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Posted in: Rebels return 80 fewer bodies than promised from MH17, experts say See in context

What's the diameter of the standard BUK's warhead ball, I wonder?

I don't know the exact size of Buk SAM shrapnel, but they are metallic cubes, weight of about 60g (7-8 times the weight of projectile of AK-47) each. Therefore, the holes in the fuselage of MH17 are not round-shaped. Siberian Flight 1812 was downed by S-200 SAM, which has ball-shaped shrapnel. The holes were more "rounded".

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Posted in: Rebels return 80 fewer bodies than promised from MH17, experts say See in context


Seems, that Kupol radars were used by Ukranians to provide a guidance to pilot of Sukhoi SU-25 who chased MH17. This airplane, a close analog of A-10 Thunderbolt is equipped by AA missiles and a powerful gun.

By comparison, a missile of BUK SAM has enormous explosive warhead which hit a target by huge amount of metal balls in supersonic speed. The civil jet would be torn apart to small pieces like it took place with Russian TU-154, downed by Ukranian Army in 2001 over Black Sea. The traces on a wreck of MH17 (there is a photograph of a piece of wing ) are different.

Possible, and I was thinking about the same thing. However, yesterday I saw a photo of the debris in FT, that is consistent with Buk:


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Posted in: Rebels return 80 fewer bodies than promised from MH17, experts say See in context


And if pigs had wings, they could fly.

Ok, I understood your argument, and assume you have no better one against my words.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Rebels return 80 fewer bodies than promised from MH17, experts say See in context


Problem is, Putin will NEVER admit to being or having any responsibility to the the downed MH17...

I think not only Putin, but no one would admit something he/she has not done. I trust the US officials when they said that Buk shoot the plane. And I trust the Rusians when they said rebels don't have Buks, and their satellite photos showing Ukrainian Buks close to rebel territories and electronic intelligence data indicating exceptional (out of pattern) activities of Buk's Kupol radars during the crash (nine Kupols active). In system analysis, out of pattern meta data (with variable entropy of information) are a good indicator of something happening in the system. And that some of these Buks retreated immediately after the crash. The third side - Ukraine - said they have photos and videos of "rebel's Buk" with "one missile missing" claimed to be retreating to Russia. Well, the place is in Krasnoarmeisk (Russian Defense proved it during their media briefing a couple of days ago) - a town, which from May 2014 is under full control of Ukrainian army. Moreover, the number of the shown Buk vehicle, seen from photo with good resolution, claimed to be traveling to Russia, is 312. What is interesting, a some time ago I saw in Ukrainian web site an article, showing Buks and saying "These systems will protect Ukraine from Russian attack." One of the Buks was 312. Also, there are Ukrainian videos (dated March, 2014) from driver recorders on roads in Ukraine that show batteries of Buks, aligned along the roads. One of the aligned Buks was 312...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Ukraine rebels hand over MH17 black boxes, call ceasefire See in context


The flight recorder is not going to tell us anything else than how the plane was performing and the cockpit voice recorder will let us in on some colloquial conversation between the pilots perhaps, which then stops abruptly. That's it. Only from the wreckage, specialists might be able to determine how the plane was shot down, with what and from which direction and somehow I don't think that that will be possible or even allowed.

Yes, and no, it depends. But, usually, the flight recorder will hint whether the plane was hit by SAM (surface-to-air) or AAM (air-to-air) missile (or fighter plane's machine gun). If the speed drops first, and then - the altitude, it is less powerful AAM (or gun). If both speed and altitude drop sharply at the same time, or, the recorder data stop suddenly, usually SAM is the culprit. This information should be augmented with the findings in the wreckage, corpses, luggage. SAM's warheads are full with many shrapnel - small metallic pieces - balls (as S-200, S-300), or cubes (as Buk). SAM is radar-guided and detonates remotely (for Buk - about 17m from the target) and destroys it via hypersonic rain of these small deadly shrapnel. They leave specific textures of holes on a quite big area of fuselage, human bodies, etc. (as with Siberia Air Tu-154 Flight 1812, shoot down by Ukrainian army over Black sea in 2001). Also, some of these shrapnel remain in parts of fuselage, corpses and luggage after the crash, and could be thoroughly investigated. On the other hand, warheads of AAM (as R-60 and R-70) are usually filled with metallic rods. Their traces are very specific too, and they are scattered mainly around the engine area of the plane (S-60 has infrared guidance). So, investigation could prove was it SAM, AAM, or none of them.

Sure, we don't have access to everything out there, and quite significant part around the engines is burned out (where both SAM and AAM traces, if any, could be), but from my own observation of the photos of the crash site, I can say that I haven't seen anything that hints about damage inflicted by SAM (Buk). I hope the investugatirs will find the reason of this tragedy soon.

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Posted in: Ukraine rebels hand over MH17 black boxes, call ceasefire See in context

"What I've been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms."

Robert Parry, July 20, 2014

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Posted in: Putin promises to cooperate as blame for MH17 crash piles on Russia See in context

There's now evidence that a Ukrainian fighter jet made an aggressive approach on MH17 moments before the explosion


Let me guess... the evidence was supplied by Russia, right?

Are you really expecting it to come from Ukraine!? (Keep in mind, a good doctoring takes time)

Here are some interesting details:


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Posted in: Putin promises to cooperate as blame for MH17 crash piles on Russia See in context



So is the objective of the minus (-) crowd to find out the truth of what caused this disaster or to get at Putin?

A: "...propaganda machine is in such high gear that we are in danger of losing the facts that we do have."

Paul Craig Roberts

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Putin promises to cooperate as blame for MH17 crash piles on Russia See in context

John Galt:

There's now evidence that a Ukrainian fighter jet made an aggressive approach on MH17 moments before the explosion.

John, very good point. Indeed - there is a detailed press conference from Russian Ministry of Defence with objective data, about this Ukrainian fighter and location of Ukrainian Buk SAM. And Ukrainian side said "no our planes, and no our Buk SAM in the area". Clear lies.

Here is the press conference:


Yet to see similar radar data from Ukraine. Hope, more to come from Russia....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Ukraine, rebels argue over Malaysia Airlines wreckage site See in context

It requested from European Air Traffic Control permission to avoid thunderstorms in the south. At any rate, either route would have taken them over the "war zone."

"In response to claims that weather led to MH17 changing its flight plan, Malaysia Airlines director of operations Izham Ismail said that it had no reports from the pilot to suggest that this was the case."

(source: Guardian).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Ukraine, rebels argue over Malaysia Airlines wreckage site See in context


Except for the doctored audio and the fake video, what evidence has Ukraine presented exactly?

Good question. They have presented no actual evidence to support their claim. However, the crash happened over their territory, plane was guided by their ground controler into war zone, they have records of all radar data, ground controller converstions, military diaries, etc. No single word about this - only fake audio and video instead.

This implies that the real evidence that they must have is against them, and therefore - not disclosed. It is easy to show the time and location of the plane when it was hit, exact location of their Buk batteries north-west of Donezk at that time, the distance between them and the plane when it was hit, was their Buk radar active during the flight of MH17, was the course of missile from the rear hemisphere (as if launched from Ukrainian army) or front hemisphere (as if launched by rebels), where the Chaffs at the crash site came from, etc...

I really hope that Russia has some objective evidence from their intelligence, and will disclose it when needed.

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Posted in: Ukraine, rebels argue over Malaysia Airlines wreckage site See in context


I still can't get over the fact that a rebel leader announced that they had just shot down a plane.

Most likely, that was about another downed plane, on another day. Also, AN-26 military transport plane was shoot down at about the same time, near Davido-Nikolsk, about 100km north-east of the crash site of MH17. The audio recording seems to be manipulated, and there is no evidence regarding the date or time of recording. Screenshots of the property page, done by users who downloaded and played the file, suggest the creation time (timstamp) is two days before the MH17 crash. The style, layout, and quality is quite similar to another fake video from June 5. Here is the story:


And I am puzzled by the fact that MH17 was deviated about 400km to the north from its usual path - directly over the war zone...

I would prefer to trust the results of an independent, international investigation.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Ukraine, rebels argue over Malaysia Airlines wreckage site See in context

I think jumping to conclusions even before the start of investigation is pointless.

One thing that caused my concern regarding the completeness of presented information is that Chaff is clearly seen in the crash cite. Chaff is deployed by military planes as a countermeasure against radar-guided missiles - it deceives the radars by causing multiple reflections. Does it suggest a possibility of direct involvement of (Ukrainian) fighter jet(s) in the tragedy? BTW, according to reports, rebels don't have any operational radar-guided SAM (like Buk, Tor, S-200, S-300).

Multiple strips of Chaff are seen in 45s~53s into this video:


Another opinion was also expressed:

@dnrpress: self-propelled Buk surface-to-air missiles systems have been seized by the DNR from (Ukrainian) surface-to-air missile regiment A1402," the Twitter post said.

I am sceptical about this - probably, the post was a part of the propaganda war. "To seize" and "to use" (especially, with the radar, needed to detect B777 early, to track it and to guide the missile up to its altitude and distance from launch site) are completely different things. Buk has several layers of protection - strictly controlled physical keys, crypto-keys, etc. that should be obtained directly from Ukrainian army (very unlikely). Ukrainian prosecutor general V.Yarema said immediately after the crash that rebels don't have operational Buk seized from Ukrainian army.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Posted in: Investigators struggle to reach MH17 crash site in Ukraine See in context

RIP all the innocent victims. Either side could be the culprit, and fair and objective investigation of this tragedy is needed...

CGB Spender:

From a logical PoV it doesn't make any sense that the Ukrainian side wants a passenger plane crashed on their grounds, littered with corpses. Whenever you see the rebels fighting there it becomes evident that they are trigger-happy, soulless creatures to whom a human life doesn't mean much.

According to your logic "it did not make sense" for the Ukrainian side (then - in an opposition) to hire snipers that kill people from both sides @ Kiev's Maidan. And to have a Maidan that is "littered with corpses"... Or Odessa trade union house "littered with corpses" of civilians, right. Or, Maryinka, Slavyansk, Lugansk, etc... "littered with corpses" of civilians (incl. women and children). Yes, all this (and much more), did not make sense to me too, but, sadly, it happens on (almost) everyday basis, "thanks" to the "brave" Ukrainian army...

The "senses" for shooting the plane (sure, if they "prove" the Russians downed it - and Mr.Poroshenko already "proved" it even before the investigation took off) might be - juts to mention few: (i) to have a very needed time-out in a civil war they are losing, both military and morally, (ii) to call for NATO intervention "to protect" against the "Russian invasion", actually - to get military help and crush the resistance of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, or (iii) just to escalate the conflict, to unite the nation against the "enemy", and to put the blame on Russia (as usually) for the imminent economic and social disasters...

And no sense - just incompetence of using Buk-1 SAM - is an option too: as with Siberia Airlines Flight 1812, downed by Ukrainian S-200 over Black sea in 2001 (despite the convincing results of the investigation, Ukraine never acknowledged it was their fault). Reportedly, the last time Ukrainian army test-fired Buk-1 SAM was back in 2001.

As for whether the rebels or somebody else is "trigger-happy" and "soulless", I would suggest you to check the well-documented reasons for thousands of Ukrainian civilian refugees to flee and seek a safety in Russia.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Posted in: Ukraine signs historic EU pact, snubbing Russia See in context

European Commission experts estimate the deal will boost Ukraine's national income by 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) a year.

Is the EU-related boost the only part of the income equation? I doubt it. According to many experts, Ukraine will lose about $20~25 billion/year from leaving the Custom Union. I am afraid that, as with the other similarly poor Eastern European countries, EU association of Ukraine would mean austerity and even poverty for all bar few percents - the corrupted (pro-EU) elite. Sure, in short term, for miopic EU bureaucrats the association looks "good" - cheap labor, cheap natural resources, cheap privatization of nation-owned assets, new, hungry market, and not to forget - yet another chance to antagonize Russia.

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Posted in: Japan, Ukraine urge respect for rule of law at OSCE meeting See in context

...Japan, Ukraine urge respect for rule of law...

Ukraine...Hm... their armed forces use GRAD multiple rocket launchers, UN-banned incendiary bombs and heavy artillery against residential areas, kill civilians, shell hospitals, schools, city offices, attack journalists in Eastern Ukraine...Their crowd could freely burn civilians alive (Odessa), or inspired by their Minister of Foreign Affairs, attack and throw rocks into the windows of Russian embassy (Kiev)...

What an unique understanding of "international law"?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Rebels in east Ukraine claim landslide vote for independence See in context


According to the AP, many of the Russians in the crowd were armed.

First, this is from AP:"One of the videos shows several armed men holding AK-47s yelling to the crowd "go home, get out of here." One then cocks his weapon, and seconds later a man from the crowd steps forward and approaches another gunman, also carrying an AK-47, to speak with him. The gunman fires a warning shot over his head, but that doesn't deter the man. He continues to approach as shots continue and the man is struck by a bullet, falls to the ground and can be seen bleeding from his leg."

Second, there are photos and videos with the victims in the Internet - wounded and dead - they were not from the paramilitary forces of protesters, and were not armed.

Third - the crowd consisted of Ukrainians (not Russians) - i.e., citizens of the Ukrainian city of Krasnoarmeisk.

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Posted in: Rebels in east Ukraine claim landslide vote for independence See in context

According to AP, Ukrainian national guard (consisting mostly of "Right Sector" activists from West Ukraine) opened fire on the referendum day on unarmed crowd outside a town hall of Krasnoarmeisk (in Eastern Ukraine), and there were fatalities. Shocking... This is just one of the many similar cases recently that, I think, shows at least three things: (a) it is not surprising that such circumstances would only reinforce the will of people to vote for independence; (b) the referendum is just a mere formality, and regardless of its results, the East and West of Ukraine had reached the point of no return in the process of their separation; and (c) the claims of Russia, that the activities of its military in Crimea preceding the referendum were intended solely to prevent eventual bloodshed provoked by national guard and other armed Ukrainian extremists (not confronted at all by the government), now, retrospectively, seem to be rather well-founded.

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Posted in: Japan, worried about China, strengthens ties with NATO See in context

We will not tolerate any change of status quo through intimidation or coercion or force.

I absolutely agree with Abe-san. I am not sure, however, if a NATO forum is the most suitable occasion to reiterate this principle. In my memory, most of the recent NATO activities were actually wars (e.g., Serbia, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya), that resulted, to a various extend, in a change of the status quo.

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Posted in: Russia, West trade gas, sanctions threats over Ukraine See in context

This is outright extortion. Don't like Ukraine, so you raise the rate 81% unilaterally.

JT doesn't say it, but all the reasons for these 81% seem to be solely contractual, and the hike is hardly surprising. It is a result of (1) nullifying the discount for paying for the gas on time, (2) introducing export taxes for gas as Ukraine unilaterally got out of the Custom Union with Russia, and (3) no "thank you for allowing the Russian fleet to be based in Crimea" discount (nullifying the 2010 Kharkiv Pact).

Right now, Russia is still providing gas to Ukraine - basically, for free - and it seems to be incorrect to say that stopping doing so is an "extortion".

The EU would be in danger because, anyway, Ukraine might siphon (as already happened in the past) the transit gas trying to get (AKA stealing) something that is not intended for them, and not paid by them.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Russia, West trade gas, sanctions threats over Ukraine See in context


Go ahead, cut off gas to E.U. in order to wake them up from the yoke you place upon them for too long. Afterward, Russia will get what Putin wishes, the down fall of his dictatorship and Russia's own destruction

Good point. You could also try: (1) Not to pay to the local Japanese Gas company for a couple of months, (2) After getting your gas cut off, "wake up from the yoke" the Gas Company placed you upon, and (3) Start moaning in the media about the dictatorship of Japan and its "imminent own destruction". Good luck!

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

Posted in: Obama demands West stand firm against Moscow's 'brute force' See in context

Crimea's "illegal" annexation was "a disgrace in the 21st century", said Van Rompuy.

Maybe he thinks the Crimean independence is illegal because it does not conform to the (already abolished) Ukrainian Constitution.

However, the "declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law."

(A written statement of the USA, submitted to the UN International Court. April 17, 2009)

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Posted in: G7 warns Russia of more sanctions if Ukraine crisis escalates See in context


As long as the Ukrainian military refuses to fight they are doomed.

First, they cannot fight: Ukrainian defense minister Igor Tenyukh said that the army is in a very bad condition.

Second - they should not fight: none of their problems (poor and Russia-dependent economy, corruption, poverty, ethnical intolerance, lack of democracy, etc.) is going to be resolved by war.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: G7 warns Russia of more sanctions if Ukraine crisis escalates See in context

Big difference is that Crimea's "decision" was made at gunpoint in the territory at a leased base

It seems there is a reason for the armed men to be in Crimea - for self-defence and protection. According to Yulia Tymoshenko (ex-prime minister, now a heavily influental Ukrainian leader), Russia should become a "burned field" and "all 8 million of Russians, living in Ukraine should be killed with nuclear weapon" (March 18, 2014):


(Tymoshenko acknowledged the conversation is authentic)

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Posted in: U.S., European sanctions target Putin's inner circle See in context

The article expresses well the mainstream opinion regarding the crisis in Ukraine. However, in reality, there is no clear-cut view about it. The government of my home country (both EU and NATO member) says that the country is against any economical sanctions against Russia, because they will have a devastating effect on country's economy. It also acknowledged that such an opinion is not an isolated case in EU. Moreover, there are strong voices urging to focus on the causes (rather than the effect) of the crisis in Ukraine - the poor economy, corruption, poor human rights, severe deficit of democracy in the society, ethnic intolerance, and the fascist elements in the current government that contribute to the deepening of all these problems even further:


-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe threatens Moscow with more sanctions over Crimea See in context


The reason the Soviets took N. Korea and Japan's northern islands was because the Soviets kept attacking for days even after the surrender.

I see, the Soviets were cowards indeed, and History is a very tough subject to study. Now some facts (from Wiki):

"The surrender of the Empire of Japan on September 2, 1945"

Invasion of the Kuril Islands: "The operation took place between August 18 and September 1, 1945..."

It is also a failure of Japanese military intelligence that Japan kept asking for the Soviets to broker a surrender while Stalin was increasing his troops on the boarder.

It must be a very big "failure" - for more than 6 months (since February, 1945):

Yalta Conference (February 4-11, 1945): "Stalin agreed to enter the fight against the Empire of Japan within 90 days after the defeat of Germany..."

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Posted in: Putin defies West in fiery address over Crimea See in context


If you notice, International observers were kicked out of Crimea, and nobody was there to verify attendance and count, except groups, assigned from Kremlin. Ukrainian and foreign journalists were kicked out and equipment destroyed.

No, I could not notice that. What I noticed is that 50 politicians and observers from 21 countries, including US, Israel, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, etc. observed the referendum. Also, I noticed that none of them reported any significant irregularities. OSCE mission was invited too, but they rejected the invitation (rather than "kicked out") because they don't recognize its legality. Indeed, the legality of the referendum, rather than the numbers in the results seem to be the main source of controversy and disputes.

Not a big fan of either side in the recent events in Ukraine, but have to acknowledge - according to the opinions of many Crimean, the referendum was an easy choice for them - they claim they are absolutely sure they don't want to be a part of this:


(in German, but photos are self-explaining. Also, Google can help translating it)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: Crimea moves to join Russia as West prepares sanctions See in context


This result is very strange and I'm having trouble believing it. The ethnic Tatars make up, what, 20% of the population and they hate Russia after Stalin's deportation. If they are the 20% who boycotted the vote, then that means 90% plus of Ukrainians vote to leave Ukraine for Russia.

Yes, I was confused too. 90%+ of voters "chose to secede", however, the missing info is that about 80% of potential voters had cast their ballots. So, 90% of 80% is about 72% of all potential voters. Also - we don't know about Tatars - not all boycotted the vote, and they were promised rights they know they could not enjoy in Ukraine anyway. In addition, in a poll in 2001, 77% of all Crimeans said that their mother tongue is Russian, even if Russians are 58%. Some of these additional 19% - probably Ukrainians - could "chose to secede" too. It seems there is no big problem with the math.

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Posted in: Kerry, Merkel warn Russia not to annex Crimea See in context

"My hope is that they will come aware of the fact that the international community is really strong and united on this issue"

Don't know about the international community, but in US, according to Pew Research poll, "by a roughly two-to-one margin (56% vs. 29%), the public says it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine than to take a firm stand against Russian actions."


(There are other polls in US that show different results though...)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan calls for Russia to open Crimea talks with Ukraine See in context

There is a good article by D. C. Hendrickson "The West's Illusions About Ukraine" in the US-based "The National Interest" (published by the Center for the National Interest), which tries to explain why the West (including Japan) and Russia are having difficulties understanding each other over Ukraine:


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