Journalists of NOS Dutch TV channel published new recordings of telephone conversations between people accused of downing Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in the sky over Donbas in 2014.

The talks were intercepted by Ukrainian special services. Mostly, they concern Sergey Dubinskiy, who in the summer of 2014 was the deputy “defense minister” of the so-called “DPR” Igor Strelkov-Girkin, and former lieutenant colonel of the Russian airborne troops Oleg Pulatov.

Journalists note that the military and political influence of the Russian Federation on militants had increased in early July. On the evening of 4 July, an unidentified man called Dubinskiy and warned that someone from Moscow had arrived in the territories not controlled by the Ukrainian government on that day and that the political leadership of the pseudo-republics could be replaced.

In the same conversation, Dubinskiy makes it clear that military and strategic decisions are also adopted in Moscow. In a conversation with Girkin, he says that Moscow did not allow militants to leave Slovyansk. Later, the decision to withdraw was still made.

On one of the recordings, Pulatov (Gyurza) and Dubinskiy (Khmuryi) say that militants need “good air defense,” not tanks. “If they are delivered at night, you will get Buk-M right away. “We have no other recourse but to hope for Buk,” Dubinskyi tells Pulatov during the conversation.

Later, he calls Pulatov again and says: “Mole [militant Leonid Kharchenko] is going to drag Buk-M to you now. It should be placed near Pervomaisk.”

On 17 July, Dubinskiy was told that militants had allegedly shot down a Ukrainian fighter, but it was later revealed that a passenger jet had fallen to the ground.

On a recording, Pulatov states that a Ukrainian military aircraft allegedly shot down the Boeing and then militants shot down the Ukrainian fighter. Later, this version was repeatedly voiced by Russian propagandists, and then it formed the basis of the position of the Russian Ministry of Defence. However, the Dutch Safety Board claims that there were no other aircraft near Flight MH17.

After the information about the downing of the passenger jet was confirmed, Dubinskiy ordered Kharchenko to urgently take the Buk missile system away to Russia.

As a reminder, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over the Donetsk region on 17 July 2014. All 298 people on board died.

The cause of the accident was investigated by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) which consists of representatives of Ukraine, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and Malaysia. In September 2016, JIT published the findings confirming that the jet was shot down by a missile fired from the Buk system and later announced that it belonged to the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces stationed in Kursk.

On 19 May 2019, JIT officially named four suspects believed to be involved in the downing of Flight MH17: Russians Igor Girkin (Strelkov), Sergey Dubinskiy, Oleg Pulatov, and Ukrainian Leonid Kharchenko.

Bohdan Marusyak

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