Tag Archives: Ukraine

The Babchenko Deception: Kiev’s Masters of Deceit, by Justin Raimondo

Here’s a curious story out of Ukraine that says a lot about the US media. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Ukraine faked a Russian “dissident” death – just because they could

The Ukrainian government has stretched the truth beyond credibility on more than one occasion: those snipers in the Maiden who started firing on both sides during the “revolution” turned out not to have been soldiers loyal to the Yanukovich regime. With billions of US tax dollar going to subsidize what may be the most corrupt government on earth, the Ukrainians contend they’re as pure as the driven snow. That’s disingenuous, to say the very least: lying through their gritted teeth is more like it. And now once again they have proven how dicey they are, with their make-believe “government” ruled over by grasping oligarchs, their disorderly country roiling with neo-Nazi thugs out to kill Jews, homosexuals, and leftists, and their distinctively un-European penchant for political murders, rampant thuggery, stealing as a way of life, and untrammeled aggression against their own people.

I’m talking about the faked death of Russian anti-Putin activist Arkady Babchenko, which was staged by the SBU – the Ukrainian political police – supposedly in order to prevent Babchencko’s actual assassination by sinister Russian agents. They claim one of these Bad Guys has been captured, but we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of him, and probably won’t. Indeed, the whole story is likely a lie: this was simply yet another propaganda campaign designed to blacken the name of Putin and his regime. The pattern is clear: the Skripal fraud, the Russia-gate hoax, and the list of provocations – all the way back to Viktor Yushchenko’s acne – goes on. This is Cold War II, folks, and don’t you forget it.

I love how all the Usual Suspects immediately decided that Putin was the culprit: Little Marco Rubio, professional Russophobe Anders Aslund (“the obviously Russian murder”), Euro-weenie Carl Bildt, anonymous Mensch-bot “Caroline O”, Guardian “reporter” Shaun Walker – who is normally a shill for Kiev, and is awfully mad about this deception  (as he should be) – the evil Natasha Bertrand, a reporter  for a business publication  whose hatred of Putin is only a little less than her hatred of our President, the ridiculous Daily Beast, which under Noah Shachtman’s tutelage has turned into the neocon version of the News of the World. And of course embittered Russian immigrant Julia Ioffe, who once accused Trump of having sex with his own daughter, fell for it and then freaked out when the truth came out. All the major media outlets fell for it, reporting the “murder” – complete with sketchy accounts of Putin’s other alleged crimes – with a straight face. All joined in an orgy of confirmation bias:

To continue reading: The Babchenko Deception: Kiev’s Masters of Deceit

Advertisements

A Time to Remember, by Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo revisits some stories that were once dismissed as fringe. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

We’re headed into the Memorial Day weekend, and what better time to remember those stories that held your attention, briefly, weeks or even months and years ago ? Well, here’s some follow-up:

Perfidious Albion, Revisited – Remember when Judge Andrew Napolitano, the Fox News commentator, was suspended from Fox because he highlighted the British connection to the plot to oust Donald Trump? In light of the Christopher Steele dossier, and the even more recent revelation of the Stefan Halper/Sir Richard Dearlove spying mission, it looks like the Judge was right.

Napolitano contended on air that the Obama White House used the Brits to get transcripts of conversations between Trump officials and their contacts so that “no American fingerprints” would be left on the dirty deeds. Yet it looks like they did go through our own FISA court to get a judge to sign on to the surveillance: however, there are many questions about what evidence they used to convince that judge.

The “dirty dossier” was one piece of the puzzle, the information funneled to the FBI by their spie(s) in the campaign was another, and I believe that information provided by foreign intelligence services, including the Brits, was the third addition to this brew.

The President’s critics, as well as his friends, say he could clear all this up by simply declassifying the relevant documents, but this is easier said than done: those documents doubtless implicate our foreign “allies” as the source of the “collusion” charges leveled at Trump. The Democrats didn’t think this up all on their own: the whole Russia-gate hoax originated, I believe, overseas, and was then eagerly adopted by the Clintonites. Rather than cause an international incident – and a serious one, to be sure – all concerned are doing their best to downplay this aspect of the unfolding drama, yet the truth is bound to come out eventually.

Hitlerian Ukraine – Remember Ukraine? That’s the country Vladimir Putin was going to invade any day now – except it never happened. Oh well, the “imminent” Russian invasion was years ago, so why bring it up now? Because Nazis are overrunning the place, that’s why.

The Forward reports:

“A wave of anti-Semitism has swept over Ukraine. In the past three weeks alone, a far-right leader publicly called for cleansing Ukraine of zhidi (a slur equivalent to ‘kike’); a Holocaust memorial in Ternopil was bombed; hundreds marched through Lviv, in honor of an SS unit, complete with Nazi salutes; ‘Death to Zhidi’ graffiti was scrawled in two cities; a revered rabbi’s tomb was vandalized; a Romani camp in Kiev was attacked and burned by far-right nationalists, and hundreds rocked out at a neo-Nazi concert clad in swastikas and throwing up Nazi salutes.”

To continue reading: A Time to Remember

How the European Union Became Divided on Russia, by Xander Snyder

The nations in European don’t, and can’t, have one monolithic stance towards Russia. From Xander Snyder at mauldineconomics.com:

Last week, the prime ministers of Hungary and Bulgaria criticized EU policy toward Russia for being too harsh. The European Union imposed sanctions against Russia in response to Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, but Hungary and Bulgaria are concerned that the EU’s continued anti-Russia stance could pose a security threat and does not benefit either country.

This difference of opinion on Russia is just a symptom of a broader reality: Europe itself is becoming increasingly divided. As a result, there is no longer a European approach to Russia like there was during the Cold War, when a weak Europe, dependent on the US for its security, acted as one to maintain the US-led containment line. Today, each European country has its own interests determined by its own geographical realities.

In the case of Hungary, it understands that it has to be part of the Western bloc. Hungary was under Soviet occupation and experienced the suffering that followed its short-lived revolution in 1956 against Soviet rule. Though it understands and appreciates the support that the US provided after the end of the Cold War, it knows that this support is ultimately insufficient to protect it against nearby threats. The US is too far away and, as we saw in Georgia in 2008, the US is primarily concerned with its own interests and might not come to Hungary’s defense if it were truly threatened.


Source: Geopolitical Futures

To Hungary’s east lies Ukraine, a buffer state between the West and Russia. Hungary has generally opposed Ukraine’s developing closer ties with the West. Indeed, when diplomats speak of such integration with the West, Hungary is faced with a critical question: What does “integration” even mean? If it simply means having more diplomatic meetings, why risk rocking the boat with Russia when there is little benefit to Hungary? If integration means greater Western military presence in Ukraine, that would be even worse for Hungary. Russia would see it as a direct threat and would be more inclined to intervene militarily to recuperate its lost buffer space, potentially bringing a Russian military force closer to Hungary’s borders.

To continue reading: How the European Union Became Divided on Russia

In Unexpected Move, Trump Enacts Obama-era Law Opening US Arms Sales To Ukraine, by

The US government will sell arms to the corrupt and bankrupt Ukranian government that the US helped install in a coup. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

After years of covert American involvement in the Ukrainian proxy and civil war which has raged since 2014 – and which a leaked recording confirmed was precipitated by the US State Department – President Trump has decided to come off the fence regarding his prior reluctance to formally approve arms sales to the Kiev government. Late Wednesday the Washington Post first reported the bombshell news that after months of indecision over whether or not to move forward with Obama-era legislation which initially paved the way for legalizing US arms sales to Ukraine, Trump has approved the first ever US commercial sale of weapons to the war-torn country.

According to The Washington Post, “administration officials confirmed that the State Department this month approved a commercial license authorizing the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. These weapons address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting a Russian-backed separatist movement in two eastern provinces. There has been no approval to export the heavier weapons the Ukrainian government is asking for, such as Javelin antitank missiles.”


Image via News Front

Though WaPo’s Josh Rogin characterizes the decision as intended to appease hawks while seeking to avoid broader conflict escalation based on “limited arms sales” (and not approving some of the heavier weaponry sought by Kiev), the move is likely to further ratchet up tensions with Russia, which is ironic for the fact that the decision comes the same week that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling Trump like “an asset”. Or perhaps we will be assured this is just more 4-dimensional chess playing between Trump and Putin to prove that not Putin but the Military Industrial Complex is once again “unexpectedly” in charge?

To continue reading; In Unexpected Move, Trump Enacts Obama-era Law Opening US Arms Sales To Ukraine

Mueller Investigating Podesta Group In Connection With Russia Probe, by ZeroPointNow

Imagine that, Democratic heavyweight Podesta Group is under investigation for its dealings with a pro-Russia group. From ZeroPointNow at ibankcoin.com:

Tony Podesta and his firm, the Podesta Group, are now under federal investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with the Russia investigation, three sources told NBC News.

The Podesta Group was subpoenaed in late August along with four other public relations firms who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during a 2012-2014 lobbying effort for a pro-Ukraine think tank – the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) – tied to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych fled from Ukraine to Russia after he was unseated in a 2014 coup.

Two of the subpoenaed firms include Paul Manafort’s Mercury, LLC and the Podesta Group, founded by John and Tony Podesta and operated by the latter.

Manafort’s firm earned $17 million between 2012 – 2014 consulting for Yanukovych’s centrist, pro-Russia ‘Party of Regions.’ During the same period, Manafort oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia “Centre for a Modern Ukraine,” a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.

The Podesta group, operating under Manafort, earned over $1.2 million as part of that effort.

In a statement to NBC, a spokesman for the Podesta Group said the firm “is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel’s office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance. In all of our client engagements, the Podesta Group conducts due diligence and consults with appropriate legal experts to ensure compliance with disclosure regulations at all times — and we did so in this case.”

White House Special Access

Visitor logs reveal that Tony Podesta visited the White House at least 114 times during the Obama administration according to White House visitor logs, and was said to have had ‘special access‘ to the administration through his brother, John Podesta, while lobbying for various pro-Kremlin interests.

To continue reading: Mueller Investigating Podesta Group In Connection With Russia Probe

 

Pentagon Denounces American Nazis While Arming Ukrainian Nazis, by Finian Cunningham

Why are American Nazis bad, according to the US military and government, but Ukrainian Nazis are good? SLL doesn’t have any brief for either, but the US is providing aid and comfort to Nazis within and allied with Ukraine’s government. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:

In the wake of violent protests involving white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in the US, the Pentagon’s top military brass issued unprecedented condemnations of «racists and extremists». One veterans spokesman said: «Anyone waving a Nazi flag must be rooted out of our society».

What makes the Pentagon’s response to Swastika-flag-waving American Nazis rather bizarre is that this week the US Defense Secretary, General James Mattis, is reportedly traveling to Ukraine where he is to sign over shipments of lethal weapons to the armed forces of the Kiev regime. That regime openly glorifies Ukrainian regiments that collaborated with the Nazi Third Reich during the World War Two.

Mattis, the top Pentagon official, is due to authorize the transfer of $50 million-worth of military gear to the Kiev regime. This will mark the first official delivery of lethal equipment from the US. Previous military aid to Ukraine was reportedly «non-lethal». Among the inventory Mattis is signing over are Javelin anti-tank missiles.

Modern-day regiments under the control of the Kiev regime, such as the Azov Battalion, publicly self-identify with Nazi-collaborating descendants and former pro-Nazi Ukrainian leaders like Stefan Bandera. This Neo-Nazi ideology of the Kiev-run military is a central impetus in why these forces have waged a three-year war on the ethnic Russian population of the breakaway Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine. The latter refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the Kiev regime which seized power in February 2014 in a coup d’état against an elected government. The American CIA backed that violent coup.

Political and financial support from Washington and the European Union has underpinned the Kiev regime led by the dubiously elected President Petro Poroshenko. This is in spite of the fact that the Kiev regime continues to wage a war on the people of Donbas in violation of a peace deal – the Minsk Accord – brokered by Russia and the EU in 2015. Western governments and media accuse Russia of sponsoring the breakaway Donbas republics and their militia, and of infiltrating its troops into the region. Russia denies direct military involvement, but is believed to be supporting the self-declared Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.

To continue reading: Pentagon Denounces American Nazis While Arming Ukrainian Nazis

Russia-gate’s Evidentiary Void, by Robert Parry

Can the mainstream media stoop any lower? Now the New York Times is relying on unsupported assertions from Ukraine’s notoriously unreliable government, which regards Russia as an enemy, concerning the alleged Russian “hacks” of the election. From Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com:

The New York Times’ unrelenting anti-Russia bias would be almost comical if the possible outcome were not a nuclear conflagration and maybe the end of life on planet Earth.

A classic ample of the Times’ one-sidecoverage was a front-page article on Thursday expressing the wistful hope that a Ukrainian hacker whose malware was linked to the release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in 2016 could somehow “blow the whistle on Russian hacking.”

Though full of airy suspicions and often reading like a conspiracy theory, the article by Andrew E. Kramer and Andrew Higgins contained one important admission (buried deep inside the “jump” on page A8 in my print edition), a startling revelation especially for those Americans who have accepted the Russia-did-it groupthink as an established fact.

The article quoted Jeffrey Carr, the author of a book on cyber-warfare, referring to a different reality: that the Russia-gate “certainties” blaming the DNC “hack” on Russia’s GRU military intelligence service or Russia’s FSB security agency lack a solid evidentiary foundation.

“There is not now and never has been a single piece of technical evidence produced that connects the malware used in the DNC attack to the GRU, FSB or any agency of the Russian government,” Carr said.

Yet, before that remarkable admission had a chance to sink into the brains of Times’ readers whose thinking has been fattened up on a steady diet of treating the “Russian hack” as flat fact, Times’ editors quickly added that “United States intelligence agencies, however, have been unequivocal in pointing a finger at Russia.”

The Times’ rebuke toward any doubts about Russia-gate was inserted after Carr’s remark although the Times had already declared several times on page 1 that there was really no doubt about Russia’s guilt.

To continue reading: Russia-gate’s Evidentiary Void