Wednesday, 23 September, 2020

Flight MH17 disaster: Russia scorns ‘political’ murder trial

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Media captionRussian rebel commander Igor Girkin, alias Strelkov

Investigative journalist Roman Dobrokhotov has spent extra than 5 a long time researching the taking pictures down of Malaysian Airways Flight 17, which killed 298 individuals in 2014.

“I consider there are not so numerous factors in the world that are verified greater than that Russia is dependable for shooting down MH17,” Roman tells me. “We have photos, we have audio recordings of telephone calls, we have witnesses, we have interviews with people who were being on the floor.”

The demo of 4 suspects – three Russian adult males and a Ukrainian gentleman, all ex-security officers – opened in the Netherlands on Monday. Most of the MH17 victims were being Dutch.

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Group (JIT) suggests it has evidence that the missile technique made use of to shoot down the Malaysian Boeing 777 in excess of eastern Ukraine came from a military services base in neighbouring Russia.

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Media captionInvestigators claimed they experienced evidence of the route taken by a Russian missile convoy

But Moscow carries on to reject all the proof presented so considerably, which include pics, films, intercepted phone calls and social media posts that look to backlink the Buk launcher to Russia, and the professional-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine to the Russian condition.

Russian officers dismiss the MH17 trial as “political”.

All four accused are nevertheless at big. They are: Igor Girkin (ex-FSB colonel) Sergei Dubinsky (ex-GRU) Oleg Pulatov (ex-GRU) and Leonid Kharchenko (Ukrainian, ex-rebel commander), the indictment says.

“We are seeing, we are hearing that those people who are guilty have now been nominated,” overseas ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova tells me. “We are seeing the situation when the media is applied as a weapon in the struggle. It really is a authentic stress on the court.”

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Media captionInternational ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Ms Zakharova denied stories that Russia had refused to co-work with the worldwide investigation.

“We sent lots of elements upon their request on distinctive problems. We answered all the questions. In all probability not all the inquiries. I simply cannot be that exact. But generally.”

Conspiracy theories

Considering that 2014, state media in Russia have spread a variety of conspiracy theories about MH17, which includes that the plane was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet, or by a Ukrainian missile. The JIT has disproved these allegations.

“The Russian authorities are attempting to develop a situation where by the information space is whole of noise with all these fakes, disinformation and conspiracy theories,” Roman Dobrokhotov believes.

“A regular particular person fails to find reality in this noise and decides it is not possible, that there is no explanation even to try to glance for reality there, for the reason that we will never know it.”

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Pro-Russian rebels guarded the crash web page in japanese Ukraine

For the Russian point out, denial has come to be the most common reaction to incoming accusations. And in the latest years there have been a great deal of individuals, such as of election meddling, hacking, the Salisbury poisoning and of Russian troop deployments to japanese Ukraine.

“Why does Russia under no circumstances admit to anything?” I request condition Television set converse exhibit host Vladimir Solovyov.

“That is simple, you never ever have proof,” he replies. “And you’ve constantly been accusing Russia, heading again to the 19th Century. At the exact same time, you under no circumstances acknowledge your individual faults.”

“Would not it fret you that your country has made a reputation for staying a global denier or liar?” I talk to.

“Surely not. Are you the just one that is normally attempting to explain to the reality? Are you talking about Boris Johnson? Is he the most truthful particular person in the entire world? Are you pulling my leg? Occur on. Wake up!”

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The MH17 demo at a specific courtroom around Schiphol airport is most likely to last several months

‘Piece of propaganda’

“You retain talking and retain talking on concerns you cannot show,” Maria Zakharova accuses me. “And you happen to be carrying out that on goal. You are shaping the perception that Russia is guilty. Which is propaganda. I’m sorry. You are a piece of propaganda.”

Referring to the March 2018 Salisbury poisoning, Ms Zakharova complains that “Russian citizens were being accused publicly” of hoping to get rid of the Skripals “with no evidence – how can you do this to them?”

“You suggest those people two people who claimed to be tourists, but ended up [Russian] GRU agents?” I request.

“We are not chatting about what organisation they belonged to,” she replies. “How are individuals two fellas related to what transpired to the Skripals? Almost certainly they had been near this location. Likely they touched a thing. Possibly they – I don’t know – gave him some drugs. What occurred? Can you notify me?”

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Does denying almost everything have political outcomes?

“Russia is finding away with it,” concludes political scientist Andrei Zubov. He factors out that Western leaders are still happy “to get the job done with Putin, out of profit.

“It can be practical for Britain, The united states and Germany to have some political and financial contacts with Russia.”

In Russia several people today do not treatment ample to query the formal version of gatherings.

“There are some persons who are intrigued in information and they can come across the real truth,” journalist Roman Dobrokhotov tells me. “But there are other people who are not truly that enthusiastic to come across the reality. Of course it is a lot easier to manipulate them with devices, like trolls, hackers, and fake information.”

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