Disinfo: Main reason for MH17 crash is Ukraine’s failure to close airspace

Summary

The crash of the MH17 passenger craft was caused by Ukraine’s failure to close its airspace over the rebel held areas of the Donbas.

Ukraine is, thus, the main party responsible for the tragedy.

Disproof

The report fits the recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Flight MH17. The "source" does not base his/her claim on any factual evidence, and merely voices an opinion ("one has to admit…") that Ukraine should be held responsible for the downing.

The claim that Ukrainian airspace had been open prior to the crash is false -- all traffic over the conflict zone had been prohibited to craft flying below 32,000ft; MH17 passed the area at 33,000ft.  At the time, there was nothing to suggest that the presumably ill-equipped pro-Russian separatists would have access to sophisticated weapons capable of shooting down an air plane at that height.

Background

Many competing and contradictory stories promulgated by Russian state-controlled media on MH17.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team 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 MH-17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

On 24 May 2018, JIT stated that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 143
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 28/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Russia, Ukraine
  • Keywords: DPR, Donbas, Conspiracy, 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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The authorities in Kyiv is refusing the residents of Donbas the right to vote in Ukraine’s presidential elections. Ukraine did not give a vote to residents of the occupied parts of eastern Ukraine. In the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, not a single polling station was opened.

Disproof

A recurring narrative on the Ukraine elections. According to OPORA civic network, an election watchdog, voting stations were opened in both regions. In Donetsk oblasts, there are 12 electoral districts (for an estimated 1.4 million voters), while in Luhansk oblast, there are 6 districts (for an estimated 522,000 voters). They were all open according to schedule.

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Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea.

Crimea is a part of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia. In 2014, the Russian troops forced the parliament of Crimea to organize an illegal referendum and then conducted the annexation of it that has been condemned by the UNGA (see the resolution A/RES/68/262 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine).

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Like Russian speakers in the East of Ukraine, Hungarian speakers rose up against this law adopted in September 2018. In the past, Ukraine did not hesitate to shoot at its own people. In Donbass, since 2014, the inhabitants of the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk die. But why are they attacking Hungary which is part of NATO and the EU?
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Disproof

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