Bellingcat’s Kerch Gaff -Paul Volker bought Ukraine’s Lie | The Vineyard of the Saker


13-12-18 09:14:00,

by GH Eliason for The Saker Blog

For 5 years Ukraine has bamboozled supporters by using” independent” researchers like Bellingcat that work with Ukraine’s Intel to fabricate its innocence.

On November 25th, the Kerch incident happened, worsening the West’s relationship with Russia ahead of the G-20 Meeting in Argentina.

Seemingly right on cue, Russian planners couldn’t find anything better to do than cause another major international incident right in front of the entire world. They did this even as Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to meet with US President Donald Trump. The formal meeting that never happened was canceled because of Ukraine’s hyper histrionics.

Special Rep for Ukraine negotiations Kurt Volker wasted no time getting on Ukraine’s already crashing wagon by citing Bellingcat’s conclusion that the Ukrainian ships “may have been” fired on in international waters. Bellingcat suspects the Russian ships may have been 500 yards outside of their territory. This flaccid statement by Bellingcat is all Volker and Ukraine found to stand behind.

Volker is undeterred even though the Bellingcat report’s only value is to spin another nut into Ukraine’s InfoWar machine.

Bellingcat is a western based arm of Ukrainian Intel and InfoWar. Bellingcat OSINT school attendance can be cross-referenced against people from Ukraine and the various Diasporas supporting a nationalist Ukraine or Syria. When Ukrainian supporters at the seminars are multiplied by a per seat value, we can know exactly who built Bellingcat’s reputation and how Bellingcat receives financing.

When Bellingcat’s OSINT results are looked at against Ukrainian Intel, Bellingcat is anti-American, anti-Democracy, against Christianity, against free-speech,  support Ukraine’s Bandera nationalists and ISIS.

In fact, the same Ukrainian Intel groups who provide Bellingcat with its Syrian and Ukrainian Intelligence did the official Opposition Research on Candidate Donald Trump in 2016. To do this the Ukrainian operatives were given access to US State Department and DNC servers.

They say openly these groups feed Bellingcat important information from their Ukrainian perspective for Bellingcat’s inciteful’ and fanciful reports. Ukrainian Intel and Bellingcat work together through the Atlantic Council and its DFR Lab.

On Ukraine’s InformNapalm (Ukraine OSINT and hackers) website under “Our Main Achievements, InformNapalm claims they were the ones identifying people involved in the shootdown of Flight MH17 over the occupied Donbas “(this information was used in the reports by our colleagues from Bellingcat team).”

In other words,

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How Kerch Strait Incident is a Deliberate Provocation | New Eastern Outlook


07-12-18 04:37:00,


When Crimea became a part of Russia through referendum, Ukraine practically lost the right to free passage through the Kerch strait. The recent Kerch incident that took place when Ukraine took things for granted, violated the norms of international law and then met a strong Russian response tells a story not of Ukraine trying to assert its rights that don’t exist in the first place, but a story of how Ukraine is in the middle of a thought-out plan to engage Russia in a conflict. Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time that Ukrainian ships/vessels wanted to pass the strait. They had done so on another occasion as well, but at that time they had followed the procedures, met Russian demands and rules and gave notice about their passage in advance, and had requested permission through proper channels. Therefore, the question is: if Ukraine had behaved properly in the past, why did it violate the set rules now and why has the West taken this matter as “Russian aggression”? Surely, the intent is to turn Kerch strait into a conflict zone.

The mantra of “Russian aggression” is a false projection. For one thing, Ukrainian vessels weren’t some fishing boats; those were naval vessels, which were clearly violating both international law and the norms that Ukrainian vessels had followed in their previous passage. It was, as such, the Ukrainians who were the true aggressors, yet the Western pundits have chosen to call Russia the aggressor, adding to the ever prevalent and never ending Russophobia, and the threat of some Russian all-out attack.

This is how hawks of the American Foreign Policy Council have painted the situation, and are wanting a further escalation of the situation by urging the West to jump in militarily. After painting a dangerous ‘Russian aggression’ in the strait, the author of this article states that:

Ukraine does not have the means to counter these threats. What it needs is foreign help in the form of weapons from the United States so that it can build a joint land, sea, and (if necessary) air force to deter Russian military actions in order to relieve economic pressure. US Ambassador Kurt Volker has stated Washington’s willingness to offer Ukraine more weapons. This statement now needs to be backed up by action.

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Poroshenko’s Kerch gamble goes down in flames | New Eastern Outlook


02-12-18 08:11:00,

The hysterics over the Kerch incident have simmered down a bit, and we now have enough material and main actor statements to take a closer look at what happened. I won’t review the details of Kiev’s semi-Kamikaze attack attempt through the Kerch Straits, as that has been well covered, the claims anyway.

What we can clearly see now is that if Poroshenko had just wanted an incident, he could have instructed the ships’ crews to stop when ordered by the Russian border forces, and made his public case on that. But he knew that would not be a newsworthy event. He needed more.

He needed to have the boats fired upon for refusing to stop, and that is what happened In the earlier excursion in September when the two Ukrainian boats gave notice of their intent and the trip went smoothly, so it was not a news event. So what changed this time?

Well first, we did not really find out from Western media, heaven forbid. Sure, we were told that the Ukrainian national elections were in March, and Poroshenko was behind and needed to revive his campaign somehow, but that was all.

Ukraine has been off the front page for many months. I only learned how far he was behind in the polls when Putin gave up the ghost with his comment at the economic conference that Porky was in “single digits”.

That means he knew he was guaranteed to lose, and his only chance to turn that around was to create a big incident to frame himself as the defender of the country. He had nowhere else to turn other than to whip up a new Russophobia campaign through a military incident, which is why he rigged this ship incursion.

But there are extra layers to what happened. Poroshenko has more to worry about than not keeping his job. As the leader of a government that has overseen the country being robbed blind, he could expect that the winner would launch a reform campaign by freezing all of Poroshenko’s assets in Ukraine and begin an investigation and prosecution of all his administration’s graft to destroy it politically and economically.

So he had nothing to lose with his “Hail Mary” pass at having an old tug and two gunboats attempt crashing through the Kerch Straits with sacrificial crews.

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Why is Ukraine’s Kerch Crisis Any of Our Business?


30-11-18 06:41:00,

Upon his departure for the G-20 gathering in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump canceled his planned weekend meeting with Vladimir Putin, citing as his reason the Russian military’s seizure and holding of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

But was Putin really the provocateur in Sunday’s naval clash outside Kerch Strait, the Black Sea gateway to the Sea of Azov?

Or was the provocateur Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko?

First, a bit of history.

In 2014, after the pro-Russian regime in Kiev was ousted in a coup, and a pro-NATO regime installed with U.S. backing, Putin detached and annexed Crimea, for centuries the homeport of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

With the return of Crimea, Russia now occupied both sides of Kerch Strait. And this year, Russia completed a 12-mile bridge over the strait and Putin drove the first truck across.

The Sea of Azov became a virtual Russian lake, access to which was controlled by Russia, just as access to the Black Sea is controlled by Turkey.

While the world refused to recognize the new reality, Russia began to impose rules for ships transiting the strait, including 48 hours notice to get permission.

Ukrainian vessels, including warships, would have to notify Russian authorities before passing beneath the Kerch Strait Bridge into the Sea of Azov to reach their major port of Mariupol.

Sunday, two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug, which had sailed out of Odessa in western Ukraine, passed through what Russia now regards as its territorial waters off Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula. Destination: Mariupol.

The Ukrainian vessels refused to obey Russian directives to halt.

Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody.

Russia’s refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting.

Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident.

For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a “border incident, nothing more.”

“The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself.

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Escobar: Kerch Strait Chaos Looks “More Like A Cheap Ploy By Desperate Neocons”


28-11-18 03:51:00,

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

The West is complaining about Russian ‘aggression’ but the incident looks more like a cheap ploy by a desperate Ukrainian president and US conservatives keen to undermine Trump’s next pow-wow with Putin…

When the Ukrainian navy sent a tugboat and two small gunboats on Sunday to force their way through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov, it knew in advance the Russian response would be swift and merciless. 

After all, Kiev was entering waters claimed by Russia with military vessels without clarifying their intent.

The intent, though, was clear; to raise the stakes in the militarization of the Sea of Azov.

The Kerch Strait connects the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea. To reach Mariupol, a key city in the Sea of Azov very close to the dangerous dividing line between Ukraine’s army and the pro-Russian militias in Donbass, the Ukrainian navy needs to go through the Kerch.

Yet since Russia retook control of Crimea via a 2014 referendum, the waters around Kerch are de facto Russian territorial waters.

Kiev announced this past summer it would build a naval base in the Sea of Azov by the end of 2018. That’s an absolute red line for Moscow. Kiev may have to trade access to Mariupol, which, incidentally, also trades closely with the People’s Republic of Donetsk. But forget about military access.

And most of all, forget about supplying a Ukrainian military fleet in the port of Berdyansk capable of sabotaging the immensely successful, Russian-built Crimean bridge.

Russian aircraft fly over the Crimean Bridge that spans the Kerch Strait as a Russian ship blocks the strait, after Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian ships on Sunday, accusing them of illegally entering its waters. Photo: Kerch Info / AFP

Predictably, Western media has been complaining again about “Russian aggression”, a gift that keeps on giving. Or blaming Russia for its over-reaction, overlooking the fact that Ukraine’s incursion was with military vessels, not fishing boats. Russian resolve was quite visible, as powerful Ka-52 “Alligator” assault helicopters were promptly on the scene.

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Kerch Provocation – Causes and Consequences | The Vineyard of the Saker


26-11-18 08:46:00,

By Rostislav Ishchenko

Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

cross posted with


Important note: this article was written before Russia had to use force to stop the Ukronazi intruders who, by the way, claim that they opened fire against the Russian ships.

Ollie's MacBook:Users:O-RICH:Downloads:sudno-perekrilo-arku-pod-krimskim-mostom.jpg

When in the summer two ships of the Naval Forces of Ukraine passed through the Kerch Strait, Kiev tried to convince everyone that a “heroic breakthrough” took place. However, it quickly became clear that the “heroes”, in full accordance with the Russian demands and rules, gave notice about their passage in advance, requested permission and a maritime pilot, and in general behaved exclusively precautionary.

Back then the “victory” didn’t happen. But this doesn’t mean that the idea had been refused. And so in November the Naval Forces of Ukraine indeed went for a real breakthrough.

What is the idea behind the Ukrainian provocations?

Firstly, Kiev desires to create a precedent of the free, without obtaining Russian permission, passage of its warships through the Kerch Strait, which would confirm the allegedly existing rights of Ukraine for these waters, and at the same time it would confirm its claims to Crimea. After all, Ukraine can have the right to freely navigate through the strait only if Crimea belongs to it.

Secondly, Kiev means that Russia can counter the passage of its ships. In this option an armed conflict is desirable for Kiev. In such a case Ukraine can appeal to the world community and point to “Russian aggression”, which its ships and sailors became the “innocent victims” of.

Why does Kiev need to do this?

Ukraine needs the internationalisation of the conflict in the Sea of Azov. It is losing the standoff that began with the attack of the Ukrainian naval pirates on the “Nord” seiner. At the same time, contrary to the hopes of the government in Kiev, Russia works strictly within the framework of international law. I.e., in actual reality neither the US nor the EU have a formal reason to intervene in the conflict.

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