Article by: Vitaly Portnikov
In the entire saga of “Ukrainian engines” for North Korean missiles, what deserves the most attention is not the article’s publication in the United States, but the reaction to its publication on the part of Ukrainians.
There are practically no specifics in the article — one assumption leads to another. Perhaps the North Korean engines are based on Soviet engines. Perhaps these engines were obtained or stolen — it could be in Ukraine or Russia, we do not know.
Perhaps they were stolen in Ukraine because poor people live in this country and they can be bribed easily. Perhaps the warehouse manager was given money, who then removed the necessary engines. Or perhaps an employee of the Yuzhnoye State Design Office did it. Perhaps this did not happen in Ukraine but in Russia. Or perhaps it did not happen at all.
This is because the investigation itself is based on the theory that North Korean scientists could not have created the necessary technologies in such a short time. But this is an assumption that is based solely on the author’s ideas of the level of development in authoritarian countries like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). However, based on our own experience, we know that in such countries money is spared for everything except the military-industrial complex.
In the Soviet Union, technology was not only stolen but also created. And this was despite the fact that the development of ordinary household appliances was a problem. The DPRK is a copy of the Soviet Union during the Stalin era.
At the same time, it is impossible to exclude not only the theft of technology but also the theft of brains. I am convinced that former Soviet or Chinese experts could have helped Pyongyang. Or perhaps this was not even theft but a conscious decision by Moscow or Beijing. Why not? But this, too, is an abstract assumption.
Michael Elleman, the author of the investigative report states that Ukraine can “justify itself” and carry out an investigation. But the first investigation that must be carried out is to determine how Mr. Elleman himself reached his conclusions about the Ukrainian trail.
The researcher speaks about “two sources” who often visit Ukraine, but he does not want to name these people. My guess is that he has simply invented these sources, as often happens in such cases. And if he has not invented them, then the first thing we need to know are the matters that Michael Elleman does not wish to discuss.
First of all, we need to know the names of his American informants. Afterwards, the US and Ukrainian intelligence services will not have too much difficulty finding out the circle of contacts of these people and their level of awareness and realism.
It would also be good to know how extensively the trips to Ukraine did or did not coincide with trips to Russia. And only based on the results of this investigation will it be possible to decide if there is a reason for a real investigation of the Ukrainian trail.
Because what is at the core of the data published in the US may be not a conspiracy but simple stupidity. Yes, stupidity — what is so unusual about it? Naturally, the conspiracy theory is more pleasant — both for us and for the government. Supposedly all this was launched deliberately to deprive Ukraine of the possibility of obtaining lethal weapons. And it was launched precisely at a time when there are lively discussions about it. And it was launched on the pages of the New York Times, this mouthpiece of the Democrats, who have always opposed giving lethal weapons to Ukraine. And, in general, Moscow is behind it.
Good, if all that were true, it would mean that Ukraine is at the center stage of US politics. But, unfortunately, for the conventional American — and a researcher or journalist can be conventional as well — the Koreans, Russians, and Ukrainians are ordinary savages. Do Ukrainians understand the intricacies of the relations between the Hutu and the Tutsi in Rwanda or Burundi? Do they consider it important to find out who is really right and who is to blame? Don’t they think that the one who is beaten also lives in the past century?
It is the same with us. It is understood that there are “good guys” who support Ukrainians. And then there are “bad guys” who are against us — the Russians and the DPRK government. But all of them are running around in mammoth hides. Therefore, it is not difficult to assume that if one of them were offered a new mammoth hide, he would exchange it for a rocket engine. And it is up to him prove that he did not need this hide.
This, I repeat, is not a problem. I encounter this type of thinking every day. And I am glad that now it is rarely voiced at a higher level by the US president, to avoid unnecessary illusions.
The problem is that many of my compatriots really are acting like savages. They are ready to believe any lie about their own country, just as long as this nonsense corresponds to their notions about Ukraine.
They demonstrate even greater readiness when this nonsense touches upon the interests of the government, although the article does not mention any terms for DPRK’s receipt of the supposedly Ukrainian engines (after all, time was needed to modify them). These people are unable or do not want to understand that the interests of the government, the interests of the state, and the interests of the citizens coincide when it comes to strengthening the defense capability of the country and its reputation. And these people are much more dangerous than any unscrupulous researcher or diligent provocateur.
If you do not want to be perceived as a savage parading around in a mammoth hide, then do not wear the mammoth hide. Change your attire.