Disinfo: Ukraine guilty of downing MH17 flight

Summary

Ukraine is guilty of shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Donbas in 2014.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets blaming Ukrainian troops for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Donbas in July 2014 and aiming to discredit the criminal trial and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

In reality, there is enough evidence about Russia’s direct involvement in shooting down this plane. In September 2016, the JIT investigation announced that the plane was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system had been transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in the illegal separatist Donetsk People’s Republic in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system, where one missile was missing, went back to Russia. In May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion that the missile which shot down the plane came from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade. This unit is stationed in the city of Kursk.

Right after the downing, some separatist outlets and pro-Kremlin media in Russia issued reports about shooting down what they thought was a Ukrainian military plane. When it turned out that a civilian plane had been hit, these reports suddenly disappeared. However, they can still be found on the internet - see the entries via the Bellingcat investigation here.

Court hearings started in the Netherlands in March 2020, where three Russians and one Ukrainian were accused of shooting down the plane. Igor Girkin, Sergei Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, and Leonid Kharchenko are being tried in absentia. They are specifically accused of transporting the Buk missile from Russia to Ukraine and moving it back after the shooting. The proceedings are still underway, but there is nothing that confirms Ukraine’s involvement. All facts point to Russia’s direct involvement.

Read more disinformation messages about the MH17 trial.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 23/07/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia, The Netherlands
  • Keywords: MH17, ECHR, War in Ukraine, Donbas
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Disinfo: An OPCW document refutes the West’s allegations about the poisoning of Navalny

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has published a document that raises serious questions about the West's account of the alleged poisoning of the Russian dissident, Alexei Navalny.

On its tenth page, it was stated that the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW dispatched on 20 August 2020, at the request of Germany, a team to conduct a special visit to provide technical assistance, on the occasion of an "alleged poisoning incident of a Russian citizen."

This document raises serious questions about the chronology of events and refutes the West’s allegations about the poisoning of the Russian opposition activist. On August 20 a plane in which Navalny was traveling made an emergency landing in the Russian Siberian city of Omsk due to his deteriorating health, and only two days later, on August 22, Navalny was transferred to Berlin with the consent of the Russian authorities, which means that the OPCW team had been dispatched to provide "technical assistance" to Germany before the story emerged about Navalny's poisoning.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin narrative trying to deflect the blame for Navalny's poisoning from Russian actors. This narrative is also consistent with multiple previous attempts at discrediting the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The claim was neither counterbalanced nor critically challenged in the article.

In fact, mentioning 20 August as the date when the OPCW secretariat deployed a technical assistance team was simply a mistake in the draft report of the Ninety-Seventh Session of the OPCW's Executive Council, as explained by the spokesman of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rainer Breul. The mistake was later fixed in an updated version of the report.

Disinfo: Ukraine produces new 'initiatives' while not abiding by Minsk; Germany and France play along

Ukraine is producing new 'initiatives' regarding the Donbas war to deflect attention away from its failure to abide by the Minsk agreements. Germany and France are playing along.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets, claiming that the blame for the non-implementation of the Minsk agreements falls on Ukraine while also accusing Germany and France of ignoring this fact.

In reality, one of the basic pre-conditions for a peace settlement in Donbas is a ceasefire, which the Moscow-backed separatists have been continually breaking since these agreements were signed. The positions of Germany and France, which are sponsors of the peace process, are in full accord with Ukraine's, where the strict implementation of these agreements is concerned. The European Council said in its conclusions on external relations issued on 24 June 2021:

Disinfo: Europe, US turn Ukraine into bridgehead for attacks on Russia

Europe and the United States have turned Ukraine into a bridgehead for attacks on Russia over the past seven years. Now it is not the Ukraine we remember. They have held a lot of military drills there aimed against Russia, including ones with the use of nuclear weapons. The Southern Ukrainian cities of Odesa, Ochakiv and Mykolaiv are turning into NATO bases. There are no Russian national interests in Ukraine now. There will be no Russian national interests in Ukraine until the Russian army strikes Ukraine’s Nazi leadership.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative claiming the West is using Ukraine as a tool for military confrontation against Russia. In reality, cooperation between Ukraine and the West is multifaceted and not limited to military issues alone.

Kyiv and the European Union signed the Association Agreement in 2014, which paved the way for more comprehensive bilateral interaction in many spheres. This agreement is the main tool for bringing Ukraine and the EU closer together, promoting deeper political ties, stronger economic links and respect for common values. Ukraine receives financial aid from the West to stabilise its economy and help it overcome corruption.