The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’

Exclusive: U.S. intelligence officials suggest that the person who fired the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been “a defector” from the Ukrainian army, an apparent attempt to explain why some CIA analysts thought satellite images revealed men in Ukrainian army uniforms manning the missile battery, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

As the U.S. government seeks to build its case blaming eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the evidence seems to be getting twisted to fit the preordained conclusion, including a curious explanation for why the troops suspected of firing the fateful missile may have been wearing Ukrainian army uniforms.

On Tuesday, mainstream journalists, including for the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, were given a briefing about the U.S. intelligence information that supposedly points the finger of blame at the rebels and Russia. While much of this circumstantial case was derived from postings on “social media,” the briefings also addressed the key issue of who fired the Buk anti-aircraft missile that is believed to have downed the airliner killing all 298 people onboard.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

After last Thursday’s shoot-down, I was told that U.S. intelligence analysts were examining satellite imagery that showed the crew manning the suspected missile battery wearing what looked like Ukrainian army uniforms, but my source said the analysts were still struggling with whether that essentially destroyed the U.S. government’s case blaming the rebels.

The Los Angeles Times article on Tuesday’s briefing seemed to address the same information this way: “U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.”

That statement about a possible “defector” might explain why some analysts thought they saw soldiers in Ukrainian army uniforms tending to the missile battery in eastern Ukraine. But there is another obvious explanation that the U.S. intelligence community seems unwilling to accept: that the missile may have been launched by someone working for the Ukrainian military.

In other words, we may be seeing another case of the U.S. government “fixing the intelligence” around a desired policy outcome, as occurred in the run-up to war with Iraq.

The Los Angeles Times also reported: “U.S. officials have not released evidence proving that Russia’s military played a direct role in the downing of the jet or in training separatists to use the SA-11 missile system. But they said Tuesday that the Russian military has been training Ukrainian separatists to operate antiaircraft batteries at a base in southwestern Russia.”

Though that last charge also has lacked verifiable proof and could refer to training on less powerful anti-aircraft weapons like so-called Manpads the key question is whether the Russian government trained the rebels in handling a sophisticated anti-aircraft system, like the SA-11, and then was reckless enough to supply one or more of those missile batteries to the rebels — knowing that these rockets could reach above 30,000 feet where passenger airlines travel.

The Russian government has denied doing anything that dangerous, if not crazy, and the eastern Ukrainian rebels also deny ever possessing such a missile battery. But the question that needs answering is: Are the Russians and the rebels lying?

That requires a serious and impartial investigation, but what the Obama administration and most of the mainstream U.S. news media have delivered so far is another example of “information warfare,” assembling a case to make an adversary look bad regardless of the actual evidence — and then marginalizing any dissents to the desired conclusion.

That was exactly the “group think” that led the United States into the disastrous invasion of Iraq and it appears that few if any lesson were learned.

[For more on this topic of prejudging who’s to blame for the Malaysia Airlines tragedy, see’s “Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment.”]

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

75 comments for “The Mystery of a Ukrainian Army ‘Defector’

  1. July 30, 2014 at 12:32

    I have friends living in City of Kramatorsk Donetsk Region who lives close to old air military base. It was not occupied by Ukrainian Army for past 20 years, probably, but now it’s active. There is “Kiev-1”-military unit relocated from City of Izyum Kharkov Region. What citizens see? Every evening Ukrainian soldiers stop by supermarket and liquer stores. Load their military vehicles with Vodka and potato chips and go back on military base. All evening they drink until midnight and after midnight they do military training exc. People who lives close to it can’t sleep because they scared and don’t know soldiers do it for training purpose or they attack civilians again.

  2. July 30, 2014 at 09:31

    Is it ‘defector’, or ‘deflector’?

    What if ‘missiles’ are just a decoy?

  3. Vyacheslav Zavdsky
    July 27, 2014 at 17:02

    Apprently, video of OFFICIAL Ukranian Army military channel (Our forces in zone of “anti-terror” operation) published on the evening of July 16th evening shows Ukranian operating SA-11 on high alert mode, ready to protect their troops: . There is technically nothing wrong with it – if Ukranian believe their own propaganda that Russian are illegally flying into their territory and ready to launch full scale invasion, they HAVE to use Buk SA-11 to protect their troops, whatever the threat is real or imaginary.
    Now two questions, that I hope someone from media will ask
    a) How “confident” Kerry is that there was no Ukranian missiles in the striking distance?
    b) Are the recordings from Ukranian SA-11 (including radar recordings, journals) etc are in possession of international investigation

    • Ivan D.
      July 30, 2014 at 03:43

      The only footage of anti-aircraft weapon i see in above video is during Minister’s of Defence visit, so that one is definitely not in close proximity to the crashsite.
      I hope Russia provides as well some valuable records from the military equipment besides lame civil flight control video.

  4. Ivan D.
    July 26, 2014 at 06:29

    The picture showing the spot of missile launcher could more important than uniform of the launcher’s crew. What have is several pictures . For the time being we have seen several pictures of SA-11 on a truck in and nearby town of Torez just before the plane crash. That’s just a few miles away from the crash site. Also eye-witness reports of a missile launch from the same spot. You may question above sources cause they support pro-government point of view, but they exist. What we also have seen is sattelite picture provided by Russian Ministry of Defence during an official briefing. They claim to spot Ukrainian SA-11 carriers 50 km to he east from Donetsk and to the south of Shakhtarsk. Now look at the map provided by Russian MoD, they identify the spot as Zaroshchens’ke, isn’t it at the heart of separatists’ territory? How could several slow pro-government missile carriers travel there without extensive ground support and without noticing by separatists forces? And the place is very close to the same Torez.

    • Vyacheslav Zavadsky
      July 27, 2014 at 17:05

      My understanding that there were reports of Shakhtersk being Grad-ed (by government side) from Zaroshchens’ke area around the time, I have seen some reports.

  5. July 26, 2014 at 01:44

    The “defector” theory does look like an attempt to evade strong prima facie implications of an important piece of evidence.

    Maybe what happened is this:

    (1) Kiev military people thought that the Russian airforce might be about to enter the conflict.
    (2) For this reason, Kiev forces moved anti-aircraft missile batteries close to the Russian border.
    (3) While waiting for action, they conducted a systems test, which got out of hand.

  6. Leah
    July 25, 2014 at 11:54

    Thanks for bringing some sanity to this insane hunt for Russia’s hand in everything. Shame on the State Dept (the house of “Psakis”), and the leaders of this country for this staggering and costly level of incompetence. By the way, RT just posted another article on the downed Boeing –, this one may be the closest to the truth yet… specially if we remember the Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 shot down by the Ukrainian forces over the Black Sea on 4 October 2001…

  7. Mark
    July 25, 2014 at 05:25

    I remember the US government was trying to manipulate news and information when they deal the blind dude Cheng Guangcheng in China in 2012. That was the first time for those Chinese anti-communism activists to learn with shock that White House of Obama-Hillary can do things like that without much difference from Chinese government. The media can also become so dictating in a democratic society. America is a great nation but is more and more off track became American people is no more great so the government is no more integrity and moral and smart. What a tragic! In the past century, America had been through up-and-down for a few times. So I am still hopeful…

  8. Bogdan
    July 24, 2014 at 17:42

    “It is unpatriotic!” – :–)), and it is a pity that mass media in this country is synonymous with with a massive whorehouse!

  9. Henri
    July 24, 2014 at 15:51

    Whomever is the problem: I wish they would get professional help. To take a world and threaten possibly nuclear war is just way too much! The gall…

  10. SWR
    July 24, 2014 at 15:44

    ..if this is true then there will be some more Russian data to come:

  11. Gregory Kruse
    July 24, 2014 at 13:43

    It’s great to see so many comments of a positive kind. Now I hope some of the commenters send a little money.

  12. Amia
    July 24, 2014 at 13:22

    U.S. Gov.uses propaganda against every one. The same thing happened when the West rushed to blame Serbia for wars in Yugoslavia (even tho Serbia was the only Republic who wanted to protect Yugoslavian integrity, like US is supporting Ukraine today). They blame Serbia for Markale marketplace in Sarajevo bombing, even tho after few months reports say the bomb came from the muslim territory. They blamed Serbia for Rachak massacre, even tho the victims were Albanian terrotists and separatist who fight with Serbian army. My question is, why US supports Ukranian integrity and souverenity but never supported Yugoslavian, or even Serbian? Why US still supports Albanian separatists in southern Serbian provance of Kosovo and Metohija but no prorussians in Ukraine? Why double standards? Who is blind here?

  13. Evgeny
    July 24, 2014 at 11:42

    Thanks God, there is a voice other than Anti-Russian propaganda on TV. I am half Russian and half Ukrainian with relatives in both countries. Living in Canada I am shocked at how Canadian and US citizens are poisoned by anti-Russian news delivered by CNN, which I love to watch and now I doubt I will believe a word delivered by CNN in the future.
    I doubt we will ever find who brought the plane down, but no one could deny that Ukrainian government is fully responsible for this tragedy by not following ICAO regulations and not providing “safe passage” for commercial airline.
    The question is “how fast will world forget about this tragedy” once it’s dropped from CNN and other media?

    Terrible… terrible…

  14. RS
    July 24, 2014 at 11:29

    Thanks for this great series of articles as I was really tired reading all this uniform stuff jumping to the conclusion without presenting any evidence.

  15. SWR
    July 24, 2014 at 06:13

    Smoking gun or just another attempt to mudden the waters?

    • SWR
      July 24, 2014 at 08:30

      …they do show a pic of a gaz-station instead of an actual photo of the road-crossing in Torez…and at the site were heavy fightings last month so who knows…

  16. Sharkey
    July 24, 2014 at 04:19

    it is a disease of Psakidiocy

  17. July 23, 2014 at 15:29

    «… who fired the Buk anti-aircraft missile that is believed to have downed the airliner killing all 298 people onboard.» Believed by whom ? There has as yet been no evidence released which indicates that it was, in fact a surface-to-air missile which brought the airliner down – the Russian claim that they have seen no missile tracks, and the US hasn’t released any evidence to substantiate their claims. Until such evidence is forthcoming, it would be wise to recognise that we simply don’t know what type of weapon brought the plane down….


  18. Alexander
    July 23, 2014 at 15:10

    Agree with others this is the only island of sanity in the sea of Western news.

    Here is another piece of the puzzle for this article: Reuters has published an interview with a “rebel commander” today which supports US government’s version.

    Besides perfect timing/coincidence with the influx of information supporting the same theory. this piece of “fine journalism” has another aspect: based on data from news in the past months and social networks, this guy (Khodakovsky) has very little credibility – he led a large group of rebels into a trap where they were slaughtered by Ukrainian troops, his orders were a big suspect (if not say a crime) based on the operational info rebels had at the time. Upon arrival of rebels from Slavyansk, most of Khodakovsky’s team left him and he does not appear to be a “powerful rebel leader” as the article claims. There were also rumors about Ukrainian president and oligarchs preparing and “promising” a surprise in Donetzk for the rebels which was believed to be a defection of Khodakovsky’s group.

    There are no hard facts here, of course, however it appears as if CIA/SBU are working hard to support this theory with all means necessary, including bribing some folks on the other side…

    • Alexander
      July 23, 2014 at 15:21

      Just to add to this – that said, it is entirely possible the guy (Khodakovsky) did not say any of the things Reuters published (he could be just a bad commander, not a defector), in which case what they published is just pure lies… but I can see how attributing it to him will make people believe it may be true.

    • July 24, 2014 at 09:01

      He claimed immediately after he saw the Reuters story that they had misquoted / selectively quoted him ignoring provisos and and qualifications of what he said. Russian media reported that, Reuters did not. He recorded his conversation with Reuters, but I don’t speak Russian, so I cannot say if he’s right. But having been set up with total lies by a prominent publication myself over far less controversial things, his experience with the media is likely not unusual. Some (many?) just make it up.

  19. jaycee
    July 23, 2014 at 13:38

    A lot of spin regarding the briefing by US intelligence officials yesterday. The Associated Press version is the most blunt.

    Note that its headline – US: Russia ‘created the conditions’ for shoot down” – actually originally read – No Direct link to Russia in downing of Flight MH17: US officials – and was later changed. A version of the AP story with the original headline is still here:

    The original headline best describes the information passed on by the intelligence briefers. In fact, beyond exposing that the US side has little to no hard evidence of anything, the little that is shared is qualified by “likely”, “not certain”, “we don’t know”, “the most likely explanation”. etc. Astonishingly, the “senior intelligence officials” suggest that the YouTube videos and social media blurbs represent nearly the entirety of the case against Russia. In its way, this briefing has pulled the curtain back, and instead of the great Oz there are two guys with a couple of YouTube videos. Curious to hear what Ray McGovern has to say about how this briefing rates in the history of US intelligence.

  20. Hillary
    July 23, 2014 at 12:06

    Interesting how much more interest there is in the Black Boxes and the amount of wreckage and the dead bodies of the murdered people aboard MH 17 which far exceeds anything at either the Pentagon or in the Pa. cow pasture where the 4th hi jacked plane is said to have crashed on 9/11.2001.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 23, 2014 at 12:15

      Well Hillary, you bring new meaning to “Never Forget”. I agree, where are those Black Boxes from 9/11/01? I guess when it’s not American then, and only then it matters.

      This May interest you;

    • Harry
      July 23, 2014 at 12:29

      Not to speak about the ludicrous lie that flight 93 on 9/11 ‘vaporised’ on impact with the ground for as we all know by now that hole in the ground was not caused by a commercial B757 carrying people and cargo. Crashed planes leave materials and body parts.

  21. Günter Düsterhus
    July 23, 2014 at 11:14

    We have succeeded in the evidence video the Minister of Interior of Ukraine associate with a Buk-self propelled howizer with a missing missile, to find the true location. They should show the Buk in the area of rebels on her way to Russia. The truck drives into town Krasnoarmiysk to the west. Accordingly, Anton Gerashchenko by the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior posted the video “…” also issued a liar and the unkrainische intelligence anyway.……
    Now comes the hammer. The Russian Defense Ministry shows two self-propelled guns BUK 5o km east of Donetsk and 8 km south of Schachtansk for July 17 and missing in their regular base 1 hour driving time for the truck in Krasnoarmiysk. The only thing missing are the American satellite data from the launch and Kiev is delivered. Not only the Russians but the whole world demands data from the U.S. Department of Defense! The satellite is identified and stood for den17 July 13 clock 29 UTC in position.
    The launching point:
    47Grad 59 Minuten 00 sekunden Nord 38Grad 27 Minuten 40Sekunden Ost
    17 Juli 15 Uhr +-20 Minuten MEZ 2014 near Zaroshens´ke
    Why not asking the people when a middle distance rocket is launched in your garden?
    Why not take probes from the earth!

  22. CDO
    July 23, 2014 at 10:47

    If those geniuses are really that smart and satellite images are that reliable, could anyone tell me where MH370 is?

  23. F. G. Sanford
    July 23, 2014 at 10:19

    Meanwhile, in our last episode, the intrepid flying squirrel and his faithful pal Bullwinkle are still trapped inside the secret headquarters of Ukrainian Nazi Fearless Leader Porko Piggachenko, where the dastardly double agent Boris Badenov has disguised himself as notorious Russian defector, Leonid Harvetolov Osvaldovitch. His mission is to smuggle a missile launcher from Pottsylvania to a predetermined area near Donetsk, where Natasha Fatale must seduce the real Osvaldovitch and steal the launch code for the anti-missile-missile. Porko plans to stuff our heroes into the warhead…”Gee Rocky, it’s kinda dark in here, maybe I should strike a match.” “Bullwinkle, this is no place for Canadian technology, we’re in Pottsylvania now. Our only hope is to disable the anti anti-missile-missile missile.” Natasha wastes no time zeroing in on her target. “Hey, big boy, you got missile in pocket, or you just glad to see me?” She goes to work on Leonid’s launch sequence, while Badenov stages himself next to the rocket launcher in time to be photographed by the passing American spy satellite. Back in DC, triple-agent Heinz J. Kerrynochev is satellite linked to Fearless Leader Piggo by Skype awaiting orders to upload satellite images to Natasha’s Facebook account. “Boris, what I must do? Nasty American Osvaldovitch penetrating my missile defense and looks like warhead carry big payload. Good thing is Minute-man Missile.” As the pictures show up on social media, Boris learns that Rocky and Bullwinkle have escaped by hiding in Victoria Nuland’s diplomatic pouch, leaving no hope the anti anti-missile-missile missile will save the doomed airliner. Boris calls Natasha to tell her Osvaldovitch has been sexting the entire launch sequence, revealing that she is a ballistic missile bimbo. “Boris, darling, what we do now when State Department Spokes-babe Marie Sharf tell everybody to look on social media?” “Don’t worry Natasha, Fearless Leader have that all figured out. We blame moose and squirrel, claim Osvaldovitch really Putin in disguise and you are inflatable rubber comrade. Americans too dumb to know difference…

    Don’t miss our next episode, Bulimic Bimbos Battle Baffling Ballistic Barrage, or Miss Missile Makes a Massive Mess of Missing Magic Missile!

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 23, 2014 at 11:28

      Oh great, now Kerry will ask congress for permission to bomb Pottsylvania!

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 23, 2014 at 12:07

      Correction; now Heinz J. Kerrynochev will ask congress for permission to bomb (with missile, missle, missle) Pottsylvanians!

    • Frank
      July 30, 2014 at 17:49

      Well, I rely often on Occam’s Razor.

      Here it would say that some overenthusiastic dissidents launched a missile at what they thought was a Ukranian bomber that has been making their lives hellish, bringing down a civilian airliner that should not have been within hundreds of miles of the incident.

      SU-25s? Ukrainian battery? Seems doubtful.

      However, the humor here gives welcome relief between the unlikely scenarios and the batshit crazy-messages from fillings in teeth opinions.

      I withhold judgment, meanwhile.

  24. Jim
    July 23, 2014 at 10:06

    “…it was possible the SA-11 [anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military…”
    Yea… It’s psakiest thing i’ve heard on this week… :):):)

  25. Joe Tedesky
    July 23, 2014 at 09:46

    So “maybe a defector” is what the geniuses are coming up with? Could, maybe the defector at least be related to a pro-Russian rebel on his mother’s side of the family be enough to blame Putin? Oh wait, I got it. Since this missile killer defector is a defector then he may have sympathies for Putin. That’s it, the defector is a Putin lover guy. This means war, I tell you war! Where’s my gun!

    • jo6pac
      July 23, 2014 at 11:20

      There a history writing job waiting for you at the state department;)

      Thanks RP

      • Joe Tedesky
        July 23, 2014 at 11:45

        Gee thanks, but haven’t you heard the latest? The guilty are the Pottsylvanians. Who would have thunk it?

  26. Morton Kurzweil
    July 23, 2014 at 09:02

    The question is, Who supplied the Buk missile launchers and the SA-11 missiles and trained the crews that launched the missile that hit a neutral aircraft and killed all the passengers and crew who lived in a house that Putin built.

    The fairy tale defector with an unidentified uniform is another attempt at pseudo-intellegence smog making.

    • W. R. Knight
      July 23, 2014 at 11:32

      The reason MSM is peddling the BS is to boost profits. It’s all about money. Bad news sells. Good news doesn’t sell. If you talk about starting a war or make up bad guys that do bad things, everyone wants to know. So they get readers, they get viewers, they get advertisers and they get money.

      Why not? Truth is irrelevant when money is involved. Raising angst and inflaming passions is just another way for Murdoc and the other media barons to exploit everyone else.

  27. W. R. Knight
    July 23, 2014 at 08:55

    The reason MSM is peddling the BS is to boost profits. It’s all about money. Bad news sells. Good news doesn’t sell. If you talk about starting a war or make up bad guys that do bad things, everyone wants to know. So they get readers, they get viewers, they get advertisers and they get money.

    Why not? Truth is irrelevant when money is involved. Raising angst and inflaming passions is just another way for Murdoc and the other media barons to exploit everyone else.

  28. gb
    July 23, 2014 at 08:37

    Here in Germany,the press is still trying to hide evidence,that is not in sync with the mainstream. A short message at spiegelonline this morning about CIA saying, there’s no evidence against Russia or the rebells, was very quickly relagatet to the backpages.
    While now, every irrelevant german politicians are still calling for tougher sanctions against RU ,GBs PM Cameron, one of Europes hardliners, is refusing to stop a wappons deal with RU. That’s one fine kind of reliabillity.
    To me it shows,that there’s just an economic warfare going on, dividing Europe and the good civilian relationship to RU. AIM:doing more deals themselfe..

    • Olga
      July 24, 2014 at 02:05

      I totally agree

  29. Nupura
    July 23, 2014 at 07:21

    Thanks for the rational analysis which the MSM afraid to do.

    It was clear that media is withholding significant information, such as Russian statement of of an Ukrainian fighter aircraft, SAMs in the area. How do they conclude then? They basically will work backward to search for relevant data, when the whole situation will be confusing.

    This is one place where it was presented coherently. Thanks.

  30. Benno
    July 23, 2014 at 07:06

    Excellent, we need this eyeopening investigations. We here in Germany get only mainstream news from our pro government press and tv.

    Thanks a lot.

  31. MS
    July 23, 2014 at 06:32

    That “defector” story has issues. The satellite showed not only one person in Ukrainian uniform but all of them (I suppose). That would mean, a whole crew must have defected. And they appear top have taken the BUK and radar with them (3 vehicles). And after the shot they must have returned to their unit, because Kiev did not report a BUK missing and those social media videos did not show a 3 vehicle set anywhere else.

    Who would do that ?

    And where is any connection with the Novorussia federalists or Russia ?.

  32. Panda Vicky
    July 23, 2014 at 06:19

    If the ‘rebels’ had been posting for several weeks about their BUK launcher and shot down two aircraft previously the last few days before MH17 why wouldn’t they have done it? So it’s apparently fine for them to claim they were shooting down miltary aircraft and crowing about it on social media but when the Malaysian airliner goes down suddenly they didn’t do it and it’s a CIA conspiracy? Even the audio recordings of the rebels discussing it with their GRU handlers are confirmed genuine by at least one of the ‘separatists’ featured in the youtube video, but he’s trying to distance himself by saying they’re discussing ANOTHER plane shot down at the exact same time. Yeah right. The interview with ‘Bezler’ is on Seriously..if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck then it’s a freaking duck,.

    • MarkU
      July 23, 2014 at 16:04

      Shooting down low flying aircraft on ground attack missions is one thing and can be done using shoulder mounted launchers such as the ‘rebels’ are known to possess. High flying aircraft are another matter.

      Your logic is twisted and you are deliberately muddling the issue, haven’t you a bridge to lurk under?

      • Steve D
        July 23, 2014 at 21:13

        It seems like you’re trying really hard to ignore the only evidence we have in order to build a conspiracy theory.

        While US inteligence isn’t always honest, in fact far from it, you must bring something to the table aside from personal attacks.

    • July 24, 2014 at 06:27

      Check out the presentation from the Russian Generals online to hear about the audio “evidence”. They present a professional case with hard evidence that people can debate or refute. Ukraine has been caught faking audio to discredit people before. Russia claims they spliced together snippets from multiple conversations, and much of it makes little sense because whoever did it had limited material. e.g., the bizarre “They must have been spies” comment.

      They also point out that the creation date on the official audio is for the day prior to MH17 going down. (to big for time zones to account for) The foreknowledge looks quite bad.

  33. Jacob
    July 23, 2014 at 05:57

    While I am an angry Dutchman, I am very happy with the integrity of reporting on Consortiumnews.

    MH17 was not only instructed to fly at a lower altitude by Ukaine’s ATC tower in Kiev upon entry into its airspace, but also to change course. It diverted from its normal South Easterly route over the Sea of Azov to a path over Donetsk.

    A Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was detected within 5-10 km of flight MH17, within an air corridor reserved for commercial aircraft. Who ordered the change of flight path? ATC or the SU-25 pilot? The black boxes should have the answer.

    UN Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin denouncing Kiev’s government and retorted Samantha Power at the last Security Council meeting. “During the investigation, Ukraine will have to answer a number of questions, [such as about] the activity of its air traffic controllers, and why one of its Buk systems was in the area.” It reminded me of U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson, confronting Soviet delegate Valerian Zorin in an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council on October 25, 1962 during the Cuba Crisis. Have a look at the video posted underneath (in English and Russian).

    Keep up your good work!

  34. Larisa
    July 23, 2014 at 04:57

    At last! At last you try to find the truth about this bloody war in Ukraine.
    Now go on… Why not show how bombs are falling on the heads of children-‘terrorists’ in cities and villages? There’s a real war and the number of people killed on the earth is not less then of those in the air. Why do you speak only about Israel?

    • Larissa
      July 23, 2014 at 14:25

      You are so right! They have to go to Ukraine, stay there for a day or two with their families……then will see what they think.

  35. jer
    July 23, 2014 at 02:58

    Kerry (and also Barack Obama), Clinton, Hagel, and all the others (wheeling-dealing warmongering Washington big shots) are liars and terrible two-faced hypocrites who are merely at the full service of the currently very triumphant great Nato-Israel-Takfiri-fascist global takeover machine. Read the many highly relevant articles at about these extremely evil demons in our midst.

  36. Captain Colin Smith
    July 23, 2014 at 02:45

    Watching the US trying to wriggle out of it’s initial bogus claim that “Russia did it” is like watching cabaret. Latest ridiculous assertion…….that one defecting man can move, operate and launch missiles from the 3-vehicle Buk anti-aircraft system. I can see him running about like a mad bunny trying to set up the plot, lock onto the target, and then launch perhaps two missiles. But we are slowly getting to the nub of the issue, i.e. that the Ukrainian Army tried to set up a false-flag operation, but it failed because Russia was watching and logging everything that happens in the air and on the ground just across it’s borders. If it had genuinely been an “accident” Kiev would have hit the phones to try to “get in front” of it to diminish and deflect it’s impact. Anyway, since I watched that impressive presentation by the Russian Defence Minister of the radar plot I have abandoned any likelihood of an accident. I was not aware of the presence of the one or two Su-25s at such an altitude, far above it’s normal ground attack role below 5,000 feet. They could have been up there for only one reason; to shoot down the 777 if the SA11 missed for some reason. Everything is starting to come together. No doubt hereafter the Americans will be studiously looking the other way. back to the cabaret!

    • F. G. Sanford
      July 23, 2014 at 11:38

      Service ceiling sheds almost no light on modern fighter jet capabilities or limitations. Service ceiling for Su-25 is listed by some sources as 7,000 meters and others as 10,000 meters, which is roughly 23,000 or 33,000 feet respectively. In a maneuver called a “ballistic climb”, that ceiling can be drastically exceeded, especially if armament is reduced. With that maneuver, Flight Lieutenant Mike Hale achieved 88,000 feet in an English Electric Lightning service rated at 54,000 feet. Granted, the lightning was an interceptor, but it was also 1960’s technology. Judging by the size of the pieces in the debris field, my guess would be 30mm canon fire brought the plane down, but some sources say a shrapnelized air-to-air warhead explains the pock marks in the sheet metal. Either way, an airliner would be child’s play for an Su-25.

      • July 24, 2014 at 05:58

        That makes sense also of the bizarre “defector did it” claim. Its MUCH less embarrassing and more believable if a BUK unit “accidentally” took out MH17, than to admit an air to air missile took it out. Air to air hints much more strongly at a pre-planned event. Especially given the Ukraine’s key audio “evidence” had a creation date a day prior to the crash… Doh!

    • July 24, 2014 at 17:10

      Su-25 operational ceiling is not capped by the engine thrust. The cabin is not pressurized so above 7,000m the pilot must wear an oxygen mask. From unconfirmed Russian sources the Ukrainian Airforce used on the the few modernized Su-25 it has in stock. Plus I am sure Russians have spotters close to any airfield that is being used by the Airforce. Another piece evidence is info off an Ukrainian company website that repairs and modernizes Su-25s, I assume mostly for foreign clients. Anyways, the info on the website states that operation ceiling is: 7,000-10,000 m. The link could be already dead or removed but a number of people have captured the screenshot so it will be an easy to find. Conclussion: the debate about the ceiling might confuse the public or silly MMS but a quick research will shine through the fog (I am not even talking about experts).
      PS: Funny how the US doesn’t attempt to deny thus far that su-25 was in the vicinity. For example see analysis at Ctatham House.

  37. July 23, 2014 at 01:24

    ” Was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military .” HA HA HA HA !! of coarse and he looked like Putin . What a joke.

    “Are the Russians and the rebels lying?”
    No!! That would be the World Zionists = Kerry , McCain , Clinton , Lindsay the Puke , Liar Harry , lame brain Pelosi , Kiev , NATO , AIPAC , ADL , The Israel lobby and 90% of DC .

    • julius
      July 23, 2014 at 02:09

      He put the word “defector” in quotes because he could have been a double agent. I remember the Ukrainians were planning to send double agents because they were losing so many troops to defections. This operation would have been led by Andriy Parubiy, who co-founded the “Socialist Nationalist” Party and currently leads the operation against the separatists. He is ideologically far-right, and would have no anxieties about using methods of mass slaughter and terror.

  38. Vaughn
    July 23, 2014 at 01:02

    My first thought when I read about the downing of the Malaysian airline was ‘who stands to gain from shooting down this plane?’ Putin, the Russian rebels? Fat chance! All the facts aren’t in and I can patiently wait, but I’m convinced that this fits right into the West’s game plan of cinching the Ukraine as a NATO (read US) bulwark cheek to cheek with Russia. It’s quite similar to the effort to demonize Syria’s Assad to justify more US meddling. Either way it’s a pathetic reason for such loss of lives.

  39. chuckvw
    July 23, 2014 at 00:33

    You are doing real reporting on this. Virtually no one else seems to be. I’d love to see you giving your take on MSNBC, but they have all bought the fried ice cream. You’re the only journalist so far who has any source beyond CIA graduate, Marie Harf…

    • marcel
      July 23, 2014 at 18:34

      Real reporting via Reuters:

      MH17: Ukraine separatist commander admits rebels had Buk missile system

      • Sharkey
        July 24, 2014 at 08:07

        Turn on your brain please. Putin sit and think: “What should I do to reduce own rating? Oh, I can shut down a civil aircraft!” Yes???

        • Aaronur
          July 26, 2014 at 13:33

          Hahaha!!! There in better explanation but this one, I love it!! Yeah!! Putin is taking Hara-Kiri lessons !!

      • Sharkey
        July 24, 2014 at 08:14

        I don’t see the facts in your link. I see only Blah Blah Blah
        “old woman neighbor said……”

      • S
        July 25, 2014 at 09:00

        Apparently the Ukraine commander later said he said no such thing and had been mistranslated.

        Didn’t stop the Guardian keeping it as a headline, though

    • Sharkey
      July 24, 2014 at 04:18

      it is a disease of Psakidiocy

    • July 24, 2014 at 12:36

      chuckvw, I agree entirely. Parry is on fire with this story. Also, the “defector” excuse is an implicit admission that the U.S. has satellite images showing a missile site manned by people in Ukraine military uniforms, a missile site that it seems was the identified source of the shoot down. Amazing!

    • kk
      July 24, 2014 at 18:26
      Plan crash happened in the day time. For 90% of the time when a plane is flying in the neighborhood people lift their head to look at it. Why didn’t somebody see huge plane falling out of the sky?

      • July 25, 2014 at 05:54

        Nearby residents were interviewed by the BBC. BBC deleted video, but it was cached. BBC news crew found site where Ukraine produced a photo of alleged vapour trail. Found no evidence of a launch. Local residents saw at least one fighter jet shadowing MH17. Heard at least two explosions and heard a fighter jet immediately after the explosions. They saw and heard no sign of missile launch. A nearby factory and other things may just as well account for the smoke in the official photo. Problem is Air to Air strike looks even more pre-meditated.

    • Dahlia
      July 26, 2014 at 00:54

      First of all we have to understand who will benefit from such incident? Eastern Ukraine rebels and Russia? Nonsense. Eastern Ukraine rebels are trying too hard to get a recognition of the entire world for the legitimacy of their wish to establish their own state too loose so easily what they fight for by taking down a passenger airplane that caries almost 300 foreigners. What they would gain out of this? Nothing, just hatred and more support of Western countries for the Ukrainian government. They know that, and even if they would not know that, Russia would never allow them to do that, because Russian government and especially Putin understand very well that a small mistake in this big game will turn the entire world against them. Putin recently visited Latin American countries, previously he was in China; he is trying to ally with them. It’s not in his interest to bring down the civil aircraft and turn an entire world against him. What Putin will gain? More sanctions, more support for Paroshenko’s bloody war and deeper isolation. Do you think Putin is that stupid?

    • Dahlia
      July 26, 2014 at 01:09

      Why Kiev never presented the recorded conversation between the pilot and dispatcher? What they hide? Why the original course and altitude was changed? Why US government never mention this fact ? The answer is that something fishy is going on there! We will know the truth, but not now; maybe in 50-70 years, as we know now who was really behind JFK’s assassination.

      • July 31, 2014 at 19:11

        all of kiev’s ATC data and voice recordings, radar data, and at least one Air traffic controller, disappeared immediately. If their data matched their version, it would have been immediate been submitted as proof. Instead they have offered up at least 5 faked sound, photo, and video “proofs”, all of which were so amateurishly created that it seems impossible that US intel could have missed them. at least 3 of them were taken during the previous winter, the voice recordings were from the week before mh17. these guys are very dirty.

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