JIT ignores Russian arguments and data on MH17 downing

Summary

JIT ignores Russian arguments and data on MH17 downing.

The JIT accuses Russia of being jointly responsible for the tragedy. The Russian government, which has so far been excluded from the investigation, complains that investigators have ignored Russian arguments and data. For example, the investigation team did not pay any attention to documents proving that the missile hit by Boeing belonged to the Ukrainian army. The experiments of the Russian Almaz-Antey group, which manufactures anti-aircraft equipment, including the Buk systems, were also ignored, confirming that the Buk was fired from the area controlled by the Ukrainian army.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on flight MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

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."

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. Also, Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta found the claim that the Buk was of "Ukrainian origin" to be fabricated.

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

See further debunking by Bellingcat and similar cases here, here, and here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 168
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Russia, Malaysia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War crimes, Donbas, MH17
  • Outlet: Sputnik Deutschland
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Disproof

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