December 3, 2020

The Hague District Court on June 8 will resume hearings of the MH17 downing case.
The Malaysian Airlines passenger jet, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down in the sky over the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas in 2014 amid raging hostilities ongoing in the area.
In May 2018, the Netherlands and Australia officially accused Russia of being involved in the downing, while in June 2019, the Joint Investigation Team announced the names of the four suspects (three of them Russian nationals) directly implicated in destruction of the airliner.
Russia’s position in this case will remain unchanged – the Kremlin has been denying any involvement in the disaster, while also trying to compromise the factual evidence gathered by JIT.
To this end, Russia has created across Europe a wide network of assets tasked with carrying out a pro-active disinformation campaign.
Kremlin’s main tactic lies in casting doubt on the evidence gathered by JIT, fabricating alternative versions, and shifting responsibility to other countries.
Earlier, Moscow created and widely exploited to generate and spin fake reports about the disaster an online platform Bonanza Media. It was founded by pro-Kremlin Dutch journalist Max van der Werff and former RT journo Yana Yerlashova, who claimed to have quitted her job at the Russian propaganda flagship, led by Margarita Simonyan, targeting international audiences, allegedly for the sake of “independent journalism”, having devoted herself to “refuting Russia’s involvement in the MH17 downing”.
The Global Rights of Peaceful People non-profit and the Dutch political party Forum for Democracy (FvD) have also joined to the efforts to discredit the JIT probe and spin disinformation. It was FvD that was among the initiators of the infamous Dutch referendum on the Ukraine-EU association deal.
Russia doesn’t hesitate to use any opportunity to channel false reports on MH17, only to contradict the detectives’ official version. One of such “opportunities” was the Honorary Consul General of the Russian Federation in Maastricht, Contantijn van Vloten, who has long been a vivid lobbyist of Kremlin’s interests in Europe. He helps coordinate Russian embassy’s events in the Netherlands, as well as contributes to the operations of both Bonanza Media and GRPP.
It should also be noted that van Vloten has long-standing “business ties” with Russia. Besides, he is known to be in a rather close contact with the President Vladimir Putin. Today, van Vloten owns a restaurant chain hosted by Russian museums, including in Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo, the Hermitage, the Catherine and Menshikov palaces, Pavlovsky and Russian museums. He is also married to a Russian wife, Nadezhda.
Mr van Vloten had opened these restaurants with Putin’s personal approval. Back in the day, Putin chaired the External Relations Committee at the St Petersburg Mayor’s Office so he personally signed off the registration certificate for the relevant joint venture.
It’s due to these “business ties”, it appears, that the Dutchman has been promoting mainstream Russian narratives. He’s been praising the annexation of Crimea, condemning sanctions against Russia, and calling EU officials “fleas on a bear.” In December 2019, at the grand opening of yet another restaurant, van Vloten treated the guests with chocolate bars with Stalin’s portrait on them.
His zeal didn’t go unnoticed by his Kremlin handlers. In 2018, he was formally noted for the assistance provided to foreign election commissions ahead of and during the latest presidential elections in Russia.
Obviously, successes in the propaganda domain seem to inspire van Vloten to further feats. Now he is going to expand his business operations and to open a restaurant in the occupied Crimea, as well as an international financial center in Kaliningrad.
And this is only a tiny fraction of Moscow’s “active measures” executed including with the assistance of paid puppets, toward whitewashing Russia in the MH17 case.
However, it might as well turn out that Russian taxpayers had paid for this all in vain as the official position of the Netherlands remains the same! Russia’s involvement in the attack on the passenger jet is a proven fact: Russian leadership must be held responsible for deploying in the occupied part of Ukraine’s Donbas that deadly Buk missile launcher, which destroyed the Malaysian Boeing, killing everyone on board.
And this isn’t some subjective opinion as the investigation teams in the Netherlands, Australia, the United States, G7, EU, and NATO countries have all officially agreed with the conclusions drawn by international experts.

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