The Russian government’s English news outlet, Russia Today, released a 26-minute documentary about the “untold story” of the MH-17 tragedy.
The film’s major thesis is that a BUK missile did not — and could not — have been what hit the MH-17 plane. Instead, it was actually a cannon fire from a (presumably) Ukrainian jet.
“The film attempts to establish what might have brought down the ill-fated airline and all 298 people abroad,” RT’s website says.
The mainstream consensus is that the plane was hit by a BUK missile fired by pro-Russia Ukrainian separatists.
And interestingly, Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins points out that another Russian propaganda outlet disproves that the plane was shot down by a canon.
RT: It Was A Fighter Jet
In the film, one female witness says that the plane “was flying, but there were literally no windows. Well, [the plane was] on the level of the tallest trees.”
“Within a couple of minutes, there was the sound of a plane flying away. There were two planes,” she insists.
This second plane, according to the RT documentary, is the jet that allegedly fired at the MH-17.
Later on in the film, a team tests the cannon fire on aircrafts, and compares the damage to the damage of the MH-17.
“Here the results of the strike,” a man says, and points to the damaged aircrafts. The documentary also shows a side-by-side comparison to the MH-17 debris.
However, Higgins has seen all of this and explain how the comparisons actually prove the opposite of what’s intended:
“Another example of MH17 entry holes comes from ANNA News, a Russian language news channel embedded with separatists in Ukraine. … as we can see, compared to the [RT] piece on the damage done to MH17 there’s a significant size difference.”
“Based on the Russian channel’s own tests it seems clear that the entry holes visible in the above examples do not match what’s shown in the Russian channel’s own tests. It seems that rather than prove MH17 was shot down by cannon fire as they claim, they have inadvertently provided evidence that it wasn’t,” he adds.
RT: Why it “could not” have been the BUK missile
The documentary also attempts to disprove why the BUK missile could not have hit the MH-17.
Ivan Andrievsky, the vice president of the Russian Union of Engineers, says: “When a BUK missile is launched, it leaves a long vapor trail … This huge vapor trail would be about 15 kilometers long.”
“And given the meteorological conditions, [it would be visible for] up to 10 minutes. Imagine a huge vapor trail like that not being noticed by anyone,” he adds.
Nevertheless, all non-Russian analysis of the debris have concluded that the plane was most likely hit by a missile.
The documentary concludes with an poignent interview of a victim’s parents, who visited the scene of the crash.
They were hoping that their daughter might have still been alive, and went to investigate for themselves.
“We are for peace. She was for peace. She is for peace. And she will forever be for peace,” says the father.
You can watch the whole documentary here.