The Malaysian commercial jet was shot down on July 17. On July 20, reporter Robert Parry reported from his source that Ukrainian government troops were responsible:
“What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.
“The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site, the source said.”
A long comment by “vic” that appears in a comments thread supports this hypothesis with technical and factual details.
In addition, with the passage of plenty of time, the U.S. government still has not come forward with its evidence and neither has the Ukrainian government. Taken together, the hypothesis is viable and compelling that a Ukrainian military force shot down MH17. But there is more evidence that supports this hypothesis.
On July 21, the White House blamed Russia for the downing of MH17, but they held back from making a strong case. Why? It’s most likely because they didn’t have a strong or any other kind of case against Russia.
On July 20, Kerry made the rounds of the Sunday talk shows to make the case against Russia. He said
“It is pretty clear that this was a system from Russia, transferred to separatists. We know with confidence that the Ukrainians did not have such a system anywhere near the vicinity at that point of time.”
It’s critical to the Parry explanation that the Ukrainian military did have BUK missile systems in the area. Did they or didn’t they?
The next day, the Russian Defense Ministry rebutted Kerry with substantial photographic evidence and stated
“As far as we know, the Ukrainian military had three or four air defense battalions equipped with Buk-M1 SAM systems deployed in the vicinity of Donetsk on the day of the crash. This system is capable of hitting targets within the range of 35 km at the altitude of up to 22 km.”4:46 pm on August 30, 2014