You know when Russia, being in possession of a large and international media apparatus, starts flooding the airwaves and social networks with stories about how the Ukrainian military shot down MH17 because they thought it was Putin’s plane, I can understand how it’s easy for Western journalists to zero in on Russia as a purveyor of conspiracy theories. Yes it is true that conspiracy theories are popular in Russia and it is also true that they are often promoted by mainstream sources, including those with ties to the state. But this doesn’t change the fact that the same kind of thinking is also in full force on the other side of the conflict over Ukraine, and this piece from The Moscow TImes is proof positive.
The head of Ukraine’s Security Service apparently made a public statement claiming that the Donbas rebels fired on MH17 because they had mistaken it for an Aeroflot flight headed for Larnaca in Cyprus. Why would Russian-backed rebels want to bring down an Aeroflot plane full of Russian citizens, you ask? Well turns out they were carrying out orders from Moscow to shoot down the plane and provide a pretext for a Russian invasion which as supposed to take place shortly after.
Yup, head of Ukraine’s security service said that. Official fucking statement. Nowhere in the article did I see anything indicating that he even attempted to provide a shred of evidence for this bullshit fairy tale, nor was there any indication that he was asked for evidence. Instead the article just kind of moves on to NATO criticism of Russia.
This is why we don’t take sides when see a dipshit fight in progress. I get so sick of this narrative by which Russians are kooky tin-foil hat wearers but of course all of pro-government Ukraine is supposed to be some sophisticated, rational thinkers. We’re talking about a public which, just a few years ago, bought into the widely publicized idea that numerous, if not all atrocities long-established to have been the work of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in late WWII and some time thereafter were really carried out by special Soviet NKVD units in disguise. If you’re not too familiar with that history, imagine someone claiming that mass shootings of Jews were actually carried out by special Jewish squads dressed up as SS men. More recently, many of these same people have been trying to convince us that the presence of fascist movements and individuals in Russia somehow negates the clear evidence of right-wing extremists in Ukraine. Shit, look what they do for their presidential swearing in ceremony. This is some D&D shit right here:
Russia is larger, louder, and therefore a lot more noticeable. But we must never let that blind us to the fact that they are by no means the only country which suffers from mass delusions. It was Ukrainian delusions which actually started this mess in the very beginning.
Whatever. I’m sure the families of the victims must have been thrilled to learn that the Ukrainian master sleuths found this major break in the case. Nothing would ease my pain faster than a government official from a basketcase country weaving a ridiculous conspiracy theory so as to score cheap political points for his bosses.