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Bellingcat: Russia presented false and fake information on MH17

Author : Daria Prokaza Oleh Schmidt

18:38, 18 July 2016
Bellingcat: Russia presented false and fake information on MH17

Author : Daria Prokaza Oleh Schmidt

Satellite imagery presented by the Russian Defence Ministry of July 21, 2014 was “so heavily manipulated that it lacks any credibility as evidence”

18:38, 18 July 2016

A group of British investigative journalists Bellingcat has claimed to find evidence that July 21, 2014 the Russian Defense Ministry presented a series of false and fake information. This included lying about the flight path of MH17, lying about radar data, lying about the location of the July 18, 2014 Luhansk video, and misdating and heavily manipulating satellite imagery. It was said in the Bellingcat’s latest report “MH17 – The Open Source Investigation, Two Years Later,” released July 15.

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/

This document brings together two years of research by Bellingcat of Malaysia Airlines Flight on July 17, 2014. As part of this release, Bellingcat cooperated with experts in various fields for their analysis and opinions of MH17 related evidence.

Related: Bellingcat report on downing Boeing 777: the end is near

“Of particular interest is the work of The James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. The Center used the forensic image analysis software Tungstene to examine various images related to MH17, including photographs of smoke believed to be from the missile launch, images of the Buk missile launcher travelling through separatist territory on July 17, 2014, and satellite images presented by the Russian Defense Ministry on July 21, 2014,” as said in the report.

Bellingcat also stresses that these are the significant findings from this analysis:

  1. Images showing the Buk missile launcher and what is believed to be smoke from the launch of a Buk missile show no signs of digital alteration.
  2. Satellite imagery presented by the Russian Defence Ministry of July 21, 2014 was “so heavily manipulated that it lacks any credibility as evidence.”
  3. The quality of the satellite images that Russia released is poor and appear altered.

Bellingcat believes that the following events occurred:

  1. Between June 23-25 2014 the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade transported vehicles within Russia to positions close to the Russian border with Ukraine. This includes Buk 332, later sighted in Ukraine on July 17 and 18 2014.
  2. On July 17 2014 Buk 332 left Donetsk in the morning loaded onto a low-loader, travelling eastwards through separatist held territory, until it reached the town of Snizhe in the early afternoon.
  3. After arriving in Snizhne Buk 332 unloaded and drove under its own town south out of the town.
  4. Buk 332 arrived at a field south of Snizhne and fired a missile that resulted in the destruction of Flight MH17.
  5. Buk 332 was next filmed travelling east through the separatist controlled city of Luhansk on the morning of July 18 2014.
  6. On July 21 2014 the Russian Defense Ministry presented a series of false and fake information. This included lying about the flight path of MH17, lying about radar data, lying about the location of the July 18 2014 Luhansk video, and misdating and heavily manipulating satellite imagery.
  7. Almaz-Antey presented data that was not reflected by witness statements on the ground, or any open source information.
  8. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was only able present plagiarized blog posts when asked to present their evidence on the fate of MH17.

As was reported before, Boeing 777 of Malaysian Airlines, MH17 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

Related: Malaysia Airlines agreed on monetary compensation with vast majority of relatives of MH17 victims

Bellingcat experts came to the conclusion that part of the responsibility for the MH17 tragedy is on the higher ranks of the Russian army: Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, his two deputies Valery Gerasimov and Arkady Bahini, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, under the Constitution, is the supreme commander of the Russian Armed Forces. The Russian Ministry of Defense has called Bellingcat’s work "conspiracy theories."

Related: Malaysia Airlines agreed on monetary compensation with vast majority of relatives of MH17 victims

As reported recently in Bellingcat claimed to have found confirmation of the authenticity of the video, in which Volvo truck was transporting "Buk" anti-aircraft missile system through Makiyika town of Donetsk region. According to researchers, this "Buk" has shot down the Malaysian Boeing. The authenticity of the video was verified by the updated Google Earth satellite imagery. 

Related: Ukrainian experts implemented complete experiment on MH17 catastrophe

Related: The Guardian: Flight MH17, two years on: ‘As far as I’m concerned, Putin killed my son’

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