Oh, Vladimir Putin…you know, all you had to do to convince people you didn’t shoot down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-17 was keep your mouth shut. The world’s pretty much already accepted that it was a Russian surface-to-air Buk missile that murdered 298 civilians over the skies of Ukraine. And some were even still willing to give the benefit of the doubt that it was “unaffiliated separatist Ukranians” using Russian military hardware. But now…well…
Since almost the day that it happened, Tea Party Darling Putin has been trying to pin the murder of 298 people on the government of the Ukraine — an Alex-Jones-style “false flag” attack designed to make The President of the Worst Country on Earth look like an evil, murderous dictator. Of course, nobody’s buying that story…but Putin continues to sell it.
On November 15th, Russian state television dropped one massive bombshell, offering what it called “positive evidence” that it was in fact a Ukranian jet fighter that shot down the Malaysian civilian jetliner. As opposed to a Putin-supplied and/or fired Buk missile.
The “evidence” was supposedly an incredibly timed spy satellite photograph taken moments after the Ukranian jet fired off a missile at MH-17. As released simultaneously on Russia’s Channel One and Rossiya TV, the photograph:
That IS incredibly timed! And in no way photoshopped. Or, so according to Putin’s mouthpieces as Russian state TV. However, closer examination by analysts uncovered a couple of slightly glaring errors with this totally not fake photo “evidence”:
- The fighter aircraft in the picture very clearly isn’t a Sukhoi Su-25, the 1970s era Soviet-designed fighter currently employed by the Ukranian military. While it’s still in production today, and employed by the Ukranian military, the aircraft in the picture is pretty clearly a Sukhoi Su-27. The much larger, heavier and more expensive Su-s7 interceptor is also used by the Ukranian military, though in very limited numbers used only under the most dire of circumstances. And they were all verifiably on the ground at the time. A fact of which Putin was well aware, which is why he initially claimed is was an Su-25 that shot down MH-17.
- The airliner in the picture isn’t a Boeing 777 — it’s a 767. And not just any 767 either; the airplane in the picture was lifted directly from a well-known publicity photo of a 767. OK, it’s well-known if you speak Russian. Type in the phrase “Boeing view from above” in Russian, and this exact aircraft is literally the FIRST image result.
Think that’s lazy propaganda-ing? Wait…here comes the spicy seasoning atop this half-pound Russian rib-eye of bad photoshopping:
The cloud and ground patterns in the picture precisely match the Google Earth search results for that area, in a satellite photograph taken on August 28th, 2012.
Or, to quote a certain chef…
And then there are a few more technical incongruities, such as the fact that the “missile” at the front of that smoke plume seems to be about three-quarters the length of the airplane. And of course, there’s the groin-punching reality that not even the shortest-range, hardest-turning dogfighting missile currently in use on Earth could make that shot, at that range, at that angle, with the target moving at 500 mph almost completely perpendicular to the fighter’s flight path. Also, there are no contrails behind either aircraft, no motion blur from either one, and no photographic distortion of the landscape behind the engine exhausts.
Or, to quote a certain farmer:
Starting to get the impression that Putin’s propaganda guys haven’t exactly been keeping up on the latest photo-faking technology? Here’s a hint, Vlad: if you’re going to send your propaganda guys into overdrive to fake evidence, try using something more sophisticated than source material from Google.
But, Vlad and Crew are playing it cool. From the UK’s Daily Telegraph:
“The Russian television stations stood by the report, saying their source was the Russian Union of Engineers, an obscure Moscow-based group that had previously issued a report claiming that the Malaysian plane had been downed by Ukrainians. The organization’s vice president, Ivan Andriyevsky, said in televised remarks that it received the image from a man who said he was a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 20 years experience as an aviation expert.
Attempts to reach Andriyevsky by telephone and email on Saturday were unsuccessful.”
Of course! It was those “American bastards!!” at work again, trying to make Vlad look bad. This obviously not being the old Fox News “anonymous White House staffer” dodge, Vlad the Shirtless Tea Party Hero must be pretty mad right now.
Indeed, Vlad’s “proof” was almost immediately dismissed as (badly made) Soviet-style propaganda almost the moment it went out, and nobody anywhere in the world is even pretending to be fooled by it. In fact, Vlad’s blatant attempt at a lie has backfired, and left the world asking:
If you aren’t involved, why are you releasing fake photographs?
A fine question, indeed.
So, what’s the lesson here for Mr. Putin, President of the Worst Country on Earth, mass murderer, and Tea Party commrade in arms? Take a lesson from your friend Michelle Bachmann: When you’ve clearly stepped in stupid or evil, try just keeping your mouth shut for a while. Matter of fact, Mitt Romney’s probably wishing he’d done the same right about now.
Remember that time he said Putin was a better president than Obama?
Learn from Vlad, Mitt. Learn from Vlad.