Germans Clear Russia in MH-17 Case

Exclusive: For months, Western governments and media have accused Russia of supplying the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 killing 298 people. But now German intelligence has reportedly determined the missile came from a Ukrainian military base, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The West’s case blaming Russia for the shoot-down of a Malaysia Airlines plane over Ukraine last July appears to be crumbling as the German foreign intelligence agency has concluded that the anti-aircraft missile battery involved came from a Ukrainian military base, according to a report by the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

The Obama administration and other Western governments have pointed the finger of blame at Russia for supposedly supplying a sophisticated BUK missile system to ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine who then allegedly used the weapon on July 17 to shoot down what they thought was a Ukrainian military plane but turned out to be Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, killing all 298 people onboard.

A Malaysia Airways' Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

A Malaysia Airways’ Boeing 777 like the one that crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. (Photo credit: Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland)

The Russians denied providing the rebels with the weapon and the rebels denied shooting down the plane. But the tragedy gave the U.S. State Department the emotional leverage to get the European Union to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia, touching off a trade war that has edged Europe toward a new recession.

But now the narrative has shifted. The German intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND, asserted that while it believes rebels were responsible for shooting down the plane, they supposedly did so with an anti-aircraft battery captured from a Ukrainian military base, according to Der Spiegel.

The BND also concluded that photos supplied by the Ukrainian government about the MH-17 tragedy “have been manipulated,” Der Spiegel reported. And, the BND disputed Russian government claims that a Ukrainian fighter jet had been flying close to MH-17 just before it crashed, the magazine said.

None of the BND’s evidence to support its conclusions has been made public — and I was subsequently told by a European official that the evidence was not as conclusive as the magazine article depicted.

Der Spiegel said the information given to members of a parliamentary committee on Oct. 8 included satellite images and other photography. What’s less clear, however, is how the BND could determine the precise command-and-control of the anti-aircraft missile system amid the chaotic military situation that existed in eastern Ukraine last July.

At the time, the Ukrainian army and allied militias were mounting an offensive against ethnic Russian rebels who were resisting a U.S.-backed coup regime that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych last February, touching off what quickly became a nasty civil war.

Spearheading Kiev’s summer offensive were pro-government militias, some of which were filled with neo-Nazi extremists and financed by Ukrainian billionaire oligarchs including Ihor Kolomoisky, who had been appointed governor of the southeastern Dnipropetrovsk Region. The ethnic Russian rebels also were a disorganized lot with poor command and control.

Rushing to Anti-Russian Judgment

Yet, the Obama administration was quick to pin the blame for the MH-17 crash on Russia and the rebels. Just three days after the crash, Secretary of State John Kerry went on all five Sunday talk shows fingering Russia and the rebels and citing evidence provided by the Ukrainian government through social media.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” David Gregory asked, “Are you bottom-lining here that Russia provided the weapon?”

Kerry: “There’s a story today confirming that, but we have not within the Administration made a determination. But it’s pretty clear when there’s a build-up of extraordinary circumstantial evidence. I’m a former prosecutor. I’ve tried cases on circumstantial evidence; it’s powerful here.” [See’s “Kerry’s Latest Reckless Rush to Judgment.”]

But some U.S. intelligence analysts offered conflicting assessments. After Kerry’s TV round-robin, the Los Angeles Times reported on a U.S. intelligence briefing given to several mainstream U.S. news outlets. The story said, “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.” [See’s “The Mystery of a Ukrainian ‘Defector,’”]

A source who was briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts told me that some analysts had concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appeared Ukrainian government forces were to blame, although possibly a unit operating outside the direct command of Ukraine’s top officials.

The source specifically said the U.S. intelligence evidence did not implicate Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko or Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk but rather suggested an extremist element of the armed forces funded by one of Ukraine’s oligarchs.

Regarding the alleged Russian role, the source said the U.S. analysts had found no evidence that the Russian government had given the rebels a BUK missile system, which would be capable of shooting down a commercial airliner at 33,000 feet, the altitude of MH-17.

According to the Der Spiegel story, the BND reached the same conclusion, that Russia was not the source of the missile battery. But the BND and these U.S. analysts apparently differ on who they suspect fired the fateful missile. [See’s “Flight 17 Shoot-down Scenario Shifts”and “Was Putin Targeted for Mid-air Assassination?”]

What has been curious about the handling of the MH-17 case is the failure of the Obama administration and other Western governments to present whatever evidence they have, whether satellite, electronic or telephonic so the investigation can proceed more quickly in determining who was responsible.

By withholding this evidence for nearly three months, the West has benefited from keeping alive the anti-Russian propaganda blaming Moscow and President Vladimir Putin for the tragedy but the secrecy has given the perpetrators time to scatter and cover their tracks.

With Der Spiegel’s report, it’s now clearer why the delay and the secrecy. If the missile responsible for bringing down MH-17 came from a Ukrainian military base not from the Russian government then a very potent anti-Putin propaganda theme would be neutralized. More attention also would focus on whether the missile battery was really under the control of a rebel unit, as the BND suggests  or was in the hands of anti-rebel extremists.

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.

54 comments for “Germans Clear Russia in MH-17 Case

  1. F. G. Sanford
    October 23, 2014 at 15:16

    The B-M-B Axis (Berlin-Moscow-Beijing) coupled with the Eurasian “New Silk Road”, the BRICS Bank and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is the emerging economic epicenter. For years, American oligarchs have counted on a strategy of 1)deindustrialization, 2)corporate tax reduction, 3)offshoring the manufacturing and production sector to low-wage emerging nations and 4)political destabilization of emerging sovereign states to retain control of resources. The U.S. Military and the CIA have been deployed as the enforcement arm of this invisible empire. Lacking a manufacturing base, this extortion racket can only be maintained through military force. This has caused the collapse of the middle class tax base, so infrastructure maintenance, education, social programs, research and development, the space program, public health, public transportation and urban improvement programs have all been cut. The concurrent loss of meaningful employment has caused mortgage failure, collapse of the housing market, homelessness, urban decay and social unrest necessitating a militarized police state. Eviction of entire communities and expansion of the industrial prison system have made financial catastrophe the vehicle by which these oligarchs have vastly expanded their real-estate holdings.

    The United States currently has 1,568 billionaires, and they collectively wield more power and authority than the Federal Government and all of its agencies, which have been co-opted by these economic body-snatchers. (The pods are hidden in the basement of the Federal Reserve.) This strategy was conducted under the smokescreen of transition to a high-wage white-collar service economy in which the Reagan-Clinton-Bush criminal regimes insisted enriching the “job creators” would “trickle down” on the rest of us.

    Of course, this fantasy was doomed to fail. As the third world manufacturing and resource-rich economies demand their fair share compensation for real work and capital goods production, they are striving to free themselves of the paper-pushing speculative investment vampires who contribute NOTHING to society. The only way out of this maelstrom is total disengagement and redeployment of the top-heavy military-industrial-financial-intelligence sectors to non-military domestic capital goods and infrastructure production with high wage jobs for all…or WORLD WAR THREE. Just a hint America: we don’t have the manufacturing base to win World War Three unless it’s a nuclear war. Your move, America.

    • Abe
      October 23, 2014 at 15:48

      “Let me die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:30)

    • Abe
      October 23, 2014 at 16:11

      America makes its move to win World War Three:

      Submitted in March 2014, after the “Revolution of Dignity” in Ukraine, the Department of Energy (DOE) budget request for fiscal year (FY2015) includes a requested $8.315 Billion (B) for nuclear “Weapons Activities” in the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), a semi-autonomous component of DOE. This does not include pro-rata administrative costs for NNSA’s warhead program, which come to about $293 million (M). Total warhead spending is thus $8.608 B, not including $504 M in potential additional warhead spending (see below).

      This is a 7% increase from the current year (FY2014). The request is far higher, in constant dollars, than the $8.13 B spent in 1985 for comparable work at the height of President Reagan’s surge in nuclear weapons spending, which was also the highest point of the Cold War.

      Thanks Ukraine, we couldn’t have done it without you. Now f*** off.

  2. Abe
    October 23, 2014 at 13:56

    though you wouldn’t know it if you only followed the American media or “debates” in Washington, we’re potentially entering a new world. Once upon a time not so long ago, Beijing’s leadership was flirting with the idea of rewriting the geopolitical/economic game side by side with the U.S., while Putin’s Moscow hinted at the possibility of someday joining NATO. No longer. Today, the part of the West that both countries are interested in is a possible future Germany no longer dominated by American power and Washington’s wishes.

    Moscow has, in fact, been involved in no less than half a century of strategic dialogue with Berlin that has included industrial cooperation and increasing energy interdependence. In many quarters of the Global South this has been noted and Germany is starting to be viewed as “the sixth BRICS” power (after Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

    In the midst of global crises ranging from Syria to Ukraine, Berlin’s geostrategic interests seem to be slowly diverging from Washington’s. German industrialists, in particular, appear eager to pursue unlimited commercial deals with Russia and China. These might set their country on a path to global power unlimited by the EU’s borders and, in the long term, signal the end of the era in which Germany, however politely dealt with, was essentially an American satellite.

    It will be a long and winding road. The Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, is still addicted to a strong Atlanticist agenda and a preemptive obedience to Washington. There are still tens of thousands of American soldiers on German soil. Yet, for the first time, German chancellor Angela Merkel has been hesitating when it comes to imposing ever-heavier sanctions on Russia over the situation in Ukraine, because no fewer than 300,000 German jobs depend on relations with that country. Industrial leaders and the financial establishment have already sounded the alarm, fearing such sanctions would be totally counterproductive.

    Can China and Russia Squeeze Washington Out of Eurasia?
    The Future of a Beijing-Moscow-Berlin Alliance
    By Pepe Escobar

  3. Abe
    October 23, 2014 at 12:49

    Let’s not forget that the MH-17 catastrophe was used to justify a third round of sanctions back in July. The sanctions have punished Germany and the EU far more than they have harmed Russia.

    So one may easily suspect that the BND report on MH-17 was a feeble effort to head off just the sort of the economic call-to-arms that George Soros just announced.

    The EU governments and Germany in particular are none too eager to “wake up” and “save Ukraine” from the predicament that western oligarchs like Soros landed it in last February.

    Many Germans still recall what happened seven decades ago when they were told that “Europe is facing a challenge from Russia to its very existence.”

    Soros’s latest screed, scheduled to appear in the November 20 issue of The New York Review of Books is a demand for Europe to continue underwriting Washington’s Ukrainian adventure, or else:

    “Sanctions against Russia are necessary but they are a necessary evil. They have a depressive effect not only on Russia but also on the European economies, including Germany. This aggravates the recessionary and deflationary forces that are already at work. By contrast, assisting Ukraine in defending itself against Russian aggression would have a stimulative effect not only on Ukraine but also on Europe. That is the principle that ought to guide European assistance to Ukraine.

    “Germany, as the main advocate of fiscal austerity, needs to understand the internal contradiction involved. Chancellor Angela Merkel has behaved as a true European with regard to the threat posed by Russia. She has been the foremost advocate of sanctions on Russia, and she has been more willing to defy German public opinion and business interests on this than on any other issue. Only after the Malaysian civilian airliner was shot down in July did German public opinion catch up with her. Yet on fiscal austerity she has recently reaffirmed her allegiance to the orthodoxy of the Bundesbank—probably in response to the electoral inroads made by the Alternative for Germany, the anti-euro party. She does not seem to realize how inconsistent that is. She ought to be even more committed to helping Ukraine than to imposing sanctions on Russia.

    “The new Ukraine has the political will both to defend Europe against Russian aggression and to engage in radical structural reforms. To preserve and reinforce that will, Ukraine needs to receive adequate assistance from its supporters. Without it, the results will be disappointing and hope will turn into despair. Disenchantment already started to set in after Ukraine suffered a military defeat and did not receive the weapons it needs to defend itself.

    “It is high time for the members of the European Union to wake up and behave as countries indirectly at war. They are better off helping Ukraine to defend itself than having to fight for themselves. One way or another, the internal contradiction between being at war and remaining committed to fiscal austerity has to be eliminated. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    “Let me be specific. In its last progress report, issued in early September, the IMF estimated that in a worst-case scenario Ukraine would need additional support of $19 billion. Conditions have deteriorated further since then. After the Ukrainian elections the IMF will need to reassess its baseline forecast in consultation with the Ukrainian government. It should provide an immediate cash injection of at least $20 billion, with a promise of more when needed. Ukraine’s partners should provide additional financing conditional on implementation of the IMF-supported program, at their own risk, in line with standard practice.”

    Ukraine will defend Europe against Russian aggression?

    One can hear the laughter all the way from Berlin.

    Perhaps another catastrophe will be engineered to properly motivate them.

    • Abe
      October 23, 2014 at 13:03

      Soros funds are targeted at promoting Ukrainian “partnership” with, and “integration” into, the EU. Soros has provided many millions more through his other “philanthropic” spigots. However, Soros’ influence in Ukraine extends far beyond the traceable funding he provides to activist Ukrainian NGOs, academics and think tanks. Equally, if not more, important is the influence he exerts on global opinion through his massive propaganda network (including Project Syndicate and other Soros megaphones) and his direct personal contacts with presidents, prime ministers, parliamentarians, central bankers, media executives, and Wall Street titans.

      George Soros’ Giant Globalist Footprint in Ukraine’s Turmoil
      By William F. Jasper

    • F. G. Sanford
      October 23, 2014 at 14:09

      OK, so…two years ago, Ukraine needed $19 billion to get back on its feet. I’m not sure…are they now claiming they need $20 billion, or $20 billion more than the original $19 billion. Hey, I admit I never studied economics, but I did take a couple of higher math courses. Ukraine has bombarded the industrial regions in the east to oblivion…the part that accounted for 56% of its industrial economy two years ago. Most of the technical talent emigrated to Russia to escape the Nazi persecution. Russia has retooled to domestically produce the stuff it used to buy from Ukraine, so Ukraine now has neither production nor a trading partner. Today, Ukraine’s only export commodities are prostitution and organized crime. Two years ago, it was getting subsidized gas from Russia, and even that was supplemented by millions of cubic feet illegally siphoned off the pipelines to Europe. Now, they have to pay what they actually owe. Just to stay afloat, Ukraine probably needs about $60 billion, and to rebuild its economy, $200 billion probably won’t be enough.

      Ukraine isn’t going to protect Europe from Russia. The Europeans are worried about who’s going to protect THEM from the Nazis. They can call George Soros and ask for advice – he used to be a Nazi, and he probably has some insight. But even he’s not going to cough up $200 billion, which is what it will take to keep the Ukrainian hordes from invading. But hey – NATO has that new 4,500 man rapid response force – I’m sure they can handle it!

      • Abe
        October 23, 2014 at 14:41

        Achtung! The US has 40,463 military personnel deployed in Germany. I’m sure they can handle it!

    • Abe
      October 23, 2014 at 14:32

      Richtig, F.G.

      Perhaps what we’re actually witnessing with the Ukrainian adventure is a permutation of the Brzezinski stratagem, the purpose of which would be to make the European Union, and Germany in particular, economically “bleed for as much and as long as is possible.”

  4. blondin
    October 23, 2014 at 10:44

    it is funny how these crooks in Kiev along with US deceived most of the world.fortunately,there are some people left with sense of logic,and sooner or later Hague and Strasbourg will do what they have to do.but the way things are developing Ukraine will become “banana republic” sooner.

  5. Abe
    October 22, 2014 at 14:37

    According to clear satellite images provided, on July 16th, the Ukrainian Army positioned 3-4 anti-aircraft BUK M1 SAM missile batteries close to Donetsk. These systems included full launching, loading and radio location units, located in the immediate vicinity of the MH17 crash site. One system was placed approximately 8km northwest of Lugansk. In addition, a radio location system for these Ukrainian Army missile batteries is situated 5km north of Donetsk. On July 17th, the day of the incident, these batteries were moved to a position 8km south of Shahktyorsk. In addition to this, two other radio location units are also identified in the immediate vicinity. These SAM systems had a range of 35km distance, and 25km altitude.

    From July 18th, after the downing of MH17, Kiev’s BUK launchers were then moved away from the firing zone.

    Unlike rebel fighters, the Ukrainian military is in possession of some 27 BUK missile systems capable of bringing down high-flying jets, and forensic satellite imagery places at least 3 of their launchers in the Donetsk region on the day of this tragedy. Yet, Washington and NATO will not inquire about the possibility that any of these system had targeted MH17.

    Although the exact altitude position of MH17 is not yet know for every given second of its final minutes, it’s clear that a Ukrainian combat jet was in its shadow. Suffice to say, Kiev had a number of combat aircraft capable of engaging MH17 at within a wide range of altitudes, as well as firing air-to-air missile at short range (3-5km)either upwards, or downward angles using laser guided targeting which is standard on many of these models.

    Another Smoking Gun: Kiev government officials insisted on July 17th that, “No military aircraft were available in the region”. Based on available data detailed above, this appears to be a lie, indicating that a cover-up was taking place.

    Again, it’s important to note here that at the moment when MH17 was allegedly was hit for the first time, at around 5:23pm Moscow time, the passenger jet was also within the range of several Ukrainian BUK batteries deployed close to Donetsk and as well as the Ukrainian Army’s BUK system positioned on the day just 8km south of Shakhterskoye, only a few miles from the eventual crash site at Grabovo.

    MH17 Verdict: Real Evidence Points to US-Kiev Cover-up of Failed False Flag

    • Sand
      October 26, 2014 at 16:37

      “Analysis of the reasons for the crash of flight MH17”

      by Ivan A. Andrievskii (First Vice-President of the All-Russian Public Organization Russian Union of Engineers, Chairman of the Board of Engineering Company “2К”).

  6. Satyana
    October 21, 2014 at 22:21

    Thank you, Mr. R. Parry for such nice article. But you know what? Adequate people realized who is behind this attack long time ago. Ukrainian fascist junta. EU and USA can’t cover them forever. I believe in Justice and hope that world is going to find true out soon.

  7. Abe
    October 21, 2014 at 19:41

    Disinformation source Eliot Higgins, pseudonym Brown Moses, was thoroughly debunked for his “it was Assad” internet claims about the 2013 sarin attacks in Ghouta, Syria.

    Higgins is now pimping his spin about the downing of MH-17:

  8. Mahmood Delkhasteh
    October 21, 2014 at 16:26

    If I remember correctly, after the plane was shut down, first the Ukrainian government denied that is had BUK and later on said that it had the missile, but not in the region where the war was going on.

  9. jg
    October 21, 2014 at 14:19


    BND is a subsidiary of CIA. The Kiev jet fighter was in the airspace with MH17 as witnessed by people on the ground (plus two radar monitoring stations in Russia). These eyewitnesses are CENSORED by BBC:

    Kiev also ordered the Malaysian plane over the hot war zone where a military plane had actually been shot down. This created the situation, and the Air Traffic Control tapes are censored too. This is clearly the neo-nazi regime’s doing from start to end.

    Further, a premeditated PSYOP used audio recordings of separatist leaders talking about the previous plane shoot down to convince their own troops — and the western world — that they had shot down the civilian plane. But the audio is so crudely spliced together that it’s laughable, and easily debunked (despite being up on the NY Times website):

  10. Bill Fenwick
    October 21, 2014 at 14:07

    I think you’re right that the narrative is shifting. We might preliminarily hypothesize that traceable parts of the missile itself have been found in the wreckage debris and German intelligence knows what the Dutch have found: the missile was Ukrainian. So they’re softening the impact by placing the soon-to-be-revealed evidence in the old context of blaming the rebels and, with them, by something like infection, the Russians.

    The Washington Post’s huge propaganda piece two days after the crash: runs directly counter to this newly forming narrative. Under the headline “Russia supplied missile launchers to separatists, U.S. official says,” W Post, July 19, 2014,” the story opened this way: “The United States has confirmed that Russia supplied sophisticated missile launchers to separatists in eastern Ukraine and that attempts were made to move them back across the Russian border after the Thursday shoot-down of a Malaysian jet liner, a U.S. official said Saturday.”

    The official, obviously speaking with full authority about what “the United States” has “confirmed,” apparently did not have authority to say who s/he was, a denial the Post habitually enables.

    But get this: the same article SPECIFICALLY DISCOUNTS what the new German intelligence story now speculates. And, unlike the Spiegel article, the Post cites its primary source — one “Vitaly Nayda, counterintelligence chief of Ukraine’s security service.” “Nayda said that Ukrainian military services HAD NOT LEFT ANY OPERATIONAL BUK M-1 LAUNCHERS IN TERRITORY WHERE THE REBELS COULD HAVE SEIZED THEM when they took over bases and territory in eastern Ukraine this year.” He gave vivid details about Russian involvement: “Two of the antiaircraft systems were spotted entering Russia from Ukraine at 2 a.m. Friday, he said. One had its full complement of four missiles, but the other was missing a missile, he said. Two hours later, he said, a convoy of three vehicles that included one of the launchers and a control truck crossed into Russia.”

    The Post allowed the US to deniably agree: “The U.S. official said they could not confirm the exact time cited by the Ukrainians.” The US backs the whole story except for “the exact time”? No, the Post didn’t assert that! Neither did the secret spokesman for the US.

    The Post cited the comments of neo-Nazi Andriy Parubiy, head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, as self-evidently credible. He said the rebels were obstructing access to the crash cite because “[t]heir key task is to destroy possible evidence. It will be hard to conduct a full investigation with some of the objects being taken away, but we will do our best.”

    in light of the German intelligence’s pushing the view now that it was a Ukrainian missile that shot down MH17, Parubiy’s charge might best be viewed as projection of his own worst motives onto his enemy.

    • Brendan
      October 22, 2014 at 17:01

      You mention Ukraine’s security service’s Vitaly Nayda as the source for the Russian involvement. He went even further in his allegations in the BBC Panorama’s “Putin’s Gamble”. He claimed in that program that the missile that struck the Malaysian MH17 was really intended for a Russian civilian passenger aircraft, with the intention of provoking a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Even the presenter of that piece of propaganda had trouble believing his story. (after 17:30)

      More details of the allegedRussian false flag plot from the website of the Security Service of Ukraine:
      Terrorists and militants planned cynical terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft

    • Abe
      October 22, 2014 at 17:49

      The shifting narrative has been a Saint Vitus Dance performed in order to direct attention away from the most likely suspects: the Ukrainian Air Force.

      If MH-17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, most likely it was a Ukrainian Buk-1 M-1 missile.

      If MH-17 was shot down by a Ukrainian Buk-1 M-1 surface-to-air missile, most likely it was not fired by an autonomous mobile launch vehicle manned by separatists, but by a full BUK-1 missile system complex including a target acquisition radar vehicle, a command vehicle, and a launcher vehicle manned by trained Ukrainian Air Force operators.

      If MH-17 was downed by an aircraft, most likely it was a Ukrainian Air Force pilots using 30 mm cannon, air-to-air missiles, or some combination thereof.

      All the US, the EU, and Ukraine can do is scream, “It was the Russians and/or the separatists!” and hope no one notices the obvious.

      Evidence from the US Key Hole, now codenamed Evolved Enhanced CRYSTAL (EEC), satellite system could eliminate much if not all the speculation about the demise of MH-17

      Suffice it to say, the prime suspect for the downing of MH-17 remains the Ukrainian Air Force (regardless of whose command it was following), not Russia or the eastern Ukraine opposition forces.

  11. Brendan
    October 21, 2014 at 13:58

    Here’s an interview with a German journalist about the close cooperation between journalists and the BND and other intelligence services.
    German journalist and editor Udo Ulfkotte says he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, adding that noncompliance ran the risk of being fired. Ulfkotte made the revelations during interviews with RT and Russia Insider.

    “I ended up publishing articles under my own name written by agents of the CIA and other intelligence services, especially the German secret service,”

    “One day the BND (German foreign intelligence agency) came to my office at the Frankfurter Allgemeine in Frankfurt. They wanted me to write an article about Libya and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi…They gave me all this secret information and they just wanted me to sign the article with my name,”

    “That article was how Gaddafi tried to secretly build a poison gas factory. It was a story that was printed worldwide two days later.”

    Ulfkotte reveals all this and more in his book ‘Bought Journalists,’ where he mentions that he feels ashamed for what he has done in the past.

    “It is not right what I have done in the past. To manipulate people, to make propaganda. And it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray people not only in Germany, but all over Europe,” he told RT. “I was a journalist for 25 years and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.”

  12. Abe
    October 21, 2014 at 11:30

    at the end of the day for the propagandistic purposes it will come to the same thing – “maybe Russia was not directly involved but by virtue of supporting the rebels in this Russia bears the ultimate responsibility” or something along those lines. Obviously the propaganda of the first couple of days after the incident…could not be taken seriously. I simply think that this is a little bit more sophisticated in a way: ultimately still a pointing finger is at Russia and at the self-defense forces in the east, even though formal and direct Russian involvement is no longer acknowledged… Nevertheless, if it is the rebels and since Russia allegedly is supporting them, then Russia will bear the ultimate responsibility. What is interesting is that the Germans are so categorical about the absence of the Sukhoi in the vicinity of the Malaysian airliner even through there is ample evidence that indeed there was one at least from the Russian sources. Since the Germans simply do not have the satellite imagery and the electronic resources comparable to those of the US, for the BND to come up with such a compulsive story means either that they are making it out as a plot, or else that they have been presented raw intelligence by the US and they are coming to their own conclusions because the Americans themselves prefer not to be the ones to do so. Either way it doesn’t look like something aimed at establishing the truth and the full facts of the case of MH17.

    German’s BND ‘evidence’ on MH17 tragedy looks like another disinformation operation

  13. onno
    October 21, 2014 at 06:08

    I would like to add the following scenario.
    Ukrainian oligarch/criminal and governor of Dnepropetrovsk Kolomoisky employs his own army of right extremists had put $ 500,000 on the head of President Putin. Kolomoisky also owns Dnepropetrovsk Airport which was monitoring MH 17 at the time of the downing
    In addition MH 17 and President Putin’s private plane (Ilyushin 96 ) were within 20 minutes of each other while flying over UA territory plus both planes have identical outside markings and red/white/blue stripes. So instead of shooting down Putin they shot down MH 17, mistaken identity?
    The latest Spiegel scenario brings more confusion since German specialist had also reported that MH 17 was shot down by 2 UA fighter jets which makes sense when we look at the round holes in the fuselage of the Boeing 777 especially around the cockpit.
    Plus on July 17 US Navy cruiser Vela Gulf and NATO/French Frigate FS Surcouf conducting electronic surveillance in the Black Sea and being 50-60 km from Russian shoreline busy eavesdropping and collecting intelligence able to intercept communications, etc. USS Vela Gulf has also guided missiles on board. All this information is kept secret by Washington probably for good reasons. When NSA even can listen in on Angela Merkel’s personal conversations on her mobile device I believe that US ships on a distance of less than 300 miles from the downing site has been recorded as well.
    So, Obama/Kerry put your money where your mouth is and give the American people the truth and the facts of MH 17. Families of 298 innocent people who died have a right to know. Not 20 years from now, but today.

  14. Brendan
    October 21, 2014 at 04:56

    The German government told a different story to that of its spy chief when it gave a reply to a parliamentary question on 9 September 2014:
    “No conclusive findings of any possible deployment of anti-aircraft guided missiles against the aircraft (MH-17) can be derived from the information available to the Federal Government.”

    Presumably the German government based that answer on information from its secret service, the BND. A month later, however, the boss of the BND confidently told a parliamentary committee “It was pro-Russian separatists” who shot down MH17, according to Der Spiegel. He was reportedly able to back up his case with ample evidence including satellite images.

    It’s hard to rely on any claims by either the BND, der Spiegel or its source, apparently an anonomous parliamentarian, anyway.

    The BND has worked in close cooperation with the American NSA and provided it with communication data of German citizens for many years. Der Spiegel is one of the most hardline anti-Russian media organisations, especially since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

    Some members of the parliamentary committee appear to be convinced by the alleged evidence but one member, Hans-Christian Ströbele, does not. He saw no conclusive proof.

    Although there’s no evidence or new information in the Spiegel article, it’s interesting that there is a shift away from the previous narrative that Russia supplied the rebels with the missile system. On 29 July the front page of Der Spiegel carried the headline “Stop Putin Now!”, along with photos of many of the victims of the MH17 crash. The editorial in that issue justified the headline by saying
    “Nobody in the West continues to harbor serious doubts that the plane was shot down with a Buk surface-to-air missile system — one that was almost certainly provided to the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine by Russia.”

    • Abe
      October 23, 2014 at 14:21

      The 28 July “Stoppt Putin jetzt!” issue of Spiegel had that faniliar ‘everything has changed’ fervor of post-9/11 US mainstream media. The editorial breathlessly exclaimed: “Europe can no longer continue as before.”

      Absent some new MH-17 (or 9/11) style incident, now in October it will be considerably more difficult to catalyze Europe to take further “tough action” against Russia.

  15. Nick
    October 21, 2014 at 04:54

    Sounds like a lot of b**l s**t to me. Earlier analysis showed that the destruction was in the region of the cockpit, with pock marks most likely from a large calibre machine gun such as those mounted on a fighter plane. A missile goes for the body of the plane. This was not the work of a missile. Seems the Germans are trying to shield the Ukraine authorities while accepting that they can no longer blame Russia with impunity.

  16. Rob
    October 21, 2014 at 00:41

    So turns out it was not a “German Intel claim” after all.

    Apparently this story was mis-information leaked via one of the (political) members of the PKGr

    Which is bad enough, and caused quite a stink today in German media.

    Especially since this is the second time this year that this political committee of 8 members leaks mis-information to the media, under the pretense that it came from the BND (German Intelligence).

  17. Opie
    October 21, 2014 at 00:38

    Glad to see the Germans come out and declare what the rest of the world already knows – that Russian rebels shot down MH17 – just like Strelkov said they did (before he knew what it was they shot down.

    • Brendan
      October 21, 2014 at 11:06

      Assuming that that the Strelkov message is authentic, he was wrong about the plane being a military transporter, so he could have been wrong about the rebels shooting it down. They had shot down an AN-26 a few days earlier, so it would be only natural for him to assume that the same thing happened again when he saw the wreckage of a large aircraft.

      Strelkov could have been saying what he believed, not what he knew. There is no evidence from any message or recording that any of the rebels had any knowledge of the actual firing of the missile.

    • Brian
      October 21, 2014 at 13:43

      By “world,” of course, you mean a bunch of US vassal states run by corrupt puppets who do what they’re told by Washington or else.

  18. Abe
    October 21, 2014 at 00:34


    On 19 July, investigative journalist Robert Parry reported that he was informed by a source that CIA analysts had viewed satellite photos of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile troops:

    “Regarding the shoot-down of the Malaysian jetliner on Thursday, I’m told that some CIA analysts cite U.S. satellite reconnaissance photos suggesting that the anti-aircraft missile that brought down Flight 17 was fired by Ukrainian troops from a government battery, not by ethnic Russian rebels who have been resisting the regime in Kiev since elected President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown on Feb. 22.”

    “According to a source briefed on the tentative findings,” Parry continued, “the soldiers manning the battery appeared to be wearing Ukrainian uniforms and may have been drinking, since what looked like beer bottles were scattered around the site. But the source added that the information was still incomplete and the analysts did not rule out the possibility of rebel responsibility.”

    This information may have been leaked to Parry by U.S. intelligence in order to create some distance between the CIA and the increasingly implausible accusations made by the regimes in Kiev and Washington, who claimed that Russian-separatists has shot down MH-17.


    On 21 July 2014, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation reported that Russian military radar detected a Ukrainian SU-25 military jet gaining altitude towards the MH-17 on the day of the catastrophe.

    With an operational ceiling of 23,000 feet (though some sources claim it can fly higher), the SU-25 “Frogfoot” Close Air Support Aircraft could not use its GSh-30-2 dual-barrel automatic cannon to directly attack MH-17. However, an SU-25 concealed beneath the 26,000 foot cloud ceiling could fire its R-60 / AA-8 “Aphid” Short-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.

    Smaller and less destructive than the R-27R / AA-10 “Alamo” Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile used by MIG-29 and SU-27 aircraft, an R-60 traveling at 5,024 feet per second (Mach 4.5) would still be more than able to cause explosive decompression in the commercial aircraft.

    Ascending to the 32,000 foot cruising altitude of MH-17, and R-60 missile would have been visible for only 1.8 seconds prior to detonation.

    After an attack, the MH-17 aircraft would have been visible to satellites for at least another 23 seconds as it plummeted into the clouds.

    Regardless of whether they were SU-25, MIG-29, SU-27 or any combination of the above, Ukrainian military aircraft in the vicinity of MH-17 complicates any explanation of the airliner’s demise.


    The Russian confirmation of the presence of Ukrainian Air Force planes in the sky above Donetsk on 17 July further complicates claims that Russian-separatists fired a BUK-M1 / SA-11 “Gadfly” Surface-to-Air Missile.

    BUK-1 air defense units operate as a complex system that includes a radar vehicle, a command vehicle, and multiple launcher vehicles.

    The BUK-1 radar and command components are equipped with an IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) system able to detect if the missile is targeting a civilian plane through its transponder code. An NCTR (Non-Cooperative Target Recognition) system also was installed, relying on analysis of returned radar signals to purportedly identify and clearly distinguish civilian aircraft from potential military targets in the absence of IFF.

    Operating under the guidance of the system’s radar and command vehicles, BUK-1 missile operators know precisely what they were shooting at.

    However, without the guidance of the system’s radar and command vehicle components, individual BUK-1 launchers cannot properly identify targets.

    An individual BUK-1 launcher still can operate independently in TELAR (transporter/erector/launcher and radar) mode, enabling it to engage and fire without central guidance

    An autonomous BUK-1 launcher can use its TELAR radar (known to NATO as Fire Dome) to search, track and lock on to targets, fire its missile and destroy the target, but it cannot distinguish friend from foe.

    As if on cue, on 23 July, Aviation Week published an article, “Buk Missile System Lethal, But Undiscriminating”

    Aerospace and defense journalist Bill Sweetman confirmed the lack of IFF and NCTR in autonomous BUK-1 missile launchers. Sweetman emphasized that this unique feature “may have been a crucial factor in the destruction of MH17.”


    Western and mainstream media and political leaders seized on this information as proof that pro-Russian separatists had used a captured BUK-1 to bring down MH-17.

    However, the most casual analysis invalidates this assumption.

    The Russian Ministry of Defence had identified the presence of Ukrainian military aircraft in the airspace near MH-17. Lower flying Ukrainian Air Force jets would have been the proximal targets for an autonomous BUK-1 missile launch.

    According to the mainstream media version of events, the pro-Russian separatists were inexperienced (and perhaps drunken) operators of a captured BUK-1 launcher. Unable to accurately identify their target, the separatists accidentally shot down the Malaysian airliner.

    In short, the purported BUK-1 attack was a immensely unlucky shot for the separatists, and an immensely lucky shot for Washington and Kiev’s anti-Russian propaganda machine.

    One mainstream media version of the story has the diabolical separatists, under the direction of Putin, deliberately targeting the airliner.

    Another version has the evil separatists, believing that it was Putin’s plane, deliberately targeting the airliner.

    However, a reasonable explanation is that MH-17 was deliberately targeting by the 156th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment of the Ukrainian Air Force was never investigated.

    Such an explanation directly implicates the post-coup regime in Kiev and the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the deadliest air incident in Ukraine and the deadliest airliner shoot down in history.

    This alternative explanation was to be avoided at all costs by Western governments and the mainstream media.


    On 30 July, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation presented a detailed analysis of satellite imagery released by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

    The Russian analysis proved that the Ukrainians were lying on two points:

    1) The SBU falsely claimed that their disclosed satellite images were from the Ukrainian Sich-1 and Sich-2 satellites.

    Satellite images can be accurately identified in terms of the location and time because all satellites orbiting the Earth move according to predetermined trajectories. According to the Russian space surveillance system, Sich-1 and Sich-2 were not flying over the crash site area during the times specified on the satellite images.

    However, at the time specified in the images, an American Key Hole reconnaissance satellite was flying over the territory.

    The source of the images was the United States, not Ukraine as claimed.

    2) Satellite images disclosed by SBU were deliberately distorted or falsified. For example, in several instances, the specified time did not correlate with the image.

    The most critical image was Slide 4 dated for 17 August, the day of the MH-17 crash. The Russian Defence Ministry analysis of the image makes matters clear:

    “according to all weather reports for Avdeyevka on July 17, the area had 70 to 80% cloud coverage and cloud base height of 2,500m. The information can be easily verified through a number of independent sources. Russian satellite image shows exactly that.

    “Please note that the SBU’s Slide 4 shows clear skies and sunny weather on the same day. No comments are necessary.”

    The Russian evidence proved that satellite images disclosed by SBU were distorted and falsified, by Ukraine or by the United States.

    This evidence also contradicted the assertions of the intelligence source cited by Parry: cloud cover means no pictures of a drunken missile crew on the ground.


    The United States and the EU used the escalating War in Donbass and the dramatic downing of MH-17 to justify a third round of sanctions against certain sectors of Russia’s economy. Canada, Japan, Australia, Norway, Switzerland and Ukraine also announced expanded sanctions against Russia.

    The Russian government responded in kind, with sanctions against some Canadian and American individuals and, in August 2014, with a total ban on food imports from the European Union, United States, Norway, Canada and Australia.

    Media attention on MH-17 waned as the sanctions regimes were implemented.

    On 3 October 2014, US Vice President Joe Biden said that “It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs.”

    Europe is more than embarrassed. The EU sanctions against Russia have been particularly painful for Germany.

    The BND analysis delivered to the parliamentary control committee of the Bundestag on 8 October may be a message to Moscow. It also may an indication of chaos in the German intelligence community, no doubt under pressure from Washington to reach acceptable conclusions.

    Doubling down on the “it was pro-Russian separatists” account of MH-17 may prove to be considerably more than an embarrassment for Berlin.

  19. Yar
    October 20, 2014 at 19:02

    “then a very potent anti-Putin propaganda theme would be neutralized”
    Nope. Propaganda and sanctions need not a reality check.
    So the people’s stupidity.

  20. Abe
    October 20, 2014 at 17:39

    There are several other ways that MH-17 could have been destroyed by the Ukrainian Air Force.

    A MIG-29 “Fulcrum” Jet Fighter Aircraft traveling at 1,083.33 feet per second
    would have been visible to satellites on ascent for 8.3 seconds.

    An SU-27 “Flanker” Jet Fighter Aircraft traveling at at 983.33 feet per second
    would have been visible on ascent for 9.1 seconds.

    The Gryazev-Shipunov GSh-30 is the standard 30mm cannon armament of the
    Ukrainian Air Force MIG-29, SU-27 and SU-25 jet aircraft operating over eastern Ukraine.

    In combination with a laser range finding/targeting system, the GSh-30 cannon is extremely accurate as well as powerful, capable of destroying a target with as few as three to five rounds.

    The GSh-30 cannon’s maximum effective range against aerial targets is 200 to 800 meters (650-2600 ft).

    In addition, an R-27R / AA-10 “Alamo” Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile could have been fired by a MIG-29 or an Su-27 aircraft concealed beneath the clouds. Traveling at 5,024 feet per second (Mach 4.5), would have been visible for only 1.8 seconds before detonation.

    • Abe
      October 20, 2014 at 18:44

      At free fall speed, an object takes 23.65 seconds to fall 9000 feet (2743 meters).

      Add forward momentum and wind resistance and the MH-17 aircraft would have been visible above the clouds for a minimum of 23 seconds after an attack.

      Ample time for satellites to record the demise of MH-17.

      Yet not one single photographic image of the doomed aircraft above one of the most continuously monitored areas of the planet.

  21. F. G. Sanford
    October 20, 2014 at 16:46

    The proximate cause for the BND’s cockamamie story is to shed the sanctions which are hurting Germany’s economy more than Russia’s. In fact, in the long run, Russia benefits from an imposed shift to alternate markets which will ultimately enhance currency alternatives to the U.S. Dollar. The shoot down could not possibly have benefitted Novorussiya, so they had no motive to do it. The same is true for Russia. But if the CIA could manipulate the lunatic fringe in the Ukrainian military to pull it off, then blame it on the Russians, we have a plausible “means, motive and opportunity” scenario. The German “deep state” has already “seen the light” and knows its economic future lies in the Berlin-Moscow-Bejing economic axis. French and English buffoonery resembling the “entente cordiale” of 1914 behind closed doors between those two closet fops masquerading as statesmen is a matter of simple intuition. Americans can’t see it for the same reason they keep electing Lindsay Graham. The bottom line is, Ukrainian fighter jets shot down the plane. THAT’S WHY they won’t show the satellite imagery – there’s no missile in the pictures.

    In the meantime, every right-wing superstitious loon that believes in remote viewing, psychic reading, clairvoyants, mystics and crystal ball nonsense should be put on the spot for voting to spend $20 million to support those programs in the U.S. intelligence community. That was no doubt a scam to cover up where they REALLY got their inside dope: ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING. Americans fell for that, too. Somebody should really ask the CIA: “Hey, if you clowns spent $20 million on psychic readers and remote viewers, hows come none of them knows what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH-377? Well? Why not ask the chief clown, John Brennan? We’re waiting, Bozo…

  22. A.Buroughs
    October 20, 2014 at 15:55

    When the evidence is finally revealed(if ever)that some deranged member of Svoboda with CIA complicity shot down the Malaysian airliner; the Zionists will put into effect a blackout in the U.S. and Western states. This includes Der Spiegel.

  23. Abe
    October 20, 2014 at 15:50

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine, notably its Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiments and Tactical Aviation Brigades, remain directly implicated in the destruction of Malaysian Air flight MH-17.

    BUK-M1 / SA-11 “Gadfly” Surface-to-Air Missile

    The BUK-M1 is a complex system that identifies potential targets (radar component), selects a particular target (command component), fires a missile (launcher component) at the target, and resupplies the system (logistics component).

    The launch component cannot operate properly without its radar and command components. The missiles require a radar lock to initially steer the missile to the target, until the missile’s on-board radar system takes over to provide final course corrections.

    A proximity fuse aboard the missile determines when it will detonate, creating an expanding fragmentation pattern of missile components and warhead to intercept and destroy the target. A proximity fuse improves the “probability of kill” given the missile and target closure rates, which can be more than 3,000 feet per second.

    Alternatively, the command component may be able to remotely detonate the missile, or the on-board contact fuse will cause the warhead to detonate. The most capable radar, assuming it has a line of sight (no terrain between the radar and the target), can track targets (depending on size) as far as 87 miles.

    The BUK M-1 missile has a maximum speed of 3300 feet per second (Mach 3), a flight altitude of 46,000 ft. and an operational range of 19 miles.

    Satellite Visibility

    The Dutch Safety Board preliminary report on the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 established certain parameters to inform analysis of the 17 July crash.

    Pages 17-18 of the report confirmed that the meteorological conditions were generally cloudy across the area with rainclouds and thunderstorm activity. Based on data provided in the report, we know the following:

    Maximum cloud ceiling: 24,000 feet
    MH-17 cruising altitude: 33,000 feet

    In order to reach MH-17, an object would have traversed a minimum of 9,000 feet of airspace above the clouds.

    Whatever transpired above 24,000 feet was clearly visible to surveillance satellites.

    Modern military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance satellites can provide live, high-resolution, full-motion video at 30 frames per second.

    Assuming an ideal vertical trajectory at maximum rate of climb, we can calculate the absolute minimum amount of time that certain objects were visible to satellites before contact with MH-17.

    A BUK M-1 missile traveling at 3,300 feet per second would have been visible for 2.7 seconds before its detonation.

    MH-17’s explosive decompression and initial 9,000 foot loss of altitude also would have been clearly visible for several seconds.

    The question remains: Where are the satellite photos of the event?

    • Volo
      October 21, 2014 at 10:34

      Abe, there is a weakness in some of your facts:

      1. The mobile launch vehicle of Buk M1 has limited solo capability still enabling it to effectively hit an oncoming target:
      Radar distance: 52 miles
      Radar cone width: 60 degrees
      Radar cone height: 7 degrees (aiming capable between -10 and +80 degrees).

      Basically it means it “sees” and follows only a single target at a time. I doubt there was a possibility to identify the plane’s make and model.

      2. Operating Buk M1 needs skill. Not a lot of it, but the learning curve is quite steep. One has to assume a full trained crew. Such crew may have only come from Russia.

      3. We may easily witness a lot of t-72 tanks operated rebels – such tanks are, and never have been in possession of Ukraine. If we may recognize dozens of tanks supplied by Russia, why not a single Buk M1 for a change?

      4. Satellites do not “see” the surface 24/7, otherwise we would have live Google maps (we don’t). Military satellites register a distinct heat signature associated with missile launch at a certain sector of surveillance (to decide if there is a need to nuke Russia as retaliative strike). Basically we get a printout with time and approximate coordinates of the missile launch.

      Let us recall Hanlon’s razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

      Smart thing to assume that it was Buk M1 operated by Russian regular personnel bringing down the Boeing by mistake due to limitations of available hardware.

      • Abe
        October 22, 2014 at 13:56

        Thank you, V, for your crude recitation of already debunked US/EU/Ukraine disinformation talking points.

        I’ll assume that this was mere ignorance on your part, rather than malice or stupidity.

        See my response below.

      • Abe
        October 22, 2014 at 18:35

        In fact, the smart thing is to assume that, if it was a BUK-1 M-1, it was operated by Ukrainian Air Force regular personnel, bringing down the Boeing on purpose thanks to the target acquisition radar and command capabilities of the available BUK-1 missile system hardware.

      October 22, 2014 at 02:48

      There are 2 reasons for the USA not to provide this high resolution video: 1 to hide who really did this or 2, to hide that they did this themselves.

    • Abe
      October 22, 2014 at 14:10

      In fact, there is NO possibility for an autonomous BUK-1 M-1 mobile launch vehicle to properly identify a plane.

      The complete BUK-1 M-1 missile system has several mobile vehicle components: a target acquisition radar vehicle, a command vehicle, and multiple missile launch vehicles.

      The target acquisition radar (TAR) vehicle allows the system to identify, track and target selected targets.

      The command vehicle component is intended to discern “friendly” military aircraft, prioritize multiple targets, and pass radar targeting information to the missile launcher vehicles.

      The command vehicle (not the missile launcher vehicles) is equipped with an IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) system able to detect if the missile is targeting a civilian plane through its transponder code. An NCTR (Non-Cooperative Target Recognition) system also was installed, relying on analysis of returned radar signals to purportedly identify and clearly distinguish civilian aircraft from potential military targets in the absence of IFF.

      However, a single BUK-1 mobile launch vehicle, operating without central guidance from the target acquisition radar vehicle and command vehicle components, has no independent IFF or NCTR ability, and so cannot properly identify targets.

      An autonomous BUK-1 launcher still can operate independently in TELAR (transporter/erector/launcher and radar) mode, using the vehicle’s Fire Dome fire control radar to search, track and lock on to a single target, fire its missile and destroy a target, but it cannot distinguish whether a target is friend or foe.

      Operating in TELAR mode, the autonomous BUK-1 launch vehicle’s Fire Dome radar “sees” all aerial targets in its range, but it is up to the vehicle operator to select a single target to attack.

      Trained or untrained, an operator in an autonomous BUK-1 launch vehicle would have no ability to distinguish Ukrainian military aircraft from a civilian airliner.

      So there is a huge problem here for the post-coup government of Ukraine:

      The Russian Federation Ministry of Defense confirmed that the Ukrainian Air Force had BUK-1 M1 missile radar signatures active in Donetsk. In addition, Russian military radar in Rostov confirmed that Ukrainian military aircraft were in the area with MH-17.

      If separatists were operating an autonomous BUK-1 launcher vehicle, as is alleged, they would not have been able to discriminate the military from the civilian aircraft.

      However, the Ukrainian Air Force’s 156th Anti-Aircraft Artillery regiment (Donetsk and Luhansk oblast) did have operational BUK-1 M-1 missile system, complete with radar, command and launcher vehicle components, was operating in range of MH-17.

      The Ukrainian BUK-1 operators would have had no difficult identifying MH-17, and would have been able to easily destroy the civilian airliner without endangering their own military aircraft in the area.

    • Abe
      October 22, 2014 at 14:53

      Those T-72 tanks were not supplied by Russia.

      Ukraine purchased T-72 from Hungary in early August then railed ‘em in for photo ops.

      Not very clever.

      The only “invading Russian armored columns” the Ukrainians were capable of photographing were the ones they bought.

      Now we know what they bought with their first $3.16 billion tranche of IMF money.

    • Abe
      October 22, 2014 at 18:31

      The statement, “Satellites do not “see” the surface 24/7, otherwise we would have live Google maps (we don’t)” is false.

      In fact, military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance satellites such as those used by the US Key Hole, now codenamed Evolved Enhanced CRYSTAL (EEC), satellite system can provide live, high-resolution, full-motion video at 30 frames per second. The satellites provide continuous surveillance and are capable of a great deal more than merely registering the heat signature from a missile launch.

      The earth’s surface may be obstructed by clouds, as it was over eastern Ukraine on 17 July. But MH-17 was cruising at 35,000 feet, 9,000 feet above the cloud ceiling.

      Everything moving in the sky above 26,000 feet was clearly visible to surveillance satellites that day.

      • Abe
        October 23, 2014 at 01:03

        17 July 2014 – Eastern Ukraine
        Cloud ceiling: 24,000 feet
        MH-17 altitude: 33,000 feet

  24. John
    October 20, 2014 at 15:30

    Excellent article and good comments. It is certainly remarkable that no evidence was made public to back up the US/Kiev claims against Russia, a confession of massive deception. And remarkable that anyone believes in a necessity for secrecy of such evidence. And that we hear nothing about the flight recorders, ATC logs, etc. There must be a broad intelligence consensus against the US/Kiev claims, to be allowed to leak out slowly long after the usual groundless aggressive US action. If the truth mattered at the top, Kerry and co. would chastise those who misled them.

  25. Berry Friesen
    October 20, 2014 at 15:07

    Glad your headlining this story, but I’m not convinced by the Der Spiegel report. It’s based on a leak, and that leak was probably authorized. If so, what we have here is a lone-gunman tale meant to send this atrocity down the memory hold. Yes, that takes Russia out of the hot-seat, but more importantly, it takes the Ukraine out of it, and we all know Ukraine wouldn’t have done the shoot-down without CIA approval. So the mainstream U.S. media will be on board with the Der Spiegel report.

    Best I recall, there is no way a renegade militia could have shot down a passenger plane at 31,000 feet with a captured BUK unless that BUK came equipped with the full complement of radar and computer support and the crew had been trained in how to use the system. What does BND say about that?

    Keep digging, Robert; this story is not ready for the memory hole yet.

    • Eileen K.
      October 21, 2014 at 23:09

      Who really shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17; and, was it only a missile that downed the passenger plane? Heads up, folks. First of all, it wasn’t a ground-to-air missile. Second, there were two Ukrainian Sukhoi-27 jet fighters around MH17; one of them used 30mm cannon fire on the airliner’s cockpit, most likely killing both the captain and his co-pilot. Evidence of this is the bullet holes around the cockpit area of the fuselage. Third, an air-to-air missile – either from the same jet, or the other jet – brought MH17 spiraling downward to the ground; and, last of all, OSCE investigators confirmed the evidence of 30mm caliber bullet holes around the cockpit area of the fuselage.
      Therefore, it was the Kiev Regime that’s responsible for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that killed 298 passengers and crew and must pay reparations to the families of those crew and passengers.

  26. Abe
    October 20, 2014 at 14:13

    Here is precisely what Spiegel Online reported:

    “In an Oct. 8 presentation given to members of the parliamentary control committee, the Bundestag body responsible for monitoring the work of German intelligence, BND President Gerhard Schindler provided ample evidence to back up his case, including satellite images and diverse photo evidence. The BND has intelligence indicating that pro-Russian separatists captured a BUK air defense missile system at a Ukrainian military base and fired a missile on July 17 that exploded in direct proximity to the Malaysian aircraft, which had been carrying 298 people.”

    The Bundesnachrichtendienst claims that it “has intelligence” that pro-Russian separatists fired the missile that shot down MH-17. What intelligence?

    BND reported to the parliamentary control committee of the Bundestag twelve days ago. If they had conclusive evidence that it was the Donetsk separatists, that evidence would be presented to the world.

    This German announcement is designed to influence the snap Ukrainian parliamentary election to the Verkhovna Rada that will be held on 26 October.

    The date of the election was announced by President Petro Poroshenko on 25 August, one week after the crash of MH-17 in eastern Ukraine.

    • Abe
      October 20, 2014 at 14:52

      NOTE: The crash of Malaysian Air flight 17 July 2014 happened on 17 July 2014.

      Since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, several Ukrainian Air Force aeroplanes had been downed.

      On 14 June, an Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft was shot down on approach to Luhansk International Airport; all 49 people on board died.

      On 29 June, Russian news agencies reported that insurgents had gained access to a Buk missile system after having taken control of a Ukrainian air defence base (possibly the former location of the 156th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment of the Ukrainian Air Force). Media reported that on the same day, the Donetsk People’s Republic claimed possession of such a system in a since-deleted tweet.

      On 14 July, a Ukrainian Air Force An-26 transport plane flying at 21,000 ft (6,400 m) was shot down. Militia reportedly claimed via social media that a Buk missile launcher had been used to bring down the aircraft. American officials later claimed evidence suggested the aeroplane had been shot down from Russian territory.

      On 16 July, a Sukhoi Su-25 close air support aircraft was shot down. The Ukrainian government claimed the Russian military had shot down the aircraft with an air-to-air missile fired by a MiG-29 jet in Russia. A spokesman for the Russian defence ministry rejected that report as “absurd”.

      On 15 July, following his visit to Kiev, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski warned about the dangers posed by the continued Russian military support for pro-Russian separatists, especially ground-to-air missiles. On the same day, a Associated Press journalist claimed to have seen a Buk launcher in Snizhne, a town in Donetsk Oblast that is 16 kilometres (10 mi) southeast of the crash site. The reporter also claimed to have seen seven separatist tanks at a petrol station near the town.

      The “deleted Tweets” and reporters who “see” things (like a “Russian invasion”) have already been thoroughly debunked.

      What wondrous new “intelligence” are the Germans are now relying on?

      • KatKan
        October 21, 2014 at 14:04

        The Buk launcher in Snizhne, was actually photographed, and geo-located to be actually where they said it was.

        I don’t know about them filling up at gas stations, but here is a video of them getting a TANK WASHED AT A CAR WASH.

        The don’t need to get tanks from Russia, Ukraine is doing well providing them, ie they let troops surrender and leave safely, if they leave their heavy equipment. Here they are in their own tank repair workshop


      • PeterS
        October 26, 2014 at 19:26

        The problem with any captured BUK is that it must be stolen even with the commander. Because the sharp/fire shot from BUK is unable, if there is not workoing part “Я свой самолет” JSS, identification of friend – enemy plane. Codes are changing every few days and only BUK, witch is going in combat operation get this codes (only commander knows the codes). The crew without codes (working identification part) can only scan and aim, but not shot.
        Ukrainian air defense has disabled sharp/fire shooting since they shot down the Tupolev Tu 154M in 2001. The commander also on training shots is banned to issue codes. That was the question on the 156th Anti-Aircraft Rocket Regiment of the Ukrainian Air Force, if they accidentaly had not erred.
        About BUK captured from any base, Ukrainians claimed that they have everything under control and on base remained only disfunction machines. I only saw pictures of separatists with charging vehicle, not with the vehicle TELAR.

        Any claim about shooting needs also explanation about codes.

  27. Abe
    October 20, 2014 at 13:53

    More attention will focus on “whether the missile battery was really under the control of a rebel unit, as the BND suggests – or was in the hands of anti-rebel extremists” – or was actually in the hands of the most likely suspects, the 156th Anti-Aircraft Artillery regiment (Donetsk and Luhansk oblast. Buk-M1) under Air Command Center of the Ukrainian Air Force.

    The BND claim remains speculative since they have presented no evidence.

    The only unambiguous assertions are that the missile was not fired by Russia and Europe wants Russian gas this winter.

    Berlin just threw Moscow a bone with little meat attached.

    Let’s see what happens with those EU sanctions.

  28. Daniel Beegan
    October 20, 2014 at 13:40

    I find it disheartening this story was overlooked by US media until Bob Parry reported it.

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