A missile Transporter, Erector, Launcher And Radar unit believed to be the one that fired the fatal shot was hustled across the Russian border into oblivion — the same fate that befell the flight’s data recorders, and suggestive of guilty knowledge in the Kremlin.
The 2nd missile from the left is missing, and people think they know where it went. We definitely know where the transporter went — deep into Russian territory, hiding from investigators. Compare this rendering (actually a view of the TELAR in transit mode from the right rear quarter, flipped to align with the photo):
Vladimir Vladimirovich has some explaining to do, and so far, all his actions undermine his credibility. He’s much luckier than, say, Brezhnev or Andropov in that he’s facing a much weaker and less able opponent.
This report at the Christian Science Monitor (a Boston-based paper that went web-only some years ago amid declining circulation) quotes several Russian defense experts. The report notes that the Russian media is following Mr Putin’s lead in blaming the Ukraine, but the defense experts are less sanguine.
“The facts will inevitably come in, and if it is shown that Russian-supported rebels did this, the whole conversation about Ukraine will change,” says Alexander Golts, a military expert with the online journal Yezhednevny Zhurnal. “In the eyes of the world there will be no difference between Russia and the rebels. Everyone knows who arms and supports these rebels, and that will be enough for most people to blame Russia.”
Russia could get out in front of this really easily: yank the leash of the rebels.