Russian BUK missile producer vows to prove EU sanctions over MH17 crash unfair

A BUK-M2/SA-17 Grizzly medium-range battlefield surface-to-air missile system (RIA Novosti / Alexander Vilf)

A BUK-M2/SA-17 Grizzly medium-range battlefield surface-to-air missile system (RIA Novosti / Alexander Vilf)

 Russia’s air-defense systems manufacturer Almaz-Antey is to reveal on Tuesday the findings of its own investigation, which it says refutes data that led to the company being placed on the Western sanction lists over the Ukrainian crisis.

On May 22, Almaz-Antey filed an appeal at the European Court of Justice against European Union sanctions imposed on the company.

The restrictions against Almaz-Antey – as well as a number of other large Russian defense firms – were introduced shortly after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 last year, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members.

The press conference, scheduled to take place on Tuesday in Moscow, is aimed at explaining the details of the appeal and backing it with evidence.

Almaz-Antey chief executive, Yan Novikov, is expected to release details of the report to the media, which proves the unjustified inclusion of the company on the EU sanction list.

“The inclusion of our company on the sanctions list is groundless. The EU has not presented any supporting evidence of our involvement in destabilizing the situation in Ukraine,” Novikov said earlier.


The Dutch investigators, looking into the MH17 tragedy, said the plane was shot down while flying over the conflict zone near Donetsk.

However, they haven’t yet established responsibility for the tragedy as pro-Kiev forces were fighting with rebels from the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine at the time.

The Ukrainian authorities and the West blame the Donetsk militias for downing the plane, saying they used a BUK surface-to-air missile provided by Russia.

The accusations are denied by the rebels, with Moscow repeatedly warning against blaming anyone before the investigation into the crash is completed.

BUK is among the systems produced by state-owned Almaz-Antey, which also manufactures S-300, S-400, S-500 and Topol systems.

Almaz-Antey was created in 2002, bringing together over 60 defense plants, design bureaus and research institutes from 17 Russian regions.

The company specializes in development and production of small, medium and long-range anti-aircraft missile systems, basic radar reconnaissance and automated control systems.

Watch the Almaz-Antey press conference live on at 9:00GMT on Tuesday.

MH17: Berlin Knew Ukraine Flight Risks Before Crash – Media

MH17 flight recovery team members erect a  No Trespassing sign in an area of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 plane crash in the village of Hrabove, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine

The German authorities knew the risks of flying over war-torn east Ukraine before Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot out of the sky last year but did not inform the airlines, local media reported Monday.

A diplomatic cable by Germany’s foreign ministry a few days prior to the crash warned the situation in eastern Ukraine was “worrying,” and that a transport plane was shot down in the same area at more than 6,000 meters altitude, but never notified the Transport Ministry and the airlines, Zuddeutsche Zeitung reported.The foreign ministry report quoted aviation experts as saying that it took a special type of weaponry to shoot down a plane flying that high.

Investigators are still trying to determine who was responsible for downing the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 in Ukraine’s Donetsk region in July last year, killing all 298 passengers and crew on board.

The day of the MH17 crash “three Lufthansa aircraft also flew over the area, including one only 20 minutes before Flight MH17,” Suddeutsche Zeitung said in extracts of an article published Monday.

The German Foreign Ministry has not commented on the information and the Federal Ministry of Transport told Zuddeutsche Zeitung that the government had no information on increased dangers to civil aviation over Ukrainian territory prior to the Malaysian Boeing crash.

The Netherlands earlier this month released 569 documents related to the downing of the Malaysian jetliner, but 147 remain classified.


Ukrainian Combat Jet Returned Without Missiles After MH17 Crash: Reports

Самолет украинской армии СУ-25

Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported, citing an airbase employee that Ukrainian air force Su-25 combat jet took off from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk carrying air-to-air missiles and returned without them on the day a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed in eastern Ukraine.


MOSCOW, December 23 (Sputnik) – A Ukrainian air force Su-25 combat jet took off from an airbase in eastern Dnipropetrovsk carrying air-to-air missiles and returned without them on the day a Malaysia Airlines plane crashed in eastern Ukraine in July, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported, citing an airbase employee.The employee, who claims to be an eyewitness, said on July 17 that three Ukrainian combat jets took off, and that one of them, an Su-25, was carrying air-to-air missiles.

“After a while only one jet [of the three] returned, which had had those missiles… It returned without the missiles. The pilot was very frightened,” the man said. The employee stressed that only the returned Su-25 had been equipped with air-to-air missiles, and said he was sure it was not air-to-ground missiles.


The airbase worker said he remembered the pilot saying “the wrong plane” and “the plane was in the wrong place at the wrong time” after he returned from the flight.

The newspaper interviewee did not exclude the possibility that an Su-25 pilot could confuse a Boeing passenger airliner with a military jet.

“This could be. There was quite a long distance, he could have failed to see what exactly that plane was,” the man said.

The missiles carried by the Su-25 (NATO reporting name Frogfoot) are capable of targeting an object at a 3-5-kilometer (1-3 mile) distance, and to an altitude of 7,000 meters (23,000 feet), the source stressed.

“With jet’s raised nose, it is not a problem to fix a target and launch a missile. The flying range of this missile is over 10 kilometers,” according to the man.

He further said that the missile is capable of hitting a plane fuselage, whether directly or from a distance of 500 meters.

The density of the objects which hit the MH17 was very high, and these findings did not exclude the downing of the plane by a missile.

“There is such a missile. It explodes and its shrapnel punctures [the plane]. And after that, the missile warhead strikes it,” the man said.

The MH17 passenger Boeing of Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17 in the Donetsk region, as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 people on board died.

The incident is being investigated by an international group headed by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), its final report is expected to be released in 2015. According to the preliminary information of the DSB, the Boeing was hit by “a large number of high-energy objects” penetrating the aircraft from outside, but the source of the objects was not found.

Kiev has accused independence supporters in Ukraine’s southeast of shooting the plane down, but provided no evidence confirming the claim. The independence supporters say they do not have weapons which could down a plane flying at such a high altitude.

Russian expert: western secret services know truth about MH17

“However, it’s too disadvantageous for them to admit this version publicly because of political considerations,” – said Igor Korotchenko

© ИТАР-ТАСС/ Зураб Джавахадзе

MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. German BND intelligence service’s statement that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was brought down by a Ukrainian Buk air defense system proves graphically that Western intelligence milieu do not have any doubts today as to who stands behind the crime in reality, Igor Korotchenko, one of Russia’s top-rated defence experts said Monday.

“However, it’s too disadvantageous for them to admit this version publicly because of political considerations,” he said in an interview with Rossiya One television channel. “That’s why after recognizing it was a Ukrainian air defense missile that had destroyed the Malaysian Boeing 777 the BND makes a claim further that the Buk was ostensibly seized by the East-Ukrainian militiamen who then did the tragic launch.”

“However, one thing that’s important to note he is that a coalminer who has learned to operate a Kalashnikov gun somehow can’t be an officer in charge of targeting a system as technologically advanced as this one,” Korotchenko said.

“Cadets who are supposed to become officers operation the Buk complexes take a five-year training program at senior military colleges /Russian equivalents of Western superior military schools or universities – TASS/ and even with this academic background, they don’t get access to high-alert missions after they arrive /for full-time service/ on military bases,” he said.

“They first get supplementary training and do practical launches on training grounds and only after that they are capable of operating this air defense complex,” Korotchenko said.

“That’s why the main version of the tragedy that should be accepted is that MH17 was destroyed by a Buk unit of the Ukrainian Armed Forces,” he said.

‘Germany’s intel agency is (apparently) branch of CIA’

The main entrance of Germany's intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) headquarters (Reuters / Michael Dalder)

The main entrance of Germany’s intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) headquarters (Reuters / Michael Dalder)

The German BND is not an independent intelligent service but more like a CIA branch, Manuel Ochsenreiter, Editor-in-Chief of Zuerst magazine, told RT. Its so-called evidence on the MH17 tragedy is questionable and contradicting, he added.

RT: German intelligence says they have damning evidence, why didn’t they make it public?

Manuel Ochsenreiter: We shouldn’t forget that the German intelligence service, the BND, is not the “Mercedes” among the intelligent services, it is not an independent intelligence service. It is more or less a branch of the CIA or other American intelligent services. When we [look] back in the history of the BND we see some similar stories. For example, last year the BND claimed that they have evidence that the Syrian government is responsible for the chemical attack in Ghouta close to Damascus. This so-called evidence has never appeared. In 2003 the BND delivered the main witness…named Curveball to the world who was testifying that the Iraqi army, Iraqi government, had weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons. So we see there is a history of those so-called evidences to support the Western political position. I think we should be now very careful and simply wait if or until the so-called evidence is presented to public.

Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

Wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe. (AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)

RT: What impact could German claims have on the official investigation?

MO: The investigation is still going on and it is deeply questionable simply to claim that there is now the evidence which proves 100 percent which side is responsible for shooting down the airplane. And we can see this as a sort of PR attempt of influencing the international investigations on the plane crash because the question is, if the BND really has that evidence, why don’t they deliver the evidence to the investigation team? Instead of this, they take care that it becomes public that they might have this evidence. So we can see this as an attempt at influencing the international investigations and to put pressure on the investigators.

RT: Do you think this raises more questions? If this is the case why didn’t Kiev mention the missile system was missing months ago?

MO: The situation is much, much more ridiculous…The point is that the Ukrainian government said in July that no rocket system was stolen or captured by the other side so they said from the beginning that they are not missing any rocket systems. So they already said that it is not possible that the pro-Russian fighters got into power of one of those systems. So how should they use then those systems to shoot down the airplane? We see that…the so-called evidence of the BND is deeply questionable and contradicting the official statements of Kiev, and we know that Kiev is an ally of the West. Here we see the conflicting news I think this is a strong sign how deeply unreliable [it is].

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Preliminary Report on MH17 Crash Due September 9

A preliminary report on the July Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over eastern Ukraine is due to be issued on Tuesday in the Hague.


MOSCOW, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – A preliminary report on the July Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash over eastern Ukraine is due to be issued on Tuesday in the Hague.

“The Dutch Safety Board will issue the preliminary report on the investigation into the crash of MH17 on Tuesday 9 September 2014”, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) announced last Thursday. “The preliminary report will present factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board. In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report can be written. The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish the final report within a year after the crash”.

“The initial report is always just a statement of facts that have been established. It is never an attempt to say what the cause was,” David Learmount, Operations and Safety Editor for Flight Global said in an interview with the Voice of Russia on Monday.

“In Russia accident investigations tended to be rather more open than Western organizations. In the end the purpose of this is to release facts that have been established not causes. They are abiding by the annex 13 of the international civil aviation organisation convention on how accident investigation should be carried out. The intention of the investigation is to find out what happened not who to blame. The purpose is to find out what happened so it does not happen again,” Learmount added.

In a July 21 briefing, representatives of the Russian military released some of the data gathered as part of the probe into the July 17 crash, stating that Russian monitoring systems detected up to four Ukrainian Buk M1 air defense systems in the vicinity of the crash on the day of the accident.

The DSB will most probably not release cockpit voice recordings of flight data recording, the report will contain factual information and will give a factual conclusion, Learmount said.

Davis Learmound has also expressed concerns over the political interests behind the discourse. “Everybody knows it was a long time before the first investigators were able to go to the site to begin. During that time there was lawlessness in the area surrounding and there was no active police force. Evidence was not protected,” he said.

Flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed on July 17 in the Donetsk region, killing all 298 people on board. The reason for the crash has been a matter of debate since then.

Kiev has been accusing local independence supporters in eastern Ukraine of shooting the plane down, yet the authorities cannot provide any conclusive evidence. The local militia leaders insist that they do not have weapons capable of shooting down a plane flying at 32,000 feet.

A preliminary report on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine is expected to be issued on September 9 at 10:00 a.m. local time Amsterdam (8:00 GMT).



Defense minister of Malaysia to visit Moscow to negotiate investigation into MH17 crash

After talks in Moscow the Malaysian defense minister will go to Amsterdam where he will also discuss a process of an investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Boeing-777

Defense Minister of Malaysia Hishammuddin Hussein

Defense Minister of Malaysia Hishammuddin Hussein


Infographics Boeing 777 crash in UkraineBoeing 777 crash in Ukraine

Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 crashed in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. 280 passengers and 15 crewmembers have died. Infographics by ITAR-TASS

SINGAPORE, September 08. /ITAR-TASS/. Defense Minister of Malaysia Hishammuddin Hussein is arriving in Moscow on September 10 to negotiate problems of an investigation into a crash of the Malaysian passenger plane on the territory of the Donetsk region on July 17, the News Straits Times newspaper in Monday’s issue.

After talks in Moscow the Malaysian defense minister will go to Amsterdam where he will also discuss a process of an investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Boeing-777.

On Monday morning the Malaysian defense minister is arriving in Kiev to make sure that the access to the crash site of the Malaysian plane is safe, the newspaper said.

On Sunday a group of Malaysian experts took a flight to Ukraine to continue collecting material evidence in the area where the plane crashed and search for the remains of the victims killed in the air disaster. It was not immediately known when the Malaysian experts would exactly arrive at the crash site.

Earlier, Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said it was necessary to begin the work as soon as possible because in a few weeks’ time it might be snowing there already, which would considerably hinder search efforts.

The plane belonging tithe Malaysian Airlines company crashed in the Donetsk region when it was performing a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur. All the 298 people on board were killed.