Fallen from the Sky

Novorossiya has suffered significantly in regards to the destruction of Malaysian Air Flight 17 over Eastern Ukraine. It appears that in the sense of this tragedy being taken advantage of by the US-EU governing class, it is and will be done in order to justify the strangulation at birth of the new country of Новороссия (Novorossiya).

The driving force behind the formation of Novorossiya is that a substantial majority of the people in the southern and eastern part of Ukraine do not recognize the new government which came to power in Kiev as the result of the violent overthrow of the previously elected government. The approach of the new Kievian government is not to allow those who disagree with their coup to go their own way, but is instead based on military means to force the capitulation of those who disagree.

It should be recognized that the two sides in this conflict are quite unevenly matched. In particular, the Kievian government has access to much better military equipment and financial resources than the rebels do. Of particular relevance is that the Kievian government possesses complete air-superiority. Furthermore, military action is taking place in the form of assaults by the Kiev government on the homelands of the rebels. Rebel warplanes are not making bombing runs over the Ukrainian capital or Lviv. Their artillery is not surrounding and opening fire on cities and villages in the parts of the Ukraine that support the Kievian government. On the contrary, the rebels are defending their own cities and villages from the assaults of the Kiev and are not advancing into territory inhabited primarily by supporters of the current regime.

Occam’s razor would suggest that the cause of the downed airliner was due to the rebels, who in their attempts to protect their cities, villages, and military units from aerial bombardments, mistook the airliner for a Ukrainian warplane. That such mistakes are not infrequent during the course of military action is evident from even a cursory glance through history.

Currently heard from public figures in the US-EU are statements of the form “if the rebels did this or the Russians are involved through their provision of the antiaircraft system used, then the rebels and/or the Russians should have hell to pay.” That such opinions are based on an antipathy to the rebel/Russian side can be derived from such individuals’ reactions to similar events. Probably the most appropriate one is the shooting down of a Russian passenger airline (Siberia Airlines Flight 1812) in 2001 by the Ukrainian military with an antiaircraft rocket. The repercussions of this downing, which resulted in the deaths of 78 people, were limited to payments by the Ukrainian government to victims’ families and the sacking of a handful of officers and officials. There were no sanctions applied to Ukraine by other countries and no criminal proceedings begun. Assuming that the treatment of the Ukrainians in this matter was appropriate, a neutral observer would likely conclude that the rebels should be treated in a similar manner. Indeed the culpability of the Ukrainian military in shooting down Flight 1812 would appear to be greater, as it occurred during peacetime, as opposed to the rebels who are operating under conditions of daily bombardments of their cities and villages made possible by the complete air-superiority of the Kievian government. In this regard, an appropriate means of preventing such further accidents would be imposition of a no-fly zone over the Ukraine. Other means could involve the provision of more advanced antiaircraft systems, along with appropriate training for the rebels with the aim of avoiding further cases of mistaken identity. It should be reiterated that the reason the rebels are concerning themselves at all with antiaircraft systems is due to the (otherwise unimpeded) aerial bombardment of eastern Ukraine by the Kievian government.

US-EU public officials, more often than not, are heard giving statements to the effect that the means to achieve peace is to cut off all aid to the rebels. However, if peace (as opposed to peace obtained by destruction of Novorossiya by the Kievian government) is indeed the highest priority, then the party that must be pressured is the attacking side, i.e., the Kievian government. Of course, this is the quickest possible means of obtaining peace and will result in victory for Novorossiya, as its goals of independence will be achieved, and hence, would logically be advanced by those whose primary goal is independence for Novorossiya.

The suggestions and insinuations that the only way to bring peace would be for the Russian people and government to stop supplying any aid to the rebels indicate that the sources for such suggestions support the Kievian government. This follows from the near certainty that cessation of all support to the rebels and the cessation of any more chances for future support will result in victory by the Kievian government.

The fact of the matter is that Russian support of the rebels is quite minimal. The author’s first hand experience is that such support is provided primarily on the grass-roots level. In the city that the author lives in, various individuals have formed groups that collect food, medical supplies, clothing, uniforms, boots and other items send it to the eastern parts of the Ukraine. Volunteers have also set out to aid the rebels primarily in the form of joining the armed resistance to the Kievian government. Somewhat surprisingly, there is no support from the city or federal government in this matter in the form of advertising such aid collection centers and/or encouraging people to participate in such aid. At a minimum, the Russian government would be expected to provide humanitarian aid on an official level but this is not observed. The clear evidence that the rebels possess some heavy military equipment (tanks, artillery etc.) is often taken as evidence that such equipment is from Russia. However, it should be kept in mind that the conflict is a civil war—in the course of which significant numbers of the Ukrainian military have defected to the rebels. This issue was particularly acute at the start of the conflict where it was not infrequent that military units sent to suppress the rebels in a particular village/city instead raised the rebel flag and wholeheartedly joined the rebels. The Kievian government has responded to this issue by raising paramilitary formations, such as the National Guard, which are staffed by people loyal to the Kievian government who have joined with the specific purpose of suppressing the rebellion and hence, contain very few individuals from the eastern parts of the Ukraine. Other paramilitary units exist which are funded and controlled by various oligarchs.

Returning to the issue of the downed airline, a glance at the positioning and treatment of the issue in the US-EU media clearly shows usage of the tragedy as a weapon against the rebels. Headlines such as “Armed men restrict access to crash site” or “Standoff with militiamen at crash site” (BBC) are used. Aside from the fact that the crash occurred in a war-zone, the fact of the matter is that any such crash site is typically cordoned off and guarded by armed men in almost any country. In other statements “Local residents have been allowed to wander around the wreckage of the plane” (BBC), however, the lack of a guarded perimeter is used as evidence of deliberate carelessness of the local authorities. Considering the issue, and recognizing the fact that the crash area is in a very rural area subject to military engagements, none of the above necessarily indicates any malign intent on the part of the local authorities. Such issues would be found at a similar crash site in almost any country.

Of some interest is a report from the BBC in which a man guarding the crash scene, after being described as “squat and barrel-chested with poor teeth“ is reported to have stated: "You are only here because foreigners are dead." For the people of eastern Ukraine, this man’s question has some relevance. In the course of the Kievian government’s military operations, hundreds of people have been killed by artillery and air-strikes carried out against cities and villages. For example, the day after Flight 17 was destroyed, it was reported that 20 civilians died in the course of artillery and/or aerial attacks on the city of Lugansk. These deaths and many others like them have not resulted in visits from OSCE observers and journalists from the US-EU. The fact that their deaths are not widely denounced or mentioned in the US-EU media contains within itself the implication that these deaths, as opposed to those of Malaysian Air Flight 17, are the somewhat unavoidable and deserved result of opposition to the Ukrainian government and its sponsors.