Ukraine Crisis Media Center
Kyiv, July 18, 2014. “It can be said with 99% certainty that the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane was hit by a missile from the “BUK” missile system, which was transported from Russia to the terrorist-controlled territory of Ukraine two days ago,” reported military expert Ihor Romanenko in his press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The expert refuted the theory that the Ukrainian Armed Forces could have fired a missile at Boeing. “It was practically impossible to shoot down the plane at the spot where it fell from beyond the perimeter, controlled by the terrorists,” clarified Romanenko.
Two days ago “BUK” missile system was transported through the “transparent” Ukraine-Russia border to Snizhne area in Donetsk region [eastern Ukraine], said Romanenko. Last night, GRU colonel and the leader of the terrorists Igor Girkin personally supervised the immediate return of the missile system “BUK” back to the territory of the Russian Federation, noted the expert.
“BUK” is a complex weapons system, which requires the efforts of highly trained and well-coordinated professionals including the highly-qualified officers to operate. Therefore, the terrorists from the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic (DNR) and Luhansk people’s republic (LNR) could not possibly operate the weapon system so sophisticated, claimed Romanenko. He expressed his belief that Russia not only transports heavy military weapons, but also supplies crews for their operation and maintenance. Such crews wear military uniforms with no insignia, just like it was observed earlier in Crimea.
Romanenko believes that employing the “BUK” missile system is a part of Russia’s new military strategy, which was developed after the successful results of the offensive of the [Ukrainian government-sanctioned] Anti Terrorist Operation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. To counterbalance the Ukrainian military advantage in artillery and aviation units the terrorists started receiving tanks, APCs and IFVs and artillery complexes. To counteract Ukraine’s aviation, the terrorists received anti-aircraft weaponry, large-caliber machine guns, portable missile launchers from the Russian Federation. Such weaponry enabled terrorists to hit Ukrainian aircrafts and helicopters at the altitude of 3-4 km. In the last 2-3 days, however, the situation has changed: the terrorists received the means of anti-aircraft warfare, which are capable to shoot down the targets at the altitude higher than 5 km.
Romanenko confirmed that the “BUK” missile systems are also in service of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Up until recently one surface to air-missile regiment was stationed in Donetsk region. Nonetheless, since this weapons system is not used for ground defense of cities and villages it was redeployed to a different region a few months ago. Only the commanders of the regiment armed with small-weapons remained near Avdiivka.
The expert emphasized that Russia deliberately supplied DNR and LNR terrorists with military equipment, similar to that which is used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In his opinion, this is done so that the terrorists could explain its origin by seizing it from the Ukrainian military. Such occurrences did take place but they can hardly explain the amount of weapons used by the terrorists.
Notably, on July 17, the civilian aircraft Boeing-777 of Malaysian Airlines was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur at an altitude of 10,100 meters. Approximately at 16:45 [local time – GMT+2] the airliner crashed about three kilometers north-west of the village of Hrabove in Donetsk region. There were 298 people including 15 crew members on board. Immediately, the Ukrainian government has set up an Emergency State Commission to investigate the catastrophe together with ICAO and international experts, inviting Dutch and Malaysian representatives to join the investigation efforts. Last night President Petro Poroshenko expresses his deep and sincere condolences to families and friends of those who died in this terrible tragedy.
Many experts, however, remain convinced that the aircraft was hit by a missile launched from the anti-aircraft weapons system located on the territory controlled by the pro-Russian terrorists.
Spokesman for National Security and Defense Council Information Center: Malaysian Flight MH-17 was outside the range of Ukraine’s surface to air defense systems
Ukraine Crisis Media Center | 18.07.2014
When Flight MH-17 crashed, there were no Ukrainian fighter aircraft in Ukrainian airspace and the plane was outside the range of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ ground based air defense systems, according to Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for the Information Analysis Center of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council during a press briefing at the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Ukraine’s Anti-Terrorism Operation (ATO) forces, Kyiv’s name for its armed forces involved in the conflict with pro-Moscow separatists, did not carry out any operations to destroy any air targets. The Ukrainian military have taken an inventory of its anti-aircraft missile systems and confirmed that no missiles are missing.
“No Ukrainian aircraft operated near the plane crash site at the relevant time and that isn’t their usual operational height,” said Mr. Lysenko.
The Boeing crash is the third case of a plane being shot down after Ukrainian military planes, an An-26 transport plane and a Su-25 fighter jet, were brought down from the Russian territory. In particular, at 18:55 on July 16 the Ukrainian Intelligence Service (SBU) reported that Russian Air Force planes were used against an Ukrainian Air Force’s SU-25 plane near the town of Amvrosiyivka. To destroy the target, the command of the Russian Air Force ordered the pilot of a MiG-29 plane to use an R-27T (AA-10 Alamo-B) medium range Infra Red homing air-to-air missile. This type of missile cannot be detected by the Su-25’s SPO-15 radiation warning receiver, and neither can it be detected by satellite surveillance systems or post-launch surveillance systems.
R-27 missiles are manufactured in Ukraine and have the markings of manufacturing company “Artem” (Kyiv), and so if missile debris is found it will not be identifiable as from a Russian weapon. During the air fight, Russian fighter aircraft homed in on the Ukrainian plane three times for a guaranteed rocket launch. After the target was acquired with the help of an onboard quantum optical location station, the MiG-29 fired one missile at the Ukrainian plane. It is only thanks to the skillful anti-missile maneuvers of the Ukrainian pilot that a direct hit was avoided. The missile hit the motor nozzle and the pilot crash-landed the plane.
Russia’s military aviation continues to carry out air reconnaissance and patrol the Ukraine-Russia border. Yesterday, (July 17) at 11:40, Ukrainian border guards observed eight Russian helicopters flying along the border, opposite the area of responsibility of the Amvrosiyivka border service division of the Donetsk detachment. And today, at 03:55, reports came in of a drone flying along the Azov coast towards the town of Novoazovsk.
In the meantime, military activities continue in the ATO area. Over the last 24 hours, Ukrainian troops have advanced 10–15 km into the territory considered to be controlled by the terrorists. ATO forces have regrouped and are tightening the noose around the separatist strongholds. Ukrainian subunits control some portions of the border but complete control over Ukraine’s border with Russia is not yet possible.
Also over the last 24 hours, illegal armed formations have made 19 attacks against Ukrainian check points and other positions. Terrorists have also opened fire three times into Russian territory. In particular, shots were fired at the town of Kuybyshevo (on the Russian side of the border). In response, Russian troops fired at Ukrainian ATO positions near the border.
On July 17, a Boeing-777 civil airplane that belonged to the Malaysian Airlines was on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, flying at height of 10,100 meters. At approximately 16:20 the plane disappeared from the radars of the Dnipropetrovsk district air traffic control center and at 16:45 an emergency beacon signal was detected. According to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, at 16:45 the plane crashed 3 kilometers northwest from the town of Hrabove in the Shakhtarsk district of the Donetsk region. At 17:40 the fire was extinguished. The plane was carrying 298 persons including 15 crew members.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has offered his profound condolences to the relatives of those killed in the plane crash and stressed that those responsible for this tragedy will be found and punished. He instructed the government to form a special commission to investigate the tragedy. At the president’s initiative, experts of the International Civil Aviation Organization together with the representatives from the Netherlands, Malaysia and the USA were invited to join the commission in order to ensure maximum integrity for the investigation.
In New York today, the Ukrainian delegation will take part in an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council initiated by Great Britain which will focus on the plane crash. The permanent representative of Ukraine to the UN intends to speak at the meeting.
Ukraine’s Security Service Counterintelligence Chief presents photo evidence of Russia’s direct involvement in the downing of Malaysian Flight MH17 that resulted in the deaths of 298 passengers
Ukraine Crisis Media Center
Kyiv, 19 July 2014 – Three Russian “BUK-M1” surface-to-air missile systems were located on Ukrainian territory controlled by terrorists at the time when Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 was shot down. One of the systems, operated by a crew of 3 Russian citizens, fired the missile that hit MH17 airliner from a location near the town of Snizhne in Donetsk region.
The Head of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), Counterintelligence Department, Vitaliy Nayda, told journalists that they have uncovered evidence of this during the course of their investigation, at a briefing in the Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Mr. Nayda, Ukraine’s Security Service has photo materials proving that two “BUK-M1” missile systems crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia at 2:00 AM on 18 July 2014, the day after the act of terrorism took place One of them had a full set of 4 missiles, the other – 3 missiles. At 4:00 AM, 4 transport vehicles crossed the border from Ukraine into Russia, one of them was carrying “BUK-M1” command vehicle.
Phone conversations between terrorists, intercepted by Ukraine’s Security Service, confirm that at least one “BUK-M1” system had previously arrived into Ukraine from the Russian Federation, with a crew of three Russian military personnel. The team of three was meant to join the convoy of military vehicles moving towards Pervomaysk. Ukraine’s Counterintelligence Chief demonstrated a photo of the “BUK-M1” missile system on streets of Torez, a city in the Donetsk region, near the place where the Boeing went down.
Mr. Nayda also said that the SBU has evidence that a missile was launched at 16:20 on 17 July 2014, from an area near Torez, not far from Snizhne, and that was the missile that shot down the passenger plane. The exact launch spot is not being revealed at the moment while the investigation is ongoing.
Ukrainian investigators are trying to get access to the missile’s launch point as well as to the plane’s crash site, however terrorists are preventing them access.
“Russia is trying to cover its tracks and claim that another party is responsible for the act of terrorism. Cynical propaganda in mass media is being used to achieve that,” noted Mr. Nayda.
According to Mr. Nayda, terrorists planned to hide bodies of the killed. When militants discovered that they had downed a passenger airliner, they tried to remove the bodies, driving them away from the site on trucks. However due to the large number of bodies, the terrorists abandoned this plan.
Ukrainian investigators are sharing all evidence they come across with international agencies that are conducting independent investigations, and vice versa
International and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are calling on Russia to provide them with information on the identities of the Russian crew that was staffing the “BUK-M1,” and the opportunity to interrogate these military personnel.
Mr. Nayda emphasized that Russia is obligated to provide all information to further the investigation. “We will find all the answers once we arrest the terrorists responsible for this act of terror, especially Bes, who directed the operation, and the Russian military personnel who carried out orders and launched the rocket,” said Mr. Nayda.
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