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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 2:51 AM

Ukraine Caught in Third Major Lie? Magic Number 312

I have strong evidence from Ukrainian citizen Anatoly Shary that Kiev is caught in a third major lie regarding Buk deployment.

It takes a while to go over the evidence, condensed below, all having to do with the number 312 painted on a missile launcher.

Follow the Number

On March 8, Censor.Net, a Ukrainian Nationalist cite, says "Ukraine Defends Donetsk From Russian Incursion: 'Buk' Air Defense Rocket Systems Are Taking Up Positions. PHOTO + VIDEO"

The sub-headline reads: "A resident of Gorlovka, driving to work in Soledar, came across an entire convoy of military equipment. ...My coworkers and I counted 11 missile launchers ..."

Image Posted on Censor

I captured the entire page for posterity just in case someone needs it.

Here is a video posted on the same page.

I stopped the video precisely at the 37 second mark. This is what I saw:

SBU Headline July 19, 2014

A translated SBU headline reads "Russia is trying to hide the evidence of his involvement in a terrorist attack in the skies over Ukraine"

SBU is the "Security Service of Ukraine". The gist of the article is the SBU claims to show a Buk missile launcher headed back to Russia. An unmodified Google translation follows.

Unmodified Translation

SBU is unequivocal evidence that the aircraft "Boeing-777" shot down using the anti-missile system "Buk" M, which, together with the crew was transferred to Ukraine from Russia. This was announced by Head of SBU Vitaly Naida briefing on the crisis in the media center.

"SBU take measures within the investigation and gets a clear evidence of involvement in the terrorist attack of Russian citizens", - said Naida. He assured that the evidence already submitted to all international partners services. SBU is working directly with the Dutch police officers and law enforcement agencies of other countries whose citizens were victims of the terrorist attack on July 17.

Representative SBU showed reporters photos of the installation "BUK-M" on one of the streets Torez and photos following the installation of the column in the Donetsk region.

In addition, the published photo taken at the time of launching rockets in the vicinity of the village towards Torez Snow, which is clearly visible contrail rocket, which was shot down "Boeing-777" with peaceful people. Vitaly Naida said that the service is clearly identified starting place, which is located in an area controlled by terrorists and the Russian military.

SBU representative also said that the Russian side gave an indication of the terrorists to take out all Ukraine launchers "BUK-M".

July 18 at 2 am in the Luhansk region crossed the border with Russia two trucks, each of which was launcher "BUK-M." Oh 4 nights in the day crossed the state border of three tractors - one empty platform was one launcher with four missiles, and the last was probably fighting vehicle control module.

He stressed that Russia is trying to hide the evidence of his direct involvement in the attacks.
There are a number of images on that page, here is the last one.

The caption beneath that photo simply reads "When using photos and text information refer to www.sbu.gov.ua is required".

As much as I tried, I cannot make out the numbers on that missile launcher. But please consider the following article, video, and translated captions.

Falsification of Placing Buks by Anatoly Shary

Unmodified Translation
Known journalist and fraud exposer Ukrainian propaganda rasssledovanie spent around stuffing SBU information about air defense missile systems Buk, who was allegedly put the militia of Russia.

Analyzing the material provided by the power department of Kiev as evidence for the involvement of Russian plane crash, Anatoly Shary found on the photo irrefutable detail - Room missile system. It turned out that this is the Beech, proudly showed the Ukrainian press a month earlier. Air defense system with the same label appeared in the bravura material on how Ukrainian rocket men valiantly guard Ukrainian sky from aggressive Russian bear.
Anatoly Shary Video 

Starting at the 1:18 mark, the English transcription reads ... "The official site of the Service [that] is responsible for the security of my country published somehow very small pictures of a small resolution. it's so difficult to make something out. I managed to find photos of better quality, I managed to zoom them. Read the number. ... It doesn't matter where, the matter is the number. And the thing is the SSU [Security Service of Ukraine - SBU] completely *ucked up."

Image From Video


The video concludes "Stop the Moronic War"


  1. Anatoly Shary doctored the video
  2. Someone else doctored photos or video that  Anatoly Shary discovered
  3. 312 was captured by the rebels and is now in Russia 
  4. Kiev *ucked up

While the first three choices are remotely possible, door number 4 seems most likely.

Question of the day: OK Kiev - where is 312?

Lie Number 2

Lie number 2 was an incredibly sloppy Kiev production in which Ukraine released a video purportedly showing a Buk missile launcher headed back to Ukraine. The problem is the video shows a billboard that identifies the location as one held by Ukraine.

My understanding is the address on the billboard is "Krasnoarmeisk City, Dnepropetrovskaya Street #34", about 120 kilometers from the Russian border, in Ukraine-held territory, roughly 80 kilometers from the crash site.

If I can get an image of that billboard showing the same surrounding scenery, I will post it. If Kiev can provide an alternate location I will be happy to post it. If Kiev cannot, then they are caught in a lie, whether or not the billboard sign in the video is legible.

Lie Number 1

Lie number 1 pertains to Kiev splicing two distinct rebel conversations that Kiev spliced together to make it appear as if the rebels are discussing the downing of MH17.

In the first conversation, a rebel commander claims his people downed an unspecified aircraft. There is no reference within the conversation itself as to the time or date. In the second conversation, two men are talking about the wreckage of a civilian aircraft (one of them is apparently on the scene.)

There is no evidence within the second conversation to indicate that the speakers had anything to do with it, or that they are even involved in the war at all.

Supposedly this is the smoking gun. Well it wasn't, and there are some you-tube timestamp discrepancies as well.

Moreover, it appears the rebels were boasting of having shot down the plane two hours before it even happened. For details, please see No Smoking Gun.

Statesman-Like Response

I have spent a huge amount of time on this story, at least four hours on this post alone. My only interest is in getting to the bottom of it, no matter where the truth is.

A few readers see it my way. Reader Simon just pinged me with this email ...
Hi Mish

Thanks for your sensible reporting on MH17.  You are correct regarding the bias and distortion on both sides. The only statesman-like response has come from the Russians.  It is an absolute disgrace that Western politicians jumped into the fray with arm-waving accusations against the Russians. I am not aware of a single Western politician who has taken a circumspect stance (perhaps the MSM is to blame here). The duplicity, hypocrisy and lack of leaderships is staggering.

I am glad that you are one of the few who provide some thoughtful analysis.  What is tragic of course is that 'thoughtful' is the last thing on so many peoples minds. 

Kind regards

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7:54 PM

"No Perry Mason Moment": US Intelligence Admits "No Direct Evidence Linking Russia to MH17"

Earlier today, and several times recently, I received emails accusing me of being a Russian spy and asking me how much I was receiving from RT. I find such accusations highly amusing.

Here's the deal: Few bloggers are willing to discuss MH17 for fear of getting it wrong. Whereas I suspect nearly everything, but especially reports coming from Kiev and the US. My reasons are threefold:

  1. There are more questions surrounding Kiev and US reports than Russian reports.
  2. Kiev has been caught twice in lies and distortions
  3. While neither US nor Russia is unbiased, the extremely one-sided, jump-to-conclusion reporting from Western media suggests close consideration of competing versions of stories is warranted.

No Perry Mason Moment

A few hours ago The Guardian reported US Intelligence: Rebels Likely Shot Down Plane 'By Mistake'.

The Huffington Post has more details in U.S. Officials: No Evidence Of Direct Russian Link To Malaysia Plane Crash.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for "creating the conditions" that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement.

The intelligence officials were cautious in their assessment, noting that while the Russians have been arming separatists in eastern Ukraine, the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

The officials briefed reporters Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week's air disaster, which killed 298 people.

The plane was likely shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, the intelligence officials said, citing intercepts, satellite photos and social media postings by separatists, some of which have been authenticated by U.S. experts.

But the officials said they did not know who fired the missile or whether any Russian operatives were present at the missile launch. They were not certain that the missile crew was trained in Russia, although they described a stepped-up campaign in recent weeks by Russia to arm and train the rebels, which they say has continued even after the downing of the commercial jetliner.

In terms of who fired the missile, "we don't know a name, we don't know a rank and we're not even 100 percent sure of a nationality," one official said, adding at another point, "There is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here."
Step in Likely Direction

That US admission is a step in the likely direction. Unless further information comes in, I am willing to pare my list of possibilities down by one, ruling out an accident by Russia. The list now looks like this.

  1. Ukraine did it accidentally
    1. Surface to air missile
    2. Air to air missile
  2. Rebels did it accidentally
    1. Complete accident
    2. Steered that way on purpose by Ukraine air traffic control flight deviations
    3. Steered accidentally by air traffic control flight deviations
    4. Steered that way on purpose by Ukraine military flights 
    5. Steered that way accidentally by Ukraine military flights
  3. Ukraine did it on purpose

Could rebels under outside guidance have made a mistake? Yes, but earlier today I stated outside guidance from Russia was part of scenario number 2. Now we see US intelligence makes the same assessment.

Repeating a few thoughts expressed previously ...
How might Ukraine have done it accidentally?

Easy: On July 17, the New York Times reported Ukraine Says Russian Plane Shot Down Its Fighter Jet.
The Ukrainian government said on Thursday that a Russian military plane had shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet in Ukrainian airspace the previous evening, a serious allegation of direct intervention by Russia’s armed forces.

If confirmed, the confrontation would represent the first open and direct involvement by Russia’s military in eastern Ukraine since the separatist rebellion began there in April.
Scenario Fulfillment

Please note that 1b is not ruled out. Wreckage confirms missile damage of MH17 from that outside, but does not confirm that it was a Buk or even a missile from the ground.

And after accusing Russia of violating its airspace, is it that unlikely a Ukrainian soldier or pilot accidentally pulled the trigger?

For further discussion of "scenario fulfillment" please see Holier than Thou: Why Should Anyone Believe the US, Ukraine, or Russia?

Rush to Judgment

Under the "Lie When It's Serious" thesis, there is no reason to believe any side completely. Yet many have done just that.
I am not ruling out any possibilities other than #6-Russia did this on purpose, and #5-the rebels did this on purpose.

Of the remaining scenarios, the likelihood Russia did this accidentally is remote, once again distinguishing between official actions and that of rogue citizens acting on their own.

Of the reasonable possibilities, only 2a removes some guilt from Ukraine. Even then, Ukraine turned down a ceasefire agreement, which if honored, would have prevented accidents.

Mainstream media and the US government are without a doubt involved in a rush to judgment, much like the ill-fated rush to judgment before the US invasion of Iraq. Senator John McCain and president Obama are particularly obnoxious.

There are lots of questions here, especially in regards to very sloppy video manipulations and accusations by Ukraine.

Accident the Most Likely Answer

The only non-accident scenarios involve Ukraine. Arguably the most likely scenario is "someone by accident".

Please note that the US, Ukraine, and Russia have all shot down civilian aircraft by accident. Thus, all the hype from Obama, McCain, and others over "an accident" is ridiculous.
With direct Russian involvement now even more unlikely, the list narrows to Ukraine and the Rebels.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

5:15 PM

Split Appeals Court Rulings on Obamacare Subsidies; Pizza Party for Obama? How Much Would Premiums Rise?

Earlier today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated a major provision of Obamacare, ruling 2-1 that participants in health exchanges run by the federal government in 34 states are not eligible for tax subsidies.

No doubt, cheers went out from the anti-Obamacare crowd.

However, just a few hours later, the Richmond Appeals Court  ruled 3-0 the opposite way, citing pizza in its explanation.

Conflicting Rulings

The New York Times reports Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on Health Care Law.

Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The decisions are the latest in a series of legal challenges to central components of President Obama’s health care law.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, upheld the subsidies, saying that a rule issued by the Internal Revenue Service was “a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion.”

The ruling came within hours of a 2-to-1 ruling by a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which said that the government could not subsidize insurance for people in states that use the federal exchange.

That decision could potentially cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace.

Under the Affordable Care Act, the appeals court here said, subsidies are available only to people who obtained insurance through exchanges established by states.

The law “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling, by a three-judge panel in Washington. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.”

Under this ruling, many people could see their share of premiums increase sharply, making insurance unaffordable for them.

The case is one of many legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act in the last few years. The Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012, but said the expansion of Medicaid was an option for states, not a requirement, and about half the states have declined to expand eligibility.
How Much Would Premiums Rise?

Marketwatch reports Average Premium Hike is 76% in States Without Federal Subsidies.
A Study from Avalere Health shows that the average health-care premium increase for those who actually lose their subsidies would be 76%. The hike in premiums would be highest in Mississippi, where it would be roughly 94%, as well as Missouri, Georgia, Florida and Alaska.

The map shows just how much the increases are likely to be, and the decision could exempt many of the roughly 4.7 million people who received subsidies and enrolled via federal exchanges. Those who enrolled in states with their own exchanges are not subject to the ruling.

Thirty-six states currently use the federal exchange, but two of those — Idaho and New Mexico — are setting up their own marketplace. That means 16 states plus the District of Columbia will be operating their own exchanges in future years.

Health-Care Premium Rise

Pizza Party

Yahoo!Finance reports A Federal Judge Used Pizza To Explain Why A Key Provision Of Obamacare Is Legal.
Just hours after the Affordable Care Act was dealt a serious blow from a federal appeals court, a different appeals court gave the law a victory — thanks in part to an analogy based on pizza.

Senior Fourth Circuit Judge Andre Davis explained the debate in terms of a pizza order:

If I ask for pizza from Pizza Hut for lunch but clarify that I would  be fine with a pizza from Domino’s, and I then specify that I want ham and pepperoni on my pizza from Pizza Hut, my friend who  returns from Domino’s with a ham and pepperoni pizza has still complied with a literal construction of my lunch order.

That is  this case: Congress specified that Exchanges should be established and run by the states, but the contingency provision permits federal officials to act in place of the state when it fails to establish an Exchange. The premium tax credit calculation subprovision later specifies certain conditions regarding state-run Exchanges, but that does not mean that a literal reading of that provision somehow precludes its applicability to substitute federally-run Exchanges or erases the contingency provision out of the statute.
Question of Intent

The issue is one of intent. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it's highly likely the Supreme Court will rule on the intent of Congress, not actual wording of ACA, nor whether the alleged intention makes much or any sense.

I suspect Obama will get a reprieve, but it is by no means certain. The outcome may depend on how other courts rule before the Supreme Court accepts the case.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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