This summer I did some research on a few topics that I plan to publish in the near future.
Coincidentally I also found two new sightings of the Buk on July 17th, 2014, as well as an account of the launch trail.
Buk at Torez and Snizhne
First, there’s a comment posted after MH17 was downed, at 17:19 EEST. It was posted in a thread on Odnoklassniki by a woman named Olga Panchenko (maiden name Rudenko) (Ольга Панченко(Руденко)).
The thread was posted by a group named Antimaydan Torez and the thread is titled “Только что сбили самолет. Упал за 12 – й школой” (Just show down a plane. Fell behind school no. 12).
(It can also be found in this archive).
Her comment reads:
Живу возле трассы, сегодня очень крутую установку везли в сторону Снежного, самонаводящую... с нее и били. I live near the highway, today a very cool installation was carried towards Snihzne, self-targetting... to[wards] it and hit.
Since this comment was posted in an antimaydan community – and also judging by another comment in this thread (“Girls, do not argue, today the ‘boys’ brought down two planes !!!”) – this school teacher from Torez is supportive of the separatists.
Second, there’s a post at the South East News community on VKontakte, which was published at 16:05 EEST (the screenshot shows UTC):
The text says:
СД Сегодня в 15:08:33 Город Снежное [??] Today at 15:08:33 Snizhne city
Beneath it is a poll. The poll statement reads:
Купил в военторге --для защиты от авиаударов Bought at the arms store - for protection from air strikes
The time mentioned in the post is most likely given as Moscow Time, which means that the person posting saw a Buk at Snihzne at 14:08.
Of course, (s)he may have heard of it from somebody else as well, but the time given is rather specific, so I assume the person posting saw it him(her)self.
Obviously the photo displayed is not the Buk at Snizhne, it was copied from the Russian wikipedia page about the Buk 9A310 TELAR.
(And the Buk pictured is a Ukrainian one, at the Museum of the Ukrainian Air Force, at Vinnytsia…).
If the time reported is indeed the time that the Buk was seen at Snihzne, then this provides new information on the time it departed from Snizhne.
The South East News community is a group that frequently posts about war events and they take a pro-separatist stance.
With these two items we do not only have sightings by pro-Ukrainian Twitter or VKontakte users, like @wowihay and @MOR2537, but sightings from people supporting the separatists as well!
(Maybe it’s time to “connect the dots” again, Hector Reban ?)
Some people complained that no one reported about a missile trail seen after the launch of a Buk missile at 16:19.
Actually there was already mention of a missile trail in a Zello recording, published on July 26th by blogger Ukraine@war:
“Vika, look, before the plane was shot down, I was watching in the direction of… well, precisely when you look at—what’s the name?—KhimMash. And so, above KhimMash, in the direction of KhimMash, there was something upwards… like smoke, something like a smoke trail… err… as if some kind of a missile launches upwards.”
And a bit further on:
But it was flying and smoking—with a white smoke—and strong buzzing loudly above Oktyabr’ flying there, you know, to… towards the town, in that direction.
Also Aric Toler already pointed to a VKontakte thread where a user named Irina Shcherbakova mentions she saw the missile trail:
I saw how a rocket flew from the direction of Saurovka…and then a minute-long lull and a loud explosion…a trail remained in the sky from the rocket…
Now I found another one, on a forum thread at the YapLakal website. At 17:09 EEST user CNvS posts the following message:
да, били из-под Саур-могилы, ребята знакомые видели след от ракеты, сразу после пуска yes, they have hit from near Saur-Mogila, acquainted guys saw the missile trail, immediately after the launch