Britain released photographs of what it described as Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft artillery system being operated in Eastern Ukraine, adding that this was further proof of Russia’s military involvement in the conflict.
The Foreign Office released an “infographic” with details of the truck-mounted SA-22 surface-to-air missile system along with photographs published by media and a defense consultancy said to show it operating in eastern Ukraine within the last few weeks.
But there is something not quite right about the photos….
Sputnik news reports:
The snapshots of the truck-mounted SA-22 Pantsir surface-to-air missile system appeared on the web and on social networks, but for some strange reason the time and date they were taken differed from what appears on these very same photos published earlier.
Moreover, there is no visual proof that either the missiles were Russian or whether they were snapped on Ukrainian soil.
“The presence of the SA-22 in eastern Ukraine is yet more proof of direct Russian military involvement in the conflict,” the British ambassador to NATO, Adam Thomson, said in releasing the pictures via Twitter.
He then urged Russia to “fully implement its Minsk commitments,” and move its weapons out of Ukraine, referring to a truce agreement signed last week in Minsk.
One of the photographs where the time and place it was taken are missing, offers a general picture of the Pantsir complex, while three others, dated December 24 and February 4 and 5, indicate they were made in the eastern Ukrainian cities of Shakhtarsk and Donetsk.
The links initially led to totally unrelated web pages but eventually brought us to the web page of Britain’s Jane’s Information Group and the Armament Research Services expert group.
The photos shown there feature a truck-mounted missile complex, reminiscent of the Pantsir SA-22. Finding out just when and where those photos were actually taken proved a mission impossible.
Further linked was the webpage of the Billingcat investigative journalism group and showed a KAMAZ truck with a Pantsir-like unit sitting on top. The photo, made on a misty day against the backdrop of a concrete wall and some trees, only says, without elaborating, that it was taken in Shakhtarsk.
Which is surprising, because the very same photograph, which appeared on other websites, indicates it was taken on January 23 in Russia’s very own Rostov region.