Russia dismisses MH17 investigation findings

Dutch-led Investigation finds the missile hit Malaysian airliner MH17 two years ago was a Russian-made BUK rocket and fired from a pro-Russian rebel held village in eastern Ukraine.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team consists of prosecutors from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine.

Russia on Wednesday dismissed a report that concluded Malaysian airliner MH17 had been downed by a Russian-made missile fired from a pro-Russian rebel held village in eastern Ukraine.  

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the findings of the investigation launched by the Dutch-led joint Investigation Team (JIT) are biased and politically motivated.

"To arbitrarily designate a guilty party and dream up the desired results has become the norm for our Western colleagues," Zakharova said.

"The investigation to this day continues to ignore incontestable evidence from the Russian side despite the fact that Russia is practically the only one sending reliable information to them."

JIT says its investigation is based on thousands of wiretaps, photographs, witness statements and forensic tests.

Earlier in the day, JIT prosecutors have revealed the missile that hit MH17 was launched from Pervomaysk, a pro-Russian rebel-held village in eastern Ukraine.

"Our investigation has shown that the location from where the BUK was fired was in the hands of the Russian separatists," said Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the JIT, in a news conference held in the central Dutch city of Nieuwegein.

According to the JIT, the missile was a Russian-made 9M38, a surface-to-air BUK rocket.

The investigators said the missile launcher was transported into Ukraine from Russia and returned to the country immediately after firing a rocket.

All 298 people aboard died when the Boeing 777 broke apart in midair on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014.

Most of the victims were Dutch citizens.

At the time of the incident, pro-Russian rebels were fighting against Ukrainian government forces in the region.

The Ukrainian government and its Western allies have blamed Russia and the rebels for the incident. Moscow has always denied direct involvement in the conflict and responsibility for the downing of MH17. Instead, Moscow insists that the Ukrainian military was behind the incident.

Before the inquiry’s results came, the Kremlin said that radar data showed the plane was not brought down by a missile fired from the territory held by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.

"First-hand radar data identified all flying objects which could have been launched or in the air over the territory controlled by rebels at that moment," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in Moscow.

"The data are clear-cut...there is no rocket. If there was a rocket, it could only have been fired from elsewhere."

The investigation team also said that they have identified 100 potential culprits who were believed to have had an active role in the crash or the transport of the BUK missile.

But chief investigator Fred Westerbeke stressed those under investigation are not official suspects yet.

TRTWorld and agencies