Was Ukraine Air Traffic Control in June 2014 aware of separatists having BUKs?

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What could well be an Ukraine air traffic controller already in June 2014 warned that the Ukraine air space should be closed instead of closing to Fightlevel 260.  This could mean Ukraine state was already aware of Russian BUKs in East Ukraine as early as June 2014.

He warned in a post at Pprune.org which is a forum used by airline pilots, air traffic controllers and others working in the airline industry.

At June 14 2014  this message: was posted by a user with nickname  TC_Ukraine in a thread called Ukrainian Il-76 shot down killing 49

Ukrainian officials should close whole airspace over eastern part. now is closed up to fl260. Russian terrorists can easily hit passenger a/c.

His first message on Pprune.org dates from November 2008. Since then he posted 49 messages on Pprune.org. From the content of his posts it does look like he knows a lot about air traffic control in Ukraine. For example he seems to know Rostov and Dnipropetrosk’s ATC centers are using Spanish Indra ATC systems. So he could well be an air traffic controller.

At July 14 an Antonov 26 of the Ukraine Air Force was shot down near the Russian border. Till today we do not know what weapon was used. Ukraine state claims the aircraft flew at 6500 meters altitude. Too high for manpads. So according Ukraine the aircraft was shot down by Russian equipment. This could be an air to air or surface to air missile.

Because of this shotdown, the minimum flight altitude for passenger aircraft flying over Eastern Ukraine was again raised,now to flightlevel 320. (32.000 feet)

Till today nobody kn0ws why it was decided to increase the minimum safe altitide to FL32o instead of closing the airspace. Any weapon capable of reaching aircraft flying at 6500 can easily reach flying aircraft flying at FL320 and higher!

Ukraine state did not answer this crucial question nor did the Dutch government.






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15 Comments on Was Ukraine Air Traffic Control in June 2014 aware of separatists having BUKs?

  1. Russian terrorists can easily hit passenger a/c… over Russia. They have alot missile air-defense across all country and have millions of potential or real terrorists as citizen of Russia Fukeretion! But why Russia dont close airspace?!
    It is stupidly to blame Ukraine which dont think about use army air defense against passenger airliners. It is criminal action against civilians, no one country or army dont want to do it. But terrorists can do it always when they want, with SA-11 for example. So what reason for close airspace? LEGILIMENCY of terorrists minds? Terrorists still have SA-11 and Pantsir but do you hear about russian a/c shot downed over Eastern Ukraine? No? But they still flow here. Because they DONT WORRY! They know who is press Fire button and know who can be targetted.

  2. AD:

    “It is stupidly to blame Ukraine which dont think about use army air defense against passenger airliners.”


    • And when russian court had resolution about who and how shot down Siberian Air 1812?
      Firing range OPUK – Russia
      Launches during exercices – Russia and Ukraine
      Warships equppied by SA-N systems around OPUK – Russia
      Pellets and missile speed – unknown, but not belong ot ukrainina missile
      So why you blame Ukraine for 1812? Really, why?

      • forthetruth // July 14, 2015 at 3:33 pm // Reply

        Even anti-russian propaganda ridden wikipedia attributes 1812 to Ukrainian military. That just says something. I guess this is all a lie:

        “However, Ukrainian officials later admitted that it was indeed their military that shot down the airliner. Ukrainian officials speculated that water interference caused the missile to veer off course.[14][15] Ukraine reportedly banned the testing of Buk, S-300 and similar missile systems for a period of 7 years following this incident.”

        Your denial is beyond you AD.

  3. I wouldn’t read too much into that message. The commentator’s bias is clear from his talk of “Russian terrorists” and in his comparison of Russia to North Korea later in that thread ( http://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/541720-pro-russian-rebels-have-downed-military-transport-plane-2.html ). He could have been exagerrating the Russian support for the rebels as an excuse for Ukrainian losses.

    Regarding the shooting down of the other military transport plane a month later, the rebels said they used a Strela 10 which struck it much lower than the 6500 m altitude that the Ukrainians claim.

  4. Good point. Ukraine already shot down another passenger jet in recent history. Siberian air 1812

    • Then why Russia closed investigation against Ukraine (military prosecutors) and Siberian Airlines dont appeal to ECoHR after lose ukrainian court? Do you know this firing range OPUK belong to Russia and Russia involved in exercise too?
      Do you know S-200V dont have enough speed for shot down Tu-154 in cause if ukraininans fired it? And do you know russians offten use launch in pair for guarantee kill expecially during public exercises? So Russia can fire own missile for hit drone but instead of it killed Tu-154.
      Ukrainian missile cannot do it – wrong pellets and wrong speed on this distance.
      Bye-bye, troll!

    • Kremlin has downed/attacked airliners as well,also lied about it,silly point

  5. ‘Till today nobody kn0ws why it was decided to increase the minimum safe altitide to FL32o instead of closing the airspace. Any weapon capable of reaching aircraft flying at 6500 can easily reach flying aircraft flying at FL320 and higher!’
    Because TERRORISTS DONT SAID – WE KILL IT WITH BUK or missile with alt more then 10km!
    Understand? If you dont know what really shot down military plane then you cannot explain what terrorists will shot down next. Ukraine believe in russian fighter, separatists claim it MANPAD.
    But it can be any air defense missile except MANPAD which just lie from liars.
    For example, russian SA-15 Gauntlet can hit targets up to 6500m but cannot on alt =10km.

    • Please AD: do not use capitals!

    • forthetruth // July 14, 2015 at 3:34 pm // Reply

      It is really hard to read your broken English…

      • And to this comment, I say to the admin: This is more of a a breech of comment board etiquette then what AD did.
        Its sole purpose was to put down another person for not having a fluent grasp on the English language.

        Even to me who has English as a first language, my grammar is not always correct, and even with that I can grasp AD’s intended message from what he writes.
        forthetruth added nothing else in his comment regarding the article, just an intention to point out someones else’s weakness.
        That is a breech of comment board protocols.

        Now as to the article.
        Highest altitude a plane was shot down at was at 21k feet.
        A barely in the limit of the Strela SAM system, as well as possible by a MiG fighter 29 fighter on the Russian side of Ukraine’s border.
        Which was identified very plainly by pilot, plane, altitude he was at, the type of aircraft he was targeted by and the fact that he was shot at by an air to air missile.

        If UA aircraft both passenger and military were not getting pinged by radar at above 20k feet at all, then why close the airspace totally?
        Just raise it to a altitude 2 miles above and continue to allow planes to fly.

        I do not know and no one else knows what the highest altitude that the military aircraft got pinged at before MH17 got shot down, that should come out in MH17 DSB report, but it might not.
        We might have to wait for civil lawsuit trials for that to come out.
        They made an assessment and a decision and that showed that it changed with the intelligence they had.
        With the last flight ceiling being raised to 32k feet before July 17, 2014.
        The airliners were well aware of the risks in a Kremlin funded and orchestrated covert war after more then 20 aircraft were destroyed in Eastern Ukraine.
        They chose to continue to fly at their own initiative.
        So admin, as author of the article, I think you are a little misleading, or did not follow through in your question as to why Ukraine ATC did not close airspace.
        They made decisions and it evolved with the intelligence they had.
        They had made many changes as more and more military aircraft were destroyed and what altitude they were targeted at by IR or radar emplacements trying to get a lock to destroy them.
        Please work to be more thorough in your thought process.

        Fare thee well

  6. admin, does your site allow the changing to italics?
    or allowing a way to put emphasis without capitals?
    I do not think AD was yelling, but was stressing a point.
    There is a difference.

    To criticize a person for using capitals in the manner AD did, which I think he was responsible and controlled in doing, should also admonish a person for using an ‘!’, such as – do not use capitals!

    That is just as much yelling as using capitals in a whole comment.
    If you want to change comments to allow bold font or italics, then fine yell about someone using capitals in part of a comment.
    I think AD was perfectly in his rights to use capitals in a controlled fashion to show emphasis.
    If he used caps lock in his whole comment, YOU as admin would be justified.

    You using ‘!’ to criticize a controlled use of capitals is a bit hypocritical and you were doing a bit of yelling yourself, don’t you think?

    AD is a VERY knowledgeable and HELPFUL and can clarify a lot of issues for people with questions, even with English being his 3 or fourth language.
    Specifically relating to Soviet era military equipment.
    AD is a highly respected and valued comment writer on this site and others.

    AND controlled.
    Keep that in mind.

    Fare thee well

  7. And I might add, many of your articles are very informative and factual, as well as AD comments.
    I think you leave out some things, parts of analysis in editing, but that is fine.
    Overall I find your resource a great source for those that want to know a bunch of facts and you deserve high praise on that from the world community.
    On the negative side, I have made my few comments and that is enough.
    I think you try to be unbiased for the most part, but you have your allegiances.
    Thank you for putting it together.
    But I still have my reservations and critiques as I stated above and elsewhere.
    If your going to put it out for public consumption, do not hate me for being critical on some points.
    Your far knowledgeable then I am on many issues and thank you for sharing that knowledge and putting it together, I think AD may have some specifics that you do not.
    You seem to have more of the technical knowledge and book sense, he seems to have both book sense (though not as strong as yours) and also a stronger field knowledge.
    Regardless, thank you for putting this together for the global community.

    Fare thee well

  8. sotilaspassi // August 27, 2015 at 7:19 am // Reply

    It’s too easy to be the wiseman afterwards, but yes, they should have closed the airspace.

    After wathing the videos of the 14Jul downing of AN26
    -it definitely is downed from high altitude
    -it is not a BUK as we see the missile having rocket fuel, to chase the target, even after long flight
    -most likely that missile came from ground (helicopter or SAM)
    -and most likely from RU side

    But anyway. It was clear that at the UA-RU border, a high flying airplane was shot down by a missile. No any safe FL any more.

    (and FYI, I’m not trying to take any blame off from rebels, by my comment)

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