Boris Nemtsov Assassination: Confession of Former Russian Officer could Prompt “Mole-Hunt”

 

 

 

boris-nemtsovThe Moscow Basmanny Court, on Sunday, sanctioned the detention of three additional suspects in the case of the murder of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov. Meanwhile, Daur Dadayev , a former Chechen officer pleaded guilty for his involvement. The developments prompt the President of the Russian Federation’s Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, to launch a probe into the republics security services and a probe to identify what may have motivated Dadayev, whom he knew as a loyal officer, to get involved in the crime.

The three additional suspects whose arrest was sanctioned by Moscow’s Basmanny Court are Khamzad Bakhayev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov and Shagid Gubashev, reported the Russian Tass news agency.

Zaur-Dadayev_Moscow_Russia_Mikhail-Pochuyev_TASS-300x192Zaur Dadayev arraingned to the Court. Photo, courtesy of Mikhail Pochvev, Tass.

The Court stated that it reached the conclusion to support the investigators’ request after having reviewed the materials presented to the court. Gubachev was arrested on March 7 while Eskerkhanov and Bakhayev were arrested on March 8.

The three were charged under Articles 105 and 222 of the Russian Federation’s Criminal Code, involving the murder committed by a group of persons, in collusion, and for reasons of money, as well as with robbery, extortion and banditry and the illegal possession or transfer of weapons.

The Court justifies their detention on the grounds that the suspects could flee and possibly attempt to destroy evidence.

Bakhayev and Gubachev are nationals of the Russian Federation’s Republic of Ingushetia while Eskerkhanov is a native of the Republic of Chechnya. All three had a registered address in Moscow. The Court also sanctioned the detention of the Chechen nationals Zaur Dadayev and Anzor Cubachev who had been arraigned to the Court.

Ramzan-Kadyrov_Chenya_Russia_Photo-ITAR-TASS_Murad-Nukhaev-300x192Dadayev’s Confession prompts Response by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov (left).

Judge Natalya Mushnikova was quoted by Tass as saying that “Zaur Dadayev’s involvement has been confirmed by his confession”. The Court would not provide details about Dadayev’s alleged or confessed role in the murder of RPR-Psarnas party Co-Chair Boris Nemtsov during the night from February 27 to 28.

Dadayev’s arrest and confession prompted the President of the Russian Federation’s Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, to order an investigation into the Dadayev’s past. President Kadyrov stressed that he remembered Dadayev as a true Russian patriot. The Tass news agency quoted the Chechen Republic’s President as stating:

“I have known Zaur as a true patriot of Russia. … Zaur was one of the bravest men in the regiment. … He displayed particular courage in an operation against a large group of terrorists near Benoi. He was awarded the Order of Courage, and medals For Bravery and For Services to the Chechen Republic. I am certain that he was sincerely dedicated to Russia and prepared to give his life for the Motherland. The real reasons and motives behind Dadayev’s dismissal from the Russian Interior Ministry troops are unclear to me. … I have instructed Chechnya’s Security Council Secretary Vakhit Usmayev to conduct a thorough investigation of Zaur Dadayev’s resignation and to scrutinize his behavior and morale on the eve of leaving the service. … In any case, if Dadayev’s guilt is established in court, it will have to be admitted that by taking a human life he committed a grave crime. But I must say once again that he would have never taken a single step against Russia, for the sake of which he had risked his own life for many years. Beslan Shavanov, the man killed during an attempt to detain him, was a brave soldier, too. We hope that a thorough investigation will follow to show if Dadayev is really guilty, and if yes, what was the real reason behind his actions.”

Questions about Federal and Chechen Security Forces. The alleged and confessed involvement of a former Chechen officer is bound to raise concerns about federal security. The reasons for Dadayev’s dismissal are, as Ramzan Kadyrov noted, still unknown to him. Dadayev and his four co-defendants must be presumed innocent until they, eventually, have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

A probe into the reasons for the dismissal of Dadayev from the Interior Ministry forces and a probe into Chechen security forces could eventually shed light on severe threats to the national security of the Republic of Chechnya and the Russian Federation as a whole.

BandarWestern and Arab Support of Terrorists could justify a Mole-Hunt in the Russian Federation’s Security Services. Chechen and Ingushetian Islamist terrorist organizations are known for their close ties to foreign intelligence services. In 2013 the then Chief of Saudi Arabia’s Intelligence, Prince Bandar admitted that Saudi Arabia uses and controls Chechen and other Caucasian terrorists promising President Putin “a safe Winter Olympic Games in Sochi” in exchange for Russian willingness to have a Saudi-friendly regime installed in Syria.

The released minutes of the meeting between Putin and Bandar quote Bandar as saying:

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the direction of the Syrian territory without coordinating with us. These groups don´t scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria´s political future”.

McCain_ISIS_FSA_voltairenet.org_Tarpley_USA_Syria_Iraq-300x164Image: U.S. Senator John McCain meeting illegally in a rebel safe house with the heads of the “Free Syrian Army” in Idlib, Syria in April, 2013. In the left foreground, top al Qaeda terrorist leader Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Al-Baghdadi of ISIS, aka Caliph Ibrahim of the recently founded Islamic Empire) with whom the Senator is talking. Behind Badri is visible Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses), the former military chief of the FSA, who has since fled to the Gulf states after the collapse of any semblance of the FSA. (Courtesy VoltaireNet.org)

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, for his part, has previously accused U.S. intelligence officials, including David Petraeus, for involvement in “flipping” detainees at Camp Bucca and at black CIA sites, including Caliph Ibrahim of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS / ISIL) Al-Baghdadi, a.k.a. Al-Badri or Caliph Ibrahim.

In Helsinki, the capital of Finland the Kavkaz Center is maintaining a “pro-Caucasus Emirate” website. The Center provided PR support to the now deceased terrorist leaderDoku Umarov and his terrorist network.

Umarov would threaten to disrupt the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games before he was killed in an explosion.

U.S. Civil Society organizations as well as CIA and JSOCfronts like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are known for their support of “Caucasian Rebels or Freedom Fighters”.

A shortlist of the civil society organizations which have been implicated in supporting Russian terrorist organizations includes the Jamestown Foundation, the United States-Chechen Republic Alliance Inc., the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus (ACPC)Freedom House, the Open Society Foundation, among many others.

Zbigniew_Brzezinski_gru2010-260x300The former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniev Brzezinski is generally known as one of the main enablers and sponsors of the “Chechen Representation in the United States” led by Alisher Usmanov. Brzezinsky, for his part, is strongly supported by Rockefeller Foundation money.

Brzezinski is according to several analysts pathologically obsessed with dividing Russia into at least six separate States” to reign in Moscow under the umbrella of a U.S. hegemony.

It is noteworthy that Boris Nemtsov and the RPR-Psarnas party had close ties to the National Endowment of Democracy (NED).

In 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin would state that“he knows as a mater of fact” that especially foreign-backed organizations, over the last ten years, have used the strategy to sacrifice one of their own to create a martyr”. (see video)

 

 

 

The alleged involvement of Chechen and Ingushetian nationals in the murder of Boris Nemtsov and the confession of the former Interior Ministry officer Dadayev is not unlikely to prompt in-depth “mole-hunt” operations in the federal and national Russian, Chechen, Ingushetian and other security forces as well as mole-hunts in foreign-backed NGO’s.

Member of the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committe demand termination of cooperation with Ukraine

us-and-ukraine_flag

A member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress Steve Stockman demanded the investigation of the facts of embezzlement of state funds by Ukrainian officials and statesmen. The document was forwarded to the Investigative Service of the Congress. The national bank of Ukraine, which had been ineffective in the placement of funds provided by the USA, became the main target of the congressmen’s concern. According to Stockman, the USA had already imposed sanctions against the former ministers and officials, total number of which is 18 persons.

Stockman also claimed that Ukrainian officials withdrew the money transferred from Washington offshore, having used Ukrainian banks and the investment companies owned by Ukrainian officials. Altogether Ukrainian officials had distributed a bit more than a billion USD. The congressman claimed that the specialized Investigating Service of the Congress ought to consider the facts proving the real scale of corruption in Ukraine and revise the prospects of granting more funds. In his opinion, American tax payers should not bear the burden of Ukrainian problems. In April of 2014 the parliament of the USA agreed to grant Ukraine with a credit amounting to 1 bln USD at 1.8 per cent per year, which was the cheapest credit in the history of Ukraine.

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Supreme Court puts extremist tag on Ukrainian far right groups

Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko

Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko


 
Russia’s top court has branded two major Ukrainian nationalist groups as extremist and banned their activities in the Russian Federation.

A Supreme Court judge on Monday endorsed the lawsuit filed by Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office and directed that Right Sector and UNA-UNSO be recognized as extremist Ukrainian ultra-nationalist groups.

This means that any activities of the groups in Russia will be outlawed when the court decision comes into force, and even public demonstration of their symbols will become illegal. Several similar organizations, such as the Ukrainian Insurgent Army UPA, Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense and Stepan Bandera Trident were also tagged as extremist and banned in Russia.

The hearings into the case were closed as much of the evidence was provided by special services and classified. However, the activities of the Ukrainian nationalist organizations are well known and it is easy to get an impression about them from their own manifestoes and everyday reports from Ukrainian and international mass media.

The Right Sector was a federation of radical Ukrainian nationalists formed in 2013 on the basis of football supporters’ clubs, known in Ukraine as “ultras.” While officially declaring their ultimate goal as the foundation of the Ukrainian national state through revolution, at the beginning of their existence the radicals were agitating for EU integration and severing any ties with Russia. Right Sector fighters formed the core of the so-called Maidan protests in Kiev that eventually led to the February coup and the de-facto breakup of the country.

It is also believed that the Right Sector group was behind the May massacre in Odessa, where dozens of people were killed at a rally against the policies of new Kiev authorities.

UNA-UNSO stands for the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self-Defense and its history dates back to the early 1990s when radical Ukrainians started forming armed groups to fight for independence. The country gained its independence peacefully, but UNA-UNSO members still went to various wars in territories of the former USSR and Yugoslavia.

In March 2014, the Russian Investigative Committee started criminal cases against several members of the radical Ukrainian groups over charges of fighting against Russian military in the Chechen wars of the 1990s. Right Sector’s Dmitry Yarosh also faced a separate criminal case over public calls for extremist activities.

In a separate development, a group of Russian majority party lawmakers asked investigators to prepare an official letter to the International Criminal Court describing crimes by members of Ukrainian nationalist groups – including the infamous Right Sector – and asking they be recognized as extremist. The International Community has yet to react to this initiative.

3,000 Europeans to Commemorate Victims of Odessa Tragedy on Thursday

Flowers on a broken window in memory of the people killed by fire in the Trade Unions House on Odessa's Kulikovo Field Square

Flowers on a broken window in memory of the people killed by fire in the Trade Unions House on Odessa’s Kulikovo Field Square  –

© RIA Novosti. Anton Kruglov

SIMFEROPOL, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – About 3,000 people are expected to take part in rallies and demonstrations devoted to the tragedy of May 2 in Odessa, which are to be held in European cities on Thurdsday, one of the rallies’ organizers and a survivor of the tragedy, Oleg Muzyka told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

“Tomorrow, on October 2, five months after the tragedy, the cities of Europe will hold actions and rallies, devoted to [the tragedy of] May 2. In Dublin [the events will take place] next to the Ukrainian Embassy, in Strasbourg – by the European Court [of Human Rights], in Brussels – next to the European Parliament,” Muzyka said, adding that the events to commemorate the victims of Odessa tragedy will be also held in Warsaw, Rome and Madrid, and that about 3,000 people are expected to participate in them. Later in Ocotber, more mass events, including art exhibitions, devoted to the tragedy, will be held in Berlin, Bonn and Vienna.

According to Muzyka, the participants of these events will demand thorough investigation of the tragedy in Odessa and urge the members of European Parliament to take an active part in investigating the crimes committed in Eastern Ukraine, including the situation with the recently found mass graves of civilians.

“Politicians are aware of what is going on in Ukraine. They see and hear everything but keep on playing the fool. They speak about it with cynicism. But the people of Europe– they really have to react on what is going on in Ukraine,” Muzyka said.

On May 2, clashes in Odessa broke out between independence supporters on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other, later joined by Euromaidan activists.

Pro-Kiev radicals joined by Right Sector militia blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building with the help of Molotov cocktails. Those trapped inside had little chance of extinguishing the blaze, as fire hoses in the building were out of order.

At least 48 people died, and over 200 were injured. Local officials accused Kiev of covering up the actual death toll of at least 116.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Urges to Speed Up Odessa Tragedy Investigation

Radicals Throw Molotov Cocktails to the House of Trade Unions

Radicals Throw Molotov Cocktails to the House of Trade Unions

 

© REUTERS/ Yevgeny Volokin

KIEV, August 2 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Vitaly Yarema on Saturday urged to speed up the investigation of the May 2 tragic events in Odessa, which claimed the lives of at least 48 people and injured over 200.

“In this context I would like to pay attention to the necessity of a speedy legal decision, concerning criminal proceedings over the tragic events in Odessa in early May,” UNIAN news agency quoted Yarema as saying.

The Prosecutor General recalled that following the results of an inspection the prosecutor of Odessa Region, almost all his deputies and a number of other officials were dismissed.

On May 2, clashes in Odessa broke out between pro-federalization activists and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams, later joined by Euromaidan activists.

Pro-Kiev radicals, joined by Right Sector gunmen, blocked the anti-government protesters in the House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire with the help of Molotov cocktails.

According to official data, 48 people died in the fire but local officials insist the authorities in Kiev covered up the actual death toll of at least 116.

A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich said last month that Kiev was deliberately hampering the investigation into the tragedy, as well as into other cases of human rights violations in Ukraine.

 

Russia’s Lavrov Calls for OPCW Help in Odessa Tragedy Probe

MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday Ukrainian investigators probing the deadly arson fire in Odessa on May 2 could make use of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

“We are convinced that it is totally possible and necessary to use the possibilities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, given the facts that emerge and need to be analyzed and double-checked, [facts] about poisonous gas used in the Trade Unions House,” Lavrov said.

Earlier this month, Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa saw the bloodiest episode of violence since the start of the crisis in the country in February. A fire at the city’s Trade Unions House that followed clashes between pro-federalization activists on one side and fans of the Odessa and Kharkiv football teams on the other claimed the lives of 48 people, with most of the victims dying of smoke inhalation or after jumping out of windows.

Six died of bullet wounds, 32 suffocated, and 10 fell to their death by jumping through the windows of the burning building. Another 214 were injured. According to reports, another 48 could still be missing.

No plausible explanation has been offered for the fact that many of those who died did not try to take refuge on upper floors or the roof, prompting rumors that they were poisoned by an unknown chemical.

Last week, Human Rights Watch said the Odessa massacre constituted a grave crime that demanded a serious, impartial, and thorough investigation.

HRW Deputy Director in Central Europe and Asia Rachel Denber said the Ukrainian government has a “tendency to absolve the pro-unity side of wrongdoing,” which she said did not “inspire confidence” in the investigation.

 

 

 

 

Who is blocking MH17 probe? Why? by Finian Cunningham

373251_MH17

Published by What’s the ‘real’ truth?

By Finian Cunningham

 Dutch and Australian police teams have this week for the second time had to cancel plans to investigate the crash site of the downed Malaysia airliner in Ukraine because the Western-backed Kiev regime is waging war on the people of that region.

This is despite earlier promises by the Kiev rulers to call a ceasefire in the vicinity.

The conclusion is obvious: the Western puppet regime in Kiev is going all-out to hinder a probe into the possible cause of the crash, which saw all 298 people on board lose their lives.

Yet, that conclusion is not at all obvious to the Western media. Absurdly, they draw the opposite, that the pro-independence militia fighting the Kiev junta are to blame for blocking an investigation. Even more ludicrous is the logic that the Russian government is to blame, and hence more sanctions are to be heaped on Moscow.

Since Malaysia Airlines MH17 went down, the Western coup-installed junta in Ukraine has stepped up its military assault on the eastern regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, where the doomed Boeing 777 jumbo jet came down.

The self-declared government in Kiev – which came to power last February with the help of covert US and European destabilization of the elected authorities – has been waging an “anti-terror” campaign against the ethnic Russian populations of eastern Ukraine. The people of the east refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Western-backed neo-Nazi regime, which has regularly and openly called for the destruction of Russian “sub-humans”.

Over the past few months, some 1,100 people – mainly civilians – have been killed in the fighting between Kiev’s military forces and the self-defense militia set up to in the eastern regions. Over 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes and seek refuge across the border in Russia’s Rostov province.

In the two weeks since the MH17 crash, the Kiev regime forces have killed dozens of civilians from bombardment of towns and villages in the vicinity of the crash site. Up to 30 people were reportedly killed in the town of Gorlovka this week. Heavy violence is also taking place in the towns of Shahktarsk and Torez. Whatever happened to Kiev’s declared ceasefire last week to allow a crash probe to proceed?

This is the context in which the Malaysian airliner was brought down. The precise circumstances are not yet known. It could have been hit by an anti-aircraft missile; or blown out of the sky by a bomb planted on board. Some local eyewitnesses have claimed that they saw a fighter jet fire on the passenger plane in mid-air.

Already, most of the bodies of the nearly 300 victims have been recovered and sent back to the Netherlands for examination, as have the flight recorders, which are currently being analyzed by British aviation experts. That salvage effort, so far, was made possible by the pro-independence militia fighting against Kiev regime forces. Dutch and Malaysian investigators publicly thanked the militia for their efforts.

Equally important, perhaps more so, to the overall disaster investigation is the forensic examination of the actual crash site, where the fuselage of the airliner and other fragments remain strewn across fields. Shrapnel traces, rupture profile and scatter pattern of debris would give an assessment of what exactly caused the plane to crash.

Tellingly, before any probe has got under way the US and its European allies have whipped up a media frenzy to finger Russia over the airliner disaster. No evidence has been provided to support these reckless, premature claims. Indeed, some of the so-called US evidence of alleged militia phone intercepts and videos of missile launchers have been shown to be fake.

At times, Washington has even contradicted itself, claiming on some occasions that it is confident Russia is linked to the crash, while at other times saying it does not know. This vacuity has not stopped Washington and its European allies piling on accusations against Russia and moving this week to ratchet up economic sanctions on Moscow.

Russia, on the other hand, has provided verifiable satellite, radar and air traffic control data to show that the Western-backed Kiev regime forces may well have shot down MH17.

For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for the horror of Flight MH17 not to be politicized, and for all parties to allow a free and independent investigation to take place.

It is Putin’s reasonable attitude on the matter that seems to be what is really vexing Washington. The Russian leader is not acceding to Western pressure that is attempting to make him the “bad guy”.

And Putin is right. The terrible loss of human life on the Malaysian airliner would not have happened if it were not for the situation of chaos and violence that the West has unleashed in Ukraine from its illegal regime change and the ongoing military assault on the eastern regions.

It is Putin’s unwillingness to conform to the Western narrative that is agitating Washington in particular.

Tony Blinken, a national security adviser to US President Barack Obama said earlier this week: “Precisely because we haven’t seen a strategic turn from Putin, we believe it’s absolutely essential to take additional measures and that is what the US and European partners intend to do this week.”

By “strategic turn” what Washington means is that Putin is not bowing down to its dictate, not kowtowing to its bullying for hegemony.

The megalomaniacs in US government are pushing Europe and Russia on to a dangerous collision course because Moscow has no inclination to be pushed around, and especially over trumped evidence to implicate it in mass murder.

In all the bluster of Western accusations against Russia, the litmus test of credibility are the following questions: who is blocking the investigation into MH17; why?

 

Politics British Politicians To Face Criminal Investigation Over Scottish Referendum

In a television interview with the BBC just four days before the referendum John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair said, "It's important to remember that about a fifth of the electorate, that will be about a quarter of the total turn-out, have voted already. They have voted by postal vote. Those postal votes are running very strongly towards 'no'. There is a whole bank of votes in."

In a television interview with the BBC just four days before the referendum John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair said, “It’s important to remember that about a fifth of the electorate, that will be about a quarter of the total turn-out, have voted already. They have voted by postal vote. Those postal votes are running very strongly towards ‘no’. There is a whole bank of votes in.”

 

EDINBURGH, October 04 (RIA Novosti), Mark HirstPolice in Scotland will formally investigate allegations that anti-Scottish independence campaigners breached electoral law during the referendum held on September 18.

“We can confirm that Crown counsel has instructed Police Scotland to commence an investigation into alleged breaches of Schedule 7, Paragraph 7, of the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013,” a statement issued on Saturday by the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecution service reads.

The allegations relate to comments made by Ruth Davidson, a Member of the Scottish Parliament and leader of the Scottish Conservatives, in which she appeared to know the general results of postal votes arising from “sample opening” of ballot boxes.

Postal vote opening sessions are permitted before the formal poll is conducted to verify signatures and dates of birth against records held by the local Returning Officer. Agents for the two campaigns were allowed to monitor these sessions, but it is a criminal offense, punishable with up to a year’s imprisonment if found guilty, to communicate any information witnessed during the sample opening sessions.

In a television interview with the BBC shortly after the formal poll closed Davidson said “we’ve been incredibly encouraged by the results [of the postal vote],” implying the Scottish Conservative leader knew the outcome of the postal votes before the first formal results had been announced.

In another BBC interview just four days before the referendum John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair said, “It’s important to remember that about a fifth of the electorate, that will be about a quarter of the total turn-out, have voted already. They have voted by postal vote. Those postal votes are running very strongly towards ‘no’. There is a whole bank of votes in.”

McTernan told RIA Novosti he had not been contacted by Police adding, “No reason to believe free speech is a crime.”

According to The Herald newspaper, Davidson has been contacted by Police with the paper quoting a Conservative Party source who said there was, “no suggestion she was accused of doing anything wrong at this stage.”

The independence referendum, which took place on September 18, saw a turnout of 84.59 percent. Scotland has chosen to stay in the United Kingdom with 44.7 percent of Scots having voted in support of independence and 55.3 percent having voted against.

A Journalist’s Duty is to Inform. Have Western Press Forgotten This in Ukraine?

 

In-depth Report:

129575BBCWhenever the public right to know comes under attack, a heavy responsibility falls on the journalist. When I was 17, my teacher told the class this salient information. Did the Western mainstream media learn it too or have they simply forgotten it?

“News is what someone wants to stop (you) from printing; all the rest is ads.”– William Randolph Hearst.

Johnson’s Russia List (JRL) was first published in 1996. I’d guess that every single working journalist with a passing interest in Russia is a subscriber – except me. However, it seems I might have been a tad foolish to ignore this resource. Note to self – less Groucho Marx, more Mark Twain.

The JRL is published daily, but occasionally increases frequency. As for the founder, I know zilch about him and we certainly have never crossed paths. However, this week, Mr. Johnson piqued my interest for the second time this autumn. The first was when he published a list of, what amounted to, US propaganda outlets which are anti-Russia by default. That was extremely useful for indicating to friends which news services to avoid for coverage of the region.

However, this (second) time, Mr. Johnson has asked some extremely legitimate questions and they deserve an airing. The collator linked to two extremely interesting pieces from two wildly disparate sources, firstly The Kyiv Post, a ferocious supporter of “Euromaidan,” the resulting coup and the subsequent Kiev government.

Secondly, RT, the very organization on whose website you are reading this. RT could be, accurately, described as an enthusiastic supporter of Russia, its government and the breakaway republics in Eastern Ukraine. Fair is fair. While RT is a much larger organization than the Kyiv Post, the Ukrainian-based newspaper has punched above its weight during this year’s crisis. Indeed some of its work is of a very high standard and it deserves credit for attempting to expose corruption in that country.

Both articles JRL referred to concerned the Neo Nazi Right Sector organization’s vicious assault on an opposition lawmaker named Nestor Shufrych. During an attempt to hold a pre-election press conference in Odessa, the politician was administered a beating which led to concussion and a head injury. This followed an incident in Kiev where another opposition figure, Duma Deputy Vitaly Zhuravsky was forced into a trashcan.

Johnson asks a number of questions. Initially, if “anyone has seen a comment by any of the mainstream experts on Russia and Ukraine or government officials expressing criticism of Kiev regime violence?” I personally haven’t, but if anyone has feel free to use the comments section below to outline them.

Next, JRL queries “Has anyone criticized the term ‘Anti-Terrorism Operation’ or the ubiquitous characterization of the opposition in the east as ‘terrorists’?” Again, can’t say I have.

Johnson’s final question: “Is the proliferation of vigilante justice okay? There must be examples of unease that I have missed in view of the high regard that experts have for human rights and the rule of law.” I’m afraid, I have also missed this. I decided that if anyone would feel strongly about this, it would probably be Amnesty International so I checked the Twitter feed of their “Media lead on Amnesty International’s Global Campaigns” – a gentleman named Maxim Tucker. I featured Mr. Tucker in a previous op-edge, where I tried to support his battle to prevent the UK government from introducing legislation to allow GCHQ to snoop on private citizens (known as DRIP). Hence, I was hopeful that Tucker would be active in highlighting these abuses in Ukraine. Instead, I found a Twitter feed peppered with news about Ukraine – but almost exclusively from one side (Kiev), except a single retweet from Vice News. Disappointing.

Ukrainian servicemen drive an armoured vehicle on the road near the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka, October 1, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen drive an armoured vehicle on the road near the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka, October 1, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

In recent days, Russian TV channels been “reporting (in Ukraine) mass graves, numerous cases of civilians pulled out of their cars and summarily shot, mass graves of people shot with their hands tied in their back and tortures, tortures and more tortures: systematic beatings, branding with swastikas, knife wounds, broken bones, heard trauma (and) damaged kidneys”, according to Russia Insider. Some of these reports may be exaggerated but, on the assumption of no smoke without fire, there must be some truth. Western media haven’t bothered to assess the issues.

BBC did run a report which, loosely, touched on the story but instead focused on an error by Russia’s independent REN TV. They, correctly, pointed out that REN had used a photo of MH17 body bags to illustrate a report about the alleged East Ukrainian atrocities. BBC then went to state: “The second image used by REN TV appears intended to support the reports of ‘mass graves.’ The reality is rather different.”

“An OSCE report on 24 September about the graves mentioned by the Russian media said that two of them contained two bodies apiece. It said that at another site there was a mound resembling a grave marked by a plaque bearing the names or initials of five individuals and suggesting they had been killed on 27 August. There was another inscription saying they had died for ‘Putin’s lies’, the OSCE noted,” the writer, Stephen Ennis, continued.

So by BBC logic, a potential five-person grave is not a “mass grave?” Certainly, the British usually murdered far more than five people on their killing sprees, indeed there’s a mass grave in my hometown in Ireland containing more than 600 victims of British barbarity. Nevertheless, five does count as a “mass grave” in the civilized world, even if the Brits once aimed for higher numbers. The BBC then goes on to complete the article by referring to Alina Kabayeva, whom it describes as “the former gymnast and MP who has been romantically linked to Putin.” This is the kind of stuff one would expect to read in Hello! magazine, not a serious news organization as the BBC purports to be. That said a number of recent Western media features, including an infamous Newsweek front-page piece have been straight out of Hello!’s stylebook.

Meanwhile in Germany, a country which, unlike the UK (and Russia) has, largely successfully, dealt with its sordid past, state-owned ARD came in from criticism from its own board this week. They found that “The station’s coverage had ‘given the impression of bias’ and appeared to be directed against ‘Russia and Russian standpoints.’”

According to the Hannover-based Telepolis, the report “criticizes the absence of any fundamental analysis of the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine on the Association Agreement. It criticizes the fact that ‘NATO’s political and strategic intentions’ with regard to its policy of eastern enlargement were not raised. Nor was any critical analysis made of the legitimacy of the ‘so-called Maidan council.’ The same applies to the ‘role of the radical nationalist forces, particularly Svoboda’ and their activities during the failure ‘of the agreement to resolve the crisis in Ukraine of 21 February.’”

The “constitutional and democratic issues” involved in the removal of President Yanukovich and the role of right-wing forces in his overthrow were also not adequately investigated by ARD. In addition, there was no critical analysis of the role of politicians such as Yulia Tymoshenko and Vitaly Klitschko.

“The council also challenged the station’s coverage of the secession of Crimea from Ukraine. There was no proper investigation made of the procedure and legality of the Crimean referendum, its international legal status, the significance of popular participation in the vote, and the role of historical issues and the ethnic groups in Crimea in the secession process,” Telepolis continues. If other Western media was subjected to the rigorous examination foisted on ARD, one wonders how different coverage might become.

All this nonsense brings to mind Western movies, a genre I’m inordinately fond of. The Irish-American director John Ford (or Sean O’Fearna), who basically invented the category, used a simple, and ugly, methodology in his American films. The Americans were the good guys, and the Indians the baddies. The distinguishing feature of Ford’s Cowboy and Indians-themed Westerns is that his Native American characters always remained separate from white society. However, in Ford’s Irish movies, the English took the Indian role.

In the Western media discourse, Russia is the Indians, the bad guys who must be kept separate and apart. Indeed, at this stage Marvel Comics are more nuanced in their superhero stories than much of the EU and US press and that’s saying a lot. United Artists, and later MGM’s, representation of Bond movie Russian villains had nothing on this.

There is no doubt that sections of the Russian media are, often, guilty of hyperbolic reportage. However, much of the Ukrainian-media is completely one-sided propaganda. In a conflict situation, it’s the duty of the independent press, from nations not directly involved, to sift through the information (and disinformation) and produce a narrative which accurately describes the reality.

Too often, in this year’s Ukrainian turmoil, coverage has been completely of one hue, a yellow and blue one. This is wrong. It must stop.

“A community needs news, for the same reason that a man needs eyes. It has to see where it’s going.” – Rebecca West.

Bryan MacDonald is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and teacher. He wrote for Irish Independent and Daily Mail. He has also frequently appeared on RTE and Newstalk in Ireland as well as RT.