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Russian Report Points to Ukrainian BUK Missile as Responsible for MH17 Tragedy

Detailed forensic report prepared by Russian engineers points to MH17 being shot down by BUK missile launched from area where Russian satellite places Ukrainian BUK launchers

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This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Back in December I wrote an article for Russia Insider ("MH17: The Facts and the Cover up") in which I discussed the state of the evidence concerning the shooting down of MH17.

In that article I questioned the obsessive Western focus in tracking down a BUK missile launcher in the militia’s possession given the known presence from Russian satellite data of Ukrainian controlled BUK missile launchers in the same area that were fully capable of shooting down MH17. 

I pointed out that though the militia’s possession of a fully operable BUK missile launcher in the area is unsubstantiated, the Ukrainian military’s possession of both BUK missile launchers and aircraft capable of shooting down MH17 is undisputed. 

I made it clear that though this does not prove the Ukrainians shot down MH17, the Western media’s disinterest in what the Ukrainians were up to and failure to explore that possibility was deeply concerning.  

The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta has now leaked a report prepared by Russian engineers, apparently at the request of the Russian government, which the Russians apparently have provided to the international inquiry.  

On the basis of scientific ballistic analysis the report concludes that MH17 was indeed shot down by a BUK missile, but that it was launched not from militia controlled territory but from territory where the Russian satellite data places Ukrainian BUK missile launchers on the day of the tragedy.

This information is largely consistent with an anonymous report provided shortly after the tragedy to The Saker by someone who clearly has a high degree of technical knowledge and some experience of accident investigation, and to information the U.S. journalist Robert Parry says he was provided immediately after the tragedy by a U.S. intelligence source.

I am not qualified to comment on the latest Russian report.  I do not know whether it is correct or not, though it is by some measure the most detailed analysis of the ballistic evidence I have seen so far.  

I remain of the view that a forensic study of this sort can only take the investigation so far. The way to get to the truth is for investigators to interrogate those who know --- the military on both sides --- and to demand to see the records and log books of all the military units involved and the information that was passed up the chain of command. I remain very concerned that this is not happening.

I am also concerned about the way in which the “SU25 theory” is being presented in some quarters as an “official Russian theory”, when it is no such thing (to my knowledge no branch of the Russian government has ever publicly committed itself to it) or to the attempts that have been made to impose a false binary --- SU25 = Ukrainians, BUK = militia --- when in reality the evidence shows the Ukrainians had both and fails to prove conclusively that the militia had either.  

I would add (contrary to what some have suggested) that I have been complaining about this false binary ever since the “SU25 theory” first took wings, and I have always been publicly skeptical of this theory, though I lack the technical knowledge to say it is wrong.

In any rational world the latest Russian report ought finally to refocus attention on the Ukrainian BUK missile launchers. The international inquiry has publicly called for witnesses to come forward in relation to the supposed movements and smoke trails of the alleged militia controlled BUK launcher. That confirms that there is at the moment a dearth of such evidence.  It is now time --- in fact it is long overdue --- that attention be refocused elsewhere.



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