Civilian? No weapons… Well, then it was bringing spies! (MH17 phone calls)

Listen to the people who may have been involved in shooting down MH17 looking for anything that can justify the mistake in military terms…

BREAKING: provisional report of 1 New Zealander on board downed flight MH17 [ LIVE UPDATES ]

A Malaysian Airlines passenger plane has been shot down on the Russian-Ukraine border, killing all 295 people on board, according to a Ukrainian interior ministry official.

Flight MH17, which was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew, was flying between Amsterdam and Kuala Lumpur after taking off at lunchtime today.

Read our earlier live reports here.  It contains a lot of background information, some of it superseded, but most of it still useful.

LIVE UPDATING CLOSED.  Any further major updates will happen via their own posts, minor updates via Daily Roundup and or the general debate posts.





Phone call transcript via Kyiv Post

First call:

Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. Group Minera. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).

Vasili Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?

IB: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. It’s smoking.

VG: How many minutes ago?

IB: About 30 minutes ago.

Second call (approx 40 minutes later) ¬† Read more »

MH370 now joined by MH17 – Malaysian Airlines jet shot down over Ukraine [ UPDATED]



An Air New Zealand spokeswoman says the airline does not operate any routes that fly over Ukraine, nor does it have a passenger sharing arrangement with airlines that do.


More of a “no news’ update: ¬†MFaT still unable to comment on New Zealand passenger numbers on MH17.


Schiphol reports: 154 Dutch; 27 Australian; 23 Malaysia; 11 Indonesia; 6 UK; 4 Germany; 4 Belgium; 3 Philippines; 1 Canada; 47 unknown.  All 15 crew members were Malaysian.


Press conference in The Netherlands from Shiphol.

Press conference audio


Passengers are from Netherlands with 143 passengers. Australia comes in second with 27 passengers. There were 11 Indonesian passengers and one infant on-board the ill-fated flight. Britain has six passengers, France and Germany have four each, Belgium have three and Canada one. Nationalities of the other 58 passengers were not stated in the list. 


UNCONFIRMED ¬†-¬†Nationalities Passenger details Netherlands 143 Australian 27 Malaysian 20 (including 2 infants) Indonesian 11 (including 1 infant) Read more »

Our next King comes good

It looks like the royal protocol people that have to mop up after Phil the Greek are going to have to their work cut out with King Charles.

Prince Charles has reportedly likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.

In an unguarded comment about the Russian President‚Äôs actions in the Ukraine, the Prince of Wales told a woman who had lost relatives in the Nazi Holocaust: ‚ÄúAnd now Putin is doing just about the same as Hitler,‚ÄĚ the¬†Daily Mail reported.

The Prince’s comment could potentially be seen as criticism of the West for failing to confront Mr Putin over his seizure of Crimea. The annexation was a first by a major power in Europe since 1945.

Commentators have likened Russia’s handing of the Ukraine crisis to Hitler‚Äôs takeovers of Poland and Czechoslovakia and have criticised Mr Putin’s use of special forces in disguise to stir up tension in disputed areas.

The Prince of Wales, who is due to meet Mr Putin at the D-Day commemorations in France on June 6, made his well-intentioned but unguarded comment during a visit to the Canadian Museum of Immigration in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Mail said.

Read more »

Do they need the Queensbury Rules as part of Standing Orders?

Compare this to David Parker holding his breath and turning red for getting his ass handed to him by Bill English.  How would he survive here:

Perhaps the next step in Tau Henare’s colourful political career spanning many parties is that he’s going to join the Ukranian parliament? ¬†It appears they have a need for his pugilistic skill set.

Labour still playing fast and loose with intellectual property

What started as a time sensitive reference to Game of Thrones, Labour’s tweet pushing their North Korean power solution has backfired somewhat.

Commenters on twitter have lambasted Labour for using a photo of a Ukrainian forest taken by a Ukrainian photographer who goes by the name of Vladimir Agafonkin or his online persona of “Mourner”.

Sp Labour couldn’t be bothered finding a Kiwi image, or use one from w Kiwi photographer and instead nicked a photo from an offshore photographer hoping they wouldn’t get sprung.

Then again why should we be surprised when they get their IT policy dictated to them by Kim Dotcom.¬† Read more »

But do they have fricken laser beams

The Russians have nicked the Ukraine’s secret combat dolphins.

Foreign Policy reports:

The Ukrainian military is promising to one day reclaim its¬†former¬†bases in Crimea, but one unit has been lost forever: Ukraine’s combat dolphins, who are now swimming for Russia.

The dolphins, stationed in a Ukrainian navy oceanarium in Sevastopol, will now attack enemy scuba divers, attach buoys to sea-floor mines, and patrol open waters at the behest of Moscow,¬†according¬†to Russian news service RIA Novosti. The program had been set to shut down, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has apparently given Sevastopol’s combat dolphins another crack at navy life. “Our experts have developed new devices, which convert the detection of objects by the dolphins’ underwater sonar to a signal on an operator’s monitor,” an oceanarium employee told the news service in an overt attempt to curry favor with his new bosses. “But the Ukrainian navy lacked the funds for such know-how, and some projects had to be shuttered.”¬† Read more »

Darth Vader runs for President of Ukraine

In an eerily similar case of ¬†political activism a Darth Vader who is standing for the “Internet Party” is running for office in the Ukraine.

I’m sure Kim Dotcom will have something to say about the claims of their leader:

Founded and led by Dmytro (or Dmitry) Golubov the party claims to be the first¬†Internet party¬†in the world, its slogan is “electronic government against bureaucracy” and it wants to “create an electronic government in Ukraine”.

In 2006-2007, the party began to create by the alleged Ukrainian¬†hacker, Dmytro Golubov. The founding congress was held on October 1, 2007. On March 1, 2009 in a hotel complex “Magnolia” in Odessa, was held the first official congress of the party.

Oh dear looks like Kim Dotcom has ripped off another idea and touting it as his own.


As Ukraine battles to stave off dark forces of its own, iconic movie villain Darth Vader announced he was running for president in a bid to restore all glory to the downtrodden nation.

The Sith Lord, or at least an unnamed protester dressed up as him who has often been seen on Kiev’s Independence Square during the winter protests flanked by his loyal Stormtroopers, has been chosen as the official candidate of the Ukrainian Internet Party (UIP) which has become known for its theatrical public stunts.¬† Read more »

40,000 Russian troops massed on borders of Ukraine

Ukraine’s future continues to hang in the balance as Russia continues to mass troops on Ukraine’s border and their annexation of the Crimea continues.

United States officials have reported that there are currently up to 40,000 Russian troops on Ukraine’s east border and that Russia could still invade Ukraine.

Though there is no consensus on the exact number of troops on the border, on March 27th, Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)¬†said¬†there were 80,000 troops on the border, and other sources told FOX News that more than 50,000 troops arrived in the last few days.¬† Read more »

How are the Germans getting on with green energy? …Not so well it turns out

The German economy is almost on its knees as a result of green energy policies that are failing to deliver.

Germany is in the middle of one of the most audacious and ambitious experiments a major industrial economy has ever attempted: To swear off nuclear power and run Europe’s largest economy essentially on wind and solar power.

There’s just one problem — it’s not really working.

The energy transformation, known as “Energiewende,” was meant to give Germany an energy sector that would be cleaner and more competitive, fueling an export-driven economy and helping to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. On that count, the policy has floundered: German emissions are¬†rising, not falling, because the country is burning increasing amounts of dirty coal. And electricity costs, already high, have kept¬†rising, making life difficult for small and medium-sized businesses that compete against rivals with cheaper energy.¬† Read more »