Western leaders and their media would have us believe that Russian-backed terrorists and bandits not only shot down a civilian airliner killing all 298 onboard – but that they have added to their depravity by defiling the dead, kicking around body parts and robbing corpses.
On top of all that, so the official Western narrative goes, the separatist militias have been callously blocking an international rescue and investigation team, by denying access to the crash site, near the town of Grabovo, in rural fields some 40 kilometres from the Russian border with eastern Ukraine.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told American television networks on Sunday of alleged abhorrent behaviour by the local self-defence militia who took charge of the crash site in the territory under their control. «Drunken separatists have been piling bodies into trucks and removing them from the site. What’s happening is really grotesque, and it is contrary to everything President Putin and Russia said they would do».
The ghoulish theme was picked up the next day by US President Obama who told media that the conduct of the militia was «an insult to those who have lost loved ones and has no place in the international community of nations».
Obama accused the separatists of attempting to cover up the evidence of the crash. «What exactly are they trying to hide?» he asked.
British premier David Cameron and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott echoed the same line, accusing the Ukrainian separatists of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 last Thursday and spending the last few days hampering recovery of bodies and forensic material. Cameron blamed Russia for aiding and abetting the rebels in eastern Ukraine. «The world also wants to see a real change in the stance Russia has taken over the crisis in Ukraine,» said Cameron without any substantiation.
While the Australian premier piled on the pejorative rhetoric, referring to the crash site: «It's more like a garden clean-up than a forensic investigation. This is completely unacceptable».
Abbott added for good measure that the rebels at the crash site was like putting «criminals in charge of a crime scene» – again without any substantiation.
The problem with this lurid narrative, which is being pushed like a tidal wave in the Western media, is that it is actually running reality in reverse.
The «good guys», so to speak, are in fact the various self-defence militia in eastern Ukraine, the communities they are trying to protect, and the Russian government, which has been trying to bring some civilised diplomatic order to the bloody chaos in the region.
That chaos is not just the latest disaster of the downing of the Amsterdam to Malaysia Boeing 777. For the past four months, the eastern region of Ukraine has been living in a nightmare imposed by the Western-installed junta in the central capital, Kiev. All ethnic Russian communities in the east are, in the publicly declared words of the Kiev regime, «sub-humans» to be hunted down in «anti-terror operations».
Since the weekend, the two main cities in the east, Donetsk and Lugansk, have been shelled constantly by Ukrainian regular army forces and neo-Nazi paramilitary groups under the direction of the Western-sponsored coup leaders in Kiev, headed up by self-styled Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Days following the airliner crash – which is believed to have been shot down with a surface-to-air missile, although it could have been hit by a fighter jet – over 20 people have been killed in Donetsk and Lugansk from artillery fire and air strikes carried out by the pro-Kiev forces. Over the past two months more than 250 people have been killed in Lugansk alone, according to monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Most the dead are civilians killed by indiscriminate shelling from pro-Kiev military.
Only a couple of days before the airliner came down, a Kiev warplane hit a residential block in the town of Snezhnoye, some 20 kilometres from the crash site. That attack resulted in 11 dead, all them civilians.
Mortars have been fired in residential areas and pedestrian centres. In the deadliest attack in Lugansk over the weekend, eight civilians were killed when mortars hit the city centre on Friday. Their bodies were torn apart, strewn on the street, as graphic video footage testifies.
The self-defence militia set up in the eastern region are opposed to the Western-installed regime in Kiev. They have every right to resist the illegal self-imposed authority, which they see as willing to sign the country up to NATO, the IMF and Western economic pillaging.
The militia have the support of the vast majority of the people, who voted for autonomy from Kiev in referenda organised in early May, giving rise to the self-declared Peoples’ Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Now these people are fighting for their lives, as the Kiev regime steps up the its so-called anti-terror operations. At the start of this week, the Kiev forces were bombarding central areas of Donetsk and Lugansk cities. Residents – those that have not already fled in their tens of thousands for refuge across the border in Russia – have been forced into air raid shelters out of fear from the constant shelling by Kiev troops and warplanes. Some of these shelters have not been used since the Second World War when people used them back then to evade Nazi bombing carried out along with the ancestors of the Kiev regime who collaborated with the Third Reich.
It is obscene that these people are being vilified now by Western governments and their media. The reality is that these people are not only fighting for their lives, they also have spared their time and meagre resources to help secure the crash site of the downed airliner and to retrieve the bodies of the victims – all in the middle of a war zone that has been imposed on them by a ruthless Western-backed Kiev regime.
Despite Obama’s baseless disparagement of the self-defence militia as being «an insult to the international community», on the same day that he made that announcement the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was praising the local authorities for having made arrangements to retrieve the bodies and to hand over the vitally important black box recorders from the doomed airliner. The latter data could reveal what caused the passenger plane to explode in mid-air and crash.
Significantly, the Malaysian premier did not make the arrangements through the Kiev regime. He dealt directly with the Donetsk People’s Republic leader Alexander Borodai. The Malaysians disclosed publicly that 282 of the bodies recovered so far were to be transported in refrigerated train carriages to Donetsk and thence to the city of Kharkiv before being flown on to Amsterdam. The flight recorder black boxes were also to be handed over in Donetsk by militia members to an official Malaysian investigative team…
In the latest onslaught by Kiev forces in Donetsk it seems more than a coincidence that they have attacked the central train station in that city – from where the airline crash corpses were to be transported. Some rail tracks were reportedly damaged by shelling, thus putting transport of the human remains in jeopardy.
The Washington Post reported early Monday: «Michael Bociurkiw, an OSCE spokesman, said it remained unclear when the rail cars containing the bodies would move and where they would go. He said renewed fighting in Donetsk on Monday had possibly damaged the tracks, adding a complication.
«We were told by rebels it has caused some damage to the railway system,» said the OSCE spokesman. «That is a crucial development in the sense that with the airport inoperable, and if the train station is inoperable, that will cut off Donetsk even further».
The OSCE team confirmed to media on Saturday – less than 48 hours after the airliner was downed – that they had gained full access to the crash site, facilitated by the local self-defence militia, even though Kiev forces were conducting intimidating flyovers with warplanes.
Meanwhile, Dutch investigators who oversaw the eventual placement of the 282 corpses into a train at the town of Torez, near the crash site, for transport on to Donetsk, spoke admirably of the local rescue teams that the self-defence militia and community had organised.
Reuters reported: «Peter van Vliet, whose team went through the wagons dressed in surgical masks and rubber gloves, said he was impressed by the work the recovery crews had done, given the heat and the scale of the crash site». Vliet told Reuters: «I think they did a hell of a job in a hell of a place».
And so the Dutch investigators should be in admiration. The people of Donetsk are trying to rescue victims in conditions of extreme duress imposed by Kiev’s terrorist operations.
All the while, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been calling for a ceasefire from the Kiev forces so that a full and safe international investigation can take place into what happened Flight MH17. On Monday, Putin called for the disaster not to be politicised by narrow self interests.
So far, Putin’s appeal for safe passage for investigators has been wilfully ignored by the Kiev regime, which has if anything stepped up its violence in the region since the air crash.
And Western leaders are giving full cover to the Kiev regime by perversely laying the blame on Russia and the self-defence militias in Donetsk, accusing both of obstructing recovery and a crash probe.
To paraphrase Obama: «What is the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors trying to hide?»
As for Australia’s premier Abbott, what seems to be getting up his nose is the fact that the Western-backed criminals in Kiev are not in charge of the crime scene.