Interfax: Ukraine rebels reject German reports blaming them for downing flight MH17

Ukraine Air Crash Scene with Uniformed Security Personnel, Flames, Smoke

(Interfax – Moscow, October 19, 2014) First deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic Andriy Purhin [Russian: Andrey Purgin] rejects German intelligence allegations of militia members’ involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing, suggesting that Ukrainian troops may have shot down the airliner in error, mistaking it for a reconnaissance aircraft.

“These allegations against us make no sense even as regards the fact that the Buk system combat crew consists of no fewer than four or even eight vehicles which carry out various support tasks for the missile system. For their part, the crew of the system must be highly qualified and specially trained specialists. A militiaman, who was a miner yesterday and is bearing arms to defend his land today, does not possess the knowledge or skills to work with such a complex device,” Purhin has told Interfax.

He suggested that the German intelligence could have mistaken a Ukrainian military crew for militiamen.

“My personal opinion is that there is a clear link between the Boeing disaster and the hysteria that started in the Ukrainian mass media four or five days before the tragedy. First they declared a no-fly zone, then reports started appearing in the Ukrainian mass media that reconnaissance aircraft were circling over Donbass [historical name of the coal-mining part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in east Ukraine], which the Ukrainian military leaders vowed to shoot down. In all likelihood, the crew of that Buk wanted to shoot down a reconnaissance aircraft so badly that they fired a missile without even bothering to work out exactly what aircraft was in the sky. Here, however, we can see that Ukrainian air traffic controllers are also to blame. Kiev handed the aircraft over to Dnipropetrovsk, and controllers there directed it to go over the no-fly zone,” Purhin said.