Saturday, 19 July 2014

What will Putin do next?

Putin's subdued response to the disaster is ominous. It reminds me of his reaction to the overthrow of Yanukovych. For days he said or did little, then he invaded Crimea.

Since Thursday, the Russian propaganda machine been flailing, lacking clear direction from the very top, pumping out various incoherent conspiracy theories which are poor even by Russia Today's low standards. Perhaps it merely shows the Russian security services disinformation department doesn't work weekends and hasn't yet got round to forging the requisite evidence implicating Ukraine. But I think it demonstrates the Putinists are still waiting for their lord and master to decide which line he will take.

Some scenarios for the future:

1. Putin and his cronies will try to drag the crash investigation out as long as possible, be as obstructive as they can, then reject any findings they dont like. Russia may even present the results of its own alternative enquiry. Putin has lost control of reality, but not of the Russian media. Maybe that's enough for him. Obviously, this scenario is highly plausible.

2. Putin will back down, give up his support for the separatist rebels and leave Ukraine in peace. To which my reaction is: yeah right.

3. Putin will do something really extreme and stupid, like he did with the annexation of Crimea, because he can't back down now. I have a horrible feeling this might be what he's planning.

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