The SA-11, or Buk, missile launchers used to shoot down Flight MH-17 as it flew over Ukraine were supplied by Russia, the United States confirms Saturday.
“We do believe they were trying to move back into Russia at least three Buk [missile launch] systems,” the official said. US intel was “starting to get indications…a little more than a week ago” that the launchers had been moved into Ukraine by Russia, the official said.
The official gave this statement on the basis of anonymity, and it comes after President Barack Obama said that separatists only had the ability to shoot down the plane with outside training or help. The United States is operating on this intelligence, using the belief of Russian involvement to build a response.
This statement is backed up by photos released by Ukrainian intelligence that show 2 Buk missile systems moving into Russia from Ukraine. One has all 4 of its missiles, but the other is lacking one. Officials around the world are pointing to this as the smoking gun, implicating direct Russian involvement in the attack. Some are calling this a state-sponsored terror attack, some a direct act of war by Russia on their nations, and others even calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be tried as a war criminal.
The official list of the casualties has also been released, and is as follows:
United Kingdom: 102
New Zealand: 1
South Africa: 12
United States: 11
As most of the casualties in the shooting down of the plane were Dutch, the leader of the Netherlands was outraged. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said he had told Russian President Vladmir Putin “that the opportunity is fading to quickly show the world that he is serious about wanting to help.” Dutch officials had previously not commented on the crisis.
Reports also say that Russia is in possession of the black boxes on board the plane, and that the separatists are restricting access to the crash site, hindering investigators.
If these reports of direct Russian involvement prove true, this would be the worst state-sponsored terror attack in history. An example of this kind of terror that many know would be the Lockerbie bombings by Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.
Most frightening is the facts that many are pointing out about how wars have started for much less. World War 1 began due to the assassination of a single man, and that assassination helped create the culture that started WW2.