John Helmer: Four MH17 Questions – The Answers to Which Prove the Dutch Police, Ukrainian Secret Service, and US Government Are Faking the Evidence of the MH17 Shootdown

Yves here. Note that Robert Parry also has serious doubts about the latest MH17 report.

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential administration (Jimmy Carter) to establish himself in Russia. Originally published at Dances with Bears

You don’t need to be an expert in ground-to-air warfare, radar, missile ordnance, or forensic criminology to understand the three fundamental requirements for prosecuting people for crimes. The first is proof of intention to do what happened. The second is proof of what could not have happened amounts to proof that it didn’t happen. The third is proof beyond reasonable doubt.

These are not, repeat not, the principles of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), a team of police, prosecutors, and spies from The Netherlands, Ukraine, Malaysia, Belgium, and Australia. They have committed themselves to proving that a chain of Russian military command intended to shoot down and was criminally responsible for the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, and for the deaths of all 298 people on board. The JIT case for Russian culpability hinges on five elements occurring in sequence – that a BUK missile was launched to the east of the aircraft, and approached it head-on, before exploding on the port (left) side of the cockpit.

Pause, rewind, then reread slowly in order to identify the elements of intention, causation, and culpability: (1) the BUK missile was aimed with a target acquisition radar by operators inside a BUK vehicle at a target flying in the sky and ordered to fire; (2) they fired from their vehicle parked on the ground facing east towards the aircraft’s approach; (3) the missile flew west and upwards to a height of 10,060 metres; (4) the warhead detonated; (5) the blast and the shrapnel tore the cockpit from the main fuselage; destroyed one of the aircraft engines; and caused the aircraft to catch fire, fall to the ground in pieces, and kill everyone.

On Wednesday afternoon, in the small Dutch town of Nieuwegein, two Dutchmen, one a prosecutor, one a policeman, claimed they have proof that this is what happened. For details of the proof they provided the world’s press, read this. Later the same day, in Moscow, a presentation by two Russians from the Almaz-Antei missile group, one a missile ordnance expert, the other a radar expert, presented their proof of what could not have happened. Click to watch.

The enemies of Russia accept the Dutch proof and ignore the Russian proof. As Wilbert Paulissen, the Dutch policeman, claimed during the JIT briefing, “the absence of evidence does not prove [the BUK missile] was not there.”

Paulissen may be right. To prove he’s right all he has to do is to fill in the gap between the JIT version of what happened and the Russian version of what could not have happened by answering these questions. To convince a court and jury, Paulissen’s answers to these questions must be beyond reasonable doubt.

Question 1. In the old models of the BUK missile system, a separate target acquisition radar (TAR) accompanied the firing unit into action. That TAR vehicle could rotate its radar antenna through 360 degrees; it looked like this:



The newest models of the Buk system have incorporated the target acquisition radar on board, and the vehicle is called a transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR). This radar can be seen in the grey box attached to the front of the turret. Unlike the old TAR, though, the antenna in the grey box has a relatively narrow 120-degree focus unless the entire turret is rotated. The JIT’s evidence and animations (below, left) indicate a TELAR. In the JIT claims of the convoy and route travelled by the BUK to and from the alleged firing point, there is no sign of a TAR vehicle.

The BUK self-propelled missile launcher with onboard target acquisition radar (box in front) – left, JIT animation; right, a real Russian TELAR. 

How then can the BUK which the JIT has now pinpointed in a field at the village of Pervomayskiy, near the small town of Snizhne, have aimed east to west, head-on towards the MH17, and fired with the intention of bringing down the approaching aircraft? Why that target, and not the other two targets, also civil aircraft flying above 10,000 metres within a few minutes of each other and within firing range? Why target an aircraft flying so high, at a constant, level altitude? What evidence is there in the JIT presentation that the BUK and about one hundred men the Dutch claim to have been involved knew what they were aiming at and intended the result which occurred? A Russian military source asks: “did the BUK operators know where to direct their radar antenna? A 120-degree angle is not very large for target interception.”

Question 2. For the BUK missile the JIT claims to have been fired from a position to the east of the aircraft, the missile must have been visible to the pilots in the cockpit as it approached the cockpit window in clear sky. How then can the JIT explain the lack of a record from the cockpit’s voice recorder (CVR) that the pilots saw anything? Between the last pilot voice contact with Dniepropetrovsk Air Traffic Control, and the destruction of the aircraft, there were four seconds on the CVR tape.

Repeat: IT TAKES FOUR REGULAR SECONDS TO READ THIS ALOUD. Did you see the nine words? Did you have time to say them aloud?

The CVR tape from the MH17 cockpit has not been released publicly. However, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) reports of last year say the last 4 seconds are soundless; not even the pilots’ breathing can be heard. The evidence can be followed here. How does the JIT explain the missile trajectory if it was not seen by the pilots?

Also, the JIT revealed on September 28 for the first time that the Ukraine has released its air traffic control tapes and communications for JIT analysis. Do the Ukrainian audio and radar tapes provide evidence that someone on the ground spotted the approaching missile during the 4 seconds the pilots in the MH17 cockpit saw, heard, said nothing? If the Ukrainian tapes are as silent as the cockpit voice recorder, then there is proof – nothing could have approached MH17 head-on from a firing position to the east.

Question 3. When a BUK warhead explodes, it releases about 7,800 metal fragments or shrapnel.


Source: JIT presentation of NATO test-firing of BUK warhead in Finland --

Unique to the BUK warhead, according to the Dutch investigations, as well as to the missile manufacturer Almaz-Antei, is a piece of metal shaped like a bowtie or butterfly. About one-third of the BUK warhead’s shrapnel – that’s about 2,600 pieces of metal – is bowtie or butterfly-shaped. Another third of the shrapnel is cube-shaped. According to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) papers issued in October 2015, 20 pieces of shrapnel were recovered, including 2 bowties and 2 cubes





Source: page 92

For more details, read this.

The spread or spray of the shrapnel after detonation is not more than 60 degrees. From mapping this spread from the impacts of metal fragments on aircraft panels it is possible to determine the angle of the missile to the aircraft at detonation. This in turn allows the tracking of the missile’s approach trajectory and the firing position on the ground. Testing warhead detonation against aircraft panels will also reveal the number and type of shrapnel impacts which ought to be registered if the missile and warhead types have been correctly identified.

According to the latest JIT report this week, the number of bowties and cubes has dwindled from four identified in last October’s Dutch Safety Board (DSB) report to two, one of each shape. How and why did the other two pieces of evidence disappear in The Netherlands over the past twelve months? How does the JIT explain there was no shrapnel at all in the bodies of the 295 people, crew and passengers, who were behind the cockpit, in the main cabin of the aircraft?

According to Mikhail Malishevsky, the Almaz-Antei briefer in Moscow yesterday, test-bed detonations of the BUK missile at the port position, 1.5 metres from the cockpit, where the Dutch claim the missile detonated, show many more impact holes and evidence of bowties than the Dutch report they have recovered. Malishevsky records that in the Dutch analysis reported last year the shrapnel impacts had an average concentration of 80 per square metre. He says the Dutch are now reporting an average concentration of 250 per square metre, but with fewer of the BUK warhead’s characteristic bowties.

The discrepancy in shrapnel count is so large, Malishevsky draws two conclusions – that it was impossible for the missile to have approached from the east and struck head-on; and that the only trajectory consistent with the MH17 shrapnel damage pattern was one in which the missile flew parallel to the aircraft before exploding, and approached from the south, not from the east.

“The hypothesis of a missile hitting the plane head-on was not credible. There is no way to explain the lack of fragments [shrapnel] as per the Dutch 3D model…” Source: -- minute 20:51.

Question 4. This is the question of who can tell their left hand from their right; north on the compass from south; port engine from starboard engine. The Boeing 777 operated as Flight MH17 was powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent 800 engines.


The JIT presentation doesn’t address the difference in impact evidence between the two engines as they were found on the ground. The Russian presentation makes this an important source of evidence for proving which side of the aircraft was struck by the warhead. The Russian presentation also distinguishes between simulation models of what happened – a Dutch model, as reported by the DSB reports last October and the JIT report this week; a Russian model, as reported by Almaz-Antei – and the actual evidence of the aircraft parts recovered from eastern Ukraine and reassembled at a military base in The Netherlands.


In distinguishing the detonation impacts on the two engines, Malishevsky refers in his presentation to the “right” and “left” engines. This is not intended to mislead, but it is confusing. Malishevsky means the right and left sides as he and his audience face the picture. So the MH17’s port engine is the right-side engine in Malishevsky’s presentation; it is relatively undamaged. By contrast, the MH17’s starboard engine is on the left side as Malishevsky refers to it.

H17’s port engine             MH17’s starboard engine

The key claim from the Russian side is that for the engine to be as damaged as it was, the warhead must have detonated on the starboard side. And for that to be the outcome, the missile must have approached MH17, and been fired, from the south.

So the question for Dutch prosecutor Fred Westerbeke (lead image, left) and Dutch policeman Paulissen, along with the 100 members of the JIT staff, is which engine is which in their evidence? Why does it appear that the MH17’s port engine – left-side looking forward, compass north for the plane flying east — not impacted by warhead blast or shrapnel? Why are there shrapnel hits on the starboard engine (right-side looking forward , compass south) and why was it deformed so differently? Why has the JIT omitted to analyse the engine positions and report this evidence?

A summary of these questions and the answers so far can be plotted on the map of the crash area.


Red line - MH 17.
Blue line – firing point at Snizhne (in Russian Snezhnoe), according to the JIT version.
Green line – firing point at Zaroshchenskoe (misspelled in the map), according to Almaz-Antei version.

Topographically, between Snizhne (Snezhnoe) in the east and Zaroshchenskoe to the southwest, there is a distance of less than 25 kilometres. Politically, between them as suspected missile-firing sites there is all the difference in the world

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  1. visitor

    What is revealing is how discreet the mainstream mass media have been about the “definitive conclusion” that the “separatists did it with the help of Russia”. At least in Europe, the topic was not presented prominently in the press and on the radio, and disappeared right afterwards.

    It does not matter: the propaganda was intense and relentless right after the incident to blame the usual suspects — and silenced as soon as the gaps in the narrative became so large they could not be dissimulated.

    The MH17 shooting will join the numerous other cases ascribed to dastardly diplomatic opponents:

    1) the assassination of Rafi Hariri (blamed on Assad, but evidence implicating Israel not followed upon);
    2) the bungled terrorist attacks in Thailand (blamed on Iran, responsibility of Iranian opposition highly likely given the evidence);
    3) the bus bombing in Bulgaria (blamed on Hezbollah, investigation of involvement of Sunni jihadist groups abruptly cancelled);
    4) the chemical attack in Syria (blamed on Assad, convincingly demonstrated by Hersh to be an Al-Nusra false flag action);
    5) cyber-breach at Sony (blamed on North Korea, evidence points out at an insider job within Sony);
    6) cyberattack at OPM (blamed on China without proof);
    7) cyberattacks against the Democratic party (blamed on Russia without proof);

    Notice how those widely discussed, important cases have sunk into a news black-hole — without ever having been properly investigated and cleared up.

    We will probably never know for sure in our lifetime what happened in all those cases.

    1. Carolinian

      Or, for that matter, the Kuwaiti babies tossed out of incubators by Saddam (story invented by a DC pr shop) or the Belgian babies speared by German bayonets in WW1 (British propaganda this time). In a mass media age propaganda is viewed as a vital component of war making which is why all claims from places like Syria and Ukraine should be treated with skepticism. For the R2P crowd represented by Hillary and the ridiculous Samantha Power this propaganda aspect is central, and their compliant allies in the MSM are more than willing to go along.

      1. visitor

        There is a major difference between then and now: the stories about babies tossed on bayonets or out of incubators (or the Serbian extermination camps in Bosnia, or the mass graves of Ceaucescu in Timisoara) were all complete fabrications.

        Nobody denies that the MH17 was shot down, or that Hariri in Lebanon or Israeli tourists in Bulgaria were blown up, or that a chemical bomb exploded in Eastern Ghouta. This makes any debunking somewhat more arduous: proving or disproving a culpability is intrinsically more involved than showing that some major crime is a complete invention.

      2. human

        “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years.”

        He went on to explain:

        “It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”

        — David Rockefeller, Speaking at the June, 1991 Bilderberger meeting in Baden, Germany (a meeting also attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and by Dan Quayle

        David Rockefeller born June 12, 1915 … likely the most powerful man in the world.

    2. sid_finster

      The alleged poisoning of V. Yuschenko.

      The murder of G. Gongadze.

      The alleged Russian invasion of South Ossetia.

    3. Fiver

      Hillary Clinton has long known that what has made Putin such a difficult opponent for US hegemony is that he has tried something entirely novel: put the Russian case for its actions directly to US and global opinion. He reminds us there is something called International Law, for instance, and rules for deciding what are and what are not legitimate actions. Evidence matters. Proving claims matters. Not a bunch of ideological or otherwise suspect guff – just a consistently reasoned approach. It has taken years for US Intelligence media arm propagandists to get up to speed, but they finally realized they had to at least look as if they’d made a case. Way too late, I’m afraid – US credibility and legitimacy as a lawful State is utterly shattered. All that is left is mindless power – I give you President Clinton:

  2. Tinky

    Excellent work. Thank you.

    Now, I’ll repeat the most damning, though admittedly non-scientific evidence of all: The U.S. and its lapdog allies were, for months after the event, shrieking about Russian culpability through compliant MSM outlets. Then, suddenly, radio silence. The topic virtually disappeared from the very same MSM outlets as if it were radioactive.

    That would never have happened had the anti-Russian alliance not discovered information that severely undercut their original, reflexive claims.

    Does anyone believe that this most recent report is other than a feeble attempt to keep the original, and quite obviously false narrative alive?

    1. Nelson Lowhim

      I’m guessing it’s always been like this? Screech hard and loud about imminent threats (to physical self or honor) and do so loud and often, claiming any moment to think is close to treason (or simply cowardice). Note that it will always be harder to refute (finding facts) than to come up with lies, of which there will be many (and if even a single is correct, it makes the next lie even better) and keep at it. until there is an actual punishment for doing this, there is no reason not to. Am I missing something?

  3. BringOnTheHotWar

    We are on trajectory for really bad things. Russia is being demonized – in all quarters: sports, politics, commerce – in a way reminiscent of the worst of the cold war. forget the handbags of the ’80s, but the 50/60s. And a complicit and/or childlike media is happy to swallow whatever official story comes their way. We know – as with any major power – that crazy shit is going down in, and with Russia (Putin ain’t a saint). But poking, and prodding this nuclear bear – as a way to, among other things, justify $1 trillion in nuclear re-armament – is as foolish as it gets. DJT is a moron of nth degree. but i just don’t believe he will drive us to armed conflict (whether by proxy or not) with russia. that, alone, would be enough for a vote against HRC. and with the mess the GOP is in, if HRC get in, she’s in for 8 years. #untolddamage.

    1. Fiver

      My head fell off and rolled away hooting wildly into the night on reading that NYT piece – no amount of money could get me to write such appalling drivel.

  4. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Agree, if they really had the goods this would have been blaring 24/7 from Hilary’s War Advancement & Promotion Team, oops I mean CNN. Even simpler though is just to note that when Obama/Hilary are pressed on what exactly Russia has done overall to deserve the “existential threat” label, they mumble and finally blurt out “”Crimea”. So I guess a fair plebiscite where 96% voted to rejoin Russia and a peaceful transition without a single shot fired now qualifies as a threat to the US. And of course zero mention of the murderous Neo-Nazis we installed in Kiev.

    1. hemeantwell

      It is blaring 24/7 at the NYTimes. Today’s edition had a marvelously double-entendred piece on page one, “Hostile Russia looks familiar to Cold War veterans.” Much hinges on whether the familiarity lies in properties of the object or, instead, the subject’s perceptual grid, a grid the Times is trying very hard to propagate.

  5. Paid Minion

    The Russians have a long history of lying their asses off when they (or their minions) eff up. They are much better at it, after watching Fox News for the past 30 years.

    Funny, but their surrogates didnt mind taking the credit for the half dozen or so Ukranian jets zapped by missiles in the couple of months before this incident.

    As far as “not seeing/mentioning a missile”? Yeah, so what? Visibility of targets coming at you from the low/front is limited in all commercial jets. Abd this assumes the crew was even looking, and not heads down playing with the radio or FMS. Pimping this line make the rest of their narrative immediately suspect.

    And remember how they were pushing the “Ukranian SU-25 Theory” before anyone who knows anything about airplanes shot that one full of holes.

    But whatever. Nobody is going to be able to prove anything, since the airplane crashed on Russian controlled territory

    If the conspiracy theorists think the airplane was shot down as a pretext to starting a war with Russia, answer me this……. Why zap a Malaysian airliner, with no US or British passengers? All you need is an Internet connection and Flightaware,to know what airplane you are shooting at.

    Which is more likely? A giant conspiracy (by people who are demonstratably too stupid to pull it off) by the Ukraine and Nato, to come up with a plan to pin it on the Russians (while demonstrating prior to and subsequently that they really don’t need an excuse), or………

    A couple of yokels sitting inside a SAM launcher who effed up and zapped the wrong airplane, who subsequently were made to “disappear”?

    1. bravenewworld

      I agree about the visibility, seems weak. Disagree on “why Malaysia”? AFAIK no US, UK, or any other developed EU country was allowing their airlines to fly that route. For good reason. Malaysia may just have been a target of opportunity.

    2. schmoe

      Minion, I had the exact same reaction to this post and found it extremely unconvincing and, frankly, beneath the standards of this blog. When you scrutinize every minute detail of a notable event, things will be found that do not appear consistent, but the same thing could occur if I scrutinized every detail of my morning commute, walk around the block, or whatever.

    3. Fiver

      Whatever they paid you, Minion, it was way too much. This is exactly the kind of stunt the US would pull, though typically via a string, as in neo-Nazi crackpots in charge of their own forces under the cool eye of ole Uncle CIA (or Special Ops or any number of other sources, known and unknown). The truth hasn’t been told about anything important by the US Government in decades.

  6. vidimi

    more reasons why people shouldn’t and no longer do trust ‘experts’. it’s a meaningless charade intended to make an agenda credible. when one of the main suspects is one of the lead investigators and the whole sham of an investigation is led by nato, it’s only aim is to increase tensions with russia. well, it looks like they will finally get the war they have been wishing for when mrs clinton takes over the white house.

  7. Nikki

    Addressing not the issue at hand but the conundrum of “reasonable doubt” (which Helmer invokes at the start of the essay) please read The origins of reasonable doubt : theological roots of the criminal trial by James Q. Whitman. Whitman is at Yale Law School. He published the chapters separately in various law reviews. Read the last chapter first for an overview and understanding that he is motivated to get rid of the bogus standard with medieval theological roots– after all, how many have been wrongly jailed due to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

    1. hunkerdown

      Bill Smith, and it’s been pretty well debunked as inconsistent with the evidence, but toddlers need something to believe. Try again, this time with your fingers out of your ears.

    2. sid_finster

      While I don’t pretend to know who shot mh17 down or why, an simpler explanation is that the junta government did so.

      They were known to have Buk anti-aircraft rockets in the area.

      So far, I have seen only conjecture that the rebels did.

  8. pictboy3

    This is one thread subject on this otherwise excellent site that I think is absolutely ridiculous. I can understand putting people to their proof on the evidence, but what exactly is the point of this article? To prove that the separatists didn’t shoot down the plane? Considering that Strelkov actually bragged about shooting a plane down right after it happened (the post was quickly taken down, but luckily caching is a thing), and there were witness accounts of a missile battery being driven out of Luhansk at the same time, I think it’s a bit much to suggest that the Ukrainians did it.

    Our policy towards Russia is stupid and short-sighted, as it has been for most of the past three decades, but our own failings don’t make the Russians into saints. They’re capable of stupid and evil decisions just as much as we are. Is it really that much of a stretch to think that weapons, whether given to proxies or used by the Russians themselves, can shoot the wrong target? There’s a line between being a healthy skeptic and a useful idiot, and there’s a lot of people here who need to look at which side of it they’re standing on.

    1. ChrisFromGeorgia

      The fundamental problem with the investigation is that the Dutch, as part of NATO, cannot possibly be expected to be impartial. In the American legal system you are entitled to a jury of your peers. Lawyers go to great lengths to strike individuals from the jury pool who might have biases one way or another.

      In this case the investigators are acting more like a District Attorneys’ office, but even there justice presumes that those in charge of making prosecutorial decisions don’t have conflicts of interests.

      I’d have a lot more faith in the process here if the whole thing were handed off to a neutral third party, assuming such a country could be found. And therein lies the rub … thanks to the neo-liberal program of turning every country into a vassal state for the US, there aren’t many candidates left.

      Iceland, maybe?

    2. Vatch

      Is it really that much of a stretch to think that weapons, whether given to proxies or used by the Russians themselves, can shoot the wrong target?

      Good comment. I don’t think any reasonable person has implied that the separatists intentionally shot down a civilian plane. They thought it was a military plan, and it was a tragic mistake.

      I can’t comment on all of Helmer’s questions, but I can comment on #1. He says that newer BUK systems don’t match what was seen on the ground. Well, it’s possible the Russians did not provide the new variety of BUK systems to the separatists. Maybe they let the separatists use the older variety, and the Russians kept the newer systems on their own soil.

      Regarding question #2. Maybe the pilots didn’t see the missile because it was below their field of vision until the very last second. Or maybe they weren’t looking at that part of the sky, so they didn’t see it right away. Or maybe they saw it, and briefly froze, wondering what the heck is that?

      1. hunkerdown

        Almaz-Antey alleges that Russia hadn’t had any older models in inventory to supply for some two years before the attack, but that the Ukrainian military hadn’t upgraded yet.

      2. zapster

        The only BUKs in the area were in Kiev’s hands. Russia has them on radar and they were active at the time. The one supposedly seen from Lugansk was false–the photo they are using for “evidence” has a billboard in the background that has been located as in a Kiev-controlled area. The separatists never had one at all. The real problem here is that one of the prime suspects has veto power over the report. It can *never* be impartial with Ukraine on the investigation team.

        1. Paul Carline

          Correct. There is zero evidence that the so-called separatists had even a single BUK system capable of shooting down a high-flying plane. I prefer to believe the evidence of the Dutch MIVD: “A finding from the Dutch intelligence service, MIVD, released last October, said the only high-powered anti-aircraft missile systems in eastern Ukraine at that time, capable of bringing down MH-17 at 33,000 feet and killing all 298 people onboard, belonged to the Ukrainian military, not the rebels”.
          There are local eye-witness sightings of two Ukrainian jets in the area immediately before MH-17 crashed. There are many curious anomalies which appear to have been totally ignored except by some alternative sources. For example, while everyone repeats the 298 figure, the number of bodies found was apparently significantly lower. Some of the bodies were naked and showing signs of rigor mortis. There was apparently a strong smell of formaldehyde. The aircraft which crashed does not appear to be the same as the one which left Amsterdam (different wheel cover numbers). An identical Boeing jet in Malaysian livery was seen in a hangar in Israel – apparently bought by Netanyahu. It’s not at all inconceivable – whatever knee-jerk debunkers might say – that it was used in what was clearly meant to be a false flag. Why did the Ukrainian ATC official alter the course of the plane and bring it down around 1000 feet – and why did she disappear from her job the same day? To repeat: MH-17 (or whatever the real identity of the plane was) could not have been brought down by the separatists because they did not have equipment capable of doing so – so the fall-back line that they did it ‘by accident’ also fails. If no accident, then intentional, and the ‘cui bono’ question becomes important. What possible motive would Russia have for doing this? None that I can imagine – but there was a clear motive (and opportunity) for Kiev, either alone or with help, to have done so.

    3. Johan Telstad

      Thank you!
      I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would listen to this John Helmer person.

      He’s obviously not knowledgeable in the field of aeronautics.
      A missile closing in on a passenger plane from below, at several thousand kilometers per hour, would be impossible to spot visually until immediately before impact, even if you were looking in the exact field of the visual area that it was occupying (which you wouldn’t).

      BTW, if you want a real expert on Russia, try someone like Mark Galeotti (

      1. OIFVet

        And you are expert?!?! SAMs generally attack targets from above, and BUKs are specifically designed to do so. As an expert in “aeronautics” and ballistics you will no doubt explain to the audience why that is. Moreover, MH17’s cockpit damage shows that the warhead exploded above, portside. But don’t let evidence get in the way of “expertise.”

      1. zapster

        A BUK leaves a spectacular trail from ground to air. No one saw such a trail. And it *is* very spectacular.

        1. JTMcPhee

          What’s a BUK? Video includes what a launch plume looks like. Hard to miss all that smoke…

          Also hard to miss all the other kind of smoke. And why is the best we can do to try to lay blame on one side or the other, when the real problem is that humans are fokked, happily kill each other cause each other untold pain, all “just because…”

    4. Tobin Paz

      Prior to Operation Desert Storm, it was reported that Sadam Hussein had amassed 250,000 troops
      and 1500 tanks on the Saudi Arabian border. Commercial satellite images proved otherwise. The Iraqi’s
      where later accused of taking infants out of incubators and leaving them to die. We now know it was a fabrication courtesy of the PR firm Hill & Knowlton.

      In 1999 and 2000, the United States would go on to bomb Iraq two to three times a week. The sanctions
      Bill Clinton imposed on Iraq cost the lives of half a million children under the age of five. When asked during an interview if the price was worth it, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright responded,
      “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

      The second Iraq war brought us a new set of lies. The cooperation with al Qaeda, who we are now arming
      in Syria, the uranium yellow cake, the mobile biological weapons labs, the infamous weapons of mass
      destruction, etc. It estimated than more than a million Iraqi’s have died as a result of this butchery.

      Libya, the wealthiest country with the highest standard of living in Africa, was the next major target
      of more lies. From Gaddafi bombing his own people to the distribution of Viagra to his troops so that they
      could go on a raping spree. Little mention is made of the bombing of Libya’s Great Man-made River
      project, the largest aqueduct and network of pipes that supplied water to %70 of the population. The water
      crisis created continues to this day.

      The illegal war of aggression on the sovereign state of Syria requires it’s own discussion. I will only
      mention the allegation of Assad using sarin nerve gas. Seymour Hersh’s reporting would later show that it
      was a false flag carried out to cross Obama’s chemical weapons “red line”.

      This brings us to Ukraine, a country in which the United States spent $5 billion on regime change. It was coup d’etat that brought in Svobada and Right Sector, both Neo-Nazi parties. From the fake Russian troop photo’s presented by Senator Inhofe, to the invasion of Crimea, a peninsula that hosts Russia’s Sevastopol naval base. If there is any doubt about it being an invasion or not, it should be noted that not only did Crimean’s vote to secede with a 96% majority in 2014, they overwhelmingly voted for independence both in 1991 and 1994.

      As far as I am aware, the Ukraine and US have not released any of their radar data. The JIT also used information from Bellingcat, a discredited propaganda outlet. In light of all this information, you will have to pardon my “healthy skepticism”. I also suggest that you use the term “useful idiot” more lightly.

      1. Fiver

        That’s the incredible thing – every new US regime crime lands on a slate scrubbed clean of any real history. Noam Chomsky’s ‘Requiem for American Democracy’ ought to be seen or even taught to everyone in the US. There is nothing accidental about any of this, the US is the hyper-power here, has perhaps 20 times the capacity for mayhem of all kinds as Russia ever had on its best day, and has used that power illegitimately scores of times, yet within hours, even minutes, the bloodstains are washed away, the craters signed, the first draft of the opening PA attack is filed and all is normal.

      2. pretzelattack

        oh hill and knowlton, i think that’s the firm that helped the cigarette companies fight to keep killing people, and helped fossil fuel companies with their propaganda campaign (at least initially).

  9. Expat

    The technical aspects of the two reports are not verifiable by me based on either account so I cannot say which is more likely based on this article. However I can say that disputing the shoot-down by a BUK based on the idea that it was unlikely the separatists would choose that plane and fire at it is about as valid as saying the shoot-down theory is impossible because everyone knows commercial airliners are shot down only once every decade. The plane WAS shot down. Perhaps the unsophisticated BUK system was the reason for a commercial airliner being struck.

    So we have the Dutch on one side with a potential bias because they are part of NATO and interested in crucifying the evil Soviets…whoops, Russians at any price. And on the other side we have the suppliers of the missile and sponsors/supporters of those accused of firing it. Which side is more likely to fabricate an explanation? Maybe both are lying. But I would tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the Dutch.

    1. tgs

      But I would tend to give the benefit of the doubt to the Dutch

      And in so doing you are giving the benefit of the doubt to the Ukrainian SBU who the Dutch admit provided them with much of the ‘evidence’. Kiev is hardly a disinterested party in this matter.

    2. visitor

      Perhaps the unsophisticated BUK system was the reason

      BUK systems, although old, are very advanced and require 6 months to a year of training for its crew to become truly proficient with it.

      There are currently three versions of the MH17 case:

      1) A motley crew of separatists did it with equipment provided by Russia.

      2) An Ukrainian oligarch with his own badly trained militia did it with equipment diverted from Ukrainian reserves.

      3) The Ukrainian army did it during an exercise with poorly trained personnel and goofed up.

      There is no incontrovertible evidence for any of those scenarios. Note that (3) would not be the first time that the Ukrainian army shot down a civilian airplane by mistake; it already did it in 2001 (look up Siberia Airlines 1812).

      The problem that Helmer and others highlight is that the Dutch investigation is biased: all evidence and even hearsay is interpreted against Russia, all evidence that goes against the “Russia did it” scenario is ignored or minimized, major evidence that would conclusively settle matters is kept under wraps (USA surveillance logs, Ukrainian tower control logs, Russian radar logs).

      The investigation does not pass the smell test.

      1. optimader

        BUK systems, although old, are very advanced and require 6 months to a year of training for its crew to become truly proficient with it.
        Requiring 6-12mnths of training is not exactly an endorsement of sophistication.
        That said, what I read (a couple years ago!)and recall about the buk systems is that there is at least one degraded permissive level that will allow the system to launch a missile, and several targeting radar/telemetry apparatus (remote/local) that allow the system to function in a degraded manner -like if the systems truck with “the meat” in it gets blasted.

        My opinion remains that it was a BUK system supplied by the Russians to what was less than fully qualified separatists, or was subsequently put in the hands of less than qualified operators who launched on purpose thinking it was the ubiquitous Ukie cargo plane, not realizing it was a commercial airliners.

        Who would do that on purpose? really? This is EXACTLY the kind of idiocy that occurs in war

        1. zapster

          The surmise is that Kiev thought that was Putin’s plane, which was in the air at the same time. There’s also a report from a mechanic that defected to Russia, that he saw the pilot that did it return saying “it was the wrong plane.” AFAIK, that wasn’t investigated at all. Kiev has veto power over the report. A genuine investigation is not being conducted at all.

          1. optimader

            Zapster, even the BUK mfgr conceded it was shot down with a BUK missile over a year ago. Isnt it time to give up the imaginary SU-25 confabulation already?

            The Almaz-Antey presentation confirms MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile, burying once and for all the SU 25 theory, about which regular readers of Russia Insider will know I have always been skeptical.

          2. visitor

            A more credible scenario is that recruits of the Ukrainian army were going through an accelerated training of BUK deployment with inventory of USSR-era equipment, and goofed up.

            (a) Because so far, all BUK systems in Ukraine, especially at the time of the MH17 downing, have been conclusively identified as Ukrainian ones. There are no conclusive images of the supposed separatist BUK battery before, during or after the MH17 incident. Despite all radars monitoring the battlefield…

            (b) Because being at war and given the dilapidated state of the Ukrainian army (going back to the early 1990s), there was an urgent need for personnel, and only fast training was possible. No careful year-long schooling when the next separatist offensive or much-touted Russian invasion can strike in a matter of weeks.

            (c) Because a training scenario explains the presence of Ukrainian SU25, serving as practice targets — but BUK radars locked onto the much larger signal corresponding to the MH17.

            (d) Because shooting actual missiles when one is not supposed to do, and aiming them at the wrong target is exactly the kind of error that “green” personnel may commit while stressed in time of war — but that experienced operators who had time to go through all possible scenarios recognizing various target types and locking the right ones after months of drill will avoid.

            Personally, I do not believe that any of the suspects ever deliberately fired at MH17.

            1. digi_owl

              Never mind that we have seen a similar incident happen by supposedly well trained US sailors down in the Persian Gulf in the 80s.

              Sure, it was ruled as a technical glitch in the radar system. But the radar operator still managed to report a continually climbing airliner as an Iranian F-14 (that they have thanks to sales to the Shah during the 70s) diving to attack.

        2. Rostale

          As far as training- the buk system has been around for decades, isn’t it possible the seperatists would have retired military personnel who would know how to operate it? Although i always wondered myself if it was a set-up, it appears the plane changed course after contact with the ukrainian atc, and then flew directly through the conflict zone with its altitude lowered to be just outside the exclusion zone, given that ukrainian state security confiscated the atc records 30min after the incident and never released them I don’t find it an unreasonable theory that ukrainian atc deliberately directed MH17 over where they knew the seperatist buk was operating in hopes that it would cause an incident, the reports of an SU 25 would fit into this- it was shadowing the airliner to bait the seperatists into firing

      2. Crazy Horse

        Add two more suspects to the list:

        4- Putin did it. After all, the American mass media told us so almost before the airliner hit the ground.

        5- An American clandestine agency (CIA, NSA, Blackwater, etc. did it by supplying planning and logistical support to their client Ukrainians.

        A crime did take place. Since we are uncertain as to who the perpetrators were, let’s apply crime scene logic:

        Hard to conceive of a motive for Putin or the Russian Federation. The only conceivable result of such an attack would be to further the Western propaganda effort to demonize Putin and the separatists and to open the door to increased US military and economic support for Ukraine.

        On the other hand the USA (and the Ukrainian government) clearly had the motive to create a false flag situation to justify expanded intervention, and the US has a long history of doing so. Gulf of Tonkin, World Trade Center, Syrian gas attacks — to name but a few.

        If the plane was downed by a Russian built BUK missile instead of by fighter jets as it first seemed, then all five suspects could have conceivably have been in possession of the missile and launch and fire control apparatus. Using an analysis of the attack direction to derive the launch site is plausible but far from convincing. Both the Russians and the US had their most sophisticated spy satellites focused on the region and probably knew exactly what happened in real time.

        The real smoking gun in this affair was the fact that the Ukrainians purposely re-routed the airliner far south of its normal route, and then disappeared the air traffic controller in charge. Without this diversion it would not have been possible to target the plane. Was this event planned and coordinated by one of the US spook agencies or mercenaries under contract or was it solely an Ukrainian operation? Did the sophisticated American communications ship stationed nearby assist with logistics?

        Somehow I can’t buy the argument that it was all an accident.

        1. Optimader

          Clouseau: Listen to me, Hercule, and you will learn something.

          Now then, the facts in this case are:

          the body of the chauffeur was found in the bedroom of the second maid. Fact!

          Cause of death:
          Four bullets in the chest. Fact!

          The bullets were fired at close range from a .25 caliber Beretta automatic. Fact!

          Maria Gambrelli was discovered with the murder weapon in her hand. Fact!

          The murder weapon was registered in the name of the deceased, Miguel Ostos, and was kept, mind you, in the glove compartment of the Ballon Rolls-Royce. Fact!

          Now then, members of the household staff have testified that Miguel Ostos beat…
          [snaps his pointing stick]

          Clouseau: You fool! You have broken my pointing stick! I have nothing to point with now!… have testified that Miguel Ostos beat Maria Gambrelli frequently.

          And now, finally comes the sworn statement of Monsieur and Madame Ballon, as well as all the members of the staff, each of them with perfect alibis.

          Now then, Hercule, What is the inescapable conclusion?

          Hercule LaJoy: Maria Gambrelli killed the chauffeur.

          Clouseau: What? You idiot! It’s impossible. She’s protecting someone.
          Hercule LaJoy: How do you know that?

          Clouseau: Instinct!

          Hercule LaJoy: But that facts…

          Clouseau: You are forgetting the most important fact – motive.

  10. clarky90

    New York Times Statement About 1932 Pulitzer Prize Awarded to Walter Duranty

    Duranty, one of the most famous correspondents of his day, won the prize for 13 articles written in 1931 analyzing the Soviet Union under Stalin. Times correspondents and others have since largely discredited his coverage.

    Duranty’s cabled dispatches had to pass Soviet censorship, and Stalin’s propaganda machine was powerful and omnipresent. Duranty’s analyses relied on official sources as his primary source of information, accounting for the most significant flaw in his coverage – his consistent underestimation of Stalin’s brutality.

    Describing the Communist plan to “liquidate” the five million kulaks, relatively well-off farmers opposed to the Soviet collectivization of agriculture, Duranty wrote in 1931, for example: “Must all of them and their families be physically abolished? Of course not – they must be ‘liquidated’ or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass.”

    Taking Soviet propaganda at face value this way was completely misleading, as talking with ordinary Russians might have revealed even at the time. Duranty’s prize-winning articles quoted not a single one – only Stalin, who forced farmers all over the Soviet Union into collective farms and sent those who resisted to concentration camps. Collectivization was the main cause of a famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine, the Soviet breadbasket, in 1932 and 1933 – two years after Duranty won his prize.

    Even then, Duranty dismissed more diligent writers’ reports that people were starving. “Conditions are bad, but there is no famine,” he wrote in a dispatch from Moscow in March of 1933 describing the “mess” of collectivization. “But – to put it brutally – you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.”

    Some of Duranty’s editors criticized his reporting as tendentious, but The Times kept him as a correspondent until 1941. Since the 1980′s, the paper has been publicly acknowledging his failures. Ukrainian-American and other organizations have repeatedly called on the Pulitzer Prize Board to cancel Duranty’s prize and The Times to return it, mainly on the ground of his later failure to report the famine.

    The Pulitzer board has twice declined to withdraw the award, most recently in November 2003, finding “no clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception” in the 1931 reporting that won the prize (see Pulitzer Board statement), and The Times does not have the award in its possession.

  11. Veri

    Why did this story on MH17 come out now?

    Al Nusra senior commander admits US is on Jihadis side.

    Reported in German Press.

    1. likbez

      Note: the previous variant of this comment went to moderation.

      You need to understand that after JFK assassination the notion that truth will eventually surface in such cases is open to review. So a plausible hypothesis might be all we can have.

      Yes, there is a line “between being a healthy skeptic and a useful idiot”, but the evidence strongly suggests that in this particular case Western MSM promoted version has huge hole in it.

      The default suspects according to “quo bono” principle should be Ukraine and the USA, unless good counterarguments are provided. There are none so far.

      Of cause we do not know for sure (and might never get the real facts), but there are several chunks of evidence that strengthen this “accident into false flag” or “false flag from the very beginning” hypothesis:

      1. Why there were no reports of a smoke trail from the purported missile launch?

      2. Strange, never explained, story of Spanish aircontroler twits immediately after the tragedy. To whom belong pretty alarming twits in the Spanish blog from an air traffic controller working in Boryspil airport, which completely contradict official Ukrainian and Western MSM story?

      3. Testimony of a defector to Russians from Ukrainian air force (technician on the nearby military airfield I think), who suggested that it was a fighter jet that downed the airliner.

      4. The fact that SBU immediately confiscated all the evidence from air control towers and those records were never presented to international investigation commission.

      5. Why the agreement that was reached between Ukraine, Netherlands, Belgium and Australia to classify the results of investigation ?

      6. Strange resistance and procrastination with getting evidence from the crash site. Shelling of the crash site by the Ukrainian artillery.

      7. Why the normal route over Ukraine for the airliner was changed ?

      8. Attempts to provide proof of rebels involvement which later were discredited as fabrications (unverified phone intercepts that experts proved to be fragments of conversations stitched together to implicate rebels)

      9. Striking speed with which Ukrainian and Western MSM just after a few minutes after the plane disappeared from screens of radars, has started well coordinated and pretty vicious campaign

      10. Fake satellites maps at the time of the tragedy. Fake photo of BUK track which allegingly shoot down MH17.

      11. Attempts to capture the crash area, despite previous agreement for ceasefire in this area.

  12. Skippy

    Still pondering why a civilian aircraft was anywhere near a combat zone with such armament present, especially considering some of the tenancies of the combatants involved.

    Dishevled Marsupial…. its not like innocent people are not maimed or killed in gang turf wars day in and day out….

  13. VietnamVet

    Blame will be determined sometime in the future if there are any winners in the ongoing mini World War. The effective use of anti-aircraft weapons allowed the rebels who had no serviceable aircraft to control the air over the battlefield destroying the Ukraine armored attacks leading to the current stalemated trench warfare. A Ukraine military transport was shot down at altitude earlier but for political and monetary reasons civil air transportation continue over the battlefields. This is a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Wargames between nuclear powers inevitably escalate to use of ICBMs. I am so old I remember the Civil Defense program that was made obsolete in 1953 when the Soviet Union exploded the first deployable hydrogen bomb. The USA is losing. Washington DC is befuddled. Western propaganda doesn’t make any sense. There is no indication that there is any comprehension of the danger to mankind by the insane decision to start a war with Russia or that a miscalculation or accident could cause a nuclear holocaust not just a 777 shot down.

  14. Olaf Lukk

    “By John Helmer, the longest serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau…”
    “Note that Robert Parry also has serious doubts about the latest MH17 report”…
    Citing Parry as verification for the validity of Helmer’s conspiracy theories has all the validity of Donald Trump citing Sean Hannity for his.
    If there is one certainty in visiting the Naked Capitalism website, it is that when John Helmer submits a piece, everything will be the fault of the West- picking on the poor, defenseless, put-upon Russia of Vladimir Putin. The same could be said for any article by Robert Parry, the Pied Piper of Putin Patsies.
    Having read the comments, I would have to agree with those who maintain that the tragedy was a result of gross incompetence by forces on the ground- likely Russian backed and supplied separatists.
    Naked Capitalism is among the best economic blogs on the web. Unfortunately, when it comes to Eastern Europe and Russia, it’s perspective seems to be as limited as that of Donald Trump.

    1. pretzelattack

      i see a smear of parry, but no facts backing it up. alliteration doesn’t really support your argument, but by all means associate parry with putin, after all, ctr does that all the time with trump.

  15. Anonymous X

    As to the questions…

    (i) Ukrainian aircraft (transport planes) tended to approach from that same direction so it wouldn’t exactly be in any manner surprising that the BUK unit would be aligned to wait for them. 120 degree arc is huge when you already have some knowledge of the direction where the radar ought to point. Since TELAR unit can’t tell what exactly it is that it is shooting (you would need TAR for that) the identification can’t really be even expected to happen.

    (ii) BUK missile burns its engine out far sooner than what it takes for the missile to reach its target. Which means that there wouldn’t have been Top Gun like smoke trail approaching the aircraft but just the missile gliding like a dart without power. Given the speed of the objects the missile would have approached the aircraft at around 1000 m per second – with the diameter of missile being around 40 cm it would have been difficult to see it just from 100 meters out – which would have left less time to react than in which human would have been able to react. So lack of reaction from the crew is exactly what there ought to have been.

    (iii) Homing method used in most missiles (including BUK) means that it never flies parallel to the its target. It is always flying on the basis of ‘constant bearing, reducing range‘ navigation (i.e. proportional navigation) – you may want to read about that. Also given the semi-active radar homing used in BUK if the radar (i.e. the launch vehicle) would have been on the side of the aircraft then it is very unlikely that the missile would have been headed for the nose either. Lack of found shrapnel is not particularly surprising either as site was unsecured for quite a while.

    And it wasn’t like JIT would have ignored the Zaroshchenskoe possibility. It was investigated. But nothing to support it was found. Furthermore captured rebel communications made it clear that (i) the locality was either in partial or total rebel control and that (ii) no missile launch was witnessed. Given that the the launch plume (& burned field) has been located via several different images provided by JIT it is quite clear where the launch occurred.

    1. likbez

      This concentration on Buk missile and exclusions of other possibilities has IMHO one serious problem: complete absence of witness reports of the missile launch? This is a pretty densely populated area and Buk missile launch produces dense smoke trace clearly visible from the ground. The supposed launch happened during daytime in fair weather conditions. Huge, dense smoke trace from Buk missile launch can’t be hidden in such a conditions, can it ? It should be visible for at least ten minutes or more before dissipating.

      But there is no witness reports, no photos, nothing. I never head that launch site was located “via several different images provided by JIT” BBC tried soon after the tragedy and have a correspondent on the ground explicitly searching for it for a week or so. They failed.

      Fighter jet hypothesis is somehow swiped under the carpet despite the testimony of military aircraft technician who defected to Russians and Russian radar data that had shown a second (military, no transponder) plane in vicinity at the time of shooting.

      As for “Ukrainian aircraft (transport planes) tended to approach from that same direction so it wouldn’t exactly be in any manner surprising that the BUK unit would be aligned to wait for them. ” this is questionable explanation. There were multiple planes in this area flying at high altitudes the same day, so the selection of the target and timing looks bizarre. Why not an earlier plane, why not a later plane ?

      1. Anonymous X

        Had you familiarized yourself with the JIT report you would have noticed that they had witness reports, as well as photos depicting the smoke plume from several different angles. Also it is quite likely that the sound people believed at the time have heard as ‘jet engine’ noise was actually noise from the missile’s rocket engine. So that kinda leaves your version full of holes. And it kinda depends on the prevailing weather as to how long the smoke trail will persist – link
        You can see (closer to the end) the trail starting to disperse immediately. And oddly enough for your story there were reporters who had no trouble locating the burned of patch of field following the photos and witness reports.

        The fighter jet theory is just nonsense. Belongs to the same category as the ‘Spanish air traffic controller’ story. There is nothing in Russian radar data that would hint of a presence of another aircraft. Only additional detection occurs after the incident has occurred which means that instead of being an aircraft it was likely just debris from the MH17. That Russians claimed it would have been an Su-25 was a rather dishonest act.

        As to why MH17 was shot down and not any of the others. In all likelyhood no one intended to shoot it down. So that falls to the category of bad luck (in part of the crew and passengers of MH17).

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          While your points about witnesses may have merit, the video falls in the category of “web evidence” as it may have been doctored and hence is not reliable.

        2. likbez

          Again, my point is that like in case of JFK assassination we might never know that truth. So your supreme confidence is very suspect.

          I see you as a hardened type of information warrior not a person who try to dig out the truth. You are fixed on a single version no matter what evidence is available and discard any conflicting “separatists did it” evidence.

          BTW I do not exclude any possibilities: it can be separatists, it can be Ukrainian Buk, it can be a fighter jet. But need to see all augments on the table, not a selective set supporting a single most convenient to the dominant parties in the investigation. And weight all three hypothesis.

          And Ukrainians and the USA should be considered primary suspects due to obvious benefits they got from the tragedy. Absence of Russian citizens among victims is for me a kind of alarming fact by itself as it allowed to exclude Russians from the investigation and pointing in the direction of “false flag”.

          Moreover the whole investigation became essentially an exercise in proving “separatists did it”, despite the fact that Ukrainian authorities were clear beneficiary of the event and Provisional government consisted of very dangerous and reckless people (especially Parubiy .

          BTW it was separatists that provided black boxes of the aircraft to investigators and much of the evidence were collected and guarded by them. And it was Ukrainians that shelled the area to prevent investigators from working after the tragedy.

          Also any investigation that uses Bellingcat materials should be automatically labeled as a propaganda exercise (or disinformation war, if you wish). Think about it…

          As for Su25 you are way to too quick to dismiss this possibility: IMHO there was some evidence of presence of the plane from Rostov airport radar telemetry. It was long ago and I do not remember details but there is a collection of materials on the Web with “week-by-week” selections at

          Please compare your version with the selection.

          Also Parry points out that exact location of Ukrainian Buks at the moment of the tragedy were never revealed by investigators. If this is not a clear bias, I do not know what is.

          Where is the map with the location of Ukrainian units and radar on the day of the tragedy, I would like to ask you? Where are transcripts of communication of Ukrainian military and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic controllers for this day?

          The JIT video report on the MH-17 case, which was released on Wednesday, also didn’t address questions about the location of several Ukrainian Buk missile batteries that Dutch (i.e. NATO) intelligence placed in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the day that MH-17 was shot down. A finding from the Dutch intelligence service, MIVD, released last October, said the only high-powered anti-aircraft missile systems in eastern Ukraine at that time, capable of bringing down MH-17 at 33,000 feet and killing all 298 people onboard, belonged to the Ukrainian military, not the rebels.

          Dismissing ‘Spanish air traffic controller’ story shows your true colors, as this event happened just after the shooting, twits were in Spanish which would be atypical of Russian and Ukrainian three-letter agencies, and as such has less chances to be a planted disinformation.

  16. Gaylord

    There are bigger questions: Why are humans always fighting between tribes? Why are the more powerful tribes bullying the less powerful when the former are not threatened? Why are people so greedy that they are never materially satisfied, so they will use any means to get more? With abrupt climate disruption threatening our very survival on this planet, why are governments spending vast amounts of precious resources on armaments and wars?

    The answer to all of these can only be, that humans are an incorrigibly defective species that thoroughly deserves its imminent extinction. I rest my case. BTW where’s the international tribunal that ought to be asking those questions?

  17. DJPS

    It’s amazing how many first time commenters showed up to blovate on this particular thread! You must have mentioned some hot keywords!

  18. Henry

    If anyone recalls the relevant details on the first reports, you would have remembered that the air traffic controllers had no business putting MH-17 on a flight path directly overhead active fighting.
    This activity was known at Amsterdam, where ITCS deviated from the civilian flight path. .In the destruction of MH17, there is an Israeli-connected air crash with political ramifications involving Israeli strategic interests, inside Israel exactly when its military launches an invasion of Gaza and in troubled Ukraine, a supplier of military electronics to the IDF. –Veterans Today published several articles from missile experts that conclusively stated Israel’s fingerprint to this crime.
    —This is not that difficult to understand. This Israeli culture is a truly toxic, defective, evil
    group of a country formed by the original terrorist groups: Haganah, Ergun, Stern Gang–this is right from their playbook. Like the 9-11 commission report that Zelikow spent a year outlining exactly what would go in it, this is also a contrived, timely release that is hardly representative of anything other that the parade of lies American media outlets have repeated so often,
    enough people still believe it.


    On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine while global power struggles engaged the area (and that is a baseline fact). Coincidentally on March 8, 2014 Malaysian flight 370 mysteriously disappeared over the China Sea which is also currently a hotbed of political opposition and intrigue as well. Since that time and (as I understand it until December 2016) the seabed is being searched (explored? mapped?).
    The precise critical questions may not even be on the table, and honest appraisals of either (or both) incidents may be misdirected or distracted from provoked potentials. Of course one way or the other (weak or strong) this suggests that conspiracies can not be ruled out from any sector of the power grid that includes multinational interests.

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