A Preliminary Assessment – From the OSCE Mission

Mish recently posted about the German aviation expert Peter Haisenko, who claimed that the photographic evidence from the cockpit parts of flight MH 17 suggested that the plane must have been downed by air-to-air fire, not a surface-to-air missile.

The photographic evidence consisted inter alia of this high resolution picture of what was left of the cockpit. The decisive point according to Haisenko was the shape of the holes (round) and the fact that the metal was bent outward in several places (according to Haisenko, evidence of high caliber bullets entering the cockpit on one side,  traversing it and exiting on the other side). Haisenko argued that missile shrapnel would leave different marks.

Mish reasonably concluded that non-experts cannot really confirm whether these claims have merit. However, a very interesting recent interview with someone from the OSCE mission examining the crash site has recently turned up in this context. 

To our knowledge this interview went unreported in the Western mainstream media so far (which never fail to report claims made by the Kiev government, no matter how dubious they are – see this article by William Boardman who inter alia dissects a poorly sourced article in the WSJ – see also below).

We find the fact that this went unreported in the Western mainstream press almost more interesting than what the man is saying. He is seemingly confirming Haisenko's claims, while allowing that a final expert assessment remains to be awaited – so this is not yet definitive.

One thing is absolutely certain though: this version of events would fly in the face of everything Kiev and Washington have so far claimed about the incident – the storyline also promoted in the mainstream press with few or no questions asked. Given that multiple sources seem to confirm that Ukrainian war planes were actually shadowing MH 17, this would certainly be a piquant development, to put it mildly:


OSCE monitor notes there is evidence of machine gun fire in MH 17's fuselage, but “no evidence of a missile strike”. Oops.


A watchful eye will need to be kept on this, especially as the Kiev government – or rather someone from its “National Security and Defense Council”, which is led by right-wing nationalist Andrey Paruby, the co-founder of the “Socialist-Nationalist Party” (today known as Svoboda) with Oleg Tagnybok – asserted the following according to the WSJ:


“Ukrainian authorities said Monday that data retrieved from the black boxes aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 showed the plane was destroyed by "massive explosive decompression" caused by shrapnel from a missile.

The alleged cause of the downing of the civilian passenger jet was revealed by Col. Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, and hasn't been confirmed by European officials who have been analyzing the data on the plane's flight recorders.”


(emphasis added)

As the article notes further, the black boxes (which the rebels, who seemed mainly concerned that the government in Kiev didn't get its hands on them, handed over voluntarily) are analyzed in the UK, and are actually unlikely to provide much evidence on the cause of the crash, because they are outdated models. But “Kiev knows”? How?

Truth is always the first casualty of war, so one may assume that all parties to the conflict are lying blatantly and often. Some are just not very good at it, even though our press doesn't seem to notice most of the time.


LysenkoCol. Andrey Lysenko, Kiev's National Security and Defense Council's media spokesman.

(Photo credit: screenshot by uacrisis.org)




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