Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 Crashes in Ukraine


The Living Force
There seems to be developing some sort of a media war around Vladimir Tsemakh.

Source: Press release Netherlands Public Prosecution Service concerning Mr Vladimir Tsemakh

Press release Netherlands Public Prosecution Service concerning Mr Vladimir Tsemakh

2 December 2019 - National Prosecutor's Office

Today the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has informed the Russian authorities of its findings regarding the Dutch request for the provisional arrest of a person who may have been involved in the downing of flight MH17.

As he himself has announced in the media, this concerns Mr Vladimir Tsemakh. The PPS regards him as a suspect, but a decision whether it will prosecute him has not yet been taken. For the decision to prosecute more evidence is required than for the decision to consider someone a suspect.

Tsemakh was arrested in Ukraine and detained for other criminal offences. The investigation into his role in the downing of flight MH17 is still ongoing. During Tsemakh’s detention in Kiev, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) questioned him several times about his involvement but could not prevent Mr Tsemakh from being transferred to the Russian Federation on 7 September 2019 as part of a prisoner exchange.

To prevent that Tsemakh would evade the investigation, the PPS immediately requested his arrest for the purpose of extradition to the Netherlands. The Russian Federation does not extradite its own citizens but since Mr Tsemakh is a Ukranian citizen, there were no impediments for his extradition.

Before the plane with the exchanged prisoners landed in Moscow that day, the PPS got confirmation that Russia had received the request for Mr Tsemakh’s arrest. When his immediate arrest failed to occur, the PPS contacted the Russian authorities several times and advised them of the possible flight risk of Mr Tsemakh. Since there were indications that he wanted to return to Eastern Ukraine.

On 23 September 2019 the Russian authorities informed the PPS that they were considering the request, but required additional information. In later correspondence even more information was requested, which was repeatedly provided. According to the PPS this information had no relevance to the decision to arrest Mr Tsemakh.

The request for his arrest was frequently reiterated through Dutch diplomatic and political channels and Russia was called upon to give full and prompt cooperation. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Blok, stressed the urgency of the request, both in writing and in a personal meeting with his Russian counterpart, Mr Lavrov. The urgent need for swift execution of the request was also emphasized at European level, both by Mr Blok and by the Dutch Prime-Minister, Mr Rutte.

On 19 November 2019 the Public Prosecution Service received notification from the Russian authorities that the request for the arrest of Mr Tsemakh could not be executed because no information regarding the whereabouts of Mr Tsemakh in the Russian Federation was available.

According to media reports Mr Tsemakh had already returned to his residence in Eastern Ukraine. From there he cannot be extradited.

The Public Prosecution Service has concluded that Russia willingly allowed Mr Tsemakh to leave the Russian Federation and refused to execute the Dutch request. While under the European Convention on Extradition, it was obliged to do so.

The PPS has shared this conclusion with the Russian authorities. The PPS has also informed the next of kin of the MH17 victims.

The events concerning Mr Tsemakh have no effect on the start of the MH17 criminal trial. This will commence on 9 March 2020 at 10:00 AM, in the court building Justitieel Complex Schiphol.

Four suspects, Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN, Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY, Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV and Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO have been summoned to appear on this day. In their case the judge will deliver a judgment on the accusations.

Other coverage:
Russia accused of obstructing MH17 suspect’s extradition to Netherlands
MH17: Russia accused of letting potential suspect flee across the border -

Coverage in Dutch:
Persverklaring OM inzake Vladimir Tsemach
OM: Rusland frustreerde uitlevering MH17-verdachte Tsemach aan Nederland
OM: Moskou frustreerde uitlevering MH17-verdachte (registration required - for free)


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Omroepbaas Rusland: satellietfoto MH17 was nep

DeepL Translator said:
Broadcaster from Russia: Satellite photo MH17 was fake

ANP - 3 hours ago

© Copyright ANP 2019 - Broadcaster from Russia: satellite photo MH17 was fake

MOSKOU (ANP) - The Russian state broadcaster First Channel recognizes that the evidence that a Ukrainian jet fighter would have shot down MH17 is fake. Konstantin Ernst, the boss of the broadcaster that brought the theory into the world, says in an interview with the American magazine The New Yorker that "a mistake" was made at the time.

In November 2014, the Russian state broadcaster announced that the plane would have been hit by a Ukrainian fighter jet missile and not by a BUK rocket. To prove this, the channel came up with satellite images that would have been from British or American intelligence services.

However, the authenticity of the images was soon questioned. Several people claimed that the images were fake because, for example, the lettering on the plane did not match that of a Malaysian plane. Asked why the First Channel came out with this, Ernst says: "Yes, we are human, we made a mistake, but not on purpose."

Translated with (free version)

Other coverage in Dutch:
Rusland erkent dat satellietfoto van neerhalen MH17 nep was
Rusland: Satellietfoto MH17 was nep

Link to the very long article in The New Yorker, with the relevant fragment quoted:

the-kremlins-creative-director said:

In July, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, headed from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot out of the sky as it passed over eastern Ukraine, and all two hundred and ninety-eight people on board were killed. The Dutch launched a years-long multinational investigation, which eventually identified Russia-backed separatists as having fired the missile and traced the anti-aircraft system used in the attack to a Russian military unit. As the inquiry proceeded, state media went into a fury, giving voice to every other possible theory: that the Malaysian airliner had been targeted by the Ukrainians in the mistaken belief that it was Putin’s plane; that it was hit accidentally as part of an air-defense training exercise gone wrong; that it was downed by the Ukrainian Air Force. In November, 2014, Channel One aired what it called “sensational” footage: a satellite image, supposedly taken by Western intelligence services and passed to Russia by an American scientist, that purported to show the plane being attacked by a Ukrainian fighter jet. “The image supports a version of events which has hardly been heard in the West,” a host said.

The picture was quickly outed as a fake. The time stamp didn’t match that of the incident, the plane had identifying markings that distinguished it from the Malaysian aircraft, and the terrain underneath was clipped from photos posted online two years before. When I asked Ernst why his channel gave voice to something so easily disproven, he said that it was a simple error: “Yes, we’re human, we made a mistake, but not on purpose.”

Baldly false stories, in the right doses, are not disastrous for Channel One; in fact, they are an integral part of the Putin system’s postmodern approach to propaganda. In the Soviet era, the state pushed a coherent, if occasionally clumsy, narrative to convince the public of the official version of events. But private media ownership and widespread Internet access have made this impossible. Today, state outlets tell viewers what they are already inclined to believe, rather than try to convince them of what they can plainly see is untrue. At the same time, they release a cacophony of theories with the aim of nudging viewers toward believing nothing at all, or of making them so overwhelmed that they simply throw up their hands. Trying to ascertain the truth becomes a matter of guessing who benefits from a given narrative.

In this case, the state’s approach seems to have worked: a year later, a poll showed that only about five per cent of Russians blamed their government or the separatists for the disaster. When I asked Ernst about the official Dutch report, he told me that our disagreement came down to a matter of belief: “You believe the Dutch report is true, and I believe the Dutch report is unprofessional.” It was as if we were arguing about religion or aesthetics rather than a set of facts.



The Living Force
Source: Prominent prosecutor in MH17 case to take over as Rotterdam police chief

Prominent prosecutor in MH17 case to take over as Rotterdam police chief

By Zack Newmark on December 23, 2019 - 12:01

Fred Westerbeke, speaking at De Balie in Amsterdam, when he was a Chief Public Prosecutor. February 27, 2019 (De Balie/Vimeo CC-BY-NC)

The head of the national cases division of the Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) is being put forward by top cop Erik Akerboom to become the Chief of Police in Rotterdam. If appointed by Royal Decree, Fred Westerbeke will take over on April 1.

For Westerbeke, he is making his return to the police department which he left to join the OM in 2009. Westerbeke, now 57, started his career as a Rotterdam police supervisor with the uniformed officers. As he advanced through the ranks, he completed the officer's training program at the Dutch Police Academy, and went on to graduate cum laude from Erasmus University with a law degree.

"This step is good news for the Rotterdam region," said Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb. "He is the right man in the right place to tackle the security issues in this region."

Westerbeke served as the Chief Prosecutor in Utrecht and Rotterdam, before landing his current role. As the Chief Public Prosecutor at the national level, Westerbeke has been the public face for the OM on the criminal case around the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, and the pursuit and apprehension of Ridouan Taghi.

"After eleven wonderful years at the Public Prosecution Service, an organization with great people and a lot of commitment and quality, I consider it a privilege to be allowed to switch," Westerbeke said in a statement. "My new position provides a nice overlap in order to continue working on safety and quality of life in this region, which is the most beautiful in the Netherlands for me, and that actually brings me back full circle."

He is to replace Hans Vissers, the interim chief who took over when Frank Paauw was named the new police chief in Amsterdam earlier in the year.

Other news from SOTT (via RT):
Russia ready to share all info required by MH17 crash investigators as Netherlands now seeks Moscow's help --

Moscow is poised to give assistance in the investigation of the crash of flight MH17 in 2014, as it always has been, a Russian EU envoy has assured stakeholders, responding to a call for cooperation by the Dutch foreign minister.

"We are ready to cooperate in clarifying all the circumstances of the incident," Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's envoy to the European Union, told media on Monday. In fact, Moscow has always been poised to do so, but its proposals were brushed aside, the diplomat recalled.

Moscow is also prepared to hand over "the data we have" to its Dutch counterparts, ahead of a court trial that will look at the evidence collected by the Netherlands-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in March next year, Chizhov said.

The envoy spoke shortly after Stef Blok, the foreign minister of the Netherlands, said Russia's contribution is needed to find some missing facts about the crash, which killed 298 passengers and crew. The Hague had "asked the Russian Federation to cooperate in a factual investigation into the closing of airspace above and around Ukraine," Blok wrote to Dutch lawmakers on Sunday.

Blok's letter comes two months after Chris van Dam, spokesman for the MH17 probe, announced the inquiry will focus on why Ukraine's airspace "was not closed" over Donetsk at the time of intense hostilities between the government military and rebel forces in the breakaway Donbass region.

Back in 2015, a report released by the Dutch Safety Board confirmed that, while it was hard to find out who was behind downing of flight MH17, the airspace over Ukraine should have been closed. Meanwhile, lawyers representing some victims of the crash maintain that it was Ukraine's responsibility to ensure the safety of civilian air traffic during the fighting.

Last edited:


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): OM spreekt met nabestaanden MH17: 'Fijn dat we gehoord worden'

DeepL Translator said:
The public prosecutor's office speaks to next of kin MH17: 'Glad that we're being heard'

NOS News - Interior - Today, 16:02
Hugo van der Parre
Research editor

In the run-up to the MH17 process which begins in March, the Public Prosecution Service has held dozens of interviews with next of kin in recent weeks. The aim was to hear from them what impact the MH17 disaster and everything related to it has on their lives.

Spread over nine days - often on Saturdays - a total of 75 interviews were held with relatives of the 196 Dutch victims of flight MH17. This happened at police stations in several cities. Moreover, at the beginning of this month, a delegation from the Public Prosecutor's Office, the police and Victim Aid went to Australia to talk to another fifty relatives of Australian victims.


Such a conversation with a prosecutor is a legal right for victims. Next of kin could decide for themselves whether they wanted to make use of it. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Digna van Boetzelaer says, "Some people said it brings out more than they had expected. But they were also very grateful afterwards and said: 'I was able to tell my story, and there is someone who listens to me, to my story'."

Wim van der Graaff - he lost his son Laurens (30) with his girlfriend Karlijn - is happy with the conversation he had in Hoofddorp with a public prosecutor: "It was very special, because this is a part of the official indictment of what happened to us. It's very nice that we were heard so personally. That has been a very good feeling."

For the Public Prosecutor's Office, the conversations are valuable on several levels, Van Boetzelaer says. "Up to now we have addressed the next of kin mainly as a group. Now was the moment they could talk to us in a smaller setting. As a PPS it's good to have such a one-to-one contact."

Statements and opinions of the next of kin can also play a role in the court case. "If the next of kin want it and think it's a good thing, the public prosecutor can use quotes from them later on. They can also speak themselves in the courtroom or submit a written statement. So their story can have a place in the case in different ways." The interview reports are not part of the case file.

Next of kin Van der Graaff hopes that the conversations will result in what he calls "a common summary of what has happened to us as next of kin in the past five years, both physically and mentally".


Earlier this year, when the Public Prosecutor's Office was looking for public prosecutors to conduct the interviews, a large number of prosecutors signed up. In the end, 24 were selected. They were particularly impressed by the impact that the MH17 disaster still has.

Van Boetzelaer: "As Public Prosecutor's Office we naturally conduct victim interviews more often, but they usually follow much more quickly. Here you talk to a large group of people and see how great the impact is even after five and a half years. An impact that is everywhere, that affects very practical things, the people themselves and their relationships."

Right to speak

When it comes to the MH17 process, Wim van der Graaff deliberately tempers his expectations. "I think that the trial shows that one does not let the case go, that one does everything in one's power to achieve justice. Whether it will bring something in the long run, I have my doubts about that. I'm prepared for a disappointment."

Still, he likes to make his contribution. "I'm going to use my right to speak during the trial. That's the only way for me to get the feeling that I'm doing something about it".

Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines was brought down over Eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014
by a Buk missile from Russia. A fierce war between Russian-minded separatists and Ukrainian
government troops was raging in Eastern Ukraine at the time. Flight MH17 was on its way from
Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur and had 298 people on board. Among them were 196 Dutch.

On 9 March, a court case will start at Schiphol Airport against three Russians and a Ukrainian
who are suspected of involvement in the attack. That trial is expected to take years.

Translated with (free version)


The Living Force
Source: Journalism collective Bellingcat wins Dutch public communication award

Journalism collective Bellingcat wins Dutch public communication award

By Janene Pieters on January 7, 2020 - 10:10

The Machiavelli prize for 2019 has been awarded to journalism collective Bellingcat, the Machiavelli Foundation announced on Tuesday. The Machiavelli prize is annually awarded to a person or organization that achieved something remarkable in the field of public communication, reports [in Dutch].

Bellingcat is a citizen investigative journalism platform founded by British blogger Eliot Higgins. Bellingcat investigates international conflicts, also using online resources like social media, and became known for its news coverage of the Syrian civil war, the war in Eastern Ukraine, and the MH17 disaster.

The Machiavelli prize jury praised Bellingcat for its innovative method of investigative journalism. "Bellingcat has provided in-depth investigative journalism with a strong quality boost in an era where we see more and more fake news. This innovation is a prime example for both traditional media and for journalists in training", the jury said.

The prize will be awarded for the 31st time on February 12th in the Nieuwspoort press center in The Hague. Higgins will receive the prize himself, according to

Last year the Machiavelli prize was awarded to "the threatened mayor", as an "indictment of this phenomenon that is eroding the roots of our democracy and is completely unacceptable", the jury said.

Other coverage in Dutch:
Bellingcat krijgt Machiavelliprijs voor 'kwaliteitsimpuls' journalistiek
Bellingcat wil meer MH17-betrokkenen achterhalen


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Very interesting..🤔

Via The Duran, Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Paul Antonopoulos, Research Fellow at the Center for Syncretic Studies,

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH-17), that was shot down on July 17, 2014 in the Donbass region of Eastern Ukraine, killed all passengers onboard and was immediately blamed on pro-Russia Donbass volunteer militias fighting against henchmen of the Maidan civil unrest, the Neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and the Ukrainian military. The blame was assigned against the Donbass militias with no investigation occurring and many questions remaining unanswered.

The whistleblower in the 39-minute documentary completely delegitimizes the findings found by the Dutch investigators and world leaders by drawing on classified documents he attained through his own high-ranking position and those close to him, as well as eye witness accounts including from the Donbass volunteers.

Skipping down:

It is highly recommended that the documentary is viewed as all the information, in which all of it is relevant, cannot be confined into a single article. The insights and information provided by Prozorov thoroughly examines and concludes that MH-17 flight downing was an aggressive action taken by Ukraine with the backing of foreign intelligence agencies, particularly British, to discredit the Donbass militias.

I would argue this was also done to legitimize a Western intervention in Ukraine. Just as Bellingcat’s disinformation campaign against Syria has failed, Higgins and other peoples campaign to blame the Donbass volunteers for MH-17 tragedy is also crumbling apart.


Jedi Master
Вот такое мнение. Кто-то все-таки должен был провести параллели.

Теперь нет сомнений — «Боинг» сбила Украина
12.01.2020 - 8:00

That's the opinion. Someone had to draw Parallels after all.

Now there is no doubt - "Boeing" was shot down by Ukraine
12.01.2020-8: 00
Iran has admitted responsibility for the crash of a Ukrainian Boeing on January 8 near Tehran. The foreign Ministry of the Republic said that the attack was the result of a fatal error in the calculation of air defense, which was waiting for us response after the attack on American military bases in Iraq. At the same time, if we take into account the work of Western intelligence, it is impossible not to draw a parallel with the tragedy of flight MH17. In fact, the actions of the West stated the guilt of Ukraine for the crash of the Malaysian "Boeing".

Already on January 9, Canada and the United States simultaneously announced data indicating that the Ukrainian "Boeing" was shot down by a missile. Two heat trace, the work of RLS. In Tehran, they probably realized that if they did not make an official statement, the Western media would recreate the picture of what happened, which would be even worse for Iran.

At the same time, the Ukrainian delegation that arrived in the capital of the Republic was not shown the shrapnel-pierced cabin of the liner until the foreign Ministry officially admitted guilt. That is, if Tehran had taken a different path with "evidence", anything could have happened.

Let's go back to 2014. Russia still does not have the opportunity to get acquainted with the "evidence" displayed in the Netherlands. And most importantly, where are all the operational and accurate data of foreign intelligence after the crash of the Malaysian Boeing, in this situation, actually forced Iran to admit guilt?

Why instead of this, Russia has been trying to hang responsibility for the tragedy in ridiculous ways for 5 years, and this is not done by the government, but by a group of incomprehensible and not very competent persons who persistently ignore all the facts against the "General line".

American satellites were over the Donbass at the time of the attack, as evidenced by the us statement about the presence of satellite images. They are not known to have been shown.

And shots from the Russian satellites, clearly pointing to 2 sow "Buk-M1" in the area under the control of the Ukrainian side of the settlement Zaroshchenskoe, and pictures of the movement of military equipment APU "investigation" ignored. However, as well as other proofs of the Russian Federation, still not admitted to materials.

Directly "investigative group" JIT, whose tasks initially did not include the search for the truth, is nothing more than a "way out" in the event of a failure of the plan. "Independent investigators" and Russophobes from Bellingcat will be made responsible for falsifications, and Washington will get away with it.

In other words, if Russia had been involved in the crash of the Malaysian Boeing, the evidence would have appeared the next day, which confirms the actions of foreign intelligence services in the case of the tragedy in Iran.

Deputy Of the people's Council of the DPR Vladislav Berdichevsky commented on the situation:

"It would seem quite logical in the unwinding spiral of the next stage of demonization of Iran and Russia would be to link the crash of RS 752 with MH17.

Not bound. No corporate media, no trump, no Trudeau.

Because in this case, even the zombie Western man in the street, who believes every" vzukareku "CNN or Fox News, God forbid, will remember the same hysteria in the summer of 2014 and ask:" what is there with the investigation of something on MH17? Well seems it was all clear, and who still held responsible and why for 5.5 years, the perpetrators were not found?“…

God forbid to think and compare the situation will begin."

Ewa lisowska, specially for the "Russian Spring»


The Living Force
UPDATE on post #965 (November 23, 2018).

Source (Dutch only): Rusland ontkent opnieuw betrokkenheid bij MH17

DeepL Translator said:
NOS News - Domestic - Abroad - Today, 16:06

Russia again denies involvement in MH17

Hugo van der Parre
- Research editor

Russia has responded to the complaints procedure brought by victims' relatives of flight MH17 [in Dutch] before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The country has indicated that the next of kin are at the wrong address with Russia because, according to Russia, it had no effective control over Eastern Ukraine, the area where MH17 was shot down in July 2014. For the same reason, Russia cannot be required to investigate the disaster.

The complaint against Russia was filed with the European Court of Human Rights in 2018 on behalf of several hundred surviving relatives from fourteen countries. The complainants want Russia to be condemned by the Court for knocking down the passenger plane and frustrating the investigation into the disaster.

As always, Russia rejects all responsibility for the disaster. Nevertheless, the country discusses the case in detail in a ninety page document. According to Russia, the suspicion is based on falsified evidence and poor investigation.

Video images

For example, Russia claims that several videos showing the BUK installation have been forged. These are allegedly images on which the BUK rocket installation is filmed when it is on its way to the launch site and again when it is returned to Russia a day later. Also the telephone conversations released by the Joint Investigation Team between various Russian military men and separatists would have been falsified.

In addition, Russia repeats a previously used explanation that MH17 could not have been brought down by Russia because the Russian army would use a different type of BUK missiles.

Finally, it is stated that Russia is frequently the victim of an international smear campaign by NGOs. In this context, Russia accuses research collective Bellingcat of spreading fake news.


Piet Ploeg, chairman of the Stichting Vliegramp MH17, says that the Russian reaction does not surprise him but disappoints him, again. "Look at the air disaster in Iran. At least there it was admitted that the plane was shot down by anti-aircraft artillery. For next of kin it is very important that guilt is acknowledged."

The lawyers of the relatives have until the end of March to formulate their reaction to the Russian document. Subsequently, the European Court will have to decide on the continuation of the case.

The proceedings in Strasbourg are separate from the criminal case that starts in March in the court at Schiphol Airport. This will focus specifically on the prosecution of the perpetrators. For the time being, three Russians and one Ukrainian have been identified as suspects. It is highly unlikely that they will be present at that case.

Translated with (free version)


The Living Force
Source (Dutch only): Blok roept Rusland op voorbeeld Iran te volgen: 'Erken aansprakelijkheid MH17'

DeepL Translator said:
Consultation with Canada
Blok calls on Russia to follow Iran's example: 'Recognize liability MH17'

16 January 2020 17:17 Adjusted: 16 January 2020 17:54

Foreign Minister Blok (right) today with his Canadian counterpart in London - image/2020/01/16/ANP

Foreign Minister Stef Blok once again calls on Russia to be open about the downing of flight MH17. He thinks Russia should take an example from Iran, which last week admitted to being responsible for the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran.

That is what Blok just said in London, where he had a meeting with his Canadian counterpart about the disaster with flight PS752 in Iran. There were 63 Canadians aboard the aircraft of Ukraine International Airlines.

"The example set by Iran," said Blok to RTL News, "should be reason for Russia to take that step now: acknowledge liability and make amends for the bereaved".

Iranian anti-aircraft defense

Three days after the crash, Iran acknowledged that the Ukrainian Boeing had been shot out of the air by the Iranian anti-aircraft defense. Data from foreign intelligence services and investigative journalists also pointed this out.

In the meantime, the countries with victims on flight PS752 have made agreements on full access to the disaster area, the identification of victims and the initiation of an international investigation. In addition, Iran must assume full responsibility and pay compensation.

The Netherlands now observer

The Netherlands advised on the conclusion of the agreements because of its experience with flight MH17. It will continue to be involved in the aftermath of the disaster last week. It will, for example, attend meetings as an observer.

Shortly after the disaster, the Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau telephoned [in Dutch] his Dutch counterpart Rutte to ask about the experiences surrounding the downing of flight MH17. Rutte promised Canada 'all the support that the Netherlands can offer'.


Flight MH17 of Malaysia Airlines was shot down over war zone in the east of Ukraine in July 2014. According to international research this was done with a BUK rocket coming from a Russian launcher. All 298 occupants were killed, including almost two hundred Dutchmen.

Translated with (free version)


The Living Force
Commenting on the MH17 crash investigation, Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that "similarly, a CCTV camera turned off for first part of the day when the Skripals were found on a park bench"

Top Russian diplomat draws parallels between investigations of MH17 crash, Skripal case


MOSCOW, January 17, 2020 - Foreign colleagues are not presenting evidence in investigations into the Skripal case or the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 crash, coming up with bizarre reasons behind their absence, Russian acting Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a press conference outlining results of Russian diplomatic efforts in 2019.

Commenting on the MH17 crash investigation, Lavrov noted, "To answer your question where is Ukrainian radar data, the answer is strange - they aren’t there. Then somebody said that all radars just turned off by mistake. All radars that were watching this part of the airspace in Ukraine just switched off at some point."

"Similarly, a CCTV camera turned off for first part of the day when the Skripals were found on a park bench. The camera that was watching their house switched off and then switched on again," he added.

The Boeing 777 passenger plane operated by Malaysian Airlines crashed on July 17, 2014, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in the east of the Donetsk Region. As a result, 298 people were killed in the crash, the majority of them were Dutch citizens. The parties to the armed conflict in Donbass accused each other of being complicit in the tragedy. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine, was established to investigate the crash. Russian officials have repeatedly expressed doubts of the JIT investigation, pointed to the groundless nature of arguments presented and used by prosecution to draw up accusations and rejection of Russian conclusions in the probe.

On March 4, 2018, Sergei Skripal, who had been convicted in Russia of spying for Great Britain and later swapped for Russian intelligence officers, and his daughter Yulia suffered the effects of the so-called Novichok nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a nerve agent allegedly developed in Russia, London rushed to accuse Moscow of being involved in the incident. The Russian side flatly rejected all of the United Kingdom’s accusations, saying that a program aimed at developing such a substance had existed neither in the Soviet Union nor in Russia.
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