Child Soldiers, Ukrainian Forces, US Homeland Security

By Graham Phillips

Homeland SecurityI received this email on January 30th. It wasn’t something I was able to assist with, having long had no contact with Ukrainian forces. I publish it now, with name and title removed, as I feel it is in the public interest.

It was sent from an official DHS email account, by person who is exactly as they say.

It shows that there are those working in senior US state positions, unconvinced by what the US state is supporting, conducting investigation into it. Email exactly as sent to me, with personal information removed – if you have any follow-up information, please contact me –

My name is (name removed), and I am a (title removed, senior position) with the US government’s Department of Homeland Security’s Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit. My job is to identify human rights violations and war crimes, and identify those who perpetrate those violations/crimes in order to end impunity.

I realize that you might be skeptical of providing information to the US government – as I know that certain elements within the US government seem bent on supporting groups that are involved in human rights violations and war crimes. It might surprise you to know that actual communication amongst all branches and aspects of any government is rare, and that different branches have different interests. For example, Department of State is interested in policy and diplomacy, whereas Department of Homeland Security is a law-enforcement agency, which attempts to uphold and enforce the law. We don’t always see eye to eye.

The particular sections of law I am interested in upholding, and was hoping for some assistance, are sections that deal with the recruitment and/or use of child soldiers, as well as torture & extrajudicial killing. Any party who has participated in those types of activity is prohibited from receiving any benefit from the US government.

I have been working on collecting information on these types of violations since Maidan. Of course, I monitor your tweets and products, along with many others. I’m sure you have a decent idea of the information that I have been able to collect specific to the various volunteer battalions and the UA military.

I’m sure you’re aware of the BBC article that came out recently that exposed the use of child soldiers by both sides. This was old news to most of us who have been monitoring, however, I have found that this primary exposure by the BBC has garnered some attention, and I hope to expose more.

I think that I have approximately 2MB of articles, youtube videos, photographs, that expose the recruitment and/or use of child soldiers by various fighting elements on the Kiev side. I would like to know if you have personally encountered or seen children under the age of 18, or under the age of 16, serving in ANY capacity within or associated with any type of Ukrainian armed forces or volunteer battalion.

I would like to know if you would be willing to speak with me or provide information regarding this particular aspect of human rights violations and war crimes currently going on in Ukraine.

As I’m sure you can understand, I would rather that this conversation remained between you and I (I took the decision to publish this for the above reasons), as the less Kiev knows about this type of information gathering, the less opportunity they have to try and cover it up.

Please let me know if you are willing to talk.


Homeland Security Investigations

Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Unit

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Review of London Donbass Event

By Alexander Mercouris

I attended the Donbass function arranged by Graham Phillips and these were my impressions:

DonbassEventLondon111. The difficulty of arranging a charity event
like this in London is little short of astonishing. I have lost count of the number of venues where it was to be held and which then refused to hold it. So much so in fact that I was unaware of the latest re-scheduling and went initially to the wrong venue. The result was that though I had intended to be early I turned up late.

DonbassEventLondon12. The venue that did eventually agree to stage the event was a small cafe/restaurant in Finsbury Park. It was far too small for the event. However its owners/managers deserve earnest thanks and congratulations for their courage in standing up to the bullies and in agreeing to host the event.

DonbassEventLondon53. In the event there was no serious disruption of the event. One Ukrainian did attend and heckled Graham. To be precise he pretended to “ask a question about Givi”. This game where people pretend to be do one thing when they are really doing another always infuriates me. He was NOT “asking a question about Givi” and he did not come to the meeting with that purpose. He came to disrupt the meeting and his “question” (peppered with shouts that “Givi is a murderer”) was not a question at all but was straightforward heckling and harassment. The sequel is that he was ejected from the premises and called the police who however in the finest tradition of the British police stood stolidly outside in the street and took no action. As for the Ukrainian, he remained outside the venue filming it with a camera. The Daily Beast gave a characteristically lurid write-up of this minor incident.

4. No other Ukrainians turned up, something I found surprising. On the one other occasion when I attended another Donbass related charity event there was DonbassEventLondon8a small army of Ukrainian hecklers outside. Either Graham’s precautions were effective or (more probably) the pro-Maidan London Ukrainian community has lost something of its fire.

5. Turning to the event itself, I was utterly astonished at how many people turned up. There must have been several hundred there – far too many for a small venue causing unavoidable spillage into the street. Given the repeated changes of venue and the secrecy it says much about people’s commitment (and I would add their respect and admiration for Graham) that so many made the effort to turn up.

DonbassEventLondon66. At a rough guess I would say that the ethnic mix was 70/30 Russian/British (by “Russian” I include anti-Maidan Ukrainian). There was also a smattering of people of other ethnicities. For example I met an Arab person there and a Yugoslav.

7. The Russians were emphatically not the wealthy oligarchic denizens of 1DonbassEventLondon7Londongrad but Russian people of all ages living and working in London.

8. By contrast the British were very much from elite backgrounds. I met several very well-connected individuals (to avoid embarrassment I will not name them), which confirms my strong suspicion that there is much more unease and doubt and indeed opposition within the British establishment to the British government’s Ukrainian policy than anyone might think who gets their news from the British media.

9. The mood of the event was enthusiastic and warm. My one regret was that because of the small space and the extraordinary press of people I couldn’t get to DonbassEventLondon3meet or speak with Graham himself. However the Russian media were there in force (unlike the British, which boycotted the event) and I did give an interview on the street to Russia’s Channel One.

10. Graham’s “mystery guest” turned DonbassEventLondonout to be his cameraman. Like Graham an amazingly courageous man. Him I did get to speak to briefly and his descriptions of some of the things he witnessed were astonishing. Unfortunately in the press I didn’t get his name (note – Patrick Lancaster).

11. Everybody I spoke to (and I spoke to lots of people) spoke fulsomely of their respect for Graham, of their horror with what is happening in the Donbass and of their support for its people. I don’t know how much money the event raised (note – awaiting one winning bid collection, in any case over £3000) but as an expression of political support for a cause it was a runaway (and for me unanticipated) success. I said to several DonbassEventLondon9British people that the atmosphere must have been like the sort at events staged in Britain in the 1930s to support the Republican cause in Spain and everyone I said that to agreed with me. The fact that one of the Russian visitors quite independently of me shouted “no pasaran” added to the sense of that. The Spanish Republican cause was also opposed by the British government and most of the British news media. The big difference is of course that that cause was losing whilst everyone I spoke to at the meeting was confident the Donbass cause was winning and would win.

It only remains to thank Graham for arranging in the face of so much difficulty and opposition such a successful event.

Wohin sind alle Ukrainischen neo-Nazis Verschwunden?

Graham Phillips

Erinnern Sie Sich an die Neonazis von der Ukraine? Sie waren ueberall. SkyNews warnte – Euro 2012: Neonazistische Bedrohung fuer englische Fans

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The Mail stellte es so dar, als ob die englischen Fans sich direct in den Hinterhalt verfuegen – die Nazi-Rotten lauern die englischen Fans auf

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Sogar die soliden Medien blieben nicht davon beiseite. The Telegraph bemerkte: Fullscreen capture 28032015 190100.bmp«Der am Montagabend translierte BBC-Dokumentarfilm hat die weitverbreiteten bruellenden Rotten gezeigt, die ueblichen Nazis mit Hitlergruss sowie harten Angriffen auf die asiatischen Zuschauer waehrend des Spieles in der Ukraine». Auf Grund des schockierenden BBC-Filmes hat der ehemaliger Spieler der Fussballmannschaft von England Sol Campbell seine Sorge darum geaussert, dass die englischen Fans, die wagten zu Euro 2012 zu reisen, “koennten heim in den Saergen zu kehren“.

Drei Jahre spaeter gibt es in dem ehemaligen Teil der Ukraine, im Donbass, den Krieg, an dem seitens der Ukraine meherere Truppen teilnehmen, die unverschaemt aus den westukrainischen aeusserst rechten Gruppen zusammengestellt wurden. Das sind die selben Gruppen, die 2012 die westlichen Medien scharf angeprangert hatten. Hier ist das beruechtigte Asow-Bataillon, das oeffentlich seine Anhaenglichkeit an den Nazismus zeigt

Azov Nazi 2 Azov Nazis Nazi Azov1

Azov Nazi 3Trotzdem haben die westlichen Medien, die 2012 so rasch den Neonazismus verurteilten, 2015 ploetzlich den Vergebenston wahrgenommen. Da ist der Auszug aus The Daily Mail (der Text stammt von Reuters) – das Wichtigste habe  ich fettgedruckt –

URSUF, Ukraine, den 25. Maerz (Reuters) – das aeusserst rechte Asow-Bataillon, dessen Symbol erinnert an das Hakenkreuz auf dem gelben Hintergrund, bereitet sich die Hafenstadt Mariupol  im Suedostteil der Ukraine  gegen den vermutlichen Angriff der pro-russischen Separatisten zu verteidigen.

Ein Tausend aeusserst ultra-nazionalistische Kaempfer haben sich im Laufe des fast schon Jahreskonfliktes als eifrige regierungsfreundliche Kampfkraft bewaehrt, die die Friedensanstrengungen verachtet.

Allerdings haben die radikalen Ansichten der Befehlshaber der Einheit von der Nationalgarde, die neben der Armee handelt, sowie die Anwendung der Symbole, die die Nazi-Embleme nachbilden, Besorgnis im Westen sowie in Russland erregt. Auch ist es nicht ausgeschlossen, dass nach dem Ende des Kampfes koennen diese Kampfkraefte Front gegen die Kiew`s Regierung machen.

Azov Hitler2012 galten die den Hitlergruss machenden Fussballfans als eine «Nazi-Rotte», jetzt ist das schon eine Bataillon, die unter dem Hakenkreuz in die Schlacht geht und deren Mitgliedern kaum jemand noch in seinem Verehrung dem Nazismus uebertreffen kann (sh. Foto links), sie nicht nur «erinnern» an die Nazis, sondern auch «nachahmen» denen. Selbstverstaendlich stimmt das mit ihrer Darstellung als «harte Kaempfer», bzw. «Verteidiger» gegen das ewige Uebel, also die «pro-russischen Separatisten» – die beliebten uebler Kerle der westlichen Medien kaum ueberein.

Das Streben des Asow’s Kaempfer dem Nazismus zu verehren ist so stark, dass sie tatsaechlich Fotos faelschen. Sie faelschen Fotos um Hakenkreuze dorthin hinzuzufuegen. Die Untersuchungen haben festgestellt, dass das Hakenkreuz auf dem Foto hinzugefuegt worden war, nachdem hat der Asow’s Mitglied Oleg Penya es auf der Seite in einem sozialen Netzwerk vorgefuert –


VitaDenken Sie mal einfach nach, wenn diese ukrainischen Neonazis genau so uebel sind, wie die 2012 den Hitlergruss machenden Fussballfans, dann haben die Aktivitaeten der «pro-russischen Separatisten» zweifellos Sinn…
In der Tat sind die Nazis sicherlich unendlich schlimmer. Was passiert, wenn man den Neonazis in einer Kampfzone die Handlungsfreiheit gewaehrt, das Hass sowie die Ueberzeugung daran, dass jeder im Donbass ein «pro-russischer Separatist» ist, anheizt, dabei die umfassende Unterstuetzung sowie von den einheimischen, als auch von den westlichen Medien leistet?… Sie werden dann genau so wie Vita Zaverucha handeln – ein Neonazi-Mitglied der Asow-Bataillon, die im Donbass mit dem Granatwerfer ein Dorf mit der Zivillbevoelkerung beschiesst.

Hat jemand Glueck das in den westlichen Medien zu finden? Kaum, aber Vita Zaverucha ist leicht zu finden – ihr Foto gibt es auf dem Seitepaar der franzoesischen ELLE  in einem Artikel, den Vita`s eigene Mutter kaum mehr ausdrucksvoller schreiben koennte, als «eine besondere Art der Kaempfer» genannt.

Vita Zaverukha Elle

Da sind noch ein Paar Fotos des «besonderen Kaempfers» –

Vita Nazi Vera Nazi1

Sicherlich geben die westlichen Medien das Vorliegen des unbaendigen Neonazismus unter den ukrainische Kampfkraeften bis zu einem gewissen Grad zu. Aber wie koennten sie das tun ohne sie als «ueble Kerle» anzuprangern? Ganz einfach – man spricht mit denen und dann veroeffentlicht die besten von deren Selbstfertigunge.

Fullscreen capture 28032015 181600.bmpIn einem Interview mit USA TODAY hat er zugegeben, dass er ein Nazi ist, und sagte lachend dabei, dass nicht mehr als die Haelfte seiner Kameraden Nazis sind. Seinen Worten nach, unterstuetzt er die starke Regierung in der Ukraine, wie in Deutschland zu den Zeiten des 2. Weltkrieges, ist jedoch gegen den Genozid an Juden. Er hat auch betont, dass man gegenueber den Minoritaeten so lange tolerant bleiben kann, bis sie friedlich sind und keine besondere Privilegien fordern, auch das Eigentum von reichen Oligarchen soll wegenommen und nationalisiert werden.

Andrej Djatschenko, der Vertreter der Asow-Brigade sagte, dass nur 10% bis 20% von den Gruppenmitgliedern Nazis sind. «Ich weiss, dass Alex ein Nazi ist, was aber seine eigene Ideologie ist. Das hat nichts mit der offiziellen Ideologie von Asow zu tun» – so Djatschenko. «Er ist aber ein gutter Sergeant fuer Gefechtsexerzieren und Schusswaffenbesitz».

So beantworten  die westlichen Medien ihre eigene Frage – eine der Schluesselfragen des Krieges im Donbass – was ist zu tun, wenn die Leute, die frueher Nazis genannt wurden, jetzt nicht mehr so genannt werden duerfen? Versuch` doch das nicht zu tun, aber wenn das jedoch absolut unvermeidlich ist, dann finde doch sympatische Fotos von denen und stell` sie als nette Neonazis dar!


Vielen Dank an Natalia Freitag für die deutsche Übersetzung!

Details and Times for Special Donbass Charity Event – Today


6.45pm – Arrive at Venue – next to Finsbury Park Tube station

7pm – Canapes, Picture Viewing

7.10pm – Oleg Introduces Event

3y7uSm14279350617.12pm – Graham Phillips Q and A

7.30pm – Special Guest! Q and A

7.35pm – Break

7.45pm – Entertainment

8.10pm – Break

8.20pm – Auction

8.50pm – Break

9pm – Open Mic / Fundraiser

9.25pm – Finishes

Special Donbass London Event – Tomorrow!

No April Fool’s – it’s really tomorrow!


Make sure you’ve got the venue – email me at – contact via Facebook, Twitter etc.

Exciting extra details – it looks like we will have 2, perhaps even 3 tv channels filming the event!

Auction – as well as photos, this will be up for auction – perhaps one of the most famous jackets to come out of Novorossiya!

It was the jacket I wore in to a newly liberated Debaltsevo, as one of the first journalists in there –

It’s also been in almost every publication in Russia!

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There will be other special items up for auction too!

As well as q and a, special guest, entertainment – catering event! And all to raise funds for Donbass.

See you tomorrow, 6.45pm to start at 7pm, by Finsbury Park!

Куда Пропали все Украинские Нацисты?

Грэм Филлипс

Помните неонацистов Украины? Они были везде. SkyNews предупреждал: Евро 2012: Неонацистская Угроза для английских болельщиков

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Daily Mail преподносил это так, как будто английские футбольные болельщики прямиком попадут в засаду: Толпы нацистов подстерегают английских болельщиков

Fullscreen capture 28032015 175757.bmp

Fullscreen capture 28032015 190100.bmpДаже серьезные издания не остались от этого в стороне. Тhe Telegraph, отмечал: «Документальный фильм ВВС, транслировавшийся в понедельник вечером, показал, как толпы скандируют оскорбительные «кричалки» в адрес игроков, обычных «зигующих» нацистов, жестокие нападения на азиатских зрителей на матче в Украине». Ссылаясь на этот шокирующий фильм ВВС, Сол Кэмпбелл, бывший футболист сборной Англии, выразил беспокойство, что английские болельщики, которые отважатся поехать на Евро 2012, рискуют «вернуться домой в гробу».

3 года спустя на Донбасс, отколовшуюся от прежней Украины территорию, пришла война, где со стороны Украины воюют подразделения, беззастенчиво сформированные из неонацистских группировок запада страны, тех самых, которых так активно пригвождала к позорному столбу западная пресса в 2012 г. На этих фото печально известный украинский батальон Азов, открыто демонстрирующий свою приверженность нацизму

Azov Nazi 2 Azov Nazis Nazi Azov1

Azov Nazi 3Однако, западная пресса, так спешившая в 2012 г. осудить неонацизм, в 2015 г. вдруг впала в состояние всепрощения. Далее цитата из Daily Mail (текст, фактически взят из Агентства Reuters), акцентирую ваше внимание на тексте, выделенном жирным шрифтом.

УРЗУФ, Украина, 25 марта (Агентство Reuters) – Ультраправый батальон Азов, символ которого напоминает черную свастику на желтом фоне, готовится защищать портовый город Мариуполь, расположенный в юго-восточной части Украины, от весьма вероятного нападения пророссийских сепаратистов.

1,000 крайне ультранационалистических бойцов в почти годовом конфликте с поддерживаемыми Россией мятежниками из восточной Украины зарекомендовали себя как непримиримых борцов, презрительно относящуюся к усилиям по поддержанию мира.

Но радикальные взгляды командующих подразделений национальной гвардии Украины, которая действует наряду с регулярной армией, и использование символов, которых отражаться нацистские эмблемы, вызвало тревогу на Западе и в России. Не исключено, что по окончании боевых действий, эти силы могут выступить против прозападного Киевского руководства.

Azov HitlerВ 2012 «зигующие» футбольные фанаты были «толпой нацистов», теперь это батальон, идущий в бой под свастикой, участников которого вряд ли кто-нибудь превзойдет в откровенном почитании нацизма (фото слева), они не просто «напоминают» нацистов, они «копируют» их. Разумеется, такое поведение едва ли согласуется с их реноме «непримиримых борцов», «защитников» от вечного зла, от этих «пророссийских сепаратистов» – излюбленных «плохих парней» западных СМИ.

Желание бойцов батальона Азов превозносить нацизм настолько велико, что они фактически фальсифицируют фотографии. Подрисовывают на них свастики. Исследования показывают, что свастика была дорисована на этой фотографии, впоследствии гордо демонстрируемой в социальной сети на странице Олега Пеня, члена батальона Азов –


VitaПросто подумайте, если эти украинские неонацисты были также плохи, как и, салютующие нацистские приветствия, футбольные фанаты в 2012, то в действиях «пророссийских сепаратистов», безусловно, есть смысл…
В действительности, эти нацисты, разумеется, несказанно хуже. Что произойдет, когда в зоне боевых действий неонацистам «развяжут руки», разожгут их ненависть к России, веру в то, что все на Донбассе – «пророссийские сепаратисты», окажут всеобъемлющую поддержку как со стороны своих, так и со стороны западных СМИ?…. Они будут поступать также, как Вита Заверуха, участница батальона Айдар, которая из гранатомета обстреливает деревню и ее жителей в Донбассе.

Повезет ли найти это в западных СМИ? Едва ли, но Вы можете легко найти Виту Завируху – ее фотография на развороте французского журнала Elle, а в статье, которая вряд ли была бы написана выразительнее, даже если бы ее писала мать Виты собственной персоной, ее (Виту) называют «особый вид бойца».

Vita Zaverukha Elle

Вот еще паре фотографий «особого бойца» –

Vita Nazi Vera Nazi1

Конечно, западная пресса в какой-то степени признает наличие необузданного неонацизма среди украинских сил. Но как они могут делать это, не заклеймив их снова как «плохих парней»? Все просто: представители СМИ говорят с ними, а затем публикуют самые весомые из их личных оправданий –

Fullscreen capture 28032015 181600.bmpВ интервью с USA TODAY он признал, что он – нацист, и сказал со смехом, что не более половины его товарищей поддерживают нацистов. Он сказал, что ему импонирует идея сильной власти на Украине, как в Германии во время Второй мировой войны, но он против геноцида евреев. Он также отметил, что к меньшинствам нужно относиться терпимо до тех пор, пока они мирные и не требуют особых привилегий, а собственность богатых олигархов должна быть у них отнята и национализирована ….

Андрей Дьяченко, представитель бригады Азов, сказал, что нацистов в группе всего лишь 10-20%. “Я знаю, что Алекс – нацист, но это – его личная идеология. Это не имеет никакого отношения к официальной идеологии Азова”, сказал Дьяченко. “Он – хороший сержант-инструктор по строевой подготовке и хороший преподаватель тактики и навыков владения оружием”.

Так, западная пресса отвечает на свой собственный вопрос, один из ключевых вопросов войны на Донбассе: что делать, если людей, которых вы раньше называли неонацистами, больше нельзя так называть? Постарайтесь этого не делать, но если абсолютно необходимо, то найдите вызывающие сочувствие фотографии с ними и сделайте их хорошими неонацистами!


Спасибо за помощь Света дорогая

Germanwings and MH17

By Graham Phillips

I was as, as everyone, shocked at the crash of Germanwings flight 9525, on March 24th, then stunned as developments emerged soon after as to the cause of the tragedy, which claimed 149 lives.

Just 2 days later, on March 26th, the Daily Mirror declared

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Andreas Lubitz, the 28-year-old German co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings plane deliberately slammed the jet into the ground after locking himself in the cockpit.

A photo was included of the man cited by some sources as  27, others 28, from Montabaur in Germany, as he smiled by San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge.


ABC added on the 26th

An airline spokeswoman said Lubitz had 630 hours of flight experience and only 100 of those hours were on this particular model of plane, an Airbus A320. By comparison, a U.S. first officer would be required to have at least 1,500 hours of Fullscreen capture 01042015 011622.bmpexperience to get hired by an airline.

Investigators have been able to listen to the audio recording from inside the cockpit and the captain can be heard leaving the cockpit and then tapping on the door to re-enter but being denied, Robin said.

Their video report added further information of Lubitz’s ‘existing illness’, and condition he had ‘concealed from his employers’ while referencing German media already having exposed his ‘history of mental illness’.

Next day, the BBC amplified –

He intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out.

He said air traffic controllers made repeated attempts to contact the aircraft, but to Fullscreen capture 31032015 231153.bmpno avail. Passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash, he added.

The Mail added

French investigators believe Lubitz locked himself inside the cockpit and then intentionally smashed the Germanwings plane into a mountainside.

On the 31st, a week after the tragedy, the Telegraph summed up

Andreas Lubitz: Everything we know on Tuesday about Germanwings plane crash co-pilot

Latest news: co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, who crashed Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in the French Alps was treated for suicidal tendencies

Fatherhood: Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was expecting a baby with his teacher girlfriend before the air crash which killed him and 149 others, it has been claimed.

German WingsLubitz, who deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps, was in therapy for suicidal tendencies before getting his pilot’s licence, Germany’s state prosecutor has told Press Association.

A transcript from the black box voice recorder recovered from crash site reveals the pilot screaming at Andreas Lubitz to open the cockpit door

Captain Patrick Sondheimer pleaded with Lubitz to unlock the cockpit door before taking an axe to it in a desperate attempt to stop the plane crashing

The article goes on, at length, as just one week after the tragedy, it feels like we the viewer have concrete information about all the key details of the disaster. So Fullscreen capture 01042015 013826.bmpmuch information has come out it does feel as if every detail of the investigation has been immediately disseminated to the press (CNN left).

And in 9525 what we have is what people expect, even now demand, from a modern aviation disaster. Announcement of tragedy. Shock, comprehending scope of tragedy, followed very soon by answers – Who Did It? Why Was it Done? 

In that, we have the paradigm the media apply to every air disaster. Bold headlines of shock, quick attribution of blame, exploration of ramifications – in the case of 9525, flight deck poilcy, Lufthansa’s monitoring of its pilots, Germany’s relation toward mental health.

MH17The circumstances of Germanwings are far removed from Malaysia Airlines flight 17, over 8 months and 3000km away, as it went down in Donbass, Grabovo, on July 17th 2014, with the loss of all 298 lives on board on the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpor.

But the tactics of the media, unerringly identical. In the case of MH17 – immediate apportioning of blame to the pro-Donbass forces, and Russia, even Putin himself as a proxy, this from the very next day, as countless headlines peremptorily place the blame at Putin’s door – Putins Missile

Then, followed by the inevitable rounding in on the pro-Donbass fighters, their ‘failings’, and that of their cause (the independence of Donbass from Ukraine) supposedly exemplified, exposed by the apparent fait accompli of their having ‘shot down the Boeing’.

MH171But MH17 was never as simple as that. It was never an immediate ‘cut and shut’, the ‘BUK at first look’ policy applied by the press. It was a tragedy which required an investigation. An investigation which, through either cover-up or incompetence, never happened. An investigation, led by a Dutch and Australian team, who sent out a press release a couple of days ago calling not for witnesses of the crash, but witnesses of a ‘BUK missile system’ alleged as responsible.

The release referenced a phone call many have claimed as staged, made by Fullscreen capture 01042015 020149.bmp‘separatists’ – the pejorative term for pro-independence fighters, and added that they were looking to speak to ‘anybody who can help to solve this tragedy’.

But there’s no question that the weight of an investigation which will have taken over a year when completed, is in finding an outcome to suit a verdict delivered by the media a couple of days after the event.

The media formula of crash, shock, revelation, blame may suit them, their audience. It may even suit some air disasters, but it never fitted MH17 its MH172adoption another in a litany of problems to have befallen the ill-fated flight, after its shattering into hundreds of thousands of pieces across fields in rural Donbass.

All air disasters are not equal, each deserves an individual investigation based on unique circumstances. The continual application of the instant gratification media formula risks jeopardising what should always be the incontrovertible goal of any investigation – justice for the relatives of victims, answers to prevent recurrence.

MH173With MH17, the weight of world opinion was formed by media coverage in the first couple of days. Now, the investigation has to go up against a global opinion already formed by headline writers before any investigation was conducted.

We’ll see whether the will there will be to challenge the press who will defend their initial, however unsubstantiated, findings, the resultant entrenched mindsets, with facts derived from real investigation. Or whether the investigation will itself be a victim, in part of this media’s application of a standard aircrash formula – shock-blame-shame.

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