Second missile smoke plume photo made in Snizhne linked to first plume photo

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Joint Investigation Team showed a new, previously unknown photo showing a smoke plume caused by the BUK missile which shot down MH17.

While JIT did not provide much clues to the location where the photo was made from, several people found the location. The photo was made in a flat in Snizhne.

A remarkable fact is that the new photo is linked to the first photo (actually 2) made of the smoke plume.

Another remarkable fact is that this photo was found by JIT on social media. However Bellingcat was not able to find it nor other researchers. Was it really found on social media or delivered to JIT?

Based on the new found facts we can conclude:

  1. the second smoke plume photo was made from a flat in Snizhne
  2. the locations where this second smoke plume photos was made from was incorrectly shown in the JIT presentation
  3. The photo was made from exactly the same position as a July 15 photo on Twitter
  4. this man linked to the 2nd plume photo was quoted in some newspaper as an eyewitness of the missile launch
  5. a photo made at exactly the same flat a few days before the shot down was distributed by a pro-Kiev nationalist with a Twitter name

So lets go into more detail about each finding!

The second smoke plume photo was made from a flat in Snizhne


The location where the photo was made is a flat in Snizhne. 48.040864, 38.762274

This photo does not show the black smoke seen in the plume photos made by Pavel Aleynikov.

This can easily be understood. The line of sight towards the launch site was likely blocked by a hill near Snizhne.

Max van der Werff made this image. The blue line is line of sight from the flat where the second plume photo was made. The red line shows the line of sight from the flat where Pavel Aleynikov lived.

The thread at has more details.

Incorrect location shown in JIT animation

The JIT video which shows the positions where photos of the plume were made from, does not show Snizhne.

The view is facing the north-east. The left photo position is either an unmentioned one or wrongly indicated in the video. As JIT mentions there were two newly found photos, my guess is this is the location of where a third plume photo was made from.

The second on the left is Torez from where @rescuero (Pavel Aleynikov) made the photos from his balcony.

Also the location of the eyewitness (the person symbol) does not correspond with the location in Snizhne were the second photo was made.



A photo was made from same position two days before the launch.

This photo was put on Twitter at July 15 2014 by a user called Andrey (‏@parabellum_ua). The time on Twitter shows 2:37 PM. However that does not have to be the time the Tweet was created.

We will have a closer look at Andrey later in this blogpost.


Photos made from same place

It is very clear the photo on Twitter at July 15 was made from the same location as the photo shown by JIT. The animated gif below was made by user Kemet at


Max van der Werff made the compare below. The upper photo shows the smoke trail on July 17, the lower the black smoke on July 15.


The black smoke could be from heavy fighting near Saur Mogilia.

The animation below shows that both photos were not only taken from the same location, but also shows the camera did not move between July 15 and July 17.

As the clouds are different these are not one photo with a smoke plume added to it. Also the position of the trees are different.

Very likely the camera was on a tripod and someone made photos of special events. It could either be a photocamera or a video camera which was taping the area constantly.

In both cases it is remarkable someone is monitoring the area with a camera!

The pro-Kiev relation

The photo supposed to be made at July 15 was sent on Twitter by Andrey (‏@parabellum_ua).  This is most likely  Andrey Tarasenko.

Hector Reban reported about Andrey Tarasenko is his blog titled ‘Myth of the “fatal mistake”: how the MH17 infowar started’. Tarasenko was involved in distribution of the first missile smoke plume photo made by Pavel Aleynikov (@rescuero).

Andrey Tarasenko also posted one of the first videosof the crash plume. This video was made in the north of Snizhne at Chepaka road (48.068072, 38.733599).

Distance between this location and the flat in Snizhne where the 2nd missile plume photo was made is 4 km.

It seems Andrey Tarasenko was some sort of relay for all kind of information on the war. People sent him photos and videos and Tarasenko posted as first on Internet.

Andrey Tarasenko used at least two Twitter accounts  @andrushka74 which was later renamed to  @parabellum_ua and @aksneo. He is also active on other social media platforms.

Andrey Tarasenko was probably living in Gagarin street 26 (YURI GAGARINA) in Snizhne, close to the apartment from where the Snizhne video showing the BUK driving on its own was taken. (source Hector Reban). According the research of Reban infowarriors were in close contact.

Many of these ¨infowarriors¨ had contacts with each other through their twitter accounts, some of them already before the 17th, especially the people from the Torez/Snizhne area. @WowihaY (Vladimir Djukov) was in contact with launch plume photographer @rescuero (Pavel Aleynikov), with Buk tweeter Roman (@MOR2567) and with second plume witness @andrushka74/ @parabellum_ua (Andrey Tarasenko).

Interesting enough someone with the same name Andrey Tarasenko was quoted in this article of nbcnews. This could be a different person. What is extra remarkable is that the photographer of the first smoke plume photo was also quoted in an American media. Business Insider had an interview with Pavel Aleynikov. In this interview his name was not mentioned but he was working in the coal industry.

Below the text from

A Ukrainian miner says that at the time of the Malaysian Airlines disaster, he saw a white trail shoot into the sky from the ground, then heard an explosion and 20 seconds later saw smoke rising in the distance. Andrey Tarasenko said he and friend were walking home from work with a friend when it happened. “You know how you see a trail from a plane? It was the same, but it was a missile launched from the ground,” Tarasenko said. Claims that the plane was shot down have not been confirmed by authorities.

Tarasenko estimated he was 10 miles from the Boeing 777’s crash site. He never saw the plane, which was carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Malaysia, in the sky. His friend shot video of the crash aftermath and posted it to YouTube


There are now two photos made of the BUK smoke plume. Remarkably enough both made from pro-Kiev people who knew eachother. This in itself does not mean anything. It is far more likely pro-Kiev people made smoke plume photos public that people supporting the separatists. Still it is  remarkable and we need to keep this in mind fort further research.

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3 Comments on Second missile smoke plume photo made in Snizhne linked to first plume photo

  1. Andrey Tarasenko also posted one of the first videos of the crash plume. I do not think the video has ever been geolocated, but it is likely not in Snizhne. He might also be the witness that @WowihaY, Bellingcat, and JIT used in their triangulation of the launch site.

    @andrushka74 and @parabellum_ua are the same Twitter account. The handle has been changed to be more in line with the times. You can see this from the retweets and from Internet Archive.

  2. JIT took chemical samples from the alleged launch site. What can we learn from that information and where are the results?

  3. Wind Tunnel Man // October 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm // Reply


    Roland Oliphant’s video report on 22 July 2014 from the alleged launch site appears to show several separated areas of burnt, rough uncultivated ground aligned on either side of the field track. Perhaps a single missile launch would leave just one burn patch if that was the only type of weaponry used in that field?

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