Disinfo: Dutch intelligence found no trace of the Buk antiaircraft missile


Dutch military intelligence has found no trace of the Buk antiaircraft missile capable of shooting down MH17 near the crash zone.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the International Joint Investigation (JIT) into the downing of flight MH17. These narratives have resurfaced due to start of the trial in the Netherlands on 9th March 2020. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, the Dutch Public Prosecution service will prosecute 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.

In September 2016, the JIT disclosed that MH17 was downed with a BUK missile of the 9M38 series. In Eastern Ukraine, two parts of such a missile were found. These parts are the so-called ‘venturi’ and the ‘casing’. This regards, on the one hand, the exhaust of the missile (venturi) and, on the other hand, the casing of the missile engine (casing). The missile engine’s casing shows the number 9 д 1318869032. The JIT-investigation found that 9д 131 relates to the number of the missile engine of the 9M38 type and/or 9M38M1 type. The number 8 is the manufacturer’s code, namely: the Dolgoprudny Research and Manufacturing Enterprise in Moscow. The number 86 indicates the year of production, namely 1986. And the number 9032 is the unique identification number of this specific missile engine.

As part of its efforts aimed at discrediting the JIT, Russia has sponsored a propaganda documentary titled “MH17, Call for Justice”. It was produced by Russian national Yana Yerlashova, a former correspondent with RT, a propaganda TV channel, which has been repeatedly accused of participating in disinformation and meddling campaigns in the U.S., across Europe, and the Middle East.

In 2016, an email correspondence leak from the Donetsk News Agency revealed that Max van der Werff had taken the initiative and suggested that he discredit the investigation that proves the Kremlin’s involvement in the shooting down of the aircraft.

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 here similar cases claiming that MH17 crashed in an area where there wasn’t a single Buk anti-aircraft missile system and that there was no BUK, MH17 crashed because of an explosion on board


  • Reported in: Issue 188
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 10/03/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: DNR, Eastern Ukraine, LNR, War in Ukraine, 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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