US Intel Stands Pat on MH-17 Shoot-down

Exclusive: Almost eight months after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine creating a flashpoint in the standoff between nuclear-armed Russia and America the U.S. intelligence community claims it has not updated its assessment since five days after the crash, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

Despite the high stakes involved in the confrontation between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States over Ukraine, the U.S. intelligence community has not updated its assessment on a critical turning point of the crisis the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 since five days after the crash last July 17, according to the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

On Thursday, when I inquired about arranging a possible briefing on where that U.S. intelligence assessment stands, DNI spokesperson Kathleen Butler sent me the same report that was distributed by the DNI on July 22, 2014, which relied heavily on claims being made about the incident on social media.

Russian-made Buk anti-missile battery.

Russian-made Buk anti-missile battery.

So, I sent a follow-up e-mail to Butler saying: “are you telling me that U.S. intelligence has not refined its assessment of what happened to MH-17 since July 22, 2014?”

Her response: “Yes. The assessment is the same.”

I then wrote back: “I don’t mean to be difficult but that’s just not credible. U.S. intelligence has surely refined its assessment of this important event since July 22.”

When she didn’t respond, I sent her some more detailed questions describing leaks that I had received about what some U.S. intelligence analysts have since concluded, as well as what the German intelligence agency, the BND, reported to a parliamentary committee last October, according to Der Spiegel.

While there are differences in those analyses about who fired the missile, there appears to be agreement that the Russian government did not supply the ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine with a sophisticated Buk anti-aircraft missile system that the original DNI report identified as the likely weapon used to destroy the commercial airliner killing all 298 people onboard.

Butler replied to my last e-mail late Friday, saying “As you can imagine, I can’t get into details, but can share that the assessment has IC [Intelligence Community] consensus” apparently still referring to the July 22 report.

A Lightning Rod

Last July, the MH-17 tragedy quickly became a lightning rod in a storm of anti-Russian propaganda, blaming the deaths personally on Russian President Vladimir Putin and resulting in European and American sanctions against Russia which pushed the crisis in Ukraine to a dangerous new level.

Yet, after getting propaganda mileage out of the tragedy and after I reported on the growing doubts within the U.S. intelligence community about whether the Russians and the rebels were indeed responsible the Obama administration went silent.

In other words, after U.S. intelligence analysts had time to review the data from spy satellites and various electronic surveillance, including phone intercepts, the Obama administration didn’t retract its initial rush to judgment tossing blame on Russia and the rebels but provided no further elaboration either.

This strange behavior reinforces the suspicion that the U.S. government possesses information that contradicts its initial rush to judgment, but senior officials don’t want to correct the record because to do so would embarrass them and weaken the value of the tragedy as a propaganda club to pound the Russians.

If the later evidence did bolster the Russia-did-it scenario, it’s hard to imagine why the proof would stay secret especially since U.S. officials have continued to insinuate that the Russians are guilty. For instance, on March 4, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland fired a new broadside against Russia when she appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In her prepared testimony, Nuland slipped in an accusation blaming Russia for the MH-17 disaster, saying: “In eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage; MH-17 was shot down.”

It’s true that if one parses Nuland’s testimony, she’s not exactly saying the Russians or the ethnic Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine shot down the plane. There is a semi-colon between the “unspeakable violence and pillage” and the passive verb structure “MH-17 was shot down.” But she clearly meant to implicate the Russians and the rebels.

Nuland’s testimony prompted me to submit a query to the State Department asking if she meant to imply that the U.S. government had developed more definitive evidence that the ethnic Russian rebels shot down the plane and that the Russians shared complicity. I received no answer.

I sent a similar request to the CIA and was referred to the DNI, where spokesperson Butler insisted that there had been no refinement in the U.S. intelligence assessment since last July 22.

But that’s just impossible to believe. Indeed, I’ve been told by a source who was briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts that a great deal of new information has been examined since the days immediately after the crash, but that the problem for U.S. policymakers is that the data led at least some analysts to conclude that the plane was shot down by a rogue element of the Ukrainian military, not by the rebels.

Yet, what has remained unclear to me is whether those analysts were part of a consensus or were dissenters within the U.S. intelligence community. But even if there was just dissent over the conclusions, that might explain why the DNI has not updated the initial sketchy report of July 22.

It is protocol within the intelligence community that when an assessment is released, it should include footnotes indicating areas of dissent. But to do that could undermine the initial certitude that Secretary of State John Kerry displayed on Sunday talks shows just days after the crash.

Pointing Fingers

Though the DNI’s July 22 report, which followed Kerry’s performance, joined him in pointing the blame at the Russians and the ethnic Russian rebels, the report did not claim that the Russians gave the rebels the sophisticated Buk (or SA-11) surface-to-air missile that the report indicated was used to bring down the plane.

The report cited “an increasing amount of heavy weaponry crossing the border from Russia to separatist fighters in Ukraine”; it claimed that Russia “continues to provide training including on air defense systems to separatist fighters at a facility in southwest Russia”; and its noted the rebels “have demonstrated proficiency with surface-to-air missile systems, downing more than a dozen aircraft in the months prior to the MH17 tragedy, including two large transport aircraft.”

But what the public report didn’t say which is often more significant than what is said in these white papers was that the rebels had previously only used short-range shoulder-fired missiles to bring down low-flying military planes, whereas MH-17 was flying at around 33,000 feet, far beyond the range of those weapons.

The assessment also didn’t say that U.S. intelligence, which had been concentrating its attention on eastern Ukraine during those months, detected the delivery of a Buk missile battery from Russia, despite the fact that a battery consists of four 16-foot-long missiles that are hauled around by trucks or other large vehicles.

I was told that the absence of evidence of such a delivery injected the first doubts among U.S. analysts who also couldn’t say for certain that the missile battery that was suspected of firing the fateful missile was manned by rebels. An early glimpse of that doubt was revealed in the DNI briefing for several mainstream news organizations when the July 22 assessment was released.

The Los Angeles Times reported, “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 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.’”]

The Russian Case

The Russians also challenged the rush to judgment against them, although the U.S. mainstream media largely ignored or ridiculed their presentation. But the Russians at least provided what appeared to be substantive data, including alleged radar readings showing the presence of a Ukrainian jetfighter “gaining height” as it closed to within three to five kilometers of MH-17.

Russian Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov also called on the Ukrainian government to explain the movements of its Buk systems to sites in eastern Ukraine and why Kiev’s Kupol-M19S18 radars, which coordinate the flight of Buk missiles, showed increased activity leading up to the July 17 shoot-down.

The Ukrainian government countered by asserting that it had “evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation,” according to Andrey Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council, using Kiev’s preferred term for the rebels.

Lysenko added: “To disown this tragedy, [Russian officials] are drawing a lot of pictures and maps. We will explore any photos and other plans produced by the Russian side.” But Ukrainian authorities have failed to address the Russian evidence except through broad denials.

On July 29, amid this escalating rhetoric, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a group of mostly retired U.S. intelligence officials, called on President Barack Obama to release what evidence the U.S. government had, including satellite imagery.

“As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information,” the group wrote. “As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence.”

But the Obama administration failed to make public any intelligence information that would back up its earlier suppositions.

Then, in early August, I was told that some U.S. intelligence analysts had begun shifting away from the original scenario blaming the rebels and Russia to one focused more on the possibility that extremist elements of the Ukrainian government were responsible, funded by one of Ukraine’s rabidly anti-Russian oligarchs. [See’s “Flight 17 Shoot-down Scenario Shifts”and “Was Putin Targeted for Mid-air Assassination?”]

German Claims

In October, Der Spiegel reported that the German intelligence service, the BND, also had concluded that Russia was not the source of the missile battery that it had been captured from a Ukrainian military base but the BND still blamed the rebels for firing it. 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, the magazine said, reporting on the BND’s briefing to a parliamentary committee on Oct. 8. But none of the BND’s evidence was made public, and I was subsequently told by a European official that the evidence was not as conclusive as the magazine article depicted. [See’s “Germans Clear Russia in MH-17 Case.”]

When the Dutch Safety Board investigating the crash issued an interim report in mid-October, it answered few questions, beyond confirming that MH-17 apparently was destroyed by “high-velocity objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.” The 34-page Dutch report was silent on the “dog-not-barking” issue of whether the U.S. government had satellite surveillance that revealed exactly where the supposed ground-to-air missile was launched and who fired it.

In January, when I re-contacted the source who had been briefed by the U.S. analysts, the source said their thinking had not changed, except that they believed the missile may have been less sophisticated than a Buk, possibly an SA-6, and that the attack may have also involved a Ukrainian jetfighter firing on MH-17.

Since then there have been occasional news accounts about witnesses reporting that they did see a Ukrainian fighter plane in the sky and others saying they saw a missile possibly fired from territory then supposedly controlled by the rebels (although the borders of the conflict zone at that time were very fluid and the Ukrainian military was known to have mobile anti-aircraft missile batteries only a few miles away).

But what is perhaps most shocking of all is that on an issue as potentially dangerous as the current proxy war between nuclear-armed Russia and the United States, a conflict on Russia’s border that has sparked fiery rhetoric on both sides the office of the DNI, which oversees the most expensive and sophisticated intelligence system in the world, says nothing has been done to refine the U.S. assessment of the MH-17 shoot-down since five days after the tragedy.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and 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.

52 comments for “US Intel Stands Pat on MH-17 Shoot-down

  1. MS
    March 19, 2015 at 21:15

    Re: German ARD interview with accused SU-25 pilot

    There is a significant error in this report:

    The pilot confirms having said “the sentence” which was quoted in Russian media.
    “What the Russian media says actually happened. But 6 days later, on July 23nd. We started with 3 fighter jets and only 1 came back. The other 2 aircraft were shot down. There I said this sentence, because I was so affected”

    The report claims this sentence was “it was a very bad day” (at 0:40 in video).

    This is untrue. The only two sentences reported by the Dnepepetrovsk whistleblower in Russian media where:

    “It was not the right plane”
    “The plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
    Original here:

    Confirming both or either of THESE sentences does not match with the other event a week later.

  2. F. G. Sanford
    March 18, 2015 at 07:07

    Again, the operative misconception here is the false equivalence between an American A-10 and a Russian Su-25. They both have a ground attack role, but they are very different aircraft. The A-10 has two turbofans, and the Su-25 has two turbojets. The Su-25 is capable of supersonic flight. PLEASE SEE the link I posted above in which a U.S. Air Force Officer who flew one confirms that. Everyone in this thread is confusing “service” characteristics with “operational” characteristics. How convenient for the perpetrators of this crime that whatever Wikipedia says about the Su-25 has become “Holy Grail”.

    • Evangelista
      March 19, 2015 at 19:44

      I checked with my experts about the A-10, they all agreed about the A-10, saying that “the lasting claim to fame for the Warthog is that it proves a pig can fly.”

      About the SU-25 going super-sonic the leading expert in this category said “You would need a lot more power, and it would be an interesting airframe in transition.”

      Asked if one were moded with enough power, would he fly it? His reply was “I’d want to pack my own parachute.”

      Another expert, expert on this expert, said, “Would he fly it! If he got sucked up by aliens on a UFO he would refuse to get off until they let him have a go with it.”

      Another observed that “You’d be able to tell where he flew it by mapping where laxative sales fell to zero.”

      The expert’s own observation, “that (getting to fly a UFO) is the only reason I believe in space-aliens.”

      While there is no room to question the expertise of my experts, there is some room to question their sanity.

      For additional information on flying Warthogs I went to wikkipedia. They are HUGE! The difference between the A-10 and the SU-25 is about that betwen a 1961 Thunderbird and an Austin Healy 3000, with a James Bond arsenal package added to each.

      P.S. About the Holy Grail, my experts said it flies about the same as the Unholy one, except that with all the holes it makes a “hell of a racket, like a JU-88 with its dive-brakes stuck out.”

      I don’t know who flies JU-88s nowadays. They may be like the A-6: “A great airplane, but obsolete because you can’t get piston-rings.”

  3. Evangelista
    March 16, 2015 at 21:30

    First, I have no idea who shot down MH-17. I don’t think the Coup Regine was together enough or competent to make a decision at that time, but if they were I think they would have taken a shot to shoot Putin’s plane down, and were/are umb enough toimagine he would have flown over their hostile-area imaginging they wouldn’t be THAT stupid. I think Vicki Nuland’s band of international desperados (Soros et al, who desperately wanted a war, without which any competent accountnt could have shown them Ukraine going down the road it has gone) would have and if they had the ear of a Ukrainian air commandant would have. There is no imaginable reason Russia would have shot at anything in that area, either Putin’s Airforce One or MH-17.

    But it’s March, so in a state of March Madness I’ll put my nickel on the International Gangster Aristocracy.

    And, to help those who want to handicap, here is some information:

    SU-25s have a “service cieling” of about 25,000 feet/7,000 meters. They have an”operational cieling” of about 45,000 ft/14,000m. A service cieling is the max altitude for normal operation. For piston-power it is max altitude for normal cruise, which is 75% power. The limiter is 75% being 100%. Turbines are not so effected, so other criteria limit. For SU-25s the limiter is oxygen, meaning the altitude/oxygen-flow at which a pilot can make a full range flight. The aircraft can go to 40,000 ft, for example, but cannot stay there as long, because the pilot oxy flows faster in the thinner atmosphere.

    So an SU-25 could have gone up, shot up and dropped back down. It could not have gone sonic, but neither could a Boeing 777.

    Next, a Buk, or other ground missile system would go up like a palm-tree and blow a palm-frond pattern when its warhead triggered. MH-17 would have a near horizontal penetrtion pattern, with some up-angle for coning, because the missile velocity would carry the penetrators up as they blew out.

    Next, an air-to-air missile would blow a disk perpendicular to the longtitude of the missile at the time of warhead ignition, with some forward coning for missile velocity. The type air-to-air would trigger its warhead at loss of infrared signature, meaning when it passed the engine-exhaust it was reading and lost that heat signal it would blow its bolts (penetrators).

    Next, according to the pictures available, something made holes in the cockpit cabin area on the left side of MH-17 and the leading edge of the left wing. Also something made holes in the right floor area that penetrated bulkheads and exited forward left through the cockpit, piercing seat-backs and other obstructions. The slight right-to-left and up long distannce penetrations suggest bullets. The angle of penetration, from skin entry to forward left cockpit and nose exit suggest an angle of about 20 degrees X and 20 degrees Y, with Z being the axis of MH-17 and its flight-path.

    Next, the left side forward holes, showing no long penetrations, suggest warhead-load penetrators.

    A reasonable conclusion from these indicators is that the aircraft was shot down by another aircraft that made a textbook 20 degree approach from behind and below and opened with an air-to-air missile that locked on MH-17’s underwing-mounted turbines, and followed up with cannon-fire. While the cannon-fire would be penetrating from floor forward the missile would go under the fuselage and detonate as it passed the left nacelle’s heat-signature. Detonations are not instant, though they seem to be, so the missile’s warhead wafer of penetrators would radiate forward of the left wing, beside the left forward cabin area, perpendicular to an axis 20 degrees forward and 20 degrees upward, coning forward. The penetrators would entere the left cockpit area and forward left wing area.

    From these data it is obvious that the shooting down of MH-17 could only have been a tragic training accident. The shot patterns are so textbook perfect that it could only have come about for a student-pilot making a perfect practice-run, and perfect shot and follow-up, but mistaking MH-17 for a target-drone.

    Surely I cannot be the first to have put these facts together and drawn this obvious conclusion.

    As I recall, Vinyard of the Saker has a pretty good set of the MH-17 after-pictures, and construction pictures and drawings of the Boeing 777 are available on the web, to see the bulkhead and other construction components you need to place in relationship to determine the penetration angles and objects. Note also while looking at the pictures that the aircraft is of stressed-skin construction, which means that breaching of the stressed skin removes the strength of the construction. You can calculate wind velocities for the terminal-velocity fall of the aircraft and its parts for a distance of about 6 miles, or 10 and a half kilometers, and figure out for yourself why the aircraft was ripped to pieces and the pieces scattered as they were.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 17, 2015 at 19:40

      They have an”operational cieling” of about 45,000 ft/14,000m.

      I strongly suspected something like this, but couldn’t document it to my satisfaction. No matter what the weapon used, that passenger liner was an unsuspecting sitting duck.

      • Oleg
        March 18, 2015 at 05:50

        This is confirmed by the accounts of Russian pilots ( the link is in the comments above). For instance, the authorized cieling for SU25 in Afghanistan was 10.500m.

  4. JR
    March 16, 2015 at 15:04

    By now it is clear that Ukraine ATC UkSATSE bears the primary responsibility for MH17 flying there and the consequences of flying there because UkSATSE failed to close that airspace after an AN-24 was downed from 6500m on July 14th 2014.

    Section 2.4.3 of preliminary Dutch investigation report mentions relevant facts but fails to even question why UkSATSE did not close that airspace.

    UkSATSE being a joint military/civilian ATC has been fully aware of the risks but still failed to close that airspace.

    Note that for assigning this responsibility you need no investigation of wreckage, crash site, black box or radar data. Simply ICAO rules assign UkSATSE the responsibility for restricting the use of airspace as necessary.

    By the way these are UkSATSE’s own words for its responsibility and capability:

    The Notice to Airman issued by UkSATSE failed to close that air space completely. The reasons for not closing that airspace may vary from criminal negligence/incompetence, the revenue stream for ATC services, national pride, using civil air liners as a human shield to intentionally creating an incident to exploit that for propaganda.

    A secondary responsibility may reside with the perpetrator:
    – The perpetrator who launched a missile may well have been a separatist making a honest mistake. Downing an assumed adversary aircraft by mistake above war zone is tragic but simply doesn’t amount to a crime.
    – If the perpetrator is the Ukrainian army it may even have been a ‘false flag’ operation.

    Anyway the primary responsibility for MH17 flying there and the consequences still firmly resides with UkSATSE.

    The Dutch government is perfectly aware that Ukraine has to be assigned the primary responsibility. However the Dutch government is delaying that conclusion as long as possible because it would destroy the US narrative of ‘Russian Aggression” completely.

    Questions have been raised in parliament, but the government is practicing delaying tactics to the full extent. Having elections soon is also part of the government’s motivation. The Dutch government is even cowardly sheltering behind the sensibilities of the family of the MH17 casualties to delay any conclusions as long as possible.

    The Dutch goverment welcomes any obfuscation of this issue because it helps her to delay having to admit that the primary responsibility resides with UkSATSE the Ukraine ATC authority responsible for issuing appropriate restrictions on the use of Ukraine’s airspace.

  5. Stan
    March 16, 2015 at 14:52

    As quietly knock down “Boeing” from the earth? Why was shot down flight MN17? What is the reason for leaving airliner off the track? What a sensation contains a preliminary report of the Dutch commission? What is wrong leading experts? Answers to these and other questions are in the book “The crash of Flight MN17.” In Russian, really.

    Book direct link:

  6. March 16, 2015 at 06:44

    John Kerry displays, um, professional incompetence. And those are the kind of leaders the people must contend with now. I look forward to the appearance of the Landlord, for there are, in fact, illegals in the land. But those illegals have lied to themselves, and as professional liars they’re good at it, and told themselves that they are the (collective) Landlord. And they’ve been busy playing Landlord. So busy that they have forgot that the reality that they ignored doesn’t go away. And they will, soon enough, bump into it. In my opinion.

  7. BigaC
    March 16, 2015 at 06:42

    Some additions to above claims:

    1. Su-25 theory: even the chief constructor of Su-25 claimed that it is highly unprobable that a Su-25 can kill a high speed airliner.

    2. No cloudy sky visible on Buk photograph:
    false. there is a second picture from other viewpoint, the cloudy sky is very visible.
    it still doesnt prove that is from Buk or it was the killing weapon, but the cloudy sky matches.

    I think the case isnt black and white, all participiants in silence, here is too easy to blame one party. Even if not Ukraine did that, it is surely their fault not closing the airspace.

    I live in East-Europe, in neighbour of Ukraine, trusted and liked USA many years, but I have to say, I lost my trust. USA seems have a very bad plan here, not calculating well the “aftereffects”. It is very bad idea to pike Russia near to her borders. When I was hearing USA is at war in Middle East, and even in air war above Serbia/Kosovo, I said war is bad, but things need to solve somehow. But what was solved? Nothing. Even there are more dangerous threats emerged due to not well planned US interactions.
    This war is too close. Good to see there are good americans, investigate reporters searching for thruth, asking questions towards US government.

    • Oleg
      March 16, 2015 at 13:07

      I share many of your sentiments. However, the SU 25 version is still viable (I’m not saying it’s the best supported one). According to Major General Sergey Borysyuk,

      “I personally flew, and not once, at an altitude of 12,000 meters…,” he said. “My colleagues have risen to an altitude of 14,000 meters. The altitude of 10,500 was officially authorized during operations in Afghanistan. Therefore the plane, even at an altitude of 12,000 meters, has the capability to maneuver comfortably, its aerodynamic characteristics enable it to do so.”

      There are similar claims from the former chief commander of Russia’s Air Force, Vladimir Mikhailov.

      Both viewpoints are discussed at

    • ms
      March 16, 2015 at 17:23

      The following sequence of events appears to be compatible with information from reliable sources and common sense:

      1. The Ukrainian government accused Russian figthers of having had shot down their airplanes in the previous days. This was reproted by the NYT the day before MH17 was shot down. /1/

      2. Therefore, on July 17, Ukraine deployed 3 BUK systems /2/ in the area and sent off 1 or 2 air-to-air missile equipped SU-25 jets. Such ammunition has not been used for a long time by these palinds and their pilots, if ever /3/.

      3. One Su-25 was flying below approx. 1000m, below the radar horizont of Rostov radar. The pilot then either saw or detected the approaching MH17 airplane.

      4. The pilot immediately turned upwards at a climbing rate of approx. 65m/s. In about 1-2 min, he reached a height compatible with Russian data (claiming a distance of about 3-5 km, requiring a minimum height of 5-7km, MH17 above at 10 km) /2/.

      5. At 16:19 local time, the SU-25 was detected by Rostov radar /2/.

      6. The pilot, due to the distance and untrained or unexperienced in such situations, either mistook MH17 for a Russian fighter or he already saw its colours, red, blu and white, which are also Russian national colours, and fired a missile.

      7. The Boeing 777 was an extraordinary large object and therefore easy to hit. But due to the about orthogonal trajectory, the heat seaking missiles could not see directly into the engines, the heat source was diffuse and moving at very high angular velocity in the missile’s coordinate system. According to the black nox data, the explosion occured at 16:21. The missile exploded next to the cockpit, immediately destroying the power supply of the black boxes.

      8. People below on the ground heard the explosion and looked up to the sky as reported by BBC Russia /4/. According to figure 3 in the Dutch Safety Board report, there have been patches of blue sky at MH17’s last position and to the west /5/.

      9. The explosion did most of the damage to the cockpit section and created multiple holes. Cockpit windows were likely shattered as well creating large opening, an immediately huge wind forces started to tear on the cockpit.

      10. The rest of the airplane was still mostly intact and separated from the cockpit by a wall with a steel door. That separation then collapsed, a 2nd decompression explosion occured /6/ and the cockpit section was cut off the airplane’s body. BBC Russia witnesses heard or saw the second explosion /4/.

      11. The SU-25 then decended and disappeared from Rostov radar. That move was noticed by BBC Russia witnesses. In this area closest to the shotdown and with partly blue sky, nobody reported a BUK missile contrail cloud /4/.

      12. When the SU-25 returned to Djepopetrovsk airbase, the missing missile was noticed /3/.

      13. When MH17 was hit and came down, rebel fighter thought, they had shot down another Ukrainian airplane with their man-pads, and started talking about it.

      14.Ukrainian officials were immediately aware that the pilot had make a huge mistake. They immediately tried to cover the tracks, blamed rebel fighters, and produced fake evidences distracting and pointing to another weapon, which might have been in rebel hands as well, a BUK missile.

      15. In their first evaluation of satellite pictures, US intelligence noticed the same 3 BUK systems and perhaps a rebel held system as well, though perhaps not functional. Combining with other evidence, they singled out the most likely BUK to have shot down MH17, but it was staffed with soldiers in Ukrainian uniforms and appeared to be under Ukrainian control /7/.

      16. Dutch investigators tried to rush to the scene but where held up in Kiev. While journalists and OSCE people were already working on the crash site, Dutch investigators were not allowed to go there, before a contract was negotiated giving Ukraine a right of veto of publication of results /8/, and another contract explicitly excluding research of blame or reliability /9/.

      17. Meanwhile Kiev forces started attacking the crash site /10/ including an area travelled by Malaysian investigators /11/. Eventually, the Dutch, still locked in Kiev, gave up and flew home, and the initial cease fire was not restored.

      18. The Dutch PM, who had promised an independent and transparent investigation, did not reveal the secret contract made with Ukraine even after a request by Freedom of Information Act /12/.

      19. In an October 27 interview with Der Spiegel, JIT investigation leader Fred Westerbeke of the Dutch National Prosecutors’ Office said they had no “watertight evidence” in the case. Months after the investigation began, Westerbeke indicated that US and German intelligence officials had still not provided the investigation with satellite images backing up their claims to have definitive proof of Russian involvement in the crash /12/.
      It is unclear, if the Dutch requested further information at all, such as US high resolution fotos of the BUK systems, radar surveillance data or intercepted phone calls.



      • MS
        March 16, 2015 at 18:11

        Sorry, correction

        1. ‘Russian airplanes’ not ‘Russian fighters’

      • ohyessiricanboogie
        March 20, 2015 at 06:53

        MS – I don’t mean to be dismissive as you’ve evidently given this quite a bit of thought but it really reads like you’re trying to shoe-horn a new narrative onto an existing timeline. It’s also got rather a lot of presumption and speculation. There’s still the difficulty that the explosion that took the plane down in no way matches what an aircraft could deliver -even a competent aircraft -which the Su-25 patently isn’t. I also must admit the bit about the Ukrainian pilot seeing the red, white and blue colours on the plane and thinking it must be Russian made me giggle for a second or two unitl I realised you were serious.

  8. Martin Churchill
    March 15, 2015 at 20:19

    Martin Churchill Answer me these three questions. 1 . NATO has world’s best technology in AWAC aircraft and was flying oin the area at the time. These aircraft are purpose built to detect, radar, missiles,radio communications and airplanes.NATO has avoided releasing any AWAC or satellite evidence, hence my first Question, Why does NATO not reveal the information form its AWACS and Satellites on the day of the shooting down? NATO has world’s best technology for detecting the movements of an army across the border. It was designed for exactly that purpose and has been training for that purpose since its existence. It has always justified its budget on being able to detect tank movements across borders. Effectively from Russia to Europe. In all the time it has been keeping an eye on the border it has not detected one tank crossing the border, or one artillery piece or any resupply logistics so my second question is invites one of three answers, Has Russia super secret stealth technology for tanks and artillery or is NATO incompetent or the tank and artillery movements alleged did not happen? My third Question is who benefits from the concealment and from the shooting down?

  9. Daniel
    March 15, 2015 at 18:38

    NATO was running two “war games” “drills” in and around Ukraine on the day MH-17 went down.

    These drills incorporated thousands of troops and hundreds of aircraft and ships, including sophisticated surveillance technology. NATO acknowledged they were tracking all commercial aircraft, including monitoring their radio and telemetry transmissions and of course, radar.

    There is every reason to believe NATO has always had very precise information on the downing of that airliner. Yet, there is no media mention of this likely source of critical information.

    And some critical analyses of those war games:

  10. Placido
    March 15, 2015 at 17:24

    I don’t understand, why anybody took under consideration the Kiev’s threat which was published the week before the mh17 was shot down, the WashingtonPost published the article (now removed) stating that the Ukraine military was preparing a “nasty surprise” for the rebels after some of their helicopters and a plane were shot down.

  11. March 15, 2015 at 15:22

    All you have to do is say we had a fascist coup on 9/11, and everything since then makes sense.

  12. FN
    March 15, 2015 at 15:03

    In early January, an investigative team of Der Spiegel and Algemeen Dagblad published their findings on MH-17. They came to the conclusion that indeed the rebels shot down the plane, using a Russian-supplied BUK.

    Link in German (including audio):

    They do not imply, though, that the downing of a civilian airliner was intentional.

    I have no horse in this race, however I have yet to see a detailed rebuttal of their material.

    • Oleg
      March 15, 2015 at 17:57

      This analysis is full of blunders. For instance, it’s well known by now that Buk 312 from the picture belonged at that time to the Ukranian forces and was due for repair (see from the soldier who actually operated Buk 312) .

      If you think that der Spiegel can conduct an objective investigation, well take a look at this
      They already made up their mind a week after the incident.

    • MS
      March 16, 2015 at 04:31

      I would see the main issue that any evidence to the contrary is ignored. This is not an “investigation”, but an attempt to support a preconceived opinion. Missing is, for example

      – US intelligence leaked here
      – a plausibe explanation for the US not sharing data
      – Russian data
      – BBC eyewitnesses
      – no credible photo or testimony of a BUK launch
      – no oberservation in rebel held ‘launch’ area found by 2 BBC teams
      – NYT reporting about Ukraine alleging Russian jets shooting down its airplanes day before
      – Ukraine allowing investigation only after receiving right of veto
      – Malaysia not equal partner in investigation
      – Dnjepopetrosvk whitleblower
      – secretive reporting of Dutch safety board (multiple blackened papers, no voice recording published (unprecedented?!), only few of blackbox sensor data reported)
      – US history (KAL007 shotdown, lied and even altered the transcript of intercepted comm, Iran Air 656 lied, Secretary Kerry: according to leaked intelligence did not tell truth about Syrian Sarin gas attack)

  13. Bob
    March 15, 2015 at 06:53

    Is it actually possible for a BUK to shoot down another aircraft by accident? The head of Emirates Airlines said it could only be deliberate.

  14. Lutz Barz
    March 15, 2015 at 04:08

    I can’t believe this official story that there is no further evidence of anything! Here we have the worlds most sophisticated intel sats over a hot zone and no data at all re rogue missiles or scrambled jets? They want this to remain occluded period. & Putin hiding after the assassination of Mr 5% is curious indeed

  15. March 15, 2015 at 04:04

    Al Qaeda and likely ISSI as well dream of repeating the chaos in bin Laden created in Lebanon by assassinating Rafic Harira in such a way that it looked like Hezbollah did is. As we slip into a new cold war, the Chechnyan who knew the real reason for attacking and making it look like Putin did it, committed suicide rather than being captured. If hair- trigger weapons arfe again aimed at the US and Russia, al Qaeda is now around to set them off.

    Let’s stop a new cold war to prevent al Qaeda from attempting in their mind absolute victory. Robert Perry please dig up the details the way you did Rafic Hariri’s assassination

  16. MS
    March 14, 2015 at 21:33

    There are a few, new high quality information pieces, which I would like to bring to your attention:

    1. The NYT reported the day before the tragic event, that Ukraine accused Russian airplanes of having shot down Ukraine airplanes. This may explain, why Ukraine may have installed 3 BUK systems and 1 or 2 air-to-air missile equipped fighter jets.

    2. A person claiming to have worked on Dnjepopetrovsk airbase made several claims about the shotdown, including witnessing one or two SU-25 departing on that day with air-to-air missiles and returning with 1 missile fired. He also gave the name of the suspected pilot and quoted him ‘The Plane Was In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time’. He further reported about the use of prohibited ammunition.

    This accused pilot denied in an interview on German TV to have flown on that day, but conceeded having said that sentence on another day. While that concession does not fuly prove the story of the witness, it proves the witness an insider and whistleblower.

    (Video in the link contains interview with the pilot)

    3. Regarding eyewitnesses reports from various sources:

    In the BBC Russia video from July 2014, people interviewed near the crash site reported having seen the fighter plane, while nobody reported a missile. The video has been deleted from the BBC library shortly after publication.

    According to the Dutch Safety Board preliminary report figure 3 weather map, there were patches of blue sky at about MH17’s last position and to the west, allowing people in that area to observe the shotdown.

    In a recent Reuter’s interview (without video or picture), 9 months later, people claim to have witnessed a BUK launch from supposed rebel territory south of Torrez. 3 of 4 persons also reported to have witnessed the explosion of MH17.

    These observations, however, are physically impossible, because again according to the Dutch Safety Board preliminary report figure 3, there was 100% cloud cover in that area. This is also confirmed by BBC Daniel Sandford in a tweet: ‘I have spoken to people on the ground there in rebel hands. Impossible to see any planes. Cloudy skies.’

    Finally, it is reminded that both BBC Russia and Sands travelled to that rebel held area shortly after the shotdown and interviewed people. Both did not report about anyone having seen a BUK launch.

    4. The Dutch investigation was set up with disturbing bias from the start. The promise of the Dutch PM of a independent and open investigation was untrue. According to Dutch RTL Television and the Australian Foreign Ministry, a secret contract has been signed between the Netherlands, Ukraine, Belgium and Australia that results may only be published in consent, giving Ukraine a right of veto on publication. Interestingly, Malaysia is not included in this deal.

    In addition, the published part of the contract explicitly says, ‘it is not the purpose of such an investigation to apportion blame and liability’.

    The circumstances of the negotiation of these contracts are also noteworthy:
    After the shootdown, while journalists and OSCE were already at the crash site, Dutch experts remained stuck in Kiev for weeks. And after that, they flew home.

    • Brendan
      March 15, 2015 at 08:44

      Although that page on does everything to try to blame the rebels for shooting down the MH17, it does contain some details that support part of Robert Parry’s article.

      Robert Parry casts doubt on whether the alleged launch site was really controlled by the rebels:
      “… others saying they saw a missile possibly fired from territory then supposedly controlled by the rebels (although the borders of the conflict zone at that time were very fluid and the Ukrainian military was known to have mobile anti-aircraft missile batteries only a few miles away).” quotes a resident as saying that something was fired from an area which both sides were fighting over at that time : (translation):
      “One resident said: ‘There was a bang, someone probably fired from the direction of Stepanovka. We heard a bang, then a hiss, then another bang in the sky and then there was an explosion.’
      To the south of Snizhne lies the village Pervomais’ke. Back then a heavily fought-over area, as residents told us. Ukrainian army and separatist faced each other fiercely, they fought for the militarily important hill Saur-Mogila. The photo with the tell-tale smoke column shows a spot near Pervomais’ke.”

      Map showing the places mentioned – Snizhne, Stepanovka, Pervomais’ke and Saur-Mogila (Савур-могила):,38.7703361,13z/data=!4m4!2m3!3m2!1z0KHQsNCy0YPRgC3QvNC-0LPQuNC70LA!2s48.028278,+38.765611!5m1!1e4?hl=en

      So the launch site of the surface-to air-missile, if there was one, could just as easily have been occupied by the Ukrainian army as by the rebels. Still, those eye-witness accounts are always presented as evidence for the guilt of only one side (the rebels).

    • Brendan
      March 15, 2015 at 09:50

      The plume of smoke that was photographed, allegedly soon after the crash, is also often presented as evidence of a BUK missile launch. It doesn’t, however, look like the pictures that I’ve seen of the much larger smoke trails from a BUK. I wonder if the smoke came from a less powerful missile, as Robert Parry’s source believes.

      I haven’t seen any evidence yet that the MH17 was shot down with a BUK missile. The Ukrainian and western governments have been pushing that theory from the start. That could be because the BUK is the only type of missile that the rebels had that could possibly have struck a target at that altitude, although they deny they possessed a functioning BUK missile system.

      • MS
        March 15, 2015 at 16:46

        The BBC Russia team (as well as Daniel Sandford) travelled to that “rebel BUK site”, interviewed people and found nothing. They even had another explanation for that little cloud.

        Remind also what Robert Parry wrote:

        “What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.”

        He uses the term “likely battery that launched the fateful missile”.

        From that it may be interpreted, that the US intelligence did not observe a BUK launch as well, otherwise the word ‘likely’ would have not been used.

  17. gigerhermanlee✈️ (@flgovcand_gig)
    March 14, 2015 at 19:49

    It looks like an inside job = Belgium in the lead !

  18. Pat
    March 14, 2015 at 18:35

    If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that there’s a massive information war going on, with propaganda coming from both sides that is cleverly disguised (or sometimes not so cleverly) to appear objective. The U.S. and Russia may or may not be the worst offenders – it’s so hard to tell – but both clearly have sophisticated operations that include training “citizen journalists,” exploiting the social media, and paying legions of trolls. Even scarier, the technology to alter photo and video “evidence” is so advanced that even seeing isn’t believing anymore. As a result, audiences tend to stick with the sources that fit their beliefs, making one side always right and the other always wrong. Got facts? Well, even facts can be twisted to fit foregone conclusions.

    I agree that in the case of MH-17, what isn’t being said may be the key to learning what really happened. We can surmise why the DNI hasn’t changed the original assessment, but what about the Russians? What I find most perplexing isn’t that DNI claims its initial assessment hasn’t changed, but that the Russians haven’t shown their hand. I suppose one could argue that they did their best but were dismissed as faking the evidence. But surely they have something more damning? After all, the media got “leaks” of the infamous Nuland phone call and transcripts of Putin’s meeting with Bandar, neither of which could be refuted. To the contrary, Nuland was forced to issue a public apology. So what are they waiting for, if anything? The results of the official investigation? Or are they saving it as their ace up the sleeve? A bargaining chip? If so, will their end of the bargain be to remain silent?

    • Michael D
      March 15, 2015 at 05:13

      12000 Russian troops in E Ukraine but not a single picture.

      A dozen shelling attacks on civilians with attribution roughly even Rebels/Kiev reported by Western media, yet at least 1000 E Ukraine civilians dead.

      6000 dead in Ukraine but clear evidence 15000 min Kiev military dead and probably a total of 50 000 dead.

      Donetsk airport taken but the Western media claim that it remained in Kiev hands for over a week longer. The whole August advance by rebels reported as a series of Kiev victories in the month before hand followed by a sudden event supported by mass Russian troops while alternative media were pouring scorn on the Kiev announcements and explaining how the rebels were gradually advancing all the time and had created 3 great “cauldrons” where Kiev troops were surrounded. The ceasefires – September and February, both of which in fact were surrenders and retreats by Kiev who found all their fighting soldiers surrounded.

      I think we all know who is telling the truth and who is lieing,

      When, in due course, following what will be a France/Germany/Russia clean up, we find out just how many dead there really are, I hope the sceptics will realise just how badly they have been informed.

  19. caf
    March 14, 2015 at 14:53

    The official US silence is telling. If there was real evidence that Russia and/or “the separatists” had shot down MH17, then the world would have heard it ages ago.

    That the US might be sitting on evidence that Ukrainians shot down the plane, would be unsurprising; the US hardly acknowledges the neo-NAZIs and related extremists in the Ukrainian ranks.

  20. Oleg
    March 14, 2015 at 14:16

    A very interesting interview of a prominent Ukranian journalist (A. Sharii) with a Ukranian soldier who operated the infamous “BUK” before the incident:
    (unfortunately without subtitles)
    Basically he’s saying that the official Kiev version is complete nonsense. His statements are more in line with what Mr. Parry is saying in that the Ukrainian soldiers were often drunk and not disciplined, and he would not be surprised if it was them who shot the plane down.

    • Brendan
      March 15, 2015 at 10:01

      With English subtitles, see at 4:20 and 12:35:

    • Oleg
      March 16, 2015 at 17:18

      Related recent news: drunk Ukranian soldiers in Konstantinovka just drove an armed vehicle
      over a sidewalk killing an 8 year old girl and knocking over a stroller.

  21. Oleg
    March 14, 2015 at 14:01

    BBC has published a report confirming that the locals saw a Ukrainian jet fighter at the time of the MH17 crash:
    After they had realised that this did not fit well with the “Party line”, they deleted it.

  22. March 14, 2015 at 12:18

    Meanwhile, further evidence continues to emerge that a coup government SU-25 fighter aircraft shot down MH17 using R60 air-to-air missiles followed by 30 mm air cannon fire. (video interview with defector).

  23. Bruce
    March 14, 2015 at 11:34

    W-ful blindness by Poppy’s executive (with extreme prejudice) order to Whipping BObama, their BS (Bush Shadow) Company man! “Prepare ANOTHER Serial PNAC Attack”!

  24. onno
    March 14, 2015 at 11:17

    Of course Washington will never admit that Ukrainian air force jets shot down MH 17. It is and was a major political scheme against Russia and its President Putin. USA is already in a precarious position in the Middle East first supporting Israel in its attack of Palestine killing 4000 plus civilians and children and now having 47 Senators writing Iran leaders to forget a deal made with a US President. On the one hand showing the difference between the White House and Congress, but also showing the weakness of Obama as Commander-in-Chief.

    On YouTube many comments are posted proving beyond ANY doubt that MH 17 was shot down by SU 25 of the UA Air Force. The many round bullet holes (30mm) in the cockpit also indicated that the pilots were their first targets to prevent ANY messages on the voice recorder. Secondly it was a clear day and NOBODY saw a typical white smoke stream that is connected to a rocket. And according to Gordon Duff of a US Military Veterans Magazine mentioned the large sizes of the wreckages of the Boeing 777 doesn’t fit the impact off ground-to-air-missile like the BUK.

    The lies from Washington ( McCain, Brzezinsky, Nuland/Kagan, etc.) broadcast is only echoed by MSM propaganda to keep their war rhetoric in the Middle East and Ukraine going. On top US supporting and financing a Neo-Nazi government in Kiev proving again that the Normandy landing june,6, 1944 was NOT to free Europe but to stop Soviet forces to occupy Europe which was the real target to establish US dominance in Europe. Since WW II Europe or EU is a US COLONY with 67,000 US troops and 120 nuclear warheads on European ground. Present US/NATO attacks against the sovereignty of Russia is clearly a preparation of WAR. USA/NATO psychological warfare was started a 10 years ago when Russia became too powerful and too influential in the world threatening US Hegemony and causing the isolation of USA. China, India and Russia have taken the initiative on this planet and are isolating USA and Europe whose global powers have GONE. USA wants to stop this by starting a WW III and doesn’t realize it will destroy this planet with a total NUCLEAR war.

    Washington’s politicians seem to have lost it and do not realize that in a total War also the USA will be attacked and war hungry ‘idiots’ like McCain, Nuland, Breedlove (NATO) and Clint Eastwood with his American Sniper will experience themselves what a REAL WAR is all about.

    • March 14, 2015 at 14:32

      “USA wants to stop this by starting a WW III and doesn’t realize it will destroy this planet with a total NUCLEAR war.”
      Oh they relize it. They don’t care cause The Israel lobby owns and controls DC and they stand by their Samson option which means they win or everyone loses. Best thing we can do is stop paying taxes and funding the insanity. Quit your job if you have to. Grow a organic victory garden. STARVE the BEAST.
      Whats in your wallet ? A Tyranny killer.

      • Dutch
        March 16, 2015 at 17:19

        Well said. My wife and I live fairly comfortably by most standards. But we are quite uncomfortable about the madness our ‘elected’ (by 15% of the population) officials are unleashing worldwide. And we are equally appalled by the corporate ‘people’ who bankroll them in order to pervert the system in their favor. So we reject it more and more each day. We’ve fled the trappings of city life. Our victory garden get bigger and more victorious each year. Its been supplemented by a dozen victory laying hens and our victory goats will be here as soon as a few more fenceposts go up. We sharecrop with our neighbors, repurpose any and everything that may have some use, and ‘shop’ for little more than some basic necessities and a few baby items. Our propane tanks and well keep us mostly off the grid, and a solar system will soon finish the job. We watch no ‘news’ don’t vote, vaccinate or public shool. In short we neither accept nor will assimilate to a system that wreaks chaos all over the world with out stolen wealth. Nor will we support any of the industries who perpetuate it. If they have enough money to bribe politicians to work against their customers,then they don’t need mine or yours. Except that they do. Which is why I’ll gladly play their game of chicken with them and urge yo to as well. Your wallet truly is a tyranny killer. But also a tyranny enabler if not used responsibly. Me and my family are all in on starving the beast. Besides Brad, who’s coming with us..?

        great post Brad!!

    • ohyessiricanboogie
      March 14, 2015 at 18:17

      I take no sides in what is a very sophisticated and intractable problem in Eastern Ukraine. I’ve no quarrel with either side. But I’ll challenge at every twist and turn that I can the absolute nonsense story that an Su-25 shot down that plane.

      That plane was shredded like cheese on a grater from the nose to the leading edge of the wing and there isn’t an interceptor in the world that can inflict that kind of damage nor an air-to-air missile big enough. If there was it sure as hell wouldn’t be the Su-25 which is a ground-attack aircraft which would also go some way to explaining why they might be seen in the sky over a warzone. And seriously why would the Ukrainians call a press conference to announce the separatists have serious anti aircraft ordinance, then close their skies below 32,000ft to commercial traffic and only then decide to shoot down an airliner in some half assed stitch-up of the Russians/Pro-Russians.

      I’d love to see whatever the Americans have on all this as well but guess what -I’m just some Irish guy on the internet not a trial judge and provided the Dutch are happy that the US are co-operating to the full extent of their ability then that’s good enough for me.

      • Zachary Smith
        March 14, 2015 at 21:29

        But I’ll challenge at every twist and turn that I can the absolute nonsense story that an Su-25 shot down that plane.

        A meaningful debate at this point is entirely meaningless because there isn’t enough information available.

        My view is that just about any modern fighter aircraft could have done the deed, and that includes the SU-25. Yes, the toy missiles it carries for air combat wouldn’t be enough to inflict the damage visible in the photographs, but so what? Weapons normally used for attacking ground targets could have been loaded.

        Recall how the USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli fighters carrying napalm. Many years ago an Israeli apologist claimed (in a forum debate with me) it didn’t happen because napalm isn’t standard weaponry for naval combat. If nobody had done it before, therefore nobody ever could use napalm to attack a ship.

        Again, there just isn’t enough information available to justify any sort of stance, one way or the other, and it seems to me the US is determined to keep matters that way.

      • charles fasola
        March 15, 2015 at 08:56

        Also, from where did you acquire your knowledge regarding the capabilities of certain fighter aircraft? Or is this simply your own assumptions.

        • Ohyessiricanboogie
          March 15, 2015 at 15:28

          Books, research, common sense, wikipedia. Why? What leads you to believe an aircraft that hasn’t been involved in a single air to air shootdown in near four decades of service in over 2 dozen airforces in some of the worlds most volatile regions could suddenly pull a hole-in-one out of it’s ass and shoot down a faster aircraft cruising 10,000ft above its service ceiling AND make it all look like a BUK missile did it?

          Then there’s the absence of motive -unless you’re determined to involve House of Cards, the illuminati, the price of Oil/natural gas/whatever.

          • F. G. Sanford
            March 16, 2015 at 12:21

            SU-25 is a supersonic aircraft with an operational ceiling of 52,000 feet. Published specifications and actual capabilities are two entirely different things. Unlike you, I actually am an expert on this topic.

          • Steven Fortson
            March 16, 2015 at 19:00

            F.G. Sanford, if you are what passes for an expert, then God help you, because you’re an idiot. The Su–25 is a subsonic ground attack aircraft with a service ceiling of less than 17,000 feet. It’s the Russian A-10, with the same limitations.

          • Zachary Smith
            March 16, 2015 at 23:10

            The Su–25 is a subsonic ground attack aircraft with a service ceiling of less than 17,000 feet.

            Just because the airplane’s main job is to attack ground targets doesn’t mean it can’t do anything else. Indeed, at least two AAMs are listed as being carried by the Su-25: the R-60 and R-73. Both are quite small missiles, but I can’t see any particular reason they couldn’t be launched in a volley after shooting up the cockpit area with cannon fire.

            As for the altitude, the internet numbers vary a lot. Since the aircraft is unpressurized, I’m going to assume the factory service ceiling of 23,000 ft. is on that account. Put the pilot on some bottled air and IMO that problem goes away.

            Speed? I’ve no idea what the plane will do at altitude because all the numbers I could locate spoke of “sea level”. But in any case, a strap-on bottle rocket would give a a short-term boost in both velocity and altitude. JATO/RATO units have been in existence since WW2.

            All that said, I doubt the hypothetical fighter was a SU-25, for there are a hell of a lot of available warplanes which could do the job.

            We simply don’t have enough information, and the US seems determined to keep everybody in the dark. As somebody here has said, that whole are is bound to have had many other radars watching it besides the Russian ones. But everybody else is using lip glue for some strange reason.

            Personally, I suspect the local nazis as the first choice. Some foreign specialists as the second. A distant third choice for me is the “accident” theory.

          • F. G. Sanford
            March 17, 2015 at 16:33

            “The A-10 stops at 400 knots, whereas the Su-25 will go straight through the speed of sound”. This comes right from the mouth of a U.S. Air Force pilot who “test drove” an Su-25. This is “open source” unclassified information. The beauty of propaganda is that there is always someone who will believe it. I can drag you to the truth, but I can’t make you think.


    • Anonymous
      March 14, 2015 at 21:49

      Excellent comment.

  25. Bob Fearn
    March 14, 2015 at 11:14

    “the U.S. intelligence community claims it has not updated its assessment since five days after the crash.”

    “All politicians lie.” If person works for a politician and want to keep their job they lie too.

    • fox.usa
      March 15, 2015 at 08:56

      The USA people are good but govt still stupid.

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