How Russia and Germany may save Europe from war – By Pepe Escobar

 

Are the US, NATO and Russia on a mad spiral leading to war in Europe? Is it inevitable? Far from it. The US-propelled vassal Petro Poroshenko, currently starring in the oligarch dance in Ukraine this week advanced the proposition that Ukrainians in the near future, after his “reforms”, will be asked to vote on whether to join NATO. Let’s be serious here. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “shatter belt” - territories and peoples that historically have been squeezed between the Germanic Eagle and the Russian Bear. As we stand, the whole shatter belt – apart from Ukraine and Belarus – has become NATO members. Were Ukraine to become a NATO member in – albeit remote – future, the shatter belt buffer zone would disappear. This means NATO – essentially the US – planted right on Russia’s western border. Washington has just announced that it will be pre-positioning more military vehicles in Europe, to be used in exercises or “potential military operations.” This is perfectly in tune with the relentless US “think tank-land” spin that NATO and the US will be “forced” to balance their commitment to security in Eastern Europe against potential Russian “aggression.” As Ukraine, the Baltic States and Poland persist in compounded hysteria about such “aggression,” the option of a post-MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) US-Russia nuclear war is now – casually - back on the discussion table. At least there’s a countercurrent; strands of informed Americans are wondering why the US should be paying for Europe’s defense when European GDP is larger than the US’s.

The air defense missile system “Patriot” (AFP Photo/Bernd Wustneck/Germany Out)

 

November 28, 2014

Are the US, NATO and Russia on a mad spiral leading to war in Europe? Is it inevitable? Far from it.

The US-propelled vassal Petro Poroshenko, currently starring in the oligarch dance in Ukraine this week advanced the proposition that Ukrainians in the near future, after his “reforms”, will be asked to vote on whether to join NATO.
Let’s be serious here. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of “shatter belt” – territories and peoples that historically have been squeezed between the Germanic Eagle and the Russian Bear.
As we stand, the whole shatter belt – apart from Ukraine and Belarus – has become NATO members. Were Ukraine to become a NATO member in – albeit remote – future, the shatter belt buffer zone would disappear. This means NATO – essentially the US – planted right on Russia’s western border.
Washington has just announced that it will be pre-positioning more military vehicles in Europe, to be used in exercises or “potential military operations.” This is perfectly in tune with the relentless US “think tank-land” spin that NATO and the US will be “forced” to balance their commitment to security in Eastern Europe against potential Russian “aggression.”
As Ukraine, the Baltic States and Poland persist in compounded hysteria about such “aggression,” the option of a post-MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) US-Russia nuclear war is now – casually – back on the discussion table. At least there’s a countercurrent; strands of informed Americans are wondering why the US should be paying for Europe’s defense when European GDP is larger than the US’s.

Iskander high-precision missile system in place during military exercises. (RIA Novosti/Alexei Danichev)

Iskander high-precision missile system in place during military exercises. (RIA Novosti/Alexei Danichev)

 Wanna play war, boy?

Now for the “threat” of nuclear war in Europe – bogus or otherwise. It’s pointless to compare the US and Russia strategic nuclear capabilities based on numbers, but not on quality.

Take the compounded GDP of US, Germany, France and England and compare it to Russia; it’s a victory by a landslide. Then examine the strategic nuclear scenario, and it’s a totally different story. GDP alone does not “win” anything.

Washington/Wall Street elites are now deep into nuclear war paranoia. A few studiesat least hint at the obvious; glaring US strategic weakness.

Consider some of the basics:

– Russian ICBMs armed with MIRVs travel at about 18 Mach; that is way faster than anything in the US arsenal. And basically they are unbeatable.

– The S-400 and S-500 double trouble; Moscow has agreed to sell the S-400 surface-to-air missile system to China; the bottom line is this will make Beijing impermeable to US air power, ICBMs and cruise missiles. Russia, for its part, is already focusing on the state of the art S-500 – which essentially makes the Patriot anti-missile system look like a V-2 from WWII.

– The Russian Iskander missile travels at Mach 7 – with a range of 400km, carrying a 700kg warhead of several varieties, and with a circular error probability of around five meters. Translation: an ultimate lethal weapon against airfields or logistic infrastructure. The Iskander can reach targets deep inside Europe.

– And then there’s the Sukhoi T-50 PAK FA.

NATO clowns dreaming of a war on Russia would have to come up with an ironclad system to knock out these Iskanders. They don’t have any. Additionally, they would have to face the S-400s, which the Russians can deploy all over the spectrum.

Think of a hefty batch of S-400s positioned at the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad; that would turn NATO air operations deep inside Europe into an absolutely horrendous nightmare. On top of it, good ol’ NATO fighter jets cost a fortune. Imagine the effect of hundreds of destroyed fighter jets on an EU already financially devastated and austerity-plagued to death.

As if this was not enough, no one knows the exact extent of NATO’s strategic capabilities. Brussels is not talking. Extra-officially, these capabilities are not exactly a marvel. And Russian intelligence knows it.

Still assuming those NATO clowns would insist on playing war, Moscow has already made it very clear Russia would use their awesome arsenal of 5,000-plus tactical nuclear weapons – and whatever else it takes – to defend the nation against a NATO conventional attack. Moreover, a few thousand S-400 and S-500 systems are enough to block a US nuclear attack.

None of this hair-raising Apocalypse Now scenario is even taking into account the Russia-China alliance – the major, game-changing Eurasian story of the 2010s.

 

S 400 "Triumf" air defense missile systems (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

S 400 “Triumf” air defense missile systems (RIA Novosti/Alexey Kudenko)

 

Just in case the “pivoting to Asia” gang starts harboring funny ideas about the Middle Kingdom as well, China is massively investing in bouncing lasers off satellites; satellite-hitting missiles; silent submarines that surface beside US aircraft carriers without detection; and a made in China anti-missile missile that can hit a reentering satellite moving faster than any ICBM.

In a nutshell; Beijing knows the US surface fleet is obsolete – and undefendable. And needless to add, all of these Chinese modernizing developments are proceeding way faster than anything in the US.

A modest proposal

The spin in the US has been relentless; Russia is expanding towards a 21st century empire.

Here, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov explains in detail how this is undiluted rubbish. What has actually happened is that Moscow deftly called the Brzezinski-inspired bluff in Ukraine – with all its overtones. No wonder the Empire of Chaos is furious.

And yet there is a solution to defuse the current, hysterical rush to war logic. Here I have examined in some detail how Washington is playing Russian roulette. Now it’s time to advance a modest proposal – as it has been discussed by a few concerned analysts from the US, Europe and Asia.

Essentially, it’s very simple. It’s up to Germany. And it’s all about undoing Stalin.

Stalin, at the outset of WWII, took East Prussia from Germany and moved the eastern part of Poland into Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine was originally from Russia; it is part of Russia and was given by Lenin to Ukraine.

So let’s have East Prussia returned to Germany; the eastern part of Poland returned to Poland; and eastern Ukraine as well as Crimea – which Khrushchev gave to Ukraine – returned to Russia.

Everyone get its share. No more Stalin. No more arbitrary borders. That’s what the Chinese would define as a “triple win” situation. Of course the Empire of Chaos would fight it to death; there would be no more chaos manipulated to justify a crusade against bogus Russian “aggression”.

The ball is in Germany’s court. Now it’s up to East Prussians to present the facts to Angela Merkel. Let’s see if she’s able to get the message.

Follow Pepe Escobar on Facebook.

 

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.

100s of Ukraine soldiers protest in front of presidential administration

Conscripts of the National Guard of Ukraine gather near the presidential administration headquarters to demand their demobilization in Kiev, October 13, 2014 (Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

Conscripts of the National Guard of Ukraine gather near the presidential administration headquarters to demand their demobilization in Kiev, October 13, 2014 (Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko)

RT news

Ukrainian National Guard troops are protesting outside the presidential administration office in Kiev as they demand demobilization. They are refusing to return to their barracks outside the capital.

About 200 soldiers have surrounded the building claiming they have served six months longer than their contracts stipulated.

Soldiers are chanting, “Demobilization!” and, “All for one and one for all.”

They say they are not going to leave until authorities answer their questions, key amongst them being when they will be able to return home.

Members of the presidential administration, however, have demanded that the soldiers immediately return to their military barracks.

“Soldiers, come on, return to [your] military units, we’ll figure this out there,” one of the officials told the protesters, according to TASS.

They have demanded that they either receive better pay or are allowed to return home. One of the soldiers told that they were paid roughly $11 per month, adding that there has been no hike in wages since their contracts expired.

“I have served for over half a year. Who are we: conscripts or [professional soldiers]? Then why are we still being paid $11.5 per month? Show us a document saying that we can be kept any longer,” the soldier told TASS.

“We have already served for almost two years and we don’t know how many more years we’ll have to serve: three, four?”, a soldier has told reporters at the scene.

Mothers of the protesting soldiers say their sons’ rights have been violated, with demands addressed to regimental headquarters thus far being ignored.

Soldiers in Kharkov have also taken to the streets to make their demands heard.

“We were recruited for 12 months in the spring of 2013 from different regions of Ukraine. Now 18 months have passed and there are no signs of demobilization,” one of the protesters in Kharkov told reporters.

Last week President Poroshenko said that demobilization is currently not possible.

“There are currently no possibilities for demobilization under conditions of de-facto military actions,” the President said during his visit to Kharkov on Saturday.

Poroshenko said that it will be possible “to begin steps of demobilization” only when “there will be a constant ceasefire, when a line of defense is built, as soon as our teams, and this should be soon, will be deployed in full combat defensive order.”

The National Guard was reestablished in March 2014. The first National Guard’s regular battalion was formally sworn in for service on April 6 following three weeks of training.

 

 

4th mass grave found in E. Ukraine, self-defense forces report

mass grave - ukraine

mass grave – ukraine


By RT

Published time: September 28, 2014 22:36

One more mass grave has been found in a village in eastern Ukraine, say self-defense forces. The site was located days after OSCE mission confirmed the discovery of three mass burial sites in areas recently abandoned by Kiev forces.

The new site of the suspected murders is near Nyzhnia Krynka village, not far from the town of Makeevka, self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Purgin told ITAR-TASS. The number of bodies and their identities have yet to be determined.

Taped hands, gun wounds’: RT witnesses exhumation of mass graves in E. Ukraine

“Another grave discovered … How many bodies and how these people died will be established during the exhumation,” Purgin said.

In the meantime, a group of international experts have already arrived at the area of mass burials in the village, a source from the DPR told RIA Novosti.

“About 10 international observers are currently working at the site of mass graves near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka,” said the source, adding that the group includes experts from Russia and France.

A Donetsk People's Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 "Kommunar" outside Donetsk (stills from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency / RIA Novosti)

A Donetsk People’s Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 “Kommunar” outside Donetsk (stills from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency / RIA Novosti)

Several weeks ago, before a ceasefire was agreed, this area of Ukraine was under the control of the Ukrainian army and the National Guard’s Aidar battalion. Earlier this month, an Amnesty International report has confirmed that war crimes including abductions, executions and extortion were committed by this particular Ukrainian battalion.

Last week RT crew went to investigate the previously discovered site where four bodies have been found buried in shell craters behind a burnt-out coal mine, days after the OSCE confirmed that three mass graves, allegedly with many bodies, have been found near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Maria Finoshina - Reality of war.

Maria Finoshina – Reality of war.

 

 

‘US troop buildup in E. Europe symbolic gesture to Russia over Ukraine’

Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

 

… for the moment I think the thing is how you are going to react as a country. Let’s not forget that when you say “react[tion] from Russia,” Russia’s territory borders these countries. So whatever they do is moving military forces within its own country, this is not as if the Russians are building up forces in the Gulf of Mexico. So we should put things in prospective…The Western side are the ones who are building up tension, let’s not forget that. But yes, the tension is [increasing] and this is not going to help in anyway.~ former senior adviser to OSCE Lode Vanoost

 

October 03, 2014 

RT News

The US buildup in the Baltic States and Poland is not exactly the force that will protect these countries or stop an invasion from whomever, so it is a symbolic gesture and a message to Russia, former senior adviser to OSCE Lode Vanoost told RT.

The US is deploying troops to Poland and the Baltic states. Around 700 soldiers, 20 battle tanks and a number of mechanized vehicles will arrive in the coming weeks. This move is a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve which is NATO’s response to what the alliance calls Russia’s “aggression” in Ukraine.

RT: This is one of the largest deployments of US forces in Eastern Europe. What message does America want to send?

Lode Vanoost: First of all, I think this is a message from the President [Barack Obama] to his own backyard, to the more conservative elements in the Congress to say “Look, at least I’m doing something.” It’s also a message to geopolitical allies in Eastern Europe, the ones that are most pro-Western within these countries. And this is of course a message to Russia. Even though it’s quite substantial compared to what was in the past, it’s still a symbolic gesture. Let’s not forget that even with this buildup this is not exactly the force that will so-called protect four countries or stop invasion from whatever.

RT:Both ground troops and tanks are being deployed. Is there a real chance they could see action?

LV: I don’t think so. Whenever you say the things about the future you should always be careful of course, because the risk of something going badly wrong inadvertently is always bigger when you have this kind of deployment. I think this is saber-rattling and showing some muscle, but it’s merely a symbolic gesture towards Russia.

RT: How do you think Russia should respond to this troop build-up?

LV: I think they should keep the same restraint as they did for the last months. They should, first of all, point out that their policy towards Poland and the Baltic states for the last years has never changed, and that whatever happened in Ukraine has nothing to do with the relations they have with these countries. This is just a buildup of forces on the other side to hide that things in Ukraine are not going according to the Western plan.

RT:How will sending American troops to Eastern Europe affect the stand-off between Russia and the West? Will it somehow help to resolve crisis in Ukraine?

LV: This is not going to improve things, certainly not. But for the moment I think the thing is how you are going to react as a country. Let’s not forget that when you say “react[tion] from Russia,” Russia’s territory borders these countries. So whatever they do is moving military forces within its own country, this is not as if the Russians are building up forces in the Gulf of Mexico. So we should put things in prospective…The Western side are the ones who are building up tension, let’s not forget that. But yes, the tension is [increasing] and this is not going to help in anyway.

 

Breaking News: Kiev used ballistic missiles in E Ukraine NATO confirms to DW

In the past two days Kiev’s forces have launched several short-range ballistic missiles into areas in east Ukraine controlled by self-defense forces, CNN reports, citing US government sources.

The move “marks a major escalation” in the Ukrainian crisis, CNN said.

“Three US officials confirmed to me a short time ago that US intelligence over the last 48 hours has monitored the firing of several short-range ballistic missiles from territory controlled by Ukraine government forces into areas controlled by the pro-Russian separatists,” Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, said in a live report.

Short-range ballistic missiles can carry warheads of up to 1,000 pounds (450 kg) and are capable of killing dozens of people at a time, Starr said.

A Moscow correspondent for another American television network, ABC, tweeted Tuesday that the Kiev forces fired three ballistic missiles at self-defense forces near the town of Snezhnoe (Snizhne in Ukrainian) in the Donetsk Region. According to Kirit Radia, this is what a US official told ABC’s Pentagon digital journalist Luis Martinez.

Kirit Radia ✔ @KiritRadia
Follow

In last 48 hours Ukraine’s military fired 3 SS21 short range ballistic missiles at separatists near Snizhne, US official tells @LMartinezABC
1:53 PM – 29 Jul 2014

Radia added that according to the official, it is likely that Ukrainian forces use such missiles since they do not want to risk their planes being shot down by sending them to the area.

More: US official says Ukrainian mil likely using those weapons bc they dont want to risk sending planes to be shot down, per @LMartinezABC

Strong proof Right Sector, National Guard linked to mass graves near Donetsk – Moscow

A Donetsk People's Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 "Kommunar" outside Donetsk (still from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency.)

A Donetsk People’s Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 “Kommunar” outside Donetsk (still from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency.)

RT NEWS

Published time: October 01, 2014

 “We know the names of many of the commanders of military units, the militants of the Right Sector and the National Guard, who carry out criminal orders of the military and political leadership of Ukraine,” Markin said, adding that all of them will sooner or later have to answer “not only before the law, but also to their own conscience.”

There is irrefutable evidence that the National Guard and ultra-nationalist Right Sector fighters are responsible for the murder of people recently discovered in mass burial sites near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine said Russia’s Investigative Committee.

“For those who have doubts regarding who’s responsible for these murders, the Investigative Committee has irrefutable evidence – witness accounts and appropriate examinations – that directly indicates that this crime was committed by fighters from the National Guard and Right Sector,” the committee’s head Vladimir Markin in a statement on Wednesday.

The mass graves discovered in September near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine “are further eloquent testimony to the atrocities of the Ukrainian nationalists,” Markin said, adding that “all of the victims were tortured before their murder.”

The murders were described in detail in the testimony of a soldier from the ‘Dnepr’ battalion, Sergey Litvinov, detained in a Russian hospital as a civilian after he fled Ukraine, Markin said. Currently Litvinov is under arrest and is to be transferred to Moscow for further questioning, he added.

Litvinov “personally killed civilians not involved in the military conflict, including women and children residents of the villages Melovoye, Shiroky, Makarovo and Kamushnoye, guided by anonymous denunciations,” Markin said, quoting the soldier’s testimony.

“What is more interesting that this fighter received a money reward for the killings from his leadership sponsored by Igor Kolomoysky,” Markin said, referring the Kiev-appointed Dnepropetrovsk governor and prominent oligarch.

“We know the names of many of the commanders of military units, the militants of the Right Sector and the National Guard, who carry out criminal orders of the military and political leadership of Ukraine,” Markin said, adding that all of them will sooner or later have to answer “not only before the law, but also to their own conscience.

In the Wednesday statement the spokesman of the Investigative Committee stressed that all information and evidence of the crimes is provided by direct witnesses, primarily refugees who fled the region of military operations.

There are over 300,000 refugees who fled to Russia, according to Markin. Over 60,000 were questioned and 12,000 of them were confirmed to be victims, he added.

“In addition to eyewitness accounts, many victims have provided evidence to the Russian Investigative Committee and evidence in the form of soil samples, genetic material. These samples were thoroughly examined, confirming the testimony of witnesses and victims themselves.”

Markin slammed Ukraine’s General Prosecutor’s Office for failing to carry out its own investigation.

“What prevented andis preventing them now from conducting their own investigation into the massacres of the civilian population and to try to protect the innocent population of Donbass instead of making hysterical statements about the alleged ‘interference’ in the affairs of a sovereign republic?” he questioned.

The discovery of the graves was made on September 23 by self-defense forces, who were responding to information given to them by locals, who said that they had been dug by Ukrainian government forces. The OSCE confirmed the finding on September 25 and reported its concerns to the European Union.

‘Taped hands, gun wounds’: RT witnesses exhumation of mass graves in E. Ukraine

Mass graves with bodies bearing signs of violent death, and grieving relatives of those who were identified: That was the blood-curdling scene witnessed by an RT crew in a village near the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Four bodies were found in two shell craters behind a burned-out coal mine near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers northeast of Donetsk. RT’s Maria Finoshina reported from the burial site.

“All the facilities you can see here were abandoned a long time ago. It’s a very remote area and apparently those who did this didn’t want these corpses to be found,” Finoshina reported.

Among the four victims was 21-year-old Nikita Kolomiytsev, a local resident, whose grieving mother arrived at the scene of mass graves to identify her son.

“I couldn’t stand for him to be killed and thrown like a dog somewhere – I had to come and identify him,” Nikita’s mother, Galina, told RT.

Galina said she fled to central Ukraine to take her younger 16-year-old son out of harm’s way, but she felt she’d “failed to protect” her elder son.

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

Galina was waiting for him to be exchanged and brought home, but he never returned to his mother.

“No one exchanged anybody for anybody. They just shot them dead here outside the village and threw them into the ground… like dogs,” she added, sobbing.

According to Konstantin Gerasimenko, chief medical examiner, “all four victims – they are all male – have multiple gunshot wounds to head and body.”

“Their hands were taped behind their backs. Some of them were only in their underwear,” he said.

RT’s crew also visited another burial area that the OSCE monitors discovered, located just 3 kilometers from the first site.

Initially the grave looked like a mound, with five names written on a plaque on top of it, all in Russian. The officials were not able to reach the area as it was mined. They have only started the exhumation now.

One of those who took part in the exhumation told RT that they have found five bodies, which have already started decomposing.

The plaque on top of the grave had four names on it, and a space for a fifth name, which was blank, with only a number there.

All four names had the victims’ dates of birth and death. The dates of death were all the same – August 27. An inscription on the plague reads: “Died for Putin’s lies.”

Screenshot from RT video

Screenshot from RT video

RT tried to find any eyewitnesses who could throw light on the incident.

“I know nothing,” said a local resident, “Ukraine troops came here and they asked us to leave and we fled… we just came back recently.”

According to Evgeniy, another local resident, “a camouflaged car with people from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) inside came here – and all of them were gunned down at short range.”

The discovery of the graves was made on Sept. 23 by DNR forces who were responding to information given to them by locals, who said that the mass graves had been dug by Ukrainian government forces.

Two days before the bodies were discovered, Ukraine National Guard forces were stationed in the area, the locals reported.

On Friday, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed that militia forces found three unmarked graves allegedly containing many bodies. Two of them were located in the Komunar coal mine, near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, and one inside the village.

The burial site near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers north-east of the city of Donetsk (screenshot from RT video)

The burial site near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers north-east of the city of Donetsk (screenshot from RT video)

When asked about the discovery, the president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Ilkka Kanerva, told RT that “of course the OSCE monitoring mission in there must be also very concerned about that.”

On Wednesday, the head of Russia’s presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, called on the authorities to do everything to “ensure an independent international probe” and “let international human rights activists and journalists” gain access to the site in Eastern Ukraine’s embattled Donetsk region.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow will pursue an open and independent inquiry into the killings of people found in mass graves in the east of Ukraine.

“Already in the last [OSCE] report, which was presented in Vienna, the first signs confirmed that the victims were civilians, and that they were shot at close range, and before that they could have been abused. All this worries us very much. We cannot blame anyone until we see the results of the investigation,” Lavrov said.