On September 10, Ukraina.ru outlet — a joint project of notorious Russian journalist Dmitrii Kiselev and Ukrainian activist Alena Berezovska, known for her close relations with Viktor Yanukovich — published a report in which it is stated that the Malaysian Boeing had not been downed with “Buk”, but by S-125 (NATO classification — SA-3).

Ukraina.ru website screenshot

Ukraina.ru website screenshot

Such conclusion was made from the answer of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany (for some reason Ukraina.ru called it a “memorandum”) to the request from several Bundestag members on September 9.

“On July 17, two NATO AWACS were detected over Poland and Romania. They were observing Ukraine and monitoring air defence activity, including radars and target acquisition systems. Answering the question about air defence activity on July 17 when MH17 had been downed, the German officials stated: ‘Both AWACS planes detected air defence signals which were identified as surface-to-air missile system SA-3, and one more radar signal, which could not be identified,’ ” – wrote Ukraina.ru.

Ukraina.ru website screenshot

Ukraina.ru website screenshot

Further the outlet explains that SA-3, also known as S-125, “Niva” and “Pechora” is very different from “Buk” in terms of appearance and signals, so the spy planes could not confuse them.

The article ends with the conclusion that the answer from German government “refutes the accusations that the militias downed МН17 using ‘Buk'”.

Ukraina.ru website screenshot

Ukraina.ru website screenshot

This news was further spread by Russian mass media. Moskovskii Komsomolets, Vesti.ru, Komsomolskaia Pravda and a number of others.

Kiselev dedicated to this a significant part of his Vesti nedeli program:

Yet, these declarations are manipulations and suppression of facts. To understand it, one would need to read a bit more of the talks between German MPs with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, published in the document, in particular, answers to questions 13 and 14.

 The screenshot of the document, published by German Ministry of Foreign Affairs


The screenshot of the document, published by German Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Translation:

Question

What do radar observations from AWACS show?

Answer

Board MH-17 was monitored by two AWACS planes, which were operating in accordance with the precaution measures of NATO for the Eastern partners within their orbits, which is in their flight areas over Poland and Romania, also with the help of the radar and MH-17 transponder. Radar data of MH-17 disappeared at 14:52 CET along with MH-17 disappearing from AWACS’ radars.

Question

What data did AWACS collect about the air defence activity and the surface-to-air and air-to-air missile systems activity in the area, from which MH-17 could have been attacked and what further signals did AWACS record?

Answer

Within their reach AWACS recorded signals of one air defence system and one unidentified radar signal. The air defence signal was automatically identified by AWACS as surface-to-air missile complex SA-3 — the signal, which is regularly recorded in this region. It is important to note that AWACS were receiving the radar data within their reach. The reach can be clarified by the time MH-17 disappeared from AWACS radars: 14:52 CET. Summer CET is UTC+2, so according to UTC standard it was 12:52 — half an hour before the tragedy, which happened at 13:21 UTC.

Now let us take a look at the flight monitoring system flightradar24. Acording to it, at 12:52 board MH-17 was over Globino village in Poltava Oblast.

flightradar24.com website screenshot

flightradar24.com website screenshot

Let us take a look at the map The distance between Globino village and Snezhnoie village in the Donetsk Region, near which the catastrophe happened, is 430 km.

Yandex.Maps screenshot

Yandex.Maps screenshot

Now we check specifications for SA-3. The max range for its missiles is 32 km. “Buk” has similar specifications.

Therefore, the SA-3 complex, detected by NATO AWACS, as any other object they could have detected, was to the West and out of the zone, from which the board was attacked over the Snezhnoie village in the Donetsk Region.