Disinfo: Russia is groundlessly accused of the downing of MH17


The international investigation team groundlessly accused Russia in the incident, but so far no tangible arguments nor evidence were submitted.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the downing of MH17 that denies Russia's responsibility.

Contrary to the claims, the multi-national Joint Investigation Team conducted an intensive investigation, with a mountain of evidence which will be presented at the forthcoming trial. The JIT announced that it will issue international arrest warrants for three Russian military and intelligence officers – Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov – and Ukrainian national Leonid Kharchenko, commander of the military combat unit in Donetsk. They will be prosecuted for their involvement in the murder of the 298 passengers aboard MH17, which was brought down by a Russian Buk missile.

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 one missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24 May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that 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.

In 2018, Bellingcat also established that two people who, with great certainty, were involved in the MH17 disaster are the two Russian army high-ranking officers: GRU officer Oleh Ivannikov and General-Colonel Nikolai Tkachev.

See similar cases: "The task of the JIT is not to conduct an objective investigation, but to blame Russia for the tragedy", "MH17 investigation is biased", "There is still no evidence of Russian involvement in the MH17 disaster".


  • Reported in: Issue185
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Australia, Malaysia, Russia, The Netherlands, Belgium
  • Keywords: MH17


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 Netherlands violated the UN Security Council resolution

Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested from the Netherlands data related to the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 due to the fact that three Russian men are under the trial in this lawsuit. By refusing to transmit this information, Dutch colleagues violated the UN Security Council resolution.


A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of flight MH17.

A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct the criminal investigation. The JIT comprises officials from the Dutch Public Prosecution Service and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. The Netherlands is leading an international investigation into MH17 being shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 people on board. About two-thirds of the victims were Dutch nationals.

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See earlier disinformation cases alleging that Ukraine is a Neo-Nazi state, the West has always been barbaric and similar to ISIS, that the US is behind the creation of ISIS/Daesh, the West is a terrorist structure, and that the US and EU countries support Russophobic, neofascist, terrorist political parties and movements in the post-Soviet space.

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This claim is entirely false. It is consistent with recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the West's alleged moral decline and rejection of traditional family values in favour of LGBTQ rights.

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