first published on December 9, 2017 by Will
As a result of an ongoing, independent investigation into the 2014 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, strong scientific evidence has implicated the involvement of a high-ranking Russian general.
The joint report released by Bellingcat and The Insider relied on open source data as well as forensic voice analysis of recorded phone calls. The report determined with a high degree of certainty that the Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation, Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, is codename: “Delfin,” a key player in the tragedy of MH-17 being shot down over Ukraine.
Boeing 777 Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over Ukraine on 17 July 2014 with a 9M38 missile launched from a Buk anti air missile system belonging to the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Rocket Brigade based in Kursk, Russia. Satellite footage shows that the Russian military’s multi vehicle anti air system was operating inside of a Russian proxy controlled area of eastern Ukraine at the time.
Just prior to releasing the linked report, The Insider asked Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev about his involvement in the incident, to which he replied that he was not in Ukraine in 2014.
Through years of research, the investigators narrowed it down to Tkachev being the most likely candidate for “Delfin,” a key facilitator in the deadly ground-to-air missile attack. They then decided to conduct forensic voice analysis on intercepted voice recordings of Delfin facilitating the attack and compare them to voice recordings of Tkachev.
To get voice recordings of Tkachev, the investigative team called him under the guise of being journalists writing a relatively harmless fluff piece article on a totally unrelated story.
Now with multiple voice recordings of “Delfin” and Tkachev, the investigators sent those audio files to the National Center for Media Forensics at the University of Colorado, Denver and the Forensic Science Centre of Lithuania. The two organizations conducted different tests, totally independent of each other. Yet, they both came to the same conclusion: The voices matched. Delfin is Tkachev. Tkachev is Delfin. The Russian general is the highest ranking Russian actor implicated in the incident, so far.
While the report withheld or didn’t conclude as to the exact level of Tkachev’s involvement, it puts another nail of certainty into the coffin of Russia’s responsibility in the death of the 298 lives taken upon the downing of MH17.