MH17: A perpetual smear job on Russia

Summary

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with probing the Malaysian MH17 airliner disaster in 2014 is a travesty of legal due process and justice. It is a politically motivated vehicle for smearing Russia. A vehicle designed to run and run for years to come. Despite its grand-sounding legal title, the JIT is a mockery of jurisprudence. It has, for example, included Ukrainian police in its “fact finding” while excluding Russia. That has ensured bias in the investigation in favour of a party – the Ukrainian state – which should have been treated as a suspect.

The purpose is to let indictments hang in the air to serve as a perpetual smear against Russia. Unlike the Mueller probe which wound up earlier this year after two years of meandering, empty-handed investigation into alleged “Russian collusion”, the MH17 investigation is set to trundle on for several years to come.

Disproof

One of the multiple disinformation narratives on the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility and questioning the Joint Investigation team.

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.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 155
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: Anti-Russian, Russophobia, MH17
  • Outlet: Strategic Culture Foundation
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Disproof

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. The above-mentioned "Gavrilov incident" refers to the fact that a Russian politician who openly supports the Russian occupation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, not only was allowed to enter Georgia, but was seated at the place of the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament. This provoked a strong reaction from nationalist groups in Georgia. This incident is in no way connected to the cancellation of Tbilisi Pride Parade.

Additionally, this story is in line with the recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about threatened values, which is used to undermine progressive Western attitudes about a variety of normative issues, including the rights of women, ethnic and religious minorities, and LGBTQ groups, among others.

Foreign actors are targeting traditional religion to forward a consumerist neo-liberal world order

The political unrest in Georgia started during an assembly of MPs from Orthodox Christian countries. Foreign actors are supporting various non-canonical entities and sectarian-style beliefs in the framework of the wider campaign against traditional religions that oppose the establishment of consumerist neo-liberal world order.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory, presented without evidence. Freedom of religion is a fundamental element of international law. Freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in Articles 18 of both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (link is external) and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Under international law, Freedom of religion or belief has two components:

Russia is not part of the armed conflict in Donbas and does not provide the representatives of self-proclaimed republics with material or technical support

Russia is not part of the armed conflict in Donbas and does not provide the representatives of self-proclaimed republics with material or technical support.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the lack of evidence of the presence of Russian troops involved in war in the East of Ukraine.

There is irrefutable evidence of direct Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.