Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Ukie Military Source Suggests MH17 Shootdown Might be Due to “Systems Mix-Up” by Junta Unit

00 donetsk. 26.07.14

______________________________

An anonymous Ukrainian military source told us that a systems mix-up during a junta air defence units’ rocket launch exercise could be the cause of the Malaysia Airlines crash in Novorossiya, saying, “On 17 July, the commanding officer of 156 Anti-Aircraft Regiment received orders to conduct a training exercise of a unit stationed near Donetsk, which involved deploying troops and carrying out routine tracking and simulate destroying targets with the Buk-M1 SAM. It was to involve no actual launches”. Two Sukhoi Su-25s on a reconnaissance mission took part in the exercise. At some point, it’s likely that the flight paths of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 and one of the Su-25s overlapped. Despite flying at different levels, they became a single blip on the missile system radar. Of the two, the system automatically chose the larger target. The reason for the actual missile launch remains unknown and is still under investigation, as there hasn’t been launch exercises with Buk SAMs since 2001, when the Ukrainian military accidentally shot down a Russian Tu-154 airliner en route from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv.

******

On Thursday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said, “The use of unguided rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law and the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes”. According to HRW, unguided Grad rockets fired by junta forces killed at least 16 civilians and injured many more in attacks on 12-21 July. HRW accused both junta forces and opolchenie of using Grads and condemned those actions. Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher at HRW, said, “Grad rockets are notoriously imprecise weapons, one shouldn’t use it in populated areas. If [the opolchenie and junta forces] are serious about limiting harm to civilians, they should both immediately stop using these weapons in populated areas”. Dominik Stillhart, Director of Operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, also called on the both sides to avoid dragging civilians into the conflict, saying, “Fighting in [Novorossiya] continues to take its toll on civilians, and we urge all sides to comply with international humanitarian law, otherwise known as the law of armed conflict. These rules and principles apply to all parties, and impose restrictions on the means and methods of warfare that they may use”.

******

On Friday, Major General Viktor Poznikhir the Deputy Head of Operations of the General Staff, said on Rossiya-24 TV, “Today, we have reliable confirmation that the Ukrainian forces used phosphorus munitions in cities and populated areas. We know this due to characteristic signs given off by phosphorus munitions. They have a high-speed descent, as opposed to star shells that shoot out bright burning elements over a large area, they look like raining sparks, creating large fires in their impact areas, and they burn at very high temperatures. The Ukrainian forces used phosphorus munitions at least six times. The Minoborony carefully studied existing information on numerous cases of phosphorous and cluster bombs used by the Ukrainian forces against civilians”. He went on to say that the Minoborony is aware that junta forces used phosphorus munitions on the following occasions:

  1. shelling of Slavyansk on 12 June
  2. phosphorous bombs used by the junta aircraft on Slavyansk and Kramatorsk on 21 June
  3. shelling of Semyonovka using phosphorous and cluster bombs on 24 June
  4. shelling of Semyonovka on 29 June
  5. shelling of Lisichansk on 7 July
  6. phosphorous bombs dropped by junta aircraft on Donetsk on 23 July

Nikolai Efimenko, Chief Surgeon of the Russian Armed Forces, said that using phosphorous munitions might produce irreversible consequences on people and might have a negative impact on environment. Phosphorous poisoning can cause serious illnesses, and even lead to death.

******

On Friday, SK RF spokesman Vladimir Markin said that SK RF investigators came under aimed mortar fire from the Ukrainian side of the border. The team arrived at Primiussky in Rostov Oblast to investigate previous shelling of Russian territory from the Ukraine. Markin said, “Apparently, only the poor training of Ukrainian soldiers and timely evacuation of investigators under cover of armoured vehicles prevented the shooters from realising their goal. They fired 47 mortar rounds, most likely 82-mm calibre, at the team. Another barrage of 32 mortar rounds hit the same area later”.

******

On Friday, Vasili Malaev, spokesman for the Federal Border Guard Service, told us that junta forces shelled Rostov Oblast, saying, “The shelling damaged six houses, with one house almost completely destroyed. There were no casualties”.

25 July 2014

******

On Saturday, Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) sources posted on Twitter, “DNR army units fought their way to the Russian border, taking control of the Marinovka crossing point”. On Friday, witnesses heard intense and shelling in that area. Several shells exploded near a Russian border point… landing in fields and by the road linking the customs post with Primiussky.

******

An MVDU source confirmed for us the murder of O M Babaev, Mayor of Kremenchug (Poltava Oblast). Earlier that day, the newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda, citing an informed source, reported the mayor’s murder. Our source said, “Someone killed the Mayor of Kremenchug today at about 10.00 local time (00.00 PDT. 03.00 EDT. 08.00 BST. 11.00 MSK. 17.00 AEST). He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest on Sumskaya Street, near his home. An investigative group is at the crime scene; we’ve opened a case under the Article ‘Premeditated Murder’. It’s too early to speak about scenarios and motives for the crime”.

Editor:

No one knows who did this. Was the Right Sector? Was it Kolomoisky’s thugs or was it Clan Balogh? Was it a hit by Novorossiyan spetsnaz? Was it a local rival using the present crisis as a cover? We don’t know… it’s best not to speculate until we have some intel, and there isn’t any, now.

BMD

26 July 2014

Rossiya Segodnya

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140725/191242509/Ukrainian-Air-Defense-Exercises-Might-be-Behind-Malaysian.html

http://en.ria.ru/society/20140725/191248452/Use-of-Grad-Rockets-in-Ukraine-May-Constitute-War-Crime–Human.html

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140725/191264009/Ukrainian-Army-Used-Phosphorus-Bombs-on-Civilians—Russian.html

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140725/191278046/Russian-Investigators-Come-Under-Targeted-Fire-from-Ukraine.html

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140725/191279021/Ukrainian-Shells-Damage-Six-Houses-in-Russias-Rostov-Region.html

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140726/191308283/Independence-Supporters-Capture-Checkpoint-near.html

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140726/191310626/Ukraines-City-Mayor-Killed-outside-House–Interior-Ministry.html

Advertisement

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Say American Drone Strikes May Be War Crimes

00 US RQ-1 Predator drone. 22.10.13

______________________________

On Tuesday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released reports saying that the USA might’ve committed war crimes in its campaign of drone strikes on targets in Pakistan and Yemen over the past four years, killing civilians indiscriminately in its stated pursuit of terrorist targets. Mustafa Qadri, a Pakistani researcher for Amnesty International, said in a statement, “The secrecy surrounding the drone programme gives the US administration a license to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law. It’s time for the USA to come clean about the drone programme and hold those responsible for these violations to account”. In a report released Tuesday, Amnesty documents strikes by American drones in the tribal areas of northwestern Pakistan in 2012 and 2013 that it said resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians and “raise serious questions about violations of international law that could amount to war crimes or extrajudicial executions”.

Immediately, the USA disputed the affirmations made in the reports. US State Department spokesman Marie Harf told reporters, “We believe that we always operate in accordance with international law. We’d strongly disagree with the notion in some of these reports to the extent that they claim we’re acting contrary to international law”. Harf acknowledged that American drone strikes led to some civilian deaths, but she said that there was “a wide gap” between American estimates of those numbers and the numbers contained in NGO reports. She declined to provide the US government numbers, saying that to do so would compromise the sources and methods used obtain them. She said that groups like Amnesty International “don’t have a complete picture” and “we undertake every effort to limit” civilian deaths in drone strikes.

For example, Amnesty said that an American Hellfire missile strike killed a 68-year-old grandmother In October 2012 whilst she picked vegetables with her grandchildren nearby. Qadri said in a statement accompanying the release of the report, entitled ”Will I Be Next?” US Drone Strikes in Pakistan, “We can’t find any justification for these killings”. Amnesty released the report together with New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), which issued its own report on the American drone campaign in Yemen since 2009. The HRW report, with the title Between a Drone and al-Qaeda: The Civilian Cost of US Targeted Killings in Yemen, alleged that two of the six attacks in Yemen examined in it led to indiscriminate deaths of civilians, clearly constituting war crimes.

Letta Tayler, a senior HRW terrorism and counterterrorism researcher and the author of the report, said in a statement, “The USA says that it’s taking all possible precautions during targeted killings, but it’s unlawfully killed civilians and struck questionable military targets in Yemen”. The six attacks killed 82 people, at least 57 of whom were civilians. The HRW report claimed that the civilian deaths included 12 people killed in a drone-assisted attack on a passenger van. Ahmad al-Sabooli, a 23-year-old farmer, whose father, mother, and 10-year-old sister died in the strike on the van, told HRW, “The bodies were charred like coal… I couldn’t recognise the faces”.

The use of drone strikes to target suspected terrorists is under intense criticism both inside the USA and overseas. Civilian deaths anger many of the countries where the USA supposedly is struggling to combat extremism, but US President Barack Obama and his administration defended the practise, saying that drone strikes have saved lives, striking in a manner that’s less deadly than sending in troops. In May, Obama said, “It’s a hard fact that US strikes resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. … For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we’re haunted by the civilian casualties that’ve occurred through conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq”. In May, for the first time, the Obama administration acknowledged that four US citizens had died in overseas drone strikes since 2009, including al-Qaeda imam Anwar al-Aulaqi, who was a target in 2011 in Yemen, and three others who weren’t deliberate American targets.

22 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/world/20131022/184297806/US-Drone-Strikes-May-Be-War-Crimes-Rights-Groups.html

Editor’s Note:

The West believes itself morally absolved of all guilt if it kills using high tech instruments. We hanged Nazi war criminals for killing thousands… but Bomber Harris and Curtis LeMay were “innocent”… they didn’t face their victims, so, that means that their culpability is lesser. That’s the justification, I find it crank and gross beyond all words. Not only is it evil, it’s overly expensive. The USA should do what the SVR and SIS do… hire a local plug-ugly who knows who’s who and what’s what to kill the intended target. As the said plug-ugly wants to live to collect their pay-cheque, they won’t muck about and kill the wrong people (for he knows that the SVR and SIS know those who know HIM, so, he knows that he’s “reachable”). The Old School method isn’t only cheaper, it minimises the risk of killing the wrong person.

Of course, there’s always the Sopranos option… “Hey, Paulie! Give Big Pussy a ring and have him get his darkie pals to whack this shit. Tell ‘em it’s five Gs apiece!” That’d be cheaper than the ordnance expended in a drone strike. Trust me, Big Pussy’s pals wouldn’t fuck up… they know what the cost of that would be… y’ know, you’d never find ‘em if they dumped ‘em in the marshes by the Meadowlands

BMD 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.