Re-examining the Luhansk video

guest blog by Arnold Greidanus

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
– Aldous Huxley

[Edit log: added Postscript section, July 13th]

Sometime ago Marcel asked me to contribute to his blog with one or more guest blog posts.
It’s a nice opportunity to focus on some topics here – so thanks, Marcel!

Introduction

In this first contribution I’d like to discuss the Luhansk video and the way it has been dealt with by Bellingcat.
In the Western mainstream media the Bellingcat storyline of events around MH17 has become the major scenario for what happened on July 17th. Many links within their chain of events however may be questioned for authenticity and coherence.
The Luhansk video is one of these.

Regarding authenticity and coherence in general: my main objection to Bellingcat’s demeanor is that they present photographs and videos without questioning their authenticty or the context in which they surfaced. The materials are taken for granted, as long as they make up a stirring narrative, leading to a seemingly obvious conclusion.
In (proper) research one always needs to assess competing facts or observations and evaluate alternate views. Also one needs to make a sturdy restriction on any conclusion when proof is not decisive yet.
Nonesuch with Bellingcat. The way Bellingcat presents the results of their investigations reminds me of what Daniel Kahneman described as “What You See Is All There Is” – resulting in bias by neglect or omission.

There are several indications that the Luhansk video is not what the Bellingcat report published in November 2014 suggests it is: a video of the BUK in Luhansk, on the way of returning to Russia, after having launched one missile, with which MH17 was downed (https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2014/11/08/origin-of-the-separatists-buk-a-bellingcat-investigation/).

Avakov posting the Luhansk video

The Luhansk video was first presented by the Ukrainian minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, in a Facebook post on July 18th at 10:32 UTC (https://www.facebook.com/arsen.avakov.1/posts/670837696339673) as well as in an official statement (http://www.mvs.gov.ua/mvs/control/main/uk/publish/article/1103327).

In that post the video of the BUK was situated near Krasnodon, on its way to the Russian border, and it was claimed to have been made at 4:50 in the morning of the 18th, which is very shortly after dawn.
(Some people have quibbled that the Avakov-post should not be translated saying “near” Krasnodon but “in the direction of”. However, Anton Gerashchenko published a Facebook post shorly after Avakov and he uses the word “near” very clearly. See: https://www.facebook.com/anton.gerashchenko.7/posts/695217807231736. Also, there is a statement in English which uses the word “via”.)

A day later Avakov, in a comment to his Facebook post, added that the video was made in Luhansk: https://www.facebook.com/arsen.avakov.1/posts/670837696339673?comment_id=671408826282560
This comment was scarcely noticed though by the many bloggers who had started trying to geolocate the video in the first days after its release, suggesting several places.
Again a few days later, on July 22 – one day after the Russian Ministry of Defense held its press conference on MH17 in which it had claimed the video had been made in Krasnoarmeisk – Avakov released the coördinates of an intersection in the southwest area of Luhansk: https://www.facebook.com/arsen.avakov.1/posts/670837696339673?comment_id=672844756138967

Since the video was made by a “covert surveillance” unit of his own ministry, as Avakov stated in his initial post, why then was it situated near Krasnodon instead of Luhansk?! Why provide incorrect information on this?
The only sensible explanation seems to be that in order to deliver the BUK back to Russia from Shizhne, the BUK would have to pass Krasnodon, regardless whether it would follow a route through Rovenky and Swerdlovsk or a route past Lutuhyne or Volukhyne. So, Krasnodon was the most obvious place to pick as the BUK would certainly have to pass there to get to Russia.

Why go to Luhansk?

But, following either route, the BUK would also not have had to travel through Luhansk, as that city is a detour from any escape route. Now, if the video was made in Luhansk as it turned out, could it be that it had been made earlier than claimed by Avakov?

Pondering on this I recalled a screenshot from the Ukrainian Pravda website, published shortly after the crash by Anatolii Sharii. Sharii pointed at the striking coincidence of a headline of a message on the downing of MH17 preceded by a headline of a message in which it was revealed that the separatists had possession of a BUK.
At the time I hadn’t given much attention to it, but now I became curious.

Another Luhansk video? – the Lysenko press conference on July 17th at 17.00 hrs

On April 18th I did some searching and found several short articles which summarized a press conference by Andrej Lysenko on the 17th in which it was mentioned that separatists had a BUK. But it also mentioned that this BUK was sighted in a convoy in Luhansk and that a video had been made!  See: http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2014/07/17/7032182/ and also e.g. http://news.liga.net/news/politics/2564391-v_ukrainu_zashli_rossiyskie_zrk_buk_snbo.htm

That same evening I wrote Marcel about my discovery. I also provided some links on statements by Pavlo Klimkin, proving he did have knowledge of the separatists’ possession of a BUK, in reaction to a tv interview broadcasted that same day by the Dutch news programme Een Vandaag in which Klimkin denied this knowledge.
(See my tweets of April 18th: https://twitter.com/ArnoldGreidanus/status/589418673204568066 + https://twitter.com/ArnoldGreidanus/status/589419094547505152 + https://twitter.com/ArnoldGreidanus/status/589508157501767680 + https://twitter.com/ArnoldGreidanus/status/589508811611889664)

Marcel digested the links on the Luhansk convoy video and on Klimkin’s earlier statements into a blog post: http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/ukraine-foreign-minister-states-we-had-no-info-on-sam-in-east-ukraine-however-that-is-very-unlikely/

Later on I did some additional searching on the Lysenko press conference and I found an official summary at http://www.ukrinform.ua/ukr/news/anons_1955805 This item also contained a link to a YouTube video of the press conference (in Ukrainian).
I discovered that on the 17th Lysenko gave 2 press conferences, the first at 12.00 and the second at 17.00.
In the latter the information on the separatists’ possession of BUKs was discussed, during a questions round. At the time Lysenko was not yet informed on the downing of MH17, forty minutes earlier.

lysenko

The statements regarding the BUK(s) start at around 21 minutes, during the questions round:

[21:04] Question: On social networks, info is shared about BUK rockets, spotted near Snizhne. They are not Ukrainian ones. Can you comment on this?

Lysenko: We’ve got info, not only about this rocket system. We realize that it’s a very serious weapon and our Air Force and Intelligence will do their best to destroy these systems, so let’s wait and see. We have this information.

[21:41] Question: I would like you to clarify. So, can you confirm about this BUK, that it can hit airplanes ?

Lysenko: We’ve got information that some rockets complexes have passed into Ukraine territory, which can hit planes from high altitude. There was even a video how these BUK rockets drove through Luhansk. We know this.

[22:48] (Another question on another subject)

[23:18] Question: On social networks there is also information, that near Rozsypne, near Torez, maybe a Ukrainian plane was shot down.

Lysenko: When did this happen?

Question: The news appeared an hour ago, maybe less.

Lysenko: I can’t give an answer now, I have no information about this, but we will inform you later about the plane. All our fighter jets are operating, except yesterday’s case. Thanks for your attention.

On May 15th I provided these new links and the previously mentioned links to Vincent Verweij of Brandpunt Reporter, an investigative tv programme, as he was preparing two new documentaries on MH17. The first of these will be broadcasted this evening, the second on Tuesday evening.

What’s important about the statements made by Lysenko in this press conference is that:
– Ukraine knew separatists were in possession of BUKs
– the video referred to by Lysenko may very well be the same as the Luhansk video presented by Avakov and thus would have been made before or on July 17th, instead of the early morning of the 18th.

Contradicting statements by Anton Gerashchenko and Vitaly Naida

There are even more indications that the Luhansk video was not made early on the 18th, due to statements by Anton Gerashchenko and Vitaly Naida.
Just after midnight, on July 18th, Anton Gerashchenko reported that the BUK had been seen just a little earlier that night, near Shizhne, fleeing towards the border: “Ten minutes ago a row of military machinery including the above mentioned “Buk” has passed the point 48.011623, 38.763036 on the road T-0522. It is only ten kilometers left to Russia.” See: https://www.facebook.com/anton.gerashchenko.7/posts/694953173924866 (And also, later that day, https://www.facebook.com/anton.gerashchenko.7/posts/695141617239355, and here: http://www.ukrinform.ua/eng/news/terrorists_move_buk_missile_system_that_hit_boeing_777_to_russia_official_says_323978)  His post was confirming a tweet by @euromaidan.

If the BUK was spotted at Shizhne around midnight, then it would still have quite a journey ahead going to Luhansk first, so it could be filmed at 4:50, and after that heading for the border.

But this was not the case at all – that is: according to SBU’s Vitaly Naida’s statements during a press conference on the 19th!
Several press articles cover this presser.
(E.g. http://interfax.com.ua/news/general/214444.html + http://news.liga.net/news/politics/2589163-posle_krusheniya_boeing_777_boeviki_vyvezli_v_rf_tri_buk_m1_sbu.htm + http://www.ukrinform.ua/rus/news/rossiya_zametaya_sledi_posle_terakta_boeing_777_vivezla_iz_ukraini_tri_buka___sbu_1650443 And also on the SBU website itself: http://www.sbu.gov.ua/sbu/control/en/publish/article?art_id=129116)

The Naida press conference was also captured on video and released in Ukrainian and, with a spoken translation, in English:

From 4m18s on a slide is shown with a picture of a BUK (that would later be identified as Ukrainian BUK 312…) and next to that a screenshot from the Luhansk video is shown.
At 5m14s Naida says Russia ordered the separatists to withdraw all BUK systems from Ukraine: “There were many of them, not one”.
Naida continues telling that at 02.00 in the morning of the 18th 2 trucks with BUK systems passed the border, one BUK with 4 missiles on top, the other carrying three missiles. The latter being the BUK that allegedly downed MH17 from the area of Shizhne.
At 04:00 another 3 trucks passed the border, Naida continues, one empty, one with a BUK system with four missiles, and a third with a “direct guiding” vehicle (probably a TAR unit).
Further on in the video Naida confirms the separatists had “at least” 3 BUK systems and that Ukrainian intelligence was aware of BUKs to be transferred as of July 14th. And at 23m00s he says there were 3 Russian military who accompanied the BUK system.

The statements made by Naida clearly contradict the earlier cited statement by Avakov: if the BUK with 3 missiles on it passed the border at 02:00, how then could it be filmed at 4:50 in Luhansk?!?!

That the BUKs had come into view of the SBU on July 14th was already suggested by intercepted phone calls released earlier on July 18th; these calls were later reused, anonymized, in the JIT video calling for witnesses.

The fact that the separatists had more than one BUK had been mentioned earlier by Anton Gerashchenko in his post on the sighting of a BUK in Shizhne in front of a super market (which turned out to be in Torez though): https://www.facebook.com/anton.gerashchenko.7/posts/694826243937559

Uhh, what about the other BUKs?

Very recently, in what seems to be another hagiographic sketch of Eliot Higgins by Maxim Tucker for Newsweek, a Ukrainian deputy chief of the air force was cited mentioning the locations of the other two BUKs. To my knowledge this is the first time any statements on the whereabouts of these BUKs have been made.

According to his testimony they arrived a lot earlier than July 14th: “In June, three Buks arrived, situated near Donetsk, in Torez and to the north of Novoazovsk,” says Oleg Zakharchuk, deputy chief of Ukraine’s air force. “[Our planes have] a radar warning receiver system, and our pilots on patrol were exposed to the radar’s activity from time to time. The pilot could see in his cockpit that he was within the area of a Buk’s activity. That was exactly the area the Boeing went down.”

If this testimony is correct, it would mean that Ukraine had noticed the BUKs in separatist held area already back in June, yet they did not undertake any efforts to eliminate them.
Anyway, even if the statement is incorrect, they knew for certain BUKs were (arriving) there as of July 14th, but nevertheless did not act decisively.

End of story

It is apparent that the different statements by Lysenko, Avakov, Gerashchenko, Naida and Zakharchuk do not fit nicely.
We do not know which accounts are correct, but we can conclude that they do not make up a straight story – unless we abandon Avakov’s claim that the Luhansk video was made at 4:50 on July 18th.

It is also obvious that the storyline Bellingcat presented since its November report is quite selective, to put it mildly.
Even though “the Bellingcat team” did mention the statements by Naida in their report on Russian convoys published on May 13th, they do not reflect on their earlier assessment that the Luhansk video was made at 4:50 on July 18th.
(See p. 43-51 of the report: https://www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Routes-Destinations-and-Involvement-of-the-2nd-and-147th-Automobile-Battalions-in-the-June-and-July-Convoys.pdf )

Thus Bellingcat keeps repeating the same old story. No reassessing or nuancing of their earlier conclusions in November.
No reflection on Naida’s claim that there were 3 BUKs present in separatist held area.
No reflection on the contradicting time frames of Avakov’s post on the Luhansk video and the Naida press conference statements regarding border crossing.
Just ignore all that and stick to the story. Just keep telling the story, over and over again.

Postscript (July 13th)

The aim of my post was to show that the statements presented by government and military officials are contradicting. Which claim is correct still remains to be seen. Some of these statements may go together, some may not:

  • if the Luhansk video was not made on the early morning of the 18th, then the statements by Lysenko, Gerashchenko and Naida may be correct and they complement each other;
  • if the Luhansk video indeed was made on the 18th, then the statement by Naida must be incorrect, but Gerashchenko’s may still be valid. It would also mean Lysenko is referring to another video of a BUK in Luhansk – which is possible, but not very likely in terms of probability;
  • if the statements of Zakharchuk on the time of entrance of the BUKs in East Ukraine are correct, then Naida is wrong (or at least incomplete).

Zakharchuk was not only quoted by Newsweek, but was also interviewed earlier by Novaya Gazeta on June 30th (and reprinted today). In that interview he said (translation): “Pilots, who have worked in the area of ​​ATO constantly, observed radiation and made their reports. We were analyzing material and we came to the conclusion that at the time anti-aircraft missiles were in the area of Torez, Yenakijeve and Mospyno”.

Location of BUKs mentioned by Zakharchuk June 30th

Location of BUKs mentioned by Zakharchuk June 30th

Torez is mentioned as well in the Newsweek article, but with other locations “near Donetsk” and “north of Novoazovsk” (which is between Mariupol and the border).

What’s most important with these Zakharchuk statements is that the BUKs already were spotted in the East of Ukraine by June!
This is aligning with what General Philip Breedlove said on June 30th, 2014, in response to a question at a press briefing: “What we see in training on the east side of the border is big equipment, tanks, APCs, anti-aircraft capability, and now we see those capabilities being used on the west side of the border” (my emphasis).

The Zakharchuk statements not only raise the question why these BUKs were not destroyed or why the air space was not closed entirely – they also open up the possibility that (some of the) videos or photographs now attributed to sightings of the BUK on July 17th may in fact have been made earlier, but surfaced only after MH17 was downed.

The Novaya Gazeta interview with Zakharchuk is interesting for another reason too because he makes a firm statement on the activity of jet fighters on the 17th: “I can attest to and document: in the daytime of July 17th there was no flight combat aircraft in the area of responsibility of the Air Command”.  Already on the eve of the crash this was said also in a Facebook post by the ATO.  This contradicts Lysenko’s words at the questions round of the press conference cited above: “All our fighter jets are operating, except yesterday’s case.” (The latter ‘case’ referring to a SU25 downed the day before, as reported here (Ukrainian) and here (English).

And a bit more variation…

Today Novaya Gazeta published a lengthy article on MH17 – it can also be found here. This article presents a different storyline regarding the transportation of the BUK, based on several sources (also within the separatists).
According to this article the BUK entered on July 14th from Russia, at Sjevernyi, to the northeast of Krasnodon, during curfew. The BUK was then stored in an empty military warehouse, where it remained for the next day. According to Novaya’s  sources it came without missiles. On the night of July 14th-15th the BUK was transported on the “not entirely logical route” Krasnodon – Pervomais’k (between Artemivs’k and Luhansk) – Krasnyi Luch. On the night of July 15th-16th the BUK was brought to “the area of Torez-Shizhne”.
In the morning of the 17th it was sent to “the area of Snizhne”. At 12:15 it was seen “at this point” by local residents and “our freelance correspondent” saw the BUK with 4 missiles moving on its own. The article also mentions: “According to witnesses, people who were traveling on the launcher, did not look like local separatists”.

The story continues: “Around 20.00 hrs the BUK was spotted on the road leading from Snizhne in the direction of the Matveyevo-Kurgansky District, Oblast Rostov, Russia. On the night of July 17th-18th the unit was transferred across the border.”  Though the route is not specified any further, this suggests the road towards the border which passes Marynivka.

This reconstruction of the BUK’s route towards Snizhne seems to differ from the Bellingcat scenario, since it mentions the BUK was seen in Snizhne at 12.15, whereas Bellingcat positioned it in Torez at that time, reaching Snizhne about an hour later. (Please note: assuming this article refers to the local time, not Moscow time).
However, it is unclear on what sources the phrases regarding the sightings by local residents are based. Also, who is “our freelance correspondent”? This person would be a new witness, in addition to the anonymous AP journalist quoted in the Bellingcat report.
Also, the article quotes the same intercepted conversations that were presented in the JIT-video mentioned above – however, one of these refers to the BUK (and trailer) in Donetsk, a location that isn’t mentioned in this article. It may just as well be that sources are summarized inaccurately by Novaya. (Already questions have been asked on these and other matters.)

What’s also interesting is the route of departure suggested: ‘straight to the border’ from Snizhne, passing Marynivka, towards Kuybyshevo, and the time of the sighting: 20.00 hrs, where Gerashchenko referred to a tweet by Euromaidan mentioning the same area, but much later that same evening.

For now, we’ll have to wait if Novaya Gazeta will provide additional material to backup and specify their story.
As for the many topics raised in the comments: I hope to address some of these in a subsequent post.

126 Comments on Re-examining the Luhansk video

  1. Hector Reban // June 28, 2015 at 1:25 pm // Reply

    Its not obvious, imho, one of these claims (or their small derivatives) the rebels had possession of one or more BUK complexes MUST be true. After all also a SBU vid of another day can be staged.

    Moreover, the purported idea ¨the Ukrainians already knew¨ fits the story laid down by some other (planted?) messages on the 17th.

    This story holds the rebels/Russian crew did it with a BUK, because this BUK had been seen by ¨locals¨, moving in the Vostok convoy from Torez to Snizhne. This is corroborating more or less the version now guarded by Bellingcat (however, in fact the BUK never appeared in the Vostok convoy according to their images and footage).

    Also a 14:17 EEST Euromaidan facebook message alludes to this, (as are some eyewitness accounts on which Bellingcat builds its track trail theory, like the one from @WowihaY, Roman and @Spice4Russia). ¨BUK seen in convoy by locals¨. When asking for more info, followers only get empty respons.

    Then Ukr. official Tymchuk repeats the same message after the disaster: BUK originates from Vostok convoy. Should that have been the official story to be broadcasted after the crash?

    By the way, Tymchuk already blasted at 17:08 EEST on facebook the rebels had downed the Malaysian plane with a BUK. So did Lysenko know or didn´t he when he gave the presser? If he knew, this whole sherade of two press conferences is a scam.

    I can´t add up all this information right now, but to me it all has a suspicious smell.

    • Hector Reban // June 30, 2015 at 8:53 am // Reply

      Correction: WowihaY and Roman didn´t say the BUK was in the Vostok convoy, though a few hrs later WowihaY posted a message about the convoy.

      Roman even said it was accompanied with two cars. Spive4Russia saw a column of tanks in Shakhtarsk. He thought maybe a covered BUK was driving with it.

      Two other sources claimed they saw in Torez – much later than WowihaY – a convoy of three ¨tanks¨, but they didn´t mention the BUK.

      • Hector do you have URLs for those sources claiming they saw a convoy in Torez (but without mentioning BUK)?

        • Hector Reban // June 30, 2015 at 4:20 pm // Reply

          Page 7 Bcat report Origins of the Separatist BUK, note 18, and according to Bcat, also note 19.(I believe this source is talking about watching at a roadblock because of the convoy passed by).

          My guess is these are also the only witnesses who are not in any way affilitated to ultranationalist rightwing extremists. Roman, Spice4Russia, WowihaY, rescuero, Buzzing_Rook and GirkiGirkin seem to know each other, at least now, but most of them well before 17 july too.

          The phrase Bcat is using too – “locals” saw a “convoy” moving “from Torez to Snizhne” – is a soundbite that returns a few times in other sources. Before and after the crash.

          • Reban said “these are also the only witnesses who are not in any way affilitated to ultranationalist rightwing extremists.”

            That sounds a bit pedantic.
            I understand that many neonazi’s are fighting on the Russian side in this conflict.

            But where is your evidence that ANYONE providing ANY of the evidence in the MH17 case is an “ultranationalist rightwing extremist” ?

          • Hector Reban // July 6, 2015 at 2:33 pm //

            No, I’m stating an established fact. Coming up with a “Tu quoque” fallacy (you of the side you allegedly sponsor does it too) is a bit meager, but probably used only for distraction.

            The evidence is not hard to find, Rob. It’s kind of pedantic to supposedly ask me. I have written it down too. But I won’t repeat myself when pro-Kiev troll are nagging for more and more and more evidence again, without supporting any proof for their own idiotic claims.

          • Hector Reban said “No, I’m stating an established fact. ”

            Established fact ?
            Where is your evidence, Hector ?

          • Hector Reban // July 12, 2015 at 9:05 am //

            This is the argumentum ad nauseam technique. You are trolling, Rob.

        • There is about a one hour difference between the BUK tweets and the notions of 3 tanks on the same route. So it is very well possible that the BUK and the Vostok tanks were NOT in the same convoy.

          • Hector Reban // July 12, 2015 at 9:03 am //

            So, what does that say about the Chmuri tapes, Rob? The Russian BUK crew didn´t follow orders?

    • Reban said “Its not obvious, imho, one of these claims (or their small derivatives) the rebels had possession of one or more BUK complexes MUST be true.”

      Yet you have not a single thread of evidence that the “separatists” ever obtained any BUK, working or not.
      Just proclamations by Russian media.

      Nuf said.

      • Hector Reban // July 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm // Reply

        Yep. You have said enough. You are trying to immerse this important thread into nonsense, petty fights and distractions. So I will not feed your trolling any more.

  2. I’ve been calling the SBU’s alleged progression of the BUK The Preposterous Journey of the Magic Little BUK since July 2014.

    After heavy fighting on July 15-17, 2014 actually directed by Igor Strelkov in the field, the border crossing at Marynivka just south of Snizhne was captured during the day of July 17 by the rebels, sealing off over 6000 Ukrainian troops along the southern border consisting of a majority of the battalions of the 24th, 51st, 72nd, 79th Brigades and the 3rd Spetsnasz Battallion, and ventually after a few weeks of massive shelling of encampments by GRAD and artillery leading to the remnants of this Army group’s mass surrender and relocation from the theater of war (79th Brigade) or exodus into Russia (72nd Brigade), or attempted and disastrous breakout northwards (24th Brigade).

    You would think that a tainted BUK south of Snizhne needing to be quickly smuggled into Russia would simply proceed down Route T0522 to Stepanivka under the cover of darkness and then cross the border, as it is just 20 km, as opposed to making some sort of meandering journey to Krasnodon via Lugansk of over 160 km.

    The Marynivka crossing was held by the rebels until July 31 when it was briefly lost during a Ukrainian offensive by the 30th and 95th Brigades to free elements remaining in the southern pocket until its until now permanent recapture by the rebels on August 12 in the lead up to the southern offensive to the outskirts of Mariupol.

    Why wouldn’t the BUK have simply been moved through this nearby checkpoint at night, especially as Ukraine was claiming Russian troops on the south of this part of the border were helping to shell the troops trapped in the southern pocket? It would have been a quick journey back to anonimity of the BUK. I’ve never heard a good explanation for making a trip 8 times as long.

    • Hector Reban // June 29, 2015 at 5:56 am // Reply

      OT but do you have any knowledge the UAF could have had BUKs present in their tankdivisions south and southeast from the Snizhne frontline?

      • Hector:

        The Russian MOD of course published a map were they claimed Ukraine had BUK’s deployed in the south. This map did not show any deployment into the so-called Southern Cauldron or Southern Pocket east of Marynivka. There has never been much confirmation or denial of this map except for the location Zaroshchenske. The other locations in Donetsk Oblast were:

        Styla (TELAR/TEL with KUPOL)
        Avdeevka (presumably from base A-1428 – only TELAR/TEL), Volnovakha (TELAR/TEL with KUPOL)
        Hruz’ko-Zoryanske (only TELAR/TEL) – what looks like a BUK TELAR with a low loader and support vehicles appears at 47°56’26.96″N, 38°04’17.26″E on July 15 Google Imagery, then appears to become a mobile field base with a perimeter trench on July 20-23rd Google Imagery.

        In Lugansk Oblast, the Russian MOD claimed they were at:

        Metalist north of Lugansk (only TELAR/TEL)
        Chuhynka (TELAR/TEL with KUPOL)

        You would think these locations could probably be determined by looking at Google Earth imagery from July 15-16. The Ukrainian Army released a video on July 16th showing two different BUK deployment locations for the ATO with KUPOL radars active (see from 4:48 to 4:54):

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3MomxNHnUA

        It would be elementary compared to the Bellingcat effort of pouring over Russian social media to confirm or deny these are in the area the Russian MOD said they were on those dates.

        • Hector Reban // June 30, 2015 at 6:31 pm // Reply

          Thanks. I assume you took the map issued by the russian MoD at 7/21 presser.

          I saw a rebel composed map from 7/11 with tankdivisions sketched in south and south-east from Snizhne.

          I guessed maybe they had some TELARs/TELs in their midst, but the Russian map didn’t depict them. I know ATO convoy drove through “rebel controlled area” at the 16th, but no one knows where it camped afterwards.

          • In Ukraine SA-11 have only Air Force, but no one tank/infantry and other divisions dont have it. For air defense troops on battlefield using SA-13, flak and MANPADS.

          • Reban said “I know ATO convoy drove through “rebel controlled area” at the 16th, but no one knows where it camped afterwards.”

            And where is your evidence that the “ATO convoy drove through “rebel controlled area” at the 16th” ?

          • Hector Reban // July 6, 2015 at 2:35 pm //

            Don’t feed the trolls!

          • You just made that “ATO convoy drove through “rebel controlled area” at the 16th” up all by yourself, didn’t you, Reban ?

          • Hector Reban // July 12, 2015 at 9:08 am //

            Maybe you have to inform yourself, Rob. You can´t play the game on double standards alone.

      • Reban said “OT but do you have any knowledge the UAF could have had BUKs present in their tankdivisions south and southeast from the Snizhne frontline?”

        If the UAF would have had any BUKs present in the area on the 17th of July, then the Russian Defense Ministry could have just showed the satellite pictures of that, instead of lying through their teeth when they presented satellite pictures from June.

        • Hector Reban // July 6, 2015 at 2:36 pm // Reply

          Mindreading. You don’t know anything about Russian conduct, you are only guessing.

          • Reban said “You don’t know anything about Russian conduct, ”

            Indeed, I had no idea that Russian conduct were this bad.

            I mean, faking the dates of satellite picture to imply that Ukraine did it is pretty dense.

            But claiming that that radar images of the debris of MH17, while 298 people were falling to their death, showed Ukrainian SU25 fighters was really disgusting to say the least.

  3. Wow. I had not seen this. It seems that Bellingcat’s and the Ukkrainian/American story is falling apart on every front.

    • Hector Reban // June 30, 2015 at 8:46 am // Reply

      Now the Paris Match pic is unraveling and the SBU Luhansk vid can´t be dated right, the whole edifice of evidence based on Russian june and july convoys is falling apart.

      (PM BUK position at 11:00 Donetsk can be sustained any more because it can´t be seen at the 7/17 11:08 EEST satellite image Bcat bought from Digital Globe, which covers a third of the way to Zuhres, so about 12 km at a speed of aprox. 36 km/h. An eyewitness, also part of the track trail theory, tweeted at 11:32 EEST he saw the BUK in Donetsk, en route to Makiivka, not far from the PM position).

      So the tracktrail theory is unraveling too. When the Luhansk vid is from an earlier date, so will probably be the other images with the unique truck carrying a BUK on a low-loader as well.

  4. Toni Wunderer // June 30, 2015 at 8:49 am // Reply

    It is indeed good to look at all the details of Bellingcat’s investigation twice or more times to be sure they are not only following a narrative. In my eyes the argumentation line of this article is a bit flimsy. Contradicting statements can be very important hint that someone makes up a story, but it also lies in human nature, that those contradicting statements are often caused by a lack of communication and hearsaying between different persons. You can watch this every day in the news. Contradicting statements are not a proof for false testimony per se!

    I must agree that the route the BUK took looks strange to me as well and somehow doesn’t make sense. But there could be simple reasons like an earlier transport via Luhansk or bridges/tunnels that have to be able to carry a certain weight or be high enough. So far no one investigated such reasons for the BUK route via Luhansk. The southern route was obviously not safe because of ongoing fights these days and the possible route was a thin stripe between changing fronts. It seems obvious why the BUK wasn’t transported this way.

    The most plausible hint for this video being taken on 18th is the mean of transport on the same carrier as the BUK which was seen on several occasions the days before. Somehow the author completely forgets about this which makes the whole comment rather poorly argued.

    Strange that there are recently a lot of claims by Dutch “private investigators” that try to rebut Bellingcat but also fail to deliver a straight and logic story (Best example is the guy who went to the building trying to prove that the smoke plume could not be taken from there, completely neglecting the possibility of pictures taken from the balcony where the cables where hanging as one could later see in the photo). I find this sometimes a bit to obvious that these guys just want to tell their story and look for anything that would make it possible to rebut the Billingcat “mainstream” claims.

    • Thank you Toni. My thoughts exactly.

      • Hector Reban // July 1, 2015 at 9:00 am // Reply

        That is, of course, because you can’t comrehend a circular argumentation.

        The other images and footage cannot sustain the date of this vid because from all these images – all of them! – cannot be traced an exact date/timestamp.

        So they can’t corroborate the date of the Luhansk vid.

        Taken this even further: clues that sustain another date for the Luhansk vid may indicate – according to the bcat logic concerning the uniqueness of the truck – also all other images of the truck may in fact be dated at another date.

        Think about that for a while. Or read “Het alternatieve sleepspoor; andere BUK, andere dag” on hectorreban.wordress.com

        Maybe you should reinforce your laws of physics with some logic and psychological selfevaluation.

        • Admin, I thought this site was supposed to be a citizens effort to find out what happened to flight MH17.

          How does Reban’s sprouting insults and ad hominems, while promoting his own web site, without providing evidence for his extremist opinions, fit within that paradigm ?

    • Hello Tony…you write: “The most plausible hint for this video being taken on 18th is the mean of transport on the same carrier as the BUK which was seen on several occasions the days before.”
      Isn’t this circular reasoning? All of the photos dating are dependent in this way on the other photos being right. But if none of the other photos are dated correctly then how can the video rely on them? Thanks

      • Toni Wunderer // July 7, 2015 at 2:52 pm // Reply

        Wait Ken Oath! The Paris Match photo date should be known. At least if the photographer doesn’t lie! Also we had journalists confirming the story of a BUK being unloaded on exactly that day in Torrez and it was described that the starting of the BUK engines caused exhaust fumes then when being started…just to name a few of several reports accompanying these photos!

        So I would say the dates of the other BUK occurrences can be much better identified and so far they all direct to the claims made by Bellingcat. I haven’t heared of any French reporters changing their stories after hearing the Bellingcat version. So please don’t suggest “circular reasoning” leaving those details unmentioned.

        And of course, we could also assume that the same transporter was transporting BUKs all days long these July days 2014, and that the photos were therefore maybe all from different days. Another possibility is that all of the BUK sighters lied or somehow worked together just to cover the truth. It is very good to be skeptical – that’s why I like reading this blog here. In the end our arguments are all based on public information we can access on the internet, but I always tend more to Ockham’s razor than to Russian smoke screens…

        • Who is the Paris Match photographer. No one will own up to it because they will be shown to be a liar.
          What is this “public information”?
          What are the names of the journalists?

          • Eric said “No one will own up to it because they will be shown to be a liar.”

            Please let us know when you have some evidence for that, OK ?

          • Bellingcat bought satellite images shot at 11.08 am 17 July 2014 of Donetsk. the buk was nowhere to be seen. Logical conclusion that photo is not a photo from July 17 2014

          • Eric, as I stated further down, the BUK was not in Donetsk at 11:08.

            Since the BUK was taped in Zuhres (some 25 km further) around 11:40, and in Torez (some 60 km further) around 12:30, driving something like 30-40 km/hr, it is likely that at 11:08 when the WorldView satellite picture was taken, the BUK was likely some 10-12 km past Makiivka (around Khartsyz’k) and thus out of the range of the satellite pictures that Bellingcat purchased.

          • It’s also likely we will enter that buk in next years Formula One

        • Hector Reban // July 8, 2015 at 7:08 am // Reply

          Toni, neither the Paris Match freelance photographer nor the AP journalist (one, not plurality) are known. It’s very informative the AP account states it saw the BUK being offloaded at exactly the same spot @GirkinGirkin made his (RAW less) photo.

          A BUK hidden behind a flat, one may ask why. The crowds would have welcomed it with joy, so why the secrecy?

          Every convoy, every weapon the separatists could find was cheered because of the bombings by the Ukrainians. There are a lot of dashcam recording for all these transports (Vostok, OPLOT), except… From this BUK. Only a few bad dubious and anonymous images seemed to have been made.

          You are obviously a Belingcat BELIEVER. Circular reasoning has been established. You cant’t date a video with other undated footage and photos.

          So the PM pic doesn’t exist within the timeframe Bcat established, because it doesn’t appear at satellite images. And the vid of the SBU has been made earlier.

          So the beginning and the ending of the trail doesn”t hold. Therefor the complete fabricated story of the june and july Kursk convoy is a lie too.

          • Reban said “It’s very informative the AP account states it saw the BUK being offloaded at exactly the same spot @GirkinGirkin made his (RAW less) photo.”

            Is it ?

          • Seriously, Reban, where do you get this nonsense from ?

          • And it is insulting too, since that very same picture was taken from an apartment building that was bombed just 2 days (on July 15), with 11 people killed, by what was very likely a fighter jet from the Russian Federation.

          • Toni Wunderer // July 9, 2015 at 10:45 pm //

            Hector, I believe you made up your opinion about the MH17 case following your political logic. We both do not have the truth, but you call others “believers” and seem to be frustratingly arguing against a plausible gathering of information not showing in the direction you like. Do you want to make yourself more right by calling others such with such accusations?

            I must agree that neither I or others here can be 100% certain that the photos/videos were taken exactly on that day. It is true – there is a chance that Bellingcat is totally wrong.

            But looking at the whole Ukraine crisis and Russia’s obvious continuous lying + at many artefacts of the MH17 case, the picture tends (for me) more towards the Bellingcat assumption than to any other. That the so called “Ukraine-Guilters” had to change their version of the stories more than twice also doesn’t make them look more plausible.

            I’d like to have discussions with intelligent people who don’t come here with their political agenda. And not with people who want to explain us that behind every DNR/LNR military vehicle a horde of joyful Donbass residents is running with flowers and therefore a BUK without such “Novorussia zombies” can simply not exist 🙂

            This blog is very good source for hints and updates – and even looks into contrary claims and possibilities. Because in the end we all want to know who was responsible for this crime and not to discuss with Pro-Russia guys the many smoke screens of the Russian propaganda and their defenders funny arguments.

            Goodbye Hector! I can’t take you serious any longer!

          • Ken Oath // July 10, 2015 at 1:05 am //

            Toni wrote:
            “Because in the end we all want to know who was responsible for this crime and not to discuss with Pro-Russia guys the many smoke screens of the Russian propaganda and their defenders funny arguments.”

            What about the American and Ukrainian propaganda Toni?

            We can be fairly certain the Ukrainians are lying because on the 17th they told us a buk was in Luhansk and was filmed prior to that.
            Next day, after the shooting down of the plane they release….wait for it….a video of a buk in Luhansk. But instead of sticking to their story about a buk being filmed that was in Luhansk they stopped talking about that video and introduced a new story about a buk being filmed in Luhansk on the 18th.

            If there are not two video then we know the Ukrainians are lying!!

          • Ken Oath // July 10, 2015 at 1:20 am //

            Toni also wrote: “That the so called “Ukraine-Guilters” had to change their version of the stories more than twice also doesn’t make them look more plausible.”

            This is just rubbish. There is no one group of “Ukraine guilers”. There are many many people who have been asking legitimate questions. Asking why Ukrainian military jets were active, and why the Ukraine lied about that. Asking why Ukraine lied about having any of the buk missiles used. Asking why Ukraine, one of the suspects, is part of the investigation team with the power to veto information. asking why all of Bellingcats “evidence” comes from the SBU of from Ukrainian military personnel. asking why the buk supposedly photographed in Donetsk didn’t show up on the satellite images from Digital Globe. Asking why the Americans wont release their “evidence”.

          • That is a lot of crap you are venting there, Ken Oath.
            And as usual, NO evidence.

            Let us start with your first argument :

            “Asking why Ukrainian military jets were active, and why the Ukraine lied about that.”

            What makes you believe there were Ukrainian military jets active at the time MH17 went down ?

          • Rob Dekker please don’t play this game. There are numerous videos on youtube of eyewitnesses to military aircraft in the area at that time plus we have someone who worked at the airfield on that day he saw the planes take off and leave. His name is Evgeny Agapov.

            Apart from that what sort of evidence would you like? 😀

          • Eric, couple of things.
            For starters, if there would have been any aircraft in the neighborhood of MH17, they should have shown up on the radar images of the Russian Defense Ministry.

            They did not, and instead only debris from MH17 showed up on their radar images, after MH17 reduced altitude, which mean that the Russian Defense Ministry was lying through their teeth when they claimed to see Ukrainian SU-25 fighters in their radar images.

            Finally, who is Rob Dekker ?

          • Hector Reban // July 10, 2015 at 11:25 am //

            So Tony, your only counter argument is that I must have a political agenda. Well, if that´s your sophistacated way of discussing this MH17 case, we are done as it is.

          • Toni Wunderer // July 10, 2015 at 12:42 pm //

            Oh my god! Ken Oath and Hector are angry on Ukraine because they were caught telling stupid excuses or sometimes obvious rubbish. Everyone here probably acknowledges that Ukraine authorities are never a 100% trustful source but does it mean as a consequence they shot down MH17 in the contrary? It is obvious that Russia purposely put forward false claims and it is obvious that Ukraine’s government is the innocent Mother Mary neither!

            But instead of showing a certain level of intellect you start with the ridiculous SU25 theory once again! Oh my god! Yes…everyone saw planes following MH17, especially the wife of Motorola and I guess she is above all doubts for you and all the other Novorussia Youtube-Clip watchers. While the SU25 would simply fall out of the sky when shooting at such heights, there is absolutely no evidence for this theory and I hoped that even the greatest Pro-Russia idiots finally accepted that this was a Russian smoke screen. It seems this news hasn’t arrived everywhere yet…

            But one thing never to forget for a Pro-Russian Internet troll! To raise the indispensable question: “What about America?” 🙂 Maybe you should read more about what “Whataboutism” means 😉 You are a perfect example for it!

            Back to the case: It is pretty obvious that MH17 was taken down by a BUK and no SU25. The question is who shot it down (And most probable accidentally)? Both sides had at least one BUK system. The separatist most probably from Russia as the Ukraine ones were found remaining dysfunctional and partly destroyed in Ukraine depots later. The only Ukraine BUKs close enough (reported in Russia) where strangely never observed on ground (as the owner of this field and village inhabitants claimed in several interviews), nor where there any BUK tracks of the quite heavy machines seen in the field (compare to other aerial imagery of military vehicles). Additionally (Bellingcat) found strong evidence that the imagery was faked (showing another date or manipulated). That means that the most probably shooter were separatists/Russians (which they also claimed until noticing their mistake, See social Media and Russian TV reports).

            If the Bellingcat story in the end really matches the exact dates and truth isn’t 100% clear. It could all have been similar but different in details and not all evidences might belong into the argumentation. Here you are right to ask questions. But in the end the sum of evidences (so far) still shows in the same direction. A direction you seem to have ideological problems with…

            @siteowner: Do we really need to have the same idiotic discussions here as well? I really like going through all the controversial claims because my interest is the truth. Thx for this blog btw.! The only thing – I really hoped to avoid the same “Pro-Russia/Ukraine is Bad” and “What about America” trolls you can find elsewhere already enough…Maybe time to lock the comments here…

          • There is still a lot uncertain about the evidence. I do not see a reason why to close this discussion.

          • Toni wrote: “Everyone here probably acknowledges that Ukraine authorities are never a 100% trustful source but does it mean as a consequence they shot down MH17 in the contrary? ”

            No I think they shot down MH17 because they had plenty of buks and the fragment damage to the left engine cowling shows the missile was fired from Ukrainian held territory

          • Toni wrote:Maybe time to lock the comments here…”
            the wheels turn slowly but as the smoke clears its becoming clear that the “Putin did it story” is lies. It worked for a while but that story is falling apart. Lets keep discussing the evidence.
            What we know Toni is that on July 17 the Ukrainians told us that the rebels had a buk in Luhansk and that a video was made. That video was made BEFORE July 17.

          • Toni Wunderer // July 10, 2015 at 11:36 pm //

            Eric, you are wasting the time of other people here!
            You know the truth, so please go to your beloved Putin and tell him, not us! For people like you everything is becoming a “FACT IN CAPITAL LETTERS ™” while things you don’t like get ignored. Please troll somewhere else! Good bye!

            @Moderator: Please close this thread. Nothing positive or valuable comments come out of this discussion any longer!

          • Toni: I do not close this thread. Everyone has a right for an opinion.

          • Eric said “No I think they [the Ukrainians] shot down MH17 because they had plenty of buks and the fragment damage to the left engine cowling shows the missile was fired from Ukrainian held territory”

            Ah. This is going to be interesting.
            Dear Eric. Ukrainian territory was to the North of the MH17 intercept point.
            How on Earth do you argue that the damage to the left engine cowling was caused by a missile from the North ?

          • Hector Reban // July 12, 2015 at 8:47 am //

            So Rob, did you already got your briefing from the Bellingcat spooks about the upcoming attack on the Zaroshchenskoye pocket?

            Bcat will now claim – after their failure to prove the Russian SAT with the two BUKS was a fraud (completely DEBUNKED methodology) – the launch site wasn´t under the control of Ukrainian forces.

            Well, we will see what kind of fraud they have cooked up now.

          • Toni Wunderer // July 13, 2015 at 7:59 pm //

            Hector, one of BCats method out of several evidences in the report were rightfully questioned and the image-noise analysis and Photoshop meta data are probably not alone conclusive. Correct! But it was also neither stated that they were proven wrong (or completely “DEBUNKED” as you write) nor does the additional information disprove their claims in so far. In the opposite, they even support the analysis further. I find it good that Bellingcat is questioned and no one should blindnessly trust their reports.

            But you, Mr. CAPITAL Letter? Once more you tell us not to take you serious by calling things simply a mythology negating the other evidence that
            – even the owner of the field didn’t see or hear any BUK’s nor their tracks
            – that village residents said their area was under control of the separatists the relevant days
            – that the more than 30t heavy BUK’s didn’t leave any tracks in the field nor could it be observed there later (Just an example of how tracks might look on a field: http://ukraineatwar.blogspot.com/2014/07/satellite-images-reveal-how-buk-has.html)
            – thatthe vegetation of the images released doesn’t fit
            – that Russia’s other BUK images also look very faked and that BUKs on the ground were not moved but rather made dysfunctional (Argumentation for this claim might be backed by those 2 articles: http://ukraineatwar.blogspot.com/2014/10/google-earth-shows-russia-used-photos.html and http://ukraineatwar.blogspot.com/2014/10/ukraine-destroyed-buks-that-were-at.html)

            Oh…but wait: Motorola’s wife has seen it was a SU-25 and some RT/Sputnik state propaganda outlets were jazzing up the fact that some of Bellingcat’s methods were questionable while ignoring all the other evidences!. That’s all enough for you to know! Right? You don’t need to think twice! Let’s not forget to mention some cui-bono-bullshit-bingo and ask about the notorious role of America in the world and …voila! Welcome to the world of some ideological pro-russia-troll like you.

            298 victims and their families will applaud your genius Russia-Today logic served together with some faked images!

            And yes, @admin is completely right. In a democracy we shall all be allowed to voice our opinions. Also you, completely agreed! The problem for you Hector is, that voicing an opinion in idiotic manners does not safe you from the justified critics you have earned yourself with your CAPITAL WRITTEN OPINIONs 😉

          • Toni Wunderer // July 13, 2015 at 8:02 pm //

            Wrong link in previous comment: Examples of tracks of military vehicles in a field can be seen here: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-g8AVWrwqm88/U80Hh1W4VHI/AAAAAAAATKc/Dfq29mdAMY0/s1600/satelite+5.jpg

          • Reban, are you Dutch ?

    • Toni wrote: “Contradicting statements can be very important hint that someone makes up a story,@
      However, it doesn’t follow that more contradictory stories are more true.There is a limit

  5. Also, interesting to explore what it would mean IF that Luhansk video was taken before the morning of the 18th.

    If so, a BUK with 3 missiles on it was apparetly driving through Luhansk going SE, BEFORE MH17 happened.. On a Volvo truck that is later seen driving from Donetsk to Snizhne, clearly through “separatist” controlled area.

    That does not make any sense at all, unless the “separatists” (or their Russian providers) had the intent to do something drastic with that BUK and wanted to stage a video so they could use it later to blame Ukraine by pretending it was taken in Ukrainian controlled territory.

    The Russian Defense Ministry did indeed do the latter, but the entire scenario does sound less likely than the Bellingcat scenario that the BUK was simply moved out of the country via a known and often used trustworthy route.

      • No Reban, you did not explore that possibility all.
        In your reference you state :

        “Bellingcat, guardian of all evidence against the rebels and Russians, knows their whole story will come down when this Luhansk footage in reality was made before july 18th. Then those other images with the truck and BUK would have been made before the 17th as well.”

        Which shows that you somehow you believe that IF the Luhansk video was taken before the 18th, that for some mysterious reason ALL other videos and pictures and eye-witness accounts of a BUK driving from Donetsk to Snizhne on the morning of the 17th must all be made before the 17th.

        Could it be that you were just completely “off” in your logic when you wrote that ?
        Or do you see now that IF the Luhansk video (with 3 missiles) was indeed taken before MH17, that this is a sure indication that the Russians were parading the system before it did anything, which implies ‘intent’ ?

        • Hector Reban // July 5, 2015 at 11:11 am // Reply

          Rob, which part of the Bellingcat reasoning confuses you? Its Bellingcat that makes the claim all these *non-dated* pics and footage *have to* be originated from *one date*, the 17th, because of the uniqueness of the truck.

          So you BELIEVE it when your Gods propel this argument, but at the moment it doesn´t suit your ideological narrative any more, you REJECT it. That´s the kind of reasoning we know so well from pro-NATO fellow travellers.

          ¨If¨ the vid is taken before the 18th? Is that still in question for you? So maybe logic and causality principles (i.e. one cannot see forward in time) is not entirely your thing, I guess.

          Deducting a case against the Russians when the vid stems before the 18th and deducting a case against the Russians if it has been made precisely at the 18th. In your kind of logic obviously all reasoning end up in the same direction.

          Well, maybe – logically and rationally that is – some other scenarios become possible. But clealry you are unable to comprehend these, impeded as you are by ideological reasoning hiding behind a smokescreen of the socalled impartial laws of nature.

          • Reban, with all your mis-interpretations of what Bellingcat claims and what the Luhansk video means, and your suspicion about the video and picture evidence of a Russian BUK from the 53rd BUK brigade being moved from Donetsk to Snizhne on the morning of the 17th, I wonder when are you going to claim that MH17 was not taken down on the 17th of July.

          • Hector Reban // July 6, 2015 at 2:43 pm //

            Only a misguided believer could still hold on to the proposed evidence that plant the Paris Match BUK in the Kursk convoy.

    • The truck was not later seen in Donetsk though. Otherwise it would have appeared in the photos Bellingcat purchased from Digital Globe.

      • Hector Reban // July 5, 2015 at 11:29 am // Reply

        Rob will have a perfect explanation for this: The Russians did it!

      • Ken, the satellite pictures that Bellingcat purchased cover H21 only from Donetsk to Makiivka. About 9 km.

        Since the BUK was taped in Zuhres (some 25 km further) around 11:40, and in Torez (some 60 km further) around 12:30, driving something like 30-40 km/hr, it is likely that at 11:08 when the WorldView satellite picture was taken, the BUK was likely some 10-12 km past Makiivka (around Khartsyz’k) and thus out of the range of the satellite pictures that Bellingcat purchased.

        • Hector Reban // July 10, 2015 at 11:33 am // Reply

          Rob you are bending the facts to fit your narrative.

          The Paris Match pic was timed at 11:00 EEST. The edge of the SAT pic is 12 km. So the Truck with BUK and lowloader would have speed up to at least 90 km/h (12 km/8 min) to move beyond the reach of the SAT image.

          Thats probably why Bcat doesn answer my question what the earliets time could be the truck departed from the PM location. They will be caught manipulating or lying.

          • Reban said “The Paris Match pic was timed at 11:00 EEST.”

            No, Reban. That was just what ParisMatch said. A statement by authority. The shadows suggest that the picture was taken about 10:30. Which makes much more sense, since it will take about an hour to get from Donetsk to Zuhres at 30-40km/hr.

            Which means that at 11:08, the BUK was about 10 km beyond Makiivka, and thus outside of the range of the Bellingcat pictures.

            Why is that so hard for you to comprehend ?

          • Rob:

            “Why is that so hard for you to comprehend?”

            Its not Rob, you are using the Big Point Theorem. I love the Big Point Theorem.

            This Theorem says that when you linearize data per a theory created by your preconceived ideas (Truck ‘n BUK was spotted here, here, and here at this time this time and this time and so moving this speed) and a new data point doesn’t fit the result, you just increase the size of the new point until it touches the line that fits your preconceptions.

            So the picture was taken at 11 am and pushed in front of our face as being at that time until it turned out that there was no Truck ‘n BUK there at 11 am, so now we’ll just make the time earlier (i.e. make the point bigger) until we have enough time for Truck ‘n BUK to be off the side of the photo to avoid having conflicting evidence.

            Brilliant!

          • Hector Reban // July 13, 2015 at 7:02 am //

            Well Rob, that´s why I asked Bellingcat to provide the earliest time of departure of the truck from its parked position at the side of the road to Makiivka. Of course, they didn´t respond.

            In fact, why don´t you perform a shadowcasting analysis yourself? O, wait, you may find out the time the still was taken, would be more like 11:30!

          • Reban said : ” why don´t you perform a shadowcasting analysis yourself? O, wait, you may find out the time the still was taken, would be more like 11:30!”

            Mmmm.
            We are talking about this picture :
            http://cdn-parismatch.ladmedia.fr/var/news/storage/images/paris-match/actu/international/exclu-match-un-camion-vole-pour-transporter-le-systeme-lance-missiles-577289/5504402-1-fre-FR/EXCLU-MATCH-Un-camion-vole-pour-transporter-le-systeme-lance-missiles_article_landscape_pm_v8.jpg

            where the shadows appear to point straight across the street (90 degree angle).

            Since this picture was taken at this location :

            taken at this location :
            https://www.google.com/maps/@48.004618,37.872677,3a,75y,63.38h,82.21t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRGnHwZ5YZnuGO-n_VvruWg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

            the street runs at 33 deg, which suggests the sun came from 90+33=113 deg.

            NOAA solar calendar
            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/grad/solcalc/
            suggests that at 48.004618N / 37.872677E, on July 17, 2014, in time zone +3 (UTC+2+1 hr DST), the sun came from 113 deg at about 9:45 am.

            Remember that if these guys left that location as late as 10:45, they could still drive to Makiivka at a leasurely 30 km/hr and be absent from the Bellingcat pictures.

            Which allows for an hour at the minimum to allow for these separatists some time to prepare to leave, and your doubt that the shadows do not point exactly perpendicular of the road.

            So what was your point exactly again ?

          • Sorry. 90+33=123 deg.

            According to NOAA, 123 deg solar angle was reached at 10:18 am on July 17, 2014.
            This gives the “separatists” about half an hour since this ParisMatch picture to leave Donetsk at 10:45, drive 30km/hr so they will be past Makiivka by the time that the WorldView satellite took its picture (11:08 am).

            So the shadows suggest there is enough time for the BUK to not show up in the pictures that Bellingcat purchased.

          • Hector Reban // July 14, 2015 at 5:53 pm //

            So Rob draws an invented number out of his sleeve and personally bends the bcat timeline to fit the narrative.

          • admin, can you release my post that explains the shadow angle ?

  6. Was there a Dutch TV program that was to be aired looking into this?

    • Hector Reban // July 2, 2015 at 9:19 am // Reply

      Well, they said they would, but it didn´t fit the show.

      When asked about this, I got this answer:
      https://twitter.com/vverweij/status/616243509000015872

      So they have published, but not in front of a large audience. In fact, implicitly the Bellingcat track trail theory was peddled, i.e. by showing the lone BUK on its way to Snizhne launch site.

      • No Reban. Brandpunt (“they”) did not publish.

        There was only a tweet from a guy called Verweij.

      • Hector Reban // July 5, 2015 at 11:28 am // Reply

        Verweij did publish it, Rob. You just have to look right:

        https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2015/05/29/whos-lying-an-in-depth-analysis-of-the-luhansk-buk-video/comment-page-1/#comment-17292

        But I recognize a troll when I smell him. You are trying to discredit my credibility by pointing to a ¨lie¨ so you are able to claim a small victory of truth over something not very important. In that way you try to expand your own credibility and righteousness over the entire discussion, which, of course, doesn´t seem to be working at all.

        Its the same way the ideologically motivated discrepancies in your argumentations emerge. Blaming the Russians for a lie, defending the SBU untill you die. Notwithstanding their continuous lying and deceit is crippling every last bit of truth.

        • As you point out, Verweij posted a comment on Bellingcat, signing as “journalist, KRO television”.

          However, Verweij is just a freelance journalist, not actually employed by KRO.
          So he even misrepresented himself.

          Not to mention that Brandpunt itself did not publish anything about the Luhansk video, let alone that is was taped before the 18th.

          • Hector Reban // July 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm //

            Exactly what I said, arguing about the status of a journalist, pathetic.

          • Hector, it may very well be that the Luhansk video was recorded before the 18th.
            The problem is that Verweij does not present any evidence for that scenario.

            To Brandpunt’s credit, and counter to your claim, Brandpunt did NOT publish Verweij’s suspicions.

  7. Antidyatel // July 4, 2015 at 2:10 am // Reply

    Everyone should try Bellingcat’s favourite fotoforensics.com on Paris-Match photo. I wonder why they never did it, if this photo is so critical for them and they like ELA analysis so much

  8. Antidyatel // July 4, 2015 at 2:12 am // Reply

    Look at the link name for the Paris-Match photo https://wp4553-flywheel.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/PM2-BUK-Snijne17072014.jpeg
    Why would they name this photo from Donetsk using the name Snijne? What is PM2? Was it some folder that only consistent the storyline with focus on Snijne? Did Bellingcat have other options to fall back after they can’t defend it anylonger

  9. It’s obvious the video was recorded before the 18th. They told the world they had a video of a buk in lughansk!!
    Then they lied and said it was from the 18th. More lies from the Ukrainians

    • Eric, what makes you believe that there are not 2 videos ? Or 3 ? Or 4 ?
      Look, I’m sure you are a fine lad, with whom I could have a beer with.
      But your logic sucks, and your aggressive unfounded accusations against Ukrainians is apparent.

      • We only have one video. that video shows a buk in Lughansk. We do know that on the 17th July Ukraine told us they had one video of a buk in Lughansk.
        So the video we have is the one shot before the 17th July.
        On the 18th July they released that video but they told everyone it was shot on the 18th.
        If they really shot one on the 18th we would have TWO videos

        • There are probably more than 2 videos.
          Remember that Westerbeke stated that they “had much more evidence than could be found on the internet”.

          For starters, why do you think that the JIT is so confident that the BUK entered Ukraine around Sjevernyi ?

          • Rob said: “There are probably more than 2 videos.”

            Because if there is not two videos the whole Bellingcat/US/Ukraine story is just lies.

          • Hector Reban // July 9, 2015 at 5:56 am //

            So Rob´s evidence now is positioned in the Great Unknown 🙂

          • Eric said “Because if there is not two videos the whole Bellingcat/US/Ukraine story is just lies.”

            Huh ?
            If there is only one video from the BUK in Luhansk, how does that make all the videos and pictures of the BUK moving from Donetsk to Snizhne a lie ?
            That makes no sense at all.

          • Because what we now know is that the rebels captured a buk on June 26. Then sometime before July 17 it was filmed in Luhansk heading over to Russia. So all the photos are from before July 17 too.

            Bellingcats lie is to place all the photos on July 17 and then to place the video on the morning of July 18. But the Ukrainians have told us the video of the buk in Luhansk is from before July 17.
            What part don’t you get?

          • Eric said “what we now know is that the rebels captured a buk on June 26. ”

            Seriously, Eric, where do you get this nonsense from ?

          • No evidence, not even a hint.
            Eric, are you making this stuff up as you go along, or presenting this kind of nonsense deliberately ?

          • Eric, I’m really curious why you fabricate this kind of false information.

            Do you do this just because of your hatred against the Ukrainian people, or to deliberately obfuscate the truth about the what happened to fight MH17 ?

          • I’m not going to answer Rob Dekkers trolling here, but if anyone else is interested just let me know and I”l be hapy to help.

          • Since nobody responded to your plead, maybe you can just tell us all why you are spreading false information on this blog, and why are you pissing on Bellingcat’s amazing findings ?
            Don’t you want to know what happened to flight MH17.

          • Hector Reban // July 14, 2015 at 5:56 pm //

            Amazing findings? What did they find for themselves, Rob? Have they found the mysterious second sbu Luhansk vid yet?

  10. indeed, the lugansk video was made before the 18th july 2014
    ic.pics.livejournal.com/maximk26/71727580/269/269_900.png

  11. Arnold Greidanus said “Thus Bellingcat keeps repeating the same old story. No reassessing or nuancing of their earlier conclusions in November.”

    That is what happens when you hit the truth.

    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein

    • Yes, a magical story of Russian BUK driving through Ukrainian roadblock checkpoints like this one on the M04/E40 in Yuveleine seen on Google Earth on July 15th imagery at this locaion:

      48°33’24.86″N, 39°10’29.07″E

      Its pretty hard to come up with a convincing reason the Ukrainian military there would allow the rebels to transport a BUK both ways through this roadblock, and it is impossible to come up with a plausible transport route from Snizhne to the video location on Pavlivska Street in Lugansk heading southeast that does not pass through this roadblock.

      So Rob, how did BUK and its Lowloader truck end up there? Did they take a wrong turn in Albuquerque as Bugs Bunny would say?

      • Sigh. That is the separatist checkpoint into Luhansk, that has been there since at least May.

        • Rob:

          “That is the separatist checkpoint into Luhansk, that has been there since at least May.”

          Is it? Your proof is what? And how did the Ukrainian 1st Tank Brigade run a convoy into the Lugansk airport on July 13 from north of Metalist? Did they bribe the sepratists there or did they do it to the ones at the intersection of H21 and T1317 at Teplychne?

          Why did the Milita report shelling this town on July 15 to attack the Ukrainians there if they were occupying the middle of it?

          “12:02 – July 15, 2014 – Briefing from the Militia … At 02:00 at night, local time, militiamen gave Ukies a fine beating at the Dolzhanskiy border crossing. In addition, Sabovka, Alexandrovka and Roskoshnoye were liberated from the punitive forces. LPR forces are now establishing checkpoints there. … July 15, 2014 – Information from the Militia – Using Grad systems, militiamen opened fire at the deployment positions of the Ukrainian punitive forces in the area of the Yubileyniy settlement and the strategic city of Alexandrovsk. Following the shelling, Alexandrovsk was entered by an assault armoured column of the Militia. Alexandrovsk is now ours and has been swept and purged of the enemy forces. Militiamen are hastily building new checkpoints and fortifications.”

          How about this link to a Ukrainian source?

          http://ukraineatwar.blogspot.com/2014/07/some-serious-devastation-going-on-near.html

          See the map they use from a Russian source (MilitaryMaps), noting the entire area west of the Lugansk Bypass including Yuvileine being occupied by Ukraine after the incursion to Lugansk Airport? Are you saying this is inaccurate?

          How about this one from the Ukrainian NSDC?

          http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/07/16/ato-map-how-the-situation-in-eastern-ukraine-changed-over-two-months/

          See the front line at Dzerzhynske? That town is east of the Lugansk Bypass, and Yuvileine is west of it and is shown as Ukrainian controlled. So that map is wrong also?

          Need I go on?

  12. There is no proof that the separatists/russians shot down MH17. In fact, if anything, american satellite imagery shows that ukrainian forces were operating the missile launcher that downed mh17. Those images will never see the day light. Larry Johnson, former CIA analist, backed up the same version. https://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/22/the-mystery-of-a-ukrainian-army-defector/

    Since Ukraine is part of the investigation team into the crash and has a non disclosure agreement with the other members you can´t expect much transparency in final report and of course they won´t blame themselves. It´s like asking O.J. Simpson to be te judge of his own trial. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=022_1417006401

    So in the end a case against the pro-russians based on circumnstancial evidence will be put forward. I suspected that they will say a SAM downed mh17, and that the area where the missile was fired was most likely under separatist control. They will resort to witnesses,twitter, videos, intercepts, experts opinions to give credibility to their investigation but no hardcore evidence will be presented. That will do to ensure the crowds ” know” what happened to mh17.

  13. According to shadow analysis you get the best fit for 11:05-11:15 for the Paris Match image. That’s what the source said too. No need to bend the facts backwards just because these ELA-Guys didn’t find the loader.

    https://picload.org/image/iicagia/truck22000000.gif
    https://picload.org/image/iicagir/truck210000.gif

    I’m afraid the human 3D imagination of complex angular relations isn’t good enough to distinguish between 110° azimuth or 140° azimuth when looking at a low angle onto a street like this.

    At 10:30h EEST all the lower parts of the profile at the back of the Volvo cabin had no sun. In the PM image the sun shines well into the notches. At 10:45 the shadows of the Volvo cabin and the low loader are still too long across the street and the angle of the shadows of the trolly-cable-poles do not fit. Therefore 10:45h is pretty improbable.

    • Micha, you made this nice animation, but forgot to analyze the results.
      The lengths of the shadows actually match best at around 10:45, although it is hard to seem since you did not stop the animation at that point in time.

      The azimuth of the shadows (especially of the cabin) does not match very well throughout to animation, which may be because you modeled the cabin as a plain cube rather than the curved body of this Volvo.

      All in all, nice work, although your conclusions do not seem to be sustained by your own animation.

      • Sorry Rob but the animation fits best for 11:05-11:15. The original is rendered in HD 1080p so I guess I know it better.
        Well, the cabin is just a cube but the hight of the cabin is the only relevant feature. The resulting shadow for the hight of the cabin is confirmed by the shadows of the low loader and by the angle of the shadows of the poles.

  14. Sorry if I omitted this in the article being mentioned already (only glanced over). But the front line on that day was such that there were no roads entirely within the rebel held area leading from Snezhnoe to the spot where the Buk had been photographed.

    The partition map looked roughly like that:
    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/0serg/6832593/809/809_900.jpg
    There you already can see that its not possible to get from the alleged launch location to the spot where it was photographed. But my statement is not based on the map (which can be quite erroneous) but on the newspaper reports about the captured towns. All the possible ways there were blocked bu Ukrainian army. This information has been mostly removed from the newspapers by now but there are plenty of records remain. Arnold, I can help get further details if you are interested.

  15. “Lysenko: We’ve got information that some rockets complexes have passed into Ukraine territory, which can hit planes from high altitude. There was even a video how these BUK rockets drove through Luhansk. We know this.”

    Lysenko should explain where THAT video is now.

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