On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribes were notified via text messages to their mobile devices regarding the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH-17) in Ukraine near the border of Russia in the troubled Donetsk region. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200 twin-engine passenger airliner that was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur carrying 298, which includes passengers and crew.
U.S. intelligence sources state that the aircraft was shot down using a surface to air missile and both the Ukrainian and Russian governments are pointing their fingers at each other as being responsible.
To add some clarity to the blame game and to save readers time wading through the disinformation and redirects of the mainstream media, there is a high likelihood that the militaries of both the US and Russia knew within seconds of the launch of the missile, the location of the launcher, as well as the moment the missile's flight terminated with an impact on or near the aircraft.
While not spoken of widely in public forums, the U.S. and Russia both maintain extensive satellite surveillance capabilities and are constantly on the lookout for what are referred to as "special infrared events," which are the superheated exhaust plumes indicative of a missile launch. This, along considerable ground-based and airborne long-range radars deployed throughout the region, makes it extremely difficult to fly above a certain altitude and NOT be detected, even more so given this is a war zone. Both Russia and the NATO alliance go to great lengths to keep a close eye on what is happening across the three dimensional battlespace and there are few airborne surprises.
With this in mind, it is also safe to assume that while the national command authorities of the U.S., Russia and key NATO member states likely already know most of the details surrounding the event, comparatively little will be shared with civilian authorities or the media as to do so would reveal highly sensitive sources, methods and capabilities. It would also reduce options if, say..., explanations other than the truth were needed.
For instance, while most fingers are pointing toward Russian backed separatists as being responsible as they are already known to have downed multiple Ukrainian military aircraft in just the past few weeks (see this and this), there is another side to this story and as we have shown in the past, the standard mainstream narrative is often far from accurate.
That said, on Wednesday, just one day before the attack on the airliner, the Pentagon publicly expressed deep concerns over the renewed buildup of Russian forces on the Eastern border of Ukraine.
According to Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren:
“We believe there are now between 10,000 and 12,000 Russian troops on the border. A few weeks ago, about 1,000 Russian soldiers were along the border. I can’t speak for what they intend to do. Certainly, it is intimidating.”
Suffice it to say this incident and other recent events dramatically compounds tensions in the region and globally. NATO member states are now operating at heightened states of alert, increasing defensive patrols and civil aviation authorities worldwide are directing commercial airlines to completely avoid Ukrainian airspace.
As AlertsUSA continues to closely monitor events in this region and will immediately notify service subscribers of changes in the overall threat picture as events warrant.