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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Involvement Undeniable in MH17 Tragedy

MDAA Press Release

Washington DC - July 22, 2014 -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA),, has released a statement assessing Russia's role in the MH17 tragedy.

Based on analysis of the available evidence and on typical operating procedures of air defense systems such as the Russian SA-11 Buk, MDAA Chairman Riki Ellison concluded that Russian complicity in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is highly likely.

In his statement, Mr. Ellison explained that multiple separate elements, including interceptors, radar and command and control, are required to effectively operate these high altitude anti-aircraft systems.

"Due to the complexity of air operations," Mr. Ellison remarked, "there is a high-ranking general officer that has full command of the air sector, including air defense. Because of the automation and sophisticated technology of the air defense batteries and risk of friendly-fire, there are many command controls and a rigorous chain of command in place for identifying targets to prevent shooting down friendly aircraft."

"In regions where there are high military tensions, such as eastern Ukraine, the need for firm centralized control of air defense systems is even more crucial." he added.

Based on these factors, Mr. Ellison concluded, "it would be very difficult to believe that in an environment such as this [eastern Ukraine], the rebels could be armed with a complex air defense system and enabled to shoot down a civilian airliner without Russian support or control."

The MDAA Chairman described Russia's proliferation of these systems to eastern Ukraine as "inexcusable" and recommended that U.S. and NATO leaders "demand that Russia remove these air defense systems deployed in eastern Ukraine as an immediate response. If Russia does not withdraw the Buks, the United States should provide Ukraine with intelligence on the locations of these systems, and supply it with the necessary military support, including sophisticated anti-radar and anti-air defense missiles to destroy these systems."

Riki Ellison is available for interviews. To schedule, please contact Ian Williams at or call 703-299-0060.

About MDAA

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.
Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance
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Alexandria, VA
Press Contact:
Ian Williams
Director of Advocacy

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