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Did surface-to-air missile bring down Malaysian passenger Jet in Ukraine?

Did surface-to-air missile bring down Malaysian passenger Jet in Ukraine?

Ukrainian government officials say a surface-to-air missile brought down the plane

A flurry of media reports are reporting that a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet has been shot down over Ukrainian airspace. The Boeing 777 carried 295 people and was “at altitude” (30,000 feet) according to the Interfax agency. All on board are said to have perished, according to Ukrainian sources.

The media reports and video of a fiery crash have exploded on the internet after this initial tweet came from Malaysian Airlines.

On FOX News Channel’s breaking news coverage — Jennifer Griffin, FOX News Pentagon correspondent, says the Ukrainian interior minister reports a Russian surface-to-air missile system brought down the flight. Griffin says Ukrainian civilians and government officials had reported seeing the advanced Russian BOOK missile system move into the country from Russia in recent days.

From BBC News:

Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior minister, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the plane had been hit by a missile at an altitude of 10,000m (33,000ft). The claim could not be verified independently.

Reports suggest the plane fell between Krasni Luch in Luhansk region and Shakhtarsk in the neighbouring region of Donetsk.

First tweets and photos are coming from eyewitnesses on the ground.

**UPDATE** – Ukraine’s Secret Service reportedly intercepted a call to Russian intelligence from pro-Russian separatists claiming they had downed a plane.

**UPDATE** U.S. defense and intel officials are confirming that the Malaysian passenger plane was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. So far, there’s been no official word on the origin of the missile — either inside Ukraine or from Russian territory.


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TrooperJohnSmith | July 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Recall that shortly after 9/11, the Ukrainians shot down a Sibir Airlines flight (TU154), flying at FL24 (I think) from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv.

“Oops” was all they said, then.

    Spiny Norman in reply to TrooperJohnSmith. | July 17, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Well, this time the Russian separatists bragged about it, thinking they’d got another Ukrainian Antanov, then scrubbed their Facebook page when they realized it wasn’t an Antonov.


      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Spiny Norman. | July 18, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Yeah, the Russkies gave their “countrymen” inside Ukraine sophisticated weapons, with which they are unable to shoot down a fast-mover. No, they can only hit unarmed transports. Maybe that’s because most of them are, like most Russian military, drunk or near drunk all the time.

      The Ukrainians can plead innocent with much credibility, because they were disarmed a few years back in a deal brokered by Hillary Clinton. Their air-defense system that remains is nothing compared to the Soviet Russian SA17s used by the “separatists”.

this is what I posted at hotair:

some people are purposely trying to escalate the conflict to “force” putin to react.
I cannot prove it of course but I think hes behind this. this gives him a political advantage.
like I said few months ago, he will not stop at his expansion.
those who fail to recognize his cunning and intellect will fall victim to him.
sadly I don’t think there is anything we can do to stop him now either.

dmacleo on July 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Midwest Rhino in reply to dmacleo. | July 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    well, as I see it, Putin was happy with the ground he was gaining in his quiet little war. This is nothing but bad publicity of what he has been doing. He gave dangerous weapons to undisciplined fighters, that couldn’t find the kill switch, or maybe never even realized they missed their target.

    It seems Russia controls most media around there, and can stir the people up quite well, against the (corrupt enough themselves) Ukraine government. This will only bring more of a spotlight on the region … not what Putin wants. But with Obama standing down, and being “flexible” with Russia now that his election is over … probably not much changes, except a little more global awareness.

    I think that you are correct. It is because there is a weakling in the White House – one who does nothing but cause damage around the world.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Aussie. | July 18, 2014 at 2:00 am

      When the cat’s away (playing golf/vacation/getting a burger/fundraising/smoke break) the mice will play.

      If the Gipper or Aitch or Dubya….hell, even Bubba….had been prez, would Vlad and his secret terrorist gang be attempting this?

      Personally, I think Hitliary’s former role-playing as secstate is also owed a measure of culpability.

At this point, anything we can say about this crash is a speculation, and I’m not at all confident that we will ever know the truth.
The important thing is for NATO to stay out of this Russo-Ukrainian dispute. If anything, Ukrainians proved that they are perfectly capable to hold on to their turf (the conflict is now limited to Donbas region). Russia is doomed for demographic reasons.

    Czar Kasim in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 17, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    There’s a lot that experienced investigators can learn with debris, eyewitnesses, and radar data. We’ll just have to see how things turn out.

    This has been a bad year for Malaysian Air.

      Actually, the separatists took responsibility for it… Which is not to say that they did it.
      Not to blame the victim, but why, I wonder, are passenger planes are flying over an area that many locals had fled?

        Estragon in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

        Not any more!

        Reports are that nearly all commercial air traffic has been diverted so as not to cross anywhere near this area.

        guyjones in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 17, 2014 at 5:01 pm

        The plane originated in the Netherlands and was flying at cruising altitude, around 33,000 feet. Not entirely unreasonable (prior to this incident) to think that it should have been safe, as, who in their right mind would be foolish and/or vindictive enough to shoot down a civilian airliner, whether by mistake or with malice? Now, we know.

          There is a real life civil war going on there, and military aircraft was previously shut down, killing a Ukrainian general among others, which generated headlines around the world.

        TrooperJohnSmith in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 18, 2014 at 1:01 am

        According to ICAO, who controls the international air routes and governs all civil aviation, it was “safe”. However, FAA and a number of other regulatory agencies around the world forbade their commercial airlines from overflying. FDC NOTAM 4/7667 was issued 23 April and is still in effect. Even flying into KBP (Kiev Borispol) certain routes are off-limits to FAA-governed aircraft.

        In that part of the world (former Soviet Union), all altitudes are in “height above terrain” (QFE) instead of above sea level (QNH) like the rest of the world. The controllers are pretty good and very helpful. I would be surprised if the Russian and/or Ukrainian controllers didn’t know exactly what happened.

        FL33 is a common commercial altitude, and anyone manning a missile battery would be completely brain dead not to pick up on that and question their targeting, especially with the SA-17’s targeting system. And what about the destruct option? That means they had to think it was a legitimate target.

          I wouldn’t presume competence on the part of either the guerrillas or the Ukrainian air traffic controllers. Remember that improperly installed toilet in Sochi that the West didn’t know what to think about? Ukraine is the same way, only more so. When Ukrainians visited Russia in my days, they came back with stories of how Moskowites obey traffic laws, and when a grocery store checker in Leningrad weighs the groceries, she waits until the error on her scales stops at a number, whereas a Ukrainian sales lady throws the product on the scales and kind of estimates the weight.

    wow…. what utter mushroom fodder. There are sufficient facts to point the finger.

    A Russian Buk missile was launched prior to the downing of the flight. A Russian who is the commander or the Ukrainian separatists has been caught bragging about the hit.

    The missile launch was tracked. Plus Russia had recently moved the missiles into Ukraine.

    There is enough evidence to point the finger where the finger will be pointed and Putin now has blood on his hands.

      Putin NOW has blood on his hands? No way!/kidding.

      Milhouse in reply to Aussie. | July 17, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      If they genuinely thought it was a Ukranian military plane, then why is there blood on Putin’s hands? How is it different from the time the Vincennes shot down an Iranian passenger plane, thinking it was an F-14 coming in to attack?

        I quibble, but that’s well within the meaning of blood on one’s hands. The Iranians sure felt like that airliner’s passengers’ blood was on Reagan’s hands and the US Navy’s hands. A driver running over a ten year old playing in the street has blood on his hands (and probably a ton of guilt), even if the ten year old shouldn’t have been playing in the street to begin with. A drunk driver might be legally liable whereas a sober one who just didn’t see the child in time wouldn’t be, but it is for such things people go to their priests for absolution.

        Anyway, I don’t see anyone seriously talking about going to war over this so that’s something…

MouseTheLuckyDog | July 17, 2014 at 3:17 pm

I can hear the call from Obama to Putin, “Here’s what you say. ‘It was Bush’s fault.'”

“Before I begin, obviously the world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia-Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy,” Baracula quoth.

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, may be a day that will live in the pantheon of terrible mistakes. Perhaps…”

If the reports that the plane was “at altitude” of around 30,000 feet, it could NOT have been a Stinger-type shoulder-fired missile. That type of weapon would be out of range, about 18,000 feet is the maximum it could reach.

Which means the missile had to be fired from a military missile launcher.

This is why you don’t sell advanced arms to people not qualified to wield anything more than a wooden club.

As well as the US citizens who have been killed in this attack, there were 27 Australians on board that flight.

May God rest their souls.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Aussie. | July 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Well these Australians are stupid . Who on earth would go on a MH flight when Malaysia has not been clean on MH370?

    Why do think Abbott put $50 million in the budget for further ‘investigations’? It is not for Australian navy benefit ( cross funding) but is to be contracted out. There is definitely more to this . It was not a Qantas plane nor in Australian airspace/ waters . Then why?

BannedbytheGuardian | July 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm

You are all jumping to conclusions which is exactly what is needed for an area of conflict that has been fading from the news. It is in this zone of uber emotionalism that people are manipulated.

Neither side can have it both ways . The Ukrainian army has been financed & equipped by outside sources as have the separatists . Just as in Syria , the US buys Russian armaments to distribute to rebels , it would be a similar scenario here . It has to be remembered that Ukraine is a major distributed / exporter / source of Russian weapons & has been since 1992 .

If in this case IF the Ukrainian army IS outside Donetsk ( what edge says is closing in ) . Then they definitely have Russian missiles & launchers .There has not been enough time to swap suppliers.

Why is not the Ukrainian army included in the speculations? Unless they were very advanced Russian missiles then Ukraine would have them also.

BTW I was in The USSR when the KA 007 was shot down – co incidentally at a Unesco function venue . One of the most surreal days of my life was sitting at the airport seeing the Planeloads of Afghan students arrive / depart & contemplating being a USSR citizen by. Default – a sit certainly looked like war coming in over the KA007 .

To this day , I believe the KA 007 was a red flag operation. I also think the MH 370 is suspicious . Idon’t believe it is a co incidence this is a Malaysian airline either .

    “Why is not the Ukrainian army included in the speculations?”
    Because the separatists took credit… which is not to say that they did it.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      Edge – who & where ?

      The only people who would know are those that ordered it & those that fired . I would think many Ukrainians are in War Mentality & would cheer initially anything that looked like a win for them . Even then massive mistakes are made in war .

      I recall the glee in the command room when the US navy brought down the Iranian passenger jet . We never knew if the personnel involved knew it was not a military target ( perhaps it had contraband ) .we only got the official apology & restitution years later.

      I don’t even know if Boko really took those gals .We just saw a vid of someone taking credit & went gaga .

        “The only people who would know are those that ordered it & those that fired .” that much is true. Even the initial claim of responsibility might turn out to be a boast. He’s actually bragging of downing one, possibly two, Ukrainian planes. That being said, he did take the post down, presumably once he found out it was a foreign civilian aircraft, and this is the best clue we have so far.
        There are some nutty types among Ukrainians, but I’m going to say that most are not interested in fighting this war. There are anti-war demonstrations in Ternopol.

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm

          Of course most do not want to fight a war. But there is along way back here .

          I was on a Russian traditional clothing/ site recently looking for something & I smiled a little sadly to see the Ukrainian outfits which are quite identifiable but related.

          When I was in the USSR , Ukrainians were everywhere & proud .They would tell me that they were , in fact , the engine of e USSR & would in fact be a powerhouse without the rest of the country dragging them down . It is a sadness for me to see them having gone backwards & now into war.

          I have also followed Nth Ireland / Ireland . I would never have wanted to live under a catholic hammer either . In Belfast , they had to build a 30 foot wall right through streets to keep them apart .

          It is holding the peace especially after Clinton cut off Boston money.

          Banned, exactly. And at the end, it’s their own lack of the rule of law to blame — not Russians, not the Soviet Union, not the West — and they know it.

        The PJ Tatler links to reports that the Russian separatists immediately boasted of the shootdown on Facebook, then deleted the Facebook post when they learned that it was a civilian airliner.

        Spiny Norman in reply to BannedbytheGuardian. | July 17, 2014 at 10:34 pm

        I don’t even know if Boko really took those gals .We just saw a vid of someone taking credit & went gaga .

        Okay, now I know you’re a nutjob.

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Spiny Norman. | July 17, 2014 at 11:25 pm

          No ..I also followed it on a major Nigerian newspaper site where there doubts .it was against practice for Boko to wait weeks to acknowledge attacks because they want to mctiernan feR/ negotiations immediately .

          Also ! Don’t you think the Us / Brit / etc special forces might have found something by now ? Or are their much vaunted capabilities a conspiracy theory?

      TrooperJohnSmith in reply to edgeofthesandbox. | July 18, 2014 at 4:29 am

      There is a very good reason: they don’t have this type of air-defense missile. The so-called “Buk” system (SA-17) is deployed by Russia and the “separatists”. This is part of what Putin sent to both Iran and Syria.

      If Ukraine has any AA missiles at all, they are older types using a different radar and likely, a different warhead. When Ukraine ADF shot down the Sibir TU-154 in 2001, there was no mistaking it, because debris and passengers had 30mm holes in them from the warhead munition, which was used in that type (SA-12B?).

      Ukraine, and presumably the US, are listening in on the AD radars in use in the conflict area, and when the “separatists” are using their missile radars, everyone knows, except civilian airliners and some military transports, which don’t have a threat detector.

      The likely culprit is a sophisticated , multiple threat system, and if Russia gave these to some local yokels to keep the Ukrainians tactical air force off of them, then they are derelict and are as responsible as the idiots who (mis)used it.

Spiny Norman | July 17, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Edge – who & where ?

On the Facebook page the Russian separatists have had been using for months. The link is up near the top of this thread.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Spiny Norman. | July 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    There was a list yesterday of the programs designed especially to manipulate Facebook & Twitter& online polls & opinions & anything on social media .

    Are you believing everything this site spouted out prior to this? Do you believe every Facebook . If so , spiny , I can’t help you .

BannedbytheGuardian | July 17, 2014 at 7:31 pm

The following is what I call dangerous uber emotionalism & how narrowly we came to complete civil breakdown over ka007 .

I got an Aeroflot flight to X nation ,today an economic powerhouse but always ruled by an brocade fist .The plane was met on the Tarmac by the X army & we were transited in an armoured vehicle to the terminal with machine guns . ( Me & about 8 Babushkas ) . The local civilians were beying for our blood behind barricades . The airport staff tried to prevent our leaving on scheduled flights telling us that Australian unions had put a ban on . They thought I was Russian but I am proud to say I got every babushka onto their flights .I know a lot about unions &knew this was an impossibility & scare tactics . I pushed & shoved through staff & threatened to take them to international air authority myself. ( I made one up on the spot & them being basically stupid I got away with it) .

To this day ,I have respect for that government & its necessary control of its population .Now they are rich & sophisticated but I remember a time when they were not.

    “how narrowly we came to complete civil breakdown over ka007”
    I saw no evidence of such civil breakdown.
    In fact, I even attended academic talks at which Soviet apparatchiks spoke, and although there were some sharp questions directed at them the questioners were civil. The only naked rage I witnessed was on the faces of Western commies and commie sympathizers who resented inconvenient questions.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to pst314. | July 17, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      I don’t think a group of pussie academics was equivalent to a mob of thousands held back by Armed forces.

      But now , they just might be if it involves Israel !

      Oh btw – the jokes have started here . What a death wish – flying to an aids conference in Melbourne on a Malaysian airlines .

    Here’s your “dangerous emotionalism”:

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to snopercod. | July 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      You need to describe it . I don’t visit unknown links . If I ever get caught up in a sting ,I can say why / who suggested it .

        Ya know, banned, I think I found the PERFECT video to describe you. I was going to go into great detail about what I thought about you but then I remembered this video and realized ‘Ya know, brain, this is so totally BannedbytheGuardian…’ So, I am posting a completely safe for work video…

          BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Sunhawk2. | July 18, 2014 at 7:34 pm

          Can’t you read ? I need a description .i cannot afford some pedo site like snooper visits on my NSA file . I have a high reputation to uphold .

        Oh, and banned? The video linked by snopercod? Don’t visit it, your head might explode. Unless you have your aluminum foil hat, of course, then you’ll be protected from bad thought.