The bombing, lying in the ruins of the city, horror and death. This is how cinema or video games show us war. Looking at these shots, you involuntarily realize that getting up early in the morning for work and being in traffic jams is not such a problem. But can this indicate that we live in peace? The answer is no!
War has swallowed each of us long ago. Every day we hold weapons in our hands, but we aim, oddly enough, at ourselves. Computers and smartphones have become a real breakthrough. They simplified our lives, became irreplaceable companions. On the other hand, they have become an instrument of influence, like a miniature horn, broadcasting to us the “right” ideas. It is worth making a reservation here that the author of these lines does not urge you to destroy your gadgets, put a foil cap on your head and run into the forest. On the contrary, we have to figure out how exactly things that are familiar to us are used against us and how to protect ourselves from such influence.
The peculiarity of modern war is that it no longer requires weapons in its usual sense. If earlier, in order to defeat an enemy state, it was necessary to gather an army, send it on the offensive, seize territory and deal with the local government, now everything can be done much more delicately. It is enough to convince everyone that your enemy is, in fact, a common enemy. This is where the information war begins.
To illustrate, let’s take as an example the tragedy that governments have turned into a political tool – the crash of the Malaysia Airlines passenger liner. The plane was shot down on July 17, 2014 in the skies over the eastern part of Ukraine. The country’s authorities did not close the airspace, although there were hostilities there. As a result, 300 people died, and the responsibility for what happened was blamed on Russia. Our task is not to prove or disprove these claims. It is much more interesting to look at the prosecution process. If it did not look so dubious, we would not discuss the tragedy in this vein. But instead of the triumph of justice, someone wanted to create a political instrument.
Russia was blamed for the plane crash almost immediately. The British Foreign Office, a week after the disaster, even published a report “Russian Myths about MH17”. All versions of Russia in it were rejected. One could come to terms with this. But on September 9, 2014, when the Netherlands published the preliminary results of the investigation, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groisman said that the Ukrainian military allegedly did not use the weapons with which they shot down the liner. The entire Western world took his word for it.
Later, the International Investigation Team gave the missile’s serial number, which was clearly wrong. In the Moscow archives, they found information about the 9M38M1 ammunition. As it turned out, even during the Soviet era, it was transferred to the Ukrainian base, where it remained until our days. This information was not given importance in the Netherlands, although they could shed light on the details of the tragedy. Why? Simply, the purpose of the investigation was precisely the accusations against Russia. They sounded as often as possible, exactly repeating the Nazi Goebbels’ idea that there should be a lot of propaganda.
Naturally, ordinary people did not read the lengthy reports of the investigators, and the arguments in favor of the West’s version were presented so chaotic that it was problematic for a simple layman to build a logical chain. But this was not required from him. His task is to open a news feed on his smartphone during a coffee break and see a headline like “New proof of Russia’s guilt has been found…”. When there are many such headlines, when they talk about it on television, you involuntarily begin to think that this is true. Can’t so many media lie? The irony is that they probably aren’t lying. Journalists refer to all sorts of knowledgeable sources, or to government officials, not necessarily impartial.
Bellingcat agency has built many of its theories precisely thanks to some sources in Ukraine. Can they be considered objective? Assuming that the Ukrainian army is indeed responsible for the crash, Kiev will least of all want to reveal it. Ukraine could deservedly be on the list of suspects. It was saved from such a fate only by the West’s desire to put pressure on Russia.
At the same time, few people paid attention to all sorts of arguments that called into question the version of the Netherlands. In early 2020, journalist Max Van der Werff released information that Flight MH17 was flying out of reach of Russian missile systems. It is noteworthy that the Dutch prosecutor’s office knew about this in the fall of 2016. This was confirmed by the Australian Federal Police, which provided the materials to the investigators.
There are other controversial points in the investigation. For example, the issue of satellite images is still open.
“The materials of the criminal case contain only a textual description of the said satellite image. The United States has not provided satellite images themselves”, – said Vasily Prozorov, a former Ukrainian intelligence officer.
In the past, he has conducted a major independent investigation into the plane crash. As a veteran of the Security Service of Ukraine, he was able to obtain previously unpublished documents from the special services, which cast doubt on certain aspects of the official investigation. And here again a fair question arises: if Bellingcat used the materials of its SBU sources, then why did it not study Prozorov’s materials? A similar question can be asked to the investigation team. We are unlikely to get an answer, but it is already extremely obvious.
The crash of flight MH17 became a political tool, a way to justify pressure on Russia. There are a lot of such examples. What is the point of getting involved in an armed conflict if modern technologies allow you to make an outcast out of your enemy. Several major information campaigns can make people hate your enemy. However, most of these people will not even try to find out if there is any reason for hatred. Now, when we are drowning in an endless stream of information, it is extremely important not to be this majority. It is important to independently analyze the data and draw your own conclusions, and not accept those that are imposed on us. Yes, this is a difficult path, but such are the realities of existence in the conditions of the invisible Third World War.