Russian military provided MH17 missile launcher, says report

London: There is strong evidence that the missile launcher that shot down flight MH17 was provided by the Russian military, a long, crowd-sourced investigation into the tragedy has concluded.

However the investigators could not say who ‘pushed the button’ to launch the missile: whether it was Ukrainian separatists, or Russian soldiers working with them.

The new analysis comes as Prime Minister Tony Abbott prepares for his long-anticipated face-to-face encounter with Russian president Vladimir Putin over MH17: either at an APEC conference in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, or at this weekend’s G20 meeting in Brisbane.

Mr Abbott promised last month to ‘shirtfront’ Mr Putin, saying “Australians were murdered… by Russian-backed rebels using Russian-supplied equipment”.

Mr Abbott has since toned down his language, saying last week he would tell Mr Putin that “Australia expects full Russian cooperation with the investigation” into the crash.

MH17 was shot down over separatist-held eastern Ukraine on July 17, killing 298 people including 38 Australians. Continue reading

Ukraine crisis: Nato plans east European bases to counter Russia

Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.

He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia. Continue reading

Russia deploys radar able to track military jets across whole of eastern Europe

A radar that is able to track targets at ranges of over 3,000 km has been activated within the Russian air defense system on Dec. 2, 2013.

The Kolkino radar station, using the first modernized 29B6 radar, is able to track aerial targets flying as far aways as Denmark. Earlier the radar had a research role only, and even if full operational capability is expected within 2 years, the new system is already keeping an eye on what flies west of the Russian border. Continue reading

Russia To Get New Air Defense System For Detecting Missiles At Blastoff

Russia is getting a new defense system which will ensure guaranteed detection of enemy ballistic and long-range cruise missiles at blastoff, a top military official said Tuesday.

The officials said the system would feature advanced information-gathering, data-processing and attack capabilities with an early-warning radar system to be deployed along the entire Russian border. Continue reading