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 Satellite images released by Stratfor show Russian SAM Buk in eastern Ukraine five hours before MH17 downing. PHOTO

Satellite imagery obtained by the U.S. private geopolitical intelligence firm Stratfor sheds new light on the July 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

Investigative journalist Anton Pavlushko wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET reports.

"The Buk was identified on satellite images. I have unpleasant news for Russia today. Another picture of Buk surface-to-air missile system was found on its way to the place of launch of the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly insisted on satellite imagery. So here it is. The footage showing the Buk being transported from Donetsk through Makiivka July 17, 2014 was released two days ago," he wrote.

Watch more: Russian Buk, which downed MH17, captured on dash camera, - new footage of anti-aircraft missile complex moving in Donbas. PHOTOS+VIDEO

"I wrote a post explaining how to identify Buk's location using this video. It was a sort of manual by InformNapalm showing the search process using even a short video and a couple of screenshots: https://www.facebook.com/anton.pavlushko/posts/10209648680473342

Stratfor has checked the specified area and found a picture of the trailer carrying the Buk on the satellite image.

The Buk mounted atop a transloader was found in the location which coincided with the results of my research. The satellite captured the surface-to-air missile system five hours before the airliner was shot down in the vicinity of Snizhne city," the journalist wrote.

Read more: MH17 downed by Russian 53rd Brigade's Buk: experts established launcher's ID number, - Bellingcat

бук доказательства мн17
According to Stratfor, the r ecent scrutiny of open-source materials, much of it led by a U.K.-based collective investigation project known as Bellingcat, has zeroed in on a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile system that was in eastern Ukraine around the time Flight MH17 was shot down. The Buk system is suspected of originating from an anti-aircraft missile brigade based in Russia. In early May, new video footage of unknown origins was released, appearing to place the Buk system in question near separatist-controlled Donetsk on July 17, 2014, just hours before the airliner was shot down.

Read more: BBC refutes Russia's lies about MH17 film: "There is compelling evidence plane was brought down by powerful ground-to-air missile"

Building on this new information, AllSource Analysis - Stratfor's satellite imagery partner - was able to locate images that confirm the exact time and location of the air defense system on the day of the crash. The imagery shows the air defense system, mounted atop a transloader, being transported east through the Donetsk town of Makiivka. The images were taken approximately five hours before Flight MH17 was shot down from a location near the town of Snizhne, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away.

This aligns with the body of existing circumstantial evidence tracing the Buk system's route to and from Snizhne. Combined, the evidence appears to show the Buk system moving from the Russian border toward Donetsk on July 15, 2014, and then moving back to the east on the afternoon of July 17, 2014, just hours before Flight MH17 was shot down.

Read more: Dutch investigation to name exact Buk missile launch site in MH17 case

The new imagery obtained by Stratfor does not prove that this particular Buk system fired a missile at the airliner. Nonetheless, it further substantiates the narrative being pieced together by the collective analysis of open-source information.

The mounting evidence showing a separatist- or Russian-controlled air defense system in the area of the crash, combined with the results of the official investigation conducted on the remnants of the downed aircraft, make it increasingly difficult for Moscow and the Ukrainian separatists to blame the incident on Kyiv. The implication is unlikely to lead to consequences for the Russian side, but at a minimum, it provides a stern reminder about the dangers of the proliferation of weapons like the surface-to-air missile in question.

Read more: Sending MH17-killer Buk to Ukraine was approved by Putin, - Bellingcat expert Romein
 
 
 
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