MH17 and PS752: How Authoritarians Manipulate the Truth. Talk with Michael Bociurkiw. 14 January, 2020, 7pm
DATE: Tuesday, 14 January 2020
VENUE: 79 Holland Park London W11 3SW
Ukraine happened to be at the centre of two horrific plane crashes making headlines: one of a Malaysian airliner, MH17, shot over Ukrainian territory in 2014 by Russia-backed militants, another - of Ukrainian International Airlines plane PS752, shot down by an Iranian rocket near Teheran on 8 January 2020. Despite very different circumstances, these two crashes bear similarities - in their link to a broader conflict and involvement of bigger players - Russia, US and Iran, but also in the way in which information and evidence from both tragedies were manipulated.
In March, 2020, the Netherlands will formally launch the MH17 criminal trial in Amsterdam. The Joint Investigation Team has formally charged four suspects: three Russian and one Ukrainian. Evidence that included phone conversations show that the chain of command for the war in East Ukraine leads to top Kremlin officials - including the Defence Minister. The four suspects are now in Russia or Russian rebel-controlled Donetsk and are not expected to be extradited. One suspect was released by Ukraine to Russia in a prisoner swap earlier this year. Dutch investigators were able to interview him prior to the transfer. For the families - many of whom are in the UK - the search for justice has been painful and frustrating.
The details and repercussions of PS752 incident are still being discussed. Michael Bociurkiw, a global affairs analyst and a former spokesperson for OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. He was part of the OSCE team which reached the MH17 crash site just 20 or so hours after it fell from the skies. In that role, he became de facto spokesperson for the crash. Mr Bociurkiw will speak about the parallels between both cases as well as about the prospects of getting justice for the MH17 victims. Moderated by Bohdan Tsioupine, a journalist with 20 years of reporting experience for international and Ukrainian media, including BBC, Voice of America, Radio Liberty.
Tickets £10, £7 concessions. Book via eventbrite.
Michael Bociurkiw is a global affairs analyst and the former spokesperson for the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. He was part of the OSCE team which reach the MH17 crash site just 20 or so hours after it fell from the skies. In that role, he became de facto spokesperson for the crash.
Michael is a CNN Opinion contributor and is a regular on BBC World Television, BBC World Service Radio, CNNi, Bloomberg TV and Al Jazeera. He comments frequently on events in Ukraine and the surrounding region. A Canadian of Ukrainian origin, he has served as global spokesperson for UNICEF and as a media focal point for UNICEF in many emergencies and conflict zones. His consulting and media work has involved many stints in Ukraine.
Michael started his journalism career at The Ukrainian Weekly and has been widely published in such media as Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, the South China Morning Post, Globe and Mail and Asia Times. He is on the board of the Ukrainian Journalists Association of North America and the East Europe Foundation.
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