As reported earlier by RIA, the Russian Defense Ministry says it had intercepted the activity of a Ukrainian radar system on the day the Malaysian plane went down in eastern Ukraine, the ministry’s press service said Friday.
“Throughout the day on July 17, Russian means of radar surveillance intercepted the operation of the Buk-M1 battery’s Kupol radar station located in the region of the populated area of Styla [30 kilometers south of Donetsk],” the press service said in a statement.
“The technical capabilities of the Buk-M1 allow the exchange of data on air targets between batteries of one battalion. Thus, the launch of rockets could have also occurred from any of the batteries deployed in the populated area of Avdeevka [8 kilometers north of Donetsk] or from Gruzsko-Zoryanskoe [25 kilometers east of Donetsk],” the ministry said.
Then we go to Itar-Tass which reported that civil flights in the air space of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions cannot be performed as the relevant communications infrastructure was destroyed there, a source from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.
“Kiev operates all air traffic control services and it is unclear how this plane (the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday night. — ITAR-TASS) could appear in the area,” he said.
“During the combat actions in Donetsk’s airport the communication tower, a part of the united air control service was blown up,” he said adding that “planes cannot fly there.”
On July 8, Ukraine’s State Aviation Service banned all flights over the Donetsk and Luhansk regions aiming to provide “adequate safety and security for all flights of civil aircraft in favor of state aviation.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council took a decision to close the airspace over the area of the so-called anti-terror operation to commercial flights three days ago, Rosaviatsia reported.
It is not clear why flight MH-17 diverted from its usual trajectory to fly over what was effectively restricted airspace.
Qantas hasn’t used the route for a few months, said Andrew McGinnes, a spokesman for the Australian carrier, while Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific said it has been detouring for “quite some time.” Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc. said in statements they have been avoiding the area since March 3.
Questions about the flight path, and where the instructions to change it came from, will be answered when the contents of the flight black box are released.