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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Ukraine Liveblog Day 150: Ukrainian Troops Describe Grad Rocket Attack From Russia

Publication: Ukraine Liveblogs
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The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Video Shows Buk Missile System In Range Of Malaysian Jet
This video, shared with us by one of our readers but originally uploaded to the Russian social network Vkontakte, appears to show a vehicle, part of the Buk SAM System, moving through the streets of Snezhnoye earlier today.

That video has been geolocated. The conclusion is that it is in the center of Snezhnoye (map) and the vehicle appears to be headed south. This matches a geolocation done by the blog Ukraine at War.

This location is approximately 16 kilometers from the site of today's crash (see our new interactive map of the locations surrounding the crash site). Depending on the missile loaded into the Buk system, the system could engage an aircraft that was at a minimum of between 2 and 4 kilometers away and at a maximum of between 24 and 50 kilometers away that was flying at a maximum altitude of between 11km and 25km. We know that the aircraft was flying at rough 10km high, so if the missile was launched from Snezhnoye, the aircraft would have been in range with even the worst Buk missile equipped.

Associated Press journalists also spotted the Buk SAM system in the town of Snezhnoye (also known as Snizhne) today:

Igor Sutyagin, a research fellow in Russian studies at the Royal United Services Institute, said both Ukrainian and Russian forces have SA-17 missile systems - also known as Buk ground-to-air launcher systems.

Rebels had bragged recently about having acquired Buk systems.

Sutyagin said Russia had supplied separatists with military hardware but had seen no evidence "of the transfer of that type of system from Russia."

Earlier Thusday (sic), AP journalists saw a launcher that looked like a Buk missile system near the eastern town of Snizhne, which is held by the rebels.

In the report above they mention that the rebels were bragging about capturing Buk missiles. On June 29th there were articles published to this effect, but the stories seem to only be carried by Russian state-operated news agencies. The original source for the story appears to be TV Zvezda, the news agency for the Russian Ministry of Defense. It's not clear that the separatists ever captured Buks from the Ukrainian military or whether these stories were a front to explain how the rebels obtained such advance weaponry.

Earlier today we also posted a translation of a phone call leaked by the Ukrainian security services (SBU), reportedly between the separatist military commander Igor Bezler and Vasily Geranin, who is described as a colonel in the Russian Federation's GRU (main military intelligence). In the audio, the men say that the missile was fired from the Chernukhino roadblock, a separatist position between 20 and 24 kilometers north of the crash site, perhaps even less depending on the exact location of the checkpoint (map). Presumably, as the aircraft was traveling west to east, the aircraft would have been even closer to this checkpoint than that distance when it was originally hit. Regardless, 24km is still within the range of the Buk, even if armed with its lowest-capability missile.

At the end of the day, we cannot confirm this audio. We do not know whether the weapon in Snezhnoye was moving toward Chernukhino. What we do know is that any Buk between Chernukhino, Snezhnoye, and nearby Torez, would have been more than capable of knocking out a passenger plane, and Buk missiles were spotted both by residents and by journalists.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
UN Spokesman Killed In Malaysian Airlines Crash
The spokesman for the UN World Health Organization (WHO) was reportedly among the dead in today's Ukraine.

Huffington Post reports:

Glenn Thomas, a staff person at the World Health Organization, died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines MH 17, according to Dr. Haileyesus Getahun, Coordinator of the Global TB Program at the WHO.

The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Buk Spotted In Streets Of Snezhnoye Near Site Of Plane Crash?

A reader shares with us this picture reportedly taken today in Snezhnoye (or Snizhe), the town where a surface-to-air missile may have hit MH17 today.

207606_2.jpg

For comparison, an image of the BUK missile system posted on Wikipedia:

300px-Buk-M1-2_air_defence_system_in_201


The original news report appears to have been posted before the incident reportedly took place today.

The proposed location of where the picture was taken appears to be wrong, however, and we have not geolocated the image, though we continue to work to do so.

Another alleged picture of the Buk in Ukraine:

We'll work to learn more about these reports.
The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Another Conversation Between Separatists on Malaysian Airplane Leaked by SBU

Another conversation has been added on an updated YouTube video to those allegedly leaked from separatist leaders earlier by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) today regarding the downed Malaysian airliner.

We previously translated the first two here. The Interpreter has a translation of the third one:

Fighter: Regarding that plane downed in the area of Snezhny-Torez.

Mykola Kozitsin: Yes.

Fighter: It turned out to be a passenger flight. It fell in the area of Grabovo, there is a sea of corpses of women and children. Now the Cossacks are looking at all this.

Fighter: They're broadcasting on TV that this is apparently an AN-26, a Ukrainian, a transport plane, but "Malaysian Airlines" is written on it. What was it doing on the territory of Ukraine?

M. Kozitsin: That means they were bringing in spies, I don't know. You see.

Fighter: Yes, sir.

M. Kozitsin: What the f**k were they flying in here for, there's a war on.

Fighter: I understand.





The Interpreter
@Interpreter_Mag
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Interpreter_Mag
Separatists Say They'll Cooperate With International Investigation Into Malaysian Airlines Crash
Russian Spring, a pro-separatist information portal, had the following statement from self-proclaimed prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Aleksandr Boroday (translated by The Interpreter):

DPR Prime Minister Aleksandr Boroday has officially confirmed the fact of the crash of the passenger plane near Torez. An investigative group from the DPR's Prosecuter General is working at the scene of the crash. The DPR is interested in an objective investigation of the incident and is prepared to permit foreign investigators to the scene of the crash.

Aleksandr Boroday believes that this is a provocation by Ukrainian forces. The DPR does not have the anti-aircraft weapons capable of downing a passenger plane flying at cruising altitude. The "ceiling"  of our anti-aircraft weapons is 2.5 km. The cruising altitude of a passenger flight is significantly higher.

Moreoever, at the LPR press service, commenting on reports from the Ukrainian authorities on the possible involvement of the imlitia in the downing of the Malaysian airline, they reported that the LPR army does not have the anti-aircraft BUK system capable of reaching such targets.
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