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UK man faces prison for volunteering in Donbass

Ben Stimpson is being punished for being a terrorist, but he is not a terrorist and nor are the people of Donbass. The fact that Stimpson never fired a shot in anger while a UK man who killed while fighting with the neo-Nazi Azov battalion is symptomatic of something worse than victor’s justice–it is an abuse of the justice system in the name of foreign policy.

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Ben Stimson was born in and lived most of his life in Britain. However, due to the lack of any real future in the land of his birth, he travelled to Donbass where he volunteered to help locals in their fight for freedom against the regime in Kiev.

Stimson was never one driven by ideology and had no prior connections to the people of Donbass, but he went and volunteered, even though he never fired a shot in anger.

Independent journalist Graham Phillips spent time with Stimpson in England and allowed him to explain his story in full. You can view the entire documentary at the bottom of this piece.

He returned to Britain from Donbass merely to liquidate his assets after which time he planned on moving to Russia where he spoke of having business opportunities that he did not have elsewhere.

However, he is currently behind bars, facing sentencing for terrorism related charges even though Ben Stimson is by no objective definition a terrorist or anything close.

Volunteers of many varieties frequently fight in conflicts that do not concern their motherland. Many leftists from the west fight with Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq and many Wahhabists/Salafists from all over the world, including Europe, fight for ISIS, al-Qaeda and other jihadist groups.

During the Spanish Civil War, individuals from many countries including the United States flew to Spain to participate in the conflict.

The issues that are raised are therefore three fold.

1. Should individuals be uniformly banned from volunteering in a foreign conflict not involving the armed forces of their country of citizenship? 

If this is the case, one could easily apply a uniform conviction for such people with sentences that ought to be next to nothing should the individual who volunteered abroad wish to return. Any further sentences would only be related to the nature of the activities a volunteer engaged in while abroad.

Because Mr. Stimpson’s country is not actively fighting with its army in Donbass, there can be no conceivable way in which aiding the Donbass fight for freedom could be injurious to the British public in any way, shape or form.

2. Are some volunteers abroad  freedom fighters and are others sinister? 

No one will ever universally agree on this. Sweden for example has recently taken the decision to not punish but to instead use government aid to help those returning to Sweden after fighting for ISIS.

If a country like Sweden does not believe that those who fought for ISIS are dangerous and ISIS is among the most universally reviled groups on the planet, there is clearly no chance to ever come up with a universal agreement on who is a good volunteer versus who should be punished for an act of malicious volunteerism.

Consequently, the idea of even trying to differentiate between ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ volunteers simply opens up more costly cans of worms than is worth while.

This leads to the third possible solution which is theoretically the best while unfortunately the most difficult to enforce, though critically not impossible in a rational society.

3. Allow ALL volunteers to fight legally abroad and only make arrests under separate but related war crimes charges when and if applicable 

This solution is not only just but it is the least restrictive method of approaching this issue which admittedly effects very few people in most countries.

It is already illegal to engage in war crimes or crimes against humanity both on an individual basis, from the position of being a mercenary or from the position of being a volunteer (as well as being a regular soldier).

The fight in Donbass is a fight for freedom, it is a fight among democratic activists who are fighting for their young republics (Donetsk and Lugansk) against a Ukrainian regime that refuses to give them their freedom.

The Donbass fighters have not waged war against the regime, but forces of the regime have waged war on the young Donbass republics. In this war, the regime has used chemical weapons on civilian targets, targeted civilians with conventional weapons, engaged in extra-legal assassinations in civilian locations, all the while its fighters have been caught out conducting child rape. 

Even so, the bigger irony of this is that because the horrific war crimes committed by the Kiev regime do not directly impact a country like Britain, a UK man called Chris Garrett, aka Swampy, has fought with the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion which is supported by the regime Garrett even boasted about killing a man.

Far from being questioned in Britain by the authorities, he is not only walking free, but insulting Russia while doing so.

One is therefore witnessing the perverse spectre of Chris Garrett, an individual who killed in the name of a neo-Nazi battalion walking free, while Ben Stimpson who never fired a shot in anger faces prison time.

This is even worse than victors justice, it is a vicarious way of enforcing a political and geo-political agenda using poor people like Ben Stimpson as pawns.

If justice were truly blind, it would not matter that Ben Stimpson fought for freedom fighters whose goals are opposed by the British government of the day, all that ought to matter was that Ben Stimpson did not engage in any acts that harmed anyone.

It should also matter that no serious international body has accused the Donbass fighters of committing any crimes against humanity. The same cannot be said of the Ukrainian regime whose use of chemical weapons has incurred condemnation, just not in the west who are too busy hounding Syria based on false accusations that they have used and plan to use chemical weapons which as recently as 2014, the US admitted that Syria does not have. By the west’s own standards, the regime in Kiev should be legally removed from power.

This all goes back to the fact that not only is Ben Stimpson being treated unfairly, but he is the victim of gross double-standards. Domestic justice and foreign policy are two separate issues. If Ben Stimpson can be arrested and imprisoned for volunteering in Donbass, it is a short slippery slope before those who support Donbass are also harassed.

Quite rapidly, the battle for justice for a man who harmed not a single person and never intended to do so, becomes a battle for the free speech of everybody else.

Ben Stimpson’s only crime is falling on the wrong side of the western elite’s foreign policy position, yet he is being punished as a terrorist, just as Sweden helps actual terrorist fighters to live normal lives as though joining ISIS is perfectly acceptable.

The hypocrisy is as dangerous as it is mindbogglingly absurd.

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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