MH 17: Buk-missile was delivered to the Ukrainian army and never returned to Russia

Summary

Russia has rejected all allegations that it was involved in the crash of the Boeing 777 that led to the death of 298 people on board, explaining that the Buk missile was manufactured in Moscow in 1986, but was later delivered to the Ukrainian army and never returned.

Disproof

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

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 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.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, 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 of 289 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges the four cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 153
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 20/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: MH17
  • Outlet: RT Deutsch Youtube @ - Video description
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MH 17: Buk could only have been fired from Ukrainian frontline

The manufacturer of the BUK missile, the arms company Almaz-Antey itself conducted a field test. They exploded a Buk missile next to an aircraft fuselage, which looked similar to the Boeing that had been fired upon. The goal was to determine the angle from which the 2014 missile hit the Malaysia Airlines aircraft and thus locate every location from which the missile was fired.

The conclusion was that the missile could only have been fired from one area of the front line controlled by Ukraine.

Disproof

The claims by Buk manufacturer Almaz-Antey were debunked already in 2015 by Bellingcat.

One of the many recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the downing of MH17.

MH17: BUK was transported to Ukraine in times of USSR

Russia’s Ministry of Defence thoroughly searched its archives and was able to identify the missile based on the fragments from the crash site. The Ministry determined the serial number and represented the entire life cycle of the missile.

The [BUK]-rocket, which was still manufactured in Soviet times, was brought to a military base in Ukraine in 1986. Since then, the rocket has never left the Ukrainian Soviet Republic nor, after the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the BUK missile was only transported within Ukrainian territory.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory that the Ukrainian side was involved in the shooting down of MH17, with no evidence provided.

An example on the many competing and occasionally 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 MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation.

Crimea rejoined Russia after a democratic referendum

Crimea rejoined Russia after a democratic referendum.

In March 2014, after a good 22 years in the independent Ukraine, Crimea rejoined Russia after the population of the peninsula had voted for it by a majority in a referendum. The reason for the referendum was the nationalist coup d’état in Kyiv.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the annexation of Crimea claiming that Crimean citizens chose to re-join Russia through a legal referendum.

No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on the 27th of February 2014, and held on 16th of March 2014.  For the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of the illegal annexation of Crimea see here.