On September 17, the Russian Ministry of Defense hed a press briefing providing evidence that links Ukraine to the missile that downed MH17.
The main points the ministry provided included the finding of serial numbers on the missile fragments, showcased by the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT). These serial numbers allowed the identification of where the missile was produced and to which unit it was supplied. It was linked to a Ukrainian military unit, which took part in the 2014 conflict.
The video used by Bellingcat and the MSM to allege that the Buk launcher involved in the MH17 incident originated from Russia was called fake by the Russian Ministry of Defense.
The radio communications intercepted in 2016 allowed the suggestion that at least some of the Ukrainian Military officers were aware that the MH17 was shot down by the Ukrainian military.
Following the Russian announcement, Dutch prosecutors investigating the downing of flight MH17 have said they will study any information that Russia provides.
Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak on September 17th dismissed Russia’s claims as an “absolute lie” and “another fake story.”
British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson who was in Kiev on the same day to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, during the same press conference said that an independent investigation had shown who was involved in the attack on the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. He was cited by the Kyiv Post as saying that this was another example of “Russian disinformation.”
Commenting on a part of the Russian Defense Ministry press briefing about the fake video presented, Eliot Higgins, who set up the Bellingcat, said Russian defense officials had misinterpreted shadows and objects in their attempt to show there was a problem with lighting in the videos.
On the same day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree ending a bilateral friendship treaty with Russia amid deteriorating ties. Ukraine has not provided any evidence to counter Russia’s presented proof.
Furthermore, Sputnik cited an unnamed source familiar with the content of the September 17th briefing. The source said that the materials Kiev provides to the JIT ultimately discredit Ukraine, as it appears to have happened.
The RT cited former British military officer Charles Shoebridge and aviation expert Julian Bray spoke to RT, about the announcement and shared their predictions for what lies ahead in the MH17 investigation.
Shoebridge called the Russian military’s conclusion “very important new evidence.” He added that the international Joint Investigation Team (JIT) carrying out the probe into the incident will “be keen to look at it and also be keen to be seen to be looking at this evidence very closely.” This is mostly due to the fact that, according to Shoebridge, the JIT seems to have based their conclusions largely on footage from the Bellingcat website.
“We’ve got to marry up all the serial numbers that have been used so far to make sure there’s definitive proof,” said Bray, adding that more work needs to be done to make sure the conclusion surrounding the serial numbers is completely correct.
According to Bray, Russia should take a “more proactive” position when it comes to making sure the JIT has all of its evidence. “I prefer that the Russians say ‘look, we’re going to bring all this evidence to Holland for you to have a look at, and we demand that this is put into the overall investigation rather than rely on an invitation from the other side’.”
In May 2018, the international team of investigators, led by the Netherlands, said Russia’s armed forces supplied the missile launcher that fired a Russian-made Buk missile at MH17 over the war zone. Wilbert Paulissen, head of the Netherlands’ national police crime squad, said the missile was fired from Russia’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade. Moscow is not involved in that investigation, and claims the probe is biased.
Regarding the claims in May, the US State Department said the United States had “complete confidence” in the findings and called on Russia to admit its involvement. “It is time for Russia to cease its lies and account for its role in the shoot down,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
The US government have yet to provide any official responses to the recent developments in the MH17 case. It is of significance that when there are citations of unnamed sources providing questionable information, such as in the case of chemical attacks by the Assad regime, for example, the reports and reactions appear immediately and in large number and are perpetuated by most, if not all media outlets. This appears to not be happening after Russia provides evidence, entirely based on what Ukraine and the Dutch-led JIT are showcasing.