Russian MH17 Suspect Millitary Officer Identified by ‘High-Pitched’ Voice

Investigators have identified a Russian military officer believed to be involved in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from the distinctive tone of his voice.

Oleg Vladimirovich Ivannikov has been named by investigators as heading military operations in eastern Ukraine when the Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board from 17 countries.

Open-source researchers led by the firm Bellingcat said Ivannikov, 51, code-named Orion, was a missile specialist most likely responsible for the transfer of the missile across the Russian border to the war-torn Donbass region.

The investigative team which included researchers from Russian website The Insider and the McClatchy media group’s DC Bureau had the problem of trying to trace a man who also went by the rather common names of Andrey Ivanovich Laptev and Andrey Ivanych, which they believed to be false anyway.

By tracking his phone conversations, they traced one he apparently made on July 13 2015, which described a convoy route thought to have transported the missile to Ukraine.

“The military adviser who went by the name Andrey Ivanych…possesses two traits that matches the ‘Andrey Ivanovich’ from the intercepted calls: a distinctly high voice, and a background in military intelligence,” the report said.

They contacted Ivannikov, saying they wanted to get in touch with another man with the same name who headed an NGO. Voice samples confirmed their belief that he was behind the firing of the missile that downed the plane.

“Despite the fact that both audio fragments are too short for forensic computer-assisted audio analysis, a linguistic and acoustic comparison of the two voices compellingly points to the voices belonging to the same person, as both samples’ high-pitched timbre and vocal intonation are highly idiosyncratic and rare among male voices,” the report said.

The multi-national Joint Investigation Team (JIT) released a report blaming Russia for direct involvement in the tragedy and that the missile came from the Russian military’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade. The Australian government has said that Moscow must be held to account.

The Russian ambassador to Australia, Grigory Logvinov, dismissed the claims as “dirty provocations.”

“The so-called “investigation” is conducted almost completely on the basis of information from social networks and several international non-governmental organizations, which have tainted themselves long ago by fakes, forgeries, primitive fabrications and so on.

“This unworthy style is clearly observed in the so-called ‘Skripal’s case’, Syrian chemical dossier, and previously, in the fabrication of pretexts for military invasion to Yugoslavia and Iraq,” Logvinov said, according to

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Source: Newsweek

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