Updated: Max van der Werff and former RT journalist known for disinformation start crowdfunding for MH17 documentary

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Update April 1:

After publication of my blogpost at March 28, some changes to the RT website and personal Facebook page were made from which could be concluded Yana Yerlashova as claimed did indeed leave RT. However the remarks written by Max van der Werff as well as by a notorious Kremlin troll are false as at the moment of publication both FB and RT websites indicated clearly Yerlashova was an employee of RT.

I also added to the blogpost a clear incorrect statement by Yerlashova made by her in a BBC documentary on MH17. The incorrect statement  is one of many ‘mistakes’ by here showing clearly Yerlashova is not an unbiased journalist.

All updates to the original blogpost are marked in yellow. Important to know is the orginal blogpost of mine was published at March 28.

I also asked RT Press Office about Yerlashova. On April 1 RT stated to me via email “Yana Yerlashova no longer works with RT.” When asked when she left RT the response was ‘She left at the beginning of December.’ As a result I updated the title of this blogpost.

Lets assume for now, as the RT page and Facebook page of Yerlashova are removed of the RT labels now, Yerlashova is indeed an independent journalist not related to RT anymore. I have however my strong doubts about her plans with Max. Some former co-workers of Yerlashova left RT as well, to start working for other Kremlin related media with the same purpose as RT, like Redfish. Basically RT in disguise.

If the documentary, if ever, has been released, I am happy to comment. The promotional video shown at the Kickstarter page continues where Yerlashova left, namely in spreading disinformation. See below for my proof.


Citizen journalist Max van der Werff and what appears to be former RT journalist Yana Yerlashova (Яна Ерлашова / Yana Erlashova) recently started a crowdfunding at Kickstarter to be able to make a documentary on MH17.

The remarkable professionally made promotional video shown on the Kickstarter page shows the couple does not intend to report fact but to spread disinformation. The video shows a man saying ‘Why they lowered its flight altitude”, suggesting the Ukraine air traffic controller instructed MH17 to descent.

In reality Ukraine Air Traffic Control requested MH17 to climb, which was rejected by the cockpit crew, as clearly can be read in the Dutch Safety Board final report on MH17.

Below the part of the DSB final report showing Ukraine ATC request MH17 to climb.

Van der Werff claims he invested over 2500 hours of investigation into MH17. It is extremely hard to believe Van der Werff is not aware that MH17 was instructed to climb. As such, why did Van der Werff agree to have disinformation included in the promotional video?
The promotional video mention the shot down of MH17 as ‘an air crash’. That is a remarkable way to call a shot down of an aircraft

According information on the Kickstarter website the couple intend to make the docu because ” 5 years on the official investigation is still intransperant, many questions remain unanswered and there are quite a few reasons to doubt the official version of events.”.

There is a lot to remark about the statements above, which in itself shows the couple is not searching for truth, but for now I do not comment.

The reason to leave RT and start working as an “independent journalist ” is according Yerlashova that she “wants to be free of any labels. I really want to be heard. I always did my job honestly and stand by very word I said in my previous documentaries.

Van der Werff states on his website:

“She did not leave RT because there is anything wrong with the channel, she just wants to communicate more effectively.” .

Mm, that is an interesting thought. Yerlashova seeks more effective communication and leaves a media station using websites and tv for communicating with a huge budget provided by Kremlin  and now tries to make a crowdfunded documentary which will be seen by a significant lower number of people than when aired on RT. Or will the documentary of Van der Werff/Yerlashova be aired on RT in the future?

Yerlashova wants to get rid of her labels, she states. However, Yerlashova  failed to get rid of some of her labels as at the date of publication of my blogpost three different clues (you might call it labels) indicated she was still employed by RT.

Yerlashova states she left RT to become an independent journalist. However her name was still listed at March 25 in the CREW section of the RT website as Webarchive shows. The next snapshot Webarchive made of the RT website, at March 28, shows that the page mentioning Yerlashova as a CREW member was deleted. This coincided with the publication date of my blog on Van der Werff and Yerlashova on the morning of March 28.


Screenshot made of RT website CREW section made at March 28, ‏‎08:49:37 local time. 

Also her Linkedin page shows she is currently working for RT. A Kremlin troll active under the name of  Deus Abscondis  explains Yerlashova is not able to update Linkedin anymore as access to Linkedin is blocked in Russia. This seems a valid reason as Linkedin indeed is blocked.

The third label which indicated to me at March 28 she was still working for RT at the time I published my blogpost was her Facebook page which shows at March 28 she is currently working as ‘Author and Director’ for RTD Documentary Channel. I took a screenshot of her FB page at March 28, ‏‎10:45:41 Dutch time.
However, also at March 28 hours after publication of my blogpost, Yerlashova quickly updated her Facebook page showing she worked for RT till December 2018.


Van der Werff presents himself as ‘Independent Dutch researcher.’

The claim of being independant suggest both are not linked to any organization and are also unbiased. That is a false claim as the next paragraph will show.

Van der Werff

Van der Werff visited the area where MH17 crashed twice. At one occasion he initially denied cables could be seen from an apartment building. However his own photos showed he was wrong. He did publish a mea culpa. Working on a documentary together with a supposed former RT journalist for sure does not help for an image as an ‘independent researcher’.

It is up to the reader to decide if Van der Werff is a genuine researcher or not. Van der Werff recently sent an email to the spokesman of Joint Investigation Team asking “could the MH370 debris found actually belong to MH17? “. This after a gossip newspaper with a very notorious image called Daily Express pubished a nonsense article. Van der Werff wrote on Twitter  “This must be solidly debunked or confirmed asap.“.

Van der Werff asking JIT such questions and not knowing for sure this story is 100% bullshit shows a lot about the thinking of Van der Werff. Van der Werff writes

Marcel trying to frame me as a conspiracy tinfoil idiot

That is not correct. I just report on what van der Werff states. He is responsible for his own deeds.

Another example showing van der Werff’s way of thinking is this text taken from his blog.

The blue line is a quote of mine done during an interview in which van der Werff also participated. Somehow Van der Werff links my statement to a statement which could be done by a Kremlin troll. I have no clue why Van der Werff has this impression.

I simply meant to say Rutte has a lot more information than the public has.  


Yerlashova cannot be called an independent journalist (which suggest someone which can be trusted and is unbiased), even if she has left RT as she claims. She has been caught on a clear false statement in a BBC documentary on MH17 called ‘The Conspiracy Files. Who Shot Down MH17‘. This documentary was shown at BBC television in May 2016. Yerlashova as journalist working for RT (called Russia Today in 2016) was asked to comment on the photos showing a smoke plume likely from the BUK missle.

A small part of the BBC documentary showing Yerloshova’s  false statement can be seen here.

Yerlashova comments on the photos made from a balcony of a Torez apartment showing the smoke plume of the BUK-missile just after it was launched. Kremlin fanboys have doubts about if these photos were authentic. However none of these photos were proven to be faked.

Yerlashova states “The wires are on the roof, but he took this picture not on the roof. He took it from his balcony.”

Yerlashova suggests that the cables were running on the roof and could not be seen while standing on the balcony. Which is again a  false statement.

Yerlashova went to look for herself in Torez.  She states “He (the photographer) says that he looked out of the window and he saw the plume. But there is no window in his apartment facing that area’

However BBC proved that the photographer was able to see the launch location of the BUK-missile while standing on his balcony. See this screenshot.

I emailed Max van der Werff and asked if he was aware of this false statement by Yerlashova. Van der Werff was not willing to answer my question. As Van der Werff  knows the situation of the apartment very well because he went inside the building and filmed from the rooftop, he knows he is working on a documentary with someone who makes false statements.

Yerlashova made two documentaries for RT related to MH17. These only show the Kremlin narrative of the shotdown. Many conspiracy thinkers like Joost Niemoller, Peter Haisenko and Bernd Biedermann are shown in the docu ‘Reflections on MH17‘. Also Max van der Werff can be seen in one of the documentaries.

Not a single person debunking the Kremlin narrative , thus providing a different view on what  happened, can be seen in the documentary. One of the reasons is that journalists are not willing to cooperate with RT because RT as Kremlin financed media just shows the Kremlin narrative.

Haisenko told a lot of nonsense on MH17. The same applies for Niemoller and Biedermann.

The other docu made by Yerlashova for RT is called ‘A year without the truth‘. Max van der Werff can be seen in this docu.

In this docu Yerlashova can be seen talking to the sister of one of the pilots who was onboard MH17. Wan Amran was the standby-pilot on the first part of the flight which means he is not actually flying the aircraft. At the time MH17 was hit by shrapnel of the BUK-missile, Wan Amran was likely resting in the restarea severall meters located behind the cockpit. However Yerlashova suggests that Wan Amran was flying while informing the viewer his body was not hit by shrapnel. More doubts are added by telling the coffin was not allowed to be opened. Why is explained in this blogpost.

Yerlashova claims on Kickstarter she found important plane debris  but “these never made it to the final report of the Dutch Safety Board” . It should be noted that the final report was made public at October 13, 2015. The pieces of wreckage  were ‘found’ by Yerlashova in June 2015 and handed over to DSB somewhere end of August or September 2015. That was too late to be included in the final report. DSB showed the piece of wreckage found by Yerlashova  to the press at October 13, 2015 as proven by the image shown below.

Left the wreckage photographed in Eastern Ukraine just after it was found. Right the same piece of wreckage photographed in Gilze Rijen, the Netherlands at October 13, 2015. To make the compare more easy the right photo has been rotated.


Leaving RT 

It is interesing Yerlashova states she left RT, only adjusting her Facebook page and the RT crew page after I wrote it still mentions RT as employer, to start a career as an independent journalist. It is a brave step to leave a well paid job at RT for an uncertain existence as an ‘independent journalist’, especially in Russia where most of the media is controlled by Kremlin.

We have to wait and see for how long Yerlashova will be ‘independent’ and if she is able to make an unbiased documentary.


Response by Van der Werff on my blogpost

Van der Werff in response to my blogpost wrote a blogpost titled ‘Ugly Face of ‘Civil Journalism’ calling me Malicious Marcel. It is an interesting statement by someone who lied about the presense of cables in Torez and is seen by many as a Kremlin troll.

Van der Werff writes that my statements about both RT and Facebook showing Yerlashova as a current RT employye are factually incorrect. In this blog I presented the evidence that at the time of publication of my blogpost Yerlashova’s name was mentioned in the CREW section of RT.

Max in his blogpost does not go into detail about his failure to publish his own photos showing there were indeed cables running in front of the balcony in the Torez apartment. Showing the photos would prove him wrong. However Max refers to the explanation of a Kremlin troll. This troll states ” Max saw no reason to consider cables anywhere else.”. This is just laughable. As is the complete ‘factcheck’ by an anonymous troll using the name  Deus Abscondis


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2 Comments on Updated: Max van der Werff and former RT journalist known for disinformation start crowdfunding for MH17 documentary

  1. sotilaspassi // August 30, 2019 at 6:46 am // Reply

    I find these interesting:

    Max van der Werff : Information management of the Russian Federation is of very low quality, to put it mildly. It took Russia four days to present its version of events and claimed a (most probably) Su-25 appeared on radar as it broke the 5,000 meter altitude. Russia also claimed it had deleted its radar data only to find a copy a few days before the official JIT press conference. And on those radar data a Russian expert explained there was no fighter jet visible. How credible is all this and how could it fail to explain why on one set of radar data a fighter jet is visible and on the other there is not?

    Max van der Werff: … For sure the Russian Federation knows a lot more than what it is sharing with the public.

    The tragedy happened merely thirty kilometers from the Russian border. For me it is unthinkable Russia does not know exactly what happened on July 17th 2014. What facts and information does it hide after even five years and for what reasons?

    So, MAX knows Russia hides information.
    Still MAX produces lies and propaganda.

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