May 9, 2015
Novaya Gazeta, a Russian newspaper known for its “liberal” and “ooppositionist” leanings, acquired a copy of a classified investigation performed by Russian aviation and missile specialists (including from the design bureau which created the Buk air defense system). The entire rather lengthy report is at the link, but here are the “money ‘graphs”. On the basis of known information about the nature of the damage and the shape of the fragments that have struck the airliner, they have come to the conclusion the missile in question was a Buk-M1. However, the graphic at the top rules out the possibility the missile was launched from the vicinity of Novorossia-held Snezhnoye (which is what the Ukrainian and NATO version allege) because of the fragmentation pattern Buk warheads create. If the missile came from Snezhnoye, in other words, if it was launched from nearly directly in front of the aircraft, one would not see extensive fragmentation damage both of the cockpit area and the engine, wings, and rear control surfaces. For such a pattern of damage to have occurred, the missile would have had to arrive at a trajectory more closely perpendicular to the airliner’s flight course. In other words, it would have had to come from Ukrainian-held territory, specifically from the vicinity of the town of Zaproshchenskoye.
The reports also points out that Russian MOD briefing issued only a few days after the MH17 shoot-down published Russian recon satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk missile systems precisely in that location, namely near Zaproshchenskoye.
Quite possibly the main reason why NATO has, for all intents and purposes, dropped the MH17 issue like a hot potato is because they have come to similar conclusions which, for obvious enough political reasons, can never see the light of day.