The media campaign trying to incriminate Russia in war crimes committed in Syria is a tissue of lies, false propaganda on a Goebbelesque scale, a mass brainwashing campaign using the new whizzy buzz words "civilians", "children" and "second strikes" while omitting the term "terrorists".
For a start, let us apply the Truth Test to western media outlets. The way it works is like this: take any story, turn it on its head, turn it upside down and inside out and then you are probably getting somewhere near to the truth. So let us examine the history of those pointing fingers at Russia and accusing Russian military commanders of war crimes.
Remember Kosovo? Remember when they ignored the fact that Kosovo Liberation "Army" operatives, aka terrorists from Ushtria Çlirimtare ë Kosovës, were murdering policemen, attacking the authorities, beheading young Serbs and trafficking their organs while they were still alive, and instead they concentrated on the police operation to track down these terrorists and punish them? They lied.
Remember when they marched in to a sovereign state, tore its heart out (Kosovo is to Serbia what Oxford is to England) then bombed the country for three months? Including civilian structures?
Remember Iraq? Remember when they invented lies about Saddam Hussein's government procuring yellowcake uranium from "Nigeria" (which doesn't have any), the proof being a signed document on paper with the letterhead of the International Atomic Energy Agency? Only it was forged. They lied.
Remember the lies about the Weapons of Mass Destruction, which turned out to be a doctoral thesis copied and pasted from the Net and "sexed up" by Number Ten, Downing Street, eager to climb into bed with the Queen of Liars, Washington? Remember when they invaded Iraq and violated its borders outside international law, the pretext being that the country posed an immediate and direct threat to the USA and its allies? It did not. They lied.
Remember Libya? Remember when they said that Colonel Kaddafi was bombing his own people and stated on TV that residential areas of Tripoli were strafed by military aircraft? Remember when Saif al-Islam al-Kaddafi went to the cameras and said OK take me there, and they couldn't because it was again a tissue of lies from beginning to end? Remember when NATO via the FUKUS Axis (France, UK, US) entered the fray and attacked Libya based on lies, breaching UNSC Resolutions 1979 and 1973 (2011) outside any separate Resolution from the UNSC and without the UNSC Military Staff Committee having been convened?
Remember when they breached the terms of UNSC Resolution 2131 (1965) interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state? Remember when they breached the Geneva Conventions by bombing undefended civilian structures (Article 3) which housed civilians or military personnel from the Jamahiriya, defending the civilians against the terrorists used by the FUKUS Axis and on their own lists of proscribed terrorist groups? Remember when they bombed the Libyan water supply network and strafed the electricity grid? On what planet are these viable military targets? Remember when the same party bombed the home for Downs Syndrome children in Tripoli? Bullseye! The NATO pilot doubtlessly claimed, pumping the air with his clenched fist as he listened to "Burn you mother*cker, burn!" in his headphones...
Or was it "Gotcha!"?
Remember when they bombed the University of Tripoli? Since when are University students targets? Remember when they murdered the grandchildren of Colonel Kaddafi? Since when are babies military targets? Remember when they murdered eleven Imams in al-Brega? Remember when they strafed a bus in al-Kikla? Remember when they eliminated an entire family including babies and children in al-Sorman? Did they mention any of these massacres and countless others? They lied.
And now the same side has the audacity and barefaced cheek to level accusations against Russia which is conducting an anti-terrorist campaign in Syria at the official request of the Syrian Government which was supported in a free and fair democratic election in 2014 by nearly 89 per cent with a voter turnout of over 75 per cent, the Government which is trying to protect these civilians which voted for it against marauding bands of terrorists, some of these ISIS, some Al-Qaeda, some "moderate terrorists" backed by the West? What is the difference between a terrorist and a moderate terrorist? The moderate terrorist carries only half as much explosives in his backpack. These are the ones supported by the West and these are the ones who are losing.
And this is why they are getting desperate, getting hysterical and getting their backsides whipped by a superior Russian force which has international law not mostly, but totally and wholly on its side. Are there incidents of collateral damage where civilians get killed by mistake or as a consequence of military action? Perhaps, perhaps not. If so it is lamentable.
Are any strikes occasioning collateral planned on purpose and are any eventual civilian casualties planned by the Russian military commanders? Answer, of course not, they aren't NATO. Those who like myself know Russia and Russians intimately know that no Russian military commander would dream of such a thing, would never attack a Downs Syndrome home for children, bomb a water supply or strafe an electricity grid "to break their backs".
So let us see the allegations and the facts.
As to the allegations that Russia has indiscriminately bombed MSF hospitals in Syria, here is the truth straight from the shoulder right between the eyes: MSF does not and is not allowed to operate in areas controlled by the Syrian authorities because they don't trust it. MSF supports hospitals and medical centers in areas controlled by terrorists and all medical centers supported by the MSF are hidden and are not signaled as such in any way. If the centers are hidden, how can any attack be deliberate?
The information MSF uses is not from direct personnel operating in Syria because it does not have any - it uses information from the medical centers it supports which are in turn staffed by persons working in areas controlled by terrorists. So bogus is the disinformation desperately peddled out by MSF and so eager are the western media to gobble it down that nobody has noticed that the claims by MSF that its hospital in Azaz was hit are open to question: there are claims that it doesn't even support the hospital in Azaz.
The one accusing Russia first-hand is Turkey, using second-hand information from the terrorists it supports and the west as usual, King Liars themselves are simply regurgitating what is hysteria from third-hand guttersnipes. And the media circus comes to town.
Once a liar, always a liar.
To conclude: The Russian military machine is a highly respected, proud and professional outfit. There is not one single Russian military commander who would callously carry out such attacks as have become part of NATO's recent military history. For those making the accusations, where is the concrete, objective and irrefutable proof?
Not vials of milk powder, not photos photo-shopped and taken from a decade earlier in another theater of war, not forged documents, not downright pig-faced lies, not photos of Dinky toy cars staging an "invasion" on a square of plastic grass but objective and irrefutable proof?
With information from Marinella Correggia
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
Mysterious philanthropist, Rustem Magdeev, had agreed, at his own expense, to donate a sculpture of Rudolf Nureyev, made by Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, to the Kazan Opera and Ballet Theatre