On 17th July 2014 Malaysia Airlines MH17, an international passenger flight from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) was shot down near Donetsk (Ukraine), killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The crash occurred during the Battle in Shakhtarsk Raion, part of the ongoing war in Donbass, in an area controlled by the Russian backed Donbass People’s Militia.
The following story is about what might have lead to the shoot down.
Oleg stared into the sky.
Another one was coming towards him. One of the many passing over his head every day. Flying from one paradisiac place to another. Places he would never see, places he would never even have the chance to come close to.
Oleg’s life was a life of misery. Growing up in an orphanage, already as a small boy he was pestered about his mum leaving him at the orphanage shortly after he was born. He was told that his mum was a prostitute, who got unwillingly pregnant from one of her clients. As a toddler, he did not understand what a prostitute was, even as it was repeated to him almost every other day. When he was a bigger boy, he smashed every other boy’s face who insulted him with his mother’s profession.
Soon he realized, that in this world only physical dominance over others can gain you respect. In the loveless reality of the orphanage, things went only from bad to worse. By the time he was a teen, he started to spend his time in remand homes for committing small crimes. By the time he was old enough to go to prison, he learned that hell on earth exists for real.
In prison, the only way to survive was to join a ‘brotherhood’, if you wanted or not. As much as each brotherhood was a bunch of hardcore criminals, as Oleg had no other family in this world anyway, the brotherhood he joined became his family. As member of the brotherhood, his life consisted of plunder, rape and murder.
For him, the misery he brought to others, was a continuous revenge on this world, for the misery which this world had done to him. And whatever misery he could not revenge on others, was drenched in rivers of vodka.
One day his brotherhood was approached by a guy in military uniform. He said that he had a job to be done in a place with a strange name. The man in the uniform said that tough guys like them are needed over there and that good money could be made. Furthermore, it would be a chance for rehabilitation of the brotherhood, as the job to be done would be for their country’s glory. The government would back the operation, but could not send regular soldiers over there, as it was a bit of an international sensitive affair. If they would agree to it, they would receive a basic military training, better weapons then they currently had and military uniforms. Next to their pay, they could also keep whatever they looted from the enemy.
Oleg became a dog of war.
In fact, life as a militia soldier was not worse than a hardcore criminal. He could do the same as he used to do, only he could not be arrested for it any more. Just the constant threat of being killed by the enemy’s troops was new. But all after all, nobody lives forever, Oleg told himself. The plunder, rape and murder multiplied. As much as he actively contributed to make this world a worse place, he also felt disgusted by it. His disrespect for other human beings could not be expressed in words any more. If this is the world created by humans for each other, how could anybody have any respect for anyone else in this shithole called world?
One day, he noticed something in the sky. It was obviously a plane. It crossed high above him from one horizon to the other. He had seen these planes before, high in the sky. As they were not dropping bombs on him and his comrades, it was obviously not a war plane, or at least not an enemy one. Pointing it out to one of his comrades, he was told that they are traveler’s planes. They ferry hundreds of people in between far away destinations, as far as the outer corners of this planet.
In school, Oleg had seen maps of this world. On the maps were places like Australia, America, England. Life must be good there. No war, no murder. Streets lined with golden pavements, money in plenty. Beautiful women too. These places must be paradise on earth. And lucky are the ones who can travel in between these paradises, high in the sky. How good can life be? Would any of these people up there even ever heard of the places where he dies a million deaths every day? Oleg took a sip of vodka. Since long the bottle was his best friend. Not just his best friend, his only friend.
Oleg got fascinated by the planes in the sky. Like a cat watching flies to catch, he spotted every day the tiny spots in the sky, watching them leaving their cloudy trails behind and disappearing behind distant horizons.
At the same time, he felt the same feeling he had in his youth growing stronger. A feeling of a world of injustice. How could people be so happy and lucky somewhere, while his life only consisted of misery and bad luck? And these happy people were passing him day by day, so nearby. He felt as if he almost could touch those planes with his hands. So close were they, but at the same time so unreachable far.
Holding the vodka bottle in one hand, he locked the missile target destination on the plane.
Oleg took another sip of vodka. He felt determined now. His finger pressed the button. The Anti-Aircraft missile launched with a thundering noise in a cloud of smoke.
OLEG! WHAT THE F***?! A voice shouted from behind him.
Oleg felt relieved. Today was his day. He made history. From today his presence on this earth would be remembered forever, he had shared his miserable life with the people in the plane, he had shared his misery with the whole world out there. He did it for his mum. He did it for his dad. F*** them all. F*** the whole wide world.
Today was Oleg’s day.