As we have mentioned in the past Google Earth does not have any imagery of Ukraine since June 2015, which puts it on the list of censored countries that includes Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. However, a recent report on the citizen journalism site Bellingcat states that Google recently added some historical imagery from July 17, 2014, the day of the downing of Flight MH17. In fact they even know the exact time the image was captured: 11:08am (local time). Google Earth does not show the time that imagery was captured but the reporters at Bellingcat know exactly which DigitalGlobe image was used, and DigitalGlobe does know the exact time that a given image was captured.
If they are correct that the image was only recently added to Google Earth, this would suggest that whatever mechanism has been used to censor the country does not extend to historical imagery from 2014. Also of note is the fact that the Ukraine received Street View in October 2015 although it doesn’t appear to have been updated since then. The most recent Street View we could find was dated July 2015. There is no Street View in most of the eastern parts of the country and Crimea. There is some Street View of Donetsk, but that is dated 2011.
As you can see below, the new sighting of the BUK that is believed to have been used to shoot down Flight MH17 isn’t very significant, as it just adds an extra point to the fairly well documented route of the vehicle that day as identified by Bellingcat from various sources.
The green pin shows the new sighting.
To see the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file Note that the truck carrying the BUK can not be seen in the imagery in most of the locations marked, but rather it is known to have been at those locations at those times because of various photos / videos of it. See this Bellingcat report for the sources of the locations.
At one point Russia released a fake photo supposedly showing a fighter jet shooting down flight MH17.