Russians tell different stories concerning who downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

By Slava Tsukerman

Russian media and Internet are full of information about downing of the Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine. The information is very different depending on its source.

Official Russian TV that is controlled by the government keeps blaming the downing on Kiev. On the evening of the catastrophe I was watching TV news broadcast on the leading Russian TV channels. Russian TV seriously discussed two versions, possible from their point of view.

The most fantastic of them: Ukrainians downed Malaysian airliner by mistake, thinking it was the Vladimir Putin’s plane, bringing Russian President back to Russia from Latin America.

Another version: Ukrainians downed the plane by American order, as a provocation aimed against Russia.

Russian TV insists that Kiev was responsible for downing the Malaysian airliner since separatists don’t have the required technologies. The plane disappeared from radar screens while flying at an altitude of about 33,000 feet. Of all the weapons used by Ukrainian and Russian armies only A-142 Buk M1 air-defense missile launchers can reach aims at this altitude.

Russian media keeps quoting self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) leader Alexander Borodai (a Russian Citizen, according to Wikipedia a FSB general) saying: “I think it’s all crystal clear. The militia has only portable air defense systems. Their fire range is only at 2-3 kilometers. We don’t have Buk M1 air-defense missile launchers. So it was either Ukrainian aviation or Ukrainian anti-missile defense”.

On Friday July 18 all the evening programs of the main Russian TV Channel One were replaced by the special program aimed to “prove” that Malaysian airliner was downed by Ukrainian army. The top leaders of DPR and Russian military specialists were speaking about Ukrainian dispatchers leading the airliner to the battle aria on purpose and sending it under the fire of Ukrainian Buks.

Alexander Borodai called Friday speech of U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power “barefaced lie”. There was not even a shadow of doubt shown that separatist militants never had Buk M1 launchers.

A lot of information contradicting these statements was published lately in the US.

Among the information some recordings of conversations between separatists and Russians concerning the plane’s downing. In case these recordings are authentic they prove that separatists had Buk M1 air-defense missile launchers. Here is the NY Times publication, which contains one of the recordings.

Of course Russian official media calls these recordings fake. But besides of these recordings Russian media and Internet are crowded with documents showing that separatists had Buk M1.

I’d like to introduce you to some of them, which as much as I know, are not yet published in American press.

Here is a translation of a screen shot of the Russian Web Site Vesti.ru, the most popular in Russia source of the official information dated 6.26.14, about two weeks prior to the attack:

“SKY OVER DONETSK WILL BE DEFENDED BY MISSILE COMPLEX ‘BUK’. Donetsk militia captured a regiment of Ukrainian Air Defense.. It is equipped with movable missile complexes A-142 ‘Buk’. According to RIA NOVOSTI it is the second Ukrainian Aviation unit captured by Donetsk militia.“ RIA NOVOSTI is the official Russian government’s news agency.

It was not the only Russian official publication of the kind. There were also articles describing how separatist were “fixing the captured Buks”.

Recordings presented by Ukrainian intelligence show that the complex along with its highly professional crew was brought to separatists across the border from Russia.

On 07.06.14 right after the “capture” of Buks was publicized by Russian press, Sergey Kurginian, a representative of Vladimir Putin, visited separatists in Donetsk. Kurginian angrily criticized the separatists’ commander Igor Strelkov (a Russian citizen) for him and his militants fleeing Slavyansk, a town he failed to keep under control.

Kurginian’s speech was televised. In the speech the Putin’s representative claimed that Russians provided Strelkov’s separatist militants with such amount of weapons that “completely eliminates military misbalance between Strelkov’s militia and Ukrainian army, in the areas of guns, tanks and Air Defense”. This TV program is still can be seen on YouTube.

Kurginian’s highly emotional speech was widely discussed in Russian media. It left no doubt that Putin provides Strelkov’s militants with the most contemporary weapons.

A lot of information of this type can be found on Russian Internet. Of course none of it presents a legal proof of downing of the Malaysian airliner by Russia controlled militants. But it presents the situation very clear.

There is a piece of information on Internet from an otherwise unidentified Ukranian that suggests that Ukrainian air defense forces couldn’t down a commercial airliner. The author of the publication, a self described air defense professional, claims that every commercial plane which is moving along its approved route, has a special chip, connected by radio with a matching chip on every Ukrainian Air Defense Missile system. The connection locks the weapon. No human interference can make a Ukrainian Buk to send a missile towards a commercial plane.

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Updated: July 20, 2014 — 10:49 am
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