MH17 was downed at 16:20:03 on July 17th, 2014. Soon after separatists went out to the area where the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 had fallen. By combining video and written sources it is established the first separatist units arrived at Grabovo at approximately 16:50 EEST. These were men from the Oplot battalion, arriving from Shakhtarsk, expecting having “to fight the Ukrainian pilots” of an AN-26 freighter plane, but “instead stumbled across dead bodies of civilians”.
A little earlier some separatists coming from Nikishyne arrived at Rozsypne, but soon after they also headed to the main crash site at Grabovo.
From video footage made by separatists shortly after their arrival it becomes evident the story of a SU-25 having downed MH17 was made up by Donetsk ‘headquarters’ around 17:00.
“If this is indeed a passenger liner, we didn’t do it” – first statements from separatist leaders and the evolvement of the Su-25 narrative
In the immediate aftermath of the downing of MH17 several separatist leaders made contradicting statements, ascribing the downing to both an Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet and the Ukrainian Air Defense. These first statements are presented in this article. Also, this article will show how the narrative of a SU-25 evolved that afternoon and evening from being downed by separatists and falling in the area of the crash sites of Grabovo and Rozsypne, to crashing near Krasnyi Luch, and finally to fleeing away in the direction of Debaltseve.Read More
Shortly after MH17 was downed on VKontakte a social media post surfaced in which Igor Ivanovich Strelkov allegedly bragged about the separatists having downed an AN-26 freighter plane, which turned out to be the Malaysian Airlines passenger plane. That post was based on a short report by ‘Margo-Donetsk’ from Strelkov’s ‘Military reports’ thread at the forum-antikvariat.ru website.
In this report the post at the ‘Strelkov_info’ Vkontakte community and its source will be examined, within the context of what was known on social media at that time. In addition, a reconstruction of the ‘Military reports’ thread from that afternoon and evening is presented, demonstrating that any trace that could associate Strelkov’s thread to the downed Boeing was rigorously deleted.