Monday, 14 February 2022 — In Gaza
by Eva Bartlett
BREAKING: Lugansk statement: “Units of the 79th assault airborne brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces are getting prepared for the deployment as a tactical assault force into the Lugansk People’s republic”
— ASB News / MILITARY (@ASBMilitary) February 13, 2022
The clownish diplomats (and media) in the West have been gunning heavily for Russia-Ukraine war recently. As per their usual, their claims are pure fabrications with zero evidence whatsoever. Just hot air. And as per usual, when challenged to substantiate their claims, they stutter and talk in circles, hoping the questions will stop.
For example, this exchange between AP journalist Matt Lee and US State Department Spokesworm, Ned Price, about the US’ supposed “evidence” of Russian plotting a false flag to “invade Ukraine further”…
[Ironically, what little Ned describes (fabricated propaganda video) is EXACTLY what the West’s proxies have done over and over and over in Syria…]
Matt: “What evidence to you have to support the idea that there is some propaganda film in the making?”
Worm: “This is derived from information known to the US government. Intelligence information that we have declassified.”
Matt: “Okay, well, where is it? Where is this information?”
Worm: “It is intelligence information that we have declassified.”
Matt: “Well, where is it? Where is the declassified information?”
Worm: “I just delivered it.”
Matt: “No, you made a series of allegations and statements.”
Worm: “Would you like us to print out the topper, because you will see a transcript of this briefing that you can print out for yourself.”
Matt: “That’s not evidence, Ned, that’s you saying it. That’s not evidence.”
Worm: “What would you like, Matt?”
Matt: “I would like some proof that shows the Russians are doing this…. I’ve been doing this a long time…I remember Iraq and that Kabul’s not going to fall…”
Matt: “Where is the declassified information, other than you coming out here and saying it?”
Worm: “I’m sorry you don’t like the format.”
Matt: “It’s not the format, it’s the content.”
Worm: “I’m sorry you don’t like the content, I’m sorry you are doubting the information that is in the possession of the US government.”
Matt: “But you don’t have any evidence to back it up other than what you are saying.”
…Matt: “Let me just appeal to you, on behalf of all of us, and the American people, and the people of the world, and the Russian people, and the Ukrainian people, one piece of evidence to suggest that the Russians are planning to use ‘crisis actors’ to stage a false mass casualty event to use as a pretext. Just one piece…one piece of verifiable evidence.”
Until recently, I was prone to believing that the ridiculous huffing & puffing from imbeciles in the West about an “imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine” were only distractions from events unfolding in the West.
But, given the latest developments (including various Western & allied countries pulling diplomatic staff from neo-Nazi-land), I’m starting to wonder whether the idiots trying to create the image of a Russian invasion will actually go through with some sort of White Helmets-esque staged provocation…
Caveat: I’m not an analyst and don’t do predictions, I’m merely musing here, and sharing relevant links.
Dmitry, the Donbass journalist and (at the time) press officer I met in 2019, who took me to frontline areas being shelled by Ukrainian forces, wrote today of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) observers: “Evening at the hotel where the OSCE staff live. All machines are in place, the working day is over. Evening and night are ahead, when the OSCE sees nothing. And in the morning again a working day and they will go on patrols. In general, everything is like the last 7 years.”
From my 2019 article after visiting numerous villages 800 and 500 m away from Ukrainian forces, areas being relentlessly shelled, to the deafening silence of Western media & politicians:
“…He spoke of how Ukraine hides its shelling from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers by doing most of it after hours (in the dark, when it is difficult to film) — later claiming that damage done to the DPR side was self-inflicted, or that Ukrainian forces were merely defending themselves, replying to DPR attacks:
The OSCE were attacked a week or so ago by a heavy anti-tank rocket launcher. Ukraine commits many war crimes, but manages to mask it. They are Nazis, but they mask this from the West. Few people understand in the West how close Ukraine is to becoming a full-on Nazi state.
They say that they are from Bandera Front, they are Ukrainian far-right nationalists. When a person from some Western country hears about Bandera, this person could not understand what Ukrainian authorities mean. But I do, I understand what they mean, I understand who Bandera was and what they really mean.”
Stepan Bandera was a Ukrainian political figure, Nazi collaborator, and one of the leading ideologists/theorists of the Ukrainian nationalist movement of the 20th century. Dmitry continues:
There is a Nazi state in the middle of Europe in the 21st Century. They are dangerous both for us and for the Western world. If they finish with us, they will do the same in the Western world.
Ukraine has a big propaganda machine, and the censorship of Western media helps.
I was raised believing in the Western ideals of human rights and democracy. And what do I have? I have no human rights. Ukrainian Nazis can kill me and they can go to the European Parliament and they will be considered heroes. They can kill without court, without justice, without anything.
Western countries support war crimes, support the killing of our people just because we speak our native language, Russian. That’s the only reason to kill us, just because we like Russia and speak Russian.
They can kill you. They consider all the journalists as Russian propagandists. Their military can shoot you and never face justice. That goes against my understanding of human rights.”
…“I’m afraid at night; that’s when they start shelling heavily,” she tells me. The nights are terrifying, hell for her. I ask if she ever considers leaving. “To where? I have nowhere to go. My husband is dead.”
I asked her who is firing these shells. She gestured in the direction of a village under Ukrainian control.
I asked if things had changed since Zelensky became president of Ukraine.
“It became worse. Before, I at least had windows. Now, they constantly shell, especially in the evening and early morning.”
I asked if she feels the OSCE are being effective. “No, they change nothing, especially not here.”
She says they can’t get cell phone signals there. I ask how she would call for an ambulance if needed. She replies that someone in the military would call for medics, but that the ambulances can’t come that close; it is too dangerous.
When I asked what her native language was, she replied immediately: “Russian! But,” she added, “here, we speak both languages; it wasn’t a problem.”
Dmitry explained that Ukrainian forces are roughly 600 meters away, and half encircle her area. A roundish hole in the wall is a ricochet from Ukrainian heavy machine-gun fire, he explains.
Ukrainian forces are using 82mm mortar shells in violation of the Minsk Agreements, he says:
“They connect the mortar shell with the engine of a grenade launcher. That’s how they trick the OSCE: they don’t use the mortar itself but they use the mortar shells with the RPG [a type of small-arms grenade launcher designed to destroy armored and other targets] engine.”
This works, because RPGs themselves are not prohibited under Minsk.
We walked with the two officers down the lane to the last house, which was apparently still inhabited despite being only around 500 meters from Ukrainian forces. One of the walls of the house had a sizable hole in it from an RPG-fired 82 mm mortar.
…We then drove to a school whose basement is now being used as a makeshift shelter. There I met an elderly couple who had been living in that dank basement for six years, since their home was destroyed.
Outside of the battered school, Dmitry commented: “You see, each dot on the wall is from shrapnel. Of course, there were direct hits also.” A hole in the roof of the building shows where one of the direct hits occurred.
We walked into the basement, where a musty stench overwhelmed us.
Sitting in one corner of the barebones room — what possessions they were able to salvage piled near them, and asking me not to film their faces — were an older couple who explained that their home was destroyed by Ukraine: two direct hits with heavy artillery.
I ask who they blamed for the war. They blame Yanukovych; they want him to be hung. Many people are guilty but he is the main person.
I asked their opinion on the work of the OSCE:
Nothing good. They drive around here, but nothing changes. Before the ceasefire, when Ukraine would shell, the DPR military would respond and the Ukrainian side would stop shooting for a couple of weeks because they were afraid. Now, we are in a ceasefire; the Ukrainian side shoots whenever they want and no one holds them accountable.”
…We stopped in Zaitsevo town center, 800 meters from an NW front-line, and 1.5 km from the northern front-line.
There, we spoke to Irina Dikun, head of the administration of Zaitsevo and, as it turns out, a remarkably courageous woman
I asked her whether she or other officials had filed complaints to the OSCE or any international body about the actions of Ukrainian forces:
Yes, constantly. But nothing changes. It seems that international organizations have no power to do anything regarding the Ukrainians, because they still shoot. There were a lot of ceasefires signed in Minsk, but nothing changes here.”
…In Krutaya Balka, at a home 800 meters from the front-line…I met a man who was about to walk down the lane that I had been cautioned to avoid due to the risk of being shot by Ukrainian snipers. I was wearing, for the second time, the body armor Dmitry had provided. The man I met was only wearing a button-down shirt.
He didn’t want to be filmed and told me:
After the last interview, Ukrainians shelled my house directly, burned part of my house. I’m alone there, for the past four years. To go to my home, I have to walk to an area exposed to sniper fire. I was shot in my leg. And many times I had to drop to the ground when sniper fire started.”
I asked why he doesn’t leave in the face of such danger: “I don’t want to. It’s my home. I thought the war would be finished quickly but it kept going.”
Then he walked down the center of the lane into the range of potential sniper fire, and hopefully back to his home.
A little beyond that I met a man standing outside of the home he shares with his wife.
I asked whether his home had been damaged and he laughs: “Many times. Which house hasn’t been? The roof, the wall… from mortar fire and heavy machine-gun fire.”
His replies are in line with those of the others I’ve spoken to: things got worse after Zelensky became president; the attacks are daily; where would he go? He is in favor of joining Russia.
He continued, asking rhetorically:
“We should go to Ukraine, which damaged my house? I’m Russian, this is Russian land. Everyone who knows history knows this. Of course, I want to join Russia! In earlier times, before the war, I didn’t care either way. But after all, Ukraine did what it has done; absolutely I want to be a part of Russia. I can’t imagine being back in Ukraine. Anyway, most of the people here would be killed as ‘separatists.’ A known Ukrainian politician [Boris Filatov] said: ‘At the beginning, give them what they want, later hang them.’
I asked him if he had anything to say to a Western audience. At first, he said there’s no point, people already know, the West gives money to Ukraine… “The snipers use U.S. rifles, if they gave less money it would be better.”
But later in our conversation, he added:
Going back to the question of a message to the West…You remember WW2. Why do you support Nazis if you remember WW2? Why do you now support the Nazis? Openly Nazis. They wear swastikas. Why is Europe silent? Everyone comes here and agrees with me, but nothing changes. OSCE shouts, but when they are under fire, they are silent, they don’t say that Ukraine attacks them.”…”
* My Youtube playlist of interviews from the DPR. I have no idea if they are still alive, given Ukraine was bombing them heavily.