“False Flag”: Sucht Russland Vorwand für Angriff?

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Greift Russland zur List der falschen Flagge? “Forbes” misst dazu der Autel EVO 2 Quadcopter-Drohne Bedeutung zu.

Das amerikanische Spitzenmagazin “Forbes” liefert die folgende Analyse zum Thema “false flag”. Der Autor Hambling wirft die Frage auf: Könnte Russland Drohnen missbrauchen, um der Ukraine einen Überfall auf russische Truppen zu unterstellen; womit Präsident Putin einen Vorwand hätte, seine Offensive doch noch zu lancieren? 

Eine bemerkenswerte These, wenn auch aus den USA, wo Regierung, Analytiker und die Presse permanent den russischen Angriff andeuten, voraussagen, bestätigt sehen. Immerhin wollen die Aussenminister Blinken und Lawrow noch reden. Erste Quellen von der Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz im “Bayerischen Hof” berichten von mehreren Reden mit dem Tenor: “Solange sie reden, schiessen sie nicht.”

Das berühmt-berüchtigte Beispiel einer Kriegseröffnung unter falscher Flagge ist und bleibt der SS-Überfall auf den Sender Gleiwitz vor Beginn des Zweiten Weltkriegs. Hitler liess am 31. August 1939 den Sender von SS-Sturmbannführer Naujocks verwüsten, um dann am 1. September 1939 verkünden zu können: “Polen hat heute Nacht zum ersten Mal auf unserem eigenen Territorium auch mit bereits regulären Soldaten geschossen. Seit 5.45 Uhr wird zurückgeschossen. Und von jetzt ab wird Bombe mit Bombe vergolten.“

Doch zurück zur Ukraine. 1939 gab es noch keine Drohnen. 2022 dagegen misst der “Forbes”-Autor der ukrainischen Drohne Autel EVO 2 Quadcopter einige Bedeutung zu. Lesen Sie selbst, was David Hambling in “Forbes” schreibt:

Russia Wants A Pretext For War And These Drones Could Supply It

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Thursday that Russia may manufacture an excuseto go to war with Ukraine, perhaps in the form of a false-flag attack on a vulnerable target such as a school or hospital.

“We don’t know exactly the form it will take. It could be …a staged drone strike against civilians, or a fake – even a real – attack using chemical weapons,” Blinken told the U.N. Security Council.

By staging an attack with the type of drone that Ukrainian forces use on the front line in Donbas, Russia might engineer just such an incident thanks to the drones’ unique properties.

In the Donbas region, Russian-backed separatists face Ukrainian forces. In theory a cease-fire is in effect, but violations are extremely common. On Thursday, OCSE monitors recorded “189 ceasefire violations, including 128 explosions” in the region. These are typically artillery, rocket or mortar attacks. The unguided shells are inaccurate and generally cause few casualties but a lucky/unlucky shot may be deadly. Shells hitting a nursery school caused three casualties. This and other incidents are already being described as false-flag attacks with both sides blaming the other.

Fortunately such incidents have not sparked any wide conflict because they are seen as minor. But a strike which had more impact – causing mass casualties or killing a well-known figure, or just occurring at the right time for the cameras – might set the dominos of escalation toppling. Which is what makes drones an ideal tool for false-flag attacks.

The Autel Evo IIis a consumer drone of Chinese origin. Unlike some of the smaller DJI quadcopters, it has a significant carrying capacity and can haul a two-pound payload. Further, you can easily buy a ‘payload delivery’kit — intended to drop emergency help such as a radio or medical kit to a stranded person, it can also turn the drone into a bomber.

The Russian-backed separatists have been making free use of Autel Evo II drones to drop grenades on Ukrainian forces for some time, with reports of drone attacks by ‘Russian mercenaries’ causing casualties for example on November 17 and on Wednesday. Unlike the random shelling, the drones are able to hit a specific target with high precision.

The preferred bomb is an improvised ‘Khattabka,’ modified from a 30mm Vog-17grenade usually fired from a grenade launcher.

Russian drones dropping thermite grenades are claimed to have been behind the destruction of several Ukrainian ammunition dumps, notably one at Balakliyacausing a reputed billion dollars’ worth of damage and another at Kalynivkawhich required 30,000 people to be evacuated as a series of explosions rocked the area. Small drones can have big effects with a bomb in the right place.

More recently, Ukrainian forces have started using exactly the same Auto Evo IIs. These are being donated to the armed forces by well-wishers: local news reported that a local businessman had given one to a Special Forces Unit, presumably from thelocal supplier.

“This is one of the best civilian drones,” fundraiser Timur Kobzar said in an interview with Ukranews, describing the Autel Evo II. “Electronic warfare has little effect on it.”

While most sources suggest the Ukrainians use the drones for reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence gathering, some unverified sources claim they also drop grenades. A YouTube videofrom December 8 purports to show a Ukrainian drone attack. And the Russian themselves claim to have been attacked by such drones with pictures showing the remains of an Autel Evo II and the munition it as carrying…though again there is no proof of the actual source of the drone.

It is worth recalling that Russian mercenaries may also have staged the capture of grenade-dropping dronesfrom rebels in the Central African Republic last year with the intention of blaming the rebels for drone attacks.

Unlike artillery, mortar and rocket fire, drone launches have no launch signature – there is no flash or puff of smoke to indicate their point of origin. A drone could equally have come from either side of the border. The drones and the bombs they drop are common to both sides. As cases in Lebanon and elsewhere have shown, drones are ideal untraceable, deniable weaponswhich can be blamed on anyone.

If any such serious incident does occur involving an attack by an improvised drone bomb, it might be worth taking time to consider the actual evidence before jumping to any conclusions. However, as we know from the Gulf of Tonkin incident that helped spark U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1964, those that want war will act first rather than reflecting. Expect Russian state media to produce graphic coverage of any event, and claiming it an atrocity that demands a military response on a massive scale.

As with flight MH17, shot down by separatists in 2014, forensic evidence may eventually reveal the truth. The danger is that by then the damage will be done and events will have overtaken any investigation.