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Reflections on MH17

Experts' opinions on the tragedy and its investigation

*After RTD Documentary’s film MH17: A year without truth was released in July of 2015, the Dutch Saftey Board (DSB), which is responsible for investigating the technical aspects of the crash, contacted RT. It asked for help in retrieving the plane parts remaining at the MH17 crash site that were featured in the film.

"With great interest we watched your documentary, ‘MH17: A year without truth,’ Dutch Safety Board spokesperson Sara Vernooij wrote to RT. “In this film, RT shows parts of the cockpit roof which were found near Petropavlivka. We would like to gather those pieces and bring them over to the Netherlands so the Dutch Safety Board can use them for the investigation and the reconstruction."

At the beginning of October of that year, Donetsk’s self-defence forces handed over the collected debris to Dutch investigators in the presence of an OSCE representative.

**Just a couple of weeks later, the DSB investigators published their highly-anticipated report, but it contained few concrete conclusions. It found that the Boeing 777 flying over Ukraine was downed by a land-to-air Buk missile, but could not determine whether it had been launched from territory controlled by Kiev or the Donetsk self-defence forces. Inexplicably, the committee failed to take into consideration data provided by the manufacturer of the Buk missile and chose to ignore comprehensive information presented by Russia.


***On September 28, 2016, the International Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is tasked with determining who was responsible for MH17 crash, finally released its findings. It concluded that the plane was shot down by rebels in eastern Ukraine using a Buk missile system “brought from Russia.” The investigators did not directly link Russia “as a nation” to the incident.

The long-awaited report raised more questions than answers about the investigators’ methods and sources, however.

The investigators based their conclusion on unreleased, classified US satellite imagery, unnamed witnesses, anonymous phone call interceptions, and materials from social media, including user-generated videos and posts.  However, they paid little attention to radar data openly provided by Russia that contradicts their findings.  They also ignored the results of a real-time experiment conducted by the Buk manufacturer that found the missile that brought down the plane was likely fired from Kiev-controlled territory and had long been de-commissioned by the Russian military.

Moscow has been highly critical both reports.

Realted: MH17 crash site three months after the tragedy

Related: MH17 investigation a year on 

Read more on the crash of MH17.