"In the period from July 14th to 19th, 2014 we witness a catastrophic increase (of 3473 people, or 47%) in the number of deserters in the units of the Army and the National Guard -- in comparison with last week's numbers (1847 people, 25%)."Apart from that, during the stated period the number of missing in action had increased as well (1344 people , 47%, last week -- 344 people, 10%).
This phenomenon is connected to increased activity of the enemy in the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions as well as to the increase in the number of casualties in the ranks of the above-mentioned structures. This fact [negatively] influences the combat-worthiness of the personnel and makes continuation of the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] impossible. In the event the negative trend continues at the same level, I estimate that 2/3 of the active combat military units currently participating in the ATO will simply cease to exist in as little as 4 to 5 days.
With the aim of preserving the combat potential of our military structures, I am proposing that we perform a withdrawal maneuver of our militarily units to the area around Dobropil'ya and Smolyaninove. After replenishment of the ammunition stocks, re-grouping as well as rotation of the personnel by at least 60%, we can continue the offensive.
The Head of the Ukrainian Security Service of Ukraine,
This memo appeared on the website called The Vineyard of the Saker on July 25, 2014. It appears to be evidence indicating that Kiev's military forces, fighting in eastern Ukraine, are on the verge of disintegration. Perhaps that explains why, as Natalia Zinets of the Independent.ie reported on July 22nd, "Ukraine's parliament approved a presidential decree to call up more military reserves and men under 50 to fight rebels in eastern Ukraine and defend the border against a concentration of troops in Russia.
But, you can rest assured that this memo will not find its way into broadcasts by any of the major U.S. news networks or into the pages of the New York Times or the Washington Post. Yet, curiously, on July 24th the Post published an editorial titled, "If the West doesn't do more for Ukraine now, it might soon be too late." On the 25th the Times published an article stating that the Ukrainian government believes that it can defeat the separatists within 3 weeks or so, if Russia doesn't get more involved. Such is the "fog of war."
(The neoconservatives at the Post showed their true militaristic colors when they asserted: "Incredibly, the European Union's position -- tacitly supported by Mr. Obama -- is that the Ukrainian government should stop attempting to expel the invaders from its territory and instead negotiate with them about the political future of Ukraine. Fortunately, newly elected President Petro Poroshenko has not capitulated to this appeasement strategy." (My emphasis.)
Nevertheless, no serious person should assume that V. Nalyvaichenko's memo constitutes actual evidence. It might have been fabricated by some propagandist among the separatists or by someone in Moscow. It is just one more assertion of evidence that must vetted and put into context before being deemed to be evidence.
Yet, Western journalists, politicians and their spokespersons have been filling newspapers, internet sites, news briefings and TV broadcasts with breathless assertions of evidence indicating that either the eastern Ukrainian separatists or Russians assisting those separatists shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014. Very few of them seem to know the difference between mere assertions of evidence and actual evidence. Yet, by uncritically accepting mere assertions of evidence in the absence of evidence, these journalists, politicians and spokespersons have begun to create what Walter Lippmann called a "pseudo-environment," one which some observers openly and gleefully admit is pummeling Russia with blame, even before an unbiased investigation has commenced.
For example, when spokespersons representing the coup regime in Kiev rushed to assert that Kiev had evidence proving the separatists or Russia shot down Flight MH17, reporters from the mainstream news media correctly reported those assertions as news. Some even acknowledged that the evidence was uncorroborated. Soon, however, western reporters and columnists began to treat those mere assertions as if they were the truth. Later in the afternoon of July 17th, when the U.S. government claimed that Flight MH17 had been shot down, reporters mistakenly treated that mere assertion of evidence as actual evidence.
On Friday, July 18th, President Obama asserted that MH17 was brought down by a surface-to-air missile that was fired from "territory that is controlled by Russian separatists." Again western reporters from around the world treated that mere assertion of evidence as actual evidence. Fortunately, on July 24th, Russia's Deputy Defense Minister, Anatoly Antonov asked the White House questions that western reporters failed to ask: "So where is this evidence?" "Why is it not presented to the public? Is it, if I may say so, still being finished off?"
Seven days after Obama's assertion, the world still waits for the evidence. Think about it. Had the U.S. possessed the actual evidence to support its allegation, wouldn't it have been eager to show such evidence to the entire world?
Then, there is the report by Olga Ivshina of the BBC, which was subsequently retracted. As part of her report, Ms. Ivshina claimed: "The inhabitants of the nearby villages are certain that they saw military aircraft in the sky shortly prior to the catastrophe. According to them, it actually was the jet fighters that brought down the Boeing." This is at least the second time that the BBC appears to have slanted its reporting, in order to tow the political line of the British government. The first time, as reported by Stephen Shenfield on June 19th, was when the BBC deliberately refused to report the Pravyi Sektor massacre of anti-Kiev protesters in Odessa on May 2nd.
On July 21st, four days after the downing of the airliner Russia's Ministry of Defense offered to the world satellite photos of Buk missiles located in territory controlled by Kiev's coup regime. Those photos might constitute evidence, but I'm in no position to judge. Thus, they remain mere assertions of evidence.