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Over 1100 dead, 3500 wounded in Ukraine Civil War; Drumbeats for War Against Russia Intensifying

From RT:

Some 1,129 people have been killed and nearly 3,500 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the Kiev’s military operation in April, according to UN estimates.

The report also states that these are the minimum casualty toll estimates by the UN monitoring mission and WHO.

The report says that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of the civilian residential areas and the so-called “collateral damage” of the armed actions in the heavily-populated areas.

Also, 100,000 people were forcibly displaced in eastern Ukraine.

The Kiev authorities are using heavy weaponry and artillery in strikes on residential areas, while the armed rebels are firing back, the report states.’

On Friday, Human Rights Watch alleged that Kiev is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, and also blames the militia for taking cover in the same areas.

This admonition comes from the same HRW that blamed hideous deeds by those groups that had staged a coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and have attempted to overthrow Maduro…on the Maduro government.  It is the same organization that received a letter from several Nobel peace prize laureates, and 100 human rights activists, and scholars, urging independence from the US government, so you be the judge.  But from all I’ve read, those folks fleeing the carnage headed for Russia.

The bombing and shelling of citizens in Eastern Ukraine has been bloody and ugly; people have been burned alive in buildings, whether under the uniforms of the Ukrainian military, or Right Sektor/Svoboda nazis.  No matter how you come down on Lugansk and Donetsk declaring their independence from Ukraine, Kyiv’s many atrocities should be tied as war crimes.  But of course they won’t, not least because the US and several deep state NGOs full back, and partially funds these fiends in the name of Democracy for some™, apparently.

From Veterans Today’s Jim Dean, bless his heart: ‘The People of Donbass have something to say: “Why?  What did we do to you to deserve this, America and EU?”

The general use of artillery and bombing attacks on civilian areas has been met with total silence by the Kiev Junta’s Western allies. It gets even worse for the towns captured from the East Ukraine resistance, atrocities and summary executions have take place.

Even the UN says nothing, not even about investigation or having monitors with the Kiev units to stay on top of what they are doing. The Oligarch funded units, formal terror brigades, are fighting behind a Western approved “anti-terror” smokescreen. This stain will never wash off, of them or us, as it has not on all those who have preceded those doing it now.

Videos showing the results of these bloody deeds abound, but are difficult to verify, given language barriers, questions of dates, and the potential for propaganda. The Saker has a team of translators dubbing in English for many of them, and I do hope they are straight up with their translations; given what we’ve seen live-streamed, I tend to credit their translations.

RT’s ‘250 civilians killed in Ukraine’s Lugansk during last two months – OSCE’ highlights the organization’s death toll numbers from June and July, and provides videos that require warnings for the brutal carnage depicted. My guess is that again, actual numbers were higher.

Clearly the teeth-gnashing rhetoric from the US State Department, Obama himself, and the loudest neo-cons in Congress has blamed Russia for the downing of MH 17 from the start, but have provided no evidence, just anonymous ‘intel reports.’

This is the State Department flack Marie Harf on July 22, fielding questions as to the veracity of those claims, and especially as opposed to statements made by Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.  The dialogue is funny on its own, but this op-ed from has great art to go along with it. He characterizes it this way:

‘U.S. State Department Says: We’re the Good Guys, and Russians Are Liars … So Just Take Our Word for It’, State Dept. Deputy Marie Harf essentially saying on July 21, ‘We’re the good guys who tell the truth, and Russians are liars.  Forget Iraq … that’s ancient history.  Just trust us.’

And yet, on July 23, this from the Guardian:

Senior US officials said intelligence supports the theory that rebels shot down MH17 ‘by mistake,’ but that there is ‘no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.’ They said Russia maintains a “training facility“ for rebels to learn how to operate heavy weaponry in the country’s south-west.

In the same piece, the squabbles with the EU over enacting more sanctions against Russia really were funny, from France’s pending €1.2bn deal to send warships to the RF, to energy needs, etc., causing one to wonder if that may have led to the back-pedaling from “Putin shot down the plane!”   Or had the US PTB seen the intel provided by those damned Russians, and the ten questions they were asking?  Even the WSJ carried some of it (with their own spin, naturally).  Early on, a number of experts and op-ed writers were asking ‘cui bono?’, as in: ‘how the hell would it benefit Russia, or even the separatists to shoot down a passenger plane?’  (Some of that is covered here, in a rather sloppy fashion, sorry to say.)  But included is the fact that the BBC did report, as Pepe Escobar had heard from his sources, that Ukraine’s SBU had indeed confiscated the taped communications between the air traffic control tower and the plane.

And of course by now, there have been a number of deep analyses brought to bear, most concerning the military planes accompanying the MH17 777, the crazed change in flight plan, its over-correction just before it crashed, etc., including this one by Andre Vltchek.  Add others as you will.

But whoa, then the rhetoric began to heat up again: US intelligence knows that Putin is about to send heavy armaments over the border, Putin DID send in the BUC missile launchers, and the terrorists were trained to use them in Russia; the commanders in the Dobass are all Russkies, etc.  And a new wrinkle was added a few days ago, via Geoffrey Pyatt’s Tweets and Retweets:

Plus Colin Powell at the UN evidence of the same (the Guardian has a few more, and even their report evidences a bit of skepticism, imo.)

Then came the evidence we had all been waiting to hear, and as predicted on the 21st by Miz Marie Harf: from the same article:

Tensions have run high in the region since Russia seized Crimea in March and Washington has been highly critical of the behaviour of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. More recently, US intelligence officials have said they have what they call a solid circumstantial case that pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine are responsible for downing the Malaysia Airlines plane.

Citing satellite imagery, intercepted conversations and social-media postings, officials say a Russian-made SA-11 surface-to-air missile hit the plane on 17 July.

Moscow angrily denies any involvement in the attack.

US officials said they still did not know who fired the missile or whether Russian military officers were present when it happened. But until Sunday they were unwilling to share proof that the separatists had the technology to down a plane.

And of course the counter-argument is that the Ukrainian military brought in the BUK 312 systems.  See this cautiously stated evidence, for instance.

Zo.  Obama sent military ‘advisors’ and more equipment to Ukraine, the EU has said it will soon, and tra la la, we may be off to the races.  Drumbeats for war?  Surely you think I’m over-reacting, and I may be, given that both potential ‘sides’ are nuclear powers, and that Putin has done his damnedest not to get pulled into war.  But when I read this piece at Common Dreams, and remembered that most often, it’s the top military brass who are apt to advise against war, I changed my mind a bit:

Hours after the U.S. State Department on Thursday claimed (though failed to describe) new evidence that Russia’s military was both increasing the flow of arms to rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine and firing artillery at Ukrainian Army positions across its border, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey elevated the rhetoric against Russian President Vladimir Putin and directly invoked the idea that a new Cold War-like posture is now being taken by the U.S. military.

Speaking from the Aspen Security Forum, a defense industry conference in Colorado, Dempsey said Pentagon planners are now looking at military options ‘we haven’t had to look at for 20 years’ and warned that Putin—whom he characterized as escalating the crisis inside Ukraine—“may actually light a fire” he cannot control. And not just in Ukraine or eastern Europe, Dempsey said, but globally.

Drawing a dramatic historical comparison, Dempsey equated Putin’s alleged involvement in eastern Ukraine to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

‘It does change the situation. You’ve got a Russian government that has made a conscious decision to use its military force inside another sovereign nation to achieve its objectives. It’s the first time since 1939 or so that that’s been the case,’ Dempsey said. ‘They clearly are on a path to assert themselves differently not just in Eastern Europe, but Europe in the main, and towards the United States.’

Yes, ‘Every US War Starts With A Lie, or a series of lies.

Oh, and the author also covers: Ukraine PM resigns amid parliamentary turmoil:  Arseniy Yatsenyuk quits after collapse of ruling coalition, saying squabbles were hurting fight against separatists’ the reasons for which are reported differently, but perhaps concern the Rada’s not passing the package required by the IMF.  But at least the Communist Party in Ukraine has been disbanded and outlawed.  Whew; thank goodness.

Hard choice on which of these to leave you with, either Jen Pasaki’s “The Russians have mastered the art of saying one thing & doing another,”says @statedeptspox on cease-fire in Ukraine’ or Madeleine ‘it was worth it’:

It’s hard to know how to end this, since there’s no end in sight for the wars, proxy wars, and assassinations of those folks around the planet who are in the way of the Empire’s designs.  Perhaps this, because we can’t stop imaging and promoting peace.  Out on the edge of darkness we can see the light of the Peace Train.  Sing it in your heart when you’re able, and send loving thoughts to the friends and relations of those being killed all over the world.

Cross-posted at Café

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