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Counting the Cost

Russia's arms: Tracing the paper trail

Who funded and armed Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists that shot down passenger jet MH17?

Last updated: 02 Aug 2014 14:47
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While investigations continue, there seems to be no doubt in Washington that the missile that shot down Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine was supplied by Russia. Although Moscow denies that, the US has imposed new economic sanctions on Russia.

So who funded and armed the pro-Russian separatists? We look at Russia's army upgrade and the regional military arsenals and try to trace the paper trail. 

Counting the Cost talks to Reed Foster, the head of armed forces capabilities at the defence and analyst group IHS Jane's.

"It is difficult to be definitive on where this equipment was coming from. They are manufactured in the same place, from the same factories, so with things like satellite imagery it is challenging to sort one piece of equipment from another when it is so similar," says Foster.

Payback time

Two court cases have been rattling around the legal system for almost a decade. 

Former shareholders of the now defunct Russian oil giant Yukos are awarded billions, but will Russia ever pay up? 

And will Argentina pay the vulture funds waiting for their money at the same time as the country teeters at the brink of default?

Rory Challands reports on the Yukos saga from Moscow and Daniel Schweimler on Argentina's financial woes from Buenos Aires.

Khawar Quereshi QC, a lawyer at McNair Chambers, talks to Kamahl Santamaria about the issues behind both cases.

The hunt for gold in Sudan

In northern Sudan the imposing remains of the Kingdom of Kush are scattered across the desert. What helped sustain that empire were the rich gold fields. But now a new gold rush is threatening to destroy what evidence remains of the Kushites.

About one million Sudanese are involved in traditional mining, producing more than 90 percent of the country's gold. It is a vital source of revenue for the government, but the prospectors are digging where the Kushites once dug, hacking through ancient history.

There is so much of the kingdom yet to be discovered but Sudan's underfunded archeologists cannot keep up with the rush for gold.

So what is the cost of this modern-day gold rush? Bernhard Smith reports from northern Sudan.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.  Click here  for more  Counting the Cost .   

Follow Kamahl Santamaria  @KamahlAJE  and business editor Abid Ali  @abidoliverali .

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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