Russia: Ukraine Had Buk Missile System in the Area; Ukraine: No We Didn’t

by Greg Pollowitz

On Thursday, when a Malaysian Airlines plane was apparently shot down over Ukraine, a Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missile battery was operational in the region, the Russian Defense Ministry said, contradicting Kiev’s statements. 

The battery was deployed at a site from which it could have fired a missile at the airliner, the ministry said in a statement. It said radiation from the battery’s radar was detected by the Russian military.

“The Russian equipment detected throughout July 17 the activity of a Kupol radar, deployed as part of a Buk-M1 battery near Styla [a village some 30km south of Donetsk],” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said the radar could be providing tracking information to another battery deployed in the region, which was at a firing distance from the plane’s flight path.

Earlier Kiev said it could not have fired a missile at the passing civilian plane because it had no Buk missile launchers deployed in the region. At the same time the Ukrainians said the militias had no Buk systems in their hands, according to a statement from the country’s Prosecutor General. . .