Russian Defense Ministry Asks 10 Questions Regarding the Crash of MH17
July 20, 2014 • 3:53PM

The Russian Ministry of Defense continues to be up front in public statements about the MH17 crash. Yesterday the MoD issued a list of 10 questions to the Kiev authorities. These were announced in a televised interview by Deputy Defense Minister Anatoli Antonov with Rossiya-24 state TV.

According to Itar-Tass, Antonov accused Kiev of inaction on forming an international commission to investigate the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 on July 17. Antonov said that Kiev and Eastern governments were "already today trying to determine who is guilty in this situation: either we hear it is the Russian Federation or its armed forces, or militiamen in the southeast of Ukraine. "It seems to be a continuation of the information war unleashed against the Russian Federation already for many months, and we feel consequences of the war." The deputy defense minister addressed ten questions to Kiev, saying that answers to them "would allow all of us, not only in Russia, but in Western states and the East, in Asia, to try to find an answer to the main questions: What happened in the sky over Ukraine and what must be done to prevent it from recurring."

The ten questions are:

  • 1. The Ukrainian authorities instantaneously determined who was to blame in the tragedy. Of course, in their opinion, it is the militias. What is the basis of these conclusions?
  • 2. Can official Kiev give all details related to the use of Buk systems in the combat zone, and especially answer why these systems were deployed, given that the militias have no aircraft?
  • 3. What are the reasons for the inaction of the Ukrainian authorities on forming an international commission, and when will such a commission start to function? The international community wants to know.
  • 4. Are representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces prepared to submit to international experts documentation on the inventory of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles installed on their anti-aircraft weapons? This is a very important questions, which will help us determine what systems were used against the Malaysian Boeing.
  • 5. Will air control data be provided to the international commission on the movements of Ukrainian Air Force planes on the day of the tragedy?
  • 6. Why did Ukrainian air controllers allow the plane to deviate to the north, in the direction of the so-called anti-terrorist operation being conducted by official Kiev against the population of southeastern Ukraine.
  • 7. Why was the air space above the combat zone not completely closed to civilian aviation, especially since the region in question lacked a continuous field of radar navigation means? [A reference to the fact that the modern communications systems of Donetsk airport have been knocked out during fighting.]
  • 8. Can official Kiev comment at this time on the report that appeared in social media, allegedly from a Spanish-national air traffic controller working in Ukraine, that the Boeing that was shot down was under escort by two Ukrainian military aircraft?
  • 9. Why has the SBU begun to work with the recordings of communications between air traffic control and the Boeing crew and with Ukrainian radar data, without the involvement of international representatives?
  • 10. In what way have the lessons of the previous, similar tragedy, the case of the Russian Tu-154 over the Black Sea, been taken into account? [This was the October 2001 crash of Tel Aviv-Novosibirsk flight of Sibir Airlines, which was downed by a Ukrainian missile during training, killing 78 people.] In that case, the Ukrainian leadership denied, until the last minute, any role of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in that tragedy — until we presented incontrovertible evidence and proved who was the real culprit in that tragedy.

Kerry, Lavrov Agree to Influence Kiev Regime, Donbass Militias To Support an International Investigation into MH17 Disaster

According to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement reported by Itar-Tass, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed during a phone call yesterday, that all of the evidence from the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 should be preserved and made available to an international investigation. The ministry said: "During the frank discussion, the minister and the secretary, without mincing words, exchanged assessments and arguments and agreed on the main point that it is necessary to ensure an absolutely impartial, independent and open international investigation of the Malaysian plane crash in Ukraine on July 17. The circumstances of this accident should be investigated with the leading role of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and with the participation of all those who are ready to help to establish the truth."

Kerry and Lavrov also agreed that the parties to the Ukrainian conflict should return to the Geneva agreement of April 17 which call for "putting an immediate end to all violence and for the commencing an inclusive, transparent and accountable constitutional process involving all regions of Ukraine."Lavrov and Kerry agreed to use the influence of Russia and the United States on the warring Ukrainian sides to prod them into moving in this direction. They stressed that the conflict in Ukraine could not be solved by military methods and could only be settled peacefully through a national consensus."

In a related development reported by USA Today, Ukrainian authorities and the anti-regime forces in southeastern Ukraine agreed to set up a security zone around the crash site and to allow the orderly removal of the bodies of the crash victims. The OSCE team that had arrived at the crash site, yesterday, reported that its access was blocked by militia forces, an accusation which has made headlines around the world, but, as has been noted, the OSCE team are not aviation accident investigators, but are simply part of the mission that has already been in the country.