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Monday, July 28, 2014 2:24 AM

No BBC Video Removal Scandal After All; Evidence of Military Planes Shadowing MH17 Mounts

On July 23 the BBC deleted a video report from correspondent Olga Ivishina regarding the crash of MH17. This has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere because the deleted video contained eyewitness reports of military aircraft flying on the same day, shadowing Mh17.

Here is the deleted video from cache: Катастрофа рейса MH17 Би би си в поисках Бука 23 07 2014, LQ 

Global Research Canada has some interesting translation clips in Deleted BBC Report. “Ukrainian Fighter Jet Shot Down MHI7″, Donetsk Eyewitnesses.

BBC's Initial Response

I found dozens of references to the removal, but to find BBC's reason for removing the video, I had to search the BBC website. It's in Russian.

Jan Leder, managing editor of Russian BBC Service explains Why Bi-bi-si Material Removed From Site.

Video Reposted

My initial reaction was that Leder's response was disingenuous.

However, the BBC has since re-posted the video.

Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian, went over the original and now re-posted videos and it appears the BBC was telling the truth all along.

From Dreizin

Although it's not entirely clear, the managing editor says that the intent from the get-go was to fix the material and put it back up as soon as possible.

I have reviewed the original version side-by-side with the new one. And I can see what she's talking about. The new video still has all the eyewitness ladies that everyone has focused on.

The new video removed a somewhat irrelevant lecture from the VItalii Naida, the Ukrainian counterintelligence chief. Instead, it has a Ukrainian official claiming that no combat flights take place over rebel areas, followed by a local resident making a mockery of that claim.

It also has a segment where a BBC aviation expert is quoted as giving his rebuttal to a rebel's claim that Ukrainian warplanes have used civilian flights as cover.

The expert says that while he can't rule it out, it seems very unlikely to him, for various technical reasons. However, I don't think he quite understands precisely what the interviewees are saying.

All in all, there's no BBC scandal here.  But if you just want to focus strictly on what the eyewitness ladies said I've improved it a bit.  Here goes...

Eyewitness #1:  There were two explosions in the air.  This is how it [the plane] tore apart. And it [the remains of the plane] flew off to the sides [gesturing with hands in two opposite directions]. 
Eyewitness #2:  And nearby there was one other airplane, a military one, everyone saw.
Eyewitness #1:  Yes, yes. It was going lower, because it could be seen. It was going below the passenger plane.
Eyewitness #3:  There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky.  Then this plane turned around sharply like this [gesturing with her finger], changed trajectory, and flew in that direction [showing the direction with her hand].
Mounting Evidence

  1. Credible eyewitnesses saw multiple planes.
  2. Russia claims radar picked up multiple planes
  3. Russia claims Ukrainian Buks in Eastern Ukraine
  4. Plane moved from original flight path in mysterious circumstances

Russia gave a detailed report on numbers 2 and 3 (See Russia Claims Photos of Ukraine Deploying BUK Missiles in East, Radar Proof of Warplanes in MH17 Vicinity)

Ukraine denies all of the above, and of course the rebels deny having Buks. It's quite possible, and in fact likely, that both sides are lying about multiple things.

That said, Russia has at least come out with some of its evidence. The US and Ukraine have little to offer but hype, reports that appear fake, and over-reliance social media.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Sunday, July 27, 2014 6:23 PM

Ukraine's Army Advances; Unguided Rockets Kill Civilians; Demise of Rebels?

There are lots of conflicting, even contradictory news reports regarding Ukraine in the past couple of days. Let's take a look at a few of them starting with the Bloomberg report Ukraine Army Advances as EU Plans Tougher Putin Sanctions.

Ukraine’s army advanced on a last main separatist stronghold as the U.S. said Russian President Vladimir Putin is poised to give the rebels heavy weapons and European Union leaders considered their toughest sanctions yet on Russia.

Ukrainian troops are battling insurgents in the town of Horlivka, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of the regional capital Donetsk, a city of 1 million people where rebels retreated after abandoning other positions earlier this month. Taking Horlivka would open the way to attack one of their last redoubts, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Andriy Lysenko said yesterday in Kiev.

“Fighting to take over Horlivka is going on,” he told journalists. “Donetsk will be next.” CNN reported that long lines of cars jammed roads leading south from the city yesterday as residents tried to flee.

Ukraine’s State Security Service, or SBU, posted what it said was an intercepted plea for help made by Alexander Borodai, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, to a Russian it identified as Alexei Chesnokov.

“If nothing changes in terms of military activity, the situation will not be held for more than two weeks,” a voice that the SBU said is Borodai’s says in the intercepted call it posted yesterday on its YouTube page.
YouTube Page

Chesnokov cited a YouTube page in a voice that allegedly matches Borodai’s.

OK. Let's see the video. If you are going to post an allegation citing a YouTube that purportedly "sounds" like Borodai, why not link to it?

So why doesn't Bloomberg ask for it?

Civilians Flee Horlivka

In regards to Civilian fleeing Horlivka and other war zones. I don't doubt it.

Bloomberg cites CNN, but Bloomberg's link is to a totally useless Bloomberg discussion page called http://topics.bloomberg.com/cnn/, not anything useful on CNN, not even a discussion of the civilian flight.

Clearly Bloomberg is fishing for clicks. 

CNN Video of Fleeing Civilians

Here is a link to the real CNN report and video: Donetsk residents flee fighting; Russians report spike in Ukrainian refugees.
Long lines of cars jammed the roads leading south out of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine Saturday, as residents attempted to flee the city center after a night of heavy shelling on the city's northern outskirts.

Hundreds of vehicles were caught in heavy traffic, and trains are no longer running in and out of the city, which is a stronghold for the pro-Russia rebels.

There was heavy shelling and antiaircraft fire on the outskirts of the city to the north throughout the night. There has been sustained fighting in the area for weeks, but it appeared more intense overnight than in recent days.

Russian news agency Interfax reported a dramatic increase in the number of Ukrainian refugees seeking refuge over the border in Russia.

"The Ukrainian government officials were seeking to encircle the city, really squeeze the remaining pro-Russian separatist forces that had fallen back there since being driven out of other strongholds across Eastern Ukraine," said CNN's Phil Black, reporting from a congested road in Donetsk while scores of people attempted to leave.
Why do Civilians Flee?

Neither CNN nor Bloomberg gave the real reason civilians are fleeing. Human Rights Watch does provide the reason: Unguided Rockets Killing Civilians.
Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks between July 12 and 21, 2014, Human Rights Watch said today.

The use of indiscriminate rockets in populated areas violates international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, and may amount to war crimes.

Grads are unguided rockets that cannot be targeted accurately, and are often fired in salvos from multi-barrel rocket launchers to saturate a wide area. Human Rights Watch called on all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, particularly Ukrainian government forces, to stop using Grad rockets in or near populated areas because of the likelihood of killing and wounding civilians.

“Grad rockets are notoriously imprecise weapons that shouldn’t be used in populated areas,” said Ole Solvang, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “If insurgent and Ukrainian government forces are serious about limiting harm to civilians, they should both immediately stop using these weapons in populated areas.”.
Unguided Rockets Kill Civilians

40 Barreled Grad

My understanding is these rockets fire sequentially, one after another, sort of like roman candles going "poof, poof, poof" louder of course.

Both sides have these weapons, but it is the Ukrainian troops who are readily willing to use them on civilians. Please don't compare this to the accidental downing of a plane, regardless of who you think did it.

Attack on Gorlovka

Here's a short, 43-second video of a grad attack on the city of Gorlovka.

The title reads On July 27 Gorlovka suffered rocket mortar attack.


While Ukraine is advancing in some areas, the above videos add a needed perspective that mainstream media does not provide.

What with all the satellites in the sky, all the tens of billions of dollars the US spends on "intelligence" every year, is it too much to expect the US to portray these aspects? 

Not All Battles Going Ukraine's Way

Contrary to mainstream media reporting, not all of these battles are going Ukraine's way. Yesterday I posted a video of Ukraine's 72'nd brigade.

Today I have a video of the demolition of part of the 79'th brigade. It was taken a few days ago.

Ukrainian forces are doing the talking. Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian provided this synopsis.
In this video, the speaker is actually on the Ukrainian side. The speaker is complaining about not getting enough support from Kiev, and recounting what types of munitions were used to destroy his camp. In the other video you posted earlier, it seemed that the people in the video were rebels who came to take a look. 

This is a different video, which shows remnants of a unit of Ukraine's 79th Airmobile Brigade, not the 72nd Mechanized Brigade.

Here's one notable part:

"We have no option but to retreat because our government doesn't do anything to pull us out of here or to give some kind of reinforcement, to save people. They are doing absolutely nothing."
Regarding Ukrainian advances, the flight of civilians, and trapped Ukrainian forces, Dreizin adds ...
41 Ukrainian soldiers are reported to have escaped to Russia today, the largest one-day total so far.

Nonetheless, the rebels in Lugansk city, Donetsk city, and some other spots are very hard pressed at the moment. Lugansk city in particular is being pounded hard.

However, the Ukranians are incapable of any kind of targeted fire.  OSCE observers have been monitoring the situation and have confirmed the civilian casualties and the indiscriminate, seemingly random fire that causes them. 

A few days ago, the rebels had to make an organized retreat from the Severodonetsk/Lisichansk region nothwest of Lugansk city. Their hope now is to finish off the surrounded Ukrainian forces in the south quickly in order to free up substantial forces for a counterattack in the north. These southern forces would certainly shift the balance. The question is how fast they can be freed-up.
So is the war really going as mainstream media plays it?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

3:12 PM

"Place to Avoid" - French Blogger Fined $2,000 for Writing Bad Restaurant Review

Want to review a French restaurant? Only good reviews are allowed in France.

Caroline Doudet a blogger who runs the site “Cultur'elle,” found that out when she wrote a restaurant review that the French court said "ranked too high in a Google search" (as if any writer can know in advance how many times a blog will be read, or what its ranking will be).

Link to Cached Review of "Place to Avoid"

Doudet was ordered to change the title of her blog and pay a fine. Instead she took it down.

However, a cached version is still available, and I bet it gets even more hits now that the courts have piqued everyone's interest.

Cached English translation: The place to avoid the Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino.

Neither the headline nor the article appears unreasonably inflammatory.

Doudet's main charge is exceptionally poor service. It took numerous complaints to three sets of servers for Doudet to get drinks and an appetizer before her main course arrived.

$2,000 Fine

For her writeup, French Blogger Fined $2,000 for Restaurant Review, Too Prominent on Google.

A blogger eats in an Italian restaurant in southwestern France. She thinks the food is bad, the service even worse, and she writes up a review that is not glowing, to put it mildly.

It’s a scenario that plays out daily in the cyberworld. Hair in a dish of pasta? Many would snap a photo and share it on Twitter or Facebook. An insufferable waiter? Blog it out.

But this blogger, a French woman named Caroline Doudet who runs “Cultur'elle,” got sued for it by the restaurant Il Giardino. And a judge has ruled that she must amend the title of her piece – because with it the post appears too prominently in Google search results – and that she owes $2,000 in damages.

The judge, according to court documents reported by the BBC, said that her blog, with over 3,000 followers, came up as the fourth result any time someone searched for the restaurant in Google. Therefore, she [the judge] reasoned, the title should be changed so “place to avoid” was less prominent.

Doudet made very good point to the local newspaper Sud Ouest that if bloggers don’t have the liberty to write bad reviews, good reviews become essentially meaningless.
Il Giardino a "Place to Avoid"

If for some unexplained reason you find yourself in France, you may wish to mark Il Giardino as a place to avoid.

Any restaurant that would file charges against a blogger instead of apologizing for alleged piss poor service, is not a place I would want to visit.

For its stupid lawsuit, it's highly likely Il Giardino suffers more than it would have otherwise. 

Lawyer Advises Mish "Don't Go to France"

Here's the real place to avoid: France. I have my own experience, as many of you know.

For details, please see Lawyer Advises Me "Don't Go to France"; French Pub Fined €9,000 for Using "Undeclared Labor" after Customers Returned Empties to Bar

Doudet may be out $2,000 but hopefully she makes it up with publicity. I am willing to help. Please check out her site: Cultur'elle. Here's an English Translation of Cultur'elle.

As for me, France is not going to collect a cent.

Outside of purposeful slander, yelling "fire" in a movie, etc., I can say what I want.

France should try that reasonable approach. Instead, France (like Spain) marches at a fast pace down the road to complete internet big brother supervision.

For a synopsis of Spain and Europe in general, please see Internet Free Speech Vanishes in Spain; Most Infamous Law in Internet History; Brussels and Spain Target Google

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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