This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Well, Then: Next Step?

They were fairly specific in their report after the Dutch Safety Board investigated the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 which crashed over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 people aboard the airliner were killed. The five key findings serve to validate what those in authority already believed had happened. And, just as Moscow denied any involvement by Russia, let alone by the ethnic Russian Ukrainian rebels whom they support when the catastrophe occurred, their denials will be no less emphatic now.

  • The Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down by "a 9N314M warhead carried on the 9M38-series missile installed on the Buk surface-to-air missile system."
  • The missile exploded less than a metre from the upper-left-hand side of the cockpit, bombarding the plane with fragments at speeds of up to 9.000 km/h.
  • The ensuing blast killed the two pilots in an instant, ripping the front of the plane off. 
  • The territory in which the launch took place was within an area in the hands of the separatists.
Those knowledgeable of the Russian military speculated that a Russian-made Buk caused the catastrophic crash of the Malaysian passenger liner. A reporter in fact, noted that he had seen a Buk launcher being transported close to the presumed site of the launch, and had taken a photograph which was later reproduced to confirm his sighting.

According to the report, missile fragments in the cockpit crew's bodies along with paint traces and the spray pattern of the blast indicated consistency with a Buk missile.

Dutch examiners discovered over 350 contact points where recovered fuselage had been punctured or dented. They concluded that there were over 800 strike points in total, finding bow tie- and cube-shaped fragments of unalloyed steel which appeared to be "pre-formed", the operation bearing some resemblance to the much cruder, similarly effective barrel bombs used by the Syrian regime against rebel enclaves, simply in reverse action.

The report ventured its opinion that passengers may have been semi-conscious in the 90 seconds that passed before their bodies struck ground after the concussion exploded the Malaysian jet, but that full awareness of what was occurring eluded them with their brains starved for oxygen in the freezing chaos around them.

There was no effort specifically ventured regarding who was responsible for launching the missile. The report did identify an area of 320 square kilometres where the launch must have taken place, identified as territory, according to daily maps maintained by the Ukrainian National Security Council, that was consistently held by the rebels, between Donetsk and Lohansk.

"Our investigation showed that all parties regarded the conflict in eastern part of Ukraine from a military perspective. Nobody gave any thought of a possible threat to civil aviation", concluded Safety Board chairman Tjibbe Joustra.

The Russian manufacturer of the missile has taken grave exception to the findings. A separate report of its own was released bringing into dispute the suggestion that a Russian Buk was involved in the tragedy. The Buki manufacturer, Almaz-Antey's head Yan Novikov stated: "We have proven with our experiments that the theory about the missile flying from Snizhne is false." 

Two experiments were conducted by them; one that detonated a Buk missile beside an airplane nose similar to that of a Boeing 777, which they claim disputes the findings of the report since the aircraft's remains indicated a far different pattern of damage than that seen on what remained of MH17.

Evidence, according to Mr. Novikov, indicates that had the plane been hit by a Buk, it was fired from Zaroshenske, a village which Russia claims was at that time under Ukrainian control.

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