Skip to comments.Why The Russians Are Panicking Over Flight 17
Posted on 07/21/2014 1:32:19 PM PDT by Tailgunner JoeEdited on 07/21/2014 2:08:11 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
The one emotion most of us who study Russia never associate with the men of the Kremlin is panic. Theyre not the type. Theyre more like mobsters, prone to say we have a problem rather than to freak out. They think everything has a solution, although sometimes that solution might mean someone has to take nine grams of lead behind the ear. They do not raise their voicesmy experience is that most Russian tough-guys are mumblers, not yellersand they get things done, even if the final outcome might lack a certain, say, elegance.
Thats why its unusual to see the government of Vladimir Putin, and maybe even Putin himself, panicking over the downing of Malaysian Airline Flight 17. For the first time in a long time, maybe even since Putins first election to power, the Russian regime has a problem it cannot solve, one that will cost the Kremlin in both money and reputation.
First, lets review whats happened, and use the real-world version of events, rather than the paranoid, flaky stuff coming out of less responsible news outlets (like, say, all of the ones in Russia).
Malaysian Air Flight 17 was crossing the Ukraine-Russia border when it was blown out of the sky. We have a high degree of certainty (and probably more inside the governments of the United States and NATO) that the plane was downed with a BUK anti-air missile system. In fact, its starting to look like there was a BUK battery in the area when the airplane was destroyed.
We have a mountain of evidence that the Russians were up to their necks in this. The BUK is a Russian system, found in both Ukraine and Russia, but it looks like the Russians brought some over the border, along with Russian military intelligence guysthe men actually running this partition Ukraine operationand they taught some of the locals, including transplanted mercenary separatists, how to use them. The thing is, the BUK is really too complicated to use without adult supervision, and thats especially true of a battery.
And now we get to the panic. Evidence is mounting not only that the BUK that killed MH17 came from Russia, but that the firing on the airliner was either supervised or ordered, or even operated, by Russian personnel.
If this is the case, the lone rebel with an itchy trigger finger theory goes out the window, and the Russia is running a reckless and undeclared air war inside Ukraine theory comes into sharp focus. Suddenly, an act of terrorism becomes an act of interstate war, directed with subterfuge and deniability (what my colleague John Schindler has dubbed Special War) with the goal of dismembering the Ukrainian state.
Putin, Im sure, was briefed ahead of time and told that such an accident could never happen.
No, Mr. President, we will sweep any Ukrainian military jets from the sky. Yes, Mr. President, we will control their airspace, and paralyze them, until they accept partition, as we did with Crimea. No, Mr. President, we are professionals and there is no chance of error or detection. We have trained to fight Americans, this will be a piece of cake.
In other words, a slam-dunk. (Assuming the Russians are inclined to basketball metaphors. Its not really their sport.) And then a few weeks later, some somber-looking, sorry bastard walks in and says: Sir, we have a problem. The briefing begins, and the bad news rolls.
It was our stuff. Our missile. Our goons. Commanded by our officers. Yes, weve been caught on camera. Yes, there was some clumsiness on social media. No, we have not allowed anyone near the crash site, but we cant hold it off forever. The men involved are in hiding. Except Strelkov, who has said the plane was full of dead bodies. (He freelanced that one, sir.)
How far does this go, Mr. President? Well, sirand here the aide might shuffle some papers uncomfortably to avoid noting that the orders came from the very topwe can deny it all, but sooner or later the trail leads back through military intelligence to special channels in the military, to special channels here in the Presidents office, to well, you know
At this point, Putin and his advisers have to know the game is up, and thus they have resorted to the only time they remember when they felt really competent and in control of events: the Soviet days. And the stupid, dangerous ideas begin to tumble out, the product of panic rather than policy:
Put out the story that Ukraine was responsible. Suggest the plane was off course and thus imply it was doing something nefarious. (Didnt we work that angle in the 1983 crash?) Pledge our cooperation, but tell those idiots in Donetsk we want the black boxes in Moscow immediately. Dont talk to the Western press. Send Churkin to take his obligatory ass-whipping from Sam Power
But most importantly, keep doubling down on everything.
Make sure the crash site belongs to us and no one else. Obfuscate as much as possible about who was doing what, and where. Suggest the Ukraine military planned this all along. See if you can dig up old stories about that Iranian plane the Americans hit, what was it? Iran 655? Yeah, work that for a while.
None of this will go anywhere. The Russians are busted. To use an American folk saying, they are screwed, chewed, and barbecued. They know it. Someones got to go down for this, and there are obvious candidates. The question, as in any Mafia where somethings gone bad, is who rats out whom first. Because sooner or later, all will be known.
Panic in Moscow is hard to spot, but even from 6000 miles away, its easy to smell, and the metallic stink of fear is rising off the palace offices of the Russian executive as if from the gurneys in a cancer ward on the morning of an operation.
The only question, really, is how far Putin wants to go toward a trade war, economic collapse, further status as a pariah, maybe even open war, only in order to save face. The conventional wisdom is that he has to cut the insurgency loose.
Maybe. But if he doesnt want to, he may settle for leaving a grinding conflict in place for now, and will claim that any real investigation and closure is impossible. He can then place his hopes in the Wests short attention span, and wait until all this blows over.
That would all work if it were 1975. But its not. I suspect the investigation and the tick-tock of the moments before the BUK fire are already clear and widely distributed enough that we have the complete case against the separatists with a bill of particulars that stretches right to the rug in front of Putins desk.
He knows it, and he knows that we know it. And until he finds a way to square this circle, panicand more deathwill be the order of the day. I wish I had good advice for him to extricate himself. But there isnt any, and it would not be mine to give even if there were.
Worse than a crime - a blunder.
No offense, Mr. Nichols, but I have not noticed any signs that the Russians are panicking.
That’s precisely true. We haven’t noticed.
They are trying to edit Wikipedia to give the SU-25 the capability to do what they claim one from Ukraine did.
In the PR of the Russian government, America and West Europe were responsible for screwing their economy when Yeltsin took Keynesian economic advice. Many Russians don’t see us as friends, and wouldn’t be so offended if Americans are outraged at them.
And he certainly doesn't care what obama and the American kneepad media says about him or Russia. Vlad lost his respect for obama long ago, if it ever even existed.
Nope, give it a few more days and it'll be business as usual.
There’s blowback coming for Russia.
Hasn’t happened yet, but it’s coming.
"If I'm gonna get busted, it is *not* gonna be by a guy like *that*."
Vlad never respected 0bama. He’d seen the KGB/FSB dossier.
And he’s not panicking now.
Um, because they forgot they can only control the news flow inside Russia, and the world knows that they murdered 298 people?
Fair enough, but it only applies if they give a damn what “the world knows”.
I don’t see them panicking. They didn’t panic over flight 007 which actually had a slim chance of starting a war with America, they won’t panic over this. By the end of the week it’ll just be another installment in Malaysia Air’s bad year.
I don’t think they are panicked. The Soviets did the same thing during a time when America had a REAL LEADER. They feared and respected Reagan. And eventually, the Soviet Union fell.
Today, we have BO. Putin is not worried.
I think, frankly, Putin is not happy with his generals or his supporters in Ukraine. Heads will roll in his military, I am sure.
But this tragedy was not an intentional act—and the West has lost moral authority, so I sadly think nothing America does will bring the perps who shot this plane out of the sky to justice.
He could throw some separatists under the bus but that would involve admitting that something bad happened that could realistically be tied back to him. So, I’m not sure he’s going to do that.
Think about what Obama would do in this situation. 1. Make up some lies, 2. hide the real information, 3. blame Bush, and .4 wait till the media finds a new shiny object. So Putin has done steps 1-3 (substitute blame the US for blame Bush) maybe he’ll just stand pat and wait for the anti-Semitic western media to forget him and focus back on how horrible Israel is.
Well, they can’t really control the news flow inside of Russia any more. We have a large number of Russians out here, and they tend to talk to people back home.
Russia is hoping that its oil wealth and armsdealing prowess will give it an automatic pass every time.
But they are not the only game in town, and if certain customers grow tired of their hamhandedness, they stand to lose.
” if certain customers grow tired of their hamhandedness, they stand to lose. “
The Europeans have no other place to go for energy. The US has proven to be such a horribly inconsistent ally that places like Iraq are looking for a better arms dealer. Every day they are closer to a black sea pipeline and a pipeline to China. Maybe they don’t need to care what the Western media thinks. It will be interesting to see what his next move is, assuming the media hasn’t found a new shiny object by then.
The panic by the Soviet Air Defense Command is what led to the downing of KAL007 to begin with. Even Izvestia acknowledged this after a lengthy investigation in 1992.
They are “panicking” in the sense that it took them days (if they have yet) to land on a media message. The stuff coming over Russian state-owned airways was laughable. But I agree that their “panic” has no bearing over the long run. Russians will do what Russians do. They don’t care.
Oooooh. They’ll pay for this - just like they did for KAL 007.
Oh, wait. Nothing much happened there, either. And that was REAGAN.
Obama will give Putin a way out. Obama has bumbled this one.
Putin will get away with shooting down jetliners.
Nobody will do anything of substance.
Europe needs the gas.
0bama is an idiot.
Putin isn’t in a state of panic. No reason to be, the world is leaderless. He’ll just coast along...
Yeah, I don’t think the Rooskies are panicking. I think Putin knows POTUS is a spineless weenie who will let him get away with whatever he wants. He’s flipping the bird to the world just like 0’s IRS is to congress.
6 years later the Soviet Union disintegrated.
I think the Russians only move is to blame it on the local separatists, find some unsavory mid-level commander to hang the rap on and shoot him in front of the cameras.
Putin can be patient when he needs to be. If he has to put off his encroaching annexation of the Ukraine until the heat dies down he can, because he knows it will. Even a horrible crime like this will only stay in the public consciousness until something else washes it away.
Nobody has the gonads to do anything that would seriously endanger the status quo — certainly not Obama.
Not necessarily true.
Every day they are closer to a black sea pipeline and a pipeline to China.
The Black Sea pipeline is a pipe dream. They are barely closer today than they were 10 years ago.
We'll see how the China pipeline goes.
In light of the recent Malaysia Airlines tragedies (one missing, one brought down by the Russians) I completed a project I began some time ago to remind us of an earlier Russian involved murder of hundreds of innocents. Will someone please remind obozo that it’s still a jungle out there!
(It’s a short 8 minutes)
Putin is popular within Russia and relatively unaccountable internationally. This situation inconveniences his aspirations to control a large economic region, because media and internet coverage forces western politicians to posture and squawk for a week. It might cause him to slightly delay the takeover of eastern Ukraine by his minions, and might cause a blip in oil and gas sales. Putin is willing to do horrible things to get is way, and knows we are not. Panic? Nyet.
The missile in question is, I believe, a radar seeker. Surely we have satellite surveillance with the capability to collect that signal and the associated geolocation data.
I’m guessing. But I bet I’m right.
And certainly we know the electronic signature of that weapon system and have the ability to tie that signature to the Russians.
In all likelihood we have satellite imagery of the launch and the detonation also with geolocation data.
What was it that Chick Hearn used to say when the Lakers had the game wrapped up?
They're panicking everywhere especially here on FR --
A modest proposal-since the US guaranteed Ukrainian sovereignty if they have up their nukes and Obama wants to get rid of some of our nukes and we are now unwilling to meet our commitments to Ukrainian sovereignty, why don’t we donate 200 nukes to Ukraine and tell them they are on their own? This leaves Ukraine with about the amount of nukes they had prior to Clinton’s meddling, the Russians have what they want with an American reduction of nukes, Obama gets what he wants, and I get to enjoy some popcorn. Russia couldn’t possibly object to our doing so, could it?
Wikipedia is like public toilet - you never know who was there before you :-)
If someone pooped on the floor and other person cleans up - it is not sign of panic, more a sign of civic responsibility.
Wikipedia is kind of tug of war, as can be seen by so many locked entries.
There was a U.S. spy satellite flying over the area at the very time MH17 crashed. Ruskies asked Washington to release data. Don't hold your breath it will happen.
So far, Americans shot down two airliners (Iran Air 655 and TWA 800), Ruskies shot one (KAL007) and Ukrainians one (sibir air 1812). It took Ukrainians two months to admit, and it was a peace time. It took years to understand what happened with KAL007 It will take years to learn of TWA800.
So, who shot MH17 down? Ladies and Gentlemen, place your bets. Your FR credibility is at stake.
Neither have I, why should they when the leader of the pack after Putin is Obama, who only p*sses people off.
Heck they can't put any blame on Ukraine's Gov....they have no money to ‘pay up’ when the families of the lost get their attorneys in line, and you can be assured they will........ it would mean Poroshenko’s got to pull back from his brutal bombing of his own people...and that's not going to happen any time soon until he clears all the Russian population out of the East......The NovaRussia fighters have no money.....so of course that would leave only Russia.... Fancy that! (Follow the money includes those earmarked to get it as well).
Who really is the desperate one in this mess?......seems to me Obama’s attempts to crash Europe's ‘partying with Putin’ sanction hits failed..., Putin's kept on ticking with a South American swing under Obama’s nose.... Not to mention cuddling up in bed with China, even sending Michelle there to hold his place while he tangled with his feet in his so called Pivot to Asia......this of course recognizing Putin was whining and dining them all long before Obama got there for his turn around the dance floor.
His freshly installed puppet Poroshenko can't deliver the goods to EU without the Eastern Ukraine goodies, and they've been hijacked by a determined people unwilling to go along to get along with Obama’s pal..... Not to forget the territorial Oligarchs with their militia's who have the funds to keep the East under their control regardless of any collateral damage...... Obama still batting zero.
Meanwhile every player in this “affair” whines and cries out to Russia's Putin in one form or another...”Help us”...”Stop protecting your border”...”Send Weapons”...”Ukraine's not feeding us”...”Cease fire”...”open the borders” ..”Close the Borders”...”Get the Nazi's”....’You'll pay for taking what's mine”....”Don't cross the red-line”....”It's up to you to stop the war”....”Here we'll give you a cookie if you co-operate”...”do this, don't do that”....etc.etc.
Meanwhile KIEV(under Obama’s direction) continues to send barrages of missiles into the East, destroying business, industry and private homes, along with the infrastructure so that when all is said and done the revenues Kiev gets from the IMF will go straight to the outside International Corporate leeches waiting in the wings to rebuild the area. Everybody’s waiting in line for the big payday.......but it's not getting there quick enough...the fighting continues...people keep crying and messing up the streets with more bodies....and the sanctions still aren't working.
So now we suddenly have the worst case scenario...a Commercial Airlines ‘disappears’ off radar....(should raise important and serious questions yesterday today and torrow..why).. ..full of people who had nothing at all to do with that entire regions affairs.....crashes within a known and active war zone....all die. ..and the entire world is now focused on Ukraine.
Obama’s got the satellite images and he's not coughing them up let alone shared them with the public he has them....yet we see the Anti-Kiev fighters handing the airline's black box's over to the International Investigators believing these will exonerate them from fault or at least give the truth....We've got Russia's ‘Official’ statements concerning the flight path and planes in the area, and their assessment sent to the US and all nation leaders....wanting answers......
But the big question....why hasn't Obama handed his stuff over, which we are familiar with him not doing?...and why isn't our news reporting on this?
While this is all going on Obama puts his media machine in full throttle to make certain nobody but Russia is blamed for anything happening.....that's the word demanded across the airwaves..... leveraging (blackmailing) the nations who have their hands in US pockets to do likewise.
There's not a person just sick at heart for the loss of these innocent people......but the outrageous roar “of blame is deafening and far exceeds that of the sorrow and crosses the ‘literal’ red-line of every one who lost their life that day.
We don't know who fired, nor where it came from, nor do we know which side armed who with what until the entire investigation is completed. We may truly never know...but the facts and evidence are clear on one main issue....hundreds died that day and they continue to die daily throughout Eastern Ukraine...and those citizens are equally as significant as the ones lost in the airlines crash.
...”Putin is not happy with his generals or his supporters in Ukraine”....
I tend to agree if indeed he has any control there much to speak of. There’s conflicts within conflicts throughout the East. Too many bosses and nobody at all in control. Heck even the Kiev army can’t control their own people.....they all keep going AWOL, and that in units!
The Anti-Kiev fighters aren’t fighting, or sending missiles into Kiev...so it does beg if Kiev’s army won’t fight and the Anti-Kiev fighters aren’t fighting Kiev...who up there is keeping the war going.....and between who?
Of course Kiev Gov claims they are fighting terrorists there....which is possible as the Oligarchs have there militia’s to retain their territory control and hopes they will gain from the Ukraine Parliment members, still as corrupt as before, once the dust settles, if it settles. My gosh what an operation they had going..and this for decades. They want their gravy train back and the influences they built their wealth on.
I don’t know how the Investigation will go...but it will likely drag on for more time then most would imagine.....it’ll be used as a stall until the Ukraine crisis ends at least, I imagine.
Maybe nothing happened. Or maybe Soviet Union was brought down in less than 10 years happened. They were brought down through economy and so can Putin's Russia.
o far, Americans shot down two airliners (Iran Air 655 and TWA 800),...
Why do you post garbage like this here?
It makes FR look like a bunch of kooks screaming about the smoking man on the grassy knoll and area51 aliens firing missiles into the pentagon and blowing up the trade center towers...
TWA crashed. Period.
I thought it exploded due to tank vapor.
We can perhaps learn something from the previous cases of sudden flight arrest syndrome when military objectives and civilian airlines collide in the exact time and space grid.
Red line connecting events is human error, disinformation and/or political interference.
1. JAT Flight 364. In January 1972, DC-9 entered soon to be closed Czechoslovakian airspace due to military excercise. Pilot hoped to get out before ban is in effect. He was late and as a result, his plane was mistaken for a radar blip and shot down.
Aftermath: incident was hushed up on the highest level between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia blamed Croatian Nazis for planting the bomb aboard.
Characteristics: Human error (pilot's, SAM operators'), government cover up. Propaganda exploitation of the event.
2. KAL 007. The flight was held at Anchorage, to sync it's arrival time to Soviet airspace with the satellite flying overhead. When KAL007 entered CLOSED Soviet airspace over secret naval base where the secret testing was ongoing, KAL 007 flew with no signal lights and did not respond to the interceptor's commands. Pilot and ground control thought it was an American spy plane and shot it down.
Incident was recorded by the Japanese listening post at Hokkaido.
Aftermath: U.S. government tampered with the tape in order to implicate USSR. Nine minute tape was shortened to four. The truth came out later.
Characteristics: Deliberate action by KAL pilot, human error by Soviet pilot. Political interference, propaganda exploitation of the event.
3. Iran Air 655. Iranian airliner used F14 squawks and was shot down by Vincennes.
It was used for propaganda purposes by Iran. U.S. never admitted guilt but paid $60M damages.
Characteristics: human error (U.S.), deliberate intent (Iran), propaganda exploitation (Iran).
4. Sibir Air 1812 - shot down during military exercise in Ukraine on a flight path that was not closed for civilian traffic. Ukraine refused to admit firing SAM for several months.
Characteristics: human error. Government cover up. No propaganda exploitation.
So far, MH17 has the elements of KAL 007 (pilot veering off 10 miles from the flight path, spy satellite flying overhead, propaganda exploitation).
If it walks like a duck, if it talks like a duck probably it's a duck.