MH17 and its aftermath: ‘ordinary Russians are horrified and frightened’

In Moscow, conspiracy theories abound, along with disdain for the separatists and some support for Putin

“So will the Americans attack us now?” At my dentist’s surgery in Moscow I am used to being the one nervously asking questions. Yet on the day after flight MH17 was brought down, everyone here – including my dentist, the receptionist and the guy fixing the receptionist’s computer – wants me to tell them what will happen next.

“You’re a journalist. You probably know something we don’t know,” says the receptionist. “And I don’t trust the television,” says the receptionist.

In the aftermath of the horrific crash that took the lives of nearly 300 people, from here it looks as if it’s turned a local conflict into a tragedy of global proportions.
Ordinary Muscovites, meanwhile, are expressing horror at the tragedy even as they entertain some of the wildest conspiracies imaginable.

My dentist, Dmitry, has served in the military, and professes scorn for the rebels, whom he refers to as “undisciplined morons.” At the same time, he says there is “another side” to the disaster. “Who benefits from portraying Russia as the monster? The Americans do,” he says. “They want to go to war with the whole world”…

* * *
It bears remembering that Putin has renewed the obsessive focus on the West (led by America) as his worst enemy. You can see this by a casual glance at RT (Russia Today). He has also cut back to near zero any competing media voices. This is nothing new, is was the standard Soviet practice for decades.

No wonder Russian people are scared and frightened, and Putin is to blame with his propaganda.

He is almost as the Middle Easterners with ideas of American conspiracies (in the case of Ukraine, it was the EU, not America, the sparked the problem anyway).