        Reply
      • Sam

        Greg, the smartest Russian troll we know.

        stranger, this idiot should be fired from the troll farm.

        Reply
      • Sam

        Do you ROFL about all the ethnic Russian teenage girls kidnapped and raped in Dombas by
        Russian Soldiers?

        Maybe you shouldn’t ROFL about anything.

        How many of those young girls are going to love “Mother Russia”?

        Maybe you shouldn’t ROFL about anything when it concerns murder and rape?

        Reply
        • stranger

          Sam, links, don’t forget the confirmation links. You owe us the link for the accusation also, so it will be two. Amnesty International would work, OSCE, but not censor.net or tsn.ua.

          Reply
          • Sammy

            Stranger, you would lie about it all anyway, or find some Russian justification why rape is OK.

            It’s all on the Internet if you bother to look. But you are too busy wi h you propaganda.

          • Sammy

            It’s hard to find my specific bookmark on this Russian atrocities when so many have happened.

          • stranger

            Sam, I am pretty sure that you are lying about the link, because I have never heard that before. But you have a chance to prove that you are honest, and i’m wrong, take it.

          • Sammy

            You probably never saw the videos outside a convience store in Dontesk, where Russian speaking Ukraines were beat to death by Russians.

            They block that from the troll farm.

    • stranger

      Is that the reason why Dutch people voted against Ukrainian association. And now Dutch government stuck between Brussel and own people’s opinion is trying their best to find a way out of this difficult for them situation? It doesn’t look like Dutch people blame only Russia, eh?

      Reply
      • Frank

        Euhm they do not really see a lot of difference hetween the ukraine and russia. It is a totally different matter. They would vote against Russia joining the eu ad well at the moment. Only 70% took the effort to vote about this by the way.
        You should not mid up these thongs. Most Dutch people have a rather clear vision in understanding the world and how things work. An open society and critical journalism support this.
        Don’t distract from what matters and is important

        Reply
          • Sam

            Frank,

            Don’t expect stranger to understand how elections work, and definitely not the math.

            In Russia, the results are predetermined.

            Check out Chechnya poll results. Putin does the same.

      • Russian

        To me it stinks much more of fear and real politic, than anything else. Backing Ukraine means getting on the wrong side of Russia, and given Historical reasons, current Russian behaviour and European dependency on Russian natural gas it’s not surprising that a lot of the Dutch people are not willing to risk their own safety and standard of living for some eastern European country they have in common or to do with.

        In addition, it’s possible that the Russophile minority are going to be more active because it takes deeply seated conviction to back Russia in this case (often driven by real or imagines grievances against their own countries or the West or capitalism or myriad other reasons), which means that a much larger proportion of those against Ukraine are likely to go and vote, as opposed to the silent majority who support Ukraine but didn’t vote either out of selfish calculations or fear (as explained above) or because they simply couldn’t be bothered. (this is a common dynamic in democratic countries where the ideologues, albeit a minority, turn up in much larger numbers than the complacent majority).

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        • stranger

          Are you saying most of the voters were afraid of Russian reaction and the cease of gas supply and the others were active Russophiles??

          Reply
        • stranger

          Maybe Dutch reaction was related more to Ukraine itself, the enlightening of this topic in the mass media as well as internal European contradictions between Neitherlands and Brussel? Why should we always look for a hand of Moscow?

          Reply
          • Frank

            The dutch do not really see any difference between the Ukraine and Russia.
            70% did not even take the effort to vote.
            Yes, there are strong anti-European sentiments at the moment which also played a strong role in the NO side.
            That the Dutch do not want to mingle in the Russian/Ukraine affairs also plays a role indeed.
            The fact that the Ukraine is still a very corrupt country also plays a role.
            In general the Dutch people are against extension of the EU. Some saw it as a first step of the EU becoming member of the EU.
            We have just had the financial crisis in the EU. There already is a lot of difference in approach and opinion between countries which makes decision making already very difficult.

          • stranger

            Yes, but Ukrainian politicians announced and still announce that Ukraine goes to Europe and that the association is the first step for the membership, and that visas will be abolished from day to day That was why people came to Maydan when Yanukovich postponed the association. Why all this revolution and the following tragic events including Boeing started. Now it appears that the association is harmful for ukrainian economy, the membership is not supposed. It looks like people were just deceived and left with their problems.

          • stranger

            That was not an anti Russia uprising in Ukraine. That was under the motto – Yanukovich doesn’t allow us to go to Europe and live like in Europe. They didn’t expect Russia would annex Crimea of course.

          • Frank

            Stranger, hat afe you talking about. I suppise the people in the Ukraine were just fed up with it (at least western ukraine) and wanted something else.
            They will have better relations with western europe countries and will benefit from it eventuall6, though not as a member of eu.
            In redardvto being deceived, I don’tt get your point. Nobody promised them anything in western europe.
            They wanted change, as a democratic country it is obvious to be sympathetic about that.
            Only thing is, some western european politicians made mistake in thinking it will not get out of hand. Because they don’t experienced these kind of things ever because people can demonstrate in an open society, it was a form of ignorance…
            And it did get out of hand.
            It is just different and far from how life is here.

          • stranger

            Ukrainians were deceived first of all by own Ukrainian politicians. The EU association had been prepared for a long time. Yanukovych stated many times that the major priority for Ukraine is going towards Europe. That idea was continuously promoted in mass media. The association was perceived as a first step for abolishing of visas and ultimately sometime in the future joining EU. That is what Yanukovych used to say about it:
            http://ru.tsn.ua/ukrayina/yanukovich-zaveril-evropu-chto-ukraina-stremitsya-v-es.html

            Yanukovych hesitated until the very last minute. Russia tried to interest him as much as she could to incline to own trade union instead. At the very last moment, immediately in Vilnius where the agreement with EU was supposed to be signed, Yanukovych and his government claimed they need more time and the agreement was not signed. That originally caused people to come out to Maydan. Then the conflict was escalated and the targets of the revolution shifted against Yanukovych himself and then just the logic of the conflict probably worked.

            The economic part of EU association has been in effect already for some time, nevertheless the Ukrainian economy is declining. The idea that Ukraine would even benefit from the association is under a big question. Europe would gain a new large market for own goods, what would Ukraine gain taking into account strict European quotas for agro produce is questionable. Now Ukraine is promising and expecting the abolishing of visas with EU every month and every time it is postponed to the next month. Even is visas are withdrawn, that would probably be replaced with the control on the border.

            So behind beautiful ideological fairytales there is a rather grim reality. Europe didn’t promise anything, what did you expect?

          • stranger

            There are a lot of Ukrainians here, please correct me if i’m wrong

          • Frank

            Stranger,
            Ofcourse the Ukraine will benefit from it by time. They made the right choice in trying to establish a base, good fundament to be able to evolve and emancipate themselves. In the former ex-soviet oligarch fundament this wouldd never be possible.
            Hope they achieve to get rid of corruption and are able to develop a vision of how they would like to organize their society. It’s something the people will have to do themselves and now they start to develop the possibility to do such a thing and be able to create conditions to flourish. It will only flourish in peace.
            Why doesn’t Russia just support the Ukraine going its own way, have both a good relationship with europe as well as with Russia.

          • stranger

            Democratic sovereign Ukraine after she had gotten rid of Russian influence, aha:
            http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/20/enough-carrots-for-ukraine-time-to-break-out-the-sticks-poroshenko-biden-united-states-shokin/

            “Why doesn’t Russia just support the Ukraine going its own way, have both a good relationship with europe as well as with Russia”
            That is a very difficult question. There is no any policy in Russia saying lets not allow Ukraine go to Europe. There is though very old and tight relationships with Ukraine. If Ukraine joins EU trade union it is automatically cannot participate in the Russian trade/customs union. If Ukraine had expelled Russian Black Sea Fleet located in Crimea since 1783 and replaced it with NAT0 fleet that would have been inacceptable. Russia w/o Ukraine would not be sufficient. On the other hand Europe as we can see doesn’t need Ukraine. Ukraine itself is separated into more pro Russian industrial south-east and sometimes strictly anti-Russian agrarian west, the former Poland.

            I believe what happened in Crimea and Donbass was not a result of any thoughtful strategy. That was very impulsive and situational reaction on the breaking up all negotiations and the revolt in Ukraine. There is almost no unbiased and serious analytics for example on the economical part of EU association, or all those further events, probably just because there was no any meaningful strategy.

          • Sam

            stranger,

            there are not a lot of Ukrainians here, I’m not one.

            I’m just some random someone with an opinion.

            And that’s the scariest thing the the Kremlin fears.

            They don’t fear me, just people having their own opinions. Especially you.

            See you in the gulag, class of 2040.

          • boggled

            stranger just a small comment re ur comment with yanukothief link.

            EU was selling good to Russia, those same goods went to Ukraine after Russia sold them to them.
            Usually it was trade for gas payments.

            EU agreement would have eliminated the middle man on the goods Russia was selling to Ukraine that came from EU in the first place.

            It would have not stopped EU buying RF gas.
            It would not have stopped EU trading with RF on a variety of items.
            It would not have eliminated all trade between Ukraine and RF.
            You know it and I do.

            Now
            EU does not buy RF gas
            EU does not trade with RF
            RF has sanctions.
            RF has made an enemy of Ukraine
            Ukraine will most likely not trade for many years with RF.
            Ukraine has gotten rid of many Moscow kleptocrats from the party of regions.
            RF is going to face a big fight about MH17

            This was not an EU-USA planned event to cut out RF completely from Ukraine.
            It was about giving Ukraine access to EU markets and opposite.

            Ukraine’s people wanted Maidan because of yanukothief’s kleptocracy and ending the corruption that came from Moscowand his empty promises.
            They were sick and tired of being sick and tired.

            95 percent of Ukraine supports this move.
            U do know there is footage of yanukothief packing to leave at his house and run away on February 19th don’t you?

            He had no intention of signing.

            You know they found the planned Sniper locations on paperwork he threw in his pond don’t you?
            They match with the locations of investigators.

            He had no intention of signing.

            He stole and stole and wanted to keep stealing, and the EU agreement would have prevented that because EU would be observing the books somewhat.

            He had no intention of signing.

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            Boggled, “EU was selling good to Russia, those same goods went to Ukraine after Russia sold them to them.” that is definitely more complicated than that.
            Ukraine is an independent state who determines own trade policy, that is not like all EU goods should go via Russia, the question is only what is the protection policy with regards to EU and with regards to Russia.
            Every country uses customs fees, government subsidiaries, import/export quotas, tax policy and other mechanisms in order to protect own industries and address social problems. In an ideal free market theory, any government barriers would decrease the overall wealth, meaning overall in average everybody is loosing. But you understand what an average temperature in a hospital is, between those in fever and those in morgue it is normal or even getting better in average.
            A Customs Union or a Trade Union between countries would eliminate some barriers, it is a good thing everybody is looking for. But if partners are too different that may not work well.
            What Ukrainian goods are competitive in Europe – agriculture, that’s it, but Europe is not removing strict quotas for agro import.
            If Ukraine eliminates the custom barriers with Europe while Russia still keeps them with Europe but not with Ukraine, the cheap European goods would flow into Russia as a re-export via Ukraine as one of example.
            You know that is actually the area which nobody analyzed and explained well, hardly many people even read the text of EU association, that was mostly discussed in media at a stupid primitive politicized propaganda level rather than any meaningful analysis. So i’m not saying I’m completely understand how it would or wouldn’t work.

          • boggled

            This is only one of a a few captured footage
            At his home and other places
            the day before Sniper assassinations.

            Packing to leave the day before Snipers actions.
            Which maybe a directive by someone in THE Kremlin
            That document in a defectors hands would be very valuable, if there is one.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MYGgqjiXs8
            He had no intention of signing

            Snipers locations found on documents in his pond
            He had no intention of signing

            And he had orders to kill
            He had no intention of signing

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            “Which maybe a directive by someone in THE Kremlin”
            What do you suppose was the Kremlin plan?
            Do you mean Kremlin sent the snipers and at the same time withdrawn Yanukovich, and helped the revolt to quickly succeed, just to take over Crimea and have lost all the other Ukraine. Just why would it need it??

            “Snipers locations found on documents in his pond”
            Really don’t believe Ukrainian fairytales, that is not even a misinformation, just fairytales. Also there were snipers from police and snipers from nobody knows where.

          • boggled

            stranger
            snipers were suppose to be false flag whose success were promoted by Kremlin media.
            Placing all blame on Pravy Sektor
            And the UA patriots who were sick and tired of being robbed.
            To break Maidan.
            It failed
            He hoped he could get UA begging to have Moscow come in and save them from nationalists.
            It failed

            That was slowed down if not stopped because it was challenged and exposed by UA media in support of Maidan
            It succeeded

            It was one last attempt to keep UA in Moscow’s sphere of influence.
            It failed keeping UA under Moscow’s thumb because Moscow knew Maidan would not accept anything less then EU integration being started.
            vova knew he lost EU the week prior to Maidan shootings.

            vova could not allow Crimea to fall, so he implemented martial law on the evening of the 20th.
            Going ahead with the rest of his GRU plans regarding Crimea

            Then the fallback and see how that worked and if he could stirrup unrest in other areas of Eastern Ukraine
            That did not work so well
            He sent in Strelkov
            To attempt to get the land bridge to Krym
            It failed

            As far as snipers, the investigation and charges will come
            Because many are Russian citizens and/or Crimeans they prefer to capture before giving Interpol international arrest warrants and informing the public of them and giving the criminals a chance to buy new identity.
            .
            They could hide in RF for the rest of their lives, but with open investigation and no arrest warrants, they may cross borders.

            Fare thee well

  5. Mad Dog

    ” trying to diminish the credibility of it (as ‘Russian’ said above ‘Russia just has no credibility’)”?????? How much lower can Russian credibility get. 148 in a rating you yourself accepted (or was that only for the US which would smack of a bit of credibility problem in your posts)? BC points this stuff our cause it is so blatantly false!

    Reply
  6. Dmitry

    The politicians are not the scientists but it is quite simple to question these articles. If there are no any source links, it is just a fantasy and arbitrary information taken from the Internet or even photoshoped (the worst scenario), then packaged as the true one.

    Reply
    • oui oui

      http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160524/1040164121/russia-syria-airbase-hmeymim.html
      watch this one , if you please , as it is quite simple to question these articles
      can you see a link , you asked for one in Paris match , is it photoshoped
      and speaking of fantasy , the ” US-based intelligence analysis company Stratfor ” report is about a base in Syria , the ” Russian Defense Ministry ” is speaking of another
      And why is it writen ” Daesh Propaganda Fail ” and ” artillery ”
      in posts on a social media , by neutral or supporters of Assad , it was said many times that the SAA had recaptured this base
      surely with photoshoped pictures , is it where is the propaganda ?
      that’s to the reader to find the true in this false , a standard , or an isolated mystake , sure
      remember , the straw in the eye of your neighbor and the beam in yours

      Reply
    • oui oui

      i made a mistake , it’s not the base but a strategic point near the base , it can be artillery
      the report about the base and a road were said false later

      Reply
  7. Frank

    Your remarks and criticism are a little bit out of context while it is more related to format then content, since the sources are publicly available and clear to most people who look on this website. “Oui Oui” showed them to you (previous posts) and you can find them if you look around on this website. Though I agree it is not convenient!

    However, it does not devalue this article, since the information you are looking for is accessible, so you can have an opinion about the content.

    With the information “oui oui” gave you and the explanation about the pictures you can find on this site (and elsewhere) you should be able to have an opinion in regard to what this article is actually about and what it is trying to display.

    Let’s end this discussion because it is endless and we have to conclude that the information you are looking for is not directly clearly explained within the article itself.
    You are right about that.

    However, this information is publicly available. If you make an effort you will be able to find the information you are looking for (and read what oui oui explained you).

    Afterwards come back and you just give your opinion about this article, about it’s content/what is tries to display I mean.

    Reply

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