July Crisis: Ukraine alleges a Russian military officer pulled the trigger on MH17

posted at 12:41 pm on July 22, 2014 by Noah Rothman

100 years ago this month, a series of accidents and miscalculations set Europe on the path to war. History repeats.

The “July Crisis” which preceded the commencement of World War I was a diplomatic calamity springing from the assassination of the presumptive heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The present July Crisis is also a diplomatic one, for now, resulting from a miscalculation on a remote Ukrainian battlefield where Russia’s project of reassembling its Soviet-era sphere of influence has taken on a military dimension.

The likely accidental attack on a civilian transport on July 17 has, to date, been blamed on pro-Russian separatists with itchy trigger fingers. To the extent that Moscow has been accused of culpability in that atrocity, it is due to their financial and material support for those rebel factions. At worst, it has thus far been alleged, Russia is partially to blame for providing rebels with sophisticated weaponry which resulted in the deaths of nearly 300 civilians.

According to Ukrainian sources, Russia bears more responsibility for this act of barbarism than the West has conceded.

Speaking to CNN on Tuesday, Vitaly Nayda, Ukraine’s director of informational security, said that it was “absolutely” a Russian officer who targeted and attacked that passenger plane filled mostly with citizens of NATO allied nations.

“A Russian-trained, well-equipped, well-educated officer … who pushed that button… deliberately,” Nayda said. He added that Ukrainian intelligence supports his claim.

Nayda, speaking to CNN on Tuesday, referred to audio recordings captured by Ukrainian intelligence. “We taped conversations” between a Russian officer and his office in Moscow, Nayda said. “We know for sure that several minutes before the missile was launched, there was a report” to a Russian officer that the plane was coming, Nayda said.

Russia, meanwhile, denies the charge that even pro-Russian militants shot down that Malaysian airliner. Sources in Moscow claim that a Ukrainian military jet was in the vicinity of that plane and have implied that forces loyal to Kiev are responsible for the deaths of nearly 300 civilians.

Even if Russia was not directly responsible for that attack, experts say that Moscow’s actions are indirectly to blame for this miscalculation and are urging policy makers to hold the Kremlin to account.

“Russia bears responsibility for what they’ve been doing to support, enable, arm these rebels,” Juan Zarate, CBS News national security analyst, said on Monday. “The Russians at a minimum…have enabled this… and, to the extent that we draw ourselves into the details of the investigation and don’t deal with the consequences on the geopolitical side, it’s a retreat from making hard choices.”


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My goodness. How is Barry going to react to this when he reads it in the paper tomorrow?

parke on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Putin is the luckiest bastard on Earth.

He rules in the age of obama.

Schadenfreude on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Hashtag #SternLookFrom9thGreen

Roy Rogers on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Even so, what would Obama do about it?

Nothing

tcufrog on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Boy is Obama going to annoyed when he hears about this after his golf game tomorrow….

Doc Holliday on July 22, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Eh, parke beat me to it…

Doc Holliday on July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Released on March 20, 2014, it’s as valid today, as it will always be.

Schadenfreude on July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Uh, Bishop, or something.

parke on July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

US, Russian and Ukrainian propaganda is useless, I’ll wait for the facts.

FloatingRock on July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

100 years ago this month, a series of accidents and miscalculations set Europe on the path to war. History repeats.

Yeah, no.

History repeating counts on a strong Europe ready and willing to go to war, and a United States led by anyone not named Obama. Europe is currently held hostage by Russia through their oil and gas pipelines, has no will to fight anything (remember Bosnia?), and Obama is willing to piss away our strategic advantages around the global if it means getting more holes of golf in. I’m gonna flag this as Archduke Franz Silly.

NotCoach on July 22, 2014 at 12:49 PM

US, Russian and Ukrainian propaganda is useless, I’ll wait for the facts.

FloatingRock on July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Putin invented disinformation.

obama perfected it.

Schadenfreude on July 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

The likely accidental attack on a civilian transport on July 17 has, to date, been blamed on pro-Russian separatists with itchy trigger fingers

You can’t call it “accidental” when their intent was to kill people by blowing up a plane. They just hit the wrong target, but the violent intent renders that excuse void.

Socratease on July 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

My goodness. How is Barry going to react to this when he reads it in the paper tomorrow?

parke on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

BO is going to continue to demonstrate his “flexibility.”

climbnjump on July 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

It’s all this simple

Lavrov to the Talking Horse/Kerry “John, you raise your voice and Iran and us will drop the US dollar for oil, understand?”

“Da, da, my friend, da”.

End of story

Schadenfreude on July 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

OT – Reported on Outnumered (FOX News)
Militia group moved in next door to the Benghazi consulate in 2011, year before attack. DC was told. Nothing was done.

“Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi,…” – Pelosi

31giddyup on July 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

31giddyup on July 22, 2014 at 12:52 PM

the Archduke Ferdinand….

ted c on July 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Sources in Moscow claim that a Ukrainian military jet was in the vicinity of that plane and have implied that forces loyal to Kiev are responsible for the deaths of nearly 300 civilians.

Actually forces loyal to Kiev are responsible for the deaths of over 500 civilians: The ones killed by shells they fired and bombs they dropped on civilian neighborhoods.

Jon0815 on July 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Alternate Headline
“Obama alleged to have followed the law (any law!)”
I’ll believe it when……………….

LeftCoastRight on July 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Russia, meanwhile, denies the charge that even pro-Russian militants shot down that Malaysian airliner.

Conspiracy Theories And The Useful Idiots Who Are Happy To Believe Putin’s Lies

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 1:01 PM

My goodness. How is Barry going to react to this when he reads it in the paper tomorrow?

parke on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Another round of golf?

Closet Optimist on July 22, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Even if Russia was not directly responsible for that attack, experts say that Moscow’s actions are indirectly to blame for this miscalculation and are urging policy makers to hold the Kremlin to account.

Oh isn’t that quaint! “Experts” calling for accountability. Next they’ll be calling for a strong and vigorous response from the United States and NATO! This is Putin’s world, we just live in it (thanks to a certain worthless rat-eared coward).

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Drudge has a link showing a pic from the plane’s fuselage, basically a side portion of the cockpit just under a windscreen panel with a large hole punched through it, scorch marks, and many jagged shrapnel penetrations.

Bishop on July 22, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Conspiracy Theories And The Useful Idiots Who Are Happy To Believe Putin’s Lies

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 1:01 PM

How about environmental terrorist shot it down to keep it from spreading chemtrails over the area? Not that is believable.

Deano1952 on July 22, 2014 at 1:09 PM

The same reason the Japanese sank the Panay.

PS Pic is wrong.

Either Franz Ferdinand and Sophie or the Munich ’38 class pic.

formwiz on July 22, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Kerry is upset, Obama is madder than anyone, and Biden is just besides himself…time to raise money…

“Oh, and have a secretary send a sternly worded memo to Putin, and get my JayZ’s number, I have a great Hillary joke to tell him.”

right2bright on July 22, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Time for Sheriff Joe to pull out another zinger on Putin!! “Not only don’t you have a soul, you have no heart!” Ya, I should have said that!! Ya!

Deano1952 on July 22, 2014 at 1:13 PM

History repeats.

Dude, that was like a hundred years ago. History is like soooooo yesterday.

Meanwhile …

obama vacation prompts 2-Week long flight restriction for Martha’s Vineyard

http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/21/obama-family-vacation-prompts-two-week-long-flight-restriction-for-marthas-vineyard/

Pork-Chop on July 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

“There’s too much pool to be shootin’, yo.”

Corporal Tunnel on July 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

The likely accidental attack on a civilian transport on July 17 has, to date, been blamed on pro-Russian separatists with itchy trigger fingers.

Socratease on July 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM is correct.

This is a badly mangled sentence. The attack was not accidental that would be the case if a missile was mistakenly launched or the aircraft had strayed into an area where they were testing missiles or something.

What is more likely (but far from certain IMO) is the idea that they accidentially targeted a commercial aircraft.

The attack on MH17 was likely due to Russian or Pro-Russian forces misidentifying the aircraft as a military transport.

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Jon0815 on July 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

“A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic…”

- Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili

Another Drew on July 22, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Progressive (fascist) presidential history:
Wilson>>>> WWI
FDR>>>> WWII
Obama>>>>> WWIII?

jukin3 on July 22, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Drudge has a link showing a pic from the plane’s fuselage, basically a side portion of the cockpit just under a windscreen panel with a large hole punched through it, scorch marks, and many jagged shrapnel penetrations.

Bishop on July 22, 2014 at 1:05 PM

Those bird strikes are really getting out of hand.

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Ukraine expects the U.S. to do something to make Russia stop kicking their behinds, which only shows how utterly screwed they are. Europe will just continue buying Russian natural gas. China will continue squabbling with Japan. India could care less.

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

“Why has Kiev failed to release recordings from air traffic control tapes which could prove what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? Ukrainian security services confiscated the tapes immediately after the incident.”

Good question.

SirGawain on July 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Conspiracy Theories And The Useful Idiots Who Are Happy To Believe Putin’s Lies

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Absolute garbage propaganda from our very own CIA.

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 1:26 PM


US, Russian and Ukrainian propaganda is useless, I’ll wait for the facts. FloatingRock on July 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Me too.

But all these war drums are so macho, I must confess.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Me too.

But all these war drums are so macho, I must confess.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

Agreed, did you hear Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Biden, Kerry, Boehner, and McConnell all rushing to the Congress and the media to demand an immediate bombing of Moscow? /

Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 1:30 PM

100 years ago this month, a series of accidents and miscalculations set Europe on the path to war. History repeats.

I learned in elementary school never to start a sentence with a numeral.

Mark1971 on July 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Putin invented disinformation. Schadenfreude on July 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

I realize you’re the king of hyperbole around here, but no.

Why has everyone suddenly credited CNN et al with objectivity and interest in the truth?

The mob mentality around here is disappointing to say the least.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

It would have almost HAD to have been a Russian who pulled the trigger on that missile. That system is pretty complex. An equivalent US system operator is 20 weeks of training and an officer must give the order to fire. This is not a system that is operated by blokes from the pub who turn out for a day in the field.

This system must be operated by someone who has attended an air defense school on the system. The “separatist rebels” haven’t had time to get people through training on such a system. It is my understanding this is a Buk M1-2 (SA-17) which is NOT a “simple” system.

But more telling: The console operator would have CLEARLY seen the transponder return indicating the target was a civilian airliner. In addition, the system has a radar return analysis function that would have also identified the plane type as a Boeing 777. Thirdly, there is no way the aircraft could possibly have been an AN-26 transport because it was at 33,000 feet. An AN-26 can not fly above about 27,000 feet. It’s just impossible for it to be airborne at 33,000 feet in level flight.

It was a Russian at the controls and he knew it was an airliner.

crosspatch on July 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

“Why has Kiev failed to release recordings from air traffic control tapes which could prove what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 17? Ukrainian security services confiscated the tapes immediately after the incident.” Good question. SirGawain on July 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Where are the US satellite photos?

Are there US satellite photos showing the same launchers, as were supposedly used, in the Ukrainians’ possession?

Does anyone think it odd that a launcher was filmed leaving the area minutes after the plane crashed? And by “odd” I mean highly convenient.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Does anyone know what BRICS is? What does its success portend for the US dollar? What is Putin’s role in BRICS? What happened to Qaddafi when he threatened to go off the dollar?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Ukraine expects the U.S. to do something to make Russia stop kicking their behinds, which only shows how utterly screwed they are.

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Well you know what they say…… What gets signed in Budapest stays in Budapest.

Happy Nomad on July 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

It was a Russian at the controls and he knew it was an airliner. crosspatch on July 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

And that would benefit Russia how?

Does Kiev have these same launchers in its inventory?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Were there any Ukrainian fighters in the area at the time the plane went down?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:43 PM

By “fighter” I mean war planes.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Why has everyone suddenly credited CNN et al with objectivity and interest in the truth?

The mob mentality around here is disappointing to say the least.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Because it’s bleedingly easy to see that the assertion that it was a Ukrainian and/or CIA plot to bring down the plane and drag the US into war is wrong.

Have you even watched Obama’s behavior in the past year and a half? He ran away screaming from Syria at the first sign of resistance and he’s practically hiding from the media on the Ukrainian issue. No major political figures are calling for military action; indeed, most of them are calling for calm. Obama, who is a coward and bully, is absolutely scared to death of Putin and the absolute last thing he or our government wants right now is a war with Russia.

The only chance of Obama wagging the dog is attacking a helpless country like Libya which has no ability to fight back. He’s not going to do with Russia.

So yes, the likelihood of the Russians being the ones who shot the plane down are overwhelming, giving Obama’s open fear of Russia and the behavior of the Russians after the crash.

Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

SOMEONE shot it down and that someone needs to be found and dropped from an Antonov at 36,000 feet, let them experience what those lost souls on the airliner felt.

Creepily enough, the boys and I watched Iron Man 3 last night, near the end of the flick there’s a scene where AF1 is blasted apart and people are sucked from the plane and go tumbling toward the ground. I immediately thought of the Malaysia flight and my hair stood on end.

Bishop on July 22, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

None of that answers my question: why are CNN et al suddenly so credible?

When reporting on FNC and CNN are interchangeable, our spidey sense ought to start tingling. Just a little.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:54 PM

It would have almost HAD to have been a Russian who pulled the trigger on that missile. That system is pretty complex. An equivalent US system operator is 20 weeks of training and an officer must give the order to fire. This is not a system that is operated by blokes from the pub who turn out for a day in the field.

This system must be operated by someone who has attended an air defense school on the system. The “separatist rebels” haven’t had time to get people through training on such a system. It is my understanding this is a Buk M1-2 (SA-17) which is NOT a “simple” system.

Haven’t any Ukranians ever been trained to use the system?

But more telling: The console operator would have CLEARLY seen the transponder return indicating the target was a civilian airliner. In addition, the system has a radar return analysis function that would have also identified the plane type as a Boeing 777. Thirdly, there is no way the aircraft could possibly have been an AN-26 transport because it was at 33,000 feet. An AN-26 can not fly above about 27,000 feet. It’s just impossible for it to be airborne at 33,000 feet in level flight.

It was a Russian at the controls and he knew it was an airliner.

crosspatch on July 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Possibly, but what do you suppose the motive was if intentional?

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2014 at 1:58 PM

What sanctions should the world have visited on the US when we shot down an Iranian jetliner?

Americans involved in the recovery of those bodies claimed that they seemed to have been dead much longer than a few hours. Does anyone else recall that?

After the Flight 800 fiasco (and a doze other things), why should we believe anything the US govt says, let alone anything it says about a plane crash?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 2:03 PM

None of that answers my question: why are CNN et al suddenly so credible?

When reporting on FNC and CNN are interchangeable, our spidey sense ought to start tingling. Just a little.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:54 PM

I think the question is, if the plan is not to drag the US into war – and Obama’s behavior clearly shows it’s not – then what is to be gained by the US and/or Ukraine shooting down the plane? Because there’s only two options here – either Russia did, or US/Ukraine did.

I suppose one could argue a third option exists that the Ukrainians were just incompetent and shot the plane down by accident, but you and others supporting the Russian position are implying active malice and a major media coverup.

So my question is, what is to be gained by all this alleged covering up? I still haven’t heard a credible explanation for it other than vague assertions of neocon plots to drag the US into war.

Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

But more telling: ….

crosspatch on July 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

I think you’re assuming too much. There are a couple of layers to the use of the SA-11, and the lower layers can operate independently. You don’t have to use the features of the system, either – the bit telling you that it’s a 777 doesn’t actually bring up a picture of a 777 and make a “wrong answer” buzzer sound, it very likely only gives you a profile which would require knowledge to interpret. If all the erstwhile operators were trained to do is acquire a blip, engage the system and launch, then that can be done (I’m betting). And, the missile has its own tracking system – which wouldn’t even break a sweat on a civilian airliner, straight and level, at 33,000 feet.

Yes, the system requires a lot of training to use effectively. It, however, only require some training to be used indiscriminately. It’s very possible that someone among the “separatists” was given just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

As to those saying Ukraine could have done this – yes, it’s possible, but I think their story would have fallen apart by now. The powers that be (including the media) aren’t exactly sympathetic to them. And their level of competence in Conspiracy Management 101 seems to be below the class curve.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

So a plane takes off full of dead people who were previously killed somewhere else, even though the people were alive when they boarded the plane, a few hours later the plane is shot down but the resulting corpses seem to have been dead for days.

Ok then.

It’s 1700 somewhere in the world, I think I’ll down a scotch or three.

Bishop on July 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Does anyone know what BRICS is? What does its success portend for the US dollar? What is Putin’s role in BRICS? What happened to Qaddafi when he threatened to go off the dollar?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Brasil
Russia
India
China
South Africa

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 2:08 PM

So what is President Jarrett going to do now?

GarandFan on July 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

These Aug 1914 analogies are preposterous. The driver for WWI was comparative mobilization schedules for horse and foot soldiers among French, German and Russian armies. They knew French mobilization capabilities were far faster than Russian so they devised a plan to beat the French in 6 weeks given superior Germany mobilization abilities. After 6 weeks and a French defeat, Germany would transfer its western Armies to the east to face the still mobilizing Russian Armies to attack them while they weren’t ready.

That was the plan, it didn’t work but came awfully close to succeeding.

Nothing remotely exists today to suggest the imperatives forcing WWI are acting upon any great power today.

richardb on July 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Absolute garbage propaganda from our very own CIA.

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Oh, so you believe the KGB and its disinformation campaign in Operation INFEKTION?

Gotcha.

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 2:16 PM

These Aug 1914 analogies are preposterous.

Except for what they reveal about the people making them.

vlad martel on July 22, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Accidental my @$$.

If you discharge your firearm when you don’t mean too, it’s negligent. That would be the best case for Russia and their proxies. But you point the gun, and pull the trigger and don’t know what you are pointing at, it’s not even negligent, it is reckless.

What Putin and his thugs did was reckless and a ware crime by any means.

jnials on July 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

My goodness. How is Barry going to react to this when he reads it in the paper tomorrow?

parke on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Don’t worry, I don’t think this will make the sports section. That’s all Val gives him.

slickwillie2001 on July 22, 2014 at 2:19 PM

I suppose one could argue a third option exists that the Ukrainians were just incompetent and shot the plane down by accident, but you and others supporting the Russian position are implying active malice and a major media coverup.

I’m not supporting the Russian position. No one’s position has been proven to my satisfaction at this point. That’s why the vehemence against Russia is so weird. If Russia did it, so be it.

So my question is, what is to be gained by all this alleged covering up? I still haven’t heard a credible explanation for it other than vague assertions of neocon plots to drag the US into war. Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Well you haven’t heard that from me. At this point I consider it an accident for the reasons you raise: it doesn’t seem to benefit anyone.

The one with the most to lose is Putin though, so one must wonder what he might have done to incur the wrath of the powers that be.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 2:22 PM

It would have almost HAD to have been a Russian who pulled the trigger on that missile. That system is pretty complex. An equivalent US system operator is 20 weeks of training and an officer must give the order to fire. This is not a system that is operated by blokes from the pub who turn out for a day in the field.

This system must be operated by someone who has attended an air defense school on the system. The “separatist rebels” haven’t had time to get people through training on such a system. It is my understanding this is a Buk M1-2 (SA-17) which is NOT a “simple” system.

But more telling: The console operator would have CLEARLY seen the transponder return indicating the target was a civilian airliner. In addition, the system has a radar return analysis function that would have also identified the plane type as a Boeing 777. Thirdly, there is no way the aircraft could possibly have been an AN-26 transport because it was at 33,000 feet. An AN-26 can not fly above about 27,000 feet. It’s just impossible for it to be airborne at 33,000 feet in level flight.

It was a Russian at the controls and he knew it was an airliner.

crosspatch on July 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

Correct, you have covered the skills angle. But there’s also a responsibility angle. Tsar Pooty, as insane as he has been in his desire to rebuilt the USSR, knows the power of this AA system, and he and his insiders would not trust it to any other than a loyal member of the Russian military. A Russian military officer had the launch key for that system on the day of the shootdown.

slickwillie2001 on July 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Vladimir Putin’s Polling is TWICE as Good in Russia as Obama’s is in America!

Putin: I won!

right2bright on July 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

I still haven’t heard a credible explanation for it other than vague assertions of neocon plots to drag the US into war. Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Yeah, it’s not like they’ve ever done that before….

vlad martel on July 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

My goodness. How is Barry going to react to this when he reads it in the paper tomorrow?

parke on July 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM

…swing a 5 iron!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

This is what the Euros get for not maintaining their own armies and depending on the US for their defense. They instead imported people who will never assimilate into their cultures and probably end up dominating their countries for cheap labor(sound familiar)all the while spending resources on green things instead of improving their own safety.

Kissmygrits on July 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM

“The Russians at a minimum…have enabled this… and, to the extent that we draw ourselves into the details of the investigation and don’t deal with the consequences on the geopolitical side, it’s a retreat from making hard choices.”

“Hard Choices”… now where have I heard that phrase recently?

ITguy on July 22, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Have you even watched Obama’s behavior in the past year and a half? He ran away screaming from Syria at the first sign of resistance

Doomberg on July 22, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Good! The last thing America needed was to let progressive neocons start another war on behalf of their Al Qaeda allies to feed their cronies and foreign interests.

FloatingRock on July 22, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Haven’t any Ukranians ever been trained to use the system?

DarkCurrent on July 22, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Here’s your typical ethnic Russian separatist.

I always knew that the Russians themselves shot down MH17. Despite what all the “experts” say, the SA-11 is a SYSTEM. It’s comprised of four tracked vehicles: one for acquisition and targeting radars, one for command, one for missile launchers, and one for logistics.

You can’t just turn those over to drunk, pot-bellied peasants. The system requires a lot of training.

The Russians themselves are doing most of the fighting in Ukraine. Their ethinc-Russian militia pals are worthless.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

At this point I consider it an accident for the reasons you raise: it doesn’t seem to benefit anyone.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 2:22 PM

I see one possibility that benefits someone:
– A false flag operation: shoot down something and blame the Ukrainians, then invade to take out this “awful terrorist government”.
– Of course the flip side is the Ukrainians do it, and blame the “separatists”, and finally get world condemnation of them and maybe some help to keep the Russkies out.

Or, of course, the “separatists” intended to shoot down something else, but were horribly incompetent.

As to assuming things about Russia – I think most are making those assumptions based on the character of the Russian government, and past experience (Georgia, Crimea). Because of the sympathies and the craven attitudes of many toward them, they figure they don’t *have* to be good at the false flag.

My assumptions about Ukraine are that it couldn’t pull off the false flag operation successfully. If they did it, my assumptions about them are way wrong.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Despite what all the “experts” say, the SA-11 is a SYSTEM. It’s comprised of four tracked vehicles: one for acquisition and targeting radars, one for command, one for missile launchers, and one for logistics.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

You might be right about the Russians actually pulling the trigger, but the SA-11 does NOT require all 4 vehicles to operate in a mode dangerous enough to shoot down a civilian airliner with no ECM at 33,000 feet, flying straight and level.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

a civilian airliner with no ECM at 33,000 feet, flying straight and level, on a clear day.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

FIFM

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I’m not supporting the Russian position. No one’s position has been proven to my satisfaction at this point. That’s why the vehemence against Russia is so weird.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Some of us don’t find this to be a mystery of the ages. We’re vehement because we’re informed.

It doesn’t take a trial by jury to figure out who’s responsible for what happened. Russian hardware in the hands of Russian separatists spouting demented Russian propaganda about how there are Nazis in Kiev preparing to commit genocide on ethnic Russians.

And to further inflame your sensibilities, I allege that the Russians are mortaring their own in order to blame it on Ukraine. There are tons of videos of single mortar shells having been fired into markets or dropped on city streets.

Why would the Ukrainian armed forces do that? What would be the purpose of feeding Putin’s propaganda machine? These are single shells that blow people’s guts out of their bodies, and then RT shows the video and rages about “Ukrainian terrorists.”

It’s absolutely clear that the Russians are doing this in order to create a pretense for another invasion.

The EU and the US should’ve begun shipping arms, ammunition, special forces, the CIA Special Activities Division, and MI6 operatives to Ukraine. Turn it into another Afghanistan from 1979-1989.

Play the game by Russia’s rules, and they’ll back down.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:01 PM

I always knew that the Russians themselves shot down MH17.
A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Since you know so much, tell us: does Ukraine have this weapons system in its arsenal?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

You might be right about the Russians actually pulling the trigger, but the SA-11 does NOT require all 4 vehicles to operate in a mode dangerous enough to shoot down a civilian airliner with no ECM at 33,000 feet, flying straight and level.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 2:57 PM

How does the launcher acquire the target without the radar vehicle? How do the two coordinate without the command vehicle? How do any of the vehicles operate without the logistics vehicle?

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Does Ukraine have mortars?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Since you know so much, tell us: does Ukraine have this weapons system in its arsenal?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Absolutely.

And the world’s intelligence agencies knew within seconds the location of the launcher.

It was tacked by satellite. We knew almost instantly that it was a vehicle in Russian-held territory that fired the missile.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Here’s your typical ethnic Russian separatist.
A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

And here’s the other side.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Does Ukraine have mortars?

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

No. Not a single one.

What they do is use giant slingshots made from the inner tubes of tires.

When inner tubes aren’t available, they use donkeys to kick the mortar shell into flight. The donkey is tickled on the ribs, causing it to kick backward and upward.

Donkey tickling takes great skill. Ukrainian army donkey ticklers are trained for fifty years before they’re ready, so they have an operational career of only a few hours.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:12 PM

And here’s the other side.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

The Ukrainian armed forces aren’t politicized, so whether or not there are small numbers of extremists in Kiev is irrelevant.

The ethnic-Russian militias and Russian Spetsnaz and members of the 76th Guards Air Assault Division are the ones fighting the insurgency in Eastern Ukraine.

They’ve actually taken up arms. The small number of Ukrainian fascists trying to be part of the government aren’t out killing anybody.

By the way, what does Putin’s rear end taste like? Sweet or salty?

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Let’s stop making excuses for Russia and Putin. We know that there are Russian military officers and intelligence officers (both retired and active duty) leading the rebels, including Strelkov himself. We know that the use of the SA-11 system requires two full years training to operate properly. We know that the system just arrived in the last few weeks; the rebels were proud enough to show the world videos of the system. We know that the system had taken down three other planes in recent weeks. A Russian national pulled the trigger.

Esaus Message on July 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

I’d like to see the satellite photos. I don’t guess they’re out there yet though.

Akzed on July 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

How does the launcher acquire the target without the radar vehicle? How do the two coordinate without the command vehicle? How do any of the vehicles operate without the logistics vehicle?

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Pretty danged easily against a civilian airliner. The launch vehicle has its own radar in newer versions, though the one on the radar vehicle is better. The missile itself has a semi-active homing radar that is adequate to chase and hit a combat aircraft. You don’t need the command vehicle to launch the missile. You only need the logistics vehicle if you want to reload missiles or you need an extended deployment.

The SA-11 (and especially the SA-17 variant) is designed to be able to operate in a degraded condition – that is, without it’s “helper” components. When it is shooting at a civilian airliner, flying straight and level at a steady speed, with no ECM, on a clear day, with no likelihood of retaliation, it’s not hard to get a hit in degraded mode. (In a combat environment, use in degraded mode would generally include firing multiple missiles, in hopes of getting one to lock on to your target.)

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 3:34 PM

The Ukrainian armed forces aren’t politicized, so whether or not there are small numbers of extremists in Kiev is irrelevant.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM

I’m not sure what you’re saying there. If you’re claiming the “separatists” are politicized, then I don’t see how you can make the claim the Kiev administration’s forces aren’t. That seems odd, but perhaps I don’t grasp your use of the word “politicized”.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Oh, so you believe the KGB and its disinformation campaign in Operation INFEKTION?

Resist We Much on July 22, 2014 at 2:16 PM

No, I believe MH17 is MH370.

MH370 had a dozen Chinese nationals and eight Malaysians working for Freescale Semiconductor on board. They were not patent holders, but they were valuable high-ranking engineers working on breakthrough cloaking technology.

Freescale had been bought by the Qiaoxing Group in 2009 with backing from the Beijing government. Many conspiracy theories focus on the 2006 buyout from Carlysle Group and Blackstone.

But China benefits most from a Russo-American conflict.

To understand why, I would recommend this article from April of this year. Although the link says HuffPo, it is an expanded version of an article published by the Russian International Affairs Council.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/artyom-lukin/us-russia-china_b_5168015.html

In other words, China decided not to share key defense technology it developed in the U.S. through an acquisition and recalled key Asian team members to make sure they kept the technology. They made a test run of the cloaking technology with MH370. They his the plane. Once it had been stripped, scrubbed and repainted, they flew it over Ukrainian airspace where it was shot down and blamed on the Russians. Our government was likely complicit in this.

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Ummmmm. Wow. *hands you a brand new roll of Reynolds Wrap* Go ahead, use the whole thing. No, really, just use it all……….

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Pretty danged easily against a civilian airliner.

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 3:34 PM

Your insights into the operations of the SA-11 system got me thinking about something. First, if news reports are accurate, then numerous civilian carriers were passing over Ukraine. With this in mind, why would a SAM crew settle on this one target? Without the command radar, can the launch vehicle’s radar determine altitude? Or is it only range-and-bearing? That leads me to my second question. If the system could accurately determine altitude, then being at 33K should have definitely have been a clue to the crew. After all, an in-country military transport flight would not have the time or distance to need to get up to commercial air cruising altitude. Ukraine is smaller than Texas, and you don’t get that high flying from Houston to Dallas.

It’s all very confusing, and I’m not sure I’m buying that this is an accident.

dreadnought62 on July 22, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Ummmmm. Wow. *hands you a brand new roll of Reynolds Wrap* Go ahead, use the whole thing. No, really, just use it all……….

GWB on July 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Go ahead and laugh, but think logically.

Why would Russia shoot down a commercial plane? Anyone can tell the difference between low-flying attack aircraft and an airliner at 33,000 feet.

The Ukrainians do have Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, and a Buk battery was operational in the region and deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner.

But they don’t have an incentive to shoot down an airliner, either -–unless there was a plan to frame Russia. But then here we are. What do they gain from that?

Someone upthread mentioned the BRICS don’t care about this. Europe will stay out of it while they continue buying Russian natural gas. France just announced this today. Germany hates us.

That leaves us and President Mom Jeans. If you think the Ukrainians shot down that plane to drag us into their conflict or Putin did it, you’re the nutter. You don’t accidentally fire on a 777 with a SA-11.

Most planes were avoiding this airspace altogether. That was the recommendation of the FAA.

So, what are the odds of two planes getting spectacularly destroyed from the same airline within such a short time frame? You think Malaysian Airlines would have taken that kind of risk? Did they ever find MH370? No, and they never will, because the Chinese blew it up over Ukraine.

ezspirit on July 22, 2014 at 7:34 PM

There’s another possibility here guys. It’s quite possible that the entire SA-11 team was drunk as skunks on cheap stolen vodka.

Think about it. It’s the Russian Army after all.

slickwillie2001 on July 22, 2014 at 8:31 PM