Amnesty have published a few satellite images apparently showing armoured vehicles and artillery in an area in Eastern Ukraine and claim these prove the involvement of Russian troops in the country. However, the research Amnesty has published falls far short of proof, and in a matter of such importance, undermines the organisation’s claim to provide impartial and unbiased research. Continue Reading…

The Dutch Safety Board, which is the lead organisation in the investigation of the MH17 downing of 17th July, issued a preliminary report today. In this post we will discuss the report and reaction to it Continue Reading…

The Dutch Safety Board, which is the lead organisation in the investigation of the MH17 downing of 17th July, will be issuing a preliminary report tomorrow, which should shed light on the downing of the MH17 and will hopefully clear up some unexplained matters, although it is also bound to become a major focus of the NATO-Russia information war. Continue Reading…

A video showing a column of armed vehicles and a particular T-72 tank has been used by Western media to support the Ukrainian nationalist narrative that the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is primarily between Russia and Ukraine, rather than a domestic conflict. Analysis of the evidence suggests the tank is not necessarily a Russian supplied (let alone operated) tank as has been widely reported.
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The actual number of casualties in the armed conflict in east Ukraine is unclear, but thanks to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) we now have a minimum figure. Continue Reading…

MH17 Debris Field

August 10, 2014 — 6 Comments

The most comprehensive map of the MH17 debris field to date was published by the Dutch on 9 August. Continue Reading…

In this post I will try to summarise the main facts about the MH17 investigation to date, for the benefit of people who don’t want to wade through pages of evidence, much of which is incomplete and complicated. Continue Reading…

As the regime in Kiev sends tanks and militia in to clear the remnants of the Maidan; as the Maidan pleads that their government is trying to destroy them and as the head of NATO goes to Kiev to offer support to a regime which is shelling the cities of Lugansk and Donetsk with Grad rockets, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) have just issued the results of their “investigation” into the downing of MH17. Continue Reading…

This post is about the Associated Press “witness statements” around the day of the downing of the MH17. It forms a small part of the larger investigation into the downing of MH17 which is being covered in other posts. This may be of some interest to people examining the actual evidence for what happened on that day. Continue Reading…

It is time to have a closer look at the BUK video provided by Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov which he released on 18th July, the day after the downing of MH17 in order to implicate Russia and pro-Russian rebels. The importance of this particular piece of evidence can not be overestimated. Continue Reading…

As reported here yesterday, Paris Match claim to have taken a photograph of the BUK system, widely believed to have shot down MH17: Continue Reading…

This photo from AFP sums up what is happening in Gaza and the lawless and murderous nature of the latest Israeli assault on Gaza. Continue Reading…

In this post I will try to bring together a few items from investigating the tragedy of MH17 and some of the background to the conflict as various parties, including the Ukrainian authorities, put more of their case forward. Continue Reading…

Ukraine suspended all military flights from 14/07/2014 following the downing of a military transport plane at 6,000 meters. Unfortunately this did not lead to a similar closing of airspace to civilian air traffic. Continue Reading…

One of the pillars of the Ukrainian government evidence regarding MH17 has been a video, supposedly taken on the border with Russia in Krasnodon. Like the previous information provided about the Buk 512, the information appears to be incorrect. Continue Reading…

More information has emerged, proving that elements of the evidence produced by Ukraine on the events around the downing of the MH17 flight are clear misinformation. Continue Reading…

In the days since the downing of MH17 a lot of people have jumped to conclusions prematurely. Evidence provided by the Ukrainian Security Service, combined with the results of social media investigations, suggests the Ukrainian authorities have been less than honest in key disclosures of information to date. Continue Reading…

In a May 12 letter published on AlterNet (and on the HRI site), two Nobel Peace Prize Laureates and over 100 scholars, journalists and human rights activists called on Human Rights Watch to close its revolving door to the U.S. government. Continue Reading…

Lugansk war crime

June 5, 2014 — 6 Comments

The air strike on the regional civil administration building in Lugansk by the armed forces of Kiev on June 2nd is a terrible tragedy for the civilians killed. Whilst the action has been described by the Ukrainian government as part of an “anti-terrorist operation,” it clearly violates the basic principles on the use of force governing law enforcement operations. Given the presence of armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the action violates international humanitarian law. Continue Reading…

The issue of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and their close links to the US government has been highlighted by a recent letter sent to Ken Roth on behalf of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Adolfo Pérez Esquivel and Mairead Maguire; former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans von Sponeck; current UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk; and over 100 scholars. Continue Reading…

The latest survey in Ukraine by the Pew Research Center, reveals 91% of Crimeans believe the recent referendum was free and fair and only 4% believe Ukraine is correct in not recognising the referendum results. The poll numbers underline that the official results of the Crimea referendum are a true reflection of the will of the Crimean people. Continue Reading…

So-called “anti-terror operations” in Mariupol today have seen a number of deaths as Ukrainian military and “National Guard” (an outfit including many virtually untrained neo-fascists) face off against crowds of unarmed protestors. The BBC covered this situation and, whilst admitting the Ukrainian army is killing unarmed civilians, have edited a video to cut out the part where the Ukrainian army shoots a cameraman, injuring him severely and at a man who is on his knees with his hands in the air. Continue Reading…

The idea that only 15% of Crimeans voted to join Russia is speeding around the internet after an article was published in Forbes magazine written by Professor Paul Roderick Gregory. Continue Reading…

Evidence shows that photographic evidence is being misused to “prove” the presence of Russian special forces in Eastern Ukraine. It is clear that corporate media are complicit, either through stupidity or design, in this attempt to mould perceptions of the situation in post-coup Ukraine. Continue Reading…

An article by Seymour Hersh in the London Review of Books provides some very interesting information pointing to Turkey as having been the prime mover behind the chemical weapons attack in Ghouta. Continue Reading…

As the EU announces that it will be making $15 billion in grants and loans available to the new Ukrainian government, a phone call between the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and EU Chief Catherine Ashton has emerged in which Peat reveals that those behind the killings of police and demonstrators may be members of the new coalition. Continue Reading…

Edward Snowden, speaking from hiding in Russia to German TV station ARD, discusses the threats against him by anonymous US officials and the wider responses to his revelations of major violations of human rights by the NSA and the national security state. Continue Reading…

A few comments on the final UN report on alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria are in order.

The report provides evidence which suggests use of chemical weapons against the Syrian army, including on a fairly large-scale in Khan al-Assal and including with the use of Sarin. This has major implications which should give impetus to the peace negotiations in Geneva and ensure that the countries supporting the insurgency think very carefully about the dangers in what they are doing. Continue Reading…

Åke Sellström’s final report on the alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria was handed over to the UN Secretary-General today (12th December) at 4.40pm EST. Continue Reading…

Key evidence about the range of the rockets allegedly used by the Syrian regime in the chemical attacks on 21st August in East Ghouta, which was first published by Human Rights Investigations (HRI) yesterday, indicates that widespread statements made by Human Rights Watch (HRW), government officials and the mass media about the attacks are erroneous. Continue Reading…

A new video uploaded to YouTube provides good evidence of the range of the kind of rockets allegedly fired into East Ghouta on 21 August – under 2km and possibly too short a distance to have been fired from government territory. Continue Reading…

According to the Swedish Government web site, the long delayed final report of the UN team investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria is due to be presented to the UN on 13th December. Continue Reading…

Human Rights Investigations (HRI) analysis shows that opposition forces in Syria, including those supported by Western powers and Qatar are openly using young children in combat roles, including as mortar crews. Continue Reading…

In the aftermath of the chemical attack in Syria on August 21st, each side naturally blamed the other, with western intelligence agencies providing evidence supporting the opposition, and Russian intelligence supporting the regime. Both sides issued biased reports with cherry-picked evidence, only adding to the confusion. A sadly rushed and deficient interim UN Report by Professor Sellstrom and his team was published, which was interpreted by those favouring US cruise missile strikes as a veiled indictment of the Syrian regime.

To clear a way through the morass of propaganda, a new blog called ‘Who attacked Ghouta‘ (WaG) was set up as an online collaboration platform to investigate who was behind the attack. Since then, dozens of contributors have meticulously documented and analyzed thousands of pieces of evidence. Continue Reading…

In a surprise announcement, following this writer’s prompting of a question from the invaluable Inner City Press, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General has confirmed that the publication of the final UN report on chemical weapons use in Syria, which was to include the alleged attacks in Damascus as well as possible attacks by the rebels in Khan al-Assal and other places, has been delayed until early December. Continue Reading…

Amnesty International have issued a briefing called “Barred from their Homes
about the Tawergha, an ethnic group of black Libyans who were attacked and driven out of their homes in Misrata and Tawergha by racist rebel brigades and western bombing, during the NATO-backed war on Libya in 2011. The briefing documents the current situation of the Tawergha, none of whom have been allowed to return to their homes, many of whom have lost family members, and many of whom are living in refugee camps or under detention and torture in Misrata. Unfortunately, the Amnesty authors fail to explain the background to the Tawergha’s current situation, fail to criticise NATO’s role in the ethnic cleansing and make unrealistic suggestions to the “Libyan authorities” most of which are beyond the power of these authorities to deliver, even if they were minded to do so, and which indicate Amnesty is still in denial about the events of 2011. Continue Reading…

As the majority of the world’s media have misinterpreted the UN inspectors report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghouta, it is necessary to look closely at what the report actually says, to ensure the report is interpreted correctly and dispel the widespread perception the trajectories calculated by the inspectors indicate the rockets were launched from a Syrian government military base. Continue Reading…

Talking on Russia Today, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Angela Kane, one of those leading the UN Investigation into the alleged chemical attacks in West and East Ghouta argued that autopsies of the victims were unnecessary as “A dead body can’t tell you anything.” Continue Reading…

In the wake of the NSA revelations, Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil, socked it to Barack Obama on September 24, 2013, at the same 68th session of the UN General Assembly. Obama then replied, arguing the US was only spying on everyone and bombing countries for the common good. Read the speeches before voting on who you would rather trust to defend human rights: Continue Reading…

The UN Security Council agreement on the destruction of all chemical weapons held in Syria, by both government and rebel forces, and the measures adopted to try to prevent the terrorist groups operating in the country from getting their hands on chemical weapons are welcome. However, these agreements need to be followed up by an overall political agreement, the formation of a non-sectarian government including elements of the opposition committed to human rights and democracy and an end to the illegal support of the sectarian, terrorist insurgency by western countries, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Continue Reading…

Human Rights Watch (HRW) Executive Director, Ken Roth, and New York Times (NYT) journalist CJ Chivers, were quick to argue the UN report on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Ghouta proved the Syrian regime forces launched the attacks. However, analysis of the report suggests HRW and the NYT’s argument is flawed and illustrates that, as in Libya, where the opportunity for US air strikes presents itself, HRW displays militaristic (“responsibility to protect”) impulses and functions as a willing vehicle for pro-bombing propaganda. Continue Reading…

The UN has issued a picture of Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon receiving the Chemical Weapons Report on Syria from the Head of the Investigation Team Avi Sellstrom. Continue Reading…

A new possible sighting of the trailer which was carrying a BUK from Donetsk to Snizhne on the day of the MH17 downing turns up on Twitter. Continue Reading…