Trigger-Happy Russian Strelkov Behind Malaysian Missile & Social Media Strikes
The World War II propaganda slogan, "Loose Lips Sinks Ships," was modified slightly to "Loose Tweets Sink Tweets," to better reflect the age of social media. However the meaning behind both mottos is the same - namely, that one does not broadcast intelligence before the facts are proven out. This ominous sentiment was played out once again on the world stage this past week, with horrific results.
Over the course of the last decade we've witnessed how the innovation of social media has pushed the envelope in not only delivering the news, but actually becoming the catalyst for shaping the new events. We've seen rebellions formulated, monarchs dethroned and communications between nations exchanged -- all in advance of the mainstream media uttering any insights on the topics.
The recent downing of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 which crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 is another instance where social media was the first news outlet to expose the nefarious perpetrators before any of the major news outlets.
In a post on VKontakte, Russia's largest social media site and a Facebook clone, separatist commander Igor Girkin wrote: "In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26. It is lying somewhere in the Progress Mine. We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured."
The claim was posted at 5:50 pm Moscow time, shortly before reports surfaced that the Malaysian civilian aircraft, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, had crashed in eastern Ukraine in the same area near the Russian border - and where hundreds of civilians were killed.
According to a Mashable report, through Grikin's VK.com account, the self-proclaimed minister of the Donetsk People's Republic - who goes by the nom de guerre Igor Strelkov - also boasted about this accomplishment as follows:
"We did warn you — do not fly in our sky," he wrote.
Thinking it was another Ukrainian military plane, Strelkov felt justified in posting this status update to his account, since the rebels had previously downed 3 Ukrainian aircraft over the course of the last month.
However, Strelkov deleted the post when he found out it was actually a commercial jetliner carrying 298 innocent lives — not a military aircraft.
When Mashable called Alexander Borodai, self-declared prime minister of Donetsk People's Republic, to ask if the group was responsible for shooting down the plane, to which he responded: "Listen, we don't have these weapons [to down the 777]."
Then he hung up.
The irony is not lost here. The insurgency group, aka the "pro-Russian separatists" are zealots who are acting on their own, outside of the Russian army regime's auspices. Led by Strelkov, here is a man whose trigger-finger was not only too quick to shoot down a commercial airline and kill 298 innocent people, he was also too quick to lay claim (on social media), before he knew the facts. These two fatal mistakes paints this leader as an impulsive evil force that needs to be stopped sooner than later - yet -- mainstream media is still slow on the uptick in exposing him for what he is.
While history is too often known for repeating himself, this pencil-thin mustached killer bears a striking resemblance to another malevolent and malignant human being who became known for some of the world's most horrific atrocities of the past. This billboard comparing the commander's "300 Strelkov's Army," to the movie, "300 Spartans" looks eerily like a World War II propaganda poster, circa 1940, don't you think?