Factcheck: Dutch government states DSB MH17 report was highly praised. In fact, that is far from being the case.

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During a plenary debate on MH17 at March 1, 2016, four politicians of which three members of the government stated the Dutch Safety Board was praised all over the world.

However, this is not the case. Obviously the Russian Federation objected to the report. Malaysia had some issues with procedure as they were kept out of the investigation initially.  Even the International Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine expressed many objections against conclusions in the report. Mainly because the DSB conclude the airspace over Eastern Ukraine should have been closed.

There is no sign of any appreciation for the actual content of the report. That can be partly explained because organizations like EU, ICAO and UN immedtiately at October 13, the day the report was released, issued press releases about the final report. Obviously at that time those organizations had no time to read the report.

However since October there has not been any new pressreleases of states expressing the quality of the DSB report.

Which Dutch politicians said the DSB report was highly praised?

4 politicians mentioned the DSB report was praised worldwide.

  1. Han ten Broeke, Member of Parliament for ruling party VVD
  2. Prime Minister Rutte (VVD)
  3. Minister Van der Steur (VVD)
  4. Minister Koenders (PvdA)

Below an overview of what exactly was said at the plenary debate on March 1.

Member of Parliament Ten Broeke of ruling party VVD

Het rapport is door de hele wereld bekeken en gewogen, maar ook geprezen. Alle samenzweringstheoretici hebben hun tanden erop kunnen stukbijten, maar het rapport staat nog steeds fier overeind.
(the report was seen and judged by the whole world, but also praised)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Koenders.

Ik denk dat je kunt stellen dat het rapport wereldwijd positief is ontvangen, met uitzondering van de Russische Federatie. Meerdere landen hebben verklaringen afgegeven ter verwelkoming van het rapport en benadrukten daarbij dat het onafhankelijk, transparant en grondig tot stand is gekomen. Dat is niet onbelangrijk, omdat de internationale waardering en erkenning daarvan cruciaal is voor de vervolgstappen die we nu aan het nemen zijn. Dat komt niet vanzelf tot stand, dat is juist omdat we de onafhankelijkheid van het OVV bewaard hebben en daarin steeds een principiële lijn hebben ingenomen. Dat heeft vervolgens geleid tot die waardering in de Verenigde Naties, de Europese Unie en bij andere landen. U weet ook dat de ICAO dezelfde dag nog een verklaring uitbracht waarin werd gesteld dat het rapport conform de regels van de luchtvaartorganisaties tot stand was gekomen. De Europese Raad verwelkomt het, en zo zou ik door kunnen gaan. Het is een heel belangrijk internationaal politiek statement.
(the report was received positive in the whole world, except for Russian Federation. .. The report was appreciated by United Nations, the European Union and other countries. )

Prime Minister Rutte 

Over het OVV-onderzoek wil ik opmerken — de minister van Veiligheid en Justitie gaat er uitgebreider op in — dat het onze opvatting is dat de onderzoekers — velen van u hebben deze mening gedeeld — een gedegen en omvangrijk rapport hebben geschreven. Het onderzoek heeft plaatsgevonden volgens de internationaal geldende ICAO-standaarden. Het gaat om objectief en internationaal onderzoek en het gaat om een onpartijdig en onafhankelijk onderzoek. Het is een onderzoek dat vrijwel unaniem — dat wil ik erbij zeggen — internationale waardering heeft gekregen, en terecht.
(The investigation got almost unanimous, I like to add, international appreciation, and rightly so.

Minister of Justice and Safety Van der Steur

Internationaal is er veel waardering uitgesproken voor dit onderzoek. Internationale experts, ook degenen die betrokken waren bij het onderzoek, hebben de inhoud ervan unaniem onderschreven.
(Internationaly many expressed appreciation for this investigation. International experts, including those participating in the investigation, unanimous agree to the content. )

Overview of organizations mentioning the DSB report

So lets see which organizations mentioned the DSB report and what they said.

Russian Federation 

Russia had many objections against the report. The Russian aviation investigation bureau FATA even send two letters of complaint to the DSB.


Prime Minister Najib Razak

Malaysia would like to record our thanks to the DSB for its meticulous and transparent investigation that now enables us to move forward on more solid ground. (source)


Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi was cited by the national New Strait Times newspaper as saying Malaysia was not given full access and privileges into the Dutch Safety Board’s (DSB) investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17. (New Strait Times)



The International Bureau of Air Accidents Investigation of Ukraine (NBAAI)  had many objections to the final report. This is made clear in Appendix W. The objections were against the  conclusions of DSB on the management of the airspace and the failure to not close the airspace. Some examples of the many objections of Ukraine here:



European Union response In the pressrelease there is  nothing which can be regarded as a statement about the quality of the DSB report!

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (AP)

Klimkin also praised the Dutch report as “fully unbiased and transparent,” and said what now is needed is for a criminal investigation to reveal the chain of command and bring those responsible to justice

The Whitehouse response 

This independent investigation has been conducted in accordance with international standards and recommended practices in a professional manner by the Dutch Safety Board authorities, and serves as a basis for further investigations to identify those responsible for the deaths of 298 innocent men, women, and children.

ICAO response . In the pressrelease there is nothing which can be regarded as a statement about the quality of the DSB report!



Australian response 

I could not find any statement that praised the report of DSB. Instead, the common terms used by Australian government officials are that the report was welcomed.

For instance, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, along with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, welcomed the release of the Dutch Safety Board’s final aircraft accident investigation report, saying that it was “consistent with the Australian Government’s initial assessment of the incident”. (source)


Contrary to what the Dutch government states there is no sign of appreciation of the DSB report. Even Ukraine objected to some of the conclusions.

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4 Comments on Factcheck: Dutch government states DSB MH17 report was highly praised. In fact, that is far from being the case.

  1. Niels Ockelmann // March 5, 2016 at 8:15 am // Reply

    Malsysia expresses its satisfaction on the DSB MH17 report.

    The accusation of a “one-sided report” is in an article about a report in an Australian media about Malaysia’s participation in the DSB investigation. Malaysia is very critical of this *Australian* report and calls it ‘one-sided’.

  2. Niels Ockelmann // March 5, 2016 at 8:36 am // Reply

    ICAO welcomes the report.
    Malaysia thanks DSB for the report.
    Ukraine only has reservation about the report’s conclusions on airspace management.
    Only Ŕussia wuestions the wuality of the report.

  3. sotilaspassi // March 8, 2016 at 6:41 am // Reply

    Is there any professional party / organisation that has found any significant faults in DSB investigation & report?

    • No. I am sure no professional party will be very willing to express criticism on the report. First of all all other national aviation safety board will never comment on other reports. Secondly independant parties will no do it either. The world is very small. People will shoot in their own feet.

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