zaterdag 23 april 2022

U.S. Blatant Hypocrisy

 April 23, 2022

The 'Rules Based Order' Knows No Distance

Remarks by President Biden Providing an Update on Russia and Ukraine, Feb 15 2022

Nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. They have the freedom to set their own course and choose with whom they will associate.

The distance between the U.S. (New York) and the Ukraine (Lviv) is 7,194 kilometer (4,470 miles). The distance between Russia and Ukraine is zero kilometer (zero miles). They are neighboring countries.

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Readout of Senior Administration Travel to Hawaii, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands, Apr 22, 2022

The two sides engaged in substantial discussion around the recently signed security agreement between Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Solomon Islands representatives indicated that the agreement had solely domestic applications, but the U.S. delegation noted there are potential regional security implications of the accord, including for the United States and its allies and partners. The U.S. delegation outlined clear areas of concern with respect to the purpose, scope, and transparency of the agreement.

If steps are taken to establish a de facto permanent military presence, power-projection capabilities, or a military installation, the delegation noted that the United States would then have significant concerns and respond accordingly.

The distance between the continental U.S. (Los Angeles) and the Solomon Islands is 9,845 kilometer (6,118 miles). The distance between the continental China (Shanghai) and the Solomon Islands is 5,901 kilometer (3,667 miles).


https://www.moonofalabama.org/2022/04/the-rules-based-order-knows-no-distance.html


Briefing on NATO’s Planned Use of False Flag

 

Briefing on NATO’s Planned Use of NBC/WMD’s in False Flag

The US State Department has already determined the procedure for the investigation and appointed officials responsible for its conduct

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Briefing on US and NATO preparations for a provocation accusing the Russian Federation of using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons

The Russian Ministry of Defense has information about the preparation by the United States of America of provocations with the aim of accusing the Russian Armed Forces of using chemical, biological or tactical nuclear weapons. This plan has already been developed and is a reaction to Russia’s success in conducting a special military operation.

Only in March-April of this year, high-ranking officials of Western countries make provocative “warning” statements on a regular basis. Theses are thrown into the media about the possibility of Russia using weapons of mass destruction.

Thus, Assistant to the President for National Security Sullivan commented on President Biden’s words that the United States would “appropriately” respond to the possible use of WMD by our country. And on February 27, the American Permanent Representative to the UN Greenfield announced Russia’s intention to use any tools “under a false flag”, including chemical and biological weapons to intimidate the Ukrainian population and the world community.

Against this backdrop, the US State Department positively reviewed the transfer to Ukraine of up to 400,000 sets of personal protective equipment, 390 NBC reconnaissance equipment and 15 STRIKER reconnaissance vehicles, previously approved by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Jenkins.

Please note that such projects have already been implemented by the United States more than once to achieve political goals. The most striking example of informational provocation is the speech of US Secretary of State Colin Powell on February 5, 2003. A test tube with “washing powder” in his hands served as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq and the death of almost half a million citizens.

In 2017, photographs of White Helmets circulated by news agencies, showing people in ordinary gauze bandages taking samples at the site of the alleged Sarin use, and at the same time people nearby were not wearing protective equipment at all, led to a missile attack on the Shayrat airfield in Syria.

And in 2018, staged footage of allegedly chlorine-poisoned Syrian children led to the destruction of a medical research center in Barz and Jamrai. And only the testimony of eyewitnesses of these events brought by the Russian Federation to The Hague opened the eyes of the world community to what had happened.

So far, no one has been held accountable for these provocations.

Now it is planned to use three scenarios to accuse the Russian Federation.

The first is a “staging incident under a false flag”, the most likely.

We can talk about the real use of chemical and biological weapons with casualties among the population, or the staging of “sabotage” by Russia at facilities belonging to Ukraine that were involved in the development of components of weapons of mass destruction.

Such a scenario is planned to be implemented at chemical and biological facilities in Kharkov and Kyiv. A provocation is not ruled out at nuclear power facilities, primarily at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is under the control of the Russian Federation. So, on April 21, at a checkpoint of the National Guard troops, a convoy of 10 vehicles with dangerous cargo was stopped and returned to the city of Zaporozhye, heading to the nuclear power plant.

In addition, the leadership of Ukraine is seriously considering the issue of striking a radioactive waste storage facility at the former Pridneprovsky Chemical Plant enterprise in the village of Kamenskoye, Dnepropetrovsk region. The Ministry of Defense has documents confirming the critical state of the storages and the misappropriation of funds allocated by the European Union for the maintenance of the facility.

The second one is “Maximum covert use of weapons of mass destruction in small volumes” to suppress the will and ability to resist in the framework of solving a specific operational task.

Such a scenario was considered at the Azovstal enterprise. But the order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, who canceled the assault on the enterprise, frustrated the Pentagon’s plans for its implementation.

The third is the least likely scenario, “overt use of weapons of mass destruction on the battlefield” in the event that conventional weapons fail to succeed, most likely in a war zone.

Such a scenario is being considered for Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, which have been turned into fortress cities.

The high probability of staging the use of chemical weapons is confirmed by the fact that poisonous antidotes were supplied to Ukraine. In 2022 alone, at the request of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, more than 220,000 ampoules of atropine were delivered from the United States. This fact testifies to the purposeful preparation of provocations with toxic substances of precisely nerve-paralytic action.

The US State Department has already determined the procedure for the investigation and appointed officials responsible for its conduct.

With regard to chemical incidents, the attributive mechanism of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons will be used, which will allow fabricating the necessary evidence and appointing the perpetrators at one’s discretion, which has already been repeatedly implemented in the course of investigations of chemical incidents in Syria.

Of fundamental importance will be the rapid collection of evidence at the scene of the incident (seizure of samples, interviewing witnesses, photo and video documentation).

The mechanism for investigating the facts of the possible use of biological weapons will be activated with the sanction of the UN Secretary General, who determines the composition of the expert group based on his own preferences.

In areas of hostilities in which representatives of NATO countries will not be allowed, it is planned to involve representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, provided with means of protection and indication.

The staging of the use of weapons of mass destruction is aimed at accusing Russia of using prohibited weapons, followed by the implementation of the so-called “Syrian scenario”, in which the state is subjected to economic and political isolation, as well as exclusion from international organizations, including the UN Security Council.

A possible scenario for the development of the situation is to put pressure on countries loyal and friendly to the Russian Federation, including India and China, forcing them to impose sanctions against our country.

I would like to recall that the Russian Federation completely destroyed its chemical arsenal on September 27, 2017, which is confirmed by the OPCW certificate. In turn, the United States, having the most powerful financial, economic and technical potential, is the only country party to the Chemical Weapons Convention that still possesses an impressive arsenal of chemical warfare agents (672.5 tons).

The statement by CIA Director Burns about the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia is absurd. With the current level of technical equipment of the international system for monitoring nuclear tests, it is impossible to hide the use of this type of weapon. If the director of the CIA does not understand this, then he is either a non-professional or he is being misled.

Programs for the creation of biological weapons in the USSR were completely curtailed in 1972. At the same time, the number of biological laboratories in the United States is not comparable with other countries. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Washington controls 336 laboratories in 30 countries of the world, which is a matter of serious concern.

Please note that, contrary to its international obligations, the United States has retained in its national legislation the norms that allow for the possibility of conducting work in the field of biological weapons.

The ratification of the Geneva Protocol of 1925 by the United States was accompanied by a number of reservations, one of which allows for the retaliatory use of chemical and toxin weapons.

Under the U.S. United States United and United Against Terrorism Federal Act, biological weapons research is permitted with the approval of the U.S. government. Participants in such research are not subject to criminal liability for the development of such weapons.

Given the blocking by the United States of any international initiatives to verify the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological (Toxin) Weapons, prerequisites are being created for the violation of international agreements on the nonproliferation of biological weapons.

Earlier, we noted that Ukraine sent a request to the manufacturing company about the possibility of equipping Bayraktar unmanned aerial vehicles with attached aerosol equipment.

It is a matter of concern that on March 9, in the territory of the Kherson region, reconnaissance units of Russian troops discovered three unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with 30-liter containers and equipment for spraying formulations.

According to available data, in January 2022, Ukraine purchased more than 50 such devices through intermediary organizations, which can be used to apply biological formulations and toxic chemicals.

On April 21, 2022, a container with ampoules was dropped onto the position of Russian troops from an UAV. It was planned that when they were destroyed, a chemical reaction would occur, which would cause an explosion and fire with the release of toxic substances not included in the conventional lists.

With regard to the contents of the ampoules, a chemical analysis is carried out in laboratory 27 of the Scientific Center of the Russian Ministry of Defense, accredited by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the results of the analysis will be sent to its technical secretariat in the prescribed manner.

In addition, I would like to recall that today the United States is the only state in world history that has used all three types of weapons of mass destruction.

The dropped nuclear bombs during the Second World War on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the use of toxic chemicals in Vietnam and Iraq – all these crimes were not properly assessed by relevant international organizations.

Thus, in an attempt to discredit the special military operation of the Russian troops, the Kyiv regime, at the suggestion of the American administration, is able to implement scenarios in the near future that will lead to the death of tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens and cause an environmental and humanitarian catastrophe.


Source: Ministry of Defense of Russia

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2022/04/23/briefing-on-natos-planned-use-of-nbc-wmds-in-false-flag/

Hoe Oekraïense- en Amerikaanse 'Hofjoden' Gebruikt Worden 4

De oorlog in Oekraïne kan niet los gezien worden van de ernstige crisis waarin het neoliberale kapitalisme zich bevindt. Sterker nog, het is juist een manifestatie van wat een ‘systemic crisis’ heet, een crisis van het hele systeem, die zich openbaart op het gebied van onder andere grondstoffen-tekorten, opkomende grootmachten, concurrentie op markten waarover voorheen een westers monopolie heerste, de bevolkingsexplosie in de arme wereld, global warming, milieuvernietiging, almaar afnemende geloofwaardigheid van de westerse politiek en de pers, het onvermijdelijke gewelddadig verzet tegen de rijkste 1 procent van de wereldbevolking die de helft bezit van alle rijkdommen, terwijl 12.2 van de wereldbevolking 84.9 procent alle rijkdom op aarde bezit. Daarnaast is de afgelopen vier decennia tenminste eenderde van alle landbouwgrond verloren gegaan door ‘human-caused’ erosie en milieu-verontreiniging. Ondertussen blijft een kleine elite van het zwaarst bewapende land in de geschiedenis van de mensheid, de Verenigde Staten, oorlogen uitlokken of oorlogen voeren, daarbij blind gesteund door een even misdadige Europese elite. Kortom, het voortbestaan van de mensheid wordt bedreigd door een diep ingrijpende crisis van de koloniale orde die vijf eeuwen geleden begon toen Columbus voor het eerst de ‘Nieuwe Wereld’ betrad en in zijn logboek over de ‘Indianen’ schreef dat zij:

brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned. . . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features. . . They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane. . . They would make fine servants. . . With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want,

waaraan hij naderhand toevoegde:

As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these parts.

In zijn bestseller A People's History of the United States (2003) beschreef de Amerikaanse historicus Howard Zinn wat Columbus vooral wilde weten:

Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on The information that Columbus wanted most was: Where is the gold? He had persuaded the king and queen of Spain to finance an expedition to the lands, the wealth, he expected would be on the other side of the Atlantic — the Indies and Asia, gold and spices…

In return for bringing back gold and spices, they promised Columbus 10 percent of the profits, governorship over new-found lands, and the fame that would go with a new title: Admiral of the Ocean Sea. 

En zo kon een eenvoudige ‘merchant’s clerk from the Italian city of Genoa, part-time weaver (the son of a skilled weaver), and expert sailor,’ de aanzet geven tot de meest genocidale rooftocht in de geschiedenis. Maar het plunderen loopt nu ten einde. De Amerikaanse auteur Barry Lopez wees in zijn boek The Rediscovery of North America (1990) met betrekking tot de massale ontworteling en vervreemding die deze rooftocht met zich meebracht, dat een:

sense of place must include, at the very least, knowledge of what is inviolate (ongeschonden. svh) about the relationship between a people and the place they occupy, and certainly, too, how the destruction of this relationship, or the failure to attend to it, wounds people. Living in North America and trying to develop a philosophy of place — a recognition of the spiritual and psychological dimensions of geography — inevitably brings us back to our beginnings here, to the Spanish inversion (omwenteling. svh). The Spanish experience was to amass wealth and go home. Those of us who have stayed, who delight in the litanies of this landscape and who can imagine no deeper pleasure than the fullness of our residency here, look with horror on the survival of that imperial framework in North America — the physical destruction of a local landscape to increase the wealth of people who don't live there, or to supply materials to buyers in distant places who will never know the destruction that process leaves behind. 

Op zijn beurt concludeerde de Australische paleontoloog Tim Flannery in Een ecologische geschiedenis van Noord-Amerika (2001):

De kern van de pionierservaring schuilt in de enorme rijkdommen en als die rijkdommen onbegrensd zijn, waarom zou je daar dan zuinig mee omspringen of ze zelfs maar efficient benutten. Het doel is de bestaansbronnen zo snel mogelijk te exploiteren en vervolgens verder te trekken. Het is deze pioniershouding ten aanzien van de benutting van bestaansbronnen die ten grondslag ligt aan het kapitalisme en waar hedendaagse natuurbeschermers het zo moeilijk mee hebben. In deze zin is de erfenis van de Amerikaanse pionier nog altijd onder ons.

Flannery benadrukt dat het Amerikaans radicalisme een systeem is van roofbouw dat alles wat in de weg staat elimineert. En zo hadden in:

de jaren vijftig van de vorige eeuw de Noord-Amerikanen ongeveer viervijfde van de dierenwereld van het continent uitgemoord, meer dan de helft van de bomen gekapt, de inheemse culturen vrijwel volledig vernietigd, de meeste rivieren afgedamd, de productieve zoetwatervisserij verwoest en een groot deel van de bodem uitgeput. Ze hadden een grote overwinning in de oorlog behaald en één van de welvarendste en zelfgenoegzaamste maatschappijen aller tijden gecreëerd, en nog was de plundering van de de natuurlijke bestaansbronnen niet afgelopen. In 1999 stonden twaalfhonderd inheemse Noord-Amerikaanse soorten op de officiële lijst van bedreigde diersoorten en dat is een zware onderschatting, want betrouwbare schattingen gaan ervan uit dat ongeveer zestienduizend soorten ernstig in hun voortbestaan bedreigd worden.

Maar die:

superioriteit heeft wel een prijskaartje gehad, want het kostte het continent een groot deel van zijn natuurlijke rijkdommen en zijn ecologische stabiliteit. Zelfs nu nog offert het agressieve kapitalisme rivieren, bodem en de armere volkeren van Noord-Amerika op het altaar van de god van fortuin, net zoals de Azteken 500 jaar geleden met hun slachtoffers deden.

Over de eerste generaties puriteinse kolonisten meldde Flannery:

In Europa waren ze uitschot, vervolgd en beschimpt als religieuze fanatici. Hier waren ze meester over hun eigen toekomst en tevens de potentiële heersers over een nieuw land…

De wreedheid van hun regelgeving was in zekere zin een respons op hun nieuwe thuis. Zij geloofden namelijk dat Amerika een bolwerk van de duivel was. Alles in dit land leek van God verlaten, van de Indianen die zij aanzagen voor duivels-aanbidders, tot de woeste landschappen en wilde dieren.

In de kapitalistische ideologie, die nut en efficiency tot de hoogste waarden heeft verheven om zoveel mogelijk winst te kunnen maken, spreekt niets meer in zijn eigen taal met ons. Alles wordt gereduceerd tot een zielloos object dat of bruikbaar is en daarom nuttig, of onbruikbaar, dus verwaarloosbaar. Wat geen nut heeft, kan als onkruid worden vernietigd. in zijn boek Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness. Radical Strip Mining and the Devastation of Appalachia (2007) maakte de Amerikaanse auteur Eric Reece zijn lezers erop attent dat:

[w]e are currently witnessing — and ignoring — the sixth great extinction since the advent of life on earth. This is not a hysterical cry of some druid; it is cold scientific fact. 

In het voorwoord van Lost Mountain verklaart de prominente Amerikaanse cultuurcriticus en dichter professor Wendell Berry over de neoliberale ideologie:

every one of our economic landscapes have been put at the mercy of a class of economic aggressors whose aim is to convert the natural world into money as quickly as is technologically possible and at the least possible cost. If that least cost is the total destruction of the land and the land's communities, that is understood as an acceptable cost of doing business. 

Heeft deze vernielzucht de consument gelukkiger gemaakt? Nee, niet echt, want:

while Americans are four times more affluent than during the 1960s, we have shown no measurable gains in happiness. In fact the opposite is true: We are more depressed, more medicated, more frazzled than at any other time in our short history,

aldus Reece, die vervolgens verwijst naar de Britse auteur Henry Salt, ‘one of the first thinkers to extend the realm of ethics beyond the realm of the human.’ In zijn boek The Creed of Kinship (1935) stelde Salt dat de ‘basis of any real morality must be the sense of kinship between all living beings.’ In de zeventiende eeuw verwoordde de van origine joodse filosoof Spinoza deze houding als volgt:

We beschikken niet over de absolute macht om dingen buiten ons aan te passen aan onze behoeften. Niettemin moeten we kalm de dingen ondergaan die ons overkomen en die ingaan tegen ons voordeel; als we ons ervan bewust zijn dat we onze plicht hebben gedaan en dat de macht waarover wij beschikken niet zover gaat dat wij die dingen hadden kunnen vermijden, en dat we een deel zijn van de Natuur, aan wier ordening wij zijn onderworpen.

Wat Salt en Spinoza beschreven vormt al millennia-lang de essentie van alle grote levensbeschouwingen, zij demonstreert een diep respect voor het mysterie van het leven. Alles is met alles verbonden en ‘Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth,’ de mens is slechts een draad in het ragfijne web van myriade bestaansvormen, en ‘whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.’ Vanuit dit inzicht waarschuwde de grote Chief Seattle de witte Europese veroveraar met de woorden: ‘Continue to contaminate your own bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.’ Al deze wijsheid is verloren gegaan in de onverzadigbare cultuur van roofbouw. Lopez gaat dieper in op dit fenomeen door uiteen te zetten dat in:

Spanish, la querencia refers to a place on the ground where one feels secure, a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn… a place in which we know exactly who we are. The place from which we speak our deepest beliefs…

I would like to take this word querencia beyond its ordinary meaning and suggest that it applies to our challenge in the modern world, that our search for a querencia is both a response to threat and a desire to find out who we are. And the discovery of a querencia, I believe, hinges on the perfection of a sense of place.

De roofbouw-beschaving, het verwoesten en verder trekken, is nu — geheel onvoorbereid — op haar grenzen gestoten. De eeuwige groei blijkt een bodemloze beerput te zijn. Wie de moeite neemt een willekeurige foto van een afgebrand stuk regenwoud naast een afbeelding te leggen van bijvoorbeeld de door Amerikanen verwoeste Iraakse stad Fallujah ziet de overeenkomsten. Het elke minuut weer verbranden van ongeveer 24 hectare regenwoud levert hetzelfde gruwelijke beeld op als een Amerikaans bombardement. In beide gevallen zien we wat de medemens en moeder aarde wordt aangedaan ‘not so that people can survive, but so that a relative few people can amass wealth.’ Barry Lopez stelt de voor de hand liggende vraag: 

where is the man or woman, standing before lifeless porpoises (bruinvissen. svh) strangled and bloated (gezwollen. svh) in a beach cast driftnet, or standing on farmland ankle deep in soil gone to flour dust, or flying over the Cascade Mountains and seeing the clearcuts stretching for forty miles, the sunbaked earth, the streams running with mud, who does not want to say, ‘Forgive me, thou bleeding earth, that I am meek and gentle with these butchers?’

Nu ‘the Music is Over’ resteert ons alleen nog de vraag van Jim Morrison:

What have they done to the earth?

What have they done to our fair sister?

Ravaged and plundered

and ripped her and bit her

Stuck her with knives

in the side of the dawn

and tied her with fences

and dragged her down.

Maar zelfs wanneer de consument aan ‘our fair sister’ vergiffenis zou vragen voor zijn misdaden dan nog weet hij dat de elite doofstom zal blijven, de macht is niet democratisch. Wat ‘we really face,’ zo merkt Lopez op: 

is something much larger, something that goes back to Guanahaní ((San Salvador, waar Columbus voor het eerst voet aan wal zette op het Amerikaanse continent. svh) and what Columbus decided to do, that series of acts — theft, rape, and murder — of which the environmental crisis is symptomatic. What we face is a crisis of culture, a crisis of character. Five hundred years after the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria sailed into the Bahamas, we are asking ourselves what has been the price of the assumptions those ships carried, particularly about the primacy of material wealth.  One of our deepest frustrations as a culture, I think, must be that we have made so extreme an investment in mining the continent, created such an infrastructure of nearly endless jobs predicated on the removal and distribution of trees, water, minerals, fish, plants, and oil, that we cannot imagine stopping. In the part of the country where I live, thousands of men are now asking themselves what jobs they will have — for they can see the handwriting on the wall — when they are told they cannot cut down the last few trees and that what little replanting they've done — if it actually works — will not produce enough timber soon enough to ensure their jobs.

Maar de vraag ‘wat de prijs is geweest van’ al die onverzadigbare driften, met bovenal de verheerlijking van het ‘primaat van materiële rijkdom’ wordt vermeden. Net als de vraag waarom  de ‘deep state’ van de White Anglo-Saxon Protestants sinds begin van de 21ste eeuw juist neoconservatieve joodse Amerikanen en een kongsi van rijke joodse Oekraïeners in een traditioneel antisemitisch land gebruiken om een regime-change in Rusland te forceren? Daarover de volgende keer.



vrijdag 22 april 2022

Kramatorsk Train Station Attack

 

Kramatorsk Train Station Attack: The Key to Finding the Perpetrator Lies in this Overlooked Detail


Kiev and its Western backers immediately blamed Russia for the incident, but a proper investigation is likely to disagree.

In a conflict where accusations of wrongdoing fly back and forth between Russia and Ukraine on a daily basis, when it comes to the missile attack on the Kramatorsk train station that occurred at 10:30am on April 8, 2022, both sides are in rare agreement – the missile used was a Tochka-U, a Soviet-era weapon known in the West by its NATO reporting name as the SS-21 Scarab, and in the former Soviet republics that use the weapon by its GRAU designation, 9K79.

A fragment of a Tochka-U missile lies on the ground following an attack at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. © AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko
A fragment of a Tochka-U missile lies on the ground following an attack at the railway station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022. © AP Photo/Andriy Andriyenko

Beyond that one technical piece of information, however, any semblance of unanimity regarding the narrative surrounding how that missile came to strike a bustling railway station, killing and wounding dozens of civilians desperately trying to evacuate from eastern Ukraine in anticipation of a large-scale Russian offensive, collapses, with each side blaming the other.

Making this tragedy even more bizarre, the Russian words Za Detei – “for the children” – had been hand-painted on the missile in white.

The Tochka made its appearance in the Soviet military in 1975. A single-stage, solid-fuel tactical ballistic missile, the Tochka was assembled at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant before being delivered to the Soviet Army, where it was further disseminated to the various units equipped with the system. An improved version of the Tochka, known as the Tochka-U (Uluchshenny, or “improved”) was introduced in 1989; the improvements included increased range and accuracy.

The Tochka-U operates as a simple inertially-guided ballistic missile. Simply put, the operators, working from a known location, orient the launcher in the direction of their target, and then calculate the distance between the point of launch and point of impact. The solid-fuel engine of the Tochka-U burns for 28 seconds, meaning that the range of the missile isn’t determined by engine burn-time alone, but rather the angle that the missile was launched – the more vertical the missile at time of launch, the shorter its range will be.

Because the missile burns to depletion, once the engine shuts down, the missile will cease its pure ballistic trajectory, and instead assume a near-vertical posture as it heads toward its target. The warhead is released at a designated point above the target. In the case of the Kramatorsk attack, the Tochka-U was equipped with the 9N123K cluster warhead, containing fifty submunitions, each of which has the effect of a single hand grenade in terms of explosive and lethal impact.

The flight characteristics of the Tochka-U result in a debris pattern which has the cluster munitions impacting on the ground first, followed by the depleted booster, which hits the earth some distance behind the impact of the warhead. This creates a tell-tale signature, so to speak, of the direction from where the missile was launched, which can be crudely calculated by shooting a reverse azimuth from the point of impact of the warhead through the booster.

It is this physical reality which provides the first real clue as to who fired the Tochka-U that hit Kramatorsk

The relationship of the booster when it came to earth, when assessed to the impact zone of the cluster munitions, provides a reverse azimuth which, even when factoring in a generous margin of error for potential drift, points to territory that was under the exclusive control of the Ukrainian government, which means that there is little doubt that the missile that struck the Kramatorsk train station was fired by a launcher under the operational control of the 19th Missile Brigade, Ukraine’s only Tochka-U-equipped unit

More specifically, a forensic evaluation of the missile debris clearly shows that it was launched by the 19th Ukrainian Missile Brigade, based near Dobropolia, some 45 kilometers from Kramatorsk.

The 19th Missile Brigade is considered a strategic asset, meaning that it responds directly to the orders of the Ukrainian Ground Forces Command. In short, if the missile was, as it appears, fired by the 19th Missile Brigade, it was doing so based on orders given from high up the chain of command. The launch was no accident.

For its part, the Ukrainian government has attempted to flip the script, blaming Russia for an attack using a missile which Russia is on record as having retired from service in 2019. To back up this assertion, the Ukrainian government has noted that Tochka-U launchers were seen participating in joint military training exercises involving Russian and Belarus forces on Belarusian soil in February 2022, on the eve of Russia’s special military operation commencing against Ukraine.

This was according to Ambassador Evgeny Tsimbaliuk, the Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the International Organizations in Vienna, while addressing a special meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council about the attack.

The US backed up the Ukrainian allegation, with its Department of Defense announcing during a closed-door briefing to journalists that Russia had at first announced the missile strike against Kramatorsk, only to retract it once the announcement about civilian casualties was made.

The problem with both the Kiev and Washington claims is that neither is backed up by anything that remotely resembles solid evidence. The television images referred – to by the Ukrainians showed Belarusian Tochka-U launchers, not Russian ones, and the “claims” cited by the US referred to the private Telegram accounts of persons having no affiliation with the Russian government or military.

There is no question that both Russia and the US are sitting on de facto proof of where the Tochka missile was fired. The US has deployed in the region a variety of intelligence-collection platforms which would have detected the location of the missile at the time of launch, and would also have tracked the ballistic trajectory of the missile as it flew toward its target. Likewise, Russia has deployed numerous advanced surface-to-air missile defense systems, including the advanced S-400, which would have tracked the flight of the missile from launch to impact.

The fact that the US has not declassified this data to replicate a Cuban missile crisis-like moment at the UN to demonstrate to the world the scope and scale of a Russan lie strongly suggests that the Russians are not, in fact, lying. Moreover, Russia’s failure to do the same to reinforce its contention that Ukraine fired the missile points to the reality that any Russian radar is operating as part of an active military action zone, and as such Russia would be loath to publish data that could provide Ukraine with a tactical edge on the battlefield.

There is, however, one piece of evidence which proves without a doubt who owned the Tochka-U missile in question that was fired on Kramatorsk, the release of which would not compromise the security interests of the providing nation. Painted onto the booster of the missile, in black, is a unique serial number assigned to the Tochka-U at the time of production (in the Cyrillic alphabet, Ш91579, or Sh91579 in the Latin alphabet.) This serial number was assigned to it at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant and represents the unique identifying mark for the missile that follows it through its military life cycle.

The use of the production serial number as a unique identifier has been used by the United Nations in Iraq as part of a series of intrusive forensic investigations into the accounting of Iraq’s SCUD missile inventory. The UN used these numbers to track the arrival of Soviet-made SCUD missiles into Iraq, and to account for their final disposition, whether it be through unilateral destruction at the hands of the Iraqis, during training, during maintenance, or during combat operations. The procedures used by the Iraqis for tracking and accounting for its SCUD missiles was derived from official Soviet procedures for the same, and therefore mirror those used by the Ukrainian government.

The serial number of the Tochka-U shows that it was produced in 1991, during the time of Soviet authority. At that time, when a Tochka-U was fully assembled at the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant, it belonged to the Ministry of Defense Industry. The missile would be shipped by rail from the Votkinsk Machine Building Plant to a receiving point, where the Soviet military would take possession of the missile and formally absorb it into its inventory. Each missile is accompanied by a document known as a “passport,” which records every transaction associated with the missile in question. The missile would either be assigned to an operational unit or to a storage unit – again, details that would be recorded in the missile passport.

Each missile had a life span of ten years, after which the manufacturer’s warranty, so to speak, was no longer valid. That meant that a missile produced in 1991 would, under normal circumstances, be retired by 2001. However, the Russian military has often extended the operational lifetime of missiles such as the Tochka-U by implementing inspection procedures designed to extend the lifecycle of the missile. Each such inspection would be recorded in the passport, as would all operational deployments or field exercises where the missile was subjected to handling and movement.

Before a missile is fired, it is formally removed from the owning unit’s inventory, and orders are issued authorizing its use by the Ukrainian General Staff which include the serial number in question. When the missile is launched, the missile passport is closed out, and included with the other paperwork associated with the expenditure of the missile. The missile serial number is recorded at each step.

The Russian military should have in its archives documentation which lists the Tochka-U missiles officially turned over to Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed. Likewise, the Ukrainian military should have documents which record the missiles being absorbed into the Ukrainian armed forces. In either case, there exists undisputed records of ownership. 

Russia could end the discussion of who owned the missile in question simply by providing document-based evidence proving missile ownership (i.e., the transfer of ownership from the Soviet Union to Ukraine.) Likewise, Ukraine could do the same simply by providing a copy of the documentation surrounding its receipt of all Tochka-U missiles from Soviet authority, thereby enabling – if the Ukrainian version is to be believed – that it never possessed the missile in question.

A view of the scene after over 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured in an attack on a railway station in Kramatorsk on April 8 2022. © Getty Images / Andrea Carrubba
A view of the scene after over 30 people were killed and more than 100 injured in an attack on a railway station in Kramatorsk on April 8 2022. © Getty Images / Andrea Carrubba

Ukraine’s embattled President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared that the missile strike on Kramatorsk “must be one of the charges at the tribunal”he envisages at the International Criminal Court. “Like the massacre in Bucha, like many other Russian war crimes.”

Zelensky might want to be careful about what he wishes for. Any serious investigation into the Kramatorsk train station bombing will include an inquiry into the missile involved, and questions of ownership in which the missile serial number inscribed on the booster will play a leading role. 

If this is indeed the case – and the available evidence strongly suggests that it is – then it will be Zelensky and his leadership on the docket for the crime of slaughtering the very civilians whose lives he claims to be protecting.

Scott Ritter is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ‘SCORPION KING: America’s Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.’ He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf’s staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector.

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