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Not a single air defence system of the Russian armed forces has ever crossed the Ukrainian border

Summary of Disinformation

Not a single air defence system of the Russian armed forces has ever crossed the Ukrainian-[Russian] border.

Disproof

One of the multiple pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the downing of the MH17 flight.

The JIT has been able to identify a large part of the route concerning the arrival and the departure of the BUK-TELAR.  This was the result of intercepted telephone conversations, witness statements, photographs and videos that had been posted on social media, and a video never shown before which was obtained from a witness.  The system was transported from Russian territory into eastern Ukraine and was later transported on a white Volvo truck with a low-boy trailer.  The truck was escorted by several other vehicles and by armed men in uniform.

The 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.  

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. The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research.  Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available.  Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics.  The combination of those is so special that they can be considered as a fingerprint.  This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones. The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014. 

Furthermore, a joint international open source investigation led by Bellingcat has identified conclusively that the person of interest known as ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ or ‘Orion’ whose identity is sought by the Joint Investigating Team in connection with the criminal investigation into the downing of MH17, is in fact Russian citizen Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov.  Ivannikov was an officer of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Ministry of Defence (GRU), and served in that function until at least as late as September 2017.  During his undercover deployment to LNR, he coordinated and supervised the military activities of Russian militants, pro-Russian separatists and “private army” contingents from the Wagner group.  Ivannikov also supervised the procurement and transport of weapons across the Russia Ukraine border.  He held these functions at the time of the downing of 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.  These two governments are formally holding Russia accountable. 

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Reported in: Issue 150
Date: 10.05.2019
Language: German
Country: Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
Keywords: MH17
Outlet where the disinformation appeared: RT Deutsch
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