Who shot down MH17: Russia or Ukraine?

 The wreckage of MH17 
and its 298 passengers
WHEN AIR MALAYSIA Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine On July 17th, the world was quick to blame it on Russia.

 However as the dust settles down and the  days wear on, evidence is pointing an accusing finger at Ukraine. In short, Ukraine military brought down the plane. Pointing an accusing finger at Russia is sheer propaganda, analysts say.

BUK 312:  The Smoking Gun? please note
the Ukrainian registration
 First there is evidence that the Ukrainian Air force was intensely attacking rebel’s positions in eastern Ukraine just at the time the passenger plane was overflying Ukrainian air space. In fact a rebel commander has confirmed that there was intense fighting in the region at that point in time.

"They knew that this BUK existed; that the BUK was heading  for Snezhnoye," he said, referring to a village 10 km (six miles) west of the crash site. "They knew that it would be deployed there, and provoked the use of this BUK by starting an air strike on a target they didn’t need, that their planes hadn’t touched for a week."

"And that day, they were intensively flying, and exactly at the moment of the shooting, at the moment the civilian plane flew overhead, they launched air strikes. Even if there was a BUK, and even if the BUK was used, Ukraine did everything to ensure that a civilian aircraft was shot down," said Alexander Khodakovsky, in an interview with Reuters. Khodakovsky is the commander of the so-called Vostok battalion - or eastern battalion.

 The interview with Khodakovsky is full of contradictions, innuendos and suppositions, which leave room for doubt. 

These notwithstanding however, all agree that the plane was brought down by a SAM 11 missile. In Russia, it is called a BUK-M. The level of sophistication of the Missile’s technology raises doubts regarding the ease of access by rebels: According to Wikipedia, a BUK has four components; an acquisition radar component, the command and control component; launcher Component and the logistics component.  
It describes the functions of each component as follows:

·         The acquisition radar component (several variants have differing capabilities) allows the system to identify, track and target selected targets.
  • The command component is intended to discern "friendly" military aircraft from foes (IFF), prioritize multiple targets, and pass radar targeting information to the missile launchers.
  • The missile launcher component can carry a variety of missiles and may be able to engage more than one target simultaneously. This, essentially, is the gun.
  • The logistics component carries additional (reload) missiles and provides other supplies and parts for the system and the operators.
 Given the complexity of the system questions arise: do the rebels in eastern Ukraine have access to this technology? From where? These components are independent vehicles working in Unison and therefore quite expensive for a bunch of rebels. Could the rebels afford it? Can Russia afford such generosity as to equip rebels with missile systems? Assuming they owned such a system, why did the rebel shoot a harmless civilian aircraft since the system can identify, track and target?

What did the separatists stand to gain from shooting a foreign civilian plane? Zilch analysts say.  How about the government of Ukraine? It stood to lose a lot too. However, mistakes do happen in the heat of war. And in this case, a ghastly one happened. Since Ukraine in whose territory the plane came down was the first suspect, she was under pressure to explain the crash.

They quickly pointed fingers at Russia, then began to target the separatist rebels in the same area. However, Ukraine and its allies in the West could not produce a smoking gun to back their accusations against Russia. One had to be found quickly.

Ukraine led the search for a smoking gun and unwittingly indicted herself and she continues to indict herself.by her conduct. On July 19th, the Ukraine security Service-SBU- published pictures allegedly showing a BUK- surface-to-air missile system being withdrawn from the Ukraine. They claimed it was headed for Russia.

Bloggers immediately pounced. The system, they said was a Ukrainian asset.  The picture was shot on March 8th, said the bloggers, when Ukrainian government published the same pictures saying its armed forces  was concentrating air defense systems close to Russian Border. The air defense system then comprised of eleven BUK missile launchers, among them, one identified as No 312.

That Missile system   no 312 was also presented by the Ukraine government as the Smoking gun needed to proof Russia’s culpability. Nay said the bloggers, among them, the respected Global Economic Analysis: URL globaleconomicanalysis@blogspot.com. The missile system being transported on a heavy truck was photographed in March in a town called Yasinovataya, north of Donetsk. The city is 120KM from the Russian border and 80Km from the crush site.

Another piece of “evidence “ that the blogger shredded was the  exact location where the picture was taken. A billboard on the foreground was use to identify the location as "Krasnoarmeisk City, Dnepropetrovskaya Street #34", deep in Ukraine government held territory  The bloggers also questioned the allegation that the BUK was being transported to Russia. They argue that a BUK comprises of four vehicles, yet the one being transported on heavy truck is only one, basically the gun. What happened to the other components? Verdict: The gun was being transferred within Ukraine.

Further, they argued, the Picture was shot in winter since people were in heavy clothing. However, flight MH17 was flying in summer. But in the cacophony of accusations and rebutals, no one has told us what is the significance of BUK 312. Did it bring down flight MH17? Where is the gun now?

The infamous BUK312 where is it?
Given the strong rebuttal of the evidence provided by SBU, and the un refuted claims that the Ukrainian armed forces were engaged in an intense fighting with the rebels in that region at the time MH17 came down, also given the lack of evidence that the rebels have access to BUK systems, verdict is: Ukrainian government forces, willfully or by error, shot down flight MH17 killing 298 people.

AS if to support the bloggers’ verdict, Ukraine has intensified war against the rebels around the site where flight MH17, forcing international investigators to call a visit to the site. The intensified violence came just a day after the Rebels allowed and promised to protect the international investigators at the site.

 The Government knows very well that the fighting will compromise the crush site. A fact acknowledged by the international investigators and the separatist who accuse ukraine of being “in a hurry to hide evidence that it shot down the plane.”

The .Ukrainian government has to do a better job providing credible evidence to the contrary. Here foreigners, especially the West, have to tread carefully lest they be caught in an embarrassing imbroglio.


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