MH 17 Disaster: Washington’s Lies and Kiev’s Silence

On July 21 the Russian Ministry of Defense held a briefing and displayed the data to prove the fact that a number of Ukrainian Buk-M1 air defense systems were deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk at the time of Malaysian aircraft disaster. The 9С18 «Kupol» radar activities were especially intensive. It became known that a Ukrainian Su-25 was scrambled to accompany the airliner…

The Russian system of air control detected the Ukrainian Air Force aircraft, supposedly the Su-25, ascending to the level of Malaysian Boeing-777. The distance between the aircraft was 3-5 kilometers.

The Su-25 specifications allow it to fly at the altitude of 10000 meters for a short period of time. The plane is armed with air-to-air missile R-60 with a range of 12 kilometers, the operational range to make a sure hit is 5 kilometers. Why did the combat aircraft have to get up and fly along the civilian aviation route – that is the question to make clear.

Kiev has nothing to say. Of course, Poroshenko said it was not true, there were no Ukrainian military planes scrambled at the time. He could not say anything substantial and in detail. The Ukrainian military makes no comment. It is becoming more evident that Kiev obstructs the investigation.

Washington dodged the discussion.

Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for State Department, said, «Well, a couple points. You saw the Secretary yesterday speak very clearly about our assessment that this was an SA-11 fired from Russian-backed, separatist-controlled territory; that we know – we saw in social media afterwards, we saw videos, we saw photos of the pro-Russian separatists bragging about shooting down an aircraft that then they then – they then – they then – excuse me – took down once it became clear that it may have been a passenger airline. There is a preponderance of evidence at this point both sort of out there in the public domain and also from our information that points to the fact that there was a SA-11 launched from separatist-controlled territory. We assess, of course, that the Russian-backed separatists have this system, and one of the main reasons we have called for a full investigation is so we can get all the facts out there. So what I encourage the Russians to do at this point is to push the separatists that are backed by their government to allow access, to allow investigators who are in Ukraine waiting to go into that area right now, and that’s what I would call on Russia to do at this point.»

What evidence is the Unites States talking about and why it’s not made public – that’s what’s hard to explain? The Russian Ministry of Defense has offered the US Defense Department to exchange the available data related to the accident.

The Chief of the Main Operations Directorate – the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Lieutenant-General A. Kartapolov said that, according to Russian estimates, an American satellite crossed the south-eastern Ukraine at the time of the tragedy. He said it was flying right over the crash zone at the time of the disaster, so it should made the images available to substantiate or refute the accusations that the missile that allegedly downed the plane was fired from the militia-controlled area.

«According to our estimates, a US spacecraft, part of an experimental space system intended to detect and track launches of various types of rockets, was flying above southeastern Ukraine from 5:06 p.m. to 5:21 p.m. [Moscow time, from 13:06 to 13:21 GMT] on July 17,» Kartapolov said. «Accidentally or not, the time of the Boeing crash and the period of satellite surveillance of the territory of Ukraine coincide», he pointed out.

«If the US has images made by this satellite, we ask to hand them over to the international community for a detailed study», the Russian military official said.

There is only one explanation. The information provided by Russian Ministry of Defense proves that the Ukrainian military could have shot the airliner. Moscow knows Washington has data which testifies to it.

Making public the fact that a US satellite with the operational capabilities enabling it to provide the needed imagery was hovering over the place of the crash has driven Washington to the wall. At the same time Moscow displayed its technical capability to trace the space objects checking the US affirmations about the evidence produced in relation to the disaster.

Some US journalists who are dry behind the ears start to ask the State Department awkward questions. For instance, Robert Parry reasonably asks why the US satellite imagery obtained while flying over Ukraine has not been made public?

«Why hasn’t this question of U.S. spy-in-the-sky photos – and what they reveal – been pressed by the major U.S. news media?» he asks.

Quoting the US reporters he notes that the verbs they use never means they are really definite about what they say.

As Parry puts it, «We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems, the official said. U.S. intelligence was ‘starting to get «indications … a little more than a week ago’ that the Russian launchers had been moved into Ukraine, said the official» whose identity was withheld by the Post so the official would discuss intelligence matters.

But catch the curious vagueness of the official’s wording: «we do believe»; «starting to get indications.» Are we supposed to believe – and perhaps more relevant, do the Washington Post writers actually believe – that the U.S. government with the world’s premier intelligence services can’t track three lumbering trucks each carrying large mid-range missiles?»

On July 22 the US intelligence officials failed to confirm whatever they had said about the reasons, the chain of events and the perpetrators. Instead of producing imagery or any other evidence the U.S. intelligence officials, who included experts on Russia’s military and its relationship with separatists in Ukraine, said they do not know the identities or even the nationalities — whether Russian or possibly defectors from Ukraine’s military — of those who launched the missile from an SA-11 surface-to-air battery.

Nor have U.S. spy agencies reached any conclusions on the motive for the attack, except to say that the reaction among separatists recorded on social media indicates they believed they were targeting a Ukrainian military transport plane.

They say there is no evidence Russia had any relation to what happened, no proof there was Russian military personnel at the place of air defense systems’ location, there is no evidence to corroborate the fact that Russia trained the self-defense forces’ personnel to handle the Buk surface-to-air system. The US intelligence had not detected any movement of Buk systems across the Russia-Ukrainian border before the downing of the aircraft.

It means whatever Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf Mary had said about a«preponderance of evidence» pointing to the fact that militia in eastern Ukraine downed flight MH17 was zilch. On July 21 Harf said the US government’s suspicions were based on information gathered from social media sites. «We saw in social media afterwards, we saw videos, we saw photos of the pro-Russian separatists bragging about shooting down an aircraft», she told assembled press.

If Americans believe they can let the situation slide and sweep it all under the rug, they are wrong. The international community wants an independent and impartial investigation conducted by a respected international commission – it must be done to make clear what exactly happened and how the death of 300 people became possible.

Americans are prone to accuse of slander and propaganda everyone who opposes their version of events and hinders their plans. They feel awkward when caught brazenly lying. Even if Washington will not convince Europeans to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation, Russia and other interested parties will go the whole hog and finally make head or tail of it. To name the perpetrators and make them face responsibility is a matter of vital importance for the whole world.

We all must know exactly what happened with the MH17.


Boris NOVOSELTSEV | Strategic Culture Foundation

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