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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Russia show satellite photo evidencing MH17 was downed by fighter jet


Russian state television has produced a "satellite image" that allegedly showed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down by a fighter jet yesterday, in what appeared to be a crude fake deliberately released on the eve of the G20 economic summit.
Channel One presented the image, said to have been taken moments before the passenger jet crashed in eastern Ukraine, as a smoking gun that confirmed how MH17 had been downed, killing all 298 people on board on July 17. 
"It's well know that at the [G20] summit in Brisbane, the Australian prime minister [Tony] Abbott has threatened to confront our president about the Malaysian Boeing," said the presenter, Mikhail Leontyev, who is one of Vladimir Putin's chief propaganda mouthpieces. "Let's try to make his task a little easier." 
A Russian engineer investigating the crash told the programme he had received the "sensational picture" on November 12. The channel showed an email in English from a "George Bilt", supposedly a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and aviation expert, who claimed the Boeing was shot down by cannon fire and missiles from a plane. 

Moscow has suggested in the past that a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet was tracking the passenger liner. 

Russian and international bloggers quickly pointed to what they said were a mass of discrepancies with the supposed satellite image, including the fact the markings on the side of the Boeing were in the wrong place for a Malaysia Airlines jet, the clouds in the picture were identical to those in a Google Earth image from 2012, and the image was not consistent with the flight path of the jet. 

An investigation by the Dutch Safety Board published in September found the jet was pierced from the outside by a large numbers of "high-energy objects". That finding was consistent with the main theory about the crash: that the plane was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher located on territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels. 


Such missiles explode next to a target, destroying it in a hail of shrapnel rather than blowing it up.
The apparent Kremlin demarche came as Ukraine's prime minister said that creating an army strong enough to withstand Russian belligerence was the country's top priority. 

"Building an army which is capable of stopping aggression from Russia, is the number one task," Arseny Yatsenyuk said during a televised briefing with reporters in Kiev yesterday. His remarks were broadcast as a five-year-old girl was reported killed in shelling in the east of the country. 

A picture show MH17 shortly before contact was lost (Channel One)
Ukraine's government and western countries accuse Moscow of sending troops and tanks into the Donbas region to support thousands of rebels who are fighting to enlarge two breakaway "people's republics". 

Ukraine's military reported on Friday that "movement and concentration of Russian troops and militants' groups is being continuously observed" in the conflict zone. 

Earlier last week, Moscow denied that a single Russian serviceman had entered Ukraine across their mutual border, despite Nato reports of columns of tanks and other hardware mounting incursions. 


That denial has looked increasing frayed. Last weekend, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe reported long columns of military vehicles, some towing howitzers, travelling through rebel-held territory. 

On Thursday it said it had seen a van apparently carrying dead Russian combatants out of Ukraine into Russia, as well as more than 600 people in military uniform passing through one checkpoint in a week, "mostly into Ukraine". 

Moscow responded on Friday by accusing the OSCE of only reporting on rebel troop movements while ignoring a buildup of Ukrainian forces in the region. 

"We get the impression that [the OSCE'S] efforts are directed at helping and supporting only one side in the conflict, the official authorities in Kiev," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement. 

The OSCE insists that it is impartial. Meanwhile, Ukraine has said that is redeploying troops in the area and bracing itself for a Russian-backed rebel offensive that could target the key city of Mariupol on the coast of the Sea of Azov.






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