Unz ReviewThis column was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/flight-mh-17-one-year-later/

Over a year has passed since Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 has been shot out of the skies by somebody, but we still don’t know the truth and all sorts of hypotheses are circulating on the Internet. In the West, the Emperor Barak Ist decreed on the day after the actual shoot-down that the party responsible for this atrocity was, of course, the Novorussians. That is as predictable as it is irrelevant since not a shred of evidence has been presented by anybody in the West. In contrast, the Russians did provide quite a lot of evidence, but it was all immediately dismissed without further ado. Again, this is also as predictable as it is irrelevant. The undeniable fact is that the western narrative about the Ukraine absolutely mandates that either the Russians or the Novorussians shot down MH-17. Any other version is completely unacceptable and therefore shall never be considered, nevermind accepted, by the western politicians and their corporate media.

But for the rest of the world the question remains opened: who shot down MH-17 and how?

The first thing we know is that the Ukrainian traffic air controllers directed MH-17 to fly directly over the combat zone and to lower its altitude. We also know for a fact that there was at least one Ukrainian aircraft in the immediate vicinity of MH-17 that day. This was confirmed both by Russian radar signals and by several local witnesses who saw at least one, possibly two, SU-25 aircraft in the air that day. Finally, we also know that Ukrainian air defense units were present in the area that day and that their radars were active. What nobody saw that day was the kind of large and highly visible smoke plume which would have accompanied any large missile launch, not did anybody hear anything special. Apparently, no missile launch, and yet the Ukrainian radars were active. How come?

I believe that MH-17 was shot down by a Ukrainian SU-25. Critics of this theory have pointed out that the SU-25 is a “close-air-support aircraft” which was designed to fly very low and to engage attacking amour columns, that it was never designed to fly very fast or very high, and the SU-25 does not have a radar or air-to-air missiles. Finally, the cockpit of the SU-25 is not pressurized which means that the pilot cannot fly over 7’000 meter in altitude. This is all quite true. But it also misses the point.

First, while it is true that the cabin of the SU-25 is not pressurized, all a pilot needs to do is use a mask to supply him with oxygen. The aircraft itself can easily fly well over the 7’000 meter limit. It is true that the speed of the aircraft is inadequate to intercept a large civilian jet flying at its cruising speed. The SU-25 engines were never designed to fly high and while they can be made to bring the aircraft over 7’000 meters, they cannot develop enough speed in this rarefied atmosphere. But what the SU-25 can do is carry a R-60 infrared-guided missile. Not only does such a missile not require an engagement radar, but it’s speed is over 3’000 kilometers per hour, way faster than any civilian airliner. The problem with the missile, however, is that it’s range is short, about 8’000 meters.

The SU-25 does not have a radar capable of detecting a civilian airliners and guiding the SU-25 towards it. But the Buk missile radar battery definitely does. Since the course of the MH-17 was known well in advance, all the Ukrainians had to do was the keep one or two SU-25 loitering at low altitude under the air corridor which MH-17 would take and wait for the Buk missile operators guide the best placed SU-25 towards the airliner at the appropriate moment. All the pilot would have to do when given the signal was to sharply climb towards MH-17 and get inside the missile’s flight envelope (in this case within less than 8 kilometers of MH-17) and then fire off his R-60 missile. At that point, the missile would guide itself towards the biggest heat source of the aircraft – one of the engines.

The R-60 is a rather small missile and it would never be able to destroy a large airliner like the Malaysia Airways Boeing 777. But the R-60 is more than capable to destroy one of the Boeing’s engines. At this point, the airliner would rapidly lose speed and enter into a sharp turn while the pilots would be trying to figure out what happened, extinguish a burning engine and compensate for the increased drag. This is exactly what was observed on radars, by the way. The rapid loss of speed and altitude would make the Boeing easy prey for the SU-25 which has a powerful cannon on board which would then easily catch up and finish off the attack with a volley of 30mm cannon fire. Having finished off it’s target, the SU-25 would then sharply turn and return to its base. This is exactly what the Russian radars saw.

One might wonder why the Ukrainian would use a close air support aircraft like the SU-25 instead of a dedicated interceptor like the SU-27 or a fighter like the MiG-29. Here again, the explanation is very simple: not only does the Ukraine have many more SU-25s than SU-27s or MiG-29s, but these would also be very conspicuous to any witness. In contrast, the one (or, possibly two) SU-25s tasked with the destruction of MH-17 would be very easy to conceal in the eastern Ukraine and on any airfield. It is precisely because the SU-25 would be an unlikely aircraft to be given such a mission that it is the perfect aircraft to execute what is a textbook example of a false flag attack.

As for the Buk, it is such a big and conspicuous missile system that it is impossible to hide. Furthermore, had such a missile been fired broad daylight, the launch would have been clearly seen for many miles around. However, as long as all the Buk battery was doing is guiding the SU-25 towards MH-17 nobody would have noticed it. Nobody except the Russian, NATO and the USA, of course.

As somebody who has personally monitored military and civilian air traffic over Europe, I can attest to the fact that several militaries in Europe are constantly monitoring the entire airspace between the Atlantic and the Urals. These countries include the US and NATO. This is especially true for a battle zone. In fact, US and Russian AWACS aircraft are always present when a conflict occurs anywhere near Europe. They have been monitoring the war in the Persian Gulf, the war in Bosnia and Croatia, the war in Afghanistan and many other conflicts. Besides their AWACS, the Americans and Russians also use their space based satellites to monitor any conflict zone. Of course, neither side is willing to share all the detailed information it has, but the real problem here is political: the US won’t share anything at all because of the need to protect the regime in Kiev while anything the Russians would share will be immediately dismissed as “propaganda” (which is exactly what happened with the little the Russians did share).

I would add here that if had been the Novorussians who had shot down MH-17 the US could easily have proven it just as they have done it with KAL007 in 1983. In fact, in the 20 years which separate us from the shooting down of KAL007 US intelligence capabilities have considerably improved, so I would expect the US could provide much more data than just radio intercepts. And yet the US provided exactly *nothing*. There is only one logical possibility for that otherwise bizarre US refusal to provide any data at all: the US points to the “wrong” party. In other words, the fact that the US is not releasing any data all all is, by itself, an indirect proof that the Ukrainians did it.

As for the Ukrainians themselves they, of course, know *exactly* what happened and there is no need for them to “investigate” anything. So there is really nothing left to investigate. The Ukrainian did it and the West will never admit it.

End of story.

The Saker

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world