Monday, July 21, 2014

Just a thought, not even a hypothesis

A number of bloggers and media outlets have suggested that maybe the Ukies had tried to down President Putin's Il-96-300PU which externally looks like a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777.  I am frankly dubious.  Yes, the junta in Kiev is evil and crazy, but not suicidal and such an attack is an act of war which would trigger an absolutely devastating retaliation from Russia.  Besides, even though their liveries look similar, the Il-96-300PU is a four engine aircraft whereas the Boeing 777 has two engines.  See for yourself:

President Putin's Il-96-300PU

Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777-200ER

Liveries don't make much of a difference on radar anyway, but engines are a very strong radar signal reflector.

A far more likely hypothesis would be that the Ukies wanted to shoot down just any Russian civilian airliner not necessarily Putin's.  Shooting down a Russian airliner would be consistent with the pattern of systematic provocation which the junta has been engaged in since months already and which included the kidnapping and beating up of Russian journalists, the assault of the Russian embassy in Kiev, the regular artillery strikes across the border and even one instance of a Ukie Air Force Su-25 straying into Russian air space.  It so happens that Russia does operate a number of Boeing 777-300ER every similar to the Malaysian one.

Aeroflot Boeing 777-300ER

I am personally inclined to think that this was no error and that the Ukies knew exactly what aircraft they were shooting down.  But if we assume a case of mistaken identity, then I say that their real target was not Putin's presidential l-96-300PU which, according to the FSO has not overflown the Ukraine in a very long time anyway, but a Russian civilian airliner like the Aeroflot Boeing shown above.

There is also the very real possibility that MH17 was not shot by a BukM1 at all, but by a Ukrainian SU-27, at least this is what the pattern of damage on the debris seems to be showing.  Of course, we will have to wait to see if this information is correct.  The Russian military has declared that Russian signal intelligence had detected the radar associated with a BukM1 operating in the "track" mode right at the time when the Malaysian Boeing was hit.  Is that compatible with the notion of a Ukie interceptor shooting down MH17?  Yes, absolutely, in fact, it would have to be part of the plan.  Think of it - the Resistance has no fighters or interceptors, only one single Su-25 close air support aircraft.  But it does seem to have at least some BukM1s (though whether they are operational or not is unknown).  If the Ukies did use a Su-27 to shoot down MH17 it would make sense for them to switch on the engagement radar of the BukM1 just to be able to point the finger to a BukM1 battery as the source of the attack.

Right now I have the feeling that the Russians are hoping for the international community and the various investigating teams to come to the correct conclusions without any Russian input.  I am not at all sure that this is the right approach, but then I have been frustrated to tears with the Kremlin's communication policy for a long time already.  Just listen to Putin's latest statement about MH17:

I don't know about you, but to me Putin looks nervous and even sick.   Does he not act as if he was guilty or afraid of being caught?  I know, I know, there is zero chance of Russia being guilty of this crime, but to many, especially in the West, appearances matter more than facts and this latest appearance is, in my opinion, a total disaster.

I always "marvel" at how incompetent Russians are in public communications and how they systematically fail to appreciate how important appearances can be.  In contrast, the USA, which Chris Hedges correctly calls the Empire of Illusion, has a superb appreciation for the importance of the superficial and uses it against its enemies with devastating effectiveness.

In conclusion of these musings, I will like to repeat here: the tragedy of MH17 is being used by the Kiev junta not only to conceal its recent defeats, but to also conceal the murderous attacks against civilians all across the frontlines.  Right now, as the world discusses the fate of MH17 the Ukies have open fire with barrages of heavy artillery on Luganks and Donetsk and in every town and village and they are murdering scores of civilians in an apparent retaliation for their recent setbacks.  This is the big story, not MH17.  This is why I want to suggest to you all that we wait until some hard facts come out about what really happened, and that we refrain from discussions ad nauseam of every hypothesis or rumor.  Since what I posted above is exactly that, then let's keep the topic of MH17 to the comments section below and let us keep the other posts MH17-free at least until we have some hard facts to discuss, okay?

I wish you all a great week, kind regards,

The Saker