DISINFO: Biased, politicised MH17 investigation ignores Moscow-supplied radar data
  • Outlet: sputniknews.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: June 12, 2020
  • Outlet language(s): English
  • Reported in: Issue 201
  • Countries / regions discussed: Malaysia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia
Anti-Russian MH17

DISINFO: Biased, politicised MH17 investigation ignores Moscow-supplied radar data


The work of the Joint Investigation Team probing the MH17 disaster has been politicised, one-sided, and biased. It seems that only those pieces of evidence which confirm the official scenario are admitted, all other information is simply rejected or forgotten. The JIT has denied Russia access to the probe, despite the fact that Moscow conducted its own investigation and provided the Dutch team with evidence such as radar data, proving the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian Buk missile.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of the flight MH17 and the subsequent Joint International Investigation. A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation of the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. The team 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. In order to find out the cause of the crash, the Joint Investigation Team investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft found in the vicinity of the disaster site. The traces were secured and investigated and compared by experts. In addition, the JIT sought and heard witnesses and experts, analysed radar and satellite images, assessed large amounts of telecom data such as intercepted telephone conversations and analysed big data. Read more about the investigation here. There are no legal or logical grounds for granting Russian officials an active role in the MH17 investigation. 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 told a Russian newspaper that "if MH17 were shot down over Russia, I would have suggested that Russia be made a member of the JIT group." The "radar readings" provided by Moscow has done nothing to either supplement or challenge the JIT's findings. At a June 2019 press conference, Dutch Police Chief Wilbert Paulissen stated that the Russia-supplied data "wasn't clear enough" and did not include the actual firing of the missile (1:14:30-1:15:00). See here for further debunking of the radar data claim by Bellingcat. Based on the investigation 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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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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