The Propaganda War against Syria Led by Avaaz and the White Helmets

October 02, 2015
Region: Middle East & North Africa, Russia and FSU
Theme: Media Disinformation, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: SYRIA: NATO’S NEXT WAR?

1-52a0ad6527Propaganda is the spreading of information in support of a cause. It’s not so important whether the information is true or false or if the cause is just or not — it’s all propaganda.

The word propaganda is often used in a negative sense, especially for politicians who make false claims to get elected or spread rumours to instigate regime change [my edit]. In fact, any campaign that is used to persuade can be called propaganda.

Russia’s involvement in Syria has caused a flurry of “cold war”, Assad/ISIS co-dependency propaganda, all being produced by the usual suspects and all with the primary objective of invoking a No Fly Zone in Syria and stoking the “Russian Bear threat” fires that have been smouldering for some time.

I am going to attempt to dismantle this propaganda edifice one brick at a time.

Russia Attacks Moderate Rebels in Syria

In a Telegraph article dated 1st October 2015 with the headline British Troops Head to Saudi Arabia to train Syrian rebels it was stated:

The FSA is considered the most moderate of factions fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government, but has been increasingly side-lined on the battlefield by more extremist Islamist factions. It has also been riven by leadership disputes.

American-led attempts to train up moderates to hold ground against Isil are months behind track because of the difficulty of finding groups which were not linked to the extremists.

The term “moderate rebels” has become one of the most significant misnomers of this coming up to five year conflict. The hijacking of any semblance of a legitimate opposition to the Syrian Government by NATO, the US and regional allies including Israel in order to achieve their desired regime change has been well documented.

Who are these elusive “moderate rebels”?

You may well ask. Traditionally it is the FSA that has been marketed as the cuddly, viable alternative to the Assad government which incidentally is the internationally recognised government of Syria, supported by the majority of the Syrian people. However we don’t have to dig too deep to reveal the hard line Islamist, Salafi affiliations of this so-called moderate group of brigands.

Journalist Daniel Greenfield puts it most succinctly: “Few media outlets are willing to say that out loud, but it’s quite true. There is no Free Syrian Army. It’s an umbrella for providing Western aid to a front group run by the Muslim Brotherhood.” He deplores the shaky Pentagon math that Obama and Congress have used in an attempt to downplay the reality that even in 2013 Pentagon sources were reluctantly admitting that extremist groups constituted over 50% of Syrian “opposition” and that these numbers were steadily increasing.

This map clearly shows the weakness of this “moderate rebel” argument as it unequivocally demonstrates the minor FSA presence at the frontline of Syrian opposition. They compose of fragmented mercenary groups largely unable to operate without extremist logistical support.

syria-forces-map

So this rather dispels the “moderate” myth and leads to the conclusion that in reality Russia was targeting areas north of Homs that contained few civilians and is an area controlled by a number of combined Muslim Brotherhood, Jihadist opposition fighters supported by the US alliance. It must also be remembered that the majority of civilians will flee an area infested by such mercenaries and seek refuge in government held areas. This is another fact conveniently omitted from most mainstream media reports. 90% of IDPs are in Government held areas.

It also makes a mockery of Defence Secretary Ashton B Carter’s claims in the New York Times yesterday:

“By supporting Assad and seemingly taking on everybody fighting Assad,” Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Wednesday, Russia is “taking on the whole rest of the country that’s fighting Assad.” Some of those groups, he added, are supported by the United States and need to be part of a political resolution in Syria.

“That’s why the Russian position is doomed to fail,” Mr. Carter said.

Russia is effectively exposing US policy in Syria as naked hegemony and America is not happy. While the US has been supplying TOW missiles and a variety of arms/equipment to extremists and deliberately funding any group that will secure regime change, Russia is actively deploying its military to target the nests of terrorist mercenaries and opportunists waiting eagerly for the political vacuum that would be created by the “removal” of Assad, in order to inflict their extremism upon the Syrian people. They may not be technically called ISIS but they are cut from the same cloth of US/Israeli proxy terrorism and should be eliminated from any sovereign nation. Failure to do so has catastrophic results as seen in Libya and Iraq.

The Propaganda Trail

Now let’s examine the unsavoury marketing aspect of the propaganda campaign being waged by a frustrated and increasingly infuriated US alliance. Of course the usual triad has leapt into action. HRW, Avaaz and the White Helmets. Avaaz has produced one of its most poisonous and misleading petitions to date. The inevitable eyewitness statements claim that Russia targeted civilian areas utterly free of ISIS operatives. These statements are already rendered questionable by the evidence I have submitted above.

When we watch the videos, particularly the longer Liveleak version, it is hard to detect the women and children that are being described. The majority of protagonists appear to be male and of fighting age. There is no evidence of “civilian” life among the deserted buildings, the only movement is of males, some on foot, some on scooters and presumably some taking the time to film events even as the bombs are falling. Not the actions of terrified, innocent civilians.

Live Leak Video of Russian bombing of Homs:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=eb9_1443646193

There is one other video that does show about 2 seconds of a young boy crying and obviously injured. However this video must be questioned as to its authenticity as the claims are that the initial shot of planes overhead is not even of Russian planes. The quality of the video is poor and apart from the footage of the one child, again demonstrates that the majority of people involved are men of fighting age in a deserted built up area to the north of Homs.

In this disgusting display of blatant propaganda calling for the long sought after no fly zone, Emma Ruby-Sachs, deputy director of Avaaz makes the extraordinary statement “Russia says it’s bombing ISIS, but eyewitnesses say their brutal attacks targeted areas way outside of ISIS control. This will only sow instability and radicalisation and should be an urgent wake-up call to the US and its allies to enforce a targeted no-fly zone to save lives, counter ISIS and alleviate the refugee crisis. Syrians civilians need protection now, not further attacks from Russian bombs.”

Speaking to one Damascus resident this morning, I asked for their opinion on this statement. His reply was simple, “I am just relieved that the Russian Air Force is in action”. The hypocrisy of this statement from Ruby-Sachs perfectly mirrors the hypocrisy of Congress, Obama’s Teflon speech at the UNGA, Pentagon’s barefaced obscurantism over the US role in creating exactly this instability and radicalisation in Syria and bringing misery, terror and bloodshed to the people of Syria with the sole aim of securing their interests in the region [and those of their staunchest partner in crimes against Humanity, Israel]

If we wish to speak of civilian casualties perhaps we should turn the spotlight on the pre- existing Coalition bombing campaign. The civilian death rates from these strikes is rarely discussed and often concealed by the Pentagon and US/European associated analysts like the SOHR. Where for example was the Avaaz petition calling for a No Fly Zone when the coalition air strikes resulted in a multitude of non-combatant deaths including children? This report from Airwars reveals the disturbing numbers:

screenshot-305

Syria has also seen a number of troubling mass casualty events attributed to Coalition actions. On the first night of bombing on September 23rd 2014, US aircraft killed as many as 15 civilians in the village of Kafar Daryan. On December 28th at least 58 civilians reportedly died when the Coalition struck a temporary Daesh prison at al Bab (see report). And on April 30th 2015, 64 civilians died in a likely Coalition airstrike at Ber Mahli. In these three incidents alone, 106 non-combatant victims have so far been publicly named – 38 of them children. It remains unclear whether any of these events have been investigated by the Coalition.

Syria’s civilians need a spanner putting in the spokes of this crushing propaganda vehicle that rides roughshod over their genuine needs with devastating consequences. Those needs are simple: stop lying, stop fabricating and stop creating, funding, arming and incubating the terrorist cancer in Syria.

The White Helmet element.

Now we come to perhaps one of the most insidious and damaging elements of the propaganda machine. The White Helmets, created by Svengali of PR giants, Purpose.com. The White Helmets with the debonair, Sandhurst educated James Bond of humanitarianism at its helm, James Le Mesurier, whose CV reads like a NATO regime change itinerary and whose connections delve deep into the Empire’s underworld of media manipulation and strategy cultivation.

The first slick photo campaign was hot off the press almost immediately after the first Russian air strikes in the Homs region:

syria-campaign-russia

Unfortunately for them, perhaps White Helmets are exhausting their supply of heart string tugging images as their twitter campaign almost immediately came under attack by those who are waking up to this cynical propagandization of human misery.

screenshot-296

Quote from Sott.net ~

“The White Helmets in their haste to point the finger of blame at Moscow, managed to tweet about Russia’s air strikes several hours before the Russian Parliament actually authorized the use of the Air Force in Syria.”

This image was also picked up and run with by RT who accurately pinpointed the deep-rooted deceit that lies at the heart of the majority of White Helmet publicity campaigns. The flurry of activity on the White Helmet twitter page must have taken, even them, by surprise. For so long they have enjoyed the fruits of their marketing campaign depicting them as selfless heroes, saviours of humanity, impartial protectors of kittens and Syrians in equal measure. Unarmed, neutral, demi-saints climbing the “Mount Everest of war zones”. Unfortunately so many of their masks have slipped that they can no longer bask in their Purpose reflected glory.

Yesterday like HRW before them they were exposed to be the fabricators and deceivers they really are. Anyone can make a mistake I hear you say, yes sure, one mistake is acceptable, 2 is questionable but a consistent conveyer belt of misleading, perception altering, “nudging” images ceases to be innocent and enters the realm of manipulation on a terrifying scale with horrifying ramifications for the people of Syria who so far, have resisted their country being plunged into the same abyss as Libya or Iraq.

Just one other example of the White Helmet duplicitous image use:

aleppo-white-helmet

Another image was brought to my attention this morning that further shatters the high gloss White Helmet image. Whilst it is well known that far from being neutral, the White Helmets are in fact embedded with Al Nusra [the Syrian arm of Al Qaeda], it is perhaps not so well known that their southern Damascus depot is situated at the heart of ISIS held territory, to the south of the notorious Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp.

This image shows their insignia and emblem clearly on the wall and gates behind the selfie taking ISIS mercenary in the foreground. It is becoming harder and harder for White Helmets to maintain their veneer of impartiality, a fact that is borne out quite effectively by the fact that the majority of Syrians in government held areas have never heard of them, even unbiased civilians in Aleppo have not come across them. Their association is exclusively with the extremist elements of the Syrian opposition. Their purpose is to facilitate calls for a No Fly Zone, cue Avaaz, and destabilize the region in the manner demanded by their masters in the US, UK and Syrian National Council.

Conclusion

We can safely conclude that the US, Israel and their allies are furious that they have been out manoeuvred and outsmarted by Russia and Syria. Their No Fly Zone plans have been consistently thwarted and derailed. Russia has effectively demanded a US coalition No Fly Zone which is the ultimate insult to US hegemony and self-proclaimed world police status. Russia, unlike the US IS targeting ISIS in all its distorted guises and nomenclature. And yes Mr Defence Secretary, Russia is bombing US supported “rebels” in Syria for the very simple reason, the US has funded all extremist factions in Syria since they first started down the blood strewn road of regime change.

If we lived in a just world we would see Avaaz and their ilk clamouring for an end to interventionism and demanding diplomatic solutions to support internal, sovereign nation, peace processes [as in fact Russia has unwaveringly called for in Syria]. However we do not live in a world based upon a universal understanding of justice, we live in a world governed by the powerful and the greedy, devoid of compassion, intent only on their geopolitical prowess and humanity exempt colonialism. For the sake of the Syrian people and all other nations being crushed by this well used, well-oiled propaganda machine we must question, we must demand answers, and we must wake up to our responsibility to reject calls for the destruction of nations and peoples who ask only for their basic human right to determine their own futures.

Avaaz, HRW, White Helmets and their associates have no place in that brave new world.

US Combat Forces, FBI and CIA in Ukraine: Vice President Biden Congratulates Poroshenko for Violating Minsk Peace Agreement

 

biden-blasts-russiaObama continues using Kiev junta proxies to wage war on Donbass. He’s gone all-out to sabotage multiple peace efforts spearheaded by Russia.

He didn’t wage war to quit. He’s supplying Kiev with heavy weapons, munitions and other US aid.

US combat forces are in Ukraine working directly with its military. CIA and FBI operatives infest Kiev.

On March 18, Joe Biden called Poroshenko. He congratulated him for violating Minsk.

It calls for granting Donbass special status autonomous rule. Draft Kiev legislation designates it “temporarily occupied territories.”

A White House statement said Biden “welcomed the (parliament’s) adoption of implementing measures relating to the law on special status for certain areas of eastern Ukraine…”

He lied saying legislation adopted complies with terms stipulated under “September 2014 and February 2015 Minsk agreements.”

Kiev continues violating their letter and spirit with full US support and encouragement.

“The two leaders discussed the upcoming multinational training program for Ukraine’s (Nazi infested) National Guard forces, which the United States will support,” the White House statement said.

They ‘agreed” on maintaining sanctions on Russia. They lied claiming they’re in response to “Russia(n) violence and instability in” Donbass.

They concurred on pressuring “the international community…to increase the costs to Russia for pursuing such actions.”

Sergey Lavrov responded saying Washington wants Ukrainian crisis conditions settled militarily.

Kiev’s failure to grant Donbass special status violates its pledge to do so.

“If Washington welcomes the action, which undermines the Minsk agreements, then we can only conclude that Washington is inciting Kiev to resolve the issue by military means,” Lavrov explained.

“The Ukrainian leadership…basically terminated their commitments to engage in direct dialogue and negotiate with south-eastern Ukraine, including on the issue of elections, on the implementation of the law on the special status…”

Russia’s OSCE envoy Andrey Kelin accused Kiev of spurning conflict ending dialogue with Donbass.

“No lasting truce and sustainable ceasefire are possible without political settlement, and no such settlement is possible without dialogue,” he said.

“Kiev is categorically reluctant to speak with Donbas about political settlement. Last year’s developments seem to be reoccurring.”

“We saw it a year ago and it ended up, as we know, in Ukraine’s aggression against Donbas.”

“Kiev is seeking to fall into the same trap, arrogantly ignoring representatives of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.”

“If they do not observe what has been agreed in Minsk after months of warfare, and Minsk agreements provide for a dialogue between the parties to the conflict to establish the DPR and LPR status, local elections in Donbas and normal political settlement, the risk (of attempts to solve the conflict by military means) considerably increases.”

Kiev systematically breached previous peace initiatives straightaway. It ignores Minsk II provisions.

It wants total control over Donbass regained. It intends seizing it forcefully.

Illegitimate prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk explained it several times. Most recently on Wednesday unambiguously saying “(o)ur goal is to regain control of Donetsk and Lugansk.”

Last April, naked aggression was launched to accomplish Kiev’s objective. Low-intensity conflict continues – heading toward resuming full-scale war at Washington’s discretion.

Expect it any time. Expect likely greater mass slaughter and destruction than before.

“We will fight using all method and techniques,” said Yatsenyuk. Meaning no-holds-barred dirty war – using banned weapons, willfully targeting civilians, and committing other egregious crimes of war and against humanity.

Expect Russia and rebels blamed for US/Kiev crimes like earlier. Chances for peace are nil.

At risk is direct US/Russian confrontation. Fox News is one of many presstitute platforms promoting it.

It features anti-Russian gun-slinging retired generals. Robert Scales told Fox the only way to change things in Ukraine is “start killing Russians.”

A criminal case was opened against him in Russia under Article 354 of its Criminal Code.

He advocates cold-blooded murder. He’s not alone. Active and retired US political and military officials want war on Russia.

Giving them national television air time increases the possibility. Lunatic fringe loose cannons infest Washington.

Retired General/former US army vice chief of staff Jack Keane wants US bases closer to Russia’s borders.

Sanctions and provocative military exercises aren’t enough, he says. He urges tougher actions.

“I think we’ve got to recognize that the security issues in Europe are no longer in Central Europe where our forces were post-WW2,” he said.

“The fact is they’re in Eastern Europe,  so we should realign our bases not on a temporary basis but on a permanent basis, put the air bases and the ground bases further into eastern Europe, move them out of Central Germany where they currently are.”

“That’ll cost some expense, but it’s absolutely worth it in terms of letting Putin know clearly that those countries, those Baltic countries…matter to us.”

“They are a part of NATO and we’re not going to accept any challenge to them.”

“This would send a really loud signal to them that clearly the security situation in Europe has changed.”

“It’s recognition of those changes. It’s a recognition of the intimidation and the threatening situation that is clearly developing.”

Fact: America’s only threats are ones it invents.

Fact: Eastern and Western European countries claiming Russian threats lie. None exist.

Fact: Positioning increasing numbers of US military combat troops near Russia’s borders heightens chances for direct confrontation.

Crowd of Several Hundred Tries to Storm Ukrainian Presidential Administration Office

 

In-depth Report:

Ukraine-anniversary-Maidan-coup-4-400x270A crowd of several hundred people has begun storming the Ukrainian presidential administration’s office, a TASS correspondent reports from the scene.

Protest demonstrators have penetrated the first cordon of the National Guards and are trying to make their way to the conference hall. Police forces are being moved in. National guards in full riot gear entered a brawl with the demonstrators, who are demanding access to TV cameras for a statement.

Earlier, demonstrators demanded the introduction of martial law and resignation of all top law enforcement officials, including the defense minister and prosecutor-general.

Also, one of their demands is the removal of the 25th Kievan Rus battalion of the Ukrainian armed forces from the area of Debaltsevo. Women from the Mothers’ Union have told TASS their sons could not have been contacted for the past several days.

“Je Suis Donetsk”: Ukraine Army Attacks Bus and Trolley in Center of Donetsk. 13 Killed including Children

 

In-depth Report:

 

cluster-rocket-ukraine-400x222This morning January 22nd at 8:30 local time in Donetsk the Ukrainian army fired what appear to be 82mm shells at buses and trolleys near the center of the city.

The targets were located within roughly a 25 meter radius of each other. The OSCE is investigating.

The terrorist strike on the bus shown above claimed the lives of 13-15 people including children. There are reported to be over 20 other critically injured, many with blast amputations. The driver of a car next to the blast burnt to death. The blast was large enough to blowout 2nd story windows in an apartment across from it and stopped the clock at 8:30.

Donetsk Defense Minister Vladimir Kononov gave a statement that a group of terrorists launching attacks on civilians have been caught and are Ukrainian military operatives. Small teams of Ukrainian army/terrorists have been perpetrating random drive by shootings with automatics in Donetsk since the Ukrainian army reignited the hot war eleven days ago.
 

 
 

In another development on Slavakaya St. which is located on the outskirts of Donetsk, a local resident noticed an improvised trip mine pictured above. The DNR(Donetsk Peoples Republic) army responded by sending an explosives team to defuse it. The mine was set up on a pathway to a children’s playground.

In the town of Stahanovo today a Grad and Hurricane rocket and missile attack left three children’s kindergartens entirely destroyed this morning. Three more pre-school facilities were targeted and partially destroyed. So far casualty reports are 8 civilians dead including at least 2 children and over 20 wounded. The attacks on civilians are escalating.

Sources are reporting that the attack this morning is only the beginning of a much larger one. Ukraine’s Donbas Battalion is moving military equipment into Artemovsk flying DNR flags and wearing DNR uniforms. Artemovsk is in the control of the Ukrainian army.

The latest attacks on civilian targets in Donetsk show a blatant pattern of criminal murder that has come to define the Ukrainian Government in Kiev throughout the war. Like the other bus attack near Volonovaha where the Ukrainian army fired Grad rockets at one of their own checkpoints this attack shows the open criminality of the Poroshenko regime.

In developed countries governments that give their army units orders to murder other army units and their own civilians are criminals. Every official that could have influence and stop the crimes are held accountable. Most developed countries also adhere to laws of war that makes the purposeful targeting of civilians an international crime. Leaders of countries that order crimes of this magnitude are prosecuted either internally or in an international forum like the War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremburg. After WW2, a guilty verdict meant the responsible leaders were hung.

Why is this openly Nazi government instead rewarded?

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, U.S. Army, is head of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) for NATO was in Kiev yesterday and awarded US Army Europe medallions for excellence to the Ukrainian army’s wounded. General Hodges shook one Ukrainian soldiers hand and stated he was “proud of his service to his country.”

 

At Debalsevo and the Donetsk airport where these wounded soldiers are coming from the Ukrainian army has been targeting civilians for several months. The US Army head of LANDCOM takes pride in this? As an American I have never felt this much shame for my country. Just the sight of this man who is in the position of knowing exactly who he is dealing with shames the memory of my own grandfather and uncle who fought in WW2 against ultra-nationalism.

My grandfather and uncle would not thank openly nazi governments for receiving him on “such short notice.” They were proud to be American.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified.

Why Is Europe Staying with the Leading Fascist Power, That’s Now Turned Nazi?

 

nazi-us-flag-400x252The United States is a gung-ho supporter of a genocide that it created. (Click on those links, for the verification of these shocking facts — shocking only because they’re covered up by our ‘press.’) Why does Europe tolerate this, and even participate in it? But, they do.

On November 14th, France missed the second deadline for them to supply to Russia the Mistral helicopter-carrier ship that Russia had already paid for in full, and which had been built to Russian specifications, not suitable for use by NATO.

Back on 14 May 2014, Michael R. Gordon — one of the New York Times ‘reporters’ (more-realistically: stenographers for the U.S. Administration) who had ‘reported’ back in 2002 about how horrific were the WMD or Weapons of Mass Destruction that Saddam Hussein was building up, but which actually didn’t exist except in the Administration’s disinformation-agencies — headlined in that propaganda-outlet for the U.S. Government (propagandistically calling itself a ‘news’paper), “France’s Sale of 2 Ships to Russians Is Ill-Advised, U.S. Warns,” and he lambasted the dastardly purveyor of what U.S. nationalists had contemptuously called “freedom fries”; he opened his ‘news report’ as the stenographer to power that he and his newspaper are, with: “In a closed-door meeting in February 2010, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urged his French counterpart not to proceed with the sale of two amphibious assault ships to Russia because it ‘would send the wrong message to Russia and to our allies in Central and East Europe.’” In other words: Russia is the enemy; don’t deal with them in any other way.

Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post, headlined the next day disdainfully, “Europe goes its own way,” and she opened, “France’s attempt to sell warships to Russia is both a ‘sell the rope to hang themselves’ moment and a comment on U.S. stature these days.” She lied: Russia isn’t France’s enemy; the U.S. has become that. And France wasn’t in any “attempt to sell warships to Russia”; those warships had already been sold and built and paid for, but Washington was turning the screws on their ‘friend’ France, to induce them not to deliver what had already been sold and manufactured.

 America’s fascists, and even for our racist-fascists or “nazis,” the Cold War has never ended, not even when the Soviet Union did and when Marxist economics became rejected everywhere but in Cuba and North Korea. Apparently, the Cold War was never really about communism, if one believes these fascists; it was about destroying Russia. For them, it has actually been just a marketing plan for U.S.-made weapons. Now that Russia is a democracy — perhaps more so than the U.S. now is — the old hatred still burns like hot coals in the black hearts of Barack Obama, Republicans, and all other far-rightist, pro-oligarchic, U.S. politicians, who serve the people at Raytheon Corporation and Lockheed-Martin, and other producers for NATO, the Western arms-buying club.

Gutless France isn’t telling Uncle Sam to shove off about that, but is instead setting itself up to pay a very heavy price for today’s peddler of genocide, the U.S. You don’t see this fact — or this, or even this — reported in the New York Times, or theWashington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. Those facts come from ‘the enemy.’

America needs a real press, not an aristocratically controlled ‘news-media,’ that are constantly for sale to the highest bidder, whomever can put up the advertising bucks to buy the ‘news reporting’ and ‘editorial opinions,’ that shape ‘democracy.’

400 US mercenaries ‘deployed on ground’ in Ukraine military op

Ukrainian troops outside the town of Andreyevskoe near Slaviyansk, Donetsk Region, where local residents blocked a column of Ukrainian Army armored personnel carriers. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

Ukrainian troops outside the town of Andreyevskoe near Slaviyansk, Donetsk Region, where local residents blocked a column of Ukrainian Army armored personnel carriers. (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy)

About 400 elite mercenaries from the notorious US private security firm Academi (formerly Blackwater) are taking part in the Ukrainian military operation against anti-government protesters in southeastern regions of the country, German media reports.

The Bild am Sonntag newspaper, citing a source in intelligence circles, wrote Sunday that Academi employees are involved in the Kiev military crackdown on pro-autonomy activists in near the town of Slavyansk, in the Donetsk region.

On April 29, German Intelligence Service (BND) informed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government about the mercenaries’ participation in the operation, the paper said, RIA Novosti reported. It is not clear who commands the private military contractors and pays for their services, however.

In March, media reports appeared suggesting that the coup-imposed government in Kiev could have employed up to 300 mercenaries.That was before the new government launched a military operation against anti-Maidan activists, or “terrorists” as Kiev put it, in southeast Ukraine.

At the time, the Russian Foreign Ministry said then that reports claiming Kiev was planning to involve “involve staff from foreign military companies to ‘ensure the rule of law,’” could suggest that it wanted “to suppress civil protests and dissatisfaction.”

In particular, Greystone Limited, which is currently registered in Barbados and is a part of Academi Corporation, is a candidate for such a gendarme role. It is a similar and probably an affiliated structure of the Blackwater private army, whose staff have been accused of cruel and systematic violations of human rights in various trouble spots on many occasions.

“Among the candidates for the role of gendarme is the Barbados-registered company Greystone Limited, which is integrated with the Academi corporation,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “It is an analogue, and, probably and affiliated body of the Blackwater private army, whose employees have repeatedly been accused of committing grievous and systematic human rights abuses in different troubled regions.”

Allegations increased further after unverified videos appeared on YouTube of unidentified armed men in the streets of Donetsk, the capital of the country’s industrial and coalmining region. In those videos, onlookers can be heard shouting “Mercenaries!”“Blackwater!,” and “Who are you going to shoot at?”

(FILES) A picture taken on July 5, 2005 shows contractors of the US private security firm Blackwater securing the site of a roadside bomb attack near the Iranian embassy in central Baghdad. (AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye)

(FILES) A picture taken on July 5, 2005 shows contractors of the US private security firm Blackwater securing the site of a roadside bomb attack near the Iranian embassy in central Baghdad. (AFP Photo / Ahmad Al-Rubaye)

Academi denied its involvement in Ukraine, claiming on its website that “rumors” were posted by “some irresponsible bloggers and online reporters.”

“Such unfounded statements combined with the lack of factual reporting to support them and the lack of context about the company, are nothing more than sensationalistic efforts to create hysteria and headlines in times of genuine crisis,” the US firm stated.

The American security company Blackwater gained worldwide notoriety for the substantial role it played in the Iraq war as a contractor for the US government. In recent years it has changed its name twice – in 2009 it was renamed Xe Services and in 2011 it got its current name, Academi.

The firm became infamous for the alleged September 16, 2007 killing of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad. The attack, which saw 20 others wounded, was allegedly without justification and in violation of deadly-force rules that pertained to American security contractors in Iraq at the time. Between 2005 and September 2007, Blackwater security guards were involved in at least 195 shooting incidents in Iraq and fired first in 163 of those cases, a Congressional report said at the time.

Blackwater deployed to southeast Ukraine to terrorize the civilians: Sara Flounders

 

 

Pro-Russian activists say nearly 90 percent of voters in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk have voted in favor of independence from the central government in Kiev.

The head of the electoral commission in Donetsk says only 10 percent of people in the region voted against the bid. On Sunday, residents in the two eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk took part in a referendum on the future status of their provinces. Regional officials in Luhansk province also say polls have closed there, and a vote count is now underway. The interim authorities in Kiev have rejected the ballot as illegal and a criminal farce organized by Russia. Meanwhile, at least one pro-Russian activist has lost his life in clashes with army forces in the city of Krasno-armeysk. Earlier, government forces took control of two state buildings there.