Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Putin's PR Disaster!

BONHAN Ratycz of the Association of Ukrainians in the UK told me last night that he thought President Putin had suffered 'a serious pubic relation disaster' as a result of the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane last week.  Mr. Ratycz also told Northern Voices that he thought that it was likely that the plane had been accidentally shot down by the separatists in eastern Ukraine.  But he questioned the figure of 50 mercenaries given in the International New York Times (see previous post: 'Ukraine & Spain, is it the same?') as he said 'there is evidence that many more Russian mercenaries have crossed the boarder'.  It is probable that the figure of '50' given in the International New York Times refers only to those mercenaries in the city of Luhansk, and not all those across eastern Ukraine.   

Mr. Ratycz pondered the extraordinary attitude of the Russians and said 'it's as if they belong on another planet they just want to destabilise the Ukraine'.  Jim Pinkerton, a northern anarchist who had studied Russian in the 1970s, often told me that the Russians had many good points but their history had not been much influenced by the sprite of Greek civilisation that allows for individual integrity in society.   

Today's editorial in the International New York Times states: 
'The facts about the shooting down of the plane must be established by trusted, international experts.  The most likely finding, for which American and other Western officials say there is strong evidence, is that the jetliner was brought down by rockets fired from rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine. That would require not only ground-to-air missiles but also the expertise and equipment to guide them, raising the possibility of assistance from Russia itself.  Russia has denied any such role, and its military officials have pushed a compelling scenario, inculpating Ukraine.'   

Furthermore, also according to today's International New York Times editorial: 
'In that same statement, Mr. Putin also sought to transfer blame to Ukraine, saying the tragedy would not have happened if Kiev had maintained a cease-fire.'   

Some of this may prejudge the issue, but where the editor of the New York Times writes of ‘the most likely finding…’ ,  the speculation seems to make sense.  It is just important to remember that it is simply speculation until more facts are known.  

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