MH17 Report: What Did They Do the Whole Year?

On September 28, 2016, the MH17 Joint International Criminal Investigation Team under the chairmanship of the Netherlands prosecutor's office issued a report on the investigation of Boeing-777 aircraft crash in the Donetsk region on July 17, 2014. The main conclusion is that MH17 was downed by Buk SAM, which was delivered to Ukraine from Russia, and after the missile launch returned to Russia.

"I think that such reports should be more thorough. This one is actually based on a report of the Bellingcat law firm, delivered two years ago ", - professor Alexander Rahr, research director at the German-Russian Forum, said in an interview to

"I'm a little surprised – what did they do the whole year? Specific facts are not mentioned, only versions remain. There are no findings in this paper. Any kind of sensation, too. It was expected that perhaps they will mention the names of the people responsible for the downed plane together with absolutely clear photographs and publications from the satellites in the day of the disaster – nothing happened. The paper largely repeats the previous report which we heard a year ago - the expert said. – There are different assumptions about Buk SAM, but in the published documents they did not say that Buk SAM was brought from Russia to shoot down passenger planes. "

The Russian Defense Ministry also insisted that no Russian SAM complexes ever crossed the border with Ukraine.

The concern Almaz-Antey declared after several field tests that the Dutch experts changed the Boeing explosion model in the Donbass "for their own aims" by introducing the wrong data. The Almaz-Antey experts believe that the missile was launched not from Snezhny, controlled that time by the militia, it was fired from the Zaroschshenskoe village, which was under control of the Ukrainian armed forces.

"We must remember that before this terrible catastrophe the Ukrainian MiGs bombarded the separatists (or rebels), bombed Lugansk and Donetsk, then it was immediately stopped. The appearance of Buk among the separatists could be due to the self-defense against the Ukrainian aviation flight. This aspect is somehow quickly forgotten,"- Alexander Rahr said.

Maria Zakharova, the official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, stressed that the investigation was "biased and politically motivated." "Everything what lies behind the so-called evidence base of the Dutch prosecutor's office, was provided by the Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies, which, undoubtedly, are interested parties" – Zakharova said. "The investigation continues to ignore the incontestable evidence from the Russian side, despite the fact that Russia in practice is the only one who sends accurate information and discloses all the new data," - Maria Zakharova said, expressing hope that the overwhelming evidence of the Russian side (at first the radar data) transferred to the joint investigation team, will point to "the real culprits of the tragedy."

According to Alexander Rahr, after the publication of this report there will be no political or judicial consequences for Russia.

"Meanwhile the United States may try to organize another tribunal against Russia. They can take away the World Cup from Russia, for example. But this story is tragic anyway. It is not a new sensation, from which we can develop a new intrigue, "- said the Valdai club expert.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.