Tracking the Trailers: Investigation of MH17 Buk's Russian Convoy
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.