Many who were following events in Ukraine closely and were receptive to voices outside the mainstream started to follow Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean-American commentator who was in Kiev, then Kharkiv, and giving updates both from his personal experience and on wider political themes. He had warned that he might be targeted by the SBU for his increasingly critical comments about the Zelensky regime and then having the Daily Beast put the Ukraine government on to him (more on that sordid act shortly).
Lira disappeared on the 15th and just resurfaced, nearly a full week later, having been detained the entire time. He at least looks like he was fed, but Lord knows what else happened:
Internet commentator Alex Christoforu, who pod/videocasts under his own name and with Alexander Mercouris as The Duran, may be responsible for Lira’s reappearance (as in still being alive), since Christoforu urged his followers to contact the Chilean embassy to find out what had happened to Lira. Many sent feedback that the embassy was on the case.
As you can infer from Lira’s chat with Christoforu, Lira appears to still be detained in Kharkiv under what sounds like house arrest despite having been charged with no crime. I suggest Lira followers call their Chilean Embassy or Consulate to demand that Lira either be allowed his freedom or transported safely out of Ukraine. Being cooped up in Kharkiv on an SBU choke chain with restrictions on his Internet use and speech is a form of incarceration. And it could go on for a very long time if America succeeds in keeping the war going on well beyond what would otherwise be its sell-by date.
For those new to this story, even though it has had a happy ending, it was nevertheless revealing to see the traditional media voice no concern about the probable and now revealed to be actual abduction of a journalist by Ukraine fascist goons.
The article in question: How a Sleazy American Dating Coach Became a Pro-Putin Shill in Ukraine
? Gonzalo Lira doxxed by Daily Beast “journo” @goraladka
Daily Beast links to so-called journalist (FBI informant) Michael John Cirillo @SarahAshtonLV
Gonzalo presumably disappeared by NATO-backed Azov?? Nazis
— Anabel V. (@Anabel_Villeroy) April 21, 2022
Scott Ritter, in a Facebook post, assumed that Lira was dead. We had started on a probable memorial post and were using that as the vehicle for putting up an important piece of Lira’s on the Bucha massacre that he’d removed due to the prospect of YouTube sanctions:
As a way of calling attention to Lira’s plight, if he is still alive, or commemorating him, if he is not, we are reposting his video, Bucha More Lies, which Lira published on April 4 and took down a day or so later out of concern that YouTube would demonetize his channel. Having seen videos disappear before, Lambert took a copy. We suggest readers download our copy and circulate it. We’re also embedding some of his other important videos that are still up on YouTube further down in this post.
Please download this video ASAP and distribute it if you are so inclined, since YouTube may try to block it once they get wind of it.
Lira takes apart the notorious Bucha video purporting to present bodies of people killed by the Russians based on it having far too many signs of having been staged. Lira among other things has produced films, and so identifies obvious fakery, like bright red blood exposed to air, which exists only in movie-land, along with subtler production fingerprints.
Note that Lira’s assessment complements Scott Ritter’s. Ritter was booted from Twitter for putting together public information as of April 5 that contradicted the reports that started circulating on April 2 of alleged Russian atrocities.
Ritter set forth the long-form version of his case at Consortium News. The short version is that the Russians left Bucha on March 30. The mayor of Bucha confirmed that the Russians were all gone on March 31 and did not indicate that anything was amiss. It would seem difficult to miss bodies on a major street in a suburb of 37,000.
There were also no reports of deaths or disappearances of Bucha citizens during the Russian occupation or immediately after they left, or even contemporaneous photos presented to the press later, despite Bucha having unrestricted cell phone and internet access the entire time. Some key additional observations by Ritter:
The available evidence that could be extracted from the images from Bucha showed bodies that by appearance appeared to have been killed within 24-36 hours of their discovery—meaning that they were killed after the Russians withdrew from Bucha.
On April 2, an article appeared in an official Ukrainian government website, LB.ua, entitled “Special forces regiment ‘SAFARI’ began to clear Bucha of saboteurs and accomplices of Russia.” According to the article, “Special forces began clearing the liberated, by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, city of Bucha of the Kiev region from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops.” According to the article, the Safari Regiment was comprised of personnel from various special police units, including the Rapid Operational Response Unit and the Tactical Operational Response Police.
There was other information—a video where a Ukrainian official warns the citizens of Bucha that on April 1 a “cleansing operation” was going to be conducted in Bucha, and that the citizens should remain indoors and not to panic. Another video, also from April 1, purported to show members of the Safari Regiment shooting civilians who were not wearing the blue distinguishing armbands signifying loyalty to the Ukrainian cause…
I believed I had more than enough information to try and put forth a counter-narrative ….namely that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for the Bucha killings.
Lira’s Bucha talk is a bit rambling; he mentioned in other presentations around that time that the shelling and the stress of being at risk were getting to him to the point that he couldn’t concentrate well enough to read a novel (Dostoevsky, natch). Nevertheless his discussion makes sense on a stand-alone basis, although many will no doubt want to check his commentary against the video proper. You can find it on Telegram here or in this Washington Post story.
Below are two more of Lira’s important talks, the first on the relationship between Zelensky and his long-standing patron Igor Kolomoisky and the second on Victoria Nuland. The Nuland talk has more armchair psychology than is helpful, but that sort of thing is widespread in the media today. Even if you know the broad outlines of both stories, I suspect you’ll find some new nuggets.
Again, while it is great to see that Lira is alive and reasonably healthy-looking, it sounds as if Ukraine authorities are silencing him. Please contact the Chilean Embassy and insist that he be allowed his freedom.