Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
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In order to discredit and make the official version of events inaudible, and therefore not allowing Russia to defend itself, a phase of intoxication by the media was the successor to the phase of misinformation. For this, the voice of the Kremlin was drowned out by a multitude of parasitic noises (topic dilution or flooding), which is constituted by completely erroneous theories, and which can be easily debunked (consensus breaking). This blurring is all the more effective for its sponsors when it comes from Russian media, or from people allegedly close to the Kremlin. The first condition to be able to identify blurring is to be familiar with the initial message. In this case, it is the official position of Russia.
Since the tragedy, the position of the Kremlin has not changed, contrary to what is claimed by the western media. The first reaction of Moscow gathered by Interfax and relayed by Reuters on July 17th, 2014, at 17:34 is without ambiguity. The plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, according to an adviser of the Russian Interior Ministry.
Later, in the evening the first communique of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation falls:
“According to the Russian Defense Ministry, there are units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the disaster area; the units are armed with anti-aircraft missile systems Buk-M1. In the area of northwestern outskirts of Donetsk, divisions of the 156th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine are deployed, with 27 Buk M1 complexes”.
This first Russian declaration is in disagreement with the hypothesis tweeted by the former Prime Minister of the DPR Aleksandr Borodai. The latter, influenced by the testimony of the inhabitants of Grabovo – accusing a Ukrainian jet, contradicts himself for the third time of the day and resumes his account of this scenario. This tweet was widely picked up by the western media.
On July 21st, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation organizes a press conference. From this communication, the western press didn’t retain any evidence against Russia besides the part dealing with the presence of a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet.
What was the veritable content of this conference?
It starts with a circumstantial presentation. The next point, which was developed on the third part of the presentation, is about the presence in the zone of the crash of many Ukrainian BUK launchers. Then, the presence of a Ukrainian jet is developed more succinctly. Never was the aircraft described as being the one that shot down MH-17. Its role is presented as follows: “(it) monitors the development of the situation”. So the destruction of MH-17 by a Ukrainian jet wasn’t discussed at this conference, contrary to what is claimed by the French press.
The passage deliberately forgotten by the western press is the following:
“Image No. 5 shows that on the morning of the same day near the village of Zaroshchinskoye, located 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtersk, a battery of “BUK” was spotted. A question arises: why was the battery in this zone, near the territory controlled by the militia, and immediately prior to the tragedy?”
On September 28th, 2016, the company Almaz-Antey presents the conclusions of its investigation. The experts of the company come to the conclusion that MH-17 was destroyed by a Buk-M1 missile type 9M38 fired from Zaroshchinskoye.
So the official Russian version has not changed between 17th July, 2014, and today. It is the initial signal that attempts were made to make it inaudible. Now, since it is defined, it will be very simple for us to identify the blurring that was put in place and its relay.
Intoxication by the media
As early as July 21st, AFP travestied the reality of the conference of the Russian Defense Ministry by focusing only on the evocation of the presence of a Su-25. In addition, it adds false information by assimilating it into the theory issued by the militia from the DPR: this same aircraft shot down MH-17.
The case of lifenews.ru
This intoxication of the Russian press responds to what is called in technical misinformation “consensus cracking“. It consists of introducing in the speech of the adversary an argument that at first glance seems reasonable and valid, but which in reality has a flaw, which will be used to later discredit the integrity of the thesis of their adversary.
Lifenews.ru is a 24/7 information channel, created in 2013 by Aram Gabrielanov – owner of the holding “News Media” with the executive director, his son Ashot Gabrielanov. The latter left Lifenews in September 2014, and now lives in New York.
Ukrainian separatists claiming the destruction of a transport aircraft was first reported precisely on this channel on 17th July, 2014. This false news is a major piece of evidence in the accusations pushed forward by the supporters of the guilt of Russia. On the same day a film crew of this channel, which was the first to arrive at the scene of the crash, affirms that according to testimonies collected on site (see the Post Scriptum, the explanation of the SU-25 phantom) the Boeing was shot down by a Su-25 (and 1).
On November 14th, 2014, Lifenews publishes a satellite image of US origin showing a jet described as a Ukrainian MiG-29 firing at MH-17. The photo was sent to the editor by a “Russian expert”, who received it from an American correspondent posing as George Bilt. This mail was sent from the address “[email protected]”, created for the occasion. The image had already been published anonymously on a Russian forum on 15th October, 2014.
This information was also retaken by the Russia’s Channel One in the early evening by Mikhail Leontiev in his program “Odnako”.
The photomontage is so coarse or the case is so premeditated that the first debunkings fall in the night of 14th to 15th November. Despite this, the next day information was picked up by the daily Pravda.ru, DHI.ru, Vesti.ru, NTV, Govorit Moskva, ITAR-TASS, Lenta.ru, Telekanal, Zvezda, and Komsomolskaya Pravda.
In the process, the western press will jump for joy, not failing to mention that Rossiya 1, which is qualified as a “Kremlin-owned channel“, “State television“, and “pro-Kremlin Russian channel“, while it is simply a semi-public channel. The Russian State owns 51%, Yuri Kovalchuk 14%, and Roman Abramovich 24%.
This intoxication of the Russian press doesn’t arrive at a good time, it happens exactly at the time of the G20 in Brisbane which marks the return of Russia after its eviction from the G8 post the annexation of Crimea.
Almost two years after the events, the publication of this image is still used by the western media to prove the bad faith of the Kremlin and the “lack” of coherence of the Russian self-defence. The aim of this intoxication is to give the impression that Russia constantly changes its opinion – a characteristic that is commonly accepted by all as a sign of lying.
And for this:
An anonymous person – who usurped their identity; who sends a false document to a “Russian expert”; who is searching for media visibility in order to promote a commercial activity; and who also sends it to a Russian journalist, whose assistants do not verify their sources – becomes: the Kremlin.
After this case, the Russian press became much more prudent and verifies its sources in a drastic manner. Thus the blurring of information is adopted by independent media satellites. For example, such parasitic communication can be found in the Donbass informational websites, which are easily assimilated by western readers to Russian media. Look, for example, at two articles published in the French language. To be fair, one will be taken from the site Donipress, and another from Novorossia Today.
For a start, the article of auto-intoxication, i.e. with a source that is internal to the journal. The SBU tortures the girlfriend of a Russian expert investigating the tragedy of MH-17 – does Ukraine want to strangle the truth?
In this article the question of the causes of the kidnapping of Darya Mastikasheva are discussed. Despite including a link to an article from RT that gives the plausible causes (the investigation of the husband of Darya into the links between the mafia in Ukraine and the SBU), the author goes on a hypothesis different from that of the press organ of the Kremlin.
The author, thanks to the intervention of “a friend that helps her in the investigation into MH-17”, remembers that the husband of Darya – Sergei Solokov – “investigated” MH17, and that he was even interviewed by the BBC for a documentary! The author includes a link to a AFP article, writing that in this documentary: “Sergey Sokolov, who, with his team of over a hundred men, examined the site of the disaster and has not found the slightest trace of a BUK missile”. But in view of the facts, it would have been more fair to say that Sergey Solokov contributed to disinformation concerning the crash of MH-17 and discredited the Russian self-defence.
Sergey Sokolov, in fact, is one of the most fervent Russian supporters of the thesis that opposes the Kremlin’s one. He had already intervened in a series of videos posted on YouTube: MH-17 inquiry. The conclusion of these videos is that MH-17 was shot down by a Ukrainian MiG-29. These documentaries are regularly cited by the western media in order to discredit the Russian self-defense. They were produced by the cartoonish Russian oligarch Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Volovik, who created as early as 1989 the company “B-Gaz-C” – specialised in export and then services to oil companies in Siberia.
As always, westerners connected Aleksandr Volovik to the Kremlin in order to describe his web-series as official propaganda of the Kremlin. The task was greatly facilitated by the megalomania of Volovik, which pushes him to illustrate his page with grotesque photomontages showing him in the company of Vladimir Putin or Dmitry Medvedev.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the media of the DPR has relayed intoxication on the topic of MH17. Already on May 22nd, 2017, an article based on documents that are more than doubtful was published. Here, again, the theory of a second jet was moved to the forefront, by means of a conspiracy to do away with the Ukrainian witnesses of the destruction of MH-17.
The documents cited in the article were created in order to play a role equivalent to the famous American satellite image. They were submitted by an anonymous correspondent, who changed their SIM card 5 times and e-mail address 3 times, to the Russian website “sovsekretno.ru“…
And as was expected, it was immediately picked up by Russian non-official news sites, the documents were debunked by those who are the most likely perpetrators: agents of Kiev propaganda. Fortunately no serious Russian media took the bait.
This time manipulation falls into the water, only a tweet from the Russian embassy could have been used to implicate the Kremlin. But a webpage officially denouncing Russian disinformation limits itself to qualify the website “sovsekretno” as a “small pro-Kremlin paper“. Even if this attempt at intoxication proved to be sterile compared to the previous attempts, it helped the Atlantacist propaganda to once again show that Sputnik is “wacky” and it extended the long list of documents falsely linked to the Kremlin.
Conclusion: unfortunately for the truth the work of intoxication by the media, despite its fragility, both by the origin of the documents and by the links allegedly connecting them to the Kremlin was successful. For the western layperson, Russia is guilty, and this guilt is shown by the alleged changes of its version of the facts. Moreover, all of the sites accusing Russia, such as Bellingcat and ukrinform – don’t forget to make an inventory every time they want to discredit the Russian self-defence.
What to say in conclusion after these four articles? The disinformation began even before the crash of MH-17. The photographic and audio evidence used by Ukraine are from prior to the crash. This led to two things that have benefited Ukraine: enforce economic sanctions against the will of Europeans and globalize the civil war in Ukraine by implicating de facto the countries that the victims were from (US, Great Britain, Holland, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Belgium, Canada). The sanctions against Russia were applied on the basis of the only false evidence available the 18th July, and all were provided by one of the suspects of the crime: Ukraine. The Russian self-defence was rendered inaudible, and was discredited by a series of intoxications by the media that were blown out of proportion and exploitatively relied on by the western press.
P.S: the mystery of the Su-25 phantom: many witnesses claim to have seen a Ukrainian fighter jet at the time of the tragedy.
How is it possible? The first element to take into account is the difference in size between a Boeing 777 and a Su-25. The first has an observable surface that is 14 times greater than the second and an engine power with a condensation trail 20 times more considerable. So the first one is about 15 to 20 times more visible without taking into account the camouflage of the fighter jet, which makes it even more difficult to pick out. It is impossible for an observer with a vision of 10/10 to observe a Su-25 at more than 5000 meters of altitude in optimum conditions of visibility, and this is for a jet painted in a sharp color. This is not the case with a camouflaged combat aircraft. Moreover, on the day of the crash the sky was overcast. Therefore, there is no chance that a witness could observe a Su-25 attacking MH-17. If we look at one of the first testimonies collected on the 17th of July, it is reported that after the crash a jet was observed fleeing towards Debaltsevo. While at the time of the crash the flight AIC 113 of Air India flew over Grabovo precisely by following this course. So it appears that the witnesses most likely observed a plane, but it was the Air India flight. The published testimony was made available online on July 17th, 2014, at 20:58, so in this case its timing is unlikely to have been altered. In effect, memories can be modified by the auto-suggestion of the witness, who rebuilt their testimony under the influence of their entourage and what they subsequently read, heard, or saw in the press.
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