MH17 final report out tomorrow, Russian media denounces investigation
On Tuesday the Dutch Safety Board will be presenting its findings in the investigation into the downing of Malaysian Airlines aircraft MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July last year. As Russian media has been denouncing the investigation over the past year and presenting a number of alternative theories left and right, the chances are good that the Russians will not be supporting the conclusions reached by the investigators.
A large number of Russian officials have expressed their doubts about the quality of the investigation into the MH17 disaster. According to them, the investigators went to the scene too late and collected too little evidence. They also believe that the investigation is biased and does not take Russian opinions seriously.
Russian media, pro-Kremlin broadcaster LifeNews in particular, has published a number of alternative theories as facts over the past year, NOS reports. The first one being that MH17 was deliberately shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet, thereby shifting the blame off the pro-Russian separatists. When that theory turned out to be largely unfeasible they reported that MH17 was shot down by an Ukrainian BUK missile fired from an area controlled by Ukrainian armed forces. Another theory was that the US intelligence service CIA planted a bomb on the plane in an effort to make the separatists and Russians look bad.
LifeNews chef editor Anatoli Suleimanov gives no credence to the theory most supported by the West - MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile fired by Russia. He points out that everyone initially assumed that the plane that was shot down was an Ukrainian transport plane - an Antonov 26 - and it would have been an honor for the pro-Russian rebels to take credit for shooting it down. "For me that is proof of the fact that the rebels did not do it", he said according to broadcaster NOS.
The Russians have made it clear that they have no confidence in the outcome of the MH17 investigation in advance, even without knowing whether or not the Safety Board has managed to identify the perpetrators. On Tuesday the Russian company Almaz Antei, which produces BUK missiles, will also present the findings of its own investigation, in which they studied the effects of a BUK missile on a "similar" aircraft to the Boeing 777. According to broadcaster NOS, this investigation does not seem to be an attempt to provide conclusive evidence to what happened, but rater an attempt to make every possibility investigated by others as unbelievable as possible.