Skip to comments.Where Did Ukraine's Rebels Get Missile Launcher That Allegedly Shot Down Malaysia Airlines Plane?
Posted on 07/17/2014 10:54:40 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
A Ukrainian official said Thursday that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, a passenger jet traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down near Snizhe today, a town close to the Ukrainian-Russian border. The plane was carrying 295 people and crashed early evening, local time.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but immediate reports say that the airplane was grounded by a BUK surface-to-air missile system. The BUK, developed by the Soviet Union in 1979, has remained widely in use throughout the former Soviet states, including Ukraine.
General Philip Breedlove, the commander of the U.S. European Command, said that Moscow has been supplying Ukrainian separatists with anti-aircraft weaponry, and has held training sessions along the eastern Ukrainian border, teaching rebels how to operate the systems.
Direct supply of the BUK from Moscow to rebels would be a major escalation in the ongoing conflict. However, on June 29, Russia's official news agency, ITAR-TASS, reported that pro-Russian separatists took a BUK system under their control. The report does not specify whether or not this was theft from the Russian or Ukrainian militaries, only that the rebels had seized control of the weapons system. An AP report, dated yesterday, noted that, A launcher similar to the BUK missile system was seen by Associated Press journalists near the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne, which is held by pro-Russia rebels, earlier Thursday.
Initial reports say that the plane was shot down at a cruise altitude of 32,800 feet. MANPADS, shoulder-mounted weapons systems, are incapable of reaching that altitude, suggesting that a ground-based system like BUK was used. BUK can hit planes at altitudes up to 72,000 feet.
According to the Interfax news agency, leaders of the self-declared independent Peoples Republic of Donetsk refuted allegations of involvement, claiming their weapons cannot shoot down planes flying above 10,000 feet. A member of the Republics security council declared the Ukrainian military responsible for the attack.
But at the same time as the Malaysian Airlines jetliner went down, Radio Free Europe reported, Ukrainian rebel leader Igor Strelkov announced on Russian social networking site VKontakte that a Ukrainian transport plane had been shot down: "In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26.... We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured." Strelkov linked to two videos, reportedly of the downed airplane. After news broke that the Malaysian Airlines plane had gone down, he deleted the post about the AN-26.
This incident comes a day after Russia fired its first missiles into Ukraine and the White House laid a new round of sanctions on Russian authorities. President Barack Obama and President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone earlier today about the sanctions; Reuters reported that Putin briefly mentioned the crash near the end of the phone call.
During a television interview immediately following the crash, Senator John McCain said, Im not concluding, but it has the earmarks of a mistaken identification of an aircraft they believed was Ukrainian. He added, If it is a result of either separatists or Russian actions mistakenly believing that this was a Ukrainian warplane, I think theres going to be hell to pay and there should be."
Over the past few days, rebels have shot down two Ukrainian military planes flying at high altitudes. Immediately following the crash, Strelkov wrote on VKontakte, in a post that has now been deleted: We warned them not to fly in our sky.
But the shipping cost is a killer.
I hope someone grabbed the post & videos.
Looks like the rebels are the prime suspects.
Sepratists captured a military base. Besides , Russia is right there on the border with plenty of fire power.
“Amazon.com? But the shipping cost is a killer.”
I’m a Prime Member so I get my BUK’s for free 2-day shipping! Yay.
If indeed the Russian militants are on the site sweeping for evidence, you can bet that evidence tying them to the missile will go the way of Lois Lerners hard drive. Lois...pick up the white phone,...you’re needed in Donetsk.
It’s kind of believable that the separatist were given a crash course on operational use and this cause them to miss their intended target and hit the 777 instead.
the aircraft was at 32,000 feet when it crashed.
Actually it was at sea level when it crashed
“But at the same time as the Malaysian Airlines jetliner went down, Radio Free Europe reported, Ukrainian rebel leader Igor Strelkov announced on Russian social networking site VKontakte that a Ukrainian transport plane had been shot down: “In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26.... We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured.” Strelkov linked to two videos, reportedly of the downed airplane. After news broke that the Malaysian Airlines plane had gone down, he deleted the post about the AN-26.”
You can’t fix stupid!!!
But at the same time as the Malaysian Airlines jetliner went down, Radio Free Europe reported, Ukrainian rebel leader Igor Strelkov announced on Russian social networking site VKontakte that a Ukrainian transport plane had been shot down: In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26.... We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured. Strelkov linked to two videos, reportedly of the downed airplane. After news broke that the Malaysian Airlines plane had gone down, he deleted the post about the AN-26.
“Actually it was at sea level when it crashed”
Quick on the uptake, aren’t you. lol
They just murdered 295 noncombatant foreigners for absolutely no reason at all, besides their own bloodlust and incompetence.
Given the real time nature of the reporting, their propaganda machine was unable to get its story "straight" in time.
I believe it went in the ocean,sea level
“I hope someone grabbed the post & videos.”
If you hurry and look the video is currently all over YouTube.
I suspect Mr. Strelkov is about to get a one-way ticket to The Lubyanka.
This link actually appears to show (from a great distance) the moment of impact. Sad. The news folks are saying the plane had to have gone down intact because the explosion is the fuel tanks when it hit the ground. God awful :(
The dispute is over who owned the Buk that did it, and there will be no evidence at the crash site.
What we do have is independent confirmation from AP reporters that the terrorists have a Buk, and one of the main terrorists himself gleefully announced at the time that the plane went down that his guys had just shot down an AN-26.
This was pretty clearly the work of Russian terrorists, and there is little a scene cleanup can do.
The fact that they control the scene is more evidence against them, not less.
just checked....ground level 1st report said off the coast.
It crashed at ground level, was at 32000 ft when hit by the missile.
Putin's catamites on this forum will be happy to explain why it would be wrong to intervene on behalf of Ukraine.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday the Obama administrations foreign policies in a number of areas have enhanced the worlds tranquility a word that raised eyebrows as reporters pointed to situations in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Ukraine and the South China Sea.
I don’t think a prop plane (AN-26) can fly that high. Maybe they can for a short while, but the air is too thin for props to have optimum thrust. I DO believe that these “rebels” are dumb enough to target a 777 at 36k ft. thinking it was a prop plane. From what this guy wrote on his blog it seems to be the case unless somehow he was just told that and it was a set up!
We don’t know who actually pulled the trigger yet.
There is no way to mistake a Ukranian cargo plane for a jet liner at that altitude ? So whoever fired the missile knew what they were hitting ? Or as you state, it was a dumb mistake.
Nawww, simply file an A-Z claim for not received. You'll get your shipping cost back.
In a post on his VKontakte page, Russia's largest social media site, separatist leader Igor Girkin, aka Strelkov, wrote: "In the vicinity of Torez, we just downed a plane, an AN-26. It is lying somewhere in the Progress Mine. We have issued warnings not to fly in our airspace. We have video confirming. The bird fell on a waste heap. Residential areas were not hit. Civilians were not injured."
Looks like top rebel Igor Girkin (Streklov) posted on social media about shooting down "another AH-26" today, along with video footage of the takedown.
Whoever Shot Down the Malaysian Airlines Plane Probably Didn't Know What They Were Aiming At - The Buk is a Soviet-era air defense system used by both Ukrainian and Russian defense forces. When youre sitting behind a radar screen of one of these things, theres no way to tell what it is. With the Buk, theres no way to distinguish between friendly and foe. Youre just going to take a shot at it, says Raymond Finch, a Eurasian military analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Office. If [the separatists] had reports that the Ukrainians were flying over their airspace, they would shoot. It begs the question of who is sitting behind the trigger. Are they highly trained? My guess is no they are not.
If a Buk system was in fact used to shoot down the MH17, it must have lacked an automatic disengagement system that equips more sophisticated air defense missiles, designed to prevent deployment against civilian aircrafts. A lot of these earlier systems dont have that, says Finch. But theyre still highly efficient, especially against a civilian airliner.
Here’s the scary part; the SA-11, like most modern SAM systems can operate in a virtually automatic mode. It automatically acquires, prioritizes and fires against targets within range. Operator interface is only required to approve/disapprove the launch. Put a semi-trained conscript (or pro-Russian rebel) in the operator’s seat and the potential for fratricide is high.
The social media post from that rebel commander is telling...they weren’t really sure what they were firing at; thought it was a Ukrainian transport, hit a jetliner instead.
Great screen shot record.
Must have it’s own thread to balance the later denials of we know nothing.
They should have redirected all commercial flights around eastern Ukraine as soon as they learned that a Buk system was under rebel control. Thanks for the info.
I was an Air Force crew member on a special mission Herk (EC-130E) back in the 90s...flying over Bosnia, we sometimes climbed to 30-31K later in a sortie, after burning off enough fuel.
Maximum service ceiling for a C-130 is 33K; ceiling for an AN-26 (twin-engine turboprop versus four engines on the C-130) is about 24K.
Hard to believe they could “mistake” a 777, crusing at 34K and 500 kts of airspeed for a turboprop flying 10,000 feet lower, and at a speed of around 220 kts.
One would think if it was in automatic fire mode, they should have shot another commercial jetliner down yesterday. Or the day before. There were plenty of commercial jets flying over that area every day.
You would think the radar system would have given them some type of clue. Speed. Altitude. Etc. Apparently it did not have friend or foe identification capabilities.
Anyone else hear Anderson Cooper mis-speak (at 3:42 pm EDT) on CNN, saying this event was on “the 18th anniversary of the event in 1996 when TWA flight 800 was shot down over Long Island.”
Unforced error, or inside knowledge we weren’t supposed to hear?
Depends on the battery configuration...”standard” SA-11 batterys have a Tube Arm or Snow Drift acquisition radar, which have an IFF interrogator. And if the battery is plugged into an air defense network, there are IFF capabilities at the higher echelons as well.
I saw reports that it was an “acquired” and repaired unit. Maybe the repairs didn’t include the IFF...
OK, OK - got it
Putin wanted a war and got one, now 300 Americans, Canadians, Australians, Brits and other westerners are dead as a result of his actions.
Mop up these Russian psychopaths and their Russian supplied weapons, secure the Ukrainian border, do what it takes to prevent further Russian incursions into Ukraine, take back Crimea and start the war crimes investigations.