Bellingcat say who gave the order to shoot down MH17
The collective of investigative citizen journalists - or, as they say in English investigative citizen journalists - has published the full version of MH17 relationship. One year of computer investigations, they drop huge Russian army suspects, at all levels, as a direct and sole responsibility of killing the Boeing Malaysia in the summer of 2014.
- Friday, 26 February 2016
In their previous report, volunteers led by Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat, had already piled up a mass of circumstantial evidence. Using their method - and a mountain of hours spent in front of the computer - reconstructed beyond reasonable doubt the dynamics of MH17 disaster. From the first hours after the downing, when the most reasonable hypothesis immediately was a surface-to-air missile type Buk hit the Boeing, they were the first to locate the rocket launcher, in a territory controlled by the separatists. When the Soviet narrative popped out with an amount of incredible and conspiracy explanations (like the Americans ordered the downing, the liner was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter to put the blame on Russia, and the like) they have debunked all the attempts to undermine the facts with photoshopped satellite images and pseudoscientific reconstructions. The results of their research have been taken seriously by the experts, so that their investigations were also examined by the Dutch investigators and used in their report.
The report just published order for the first time in an organic way all the discoveries of Bellingcat, adding new details. The version available to all contains three levels of censorship, as they explain themselves. The names of the soldiers were censored and their faces on the photos pixilated; the officers are presented with partial censorship, including their first name and the first letter of their surnames, but always with their faces blurred; "prominent, public commanders in the Russian military, from the commander of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade up to the Russian President, appear in this report with their full names and uncensored photographs”.
The version of the report delivered to the Dutch, however, contains the names of all the Russian military involved in the launch of Buk.
The Bellingcat investigations start from the Russian base of Kursk, home of the 53rd Air Defense Brigade, from where the BUK convoy leaved to reach the destination of Snizhne, near Donetsk in Ukraine, where the missile was fired.
Based on all the information gathered by analyzing more than one hundred profiles of soldiers of the 53rd Brigade, it shows that at 4:20 pm it launched a surface-to-air missile that hit Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it flew over Ukraine. On the morning of July 18, the Buk missile launcher was driven from Luhansk, Ukraine, across the border to Russia.
Who gave the order to shoot?
And here are the names. The brigade commander of the 53rd Brigade in 2014 has been identified as Sergey Muchkaev. Since he was the highest-ranking commander of the 53rd Brigade, the report reads, it was most likely his decision to send Buk 3x2 to the Rostov Oblast, where it was subsequently transported to Ukraine.
It is likely that the decision to send a Buk missile launcher to Ukraine was made at the level of the Air Defense of the 20th Army, Aleksey Zolotov, the Air Defense of the Western Military District, Andrey Kokhanov, or the overall Air Defense, Alexander Leonov.
Nonetheless, conclude at Bellingcat, the decision to send military equipment to Ukraine was made at an even higher level – the level of the Ministry of Defense of Russia, First Deputy Minister Arkady Bakhin, First Deputy Minister Valery Gerasimov, Minister Sergey Shoygu, and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.