Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 24, 2015

Wondering About Today's Mariupol Attack

Today some barrage of Grad rockets was fired on an eastern suburb of Mariupol, a city in the south east of Ukraine and in the hands of the Ukrainian government. The 400,000 strong population of the city is believed to be in favor of the federalists fighting against the Ukrainian coup government. Last year it overwhelmingly voted (vid) to leave Ukraine. Some 30 people, all civilians, died in today's attack. There was no military target nearby. Whodunnit?

In September 2014 Hromadske TV, a new Ukrainian TV station financed by George Soros and the U.S. government, interviewed (vid) a former Ukrainian general Colonel General Vladimir Ruban. According to the provided translation he lauds the Ukrainian artillery which at that time shelled Donetsk from the airport but says that this just welds the people in Donetsk together. "They understand they are being shot at. It's one thing if attack groups or any mobile mortar troops drive through the city and shoot because you could say that this is just a sort of provocation by a third party. But if the artillery units fired from the airport then no one can claim that the separatists shoot themselves."

Two days ago a mortar attack on a bus in federalist held Donetsk which killed 13 people was likely done from within the federalists held city. While the Ukrainian government claimed that the federalists had themselves shelled the city they hold this seems quite unlikely to me. The Russia supported federalist later claimed that ten groups of Ukrainian partisans had infiltrated the city and that eight of those had been caught. This would fit the operational design earlier laid out by the former general.

Today's attack on Mariupol has no discernible military purpose. It makes absolutely no sense for the federalists to shell civilians in a city that is believed to be favorable to them. There is no clear evidence from where the shells were coming. The Ukrainian government claims the federalists did it while the federalists said they have no artillery nearby that could have reached the city and blame the coup government for the attack.

Today's attack is already used by hardliners to call for more European sanctions against Russia. Such sanctions would have no effect on Russia's position and are to the disadvantage of Europe. Only the U.S. and other hardliners who want a wider conflict with Russia would benefit form these.

In light of the mindset demonstrated by the former general and after the attack in Donetsk I tend to believe that this attack was a planned provocation by the Ukrainian side.

Posted by b on January 24, 2015 at 01:45 PM | Permalink

next page »

Even pro-Ukrainian sources are claiming Grads in Mariupol were used by Ukrainian army:

Many Mariupol citizens are saying the same thing - it was Ukies Grads, col. Cassad cites many sources.

In other words, it was a false-flag (or a major screw up) and "I am Mariupol" moment, same as it was in Volnovaha (where Ukies mine destroyed the bus, and Ukies blamed it on federalists, while Poroshenko said "I'm Volnovaha").

Posted by: Harry | Jan 24, 2015 2:00:08 PM | 1

Fast as h_ll the OSCE has finished their investigation and puts the blame on the Novorossiyans.

This US/Pol Pot Shenko-stunt has "Markale"-fingerprints all over it

Posted by: mikhas | Jan 24, 2015 2:05:18 PM | 2

And surprise surprise, here's an American merc scuttling around in the aftermath.

Get outta my face, get outta my face!

Posted by: L Bean | Jan 24, 2015 2:48:54 PM | 3

The blog author lies, as usual. There are numerous positions of UAF in Mariupol, as it's the on the first line of defense currently. The residential area attacked is in the east of city, exactly on the side facing the separatist positions and OSCE has already confirmed the origin of the rockets. And it's not the first attack on Mariupol - in October separatists have also shelled Sartana, a village on Mariupol outskirts where UAF was holding positions. 17 people were killed and shelling was also coming from the east, as confirmed by OSCE.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 3:19:29 PM | 4

If Volnovakha was "a false flag" then why OSCE report stating quite the opposite was signed by both OSCE observers and Russian military observers?

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 3:26:06 PM | 5

@ #5 The conclusion on Volnovakha was not "quite the opposite." The source direction includes a big chunk of UAF territory. OSCE took no position as to which force fired the rockets.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 24, 2015 3:52:40 PM | 6

@6 It is "quite the opposite" since separatists supported the nonsense "land mine" version. In spite of large number of videos showing numerous explosions from incoming artillery missiles at the checkpoint, one of the near the fatal bus.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 4:06:38 PM | 7

@#7 And the direction of the artillery includes a big chunk of UAF territory. The timing was extraordinarily convenient for Kiev to stage an "I am Volnovakha" demo right before Poroshenko went to Davos with a piece of the bus to appeal for aid.

DNR's land mine speculation was actually quite charitable, because it would suggest an accident rather than a staged event.

In previous events of this sort, duds have provided the conclusive evidence as to the direction of fire. This event certainly beat the odds by having no duds.

The identification of uragan craters makes it less likely that the source was NAF. I could believe that there was a ranging error in a grad strike on the checkpoint, but the big question than needs to be answered is who has uragans in the area. NAF has very few and they've got bigger fish to fry in the Devaltseve - Artemivsk area.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 24, 2015 4:36:39 PM | 8

Check out this local news report right after the shelling.
You can see a man in military uniform hurrying away covering his face from the camera and speaking English with a clear American accent. Looks like an American mercenary. So the question is what do American mercenaries do in Mariupol?

Posted by: Al | Jan 24, 2015 4:49:10 PM | 9

@8 You forgot that DNR announced "successful shelling of the Ukrop checkpoint" at Volnovakha. They pulled this news off later on the "if it was civilian, then it wasn't us" basis (just like MH17).

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 4:51:20 PM | 10

@9 These "mercenaries" are OSCE observers, who arrived at the crime scene just after the shelling and published their report today.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 4:54:10 PM | 11

Ulster: are really? Never seen OSCE observers with AKs without any badges and covering their faces. It's not a secret that Azov batalion has a bunch of Western "volunteers" who went to Ukraine for a human safari. VICE made a video about them.

Posted by: Al | Jan 24, 2015 4:59:44 PM | 12

@12 Sorry, I commented before actually watching your movie. I saw English speaking guy on another video who was OSCE obsever and though this is excerpt from the same film.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 5:02:13 PM | 13


Gosh, if you say so. Got a screenshot?

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 24, 2015 5:05:05 PM | 14

There are also numerous reports from the locals in Mariupol indicating that water and electricity was switched off an hour before the shelling. Coincidence?

Also from a purely logical standpoint. The rebels are not known for shelling the cities. The Ukr army, on the contrary, has been shelling Donetsk and Gorlovka and other residential areas for more than 6 months and it's very well documented. The rebels have also no incentive to shell the residential areas of Donbass region cities and villages since it's their families and friends who live there and it's their people who support them. THe Ukr. army instead has all the incentive to scare the locals and provoke the international outrage by blaming Russia, thus, thwarting the possible rebel assault on Mariupol. As to whose side the local in Mariupol are you can clearly see from this video from MAy 9, when the Ukr army entered MAriupol and murdered tens of civilians participating inthe Victory parade:

Posted by: Al | Jan 24, 2015 5:09:08 PM | 15

I think it's a retaliation for the mortar attack on that bus in Donetsk.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24, 2015 5:14:42 PM | 16

One of our resident trolls is working overtime on this story; which must mean b nailed it and Ulster is trying to maintain the propaganda value of "the rebels did it".

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2015 5:20:22 PM | 17

This is the video published today by separatist Anna News where Zakharchenko declares that "siege of Mariupol has just started". Since then, he managed to change his mind twice already after the outcome in Mariupol became known, so this is worth preserving.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 5:31:45 PM | 18

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 24, 2015 5:14:42 PM | 16

That would make no sense as Mariupol civilians are not hostile - they are Donetsk citizen occupied by Azov battalion.

Major screw up/just not caring about civilians by either side - from the OSCE report - they are very clear on it, much clearer than on past occasions.

The SMM conducted a crater analysis and its initial assessment showed that the impacts were caused by Grad and Uragan rockets. According to the impact analysis, the Grad rockets originated from a north-easterly direction, in the area of Oktyabr (19 km north-east of Olimpiiska Street), and the Uragan rockets from an easterly direction, in the area of Zaichenko (15 km east of Olimpiiska Street), both controlled by the “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DPR”).

At 13:02hrs and 13:21hrs the SMM heard again incoming MLRS salvos lasting for eight seconds, from an easterly direction. At a distance of 300 metres the SMM saw smoke above the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ checkpoint number 14 (8.9 km north-east of Mariupol city centre), just several hundred metres away from where the shelling had hit in Olimpiiska Street.

Rockets came from two directions and missed several hundred meters. b.s scenario would mean rebels were asleep on two positions. Yes, from the angle of the blast you can decide direction and distance.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 24, 2015 5:35:44 PM | 19


Nov 17

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2015 5:40:39 PM | 20

@14 Screenshot, comes from this VK group. Translation: operative 13.01.2015 16:53 Volnovakha. Received information: Ukrop checkpoint at exit from Volnovakha direction Donetsk was destroyed.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 5:42:50 PM | 21

Video shot from the car at the moment of the rocket attack. Pretty horrifying...

Posted by: Al | Jan 24, 2015 5:59:05 PM | 22

Re: Volnovakha

A bus in a long queue of traffic was parked by the kerb near trees at a Ukraine checkpoint. Some of the passengers were standing by the bus at the time of the grad strike a km or so further up the road. One or more of these people dashed into the field to get away from the road. They triggered an anti-personel mine attached to one of the trees. The mine then exploded sending shrapnel towards the people standing by the bus and the bus itself. That explains the massive pool of blood outside and by the side of the bus. The land mine fired cylindrical anti-personel fragments, at least one of which was seen embedded in the mat in the doorway of the bus. The bus driver later confirmed what happened.

This video has extracts from a longer video filmed by a motorist further down the queue who did a U-turn to drive away from the blockpost.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 24, 2015 6:32:28 PM | 23

Hromadske TV also receives (or did receive) funding from the Dutch government.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 24, 2015 6:33:42 PM | 24

@okie farmer #20:

I didn't know about that. The Ukrainians using full auto gunfire on their own civilians. Even the Nazis never did anything like that. That makes the Ukrainians worse than the Nazis. Yet the US and the EU keep on backing them.

The title of the video is wrong. Randomly shooting at people is not execution. It is slaughter.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 24, 2015 6:38:20 PM | 25


What do you make of Saker's story?

Posted by: jfl | Jan 24, 2015 7:17:16 PM | 26


Thanks very much for finding that video. Although I cannot understand the audio the video is certainly consistent with your explanation (translation?) of its content.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 24, 2015 7:23:28 PM | 27

Saker's story is plausible, but I think he's a little naïve. Most of the comments think it's a false flag attack by UAF. And the map he's posted in the article sort of backs up his story.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24, 2015 8:10:21 PM | 28

@21 The "screenshot" is not even in the same format as Novorossia First Operational's lead posts. The lead posts have the logo to the left of the text, not in a header above it. It's an obvious comp. Inept fakery.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 24, 2015 8:23:10 PM | 29

I take the liberty of re-posting my comment from the "Ukraine: War in Kiev" thread.

And in any case, it seems to be another false-flag provocation by the serial war criminals of Banderastan. We now how cheaply they value human life. Started with the Maidan itself.

From Red Star over Donbas, the intelligence service in DNR is worried about this. "So do not be surprised if the junta soon tries to inflict another bloody massacre and blame it on Russia and the People's Republics," with the intent of ennabling the contemplated imposition of martial law. RT reports the denials and analysis on today's provocation. “According to our intelligence, the artillery fired from the Stariy Krim neighborhood [less than 10 kilometers from central Mariupol - RT]. Ukrainian troops are stationed there. We believe it was a provocation committed by the Ukrainian troops.”

Very convenient, Donetsk announces the offensive, then here's the shelling, and lo and behold, who appears?

Good news -- demo vs. the war in Odessa.

orginally posted Jan 24, 2015 3:53:35 PM | 95

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24, 2015 9:05:49 PM | 30

And perhaps, it's a way to distract from some obvious Banderaist failings. Fish Rots From The Head: Ukrainian Military Leadership in Disarray

Muzhenko’s task was to “clear” the airport and convince his bosses he was capable of controlling the situation. Muzhenko’s attempt to demonstrate his political loyalty once again sent Ukrainian soldiers to their deaths. Their blood is on his hands.

J. Hawk, Fort Russ's translator, comments that:

There [is] no honor among thieves -- nor among the members of the Ukrainian political and military elite. The situation is exactly as it was during the battles of the summer of 2014, when mutual mistrust among commanders at various levels and the resulting lack of cooperation facilitated the defeat of the Ukrainian attempt to overrun DPR and LPR. Novorossia’s tactical gains on the ground are probably outweighed by the disarray they have caused among the senior military leadership of the country. Many of the senior officers of the Ukrainian military were purged because of their lack of proper enthusiasm for the Maidan. Their places were occupied by incompetents whose main attribute was political loyalty. Now that their incompetence is being shown, it leads not only to recriminations among those commanders and the political leadership, but undermines the soldiers’ trust in their own commanders. This is a major advantage that Novorossia enjoys over its adversaries . From Zakharchenko to individual battalion commanders, Novorossia’s soldiers are led by leaders who are both competent and trusted. [my emphais, rm]

From Russia Insider via NCW, Alexander Mercouris recounts the convolutions surrounding financing the junta. He notes that DC wants to stiff Russia the money it is owed, but cannot violate the loan terms. They are asking Western creditors to take a big hit so that they can avoid talking to Russia, and this may prove unpopular. The piece includes a Financial Times article on the subject.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24, 2015 9:27:46 PM | 31

Check your favorite MSM outlet for official rec'd. wisdom, e.g., HuffPost, provocation has worked, at least for now. Because DNR announced an offensive vs. Mariupol, the militarily pointless and (for the DNR) uncharacteristic assault on civilians at market must be their fault. Have F24 on, they're spinning the announcement on Friday as an admission of guilt for what happened Saturday. The Reuters item in Huffpost does not mention the day of the announcement, again making it appear to be an admission.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24, 2015 10:51:35 PM | 32

I'm on board with the bad aim theory. If it were a deliberate provocation it would be an incredibly stupid one, because it would take just one dud warhead to bust the game by showing the direction from which it was fired. The rate at which dud warheads are occurring is quite high. The OSCE report doesn't mention any dud warheads in its investigation, only "preliminary crater analysis" as evidence for direction of fire. There is a possibility that the Grad rockets were fired by NAF, since the checkpoint on the east side of Mariupol was under attack at the time. The more powerful Uragan rockets almost certainly came from the Ukrainian side. Most of the Uragan systems in the theater are Ukrainian and they use them regularly. NAF has only a handful, and other operations north and east of Donetsk are much more critical than the Mariupol one. The target of the Uragan strike was the NAF on the outskirts of Mariupol, but the range was wrong.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 25, 2015 12:24:04 AM | 33

question... who stands to benefit the most? why is kiev only intent on a military solution? accidents can happen, but why is it both sides never accept responsibilty for any of them? why does the western msm always quickly say it is the federalists, or russians who are responsible?

being a betting person, i tend to see these deaths and hardship put on the people of eastern ukraine/novo and mh17 which took place over the same area as a result of the ukraine armed forces who don't make this area there home.. would they shit like this in there own backyard? i doubt it. they only do this towards a group of people they detest. it could be an accident, but there are too many with never any acknowledgement of wrong doing from anyone. my bet is the invadors are responsible.. if these same types of atrocities were to happen in western ukraine i would view it exactly the opposite.. they don't.... yet.... we'll see where this one is going to be given the details. we will be left in limbo on mh17 as well as i see it.

Posted by: ..james | Jan 25, 2015 12:47:29 AM | 34

Russian Spring


Military observer “Oleg” informs about battles in Nikishino and wounding of journalist “Borisich” (he wrote articles about Nikishino before):

“He is “300th” – shrapnel in the back and legs. He is alright, injuries are moderate”.

The combatants attempted a serious storm of so called outpost in hamlet Nikishino yesterday. “So called” – because this in reality is a fortified area. It was build by the Ukrainian forces in summer during a ceasefire period.

This fortified area is a complex system of fire emplacements. It is stuffed with concealed machine guns easily sweeping half of the hamlet. Besides, the Ukrainian forces carry certain number of tanks and APCs.

Nearby settlements crammed with mortars, there is self-propelled artillery; tanks are brought on demand.

Yesterday it was another storming of the Ukrainian positions by infantry as well as tanks and APCs. But the Ukrainian forces began covering from all directions. Really - from all.

At the beginning, the combatants’ mechanized hardware worked well, but later the edge dimmed.

Overall, 7 combatants fell, more than 10 were wounded. Ukrainian losses are unknown. The fortified area stands as before.

Russian Spring


Combatant of Lugansk Republic army “Sich” (“Owl”) reports of battles on Lugansk fronts:

“Full scale battles are taking place under Krimskoye (Bakhmutka place). The combatants in Kryakovka (?) attack Orekhovo-Donetskoye (farther north of Krimskoye). The height 175.9 is being boiled in a caldron – we bombard it heavily, by “Uragans” (rocket salvo systems) as well. The outpost 37 is also in caldron and is also being boiled.

The opponent responds by bombarding Zheltoye (Yellow) and Lobochevo as well as Stakhanovka and Pervomayskoye. Ukrainians artillery from Lisichansk works at the height 180, Novotoshkovka and the outpost 29. Subversion-reconnaissance groups are also active.

So far the clashes bear positional nature. But very soon, we will be driving the Ukrainian forces out, and they are ware of that.

Russian Spring


Deputy the Minister of defense of Donetsk Republic Eduard Basurin informs about losses incurred by Ukrainian occupational forces from the beginning of their recent offensive:

“From the moment of beginning of active combat, in the course of the following 8 days, the opponent has lost 61 tanks, 52 APCs, 781 servicemen killed. 49 servicemen taken prisoners.”

Posted by: Fete | Jan 25, 2015 12:47:35 AM | 35

3rd Eye at 33 --

Whattaya wanna bet -- the "preliminary analysis" at the scene will prove flawed. But like the later info. on the likely perps of MH17, it will be quietly noted, dropped down the memory hole, and the assertion of NAF guilt will stand, like the "invasion" of Crimea.

and jas at 34 --

Right question, who benefits. And good call to highlight the contempt the "cyborgs," as the Ukrainians call them, feel for the locals. We know what they're capable of.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 1:08:01 AM | 36

Posted by: ..james | Jan 25, 2015 12:47:29 AM | 34

It is what war is. If you go there, accept politically you want to do it, that is the result.

The military command chain if full of psychopaths wo do not care about civilians if a military goal can be achieved - see drone war.

When Kyiv decided - with the support of the US and EU silence - to besiege and shell cities that meant war on the civilian population. Should the rebels decide to take Mariupol they cannot avoid the consequences.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 2:16:08 AM | 37

@29 You "forensics" is a bit naive. If you click on any news in the VK group they look exactly as on the screenshot - grey header, logo on the left and text on white background below.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 3:13:18 AM | 39

@33 Thirdeye: The more powerful Uragan rockets almost certainly came from the Ukrainian side. Most of the Uragan systems in the theater are Ukrainian and they use them regularly.

Now go and read @35 where Russian Spring boasts: we bombard it heavily, by “Uragans” (rocket salvo systems) as well.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 3:18:23 AM | 40

Russia has just blocked UN condemnation of the "indiscriminate shelling" of Mariupol where 30 people died. Official reason: the statement quoted Zakharchenko's own words about starting the siege of Mariupol.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 3:23:22 AM | 41

so many trenchant commentators have been banned, and somehow the likes of ulster and cold continue to pollute this space

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jan 25, 2015 3:36:39 AM | 42

@42 I agree that citations of the violent announcements by fascist Zakharchenko are "polluting the space" but the are required as a historical evidence.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 3:43:28 AM | 43

Zakharchenko is no fascist but a black marketeer working w. Plotz to undermine the Novoroosiyan resistance
you don't really think much, do you?

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jan 25, 2015 3:46:37 AM | 44

Human Rights Watch July 2014 - Stop use of Grad Rockets in populated areas

Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks between July 12 and 21, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.

The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes.

This is the "official Ukrainain government" the US/Europe support.

Human Rights Watch: Ukraine civilians need greater protection

Human Rights Watch blame both sides. But one side are "illegal" fighters, the other side is the official US/EU supported government.

Having been silent on it for so long the outcry about Mariupol is hypocritical.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 4:13:55 AM | 45

Poroshenko have a meeting now with Security command for the next steps, one thought that the killings of yesterday would stop him from more warcrimes. No. Now its talk to commit a huge offensive. All with the support by the silent west of course.
God knows how many poroshenko will kill the coming days.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 25, 2015 4:24:23 AM | 46

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 25, 2015 4:24:23 AM | 46

US/EU could stop them in one second. Simply by saying they will not pay.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 5:06:00 AM | 47

"outta my face, outta my face"


Note the comments discussion:- e.g.
"Its definitely, unequivocally, without a shade of doubt, an American. There is a trace of the American rural/ southern ethic -white accent. No doubt at all, its American. For myself, I have no doubt its a mercenary working for the CIA. (note: sometime in the colloquial jargon of the US military certain types of U.S. SF commandos are called "mercs"..I suspect this is an actual murder for pay mercenary in the strict sense of the word. But one hired by NATO/CIA/eu/.Ukrainian govt. money. . . ."

Posted by: x | Jan 25, 2015 5:13:09 AM | 48

@45 It's sad that you cite HRW selectively. When they blame UAF (and they deserve!) it's a good, reliable source on MoA (the article you linked is from July 2014). On the other hand, when HRW blames the separatists (January 2015), or even says that "both sides" are using "Grads" on residential areas, MoA suddenly ignores them or actively discredits them as "5th column", "Western nazis" etc.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 5:16:34 AM | 49


HRW was founded by the USG to weaponize human rights and leverage the Helsinki accords. And they've been at it ever since.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 25, 2015 5:49:25 AM | 50

Posted by: jfl | Jan 25, 2015 5:49:25 AM | 50

It is interesting they are blaming the Ukrainian side, no?

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 6:08:07 AM | 51

Oh, you must mean like this news heading:

I never said NAF had no Uragans. I stated that they would likely be using the few they have elsewhere, such as the critical operation cutting off the Debaltseve salient with its estimated 8000 UAF troops, or neutralizing the reserves UAF is throwing in to oppose it. Both sides are limiting the resources they're putting into the southern front right now.

The situation described in #35 is another example of where NAF can put Uragans to good use, reducing a cauldron (identified by a hill designation) in a rural area.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 25, 2015 6:08:11 AM | 52

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 5:16:34 AM | 49
You can read, no?

This is what I wrote:

Human Rights Watch blame both sides. But one side are "illegal" fighters, the other side is the official US/EU supported government.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 6:10:04 AM | 53

ulster only has one message : the federalists or rebels are guilty as charged.. in that regard ulster is no different then a broken record, or only in so far as they always have the same answer for everything and lack the ability to consider any alternative viewpoint that puts the kiev gov't in a position of moral bankruptcy.. this is a polite way of me saying ulster is like the typical banderite fascist nazi type that would be unhappy with peace or an end to others suffering.. sad kettle of fish..

Posted by: ..james | Jan 25, 2015 6:32:04 AM | 54


Like the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, which made awards to more sympathetic people at least tangentially related to 'peace' in 2011 and 2014, HRW has to try to maintain some semblance of credibility.

So HRW does call out real human rights abusers from time to time ... against countries at odds with the US. HRW criticism is always consistent with US policy. It's a USG agency, no matter the sign over the door says 'NGO'. Like USAID. Like the NED.

There was a flurry of articles on the revolving door policy between HRW and the US State Department a month or two ago. HRW took an aggressive stance, in denial.

I imagine the US State Department would certainly like the Ukrainians not to commit war crimes so openly, and so tried to send that message in July, as you point out. It didn't work. Nobody home to take the call, or Nuland played man-in-the-middle and told them they could ignore it.

Plan B has been to keep the media lid on the Ukrainian atrocities - on Nuland/s whole sorry NAZI mess - then when an 'accidental' Ukrainian operation or 'successful' false flag Ukrainian operation does occur ... one where blame can conceivably be shifted to the federalists ... radio silence is broken and and the whistle is blown immediately. Did HRW join the chorus on MH17? I really don't pay them much attention. I imagine they did. The USG certainly did and I regard HRW as a unit of the USG.

HRW ignored the lese majeste Inquisition in Thailand for years, until the present Dictator appeared to be getting too chummy with the Chinese, and even so its been dropped since. State hopes to turn the Royal Thai Army back onto the familiar path, I imagine : US client.

The USG is weaponized along every conceivable dimension at this point, from the State Department, to human rights, USAID, NED, the financial markets, corporate and institutional economic sanctions (where the pain s suffered by the US' vassals) ... It's all-war, all -the-time, along every conceivable dimension.

HRW helps ... and the POTUS is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 25, 2015 7:30:06 AM | 55

jfl at 55 --

And don't forget, Soros has apparently funded HRW, he wants his money, as the posts on the IMF negotiations underscore. He who pays the piper....

Does anyone recall Himmler's little trick that started WWII?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 9:47:24 AM | 56

Latest from Novorossiya, via Fort Russ, Zakharchenko about the shelling of Mariupol.

"Until today we did not conduct active operations near Mariupol. We are saving our forces. But now, after Kiev decided to dump the responsibility for the erroneous fire of their "Grads" from Berdyansk on the residential neighborhood on us, I gave the order to suppress the positions of the Ukrainian troops, located to the East of Mariupol"

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 9:56:03 AM | 57

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 9:47:24 AM | 56

You react like Pavlov's dogs.

Despite the - possible, likely - bias of Human Rights Watch they feel impelled to call the - West supported - Ukrainian government actions war crimes.

That is double proof, right?

They blame the rebels, too. But they are non Western supported "terrorists" according to the Kyiv government.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 10:23:40 AM | 58

Further news from your local hero Igor Girkin. Now he describes how in February 2014 his group of militants in Crimea was "collecting Crimean deputies and forcibly driving them to vote in the right way". That's it as it comes to the "enthusiastic reunion of Crimea with Russia"...

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 10:29:15 AM | 59


Have they really said "warcrimes" about kiev regime attacks?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 25, 2015 10:52:40 AM | 60

Ulster at 59 -- I doubt if the fifth columnists at Slon ("The Elephant") have accurately reported on the lengthy video of Strelkov vs. Starikov.

Somebody at 58 -- My bite is worse than my bark. I believe jfl at 55 sums up HRW's ops. pretty well. It helps their credibility if they criticize their own once in a while. You will note I seldom if ever cite them.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 10:52:47 AM | 61

@58 Glad to see you, finally, admit that the rebels represent a terrorist movement. Also, once you accepted HRW as a credible source, please do not move the weight of the proof where it shouldn't be. HRW has, on numerous occassions, criticized both sides for indiscriminate use of artillery, but it also criticized DNR/LNR for intentionally shelling from residential areas to attract return fire, and for a wave of kidnappings, abductions and murders on civilian population over the whole year.

@53 So, according to your own opinion, are the separatists legal or illegal? The use of double quotes suggests that you consider them legal and legitimate, but for some reason you only want to apply the HRW criticism only to UAF? But HRW is pretty straightforward here: they equally criticize both sides for the use of artillery. The only sides that fully sympathizes with only one side seem to be Russian and Ukrainian media, respectively. Western media quite frequently report about Ukrainian shelling that causes civilian casualties.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 10:58:50 AM | 62

Funny Googling "DNR/LNR" though.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 25, 2015 11:14:04 AM | 63

Armed people in uniform speaking fluent English with no accent have been spotted in Mariupol in the aftermath of the rocket hit, fuelling allegations that foreign private military contractors are serving among Ukrainian troops.
western states obviously support the nazi killings by poroshenko.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 25, 2015 11:16:19 AM | 64

@61 Oh. Just go and watch yourself.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 11:32:39 AM | 65

@61 This is what Girkin says:

I was in Crimea from 21 February. And you know, what you are telling me, is an utter nonsense. What "law enforcement that supported the nation" are you talking about? The only law enforcement unit that supported the nation, but not the authorities, was Berkut. All other institutions, like MIA, executed commands of Kiev, and I've seen that with my own eyes. Yes, they executed them reluctantly, sometimes simulated, but still were subordinates to Kiev and did not execute commands from the new authority. I have not seen any support from the authorities when I was in Simferopol. The deputies had to be collected by self-defence operatives and forcibly taken to the hall to vote. Yes, I was one of the commanders of these self-defense units. I saw all that from inside, with my own eyes. So the two of your three arguments are invalid.

The context: Starikov initally presents three arguments "why we succeeded in Crimea: the nation fully supported us, the law enforcement fully supported us and the local, legal authorities fully supported us". And Strelkov argues that this is all nonsense, as the only reason they succeeded was strong presence of official Russian army in Crimea.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 11:52:56 AM | 66

in re 66, Ulster

It would seem that Strelkov is talking up his role again, like the last time you posted his remarks. That got debunked, didn't it? At least you have a little context this time.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 12:40:58 PM | 67

@rufus magister, 56:

"Does anyone recall Himmler's little trick that started WWII?"

Are you referring to the Gleiwitz incident? I read of a Nazi false flag "Polish attack" on a German radio station long ago, but have only recently found it described by name. According to English

Well, I want to remind you that Hitler's reason for war - a casus belli - was the only one Gleiwitz. On August 30, the Germans made a group of prisoners wear Polish uniforms, they gave them weapons and forced them to seize this radio station in the border town of Gleiwitz, Germany. They were told to kill several employees of the radio station and shout anti-German slogans. Afterwards, SS officers came there and shot everyone. Journalists saw corpses in Polish uniforms. On August 31 overnight, German tanks crossed the Polish border. The strategic group of German Wehrmacht had been prepared for the attack.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 25, 2015 12:53:08 PM | 68

About the vid of the ‘American Mercenary’, posted below again, no US military would ever say PLEASE. He is more like a random semi-Brit (accent, ..) or foreign Eng. speaker who studied in England ;) His scurrying move (as far as one can see) is civilian, not military.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 25, 2015 1:08:02 PM | 69

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 10:58:50 AM | 62

The Maidan coup shredded Ukraine's constitution and Ukraine's security forces. After that legality was a moot point.

But obviously, the West - and Russia - recognized Poroshenko as legitimate. From there, of course, rebels are rebels i.e. illegal fighters.

Under Maidan rules however, rebels are legitimate freedom fighters.

Reality is people fight for fortune not for freedom. Neither does Poroshenko control/own/pay all "Ukrainian" forces, nor does Russia control/own/pay all "rebels".

Just as likely Mariupol attack had something to do with a shake down of Akhmetov/Azov/Kolomoisky. In a political/military/strategic context the civilian targets make no sense, except you assume the attack was meant to distract from other attacks and shelling was safest for the attackers.

Once legality is decided by the gun, there is no roll back. That applies to both sides.

This here is OSCE on a court hearing in Odessa

On 22 January in Odessa the SMM monitored the preliminary court hearings in the case concerning the 2 May clashes in Odessa city centre and in Kulykove Pole square. Inside the court building the SMM observed a crowd of approximately 50 people, half of whom were Euromaidan activists, mainly young and the other half Anti-Maidan activists, mainly older people. Within a few hours the SMM observed that the number of members of different self-defence groups present in the court reached 60-70. The number of police together with the judicial security unit ("Gryphon") outside the courthouse was approximately 20-25. The SMM saw approximately 20 Pro-Maidan activists, dressed in camouflage, attack a Kulykove Pole activist. Two police officers intervened and separated the activists. Then however, the Pro-Maidan activists started chasing a photojournalist down the street toward a nearby park. The SMM observed Pro-Maidan activists surrounding the photojournalist, beating him and taking his camera. Two police officers managed to convince the Pro-Maidan activists to stop and leave.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 1:09:12 PM | 70

@67 If by "got debunked" you mean "someone expressed their opinnion that Girkin wasn't really important" (that was Russia Insider) then yes. But he was ministry of defense of Novorossiya, hailed on MoA on daily basis until August, so saying that "he is talking his role up again" is a bit... disrespectful to your former hero.

In this particular case Girkin's agenda is very simple and consistent with previous statements: he is trying to say that a full blown and official Russian military presence in Ukraine is required to win the war with Ukraine.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 1:35:15 PM | 71

@70 The Olimpiiska street is on the very eastern outskirts of Mariupol with a number of Ukrainian checkpoints in direct neighborhood. It's quite obvious that they targeted the checkpoints. With "Grad" accuracy measured in hundreds of meters over 15 km you could expect such an outcome, but they didn't care as Zakharchenko has just announced the "final offensive against Mariupol" that morning.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 1:47:00 PM | 72

VR @ 68 -- spot on. Himmler & the SS supplied the raiders, as well as some dead concentration camp victims dressed in Polish uniforms for added veracity,

Ulster @ 71-- The seizure of public bldgs. took place before Strelkov's activities in Donetsk. The Reuters report I posted at the time was very clear about that. You do recall? Or were you too busy to have been bothered? I'm sure I can find the link in my browser history.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 2:02:40 PM | 73

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 1:47:00 PM | 72

as Zakharchenko has just announced the "final offensive against Mariupol" that morning

that is the strange part. As he said a day before that Slaviansk was more important than Mariupol, and Mariupol not on the menu, and he had to retract immediately after he proclaimed the final attack on Mariupol.

With "Grad" accuracy measured in hundreds of meters over 15 km you could expect such an outcome

that would make them stupid not to realise that there is nothing like a purely military win, there always has to be a political win, too.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 1:35:15 PM | 71

In this particular case Girkin's agenda is very simple and consistent with previous statements: he is trying to say that a full blown and official Russian military presence in Ukraine is required to win the war with Ukraine.

obviously Russia reactivated him to say just that.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 2:09:53 PM | 74

.40 of RT YouTube MERC says "out of my face! out of my face!" in middle Amerikan English.


Posted by: Alberto | Jan 25, 2015 2:25:57 PM | 75

@74 You seem to be judging the actions of Eastern European militia with Western protestant glasses. Novorossiya is not a perfectly operating military machine, centrally controlled by an omnipotent ruler in Moscow. Instead, it's rather chaotic confederation of loosely knit field commanders who get covert military support from Russia to spread fear and chaos in Ukraine, and they essentially do just that.

P.S. this was quite openly declared by Sergey Kurginyan back in April. When I linked his interview here most of the commenters, who still believed in colonel Girkin arriving on a white unicorn to kill the nazis, just classified Kurginyan as a "traitor". But from the developments since August it looks like he was much more realistic (or: better informed) than everyone else.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 2:57:40 PM | 76

@73 If you carefully check the timeline of the conflict, the pro-Russian protests in Donbass started in February and continued over all March. There were administration buildings occupied in several cities in the beginning of March, but these were just protesters apparently (with many "visitors" from Russia though), and by end of March government regained control of many of the buildings. Most importantly: there were no armed, masked and professionally acting men in camouflage. They only appeared around 7 April, most likely being the same people Girkin described as his "group of volunteers" that "pulled the trigger of war". And they brought the violence to a professional level: on 17 April they executed Volodymyr Rybak in Horlivka and dumped his body at the river.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 3:25:24 PM | 77

It is amusing how the troll who pretends to be Irish occasionally slips into his native tongue.

Posted by: c1ue | Jan 25, 2015 3:52:17 PM | 78

Ulster at 77 --

When mass popular action failed to make the point, stronger measures were needed. Fascists generally require sterner measures. On to Kharkov!

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 4:05:45 PM | 79

ps to 79 -- here's the Reuters report for handy ref.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 4:10:09 PM | 80

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 2:57:40 PM | 76
Actually, you are explaining my point. There are lots of ways to explain the Mariupol massacre that do not make it Donetsk republic policy.

If you factor in the Ukrainian claim that spotters were involved (link to older reports just demonstrating the claim not new) false flag possibilities are endless.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 3:25:24 PM | 77
The killings started with Maidan.
there were no armed, masked and professionally acting men in camouflage.
There were. Loads. Lots of video proof.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 4:36:58 PM | 81

Folks, the provocations may be for naught. Fort Russ is reporting that the Debaltsevo salient is now surrounded, an estimated 7500 "punishers" trapped. On to Kharkov! Quickly!

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 4:53:20 PM | 82

@79 When mass popular action failed to make the point, stronger measures were needed. - this is when you should stop calling it "a people's movement" and start calling "a foreign intervention". QED.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 5:43:50 PM | 83

Ulster at 83 --

I have said before I consider DNR/LNR sovereign entities, as much entitled as Kiev to assistance wherever they find it. The majority of those fighting in the Donbas are locals. As the Reuters report notes, Strelkov's actions did not displace but rather re-energized the popular movement.

Wouldn't the Am. Ambassador and a senior State Dept. official spending $5bn. on hirelings to drive the legit. pres. from power and designating the cabinet count as foreign intervention?

Did Poroshenko ever find the 9K Russian regulars with their cloaks of invisibility? Does anyone anywhere have any real evidence of substantial units of the Federation serving there?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 25, 2015 7:29:40 PM | 84

ulster, or should i say ulcer is really quite pathetic, but hey... do call it a foreign intervention with all the cia/usa wisdom, military gear and mercenaries kiev has been given to uphold some fucked up version of your reality that is looking more and more death spiral like then even a major ulcer could help to create!

Posted by: ..james | Jan 25, 2015 7:36:36 PM | 85

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 25, 2015 5:43:50 PM | 83

The accurate name proxy war. If NATO would commit to not accepting Ukraine as a member, the war would end.

Ukrainians were sold out by their elites.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 25, 2015 9:51:00 PM | 86

"... the likes of ulster and cold continue to pollute this space"
Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jan 25, 2015 3:36:39 AM | 42

b said several months ago that cold is here for b's amusement (comic relief?).
Ulster is funnier.

I regret the passing of the Good Old Days over at Xymphora, which used to attract some almost classy trolls, with at least a passing acquaintance with self-respect.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 25, 2015 10:03:57 PM | 87

It seems kind of odd that OSCE hasn't updated their spot report. There's a lot of contradictory information. One analysis of a high trajectory strike in the courtyard of school #5, shown in this video clearly shows a strike from the west. It had to be high trajectory to clear the building and enter the courtyard. Anyone with access to the video (apologies for the distasteful site hosting it) and Google Maps can validate it. The footage from the school soccer field, after the courtyard footage, shows a low trajectory strike from east-northeast. If anyone can geolocate and orient the other strikes in the video, more power to them. There are also reports of strikes from the north, where UAF holds the ground. IMHO the neighborhood was caught in a crossfire of misses from NAF firing on the checkpoints on the outskirts and UAF firing on forces approaching the checkpoints. OSCE really needs to do a more thorough job.

The video has another English speaker in an Azov uniform.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Jan 26, 2015 2:17:12 AM | 88

" The blog author lies, as usual.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24, 2015 3:19:29 PM | 4 "

The only liar here is you.

Ukraine forces have been shelling and
murdering civilians for months, since
this all started especially during the
bogus " ceasefire " , what kind of a
" ceasefire " is it when they deliberately
shell whole towns and cities.

These are war crimes perpetrated by US stooges.

Posted by: TRUTH | Jan 26, 2015 4:39:56 AM | 89

87 yes indeed, hw, the golden age of haloscan--molly, 5ds, rb, k&y, mfratlan, ustp, etc. some of us migrated to niqnaq

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jan 26, 2015 5:10:33 AM | 90

@84 The majority of those fighting in the Donbas are locals - Wrong. Out of the whole Donetsk (1m population) there were approximately 1000 volunteers joining separatist forces. They complained about this lack of support in two independent interviews. On the other hand, recruitment of volunteers from Russia is very well organized and funded so at the end of the day majority of those who actually fight are Russians from Russia. This is known to everyone in Russia, because local media are discussing this topic openly.

Evidence: Interview with head of special forces veterans association published by a local newspaper in Ekaterinburg. He openly discusses the recruitment process, salaries, using Red Cross as disguise etc. English translation was published in Newsweek.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 5:12:25 AM | 91

@88 So what is contradictory exactly? That Zakharchenko announced an attack on Mariupol and then rocket attack was performed? Or that out of over 20 rocket craters facing east in Mariupol the Rusvesna were able to desperately find just one that according to them doesn't? Why didn't they discuss the remaining 19 ones that were obviously facing east?

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 5:27:51 AM | 92

Ulster at 91 --

Gentlemen in Ekatarinburg is recruiting volunteers, which are acknowledged to be there. The leadership has previously complained about difficulties recruiting; what army wouldn't like more?

What would be your source for the both the total size of the NAF and the alleged proportions?

Again, where are Poroshenko's 9K regulars?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 26, 2015 5:47:08 AM | 93

PS to 93 --

And how's that new mobilization going in Kiev? How 'bout desertions?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 26, 2015 6:16:35 AM | 94

@ulcer... so if the east are getting volunteer russians and kiev is getting paid mercenaries, what would you like to see other then pe petual war in what might have been a nice country before this started? you don't strike me like a reasonable person capable of negotiating when it is necessary. instead you come across as a complete one sided ignoramus..

Posted by: ..james | Jan 26, 2015 6:18:44 AM | 95

@93 The point is that your claim about the majority of those fighting in the Donbas being locals is invalid if, as you seem to now recognize, minority of recruits are locals and majority are from Russia.

@95 The Russian volunteers are not volunteers in the meaning you're using:

Q. Of that amount, how much would be salary?

A. Now there are even informal wage standards. I am told that Pyatigorsk Cossacks get paid somewhere around 60,000 to 90,000 rubles a month [$1,000 to $1,500] for enlisted personnel; and 120,000 to 150,000 [$2,000 to $2,600] for officers. Now, they say, salaries have grown as high as 240,000 [$4,000].

Q. And why a salary? After all, they are all volunteers, as you say.

A. I think that people have to be paid. After all, they are risking their lives. With the help of a salary, the professionals can be attracted to the war. They come, and their eyes sparkle. They accomplish their mission and they don’t feel mistreated. [He pats his pocket.]

This is all being said openly by a Russian special services veteran, heading a recruitment organisation in Ekaterinburg, published originally in Russia, in Russian language and Russian newspaper, still available on the web.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 8:40:40 AM | 96

Here's another very interesting article by Alexander Sytnik, member of the board of Russian Institute for Strategic Research, previously a SVR (military intelligence agency) open-source arm, now moved to the president Putin's administration.

Sytnik recently left his position disappointed how Putin's environment became filled with yes-men who turned the expert agency into a political fiction factory. Sytnik highlights the fact that leadership of RISR is extremely xenophobic, filled with radical nationalists and far-right Orthodox supporters. Their policy is extremely anti-Ukrainian, they don't actually consider Ukraine to be a separate country, but a Russian territory instead, having no right to independence, no own language or separation from post-Soviet zone of influence. According to Sytnik, it was mostly RISR head general Reshetnikov who pushed Kremlin into the war with Ukraine, constantly lying about overwhelming support of residents of Novorossiya and immediate fall of the new government in Ukraine early last year.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 8:52:21 AM | 97

BTW I found an English language translation of the Sytnik article here. It's not complete but seems to cover all the key topics mentioned above.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 26, 2015 9:08:05 AM | 98

@96 ulcer. i mean volunteer in the sense they volunteer to go there. of course they are paid, althouh a fraction of what the mercenaries from the west are being paid, of that i am pretty sure.. you still offerno solutions to the impasse and continue to keep you head buried in sand regarding a solution... or do you think blaming the russians for everything is good enough? lol.. all it says is your unwillingness to acknowledge kiev's direct responsibility in prolonging the war, or the wests direct and indirect willingness to fuck up what is left of ukraine royally.. that is why i call you an ignoramus.. no rebuttal from you, but instead silly word correction highlights, lol.

Posted by: ..james | Jan 26, 2015 9:28:34 AM | 99

@99 Ulster is desperate to show that the evil Russians are invading Donbass. Presumably he wants NATO to get more involved. Don't expect him to come up with anything constructive.

Posted by: dh | Jan 26, 2015 9:47:15 AM | 100

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