On March 9, 2020, the trial over Russia for МН17, shot down in 2014, would be opened, and Moscow fells very nervous and bustling, trying, as usual, to play several strategies aimed at disrupting the court.
The initial strategy of Moscow to play coy or shift responsibility to others has failed. One should only mention the Russia’s statements that Ukraine’s air defense targeted that day the airplane with Putin onboard in the sky over Poland, but failed. All versions, even the most fantastic ones, which Moscow threw into the media, were analysed and discussed in detail. In addition, the Russian Federation in 2014 became the only UN member state that voted against the establishment of the international tribunal to investigate the MH17 tragedy and vetoed this UN resolution in the Security Council. Russia has never been so alone in UN. Even their satellite states and friendly China did not dare to vote down. Russia in fact committed themselves to all the charges.
Regarding the trial itself, it is conducted by the states that suffered the most from Russian terrorism in this case: Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Other countries also assisted in the investigation. Currently this process is topping off and it is on March 9, 2020, the Joint Investigation Team for MH17 crash will be able to state it definitively that Russia is the main culprit of the disaster.
After Kremlin realized the complete futility of the initial strategy, they turned to the old mafia strategy – bribing and killing investigators and judges. However, Moscow is unable to destroy five states at once, even considering their possession of nuclear weapons.
Effective bribing of the officials is complicated, especially in open democracies, since you need to bribe there immediately a good many, still after the election it may turn out that the money was wasted. Another problem is the need of generous investments into media players in addition to officials and politicians to fuel brainwashing.
Internet empowers Kremlin to upload the desired content directly into their information space, however, this does not always produce the desired effect. If in the case of escalation of anti-migrant sentiments in the EU this Kremlin tactics was efficient, then the same approach through social networks in case of MH17 crash failed.
Therefore, Malaysia became the target point for the Russian influence. To begin with, Russia has decided to put pressure on them through trade levers, however, it faced certain difficulties. Trade turnover between the two states was rather stagnant, about $ 2 billion a year. It increased to just $ 2.713 billion in 2018 even after accessing the Russian market by Malaysian palm oil. Even after the ban on it in the EU states.
Being overjoyed by the fact of its cheapening, that year Russia for the first time has bought it more than 1 million tons, and this year this amount is expected even to grow up to 1.1 million tons. However, the Russian Federation cannot buy all palm oil from Malaysia, but only bring palm oil consumption in the Russian Federation up to 1.2 – 1.3 million tons per year as in Bangladesh, which is equal by the population size.
Therefore, the Kremlin’s ability to influence the Malaysian government through trade levers is quite restricted. It seems much more realistic and customarily for the Russian security services to influence key actors in the back rooms of the Malaysian government.
The Russian special services made a decisive sidestep towads the Malays in 2016. Back then the Russian Foreign Ministry invited the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to hold their next summit in Sochi, instead of the Pacific Ocean shores. Such invitation was motivated by the 20th years anniversary of establishing business relations between the Russian Federation and ASEAN.
The Russian Foreign Ministry meant the summit in Sochi as a response to the expulsion of the Russian Federation from the G-8, while the Federal Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service considered it as a platform for establishing personal contacts with the Malays.
Head of the Malays delegation, his Royal Highness Sultan Muhammad V visited the summit in Sochi. ‘Coincidentally’, it was visited also by 24-year-old beauty Oksana Voevodina, a.k.a. Ksenia Diaghileva and Oksana Gorbatenko who won the title “Miss Moscow” in 2015. Sultan accidentally met Voevodina, and the next year she moved to Malaysia to prepare for marriage. Muhammad V divorced his wife back in 2008, as far as she could not deliver a child. In June 2018, Sultan and Vojvodina wedding took place in Barvikha, near Moscow, who converted to Islam and changed her name from Ksenia – Oksana to Rihana.
In May 2019, when Rihana Voevodina gave birth to a son, security services became dead sure that Sultan and Malaysia were the new vector of Russian intelligence. However, other Malay sultans, special services of Malaysia, experts on Muslim marriage law and the local public opinion intervened in the special operation.
Malaysia is a monarchy, though democratic. Every five years, nine of their equal sultans gather for a conference and choose one of them to be a president – the supreme ruler. They also elect his deputy. Muhammad V was elected in December 2016 to this position and could hold it until 2022, however, the marriage with Voevodina, activation of the special services of the Russian Federation in Malaysia, the upcoming trial on MH17 and the appointment of new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad led to compelled resignation of Muhammad V in January 2019. Soon the rumors appeared about the upcoming Sultan’s divorce, which took place on July 1.
Also, the 94-year-old Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, who returned to government after a 15-year break, suddenly turned out to be Russia’s “ally”. The Prime Minister of Malaysia has a specific “fancy” – he believes in the world Zionist conspiration. As a result, his previous rule during 1981-2003 made anti-Semitism a state policy. In such a situation, the election of Vladimir Zelensky as president of Ukraine fits perfectly into his anti-Jewish worldview. In June he twice stated that the investigation and the trial on MH17 were allegedly politically motivated and levelled against the Russian Federation, and reflexively nodded to the Jews.
As regards the situation with Voevodina, it reminds of the campaign with Anna Chapman, who was also proposed by Kremlin to everyone. The only difference is that Chapman had to be released from jail in exchange for Sergey Skripal, who was later poisoned with Novichok. Ksenia Voevodina would not be released from the Kelantan palace, she will be under lock and key till the end of her life, unless her husband wishes to return her back to Russia.
Regarding the prime minister’s statement on MH17, this is his personal opinion only, and it does not reflect the opinion of the coalition as a whole, half of which is formed by his ideological enemies – socialists. Probably, it is unlikely for him to settle for the collapse of the parliamentary coalition.
As a result, the Malaysian direction is no longer a priority for the Russian security services. It seems that they wish to go all out to swindle the Netherlands. Kremlin hopes to agree at the official level to rescind the trial in exchange for an unofficial recognition of Russia’s guilt and repayments to the victims’ families. The matter of proceeding to such confidential negotiations is recognized both in the Netherlands and in the Russian Federation, however, their outcome may be an unpleasant surprise for the Kremlin. The king of the Netherlands is said to be happily married.