The Russian Authorities continue to challenge the version that Flight MH-17 was brought to the ground by an air-ground missile. They declassified information contradicting the conclusions of the Dutch Commission of Inquiry Into the Crash.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, connecting Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was destroyed on 17 July 2014 as it was flying over the region of Donetsk (Ukraine). This was at the time of fighting between the coup-making government of Kiev and those seeking the independence of Donbass. The fatalities totalled 298. From that time, each side is trying to pin the blame on the other. On the one hand, Ukraine is accusing the insurgents of firing a ground-air missile (Bouk) and on the other hand, Russia is accusing the Ukrainian Air Force of bringing down a Boeing civil plane.

Then Moscow raised a dozen questions that Kiev preferred to ignore [1].

The UN Security Council then adopted Resolution 2166 which mandated an “exhaustive, impeccable and independent international investigation” [2].

The international commission established under the resolution consisted (in addition to Ukraine) of Germany, Australia, the United States, France, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Russia. It is coordinated by Holland. However, Russia has been excluded because it is suspected of being the aggressor.

The search for the truth is eclipsed by the East-West Conflict. Thus the United States is thinking of bringing President Putin before the International Criminal Court for this crime, and the US internet site Bellingcat (linked to the Atlantic Council) is providing leads for the Dutch Commission.

On 7 October 2014, Frans Timmermans, Dutch Minister of Foreign Trade at the time, and today the first Vice-President of the European Commission, revealed that one of the passengers had the time to snatch an oxygen mask. This contradicts the thesis of an anti-air missile [3].

On 8 October 2014, the German Secret Services testified, in secret, before the German Parliament’s Intelligence Committee. According to The Spiegel, they made the following allegations on flight MH17.
(1) the photographs that the Ukrainian government provided are false; and
(2) the declarations from Russia, that the plane would have been brought down by the Ukrainian army and that the Ukrainian war planes would have drawn close to the passenger plane are also false [4].

According to a detailed study of the debris, that was carried out by Professor Ivan A. Andrievskii, the first Vice-President of the Russian Union of Engineers, the Malaysian Airlines plane would have been gunned down in flight [5].

Later on, the Russian daily, Komsomolskaya Pravda, reports the testimonial of an official, which revealed that the plane would have been brought down by a Ukrainian fighter plane [6].

On 24 May 2018, the International Investigating Commission, chaired by Holland and with Russia playing no part, presents its work during a press conference in Amsterdam. It declares that the Malaysian flight was destroyed by Buk, an air-ground missile, belonging to the Russian Brigade of Air Defense 53, based in Kursk. Holland and Australia communicate these conclusions to Russia [7], conclusions that Russia rejects but not before presenting a series of anomalies in the work of the Commission [8].

On 17 September 2018, Russia, relying on the photographs presented by the Commission, which permitted it to find out the identification number of the missile from the buzzard and the engine of the plane, concluded that at the time, this missile, manufactured by the Soviets, had never been in Russia’s hands. Furthermore, at the time of the events, it was in the hands of a Ukrainian military unit in Lvov. Russia has sent to Holland all the evidence it has, to prove its argument.

Anoosha Boralessa

[1] “Malaysia MH17 crash: 10 questions Russia wants Ukraine to answer”, Voltaire Network, 20 July 2014.

[2] “Resolution 2166 on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and debates”, Voltaire Network, 21 July 2014.

[3] “Crash of Flight MH17: German BND belied by Frans Timmermans”, Voltaire Network, 21 October 2014.

[4] « Deadly Ukraine Crash : German Intelligence Claims Pro-Russian Separatists Downed MH17 », Der Spiegel, 19 octobre 2014.

[5] “Analysis of the reasons for the crash of flight MH17”, by Ivan A. Andrievskii, Оdnako (Russia) , Voltaire Network, 27 September 2014.

[6] “Vladislav Voloshin: "The Plane Was In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time"”, by Dmitry Steshin, Nicholas Varsegov, Vladimir Sungorkin, Translation Anna Dinuts, Komsomolskaïa Pravda (Russia) , Voltaire Network, 25 December 2014.].

On 22 March 2016, the Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt (Christian Democrats) tweets that the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry concluded its hearings in chambers. Only Ukraine could have destroyed the plane [[“Only Ukraine could bring down MH17”, Regnum (Russia) , Voltaire Network, 21 March 2016.

[7] “Letter by Australia and The Nederlands to Russia dealing with Flight MH17”, Voltaire Network, 25 May 2018.

[8] “Statement by the Foreign Ministry regarding the press conference of the Joint Investigation Team on the preliminary findings of the criminal investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Boeing in eastern Ukraine”, Voltaire Network, 24 May 2018.