Russian mercenaries taking photographs with personal items found among the debris at the crash site of MH17 downed by a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile in Russia-occupied east Ukraine (Image: Dmitry Lovetsky/AP)
It would be entirely consistent with the Russian approach since the shooting down of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over the Donbas for Moscow soon to declare that little green men from Mars are responsible, because muddying the waters with ever more versions is its preferred technique of deflecting attention to its own responsibility for this crime.
That judgment is offered by Russian aviation expert Vadim Lukashevich on the Apostrophe portal today and is particularly important because the technique Moscow has adopted in this case is one that it has used often quite successfully in many others.
The occasion for his remarks is the Russian exploitation of a BBC program on the Boeing disaster entitled “Conspiracy Files.” Instead of recognizing that the British program simply tried to list all the explanations that have been offered, Moscow propagandists, Lukashevich points out, suggested that the BBC had blamed the CIA and the Ukrainians.
That misuse of the BBC program is typical but it reflects Moscow’s continuing attempts to distract attention from the reality that “Russia is guilty” of shooting down the plane, the expert says. In fact, those most responsible are “the higher army leadership and President Vladimir Putin,” although few are likely to name them but rather fasten on lower-level people.
Indeed, Lukashevich continues, even serious investigations are unlikely to be able to link Putin to the crime “for the simple reason that Russia has not declared war on Ukraine [and that] there are no written orders with the signatures of senior people.” But such things will exist at lower levels and can be used to establish guilt if investigators gain access to them.
And that is all the more likely because in the name of balance and objectivity, many Western news outlets will recount some or even all of the distorted versions of reality that Moscow propagandists put out, thus unwittingly, at least in most cases, helping Putin hide behind the fog of multiple versions and Russian stonewalling against those who are seeking the truth.
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