Maybe it's a fake, but we haven't heard anything half as convincing from Washington and its typists
This report deserves publicity and scrutiny. It is the accumulation of much research and careful examination of photographs of the wreckage carried out by many people over many months.
The argument is complicated, lengthy, numerous hyperlinks are given and it is fully illustrated throughout. Because it contains details that will be difficult for some readers and is not as well rendered into English as it could be, I will attempt to summarize it.
In essence the author is talking about two things
holes made by these objects in the thin skin of the airliner.
The three objects he is considering are bullets fired by the guns on Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian aircraft, the warheads of Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian air-to-air missiles, specifically one of the R-60 family, and the warhead of the Buk surface-to-air missile.
Bullets are pointed and cylindrical and leave different shaped holes depending on the angle at which they hit and also leave traces of copper sheathing and grease. Some are explosive bullets, some are solid. The authors claim (and illustrate) that there are many of these holes in the pilots' section and possibly copper traces.
Air-to-air missiles are typically not very large and must therefore carry relatively small warheads. Some years ago it was determined that linked or continuous rods gave the greatest effect for the weight. That is described here. The total weight of the rods in the R60 is 3 kilograms (about six and a half pounds). Because actually hitting the target is next to impossible, most anti-aircraft missiles have a proximity fuse which explodes the charge near the target. The explosion drives out the rods which expand into a ring; this rips and tears the thin skin and delicate parts of the aircraft. The authors claim to have found the typical tearing marks on the skin of the aircraft and actually show a photo of one of the rods in the wreckage.
The Buk is a rather large missile and therefore can carry a heavy warhead and has no need for an expanding rod warhead. The Buk warhead weighs 70 kilograms (150 pounds) and the explosive charge is surrounded by 4500 H-shaped and 1500 cube-shaped pieces of hard metal. When the proximity fuse detonates the charge, these 6000 objects are driven out at very high velocity. The author finds none of the characteristic holes produced by these projectiles.
In short, lots of the characteristic holes produced by bullets, lots of the tearing holes produced by rods (including one of the rods), none of the characteristic holes produced by the H-shaped projectiles of the Buk warhead. So, yes to cannons and air-to-air missiles, no to surface-to-air missiles.
The author concludes:
CONCLUSION: A combined strike from a Su-25 M1 attack jet was performed against the Malaysian Boeing. The first attack from the Su-25M1 was performed on the course of the "Boeing" flight in pursuit — most likely the attack jet was located on the right side of the tail of the Malaysian airplane and fired while moving towards the right engine — in this direction the jet made several shots using its 23 mm or 30 mm aircraft cannon.
The pilots died after the first attack, a large-scale decompression occurred in the cabin, the electronics went out of order, the plane turned right and the "Boeing" was probably attacked by the attack jet again, but this time on the left side, in the cabin area from the side of the crew commander using the aircraft cannon and a R-60M rocket in the area of the left engine and the left door, on which the traces of penetration by rod-shaped sub-projectiles remained.
In summary, the report argues that MH17 was brought down cannon fire from a fighter plane into the cockpit, then a follow-up missile fired by the fighter plane. Not a surface-to-air missile fired from the ground.
Quite a lot is riding on the question of who was responsible for shooting MH17 down and there is ample motive for fakery. The theory advanced by this report – namely that a Kiev fighter plane shot it down has been present from early times. It is supported by the Russian military briefing which spoke of radar traces of fighter planes near MH17; by the suppressed BBC Russia report of eyewitnesses who saw fighters near MH17 and the testimony of one of the first OSCE people on the site who spoke of what looked like bullet holes.
It is of course possible that this report is a detailed fake. But where's the counter-argument? The simple fact is that we have heard nothing from the other side of the argument except Marie Harf's social media and John Kerry's “mountain of evidence”. Is this really all that the gigantic US intelligence structure can provide? Actually, we do have a clue to that answer, but it's not one that either Harf or Kerry would like very much. On 22 July, evidently in response to the Russian briefing, “senior intelligence officials” said they had no information. Note, by the way, how the story was spun here and here. The key statement, “we don't know a name, we don't know a rank and we're not even 100 per cent sure of a nationality” is covered in speculation and assertions and twisted as much as possible. But, forget the innuendo, forget the interpretations, the “created conditions” and all the other bloviation and concentrate on the one real fact. US intelligence officials are saying: we don't know.
On the one hand a report with lots of detail, argumentation and photos that fit with other pieces of evidence; on the other, mere assertions, qualified by we don't know from “senior intelligence officials”; in short nothing but “take our word for it”.