Red Cross accuses Ukrainian government of stopping humanitarian aid


Luhansk near Russian-Ukrainian border

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Red Cross: Kiev slows down transport

Update: Thursday August 21 2014, 12:09

According to the Red Cross, Ukraine slows down the relief transport of Russian supplies to the inhabitants of the besieged city Luhansk. The inspection of the cargo of the trucks by the Red Cross, about which agreements are made with Ukraine, still has not been possible.

The Red Cross hopes that the inspection will take place later today. According to a spokesperson the delay is caused by “Ukrainian decisions adopted at the last minute.”

The safety of the convoy is now guaranteed. On that condition, the Red Cross wanted to accompany the trucks.

Dutch nazi travelled to Ukraine


Azov battalion symbol

This picture (also reproduced on the Facebook page of the Dutch NVU nazi party) shows the symbol of the Ukrainian Kiev government’s Azov battalion; source: here. It is the wolfsangel, or wolf’s hook. Also the symbol of the Dutch nazi party NSB in the 1930s and 1940s.

Wolfsangel on Dutch NSB nazi flag

On the Dutch NSB 1930s-1940s nazi flag for their paramilitary organisation, the WA, the same wolfsangel, in a different direction.

The Dutch nazis of the Nederlandse Volksunie report on their Facebook page about the September issue of their magazine Wij Europa.

In that Wij Europa issue, they announce a report by NVU nazi Frank Folkerts about his trip to Ukraine; for coordination with Ukrainian fellow nazis, like the Svoboda party and the Right Sector. Maybe to prepare for Dutch mercenaries fighting in the war in eastern Ukraine in the Azov battalion, like nazis from Sweden and other countries already do, and which the NVU applauds?

Frank Folkerts used to be NVU party leader for Utrecht province; with the title ‘kringleider’, district leader; the same title as in the NSB, the 1930-1940s Dutch nazi party. Folkerts was main NVU candidate for the 2010 elections in Overbetuwe local authority.

German boars still sick from Chernobyl nuclear radiaton


This video from Germany says about itself:

What’s cuter than baby orphan boar piglets? Baby orphan boar piglets being raised by a puppy!

When VICE Germany sent us some footage of the Lehnitz animal asylum, we weren’t sure how cute it was going to be. Little did we know, boar piglets live there! These little rascals were found in the woods and love to eat, sleep, play, and hang out with their surrogate mom, who’s a dog. We’re pleased to present Spots, Nesti, Diva, Borstel, Ernie, and Bert!

Translated from DPA news agency in Germany:

Still many boars radioactively contaminated, decades after Chernobyl accident

In some regions of Thuringia meat of wild boar is still contaminated by radioactivity.

Erfurt. 28 years after the nuclear accident at Chernobyl boars are still so contaminated that their meat can not be sold in Thuringia. Last year, according to the Ministry of Health 586 shot animals were examined and in almost every tenth of them the limit of 600 becquerels per kilogram was exceeded. The end of that problem is not in sight, as the cesium content halves only every 30 years, said the head of the department for food inspection, Karin Schindler.

730,000 Ukrainian refugees to Russia, 117,000 elsewhere in Ukraine


This 29 June 2014 video is called Number of Ukrainian refugees in Russia has reached 110,000: UNHCR.

That was June. Now, it is August.

From UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency:

GENEVA, August 5 – Amid a worsening situation in eastern Ukraine, the UN refugee agency on Tuesday estimated that more than 117,000 people are now displaced inside Ukraine. …

Most Ukrainians leaving their country are not applying for refugee status. They often seek other legal status. Some fear applying for refugee status will lead to complications and they consider the alternatives available a better temporary solution.

According to Russian authorities, 168,677 displaced people applied to the Federal Migration Service in the first seven months of this year. These included 6,347 for refugee status, 48,914 for temporary asylum, 28,134 for citizenship, 59,858 for temporary residence, 19,943 for residence permits and 5,481 under the programme of resettlement of compatriots.

A larger number of Ukrainians are arriving and staying in Russia under the visa-free regime. The Russian authorities estimate that around 730,000 Ukrainians, including the 168,000 seen by the Federal Migration Service, have arrived since the beginning of the year under this programme.

Around 80 per cent of Ukrainians are staying in border areas, while others are moving to stay with friends or relatives in other parts of the country. More than 585 temporary accommodation facilities are hosting 42,486 people. The Russian authorities have adopted several regulations to facilitate the temporary stay of Ukrainians arriving on its territory.

7 August 2014: again fighting on Maidan square in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian government has been directing heavy artillery bombardments against civilians in the major cities of east Ukraine held by pro-Russian forces, damaging residential areas, hospitals and Russian Orthodox churches and killing and wounding dozens of civilians: here.

The Ukrainian government is funding and deploying gangs of fascist thugs as the spearhead of its operations in preparation for the large scale massacre of pro-Russia separatists and civilians in the city of Donetsk: here.

The siege of the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, launched by the regime in Kiev and abetted by the US government and the European Union (EU), is a barbaric act of collective punishment: here.

A fierce dispute over German policy towards Russia has broken out between two leading German business newspapers, Handelsblatt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). While the FAZ calls for a robust confrontation with Russia, the Handelsblatt describes this as a “wrong track” leading directly to war. The conflict expresses sharp divisions within the ruling class over the future direction of German foreign policy: here.

Painter Kasimir Malevich, 1879-1935


This video is called Kazimir Malevich.

By Christine Lindey in Britain:

Exhibition Review: The epitome of radical art

Saturday 2nd August 2014

Malevich was an original thinker whose contribution to art theory more than compensates for a certain lack of intuitive flair and sensuous engagement with the act of painting, writes CHRISTINE LINDEY

In 20th-century Russia, rejection of the reactionary past by welcoming nascent modernity motivated both the artistic and political vanguards. Believing that the two were interdependent, Kasimir Malevich (1879-1935) embraced both with clear-minded passion.

Born in Kiev into a large Polish family, Malevich’s fragmentary art education lacked the lengthy academic discipline which formed most other pioneers of Modernism. Yet, like theirs, his early work looks like a crash-course in more recent “innovatory” styles.

The Tate Gallery’s Malevich exhibition duly begins with a succession of his Impressionist, post-Impressionist, folksy Symbolist and carelessly brushed Expressionist paintings, many being stronger in daring than accomplishment.

But he discovered his forte in 1912 once he arrived at the visual rigours of Cubism with its focus on form, line and space rather than colour and touch. Combining Cubism with Russian Futurism’s socially subversive subjects led to his first mature works. In them he faced the fundamental question: why should painting retain any contact with the visible world now that this was represented so accurately by the modern technologies of photography, film and photomontage?

In 1913 Malevich designed outlandishly “abstract” costumes and sets for the avant-garde opera Victory Over the Sun and a film of its recreation is screened in the exhibition.

Two years later he painted his first Black Square. So radical was this provocative statement about the absolute essence of painting that it has influenced generations of artists and remains contentious to this day.

“To reproduce beloved objects and little corners of nature is like a thief being enraptured by his leg irons,” Malevich declared. He called his new aesthetic Suprematism, wrote a manifesto and created arguably his best paintings in the following three years.

Flatly painted, simple geometric forms in black or bold colours are juxtaposed against an even white ground. Often composed diagonally, rectangles, triangles and circles speed across the surface with a dynamism echoing that of flying machines.

Uncompromisingly stark, these paintings defy and deny any connection with tradition.

Having arrived in Moscow in 1905, Malevich fought in the “battle of the brigades” in that year’s aborted revolution. He remained a lifelong socialist, joining the Federation of Leftist Artists in the February 1917 revolution.

It was no coincidence that by the period of war communism (1917-22) Malevich’s canvases became ever simpler, paling into white forms on white backgrounds. By 1919 they completely faded out. “Painting died like the old regime because it was a part of it,” Malevich said.

From the October 1917 revolution onwards Malevich’s career exemplifies the promotion of the avant garde to “high art” status by the young worker state, the first government in the world to do so.

Appointed Commissioner for the Preservation of Historic Buildings and Art in 1917 and head of the experimental Petrograd Free State Workshops (SVOMAS) by 1918, Malevich became an influential art establishment figure.

From 1919 he continued to develop new forms of art education based on Suprematism in his own department at Vitebsk Art School. He organised his students and himself into a collective under the acronym UNOVIS (Champions of the New Art) and together they set out to improve daily life by exploring the essence of form, colour and volume as prototypes for practical application by engineers, architects and designers.

Having inspired many contemporaries these principles, which Malevich published in 1927, still underpin much Modernist design today.

Malevich’s return to figurative painting in the late 1920s may come as a shock as these works were long marginalised. This exhibition devotes two rooms to them, presenting them as surprising, ambiguous and complex reinventions of figuration. Yet it interprets his themes of peasant life as conveying the “dislocation, alienation and despair” of collectivisation policies.

By privileging the individual, avant-garde artist, the curatorial stance undervalues the urgency of the international left’s 1930s debates about the social responsibility of artists.

Malevich’s late experiments of blending Modernism with various forms of realism was part of a wider quest by Soviet artists to create an accessible yet modern art.

At his premature death from cancer in 1935, the city of Leningrad honoured Malevich by paying for the grand Suprematist funeral which he’d designed himself.

Malevich was a true radical and original thinker. His major contribution to art theory and education more than compensates for a certain lack of intuitive flair and sensuous engagement with the act of painting.

The exhibition is overly large so that it is difficult to absorb the numerous drawings and UNOVIS projects displayed towards its end. Yet, apart from its predictable anti-Soviet bias, it provides a meticulously researched and comprehensive survey of Malevich’s work. It has an unpretentious chronological organisation and its reconstruction of Malevich’s 1915 Suprematist exhibition is impressive.

A must for those interested in Soviet and Modernist art.

Runs until October 26 at Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG. Box office: (020) 7887-8888.

West Ukrainians’ massive anti-war protests


This video from west Ukraine says about itself:

Ukrainians are burning their military draft cards [English subtitles]

27 July 2014

Ukrainians are burning their military writs, refusing to leave their sons to the Ministry of Defense.

By Roger Annis in Canada:

Antiwar protests spreading in Ukraine as gov’t wages all-out war in the southeast and NATO threatens Russia

July 31, 2014

A rising wave of antiwar and anti-conscription protest is taking place in cities and towns across western Ukraine. The protests are prompted by the announcement of Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko ten days ago that a “third” military mobilization is now required for the war that his governing regime began waging against the population of eastern Ukraine three months ago. Kyiv calls the war an ‘anti-terrorist operation’.

The protests are paralleled by a rise in Ukraine army desertions and refusals of men and women to heed conscription orders.

Poroshenko’s mobilization proposal was approved by the Ukraine Rada on July 22. The measure means that more people will be conscripted into military service and that more reserve army units will be thrown into the battle theatre.

Since the crash of Malyasia Airlines Flight 17, Kyiv has embarked on a frenzied military push into southeast Ukraine to try and defeat a pro-autonomy rebellion there. It is blocking access by investigators to the MH17 crash site and the forward line of its military push consists of intense and random bombardments of towns and cities amounting to war crimes on a massive scale.

This video of shelling of an apartment block in the city of Donetsk on July 29 is an example of what is occurring. Buzzfeed reports, “Tuesday’s attack was the first time that shelling hit central Donetsk, a hitherto tranquil rebel stronghold. It left three people dead and wounded 15. The nearby city of Horlivka declared three days of mourning after heavy fire killed 17 overnight and wounded several dozen others. At least four more people died in shelling in the Donetsk suburb of Yasynuvata.”

Kyiv is in a race to defeat the rebellion before the crippling cost of it all as well as rising antiwar protests and army desertions bring its offensive to a halt. It also has to worry about anticipated revolts by the Ukraine population as a whole once the harsh consequences of the economic association agreement that Kyiv signed with the European Union on June 30 bite deeper and deeper.

Protests on the rise

Although the propaganda websites of the Kyiv government boast of the successes of its now three-month long ‘anti-terrorist operation’ in eastern Ukraine (which it dubs its ‘ATO’), the special mobilization measure approved last week shows its war is in trouble. More fighting units are needed, the national treasury is effectively bankrupted by it all and there are rising numbers of desertions from the army and growing protests by mothers, wives, friends and neighbours of conscript soldiers. ICTV reports that the advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashenko, has announced that anyone in Ukraine who agitates on social media against the regime’s war will be arrested.

The expanding protests have multiple messages. Some oppose the war outright. Others are specifically addressing the harsh and dangerous conditions that soldiers are facing in the east.

One of the most dramatic of the many protests since the ‘third mobilization’ measure was announced has been in the port and shipbuilding city of Mykolaiv (also spelled Nikolaev), on the Black Sea, east of Odessa. Mothers and wives of soldiers repeatedly blocked the Varvarovsky Bridge over the Bug River for three days beginning July 25. They demanded a return of their sons or husbands from lengthy tours of duty in the 79th Paratroop Regiment. The tours have been extended and the regiment has suffered intense combat.

The women went on foot to the bridge carrying placards reading “Save our boys!” and used a pedestrian crossing to block traffic. Tussles with police and militia took place. (See dramatic video footage here from July 25.)

ON the first day of the protest, the women drafted a letter to President Poroshenko which the mayor of the city and regional governor agreed to deliver. The women said their action would not end until they received a satisfactory reply. They didn’t receive that. A police mobilization ended the blockade on July 27. Some protesters were arrested.

The websites Hronika.info and ZIK.ua report that in the town of Bohorodchany in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast (region) [1], in southwest Ukraine bordering the Carpathia region, angry people attacked the military registration office and the premises of other local organs of power on July 22. They burned conscription documents. (Ukraine language report here.)

It’s a rural region and protesters sounded a theme that is common to many of the anti-conscription protests: they say their menfolk lack proper training and equipment and therefore face “certain death” when sent to the east.

“Certain death” faced by soldiers is not a sign of a war going well. It also suggests that the most recent report of the Office United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights reporting “at least” 1,129 killed by the war in Ukraine is seriously understated. It’s a fact that the report’s claim of “100,000” people made refugee by the war is laughingly low–Russia says more than 500,000 refugees have crossed its border since the war began in April and Ukraine admits to nearly 100,000 internal refugees.

Russia has condemned this latest report by the OUNCHR, saying, “Its key message is that the government of Ukraine is permitted to legitimately use force to restore law and order in the east of the country”.

Also on July 22, residents of the village of Skobychivka linked arms and formed a human chain to block the road from Ivano-Frankivsk to Bohorodchany, causing a kilometre-long traffic jam. The protesters held placards reading: ‘No Afghanistan in Ukraine!’, ‘Send call-up notices to the children of the higher-ups!’, ‘Return our children to us’ and ‘Stop the bloodshed’. A common slogan in the protests is ‘Refuse!’

A separate report in Vesti quoted the relatives of soldiers saying their sons were being used as “cannon fodder”. The report said people were also protesting in Yaremcha, in the same region, and in Sambor, Lviv region.

Not far from that area, in Bukovina region, residents in seven villages blocked roads on July 28. That region is southwest Ukraine includes a significant population of Romanian descent.

A video published by 112.UA shows soldiers’ relatives blocking a road in Obukhivs’kyi district, near Kyiv on July 24 demanding a return of soldiers from lengthy duty.

Protesters in the Odessa region blocked the Black Sea coastal highway for hours on July 28.

Residents of six villages in Sokyryanskyi region (Chernivtsi oblast)–Bilousivka, Lomachyntsi, Mykhalkove, Serbychany, Korman and Romankivtsi–blocked the highway between Chernivtsi and Novodnistrovsk on the morning of July 25, demanding that their menfolk not be sent to war.

Protests have gripped the entire region of Chernivtsi in southwest Ukraine. A video recording showed people saying, “We don’t war – we want peace” and “We did not raise our children for war. We will not give them our children”.

This video (see top of this web post) shows a group of people, mostly women, from Chernivtsi who gather to confront a local military recruitment officer. They are carrying their sons or husbands’ conscription orders.

“Go fight your own war,” they tell the conscription officer, who tells locals to “go to the Internet” if they want to find out why the new mobilization is happening. He is referring to the Kyiv regime’s intensely propagandistic websites devoted to all things ‘ATO’. But the protesters are having none of that. They gather dozens of blue-coloured conscription orders into a pile and burn them.

As they stand around watching the flames, they’re all voicing their opinions. One mother says, “[Kyiv authorities] are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship, but they come here to take our sons and send them to death. They made the mess and now they need us to clean it up.” The conscription officer stands by helplessly. What can he do? He is following orders.

In the settlement of Marshintsi in the Novoselytskyy region of Chernivtsi, protesters blocked the entry of soldiers and police. Residents brought tyres and barricaded the road leading into the village. Many wrote letters of refusal, describing the events in the south-east as a “slaughter”.

On July 20, the Kyiv-Chop highway was blocked by local residents, mainly women, in the vicinity of the village of Hamaliivka near Lviv. A protest last month also blocked the highway. The same highway was blocked on July 28, in the villages of Rakoshyno and Znyatsevo, near the border of Slovakia and Hungary.

Here is one of the latest videos to be published on YouTube, of a protest in the town of Town of Novoselytsya in Chernivtsi oblast on July 30.

Many protests are voicing a ‘No Afghanistan in Ukraine’ demand. This harkens back to the ten-year war that the Soviet Union fought against the people of Afghanistan, beginning in 1980. Altogether, 14,500 soldiers of the Soviet Union’s army died, 54,000 were wounded and many, many more Afghans died. The war was a major factor in the collapse of the Soviet Union, which happened not long after it withdrew from Afghanistan in ignominious defeat in 1988.

Post-Soviet, independent Ukraine later joined the U.S.-led occupation and war in Afghanistan. A small force still participates.

The well-known Ukrainian television journalist and commentator Ostap Drozdov has called for a boycott of the latest mobilization decree. The website Russkaya Vesna reports him saying: “My program yesterday (on the regional television channel ZIK) can be considered the start of an informal campaign to boycott the mobilisation. I state my intention to give my utmost support to this initiative, which goes by the provisional name ‘Mobilisation Equals Genocide’.”

He said, “It is very important that people who speak out against the mobilisation of the civilian population should see that they are not isolated. There are a great many of them.”

Army in trouble

Exact numbers of army desertions are not known and are the subject of considerable debate and counter-debate. This website report, for example, publishes a purported Ukraine army report saying that close to 3,500 soldiers deserted in the third week of July and that 1,600 soldiers died and 4,700 were wounded in that same time. Sources in Russia say the documents it cites are not authentic.

Here is a brief news report in which several Ukraine soldiers speak of their decision to take asylum in Russia. (Many videos of the fighting in eastern Ukraine are posted here on the ‘Anti-Maidan YouTube Channel’.)

This video records a protest in Kyiv of relatives of the 72nd Army Brigade that suffered heavy losses from a rocket attack some days ago. The protesters chant “Help the heroes”. A poster reads: “Send [Rada] deputies and generals to the battlefield!”. They pray, and sing the Ukraine national anthem.

The Brigade was caught in a grisly cauldron in southeast Ukraine with many killed and injured and some survivors taking refuge in Russia. In this video, soldies of the brigade speak for 13 minutes of their difficult and disturbing combat experience.

The pro-Kyiv, Interfax news service reports on 18 Ukraine soldiers who took refuge in Russia and received medical treatment.

Russia Today reported several days ago of this group of 40 soldiers who entered Russia and requested asylum.

Recasted fascist introduces conscription bill

Andriy Parubiy introduced the ‘third’ mobilization bill to the Rada. He is Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, a key advisory body to the President and the Parliament on military matters. He says the measure will mobilize 15 more army combat units and 44 combat support units.

Parabuiy is a renowned fascist in Ukraine who has modified his image in the past year and risen to prominence in the Kyiv regime that seized power in February of this year. Last year, he joined the Fatherland party of former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko and was elected to the Rada. Fatherland is a neo-conservative coalition/party.

U.S. journalist Robert Parry wrote of Paruiby earlier this year, “Parubiy is himself a well-known neo-Nazi, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991. The party blended radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols.

“Parubiy also formed a paramilitary spinoff, the Patriots of Ukraine, and defended the awarding [in 2007] of the title ‘Hero of Ukraine’ to World War Two Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose own paramilitary forces exterminated thousands of Jews and Poles in pursuit of a racially pure Ukraine.”

The United States is boosting its military aid and training to Ukraine. The announcement came from U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt on July 25. The U.S. already committed to $23 million in equipment; that will now rise to $33 million. It is also intervening in the countries it dominates in the region to boost the training and equipping of their armed forces, including Moldova and Romania on Ukraine’s southwest frontier and Poland on the northwest.

Kyiv’s ruthless shelling and bombing of towns and cities is running out of time due to the war’s huge financial cost. Describing Ukraine’s economy, the Washington Post wrote on July 26:

The IMF forecasts that Ukraine’s annual GDP will drop by 6.5% this year, while the government deficit is projected at 10.1% of GDP. This week, the government announced that it would need at least 800 million dollars to continue its counterinsurgency operation and asked the parliament to further increase taxes and cut public spending. The deputies’ refusal to appropriate needed funds yesterday triggered Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s resignation as he recognized that soldiers would receive no pay next month. The reconstruction of Donbas is even more uncertain as the government promised to turn to foreign donors for funds in the coming fall.

In a remarkable admission last week, Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Vadym Prystaiko, told the Globe and Mail, “We are pouring all the money in our budget… into the anti-terrorism campaign.”

The war is scandalously riding roughshod over the international investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Investigators were blocked from reaching the site on July 27 and in the days following by the relentless shellings and other bombings by the Ukraine army in the region.

As reported by international media, inspectors are lodged in hotels in Donetsk each night and they passed easily through self defense lines surrounding the city to get to the site. But as the days wore on, the international media reported the blockage as due to “fighting” and “clashes”.

On July 30, Kyiv propaganda began saying that rebel fighters had placed mines on the crash site and were shelling it. That story evaporated the following day when, in circumstances unexplained, inspectors finally reached the site.

The grim reality of Kyiv’s military campaign in eastern Ukraine has been airbrushed out of mainstream news reporting. Little or no visual presentation of bombardments or other war crimes is allowed to pass through editorial filters. The war and its consequences are explained away in the vacuous language of “fighting” or “clashes” taking place. The avalanche of video testimony that Ukrainians are placing on YouTube is only accessible to those who know where to look for it, or who happen to find serous reporting.

RUSSIA said today that more than 400 Ukrainian soldiers had crossed onto its territory to avoid fighting separatist activists in the east. A security official said 438 troops had asked the Russian authorities to open a “humanitarian corridor” overnight because they were no longer able to defend their positions. The Ukrainian border service said the soldiers had run out of ammunition and the Ukrainian military confirmed its troops had crossed into Russia: here.

Britain: THE Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) condemned a new parliamentary report yesterday for “ratcheting up tensions” between Nato and Russia and urged an end to “cold war thinking”: here.

Australian bereaved families react to flight MH17 disaster


Flight MH17

By Peter Byrne in Australia:

Australia: Two significant reactions to the MH17 tragedy

31 July 2014

Two Australian families of those killed in the MH17 disaster have made statements that stand out in stark contrast to much of the commentary in the corporate media. They differ sharply from the Australian government’s agenda of exploiting the tragedy as part of the US-led campaign against Russia and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.

Queensland couple, Roger and Jill Guard were killed in the MH17 crash along with 296 others. Roger Guard headed the pathology department at Toowoomba Base Hospital. He had worked in the public health system for 40 years. Jill Guard, also a doctor, worked in general practice. They were on their way home from a two-month European holiday.

The Guard family posted an online tribute describing Roger Guard as a dedicated professional then continued: “Away from work, he was an avid reader and was incredibly knowledgeable in geography, history and science. He was interested in knowing how the world works, and fascinated by the endless complexity of nature. He challenged his kids to be curious and inquisitive and to find out facts for ourselves rather than accepting assertions without evidence. He was a scientist to the core.”

Writing about his mother, Paul Guard said: “Jill was also a dedicated doctor who worked in general practice for many years. She worked for most of her career at the Family Planning Clinic in Toowoomba specialising in women’s health. She also committed herself to multiple worthy causes including Meals On Wheels, assisting Sudanese refugees in Toowoomba and sponsoring children through World Vision. She was a talented musician and played the cello, piano and recorder … She cared for a number of people in need over her years in Toowoomba, and provided emotional and practical support for many more. She was truly selfless and consistently put her family and friends’ needs above her own.”

These accounts of the lives and outlook of his parents go some way to explaining the tone and content of the interview given by their son, Paul, one of their three children, to ABC News 24.

Paul Guard was composed and determined to make some important points. Following general questions about his parents, he was asked what message he had for the Australian government and all world leaders.

He replied: “In terms of finding out who’s responsible for this, I believe that the party responsible for the death of my parents, all those children on the plane, all of those people in the prime of their lives, is not just Vladimir Putin, it’s not just the Russian military, it’s not the Ukrainian government or the separatist rebels or even the person who pressed the button on the missile launcher—I believe it’s the conflict itself.

“If the conflict wasn’t happening there, that plane would not have been shot down.”

He then called on world leaders, including the Australian government, to find a way to halt the conflict “if you want justice for the victims and the victims’ families.”

Three siblings, Mo aged 12, Evie aged 10 and Otis aged 8 were travelling with their grandfather Nick Norris, from Amsterdam to their home in Perth on flight MH17. The parents of the three children, Anthony Maslin and Marite Norris had stayed for a few extra days holiday planning to catch a later flight. Last week they published a message addressed to “the soldiers in the Ukraine, the politicians, the media, our friends and family.”

“Our pain is intense and relentless. We live in a hell beyond hell. Our babies are not here with us—we need to live with this act of horror, every day and every moment for the rest of our lives.

“No one deserves what we are going through. Not even the people who shot our whole family out of the sky. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for our children, for Mo, for Evie, for Otis. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for Grandad Nick. No hate in the world is as strong as the love we have for each other. This is a revelation that gives us some comfort.”

Then, in an implicit condemnation of any attempts to use the tragedy for militarist purposes, they continued: “We would ask everyone to remember this when you are making any decisions that affect us and the other victims of this horror.”

Both the Guard and Maslin families have expressed widely held antiwar sentiments, fundamentally at odds with the bloodlust continually promoted by the political establishment and mass media.

A Thursday article in the New Straits Times, Malaysia’s flagship English-language newspaper, charged the US- and European-backed Ukrainian regime in Kiev with shooting down Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 in east Ukraine last month. Given the tightly controlled character of the Malaysian media, it appears that the accusation that Kiev shot down MH17 has the imprimatur of the Malaysian state: here.

As it did following the still-unexplained downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, the Australian government is again taking a prominent role in the mounting threats being issued by Washington and its allies against Russia: here.

The deafening silence of the US media and government about the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 one month ago reeks of a cover-up: here.

With a handful of exceptions, a shroud of silence has been drawn by the international media regarding the fate of Malaysian Airlines MH17, which crashed over Ukraine nearly six weeks ago: here.

In an August 29 editorial calling for the US and NATO to adopt a retaliatory policy against Russia over its alleged “large and unacceptable escalation of … aggression against Ukraine,” the New York Times asserts in passing that after rebels in eastern Ukraine “shot down a Malaysian jetliner with a Russian missile … Russia’s involvement became more overt.” What is most striking about this assertion is that it comes after roughly a month in which the Times, like the vast majority of the Western media, has gone virtually silent on the downing of Flight MH17, even as the most important evidence, including the plane’s black boxes, has become available to investigators: here.