Putin Link To Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 Suspect Named By Investigators, Officer In GRU Intelligence Unit

Dutch investigators on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for four suspects in the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

A police officer searches the MH17 crash site.
Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

Dutch investigators on Wednesday issued arrest warrants for four suspects in the shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

As many as three of the four suspects named by Dutch investigators Wednesday as suspects in the July 17, 2014, shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 have direct links to the Russian intelligence service known as the GRU, according to media reports, including a CNN account. One of the suspects, Russian Major General Sergey Dubinsky — also known by the alias “Khmury” or “Gloomy” — may have a direct link with a top adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

The Boeing 777-200 flying as Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was en route from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was shot down over Donetsk in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 on board. The death toll makes the shootdown the second-deadliest aviation disaster caused by terrorism or military action in history, behind only the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, per CNN.

Of those killed, 196 were Dutch nationals, according to the Netherlands government. One passenger, 19-year old Quinn Lucas Schansman, also held American citizenship, according to an ABC News Twitter post.

On Wednesday, following an investigation that has now lasted nearly five years, Dutch prosecutors issued international arrest warrants for Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinsky, Oleg Pulatov, and Leonid Kharchenko, according to ABC News. Girkin — also known as “Strelkov” — along with Dubinskiy and Pulatov are Russians who reportedly worked for the GRU. Kharchenko is a pro-Russian Ukrainian citizen who was reportedly a leader of the separatist military forces.

Dubinsky appears to be the highest-ranking GRU officer named in the arrest warrants, and as The Inquisitr reported in 2017, he has been directly linked to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov. In 2016, two years after the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 shootdown, Dubinsky was reportedly seen attending a conference and closely conferring with Surkov.

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Surkov, according to a Moscow Times report earlier this year, is the “Kremlin puppet master” who now serves as “personal advisor to President Vladimir Putin on Ukraine.” He has also been called “the chief architect of Vladimir Putin’s system,” according to The Guardian.

Girkin aka Strelkov, a Moscow native who was also a leader of the separatist military forces in Ukraine, had been named in a New York Times report as a covert operative for the GRU. Pulatov, also known as “Gyurza” or “Viper,” is believed to have been a soldier in the Spetsnaz, the Russian special forces under GRU command.

The GRU is familiar to Americans because, as the United States Justice Department announced, special counsel Robert Mueller in 2018 indicted 12 GRU officers for carrying out the hacking operation on Democrats designed to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.