A detailled study investigates the feasibility of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s allegation that BUK-M1 missile launchers were deployed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces to Zaroshchens’ke village near Shakhtersk in Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast within firing range of the flightpath of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
The path of Ukraine’s BUK-M1 units is traced from their leaving their bases up through their physicial disposition in mid-July of 2014. By examining on-line military operational reports of the Donbass Conflict from July and August of 2014 from the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Self-Defense Militia of the self-proclaimed Donetsk National Republic regarding the military situation between Ilovaisk and Saur Mogila, as well as social media posts by local residents, a coherent picture is uncovered which places this region in the control of the Ukrainian military from July 15 up to August, 21, 2014.
Using this data, on-line satellite imagery of the region of the BUK-M1 site reported by the Russian Ministry of Defense near Zaroshchens’ke is examined, and military features seen in the imagery are interpreted in light of the military
reports. Eyewitness interviews and social media posts are reviewed describing a rocket launch from near Shakhtersk. The paper concludes the deployment shown by Russian satellite imagery was militarily feasible because Ukraine controlled and had access to the territory in question, Ukrainian BUK vehicles were in the area, and local residents may have witnessed a launch. This confirms the government of Ukraine is a potential culprit in the shootdown of the civilian airliner MH17.
About author Andrew
Background: American, Civil Engineer, work for American engineering company.
Motivation: To see justice done for victims of the MH17 air disaster. Long time interest in Ukraine developed through contacts with the immigrant Ukrainian Catholic community in the United States. As an American, sympathetic to anyone struggling for national self-determination and a life and government free from corruption.
Russian Language Translation Assistance: Sergey Mastepanov. All errors in Russian translation found by the reader are the fault of the primary author.
As the MH17 tragedy unfolded on July 17, 2014, a narrative was quickly distributed out of Washington, DC and Kiev, Ukraine via the United States Embassy in Kiev and the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). This narrative stated that the Boeing 777 airliner had been shot down with a powerful surface-to-air missile (SAM) fired from a BUK-M1 air defense vehicle by members of the Russian military and a rebel insurgent group operating under the name of the Самооборона Oполчение Донецкая Народов Республики – The Self-Defense Militia of the Donetsk National Republic (they will be referred to simply as
the Militia in this paper) within territory under their military control. The military forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk National Republic (DNR) and Lugansk National Republic (LNR) were then undertaking a joint major armed rebellion within the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine (Donbass) against the new central state authorities of Ukraine, who had invaded these Oblasts in April using military units from central and western Ukraine. It was soon further alleged that the SAM was launched from the region of the city of Snizhne in the east of Donetsk Oblast from a BUK-M1 vehicle the Militia had obtained from Russia and thus presumably either officially from the Russian State and its Armed Forces or at least with their tacit approval using a captured vehicle (such as from Crimea or perhaps captured during the South Ossetian/Georgian War of 2008).
The outline and evidence of this joint Militia/Russian shootdown scenario has been extensively investigated, discussed and dissected over the past year by a variety of interested parties in the Western Press, on the Internet, and through official government statements. This paper will not address this scenario further. Instead, this paper investigates evidence for a scenario developed by the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) and elements of the Russian media and military-industrial complex.
Continue reading the complete study here.