On July 23 the BBC deleted a video report from correspondent Olga Ivishina regarding the crash of MH17. This has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere because the deleted video contained eyewitness reports of military aircraft flying on the same day, shadowing MH17.
Here is the deleted video from cache: Катастрофа рейса MH17 Би би си в поисках Бука 23 07 2014, LQ
Global Research Canada has some interesting translation clips in Deleted BBC Report. “Ukrainian Fighter Jet Shot Down MHI7″, Donetsk Eyewitnesses.
BBC's Initial Response
I found dozens of references to the removal, but to find BBC's reason for removing the video, I had to search the BBC website. It's in Russian.
Jan Leder, managing editor of Russian BBC Service explains Why Bi-bi-si Material Removed From Site.
My initial reaction was that Leder's response was disingenuous.
However, the BBC has since re-posted the video.
Reader Jacob Dreizin, a US citizen who speaks Russian and reads Ukrainian, went over the original and now re-posted videos and it appears the BBC was telling the truth all along.
Although it's not entirely clear, the managing editor says that the intent from the get-go was to fix the material and put it back up as soon as possible.Mounting Evidence
I have reviewed the original version side-by-side with the new one. And I can see what she's talking about. The new video still has all the eyewitness ladies that everyone has focused on.
The new video removed a somewhat irrelevant lecture from the VItalii Naida, the Ukrainian counterintelligence chief. Instead, it has a Ukrainian official claiming that no combat flights take place over rebel areas, followed by a local resident making a mockery of that claim.
It also has a segment where a BBC aviation expert is quoted as giving his rebuttal to a rebel's claim that Ukrainian warplanes have used civilian flights as cover.
The expert says that while he can't rule it out, it seems very unlikely to him, for various technical reasons. However, I don't think he quite understands precisely what the interviewees are saying.
All in all, there's no BBC scandal here. But if you just want to focus strictly on what the eyewitness ladies said I've improved it a bit. Here goes...
Eyewitness #1: There were two explosions in the air. This is how it [the plane] tore apart. And it [the remains of the plane] flew off to the sides [gesturing with hands in two opposite directions].
Eyewitness #2: And nearby there was one other airplane, a military one, everyone saw.
Eyewitness #1: Yes, yes. It was going lower, because it could be seen. It was going below the passenger plane.
Eyewitness #3: There were sounds of an explosion. But they were in the sky. Then this plane turned around sharply like this [gesturing with her finger], changed trajectory, and flew in that direction [showing the direction with her hand].
- Credible eyewitnesses saw multiple planes.
- Russia claims radar picked up multiple planes
- Russia claims Ukrainian Buks in Eastern Ukraine
- Plane moved from original flight path in mysterious circumstances
Russia gave a detailed report on numbers 2 and 3 (See Russia Claims Photos of Ukraine Deploying BUK Missiles in East, Radar Proof of Warplanes in MH17 Vicinity)
Ukraine denies all of the above, and of course the rebels deny having Buks. It's quite possible, and in fact likely, that both sides are lying about multiple things.
That said, Russia has at least come out with some of its evidence. The US and Ukraine have little to offer but hype and reports that appear fake, coupled with over-reliance social media.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock