...why wasn’t the airspace over Eastern Ukraine closed to civilian air traffic at the time? Why were 160 flights passing over that region on the day of the MH17 shootdown alone? Unsurprisingly, answers to these questions are not forthcoming from Kiev.
The Dutch Safety Board just released their investigation into the MH17 crash last summer and they concluded that the Malaysia Airlines 777 was brought down by Ukrainian rebels.
Just kidding. They blamed it all on those dastardly Russians, of course. Or at least that’s what every MSM headline west of Donbass will tell you. The reality, as always, is somewhat less propagandistically perfect.
The report, titled simply “Crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17” was released by the Dutch Safety Board this morning along with supplementary materials like “About the Investigation” and even a Brochure synopsis of the report’s findings.
The headline story is that the investigation has concluded that the plane was brought down by the detonation of a warhead to the left and above the cockpit of the plane. According to the report:
“As a result of the explosion and the impact, the aeroplane broke up in mid air: the cockpit and the floor of the business class tore away from the fuselage almost instantly and crashed. The rest of the aeroplane continued to fly for approximately 8.5 kilometres in an easterly direction. Sections of the upper side of the aeroplane were torn off as air currents, moving at a speed of approximate 900 kilometres per hour (480 knots), took hold of the damaged aeroplane. Both wingtips broke away and the rear section of the fuselage fractured, causing the tail section to detach itself from the centre section.”
Interestingly, the Russian delegation to the Dutch Safety Board investigation did not contest that the airplane was brought down by a warhead detonation. Even more interestingly, the Russians strongly contested the DSB’s placement of that detonation. The technical details of this disagreement are covered in Appendix L of the report, but the upshot of the wrangling is that the investigation pins the blame on a 9N314M warhead delivered by a BUK missile system from rebel-held territory and the Russians believe the culprit to be an outdated 9M38 warhead fired from government-held land. Or, in plain English, the Dutch are pointing the finger at the Russians and the Russians are pinning the blame on the Ukrainians. No surprises there.
The Russians, for their part, have an intriguing video of an experiment carried out by Almaz-Antey to back up their claims about the nature of the damage and its implications for determining the type of warhead that brought down the plane. The video shows two experiments, one conducted in July and one in October, in which BUK missiles are detonated near the cockpits of decommissioned Ilyushin Il-86 passenger airliners. According to the Russians, there is no indication that the DSB took these tests or their findings into account in their determination of the likely cause of MH17’s downing.
Although the finger-pointing is obviously going to dominate the headlines in the coming days, assigning blame for the crash is not even part of the DSB investigation’s purview. Instead, the actual criminal investigation into the crash is being conducted by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) consisting of investigators from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine, with Malaysia as a “participant.” As Julie Levesque pointed out in a thorough article for Global Research last year, that JIT is not only under a “gag order” whereby the results of its investigation will be classified unless all members agree to its findings, but in that scheme Malaysia is not even entitled to the classified report if the other nations do not agree to it. Essentially, the Ukrainians are the co-investigators of an event that they are suspects in, and the Malaysians are junior partners who aren’t even worthy of full disclosure.
The actual point of the DSB investigation was to make recommendations on how to avoid a repeat of this event in the future. On that count, they raise an interesting point:
“In the months before the crash, at least 16 military airplanes and helicopters were shot down in the eastern part of Ukraine. Ukrainian authorities were aware of this. They stated that, occasionally, weapon systems were used that could reach the cruising altitude of civil airliners. Yet, despite of all this, Ukraine did not close its airspace.”
Indeed, why wasn’t the airspace over Eastern Ukraine closed to civilian air traffic at the time? Why were 160 flights passing over that region on the day of the MH17 shootdown alone? Unsurprisingly, answers to these questions are not forthcoming from Kiev.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the whole report, however, is that its release comes at a time when blatant propaganda against the big, bad Ruskies is hitting a fever pitch. With the western hypocrisy in Syria being laid bare for the world to see by the latest Russian air strikes, can there be any doubt that the hyperventilating war hawks of the establishment press will jump on this report as another chance to blame the evils of the world on Moscow? Just as the original MH17 crash itself was immediately blamed on Putin (literally), kicking off the “new Cold War” in earnest, so this report will be used to whip the public into the next stage of Russophobia…despite the fact that almost no one will actually bother to read it.