The sun was on its way to set in Hrabove, the militants were on their usual duty at the Ukraine military base camp, which they had seized. Some of them discussing about the meat and vodka, which was to be served at dinner. Dinner was what they looked forward to the most, in a couple of hours they would be feasting, drinking, singing and having a gala. It was a few minutes past 4 pm when the leader of the militant group Igor Bezler came out of his barrack for his rounds. Strolling through the base camp checking on the militants and gathering reports of the daily records and activities of the camp. The militants who were at ease gathered themselves up in alert whenever he passed them. This seized military base camp was a tension filled area, an area filled with a very scary aura. An area, where only gloom must’ve prospered. In the past few days’ two Ukrainian military aircrafts were shot down by these militants, these militants who were fighting for what they believed in. After a few minutes a militant came and informed Igor Bezler that a plane had been spotted in the militant controlled Ukrainian air space. Igor Bezler looked at the militant in bewilderment, his eyes filled with rage and said “the f**king Ukrainians never learn, do they?” He hurried to the watchtower of the base camp and looked at the plane; further information had come in that this was a Ukrainian cargo plane. After a few minutes of analyzing, Igor Bezler the leader of the pro Russian separatists militant group stationed at Hrabove ordered the launch of a Buk Surface to air missile to bring down the plane which was flying at the altitude of 33,000 ft. When the missile was launched towards the plane, a huge burst from the launch pad made a sound, which was as dreadful as the missile, which caused it. As the missile traveled high up in the sky approaching the plane its sound became more and more distant and soft by the second and just before it hit the plane there was absolute silence. What followed after that was inferno on Earth. After the plane started its dissent to crash on the ground and disappeared a few minutes later, Igor Bezler went on to telephone to report his accomplishment to his superior- colonel of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Force of the Russian Federation- Vasiliy Geranin.
Igor Bezler: We have just shot down a plane. That was “miner’s group. It fell down beyond Yenakievo (Donetsk Oblast).
Vasiliy Geranin: Pilots. Where are the pilots?
Igor Bezler: Gone to search for and photograph the plane. The plane is smoking and smoldering.
Vasiliy Geranin: How many minutes ago?
Igor Bezler: About 30 minutes ago.
Igor Bezler put the phone down and told Vasiliy Geranin that full report will be given after the examination of the crash site.
The militants of the Donbass People’s Militia who were stationed in the tiny village of Hrabove, Donetsk Oblast on the 17th of July 2014, were on their regular duty. A duty in which they take pride for being the supporters of the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. The same duty, which dictates them to protect their Republic from all possible threats. Their love for Russia made them heroes for a Republic and terrorists for Ukraine and arguably for the world. Hrabove a tiny village with a population of around 1000 is in the Donetsk Oblast of the eastern Ukraine. Donetsk is the most populated Oblast (Province) with more than 4.5 million residents, it is also the province with the most tension filled controversies. The Militia which is feared and respected, for they have a strong catalyst, which has helped them spread the fear. Their heavy duty arsenal which consists of various camouflages, self automatic pistols, carbines, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns, grenades and grenade launchers, anti tanks, multi terrain tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, armored scout cars, self propelled field artillery tanks, Air Defense vehicles and towed anti aircraft artillery with missile launchers, man pads, sports utility vehicles and trucks are enough to give fearful chills to any country’s army. Though no concrete evidence exists about where the militia gets its resources, it isn’t hard for people to guess that this Russia loving people’s militia has a very strong country as its ally, a country which also happens to be one of the strongest military force in the world. In midst of all the civil unrest, political turmoil and fear of being at the verge of a devastating event which may be written down in history as one of the most unfortunate, this crisis has come into form through a very complex, twisted and dramatic turn of events, hence it is very complicated to point out the person or group of persons responsible. The story actually begins in 2004, when Ukraine just finished its presidential elections and thus started the Orange Revolution.
The Orange revolution was the immediate consequence of the 2004 Ukraine presidential elections, which took place between Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Yushchenko, in which Victor Yanukovych won. Taking place from November 2004 to January 2005, the basic angle, which ignited the orange revolution was the revelation of the Presidential election being scarred by corruption, intimidation of voters and electoral fraud. After heavy allegations a re-election was conducted and the initial winner Viktor Yanukovych lost the elections this time to initial loser Viktor Yushchenko. Viktor Yushchenko served as the 3rd President of Ukraine from 2005 to 2010, it was during this time that a woman named Yulia Tymoshenko, who co-led the Orange revolution was appointed as the first woman Prime Minister of Ukraine. Serving for a rather short first term, from January to September 2005, Yulia Tymoshenko was also a very successful but controversial business-woman and one of the richest person in the country. She was even ranked third in the 2005 Forbes magazine’s list the most powerful women in the world. In 2006 Viktor Yanukovych, the candidate who lost the re election was appointed as the Prime Minister of Ukraine in August 2006 and served in office till December 2007 and this same candidate won the Presidential elections in 2010 and served as the 4th President of Ukraine until recently, 22nd February 2014. After Viktor Yanukovych was appointed as the president in 2010, the former woman Prime Minister who also co led the Orange revolution against Yanukovych was, convicted of embezzlement and abuse of power, and sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay the state $188 million. These ironic chain of events and rise and fall and rise of power between powerful people resulted in Ukraine being filled with corruption, mismanagement, currency deprivation and lack of economic growth. It was during these years that the tension, depression and desperation between the common citizens of Ukraine heightened.
After being appointed as the President Viktor Yanukovych desired to develop Ukraine’s capital, which was necessary to maintain Ukraine’s standard of living and economic growth. For doing this without affecting the lives of the citizens he sought to build closer relations with the European Union and Russia. During this process came a step which was an association agreement with the European Union which would provide Ukraine with necessary funds to implement social reforms in all aspects of the Ukrainian society but this agreement came with a few conditions which were that, once implemented, Ukraine had to tear apart all its economic ties with Russia and release the convicted former Prime Minister Ms. Yulia Tymoshenko from prison. Though initially backing this agreement, President Yanukovych later decided that these conditions put forth by the European Union were very severe and didn’t support the future of Ukraine and dissolved it. Thereafter, President Yanukovych signed a treaty with Russia, which sparked civil unrest in the Ukrainian capital Kiev and ultimately led to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. The rising tensions in the country and pressures from the EU and Russia made President Yanukovych flee the country leaving Ukraine in a state of anarchy. As the days passed by violent protests between civilians and the law enforcement officials sky rocketed to astronomical heights, the state of Ukraine deteriorated to a tragic agony.
A new interim government was formed in Ukraine to restore order in the country because Russia who refused to recognize the new government took advantage of the treaty signed by Mr. Yanukovych and seized control of the Crimea peninsula situated in Ukraine. Meanwhile, in the capital city Kiev, the new interim government ended up signing the agreement with the European Union, which has bound them to implement new reforms in Ukraine’s judiciary, political, financial and economic systems. At one side is Russia with a signed treaty in their hands refusing to bow down and at the other side is the new interim Government of Ukraine, which is bound by the European Union, which consists of 28 European countries altogether. Russia to thus date blames the European Union and US for the revolution. This tension has led to the constant violent wars between the pro Russian militants and the Ukrainian army at the border of the seized land of Ukraine. In this tug of war the main agenda, which matters is being completely ignored. The agenda of ‘What the people of Ukraine want’.
And in the search for that agenda, in search of who is right and who is wrong, in the pursuit of showing off each other’s power a very unfortunate and inhuman event took place. A event which shattered the crux of all the political agendas, a event which took the lives of 298 innocent people who had nothing to do with this murky and grim dispute between the “powerful”. Those people were traveling in the assumption of finishing the job they intended to do while boarding the flight. 80 of them children, probably weaving innocent dreams in midst of the beautiful clouds when the missile was approaching them. Two thirds of the passengers from Netherlands, many of them traveling on holidays with their families, making plans about what they were going to do after landing in Kuala Lumpur. A few delegates who were heading to the 20th international AIDS conference, hoping that this would be another milestone in the prevention and fight for the curing of AIDS in our world. Students, politicians, actors, people with goals and aspirations in life. They must’ve had a only a few seconds of their lives left when their inescapable fate dawned upon them. The pilot whose radar must’ve sensed the missile headed towards the flight, the mental helplessness which he would’ve suffered in those last few seconds, he must’ve known what was going to happen, but still had hope of saving the precious lives that depended on him. The amount of pain, helplessness, anger, fear and all the other gloomy feelings that exist in this universe must’ve bombarded inside him with each feeling causing more damage than the other in those last few seconds. The innocent children; happily lost in their dreams sitting beside their parents. How would’ve their parents felt when they knew that this was all their children could live in this world, this was all that they could experience in this world, this was their fate which had to be accepted in those last few seconds. A parent for a child is the biggest super hero of all, a parent is the one who solves all the problems of the child. Those 80 children died believing that their parents were going to save them and those parents died looking into the eyes of their children who believed that they would be saved by them, in those last few seconds. And all the other people from so many different nations with all their different potentials of doing great things not just in this world but to the people around them vanished, in those last few seconds. What would those 298 people do if they knew that those were their, last few seconds. They had so many things to do, so many things to say, so many hugs and kisses to give, so many goodbyes to mourn, so many years to live but all that was left was, those last few seconds. In those last few seconds everyone aboard knew that those last few seconds were going to end in tragedy, fear must’ve filled inside them, when the missile hit the plane. Fear of dying, fear of dying a life which, was going to end so unnecessarily, fear that they are going to die a insignificant life. But when the flight started its downfall none of them gave up hope, for hope is the biggest strength of Humanity. Hope of good defeating the bad. Hope of a new dawn. Hope that in the end it will all be alright. Hope is what defeats fear. Tragic events like these are not accidental; they are agents of fate. Which show us how low humanity can stoop down to. But by showing the dirty depths these agents also showed how high can humanity can rise up if it wants to, in those last few seconds. Humanity, which consist of you and I.
40 minutes after Igor Bezler had informed Vasiliy Geranin about the shooting down of the plane the militants reached the crash site and realized they had shot down a civilian plane. Who were these civilians, where was the the flight coming from and the enormity of the tragic event which the militants had just caused was oblivious to them. A militant checked around and made the call to his superiors.
“Major”: These are Chernukhin folks who shot down the plane. From the Chernukhin check point. Those cossacks who are based in Chernukhino?
“Grek”: Yes, Major.
“Major”: The plane fell apart in the air. In the area of Petropavlovskaya mine field. The first “200” (code word for dead person). We have found the first “200”. A Civilian.
“Greek”: Well, what do you have there, what is the news?
“Major”: In short, it was 100 percent a passenger (civilian) aircraft.
“Greek”: Are many people there?
“Major”: A F**kton of people! The debris fell right into the yards (of homes).
“Greek”: What kind of aircraft?
“Major”: I haven’t ascertained this. I haven’t been to the main sight. I am only surveying the scene where the first bodies fell. There are the remains of internal brackets, seats and bodies.
“Greek”: Is there anything left of the weapon?
“Major”: Absolutely nothing. Civilian items, medicinal stuff, towels, toilet paper.
“Greek”: Are there documents?
“Major”: Yes, of one Indonesian student. From a university in Thompson.
Militant: Regarding the plane shot down in the area of Snizhne-Torez. It’s a civilian one. Fell down near Grabove. There are lots of corpses of women and children. The Cossacks are out there looking at all this. They say on TV it’s AN-26 transport plane, but they say it’s written Malaysia Airlines on the plane. What was it doing on Ukraine’s territory?
Nikolay Kozitsin (a Cossack commander): That means they were carrying spies. They shouldn’t be f…cking flying. There is a war going on here.
The militants who shot down the plane confirmed that it was a civilian airplane and decided that it was carrying spies. They cheered, collected all the credit cards, cash and jewelry they could find on the bodies of the dead ‘spies’ and headed back to their base camp where their beloved meat and vodka awaited them.
All the allegations aside, the investigation on what really happened to flight MH 17 has not yet reached a concrete end, though reports also suggest that there was indeed a sighting of a Ukrainian flight near Hrabove.