Metal bassist ruptures testicle on stage, keeps playing

screen-shot-2014-12-02-at-10-16-48-pm

Dutch band Delain

 December 2, 2014

There’s been many gruesome feats done by musicians on stage: Iggy Pop gouged his skin with broken glass, while Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a bat. However, Dutch symphonic metal outfit Delain might have them all beat with their immense commitment to the trope “the show must go on.”It’s tradition for Delain to launch confetti cannons during their song “The Gathering”. Typically they’ve done this without any incident, but during a show in Birmingham, England last week, bassist Otto Schimmelpenninck found himself taking a shot straight to the groin. Despite the pain and bleeding, Schimmelpenninck finished out the show.In a subsequent Facebook status, Schimmelpenninck revealed that after the show his scrotum had ballooned up to the size of a grapefruit. He was quickly rushed to a hospital where they removed 500 ML of blood from his scrotum and had his ruptured testicle stitched up. He described the event as “one of the most unpleasant adventures I’ve ever had to endure.”You can see surprisingly not gruesome footage of the performance below.

True to the story,Schimmelpenninck seems initially unfazed by the incident.
 

 

Published on Nov 27, 2014

Dutch group Delain performing The Gathering at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on 26th November 2014.

 

 

 

 

Chomsky to RT: US and its NATO intervention force may spark nuclear war

     Home /     News / Chomsky to RT: US and its NATO intervention force may spark nuclear war Published time: November 07, 2014 13:20 Get short URL US linguist, philosopher and political activist, Noam Chomsky (AFP Photo DDP / Sascha Schuermann) GERMANY OUT US linguist, philosopher and political activist, Noam Chomsky (AFP Photo DDP / Sascha Schuermann) GERMANY OUT


US linguist, philosopher and political activist, Noam Chomsky (AFP Photo DDP / Sascha Schuermann) GERMANY OUT 

Published November 7, 2014

How dangerous is the current confrontation between Russia and the West? Noam Chomsky believes that NATO expansion and US quest for hegemony has put the world in a situation so unstable where any accidental interaction could result in a nuclear war.

‘New NATO aims to control the world’

The “new NATO” that emerged after the Soviet Union collapsed is basically a US-run intervention force, with a completely different mission as compared to the original, Chomsky tells RT’s Sophie&Co.

“In fact, one might ask why NATO even continued to exist,” he said. “The official justification for NATO was that its purpose was to defend Western Europe from Russian hordes who might attack Western Europe.”

With no more “Russian threat”, the natural conclusion in the 90s would be to disband the alliance, but instead the opposite happened – against all agreements NATO expanded all the way towards the Russian borders.

“Its mission changed. The official mission of NATO became to control the international, the global energy system, pipelines. That means, to control the world.”

‘World ominously close to nuclear war’

In the worst case scenario the current international instability, especially with tensions between US and Russia resembling a new cold war, could result in a nuclear war, in which all parties that initiate it would be eliminated.

“And it’s come ominously close several times in the past, dramatically close. And it could happen again, but not planned, but just by the accidental interactions that take place,” Chomsky said. “There have been many cases, not that serious, but pretty close, where human intervention with a few-minutes choice has prevented a nuclear war. You can’t guarantee that’s going to continue.”

 

1

“It may not be a high probability each time, but when you play a game like that, with low probability risks of disaster over and over again, you’re going to lose. And now, especially in the crisis over Ukraine, and so-called missile-defense systems near the borders of Russia, it’s a threatening situation.”

‘West can’t isolate Russia, will drive it to the East’

With its efforts to isolate Russia through confrontation and sanctions, the West instead pushes Moscow closer to the East, towards closer relations with China.

“Current Western policies are driving Russia towards closer interaction with the Chinese-based system. In this interaction Russia is actually the weaker partner, so it’s making concessions, but the US is openly creating a system of power, which could significantly diminish US domination in the world.”

“There is a Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called, a huge commercial treaty, designed to incorporate the Asian countries, not China, but the other Asian countries, crucially not China,” Chomsky said. “But that’s the plan and it’s the kind of economic counterpart to the military pivot to Asia, and the sanctions on Russia are helping to create a counter-course based on Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or an extension of it, which would include Russia, and may begin to move across Eurasia, the whole Eurasian region.”

Reuters / Jorge Dan

Reuters / Jorge Dan

The peak of American power in history was around 1945, Chomsky says, when the United States owned half of the world’s wealth and American leaders were designing and organizing a world system that would benefit the US corporate system.

“The origins of multi-national corporations began to develop at that time… And there were detailed plans for assigning to every part of the world, what was called, a function within the global system,” he says, although adding that plan began to collapse very quickly.

“In 1949 there was a serious blow to the US global hegemony – China’s independence,” he said. “There’s a name for that in US history and Western history. It is called ‘the loss of China’. Just think about this phrase for a minute. I can only lose what I own. And the assumption, the tacit assumption is – we own China, we own the world.”

‘US-led anti-ISIS coalition meaningless, apart from being illegal’

US actions in the Middle East region, including the invasion in Iraq, have created the circumstances, under which ISIS emerged, Chomsky believes. “What happened is the US basically hit Iraq with a kind of sledgehammer,” instituting a governmental structure, which was sectarian in nature.

“All of this came together to create sectarian conflicts, which had not existed before… That has since expanded, and now it’s tearing the whole region apart. Syria is one element of it.”

3

 

Reuters / Majed Jaber

READ MORE: US knocks down ballistic, cruise missile targets in complex Aegis system test

“It may not be a high probability each time, but when you play a game like that, with low probability risks of disaster over and over again, you’re going to lose. And now, especially in the crisis over Ukraine, and so-called missile-defense systems near the borders of Russia, it’s a threatening situation.”

‘West can’t isolate Russia, will drive it to the East’

With its efforts to isolate Russia through confrontation and sanctions, the West instead pushes Moscow closer to the East, towards closer relations with China.

“Current Western policies are driving Russia towards closer interaction with the Chinese-based system. In this interaction Russia is actually the weaker partner, so it’s making concessions, but the US is openly creating a system of power, which could significantly diminish US domination in the world.”

“There is a Trans-Pacific Partnership, so-called, a huge commercial treaty, designed to incorporate the Asian countries, not China, but the other Asian countries, crucially not China,” Chomsky said. “But that’s the plan and it’s the kind of economic counterpart to the military pivot to Asia, and the sanctions on Russia are helping to create a counter-course based on Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or an extension of it, which would include Russia, and may begin to move across Eurasia, the whole Eurasian region.”

Reuters / Jorge Dan

Reuters / Jorge Dan

The peak of American power in history was around 1945, Chomsky says, when the United States owned half of the world’s wealth and American leaders were designing and organizing a world system that would benefit the US corporate system.

“The origins of multi-national corporations began to develop at that time… And there were detailed plans for assigning to every part of the world, what was called, a function within the global system,” he says, although adding that plan began to collapse very quickly.

READ MORE: US-backed TPP to be ineffective without Russia, China – Putin

“In 1949 there was a serious blow to the US global hegemony – China’s independence,” he said. “There’s a name for that in US history and Western history. It is called ‘the loss of China’. Just think about this phrase for a minute. I can only lose what I own. And the assumption, the tacit assumption is – we own China, we own the world.”

‘US-led anti-ISIS coalition meaningless, apart from being illegal’

US actions in the Middle East region, including the invasion in Iraq, have created the circumstances, under which ISIS emerged, Chomsky believes. “What happened is the US basically hit Iraq with a kind of sledgehammer,” instituting a governmental structure, which was sectarian in nature.

“All of this came together to create sectarian conflicts, which had not existed before… That has since expanded, and now it’s tearing the whole region apart. Syria is one element of it.”

3

And to solve the mess, the US again decided to act against the international law, building an anti-ISIS coalition that is “meaningless, apart from being illegal.”

“A law-abiding state would go to the Security Council, ask for a declaration by the Security Council of a threat to peace, and request the Security Council to organize direct response to it. And that could be done. The US could then participate in it, but so could Iran,” which is a major military force and would probably wipe out ISIS in no time, if it was allowed to join the fight on the ground, Chomsky believes.

‘States are very resistant to interference with their powers’

The US is far and away the technologically most advanced country in the world, so the spying is “more extensive in the United States.” Although Edward Snowden made a major contribution by exposing NSA methods to the world, there’s a long way to go, Chomsky said.

“States are very resistant to interference with their powers… It hasn’t stopped, now in fact it’s expanding. It’s a real major attack on human rights,” he said. “But it’s duplicated in China, Britain, Russia, no doubt, other countries.”

“The major threat is if it becomes sort of passively accepted, because of the fact that it’s not stopped, this is just going to go on, go on to the point where there are literally tiny drones, fly-size drones, that can be on the ceiling of your living room, listening to what you’re saying and sending it back to the central government office. There are no limits to this.”

“There has to be a citizen reaction, which would put an end to this practice.”

 

 

 

‘Germany’s intel agency is (apparently) branch of CIA’

The main entrance of Germany's intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) headquarters (Reuters / Michael Dalder)

The main entrance of Germany’s intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) headquarters (Reuters / Michael Dalder)

 

RT news

Published October 20, 2014

The German BND is not an independent intelligent service but more like a CIA branch, Manuel Ochsenreiter, Editor-in-Chief of Zuerst magazine, told RT. Its so-called evidence on the MH17 tragedy is questionable and contradicting, he added.

RT: German intelligence says they have damning evidence, why didn’t they make it public?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: We shouldn’t forget that the German intelligence service, the BND, is not the “Mercedes” among the intelligent services, it is not an independent intelligence service. It is more or less a branch of the CIA or other American intelligent services. When we [look] back in the history of the BND we see some similar stories. For example, last year the BND claimed that they have evidence that the Syrian government is responsible for the chemical attack in Ghouta close to Damascus. This so-called evidence has never appeared. In 2003 the BND delivered the main witness…named Curveball to the world who was testifying that the Iraqi army, Iraqi government, had weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons. So we see there is a history of those so-called evidences to support the Western political position. I think we should be now very careful and simply wait if or until the so-called evidence is presented to public.

Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

RT: What impact could German claims have on the official investigation?

MO: The investigation is still going on and it is deeply questionable simply to claim that there is now the evidence which proves 100 percent which side is responsible for shooting down the airplane. And we can see this as a sort of PR attempt of influencing the international investigations on the plane crash because the question is, if the BND really has that evidence, why don’t they deliver the evidence to the investigation team? Instead of this, they take care that it becomes public that they might have this evidence. So we can see this as an attempt at influencing the international investigations and to put pressure on the investigators.

RT: Do you think this raises more questions? If this is the case why didn’t Kiev mention the missile system was missing months ago?

MO: The situation is much, much more ridiculous…The point is that the Ukrainian government said in July that no rocket system was stolen or captured by the other side so they said from the beginning that they are not missing any rocket systems. So they already said that it is not possible that the pro-Russian fighters got into power of one of those systems. So how should they use then those systems to shoot down the airplane? We see that…the so-called evidence of the BND is deeply questionable and contradicting the official statements of Kiev, and we know that Kiev is an ally of the West. Here we see the conflicting news I think this is a strong sign how deeply unreliable [it is].

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

 

Ten more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

 

RT news

Published time: July 21, 2014

Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov ( left) and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev ( right) at a media conference in Moscow, July 21 (RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash – and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.

Military officials – chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev – posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.

1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?

“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov.

2. Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk?

“The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars.”

3. Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held area if the self-defense forces have no planes?

“As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

4. Why did Kiev deploy BUK missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy?

“We have satellite photos of the places where Ukraine had its air defense units deployed in the southeastern parts of the country. The first three photos were made on July 14. The first photo shows Buk launchers 8 km northwest of Lugansk. You can clearly see a TELAR and two TELs. The second photo shows radars 5 km north of Donetsk. You can see two TARs along with other equipment and technical structures. The third photo shows air defense systems north of Donetsk. You can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures.

“Here’s a photo of the same area made on July 17. Please note that the launcher has disappeared. The fifth photo shows a battery of Buk missiles at the village of Zaroshchenskoye 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtyorsk on the morning of the same day. The sixth photo shows the same area on July 18. As you can see, the battery has left.”

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

5. On the day of the crash Kiev intensified Kupol-M1 9S18 radar activity, key BUK system components. Why?

“Also, July 17 saw increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the Buk system. Here on this chart you see that there were seven radars operating on July 15, eight radars operating on July 16, and nine radars operating on July 17 in the area. Then, starting with July 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found.”

6. What was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights?

“There were three civilian planes in the area performing their regular flights at this time. There was a flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17:17, there was a flight from Paris to Taipei at 17:24, and then there was the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.”

“Also, Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing.”

“The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10,000 meters for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km.”

(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

7. Why was the military jet flying at so close to a passenger plane?

“At 17:21’35, with [the Boeing’s] velocity having dropped to 200 kilometers per hour, a new mark detecting an airborne object appears at the spot of the Boeing’s destruction. This new airborne object was continuously detected for the duration of four minutes by the radar stations Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya. An air traffic controller requested the characteristics of the new airborne object, but was unable to get any readings on its parameters – most likely due to the fact that the new aircraft was not equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder, which is a distinctive feature of military aircraft,” said Makushev.

“Detecting the new aircraft became possible as it started to ascend. Further changes in the airborne object’s coordinates suggest that it was hovering above the Boeing 777’s crash site, monitoring of the situation.

“Ukrainian officials earlier claimed that there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in the area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”

8. Where did the launcher – from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia – come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?

“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems – unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.

 

9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

10. Why haven’t US officials revealed the evidence supporting claims that the MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by the militia?

“US officials claim they have satellite photographs proving the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched by the militia. But no one has seen these photographs so far. As far as we know, there was indeed a US satellite flying over southeastern Ukraine on July 17 from 17:06 to 17:21 Moscow time.

“This satellite is part of an experimental system designed to track and monitor the launches of missiles of various ranges. If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the US satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

 

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”

Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov: No haste in MH17 tragedy probe, despite media hype

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

 

RT news

The report on the Malaysian jet crash is very “calm” and doesn’t provide much information about the tragedy, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. He added that despite all the hype around the crash, the investigators do not seem to be in a hurry.

In a Saturday interview to Russian channel TV-Center, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed he was disappointed by the latest report from Dutch experts on the reasons of Malaysia airplane crash. Malaysian airplane with 298 people on board crashed in Donetsk region July 17. Many western media outlets started accusing Russia without providing any evidence.

MH17 broke up in mid-air due to external damage – Dutch preliminary report

However, despite the political tensions, the report provided by the Dutch Safety Board from September 9 is “calm” while the investigators are taking their time with the probe.

“There are no demands that experts resume their work at the crash site,” Lavrov said. “There were also no attempts to go there to collect, as they say, the wreckage and to see how the whole plane looked like. Nobody spoke about it out loud.”

At the same time, the only side who is the moment seems actively interested in going to the site of the crash is Malaysia, whose Defense Minister is planning a soon visit.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

The Dutch report said that the MH17 crash was the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside.

“Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside,” the Dutch Safety Board said in its preliminary report.

“I hope that we will learn the truth, but it doesn’t depend on me,” Lavrov said, dismissing the accusations that traces of a Russian BUK missile system were detected at the crash site.

“There were many ‘fiction stories’ about BUK missiles,” said Lavrov. “But that very myth was debunked. This BUK was shown on the territory controlled by Kiev troops. There were many other far-fetched theories, some of them outright lies.”

The international experts have spent at least three weeks in Kiev and talked to Ukrainian authorities, but nobody cared to answer the questions posed by the Russian side, Russian FM added.

Lavrov said Moscow is readying one more set of questions, this time coming from Russian Air agencies, on the crash. A number of important steps required in such a probe have not been taken, he added.

“I don’t know why those things have not been done. Maybe someone is comfortable with the situation when right after the tragedy there were hysteric accusations towards the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine and Russia,” he concluded. “And now when the ‘propagandist cream’ has got removed, maybe those people do not really want to investigate the plane crash.”

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

US seeking maximal escalation in E. Ukraine

Russia is concerned with calls coming from the new Ukrainian leadership to abandon its neutral status and join NATO. Such a course in particular was proclaimed by the country’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk on August 29.

“I think he is acting not in the interest of his own people but of those who wanted to put an argument Russian and Ukrainian nations and drive a wedge between Russian and Europe,” Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, Washington also wants to “get engaged” in the crisis.

ukraineArmy2

Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk September 12, 2014.(Reuters / Gleb Garanich)

“The actions of almost all Ukrainian radicals and extremists, including the radicals in the leading positions, get carte blanche from the USA,” the minister said. “Washington has repeatedly showed that its goal is to aggravate the crisis at a maximal level and use Ukraine as a bargaining chip to isolate and weaken Russia.”

The calls urging to look at what’s happening objectively and step for national dialogue, reconciliation and respect of the minorities’ rights – the values West promotes in any other conflict – don’t work, Lavrov added.

According to Lavrov, “there are many ‘provocateurs’ in Ukraine’s leadership, but western authorities do nothing to “curb the radicals.”

Thus, Russia prefers to work with those who represent the Ukrainian president.

“The Russian president repeatedly said that he is satisfied how his direct contact with [Petro] Poroshenko started,” he said.

 

 

 

Sixteen People Die Falling Through Grate at South Korea Concert

Rescue workers stand around a collapsed ventilation area at a K-Pop Concert in Seongnam, South Korea on October 17th, 2014. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/sixteen-people-die-falling-through-grate-at-south-korea-concert-20141017#ixzz3GRCSZtHJ Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Rescue workers stand around a collapsed ventilation area at a K-Pop Concert inSeongnam, South Korea on October 17th, 2014.  Photo: Getty 

At least 16 South Korean music fans plummeted more than 65 feet to their deaths at an outdoor K-pop concert by the group 4Minute on Friday when a ventilation grate collapsed. The grate, which the victims had been standing on, had covered a concrete shaft that led to an underground garage. Eleven others were seriously injured in the accident, according to The Associated Press, which cites information from an official in Seongnam, a city to the south of Seoul. The BBC reports that the number of those killed and injured by the collapse could rise as investigations continue.

“Twelve peoplewere killed at the scene, two others died while theywere being rushed to the hospital,” the BBC reported a local fire official as saying, via South Korea’sYonhap news agency. “Othersare assumed to have passed away while receiving medical treatment.”

The victims have not been identified, but AP reports that YTN television network suggested that the concertgoers were mainly female students. About 700 people were in attendance at the concert, which was part of a local festival being held at what the BBC described as “a multi-purpose complex for technology firms.”

Fan-shot video from the concert showed 4Minute continuing with their concert, unaware of the disaster.

The grate itself was elevated to shoulder height for most concertgoers. The fans had likely climbed atop it to get a better view of the stage. The hole left by the grate appeared to be 10 to 14 feet square, according to AP. The cause of the collapse is not yet known.

“There was a sudden, loud screaming, and when I turned it looked as if people were being sucked down into a hole,” a concertgoer told YTN, according to the BBC.

Malaysia MH17 crash: 10 questions Russia wants Ukraine to answer

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov (A still image from RT video)

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov (A still image from RT video)

 

Some Western states and Kiev rushed to find Russian involvement in the MH17 crash having no evidence to back their claims, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister told RT. He invited Ukraine to answer 10 questions to prove their commitment to an impartial probe.

Speaking to RT, Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has criticized Western countries for jumping to conclusions just “24 hours after the crash” while there is no evidence.

“They try to show to the whole world that we are responsible for the crash. It is very strange that without any evidence my colleagues from western media would like to find somebody who is responsible for the crash,” Antonov said. “It seems to me that this is part of information warfare which has been started against the Russian Federation and armed forces.”

Instead of using the incident as the pretext for groundlessly blaming one of the sides, the catastrophe over Ukrainian sky should be used as a possibility to restart cooperation to “prevent such tragedies in the future.”

“As for me, I don’t want to use this opportunity to blame anybody. I would just like to raise few questions for my colleagues from the armed forces of Ukraine,” Antonov said. “I hope they try to answer the questions, it will be a good opportunity for us to realize where we are, whether there is a possibility for us to restart cooperation and to find who is really responsible for the tragedy.”

“Answers for these questions could help us find an opportunity to prevent such tragedies in the future,” the Deputy Defense Minister said.

A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

A picture taken on July 17, 2014 shows the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES

1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?

2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses Buk missile launchers in the conflict zone? And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?

3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an international commission? When will such a commission begin its work?

4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?

5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources regarding the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?

6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?

7. Why was airspace over the warzone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?

8. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?

9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?

10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar incident in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.

READ MORE: Unverified tape released by Kiev presented as ‘proof’ E. Ukraine militia downed MH17

The Ukrainian Security Service has released what it calls “intercepted phone conversations,” which are supposed to prove that Donetsk self-defense forces shot down Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight on Thursday – presumably, by mistake.

The 2:33 minute clip, which Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) posted on YouTube in Ukrainian, English, German, French, Spanish, Polish, Turkish and Japanese versions, consists of three separate “conversations.”

The first “conversation” allegedly takes place between – according to SBU’s titles – militia group commander nicknamed “Bes” (“Igor Bezler”) and his alleged coordinator, “Vasily Geranin,” who is titled in the video as “a colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.”

“Bes” and “Geranin” are speaking about a downing of a jet, without clarifying if it’s a military or a civilian aircraft.

The second “conversation,” which allegedly happens between anti-Kiev militia members – nicknamed “Major” and “Grek” – reveals that the crashed plane was “a 100 per cent passenger aircraft.”

The third and final segment sets things straight as an unnamed “militia member” tells an alleged “Cossack commander” titled as “Nikolay Kozitsin,” that there’s ‘Malaysia Airlines’ marking on the downed plane.

 

 

The Western media has picked up the news, despite it being impossible to verify the authenticity of the leaked conversations.

Meanwhile, some alternative media outlets are already accusing Kiev authorities of cooking up a fake.

The commentators point out that the discussion between “Bes” and “Geranin” may well refer to the Ukrainian Su-25 jet, which militia members downed on June 16.

There are also doubts spoken out, that that the unnamed “militia member” from the third tape segment could distinguish “Malaysia Airlines” marking on the aircraft as it was turned into rubble by the crash and fell down in small pieces scattered around a large territory.

RT has managed to contact Evgeny Kruzhin, who is a medic in the militia group accused of bringing the plane down, through his LIveJournal page. He told RT that the fighters nicknamed Major and Grek really do exist, but claimed that they remained in the town of Enakievo when the jet crashed – while the second “conversation” on the tape says that the plane was “shot down from the Chernukhino checkpoint.” Chernukhino is a settlement located some 25 kilometers from Enakievo.

“Therefore, they have no connection to either the plane’s downing, or the examination of the crash site,” Kruzhin stressed.

 

People stand, on July 17, 2014, amongst the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

People stand, on July 17, 2014, amongst the wreckages of the malaysian airliner carrying 295 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur after it crashed, near the town of Shaktarsk. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 carrying almost 300 people on board crashed on Thursday as it was flying over Ukraine’s Donetsk Region.

The cause of the crash is yet to be established by investigators, although both Kiev and the E.Ukrainian militias deny responsibility and blame the other.

Donetsk militia declared that they simply don’t have the military equipment to shoot down a plane from 10,000-meter altitude, while Kiev said it could not have fired a missile at the passing civilian plane because it had no Buk missile launchers deployed in the region.

Meanwhile the Russian Defense Ministry said that the Ukrainian military has several batteries of Buk surface-to-air missile systems with at least 27 launchers, capable of bringing down high-flying jets, in the Donetsk region where the Malaysian passenger plane crashed.

Kiev deployed powerful anti-air systems to E. Ukraine ahead of the Malaysian plane crash

The Ukrainian military has several batteries of Buk surface-to-air missile systems with at least 27 launchers, capable of bringing down high-flying jets, in the Donetsk region where the Malaysian passenger plane crashed, Russian Defense Ministry said.

“According to the Russian Defense Ministry information, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine located in the crash-site are equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems of “Buk-M1” … These complexes in their tactical and technical characteristics are capable of detecting air targets at ranges of up to 160 kilometers and hit them at full altitude range at a distance of over 30 kilometers,” the ministry’s statement reads as cited by Ria.

Later it added that a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operationalin the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.

Ukrainian Buk battery radar was operational when Malaysian plane downed – Moscow

Debris is seen at the site of Thursday's Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo, in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

Debris is seen at the site of Thursday’s Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo, in the Donetsk region July 18, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

 

On Thursday, when a Malaysian Airlines plane was apparently shot down over Ukraine, a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational in the region, the Russian Defense Ministry said, contradicting Kiev’s statements.

The battery was deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner, the ministry said in a statement. It said radiation from the battery’s radar was detected by the Russian military.

“The Russian equipment detected throughout July 17 the activity of a Kupol radar, deployed as part of a Buk-M1 battery near Styla [a village some 30km south of Donetsk],” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the radar could be providing tracking information to another battery deployed in the region, which was at a firing distance from the plane’s flight path.

Earlier Kiev said it could not have fired a missile at the passing civilian plane because it had no Buk missile launchers deployed in the region. At the same time the Ukrainians said the militias had no Buk systems in their hands, according to a statement from the country’s Prosecutor General.

After the Russian ministry came out with the statement, Bogdan Senyk, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reiterated Kiev’s position, saying that “anti-aircraft missiles have not been deployed during the anti-terrorist operation … they are all in place.”

The south-east of Ukraine remains the scene of heavy fighting between Kiev troops and the militia, who refuse to recognize the regime change in Kiev and demand federalization.