Disinfo: There is no evidence that MH17 was shot by a Russian BUK missile

Summary

On 17 July 2014, a Boeing 777 passenger plane belonging to Malaysia Airlines crashed over eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers of the aircraft with the identification MH17 were killed. The suspicion was quickly voiced that East Ukrainian rebels had shot down the aircraft with a BUK anti-aircraft missile. The missile is said to have come from Russia. There is still no legally binding evidence of this, but Dutch security authorities and international investigators are convinced of this version. On this basis, a criminal case against four defendants was started in Amsterdam at the beginning of March and is currently continuing with interruptions.

Disproof

One of the recurring disinformation narratives about the downing of the MH17 denying Russia's responsibility.

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 Pervomaiskiy in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system, with 1 missing missile, went back to the Russian Federation. On 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.

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 Prosecution Service will prosecute Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharachenko for causing the crash of flight MH17 and murdering all 298 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. The public hearing took place on 9 March 2020 in the Netherlands.

On 10 July 2020, the Dutch government decided to bring Russia before the European Court of Human Rights for its role in the downing of Flight MH17. As stated on the government's website, it "attaches importance to continuing the meetings with Russia on the matter of state responsibility. The purpose of these meetings is to find a solution that does justice to the enormous suffering and damage caused by the downing of Flight MH17."

See more similar cases alleging that the West lies about MH17, there was no BUK and that MH17 wasn’t hit by a BUK missile.

This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that MH17 tribunal seems to be aimed at the previously established guilt of Russian officials.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 206
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Ukraine, The Netherlands
  • 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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