Four suspects of knocking down MH17 designated, arrest warrants issued

Wednesday is an important day in the MH17 study. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), the international investigation team investigating the disaster, has released new information. Justice will prosecute four suspects and the trial will begin on March 9, 2020. Earlier in the day, the research collective Bellingcat published a report with names of potential suspects involved in the downing of the aircraft.


Wednesday is an important day in the MH17 study. The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), the international investigation team investigating the disaster, has released new information. Justice will prosecute four suspects and the trial will begin on March 9, 2020. Earlier in the day, the research collective Bellingcat published a report with names of potential suspects involved in the downing of the aircraft.


  • Bellingcat and JIT have been investigating the MH17 disaster since 2014, killing 298 people
  • Twelve suspects are mentioned in the Bellingcat report
  • The Public Prosecution Service (OM) is going to prosecute four suspects
  • Court case starts on March 9, 2020
  • The press conference of the JIT started at 1 p.m. and can be followed live on NU.nl.

13 minutes ago

According to Westerbeke, it is difficult to say how long the trial against the suspects will take. This of course depends on whether the men and their lawyers show up. But the case will take up the whole year anyway.

27 minutes ago

Paulissen states that new witnesses keep coming, who help to put a piece of the puzzle. He does not want to comment on whether "whistleblowers" are currently being protected.

34 minutes ago

There is now room for the media to ask questions to the speakers. "I am a realist," says Westerbeke. He does not consider it likely that the suspects will be present at the trial. On the other hand, he states that there was little faith in the study at the start of the study. In the end, we succeeded in prosecuting suspects.

35 minutes ago

The antiaircraft requested from June 2014 was actually delivered a month later. The JIT wants to know who has decided that the buk missile installation in question had to be relocated to Eastern Ukraine. In addition, the JIT wants to know who has decided which crew should be part of the installation in question.

39 minutes ago

A telephone conversation is played in which suspect Girkin asks an assistant from Aksyonov, the Russian commander in Crimea, for sound air defense equipment. It must come soon, because Girkin is afraid that they will lose ground. Aksyonov tells him that the support has already been arranged.

43 minutes ago

The JIT is also looking for a soldier who has chatted with someone who calls himself Anastasia. His name is known to the JIT, but is not shared now. The JIT is looking for him, because he could possibly provide information about the 53rd brigade who fired the rifle rocket on flight MH17. Members of the 53rd bridge could tell who the crew of the buk-rocket installation was. The JIT wants to get in touch with them.

an hour ago

Wilbert Paulissen continues the new witness call. The investigation does not end with the announcement of the suspects. The witness call is intended to get maximum clarity. A telephone conversation between a crew member of the rifle rocket and Kharchenko is being played. The JIT would like to know who that crew member was.

an hour ago

The court has recently been informed about the prosecution decision. The criminal proceedings take place before the court of The Hague, at the extra secure complex at Schiphol. The process starts on March 9, 2020 at 10:00 am. He emphasizes that the trial will continue if the suspects are not present. Surviving relatives will be informed in the coming period about what role they will play during the criminal proceedings.

an hour ago

The OM does not request extradition, because the Russian and Ukrainian constitution does not allow this. Westerbeke does, however, request Russia to cooperate again in the investigation. The JIT still has several questions that have not yet been answered. For example, the JIT wants to know whether suspect Dubinsky worked for the Russian government in July 2014.

an hour ago

Wilbert Paulissen of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) provides an explanation of the latest findings in the criminal investigation regarding the downing of flight MH17. The four suspects are shown in the background. (Photo: ANP)

an hour ago

Westerbeke says that it is taken into account that a military aircraft had to be brought down. "But even if that was the goal, we want to prosecute the suspects." According to him, it is ultimately up to the judge to pass judgment. The suspects may tell their version of the story during the trial.

an hour ago

The suspects are being prosecuted for: the MH17 accidents and the deaths of all passengers. They are also suspected of murdering the occupants of the affected aircraft.

an hour ago

Westerbeke is speaking again. Not all details can be told. They are kept for the courtroom. The four suspects were in Eastern Ukraine in July 2014. The PPS suspects that their plan and actions led to the shooting of flight MH17. They did not press the button themselves, but the suspicion is that they wanted to get the rifle rocket installation to the area to shoot an airplane from the sky.

an hour ago

Three suspects have a history as a soldier of the Russian armed forces and have been sent abroad. Not one of them. The combination of the four suspects ensured that the rifle rocket could be fired, causing the MH17 to be knocked down.

an hour ago

International arrest recommendations will be issued on Wednesday. The four suspects are also placed on the international and national investigation list. The names of the suspects are: Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko. Three suspects are Russian and one is Ukrainian (Kharchenko, he is now in Eastern Ukraine).

an hour ago

Wilbert Paulissen, the former head of the national criminal investigation department, is now speaking. He says that research has been done in various ways. According to him, the research area in Ukraine is still inaccessible to the research team. That makes the investigation difficult, he says. More than fifty investigators and 25 employees of the OM are participating in the investigation. According to Paulissen, witness calls have led to valuable information. He emphasizes that the witnesses are sticking their necks out and potentially at risk. The JIT takes that very seriously.

an hour ago

The suspects are responsible for bringing in the deadly weapon, says Westerbeke. There is now a summary of what happened before and after the downing of MH17.

an hour ago

"Doing justice to victims of this crime has always been our motive." Westerbeke again emphasizes that the courtroom is the place where the perpetrators must be tried. "Our goal is to find out the truth and prosecute. Today I can tell you that the prosecution will actually come."

an hour ago

Fred Westerbeke, chief public prosecutor, is speaking. He confirms that four suspects are being prosecuted for taking down MH17. Tracing the perpetrators was complicated, Westerbeke says. There were several theories about who the perpetrators were. Those theories were often based on untruths. That made the investigation difficult.

2 hours ago

The following people / speakers are present at the press conference:

  • Mohamad Hanafiah Bin Zakaria (Malaysia)
  • Frédéric Van Leeuw (Belgium)
  • Yuriy Lutsenko (Ukraine)
  • Peter Crozier (Australia)
  • Fred Westerbeke (the Netherlands) - Chief Public Prosecutor
  • Wilbert Paulissen (the Netherlands) - former head of the national criminal investigation department

2 hours ago

Media interest prior to the presentation of the JIT. The official press conference starts at 1 p.m. (Photo: ANP)

2 hours ago

The four men who will be prosecuted by the OM all belong to the GRU DNR, which operated in the region where MH17 was shot down.

2 hours ago

The OM would therefore not have made an extradition request to Ukraine and Russia, because these countries do not extradite nationals.

2 hours ago

The JIT is a partnership between Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. The research team has gathered enough evidence in recent years to prosecute the men. The prosecution is carried out by the Dutch Public Prosecution Service (OM).

The prosecution will take place in front of the court in The Hague, with the extra secure room at Schiphol as session location. The Netherlands will be the prosecuting party, but a bilateral treaty with Ukraine "doubts beyond doubt that the prosecution of potential suspects of taking down flight MH17 can take place on behalf of all 298 victims"

2 hours ago

The relatives were briefed by the JIT from 11 am onwards.
The official press conference starts at 1 p.m. and can be followed live on NU.nl.

2 hours ago

The lawsuit will start on March 9, 2020.

2 hours ago

According to RTL News , these are Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov and Leonid Kharchenko.

  • Girkin is Minister of Defense of the DNR. He was above the three groups of separatists involved in the downing of the MH17. According to Bellingcat, he must have been aware of the transport and firing of the rifle rocket.
  • Dubinsky is the right hand of Girkin. According to several intercepted telephone calls, he would have been responsible for the delivery and removal of the box installation. In 2014, he was head of the separatist intelligence service, the GRU DNR.
  • Pulatov is again the subordinate of Dubinksy. He is said to have played a key role in transporting the stoop-rocket.
  • Kharchenko is also subordinate to Dubinsky. He would have been involved, just like Pulatov, in transporting the rocket.

2 hours ago

News has come out based on information from relatives.

The Public Prosecution Service (OM) is prosecuting four people, three Ukrainians and one Russian, for the MH17 disaster. They are suspected of murder.

2 hours ago

View here the images with information about the twelve men identified by Bellingcat as suspects.

2 hours ago

Bellingcat: Eduard Gilazov and Oleg Sharpov, two separatists from the GRU DNR who are the lowest in the hierarchy, have since been killed. Gilazov died in mysterious circumstances in 2015 and Sharpov died in fighting in 2014.

The two GRU DNR separatists lowest on the totem pole are both dead now - Eduard Gilazov (Ryazan) and Oleg Sharpov (Zmey). Gilazov died under mysterious circumstances in the DNR in 2015, and Sharpov died during combat in November 2014.

Avatar AuthorBellingcatMoment of places11: 37 - June 19, 2019

3 hours ago

According to Bellingcat, three groups of separatists are involved in the downing of the MH17:

  • The GRU DNR: The intelligence service of the Donetsk People's Republic, led by Sergey Dubinsky. His subordinates are Oleg Pulatov, Leonid Kharchenko, Eduard Gilazov and Oleg Sharpov.
  • The Bezler Group: A unit that operated from Horlivka and is under the command of Igor Bezler. His subordinates are Valery Stelmahk, Sergey Povalyaev and Igor Ukrainets.
  • The Vostok battalion led by Aleksandr Khodakovsky. His subordinate is Aleksandr Semyonov.


The Russian Igor Girkin, defense minister of the DNR, is above these three groups.

3 hours ago

The men allegedly responsible for transporting the rocket to the location of the separatists are Leonid Vladimirovich Kharchenko, Sergey Nikolaevich Dubinsky and Aleksandr Khodakovsky.

3 hours ago

The Russian Igor Girkin / Strelkov had an important role as defense minister. He was above the groups involved and Bellingcat says that he must have been aware of both the transport and the firing of the rifle rocket.

3 hours ago

Sergey Dubinsky: Head of the separatist intelligence service, the GRU DNR.

Several intercepted telephone conversations show that Dubinsky would have ordered the transport of the stoop-rocket. He would also be involved in the removal of the rocket after the downing of the MH17.

In addition, his subordinates allegedly played a key role in the decision to shoot the MH17. They were under the assumption that it was an enemy plane.

(Photo: Bellingcat)

3 hours ago

Valery Stelmakh would be the one who would have called Bezler with the report that a plane was heading towards their area. He is seen by Bellingcat as an important person because, according to the reconstruction, this report may ultimately have resulted in the MH17 being knocked down.

3 hours ago

Commander Igor Bezler is told on the day of the downing of the MH17 that a 'bird' is approaching the area. This refers to the aircraft. Bezler orders his subordinate to pass on the tip to higher-ranking people. Shortly afterwards the MH17 was shot from the sky.

3 hours ago

We give some examples of names that Bellingcat has made public.

3 hours ago

In this overview, Bellingcat shows the most important people who played a role in organizing or facilitating the transport of the but rocket. (Image: Bellingcat)

3 hours ago

In total, names of twelve men are now mentioned, some of which were already known. According to Bellingcat research, they are involved in transporting the rocket that crashed the MH17.

3 hours ago

New names have been mentioned today of those involved in taking down the flight.

3 hours ago

Bellingcat was unable to find out who gave the order to bring down the MH17. It is also not clear who ultimately fired the rifle rocket.

3 hours ago

How and by whom was MH17 shot?

4 hours ago

Bellingcat and the JIT do not work together, but regularly consult about their investigations. The report by the research collective was already finished earlier, but often press conferences for the publication of the results are planned on the same day.

4 hours ago

The findings of Bellingcat are mainly based on tap conversations from the Ukrainian secret service. The international research collective has often brought out information. Bellingcat, for example, previously announced the names of other suspects.

Back up

ref: nunl

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