On 17 July 2014 a Malaysian Airlines flight was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over Ukrainian territory with the loss of all passengers and crew. The majority of the passengers were Dutch citizens, although there were significant other nationals represented, including in particular Australian citizens and residents.
The Ukrainian territory over which the tragedy occurred was the centre of fighting between its largely Russian speaking inhabitants and Kiev government forces, acting on the instructions of the Kiev government that had earlier that year seized power in an American financed coup.
An international group of countries set up an investigation into the crash. An early indicator that the investigation was likely to be less than objective came from its membership: the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine. As the countries suffering the largest casualties, the presence of The Netherlands and Australia was understandable.
There was no obvious reason for including Belgium, although that countries position as NATO headquarters provides at least one clue. Why Ukraine was included was also a puzzle. On the then known facts, or at least what was thought to be the facts, Ukraine was at the very least a prime suspect in the shooting down. The exclusion of Malaysia, the plane’s owner and operator, who also lost citizens, was at the time inexplicable. The reasons only became known much later. Malaysia refused to be a party to an extraordinary agreement between the other four nations that gave an effective veto to the Ukrainians against any adverse findings.
Contrary to basic principles of investigation, the quartet of countries immediately blamed Russia, alleging that a Russian missile has been fired at the plane, causing its destruction and the death of all on board. Not then and never since has any remotely plausible argument been advanced as to what possible motive Russia could have for shooting down the civilian airliner of a friendly country.
In the now more thanfive- and one-half years since the tragedy, the original blame game has not ceased. A new report has recently been released however, that has shed considerable light on what really happened. This report follows earlier revelations from the Malaysians that they had sent a team to the Ukraine to recover the plane’s black boxes, managing to do so with the assistance of local rebels fighting the Ukrainian government forces.
Had the Malaysians not been successful, establishing the truth of what happened would have been much more difficult. Thanks also to the efforts of an independent Dutch group, a great deal more information has become available, none of which casts the original quartet of countries in a favourable light.
The conduct of the inquiry, the evidence that was established and then suppressed by the original investigators, the allegations repeated without question in the western media, and the manifestly false allegations have now been revealed in a major study by an independent Dutch group led by the investigative journalist Max van der Werff. Their results can be read on the website.
That this report, with its devastating revelations, has not been reported in the western mainstream media confirms that rather than being an inquiry into the truth about a tragedy, the investigation always had as a primary objective, to blame Russia.
It will be recalled that the allegations against Russia hinge on the alleged presence of a Russian missile system in the crash location on the relevant date. This allegation was actively promoted by the notorious mouthpiece of the United Kingdom security services who publishes under the nom de plume Bellingcat.
Bellingcat was a major promoter of the version of events that a Russian missile crew had crossed the border from Russia into Ukraine, and then fired its missile with the devastating consequences of destroying the aircraft and killing all its passengers and crew, and then returning across the border back into Russia.
Bellingcat published some photographs of the Russian missile system, and the western mainstream media duly reported the allegations that the photographs were of the offending missile system, without the least bit of fact checking, either with local citizens who would have witnessed the alleged movements of such a conspicuous weapon system, or any verifiable military records. It is now known that local eye witnesses were interviewed by the Dutch investigators.
Those eye witnesses referred to seeing Ukrainian fighter jets operating in the sky at the relevant time. This directly contradicted the Ukrainian government claim that none of their fighter jets were operational on that day. Such an obvious and easily disproven lie raises questions about what else the Ukrainians may be lying about.
As might be expected, the Dutch Military Intelligence Service carried out its investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash. Their investigation produced a report that has been leaked to the van der Werff investigation team. That data shows quite clearly that at the material time the flight path of MH 17 was outside the operational range of both Ukrainian and Russian missile systems.
The report of the Dutch military investigation team (MIVD) quoted by van der Werff confirms that there were no Russian BUK missiles or radar systems in Ukraine on or about 17 July 2014. The Dutch report further confirmed that no BUK missiles were detected as having been fired on that day. Nor had anything been fired from the Russian side of the border.
This information was consistent with data obtained by two Australian investigators, Shaun Ellis and Timothy Johns, conducting an inquiry under the code name “Operation Arkanella”. None of these findings, which clearly contradict the allegations of Russian responsibility, have ever been published in the western mainstream media. It raises the obvious question of why the lie of Russian complicity in the tragedy has been raised and maintained ever since, when it is clearly contradicted by the evidence the Dutch-Australian investigations discovered.
The known Russian missile systems were in proximity to substantial population centres. There were no reports in any format of any missiles being fired on the relevant day. This conclusion is clearly reported in the official report of the Dutch Military Intelligence and Security Service. Their report clearly states: “it becomes apparent that flight MH 17 was flying beyond the range of all identified and operational Ukrainian and Russian locations where 9K37m1Buk M1 Systems were deployed.” Again, it raises the obvious question: how is this information reconciled with the propaganda attack on Russia, then and ever since?
This report was published on 21 September 2016, i.e. more than three years ago. Not a word of it has been published by the western media who persist in their “blame Russia” version despite having no verifiable evidence let alone motive, to sustain such an allegation.
If we are able to exclude a missile as the cause of MH 17’s demise, that inevitably leaves only either an accident (which may be emphatically excluded) or intervention by fighter aircraft. Even the Ukrainians and their Western allies have never alleged that a Russian fighter jet was involved.
Rather, the Ukrainian government has always maintained that none of its military aircraft were flying at the time. This claim has long been disputed by civilians living in the area who have given repeated accounts of the activity of Ukrainian fighter jets in the area at the relevant time.
The area where the shooting down of MH17 occurred was an active war zone. It is known that both United States and Russian satellites were in stationary orbit over the region at the relevant time. It raises the obvious question as to why these data have not been released. One can understand the US reluctance as the data would disclose the complicity of their ally Ukraine in the tragedy. It is less clear why the Russian authorities have not released their data. The evidence after all is in their favour.
What the satellite data would show is exactly what was established by the Dutch and Australian investigators at the time. That is, MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian fighter jets.
Van der Werff’s report includes the transcript of an interview with one such keywitness,a Brigadier of the Dutch Police. That witness gave detailed evidence as to the activities of Ukrainian fighter jets in the area at the relevant time on the day of the tragedy. Again, this clearly refutes the Ukrainian claims.
When one adds together the known facts revealed in the Dutch documents as well as other sources, certain irresistible inferences can be drawn. The most obvious is that MH 17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. That single fact, from which so much else followed, has never been reported in the mainstream media despite it being the irresistible inference drawn by Dutch investigators more than three years ago.
That the suppression of the truth has been a major factor in the anti-Russian campaign waged by the Netherlands, Australia and Ukraine is obvious. That the lies, obfuscations and misinformation should be perpetrated by the mainstream media is a sad commentary on the deplorable state of affairs that media has now sunk to.
James O’Neill, an Australian-based Barrister at Law, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.