Combines or cannons? From 100 miles up, Washington’s ‘clear evidence’ of Russian heavy artillery in the Ukraine starts looking a little ‘corny’. Are these mobile heavy artillery pieces or harvesting combines in a field of maize
In the ongoing propaganda campaign mounted by the Obama administration to claim that Russia has “invaded” Ukraine from the east, it offered up some grainy black-and-white satellite images purporting to show heavy Russian military equipment inside the Ukraine.
I earlier noted how unlikely it was that heavy mobile artillery pieces would be set up in a perfect line in what appeared to be a field of crops, with, as the government claimed, cannons aimed towards Ukrainian positions in toward the west. As I pointed out, there was no sign of piles of ammunition alongside these “units” as we routinely see in closeups of heavy mobile artillery — for example in photos of IDF pieces positioned outside of Gaza. I also noted the unlikelihood that such equipment would have been set up in an open field, unprotected by trees or other cover, and lined up to make for easy targeting by enemy artillery or air attack.
Now an alert reader from the agricultural state of Texas (Laredo, TX to be precise), has sent a note suggesting out that what the supposedly incriminating images most likely show are combines in a field of grain or some other crop planted in rows. He sent along photos showing harvesters, which of course feature a long, straight “cannon-like” tube which is used to shoot the harvested grain up and into an accompanying truck to be hauled off to market or to a storage silo.
As he points out, these harvesters are typically run in groups which often work in parallel, an explanation that does a much better job of explaining the precision alignment of the machines visible in the US government’s image than do mobile artillery units.
Now maybe the released satellite images do show Russian artillery, but given Washington’s extensive history of abject lying in the interest of promoting its war agenda (think Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq WMDs and mobil poison gas factories, Assad gas attacks in Damascus, etc.), it’s worth taking the claim with a “grain” of…well, in this case actual grain.