|BLOOD ON PUTIN'S HANDS: A Russian SA-11 missile launcher, which was used to bring Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 down, was operated by a Russian crew, according to Ukrainian intelligence officials. Photo: AP|
Most of the details have already been released about how the Russian missile launchers were brought into Ukraine by the Russians, how a Russian officer found the plane on radar, the moment the order was given to shoot it down, the exact words used by the rebels boasted they had shot down the plane, the social media post by the rebels bragging they had shot down the plane and - finally - the phone call when they realized - and admitted - that the plane that had been shot down - was a civilian plane. Also well documented has been the removal of the missile launchers back into Russia - with one of the launchers now missing a single missile.
But the below article from the New York Post summaries all the relevant stories from multiple news sources and is - so far - the best blow by blow description I have seen of how Putin's Russia orchestrated this tragedy. Here are the opening paragraphs:
Ukrainian officials said “irrefutable evidence” proves that Russia’s military operated the missile system that blew a Malaysia Airlines jet from the sky, killing 298 people.And...
“This terrorist act was committed with the help of the Russian Federation. We know clearly that the crew of this system were Russian citizens,” Vitaly Naida, Ukraine’s chief of counterintelligence, told reporters on Saturday.
The missile system was spirited into rebel-controlled Ukraine territory in pitch-black darkness at about 1 a.m. Thursday, Ukrainian intelligence sources told The Sunday Times of London.
The Buk missile system crossed the Russian border near the village of Sukhodolsk. By 9 a.m., it reached the city of Donetsk, a rebel stronghold and command center.
Ukrainian intelligence recorded phone calls between a Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Nikolaevich Petrovskiy, and a rebel fighter.
“Where should we unload this cutie?” the rebel fighter asked.
“Is it what I’m thinking about?” replied Petrovskiy.
“Yes. Buk, Buk,” said the fighter.
Crews brought the system to a spot near the village of Pervomaysk, about 75 miles from Donetsk.
The missile shot up toward the Malaysian Boeing 777, which was 33,000 feet overhead — 1,000 feet above the no-fly zone imposed by Ukrainian aviation authorities.
Ukraine’s intelligence service posted on its Web site a picture of what it says is the contrail of the killer missile.
At first, the rebels were jubilant about their hit.
“We have just shot down a plane,” a rebel field commander said in a phone call to a Russian military officer that was recorded by Ukrainian intelligence.
Soon after that, Igor Girkin, the leader of the Donetsk People’ Army, boasted on a Russian social media Web site that his soldiers had shot down a Ukrainian plane.
“We did warn you — do not fly in our sky,” Girkin crowed.
But the rebels soon realized their mistake. “We have found the first 200 [dead],” a rebel reported to one of his superiors. He added: “We are 100 percent sure that it was a civilian plane.”For the rest of the article and more pictures, go to this link. Hopefully, those who have saying we should not be worried about Russia since the Cold War is over, will realize ex-KGB agent Putin appears determined to resurrect the old USSR in more ways than just its geography.
Girkin’s boast was soon pulled from the Internet.
Sometime after 11 p.m. that night — seven hours after the Boeing 777’s debris and its 298 passengers rained down on Ukrainian homes and fields — the rebels began moving the missile system back toward the Russian border.
Ukrainian intelligence says Russia pulled back two missile launchers — including the one used against Flight 17 — “to suppress evidence of its involvement in the terrorist act.”