Vladimir Putin, ex KGB agent, ‘The Pariah’. It sounds like a comic book supervillain, and that is how Russian President Putin has been portrayed in the west. When Malaysian airliner MH17 was shot down over the separatist held Donbass region of Ukraine on July 17, the Donbass militia were immediately blamed by the Ukrainian government in Kiev and by the US and its allies. By extension Putin and the Russians were blamed, accused of stirring up the ‘insurrection’ and supplying the Donbass militia with arms including the anti-aircraft missile launcher alleged to have brought down MH17. The mainstream media became a virtual lynch mob.
The main piece of evidence implicating the separatists was a YouTube post of what was alleged to be recordings of three intercepted phone conversations between separatist officers. These conversations amounted to a confession that the Malaysian plane had been shot down by their forces:
It has been argued that there are inconsistencies in the metadata of the video suggesting that it was made prior to July 17. I don’t know enough to comment on this but I find it suspicious that this was posted to YouTube on the same day that MH17 was shot down and there is no information on the provenance of the video.
Countering this ‘evidence’ is another post to social media, this time Twitter, from someone calling himself ‘Carlos’ and posting as @spainbuka. Carlos claims to be employed by Ukrainian Air Traffic Control. The following and more can be found on the Willyloman Blog by Scott Creighton:
CHRONOLOGY OF @spainbucaâ€™s TWITTER FEED
10:21 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Autoridades de kiev, intentan hacer que pueda parecer un ataque de los pro-rusos
â€œKiev Authorities, trying to make looks like an attack by pro-Russianâ€
10:24 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Ojo! Que puede ser un derribo B777 Malaysia Airlines en ukraine, 280 pasajeros
â€œwarning! It can be a downing, Malaysia Airlines B777 in ukraine, 280 passengersâ€
10:25 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Cuidado! Kiev tiene lo que buscaba
â€œWarning! Kiev have what they wantedâ€
10:25 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Vuelven a tomar la torre de control en Kiev
â€œ[Miitary] has taken control of ATC in Kievâ€
10:27 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 El aviÃ³n B777 de Malaysia Airlines desapareciÃ³ del radar, no hubo comunicaciÃ³n de ninguna anomalia, confirmado
â€œThe Malaysia Airlines B777 plane disappeared from the radar, there was no communication of any anomaly, confirmedâ€
10:30 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 AviÃ³n derribado, derribados, derribado no accidente
â€œPlane shot down, shot down, shot down, no accidentâ€
10:31 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Kiev, tiene lo que buscaba, lo dije en los primeros tw, kiev es responsable @ActualidadRT
â€œKiev have what they wanted, I said in the first tw [Tweets], Kiev is responsible @ ActualidadRTâ€
10:35 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Un accidente muy normal no es, no estÃ¡n amenazando en la misma torre del aeropuerto de kiev,
â€œAn accident that is not quite normal, they are threatening us in the same tower of Kiev airportâ€
10:35 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Nos van a quitar, nuestros tlf y demÃ¡s de un momento a otro
â€œthey will take from our phones and others stuff at any momentâ€
10:38 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Antes de que me quiten el tlf o me rompan la cabeza, derribado por Kiev
â€œBefore They remove my phone or they break my head, shot down by Kievâ€
11:12 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Nosotros tenemos la confirmaciÃ³n. AviÃ³n derribado, la autoridad de kiev, ya tiene la informaciÃ³n, derribado, estamos tranquilos ahora
â€œWe have confirmation. Plane downed, Kiev authorities already have the information, downed, we are calm nowâ€
11:13 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Que hace personal extranjero con autoridades de kiev en la torre? Recopilando toda la informaciÃ³n
â€œWhat are doing foreigners with kiev authorities in the tower? Gathering all the informationâ€
11:15 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Cuando sea posible sigo escribiendo
â€œWhen possible IÂ´ll keep writingâ€
11:48 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 El aviÃ³n B 777 volÃ³ escoltado por 2 cazas de ukraine hasta minutos antes, de desaparecer de los radares,
The B777 plane flew escorted by Ukraine jet fighter until 2 minutes before disappearing from the radar,
11:54 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 SÃ las autoridades de kiev, quieren decir la verdad, esta recogido 2 cazas volaron muy cerca minutos antes , no lo derribo un caza
â€œIf kiev authorities want to tell the truth, ItÂ´s gathered, 2 jet fighters flew very close minutes before, wasnâ€™t downed by a fighterâ€
12:00 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Nada mÃ¡s desaparecer el aviÃ³n B 777 de Malaysia Airlines la autoridad militar de kiev nos informo del derribo, como lo sabÃan?
â€œMalaysia Airlines B777 plane just disappeared and Kiev military authority informed us of the downing, How they knew?â€
12:00 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 A los 7:00 minutos se notificÃ³ el derribo, mÃ¡s tarde se tomÃ³ la torre nuestra con personal extranjero q siguen aquÃ
â€œ7:00 minutes after [plane dissapeared], the downing was notified, later our tower was taken with foreigner staff, they still here â€
12:01 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 En los radares esta todo recogido, para los incrÃ©dulos, derribado por kiev, aquÃ lo sabemos y control aÃ©reo militar tambiÃ©n
â€œall this is gathered in radars, to the unbelieving, shot down by kiev, here we know it and military air traffic control alsoâ€
13:15 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 AquÃ los mandos militares manejan y admiten que militares a otras Ã³rdenes, pudieron ser, pero no, los pro-rusos
â€œHere the military commanders manage and support it could be military following other orders , but no, the pro-Russianâ€
13:29 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 El ministro del interior si conocÃa que, hacÃan los cazas en la zona, el ministro de defensa no, .
â€œInterior Minister knew what the fighters were doing in the area, the defense minister didnâ€™t.â€
13:31 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Militares confirman que fue ukraine, pero se sigue sin saber de donde vino la orden
â€œMilitary confirm It was Ukraine, but still does not know where the order came fromâ€
13:36 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Hace dias lo dije aquÃ, militares de kiev querÃan alzarse contra el actual presidente, esto puede ser una forma, a las Ã³rdenes de timoshenko
â€œDays ago I said here, kiev military wanted to rise against the current president, this may be a way, ordered by timoshenko [following timishenko orders]â€
13:38 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Los cazas volaron cerca del 777, hasta 3 minutos antes de desaparecer de los radares, solo 3 minutos
â€œThe fighters flew close to 777, up to 3 minutes before disappearing from the radar, just 3 minutesâ€
13:43 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Se cierra el espacio aÃ©reo
13:45 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Se cierra el espacio aÃ©reo, por miedo a mÃ¡s derribos
â€œAirspace is closed, more downings fearedâ€
15:17 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Control militar entrega ahora mismo de forma oficial que el aviÃ³n fue derribado por misil
â€œmilitary control now officially [say] the plane was shot down by missileâ€
15:23 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 El informe oficial firmado por las autoridades militares de control de kiev ya lo tiene el gobierno,,,, , derribado
â€œGovernment has the official report signed by the control military authorities in Kiev,,,, [plane] shot downâ€
15:26 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 En el informe se indica de donde abrÃa salido el misil, y se especifica que no proviene de las autodefensa en las zonas rebeldes
â€œThe report indicates where the missile had come out [from], and specified is not from the selfdefence in rebel areasâ€
15:34 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014Los radares militares si recogieron los datos del misil lanzado al aviÃ³n, los radares civiles no
â€œMilitary radar collected data from missile fired to the plane, civilian radars didnâ€™tâ€
15:36 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Los altos mandos militares no ordenaron el lanzamiento del misil, ,,alguien se le fue la mano en nombre de ukraine
â€œmilitary high command did not gave the order to fire the missile, someone screw it ine the name of ukraineâ€
15:38 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Para el que no lo sepa, digamos asÃ, hay militares a las Ã³rdenes del ministro de defensa y militares a las Ã³rdenes del ministro del interior
â€œFor those who do not know, Letâ€™s say, there are military under the orders of the defense minister and military under the orders of Interior Ministerâ€
15:38 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Los militares a las Ã³rdenes del ministro del interior conocÃan en cada momento lo que sucediÃ³, .
â€œThe military under the orders of Interior Minister knew what happened all the time .â€
16:06 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Mandos militares aquÃ (ATC) torre de control, confirman que el misil es del ejercito de ukraine,
â€œMilitary commanders here (ATC) control tower, confirm that the missile is from the ukranian army,â€
16:07 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Mandos militares que si lo sabÃan y otros mandos que no,
â€œmilitary commanders that knew it and others didnÂ´t ,â€
16:08 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 290 personas inocentes muertas, . Por una guerra inÃºtil, donde el patriotismo se compra con dinero
â€œ290 dead innocent people. What a useless war, where patriotism is bought with moneyâ€
16:09 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 La forma de tomar la torre de control minutos despuÃ©s sabiendo todo los detalles, rÃ¡pido nos hizo pensar que habÃan sido ellos
â€œThw way the control tower was taken minutes after & knowing all the details, made â€‹â€‹us think that they [made it]â€
16:10 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 La cara de los militares que llegaron mÃ¡s tarde diciendo pero que habÃ©is echo, no dejo dudas
â€œThe face of the soldiers who came later saying [what you just did], no chance for doubtsâ€
16:12 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Es tal la decadencia que los militares acompaÃ±ados de extranjeros que llegaron primero nos llegaron a pedir que dijÃ©ramos su versiÃ³n
â€œSuch is the decline that military who came first accompanied by foreigners came to us asking us to tell their versionâ€
16:13 â€“ 17 de jul. de 2014 Nuestra respuesta, fue, estos radares no recogen el lanzamiento de misiles, los militares si, ya no quedaban dudas
â€œOur response was, these radars do not collect the launching of missiles, the military ones does, there were no doubtsâ€
The YouTube video was widely publicised and quoted in the mainstream media, the Twitter feed was not. Neither publication can be authenticated. But for Western politicians and Western mainstream media it was an open and shut case. It was left to the alternative media to challenge the prevailing narrative.
The website 21st Century Wire made a strong case that existing evidence points to the Kiev government rather than the separatists being the perpetrators of the MH17 downing. Key points are:
1. The video posted to YouTube shortly after the downing and purporting to be intercepted radio conversations between separatists is almost certainly faked.
2. Flight MH17 was diverted by Ukrainian Air Traffic Control to fly over Donbass, it was followed by a Ukrainian fighter aircraft and was ordered by ATC to a lower altitude within the range of anti-aircraft missiles.
3. The Ukrainians had anti-aircraft weapons in the area.
4. The recordings of the conversations between MH17 and ATC have not been released by the Ukrainians.
5. The US should have satellite images showing the movements of anti aircraft weaponry by the Kiev forces or by the Separatists but they have not shared this.
These points were made to White House spokesperson Marie Hart by independent journalist Matthew Lee at a press briefing:
Lee notes that the Russians have produced a great deal of intelligence supporting contentions, such as those noted above, that challenge the US narrative whereas the US has been dependent on postings to social media.
Russia presented their evidence regarding MH17 on 21st July:
It consisted of satellite imagery and Air Traffic Control tracking. This evidence revealed the presence of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missiles on the ground within range of MH17 and a Ukrainian combat aircraft flying near MH17. The US contention that they had photographic evidence that a missile system was moved from rebel territory to Russia after the downing of MH17 was challenged on the basis that a photograph was taken in Ukraine controlled territory. The Russians challenged the US to present their own satellite imagery given that the US has been closely monitoring the region. So far no such evidence has been produced by the US nor have they challenged the Russian evidence.
A group of retired US Intelligence analysts wrote a letter to Obama expressing concern at the lack of professionalism in the US response:
As veteran intelligence analysts accustomed to waiting, except in emergency circumstances, for conclusive information before rushing to judgment, we believe that the charges against Russia should be rooted in solid, far more convincing evidence. And that goes in spades with respect to inflammatory incidents like the shoot-down of an airliner. We are also troubled by the amateurish manner in which fuzzy and flimsy evidence has been served up â€“ some it via â€œsocial media.â€
As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information. As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence. His statements seem premature and bear earmarks of an attempt to â€œpoison the jury pool.â€
Source: Global Research
As of August 5 no forensic evidence has emerged to support the narrative that MH17 was shot down by the separatists. But current evidence points to the Ukrainian government as being responsible and is more consistent with the @spainbuca Twitter posts than the intercept recordings posted to YouTube.
This is a deleted BBC video which shows local witnesses claiming that MH17 was shot down by military aircraft:
This testimony has now been corroborated by an examination of the MH17 wreckage that shows damage suggestive of machine gun fire consistent with an air to air attack. It looks increasingly likely that the Malaysian plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. The testimony of this OCSE monitor supports the statements made by eyewitnesses on the ground:
When will western governments and their media concede that their narrative has unravelled and rethink their judgement on Russia and the separatists? How will their approach to the Kiev regime change? Will Vladimir Putin still be ‘The Pariah’?