Survey: Missile that demolished MH17 came from the unit based in Russia

BUNNIK, The Netherlands – The missile used to shoot down a pbadenger plane of Malaysia Airlines in eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing all 298 on board, belonged to a military unit based in Russia, a team said on Thursday. international team of researchers after painstakingly studying video and photos of a military convoy.

The criminal investigation team "has come to the conclusion that the Buk Loom with which the MH17 flight was shot comes from the 53rd Kursk anti-aircraft missile brigade in the Russian Federation," said Wilbert Paulissen, chief of the National Crime Squadron of the Netherlands, referring to the missile system used.

It was the clearest link so far published by researchers on the involvement of the Russian army in the deadly attack with surface-to-air missiles on the Boeing 777, and echoed the findings published in 2016 by the research group Bellingcat.

Russia has always denied participating in the demolition of flight 17, which went from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when it was flown from the sky to 33,000 feet above the war-torn east of Ukraine on July 17, 2014. [19659002] Bodies, debris and burning debris spread over a field of sunflowers near the village of Hrabove, controlled by the rebels, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, about 40 kilometers from the Russian border, where combats lasted months.

Russia criticized the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) for trusting Bellingcat's claims.

"If the international investigation team is really interested in tracking down the true culprits of the MH17 catastrophe, its etter members rely on witness facts and testimonies and not counterfeits produced by Bellingcat and the Ukrainian Security Service", said the Russian Ministry of Defense in a statement.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also criticized investigators for allegedly ignoring the evidence provided by Russia, including radar surveillance of airspace at the time of flight.

"In these circumstances, we have legitimate questions about the real underlying cause of JIT's decision to disclose the preliminary conclusion," said the statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Prosecutors said they presented their findings to Moscow and are seeking answers, but so far have not received a response. The international team in charge of the criminal investigation requested the help of witnesses who can testify about the participation of the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade of the Russian army.

Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke said the new conclusion raised new questions, "such as the question of how actively the brigade was involved in shooting down MH17."

Westerbeke said the JIT is not yet ready to identify the suspects, but added: "I can say that we are now entering the … last phase of the investigation."

Prosecutors said in 2016 that the plane was shot down by a 9M38 Buk missile fired from territory controlled by rebels supported by Russia, using a mobile launcher transported from Russia and hurriedly returned there.

Thursday's presentation went a step further by identifying the exact unit allegedly involved in transportation. It showed a compilation of videos and photos of social networks that tracked the convoy trip of the missile brigade in the weeks leading up to the incident.

"All the findings of this forensic investigation confirm JIT's earlier conclusion that flight MH17 was shot down by the 9M38 series missiles," said Jennifer Hurst of the Australian Federal Police.

Investigators showed parts of the exhaust system and the engine casing of a Buk 9M38 series missile recovered from eastern Ukraine and showed photos of their serial number, which they said was made in Moscow.

However, the researchers said they could not yet say with certainty that it was the exact missile used to knock down MH17. They called on the witnesses to present more information about the missile and the role of the Russian army in its transport.

In a statement, the Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, said: "That a sophisticated weapon belonging to the Russian army was sent and used to shoot down a civilian aircraft should be a serious international concern." We are discussing these findings with our partners. and considering our options. "

Ultimately, any identified and accused suspect will be prosecuted in Dutch courts, if they can be tried. Arrested and brought to trial.

Of the 298 people killed, 196 were Dutch, 42 were Malaysian and 27 were Australian.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a Facebook post that he would "do everything possible to ensure that the actions of the Russian Federation as a state that supports terrorism get an appropriate badessment" in the International Court of Justice.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte cut Short visit to India to preside over a Cabinet meeting to discuss the findings.

Piet Ploeg, a member of a foundation for relatives of the victims, said that the Dutch government should not consider legal measures against Russia.

Foreign Foreign Minister Didier Reynders urged all countries to cooperate fully with the investigation "so that those responsible can be brought to justice"


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