Een vergissing is het waarschijnlijkste scenario:
The launcher that U.S. officials believe fired the SA-11 heat-seeking missile used a rudimentary radar system that gives an incomplete picture of what is flying above, officials said. Such antiaircraft systems are designed to be linked to other radar that would allow the crew on the ground to distinguish between military and civilian aircraft.
Because separatists did not have secondary radar images available, they probably mistook the airliner for a Ukrainian military plane, the officials said.
The missile that took down the jetliner was probably fired by an “ill-trained crew,” said one U.S. official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue. “It does appear to be a mistake.”
Maar dat wil niet zeggen dat Rusland helemaal geen rol speelde:
[US Officials] said Tuesday that the Russian military has been training Ukrainian separatists to operate antiaircraft batteries at a base in southwestern Russia. […]
The Russian government is also training separatists on a “gigantic” military base near the southwestern town of Rostov, officials said. Officials shared satellite images of the base that showed a large buildup of vehicles between June and mid-July. One image was dated June 19 and the other image, which showed dozens of rows of additional vehicles, was dated July 21.
Bovendien lijkt het er niet op dat Poetin zijn steun aan de separatisten nu beperkt. Integendeel:
Since the crash, Russia has increased the movement of military hardware into eastern Ukraine, officials said. On Tuesday morning, U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that about 20 tanks and armored vehicles crossed Russia into eastern Ukraine.