Bellingcat photo links Buk 332 to Kursk base in Russia

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A photo showing BUK with serialnumber 332 is another indication the BUK TELAR which was seen several times in Eastern Ukraine on July 17, was stationed at a Russian army base near Kursk.

The report can be read here.

Following a tip from Twitter user @Sl0zhny, Bellingcat was able to find the “missing link” photograph that shows these white transport markings on Buk 332 from before the June 2014 convoy. A photograph taken by a Russian mechanic, likely in the spring of 2013, shows Buk 332 with the same white transport markings that were on the Buk while in Ukraine shortly before and after the downing of MH17

The mechanic’s photograph was taken at a vehicle yard of this brigade, as we can determine with the help of another photograph from the same area, uploaded by a cadet in August 2014. This photograph shows the same pink colored Krug missile container, visible in the mechanic’s Buk 332 photograph. The photograph is geotagged at the vehicle yard of the 53rd Brigade in Marshala Zhukova, near Kursk in Russia, which is correct after cross-referencing the features in the photograph with satellite imagery.


Pre-MH17 Photograph of Buk 332 Discovered

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4 Comments on Bellingcat photo links Buk 332 to Kursk base in Russia

  1. Sean Lamb // June 7, 2017 at 4:23 am // Reply

    I am not sure if I am allowed to say this here, but while they do seem to have collected a number of photos that are consistent with being the same Buk 332. It is difficult to be certain and they don’t reveal the provenance of some the images.

    It is not consistent with being the Buk 332 of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade where they did reveal the provenance of the image from 2010.

    In their May 2016 article they claim:
    “Clear photographs were available of this same left panel for Buks 312, 322, and 332. A comparison of the three panels below shows that Buk 332 has the identical dent on the panel:”

    But there is no dent on the panel, what it is is that when the metal sheets were being cut, they were not being cut completely straight

    And while it is true that both 3×2 and 332 were not cut straight, 3×2 was cut outwards and 332 was cut inwards.

    And 332 was plainly painted in a distinct shade of green. Of course, 3×2 may indeed be originally a 332 – just not the 332 from Kursk.

    To be honest, it is very difficult to accept that Bellingcat are publishing this material in good faith.

  2. I had a look at the same pictures right now and I must say the 2 BUKs look very identically to me if you have a look at specifically to the dent. I would say it is a 99% match if you look at the panels length proportions where the dent happened and also the lower party looks similarly curved with a small outward indent approx. at the lower 3rd of the panel length. This is just my personal observation but maybe I also don’t understand your description properly. Regarding the color – just take into account different daylight, different cameras. I wouldn’t overweight this difference between the new photo and BUK 3×2 – in the new photo a large part of the respective front panel is also covered by what seems bags. Not to forget road-dust that can create a different look and color pattern.

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