Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 17, 2014

More Sanctions On Russia After Ukrainian Forces Defeated

Six days ago the Ukrainian troops fighting local federalists in the south-east were hit hard by an artillery barrage and had major losses. This map shows their locations of the four nominal brigades on the right bottom in a narrow south-eastern strip along the Russian border. The plan for these troops was obviously to cut off the federalists from the Russian border and to surround them. But that risky plan on a thin logistic string worked against them. Repeated artillery attacks and disorganization have left them incapable of further advances.


The Ukrainian troops have now themselves been surrounded and are cut off from their resupplies. Their attempts to break out of the encirclement failed and they can now either flee to Russia or surrender to the federalists:

Earlier on Wednesday the press service of the DPR told ITAR-TASS that its militiamen had divided the Ukrainian military units into “several sectors” in the areas of the Amvrosievka, Izvarino and Saur-Mohila localities near the Russian border.

The Ukrainian military units attempted to form a convoy and head for the port city of Mariupol, but failed as the DPR fighters encircled them.

In recent days the Ukrainian armed forces had suffered serious losses, and support to their rear services had been axed, the press service said adding that the army units were trying to retreat covering their rear.

The Ukrainian troops seem to be desperate with little left to better their situation.

It is this desperate military situation of the Ukrainian coup-government troops, I believe, that let Obama put new sanctions on Russian companies. The European Union did not follow up with sanctions of its own and the damage to the Russian economy will thereby be very limited. It was a stupid and self defeating step for Obama to take. What U.S. companies, including the oil majors, will now still be welcome in the rather large Russian market?

The military situation as well as the propaganda tide has turned against the U.S. supported coup government in Kiev. Now even the BBC admits that many coup supporters and the "National Guard" forces are Nazis including foreign ones.

Posted by b on July 17, 2014 at 13:06 UTC | Permalink


US is not part of has no right there

Posted by: brian | Jul 17 2014 13:12 utc | 1

US sanctions serve to bolster the fascist forces of Ukraine

Posted by: brian | Jul 17 2014 13:13 utc | 2

@2 If anything the sanctions will demonstrate the U.S. isn't going to lend material support to the regime and will completely separate Europe from the U.S. on the issue of Ukraine; although given Kerry and gang's behavior, I imagine Poroshenko and friends might have the goods on U.S. intervention which would immediately bring a number of peripheral countries to the Russian side in an active way.

At this point, Ukraine can't win before winter, and will the residents of greater Kiev tolerate increased poverty and losers in charge?

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Jul 17 2014 13:33 utc | 3

Sanctions at the same time the brics bank kicks off with 100 billion seems more the grounds.

Posted by: kjs | Jul 17 2014 13:36 utc | 4

at ColonelCassad's site (best info on Ukraine's civil war) links below explains that Khordvarsky is on Ahkmetov's payroll & they were conspiring with the Kiev junta to surrender Donestk (which is why it was not bombed unliked Lugansk) so Khordovasky eliminated new militias that were potentially 'uncontrollable' by betraying them--that
was one of the reasons why Strelkov had to leave Slavansk to goto Donestk, which caused Khordvasky & Ahkmetov to flee Donestsk

How Strelkov lead Donestk & Lugansk to crushing victory over the Kiev junta forces trying to encircle them

-also links there for more battle info


"The suppressed conspiracy in Donetsk and the installation of a more comprehensive control over the political processes in the DPR by Moscow provided more coherent situation management and made the plans of surrendering Donetsk and the backstage political conspiracy with the Ukrainian oligarchs unrealistic.

The rough military defeat of the junta on the LPR territory and the growing combat capabilities of the LPR and the DPR militia effectively question the very possibility of the military destruction of the people's republics.

A significant quantity of vehicles and the constantly growing number of militia fighters gradually transfer the question from the plane of the survival of the republics towards the question of whether they will remain within the borders of the former Donetsk and Luhansk regions after their victory.

The jumpy announcement of the Poroshenko representative Mr. Chaliy that if the situation won't be solved through talks, then it will spill beyond the borders of the LPR and the DPR is quite symptomatic.

This is not a concrete offer yet, but already a thinly veiled apprehension that after the probable rout of the junta military in Donbass the DPR and the LPR militia won't stop and will advance toward Dnieper.

The hasty reinforcement of checkpoints in Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and Zaporozhye regions, the retreat of mechanized convoys through Krasnoarmeysk towards Dnepropetrovsk and from Metallist to the North of the LPR reflect the growing apprehension in the military circles. The smell of a really big defeat is in the air.

Meanwhile, the main speaker of the "party of war", Mr. Strelkov openly says (in Russian) that his goal is to reach Kiev and to liberate it from the fascists.

Considering that this is the main military figure in the DPR speaking, whom all local armed forces report to, this is effectively a political announcement, which means that even
losing Donbass the junta won't be at rest, because the forces led by Strelkov and his field commanders won't stop on the border and will advance toward Kharkov, Zaporozhye, and Dnepropetrovsk.

In this view, the retreat of Strelkov from Slavyansk not only brought trouble to the Russian defeatists, which were preparing the surrender of Donetsk to the junta, and Mr. Akmetov, whose plans of preserving his influence in Donbass went up in smoke, but also posed a difficult strategic problem before the junta –

what to do with this war, in which the military victory appears quite dubious at this point. The powerless murders of civilian population and adventurous offenses that lead to cauldrons are clearly not the way in which this problem will be solved.

The matter of fact is that the "party of war", which is publicly represented by people like Strelkov, Mozgovoi, Bolotov, and Bezler (and not publicly – by the military circles in Moscow) in its idea of routing the junta in Donbass and advancing to Kiev, meets those groups which support the idea of Novorossia and invest money into Tsaryov and Co.

That is, a certain military and political alliance is forming, where the Tsaryov's group is starting to play a real political role, and the military led by Strelkov lays the groundwork for the return to the idea of "large Novorossia" not out of 2, but out of 7-8 regions.

This became possible after a retreat from Slavyansk, which broke the game for the junta and the Russian defeatists, which among everything else led to certain changes in the Russian policy in Donbass –

the direct control through the line of state security and the large-scale appearance of tanks, SPHs, SAMs, artillery, MLRSs, and other weapons with the militia says that the political decision was made and that the line pursued by Moscow between April 24 and July 5 was abandoned.

The support became more substantive, which immediately showed in the internal structure of the DPR and in the combat readiness of the militia fighters.

In this view, the situation around the DPR is starting to change. The failure of the "defeatist party" with the surrender of Donetsk (currently effectively all involved are removed from any meaningful political levers int he DPR – Lukyanchenko, Khodakovsky, Pozhidayev – there is also currently unconfirmed information about the possible resignation of Mr. Pushilin) didn't lead to their extinction.

Only their line of conduct changed."

Posted by: | Jul 17 2014 14:11 utc | 5

This is from the Irish Times:

This ad is on the Front Page of The Guardian website. Judging by the quality of their reports on Ukraine and Gaza, Professor Higgins has been giving Guardian staff masterclasses in ignoring what is there and seeing what the Boss tells you to see.

"How to be a citizen journalist with Brown Moses."
How to be a citizen journalist with Brown Moses Masterclass Thursday 24 July, London:
Eliot Higgins, of renowned blog Brown Moses, shows you how to use social media to find major stories from around the world
Price: £99

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17 2014 14:12 utc | 6
"The surrender of Mariupol, in which Mr. Akhmetov had his finger in by blocking the coherent work on preparing the city defense, this was so to say a part of the "dialog".

The story of Mr. Khodakovsky, who while already being the commander of "Vostok" continued to take money from Akhmetov and betrayed his people, was also a part of this behind-the-scenes haggling, when
Akhmetov in essence was getting rid of uncontrollable militia fighters so that they wouldn't start building the DPR for real."

it seems Khodarvosky was on the payroll of Ahkmetov & they were planning to surrender Donestk

the interviewee (a pro-Russian Armenian volunteer who said he fought at the botched Donetsk airport battle 1 month ago -

-it seems they were massacred at the airport by 4 Ukrainian helicopters & 2 jets because
former Ukrainian SBU agent/leader Khodavorsky(who never went to the airport) is maybe a double-agent or working for Ahkmetov because
it is he
who ordered them NOT to take their anti-air MANPADs
& then had his SBU snipers leave the airport at 1pm & then the bombing started at 2pm

Khodavorsky then ordered them via cell phone to retreat on 2 Kamaz trucks ...

somehow, the rest of the militias outside the airport were given the false rumor that Right Sector was going thru Donetsk in 2 Kamaz trucks,
in 'friendly fire' where the militias shot the 2 Kamaz trucks with grenade launchers, resulting in
35 killed in the 1st truck & more in the 2nd truck

This also explains why Khodavorsky has refused orders from Strelkov --

Posted by: | Jul 17 2014 14:12 utc | 7

The military situation that b reports seems to be final proof that the US army is directly involved- incompetence and arrogance on this scale are not readily available.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17 2014 14:14 utc | 8

good article on Kolomoysky and his thugs:

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17 2014 14:36 utc | 9

The clock keeps ticking before field marshal winter arrives. Tick. Tock.

If Kiev can't retake the east before winter, I doubt they ever will. Once the combination of foreign imposed austerity, ongoing internal economic leprosy, and lack of cheap energy from Russia bite into western Ukraine this winter we'll see what happens to the current rube-goldberg machine in Kiev.

Posted by: thepanzer | Jul 17 2014 14:40 utc | 10

If the BBC (British Bullshitting Corporation) are hedging their bets then change must be in the wind. These post-empire PR 'sultans-of-spin' cannot afford to be caught completely divorced from reality. Will be interesting (and somewhat entertaining) to watch them catch up with 'facts' on the ground (easily available from numerous websites) and weave a new public msm narrative.

Posted by: x | Jul 17 2014 14:55 utc | 11


It could very well be O'Bomber's job to push Russia and China together as part of a long term US strategy of ensuring bigger enemies and thus ensuring the steady increase of military spending well into the future.

How else to explain the appearance on the surface of one obviously idiotic foreign policy blunder after another?

Can he be that stupid? Or, is he just a cunning sellout?

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 17 2014 15:13 utc | 12

Malaysian plane crashes in Ukraine in 60 km from Russian border — source
View on

World July 17, 19:18 UTC+4
According to information available, the plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur

MOSCOW, July 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Boeing 777 passenger airplane of Malaysia Airlines crashed on the territory of Ukraine in 60 km from the Russian border, a source in air traffic control circles told ITAR-TASS. There were presumably 285 people aboard the plane. All of them are believed to be dead.
According to information available, the plane was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
The source noted that the airliner flying at the altitude of more than 10 thousand meters was supposed to enter the Russian air space at 17:20 Moscow standard time (13:20 UTC).
“However, it fell down in 60 km from the border; the plane’s emergency location beacon went off,” the source said.

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 15:50 utc | 13

CNN reporting Russia may be responsible blah blah
how obvious

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jul 17 2014 15:52 utc | 14

A Malaysia Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has just crashed on the Russian-Ukraine border killing 295 people onboard. Interfax reporting it was hit by a BUK surface to air missile close to Donesk.

No word if it was a Russian or Ukrainian missile.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 17 2014 15:53 utc | 15

Two days ago the junta military started shrieking about a Russian airstrike leveling an apartment building in Snizhne, a town due east of Donetsk, killing 11 civilians. I had the feeling something was up. It smacked of desperation. Now as b points out the dire military situation of the ATO, coinciding with Obama's latest sanctions upgrade, Kiev's desperation does appear to be a fact.

About those sanctions -- Europe is still lagging far behind. The only thing Brussels committed to was the suspension of some loans from its development bank, along with a promise to add some individuals tot he blacklist during an end-of-the month reappraisal. The U.S. sanctions went after two big fish -- Rosneft and Gazprombank. But interestingly the sanctions apply only to capital loans exceeding 90 days. Targeted companies can still access American financial markets for the all-important overnight loans.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 17 2014 15:55 utc | 16

About Malaysian plan, hopefully it was just an incident - sometthing wrong with the plane because this is very grave, of course Russia didnt do it though as some want to imply.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 17 2014 15:55 utc | 17

Donetsk: this is Kiev Junta provocation,

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 16:06 utc | 18

Rumours is that ukrainian SU fight jets were close the the plane before shotdown according @lifenews.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 17 2014 16:11 utc | 19

skynews "this looks very much like trigger-happy separatists...if you want to waste a few hours you can listen to the conspiracy theorists..." Paul Beaver, aviation expert

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Jul 17 2014 16:14 utc | 20

the plane downing is bad news all around and will be used as an excuse for more bullshit from the side that keeps on offering more lies and bullshit.

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2014 16:16 utc | 21

Flashback 2001:
Ukraine admits missile may have downed Russian plane

Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 crashed over the Black Sea on 4 October 2001, en ... Ukrainian military officials initially denied that their missile had brought down ..

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 16:21 utc | 22

Makes me thinking of this:

Iran Air Flight 655 was an Iran Air civilian passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai that was shot down by the United States Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes on 3 July 1988

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 17 2014 16:22 utc | 23

Malaysian airliner crashes in E. Ukraine near Russian border, over 280 people on board

Published time: July 17, 2014 15:18

Posted by: Paty Kerry | Jul 17 2014 16:23 utc | 24

@4 kjs / @12 cynthia

regarding obama "made in the usa" sanctions ( they don't make much else!), i think some folks working on the inside of the usa has it in for the usa (9-11 a similar dynamic?).. maybe it is wishful thinking on my part, but the downfall of the empire looks a lot closer every day.. the brics agreement is a clear move on the part of other economically important countries for autonomy and independence from the banking cartel that are controlling things at present and seem centered in the usa at present - wall st. in particular.

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2014 16:24 utc | 25

Just confirmed in Germany. The US fleet in the Black Sea is involved to take this plane down.

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 16:32 utc | 26

As 37,000 feet is the cruising altitude for passenger aircraft and as the Igla (MANPADS), used by the Novorossiya militia, has a maximum range of 13,500 ft (4,100 m) 17,100 ft, then we must presume that other systems in theater are responsible ... Moreover, what kind of mental giant would routed a passenger commercial plane over a war zone?

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 17 2014 16:50 utc | 27

Oh the ukrainian junta have already started an investigation they say, its will be ready in some hours and would blame Russia. Any bet?

Interesting if the US/NATO fleet in black sea did this though.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 17 2014 16:54 utc | 28 last known position of aircraft from
flightradar. That's some 200 km from rebel positions.

Ukrainians were officially keeping altitudes above 7000 meters open for commercial traffic.

Posted by: asubbotin | Jul 17 2014 16:58 utc | 29

@Anonymous #28:

They're going to have problems investigating, since the plain went down in rebel controlled territory. has pictures of the wreckage. And yes, Lifenews says witnesses say a Ukie jet was following the plane.

The plain was flying at 10,600 meters; the rebels do not have weapons that can reach that high.

Lufthansa has been avoiding the Ukraine since the fighting began.

People were expecting a black flag op. Maybe the junta/NATO wanted to distract people from the Ukie army defeat? The timing and location makes it very likely the plain was shot down, IMO. It is highly unlikely that Russia would have done that by mistake, even less so, deliberately.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 17:11 utc | 30

According to the Kiev regime, the 'federalists' or whatever you want to call them, do not have the capacity to take down a plane at what, 30-35,000 feet (the altitude commercial jets fly at), hence if it's true that it was shot down, the obvious culprit would be the Kiev regime in a false flag operation.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 17:13 utc | 31


That is my views too, and it seems that they lost contact with plane
as assubotin/#29 showed

far away from both russian border and "rebel" held territories but that it crashed in their territory.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 17 2014 17:17 utc | 32

The Saker has this assessment:
" So who done it? Here are some very preliminary thoughts:

"First, the Ukies already did that once when they shot down Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 not deliberately, but out of their typical and total incompetence. Second, the Ukies had just announced that the Russians had shot down a Ukie SU-25 (which Russia denies, but which is quite possible), and I could see some Ukie smart-ass deciding to "retaliate" against a "Russian" aircraft. I don't see how the Resistance could be involved as it probably does not have the kind of missiles needed to reach a typical civilian airliner flying at a typical cruising speed and altitude. The Russian most definitely do, but they also have a well-integrated air multi-layered defense system which should have immediately identified the aircraft origin and ID even if, say, the transponder was malfunctioning. By the way, this also means that the Russians have the radar track of both the plane and the missile which hit it. My guess is that junta controlled forces did it, probably by mistake, but that this will be hard to prove as all the western "experts" will "cover" for Kiev and blame Moscow, and Moscow will blame Kiev, possibly with the recorded radar tracks, but that the "international expert community" will dismiss that as a "Kremlin orchestrated propaganda ploy" (don't you love the canned sentences used by the western media?). I sure hope that this was not some kind of screw up by the Russians (this is always possible, as the sad stories of TWA 800 or Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 have shown."

(The caveat which follows is overly conservative.)

Posted by: bevin | Jul 17 2014 17:25 utc | 33

@Anonymous #32:

The Saker thinks this is going to get into another war of words. The Russian air force likely tracked both the plane and the missile that hit it. But when Russia explains what happened, Western "experts" will say it is lying.

DPR officials raise the question of why civilian flights over DPR and LPR are allowed, since the rebels have destroyed tracking equipment in their airports.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 17:26 utc | 34

This from ITAR-TASS:

Ukraine’s anti-aircraft missile system dispatched to Donetsk Wednesday
July 17, 20:33 UTC+4
The aircraft at an altitude of over 10,000 meters could be shot down only with the weapons of the S-300 or Buk (Beech) missile systems. More...

Ukraine’s armed forces dispatched the Buk anti-aircraft missile system battalion to the area of the city of Donetsk on Wednesday, a well-informed source said referring to the data recording system.

Another battalion of the same weapons is said to be in the process of embarkation in the city of Kharkiv, northwest of Donetsk, the source said adding that the aircraft at an altitude of over 10,000 meters could be shot down only with the weapons of the S-300 or Buk (Beech) missile systems.

In the meantime, militias of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk have said they do not possess armament systems of this class.

Militias of the self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine's east are not armed with the Buk anti-aircraft missile systems, the press service of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic said in comments on the Ukrainian authorities' statements about a possible involvement of the Donetsk and Luhansk militias to the downing of the Malaysian plane.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 17:32 utc | 35


In the era of globalization, state sovereignty and minding our own business seem almost quaint.

But I guess the amount of hatred we generate from meddling and killing and generally sticking our big fat nose in where it doesn't belong must make a lot of money for some people, somewhere.

If the idea was to weaken the US image abroad and drain it of much blood and treasure, I would say the people who were in charge knew exactly what they were doing. Even staunch allies seem to be questioning the wisdom of some of our actions.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 17 2014 17:39 utc | 36

The situation gets more interesting. If, as Kiev says, the airpspace was closed three days ago, what was the plane doing there in the first place?

Commercial flights impossible in Ukraine’s east as infrastructure destroyed — DPR

DONETSK, July 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Civil flights in the air space of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions cannot be performed as the relevant communications infrastructure was destroyed there, a source from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.

“Kiev operates all air traffic control services and it is unclear how this plane (the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday night. — ITAR-TASS) could appear in the area,” he said.

“During the combat actions in Donetsk’s airport the communication tower, a part of the united air control service was blown up,” he said adding that “planes cannot fly there.”

On July 8, Ukraine’s State Aviation Service banned all flights over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions aiming to provide “adequate safety and security for all flights of civil aircraft in favor of state aviation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council took a decision to close the airspace over the area of the so-called anti-terror operation to commercial flights three days ago, Rosaviatsia (Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency) reported.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 17:39 utc | 37

@William Bowles #37:

So maybe the Ukie military knew that, so that they assumed that the Malaysian airliner was a Russian military plane? Any arbitrary level of incompetence can be assumed in the case of Ukies.

So probably not a false-flag operation after all.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 17:45 utc | 38

Some info on the BUK missile (from Wikipedia):

The Buk missile system was designed to surpass the 2K12 Kub in all parameters and its designers including its chief designer Ardalion Rastov visited Egypt in 1971 to see Kub in operation.[8] Both the Kub and Buk used self-propelled launchers developed by Ardalion Rastov. As a result of this visit the developers came to the conclusion that each Buk transporter erector launcher (TEL) should have its own fire control radar rather than being reliant on one central radar for the whole system as in Kub.[8] The result of this move from TEL to transporter erector launcher and radar (TELAR) was a system able to engage multiple targets from multiple directions at the same time.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 17:48 utc | 39

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17, 2014 1:45:59 PM | 38

I'm inclined to think that it was a deliberate act by the Kiev regime. The question that HAS to be asked is: If Kiev closed the airspace to civilian traffic three days ago (see above), how come this jet was there in the first place?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 17:51 utc | 40

@William Bowles #40:

Yeah. Very convenient:

An Associated Press reporter on Thursday saw seven rebel-owned tanks parked at a gas station outside the eastern Ukrainian town of Snizhne. In the town, he also observed a Buk missile system, which can fire missiles up to an altitude of 22,000 meters (72,000 feet).

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 18:01 utc | 41

it is complicated by the fact that a military jet was downed last night @41 link, not to be confused with the passanger aircraft today..
@37 - interesting..

i was reading up on the buk system earlier today as i had read those links as well..

Posted by: james | Jul 17 2014 18:10 utc | 42

Rebels said the Malaysian plane was brought down by a Ukrainian SU-25 aircraft.

LifeNews, quoted a witness to the crash who said he saw a Ukrainian air force Sukhoi aircraft tailing the Malaysian airliner before it crashed.

En 2001, en avion avait déjà été abattu dans la région

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 18:17 utc | 43


Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crashes in Ukraine near Russian border, killing all on board

Noteworthy, on July 8, Ukrainian mass media reported that the State Aviation Service of Ukraine closed airspace in the south-east because of the special operation. In this case, civil aircraft could not fly over dangerous area. However, on the website of Flightradar, it can be seen that the signal with the aircraft was lost above the south-east of Ukraine.

Of course, July 8 is more than 3 days ago.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 18:25 utc | 44

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17, 2014 2:25:40 PM | 44

Of course, July 8 is more than 3 days ago.

Well it was three days ago that Kiev closed the airspace to civilian traffic! So once more, what was it doing there? Did Kiev, that controls the airspace direct the plane there? It stinks!!!

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 18:29 utc | 45

And it was in 2012 that Ukraine shot down (accidentally) a Russian passenger jet, killing everyone. Apparently it was done with an S-200 during an exercise.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 18:31 utc | 46

If, as the DPR say:

“Kiev operates all air traffic control services and it is unclear how this plane (the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday night. — ITAR-TASS) could appear in the area,” he said."

Then I'll wager Kiev directed the plane there and, if the eyewitness is to believed, an SU-25 was waiting to shoot it down. But will our Western public ever be told the truth? Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 18:34 utc | 47

UPDATE: The eyewitnesses, who could see the crash of the airliner, say that it was a fighter jet of the Ukrainian Air Force that downed the plane. As a result of the attack, the aircraft
split into two and crashed on the territory of the breakaway Donetsk region, the press service of the People's Republic of Luhansk said.

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 18:43 utc | 48

Deliberate act by Kiev is my guess. Still it's hard to see what they expect to gain. Sure people will blame Russia but what they desperately need is NATO air cover for their so-called army. How will this produce that?

Posted by: dh | Jul 17 2014 18:52 utc | 49

RT has this to say:

President Putin's plane might have been the target for Ukrainian missile - sources — RT News

Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane was travelling almost the same route as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s jet shortly before the crash that killed 295, Interfax news agency reports citing sources.

Posted by: Fran | Jul 17 2014 18:53 utc | 50

RT has this story:

President Putin's plane might have been the target for Ukrainian missile - sources — RT News

Malaysian Airlines MH17 plane was travelling almost the same route as Russia’s President Vladimir Putin’s jet shortly before the crash that killed 295, Interfax news agency reports citing sources.

Posted by: Fran | Jul 17 2014 18:54 utc | 51

Ah. The air space of Donbass closed for civil aircraft

In the air space over the territory of the ATU is only permitted the transit of aircraft flying above 260-th echelon.

I believe that the plane was flying above that.

Maybe the order that was issued three days ago was prohibiting flights at any altitude?

@Moscovite #48:

Well, both Russian and US radar should be able to tell the difference between a fighter attack and a SAM.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 18:54 utc | 52

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17, 2014 2:54:37 PM | 52

'The air space of Donbass closed for civil aircraft'

According to this article:

"In the air space over the territory of the ATU is only permitted the transit of aircraft flying above 260-th echelon."

Unfortunately I'm not sure what height 260th Echelon is. Putin's jet was apparently at: 330-m echelon.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 19:08 utc | 54

Ukrainian Army Buk Missile Likely Downed Malaysian Plane - Source

MOSCOW, July 17 (RIA Novosti) - A Ukrainian army battalion of Buk air defense systems was deployed near the city of Donetsk a day before the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane on Thursday, making the downing of the aircraft by one of the missiles highly probable, an expert source said.
"According to reconnaissance data, a Ukrainian army battalion of Buk air defense systems was deployed near Donetsk on Wednesday morning,” the source said.
The source added that armed militia fighting Kiev-led forces in eastern Ukraine does not have Buk systems, which are capable of shooting down aircraft flying at altitudes up to 25 kilometers (82,000 feet).
Earlier the same day, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Minister wrote on his Facebook page that a Buk surface-to-air missile system was indeed used to down the plane, but insisted that the self-defense forces had done that.

Pro-Russian activists fighting the Ukrainian government said the jetliner had been shot down by a Ukrainian jet.

“Witnesses watching the flight of the Boeing 777 passenger plane saw it being attacked by a battle plane of the Ukrainian forces,” the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic (LPR) said in a statement.

“After that the passenger plane split in two in the air and fell on the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic,” it said.

Malaysia is still reeling from the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 with 239 on board on March 8 following its diversion from its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight path.

Facts: Months ago a court in Malasia declared Israel guilty for crimes against humanity. There's the second plain of Malasia airlines lost in a short time. Coincidence?

This is clearly a message to the Kuala Lumpur War tribunal which is going to impeach Israel for their war crimes! You remember the KLWT found Bush and Blair guilty for war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is the second malaysian Civil aircraft shot down by the NATO forces. In may they did military exercices in Thailand and this time in Ukraine!

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 19:11 utc | 55

@William Bowles #54:

I read somewhere that the plane was flying at the 3n0 echelon; I can't find that anymore and forget exactly what value the second digit had.

According to the FAZ:

According to Ukrainian information was the aircraft with anti-aircraft missiles of the type "Buk" shot, the objectives of up to 14 km height can reach. Shortly before the first reports about the crash had the Ukrainian National security Council for the first time reported, the separatists had weapons, with which the shooting down of the aircraft at high altitudes. Already on Monday was over the battlefield is a transport aircraft of the Ukrainian armed forces have been shot down, according to the government, in Kiev, at an altitude of 6,500 meters flog.

The separatists denied, something with the crash of the aircraft to do, and accused the Ukrainian side, the Boeing shot down. A spokesman for the separatists in Donetsk region told the Russian news Agency Interfax, the anti-aircraft missiles, the separatists could not exceeding targets at an altitude of 3,000 metres. The news Agency reported, citing an unspecified "competent source", the Ukrainian armed forces had on Wednesday a unit with "Buk"-missiles in the embattled Donetsk area is laid; this finding was based on "information systems objective control". The leaders of the separatist "people's Republic of Donetsk" said the black box of the crashed aircraft, should the international civil aviation to be passed. It was willing, international experts for the investigation of the incident allow.

It's funny how the Ukie security council instantly knew that a Buk missile was used (maybe because they were the ones who used it?) and announced just before the plain was downed that the rebels had such missiles.

They wouldn't come out with such obvious lies unless they were counting on the full suport of NANO and the Western press. (I already drew attention to a claim made by an AP reporter that he saw rebels having Buk missiles.)

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 19:30 utc | 56

Gordon Duff, over at Veterans Today tells us that it was the Israelis wot did it:

  • An aircraft was used, most likely an American built F15 because of range and capability.
  • Azerbaijan was used because we know of clandestine bases there, which were confirmed by military officers who defected to Iran in 2013.
  • We know Israel has some role, yet undefined, because they are spreading stories blaming Russia.
  • As this is a second Malaysian Airlines plane to go down, we look for false stories regarding Israel and Malaysian planes and reassess their meaning.
  • As is always the case, que bono, who benefits?

    We ask readers to watch the world news and those in the region, report directly to our bureau there.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 19:30 utc | 57

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17, 2014 3:30:09 PM | 56

Do you know what's involved, technically and logistically, to use one of these systems? Judging by the equipment, computers, radar, launch equipment, and vehicles needed, you need highly trained specialists to fire one off. Do we really see Strelkov and his posse having this capacity? I don't think so.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 19:34 utc | 58

The echelon, in which the crashed Boeing was flying, was open to international transit flights (in Russian)

So, William, they've got that one covered. The plain wasin echelon 350.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 19:38 utc | 59

Just watched CNN News with Anderson Cooper to see their coverage of the air crash. He mentioned that Ukrainian forces in the Donbas have been on a succesful offensive and recapturing more and more territory from the rebels. They don't seem to have a clue as to what is happening on the ground. He followed that with a statement that Kiev forces were unable to visit the crash site because the rebels control the region.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jul 17 2014 19:46 utc | 60

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17, 2014 3:38:12 PM | 59

That's way above Putin's jet. Bloomberg were saying the jet was at 10,000 feet, which conveniently puts it in range of Strelkov's MANPADS. Unfortunately Kiev had already told the world it was a 33,000 feet. Did they really think it was Putin's jet? Whatever, as Gordon Duff says, who benefits? Surely not Russia or the DPR but reason flies out the window (well it left decades ago).

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 19:50 utc | 61

Colonel Cassad is pretty adamant that the Boeing was downed by a Ukie fighter. Eyewitnesses say that the airliner was pursued by two fighters, and, confusingly, that the pilots of one of the two fighters ejected.

But what's new in that report is that a Spanish air traffic controller said he could see the pursuing fighters on radar.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 19:59 utc | 62

I am making the assumption that deliberately routing a passenger plane over a war no-fly zone would be difficult to explain. Therefore, the question becomes, who has the ability to hijack the controls a civilian passenger plane in theater?

Many suspect that missing Malaysia airlines flight 370 was also hijacked by remote control. Can this process be accomplished from another aircraft, surface ship, surfaced submarine, or satellite? Does this match the MO of anyone? Why now? Who benefits? ... we need to widen the scope of possible suspects.

As the Kiev junta is trigger happy and prone to very violent acts against non combatants, they are the prime and obvious suspects. However, I recall that Israel fired off two rockets in the middle of the the US and Russian armadas when the two nations were on hair trigger alert over Syria!

There is also conjecture that Kiev was attempting to shoot down Putin's plane. However, Putin's flight plans are not advertised; they are a state secret. This raises the possibility of an assassination attempt from Russian Atlantic integration oligarchs. They would have access to Putin's flight plans, and may have passed it on to their counterparts in Kiev?

If true, we would expect a purge of Russian oligarchs in the days to follow. Nevertheless, the theory of hijacking the controls of the passenger plane to bring it into harms way and the theory of an assignation attempt on Putin's life seem to be mutually exclusive.

As the outcome of the Ukrainian conflict may determine the new order of the world for decades to come, I would not put anything past any of the players on the world stage.

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 17 2014 20:04 utc | 63

BTW, Israel just invade Gaza

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 20:06 utc | 64

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 17, 2014 4:04:12 PM | 63

There's no question that the jet had every right to be there, and at that height. How it got shot down is unclear. Consensus would seem to be a jet, a Ukrainian Army jet. Was it deliberate or was it a 'mistake'? Did they really think they were taking out Putin?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 20:13 utc | 65

The DPR has announced that the flight recorders will be given to Moscow. :-)

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 20:14 utc | 66

Thanks, William Bowles @ 64.

Good timing, eh?

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 17 2014 20:19 utc | 67

Defence analyst Major Charles Heyman, who edited a book called Armed Forces of the European Union, believes it could have been downed by a 'slack' Ukraine air defence centre.
He told Sky News: 'It looks like confusion. It’s possible that Ukraine thought it was hostile and not civilian and shot it down.'

Read more:

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17 2014 20:23 utc | 68

The Ukies seem to make this stuff up on the fly

a Ukrainian official suggested that the rebels were to blame. Separatists had been shooting at a Ukrainian Il-86 military transport plane carrying supplies to government troops in the area at the same time that the Malaysian passenger plane crashed, said Alexei Dmitrashkovsky, spokesman for the government’s operation to retake the rebel-held territory.

“Our plane avoided the impact but the missile went up and shot the other plane flying at much higher altitude,” he added. “The area where the plane was shot down is in complete control of pro-Russia rebels.”

Ukraine’s Security Service posted on it website what it claimed were audio and transcripts of intercepted telephone conversations between pro-Russia rebels and their “curators” in Russia.

They are borne confabulators.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 20:41 utc | 69

Need to see how thing play out over the next week. Keeping in mind how the narrative begins to evolve and take shape and how that evolving narrative diverges from the initial reports and if any of the initial reports can be corroborated. Reports like, "someone saw X" must be considered to be propaganda, unless confirmed by various sources from opposing interests.

No manifest as of yet. Who has the black box? We are told and are expected to "believe" that it is tamper proof? Need to wait for evidence from Russia, EU/NATO ... Much too early to jump to conclusions. However, I always want to know who benefits and why was this done at this particular time?

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 17 2014 20:51 utc | 70

If I was to speculate, US/Kiev took control of the plane and deliberately maneuvered them into harms way to discredit the Resistance fighters?

Posted by: HAHA | Jul 17 2014 20:58 utc | 71

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 17, 2014 4:19:42 PM | 67

I'll say! Most of us, and I include myself in that, find it very hard to swallow complex false flag operations but what could be more complex than starting a war or invading a country?

If you think what went into making the Tonkin Gulf incident that resulted in millions of Vietnamese being murdered, it actually involved dozens if not hundreds of people, not necessarily directly, but who were necessary to making to make the operation work, then organising a shootdown of a civilian aircraft, and in a conflict zone, is small potatoes by comparison.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 21:05 utc | 72

@Moscovite #68:

I don't think they shot down the plane by mistake, because they started claiming that the rebels have Buks half an hour before the plane went down.

It's interesting that the Americans aren't blaming anyone yet. Maybe they saw the junta give the order?

@HAHA #71:

Given how much the Yukis complain about everybody, including the Russians, shooting their planes down, it is very odd that they allowed civil aviation at any altitude over the Donbass.

The timing is pretty obvious. The Yukies needed a false-flag op because they are losing the war. Remember, these people are desperate.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 21:11 utc | 73

Posted by: Moscovite | Jul 17, 2014 4:23:22 PM | 68

He told Sky News: 'It looks like confusion. It’s possible that Ukraine thought it was hostile and not civilian and shot it down.'

Unfortunately, it's one sentence in a very long piece, full of photos, I had to do a search to find it. The vast bulk, like all of it, tells a very different story.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 21:13 utc | 74

This from Tony Cartalucci:

At no juncture during the Ukrainian crisis could the downing of Malaysian Boeing 777 flight MH17 have been more convenient for NATO and its proxy regime in Kiev. Kiev's forces were being picked apart in eastern Ukraine with several units encircled and destroyed. In the west of the country, dissent was growing by Ukrainians unwilling to march off to fight in the east. NATO's attempts to bait Russia into moving into Ukrainian territory and shift global opinion against Moscow had repeatedly failed.


The US FAA Declared Ukrainian Airspace Off-Limits 3 Months Ago

Indeed, the stars have aligned for NATO. While the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declared Ukrainian airspace off limits to all aircraft under its jurisdiction, it appears other airlines continued flying over what has been a warzone for months. The Atlantic in a report titled, "The FAA's Notice Prohibiting Airline Flights Over Ukraine," stated clearly that:

Did aviation authorities know that this was a dangerous area?

Yes, they most certainly did. Nearly three months ago, on the "Special Rules" section of its site, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration put out an order prohibiting American pilots, airlines, charter carriers, and everyone else over whom the FAA has direct jurisdiction, from flying over parts of Ukraine.

Frankly, I think this entire situation is going to unravel badly for the West. I think Cartalucci is right when he says that the Russians have not risen to the bait, painful as it must be for them. Unless it's a mistake (which I doubt), this is surely an act of desperation (and I wonder if Israel's decision to attack, and now invade, Gaza, is not also part of the the grand deception?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 21:25 utc | 75

And this from Oriental Review:

The Russian military expert Igor Korotchenko argues that the catastrophe in Donetsk was most likely caused by the incompetence and non-professionalism of the Ukrainian operators of the Buk systems during its testing after the battery was deployed in the new location. He said that the Ukrainian antiaircraft unit did not have any kind of proper training for the last 23 years since the collapse of Soviet Union.

What happened today is hardly the first case of “errant shooting” of the Ukrainian military on civilian air targets. On October 4, 2001 the Russian Siberia Airline flight #1812 Tel-Aviv-Novosibirsk carrying 66 passengers and 12 crew members was erroneously hit by a Ukrainian missile over the Black Sea during military exercises, which was eventually admitted by the Ukrainian side. No one on board survived.

So regardless the MH-17 incident was caused by the criminal negligence and incompetence of the Ukrainian military or deliberate (and reckless) Kiev’s provocation to put blame on Russia, the strong international committment to make Kiev immediately halt its punitive actions in Novorossia until all the circumstances of the tragedy are thoroughly investigated is urgently needed.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jul 17 2014 21:30 utc | 76

The Guardian has a list of airliners shot down by militarys.

The last case was the Ukis accidentally shooting a plane down. (That incident was mentioned here already.)

Really, the Ukraine was a disaster waiting to happen. I hope Yeltsin is burning in hell for breaking up the USSR.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 17 2014 21:52 utc | 77

Guess we'll have to watch events unfold.

Posted by: crone | Jul 17 2014 23:37 utc | 78

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 07/18/2014-03:02


The military operation continues through the entire front line. A place of “Boeing” collapse is deep in the rear of combatants of Denetsk People Republic, therefore, any “humanitarian respites” or “corridors” to objectively investigate the tragedy are unnecessary – a commission may freely arrive and investigate the place of fall.

No one is going to hinder the commission. Whereas pausing the military operation, against the encircled group of opponent, is impractical.

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 07/17/2014-11:57


4:00 in the morning in area of settlement Metallist (north fringe of town Kuteynikovo) a reconnaissance group of 2nd Slavyansk battalion from AGS (automatic grenade launcher) and fire arms attacked an opponent base occupying firefighter’s quarters. Ukrainians bore sensitive losses of personal. Some trophies were seized.

Heavy battles were taking place around settlement Marinovka. The opponent hurled downpour of shells and rockets on Marinovka, Stepanovka and adjacent heights. They did not go for attacks, unfortunately: exploit that immense prevailing in artillery. We bear serious losses, but retain the position.

In area of settlement Kozhevnya (south of Dmitrovka – just next to border with Russia), our reconnaissance group from anti-tank guided rocket launchers destroyed a tank and an armored carrier of standing still Ukrainian column. A pontoon crossing over river Mius is shuttered by artillery; struggling to break encirclement enemy forces are demoralized.

Today, we struck Ukrainian positions in area of customs terminal and border crossing “Marinovka”. Reports are yet to come. After the yesterday’s debacles (two shot down Su-25), enemy warplanes did not show up in the air.

Posted by: Fete | Jul 18 2014 4:01 utc | 79

Seems like the Strelkov guy was just playing the clown after all. And there was some help from Russia too along the border according to the Saker and co., which explains the successes.

Well that's good news, if this holds, the fascist "government" in Kiev will be finished soon.

Posted by: T2015 | Jul 18 2014 9:15 utc | 80

The Australian media and ALL pollies are mourning in unison the MH17 deaths of 28 Australians and 100 delegates heading for Melbourne's "AIDS conference 2014."

Posted by: Michaël | Jul 18 2014 16:54 utc | 81

Khordvarsky is on Ahkmetov's payroll

dont you mean Khordokovsky?

Posted by: chris m | Jul 18 2014 17:28 utc | 82

About neo-Nazi sniper Skillt: I really am surprised that he is fighting on the Ukrainain side because what he says on white race supremacy perfectly matches the teachings of Alexandr Boroday on his heroical defence of Christian Russian Empire from Jewish-gay rotting Western culture.

It must be the lack of language, Skillt is Swedish after all. Ukrainian junta somehow managed to trick him into believing that it's them who defend the Christian West from gay Russian avalanche... But fortunately he's next heading to Syria to help al Assad and he will be definitely on the right side then.

Posted by: Timur | Jul 20 2014 14:32 utc | 83

Interesting and horrifying that modern fascists are finding their own versions of the Spanish Civil War now.

Posted by: Jane | Jul 21 2014 15:20 utc | 84

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