Disinfo: Leaked documents reveal there was no BUK TELAR near MH17 crash site


The crash of the Malaysian passenger Boeing in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 occurred in an area where there was not a single Buk anti-aircraft missile system. This was reported with reference to a document by the Netherlands Military Intelligence and Security Service on Monday, February 17.

New media reports on the circumstances of the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in the skies over the Donbas in July 2014 cast doubt on the position of an international investigation team that accused Russia of involvement in the tragedy. This once again shows that there is still a huge number of issues that seriously question such a biased position, which has already been voiced many times.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aiming to discredit the International Joint Investigation (JIT) into the downing of flight MH17. 

The allegedly leaked documents do not contradict the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). According to the Russian investigative journalism site The Insider, the documents list the coordinates of the points where the Ukrainian and Russian Buk-M1 systems known to intelligence were located and conclude that none of them could have brought down the Malaysian airliner. However, it is not an exhaustive list of BUK missiles that could have been located in the area of the disaster. See further reporting by the Insider. 

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) - which is comprised of the the Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - 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 (or: Pervomaiskyi). 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 Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov, and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering the 298 persons on board. The public hearing is scheduled for 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

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.

For further cases on MH17, see here.


  • Reported in: Issue184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2020
  • 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.

see more

EU only interested in meat prices, not poverty, unemployment or terrorism

The EU has found a new enemy at last. Now all the forces in Brussels will pull all efforts to fight meat. Of course, it is a more important problem in Europe than poverty, unemployment, crime and even terrorism.


The statement is untrue and aims at portraying EU as a country not caring about important social or political issues.

The disinformation message appeared in the background of a recently published report by the True Animal Protein Price Coalition, which was presented at the beginning of February in the European Parliament. The report urges the EU to adopt a meat tax to tackle climate emergency. Many European lawmakers backed the report calling for a new meat pricing model to be included in the European Green Deal and the EU’s new food policy, the Farm to Fork Strategy. The proposal, however, is still on the discussion stage.

Russia is groundlessly accused of the downing of MH17

The international investigation team groundlessly accused Russia in the incident, but so far no tangible arguments nor evidence were submitted.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the downing of MH17 that denies Russia's responsibility.

Contrary to the claims, the multi-national Joint Investigation Team conducted an intensive investigation, with a mountain of evidence which will be presented at the forthcoming trial. The JIT announced that it will issue international arrest warrants for three Russian military and intelligence officers – Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov – and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk. They will be prosecuted for their involvement in the murder of the 298 passengers aboard MH17, which was brought down by a Russian Buk missile.

The Netherlands violated the UN Security Council resolution

Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested from the Netherlands data related to the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 due to the fact that three Russian men are under the trial in this lawsuit. By refusing to transmit this information, Dutch colleagues violated the UN Security Council resolution.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of flight MH17.

A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation. The JIT 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. The Netherlands is leading an international investigation into MH17 being shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 people on board. About two-thirds of the victims were Dutch nationals.