Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 20.10.2017
On October 20, another photograph was revealed of the BUK missile system that Russia used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and kill 298 people on 17 July 2014. The photograph is the ninth piece of photo or video proof that BUK 332, belonging to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade from Kursk, Russia, was the specific launcher and murder weapon. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) – consisting of Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands – released the photograph as part of its investigation that is intended to lead to the prosecution of the individuals responsible for this crime of mass murder.
The JIT said that the photograph was probably taken on 17 July 2017 in the town of Makiivka, Donetsk region, Ukraine. That town was then and is now under the control of the Russian army of occupation. The open source intelligence group Bellingcat is taking up the effort to determine exactly where the BUK launcher sitting on a Volvo truck was when the photograph was taken. Within hours, the global network of volunteer experts who contribute to Bellingcat had geolocated the photograph to Prospekt Illicha in central Donetsk. It is certain that this is BUK 332 that was used by Russia to kill 298 people. Bellingcat concludes their preliminary report on the JIT release thus: “After today, with the ninth piece of visual evidence publicly available showing the weapon belonging to the Russian Armed Forces in eastern Ukraine, there is no room left at all for doubt.”
Russia has denied responsibility for shooting down MH17, despite overwhelming evidence. Russia used its veto in the UN Security Council to block a tribunal under the auspices of the United Nations, which is why the JIT was established to get to the truth. Russia has withheld evidence from the JIT, and presented falsified evidence to it as well. The Russian occupation army in Donbas looted the bodies of the MH17 passengers and crew, and prevented investigators from gaining unhindered access to the site of the crash. Russia insults the dignity of the dead, adds to the suffering of grieving relatives, and spits on the administration of justice through the JIT.
Right from the beginning, it was clear that a Russian missile, fired by a Russian crew from Russian-occupied territory, shot down MH17. Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) agent Igor “Strelkov” Girkin was at the time commander of the “Spetsnaz” special forces leading Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine. Within minutes of BUK 332 shooting down MH17, Strelkov boasted on social media: “We just hit down An-26. We warned you… do not fly in ‘our sky.’ And here is the video confirmation of the ‘bird dropping’.” The Russians had intended to shoot down a Ukrainian cargo aircraft, and thought they had done that. They had good reason to think so, as the Russian invaders had commenced a campaign of shooting down Ukrainian aircraft in Ukrainian airspace weeks earlier. Russia shot down an Ilyushin Il-76 and killed 49 people on 14 June 2017 over Luhansk airport, 33 days before Russia shot down the Boeing 777 that was MH17.
BUK 332 fired the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and killed 298 people. The missile was in Russia-occupied Ukraine intending to shoot down Ukrainian aircraft because Russia was and is invading Ukraine. The Russian armed forces operated BUK 332. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is Vladimir Putin. Criminal responsibility for the murder of 298 people on MH17 rests ultimately with Putin.