Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine

Palinurus

The Living Force
Again archiving the latest from SOTT (Finian Cunningham - Strategic Culture Foundation Thu, 31 May 2018 14:55 UTC) :

MH17: A sinister choreography by NATO powers to smear Russia -- Sott.net

[...]
Bellingcat's media activities indicate that it is not the supposed "independent online investigative website" it claims to be. During the Syrian war, it has helped to peddle claims that videos sourced from the White Helmets are "authentic" when in fact there is strong evidence that the White Helmets have been fabricating videos of atrocities on behalf of NATO-sponsored terrorists in order to smear the Syrian government and its Russian ally.

For the Dutch-led JIT to associate with Bellingcat as a source of "evidence" is a matter of grave concern as to the probe's professional credibility.

Moreover, what is also fatally damaging to the MH17 probe is that the Ukrainian secret services (SBU) under the control of the Western-backed Kiev regime, which came to power in the NATO-backed February 2014 coup d'état, is the source for much of the so-called evidence implicating Russia or the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine for shooting down the MH17 airliner.

The dubious videos cited by the JIT and Bellingcat were sourced from the SBU. Those videos were purportedly posted on social media at the time of the plane crash by anonymous members of the public. The Russian government has dismissed those videos as fake.

The latest claims by McClatchy and Bellingcat of identifying a Russian military officer are based on allegations that mobile phone intercepts are attributable to the man named as Orion. Bellingcat appears to have expended a lot of effort trawling through digital phone books to identify the individual. The report also relies on embellishment of Orion's alleged secret military career in Ukraine and South Ossetia by way of lending a sense of credibility and sinister innuendo.

However, the bottomline is that McClatchy and Bellingcat both admit that they are relying on the Ukrainian secret services for their phone intercepts, as they had previously for the videos of the alleged Russian Buk convoy.

The SBU and its Kiev masters have an obvious axe to grind against Moscow. Their partisan position, not to say potential liability for the air crash, thus makes the JIT and subsequent Western media reporting highly suspect.

Such close involvement of a Western media outlet (McClatchy) with a fake news engine (Bellingcat) and Ukrainian state intelligence is indicative of coordinated public psychological operation to smear Russia.

The prompt responses from Western governments calling for criminal proceedings against Moscow are further indication that the whole effort is an orchestrated campaign to frame-up Russia.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source: Putin calls MH17 "enormous tragedy", investigation "biased"

Putin calls MH17 "enormous tragedy", investigation "biased"
By Janene Pieters on June 5, 2018 - 12:50

In an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF, Russian president Vladimir Putin again denied that Russia was involved in the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. He called the disaster an "enormous tragedy", but added that the Joint Investigation Team's investigation into the perpetrators is "biased", NOS reports (in Dutch; with video-clip).

Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.

The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 - a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. The Netherlands and Australia officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster - providing the missile.

During the interview, Putin was asked whether he should admit that Russia was responsible for the downing of the plane. The Russian President responded that all parties in the Ukraine conflict have weapons coming from Russia or the former Soviet Union. So the fact that MH17 was brought down by a Russian weapon, does not necessarily mean that the Russians were behind it.

Putin called the investigation biased, partly because there are no Russian experts in the JIT. "All arguments must be heard, including the Russian ones. There can only be justice if Russian investigators are admitted." He said that the investigation team refuses to listen to Russia, but will apparently listen to Ukraine. "It is an enormous tragedy what happened to families, but the investigation must be objective", Putin said.
Similar coverage: Putin renews attack on 'partial' international MH17 inquiry - DutchNews.nl

The interview as aired by Austrian TV (44:58 min.) (htlm-5 player) (in German, with German subs) (only one week available):
ZIB Spezial: Wladimir Putin - Das Interview vom 04.06.2018 um 20.15 Uhr

German transcript of aired version:
ORF TVthek

The complete interview (Langfassung) (53:52 min.) (no subs):
Langfassung: Wladimir Putin - Das Interview vom 04.06.2018 um 21.00 Uhr

Kremlin transcript in English:
Interview with Austrian ORF television channel


Other news (Dutch only):
Cookiewall | BNR Nieuwsradio

US ambassador: The Netherlands should take more aggressive action against Russia.
BNR web editorial [June 5, 2018]

Today, 00:01
Update: today, 08:35

The Netherlands must take a more aggressive stance on Russia in the MH17 case. The American ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, says this to BNR News Radio.

For example, he wants the Netherlands to stop cooperating on the construction of Nord Stream 2, a pipeline from Russia to Germany and the Netherlands. If the Netherlands does not impose tougher economic sanctions against Russia, there will never be justice for the MH17 disaster, says Hoekstra.

Hold Russians accountable

According to Hoekstra, Europe and the Netherlands should see the MH17 disaster in connection with the annexation of the Crimea and the use of chemical weapons in Syria. You cannot continue to do business with Russia while they are behaving so badly in other areas,' says Hoekstra.

According to Hoekstra, the Netherlands, the EU and Australia must set the tone in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the shooting down of flight MH17. It is one thing to say that the Russians are responsible for the disaster. It is a second thing if the Netherlands cannot follow this up. The Dutch Government must take the lead and hold the Russians to account and, together with the EU and the United States, introduce even stricter economic sanctions against Russia. The construction of a pipeline from Russia to Germany will make Europe even more dependent on Russian gas. They have already shut off the gas before. If you continue on the same footing, I can guarantee that you will never get information.

We do not determine how the Netherlands should act'.

Hoekstra emphasizes that he does not want to determine how the Dutch government should act. But if you are serious about holding the Russians responsible and getting answers, then there must be diplomatic consequences. Russia is not going to change its behavior. Hoekstra also says that the United States will support the Netherlands as an ally in the settlement of the MH17 disaster.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
Similar (Dutch only as well):
VS-ambassadeur: 'Nederland moet harder zijn tegen Rusland om MH17' | NU - Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl
 

sToRmR1dR

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Ukrainian officials claim it was President Poroshenko, who ordered to shoot down Flight MH17

Ukrainian politicians do not exclude that it was President Petro Poroshenko who ordered to shoot down Boeing 777, Flight MH17, over the Donbass.

The rhetoric of the West regarding the Donbass air crash has changed lately. Not that long ago, Dutch officials stated that Ukraine might have been involved in the attack on the civilian plane.

In this regard, Ukrainian politicians, who previously defended Ukrainian President Poroshenko, now backpedal on many issues. For example, former Ukrainian MP Alexei Zhuravko said that Poroshenko was personally responsible for the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing. "First off, I think that personally Poroshenko himself is directly to blame for the fact that the Boeing was shot down. I also believe that it was him who ordered to do it. I can say with certainty: people close to Poroshenko already say that Poroshenko gave an order to shoot down that very aircraft," Zhuravko said.

Speaking on "Special Article" talk show, Zhuravko said that he was making such statements consciously because the state of affairs in Ukraine "resembles sinister hell."
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Wow sToRmR1dR, this news seems quite a scoop when proved true ! Thanks for finding and sharing it. :cool2:

Meanwhile, archiving a side note on the Austrian TV Putin interview from SOTT (Sputnik - Wed, 06 Jun 2018 11:01 UTC) :

Putin speaks German to ask Austrian journalist stop interrupting him -- Sott.net

During a televised interview, Austrian journalist Armin Wolf repeatedly interrupted Russian President Vladimir Putin while discussing the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine.

As President Putin was trying to lay out his opinion on the MH17 tragedy in Ukraine that the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) blamed on Russia, Wolf couldn't help but constantly interrupt him in a bid to clarify his stance on the matter. At one point, the Russian president asked the interviewer to be patient and let him finish before asking any further questions, quickly switching to German to convey his message.

"Let me finish, for God's sake. Seien Sie so nett, lassen Sie mich etwas sagen. [Please be so kind as to let me say something]" the president chuckled.​
[continued...]
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
MH-17 Update: Is the JIT Investigating the Truth or Manufacturing it?
29-37 minutes
Written by Brian Kalman exclusively for SouthFront; Brian Kalman is a management professional in the marine transportation industry. He was an officer in the US Navy for eleven years. He currently resides and works in the Caribbean

Western False Flag to Garner International Support for the Conquest of Ukraine
May 9, 2018
The MH17 airliner tragedy has recently entered the news cycle again, with the Dutch-led Joint Investigative Team (JIT) holding a press conference to announce their determination that the airliner was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air missile that was provided to Ukrainian militias directly from Russia. They announced that they have conclusive evidence that the missile launcher came from the inventory of the 53rd Air Defense Brigade based in Kursk. The actual evidence presented was inconclusive to say the least, and the JIT spokesmen stated that the conclusive evidence in their possession would not be released at this juncture. The airliner was shot down on July 17, 2014. The JIT has had almost four years to determine the most likely scenario behind the tragedy, and yet all that the public received during the May 24th press conference was anti-Russian propaganda loosely supported by social media and a number of Buk missile fragments that obviously were not involved in the intercept of any aircraft. The Russian Federation has provided material evidence and conducted a number of conclusive experiments, including one conducted by the manufacturer of the Buk missile system, Almaz-Antey, and yet they have been denied any involvement in the official “investigation” from the start. Ukraine on the other hand, who is also one the main suspects in the crime, despite the obvious conflict of interest, has been a key member of the investigative effort from the very beginning. Does this strike anyone as odd?

That is because the JIT has not been engaged in a criminal investigation, but a criminal fabrication. The same western powers that were able to determine the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks within 48 hours (remember the pristine passport that somehow survived the immolation and pulverizing of a skyscraper and airliner?), and righteously pointed the finger at Saddam Hussein while declaring that it had ironclad proof of his imminent intention to use weapons of mass destruction to mobilize international support for another war in Iraq, have taken almost four years reconstructing what happened in the skies over the eastern Ukraine. Why such a long, secretive, drawn-out investigation this time? Could the same JIT team that left aircraft debris all over the field in the villages of Petropavlivka, Hrabov, and Rozsypne, showed no interest in interviewing a multitude of local witnesses, and relied heavily on Ukrainian supplied twitter videos early on in building their initial case, actually have spent the last four years practicing due investigative diligence in finding out the truth? It is highly unlikely.


More social media “evidence” put forward by the JIT top investigators. As the table flags reveal, it is pretty much a NATO operation, with the token Malaysian invite and of course, the aspiring NATO member and most likely culprit to the crime, Ukraine.

And why were the victims’ bodies left for four days in refrigerated trains before authorization was given to take custody of them? Were autopsies conducted to determine the nature of death and were shrapnel wounds thoroughly investigated and documented? Only three months after the crash, the Dutch chief prosecutor Fred Westerbeke stated that 500 metal particles (a nice round number) were recovered from bodies, and that at least 25 of these were composed of iron. Almost a year later, in August 2015, he stated that seven pieces of shrapnel that were most likely from a Buk missile (although he did not specify how he could know that at such an early juncture) had been recovered, but had not been recovered from bodies or from aircraft debris. How can their provenance be determined if they were not found in the aircraft wreckage or the bodies?

One of the mysterious “Buk fragments”. What is the real origin of these iron fragments which admittedly were not recovered from the MH-17 wreckage or from the body of any of the victims of the crash?

And while Russia proved extremely helpful from the outset, they were told that their help was not wanted and that they would not be included in any way in the official JIT investigation. The Ukrainian authorities were made official members of the investigative effort. Russia was not a declared combatant in the conflict, yet Ukraine was. The obvious conflict of interest with having Ukraine as a major member of the investigation from the start was a clear sign that the objective of the JIT was not in finding the truth, but in manufacturing it.

Who Benefits?
The first question to ask after any such an event is cui bono, or “who benefits”? It is quite obvious that Russia would not benefit from such a horrific occurrence, nor would Ukrainian militias engaged in heavy fighting against the Ukrainian military at the time. The successful coup leaders in Kiev; however, had everything to gain from engineering a tragedy to blame on Russia. I am not saying that this is what happened, but it is an obvious possibility. Ukraine had a clear motive in creating an escalation that could be blamed on their enemies. Russia had no such benefit to be gained. The militias fighting in Donbass and Lugansk had no need to acquire more advanced anti-aircraft capabilities that could target aircraft flying at higher altitudes, as they had been achieving great successes shooting down Ukrainian aircraft at an alarming rate.

Who Was Capable of Such an Act?
A second question to ask is, “Who had the capabilities to shoot down an airliner flying at such a high altitude?” The militias had obviously gained aid from Russia in acquiring MANPADS, above and beyond what they were able to capture from military armories in their own territory, and they had been very successful in shooting down a large number of Ukrainian Mi-24 attack helicopters, SU-25 ground attack aircraft, and even two Mig-29s. The militias had proven to be very skilled at engaging and defeating aircraft engaged in ground attack missions. The Ukrainian Air Force was largely incapable of targeted bombing from high altitude, lacking both the equipment and the highly trained aircrews for such missions. Why would the militias, or the Russian leadership for that matter, decide that advanced SAMs should be injected into the conflict when MANPADS had already been largely successful? It simply defies logic.


This Ukrainian Mi-24 was shot down while flying a combat sortie near Slavyansk on May 5th, 2014. Two other Mi-24s were shot down in the same area just three days prior.

The Ukrainian military had both the capability of shooting down the airliner, and the forward deployed air defense units armed with the Buk SAM system, to shoot down the Boeing 777. The Ukrainian 156th Air Defense Regiment had 17 Buk missile launchers deployed in the east of the country, one battery located at Avdeyevka, near Donetsk, one at Mariupol, and one in Lugansk. Once again, I am not saying that this is what happened, but it is in my opinion the most likely scenario. It could very well have been a tragic accident, but it was most likely an accident caused by a Ukrainian air defense unit. Once the accident occurred, the leadership in Kiev, aided by the SBU, went into crisis management mode, and soon decided to frame the incident as an act of Russian aggression. Further demonization of Russia, and any success at turning it into an international pariah would only help to aid the Kiev coup leadership in their cause to both gain international legitimacy and to solidify support for the conquest of the rebel territories of Donetsk, Lugansk and the Crimea, who refused to recognize their legitimacy. Russia had to be painted as the aggressor, and even more so, as a violator of international law. The United States, with all of its vast surveillance gathering capabilities, would have to be relied upon to not present any proof of what happened, and to put forward an anti-Russian accounting of events. This is exactly what has transpired.

The Ukrainian 156th Air Defense Regiment equipped with the Buk missile system were forward deployed in the area of the eastern conflict zone at the time of the crash. If one of the Regiment’s batteries shot down the civilian airliner, it would be the second time since October 4th, 2001 that the Ukrainian military had shot down a passenger flight.
Past Precedent
A further question to be asked is, “Has such an accident happened in the past, and if so, what was the cause and what was the reaction of the guilty party?” Civilian airliners have been shot down at least three other times since 1983, and if TWA flight 800 is included (which was most likely downed by a surface-to-air missile), there have been four such incidents before the MH-17 incident.

Korea Airlines Flight 007 (1983)

The South Korea airliner was shot down on September 1, 1983 after it had strayed into Soviet airspace. The U.S. sacrificed classified intelligence information to prove that the airliner was shot down by the Soviet Union within weeks of the tragedy. It took roughly a decade for Russian authorities to admit fault in the incident (after the dissolving of the Soviet Union) which killed all 269 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 747.

Iran Air Flight 655 (1988)

The civilian airliner was shot down by the U.S. Navy guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes CG49 on July 3rd, 1988. The U.S. admitted shooting down the plane, yet stated that an Iranian F-14 had been using the airliner as a radar shadow to attack U.S. navy assets in the Persian Gulf. Both civilian and military radars soon proved this assertion to be a total lie in a matter of days, and in a short time the entire world held the U.S. to blame for the tragedy. The U.S. government was forced to legally acknowledge blame and to compensate the families of the victims eight years later. An important side note to this story is that the commanding officer of the USS Vincennes, Captain Will Rogers III, and the Weapons and Combat Systems Officer Lt. Commander Scott Lustig, were actually awarded meritorious service medals just one year after the tragic incident.

One of the many children killed in the disaster which claimed 290 lives. When asked if the United States government should offer an apology to the Iranian nation, then Vice President George H.W. Bush stated flatly, “I will never apologize for the United States. I don’t care what the facts are. I’m not an apologize for American kind of guy.”
Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 (2001)

On October 4th, 2001, a Siberian Airlines Tu-154 enroute to Tel Aviv was shot down over the Black Sea by a Ukrainian air defense unit engaged in a live fire exercise. The airliner was apparently targeted by an S-200 missile that overshot a target drone that had already been intercepted by another missile. Although an obvious tragic accident, Ukrainian authorities refused to accept responsibility until pressured by the Russian Federation administration of President Vladimir Putin. Then Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma acknowledged fault for the incident and the Minister of Defense at the time, Oleksandr Kuzmuk, resigned. The government compensated the families of the victims in an amount totally approximately $15.6 million.


A Tu-154 similar in appearance to this was shot down over the Black Sea in 2001 by a Ukrainian Air Defense Regiment engaged in a live fire exercise. All 78 passengers and crew perished in the tragedy.
TWA Flight 800

A Trans World Airlines 747-100 took off from New York’s JFK airport on the evening of July 17th, 1996 and blew up in ball of fire only 12 minutes after take-off. At least 700 eye witness statements clearly suggest that a surface-to-air missile brought down the airliner. The debris field was extensive, with the aircraft breaking into thousands of pieces which would denote an intercept of significant speed and a powerful detonation. After a four year investigation, the NTSB determined that a faulty fuel line caused a catastrophic explosion that (although such a fault never happened with any other 747 before or since the TW 800 tragedy) brought down the aircraft. I graduated from the USMMA with a classmate who was fishing with his father off Long Island that night who witnessed the event. He is now a high ranking U.S. Navy officer. To this day, now with vast first-hand knowledge of modern missiles under his belt, he is still unwavering in his belief that a missile brought down the civilian flight. It took the FBI nearly six months to admit that a U.S. Navy ship “engaged in classified maneuvers” was located within 3 nautical miles of the incident. After a four year investigation, the NTSB issued its controversial decision that a technical fault caused the fiery explosion and crash that killed all 230 passengers and crew aboard the airliner. An estimated $500 million was paid by both TWA (bankrupting the airline) and Boeing in compensation to families of the victims, beginning some 6 years after the crash. Hundreds of eye witnesses and a number of NTSB investigators have gone on record that they believe that the FBI covered up the truth of the tragedy.

Looking back on past precedent, the Russian government after initial denial of culpability, admitted to fault and compensated those effected by the tragic accidents involving state military forces accidentally shooting down civilian aircraft. In the case of Siberian Air flight 1812, Ukrainian air defense units were proven to have accidentally targeted and destroyed a civil air flight and were forced to accept blame by no other than Russian President Vladimir Putin, the West’s favorite Boogie Man.

In the case of U.S. culpability in such accidents, not only did the U.S. authorities attempt to obfuscate the facts of the tragedies, in the case of Iran Air Flight 655 they lauded the perpetrators of the tragedy, bestowing them with state awards. Having learned from this incident, in the case of TWA flight 800, they dragged out the investigation for four years and turned reality on its head to escape blame. A number of those officially involved in the TWA 800 crash investigation have come out in recent years to refute the findings of the investigation. What better way to escape blame than to cover up, obfuscate, distract and eventually fabricate an explanation?

MH17: The Bigger Picture

The MH-17 tragedy must be viewed in the wider context of both the conditions of the war at the time of the incident, and the wider propaganda war being waged by the West against Russia since the start of the Ukrainian conflict and continuing at an ever increasing degree of severity to this very day. In July of 2014, the Anti-Kiev militias in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk were engaged in a ferocious and largely successful battle against a coup-installed government that they saw as illegitimate. The Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) in turn, were combating a tenacious enemy of former countrymen who seemed to be getting aid increasingly from Russia in the form of battlefield advisors, intelligence and technical assistance. The UAF was losing on both a tactical and strategic level in engagements with the militias. They needed something to break the stalemate, an event to put the global spotlight on Russia as an aggressive violator of their sovereignty and international law, and to force Russia to limit or halt its aid to the militias. What better way than to engineer an international tragedy that would highlight Russia as a nation bent on its own “expansionist” interests at any cost, and an irresponsible proliferator of advanced weapons systems to “uneducated miners” turned rebels?

At the same time, the Russian leadership must have been extremely satisfied. A small force of dedicated militias had been causing humiliating defeat after defeat to the Kiev government with minimal military or financial investment, and with very little overt exposure or culpability. The obvious orders from the top must have been “steady as she goes”. No need to change anything, right?

The MH-17 tragedy changed the entire paradigm. A conflict in a post-Soviet backwater instantly achieved international implications overnight. Although hundreds, if not thousands of innocent civilians in Ukraine had been killed in the conflict up to that point, now Western civilians had been killed. That was too much for the “international community” to bare. Now there would have to be accountability. But what happened soon after the tragic shoot down?

The United States asserted that they had conclusive evidence that Russia and their proxies in eastern Ukraine had shot down MH-17, yet they produced nothing. No evidence. No satellite imagery. No electronic intercepts. No radar data. Nothing. They supported Ukrainian assertions via YouTube videos, twitter and unverifiable audio recordings that it was a Russian orchestrated crime. Yet no real evidence was submitted by the U.S. This stands in stark contrast to the immediate actions of the Reagan administration following the downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007. Not only did the U.S. compromise top secret national security information gathering secrets, but the same such secrets of a key ally, Japan. The administration also decide to make the GPS satellite navigation system available to civilian users soon after. A huge sacrifice in the pursuit of the truth. And the Obama administration’s sacrifices for the truth? Not one. They knew the truth, and that truth was too harmful to see the light of day. That’s the only conclusion that can be made. The U.S. knew immediately who shot down the civilian flight and their silence speaks volumes. If in truth it had been Russia, or the Russian supported militias, the evidence would have come forward from Washington in a deluge, but it didn’t. What do they always say? Sources and methods cannot be compromised.

It is quite obvious at this juncture that the JIT, comprised of the most likely culprit and two NATO members, have spent the past four years fabricating a version of the truth that fits the desired narrative. The “evidence” will be fabricated to fit the conclusion that Russia was the culprit of the crime. The philosophy of the terrorist that “the end justifies the means” has once again been fully embraced. Truth be damned. The Western establishment will manufacture the truth.

The All Important Timing

In geopolitical machinations, timing is always important, and timing should never be seen as coincidental. The JITs announcements have occurred as the Ukrainian military has ratcheted up attacks on territories within the 15km deep the line of separation on the DPR/LPR side of the line, most notably around the strategically important transportation intersection located near Gorlovka. Military activities along the “grey zone” have increased over the past month. At the same time, the United States and the Russian Federation are negotiating agreements over who can stake out territory in Southern Syria. The FIFA World Cup, hosted by Russia this year, is right around the corner with the opening match scheduled for July 14th. We all remember what happened during the Sochi Olympics. That’s right, the Ukrainian government was overthrown by an illegal coup which was heavily funded and supported by the U.S. State Department.

Also of interest is the apparent suicide of Captain Vladyslav Voloshyn, a man implicated as possibly shooting down flight MH-17 while flying an SU-25 in close proximity of the airliner’s flight path over the Ukraine when it was shot down. Quite a number of aviation experts and analysts have advanced the theory that the airliner was shot down by an aircraft. At least one Ukrainian Airforce Su-25 was detected by Russian radar as being in the immediate area of the shoot down. Ukrainian air traffic control refused to release any data regarding the flight, and the JIT has refused to use Russian supplied civilian and military radar data in their investigation.


Ukrainian Air Force Captain Vladyslav Voloshyn pictured in front of his aircraft. Although most analysts find it unlikely that he, or any other Ukrainian pilot flying an Su-25 that day was responsible for shooting down MH-17 on July 17th, 2014, his untimely, alleged suicide just a week prior to the JIT releasing its latest findings in more than convenient.

I happen to believe that the most likely cause of the destruction of MH-17 was a surface-to-air missile and not an aircraft, but I also believe that all possible scenarios must be investigated so as to either advance or remove them as a possible cause of the tragedy. Russian media sources highlighted the SU-25 shoot-down scenario when a defector and witness came forward to advance the theory that an Su-25 piloted by Cpt. Voloshyn downed the airliner. The initial response from western “media” was to refute the possibility by pointing out that the Su-25 lacks the service ceiling or speed to intercept a Boeing 777. This was soon proven false by the Russian Aerospace Forces when they exhibited that a Su-25 can actually reach the altitude that MH-17 was cruising at. They had RT record the experiment and air it that network’s coverage of the MH-17 tragedy. It is well known amongst the militaries of the world and most military analysts that the officially stated capabilities of weapon systems by governments are always below their actual performance. It is noteworthy that the Russian military went out of its way to give away some of the actual performance characteristics of one of its front-line aircraft to prove the possibility of this theory. This took place even though the Russian government seems to embrace the theory that the airliner was downed by a SAM as the most probable.

Just 6 days before the JIT press conference, Voloshyn is said to have committed suicide. Western main stream media were quick to point out that there was no connection between either Vladyslav Voloshyn, who left the Air Force to become the director of the Nikolaev Airport, and either the shooting down of MH-17, nor the release date of the latest JIT “findings”. One such media outlet, Polygraph.info, made the assertion that his involvement was impossible, because the JIT has determined that a Russian Buk missile shot down the aircraft. That’s the usual western media modus operandi, merely pushing the establishment narrative without any independent investigation, evidence be damned. Let’s take a look at Polygraph.info a little closer. The website clearly states:
“Polygraph.info is a fact-checking website produced by Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The website serves as a resource for verifying the increasing volume of disinformation and misinformation being distributed and shared globally. A similar website in the Russian language can be found at factograph.info.​
VOA and RFE/RL journalists research and analyze quotes, stories, and reports distributed by government officials, government-sponsored media and other high-profile individuals. The reporters separate fact from fiction, add context, and debunk lies.
Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty are multi-media, non-partisan, international broadcasters providing accurate news and information, particularly for audiences with limited press freedoms. VOA, headquartered in Washington, D.C., broadcasts in 45 languages to a measured weekly audience of more than 238 million people around the world. RFE/RL serves as a surrogate media source in 26 languages, reaching more than 23.6 million people each week.”​
Voice of America and Radio Free Europe are funded and directed by the federal government of the United States. Sound un-biased to you? To state that this media outfit is an international, non-partisan effort aimed at de-bunking disinformation and misinformation is laughable. This media outlet is a state propaganda operation pushing the narrative of the U.S. government.

So what should the critically thinking reader take away from this? Is there a connection between Capt. Voloshyn and the shooting down of flight MH-17? Is there a connection between his suicide and the JIT announcement of it’s finding of Russian fault in the tragedy? I honestly do not know. The timing certainly is questionable. A person that could refute the latest assertions of the JIT can no longer give any testimony to the contrary. He is dead. The western media, including the most obvious government propaganda sources, have released numerous articles and posts to refute any possibility that Voloshyn could have been involved in shooting down the aircraft simply by stating that the latest JIT assertions are fact. No need for evidence mind you.

What’s Does the Immediate Future Hold?
I would estimate that a new campaign to further demonize and discredit Russia has been embarked upon here, or at least has been continued after a long hiatus. Russia will be vilified and discredited by western media once again as Russia comes under the international spotlight during the FIFA World Cup events. The Kiev government will likely attempt some escalation in the current stalemate in the eastern regions of Ukraine by staging further provocations, or attempt a limited offensive. The JIT may likely hold an additional press conference to further extrapolate on its “evidence” and “findings”. Is this why the JIT did not present its “concrete and incontrovertible” evidence on May 24th, so it can release it at a time that maximizes the damage to Russia in the eyes of the world, when all such eyes are focused on it? Probably.

Time and time again, when the U.S. establishment proves impotent in a conflict in real terms and is powerless to influence a conflict on the battlefield, it turns to dirty tricks that it can use to influence public opinion, which it pushes through its well-funded and well-connected multi-media propaganda network. This has only increased since the failures of the U.S. to overthrow Syria and Ukraine as independent and non-aligned states. The independent Ukraine which refused to choose between the EU and Russia under the leadership of Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown. An independent Syria under Assad, which refused to acquiesce to Western and Gulf State economic interests was invaded. Neither attempted conquest has succeeded, and both nations have proven more resilient than their enemies predicted. As victory on the battlefield evaporated like a mirage, so the false flags and propaganda campaigns kicked in to high gear. What will be the next purported atrocity laid at the doorstep of Russia?


The United States has quietly increased military aid to Ukraine over the past two years, mostly in the form of training and advising. They have also supplied the UAF with uniforms, body armor, sniper rifles, medical supplies and equipment, and most recently Javelin anti-tank guided missiles. There is little doubt as to whose interests the Poroshenko regime is actually serving.
I do not know the answers to these questions, but as a critically thinking person I can review the available evidence, study past events, build a profile of the most likely perpetrators and beneficiaries, and theorize on the most likely scenario. I don’t need to go to CNN or RT to get my neatly pre-packaged view on events. I definitely don’t need the likes of Polygraph.info or Snopes.com to verify my information collecting efforts for me. I will rely on my own reasoning, intuition and experience to come to my own conclusions and so should you.

I do know that the experiments conducted by Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of the Buk missile defense system, were very exhaustive. They even simulated the intercept of MH-17 with a Buk missile to recreate and study what such an intercept would produce in terms of physical evidence. They actually detonated a Buk missile in the manner and placement of an airliner’s forward fuselage to simulate what seems to have most likely occurred. They determined that the shrapnel patterns and shapes denoted that a Buk missile most likely brought down MH-17, but that the shrapnel patterns denoted an earlier version of the missile not used by the Russian Federation for some time, yet still widely used by Ukraine. They also determined that the angle and direction from which the plane was hit, denoted that it was most likely launched from Ukraine controlled territory, and not a militia controlled area. The manufacturer released their findings in full, as well as formerly top secret information pertaining to the Buk missile system to the JIT. The JIT merely responded that the findings of the Almaz-Antey investigative team were flawed and improbable. Of course, no fact based explanation for this assertion was ever advanced, nor any similar experiments conducted to refute the findings.


Although far from a conclusive investigation, the Almaz-Antey study attempted to recreate what occurred by detonating an actually Buk M-1 missile approximately a meter from the cockpit of a similar aircraft to a Boeing 777. Assumptions had to be made regarding the most likely trajectory of the missile as fired from Ukrainian government held territory, but the shrapnel patterns created in the fuselage seemed to prove that the missile used to down MH-17 was most likely an older M-1 variant no longer in service with the armed services of the Russian Federation, yet still widely used by Ukraine.

And what have we seen from the JIT? A few videos posted on social media purportedly showing the missile launch vehicle actually used on a road in the eastern Ukraine? A number of audio clips (inadmissible in a western court of law) supposedly of rebels stating that they shot down the wrong plane? A highly intact piece of a missile with an identifiable number stenciled on to it that supposedly links it to the 53rd Air Defense Brigade? I wish this was considered evidence in Syria, where thousands of Western supplied weapons have been found in the hands of Jihadists and can actually be traced to their source via serial numbers, denoting place and date of manufacture. How about the hundreds of pieces of cruise missiles displayed by Russia that they asserted were intercepted over Syria after the U.S. was adamant that all missiles successfully hit their targets? Does anyone see a pattern here?

This brings me back to my initial point about the JIT investigation. It is not interested in discovering the truth, but in manufacturing it. The false investigation will formulate a false truth corresponding to a pre-established false narrative, in order to manufacture consent in a public that has been carefully spoon fed propaganda for almost four years now. You see, it usually takes the truth a very short time to come to light if the truth is actually sought. Really good lies take a long time to fabricate and must be allowed to leech into the rational mind in small doses over time.

In short, expect an escalation from the Ukrainian military sometime over the next two months, after the start of the World Cup. Summer is good military campaigning time in Europe. Also, expect further “evidence” and allegations to come out of the JIT at the same time. Both actions will be coordinated to further the narrative that Putin, and Russia in general, is an aggressive and barbaric threat to the Western-ruled world order.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
A belated but very well meant thank you c.a. for the above post which serves as a summative round-up of the way in which the current situation came about, warts and all included. :thup:

Other news.
Source (Dutch only):
MH17: zo werkten Nederland en Australië in diepste geheim aan stap tegen Rusland

Translation with DeepLTranslator (five photographs and two videos omitted):
MH17: Thus, the Netherlands and Australia worked in deepest secrecy to make their move against Russia.

RTL-Nieuws / Fons Lambie
23 June 2018 07:50

The Netherlands and Australia only informed other MH17 countries at the last minute of the decision to hold Russia liable . This is striking because, until now, the MH17 countries have always operated together. One of the reasons: some people feared a leak to Moscow. This is evident from a reconstruction of our political editors.

For example, Ukraine and Malaysia were not informed until the week the decision was to be taken. The decision came as a surprise to the outside world, but was carefully prepared by the two countries during the last few weeks in the strictest secrecy.

Top secret conversation in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 21. In the stately Palacio San Martin, countless ministers and diplomats meet because of the G20, the consultation between the world's 20 largest industrial nations. All conversations are confidential, but the content of one conversation is really top secret.

The conversation between [Dutch FM] Stef Blok and his Australian colleague Julie Bishop seems to be a customary meeting between ministers from two friendly countries. Bishop tweets a cheerful picture with her Dutch colleague, but the content of their conversation is extremely sensitive. There is a great fear of being eavesdropped on by Russia or some other country. Blok and Bishop will discuss the latest details: that coming Friday the Netherlands and Australia will jointly hold Russia liable.

No telephones for sensitive consultations

In the weeks leading up to the presentation, Prime Minister Rutte and Ministers Blok and Grapperhaus were informed in general terms of the conclusions of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The JIT consists of five countries: The Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, Ukraine and Belgium. So the ministers already know that on Thursday 24 May researchers will announce that the BUK transport comes from the 53rd Brigade of the Russian army. This is the signal for the government to set earlier prepared scenarios in motion. In the deepest secrecy.

Rutte, Blok and Grapperhaus inform as few people as possible. Many people in The Hague are mostly well-informed about politically sensitive decisions, from Members of Parliament to the most important employees in the political parties. But not now. There must be no talk via unsecured telephone lines. During sensitive conversations, telephones even had to stay out of the room. This decision must not leak out, is the judgment of those involved.

That is why planned foreign visits (Rutte to India, Block to Luxembourg) continue as planned. When Rutte leaves, he already knows that he will stop his journey short. There was no other option, says a source in the cabinet. If the Prime Minister had cancelled his trip to India earlier, he would have put too much attention on the JIT press conference. That would wake up sleeping dogs and create a lot of speculation. And JIT can miss that like a toothache.

Political and legal risks

The Netherlands has already examined the options for state liability. Scenarios have been made. In the consultations between the MH17 countries concerned, the option to hold Russia liable was discussed. The Netherlands then chooses to continue to work with Australia. For the Netherlands, the participation of Malaysia and Ukraine cause complications: there are political and legal risks.

It is easier to choose the two Western countries with the highest number of victims. The Australians were on the UN Security Council in 2014, Australian Minister Bishop has been closely involved since 2014 and Canberra is an important ally of Washington. You need that ally, The Hague realizes.

Informing allies

The Netherlands will inform other countries in the week of 25 May. These are the JIT countries concerned (Ukraine, Malaysia and Belgium) and important international partners of the Netherlands, such as the United States, France and Germany. The message: the Netherlands and Australia are going to hold Russia liable and all declarations of support are welcome.

Ukraine does not feel excluded, according to sources, even though it was not to be informed until that week. It already has its own proceedings against Russia before the International Court of Justice. If Ukraine would take part, then in Moscow liability will immediately be dismissed as propaganda from Kiev. A step by the Netherlands and Australia has more impact.

The existence of the option has been clear for some time. President Poroshenko announces that he is putting officials to work to see how the country can join the Netherlands and Australia.

Keep Malaysia out of the loop

It is striking that the Netherlands also keeps Malaysia at a distance. The Asian country has 43 victims to mourn for and is home to Malaysia Airlines. However, Malaysia does not have the right legal basis to go along with the Dutch and Australian step, according to specialists. Malaysia is also viewed with suspicion in The Hague. The rulers in Kuala Lumpur maintain close ties with the Russians. Not all MH17 countries have a good reputation for confidentiality, says one person directly involved - referring to the relationship between Malaysia and Russia.

Particularly noteworthy are the events surrounding an earlier presentation of the JIT in 2016, when the researchers announce that the Russian rocket was launched from an area of pro-Russian rebels. A few days before the press conference, the Russians themselves present a media show where the JIT conclusions, which are still to be published, are contradicted. Whether the Malaysians have tipped the Russians, sources will not say. It may also be that Malaysia is successfully targeted by Russian espionage. However, no risk can be taken now.

Unclear role Belgium

Belgium is the fifth country in the MH17 research team. Why the Belgians, as an EU country, do not participate in the historic step remains puzzling. The Belgians support the Netherlands, but do not hold Russia liable. When RTL-News in Brussels interrogates Minister Didier Reynders about why the Belgians are not participating, the experienced Reynders looks at the reporter frowningly. "We have been in good cooperation since the beginning," says French-speaking minister in poor Dutch. "We have no difference of opinion between the position of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium or other partners in such a group."

But in The Hague, Belgian diplomats complain: they were only informed at the last minute. Dutch senior officials emphasize that Belgians were kept informed, but ultimately did not participate for constitutional reasons and because of the complex organization of the state in Belgium. It was not possible to check in Brussels whether this is really the case. A spokesman for the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not want to give any further explanation and refers to Minister Reynders' earlier statement.

Announcement of decision and Russian phone call

The actual decision in the Netherlands is taken quickly. Friday morning, 25 May, the Council of Ministers appears to be firmly resolved within just a few moments. The decision is announced immediately, at the same time as does Australia. In the Netherlands on Friday morning, in Canberra it is then Friday evening. Immediately Minister Blok leaves the Trêveszaal. He goes calling Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister. The fact that Blok visited Moscow a few weeks before has had an effect: the conversation is businesslike, but not hostile.

Blok then talks to the press. For the first time since flight MH17 was taken down on 17 July 2014, the Dutch Cabinet has been very blunt. "We demand that Russia shoulder its responsibilities', says Minister Blok to Moscow. For years the Netherlands did not want to talk about involvement of the Russians, but that is now over. No flour in the mouth no more.

Diplomats getting started

In the meantime, the wheels of Dutch diplomacy are starting to turn. At the Ministry in The Hague, out of sight of the cameras, the Director-General for Political Affairs talks to the Russian ambassador in the Netherlands. Diplomatic missions all over the world are set to work: the message is spread at embassies in European countries, in the United States and at the representations in Brussels to the European Union and NATO. Statements of support are flooding in.

Prime Minister Rutte completes the meeting of the Council of Ministers and then gives an extensive press conference later that afternoon. It is solely about the step against Russia.

Clear but controlled

Rutte is just as clear as Blok, but remains controlled. Rutte is not as emotional as he appeared immediately after the disaster. "If it becomes clear that this was an attack, I will personally work to ensure that the perpetrators are tracked down and will find their way to justice," said Rutte on 18 July 2014. But now, four years later, Rutte no longer uses the word 'attack'. In doing so, Rutte explicitly adheres to the words of the UN resolutions, which refer to 'downing'.

Those involved at the Binnenhof are now convinced that MH17 was not a targeted attack, but a terrible accident. The perpetrators did not know that a rocket was being fired on a civil aircraft with 298 innocent passengers.

Relations with Russia

The decision of the Netherlands and Australia is the next step in a long-standing quest for justice. Now the Netherlands can address Russia, for example in the UN Security Council. This is done immediately at the first next session. The Netherlands can also start proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Or perhaps in the future push for sanctions - at European level. This will be dominating relations with Russia in the years to come.

The first reactions from Moscow are predictable: the investigation of the JIT is unreliable, Russia is not participating in the investigation and the involvement of the Russian army is strongly denied.

Justice

The Hague does not expect Russia to give in quickly. Imagine, a minister says, that Russia had taken down a passenger plane over Syria... That would be easier for Russia to admit. After all, President Putin is open about Russia's participation in the war in Syria. However, Russia has consistently denied any involvement in the war in Eastern Ukraine. Recognize responsibility for MH17 is to recognize commitment to the war in Eastern Ukraine. And that is not what Putin will do, is the reasoning.

Prime Minister Rutte cannot emphasize it often enough: the fight for justice will last for years to come. Step by step, build up and then sustain international pressure - especially the latter. At the moment MH17 is still world news, but the risk is to be forgotten. In his press conference, Prime Minister Rutte once again emphasized patience and tenacity. That should lead to justice for 298 victims, says the Prime Minister. "It is my ultimate goal."


STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT:

For this reconstruction RTL-Nieuws spoke with various sources, in the Netherlands and in other countries. It was only on the basis of anonymity that the politicians, officials and diplomats involved were prepared to cooperate in this reconstruction.
EDIT: added DeepL Translator link as it didn't show up automatically as usual
 
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Palinurus

The Living Force
Source: Dutch MH17 investigators spied on by Ukraine, Russia: report

Dutch MH17 investigators spied on by Ukraine, Russia: report
By Janene Pieters on June 27, 2018 - 08:47

Dutch police officers, soldiers, prosecutors and diplomats were spied on by Ukrainian and Russian secret services while they were in Ukraine after the MH17 disaster in 2014, RTL-Nieuws reports (in Dutch) based on well-informed sources. [Second version also in Dutch].

After flight MH17 was shot down on July 17th, 2014, dozens of Dutch civil servants traveled to Ukraine to start an investigation into the disaster and to recover victims' bodies and possessions. This involved close cooperation with Ukraine, which is also part of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) currently conducting criminal investigation into the perpetrators behind the disaster.

But according to RTL, that same country also spied on the Dutch officials using eavesdropping devices in hotel rooms and spying software on electronic devices. One source told the broadcaster that Russia's espionage was even more structural and extensive.

Due to the wide-spread espionage, Dutch civil servants going to Ukraine were warned to be cautious - don't use WiFi networks and always make sure important information is encrypted before sending it. The risk of being tapped was considered so great, that government officials were told to only have important conversations at the embassy in special boxes, as everywhere else was labeled unsafe, RTL's sources said.

According to the sources, while in Ukraine Dutch civil servants found that the cameras and microphones on their smartphones, tablets and laptops switched on by themselves. And their devices kept trying to connect to WiFi networks unprompted. Listening devices were found in hotel rooms. And during checks on devices after returning to the Netherlands, illegal software was regularly found.

Whether valuable information was obtained during these espionage operations is not clear. But according to RTL, it is clear that the Dutch government assumes the worst - even today. The Netherlands' recent decision to formally hold Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster was made in utmost secrecy, out of reach of any eavesdropping devices and without using vulnerable means of communication, the broadcaster writes.

In a joint response (one page PDF-file in Dutch) to RTL, the Public Prosecutor, police and the Ministries of Justice and Security, General Affairs, Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Defense confirmed that it was "conceivable that other parties wanted to gather intelligence", partly because flight MH17 was shot down in a "conflict area where large geopolitical interests played". To prevent espionage by Russia and Ukraine, "police officers were constantly alerted that someone could listen in or watch" them. "The advice to them was therefore: assume that this is happening and adjust your behavior with telephone and laptop", the statement reads. They did not respond to specific questions RTL submitted to them.

GroenLinks wants the government to get an explanation from Ukraine. "I think it's important that now that this has surfaced, the Netherlands says to Ukraine: this is unacceptable. We are on the same side and we should not work with a secret agenda", parliamentarian Bram van Oijk said to the broadcaster. "I assume that the Netherlands will therefore confront Ukraine with these findings and ask for clarification."

"It is not normal", Sjoerd Sjoerdsma, MP for ruling party D66, said to RTL. "But unfortunately it does happen. We have to conclude that espionage happens always and everywhere, but it is not nice." CDA parliamentarian Chris van Dam wants to know from the government whether "our services were prepared for this danger at the time."

Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.
EDITED to add: Although Russia is mentioned in the headline, the article solely mentions Ukraine. The same goes for the two Dutch RTL-news reports.
 
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angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
EU leaders said in a joint statement released Friday after hours-long debates in Brussels that Russia should accept its responsibility for the 2014 downing of a Malaysian plane in Ukraine.

29.06.2018 - EU Leaders Tell Russia to 'Accept Its Responsibility' in Statement on MH17 Crash
EU Leaders Tell Russia to 'Accept Its Responsibility' in Statement on MH17 Crash

"The European Council reiterates its full support for UNSC Resolution 2166 concerning the downing of flight MH-17. It calls on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability," the paper read.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2166, to which the European Council referred in its statement, was adopted unanimously on 21 July 2014. The resolution stressed the need for a "full, thorough and independent international investigation into the incident in accordance with international civil aviation guidelines," called on all states and actors in the region of the crash to "cooperate fully in relation to the international investigation of the incident" as well as demanded that those responsible for this incident be held to account and that all States cooperate fully with efforts to establish accountability. The resolution did not place the responsibility for the crash on any country or entity.

Earlier, the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) announced that it had concluded that the missile that downed the plane was launched by a Buk missile system that allegedly had belonged to the Russian Armed Forces. Australia and the Netherlands, whose citizens were also onboard the plane, were quick to say that they considered Russia responsible for the downing of aircraft.

Russian Foreign Ministry responded to the JIT announcement that accusations of Russia's involvement in the tragedy were unfounded and that the investigation was one-sided. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the international investigators have ignored the documentary evidence regarding the crash of MH17 that Russia has repeatedly provided.


June 30, 2018 - Russia rejects EU blames for MH17 crash
Russia rejects EU blames for MH17 crash

Russian Foreign Ministry reacted to the EU MH17 accusations, underlining that Russia’s involvement in the tragedy is unfounded and that the international investigation has been bias Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the international investigators have ignored the documentary evidence regarding the crash of MH17 that Russia has regularly provided. EU leaders said in a joint statement released in Brussels at EU Summit (#EUCO 28-29 June) that Russia should assume its responsibility for the 2014 downing of a Malaysian plane in Donbass.

The European Council reiterates its full support for UNSC Resolution 2166 concerning the downing of flight MH-17. It calls on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability,” the paper read.

Earlier Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke said in an interview that there was no conclusive evidence to point at Russia for the crash: There is no conclusive evidence to point at Russia under the JIT evidence,” Malaysian transport minister Anthony Loke told Channel NewsAsia in an interview.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Turnbull 'doesn't trust' Putin over MH17 denials
Propaganda Video Included 5:32pm Jul 17, 2018
Donald Trump might trust Vladimir Putin ahead of his own intelligence agencies but Malcolm Turnbull, not so much.

Asked about the two presidents’ extraordinary media conference after their Helsinki summit, the prime minister used the Russian leader’s own advice.

“President Putin himself said you shouldn’t trust anybody,” Mr Turnbull said


Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has pledged to continue searching for answers over the downing of MH17 four years ago. (Photos: AAP).
“So that was his advice. He said it himself.

“I certainly don’t trust President Putin when he says he wasn’t responsible for the shooting down of MH17, which occurred four years ago.”

Today is the fourth anniversary of the disaster, when 38 Australians died when the Malaysia aircraft was shot down from the skies above the Ukraine.

International investigations have concluded Russian-backed rebels were responsible, a claim Russia has always denied.

Mr Trump said he accepted Mr Putin’s assurances Moscow wasn’t involved in meddling in the 2016 presidential election, despite evidence from US intelligence agencies.

The comments, made standing beside the Russian leader, were viewed at home as treacherous and the most disgraceful performance by an American president at an international summit.

And Mr Turnbull sided with the US agencies.

“I find the evidence that’s been produced by the American intelligence community to be very compelling,” Mr Turnbull said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he too doesn’t trust Mr Putin, and the Russian leader had never told the families of the MH17 victims the truth.

Independent
Four years after the tragic MH17 plane crash, what have we learned?
3 hours ago Sponsored by Al Jazeera Video


MH-17: Four Years On, Time for the Truth - Fort Russ
Pic's and diagrams

Mh-17 was a false flag operation, prepared, committed and covered up by the Kiev junta with the connivance of corrupt Western governments and media. But even a million lies cannot overcome truth, logic and physical evidence in the minds of reasonable and objective people. After four years of lies, the truth is still out there for anyone with the intelligence, integrity, and the human decency to want to find it. Here is the evidence, and the only realistic conclusion that can be drawn from it…
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The shooting down of MH-17 followed a long line of false flag operations perpetrated by the Kiev nazi junta and their US/EU/IMF masters from the very beginning of the Maidan coup.
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It followed the pattern first set in Ukraine by the US-backed Georgian snipers who fired on both protesters and police, murdering over 100 people in the center of Kiev during protests February 18- 20, 2014.

Though the cover story for this false flag sought to blame the Berkut riot police of President Yanukovich, subsequent evidence, such as physical evidence of bullet holes and trajectories in people as well as trees and other inanimate objects eyewitness and video accounts, intercepted phone calls between “investigators” and even outright public and detailed confessions by some of the actual snipers themselves, proved that this was a classic false flag, a crime perpetrated by one side, the criminal side, to blame on the other side, who were actually innocent.
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Two months later, on May 2nd, 2014, scores, perhaps hundreds, of anti-junta protesters were burned and beaten to death in Odessa, in broad daylight, in front of cameras. In a naked act of raw terrorism, the nazi junta sought to show what was in store for all who opposed them. Again, Kiev and the Western governments and media attempted to spin the story, and blame the protesters and Russia, the victims themselves for the violence, as if the anti-Kiev protesters simply decided to engage in mass self-immolation.
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Here is a link to an excellent analysis of the Odessa Massacre. Note the many linked videos that have been deleted by Google/Youtube. Here is a link to an interview I did with a citizen of Odessa who was there that terrible day, and is now in Donbass, where he has pledged his life to seeing justice done.
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Exactly one month after the mass murder in Odessa, the perpetrators again tried to blame the victims. On June 2nd, 2014, there was a Ukrainian airstrike on the Lugansk state administration building in the center of Lugansk city. At first, Ukrainian media denied it was an airstrike, (use of air force against citizens is prohibited in Ukraine Constitution) and tried to claim it was a “malfunctioning air conditioner”. Multiple eyewitness and video sources soon disproved this lie, and proved it was in fact a Ukrainian Air Force jet attacking a civilian structure. Ukrop nazis had again committed mass murder, and tried to blame it on the victims.
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One of the techniques of propaganda is to present each event singularly, outside the context of past events. We present the mass murder, the war crime, of MH-17, in the context of past events. Not past events from antiquity, or another part of the world, but from the same perpetrators, with the same victims, in the same place, from only a few months before.
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So perhaps it is relevant that the mass murder at Maidan was indeed a false flag. After the mass murder terror attacks in Odessa and Lugansk, the Kiev junta again tried to blame the victims. In spite of previous and proven false flags by the Ukrainian junta, the theory that the shooting down of MH-17 was a false flag done by Kiev war criminals is never even mentioned by the “investigators”, much less ever even seriously considered or investigated. Perhaps because MH-17, like the crimes in Kiev and Odessa, is being “investigated” by the actual perpetrators themselves. This makes all who are involved, who promote, and who believe, in this “investigation” liable to ridicule and suspicion, and deservedly so. The Ukrainian suspects are not just on the “investigating” team, they actually have veto power over what gets publicized. What more do you need to know to understand this whole “investigation” is a scam and a sham?
“What’s past is prologue” – William Shakespeare
Real criminal investigations have standard protocols that are followed by all police and investigators, world-wide. These procedures have been basic investigation techniques for centuries. A real investigation first asks who had the motive, weapon and opportunity, and by “motive”, they first ask the simple phrase made famous by Cassius, 100 years B.C. – “Cui Bono?
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We begin first by asking who benefited from the destruction of MH-17? In a matter of days, even hours, before a single investigator was even on the scene, Russia and Donbass rebels were blamed and demonized for this horrendous crime. That it was horrendous, there can be no doubt, but it was blamed on Russia and the rebels before there was any investigation, much less any proof or even evidence against them. This came at a time when Ukraine was involved in an all-out military assault of Donbass, and was meeting strong resistance. An event like MH-17 would rally international support for the Kiev regime while bringing harsh condemnation on Russia and the rebels.
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The world-wide outcry was almost unanimous, even before any evidence was gathered, much less presented. Almost as if it had been orchestrated, planned and prepared beforehand. The world-wide response was overwhelmingly against Russia and the rebels, and a huge political benefit to the Kiev junta. There is no question as to “who benefited”, and who did not.
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While it is possible that if the rebels had a weapon capable of shooting down MH-17, they might have done it accidentally, thinking it was a Ukraine military plane, they, unlike the Ukrainian fascists, would have exactly zero reason for shooting it down on purpose.
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In October, 2001, Ukraine military shot down a Russian civilian airliner over the Black Sea, and after first refusing to accept responsibility, Ukraine eventually claimed it was an accident and paid compensation in the amount of $200,000 per victim. If Russia or the Donbass rebels had actually shot down MH-17, by accident, couldn’t and wouldn’t they have done the same?
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There are numerous examples of accidental downings of civilian aircraft, including Iran Air Flight 655 and KAL 007 and Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114. So, there are clearly other similar incidents of civilian airliners being inadvertently (or otherwise) shot down. Standard procedure entails admission of guilt, apology, and an apparently standard compensation of $200,000 per victim. If rebels or even Russia had shot down MH-17, why didn’t, and why don’t, they simply accept responsibility and pay compensation (about $60 million in the case of MH-17) and resolve the issue? Perhaps because by doing so, they would absolve the actual perpetrators of the crime and be complicit in the cover up. The sanctions imposed on Russia because of its alleged involvement in MH-17 have cost it billions of dollars. Sixty million dollars in compensation, would amount to a small fraction of what they have lost through sanctions. So if they actually did it, why not simply say it was an accident, apologize, pay up and move on? WHY?



They could have admitted it was an accident, and then pointed out that a Malaysian Airlines spokesman confirmed that, for some unknown reason, Kiev-based Ukrainian Air Traffic Control (ATC) ordered MH17 off of its original flight path along the international air route, known as L980. It was Kiev air traffic control who ordered MH-17 to make a 300 mile change of course and enter the air space above the combat zone This course change is the “opportunity”, the set-up, the ambush. Like a mugger inviting a drunk yuppie into a dark alley. Under international law, a nation is legally responsible for safety of aircraft within the boundaries of its airspace, so legally, Ukraine is ultimately responsible for the crash, regardless of who shot it.

Given that none of the accusations are that Russian rebels intentionally shot down a civilian airliner, after the Ukrainian air traffic control authorities magically and apparently randomly decided to tell the flight to make a 300 mile course change and fly over a war zone, because not even the ridiculous investigation can assign such a motive – this has always been about how Russia committed the ”error”.

Evidence of that fact, we can see that one of the first pieces of “evidence” to be publicized within hours of the attack, was an alleged intercepted phone conversation between rebel leaders admitting responsibility for accidentally shooting down a civilian plane. This intercept was produced and uploaded to Youtube by Ukrainian secret services on July 17th, just a few hours after the plane was shot down.

Setting aside the evidence we are reviewing here today, regardless of who shot down the plane itself, given that official motive by the crooked investigators themselves was ascribed to accident or negligence and not willful or malicious intent, it is the Ukrainian government – as a result of a mysteriously and magically massive error in judgment to tell the pilots to change course, and take a cruise over a war zone – which is culpable no matter how you dice it. That we are talking about a false flag event is not necessary to establish that the Ukrainian government is fully responsible. It only just so happens to be a false flag event, weaponized against the Russian people and the peace loving people of this planet.

Again, this is not my random opinion, but how legal scholars, all court rulings, and past precedence have established it to be. The responsibility is at the hands of the Ukrainian authorities. Draw your attention kindly to page 17 and 18, the second paragraph of this document:

“Assessment of Technologies Deployed to Improve Aviation Security: First Report (1999)

Chapter: 3 Roles and Responsibilities”
“Although authority can be delegated or shared (e.g., a private security contractor might operate explosives-detection equipment), the ultimate responsibility for the safety and security of civil aviation rests with the state, in this case the FAA.”
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Other than the fact that it is exceedingly strange for a secret service to upload a key piece of evidence to public social media immediately after receiving it, the speed with which it was intercepted, recorded, produced and published is also quite remarkable. Almost as if it too had been planned and prepared beforehand. There are serious questions about the veracity of the tape itself, as well as about the original production date of the video, which did at one point have a production timestamp of July 16th, 2014, a day before the attack on MH-17. And there has never been any actual proof that the voices in the tapes belong to the alleged speakers and not, as is quite possible, simply two Russian speaking actors. Strangely, this key piece of evidence, if in fact real, was barely ever mentioned by US and EU media and government representatives.
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The intercepted phone calls mention a BUK anti-aircraft battery allegedly supplied by Russia and used by the rebels to shoot down MH-17. So, now we go to the next standard question in investigations – “weapon”. Did the rebels have a BUK battery? Did the Russians supply the rebels with a Russian BUK? Did the Ukrainian Army have operational BUK units in the vicinity on July 17th, 2014? And the most important question, for which we have a conclusive answer – Was a BUK even used to shoot down MH-17?
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Most of the original “evidence” was questionable, consisting of social media posts from biased and/or unverified sources. But on July 18th, 2014, the day after the crash, John Kerry, US Secretary of State claimed on CNN – ‘We know because we observed it by “imagery”, that at the moment of the shoot-down, we detected a launch, from that area, our “trajectory” shows that it went to the aircraft”.
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This absolute, comprehensive, specific, undeniable “proof” from the US government itself has never been publicly shown. That right there, proves that either Kerry was lying in every word he said, or upon further examination, the launch was from the wrong place to pin on the Russians. By “wrong place”, I mean ukrop controlled territory. But more likely, he was just lying, making it up out of whole cloth, as they say, because the physical evidence does not comport with a BUK missile, in spite of the clown show and river of BS from the sold-our DSB and JIT.
.
I have been to Grabovo, to the crash sites, to the memorials for the innocent victims who were murdered on MH-17. I have interviewed the eyewitnesses who were there that day, the people who live there, who saw what happened. Many of them, most of them, saw Ukrainian fighter jets, two of them, following close behind the airliner. None, not a single one, claimed to have heard or seen the launch of a BUK, neither from Ukrop or rebel territory, nor did any claim to see the persistent smoke trail that is always left behind a BUK. But all were unanimous when asked who perpetrated this horrible crime, the gravest war crime of the Donbass War.
It was not the rebels.
.
But witnesses can be mistaken. They can lie. Radar information can be changed or faked. But round 30 mm holes shot through metal parts of a plane flying at 33,000 feet can come from only one source, and that source is the cannon of a fighter jet. There is nothing else that can cause such holes. Nothing else. Not a BUK, not a bird, not a gremlin with a drill. There is literally no other explanation. None.

THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE SPEAKS FOR ITSELF

.
You cannot look at the holes in the plane without seeing what they are. Clean circular holes of 30 mm in the body of a plane flying at 33,000 feet can only be made by one thing – the 30 mm cannon of a fighter jet, just like the ones that was seen by eyewitnesses and radar, flying right behind MH-17 that day. They cannot be made by anything else. And yet, there they are. Published in the first few weeks, if not days after the crash, these photos are irrefutable evidence to any serious or reasonable person. There is no mystery. Here is the physical evidence, see for yourself. A thousand pages of lies and innuendo from the DSB and JIT clown show may convince idiots and children, but anyone whose brain still works just needs to contemplate these photos for a few minutes, honestly and objectively, and then you either have to lie to yourself (and to everyone around you) or you must see and speak the truth. Come and see…
.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Thanks c.a. for finding and sharing this. It's a worthy commemorative summation on this special day, four years on.
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Coverage in the Netherlands:

Relatives commemorate 4th anniversary of MH17 disaster
By Janene Pieters on July 17, 2018 - 08:29

Relatives will commemorate their loved ones who were killed in the MH17 disaster at the National MH17 Monument in Vijfhuizen on Tuesday. Today is the fourth anniversary of the disaster that claimed 298 lives, including 196 Dutch.

During the commemoration, Haarlemmermeer mayor Onno Hoes and chairman of Stichting Vliegramp MH17 Piet Ploeg, among others, will make speeches, according to the Telegraaf. Relatives will read the victims names and a minute of silence will be held at the time that the disaster happened. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will start the parade by laying flowers at the monument, which consists of 298 trees -- one for each victim.

Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.

The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 -- a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. In May the Netherlands and Australia officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster -- providing the missile.

Russia denies any involvement in the disaster, and repeatedly called the investigation biased.

On Monday the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the G7 countries called on Russia to give clarification on the downing of flight MH17, calling the evidence of Russian involvement "convincing, significant and deeply troubling".

Another source (Dutch only):

ad.nl/buitenland/waarom-de-russen-niet-br-meer-over-mh17-praten~a87093a2/

Translation via DeepL Translator (modified) (four illustrations omitted)
Why the Russians don't talk about MH17 anymore.

Four years after MH17, the disaster is hardly ever mentioned in Russia. How can that be possible?
"Europe does not mourn our dead either."


Peter Groenendijk 16-07-18, 18:48

She is 24 years old, has a university degree and speaks English flawlessly. And yes, she is quite willing to answer some questions about the MH17 disaster, and about how the Russians view it now. But Olga, an economics student we meet in a pub in southern Moscow, first has a question of her own. "What was that, the MH17? An airplane? I am sorry. I have never heard of it."

Four years after the 298 occupants of a Malaysian aircraft crashed over Ukraine, the MH17 disaster is no longer a major news item in Russia. Not even when, two months ago, the Netherlands decided to hold the Russian Government liable for the disaster.

"It's just not a big story anymore," says Andrey Arkhangelskiy, reporter and columnist of the liberal newspaper Kommersant. "We write about it regularly, and so do a number of other newspapers and websites. But most Russians do not read a newspaper, they only watch state television. It is they who determine what people are talking about. And on those stations you hear almost nothing about MH17 anymore."

Difference

How different that was immediately after the disaster four years ago. "That week I realized for the first time how big the difference is between the Netherlands and Russia", says Eva Hartog-Skorobogatova (30), editor-in-chief of the English Moscow Times. We sit in her office at the editorial board, high in a glass skyscraper overlooking the whole of Moscow.

" I still remember how emotionally the Dutch media covered the disaster. The victims, the grief, the masses along the route. But on the Russian state broadcaster we were immediately bombarded with bizarre theories about what could have happened. That a Ukrainian jet fighter had shot the plane, even that MH17 at Schiphol was loaded with corpses. From a Russian point of view, it was not about people at all. It was about Russia."

Four years later, hardly any of these alternative theories can be heard on the Russian state stations. Moreover, the TV channels linked to the authorities have scantly paid any attention to the disaster and to the investigations into the perpetrators. According to journalist Arkhangelskiy of the critical newspaper Kommersant, the state media have switched to a 'peculiar kind of radio silence'.

"It would appear that the authorities have decided: enough doubt has been sown, we'll leave it there. All that remains is for the investigation into the disaster to be called into question. As a newspaper, we feel completely free to report everything about the matter, but that has a simple reason: President Putin does not consider all the media with audiences below 1 million to be relevant. And it seems that most Russians are not eagerly awaiting the alternative story."

Greater dramas

Eva Hartog, the daughter of a Russian mother, who has lived in Moscow for five years now understands this sentiment. In a country with so many tragedies, she says, an air disaster has a different weight. "MH17 is part of a much bigger drama here: the war in Ukraine. And since the disaster, this country has also experienced several terrorist attacks, including a Russian plane shot down over the Sinai," she says.

"The people have become accustomed to digesting such tragedies quickly. I've noticed that also in myself ever since I've lived here. Only recently, 30 people died in a fire in a shopping center. That's very bad for a while - and then it's just a moment in history."

However, this does not explain why so few Russians seem to care about Russia's role in the drama. There are, after all, many indications thereof in the international research into the disaster. The Russians we ask about it on the street or in the pub react with resignation in most cases, and at some times cautiously.

"I do not believe a word of what the Russian state media are saying," says economics student Olga, to whom we had to explain what the MH17 disaster was. "But the western media I don't follow either. I don't trust those neither''.

Distrust

The distrust towards Europe, says Timofej Bordachev, is deeper than ever. We meet the blond professor, director of an influential think tank on international relations, in his office in a pink brick building on the outskirts of downtown Moscow.

Before the interview begins, he would like to express his condolences to the Dutch visitors. "17 July 2014 was a terrible day. And all the misery after that is the ultimate example of our distorted relationship with Europe."

Bordachev (45), who studied in Bruges, talks about his student days, shortly after the fall of communism. He remembers how in those days Europe was for most Russians the promised land. "But then came the war in Chechnya. For most Russians, this was a much-needed attack on a terrorist regime. But the West saw it as a poignant war. Nobody here understood that."

Jeering

According to Bordachev, there is now 'a complete erosion of confidence in Western media and politicians'. "Take the issue around Skripal, that poisoned former spy. After only two days, the British Prime Minister said that Putin was personally behind this. That was received here with jeering. 'Ah, the British', said a friend of mine. 'Did they not kill their own princess Diana?' If Europe turns Russia into a caricature, then the Russians will do the same in return."

Even a blunt report full of hard evidence about Russia's involvement in the MH17 disaster will not fundamentally change the situation, thinks Times editor-in-chief Eva Hartog. "The Dutch idea is: provided there is enough evidence, there will be no further questions. But that is not how things works here. People here have become so very skeptical about the information they receive from the press. This is due to Russian propaganda, but also to the constant stream of criticism of Russia. Skripal, Syria, MH17, doping, murdered journalists..."

"It has numbed a lot of people for criticism from the West. My Russian friends do not believe the Kremlin propaganda, but they no longer take the criticism from the West seriously either."

Igor Shatrov

The living proof of the distrust towards the West is called Igor Shatrov. As a political analyst he regularly performs in Russian TV programs and newspapers. And his position is simple: the international investigation into the MH17 disaster cannot be trusted.

"Ukraine is participating in the investigation, Russia is not. This in itself suggests a bias that makes it impossible to call the investigation fair and objective. And I certainly do not take seriously the fact that the Netherlands is now holding Russia liable. It is all the language of politicians to score points, just like all those unfounded accusations from the Dutch media. They all blindly follow the political line of the Netherlands and paint Russia black."

Ask Russians what they think happened to the MH17 airliner, and most will say they don't know or don't want to talk about it. But political analyst Shatrov does not have any qualms with it. "Since you in the Netherlands love to fantasize about this disaster, I'll do the same," he says.

"Let's imagine that Ukraine wanted to put Russia in a bad light. Ukraine deliberately did not close its airspace to passenger aircraft while a civil war was going on. Because they were planning to shoot this plane, and then blame the Russians. Of course, you can say that these are unfounded accusations. But they are as unfounded as the current accusations against Russia."

Open letter

These are statements that a group of surviving relatives of MH17 victims recently condemned outright in an open letter to the Russian people. "Do you really want to live in a country where the truth no longer exists?," wrote the relatives in the letter published in the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

The letter received little attention -- and in particular came up against cynicism, says think tank director Bordachev. "A Russian columnist wrote: 'I'm not interested in what happened to MH17. After all, there have been many more deaths in that area, and I have not heard Europe say anything about that either. So why grieve for their deaths?' I found it particularly painful to read. Especially because unfortunately there is a grain of truth in it."

The Russian disinterest, says Bordachev, is the product of decades of detachment. "I call this 'the age of disappointment'. We keep disappointing each other, we don't understand each other anymore. And that has major consequences, including economic consequences -- China is by now a more important trading partner for Russia than Germany and the Netherlands, partly because of all the economic sanctions. There is a great deal to be commented on in today's Russia, but Europe is turning it into a caricature, as if it were a dictatorship where the free press no longer exists. That is simply not true."

When asked about his thoughts on the MH17 disaster, the professor did not want to say anything -- nor did he want to explain why.

The mutual disappointment, says Bordachev, will continue. "The Netherlands will soon demand the extradition of suspects, and Russia will refuse to do so. It will all further increase the alienation. It is a complete stalemate because the attitude of both blocs is so deeply ingrained in the current political course, in history, and in society itself. And I do not see any solution to this in any way."

Thanks to Raam op Rusland / Hubert Smeets
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I can't believe - it's now the 4th Anniversary - and they are still playing games! The relatives of the victims must be going through "living Hell" desperate for answers?

After all of this time, "condolences" are not enough, to ease the internal pain of abruptly losing a loved-one ... without any "truthful" explanation - as to the circumstances that lead to their deaths. Shame on them!


18.07.2018 - Russian FM Slams Amsterdam for Dropping Charges Against Kiev Over MH17 Crash
Russian FM Slams Amsterdam for Dropping Charges Against Kiev Over MH17 Crash

The Netherlands de facto dropping charges against Ukraine over the latter’s failure to close airspace over the zone of military conflict in Eastern Ukraine is a "blatant fact," the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"It is a blatant fact that the Netherlands has actually cleared Kiev of charges for not closing the airspace over the area of military actions in the Eastern part of the country … They turned a blind eye on Kiev’s failure to provide such important information as data from the radar station, the information on the location and activities of the Ukrainian air defense systems, the records of conversations between the Ukrainian dispatchers," the statement read.

Moscow is also concerned over the "biased" probe, which relies on the data from the social networks and unreliable sources, such as infamous "pseudo-investigators" from the Bellingcat agency, according to the ministry.

However, Russia is still ready to cooperate on the investigation into the deadly plane crash, the ministry noted.

At the same time, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has expressed condolences to the families of victims of the plane crash as July 17 marks the fourth anniversary of the incident.

The bloc’s foreign policy chief has also supported the findings of the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which in late May concluded that the Buk missile system used for downing the plane belonged to the Russian Armed Forces.

"The Joint Investigation Team on 24 May presented further findings of its independent, professional and impartial investigation, concluding that the BUK installation used to shoot down flight MH17 belonged beyond doubt to the armed forces of the Russian Federation. Against this background, we will continue to call on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability," Mogherini said in a statement.

Moscow has vehemently denied JIT's findings. Commenting on the investigation, the Russian Defense Ministry said that not a single Russian air defense system had ever crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border. According to the ministry, Russia has provided the JIT with exhaustive evidence, which pointed to the involvement of Ukrainian Buk systems in the MH17 crash.

Russia's Almaz-Antey, the manufacturer of the Buk systems, also rejected JIT's findings saying that it held three simulations, which showed that the missile was launched from the Zaroshchens'ke area, which was controlled by the Ukrainian army at the time of the crash.

Four years ago, on July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the city of Donetsk. All 298 passengers and crew on board the aircraft died. Kiev accused local militias of downing the aircraft, while they stressed that they had no weapons capable of downing such a plane.
 
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Palinurus

The Living Force
Thanks angelburst29. :cool2:

I'm as astonished as you are about all these shenanigans but as far as the Netherlands is concerned I've got the distinct impression that the next of kin of the Dutch victims are totally buying the 'results' of the JIT investigation hook, line and sinker. The same goes for the majority of the population as far as I can ascertain.

I've not found any comment on -- or even a sheer mention of -- the fact that the Dutch government let Ukraine off the hook in the question of not closing their airspace during a civil war situation. Apparently we need Russian news coverage to even know about it... !

What I did find is this:
Father of MH17 victims condemn Trump for Russia "arse kissing"

By Janene Pieters on July 18, 2018 - 08:36

An Australian father of three children who were killed in the MH17 disaster condemned United States president Donald Trump for refusing to hold Russia and president Vladimir Putin to account for the tragedy. On Facebook Anthony Maslin pointed out some "irrefutable facts" about the disaster to Trump on Tuesday - the 4th anniversary of the Malaysia Airlines plane being shot down.

Flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17th, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 196 Dutch and 38 Australians, were killed. Investigation by the Dutch Safety Board and the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) so far revealed that the Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down by a BUK missile system from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists at the time.

The JIT tracked a convoy of nearly 50 military vehicles, including the BUK that shot down MH17, from a 53rd Brigade parking area in Kursk to the border of Ukraine between June 23rd and 25th, 2014 - a few weeks before MH17 was shot down. In May the Netherlands and Australia officially held Russia accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster - providing the missile. Russia denies any involvement in the disaster, and repeatedly called the investigation biased.

Among the victims were Maslin and his partner Rin Norris' three children and Norris' father. "Mr. Trump, you invented and speak a lot about 'fake news'. But let's try talking about something that's not fake... let's call them irrefutable facts", Maslin wrote on Facebook, The Guardian reports. "That passenger flight MH17 was shot out of the sky and 298 innocent people were murdered is an irrefutable fact. That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact. That this killed our 3 beautiful children and their grandfather, and destroyed our life and may other lives in the process, is an irrefutable fact."

"That the man whose arse you've just been kissing did this, and continues to lie about it, is an irrefutable fact. It's not anger I feel towards the two of you, it's something much, much worse. It's pity. You have no empathy for your fellow man, and you clearly have no idea what love is. So you have nothing."

The 298 victims of the MH17 disaster was commemorated at the National MH17 Monument in Vijfhuizen in the Netherlands on Tuesday, the fourth anniversary of the crash. Relatives read out the victims' names while music played. Many people spoke, including Piet Ploeg, chairman of the foundation that supports the relatives, Stichting Vliegramp MH17.

In his speech, Ploeg said that commemoration is still important for the relatives, even four years later, NOS reports. He described how difficult it still is to deal with the loss they suffered, and how it is good to be able to do this together with other surviving relatives. He talked about the "hassle" with mortal remains, which are still found today in Ukraine. "Every time we have to make the difficult decision of whether or not to have it identified."

At 3:18 p.m. - the exact time of the disaster - a minute of silence was held. Prime Minister Mark Rutte then opened the parade by laying flowers at the monument, which consists of 298 trees - one for each victim.

The MH17 disaster was also commemorated in Hilversum, where 15 of the victims lived. People also gathered at the crash site in eastern Ukraine holding signs showing photos of the victims, and flowers were left at the Dutch embassy in Kiev.






So at least some Australians also believe the JIT findings. :mad:
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Source: State Department Silent on MH17 Anniversary Following Trump-Putin Firestorm

Exclusive
State Department Silent on MH17 Anniversary Following Trump-Putin Firestorm

The department prepared to criticize Russia’s role in the 2014 downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, but the statement was never released.

By Robbie Gramer, Amy Mackinnon | July 18, 2018, 2:05 PM

Every year since a Russian missile downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew, the U.S. State Department has issued a statement to mark the anniversary.

But on the anniversary this year—a day after U.S. President Donald Trump met in Helsinki with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin—the State Department was conspicuously silent about it.

Officials there prepared a draft statement that was sharply critical of Russia for its alleged role in the attack. But for reasons the State Department has not explained, it was never issued.

Based on a cached version of the U.S. embassy’s website in Moscow, it appeared on the homepage briefly on Tuesday but then was quickly taken down. One U.S. official confirmed this account to Foreign Policy.

“Four years after the downing of MH17, the world still awaits Russia’s acknowledgement of its role,” read the draft, a copy of which was obtained by Foreign Policy.

“It is time for Russia to cease its callous disinformation campaign and fully support the next investigative phase … and the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the downing of flight MH17.”

[For the full draft of the statement, see below.]

The passenger jet, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was downed in eastern Ukraine, where a conflict simmered between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists.

This anniversary was particularly significant because it was the first since the Dutch-led international investigation into the incident published its conclusion that the missile originated from a Russian military unit based near the border with Ukraine.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul described the State Department’s silence on the issue as “deeply disappointing.”

“This should be very pro forma in the U.S. government. The evidence is overwhelming. Just to be on the record on the right side of history is very prudent,” he said.

A State Department spokesman said in response to a query from FP that he would not comment on allegedly leaked documents.“The United States’ position on the MH17 catastrophe has not changed,” he added.

Foreign ministers of the G-7 group—including the U.S. secretary of state—released a statement on Sunday criticizing the attack and Russia’s role in it. The Canadian and British Foreign ministries promptly posted it on their websites. But the State Department did so only on Wednesday, after being asked about the issue by FP.

The statement posted Wednesday appeared to reflect a kind of carelessness about the matter. It said the G-7 foreign ministers “today issued the following statement in advance of the anniversary” even though the anniversary was Tuesday. The other G-7 foreign ministries released the statement three days before the United States.

The State Department spokesman referred FP to the G-7 joint statement and another statement published in May on the findings by the Dutch-led investigative team that reaffirmed the plane was shot down by a Russian missile.

The U.S. embassy in Kiev released the joint statement a day ahead of the anniversary. As of late Wednesday, the U.S. embassy website in Moscow still made no mention of the MH17 anniversary.

“The United States government has long said that Russia is without a doubt responsible for shooting down MH17,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters when asked about the issue on Wednesday. “We have put out three statements in two and a half months and we think that that covered it,” she said.

“Our position on Russian culpability for this has not changed. Our policy on this has not changed.”

The anniversary is particularly sensitive for the Netherlands. Of the 298 killed in the plane’s downing, a large majority, 193, were Dutch. The U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, wrote in a tweet on Tuesday, “Today my thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims of MH17.” But he made no mention of Russia’s role in shooting down the plane.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team found that a convoy of vehicles from the Russian armed forces transported the missile from the Russian military base across the border into Ukraine. It was fired at the jet from a field held by pro-Russian separatists. It is still not yet known who launched the weapon.

The Russian military has rejected the findings of the investigation, and the Russian state media has been trained on denying Russia’s involvement.

The State Department draft was set to go out as early as Monday but was quashed at the last minute. Officials were told to “stand down” on releasing it because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “did not approve” the language, according to one official familiar with the deliberations.

The statement said the evidence “conclusively proves” the missile came from a specific Russian military brigade, “was brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia, was fired from Russia-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, and was then returned to Russian territory.”

Trump lavished praise on Putin in Helsinki Monday and stunned U.S. lawmakers and national security experts by siding with him against the U.S. intelligence community’s assessments of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Pompeo also traveled to Helsinki to take part in the summit.

On Tuesday, Trump said he misspoke regarding Russia’s interference. But he failed to address other instances during the 45-minute press conference in which he praised Putin and cast doubt on the FBI probe into allegations of his campaign’s collusion with Russia.

The debacle left top Republican lawmakers fuming. In response, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is summoning Pompeo for a public hearing next Wednesday to discuss the Helsinki summit, as well as the administration’s North Korea policy.

McFaul, the former U.S. ambassador in Moscow, said he’s also angry that the State Department had not yet commented on another budding dispute with Russia.

On Tuesday, the Russian prosecutor general said he wanted to question McFaul and two other former U.S. officials as part of a Russian investigation into alleged financial crimes by American investor Bill Browder’s hedge fund Hermitage Capital.

Browder has been at loggerheads with Russian authorities for over a decade, after Russian tax officials allegedly stole $230 million in taxes that the fund had paid to the Russian government.

McFaul said that he was “pissed off” and “outraged” that the State Department had not yet issued a comment criticizing the request and defending him. Later that day, Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, called Russia’s claims against McFaul “absolutely absurd.” But the White House said Trump will consider allowing Russian authorities to question McFaul.

The full text of the statement the State Department prepared but never issued regarding the anniversary of the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
July 17, 2018

Statement by Heather NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON

Remembering the Shoot Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the downing of Malaysia Flight #17 (MH-17) over eastern Ukraine and the horrific deaths of 298 civilians. We again offer our deepest condolences to their families.

Four years after the downing of MH-17, the world still awaits Russia’s acknowledgement of its role. The United States has complete confidence in the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), including those announced on May 24, 2018, and in the JIT’s ongoing work. Based on an extensive compilation of images and other evidence, the JIT provided conclusive evidence that the BUK Transporter Erector Launcher (TELAR) from which the missile that downed MH-17 was fired, came from Russia’s 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian army. Like a fingerprint, the combination of matching characteristics derived from the JIT’s images clearly and conclusively proves that the BUK TELAR that downed MH-17 came from the 53rd Brigade in Russia, was brought into sovereign Ukrainian territory from Russia, was fired from Russia-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, and was then returned to Russian territory.

It is time for Russia to cease its callous disinformation campaign and fully support the next investigative phase of the JIT and the criminal prosecution of those responsible for the downing of flight MH-17. We will never forget the 298 innocent civilian lives tragically lost on that day, and we call for justice on their behalf.

Update, July 18, 2018: The article was updated to include comments from the State Department spokeswoman and the U.S. embassy in Moscow’s brief publication of the draft statement on its website.

Robbie Gramer is a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy.
Amy Mackinnon is an editorial intern at Foreign Policy.

Dutch coverage:
U.S. withholds MH17 criticism on Russia after Trump-Putin meeting

Dutch foreign ministry has no doubts about US support for MH17 probe - DutchNews.nl
 
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