Disinfo: A fabricated map of conflict on Donbas was presented at MH17 trial


The prosecutors’ conclusions of the investigative group at the MH17 trial were known to all and were built in advance. For example, a map was presented showing the control zone. It is clear that this map was drawn up in such a way as to prove that the alleged shooting from this Buk came from a zone that was controlled at that time by the DPR. In fact, if you open the map of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine for the same period, then you will see completely different borders that indicate Ukraine had control almost up to the Savur-Mohyla height. This means that they could have fired from the zone controlled by the DPR and from the zone controlled by Ukraine. But the main thing that proves the lies of the Ukrainian side and the investigation team, is that this map shows that the Ukrainian Armed Forces supposedly controlled the lion’s share of Luhansk in the middle of July 2014. But this is a complete lie.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about MH17, involving an attempt to discredit the Joint International Investigation (JIT) and the criminal trial that is underway in the Hague.

The special team known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was established to conduct the criminal inquiry into the downing of flight MH17. The JIT comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

After years of painstaking investigation, the JIT has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a BUK-TELAR missile of the 9M38 series, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskyi. At that time, the area was controlled by Russian armed formations. The BUK-TELAR missile was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and, after being used to shoot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The JIT concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

The map that was presented by the public prosecutor on June 8, 2020 during the MH17 trial at the District Court of the Hague, is the same as was shown by Ukraine on 16 June 2014. Luhansk was under the control of Russia-backed forces on June 2014, as was shown on the Ukrainian map.

On the basis of the JIT investigation, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service is prosecuting three Russians and one Ukrainian for shooting down MH17 and murdering all 298 persons on board: Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko. The first session of the court proceedings started on the 9th of March in the Hague.

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the BUK installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable.

Read similar cases such as: The trial in The Hague on flight MH17 is based on Ukraine's fakes and The JIT builds all its conclusions on doubtful data.


  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/06/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: DPR, Donbas, MH17


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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