The continuing focus on the alleged Russian war crimes in Bucha makes it more vital than ever to expose the absence of any evidence linking Russia to these undoubted atrocities. This was highlighted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' visit to Moscow and then to Kiev, where he appeared alongside 'Elensky in matching green sweatshirt to front the Western world's media. He appeared to have already forgotten Vladimir Putin's warning that he was being deceived, visiting Bucha to see the "mass graves" where it was said that "locals" had buried the bodies following the Ukrainian purges.
Not revealed in the brief video report from the Kremlin the previous day was the rest of what Putin had told Guterres:
"But, unfortunately, after reaching these agreements (in Istanbul) and after we had, in my opinion, clearly demonstrated our intentions to create the conditions for continuing the talks, we faced a provocation in the town of Bucha, which the Russian Army had nothing to do with. We know who was responsible, who prepared this provocation, using what means, and we know who the people involved were."
As I wrote before while examining the satellite photo that forms the keystone of the operation against Russia, there is something appropriately odd about that image. From a distance it looks relatively normal, though lacking in colour and rather like some covert surveillance photograph from twenty years ago. My previous focus had been on the most glaring defect in this crucial piece of "evidence", that the bodies seen lying on Yablunska Street in Bucha were there when the Russians left five days earlier.
That defect was not so much in the wrong position of the mystery cyclist, but in the shape of the concrete curb behind him - a distortion of the image that betrayed serious - though incompetent - image manipulation. To illustrate this better I have remodeled the curb in the March 18th image (top) to the shape of that shown in Maxar's earlier comparative shot from February 28th (centre), to give the bottom image - sans bicycle man - as below:
Following this exercise, I prepared an image of a cyclist to add to the restored Maxar 18th March shot, to illustrate what a genuine satellite photograph of the scene might look like, but with the unconvincing result below:
It can be seen that there is simply too much detail in the cyclist image compared with that in the two "bodies" visible, or for that matter by comparison with the original blob that supposedly represented the fallen cyclist. But the problem is less with the blobs than with the nature of Maxar's special "high definition" image, as I soon realised after some research on Google Earth for images of cyclists. Starting with places known for concentrations of cyclists, I looked at Amsterdam, and found this:
Of course satellite images have long been higher quality in European cities than in the back blocks of Ukraine - at least for us ordinary citizens - so it was no great surprise to find images where even the wheels of bikes were visible from above.
But as I previously observed, there has been access to high definition satellite images over Ukraine since at least 2014, and so on this special occasion where a critical image was necessary to prove the presence of objects in dispute, one might have expected the sort of quality seen here to be made available in Bucha - unless of course the intent was NOT to show what was actually on the street on or before March 18th.
While doing research on Google Earth using the program installed before the Maxar buy-out, which has access to historic images, I made some other interesting discoveries, most notably that what appears as a current image on Google Earth may well not be current at all, in that later images are sometimes available in the history mode of the program than those shown currently.
After Amsterdam, my chosen destination was Cambridge, where ironically the current images were demonstrably recent, apparently taken during one of the lockdowns. Roaming all around the colleges and canals and parks, not a single human being nor cyclist was visible. (just two years after this extraordinary post apocalyptic scene could be found in famous cities around Europe, it was hard to believe what I was seeing)
A search in the history section however was much more productive, and provided the two images below of "Mathematical Bridge" in Cambridge, taken in June 2017 and illustrating just what level of detail was publicly available five years ago:
Given the crucial role that satellite images are playing in this conflict, and have played in previous ones - mostly through false claims about what they show - it is worth spending some time exploring areas of special interest, and what may be revealed by historical imagery. This was my focus on investigating the Maxar images of Yablunska St in Bucha, the better to understand the context, and further details that might reveal other aspects of the deception.
I had already found this to be the case looking at satellite photos of Mariupol and locating the areas shown in drone footage supplied by the Azov battalion. In that case what had been presented in Western media as scenes showing "flattened" areas of the city turned out to be coastal properties of allotments and small houses which looked bare from a distance but were in fact undamaged, as shown below:
Despite this drone footage being current - and supplied by the Azov on 23rd of March, it was presented as shown by many media, and clearly intended to show the "flattened buildings". In fact some of the residential tower blocks on the left are burnt and damaged, but none is demolished, while we find out now that most of that damage was inflicted by Azov shelling and mortars, or sometimes by Russian-backed forces targeting military units using these areas as shields.
It is even possible that some media may have looked for the destroyed buildings they were told of and mistakenly homed in on the bare land along the coastal strip, though they cannot be forgiven for such carelessness, given the power they have to influence opinion.
None of those media has reporters on the ground in Mariupol, so the Western audience is prey to whatever stories they like to make up about the situation there. However, now that the media of Russia and her allies have access to the city, along with dedicated independent journalists like Patrick Lancaster and Eva Bartlett, those stories are exposed as mendacious and biased and simply serving the interests of NATO's Nazis and the West's war agenda. For a glimpse of the truth, Eva Bartlett's latest tour of Mariupol is enlightening. Eva also recently visited the site of alleged "mass graves" near Mariupol with RT and exposed the next satellite image fraud - in this case a true image but not actually showing what was claimed. More on her findings are in this interview, with many more informative links posted below.
It's evident that there are multiple ways to present satellite images in order to influence the viewer's mind, as well as ways of concealing what may actually be currently visible from the "eye in the sky". In looking for a contemporary image of Yablunska St in Bucha for instance, I found something quite strange - a rectangular area of "fog" which makes it hard to see any close detail, even after enhancing and sharpening the image; DYOC. The street corner where the Bikeman lay is just opposite the new housing development flagged in the map below:
These discoveries led me to investigate the scene of a previous crime attributed to Russia - No 47 Christie Miller Street in Salisbury, where ex-double agent Sergei Skripal lived until his disappearance on March 4th 2018. While the connection between the "Novichok" poisoning story and the current war in Ukraine may not seem obvious, it becomes daily more evident that the ground was being prepared in Salisbury for what has ensued, and is now reaching its endgame in Ukraine.
It was the framing of Russia by the UK's GCHQ as "a user of chemical weapons" that turbocharged anti-Russian sentiment in Europe, and subsequent automatic attribution of new NATO provocations to Russia. Making the link in people's minds and in the Western media between Russia's support for the "chemical weapon using Syrian dictator, Bashar al Assad", and Russia's alleged use of a nerve agent to bump off people it disliked or who threatened its control, was the object and achievement of this extraordinary fabrication in Salisbury.
What I discovered in satellite images of Christie Miller road, both "current" and in the history files, was quite surprising however, and more evidence of the way information can be controlled by restricting access or substituting alternative views - relying on the viewer's assumptions about the credibility of the source. The viewer will see what they have been primed to see, while managing to ignore features that contradict the narrative, even when they stand out a mile.
There was no better demonstration of this cognitive malfunction than in the public's controlled perception of the dead bodies lying on Yablunska Street. They looked so fresh that some people thought they were actors - reasonably enough given the White Helmets' theatrical "rescues" of child actors from piles of rubble in Syria (or sometimes in Turkey!) Yet when Kiev claimed these bodies had been lying there for at least three weeks, and showed a dumb image with some matching blobs in it as proof, no mainstream or credible Western commentator challenged the assertion.
The same attributes of human perception were evident in Salisbury - but in a different way; the public actually saw nothing of what purportedly happened on that weekend in March, with the organisers of the operation very cleverly controlling exactly what they imagined. They imagined that they saw the Russian guys smearing the Skripal doorknob with Novichok, and saw Sergei and Yulia collapsed on a park bench in Salisbury's Maltings, and later imagined they had seen Dawn Sturgess opening the bottle of Nina Ricci perfume. And after the BBC drama series recreated the whole affair, they are now sure they saw it all - and that what they saw really took place.
GCHQ nevertheless sought, and still seek to restrict what can be seen, and perhaps exposed.. so let's have a closer look -
The current image available of the cul-de-sac at No 47 is as shown below, with the Skripal house at the top centre:
On looking at the history views however, we find what appears to be an identical shot except for several extra cars. Most strikingly the house seen under construction at the entrance to the cul-de-sac was in the same condition five years earlier:
If it seems unlikely the same cars would be parked in the same positions, and that the house would still not be finished five years later, then that's because the two images are actually the same. We know this because - as it conveniently happens - the history also records a satellite view from May 2018, just two months after the Skripal operation, and showing the house completed - along with fences and tents around No 47:
Further confirmation of the fact that the currently available satellite images of Christie Miller Road Salisbury are actually from June 2017 is revealed by a close-up look at the Skripal residence, and particularly the front door with its world-famous doorknob. The door was of course replaced in the renovations before the house's sale in May 2021, as illustrated in the "before and after" image below:
What now strikes us is that here we are seeing two cars parked outside No 47, in June 2017, at a time when we had no idea of Sergei Skripal's whereabouts, following the spy-swap that saw him moved to the UK. And the authorities and their agents in leading media did their best to keep it that way until months after the drama had passed. As independent investigators exposed more and more of the faults in the whole story, it emerged that the BBC's leading reporter on the "Salisbury Poisonings", Mark Urban, had been interviewing Sergei Skripal back in 2017 "for a book". Urban was in fact MI6's "media liason" person for the Skripal operation with colleagues in the British Army and Intelligence agencies. The second car in the Skripal driveway might even be his!
To conclude, I thought it appropriate to place my Bikeman of Bucha near the curb on the corner of the Skripal house cul-de-sac, near to those two fake cars in the street and the extra one in a driveway. I think he looks quite at home!
So now, as we unearth the truth, can we forge peace?
DM, May 1st 2022