‘Certainly not’: Putin denies Russian missile shot down flight MH17

Posted May 25, 2018

Investigators have since established that the aircraft was shot down with a Buk anti-air missile system amid heavy fighting in the region.

A team of global investigators said on Thursday that the "Buk" missile system used to bring down the passenger plane came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade, based in the western Russian city of Kursk.

The missile launcher was operated by the Russian 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade and fired from a farm near Pervomaisk, a town in eastern Ukraine, the investigators said.

The Dutch government - along with Australia - said it was holding Russian Federation "formally accountable" for the tragedy that killed 298 passengers and crew.

The Dutch government said in a statement that, together with Australia, it was holding Moscow "formally accountable" for the tragedy, and may now move towards submitting the complex dossier to an worldwide judge or organisation. A possible next step is to present the case to an global court or organisation for their judgment.

Russian Federation has always denied involvement in the downing of the jet.

"It's an important step on the way to get justice for victims", Ploeg added. "They want to see closure but they also deserve justice and we will be seeking reparations for the atrocities caused by this conduct", she said.

They have identified two people, who go by the aliases Orion and Delfin, as top suspects after obtaining their wire-tapped conversations before and after the plane was shot out of the sky.

He described Mr Lavrov as "standoffish" during their phone call.

The Kremlin also insists it has not intervened to support pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine, despite compelling evidence that Moscow has provided military, economic, and political support for the separatists in their war against Ukrainian government forces.

Sergey Lavrov said he told his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok that Moscow is ready to cooperate with the probe, and warned investigators against stonewalling facts provided by Russian Federation.

The latest conclusions from the JIT came nearly four years after the July 2014 catastrophe, which killed 298 people, a lot of them Dutch citizens. The worldwide team running the criminal investigation appealed for help from witnesses who can testify about the involvement of the Russian military's 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in the city of Kursk. "If military weapons can be deployed and then used to bring down civilian aircraft in what was essentially a war zone, then global security is at risk and we call on all countries to inform the Russian Federation that its conduct is unacceptable".

MH17, the Malaysian Airlines jet flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was taken down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series, the Netherlands' Public Prosecution Service's Joint Investigation Team already revealed in 2016.

On May 25, Kremlin spokesman Dmitriy Peskov repeatedly rejected the JIT's official conclusion, claiming a lack of evidence, as did the Russian defense ministry.

On Thursday, Dutch-led worldwide investigators concluded that the missile belonged to a Russian brigade.

"To acknowledge what's written there, we must have full participation in the inquiry", Putin said.

"Ukraine is part of the investigation and that is despite the fact that Ukraine violated worldwide laws and they did not close the airspace over the area where fighting was ongoing".

"The foreign minister of the Netherlands called me to say they have no doubts that the Buk came from Russia", Lavrov said.

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