The Dutch investigation into the crash of Malaysian Airlines MH17 on 17th July 2014 in Eastern Ukraine where fighting between “Russian-backed” Eastern Ukrainian separatists and government forces was occurring , with the death of all 298 passengers and crew, has finally been released.
The crash followed the disappearance of another Malaysian Airlines plane flight 370 over the Indian ocean on 8th March 2014: again with all passengers and crew lost- a rather unusual coincidence .
To no-one’s surprise, the investigation has indicted 3 Russians and one Eastern Ukrainian, who will be unlikely to face the court because both countries’ extradition laws would forbid their extradition.
Several hours before the investigation results were announced , the “independent” investigative online journalist Bellingcat (according to Wikipedia “Half of (Bellingcat’s) funding comes from grants and donations, the other half from running workshops training people in the art of open-source investigations”, released their more comprehensive list of Russians supposedly involved in hauling a BUK ground to air launcher and targetting system across the Russian/Ukrainian border, shooting down the civilian jet and then hauling it back across into Russian territory. The reasons for going through this elaborate process to shoot down a civilian jet with Malaysian, Dutch and Australian nationals on-board are not explored….
However the OffGuardian notes that Bellingcat’s funding is largely “from the Atlantic Council and the National Endowment for Democracy’- institutions not known for their pro-Russian, let alone neutral stance on anything. Bellingcat is well-known for his very dubious statements and ‘proof” of direct Russian involvement in the Eastern Ukraine war, his curious MI6 related account of the Skripal poisonings (well-debunked by Craig Murray), and his accusations of Syrian (Russian supported) SAA involvement in gas attacks against civilians, recently debunked by leaked reports from the OPCW.
The U.K. express noted that ‘Dutch investigators maintain there is photo and video evidence showing the BUK system used to shoot down the plane came from the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade, which is based in Kursk, western Russia.” As far as can be ascertained, this “photo and video evidence’ had been provided to the investigative team by Bellingcat’s ‘independent’ journalists.
And, as The Saker notes; the list of these (four) “suspects” can be randomly expanded, up to the country’s top brass. After all, in order to transfer the Buk across the border, a whole interdepartmental operation is necessary. It is possible to take it only from a military unit. And before this – the (Russian) Ministry of Defence. It has to move to the border along roads and through settlements. This means the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which such a movement has to be coordinated with.
And lastly, protecting the border is a prerogative of the FSB. It is clear that any officer of any of the listed departments will not take part in such an operation without the approval of the highest administration.
Well, and the heads themselves will not involve themselves in such complex and dangerous work without having coordinated it first with the Supreme Commander – the president.
While such further accusations will suit many in the Russophobe West- they simply do not stack up as being possible, plausible or rational. For what possible reason would the Russian Government authorise the shooting down of a Malaysian civilian airliner over disputed Ukrainian territory ?
The Dutch investigators say the missile launcher crossed the border from the Kursk Oblast, Russia, into Eastern Ukraine, and returned after the aircraft had been brought down, a one way distance of approximately 130 kms. The BUK launcher would have travelled at a maximum speed of 65 km/hour.
Despite an all-Malaysian crew, and Malaysian passengers being the second largest group of nationals on the plane, and the owner of the airline , Malaysia (along with Russia) was denied access to the plane’s black boxes and other parts of the investigation, while the Ukraine, who may or may not have been the guilty party, was allowed free access and the right to deny the public access to any parts of the information collected by the investigative team. A curious state of affairs.
Malaysia only supports some aspects of the investigative team’s conclusions, and describes the investigation as “politically motivated”
There is much dispute online about the weapon used to bring down the plane, but the current evidence does seem to suggest a Russian -made BUK type ground to air missile with a fragmentation head. The missile appears to have hit the plane primarily in the cockpit area, causing catastrophic immediate damage and immediate loss of flight recording – although curiously little external damage aft of the cabin until the plane hit the ground and exploded. Russia maintains the missile numbers found indicate that it was an early version of the BUK missile which was likely owned by Ukrainian government forces, but the investigation states that it was a recent BUK version only owned by the Russians.
A very curious state of affairs…