MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

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Mutex
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:13 pm UTC

Ohhhh shit. A Malaysian airliner with 295 people onboard has crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28354856

No indication it was shot down so far, but really, what else could have happened.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Xeio » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

Ukrain's Interior ministry is saying it was shot down.

Whelp, this can't end badly at all...

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Angua » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:19 pm UTC

That tweet is ambiguous, who shot it down?

I feel really sorry for the Malaysian airline industry.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mutex » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:21 pm UTC

Interfax news agency quotes the Ukrainian presidential press service as saying that the Ukrainian armed forces were not involved in the Malaysian passenger plane "being brought down".


From the live updates: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-28354787

EDIT: Also the separatists have denied involvement, but then they don't have the kind of equipment to take down such a high altitude jet anyway. Given that the jet was flying towards Russian airspace (having flown across Ukraine without incident), and the allegations regarding Russia shooting down a Ukrainian fighter recently, the fingers are kinda pointing towards one party...

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Diadem » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:48 pm UTC

It was a combined Malaysian Airlines / Royal Dutch Airlines flight. Probably a lot of Dutch passengers. Wow.

It is not yet clear what happened. It crashed and there is no hope for survivors. But investigation into the cause still has to start. Very reliable type of airplane though. An attack looks likely.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Khelevaster » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:00 pm UTC

16:20 local time the contact with the plane is lost.
16:50 the leader of the separatists posts that they have shot down a Ukrainian AN-26 plane, and onther one, probably a SU model link.
What a coincidence.

Edit: I knew he would take the post down. Screensot taken several minutes ago.
strelkov_deleted_comment_1.png

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MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Steax » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:30 pm UTC

CNN source

MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was apparently shot down. Not clear who did it, but consensus says it was probably shot down from all we know about the wreckage and behavior prior to the crash.

Other flights going through the region have been told to avoid the airspace.
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Steax » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:31 pm UTC

Pointing to a thread about the aircraft in particular here if y'all want to keep it separate from the general crisis discussion (I would vote so).
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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Mambrino » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:53 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:
Interfax news agency quotes the Ukrainian presidential press service as saying that the Ukrainian armed forces were not involved in the Malaysian passenger plane "being brought down".


From the live updates: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-28354787

EDIT: Also the separatists have denied involvement, but then they don't have the kind of equipment to take down such a high altitude jet anyway. Given that the jet was flying towards Russian airspace (having flown across Ukraine without incident), and the allegations regarding Russia shooting down a Ukrainian fighter recently, the fingers are kinda pointing towards one party...


There have been unconfirmed allegations that rebels have attained BUK missile system which could be capable of that (and maybe also shooting those fighter jets). But: Unconfirmed. However, that tweet and it's subsequent removal does quite like a smoking gun. (I think I would have immediately claimed that the account is hacked instead of removing that tweet.)

EDIT: 'Unconfirmed allegation' being the separatists' very own PR twitter account (link via BBC).

EDIT2: Should these posts be moved to the other thread?
Last edited by Mambrino on Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:32 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ukraine Crisis [New Title]

Postby Djehutynakht » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

Mutex wrote:Ohhhh shit. A Malaysian airliner with 295 people onboard has crashed in Ukraine near the Russian border.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-28354856

No indication it was shot down so far, but really, what else could have happened.


I woke up with this on the TV, and originally I thought they were saying that they found out that the original Malaysian Airlines flight (MH370) had crashed in Ukraine, and I was quite perplexed.


This is, obviously, much worse.

We'll have to see what unfolds regarding the plane's downing.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Zamfir » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:48 pm UTC

Turns out our flight next saturday would (normally) fly over the same area...

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Steax » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:26 am UTC

Most flights connecting Europe and Southeast Asia/Australia go through there, it's going to bottleneck the region. It's going to have a strong effect on air travel if we start closing off airspaces more preemptively when conflicts break out...
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:27 am UTC

Steax wrote:Most flights connecting Europe and Southeast Asia/Australia go through there, it's going to bottleneck the region. It's going to have a strong effect on air travel if we start closing off airspaces more preemptively when conflicts break out...


Isn't that what normally happens? Flying through a war zone has often been dangerous.

And you couldn't induce me to purchase a ticket through that area, or indeed, fly there at all, unless I was being deployed, armed.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby krogoth » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:46 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Steax wrote:Most flights connecting Europe and Southeast Asia/Australia go through there, it's going to bottleneck the region. It's going to have a strong effect on air travel if we start closing off airspaces more preemptively when conflicts break out...


Isn't that what normally happens? Flying through a war zone has often been dangerous.

And you couldn't induce me to purchase a ticket through that area, or indeed, fly there at all, unless I was being deployed, armed.


Not that being armed would have helped, and do army transport planes have a defense against this? I suppose you are resigned to the fact you might die already by virtue of deploying.

Would decoy flares have been effective? can they be automatically deployed and cheaply fitted to commercial aircraft?
Cheaper still to just fly around the zone when needed one would expect.
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:56 am UTC

krogoth wrote:Not that being armed would have helped, and do army transport planes have a defense against this? I suppose you are resigned to the fact you might die already by virtue of deploying.

Would decoy flares have been effective? can they be automatically deployed and cheaply fitted to commercial aircraft?
Cheaper still to just fly around the zone when needed one would expect.


Different purpose that makes the difference. If one's going to shoot and be shot at, there's a different expectation of risk than for normal passenger air travel.

Defenses exist. Not great ones. Flares provide a possibility of avoiding heat-targeting, chaff gives a possibility of avoiding radar-targeting. They could be mounted to civilian aircraft, but yeah, it's not particularly cheap, and given the effectiveness, and the general lack of systems dedicated to even detecting missile lock-on in most civilian aircraft, you wouldn't necessarily know when to activate them. The total cost of adding all that would likely be wildly impractical.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby engr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:58 am UTC

A lot of speculations going around in Russian and Ukrainian media.

Ukrainian officials uploaded an alleged intercept of radio talks between rebels, basically "oh shit, that was a civilian plane we shot down". I am very skeptical about it, since the persons on tape say that the plane was shot by some "cossacks from the security checkpoint" - sounds like a lot of bullshit to me; Buk SAM is not some shoulder-launched unit, it's an entire complex of missile launchers, radars and support vehicles. It requires highly trained military personnel, not some "cossacks from checkpoint".

There is a lot of back and forth allegations about whether rebels actually had Buk SAMs; Ukrainian military was saying last June that rebels captured a few of these, but they were in "inoperable condition" and they didn't believe the rebels would be capable of repairing or operating them. Rebels just flat out deny they had anything other than MANPADs and say that it is a false flag operation by the Ukrainian army to get NATO involved.

Rebels agreed to a three-day truce with Ukrainian government and claimed they will allow both Russian and Ukrainian investigators to get to the wreckage.

Putin says it's premature to claim who shot the plane down without a thorough investigation, but the Ukrainian government bears responsibility for it since they are the ones who started the civil war.

Media quotes an unnamed source from Russian aviation authority claiming that Russian presidential plane flew through the same area at the same altitude about an hour before the MH17, and that Ukrainians must have mistaken one for another, because the plane silhouette and color schemes seem identical from a distance. Russian aviation officials deny this. Sounds like BS to me - trying to shoot down Russian Air Force One would be too suicidal even what currently passes for Ukrainian government.

A lot of contradictory info about whether Ukrainian authorities allowed civilian flights above the war zone at all, and if the did, at what altitudes.

A lot of allegations rely on social media postings, and naturally, there's a ton of speculation about which accounts are real, which are unofficial, and which are outright fake. Strelkov (rebels' commander-in-chief) supposedly claimed a month ago that he has no official social media accounts so anyone publishing on his behalf is an impostor.

Tweets of an ATC from Kiev going around, he supposedly was monitoring the flight and was notified by Ukrainians that the plane was shot down before it disappeared from radars.

Good luck trying to verify any of that :/
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:09 am UTC

engr wrote:There is a lot of back and forth allegations about whether rebels actually had Buk SAMs; Ukrainian military was saying last June that rebels captured a few of these, but they were in "inoperable condition" and they didn't believe the rebels would be capable of repairing or operating them. Rebels just flat out deny they had anything other than MANPADs and say that it is a false flag operation by the Ukrainian army to get NATO involved.


If it's a false flag operation, it would be strange for the seperatists to be announcing it. I'm leery of "it's totes those other guys, conspiracy something something".

I understand that the BUK system has it's own launcher-integrated radar, yes(going off wiki here)? This would enable a single vehicle to launch without setting up the whole system, and a civvie airliner isn't exactly the most agile of targets, so...not a difficult radar tracking problem. Also, it seems fairly obvious that the russians have been supplying the seperatists. Not sure it's possible for us to know for certain what hardware they have access to.

I also give Putin's statements here extremely little credence. They're political, not informative. The Spanish ATC tale seems...odd. The "why" seems hard to explain indeed. It just seems like a bit of a stretch to make some sort of conspiratorial tale come together.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby engr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:31 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If it's a false flag operation, it would be strange for the seperatists to be announcing it. I'm leery of "it's totes those other guys, conspiracy something something".


I'm leery of this too, but right now all we have it "it's totes those other guys" from both sides.
As far as why announce it - the question is, did they really announce it, and was it really their social media account? Because if you want to play that game, there's another screenshot of an alleged posting from Ukrainian nationalists (allegedly quoting Poroshenko) going around. (Translation: "Today Ukrainian army has shot down terrorists' plane. 280 terrorists from Russia have been killed. Putin thought that he could send his terrorists to us, but we will shoot down all planes with Russian militants".)

The Spanish ATC tale seems...odd. The "why" seems hard to explain indeed. It just seems like a bit of a stretch to make some sort of conspiratorial tale come together.


I've just read that it is a Spanish citizen working as an ATC in Kiev... for some reason. Here's his account in Spanish.

And as if that wasn't enough - a post from a Russian blogger from a month ago predicting that "soon a plane full of innocent Euro tourists will be shot above Ukraine. This will become a cause for an official NATO invitation to join the war".
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:49 am UTC

Russian ain't one of my languages, so I'm not sure I'd pick up on any nuances that would help distinguish fake from real, I'm kind of blind in that department. Of course, the vague official status is something that comes of Russia using separatists like this, so it's kind of unavoidable.

As for "a russian blogger predicted this", ehhh. If you troll enough blogs, someone will predict almost anything about a popular topic. And if it's NATO centric, it wouldn't seem to be a very safe play. Nato isn't the pledged defender of airlines, and many of it's members are still pretty unenthusiastic about jumping on board. It's not as if they were just waiting for an excuse to send troops.

It's a major incident to be sure, but I'm particularly skeptical of the Russian side calling "false flag operation", given, yknow...the whole situation. It could be, but the risk/reward payout on that looks pretty horrible. What is actually gained by that? I'm dubious that it was a particularly well planned op at all.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby engr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:05 am UTC

Meh, knowing Russian and Ukrainian isn't exactly helping me here... more like it causes an overload of contradictory information.

Official Russian side actually isn't blaming Ukrainians yet (except for the general "if Kiev wasn't waging war on their own people, that wouldn't happen"). The official position is "our military isn't involved, and as far as who did this - we are waiting for investigation results". Right now only Kiev, rebels, and random people on the Internet claim they know what happened.

As a side comment, the whole situation is so unbelievably fucked up. I have a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian blood. These two nations are as close culturally and historically as it gets. Almost every Ukrainian has Russian friends or relatives, and vice versa. Families are being torn apart. If only a year ago anyone told me - heck, to most Russians and Ukrainians - that this would be going on, I would laugh in their face.
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Steax » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:14 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Steax wrote:Most flights connecting Europe and Southeast Asia/Australia go through there, it's going to bottleneck the region. It's going to have a strong effect on air travel if we start closing off airspaces more preemptively when conflicts break out...


Isn't that what normally happens? Flying through a war zone has often been dangerous.

And you couldn't induce me to purchase a ticket through that area, or indeed, fly there at all, unless I was being deployed, armed.


There have been statistically very few civilian planes shot down by accident in this manner, especially in recent years, probably to the point that the added expense of going though safer air paths. Taking down an airline at cruising altitude requires serious gear and training, usually stuff used by proper militaries. The cost of taking significantly different routes would probably overshadow the zero-to-near-zero chance of it happening, but that's just my guess.

The FAA did issue a warning against US flights going through there, but I believe it was just an advisory-level thing.

A lot of people fly over countries in this manner without knowing; most people aren't used to the idea that the closest path between two points isn't always a straight line on their map-projection-of-choice. Or, well, most people are just thinking "let's go for a vacation in australia" and not realize the path they're taking to get there...
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:16 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's a major incident to be sure, but I'm particularly skeptical of the Russian side calling "false flag operation", given, yknow...the whole situation. It could be, but the risk/reward payout on that looks pretty horrible. What is actually gained by that? I'm dubious that it was a particularly well planned op at all.


Its the only political move the Russians can make right now. They're taking advantage of the fact that no one has any facts, so they're just trying to get ahead of the story.
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Kazza3 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:44 am UTC

I can't see a compelling argument for this being the work of the Ukrainian govt, aside from extreme conspiracies. The rebels have been routinely attempting to, and succeeding at, shooting down Ukrainian military cargo planes and the like, them mistaking MH17 for an enemy flight is by far the most logical explanation. They may have had the equipment but not the training. What reason would the Ukrainians have for shooting down planes, the rebels don't have any, and the Russians aren't flying over at the moment. And there was a tweet, apparently from a rebel PR account, stating that they had shot down an enemy flight at the time, later retracted. If it was fake (and apparently it was a long-standing account), why retract?


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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Khelevaster » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:54 am UTC

I'm surprised nobody is talking about plausibility of all the claims in terms of geography.

There's a lot of reports saying it was shot down using a "Buk" missile system, NATO name "Gadfly". I'm assuming it's because there's no other systems present in the region capable of reaching that altitude. Wikipedia says that the maximum range of the Buk-M1 system is 35km.

Let's look at the map. I put an x at the approximate crash location and a circle approximately 35 km in radius on it. If the Ukrainian military were to shoot it down, they would have to deploy the missile system in the area where heavy fighting is taking place. In a narrow area where it would be located between the separatists and Russian territory. Hmmm... Now I don't know if the range of the system is dependent on the altitude of the target. If it does and we shrink the circle to, say 25 km, it looks like it would fall entirely into the separatist-controlled territory. Hmmm...
1700mapwithplanecrash.jpg

Please keep in mind that this an approximate map over which I drew a circle in MS Paint. I'm not saying it's accurate.
Last edited by Khelevaster on Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:30 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby aoeu » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:19 am UTC

Kazza3 wrote:the Russians aren't flying over at the moment

Is that a fact though? I haven't really followed the situation. I would expect Russians planes would be routinely skirting the border, just to see if the Ukrainians react etc.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby jestingrabbit » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:12 pm UTC

Khelevaster wrote:I'm surprised nobody is talking about plausibility of all the claims in terms of geography.


Sure, its a good point. But if its the separatists, who amongst them is trained in a sophisticated platform like this? There couldn't be more than a few hundred people in all of the Ukraine with the requisite experience to operate such a complicated bit of machinery, and a similarly small number over the border in Russia.

So, on the one hand, it seems like it has to be the separatists, but on the other hand it suggests some pretty extraordinary things about who those separatists are, and the sort of support they are receiving.

One of the really sad things about this particular plane being destroyed, is that it held a lot of delegates for an AIDS conference in Melbourne. It could set back research in that area by decades.
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:40 pm UTC

The plane was flying towards Russia, assuming it was at cruising speed and no air resistance, the debris would end up about 10km further along from where it was short down. Obviously air resistance will bring this number down.

AFAIK though we don't know what happened once the plane was hit though and it's possible that it glided some distance afterwards.

Anyway 10km to the west would give the circle some overlap with the Kiev-controlled region.

The most likely narrative still seems to be that this was the insurgents and that Russia has been supplying them, but not necessarily keeping them on a tight enough leash to prevent this kind of thing. Or it could be to provide them an excuse to step into East Ukraine as "peacekeepers".
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Brace » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:31 pm UTC

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Mutex » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:34 pm UTC

My housemate genuinely suggested it was a plot to distract people from the recent allegations of Thatcher covering up for paedophile Tory MPs back in the 80s. I think I need to find somewhere else to live.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Vahir » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:37 pm UTC

I don't think that shooting down the plane was a conspiracy by the Ukrainians. The truth behind what happened will come out sooner or later, and it would hurt Ukraine badly when it does. They wouldn't sacrifice long-term security for short-term gain, especially when by all accounts they're winning. If this was an intentional act, it strikes me as being rather desperate.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby engr » Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:54 pm UTC

It would be even more strange for rebels to do this kind of thing intentionally. Russia made it clear that it is not interested in initiating a military operation in Ukraine. Heck, even before the start of the civil war, Putin openly disapproved of referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk, and when the regions claimed independence and requested to join Russia, their requests were rejected. Russian public opinion seems to approve military involvement, but the government seems to want to avoid it. Last Spring Council of Federation granted Putin a conditional permission to use military force if necessary to protect civilian population, but about a month ago Putin requested CF to revoke this permission to deescalate tensions. Russia was shelled from Ukrainian territory repeatedly, and only now Russian MFA finally warned Ukrainians it will start returning fire if that continues.
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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby sardia » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:16 pm UTC

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/j ... 17-removed
Intentional or not the rebels are in the process of hiding all evidence of there buk launchers. Photos are being taken down and launchers being moved.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Khelevaster » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:42 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The plane was flying towards Russia, assuming it was at cruising speed and no air resistance, the debris would end up about 10km further along from where it was short down. Obviously air resistance will bring this number down.

AFAIK though we don't know what happened once the plane was hit though and it's possible that it glided some distance afterwards.

Anyway 10km to the west would give the circle some overlap with the Kiev-controlled region.

The most likely narrative still seems to be that this was the insurgents and that Russia has been supplying them, but not necessarily keeping them on a tight enough leash to prevent this kind of thing. Or it could be to provide them an excuse to step into East Ukraine as "peacekeepers".


Hmmm... Well, actually pushing the circle WNW by 10km still doesn't make it reach government-controlled territory. Also considering that the plane fell to the ground in pieces over an area of a couple of km, I don't think it glided all that much.

In any case I don't think it was intentional. No side would benefit form doing it intentionally.

Also this was posted by the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine (notice two missiles missing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4HJmev5xg0

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Derek » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

A conspiracy from either side is extraordinarily unlikely. It was almost certainly a cock up, but the question is, who cocked up?

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Khelevaster » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:07 pm UTC

Found this in Andrey Illarionov's blog today. Pardon my crude translation.

"Three questions to the public:

1. Did it ever happen before that Vladimir Putin would inform the American president of an accident involving a foreign airplane in a foreign country carrying no Russian citizens?

2.Did it ever happen that Vladimir Putin would ask the members of the Russian government to hold a minute of silence for the people who died in a catastrophic event that happened in a foreign country on board of an airplane belonging to a foreign company that didn't have a single Russian citizen on board?

3.Previously, on 15 of July, an accident that killed 23 people occurred in the Moscow subway. Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to the families of the deceased. However he did not inform the president of the USA nor the citizens of Russia. He also did not ask his colleagues to commemorate the deceased.

How can this strange and, at first thought, illogical behavior be explained?"

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Vahir » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:38 pm UTC

engr wrote:It would be even more strange for rebels to do this kind of thing intentionally. Russia made it clear that it is not interested in initiating a military operation in Ukraine. Heck, even before the start of the civil war, Putin openly disapproved of referendums in Donetsk and Lugansk, and when the regions claimed independence and requested to join Russia, their requests were rejected. Russian public opinion seems to approve military involvement, but the government seems to want to avoid it. Last Spring Council of Federation granted Putin a conditional permission to use military force if necessary to protect civilian population, but about a month ago Putin requested CF to revoke this permission to deescalate tensions. Russia was shelled from Ukrainian territory repeatedly, and only now Russian MFA finally warned Ukrainians it will start returning fire if that continues.


And to think, all Putin did was send truckloads of supplies (and the trucks themselves) to the insurgents.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Xeio » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:55 pm UTC

Khelevaster wrote:How can this strange and, at first thought, illogical behavior be explained?
Well Russia happens to be pretty embroiled in the current political state of Ukraine. That would explain it pretty well.

Not to say Russia couldn't have shot down the plane, but Putin (as insane as he is) knows that he's going to bear a lot of extra international scrutiny because of this (as if there wasn't already a lot regarding Ukraine).

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Tirian » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:06 pm UTC

This is going to date me, but I took a political science class in decision processes back during the 25th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was a really interesting time because the American and Soviet governments had declassified a gigaton of documents and the intelligence and policy makers from both sides had a chance to get together and discuss what were happening in their different bunkers.

An example of the sort of thing that was hashed out is how the Americans had no idea that the missile parts had been shipped to Cuba but that the Soviets spent five or six days assembling the launchers in plain sight where they would be vulnerable but our military and intelligence forces couldn't help but notice. Toss a few vine-covered nets over the assembly sites, and the fully-operational launchers could have been announced before the Americans would have been able to formulate the response, and the Soviets would have won. So why didn't they? The prevailing theory is that it was because of Soviet propaganda to make the US live in fear of the inevitability of their weakness and that they were surprised that Kennedy had the will to go nuclear over it. But the conference revealed that the truth was as simple as it was obvious: the parts were shipped to Cuba by the KGB (who were experts at secrecy) and then handed over to the Soviet military to construct (who didn't have the tactics to work in secret even if it had struck them that it would have been beneficial).

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I bring up that long story because I wonder if the same sort of thing isn't happening here. I can see Putin giving Buks to separatist leaders, and evidently also giving them Russuan-trained teams to operate them (because I am hearing that you and I couldn't take a Buk out of the crate and shoot down a fast-moving target at commercial airliner altitudes either through accident or malice). At the same time, I can see that team being encouraged by the separatist leaders to take down as many targets as they could. At the same time, I can imagine that these teams don't get the normal help from Russian intelligence sources that they're used to that would have told them that MH17 was not an appropriate target.

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Re: MH17 Shot Down Over Ukraine-Russian Border

Postby Djehutynakht » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:03 pm UTC

Vahir wrote:And to think, all Putin did was send truckloads of supplies (and the trucks themselves) to the insurgents.


Which may or may not be his own soldiers.



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