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Jul 18, 2014

MH17: why a commercial jet was flying over a war zone

The Russian separatists who shot down MH17 allegedly thought it was a military target -- though it was easily distinguishable as a commercial plane.


The truth about the destruction of MH17 has come out far faster than the baffling and totally unrelated mystery of the disappearance of MH370 on March 8. But a crucial question remains: what was the commercial jet doing flying over a war zone in the first place?

The jet and its 298 souls were targeted, tracked and destroyed by a modern warfare surface-to-air missile (SAM) launched by Russian separatists controlling the part of the eastern Ukraine, where it crashed to earth.

If as intelligence sources have unambiguously suggested this SAM was a Russian-made BUK, it requires a very deliberate drill by a launch squad that chose the target, locked onto it, and pressed the fire button the moment the control system had computed the intercept trajectory and loaded it into the already primed missile.

If the now widely circulated recording of conversations by separatists involved in the launch are the real thing, the jet was shot down in the belief that it was a military target.

As one voice is heard saying, after the bodies of adults and children are found after the kill, “they must have been carrying spies ….. What are they doing flying here? …. This is a fucking war.”

But some airlines had been routinely flying over Ukrainian airspace since the war started.

Visibility is shown in the newscasts as being more than adequate for a normal sighted adult to have recognized MH17 for what it was — a commercial flight. At 33,000 feet the shape and even livery of a large airliner is quite obvious, and the flight was quite obviously not military in its profile or other characteristics.

But with the attitude conveyed by the people in the alleged recording of the conversations after the missile hit, it is only by chance that the SAM-launching platoon didn’t bring down an even larger A380.

The destruction of MH17 raises exceptionally awkward questions for civil aviation authorities and air traffic control systems in general. Whatever logic was employed in deciding that it was safe to fly over a war zone at more than 32,000 feet, it was woefully ignorant of the capabilities of modern SAM systems, which in their heavier more capable forms are intended to destroy targets that may be supersonic and flying at much higher altitudes.

It all smacks of decision-making that favoured fuel-saving corridors over routes that avoided the risks of conflicts in which contemporary weapons technology is being used.


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45 thoughts on “MH17: why a commercial jet was flying over a war zone

  1. Limited News

    Zero Hedge casts a critical eye over the “evidence”


    Normally lining up with the US over a dispute with Russia comes at zero political cost, but starting WWIII on the basis of a YouTube video is pretty crap.

  2. negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com

    As in the case of MH370 this aircraft was likely high-jacked by remote control.

  3. cairns50

    get real, many other airlines have been flying that route as well, your picking on malaysian airlines due to the other tragedy that happened months ago

  4. michael r james

    The big question remaining is how did the rebels get a BUK. Was it supplied by the Russians to the rebels, or did the rebels manage to confiscate it from the Ukraine forces (and manage to learn how to use it)?

    The significance of this is not so much the loss of a civilian plane but in the wider geo-political consequences. It could be a glass half-full if it rebounds against Putin’s regressive and aggressive attempts to overturn the incursion of democracy into “his” part of the world.

    Where are the black boxes and who has them in their possession?

  5. Iskandar

    I sent the following letter to Bill Shorten this morning. Worth posting here also:

    A terrible tragedy happened this morning with the shooting down of MH17 over the war zone of eastern Ukraine. You made some comments on commercial TV to the effect that it was shot down by “pro-Russian terrorists”. This may or may not prove to be the case but I was shocked that you would use the language of the demented oligarch and US-installed and propped-up puppet president of Ukraine Poroshenko. The truer definition of his opponents in the east should be “anti-Kiev separatists” who want nothing to do with his regime which has stated its intent of “ethnically cleansing” or worse the Russian-speaking population of the region.

    Are you truly not aware that the civil war in Ukraine was sparked off by US interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs since the beginning of this year? Are you not aware that the likes of Victoria Nuland, John McCain and Joe Biden were in Kiev addressing the Maidan rallies before the movement was high-jacked by well-organised paramilitary thugs of neo-fascist persuasion, resulting in the putsch which toppled the corrupt but nevertheless legal government?

    Are you further not aware of the fact that when a war starts events spiral out of control, creating a fog in which super-hyped young men with powerful weapons make mistakes, and civilians who blunder into a war zone become victims? The MH17 incident I suggest was the result of a long chain of events, and what are needed now are cooler heads in a highly-charged atmosphere, to see the bigger picture and step back from the brink. I hope you are capable of this but from your comments above I am not so sure.

    I offer one other piece of “intelligence” for your consideration. At the D-Day commemoration in Normandy, Tony Abbott was spotted in news footage having a quiet chat with the above-mentioned Poroshenko. My suspicious mind suspected they were discussing the likelihood of a 911-type event to stir up some jingoistic militancy for their mutual political advantage. I even made a comment in this regard to Crikey at the time. Imagine me waking this morning to find that suspicion coming to pass.

    So please Bill Shorten, I am an ALP supporter (and member), and I ask you to see the bigger picture, and differentiate yourself and our party from the jingoistic rantings that we can now expect from the conservative side.

  6. Roger Roger

    “Visibility is shown in the newscasts as being more than adequate for a normal sighted adult to have recognized MH17 for what it was — a commercial flight.”

    Yes, but with aid of a telescopic device. I live almost under the busiest flight corridor in Australia and I can if not impeded by cloud, identify aircraft at cruise altitude with an ordinary pair of binoculars. You would’ve thought that those responsible for launching a BUK would’ve used a far superior visual aid.

  7. bushby jane

    Wouldn’t the air traffic control systems or whatever in Ukraine have been able to identify what and who the Malaysian Airlines plane was? Even allowing for them maybe not being able to see it?

  8. Roger Roger

    Bushby Jane, the answer is yes. Airliners have transponders which constantly transmit flight parameters including identification. These/some parameters get fed inter alia to the website Flightradar24.com, though on some routes like Sydney to Canberra I think that info is suppressed or filtered out. Ben might know more about that.

  9. Tracey R

    “Visibility is shown in the newscasts as being more than adequate for a normal sighted adult to have recognized MH17 for what it was — a commercial flight. At 33,000 feet the shape and even livery of a large airliner is quite obvious, and the flight was quite obviously not military in its profile or other characteristics.”

    No. Visual identification is not normally used, this is because the aircraft target is initially too far away: Missiles are not launched when the aircraft is overhead, but before it is above the radar. This is standard tactical doctrine for the reasons of shortening flight missile flight time (which is limited), easing intercept geometry and shooting down the aircraft before it can damage you.

    The missile radar operator procedure is that the tracking radar will acquire the aircraft at long range. At 30,000 ft, 100km range is easily possible with a modern radar. A firing solution will be generated and the missile launched and guided by a separate radar sub-system.

    The whole event may also be compounded by the fact that they thought they were shooting down an Antonov transport, which would look broadly similar visually.

    The Antonov transport might also fly at higher altitudes to avoid man portable missiles, which is common tactical doctrine. It would probably not follow a commercial flight track, though.

    The radar might have had the capability to interrogate the transponder on commercial flights as part of its identification friend or foe (IFF) system.

    In the fog of war the mistake is easy to make. The USS Vincenes shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 at a range of 15-20km. The radar systems on the USS Vincenes would probably have been better that the Russian system. The Vincenes felt directly threatened, following the shooting of the USS Stark, which made a quick firing decision imperative, though.

    This is the sort of tragic mistake that happens in a war.

  10. Douglas Ross Robbins

    Having flown with Malaysia Airlines just 10 days ago, en-route LHR-KL, I was indeed surprised (if not quietly concerned) to watch our flight track over the Ukraine. Broad daylight and CAVOK.
    I agree with Ben Sandilands that this looks like a fundamental failure of the application of “duty of care” on behalf of the Malaysia Airlines as well as others (Singapore Airlines no less!). This apparent failure is exacerbated by the fact that other airlines e.g.Qantas, have diverted around the area for months. It also surprises me to see that the intended track of MH17 (and my flight MH 2) was over Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan as well!

  11. negativegearmiddleclasswelfarenow.com

    Another critical casting of the eye at Zero Hedge indicates that MH17 was off course.


  12. Limited News

    Well said Iskandar. Sad to say now looking forward to progress in a certain Victorian police investigation. Look it up.

  13. j.oneill

    Mr Sandilands, Unless you have access to information not known to the likely investigators of this tragedy you should be very careful in ascribing this terrorist act to “pro-Russian separatists”. It may or may not have been a Russian built missile, again too soon to tell. But if it was then you overlook the fact that until very recently Russia was the major supplier of weaponry to the Ukraine government, until the American inspired coup that took place.

    You might also like to consider the fact that President Putin’s plane flew over the same spot where MH17 was shot down 37 minutes later. At 10,000 metres the Presidential plane had similar looking colours and configuration as MH17.

    It is at least a plausible working hypotheses that the missile was intended for Putin’s plane and that MH17 was simply unlucky. If that is the case, then the question is: cui bono? Hardly pro-Russian “separatists”.

  14. Robert Barwick

    If it was shot out of the sky, why in the footage being used by all media of the impact explosion is there no column of smoke going down towards the impact site? Instead, the sky above the explosion smoke is quite clear. You’d think if it was shot it would have started burning up.

    Otherwise, the Murdoch-dominated Australian media coverage of this is all building on the assumption that Russia and Putin are evil, so if they investigate it won’t be “independent”, but if the US does the investigation it will be. In fact, the US bears most responsibility, because its State Department backed the violent neo-Nazis to topple the elected Ukrainian government, as part of their strategy of strategically encircling Russia. Read Malcolm Fraser’s observations from March. If michael r james believes violent neo-Nazis who bash opposition politicians and journos in broad daylight and attack ordinary people for speaking Russian are “an incursion of democracy”, then democracy is not something to value.

  15. Lawry

    As suggested, this incident should prompt a reassessment of routing over conflict zones . However surely pointing fingers at Malaysia and others recently flying over eastern Ukraine in recent months is a little off the mark. What appears to be needed is a review of air operator routing risk assessment s at large, as well as those of air traffic control bodies in flight information regions which also dictate routes taken by commercial flights. This might also be an opportunity for ICAO to attempt to agree on guidelines. Unfortunately waiting for airlines to up their game on their own is unlikely to result in the type of response that this tragedy deserve to trigger

  16. Limited News

    Unless conclusively proven (not just on the say-so of US intelligence sources) I question whether a missile was involved and suggest electronic hijacking remains a possibility for the time being – that is, the plane could have been remotely flown into the ground.

    Pearl Harbor, Gulf of Tonkin, WMD, MH17 ? War-mongers call “appeasers” naive but it is naive to believe the lies that start wars, time after time.

  17. AR

    JO’N is the most likely, esp given that traffic in commercial lanes is, and was, as reported a daily occurrence by numerous airlines.
    Let’s see how Mudorc et al manage to spin if it turns out to be anti-russian forces.

  18. michael r james

    #12 j.oneill

    “President Putin’s plane flew over the same spot where MH17 was shot down 37 minutes later.”

    That sounds like ridiculous nonsense. Picked up from a conspiracist blog?
    Quite apart from it not being on any of the main news services, it seem extremely improbable that Putin would do something so risky or provocative (unless it was sanctioned by Ukraine, then why wouldn’t the media be reporting it?).
    Further, if it was Ukrainian they would have been using all their standard radars to follow the plane, and would have known from both route and its transponder that it (MH17) was not Putin and vice versa.

    One can see, however, the origin of the fantasy, as it would have been particularly poetic if Putin had copped it with a Russian-made missile, while overflying a sovereign nation he had turned into chaos. (Even better if it was via his own pro-Russian insurgents randomly firing missiles at anything in the skies).

  19. Roger Roger

    I agree with j.oneill. Irrespective of the stories being broadcast through the media, it’s too early to say whether the culprits are “pro-Russian separatists” or the Ukraine government. Remember in war the first casualty is the truth.

  20. Limited News


    Assuming this is a video of the crash, it seems likely the plane exploded on the ground not in the air. Note the absence of smoke and fire prior to impact. Electronic hijack is plausible ie remotely flown into the ground. If US intelligence is in contradiction of the facts, the US intelligence is in on it.

  21. Ian

    Well Iskander I do hope Shorten takes note of your letter to him but I very much doubt it. It is his job, as it is Abbott’s to preach the Washington line and if that line is not explicitly spelled out for a particular occasion, then to work out how Washington would likely spin it and follow suit.

    They do this in response to the Israeli attacks on occupied Palestine and on events in Venezuela etc etc.

  22. Nomad

    I’m reluctant to, but will, admit that I warmed to Abbott’s robust response. But is anyone listening to this voice?

  23. Liz Connor

    As I’ve said elsewhere, this is just another ‘accident’ brought about by warfare (not terrorism!) using increasingly and unnecessarily powerful weapons. The US was responsible for a similar accident in July 1988, killing 290 people.
    So those seeking to blame Russia should consider history a little more carefully!

  24. Douglas Ross Robbins

    The eastern Ukraine is a known war zone.
    Parts of Syria, Israel, Afghanistan and numerous other places are subject to military activity of a war like nature.
    The American FAA have issued advice to American airline operators not to overfly eastern Ukraine.
    Qantas have diverted their flights around the Ukraine for more than two months.
    Whilst I abhor the destruction of MH17 (and its 298 paxs & crew) by military means, I still consider that Malaysia Airlines as well as those other airlines (apparently including Singapore Airlines) have seen fit to regularly transit this airspace. The ugly head of “commercial expedience” perhaps?

  25. michael r james

    @ Liz Connor at 9:45 am

    So, in what way should we consider history more carefully? Because one superpower has incompetently shot down a passenger airline in the past means we should just be indifferent every time it happens?

    Doh, just the usual superpower powerplay? Shrugs and moves on to watch next ep of GoT ….

    This incident doesn’t really involve the Americans at all, and in all likelihood they will not play any meaningful part in any outcome. (Alas, Obama being what he is.)

    The significant difference this time is that a superpower (Russia) has provided an advanced type of weapon to a bunch of untrained and ill-disciplined, unaccountable insurgents, as part of a deliberate attempt to destabilize another country.

    Weirdly, a modicum of power in this matter rests, at least partially, within Abbott’s and Australia’s hands. (now doesn’t that wake you up a bit from your doziness and send a shudder down the spine?) If we allow Putin to attend the G20 in Brisbane then the west has truly abdicated any claim to responsible governance.

  26. Zero Gain

    Malaysian Airlines are now flying a new course, over Syria! I have watch an A380 and a 777 fly directly over Syria. Is that sensible? I wouldn’t fly with them, no way, this just shows how inept they are in my opinion. Check Flightradar .com and see for yourself.

  27. westral

    I’m not trying to make light of what happened, but at 33,000 feet the shape and livery of the aircraft would not be obvious, you might not even be able to see the airplane with the naked eye.

  28. westral

    All tragically similar to the shooting down of an Iranian civilian airliner by the USS Vincennes with the loss of 290 lives. Except on that occaision there was no international condemnation.

  29. Ian

    @michael r james

    I suppose your post is all based on fact not ideologically derived assertions nurtured by the corporate media and Western warmongers. Is this right? Does Obama not deserve to be barred from the G20 too for his propensity to bomb the world into democracy and his unstinting support of that terrorist state, Israel? Should Abbott not bar Abbott from the same G20 talk fest for his support of Obama, Israel and the Sri Lankan government – all major perpetrators of war crimes?

  30. Roger Roger

    @Tracey R

    “In the fog of war the mistake is easy to make.”

    Colossal mistakes, would you not agree? What do you think about the commander of the warship involved subsequently being decorated for his naval services? And how do think the relatives and friends of the 554 victims resulting from the downing of the aircraft and tit-for-tat, feel about that?

  31. Roger Roger

    @Michael r james at 2:30pm

    Liz Connor appears to me to be saying that because the US navy shot down a climbing airliner flying in established air corridor and called it an “accident”, morally the US doesn’t have a leg to stand on in criticizing others who have shot down an airliner and claim it to have been an “accident”.

  32. snichor

    I agree with the conclusion drawn by this article. But this:

    “Visibility is shown in the newscasts as being more than adequate for a normal sighted adult to have recognized MH17 for what it was — a commercial flight. At 33,000 feet the shape and even livery of a large airliner is quite obvious, and the flight was quite obviously not military in its profile or other characteristics.”

    I doubt that a “normal sighted adult” could tell you the markings on a plane flying at 33,000 feet, unless they had some sort of visual enhancer, like binoculars. In any case, the SAM crew would be using radar to track aircraft. Not the mark 1 eyeball.

  33. j.oneill

    So much emotion, so few facts. What Nomad calls Abbott’s “robust” response is in fact a rush to judgment on an entirely inappropriate scale. Abbott’s initial caution rapidly changed and the likely reason is that he received the word from Washington: blame Russia and to hell with the evidence.

    Some further facts have emerged. It is likely that the plane was shot down with a missile of a type not in the possession of the so-called “rebels”, as acknowledged by a Ukrainian military spokesman.

    The missile in question is in Russian and Ukrainian possession.

    A recording released by the Ukrainians purporting to be a conversation about the disaster was shown to have been recorded the day before. When someone starts faking evidence the smell of the rate gets stronger.

    An Ukrainian military unit that operates surface to air missiles was in the area from whence the missile was fired having arrived there on Wednesday.

    The rest is manufactured hysteria, cynically using the tragedy and the grief of Australians and others to further demonise Russia in general and Putin in particular. As Westral notes, there was no comparable outrage when the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airline with almost the same number of deaths as MH17. The Australian government of the day was notably restrained.

    The Israeli army has launched another illegal war and killed hundreds of civilians including children. Again, there is a stunning silence from Abbott and Bishop about this ongoing outrage.

    I return to the point I made in my first post: cui bono? I have yet to see a single convincing reason why Russia would do such a deed knowing the terrible downside for them. I can however think of many reasons why the US and NATO backed neo-Nazi government in Kiev would want to stage such an incident. Operation Gladio provides one such template and there are others.

    Would it not be prudent to use our energies to ensure that there is a fair and independent investigation before the world blunders into yet another conflagration?

  34. scot mcphee

    Hi Ben

    Just on a technical matter of the SA-11 missile system, the missile isn’t “downloaded” with the target information – it will be a semi active radar homing type that chases the reflection off the target from the control unit. (this is how military pilots know they are targeted by a SAM – they have a sensor that warns them of the radar lock). Once the missile is close enough, a radar in the missile is used for terminal guidance. The control radar can also issue guidance to the missile “in flight”.

    These things need a trained four man crew to operate. For example, most American jets over Vietnam in the early part of the war shot down by SAMs were shot down by Soviet operated batteries, not North Vietnamese ones.

  35. albert tan

    “Was MH17 flying through warzone to save fuel? Yes, it was! Why? Malaysian Airlines is in deep financial trouble, after past occurrences of faults and problems with air-crafts maintenance and corruption.Now they have lost a plane they can divert from the area.why yes now and no then? The only responsible party is Malaysian Airlines, it should not have allowed its planes to fly over war-zones! Not even ones were only stones are thrown!https://vid.me/tPq

  36. Rena Zurawel

    They are not pro-Russian separatists. They are anti-Kiev regime rebels.. Many of them are from Ukrainian army which was basically disbanded/ much reduced some years ago. Under the Soviets, Donieck was a military industry region. They made lots of weapons for the Warsaw Pact. At one stage, under the Soviets, BUK was also produced at Donieck. Many of the rebels are professional military people.
    And they do not want to be ‘separatists’. They want to be federated with Ukraine – not with Russia.
    I am really surprised that nobody really knows how this incredible tragedy happened, but many seem to know who is responsible.
    Polish media published articles about Polish weapons going to the Kiev government. But none of them would be BUK- like.
    And, for some reasons we still don’t know what happened to the previous Malaysian passenger plane. We do not speculate, just because it did not disappear over the Ukraine?

    All my thoughts go to all those people who lost their lives just because they were in the wrong plane… another one.

  37. Roger Roger

    @Rena Zurawel

    I find what you say very very interesting and gels with Philip William’s report on the ABC News tonight. It seems a lot of us have been wrong in our thinking on this. Do you think these anti-Kiev regime rebels deliberately brought down MH17 and if so, do you have any thoughts on what they had to gain by doing that?

  38. Douglas Ross Robbins

    Ben Sandilands’ article (see above) asked the unanswered and most cogent question to date as regards this tragic and dreadful event:

    MH17: why a commercial jet was flying over a war zone?

    I too have asked the same question and continue to do so.

    Aircraft engaged in regular public transport operations all over the world are daily required to deviate from their otherwise optimum tracks around all manner of activities not conducive to their otherwise safe operation. The following are just a few examples:
    * diversion around Prohibited Areas so declared to protect all parties from activities such as air-to-air combat practice, air-to-ground bombing & gunnery practice, military gunnery practice both over land and sea, security sensitive communication bases, rocket launch and retrieval ranges
    *areas of known severe weather e.g. cyclones and hurricanes, areas of extensive thunderstorms and associated hazardous weather
    *areas of known active volcanic activity
    *areas of known warfare
    Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran have all been areas of known warfare activity and therefore “no-go” zones for all aircraft not engaged in the warfare or in support of it.

    The question therefore remains, and to this point in time, remains unanswered.

    I will also add that having been engaged in the aviation industry for many years let me assure the sceptics that, given the right conditions of light and visiblity, it is by no means impossible to identify, by both aircraft type (size, contrail etc) and markings/colour, jet aircraft at their lower cruising flight levels. With a simple pair of binoculars it is even more so.

  39. j.oneill

    More evidence is emerging that needs to be evaluated. There are reports that a Spanish air traffic controller working in Kiev saw two fighter jets accompanying MH17 until shortly before it disappeared from radar. He has tweeted about this, and also that the air traffic records were immediately confiscated by Ukrainian security Police.

    According to the air traffic controller those records would also show that MH17 was diverted in its flight path so that it flew over the Donetsk region. All of this requires verification. One logical source for that verification would be Russian air defence systems that were operational on the Ukraine-Russia border.

    Those systems would show, inter alia, the type of missile fired, when the missile’s radar locked onto MH17, where exactly it was fired from and much else. All sophisticated air defence systems have this capability including that of the Americans. American intelligence has surely advised Obama of this fact. Even Abbott should have been similarly advised by the Australian intelligence agencies.

    The obvious point is that when Putin promises co-operation, as he has reportedly done overnight in a conversation with Abbott, then that co-operation should include the release of Russian intelligence data from their border security. If we don’t ask for it, that opens up one negative inference, and if the Russians refuse, that opens another.

    In the meantime we should avoid jumping to the stupid and ill-informed conclusions that characterise political comment thus far, and sadly, media comment as well.

  40. green-orange

    What drivel.

    The only alternative roue is through Lebanon-Syria-Israel-Iraq – not exactly a shortage of missiles round there.

    @”At 33,000 feet the shape and even livery of a large airliner is quite obvious,”

    Garbage. It’s a smudge in the sky.

    @”Bushby Jane, the answer is yes. Airliners have transponders which constantly transmit flight parameters including identification.”

    As the missing MH370 demonstrated, that statement is completely wrong. The only people who know the exact location of a plane are the flight crew.

  41. j.oneill

    In my previous post I raised the point that the Russians should be asked for their intelligence data. On Monday (yesterday) the Russians did precisely that. General Kartopolov told a media conference, complete with maps, photos, satellite images etc, that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter was flying at the same altitude only 3-5km from MH17. General K also said showed satellite images of a Ukrainian BUK missile unit in the Donetsk region on the same day as MH17 flew overhead.

    The Russian detection systems also showed that an American satellite was overhead at the precise time that MH17 was hit by a missile. He said that the Americans should release their satellite images as Russia had done.

    The Russian data also show that MH17 was diverted by Kiev air traffic control from its scheduled route to take it over the Donetsk region, and at 2000 feet lower altitude than in its flight plan.

    The full video of General Kartopolov’s media interview can be easily seen on the web with a complete English translation.

    To the best of my knowledge no Australian media outlet, broadcast or print, has disclosed the fact of the Russian defence ministry’s release of hard data. And neither have the Americans released the data they must have. We might draw some negative inferences from that silence, and the continued propaganda barrage from Abbott et al when one could reasonably assume that the Australian defence intelligence agencies have told him what I have just set out above.

  42. Limited News

    Well said j.oneill. The arrogance and condescension of the Western media is astounding: “We know who did it, we’re not going to fall for Russia’s excuses”. Pathetic, the lot of them. This is how wars start. Oh no, we can’t be wrong, we’re so much more sophisticated these days than those naive Australian diggers volunteering in WWI.

  43. AR

    I fear that we will grow old & grey indeed before the US releases anything that detracts from the current line. Not that I would believe the Russians to have done the full Monty but, if the NSA routinely pervs on rooftop sunbathers via NORAID, the least they could do would be to bolster their Cold War meme & Axiom of Eevilness (it’s like ‘troothiness but more banal)case with crisp & clear imagery, telemetry and dispel all doubts.
    Perhaps that would suit neither side.

  44. Ian

    Thanks j.oneill for the general Kartopolov reference.

    As an aside I would say that if Western leaders and media were less aggressively reporting anti-Russian rhetoric and opinions and instead applied a more subtle approach to their propaganda they may have sucked more people into believing in the Russian culpability.

    The US and its vassals have lost the plot IMO.

  45. Ian

    Mr/Ms Moderator why is my entirely civil comment awaiting moderation? Is it being censored?

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