The inescapable question for journalists accustomed to defending the Ukrainian government as a heroic David resisting the Russian Goliath is this: if the SBU would cynically fake Babchenko’s death to catch the ‘real killers’, despite the allegedly hired contract killer being a Ukrainian church priest and veteran of the ‘Anti-Terror Operation’ (ATO) in the Donbass, what other hoaxes have the (CIA curated) geniuses at 35 Volodymyrska street perpetrated? Could those include the SBU-released audio of ‘GRU commanders’ identified in a recent press conference by the British ‘amateur’ open source enthusiasts of Bellingcat, which the Dutch Joint Investigative Team (JIT) vouched for as evidence Russian air defense operators shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (notwithstanding that the newly elected Malaysian government’s transport minister declared to scant coverage from the Australian media that he’s seen no evidence convicting the Russians in the shoot down)? What of SBU lies going back to the beginning of the U.S. propped up regime in Kiev, the Maidan sniper (false flag) killings of February 2014, the perpetrators of which escaped any harm from nearby ‘Maidan self-defense’ street fighters armed with hunting rifles, shotguns and pistols?
The U.S./UK media can of course, as we’ve seen with the Skripals poisoning in Great Britain, do their best to stick to the script and quickly change the subject. But the rest of the world is waking up to the fact that the ultra-nationalist oligarchic regime the U.S. put into power in Ukraine four years ago is not only criminal, but criminally stupid. This recognition is ultimately a good thing for the long suffering people of Ukraine. But in the short term it’s dangerous to them, because more provocations blamed on Russia and fighting in the Donbass can be expected.
#BlameRussia Provocations and Ramped Up Warfare as Distractions from Ukraine's Economic Breakdown and the Failure of its "Western Partners" to Make Life Better for Ukrainians
When Reporters Without Borders condemns the government of Ukraine for faking the death of a journalist, such that his colleagues were taking up collections to care for his wife and children, it becomes a dividing line to separate go along to get along scribblers from the true believers in the righteous Cold War 2 cause (in which the ends of defeating the Kremlin justify the means of outright lies). Many reporters stuck with the 'safe' party line that Kiev had handed the Kremlin's propagandists an enormous gift, making the job of condemning 'fake news' more difficult, which is true. What was left out of this rhetoric was the implication that an organization which would stage a journalist's death and condemn Russia for it would also stage false flags in order to achieve its goals and those of its foreign backers -- up to murdering armed and unarmed activists on the Maidan, burning anti-Maidan Odessans alive, and shooting down an airliner with a BUK missile in order to frame Russia.
Churchill's phrase about truth being such a precious commodity in times of war that it must be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies doesn't apply if the lies are precisely the reason innocents and the not so innocent keep dying.
How many Ukrainian 'volunteers' would go to war for a regime that cynically shot their 'brothers' on the Maidan in the back in order to depose of Yanukovych, who was a thief but not a thief AND a mass murderer like Petro Poroshenko? If Kiev's true (15-17,000+ KIA) rather than grossly understated casualties (around 2,000 dead combatants) were admitted, would the U.S. still be able to fuel fantasies of a swift Operation Storm style conquest of the rebellious pro-Russian republics?
In Kiev the news and 'democracy' may be fake, but the massive theft and warfare fueled in part by graft is all too real. One of the reasons Poroshenko's government hides so many killed in action from the Ukrainian people is to avoid paying out meager death benefits to the soldiers families. It's more profitable for Poroshenko and his cronies to list them as 'missing' or 'deserted', if the Ministry of Defense acknowledges them at all. Therefore it's no surprise the Babchenko story may boil down to the accused agent of the Russians, Ukrainian-German company “Schmeisser” director Boris German, being a target of other Defense Ministry of Ukraine contractors who wanted to steal his business.
The fact that German's company is named Schmeisser, after the famous WWII sub machine gun used by Hitler's SS and the Wehrmacht, is also noteworthy in a country where Nazi LARPers are called volunteer battalion heroes and contracted as muscle for oligarchs. Not surprisingly, German immediately announced in court that he has worked closely with the SBU for years, complicating the narrative of him as a Russian intelligence asset (though if German did turn out to be profiteering from the Donbass War from both ends, he would not be the only one). For now German looks like the classic greedy war profiteer patsy, while the alleged 'shooter'-priest looks like a mentally ill patsy.
European Abandonment of a Russophobic Project and American Tariffs on Ukrainian Steel
As we reported several days ago here at RogueMoney, May was a costly month for the Ukrainian Army, as well as the Russian-supported Donbass forces. Many Russian political observers believe that Kiev's battalion sized attacks around Gorlovka were preparation for a general offensive across the front line, timed to coincide with the World Cup in Russia. But the heavy reported casualties and sloppy haste of the Babchenko plot suggests that Kiev's oligarchs and their SBU goons cannot pull off what the Ukrainian government's worst patrons demand. The fact that the Trump Administration gifted Ukraine Javelin anti-tank missiles has fueled far more headlines than the U.S. tariff on European steel that's going to hit Ukrainian metallurgy exports hard. Why? Because unlike the Marshall Plan of the last Cold War, the U.S. is no longer supporting its allies but exacting tribute from them. The Obama Administration was good at hiding this, whereas the Trump White House is hated for declaring it's time for U.S. allies under Washington's protection to pay up. Since Ukraine unlike Japan and Germany is a broken state, the Ukrainians are expected to pay not with money, and indeed are paying the cost of vassalage to a failing empire in blood and labor.
Even if the percentage of exports directly from Ukraine to the U.S. impacted by the Trump tariffs seems low in the cheerily optimistic forecasts put out by the country's steelmakers, lower prices for steel from Ukraine's European competitors will push Ukrainian metal aside. And as a former Israeli military intelligence officer Yakov Kedmi notes in the exchange broadcast on Russian TV to millions of households embedded below points out, the EU also subjected Kiev's agriculture exports to harsh duties (he says this around the 7:30 mark).
Yes the Ukrainian economy has shown signs of recovery in four years, but that was compared to the collapse of 2014. Achieving growth has required at least two million Ukrainians to emigrate to European countries for work -- mostly to low wage Poland. Another 1.5 to 1.7 million Ukrainians are living and working in the 'aggressor' country Russia.
There is no way Kiev can pay off its debts owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), they will default at some point, likely after the gas transit revenue gets slashed in 2020 with the completion of Russia's Nordstream 2 and Turkstream pipelines.