So, as we have learned over the past two days that the destruction of a pair of IL-76TD cargo aircraft was accompanied by serious support of hybrid media, in order to discredit Ukraine in the eyes of Western partners, as well as that there's Russia's trace in the whole arms shipments story, it's get to the most serious point. Why would the Kremlin propaganda machine need all this and in what exactly they are trying to meddle?
The thing is that we are already noting how Russian media headlines are changing their tone dramatically from "destroyed Ukrainian Il-76TDs" to "shot down Ukrainian Il-76TDs carrying weapons".
That is, they seek to portray Ukraine as an arms supplier rather than a country, which at the behest of a private carrier, has become a link in logistics. At the same time, they overlooked the fact that weapons were transported from the UAE, and especially the fact that many firms are registered in the UAE, through which Russian weapons are delivered to third countries in Middle East. In fact, the UAE is one of the Russian hubs in the region engaged in the shadow arms trade. However, we have already addressed this issue in my previous articles, and now we will return to the main question – why would the Russian Federation discredit Ukraine in such a context?
I should recall that not so long ago, Ukraine voiced a request to the United States to purchase a large batch of lethal weapons. The fact that the contract is being prepared was reported by ex-Ambassador of Ukraine to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly, who noted that it could have been concluded by year-end.
And here it is difficult not to recall how in 2017, on the eve of Ukraine receiving the first batch of Javelin ATGMs, fake reports were spun claiming cooperation between Kyiv and Pyongyang in DPRK's nuclear program. Moreover, the set of platforms that disseminated disinformation was practically the same as in the Libya case.
That is, the goal of the latest trumped-up scandal with Ukraine allegedly supplying weapons to Libya, which has any evidence base behind it, except for the bleating of Russian pseudo experts, is precisely the attempt to thwart the contract between Ukraine and the U.S. for the purchase of lethal weapons.
And in the context of this scheme, all parts of the puzzle fall into place.
A private air carrier, registered in Ukraine but owned by an Indian man, blacklisted in the United States, supplies weapons to Libya from third country, in particular, the United Arab Emirates, which is the main hub of Russian offshore offices trading in the shadow arms market. And I would not be surprised if even the destruction of these two IL-76TDs was planned in advance through Russian channels in Libya.
For example, in June, at the airport of Tripoli, the An-124 (5A-DKN) "Ruslan" aircraft of the Libyan Arab Air Cargo was destroyed with target fire. At the same time, aviation expert Vitaly Trubnikov wrote that a rocket artillery raid was carried out after the "Diana Mihaylova" blog, which I mentioned on many occasions, published a panoramic image of the Tripoli Airport. And precisely on this panorama the exact parking spot was shown of the An-124.
It is worth noting that the "Diana Mihaylova" blog became the initial source that reported on the destruction of the IL-76TDs, and this time, certain accents were put in place, which resulted in fake reports about Ukraine "supplying weapons". In particular, the GRU talking head and pseudo-expert Igor Korotchenko told the Russian defense ministry's outet "Zvezda" as well as "PolitNavigator" precisely about arms smuggling, but, again, without any evidence provided. Meanwhile, the author with the "Diana Mihaylova", Natalia Pechorina, operates under the auspices of GRU affiliate Ruslan Pukhov.
Therefore, we have witnessed nothing but a special operation of the GRU in disrupting the upcoming military contract between Ukraine and the United States. It must be noted that it was a large-scale, well-planned, and diverse operation, albeit conducted ineptly.
It was either a false start, as they hurried to do the do without thinking over all the moves, or this is already the trend where the GRU's credo is about regularly drawing up outright fake news.