Five years ago, the Maidan massacre in Kiev, Ukraine, of Feb. 18-20, 2014, was a watershed event, not only for the politics and history of Ukraine but also for world politics generally. This mass killing in downtown Kyiv set the stage for the violent overthrow of the pro-Russian government in Ukraine and a new Cold War between Washington and Moscow.
Therefore, it is remarkable that five years after this massacre shook the world, no one has been sentenced for any of the Maidan killings. This was the best documented case of mass killing in history, broadcast live on TV and the internet, in presence of thousands of eyewitnesses. It was filmed by hundreds of journalists from major media in the West, Ukraine, Russia, and many other countries as well as by numerous social media users. Yet, to this day, no one has been brought to justice for this major and consequential crime.
From the start, the dominant narrative promoted by the Ukrainian and Western governments and mainstream media has placed the blame for this tragedy firmly on the Yanukovych government. It contends that forces loyal to former President Victor Yanukovych— either snipers and/or the Berkut, a special anti-riot police— massacred peaceful Maidan protesters on the direct orders of Yanukovych himself. Such charges against Yanukovych, his ministers and commanders and a special Berkut unit—whose five ex-members were tried for the murder of 48 Maidan protesters on Feb. 20, 2014 — are generally taken at face value. With some limited exceptions, challenges to this narrative are treated dismissively.
For the most part, mainstream news media in the U.S. and other Western countries ignored trial evidence, public statements by officials and politicians and scholarly studies that put the standard narrative under question. This includes non-reporting about my own academic studies of the Maidan massacre.
Killing Protesters and Police
My work found that this was an organized mass killing of both protesters and the police, with the goal of delegitimizing the Yanukovych government and its forces and seizing power in Ukraine. Oligarchic and far right elements of the Maidan movement were involved in this massacre. For this reason, the official investigation was fabricated and stonewalled. I presented studies to support this as well as several online video appendixes with various evidence at the annual meetings of the American Political Science Association in San Francisco in 2015 and Boston in 2018, the 2017 World Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities in New York in 2017, and a joint conference by the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University and the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies in 2018, and published their summary in an academic press volume.
The prosecutor general of Ukraine recently announced that the investigation of the Maidan massacre is complete. He cited reconstructions of the Maidan massacre by a New York architecture company, working with a team of Ukrainian “volunteers” to provide a 3D model, as definite evidence that the Maidan protesters were massacred by the Berkut police and that snipers did not massacre the protesters.
This model was featured by The New York Times, in its May 30, 2018, report “Who Killed the Kiev Protesters?” as a proof that the Berkut police massacred Maidan protesters.
However, no expert knowledge or familiarity with the Maidan massacre or Ukraine is needed to see blatant misrepresentation of elementary data in that 3D model….
(Natural News) Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, can do more than just support your bone health. A study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry suggested children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) take vitamin D supplements. The study revealed that supplementing with vitamin D can improve the symptoms of ASD.
In the study, researchers from Egypt looked at the effects of vitamin D supplementation on the symptoms of autism in children. For this purpose, they recruited 109 children with ASD, which is a common developmental disorder characterized by pervasive deficits in social interaction, impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication, and stereotyped patterns of interests and activities.
Then, they randomly assigned the participants to take either 300 international units (IU) per kilogram of vitamin D3 or a placebo every day for a period of four months. They also measured the vitamin D levels of the participants at the start and at the end of the study. In addition, they evaluated the severity of autism and social maturity of the children.
Based on the results of the study, the researchers found that those who took vitamin D supplements experienced dramatic improvements in the symptoms of autism. In addition, vitamin D supplementation was well tolerated by the participants.
From these findings, the researchers concluded that vitamin D significantly improves the symptoms of autism. Therefore, they suggested that the vitamin can be used as a safe and effective supplement for improving the signs and symptoms of autism in children.
Vitamin D deficiency linked to autism risk
Previous research has shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and autism risk. A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology found that having below normal levels of vitamin D during pregnancy and breastfeeding may be associated with an unusual pattern of brain development that can result in differences in social behavior of children later in life.
In this study, researchers looked at how maternal vitamin D levels may affect the brain development of the offspring. They examined the changes in markers for brain function and social behaviors of adult rats born to mothers that were vitamin D deficient during pregnancy and lactation.
Through this study, they found that rats born to vitamin D deficient mothers exhibited abnormal social behaviors, altered brain chemistry, and impaired learning and memory in adulthood. Changes in social behaviors are a hallmark of various human conditions, including ASD.
From these findings, the researchers concluded that vitamin D is important during pregnancy and breastfeed for the proper brain development of offspring.
A human study also suggested that having enough vitamin D during pregnancy can help reduce the risk of an unborn child developing autism. Published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, the study was part of ‘Generation R,’ which is a large research project on youth in the Netherlands….
Democrats like to deride President Trump’s warnings about a crisis at the southern border as a “fake emergency” reliant on “nonsensical” numbers about the flow of migrants. They even tried, and failed, to terminate his emergency declaration, which has also triggered a flurry of lawsuits, but that won’t change the fact that the first tranche of money from Trump’s expanded border wall has already been approved by the DoJ.
And the timing couldn’t have been better, because over the past month, as reports about the number of migrant families declaring asylum between border checkpoints climbing to an all-time high were picked up by the mainstream press, the true weight of the ongoing disaster at the border has suddenly become difficult to ignore. Even the peso, which had mostly shrugged off his prior threats, tumbled when Trump warned that he would close the border next week if Mexico doesn’t try to stop illegals from entering the USA and in the latest report that, like the others, will be difficult for the public to chalk up to more conservative fear mongering, USA Today published a story on Saturday about a border city that has seen public resources overwhelmed as asylum seekers are released into the city at a rate of more than 800 per day.
The city is McAllen, Texas, which has seen a surge of migrants crowding church shelters and other resources in the community as ICE has been forced to release more asylum seekers as they await their immigration hearings. ICE shelters have simply become too overcrowded, and the agency, which can hold migrants for up to 20 days, longer than the 72 hours for the border patrol, has few alternatives.
Under a bridge connecting the U.S. with Mexico, dozens of migrant families cram into a makeshift camp set up by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The families are there because permanent processing facilities have run out of room.
Seven hundred miles east, busload after busload of weary, bedraggled migrants crowd into the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas. Organizers there are used to handling 200 to 300 migrants a day. Lately, the migrants have been arriving at a clip of around 800 a day, overflowing the respite center and straining city resources.
“It’s staggering,” McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez said. “Really, we’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Along the Texas border with Mexico – from El Paso to Eagle Pass to the Rio Grande Valley – masses of migrants have been crossing the border in unprecedented numbers, overwhelming federal holding facilities and sending local leaders and volunteers scrambling to deal with the relentless waves of people.
With the border patrol on track to apprehend 100,000 migrants during the month of March – a new monthly record – Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Wednesday during a speech in El Paso that the border had reached its “breaking point”. He urged Congress to do something – though it seems the Democrat-led House is preoccupied with stymieing Republican efforts to secure more money for border security. “The surge numbers are just overwhelming the system”, McAleenan said.
Theresa Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, who was a CBP policy adviser under both President Obama and President Bush, put it even more bluntly: “This is a system-wide collapse”….
More precisely, it’s a crisis of US government corruption, long allowed to fester by our “free press” under orders of its CIA masters.
Is this even a country any more? It seems that at minimum, washington seceded from the union many decades ago.
The heartbreaking stories emanating from the immigration detention centers near the border have rightly been making the news. However the U.S. media has largely ignored the real lessons from the increasing number of Unaccompanied Minors being detained near the U.S. border. This “humanitarian crisis” has not been caused by the criminal nature of the people of Central America, irresponsible parenting, or the clichéd pursuit of the “American Dream”. Children and their families are coming to the U.S. to survive. At its root, they are too often trying to escape the devastating consequences of past and present U.S. foreign policy in the region.
The number of children attempting to cross the border into the United States has risen dramatically in the last five years: In FY 2009, roughly 6,000 unaccompanied minors were detained near the border. Credible estimates project that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will detain as many as 74,000 unaccompanied minors by the end of FY 2014. Approximately 28% of the children detained this year are from Honduras, 24% from Guatemala, and 21% from El Salvador.The particularly severe increases in Honduran migration are a direct result of the June 28, 2009 SOA-graduate led coup, the abusive policies of the resulting Honduran regimes, and the shameful U.S. support for these corrupt governments that emerged after dubious elections in 2009 and 2013.
Since 2008, the U.S. has spent over $800 million in security aid to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador through the “Central American Regional Security Initiative” (CARSI) in addition to millions more in bilateral military and police aid to each country. The current humanitarian crisis on the border, is a direct result of the drastic U.S.-led militarization of the drug war, unequal economic relationships (e.g. Free Trade Agreements that have ravaged campesino communities), and U.S. support for the cartel-infiltrated post-coup government of Honduras.
By every conceivable measure – the availability of drugs, mass incarceration, mass immigrant detention, and the effective use of tax money in the U.S.; homicide and violence rates, corruption, the overall power of drug cartels, and migration rates in Central America – the “war on drugs” has been an abject and costly failure. It is time, it has been time, for the U.S. government to take real responsibility for its role in the root causes of migration from Central America. The region will never be “cured” of its ills without an honest, fact-based re-evaluation and a resulting re-implementation of U.S. foreign policy.
The patterns of violence and forced migration established during the dirty wars of the 20th century have continued unabated. It is no surprise that Central American children travel alone to the U.S. to escape violence, especially if one or both of their parents already live there.
Increased militarization under the pretext of the drug war has led to massive human rights violations, including illegal land grabs, and the persecution of indigenous and grassroots leaders, too often at the hands of the military and police funded and trained (many at the School of the Americas) under U.S. security programs. In particular, the situation in Honduras has dramatically deteriorated, yet the U.S. continues to fund the corrupt and brutal Honduran security forces 5 years after the June 28, 2009 SOA-graduate led military coup. Why should the people of Central America continue to suffer and be scapegoated when the root causes of migration are all too often created by damaging U.S. foreign policies?
Peace and struggle,
The Ripple Effect podcast
The Russian Embassy in Washington has prepared an accurate 121-page report, THE RUSSIAGATE HYSTERIA: A CASE OF SEVERE RUSSOPHOBIA. https://washington.mid.ru/upload/iblock/3c3/3c3d1e3b69a4c228e99bfaeb5491ecd7.pdf
Everyone should read this report. It documents the fake news, lies, violations of diplomatic standards and international law, and gratuitous aggressive actions taken against Russia during the period beginning May 18, 2016 and continuing through the issuance of the Mueller Report.
Without explicitly saying so, the report shows that neither the US government nor the American media has a nanoparticle of integrity. Both are criminal organizations that are willing to risk war with Russia in their pursuit of narrow policitized agendas.
This is important information for Americans and the rest of the world to have. Every person, every government and every private organization that supports Washington’s Russiaphobic policies is contributing to the growing threat of nuclear war.
One hopes also that the entirety of the Russian government, media, and population also read the report as it has equally powerful messages for Russia. The messages are no doubt unintended, but they nevertheless emerge from the embassy’s report.
The Russian government should marvel at its naivete in trusting Washington, US institutions such as Citibank, and US adherence to international law. For 121 pages the report lists transgression against Russia followed by transgression and lie followed by lie; yet the Russian government continued to send diplomatic notes that are never answered, requests for meetings that are never answered, requests for evidence that are never answered. One would think that month after month of abuse would have caused the Russian government to wonder where was the intelligence, “cooperative spirit,” reason, and “common interest in global security” that Russia’s responses to Washington assumed were present in Russia’s “partner.”
The Russian government’s naive and gullible response to Washington played into Washington’s hands. By responding to Washington’s orchestrated Russiaphobia as if it were some kind of mistake based on bad information, the Russian government allowed Washington to keep the process of demonization alive and thereby contributed to the ongoing demonization of Russia. If, instead, the Russian government had denounced the demonization of Russia as Washington’s act of preparing Americans for war with Russia and had taken a belligerant rather than a complaining stance, the realization that Washington’s policy had serious cost would have spread throughout the US and Europe and voices would have arisen against Washington’s dangerous and reckless policy. Today in place of the uniformity of voice against Russia, there would be dissent opposing Washington’s irresponsible provocations.
The danger of Russian self-delusion is not over. The embassy’s report expresses the hope that now that the Mueller report has concluded that the much heralded collusion has no basis in fact, relations between Washington and Russia can be normalized and cooperation achieved.
There is no such possibility. The Democrats are screaming “coverup” and demanding the resignation of attorney general Barr and Trump’s impeachment. The presstitutes are claiming that the Mueller report vindicates their reporting. Trump continues to use US foreign policy to commit criminal acts. He has declared that the president of Venezuela is the person he picked, not the one Venezuelans elected. He has given to Israel part of Syria as if Syrian territory is his to give. He threatens Iran with war as Israel requires. In other words, American arrogance rises to ever higher heights.
At some point the Russian government and Russian people are going to have to accept the fact that to reach an understanding with Washington Russia must either surrender her sovereignty or become as belligerent as Washington and replace Russia’s useless refutations of Washington’s accusations with accusations of her own. Otherwise, Washington is going to keep pushing until war is the only possible outcome.