Friday, July 18, 2014

Probably too early for analysis

Why have I not commented on the shooting down (I think we can be certain about that) of the Malaysian airliner MH17? Have I missed the news or something? Well, no, I have not missed the news and have been following it to the best of my ability. It's just that I don't think there is much to say until we have a little more evidence. We do have some, of course, and that tells us that the likelihood is that it was shot down by Russian troops in eastern Ukraine who have been masquerading more or less successfully as separatists. That is the likelihood but there is no certainty.

This intercepted conversation points to some separatist group using Russian arms, stupidly given to them, to shoot down what they thought was a military aircraft, then going slightly wonky when they had to report their sheer idiocy to the superior Russian officer. It is fair to say that the phone call was released by the Ukrainian government yesterday and, so far as I can establish, has not been verified independently.

The separatists have now announced that they will allow investigator to visit the site of the crash, which is a remarkably generous action on their part. (Yes, I am being sarcastic.)

So, in the meantime, there is the constant BBC and Radio Free Europe update, some cautious analysis summarized on Reuters and the streaming coverage on the Wall Street Journal. There are other live reports in the British media as well (and not just the BBC) so somewhere among all that we can all find information as it become available. You can also follow the news on various Kremlin controlled sources such as Russia Today, which has just lost its London correspondent because of her unhappiness in the way the story was covered. What on earth had she been doing until now?


  1. Read Bambi's statement a few minutes ago. Not what is needed. What I wanted to see would have been something along the lines of:

    "Russian forces masquerading as "Ukrainian separatists" shot down a civilian airliner causing the deaths of 298 innocent people. Unless Russia admits its guilt, its liability, with draws its troops from eastern Ukraine and pays appropriate compensation to the families of its victims, a state of war will exist between Russia and NATO within 72 hours."

    B OBambi


  2. no, of course not. Nothing of the sort was done about KAL007 when it went down over Sakhalin either. Except for revoking Aeroflot's landing rights in the US.

    Something similar could at least be considered for this ...


    1. I think revoking landing rights for all Russian airlines (more than just Aeroflot now) should, indeed, be considered. Other sanctions, particularly some personal ones ought to be introduced immediately, not just discussed in a vague sort of way. But we are not going to go to war over anything that happens Ukraine. We do not have the capacity and it would not have popular support.

  3. Please consider these comments from a Spanish air traffic controller in Kiev ,
    he Tweeted :
    The Spanish air controller also said that the MH17 flight was escorted by Ukrainian fighter jets minutes before it was downed.

    The presence of the Ukraine fighter jets reported by the Spanish air traffic controller was confirmed by eyewitness reports in the Donetsk region:

    2 Ukrainian fighters seen following Malaysian jet.

    Source: Tweets by Spanish Air Controller - @spainbuca

    10:21 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    Kiev Authorities, trying to make it look like an attack by pro-Russians.

    10:25 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    [Miitary] has taken control of Air Traffic Control in Kiev.

    10:35 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    They are threatening us in the control tower at Kiev airport.

    11:48 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    The B777 plane flew escorted by Ukraine jet fighter until 2 minutes before disappearing from the radar.

    11:54 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    2 jet fighters flew very close minutes before; wasn’t downed by a fighter.

    12:01 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    Shot down by Kiev. Here we know it and military air traffic control also.

    13:31 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    Military confirm It was Ukraine, but still does not know where the order came from.

    15:26 – 17 de jul. de 2014

    The report indicates where the missile had come out [from], and specified it is not from the rebel areas.

    16:06 – 17 de jul. de 2014
    Military commanders here (ATC) control tower, confirm that the missile is from the Ukranian army.

    Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was escorted by two Ukrainian fighter jets until 3 minutes before it disappeared from radar.

    Radar records were immediately confiscated after MH17 had been shot down.

    Ukrainian military air traffic controllers, in internal communication, acknowledged that the Ukrainian military was involved.

    Some Ukranian military chatter said they did not know where the order to shoot down the plane originated from.

    Ukrainian millitary escorted B777 until 3 minutes before ... / 2 Ukrainian Fighter Jets Escorted MH17 before it was Shot Down
    On 16 July 2014, the Ukrainian military deployed a battery of Buk anti-aircraft missile systems near Donetsk, where the Malaysian plane came down.

    Is there any reason why a Spaniard should lie ?

    1. Who knows? But there is every reason why the Russians and the Russian separatists would want to lie.

    2. Why exactly was a civil airliner at a time when quite a few of them were flying over that area being escorted by military jets? I rather suspect that the Spaniard if he is one is not actually what he says he is. It is not like the Russian and pro-Russian separatists have been particularly helpful in working out what happened which you'd think they would be if they knew that they had not shot the airliner down. It's all very well to take the line that Russia can do no wrong just as the Soviet Union could do no wrong but, just occasionally, people should do some thinking.