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INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE Ukraine v. Russian Federation

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https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-rela … -00-EN.pdf
CASE CONCERNING
APPLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SUPPRESSION
OF THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM AND OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION
ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
(UKRAINE V. RUSSIAN FEDERATION)


12 JUNE 2018



TABLE OF CONTENTS
...
PART II: THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION’S VIOLATIONS OF THE
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF THE
FINANCING OF TERRORISM
...
Chapter 1. SYSTEMATIC TERRORISM BY RUSSIA’S PROXIES IN UKRAINE
...
В. The Shoot-Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17......................28
...
Chapter 2. RUSSIAN FINANCING OF TERRORISM IN UKRAINE
...
B. The Russian Buk Anti-Aircraft Missile Used to Destroy Malaysia Airlines
Flight 17...............................86

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The Shoot-Down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

58. As detailed further in Chapter 2, as the pattern of violence against civilians
continued in Donbas at the hands of DPR and LPR, Russian support escalated, enhancing
these groups’ firepower as well as their capacity to harm innocent civilian life. The
catastrophic downing of Flight MH17 was one tragic result.

59. On 17 July 2014, the DPR destroyed Flight MH17, a civilian aircraft flying in
civilian airspace over eastern Ukraine. The attack murdered all 298 civilians on board,
including three infants, 280 other passengers, four flight crew members, and 11 cabin crew
members. Many of those onboard were Dutch tourists heading to vacation destinations on
the Kuala Lumpur-bound flight. More than 30 nationalities were onboard, including a

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significant number of Malaysian and Australian nationals. The armed groups used a 9M38
series missile, launched from a Buk TELAR that had been delivered by the members of a
Russian military brigade to DPR-controlled territory in Ukraine. The DPR deployed this
weapon despite the fact that it could not reliably distinguish between military and civilian
targets, and that civilian airspace was open.

60. The international community’s reaction to this atrocity was swift. On 21 July
2014, the Security Council passed a resolution in which it “[d]emand[ed] that those
responsible for this incident be held to account and that all States cooperate fully with efforts
to establish accountability.”71 Far from supporting these efforts, Russia obstructed them,
propagating false narratives about the attack, and vetoing a Security Council resolution that
would have established an international tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for the
attack on Flight MH17.72

61. Despite Russia’s obstruction, multilateral efforts to investigate the attack
proceeded. As part of this international response, the Dutch Safety Board (“DSB”)
conducted an independent investigation into the causes of the crash. The DSB operated “in
accordance with the international regulations that apply to independent accident
investigation, laid down in Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.”73
Pursuant to these regulations, the DSB cooperated and shared information with relevant
States, including the Russian Federation.74

62. At the same time, a criminal investigation was launched by a Joint
Investigation Team (“JIT”), comprised of the Netherlands Public Prosecutor’s Office, the
Dutch National Police, and law enforcement authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia,


71 U.N. Security Council Resolution 2166, U.N. Doc. S/RES/2166 (21 July 2014), para. 11 (Annex 297).
72 UN News Centre, Security Council Fails to Adopt Proposal to Create Tribunal on Crash of
Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 (29 July 2015) (Annex 311).
73 See Dutch Safety Board, Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (17 July 2014), p. 7 [hereinafter
DSB Report MH17 Crash] (Annex 38).
74 Ibid.

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and Ukraine. While that process is still ongoing, Mr. Gerardus Wilhelmus Christiaan Thiry,
chief inspector with the National Crime Squad of the Dutch National Police, has submitted
two official reports to this Court addressing key pieces of evidence from the JIT’s ongoing
investigation. Those reports are found at Annexes 39 and 40. That evidence definitively
shows Russian responsibility for supplying the Buk TELAR that was used to shoot down
Flight MH17, as discussed further in Chapter 2.

63. On the basis of forensic study and other investigative techniques, the DSB and
the JIT determined that Flight MH17 was destroyed by a Buk TELAR, and ruled out
alternative hypotheses. In summary, the DSB found:
The combination of the recorded pressure wave, the damage
pattern found on the wreckage caused by blast and the impact
of fragments, the bow-tie shaped fragments found in the
cockpit and in the body of one of the crew members in the
cockpit, the injuries sustained by three crew members in the
cockpit, the analysis of the in-flight break-up, the analysis of
the explosive residues and paint found, and the size and
distinct, bow-tie shape of some of the fragments, led the Dutch
Safety Board to conclude that the aeroplane was struck by a
9N314M warhead as carried on a 9M38-series missile and
launched by a Buk surface-to-air missile system.75

64. Based on potential missile trajectories that could have caused the pattern of
damage seen on the aircraft, the DSB narrowed the launch zone to a 320-square kilometer
area, encompassing the Ukrainian towns of Snizhne and Pervomaisky,76 located in the
Donetsk oblast and under separatist control.77



75 Ibid. p. 137.
76 Ibid. p. 144.
77 Official Report of the Dutch National Police, and accompanying annexes, at Annexe 1 p. 11 (16 May
2018) (original in Dutch) (noting area under separatist control) [hereinafter 16 May Dutch National
Police Report] (Annex 41).

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65. The JIT similarly determined that “flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July
2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR.”78 As part of this
investigation, the JIT identified the specific launch site as a field near Snizhne and
Pervomaiskiy.79 Satellite imagery shows that on 16 July 2014, the day before the attack, the
field looked ordinary. In the days following the attack, the field appeared scorched and
plowed:
Figure 180
http://d.radikal.ru/d07/1912/3a/04dd5914d82f.jpg

Left: Satellite image of the launch site on 16 July 2014.
Right: Satellite image of the launch site on 21 July 2014.

66. The Buk was also photographed and captured on video by local residents in
Snizhne on 17 July, who posted the images to the Internet shortly before the attack. Dutch
investigators examined and validated these images, concluding that the Buk convoy was in
fact in Snizhne shortly before the attack.81



78 Joint Investigation Team, Presentation Preliminary Results Criminal Investigation MH17,
Openbaar Ministerie [Public Prosecution Service] (28 September 2016) [hereinafter 2016 JIT
Presentation] (Annex 39).
79 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1; ibid., Annexe 1 pp. 12‒14 (noting the launch site as an
area near Snizhne, and analysis of scorched fields near Snizhne); ibid. p. 16 (“The investigation also
ascertained that the Buk TELAR that brought down flight MH17 launched a missile from an
agricultural field south of Snizhne and west of Pervomaiskyi.”) (Annex 41).
80 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying animation, MH17 Animation regarding the transport
route and the launch site, at 8:59‒9:35) (Annex 39); see also 16 May Dutch National Police Report,
Annexe 8 (photos in original Dutch version) (Annex 41).
81 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 6 (Annex 41).

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Figure 282

http://c.radikal.ru/c30/1912/0f/d3c00518dae5.jpg
Left: Photograph of the Buk in Snizhne on 17 July 2014. Right: Screenshot from footage of the
Buk taken shortly after the shoot-down of Flight MH17 on 17 July 2014.

67. The transportation of the Buk TELAR to the launch site was also discussed in
an intercepted conversation that specifically refers to Snizhne:

Caller 1: Listen . . . it turns to be the last checkpoint leaving Snizhne before
Stepanivka . . . to the left . . . Is my sense of direction correct?
Caller 2: You have to go rightwards in Stepaninka and across the field to this
f*ckng what’s it . . . this f*cking Snizhne?
Caller 1: Yes.
Caller 2: So, go to Snizhne. I’ll give you further directions there.
Caller 1: Got it. Ok.83



82 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 1 pp. 6‒16 (photo in original Dutch version, pp. 7, 9)
(Annex 41).
83 See Intercepted Conversation between “Krot” and “Zmey” (17 July 2014) (Annex 396); Confirmation
of Authenticity, Senior Special Investigator with the Second Branch of the First Pre-Trial
Investigations Department at the Main Investigations Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine (4
June 2018) [hereinafter Confirmation of Authenticity, SSU] (Annex 184); see also 2016 JIT
Presentation (with accompanying animation, MH17 Animation regarding the transport route and the
launch site, at 7:36‒8:02) (Annex 39).

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68. The mobile phone belonging to one of the participants in the conversation —
which took place at 13:09, just minutes before the attack — was connected to the telephone
tower located closest to the agricultural field near Pervomaisky.84

69. Russia’s proxies deployed the Buk missile against Flight MH17 fully aware
that the skies of eastern Ukraine within range of their weapon were open to civilian air
traffic. Under a public Notice to Airmen (“NOTAM”), the airspace below 32,000 feet was
restricted to Ukrainian state aircraft, meaning that civilian air traffic above that level was
expressly permitted.85

70. Substantial civilian air traffic passed through the airspace above eastern
Ukraine until the attack. Based on data from the European Organization for the Safety of Air
Navigation (“EUROCONTROL”), the DSB determined that “a large number of operators
continued to use routes over the eastern part of Ukraine.”86 In June and July 2014, each day
an average of 220 flights transited the air traffic zone where Flight MH17 was ultimately shot



84 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying animation, MH17 Animation regarding the transport
route and the launch site, at 8:02‒8:09) (Annex 39).
85 DSB Report MH17 Crash, pp. 195‒97 (Annex 38). Ukraine’s NOTAM was based on the lack of
indication, at the time, that Russia had supplied illegal armed groups with surface-to-air missiles
capable of hitting civilian airliners at cruising altitude. This is consistent with the general practice in
conflict zones where there is no apparent threat to civil aviation at high altitudes. See ibid. pp. 199‒
205.
86 Ibid. p. 223.

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down.87 On 17 July, the day of the attack, 160 flights passed over this area until the airspace
closed following the shoot-down.88

71. Flight MH17 was following a typical flight pattern. After taking off from
Amsterdam en route to Kuala Lumpur, it reached a cruising altitude of 33,000 feet, a
standard flight level for civilian aircraft.89 Anyone with access to the Internet could have
seen this pattern of civilian traffic, and could even have identified Flight MH17 over the
airspace of eastern Ukraine in the early afternoon of 17 July. Just one example of a public,
free online service providing this capability is Flightradar24, which displays live air traffic.90
Flightradar 24 has preserved and shared a live view of Ukrainian airspace shortly before the
shoot-down, showing both Flight MH17’s altitude and its trajectory toward eastern
Ukraine.91



87 Ibid.
88 Ibid. p. 224.
89 Ibid. pp. 23, 36.
90 Live Air Traffic, FLIGTHRADAR24 (23 May 2018) (Annex 666).
91 Social Media Page (Twitter) of Flightradar24, archived on 17 July 2014 (Annex 617).

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Figure 392
http://a.radikal.ru/a15/1912/d3/ec94ceb9808e.jpg
Flightradar live view of Ukrainian airspace, 17 July 2014

72. Despite this pattern of civilian air traffic, Russia’s proxies nevertheless
deployed a powerful weapon designed to shoot down an aircraft, the Buk TELAR, knowing
that it could be a civilian aircraft that fell from the sky.

73. The operation of a Buk missile system, and its TELAR component in
particular, is explained in detail in the report of Associate Professor Anatolii Skorik of the
Ivan Kozhedub Kharkiv University of the Air Force, an expert in the Buk system, its
operation, and training for its use. Dr. Skorik explains that a Buk missile system is intended
to be operated with several components: a combat control center, a target locator, three
launcher-loader modules, and six TELARs.93 The Buk TELAR can operate in a centralized
control mode, in which the combat control center identifies the target and instructs the
TELAR to engage it.94 A TELAR can also operate more independently, in standalone mode,



92 Ibid.
93 Expert Report of Anatolii Skorik (6 June 2018), para. 9 [hereinafter Skorik Report] (Annex 12).
94 Ibid. paras. 18‒25.

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by identifying targets itself, though still on the basis of orders from, and in coordination
with, the combat control center.95 In either case, targeting decisions are informed by the
combat control center’s access to substantial information such as “information about the air
space (including civilian air traffic information) received from the Radio-Technical Troops of
the Air Force and their radars.”96 Crew members of the combat control center are trained “to
process large arrays of data,” and can alert the TELAR when civilian aircraft has been
detected on the basis of that information.97 Thus, while “[t]he Buk-M1 SAM system is very
seldom used in situations where the airspace is open to civilian aircraft,” if it “operates in
coordination with the combat control center, information from radio-radar forces about
civilian air traffic will be brought to the attention of the commander of the Buk-M1 battery in
a timely manner, thereby substantially reducing the risk of attacks on civilian aircraft.”98

74. The DPR took the rare step of deploying a Buk TELAR where the airspace was
known to be open to civilian traffic. It did so, however, without critical support; there is no
evidence that the TELAR that downed Flight MH17 operated in conjunction with a combat
control center.99 As Dr. Skorik explains, the “technical capabilities of the Buk-M1 TELAR do
not make it possible to accurately distinguish a civilian aircraft from a military one”; on the



95 Ibid. para. 26.
96 Ibid. para. 21.
97 Ibid. para. 38.
98 Ibid. para. 34.
99 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 1 p. 16 (“In Snizhne the Buk TELAR was offloaded
and then drove on, under its own power, to a field west of Pervomaiskyi.”); Annexe 3 p. 1 (noting that
“[t]he convoy consisted of the following vehicles: a dark-coloured Peugeot 3008, a (light) grey/silver
Toyota RAV4, a white Volvo lorry with red flatbed carrying a Buk TELAR, a green UAZ 469, a darkcoloured Volkswagen Transporter and a white Ssanyong Korando” and not mentioning other
component parts of the Buk missile system) (Annex 41).

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operator’s screen, military and civilian aircraft are “practically indistinguishable.”100 These
technical constraints are compounded by the intense pressure facing the TELAR operator,
who is trained to act “with lightning speed” to engage a target, while relying on the combat
control center to assess the broader air situation.101 Dr. Skorik therefore concludes that
operating a Buk TELAR on its own, in civilian-trafficked airspace, is “extremely dangerous
for civilian aircraft.”102

75. Yet the DPR, once again displaying its disregard for human life, chose to
deploy the Buk TELAR in these conditions. The downing of Flight MH17, with disasterous
human consequences, was the result.



100 Skorik Report, paras. 28, 39 (emphasis added) (Annex 12).
101 Ibid. para. 36.
102 Ibid. para. 31.

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The Russian Buk Anti-Aircraft Missile Used to Destroy Malaysia Airlines
Flight 17

137. In the spring and summer of 2014, the Russian Federation escalated this
supply of weapons to its proxies in Ukraine, including the transfer of a powerful Buk TELAR.
Within hours of the Buk crossing the border into Ukraine, it was used to destroy civilian
aircraft Flight MH17. Official reports submitted to this Court by a representive of the Dutch
National Police confirm: “The investigation has . . . shown that the Buk TELAR is from the
Russian Federation and that it returned to the Russian Federation in the night of 17-18 July
2014.”291 Moreover, “there is sufficient evidence that the Buk TELAR in question came from
the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade [], which is based in Kursk in the Russian
Federation.”292

138. Between 23 and 25 June 2014, a convoy of the 53rd RAF Brigade transported
several military systems, including six Buk TELARs, through western Russia from Kursk to
the Millerovo military airbase in Rostov Oblast.293 The convoy attracted significant local
attention.294 Many residents took photographs and videos of the event, and some posted
what they witnessed on the Internet.295



291 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1 (Annex 41).
292 Official Report of the Dutch National Police, p. 1 (24 May 2018) (original in Dutch) [hereinafter 24
May Dutch National Police Report] (Annex 42); see also Joint Investigation Team, Narrative
conference 24 May 2018, Openbaar Ministerie (24 May 2018) [hereinafter 2018 JIT Presentation]
(Annex 40).
293 2018 JIT Presentation (with accompanying video, JIT MH17 Witness Appeal About 53rd Brigade,
mm 00:00:40–00:01:00) (Annex 40).
294 See, e.g., Max Vit, Military Equipment in Stary Oskol, KaviCom.ru (24 June 2014) (Annex 525).
295 2018 JIT Presentation (with accompanying video, JIT MH17 Witness Appeal About 53rd Brigade)
(Annex 40).

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Figure 8296
http://d.radikal.ru/d03/1912/5f/7eff276d7cb9.jpg
Image of Buk seen in Russia in the 23–25 June Convoy

139. Likewise, Russian servicemen published photographs on the Internet. The
Joint Investigation Team and Eliot Higgins, Director of the Bellingcat investigative
collective, have independently linked the Buk TELAR to the 53rd RAF Brigade through these
soldiers.297

140. In addition to confirming the presence of Buk anti-aircraft systems in the
convoy, the videos and photos posted contemporaneously by local residents help establish
the route of the convoy toward the border. The Joint Investigation Team “compared number
plates and other relevant characteristics of the vehicles in the convoy,” analyzed “all visible
characteristics of the surroundings of the places that the convoy passed,” and compared the



296 Annex 77; Witness Statement of Eliot Higgins (5 June 2018), paras. 112‒14 [hereinafter Higgins
Statement] (Annex 9); see also 2018 JIT Presentation (with accompanying video, JIT MH17 Witness
Appeal About 53rd Brigade, mm 00:02:20–00:02:45) (Annex 40).
297 24 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 3 (“Soldiers who could be linked to the 53rd [Anti-Aircraft
Missile Brigade] through open-source investigation posted messages during and about the convoy.
The photos and videos of the convoy show soldiers wearing the uniform of the 53rd [Anti-Aircraft
Missile Brigade].”) (Annex 42).

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objects to Google Street View in order to “validate every location.”298 Mr. Higgins further
elaborates how each of these videos can be “geolocated” (i.e., their location on the map can
be pinpointed).299 The route of the convoy through western Russia toward the border can
thus be recreated:



298 24 May Dutch National Police Report, pp. 2‒3 (Annex 42).
299 See generally Higgins Statement (Annex 9).

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Map 8: Route of the Buk Convoy

http://d.radikal.ru/d26/1912/b5/d0331b661f62.jpg

141. As local residents and members of the 53rd RAF Brigade were documenting
the Buk convoy, others in the international community were monitoring Russia’s collection
of weapons for illicit transfer into Ukraine. Dutch military intelligence, for example,

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reported on 8 April 2015 the arrival of advanced anti-aircraft systems to a collection site in
the west of the Russian Federation.300

142. With the Buk positioned near the border, the Russian Federation was ready
when its DPR proxies requested more assistance. That call came from Igor Girkin — the
former Russian intelligence officer turned DPR leader who had already committed notorious
acts of terrorism against Ukrainian civilians.301 In a telephone conversation, Girkin
requested “air defense” from his Russian patrons.302 Then on 16 July, another DPR member
specifically requested to “receive a Buk in the morning.”303

143. That night, Russians clandestinely transported a Buk from the territory of the
Russian Federation into Luhansk oblast in Ukraine.304 An intercepted conversation from
09:22 on 17 July 2014 indicates that the Buk had already crossed “the line” — i.e., the border
— by that time:

Caller 1: Did it come in self-propelled mode? Or on a lowbed
semitrailer?
Caller 2: It crossed, crossed the line.
Caller 1: Aaaah, and now you brought it on a lowbed
semitrailer, yes?
Caller 2: Yes, yes, yes.
Caller 1: I’ll say now where it should go. It will go together
with the Vostok tanks.305



300 DSB Report MH17 Crash, Appendix T, p. 138 (attaching as Appendix T the Dutch Review
Committee on the Intelligence and Security Services, Review Report (8 April 2015)) (Annex 38).
301 See supra Chapter 1, Section A.
302 See Intercepted Conversation between Igor Girkin, Viktor Anosov, and Mykhaylo Sheremet (8 June
2014) (Annex 391); Confirmation of Authenticity, SSU (Annex 184).
303 See Intercepted Conversation between “Khmuryi” and “Sanych” (16 June 2014) (Annex 394);
Confirmation of Authenticity, SSU (Annex 184); 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying video,
MH17 Intercepted Call on 16 July 2014 at 19:09 Hours, mm 00:00:27–00:00:30,00:01:05–00:01:07)
(Annex 39).
304 Politie, MH17 (30 March 2015) (video), mm 00:02:00–00:02:25 (Annex 703).
305 See Intercepted Conversation between “Khmuryi” and “Bibliotekar” (17 July 2014) (Annex 397);
Confirmation of Authenticity, SSU (Annex 184); see also 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying
video, MH17 Animation Regarding the Transport Route and the Launch Site, mm 00:01:30–
00:02:20) (Annex 39).

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91
144. Another intercepted call from 17 July confirms the delivery of the Buk:

Caller 1: I’m listening to you, Buriatik.
Caller 2: Hello, . . . . And where should we unload this beauty, .
. . ?
Caller 1: Which one? This one?
Caller 2: Yes, yes, the one I brought with me. I’m already in
Donetsk.
Caller 1: The one that I thought about, yes? The one is M?
Caller 2: Yes.
Caller 1: DM.
Caller 2: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Buk.
Caller 1: Oops, BM. Yes, yes, yes. I got it.
Caller 2: Buk, buk, buk.
Caller 1: So, so, so. And is it on whatsit a truck?
Caller 2: Yes, it’s on whatsit . . . it needs to be unloaded
somewhere in order to hide it.
Caller 1: Is it with a crew?
Caller 2: Yes, it’s with a crew.
Caller 1: You don’t need to hide it anywhere.
Caller 2: I understood, but they need at least . . . time so that
they had a look at it . . . .306



306 See Intercepted Conversation between “Khmury” and “Buriatik” (17 July 2014) (Annex 398);
Confirmation of Authenticity, SSU (Annex 184); Politie, MH17 (30 March 2015) (video), mm
00:02:39–00:03:35 (Annex 703).

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92

145. As with its journey within Russia toward the border, the Buk was caught on
video and photographed several times as it was transported from Luhansk to the launch site,
as documented by the Joint Investigation Team. The Buk was seen multiple times on a
Volvo low-loader truck and escorted by a Volkswagen transporter and a UAZ jeep, carrying
four missiles under a camouflage net.307

146. At around 08:00 local time on 17 July 2014, the Buk arrived in Yenakiieve,
Ukraine.308 The Buk then moved on to Donetsk, where witnesses saw the Buk and posted
comments, pictures, and videos on the Internet.309 A still image from one of these videos
was published by the magazine Paris Match, and the video itself has been analyzed by the
Joint Investigation Team.310




307 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 1 pp. 1–3, 4 (number of missiles), 7 (number of
missiles), 16 (Dutch investigation conclusions); Annexe 2; Annexe 3 p. 1 (kinds of vehicles in the
convoy) (Annex 41); Higgins Statement, paras. 14‒86 (Annex 9).
308 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1 (Annex 41); 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying
video, MH17 Animation Regarding the Transport Route and the Launch Site, mm 00:01:20–
00:01:36) (Annex 39).
309 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1; Annexe 1 pp. 1–3; Annexe 2 (Annex 41); Higgins
Statement, paras. 23‒27 (Annex 9).
310 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 2 (Annex 41); Higgins Statement, para. 23‒27
(Annex 9).

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Figure 9311
http://c.radikal.ru/c06/1912/34/c857e0ba8a0a.jpg

147. Starting at around 11:00 the convoy traveled from Donetsk to Snizhne,
passing Makeevka, Zuhres, and Torez.312 Several more photographs and videos showed the
Buk in these locations.313 For example, a photograph analyzed and validated by the Joint
Investigation Team depicted the Buk in Torez at around 12:00 or 12:30.314



311 Annexes 534, 692; 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 2 (photo in original Dutch
version, p. 2) (Annex 41); Higgins Statement, paras. 24‒27 (Annex 9).
312 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1; Annexe 1 pp. 3–6; Annexes 3–4 (Annex 41); Higgins
Statement, paras. 28‒54 (Annex 9).
313 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 1 pp. 3–6; Annexes 3–4 (Annex 41); Higgins
Statement, para. 28‒54 (Annex 9).
314 The location of that photograph can be confirmed by identifying the landmarks in the picture,
including the yellow edifice. See 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 4 (photo in original
Dutch version, pp. 1–2) (Annex 41).

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Figure 10315

http://a.radikal.ru/a20/1912/50/445fb944e441.jpg

Photograph of the Buk missile launcher in Torez, Ukraine, 17 July 2014 with an enlargement of
the Buk seen in the photo.

148. Around 13:00, the Buk arrived in Snizhne, Ukraine.316 It then drove on its
own to the launch site.317 Shortly thereafter, the Buk deployed a missile and shot down
Flight MH17, killing 298 civilians, as recounted in Chapter 1, Section B.

149. After the deadly attack on Flight MH17, the Buk was promptly returned to
Russia. The Buk went from Snizhne to the Russian border in Luhansk Oblast, passing



315 Ibid.
316 Ibid., Annexe 1 pp. 6–16; Annexe 5–6; Higgins Statement, paras. 48‒54 (Annex 9).
317 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1; Annexe 1 pp. 8–9, 16 (Dutch investigation conclusions)
(Annex 41 ); Higgins Statement, paras. 49‒54 (Annex 9).

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Krasniy Lutch and Debaltsevo.318 An intercepted conversation indicates that, at 21:32 on
17 July, the Buk passed a checkpoint in Snizhne in Ukraine319

150. On 18 July, at around 04:00 or 05:00, the Volvo truck transporting the Buk
was witnessed in Luhansk, Ukraine, heading in the direction of Krasnodon/Sjeverne and to
the Russian border.320 A video shows the Buk in Luhansk, missing a missile.321 Despite
Russian claims — based on a doctored version of the video — both the Joint Investigation
Team and Bellingcat have demonstrated the video’s location in Luhansk.322



318 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1 (Annex 41).
319 Intercepted Conversation between “Krot” and “Ryazan” (17 July 2014) (Annex 395); Confirmation
of Authenticity, SSU (Annex 184); Politie, MH17 (30 Mar. 2015) (video), mm 00:05:55–00:06:25
(Annex 703).
320 16 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1 (Annex 41); 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying
video, MH17 Animation Regarding the Transport Route and the Launch Site, mm 00:10:15–00:10:26)
(Annex 39); Higgins Statement, paras. 64‒86 (Annex 9).
321 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 7 (Annex 41); 2016 JIT Presentation (with
accompanying video, MH17 Animation Regarding the Transport Route and the Launch Site, mm
00:10:15–00:10:32) (Annex 39); Higgins Statement, paras. 64‒86 (Annex 9).
322 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 7 (photo in original Dutch version, p. 2)
(Annex 41); 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying video, MH17 Animation Regarding the
Transport Route and the Launch Site, mm 00:10:15–00:10:32) (Annex 39); Higgins Statement, paras.
64‒86 (Annex 9).

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Figure 11323
http://a.radikal.ru/a28/1912/66/65cac976a554.jpg

151. At around 08:00, another intercepted conversation shows that the Buk left
Ukraine and crossed the border into Russia:

Caller 1: They brought the vehicle up to the crossroad, left it
there, the lads went on themselves. . . So the vehicle
has left in the correct direction and arrived
successfully. . . . The vehicle is in Russia.324


152. The Joint Investigation Team has “compared several images made along the
way this BUK-TELAR traveled on 23, 24 and 25 June 2014” in Russia, to the “footage of 17
and 18 July 2014” of the Buk in Ukraine. Based on this comparison, checked against
numerous other images of different Buk missile systems, the investigators conclusively
established that the Buk in Russia and the one in Ukraine share the same “fingerprint.”325
Specifically, investigators identified seven distinct common features on the images:

1. On the left side of the Buk TELAR, in the middle section: a
white mark consisting of a circle with a cross in the middle.
This is presumed to be a centre-of-gravity marking, which is
applied on these types of vehicles when they are transported.



323 Annex 621; 16 May Dutch National Police Report, Annexe 7 (photo in original Dutch version, pp. 1–
2) (Annex 41); Higgins Statement, paras. 64‒86 (Annex 9).
324 Intercepted Conversation between“Khmuryi” and “Krot” (18 July 2014) (Annex 399); Confirmation
of Authenticity, SSU (Annex 184); see also 2016 JIT Presentation (with accompanying video, MH17
Animation Regarding the Transport Route and the Launch Site, mm 00:10:45–00:12:11) (Annex 39).
325 24 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 1 (“The Buk TELAR that was filmed and photographed on
17 and 18 July 2014 was found to have the same unique combination of distinctive characteristics as a
specific Buk TELAR that was part of a convoy of the 53rd [Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade] on 23, 24 and
25 June 2014 in the Russian Federation.”) (Annex 42); 2018 JIT Presentation (with accompanying
video, JIT MH17 Witness Appeal About 53rd Brigade, mm 00:05:40–00:06:30) (Annex 40).

23

97

2. On the left side of the Buk TELAR, in the middle section: a
white marking consisting of a series of characters, starting with
an ‘H’ (the Cyrillic ‘N’) and followed by, at least, the numeral 2
(twice) and then two illegible digits. This mark is applied on
these types of vehicle when they are transported by train and
refers to the degree of overloading of the vehicle in relation to
the wagon that it is on.
3. On the left side of the Buk TELAR, in the middle section:
parts and contours of the tactical vehicle number. This
number, which normally consists of 3 digits, indicates the
position of the vehicle within the brigade.
4. On the left side of the Buk TELAR, on the rubber side skirt:
a white spot.
5. On the right side of the undercarriage of the Buk TELAR: a
combination of wheels, where all the wheels except the second
one have spokes.
6. On the right side of the Buk TELAR, in the middle section: a
space between the various parts of the rubber side skirt.
7. On the right side of the Buk TELAR, on the rubber side
skirt: a white mark.326

153. A video released by the Joint Investigation Team vividly illustrates that the
Buk that was seen in Russia in June 2014, and the Buk that was seen in Ukraine in July 2014
on its way to down Flight MH17, are one and the same. That video is provided as Annex 40.



326 24 May Dutch National Police Report, p. 2 (Annex 42); 2018 JIT Presentation (Annex 40). The
only difference between the Buk TELAR seen in Ukraine on 17‒18 July and the Buk TELAR seen in
Russia on 23‒25 June was the tactical vehicle number. As the official report of the Dutch National
Police explains: “The photos and video from Ukraine depict only traces of this number. But these
traces are perfectly consistent with the marks from the tactical vehicle number, which are mostly
legible in the footage of the ‘3X2’ from the Russian Federation. It is common practice to remove or
paint over a tactical vehicle number when a Buk TELAR is operationally deployed.” 24 May Dutch
National Police Report, p. 2 (Annex 42).

24

98

Figure 12327
http://a.radikal.ru/a26/1912/38/20b224bed461.jpg

Stills from Joint Investigation Team Video. Right: Image of the Buk seen in Alekseyevka,
Russia in the 23‒25 June convoy, with distinct markings highlighted. Left: Image of the Buk seen
in Makeevka, Ukraine in the 17‒18 July convoy, with the same distinct markings highlighted.

154. The conclusion is inescapable: the Buk TELAR that shot down Flight MH17
came from Russia, specifically the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed
Forces.

25

ANNEXES


Annex 9 Witness Statement of Eliot Higgins (5 June 2018)
Annex 12 Expert Report of Associate Professor Anatolii Skorik (6 June 2018)
Annex 38 Dutch Safety Board, Crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (17 July 2014) (13
October 2015)
Annex 39  Joint Investigation Team, Presentation Preliminary Results Criminal
Investigation MH17, Openbaar Ministerie (28 September 2016)
Annex 40 Joint Investigation Team, Narrative conference 24 May 2018, Openbaar
Ministerie (24 May 2018)
Annex 41 Official Report of the Dutch National Police, and accompanying annexes (16
May 2018)

прим

Annex 41 includes an English translation followed by the Dutch original. The original Dutch version
includes images that are not reproduced in the English translation.

Annex 42 Official Report of the Dutch National Police (24 May 2018)
Annex 77 Russian Border Guard Service of the FSB Letter No. 0.42-8801/0/6-14 to the
Ukrainian State Border Guard Service (11 October 2014)
Annex 184 Confirmation of Authenticity, Senior Special Investigator with the Second
Branch of the First Pre-Trial Investigations Department at the Main
Investigations Directorate of the Security Service of Ukraine (4 June 2018)
Annex 297 U.N. Security Council Resolution 2166, U.N. Doc. S/RES/2166, para. 11 (21
July 2014)
Annex 311 UN News Centre, Security Council Fails to Adopt Proposal to Create Tribunal
on Crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 (29 July 2015)
Annex 391 Intercepted Conversation Between Igor Girkin, Viktor Anosov, and Mykhaylo
Sheremet (11:30:47, 8 June 2014)
Annex 394 Intercepted Conversation Between “Khmuryi” and “Sanych” (19:09:20, 16
July 2014)
Annex 395 Intercepted Conversation Between “Krot” and “Ryazan” (21:32:39, 17 July
2014)
Annex 396 Intercepted Conversation Between “Krot” and “Zmey” (13:09:27, 17 July
2014)
Annex 397 Intercepted Conversation Between “Khmuryi” and “Bibliotekar” (09:22:19, 17
July 2014)
Annex 398 Intercepted Conversation Between “Khmuryi” and “Buriatik” (09:08:26, 17
July 2014)
Annex 399 Intercepted Conversation Between “Krot” and “Khmuryi” (07:41:06, 18 July
2014)
Annex 525 Max Vit, Military Equipment in Stary Oskol, KaviCom.ru (24 June 2014)
Annex 534 Alfred de Montesquiou, Un camion volé pour transporter le lance-missiles,
Paris Match (25 July 2014)
Annex 617 Social Media Page (Twitter) of Flightradar24, archived on 17 July 2014
Annex 621 Video Showing Buk Missing One Missile (uploaded 18 July 2014)
Annex 666 Live Air Traffic, Fligthradar24 (23 May 2018)
Annex 692 Politie, https://www.politie.nl/binaries/content … _20140717_
102354.mp4 ( по ссылке недоступно,

видео с буком в Донецке (Paris Match)


3:20

,

Annex 703 Politie, MH17 (30 Mar. 2015)

video



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