Crimean Specialist Believes Ukraine's Missile Could Have Downed Russia's Tu-154 Plane

The Russian Tu-154 passenger airliner, which met with a fatal accident above the Black sea on October 4, could have been shot down by a C-200 missile during military exercises of the Ukrainian air defense. The war game was held near the Opuk cape in the Eastern Crimea peninsula. This opinion was voiced by a competent specialist, Lieutenant Colonel Yuri Baburin (ret.). He served for 9 years /in 1971-1980/ as the chief of staff of a C-200 missile unit in Murmansk, then in the Moscow military district and Sevastopol. He said that in the Crimea are stationed three C-200 units -- in Yevpatoria, Sevastopol and Feodosia. "Their hitting range is two times more than the entire Crimea", says the lieutenant colonel. To him, the C-200 range of firing was initially 240 kilometers, then was increased to 260 kilometers and now, upon updating, the systems hit targets located 310 kilometers away. In case of a 10-11-kilometer altitude, a C-200 could have well hit the Tu-154, which was 270 kilometers away, Baburin is sure. "The mistake must have been made on the ground", he explained. In his interview published in the Krymskoe Vremya newspaper on Thursday, Yuri Baburin also spoke of what he called "objective control" data. He said that "data of in-firing photographic monitoring can be easily changed in any way with the help of simulators". "During tactical exercises, when test targets were missed, specialists used to adjust and readjust data of photographic monitoring just for filing a good report", he said.

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