Friday, 8 April 2022

German secret service provides evidence that Russians did commit atrocities in Bucha

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Russian soldiers' conversations intercepted by the German secret service about the Bucha atrocities, and reported to the Bundestag, are certainly genuine, according to Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King's College, London. 

The revised version of the newspaper account of the intercepts does not tie the atrocities discussed to Bucha, but the intercepts provide evidence of war crimes. 

I therefore consider that deliberate killings of civilians by Russian troops have pretty much been proven.

If you disagree, gentle reader, please say why in a comment.

Sir Lawrence Freedman wrote the first draft of Tony Blair's Chicago speech in 1999 justifying interventions in foreign countries, and one must remember that. His son is a Blairite, but whatever the father's politics he seems an authoritative military expert. 

Certainly his analyses of the war are the most interesting I have read. 

He thinks Putin's original plan was to take Ukraine with the acquiescence of Ukrainians and was absurd, which was why he did not believe Putin would invade. (Same here, though, as you have noticed, I am certainly no expert.)

Professor Freedman seems to me to have a great gift for synthesis and writes the best stuff about this war. He thinks Russia will lose this war, which is encouraging. C (the head of MI6) reads him. 

'President Macron now also accepts that something has changed because of the ‘very clear signs of war crimes’ in Bucha, adding that ‘We can't let it slide’..... 
'Yet what precisely has changed? Indifference to human life has been a hallmark of Russian strategy throughout this war. Thousands of civilians have already died because of being struck by missiles, shells, and bombs. There has been no shortage of reports of the appalling treatment being meted out by Russian troops. The ‘Bucha effect’ may confirm the phenomenon that after a certain point the casualties of war become statistics, the numbers so large that it is impossible to comprehend their human meaning. What makes the difference are images that are visceral and intimate, so that we can imagine not only the terror of the victims but also the barbarity of the perpetrators. It is one thing to fire into residential areas from a distance and quite another to go into those areas, look helpless people in the eye, and then kill them in cold blood.'  

Agreed, but the Nato countries must at all costs not go to war with Russia, however many atrocities are committed.  Russia has the bomb, which Ukraine foolishly gave up in return for a Russian guarantee to defend her.

Lord Macaulay's words about Frederick the Great come to my mind often when I think of Putin.
In order that he might rob a neighbour whom he had promised to defend, black men fought on the coast of Coromandel and red men scalped each other by the great lakes of North America.

Putin's actions are indefensible, but not inexplicable. 

Had Donald Trump won the presidency this terrible invasion would not have happened, because Mr Trump is not interested in extending democratic values (which is the same thing as extending American hegemony) and therefore Putin would not have felt threatened. 

When he spoke in Warsaw about Western civilisation beset by barbarians Donald Trump had completely different evils in mind (he was accused by Democrats of racism for his pains).

16 comments:

  1. Ukrainians speaking Russian doesn't prove Russia did it. Even a video game demonstrates this. Call of duty, the attack on the airport the bad guys either say "speak Russian" or "no Russian"--I don't remember. But the point is with Ukraine and Russia the Ukrainians can easily speak Russian and make a fake recording to incriminate Russia. Its all BS.

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    1. That point worried me but I asked Sir L Freedman on Twitter and he is sure the tapes are genuine - and one would expect German secret service to know, after all.

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    2. But Germany is globohomo central for Europe. Why would they lie?

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    3. I expect the Ukrainians to lie because they are at war and want to get Nato support but a deliberate deception of the Bundestag by the German secret service is taking healthy scepticism too far.

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  2. "Russia has the bomb, which Ukraine foolishly gave up in return for a Russian guarantee to defend her."

    If they expected Russia to defend them then they made themselves a province of Russia giving Russia the right tk force them back into its union just as Amwrica did to the seceded souther states in the civil war. And its hypocrady for yanks to say otherwise. This also means the EU and NATO countires are mere provinces of the US since as Trump said America pays the defence bills. Rather than fight Russia, America should militarily annex Europe and tax the crap out of it--or it should disband NATO and let the European province go free and have to defend its own stupid self.

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    1. Ukraine’s territorial integrity was guaranteed rather as Belgium's was by the Treaty of London. The analogy with the US Civil War is a poor one but I think it's very hard to make a case that the states should have been forced to remain in the USA against their democratic will.

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    2. Regarding the poorly named American Civil War, the North theoretically became involved in order to reclaim its military installations (such as Fort Sumter in South Carolina, which had been taken over by the Confederates after a fierce battle with... 0 casualties). But no doubt the stated goal of the North was to keep the union of states intact, with or without their approval.

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  3. I believe that Mr Putin's forces have indeed committed terrible crimes - he has always been a criminal (guilty of many murders himself) and "a fish rots from the head" - people lower down follow the example of the boss. As for the war itself - most ethnic RUSSIANS in the Ukraine have fought against (yes against) Mr Putin - this has upset his plans, he was counting on ethnic Russians in the Ukraine to be a sort Fifth Column for him, instead most of them want to rip out his throat.

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    1. Interesting about Russians in Ukraine and what you say sounds likely but please can you provide a link? Of course there is an important distinction between ethnic Ukrainians who only speak Russian and people who are and consider themselves ethnic Russians.

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    2. Paul what do you think of this? https://libertarianism.uk/2022/04/08/maintaining-the-right-to-doubt/

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  4. I wonder what is the logic of this attack? What the Russian military gains from it, other than global outrage and more sanctions?

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    1. Patrick Cockburn:
      Why did the Russian army carry out these crimes? They are much against the interests of the Kremlin, which five weeks ago had persuaded itself that part of the Ukrainian population would welcome Russian intervention with open arms. The atrocities were the more-or-less inevitable outcome of this ill-conceived invasion plan, rooted in wishful thinking and carried out by ill-disciplined and ill-trained troops. Poor-quality soldiers like this facing a hostile population are particularly dangerous in my experience, because they quickly come to believe that they are being spied on, sniped at and generally betrayed by the local population.

      An example of this is reported from Motyzhyn outside Kyiv where the head of the village, her husband and son were killed and buried in a shallow grave in the sand by Russian forces. “There had been Russian occupiers here,” said a Ukrainian interior ministry official who showed reporters the bodies. “They tortured and murdered the whole family of the village head. The occupiers suspected they were collaborating with our military, giving us locations of where to target our artillery.”

      This is typical of troops who come under fire and are in a high state of paranoia as they look for somebody to blame. But, though the decision to execute an innocent villager is made on the spot by some frightened 20-year-old, this does not absolve the generals and politicians who have a fair idea of what is going on even if they have not given direct orders for the killings. They may privately imagine that “a whiff of grapeshot” will suppress local opposition, blind to the fact that it promotes it and legitimises it.

      Massacres everywhere have common features, but those carried out by Russian troops in north Ukraine are typified by feckless violence by troops, frequently drunk going by the number of discarded vodka and whiskey bottles around their positions, who see all civilians as hostile and fair game, even when they are obviously families in flight.

      https://braveneweurope.com/patrick-cockburn-war-crimes-will-only-make-things-worse-for-russia-as-ukrainians-prepare-for-a-fight-to-the-bitter-end

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    2. Pstrick Cockburn concludes: "The only way to stop atrocities in Ukraine is to end a war which is unlikely to produce a clear winner. But in the wake of the latest killings this looks less and less likely. Russia, Ukraine and its backers all have reasons to end the war, but perhaps even stronger motives for fighting even harder."

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  5. I am often very unimpressed by American fact checking, but this German newspaper fact checking report is very convincing. In Bucha murders of civilians were committed by Russians. https://www.dw.com/en/fact-check-what-really-happened-in-bucha/av-61388310

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  6. Another view about what happened at Bucha is here. https://libertarianism.uk/2022/04/08/maintaining-the-right-to-doubt/

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