Identifying the Victims, Revisiting Douma

It has become a critical element in the war of disinformation launched against Russia - that the identities of the victims of this war are rarely disclosed, nor even known. But when we seek to identify those responsible for their deaths where no other information is available, no progress can be made until the victims are identified, at the minimum in general terms - but preferably by close relatives. In the case of the dead of Bucha just one characteristic is a good lead, given what we now understand about the culprits - whether the victim was a Russian speaker. While this is something for which the relatives' testimony would be ideal, local community knowledge may well be significant and sufficient.

 Of course it's what the Americans call a "no-brainer" - because the victims of the Ukrainian special forces' operation were all identified in order to be targeted and killed in the first place - in the informed view of those with access to inside sources or Russian intelligence. Vladimir Putin has also made his view and knowledge of this quite apparent. 
What happened in Bucha however demonstrates just how difficult it may be to obtain reliable witness testimonies, as anyone daring to speak contrary to the Kiev narrative risks the same fate as Bucha's victims, or worse. 

 We have all been well schooled in the Mafia's techniques for maintaining their grip on society using extortion and intimidation, and execution with menaces for the worst resisters, though fortunately at the safe distance of the cinema. So it shouldn't be too hard to understand just what the residents of Mariupol have been suffering for the last eight years since the Azov battalion violently invaded their city and ruled with its "iron fist" - as revealed by the discovery of the Azov torture centre at Mariupol's airport following the city's liberation. 

 We might also remember the residents of Douma or Aleppo in Syria, who were forced to live under the repressive rule of Islamist terrorist groups like Jaish al Islam and Jabhat al Nusra. The situation was a little different however, as it was the neighbouring areas under Syrian government control and protection that suffered the most damage, along with the constant threats and deprivations.  Not so different perhaps, as the citizens of Donetsk could testify. 

What is strikingly similar between these two situations however is in their reporting in Western media. We never heard - from those media - about the deaths and maiming of children or adults in West Aleppo, hit by exploding gas canisters fired from "hell's cannons" or picked off by terrorist snipers. For months those people had no water and no power, because Jabhat al Nusra had cut off the water supply and bombed the power station. Instead there were constant appeals to save the hundreds of thousands "under siege" in East Aleppo, and calls for humanitarian corridors and aid. But Western media organisations had no reporters on the ground in Syrian government-controlled territory, and no interest in reports from Syrian or Russian media who did. 

And the same is happening now in Donbas - if a missile hits "pro-Russian" civilians we either hear nothing or we are told it was a Russian missile, either intentionally targeting civilians or fired without regard for civilians lives. And while Western Ukraine is saturated with Western journalists, the only reports coming to us from areas now under Russian control are from Russian media or those of close allies, or from independent journalists posting reports on Telegram or Youtube. 

  What strikes me also is what this similarity in reporting of the wars in Ukraine and Syria tells us about the forces Western powers are supporting - with arms and propaganda. In Syria the Western support for the terrorist insurgency was always covert, and initially well-concealed, both in the supply of weapons and in the vital media support. A profusion of unverifiable "citizen journalist" and activist videos that appeared to show a grass roots rebellion in Syrian cities was actually being cultivated and coordinated by Western intelligence agencies working with leading media organisations from the very beginning. This successfully disguised the fact that the Islamist insurgency was a coordinated Western operation to overthrow the Syrian government on behalf of local allies and foreign interests. Despite its clear failure, and massive cost in Syrian lives and livelihoods, this proxy war of aggression on Syria is ongoing and unrelenting, and in fact now regenerating under the false flag of the war on "Russian aggression". 

But on all these fronts of the West's war on the Resistance, there have been weak points; breaches in the wall of propaganda that may still lead to its ultimate collapse. While the weapon is always about mass crimes - mass graves, hundreds buried under rubble, poisoned with gas, tortured to death in prisons - the real evidence is only ever individual. This is reflected in visual media coverage, where one individual's suffering is shown to illustrate the unseen but reported masses. 

  As we have seen with the lone man on a bike in Bucha, such individual focus also has its dangers; had appropriate questions been asked about this cyclist, the answers would have made his death evidence for a conspiracy. And while continuing attempts to expose this fraud in Ukraine, I'd like to look at a couple of similar cases in Syria where individuals were used as evidence for some assumed greater crime. 

  There is one example where the individual's identity was revealed and may have caused the West's trickery to be exposed, had the story not been suppressed and ridiculed by its media. That was the case of Hassan Diab, the boy seen being given Ventolin and a hosing down in Douma hospital by the White Helmets. Hassan's father was interviewed in Damascus by local and Russian media, and then taken up by Russian authorities, who arranged for Hassan and other witnesses from Douma to travel to the Hague and present their testimony at a press conference. Despite the presence of media following proceedings at the OPCW related to the Skripal poisoning case, little attention was paid to this genuine testimony. The mere fact that Russia played a part in presenting the Syrians' case meant it lacked credibility for them and their curated audience. In the press photo below, Hassan Diab is recovering from his Ventolin and hosing treatment on the bed:
DAMASCUS, SYRIA – APRIL 07: Affected Syrian kids wait to receive medical treatment after Assad regime forces allegedly conducted poisonous gas attack to Duma town of Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria on April 07, 2018. (Photo by Fadi Abdullah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
 But, mostly unknown to both media combatants was the existence of further video footage from the Douma hospital ward that was graphic evidence of violence against children and the fabrication of the poisoning story. The footage didn't appear for many months after the event, and only on Turkish media, where it remains available but slow to download, as if squeezed through a small chink in the defences. I discovered it while preparing a complaint on the screening of the original report, endlessly repeated on all the mainstream Western channels. Most of these focused on the "hosing down" charade that included Hassan Diab, but there were also scenes of an infant being slapped and given Ventolin which were upsetting. In the complaint I focused on one short clip where a clearly terrified and naked toddler is held up by three men, including one with a White Helmet sweater, as illustrated in this collage of several frames:
White Helmet child abuse, Douma hospital ward, Douma Media Centre video frames.
While the young girl being manhandled in this sequence - the one shown on most mainstream outlets - was clearly very distressed, the cause of that distress is not so clear. It is only on seeing what had occurred earlier - as shown in the unused footage in the clip below, that it becomes evident and obvious that when brought to the hospital the child was actually well. In fact it is not even necessary to watch this very unpleasant footage to realise it is not authentic, as the child is screaming blue murder at being forcibly undressed by four men. She is even forced to have more Ventolin between screams - something that should alert anyone with a critical eye; it is self evident that if you can't breathe, you can't scream! 
 Perhaps that's why this clip was left on the cutting room floor, though it contains other giveaways in the appearance and behaviour of some of the "extras". What appears to be a healthy baby brought in by a wild-eyed and probably drugged militant makes particularly shocking viewing. 

 Points to look for in this footage include features of the child that identify her as the same one in the screened clips detailed above - something not immediately evident as the broadcast video was assembled from clips out of sequence. Observe particularly the tight grip the child has as the men struggle to remove her top, along with the terrified look. At one point also it can be seen that the White Helmet man has his hand on her throat.  
In my complaints to SBS media and the communications overseer ACMA, I presented a sequence of frames from this video demonstrating clearly what was happening and who was involved. These included some frames from a clip also broadcast which showed the same girl asleep but mostly naked, recovering from her trauma alone - but clearly uninjured by Chlorine exposure. 
Anadolu Agency, unused video, Douma hospital April 7th 2018
In a subsequent article I'll detail more evidence of fraud, over the alleged Sarin attack on Khan Shaikoun a year earlier, and where evidence points to children gassed with Carbon Monoxide to a point short of asphixiation, before receiving the life-threatening treatment from the White Helmets.

DM 22nd June 2022