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Investigation: Bellingcat Analysts Identified Number Of “Buk” That Downed MH17 Plane

04.05 09:25

Bellingcat international team of analysts published a report in which they defined a number of “Buk” that downed Malaysian Airlines plane MH17 on July 17, 2014, over the territory of Donetsk region, which is currently controlled by a terrorist organization “DPR”.

The report stated that installation originatied from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of Kursk.

It is noted that in the course of the investigation, team members of Bellingcat discovered and analyzed dozens of photographs of different “Buk” systems, published by the servicemen of the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade in 2010.

In the present report, Bellingcat positively identified the middle digit of this Buk by matching seven characteristic features on Buk 3×2, including a unique dent on a side panel, the white marks on the chassis, and the cable arrangement connecting to the missile erector.

The seven examined features were: side skirt profile, wheel type (combination of hollow wheels and spoke wheels), dent in the left side panel, arrangement of cable connections to the missile erector, white mark on both side skirts, font and exact spacing of digits, and the shape and size of oil/soot deposits by exhaust.

After comparing the seven unique features, Buk 332 was the only TELAR that had even one of these features in common with Buk 3×2 from materials recorded in Russia in June 2014 and eastern Ukraine on July 17 and 18, 2014.


Taken individually, none of the seven identifying characteristics allows a definite identification. However, taken in sum, it becomes clear that Buk 332 is the only logical match for Buk 3×2.


As is known, Boeing 777  of Malaysian Airlines that served MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down on July 17, 2014, over the territory of Donetsk region, which is controlled by a terrorist organization “DPR”.

298 people on board were killed. There were citizens of 10 countries among passengers. The majority of victims (196 persons) were the citizens of the Netherlands.

Read the full text of the investigation here.

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