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Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Russians but which ones??

30 September 2016

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On 28 September 2016, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) presented its conclusions on what exactly happened during Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH-17) on July 17, 2014. To a large extent the who question was also answered and a group of some 100 people is under investigation. The most interesting question – why – is still unanswered.

The very detailed what answer suggests that there must have been a meticulous planning for the BUK missile attack and thus a why. It’s extremely unlikely that a random Russian army truck, carrying a sophisticated Russian BUK missile, drives from Russia into Ukraine, fires a BUK missile, and then retreats back to Russia that same day.

Civilian airliners – whether cargo or passengers – have publicly known flight schedules. Military flights are unlikely to have these. The downing of a cargo or military plane would have created little attention. Therefore, it seems likely that the Russian army truck carrying a Russian BUK missile and the subsequent downing of MH-17 and the killing of 298 people is no coincidence. This tragic event will haunt Moscow for many years.

Knowing the what and to some extent the who still does not offer a why. The who answer now blames “Russians” but Russian politics is far too complicated for being able to start blaming the Russian government and/or its President. Knowing the why answer may also answer the who question.

Any why answer is extremely unlikely to blame Ukraine, as Russia still claims. Moreover, if Ukraine would have been involved then Russia would have provided the Dutch-led JIT with insurmountable evidence on this alleged Ukrainian involvement. Russia did not for obvious reasons: you cannot prove something that does not exist.

The absence of compelling evidence that Ukraine was involved and the existence of insurmountable  evidence that Russians were involved, still leaves an important question: which Russians?? Even the involvement of the Russian army does not necessarily involve the Russian government and/or its President. Russian politics is far too complicated for that assumption.

Perhaps the why and the which question can be answered simultaneously by an analysis of the pros and cons of the downing of MH-17. The downside for Russia has been clear ever since 17 July 2014. What could be the upside of intentionally shooting a BUK missile at a commercial airliner and killing 298 people from various nations?? Honestly, I fail to see any serious motive that involves the Russian government and/or its President.

There is however a group of extreme nationalist Russians that does have a motive. These Russians are fighting in East Ukraine with some support of (a part of) the Russian army. Without full scale support they cannot win. That full scale support has been lacking and probably for a reason. I suspect that the downing of MH-17 was to tip the scales in favour of these Russian extreme nationalists.

The Russian government will never be able to acknowledge to the world that a part of their army is operating semi independently from Moscow. This may also explain the April 2016 revision of the Russian army structure in which the Russian President has created a personal National Guard that will exceed 15% of the Russian armed forces (eg, BBCBloomberg, Wiki).

Sting – Russians (1985) – artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

We share the same biology

Regardless of ideology

What might save us, me, and you

Is if the Russians love their children too

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