A Malta-based "expert", well known for spreading pro-Russian narratives, is now spreading in the Ukrainian information segment a new version of the Ukrainian passenger plane crash in Iran.
I've repeatedly noted that for Russia it is of strategic importance to pursue the version of certain U.S. involvement in the PS752 downing, while not denying Iran's guilt. That's why, along with the Russian media massively spinning first images allegedly showing what was left of the Tor M1 missile warhead that shot down the Boeing a cohort of Russian pseudo-experts have been hammering international audiences with their mantra about the U.S. specops force on the ground, a U.S. attack drone, and a U.S. fighter jet.
And while one might think everything is pretty much clear in the Ukrainian media space about the surface to air missile hit, another bit of absurd allegations surfaces, and is instantly being picked up by some Ukrainian media, possibly without bad intent – but who knows, right? And the initial source of one of the weirdest theories so far is an expert from Malta, of whom I reported last year, Mr Babak Taghvaee…
Focus.UA, Dialog.UA, and UAZMI – all Ukrainian online outlets – have reported on the Maltese guy's comments, claiming Iranians were actually targeting a U.S. jet but accidentally hit a Ukrainian civilian airliner.
All three outlets chose catchy titles for their pieces, making sure Russian propaganda narrative resonates with the Ukrainian audience.
Babak Taghvaee is someone very familiar to those working to tackle Russian fake news. This pundit is often used to channel and promote the Kremlin's narratives, while his comments are then picked up by either "grey" info platforms or federal-level outlets, depending on goals and objectives.
It was Babak Taghvaee who was directly involved in "first-hand" coverage of the hunt on Ukrainian Il76 cargo aircraft in Libya.
It was Babak Taghvaee who was one of the first ones to publish photos of the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which was immediately picked up by Russia's major outlets. It was Babak Taghvaee who published a photo of the 9M331 missile head with a hint at the Tor-M1 of the Iranian air defense system. And it is not surprising that it is precisely Babak Taghvaee who is spreading the word that the Tor M1 launcher wasn't connected to C4I automated command, control and communications network of the Iran Army and mistook PS752 for a U.S. fighter jet.
Earlier, I wrote that the Russian propagandists are now working on the PS752 downing coverage in two directions simultaneously: to discredit Iran as much as possible, emphasizing its guilt and, at the same time, cultivating absurd scenarios of U.S. involvement in the tragedy.
This tactic is very beneficial for the Kremlin, in the context of the ongoing confrontation between the U.S. and Iran and given the fact that no one trusts Iran and Iran trusts no one. Had there been a retaliation strike on the part of the U.S. on that tragic day, this scenario would have flourished with the stinking buds of Russian fakes. But restraint played into Washhington's hands.
But, it's very sad to see that some Ukrainian media get their hands dirty in this scheme of the Kremlin informational noise. It might be poor judgment or malice, but I'm sure this is worth looking into.