Yesterday, the United States said that strong circumstantial evidence pointed towards Russian separatists in the shootdown of the Malaysian airliner full of civilians over Ukraine. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the missile originated from the rebel controlled area of Ukraine, Russia had been supplying heavy weapons (including the Buk missile launcher to the rebels) for some time now along with training, and the rebels had bragged on social media about destroying a Ukrainian military transport after the missile had struck the aircraft. The rebels also were denying international monitors full access to the site and desecrating the bodies, stealing credit cards and the like. Obviously, Moscow didn’t like this version of events.
Today, Russia released its own salvo in the propaganda wars. They presented ten questions for the Ukrainian government. Supposedly, a Ukrainian fighter jet was in the near vicinity of the Malaysian airliner before it was shot down. Also, the Ukrainian military supposedly moved its own Buk missile launchers prior to the missile being launched.
The goal is to provide doubt about the American and Ukrainian version of events. Due to the destruction of evidence from the crash site, a proper investigation is probably impossible at this point. The rebels have seen to this. Observers can come to their own conclusions, which will probably be based upon their own biased view of the conflict.
The bottom line is that damage has been done to Russian propaganda and moral standing in this war. Further sanctions will now be imposed in Europe and in the United States. These sanctions will start to really hurt the Russian economy. The Russian oligarch elite is now starting to seriously panic over the prospects for its business empire.
The big question is whether or not Putin will decide to invade East Ukraine. His strategy to date has been to destabilize the country and protect Russian access to Ukrainian industry in the East through the rebel proxies, which just happen to be led by Russian intelligence officers. This policy is now showing signs of failure. Putin does not want to annex East Ukraine as it will be very expensive. Crimea is shaping up to be a very expensive undertaking as tourism has declined heavily due to the conflict. Taxes have been raised across the Russian business and individual sectors to help pay for the acquisition.
We are now in the middle of a proxy war between the two former superpowers involved in the Cold War. The United States is a declining power due to its weak leadership and degenerating national character. Russia is weak but desperately desirous of regaining its role on the national stage and eager to intimidate its neighbors. A third power, China, is quietly rising in military capability and has the will to project its power in the Asian region. These are dangerous times indeed.
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom