18+ Mariupol May 9th – What Really Happened (Part 2 – HRW Cover-Up)

Graham W Phillips – photos from here

The second part, looking at what really happened in Mariupol on May 9th 2014. There have been certain key dates in the ‘Ukraine crisis’. May 2nd, of the Odessa Massacre, the Semenovka Shooting of May 5th, yet where the crisis in Donbass really tipped over into Mariupol May 9 2014civil war, was Mariupol, May 9th, when Ukrainian military entered the city on Victory Day celebrations, and opened fire.

International NGO Human Rights Watch arrived in Mariupol late on May 9th, and that evening, myself also in Mariupol, I got into a Twitter argument with Anna Neistat of Human Rights Watch about how many had been killed. I had earlier been to a hospital where a doctor had told me, off the record, the figure could be in excess of 100, something I tweeted on as exactly that, exactly as I always do. Anna was determined the figure was 7, and she came down in the end, perhaps inevitable, by insulting RT, with whom I was working.

Now I never said the figure of 100 was my own, and before an investigation never would. But it was a figure which came back several times in interaction with locals in Mariupol – one which deserved further examination rather than the immediate dismissal of HRW –

MariupolAnna said the figure was 7, in our Twitter exchange, rebuking any information to the contrary, when her figure was always manifestly inaccurate. The next day, Anna published a report which seemed to be aimed directly at myself, with the title Dispatches: Truth a Casualty in Ukraine Conflict. And she’d started to do a couple of things, revise her figures and bring unknown people into the dialogue. On May 9th, Anna had been determined the figure was 7, now on May the 10th it was “at least seven killed”.

And then this statement of Anna’s – “Today, a reliable source with no affiliation to either side but too frightened to be named informed me that “no more than 10 bodies” were brought to the city morgue. Did other people die whose bodies were not brought to the morgue? Did other people die whose bodies were not brought to the morgue? I have seen no proof of this.”

Now, in fairness to Anna – and I won’t accuse her of dishonesty in this, although that would certainly be an explanation, and HRW has not infrequently been accused of promoting a political position at the expense of truth – the morgue was quite often closed (I went 3 times) –

But, when it was open, speaking to people there was not a problem at all – no one was frightened to be named. I showed no credentials to get in, nor was asked for any. The senior mortician told me clearly there, that 11 bodies were brought to him at that morgue, on May 9th, as a result of Ukrainian military actions, however he was more than open to the possibility that bodies had been sent to other morgues, some even not sent to morgues.

Now that interview was secretly filmed, but I feel he had some idea of it, and no problem taking a photo of exactly who that mortician was either – Vladimir Sosnitski –

Lugansk Morgue

So, the figure Human Rights Watch reported of 7, then ‘at least 7′ is entirely incorrect. As for the ‘reliable source with no affiliation to either side but too frightened to be named informed me that “no more than 10 bodies” were brought to the city morgue.’ I will try to believe that person exists, if I were being uncharitable I’d say Anna Neistat just invented that person. As for this – ‘Did other people die whose bodies were not brought to the morgue? Did other people die whose bodies were not brought to the morgue? I have seen no proof of this.‘ – Anna gives no indication at all of what steps she took looking for proof.

Arriving, and sticking at ‘at least 7′ (Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov cited 21, but with his reputation for speaking nonsense, the HRW figure was given precedence in Mariupol massacremedia) was very dangerous. 7 (or ‘at least 7′, using covering journalistic terminology) was the figure cited in many news reports (with Human Rights Watch prominently referenced) – such as here, here, here. It’s a low number and that effectively ensured that there never would be a proper investigation carried out into what happened in Mariupol.

Indeed, there never was, and at the start of 2015, with the incident having hugely escalated the situation in Donbass, but never really having gone up in the international consciousness, due to the supposed low numbers, the Bellingcat agency, with a track record of white-washing actions of the Kiev government, were able to issue a report exonerating Ukrainian forces of any wrongdoing. 

Coming in the next instalment, events of that day, May 9th, in Mariupol.

6 thoughts on “18+ Mariupol May 9th – What Really Happened (Part 2 – HRW Cover-Up)”

    1. Why ask that question? Oh, I know – because the answer you want, that it was the “pro-russian” “terrorists” can’t actually be supported by any evidence other than the bbc guessed so “so there”. Now consider this other question. Why would the separatists want to terrify the pro-russian population who they want in their support? A more likely explanation is the Kiev junta caused those strikes in order to make a false flag accusation of “terrorism” by the “pro-russian” forces.
      So by far the best guess answer to your question is that Nuland’s Kiev junta did it, just like the Maidan snipering and the Odessa massacring and indeed just about the entire “show” of the past year.

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  1. The Kerry-Lavrov/Putin talks are an interesting development which suggests that the US is coming to terms with the DNR, LNR and Russian-controlled Crimea being here to stay. Their insistence on the Minsk agreement seems to suggest that Mariupol and Odessa are just going to have to come to terms with not being liberated from the junta’s occupation. Of course losing both those ports would be intolerable for the rump Ukraine, while on the other hand DNR not having even Mariupol would be a considerable disappointment.
    I guess that Putin and many others are hoping for eventually a more Moscow-friendly Kiev regime. I wonder how stable or unstable is the remainder Ukraine now that it seems its war has become too hard to win outright and has alienated many already.
    With a water-supply crisis looming iin California, and renewed worries about Greece, perhaps the nato allies are not as supreme as they were hoping and maybe now back-footing?

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  2. Great journalism here. It seems unlikely that bodies would have been taken to other morgues, certainly not 90+. But there remains a possibility that those who did the killing also disappeared as many bodies as they could (to no morgues anywhere). After all if you’re going to do a cover-up it would include that.

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