Will there be justice for MH17 victims?

Chinese students pray for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at Yangzhou University

Chinese students pray for the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at Yangzhou University 

2015/10/15 • Op-ed

Article by: Nicole Gallina

There are three essential reasons why reports of Western investigators or Western mass media will hardly bring justice to the MH17 victims:

  1. Their arrogance and old-fashioned work codes that tend to ignore social media and the quick and efficient work of bloggers in that cause (for example [email protected]) – so their answers come late and many details the public is interested in are never communicated.
  2. Their being convinced of being neutral, which of cause requires to invite the aggressor and present his view as equal (see the many, also contradictory, information Russia has passed on to be considered (check here for one telling example).
  3. Too much respect of Western decision-makers for the “great” autocratic power Russia and its lies, and much less appreciation for democratically ruled Ukraine and its fight for freedom, and for the fact that the claims of Ukrainian investigators have been consistent since 17 July 2014.

One pretty good case are the essential findings of the Dutch Safety Board published on its website, and summarized as following:

“The crash of flight MH17 on 17 July 2014 was caused by the detonation of a 9N314M-type warhead launched from the eastern part of Ukraine using a Buk missile system. So says the investigation report published by the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) today. Moreover, it is clear that Ukraine already had sufficient reason to close the airspace over the eastern part of Ukraine as a precaution before 17 July 2014. None of the parties involved recognised the risk posed to overflying civil aircraft by the armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

So, there is no explicit mentioning to whom the Buk belonged and who operated it – it was not the purpose of this report to accuse Russia, but by now it is clear that it was not a Ukrainian Buk responsible for the disaster. However, the “independent” DSB keeps silent on Russia’s role. Instead it comes with Ukraine, and implicitly blames Ukraine for the downing: the country should have closed its airspace.

Why this? On 14 July and 16 July two Ukrainian airjets had been shot down near the Russian border, in one case by an air-to-air missile. The other plane, an An-26 transport machine, was hit over the Ukrainian-Russian border crossing Izvarino, the Ukrainians spoke of a Pantsir-S1 stationed in Russia; Russian propaganda later came with a Buk. The planes had been flying at some 6.250/6.300 meters. We see: Ukraine had no reason to close its airspace – two military jets had been targeted from Russian territory, and there were no indications that Russia was targeting civilian aircraft flying at high altitudes – MH17 was flying over 10.000 meters.

For a collection of open source evidence about the MH17 downing, see: One year later, what do we know about the MH17 tragedy?

What do you make out of the fact that suddenly a civilian aircraft became a target at such an altitude? And that it becomes a target with a Russian Buk from the 53rd anti-missile brigade from Kursk, operated with the help of Russian personnel (who probably suspected to target a civilian airliner, but asked no questions)? The DSB above stated that “none of the parties involved recognised the risk posed to overflying civil aircraft by the armed conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine”. By such statements, western investigators again put the blame implicitly on Ukraine – it the airspace would have been closed there would have been no disaster – and exempt Russia for targeting Ukrainian aircraft, or worse, for deliberately aiming at civilian aircraft. Instead of discussing Ukrainian airspace (even if it is the job of the DSB), the Russians should answer the question why a Russian Buk was brought to Russian-occupied Snizhne: Was it to force the Ukrainian airforce to stay grounded, because of the high risk of being shot down, or was it because they had other plans?

The Ukrainians have offered explanations. The Buk was brought there because of a planned operation of the Russian special services; which essentially was to shoot down a civilian airliner as there was no Ukrainian aircraft to shoot down on 17 July 2014.

Such explanations are however hard to sell to the western public (or even investigators) that is fine with conspiracies involving the US, but dismisses such claims as absurd when it involves Russian special services.

And now?

The possible outcome of the MH17 investigations will be Western victims suing Ukraine for the downing of the airplane (because the airspace had not been closed) as investigators and Western media representatives do not have the courage to say and write:

“Yes, a Russian weapon equipped by Russian personnel was driven to Ukrainian territory Russia had occupied illegally in order to shoot down an airplane which we consider a terrorist attack.”

For now, it is up to Ukraine’s courage and energy to push its own findings and to get them in front of court in order to prove the involvement of Russia’s secret services and Russia’s deliberate targeting of MH17.

To read about how Russian military deception, or maskirovka, works in the MH17 case, see: The most comprehensive guide ever to MH17 conspiracies
PS: A recent report of The New Yorker on Lybia’s secret services placing a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103 over Scottish Lockerbie, downing it on 21 December 1988 (270 dead, no survivors), reveals striking parallels with MH17. And it is only thanks to the brother of a victim, Ken Dornstein, that the fate of some of the murderers became known to a broader public.Will there be a Dutch Ken Dornstein?

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  • Cripton Spinney

    It is NOT the DSB’s job to point the finger. Next year you will have your answer. The names of the Buk crew is known: the chain of command is known. Be patient.

  • Nomid

    I am afraid that the author of this article is ignoring or is not very knowledgable about “western” justice principles, and also appears (understandably) very impatient..
    It is all very well that all of us who have been following MH17 know and can see by the evidence allready out that it was the Russian/rebels that shot down MH17. But proving it in a court on this level is an entirely different beast, and requires extraordinary thoroughness and rigid practice. The wheels turn very slowly when we talk about Justice on this level, but when they turn they grind. Case in hand the mentioned Lockerbie incident, which ultimately led to grave consequences for Libyas Gaddafi as it can certainly be argued this case had an enormeous influence on the foreign policy towards Libya and later the reasons why a coalition went in to Libya. A thorough investigation which squarely points the finger at Putins Russia will have consequences for decades to come, make no mistake. It will change the landscape of foreign policy between the west and Russia and forever taint Putin’s legacy. As Lockerbie it will haunt the media decades after, and the trials, compensations, and laying of guilt will still be there to influence not only current but also future politicians. Even Gadaffi ultimately had to accept responsibility.