JIT releases findings further linking Russia to the downing of MH17

Today the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), of which Australia is a member, has released findings that provide further evidence of Russia’s pivotal role in the tragic downing of MH17 on 17 July 2014.

The JIT, which also includes member nations – Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine – has concluded that the BUK missile system that was used to down MH17, belonged to the Russian Federation’s 53rd Anti-Aircraft Military Brigade.

This follows earlier findings of the JIT that the BUK missile system was taken from Russia to eastern Ukraine and back after the downing, and that the missile launch site was an agricultural field controlled by pro-Russian fighters.

The JIT is convinced that the BUK-TELAR that was used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade (hereinafter 53rd brigade), a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

The JIT reached this conclusion after extensive comparative research. During today’s meeting, an animation of this comparative research was shown. Several images of the BUK-TELAR with which MH17 was downed are available. Analysis of those produces a number of characteristics. The combination of those is so special that that can be considered as a fingerprint.

This fingerprint has been compared with numerous images of BUK-TELARS, both Ukrainian and Russian ones. The only BUK-TELAR on which this combination of characteristics also was found, is a BUK-TELAR that was recorded several times when it joined a convoy of the 53rd brigade on 23 – 25 June 2014.

Consequently, the JIT presumes that within the 53rd brigade and within the circle around it, people have knowledge about the operation in which that particular BUK-TELAR was deployed and about the persons that were involved in it. Therefore, the JIT calls on insiders and eyewitnesses to share their information with the investigation team. Also information about the instruction of the BUK-TELAR’s crew matters greatly for the criminal investigation.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, in a statement said That a sophisticated weapon belonging to the Russian Army was dispatched and used to shoot down a civilian aircraft should be of grave international concern.

” We are discussing these findings with our partners and considering our options.We have full confidence in the independence of the JIT and in its thorough investigation”, she said.

She added that Australia and our JIT partners are united in pursuing justice for those who lost their lives, including 38 people who called Australia home, and their loved ones, and to hold to account those responsible for this atrocious act.

For full narrative conference, Please visit https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-vliegramp/persbijeenkomst-24/narrative-conference/

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