Was an Ukraine Air Force IL76 transport aircraft the target of the BUK crew?

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Most likely the shotdown of MH17 was a mistake. But what could be the target?

Some sources say that an Ukraine Air Force IL76 four engine transport aircraft could have been the target.

Initially after the shotdown separatists bragged about shot down of an Antonov. It is totally unknown why they believed so.

This source writes:

The source in the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine reported that the route of a military transport aircraft IL-76 had lain close to the route of Boeing. IL-76 headed to deliver goods to the blocked Ukrainian troops.

A source of Ukraine censor.net states

On July 14 and 16, Ukrainian IL-76 transport planes passed near the route taken by the Malaysian Airlines plane, but at lower altitudes–6,000 to 7,000 meters. Evidently, the Russian military mistook the Boeing for our [Ukrainian] transport, and ignored its altitude and the fact that the liner was following an international air corridor.

From this post we know the information the BUK crew had was limited. The info on the altitude has been taken from that post.

The altitude of the target is also not so clearly presented. Below the distance and speed indicators there is the height indicator. On the scale you see 0,5, 1, 1,5 and 2. The altitude needs to be multiplied by 10 to get the altitude of the target in kilometers. So 1 is target at 10 km. An Antonov would fly at around 7 km. So on the scale 0,7.

It is clear there is hardly any difference on the scale between 0.7 and 1.

This is another source mentioning an IL76 could be the target.

It could well be that the operators in the BUK TELAR were frustrated by Ukraine Air Force using civil airways as shelter and just pressed the button which launched a missile without doublechecking the target properties.

Trapped soldiers

An Ukraine soldier called a tv station in Ukraine at likely July 15. The interview was broadcasted at July 15,  around 20:30

He told

“I am currently the area of Sverdlovsk, Krasno-Partisansk and Izvarino. There are only 400 of us left out of almost 800. There are no reinforcements. There is no food. They got us only 800 … 400 litres of water for four hundred men. It’s just a litre a day per person, or what?

Also he told:

There are almost no helicopters that fly here. There was just one that came in, one in so many days, just to take away the “200s” and the “300s” [Note: KIA/Killed In Action and WIA/Wounded In Action]. Three “200s” – that’s three killed – and eleven wounded. It came yesterday and the day before yesterday. Before that, they did not fly – they were too afraid to fly. Do they think we are not afraid to stand here?

The english subtitled telephone talk can he heard here This article confirms the presence of the 72nd Brigade commanded by  Colonel Grishenko in the area.


Route of IL76

Ukraine Airforce flew with IL76MD from  Dnipropetrovsk airport. It is well possible at July 17 such a flight was used in an attempt to supply Ukraine troops traped near the Russian border.

There is a story that someone was arrested at Dnipropetrovsk airport because this person told separatists about military movements at the airport.

If you draw a line from Dnipropetrovsk airport towards the area where troops were trapped it will be come close to where MH17 flew.

It could be the IL76 used civil airways for its flight.


Airdrop from high altitudes

It is possible to drop supplies packed in constainers attached to a parachute from high altitudes. Even from 7000 meters. So it is possible Ukraine as a last resort to supply trapped soldiers sent an IL76.

See this document for details.

This is a June 2017 story of a Syrian Airforce IL76 dropping supplies from an altitude of 4000 meters.

Nothing on radar?

Both DSB and Russia stated there were no other aircraft in the vicinity of MH17. DSB did not have any primary raw radar recordings made by Ukraine radar stations. JIT received primary radar recordings made by a radar in Russia.

Radar recordings of a Russian radar station do not show any other traffic. The Russian Ministry of Defense stated “there were no other aircraft near MH17 capable of destruction of the aircraft”

Russia has a good reason to lie about an aircraft near MH17. This would be a target for the BUK.

It is very well possible Russia deleted the IL76 from the radar recording as this could be a motive for the separatists to shot down MH17.

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4 Comments on Was an Ukraine Air Force IL76 transport aircraft the target of the BUK crew?

  1. It was a nonsense to send an Il-76 (which in addition would need to descend and decelerate to drop off a cargo) to near the border on those days, because of too high risk of it being downed. And there was no comparable advantage from such an action, as that blockade lasted not long by then.
    Alexander Ruvin: no Ukrainian Air Force Il-76 flew since the shoot-down near Luhansk airport on 14 June 2014, all those were parked.

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