Essays, featured, latest

What if Babchenko had decided to stay “dead”?

by Catte

elegy for a man not dead

There’s a good deal of discussion, both in mainstream and in alt media, of how/why the Arkady Babchenko event unfolded in the ludicrous way it has.

The Ukrainian government narrative is (currently) claiming the SBU faked AB’s death in order to entrap some real (Russian) assassins who really wanted him dead, and it was all part of a cunning plan. They’re light on detail about exactly how taking pics of Bab pretending to be dead helped with the general effort, but maybe they’ll fill in all those blanks soon.

Others, including RFE, are telling us the very bad fake death pic was released on a Facebook page with ties to Washington.

But beyond the Byzantine imbroglio, I think there’s another question no one is asking. –

What if Arkady hadn’t turned up, looking sheepish at that presser?

What if he hadn’t turned up ever? What if he’d decided he couldn’t face the humiliation, or what if his SBU handlers decided it might be better if he just continued to be dead and skipped off the map somewhere with a few hundred grand and nice new ID.

What then?

We need to never forget that while Arkady was busy hiding in his closet (or whatever he did for the hours he was supposed to be dead), his demise was the reality for all of us. Sold to us, not just with narrative consistency, but with apparent hard evidence and circumstantial confirmation.

There was the blood-soaked “corpse” photo:

There was the sketch of the perp:

There was the Twitter parade of blue-tick public mourners.

A very very familiar roll-out we have all seen many times was taking shape. There were predictable articles, by predictable people, saying predictable things. By next month Luke Harding would have had a new book out called something like “Death in Broad Daylight: how the Kremlin silenced Arkady Babchenko.” Its cover would feature Babchenko’s completely fake murder pic with a target superimposed and a semi-opaque red halftone background of Putin’s face. It would be on the NYT bestseller list for the next two years and make Luke another little fortune.

There would soon be an “Arkady Babchenko” street in Washington. A “posthumous” Pulitzer would have been his within a year or two. Arkady Babchenko memorial plaques would spawn like tribbles. Navalny and his twenty-seven supporters would carry those tragically misty and sepia pics of our boy (which miraculously appeared within hours of his “death”) on all their “rallies”. By 2019 Katherine Bigelow would have made the movie (based on Luke’s book), and it would be a dead cert at the 2020 Oscars.

But it would have been no more true than it is now, would it? It would simply be an undiscovered lie. A mesh of words, woven thick by repetition, giving shape to an absence – of evidence, of investigation, of everything.

If he hadn’t turned up alive, Arkady dead would have become the thing most people called “truth.” Like “United 93”, and similar collective myths, the legend of his martyrdom would have taken on all the trappings of solid reality. No one – none of us – would think to question it. And anyone who did would be dismissed as a lunatic.

The most important and abiding point about the non-death of Arkady Babchenko, beyond all the spin and damage control and narrative-boosting we are inevitably going to see over the next days and weeks, is that, at its deepest level, consensual reality is a fragile thing that can very easily have nothing to do with truth or fact or actual reality. The point is that the people who are paid to fact check official narratives didn’t do it, and would never have done it. They were simply sold a line and bought it, uninterrogated, uninvestigated, unwrapped.

And this is what they do every day. With every item of “news” they lay before us.

Look at the illusion of depth and veracity they gave this lie, simply by reporting it. See how easily they were fooled and went on to fool us. See how little it occurred to any of us, even those who make a habit of interrogating narratives, to ask whether or not it really happened.

Think about how easily that basic question was trampled and crushed into oblivion. How effortlessly a few public statements and a very very questionable pic became the collective “truth” for all of us. Look at how the debate was already being positioned. How the issue was going to be “who did it?” not “was it even done?”

The real problem this highlights is not just that the derogation of journalistic duty to fact-check and second-source is now the norm. We already know this. It’s been too apparent for too long.

The real problem is that this derogation helps to create the reality we all live in. Even those of us who deplore it. If for whatever reason Arkady had sloped off to Hawaii in a bad wig, today we would all be debating who may have killed him. Unwittingly hostage to a flimsy lie.

This is an uncomfortable truth we need to recognise. Because it’s often the questions that seem most unnecessary, absurd, offensive, even insane that actually most need to be asked.

We are already being dissuaded from learning this most valuable lesson. The journos who were so recently burned are already backstopping against it. They aren’t focusing on why the lie happened, they are focusing on how “the enemy” (the Russians, the alt-media, the whole evil circus of “other”) are “exploiting” it. How they will now have an “excuse” to suggest any future such deaths might also be fake.

The drive is to make it ridiculous to learn from experience or to cite precedence. We are already being persuaded only idiots would think future deaths might be fake based on the fact past deaths were fake.

No matter how much data there might be for fakery we must never accept it as a legitimate possibility. No matter how many Doumas may happen, no matter how many Babchenkos come back from the dead, no matter how many incidents of fakery are outed, or “explained” in unsatisfactory terms, we must never learn from experience. We can discuss why the victims of the latest atrocity died, but not the possibility they might not have died at all?

Is this really good enough? I don’t think so.

Next time we are flooded with the apparently shocking narrative of violent death, how many of us will be brave or crazy enough to dare to ask – “did this death even happen?”?


  1. Here’s my (probably not very helpful) contribution:

    I think the plan was for Babchenko to stay dead, but Russia had found out where he was and would have exposed him as alive. Therefore he either had to be killed off for real or resurrected. He probably refused to be killed off for real.

    Babchenko is a “journalist” like I am a real terrorist. One only needs to read his book, “One Soldier’s War In Chechnya”, to understand that he has been from the start a professional Russia-hater and fantasist. Here are some excerpts of the review I wrote of this alleged “autobiography”:

    “Babchenko’s account of his own experiences, which seem to have included daily beatings that ought to have killed any normal human, allied with starvation (apparently nobody fed his unit) …(is) so obviously a compendium of many individual’s experiences, put together and made his own (and of a few friends, not one of whom is identified fully and completely). It’s impossible to believe that one man could withstand all that hurt without any long term effects – and that day after day, week after week, without medical help or even food. And, also, the soldiers themselves apparently spent all their spare time stealing things from their base to sell to the Chechens across the wire, in return for food and money and booze, all of which was to be handed over to their seniors. I have no problem believing this happened once in a while, but the way he describes it, nothing would have been left.

    Babchenko then goes into a brief, very brief account of his service in Chechnya in the first war. It occupies scarcely one chapter, and segues into his service with a penal battalion in Moscow after he was arrested for overstaying his leave (granted on the death of his father) due to illness. And the next we hear of him, he’s back in Chechnya, and it’s 1999, and the Second Chechen War is in full swing….

    Babchenko’s account, superficially highly plausible, just doesn’t hold up when you think about it in detail. There are holes; chronological holes, logic holes, contradictions, and all without any particular reason why they should exist.

    The chronological problem is great in itself. Babchenko writes in page xi of the Preface, “A few of the stories have been complied from several real episodes that have been compressed into a single period and shifted in time.” (Emphasis mine.) Why shifted? Who knows? Babchenko doesn’t say.

    A great part of the book is devoted to the Battle of Alkhan Yurt, where Babchenko played an observer’s role, if one is to believe him, calling in strikes, helping carry out reconnaissance, and the like. All this begins most dramatically on New Year’s Eve, 2000, with our hero, in the ice and mud of Chechnya, thinking of home and so on (there’s also an unexplained misdating of the Russian Orthodox Christmas thrown in for good measure). Then he talks in detail about how they got into their vehicles and moved out and their travails over the next days as the battle of Alkhan Yurt developed around them.

    Well, here’s what: the battle of Alkhan Yurt ended on the first of December 1999, a full month before Babchenko claims it even started, and involved claims of a massacre by Russian forces of Chechen civilians – a massacre Babchenko, an alleged witness of everything that happened, completely fails to mention, even to deny that it happened.

    Then there are the logical inconsistencies.

    Babchenko talks (Page 193) about a captain named Sitnikov, and says right away that he was one of those officers who get decorations but get all their men killed. Dangerous people, as Babchenko says. We follow Sitnikov and Babchenko around for several tens of pages, in and out of battle. In all this time, do we see the captain’s hunger for glory, which Babchenko has told us about at the outset, successfully poisoning our attitudes towards the man? No, we see a man who seems to be a careful, professional officer. Are there two different captains called Sitnikov, and Babchenko has forgotten which one he’s talking about?

    Then there is the unnamed mortar battery commander, a man who (page 255) never doubted the correctness of his actions and was prepared to kill readily, and even happily. This man is described as a superb professional, who has total command over his troops, and obeys orders rigidly. So, when his unit is ready to fire on a certain sector of the battlefield, and orders come on the radio from headquarters to cancel the bombardment and withdraw, what does our by-the-book commander do? Does he withdraw? No, he waxes furious, orders his men to load their bombs, and to get ready to launch the bombardment anyway, as though he was some kind of warlord independent of the main command. And yet when another infantry officer informs him that the Russians are now in the target sector, he accepts that and cancels the bombardment – the exact orders he had just refused to obey when conveyed directly from headquarters. Is this professionalism? (Of course, since the bombardment was never launched, and the officer never named, there’s no way to check on whether Babchenko is telling the truth about this episode.)

    The third part of the book continues about Chechnya, in the tense peace that followed the formal end of fighting. The same Babchenko who joined the second war of his own free will suddenly can’t wait to go home; but even though he claims that a kontraktnik can demand to be sent home in the middle of the fighting, he apparently makes no attempt to ask to be sent home; the circumstances of his discharge from the army in April 2000 are never explained.

    During this period, Babchenko slips back into observer mode; lambasting the corrupt Russian officer corps, where according to him, generals beat colonels, colonels beat majors, majors beat captains, and so on, all the way down the line, and nobody cares about anything but themselves. In true Babchenko fashion, he then describes (page 365) a Captain Vladimir Shabalin, a compassionate, courageous officer, who brings flowers to the grave of a soldier who saved his life in an ambush. Babchenko doesn’t even seem to notice his own self-contradictions….

    …in the second part of the book (the section discussing the First Chechen War), the author claims to have been in Mozdok, which is not in Chechnya, unloading corpses and watching necropsies (performed with a bread knife, no less) after the Second Battle of Grozny. And after that, he claims to have been sent off to fight in Chechnya and witnessed at first hand the destruction of Grozny. This is absolutely not possible for a simple reason: the Second Battle of Grozny, as a peek at Wikipedia will inform you, led to the signing of the Khasav Yurt accord and the withdrawal of all Russian units from Chechnya. Babchenko could have been either in Chechnya or in Mozdok; he could not have been in both places at once. Translation: He is either making the whole thing up or passing off someone else’s experiences as his own.

    Then there’s the episode in the part of the book set in Mozdok where a senior conscript called Timokha demands Babchenko find 600,000 rubles for him. Babchenko tries to find something to steal and sell to the Chechens for money, but can’t – the only items he does find are cannon shells he fails to sell, though he was offered a million rubles for a rocket launcher. Yet, after a couple of pages, he reports that he was (on alternate days) in charge of the armoury, from which this same Timokha and others could freely steal weaponry and sell for cash, and it was simplicity itself to fudge the accounts. It passeth understanding why Babchenko didn’t steal the weapons himself.

    Well, so far, I’ll admit, my suspicions about Babchenko’s account were all subjective. So I decided to do a little checking on Babchenko himself, and there it was; the proof.

    In an interview, Babchenko (who wrote on that conflict as well) openly claims that Russia was responsible for the 2008 war between itself and Georgia, which led to the latter’s defeat; even though the US, Georgia’s military and propaganda backer, itself admitted (in the person of Condoleezza Rice, no less) that Georgia had started the war.

    In other words, he’s a professional anti-Russian propagandist, the kind who always gets a ready audience in the West, because those of us who keep our eyes open know that anti-Russian propaganda is alive and well among the neo-imperialists in Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.”

    A better candidate for a false flag you couldn’t find if you tried.

  2. John says

    “No matter how many incidents of fakery are outed, or ‘explained’….we must never learn from experience”; welcome to the orthodoxy in which we live. Living in a psychopathic system this is the norm.

    • reinertorheit says

      Humankind has an inexplicable propensity for believing tosh. For the simpleminded, tosh is far more credible than anything which requires mental effort, education, or reasoning. There are people who believe the earth is flat.

      If usually helps if there is a charlatan promoting the tosh for their own financial gain. A nutcase named Messmer – who pledged to sponsor the young Mozart, but ran out on the deal – claimed he had a “cure” for poor vision. He ‘helped’ one young girl pianist in Vienna, who lost her sight entirely through his loony and sadistic treatments.

      “Nobody thinks in terms of ‘human beings’ – governments don’t, why should we? They talk about the people, and the proletariat? I talk about the suckers, and the mugs, and saps. It’s the same thing. They have their Five Year Plan – and so have I!
      (“Harry Lime” in The Third Man (G Green))

  3. monostrovich says

    No matter how much data there might be for fakery we must never accept it as a legitimate possibility. No matter how many Doumas may happen, no matter how many Babchenkos come back from the dead, no matter how many incidents of fakery are outed, or “explained” in unsatisfactory terms, we must never learn from experience. We can discuss why the victims of the latest atrocity died, but not the possibility they might not have died at all?

    Of course, the greatest of all possible Thought Crimes would be to suggest that although some atrocity victims are definitely real, the total number of them might be much less than six million.

  4. reinertorheit says

    The flailing desperation to damp down the catastrophic fallout of Ukraine’s lumpenheaded Babchenko ‘operation’ is nowhere better illustrated than in today’s table-thumping tantrum by Peter Pomerantsev, in the Observer (which is what Sunday’s Graun used to be called in better times)

    It’s Pomerantsev’s usual weary schtick – a catechism of lazy fibs, libertarian twaddle, recycled claptrap from Atlas Shrugged, Russia-demonising, and banging the drum for NATO (which, after all, is the organisation paying PP’s wages, although he hates to disclose it. The ‘Legatum Institute’ is a made-up front with a laughably wrong Latin name that smokescreens his actual agenda and purpose).

    All the Usual Suspects appear in Pomerantsev’s hastily-scribbled screed – an invidiious comparison between Babchenko’s work for Novaya Gazeta with The Evening Standard with nary a mention that both publications are owned by ‘Independent’ owner and part-time punch-up bouncer Alexander Lebedev. Pomerantsev cannot stop himself pulling the credibility legs from under his own stream of tosh, by bringing in The White Helmets as another example of wronged ‘heroes’.

    The KGB (disanded decades ago, hello?) are wheeled out for a quick Five-Minute Hate Oleg Sentsov – the Ukrainian “film-maker” (who has never made any films)- was cited as another case of appalling unfairness (fancy being sentenced to jail for crossing the Russian border with explosive devices and fuses, eh? I’m sure they were part of his next ‘film’). Even the LGBT camp were emboldened in the piece. The only bullet-point PP missed in his potty peroration was something about the irresponsible use of plastic carrier bags – although I’m sure his boss Mr Stoltenberg will ask for it to be covered in the next Missive From The Bunker. Some B-grade Russophobia for all the family, then.

    One thing is certain – when they have to call Peter Pommy Ranter in over the weekend to rally ‘Strummered’, ‘BangorStu’ and the rest of the Muswell Hill Broadway Kommentariat Kommando….

    … you can be certain that the Babchenko Ballsup has gone arse upwards in a spectacular way, NATO minions are now burning the midnight oil over a hot MacBook Pro, in a feverish struggle to make up the shattered credibility.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      It tells you what a deranged sewer the Western fakestream media have become when utter shite like this appears in a ‘liberal’ rag. And I had just watched, gob-smacked, a five minute tirade of lunatic lies from a local presstitute regarding Russia’s ‘massive’ meddling in the US election, which, apparently was so open and brazen because Evil Putin wanted to send a message to the freedom-loving West that he was coming for them. And, now, of course, he has his puppet in the White House,so closely controlled that his regime has imposed more and more sanctions on Russia and daily proclaims it a ‘threat’ to the Free World. Just how Evil Putin is the master Svengali, behind the ‘high walls of the Kremlin, yet his ‘puppet’ leads a regime insanely belligerent towards Russia, is a religious conviction that no fakestream presstitute would EVER dare question. When mass hysteria, service to power and innate psychopathy reach these Orwellian levels, you really can’t see much hope for Homo ‘sapiens’ can you?

  5. Dave m says

    Just a thought re ‘witchcraft’ mentioned in one post-
    When a woman (always a woman?) was accused, they threw them in the water- If they sank, they
    were not witches, if they floated, they were, and duly murdered.
    So even when the MSM gets caught out, they try to turn it round, so they are always right!
    Witchfinder Generals all.

  6. stevehayes13 says

    When it comes to Russia, journalistic standards are as hard to find as unicorns. First, they take the Ukraine “murder” narrative as unquestionable fact; then they take the new hoax-to-foil-Russian-muder narrative as unquestionable fact without missing a beat. Could they make it any clearer that they are nothing other than paid propagandists?

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I think you needed to insert ‘Western’ between ‘Russia’ and ‘journalistic’. Western presstitutes are VERMIN, with very few exceptions. The worst hatemongers are every bit as vile as any Streicher.

      • stevehayes13 says

        The Nuremberg Tribunal trial of Streicher was intended to serve as a precedent – yet it has been conveniently ignored and forgotten.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          These scum are, in many instances, worse than any Streicher.

    • Kiza says

      Western presstitutes give prostitution a bad name.

  7. Ceredig says

    It does occur to me that just because Babchenko survived this one doesn’t mean he will survive the next one, when the Ukrainian authorities have come up with a more convincing narrative.

    • reinertorheit says

      The Ukrainian SBU failed to show any evidence whatsoever of attempts on Babchenko’s life. Meantime there remains the cases of Ukrainian journalists murdered in Ukraine by forces allied to the SBU, which have never been investigated – such as Oles Buzina.

    • Jen says

      Or when whatever Babchenko did to bribe the SBU not to kill him either runs out or loses its value to them.

  8. Simon says

    An off-independent interloper here.

    Does anyone know what’s going on with the comments at the Indy? I wanted to comment and see what was being commented on this, the Spanish and Italian election stories etc, but. they seem to have been suspended across the board the last 24hrs or so.

    Has the last msm mostly-open-for-comments facility fallen? I’m afraid I only go to the msm papers for the comments now, the main reason I no longer go to my once daily grauniad.

    • reinertorheit says

      I heard you have to be a UKIP member to post comments at the Indy these days. Or a Gobby Robinson fan. The signal-to-noise ratio has reached unusable levels. The overt Russophobia of a newspaper (for which I formerly wrote, in the pre-Lebedev era) makes it utterly unfit for any purpose these days. The idea of having a fat American living in Lebanon covering stories in Poland highlighs the terminal failure of the Indy project.

      • Yarkob says

        RT’s comments have gone totally bonkers last day or so. Literally comment after comment of anti-Assad and anti-Putin memes. Pictures, tweet snips, the lot. I didn’t even know one could do html markup on RT’s comments. Unless the newly-appointed comment-minders are in on it. Surely not…*cough*

        • FS says

          Yarkob, about RT comments..

          Comments on RT are moderated (‘Mossad-rated’?) by Spot.IM, an Israeli outfit working out of Tel Aviv and New York.

          In addition to what they have to delete according to their terms of service, they exercise a zero-tolerance policy towards the most lucid comments, particularly those which are pro-Russian and portray Russian people as tolerant and humane. This, you will agree, is an ironic state of affairs in view of RT being a Russian-owned news site. Comments which fall into this category, it is worth noting, are deleted, Orwell-stylee, without a ‘deleted’ marker, such that they apparently never existed.

          The moderators tend to leave the anti-Russian and anti-Putin memes for as long as they possibly can. They’re usually then deleted with a ‘deleted’ marker, to show us that moderators are performing their duties correctly. They demonstrate a similar, timed tolerance towards the obscene and inarticulate comments about Jews/ Jooz/ Juice, spelled in various ways in some token attempt to sidestep an imagined auto-censor, and any inarticulately represented conspiracy theory is also permitted oxygen. Just as long as it looks like it’s been written by an idiot.

          There is clearly an agenda at work. Perhaps to characterise RT visitors as raging sub-literate tinfoil ushanka wearing anti-semites at a later date. On inspection, a great many of such comments appear to be half-hearted, merely going through the motions.

          Recently they’ve allowed comments in gallant defence of Tommy Robinson’s free speech to thrive, even below unrelated articles, as well as comments from the ‘woke’, trying to alert us to his apparent cause – the defence of our white girls at the hands of the Muslim hordes menacing Britain’s streets, a cause which, by these people’s reckoning, is being avoided like the plague by the liberal mainstream media due to the risk of offending Muslims. (This despite the last 20 years of an utterly bogus ‘War on Terror’ waged by Zionists in tandem with a fantastically successful Western media bluff and double-bluff campaign of vitriolic demonisation against Islam.)

          Zionists have identified RT as a useful alt-media channel, it seems, and Tommy Robinson, probably now sunning himself at the Dead Sea on a 13-month all-expenses paid sabbatical-beano, is now our champion of free speech. We’re told that Meghan Markle’s (?) sister even spoke up in his defence, courting controversy in the process.

          I think we’re all here because we’ve grown sick to the stomach of having our intelligence continually insulted. I consider myself fortunate that I no longer live in the UK and am therefore not subjected to the stench of it 24/7. How on earth do the rest of you cope?

    • Francis Lee says

      ”I’m afraid I only go to the msm papers for the comments now,”

      I only go for the crossword puzzles.

    • Unequivocally, D’Case Babchenko is one to book mark and earmark for the LEVESON 2 inquiry ..

      Oh wait , ;( (forget dat’ TOTAL LOGIC .. )

    • Hmmmm , let me guess you got the account error ‘403007’ , perhaps ? !

      The clue being in the last three digits, maybe ..

      Re. indy mods.n’ Rocker feller guys n’ gals; infiltration is complete !

      Whatever: it might interest you to know that having purposefully (due to MI5/6 infiltration) done a right hilarious “STINKBOMB” of a pre-meditated Final Communication to the Guardian Moderators dept. in full knowledge that I would be banned for good (prompting a complete walkout of ALL moderators that weekend, at the the Guardian), almost ALL comments sections were closed down, only the British Secret Services Moderators remained at work, that weekend ..

      Having done this, I moved onto the Independent, who had difficulties with me from the beginning, long before this year around 2014-15 , but, legally speaking they had had to tolerate me and moderate each individual comment, painfully aware of what I had done at the Guardian, but unable to stop me legally .. & me timing a comment , when I could see that Secret Service guys @ the Indy were elsewhere engaged or absent for a short while ..

      Needless to say, today, I also can’t get a single comment at the Independent even onto the page, although they have not officially banned me or notified me of any reason why this is the case >> but I kept comment copies, logical simples, Simon 🙂 so, I can say with full confidence that you would not believe the INNOCENT nature of Balkydj comments that got removed from the Indy comments section, for ZERO Legal legitimate reason in Law, they TPTB had connected me to the Guardian walkout, though I used my real name at the Guardian and since then , peace & quiet for the British Secret Services moderators at the Independent, so that the British Military 77th Brigade can operate without interference and being wholly discredited by


      LMAO 🙂 chuckle , snigger and extra big laugh at my Guardian Stinkbomb moment, that prompted mutiny on the Bounty .. 😉 It’s all about what rests in people’s minds after the remains of the day and any moderators not employed also by Military Intelligence, have hearts & souls & conscience too, believe it or not 😉 .. the only question is, how to access their minds, Psychologically speaking ..

    • JA139 says

      The Independent is owned by the same Russian family that owns the Standard.
      The Standard under the editorship of Gideon Osborne, has done deals with the likes of Uber and Google to provide favourable editorial content in return for oodles of money. Just like Osborne himself, who now has about half a dozen ‘jobs’ paying loadsamoney to someone with no obvious qualifications.

  9. Death Wish 2?

    Having being caught, in another classic farce, with their trousers down the Gruaniad [and WMSM in general] goes into rinse, spin and terminal denial. Instead of looking objectively at this and their previously impossible narratives they have spun, they just hunker down and go back to reruns of previous deceptions – perpetrated by themselves.

    Sub headline: “Russian journalist smeared with pig’s blood as part of ruse with Ukrainian authorities” Harding, at home in London and Christopher Miller [is this a composite persona of Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller – I joke but who can tell these days?] we are led to believe is in Kiev. Together they try to get as much about the Russo-phobe narrative into this clearly idiotic deception by Ukraine.

    Interesting construction? “Russia journalist smeared with pigs blood..” then as if not so consequential “part of a ruse with Ukrainian authorities”. Even the links gives away a lot “details-staged-murder-plot-russia-ukraine”

    Instead of looking at the questions it raises they and the Graun’s editorial go into hyper-drive to re-spin the the fake news narrative into… well another level of faked news.

    Second paragraph in “Babchenko defended the tactics used by Ukraine’s security services, and said the plot to kill him was terrifyingly real.” Don’t waist time getting to spin… “plot to kill terrifyingly real”. And then straight into the link with the Skripal affair and bad, bad Russia. Oh and of course poor old Arkady is running away from Russia, oh just as Sergey was… Right?

    Good article Catte

  10. Robbobbobin says

    It was extremely distressing to hear of the tragic and quite unexpected demise of Luke Harding’s next fat publishing deal.

    • reinertorheit says

      Feeble must be very disappointed. Waitrose has become so pricey these days.

  11. Gary Weglarz says

    Excellent piece Catte. However, I think what this episode points to is the much larger question which is: “why did the Soviet Union disintegrate?” Clearly this affair on top of the Skripnal affair make it abundantly clear the likely answer to that question is that Russian intelligence agents have simply never mastered the art of political assassination. What kind of keystone cops operation can’t kill someone using a “military grade nerve agent” – I mean – or “BZ” or “BK” or “FU” or whatever the heck those evil former communists used on the poor Skripnals. At least they are now mercifully under the loving care of British intelligence, where I imagine they are eating ice cream and binge watching Game of Thrones to their heart’s content when if ever they will see the light of day again.

    What could have been a disaster had the Skripnal’s died in the end is simply an example of Russian incompetence in the art of killing people. Who knew they were so bad at this? I mean they’ve been accused by Western media of killing every journalist that has died anywhere on the planet since this whole “Putin is Hitler” thing became so popular. These Ruskies could certainly use a refresher course or two at our innocuously renamed U.S. training facility called the – “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” – it used to be called the “School of the Americas.” It’s where we train all of our Latin American assassins and death squad leaders. These people learn all the latest techniques and no one gets a passing grade for “almost” killing their target – that’s for sure! If the military grade nerve agent fails, our graduates just rev up the old chain saw and make short work of you in broad daylight. Hey who’s going to notice another dismembered corpse in El Salvador, or Colombia or now Honduras – all places where U.S. style “democracy” is the order of the day. If only Russia would agree to this whole – “becoming an foot kissing American vassal” thing – they too could send budding assassins to our school to learn how to do the job right. I’m just saying.

    I don’t mean to sound critical of Russia in this whole “Babchenko” affair, but I mean if you can’t kill someone in the neighboring country without subcontracting the assassination out to a third party, well, you’ve got no one to blame but yourself when the brilliant Ukrainian authorities crack things wide open with a brilliant fake assassination, that was done to show, uhh, umm, well I don’t know “what” exactly it was done to show, but I do know that it will be “used to show” that – you guessed it – “Putin is Hitler.”

    Forgive me for bringing some levity to this, but if I couldn’t I think I’d cry. I have totally run out of adequate descriptors for the non-stop 24/7 activities and antics of amoral psychopathic Western power and Western media. – “Orwellian” doesn’t quite do it for me anymore. “Theatre of the absurd” is nice, but I’ve been using it for the last 12 months or so – kind of stale by now. “Post-reality,” yes, that works, but we’ve been “post-reality” at least since “Russiagate” started. I’m totally open to suggestions at this point. If you’ve got something fresh please share it. I’m sure I’m not alone trying to find a socially appropriate way to say that we in the West have become basically “bat shit crazy.”

    • Good and humorous post. Thx.
      I am also now at the level where it is difficult to fathom what is reality and what is fiction. A defense mechanism could be to withdraw into oneself to protect sanity, but then they win…
      I think Orwell would be amused that 1984 is already surpassed, and is yesteryear. New realities are created at the whim and their script planned years in advance, every need is taken into consideration.

    • Russian precognition is so advanced that they can predict things years into the future – like the next president of Amerika, from 2012… Amazing? They organise the most strangely convoluted ways to kill people abroad which often have the media and governments trying to piece together what happened. Sometimes for years. And then they have to admit there is no hard evidence only “possibly”, or “of a type”…. Yet they appear to fail by over-reach.

      Most of this seems to take place in Britain or if elsewhere with Amerika’s help too. Remember John Kerry saying categorically the US of Amerika had satellite evidence of where the missile came from that shot down MH-17, but then refused to provide the JIT with it? Ukraine a possible suspect of the crime allowed to be part of the enquiry with a veto of admissible evidence to boot. All no problem for the MSM news hounds.

      Social media now provides most of the essential background. While we are told the internet is full of deception and lies. Wikileaks is propaganda lies, while Wikipedia is wholesome truth edited tirelessly 24/7 by that Mr Philip Cross, whoever he is. We know the real truth must lie in the most obvious place, under our noses and is true because it’s repeated so often.

      While all this goes on the real culprits apparently are allowed to slide under the radar…

      It appears the paranoid inter-connected and in-bread British establishment at, MI5+6/GCHQ has more to hide than they will tell us. The go too guys even for the CIA.

  12. MH17. That was the event which the joint CIA/FSU collaboration set up to blame Russia for an evil deed which pushed a decorated Ukrainian Air-Force pilot, Vyacheslav Voloshin, to take his own life, unless he was suicided, or unless he is still alive. What can be believed? The Wizard of Oz? Alice in Wonderland? Harry Potter or Peter Pan?

    Then there is the Skripal case. Had Sergei been offered a goodly sum to be “murdered” so the power-brokers of the world could try to take another brick out of the Russian superstructure? Our newspaper articles were never quite sure if the Skripals were alive, dead, in a coma, sitting up or at death’s door.

    • JudyJ says

      John – Quite. “…unless he is still alive” – When Voloshin was reported to have died and it was reported as suicide it struck me at the time that everybody in Ukraine and the West seemed unusually phlegmatic in accepting that explanation and, completely contrary to what you might expect, not indulging in accusations or other theories involving Russia. There were even several friends and colleagues etc conveniently quoted as saying there was definitely nothing sinister about it as “he had been visibly depressed over the past few weeks”. And when a representative from the anti-Putin ‘Open Russia Movement’ (founded by Mikhael Khodorkovsky) was interviewed by Sky and defending the Babchenko affair he made the unchallenged statement that such a set-up as the Babchenko one is not unusual as “deaths are faked all the time”, which struck me as maybe not a wise thing for him to say at any time, and certainly not in the light of the Skripal case. There could be several explanations for Voloshin’s ‘death’, including the very real possibility that he is still alive somewhere. But what we do know is that it is very convenient for the Ukrainians in terms of removing one source of information about what really happened to MH17.

  13. Jen says

    I’m inclined to believe Babchenko and the SBU had originally planned an assassination attempt which the SBU would successfully foil. Somewhere along the way someone failed to read the script and the hoax attempt derailed into a hoax murder. The claim that the hoax murder was intended to catch a Russian-organised plot had to be hastily put up to prevent more embarrassment. Not succeeding well by the looks of things though.

  14. Yonatan says

    Babchenko may not live long enough to regret taking part in this set up. Like Nemtsov, he is possibly now more useful dead than alive to his patrons. The story leading to the culprit – Russia – has already been setup and primed, so what have the Ukrops to lose? Give it a few weeks or months for the dust to settle then … ? … It is a little over two weeks to the start of the football tournament in Russia.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      I rather imagine that most, if not all, of the mysterious murders committed, so we are told by recidivist liars and hypocrites (and are meant to believe, without question)of Western agit-prop, by Evil Putin, including Litvinenko, were in fact committed by the West, or by fellow oligarchs, which means, more or less, Israel. Israel, in particular, has NO compunction in murdering for advantage, and there are thousands of ‘former’ MOSSAD, Shin Bet and other organisations’ experts at the business. Let alone contemplating the record of murder and terror committed by the USA and UK over the centuries and recent decades, in Iraq and elsewhere.

      • True and they even brag about it.
        Saw a Tv program (sic) with 5 former chiefs of intel explaining, the candidly told of murders and worse.
        Israel is a nation of criminals, like the US, that should be shunned.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says

          And when Israel murders its victims’ leaders, it cares not a bit about ‘collateral damage’ of family or neighbours or bystanders.

        • Tony M says

          But isn’t it a bolt-hole, a supervillain HQ where criminals go from which extradition is constitutionally improbable if not impossible, a fortress to withstand siege and from which to assail an outraged wider world seeking justice.

          The self-appointed British Elite in the early 20th century -Milner, Balfour, the Rhodes Group clearly had the aim of reducing Germany and Russia to economic ruin, shattering their social structure and decimating their populations thus making the world safe for England to pillage exclusively and only half succeeded, failing to exploit the payoff. At some point from Balfour Declaration onwards, their plans went seriously awry. Russia was looted wholesale but the several centuries worth of its kleptocratic monarchy’s spoils ended up in New York instead of London, and a murderous tyranny arose there which made the previous naive Tsarist rule seem for the over-whelming majority of its people a benign utopia. The hoped for loyal watchdog in Palestine for the northern end of the Suez Canal later turned round and sank its teeth into their behinds –both situations got out of their control, as a result of empowering the same fanatical irrational unbiddable uncontrollable zealots having a malign agenda of their own quite contrary to the dreams of Rhodes for the British Empire, for they sought its liquidation and usurpation.

  15. reinertorheit says

    If he hadn’t turned up alive? No point even discussing it.

    If this gutless little turd had been shown on primetime TV having simulated sex with Verka Serduchka, he couldn’t have destroyed the credibility of the Ukrainian Security Service more completely and finally than rolling around in a car park in tomato ketchup and groaning ‘Oh mein Gott I have been assassinatered by the evil Vladimir Pootie-Poot’.

    And now Porky’s No 1 Poster Boy says he wants to ride into Moscow at the head of a column of Abrams tanks?

    We’ll provide the tomato ketchup for that one, Arkady!!

    And this is the nation which wants the world’s credulence on the MH-17 downing?

  16. Styopa says

    That’s surely what was meant to happen, if Babchenko hadn’t got cold feet or for whatever other reason decided he couldn’t go through with it. And that’s surely what would have happened to the Skripals if Yuliya Sergeevna hadn’t managed to grab a phone and call her cousin. Which leaves two questions. 1 – what is Babchenko’s life worth now? He’s no use to the SBU except as a corpse, this time with wounds that any doubting Thomas journalist can stick a finger in. And 2 – what’s with all these secret service staged killings where no-one actually gets killed? Is that MI6’s sticking point in its joint stings with Mossad and other unsavoury foreign outfits? If so, for how much longer given the recent fiascos in Salisbury, Douma and Kyiv?

  17. Gwyn says

    The way millions of gullible people swallow the Russophobic propaganda is truly pathetic.


  18. Richard Wicks says

    Has anybody considered what actually happened here? How would pulling a hoax murder, help capture real assassins?

    I have a different theory. I think this guy wanted to prove how gullible Western media is so he pulled this hoax. Two innocent Russian (possibly agents) were pulled in to blame them for his “death”. He shows up a day later to show he’s alive. The CIA or some other similar agency, had “a talk” with him, warning that he better not embarrass US BS propaganda, and they concocted this story.

    • reinertorheit says

      [[ How would pulling a hoax murder, help capture real assassins? ]]

      No, Richard, don’t even bother going there. These are Ukrainians. Nothing they say is worth $0.05. They haven’t even considered what the horseshit they spouted in that press session even meant. Don’t waste your time trying to decipher their gorilka-fuelled gobshite.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says

        Not all Ukrainians are like the Ukronazi filth installed in power by the USA. Like ALL US stooges these vermin are Evil incarnate. Imagine living in Ukraine and not being a fascist, racist, corrupt thug like the elites in power.

        • reinertorheit says

          Many Ukrainians who don’t support the Nuland Porkocracy have fled their benighted homeland, which is now only kept out of the Most Disastrous Economy in Europe spot by the presence of Moldova. Anyone with a profession of any kind has found it worth relocating.

          But this all suits the Porkocracy. A population of economically desperate people., unpaid state employees, workplace staff on short-time working, and professional thieves (one of Ukraine’s major industries) can be easily whipped up by nationalist nonsense. The arrival of long warm evenings makes the Torch-Marching Season a cinch to organise for Ukraine’s truly stinking Nazis like Tyahnybok and Miroschnichenko. A bit of pressure put on breweries to provide free beer (in exchange for not burning their premises down) soon produces a nice balaclava-clad crowd of drunken Ukrainian Neanderthal scum.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says

            The Neanderthals cop a lot of bad publicity from H. sapiens. I have 14% Neanderthal DNA myself.

        • Maggie says

          “Imagine living in Ukraine and not being a fascist, racist, corrupt, thug” like the Victoria Nuland/Joe Biden CIA funded Elites who are in power…

  19. rtj1211 says

    This will not stop until these useless scribblers are imprisoned for fraudently claiming to be journalists. Just throw Luke Harding in jail, torture him rather less badly than a Pompeo/Haspel protocol, and tell him to reveal everything.

    Either he is a naive innocent, in which case he cannot practice journalism; or he is a CIA plant, in which case prison without due process would teach him what his masters do all over the globe.

    But most importantly, tell editors you will not read their newspaper until they sack their unethical scribblers.

  20. MichaelK says

    Spook Harding is such a… God, life’s too short! These well-paid journalists are really like the members of a Truth cult, only their Truths are usually faked, not that they’d notice the Truth if it came up and jumped on them.

    It’s all about dogmatic belief in the evilness of the Russians, with Putin as the Devil and his servants doing everything they can to undermine us and steal our mortal souls. Once on accepts the existence and the reality of witchcraft, finding the ‘evidence’ is easy and almost automatic. Harding and these others are obsessive fanatics with a narrow and debased worldview that’s frighteningly dogmatic and dangerous, yet they are respected and have a national, really an international platform. Really it illustrates how crass and degenerate officially sanctioned mainstream journalism has become.

  21. Manda says

    An aside on a purely human kevel, what sort of person pulls a stunt like this on his wife and family if they are going to resurrect themselves and not start a new life somewhere nice and warm? That’s assuming his wife and family were not in on it.

    Great piece Catte.

  22. sallysdad says

    Gee…. if he hadn’t turned up…. alive…… he would be famous….. now he is just a deceptive jerk with a whole lot of ulterior motives revealing way too much about his handlers…..

  23. Kaiama says

    Large swathes of the public have now received a free vaccination against a deadly outbreak of fakenewsitis.
    The entire MSM have been shown to be a bunch of biased unquestioning stenographers – certainly MSM journalism is dead.

  24. Tom Wengraf says

    Really good piece: simultaneously funny and very serious. Thanks.


Comments are closed.