On February 11, US Senator Jim Inhofe authored a Bill to Arm Ukraine with Lethal Military Aid.
Mr. President I rise today to introduce my bill that authorizes the President to provide lethal weapons to the Government of Ukraine in order to defend itself against Russian-backed rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine.
On January 15, 2015, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated, “For several months we have seen the presence of Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, as well as a substantial increase in Russian heavy equipment such as tanks, artillery, and advanced air defense systems.”
These photographs were given to me by Lt Col Semen Semenchenko, the commander of Donbas Volunteer Assault Battalion and newly elected member of the parliament of Ukraine, during our meeting on 13 Nov last year.
The first set of pictures show Russian troops in T-72 tanks, BTR armored personnel carriers, and BMP infantry fighting vehicles entering eastern Ukraine, waiving Russian flags. This is not simply supporting separatists – it is an invasion of the Ukraine by Russia.
The second set of picture were taken by Ukrainian soldiers on the front line in eastern Ukraine.
According to Ukraine and NATO, there are 5,000 Russian troops swarming Ukraine with more coming in every day.
Thus one might expect Senator Inhofe to have a basket of images to use as justification for US warmongering.
Instead, it turns out the pictures were fake. They show Russian troops in Georgia in 2008.
Colonel Cassad Explains
Via translation from Colonel Cassad Photos that were the Basis of Preparation of the Law on the Supply of US Weapons to Ukraine Were Fake.
US Republican senator Jim Inhofe was furious to find out that Ukrainian parliament gave him fake pictures as evidence the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine. The senator gave these pictures to the Washington Free Beacon for publication. Readers immediately noticed something was wrong.
Later publication reported that the images “raised a number of issues,” and this fact is being checked.
“Some of the photos of Russian military were made in 2008 during the conflict in Georgia” admitted the journalists. Other photos were taken years before in other armed conflicts. Be that as it may, these images were transferred to a reception Senator Jim Inhofe in December 2014 under the guise of photo chronicle of events in Ukraine.
No major western news site has picked up this story.
I did find this Free Beacon story Inhofe Criticizes Ukrainian Group for Providing Misleading Photos.
Following publication of this story, serious questions have been raised about the authenticity of some of the photographs provided by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.). Several images of the Russian convoys appear to have been taken in 2008, during Russia’s conflict with Georgia. Given the similarities between the earlier images and those provided by the senator’s office, the Washington Free Beacon is investigating further and will update as necessary.
When asked about the discrepancies, Donelle Harder, Inhofe’s communications director, said that the office is checking back with its sources.
“These were presented to the Armed Services Committee from a delegation from Ukraine in December,” Harder said. “In December, we talked to them about publishing the photos and giving them the credit, and they were fine with that. We thoroughly checked our sources again prior to releasing the photos, and felt confident proceeding because the photos also match reporting. We are currently making calls to our sources.”
UPDATE 7:10 P.M.: Sen. Inhofe said in a statement: “The Ukrainian parliament members who gave us these photos in print form as if it came directly from a camera really did themselves a disservice. We felt confident to release these photos because the images match the reporting of what is going on in the region. I was furious to learn one of the photos provided now appears to be falsified from an AP photo taken in 2008. This doesn’t change the fact that there is plenty of evidence Russia has made advances into the country with T-72 tanks and that pro-Russian separatists have been killing Ukrainians in cold blood.”
The Washington Free Beacon regrets the error.
Tweet: What a f’ing joke. WFB runs photos from Inhofe as proof Russia arming Ukraine. At least 1 from Russo-Georgian War.
Response 1: “One of them goes back to at least 2012:
Response 2: “Also from Russo-Georgian War. You can see structures in other photographs”
Response 3: “So @jiminhofe’s ‘new intel’ on Ukraine armor consists, in part, of 2 photos from Ossetia, 1 AFP wire service photo”
Mike “Mish” Shedlock