14:53 Nov. 10, 2016
Large number of intercepted communications adds to the mounting evidence of Russia's culpability
Responsibility for sending military equipment to Ukraine rests with the commandment of the Russian military. That is how Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat investigative group, replied to a question who exactly ordered to send Buk missile launcher, which shot down Mh17, to Ukraine's Donbas.
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"Where that specific order came from is hard for us to know, but keeping in mind joint investigation team have a large number of intercepted communications that are a part of the case as well. So maybe in there we have the person who requested the missile launch, and we can see who that request went to. And then we can understand who they would have to speak to allow that [shot down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine ] to happen," Higgins said in an interview for Deutsche Welle.
Answering a question why his group is so much focused on Russia's bombing of Syria, Higgins replied that Russian blatant lie makes it a "low hanging fruit" for being exposed:
"The Russian Ministry of Defense says we have not bombed this hospital. We check the open source information and it turns out, every single time, that they are lying about it," he said.
"Russia is so clever at doing intelligence, military and deception stuff. But lying a lot does not make you a good liar…It used to be Russia's word against the West's word. If Russia stops lying, we will not have anything to write about Russia," he added.
In July Bellingcat released its latest report bringing together two years of investigation into the atrocity. The journalists concluded that the Buk missile launcher that shot down MH17 originated in Russia, and the Russian government has lied, faked evidence, and plagiarized blog posts in attempt to place blame elsewhere.
On September 28, the Dutch-led international Joint Investigation Team said that the missile that hit the plane was fired from territory controlled by Russian-backed militants. The missile launcher was brought into Ukraine from Russia and returned back after hitting the plane.