I seriously don’t get this. Re M17

There seems to be a constant litany of complaint that bodies have been moved and some taken to the morgue.  Also the site has not been safeguarded for the powers that be.  Russia is behind the whole thing etc etc.

I have the following questions.

1.  300 bodies deteriorating in summer weather spread over 6 miles strike me as a health hazard. What else are the locals supposed to do, leave them to rot in situ?  The pictures I have seen were of locals, miners and a few uniformed people collecting them in a perfectly reasonable manner, what is so wrong with that?  One poor person fell through a roof and landed in a kitchen, was the corpse to remain on the table?

2. 38 bodies removed to the morgue, where else were they supposed to take them?  But accused of removing evidence!!

3. Why have only monitors arrived?  They do nothing,  just take a few pictures. Where are the technicians who know what to do?  Why didn’t they just turn up?  How long does it take?  What are the locals meant to do meantime?  Nobody has actually been refused access because no-one has arrived.  Yet the ‘rebels’ are guilty of non admission?  How?

4.  The rebels released pictures of one of these lorry missile launchers ‘liberated’ from the Ukrainian Army a few days ago.  Presumably sold to the Ukrainians legitimately by Russia in the past, before the civil war.  Surely it is the fault of the Ukrainians for allowing it to fall into enemy hands?  All developed countries sell armaments to their ‘friends’, we do, so do the French, Americans and Russians, are we totally responsible if they are misappropriated, sold on or otherwise fall into others hands? Is it not likely that this is the weapon used rather than another such having crossed the border?

5. What earthly reason would Putin have to down an airliner?  None that I can see.  I also doubt the assertion that these weapons could not be fired without Russian help.  I would have though any competent electronic engineer could have worked out the guidance system in a few hours? It appears to be a case of mistaken identity and M17 being in the wrong place at the right time. Busy saving money on fuel flying the cheapest direct route.  It was, after all, the third plane to be shot down that week, the others being Ukrainian were not noticed internationally!

5.  The Ukrainians seem to be vociferous in their condemnation of Russia and the rebels without any doubts being expressed by Western powers.  Everyone wants Putin to be totally responsible. I cannot see that Kiev is not partially responsible, they started the whole thing with showing interest in EU colonialist blandishments whilst they were still in hock to Russia.  Plus the removal of the Russian language from use in the country, fully knowing that it was the lingua franca of the Eastern Ukraine.  What did they expect?

Other thoughts please.

I don’t personally have a pro Putin platform but I actively dislike the attitude of the rest of Ukraine and the Western powers.  What was Putin supposed to do to protect the ethnic Russians in the Crimea and the Eastern provinces other than what he did?  If people do not want to be part of Europe and would rather be part of Russia why should they not be able to be so?  After all, we are prepared to allow Scotland to depart in peace!  According to Kiev’s rule book we should be shooting up Inverness by now! Why is a plebiscite in the Ukraine to be ignored and one in Scotland to be respected?  Strikes me as one rule for some and another for others.  Why are we not calling Salmond the rebel leader?

Author: christinaosborne

Landed on one side safely.

44 thoughts on “I seriously don’t get this. Re M17”

  1. “If people do not want to be part of Europe and would rather be part of Russia why should they not be able to be so?”

    Those who want to be part of Russia should surely move there, Christina, rather than using force. What if the rest of their street doesn’t want to be part of Russia? Should they be forcibly made to be so? Your argument seems to have echoes of the Sudetenland.

    If the Scottish referendum were to go Salmond’s way, those Scots who did not want to live under his mismanagement would have time to leave if they felt that strongly. They would not have the right to drag their neighbours with them.

    Putin had no business to interfere in the internal affairs of the Ukraine. Wanting to have the Crimea back as part of Russia does not give him to the right to stir up trouble, rig a referendum and send in troops to an independent country. This whole thing is more and more Sudetenland-like.

  2. It seems it was not Russia, but pro-Russian militants in Ukraine. Why, I do not know either, but 298 innocent souls were murdered in the process.


  3. sheona some people did leave the Crimea and went back to the Western Ukraine. Seeing 80% were of Russian origin most of them wanted to stay and become Russian. The Crimea was always starved of public funds since Kiev ruled. There was nothing there worth fighting over which is why Kiev let it go so easily!
    The Eastern provinces are a different matter, iron and coal, they are the industrial heartland of the economy of the Ukraine that is why Kiev is fighting. They really made no great attempt to resolve the matter peacefully. But the wages in the East are very poor compared with the Western part of the country. Kiev never played fair with the Russian speaking parts of the country, they have got what they deserve. the people in the East would be far better off financially joining Russia. No borders are set in stone historically, why should these be?

  4. “Why have only monitors arrived? They do nothing, just take a few pictures.”

    No, investigators and experts including those who can start to identify the bodies have been refused access for the second day.

    This is unacceptable and causes delays in repatriating the victims bodies.

  5. My understanding is that a crash site is very much like a crime scene. The normal protocol is that the area should be sealed off and nothing should be touched until the investigation team arrive.

  6. Taken from the Guardian-

    “A small team of monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe were able to gain limited access to the site, but only under careful supervision by armed separatists. Journalists and local residents continued to roam the area of Thursday’s crash, while “experts” of unknown provenance moved bodies decomposing in the baking heat from fields to the roadside and used bags to collect body parts. A spokesman for the OSCE, Michael Bociurkiw, said: “Some of the body bags are open and the damage to the corpses is very, very bad – it is very difficult to look at.”

    No other investigators reported, ie the technical boys, can you source this A?

    In that heat and the condition of the bodies, ie many in bits, I would have thought the best would be to photograph and bury as soon as possible. I don’t see it matters who picks them up as long as they are photographed for ID later. Even if they were repatriated in practical terms no one would want to view their kin as stinking remains, too late already. A continental climate in high summer is a very hot place, not like NW Europe. The video I have seen no one was handling the bodies in any way unacceptably.

  7. A 8.31-
    My point being that they haven’t arrived! I take your point about normal protocol, but the middle of a war zone is hardly normal is it? I think the West expects too much, this is a very backward part of the world although technically in Europe its pretty rough and ready. I doubt by local standards they are being disrespectful.

  8. Not a the moment, Tina. I was just watching this on the news and hence my comment. In such circumstances it is difficult but identification of bodies or body parts is only possible by DNA. Of course they need to be documented, photographed and then kept in refrigeration. The relatives would not be expected or necessarily able to identify the bodies, but as far as possible, the correct bodies or body parts would be returned to the families for burial or whatever.

    It’s a shambles from what I have seen, everyone and his dog is trampling around and quite likely destroying evidence. There are also reports of looting.

  9. Sheona I agree it is like the Sudetenland. The German provinces there wanted to go to Germany after the fall of the Austria-Hungarian Empire, they were not allowed to. Mainly at the behest of the USA! They were bundled into Czechoslovakia whether they wanted to or not. Hence all the trouble subsequently nearly 20 years later. Who knows what would have happened had they been allowed to go to Germany in the 20s?
    If the Ukraine does not cause WWIII I shall be surprised at this rate. Why do people have to repeat the same mistakes again and again?
    The natural boundary of the Ukraine, both Geographically and culturally was and still is the Dnieper River. But political machinations as usual were allowed to take precedence and the Eastern bank territories were stuffed in with the West. It never works, look at the Middle East!

  10. Just seen your latest. Of course, it is not easy in a war zone, but the expectation is that Putin should exert his influence to enable these things to happen. Not sure if this is actually realistic though.

  11. A
    I think they are calling these monitors investigators to make the locals look worse. Appears to be the same bunch as yesterday that were definitely monitors, not investigators.
    I doubt they will be refrigerated! None big enough round there! If no body turns up with a refrigerated cargo plane then the locals must do the best they can, simple as that! Best off buried ASAP, I doubt they have the facilities to cremate the remains either. The West is expecting too much all round.
    I cannot see other than that if they are on the manifest then they are dead. After all if they were lost at sea there would be no bodies to be found either. Sometimes these things are just so. If the West wants it any different then they should just turn up and get on with it, not ineffectually flap off stage West. Where are the UN? Useless bunch of tax consuming idiots.

  12. A.
    Can’t see that Putin can do a real lot without sending his troops in to do it properly. Can you imagine what that would cause!!! The whole thing is positively surreal in that everyone is blaming each other and no one doing anything except the locals who are getting it in the neck for doing something!
    Beyond me.
    By the time it is sorted out those poor people will be a total health hazard. What a total bloody mess.

  13. It is a mess, I agree and it seems to me that it is likely to remain so. There is more interest in apportioning blame, politicking and etc than any real concern about the victims or their families.

    Bloody politicians for you, I suppose.

  14. A Thank you for the reference. Just read it.
    In other words they are arguing the toss over who does what, no one has been sent in at all as yet and they expect 300 rotting corpses to be left in situ for them to maintain the integrity of the site?
    Absolutely disgusting. not all of the people helping out there are responsible to downing that plane they are doing the best they can with limited resources. I do not think they have earned the opprobrium they are being accorded by the media. Had a body landed on my patch I would have photographed it in situ, had I a camera, loaded it into the boot/cart/whatever and taken it to the nearest morgue. I’m damned if I would have left it rotting in the sun.

  15. A Spot on!
    God rot all politicians of every stamp!
    Must away to shell industrial quantities of broad beans for the freezer. Thank you for the conversation.

  16. Yes that appears to be what is happening (your 9.12pm)
    I agree, but the assumption rightly or wrongly by the media is that the helpers are Russian backed rebels intent on concealing or removing the evidence.

    They may well have point but I’m sure the locals are pretty genuine in trying to deal with a ghastly situation as best they can.

  17. G’day Tina,

    A partial answer to some of your questions. First of all, a bit of background.

    I used to be responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of many of the products and systems which enable Air Traffic Controllers, pilots and Accident Investigation chappies to do their jobs, so quite a reasonable slice of their procedures and practices became rather familiar to me. I am aware that we have one or two qualified commercial pilots amongst our readership, and I seem to remember that there’s at least one retired air traffic controller who used to pop in from time to time, so I stand to be corrected by these worthies if I slip up.

    I also used to work on the equivalent military gear, which is similar but different, and I used to be acquainted to quite a detailed level with a certain radar system which is (or was) used on certain mobile SAMs (surface to air missiles).

    Every country has its own organisation(s) for such matters, and then there are higher level groupings like ICAO and EuroControl and several others that relate to geographic regions and the entire global civilian air space. Between them they run a highly regulated, highly professional set of services without which safe international air travel would be impossible.

    That’s enough preamble, but it’s only scratching the surface. There’s a lot more complexity which I’m afraid you’ll have to accept as a given. Sorry. Here we go with some statements.

    Normally a crash site is secured so that the lads can record and analyse everything that can contribute to coming to conclusions about what went wrong. None of that is needed in this case, because the facts are crystal clear, and there are a set (probably many sets) of recordings of radar and voice data which prove (beyond all reasonable doubt) who fired which missile that destroyed MH17. A stupid macho terrorist who didn’t understand air routes, international conventions or civilisation fired it without rational thought. His ape-like superiors, all the way to the top, are far more interested in causing death than they are in being responsible, caring human beings. They all should be executed. Very slowly.

    The aircraft was not in the wrong place. Its Flight Plan, as modified by the Flight Management computer (FMS, on board the aircraft) is a matter of record, and it adheres to all current NOTAMs and suchlike. Routes are changed from time to time during flight in order to accommodate changes to the weather, and the quantity of fuel remaining is important, so that, for example. you can still get where you’re going and land safely after you’ve made a detour around a nasty horrible thunderstorm that’s suddenly popped up dead ahead, but flying through a prohibited section of airspace in order to save fuel is an absolute no-no. Any pilot that did so would be out of a job very smartly – even in a godforsaken hell-hole like Malaysia, because regular travellers won’t fly on airlines that do silly things.

    The World’s concentration should be on important matters like which city to nuke, and how many idiots should be banned from entering civilised countries. We have all become too effete and left-wing – Victoria would have sent a gun-boat – but the murder of 300 innocent civilians should attract some pretty severe punishment. It won’t, of course.

    That’s enough to be going on with for now, I guess. Enjoy! 😀

  18. According to some reports, under normal conditions, approximately 400 aircraft use that particular flight path every day and around 55 aircraft used that path on that particular day – including some very reputable airlines like Singapore. Other airlines had already stopped flying over the area, and I guess everyone will from now on.

    It is far too easy to blame the victims who were abiding by international conventions and forget that this was an act of terrorism.

    Like you Christina, I can see no point in leaving bodies exposed to the elements so that some outside agency can come in and photograph them – or do whatever else they want to do. They have the flight manifest and know who was on board.

  19. Very interesting Bearsy. With your knowledge do you think it possible to fire the system without an expert Russian at your side so to speak? Would a competent engineer or computer expert be able to do the job? Not all the secessionists can be apes. Misguided yes, but illiterate peasantry I doubt.

    Not at all sure what we should be doing about the whole thing as yet. Which is why I posited the whole thing in the first place. I really feel that the blame is to be split between Russia for trying to regain territory. The EU for expansionist dreams outside their natural hegemony. The Ukrainians for being far too heavy handed and the idiots who decided to play with toys well outside their knowledge base.

    Bo, it transpires that now, having been castigated for moving bodies, they are condemned for not moving bodies! Beyond, totally beyond. Complaints that no one has turned up with refrigerated trucks! Are there any in the Eastern Ukraine? Not too many I’ll be bound!!!

  20. A couple of thoughts:

    The crash zone is huge – 15 -20 miles across
    The area is a war zone occupied by anti-Kiev forces.

    – which contribute to the difficulties, irrespective of the political issues. If we can believe any reports, local non-combatants are roaming around. Who should stop them? Some will ‘loot’ but some will show compassion.

    Putin probably has the power to organize an orderly investigation, but why would he without pressure?

  21. ….and btw, the meeja as usual are building sand castles in the air, gladly selecting info to support their pet ‘exposes’. Disinformation is always juicy.

  22. Tina – making the possibly fallacious assumption that Russian military equipment parallels its NATO-UK-USA-Oz equivalents, the answer would be both yes and no. Switching the thing on, selecting a target and pressing the go button would be easy, providing one could read the language – but – these things usually require hardware and/or software keys, or passwords, often to be input by two separate people who are pre-approved by the system before they will do anything. Having engineering or computer education might be more of a hindrance than a help !!

    I didn’t say they were “illiterate peasants”, I said they were stupid and macho, and indeed they all are, every man jack of them, or they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing. Doctrine and nationalistic fervour beats common sense every time, particularly when you’ve a big shiny gun in your hand. Thugs, bullies and total nutters, whatever their IQ. 😀

  23. Christina, I’m not sure that I can agree with your ” There was nothing there worth fighting over which is why Kiev let it go so easily!”

    Crimea has Sevastopol, base for the Russian Black Sea fleet, and Russia was paying Ukraine a hefty rent for using it. Of course that probably all disappeared into the Swiss bank account of the former corrupt, pro-Russian, Ukrainian president. It is thanks to this despicable character and his cronies that Ukraine is such an impoverished country.

  24. You have to understand that the EU is just another tier of bureaucracy providing salaries, status and pensions for the otherwise unemployable, but utterly useless at what it is actually supposed to do because said ‘worthies’ are a collective waste of oxygen. Cathy is a prime case in point – floated unnoticed to the surface without once having stood for popular election, ever.


    Having taken luncheon I am now going to pour a glass of claret and listen to the dulcet tones of Peter Alliss at Hoylake.


  25. Well it appears a bunch of rank amateurs, coal mines and locals have managed to find nearly all the bodies and dispatch them in 4 days in a refrigerated train without any help from the so called investigators. I think the criticism of the whole job has been far too fast and somewhat misplaced considering it is in a war zone and the people that helped were more than likely NOT those that shot it down in the first place.

  26. Good morning Christina. I have generally refrained from commenting to this blog, mainly because I had no extra ideas or information to give, but have read with interest the comments made.
    The way I see it is that the EU supports the west of Ukraine, Russia supports the East with equipment and funds. Both are equally ‘guilty’ for the aggression taking place in Ukraine. In a sense, both are equally guilty of their part to play in MH17.
    It seems to me that MH17 was an accident. They happen often in war situations, just as the bus load of civilians in Irag. (collateral damage….the PC term).
    Unless the EU expansionism is to be kerbed and Russia/EU relations can return to ‘acting like grownups’ status, I am afraid things will get worse.
    I have been saying for a couple of years that one great way out of the financial crisis could be a major war. It seems to work although I don’t fully understand the mechanisms of why it does.
    Could it be that many of the Western powers are wanting a war? I sincerely hope not.

    I also found Hitchens article pretty bang on.

  27. Interesting that despite the meeja hype, all the bodies have been recovered without evidence of tampering. Not bad considering the reported lack of organisation or control!

    I’m afraid as gaz says, both sides have been economical with the truth since the disaster occurred.

  28. Exactly so! A nice little proxy war that took an unfortunate turn for the worse! With the potential to start WWIII I’ve rather been wondering too at the use of such intemperate language from the West whether they actually really did want to start something bigger.

  29. This mornings telegraph online:-

    “In his strongest intervention since the Malaysia Airlines disaster, which killed 298 people, the Prime Minister compares Russia’s aggression to that of Nazi Germany”

  30. Gazoopi

    The shooting (sorry Putin it was not the ‘downing’) of a civilian aircraft was not an ‘accident’. Accidents are the result of inadvertent actions – like tripping over a banana skin, a shoelace or ice.

    This was a deliberate act of violence. I am a little tired of reading about a ‘crash’, an accident or some other phrase which exonerates those who pointed a SAM at a civil aircraft flying in a legal flight path at a height deemed by global experts to be safe and, by their deliberate action, slaughtered near 300 people.

    As far as I am aware, and I do realise that all news reporting is biased towards the country in which it is being reported, our Julie Bishop moved the motion in the UN – and she did not mince her words. From what I have read most other countries have been pussy-footing around the issue. Tony Abbott (our PM) has, in the past, been in a lot of trouble for ‘speaking it as he sees it’ – I’m delighted that he has, in this instance, not deviated from his unpolitically correct stance of stating quite unequivocally that the attack on a civilian aircraft was despicable.

    Various other country’s leaders may now have joined him in speaking out – it’s a pity they did not do so earlier.

  31. Boadicea, you are right of course. The plane was deliberately shot down, which makes it no accident.
    However I do not believe that anyone deliberately shot down a civilian aircraft, there if not an accident it was, in my view, a mistake.
    Sorry for using a misleading word.

  32. Whoever shot it down was an incompetent as they obviously could not distinguish the data signature marker difference of a military jet and an airliner. Presumably the rocket launcher has some kind of check as to WHAT it is in the sky? One of the reasons I have my doubts as to whether they actually had any Russian technicians with them. Surely to God a properly trained technician would be able to discriminate as to what it was they were shooting at?

    I do not feel the word terrorist is appropriate either. The separatists are having a perfectly legitimate civil war, as they are entitled. An attempt to remove military hardware of the opposition strikes me as perfectly within the rules. It would have been the third Ukrainian plane bought down had it not been misidentified. A mistake yes, an accident no!

    I fail to comprehend why this civil war should attract so much venom from the West, when they are always supporting other civil wars with great glee, Arab spring, Syria etc. The only reasons there appears to be is that Russia was actively engaged with one side and there were no fundamentalist muslims involved!
    It has echoes of “The Great Game”

    I do think Malaysia Air has a great deal to answer for even flying in the region, ludicrous cheese paring on fuel. Time they were put out of business.

  33. Just been reading an article in the FT headed:

    “Putin starts to show the strain

    Analysts who once praised the president’s strategic skills and his seeming mastery of western governments now warn that he has boxed himself into a corner.”

    I’ll give you a link, but I don’t know if you will be able to see it. The FT has a pretty serious paywall.


  34. Thanks for the link, Araminta. I’m sure it is time for Putin to spend more time with his family.

    I read a report on the overheard conversations among the Ukrainian rebels as they were congratulating themselves on having shot down a Ukrainian air force Antonov military transport. When they learned they had shot down a civilian airliner, one comment was “Oh shit!” Yes it was a dreadful tragic mistake, gazoopi. Apparently the data signature marker of the Antonov is very similar to that of the Malaysian plane.

  35. Pleased it worked, Sheona. I refuse to pay, it’s ridiculously expensive, but I subscribe and can access a limited number of articles per month.

    It seems the oligarchs are hurting, and aware it could become worse, even if Putin is not.

  36. Sheona –

    Apparently the data signature marker of the Antonov is very similar to that of the Malaysian plane

    You might be right on primary, although the Boeing 777 has two engines whereas the Antonov has four (which has a definite impact on the return spectrum), but utterly wrong on secondary, providing you’re using it. Block-headed ignorance and a street thug mindset are the drivers, not technological lack of sophistication.

    And while I’m at the keyboard, I say again to Tina, “It was not off course, it was on a fully approved course along with many other commercial aircraft that day, and it was not ‘cheese-paring’ fuel savings that led to its selection.” So there !! 😀

  37. I’m right with you, Bearsy, on the block-headed ignorance and street thug mindset, but possibly combined with lack of technical know-how. If they really thought the plane was a Ukrainian military transport carrying supplies to the Ukrainian forces locally, they didn’t stop to ask themselves how on earth it was going to land from that height relatively close by.

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