Skip to Content

MH17: Russian official reveals how Ukraine deployed BUK missiles

In court testimony about the MH17 Dutch tragedy, a Russian official revealed how Ukraine deployed 17 BUK missile launchers to eastern Ukraine.

Published: March 9, 2017, 10:55 am

    Read more

    The Hague

    The extent of Ukrainian BUK missile deployments in eastern Ukraine on the day that MH17 was shot down was revealed by Ilya Rogachyov, a Russian Foreign Ministry official. Rogachyov presented evidence to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, where Ukraine is bringing a case against Russia.

    London lawyer Samuel Wordsworth QC, a visiting professor at Kings College, is defending Russia in the ICJ against the Ukrainian Government’s claims Vladimir Putin’s federation is financially supporting terrorism by backing “separatists”.

    “There is no evidence before the court,” he told the judges, “plausible or otherwise, that Russia provided weaponry to any party with the intent or knowledge that such weaponry be used to shoot down civilian aircraft, as would of course be required under Article 2.1.” Article 2.1 is a key section of the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

    The Russian authorities have for the first time revealed Ukraine’s deployment of these BUK missile systems, after satellite photos of some of these launchers were made public earlier.

    According to Rogachyov: “It is noteworthy that in the summer of 2014 Ukraine’s 156th air defence regiment armed with BUK-M1 systems was in the area of the conflict. The regiment’s command centre and the first unit were in the area of Avdeyevka, near Donetsk, the second unit was near Mariupol, and the third, near Lugansk. All in all the regiment had 17 BUK-M1 systems at its disposal. All were identical to the one the JIT identified as the weapon that downed the air liner.”

    The Malaysian Airlines MH17 air disaster in southeast Ukraine “could have been brought down by an accidental launch of a missile by Ukrainian forces during an anti-aircraft exercise”, Russia’s RIA Novosti agency reported, citing an unnamed source in the Ukrainian defence ministry.

    “On July 17 the commanding officer of 156th Anti-Aircraft Regiment was instructed to conduct a training exercise of ground troops stationed near Donetsk, which involved deploying the troops, and carrying out a routine tracking and destroying of targets with the BUK-M1 missile,” the source said.

    Military exercises with BUK missiles have been banned since 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 passenger airplane en route from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv was shot down by the Ukrainian military.

    It may well be that Ukraine deployed 17 BUK missile launchers to the war zone of eastern Ukraine in the summer of 2014, but that none of these launchers shot down MH17. It is therefore surprising that that Ukraine’s deployment of these systems was not widely known.

    The only report on the tragedy done by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), released on 13 October 2015, did not determine responsibility for the firing of the BUK missile, but the DSB concluded it had been responsible for the destruction of the airliner.

    Rather, they narrowed the likely origin of the BUK missile to a 320 square km area that was contested both by the Donbass militia and units of the Ukrainian military.

    “Appendix T”, an assessment by the Dutch security services, concluded that there was no evidence the “separatists” had possession of an operable BUK missile; no evidence that they had the training or expertise to fire such a missile and no evidence of any intention or motive to fire such a missile.

    The second report that has been published is an interim report of a criminal investigation team under Dutch leadership and including representatives of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Their deadline for producing a final report has been extended to 2018.

    Another gap in the evidence is the data collected from the two US satellites in geostationary orbit over Donbass at the time — data which Obama administration official John Kerry boasted about after the disaster on August 12, 2014.

    Fred Westerbeke, the Dutch head of the criminal inquiry, confirmed in a letter to the Dutch victim’s families in February 2016 that the American satellite data had been provided “confidentially” to the criminal investigation. The report, however, is silent about what those satellite images established. But Westerbeke, also said that “there was no evidence of direct involvement of a Russian unit” in the shoot-down of MH17.

    In an agreement signed by Australia, Belgium, Netherlands and Ukraine on 7 August 2014, it was established that nothing shall be published arising out of the DSB or criminal inquiry unless all four parties agree. This effectively gives Ukraine a power of veto over any adverse findings.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • 𝕔𝕄𝕔

      Shameful, Mark Rutte and his “onderste steen boven”…and the people vote him back in power, MH17 enquiry alone should have kept him out of office.

      those poor families have lost loved ones for the elites game of chess.

    Europe

    Is a Swexit on the cards for Sweden?

    StockholmThe leader of the Swedish Democrats, Jimmy Åkesson has again called for a referendum on Sweden's exit from the EU.

    Masked gangs go on a rampage in Sweden

    Swedish police reported multiple gangs of masked youths on a rampage across five major Swedish towns, burning cars in what seems like a coordinated action.

    Spat between Italy and UK intensifies over migrant taxi

    The diplomatic spat between Italy and Britain over 141 migrants currently on board a Gibraltar-flagged vessel has taken a new turn after Italy demanded that Britain take in the migrants.

    PVV member tells of gang rape by Muslims to silence her before suicide

    The HagueA city councillor in The Hague and member of Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, took her own life on Wednesday after posting a video on Facebook describing her gang-rape by Muslims.

    No Christians from Syria resettled by Britain

    The British Government recently appointed its first Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief. But the Special Envoy has done very little for Christians.

    Spain opens its borders even wider

    MadridSpain's socialist government, led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, has promised free healthcare to migrants and has pledged to investigate every asylum claim individually.

    Neocon US senators push sanctions bill ‘from hell’ against Russia

    WashingtonA US bill was introduced in the Senate on Thursday, widely described as a new set of "crushing" sanctions against Russia. The proposed legislation includes a State Department assessment aimed at designating Russia as a "state sponsor of terrorism".

    Banner against illegals end in ‘hate speech’ charges

    LyonA banner displayed during a pro-migrant march in Lyon resulted in the convocation to the police station of three participants including a prominent conservative politician of Marine Le Pen's party, Muriel Coativy.

    Three arrested in France on charges of ‘conspiring to fight Islamist danger’

    ParisTwo men and one woman were indicted on Friday, July 27, for "terrorist criminal conspiracy" as part of the investigation into the activities of the French AFO group. They are believed to have wanted to fight "against the Islamist danger".

    Germany is drowning in waste

    "Eco-friendly" Germany is drowning in its own rubbish. Each year, the country consumes more than 220 kilos of packaging per capita – more than any other country in the European Union. And they manage to do so under the watchful eye of the Green Party.

    Go to archive