Russia’s Spin Job of the MH17 Crash Brings Back Soviet Memories


A Russian disaster is almost never followed by Russian candor. This is true of most countries, but most countries are at least adept at explaining themselves—even if disingenuously—as the George W. Bush administration showed with its flood-the-airwaves spin campaign after the weapons of mass destruction that were the casus belli of the Iraq War turned out not to exist.

Not so Russia, and—as Time’s Simon Schuster reports—its response to the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 and the murder of the 298 people on board is one more illustration of that fact. Even after what are purported to be recordings between a pro-Russian rebel and a Russian military officer discussing the destruction of the airliner surfaced, Moscow remained in defiant denial—even flipping the script to blame Ukraine.

“This tragedy would not have happened if there had been peace on that land, or in any case if military operations…

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