Australian media fall prey to prejudices of JIT on MH17: Russian Embassy

BYYasir Rehman


Canberra: Russian Embassy in Australia Wednesday while condoling with the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has expressed its dismay that Australian media has fallen prey to the Joint Investigation Team’s groundless allegations about Russian involvement.

“It is regrettable to see the Australian media uncritically embracing the prejudiced version of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) with its groundless allegations about Russian involvement in the plane crash”, a spokesperson of Russian Embassy said in a statement on the 5th anniversary of the tragic incident.

The spokesperson emphasized that Australian public should know the facts that right from the beginning of the MH17 investigation Russia has been contributing importantly to the investigation. For instance, we have provided satellite imagery, videos of the radar screens. And also raw radar data – they are of a critical importance because cannot be distorted or fabricated. After the investigation claimed it had problems with the decoding, Russia re-sent the data converted into the format requested by the Dutch side.

Then, the investigation stated that the Russian radar data were not clear enough. Who were the experts having formulated that opinion and what was their professional level has never been disclosed.

Spokesperson argued that Ukraine in its turn had failed to provide such information, alleging that all of its relevant radars were out of order on July 17th 2014. But this strange coincidence didn’t raise any eyebrows in the investigation team.

He blamed that Dutch Safety Board responsible for the technical part of investigation, On October 13th, 2015 published its report replete with inaccuracies while the observations of the Russian side had not been given due consideration.

He said Almaz Antey company, designers and producers of BUK missiles arranged in October 2015 an unprecedented life-size field experiment of a real missile controlled detonation over a cockpit of a plane.

The results confirmed major discrepancies in the version of the Dutch Safety Board as to the trajectory of the missile, hence the area from where the missile was fired, and the type of the warhead used.

All of this had also been disregarded by the investigation for the obvious reason of not fitting into the a prior version of the missile being fired from the territory controlled by the militia.

As to the criminal investigation lead by the Dutch prosecution, it is important to know that Russia was utterly denied membership in the JIT. Malaysia, the country of the airlines involved and home to 43 of the passengers was only allowed into the JIT in November 2014, three and a half months after it was established.

By that time the initial four members (Australia, Belgium, Netherlands and Ukraine) had already a nondisclosure agreement in place, effectively giving the Ukrainian authorities the right to censor all public releases of the JIT.

Also a promptly prepared “open source” investigation had been published by the Bellingcat, web-site, saying the missile that shot down MH17 belonged to the Russian army and came from Russia.

Since then, he alleged that JIT has been making titanic efforts to substantiate the presumption of the Russian involvement, largely borrowing its “findings” from Bellingcat to the extent of just copy-pasting computer animations, screenshots of chats from social media between unidentified people and other presentations.

It is less known that by some strange coincidence Bellingcat was established on July 15th, 2014, just two days before the downing of MH17. The organization is obviously politically biased. Among its sponsors are National Endowment for Democracy and Open Society Foundations, well known for their anti-Russian stance.

Bellingcat has been caught several times on producing fakes. In fact many photo and video elements used for its “reconstruction” of the alleged itinerary of the BUK missile into Ukraine and back carry traces of forgery.

Another source of JIT conclusions are telephone calls intercepts supplied by Ukrainian Security Service and not verifiable independently for integrity.

On May 24, 2018 during a JIT briefing in Bunnik, Netherlands, two missile parts recovered from the crash site were displayed.

A JIT official who happened to be Jennifer Hurst, Commander of the Australian Federal Police, explained to the public with reference to the serial numbers seen on the debris that it was a BUK 9M38- series missile manufactured in 1986 at a military plant in Moscow.

He reminded that commander Hurst had called for any information permitting to track the life record of the projectile.

This request was very seriously taken in Moscow. On September 17th, 2018, the Russian Defence Ministry published declassified documents stating that the missile was produced in 1986 at the Dolgoprudny Research Production Enterprise and then shipped on December 29th, 1986 to a Soviet Army air-defence unit 20152 stationed in Ternopol region of the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and never returned to the Russian territory.

These facts undermine heavily the concept of the investigation that the missile that shot down MH17 has been brought in from Russia. It is in this context that one should see JIT press-conference on June 19th.

He was surprised that not a single word was said about the Ukrainian provenance of the missile. At last, one of the journalists asked a direct question about it during the Q&A session.

An awkward pause followed and then W.Paulissen, Chief Constable of the National Police of the Netherlands, explained that the information supplied by Russia “didn’t give the right picture”.

“Just imagine a detective saying fingerprints on the murder weapon don’t give the right picture’, he questioned.

Spokesperson raised the point one should also ask a question why a civilian plane was allowed to fly over a zone of intensive military operations.

As far back as in 2015 The Dutch Safety Board stated in its report that “Ukraine had sufficient reason to close the entire airspace over the eastern part of Ukraine”. Nevertheless, in summer 2014 up to 200 commercial
flights daily were overflying the zone of conflict until one of them – the MH17 was shot down.

He said had the airspace been duly closed in the first place, all of those passengers and crew of MH17 would have been alive.

“For all these years neither JIT, nor its member Governments have envisaged the possibility of holding Ukraine accountable. They were too busy building the case against Russia”, he concluded.