World Bulletin / News Desk
The investigative site Bellingcat has released a report on the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. The report describes in detail which Russian Army unit it believes is responsible for destruction of the civilian airliner, and identifies senior Army officials who would have knowledge of the attack.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over the eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew onboard. The Boeing 777-200ER was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was hit by a surface to air missile.
Bellingcat has concluded that MH17 was shot down by a Buk M1 surface to air missile, a medium range mobile surface to air missile system. The Buk was likely operated by the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, also known as military Unit 32406, which was in the area at the time of the shoot down and was known to deploy the Buk system.
The report goes even further, identifying commanding officers of the 53rd Brigade, including the brigade commander himself and the commander of the battalion likely responsible for the attack. 14 officers are named in all including Sergey Borisovich Muchkaev, the brigade commander.
Addressing suggestions that a pro-Russian separatist group might have fired the missile, the report states that although it is possible that separatists were directly responsible for the attack, the complexity of the Buk system makes it highly unlikely non-Russian Army personnel were involved.
Bellingacat's researchers are citizen journalists who use open source-unclassified, freely available-data in their investigations. "Open source" includes government data, news reports, and posts on social media. The report relies on posts to Russian social media-even wedding photos-to identify key personnel both in the 53rd Brigade and at higher levels in the Russian Army.
The report's introduction concludes with the note, "Ultimately, responsibility for the downing of MH17 from a weapon provided and possibly operated by the Russian military lies with… Vladimir Putin."
Source: Popular Mechanics, BellingcatLast Mod: 01 Mart 2016, 15:31