Phony Reports of Russian Casualties in Ukraine Resurface
by Stephen Lendman
Throughout 17 months of Kiev aggression on Donbass, reports of alleged “Russian aggression” have been a complete fabrication – including fake numbers of nonexistent military casualties.
No matter. Phony anti-Russian accusations persist – the latest from Forbes magazine
(its motto: “The Capitalist Tool”). Its source: a dubious Delovaya Zhizn (Business Life) Russian web site.
Its March 2015 article headlined
“Increases in Pay for Military in 2015” claimed “official figures (reveal) the number of Russian soldiers killed or made invalids in eastern Ukraine” – the story a complete hoax, falsified information later removed, picked up in its original form by Forbes, then reported by NBC News, the London Independent, The Times Europe, the International Business Times, Daily Beast, other publications and Washington’s Radio Free Europe/Radio Europe propaganda – all repeating the same Big Lie without checking sources for verification. None exist.
Two former US ambassadors to Russia, a former one to Ukraine and Washington’s ambassador to the OSCE tweeted comments about Business Life’s report, suggesting its legitimacy.
In contrast, Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky tweeted: “That ‘Business Life’ report of Russia’s Ukraine casualties is a fake. Bs-life.ru – come on, are you serious? (Plus the ‘B Ykpanhe (Ukraine) slip).” BS indeed!
AP’s Nataliya Vasilyeva called “(t)he ease of spreading rumors in the digital world…astonishing.”
“Two days of Western officials retweeting a Forbes report quoting a Ukrainian web-site quoting a non-existent Russia new web-site re Ukraine.”
“The main problem here is, of course, where was the Forbes online editor when the story was published, why nobody bothered to check sources?”
Russian media watchdog Roscomnadzor found four so-called Business Life-named publications – newspapers and magazines, not web sites.
The Delovaya Zhizn (bs-life.ru) site mentions no reference to print or mail subscriptions, its publisher, editor, other staff or contact information, except for an online reply form.
made contact with someone called Anatoly Kravchenko – “introducing himself as ‘representing’ Delovaya Zhizn (Business Life).” Via email, he said:
“On August 23, the editorial staff received emails requesting clarification of the information contained in the article, in its last part. This is how we discovered that the site had been hacked… and an editor removed the part of the text added by the perpetrators to the story.”
He indicated Business Life’s site was hacked on August 22, “allegedly from a Kiev-registered IP address,” RT reported.
Kravchenko claimed the publication has no “political orientation and does not support any political power in the RF (Russian Federation).”
RT explained it can’t confirm Kravchenko’s identity, adding: “something which apparently did not stop Western news outlets from citing (unsubstantiated) claims.” They’re pervasive in propaganda reports – the way crabgrass infests lawns.
Paul Roderick Gregory wrote the Forbes article. He’s an anti-Russian right-wing Hoover Institute research fellow. Some of his other recent propaganda articles were titled:
“Is a slow Putsch against Putin under way?
“Putin in the dock”
“The dirty bomb – A thwarted Putin false flag operation?
“Russia’s veto of the MH17 UN criminal tribunal is an admission of guilt”
In May 2014, he called “Putin’s Ukrainian executioners worse than Stalin’s.”
Roderick is a propagandist masquerading as a journalist – featuring streams of anti-Russian disinformation and Big Lies.
His August 25 article
headlined “Russia Inadvertently Posts Its Casualties In Ukraine: 2,000 Death, 3,200 Disabled,” saying:
Putin “decreed that all Russian casualties in peacetime be a state secret…Dissident Boris Nemtsov was murdered shortly before completing his study of Russian casualties in Ukraine.”
Fake Russian civil rights groups “working against the fog of official resistance, could only confirm several hundred (nonexistent) battlefield deaths.”
Fact: Putin had nothing to do with killing Nemtsov. Claims otherwise were fabricated.
Fact: Longstanding Russian policy classifies military wartime casualties.
Fact: Putin decreed all peacetime special operations military casualties a state secret. State Duma defense committee parliamentarian Franz Klintsevich said disclosing them “means telling everything about the character of (operations) and forces involved in (them).”
“Today, this is hardly justifiable…The international situation is so unstable that a new conflict can take place anywhere and we must prevent such threats and when it is possible we should launch preventive measures, including special operations.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin’s decree has nothing to do with conflict in Donbass. He has no intention of ordering special operations anywhere in Ukraine.
Russian Institute of Military and Political Analysis deputy head Aleksandr Khramchkhin said Putin’s decree conformed to generally accepted practices in other countries. “(I)n the USA, all actions of their special forces are an absolute secret, both in war and in peace. Nothing is known about them,” he explained.
Roderick implied Russia is concealing information about its (nonexistent) involvement in war on Donbass. He called the dubious Russian Business Life web site “scarcely an outlet for sensational information – reporting fabricated Donbass military casualty figures, erroneously claiming “Russian censors quickly removed the offending material…”
The publication removed the fabricated information added by Ukrainian hackers – webcached by Google in its original form, claiming Moscow paid monetary compensation to families of Russian soldiers killed or disabled “in military actions in Eastern Ukraine.”
Roderick lied claiming the “revelation of more than two thousand combat deaths in east Ukraine not only destroys the Putin myth of a small number of deaths of Russian patriots defending Russians in Ukraine from neo-Nazi extremists but also demolishes Putin’s cover story that no ‘active’ member of the Russian armed forces is or has been in Ukraine.”
Perhaps he inadvertently slipped admitting deployed “neo-Nazi extremists” involved in combat against Ukrainian citizens in Donbass.
He debunked legitimate Kremlin claims about fabricated accusations. He lied claiming “what should be obvious to all: (Nonexistent) Russian troops are in east Ukraine and are being supplied with heavy weapons by Russia. (Its) dead are secretly transported back to Russia for furtive burials.”
He ignored unsourced Business Life claims until removed. No evidence corroborates them. None exists.
His article repeated the long ago discredited claim about so-called “Russian aggression” in Ukraine. None exists – not now or earlier.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.