It’s been a year of investigation into the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, that was shot down over Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur but there’s little details to discuss, instead we are being presented with unfounded politically-motivated allegations. Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of the passengers from the very beginning was used by certain powers to fulfill their own agenda, which forced Moscow into voicing reasonable doubts about the impartiality of the investigation and the motivation behind the calls for the establishment of an international tribunal. Ambassadors of the UN Security Council, politicians and media sources from certain countries in the first days after the catastrophe of the MH-17 began to push the blame immediately on Russia, without providing any valid justification and all while aiming to spread anti-Russian hysteria, following Washington’s lead.
“Instead of acting under the authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization… Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands signed bilateral agreements between themselves, the substance of which were never made fully known, and they organized a joint criminal investigation team last August” – stated Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a recent press conference in Malaysia. He stressed that from the first minutes after the tragedy Moscow was calling for an open and objective investigation. At that time the UN Security Council drafted steps that would allow international players to clarify the circumstances of the crash, but the better part of those were never put into practice. Time and time again Russia was putting forward new propositions, providing documented evidence, including satellite monitoring data of Ukrainian airspace to allow international experts to come to a sound conclusion, but the UN Security Council blocked each of those steps. At the same press-conference the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation criticized the steps undertaken by the group of experts from the four above mentioned countries, noting that the preliminary results of the investigation do not touch upon the most pressing question – what struck the aircraft and how to bring it down? Although professional investigators are well aware of how to carry out chemical analyses of metal particles to establish the factory where the weapon that destroyed MH17 was manufactured, they never tried to do so. The Russian concern Almaz-Antey has already presented its analytical report of the catastrophe and it went as far as to sound a proposal to carry out a reconstruction of the tragedy, but international experts showed little to no interest in the data presented in the document.
A recent statement of the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova has also noted that Russia for over a year has been calling upon all states to release all information that could shed light on the circumstances of the catastrophe and that it is going to continue to make such calls.
As noted by numerous international experts, the published data regarding the investigation confirms that the Netherlands failed to fully meet all the requirements of Resolution 2166 of the UN Security Council that calls for a full, thorough and independent investigation.
Terms and standards of ICAO clearly define the purpose of investigating and represent the main and unambiguous criteria that all authorities must comply with. According to Chapter 3 of Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation: “The sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.”
According to the Chapter 3 of ICAO’s Manual on Accident and Incident Investigation Policies and Procedures (Doc 9962), authorities must be able to conduct investigations independently, to avoid external pressure and interference in their activities.
While Part 1 of ICAO’s Manual of Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation (Doc 9756) states that the authorities that carry out the investigation should be completely objective, impartial and totally perceived as such. They must be summoned in a way that would allow them to withstand political or other interference or pressure.
In this regard there are a lot of concerns about the ongoing investigation of the MH17 crash, especially in the domains of thoroughness, objectivity and proper opposition to external political pressure. It’s noteworthy that a number of questions have not been answered to this date:
- There’s been no reconstruction of the plane structure that allows for the evaluation of the damage done by the object that hit it, which is an important part of the investigation according to ICAO’s Doc 9756.
- Ukraine provided no data from its civilian and military ground radars, which is imperative according to the same Doc 9756.
There’s been no examination of voice recordings and telephone conversations between the air traffic control and anti-aircraft units, between the control and flights SIA-351 (Singapore) and AIC-113 (India), or records of conversations inside the control tower. It’s unknown whether this information was provided, and if so, whether it was analyzed properly. There’s no information about the Ukrainian military flights that were operating inside the conflict zone or possible launches of anti-air missiles.
- There’s no information from other countries that are a part of the investigation, even though NATO’s radars and AWACS reconnaissance aircraft have been monitoring the area closely. Nobody says if all eyewitnesses testified what they saw on the day of the tragedy, even though ICAO’s Doc 9756 states that they should have.
- As for the International Civil Aviation Organization itself, it has been pretty sceptical towards the Malaysian statement that was made in connection with the anniversary of the catastrophe of the MH17. The general line is that all states must adhere to the principals that were voiced in October 2014 about the further improvement of international standards and the exchange of experience regarding the safety of civil aircraft flying over conflict zones.
However, despite the active efforts of the United States to use the investigation to further incite anti-Russian sentiments in the world, there’s a growing number of evidences that suggest that the whole tragedy of the MH17 was staged by Washington to use it in its anti-Russian propaganda campaign, even though it is as regrettable as it may sound. To a certain degree the attempts to obscure the undeniable guilt Kiev had in allowing the flight in the area of military conflict may serve as a proof of this. Western media is carefully concealing the fact that Ukrainian AA missile divisions were moving close to the conflict area before the disaster and aircraft patrols were operating in the zone at the time when it occurred, as was revealed by satellite images that were disclosed by Russian officials. Moreover, even when a group of American intelligence veterans demanded Barack Obama in an open letter to provide all available information about the tragedy of MH17, this request remained unanswered by the White House, apparently to hide the true causes of the disaster, and not to disrupt the anti-Russian propaganda campaign that is raging on.
However, independent journalists and alternative media refuse to keep silent, while carrying out their own investigations into the cause of the crash. In particular, the British columnist Caleb Gilbert released a few days ago excerpts of telephone conversations that were sent sent to him. These excerpts may be considered substantial enough to suspect a US citizen David L. Stern in the organization of the destruction of the civilian Boeing over the territory of Ukraine. According to Gilbert himself, he received the audio files from the entourage of ex-head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Valentin Nalyvaychenko just after his recent resignation. The incriminating records were made by SBU operatives while they were following Stern’s activities in Ukraine.
According to GlobalPost and BBC, David Stern is a CIA agent that was working undercover in certain countries, including Ukraine. His expertise lies in infiltrating political elites in certain parts of the world to stage coups, it is said that he took part in fomenting a series of military conflicts.
According to some commentators, the “John” that was mentioned in Stern’s conversations is the head of the CIA, John Brennan who visited Ukraine shortly before the crash and according to the former chief of the SBU Yakimenko “brought instructions and orders: what to do, how to do and what forces to use to carry out the plans that were drafted by the CIA.”
Thus, the “light at the end of the tunnel” is clearly visible and the truth will become known, no matter how hard Washington and Langley resist it.
Vladimir Platov, an expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” .