Discussion: Could Rebels Have Operated Missiles That Shot Down Plane On Their Own?

Discussion for article #225250

A BBC commentator said this morning that national governments have the technology to read an aircraft’s transponder data and they can tell if it’s a civilian plane. He said the rebels, on the other hand, would be capable of operating the BUK system and targeting any plane they saw, but they wouldn’t have those data, so they wouldn’t know what kind of plane they were looking at.


And this is why you don’t provide powerful weapons to rebel groups or to countries that can’t keep track of them. I hope John McCain and the rest of the “unlimited weapons for everyone” crowd is paying attention.

Just kidding, they’re probably preparing their new argument: “The only thing that will prevent a bad militia group with an SA-11 is a good militia group with an SA-11. SA-11’s for everyone!”


“So the next question then is whether the rebels obtained and operated the missile system with any assistance from the Russian government.”

No. They bought it on fucking ebay.


And the instructors and observers came from AccountTemps…nevermind the Russian accents and uniforms.


Just another ‘Missile Related Accident’.



You can imagine the dialogue of these numbskulls:

Kolya, smotree! Samalyot.
Da. Pozhar!
Na zdrovya, Kolya!

The bigger question is who put such technology in the hands of such people?

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I wish Hillary Clinton would stop speculating. Her compulsion to comment on everything does not bring her credit.


They could have captured it from Ukraine military hands, though not nearly as likely as them getting it from Russia ‘under the table’ as it were.


It’s amazing that all those right wingers and Republicans that were cheering Putin on a couple of weeks ago have gone silent.


What Hillary Clinton said is perfectly valid and not at all out of line with the questions our defense and foreign policy experts are grappling with. I say that as someone who is not on her bandwagon. Though the anti-Clinton crowd and its HDS, is certainly making me more and more of her supporter.


Larry Johnson of “Michelle Obama Whitey tape” fame? Really?

Though on this topic her recent experiences make her commentary relevant.



Even if they had captured it they would still need to be trained how to use it.


One of the reasons I strongly suspect the separatists had Russian support, if not actually manned by Russian military personal “out of uniform”, which we know has occurred multiple times in the conflict to date.


Yes, but there could be Soviet military veterans among them and these weapons date back to the Soviet era. Either way, it’s hard for Putin to duck responsibility, since Russia has definitely been giving sophisticated weaponry to the separatists.

AccountTemps won’t do here:


And the rebels had access:

And it’s easy to make a mistake like this:

So the next question then is whether the rebels obtained and operated the missile system with any assistance from the Russian government.

Not bloody likely, from what I have heard the news analysts say. Even if they had seized it from retreating Ukrainian forces, they’d have needed extensive training to operate it. This not just a “point and pull the trigger” operation. They are very complex.

If they did seize the equipment from retreating Ukrainian forces, I suppose it’s possible that someone defected from the Ukrainian army that would have had the knowledge to do the training. But I think it’s more likely that they got the equipment from the Russians, and the Russians were helping them to operate it.

And that reminds me that one of the things I learned last night, besides the fact that a now-deleted post and video on the insurgent Facebook page was bragging about downing what they thought was a Ukrainian military plane, was that something else they had also posted there was a video showing off their new toy, courtesy of the Russians: a Buk missile system.


Well aware. Though I refuse to call them “rebels”.

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Here’s my problem with the supposed missile hit: Unless that missile grazed (basically missed) the aircraft, there is no way the plane did not explode in mid-air. Reports stated that the pilots appeared to have somewhat of a controlled crash as evidenced by the condition of the bodies at the site. I don’t think it was a missile.