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Group for Tomorrow's Ukraine

Group for Tomorrow's Ukraine
Serving as an informational bridge between the West and a changing Ukraine.

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  • July 21, 2014 9:09 pm

    8 Times The Russian Media Lied About Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

    by Seamus Kelleher
    Member, Group for Tomorrow’s Ukraine

    While the world tries to piece together the truth surrounding Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, one thing is for certain: Russia is working vigorously to deny any involvement in shooting down the plane and they’re doing so through their tightly controlled network of Kremlin-funded media outlets.

    putin

    Despite new U.S. intelligence supporting the notion that there’s blood on Russia’s hands, it appears the plan remains the same: deny, deny, deny. Julie Davis of The Examiner took notice and put the following images together to highlight numerous times Russian media lied about Flight MH17.

    1) Ukrainian Military Was Aiming At Putin’s Plane

    RT, repeat offenders in this campaign of misinformation, presented perhaps the most ridiculous of theories for the downing of the passenger jet.

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    According to an unnamed source, the missiles that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 likely came from Ukrainian soldiers under the mistaken impression that it was Vladimir Putin’s personal jet. Their source told them, “the contours of the aircraft have generally similar linear dimensions and, at a sufficient distance, the jet appears to have almost identical coloring.”

    2) We Didn’t Do It, They Did

    After it was revealed that the terrorists had shot down a passenger jet and not an AN-26 as they initially boasted about, their leader Igor Girkin (Russian) tried to refute his own earlier statements with a fabricated, broken Ukrainian message that Girkin claims was broadcast by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

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    It seems to be written by someone who doesn’t speak Ukrainian (Girkin is a Russian national). The message included numerous grammar mistakes and misspellings, with President Poroshenko allegedly admitting the Ukrainian military’s involvement in shooting down “the terrorist plane.” Tough to believe that one, as the Ukrainian military has not yet fired a missile in this conflict and the rebel forces don’t have planes.

    3) We Don’t Have The Right Equipment For That

    Girkin’s had to work hard to maintain his innocence after a series of incriminating Vkontakte posts.

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    On July 17th, Girkin claimed that the terrorists did not have the sophisticated equipment capable of reaching an aircraft at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters. Just one day earlier, though, Girkin bragged on social media about successfully shooting down a Ukrainian military plane at an altitude of 6,000 meters.

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  • July 19, 2014 4:38 pm

    Russian Government Caught Editing Wikipedia On Flight MH17

    by Seamus Kelleher
    Member, Group for Tomorrow’s Ukraine

    More bad news for the Kremlin. 

    Just one day after government-funded news network RT (formerly Russia Today) dealt with a correspondent’s public resignation and claims that RT is “lying” about events in Ukraine, there’s new evidence to suggest that even individuals within the government are participating in this reprobate mission of misinformation.

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    A while back, the internet was blessed by the creation of @CongressEdits, a “tweetbot” that automatically alerts its Twitter followers when a Wikipedia article is edited from any U.S. government IP address. It’s a fascinating development in a world dominated by technological advancements; the application of technology to check government power and limit corruption in areas we actually can limit it.

    Well, there’s a Russian version now, and it’s already exposed some pretty dramatic edits to a Wikipedia article about Flight MH17— edits originating from a Russian government IP address.

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  • July 19, 2014 3:10 pm

    Ukraine News Summary: July 19th, 2014

    By Eugene Bondarenko

    International News

    The OSCE has stated that separatists are stopping experts from reaching the site of the downed Boeing 777 near the city of Snizhne. The airliner is thought to have been brought down by separatist fighters who mistook it for a Ukrainian transport plane. All 295 people on board were killed. The Ukrainian government has been doing everything in its power to assist with the investigation of the incident. The UK and Turkey have joined the US in placing the fault for the incident on pro-Russian separatists, citing intelligence reports.  Meanwhile, Russian, Ukrainian, and separatist representatives have agreed to establish a 20 km demilitarized zone around the crash site so that an investigation could be carried out. Despite this agreement while search crews were combing through the wreckage armed separatists arrived, took the search crews’ communications equipment and for unknown reasons also took 38 of the plane crash victims’ bodies to the city of Donetsk. Some of the separatists reportedly used the victims’ credit cards to make purchases. Later separatists brought in heavy machinery and began loading pieces of the wreckage onto trucks in direct violation of all air accident investigation protocols. International officials have reported that the separatists are in possession of the aircraft’s black boxes. The separatists also reportedly fired at OSCE investigators who arrived at the scene.

    The heads of state of the US, Germany, and the UK have agreed that further sanctions against Russia will be necessary in the near future if the Russia government does not take concrete steps to deescalate the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. This statement comes less than a week after a fresh round of sanctions against Russia did little to stop Russian aid to anti-Ukrainian separatists.

    Sara Firth, a former Russia Today (RT) journalist who resigned due to the media agency’s anti-Ukrainian policies has revealed that fake pro-Kremlin social media accounts are operated right out of the organization’s offices. RT has been one of the Kremlin’s propaganda outlets in the West and has been the subject of much criticism by other media organizations.

    National News

    A Ukrainian aircraft mechanic who was reportedly taken prisoner after his An-26 cargo plane was shot down by separatist forces on July 14th has been rescued and delivered to safety by local residents. The locals hid the Ukrainian serviceman from separatists and managed to smuggle him into Ukrainian-held territory.

    A string of false bomb threats has swept around major Ukrainian cities over the past several days. The targets include government buildings, public squares, and other places where people congregate. So far no explosives have been found.

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  • July 18, 2014 6:40 pm

    Ukraine News Summary: July 18th, 2014

    By Eugene Bondarenko

    International News

    Search and rescue crews have recovered the two black boxes of the airliner shot down over Ukraine yesterday. Meanwhile, evidence which suggests that pro-Russian separatists shot down Malaysian Airlines flight 17 continues to mount. US intelligence officials have indicated that they believe that the plane was indeed shot down by a surface to air missile, and not by another aircraft as separatists initially claimed. They also stated that they do not believe that Ukraine currently has the capability to fire ground to air missiles in the territory where the plane fell. Today amateur footage has been released showing a separatist 9K37 “Buk” self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system traveling between Torez and Snizhne, the area where the airliner was shot down. The video can be seen here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAxpT5AikhQ. Additionally, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has released an audio recording of separatists coordinating the movement of the vehicle across the Ukrainian-Russian border. The materials can be viewed here (in Russian and Ukrainian): http://www.unian.ua/politics/941292-sbu-oprilyudnila-dokazi-togo-scho-rosiya-peredala-teroristam-zrk-buk-z-ekipajem.html  Ukrainian officials have speculated that the launcher and its crew have already been sent back to Russia and liquidated in order to hide material evidence of Russian involvement. However, later two Russian citizens suspected of having operated the “Buk” launcher were arrested on the border and are now being questioned by Ukrainian authorities. The leaders of NATO, the United States, the EU, and Malaysia have offered to help in the investigation of the crash of flight 17 which was reportedly brought down by an air to ground missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the Ukrainian government of causing the tragedy by ended a ceasefire earlier this month. In response, Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov called the incident a “terrorist attack” and blamed it on the pro-Kremlin insurgents. The Deputy Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Parliament Leonid Kalashnikov appeared callous and asked reporters whether it matters who shot down the plane, saying that “As if answering that would make it easier for anyone.”

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that if the shelling of Russian border towns continues, Russia will retaliate with precision strikes against those responsible for the incidents. Separatists have been shelling Russian border towns in a false flag operation to discredit the Ukrainian army. While ample evidence of this exists, Moscow still accuses the Ukrainian army of carrying out such attacks.

    National News

    Ukrainian military analysts have announced the Ukrainian military has tightened its encirclement of the insurgents by about 10-15km on all sides over the past 24 hours.

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  • July 18, 2014 2:56 pm

    "We’re Lying" - RT Correspondent Resigns Over Deliberate Misrepresentation of What’s Really Going On In Ukraine

    by Seamus Kelleher
    Member, Group for Tomorrow’s Ukraine

    One of the biggest cogs in President Putin’s elaborate propaganda machine has been hit with some troubling news today: the Kremlin-funded, English-language news network RT (formerly Russia Today) learned that it’s just lost another correspondent.

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    Why?

    Because of its ongoing campaign of misinformation regarding the situation in Ukraine. The last straw for correspondent Sara Firth was the network’s coverage of the Malaysia Airline passenger jet that was shot down over eastern Ukraine yesterday.

    Firth, who’s worked for RT over the last five years in their London office, told BuzzFeed:

    "When this story broke I ran back into the newsroom and saw how we were covering it already and I just knew I had to go," she said.

    "It was the total disregard to the facts. We threw up eyewitness accounts from someone on the ground openly accusing the Ukrainian government [of involvement in the disaster], and a correspondent in the studio pulled up a plane crash before that the Ukrainian government had been involved in and said it was ‘worth mentioning’.

    "It’s not worth mentioning. It’s Russia Today all over, it’s flirting with that border of overtly lying. You’re not telling a lie, you’re just bringing something up. I didn’t want to watch a story like that, where people have lost loved ones and we’re handling it like that.

    "I couldn’t do it anymore. Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it."

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  • July 17, 2014 4:02 pm

    Ukraine News Summary: July 17th, 2014

    By Eugene Bondarenko

    International News

    A few hours ago it was confirmed that a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in Eastern Ukraine. While there are several possible reasons for the crash, the most likely version of eventssuggests that the airplane was brought down by pro-Russian insurgents. Here are a few factors that support this theory:

    1. The crew of the downed aircraft did not report any technical issues prior to losing contact with ATC. This is indicative of a sudden event, such as a catastrophic structural failure of the airframe (explosion, disintegration).

    2. The insurgents recently received a “Buk” Air-ground mobile missile launch complex from Russia. The complex was spotted near the town of Torez where the plane was brought down.

    3. The airplane was brought down in an insurgent-controlled area where there are no Ukrainian troops. Shortly after the plane was brought down, the insurgents claimed that they had shot down a Ukrainian An-26 transport/surveillance aircraft, but quickly removed these posts once it became apparent that an airliner had been brought down.

    4. Ukrainian forces have no reason to fire on aircraft because the insurgents do not have an air force, so it is highly unlikely that Ukrainian forces would fire on any aircraft, let alone an airliner leaving Ukrainian airspace.

    Last night the EU and the USA passed heavier sanctions against Russian officials and companies in response to what they labeled a lack of action from Russia to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine. The EU banned all of its financial institutions from engaging in new projects with the Russian government and placed travel restrictions on several Russian and separatist officials. Meanwhile the United States has instituted sanctions against key players in the Russian natural resources, military, and financial sectors. Among the list of companies penalized by the US is the Russian oil giant Rosneft. Russian stocks fell sharply during the next day of trades while Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that sanctions are a setback for Russo-American relations.

    Russian civilians from the border town of Gukovo in the Rostov Region have posted a video of Russian BM-21 “Grad” Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) firing salvos into Ukraine from Russia. The video, which can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGXvZ0_BnZ0 is the first video confirmation of Russian forces firing into Ukrainian territory.

    A Ukrainian Su-25 multi-purpose attack aircraft was shot down over Ukraine by a Russian fighter according to the Ukrainian National Security Council (UNSC). The ejected and was rescued by Ukrainian forces. The UNSC also confirmed that two missing crew members of a Ukrainian An-26 transport plane, shot down near the Russian border on July 14th were killed in the crash. The remaining five crew members are accounted for.

    The Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs has made a public statement condemning the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Japan is seen as a major untapped market for Russian natural resources, but has its own territorial disputes with Russia over the Kuril Islands which were occupied by Russia after WWII and never returned to Japan.

    Donetsk Region

    Two Ukrainian soldiers have been taken prisoner by separatist forces near the town of Avdiivka. The soldiers were from an anti-aircraft unit stationed in the surrounded Donetsk International Airport.

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  • July 17, 2014 12:32 pm

    Malaysian Airlines Flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur Brought Down by pro-Russian Insurgents

    by Eugene Bondarenko

    A few hours ago it was confirmed that a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in Eastern Ukraine. While there are several possible reasons for the crash, the most likely version of events suggests that the airplane was brought down by pro-Russian insurgents. Here are a few factors that support this theory:

    1. The crew of the downed aircraft did not report any technical issues prior to losing contact with ATC. This is indicative of a sudden event, such as a catastrophic structural failure of the airframe (explosion, disintegration).

    2. The insurgents recently received a “Buk” Air-ground mobile missile launch complex from Russia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buk_missile_system. The complex was spotted near the town of Torez where the plane was brought down.

    3. The airplane was brought down in an insurgent-controlled area where there are no Ukrainian troops. Shortly after the plane was brought down, the insurgents claimed that they had shot down a Ukrainian An-26 transport/surveillance aircraft, but quickly removed these posts once it became apparent that an airliner had been brought down.

    4. Ukrainian forces have no reason to fire on aircraft because the insurgents do not have an air force, so it is highly unlikely that Ukrainian forces would fire on any aircraft, let alone an airliner leaving Ukrainian airspace.

  • July 16, 2014 4:56 pm

    Ukraine News Summary: July 16th, 2014

    By Eugene Bondarenko

    International News

    A video conference between the Ukrainian government, separatists, Russia, and EU representatives did not take place as planned. The separatists apparently refused to attend, thereby nullifying any hopes that the crisis could be solved through peaceful means in the near future.

    The European Court of Human Rights has begun working on the case of captured Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko. Lieutenant Savchenko was taken prisoner by separatist forces after her plane was shot down in June. She later was found in a Russian prison in Voronezh. Russian officials claim that she had crossed the border into Russia willfully, posing as a refugee. Ms. Savchenko denies these claims and insists that she was taken to Russia by force with “a bag over her head.” The court has also began hearing arguments in Ukraine’s case against Russia over the annexation of Crimea.

    An official separatist recruitment office has opened in Moscow. The separatist were allowed to operate this office by the Russian authorities and are now searching for volunteers who are familiar with heavy weaponry.

    Miloš Zeman the President of the Czech Republic has said that he believes NATO forces should intervene militarily in Ukraine if Russia occupies more Ukrainian territory. The statement is the first of its kind from the leader of NATO member states, which in general have made vague statements condemning the Russian invasion, but have not made any commitments to military action.

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