For almost a week, the issue has been pulsating in media space of the two Ukrainian Il-76TD cargo aircraft destroyed in Libya. The issue, which Russian and pro-Russian media hoped to use in their plot to discredit Ukraine, never met their expectations, crumbling to pieces from the very start.
Nevertheless, the Kremlin’s talking heads and affiliated media platforms in recent days never stopped plainly following their manuals and pushing certain narratives, altering the main message from "Ukrainian IL-76TDs destroyed in Libya", to "Ukrainian Il-76TDs carrying weapons destroyed (or "shot down”, which sounds especially paradoxical) in Libya", with periodical emphasis put on the "smuggled weapons" or "aircraft engaged in arms smuggling".
Today, the third phase of the story's development (or better say "degradation" began, namely, the narrative was launched, claiming that Ukraine may be facing sanctions (sometimes, titles of such reports are exaggerated by words like "inevitable") over arms shipments in Libya.
Thus, throughout this week, we've witnessed how the Russian and pro-Russian media outlets , after ascertaining the destruction of a pair of IL-76TDs in Libya, alleged arms smuggling by Ukraine (not true), and now went further and spat out a suggestion that Kyiv could be "sanctioned."
Therefore, fairly surprising are the statements voced by certain "experts", who have settled in Ukraine, that no attention had allegedly been paid to the saidf issue in the Ukrainian and Russian media.
As you know, I''ve been following the IL-76TD Libya incident really closely, literally from the very first day, and in a series of blog entries, I've described meticulously why all efforts of the Kremlin propagandists to drag Ukraine down the drain over the two planes owned by a private company are in vain, while the enormous resources allocated to rise this information wave were a total waste. But, since the Kremlin "puppets" would like to talk sanctions, let's talk sanctions.
Firstly, I'd like to remind those who regularly wish Ukraine some sanctions but instead keep being sanctioned themselves that, according to the report by Special Representative of the UN Security Council Secretary General Ghassan Salame, the vast majority of UNSC member states condemned the non-compliance with the embargo on Libya and expressed support for its "peace plan", without naming the embargo violators. That is, for those who are too dumb to get it from first attempt, I'll explain: Ukraine is outside the list of embargo violators.
Secondly, Europe Air, the owner of the destroyed aircraft, is a private frim owned by a non-Ukrainian national, Jaydip Mirchandani (who, incidentally, is on the U.S. black list for cooperation with the Russian Federation), which delivered goods to Libya from the UAE. Meanwhile, the UAE is a country where in recent years plenty of front companies have been registered to operate as intermediaries in Russian arms deliveries to the Middle East.
That is, Ukraine, in principle, has nothing to be blamed for because operations of a private company rendering transport services or providing flight crews is not a reason for sanctioning a state actor.
At the same time, the use by the businessman working in the Russian interests of said company's fleet to ship weapons, as well as the suggestion that weapons delivered from UAE could have Russian origin (investigation will tell), may be of Russian origin, is quite enough for someone to adopt another round of economic restrictions targeting precisely Russia.
Projecting own problems and sins on others is a favorite technique of our hybrid neighbors. But when the first phase of yet another plot to discredit Ukraine failed miserably, Russians decided to feed it with some fantasies of sanctions. But hey, they should be careful what they dream of cause they, themselves, might get it.