Dutch Investigators Conclude That The Missile That Downed Malaysian Flight — MH17 — ‘Was Transported Into East Ukraine From Russia
London’s The Telegraph, is reporting this morning (Sept. 28, 2016), that the two-year plus Dutch investigation into the downing of Malaysian Flight MH17 (July 17, 2014) has concluded that the missile that brought the passenger airliner down, was moved into east Ukraine from Russia. Dutch prosecutors briefed the victims relatives in a special briefing in the Netherlands the publication noted.
Roland Oliphant and Senay Boztas write that “this finding raises questions about the involvement of Russian armed forces, the Kremlin, and Vladimir Putin himself — in the disaster that saw 298 civilians (all the passengers & crew).”
Detectives from the Dutch-led criminal investigation into the downing of flight MH17, are reportedly going to publicly release their findings as soon as today. The Telegraph notes that Dutch investigators will lay responsibility for the shoot-down on Russian-backed separatist rebels; and, will not rule out direct Russian involvement.
The five-nation, Joint Investigation Team, which includes detectives from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands, and Ukraine, “will reveal the exact type of weapon [SA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile], and the precise spot,” the surface-to-air missile was fired from, the Telegraph reports. Both Russia and Ukraine operate the Buk system.
“The announcement is expected to lay to rest,” debate about who fired the missile; and, “open the door to the identification and prosecution,’ of those responsible — including those in the direct chain-of-command, Mr. Oliphant and Mr. Boztas write.
The Telegraph notes that “several independent investigations, including by this newspaper — have suggested the rocket [anti-air missile] was fired from a wheat field south of the town of Snizhe, about 10 miles southeast of the area where the MH17 wreckage,” was discovered.
“If detectives confirm the missile was fired from near Snizhe — it would implicate the Russian-backed separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, who controlled the area, and by extension — the Russian military, which provided considerable support to the rebels in their fight with the Ukrainian armed forces throughout the summer of 2014,” the paper said,. “The British-based investigative journalism website, Bellingcat has submitted evidence it says implicates Russia’s 53rd Air Defense Brigade.”
Russian-backed separatists, and perhaps a Russian soldier or two were responsible for the shoot-down; but, proving that the Russian military knew the separatists were going to shoot down a civilian airliner is going to be difficult/tricky. Unless there is intercepted communications in the Dutch investigator’s possession, or some other indisputable visual evidence, as the NFL likes to say — proving a direct link to Putin will be very difficult if not impossible to prove. And, if Putin did have a hand in this, one would expect that he has already liquidated any/all those who could have implicated him in the shoot down. It could also be the case that the separatists thought they were shooting at a Ukraine military aircraft and not a civilian airliner; but, I would defer to those who have experience with this kind of anti-air missile; and, how likely it is that a civilian airliner could be mistaken as a military aircraft. One would think that civilian airliners have a known/usual flight path — but, what i do not know is — does the Ukraine military aircraft also typically fly that same route? And, even if they don’t, one could always argue that the Ukrainian military attempted to hide their activities by masquerading,flying the same flight pattern as civilian aircraft in order to fool their adversaries.
Having said all that, if it can be proven that Moscow ordered the shoot down — what happens next? Or, will Russian President Putin just say, “What difference at this point does it make? V/R, RCP