The evidence is mounting that MH17 was most likely shot down by Ukrainian forces. Nonetheless, it hasn’t altered Prime Minister Abbott’s tough (shirt-fronting) rhetoric against Russia, writes Dr George Venturini* in Part 9 of his outstanding analysis.
Down in thick fog (continued).
And there are more questions:
- Is it correct:
- that the 7 August 2014 in The New Straits Times article, titled ‘US analysts conclude MH17 downed by aircraft’, lays out evidence that Ukrainian fighter aircraft attacked the jetliner with first a missile, then with bursts of 30-millimetre machine gun fire from both sides of MH17, and
- that the Russian army has already presented detailed radar and satellite data showing a Ukrainian Sukhoi-25 fighter jet tailing MH17 shortly before the jetliner crashed ?
- Is it correct:
that The New Straits Times cited several sources to substantiate its position,
that one was testimony by a Canadian-Ukrainian monitor for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Michael Bociurkiw, one of the first investigators to arrive at the crash site. Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on 29 July Mr. Bociurkiw said: “There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like machine gun fire; very, very strong machine gun fire.”, and
that another source the paper cited was an article of 3 August 2014, titled ‘Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts,’ by former Associated Press reporter Robert Parry. Parry wrote: “some US intelligence analysts have concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault, and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame, according to a source briefed on these findings.”?
Is it correct that both The New Straits Times cited retired Lufthansa pilot Peter Haisenko, who has pointed to photographic evidence of MH17 wreckage suggesting that cockpit panels were raked with heavy machine gun fire from both the port and starboard sides. “Nobody before Haisenko had noticed that the projectiles had ripped through the panel from both its left side and its right side. This is what rules out any ground-fired missile.”?
Is it correct:
that The New Straits Times report constitutes a powerful accusation not only against the Ukrainian government, but against the American administration and its allies in Europe and Australia,
that it was the Americans and, to some extent, the Europeans who installed the Kiev government through a coup in February 2014, and
that they then deployed a series of intelligence operatives and Blackwater mercenaries who are closely coordinating the various neo-Nazi militias and National Guard units fighting on the ground in eastern Ukraine?
These forces now stand accused not only of stoking an explosive political and military confrontation with Russia on its border with Ukraine over the MH17 crash, but of provoking the confrontation through the cold-blooded murder of 298 people aboard MH17.
- Is it correct that on 9 August 2014, an article in The New York Times titled ‘Ukraine strategy bets on restraint by Russia’, mentioned the emerging neo-Nazi paramilitary role in the final three paragraphs:
“The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat.
Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.
In pressing their advance, the fighters took their orders from a local army commander, rather than from Kiev. In the video of the attack, no restraint was evident. Gesturing toward a suspected pro-Russian position, one soldier screamed, “The bastards are right there!” Then he opened fire.”
. . . and thus leading to the obvious conclusion that the neo-Nazi militias which surged to the front of anti-Yanukovych protests in February 2014 have now been organised as shock troops dispatched to kill ethnic Russians in the east – and they are operating so openly that they hoist a Wolfsangel, a Swastika-like neo-Nazi flag over one conquered village with a population of about 10,000?
- Is it correct:
- that the brutality of those neo-Nazis had surfaced again on 2 May 2014 when Right-wing toughs in Odessa attacked an encampment of ethnic Russian protesters driving them into a trade union building which was then set on fire with Molotov cocktails, and
that, as the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the neo-Nazis liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colours are used in pro-Russian ribbons, and shouting: ‘Burn, Colorado, burn’?
- Is it correct:
- that on 11 August 2014 Prime Minister Abbott arrived in the Netherlands for the purpose of thanking his Dutch counterpart for his leadership following the downing of MH17, while at the same time promising “everything is on the table” as he considered new sanctions against Russia, and
that, in an interview with the Australia Broadcasting Corporation programme AM Mr. Abbott reiterated in a truculent mood his purpose of “certainly looking at tougher sanctions, I think the world is looking at tougher sanctions.” Adding “We certainly would anticipate tougher sanctions against Russia in the weeks ahead.”?
- Is it correct:
that Prime Minister Abbott had declared in an interview after his arrival at Rotterdam airport, “I will have an opportunity to talk to Prime Minister Rutte and his senior officials about just what needs to be done to ensure that the [ongoing] investigation is concluded and the guilty are punished and justice is delivered to the grieving families of the 298 innocent people who were murdered on flight MH17.” and
that, during that interview, Mr. Abbott said that pro-Russian militants are responsible for downing the aircraft over eastern Ukraine on 17 July?
- Is it correct:
that on 29 July the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) issued an open letter to President Obama calling him immediately to release the evidence on the Malaysian airplane downing in eastern Ukraine.
that VIPs reminded President Obama of the lies that “the Reagan administration used . . . its very accomplished propaganda machine to twist the available intelligence on Soviet culpability for the killing of all 269 people aboard KAL007 . . . [and that] to make the very blackest case against Moscow for shooting down the KAL airliner, the Reagan administration suppressed exculpatory evidence from US electronic intercepts.” and
that “Apparently, not much has changed,” the letter states: “Time’s cover this week features ‘Cold War II’ and ‘Putin’s dangerous game.’ The cover story by Simon Shuster, ‘In Russia, Crime Without Punishment,’ would merit an A-plus in William Randolph Hearst’s course ‘Yellow Journalism 101’.”?
- Is it correct:
that the Kiev government’s use of volunteer paramilitaries to stamp out the Russian-supported Donetsk and Luhansk ‘people’s republics’, proclaimed in eastern Ukraine in March, should send a shiver down Europe’s spine,
that recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming,
that the Azov battalion, financed by billionaire oligarch and the appointed Governor of Dnipropretrovsk Oblast, Ihor Kolomoyskyi, is commanded by Andriy Biletsky,
that Kolomoyskyi, Ukraine’s second richest man and the cofounder of Privatbank, is known for funding far-right, pro-‘western’ forces in the country,
that he was the main financier of the UDAR party of boxer and Maidan protest leader Vitali Klitschko. Komolomoyskyi supported the opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko and purportedly funded Oleh Tyahnybok, the head of the Svoboda Party, and that he reportedly provided US$10 million to create the 2Dnipro Battalion in April 2014, and
that the Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel – Wolf’s hook symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or anti-Semites,
– that a former history student and amateur boxer, Andriy Biletsky is the commander of those men, while he also heads the Ukrainian parliamentary group of the Social National Assembly an extremist Ukrainian group called the Social National Assembly and its paramilitary wing, the Patriots of Ukraine, and
- that he has been known for writing in a recent commentary: “The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival, … . “a crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”?
- Is it correct that according to an official statement issued on 7 August 2014 by the head of Ukraine’s Secret Service, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko the MH17 was shot down “by mistake”, because “what the “pro-Russian rebels” were aiming at was a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane.” – ostensibly one carrying President Putin?
Is it correct that the same Valentyn Nalyvaichenko confirmed that “the crime was planned as a ground for bringing of Russian troops into Ukraine, that is a casus belli for the Russian military invasion.”?
Is it correct that, although it was known by 11 August 2014 that Russia and Ukraine had agreed on a humanitarian operation under the authority of the Red Cross, on 13 August 2014 the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop claimed that “Any intervention by Russia into Ukraine under the guise of a humanitarian crisis will be seen as the transparent artifice that it is … ”?
At the end of August 2014 it was announced that Prime Minister Abbott would travel on an official visit to India and that, on his way back, he would stop in Malaysia for talks with Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.
“Australia’s defence ties with Malaysia are amongst our closest in Southeast Asia” – Mr. Abbott was reported as saying – “and we feel a deep connection to Malaysia given shared experiences arising from the MH370 and MH17 disasters.” (referring to the Malaysia Airlines tragedies).
Mr. Abbott was accorded an official welcome at Dataran Perdana – Putra Square in Putrajaya, a planned city, 25 kilometres south of Kuala Lumpur which serves as the federal administrative centre of Malaysia and where the seat of government was shifted in 1999 from Kuala Lumpur. That day, 6 September 2014, was the occasion for a reception with great fanfare.
According to Wisma Putra, which is another name for the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, high on the agenda were to have been discussions on the status of the cooperation between the two countries in relation to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and Flight MH17 incidents.
The two prime ministers were also scheduled to meet with Malaysian personnel who were involved in the MH370 and MH17 search operations to express appreciation for the work they had done.
Australia and Malaysia have signalled their intention to send investigators back to the MH17 crash site in war-torn eastern Ukraine before winter.
Prime Minister Abbott and his counterpart Mohammad Najib Abdul Razak agreed to intensify their efforts to recover any human remains still at the crash site and return them to their loved ones.
Investigators were forced to suspend their search in August as fighting around the crash site intensified.
It was envisioned they would return but a timeline was never set.
But there could be fresh urgency to get forensic experts back on the ground, with the Malaysian Prime Minister declaring that they would need “at least a few weeks” to scour the vast impact zone for any remaining evidence. “We intend to send our teams to the crash site as soon as possible.” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur following a meeting with Mr. Abbott. “We are very, very keen to re-enter the crash site, especially before [the northern] winter sets in.”
The prime ministers agreed that obtaining further evidence from the site would be crucial for building a criminal case to charge those responsible for the attack. Australia continued to point the finger at Russia, accusing it of arming the separatists in eastern Ukraine suspected of downing the passenger plane.
Mr. Abbott said that it was likely there were still human remains at the crash site and the families of those who died deserved justice and closure. “We want to be absolutely confident that everything has been done to ensure that no one is left untended and alone.” he said.
One wonders whether Prime Minister Abbott discussed with the Malaysian Prime Minister a secret agreement in which Malaysia was not a party.
Next installment: Beyond the fog.
* Dr. Venturino Giorgio (George) Venturini has devoted sixty years to the study, practice, teaching, writing and administering of law in four continents. He is the author of eight books and about 100 articles and essays for learned periodicals and conferences. Since his ‘retirement’ Dr. Venturini has been Senior Associate in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash; he is also an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University, Melbourne. He may be reached at George.Venturini@bigpond.com.