Stenin went missing in eastern Ukraine on August 5. Sources said that the journalist was possibly held by the Ukrainian military, but Kiev has never officially confirmed the information.
By Stephen LENDMAN
Russian photojournalist Andrew Stenin was found dead in Southeastern Ukraine. He was murdered in cold blood. More on what happened below.
Obama’s new friends are cold-blooded killers. They’re waging war on freedom. They’re killing civilians.
They want all opposition elements crushed. They want fascist rule institutionalized.
They want democracy in name only. They want it prevented at all costs.
They want all independent news sources suppressed. They want their message alone getting out.
They harass, beat, terrorize, abduct and murder independent journalists.
Russian ones are most vulnerable.
On August 5, Russian photojournalist Andrew Stenin went missing. He was working in Southeastern Ukraine for Russia’s International Information Agency Rossiya Segdnya.
For weeks, his whereabouts was unknown. At first, Ukrainian interior minister advisor Anton Herashchenko said he was arrested for “helping terrorists.” He then claimed he was misinterpreted.
Earlier, the International Federation of Journalists expressed “serious concern” for his wellbeing. In mid-August, it issued a statement, saying:
“He’s a journalist, not a soldier, and as such is entitled to move freely and report the truth without the threat of intimidation, violence or detention.”
At the time, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said he “could be a victim of a malicious attack.”
Reporters Without Borders called for his immediate release.
US National Press Club president Myron Belkind issued a statement, saying:
“It is very important that Andrew Stenin be quickly located and freed if he is being held by Ukrainian security services.”
It’s “crucial that all sides in this conflict…cease obstructing the ability of the press to cover events in eastern Ukraine, which are of great consequence to the Ukrainian public and to the international community.”
Kiev stonewalled Russia’s all-out efforts to locate and free Stenin. Ukrainian interior ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko said he didn’t “want to be bothered by questions on (his) fate.”
On September 3, Rossiya Segodnya director general Dmitry Kiselev said Stenin died weeks earlier when a car he was traveling in came under fire. It “burnt on a highway in the vicinity of Donetsk.”
Autopsy results identified Stenin’s body. “He was indeed in that car. The 33-year-old young man (was) a brilliant professional, someone who cared.”
Despite all-out efforts to free him, he “was already no longer with us.”
His photographs are “a gift of remembrance…He sacrificed his life (for them).” For “the sole purpose of (telling) the world…the truth.”
“Rest in peace, Andrei Stenin. You will never be forgotten.”
The Russian Investigative Committee (RIC) said he was among others killed during an attack on at least 10 vehicles carrying civilians.
“It turned out that he was not taken prisoner. It turned out, no one planned to swap him for any Ukrainian military personnel or accuse him of terrorist activities,” it explained.
“All of the announcements that we heard from the Ukrainians about Stenin’s fate were lies.”
“He died one month ago in a car that he was in while fulfilling his journalistic duties.”
“The vehicle came under fire and burned down on a highway near Donetsk.”
According to RIC’s Vladimir Markin:
The next day, Ukrainian commanders examined what happened, removed civilian contents and identified victims.
When they left, vehicles were “fired on with Grad missiles. The investigation will not stop at determining the exact details of the shooting. It also aims to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”
Vladmir Putin sent condolences by telegram, saying:
“We believed that Andrei would return home to his family and friends, but the bitter news has wiped out that hope.”
“He fulfilled his journalistic and human commitment to the end. He did everything possible so that people, the whole world would know the truth of the tragic events occurring in Donetsk.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a stinging statement. In part it said:
“We experienced a feeling of deep pain and resentment upon learning about the shocking circumstances of the death of Rossiya Segodnya photojournalist Andrei Stenin, who last called his editorial office on 5 August 2014.”
“We express our sincere and deep condolences to Andrei’s family and friends and sympathy for and solidarity with the staff of Rossiya Segodnya and the Russian journalistic community.”
“We demand that Kiev conduct a thorough and objective investigation of Andrei Stenin’s murder and mete out severe punishment to the culprits.”
“Russia has lost four journalists in Ukraine over the past few months, which is unprecedented…”
They include correspondent Igor Kornelyuk, video engineer Anton Voloshin, cameraman Anatoly Klyan, and photojournalist Stenin.
“An end must be put immediately to Kiev’s illegitimate efforts to prevent journalists from doing their duty, including by attacking, murdering, detaining and kidnapping (them) from ‘undesirable’ media outlets.”
“We expect the international community, including the United States and the European Union member-countries, who seemingly care so much for the freedom of speech and media in other countries and regions of the world, to exercise decisive influence on Kiev in this respect.”
“How many more innocent lives must be sacrificed before Kiev stops its reckless and criminal policy towards millions of people in southeastern Ukraine?”
“Its (US-led) Western patrons must review their hypocritical and double-dealing approach to the human rights disaster in Ukraine…”
Separately, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said:
Forensic examination of his remains “suggests…another barbarous murder – the work of Ukrainian security forces and (neo-Nazi-infested) National Guard (fighters who) controlled, according to eyewitnesses, the territory in which cars came under fire, including” the one with Stenin’s body.
Throughout weeks without knowledge of his fate, MSM scoundrels ignored him entirely.
At the same time, they obsessed over US journalist James Foley’s beheading.
Again when an Islamic State video released Tuesday showed American journalist Steven Sotloff met the same fate.
What about thousands of Southeastern Ukrainian victims of illegal US-supported and encouraged Kiev aggression?
What about longstanding Israeli brutalizing collective punishment of millions of defenseless Palestinians?
What about countless millions of post-9/11 victims of US wars of aggression?
What about many millions more unmentioned, forgotten, ignored and uncared about?
What about unspeakable longstanding US-led Western genocidal crimes of war and against humanity?
What about justice systematically denied? What about Western journalists supporting what demands condemnation?
What about Big Lies suppressing truth? What about Washington using the deaths of two US journalists to justify more lawless aggression?
What about MSM scoundrels supporting it? What about their reporting nothing about Stenin’s disappearance, death, how it happened and who’s responsible?
What about a possible planned major false flag on US soil to enlist popular support for more war? A second 9/11 type event. It’s been 13 years since the last one.
Before confirmation of Stenin’s death, global rallies demanded his release. RT International featured daily “free Andrew” alerts.
Activists collected signatures on his behalf. They did so to petition Kiev for his release. It included thousands of photos he took in Southeastern Ukraine.
Anti-fascist Dveri movement leader Vladan Glisic said “(w)e believe that Ukraine must follow international conventions on the right of journalists and that attacks on journalists must be stopped regardless of where they take place.”
Separately, NATO heads of state meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday are expected to confirm the creation of a rapid reaction force targeting Russia.
Thousands of combat-ready forces will be deployed near its border. NATO calls it “sustain(ing) a robust (Eastern European) presence…”
Doing so risks the unthinkable – direct East/West confrontation.
Russia’s Security Council deputy secretary, Mikkail Popov, said Moscow will review its military doctrine in response to NATO’s planned Eastern European expansion.
“I have no doubts that the issue of drawing of military infrastructure of NATO member-countries to the borders of our country, including via enlargement, will remain one of the external military threats for the Russian Federation,” he said.
“We consider that defining factor in (Moscow’s) relations with NATO will remain the unacceptability for Russia of the expansion plans of alliance’s military infrastructure to our borders, including via enlargement.”
“Many high-ranked officials reproached the leaders of our country saying that NATO isn’t a Russia’s enemy and will never attack Russia.”
“But is that true? We were assured of good intentions, but the actions of recent years show entirely different things.”
Russia’s role in Ukraine is mischaracterized. “(W)rong conclusions are drawn and wrong measures are applied.”
“There is an unprecedented informational-propagandist campaign against Russia.”
“The image of the enemy is presented in the face of Russia and its politics is considered as a new threat to NATO.”
Irresponsible Putin bashing persists. It’s a growth industry. Truth is systematically buried.
Western media consumers get a daily diet of misinformation, distortions and Big Lies.
The latest brouhaha is over Putin’s conversation with European Commission president Jose Manual Barroso.
Putin’s comment about “taking Kiev in two weeks” was leaked to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
It was published on Monday. On Tuesday, the broadsheet criticized Barroso for disclosing content from a private diplomatic phone call.
Putin made it in response to false claims about Russian troops in Ukraine. It was distorted.
It was taken entirely out of context. Presidential aid Yury Ushakov said the quote “had a very different meaning.”
He criticized Barroso for making it public. He called doing so “incorrect and goes beyond the bounds of diplomatic practices.”
“(I)t is not worthy of a serious political figure.” He and other Western leaders irresponsibly accuse Moscow of escalating conflict in Ukraine without verifiable proof.
MSM sources jumped on what happened. On September 2, The New York Times headlined “Putin Reportedly Says Russia Could ‘Take Kiev in Two Weeks,’ ” saying:
He “added a new dimension to the tensions building in Ukraine as Russian forces become more involved in the fighting there.”
His “remarks and the increasing presence of Russian military units in Ukraine have posed a stark new challenge to the alliance about how to respond to Moscow’s apparent willingness to exert military force to achieve its foreign policy goals.”
“Mr. Putin is known for littering his public statements with twists of braggadocio…”
Russia didn’t invade Ukraine. Its forces aren’t involved in its conflict. No evidence suggests otherwise.
The Times hypes the Big Lie repeatedly. Claims about “Moscow’s apparent willingness to exert military force to achieve its foreign policy goals are patently false.
Wednesday reports of a Russian/Ukrainian agreed on “cease-fire regime” are greatly exaggerated.
Ukrainian oligarch president Petro Poroshenko said both sides “reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace.”
At first he said agreement was reached for a “a permanent cease-fire.” A retraction followed. It said both presidents exchanged opinions. No formal agreement was reached.
According to Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov:
Both leaders agreed on steps towards peace but no ceasefire. “Russia cannot physically agree to (one) because it is not a party to the conflict,” he stressed.
Last week in Minsk, Putin said “we are not in a position to discuss any ceasefire terms or likely agreements between Kiev, Donetsk an Luhansk. That’s none of our business but Ukraine’s internal affair.”
Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) defense ministry press service head Vladislav Brig said:
“Nobody is holding negotiations about a cease-fire with the representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
“As long as there are Ukrainian soldiers on our territory, there will be no cease-fire.” The battle for Ukraine’s soul continues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.