Moscow’s Murky Mystery: When “Experts” Turn Detectives, and Propaganda Reigns

In the aftermath of the Moscow massacre, the world's armchair experts didn't hesitate to spin a web of blame, hurling accusations with all the accuracy of a blindfolded archer.
Moscow massacre March 2024

In the aftermath of the Moscow massacre, the world’s armchair experts didn’t hesitate to spin a web of blame, hurling accusations with all the accuracy of a blindfolded archer. From ISIS enthusiasts to disgruntled Chechens, and not forgetting the favorite theory of Putin’s self-sabotage, the geopolitical blame game was on full display. Amid this circus, Ukraine’s attempt to appear innocent was as conspicuous as a hen gloating over its latest egg, leaving us to marvel at the spectacle of wild speculation dressed up as analysis. As the story progresses, the mix of baseless claims and political propaganda, served with a generous dollop of sarcasm, makes the quest for truth more elusive than ever.

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The Hen that Sings

by Marco Travaglio

Even regarding the Moscow massacre, we envy the certainties of the so-called experts: those who knew within a minute whether Ukraine was involved or not, or if it was ISIS, rather the Caucasian Islamists, maybe the Chechens, or perhaps the pro-Ukrainian Russian militias, or more likely Putin had staged the attack himself. When we learn to see these self-styled analysts as mere propagandists for Putin or for Biden&Zelensky, or simply as fans describing the geopolitical mosaic as a fight between cowboys and Indians or between north and south stands, it will always be too late. ISIS, the Sunni Islamic State that emerged between Iraq and Syria from the ashes of Saddam’s regime overthrown by the Shiites with our clever support, has many reasons to detest Putin, an enemy of jihadism in Chechnya, Syria, etc. (that’s why he was so liked by the “good guys” until 2022). The Afghans hate him too: he is the son of Russia which invaded them in 1979 and in 2001 allowed its airspace for the anti-Taliban Operation Enduring Freedom. Thus, the ISIS lead, prophesied with remarkable timing by the USA and the UK, is plausible, even if jihadist symbols and slogans are missing and the tension between that world and Moscow is a bit old.

Then there’s the Ukrainian lead, much more current, immediately denied by the USA and Kiev even before Moscow invoked it. Putin, after the arrests of the alleged mass murderers, said they were fleeing towards an “open window” in Ukraine: accusations all to be proven (even if it were true that they were not fleeing to Belarus, but to the Kharkiv area guarded by Ukrainian troops, it’s not said that the government knew about it). But it would be easier to refute them if Kiev weren’t accustomed to the most blatant lies and hadn’t sung first like the hen that laid the egg. On Friday evening, the spokesman for the Ukrainian military services, Andriy Yusov, called the massacre “a deliberate provocation by the Putin regime,” who “wants to end his career with crimes against his own citizens.” That is, Putin killed 150 Russians and tarnished Putin’s image: nonsense that fuels the worst suspicions. Just like the mantra “We do not practice terrorism,” contradicted by the car bomb that killed Darya Dugina in Moscow, daughter of Putin’s philosopher friend (an attack denied by Kiev and then turned out to be its work); and by the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, which some Atlanticist prankster tried to attribute to the usual Putin and instead was almost certainly Ukrainian with the help of Western services. On October 7, after the pogrom in Israel, Zelensky declared: “Putin is behind Hamas.” And he was contradicted by the Israeli ambassador to Moscow: “Total nonsense, pure conspiracy theories.” If the Ukrainian regime wants to appear unrelated to the latest massacre, it’s better if it remains silent: as soon as it speaks, it immediately seems guilty.

Il Fatto Quotidiano, March 24, 2024


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