UK shadow govt leader opposes Israeli invasion

British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (AFP Photo / Justin Tallis)

The UK’s leader of the opposition , who has Jewish origins, told the Huffington Post that the ground invasion would likely help Hamas recruitment efforts and undermine Israel’s reputation in the international community.

The comment came as Miliband met President Obama in Washington on Monday, where he said the crisis was one of the many issues discussed.
“We oppose the Israeli incursion into Gaza,” Miliband told reporters.

He also expressed concerns about the number of civilian casualties, which currently has surpassed 600 since the invasion began last week, and urged Israel not to escalate the violence in Gaza.

“I defend Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks. But I cannot explain, justify or defend the horrifying deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including children and innocent civilians” he said.

Miliband, who is Labour’s first Jewish leader and an ardent supporter of Israel, said the conflict was the result of a ‘broken peace process’ and reaffirmed the need for a two state solution.

“I genuinely believe there is not another possibility” he commented.

While Ed Miliband has stated that he is an atheist with ‘deep respect for religion’, he comes from a Jewish background in Eastern Europe.

His father, Ralph Miliband, was a prominent Marxist academic, who fled from Nazi Germany to Britain in the 1940s and served in the Royal Navy during the second world war.


6 questions about MH17 ignored by mainstream media

Malaysian activists hold placards and shout slogans during a protest outside the Ukraine embassy in Kuala Lumpur on July 22, 2014 (AFP Photo / Manan Vatsyayana)

A UN Security Council resolution, unanimously adopted on Monday, urges a “full, thorough and independent international investigation” into the MH17 crash.

But for some it’s already clear who is to blame.

“...this is a direct result of Russia destabilizing a sovereign state, violating its territorial integrity, backing thuggish militias and training and arming them,” British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote.

What’s happening is really grotesque and it is contrary to everything President Putin and Russia said they would do,” US Secretary of State John Kerry said on NBC television.

Russian-controlled territory, Russian-backed rebels, quite likely a Russian-supplied weapon – Russia can’t wash its hands of this,” Australian PM Tony Abbott believes.

Western mass media, so sure of the Kremlin’s hand in whatever bad things happen in Ukraine, has lately switched from calling anti-government forces in the east of the country pro-Russian to plainly Russian separatists.

While Russia is being vilified as the country directly involved in the downing of the MH17 plane, the allegations have so far been based on a number of unverified claims rather than on real evidence.

Missile launched from self-defense controlled area?

Ukraine claims the missile that hit the plane was launched from territory controlled by the opposition. The West has endorsed this point of view.

A surface-to-air missile launch was detected from a separatist-controlled area inside eastern Ukraine,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday.

Intelligence expert Charles Shoebridge says no one can be sure of that.

I think that much of eastern Ukraine is in a fluid situation in terms of who controls what at a given time,” he told RT.

The Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior released a 12-second video of a missile launcher being moved along a road. The video is entitled “Fighters smuggle BUK rocket launcher to the border with Russia.”

No proof has been presented supporting the claim. Meanwhile, some of internet users say they recognize the location as territory that has been under the control of the Ukrainian army for the past two months.

When you say evidence, this is something that is produced by experts on the ground,” former security consultant at the OSCE Lode Vanoost told RT. “It takes weeks and months, before you can come to any conclusions. Whatever is being said now is just speculation for political motives.”

Militia impeding investigation, keeping international experts off site?

There has been a lot of speculation that anti-Kiev forces controlling the region, where the plane crashed, have interfered with the investigation and not sealed off the area.

The separatists are removing evidence from the crash site,” President Obama said.

The work has been made more difficult by the presence of armed separatists,” stated Cameron.

The anti-government fighters have refuted reports of their meddling with the crash site and in their turn lashed out at international investigators for not coming to the plane crash scene sooner.

We are interested in the most comprehensive and objective investigation,” said Aleksandr Boroday, PM of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. “But we don’t feel like there is enthusiasm among the international community and experts. Several dozen experts are currently in Kiev. Can they please come here faster? We are surprised and frankly angered that we have to keep the area untouched while we are waiting for them for so long.”

There has been much fuss in the media, concerning the Ukrainian militia obtaining the so-called black boxes from the Malaysian Boeing-777 airliner. Speculation has arisen over whether they would hand the boxes over to Russia.

The anti-government fighters have always insisted the boxes were stored by them to be eventually given to international experts. And they kept their promise: they gave the black boxes to Malaysian experts on Monday.

Intercepted phone call proves militia shot down the plane?

Ukraine released what it calls an intercepted conversation between anti-government forces in which they allegedly admit to downing the plane. Western media picked up the news, despite lack of independent confirmation on the recording’s authenticity.

The tape has been examined by a leading company who help Moscow police decide how authentic recordings are. Its speech and sound analyst, Nikolay Popov, claims the recording was fabricated.

It’s been presented as one unedited recording,” Popov said. “In reality this audio file was compiled of several fragments. The time markers are inconsistent at the part where it’s said that the plane was downed by Cossacks. These markers reveal that one fragment was recorded at 16:43, and the second fragment, which comes right afterwards was recorded at 17:15.”

Russia supplied anti-government fighters with missile launchers?

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) alleged that it has proof the self-defense forces in eastern Ukraine received a Buk anti-aircraft missile system, complete with a crew from Russia.

Malaysian flight MH17 “was shot down by a missile from the Buk-M air defense system, which was transferred from the territory of Russia,” said Valentin Nalivaychenko, SBU head, without elaborating on the evidence.

The Russian Defense Ministry dismissed the allegations, saying that neither the Buk missile defense system nor any other military equipment, has crossed the Russian border into Ukraine.

Such border crossings “can’t be performed in secrecy,” the official representative for the Russian Defense Ministry told journalists in Moscow.

Russia says, according to its observations, a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational in the region on the day of the Malaysian airliner’s crash.

Why did MH17 change route?

The plane was directed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly 2,000 meters lower than planned. And the aircraft was also guided off its normal path.

“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk, but then it deviated from the route to the north,” chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov said at a press-conference on Monday.

That leaves one wondering why the plane was advised to take a potentially dangerous route over a territory of on-going military actions.

“What is actually suspicious is that the plane deviated from a route it typically takes, which seems to be now very, very different from the flight just the day before,” Mischa Dohler, Wireless Communications Professor told RT.

Disrespect by anti-government forces?

What the media was quick to latch onto was a picture of an alleged looter at the crash site. The photo, showing a man holding a toy monkey, caused massive uproar.

Putin supported Ukraine separatist holding a child’ toy monkey like a trophy. The family would probably like it back. pic.twitter.com/W6e9vtFW9T

— Michael Alexander (@Wuyelaolaoshi) July 20, 2014

Perverted truth: How rebel mourning MH17 victims was turned into looter with trophy

The photo has been retweeted many times, accompanied by angry comments. The anti-government fighter was described as holding a child’s toy as if it were a trophy.

A full video of the episode, however, shows the man was actually paying tribute to the victims of the crash. Seconds after holding the toy, the man laid it back down, took off his hat, bowed his head and crossed himself.


HRW: Kiev did not provide adequate protection and help to internal refugees

Refugees at the Severny border checkpoint in the Lugansk region.
(RIA Novosti / Valeriy Melnikov)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has conducted research of its own, speaking to displaced citizens in major central and western Ukrainian cities, such as the capital Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov and Vinnitsa. HRW’s nine-day probe also addressed local authorities, international organizations and volunteers dealing with refugees.

The general picture is disappointing: most of the displaced people interviewed had not heard of any government assistance programs, and had received no assistance with accommodation, food, clothing or access to social services from government bodies or agencies.

Despite declared intentions, the Ukrainian government has failed to help displaced people find sustainable housing and get access to social services. Human Rights Watch insists that Kiev should intensify its assistance to civilians evacuating from the conflict areas in the east of the country.

“The Ukrainian government has had to cope with multiple, profound crises in a short period of time,” maintained Yulia Gorbunova, Europe and Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. “But as the number of people forced from their homes in Ukraine grows, so also does the urgency of providing the help they need.”

The latest data provided by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) office suggests that more than 87,500 people have been internally displaced in Ukraine since March.

These statistics include 13,000 people, mostly Ukrainian servicemen and members of their families, who chose to move to Ukraine from the Crimean peninsula after Crimea voted in favor of reunification with Russia.

Yet volunteer groups told HRW that many displaced people do not officially register as such, so the final stats could be significantly higher: trains going from cities like Lugansk and Donetsk to the central and western regions of Ukraine are full of people eager to escape the war.

According to stats from the UNHCR, the number of Ukrainian refugees which nave fled to Russia has officially reached 110,000 people,while a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says over 4.5 million civilians still remain in the war zone.

Those who fled the military conflict zone in the east but remained in the same region reported problems with medical care and shortage of medicine.

After migration began to grow in the country over Crimea’s succession and developments in eastern regions, the Ukrainian government issued a number of decrees designed to create mechanisms to respond to the needs of displaced citizens.

But the laws do not work properly in Ukraine due to the inertia of bureaucracy at the local level, which simply shift the burden of displaced citizens onto non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups. Often civil servants just send needy people to volunteers, blaming scarce funding and lack of detailed instructions from officials at a higher level.

“Volunteers are doing the best they can to provide medicine, food, and shelter for the displaced in Ukraine, but their energy and resources won’t last forever,” Gorbunova said. “With displaced people arriving in central and western Ukraine in large numbers, the national government needs to urgently step up efforts to assist them before this crisis worsens,” she said.

HRW asked President Poroshenko to ensure that registration of displaced citizens is functioning properly on all levels, and provide essential financial and physical resources to provide coordinated assistance to those uprooted from their homes.

Ukraine’s parliament has so far not adopted legislation preventing discrimination against displaced citizens, such as the introduction of a simplified residency registration procedure that would enable people to receive pension, social and disability payments in a new place of residence.


UK Families living on ‘knife edge’, homeless charity says

Reuters / Toby Melville

Shelter, a charity that campaigns against homelessness, says it can no longer keep up demand for its helpline after calls increased by 20% since 2011. As a result, almost a third of phone calls go unanswered.

Last year, the charity received 7,600 calls from renters at risk of eviction, compared to 3,997 over the same period in 2011-12.

It warned that people were living on a ‘knife edge’ as losing a job or falling sick could tip them into homelessness.

“As more people come to us desperate for support, sadly our helpline is also being stretched to its limits” Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter, said in a statement.

Most of the calls come from families struggling to pay their rents or keep up with their mortgages as wages decline in real terms.

“Every 11 minutes, a family in Britain loses their home. With more and more people having to stretch their finances to breaking point in a bid to makes ends meet, it’s not hard to see why” Robb added.

While there is no national figure on the number of homeless people in the UK, government statistics suggest that 2,414 people slept rough in any one night during 2013, with more than 6,000 cases being in London alone.

A poll commissioned by YouGov last year also showed that 8.6 million Britons would be unable to pay their rent from savings, and were at risk of eviction, while the Office of Budget Responsibility warned that up to 2 million British families were facing a personal debt crisis by 2018 if interest rates were to increase.

Last month, a council in a posh area of London was heavily criticised on social media for using metal spikes to deter homeless people from seeking refuge outside residential flats.

The spikes were later removed after Mayor Boris Johnson called them ‘ugly’ and ‘stupid’.


US coy on Malaysian plane evidence, points to social media and ‘common sense’

A Malaysian air crash investigator inspects the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), Donetsk region July 22, 2014. (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev)

In a State Department briefing on Monday, Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said there was a “preponderance of evidence” pointing to the fact that militia in eastern Ukraine downed flight MH17. Harf said the US government’s suspicions were based on information gathered from social media sites.

“We saw in social media afterwards, we saw videos, we saw photos of the pro-Russian separatists bragging about shooting down an aircraft,” she told assembled press.

Unverified tape released by Kiev presented as ‘proof’ E. Ukraine militia downed MH17

When asked whether she could back up the claims with any other evidence, Harf said there is “a host of information” the US had gathered about who did this. However, Harf said the American government is limited to the information that it is allowed to share.

“Sometimes you can’t get into all the specifics,” she said. “Based on open information which is basically common sense, right – we know where it was fired from, we know who has this weapon.”

According to Harf, the Obama administration is attempting to put out as much information as possible that underlies their assessment of the information. The deputy speaker also discouraged people from believing the Russian government’s version of events because it has a history of “misinformation and propaganda” in the Ukrainian conflict.

To blame or not to blame?

On Monday, the Russian military released information that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gained altitude towards the Malaysian Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. In addition, they said the plane crashed within the operating zone of the Ukrainian army’s self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air ‘Buk’ missile systems. The Russian Defense Ministry says Kiev must explain why a military jet was tracking a passenger plane.

Deputy speaker Harf said she could not confirm these reports but would be “happy to check it out.”

She stressed that an investigation was necessary to “get all the facts” and establish who was behind the plane crash that killed 298 people. However, Harf said that she holds the Russian government responsible for the Ukrainian militia’s actions, although she prefers not to blame anyone before conclusive evidence has been found.

“I certainly am blaming the Russians for the pro-Russian separatists’ behavior in general, but we need to get all the facts about this specific incident. We don’t – I don’t want to go out there and put culpability on anyone until we have all of those facts,” she told journalists.

Three Dutch forensics experts arrived in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk on Monday to assess the crash site and check the bodies of the victims. Ukrainian militia in the area have resolved to allow inspectors full access to the evidence and handed over the plane’s in-flight data recorders to Malaysian inspectors on Monday.


Putin: no plans for ‘tightening screws’ or pressure on civil society

RIA Novosti / Ekaterina Shtukina

We will support ourselves on the civil society, and we will never allow a single thought that the development of our work in all spheres was only allowed in order to tighten some screws. We are definitely not taking this route. We are going to find our very basic support in the civil society and nothing else,” Vladimir Putin told the members of the Security Council on Tuesday.

The Security Council is the top advisory body for key issues of national security and sovereignty. Putin called an extraordinary session on Tuesday due to the current crisis in Ukraine and attempts by certain Western nations to blame Russia for the military conflict in Ukraine and the recent downing of a Malaysian passenger jet over territory controlled by Ukrainian federalist fighters who oppose the Kiev regime.

The language of sanctions and ultimatums is being used more often and the very definition of national sovereignty is being diluted, the Russian President noted. He said that often external political forces are using the so called ‘color revolutions’ in order to destabilize the states and regimes that pursue independent policies. The correct name for such ‘color revolutions’ is anti-government coups and they are being provoked and financed from abroad, Putin added.

Of course they emphasize a country’s internal problems – but there are always enough problems, especially in unstable nations and states with complicated regimes. Of course there are problems, but why use them for complete destabilizing and eventual collapse of these countries? Recently we see this very often in various parts of the world,” Putin told Russian security officials.

The Russian leader added that the current events in Ukraine were a typical example of such a scenario. Foreign instigators of the coup had placed their bets on nationalist, neo-Nazi and fundamentalist forces, but despite the hasty elections the power has been grabbed by people who financed or conducted the coup while the people who disagree with such development are now being suppressed by military force, Putin said.

There has been not a single attempt to hold negotiations,” the Russian leader added.

Putin also said that at the moment Russia faced no direct military threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that he expected other countries to respect Russia’s national interests and abstain from interfering with its internal affairs.

However, the Russian President promised an “adequate response” to NATO’s constant expansion towards Russian borders.


New World Disorder: Emerging Division Between East And West Threatens To Plunge The Globe Into Chaos

7.22.14 –   New World Disorder: Emerging Division Between East And West Threatens To Plunge The Globe Into Chaos In general, over the last several decades the world has experienced an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity.  The opening up of … Continue reading


Flood – Asia – Vietnam

EDIS Number: FL-20140722-44630-VNM
Date / time: 22/07/2014 12:37:15 [UTC]
Event: Flood
Area: Asia
Country: Vietnam
State/County: MultiProvinces
Location: [Provinces of Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Son La, Cao Bang, Dien Bien, Bac Kan, Lang Son and Tuyen Quang]
Number of Deads: 27 person(s)
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

Floodwaters caused by the tropical depression that began as Typhoon Rammasun has started to recede in the northern highlands, leaving 27 confirmed deaths and streets strewn with garbage in its wake. On Tuesday morning, the Northern Highlands Flood and Typhoon Steering Committee said at least 27 were killed and two others left missing in the northeastern provinces following flash floods, landslides, lighting and collapsed buildings. Ha Giang reported the highest casualties with seven deaths. Bodies were unearthed from the site of two separate landslides on Monday afternoon, following a search that took up most of the morning. The victims were a family of four, including a 10-day-old baby, a house guest, and two road workers stationed in Hoang Su Phi District. Lai Chau reported six more victims, Lang Son five, Lao Cai and Son La three each, Cao Bang, Dien Bien and Bac Kan one each. Two others who were swept away in Lang Son and Tuyen Quang Provinces remained missing as of press time. Rammasun, which was the second typhoon to hit Vietnam from the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) this year, made landfall in Quang Ninh Province on Saturday morning. No casualties were reported upon its arrival but reports of deaths began tricking in as the storm moved northeast and reduced to a tropical depression.


Damaged roads caused severe traffic jams throughout the region, where hundreds of hectares of agricultural fields and thousands of houses were ruined by floods. On Monday, the flood waters had receded from the city of Lang Son, leaving streets strewn with garbage, fallen trees and broken furniture. Residents had already begun informal clean-up efforts, as they picked through their mud-stained houses, market stalls and ragged fields. “Everything is gone,” Hoang Thi Tot, a sobbing 49-year-old chili farmer, told Tuoi Tre after finding her field barren. Authorities in Lang Son said the flood was the most devastating to hit the province in six years. Tot said she lost around VND40 million (nearly US$1,900)--much more than she did in the 2008 flood. “Farmers here depend on chili, water melon and paddy cultivation. But the massive flood rose too fast; we could only run for our lives,” she said. Her neighbor, Hoang Thi Thuy, kept staring at her devastated chili field with tear-filled eyes, unable to comment. Her husband, Hoang Van Dau, said they did not imagine that the flood would last for several days. Several families expressed their regret for not having harvested their crops last week while others worried about how to pay back the seed money they borrowed. Damages are likely to cost more than VND130 billion ($6.18 million) according to initial estimates complied from all affected provinces. Some families put up tents along the road as their homes remained devastated with mud and debris. Tens of thousands of people from Bac Giang, Lang Son, Ha Giang, Dien Bien and Son La Provinces are still without electricity; authorities have warned residents to brace for more landslides. Rammasun left some 100 people dead in China and the Philippines on its way to Vietnam.


Flood – Asia – Vietnam

EDIS Number: FL-20140722-44630-VNM
Date / time: 22/07/2014 12:37:15 [UTC]
Event: Flood
Area: Asia
Country: Vietnam
State/County: MultiProvinces
Location: [Provinces of Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Lang Son, Lao Cai, Son La, Cao Bang, Dien Bien, Bac Kan, Lang Son and Tuyen Quang]
Number of Deads: 27 person(s)
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A

Description:

Floodwaters caused by the tropical depression that began as Typhoon Rammasun has started to recede in the northern highlands, leaving 27 confirmed deaths and streets strewn with garbage in its wake. On Tuesday morning, the Northern Highlands Flood and Typhoon Steering Committee said at least 27 were killed and two others left missing in the northeastern provinces following flash floods, landslides, lighting and collapsed buildings. Ha Giang reported the highest casualties with seven deaths. Bodies were unearthed from the site of two separate landslides on Monday afternoon, following a search that took up most of the morning. The victims were a family of four, including a 10-day-old baby, a house guest, and two road workers stationed in Hoang Su Phi District. Lai Chau reported six more victims, Lang Son five, Lao Cai and Son La three each, Cao Bang, Dien Bien and Bac Kan one each. Two others who were swept away in Lang Son and Tuyen Quang Provinces remained missing as of press time. Rammasun, which was the second typhoon to hit Vietnam from the East Sea (internationally known as the South China Sea) this year, made landfall in Quang Ninh Province on Saturday morning. No casualties were reported upon its arrival but reports of deaths began tricking in as the storm moved northeast and reduced to a tropical depression.


Damaged roads caused severe traffic jams throughout the region, where hundreds of hectares of agricultural fields and thousands of houses were ruined by floods. On Monday, the flood waters had receded from the city of Lang Son, leaving streets strewn with garbage, fallen trees and broken furniture. Residents had already begun informal clean-up efforts, as they picked through their mud-stained houses, market stalls and ragged fields. “Everything is gone,” Hoang Thi Tot, a sobbing 49-year-old chili farmer, told Tuoi Tre after finding her field barren. Authorities in Lang Son said the flood was the most devastating to hit the province in six years. Tot said she lost around VND40 million (nearly US$1,900)--much more than she did in the 2008 flood. “Farmers here depend on chili, water melon and paddy cultivation. But the massive flood rose too fast; we could only run for our lives,” she said. Her neighbor, Hoang Thi Thuy, kept staring at her devastated chili field with tear-filled eyes, unable to comment. Her husband, Hoang Van Dau, said they did not imagine that the flood would last for several days. Several families expressed their regret for not having harvested their crops last week while others worried about how to pay back the seed money they borrowed. Damages are likely to cost more than VND130 billion ($6.18 million) according to initial estimates complied from all affected provinces. Some families put up tents along the road as their homes remained devastated with mud and debris. Tens of thousands of people from Bac Giang, Lang Son, Ha Giang, Dien Bien and Son La Provinces are still without electricity; authorities have warned residents to brace for more landslides. Rammasun left some 100 people dead in China and the Philippines on its way to Vietnam.


​Lessons from the Liberation of Majdanek

Participants take part in the March of Life event at the Former Nazi Death Camp Majdanek in Lublin. (Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)

What happened at Majdanek dwarfed the future discoveries of at Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and the other well-publicized German concentration camps uncovered by the Western allies. At least a quarter of a million people were killed there. First estimates at the time put the figure as high as 1.5 million.

The horrific facts of Majdanek were reported around the world almost immediately. Alexander Werth of the British Broadcasting Corporation sent graphic reports which ran on BBC News. But they were virtually totally ignored in the West as (supposedly) communist propaganda.

Almost no living survivors of Majdanek remain to testify to its particular horrors. However, Nazi hunters in modern democratic Germany are still hunting at least 17 former Nazi guards at the camp.

The anniversary of the liberation and the true facts surrounding it need to be remembered. They contain crucially important lessons essential for the preservation of world peace in the 21st century.

In recent years, Western historians have increasingly embraced a doctrine of moral equivalency between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It is perfectly true that the total death toll in Stalin’s terror, repressions and catastrophically bungled economic policies ran into the scores of millions. But an enormously important distinction needs to be made: The Red Army eye-witnesses from the lowest combat soldier to top ranking generals at the liberation Majdanek all shared the appalling horror and reacted in the most decent and admirable way to the unimaginable evil they confronted. The record of Red Army medical services in trying to cope with a health crisis no one had imagined possible among the survivors was exemplary.

The great British military historian Michael Jones in his 2011 work Total War: From Stalingrad to Berlin documents this vital and untold story with vivid accounts from the eye-witnesses. “When we saw what (Majdanek) contained, we felt dangerously close to going insane,” recalled Vasily Yeremenko of the Second Tank Army.

Captain Andrey Mereshenko of the Eighth Guards Army never forgot that when he arrived at Majdanek, “the ovens were still warm.”

War correspondent Konstantin Simonov wrote in the newspaper Red Star that his mind refused to recognize the reality of what he had seen with his own eyes.

The Soviet soldiers and senior officers who liberated Majdanek reacted with horror at what they found: Many of them feared they were going insane. But they were not: They were retaining their humanity in its most precious forms.

“When death camp prisoners “realize we want to help them,” some moan with joy,” Col. Georgi Elizavetsky wrote to his wife Nina. “And when they see bread, others literally howl, kiss our feet and become quite delirious. … There is a children’s barracks in the camp. When we entered I just could not stand it anymore.”

In recent decades, as only a handful of combat war veterans from the three great Allied nations remain alive; this crucial truth has been lost: There was no moral equivalence. The soldiers of the Red Army suffered vastly more casualties than the Western Allies. They inflicted 90 percent of combat losses on the Nazi armies. They did more to win the war against the Nazi evils than anyone else.

They also deserve primary credit for ending the Holocaust. On September 23, 1944, the same day the Second Tank Army liberated Majdanek, troops of the Soviet First Belorussian Front also liberated the extermination camps at Sobibor and Treblinka. On January 27, 1945, they liberated the biggest and most diabolical murder factory of them all – Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Almost halfway through the second decade of this 21st century, this proud and crucial record has been entirely forgotten in the West. No senior Western leader took part in any ceremonies to commemorate the liberation of Majdanek. No major Western leaders currently plan to honor the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army next January.

Instead, the United States and its NATO allies continue to encourage new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and his ultra-nationalist allies, some of whom openly identify with the World War II Nazis, in their use of lethal military force to kill hundreds of civilians in Eastern Ukraine.

The bravery and sheer decency of the millions of ordinary Russian, Ukrainian and other nationalities in the Red Army who won the war and liberated the worst death camps needs to be remembered and honored, not forgotten in the West, or swept under the carpet. Their achievements should be the lasting foundation for a new generation of understanding and mutual respect between the thermonuclear superpowers.

Martin Sieff for RT

Martin Sieff is chief global analyst at The Globalist and a senior fellow of the American University in Moscow.