: MH17 conspiracy theories about Ukraine swirl in Dutch referendum

11:31 Mar. 25, 2016

MH17 conspiracy theories about Ukraine swirl in Dutch referendum

Graffiti on a wall commemorates the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash underneath a flyover July 26, 2014 in Koog aan de Zaan, The Netherlands (Getty Images)

Dutch ring-wing blogger trying to convince public that Ukraine might be responsible for the atrocity

Despite evidence that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by pro-Russian separatists using a Russian-supplied Buk missile launcher, Bart Nijman is not so sure; he's convinced Ukraine might be responsible, Michael Colborne writing for The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

"They know more than they're willing to tell us," Nijman, an editor at Dutch right-wing shock blog GeenStijl, says. 

MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July 2014, taking 298 lives with it, including 193 from the Netherlands and 28 from Australia.

Read also Dutch investigation will soon name exact MH17 missile launch site

The evidence strongly points towards pro-Russian separatists firing the deadly missile, but Nijman and others campaigning in the Netherlands against the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement don't buy it. Nijman says that Ukraine's apparent refusal to hand over primary radar data is evidence of something fishy.

"There may have been a Ukrainian warplane hiding underneath or in the vicinity of MH17," says Nijman, echoing claims that have appeared Russian state media. 

Claims like these, however tenuous, underpin the No campaign's efforts to convince the Dutch that an already-ratified, 1200-page treaty with Ukraine is a bad idea.

Watch also series of interviews of #DUTCHINUA project

Thanks to Nijman and his colleagues, Dutch voters will be asked on April 6 whether they approve of a treaty on closer political and economic integration between the EU and Ukraine, one that even No campaigners like Nijman admit won't be reversed.

Leading No campaigner Thierry Baudet goes even further than Nijman. 

"The Ukrainian position [on MH17] is absolutely dubious," he claims. "It's a country that's essentially bombing its own people."

Read also Ukraine had no reason to close its airspace above 10,000 m before MH17 tragedy 

Baudet even suggests that Ukraine may have deliberately refused to close its airspace over the eastern war zone to gain a tactical advantage over the separatists.

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