After completing a detailed analysis, Germany's foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has concluded that pro-Russian rebels were responsible for the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 19 in eastern Ukraine while on route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
In an Oct. 8 presentation given to members of the parliamentary control committee, the Bundestag body responsible for monitoring the work of German intelligence, BND President Gerhard Schindler provided ample evidence to back up his case, including satellite images and diverse photo evidence. The BND has intelligence indicating that pro-Russian separatists captured a BUK air defense missile system at a Ukrainian military base and fired a missile on July 17 that exploded in direct proximity to the Malaysian aircraft, which had been carrying 298 people.
BND's Schindler says his agency has come up with unambiguous findings. One is that Ukrainian photos have been manipulated and that there are details indicating this. He also told the panel that Russian claims the missile had been fired by Ukrainian soldiers and that a Ukrainian fighter jet had been flying close to the passenger jet were false.
"It was pro-Russian separatists," Schindler said of the crash, which involved the deaths of four German citizens. A spokesman for the German Federal Prosecutor's Office told SPIEGEL that an investigation has been opened into unknown perpetrators because of the possibility that the crash had been a war crime.
However, The Interpreter believes that it couldn't have been a stolen Ukrainian BUK that was involved in the shooting down of MH17, for no Ukrainian BUKs are actually operational. In order to get them operational, it would have required highly specialised people to fix them so that they could be fired. The Interpreter thinks that instead it was a Russian BUK that was delivered to the separatists that was involved, with a false story planted by Russia of a stolen Ukranian BUK, so that the culpability could be directed at the Ukranians if necessary. (See German Intelligence Blames Russian-Backed Militants for Downing of MH17 at 13:58 (GMT) in the list of reports on the linked page)
So, if it was a Russian BUK and Russia supplied it to the rebels and if the shooting down is found to be a war crime, then my bet is that despite looking guilty as sin, the Russians will just continue to deny any involvement. You have to be pretty shameless to pull that off.