The story goes – and I am only repeating the theories I have read here – that a large number of Ukrainian forces were hemmed in near the Russian border and faring very badly and something drastic needed to happen before they were toast.
Ukraine is low on manpower and has resorted to conscription again; they don’t have much juice left.
This was a manoeuvre to try to drag in the international community to do the job in the east for them. If the world buys the tale that the rebels did it, backed up by some fabricated audio and video, opinion turns against the rebels and Russia would have to throw them under the bus too in order to save face.
Had the plane coasted and crashed over the border in Russia, it would have been a PR disaster for Putin. And the world would blame Putin. The media would have said it was shot by Russia. Cue Ukraine’s assistance from the rest of the world again.
Some sources are reporting that the US knows exactly who did it and why, and are choosing to stay quiet and non-committal on the matter. To do otherwise is to throw their mates under the bus.
The big picture is reputed by some to be that what we are seeing are all chess moves to justify an American war against Russia; be that a financial or military one.
It is said that America needs another war and it can surely be no coincidence that Russia is a huge exporter of oil and gas and America is now producing large quantities of um… oil and gas.
Added to which, Putin is now conducting energy deals in Rubles having eschewed the dollar, and China and other countries are jumping on that bandwagon. Which for reasons an economist might elaborate on better than me, is *really* bad for America’s economic future if the idea grows legs.
In that context, it seems more credible that Ukraine as a puppet state of America would shoot down a plane of civilians. Especially when you have a bogeyman to blame.
The Ukrainians are happy enough to kill civilians in the east as we have seen. And they have done it before.
Conjecture or not? None of us know yet.