In the more than eight years of bombing the civilians of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, Ukraine has committed untold numbers of war crimes. These include bombing residential areas, markets, hospitals, schools, parks—including with prohibited heavy weapons and banned cluster munitions—and, since late July, raining banned “Petal” mines down on populated civilian areas, including the very center of Donetsk, including as recently as September 7.
A lesser-known war crime is Ukraine’s routine targeting of ambulances, fire trucks, medics and rescuers, and their headquarters and stations. Many of the times Ukraine bombs such heroic rescuers, it is when they are on the way, or already on site, to help civilians often themselves just bombed by Ukraine.
On August 21, Ukrainian shelling of the DPR’s Gorlovka wounded twelve, including five firefighters.
The day prior, Ukrainian shelling targeted an ambulance station in the LPR’s Lysychansk, wounding several and damaging some of the ambulances.
On June 23, the Kievskiy District of Donetsk came under repeated shelling over the course of the two hours I was visiting the Emergency Services headquarters there. On the grounds, I saw the remnants of a “Hurricane” missile from a previous Ukrainian attack.
In his 99th year and with his 19th book, Henry A. Kissinger repeats the same deceitful accounts regarding his dangerous use of military power, including nuclear threats. In the 1970s as the national security adviser and secretary of state for presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Kissinger occupied an unusually powerful position in the national security arena. His newest book, “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy,” is valuable because of his experiences in the political and academic communities, but it must be read carefully in view of the self-aggrandizing nature of his self-promotion.
Kissinger, who believed in the possibility of limited nuclear war in the 1950s, favored the use of a nuclear card in the war between India and Pakistan in 1971, and the October War in the Middle East in 1973. On an earlier occasion, in 1970, when the Nixon administration was faced with a threat about the Soviet construction of a submarine repair facility in Cuba, Kissinger wanted to send a strong military signal to the Soviets. Nixon wisely said, “I think we can resolve this with diplomacy.” Nixon was right.
The following year, during the Indian-Pakistan War, Kissinger feared that the Soviet Union would use the war to “move against” the Chinese and that if “we don’t do anything, we’ll be finished.” Nixon wanted to know if Kissinger meant that we should “start lobbing nuclear weapons in, is that what you mean?” Kissinger made it clear that he meant must just that, referring to it as the “final showdown.” (I was an intelligence analyst at the Department of State in the early 1970s, a period when Kissinger and his director of the Bureau of Intelligence, William Hyland, were convinced that the Soviets were prepared to go to war against China. There was no intelligence to support their obsession.)
The White House tapes reveal both Nixon and Kissinger at their worst during the crisis in South Asia. In addition to Nixon’s typical vulgarity and his contempt for Indian President Indira Gandhi, the president told Kissinger that the Indians needed a “mass famine.” Kissinger sneered at people who “bleed” for the Bengalis of East Pakistan. Nixon and Kissinger moved to gratuitously deploy an aircraft carrier into the Bay of Bengal, which angered the Pentagon because of the danger of escalation and caused a great deal of nervousness throughout the military chain of command. They also approved a covert supply of sophisticated U.S. fighter aircraft via Jordan and Iran, despite explicit warnings from the Department of State and the Department of Defense that such arms transfers to Pakistan were illegal under U.S. law.
Like his earlier memoirs, Kissinger says almost nothing about the slaughter of Bengalis in East Pakistan, insisting that Pakistan’s atrocities were “clearly under its domestic jurisdiction.” He also sanitizes Nixon’s racial animus toward Indians, and makes no mention of the unusual “dissent cable” that was signed by 20 foreign service officers who condemned Kissinger’s willingness to ignore the “selective genocide” that was taking place in East Pakistan. Kissinger mocked the cable’s author, Archer Blood, the U.S. Consul General in Dacca, as a “coward.”
It is noteworthy that in a conversation with Nixon regarding Soviet Jews, Kissinger displayed a similar lack of concern about the plight of Soviet Jews and remarked that “if the Soviets put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.” Nixon agreed: “I know. We can’t blow up the world because of it.” Nixon and Kissinger catered to the world’s dictators in Brazil, Greece, Portugal, Indonesia, Iran, Spain, and South Korea, and in the case of Pakistan, they catered to that country’s murderous generals.
The October War found Kissinger essentially in charge of national security policy. These were the worst days of the Watergate crisis for Richard Nixon, and his use of anti-depressants and alcohol often placed him hors de combatin the fall of 1973. This was certainly true on the evening of October 24, when Kissinger illegally called a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) and elevated the nuclear alert system to DefCon III, signifying a serious crisis short of preparing for nuclear war. The National Security Act of 1947 explicitly states that only the president or the vice president could run an NSC meeting, although the president could provide written authorization for another individual to chair the meeting. Nixon was not at the meeting just before midnight, and General Al Haig refused Kissinger’s request to awaken the president. Gerald Ford had not been confirmed as vice president; he was not at the meeting. There is no record of any written authorization.
THE UNITED STATES played an unacknowledged role in the 2017 bombing of an internally displaced persons’ camp in Nigeria that killed more than 160 civilians, many of them children.
A surveillance plane circled above the Rann IDP camp, which housed 43,000 people and was controlled by the Nigerian military, before a jet arrived and bombed the area where people draw water from a borehole, survivors of the attack said. The jet then circled and dropped another bomb on the tents of displaced civilians sheltering there.
The Nigerian air force expressed regret for carrying out the airstrike, which also killed nine aid workers and seriously wounded more than 120 people. But the attack was referred to as an instance of “U.S.-Nigerian operations” in a formerly secret U.S. military document obtained exclusively by The Intercept.
Evidence suggests that the U.S. launched a near unprecedented internal investigation of the attack because it secretly provided intelligence or other support to the Nigerian armed forces, a contribution hinted at by Nigerian military officials at the time. The U.S. inquiry, the existence of which has not been previously reported, was ordered by the top American general overseeing troops in Africa and was specifically designed to avoid questions of wrongdoing or recommendations for disciplinary action, according to the document.
Conducted as part of a long-running counterinsurgency campaign against the terrorist group Boko Haram, the January 17, 2017, attack on the camp, located in Rann, Nigeria, near the Cameroonian and Chadian borders, also destroyed at least 35 structures, including shelters for war victims who had been forced from their homes.
The top Ukrainian official who was fired for spreading misinformation has admitted that she lied about Russians committing mass rape in order to convince western countries to send more weapons to Ukraine.
Lyudmila Denisova, the former Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, was removed from her position following a vote of no confidence in the Ukrainian parliament which passed by a margin of 234-to-9.
Parliament member Pavlo Frolov specifically accused Denisova of pushing misinformation that “only harmed Ukraine” in relation to “the numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual offenses’ and child sexual abuses in the occupied territories, which were unsupported by evidence.”
In an interview published by a Ukrainian news outlet, Denisova admitted that her falsehoods had achieved their intended goal.
“When, for example, I spoke in the Italian parliament at the Committee on International Affairs, I heard and saw such fatigue from Ukraine, you know? I talked about terrible things in order to somehow push them to make the decisions that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people need,” she said.
A Ukrainian government official frequently cited as a source by western news media for her allegations of atrocities committed by Russian troops has been fired by the Ukrainian parliament, in part because of the unevidenced nature of those claims.
A Ukrainian official has been relieved of her duties over her handling of reports detailing sexual assault allegations made against Russians in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, removed Lyudmila Denisova, the parliament’s commissioner for human rights, from her post, according to Ukrainska Pravda. No new appointment has been made to fill the role.
The move to dismiss Denisova came after outrage about the wording used in public reports about alleged sexual assaults committed by Russians, as well as the alleged dissemination in those reports of unverified information. Despite accusations from Ukraine, the Kremlin has repeatedly denied that Russian soldiers have committed war crimes or sexual assaults during the invasion.
As it happens, Newsweek is one of the many western outlets who have uncritically cited Denisova’s unevidenced claims in their reporting of events in Ukraine. She was the “Ukraine official” in Newsweek’s incendiary April headline “Russians Raped 11-Year-Old Boy, Forced Mom to Watch: Ukraine Official,” an article whose entire first half featured unevidenced claims by Denisova.