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By John Helmer, Moscow

It was former British prime minister Harold Wilson who said in answer to a question from reporters that a week is a long time in politics. He couldn’t remember in what week he said it. A century earlier, when reporters were quicker witted than they are now, another British politician had said: “In politics, there is no use in looking beyond the next fortnight.”  

The fabrication for publication of US military intelligence documents on the timing and capabilities of a Ukrainian army offensive has taken five weeks for reporters to realise its political impact in Washington and Kiev. But since the documents were intended to fool reporters, the political impact in Moscow has been zero.

Much more important – and much less reported – is the impact of the municipal and Senate elections in The Netherlands three weeks ago which were won by a nationwide protest movement against anti-farm policies called the Farmer–Citizen Movement (BoerBurgerBeweging, BBB). This surprise victory is turning the BBB into political party with a much larger agenda.

The March 15 election result is the first in Europe to defeat an incumbent prime minister (Mark Rutte, lead image, left) since the Russian special military operation began on February 24, and the Slovenian parliamentary election evicted the pro-Ukrainian prime minister on April 24.  

The Dutch vote result is also the first national defeat in Europe of a hot-war, Russia-hatred Green party; the first time a street protest movement has been successfully turned into  parliamentary power, following the collapse of the Gilets Jaunes movement in France in 2020; and the first time a surprise election outcome in a NATO warfighting state has not (repeat not) been blamed in the mainstream media on Russian interference.

Top:  https://www.nytimes.com  
Bottom: https://www.ft.com/

In the initial leak of these documents at the beginning of March, there appear to have been ten separate papers relating to the Ukraine,  plus another six or more which appear to be news media summaries from the Middle East, including Jordan — “Amman facing pressure from the PRC in the 5G decision” – and Saudi Arabia.  All document pages are yellow; three reveal page numbers, 7, 11 and 13, of a longer undisclosed sequence; all have been folded into a small square the size of a uniform pocket, and then unfolded to be photographed on a table, the twisted edge of which can be seen in some of the pictures. The original publishing source has since disappeared.  

Bellingcat says it has investigated to find the original leak comprising 31 documents, of which  10 relate to the Ukraine; these were reposted on the internet many times over in March before the New York Times report appeared on April 6.  According to Bellingcat, one of the identified sources of the documents is the CIA Operations Center Intelligence Update. According to the New York Times Pentagon reporter, the documents originated at the Pentagon. The Bellingcat report did not claim the documents had been planted by Russians, and reached no conclusion about whether the documents had been fabricated.   

The Financial Times reported that “ ‘Russia is looking for any way to seize the information initiative, to try to influence Ukraine’s counter-offensive plans, to introduce doubts, to compromise plans, to frighten [us] with their ‘awareness’,’ said Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, in a statement on Telegram. ‘This is a bluff… this has nothing to do with Ukraine’s real plans’.”  In Kiev speak, this implies confirmation that the documents are from a faction in Washington, possibly with encouragement from a faction of Ukrainian military officers,  aiming  to stop  the offensive before Russian forces destroy it.

Between the first appearance of the documents and the New York Times reporting in its headline that “Ukraine War Plans Leak Prompts Pentagon Investigation” five weeks had elapsed – a very long time for military intelligence staff at work in active war operations.  “We are aware of the reports of social media posts and the department is reviewing the matter,” the newspaper has reported a deputy press spokesman at the Pentagon.  The Times also claimed “Biden officials were working to get them deleted but had not, as of Thursday evening [April 6], succeeded.”  

The exceptional delay of discovery, the failure on the part of US Defence Department  officials to confirm or deny document authenticity, and the newspaper’s conclusion that what had happened was “an effort of disinformation by Moscow…represent[ing] a significant breach of American intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine”, altogether  add up to evidence of a US faking operation.

But to what purpose?

Listen to the broadcast

Follow the document trail here:  



At top left under the headline, this is the text: “BLUF: [Bottom line up front] Based on known contributions, training pathways, and projections (12) combat credible BDEs can be generated for the Spring Counteroffensive, (3) internally by Ukraine [not depicted], and (9) are trained and equipped by US, Allied & Partner (US/A&P). Of the (9) BDEs, (6) will be ready by 31MAR, and the final (3) BDEs by 30APR. Equipment delivery times will impact training and readiness in order to meet this timeline. Total equipment required for (9) BDES is 253 x Tanks, 381 x Mech, 480 x Motor, and 147 x Artillery plus delivery of 571 x U.S. Up-Armored HMMWVs.”  Note that the term “trained and equipped by US, Allied & Partner” means not only US and NATO weapons and troop training for the Ukrainians, but also partner states on February 28, the date of the document’s assessment – Finland (whose accession to NATO did not formally occur until April 4),  Australia, and New Zealand, the non-NATO members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence network with the US, UK, and Canada (code FVEY at top right). The readiness deadline proposed in the document is April 30 – if Russian operations do not destroy them before then.

The bottom map displays weather projections showing the spring thaw of the ground eastward from February 28 to end-March. Odessa, Nikolaev, and the Crimea are left out of the map, although the red-coloured band of Russian-held territory appears to extend westward through Kherson and southward to include Crimea. The solid green band includes as Ukrainian territory much of the Izyum-Kramatorsk-Artemovsk sector from which Ukrainian break-out, retreat, and reinforcement are now impossible.

This tabulation of Ukrainian and Russian force losses in troop casualties (KIA), aircraft and ground vehicles destroyed is the most obvious fabrication.  Source: https://twitter.com/

The discussion on the political implications for the war in The Netherlands is led by Alfred Vierling. He has been an international administrative and environment lawyer, with degrees from the University of Leiden in law and in political science. In Dutch politics he is a well-known critic of the Dutch government’s unrestricted immigration and asylum polices; of Dutch war crimes during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999; and of Dutch manipulation of law cases by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as well as of the MH17 trial in The Hague District Court.

Follow Vierling’s website in Dutch, English and French here  and his Twitter commentaries.   

The Dutch farmer protests began in 2019; the background story can be read here.  Firing live ammunition on orders of Rotterdam police chief Fred Westerbeke, this is what happened on November 21, 2019:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/
Westerbeke’s record in running the Ukrainian fabrications of evidence in the MH17 case has been documented in this book.   Four Dutch investigators have led the attempts to open the truth of the MH17 case – Max van der Werff,  Kees van der Pijl,  Eric van de Beek,  and Joost Niemoller.  

The next nationwide election for the Dutch government in the lower chamber House of Representatives is not due until March 2025 – unless Prime Minister Rutte’s coalition loses a vote of confidence and an early election is forced.


Enlarge to view, open the party acronyms, and interactively follow the rise of the BBB and decline of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and its coalition party partners:  https://www.politico.eu/

The March 15 elections won by the BBB were for the upper chamber or Senate.  

The interview with Vierling starts at Min 15:57.  

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