The body of an independent Russian journalist was found in a wood the day after he had gone missing following threats from law enforcement authorities.
Timur Kuashev worked for the magazine Dosh (or Dosch) as its correspondent in Nalchik, the capital of the autonomous Kabardino-Balkar republic in the Russian Caucasus.
His body was found on Friday (1 August) in a wood near the Nalchik suburb of Khasania after he went missing the previous evening. There were no visible signs of violence. At the time of his burial on Saturday, the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of his death were unknown.
An article in Dosh said: “We believe that Timur was kidnapped from his home.” It pointed out that his mobile phone, which he always carried, was found in his apartment.
Kuashev had written about alleged human rights abuses by the security forces in the course of anti-terrorism operations. He also criticised Russian policy in Ukraine.
He claims to have uncovered an Instagram account of a Russian soldier operating a Buk missile launch system on the Ukrainian territory.
He quotes the soldier thus:
“Sitting around, working on a Buk, listening to music, basically a good Sunday.”
The context however does not support this translation. The original can be seen on this screenshot (courtesy of Backwoods Sleuth):
Notice two things:
1. The word “буке” (“buke”) starts with a small letter. In fact, the whole sentence is not capitalized. Therefore 2 interpretations of this word are possible - either it means a laptop computer “noutbuk” = “buk” (this not the abbreviation that I would use, I prefer “nout”, but the fact remains that many do use it). Or it could indeed mean Buk-the missile launcher.
2. The word in question is immediately followed by an Android emoji “personal computer”. Just as the word “music” is followed by an emoji meaning “speaker with three sound waves”. Note: you will probably only see them in your browser if you’re on an Android device.
So in the end it’s “we’re working on a laptop” instead of “on a missile launcher”.
The soldier’s comments under some other photos (like his usage of the #бтр = “APC” tag) make clear that his vehicle is an APC. Under one photo he wrote: “my APC[,] [we’re] sitting around doing nothing #excercises2014”.
Unfortunately, this mistranslation has spread like wildfire and after it is inevitably refuted, this faux pas will make it easier for some to dismiss the evidence from social networks about the role of the Russian military in the conflict, and such evidence is, in fact, in abundance.
I’m not sure “blunder” is the best word for the decisions Putin has made while in control of Russia, but that’s the term The Star newspaper of Malaysia chose for this report.
PETALING JAYA: In his 15 years at the helm of a new, capitalist Russia, President Vladimir Putin is no stranger to autocratic, if not oppressive and brutal moves to consolidate his grip on power and spread Russia’s influence.
These are just ten blunders Putin has made since taking the reins from Boris Yeltsin in 1999:
#10 is shooting down MH17 over Ukraine. While Russia’s ambassador to Malaysia says the pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine could not possibly have shot down the Malaysian Airlines jet, it seems Malaysians are not biting at that line at all.
PETALING JAYA: The passenger manifest of MH17 tells a grim tale. More than 20 families were wiped out when the Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down in Ukraine.
Two families of six were from Netherlands and Malaysia while there were a number of families of five, four and three that perished.
Many of those who died were children, of which at least 20 were below the age of 12.
A number of teenagers also perished along with couples who were returning from a holiday or embarking on one.
And now, where are their bodies?
MH17: Australian Toll Rises to 37 as Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Office Confirms Additional WA Resident on Board
Russia is to blame for the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17, an angry Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says.
He called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to make sure the international community has full access to the crash site and the remains of the 298 crew and passengers killed. US experts have concluded the plan was brought down by a surface-to-air missile launched from an area of eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russia separatists.
Abbott put the blame squarely on Russia.
“The Russians, as everyone has seen over the last 48 hours, are trying to wash their hands of this,” Abbott said.
“But it is impossible for Russia to wash its hands of something which happened in what is effectively Russian-controlled territory, it seems at the hands of Russian-backed individuals, most likely with a Russian supplied or facilitated weapon.” Abbott, who revealed two of his daughters had flown on the MH17 route recently on returning from Europe, said the tragedy touched the nation deeply given that 36 onboard called Australia home. Services were to be held Sunday for those who died.
Russian Minister for Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev, in Sydney for a G20 summit, was summoned for an unexpected meeting with Mr Abbott on Saturday.
The Prime Minister made clear his “dissatisfaction with the way this has been handled”.
“Russian controlled territory, Russian-backed rebels, quite likely a Russian supplied weapon - Russia can’t wash its hands of this,” he said.
Mr Abbott would not say if he had tried to make contact with Russian President Vladimir Putin, nor if Australia would block his attendance at November’s G20 meeting in Brisbane.
“It’s not too late for changes of heart,” he said.
From the Telegraph: Ukraine crisis: rebels shoot down military plane carrying 49
Defence ministry confirms reports separatists have shot down a military plane
A Ukrainian military plane carrying at least 49 passengers aboard has been shot dead by rebels, according to reports.
The Ilyushin-76 military transport plane went down while approaching an airport in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk on Friday night, a source with the Ukrainian Anti-Terror Operation of the Ukrainian military forces told CNN.
Hat Tip: @UkraineConflict
I have friends at the University of Luhansk. One said yesterday that she feels like she’s in a war zone now.
(Reuters) - At least two people were killed and several injured on Monday in an explosion in Luhansk which separatists controlling the eastern Ukrainian city said was the result of an air strike by the Ukrainian military.
This was denied by the Kiev side, which said it was caused by separatists who had launched a heat-seeking rocket at a Ukrainian plane but the missile had zeroed in instead on the rebel-occupied regional administration building.
A video clip published by local people on a Russian social media page showed two bodies lying in parkland near the main regional building, one of them that of a woman.
A separatist had tweeted that the Ukrainian air force had fired on the building, prompting the expected angry response from Russia. However, other witnesses provided the story covered by Reuters here.
Do you get the impression that somebody might not like Putin?
Nah, must be my imagination.