Disinfo: JIT ignored evidence supplied by Russia in MH17 probe

Summary

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which does not include Russia, despite the latter’s willingness to provide valuable data regarding the incident including radar readings, has ignored crucial evidence supplied by Moscow.

Disproof

The report advances recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the MH17 crash. First of all, Russia's interest in aiding the JIT investigation is not a relevant condition of its membership in 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 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." Secondly, the "evidence" claimed by Russia, namely radar data and the "field experiment" conducted by the Russian military company Almaz-Antey, is only a small sample of misleading claims advanced by Moscow since 2015, some of which have contradicted one another. See debunking by Bellingcat and similar cases here, here, and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 163
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Russophobia, Donbas, 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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There is no evidence of Russian presence in Ukraine

What Russian forces? Where is at least one exchanged soldier? You have been talking so much how you are at war with mighty Russia! Where are the hundreds and thousands captured Russian soldiers?

Disproof

This narrative claims the war in Ukraine is a civil war and Russia has nothing to do with it, consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation about the war in Ukraine. It disregards a multitude of factual evidence of Russian military presence in Donbas. Consult the evidence database and publications with further evidence here and here. There is extensive evidence of active Russian soldiers taking part in fighting in Donbas. Most of the Russians captured have already been exchanged. Amid heavy battles in 2014 and 2015, Ukrainian army captured dozens of active Russian servicemen in Donbas. For instance, on 24 August 2014, amid the Battle of Ilovaisk the 51st brigade captured 10 Russian paratroopers from the 331st parachute infantry regiment of the 98th Guards Airborne regiment based in Russian city Kostroma. Later, Russia claimed that the soldiers simply got lost on Ukrainian territory. On 31 August Ukraine and Russia exchanged captured troops. On 15 May 2015 Ukrainian army captured two Russian GRU (Russian military intelligence) soldiers – Capt. Yevgeniy Yerofeev and Sgt. Aleksandr Aleksandrov. A year later they were exchanged for First Lieutenant Nadiya Savchenko who had been captured near Luhansk in June 2014 and then transported to Russia. More examples of Russian soldiers captured in Ukraine can be found here.

Popper and Soros launched the term “conspiracy theory” to discredit those who speak the truth

The term “conspiracy theory” is itself part of a broader conspiracy against the truth. The term “conspiracy theory” was invented by a Jewish professor at the university of Vienna, Karl Popper, who is the creator of the open society theory. His best student George Soros, whose real name is Schwartz, is the enforcer of the conspiracy aiming to label all those who speak the truth as conspiracy theorists.

Disproof

Recurring disinformation narrative about George Soros, which is a part of the Antisemitism narrative. The term “conspiracy theory” was not invented by Karl Popper, nor was it “enforced” by George Soros. Sir Karl Raimund Popper was born on 28 July 1902 and he died on 17 September 1994. His work The Open Society and Its Enemies, mentioned in Sputnik article, was published in 1945. The first mention of the term “conspiracy theory” can be found in 1863 New York Times, and it’s a response to a letter that dealt with the question of why England — whose newspapers and elites had criticised the United States over the institution of slavery in the 1850s — was now taking the side of the South in the Civil War (New York Times, January 4, 1863. Page 2.). In conclusion, apart from the fact that Popper did not invent the term; the claim that the concept of “conspiracy theory" itself is a part of a “broader conspiracy against the truth” is nothing but another conspiracy theory. More on how conspiracy theories are employed by pro-Kremlin disinformation outlets here.

The US administration is attempting to militarise space in violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty

The US administration, by creating the US Space Command and planning to create a Space Force (a sixth branch of the military), is attempting to militarize outer space in violation of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which prohibits the deployment of nuclear weapons in space and on celestial bodies.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative that US policies endanger world peace, violate international arms control agreements and seek global domination. The US Space Command and US plans for creating a Space Force are not “an attempt to militarise space”, since space is already a competitive and militarised domain, and it has been since the start of the space age six decades ago. For example, Russia has created an integrated Aerospace Force, tasked with missions including detecting and “meeting” threats from space. China’s 2015 military strategy referred to outer space as part of the new “commanding heights in strategic competition”. Moreover, Both China and Russia are developing and deploying anti-satellite weapons targeted on US satellites which provide the information backbone of US military operations on earth. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits placing nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in space or celestial bodies. Also forbidden are the placing of military bases, weapons testing and military maneuvers on celestial bodies. The Outer Space Treaty does not ban military activities within space, military space forces, or the weaponisation of space, with the exception of the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space. The creation of the US Space Command does not violate these Treaty provisions. There is no evidence that US plans to establish a Space Force contemplate the above-mentioned violations of the Treaty. The main goal of establishing a Space Force is to further centralise and elevate the responsibility to recruit, train and equip military personnel to protect American satellites from the increasing threat of Russian and Chinese anti-satellite weapons.