Patrick Armstrong is a former political counselor at Canadian Embassy in Moscow
Once again the headlines shout that Russia has invaded Ukraine. Once again NATO offers blurry satellite shots from a commercial service for evidence. Here are June’s "invasion” satellite photos. This month’s "invasion” satellite photos are here. Again from a commercial source, Digital Globe. Photo 1: some "Russian” SPGs in Ukraine (everybody uses "Russian” ie Soviet equipment and the rebels have captured quite a lot). Photo 2: Some deployed artillery in Ukraine (ludicrously explained as how "trained military professionals” would deploy it. Hasn’t anyone in NATO HQ realised that the east Ukrainian rebels are pretty competent?) Photo 3: A Russian base with stuff in it and without stuff in it (but aren’t we continually told about the Russian "buildup on the border”, always alarming, always threatening, whatever the numbers: "very, very sizable” in March, 40K in April, 12K in July,20K in August. One should not be surprised that there’s some variance of equipment at a given base over time). Photo 4 and 5: Some guns in Russia pointing towards Ukraine (where, by the way, as NATO intelligence may know, there is a war going on with occasional firing into Russia. All military are trained to expect the worst.) And, by the way, if Russia did invade, don’t you think it would do it in strength rather than a couple of tanks here and a gun or two there? No wonder the Russians are laughing at this "evidence”; this isn’t evidence of anything except how gullible NATO thinks its taxpayers are.
Its time to consider what real evidence would look like.The United States has spent billions and billions of dollars on intelligence-gathering equipment; and supposedly has more assets than anyone else has ever had or dreamed of having. So, given this vast array of sophisticated devices which, one has to assume, have been watching Ukraine and western Russia for months, what would real evidence of a Russian invasion of Ukraine look like?
We would see a series of photographs, maybe even a continuous moving picture, perhaps backed up by intercepted communications, of Russian equipment forming up in a base. We would follow that column, photo by photo, moving towards Ukraine. We would watch that column, photo by photo, as it crossed the frontier and deployed. We should also have photos of Russian artillery actually firing – after all, the guns they show are right out in the open and artillery doesn’t fire single shots. If the Russians were actually firing across the border regularly, there would be real satellite evidence showing it. That is what real proof would look like and that is what these pathetic efforts are not. Although they are negative evidence: if NATO had real evidence, we’d see it 24/7; this paltry effort demonstrates that it does not.
It’s all reminiscent of the two British reporters who said they saw Russian armour head across the border into Ukraine a couple of weeks ago, My smart phone has a camera and it has GPS too and there’s lots of map software available (I recommend City Maps 2Go, download Rostov Oblast. I’m sure their newspapers would stand the $3 it costs). A real report would have said this is the time, this is where we are, this is what we saw, here’s photos. But oops, whaddaya know! they forgot to take their smart phones with them. Gee, so we have to trust them and take their word for it.
WELL, I DON’T TRUST THEM.
And I don’t trust NATO and its pitiful commercial images, I don’t trust reporters who "forget” to record things and I don’t trust Marie Harf and her "social media and common sense”.
As Paul Craig Roberts puts it: "The latest Washington lie, this one coming from NATO, is that Russia has invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops and self-propelled artillery. How do we know that this is a lie? Is it because we have heard nothing but lies about Russia from NATO, from US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, from assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, from Obama and his entire regime of pathological liars, and from the British, German, and French governments along with the BBC and the entirety of the Western media?”
With this record, why would anyone believe a word coming out of Washington or NATO, Western governments or the various Western avatars of Pravda?