Comment: Is this the US scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to find something to hang on Russia? They must be counting on decades of dumbing down the population to make this whopper fly.

grain harvester propaganda
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
Washington's seedy propaganda campaign

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.

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?

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.

UPDATE, 9/11/2014:

In a comical development, Agence France Presse reports that Ukrainian President Petro Portoshenko is now saying that Russia's army and its heavy weapons, which he and the US and its NATO puppets were claiming had flooded eastern Ukraine and were responsible for the stunning route of Ukrainian forces in recent weeks, have now been "withdrawn" from Ukrainian territory.

In other words, the Russian Army, whose existence was never documented by US satellite or ground photos, has now vanished from the scene as mysteriously as it arrived. How convenient. What appears to actually be happening is that Portoshenko, whose war against eastern Ukraine separatists was an abject failure, is trying to save his presidency in the face of what amounts to a complete surrender of the eastern part of the country to separatist rebels.

Further evidence of this is provided by an article in Business Insider, which shows a map reportedly issued by the Ukrainian military, which has the whole eastern part of the Ukraine, including the Lugansk region and the whole Donetsk region, including the area around and well beyond the contested port city of Mariupul in the hands of separatist rebels.

It seems incredible beyond believing that if it were true that this victory by separatist rebels was only possible because of Russian troops, that now, with a ceasefire in place, those Russian troops and their equipment would be pulling out, abandoning the allegedly incompetent and poorly armed separatists to hold on. Either the Ruskies are still there, or they were never there in the first place. The article has NATO making the absurd claim that the original little 1000 contingent of Russian troops it initially claimed were in eastern Ukraine providing the clout for separatist successes, is still in there.