Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ukraine Unspun

British Aviation Expert Says Russian MH17 Claims Highly Unlikely

Russian defense officials sit in front of a map of air-defense locations in the area of Donetsk during a briefing by Russian Lieutenant General Andrei Kartopolov and Lieutenant General Igor Makushev in Moscow on July 21 to present Moscow's view of the MH17 downing.
Russian defense officials sit in front of a map of air-defense locations in the area of Donetsk during a briefing by Russian Lieutenant General Andrei Kartopolov and Lieutenant General Igor Makushev in Moscow on July 21 to present Moscow's view of the MH17 downing.
By Glenn Kates

According to a British aviation expert, Russian charges that a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet may have shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 are "fairly incredible."

"Loaded with missiles and bombs, [the Su-25's] maximum altitude is five kilometers," says David Gleave, an aviation and safety researcher at Loughborough University. "We know that MH17 was flying at 10 kilometers high."

At a July 21 press conference --  held amid mounting evidence that MH17 had been shot down by a Buk missile fired by pro-Russian separatists -- members of Russia's general staff claimed that an Su-25 with air-to-air missiles had been detected within three to five kilometers of the doomed plane. 

Gleave, a former accident investigator, says it is conceivable, although extremely unlikely, that the alleged fighter jet could have attempted a maneuver in which it nose-dived and then flipped skyward to shoot the missile from more than three kilometers below the Malaysian airliner.

Moscow had claimed that the Su-25 was flying at the same altitude as Flight 17.

Stranger about the Russian claims, though, is that Ukraine does have Su-27 fighter jets in its arsenal -- a series that would have been capable of flying at altitude with MH17.

"[For the Russians to say] that [the Ukrainians] would use the Frogfoot" -- NATO's term for the Su-25 -- "is a particularly bizarre choice of airplane because it's purposely designed to fly at very low levels and be agile down there," Gleave said.

On July 22, the U.S. government released a satellite photo that it said showed the trajectory of the Buk missile pro-Russian separatists allegedly fired from the ground to shoot down MH17.

Gleave says that pictures he has seen from the crash site -- which show indents on the exterior of the plane -- appear to indicate a strike from a missile.

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Comment Sorting
by: Fed Up with Sloppyness from: Brussels
July 22, 2014 17:45
This article misrepresents the Russian view and clearly 'Gleave' has been badly misinformed of the evidence that the Russians presented.

A) Nowhere do they claim a su-25 shot down MH17, only that a su-25 was in the same vicinity

B) They do not claim the su-25 was at the same altitude, but 3-5km. They did say that a su-25 can reach 10,000m 'dynamically'.

C) Rebels have complained publicly several times already (and ignored by the media) that the Kiev's planes have been flying their military aircraft near or about international civil airliner pathways.

This is very, very sloppy work by the article author who like Gleave are working on false interpretations.
In Response

by: Moderator
July 22, 2014 19:20
I'll be quick but want to challenge your second point. Here's the text of Russia's own RT ( in which they quote Kartopolov as saying "same level":

“[We] would like to get an explanation as to why the military jet was flying along a civil aviation corridor at almost the same time and at the same level as a passenger plane,” he stated.

“The SU-25 fighter jet can gain an altitude of 10km, according to its specification,” he added. “It’s equipped with air-to-air R-60 missiles that can hit a target at a distance up to 12km, up to 5km for sure.”
In Response

by: Fed Up with Sloppyness from: Brussels
July 22, 2014 21:13
Dear mod,

Did he say that in English or in Russian? I saw a post that gave the actual Russian that did not correspond to the reported english translation.

From the briefing itself:

The Su-25 can briefly reach 10,000m...

In the paragraph proceeding the one you posted:

“A Ukraine Air Force military jet was detected gaining height, it’s distance from the Malaysian Boeing was 3 to 5km,” said the head of the Main Operations Directorate of the HQ of Russia’s military forces, Lieutenant-General Andrey Kartopolov speaking at a media conference in Moscow on Monday.

"detected gaining height" - do you see the mismatch here in the same article, or is it only I? Either the translation is not quite perfect (and yes, even Russians make mistakes) or he misspoke because those are two different things. What is abundantly clear is that he did not mean the Su-25 maintained the same flight level of 10,000m

In the meantime, here's a youtube video from a month ago (June 18) from a rebel who complains about Kiev's jets using airliners for cover (and yes, it has english subs):

People still hear and see what they want, regardless of the facts and even more likely when someone declares themselves to be neutral or impartial.

I'm sorry to say that the same methods of innuendo, misdirection and outright fabrication have been used over and over again in the last 25 years to our countries in to wars of choice from the Middle East and Africa. It's lazy,stale and dangerous thinking.

Unfortunately our media prefers to give our politicians the benefit of the doubt most of the time and treat us all as sheep and idiots incapable of stringing a cogent thought together or that 'b' follows 'a'.

We're sick of being played.
In Response

by: Nashibot from: Kremlin
July 23, 2014 09:05
Interesting that you would pretend to be from Brussels and then post lies to cover up Russia's crimes.
In Response

by: Glenn
July 23, 2014 11:49
Hi "Fed Up With Sloppyness," I'm the author. You are right that at 13 minutes the general did not say the planes were at the same level. Unfortunately, for the purposes of your point, however, he did say it at 14:20. I also encourage you to look at the website of the SU-25, which claims that even with no weapons (the generals said it did have weapons), the plane's flight ceiling is 7km.
In Response

by: Fed Up with Sloppyness
July 23, 2014 14:26
Dear Brain dead 'Nashibot',

My new place is 3 minutes walk from the European Parliament behind Place Luxembourg, (10 minutes from Café Belga at Place Flagey) and was at Belgium's National Day celebrations and military parade in Brussels on Monday.

One day you will pick up a book or engage your brain. Good luck!

by: Anonymous
July 22, 2014 20:55
who speaks SU-25 can't arrive 10.000 ?

See here :

"All 90 Su-25 Frοgfoot will be upgraded to Su-25 M1 level"

"Service ceiling, m 5.000-10.000"

I think western media are ready to everithing for give support t the US version without evidence
In Response

by: Anonymous from: U.K
July 26, 2014 13:07
Good repudiation. Seems the 'aviation expert', is not as expert as he thinks or perhaps he forgot about Google. It is high time some real reporting is carried out rather than the current witch hunt which we have to endure and which lays the groundwork for more fabricated wars.
In Response

by: Anon from: EU
July 30, 2014 14:13
Sukhoi speaks:

and wikipedia
and 'Carlos'
and wayback machine*/
and whoever knows that Joe Biden's son is already in ukraine extracting resource from the land...
and whoever knows the meaning of "false flag operation"...
and many others...
...some of which are capable of seeing dead people in any foto that comes out of the DoD... dead people, WMD, etc.
In Response

by: chris from: london
August 15, 2014 15:13

The anger towards Putin is manufactured and unwarranted. He is not interested in Ukraine or the rebels; he hasn’t armed them, and would definitively not want them to be in possession of Buk missile systems.

There are only a few people that know what happened and I sadly am not one of them. What I have noticed is that we are getting plenty of accusations from US, with no evidence to back it up. What we got from Russia was plenty of evidence with no accusations.

It is quite possible that Ukraine rebels brought down MH17, with a missile system and crew acquired from military bases in Eastern Ukraine. It is also likely that MH17 was in the company of two Ukrainian military aircraft, inadvertently making it look like a high value target. It could be a false flag. It is not possible that a 100-ton missile system was supplied to the rebels by Russia across a 100 km border that is being carefully scrutinized.

Ukraine absorbed 17 billion, to rebuild it’s capital after the maiden riots. I was able to access the damage, and it wasn’t even a billion. A few paving stones broken up to throw at policemen and a few telephone boxes used to bolster the barricades. The shops some not even locked were not looted, or damaged (credit where it is due to the protesters). So what happened to the money? The official explanation is corruption and poor decisions, which makes sense until you look at the military. The army has grown from 20k to 200k, and by the end of the year it will be 500k. Making it by far the largest army in Europe

So we have the militarization of a bankrupt Nazi state. Shouldn’t we be a bit worried, it didn’t end well last time. Once again America would be laughing all to the bank. If it all goes to plan America can step in with a nuclear strike on Russia and it’s allies at the final knockings and walk off with the prize.

We don’t need this war America does. Putin has gone for the jugular as far as America is concerned he is undermining the American economy, by opening a new world bank, which gives China a new place to stash its wealth, and the world a new credit line. He has also bypassed the petro dollar system; if he succeeds America and it’s special relationships are going to be in serious trouble.

We need to ignore the accusations without substance, wholeheartedly object to war and sanctions, and dramatically improve dialogue with Russia.

by: PorKoshenko
July 22, 2014 21:07
about this reconstruction in the picture
that I do not know where is from
I would like to remind YOU that Snizhne is on the line of the conflict
not only is very difficult to understand in which side of the conflict line can be coming the rocket
but it is also very very difficult that someone places a battery of anti-aircraft missile
so close to the enemy
In Response

by: Coresong from: Boston USA
July 24, 2014 05:46
The long term impact of the rebel's mistake is going to be long felt in Russia, not by this act alone, but by the gradual shift in the west being unable to accept the new imperial Russia being fostered by Putin. This is but yet one more straw that will eventually break the EU's back in fawning over Putin in the shadow of cheap Russian gas reserves. The EU dances a dangerous game, appeasement did not work so well in 1939, its not working well in 2014 . . . Crimea yesterday, eastern Ukraine today . . . How comfortable are those who live a bit west of the Ukraine border?

The Russian people are used to hardship, Putin's path simply ensures that it will continue for another decade or longer. The US needs a strawman to justify the defense spend, paranoia about Putin will supply that even though Russia's military is rusted and hollow. A new cold war is surely not in Moscow's favor, but the path seems certain now . . .

by: saucymugwump from:
July 23, 2014 00:00
The world still has not come to grips with the real Putin.

The 2018 World Cup must be reassigned to a country other than Russia; to make it easy, choose a country with existing facilities (I choose Germany). Putin must be banned from attending any ceremonies of any kind outside Russia, whether sporting, cultural, or political. He is a peacock who needs to strut on the world stage to stroke his enormous ego. Preventing this may be the most effective sanctions of all.

The U.S. must stop buying Russian rocket engines. And Europe had better start serious discussions on the subject of weaning itself off Russian oil and gas. Germany is being foolish if it does not revisit its decision to eliminate all nuclear power plants.

P.S. It is good to see the moderator comment.
In Response

by: xyza
August 01, 2014 20:09
It's amusing that amid what appears to be a pretext for WW3 you are concerned with chasing the ball.
In Response

by: saucymugwump from:
August 04, 2014 15:07
The comments of Russians like xyza are always amusing. Clearly, I was referring to the economic impact of the loss of the World Cup on Russia, not to mention that Putin's precious ego would suffer due to the loss of prestige. And if anyone is pushing for WWIII, it is Putin.

P.S. I don't watch football / soccer.

by: Vid Beldavs from: Latvia
July 23, 2014 06:49
Perhaps the Russian "separatists" were trying to shoot down the Ukrainian plane and mistakenly shot MH17? Regardless of who pulled the trigger President Putin bears political responsibility. He did not call President Poroshenko with condolences when "separatists" led by Russian citizens from Moscow shot down the tranport plane on the first day of the cease fire. Instead he advised negotiations with the murderers. Apparently the 49 were killed as a warning that worse would come if Ukraine did not negotiate with Russian citizens in Ukraine to seize Ukrainian territory. Apparently he would not have called President Poroshenko with condolences if the "separatists" had murdered 298 Ukrainians instead of non-Ukrainians.

by: Fed Up with Sloppyness from: Brussels
July 23, 2014 22:32
I found and official Ukranian source, the Ukranian State arms export service 'UKROBORONSERVICE' (via a comment on an item on the Aviationist website*) that quotes a service ceiling of 7 000 to 10 000 meters.

As the other guy pointed out, some Su-25s were upgraded to Su-25M1s so its likely the modernisation removed some weight from old tech.


Re: the difference between 'dynamic' or 'absolute ceiling' (which is what has been mentioned) vs. 'Service ceiling':

But what would I know. I'm only an amateur asking basic questions.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 24, 2014 14:09
And by the way, guys, it appears that the Anglo media are - again - the only ones who are still trying to develop this crashed plane story into something bigger. Most Europeans have moved on the Algerian plane crash in Mali, Ukrainians are more concerned with the the new pre-term elections to the Rada (and with their lack of progress in Donbass)... So, the Anglos are again the isolated ones :-))...
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
July 24, 2014 23:27
As Eugenio's partners, GRU-Spetcnaz "Strvyatnik" intended.
Blow-up few planes elsewhere - World will forget about Russia.
Eugenio's boys? Global May-Ham, perpetually amended?
Millions in Chinese Olympics clouded invading Georgia.
New crush clouds too as "Stervyatnik" invade Ukraine.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 25, 2014 06:04
An interesting article published by the German Der Spiegel on how "klein" France has become: it is just ready to sell its soul and to betray all the possible and impossible "European values" by selling the two Mistral ships (that "Putin will of course use to kill people all over the world to shoot planes down" :-))) - and all that for ONLY 1,2 bn euros :-)).
When one comes to this point, one realizes that the Germans would do exactly the same - but for 10 bn euro maybe, or for 15 :-)). An instructive article to read for those who believe in the crap on how Europe is "built on values" _-)).
In Response

by: Luigi from: Riccione, Italy
July 25, 2014 08:45
Lives lost, territory grabbed, drunken idiots armed. If you give auto keys to a drunk, and he kills, are you not responsible?

Enough evidence is there for a trial, perhaps bringing the drunk person on the radio to court. Instead of us deciding, perhaps the "brave" fighter will show himself? Rather than cast stones, please let a real court decide. Present the person who claimed to have shot down the plane. We can hear him speak?

Maybe he can tell us who gave him the weapon he used to kill.

by: Simon Gunson from: New Zealand
August 09, 2014 02:43
I have seen an image of the cockpit wall on the captain's side beneath his side windscreen. It is perforated with buckshot holes. Presumably the Captain's body has ball bearings inside consistent with the BUK warhead, but we don't know thqat because although the captain was strapped in his seat and the seat was with the smashed cockpit wreckage, these evil disgusting pro-Russian separatists have removed the Captain's body to hide the evidence. they have also sawn off half the cockpit structure and taken it away for the same reason.

The true evil in this situation is President Putin authorised the arming of an undisciplined separatist organisation with a missile system capable of shooting down airliners in civil airspace and did so without warning ICAO member airlines of the danger.

That is an act of murder... not an act of war.

About #UkraineUnspun

The information war is in full swing in the tense standoff between Ukraine and Russia. In an attempt to present a clearer picture, #UkraineUnspun will unravel information coming from Russian and Ukrainian media, politicians and activists. Written by Glenn Kates and contributors from RFE/RL.

Follow the hashtag #UkraineUnspun on Twitter and let us know what we should be covering -- or to weigh in on any of our stories. Or write us at

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