Nineteen Years

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Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the start of the Russian apartment bombings, when Vladimir Putin orchestrated a series of attacks that killed hundreds of citizens across Russia in order to boost his popularity and win the presidency.

Before the first apartment bombing, a shopping mall in Moscow was attacked on the 31st of August.

The first apartment attack occurred in Buynaksk, where sixty-four people were killed and 133 were injured. The two bombings in Moscow that followed killed over 200, and an attack in Volgodonsk killed 17.

In total 293 were killed and over a thousand were injured.

Putin blamed the attacks on a group from Dagestan, and used it as an excuse for a second war in Chechnya, boosting his approval ratings and helping him to power.

Three key people trying to reveal the truth about what happened were assassinated in the years that followed: Sergei Yushenkov, Yuri Shchekochikhin, and Alexander Litvinenko – who defected to Britain and was infamously poisoned by Russian agents in a London restaurant in 2006.

Additionally, Mikhail Trepashkin spent years in a Russian prison for his role in the investigation.

Bombing at Guryanova Street in Moscow, where 94 were killed.

These tactics were also used by the Soviets, such as when they blew up their own people at a border post as an excuse to start the Winter War with Finland in 1939. The result of this was that Finland fought with the Nazis in the Second World War.

In the past few years, with Kremlin manipulation of internet search results, factual reports of the apartment bombing incidents are harder to come by. Just like with news about anything else (e.g. Ukraine), these days top English-language (and Spanish and French etc.) Google results usually link to sites like RT (Russia Today), Tass, and Sputnik – all of them Kremlin-backed propaganda agencies.

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20th February Snipers

Today is the anniversary of the mass murder in Kyiv, Ukraine. During the Euromaidan, the revolution to overthrow the corrupt pro-Russian government, on the 20th of February 2014, pro-Russian and actual Russian snipers were sent into the city centre to shoot and kill dozens upon dozens of civilians.

The world has all but forgotten about the war in Ukraine now, but it has not ended. I still have family members who are refugees, we will be visiting them in Ukraine in a few weeks.

Pro-Russian snipers shooting Ukrainians in Kyiv, Ukraine. 20th February 2014.

On this day: The Mỹ Lai Massacre

Vietnamese women and children in Mỹ Lai before being killed in the massacre, March 16, 1968.[13] According to court testimony, they were killed seconds after the photo was taken.

Apparently taken moments before they were killed.

I’m not even going to try and summarise this one. Below is a little bit from an article about it:

Unidentified bodies near burning house. My Lai, Vietnam. March 16, 1968.

The Mỹ Lai Massacre was the Vietnam War mass killing of between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. It was committed by U.S. Army soldiers from the Company C of the 1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade of the 23rd (America) Infantry Division.

 Photo taken by United States Army photographer Ronald L. Haeberle on March 16, 1968 in the aftermath of the My Lai massacre showing mostly women and children dead on a road.

Women and children killed.

Victims included men, women, children, and infants. Some of the women were gang-raped and their bodies mutilated.

Pfc. Mauro, Pfc Carter, and SP4 Widmer (Carter shot himself in the foot during the My Lai massacre)SP4 Dustin setting fire to dwelling (during the My Lai massacre)

One soldier shot himself in the foot; another sets a building on fire.

Twenty-six soldiers were charged with criminal offences, but only Lieutenant William Calley Jr., a platoon leader in C Company, was convicted.

Found guilty of killing 22 villagers, he was originally given a life sentence, but served only three and a half years under house arrest.

 

Remember this?: Russians rioting over Estonia

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April 2007: Russians riot after Estonians relocated a Soviet statue in Tallinn, their own capital city, what came to be known as Bronze Night. The worst of it was on the night of the 26th and 27th of April.

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I was in Tallinn a few days after this happened – and in Russia a week after that. The destruction in Estonia’s capital was disgraceful. To go around smashing every shop window because the Estonian people didn’t want blatant reminders of Soviet oppression in their city centre? I’ll never understand the mentality that causes the Russian propaganda machine to encourage behaviour like this.

Remember this?: Russian aggression in Georgia

August 2008: Destruction in Georgia after the Battle of Tskhinvali. Russia invaded Georgia after being awarded the 2014 Olympics. They invaded Ukraine after hosting the 2014 Olympics.

They make a habit of this, and yet everyone always seems surprised when they repeat the behaviour – and willing to believe their propaganda!

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Tskhinval_after_Georgian_attack4Battle of Tskhinvali

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