Disinfo: Russian expert again denies West’s claim that a BUK missile hit MH-17

Summary

Russian expert once again refuted the West’s investigation argument, that a shot from a BUK missile system led to the crash of the MH-17.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the MH17 crash, aiming to undermine the Joint International Investigation and subsequent criminal trial. No evidence given.

Pro-Kremlin outlets constantly use Facebook posts of the same Russian "expert" as "evidence", claiming that MH-17 wasn't hit by a BUK.

Three years ago, this same Russian 'independent expert', Yuriy Antipov, claimed that MH-17 crashed because of an explosion on board. He claimed that a bomb was planted on the aeroplane in the Netherlands. Also, in 2017, Antipov said that a BUK missile system, shown on videos by the Investigation Team (JIT), was brought there by Ukrainian forces.

A special team, known as the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), was established to conduct an impartial criminal investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014. The team 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 criminal investigation was obliged to meet the standards set for an investigation in the Netherlands and other participating countries. This means that the JIT has agreed upon the rules and how the evidence should be collected in other countries. The cooperation in the JIT has made it possible for Dutch and Australian police officers to work on Ukrainian territory, together with Ukrainian investigating officers.

In order to ascertain the cause of the crash, the JIT investigated all human remains, personal belongings and wreckage of the aircraft. In addition, they sought, and heard from, 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.

Based on the investigation, the JIT 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. 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 minus one missile. The public hearing started on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

For our overview and analysis of disinformation narratives around the downing of MH17, see here.

Read a similar case: "MH-17 wasn't hit by a BUK missile".

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 209
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 11/08/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Ukraine
  • Keywords: Eastern Ukraine, War in Ukraine, Donbas, 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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