Ukraine-Organized Kangaroo Court (JIT) Shockingly Blames Russia for MH-17 Shoot-Down

Originally published May 26, 2018

The Joint Investigation Team, organized by Ukraine and consisting of it and Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, and Malaysia — allies hand-picked by Ukraine — has elaborated on the preliminary findings it published in September 2016. The JIT now claims to have proof that the culprit BUK missile came from the Russian army’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade, headquartered at Kursk.

The initial JIT report published in September 2016 concluded that the BUK missile launcher system responsible for the tragedy had entered Ukraine the morning of the tragedy, had made the one shot that downed MH-17, and then had immediately returned to Russia. For some reason, the radar unit required to target the BUKs had not been brought along. The route which this BUK unit supposedly followed was cobbled together from on-the-ground photos provided by Ukrainian intelligence, as analyzed by Bellingcat, the open-source investigative organization which also provided “proof” that that the 2013 sarin gassing episode in Ghouta was the responsibility of the Syrian army, and, more recently, that the recent Douma “gassing attack” was the result of a chlorine-laden canister dropped by the Syrian army from a Hip helicopter.

Of course there is substantial reason to suspect that jihadis were responsible for the Ghouta atrocity, and that the the Douma “gas attack” was a White Helmets organized stage play. But we all make mistakes.

Bellingcat also was responsible for fingering the Kursk brigade as the source of the culprit BUK. One gets the impression that the JIT is simply taking dictation. The findings of Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins have curiously always served the propaganda needs of the NATO/Atlantic Council cabal dedicated to bashing Russia and its allies at every conceivable opportunity.

The late Robert Parry found the path allegedly followed by the Russian BUK unit to the site of the shoot down to have a Rube Goldberg — like implausibility, and noted also that satellite images had convinced German intelligence (BND) that no BUK unit had crossed the Ukrainian border at the time in question. Moreover, the BND concluded that photos distributed by the Ukrainian government allegedly pertinent to the tragedy had been photoshopped. But Germany was not invited to join the JIT investigating MH-17.

Ray McGovern has likewise stated that the JIT’s finding make no logical sense, while commenting on the JIT’s egregious bias.

What you need to know about this JIT is that its members were required to agree up-front that Ukraine — obviously a possible suspect in the shoot-down — would have veto rights over anything published by the group. By agreeing to this condition, the participants were effectively acknowledging that they were participating in a farce designed for the consumption of the ignorant public. Needless to say, no Russian participation was allowed. Moreover, almost all of the evidence assessed by the JIT was provided by Ukrainian intelligence. Parry asserted that this was cherry-picked and interpreted to reach the desired conclusion.

It’s also notable that Malaysia, the country whose plane was shot down, and the only member of the JIT not allied with NATO, refuses to accept the JIT findings.

The up-front absolution of Ukraine is particularly telling given that the Ukrainian army and the allied Kolomoisky militia in the area (see below) were known to have BUKs, whereas the Ukrainian government itself a couple of days before the shoot-down had stated that the rebels had no functional BUKs. According to Ray McGovern:

The Dutch intelligence service MIVD, relying on NATO’s intelligence capabilities, reported earlier that the only anti-aircraft-missile systems in the area on July 17, 2014, capable of shooting down MH-17 were under the control of the Ukrainian military.

But the JIT’s report offered no explanation of where those Ukrainian Buk systems were located or whether Ukraine had accounted for all the Buk missiles in those batteries. The JIT’s blinders can be explained by the fact that it was coordinating with (and relying on) Ukraine’s SBU intelligence agency, which has among its responsibilities the protection of Ukrainian government secrets.

An essay published by Alexander Mercouris at the time of the first JIT report is compelling reading:

And this comment underneath the article by “Mark” emphasizes the sheer implausibility of the story that Bellingcat and the JIT insist that we swallow:

For me a major fly in the ointment is the continuous presence of the low-loader truck. It allegedly transported the villainous Buk TEL from Russia to east Ukraine, and then back again the next day after it was used to shoot down MH-17. This implies the intent was to shoot down an airliner, and that immediately upon completion of this the TEL was returned to Russia.

Let’s break it down. Supposedly a ‘convoy’ consisting of the TEL on a low-loader and escorted by a senior officer in a utility vehicle (why? it’s not a secret weapon, it’s been around for forty years) proceeded from somewhere in Russia to the vicinity of Snizhne in Eastern Ukraine. The TEL was unloaded and set up, while the low-loader remained nearby. The operators allegedly thought they were shooting at an Antonov AN-26, but somehow trained operators of the SA-11 system did not observe the target was much too high to be an AN-26 (service ceiling 27,000 ft), and traveling at almost twice the speed of an AN-26.

A mystery remains also in how the TEL could have acquired the target without the system surveillance/acquisition radar, which is a separate vehicle. The radar on the nose of the TEL is not designed to search for a target; it is designed to accept designation of a target from the acquisition radar, slew to the ordered bearing and height, and lock on to the target. The sector it covers is far too narrow for it to be an effective search radar, and something moving at the speed of the Boeing would cross it in less than a minute even if the beam were accidentally trained in that direction.

So we are supposed to believe Russia sent only part of a system, without its acquisition capability, for the important job of shooting down an airliner. It wasn’t just delivering the TEL to the separatists — to whom it would have been of just as little use without the surveillance/acquisition capability — or the low-loader would have departed for return to Russia as soon as it had completed unloading, rather than sticking around to transport the TEL back to Russia.

If this scenario is admitted to be far-fetched and implausible, what are the alternatives? Ukraine had stated, a couple of days before the tragedy, that the Ukrainian rebels had no functional BUKs. Moreover, the shoulder-fired ManPad missiles which the rebels had did not have the range to down the MH-17, and forensic evidence points to a BUK missile as having shot down MH-17. However, both the Ukrainian army and the private militia of Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky are known to have had BUK units in the area.

According to Parry, his contacts in US intelligence indicated that a theory they were exploring was that Kolomoisky’s troops had brought down MH-17 because they mistakenly had assumed they were firing on a plane carrying Vladimir Putin; unbeknownst to them, Putin’s return flight from South America had changed its scheduled route.

Whether or not this scenario is true, it makes much more logical sense than the claim that the Russians had drive a BUK system into Ukraine — without the radar system required to properly target it - shot down a commercial airliner for no discernible reason, and then high-tailed it back to Russia by a chaotic circuitous route. But that’s the story that allegedly fits the (photoshopped? photos and (dubiously interpreted or faked? vocal intercepts provided by Ukrainian intelligence.

Watch this video of a drunken Kolomoisky claiming that the shoot-down was “a mistake”, a “mere trifle”:

But I would be surprised if Kolomoisky’s name even appears in the JIT report.

Update 9–17–2018: And now for the hilarious punchline — Russia has just presented comprehensive evidence documenting that the BUK missile which shot down MH-17, the casing of which, with clearly visible serial numbers, was displayed at the May JIT press conference, had been in the possession of the Ukrainian army. Ukraine had stated just two days before the shoot down that the rebels had not stolen any functional BUKs from the Ukrainian army.

Serial numbers of missile that downed MH17 show it was produced in 1986, owned by Ukraine - Russia

Moreover, the presentation by the Russian Ministry of Defense shows that some of the videos which Ukrainian intelligence provided to the JIT in an effort to incriminate Russia, were in fact photo-shopped.

Whoever wudda thunk it?!

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