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17 July, 2021  ▪  Джеррі Скіннер

MH 17: Where are your lofty moral ideals?

On the disaster of the Malaysian MH17 flight

“It is sad, yet joyful, on a silent summer’s night, in a voiceless wood, to hear a Russian song. Here we find unlimited sadness without hope. Here, also is unconquerable strength and the unalterable stamp of Fate; here, also is iron predestination, one of the primitive foundations of the Russian national identity, through which much can be explained which seemed inexplicable in Russian life.”

- Alexei K. Tolstoy


In the soul of a Russian person there is always a drive toward some kind of lofty moral ideal, lofty moral values. That definitely sets us apart, and I'm certain it's in a good way.

-Vladimir Putin


Sad, yet joyful. Iron predestination. Unconquerable strength.  A drive toward some lofty moral ideal, lofty moral values.  This is the Russian view of the great Russian soul. If you take into consideration the Moscow Apartment Bombings, the Dubrovka Theater Gas Response and the Response to the Terror at the Beslan School, it becomes more plausible that Russian political policy demonstrates no lofty elements within the governments soul. Innocent death as a policy response to a momentary political/terror attack does not validate the nobility of the Russian response.

The Russian soul is a deep and misunderstood concept noted by much literature and commented upon by many politicians and government academics.  Russians suffer deeply and profoundly because they are Russian. Churchill, DE Gaulle, Roosevelt, Nemtsov, Tolstoy, Putin and many other leaders and actors in Russian history and politics, have all talked about an angst and mystique that has grown out of trials and losses which only a Russian can fully understand.  However, based upon my limited experience built up after living through shoe pounding, Cuban embargos, visits to Romania, Ukraine and Poland, wars and the repatriation of former Soviet states and the current Ukrainian invasions and usurpations, I can say with confidence that the Russian people are calm, collected and unpanicked because they have no idea how to escape their own from Mr. Putin.  The inability to escape after a series of oppressive governments creates resignation. It should not be mistaken as peace.  They are peacefully miserable and it goes deeply into the individuals soul.  The depth of the Russian soul is a rat-hole that an unending series of oppressive Russian and Soviet governments in which generations of oppressors have worked to convince the people to be grateful for being Russian.

Putin is the latest and the most intellectually manipulative of the official oppressors.  He is a master oppressor.

 I can also say without any doubt that the Russian governing class lives for power alone and does not care whether you think they have a soul at all. Putin is the man without a chest [C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man.] He and his government leaders have no transcendent values that guide their governance.  They are empty vessels making 

hollow sounds.  So, the best evidence of the angst of the Russian soul is the absence of the Russian soul.  Russians have no recognizable soul, no forward outlook only a focus within.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that this introspection is evidence a collective depth.  It is a nothing.  A nullity. A heartless, soulless existence.  MH 17 is one proof of this point

Vladimir Putin’s cold response and handling of the attack upon Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine in 2014, 7 years ago this July 17, proves that the tortured Russian soul is not tortured and does not suffer through endless rounds of deep introspection about anything.  The murder of the 298 souls onboard MH 17 has been amplified by Russian misconduct. The bodies remained in the field from July through October, Russia blocked their removal.  Within 24 hours of the attack, a Russian misinformation factory posted 10s of thousands of emails blaming Ukraine for the crime. Russia lost the radar data. Lost or hidden does not matter. Russia did not participate in the multi-nation investigation and then when the Dutch Safety Board issued its final report, criticized and declared the report biased and poorly investigated.  Russia called for a multi-nation independent investigation, When the UN proposed such an investigation, Russia used its Security Counsel status to veto the effort.  Criminal trials, human rights claims and international appeals have been all met with the same Russian response; a vigorous denial and a yawn as they walk away from your attempts to question them.  Men without chests?  And in Putin’s case, a man without a heart.

It is a curious fact that Vladimir Putin inherited power in the largest communist-atheist state in history. During his tenure in leadership, he has reinstated orthodox traditional Christianity to it’s former glory as part of the government structure.  How does a man who admits to murder when it serves the state or a state organ, legitimize acts of murder, betrayal and war as acts of Christian principle because it is Russia’s destiny to be both Christian and brutally strong.  Only Mr. Putin knows the answer to that contradiction in terms.

As the Buk M1 ascended from the plain just outside of Pervomais´ke, Ukraine on July 17, 2014 it was targeted upon an aircraft which carried 80 minor children.  It was a Russian missile, a Russian TELAR crew which fired the missile, a Russian Regular Army Unit from the 53rdAnti-Aircraft Missile Brigade near Kursk, a Russian plan discussed by Russian Intelligence agents in a flurry of intercepted telephone calls for days before the attack.  The criminal trial in the district court in Den Hague has moved to the merits of the first 4 questions which will determine Russian responsibility.  In the trial the Russian tactic of coving truth with witless lies continues.

 But, none of those facts was as important as the political motivation for the attack which was purely  Russian.  Mr. Putin desperately wants the reassembly of the Soviet state in the form of “Novorossiya” The ‘new Russia”.  He prays to God for it.  He believes that it is Russia’s divine destiny.  Pursuing it is the God appointed and blessed destiny V. Putin.  To achieve the version of divine destiny which Vladimir Putin believes to be Russia’s future daily political acts and decisions must be conceived and executed which do not fit into the character of the true Christian God. The cross of Christ is about individual redemption and second chances.  It is not about the brutal history and glory of the collective.  

The loss of the innocent lives onboard MH 17 was designed to set Ukraine up for blame and allow Russia to invade Ukraine and protect all the Russian speakers living in the east of Ukraine in the area called the Donbas.  Russia invaded the Donbas 4 weeks after the MH 17 attack.  Russia’s divine call was stronger than the desire of the innocent to live. Mr. Putin cannot be blamed for what he does when the Church supports him and God is on his side.  It is a strange viewpoint, Saint Vladimir advances God’s will for Russia by killing politically convenient innocents in large numbers. 298 dead, 80 minor children, no guilt, no responsibility, no problem.  Not a shred of humanity.

In the final analysis, which can be made even though the final act in the drama is not yet written, there is no positive in this act of depravity.  Innocents were murdered to advance a political objective; no valid national destiny or orthodox political end was part of any divine plan which validated this act in the eyes of man or God.   Mr Putin’s quote is the tragedy and lie of MH 17 that the best that you can do to drive your soul toward, “some kind of lofty moral ideal, lofty moral values.” This sets you apart, but not in a holy, divine way

Mr. Putin, make this right in the eyes of the victim’s families and in the eyes of God.  Accept responsibility on behalf of the Russian state.  Stop lying about the “probable cause” of the July 2014 attack. Redeem the time while you still can.  No one, not even you stays in power forever.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Hebrews 9:27 KJV.

This should worry you.

Jerome L. Skinner. Studied at Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. He graduated in 1979. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 1979. Jerome L. Skinner is an attorney providing legal services covering Aviation and Aerospace and Personal Injury. He has successfully advocated for families victimized by almost every major U.S. airline disaster since 1989, including the negotiations that resulted in the State of Libya paying a $2.7 billion dollar settlement to the survivors of those killed by the terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Founder and President of Romanian Handicapped Ministries. Since 2016 – represents relatives of MH17 victims in the European Court of Human Rights.

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