Data provided by Flightradar24 and published by German investigative newsdesk Correctiv shows Russian airlines still operating in Eastern Ukraine airspace days after it was closed on July 17 2014, soon after MH17 was shotdown by a BUK missile.
I blogged about this in January 2015.
I contacted Eurocontrol to verify if Russian airlines indeed used the closed airspace as shown by the Correctiv graphics. Eurocontrol was not able to provide any definitive confirmation of flights flying in the closed airspace of Eastern Ukraine following the MH17 incident.
Eurocontrol categorically state that no flight plans originating within their area of responsibility or entering their area from externally would not have been accepted due to the airspace closure that was implemented in Eurocontrol systems on the evening of the 17th July 2014.
While Eurocontrol could not confirm the flights used closed airspace over Eastern Ukraine, it seems very unlikely Flightradar24 or Correctiv made an error or falsified data.
So what does this mean?
Operations departments of various Russian airlines were aware the airspace over Eastern Ukraine was safe. This could mean Russian authorities were fully aware who was responsible for the downing of MH17 and that it would not happen again.
Also, as the airspace was closed, Russian airlines illegallly used the airspace.
I hope to be able to verify these flights indeed took place.by