Russian TV talk show blames MH17 air disaster on Ukraine


The 23 July edition of the talk show "Politika" ("Politics") on Russia’s state-controlled Channel One discussed the aftermath of the 17 July crash of a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft, flight MH17, in an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian militia. The programme was added to the schedule at short notice, like the previous edition on 18 July (please see: "Russian TV airs talk-show special to blame passenger jet downing on Ukraine").

Both the presenters and the panellists, who included senior Russian MPs, military experts and east Ukraine’s separatist activists, strongly defended the official Russian theory of the crash, suggesting that the aircraft was shot down by Ukrainian forces, not Russia or pro-Russian militias. The USA, Ukraine and their allies were accused of making politically motivated accusations, and not being concerned with finding out the truth. The discussion on the crash looks "like a political brawl", according to presenter Petr Tolstoy. He also described Britain as an "interested party" in the conflict, which is why there are concerns about impartiality of deciphering the MH17 flight recorder data in the UK. Co-presenter Aleksandr Gordon described the ongoing worldwide conflicts as the end of "70 years of America’s unpunished terror".

Senior State Duma members blame Ukraine, USA

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovskiy said that the Malaysian Boeing was shot down by Ukrainian air defence forces, however, the plan to have it fall in Russia was botched by firing the missiles too early. He added that the USA and Ukraine accused Russia, despite knowing the truth, for the purposes of propaganda. It is not impossible that a Russian "traitor of an officer" would admit that Russia did indeed shoot it down but it would still be a ruse, Zhirinovskiy said. The MH17 flight was shot down to allow Ukrainian forces to gain military advantage over the pro-Russian militias who were poised to "start a march on Kiev", he noted.

Fighting in the Middle East and in Ukraine are part of World War III, which means that all Russians have to "live in the conditions of mobilisation", Zhirinovskiy said. Russia "will support by any means" pro-Russian movements such as the east Ukrainian statelet of Novorossiya, he added. "Hundreds of thousands" of volunteers from Russia and regions such as South Ossetia or Abkhazia would "happily fight against Kiev and Washington" there, but no Russian soldiers would die, Zhirinovskiy said. Russia has to be capable of making "preventive strikes", and to be aware of internal subversion, such as US attempts to "open an internal front" by funding civil society groups, he added.

Deputy State Duma speaker Sergey Zheleznyak (One Russia) said that Russia was freely sharing and publishing information that it has on the crash, whilst the West plays a "diplomatic game" and is not interested in truth, as Russia was already declared guilty. "The Russian state and Russian society", as well as "the large Russian world" and "international anti-fascist movement" have to continue providing assistance to Novorossiya, he added. All resources, which exceed those of "official Russian statehood", have to be fully deployed so that "fascism would not triumph in Ukraine", Zheleznyak said.

Russian experts support official line

Former commander of Russia’s Air Force Army Gen Vladimir Mikhaylov said that "the organisers of this most horrible terror attack, of course, counted on the aircraft falling on Russian territory". A Ukrainian Su-25 destroyer was likely used, he added. The Malaysian aircraft was chosen "to somehow damage our relations with southeast" of Asia, Mikhaylov said.

Editor in chief of Natsionalnaya Oborona magazine Igor Korotchenko said that the USA hesitates to produce information describing real causes of the MH17 crash as "they know who the real culprit is – Ukrainian armed forces". He added that UK’s GCHQ was quite likely to try to delete the flight recorders’ data to hinder investigation.

Military observer of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper Col (retd) Viktor Baranets said that the transfer of flight recorders to the UK "would much delay the search for the truth because it is evident that the Great Britain is a bought judge in this situation".

Director of Centre for Strategic Conjuncture Ivan Konovalov said that even if the flight recorders had been analysed in the Netherlands, it would have made no difference as it is also a NATO member state. However, "the Britons are of course the most biased" against Russia, he added.

Political analyst Sergey Mikheyev said that UK experts and Ukrainian flight authorities would co-ordinate altering their records.

Editor in chief of Zhurnalistskaya Pravda newspaper Vladislav Shurygin suggested that Ukrainian air defence forces may have fired missiles at the aircraft by accident, as the Buk-2 system was rarely used in drills.

Dean of the Higher School of Television under the Moscow State University Vitaliy Tretyakov said that it was "practically obvious that the aircraft was shot down by Ukrainians". Russia should warn Ukraine that if any more civilians get killed, it would recognize independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk "people’s republics" and enter into a military union with them, he added.

Member of the presidential council for development of civil society and human rights Iosif Diskin said that according to his sources, the MH17 flight was brought down by Ukrainian officers who had been bribed by US special services.

President of the Institute for National Strategy Mikhail Remizov said that Russia may face some sanctions as the MH17 crash was blamed on it, but it may offset their severity by threatening to recognize the Donetsk and Luhansk "people’s republics".

Deputy editor in chief of the Vzglyad newspaper Petr Akopov said that Russia is "winning the situation concerning the Boeing" but warned there would be further US stratagems aimed against Russia.

Director general of the Institute for Foreign Policy Research and Initiative Veronika Krasheninnikova said that the Western public is not likely to believe the "American propaganda machine". "Ukraine has unified all of [Russian] society", which helps solve all of Russia’s systemic problems, she added.

Expert with the Fund for Development of Civil Society Stanislav Apetyan said that Russian society would be capable of withstanding the next few years of "turbulence", which is proven by how united it is behind President Vladimir Putin.

Pilot Andrey Litvinov said that there is no way Russia is responsible for shooting down the MH17 flight, as even if it was shot down by the militia, it was a result of US activities in sponsoring Ukraine’s pro-Western protests.

East Ukraine separatist activists blame government

Co-chairman of the People’s Front of Novorossiya Konstantyn Dolhov (Konstantin Dolgov) said that only Ukrainian forces were capable of and did benefit from shooting the aircraft down, unlike the militia, who do not possess required weapons. The "act of provocation" was needed "to discredit Novorossiya, the Donetsk people’s republic, to present us as terrorists", he added. Ukrainian army offensive was an attempt to "hide the traces of their crime", Dolhov alleged.

Member of the board of the Novorossiya co-ordination centre Yehor Kvasnyuk (Yegor Kvasnyuk) said that "no-one seems to have any doubt that this is an act of provocation" by the Ukrainian authorities. He alleged that Ukrainian soldiers who fight in east Ukraine are "on drugs".

Note: due to the programme having been added to the schedule at short notice, this account is based on the version posted on Channel One’s website (

Source: Channel One TV, Moscow, in Russian 1755 gmt 23 Jul 14


Ukrainian Su-25 fighter detected in close approach to MH17 before crash – Moscow
RT | July 21, 2014

Download video (80.3 MB)

The Russian military detected a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet gaining height towards the MH17 Boeing on the day of the catastrophe. Kiev must explain why the military jet was tracking the passenger airplane, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“A Ukraine Air Force military jet was detected gaining height, it’s distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km,” said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov speaking at a media conference in Moscow on Monday.

“[We] would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane,” he stated.

The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification,” he added. “It’s equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.”

The presence of the Ukrainian military jet can be confirmed by video shots made by the Rostov monitoring center, Kartopolov stated.

At the moment of the MH17 crash an American satellite was flying over the area of eastern Ukraine, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry. It urged the US to publish the space photos and data captured by it.

‘Ukrainian Buk missile system transported to militia-held area’

In addition, MH17 crashed within the operating zone of the Ukrainian army’s self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air ‘Buk’ missile systems, the Russian general said.

“We have space images of certain places where the Ukraine’s air defense was located in the southeast of the country,” Kartapolov noted.
The first three shots that were shown by the general are dated July 14. The images show Buk missile launch systems in about 8km northwest of the city of Lugansk – a TELAR and two TELs, according to the military official.

Another image shows a radar station near Donetsk.

Radar stations of the air defense in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

While the third picture shows the location of the air defense systems near Donetsk, he explained. In particular, one can clearly see a TELAR launcher and about 60 military and auxiliary vehicles, tents for vehicles and other structures, he elaborated.

Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 14, 2014. Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

“Images from this area were also made on July 17. One should notice that the missile launcher is absent [from the scene]. Image number five shows the Buk missile system in the morning of the same day in the area of settlement Zaroschinskoe – 50km south of Donetsk and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk," the Kartapolov said.

No Buk missile defense units in Donetsk Region, 5km north of Donetsk city, on July 17, 2014. Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

Buk missile defense units in Zaroschinskoe, 50km south of Donetsk city and 8km south of Shakhtyorsk, on July 17, 2014. Photo courtesy of the Russian Defense Ministry

The question that has to be answered is why the missile system appeared near the area controlled by the local militia forces shortly before the catastrophe, he stated.

Images taken on July 18 show that the missile systems left the area of the MH17 crash, the military official said.

Kartapolov also pointed to the fact that on the day of the plane crash Ukraine’s military increased activity on the part of Ukraine’s Kupol-M1 9S18 radars, which are part of the Buk system.

"..there were 7 radars operating on July 15, 8 radars operating on July 16, and 9 radars operating on July 17 in the area. Then, starting with July 18, the intensity of radar activities radically decreased, and now there are no more than two or three radars operating a day. The reason behind this is yet to be found."

In response to Moscow’s evidence, Kiev said on Monday it had proof the missile that brought down a Malaysian airliner last week came from Russia.

"There is evidence that the missile which struck the plane was fired by terrorists, who received arms and specialists from the Russian Federation," spokesman for Ukraine’s Security Council Andrey Lysenko told a news conference. "To disown this tragedy, [Russia] are drawing a lot of pictures and maps. We will explore any photos and other plans produced by the Russian side."

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Monday that Kiev has “strong evidence” of the causes of the MH17 crash.

We know exactly the place [the surface-to-air missile was] launched, we know exactly the place where it hit the civilian plane and the place where the plane crashed.

Kiev is ready to hand the information to the international investigation commission, according to the presidential press-service.


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