EID AL-FITR. Interesting video that shows Russia is also a rather Muslim country. The Chief Mufti supports Putin, by the way. (For those of you who think it’s some evil scheme cooked up by Orthodoxy).
MH17. Watch this BBC interview. Shootdown by Buk “most credible scenario” but also looking at Buk fired “from another region, another place” and scenario of “an air-to-air missile.” Can only mean 2) Buk fired from the Kiev side or 3) Kiev aircraft shot it down. Somebody’s lost control of the narrative. We are told by a Ukrainian official that the report will be published 10 August but not made public. (If scenarios 2 and 3 are really being considered, why is Ukraine even part of the investigation?) Retired US int professionals again call on Washington to release what it has. Simply put, here’s all you need to know: the absence of evidence is the evidence.
UKRAINE: THE WAR. The rebels have announced a pull-back of weapons under 100mm calibre (Minsk II requires 100mm+ weapons moved out of range). Why? I think the Saker is correct: to show they are abiding by Minsk II; but it’s also a trap. OSCE observers corroborate that at least some weapons have been withdrawn and they are off to confirm full withdrawal. But they have also said – I don’t recall this before – that Kiev forces are shelling civilians: “In both cases, the SMM was able to conclude the direction of fire to have been from the area of government-controlled Pisky (11km north-west of Donetsk) and Pervomaiske (17km north-west of Donetsk).” So much for the US Ambassador’s retort “How do you know? Were you personally present for this?”. Or RL’s reprinting Kiev claims that the rebels are shelling themselves.( ExpandCollapse )