Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has criticized Western countries for jumping to conclusions just “24 hours after the crash” while there is no evidence.
“They try to show to the whole world that we are responsible for the crash. It is very strange that without any evidence my colleagues from western media would like to find somebody who is responsible for the crash,” Antonov said.
“It seems to me that this is part of information warfare which has been started against the Russian Federation and armed forces.”
Instead of using the incident as the pretext for groundlessly blaming one of the sides, the catastrophe over Ukrainian sky should be used as a possibility to restart cooperation to “prevent such tragedies in the future.”
“As for me, I don’t want to use this opportunity to blame anybody. I would just like to raise few questions for my colleagues from the armed forces of Ukraine,” Antonov said.
“I hope they try to answer the questions, it will be a good opportunity for us to realize where we are, whether there is a possibility for us to restart cooperation and to find who is really responsible for the tragedy.”
“Answers for these questions could help us find an opportunity to prevent such tragedies in the future,” the Deputy Defense Minister said.
TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES
1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?
2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses Buk missile launchers in the conflict zone? And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?
3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an international commission? When will such a commission begin its work?
4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?
5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources regarding the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?
6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?
7. Why was airspace over the warzone not closed for civilian flights, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?
8. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?
9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?
10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar incident in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.