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Tuesday, October 13, 2015, 22:52

Ukraine military downed MH17: Russia

By Agencies

Ukraine military downed MH17: Russia

MOSCOW - Russian Almaz-Antei missile manufacturer said Tuesday that the Malaysian MH17 plane was shot down by 9M38 surface-to-air missile from the territory controlled by the Ukrainian military.

"Today we can say with certainty that if Boeing has been hit by a surface-to-air missile, it was by the 9M38 missile launched by the BUK-M1 air defense missile system from the vicinity of Zaroshchenskoye settlement (in southeastern Ukraine)," Almaz-Antei CEO Yan Novikov said at a press conference.

Novikov presented at a press conference results of two actual experiments done by specialists, which led to the conclusion that "completely contradict the results of the Dutch Safety Board on the type of missile and the launch location."According to Novikov, the missile was "for sure" being fired from Zaroshchenskoye village in southeastern Ukraine, which is under control of Ukrainian military forces rather than insurgents in the eastern Ukraine.

In a final report on the crash on Tuesday, the Dutch Safety Board said MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a Russian-made Buk missile.

But the long-awaited findings of the board, which was not empowered to address questions of responsibility, did not point the finger at any group or party for launching the missile.

A bitter war was raging in eastern Ukraine between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian government forces when the aircraft was downed and, amid a huge international outcry, many Western experts and governments immediately blamed the rebels.

"A 9N314M warhead detonated outside the aeroplane to the left side of the cockpit. This fits the kind of warhead installed in the Buk surface-to-air missile system," said Safety Board head Tjibbe Joustra, presenting the report.

On June 2, the Russian side denied involvement in the plane crash citing investigation results after looking into the wreckage and missile fragments found at the crash site.

Mikhail Malyshevsky, adviser to the general designer of Almaz-Antei, said that all the evidence pointed to the conclusion that the flight was downed by a guided air defense missile, probably a 9M38M1 missile of the BUK-M1 which "has not been produced in Russia since 1999."

Malyshevsky added there is evidence that the BUK-M1 system and accompanying missiles were still in service with the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2005.

The Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine's conflict-torn Donbass region on July 17, 2014 on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board.

The West has been claiming that pro-independence insurgents in eastern Ukraine shot down the aircraft and thus imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia and Russian enterprises, which has brought Moscow's relations with the West to the lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

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