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|Russia Invaded Ukraine | Summary of Russian Aggression against Ukraine | Russian Shooting Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 | Bellingcat Investigations: MH-17 | Ukraine@War Blog: MH-17|
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 was a Boeing 777-2H6ER airliner that had been shot down by members of the Russian 53rd Air Defense Brigade, based in the city of Kursk, Kursk Oblast (Province), Russian Federation but had been stationed in Russian Occupied Eastern Ukraine and most likely manned by Russian Servicemen. The plane was traveling from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands and traveling to Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. The plane carried 283 passengers and 15 crew members. The plane was shot down by a Russian BUK-M1 Surface-to-Air Missile launcher using a 9M38M1 missile with a 9N314 warhead while it was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet and the resulting missile strike caused the plane to crash over a wide area in the vicinity of Hrabove, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine ( 48°8'17" N 38°38'20" E ) which was under Russian Occupation. Subsequent investigations determined the launch point of the BUK Missile from a field south of the towns of Torez and Snizhne which were under Russian Occupation. The plane was shot down at 13:19 GMT on July 17th 2014.
Immediately after the downing of the plane, Russian GRU Colonel Igor Girkin (Russian citizen) (who had operated under the code-name of Strelkov) was gloating on social media that a Ukrainian Antonov A-26 transport plane was shot down by Russian forces. As did other Russian commanders. Once it was determined that a civilian passenger airliner was shot down, these posts quickly disappeared but were fortunately archived by various Ukrainian activists. The Security Bureau of Ukraine had also documented intercepted cell phone conversations between various Russian commanders (Russian citizenship) with respect to the shooting down of the plane.
Social media had also documented the travels of the BUK Missile Launcher from Russia thru the Russian occupied territories in Ukraine and locating it at the time of the shoot down of the plane in the vicinity of Torez & Snizhne in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine. Subsequently various reporters and citizens photographed the removal of this BUK Missile launcher by transport truck from the territories of Ukraine back to Russia over the next 12-14 hours in the aftermath of the shoot down of this airliner.
Variaous investigations had determined that this missle launcher had originated from the 53rd Air Defense Brigade based in Kursk Russia, that a Russian military transport unit had transported BUK Missile launchers in June/July 2014 to Donetsk, Rostov Oblast, Russia on the Ukrainian border and then subsequently transported into Ukraine. The complexity of the BUK Surface-to-Air Missile launch system means it could not be operated by so-called volunteers/separatists as it requires intense levels of training over an extended period of time to become proficient in it's use, thus strongly suggesting it was a Russian Military Crew that had manned this launcher and carried out the shooting down of MH-17. Also of note, a BUK Missile Launcher is only one vehicle of four types in a fully functional airdefence unit -- First is the C2 Snow drift Target Acquisition Radar unit with a range of 85 km and has since been identified operating on Russian soil at the time of MH-17, 10 km from the identified lanunch point. The second vehicle is a command and control vehicle which integrates the radar and the individual missle units. The third vehicle of which there may be one or multiple vehicles is the launcher -- this is the vehicle that was photographed in Russian occupied Ukraine. The fourth vehicle is a seperate loader vehicle designed to reload a BUK launch vehicle. The command and control vehicle & radar vehicle have since been identified residing on Russian Federation soil 10 km in range of the launch vehicle that launched the lethal missile that took out MH-17. This strongly suggests a Russian Military command and control structure and the radar unit should have been able to identify a transponder thus signifying they were targeting a civilian airliner. This then begs a question to be asked, through incompetense the Russian command and control structure missed the aspect that the airliner had a civilian airliner transponder or was this a deliberate provocation on the part of the Russian Military?
Ukraine turned over the lead investigation of the crash of MH-17 to Dutch Civil Aviation Investigation Unit (Dutch Safety Board) with the participation of other involved countries, aka the Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Indonesia. The Joint Investigative Team included investigators from the Netherlands, Belgium, Ukraine, Australia and Malaysia. The Final crash investigation report was released Tuesday October 13th 2015 that came to the conclusion that a Russian manufactured BUK Missile was used to bring down MH-17. The Criminal Investigation is presently being handled by the Public Prosecution Service of the Dutch Ministry of Justice. There is a move to create an International Tribunal to prosecute those responsible under the auspices of the United Nations. Unfortunately the Russian Government used their Veto in the UN Security Council on July 29th 2015. Since the Russian veto, the five member states of the JIT decided to work together to handle the prosecution of to be named war criminals that brought down MH-17.
The Russian Government, Russian Media, Russian Information Warriors and their proxies, and the manufacturer of the BUK Missile system have gone to great lengths to obfuscate the events of July 17th 2014 and try to muddy the picture with ludicrous theories from that this was really an American CIA plot with a remotely piloted plane with dead bodies to the use of a Ukrainian Su-25 ground attack fighter using Isreali air-to-air missiles to a Ukrainian BUK Surface-to-Air Missile launcher when none had been in use to date. The Russian Government has threatened to veto any call for an International Investigative Tribunal to be established via the United Nations Security Council. Not exactly the acts expected of an "Innocent Party". Even the Manufacturer of the BUK Missile Launcher and rockets have gone to great lengths to dispel the notion that any equipment they manufactured and in service of the Russian Government could have ever been involved and even suggested to arrange a demonstration with a remotely piloted Boeing 777and one of their BUK Missile launchers to prove their BUK Missile launcher was not involved.
Various Social Media Activists / Citizen Journalists have been scouring Social Media and had been piecing together information about the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17. Over the past year they have been able to piece together a pretty solid picture of what had transpired leading up to the events of July 17th, the actual shoot-down, and subsequent actions. Two such investigations that have compiled together a great deal of information are Bellingcat Investigations and Ukraine@War blog. The Internet is a wealth of information from photographs, social media posts, satellite photography and geo-location techniques. The links below are an accumulation of the MH-17 postings by these Citizen Journalists as it progressed over the last year.
Staff of InfoUkes Inc.
July 17th 2015
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