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Possible new sighting of MH17 Buk convoy on July 17th 2014 in Ukraine

May 12, 2016

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Translations: Русский

On May 3rd 2016, a new video of what appears to be the July 17th 2014 Buk convoy was uploaded to YouTube, and was on May 11th discovered by Twitter users @amishjihadi and @loondale. In the video, there are several details visible which seem to indicate this is the same Buk TELAR that has been recorded moving towards the suspected Buk missile launch site, thus associating it with the downing of MH17.

At this time, it’s not known what the origin of this video is and why it was uploaded only now, but the video seems to be dashcam footage, which based on the watermark visible has been cropped with a video editing program called CropiPic.

In the video at 0:47, the same white truck from earlier Buk transport videos can be seen. The truck has the Buk TELAR loaded on the back, and there appear to be four missiles mounted, with a camouflage netting covering them.


At 0:48, the side of the unit can be seen, which shows the same white marks that have been seen on the previous close-up pictures of the TELAR.

Comparison of features of Buk 332 in Makiivka (top left), Alexeyevka (top right),and Donetsk (bottom)

Comparison of features of Buk 332 in Makiivka (top left), Alexeyevka (top right), and Donetsk (bottom)

An interesting detail that provides further validity to the link to the previous videos are the escort vehicles that can be seen before and after the truck. Bellingcat has previously reported about the vehicles, and we can direct matches: there is a Toyota RAV4 in front of the truck, with a UAZ-469AZ and VW Transporter following it.

Comparison of videos from July 15 (top) and July 17 (bottom) in eastern Ukraine

Comparison of videos from July 15 (top) and July 17 (bottom) in eastern Ukraine

The description in the video claims the location to be Makiivka, east of Donetsk. There are details visible in the video which make geolocation of this video possible. The clearest landmarks are the gas station visible from 0:50 onwards, and the traffic circle towards the end of the video. The Parallel (Параллель) chain signs are clearly visible. In Makiivka, through Google Maps we can find one location which is located near a traffic circle, giving a good reference point for further validation.

Google Map screenshot of Makiivka

Google Maps screenshot of Makiivka

View from video, in which the fuel station, roundabout, and lines of trees are all visible

View from video, in which the fuel station, roundabout, and lines of trees are all visible

More detailed geolocations have been completed by other open source researchers, including Anton Pavlushko and @DajeyPetros (also known as Putin@War/Ukraine@War). The geolocations reveal that the convoy is headed eastward in southern Makiivka.

Local map of the convoy's location and direction eastward, and larger route in eastern Ukraine (bottom)

Local map of the convoy’s location and direction eastward, and larger route in eastern Ukraine (bottom)

Additionally, as found by InformNapalm’s Anton Pavlushko, the roundabout and billboard visible at the end of the video matches that of the roundabout just west of Kapitalnaya Park.

Webpage advertising the billboard at roundabout

Webpage advertising the billboard at roundabout

The time of the video can be confirmed to be in mid-July 2014 as well. As pointed out by Twitter user @WowihaY, the fuel prices in the video match that of a page archived on July 18, 2014 on the webpage of the fuel station in the video.



Fuel prices, archived on July 18, 2014 on fuel station's website

Fuel prices, archived on July 18, 2014 on fuel station’s website

The visible shadows indicate that the video was taken in the late morning, which is in line with the anticipated time frame of the transport. The exact time of the video has yet to be determined.

The importance of this sighting is that it provides further insight to the actual route taken by the Buk convoy. A railway bridge on the H21 road at 48.033594 37.950988 makes the direct route through Makiivka difficult due to the height of the Buk transport, so it seems the convoy diverted slightly from the main road in Makiivka to work around this problem via a southern route through Avtotransportna St. This is the same route taken by a heavy transport convoy on July 15th, where the same escort vehicles were present.

In summary, the new video provides interesting new details about the July 17th 2014 Buk convoy composition and route. Further investigation and validation into the sighting and its implications is warranted.

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    • oui oui

      “Lightpole on at one side of the road” you have one lightpole in the middle of the screen , you can see it’s height and you say that this light is the lightpole on the other side of the road , don’t say that , it’s the reflect of the sun on a metalic band at the same height that the one on the nearest lightpole , can you see it sherlock holmes

    • oui oui

      “And is the car who made the dashcam Makeevka video, cutt off the image?”
      it’s not the same road

    • kimmoke

      Interesting summary of critics. Perhaps some of it is even valid.

      In general, problem in those critics is that they are usually from sources that are more interested in trying to defame other people, rather than trying to find truth behind MH17. But after taking that into account, it’s ok material to read, to see what “the other side” has.

    • Mr.Bushkin

      The “OOPS XD” for the image from around 0:48 in the new video is indeed funny.

    • Andrea

      The 0:48 shadow is interesting…
      But if you put the speed at 0.25 and scroll slowly you can see that in some frames that shadow is actually casted.
      Now, i’m far to be someone who can say if that is possible or impossible, but if we consider the pretty low resolution from the dashcam and all the possible inconsistencies caused by such a thin object being lit by the sun in a day in which the sky was not perfectly clear*… won’t consider it as a reliable proof of manipulation

      *sun is not a punctiform light source even in cristalline-sky days… big objects cast clear shadows anyway, but thin ones may be affected if the shadow is not very close to the object itself.

      • Andrea

        You can also go to the very end of the video (1:11), where many thin objects (part of some poles) are shown, the same thing happens: at the beginning you can’t see a shadow that then appears as the camera gets closer…

      • stranger

        I have to agree here, a thin object may not cast a well defined shadow at such distance. There is such thing as light diffraction. It might be affected by video compression as well. That doesn’t mean the video is genuine, just that argument is not very convincing.

          • stranger

            Not sure what do you mean. Your both comments were full of riddles.
            From the legal prospective there is burden of proof and it is on the accuser.
            What makes me wonder now, who are those Amish-Jihadi and especially loon-dale by your link to twitter in real life? They were first to find that new Buk video on the internet. Take a look at their Twitter before waving away this question as irrelevant.

          • stranger

            Look here please, who’s found the buk video for BC:

            @ loondale – 77.1K tweets, all for the same topic, since joined in June 2014

            How much working time per year:
            365 – 110 (weekends and holidays) = 255 working days
            255 * 8 = 2040 working hours or 122,400 minutes

            122,400 working minutes per year * 2 years / 77,100 total tweets = 3 minutes per tweet
            1 tweet every 3(!) minutes of working time on average for 2 years!

            Does it include tweets where they were mentioned by others, or just those written by them, i’m not sure? Anyway a lot and all for the same topic. Plus several tightly related other accounts doing exactly (just literally exactly) the same.

            Other people calls her and several related accounts ‘anti-russian individuals’, they reply with pro-putin minors, etc etc etc.

            If Belingcat is collaborating with obviously biased sources that drops a shadow to what BC is doing as well, even though BC is trying to be transparent and that is appreciated.

            Just one question who is financing such informational tweeter campaigns, because that obviously should take full-working-time of many related people?

          • stranger

            Aric, the last thing, please. I appreciate what BC is doing, at least from a technical prospective. I believe you are not quite objective, but that’s a different question. May be i was too suspicious with a number of questions. But as for those twitter accounts:

            @ loondale
            @ MJoyce2244
            @ Boggled102

            – they are related to each other and share the same topics
            – all of them show no any other personal or professional life interests
            – all of them actively 90% time engage into conversations with other people including known politicians/journalists, and defend a strictly targeted objective
            – you can trace timing by tweets timestamps, that actually is a full 8-hour working day from the dawn to the dusk
            – they keep a high rate of tweets per hour for months and years, one tweet per 3-4 minutes

            I don’t know for sure to claim anything, but doesn’t that look strange? For me it looks like full-time and hence paid job of a coordinated team of people. I can believe somebody may have a lot of free time after retirement or on vacations, etc, but not everybody and not all the time.

            For example your-own account doesn’t look the same, it looks completely different, neither Elliot’s. Do you know those people personally to claim I’m ins-ane and those are actual real people just defending their civil position? Otherwise, how do you know?

            I really have nothing against that. Just when people always see Olg1no trolls everywhere and don’t see anything much closer from the other side. They just need to disclose: yes, we are ‘information resistance’ spetsnaz, supported by some ‘ABC fund’ or whatever. You said you are supported by Google, and there are no any questions, it is clear you are worth Google support, not without other problems, but whatever.

            And Boggled is our Boggled, one of the top bloggers here, where is he btw. Boggled, if you read it could you please just dispel those stup1d suspicions, just show off as a real person?

            PS Aric, I would still ask you not to sink to personal insults, please. If you think i’m not desirable at this site I will leave

          • boggled

            Hello stranger, Happy to see you
            If you notice, my Twitter handle was started this year
            I am new to it and learning as I go.
            I used to be just happy commenting anonymously on various articles and forum boards.
            The name Boggled did start here at BC FYI
            Just a name of many I picked.

            I am in no way connected to MJ, Loondale, AJ, or others.
            They are people I followed who have similar POV.
            The only connection is we follow each other
            AFAIK there is no direct personal, face to face, working, or even over the phone connection with any of the people I follow.
            Except for the BC investigator team members I follow.
            They must see each other from time to time to discuss articles

            Have I asked if they contact each other in another way? Nope
            Did they offer to tell me? Nope
            Did they let something slip that might suggest a personal/working relationship? Again nope

            So as far as I know, none have direct relationships.
            Probably all got tired of the BS from the Olgino factory that flooded English forums and comment boards.
            Just doing a little personal mission in a pursuit of knowledge around 2 very serious issues, Ukraine and MH17.

            And if you notice, there are a lot of those from the Kremlin defender camp that still post nonsense about a SU25 causing the damage on MH17.

            I am glad others were there to prevent/challenge the corruption that the Olgino brats bring there.
            It is unfortunate that instead of the hashtag being a place to discuss what happened rationally and logically, it is being abuse by those with some denial of reality.

            IF those nutcases were allowed to pollute the hashtag unchallenged (clearly in the Kremlin’s interest to sow confusion) who knows what the end result would be.
            I am glad MJ and Loondale are there attempting to produce the actual official facts relating to the disaster.
            At least what the public knows at this point.

            I am curious why you point us out??
            When there are CLEARLY also those from the Kremlin camp that tweet as often sowing disinformation with an obvious disinfo agenda?

            Obviously you can see quite a few have no logic at all in their posts.

            I will post and try to talk to an Olgino nutcase with logic and prove them wrong about a SU25
            (for the fifth time proving their tweet article link was lie)
            and think I convince them and get them to agree
            then the following day they are back reposting the same BS they did before.

            Маскировка hard at work

            AS far as my posting times, it varies, You can catch me there at midnight, 5am, noon, 4 pm, 9 pm
            my time….it varies.
            Also days of the week vary too.

            So why do you signal us out in your observation but do not acknowledge the full on Маскировка that is being practiced by the Kremlin defenders?

            As far as the MH17 hashtag goes, you have a few different people-

            Kremlin defenders- that make have way logical statements
            Kremlin paid Olgino disinfo agents-lots of these
            The truth army – that defends and accepts the ‘official’ evidence since those are reported facts
            Victim family members from time to time
            People who just want to share new information as it is breaking

            & finally – People who come there asking questions (researchers) – very few
            —I like to think I am one that is trying to learn and answer the few questions I have left with my own research
            There are a few there that are doing their own research, and we have our own private debates and discussions about info
            I also try to do my part to be part of the ‘Fact army’ as well by challenging some of the stupid BS and incorrect disinfo posted.
            I am not good at it, but many of the Olgino crew do not like me.

            From what I have seen, none mentioned are getting paid for making Tweets.
            It is some personal quest for each of them from what I have learned
            research, sharing, debating, and squashing disinfo agents

            So there you go, you know now as much as I know and observe.
            Take from it what you will.

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            Hi Boggled, I appreciate your so detailed answer. But my point was, you and loondale have an almost identical, high rate of posts – 1 tweet per 3 min on average for months. That means such activity should take all your time. When do you have time to work for a living and what are you doing for a living if not a secret?

          • stranger

            Because, I need to explain. I have nothing against and I actually appreciate a lot your thoughful and polite way to debate and impressed by the range of topics and the level of your tweets.

            On the other hand everybody here have been yelling about Olgino trolls and assigned such a label to whoever tried to express an opposite critical opinion.

            And then it appears that the professional agitators are not only from Olgino, or may be even none from Olgino. That requires some clarification and deserves attention.

            I absolutely believe in Olgino trolls and your opponents on tweeter sometimes look very wierd, well some specific part, not everybody of your target auditory. But when everybody has been claiming that is only Russia employs trolls and all who oppose Russia are just independend people with own civic position.

            Because a paid troll usually is expected to look like someone who disturbs people on forums. But actually what would be an outcome of such activity, who’s gonna pay for that? Instead an ideal troll should be smart and actively engage in discussions with people who makes decisions or write in mass media. Twitter is an idea tool for that because all famous and less famous but in some way influential people are there.

            From that prospective both accounts mentioned above fits such definition very well.

            So just a question, do you earn money for that kind of counter trolling fight? And what are doing for the living? I appologize for bring intact, but that is not personal, as I tried to explain, does that make any sense?

          • Dissident voice

            Stranger: I meant to work out the thread in the link. Then you can see the shadow of the placate Does show in several frames, so your argument is flawed.

            I don’t know exactly what Micha Kobs meant, but obviously he points to something weird going on with the shadow.

            Bottom line: the footage is intentionally blurred to wipe out many markers that could verify something and show some rather strange artefacts, but shows enough markers to lead to connfirmation bias.

        • kimmoke

          Low quality video has a lot of “issues” if one compare it with still photos.

          +attitude that “everything is fake” and “it’s a conspiracy” is not good base to put up a sane web page.

  1. oui oui

    it seems that this truck will not pass under the branches on the left sec 45-46

    • Andriy

      Why not? The branches are small and seem to be flexible. Even if the truck didn’t fit entirely, it would just hit the leaves with some part of the Buk and go by. (Actually, it’s a common thing on the roads of Ukraine for trucks and large vehicles to do all the “gardening”.)

      • Dissident voice

        Except that you can’t see a branch moving when its driving though/under it. But the Buk has great qualities as it turnes itself into trees when it drives beneath their shadows.

  2. Greg Rabinovich

    BUSTED: Ukraine caught lying about primary radar data)).

    (Google Translate) Primary radar says Ukraine does not have, and the authorities have different explanations for this. The country initially told by the OVV that all their radar stations were in maintenance. In February changed that story and told the Ambassador that one or two radar stations were shot to pieces. Questions about which story is true so far remained unanswered. .

    Lying is considered evidence of guilty mind that, unlike videos of dubious provenance peddled by bellingcat, would be admissible in a U.S. court of law.

  3. Feblemindedindividual

    I found SIX more BUK missile systems in Ukraine, they were paraded in Kiev on their independence day 26. August, the proof is on Youtube, so its public now, but then no one wants to hear or know that Ukraine still posses the BUK M1.

    • Aric Toler

      Feeble-minded individual,
      We are well aware. We have been tracking, cataloguing, and analyzing every Ukrainian BUK TELAR going back a few years. None of these systems have any similarities with the TELAR photographed and filmed in Ukraine on July 17 and 18,2014.

      • Feblemindedindividual

        The point is that the Ukrainians have the exact BUK M1 that shot down the liner and they say they do not have or had one since 2008, this is a lie and if that is a lie then all after that is a lie or is it the truth you “seek” to install on to others. Was funny the parade was on all major news outlets here in the West, the only thing they did not show were the BUK M1s because it would get people thinking as it is now synonymous with the Civil war in Ukraine.


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