Brussels-based Eurocontrol announced that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 airliner that crashed Thursday near Donetsk was flying in closed airspace, an area off-limits due to the junta’s repression operation in the area. A statement by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation said, “According to our information, the aircraft was flying at Flight Level 330 (@ 10,000 metres/33,000 feet) when it disappeared from radar. The Ukrainian authorities (sic) closed this area from ground to flight level 320, but it was open at the level at which the aircraft was flying. Since the crash, the Ukrainian authorities (sic) informed Eurocontrol of the closure of routes from the ground to unlimited in the Eastern Ukraine (sic) (Dnepropetrovsk Flight Information Region). Now, Eurocontrol rejects all flight plans filed using these routes. We’re activating the European Aviation Crisis Coordination Cell to coördinate the response to the impact of the airspace closure”.
On Friday, Daniel McAdams, the director of Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity told RIA-Novosti, “It is hard to get through all the propaganda on the plane so I can’t say about who’s responsible. Who benefits? Kiev. There’s no possible benefit for Moscow”.
On Friday, former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts told RIA-Novosti, “The sanctions announced by the Obama régime against Russian defence and energy companies demonstrate Washington’s impotence for they’ll cause damage to US banks, they’re now prohibited from doing business with Russian companies. Russian companies can borrow, if they need loans, from European banks or from China, and have no need for US bank loans. It’s in Russia’s strategic interests to have no business relationships with the USA. Sanctions are encouraging countries to withdraw from the dollar payments system that’s the foundation of American power. Even Washington’s NATO puppet states are becoming unwilling to hurt their own economies to help boost Washington’s power over Russia”.
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama announced new sanctions against Russia targeting Russian companies and institutions in defence, energy, and banking economy. Commenting on President Obama’s move, President V V Putin said that the new sanctions would push US-Russia relations to a dead-end, and warned of the sanctions’ boomerang effect. Mr Roberts drew parallels between Washington’s sanctions against Russia and Iran, saying, “US sanctions against Russia have already cost US businesses billions of dollars. The sanctions harmed global shipping insurers in London, Japanese shipping companies, and prevented South Korea’s access to Iranian liquefied petroleum gas. Many countries have already learnt from Washington’s sanctions that there’s no reason for them to compromise their sovereignty by using the dollar payments system and, thereby, placing themselves ‘under Washington’s thumb’. Sanctions demonstrate that Washington doesn’t approach the world with diplomacy, but with bribes, threats, and coercion. Russia and China use diplomacy, thus, Russia and China are prevailing”.
On Friday, the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) said that Russian airlines suspended transit flights over Ukraine after a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashed in Novorossiya, stating, “Flight plans will avoid the Ukraine, transiting over the Russian Federation, continuing on through the airspace of other neighbouring countries providing safe passage over their territory”. Currently, Russian airlines are discussing cancelling scheduled flights to the Ukraine. Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, cancelled two scheduled flights on Thursday to Odessa and Kiev, and another scheduled flight to Kiev on Friday. Rosaviatsiya said, “According to information from Russian airline companies, the renewal of transit flights over Ukrainian territory may occur only after we receive full and guaranteed safety for flights over Ukrainian airspace”.
On Friday, A Yu Borodai, Chairman of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Government, told RIA-Novosti by telephone that the DNR is discussing with a ceasefire with the junta to help investigate the Malaysia Airlines airliner crash. He said that a meeting would occur Friday afternoon, with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) taking part, noting, “We’re doing everything to provide international experts access to the [crash] zone. Naturally, we’ve already suspended [battle operations] in that zone. At present, we’re holding consultations on this topic with a contact group out of Kiev. Consultations are being held with the OSCE’s participation and they’ll continue today”.
On Friday, opolchenie sources, quoting I I Strelkov, told RIA-Novosti said that they’d continue operations in all sectors except for the Malaysian airliner crash site, saying, “We’ve surrounded a large enemy group in the southern DNR. It’d be unreasonable to stop military action against the surrounded group. Experts working at the accident site would be safe. The Boeing crash site is deep within our controlled territory, so, no ‘humanitarian truce’ or ‘corridor’ is required to investigate the causes of the tragedy… the commission can freely go there and look at the crash site. No one will interfere with it”. In other news, the opolchenie took Marinovka and surrounded an 800-man spetsnaz group. Initially, there were 5,000 troops in the group, but the majority managed to escape, killed in action, or taken captive.
On Friday, a Minoborony source said that it intercepted Ukrainian radar activity on the day the Malaysian plane went down in Novorossiya, saying, “Throughout the day on 17 July, Russian radar surveillance intercepted the operation of the Buk-M1 battery’s Kupol radar station located near Styla [30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Donetsk]. The technical capabilities of the Buk-M1 allow the exchange of data on air targets between batteries of one battalion. Thus, they could’ve launched SAMs from any of the batteries deployed near Avdeyevka [8 kilometres north of Donetsk] or from Gruzsko-Zoryanskoe [25 kilometres east of Donetsk]”.
On Friday, a source in the European Commission told RIA-Novosti that the EC doesn’t know why the USA concluded that a SAM shot down the Malaysian Airlines airliner that crashed in Novorossiya. Our source said, “One must ask them. The European Commission doesn’t have the data on where the USA got the information publicised in the media”. Citing US intelligence agencies, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier on Friday that a SAM brought down Flight MH17. It said that intelligence agencies said that witnesses reported a plume of smoke rising over the crash site. They didn’t comment on whether the junta or opolchenie launched the SAM, but they did say that it was a SAM.
On Friday, Brian Flynn, the head of Performance, Forecasting, and Relations in the Eurocontrol’s Network Manager Directorate (NMD), said, “Given that at least 30-40 air carriers regularly fly aircraft in Ukrainian airspace, the temporary suspension of air traffic would affect 350 flights daily, or 1 percent of all European civil aviation traffic. The move would also intensify air traffic in neighbouring Poland, Bulgaria, and Turkey, but it’s unlikely to seriously affect passengers because it’d cause minimal flight delays, if any”. The decision to suspend civil aviation traffic above Novorossiya came soon after the tragic crash of a Malaysian plane with 298 people on board on Thursday, which left no survivors. Already, a few major airlines in Russia and other countries decided to make amendments to their routes or even suspend them.
On Friday, Foreign Minister S V Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV that the claims of the Kiev junta that the Malaysian airliner crash in Novorossiya was a terrorist attack are unacceptable and constitute an attempt to manipulate investigators’ opinion, saying, “Naturally, attempts to claim that it was a terrorist attack, as it’d influence Ukrainian investigators as they did their work, is an inadmissible pressure on the commission’s activities. The UN Security Council should speak in favour of immediately beginning an independent, unbiased, free, and transparent investigation. We back a similar decision within the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe]“.
18 July 2014