The Dutch Safety Board, which is the lead organisation in the investigation of the MH17 downing of 17th July, will be issuing a preliminary report tomorrow, which should shed light on the downing of the MH17 and will hopefully clear up some unexplained matters, although it is also bound to become a major focus of the NATO-Russia information war.
The Dutch Safety Board’s report will be available here at 10:00 AM local time Amsterdam (08:00 hours UTC).
According to the authors, the “preliminary report will present factual information based on the sources available to the Dutch Safety Board. In the months to come further investigation is needed before the final report can be written. The Dutch Safety Board expects to publish the final report within a year after the crash.“
A key question will be whether the US government have provided the detailed satellite images of the area from which they say the missile which brought the aircraft was launched.
The investigators should be able to confirm that a BUK missile was responsible for the downing of MH17.
We know from the Dutch Safety Board that “The following countries have contributed (to a greater or lesser extent) to the international investigation team into the crash of flight MH17: Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Italy and Indonesia. The ICAO and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also contributed to the investigation as organisations.”
Those who formally participated in the investigation will have been shown a copy of the draft report, allowing them to make comments.
The investigators have not visited the crash site. Those who visited the site were only forensic investigators helping in the recovery of bodies. However, many resources will be available, including those bodies, photographic evidence from journalists, the Cockpit Voice Recorder, the Flight Data Recorder, satellite and other images and radar information.
The available investigative information will not all be published “in accordance with the Dutch Safety Board Act (Rijkswet Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid) and the ICAO agreement.”
Conclusions will obviously be drawn based on this report. However, for reasons made clear previously, determining responsibility in this matter is likely to be difficult, because of the ongoing war in the area, the manifest penetration of rebel communications by the Ukrainian Secret Service (SBU) which would allow them to penetrate rebel operations, the profusion of rebel groups, the possibility of a false flag organised for geopolitical reasons, and the manifest Russophobia of those in the neo-Nazi core of the Ukrainian security apparatus.
A reporter for the BBC claims this evening to have found two anonymous eyewitnesses to a BUK in the area, one of whom claims it was accompanied by a man with a Moscow accent. Given the current information war, it would be surprising if the BBC didn’t find an “eyewitness” to link the BUK seen in the area of the launch to Moscow.
More seriously Bellingcat (the new site of Elliot Higgins) has published information which seeks to link the Paris Match photo, taken on the edge of Donetsk, with video previously uploaded to Russian social networks.
With regard to the Bellingcat evidence, it is self-evident that a false flag operation aimed at Russia would ensure photos and video taken of the BUK used, ostensibly by rebels, would be painted in markings linking it to a Russian BUK.
As regular readers will be aware, the video which the Ukrainian Interior Minister published was filmed in a location in Lugansk which indicates that the Ukrainian authorities had control of or knew the movements of this BUK in advance. Indeed, there is evidence the footage was filmed in pro-Kiev territory.
Whilst the possibility of an accidental shooting down by one of the many rebel groups seeking to defend from Ukrainian air attacks remains and Ukraine argues the downing was part of a false flag with an Aeroflot flight the intended target, an anti-Russian false flag can certainly not be ruled out and would fit in with the historical modus operandi of the national socialists in control of Ukraine’s security service. It is essential that the Dutch Safety Board Report fully explains the circumstances in which this video was made.
The Dutch Safety Board is also looking into the question of whether Ukraine should have closed its airspace to civilian aircraft, as it did for military flights, and it is difficult to see this part of the report being anything other than damning of the Ukrainian authorities.
Update: The published report confirms MH17 was hit by “a large number of high-energy objects that penetrated the aircraft from outside.” This is consistent with most theories as to what happened to the plane as photos of damage to the plane have been in the public domain for a long time. (A missile from a BUK explodes near a plane in such a way high-energy objects penetrate the plane).
It will be difficult for people to spin this report as pointing the finger of blame at anyone although, as we saw with the Ghouta investigation, this does not mean that the media will not attempt to do that.