Disinfo: JIT didn’t do a proper investigation of MH17’s downing, accusations against Russia are unfounded


The joint investigation team (JIT) investigating the Malaysian Boeing MH17’s downing did not conduct a real investigation into the role of Ukraine in this tragedy.

The materials transmitted by us [Russia] were either ignored or called fabricated. At the same time, without any questions, data from dubious sources, including what was obviously provided by the interested party, Ukraine, were included in the case. However, no real investigation was conducted into the role of Ukraine in the crash of flight MH17 – in connection with the Ukrainian authorities not closing the airspace for civilian flights over the zone of armed conflict.

Allegations of Russia’s involvement in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing are unfounded and regrettable, the investigation is biased and one-sided.

All the missiles, the engine of which the Dutch investigators demonstrated, were disposed after 2011 in Russia.


The report advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the dowing of the flight MH17 and the subsequent Joint International Investigation. 

The public hearing on causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering the 289 persons on board started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands. The trial, and not any other institution or official, is able to assess the evidence provided. The Russian government is not an official party at the trial for formal legal reasons: the downing occurred over Ukrainian territory and there were no Russian citizens aboard. At that, the sole Russian defendant represented at the trial has the possibility to effectively carry out his defence and advance his own evidence.

So far, Russian officials advanced their "irrefutable evidence", to which the disinformation report refers, publicly. The evidence claimed by Russia, namely radar data and the documentation on the missile Buk's engine identified origin are only a small sample of misleading claims advanced by Moscow since 2015, some of which have contradicted one another. The disinformation narrative refers both to a Russian radar which did not detect any Buk missile and at the same time, to the claim that the Buk was of "Ukrainian origin" (evidence advanced by Russia which Novaya Gazeta found to be fabricated).

As such, the results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team remain unchanged: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system with one missing missile returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation.

See more disinformation cases on MH17.


  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: 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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US military biological laboratories encircle Russia

US military biological laboratories encircle Russia.

US military biological activities can be observed all over the world, and also on Russian borders. Moscow has long been concerned about the biological security in neighbouring countries. In Kazakhstan, Armenia and Tajikistan, the Americans created a network of biological laboratories. The Russian authorities have many questions particularly about the Lugar Centre in Georgia.

(…) Journalists and bloggers wrote seriously that the Americans had deliberately allowed the virus to spread. This was allegedly to test the efficiency of biological weapons under development in the lab (in Kazakhstan). (…) Experts agree that the post-Soviet states, with their willingness to accept foreign assistance, may lose control of the epidemiological situation. This could have serious consequences. In times of pandemics such as at present, laboratories of this kind are increasingly coming into focus because they provide worrying suspicions.


A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative about the development of biological weapons by the United States. The conspiracy about US biolabs in countries bordering Russia aiming to encircle Moscow and spread infectious diseases is a part of a years-long disinformation campaign led by the Kremlin.

There is no evidence to claim that the US is developing biological weapons. There is also no evidence to support the claim that partnering biolabs under the agreement have become epicentres for the spread of infectious diseases or have been used to attack populations.

Future deployment of US nuclear bombs in Poland is a preparation for war with Russia

Future deployment of American nuclear bombs in Poland is a preparation for war with Russia.

This plan [of US nuclear weapons deployment] can be interpreted as preparation for war; as preparation for a first strike against Russia. After all, the approach time from Poland is much shorter than from Germany. (…) Russia’s leadership will have to deal with this: strengthen air defence, station an additional contingent of troops at the border.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the US and NATO preparing war against Russia and encircling Russia. There are no plans for US nuclear weapons deployment in Poland.

Neither the US nor NATO aim to attack Russia or are preparing for war against Russia. NATO is a defensive alliance whose purpose is to protect its members. NATO exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia, or any other country.

COVID-19 came from a laboratory

[…] the Corona-virus came from a laboratory. But at this point, you have to drive on sight. It’s only a conspiracy theory if it’s spread by conspiracy theorists and their media. But if mainstream media reported about the fact that the virus was made in a lab, then it would be no longer conspiracy.


A recurring conspiracy theory that echoes pro-Kremlin disinformation about the artificial creation of COVID-19.

There is no evidence that the coronavirus (COVID-19) was created in laboratories. COVID-19 comes from a family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses such as SARS and MERS. Coronaviruses are known to circulate in mammals and birds, and scientists have already suggested that COVID-19 originally came from bats. One of the previous coronaviruses that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, spread from bats to civet cats to humans.