Summary of JIT press conference

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At September 28 JIT presented the results of over two years of investigation into the shot down of MH17.

The press conference including the questions by journalists at the end of the press conference can be seen here.


My point of view

  • Russia supplied the BUK TELAR system
  • there was not much news after two years of investigation besides new photos
  • rol of Ukraine is not investigated
  • exact type of missile not made known
  • investigation continous on why MH17 was shot down, who was in command, what are the names

The results:

  • JIT is 100% sure a BUK TELAR which came in on July 17 from Russia was used to shot down MH17
  • JIT did not present results of missile testing
  • air to air scenario can be excluded. Radar images, also supplied by Russia, indicate no aircraft near MH17 capable to shot down MH17
  • The Paris Match published photos are indeed taken from a video (dash cam). JIT has the video in  possession. During the press conference a small bit of the video was showed.
    This video of JIT show a part of the dashboard camera video. 
  • JIT found in spring 2016 two new photos on social media showing the smoke plume. Using line of sights the origin of the smoke was the launch location near Pervomaisk. Here the video of JIT showing the photo.
    new-photo-smoke-trail new-photo-smoke-trail2
  • JIT got primary radar recordings from an Ukraine mobile radar unit which was doing software tests. This showed no aircraft near MH17
  • So for JIT discussion on radar can be ended. They have enough material to conclude MH17 was shot down by a BUK missile
  • JIT did not specify the exact type of missile. They kept mentioning 9M38 series of missile. This is the same DSB concluded.
  • Many eyewitness told to JIT that they saw the BUK transport
  • The launch field west of Pervomaisk as geolocated a few days after July 17 by Ukrianeatwar website is indeed the launch location.
  • This field was under control by the separatists.
  • Russia stated the missile was launched by Ukriane near Zaroshchenske. However tapped telephone conversations made in June 2015 in which separatists talk to eachother  indicate the area was under control by separatists. This is a video of the telephone conversation.
  • Why MH17 was shot down (was it an accident or on purpose) is still under investigation. Tapped telephone conversations indicated separatists were suprised so an accident is most likely
  • JIT found new photos of the BUK convoy on route to the launch location.
  • investigation on why Ukraine airspace was not closed by Ukraine is not part of the JIT investigation
  • JIT agreement is extended to early 2018. The original agreements ends early October 2016.

RTLZ covered the press conference. The complete program can be seen here. Jeroen Akkermans is part of the program.

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29 Comments on Summary of JIT press conference

  1. It seems to say that there will be additional material on the prosecutor’s website. There is something?

    Vesterbeke added that an agreement on the work of the international investigation group “has been extended until the beginning of 2018”.
    This is true?

  3. Wind Tunnel Man // September 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm // Reply

    Interesting that @ 01:33 in this video the printed name of the missile type has been partially obscured, i.e. 9M38??

    So by saying that only a missile of the 9M38 series was used that probably means that the performance characteristics of 9M38 and 9M38M1 missiles were considered and both types of missiles could have been launched from a specific launch site. And that is presumably consistent within the range of calculated elevation (pitch) angles of the missile, at the moment of warhead detonation (apparently a 9M314M warhead because they depicted “bow-tie” striking elements also in the video,) made by the examiners when they analyzed the damage caused by striking elements to the recovered parts of MH17’s structure.

    • 9M314M can be installed and has been installed to both 9M38 and 9M38M1.

      There is no physical evidence any more who did it.

      Thus the all they had left are

      1) Digital bits
      – mobile phone network syslogs – provided by Ukraine (operator)
      – “audio” where “someone” is speaking (by Ukraine SBU)
      – pictures video from Ukraine social media & Bellingat

      2) Witness statements
      – 2014 Holland intelligence did not find anyone who had seen BUK
      – 2015 Ukraine intelligence found several
      – US sent “statement” that “that is the launc site” no pic no material
      – “something useful” from ESA.

      And the launch site evidence is all in bits. No physical evidence. Only some “lucky” reporters who took pictures of a field which has burnt somehow and was not burning anymore.

      But then right after that the field was ploughed to “stop the fire spreading”. Evidence gone. No chemical samples presented.

      Sigh. More this case is investigated. Less hard evidence we have and more “virtual reality” and statements. And without hard evidence statements are hard to verify.

      In all: Quite a surprise. But actually what they did not present is the answer.

      • Janne, you are being rediculous.

      • Wind Tunnel Man // September 29, 2016 at 3:07 am // Reply


        Also: “Recently, through intensive investigation, the JIT found another video file containing relevant primary radar data of the area which had been recorded by a mobile radar in Ukraine. At the time, this radar was used to test new software. Although it had a limited range, it still detected flight MH17 and this completes the image further.” – JIT, presentation preliminary results criminal investigation MH17 28-09-2016.

        It seems that Ukraine also recently found some radar data!

  4. The phone evidence has zero forensic value. It could have been recorded by SBU last week for all we know.

  5. Some observations:
    1) The exact type of missile was not named. Something wrong with the bow-tie story?
    2) The Luhansk video. It was discussed on this website: According to SBU, several Buks crossed the border back to Russia around 2 am 18 July. The video was filmed around 5 am.

  6. So is Paris Match going to explain the discrepancy in their original story?
    Didn’t Bellingcat spend a full blanket of text proving Russians transferring 9M38M1 missiles to rebels? So how?

  7. From JIT report:
    “In addition to the forensic investigation, so-called Arena tests were performed. This means that a group of forensic experts from the JIT countries detonated a warhead and a complete missile in a prepared test environment. In this test environment aluminium panels, simulating an aircraft wall, were placed around the warhead and the missile. Surrounding the test area measuring equipment including high-speed cameras had been installed.”

    Or no. They used stationary test to simulate patterns instead of dynamic test. They should be prepared to be thrashed by our finish friend Sotilaspassi.;)

  8. More about A-A latest (from 28Sep2014):
    -they said DSB used cylinder shape warhead model (not true?), not a barrel model.
    -they said DSB had detonator in the rear of the warhead (?) when in real life it is in the front.
    -nags that DSB simulator for stationary warhead does not match vs reality for stationary test
    -A-A model is based on 20 field test
    -real fragment spread is wider than what DSB state (yes I think that we see it on MH17 damage… so

    detonation had indeed been closer than 4m from fuselage)
    -still refer to the incorrectly set up stationary live test done without international observers
    -A-A “does not like” that DSB changed warhead detonation from 4m to 2m in final report
    -nags about lack of found holes (they ignore that large section of affected cockpit surface is

    missing/destroyed to tiny pieces)
    -nags about holes being spread too evenly
    -A-A mixed up warhead distances from 4 to 1.5m, to form the latest propaganda release vs Snizhne
    -has done more tests (4…5 tests) (without int. nat. observers) none with moving warhead
    -say there is no right side exit holes on MH17 (<- a lie)
    -lie that there is no bowtie holes on MH17 wreckage
    -repeated their story about radar proof (translator is very poor, hope for transcript one day…)

    If they had not lied before, perhaps someone could believe in something they say.
    If I heard correctly, JIT think A-A's new radar conclusions are baseles.
    No info if when JIT should receive the RU Primary radar RAW data.

    It would be nice to get the JIt comparison of UA mobile PSR and Rostov PSR datas. (not that it can reveal anything new, though)

    It would be nice if JIT or DSB could further clarify damage vs model.
    It would be nice to see information of secondary fragment spread from real life test (I have a hunch that Finland did such test already for DSB).

    “Zaroshchenskoye….It was also mentioned that this area was allegedly controlled by Ukraine. However, the investigation showed that this was not the launch location.

    And besides this, it appeared that this area was not being controlled by Ukraine, but by pro-Russian fighters. …

    One of the participants in that conversation knows for sure that Zaroshchenske was not the launch site and that, at the time, Zaroshchenske was not controlled by the pro-Russian fighters.”

    So, according to JIT, Zaro was controlled by ??
    Ok, it’s irrelevant, when launch was not from there, but there seem to be some mismatch in text. IMO

  10. If I were a journalist, I would ask JIT as to how SBU explained them the timing of the Luhansk video.
    Maybe SBU told JIT: “Oh, sorry, back in July 2014 we lied about Buk launchers crossing the border at 2 am and 4 am on 18 July. But all other things we said were true”. And JIT has forgiven SBU and included the valuable Luhansk video in their official report. Or there were no explanations and JIT just did not care that the timing of the Luhansk video did not fit SBU’s official statements.

    • sotilaspassi // October 2, 2016 at 7:20 am // Reply

      Around 18jul, ~4BUK units were taken to Russia.

      • See the discussions on this website (the links above). At first, on 19 July, SBU claimed that one of the Buk launchers transported across the border at 2 am on 18 July had _three missiles_ . It was said by SBU’s official Vitaly Naida at a briefing and stated in SBU’s report on their website. A few days later SBU corrected the report, by deleting the mention of _three missiles_. So, when and where did the Luhansk launcher disappear?
        Also, there are doubts that the Luhansk video was filmed on 18 July (see the links).

  11. Did I miss anything? Where are the Makiivka video and sat imagery?

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