“Documents” About Ukraine’s Involvement in MH-17 Shootdown For Sale Online

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard




Let’s be reserved – it is unlikely that anyone can be 100% sure about the authenticity of this document. Ukraine, for obvious reasons, will deny it and insist that it is a fake. And it is always easy to accuse Russia of being interested in its authenticity. Before publication, I showed the scan of this order to an acquaintance officer of the army DPR, who previously served in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, but with the beginning of the conflict, took the side of militia. Former Lieutenant Colonel-artillerist said that this cryptogram is indistinguishable from actual ones.

Several documents of the Ukrainian army were published on the Internet, not the result of hacking or leaks to the media. The paper surfaced… on website NewAuction. Starting price – 900,000 Rubles. Among the papers about the number of personnel and inquiries about the number of civilian casualties after the ceasefire of 5th September 2014 is sensation. A coded telegram marked “Secret”, signed by ATO commander Viktor Muzhenko, talks about the transfer of an anti-aircraft missile system (BUK) to the village of Zaroshchenskoye, Donetsk region. The order was given to head of sector “B”, the commander of the military unit 1973 (previously based in Lugansk):

“1. To transfer the 3rd Battalion of the 156th Air Defense Missile Regiment in the area of the settlement Zaroshchenskoye for the implementation of cover on the line Amvrosievka-Shezhnoe.

2. To organize the interaction with the commander of the united group of the National Guard of Ukraine to prevent penetration of enemy aircraft in the area of responsibility”.

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Date – July 15th, 2014. Malaysian “Boeing” was shot down two days later. Here are excerpts from the report of by the company “Almaz-Antey” upon completing its investigation:

  • MH-17 “Boeing” was shot down by anti-aircraft guided missile 9M38M1 with 9М314М warhead, which is the main missile of the SAM system “Buk-M1”.
  • “The missile was moving to the intersection of the plane’s course at an angle of 72-75 degrees on the horizontal plane and 20-22 degrees on the vertical plane”.
  • “The modelling demonstrates that the intersection of the missiles’ and the aircraft’s trajectories at that particular angle can only occur from a limited area (2.5 x 3.5 km) – located south of Zaroschenskoye”.

A simple check on Google shows that the 3rd Battalion of the 156th Air Defense Missile Regiment had “Buk M-1” in service, with ID numbers 312, 321, 323, 331, 332. Immediately after the tragedy, the SBU published a photo of the “Russian Buk”, which “shot down” a passenger airliner. It was allegedly transported to the Russian border after the attack on the “Boeing”. On the side the number “312” was visible. But later this photo was removed from the website of the Security Service.

Of course, everything look too good to be true. How could this document appear in an auction? There may be three versions. Firstly, this may be someone’s bad joke or an attempt to cash in on the banal fake. Favouring this narrative is the fact that the document was signed by Colonel-General Muzhenko, although, judging by Wikipedia, he received this rank only on 24th Aug 2014. Maybe it is an error by the stenographer.

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To purchase many, by the way, you can immediately, without waiting for the auction to reach one million rubles. But so far there are no buyers. It is excluded that this cryptogram could have been stolen by agents of the Russian special services. And this auction is just a fancy form of legalization of sensation. However, it can be even more banal. In the summer of 2014 and winter of 2015 I had to work in the “cauldron” from where the Ukrainian army fled, leaving in the bunkers still turned on televisions and unfed cats. In the former positions of the UAF, we were finding kilograms of abandoned documentation, including “top secret” classified. It is possible that this cryptogram was found in similar captured waste.

There is no information about the seller of the sensational paper on the auction site – they only have a code name. And their location is in Novosibirsk. We tried to contact them, however, at the time of writing, our request received no answer.


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