The tragedy of passenger aircraft hit over Donetsk resulting in the death toll of 298 is terrible. The fact that it was not just an accident but the purposeful use of force turns the tragedy into a political issue able to change a lot of things related to the Ukraine’s situation in general.
As soon as the first reports appeared, Ukraine and Washington launched the “war of stories” in order to impose on the world its own interpretation of what had happened. It all boils down to the responsibility of Russia and the “terrorists” it supports. The version has been corrected a number of times, and inventions started to go around saying the Boeing was hit by Russian fighters. Now Kiev insists the Malaysian aircraft was brought down by Buk air defense system operated by Donetsk self-defense forces. The weapon was provided by Russia as part of military aid package. They affirm the system was operated by Russian personnel. All these concoctions are spread around while the commission of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has not even started its inquiry. The information activities are intensified to incite the world public opinion against Russia.
Moscow is still waiting for the ten answers concerning the accident that it has addressed to the Kiev government. The questions were prepared by Deputy Minister of Defense Anatoly Antonov and posted on July 19.
The first question is about the availability of any ground to believe the Donetsk Republic self-defense forces are responsible. It is asked because right after the tragedy the Ukrainian rulers accused the self-defense forces of being the perpetrators providing no evidence to go upon. After the plane was shot the Ukrainian security service made go around the recordings of some people pretending to be volunteers of self-defense forces discussing the details of bringing down a civilian aircraft. Then it became know the conversation was recorded on July 16 – that is one day before the catastrophe.
The next question required the explanation of the fact that Ukrainian Buk air defense systems were actually deployed in the battle area. Why was it done at all? The self-defense forces have no aviation. The Russian Ministry of Defense posted satellite pictures showing at least three Ukrainian Buk air defense systems were deployed and operational on the very same day the event took place.
The next question asks why the international inquiry commission started its work with such delay. The observers of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) came to the spot only two days after the accident, no matter the self-defense formations gave them green light and provided all security guarantees.
The following question was related to record keeping of the air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles stored by the Ukrainian military. A surface-to-air missile is not a cartridge; all missiles are to be strictly counted. A check of the availability of real missiles in the inventory and the documentation keeping track of the munitions kept in storage or deployed would have easily cleared the picture. If a missile is missing – then you have a clue. The refusal to even have a look at the record keeping papers makes it all fishy enough.
Another question is related to the data on Ukrainian Air Force aircraft flights on July 17. The Russian Ministry of Defense provided the recordings of Rostov regional air control center showing a Ukrainian plane scrambling to the direction of the Boeing and then the appearance of this and another military plane in and around the area of the tragedy. Aviationist.com confirms the information that the Boeing was being accompanied by Ukrainian SU-25. The evidence is provided by Iranian aviation expert Babak Taghvaee who enjoys a high reputation.
The sixth and seventh questions posed by the Russian Ministry of Defense could be united. Why the air space over the battle area was not closed to civil traffic? How come the civilian plane was directed into the airspace over the battle area by Ukrainian traffic controllers? It was the responsibility of Dnepropetrovsk air control tower (not the one in Kiev). There are disagreements between the Dnepropetrovsk governor Igor Kolomoisky and Ukrainian President Poroshenko, you never know about the ins and outs, but one thing leads to another, there may be something here, you never know.
The eighth question is interrelated with the fifth one. How can official Kiev comment on reports in the social media, allegedly by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, saying that there were two Ukrainian SU25 planes flying alongside the Boeing 777? Ukraine says no Spanish controller exists because the Ukrainian legislation forbids foreigners to work as air traffic controllers. It makes the Spanish story look like a concoction. If there is no Spanish controller – there are no planes accompanying the Boeing.
The next question - why had the Ukraine’s Security Service started to study the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew, as well as the data received from Ukrainian radars before the international investigators arrived? The answer is clear. There was something to hide there.
The last question was devoted to the lessons learnt by Ukraine when a similar incident took place in 2001. Back then a Russian TU-154 crashed into the Black Sea. At first the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement until irrefutable evidence appeared to point a finger at Kiev proven to be the perpetrator. I believe no lessons have been drawn. Now no evidence, no matter how hard it may be, will make Kiev confess.
All told, including the deployment of the Ukrainian Buk air defense systems in the battle area, scrambling two Ukrainian attack planes to accompany the Boeing, the change of route according to the instructions given by Ukrainian controllers – it all makes believe that it’s not just an absurd and tragic accident we’re talking about… It’s hardly an occasion that media outlets have started to compare the catastrophe with the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria paving the way to the First World War. Back then, it was clear who did it. Now the contemporary crime perpetrators are doing their best to make the traces of the crime vanish in the hays.