Zakharova press briefing March 31 on MH17

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The briefing of spokeswoman Maria Zakharova of the Russian Foreign Ministry at March 31 again discussed MH17.  I will show the Tweets send by the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter account.

The transcript is available here.

Some reports in Russian press. Here Russia Today. Rusdialog here.

The statements. My comment in the quote field.

It has been reported that the US has refused to provide satellite photos to the father of a crash victim

That is correct. Minister of Foreign Affairs responded to the letter of next of kin. He did not answer requests to hand over satellite and radar data. (more info)

The US classified information on immediately after the tragedy and said it won’t share it with anyone, including families

Nonsense. The Dutch prosecutor stated it received classified data from the US.

We strongly suspect that Washington knows who downed the flight but won’t reveal the truth

Very likely US is aware what vehicle shot down MH17 and its location.

Unlike the US, Russia promptly provided all radar data recorded before and on the day of the crash to Dutch Safety Board

I do not know exactly what radar data US has. Kerry indeed talked about ‘we saw the aircraft disappear from radar screens’. Mind Russia did not hand over raw primary and raw secondary radar data. Just a recording at the glass with a blend of primary and secondary data.

Russian experts were ready to join the technical investigation at any time, but their offer was rejected

More nonsense. Representatives of Rosaviatsiya and Almaz Antey joined sessions organized by the Dutch Safety Board. I have no reason to doubt the DSB final report which clearly states the parties who attended severall meetings.

We again call for an independent investigation into the disaster and for the perpetrators to be punished without fail

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14 Comments on Zakharova press briefing March 31 on MH17

  1. Sergey Tokarev // March 31, 2016 at 7:45 pm // Reply

    Let me make a remark regarding the last statement: ‘to join investigation’ and ‘joined sessions’ are not synonymous phrases. To join investigation means to investigate together (having access to all evidence, hopefully until truth is ascertained). As far as I understand, even Malaysia wasn’t allowed to some initial sessions. To be allowed to join some sessions (As the guests? Were these sessions most important? Was all evidence available to JIT presented at these sessions?) is different thing. Reps of Rosaviatsiya and Almaz Antey don’t want to be dummies.

  2. Zakharova: “The US classified information on #MH17 immediately after the tragedy and said it won’t share it with anyone, including families.”
    She made two statements contained in one sentence as follows:
    1. “The US classified information on #MH17 immediately after the tragedy.” This is undeniably true. If the information isn’t classified then why can’t we obtain it?
    2. “(The US) said it won’t share it with anyone, including families.” This is false as the US has said repeatedly that they will share and that they have shared. We have no proof that the US actually has shared anything other than a doctored Digital Globe satellite image. What exactly does the Dutch prosecutor say was received from the US? If neither the US nor the Dutch will give specifics about what the US has allegedly shared, then what does that tell you about their credibility?

    Russia to date has handed over more formerly classified data than the US, the Ukraine and NATO countries. Combined. If everyone else was half as transparent as Russia has been then we would know a lot more today.

    Zakharova: “Russian experts were ready to join the #MH17 technical investigation at any time, but their offer was rejected.”
    Infrequent participation as a clearly unequal party is not the equivalent of having joined the technical investigation. Russia was unwise to participate on a limited basis. The technical investigation was designed to arrive at a predetermined conclusion, and Russia should have known better.

    • sotilaspassi // April 1, 2016 at 6:48 am // Reply

      “US actually has shared anything other than a doctored Digital Globe satellite image”
      What doctored Digital Globe satellite image US has shared?

      “Russia to date has handed over more formerly classified data than the US”
      Like what?

      RU MOD briefing only released lies and fakes + one genuine radar video of civilian flight traffic control.

      • Link to doctored Digital Globe image released by the US (the link is from the State Department).

        Link to the same image plus an official US statement:

        Links confirming that Almaz Antey released formerly classified specifications about the 9M38 and 9M38M1 surface-to-air missile systems.

        For future reference, this isn’t pprune, and I don’t make sh*t up when I post here. As a general rule I’m not here to do anybody’s homework. Next time Google it.

        The RU MOD briefing was aimed at governments, not at the general public, and it had the desired effect. The rhetoric from the west was immediately reduced in both volume and tone. The very next day the US released the infamous “Government Assessment” by which it still officially stands. The assessment listed equipment allegedly provided by the Russians to the separatists. Conspicuously missing from the list are Buk missile systems or any other ground-to-air system capable of downing civilian aircraft flying at 33,000 feet.

        Get it? The US officially says that Russia did not provide a Buk missile system or anything with similar capabilities to the separatists. The US officially says that MH17 was downed by a missile fired from Ukraine’s soil, not from Russia, and they pinpointed the launch site which they say is per their still classified intelligence. The Dutch say (appendix T of the DSB final report) that the separatists had neither functioning Buk equipment nor Russian training on Buk systems nor stated intentions of shooting down civilian aircraft.

        It is time to connect the dots we already have. We don’t know who did the evil deed, but the US and Dutch governments have stated clearly enough who didn’t do it.

        Not that I trust them, but I am happy to nail them to the wall with their own statements.

  3. “Mind Russia did not hand over raw primary and raw secondary radar dat. Just a recording at the glass with a blend of primary and secondary data.”
    Perhaps you can ask someone who actually knows how this works. As I wrote before: even in the Eurocontrol zone there are significant differences.
    In fact, I would be more interested in military radar systems, especially from Buks, because they are designed to trace missiles.

    • No need to understand how radar works. DSB final report is clear: Russia did not hand over primary and secondary radar.
      They handed over a recording at the glass, as the air traffic controller saw it. So irrelevant objects (aircraft flying at low altitude, flocks of birds, a missile, are filtered and not on the recording.

      More here

      • sotilaspassi // April 1, 2016 at 6:44 am // Reply

        Still it captured the helicopter (without civilian transponder) near the border. Would be at least nice to know what kind of filters were on, when MH17 was observed & video recorded.

      • Hugh Eaven // April 2, 2016 at 10:06 am // Reply

        “Just a recording at the glass” is still primary data in ICAO terms! What happened to the research on this very same site:

        “The conclusion is that this is a semantic issue. In the ICAO Annex 11 the wording used is ‘data’. There is no description of the word ‘data’. DSB translates data to ‘a file which can be read by a computer’ for investigation purposes. Russia translates ‘data’ to information displayed on an air traffic controller screen.”

        So Russian primary radar data was “ATG” (at the glass) archived. So what? It doesn’t seem that uncommon. In any case, it’s highly doubtful that any raw data would be capable of showing beyond reasonable doubt any precise missile trajectory since in such data stream a LOT of distortions and false echoes would be mixed together, especially at that distance (not to mention a missile approaching MH17 at Mach 3 over 5 km altitude, just count the seconds it’s actually in air to detect…). The significance of its usage as single source seems often overstated and relies on many unspecified and under-examined assumptions. The most common usage of this data is to examine the trajectory of larger and slower airplanes, with ASTERIX format just being easier to exchange, not necessarily containing more useful details. And when it comes to trustworthiness, it doesn’t take much more work to manipulate the digital format than it would be to manipulate a video recording.

        In other words, Russia did deliver relevant primary data which doesn’t show enough to determine what happened. Availability of raw data might have not improved the situation much at all. Perhaps from several stations combined…

        • Let’s do the math. Any positive number is infinitely greater than zero. Russia’s contribution of radar evidence is infinitely greater than that of all other countries combined.

          Russia has already cooperated to the point of disclosing formerly classified information about Buk missile systems and warhead design.

          From the social sciences we know that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Russia know from cooperating that anything they provide will be either ignored or used against them.

          Given all the negative reinforcement Russia has received, it is unreasonable to expect them to continue to aid the official investigations.

          It is far more reasonable to apply pressure to governments who to date have contributed nothing but propaganda and dubious social media to the investigation.

        • Hugh, you are right. This article explains what has to be done to counter factors affecting radar performance negatively.

          What you get after this is done is raw surveillance data.
          But what about the radar systems on board the 777? Aren’t they capable of detecting anything? If the missile came from Snihzne, it must have been in the scope of these systems from launch until impact, for about 30 seconds.

          • sotilaspassi // April 5, 2016 at 12:02 pm //

            To me it seems it might be weather detection radar. But I have not found yet a good document about it.

          • sotilaspassi // April 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm //

            on the Boeing 777 I meant.

          • This is the answer I suppose:
            Nowadays they don’t use radar except for weather detection because the sky would be crowded by radar signals if they did.
            This leaves only military radar systems, like the one from the Buk.

          • Besides weather radar,most civil aircraft have TCAS. The system is designed to avoid collisions. It works with ADS-B signals which is secondary radar. Pilots can see nearby traffic on a screen in the cockpit. TCAS however does not detect objects not equipped with a transponder. I am pretty sure a missile cannot be detected by the weather radar.

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