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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Strela-10 Appears In Ukraine On July 2, 2014, On Road Which Leads To Russia
6 years
Stream: Strela-10
Publication: MH17

The 9k35 Strela-10 (NATO reporting name SA-13 'Gopher') is an armored, tracked, mobile anti-aircraft weapon designed for front-line combatants from short-range airborne threats. The weapon is often equipped with a PKT 7.62 mm machine gun, as it is designed to operate close to the front lines. It is designed to work either on its own or in conjunction with other anti-aircraft and/or radar systems.

 It was first seen on the battlefields of Ukraine in the hands of the Russian-backed fighters on July 2, 2014, when it was pictured driving through an intersection we now know is located in Lugansk, on the road to Krasnodon.

A wider picture:


If that intersection looks familiar it is because after Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17, 2014, The Interpreter and others worked to geolocate a video which reportedly showed a Buk missile launcher escaping back to Russia. According to the Ukrainian government, the video showed a Buk launcher, missing one missile, traveling to Russia "through Krasnodon" after MH17 was shot down.

We were able to prove that this video was taken in Lugansk, on a road that ultimately leads through Krasnodon and on to Russia. As you can see, the Strela-10 in the pictures above is moving away from the Russian border while the Buk pictured above is moving toward the border:


See The Interpreter's investigation here for more details.