MH17 – Geopolitical Chess

June 7, 2018

In a few weeks it will be four years ago since the Malaysian Boeing MH17 was shot from the air. 298 People were killed and the tragedy became part of a geopolitical chess game that will last for decades. Russia is currently in the defense.

On the geopolitical chessboard Russia’s opponent is depicted in yellow here:


This specific picture is from the Skripal board and compact information about the pieces and pawns can be found in this message from ‘Foreign Office‘.

26 Pieces and pawns against the lonely Russian King who is forced to play simultaneously.

Which group name to use for the players who are operating shoulder to shoulder against Russia? I mention a few candidates:

The Free World
The International Community
The West
Empire of Truth

Choice of words is a matter of taste and political preference. From now on I use the term NATO+ because:

– Information war is part of every modern military doctrine.
– The + there because of Australia and Ukraine.
– NATO + is a neutral term.

Revival of the Cold War?

In the nineteenth century, The Great Game began due to rivalry between the British and Russian empires to control Central Asia. In this historical context, the Cold War was only a short period, an anomaly of conflict between two ideological systems. It is now old-fashioned just about influence, power and money. Lots of money.
The core of NATO + marketing is the sales pitch that the current tensions are again ideological: Western democracy versus dictator Putin who has to be stopped.

In 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski published “the Grand Chessboard” and summarized the core of Washington’s strategy as follows:

“In particular, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger can stand up to Eurasia and therefore challenge the global superiority of America.”

The ‘humanitarian’ bombing of NATO on Serbia and the book of ‘Zbig’ made me think. For me it became clear in 1999 that Ukraine will become an important field on the Grand Chessboard. In August that same year I made my first visit to that country and many trips through the former Soviet Union would follow.

Military doctrine: ‘Full Spectrum Dominance’

“the ability of U.S. forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations.” (Source)

Two examples of methods that are considered acceptable to make sure the objectives are achieved.

– The government of the United States wanted to use the deployed airplanes of the Soviet air force to carry out a false flag and thus start a war with the USSR and its allies. (Source)

– Drone operators describe children as “fun-size terrorists” and compare killing them with “mowing the grass before it gets too long.” (Source)

Glenn Greenwald writes: “Thanks to the Snowden archive, we know how Western intelligence services try to manipulate discourse on the Internet”.

Two techniques that are applied:

1) Injecting all sorts of false information on the internet to destroy the reputation of the ‘targets’.

2) Use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate results that are deemed desirable.

For the sake of clarity, these ‘targets’, people whose reputations are being ruined and their online political activities are being undermined, have never been accused of any crime. (Source)

Schotch Game 

Craig Murray is a former British ambassador in Uzbekistan and one of the loudest voices of dissent in the Skripal case. On 20 March 2018 he quotes:

The decision to promote a source like Murray, a man who has spent time in a residential mental health facility, has caused bewilderment in the Guardian newsroom…

“The red ink is original.
Now it is true that, when I was sacked as Ambassador by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for blowing the whistle on extraordinary rendition and the Blair government’s misuse of intelligence from torture, I went into a terrible depression and voluntarily spent ten days or so in St Thomas Hospital (not a mental illness facility) for treatment. I have never tried to keep this secret, indeed it is a major part of my memoir “Murder in Samarkand”. It is also true, as I have always acknowledged, that I have had other less serious depressive episodes treated at home and been diagnosed as bipolar since I was 20.
That we stigmatise anybody who has ever had a mental illness, write them off and view their views, on anything, as invalid, is an attitude I had hoped we had moved past last century.” (Source)

Dutch Defence

I asked myself a number of things after reading:

– What are my weak spots?
– How long can my grass grow before it is mowed?
– Where are the Red Hordes of Russian trolls?

An anonymous Twitter account recently sent me information about research into the murder of Pim Fortuyn, where the reputation of a journalist was destroyed. I took note of it.

The NATO+ supporters and people who think they really are not Russia-haters are trying to ridicule me on Twitter and frame me as ‘useful idiot’, Kremlin troll, ‘Truther‘, and incompetent researcher. They have nothing against Russians, but against the ‘authoritarian Putin regime’.

They will never mention my successful investigations into Dutch war crimes in the former Dutch East Indies. [Video 22 min – English subs]
War crimes of which the Dutch politicians, media and historians have maintained for more than sixty years they never happened.

I have nothing against the Dutch, but everything against the ‘elitists in The Hague and their stenographers from the media.’ Freedom of expression, democracy and the rule of law are no guarantees for truthful reporting.

That takes me to the Bellingcat Jokers

The inspriration for this article came from Bellingcatter Christo Grozev who “Just for fun” made the following tweet with reference to the Great Chessboard:

What makes me so important to link me as a truthist to a ‘highly likely’ general of Russian military secret service?
Fact the agenda is driven by politics becomes clear with the tweet by Christo the Bellingcatter in which he promotes an article in the ‘Dutch Guardian’ in which I am linked to Russian activists by means of guilt by association. My analysis of this Dutch Guardian pulp fiction here and my outcry here.

About Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, Wikipedia shows:

“Eliot Ward Higgins (born January 1979), who previously used the pseudonym Brown Moses, is a British citizen journalist and blogger, known for using open sources and social media to investigate the Syrian Civil War, 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine and the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. He first gained mainstream media attention by identifying weapons in uploaded videos from the Syrian conflict. He is the founder of Bellingcat, a website for citizen journalists to investigate current events using open-source information such as videos, maps and pictures.”

Link to the original Zyklon-B page by Eliot Higgins on Facebook dating July 3, 2014. Bellingcat was launched July 15, 2014 with private donations via Kickstarter. Exactly two days later MH17 was shot down.

Professor Postol left side:

Eliot Higgins never showed any regret towards Professor Postol nor to Mimi al-Lamah, alias @PartisanGirl for his Zyklon-B ‘joke’, although I remind him about it on a regular basis as for example here, here, here, here, and here.

@PartisanGirl is playing a great game at the Syrian chessboard.

Eliot ridiculing a simple blogger can make me laugh and I don’t mind helping to overcome the language gap.

It becomes problematic when a member of the Dutch parliament is treated the same way …

…. and when another member of the Dutch parliament …

…… is described as sounding ‘like a shit’.

Exactly those two MPs who are critical in the MH17 case are being targeted by the founder of Bellingcat. Is it part of Higgins’s job to attack people who come to different politically relevant conclusions based on the same available information?

But the Dutch equivalent of the BBC describes him and the Bellingcat team as modern heroes. Maybe because of the objective top quality of their research?

Examples of extremely bad research and false claims by Bellingcat and members of Bellingcat.

January 2015 I received an email from professional forensic expert Charles Wood. He explained the fundamental flaws of  Bellingcat’s article Examining the MH17 Launch Smoke Photographs written by Daniel Romein.
Mr Wood’s analysis shows that the skills and methodology of the ‘Bellingcat Team’ fall way below any accepted standard. My blog was one of the first sources in which the failure of Bellingcat was exposed.

June 2015 Spiegel Magazine apologized to its readers for coverage of another Bellingcat report on MH17.

If Spiegel had consulted Mr. Wood or any other competent analyst this painful error would not have happened. A few days before Spiegel’s unfortunate article he explained in About Bellingcat’s claim: “Russian sat pics fake”:

  • Bellingcat ‘investigators’ are unqualified
  • Their use of Error Level Analysis is incompetent
  • Their reliance on dubious imagery dating is incompetent
  • They have no idea about publication processes for digital
  • They make totally unjustified guesses at ‘probabilities’ and
    present them as fact
  • Their conclusions are unsound.

A very practical example: ‘sofa search’ versus ‘hands on spot check’

While I traveled the H21 route from Donetsk to Torez, claimed to be the exact route the Buk made on a trailer, I had serious doubts if the Volvo/trailer/Buk combination…..

…. could pass under this low bridge:

Truth searcher Eliot responded almost immediately. Again with the qualification Truther he explained the Buk could have taken the “really obvious turn off” in case it could not have passed under the bridge.

During one of my ‘hands on spot checks’ I saw the turn offs could not be used due to concrete blocks that were placed there years ago. After Eliot’s tweet I returned to the location and shot this video:

Too bad for Eliot. All mouth, no Trousers

Issue here is not whether the Buk fits under the bridge or not, but issue is Eliot claims something with absolute certainty, while it has been proven that “the really obvious turn off” almost certainly can not be used. And that debunk of his claim does not lead to retraction of the falsified claim.

Exemplary for Bellingcat’s modus operandi is when it is proven there are plausibe alternatives to Bellingcat claims, the original claims are not revised or retracted in any way. Given Bellingcat’s great influence on uncritical journalists who themselves do no research at all, this is a separate study object for professionals. This also applies to the financing of the club.

Aric Toler is an American member of Bellingcat. He is my favorite joker of the group. No less than two hundred and four times he appears in my Twitter timeline. He is also one of the members of the Open Source Social Media phenomenon that does not block me. His Russian is much better than mine.

Urangutang or Sokolsky opening

No answer from Aric yet on which OSINT his claim that Russia murdered the Maltese journalist is based and also I can not find anything on the Bellingcat website. The claim is too idiotic to discuss further, but will ‘highly likely’ not be withdrawn.

Almost everyone in the Russian language area has heard of Anatoli Sharij. Almost no one in the English language area. See how he flushes Aric ‘Toper’ after false accusations that Sharij would produce falsified evidence. He mercilessly exposes the lies of Bellingcat and does so for a large and wide audience.

Click CC for English Subtitles

Update June 10 – unfortunately Aric blocked me again. Few moments after this tweet:

One of the techniques that Bellingcat uses to undermine the credibility of people: the straw man fallacy:

“He went to the crash site and still thought an SU-25 shot it down, shows how much that was worth”

Slightly funny, because Bellingcat can not know what I think. However, it does suggest that I am one of these folks who push the SU-25 theory that almost no one believes in anymore. The fact is: four years later, I still do not know what happened. I can not draw definitive conclusions on the basis of public sources. Period.

This is Lev Aleksandrovich Bulatov, former miner from Petropavlovka. I interviewed him in the garden at his house. In his hand a knife with the logo of Malaysia Airlines ….

…. and a figure of Delftware that had apparently survived the fall from ten thousand meters.

* note – I was allowed to keep the knife from the official researchers, because otherwise it would disappear in the container. I transferred the figurine. I am very curious if it ended up with someone. Tips welcome!

The entire interview with Lev Aleksandrovich can be read and viewed here.

Lev is willing to make a witness statement under oath and with a lie detector. Does he tell the truth? I’m not sure, but he comes across very credibly. Lev saw jet fighters flying at low altitude. Not one, not two, but three. He stood in the same spot as in the interview when wreckage from the Boeing fell into his garden.

If Lev speaks the truth, then it is an indisputable fact the Air Force of Ukraine was active in the crash area. This of course does not prove that a jet fighter is the murder weapon, but that Kiev is lying about this subject.

The Joint Investigation team has not interviewed him until this day.

The criticism that I never express my reservations about news from Russian sources is blatantly incorrect. I will demonstrate this with an example. This tweet from the famous Russian chess player is perverse.

Evidently chess and politics are really two different things and it wasn’t a great move by the grandmaster to connect Babchenko with MH17.

I will go into detail about the MH17 JIT and the Ukrainian secret service SBU in a subsequent article. Analysis all presented evidence by MH17 JIT at the press conference September 28, 2016 here.

“ALL telephone taps come from an organization that stages a fake murder with pig’s blood. There are people who can explain this. # MH17 ”

Historical perspective

Napoleon escapes from Moscow to Paris

In this position the black king Napoleon is still in Moscow and the Cossacks begin their hunt. For the chess lovers: the rest of the chess problem is here.

Русские долго запрягают, но быстро ездят


Propaganda film about the departure of 150 Dutch SS troops to the eastern front. Optimism seems to be huge looking at the slogan on the train: “We’re going to get Stalin“.

Unexpected move:

During one of my Twitter sessions, I unexpectedly receive a response from Dmitry Polyanskiy, First Deputy Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN.

I replied [PDF in English]:

Первому заместителю Постоянного представителя РФ при ООН
Дмитрию Алексеевичу ПОЛЯНСКОМУ

Уважаемый господин Полянский,

Ни для кого не является секретом, что я некоторое время назад обратился к Вам с критикой Вашей страны по поводу фундаментально некорректной информационной политики относительно трагедии с рейсом MH-17. В этом письме хочу обосновать мою критику.

1) Моя страна, Королевство Нидерландов, больше всех пострадала в этой трагедии, поскольку большинство погибших были гражданами Нидерландов. С позиции Нидерландов ситуация выглядит так: более двадцати стран публично разделяют точку зрения, что Россия несет ответственность за то, что был сбит Боинг Малазийских авиалиний. С другой стороны, Россия выступила с более чем двадцатью версиями в доказательство того, что эта точка зрения неверна. Независимо от того, каковы реальные факты, это совершенно неправильный коммуникационный менеджмент!

2) Как я понимаю, драма MH-17 является одним из болезненных моментов для сегодняшней внешней политики России. Для нас же, голландцев, это – одно из самых трагичных событий текущего десятилетия. К сожалению, опять же, если говорить с точки зрения Нидерландов, Россия не продемонстрировала достаточно уважения и сострадания к нашему национальному трауру. В доказательство моей точки зрения я мог бы привести ряд болезненных примеров, но я воздержусь здесь.

3) Россия занимает какую-либо позицию и предоставляет новую информацию лишь тогда, когда она принуждена сделать ход (если использовать немецкое выражение из шахмат – когда она находится в положении «цугцванга»).
Иными словами, каждый раз, когда ваши «партнеры» распространяют новые предположения относительно якобы вины России, Россия реагирует. Но за все четыре года Россия так и не представила по своей инициативе никакой связной, логичной версии относительно того, что же на самом деле произошло с малазийским Боингом.

Я очень надеюсь, что Вы воспримете мои слова, как конструктивную критику.
Если Вы заинтересованы в дальнейшем обмене мнениями, у Вас есть информация, как связаться со мной.

С уважением

Макс ван дер Верфф

Update June 13, 2018: Reply by Mr. Polyanskiy