An independent Russian newspaper on Wednesday published what it said was a report by Russian military engineers suggesting Malaysian airline flight MH-17 was shot downby a Russian-made surface-to-air missile fired by Ukrainian forces.
Novaya Gazeta, an investigative newspaper, said the report did not prove whether Kiev’s forces or the pro-Russian separatists they are fighting had shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17 last year, killing all 298 people aboard.
“It is most likely that Flight MH17 was destroyed in mid-air by the impact of a 9M38M1 surface-to-air missile … the main missile in the ‘BUK-M1’ system,” said the report published by Novaya Gazeta.
The report, which the newspaper published in full, said the military engineers’ calculations, largely based on open sources, suggested the plane was fired on from a position where Ukrainian government forces’ BUK missile systems were stationed.
Each side in the conflict in eastern Ukraine accuses the other of bringing down the plane, on which two-thirds of the victims were Dutch.
Dutch broadcaster RTLNieuws said it had had the shrapnel tested by international forensic experts, including defence analysts IHS Jane’s in London, who said it matched the explosive charge of a Buk a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile system.
Here is an animation RTLNieuws published in their report:
Russian officials, who initially said the plane was hit by a Ukrainian fighter jet, have deflected any blame and deny allegations by NATO and Kiev that Moscow has provided the rebels with heavy weapons and soldiers.
Novaya Gazeta, which is often critical of President Vladimir Putin, said it appeared the report had been drawn up by Moscow to send to the Dutch investigators.
“This report does not end things, it raises new doubts and new questions. The main ones are: where was the BUK-M1 fired from and who fired it?” the newspaper wrote.
Kiev has dismissed Russian allegations that its forces shot down the airliner. Russia’s Defence Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting By Timothy Heritage, editing by Jason Bush)
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