MH17 missile brought in from Russia

International prosecutors investigating the downing of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014 say the Buk missile that hit the plane was from Russia.

They also narrowed down the area it was fired from to a field in territory controlled by Russian-backed rebels.

All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 died when it broke apart in mid-air flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Russia says the conclusions are “extremely political” and its Buk missiles “never shot down” the plane.

“Based on the criminal investigation, we have concluded that flight MH17 was downed by a Buk missile of the series 9M83 that came from the territory of the Russian Federation,” chief Dutch police investigator Wilbert Paulissen said in a news conference on Thursday.

The missile launcher was later taken back to Russia, he said.

An inquiry by the Dutch Safety Board last year found that a Russian-made Buk missile hit the plane but did not say where it was fired from.

But Russia has rejected the conclusions, calling them “extremely political”.

“This is of course a provocative statement… it has nothing to do with investigating the tragedy that took away the lives of so many people,” said Leonid Slutsky, the head of the parliamentary committee for the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent State).

“These conclusions seek to achieve only one objective – to further marginalise the image of Russia in the global political and information space,” he added.

Prosecutors have narrowed the missile launch site down to a specific field near the village of Pervomaiskyi, which was then in rebel hands.

They established the identities of about 100 people “linked to the crash or the transport of the Buk” missile, but they are yet to determine who could be held criminally responsible.

There is a need to establish who gave the order to move the missile launcher into eastern Ukraine, and where the order for it to be fired came from, investigators said.

 

-BBC

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