Flight MH17 and the Conflict in the Eastern Ukraine

The heads of the governments of the European Union have met once more to decide intensified sanctions against Russia. While doing so they do already take it granted for sure that the Dutch passenger plane has been brung down by the separatists in the Eastern Ukraine. That even though at least as far as one attached any importance to Russian declarations there would be sufficient reason to assume something else.

According to Russian declarations an Ukrainian warplane would have approximated the passenger plane. Kiev would also need to reason towards Moscow about its deployment of its 'Buk' anti-aircraft missiles because the seceders in the Eastern Ukraine do not even have airplanes.

Could that be true in deed that flight MH17 has been followed up and finally been shot by a tactical Ukrainian aircraft? Yes. It would not be the first time that the Ukrainian side would have added fuel to the fire. Thereabout the abolishment of Russian as an official language in the Ukraine directly before the annexation of the Krim peninsula [1]. However the first issue can not directly be compared with the second one. Nonetheless there still seem to be plenty of people who vow for vengeance for the persons killed at Maidan. Now, if it really would have been like this who beared the responsibility for it?

Those who have read the media attentively will also know that Blackwater soldiers have been fighting in the Eastern Ukraine [2]. Shouldn`t we aspire to revaluate the responsibility of Russia whose support for the separatists is faught against with tougher and tougher sanctions in this conflict merely because of the fact that also the USA participates with armed forces? Isn`t this a new war of representatives? - a very assymetric and unlike more dangerous one which could escalate in a real war at any time. Maybe also the offer of resignation of the government in Kiev after the coaltion of pro-western parties has broken apart can be seen in this light. The offer has been refused promptly by president Petro Poroschenko.

Another problem is that the Ukrainian interim government has not only missed but also strictly recused to directly negotiate with the separatists in due course and to make an offer which would have been acceptible for both sides. Even under the voted successive government of president Petro Poroschenko such an offer has not been achieved. It would have had to be possible to vote in the affected areas for independence - and only there. To offer such a poll involving the people of the whole Ukraine to decide about the disloyal areas in the East can not be deemed to be a fair offer; at least not for the seceders.

While we blame the separatist having killed certain political opponents (mass graves have definitely not been found) the Russian state television talks about war crimes. Major general Viktor Posnichir recorded multiple sites and days of crime for the deployment of phosphoric bombs which should be known from the war in Vietnam [3]. He is basing his claims on eyewitness reports of refugees and video recordings.

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But now let us come back to flight MH17. The blackbox is meanwhiles in the possession of Great Britain after it has been delivered there by the Netherlands. Before that the seceders have given the blackbox to Malaysia which however could no more bear the public pressure for clarification. According to experts the blackbox has been handed over intact and (due to the crash) with minor damages.

But now what has happened since then? The affected people are waiting patiently for an answer. The broad public on the other hand seems to care no more and has adopted the opinion propagated by the media without questioning any further: It can only be the fault of the pro-Russian separatists.

People need to stand up and demand responses to their questions! If the Dutch passenger plane would really have been followed up by a tactical Ukrainian airplane the blackbox would need to tell us. For any other cases it is most likely that this is all about a tragical incident. The separatist could have aimed at the Ukrainian warplane and could have hit the passenger plane in the proximity instead. A political suicide of the pro-Russian seceders is at least as unlikely as a strike of the other side. If it became public knowledge that the Ukrainian passenger plane has undoubtfully been shot by the seceders Moscow would be forced to give up or at least to rethink its support for the separatists.

Anticipating Sanctions against Russia before things have been clarified seem on the other hand to be taken in as a provocation of the West. Moscow knows what it knows and has already announced stepwise military exercises in all districts and called up for its reservists. That of course does not subserve for a relaxation of the conflict. Russia would have been ready to pressurize the seceders for starting to negotiate even without such a tragical incident provided that an appropriate offer from the side of the Ukraine would have been given which could however in turn only have been achieved by appropriate pressure of the European Union. It can also hardly be in the right of the relatives of flight MH17 that this incident is misused to provoke a new political ice age or even that it would be used to provoke war.

Even though the truth may never become public knowledge, even when the seceders are at last forced to give up, when final facts have been achieved Europe will fall by the wayside through this unmindful policy hurrying ahead of facts that is just taken in as provocation by the other side. Apart from the disadvantage of the whole economy a new energy dependency towards the USA will have its price. Independently from the fact that the sole winners of this conflicts can be located at the other side of the Atlantic European leaders could have worked in time to establish a common democratic base of values with Russia instead of letting themselves being drawn deeper and deeper into a militaric conflict which needs both sides to continue. That may sound like an Utopia these days. Nonetheless, those who would take democractic legitimation seriours should also be ready to admit that the population in the affected areas can vote - of course under the surveillance of international election observers - for their own future. The question needs to be allowed but would we also knock a Shottish or a Catalonian independence movement down with arms under circumstances as described in the last sentence?

I would never talk against it being absolutely necessary to point at the fact on how Russia deals with dissidents and even more to make further steps like delivery of arms depend on it. I wanna point out the latest domiciliary arrest of Alexej Nawalny who has disclosed many cases of corruption in Putins Russia. Even though there is no exhaustive surveillance of internet users in Russia the home pages of Alexej Nawalny and Garri Kasparow have recently been taken offline by the Kremlin. Unfortunately the conviction against Russias energy company Yukos achieved now long afterwards Michail Chodorkowski has been freed seems to favour the bussiness interest of the shareholders of Menatep Limited (GML) and its sewer Leonid Nevzlin who has acquired Israelian citizenship in the meanwhile. It is the Russian public who will have to pay 50 Mrd USD. While actions are taken promptly for business interest and political calculus the protection of civil rights does not seem to be of elevated importance to our politicians which can also be observed around the incidents of Edward Snowden and the information he has disclosed. It also needs to be pointed out that whenever innocent citizens in countries being under the sphere of influence of the West are displaced or killed due to economic interest that this will hardly be reported in the mass media.

2014-07-31 –