U.S. outlines case against Russia on downed plane

Kerry: Russia is arming, training separatists but hasn't brought them under control
Associated Press
Jul 20, 2014


Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

"A buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence ... it's powerful here," said Secretary of State John Kerry, a former prosecutor, and it holds Russian-supported rebels in eastern Ukraine responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, with the Kremlin complicit in the deaths of nearly 300 passengers and crew members.

"This is the moment of truth for Russia," said Kerry, leveling some of Washington's harshest criticism of Moscow since the crisis in Ukraine began.

"Russia is supporting these separatists. Russia is arming these separatists. Russia is training these separatists, and Russia has not yet done the things necessary in order to try to bring them under control," he said.

In a round of television interviews, Kerry cited a mix of U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence and social media reports that he said "obviously points a very clear finger at the separatists" for firing the missile that brought the plane down, killing nearly 300 passengers and crew.

"It's pretty clear that this is a system that was transferred from Russia into the hands of separatists," he said.

Video of an SA-11 launcher, with one of its missiles missing and leaving the likely launch site, has been authenticated, he said.

An Associated Press journalist saw a missile launcher in rebel-held territory close to the crash site just hours before the plane was brought down Thursday.

"There's a buildup of extraordinary circumstantial evidence," Kerry said. "We picked up the imagery of this launch. We know the trajectory. We know where it came from. We know the timing, and it was exactly at the time that this aircraft disappeared from the radar. We also know from voice identification that the separatists were bragging about shooting it down afterward."

In one set of calls, said by Ukrainian security services to have been recorded shortly after the plane was hit, a prominent rebel commander, Igor Bezler, tells a Russian military intelligence officer that rebel forces shot down a plane.

Shortly before Kerry's television appearances, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, released a statement saying experts had authenticated the calls.

"Audio data provided to the press by the Ukrainian security service was evaluated by intelligence community analysts who confirmed these were authentic conversations between known separatist leaders, based on comparing the Ukraine-released internet audio to recordings of known separatists," the statement said.

A new set of recordings apparently made Friday also appears to implicate rebels in an attempted cover-up at the crash site.

In one exchange, a man identified as the leader of the rebel Vostok Battalion Alexander Khodakovsky states that two recording devices are being held by the head of intelligence of the insurgency's military commander. The commander is then heard to order the militiaman to ensure no outsiders, including an international observation team near the crash site at the reported time of the call, get hold of any material.

The man identified as Khodakovsky says he is pursuing inquiries about the black boxes under instructions from "our high-placed friends ... in Moscow."

In another conversation with a rebel representative at the crash site who reports finding an orange box marked as a satellite navigation box, Khodakovsky is purported to order that the object be hidden.

U.S. aviation safety experts say they are especially concerned the site will be "spoiled" if it cannot be quickly secured by investigators. Based on photographs, they say it is a very large debris field consistent with an in-flight explosion and the main evidence to be collected would be pieces of the missile.

Because the integrity of the plane and actions of the pilots are not an issue, the experts do not believe the flight recorders will yield much useful information.

U.S. and Ukrainian authorities have been at the forefront of accusations that the separatists, aided by Russia, are responsible, although other countries, including Australia and Britain have offered similar, if less definitive, assessments.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said in an unusual front-page piece in the Sunday Times that there is growing evidence that separatist backed by Russia shot down the aircraft.

"If President (Vladimir) Putin does not change his approach to Ukraine, then Europe and the West must fundamentally change our approach to Russia," Cameron wrote.

Putin and other Russian officials have blamed the government in Ukraine for creating the situation and atmosphere in which the plane was downed, but have yet to directly address the allegations that the separatists were responsible or were operating with technical assistance from Moscow.

In his interviews, Kerry accused Russia of "playing" a dual-track policy in Ukraine of saying one thing and doing another. That, he said, "is really threatening both the larger interests as well as that region and threatening Ukraine itself."

He lamented that the level of trust between Washington and Moscow is now at a low ebb, saying it "would be ridiculous at this point in time to be trusting" of what the Kremlin says.

Kerry also said the administration was hopeful that the incident would galvanize support in Europe for increasing sanctions on Russia over its overall actions in Ukraine.

"We hope this is a wake-up call for some countries in Europe that have been reluctant to move," Kerry said, noting that President Barack Obama had signed off on a new round of sanctions on Russia the day before the plane went down.

Kerry made his comments in appearance on five talk shows: CNN's "State of the Union," ''Fox News Sunday," CBS's "Face the Nation," NBC's "Meet the Press," and ABC's "This Week."



The Big Dog's back

The Repubs are so in love with Putin.


he is an impressive figure compared to our current president! i must wholeheartedly agree!


Lets just start WW3 now and get it over with.


i kinda doubt that telling things as they really are will cause a war. im not a big fan of either one, but putin is far more impressive than obama.


What about him "impresses" you?

2cents's picture

He fills the shoes of "Commander and chief"


By killing innocent people?

JudgeMeNot's picture

Liberals impress each other, but that's about it.

Bottom Line

"The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back."

Whose quote was that again? I thought Russia was our good buddy according to the hypocrite in chief. No need to give them a second thought.

Defend that one, drones.

The Big Dog's back

bush had a man crush on Putin. How soon you right wingnuts forget.


Re: "bush had a man crush on Putin."

So Pres. Obama didn't have a "man crush" and so he invaded The Crimea and the separatists shot down an airliner?

"Man crush"? So the "Down Low Club" is 'just' a nasty rumor? :)

The Big Dog's back

deuce pooh, google bush and putin. Disregard the porn sites that come up and look at the others.


What's Pres. Bush got to do with ANY of this?

Blo-dog: When in doubt, deflect and blather.

Bottom Line

Yeah exactly. Why would anyone even mention Bush? Or Clinton? Or Nixon? Oh wait I know. Because the current hypocrite in chief is so awful and indefensible they have to change the subject... Obama literally insulted a man in front of the country for trying to say that Russia warranted any worries.

The Big Dog's back

So bottom feeder, you're another putin fan too huh?

Bottom Line

Again, change the subject. Where did I say or imply that? Please show me. I said nothing even related to that. You really are sick.


I knew sooner or later the right wing wacko's would blame Obama for this !!


Can't prove it but Obama probably had something to Watergate.


As usual rottnrog!!!!!!!


What happened to John Kerry's face? He looks like Frankenstein.

JudgeMeNot's picture

With a face like that, is it any wonder we are the laughingstock of the world? Kerry walks into a bar. Bartender says "why the long face?"

The Big Dog's back

Oh gee, another right wingnut attacking someone's appearance rather than policy. bush looked like a monkey, so what. It was his policies I didn't like. cheney looked like darth vader before make-up, so what. It was also his policies I didn't like.


Re: "attacking someone's appearance,"

Or Pres. Obama as Alfred E. Neuman? :)



AHHHH...but when someone attacks Obama and his polices, they are called racists. Your comment here was golden.


That is just not true. People are called racist when they attack his ethnicity. You know like the gorilla guy or many other racist comments that have been made. Like I said before....who cares?

The Big Dog's back

Exactly deertracker. They don't even know what Obama's policies are.


Re: "They don't even know what Obama's policies are."

Not to worry, neither does he. He makes it up on the cuff.

Example: What's his foreign policy, economic policy (fill in the blank) this wk.?

The Big Dog's back

deuce pooh, go to Whitehouse.gov you might learn something.

JudgeMeNot's picture

Blo-dog: When in doubt, deflect and blather.


wow really? Even Eric Holder throws the race card when hes questioned on his lack of leadership.






Well, who put the race card in the deck? You!


Re: "race card in the deck? You!"

Sen. Obama threw it in back in '08 with his "typical white woman" crack, for which he then had to buy TV time in order to BS his way out of.



He had to explain what "typical" actually means to dummies like you. Race was an issue before he was born! Aren't you a typical white man?

Maybe not, you can out drink most!

The Big Dog's back

He hits that Kesslers hard.


Re: "He had to explain what 'typical'"

Yep! The Clintons were glad that he messed up and had to BS his way out of it.

"Typical"; yea white people are all alike just like blacks. lol

BINGO - race card!


"right wingnut attack..." rather than policy. Brilliant.

Really are you ...

We could send Norwalk's SRT military grade truck over there. With it being armored up and 6 wheel driven, the Russian seperatists should flee the area in an intimidated fashion.

The Big Dog's back
JudgeMeNot's picture

"The Rebels are hiding evidence, What are they hiding?"
Obama July 21 2014
Too bad the hypocrite cannot ask the same questions of Lois Lerner. It is time he quits pointing the sheep to look at Ukraine and starts focusing on the Rebels in our government who are targeting citizens based on political affiliation.

The Big Dog's back

You're on the wrong story done again. Being the carnival barker that you are, you could be a carnie.

JudgeMeNot's picture

Ukraine's largest private gas producer announced that it added R. Hunter Biden — the son of U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden — to its board of directors.

Thats right. Not only are they more corrupt than you know, they are more corrupt than the average person can comprehend.


Wrong story? Why should you or I care what goes on in Ukraine when we have the most corrupt admin in history targeting its own citizens here at home?
Remember,When the tables are turned you have no right to complain. You advocated for it.


I bet you're fun at parties as you sit in the corner with your dunce cap on and throw stones at people for your entertainment.

Darwin's choice

For all you obama bootlickers....

A little Chicago humor!!

I was driving through Illinois last night listening to a call-in program on WGN in Chicago. People were calling in all upset about the goat's head sent to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts at Wrigley Field.

Some guy called in from Sandusky and said, "Why are you all so upset cause someone sent a goat's head to Wrigley Field? Aren't you the guys that sent a horse's ass to the White House". "You bet they are!"

obama/still failing

Dr. Information

Hey, a downed plane.......ehhh, I'll wait until Monday to talk to the American people, I have a fundraiser that I have to go to.

Border issues? No my fault or problem however, I want 2 billion to throw at it but I won't send any troops down there.