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Tracking the Trailers: Investigation of MH17 Buk’s Russian Convoy

May 13, 2015

By Daniel Romein

 

buk232

 

Now in Russian.

The new Bellingcat report, Routes, Destinations, and Involvement of the 2nd and 147th Automobile Battalions in the June and July 2014 Buk Convoys, presents detailed evidence of the involvement of the 2nd and 147th Automobile Battalions in the transport of military equipment through Russia, including the Buk missile launcher filmed and photographed in Ukraine on July 17th, linked to the downing of Flight MH17. As Bellingcat’s earlier report, Origin of the Separatists’ Buk, showed, the Buk that was linked to the downing of MH17 on July 17th was seen in a convoy travelling from the Russian 53rd Brigade near Kursk to Millerovo, close to the Ukrainian border, between June 23rd and June 25th. In this new report, the Bellingcat investigation team has reached several conclusions:

  • The 2nd Automobile Battalion of the 69th Separate Logistics Brigade (Unit 11385), headquartered in Novosmolinskiy (near Mulino), was involved in transporting military equipment to several areas along the Ukraine-Russia border.
  • The 2nd Automobile Battalion of the 69th Separate Logistics Brigade, especially Subunit 2 (11385-2) located in Kalininets, was involved in transporting Buk systems to several areas along the Ukraine-Russia border, including the June and July 2014 Buk convoys.
  • The 147th Automobile Battalion (Unit 83466), located in Moscow, was involved in transporting Buk missile launcher 232 (in the 23-25 June convoy) to Millerovo near the border with Ukraine and transporting other military vehicles to the border area near Donetsk, Russia.
  • The 2nd Automobile Battalion (Unit 11385) and/or the 147th Automobile Battalion (Unit 83466) were/was involved in transporting the Buk related to the downing of MH17, Buk 3×2 (in the 23-25 June convoy).
  • Dmitry Z, the driver of truck 6902 HH 50, which hauled Buk 232 in the 23-25 June convoy, did not transport Buk 3×2 to the border (he transported other vehicles to the border area during his last ride with his truck just before the end of his service). However, he might possibly know who did, considering that driver was behind him in the convoy with Buk 3×2. And, looking at the connections the drivers have on VK, it seems that the drivers of the Buk convoys may know each other.
  • There are four possible drivers that could have transported Buk 3×2 to Millerovo in the 23-25 June convoy (and probably later to Donetsk, near the border of Ukraine, too):
    1) Vladimir P, standing next to trailer XP 4679 50 on 26 July 2014 (see Section 2)
    2) The driver that posted a picture of truck 4267 AH 50 on 16 October 2014 in his album (see Section 4)
    3) The driver that posted a picture of truck 4267 AH 50 on 28 July 2014 in his album (see Section 4)
    4) The driver that posted a picture of truck 4267 AH 50 on 12 December 2013 on Dmitry Z’s VK profile wall (see Section 5)
  • The 23-25 June Buk convoy went to the Millerovo military airbase, and from there the Buk missile launchers were moved to several different locations along the border. Buk 3×2 was transported via the M4 highway to Donetsk, Russia and subsequently crossed the border through a field south of Severniy during the night of 16 to 17 July. After the downing of MH17, the same Buk missile launcher crossed the border again at the same location in the early morning of 18 July 2014.
  • The 19-21 July Buk convoy went to a military camp southwest of Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, and from there the Buk missile launchers were moved to several different locations along the border.

An unredacted version of this report, along with additional information, has been submitted to, and received by, the criminal investigation into the downing of Flight MH17.

Daniel Romein

Daniel Romein is an IT-specialist and open source investigator focused on the MH17 case and the conflict in Ukraine. He started as volunteer for Bellingcat in November 2014 and became a full time employee in August 2018.

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139 Comments

  1. Aleksandr

    Russian here, unlike those putin’s goons with fake “western” names.

    You guys may want to turn comment pre-moderation on, looking at the number of puntins paid (or ideological, for that matter) trolls who are swarming all over your articles.

    Also thank you for the time you’ve spent on this reasearch, it has built up to a compelling report, I hope those who are responsible for this crime will be held accountable.

    Peace for everyone out there.

    Reply
    • Aleks

      It’s great to see that despite century-long efforts to do so, Russia’s men of power still haven’t succeeded in obliterating all “intellegenzija” from their homeland. Keep up the good spirit!

      Reply
    • Aleksandr

      No, no they are not. The article you liked to is complete garbage, please stop doing that.

      Reply
    • Rob

      Robert Parry seems to be determined to COMPLETELY trash his own reputation as a respected investigative reporter for Associated Press and Newsweek.

      Let us analyse his latest masterpiece of deception, starting with his first claim :

      “the lines of control were fluid and chaotic in mid-July 2014 with the possibility that an unmarked Ukrainian government truck, maybe carrying a concealed anti-aircraft battery, could have moved into the titular rebel zone, especially in the lightly defended south.”

      So that we are all clear on this : Parry is arguing that the BUK traveling through the heart of “separatist” area from Donetsk to Snitzhne on the morning of the 17th may have been a Ukrainian BUK. And even though this BUK was exposed wide and open on multiple videos and pictures, Parry still argues that it was “concealed”.

      You just can’t make that up if you wanted to, unless of course your name is Robert Parry.

      Parry is still trumpeting his unidentified “source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts” and we STILL don’t get a SHRED of evidence out of that source.

      But the real jew-dropper in Parry’s newest piece has to be the section about the Luhansk video :

      He actually still thinks that that video may have been taken in Krasnoarmiis’k !

      And in typical Russian Defense Ministry style, he is blaming the other party (in this case Australian “60 minutes” for having the facts wrong.

      This guy Parry has some serious issues with reality, and in his quest to deny the facts and blame everyone else, he is representing an insult to reason, an insult to the truth, and an insult to the 298 victims of this horrible crime.

      Reply
      • Rob

        The question is no longer where the truth is. We all can verify that with the Bellincat reports.

        The question is why a respected investigative reporter for Associated Press and Newsweek is trashing his lifelong career by following the proven lies from the Russian Defense Ministry.

        That question, only ONE man can answer.

        Reply
      • Hector reban

        You are only discrediting based upon a holy belief in the methods of Bellingcat. The sources Bellingcat use for its BUK trace are anonymous to, but their originens point to the right wing extremists and neonazi groups like Pravy Sektor and Bandsthat festival in honour of nazi headpiece Stepan Bandera.

        In fact you team up with very dubious evidence from Ukranian secret service and neonazis, two possible suspects with motive to imply the Russians.

        Reply
        • Rob

          Hector said “The sources Bellingcat use for its BUK trace are anonymous to, but their originens point to the right wing extremists and neonazi groups like Pravy Sektor and Bandsthat festival in honour of nazi headpiece Stepan Bandera.”

          Wow.
          Even ignoring the spelling mistakes, your post is an amazing piece of slander, which just BEGS for a bit of evidence. You know, ANYTHING that even remotely supports your increasingly unsustainable position.

          Reply
          • Hector reban

            Clearly you haven´t looked into the evidence BCat provide themselves. You are a loony but useful idiot, I guess.

            Almost all accounts in which someone claims they saw or took a picture of a alleged BUK vehikel, can be traced to very pro-Ukranian ultranational right wing extremist sources

            Not only Pravy Sektor ¨Ultra¨ @WowihaY – who is mentioned as a witness for at least three accounts, including the plume – is such an dubious source.

            Also you can see BCat uses statements and images from other people with rightwing extremist affiliaions like @GirkinGirkin, @MOR2537 and Stepan Bandera admirer @tw_nd_1984 alias Ruslan Nasayuk. All these people also have twitter connections with each other.

            Of course, neonazis can convey facts as well. But in this case it´s very dubious that only a small group of extremists with a clear motive is responsable for nearly all the evidence around Torez and Snizhne.

            Not only because their ties to the Ministery for the INterior (Avakov), the SBU and Ukranian army, but because they are possible suspects with a motive as well (they fit the description in Parry´s CIA source that ¨rogue elements within the Ukranian army¨ could have been responsable for the downing.

          • Rob

            Hector, it seems that in your opinion the “source” of a piece of evidence is more important than the evidence itself.

            But regardless of that difference of opinion about evidence, I’m not convinced that @WowihaY, or @GirkinGirkin, @MOR2537 and @tw_nd_1984 and all “rightwing extremist” as you assert.

            Can you present some evidence for THAT assertion at least ?

      • Hector reban

        Don´t be stupid, Rob. Between the Russian border and rebel held area, south of Sniznhe as well, there was a zone under control of the Ukranian army. A BUK TELAR was set up there (perhaps BCat can help trace these by social media accounts? That would be so helpful and balanced!) and so were a few others allegedly in the vicinity.

        Parry´s anonymous source from within the US intelligence community claims there´s some doubt about the identity of the people who would have fired a missile. Global Research and the recently leaked secret Russian report give suggestions that corroborate these thoughts. Also the secrecy and silence of the US after 22 july 2014 raises some doubts, according to Parry.

        It´s obvious this would not fit the wanted perps and your tunnelvision.

        Reply
        • Rob

          Hector said “Between the Russian border and rebel held area, south of Sniznhe as well, there was a zone under control of the Ukranian army. A BUK TELAR was set up there ”

          Do you have ANY evidence for that assertion ?

          Reply
      • Hector reban

        Have we got a shred of evidence about the claims the US made that SBIR imaging would prove the rebels did it?

        The only accusations there are, come from social media sources and crude methodologies, all highly unaccurate and/or unconvincing.

        Reply
        • Rob

          Do you have any evidence for your assertion that the US claimed “that SBIR imaging would prove the rebels did it” ?

          Reply
  2. Nill

    Where attack plane of “Frogfoot”? The Ministry of Defenses of the Russian Federation declared that it it brought downing of Flight MH17. Now Russians speak that it is SA-11 is “Ukrainian”. Why to Ukrainians to shoot from SA-11 if the Russian troops in East Ukraine have no planes? I think in a year Russians won’t tell the Ukrainian SA-11.

    Reply
  3. barry

    why so secretive on the reporter ..strange as he is credited on the parismatch story google.ie/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAUQjhw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.parismatch.com%2FActu%2FInternational%2FEXCLU-MATCH-Un-camion-vole-pour-transporter-le-systeme-lance-missiles-577289&ei=p-9fVZDvLYblUeKcgNAG&bvm=bv.93990622,d.ZGU&psig=AFQjCNHCw2IPvJjy8VD1cmTsIo1GOFSNdA&ust=1432436891191934 … ALFRED DE MONTESQUIOU https://twitter.com/@AdeMontesquiou

    Reply
  4. barry

    i dont get why ukraine army are not a suspect considering they and members of donbass battalion were holding a buk m1 training operation just south of donetsk on 16th july 2014 youtu.be/Q3MomxNHnUA

    Reply
    • Arnold

      Barry, how do you know this video is to be located south of Donetsk? Any sources or clues? Blogger Ukraine@war located this at Kramatorsk airfield, but his claim seens dubious to me. So, directions are welcome since the Bellingcat boys aren’t putting any effort in issues that don’t fit nicely with their storyline.

      Reply
  5. Mark

    The video of the BUK leaving was posted to you tube in March 2014 when the whole region was under Ukrainian control http://eurazya.today/2015/04/11/about-the-buk-312-who-allegedly-shot-down-mh17/

    As in the report of the smoke in the field and this Bellingcat never revealed the EFIX data showing when when videos were made

    Also if you watch earlier BC videos they talked about BUK 312. But BUKs with serial number 3 are Ukrainian, now they have moved the 1 and replaced it with an -x- to cover the mistake

    Reply
    • bellingcatadmin

      We’ve never claimed the Buk that shot down MH17 was numbered 312, and the same numbering system is used by Russia, and aren’t unique to units, so there’s likely multiple Buks marked 312 in Russia and Ukraine.

      Reply
  6. Ukrukman

    Never forget the simple plain truth in front of you like the nose in your face…. Russia directly supplies the BUK systems to separatist rebels…Putin Guilty of mass murder….end of debate

    Reply

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