Two years after: some food for thought
Today it has been two years that MH17 was shot down.
I sincerily hope justice will be done.
My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims.
On this occasion I’d like to present a few snippets, to serve as food for thought.
In the near future I hope to present a post on the immediate aftermath of the downing of MH17.
For now a few fragments may suffice.
After MH17 was taken down, news spread on social media. However, during the first 2 hours confusion ruled.
For some time it was unclear where the plane exactly fell, and what plane it was.
Most people posting messages on Twitter and VKontakte assumed an AN-26 freighter plane was downed. This may be due to the dimensions of the plane to observers. A few days before, on July 14th, an AN-26 had been downed already.
Nevertheless, some people assumed a SU-25 was shot. The day before at least two other SU-25’s had been shot at. In the morning news about a second SU-25 having been downed by a Russian jet fighter, in the early evening of the 16th, was trending on Twitter.
Some people believed that both an AN-26 and a SU-25 were downed.
In these tweets and VK-posts many assume that the plane(s) has (have) been downed by the separatists.
@HuSnizhne сбили. Слава донбассу!
@HUSnizhne Shot down. Hail Donbass!
Только что в Торезе был сбит самолет укровский СУ-25, еще одним гадом меньше:) / / #ANNA_news_Новороссия /
In Torez a Ukrainian SU-25 has just been downed, another reptile less 🙂 / / #ANNA_news_Novorossiya /
The assumption that the separatists downed a plane was confirmed by two posts at the Strelkov-info community on VKontakte.
Though it is unlikely these messages were written by Strelkov himself, it is very plausible that information was passed on from separatist circles.
(I will address this issue in a future post).
The first news site reporting on the event was Ria Novosti:
17:13 EEST (18:13 Moscow Time)
Transport An-26 shot down in eastern Ukraine, said witnesses
According to them, the plane crashed somewhere in the “Progress” mine area, away from residential areas. “We saw him hit a rocket, there was an explosion, the plane went to the ground, leaving a black smoke. From the sky some debris fell down”, – said one of the locals.
DONETSK, July 17 – RIA Novosti. Militia on Thursday shot down another transport aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force over the city of Torez, in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine, reported eyewitnesses of the incident to RIA Novosti.
“About 16.00 local time an AN-26 flew over the city. We saw him hit a rocket, there was an explosion, the plane went to the ground, leaving a black smoke. From the sky some debris fell down”, – said one of the local residents. As proof of his words the interlocutors provided a video to our agency.
According to them, the plane crashed somewhere in the “Progress” mine area, away from residential areas.
As of approximately 17.50 EEST news slowly spreads that the downed plane was neither an AN-26 nor a SU-25, but a Boeing 777 of Malaysia Airlines.
There are a few news stories in which representatives of the separatists provided early statements. These are rather interesting:
19:00 EEST (20:00 Moscow Time)
Boroday: DNI have no weapons to shoot down the plane at an altitude of 10 km
Earlier in the Donetsk region a transport aircraft An-26 crashed, and later there were reports about the disaster of the Boeing 777 from Malaysian airlines.
DONETSK, July 17 – RIA Novosti. The militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic have no weapons that can bring down a passenger plane at an altitude of 10 kilometers, the Prime Minister of the unrecognized republic Alexander Boroday told Ria Novosti.
“If this is indeed a passenger liner, we did not do it“, – assured Boroday. According to him, the aircraft crashed in Torez is much smaller than a Boeing. In addition, the Prime Minister recalled, Kiev closed the sky over the DNR and LNR to civil aircraft. [My emphasis]
19:03 EEST (20:03 Moscow Time)
The DNR said it shot down two aircraft of the Air Force of Ukraine – SU-25 and AN-26
Advisor to the Minister of Defence of the self-proclaimed DNR Igor Druz said that the militias shot down two aircraft – Su-25 and AN-26. “The transport plane An-26 was shot down over the city. It fell into the mine area, “Progress”, near the waste heap. Residential buildings are not damaged. At the crash site works reconnaissance militia “, – “Interfax” quotes the representative of the militia. Mr. Druz added that the assault fighter Su-25 was shot down near the Russian border. “It was hit by a portable anti-aircraft missile system. The crash location has been clarified, “- said the representative of the DNI.
(Igor Druz was advisor to the rebels’ military commander Igor Strelkov, and a senior spokesman for the rebel-held territories of Donetsk region. He was especially occupied with the ideology of the eastern Ukrainian rebel movement.)
20:04 EEST (21:04 Moscow Time)
LPR: Boeing brought down by Ukrainian Su-25
Ukrainian military could shoot down the plane Malaysian airlines, mistaking it for a Russian spy plane, the vice-premier of the LPR, Andrei Purgin, said on air at the “Russia 24” TV channel.
20:10 EEST (21.10 Moscow Time)
Liner Malaysian companies brought down by Ukrainian SU-25: the press service of the LPR
KIEV, July 17, 2014 , 21:10 – REGNUM The press-service of the Luhansk People’s Republic made an official statement about the passenger aircraft that crashed in the combat area. “Airliner “Boeing 777″ of the Malaysian company was hit by a Ukrainian Su-25, – the statement reads. – The airliner crashed near the village of Roszypne in the Donetsk People’s Republic”.
“Liner” Boeing 777 “Malaysian company was shot down by a Ukrainian SU-25, – the statement reads. – The airliner crashed near the village of Roszypne in the Donetsk People’s Republic”.
“After the attack on the passenger liner, the SU-25 Ukrainian Air Force was shot down by Luhansk defense and fell near the town of Krasnyi Luch, – stated the Luhansk People’s Republic. – For their part, the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics are interested in the thorough investigation of the incident with the participation of Russian and international experts, but it can be complicated by active military operations taking place in the field of the crash.”
The same press statement was covered by Russia Today. Here it is added that: “At the moment we are searching for the downed aircraft”.
I guess they’re still searching for that SU-25.
In the evening of the downing of MH17 Russian news media came up with all kinds of explanations and/or accusations, e.g.:
– the Ukrainian army was aiming for Putin’s plane instead of MH17 (source)
– the downing was an accident, due to unskilled Ukrainian military (source)
– Ukraine had moved a Buk battalion near Donetsk just the day before (source)
– MH17 was taken down by 2 Ukrainian jet fighters, according to a Spanish air traffic dispatcher, Carlos, allegedly working at Kiev Air Traffic Control (source)
– the route for MH17 was changed, leading it over the combat zone in Eastern Ukraine on purpose (source)
– the Donetsk People’s Republic expressed its fear that the crash site would be bombed by Ukraine in order to destruct evidence (source)
None of these ‘theories’ have been proven right, e.g. we haven’t seen a single photograph or video of Buks in Ukrainian held territory and within range of the point where MH17 was hit.
Some of the allegations above were adapted by the Russian Ministry of Defense in their July 21st press conference, which has been thoroughly debunked by Bellingcat, this website, Metabunk and others.
That’s all folks. Give it a thought.by