The Role of Sergey Dubinsky in the Downing of MH17

The Role of Sergey Dubinsky in the Downing of MH17

UCMC publishes a short version of the new report from Bellingcat website. For full report please see here.

Following the publication of “Identifying Khmuryi, the Major General Linked to the Downing of MH17,” additional information has surfaced that further confirms the identity of Khmuryi as Sergey Nikolaevich Dubinsky, born August 9, 1962. The clearest confirmation of our investigation came courtesy of Russian actor Ivan Okhlobystin, who was photographed with Dubinsky on his Odnoklassniki profile. In a February 16, 2017 op-ed with RT (archive), Okhlobystin confirms that Sergey Dubinsky is indeed the separatist figure who went by the name Khmuryi and Petrovsky while serving under Igor “Strelkov” Girkin in Sloviansk and Donetsk.

Additional information regarding Sergey “Khmuryi” Dubinsky has also emerged since the publication of our article. On February 18, 2017, InformNapalm published an article showing that Dubinsky joined a congress of the “Union of Donbas Volunteers,” which took place on November 4, 2016 in Moscow. Dubinsky himself gave comments to the BBC Russian Service in response to our article. Dubinsky did not refute his identity as Khmuryi, and instead claiming that a Ukrainian Buk was responsible for the downing of MH17, though the location provided by the Russian Ministry of Defense for this supposed Ukrainian Buk shootdown has been thoroughly debunked.

With Sergey Dubinsky’s identity as “Khmuryi” confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt, both in his additional discovered posts and confirmation from his friend Ivan Okhlobystin, we can now provide additional analysis regarding Dubinsky’s role in the transport of Buk 332 on July 17, 2014 through eastern Ukraine. As this analysis will show, Dubinsky was a key–or perhaps even the key–figure in organizing the transport of Buk 332 from Donetsk to a field south of Snizhne on the day of the tragedy. Furthermore, this additional analysis confirms the authenticity of the intercepted telephone conversations involving Dubinsky published by the SBU on July 18, 2014. Some details of these calls were previously under dispute or unclear, such as references to downed jets and Gvozdikas in a call between Dubinsky and “Botsman,” but a closer look reveals that even minor details in the calls can be verified through open source materials.

Dubinsky in Intercepted Calls Published by the SBU

Intercepted phone calls published by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reveal numerous details about Dubinsky’s role around the transport of Russian Buk 332 on July 17, 2014. The day after the downing, the SBU identified Khmuryi (Dubinsky) as “Sergey Nikolayevich Petrovsky, born 1964, officer of the Russian GRU, Igor ‘Strelok’ Girkin’s deputy of intelligence, who was in Donetsk at the time of the intercept.” We now know that some of these details are true, and some are a bit off–namely, the year of birth (1962, not 1964) and his last name (Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinsky, not Petrovsky, which was his pseudonym in the DNR).

For videos and detailed phone calls analysis please see here.


Following the downing of MH17, Russian/separatist forces scrambled to retrieve the black boxes from MH17. They did eventually find them and on July 2;1, 2014 handed them over in a press conference to Malaysian officials.

In an intercepted call from July 18, 2014 and released by the SBU on July 21, the head of the Vostok Battalion, Aleksandr Khodakovsky, speaks with a separatist soldier about retrieving key items from the MH17 crash site.

While still searching for the black boxes (Khodakovsky later mentions not knowing what they look like), he mentions that Khmuryi (Dubinsky) has a “key item,” which could be a black box.

It is unclear what this item was, but it is clear that Sergey Dubinsky was a key organizer in efforts to find materials related to MH17 at the crash site–with an emphasis that people from “Moscow” want them secured, and that these items “do not come into somebody else’s hands.”

This article was collaboratively researched and written by the Bellingcat  MH17 Investigation Team, with contributions from the Conflict Intelligence Team.