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Was the Maidan Massacre a False Flag?

By Noah Carl | The Daily Sceptic | May 30, 2022

To understand the war in Ukraine, you have understand the events that led up to it. And no preceding event is more important than the toppling of Viktor Yanukovych’s government in February of 2014.

Officially known as the ‘Revolution of Dignity’, it was denounced by Vladimir Putin as an “unconstitutional coup”. And while most Western media stick to the official nomenclature, some prominent voices dissent. John Mearsheimer has referred to “the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president”, while George Friedman has described what happened as “the most blatant coup in history”.

A recap of the basic facts is in order.

In November of 2013, Yanukovych’s government suspended plans for signing an Association Agreement with the EU, and decided to renew talks with Russia. This decision sparked protests in Ukraine’s capital city, Kiev. By December, the number of protestors had reached the tens of thousands, and a permanent encampment had been established on Maidan square. Although most of the protesters were ordinary Ukrainians, far-right groups were also present.

Beginning in December, there were violent clashes between protesters and the police. On 23rd January, protestors succeeded in occupying various buildings around Maidan square. The situation came to a head on 18–20th February when protestors were fired upon by snipers, leaving scores dead and hundreds wounded. A dozen police offers were also killed in the clashes. From November 2013 to February 2014, 112 protestors and 18 police officers lost their lives; though most of the killings happened on 20th February.

On 21st February, Yanukovych signed an agreement with the parliamentary opposition calling for reforms and new elections. But the next day, he was impeached by the Ukrainian parliament. This impeachment process was in several respects unconstitutional, and Yanukovych declared he was still “the legitimate head of the Ukrainian state elected in a free vote by Ukrainian citizens”. However, he subsequently fled to Russia and a new government was formed.

The ‘Revolution of Dignity’ led immediately to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the outbreak of civil war in Donbas – so its geopolitical importance can hardly be overstated. Yet despite huge international attention, one question remains shrouded in mystery: who ordered snipers to fire at protestors on 18–20th February?

The ‘official’ narrative is that the snipers were from the Berkut – a special police unit loyal to Yanukovych. On the other hand, Russia has long maintained they were deployed by the Ukrainian far-right as part of a false flag operation to bring down Yanukovych’s government.

What is true is that more than eight years after the massacre – which took place amid a giant demonstration at the centre of Ukraine’s capital in front of dozens of television cameras – not a single person has been convicted. The perpetrators of one of the deadliest mass shootings in European history remain at large.

Why don’t we have an answer? Well, perhaps we do.

Away from the limelight, one Canadian academic has been poring over the evidence for the last eight years. And he’s convinced the ‘official’ narrative is wrong. Ivan Katchanovski (a political scientist at the University of Ottawa) believes the Maidan massacre was a false flag operation carried out by the Ukrainian far-right.

Professor Katchanovski cannot be dismissed as some fringe commenter or stooge of the Kremlin. He has published his arguments in scholarly books and journals, and has presented them at academic conferences. His latest article, which can be accessed for free, reviews all the evidence he’s collected to date – including witness testimonies, weapon ballistics and medical forensics. It’s based on hundreds of hours of footage of the Maidan massacre trials, as well as synchronised video segments of the massacre itself.

As Katchanovski explains, the ‘false flag theory’ first gained credence in March of 2014, when a phone call between two European officials was leaked online. During the call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet tells the EU’s Catherine Ashton about a conversation he’d had with someone called Olga:

What was quite disturbing, the same Olga told, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides among policemen and then people from the streets – that they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides. She also showed me some photos. She said that as medical doctor, she can, you know, say that it is the same handwriting, same type of bullets. And it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened. So that there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych but it was somebody from the new coalition.

‘Olga’ was later identified as Olga Bohomolets, a doctor who had treated wounded protestors on Maidan square. When quizzed by the press, she said she had not told Paet that somebody from the new coalition was behind the snipers. Likewise, the Estonian Foreign Ministry said, “We reject the claim that Paet was giving an assessment of the opposition’s involvement in the violence” (though they acknowledged the recording was authentic). It is still unclear why Paet would divulge such shocking revelations if he did not believe they had some basis in fact.

Aside from TV recordings and media reports, much of Katchanovski’s evidence comes from the trials of five Berkut police officers, who were charged with the murder of protestors on 20th February, 2014. Various other state actors, including Yanukovych himself, were also charged, but they were not brought to trial as they had already fled the country. (Recall that none of those put on trial were convicted.)

What, then, is Katchanovski’s evidence?

The majority of wounded protestors who testified at the trail said they were shot by snipers from Maidan-controlled buildings. Remarkably, even many witnesses for the prosecution said this. Their testimony is consistent with video footage of journalists and protestors pointing to snipers in buildings like the Hotel Ukraine, which were under Maidan control at the time.

Police snipers testified that they had been ordered to locate and neutralise snipers firing from Maidan-controlled buildings. And Yanukovych himself, who appeared at the trial via video-link, testified that he had received reports of snipers firing from those buildings.

Several Georgian ex-military personnel who testified at the trail actually confessed they were among the snipers, and had been given orders by specific Maidan leaders to fire upon the protestors. They also testified that they had witnessed other snipers shooting from Maidan-controlled buildings. By contrast, no police officers or other state actors confessed to having fired upon protestors.

In the majority of cases where wounded protestors testified that they had been shot by snipers from police-controlled areas, other evidence contradicted their testimony. For example, synchronized video segments showed the exact times they were hit did not coincide with the exact times police officers were discharging their weapons. Other videos showed that several protesters were killed before police officers had even taken up their positions.

Forensic examinations by government experts revealed that the majority of protestors were shot from the side or back, and from top to bottom, strongly suggesting they had been hit by snipers from Maidan-controlled buildings. Only one protestor had a horizontal entry wound. Experts also determined that several protestors were killed by bullets that did not match those used by the police.

An American architecture company created a 3D model of the killing of three protestors, which was used as evidence that those protestors were in fact killed by the police. (This 3D model was covered in a 2018 New York Times article.) However, the wound locations in the model did not match the wound locations from forensic medical examinations.

A screenshot from the video appendix to Katchanovski’s latest paper.

Aside from what Katchanovski calls “overwhelming evidence” that protestors were shot from Maidan-controlled buildings, he believes there was a cover-up by the post-Maidan authorities.

On 21st February, the Ukrainian parliament passed an amnesty law granting blanket immunity to Maidan protestors for serious crimes that had taken place during the protests. This law also prohibited investigation of the protestors for such crimes, and ordered that existing evidence be destroyed.

Two of the Berkut police officers who had been charged with murdering protestors were released by trial judges due to lack of evidence, suggesting the charges against them were trumped up. And all remaining defendants were released in a prisoner exchange within several months of the expected verdict.

Public statements made by various Maidan participants concerning the far-right’s involvement in the massacre were never investigated. One politician said she saw Maidan leaders bringing snipers into a building and then saw snipers firing from that building. Several activists said they witnessed snipers being evacuated by Maidan leaders. And another politician said that Maidan leaders had “arranged” the massacre.

There were unexplained reversals of testimony on the part of wounded Maidan protestors. Key pieces of evidence went missing or were destroyed. Several trees with bullet holes in them were cut down; all helmets and shields used by those who were shot disappeared, as did security camera footage from Maidan-controlled buildings.

Finally, two far-right politicians stated in separate interviews that a Western government official told them killings of a few protestors would not be enough for Western governments to stop recognising Yanukovych, and for that to happen the number of victims would need to be 100. The protesters who lost their lives subsequently became known as the “Heavenly Hundred”, even though some of those ‘hundred’ were not killed in the massacre itself (and in fact simply died of illness.)

On the basis of all the evidence he’s gathered, Katchanovski concludes that the Maidan massacre was “a false flag operation” which involved “elements of the Maidan leadership”.

If true, the implications are immense. It would mean the event that marked the turning point of Euromaidan – that set in motion Yanukovych’s removal from power – was in fact orchestrated by his political opponents. And aside from implicating those individuals in a brutal act of mass murder, it would remove any doubt that the that the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ was illegitimate.

Is it true?

I have been unable to track down any serious criticism of Katchanovski’s work, and when I reached out to him, he told me “there is no other scholarly study” that disputes his findings. What’s more, the political scientist Gordon Hahn reached similar conclusions in his book Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West and the “New Cold War”.

So why haven’t Western governments shown more interest in investigating the massacre? I put this question to Katchanovski. He said that such an investigation would be “politically inconvenient” because it would “upend the narrative that the Western backed overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014 by the pro-Western Maidan opposition was peaceful and democratic”. He added that a definitive answer could be obtained by consulting relevant documents once they are declassified.

As I mentioned above, Katchanovski has published his arguments concerning the ‘false flag theory’ in scholarly books and journals, and has presented them at academic conferences. All the germane papers are available for free online. You might therefore expect for his work to have received significant media attention – particularly in the last few months.

Yet with the exception of a few ‘non-mainstream’ outlets, it hasn’t. Major Western media have ignored his studies “for political reasons”, he told me. This is despite the fact that Katchanovski’s other work on Ukraine (unrelated to the massacre) has received ample media attention, including from the Associated Press, Reuters and the Washington Post.

Katchanovski knows that certain media outlets are aware of his work because he’s brought it to their attention. Following the New York Times article on the 3D model of killings at Maidan, he sent a letter to the editor pointing out they had “misrepresented the wound locations”. But his letter wasn’t published. In another case, “Open Democracy accepted a popular version of my Maidan massacre study, but then did not publish it.” Katchanovski said he gave “long interviews concerning the Maidan massacre to several major TV and Radio networks” but “none of them were broadcast”. In every single case “there was no reason given”.

The only time Katchanovski’s work on the massacre has been put under the spotlight was in Oliver Stone’s 2019 documentary Revealing Ukraine. This film is available on Rumble, and the relevant segment begins at 20:00.

What about everything that’s happened since? In our email exchange, Katchanovski clarified that the Maidan massacre “does not justify the Russian invasion and other actions in Ukraine”. Equally, however, Russia’s invasion does not justify ignoring – in his words – “overwhelming and undeniable evidence” of Maidan snipers.

If others believe that Katchanovski is mistaken, they must come forward and present their arguments. In the meantime, I would strongly recommend reading his papers: they make a compelling case that what’s been labelled a “conspiracy theory” is, in fact, true.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Data shenanigans as Sweden misleads its public over vaccination-related mortality data

Health Advisory & Recovery Team | May 29, 2022

In December 2021 Norman Fenton, Martin Neil, Clare Craig, Josh Geutzkow, Joel Smalley, Scott McLachlan and Jonathan Engler published an article casting doubt on the vaccine efficacy implied by the UK’s official mortality statistics as they related to vaccination status, raising miscategorisation of vaccinated deaths soon after injection as unvaccinated as a possible significant factor.

The authors — as expected — were unable to publish this article in any mainstream journal, as anything which counters the government’s official position on anything related to the pandemic, especially vaccinations, has effectively been suppressed or censored throughout the last 2 years.

Despite repeated FOI requests by several parties, no UK government agency has ever released sufficiently granular data broken down into the necessary categories to permit any meaningful analysis of the extent (if any) of this miscategorisation issue.

Now, however, it appears that an FOI request to the Swedish Public Health Agency by 29 doctors and scientists has been successful in obtaining such data (for Sweden). They have written an article about it (in English) here.

The data is revelatory. It essentially shows that individuals dying within 2 weeks of vaccination have been classed and counted as unvaccinated.  Incredibly, this applies to the 14 day period after the second as well as the first dose. The numbers involved are certainly non-trivial. In a substack blog, Jessica Rose has re-run the implied vaccine efficacy statistics in light of the new data categorizations.

In conclusion, the correct categorization turns the vaccine efficacy calculation totally on its head, suggesting a significantly increased risk of death in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated, rather than the vice-versa conclusion the authorities had originally touted. Whilst there is no age-breakdown, the magnitude of the reversal in the conclusions is nonetheless stark enough to conclude that there has been very serious and likely deliberate misrepresentation of what the mortality statistics truly imply about the efficacy of the vaccines against mortality.

One wonders how many other countries have played similar tricks with their data?

Post-script:

A further – anonymous – author has published an article claiming to build on Jessica Rose’s piece by calculating the mortality rates in the vaccinated and unvaccinated and comparing them to flu.

The author acknowledges the possible effect of age-confounding in the text, but in referring to it as having only a “slight” effect this understates its potential to interfere with his analysis; to draw the conclusions he /she does would in fact require a proper age breakdown of deaths month-by-month.  However, if the analysis might lead to a misinterpretation of vaccine effectiveness because of the age bias then it is up to those with access to the data by age to refute the analysis.

The main take-away from the episode around this FOI is not that the vaccines are or are not efficacious (vs death), but rather that there has been a systematic miscategorization error which (1) seems likely to have been deliberate and (2) resulted in an extremely misleading picture of what the data suggests.

Such incidents – which now appear all too common in many countries – are likely to shatter the public’s trust in the institutions upon which we are supposed to rely.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Scientists blame space chemicals for rise in heart attacks

The Counter Signal | May 30, 2022

Far, far away in the distant reaches of Earth’s atmosphere, scientists have finally homed in on a possible cause of the sudden rise in heart attacks around the world: space chemicals.

According to an article from Daily Mail, scientists have identified an entirely new class of chemical compounds that form in Earth’s atmosphere called hydrotrioxides.

Even though scientists believe that the chemical compounds needed to form hydrotrioxides have always existed in the atmosphere, they say that the compound may be able to penetrate aerosols, which can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks.

“They will most likely enter aerosols, where they will form new compounds with new effects,” said Professor Henrik Kjærgaard.

“It is easy to imagine that new substances are formed in the aerosols that are harmful if inhaled. But further investigation is required to address these potential health effects.”

“These compounds have always been around — we just didn’t know about them. But the fact that we now have evidence that the compounds are formed and live for a certain amount of time means that it is possible to study their effect more targeted and respond if they turn out to be dangerous,” added Prof. Kjærgaard.

PhD student and co-author Jing Chen concurred, adding that the compounds are “surprisingly stable.”

“It’s quite significant that we can now show, through direct observation, that these compounds actually form in the atmosphere, that they are surprisingly stable and that they are formed from almost all chemical compounds. All speculation must now be put to rest,” said Chen.

Even more frightening, not only do scientists believe the newly discovered compound could be responsible for causing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, but it may also be spurring climate change!

“As sunlight is both reflected and absorbed by aerosols, this affects the Earth’s heat balance – that is, the ratio of sunlight that Earth absorbs and sends back into space,” said PhD student and co-author Eva Kjærgaard.

“When aerosols absorb substances, they grow and contribute to cloud formation, which affects Earth’s climate as well.”

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | 6 Comments

Bill Gates: Next Pandemic Likely to be Caused by Climate Change

By Paul Joseph Watson | Summit News | May 30, 2022

Billionaire Bill Gates says there’s a 50 per cent chance the next pandemic will be caused by man-made climate change or be deliberately released by a bio-terrorist.

The Microsoft founder made the comments during an interview with Spanish news outlet El Diario.

Asserting that the next major pandemic is likely to occur within 20 years, Gates said, “It could be a virus made by man, by a bioterrorist who designed it and intentionally circulated it. That is a very scary scenario because they could try to spread it in different places at once.”

“Or it could be something that makes the leap from the natural world. The human population is growing and we are invading more and more ecosystems. That is why I calculate that there is a 50% chance that we will have a pandemic of natural origin in the next 20 years, as a consequence of climate change,” he added.

The prediction that climate change will cause a virus which will then require another global vaccine rollout is somewhat convenient for Gates given that he is heavily invested in both areas.

Gates reiterated the call made in his recent book to pump billions of dollars into researching future pathogens by creating a 3,000-strong team of specialists under the control of the World Health Organization, which would require a 25% budgetary increase.

Commenting on the recent outbreak of monkeypox, Gates said “there is very little chance” it will have an impact anything like coronavirus, although he cautioned that it could mutate into something significantly nastier.

Gates infamously warned of a coming super-virus five years before the emergence of COVID-19 during a 2015 TED talk.

As we highlighted earlier this month, Gates warned that COVID was not over and that there is likely to be an “even more fatal” variant of the virus coming.

During an event at the Munich Security Conference back in February, Gates said that “sadly” Omicron is a “type of vaccine” and has “done a better job getting out to the world population than we have with vaccines” by providing natural immunity.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , | 5 Comments

This is how Israel plans to annex the occupied West Bank

By Ramzy Baroud | MEMO | May 30, 2022

Israel’s Supreme Court has decided that the Palestinian region of Masafer Yatta in the southern hills of Hebron is to be appropriated entirely by the Israeli military and that the local population of more than 1,000 Palestinians is to be expelled. The court’s decision on 4 May was hardly surprising. Israel’s military occupation is not only enforced by soldiers with guns, but also elaborate political, military, economic and legal structures, all of which are dedicated to the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements and the slow — and sometimes not-so-slow — expulsion of the Palestinians.

When Palestinians say that the Nakba (“Catastrophe”), which led to the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 and the establishment of the state of Israel on its ruins, is an ongoing unfinished project, they mean exactly that. The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the endless torment of Palestinian Bedouins in the Naqab, and now in Masafer Yatta, are all testament to this reality.

However, Masafer Yatta is particularly unique. In the case of occupied East Jerusalem, for example, Israel has made a fallacious, ahistorical claim that the city is the eternal and undivided capital of the Jewish people. It combined its unsubstantiated narrative with military action on the ground, followed by a systematic process to increase the Jewish population and eject the native inhabitants of the city. Such notions as ‘Greater Jerusalem‘ and legal and political structures, like that of the Jerusalem Master Plan 2000, have all contributed towards turning the once absolute Palestinian majority in Jerusalem into a constantly shrinking minority.

In the Naqab, Israel’s objectives were put into motion as early as 1948, and again in 1951. The process of ethnically cleansing the natives remains in effect to this day.

Although Masafer Yatta is part of the same colonial scheme, its uniqueness stems from the fact that it is situated in Area C of the occupied West Bank. In July 2020, Israel purportedly decided to postpone its plan to annex nearly 40 per cent of the West Bank, perhaps fearing a Palestinian rebellion and unwanted international condemnation. However, the plan went ahead in all but name.

The wholesale annexation of large swathes of the West Bank would mean that Israel would become responsible for the welfare of entire Palestinian communities living therein. As a settler-colonial state, though, Israel wants the land, but not the people. In Tel Aviv’s calculation, annexation without the expulsion of the population could lead to a demographic nightmare, hence Israel’s need to reinvent its annexation plan. De jure annexation may have been “postponed”, but it has continued in de facto terms, which has attracted very little international political and media attention.

The Israeli court’s decision regarding Masafer Yatta, which is already being carried out with the expulsion of the Najjar family on 11 May, is an important step towards the annexation of Area C. If Israel can evict the Palestinian residents of twelve villages, more than 1,000 people, unhindered, more such expulsions can be expected, not only south of Hebron, but across the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian villagers of Masafer Yatta and their legal representation know very well that no real “justice” can be obtained from the Israeli court system. Nevertheless, they continue to fight the legal war in the hope that a combination of factors, including solidarity in Palestine and pressure from outside, can ultimately succeed in compelling Israel to delay its planned destruction and Judaisation of the whole region.

However, it seems that Palestinian efforts, which have been underway since 1997, are failing. The Israeli Supreme Court decision is predicated on the erroneous and utterly bizarre notion that the Palestinians of that area could not demonstrate that they belonged there prior to 1980, when the Israeli government decided to turn the area into “Firing Zone 918”.

Sadly, the Palestinian defence was based partly on documents from the Jordanian era and official UN records that reported on Israeli attacks on several Masafer Yatta villages in 1966. The Jordanian government, which administered the West Bank until 1967, compensated some of the residents for the loss of their “stone houses” — not tents — animals and other properties that were destroyed by the Israeli military. Palestinians tried to use this evidence to show that they have existed, not as nomadic people but as rooted communities. This was unconvincing to the Israeli court, which favoured the occupation army’s argument over the rights of the native population.

Israeli firing zones occupy nearly 18 per cent of the total area of the West Bank. It is one of several ploys used by the Israeli government to lay a pseudo-legal claim on Palestinian land and, eventually, to claim legal ownership as well. Many of these firing zones exist in Area C, and are one way that Israel appropriates Palestinian land officially with the support of the courts.

Now that the Israeli military has managed to acquire Masafer Yatta — a region covering 32 to 56km2 — based on completely flimsy excuses, it will become much easier to ensure the ethnic cleansing of many similar communities in various parts of occupied Palestine.

While discussions and media coverage of Israel’s annexation scheme in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley have largely subsided, the settler-colonial state is now preparing for gradual annexation. Instead of taking 40 per cent of the West Bank all at once, Israel is now annexing smaller tracts of land and regions, like Masafer Yatta, separately. Tel Aviv will eventually connect all these annexed areas through Jewish settler-only bypass roads to larger Jewish settlement infrastructures in the West Bank.

Not only does this alternative strategy allow Israel to avoid international criticism, but it will also permit the settler-colonial state to annex Palestinian land while incrementally expelling Palestinians. Thus, demographic imbalances will be prevented before they can even occur.

What is happening in Masafer Yatta is not only the largest ethnic cleansing scheme to be carried out by Israel since 1967, but the move should also be considered as the first step in a much larger scheme of illegal land misappropriation, ethnic cleansing and official mass annexation.

Israel must not be allowed to succeed in Masafer Yatta. If it does, its original, mass annexation scheme will become a reality in no time at all.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 4 Comments

The Shelling of Khudair Warehouse: Chemical Warfare by Indirect Means

Al-Haq | May 27, 2022

~~~

Press TV – May 30, 2022

Israel’s bombardment of the biggest agrochemical warehouse in the besieged Gaza Strip by incendiary artillery shells last year amounts to chemical warfare, a rights group report finds.

On May 15, 2021, the Israeli military launched an artillery attack on the Khudair Pharmaceuticals and Agricultural Tools Company, considered as the largest agrochemical warehouse in the north of the blockaded enclave, setting fire to tons of pesticides, fertilizers, plastics and nylons.

The shelling attack occurred in the midst of the 11-day Israeli war against Gaza Strip, after weeks of violence against Palestinians in Al-Quds and a brutal crackdown on worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as attempts to steal their land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

The results of a new investigation in the attack and its consequences by the West Bank-based Palestinian human rights NGO Al-Haq showed that Israel deliberately employed highly flammable munitions in the targeted attack, which burned tons of dangerous pesticides and set off an unfolding environmental disaster.

The FAI Unit built a 3D model of the warehouse after interviewing the locals, consulting international experts and analyzing data obtained from dozens of videos, including CCTV and drone footage, in a bid to establish the circumstances of the blaze, and determine the effects of the release of toxic chemicals.

“Our findings reveal that Israeli forces illegally employed highly flammable munitions in a targeted attack on the warehouse, whose location and contents are known to Israel, setting on fire over 50 tons of hazardous chemicals stored on the site,” said al-Haq.

The report is the first publication by Al-Haq’s newly-established Forensic Architecture Investigation Unit (FAI Unit), a first-of-its-kind collaboration in the Middle East with Forensic Architecture, a research agency based at Goldsmiths, University of London, which conducts spatial and media analysis for NGOs and in international human rights cases.

The shelling created a toxic plume, which engulfed an area of nearly six sq km, leaving local residents struggling with health problems.

“Within the first hour, the toxic plume had affected an area of approximately 5.7 square kilometers — spanning Beit Lahiya and its agricultural zones, as well as the densely populated Jabaliya refugee camp — placing approximately 3,000 homes in its shadow,” the report said, adding that the six-hour-long fire at the warehouse destroyed most of the facility and consuming the majority of its contents.

Al-Haq said that a toxic plume produced by the attack is tantamount to the indirect deploying of chemical weapons.

“Israeli occupation forces’ shelling of the Khudair Agrochemical Warehouse, with knowledge of the presence of toxic chemicals stored therein, is tantamount to chemical weapons through indirect means. Such acts are clearly prohibited… and prosecutable under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” the group said in a legal report based on the findings of the investigation.

The probe determined that the Israeli military used several M150 Smoke HC 155mm shells in its attack against the warehouse.

“The dimensions and the smoke tail match the M150 Smoke HC 155mm ammunition developed by the Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems: an ‘advanced smoke projectile’ and a new type of shell designed to splinter into five separate canisters, all of which emit high-density smoke,” the report said.

It also stressed that the attack on the Khudair agrochemical warehouse was the first in an apparent string of similar attacks by the Tel Aviv regime, intentionally hitting civilian economic infrastructure and the industrial sector.

“On 17 May, two days after the Khudair Warehouse was destroyed, the Fomco Sponge Factory near Jabaliya camp was attacked in a similar manner, causing a large-scale fire. On the same day, over half a dozen other factories and warehouses, located in the industrial zone east of Gaza’s Shejaiyyeh neighborhood, were also bombed,” it stated.

In the latest bombardment campaign of Gaza by Israel in May last year, at least 260 Palestinians, including over 60 children, were killed in a time span of 11 days that began on May 10. The Gaza-based resistance movements retaliated.

The regime was eventually forced to announce a ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, which came into force in the early hours of May 21.

The Gaza Strip, home to some two million people, has been under a blockade imposed by Israel since June 2007.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Spill from transfer of seized Iran oil alarms Greek environmentalists

Press TV – May 30, 2022

Local sources in Greece are reporting a growing spill from the country’s transfer of oil from an Iranian tanker seized recently off the Greek coast.

They have published images of the pollution in the Greek port of Karistos, blaming it for “non-standard” transfer without observing environmental principles.

The spill has already drawn protests from local environmentalists, the report said.

“Even if only one-thousandth of a shipment leaks during the transfer process at sea, the environmental damage will be incalculable,” the Greek Environmental Protection Association Karistos said in a statement.

“We have a legitimate interest in requesting that the tanker be removed immediately from the Gulf of Karistos and relocated to a safe transfer area,” it said.

The statement said the Karistos environment should not pay “another heavy price for the government’s political choices, and the Russian tanker should leave the port”.

The tanker, carrying Iranian oil, was seized in Greek waters under the pretext of violating sanctions and its cargo was ordered by the US to be moved to another vessel.

Iran condemned the seizure “an example of international piracy”, the responsibility of which “lies with the Greek government and the illegal occupants”. The charge d’affaires of the Greek embassy in Tehran was summoned to Iran’s ministry of foreign affairs and notified of the Islamic Republic strong indignation.

The Ports and Maritime Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran also issued a statement calling on the Greek government to fulfill its international obligations in this regard.

Earlier, Reuters quoted unnamed sources as saying that the US Department of Justice had confiscated 700,000 barrels of Iranian oil cargo off the southern Greek island of Evia on board a Russian-operated ship.

On Friday, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) seized two Greek oil tankers in the Persian Gulf over violations.

“The IRGC Navy today seized two Greek oil tankers for violations they have carried in the azure waters of the Persian Gulf,” the IRGC said in a statement.

Earlier that day, Iran’s Nour News reported that the country was going to take “punitive action” against Greece over the Iranian tanker’s seizure.

Tasnim news agency said a total of 17 Greek ships were sailing in the Persian Gulf, warning of further confiscations if Greece continued to take orders from the United States.

At least nine crew members on board the vessels are currently in the IRGC custody. Officials have said they are not detained and are in good health.

Senior political commentator Mohammad Marandi told Press TV that by seizing the Greek-flagged tankers, Tehran intends to send a message to Washington and its allies, “warning them against harming Iran’s oil trade.”

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism | , | Leave a comment

Britons warned of winter blackouts

Samizdat | May 30, 2022

As many as six million British households could be subjected to power cuts this winter if Russian gas supplies to Europe stop, The Times reported Sunday, citing a Whitehall document.

It said that imports of natural gas from Norway could halve next winter amid surging EU demand. Britain buys around half of its total supplies from the Nordic country.

Shipments of liquified natural gas from major producers such as the United States and Qatar could also halve this winter, the UK government warned, pointing to fierce global competition for supplies of the fuel.

Meanwhile, interconnectors from the Netherlands and Belgium could also be cut off in winter, as the two countries struggle meeting their own demand.

The UK, which has vowed to end the importation of Russian oil by the end of the year, is now seeking to bolster electricity supply by extending the life of its coal and aging nuclear power stations.

Thus, the lifespan of Somerset nuclear power plant Hinkley Point B could be extended by 18 months, despite plans to decommission the 50-year-old facility this summer.

According to the report, heavy industrial facilities could be told to stop using gas, while UK gas-fired power plants could be closed in order to preserve limited supplies.

That could reportedly result in shortages of electricity, with British households subjected to blackouts during peak times on weekday mornings and evenings.

If Russia cuts supplies of natural gas to the EU entirely, blackouts could last for three months, starting in December, and occur on both weekdays and weekends, the report said.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | | Leave a comment

Disquiet at Davos and the Unsaid Fear of Failure – The First Shoots of a U.S. Ukraine Shift

By Alastair Crooke | Strategic Culture Foundation | May 30, 2022

Klaus Schwab, passionate for Ukraine, essentially configured the World Economic Forum (WEF) to showcase Zelensky and to leverage the argument that Russia should be kicked out of the civilised world. Schwab’s target was the assembled crème de la crème of the world’s business leaders assembled there. Zelensky pitched big: “We want more sanctions and more weapons”; “All trade with the aggressor should be stopped”; “All foreign business should leave Russia so that your brands are not associated with war crimes”, he said. Sanctions must be all encompassing; values must matter.

Disquiet ran through the Davos set: The WEF is high-octane globalist, right? Yet this Schwab line suggests a de-coupling ‘on stilts’. It precisely reverses interconnectedness. Plus, the western generals in charge are saying that this conflict may last not just years, but decades. What will this signify for their markets in parts of the world that refuse action against Russia, the moneymen were wondering?

It is unlikely that this whiff of disorientation is what Schwab had intended. Perhaps the latter was more aligned with Soros’ later intervention that a quick victory over Russia was needed to save the ‘Open Society’ and civilisation itself – and that this was intended as the WEF 2022 message.

The Davos ‘greater disquiet’ emerged however, from an unexpected quarter. Just before the WEF began, the NY Times had run a piece from the editorial team urging Zelensky to negotiate with Russia. It argued that such engagement implied making painful territorial sacrifices. The piece attracted indignant and angry push-back in Europe and the West, possibly because – albeit couched as advice to Kiev – its target was evidently Washington and London (the arch belligerents).

Eric Cantor, a former whip in the U.S. House of Representatives (a legislator well versed on Iran sanctions), also at Davos, questioned whether the West would be able to maintain a united front in pursuit of such maximalist aims as Zelensky and his Military Intelligence Chief have demanded. “We may not get the next vote”, Cantor opined (in wake of the $40 bn vote ostensibly earmarked for Ukraine).

Cantor said excluding Russia entirely would require secondary sanctions against other countries. This would place the West into a head on clash with China, India, and the almost 60 states which had refused to back a UN resolution denouncing Russia’s invasion. He warned that the U.S. may be in danger of overplaying its hand.

Then spoke the redoubtable Henry Kissinger, also at Davos. He warned the West to stop trying to inflict a crushing defeat on Russian forces in Ukraine, saying that such would have disastrous consequences for the long-term stability of Europe. He said it would be fatal for the West to get swept along in the mood of the moment and forget the proper place of Russia in the European balance of power.

Dr Kissinger said the war must not be allowed to drag on and came close to calling on the West to instruct Ukraine to accept terms that fall very far short of its current war aims: “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months, before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome”.

What is going on here? In a nutshell, we are seeing the first inklings of fractures appearing in the U.S. stance on Ukraine. The fissures in Europe are already very plain, both on sanctions and mission aims. But Cantor’s comment that “we may not get the next vote” needs further unpacking.

In an earlier piece, I argued that Senator JD Vance’s win in the Ohio primaries for a Senate seat could be telling. His candidature was backed by Trump, who later issued an ‘End the war’ call. Now the key tell-tale is Republican Senator Josh Hawley – ambitious and known to have leadership aspirations.

Early in the Ukraine war, Senator Hawley was calling Zelensky, lauding him highly and egging him on. But then he pivoted. Hawley subsequently blasted the $40 billion in proposed aid to Ukraine, after voting ‘no’ on the procedural vote to move forward with the aid package “as not being in America’s interests”.

At first, as some may recall, there were 6 House votes against the bill – then 60. And in the Senate, first there were zero then there were 11 votes. The Bill was rushed through as vote managers were concerned that the vote could crumble further.

What is going on? Well, the Republican ‘populist’ current, never enamoured at foreign aid, was shocked at the $ 40 billion for Ukraine when the U.S. lacked baby milk, (and itself had to rely on foreign baby milk aid). This political current is becoming more significant and having more impact as a result of a structural shift. Political candidates, and now even some U.S. think-tanks are turning to crowd-funding as a principal source of finance – moving away from the ‘established’ donors. Thus, the broad ‘anti-foreign entanglement’ sentiment is gaining heft.

Of course, the $40 billion is not all going to Ukraine. Not at all. According to the details of the Bill, the bulk will go to the Pentagon (for equipment already supplied by the U.S. and its allies). And a big chunk will go to the State Department, to fund all sorts of ‘helpful’ non-state actors and NGOs – i.e. it is a deep state budget with Ukraine packaging. The six billion allocated directly for new arms to Ukraine in fact comprises both training and weapons, so much of that will end in the pockets of states such as UK and Germany, giving ‘out of theatre’ training to Ukrainians in their own, or in neighbouring countries’ territory.

Eric Cantor, and other Americans at WEF may frame their disquiet over western objectives in ‘polite company’ as simply articulating their uncertainties over America’s grand strategy – whether the U.S. is trying to punish Russia for its aggression, or whether the goal is a subtler use of policy that gives the Kremlin a ‘route out of sanctions’, were it to changes course. But behind the narrative lies a darker fear. The unsaid fear of failure.

What does this mean? It means that the West’s ultimate war aims in Ukraine have so far been able to stay opaque and undefined, the details swept aside in the mood of the moment.

Paradoxically, this opacity has been preserved despite the public failure of the West’s first statement of aims – which was that the seizure of Russia’ offshore foreign reserves; the Russian bank expulsions from SWIFT; the sanctioning of the Central Bank; and the broadside of sanctions would, in and of itself alone, turn the rouble to rubble; cause a run on the domestic banking system; collapse the Russian economy; and provoke a political crisis that Putin might not survive.

In short, ‘victory’ would be quick – if not immediate. We know this, because U.S. officials and the French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire bragged about it publicly.

So confident in a quick financial-war success were these western officials that there seemed little need to invest deep strategic reflection on the aims or the course of the secondary Ukrainian military thrust. After all, a Russia already economically collapsed, with its currency ruined and its morale broken, would likely put up little or no fight as the Ukrainian army swept across Donbas and into Crimea.

Well, the sanctions have proved a bust and Russia’s currency and oil revenues are bountiful.

And now, western politicians are being warned in the media, and by their own military, that Russia is ‘close to a major victory’ in Donbas.

This is the unspoken fear disquieting Davos attendees – fear of another débacle, following that of Afghanistan. One made all the worse as the ‘war’ on Russia boomerangs into an economic collapse in Europe, and with NATO’s eight-year investment in building-up a successful proxy-army to NATO standards turning to dust.

This is what Kissinger’s comments – decoded – urge: ‘Don’t procrastinate’; get a quick deal (even an unfavourable one), but one that can be dressed up, and somehow spun as a ‘win’. But don’t wait, and let events lead the U.S. into yet another unmistakeable, undeniable débacle.

This is still ‘under the kitchen table talk’ in the U.S. for now, as the power of a narrative, invested with so much emotion, and bolstered by unprecedented info-war peer-pressure has masked such thoughts from public expression. Fractures nonetheless are beginning to be apparent. Something stirs – and Europe inevitably will follow wherever America leads. But for now, the hawks remain firmly in ‘the chair’ (in the U.S., in London, Poland, the EU Commission and in Kiev).

The big question, however, is why Moscow would take such a ‘way out’ (even if it was offered it). A compromise deal would be seen there as simply Kiev given the chance to regroup, and to try again.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 2 Comments

Five killed by Ukrainian shelling of schools and residential buildings – Donetsk authorities

Samizdat | May 30, 2022

Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk has left at least five people dead, and 18 others injured, local authorities of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said on Monday. According to local officials, a teenage girl is among the fatalities. The strikes damaged several civilian facilities in the city, including schools and residential buildings.

Preliminary reports allege that US-supplied artillery may have been used in the attacks. In one home, two 14-year-old girls were hurt, Mayor Aleksey Kulemzin said. One of them died while the other one was taken to hospital.

Three civilians were killed, and a dozen others injured at two schools, the mayor claimed. Two people were in serious condition, he added.

The headmistress of one of the schools, Olga Rachinskaya, told the media that many of the teachers “were lacerated with shrapnel”. She said the two workers who were killed were elderly.

“This is just an ordinary school. There is nothing military here, nothing,” she said. Luckily, Donetsk schools teach remotely, so students were not in the classrooms when the shells hit, according to the educator.

The DPR defense HQ said Ukrainian troops fired at least two Smerch rockets armed with cluster munitions and also used 155mm artillery in the shelling.

On Monday, Mayor Kulemzin speculated that the Ukrainian troops may have used US-supplied 155mm M777 howitzers in the assault. “This is heavy weaponry, most likely the American delivery,” he told Russian television when describing the attacks. He claimed some of the shell fragments discovered on the ground had markings in English.

The US and its allies have reportedly supplied about 100 towed artillery guns to Ukraine, ramping up their military aid with heavier kinds of weapons. Kiev may soon receive US-made multiple launch rocket systems too, adding them to the weapons from Soviet stockpiles that it currently possesses, according to media reports.

Commenting on the news coming from Donetsk on Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Ukrainian attacks on civilian infrastructure in DPR were “outrageous.”

“This is exactly what our warriors are fighting against. To make such things stop,” he said, branding the perpetrators “neo-Nazis”.

Russia attacked Ukraine state in late February, following its failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

MIT Weighs In On Energy Storage

By Francis Menton | Manhattan Contrarian | May 26, 2022

As I’ve been pointing out now for a couple of years, the obvious gap in the plans of our betters for a carbon-free “net zero” energy future is the problem of massive-scale energy storage. How exactly is New York City (for example) going to provide its citizens with power for a long and dark full-week period in the winter, with calm winds, long nights, and overcast days, after everyone has been required to change over to electric heat and electric cars — and all the electricity is supposed to come from the wind and sun, which are neither blowing nor shining for these extended periods? Can someone please calculate how much energy storage will be needed to cover a worst-case solar/wind drought, what it will consist of, how long it has to last, how much it will cost, and whether it is economically feasible? Nearly all descriptions by advocates of the supposed path to “net zero” — including the ambitious plans of the states of New York and California — completely gloss over this issue and/or deal with it in a way demonstrating total incompetence and failure to comprehend the problem.

And then suddenly appeared in my inbox a couple of weeks ago a large Report with the title “The Future of Energy Storage: An Interdisciplinary MIT Study.” MIT — that’s America’s premier university for matters of science and technology. The Report is 378 pages long, full of lots of detail, charts and graphs, mathematical equations, and technical jargon. It lists as authors some 18 members of the MIT faculty. Surely, if anyone can address this “net zero” energy storage problem competently, these will be the people.

Sorry. This is a product of modern American academia. MIT is as extreme left as any of them.

Having now spent about a week trying to wade through this morass, I am not impressed. The Report is an exercise by genius would-be central planners concocting enormously complex models that just happen to come to the results that the authors are hoping for, while at the same time they avoid ever directly addressing the critical question, namely what is the plan to get through that worst case sun/wind drought. Implicit in every page of the Report is that it is an advocacy document for the proposition that the U.S. should embark full speed ahead on crash “net zero” plans for our multi-tens-of-trillions-of-dollars economy without ever doing any kind of demonstration project to show it can work on any scale no matter how small.

You start to get an idea where this is going at the very beginning, when you come on page romanette v to a list of members of an “Advisory Committee” that appears to have given direction to the project. Members include John Podesta of the Center for American Progress, someone from the Environmental Defense Fund, an “Alternative Energy Research” guy from the Bank of America, an ex-World Bank guy (the World Bank being an organization dedicated to keeping poor countries from having access to energy that works), an environmental bureaucrat from the Massachusetts state government, several people from other alternative energy investors and environmental advocacy groups, and so forth. Clearly, this Report had to come to a pre-determined conclusion that energy storage issues do not pose any major impediment to net zero ambitions.

This being a product of left-wing academia, you can expect the usual touching faith in the ability of the federal government to solve all problems, no matter how intractable, by the magic of spending money out of the infinite federal pile. Thus, early in the Executive Summary, we find a recognition that the only battery storage technology currently being deployed in large amounts in commercial applications — namely Lithium Ion — cannot provide backup for periods longer than about 12 hours:

Li-ion batteries will continue to be a leading technology for EVs and for short-duration storage, but their storage capacity costs are unlikely to fall low enough to enable widespread adoption for long-duration (> 12 hours) electricity system applications.

OK then, what is the technology that will step up for the periods of a week or two that may need to be covered in a world without fossil fuels. From page xv:

To enable economical long-duration energy storage (> 12 hours), the DOE should support research, development, and demonstration to advance alternative electrochemical storage technologies that rely on earth-abundant materials. Cost, lifetime, and manufacturing scale requirements for long-duration energy storage favor the exploration of novel electro-chemical technologies, such as redox-flow and metal-air batteries that use inexpensive charge-storage materials and battery designs that are better suited for long-duration applications. (Emphasis in original).

The feds will “support research” into “novel technologies,” of course using the infinite money pile, and the technology will magically appear. And what exactly is the technology that will then emerge to rescue us? They have no idea:

While several novel electrochemical technologies have shown promise, remaining knowledge gaps with respect to key scientific, engineering, and manufacturing challenges suggest high value for concerted government support. Innovation in these technologies is being actively pursued in other countries, notably China.

You’ve got to hate those “knowledge gaps,” but clearly all that is needed to fill them is enough federal funding. And you can’t let those Chinese beat us!

Well, how about just using that ubiquitous element hydrogen, easily available through the electrolysis of water? They discuss that too:

[H]ydrogen produced via electrolysis can serve as a low-carbon fuel for industry as well as for electricity generation during periods when VRE [variable renewable energy] generation is low. . . . We support the effort that the DOE is leading to create a national strategy that addresses hydrogen production, transportation, and storage. In particular, the ability of existing natural gas transmission pipelines to carry hydrogen without suffering embrittlement, either at reduced pressures or if hydrogen is blended with natural gas or other compounds, remains an open question that deserves government-supported study by the DOE and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Funny that private investors aren’t putting any real money into this “hydrogen economy” thing. That’s because to get hydrogen out of water is extremely costly, and once you have it, it is inferior to natural gas in every way as a source of energy for the people. It’s less dense, more dangerous, and more difficult to transport and store. But again, throw in some of the infinite pile of federal money and it will all magically work.

Many of the charts and graphs are very complicated and technical, but if you spend some time with them, you start to realize that they are an insult to your intelligence. I’ll give you just one of my favorites, this one from page 191. Here we are considering what the electricity generation system will look like for two regions, the Northeast (New York and New England) and Texas, in various low and no-carbon scenarios. The cutoffs of 0g, 5g, 10g and No Limit at the left refer to how much carbon emissions are allowed per kWh of electricity generated.

Thus at the top right we see what a zero-carbon scenario will look like for Texas. Supposedly, with about a 3 to 4 times overbuild of a system having only wind and solar generation, then we will only need battery storage for about 50% of capacity and about 11 hours duration. Really? Does anybody remember February 2021? Texas’s wind and solar generators produced at less than 10% capacity for days on end. Can a three times overbuild of wind capacity and 12 hours of battery storage solve that? The answer is no. Not even close. And you could get a wind/solar drought of a full week. If you have no fossil fuel backup, you had better have enough storage to cover that.

And if you take some time to study this chart (not saying that I would recommend that) you can find multiple other equally implausible assertions.

Bottom line: I’m not trusting anybody’s so-called “model” to prove that this gigantic energy transformation is going to work. Show me the demonstration project that actually works.

They won’t. Indeed, there is not even an attempt to put such a thing together, even as we hurtle down the road to “net zero” without any idea how it is going to work.

May 30, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 3 Comments