MH-17: official Dutch investigation blames Russia and Russians
Summary: The official Dutch investigation into the shootdown of MH17 builds on earlier conclusions that a Buk missile caused MH17’s destruction and now finds that the missile launcher system that shot down the civilian airliner entered Ukraine from Russia and returned the next day. Russia denies this and accuses the Dutch of a biased and politically motivated fabrication.
Well, what did you expect them to say?
This is big news:
International prosecutors say Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was downed over eastern Ukraine in 2014 by a Buk missile that had come from Russia.
They also narrowed down the area it was fired from to a field in territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.
All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Russia says it cannot accept the findings as the final truth, saying no Russian weapons were taken to Ukraine.
“Based on the criminal investigation, we have concluded that flight MH17 was downed by a Buk missile of the series 9M83 that came from the territory of the Russian Federation,” chief Dutch police investigator Wilbert Paulissen told a news conference on Wednesday.
The missile was fired from a separatist-controlled field first identified by Telegraph days after crash.
The weapon – a Buk missile launcher – entered Ukraine from Russia and returned the next day.
Prosecutors have identified 100 people who may have know, but have not named suspects.
Russia slams investigation as “biased and politically motivated.”
Reuters: Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a missile fired from a launcher brought into Ukraine from Russia and located in a village held by pro-Russian rebels, international prosecutors said on Wednesday.
The findings counter Moscow’s suggestion that the passenger plane, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in July 2014, was brought down by Ukraine’s military rather than the separatists. All 298 people on board, most of them Dutch, were killed.
The conclusions were based on thousands of wiretaps, photographs, witness statements and forensic tests during more than two years of inquiries into an incident which led to a sharp rise in tensions between Russia and the West.
Among the key findings were: the plane was hit by a Russian-made Buk-9M38 missile; the missile was fired from the rebel-held village of Pervomaysk in eastern Ukraine; and the launcher was transported into Ukraine from Russia.
“This Buk trailer came from the territory of the Russian Federation, and after the launch it was returned again to the territory of the Russian Federation,” said Wilbert Paulissen, chief investigator with the Dutch national police.
The Ukrainian government said the findings pointed to Russia’s “direct involvement”. Russia – which has always denied Moscow or pro-Russian rebels were responsible – rejected the prosecutors’ conclusions, saying they were not supported by technical evidence and the inquiry was biased.
What next? I expect the Russian government to deny, denounce and deflect any conclusions. Funny enough, a couple of days it seemed as if they had suddenly and conveniently “found” key radar data that supposedly proved Russia could not have destroyed MH17. Cynics, analysts and cynical analysts have noted that the Russian government has changed its explanation regarding what happpened three times: the current explanation they offer appears to completely undermine their claims in 2014 that a Ukrainian jet fighter shot down MH-17.
Russia will continue to deny its blame, will refuse to cooperate with the findings (and this might include refusing to allow named suspects to be extradited or questioned) and will comtinue to launch new explanations and other informational distractions. Russia may even find or initiate new media stories to divert the attention of the world’s media (perhaps another hospital or aid convoy bombing in Syria – or is that too cynical?), on the principle that if they can stonewall long enough and throw enough hostile trollers into the mix, they might convince the world to become bored with the story.
Interestingly, a Donetsk separatist leader said yesterday that the separatists did not have such a weapon system (the Buk surface to air missile system) not did they have the expertise to launch one.
“We never had such air defence systems, nor the people who could operate them,” Eduard Basurin, military deputy operational commander at the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic, told the Interfax news agency.
“Therefore we could not have shot down the Boeing [flight MH17].”
I think this is a reasonably accurate statement. Are the separatists now starting to distance themselves from the fall-out engulfing their Moscow puppet masters??