According to experts from Bellingcat investigative journalism group, all satellite images provided by Russia as evidence in the case of the MH17 catastrophe could be fake, processed using Photoshop and have changed dates, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to Bellingcat.
In the course of the investigation, the experts have found the following:
- Satellite images presented by the Russian Ministry of Defence claiming to shown Ukrainian Buks linked to the downing of MH17 on July 14th and 17th are in fact older images from June 2014.
- The discrepancies visible in the Russian MoD satellite map imagery which shows they are incorrectly dated are visible in publicly available imagery on Google Earth.
- Error level analysis of the images also reveal the images have been edited.
- This includes a Buk missile launcher that was removed to make it appear the Buk missile launcher was active on July 17th, and imagery where Buk missile launchers were added to make it appear they were within attack range of Flight MH17.
Reporters also recalled that the photo allegedly made on July 17 was re-published on the website of the Defense Ministry on August 1, 2014 in high quality. "Comparison of Photo 4 from Google Earth satellite images clearly shows that Photo 4 was taken in the time interval from June 1, 2014 to June 18, 2014, that is, in fact, a month before the tragedy. The second photo, which raised doubts was obviously taken before July 15, 2014," said the expert.
The subject of the analysis conducted by the Bellingcat research team were two satellite images out of six published by the Russian Defense Ministry at the international press conference after the fall of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, and later posted on the website of the ministry.