Disinfo: The MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter

Summary

The MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter. Talking about the Joint Investigation Team, as the most victims of the catastrophe were the citizens of Australia and the Netherlands, the participation of these two countries in JIT is legitimate, while the participation of Belgium and Ukraine is “suspicious”. There was absolutely no ground to involve Belgium in the investigation. One should take into account though, that the country is the brain centre (sic!) of both the EU and the NATO. Also, Kyiv’s participation is questionable, as it is the main suspect in shooting down the flight.

Disproof

It is a pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the International Joint Investigation Team (JIT) and the progress made in the investigation of the downing of the flight MH17.

A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is an investigation team set up for a fixed period, based on an agreement between two or more EU Member States and/ or competent authorities, for a specific purpose. On the one hand, two Europol member states should participate in a JIT, according to Europol. That is the reason why Belgium is involved in its work. On the other hand, there has been no information on any activities of Belgium in the criminal investigation of the downing of MH17. Therefore it is safe to say that Belgium's role in the JIT is rather formal.

The 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. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, the Dutch Public Prosecution Service will prosecute Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov, and Leonid Kharchenko for causing the crash of MH17 and murdering the 298 persons on board. The trial opened on 9 March in the Netherlands.

The European Union and NATO 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.

Find further disinformation narratives here about how 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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 189
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Hungarian
  • Country: Australia, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Belgium
  • Keywords: MH17

Disclaimer

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 JIT builds all its conclusions on doubtful data

The Joint Investigation Team builds all its conclusions in the MH17 case on doubtful data from social networks and on their crude compilation.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of the flight MH17. The Joint Investigation Team collected forensic evidence from debris, soil samples, taped phone conversations and other evidence. Full description of how the investigation was conducted is available in the JIT's report.

The JIT 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 public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

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Disproof

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Empty chairs for MH17 victims outside Russia’s Hague Embassy: It’s a fake

The so-called “action”, where relatives of victims of the crash allegedly brought 298 white chairs to the building of the Russian Consulate has nothing to do with reality. This is part of anti-Russian hysteria in the media, with describing an event at which the journalists themselves have not been. Even the building of the Russian consulate is not visible in the the photos.

There are just some chairs standing on the lawn, and it’s not a fact that there are 298 of them. That’s how fakes appear.

Disproof

In fact, the action took place in front of the Russia's Hague Embassy, not the consulate. The chairs were laid out in rows like seats in an airplane and represented the victims who died when a Buk missile fired from territory held by pro-Russia separatist rebels shot down the flight MH17 on July 17, 2014.

The action was observed by international journalists and documented not only with photos, but also with videos. Embassy officials did not comment on this action.