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International Tribunal Claims Russia Should Release Ukrainian Sailors Detained During Kerch Strait Incident

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International Tribunal Claims Russia Should Release Ukrainian Sailors Detained During Kerch Strait Incident

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On May 25th, the UN’s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) ruled that Russia should free the Ukrainian sailors detained during the Kerch Strait incident on November 25th, 2018.

The 24 Ukrainian service members and three Ukrainian navy ships were seized by the Russian coast guard south of the Kerch Strait on November 25th, 2018. The Ukrainian sailors tried to pass through the Kerch strait without permission and now face criminal charges in Russia.

On April 29, Ukraine filed a case with ITLOS requesting provisional measures to order their immediate release. Such measures are authorized under article 290 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in urgent situations to prevent a real and imminent risk of irreparable prejudice to the rights of a party, in this case Ukraine.

Essentially, the Tribunal “diminished the military activities exemption in article which will give pause to the 27 nations that have made such declarations.”

Furthermore, according to James Kraska, Chairman and Charles H. Stockton Professor of International Maritime Law in the Stockton Center for International Law at the U.S. Naval War College, the Tribunal avoided a determination on whether there was an armed conflict between the two states.

“Instead, the ITLOS order accepts without analysis that Ukraine and Russia are interacting during a time of peace, a dubious assumption. In doing so, the Tribunal vindicates two important rights that will be welcomed by maritime powers: sovereign immunity of warships and other government vessels and the peacetime right of freedom of navigation by Ukrainian military vessels. But in reaching this conclusion, the Tribunal diminished the military activities exemption.”

Based on that dubious presumption, the Tribunal ruled that the sailors must be released.

“The Russian Federation must proceeed immediately to release the Ukrainian soldiers and allow them to return to the Ukraine,” said Judge Jin-Hyuan Paik at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which is located in the German port city of Hamburg.

“The tribunal ruling is a clear signal to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity,” Ukraine’s vice minister for foreign affairs Olena Zerkal said on her Facebook page after the judgement.

The Russian side said that the Tribunal’s decision was illegitimate. Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee in the Federation Council said the decision was illegitimate because it happened outside of the ITLOS’ jurisdiction.

“The ITLOS decision granting Ukraine’s demand to return the ships and release the crews arrested last year in relation to an attempt at illegal crossing of the Russian border cannot be considered to be legitimate because this incident is not in the jurisdiction of this court and the conventions it invokes,” Kosachyov said.

When signing the 1982 UN convention on the law of the sea Russia and Ukraine made specific reservations, which rule out consideration of the Kerch incident under the Convention’s procedures, he said.

“This is a matter for two sides, Russia and Ukraine, one of which committed a gross provocation by trying to cross into the other side in violation of the commonly known procedures. No wonder Ruslan Khomchak, Ukraine’s new Chief of the General Staff, has confirmed that sending vessels to the Kerch Strait back then was dangerous and that there were questions for the Ukrainian Navy Commander Ihor Voronchenko regarding the matter.

“Russia should stick to its position and continue to dismiss all Ukrainian attempts to internationalize the conflict situation and present it in the form of Russia’s inadequate activities.

“The new government of Ukraine would be wise to recognize, put mildly, the erroneousness of the actions of its predecessors and resolve issues in the framework of legal norms applicable to this case.”

Russian analytical blog Colonel Cassad made several comments on the matter, which allow to get a Russian perspective on this situation:

  1. Various sanctions are imposed against Russia on a constant basis, just like that, without any international tribunals. Meaning that even if Moscow is threatened by sanctions if it doesn’t release the sailors, not much will change if they do – sanctions will continue being imposed. It is simply the general strategy of the Washington-led establishment;
  2. Relatively recently, a similar hysteria was observed with the Boeing Tribunal, whose decisions Russia also does not recognize and considers null and void. As we can see, in the intervening time, the “decision of the tribunal” did not cause provocations for customers of Boeing. It is just another branch of the MSM propaganda campaign “Russia shot down a Boeing.” Similarly, the Maritime Tribunal plays along with the lines of “Russia oppresses the Kerch Strait.” The Russian Foreign Ministry takes an absolutely correct position, sending these claims to the forest;
  3. It should also be reminded that Russia had the opportunity to discuss the Ukrainian’s sentences in court, but delays it, otherwise by now they would be serving prison sentences. Because of Poroshenko, who sent them there, and because of Zelensky, who instead of exchanging the sailors for detained Russian citizens, actually continues Poroshenko’s course and contributes to the long-term imprisonment of Ukrainian sailors;
  4. It should also be understood that if sanctions are imposed on Russia for the Kerch Strait and if Ukraine doesn’t exchange prisoners, these sailors will be in prison for a long time. Even if only to serve as an example that Russia would not bend to ultimatums. Now, Zelensky is doing everything he can so that they, instead of returning home soon, sit in prison for a very long time;
  5. Russia would not recognize the decisions of the Maritime Tribunal, since their recognition would mean an automatic agreement with the thesis of the United States and Ukraine that Russia has no right to control the Kerch Strait. A recognition of this sort (not to be confused with the freedom of navigation) will have far more negative consequences than any sanctions.

It is apparent that the Tribunal’s decision just forwards the agenda of the Washington establishment and any compliance with it by Russia would be a serious sign of weakness. Especially since there are likely to be more provocations in the Black Sea, juding by US and Ukrainian claims.

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  • Toronto Tonto

    Free them , they were caught in international waters .
    If Russia does not free them sanction the hell out of them .

    • Brother Thomas

      They were not in international waters.

      And Genius – FYI there are numerous sanctions against Russia which have only hurt the EU, strengthen the domestic Russian economy and boosted trade between China and Russia.

    • cechas vodobenikov

      your childish ignorance of geography amuses–sea of azov is not international waters..yes; u r a “tonto”

      • BMWA1

        Minus five or six meters H2o, it would be Azovsky Brod!

    • Sinbad2

      Yeah so was Julian Assange.
      Bin Laden was in Pakistan, and the US murdered him his wife and his children.
      You can’t deal with scum like America using normal civilized behavior.

  • IMHO

    So what’s the difference between the U.S. and Russia here? Why is Russia still holding these guys? Why are they dressed like jack booted thugs with masks?
    Russia has the right to protect it’s waters but what is the reason for holding these guys? You would think that seizing the ships would be message enough. Prosecuting these guys doesn’t hurt the ones who ordered them to violate Russia’s boundaries.

    • occupybacon

      To keep the spirits inflamed. Putin needs NATO fear mongering to keep the power in Moscow

      • Harry Smith

        Wrong mister occupybacon. Sailors knew they were violating the Kerch strait pass regime. It is justified by the documents found at the vessels. So they are criminals, who intentionally violated Russian border. So, like any other world power like USA or China, Russia has to punish the criminal as hard as it would make other stupids to think twice about doing the same.

        • occupybacon

          Double wrong mister Smith, the straits are matter of International Law. Only a small group of (17) banana republics recognized Crimea as Russia. Ex: Turkey’s Phosphorous respect the international law or they wouldn’t allow the Russian vessels to reach Syria.

          So by any International Tribunal the sailors are not criminals. Russia is playing with the international law in order to disrupt economy in the city of Mariupol.

          They are asking for more economic sanctions from NATO. But I’m sure they don’t like West dirt money anyway.

          • Harry Smith

            Wrong once again. In accordance with the Azov sea agreement the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait are internal waters of the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
            This agreement was lawful at the time of incident. I want to recommend you to read the agreement again with more attention applied.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_Between_the_Russian_Federation_and_Ukraine_on_Cooperation_in_the_Use_of_the_Sea_of_Azov_and_the_Kerch_Strait

          • occupybacon

            Total wrong you are :) have you read it? “2. The Sea of Azov must be delimited by the state border in accordance with the Agreement signed by the Parties.” Russia broke all treaties since the invasion of Crimea

          • Harry Smith

            Can you please be so kind and tell me, when Russia or Ukraine, officially, started the procedure of denouncing the treaty?

          • occupybacon

            When the first little green was seen in Crimea

          • Harry Smith

            Could you please show the official statement of Ukrainian Govt in which Ukraine denounced the Azov treaty?

          • occupybacon

            “state border in accordance with the Agreement signed by the Parties” which part did you not understand?

          • Harry Smith

            Well, if we speak about your understanding of the international law, maybe you are right. But if we speak about what is lawful and what is not in the real world, then until Ukraine didn’t denounced the treaty, it remains lawful. You didn’t presented any official document, which denounces the treaty. That means any decision of any kind of international courts are not lawful. The reason of all your previous tries to put the international law upside down is very simple: you just can’t accept the objective reality.

          • occupybacon

            By your logic since Russia denounced the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact in 1989, they shouldn’t be in Berlin in 1945, because they didn’t denounce the treaty first. Here is a piece of reality, cave boy, in my world you broke the law when you infringe the agreement not when you present an official document that denounces the agreement. And by the international law, Crimea waters are Ukraine not Russia and the sailors are kidnapped.

          • Harry Smith

            The pact lost it lawfulness at the moment when Germany, officially, declared the war with USSR. It was made by special memorandum issued by German Foreign Affairs which was presented by Ribbentrop to the Soviet ambassador in Berlin about 2:00 am at June 22 1941.
            Could you please present any official Ukrainian or Russian document which declares the war for the counterpart?

          • occupybacon

            Thank you for this lesson, I didn’t know Hitler had more dignity than Putin, who didn’t denounce the Budapest Memorandum of Ukraine security before invading Crimea.

          • Harry Smith

            Crimea reunited with Russia on the foundation of international law.

            1. The Charter of the United Nations, article 1, paragraph 2: “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”
            2. In July 22, 2010 International Court of Justice, in it’s decision that international law contains no “prohibition on declarations of independence.”
            3. In accordance with article 10, Chapter 4, of the Charter of the United Nations all resolutions of the General Assembly (UNGA) are not obligations but recommendations.
            4. The Budapest Memorandum of Ukraine is NOT an international treaty, in accordance with the international law, and the memorandum does not obligates any state to follow it. In fact, it is written just to remember.
            5. The Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was elected in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution and at the moment of decision about referendum had the whole power of law.

            All the above means that Crimean referendum was lawful in accordance with the International Law.

          • occupybacon

            The “referendum” happened after the little green invasion.It was recognized by 17 banana republics, not by UN.

          • Harry Smith

            We are talking now about international law, not politics. By the international law the referendum was a 100% lawful. Does it recognized or not it’s just matter of the current political situation.

          • occupybacon

            Which international law says that free elections can take place under military occupation?

          • Harry Smith

            All international observers confirmed the lawfulness and freedom at the referendum. No major violations were observed. If the western democracies were so confident about pressure, why they didn’t send their observers to confirm it? BTW I can’t imagine how anybody can make you vote for something, using guns, if the ballot is secret.
            Anyway, referendum was 100% lawful, which was confirmed by the foreign and local observers.

          • occupybacon

            What International observers confirmed by the UN were there, or even China? No country is sending their officials in a place of war, little green were unlawfully there in the first place. You are asking me how the little green influenced the elections? LOL

          • Harry Smith

            Yep, there were a lot of international observers all over the world. Even from EU. And there are no juridical obligations to have official UN observers or official NATO observers to confirm the lawfulness of a referendum.
            You can have any private opinion over the subject, but the reality is the Crimean referendum was fully lawful under the international law. Period.

          • occupybacon

            Since the referendum was organized under Russian occupation, “a lot” of countries like Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Afghanistan recognized it, no China or even Iran recognized it. But ok, no matter if you write in English or you hide behind an Anglo-Saxon name, anyone can see you’re a soviet mongol.

          • Harry Smith

            Look, there is the objective reality and your, particular, opinion over this reality. In example: you can believe that you can not pay any taxes. But since the moment you will stop paying taxes, the objective reality gonna hit you right in the front of your head and you will go to the prison.
            Same thing is for the Crimea. You can believe anything you want, but the objective reality is that Crimea reunion with Russia was 100% lawful under the international law.
            Or Trump’s collusion – the very same situation. CNN or liberals can believe anything they want, but the objective reality – there is no collusion.

          • occupybacon

            Ok, then Iraq invasion or Venezuela invasion by the US would be also lawful if they have elections/referendum after, right?

          • Harry Smith

            There were no invasion. If you did not knew, the Russian military bases were in Crimea after USSR collapse, and Russian troops were lawfully situated there since 1991. If Iraq or Venezuela would vote on referendum to became a 51st state of the USA, and USA accept it, then it’s very normal if USA will move it’s troops to protect the new homeland.

          • occupybacon

            The troops were lawfully situated in Sevastopol not in all Crimea, it’s like saying that because USA has troops in Guantanamo, they are right to be in Havana. And there are a lot of countries happy to join USA, but USA won’t take them, probably if Trump would promise that to Venezuelans, tomorrow Maduro would be history.

          • Harry Smith

            Well, you got it right. If Cubans or Venezuelans will vote at lawful referendum to join the USA, and Senate, Congress and Potus will approve it, USA would have a lawful right to place US troops at that territory. Because that territory would be USA by the law.

          • occupybacon

            How about when USA invade before the referendum, is the referendum still valid?

          • Harry Smith

            If USA has legal military bases in a country – it is not invasion. Otherwise Germany or Poland are invaded by USA.

          • occupybacon

            That’s the Objective Reality you were bragging with? : ) Germany lost WW2 so obviously it was invaded by All the Allies, while Poland officially asked for NATO bases.

          • Harry Smith

            Then I really don’t understand what’s your problem? If legally elected Cuban parliament will vote for referendum and people of Cuba will vote for joining the USA, and USA authorities will accept this wish, then Cuba will be 51st state of the United States.

          • occupybacon

            Is that in your crystal ball with ‘objective realities’?

          • Harry Smith

            Good. Using the ‘crystal ball’ argument shows you can’t fight the logic.

          • occupybacon

            You know a lot about logic, you just said the US army occupying Havana would be lawful.

          • Harry Smith

            Could you please show me the exact quote, where did I said that?

          • occupybacon

            Q:How about when USA invade before the referendum, is the referendum still valid?
            A:If USA has legal military bases in a country – it is not invasion. Otherwise Germany or Poland are invaded by USA.

          • Harry Smith

            Q:How about when USA invade before the referendum, is the referendum still valid?
            A:If USA has legal military bases in a country – it is not invasion. Otherwise Germany or Poland are invaded by USA.

            Can’t see Cuba here.

          • occupybacon

            Read the previous 2 comments, moron

          • Harry Smith

            Read it. It’s about “crystal ball” and the “quote”. Can you please be more exact.

          • occupybacon

            The previous comments before “How about when USA invade before referendum” to “see Cuba”, moron.

          • Harry Smith

            Are you sure, that I said it? Read all our conversation and I never said that USA has legal military bas at Cuba. Fidel denounced the treaty in 1961, so USA has no legal permission to stay at Guantanamo.

          • occupybacon
          • Harry Smith

            Of course I can. Is there written that Venezuela or Cuba have legally placed USA military base? Correct me if I’m wrong, but there is no word about it. And once again: Guantanamo base is illegal, because Cuba denounced the treaty in 1961.

          • occupybacon

            Good, we are using Cuba as an example for Crimea, so let’s compare them. What if USA would have invaded the whole Cuba in 1960 (before the blah blah), because they had a legal base in Guantanamo, the invasion would be legal?

          • Harry Smith

            Logically, we can not use Cuba as example for Crimea, because USA are illegally in there and there was not a referendum.

          • occupybacon

            Yeah, using the words ‘logically’, ‘objective reality’ and other childish stuff makes you look more intelligent. People with common sense don’t talk like that. And the Crimea occupation was before the referendum so both the occupation and the referendum are illegal.

          • Harry Smith

            Well, I do remember people of common sense and how they organized anti-gun hysteria after a school shooting. On the 2nd amendment argument they always answered “it’s all about common sense”. Why do I’m saying this? Because those people live in their own dreams were guns, and not people, kill people.
            And so do you. In your dreams Crimea rejoining with Russia was illegal because of “common sense” while in accordance with the international law all was 100% legal. Sorry, but I can’t bring you to the objective reality if you’re every morning intentionally getting the blue pill. Sorry dude, I gonna leave you in a sweat hugs of your wet dreams. Buenas noches.

          • occupybacon

            I didn’t said : Crimea rejoining with Russia was illegal because of “common sense”. I said people with common sense don’t use in their argumentation “it’s logical” or “this is objective reality”, I realize you didn’t even pay attention to my comments, probably being in a rush to have the Final argument. I said the occupation of Crimea being illegal makes the referendum illegal because it happened after the occupation, not before. Ok, I live you with your strong logic, and fragile ego.

          • Xio

            Dipshit, you are the only moron here, a completely brainless imbecile. Harry proved how stupid and clueless you are; your pathetic fallacies, comparing apples and oranges, only prove how retarded you are, nothing else. First, there are no americans living in Cuba, so your entire premise is just stupid, stuuuupid beyond belief. Also, Cuba WAS invaded by the US, they still illegally hold part of Cuban sovereign territory, stolen like the rest of “America”. Yet you, dumb pile of shite, dare to claim moral high ground? there are too many dead bodies buried on American moral high ground. You fucking moron.

          • occupybacon
          • Harry Smith

            You should be more selective in your sources. Most of the “evidence”, presented at that site already were discussed before. Let’s look at them once again.

            According to international law, Crimea is part of Ukraine.

            1. The Charter of the United Nations, article 1, paragraph 2: “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”
            2. In July 22, 2010 International Court of Justice, in it’s decision declared that international law contains no “prohibition on declarations of independence.”
            3. The Parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was elected in accordance with the Ukrainian constitution and at the moment of decision about referendum had the whole power of law.

            On March 27th, 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula.

            In accordance with article 10, Chapter 4, of the Charter of the United Nations all resolutions of the General Assembly (UNGA) has no power of law but are just recommendations.

      • IMHO

        So you are saying that there is no difference. I tend to agree. At least no major difference.
        The same spirit rules the world. The U.S. vs Russia is just like Republican vs Democrat.
        Two sides of the same coin.

    • Toronto Tonto

      You mean the boundaries that were stolen from Ukraine ???????

      • Brother Thomas

        Which stolen boundaries are you referring to? If you mean Crimea, they passed a referendum to separate from the Ukraine and apply to join Russia.Sort of like the referendum 25 years ago in Quebec to separate from Canada which narrowly failed.

      • Arnte

        Crimea was stolen from Russia you dumb ukrobitch with fake account.

      • IMHO

        Stolen???? Crimea seceded by overwhelming popular vote.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      base on the question you put forward, shows that the upstairs department, is not your strongest point. Do you need a lolly pop?

      • IMHO

        Ask a question and get an insult. You are apparently the one who is mentally deficient. Answer the questions or keep your stupid mouth shut.
        Russia and the U.S. are playing the world as idiots. And it is real easy to play someone like you.

    • George King

      I think you may need to do a reread of the article for your answers.

      “It should also be reminded that Russia had the opportunity to discuss the Ukrainian’s sentences in court, but delays it, otherwise by now they would be serving prison sentences. Because of Poroshenko, who sent them there, and because of Zelensky, who instead of exchanging the sailors for detained Russian citizens, actually continues Poroshenko’s course and contributes to the long-term imprisonment of Ukrainian sailors;”

      “Weapons detained on Ukrainian ships loaded with Ukrainian weapons and ammunition. Ukraine security chief admits intel agents were on board Navy ships during Kerch standoff”.

    • Sinbad2

      Russia would swap them for Russians held by the US in Ukraine, but the US won’t deal.

      • IMHO

        Point taken and point made. If you understand my meaning.

  • AM Hants

    Would the US release them? The International Committee, no doubt run by those who have invested heavily in Ukraine and also regime change programmes elsewhere.

  • AM Hants

    Remember who and what was on board those Ukrainian vessels?

    Remember what the remit of their mission was?

    Weapons detained on Ukrainian ships loaded with Ukrainian weapons and ammuniction…
    http://www.bestchinanews.com/International/13235.html

    Ukraine security chief admits intel agents were on board Navy ships during Kerch standoff … https://www.rt.com/news/444971-ukraine-intelligence-agents-kerch-standoff/

  • Harry Smith

    Please allow me to make a remark, which will correct the sense of the translated sentence:

    The Russian Foreign Ministry takes an absolutely correct position, sending these claims to the forest

    In the original it says “send through the forest” which, in Russian, is very educated way to say somebody “fuck off”.
    Please SF excuse me my lecturing you, but this mistranslating change drastically the initial meaning. Please pardon me being nerd, once again.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      bravo for the correction, SF need all the help it can get. I had my wife translate it for me, but then not all have in the family russian speaking member’s. Good job.

  • Tudor Miron

    International tribunal has no juridical power over happenings in Russian territorial waters. They can wipe their a$$ with that ruling :)

  • Arnte

    Perhaps Russia should release them anyway (what some mickey mouse tribunal says is irrelevant), these sailors were forced and deliberately sacrificed by the criminal maidanazi regime from Kiev. Russia showed strength, now show mercy, something like “we care about poor Ukrainians more than those degenerates in Kiev”.

  • Sinbad2

    Keeping them prisoner just gives the US and its minions something to whinge about.
    Hang them, and the problem goes away.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Swap all of them for Julian Assange .

      • Sinbad2

        The Americans wouldn’t swap Assange for Trump or Clinton.

        They have to kill Assange in a very public manner to prevent any other journalist telling the truth.
        All America has left is its lies and guns, underneath the lies and bluster is a rotting corpse.

        • FlorianGeyer

          Its the 21st century version of burning heretic’s at the stake I suppose.

          A positive side to all of this tyranny, is that there have always been bravehearted people who will not kneel to tyranny, and Julian Assange is certainly one of the brave.

          • Sinbad2

            Cue Mel Gibson :)

            Actually I doubt Assange knew what he was getting into.
            David Hicks doesn’t say a thing anymore, time in an American torture prison breaks most men.

  • goingbrokes

    Notice the Che Guevara shirt on one of the Uki sailors. He’s a volunteer trying to make a political statement! A small sign that this incident was a deliberate provocation.

  • frankly

    “The tribunal ruling is a clear signal to Russia that it cannot violate international law with impunity,” It’s abundantly clear that Russian cannot strictly obey international law without getting sanctioned. Ukraine, on the other hand, has carte blanche, there is no restriction of the evils of empire and vassals.

  • S Melanson

    “It should also be understood that if sanctions are imposed on Russia for the Kerch Strait and if Ukraine doesn’t exchange prisoners, these sailors will be in prison for a long time. Even if only to serve as an example that Russia would not bend to ultimatums.”

    The problem with this statement is if you think like the Ukrainian leadership, this statement will make it less likely of any exchange taking place and make sanctions more likely – already a huge pile of sanctions, is there still room for more?

    The ongoing incarceration of the Sailors in defiance of the ruling (illegitimate or not) will play well in the on-going MSM Russia bashing – this will include claims of Russia trampling rights of the sailors as they have no hope of a fair and just trial in Russia – in other words, like most trials in the West. I cautioned Russia against publicising sailor confessions shortly after their capture as it will be played as forced confessions out of coercion and even torture. This is in fact what happened.

    Russia has room for improvement in going head to head with the monolithic Western propaganda apparatus. For example, consider the Russian response to the west accusing Russia of supplying the BUK system to the rebels allegedly used to shoot down a Malaysian commercial airliner. Russia was relying on facts to refute the allegations. Facts are important but I would have used the facts established by western media against them. The MSM can easily discredit Russian claims that contradict the official western narrative even if Russian counter-arguments are factual. But much more difficult to refute facts already established in MSM publications on the disaster.

    For example, point out that Ukrainian air force jets following the commercial airliner lead the separatists to assume the commercial jet was a military jet, flying in formation with the two other jets. The almost immediate accusation of Russia supplying a BUK system strongly suggests the Ukrainian military had already concerned that the separatists might be supplied with advanced anti-aircraft systems from Russia such as the BUK that could endanger aircraft even if flying miles above the ground.

    So it would seem reckless of Ukrainian military jets would fly in close proximity of a commercial airliner giving the appearance of flying in formation – something commercial airliners do not normally do. Also, if the Ukrainian military was concerned about separatists obtaining advanced air defence systems from Russia, whom they claim is providing direct military support to the separatists, it is unconscionable that the military did not provide guidance such that Ukrainian air traffic controllers would not allow any flight paths of civilian aircraft over an active conflict zone that potentially has advanced systems capable of destroying the aircraft.

    I can go further but this is a good start. Let the western propaganda machine lay out their narrative and then look for opportunity to turn it around on them to bite them in the a__. The Malaysian disaster over Donbass provided plenty of opportunity…