Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Botswana
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08 august / 2019

Press release on the investigation of Malaysian "Boeing-777" MH17 crash in Eastern Ukraine's airspace


The wreckage of Malaysian "Boeing-777" MH17 in Eastern Ukraine

On June 19, 2019, the press conference of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) was held. The first suspects in the crash of the MH17 flight from Amsterdam to Kuala-Lumpur in Eastern Ukraine’s airspace were named with new baseless criticism against the Russian Federation and its citizens voiced. Moreover, Russia was accused of failing to cooperate with the investigation again.

Donbass Militia was blamed for the crash on October 13, 2015, immediately after the publication of the final technical report on the causes of the tragedy despite the lack of such provisions with the Russia objections ignored. Meanwhile, the Russian side has the following claims:

1. Representatives of Malaysia, the country which citizens were on board, arrived to the crash site first but were admitted to the JIT only after three months of their active demands.

2. The militia did not obstruct Malaysians but engaged actively in search of blackboxes and sending the victims to Malaysia. Moreover, in October 2016 Russia provided raw data from radars, which totally excluded the possibility of the missile launch from the Pervomayskoe area, which had been stated by the JIT.

3. The JIT fails to respond why it excludes the possibility that this missile may have belonged to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and ignore the data disclosed by the Russian side upon the fragments of the missile presented by the JIT on the 24th of May 2018.

4. It is unapparent why the investigators are strongly reluctant to assess the decision of the Ukrainian government not to close the airspace above the zone of active warfare despite its claims about the alleged possission of "heavy antiaircraft systems" at the disposal of Donbass militia.

During the whole investigation the JIT has been demonstrating its biased attitude towards Russia claiming that the proofs of its involvement into the tragedy exists referring to such dubious sources as the Ukrainian intelligence services.

Unfortunately, for five years the investigators have not been able to achieve any significant achievements, which had been announced by the JIT Head Prosecutor F.Westerbeke. Just like at the previous press conference the JIT representatives stated once again that the plane was shot down by the air-defence system "Buk" brought from Russia without convincing evidence of Russia’s involvement in the plane crash.

Through spectacular pictures, carefully selected videos, fuzzy audio recordings of conversations and unidentifiable messages in social networks, the idea of allegedly proved Russian guilty has been put into minds. “Absence of evidence is not proof of absence” they say. The JIT appears to reject the presumption of innocence, one of the fundamental human rights.

Even Malaysia expresses doubts at the high state level on the approaches of the international investigation. Its Foreign Ministry announced the necessity to ensure greater transparency and reliability, find a solid evidence base and give up political motivation. The country's Prime-Minister M. Mahamad, in his turn, described the charges against Russia as “ridiculous” and the investigation – as clearly politicized.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation

in the Republic of Botswana