ANALYSIS: Russia Manipulated MH17 Photo

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

July 18, 2016
Catherine Dill
Melissa Hanham
Jeffrey Lewis
Dave Schmerler

Two years ago, on July 17, 2014, someone shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight Number 17 (MH17) over an area of Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists, killing all 298 persons aboard. The Dutch Safety Board has now concluded that the aircraft was shot down by a surface-to-air missile fired from a Buk surface-to-air missile system. Now, a Joint Investigation Team, coordinated by the public prosecutor from the Netherlands, is conducting an investigation in an effort to bring the perpetrators to justice. But who did it?

On July 21, 2014, Lieutenant-General A.V. Kartapolov, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, gave a briefing that purportedly implicated Ukrainian military forces in the shoot-down.

These slides released by the Russian Federation purport to show a Buk missile launcher absent from a Ukrainian military base (left), and a pair of Buk missile launchers in a field on the day of the shootdown (right).

These slides released by the Russian Federation purport to show a Buk missile launcher absent from a Ukrainian military base (left), and a pair of Buk missile launchers in a field on the day of the shootdown (right).

We analyzed these slides using Tungstène, a suite of forensic software tools to detect alterations to images that was funded through a generous donation from a Middlebury alumnus.

Our determination is that the photos have been significantly modified or altered. We call on the Russian Federation to provide original un-altered photos for analysis by the Dutch Public prosecutor now coordinating the joint investigation.

Read the full report.

Comments Are Closed