The Sinister Choreography Of The MH17 Probe To Smear Russia

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Dutch-led probe into the 2014 Malaysian airliner disaster has the hallmarks of a psychological operation to frame-up Russia and to justify further sanctions and aggression from the NATO powers.

The so-called Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released an update last Thursday on its ongoing probe into the MH17 air disaster over Eastern Ukraine, in which all 298 people onboard were killed. The JIT’s latest release moves the accusation of culpability closer to Russia, with the team claiming that an anti-aircraft Buk missile, which allegedly shot down the plane, was brought into Ukraine by Russia’s 53rd Brigade based in Kursk, southwest Russia.

Then on Friday, the day after the high-profile JIT presentation, a news report compiled by US-based McClatchy News and UK-based self-styled online investigative website Bellingcat was published claiming to have identified a senior Russian military intelligence (GRU) officer as being involved in the transport of the missile system.

The Russian GRU officer is named as Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov. The report includes a photograph of the named man, who is said to have at least one residential address in Moscow and who used the call sign “Orion”. Tellingly, the McClatchy report claims that news of identifying the Russian military officer was not known by the JIT when it made its presentation the day before. But McClatchy reported that the Dutch-led investigators now want to arraign “Orion”.

Over the weekend, the Dutch, Australian and British governments upped the ante by formally accusing Russia, and demanding that Moscow pay financial compensation to families of the crash victims.

Most of those onboard the doomed MH17 were Dutch, Malaysian and Australian nationals.

What we are seeing here is a choreographed sequence trying to give the public impression that developments in the probe are taking a natural course based on “evidence” imputing blame to Russia. The same technique of media psychological operation can be seen in the Skripal poisoning affair in which Moscow is blamed for trying to assassinate a former spy in England. Allegations, purported evidence, and then sanctions (expulsion of Russian diplomats) all follow a choreographed sequence.

On the MH17 incident, Russia has vehemently denied any involvement in the passenger plane’s downing. Moscow says its own investigation into the incident points to the Kiev regime’s armed forces as being responsible, possibly using their stock of Soviet-era Buk anti-aircraft missiles. Significantly, Russia’s investigative results have been spurned by the JIT, while Moscow’s offers of contributing to the probe have been rebuffed. As in the Skripal affair, where the British authorities have also refused Russia’s offers of joint investigation, or Russia’s ability to independently verify the supposedly incriminating data.

In a dramatic twist, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said that the missile casing displayed by the Dutch investigators bore features dating the weapon to 1986 when Ukraine was a Soviet Republic. The Russian military said that all such Buk models were replaced by its forces in 2011. Therefore, the alleged offensive weapon presented by the JIT last week could not have come from Russian forces. Besides, Moscow denies that any of its brigades crossed into Ukrainian territory.

The JIT, which includes investigators from Holland, Belgium, Australia, Malaysia and – invidiously – Ukrainian secret services, openly acknowledged in its presentation last week that it is cooperating with the Britain-based Bellingcat website. The latter is cited for its analysis of videos purporting to show the transport of a Russian military Buk convoy through Eastern Ukraine at around the time of the airliner being shot down. Those videos have already been exposed as fabrications.

Now it seems rather strange that the JIT was reported by McClatchy as not knowing of Bellingcat’s next “scoop” published the following day in which it claims to identify a Russian military officer, named as Oleg Ivannikov or Orion, for being involved in coordinating the transport of the Buk convoy, which the JIT says came from the 53rd Brigade in Russia’s Kursk.

The JIT and Bellingcat have collaborated in a previous update to its MH17 probe, in 2016, when the dubious videos were presented as purportedly showing the Buk convoy traversing Eastern Ukraine back to Russia. Bellingcat was cited again in the JIT’s update last Thursday.

That raises the question of why the information claiming to identify the Russian military officer was not available to JIT, even though the latter has worked closely with Bellingcat before? It was the next day when the McClatchy-Bellingcat news report came out, seemingly separate to the JIT presentation.

The sequence suggests a concerted effort to “build” a public perception that “clues” into the cause of the air crash and the incrimination of Russia are being assembled in an independent manner. When, in reality, the sequence is actually a deliberately orchestrated media campaign, to more effectively smear Russia.

Bellingcat’s media activities indicate that it is not the supposed “independent online investigative website” it claims to be. During the Syrian war, it has helped to peddle claims that videos sourced from the White Helmets are “authentic” when in fact there is strong evidence that the White Helmets have been fabricating videos of atrocities on behalf of NATO-sponsored terrorists in order to smear the Syrian government and its Russian ally.

For the Dutch-led JIT to associate with Bellingcat as a source of “evidence” is a matter of grave concern as to the probe’s professional credibility.

Moreover, what is also fatally damaging to the MH17 probe is that the Ukrainian secret services (SBU) under the control of the Western-backed Kiev regime, which came to power in the NATO-backed February 2014 coup d’état, is the source for much of the so-called evidence implicating Russia or the pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine for shooting down the MH17 airliner.

The dubious videos cited by the JIT and Bellingcat were sourced from the SBU. Those videos were purportedly posted on social media at the time of the plane crash by anonymous members of the public. The Russian government has dismissed those videos as fake.

The latest claims by McClatchy and Bellingcat of identifying a Russian military officer are based on allegations that mobile phone intercepts are attributable to the man named as Orion. Bellingcat appears to have expended a lot of effort trawling through digital phone books to identify the individual. The report also relies on embellishment of Orion’s alleged secret military career in Ukraine and South Ossetia by way of lending a sense of credibility and sinister innuendo.

However, the bottomline is that McClatchy and Bellingcat both admit that they are relying on the Ukrainian secret services for their phone intercepts, as they had previously for the videos of the alleged Russian Buk convoy.

The SBU and its Kiev masters have an obvious axe to grind against Moscow. Their partisan position, not to say potential liability for the air crash, thus makes the JIT and subsequent Western media reporting highly suspect.

Such close involvement of a Western media outlet (McClatchy) with a fake news engine (Bellingcat) and Ukrainian state intelligence is indicative of coordinated public psychological operation to smear Russia.

The prompt responses from Western governments calling for criminal proceedings against Moscow are further indication that the whole effort is an orchestrated campaign to frame-up Russia.



Joe Trader T-NUTZ Fri, 06/01/2018 - 02:40 Permalink

Yet another article which discredits Tylers and

See how they post pro-russia propaganda at night - right as North America's going to bed?

Enough of this non-sense already. When was the last time zerohedge put out an article, alerting readers to a legitimate investment or trade idea - which was profitable??

In reply to by T-NUTZ

r0mulus Joe Trader Fri, 06/01/2018 - 02:56 Permalink

Lol... alright buddy. Having made zero mention of any actual evidence, and having not referenced anything about the context of this situation described, you baselessly attack the site as propaganda. I call that an "insta-loss" in our new "russian-propaganda" version of Godwin's Law. Post an argument dealing with the underlying premises of this piece or go back to bed. If you're looking for profitable trades, go trade bitcoin futures on r/bitcoinmarkets. Either way, stay away from the serious subjects unless you have it in you to start arguing specifics.

In reply to by Joe Trader

philipat r0mulus Fri, 06/01/2018 - 04:14 Permalink

As always, the first two questions to ask: 1) the motive? 2) Cui Bono? Russia had no motive and did not stand to benefit in any way, in fact quite the opposite, so immediately there should be doubts.

Further, photos posted on the net in the very early days, before the "investigation" started showed perfectly round holes in the fuselage around the cockpit. These pictures were never addressed but it is clear that the shrapnel from ANY type of missile (SAM or AAM) would not leave perfectly round holes in any target. In fact, the holes are more consistent with cannon fire from a military jet and the caliber appears to be consistent also,

Also strange is that the ATC records have never been examined to check the story of the Spanish controller on duty (who now seems to have disappeared?) and WHY the airliner was re-routed directly over the Donbass region, which was "hot" at the time. The routing was also unusual in comparison to other aircraft on the same day and the route followed by MH017 in the days both preceeding and following the day of the attack.

Something doesn't add up here and the whole thing seems along similar lines to the UK Government statement immediately after the Skripal affair that "Russia is the only possible explanation"?

And the Dutch and Australian Governments, whose people were the majority to die in MH017 must know the truth yet have chosen the usual vassalage to Washington over protecting the interests of their own citizens, which is a disgrace.

In reply to by r0mulus

cwsuisse philipat Fri, 06/01/2018 - 07:14 Permalink

Yes! I would agree that the pro-russia forces did not intentionally down MH17. However pro-russia forces did down several Ukrainian airforce planes in the 48 hours preceding the incident. The most likely scenario in my view: (i) MH17 was instructed by Kiev tower to deviate from the normal route and penetrate the "hot" area (later the records of the tower were taken away and remained unpublished) (ii) a Ukrainian fighter jet followed MH 17 in proximity (iii) the pro-russia fighters locked a BUK missile on the fighter jet (iv) the fighter-jet recognised the shot and dived into the shadow of MH17 (v) MH17 was hit (unintentionally). Anyway the Ukraine failed to shut the airspace for civil aviation which makes them culprit No. 1. 

In reply to by philipat

EddieLomax r0mulus Fri, 06/01/2018 - 05:23 Permalink

Sorry this article is bullshit.

The fact is Russia isn't a tinpot nation, neither is the area in it lawless.

People don't go driving around with long range SAM systems without the government in control of that territory knowing.  These type of systems require expertise to run, and certainly are not allowed to fall into the hands of anyone but the military.

What happened here was that the Ukrainians were hit the week before at high level, in that case one of their flights was supplying a cut off unit.  Then some moron fired at what they thought was another high level flight, but it turned out to be a airliner, they even tweeted their success to start with.

Whether the SAM was under the control of the rebels or direct Russian control I have no idea, the poor and reckless target recognition makes me think the former.  The fact it was supplied to the rebels by Russia is of no doubt, Russia isn't the wild west.

In reply to by r0mulus

mendigo EddieLomax Fri, 06/01/2018 - 10:13 Permalink

And yet as they point out and you seem to choose to disregard ukraine had possession of these weapons.

Likely was either russian backed or ukraine backed fighters. Either might have obtained from ukrain supply because as article points out russia would not have stock of these old weapons.

You chose to evade the reasoable logic.

In reply to by EddieLomax

Heros Joe Trader Fri, 06/01/2018 - 04:00 Permalink

In case you haven't noticed, during the hours before the NYSE opens Euro-Tyler makes the posts.  Since the rest of the world is always waiting until the NYSE opens and the (((Fed))) Open Market Committee starts its market manipulation, Euro Tyler throws out red meat to the conservatives in Europe who have been denied free speech everywhere else.

If you look back at the US-Bubble Tyler posts, there are plenty of investment articles.  Crypto's, Gold, Silver, Collapsing Government Bonds and Muni's, etc.

Face it, what you don't like is the free speech that goes in the early hours in this fight club.  I find it far more interesting than the never ending market manipulations and lies from the (((financial experts))).

In reply to by Joe Trader

Kayakman7 EuroPox Fri, 06/01/2018 - 21:09 Permalink

Dear Pox, If we follow your link to the Twitter statement by Aric Toler of Bellingcat, he in fact denies your statement rather than 'admits' that Bellingcat is funded by government sources. Any reader can scroll down the post. The list of supposed funding sources  comes from a post by Eliot Higgens. Aric Toler corrects his mistake. Thanks for the link.
Get your facts straight before you blow more Russian troll smoke in our eyes.

In reply to by EuroPox

ArtificalDuality Joe Trader Fri, 06/01/2018 - 07:21 Permalink


MH-17 is indeed a setup by the sectarian global criminal syndicate. Bellingcat has previously been unmasked as an alphabet-letter organization front.

I've been researching MH-17 for quite some time; I'm a Dutch citizen and I am furious with our local government (and European institutions like the JIT). They are 100% willfully propagating the false narrative to indeed, frame Russia.

I have analyzed Bellingcat materials and concluded with 100% certainty that one of the images is a total fraud through scientific means. An image of a BUK Telaar in Snitzne. View the image and read the text here:

There indeed is a greater motive at play; that is the incrimination of Russia to elicit and justify the invocation of Article 5 of NATO. (An attack on one member state is an attack on all states and warrants collective response). That is why the Ukraine has been assimilated into the EU and NATO.

The goal is to conquer Russia, eradicate their Christians through war, subvert the remaining, deprave and rule the country while it is being leeched for its resources, like is happening in the West already through means like the Kalergi plan that's currently being executed by this sectarian global crime syndicate.

Dear Russia: Take your advantage with this (the obvious fraud of this Schnitze image using the Laws of Physics).

In reply to by Joe Trader

spencer Joe Trader Fri, 06/01/2018 - 08:47 Permalink

Fully agreed. Russians shot the plane down, now playing stupid and ZH is producing this shit counting people won't notice. ZH - don't be stupid - we notice. You are a bad dog. Russians are bad people. You just don't get it yet. They did shot that plane and anyone believing otherwise is just plain stupid.

In reply to by Joe Trader

LetThemEatRand Fri, 06/01/2018 - 02:06 Permalink

The irony of the Deep State propaganda machine against Russia is that Russia could be staging an invasion tomorrow but I wouldn't believe it if MSM warned me, because I've been conditioned to believe they lie about everything that matters.   Fucking traitors.

tnuctipun ultrasonic Fri, 06/01/2018 - 02:21 Permalink

as you might think, but what this article reports is substantially what I have myself understood since almost immediately after the originating event.  And I have no dog in the fight, have no Russian connections, have no political bias.  I just do not believe a word that comes out of the Globalist (#dogwhistle) agenda trumpet.  They lie, often and badly.  They are lying about this too ....  Yes, Virginia, they can and do use lies and misinformation as part of their toolbox, in the name of 'democracy' and 'free market capitalism'.  Right now, I have no reason what so ever to believe this bullshit, especially Bellingcat bullshit;  it's similar to the Syrian Observatory For Human Rights  -  a one-man band based in Sheffield (!!) that is used as an 'authoritive source' for media bytes on Syria...  Jesus on a cross, how fucked up do you have to be to base weighty international decisions on data that comes out of such shady wellsprings?

In reply to by ultrasonic

schatzi ultrasonic Fri, 06/01/2018 - 02:30 Permalink

Good find. Now I see Russia getting targeted for a lot of dubious stories that can be rejected with a small dose of scepticism and independent thinking, but that shot down airliner was clearly a fuck-up on Russia's part, probably somewhere higher up the military chain of command. If you lend out complex toys, make sure the rebels using it know what they're doing. The decision maker is probably rotting in some gulag.

In reply to by ultrasonic

not dead yet schatzi Fri, 06/01/2018 - 03:00 Permalink

Other than "take our word for it" there is no proof Russia or the rebels shot down the plane. Some pictures of a buk unit that could have been taken anywhere to the unbelievable tale of the rebels stealing the only white big rig, with a grainy photo of a rig only, in the area to haul the buk back to Russia, and other dubious stuff. Then well over a year after the fact a video suddenly shows up showing from long distance a missile being shot supposedly by the rebels at MH17. Launch area can't be seen. Photoshop anyone. We do know there were multiple Ukrainian Buk units in the area using their radars that day. The rebels have no planes so why the Buk units? Why did the Ukrainian controller send the plane over a war zone which was to be avoided. Where are the tapes of the controllers conversations as no one has seen them. The only ones in the gulag, or buried in the swamp, are the Ukies who did the dirty deed.

In reply to by schatzi