Disinfo: Amsterdam may use coronavirus to commit frauds against Russia in the MH17 trial


The West may use coronavirus to commit frauds against Russia in the MH17 trial. It could intentionally ban Russian representatives from attending the court hearing and suppress the public speaking of the 13 so-called unnamed witnesses.

The Coronavirus may also become a pretext for provocations against Russia in court.


No evidence given. This is a conspiracy theory about the coronavirus, and one of many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives aiming to undermine the results of the MH17 investigation and the outcomes of the future trial.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) - which is comprised of the Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has 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.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of MH17 and murdering the 298 persons on board. The public hearing is scheduled for 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

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 other disinformation narratives alleging that The Netherlands is going to sabotage the MH17 trialThe MH17 trial will be a show process, and that There was no BUK, MH17 crashed because of an explosion on board.


  • Reported in: Issue187
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 03/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: coronavirus, 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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The MH17 investigators decided to violate Russia’ sovereignty

Leaked documents suggest that the MH17 investigators have decided to violate Russia’ sovereignty. They were planning violate the borders of Russia by looking for witnesses of the crash of MH17 in Russia without warning official authorities.


No evidence given that the investigators of the crush of MH17 would intend to violate Russia' sovereignty.

This is one of many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives aiming to undermine the results of the MH17 investigation and the outcomes of the future trial.

Mainstream media and governments overestimate the coronavirus threat

There is little doubt that the coronavirus threat is overestimated by mainstream media and governments. Covid-19 is in fact an ordinary viral disease with a slightly higher mortality from complications for people of old age or people with weakened immunity. Another open secret is that the current hysteria over the outbreak is being successfully used by some players to achieve their own economic and geopolitical goals. Looking at the current situation in Europe, one could suppose that some forces have seized an opportunity and are now fueling the coronavirus crisis intentionally.


This is a conspiracy theory, presented with no evidence to support the claim that the coronavirus crisis is being intentionally exploited for economic and geopolitical goals.

This is a continuation of pro-Kremlin disinformation efforts about the coronavirus outbreak, aiming to put blame on the West for allegedly exploiting the outbreak for their own purposes, namely isolating China. While many baseless conspiracy theories have emerged all around the world amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, there is no evidence that Western media are deliberately promoting them with malign intent. On the other hand, there is mounting evidence that pro-Kremlin media are spreading disinformation on the disease for political purposes through a coordinated campaign.

JIT investigation of MH17 crash is not efficient

The JIT investigation of the MH17 crash is neither efficient nor professional due to several reasons. Russia was not allowed to join the JIT, but at the same time, Ukraine has joined and has had the opportunity to influence the results of the investigation. From the very beginning, the investigation was biased against any information from Russia. The JIT ignored arguments and data on MH17 by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey.


Part of the recurring disinformation narratives around the MH17 crash.

Firstly, Russia's interest in aiding the JIT investigation is not a relevant condition of its membership in the JIT. The crash did not take place over Russian territory and claimed no Russian lives, which precludes any basis for Moscow to be represented in the JIT. Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said that "if MH17 were shot down over Russia, I would have suggested that Russia be made a member of the JIT group." A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation. The JIT comprises of officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.