Disinfo: MH17: Evidence collected by JIT could have been fabricated

Summary

Evidence from the MH17 crash, including that collected at the scene of the incident, could have been fabricated.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine, aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

There is no proof that any of the evidence has been manipulated or falsified by the JIT. In order to find out the cause of the crash, the Joint Investigation Team investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft found in the vicinity of the disaster site. The traces were secured and investigated and compared by experts. In addition, the JIT sought and heard witnesses and experts, analysed radar and satellite images, assessed large amounts of telecom data such as intercepted telephone conversations and analysed big data. Read more about the investigation here.

The results of the investigation of the Joint Investigation Team are clear: flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by the BUK TELAR system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the city of Pervomaiskiy in Eastern Ukraine, from where the rocket was launched. After firing, the system, with one missing missile, returned to the Russian Federation. On May 24 2018, JIT announced in its conclusion that the Buk belongs to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces in Kursk, Russian Federation. The public hearing on the incident started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

You can see other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on the MH17 case in our database, such as claims that JIT tampered with the evidence; that the plane was not downed by a BUK missile, but rather by a Ukrainian fighter; that the plane crash was triggered by an explosion on board; that the trial in The Hague is not justice but information warfare; that Moscow-supplied radar data was rejected; or that the MH17 crash was planned by Ukrainian, American, and Dutch intelligence agencies.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 202
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/06/2020
  • Country: Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: Conspiracy theory, 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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Despite promises to the contrary, NATO has been expanding further eastwards

The Cold War is over, the enemy image of the Soviet threat has disappeared and communism has been driven out of Europe. NATO for its part, despite promises to the contrary, has been expanding ever further eastwards and today stands on the Russian border from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO and encircled Russia.

The NATO enlargement was not "contrary to promises". NATO Allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any such decision having been taken by NATO. Even if there was a personal assurance from an individual leader, it could not replace Alliance consensus and does not constitute a formal NATO agreement. This promise was never made, as confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev, then-president of the Soviet Union:

NATO establishes a colonial relationship with Ukraine disguised as partnership

NATO issued another item in the long list of “incentives” designed to mock Ukraine. The organisation designed Ukraine as an “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” along with other five nations (Georgia, Sweden, Finland, Australia and Jordan), rewarding their important contributions to NATO operations and goals with the opportunity of increasing dialogue and cooperation with the Alliance. Given its long history of political and military interaction with NATO, including a decade-long military deployment in Afghanistan, Ukraine reached a level of interoperability with NATO higher than some actual member states. Ukraine resembles NATO, speaks like NATO, acts like NATO, but it is not NATO, and it won’t be. So the question is what kind of relation NATO has in mind regarding to Ukraine, given that it will never become a member. By granting the status of “Enhanced Opportunities Partner” to Ukraine and those other nations, NATO is expanding its military capabilities without assuming the risks linked to the expansion of its membership. Ukrainian troops can be sacrificed in far lands without any real security interest for the Ukrainian people, but NATO will never mobilise under Article 5 to help Kyiv in its own territory. The relation reflects that of a colonial master and its vassal, demanding a lot and delivering little.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about NATO and Ukraine. Contrary to the claim, the nature of Ukraine’s relation with the Atlantic Alliance is totally voluntary, as was the country’s participation in NATO missions in Kosovo and Afghanistan. The Enhanced Opportunities Partnership is a tailor-made programme to benefit both sides, not a colonial-style servitude.

Kyiv requested formal membership of the Alliance in 2008, but plans to join it were shelved after Ukraine’s Parliament rejected it, and reemerged after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its sponsoring of the conflict in Donbas. In all these cases, the decision was taken solely by Ukrainian authorities.

The pre-war Polish leadership bears all the blame for the tragedy of this country during WWII

The blame for the tragedy that Poland then suffered lies entirely with the Polish leadership, which had impeded the formation of a military alliance between Britain, France and the Soviet Union and relied on the help from its Western partners, throwing its own people under the steamroller of Hitler’s machine of destruction.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and to reject the historical fact of the Soviet attack at Poland in September 1939.

On August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the USSR signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the Secret Supplementary Protocol, which divided Poland and other Eastern European countries between these two totalitarian powers.