VE Day – 70 Years On And Europe Is Still Fighting A Tyrant

Today is the 70th anniversary of VE day. Better people went before us and fought for our liberties and freedoms. They fought so that we can live a life that is free and that I could retain the right to write these words without repercussions. Sadly, if I was Russian, then I could very well end up in jail because a repressive dictatorial imp troll, know to the world as Vladimir Putin, has continued to erode the freedoms that generations who have gone before him fought to resurrect.

The image below is of a Ukrainian soldier captured in Shakhtersk, just outside of Donetsk. It won 3rd prize in the POY awards and it serves as a stark reminder that war has once again cast its shadow across Europe.

For most Europeans watching the evening news, it would appear that the war in Eastern Ukraine has finally ended, a result of the diplomatic efforts of Germany’s Chancellor Merkel and French President Hollande. That belief however is a fallacy. The war and human tragedy has continued unabated in Ukraine. Families have been torn apart, both literally and ideologically. And all this is happening with the backdrop of Russian ultra-nationalism, what with leather clad bikers making provocative statements by their insistence on driving through Europe to give a two-fingered salute to Germany and Europe, or rhetoric from Putin’s Kremlin that the Soviet army defeated Nazi Germany single-handedly, or the almost hysterical fervour that the Kremlin and their journalistic-apparatchik have attached to the planned parade through Moscow on May 9th.

No doubt Putin will take pride of place upon at the podium on Red Square, atop the tomb of Lenin, and once again bask in the glow of his sycophantic followers – a combination of corrupt Oligarchy and their families, and the ordinary Russian who is either naive and believes every word from the Kremlin media instruments used to fill the airwaves and newspaper columns with lies and propaganda, or who are too lazy to actually to question these lies and stand up to a dictatorship that is hell-bent on returning Russia to an era where its citizens are not to be trusted and who have to be controlled, lest they form their own opinions and become a problem or threat for the regime .

Whilst Russians are slobbering over themselves and their nationalistic pride over the defeat of Nazi Germany, they continue to carry out atrocities on their “so-called” brothers in Ukraine. These orange/black ribbon wearing Russian scum make me sick. As do ordinary Russians who refuse to do anything to remove the monster that is Putin, for fear that they lose everything. God forbid they lose their flash cars, their gold gilded mansions or their ability to vacation in Europe thrice yearly (a region that they enjoy spending time in, but whose values they detest…..odd that).

Unless ordinary Russians stand up to Putin and his dictatorship, then they deserve their lot in life. Thankfully, Ukraine is fighting to resurrect law and order and freedoms of press and free speech. It’ll take a while to mend the many wrongs inflicted during the Soviet era, but they are a resilient nation and are determined to join the reset of civilised Europe.

For all I care, Russia can rot in hell.

Slava Ukraine and I pray for the millions of lost lives who fought for the liberty I enjoy today.

Ukrainian Soldier Shakhtersk - Andrey Stenin

MH17 Missile Launch Site Located

Scorched earth - (Pic. Christopher Miller The Telegraph)

Scorched earth – (Pic. Christopher Miller The Telegraph)

MH17 artifact - (Pic. Christopher Miller - The Telegraph)

MH17 artifact – (Pic. Christopher Miller – The Telegraph)

Ukrainian blogger djp3tros has managed to find, with the help of The Telegraph’s journalist Roland Oliphant, the launch site of the missile that took down flight MH17 last week.

Through the cunning use of photo’s, satellite imagery and Google Earth and some very deft detective work, he was able to locate a plausible site for the launch. Reading his original blog article, it might come across as a lot of conjecture and what-if’s, even though it is well thought-out and supported by triangulating the satellite imagery with the photo’s published.

But that’s where Roland comes in. He took the info djp3tros’ wrote and went to scour the area for himself. There, he discovered blackened scorched earth and some artifacts that look like remnants of a military system, which need to be further identified and confirmed by experts.

It is unclear yet if the site location has been given to the OSCE, who could perform soil sample tests to chemical make-up of the soil and see if has trace amounts from the rocket fuel that would have been come from the exhaust of the missile.

Detective work done by djp3tros

Detective work done by djp3tros

MH17 BYK trail

Emotional Speech from NL Foreign Minister

Frans Timmermans UN Security CouncilThe Dutch Foreign Minister, Mr. Frans Timmermans, addressed the United Nations Security Council, and gave an emotional and embittered speech denouncing the treatment of the remains of the victims in the downing of flight MH17 and the political gamesmanship undertaken by the Kremlin and pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, who almost a week since the disaster have still not handed the remains over to Dutch investigators for repatriation to the Netherlands and beyond.

It speaks volumes that the Minister, usually a master of understatement and diplomacy, broke with protocol and gave such an emotionally charged and moving speech to the UN. It’s fair to say that the tone of his speech mirrors that of many of my own Dutch friends and colleagues. Their anger at the images of bodies being ransacked for valuables and the crash site being trampled on, whilst their own investigators and members of the OSCE are bared from entering and can only look on, is palpable.