However, the Dutch investigators, despite being armed with the latest in modern technology as well as the assistance of their British colleagues, were not able to decode the recordings, and in the end they asked Russian experts to do it. In three years this has been the only time they have asked to collaborate. Never before had the commission accepted any Russian offers of assistance.
The decoded recordings clearly showed that the missile had been fired from the zone controlled by the Ukrainian military. And this is not some fabricated story concocted by journalists, but documented, technical information.
In the meantime however, it will not be easy for the investigators to stick to their prescribed approach to the investigation. Independent experts are conscientiously suggesting new avenues of inquiry that could help move the process along.
For example, since all of the Ukrainian army’s existing launch sites for its Buk-M1 missile-defense system can be accounted for and examined by the commission, it would be a simple enough matter to establish whether at least one of them was used to fire the missile. An inspection of the 60 existing launch sites within this system is both physically possible and could provide some surprising information. The launch of a Buk-M1 missile leaves indelible “burns” on the ramp that cannot be concealed, even under a new coat of paint. Although that would seem to be a very simple suggestion, it’s a significant one.
Kees van der Pijl
Kees van der Pijl, a Dutch professor in the Department of International Relations at the University of Sussex and the president of the NGO The Committee of Vigilance Against Resurgent Fascism, recently finished writing a book titled “The Launch: Flight MH17, Ukraine and New Cold War” (Der Abschuss: Flug MH17, die Ukraine und der neue Kalte Krieg). The German-language version of the book will go on sale later this month, and the English original and Portuguese translation will be available by the end of the year.
Professor van der Pijl examines the tragedy from a geopolitical perspective and asks: who benefited most from this disaster? And he answers: the US, which subsequently imposed sanctions against Russia, undermining its gas industry and checking its growing role on the international stage.
Specifically, the professor cites the following arguments:
- One day before the tragedy, the BRICS nations signed an agreement to establish their own bank, which the US saw as a rival to the IMF and World Bank.
- Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel had settled on a new conceptual framework for resolving the crisis in Ukraine – without US input – and real progress was being made.
- In addition, once the Boeing 777 was downed, American gas companies were suddenly able to find the traction to kick-start their work in Europe and force Russia out of the EU market. Moscow was forced to abandon the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, and relations with the government in Kiev, which subsequently became a pawn in the games played by the West, definitively soured.