Ten more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

10 more questions Russian military pose to Ukraine, US over MH17 crash

 

RT news

Published time: July 21, 2014

Head of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov ( left) and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev ( right) at a media conference in Moscow, July 21 (RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

Russia has released military monitoring data, which shows Kiev military jets tracking the MH17 plane shortly before the crash – and posed yet another set of questions to Ukraine and the US over the circumstances of the tragedy.

Military officials – chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov and chief of the Air Force Main Staff Lt. Gen. Igor Makushev – posed a number of questions to Kiev and Washington concerning the possible causes of the catastrophe in Eastern Ukraine that killed almost 300 people last Thursday.

1. Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?

“Please note that the plane stayed within the corridor until it reached Donetsk but then it deviated from the route to the north,” said Kartopolov.

2. Was MH17 leaving the route a navigation mistake or was the crew following instructions by Ukrainian air traffic controllers in Dnepropetrovsk?

“The maximum deviation from the left border of the corridor was 14 km. Following that, we can see the plane maneuvering to return to the corridor, yet the Malaysian crew did not get a chance to complete the maneuver. At 17.20, the plane began to lose speed, and at 17.23 it disappeared from Russian radars.”

3. Why was a large group of air defense systems deployed to the militia-held area if the self-defense forces have no planes?

“As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

4. Why did Kiev deploy BUK missile systems on the edge of militia-controlled zones directly before the tragedy?

“We have satellite photos of the places where Ukraine had its air defense units deployed in the southeastern parts of the country. The first three photos were made on July 14. The first photo shows Buk launchers 8 km northwest of Lugansk. You can clearly see a TELAR and two TELs. The second photo shows radars 5 km north of Donetsk. You can see two TARs along with other equipment and technical structures. The third photo shows air defense systems north of Donetsk. You can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures.

“Here’s a photo of the same area made on July 17. Please note that the launcher has disappeared. The fifth photo shows a battery of Buk missiles at the village of Zaroshchenskoye 50 km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Shakhtyorsk on the morning of the same day. The sixth photo shows the same area on July 18. As you can see, the battery has left.”

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. (RIA Novosti)

5. On the day of the crash Kiev intensified Kupol-M1 9S18 radar activity, key BUK system components. Why?

“Also, July 17 saw increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the Buk system. Here on this chart you see that there were seven radars operating on July 15, eight radars operating on July 16, and nine radars operating on July 17 in the area. Then, starting with July 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found.”

6. What was a military plane doing on the route intended for civilian flights?

“There were three civilian planes in the area performing their regular flights at this time. There was a flight from Copenhagen to Singapore at 17:17, there was a flight from Paris to Taipei at 17:24, and then there was the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.”

“Also, Russian monitoring systems registered that there was a Ukrainian Air Force jet, probably Su-25, climbing and approaching the Malaysian Boeing.”

“The Su-25 was 3-5 km away from the Malaysian plane. Su-25 is capable of climbing to the altitude of 10,000 meters for a short period of time. Its standard armament includes R60 air-to-air missiles, which are capable of locking and hitting targets from 12 km and which are guaranteed to hit the target from the distance of 5 km.”

(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

(RIA Novosti / Vadim Savitsky)

7. Why was the military jet flying at so close to a passenger plane?

“At 17:21’35, with [the Boeing’s] velocity having dropped to 200 kilometers per hour, a new mark detecting an airborne object appears at the spot of the Boeing’s destruction. This new airborne object was continuously detected for the duration of four minutes by the radar stations Ust-Donetsk and Buturinskaya. An air traffic controller requested the characteristics of the new airborne object, but was unable to get any readings on its parameters – most likely due to the fact that the new aircraft was not equipped with a secondary surveillance radar transponder, which is a distinctive feature of military aircraft,” said Makushev.

“Detecting the new aircraft became possible as it started to ascend. Further changes in the airborne object’s coordinates suggest that it was hovering above the Boeing 777’s crash site, monitoring of the situation.

“Ukrainian officials earlier claimed that there were no Ukrainian military aircraft in the area of the crash that day. As you can see, that is not true.”

8. Where did the launcher – from the video circulated by Western media and showing a Buk system being moved allegedly from Ukraine to Russia – come from? As the video was made on the territory controlled by Kiev, where was the launcher being transported?

“I’d like to say that the information we have presented here is based on objective and reliable data from various technical systems – unlike the groundless accusations made against Russia,” said Kartopolov.

 

9. Where is it right now? Why are some of the missiles missing on the launcher? When was the last time a missile was launched from it?

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

Screenshot from video posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior account, showing a Buk system supposedly being moved from Ukraine to Russia with two out of three missiles.

10. Why haven’t US officials revealed the evidence supporting claims that the MH17 was shot down by a missile launched by the militia?

“US officials claim they have satellite photographs proving the Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile launched by the militia. But no one has seen these photographs so far. As far as we know, there was indeed a US satellite flying over southeastern Ukraine on July 17 from 17:06 to 17:21 Moscow time.

“This satellite is part of an experimental system designed to track and monitor the launches of missiles of various ranges. If our US colleagues have imagery from this satellite, they should release it for the international community to examine it in detail. This may be a coincidence, but the US satellite flew over Ukraine at exactly the same time when the Malaysian airliner crashed.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014.Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

 

This is not the first time Russia brings up questions on the plane crash. No explanations have followed with Kiev insisting they have full evidence of Russia being behind the attack, but so far only releasing tapes.

The USA, putting the blame on the self-defense forces, has yet refused to release any intelligence material. On Monday State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf described Russia’s statements as “propaganda and misinformation” – but when reporters asked her whether Washington would be releasing their intelligence and satellite data, Harf only replied “may be.” So far the US has been backing its statements by social media and “common sense.”

Foreign Minister of Russia Sergei Lavrov: No haste in MH17 tragedy probe, despite media hype

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply)

 

RT news

The report on the Malaysian jet crash is very “calm” and doesn’t provide much information about the tragedy, said Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. He added that despite all the hype around the crash, the investigators do not seem to be in a hurry.

In a Saturday interview to Russian channel TV-Center, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed he was disappointed by the latest report from Dutch experts on the reasons of Malaysia airplane crash. Malaysian airplane with 298 people on board crashed in Donetsk region July 17. Many western media outlets started accusing Russia without providing any evidence.

MH17 broke up in mid-air due to external damage – Dutch preliminary report

However, despite the political tensions, the report provided by the Dutch Safety Board from September 9 is “calm” while the investigators are taking their time with the probe.

“There are no demands that experts resume their work at the crash site,” Lavrov said. “There were also no attempts to go there to collect, as they say, the wreckage and to see how the whole plane looked like. Nobody spoke about it out loud.”

At the same time, the only side who is the moment seems actively interested in going to the site of the crash is Malaysia, whose Defense Minister is planning a soon visit.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at the crash site in the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), some 80km east of Donetsk.(AFP Photo / Alexander Khudoteply )

The Dutch report said that the MH17 crash was the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside.

“Flight MH17 with a Boeing 777-200 operated by Malaysia Airlines broke up in the air probably as the result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside,” the Dutch Safety Board said in its preliminary report.

“I hope that we will learn the truth, but it doesn’t depend on me,” Lavrov said, dismissing the accusations that traces of a Russian BUK missile system were detected at the crash site.

“There were many ‘fiction stories’ about BUK missiles,” said Lavrov. “But that very myth was debunked. This BUK was shown on the territory controlled by Kiev troops. There were many other far-fetched theories, some of them outright lies.”

The international experts have spent at least three weeks in Kiev and talked to Ukrainian authorities, but nobody cared to answer the questions posed by the Russian side, Russian FM added.

Lavrov said Moscow is readying one more set of questions, this time coming from Russian Air agencies, on the crash. A number of important steps required in such a probe have not been taken, he added.

“I don’t know why those things have not been done. Maybe someone is comfortable with the situation when right after the tragedy there were hysteric accusations towards the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine and Russia,” he concluded. “And now when the ‘propagandist cream’ has got removed, maybe those people do not really want to investigate the plane crash.”

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.(Reuters / Sergei Karpukhin)

US seeking maximal escalation in E. Ukraine

Russia is concerned with calls coming from the new Ukrainian leadership to abandon its neutral status and join NATO. Such a course in particular was proclaimed by the country’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk on August 29.

“I think he is acting not in the interest of his own people but of those who wanted to put an argument Russian and Ukrainian nations and drive a wedge between Russian and Europe,” Lavrov said.

According to Lavrov, Washington also wants to “get engaged” in the crisis.

ukraineArmy2

Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk September 12, 2014.(Reuters / Gleb Garanich)

“The actions of almost all Ukrainian radicals and extremists, including the radicals in the leading positions, get carte blanche from the USA,” the minister said. “Washington has repeatedly showed that its goal is to aggravate the crisis at a maximal level and use Ukraine as a bargaining chip to isolate and weaken Russia.”

The calls urging to look at what’s happening objectively and step for national dialogue, reconciliation and respect of the minorities’ rights – the values West promotes in any other conflict – don’t work, Lavrov added.

According to Lavrov, “there are many ‘provocateurs’ in Ukraine’s leadership, but western authorities do nothing to “curb the radicals.”

Thus, Russia prefers to work with those who represent the Ukrainian president.

“The Russian president repeatedly said that he is satisfied how his direct contact with [Petro] Poroshenko started,” he said.

 

 

 

Germany’s intel agency says MH17 downed by Ukraine militia – report

President of the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) Gerhard Schindler.(Reuters / Michaela Rehle)

President of the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) Gerhard Schindler.(Reuters / Michaela Rehle)

RT news

Published October 19, 2014

 

Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency says a local militia shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine in July, Der Spiegel reports. The BND is said to possess “ample evidence,” though none of it has been made public.

The statement was made on October 8, when Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) president Gerhard Schindler was holding a secret meeting with members of the parliamentary control committee, the German daily reported on Sunday.

He claimed the militia fired a rocket from a BUK defense missile system which it had captured from a Ukrainian base. It then exploded next to the plane, according to the report.

“Schindler provided ample evidence to back up his case, including satellite images and diverse photo evidence,” the report added.

However, no “evidence” has yet been made public, and the BND has not made any official statements on the matter.

At the same meeting, Schindler reportedly said that certain intelligence on the crash provided by the Ukrainian side was false, adding that “this can be explained in detail.” However, he did not give much credit to Russia’s evidence either.

The German Federal Prosecutor’s Office told the newspaper that an investigation has been launched into unknown perpetrators under the possibility that the downing had been a war crime.

$30mn bounty set to identify who shot down MH17 in Ukraine

An Emergencies Ministry member walks at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)

An Emergencies Ministry member walks at a site of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane crash near the settlement of Grabovo in the Donetsk region, July 17, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)

$30 million will be given to those who help identify the perpetrators of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine that killed all 298 on board, said an independent German fraud investigation company.

Two months have passed since the Malaysia Airlines plane on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot-down in eastern Ukraine on July 17 with 298 crew and passengers on board who all died in the crash. A preliminary report into the disaster carried out by Dutch investigators and issued on September 9 said that the MH17 crash was a result of structural damage caused by a large number of high-energy objects that struck the Boeing from the outside.

The investigation company Wifka, based in Schleswig-Holstein, north Germany said that it has been charged with investigating the case of the downing.

“After the terrible assassination or ‘accident’ all political parties, at home and abroad, said they owed it to the victims, their families and the public to clarify the circumstances of the crash and present evidence for what happened. None of this has yet been done,” Wifka said in a statement on its website.

Wifka said that the client who preferred to stay anonymous will pay $30 million dollars to whoever provides evidence that identifies those behind the shoot down.

“The money is securely deposited in Zurich, Switzerland. It will be paid there or in a different neutral place of the whistle-blower’s choice,” the company said adding that the client also offered to give the whistle-blower a new identity.

Flowers and mementos left by local residents at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 are pictured near the settlement of Rozspyne in the Donetsk region July 19, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)

Flowers and mementos left by local residents at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 are pictured near the settlement of Rozspyne in the Donetsk region July 19, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev)

The investigation company warned that the “details should not lightly be given away in emails or on the phone.”

“Everyone can be bought. It’s just a question of how much,” finance magazine Capital quoted detective Josef Resch leading the probe as saying.

Possibly the largest bounty in history will be given for the information on who shot down MH17, who gave the order to shoot down the plane and who is covering up their tracks, according to Wifka. The client also wants to know if it was by accident and not out of political, economic or military motivation. Wifka added that the whistleblower also needs to provide details on the circumstances that led to the shoot down and the information on what happened to the people involved and the weapon used.

Detective Resch was previously involved in the scandalous Florian Homm’s case in 2012 and 2013. He helped expose the hedge fund manager who disappeared in 2007 after being charged with investment fraud in the US.

One of the largest bounties in history – a $30 million reward – was paid by the US Bush administration to an informant for intelligence that led to the deaths of Saddam’s sons in July 2003. The two informants received $15 million each for Uday and Qusay Hussein for the tip leading US troops to the villa in Mosul.