More Question Marks on Ukraine

As in all wars, the civil war in Ukraine has become a propaganda war, with each side striving to paint the other as solely at fault for atrocities and the war itself. The American media has done a good job of pointing out pro-Russian propaganda, but mostly has fallen flat on its face looking at the other side of the coin. Thus, even though both sides – as well as their Russian and the American cheerleaders – bear some of the blame for the ongoing horror, I have focused primarily on exposing anti-Russian, pro-Ukrainian propaganda, of which most Americans are unaware.

The most recent example is in a blog post by a former West German (now German) tank officer, who has proved to be a reliable source of information in the past. Using the nom de plume of “Moon of Alabama,” yesterday he wrote:

The Ukrainian coup government claims that Russian tanks crossed the border and are in use by federalists in east Ukraine. First claims talked about three Russian T-72 tanks but later claims changed the type of the tank to T-64s. The tanks can be seen driving here (vid) and here (vid).

The U.S. State Department is now endorsing that claim … There are several lies in [these] State Department claims. [Contrary to the claims,] Ukrainian tank units are operating in the area against federalists. Here are several photos (scroll down) from Associated Press showing them – also pic 7 here. The tanks re T-64 BV, the upgraded subtype used in the Ukrainian army. … The Ukrainian state dealer Ukrspecexport is still selling such upgraded tanks [but, while] … Russia once had some 4,000 T-64s[, it] did not upgrade them but scrapped those it had. … 

To me, a former Bundeswehr tank officer, the three traveling tanks reportedly driven by federalists in the videos above are T-64 BVs like the Ukrainian army uses in east Ukraine. Also – as Russia no longer has any T-64s where else could the Ukrainian federalist have obtained those three T-64 tanks [other] than by capturing them in Ukraine?

Of course, the tanks could have come from Russia. But, Moon of Alabama raises serious questions and presents significant evidence which seems worthy of further analysis – analysis in which neither our State Department nor our media seems interested. And, if he’s right, imagine how angry and frustrated Putin must be with us for swallowing what would then be Ukrainian propaganda – not a good state of mind for a Russian head of state with thousands of nuclear weapons at his disposal.

Especially given our past history of getting into wars on grounds which turned out to be baseless (see below), and especially given that a war with Russia over Ukraine would have significant nuclear risk, isn’t it time we stopped and thought things through more carefully? If you agree, please ask your Senators and Congressional Representative to do that.

Martin Hellman

Our current war in Afghanistan, now the longest war in American history, can be traced directly back to President Reagan’s mistakenly seeing the mujahideen as “courageous Afghan freedom fighters,” instead of the violent, anti-Western extremists we now know them to be.

Our war in Iraq was based on false accusations that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs and was complicit in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Examples of other lapses in American media coverage of the Ukrainian crisis:
Most of the major American media have not even mentioned the allegation by Estonia’s Foreign Minister (caught in a private, but intercepted phone call) “that behind [the] snipers, it was not Yanukovych, but it was somebody from the new coalition.” The FM was referring to sniper fire which massacred many anti-Yanukovych demonstrators in Kiev on February 20, and which led to Yanukovych fleeing for his life. German public television sent an investigative reporting team to follow up on this allegation and reached a similar conclusion.

On May 2, rival pro- and anti-Russian gangs clashed in a bloody riot in Odessa and dozens of pro-Russian demonstrators were burned alive in a fire while Ukrainian activists sang the Ukrainian national anthem.

The current Ukrainian government is guilty of killing unarmed pro-Russian protesters – the same behavior which led to Yanukovych’s ouster.

About Martin Hellman

I am a professor at Stanford University, best known for my invention of public key cryptography -- the technology that protects the secure part of the Internet, such as electronic banking. But, since 1982, my primary interest has been how fallible human beings can survive possessing nuclear weapons, where even one mistake could be catastrophic. My latest project is a book, co-written with my wife Dorothie, with the audacious subtitle "Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet." It's on Amazon and a free PDF can be downloaded from its website:
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2 Responses to More Question Marks on Ukraine

  1. zach says:


    I just came across an article detailing a proposed mandate for what seems like a glimpse into U.S. foreign policy for the situation in Ukraine going forward. The mandate is titled “S.2277 Russian Aggression Prevention act of 2014.”

    Do you have any familiarity with this proposition? What are your thoughts on it?

    I find this very very concerning unless I am misunderstanding something here.

  2. Nuclear Risk says:

    I hadn’t heard of it, but found the text and status on Congress’ web site. A quick reading indicates that it fits with our (American) actions thus far, namely focusing on Russia’s misdeeds and overlooking our part in helping create this mess. So I share your concern.

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