Russian Missile Maker: MH-17 Shot Down by Buk M-1 Missile System

In regards to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17, this website wrote In July, 2014 that AP journalists had seen a Buk M-1 missile system being transported in Ukraine at the town of Snizhne:

“According to the Huffington Post:  ‘…it was hard to miss the bulky missile system, also known as a Buk M-1. It left deep tread marks in the asphalt as it rumbled by in a small convoy.’”

“Apparently the vehicles stopped in front of journalists from The Associated Press.

“A man wearing unfamiliar fatigues and speaking with a distinctive Russian accent checked to make sure they weren’t filming.

Boden-Luft-Raketentransport BUK mit gestohlener Zugmaschine (Foto: Paris Match)

“The convoy later moved on, destination unknown in the heart of eastern Ukraine’s pro-Russia rebellion.

“Three hours later, people six miles (10 kilometers) west of Snizhne heard loud noises. and then they saw pieces of twisted metal — and bodies— fall from the sky.”

So, it appeared last July that the rebels in eastern Ukraine were in possession of a Buk M-1 missile launcher.

Recently, the Financial Times wrote:

“Russian weapons manufacturer Almaz-Antey has confirmed that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Buk missile system as suggested by the west, but said the rocket came from Ukrainian military stocks.

“The state-owned company presented what it said were the findings of an expert investigation as it seeks to challenge European Union sanctions in the EU’s General Court.

“At a rare press conference on Tuesday, company officials said if the Boeing was shot down by an air defence system, it could only have been a Buk-M1. ‘We have irrefutable proof that the Ukrainian Armed Forces have missiles of this type,’ said Yan Novikov, the company’s director-general.”

“Analysis of publicly-available pictures of the wreckage indicates that the missile was a Buk M1 series with a M38M1 warhead, CEO Yan Novikov told reporters, according to the TASS news agency and English-language news site, Sputnik,” writes NBC News.

So now, a person from the company that makes the Buk missile system is claiming that the plane MH-17 could have only been shot down by a Buk M-1 missile system.

Could pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine have stolen a Buk M-1 system from Ukraine and used it shoot down MH-17?

According to The New York Times, On June 29, the official news agency RIA Novosti quoted a separatist from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic saying that pro-Russia militants had “assumed control of A-1402 military base,” equipped with “Buk mobile surface-to-air missile systems.”

The New York Times also wrote, “As Jonathan Landay, a national security correspondent for McClatchy, pointed out, Russian state media had trumpeted the capture of ‘a Ukrainian anti-air military installation’ in the region…”

So, pro-Russian rebels had captured the Ukrainian A-1402 military base, which had Buk missile systems.  Ukraine had Buk M-1 missile systems.

The publication Paris Match claimed to have photographs of a Buk system that was being transported on a truck that was stolen in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.

So, is it going too far to ask if it is possible that rebels from eastern Ukraine captured a Buk M-1 missile system and then used it?

(Updated article)

Issue Or Non-Issue? One Of Hillary’s Big Benefactors Is Ukrainian With Trade Links with Iran

The Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk, 54, has courted the Clintons for at least nine years – in the United States, the Alps and Ukraine, states Newsweek.

Earlier this year, he was confirmed as the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation, whose aims include the creation of “economic opportunity and growth.”

Pinchuck also has connections to the Tony Blair Foundation and was its biggest single donor in 2013.

He is the fourth richest man in Ukraine and owns Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors.

Newsweek has seen declarations and documents from Ukraine that show a series of shipments from Interpipe to Iran in 2011 and 2012, including railway parts and products commonly used in the oil and gas sectors.

Among a number of invoices for products related to rail or oil and gas, one shipment for $1.8m (1.7m) in May 2012 was for “seamless hot-worked steel pipes for pipelines” and destined for a city near the Caspian Sea.

Clinton’s political enemies are likely to seize on news that Pinchuck is a major benefactor to the Clinton Foundation and has been trading with Iran and may be in breach of U.S. sanctions imposed on the country, according to Newsweek.

Newsweek states that U.S. sanctions laws are complex and, in certain areas, ill-defined.  Interpipe may qualify for penalties due to the mere presence on American soil of North American Interpipe Inc, its United States subsidiary.

The US authorities can also penalize non-American subsidiaries with no base in the US at all which it judges to be working counter to its foreign policy, as happened to Zhuhai Zhenrong, a Chinese oil company, in 2012.

So be sure to watch for the new “scandal” on FOX !

MSNBC: The Ukrainian Front Line


According to MSNBC, Pro-Russian separatists are threatening to break the cease-fire in Ukraine.

The news site Vocativ traveled to the town of Mariupol to find out what’s happening on the front lines.

Wikipedia states that Mariupol is in southeastern Ukraine, situated on the north coast of the Sea if Aziv at the mouth of the Kalmius river.

It is the tenth-largest city in Ukraine and the second largest in the Donetsk region.  The population is 461,810 (2013 est.).  Mariupol was founded on the site of a former Cossack encampment named Kalmius.

Malta and Azerbaijan To Develop LNG, Oil Hub: More Energy Independence For The Region?

File Image: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania-Hungary (AGRI) Project

Malta and Azerbaijan have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development of a LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) hub which would serve for local and international markets, reports the Times of Malta.

The MOU targets “strategic collaboration” in the oil and gas sector as part of the government’s vision to transform energy and petroleum sectors into key value added economic activities, and both sides identified a number of key areas, according to

The European Union is also looking southwards to develop a “southern gas corridor” for natural gas from Azerbaijan to fuel the European mainland.

More here

Talks Produce Ukraine Peace Deal: Will The U.S. Scuttle The Agreement?

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures as he …

In exchange for a ceasefire and pullback of heavy weapons, Ukraine would trade broad autonomy in the east in a new agreement worked out in Minsk Thursday.  Kiev would get back control of its Russian border by the end of 2015 under a the peace deal worked out in all-night negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, according to the AP.

The deal was full of issues that could derail its implementation, however.

When they announced the plan, Russia and Ukraine differed over what exactly they had agreed to in the talks, including the status of Debaltseve, a key town now under rebel siege.  Putin said the rebels consider the Ukrainian forces there surrounded and expect them to surrender, while Ukraine says its troops have not been blocked.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said there was no agreement on full autonomy or federalization for eastern Ukraine, a longtime demand of Russia, which wants that to maintain its leverage over Ukraine and prevent its neighbor from ever joining NATO.

The deal also requires the Ukrainian parliament to give wide powers to the eastern regions as a condition for restoring Ukraine’s full control over its border with Russia — a provision certain to trigger heated debate in Kiev.

Uncertainty remained even on the cease-fire, as Putin admitted he and Poroshenko disagreed on the situation at the government-held town of Debaltseve, Debaltseve is a key transport hub between the rebels’ two main cities of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The new deal envisions a 50- to 140-kilometer (31- to 87-mile) wide buffer zone as both parties pull back heavy artillery and rocket systems from the front line, depending on their caliber.

The withdrawal should begin no later than the second day after the cease-fire becomes effective and should be completed within two weeks.

The rebel regions, which held their own elections last fall that Ukraine and the West declared a sham, are obliged to hold a new local vote under the Ukrainian law.

In a key concession to Russia, the deal says the restoration of Ukrainian control over its eastern border with Russia could be completed only by the end of 2015 and on the condition that Ukraine conducts constitutional reform granting wide powers to the eastern regions, including the right to form their own police and to trade freely with Russia.

“It was not the best night in my life. But the morning, I think, is good, because we have managed to agree on the main things despite all the difficulties of the negotiations,” Putin told reporters.

Hollande said he and Merkel are committed to helping verify the cease-fire in Ukraine, hailing the deal as a “relief to Europe.”

In Kiev, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said despite the peace talks, Russia sent 50 tanks and a dozen heavy weapons overnight into Ukraine.

“We will see whether there will be a cease-fire or not,” Tatyana Griedzheva said in Donetsk. “You have seen it with your own eyes, the kind of cease-fire that we have already had.”

Poroshenko stressed that the agreement contains “a clear commitment to withdraw all foreign troops, all mercenaries from the territory of Ukraine,” a reference to the Russian soldiers and weapons that Ukraine and the West say Russia has sent into eastern Ukraine to back the rebels.

Moscow has denied the accusations, saying any Russia fighters were volunteers, but the sheer number of sophisticated heavy weapons in the rebels’ possession belies the denial.

Merkel said Putin had exerted pressure on the separatists to get them to agree to the cease-fire.

In Brussels, European Union President Donald Tusk said the test of the Minsk agreement will be whether the weekend cease-fire holds in eastern Ukraine.

The French-German diplomatic offensive came as President Barack Obama considered sending U.S. lethal weapons to Ukraine, a move that European nations feared would only widen the hostilities.

The move could potentially scuttle the agreement.

Obama met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday but announced no decision on weapons, despite several senior officials in his administration coming out last week in favor of sending arms.

European countries have opposed sending arms to Kiev, arguing that would escalate the war, according to Al Jazeera.

The Russian leader said the peace deal also determines a division line from which heavy weapons will be pulled back. The line of division and other key provisions were in a document endorsed by rebel chiefs and the representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. That agreement was endorsed by the four European leaders, who issued a separate declaration.

“We were presented with various unacceptable conditions of withdrawal and surrender,” Poroshenko said. “We did not agree to any ultimatums and stated firmly that the cease-fire that is announced is unconditional.”

Rebel leaders lauded the agreement and said they’re willing to give Kiev another chance.

Rebels Continue Assault On Ukrainian Government Positions Ahead Of Peace Talks

More than 10 civilians and soldiers have been killed in rocket fire deep inside Ukrainian government-held territory on the eve of peace talks. The eastern headquarters of Ukraine’s military in Kramatorsk was hit as well as residential areas.

According to the BBC, urgent talks on ending the deadly conflict in Ukraine have begun on February 11th in the Belarusian capital Minsk, after a week of EU diplomacy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shook hands with Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko.

Russia has been accused of arming and reinforcing pro-Russian rebels in east Ukraine – a claim it denies.

Brokering the ceasefire bid are German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

The talks are set to focus on securing a ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons and creating a demilitarised zone.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel Meets With President Obama Regarding Ukraine: Diplomacy Or Weapons?


President Obama says he is looking into the option of sending lethal defensive weapons to Kyiv “if diplomacy fails” to solve the current crisis in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels have been fighting government troops.

Speaking after talks in Washington with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on February 9, Obama said he hoped that a diplomatic solution is still possible but that it is clear Russia has violated its commitments on Ukraine.

Merkel was in Washington on February 9 to discuss with Obama the French-German efforts to revive last year’s Minsk peace agreement, which collapsed amid intensified fighting in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s clear that they violated just about every commitment they made in the Minsk agreement. Instead of withdrawing from eastern Ukraine, Russian forces continued to operate there, training separatists and helping to coordinate attacks. Instead of withdrawing its arms, Russia has sent in more tanks and armored personnel carriers and heavy artillery,” said Obama.

Merkel has repeately made made clear she opposes supplying Kyiv with lethal arms.

She admitted diplomatic efforts were largely unsuccessful, but said that they would continue.

“I’ve always said that I don’t see a military solution to this conflict, but we have to put all our efforts into bringing about a diplomatic solution,” Merkel said.

What can stop the conflict escalating in Ukraine, diplomacy or weapons?  Western leaders will make the final decision after peace talks in Minsk on Wednesday.

Jordan Unleashes Wrath On ISIS

Days after news emerged that ISIS had burned a captive Jordanian pilot to death, Jordan hit back, and vows to do more, according to CNN.

Fighter jets did airstrikes Thursday, then did a fly-over at the home of the slain 27-year-old pilot, Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, in the village of Ay in Karak governorate.

“This is just the beginning and you shall know who the Jordanians are,” the armed forces said in a statement on state TV.

They claimed they hit ISIS training centers, arms and ammunition depots: “All targets were completely destroyed and all the planes returned to their bases safely.”

The air mission was named “Moath the Martyr.”

State TV aired exclusive video footage of warplanes striking unspecified ISIS positions in Syria.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh later stressed to CNN that the airstrikes meant the beginning of his nation’s retaliation over the pilot’s death, but not the start of its fight against terrorism. He vowed to destroy ISIS.

There are other Middle Eastern nations taking part in the U.S.-led military coalition against ISIS. The air campaign continued with strikes elsewhere in Syria, including near Hasaka, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) northeast of Raqqa.

“We are upping the ante. We’re going after them wherever they are, with everything that we have. But it’s not the beginning, and it’s certainly not the end,” Judeh said.

The pilot’s father, Safi al-Kasasbeh, told CNN that King Abdullah II had promised him that Jordan would avenge his son’s death and bombard ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.

On Thursday, he said that the King told him 30 Jordanian fighter jets participated in the strikes.

Guardian: 30 Killed, 97 Wounded In Offensive In Eastern Ukraine


According to The Guardian: “Pro-Russian rebels announced a major new offensive in Ukraine on Saturday after missiles killed at least 30 people in Mariupol, a strategic city linking rebel territory with Russian-occupied Crimea.

The mayor’s office in Mariupol said 97 people were also wounded in the attack, which struck a crowded residential district early in the morning and then again shortly after midday.

Sources claim that Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko said on Friday that he had withdrawn from all peace talks with “pro-western leaders” in Kiev.

On Saturday he said his forces had started “an offensive against Mariupol” but did not accept direct responsibility for the earlier rocket attack.

The European Union condemned the attacks and warned that the resurgence in fighting would harm EU-Russia relations.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the attack “would inevitably lead to a further grave deterioration of relations between the EU and Russia.”,

The Chief Monitor of the U.N. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe for Ukraine, Ertuğrul Apakan, called for an immediate ceasefire.

“Ukraine and its people need and deserve peace. The parties must return to the negotiating table without further delay,” said Apakan.

Little Known War Crimes In Ukraine

Groups of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists have been committing executions in the rebel-held territories of Eastern Ukraine, according to a report from Amnesty International.  Evidence emerged last September in the local media of volunteer militias beheading their victims.

According to Newsweek, armed volunteers who refer to themselves as the Aidar battalion “have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions”, Amnesty said.

The organization has also published a report detailing similar alleged atrocities committed by pro-Russian militants, highlighting the brutality of the conflict which has claimed over 3,000 lives.

Amnesty’s statement came before images of what appeared to be the severed heads of two civilians’ started circulating on social media, identified by Russian news channel NTV as the heads of rebel hostages.

Shortly after, Kiev-based news network Pravilnoe TV reported that it had spoken with one of the mothers of the victims who confirmed her son was a rebel, captured during fighting in Donetsk.

She said she had received her son’s head in a wooden box in the mail, blaming nationalist volunteers for her son’s death. Newsweek has not been able to verify the report independently.

There are over 30 pro-nationalist, volunteer battalions similar to Aidar, such as Ukraina, DND Metinvest and Kiev 1, all funded by private investors.

The Aidar battalion is publicly backed by Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, who also funds the Azov, Donbas, Dnepr 1, Dnepr 2 volunteer battalions, operating under orders from Kiev. Last spring Kolomoyskyi offered a bounty of $10,000 of his own money for each captured Russian “saboteur.”

Russia is calling for an international investigation into the discovery of the burial sites of those allegedly executed.

The top authority at Russia’s presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, called on the authorities to do everything to “ensure an independent international probe” and “let international human rights activists and journalists” gain access to the site in Eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

The burial sites are near the Kommunar mine, 60 kilometers from Donetsk, and were discovered by self-defense forces.

Four bodies have been exhumed, including those of three women. Their hands were tied, at least one of the bodies was decapitated, self-defense fighters said.

The four bodies were found in September. Self-defense forces believe there might be other burials in the area.