Nearly 5 years ago Bellingcat began it's online open source investigation into the downing of flight #MH17 with the help of an ever expanding online community. First we identified the route the Buk missile launcher took from Donetsk to Snizhne on July 17th 2014.
Thanks to the sharp eye of one Twitter user highlighting the similarities between a Buk filmed in Russia multiple times between June 23-25 and the Buk in Ukraine, we were able to show they were the same Buk missile launcher.
Using multiple videos and photographs published online we were able to track the convoy that missile launcher was part of back to its base near Kursk, home of the 53rd Brigade, the source of the missile launcher that shot down MH17
Over the next year we used the social media profiles of the 53rd Brigade's soldiers and multiple other sources to establish the make up of the brigade, including individuals who were part of the 2nd division that made up the convoy transporting the Buk that shot down MH17
Following a public request by the Joint Investigation Team to help identify two individuals with the codenames Orion and Delfin, we worked with the @the_ins_ru to identify both individuals, including a serving GRU officer. Not the first GRU officer we'd reveal the real name of.
Today, nearly 5 years after we started our investigation, we will identify many more of the individuals involved with the downing of MH17, and we will hopefully hear today from the JIT that some of those individuals will be charged.
Thank you to all of you who have helped our investigation, in ways big and small, over the last 5 years. You all contributed to the events of today, despite attacks and accusations of fakery from those who would want to hide the truth.
You can follow @bellingcat.